Strangers walked by Mama Vero’s shop everyday; some stopping to buy biscuits for their kids on their way to school, others for random daily necessities.
Mama Vero had a lot of friends. Many housewives who always came to tell her about their marriage woes. They all looked to her for support, she was a good shoulder to lean on. A widow, a strong catholic and a retired teacher. Her ears never got tired of listening, her mouth never got tired of counseling.
Vero was beautiful, dark and of average height. She was the last of three kids. Her twin elder brothers were already in the university. She was brilliant.
“Vero! Veronica!!! Where you dey?”
“Mama, I just finished preparing dinner for dem Ejima. Wetin happen?”
“Oh okay, well done. Come and carry this fowl to Uncle Titus. He says your JAMB results are out, eh? Collect am bring am make I see. No open am o. Hope say you pass, you know our agreement na? Abi…”
“Yes ma, let me go and wash my hands before I go”
“Good evening. Please is you dad around? My mother says he has my JAMB result.”
“Vero?” asked Ahanna
“He said you should wait for him. He walked a friend down the street. He would soon be back.”
“So where can I drop this fowl?”
“Hand it to me. You are a strong young girl o. Hehe” giggled Ahanna
The parlor was small and cozy. Ahanna was almost double her height. As he walked to the backyard, he thought of what she thought of him. Her eyes were strikingly dark and beautiful. Would that be the last time he would see her? All manner of questions crossed his mind.