[Story] What Lies Beneath – S01 E03

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Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 3

I sat on one side of the chair as I try to raise one part of my buttocks but all the tricks wasn’t helping me.

Sweat broke out of my forehead, I was not listening to the government or politician talk that Mazi was trying to engage me in.

He was only trying to engage me in a conversation while waiting for me to say what brought me.

That was the part I failed to do in the beginning.

If I have presented the reason I traveled all the way down to meet him before the entertainment or feasting, all of this happening wouldn’t have been because the moment I sense my system has changed I will get up and be on my way back to my hotel room.

I have eaten all that was presented yet I have not said the reason for my coming.

“Are you alright… Do you need anything? Mazi asked when he noticed I kept changing styles of my sitting.

“Yes sir… I’m alright.

I managed to say.

He went back to his previous conversation on politics which I was not interested but I was grinning making him feel the whole talk was interesting me.

When I couldn’t bear it anymore I spoke up.

“Sorry to interrupt you sir, please I need to use the toilet…my stomach is in serious war… please…”

I stood immediately because sitting down seems to be worsening my predicament.

He called Oby and she came, he asked her to take me to the toilet.

I was already walking ahead of Oby before she can finish receiving the instructions from her father I was moving towards an unknown door that looks rough.

“That’s not the toilet, that’s our bedroom. Please follow me…”

I turned from the door and followed her shamelessly.

My situation made me so shameless that as we walk out into the main compound and began going towards a tiny part at the back of the building I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Oby, where exactly are we going to…I said I seriously need to use the toilet. I mean where you go to excrete, poo, urinate and the rest of it…

” I know what toilet is… that’s where we’re going. We don’t build toilets close to the main building to avoid odd smell. We take it a bit far from the house. I’m sorry…but is just over there. That house built with aluminum zink and palm leaves…

I rushed ahead of her because I couldn’t cat walk behind her again.

Since i can see where the small zink leavy house is there was no need to waste further time.

I ran ahead with my shameless self before I embarrass myself.

I opened the small door and big flies greeted me excitedly.

It was a pit toilet. Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into.

Well, I don’t really have a choice

The place was neat but I can’t overlook the environment.

It was all locally made, and no matter how neat it was it was still a pit hole.

Oby said something but I wasn’t listening, she later stretched out her hand and they were filled with torn written note sheets.

I collected it but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it.

Could it be a love note which she secretly wants me to read in private.

I began going through it but it appears as an old worn out junior class mathematics and English. It was soft and moist.

But what am I supposed to do with it

After I was done with my private business I started looking around for either tissue but saw none.

“Oby, are you still there… please can I get tissue paper? that’s… ehmmm toilet roll…” I shouted out to her.

“I’m sorry but we don’t have any. That’s why I gave you the sheets, if the paper won’t be enough I can run down and get more for you… We also have news papers for that…” Oby replied.

I told her not to worry that it will be enough.

Well, I don’t have any choice than to use what was given.

I came out and she was still standing and waiting patiently.

“Are you feeling better now…or do we need to get you some drugs? The drugs store is not far from here. My parents are worried… maybe your stomach did not accept all that you took in…

She looked so worried because of me.

Oby was indeed meant for me, she was everything and more.

She later led me back to the house, gave me soap and water to wash my hands.

Her mother came to apologise for the stomach upset.

I told her it wasn’t her fault, that I ate too much due to the sweetness of the whole meal.

I went back to join Mazi, he also rendered his own apology for the whole ordeal.

I equally apologies for breaching our conversation.

He gave me a liquid content in a small shot to gulp down, that it will relief me of whatever but I know better that I need to be very careful with whatever I take in.

I told him with apology that I feel very alright and wouldn’t want my stomach to react again because it can be unpredictable.

He didn’t take offense which I was glad

I was not going to take any more chances.

before another stomach rumbling will begin let me present the matter that brought me here.

Before I start, Mazi and his wife were seated.

“Thank you again sir for welcoming me into your home and for all the entertainment…” I paused and smile while Mazi and his wife went on grinning.

I guess our thoughts ran into the same lane.

I introduced myself, what I do for a living, also about my parents and every other necessary thing about me.

After then I continued.

