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by e_bgem
Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Family · #2172684
Three sisters have different views towards marriage, each holds deep secrets.
{{justify}justify}Hi, I'm Tola Matthews, many years ago as a child; I had the vision of happily ever after, putting myself into the heroine
characters of the romantic books I was used to reading. I am the third child in a family of five with two sisters; I had a beautiful childhood but its one thing to spend time with your head in the clouds and another to get involved in reality.
I fell in love for the first time at the age of fourteen, his name was Michael Afolabi, he was the cutest guy in high school, he had this smile that could weaken your knees and turn your bones to jelly, perfect white teeth with a beautiful ebony skin that glowed under the hot sun. He was the star player in my school's basketball team, tall and with an athletic build, the girls would simply crowd around him to get a feel of those packs under his shirt, it was then I felt my first pangs of jealousy, the day I saw my best friend Jessica with him, I had created this perfect haven of our love in my head even though we had never spoken but in my heart, he was mine and mine alone, the first day he said hello to me..
"Tola, would you get up from that bed, it is 8am and you are still in bed, when do you want to cook breakfast" my aunt woke me from my reverie; this is one reason I do not like her; she always intrudes when I'm getting into the sweet part of the dream.
I got up from the bed, folded the sheets and lazily dragged myself to the kitchen, today is Saturday, August 18th, four more days to my 23rd birthday, already the aunts and uncles are beginning to ask me when they will be meeting "him" and all I can do is smile and tell them soon but inside me I'm wondering where on earth I am going to manufacture him, I don't have an idea on who to chose amongst all my admirers, I am very careful when it comes to marriage, this is because I have heard so many stories of the challenges that comes along with it, the wedding is only a day bliss and the tough work, a lifetime.

ORIGIN
FIVE YEARS AGO
"Tola, he proposed!! He proposed, finally I'm engaged" Tokani screamed at me from the door way. I really hate it when someone bashes into my room waking me from my siesta most especially my eldest sister.
"Ehhh... ummmm... Who proposed" I asked grudgingly stretching myself across my bed,
"You dummy head, who else is supposed to propose if not Evans" My immediate elder sister Tiwa answered knocking me awake with the pillow,
"But I thought you only met him two months ago" I responded, as far as I am concerned you don't know someone in two months talk more of getting engaged.
"Duh, we talk everyday about everything, what more do you need to know and most importantly, we are in love and that's what builds a marriage" Sis Tokani answered
"Tola acts too much like a child, she knows little about marriage, she's just eighteen, all she knows so far is too little to be compared to real life" Tiwa said
"But I know love doesn't rush" I immediately defended; trust Tiwa to always bring up the age difference, being eighteen doesn't make me naive or stupid.
"Shush, the question is how do I tell mummy and daddy and they won't ask all these foolish questions about Evans that all these old people always ask" Sis Tokani said sitting herself on the edge of the king sized bed that the three of us share.
"Just go see them, show them the rock on your finger, a guy that doesn't hesitate to spend money on a girl certainly has plans to give her the world” Tiwa admonished taking the hair brush out of the wardrobe, brushing through her Peruvian hair. Tokani got up from the bed and headed for the door,
“I will come back to tell you how things went, but pray for me, they have to accept"
**********-**
"They are joking, I am getting married to Evans and no one will stop me" Tokani stormed into the room angrily, I dropped the book I was reading titled Time Was by Nora Roberts, sometimes I wonder why our lives are so far apart from what books portray, I shut the book to pay attention to her ranting.
" do they think we still live in the eighteenth century where the parents have to go do an underground digging on the husband's family before they can accept his proposal" Tokani kept on venting her anger as she stood at the front of the mirror,
"Look at me, I am twenty seven and still single, all of my mates have been married since they were in their early twenties, some are already having their second child, and they still want me to hold on, till when, is it until when my ovaries shrink and my breast are shriveled"
“Big sis, I think you ought to calm down and look at things from their perspective, they only want what is best for you; you know" I got up to pat her shoulders.
