“What would you do when you first cast your eyes on your beloved?” Bisi folded a matching set of ankra clothes still creased from the tailor’s iron. This set, made for Renike’s new family, husband, wife, and baby, was like several others stacked beside four open suitcases strategically positioned around the room.
Renike smiled at her sister’s romance novel phrase, “cast your eyes on your beloved,” but responded without hesitation, “I will jump on him of course. I have missed him so much!” And she did miss Akin. Since their wedding fifteen months ago, their only connection had been over the phone. She couldn’t wait to touch him, feel his skin under her fingertips, and show him his daughter. ‘He’ll be so proud,’ she thought. The sisters were sitting on short stools in the middle of what looked more like a war zone than a bedroom. Clothes, shoes, accessories, packaged foods, Nollywood movie CDs, and other miscellaneous items covered every surface.
“You’re so lucky to be heading to Yankee,” Bisi continued. “Everything is abundant there; light, water, food, money, everything! You will be picking money from the ground!”
“Then I will pick some and send it to you. And Mummy. Even Mummy Akin though she doesn’t like me.” They both laughed. Akin had been sending her money regularly since they got engaged so she figured, there would be money to send once she joined him.
Renike felt happy, even blessed that she’d finally got a US visa after several unsuccessful attempts before her daughter was born. But, she was tired of the ‘lucky you’ comments she’d been receiving since Akin came from America to marry her. She’d been told so many things that she didn’t know what to believe. People said, “You have it made. Your life cannot but go up from here.”
“God has favored you o! You’re heading to the land of milk and honey.”
She’d even been told, “In America, the government pays for everything; nobody works. You know, those Oyinbo people know how to enjoy life.”
Right now, all she wanted to do was to pack up and go see for herself. If people were picking money from the streets in America, she would pick some to send back.
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