The market was bustling with life. One could hardly differentiate the sounds of humans and animals as they all mingled in the air.
Hawkers shouted at the top of their lung trying to create awareness of their produce.
Shop owners haggled with their customers trying to settle with a moderate price.
Mama sat in her shop, her eyes fixed on nothing in particular. She sat restlessly shaking her left foot.
How could Laura do this to her? she thought to herself biting her lips in anger. She had gone a long way trying to settle the barrenness issue, now when solution was so near she walked out.
“Ekaaro ma (good morning ma)” a young woman greeted as she entered the shop. Mama was so absorbed in her thoughts that she did not notice her enter nor hear her at all.
“Ekaaro ma” the woman greeted again touching her this time.
“aaaah! Kaaro my dear (good morning my dear)” mama replied looking up at the woman.
“Maamaaaa!” The woman shouted as recognition struck.
“Emmmm, Juliana” mama called out as she tried to place her.
“Mama do you still remember me?” the woman asked as she hugged mama.
“Yes, my daughter. I still do” she replied as her lips broke into a smile. “You were the one David always brought to the house then. I cannot forget you omo gidi (good child). You look beautiful as ever.”
“Mama how have you been?” Julie asked as she drew a stool to sit down. “You were so lost in thought when I came here.” She probed further.
“It is well my daughter” Mama answered sighing deeply. “By the way, I don’t see any ring on your finger. Are you not married?” Mama asked a plan forming already in her mind.
“Ahhhhh! Mama! You are still the same.” Julie said as she smiled. “no Mama, I am not yet married. I have not seen anyone that I love again like your son ooo.”
“Hmmmm, How I wish David married you then, maybe I would not be passing through this misery.” Mama said sadly as her forehead furrowed into layers.
“Mama, what happened? Why would you speak like this? Didn’t David marry a good woman?” Julie asked, the questions flying out of her mouth in a quick succession as she adjusted herself on her seat.
“My daughter, it is a long story. David married a stubborn barren woman. I even brought up a solution yet she did not take it because of one useless faith, are we not all Christians?
All I wanted or ask for is a grandchild to continue the family name. I don’t know why David wants to reward me with this” Mama continued almost on the verge of tears.
“Mama it’s going to be fine” Julie said as she empathized with mama.
“Emmm, my daughter” mama called her head bobbing up with her eyes filled with uncertainty. She took Julie’s hand in hers as she looked into her eyes. “Do you still love David?”
“Yes mama I still do.” Julie answered almost breathless.
“Do you love me?” mama continued.
“You know I love you mama.” Julie replied. What was mama driving at with all this questions she thought to herself as she looked at mama.
“Juliana, can you do me a favour?” mama asked with a look of seriousness. “Can you have a child for my son and marry him? She continued without waiting for Julie to answer.
“please do this for me, I want to carry my son’s children too” she pleaded as she held Julie’s hands.
Juliana stood up and started pacing up and down in the small shop. Was the mama insane? Who does this in the twenty-first century? Bare a child for her former boyfriend and marry a married man?
Mama watched Julie helplessly as she paced up and down. She had no right to do this but she was desperate.
Her husband would turn in his grave if their only son didn’t continue the lineage. Tongues wagged up and down insulting her precious son daily and his wife was not cooperating with her.
“Mama, I have thought about it” Julie said as she sat down back. “I’m going to do it.”
Happiness shone in Mama’s eyes as relief flooded her soul.
“Juliana ose ooo (thank you). I’m so grateful for this.” Mama said happily.
“So what is the plan? Is he going to divorce his wife?” Julie asked.
“Emmmmm Juliana” mama started. “It is going to be difficult for him to just do that, they’ve been married for thirteen years already.
Well, I’m going to get you a charm for you to seduce him, then get pregnant for him, then you’ll take over the house and pursue that barren woman out. I know you can do it.” Mama continued smiling happily.
“Mama, don’t worry, let’s leave the charm alone. David loved me so much, I believe I only need to do little to stroke the fire of love.” Julie replied content with the plan.
“Rara ooo (No ooo)” mama stood up shaking her finger in Julie’s face. “you don’t know all this born again people, it is difficult to get them to do things. Let’s use the charm to be on the safer side. I don’t want this plan to get ruined.”
“It is okay ma.” Julie said as she stood up. “I actually came to buy canned tomatoes, I didn’t know I would meet you here.”
“Take them my daughter, as many as you want.” Mama said, leading her to the aisle where several brands were kept.
Julie smiled to herself as they exchanged numbers. Mama would think she was a master planner but she was going to prove her wrong.