July 18, 2017 at 8:28 am #1046333
All rights reserved.
written by Serah Iyare
Didi and Mara were childhood friends.
Nothing in the whole wide world could ever separate them.
One man rocked the boat of their friendship.
Will their relationship sink or withstand the overturn?
“Proclaim your awesome power, Tell of mighty deeds, Declare your future kingdom, Of everlasting peace, And my eyes, They look, Unto you, Always, And I am captured, By your majesty, All of my days, I will sing of your greatness, All of my days, I will speak of your grace, All of my days, I will tell of your wondrous love, Your love in my life, Your love,” they chorused the lyrics of the Darlene Zschech song playing on the car’s DVD player.
“I love this song,” she grinned from ear to ear and nodded her head in sequence with the rhythm of the song. Her excited dark eyes remained on the road, while her hands held the steering wheel firmly.
“Me too,” she continued humming the lyrics of the song.
“Abeg increase the volume,”
“Why?” she glanced at her fair skinned neighbour who was seated at the backseat of the car and returned her attention to the road.
“Just increase it,” she eyed the driver, her dark skinned neighbour.
“Ah-han what? Do you want to make us the center of attraction?” she hissed.
“The weekend has just begun. We are entitled to enjoy ourselves.”
She hissed again, “This is my car. I decide what goes on in here.”
“Sorry o! Madam Car owner.”
“And my eyes, They look, Unto you, Always, And I am captured…” her friend continued to sing, ignoring them.
“You keep quiet now,” she attacked her.
“Leave her alone. Is she singing with your mouth?” the driver eyed her.
“Madam Car owner please mind the road and get us home safely.”
“Hey! Hmmm… Ehn… someone has a very big mouth.”
“All of my days, I will sing of your greatness, All of my days…” she went on singing.
“That reminds me, will you like to come to church with me on Saturday evening?” she glanced from one to the other.
She stopped singing and made eye contact with her fair skinned friend.
“It is a Singles’ programme. I heard that the guest minister is very gifted.”
They both remained quiet.
“I noticed that you do not attend church on Sundays.”
“We just moved into the area,” her voice was laced with defense.
“We will scout for a place of worship when we are ready,” her friend chimed.
Their neighbour shook her head. She turned into the busy street and parked the car in front of a one storey building.
“Thanks Shalewa,” Mara opened the door and jumped out.
“You are a God sent,” Didi dashed out of the car and hurried after her friend.
“Ah! Wait!” She watched them dash into the compound through the open gate. She shook her head again.
These girls are something else.
She turned off the ignition.
I am not going to let them get off that easily.
She got out of the dark blue Toyota corolla 2008 car and locked it. The gateman greeted her; she returned his greetings and headed for her flat which was on the ground floor.
Didi joined Mara in the kitchen.
“You are boiling water; do you want to make eba?”
She shrugged and brought out a small pot of ogbona soup from the refrigerator.
“Please make my own too.”
“Am I your personal chef? You better boil your own water and make your own food.”
She stared at her friend who was turning the defrosting soup with a long wooden spoon. The brown skirt suit she was clad in complimented her fair skin. None of them had gotten out of their work clothes.
“What is doing you?”
Mara threw a glance at her.
“Why do you like acting difficult?”
“Difficult? Really? Because I refuse to make your food, abi?”
“It is beyond food. You are always like this.”
She placed the spoon on the four burner gas cooker and clapped her hands.
“See hunger…” she started to laugh.
“You better arrange yourself and add my portion to whatever you are making or else, I will make this flat uncomfortable for you.”
“You are threatening me, hey! Look at this small fry.”
Didi strode out of the kitchen. Her high heels made click sounds on the tiled floor.
“You are threatening me instead of begging me.”
She watched her friend leave. She returned her attention to the steaming soup.
Didi returned with a white towel wrapped around her slim creamy brown frame, “What do you think about the Singles’ programme?”
Her brows knitted in a frown.
“Abeg I need my Saturday,” she switched off the gas cooker. She lifted the kettle from the cooker and poured the hot water into a big bowl.
She opened the container they kept garri and poured some into the water.
“We need a place to worship. Let’s attend the programme and see how her church is… we haven’t attended church since we moved into this area.”
“I am not interested,” she turned the mixture with a wooden spoon.
“She has a car. She will pick us up and drop us. The same way she picks us up at work every day.”
She dished the eba and ogbona soup into two different bowls.
“Didi follow her if you want to. I will find a place of worship when I am ready,” she placed her food on a tray.
“Watching TBN and all these Christian stations isn’t enough.”
She lifted the tray and walked out of the kitchen. Didi picked up her bowls of food and followed behind her, “Mara…”
“Didi leave me alone. Salvation is personal. My God and I understand ourselves.”