"Oh shut up, what do you know, do you think real life is like the crazy love story you read in your books, this is real, wake up and pay attention, our parents are trying to stop my happiness, I am not asking for them to do anything for me, I have my own money, I am well paid, all I want from them is their blessings, is that too much to ask for? They want to know more about his family, they want to study his family tree, are they archaeologist, or suddenly they became astrologists that are trying to compare our compatibility, Tola, I am going to marry Evans and no one has the ability to stop me"
She picked up her hand bag and stormed out of the room again.
Truth is, Sister Tokani had always been like this, when things do not go her way she throws tantrums and dad would always get some other thing to pacify but today, I doubt if there would be something to be used to pacify her, except if dad was going to get jet another Evans that would be accepted. I cannot say for certain that I know Evans; I know he is this tall, handsome fair guy that came to our house sometime ago when mom and dad travelled. He gave me this smile when I came out to greet him and the thought I had was that this man is so fine he could make any lady swoon whenever he chooses. He has a gap tooth and only enhances his dimples, his Cologne scented like hot chocolate and his voice was deep and smooth like honey, I was in love with him for two weeks until I saw him kissing a lady right at the front of our house on my way back from school, I rushed in to tell my big sis what I saw, she was angry at first that he could dare cheat on her right at the front of her father's house, when she rushes out of the house to accost him, he entered the gate with the lady and told my sister with a sugared smile,
"Babe, meet my sister Wendy, she just came in from delta state, I wanted her to meet the lady that stolen my heart, whose voice melts all of my sorrows away"
My big sis froze in her steps laughing heartily," oh love, you don't have to say all that, Wendy it is so good to finally meet you, he is so enamored with you such that there is no time he doesn't mention you in our talk, you are so beautiful", Tokani gave her a hug and welcomed her into our home, that night, she told me that I was a heartless selfish sister that never wanted another person to be happy, she warned me that the next time I say something bad about Evans, I wouldn't live to tell the tale, knowing my sister, she would certainly make good of her words, when I was nine, she cut me with a razor blade because I told daddy about a boy she was seeing in school, our fights amongst ourselves always end with her breaking a bottle so with my big sis, anything is possible and since then, I shut my mouth.
********-
It was a show of colors, everyone glowed on in the gold lace and the red velvet used for the skirt or wrapper, different styles of gele antennas could be seen from the back of the hall, each woman wearing her most befitting make up trying to outshine the other, the jewelry on display was enough to fill a stadium, from the glass beads to the stone beads, from sapphire to clear cut diamonds, all kinds of precious stones were on display, the sequence material and the lighting did absolute justice to the stones, as each light bounced off each woman, the hall which could seat 800 guest would be bathe in an array of rainbow, simply glamorous. The hall was decorated with red and gold chiffon material; the golden chandeliers gleamed from the ceilings awesome display of sequence made the hall look heavenly. Each table cloth was covers with gold satin with red roses in a vase in the middle. The chair covers was each decorated with a red lace overlaying the golden ruffles on each edge, the plates were white with red roses embalmed into its sides and at the centre, each cutlery in gold and the wine glasses could give James Bond a run for his money. It was a gathering of the rich, influential and wealthy and each person was showing off what he had and how much more he could do.
"Congratulations honey, finally you are a Mrs." Mrs. Enabor, Tokani's friend said giving her a hug, I stood by her side trying to inform her that the car taking them on their honeymoon has been parked outside the hall.
