© Onyinyechukwu Mbeledogu
24th April 2017
Nkolika Achebe mumbled something incoherently, burying herself beneath the comforter even as she shivered slightly beneath it. After spending the weekend with her elder sister and her husband, she woke up to the reality that the courts were officially resuming today.
Muttering, she punched the thick yet soft pillow lightly. She dragged herself out of the bed and to the adjoining bathroom. She was dressing up when there was a knock on the door and a little girl of about six years dressed in a blue and red stripped blouse tucked into small red skirt, white socks and brown sandals skipped into the room, throwing herself at Nkoli for the ritual morning hug.
Nkoli smiled and held Data close, kissing her softly on the forehead.
‘Good morning Aunty Nkoli.’
‘Good morning my darling girl. How are you this beautiful morning?’
‘I’m fine Aunty. Daddy’s taking me to school.’
Her twin elder brothers, Alali and Atonye were in boarding school.
As Data disappeared once more, Soki walked into the bedroom dressed in a black above the knee dress. She had her collaret on, her feet encased in black shoes with high heels. At 5”9, Nkoli was five inches taller than her sister and where Soki was a bit on the plump side, Nkoli was a little bit off the model slim side.
‘Baby girl,’ Soki said in greeting.
‘Good morning Soks,’ Nkoli responded as Soki sat on her bed, watching her apply her makeup.
‘You still have a little extra time to utilise more makeup today than you usually do, you know.’
Nkoli turned to look at Soki.
‘Any special reason why I should?’
‘You’re appearing before Justice Oyolu today, abi?’
‘Yes. I finally get to meet the judge presiding over the FIDA Court.’
She had heard so much about the youngest judge in the Rivers State Judiciary who had been transferred to Port Harcourt the previous year from the Isiokpo jurisdiction and the rumour was that his court was like a FIDA (International Federation of Women Lawyers) extension with the number of female counsel frequenting his court at every sitting.
‘A word of advice, dear: try not to stare.’
‘Like I haven’t seen a fine man before,’ Nkolika snorted. ‘Besides, I’m sure he can’t hold a torch to your Dienye.’
‘No man can hold a torch to the love of my life. But I am shamelessly biased as it is,’ Soki said with a good natured laugh.
As though he had heard his name, there was a knock on the door and Dienye partially opened the door, sticking his head through the partition between the door and the stand.
‘Uto nwoke,’ Nkolika hailed her favourite brother-in-law. It was her special name for the very special man who had married her elder sister. Chike, Toby’s husband was a darling but Dienye held a special place in Nkoli’s young heart.
‘Baby oku,’ Dienye responded, looking nothing like a man who would be celebrating his fiftieth birthday in less than two months. He added in a teasing tone, ‘I hear you are appearing before our prospective in-law this morning.’
‘Prospective-in-law kwa,’ Nkoli smiled, looking so much like her mother. ‘Don’t mind Soks. I have never even met the man and who knows, he might not even sit today.’
‘He will sit o,’ Soki interjected with the assurance of a woman who knew the judge’s itinerary. ‘The man sits Mondays through Friday. His was a constant face in court during his years of practice. He is completely dedicated to his work.’
‘And most likely too old for me.’
‘Age is nothing but a number,’ Soki told her. ‘I mean look at Dienye and I. Married thirteen years and he doesn’t even look older than he was when we got married.’
Nkolika lined her eyelids with an eyeliner and picked up a golden lipstick which she applied to her lips.
‘Justice Oyolu is single,’ Soki continued. ‘I’m sure when he meets you, his search for a wife will be over. Unless you want one of those single women flocking his court to grab him from you.’
‘You should have chosen a profession in marketing, Soks.’
‘The way Soki has been going on and on about the judge and how good he will be for you, I am tempted to invite him over to lunch just to confirm that he deserves my princess o,’ said Dienye.
‘I trust you to always protect my interest,’ Nkoli smiled at the big brother she had never had. ‘Well don’t mind Soki. I have developed a shock absorber where she is concerned. Soon she’ll be fixing Biobele up too.’
‘Not yet. Biobele is still in her fourth year. There’s still time for her before B.B will cry for me.’
People said children from broken homes were psychologically damaged. But not Biobele. If anything she had enjoyed a secured childhood with two mums and two dads and five younger siblings between them and completely adored her Mummy Ese and Daddy Zeph. Zephaniah ‘Zeph’ Somiari was a computer science lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt. Oroma had met him in her fourth year and they had dated for a few years before finally tying the knot to Biobele’s delight. Everything had fallen in place in the life of the little girl who was no longer a little girl. With her mother married to a man who adored her and having reconciled with her parents and family, Biobele Briggs was having the time of her life.
Soki lifted her face for Dienye’s goodbye kiss, his lips lingering on hers.
‘Oh. Okay o,’ Nkoli muttered, good naturedly. ‘I will go and look for my own man o so that you two love birds won’t be tormenting me up and down with all this your lovey-dovey kiss-kiss and touch-touch.’
‘I’ll be expecting a feed back when you get back from court,’ Dienye told Nkoli.
‘I’m going back home today, remember?’
‘I’m sure your parents won’t miss you too much if you stayed an additional day,’ Dienye winked at her.
‘God bless your day my love,’ Soki told him as he made to leave the room.
‘I love you, babe.’
Once he had left the room, Soki turned to her sister.
‘Oya, come let’s go. I don’t want you looking for seat in Justice Oyolu’s court.’
Totally enjoying her marriage, Soki wanted everyone to be as happy as she was. Thank God for the gift of friends and family.
Thanks dear readers for following me through Dienye and Soki’s journey. I’m glad they were able to resolve their issues. Kindly drop your comments
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