“… without wasting further time, my main reason for traveling all the way from Abuja to this place is because of your daughter…Oby. well, I met Oby few months ago and she really got my attention, after few enquiry I realized she was a daughter of a noble man. Mazi you and your wife did a great job in raising her well. I’m impressed with her character and behavior…and she is only eighteen years of age. I don’t want to beat around the bush. I’m interested in your daughter sir…I wish to make her my wife…

I paused to feel the atmosphere but it was still warm.

Mazi spoke first

“Well, my daughter told us about you but we waited for your arrival first to know exactly what was your intentions towards her. Oby is not too young for marriage, I got married to my wife when she was around seventeen years and I was twenty five…a young elementary school teacher back then. Chukwu okike, the God of creation in heaven blessed us with four children. Three girls and the last is a boy. Also, Oby must have told you about furthering her studies which made me put up one of the largest plot of land I have for sale so that I can send her to school. I want her to go to the university so that she can get a better job thereafter to assist in training her siblings…I want her to be somebody out there because this world we live in is changing day by day. Some people may not value education but I can boldly say that education is one of the key to a successful life. I stopped my education as an Ssce holder, I went for teachers training for almost two years before becoming a teacher that’s why I want to strive to make sure one or two of my children continue from where I stopped and finish well…”

I nodded quietly and did not interrupt. He continued

“…I appreciate your clear intention and already I like you as young man. You didn’t cut corners rather you came to make your intentions Known to us. I wish to give her out at this young age for marriage but all the plans we put in place for her will be ruined. Is only after competing her education I can boldly do that. After then she can go ahead and marry because by then she will be around twenty three or so, that’s if the educational system still works perfectly. Is not like I don’t wish for you to marry my daughter right away…no, is my utmost desire to give her out in marriage to a responsible young man like you but her education will be on hold and I don’t want that. I’m praying and hoping for a buyer soon so that by next year she will be in school…”

I nodded quietly as everywhere became silent.

I needed to properly organize the thought running through my mind before speaking them out.

“I have heard what you said Mazi, I also appreciate your zeal and effort in sending Oby to school. Since the only obstruction to having her now is furthering her education then I can assist with that…

They looked up at me wondering what I meant. I continued

“….i will like to take care of Oby’s education, you don’t have to sell your land or any property to be able to send her to school…I will take care of everything. I’m not so wealthy but I thank God for his blessings. I will sponsor her education and after she graduates we can then get married. I will have to wait until then although that will be changing my plans which is to get married before I clock thirty but is alright. I love your daughter and your entire family and I will also want my woman to be well educated. I’m ready to put in my energy, my time and money in making sure she turns out great, which is exactly what you want. You don’t need to wait until next year, the year is still young and I can make calls and enquires concerning it. I will give you feed back ones I finalize with that. Before then, I will like to send money so that she can get a mobile phone which I will be using to reach her instead of always going through you all the time….

I was about saying something else when her mother fell to the ground praying for me and thanking me.

Mazi was speechless, he said I was God sent to them.

They called Oby and she came out knelt down and also began thanking me.

Why is everyone dramatic, I didn’t even know how to respond to all the emotions they were pouring out.

I kept saying “Amen”

My stomach suddenly made a noise, then it went on rumbling.

I need to leave immediately before I explode like a time bomb.

I can’t even go through another embarrassing ordeal again here.

I stood and quickly brought out an envelope and hand over to Mazi.

I also wanted to give his wife but that will be next time because I came with just one envelope which contains fifteen thousand.

I could have taken out five thousand and given to her but my stomach is giving me sign to run. I don’t want to waste further time.

I thanked them for everything before finally taking my leave.

Oby was walking beside me, I deep my hand inside my pocket and squizzed some rough four thousand notes into her hand.

The only money left with me was my transport fare back to town and to my hotel.

It appears I was suddenly in a haste but they followed up carefully.

They escorted me to their bustop and did not stop praying for me until I got into a motorcycle which was generally referred to as “okada”

I waved them goodbye and they kept waving until the okada zoomed into another rough street and out to the main road.

I asked him to apply more speed and he did despite the rough crazy road.

normally, I will never ask an okada man to speed on a bad road but if I have to fly to get to my hotel room, then that’s what I will do.

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