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Episode 17.

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Tony’s eyes followed Lara, as she walked up and down the room, trying to get his things ready for the journey.
His father would be there in no time to accompany him.
He sighed and sipped his heavily creamed coffee. The night had been a tough one, he was thinking all through.
He had imagined what it’ll be like if he got treated well- how life would be with Lara then.

He thought of the probability that he didn’t get well, would Lara continue to stay that way…
“What are you thinking?” Lara jolted him back from his thoughts.
“Ehn?” he smiled, he had learnt that word from her.
“Your mug have been hanging halfway to your lips for a while now.” she said zipping his bag.
“Hmm.” she looked up.
“When are you coming back?” she walked to the bed side.
“I guess three weeks minimum.” he replied.
“minimum three weeks? Maximum should be one year then.” Lara’s eyes ogled out.
“No…not more than a month.” Tony laughed.
“I can’t stay here all alone…” she made a face.

Tony sighed, what was going to tell her? His worries?
“now c’mon, its just for a little while, okay? My mum would come to check on you regularly, you can even call your friend Deji to come and stay with you.” he petted her.
“Okay…” Lara sighed.
They heard a car honked!
“Your dad is here…” she helped him into his wheel chair.
“G’morning sir.” she said as her father in-law took over the wheel chair.
“How are you?”
“Fine.” she followed them closely with Tony’s bags.
“bye and take care.” she said as they were about to drive away.

“Lara?” tony said gently.
Their eyes locked. Tears filled his eyes.
“Pray for me.” he whispered.
“I will.” her voice was weak too.
“I love you Lara, and I’ll miss you.” he sniffed, before the car moved.
Lara waved at them as they left the compound, tears streaming down her face.

Lara sat, her eyes glued to the Tv. She watched the Indian girls dance, she knew she was addicted to Bollywood.
There was a knock on the door, she felt reluctant to open it. The knock came again sharply.
She hissed, put the Tv off, before sauntering towards the door.
“Who’s there?” she asked opening the door.
“Can we come in?” Funke asked coldly.
Lara stood barring the door, her mother wasn’t alone, she came with an old man and three young men.
“Lara can’t you see people are waiting? Let us in na!” her mother said again.

Lara shifted for them to get in.
“So mum who are they? And how may I help them?” she asked closing the door behind her.
“ehen/ the old man is ermm…the younger brother to your paternal grandfather, his name is Baba Lagbaja…” Funke began her introduction
“These ones are you father’s cousins…errm..yes…beni, this one is Soji,..this one is Dele, this one is errm Tunde…they are all from your father’s village.” Funke continued.
“So what are they doing in my house?” Lara asked sternly.
“Ah ahn! Lara ki lo de! Shey an ja ni! Are we quarrelling? Serve them drinks first now.”
Lara obliged.


“What’s your mission” she asked the Baba Lagbaja as she served him.
“They have come to take you!” Funke announced.
“Take me? How?” Lara laughed as she sat on a settee.
“Omolara my grand daughter…” the old man began.
“you are the only female child in our family, we value you alot.”.
“Yes!” tunde, soji and Dele chorused.
“You are the only one left to continue your father’s lineage, you can’t let your father’s name die like that.” baba Lagbaja said coughing at intervals.
“So?” Lara frowned.

“We have come to take you out of this marriage, we need children to bear Popoola’s name.” he further explained.
Lara laughed uncontrollably.
“You don’t laugh when an elder is talking.” Tunde yelled at her.
“She’s stubborn o.!” Funke chirped
Lara ignored her mum and faced Tunde.
“You don’t yell at me, else I’l throw you out of my house.!”
“Baba…”she turned to face the old man
“I’l go with you if only you can do something for me.” she said politely.
“Name it omo mi.” Baba Lagbaja said
“If you can return all you’ve collected from Tony and his parents, then I’l follow you.” Lara assured him.
“What are those things?”
“To start with, my mother must return the one million naira she collected for bride price, then all the jewelries and ornaments, then all the clothes, the house they bought for her, all the gifts they showered on her…alll..the…”
“Ehn!” The old man screamed interrupting her

“Ehn!” Baba Lagbaja exclaimed again.
“Yes o! Including the two jeeps Tony’s Father gave her, and the…”
“Wait!” he stoped her, turning to Funke.
“Funke! N gbo? You collected all that? Are you trying to sell your daughter? You’ve sold her already I rather say!” he yelled at her.
Funke shifted uneasily on her seat.
“My daughter, sorry to have troubled you o. ”
Baba Lagbaja told the smiling Lara.
“Young men let’s go!” he said angrily and they rose to leave.
“Wait wait! I’ll pay!” Funke was desperate.
“I’ll pay in installments, little by little.”
“When you sold your daughter to them, did you give her to them in installments?” Baba Lagbara shrieked at her.
“Don’t ever come to me again o! If you do Sango would strike you dead! ” he cursed before leaving the house with his group.


Funke was confused! How could her daughter become so mean.
“hey mum! You’ve got another plan?” Lara laughed at her dejected mother.
“Well, I’m afraid, you’ll have to die without a grandchild o. As for me, I can easily adopt as many children as I want o!” she jeered.
Funke threw her handbag at her in anger.
“Ouch!” Lara winced as the bag hit her belly.
“Please o! Be careful, Tony’s Babies are in there!” she laughed some more.
“Lara, you’re doing this to me your mother!
What’s your gain?” Funke asked tears staining her eyes.

“My gain?” Lara looked sobber.
“My gain, is that, I can make you feel bad after all you did to me!” Tears welled up her eyes too.
“Omolara! I’m leaving you! Continue to ruin your life!”
“Yea! I’ll continue from where you stoped” Lara spat out.
“Don’t ever come to look for me! I’m no longer your mother.” Funke fumed heading towards the exit.
“And I’m no longer your daughter!” Lara shot back.
Funke turned round astonished.
“Lara?” she whispered.
Lara walked into her room, leaving her to stand there like an undecided ghost.

To Be Continued…. . . .

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