‘Open the door!’ aunt Tolu banged vigorously at the door.
I froze. How did she know my whereabouts?
‘Open this door!’ she repeated in a louder voice, ‘Deola, I know you’re in there; please, open the door!’
I quickly dabbed my eyes and walked reluctantly towards the door.
‘What are you doing here? ‘Aunt Tolu queried, the moment she came in, ‘the party had just begun, and I’m sure that very soon, your parents would be looking for you.’
I was speechless.
‘Come on my daughter,’ her chubby arm rested on my frail shoulders, ‘I know you’re sad because you’re going to miss your only sister…’
I felt a sharp tug within me; a familiar feeling which usually manifests whenever hypocrisy is about to show up.
‘Please, you mustn’t ruin Mayowa’s happiest moment with your moody countenance,’ she continued, ‘you must not give any room for wagging tongues to start saying, ‘Deola is jealous because her younger sister is getting married before her…’’
That was it! My aunt was an expert in feigning naivety at first and then dropping the bombshell when you least expect.
I followed her sheepishly back to the venue of the traditional wedding ceremony of my kid sister. How time flies, I pondered. As I glanced at the radiant bride, I recalled how I used to bathe her in those early years…
And while the celebration progressed, Elemu, the village drunkard and jester staggered towards me; with a look of seriousness.
‘Deola, ese kia, eyin ni mo un du ro de,’ he whispered; which translated to English means, ‘Deola, hurry up, you’re the one I’m waiting for.’
I pushed him away vehemently, in disgust. What an insult!
‘Husbands are very scarce,’ one of the guests remarked contemptuously.
‘A bird at hand is better than several thousands in the bush,’ another added.
A handful of others nearby laughed. And I felt like the earth should open up and swallow me.
Five years down the line, yet my single status had still not changed. My craving for Mr Right had gradually driven me into another world; a world where the only citizen was me!
‘That dress looks absolutely great on you,’ my fashion designer remarked one day when I visited her.
‘Thanks,’ I answered indifferently.
‘You’d probably be the centre of attraction at the event,’ she continued, with a look of optimism.
‘Centre of attraction?’ I shook my head, ‘I won’t even wait for the wedding reception…’
‘Are you crazy?’ the bewildered lady stared at me, ‘It’s been five years since Mayowa’s wedded, and you’re still stuck to your stubborn resolution?’
‘Wedding receptions make me cry…’
‘Please stop wallowing in self-pity,’ she appealed; ‘do you want to destroy yourself all because Mr Right hasn’t knocked at your door yet? But how would he, when you’re already shut up in your own world.’
‘Deola, please liberate yourself…pick back your life from where you abandoned it…’
Finally, she persuaded me into breaking my shell; at least just a little.
The following weekend saw me at a wedding celebration. After five years of ‘social imprisonment, I felt like I was just released from the outer space.’
I sat alone sipping my fruit juice quietly, and before I knew it, a handsome dude approached me.
‘Good afternoon,’ he began, ‘please are you Deola?’
Although his face was unfamiliar, yet I was pleased all the same; at least for the recognition.
‘Yes, I’m Deola; and may I know you?’
‘I’m Ben; here’s my complimentary card…’
He’s a miracle working God… my heart sang for joy!
‘It’s a privilege meeting you Deola,’ he continued, ‘I’ve heard so much about you…’
So much about me? I pondered; Am I a celebrity or what? Astonishment and confusion both competed for a space on my mind.
‘Hello, are you with me?’
‘Oh…yes, please… go on,’ I stammered.
‘Well, I can understand,’ he smiled, ‘most of you celebrities usually have a thousand and one to-do lists barging on their minds…’
‘Anyway, I would be as brief as possible,’ he continued, ‘my niece wants to enrol in your fashion school…’
‘I’m sorry sir,’ I interjected politely; ‘I don’t own a fashion school. There’s a mix-up somewhere…’
‘A mix-up? Aren’t you Deola?’
‘Of course, I am.’
‘Deola Segoe?’ he pressed on.
‘No. Deola Alabi.’
‘Oh I’m sorry. You look so much like Deola Segoe, the renowned fashion icon. I should be seeing my optician,’ he smiled apologetically and walked away.
My heart sank. Just when I was thought I was on the verge of being hooked… well, I took it as a good omen. No doubt, that guy was an angel in disguise sent to remind me to pick up the dress-making training I abandoned a couple of years back.
A feeling of relevance suddenly surged over me at the thought of having a resemblance with a prominent personality!
And while still basking in the euphoria, the musician stepped forward with a tune that further reinforced the new zest budding within me.
You are next in line…
For a miracle…
This is your time…
Wow! It’s actually my time, I ruminated. And at that moment, the high walls of my lonely world came crumbling before me.
‘I am next in line for a miracle’, I asserted to myself while the music played on.
And just as I was about to leave the venue, I bumped into that same handsome dude, at the gate.
‘Please, do you mind if I have your number?’ he smiled.
‘I’m not Deola Segoe, remember?’
‘I know. Okay, Deola Alabi, please, can I have your number?
Final Remarks: The key to your miracle is not in isolation, but in association. Until I come your way again next week, KEEP MOVING…