She halted, looked at her, sighed and headed for her bedroom. She would take her bath first, and then eat later. There was no use trying to convince her friend. Mara had a mind of her own. Once her heart was set on something, she wouldn’t budge. They had known each other since they were children. They both grew up in Ikorodu. They attended the same schools, from primary level to tertiary institutions. They even served in the same state. They had gotten jobs in the same company, PZ Industry, Ilupeju, six months after their service year. They left the comfort of their parents’ homes in Ikorodu and moved to Shomolu. It was a whole new experience for them. They hoped to get married before their thirtieth birthday and have all their kids before they were thirty-five. They had talked, dreamt and prayed about it. Their plans, hopes and dreams were placed in God’s hands. They believed he would perfect all that concerned them. She kicked her bedroom door open with a leg. She hurried into the room and placed her bowls of food on the table beside the bed. She entered the bathroom and turned on the tap. The cold water made her to shudder a bit.
“And my eyes, They look,Unto you, Always, And I am captured, By your majesty, All of my days, I will sing of your greatness, All of my days…” she sang out loud. She would collect the CD of the Darlene Zschech song from her neighbour after she had eaten that evening. She was a sucker for that genre of music.July 18, 2017 at 8:29 am #1046334
“Take me Deeper-Deeper in love with you-Jesus hold me close in your embrace-Take me deeper-Deeper than I have ever been before-I just want to love you more and more-Lord I want to be deeper in love,” the Worship leader sang beautifully.
She lifted her hands and sang along. Her friend tapped her on the shoulder. She turned her creamy brown head to face her.
“Who wrote that song?”
She blinked and dropped her hands, “I think it is Don Moen.”
She raised an eyebrow, “Are you sure? I thought it was Bob Fits.”
She shrugged, “Why don’t you Google it?”
“I like the song.”
“Me too,” she returned her attention to the Worship leader.
She tapped her again.
Oh Lord God Almighty. I can strangle this girl right now.
She looked at her through the corner of her eyes.
“He has a nice voice.”
She glanced back at the Worship leader.
“Assuming he was taller, muscular, you know…”
She placed a hand on her forehead and shook her head.
“Did you see Shalewa among the Choristers? She didn’t tell us that she was in the Choir. What is she feeling like?”
“Ssssssh….” She placed a finger on her lips.
“You too sssssssh!”
They both eyed themselves. They realized that they had attracted the attention of the people standing around them.
“Next time, I will not sit beside you.”
The Pastor took over the service. An hour later, Mara and Didi found their neighbour at the car park. She was leaning on her car and chatting with someone.
“I have been waiting for you two, come and meet one of our diligent Protocol department members.”
They stood beside her and seized up the six feet; dark skinned, broad shouldered young man clad in a black trouser suit. His white long sleeve T.M Lewis shirt and matching black tie made him look like someone in the ‘Men in Black movie’. What was missing was a dark sun-shade.
He shook hands with Mara, “It is nice meeting you.”
“Yeah…” she blushed, his dark piercing eyes engulfed her, “I am Amarachi, but everyone calls me Mara.”
She liked the way he called her name. Her hazel eyes fastened on his square like shaped face.
“I am Onuwagbe, call me Uwa.”
She chuckled. She felt excited, “You are from Edo State.”
He nodded, “Yes. I am from Esan.”
Her eyes brightened, “My mum is from Esan.”
“Really?” His eyes shone in surprise. It was a good thing that the different tribes in Nigeria were beginning to inter-marry. Her mum who was Esan married an Ibo man.
“Yes…” It suddenly dawned on her that he was the perfect physical description of the man she would like to spend the rest of her life with. He was tall enough. She was five feet nine inches. Anyone shorter barely caught her interest. He was broad shouldered, dark skinned and easy on the eyes. It was her lucky day.
He let go of her hand and turned to face Didi. He stretched out his right hand, “Hi.”
“Hi,” she shook his hand, it felt warm, soothing and firm, “I am Edidiong.”
“Edidiong…” he repeated her name.
It sounded soft and felt like a warm caress. Brown eyes locked on dark ones.
“Can I call you Didi?”
She blinked in surprise, “Everyone close to me calls me Didi.”
He grinned, “Nice. I believe I can join that club.”
She laughed, “Yes you can.”
His dark gaze took in her creamy brown oval face and travelled down her slim curvy frame cradled in a simple pink flowery short sleeve knee length A-shaped dress. She felt uneasy. His perusal made her feel self-conscious. She released her hand from his grip and took a step backwards. His intent gaze captured her oval face again; she looked away and noticed the sheepish grin on Shalewa’s dark oblong face. On the other hand, her friend had a scowl on her fair round face.
“Will you be here tomorrow?”
She took a quick look at him.
Tomorrow? What is he talking about? Oh! Tomorrow is a Sunday.
