Laughter,Tears and Family by Wani


Weeks after the breakup, I find myself back on my feet. Each morning starts early with a
run, providing the much-needed peace and solitude.As I get ready for work, I’m confronted by my own reflection in the mirror. My eyes are brighter, my smile is a little more genuine. “I’m okay,” I assure myself.

Every car ride is dedicated to God, filled with intense worship. This morning as I sing along to Maverick City’s Jireh, “I will be content in every circumstance, Jireh, you are enough,” I find myself asking if He really is enough.
Shaking the thought away, I remind myself, that I’ve been managing just fine and
continue to sing with joy.

My work hours are consumed by balance sheets and financial reports, providing an
opportunity to lose myself in the numbers. I don’t want to smile at the front desk officer,
neither do I want to say hello to Anna in the next cubicle. I’m still recovering and would
rather stay in my bubble.

“Hi Tam, what’s up? The team is going for drinks to celebrate Albert’s birthday.”
I look up from my computer to an almost empty office. Wow, five o’clock already.
“Hey. I would love to, but it’s sort of short notice for me. I just want to go home.”
Bye, Albert. I get ready, clear my desk and head down to the parking lot. My stomach
rumbles. I can’t believe I forgot to eat. I call Tomi to finalise my dinner plans.

“Hey baby girl, what’s for dinner?”
“Jollof rice and turkey.”
It had been so long since we had Nigerian food. The mention of the meal has me eager,
jumping in my seat. But something must be off because this hardly happens.
“Really? What’s the occasion?”
“I don’t know, but mummy just wants us to have something special. She’s setting the
table and all that.”

A knot forms in my stomach and the nerves kick in. I should have accepted the request
for drinks. Whatever mummy has planned might not be good.
“Oh, wow. Okay, I’m on my way home.”
What’s a car ride without music? This time, I’m in the mood for some Afrobeats.
“You don’t need no other body…” It’s Wizkid baby!
Walking into the house, I’m greeted by the sweet aroma of bay leaf in tomato sauce. My
mum is in the kitchen deep frying the turkey. I can’t help but feel irritated.
“Mummy, you don’t have to use so much oil. That’s why we have air fryers.”
“Is that how to greet your mother?” she eyes her daughter.
I greet her properly, receiving a quick “Ekaabo” before she chases me out, telling me to rest until dinner is ready.

After a quick shower, I find a sweatshirt from Kanmi in my closet. It still smells like him.
Memories flash into my mind but I shake them off. Despite the urge to drop it, I put it
on anyway. “It’s always looked good on me sha.”
Returning downstairs, I see the table beautifully set with colourful dishes and a fancy
“Mummy, are we expecting anybody?” I ask suspiciously. She checks her watch, “At this time? No oh. I just wanted to do something nice for the family today.” Her gleeful smile scares me. Nonetheless, I take my seat.
The dinner table is filled with laughs, fun memories, and warm stories. I realise that I
needed this good time and had no reason to worry.
Then, my father breaks the silence. “Tamilore, how is Olasunkanmi doing? I don’t see
him around so much, and you seem to be returning home earlier than usual. Did he
Temi squeezes my hand under the table, a silent reassurance.
“We broke up, sir.”
In a poor attempt to act surprised, he gasps.
Temi rolls her eyes, “Wow, dad. You will definitely make it in Nollywood.”
“I know right,” he winks at her. Turning to me, he says, “Your sister told us about it. We
noticed your change in behaviour and suspected something was up. That’s why we set
up this beautiful dinner today. Thanks to Iya Tami…”
“Me too!” Temi adds.
“Yes, and Temilola.” He smiles. “Tamilore, I want you to know that we love you and are
always here for you. Okay?
I nod. “Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.”
After a moment of silence, punctuated by the sound of cutlery and plates, Iya Tami
breaks the silence. “Tamilore, my love. Hope you are enjoying your food?”
“Yes, Ese ma.”
“Good.” She nods. She’s not done yet and I roll my eyes. “I know you’re hurting, but
please I want you to remember that you are not getting any younger. Kanmi is not the
only man on earth. I know that there are other fine, young and God-fearing bachelors in this Lagos. God will do it for you.”
I can only stare at her. I know she’s right, but I also wish she would understand that
healing takes time. I can’t just move on to the next Tom, Dick or Harry on the street.
She continues, “I have a friend from my church. Her son just returned from Canada. A
young and fine medical doctor. He will fit you oh.” She winks at me.
I manage a smile. “Thank you, mummy. But I’m not ready…”

Temi interrupts. “If Tamilore does not want, I’m interested oh.”
“Keep quiet there!” Iya Tami warns. “Your time is coming.”
Temi pouts but stays quiet.

“My love, let me know when you are ready. I will talk to his mother.“Thank you, ma.”
After a few minutes of silence, Iya Tami strikes again. “It doesn’t mean you should now take your time oh. 30 is knocking on your door like this. Once it is here, it won’t be the
same again oh.”

I smile, “I know ma, thanks for your concern.”
Despite her loving intention, she still carries the outdated belief that a woman’s worth is
determined by her marital status.

Women can be so much more than just wives.
The rest of dinner is filled with more memories, some of joy, others of chaos. It reminds me that I should be content. I have enough right here with my family.

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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.