He only came because of Wuraola. But having joined the gathering at the Oyo State Royal Palace for a get together to mark the end of the first quarter of the year, Obajuwon wished the party would be over already. He was getting bored of the long speeches being made by elites whose words didn’t reach their hearts. He knew that a lot of the guests making heartfelt speeches were only present for what they could get; not what they could give.
From his furrowed brows and creased forehead, it wasn’t difficult to figure out that he was forced to attend the ceremony. However, when his father had mentioned that Princess Wuraola would be in attendance, his heart had danced with joy. But, he hadn’t seen Wuraola anywhere in the royal court; at least not where the party was taking place. He had stylishly asked the King if she was around and the King in turn had ordered the maids to call her. Sadly, he hadn’t seen her.
Holding an empty cup in the other hand, he mixed the champagne slowly, watching the bright grey liquid shake freely in the glass cup. He wanted to see her… scratch that. He needed to see her; even if it was from a distance since she loathes him. At least he’d be content drinking her fair beauty from afar, but his itchy fingers wouldn’t just keep his hands from her.
Obajuwon had first seen her at a function their fathers had forced them to attend years back in New York. At first he had flirted with her, thinking she would give in like other ladies do, but she hadn’t. What fully captured his attention was when she stood up for another lady who was being bullied by the other rich, spoilt brats.
Not that he was any different from the spoilt brats. He had not stopped bullying innocent people. But since the day he watched her love to humanity, she held a special spot in his heart that no woman would be able to take away so easily; not even when his ex-wife…
The voice jostled him back from his thoughts. He looked up and watched the person with disdain. She was the last person he had expected to see. Holding a tray of 5 glasses of wine, the servant attire of cream coloured wrapper and bids fitted her shape well. But then, she was just that. A servant.
Obajuwon looked around the room, hoping no one would see them talking. Fortunately for him, it looked like everyone was minding their own business.
“Yes, what? I thought we had an agreement not to speak in public.” He queried.
“I do not care, Oba. It seems to me you are forgetting our mission.”
He rolled his eyes, and then took a sip from his drink. “I have not forgotten anything. Don’t you have visitors to attend to? You should hurry off.” He straightened up, as his eyes strayed towards the entrance of the room and settled on Wura. She had entered to room like a peacock showing her beauty. She was escorted in by Oloye Bisoye, the King’s right-hand man.
Obajuwon’s eyes were still glued on the black dress she had on when he suddenly choked on his drink. “What did you just say?”
“I said, you’re in love with her. But never you forget that I’m still your wife and we have a mission to execute!” She turned around and left with the drinks on her tray, to go serve the guests.
Obajuwon hissed. “Ex-wife,” he muttered as he took lazy steps towards the subject of his thoughts.
“Princess, I could have sworn the party has been boring but just as you stepped into the room, your presence alone added an exhilarating ambience” he smiled.
Oloye Bisoye laughed heartily. “You sure have a way with words Obajuwon. Let me leave you love birds.” He patted Obajuwon and left.
Just by the book on her face, he knew Wura was avoiding him; She would rather be anywhere else than the party. But what he didn’t know was why she avoid him?
“It’s Princess Wura, to you.” She cut in.
He forced a smile. If he wanted her heart, he needed to win her over by treading patiently.
“So how have you been?”
“Just fine? Oh well, how has been your day then? Mine was a bit hectic. I had to check the malls and factories to ensure I am up to date with my business records. And so, I had to shuffle Lagos, Abuja and now I’m in Oyo all in one day!” he chuckled, “so what about you?”
“Fine? I’m sure you did something. You went to your restaurant I’m sure.” He wasn’t going to be put off by her monotonic reply. Despite the fact that she was a princess, she still owned and ran her private business. To Obajuwon, it was a huge turn on.
“Oh, so you got me followed?”
He watched her in amazement. A sharp woman. She was quick to calculate that. Yes, he had her followed, and it was only because he wanted to know if she was dating someone else. In the end, his suspicion had been false.
“Look, Wura…,” he paused, not knowing what to say.
“Just leave me alone. The earlier you tell my father to cancel our engagement, the better because even if we end up as man and wife, we will live like complete strangers. Get that into your head!” she walked away, leaving him gaping at her.
Wura was exhausted from the day’s activities generally. She had obviously escaped from the party to go to her bedroom. She wasn’t one who liked parties, but for the sake of her father, she had to grace the occasion. Meeting people was surely not her thing. She loved her peace and quietness, and it made her wonder how she even owns a restaurant.
In all, it had been a good day. She met Mrs. Lucia Williams, one of her mother’s best friend. The woman was still an epitome of beauty even at 50. It made Wura wonder how her mother would have looked like if she were alive. And that reminded her of her mother.
