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Brady led Monica to the section where several giant pots containing different sorts of food were open and belching heat fumes. Smilin...

Brady led Monica to the section where several giant pots containing different sorts of food were open and belching heat fumes. Smiling, Brady picked a plate from a plastic basket and informed one of the ladies standing behind the giant pots what he wanted to eat. When his food was served, he paid for it, pretending to ignore Monica he went to find a vacant table to sit down. On his way to the table he looked back to see if Monica was overwhelmed by the scene at the restaurant. Much to his disappointment he saw Monica poking her finger into one of the giant pots telling the girl who stood behind it what to serve her. When Monica was done being served what she wanted she paid and left with her plates of food to the table where Brady was seated.

When Monica got to Brady’s table she set down her plates of semo and ewedu. Her plate of ewedu had a fortress of shaki and roundabout in it. “You thought I would be lost out there didn’t you?” “I wanted to know how you would handle yourself in a place like this”. “Brady, you don’t know me at all. Who you think say I be? No try me o! My mama fry akara for Musin. I was her sales girl for seven years!” “Are you kidding me?” “Why would I?” “Then where did you get all your swag and foreign accent from?” “As quickly as our fortune changed for the better, I did my best to shed my poverty stricken past.” Their night out was not a classic date, but it had love written all over it. In-between their chatter which headed in no certain direction, they bed each other chunks of meat from their plates of food and played footsie under the table. For Monica time stood still and nothing else mattered; she was with the man whom she dreamt of every night holding her firmly only to wake up each morning to find herself holding her pillow instead.

Sitting in front of him and staring into his lovely eyes made Monica’s heart beat joyfully like the drummer boy. While Monica smiled in apropos of nothing happening between them at the restaurant, Brady’s imagination took wings and flew far away. In his heart a song played; a song he listened to a lot while he was a boy. Bit by bit he searched for the lyrics and pulled them out from the dark caverns of his mind where time had locked them away. As he dragged them out he nodded happily, “…Seniorita passing by, pardon me if I stop and ask you why, Seniorita could it be someone like you could love someone like me…” The song by Don Williams brought a gush of magical feelings over him; he had heard of the power of love and what it could do to people, but what he felt at that moment was novel and purely heavenly.

Without rehearsing it on his mind, Brady leaned over and planted a tender kiss on Monica’s lips. Monica didn’t see it coming and so was blown away by it. The effect of the kiss for a moment made Monica think she momentarily passed out and saw the gate of heaven. She didn’t know she was shedding a few tears until Brady reached out and wiped away her tears. Tilting her neck toward her left shoulder, she pinned Brady’s hand in-between her neck and shoulder. She didn’t want him to take away his hand, the comforting and reassuring feel of it made her want it more. Happily Brady obliged him; the two of them were living their dreams in that moment. For long they had dreamt of loving each other and for some reasons had thought it could not happen and having begun to love each other, the strong current of their love bore them powerfully.

They could not see where it was taking them clearly from that point, but in their minds, they knew the destination was beautiful. Later that night when Monica got home she bounced around her mother’s house singing, “Dreams come true, they do, dreams come true! Don’t you know that?” From that night on, Brady and Monica could not let each other out of their sights; they went everywhere together. Even at work, they made silly excuses to sneak out together for brief moments of passionate kisses. Monica eventually admitted to her mother that she was in love and would beam with delight each time she narrated to her about their moments together. Already she was looking forward to see the man who made her daughter walk with a new skip in her stride. Brady was no less eager to see Monica’s mother. With amazing excitement, he made ready to go see her. A day before his scheduled visit to see Monica’s mother, his mother called from Ibadan, giggling and laughing with an infectious joy in her heart.

Brady did not know why his mother laughed as she did, but it was good to hear her laugh that way. Joining in the joyful laughter, Brady asked, “Mami (mother) what is the reason for your good mood. Have you won a lottery?” Managing to bring her laughter to a level where she could speak without chocking on her words, Brady’s mother replied, “You are the reason for my good mood my son.” “I don’t remember sending you some money, so what did I do to make you this happy?” “Your taste is in no way inferior to that of your parents. You found a good wife, one that I am very glad, in fact looking forward to being a mother to”. “What are you talking about mami? Which wife are you referring to?” “I know you will be surprised, hahaha! Calm down my son, Laide Sunmola is here! Finally she came. I have forgiven her for keeping us waiting for four good months. She has been with me for three days. I would have called you the moment she came, but she prevailed on me to wait. I hope there is no other woman in your life right now. Tell them you have closed shop and that there is no more vacancy. I am happy with the lady beside me here as wife for you. Should I pass the phone to her?” All Brady’s mother head was the sound of the dead telephone line, puh puh puh. Wondering what had happened, she demanded, “Brad are you there? Brady can you hear me?” With no response from the other end of the line, she removed the phone from her ear and stared at it hopelessly.

Here is the gist of what happened before the night of the telephone call, Brady was feverishly in love with Laide Sunmola and was eager to perform the marriage rite to make her his wife, as they made their wedding plans, Brady suggested that they go see his parents and siblings in Ibadan. On Laide’s part, everyone in her family knew Brady and had no misgivings about him. From the first time Brady wanted them to go to Ibadan, Laide made excuses and postponed it. She kept at this until Brady put his foot down and demanded she see his parents or they break up. For lack of new excuses Laide caved in but promised to meet up with Brady at Iwo road Ibadan. Brady had told everyone that he was bringing home the lady he was going to marry and so they made arrangements to give her a warm welcome. Sadly, Laide did not show up. Two weeks after that she sent a text message to Brady and apologized for her failure to keep the appointment. Brady felt that was just one too many excuse and moved on. As if Laide concurred with him on that, about four months they heard nothing about each other until the night Brady’s mother called to inform him that Laide was with her.

Determined not to let Laide derail his new found happiness, Brady kept his appointment to see Monica’s mother. His thoughts were that whatever was responsible for Laide’s change of heart and made her to crawl out of her hiding to see his mother after months of abandoning him could wait till he was done with laying the right foundation for his new found love. Monica’s mother took to Brady the moment she saw him. His simplicity of speech and unassuming persona sat well with Monica’s mother. To her Brady cut the figure of a man with an awesome future ahead of him. She would often boast to her daughter, “Monica, I find it extremely difficult to understand why ladies of nowadays cannot tell between good and bad men. As for me, I can tell if a man is good or bad from miles away. In fact I can tell them as they come”. Monica studied his mother and was very pleased for the way she chummed up with Brady like her own son. To her that was a good sign, at least she was on the same page with her mother about Brady.    STORY CONTINUES…
LINK TO EPISODE 3: http://www.moofyme.com/2015/11/a-tale-of-love-episode-3-by-uzoma-ujor.html

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