The atmosphere is flower ornamented with bright bubbles of laughter from the rounded cheeks of her well-wishers. She could see Iya Bolu, her mother’s best friend who had assisted her mother in dishing delicious words of wisdom the previous night. They had encouraged her to embrace her new life with courage and pleasure. No matter, the years she had spent before that day, they were only transient compared to the life she is about to face. Her mother had tied everything neatly in her luggage that night. She made sure nothing was left out. She could remember that her mother had placed a special package at the edge of her luggage.
"Omolayo, this package is the most important of all I have packed. I deliberately kept it at the edge of your luggage because it is the first thing you’ll need as soon as you get to your destination," her mother had warned vehemently, rubbing the edge of her left ear. She was fond of that. It was one of the reasons she would miss her mother.
"Ma’ami, you should trust your daughter. I will definitely do as you have said," she had replied.
They had laughed and cried together with Iya Bolu’s dish of words splattered into her keen earlobes.
"Omolayo, it is time," that voice sounded like a rushing wave from a far distance, eventually landing in her ears. By the time it landed, she could only hear "time".
"Time? The time is…" she struggles for her wrist watch.
"I said it is time." The voice reverberates this time. She looks towards the direction of the echo. It is Femi.
"Oh! It is you. Did you just say it is time?"
"Spare me some minutes please. I need to carry my luggage."
"It’s been carried already."
"By who?" This time, her voice is a mixture of anger and curiosity. Her heart starts to pound. She remembers how her mother had warned vehemently. It seems to her that Femi didn’t regard that statement as a question as he stands staring at her clueless.
"I said, by who? When was it carried?"
"I really don’t know but I was told it’s been carried."
"You were told? By who? I mean who told you?"
"Bayo said your sister told him that-"
At this point, Omolayo could only walk away from Femi. Bayonle is her newly wedded groom and Femi is his best man. She knows that Bayonle is a disciplinarian. He doesn’t entertain any form of carelessness. To him, carelessness is a poison that is capable of killing an edifice of life aspirations. She moves briskly. Her mind is painted with splashes of questions. She wanders who could have carried her luggage. She remembers how that special package was left hanging at the edge of her luggage when she wanted to steal a glance at it before being called outside.
"I hope it didn’t fall off when it was carried. I hope it was carefully carried."
Her eyes meet with Bayonle’s as she approaches the car. She fakes a smile and heads straight for the booth of the car. Opening it, she is astonished by how she met her luggage. She is caught in between decisions. Should she return to her mother or should she try to cope with Bayonle without that package? How important is the package? What is in it? Can her mother make another one and send to her? How long would that take? Her sight sailed her through the sea of wonderment and all she could only do is to keep wandering.
To be continued…
Missing (1)Short fiction.
By Flora O'seyi Dairo