All The Cards - By Tessy Mordi



"Titi don't tell me you are crying. What's the matter?" A concerned Uzor asked. "I've noticed you haven't been yourself lately. You left the lecture hall without checking up on me and Chima and all efforts to get to you has been unsuccessful. I couldn't take it anymore, that's why I said I must come to your room. Please talk to me", she pleaded.

Uzor noticed that while she spoke, Titi continued to cry; her tear soaked face glued to the pillow. 

"Its okay', Uzor tried consoling her friend. She raised Titi's head up and gave her a handkerchief to clean her eyes. "Babe, you know we've been friends for a long time now, so please don't carry the burden alone".

It took a series of persuasion for Titi to come around.

"Ok," she said at last, "I'll tell you but please don't tell Chima. I want to tell him myself when I'm ready", she began.

"Sure. You can count on me."

"Uzor, my house is on fire as I speak with you now. Mum and dad have recently taken to arguing daily with raised voices. It started when my dad came home one day and announced to mum and I that we'll be having a poultry in our house".

"Ok", Uzor pouted, wondering how that could cause a big fight. 

"My mum vehemently refused, insisting that she never bargained for such at any point in time in her life and not even now when it seems she's the only one at home most of the time, given that dad travels and I'm in school. Besides, maintaining a poultry requires lots of work".

"Hmmm....! Uzor sighed. "But what's making your dad want a poultry now and why didn't he tell her before too?"

"You see, that's what my mum keeps asking him all the time since the issue came up. And just yesterday, mum said its either her or the poultry farm in the house. Can you imagine? 20years of marriage about to go down the drain because of a poultry farm?" Titi broke down in tears again. "I don't know what to do, I'm stuck between both of them and they are not even concerned about what I think or how I feel". 

"I can understand your mum", Uzor sighed, "You know it takes a lot to manage a poultry; the stench and all that. So why can't your dad even try to reason with her? Must it be in the house? What's wrong with renting another space for it and hiring hands to run it?" She patted Titi as those last words came out of her mouth. Seeing her friend in that state made her feel terrible. "My dear, stop crying. I think I know what you can do to bring peace to your home again". 

"Really?" Titi's head immediately shot up. She dried her eyes with the back of her palm and sat up with rapt attention to get Uzor's solution. "Please let me hear it, I can't stand this strife any more". 

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The next day which was a Wednesday, Mr Adeyemi, Titi's dad was surprised when he saw Titi walk into his office during lunch time. 

"Hmm! To what do I owe this surprise visit today? I remember the last time you came here was about four months ago". He smiled and got up to hug his big daughter. 

"Well dad, I want us to go eat lunch together at that restaurant you and mum usually go to when you want to spoil yourselves". she replied and smiled back. 

"Ok...I can't say no to you my dear. At least it will give me the opportunity to drop my ego and apologize for ignoring you all these while that I've been bent on having a poultry in our house". He hurriedly tidied his table before going out with his daughter.. 

Just as they stepped into the restaurant, the first person his eyes came in contact with was his wife. She sat at the table reserved for them beside the transparent entrance door. 

"Oh, so we are not alone", he turned back and asked his Titi. Before they reached her, Mrs Adeyemi got up and ran to hug her husband crying. It was as if she had been struggling to hold back the tears. 

"I am sorry my love" she began, "I want to be by your side. I don't want to be stubborn and selfish". 

Mr Adeyemi didn't mind the public eyes already staring at them. He kissed his wife and cleaned her eyes with his handkerchief. Then the trio moved to the table she had vacated a few minutes ago. 

They sat down, with Mr Adeyemi unwilling to let go of his wife's hand across the table he said, "Honey I apologize for my inconsideration. I didn't think to know how you will feel about the idea before stamping it as a 'must do'. Please if you still insist that we shouldn't have it, I don't mind. Now I know what's more important - Family. I've never shared this with you, but it has been a childhood desire to have a poultry and succeed in it just like my granddaddy". He grinned.

"Ooh! really?" Titi asked, amused at her father's words. 

"Yes, really, young lady." He chuckled


"Baby", his wife spoke, "I'm ready to have a poultry if you still want it. I promised in love to support you no matter what and I plan to keep to that promise. I'm so grateful to God for this lovely daughter of ours who spoke some sense into me". As Titi heard all of her parents words and commitment, she cried in joy and thanked God she heeded to Uzor's advice of sitting her mum down and reminding her of what's important. Now things were surely going back to normal.

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Saturday of the same week, Titi was heading to the library when she saw Tobi running towards her. "Hello Tobi, how are you!" She greeted.

"I'm very fine", he replied, "but it's just that since these past few days Uzor has been bugging me with a particular question." 

"And what question is that?" Titi asked, concerned. 

"She's always asking me if there's any plan I have for our future home that I'm yet to tell her about".

Titi laughed uncontrollably. "Don't mind that naughty girl. A recent happening with my parents had taught us both that in our relationships before we get married, we must bring all the cards to the table ooo, so that when we've entered the unbreakable path of marriage, we don't start hearing one funny story that might be too hard to take and then it causes problems. So my dear, answer my friend well now." She laughed again and walked away, leaving Tobi to digest what she told him. 

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