Heels and Valleys Chapter One

piiim, piim piim” she pressed the horn of her Toyota Rav 4 vehicle. The cream colour Toyota Avensis in front of her had stopped abruptly. The middle-aged driver sent her a look of disgust from his side mirror. 

Favour smiled in amusement. Who should despise the other? Shouldn’t he just warn her at least before stopping like that?

“If I weren’t so good a driver, your car should be dented by now” she murmured. 

Finally, the invisible cause of the slight traffic jam dissipated. As she slightly pressed the accelerator, the car obeyed promptly and her journey continued. 

“Now, here we are.” She said to herself as she turned the car into the parking lot of an event centre. The large parking lot was already almost full of cars. After assessing her appearance in the poor reflection offered by the window of the grey car she owned, she commented;

“Such corporate look shouldn’t embarrass my friend at her wedding reception” she patted her recently made Bantu knots. After a few seconds of deliberation, she fished out a fancy silver hairpin from her purse and fixed it gingerly on her hair. 

“Good to go” she praised herself. She smoothed imaginary dust off her red blazer and knee-length blue gown. Just as she stepped onto the dark-grey tarmac to cross to the walkway that led to the big hall, a cream vehicle whizzed past her. Her heart almost jumped out of her from the brief fright of being crushed by a car. 

“Wait! Isn’t it that troublesome man’s car?” she asked no one in particular as the Toyota Avensis from before drove on without any apology. 

“Maybe I’m really tired and should rest before stepping into that hall?” she wondered. it was her fault this time. She hadn’t looked before crossing. Another mind of hers was being cautious and watched the car’s movement while trying not to be seen. It wouldn’t harm anyone to be extra cautious in such a situation. The Toyota Sienna must have stopped to do something on the way.

Putting her mind to watching out for the man and the other occupants of the car, she walked into the hall. 

Settling down into one of the chairs decorated with gold-coloured cloth at an almost filled table, she nodded at the other occupants of the table who politely returned the gesture. She smiled on realizing her false promptness. The reception ceremony hadn’t started for long. The new couple was just at the point of dancing to their heart’s content. 

“Nigeria usually carries the notion of African time on their head as if they were the whole of Africa.” Favour thought to herself. She made a mental note to start her wedding on time, no matter the cost. She watched as a family of five were ushered to the table directly opposite to hers. She raised a glass of water to her lips to enable her to watch them closely without being noticed.

The Toyota Avensis man was the head of the home. She smiled despite herself as the man held the chair for the woman who looked convincingly like his wife. So touching. The eldest child was a son who looked strikingly like his father. Favour estimated his age to be about the same as hers. She shook her head. Where was her mind drifting to? The other two girls appeared to still be in secondary school. Her guess should be right except they had their mom’s small stature. 

A slender hand on her shoulder brought her back from her deep assessment. 

“Hey, you’re here!” the excited voice said behind her. Favour turned around to face a smiling chocolate skinned lady. 

“How is our chief Bridesmaid?” Favour asked, graciously returning the smile. 

“I’m good. But I’m telling you, I’m glad that you allowed me to be our friend’s bridesmaid. You know, you were always her first choice for a bridesmaid” 

Favour laughed lightheartedly. “Just give the credit to my job schedule. The week-long seminar was tiring, I tell you. You’re not a bad choice either”

The Chief Bridesmaid nodded but curled her lips mischievously.

“What? What’s wrong?”

“That guy you’ve been eyeing since you came in…”

“What’s with him?” favour asked. 

“So it is as I suspected, yeah?”

Ei! Novelist Chi Chi. I’d be deceiving myself if concluded that you haven’t stored that scene in your head for later use. I think you’re a little obsessed with seeing me getting married off, that’s what I’m thinking right now”

“Maybe I need to remind you that you’re going to be thirty years old by the end of this year” Chi Chi puckered her lips as she said this.

“Like I needed a reminder of that. I keep telling you that I need no man for anything. You can take it that I’m waiting to be your chief bridesmaid before I get married.”

Favour leaned into her friend with her chin pointed in the direction of the guy who sat between his two female siblings. “You can snag him instead”

Chi Chi turned her face away from Favour. “So, it has become a game of turning the tables right?”

Favour nodded in affirmation. 

“You know we are Christians, we don’t just pick guys of our liking to be our husbands” Chi Chi didn’t look like she liked having to be boxed into a corner.

“You should have thought about that earlier.” She looked at the bride and groom who were already seated on the chair set up for them. “I think the bride needs your attention”

Chi Chi turned to go but hesitated and leaned into Favour from behind, with her mouth at her ear. “Queen of persuasion, I’d like to hear you convince God when he starts putting strange ideas about this guy into your head. Just remember that I’d still love to be a chief bridesmaid once again” She said and then took off running in the direction of the newly wedded couple with a handful of the flowing gown in her hands.

Favour looked at the guy opposite her again and huffed. He didn’t look like what she wanted. The guy pinned her with his eyes, making Favour to look down immediately. She suddenly felt thirsty. She poured herself another glass of water.

Queen of persuasion” Favour thought as she lifted the glass to her lips.

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