Samuel Otareri is back! We miss him and we hope you do too. On his new series, he shared this short story of Amaka with us and we know you would enjoy it, just as we did.
Then there was one Amaka – no relation of Tuface’s Amaka – who lived in Aba. Then there was Akin who was a National Youth Corp member in Aba at the time. I don’t know how these two met, nor where they met.
But I know what they met to do. Let me tell you.
Hello, are you there?
“Yeah. I m listening.”
…Akin was thinking that he might want to marry when he’s done with the service. A job before marrying, yes. But marrying right after that. He was a guy who liked small things, or so it seemed; a small room, small bed and – no TV – small phone. The only big thing about him was his heart. If you were an intuitive person like my mom, you’d know immediately you meet him that this guy will share his last piece of yam with you.
One thing though, Akin was one of those people who know how to sit still for hours watching things around them happen. (Pat says I’m not like that. And that’s why I will never get to meet an Amaka.)
Amaka was an intuitive person too. But I know little about her than I do about Akin. So let’s begin from after they met. Akin asked Amaka to date him. Amaka said YES.
One day, Amaka was thinking about why she said yes. It was because the guy was different. He’s kind, yes. But most guys are kind to girls they like for the first few days or weeks or months before they let Dr. Hyde come out from the closet and bite the girl.
But Akin, he will sit and stare at Amaka as she went about cooking or cleaning in their house as if he is studying the girl for an exam.
Amaka’s mom told her, she said “He’s always looking at you smiling as if you are not the one he saw yesterday. Are you sure he’s alright?”
“Mama, Akin is a good man.”
But when they are alone, she asked him why he stared at her so much and my guy said, “You are beautiful. Totally.”
(That’s my line, by the way. I say that to Pat all the time. You see the problem with guys who don’t talk much? They plagiarize us who do!)
Now one day not very different from this one, beautiful creamy weather, popcorn aura, and meaty deliciousness, Akin asked Amaka to marry her. They were in his room and it reeked of poverty in there. A very small bed that cannot even size…anyway, it’s a small bed. Amaka started asking herself if she has sense.
She said yes. To the proposal.
The mother shouted, “Chineeke nnameeeeh!”
“That poor boy! You want the poverty in this family to continue!” she added.
Akin came to the house to collect the list. They gave him. He smiled when he saw it. Amaka’s relatives sat in the dinghy parlor, apprehensive, thinking that the poor boy will run away. But my guy was smiling. The list was long, two full pages of that higher education notebook we used in university. You know those notebooks, abi, Pat?
“Shut up and continue the story, Sam.”
Akin traveled back to Ibadan. Spent just two days.
The day he came back to pay the bride price, the whole of Aba thought it was the governor that was coming. Even Amaka’s family joined the neighbors in the wonderment thing, asking, who be that, where them dey go? No knowing it is their house the cars are coming to.
Big jeeps, fine cars —no bikes, Pat, no Toyota sef— bumper to fender, the exotic cars parked in front of Amaka’s house. My God, nobody knew that Akin is a very rich boy, his family owned half of Ibadan (and I own the other half.) and some parts of Lagos, in collaboration with Tinubu.
They paid the bride price, times three, then Akin married Amaka very well, that is, have you seen where somebody married a girl VERY WELL? And you know how Ibadan people use to do their party, they will do it so much you will think they are fetching the money like water from well; lavish! Ravish! Java! Microsoft! Bezos! Ha!
Pat, I tell you, it was a day never to forget.
“A day to remember.”
Sorry, a day to remember. So that’s how Akin married Amaka.
“So what’s your point?”
“My point? I told you I don’t do morals with these things. Read your bible.”
“Nobody is going to buy your book if you don’t teach any moral, Sam.”
Okay, this is the moral: you know I don’t have money, but I own half of Ibadan city so will you…