Back home, at Iwalewa town, Mama cannot fathom the carelessness that overwhelmed and caused her daughter to have forgotten her special package. She is dazed at how it managed to fall off her luggage.
"When did Omolayo carry her luggage?" Mama manages to say something after the long silence that follows her previous question.
"No one knows. You know I’ve been very busy. I really don’t know," Iya Bolu answers.
Just then, Omolewa comes in excitedly.
"Ma’ami can we have a drink each, my friends and I?" She says winking at her mother. She is too excited to notice the brimming anger on her mother’s squeezed face.
"Who packed Omolayo’s luggage? Mama answers with a question.
Omolewa is shocked at her question. She never expected it. She tries to answer all the same. "Ehm-"
"You can all go and have your drinks," Iya Bolu interrupts her. Omolewa leaves excitedly. "Mama Omolayo, why will you ask her such a question knowing she has been busy hanging around with her friends. She can never know about that."
Mama marvels at her foolishness. That’s true. Why will she ask Omolewa such a question? She must have asked in confusion. But then, Omolayo is too careless to have forgotten this special package.
"Don’t forget you are here to rest," Iya Bolu reminds her, leading her to her bed and covering her body with her old traditional blanket.
Mama sleeps in silence under her warm blanket, holding on to it as she would hold on to Omolayo when she eventually returns home.
It’s been two months and some days at Aye Hotel and Suites. Omolayo does not seem to understand the whole idea of staying for over two months in the hotel. When will she go to her matrimonial home? When will she have her space with her lover in her own house?
She is already fed up with the routine in the hotel. The whole idea of having Femi around even complicates issues. She has frustrated him a lot of times whenever he tries to meddle in her life and/or relationship. She wonders what gives him such audacity. Bayonle has been outdoors for some time now, hanging out with Femi. She needs her breathing space. This whole marriage suffocates her to the point of loneliness. She is choked in her solitude of thoughts. Worse still is Bayonle’s reaction to her after realizing that her luggage is incomplete. Her mind wanders absently around the compartment of her suite and she doesn’t realize when Bayo walks in.
"You’ve been in bed all day. Won’t you freshen up and catch some fun around?" Bayonle’s soothing baritone voice jolts her from her reverie.
"Yes, I am. Why have you been stuck in bed all day? Let’s go catch some fun outside."
"I’m tired of this place Bayonle. When are we going to our house?"
"I told you already that we will not leave here until I’m sure you’re fruitful."
"That’s an insult Bayonle. That’s an insult. This is just the height of it." Omolayo protests in a teary tone, lifting her body from her weighty white feather-filled duvet.
"It’s not an insult dear. I’m only stating the fact. You are the one wasting your time. You cannot be fruitful without returning to Iwalewa to have your missing package," Bayonle replies calmly with a smug smile dancing on his lips.
"Must I be fruitful before going to our home? At least, I’m already here with my ticket to your estate. You warned me against losing it and I adhered to your warning. What is so special about the missing package that I can’t leave now with my ticket? Must I be fruitful? Must I?" Omolayo does not care any longer if she is raising her voice. Why will he be smiling when she is very angry? Can’t he feel her pain? She breaks down totally, burying her head in her soft duvet.
To be continued…
Missing (4)Short fiction.
By Flora O'seyi Dairo