“Yes!” Shalewa interrupted.
Didi glimpsed at her. Mara eyed her.
“They will both be here,” she added.
He smiled, “Good, will you like to have lunch with me after the service tomorrow?”
Her surprised brown gaze flew to his dark face.
Lunch? Lunch after Sunday service? Is he asking me out?
He sensed he had taken her by surprise, “I apologize if I come across as being forward. I hope you are not offended.”
She shook her head.
I am not offended. I am shocked, flabbergasted, nonplussed…
“I know we have just met. I am a straight forward person. I don’t beat about the bush. When I see something that I like…”
She swallowed hard.
He likes me. Is that possible? Just like that? Is he trying to flatter me or what?
“Something that I want, I go for it. I don’t play or joke with opportunities.”
She stared back at him. He seemed honest and sincere. It had been ages since someone who she met for the first time would like her at first glance, especially in the company of Mara. Her friend was two inches taller, more beautiful, more physically endowed, and on top of it all, she was fair skinned. She was a queen, compared to her humble self. As far back as she could remember, men chose Mara over her. Even if they met her first, once they saw her friend, whatever they felt for her evaporated. Mara had been in more relationships than she had. It was hard to believe that Uwa was asking her out for lunch when Mara was standing right there. It had never happened before.
“Didi, I like you. I want to get to know you better. I hope whatever this is… this bubbling beautiful feeling within me… I hope it will blossom into something special and long lasting.”
She blinked, opened her mouth and closed it.
What did he just say? Feelings? What feelings?
She was used to guys who hung around her and moved like pendulum bobs before they declared their intentions. She had met a few people who were truthful and sincere upfront. Yet, Uwa’s confession, confidence and out-spoken attitude surpassed them all.
Wait a minute. Is he really being honest with me or does he see me as an easy prey?
“I don’t ask every girl I meet out on lunch dates.”
She sighed with relief.
“I know that we are meeting for the first time, but, sweet heart, this is the way I feel right now. I like you and I want to get to know you better. Will you go on a lunch date with me tomorrow?”
Their gazes locked. Her heart raced.
Shalewa was excited with the scene before her. She used to have a crush on Uwa in the past but the fact that she was three years older than him didn’t sit well with her. She killed her feelings for him and remained a loyal friend. It would be nice if he started dating Didi, they looked good together.
Mara couldn’t believe what unfolded before her. She thought something clicked between them. Was she the only one that felt the connection? She thought he liked her. The way he looked at her a moment ago, she could have sworn that he found her desirable. Why wasn’t he asking her out? Why was he asking her friend? Didi was nothing compared to her when it came to physical beauty and endowment. What did he see in her? As far back as she could remember, no man had ever chosen her friend over her, especially when they were together. She watched them with disdain. She hoped her friend would decline his offer. The Didi she knew would never go out with someone she hardly knew.
Didi tore her eyes away and stilled her emotions. She liked him too. There was no harm in going out with him for lunch. She could always back out if things didn’t go well. She had never gone out with someone she barely knew. She hoped she wasn’t lowering her standards.
“Okay,” she glanced back at him, “All right, lunch it is then.”
“Yippee!” his dark square-like shaped face brightened with excitement. It was contagious. Shalewa clapped her hands together and laughed out loud. Mara’s frown deepened. She felt like someone had punched her in the tummy.
“Can I have your number?”
“Absolutely,” she brought out her phone from her hand bag. They exchanged numbers and other details.
“See you tomorrow Uwa,” Shalewa waved and got into the car.
“All right babes, thanks,” he waved back at her.
Mara got into the front seat without uttering a word.
“Tomorrow,” he whispered.
“Tomorrow,” she responded and got into the back seat of the car.
Mara watched him through the side mirror of the car as her neighbour drove off. She would never understand why he chose Didi over her. She thought she had met the man of her dreams, but her friend had stolen him away from her. How was she going to relate with her henceforth? She hoped the lunch date would turn sour. If it did, she might still have a chance with him. A relaxed smile spread over her face; all hope wasn’t lost after all.July 18, 2017 at 8:29 am #1046335July 18, 2017 at 9:38 am #1046351mimzoraMember
More!!!!July 18, 2017 at 9:49 am #1046356LadyGMember
Mara must b stupid 2 think dat nonsense, ohh, every gud tin must b u abi? Let me tell u dat watever b ur plan it “ll neva work, next biko.July 18, 2017 at 10:09 am #1046364VictoriouschildMember
Mara you being more pretty nd endowed doesn’t mean all guys are going to choose you over your friend
Some guys see beyond the physical appearance nd I think Uwa is one of those guysJuly 18, 2017 at 9:29 pm #1046626σиєαℓ32Member
cntinu ohJuly 18, 2017 at 10:02 pm #1046654jummybabeMember
What is wrong with Mara