“This can’t be! How did I end up here? Noooo! I don’t belong here!” she muttered restlessly on her bed.
It was a while before Wura’s eye lids fluttered open. Her panting came in short breaths. She placed one palm on her forehead to calm her throbbing headache, and her eyes caught the artefacts that decorated her room and the flowery curtains that graced her windows.
Wura’s head ached again. And she wasn’t sure what she just woke up from. Was it a dream, or was it something else? Her eyes scanned the spacious room again as relief swept through her. Activities could be heard outside her window and door. Judging from the brightness behind the closed curtains, it definitely was morning.
Wura yawned. Her fingers somehow found their way to her hair. A smile curved her lips as she patted the Brazilian weave.
Perhaps she had a dream? It couldn’t have been real. She concluded. But she couldn’t put aside the fact that it had been a very bad dream. Her heart raced again. Obajuwon. He had been in the dream too; a ruthless king. Who in the whole world made him king? She frowned.
It was a few seconds her eyes lit up with a knowing look. Then she chuckled. Now she knew better that dreams were indeed foolish. How could Obajuwon be the king when in the first place he wasn’t royalty. Sure, the only way he could become the king is if he married her. But then, they weren’t married in the dream, which was a good thing for her.
A slight rap on the door brought her out from her thoughts.
“Who?” she called out, eyes focused on the locked door.
“Olaitan, my princess. Your father requests your presence,” A feminine voice replied.
Wura groaned as she picked her phone from underneath her pillow. It was 9:25am.
“Oh dear,” she mummured. How had she have woken up late?
That, she couldn’t answer. After freshening up, she stood before her wardrobe to pick her outfit for the day. She was meeting with her best friend who also happened to be a princess at Ile-Ife.
After a good fifteen minutes turning her wardrobe out, she decided on a blue jean trouser and wine coloured wrap top. Her eyes trailed the several collections of Jimmy Cho heels that arranged on the shoe rack. She never wore anything else asides these designers. She picked a white coloured heel that she suspected she didn’t buy; in fact, she was certain that she had never worn it.
Probably it must have been gifted to her by her friend? Or father? Nope! It was Obajuwon. she remembered vividly. He had bought it for her on one of his many trips abroad. She rolled her eyes. The shoe would certainly be used now.
“Kabiyesi. Good afternoon father,” Wura knelt in front of her father who was seated on the throne in the royal court. He patted her with his horsetail and ordered her to take a seat.
“Father, you asked to see me,” she sat on the smaller throne beside him.
His head ached as he was having conflicting thoughts. Her father wasn’t sure if he should tell her what he suspected, or not. Somehow, he knew he shouldn’t. He didn’t want to make her worry.
He cleared his throat and adjusted himself to face her. “Yes, Wura. I…,” his eyes took in her slightly made-up face and outfit. Kabiyesi was certain she was heading out; the more reason he didn’t want to disclose what was in his mind; what he had noticed the previous night.
“My father, what plagues your mind?” Wura persisted. It was unlike her father to summon her and then keep quiet. Was it so grave, he couldn’t say it?
“Nothing for you to worry about, Wura. It was just a small issue I wanted to be sorted. One of the servants is handling it now.”
“Oh! But I could still go to check their progress?”
“No, don’t worry. I can see you’re dressed to go out. I don’t want minor issues disturbing you. So, let the servants handle it,” he relaxed. But his mind was still troubled, and Wura sensed it.
She had lived with her father long enough to know that if something troubled him, he wouldn’t rest until he got it out of the way. She only hoped this was easy trouble.
“Father, you and I know that isn’t true. I am your daughter and I believe we should be open to each other. Try me, Kabiyesi. You know I can help.” She pouted.
He chuckled. Apart from looking like her mother, Wura sounded just like her; his darling Morenikeji. She was just as wise and persuasive as her mother. He wished that she didn’t leave him all alone in this world.
“Nothing that I can’t handle, Wura. You should get going, so you don’t run late.” He concluded, even though he was certain she could help. When he had issues with the economic sector in Oyo state, she had offered him advice that ensured that the state still stood as it was. but he wasn’t so sure he could reveal the problem that plagued his mind.
“Dad?” she was stubborn now.
Kabiyesi sighed in resignation. “Ok, Wura. Your mother’s room was found open last night.” He watched her under his lashes, “and, I wanted to know if you had anything to do with it.” His heart raced as he waited for her reply.
The room was full of mysteries and unanswered questions which was why he had instructed her not to set her feet in it. Wura would have loved to tell him the truth, but then, she knew her father might take back her mother’s ring.
“No. No, father. What happened? Was it burgled? Where were the guards when it happened?” she acted really surprised.
Somehow Kabiyesi was quick to expel the breath he had been holding. He was glad that she hadn’t entered the room.
“No, it wasn’t burgled. It just wasn’t locked. But it’s all good now. I simply wanted to find out. Meanwhile, I think you should consider going to your future in-law’s house. Obajuwon’s mother mentioned something about inviting you over for a Tea party, or whatever you western mimicks do.” He laughed.
“Oh, Okay. Although I’m busy, I will always create time to be there when she calls.” She promised.
Kabiyesi knew she wasn’t too happy about the whole engagement with Obajuwon, but he was his choice. The young handsome, successful young man was the right man for her but of course, she wouldn’t know it yet. Why was that?
Ah, young love! he had his answer. He remembered when he had told Morenikeji that he loved her and wanted to marry her. She had proved ‘hard-to-get,’ or what do they call it these days? Kabiyesi smiled. He remembered the…
“Father, I’m going to the eatery. I’m meeting Tosin today,” she knelt down again, while her father patted her on the back. She said her goodbye and left; leaving her father to his thoughts.
Kabiyesi was still reminiscing the good old days when Obajuwon stepped into the royal court, dressed in an all-white kaftan. Kabiyesi nodded. He was proud of the choice he had made for his daughter, even though she didn’t appreciate him. He believed she would come to love him much later.
“Obajuwon, you just missed your fiancée. Did you see her drive out?”
“No, I didn’t. Kabiyesi! Ki ade pe lo ri, ki bata pe lese!” Obajuwon, prostrated and saluted him in the local language.
“Stand-up, stand-up my boy. How is everyone at home?
“Everyone is fine. My father sends his regards.
“And I receive it well,’ he smiled. “feel free to hang around the palace longer if you wish to wait for her,” Kabiyesi suggested.
”Thank you, Kabiyesi. I am happy to take your offer. I don’t mind keeping you company while I wait.” He concluded with a smile that displayed his perfect set of dentition.
“Oh, don’t worry about me. I will be in my room. I think I need to get some more rest, to recover from the party last night,” Kabiyesi, chuckled and got to his feet and left Obajuwon all to himself.
To be continued…
This is a Pelleura Story. Idea and write-up by Funmi Akintade. See The first three Chapters here
PS: Please don’t forget to like, share with your friends, and remember to drop a comment.