Chinwe! Iyawo mi!

Chinwe cringed as she heard the voice that had called her name. She thought to herself that she would recognise that voice even if she was drugged with a brain tumour inducing drug that could make her lose her memory.

As Chinwe turned to greet the older woman to whom the voice belonged to, she wished she had that drug nearby or at least some alcohol in her system. After all one needed to be somewhat numb to face the mother of your ex-fiance.

Aahhh … Iyawo mi!” the voice exclaimed again.

Chinwe cringed inwardly at the meaning of the phrase. Iyawo meant wife in the Nigerian Yoruba language and Iyawo mi was a way that older Yourba women called their sons wives, fiances and sometimes girlfriends. It was sweet when the person it was being directed at was in a relationship with the charge of the person who had used the endearment, but at the particular moment the endearment made Chinwe feel the dire need for the earth to open up and swallow her.

“Mo .. Mommy Sue …” Chimwe stammered and turned to face the woman who had called out. “Good afternoon ma.” she greeted as she curtsied down as low as her fitted dress would allow.

Mommy Sue or Aunty Sue, as she liked to be called was Mrs Olabisi Susan Pedro the mother of her ex-fiance.
Mrs Pedro was the owner of a large all-natural beauty product manufacturing business. Mrs Olabisi’s company, Nature’s Gifts, was recently named one of the top in businesses in West Africa. She was also wife of a former CEO and current member of the board of a large oil servicing firm in Abuja which had branches in the major cities of the country & the African continent.
Her husband, Mr Adewunmi Pedro was a charming man who headed the Pedro family and family businesses with the precision of a soldier. He loved his wife who had been his university sweetheart and cherished their two kids one of whom happened to be Chinwe’s best friend and the reason Chinwe was out of her house at a wedding she didn’t want to be at.

“Are you looking for a seat darling? Why don’t you come and sit here with me?” Mommy Sue asked with a charming smile.

Chinwe thought she would rather have her dress rip open exposing the decadent lingerie she was wearing under than sit with her ex-fiance’s mother. If the situation had been different, it might have crossed Chinwe’s mind that it was very weird how Mommy Sue was still being nice to her considering the story about why and how her son no longer wanted to marry Chinwe was not one that a mother should hear.

Fortunately for Chinwe, she didn’t have to choose between her ex’s mother and having her face on Linda Ikeji’s blog as the socialite fiance with the fashion mishap. Chinwe had been looking for a seat but she had been looking for a seat for her mother. Somehow her mother knew the family of the girl getting married and on getting to the venue of the reception very late, a situation which she blamed on Chinwe (something about girls these days and too much make up), she wanted to get a seat closer to the front so she could see the lovely bride.

“Mommy Sue, my mom is here with me and I … “ That was all she could get out when she felt someone hold her arm. She recognized the smell of his favourite perfume before she heard him speak.

“Surprise!” Chinwe turned to look at the person who had caused her a lot of tears and pain in the past 6 months. Ayobamidele Benedict Pedro stood before her in all his 6″2 handsome glory and before she could process why he was here and not in the UK he leaned in and pecked her on the mouth giving her a big hug afterwards. She couldn’t help it, after all the nights of crying and missing him, she hugged him right back and started tearing up, just so happy to be holding him after she had thought it was all over. It was with the that last thought that she suddenly realized it was over and something was very wrong with this scenario.

Chinwe suddenly realised this must be a very bad dream and began to push him away when he he let go of her and said to his mother.

“Mom, we will go and get aunty Patt. She can take my seat, I will seat with Chinwe at their table.”

All this happened so fast and before Chinwe could react, Mommy Sue had nodded her assent and with his hand on the small of her back, Dele had already turned and started steering her in the direction of her table.

Once they were out of sight of his mother he moved away from her slightly and someone bumped into him completely cutting off his touch. It was then, away from his warmth and smell that her brain started functioning again. She stopped and just stared at him as he took two steps and when he realised she was not following, he stopped took a deep breath and turned to face her.

Chinwe was feeling to much and too close to tears to think about mincing words, “What the fucking hell Dele?!?” The words were out of her mouth before she thought about where they were and looked around to see if anyone had heard her. Thankfully people were too distracted, except the one woman who was eyeing her. She faced him again, “Why are you back, why is your mother still being nice to me and calling me …”

Dele cut her off with his reply, ” They don’t know.” He raised his hand to stop the tirade of questions he knew would come, took a deep breath as he looked into her eyes and said, “My family doesn’t yet know about me calling off the engagement. It is a long story and I’ll explain later but it has to stay that way for a while longer. No one can know that I called off the wedding. Not yet at least. As far as everyone is concerned, nothing happened. We are stoll very much a couple about to get married.”