Lara’s Man (Part 1)

Omolara
now dreaded family functions. She loved her family, no doubt but spending time
with them just wasn’t as pleasant as it used to be. Three months ago, she’d gotten
a place of her own in Maryland and moved out of her parents’ house much to
their chagrin. They’d voiced their disagreement in strong words but Lara had
put her feet down. They resorted to emotional blackmail but she was adamant. Enough
was enough; it was time to move on. Her parents believed that women must remain
in their fathers’ house until they were whisked away to their husbands’. And
that was exactly why she moved – she was sick and tired of being pressured
about getting married.

Friday
road traffic in Lagos was legendary. She’d left her office in Ikeja earlier
than her usual closing time, hoping to beat the traffic. As she drove to her parents’
house in Lekki, her mind barely registered the hooting cars around, the vendors
calling out to customers or the maruwa,
winding in and out of the heavy traffic. Her thoughts were on the guests that were
right now in her family house; they’d come in for her father’s 70year old
birthday party. They’d started arriving the day before and her younger brother,
Akin had called earlier to give her the lowdown. Her younger sister, Nike with
her husband and kids, Aunty Caro and her husband, Uncle Phillips, Uncle Segun
and his wife, Aunty Bolu, Uncle Dickson, Aunty Belinda and about five cousins
were already lodged in the White House – as
Lara and her siblings had nicknamed their parents’ massive house.  
Of
all the guests, Lara wasn’t particularly eager to see Aunty Caro, her paternal
aunt. She remembered vividly how their last conversation had gone when they met
about a year ago during the Christmas festivities. At the time, Lara was still
living at home; she’d just been promoted at her office and given a brand new
car, a 2013 Honda Accord. Everyone was ecstatic to hear her good news and after
the hugging and pecking, Aunty Caro had drawn her aside.
“Omolara!”
“Yes
Aunty.”
“Come
oh. All these your riches. Brand new car plus the Toyota Avensis jeep you had
before, then I heard you have started building on your plot of land at Ikorodu…”
Lara
looked at Aunty Caro quizzically, “is there a problem Aunty?”
“Wait
let me finish, and the gold you are always wearing and looking expensive. Do
you think any man would want to come and talk to you?” Caro stood hands akimbo.
“Talk
to me how? What do you mean?”
Abi, have you found a husband yet? What,
you are 33 this year now. Don’t you want to marry?”
Lara
pressed her lips against each other tightly. She tapped her right foot and
looked up and down repeatedly, while muttering under her breath “Lord, give me
the strength not to answer this woman.”
Aunty
Caro had leaned closer and asked, “You say?”
Lara
shook her head and walked away leaving a clueless Aunty Caro.
A
rough bus driver trying to maneuver his way into the very minute space in front
of her, broke her reverie. She horned loudly and moved forward quickly to block
his entry. The driver didn’t take defeat kindly, he leaned out of his bus and
shouted at her. “Woman! After you go talk
say you be woman. You no want make person enter. If na you now, you go dey beg.
Lara
shrugged and wound up her windows completely. She turned the AC regulator to
full blast and slid a music disc into the CD player to take her mind off Aunty
Caro. The car in front of her seemed to be faulty. It kept jerking and
quenching and the driver had to start it up again and again before he raced on
whenever the cars ahead moved.
Her
phone rang. It was her mum. She pressed a button on the dashboard of her car.
“Maami.”
“Hey,
girl…”
ku irle ma.” Good
evening
. Her proud Yoruba mother has taught them the language and they
spoke it fluently.
“Good
evening. I just wanted to find out if you have left your office. I hear there’s
a lot of traffic today.”
“There
is. I’m actually stuck in traffic. It’s moving very slowly and you know how I
hate holdups.”
Mrs.
Dosunmu chuckled. “I do. Drive carefully dear.”
It
was her mother she’d gone to that night after she left Aunty Caro. Lara had
thought her mother of all people would understand and support her. After she
poured her heart out to her, her mother was silent for a minute, then she
sighed.
“I
don’t like your Aunty’s approach.”
“You
don’t like her approach?”
“Yes.
O t
lo s
. It’s just the way she said it.” She spoke the truth.
Lara
looked at her mother as if she was sprouting horns and asked, “So, you agree
that I should stop looking good, stop driving and everything just to catch a
man?”
“Don’t
put it like that. You know these men, they don’t want…”
