The first time I openly defied Granny Arome was when she threatened to disown me if I didn’t break up with Lanre (Arome’s father).
I would never have expected that granny Arome was capable of such overused Nollywood lines in my wildest imagination.
In her words,
“Ibewa, that boy would wreck you, don’t let the enemy use him to truncate your destiny.”
I would have laughed if I wasn’t so angry. I stubbornly insisted that Lanre loved me, and all of her money could never stop me from being with him.
In retrospect, I should have listened, but I’m not sure I would change anything. This wreckage brought me my Arome.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was so afraid.
I had just finished my BSc in business administration, and Lanre and I were supposed to go for a Master’s program together. Lanre seemed really excited at first, and then he started telling me all these plans he has for his future. He said he wanted me to be a part of it.
He dreamt of big things for us, but a child would get in the way.
It was like I had been doused in ice-cold water and had just woken up from a long dream. Still, the hope and trust I had in Lanre’s love for me rebelled against my sense, and so I asked,
“what do we do then, Lanre,” hoping and praying that the answer would not disappoint me further.
“We need to get rid of the baby, “he said with an indifferent expression.
I tried to reason with him,
“We can’t do that. This is the fruit of our love. Let’s get married, have this child, and give it to granny Arome.”
I said, confident he would see reason.
His expression turned cold, and I felt it before he said it
“I see you want to trap me with this baby. I will not be responsible. I’m leaving for my master’s program next week, lose my number!!! “
And he turned a walked away.
I started laughing at myself, at my naivety.
Once again, I have been abandoned, first by my father and now by Lanre.
Should I not already know? The fickleness of a man’s love.
Amid my maniacal laughter, tears began to fall, tears of heartbreak, disappointment, and burning rage, and then I walked home.
Telling granny Arome was the hardest part. I expected smug disapproval, disappointment, and disdain, and I was so sure that this Iron Lady will put me out. What I didn’t expect was the understanding that came with the disappointment.
And something else, like she was not surprised.
“What about Lanre,” she asked.
“He bailed,” I said, filled with trepidation and shame.
“Let’s get you to a hospital for a check-up,” she sighed, and that was it.
Although my dreams of a Master’s degree were over, my training began. Granny Arome was determined to make me a responsible mother, so she gave me capital for my first business. It was the first time I was aware of how rich she was. We had always lived in a small bungalow, and there was only ever the two of us.
We spent our days and nights together, and for me, she was a pillar, a golden thigh that I could hold onto forever.
She told me about how she had been deceived by a man just like Lanre, the silver-tongued wolf she called him.
Until he left her pregnant and alone. She said my Gran father was the only man that didn’t shun her, so she married him and gave birth to my eldest uncle. But the betrayal she had experienced made her determined to be rich, so she could stand above everyone that had shunned her.
Her dream seemed so ludicrous to everyone, so they said she was mad.
‘As crazy as an Achonu woman,’ they would say, barely containing their glee.
But my granny Arome did it, and she was determined to make me like her.
Perhaps it was that she was always there for me, or maybe it was because she finally let herself be vulnerable with me, but whatever it was, she had become my companion and favorite person.
So when she died when I was eight months pregnant, everyone expected me to break down, to at the very least cry.
But I never shed a tear. I organized her burial and business flawlessly.
She would be proud.
It was only after I gave birth that I allowed myself to feel.
I held on.
I held on when I so badly wanted to break down and fall apart.
And when I looked at my daughter, I knew at that moment that granny Arome had returned to me.