Omotoso: I Want To Marry Trouble
SIGBONLE came home to confront her parents. Alaba had stressed to her the need to let her parents know what was going on with Trouble. After six months of a steady relationship with Trouble, it was time to come out into the public and declare an intimate relationship with Trouble. How do you tell your closest friends that you were deeply involved with Trouble with capital ‘T’? Can he not change his name? Or adopt a less threatening one in Yoruba? Alaba informed Sigbonle that Mr. Trouble has a Yoruba name. What is his Yoruba name? Wahala is his Yoruba name. And does he have a nickname? Oh yes, and it is in Greek! What is it? Dystopia is his nickname, Dys for short! Why is it that everything about him is so worrisome? All the same I am in love with Trouble!
Sigbonle is a majestic big-boned girl with nothing heavy about her. She is six feet tall. She is not fat and she is not thin. She is light on her feet moving as if on glides, floating along with her not thick, not thin lips parted, in a smile that expose her tooth paste advantaged teeth, even and inviting. Her hair is regularly plaited in various African styles confounding her friends with their variety and beauty. She refused to use any hair additions from India or China or Europe. That many men compliment her for being so African always surprised her. Her face is attractive without the aid of make up. When asked if she could not improve on her natural beauty she would enlarge her smile and whisper loudly that ‘iwa’ (good behaviour) alone improved her natural beauty. Her eye lashes protected eyes not too large, not too small, the white and black sharply demarcated like the clarity of day and night. The eyes are dreamy and sparkling and far-reaching as demanded by the occasion. Her breasts were neither too heavy nor too not there. In one word she is the epitome of good looking, balanced in all her proportions.
Alaba has gone into these details to show that Sigbonle is not some unlookatable lady seeking any admirer in sight or out on the internet! She is a desirable lady in love with Trouble. And it is not as if Trouble himself is unattractive. He is two inches taller than Sigbonle, a difference that Sigbonle eliminates by wearing a higher heel shoes! His head was described by an unsympathetic uncle as half of a splintered wood and not the better half either. But that, as Trouble’s mother and Trouble himself said, was a biased opinion. Rather, Trouble’s head is a pretty job, like a drop of water, not a drop of tear as that uncle would have us believe. Trouble has a supple body and it was only natural that he was alethic as a youngster. Except that early in life he opted out of sports, including his favourite one cricket. Reading was and is still everything to him. This is the man with whom Sigbonle wants to spend the rest of her life. And she must tell her parents.
In her household issues touching the family in general and specifically get discussed at the dining table. It is for this reason that her parents insist that the family must share at least one meal a day. During the week it would be dinner. At the weekend it would be lingering lunches, lunches that go on and on until issues and the food are finished. Breakfast and lunch during the week were hurried and individual affairs taken with the silent prayer that as members of the family set out to seek what to eat, may they not be food for other legitimate seekers after their own meals and meal tickets. This was why Sigbonle was only able to make her announcement on Friday night at the dinner table. I have an announcement to make. As to be expected nobody stopped what they were doing. Sigbonle took her silver spoon and hit her breakable plate saying at the same time I am going to marry Trouble. Her siblings responded far more quickly than her parents. It was their laughter that arrested the attention of her parents who wanted to know what was funny and are they missing something?
Sigbonle wants to marry Palaver. Really? I thought Palaver was the fictitious companion of Trouble. Don’t mind him Mama. Gbonle prefers Trouble to Palaver and so wants to marry Trouble? And the table collapsed into guffaw. All through the sibling mockery, Sigbonle remained calm. When silence returned to the family dinner feast table Sigbonle repeated her initial statement. I want to marry Mr. W. D. Trouble and he is no fictional partner of anyone. Now her father sat back. He always prayed that every meal should be a feast. But he also knew that all you have to do to ‘feast to get a ‘fast’ is to take out the ‘e’ in ‘feast’ ‘e’ for ‘eating’. Please repeat yourself slowly. And Sigbonle repeated herself saying that it was her intention to marry Trouble as soon as her parents give their blessing. Names are not just words. They carry messages. How does one go telling people my son-in-law is Trouble. Oh yes, his colleague at work would reply Are they not always Trouble? No I mean it literarily. His name is Trouble. That’s what I’m saying they are synonymous with trouble. No use going on. Why would you wish to marry Trouble?
When issues raised at the family table go beyond the immediate and points to the future they would get further discussion in the bedroom of the parents. At such further discussions, it could be just the family management team (father and mother) and it could include the affected child. A final announcement would be made to the whole family when the fundamentals would have been agreed. On this occasion, it was the funny aspect that first attracted the parents. Mama could not stop giggling. It is funny, is it not? Like being Mrs. Crook. What do you say to an insurance salesman who introduces himself as Mr. Crook?
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