“Maami,
I’m going to stop you there. Any man who wants me shouldn’t be deceived from
the onset. This is who I am. God has blessed the works of my hands and I am not
ashamed about it.”
ni suru Omolara, I’m not saying…” Be patient.
“I
hear you ma, loud and clear. By God’s grace, I’m going to become bigger and
better. If he can’t handle his inferiority complex now, how is he going to
handle it when we are married and I keep getting better?” she rose to her feet
and left the room, trying very hard to hold back her tears.
The
black, old model Nissan in front of her braked suddenly again. Lara hurriedly
stepped on her brakes, almost hitting the Nissan but the car behind slammed
into hers’.
“Oh
God, oh no.” She put the engine off, unbuckled her seat belt and came down to
see if any damage had been done to her Honda. There was a very small, barely
visible dent. The driver of the offending car also rushed out to inspect the
damage.
“I’m
sorry. I’m so sorry. You marched your brakes suddenly and I couldn’t stop in
time.”
“Seriously?
That’s your excuse?”
“It’s
the truth but I’m really sorry.”
Lara
was more frustrated than angry. She didn’t spare the man a glance. She walked
back to the right side of the car, looking closely for any more damage. When
she was satisfied, she raised her head and faced him, ready to talk. But for a
few seconds, she just stared. He was one of the handsomest guys she had ever
seen. He was a head taller than she was, dark with a good physique and well
dressed. She opened her mouth and closed it again.
“Emm…
You hit me.”
“Yes
and I’m very sorry but if you want me to do the repairs, I can.” His voice was
rich and deep, his diction, flawless. “Sorry please, do I know you?”
“Know
me?” she flipped her Brazilian weave from her face and laughed self-consciously.
“No, you don’t.”
“Did
you finish from Corona secondary school?”
“Yeah.
And?”
“You
were like two classes below me, I think. Hi, I’m ‘Tofunmi Koleosho.”
Recognition
dawned on her and she cheerily exclaimed, “Oh… oh… TK?! The TK?? I’m Lara.”
The
Nissan ahead of her moved, and the drivers behind TK began hooting their horns in
unison, calling to them to leave the way.
“Yes.
Please let me have your card or your phone number. I would really like to take
care of the expenses.”
Lara
got into her car and retrieved her complimentary card from her purse. TK took
it with a wide smile and gave her a slight salute. His smile was gorgeous. His
dimples stood out on both cheeks, adding to his appeal.
Lara
stepped on her accelerator, hastening to meet the car ahead. TK. TK. TK. He’d
been popular back in the day. In his penultimate year, he was made the School’s
social prefect and was known for his trendy, dance moves and numerous flirtations
with the girls. Lara on the other hand, was born again and involved in the School
Chapel’s activities. They didn’t run in the same circles but there was no one
who didn’t know TK. Lara was pleasantly surprised that he’d recognized her and my,
he hadn’t lost his appeal. He had become a manly, matured but still handsome
version. She couldn’t deny the pull she’d felt when she looked into his eyes.
But, wait? What’s wrong with me? She shook her head and tried not to think too
much about him. Five minutes later, she was back where she left off. Was he
married? She couldn’t say. She smacked her palm against her forehead. “Why
didn’t I check his ring finger?”
She
got to Lekki about two hours later. Baba Ope, the gateman who had been there
for many years opened the gate and rushed back to welcome her and help with her
bags. She opened the boot and he brought out her leather Loius Vitton suitcase
and rolled it to the house. 
Lara paused at the door, took a deep breath and
went in.

….To be continued…

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6 Comments

  1. Avatar ms cookie September 29, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Ooooh this is so good I can't wait to read the rest of it

    Reply
  2. Avatar EDIM ETIM September 29, 2014 at 3:07 am

    Hmmmmm! I am not igbadun-ing this suspense oooooooo.

    Reply
  3. Avatar STELLA AGWOR September 29, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    onosymama. ..why did it stop..part 2 pleeeeeassssss.

    Reply
  4. Avatar Florence Ukamba September 29, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Why, in the good Lord's name do you keep doing this?! Do you have to ''continue''? What's wrong with ''finishing''?

    Reply
  5. Avatar Anonymous September 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

    nice

    Reply

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