"Is this for real, Tamuno or are you pulling my leg?" said Bunor, my friend and confidante. I had just told him the news about the imminent arrival of my bride - the virgin bride my mother had chosen for me as my wife.

"You mean at your age, 30 and in this 21st century, your mother can still pick a wife for you? And you accepted it?" Bunor stated in disbelief.
I shrugged.
"You talk as if you don't know my mother," I said wryly.
"The Dragon lady!" he stated, laughing. That was the nickname my friends call my mother. It was not just my friends alone, but most of her students as well. You see, my mother, is a Principal who has taught for many years and headed different secondary schools in my state.
Over the years, she had acquired the reputation of a strict, no nonsense person, a real disciplinarian. Most of her students fear her so much, even the most stubborn 'toughs' among them are reduced to wimps at the mere sound of her voice!
Even my friends, all grown men, who considered themselves as tough guys, are scared of her, avoiding her as much as possible. The moment they hear she is coming over to my house for a visit, they stay away as if there's a leprosy outbreak there!
"But why's she doing this? You are an adult, old enough to make your choice of a wife," Bunor said.
"Maybe you should ask her the next time she comes," I suggested.
"No way! I would rather tangle with a live cobra than take on your mother," he rejoined and we both laughed.
Just like Bunor, you might be wondering what made my mother decide to choose a wife for me. It was the same question I asked her when she first brought up the issue about a year before.
"Tamuno," she had begun one evening on the second day of her arrival from Port-Harcourt to my house in Lagos. "You are thirty years old now, not a small boy anymore. It's time for you to get a wife and start a family."
"I know, Mum. I've been thinking about it. Infact, I have a girl in mind," I announced.
"What girl?" she asked sharply, giving her trademark cold stare that often sent shivers down the spine of her students.
"Her name is Efe. You've met her Mum," I reminded her.
  "What? Don't tell me it's that same girl who came to your house the other time dressed like one of those prostitutes that hang around dark street corners at night!" she said disapprovingly.
"Mum, Efe is 26 years old. That's how young ladies dress these days," I explained patiently. Efe, my girlfriend had come visiting that day after I had explicitly told her to stay away from the house till my Mum returned home. But she had bluntly refused, stating that I must be hiding another girl in my house, that's why I don't want her around me.
She had arrived the house in one of her short dresses, extremely high heels and heavy make up like one attending a party. My mother had taken one look at her and thrown her out, stating, "My son's house is not a nightclub! You must be at the wrong address!"
"Well, I don't want a girl who goes around with most of her thighs exposed and her breasts hanging out like ripe mangoes! Forget about her!" she ordered before dropping the bombshell.
"You young men these days don't know how to pick good wives. You get carried away by flashy looks, their so-called beauty which is all artificial and fake.
I don't want you to make the mistake of making a wrong choice you'll regret later. So, I've taken the trouble of picking a wife for you. A good, decent girl, a real African beauty, not all these girls with their fake hair, fake lashes and nails! And best of all, she's a virgin!"
At her words, I sat stupefied, gazing at her, my mouth hanging open like the entrance of a cave in the hills in Idanre*...
Note: Idanre is a town in Ondo State of Nigeria famous for its hilly, rocky terrain and landscape.
To be continued...
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  1. Hmm. Nice waiting for part 2

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