Morenikeji Florence Olawuyi.
She was born into a royal family as well, and she was a beauty to behold. According to her father, her mother was the most charming and alluring lady he had ever met, and that was why he remained unmarried.
Trying to push the thought from her mind, Wura sat at her dressing table. She removed a wet wipe to rid her face of the make-up she had been forced to apply. Once done, she stared into the mirror, she realized she had gotten fairer; it was probably the cream her friend had brought for her from her last visit to Dubai. Her brown eyes shone brightly even in the almost dark room. She traced one finger on her chin and cheeks that held two dimples. She smiled, revealing her perfect set of dentition.
She understood now, why men couldn’t resist her. She was indeed beautiful. She knew she got her hair and eye colour from her father. But her skin tone must have been from her mother. Her eyes drooped.
If she was given a second chance in life, she would have loved to see her mother. She misses her, every day. She wished she had someone she could allay her fears to and gossip about guys. There were so many things she wished she could tell her.
She sniffled, a tear dropped from her eye.
She wished she had something that could at least connect her to her mother. As if in response to her thought, she got struck with an idea; one that would seem to make her feel close to her mother.
Wura quickly changed into her night robe and left the room. Ebenezer Obey’s ‘Awa Sope Odun’ played in the distance. It was late already, and she wondered why the party hadn’t come to an end. But then, the party was none of her business.
Wura made her way through the narrow passages and finally came to a halt in front of the room her father forbade her from going into. It was her mother’s. She remembered that her father had told her the room held a lot of mysteries that couldn’t be understood.
She had believed him and never even bothered stepping into the room until now. Besides, she just wanted to have a feel of her mother’s room, and perhaps unburden her heart.
Wura tucked the tendril of hair that had escaped the loose bun behind her ear. She drew her robe tightly around her lean frame and drew in a sharp breath. She pushed open the door and surprisingly it was open.
The room was very spacious; almost like Wura’s. Only that the walls were peach colour and held different paintings of her mother. As she moved to sit on the queen sized bed, she realized the bedspreads were freshly laid. She had expected the room to be dusty at least, but it looked nothing like that.
Wura was certain someone enters the room frequently. The heavy curtains draped on the windows were also slightly pulled apart. Just by the dressing table, she found an unfinished painting; almost the same as one of the paintings on the wall. Certainly, it couldn’t be Kabiyesi. He had forbidden her from coming to the room. She thought. And she couldn’t think of anyone else who would frequent her late mother’s chambers. But she was determined to get to the bottom of this to find the culprit.
Still moving around the room, Wuraola found an old album. She picked it up and flipped through. It was filled with her late mother’s photos. Dear God! She was really beautiful and had eyes full of love and compassion.
“Mama, I wish I knew you. At least, I would have known what you look like physically, and what you liked. But I have to rely on your pictures and details from dad.” She paused, tears threatening to erupt, “I miss you, everyday mom. But dad has indeed been there for me. I have lots of paraphernalia to tell you. For instance, I will be getting married in 10 months to a man I don’t love. I mean, who does that in this 21st century?” her voice cracked, “but I love dad and I don’t want to disappoint him. Obajuwon is an arrogant idiot that prides himself with his father’s wealth. Mom, he is nothing but a man-whore. I remember how he did a sex-tape of my friend and threatened her with it. He doesn’t even have an idea that I know about it. He disgusts me, mom, and I can’t end up with him… I wish there was something I could do.”
She cried into her palms, her body shook with grief. It was a while later before she got up, ready to leave the room. Just as she put the photo album back in place, she found a silver ring that held an emerald colour button at the centre. Wura picked it up and examined it closely. It was surely her mother’s.
She didn’t waste time fixing it in her index finger. it was simply the only thing that could serve as a bond between her and her mother. She smiled, seeing it fit perfectly. She wasn’t going to pull off this ring. Ever! It would simply be like her second skin, she thought, as she marched off to her room.
The rotating fan made a squeaky sound, as the shadows from its blades swept across the king-sized bed. It was way past midnight. Wuraola stirred restlessly on her bed. She had been that way for hours. Perhaps it was the fact that someone frequently enters her mother’s room, or was it her betrothal that plagued her mind?
Still trying to reach a conclusion, she absentmindedly traced the ring in her index finger. Soon enough, she felt herself slipping into unconsciousness. She dreamt that her body was being lifted from her bed, but she felt no hands on her. Her eyes were fully closed now, and she was floating higher. Maybe it was just a dream afterwards. It has to be a dream. she concluded.
To be continued…
This is a Pelleura Story. Idea and write-up by Funmi Akintade. See Chapter One here.
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