"Who would believe it, anything is possible when Oluwa is involved, two months ago I was engaged and now, I am married, I am so happy” Tokani beamed as she hugged all friends and well wishers coming forward to congratulate her on the success of her wedding. Today she got married to the man of her heart, her fiancé of two months, Evans Igiebor, I wondered how a wedding of such expense was pulled off in two months but who knows, anything is indeed possible. Evans sat next to her at the gazebo they shared decorated to its teeth wearing a three piece Armani suit, at his far right hand was seated the parents of the bride and groom, his mother smiled at him as she savored the taste of the fried chicken and assorted meat in front of her, to me it seemed as if she attended the wedding just to eat everything that came her way, I couldn’t count an item that was paid for by Evans’ family but Big Sis is capable of pulling some crazy stunts sha, his father favored the bottle of wine in front of him, that would be the third bottle he would be opening during the course of this reception, a perfect example of a drunk but who cares, his only son is getting married and he married into a family of taste and good grooming, what more could a father want from his son.
The best man Shola Thompson; Evans best friend took the microphone from the Mc and requested that everyone give him attention, I turned to look at the man that is a best friend to this wolf in sheep’s clothing, I committed every word he spoke to memory,
"I would like to make a toast to this wonderful couple who have found love in this turbulent world. I remember the day Evans first told me about her and he kept repeating, thank God for sending her to me, I knew in my heart that he had found the one that God ordained for him, Love is something that no man can do without and he that doesn't have it would keep searching until he finds, my friend Evans has found, and he found in his beautiful bride Tokani, I make a toast, to love, to honor and to the new family, cheers"
The crowd gave applause as my mother dabbed her moist eyes with her handkerchief, at this moment I told myself that I would never allow anything nor anyone come between my family, nothing is as great as a mother’s love. Tokani smiled to her beloved husband raising her cup of wine to him, "I love you forever my Ev".
Evans gave her the mesmerizing smile that always weakens her in the knee, “I love you too Toks". I made a loud groan that drew Sis Tokani’s attention, Evans raised his glass of wine to his beautiful sister Wendy who stood beside his best friend with a glamorous smile on her face; I smirked this time, it is certainly a beautiful life ahead.



CHAPTER 1
PRESENT DAY
The tale
Tokani Igiebor

"Mama Tiffany, can you not hear that your daughter is crying, you want to use her noise to disturb me abi, in my son's house, you this girl be very careful", My mother in law threatened from the sitting room where she sat at the front of the 72 inch flat screen TV that she was watching an Igbo movie munching on the roasted chicken I just made thirty minutes ago. I have been in the kitchen since 4am trying to prepare the meal I would require for the new week, my maid Helen had been helping out with the baby, she is just a girl of fourteen and for now, cannot handle the cooking the way I would have loved.
My beautiful baby Tiffany cried from her flowery crib placed beside the third chair at my dining hall, I had to put her crib close to the kitchen so I could hear her voice when she cries for food. It’s just 11am and already, I have fed her seven times since this morning, Tiffany and her two elder sisters have been my pride and joy since my mother in law stepped into my house four years ago when I first gave birth to my first daughter Sola, Wendy who brought my mother in law to my house, travelled two days after she arrived with her, there really is a big difference between a wedding and marriage. Wedding is just a fantasy turned into reality; marriage on the other hand is the real world.
I turned the egusi soup once again before I washed my hands to go give my daughter her food, I carried Tiffany from her crib and sat down on the chair closest to me raising my blouse and my daughter's hungry lips began making sucking noises even as the hand searched for its milk manufacturing dam, as her mouth settled on my nipples, I looked down at my daughter's face, her beautiful eyes were shut and her face had a look of bliss while she enjoyed the taste of the nourishing liquid that went down her throat, each day, I bless God for giving me this bundle of joy, she had beautiful long eye lashes that promised to be Fuller as she continues to grow, she had her dad's face, I expects that as she grows older, she would look more like her father and I look forward to years of bonding like I did with my mom.
Ahh my mom, I never knew this was what marriage felt like, I always thought that the euphoria of being in love would always be there just like my parents' but I can no longer see it. It seems to me that as generations passes, so does our love expression depreciates. I don't know if I love my husband like I did back when we got married, priorities are different now, I expected more help from my mother in law but I am having to make do, in between taking care of my 5 year old daughter Sola, my 3 year old Cecilia, and the little bundle of Joy, I take life as it comes, the only moments of laughter are with these three.
