From the moment he heard the baby’s wail almost a year ago, even before the portly matron came out to inform him that ‘congratulations, it’s a girl,’ he had stumbled into feelings bigger than he ever imagined.
‘You managed not to fall into the arms of the first boy who whispered sweet nothings!’ His wife reared back as though slapped, then pulled her dignity about her like an invincible cloak. ‘Did I?’ She challenged him, holding his gaze without her usual demureness. ‘And really, you of all people should know better than throw stones.’
It was as though he sensed how intertwined their fates would become if their paths did cross. Almost like the rush of emotions that was enveloping him at this moment, bathing him in the glow of her restrained, radiant smile. ‘Oh, I remember you,’ he assured her.
Liadi especially loved the island. Eko proper or isale Eko as its inhabitants proudly proclaimed it, with the fierce protectiveness of a people who knew their place.
In Jilete, a woman may choose not to ‘marry’ the male relative of her dead husband assigned to her, but she would have to forfeit her place in his family.
Had Abibatu Abeke even been the sort of woman who valued people’s comfort levels in awkward social situations, she was certain that something about losing the man who was your anchor to societal validation would have cured her of the habit.
School was regimented enough with its insistence on rules and order that all he had to do was be at the appropriate places at the appointed times. With a mother like his, ’Toye had no qualms following regulation.
She refused to tow the line many women in her circumstances would have – of coddling and overprotectiveness as a mother – choosing to make her son’s eventual name a reminder to herself not to get too attached