Mum continued to feed Annete with tales about my adventurous childhood. She spoke about the day I lost my first tooth, my first day at school and when the teacher caned me for making noise in class.
“I was framed,” I protested.
“You still want to stick to that line?” Mum asked me. There was so much too to talk and laugh about, including the day I lost the cows in the grazing fields, my high school days and how she felt when I came to the city to study at university. Some things that I thought we took for granted. They actually mean a lot to our parents and guardians. We wound up the night with tales about our lives at work. Soon, it was time to go to bed.
“Goodnight,” father said as his bedroom door creaked.
Annete slept in my sister’s room, adjacent to the main family house and I slept in the grass-thatched hut by the fence. I built this house while at university. Annete liked it and were it not for respect, she said, she would have loved to make love in a grass-thatched house. We woke up at cock’s crow the next day because we planned to leave for the city. A meeting followed breakfast with dad and his relatives. It was sort of a clan meeting. Each one of them trundled out “words of wisdom”. Apparently, they all seemed to approve of Annete. Not that their opinion mattered, really. Blame it on the individualistic city life, where every man is for himself. But all the same, I took keen interest in the sentimental value of it.
We drove back to the city later that morning after an emotional parting. Mum hugged Annete and spoke something inaudible to her ears. I guess she was telling her to take care of me.
Despite the incident at the cowshed, Annete was in high spirits. The visit had cemented our relationship. Annete felt reassured and appreciated. At last, our relationship had purpose and direction, or so she thought. It is what every woman approaching 30 thinks most. Life’s curve was about to turn. None of them wants to be caught off-guard. Apparently, it works differently for men. Marriage stops being a priority when one hits 30 when not in any serious relationship. Life looks and sounds normal to want to worry about marriage, especially with a good, reliable maid to cook, wash and clean your house and iron your clothes.
This, with the frequent one-night stand, makes life complete.
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