I had to resume work two weeks after I gave birth to keep my mind in check, with my mom in law's constant nagging and bills to be paid, I have had to step up my game, agreed I no longer look as good as I did before I got married but things will be better once my baby is weaned.
This was not what I planned initially but I will make do. My husband has travelled again, this time around he won't be back until the end of the month, I do not mind, the most important thing is that I am married to the man I love.
"Look at you, you are daydreaming while the soup I am to eat this night is burning, what kind of a woman are you, were you not taught how to cook in your father's house, even the baby you claim to be feeding has slept off"
I heard her voice from afar and woke up from my reverie, I laid the child and quickly rushed to the kitchen, Helen was pacing the floor not knowing what to do, fortunately, it wasn't so burnt so I scraped the soup into the smaller dishes and left the burnt part. With the cooking finished, I went into the room, I still have some work to do from the office but hopefully I would finish it before Monday morning.
****----***
"Sweet heart, I wouldn't be coming home for dinner, I will be traveling tonight with my boss for a meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning, I know I should have informed you but I just got the mail now, I'm so sorry"
I got Evans's note on my voice mail, my heart suddenly started thumping with anger slowly surfacing. I had spent all the day in the kitchen trying to cook him his favorite meal only to be disappointed once again, when was the last time I looked into his beautiful face or laughed at his jokes or even got the opportunity to check how he looks before he leaves the house, it has been years.
My husband barely spends up to twelve hours with me, his work has always been my rival, and it keeps winning stealing away from me the little joy that I should have, when was the last time I ate with my husband on the dining, when was the last time he tasted my food and commented on how good it taste, when was the last time Evans looked at me with desire in his eyes? Right now, all he thinks about is work, work, and still work, from one trip to another, from one country to another. Tiffany is growing older by the day and she barely recognizes her father, Sola and Cecilia are always quiet when he is around, doing all they can to make him happy so he could stay and play with them but all of this is to no avail. I wonder what I can do to turn this situation around.
I went to the dining table and sat down, I called to Helen to and my mom in law to come and eat,
"Where is your husband, don't tell me he has travelled again" my mother in law questioned me as she joined me at the dining table
"Mama, I don't know what to do, he left a voice note that his boss notified him that he would be traveling with him for a meeting, I am tired already, I don't know what to do" I was frustrated and I am sure it reflected in my words,
"You are tired, you are tired" my mother in law repeated,
"How many years have you been married for that you are tired, you think my son is one of those lazy men that sits down in one place waiting for their wives to tell them what to do abi. My son is a man, a real man; he goes out to work traveling everywhere to make money while you carry yourself out everyday claiming you are working and return home by 4. Is it not my son's money you are eating, this house you are staying in, is it not my son that bought it, you better start praying that he should travel more, stupid woman, you want a man that you can tie like wrapper around your waist, shameless woman, that's why you keep giving birth to a girls, your mate give their husbands strong sons, instead of you to be grateful, you are complaining, nonsense"
For me that was the end of the meal, I had lost my appetite.
I got up and went into the room.
*********************
Hey Tiwa, ba wo ni, how's everything, Tiwa, please I need your assistance, I know this is getting too much but please, can you lend me 200k, I would pay you back before the end of the month." I pleaded with my younger sister, Tiwa is married to one of the biggest boys in Lagos, amazingly she met him at my wedding, a son to the philanthropist, Chief Yemi Kikiowo Douglas, my sister receives weekly allowances from her husband with an opportunity to do whatever she wants and buy whatever she likes, what I would give to have such a life, I can boldly say that Tiwa is living the life of her dreams.
