Tracy got all the kind of hospitality that any lady would wish for. I must confess I was amazed by the way my people received her whole-heartedly, maybe because I was yet to introduce anyone to them. In fact, one of my sisters called me aside and said to me in Yoruba, “Niran, ma dull ara e o…omo yi o gbodo lo”, (in English, Niran, this is a lady you shouldn’t let go). Of course, I had sincere intensions for her. I was never ready to embark on another round of search because as far as I was concerned, the search was over and for me to have introduced Tracy to my people was a bold and daring step. Put in other words, I was somehow committing myself.
I totally opened up my heart to Tracy without holding back. I even had to stretch myself on various occasions. Don’t blame me, a man would go to any length to make sure he gives the best to the woman he really loves, nothing would be too much to do for such lady.
As I was seeing her off, it flashed in my memory that I had something I wanted to give to Tracy so I had to pull some creative stunts. Call it a reunion gift and you won’t be wrong. So I quickly asked her to excuse me for a few minutes as I took those long strides like Usain Bolt. I got into my room and hid it inside the tote bag I’d given her as a souvenir then, I covered it with some other things I kept in the bag for her.
The seeing off continued as we walked down the street, I looked up and saw that we were almost at the bus stop. It was as if we should start the walk all over again because I couldn’t bear seeing her go again, especially considering that it’s been four years we last saw. I was so scared to let her go for another four years. Besides, something kept telling me it would be longer than four this time around…my heart skipped.
So, as we got closer to the bus stop, I became more emotional…I wish she could see through my heart and see how weak my heart had become just because she was taking her leave. All sorts of though travelled through my heart…Oh, my dear Tracy, my one in a million. Seeing her off welcomed another chapter in the relationship between us.
As, at this time, I was still working on my M.A thesis, so I needed to travel to school so I could continue with my research work. Knowing fully that the deadline for submission was fast approaching, time was against me, so I had to round off whatever I was doing to face my thesis squarely.
Tracy got home and was wowed! The surprise gimmick worked after all. She really was caught unaware. She expressed her gratitude telling how much she really appreciated the gifts, particularly, the shoe which according to her was her perfect size.
Meanwhile, after seeing her off, my people began to give their observations about Tracy. No one was left out; they all had something to say. I held their comments to heart and really appreciated the way she was received by all. Let me say at this point that I hardly bring my female friends too close to my family, not because I am being shady, but because I try as much as possible to avoid any kind of misconception on both sides. And most importantly to avoid any kind of unwanted assumptions, also not to put the lady under unnecessary pressure on anyone.
On a few occasions, since after the day Tracy came, my foster father would often ask about her. He had at some point asked some questions about her background. He also expressed some of his observations and reservations. He acknowledged the fact that she was a beauty to behold and would often refer to her by the name of the company she’s working with. He drew my attention to some key things to note and some things I had to spare some thoughts about. Like it is said, what an elder sees sitting, a child would never see standing, even when he climbs an Iroko (a very tall) tree. Watch out for the concluding part of this story in the next episode.