Olusegun looked at Nifemi as though he would know whether she was indeed pregnant. Mama smiled, she seemed to be pleased with the news but she knew it would be out of context shout for joy as she could now tell why Nifemi’s parents were on edge with her son and her. As much as Mama would love to say something at that point, she chose to let Nifemi’s parents do the talking. Speaking too soon might worsen the situation, she thought.
“No sir”, Olusegun answered. He seemed confused.
“Now that you have been informed, this is what will happen. She will go right away and live with you till the baby is born. I am neither giving my daughter away to you nor consenting to this disgraceful act but I will right the wrongs which the two of you started under the knowledge of your mother as I can see. Bear in mind that I will hold you responsible if any mishap should come upon my daughter during her stay with you. I expect her back to me in a healthy condition just as you take away from me today four months after the delivery of the baby. She will hand your child to you and in turn you will hand mine back to me. Hope this is clear enough?” Mr. Adeniji explained with fierceness in his eyes.
Mama looked at Mrs. Adeniji. She searched her face to confirm it is their joined decision to make this absurd and unrealistic decision. When she noticed no flinch of hesitation in Mrs. Adeniji, she let out a heavy sigh. She wanted to pacify Nifemi’s parents and assure them that the situation can take a better turn but again, she wasn’t sure if it was a good timing to speak freely without aggravating the situation.
Olusegun looked at his mother. Bewildered of what to make of the decision, he got up from his seat instead. He hesitated for a second before he prostrated before Nifemi’s parents. He was aware of how disappointed they were at him, especially her father, his teacher.
“I’m sorry sir”, Olusegun simply said.
“Thank you for your consideration sir. I are grateful for opportunity you have given us to have and keep the baby” Mama spoke. “I realize how shameful this foolish act between your daughter and my son is, and I am truly sorry for all the discomfort it has caused you and your household. Believe me, that was not the intentions. I will never willfully wrong you or tarnish your family’s pride and image”, she was even more humbled by the circumstance she found herself. Mama hesitated before she spoke again, “With utmost respect to you sir, we request your daughter’s hand in marriage. My son will be graduating soon and is certain to secure a job at the Polytechnic as an Assistant Lecturer. We have a family member processing that for him already and he is certain that it will be a good start for him after NYSC. I also believe”, she continues, “that physical separation between the mother and child is less desirable in this situation, given that it may lead to serious complications for both of them”.
“Hmm”, Nifemi’s mother scoffed. She detested Olusegun’s mother for her confidence in her son and even more for her effrontery to request her daughter’s hand in marriage.
“Thank you so much for the generous offer”. Mr. Adeniji spoke abruptly, ignoring his wife. “I never doubted Olusegun would do well and go far. After all, he is very ambitious. Having said that, you must know that my daughter only just wrote her final Advance Level examinations when your son decided to abuse her innocence by impregnating her. But I will not allow your son to bring total shame to my family by altering the cause of my daughter’s hopeful future”. Mr. Adeniji’s anger came deeper with every word he spoke. “My decision stands. I will have my daughter back after the delivery of the baby. Good day”. Mr. Adeniji got up and left the living room but not before he had looked at his daughter with irritation. No matter how often he looked at her, Nifemi could not get used to the disdain in his eyes.
“Once again, please extend my sincere apology to your husband. The intention was not to destroy your daughter’s ambition and bright future. I really appreciate that you decided to keep the baby. For that, I will forever be indebted to you. However, I understand and respect your husband’s decision. We will take care of your daughter and bring her back in good health, Insha Allah”. Mama spoke calmly. Her seemingly calm demeanor irritated Nifemi’s mother even more.