"Which of your accounts should I forward it to, you don't have to pay back, you know very well that I would give anything to contribute to my niece's future" Tiwa replied from the other end of the line
"Zenith bank, Tiwa, I don't know what to do again, Evans isn't helping with the children, all he does is to buy new clothes and new cars, nothing for the house, no money for food, nothing for the children's fees, I am tired, and this crazy mother in law of mine isn't helping"
"Tokani, my husband gives me too much attention that it hurts, truth is...."
"Do you know what I would give for Evans to give me attention, he travels from one place to another, from one trip to another, and I am left to balance the home and my job"
"Tokani, you have three wonderful daughters, I am still praying for the fruit of the womb, you have no idea how much I yearn for my own child'
"And God will do it for you"
"Amen".
This is the third time, I am having to ask Tiwa for assistance again this month, Evans asked me to lend him five hundred thousand naira two months ago that he would pay back once his salary is paid last month but he is yet to return it, each time the matter comes up, he responds angrily telling me that I do not care about his well being , all that I care about is my money and how to get more, I had to forego the discussion for peace in my home.

------*****TIWA DOUGLAS*-*-----
"I'm sorry Mrs. Douglas, but you had a miscarriage, I am very sorry" Dr Abiodun told me as he sat down to the carefully organized books on his desk.
"Doctor, this can't be, I did my best to protect my stomach, I did my best, I can't afford another miscarriage again, it’s been five miscarriages in three years, some women have gone through much more and yet they carry their babies to term, why should mine be different, why?
I couldn't hold back as the sobs racked through my body and tears flowed freely from my eyes, I have been to this office more than I have visited any of my friends in the last year, this small office has housed and covered up many things about my new life in the doctor patient confidentiality, Dr Abiodun knew more about my life than any other person related to me and so I didn't attempt to hold in the tears, I let them run, after all, I deserved it, I have come too far with him to hide anything.
"Mrs. Tiwa, any woman going through what you have been through carrying a pregnancy is only endangering her life and that of the unborn child, I would advise that you get help, I cannot breach the privilege I have as your doctor but as your friend, Tiwa, trust me whatever you think you stand to gain is not worth it, your gain is what is standing between you and your baby"
I lifted my head from my handkerchief to look into the face of the man that said he was my friend, his eyes showed sincere concern which is more than I have seen in recent years, his black skin shone under the white fluorescent light used in his office, Dr Abiodun is a caring fellow but he couldn't understand, no one can actually understand what I have to go through. This is the future I have created for myself and I must stay with it, I cannot turn back now, it’s too late.
"Thank you Doctor I have to go now, I appreciate your care but you won't understand"
I took out my handkerchief from my Gucci bag, wiped my face, I brought out my Tara powder, looked myself in the mirror, stood up and straightened my well stone designed hollandaise gown. Raising my head up and squaring up my shoulders, I turned towards the door ready to face my world again.
As my heels hit the concrete floor outside the specialist hospital located at Ikoyi, I looked around me at the couple standing beside my car; the man could not contain his joy as happy tears streamed down his eyes. Some people are still allowed to hope, I have made a choice and I will stay with it till the end.
I opened the door to my Honda CRV 2018 model and drove out of the car park; my life has been surrounded by lots of secrets, some of these secrets I shall take to the grave. Looking at my life from the view of an outsider, all a person would see is a beautiful chocolate skinned lady living a life of luxury, married to a very rich husband who gives me everything that I ask for, if only they knew the whole story behind my life.
My mobile phone began vibrating in my bag playing the hit song by my name sake Tiwa Savage, my darling, of course I could tell who was calling, I quickly parked my car by the side of the high way, it is never advisable to drive while making a phone call on this type of road, one cannot tell the type of mad men calling themselves danfo drivers one could meet with along the road. While going to the hospital this morning, I came across an accident scene that involved a young woman attempting to cross the express and a little child of less than six months old strapped on her back, the crazy driver was having a conversation with his conductor and turned to look at the man he was talking to taking his face off the road, within those few seconds, the accident took place ending the life of the young mother.
