Kunle is too concerned with reactions on Twitter. He doesn’t see the escape.
FG bans gatherings of over 50 persons, the news says.
Like an epiphany, he catches it. He can ease this pressure. A smirk forms on his face while he pictures a one-day event that will not bear upon his bank account. But this victory that overwhelms him doesn’t last. He’s the one getting married, but is it truly his wedding?
By evening Lara stops by his place.
“Miss ‘Rona doesn’t want us to get married,” she says immediately Kunle opens the door.
Kunle keeps a wry smile. Hewants to join in her taking the situation lightly but the thought of suggesting what she might not agree to discouraged him. “How was work?”
His eyes don’t leave her as she removes her wig and unbuttons her shirt. He tries to speak again but the words wouldn’t come. He watchesher struggle with her shoes while she explains that the virus has paused her going to work. She will be working from home till normalcy returns.
“We should proceed with the wedding,” he says. Lara gives him a stare. He could feel her eyes tickling his cheeks.
“No one is calling the wedding off,” she says. “We are only changing dates.”
“No, I mean, we should still do it next month.” He pauses to survey her reaction, but she sat still as though deaf. “You know it will be sort of private, and…and it will save cost.” His eyes were on the rug now, trying hard to sound convincing.
Silence wraps the room.
Lola’s phone rings. “Daddy, we’ve seen the news,” she responds. “Actually, we are not changing the dates.”
When the call ends, Kunle hugs her so tight, she struggles to breathe.
The next morning, Kunle is woken by his mother’s call.
“Why do you want to disgrace me, Kunle? What do I tell my friends that have gotten the aso-ebi? Or the many associations I belong to! You want me to tell people my only son is having a palour wedding? Kunle, Kunle, s’ongbo mi?”
Kunle lets the phone fall off his ear. He leaves his mother’s voice vibrating on the mattress. He goes to the fridge but he doesn’t take anything. He rests his head on it instead. He hates that his mother only wants to make an impression with his wedding. He hates that for the first time, he will not listen to her.
Glossary 1. S'ongbomi?: Are you hearing me?
Shedrack Opeyemi Akanbi is a third year student of History and International Studies at the University of Ilorin. His words have appeared or forthcoming on the Quills, EroGospel, Undivided Magazine, Praxis Magazine, Kalahari Review and elsewhere. Shedrack is a believer in Christ. He tweets @ShedrackAkanbi.