Saaye Tolof-Tolof Part 6 (Difficult Marriages)

By Amie Sillah

Nopi
He called his daughter and tried to confuse her all the more as never to think of her mother again.
“Your mother is dead; I’ve just received a call from a relative who decided to remain anonymous. It is very sad,” he told his daughter.

Ndungu
It is very sad that I would never meet and know my mother; I cannot see or feel her; I would have loved to see her eye to eye and speak my mind to her; to tell her how heartless she was to have left a three month old baby to the care of a nanny and a helpless husband.”

Nopi
“It is all over now let us concentrate on the living.” He caressed his daughter.
Ndungu grew into adulthood with that notion.

Teenage Life
As she grew into a daunting beauty she could not share her secrets with daddy and there was the vacuum created by Mammy’s absence.
She decided to visualize mammy in her mind. Questions such as sophistication, beauty, liberalism invaded her mind.
“How was my mom like, a beauty with sophistication?” She asked. She decided to question Nanny Marie.

Ndungu
She visited Nanny Marie.
“Na Marie! Was my mom a beauty?”

Na Marie
“Surely and without exaggeration, she was the most beautiful maiden I’ve ever seen in my life and your dad dotted on her until a jealous friend is suspected to have sown the seed of discord that separated them for life; since then your daddy refused to marry and your mom also did not marry until a relative announced her death in anonymity. You take after her and a bit of your daddy and your namesake Mama Ndungu was also a dish.” Ndungu smiled and thanked Na Marie.

Minah
She is wiser than her age as neighbours refer to her as ‘Boinye Maagu’ (Big Woman), she becomes Ndungu’s counsellor and adviser as she shares her deeper secrets with her.
As she attracts boys, Minah advised her to be very careful.
“Let us be very careful, all these boys want one thing and that is our precious body, violate and dump us. Let us leave them struggle for us while we concentrate on our studies.” Ndungu concurred and whenever they were not sure they consulted Aunty Sap who gave scientific explanation on pregnancy and STI/HIV and Aids. The girls became well informed and shared the information with their girl and boy friends’, as they form study circles to educate each other.

Cissy
She was the one who asked a cousin to confuse Nopi by informing him about her demise which was not true. She came back to the Gambia and lives at Bakoteh with her sister Mam Mbotorr. She developed an anti-men attitude and lectured her sister to detest men.
“Men are liars, never believe them, concentrate on your job and never think of getting married, men are all the same.” She preached.

Mam Mbotorr
She is not convinced but has no choice but to pretend because Cissy is housing her. She is a primary school teacher. Saabel is her best pal and she came from Serrekunda to pay her a visit and they decided to visit the supermarket.

Stranger
As the duo came out of the supermarket Mam bumped into Maatar who was entering the shopping mall her goggle fell upon the ground and as she stooped to pick it up Maatar picked it first and searched into her eyes.

Maatar
I am very sorry my fair lady forgive my manners, how can I recklessly bump into a daunting damsel?” He picked the goggles and put it back onto her face. The soothing fingers touched her face and she shrivelled.
“Let’s go back into the mall for me to buy something special for you.” She hesitated but Saabel winked her and replied.

Saabel
“Of course! Also to buy something for the escort.”
Mam frowned and refused to go back but Saab did while Mam waited in the taxi.
She came out with two bags full of groceries and she put Mam’s grocery bag at her side but she refused to pick it up as the car drove them home but Mam came out leaving the bag in the car as Saab followed her in with it.

The Confrontation
 The two friends almost went into blows.

Mam
   “How could you do this to me? So cheap! Do you know him, are you my mom who assumes to take decisions for me? I detest it, take it back to him I don’t need it or tell him what you’ve done or stop being my friend; you have given a wrong impression about me in front of a stranger.”

Saabel
On the hold you are this angry, I thought it was just a bluff! Okay I’ll ring and inform him you rejected the gift, is that okay?”

Mam
“Do it here and then for me to confirm.”
She did it and Mam was satisfied.

Teenagers
Alhajj Tijan’s son Haatab was a school gang leader harassing girls to cow them accept his friendship but when he came to Ndungu she became a hard nut to crack and it became a challenge to him.

Haatab
“Who is this local girl to reject my friendship? I’ll deal with her.” He stalked her to Ndungu’s annoyance.
He waited for her until she came out with her friend Minah. He approached her with a broad inviting smile.
“Ndungs! I‘ve chosen you among the multitude because of your sterling qualities please accept my proposals, I’ll marry you when we complete our studies any how you’ve chosen.”

Ndungu
She hissed and frowned at him.
“Here you talking about marriage, which form are you in? We are just in Form 5, instead of concentrating on your studies you are talking about marriage, and are we on the same wave length? You are too local for me, I am aiming high to be the first pilot the country has produce, good day and good luck.”

Haatab
“I can wait for you, my dad is a business mogul and I’ll follow his footsteps, we can even marry to ensure nobody takes you from me while you continue your studies, I can discuss it with dad who will come to your dad also a successful business mogul.”
The girls laughed at him and asked;
“Can you speak English or do you want us to speak vernacular? Read Ndungs’ lips ‘Not available full stop!”
To be Cont.