"Hello"
"Where are you, who did you inform when you were leaving the house?" The masculine voice on the other end of the line sounded very angry and knowing him, I would certainly feel the brunt of it.
"Sweet heart, I am sorry, I had to go to the doctor, I was sick and ...... hello" he hung up, I had to plead my way out, it’s too early for another one of his angry bouts, I am yet to recover from the last one two weeks ago.
Dropping my phone on the passenger's seat close to me, I eased my car back to the road and headed to Victoria Island. It is certainly going to be a long day.
**-*********
My whole body ached, all of my muscles to my very bones, the Doctor was right, there is no way I would have a child under these circumstances, but sometimes having great wealth comes with its own vices. I called on Nancy, one of my servants, to prepare me a warm bath, they all have been sworn to secrecy, they are all well paid and they do not dare to speak on what their eye have seen nor the words their ears have heard in their times in this house.
How I wish I was married to a man like Evans, Tokani’s husband, my life would be much easier, I would surround myself with my children while he does whatever he wishes with his life, only if wishes were horses, sometimes I wish I could go back in time and make another choice, but would I risk this wealth and affluence, the cars and mansions, the glitter and glamour, I cannot imagine myself working to make ends meet, this is my life and I would make the best of it.
“madam, Aunty Tokani is here to see you” My butler, Chico announced from the doorway as he opened the door to let in my sister, Tokani no longer looked as good as she did five years ago when she got married to Evans, my sister looked forty, wrinkles were beginning to show around the creases of her eyes, hard times were beginning to tell on her.
“Sister mi, welcome” I nudged her towards the settee opposite me, I could tell that a lot was running through her mind as she took her seat, I beckoned towards Nancy to offer her any drink of her choice.
“Tiwa, how are you doing, you are enjoying o, and I noticed there is a Mercedes- Benz Maybach in your parking lot, is that a new one?” Tokani asked with all eagerness,
“beeni sister, Douglas bought it for me last week, he keeps showering me with all the love and care” I smiled, I know Tokani wishes she had a husband like mine, if she only knew that Evans was the kind of man that I desired,
“ Tiwa, your husband really loves you o, how I wish Evans could be more like him, Evans does his best sha but it is this work, every day work, do you know Evans has not slept in the house for six months now, my mother in law travelled four months ago and since then not a call from her, Tiwa, how am I to take care of three daughters all by myself with my job and you know how my job can be very demanding, I am tired”
“hmmn, I can’t say that I understand, you know that I do not work, even the boutique that Douglas opened for me is being handled by the manager, I only get alerts of deposits, nothing else, I am a full time house wife” I explained to her, here she is complaining about the children being too much for her when I am bored of staying indoors only to watch TV, I can’t even go out to get myself a drink without my husband being suspicious.
“Tiwa, look at me, I am just thirty three, yet I am beginning to look forty, ehn Tiwa, have mercy on me, it is only you that I can explain this to, I cannot call mummy, I am too ashamed to tell her my marital challenges, Tiwa, help me, even if it is to connect me to get one oil contract or its even to be a contractor in one of Douglas’s building projects, Tiwa I will do it, anything to bring myself out of this financial mess I am in right now” Tokani pleaded with me, I look into the face of the sister that I have always know to be so confident in herself, her future and abilities, a person who could never bow to the wishes of another person, look what marriage had turned her into.
“No problem dear, let me speak to Douglas and see if I can convince him, there is little I can do in this matters, you know Douglas controls everything”
“He will listen to you Tiwa, he loves you very much, if he can buy a car as expensive as a Maybach just for you, what is a contract going to be for him”
“I have heard you; I will talk to him and get back you”
I thought through our discussion, I could make this a win win situation for both of us, convincing Douglas about giving her a contract wouldn’t be a challenge but I must get something out of this.


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