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A Story written by Durodola OLAWALE YUSUPH (Durodolad9ty7@gmail.com +2348166920449, www.penprimus.com Info@penprimus.com)

Three.” The driver replied. “Good. I will talk to dad. Your children will have their university education in the states. I will foot the bills.” Jake said and Just then the car drove into the Murtala Muhammmed international airport. Tears of joy streamed down the elderly man’s face. “How will I thank you?” He asked as he switched off the ignition at the parking lot. “Don’t thank me, thank God.” Jake returned to his former bossy nature as he opened the door and alighted to meet the least expected person approaching him. “Hi.” Stephanie greeted. “What are you doing here?” Jake attacked. “To see the love of my life off until he enters the plane.’ She replied. “But we broke up.” Jake reminded. “Yeah. You did, I am yet to accept.” “You and I knew this was meant to be a game. Things went wrong and the game has to stop whichever ways. Is that too hard to comprehend?” Jake poured out as he signalled to the driver to go into the airport with his luggage. “The game started because we both consented. Now you want the game to end, agreed! But I haven’t consented yet, have l?” Angrily, Jake shut the car door and followed in the steps of hi s driver, but Stephanie was not one to give up. She ran to meet up with him, held his hand and turned him to face her. “l love you She said “l do too, but as a friend. Even though we can no longer be friends like we were three months ago. You knew the imp ortance of this game, but you took it personal and hurt your bestfriend. I agree that I screwed up too, but yours was too much.” Jake spelt out for her. “If Serena forgives you, good, but as for me Jake is riding high into the states. Bye.” With this, he w alked away leaving a stunned Stephanie to the spot. One step before entering the airport complex, Jake looked back at the same time when Stephanie was leaving and coincidentally, they waved. With tears in her eyes, Stephanie ran to her waiting taxi. After the latest revelation from Collins and Janet about Anita’s infidelity, Oluwole Thomas had met with the elders of the family with the exclusion of Pa Patrick and a family meeting was fixed and according to the message, every member of THE THOMAS family was expected at the meeting, and on no account should anybody be absent. If at all anyone would be absent, the family elders must be aware, and a concrete reason must be given. And the meeting which began almost an hour ago at Oluwole Thomas’ residence has in attendance, the eldest member of the family, Pa Ajani who was Patrick, Oluwole, Jane and Collin’s uncle. Which means he was Barrister Olu’s father. Also in attendance were Pa Patrick and his siblings, as well as cousins. The living room was over crowded as all the chairs were fully occupied as some people had to sit on the dinning chairs and stool. Anita sat on the two seater couch beside Pa Ajani who seemed to be in control and the only nonThomas family member present was Pa James. “l think we have listen ed to the two parties. Our son Wole obviously doesn’t want anything to do Anita. Anita on the other hand wants the marriage fixed. And as the head of the family, the yoruba culture gives regard to an elder who could hold the family bond together and make i going to do now.” Pa Ajani began. Everyone in the room exchanged suprise looks, but a triumphant smile played accross Pa Patrick’s case. “In a family where there is an elder, misunderstandings should be curbed even before they happen. The yoruba culture was even clear enough for us. Family should be strengthened and not weakened. Any attempt by outsiders to weaken the family should be met by strong opposition from the family. As the head of this family, and a father to all of you, I was suprised that Wole didn’t tell me before seeking divorce. A marriage we gave our blessings to was broken without our knowledge, that’s against the family boding and I must confess, I am disappointed in you, Wole,” Pa Ajani continued. f the re was something loveable about Pa Ajani, it was his believe in equality and fairness. If there were a hundred people who have wronged him in a room, he would with a hundred word reprimand each and everyone of them. “Women are homemakers Like my late wife would say, if my family is threatened, it is my job to fix it. This is my home, these are my children, this is what I live for.” No doubts, he was talking to Anita. “Anita, you were supposed to be the home builder and maker; but you as a result of your in sensitivity destroyed what you have built. I learnt you all of a sudden began to misbehave. No regards for your husband, neither his family. And you know, a wife will continue to be a wife as long as her children are alive. A barren has no say whatsoever, except in exceptional cases where the husband doesn’t give his family the position they deserve in his marriage. A woman with children can not be sent packing from her husband, except in exceptional cases where the woman committed a crime that even in the olden day, she would be stoned. But a barren with the best behavious can be sent packing. Your children are supposed to be the yardstick for your prolonged stay in this house until death do you apart, but these children of yours advised their father to div orce you. You failed woefully as a wife, a mother and homemaker.” Pa Ajani concluded. Anita shifted uncomfortably on her seat as she exchanged pleading looks with a hard faced Barrister Olu who seemed determined to have his way at letting the family know a bout his affair with his cousin’s wife and one of the(his cousin’s) children being his. Anita knew she failed as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as a homemaker and even as a person. Deep down, she knew Pa Ajani was trying his best at restoring the marria ge, but from all indications, it seemed the members of the family with the exception of Pa Ajani and Patrick are not in support of her coming back. “How I wish I gave birth to a son who is like me. If myself as a father is a person of peace who on several occassions made peace reign in my home, in my community and every gathering and association I have belonged to at a point in time. Why can’t my only son thread in my path?” Pa Ajani asked. Everyone in the room knew it was only a matter of time before Pa Aj ani comes down hard on Barrister Olu. “My own son sped up Oluwole, another son of mine r s divorce. Isn’t that selfishness? Instead of talking to both parties, you filed a divorce despite the fact that you knew how desperate Wole was at the time “l was on ly doing my job.” Barrister Olu replied. “That was a very silly thing to do. What job? Isn’t it family first before work?” Pa Ajani asked “And logically speaking, you are the one who needs divorce? The woman you got married to has been a problem to you. Fo she been in the United states now? Pa Ajani asked “She is back now.” Olu replied.

To Be Continued…

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