In a small country village lives a girl named Lola.
She lives with her father, her mother left him when she was only twelve years old.
Lola’s father: Lola have you prepared everything for the visitors?
Lola: yes father.
Lola’s father: very well, thank you.
Lola continues with her sweeping the compound. She wished her mother was here. Girls her age have their mothers to brag about and argue with.
Lola’s father: Welcome brother!
Mula’s father: Thank you brother
Lola’s father: Mula you have grown into a handsome
Mula: thank you, sir.
Mula’s father: it’s because of my farm food.
Lola’s father: hahaha I can tell. please have a seat.
Lola watches as the men continue their conversation with laughter. She was not allowed to join. She cooked the food and prepared everything and yet she could only watch as they laughed and ate. Mula noticed her and walked towards her when he finished eating.
Mula: I’m called Mula
Lola: I heard
Mula: what is your name?
Lola: something you should not be worried about.
Lola walks behind the house to find her secret hiding place. Mula stood there for a minute surprised by her attitude towards him. He has been rejected before however, he did not expect to be rejected by someone who was not even his type.
Lola: what are you doing here?
Mula: I followed you.
Mula: well Uhm.
Mula: why are you so rude? what did I do to you?
Lola: you’re here.
Mula: you don’t want me to be here?
Lola: I do not.
Mula: why? you don’t even know me.
Lola: I do not want to know you.
With that Lola is forced to leave her comfort zone and walk back to where she stood watching the men laugh.
Lola’s father: Lola!
Lola’s father: run to the lake we need more water. My friend will spend the night. Bring more water so that they may bathe as well.
She goes on to take the jar and starts walking to the lake.
Mali: Lola you’re going to the lake as well?
Mali: who is that handsome guy in your compound?
Lola: the son of my father’s friend.
Mali: is he married?
Lola: I do not know, do you want to be his wife?
Lola: ahahaha you really have no shame.
Mali: there is no shame in love.
Lola: wait, you love him already?
Mali: I loved him the second I set my eyes on him.
Mali: have you given Daniel a reply yet?
Mali: why not?
Lola: I do not have time for him.
Mali: why the guy loves you.
Lola: I don’t like him.
Mali: you have said that to at least five guys now.
Lola: I hate men.
Mali: oh not this one again. Lola when will you change your mind?
The two go to the lake and fetch their water.
while they were walking back Linda the gossip of the village approached them.
Linda: eh see who it is.
Mali: and what will you do after you see?
Lola: Mali, leave her alone.
Linda: ehe, Lola is that handsome man in your compound your future husband?
Lola does not say a word and just walks past her. Mali follows after her and they walk back home in silence. Lola had many thought on her mind and yet the dominant one was how she would find her mother who left. She wished her mother had not left but she also understood based on her father’s attitude towards her.
Lola: bye I will see you later.
the two part ways and enters the different compounds.
Mula: here let me help you.
Lola: I don’t need your help.
Mula: I’m sincerely trying to help you.
Lola: and I am sincerely rejecting your help.
Lola: if you were so helpful why wait until I got home? you could have gone to the lake your self and brought the water. after all, you will use it to bathe.
Mule: why do you hate me so much?
Lola: because you’re breathing.
Mula: what. you want me to stop?
Lola: it would be helpful.
Lola: it was not a joke.
Mula: I know. I was laughing at how sad your life must be to have such dry humor.
Lola walks away from him and pours the water she fetched in the big bin they store water in. There is one more round left. she was contemplating whether she could skip bathing tonight so they would use her bathing water instead. The lake was not near the house and the work was tiring.
Mula’s father: Friend my son is of age. what do you say he takes your daughter as his wife?
Lola hears this and shoots up and walks towards the men.
Lola’s father: Lola what are you doing here it is not your place.
Lola: I will not marry him, father.
Lola’s father: that is not for you to decide. Leave at once.
Mula’s father: oh friend, be gentle she is but a child.
Lola walks away from them. Mula stood where Lola stood before, watching them. Lola walks out of the compound and walks to her friend’s house.
Mali: Why do you look like someone who wishes to commit murder? what did your father say this time?
Lola: he wants me to marry his friend’s son.
Mali: that handsome man I saw today?
Mali: Why don’t you want to marry him?
Lola: I do not want to marry period.
Mali: then can we just swap our bodies and I can just marry him for you?
Mali’s brother: Mali mom is calling you inside.
Mali: stop lying.
Mali’s brother: I’m going out with friends. I already told you.
Mali: Lola wait for me, I will be back.
Lola walks back home in the dark for the moon was out. She walked quietly into her small house which was next to the big main house where her father slept. Both houses were built with bricks. Lola opens the door slowly and closes it behind her, the room is dark but she knew where everything was.
Mula: you’re finally home.
Lola screamed and jumped back. she was not expecting anyone to be in her room.
Lola: what are you doing here?
Mula: Your father said I can sleep in here.
Lola: then where do I sleep?
Lola: I said LEAVE.
Mula: there is nowhere else for me to sleep.
Lola: I do not care where you go just leave.
Mula: I’m not leaving.
Lola opens the door again and walks out. Mula holds onto her wrist but she slaps him, the sound echoes in the dark.
Mula: did you just?
Lola: yes I slapped you.
she continues to walk back towards Mali’s house.
Mula: do you have no respect in you at all?
Lola: no sir I do not.
Mula: come back here.
Lola runs to her friend’s house and knocks on her door. Mali opened the door fast because she was still not asleep yet.
Mali: Lola what’s wrong?
Lola: can I sleep here tonight?
Lola: thank you.
They both walk inside, it was a bit lighter because Mali had a candle lighted.
Mali: so tell me what happened?
Lola: Mula was in my room. My father told him to sleep in with me.
Mali: but Lola you know that is tradition.
Lola: it will never be my tradition. I am not a product that can be tried out and exposed at any time they wish to.
Mali: well it’s not like that if you think about it.
Lola: then explain to me why a man can sleep with a woman just to see if he likes her enough to marry her? what happens when he doesn’t like her? she waits until another man wants to repeat the same cycle. I can’t do it.
Mali: Lola this is our tradition.
Lola: I’m going to sleep.