Lola Opatayo

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White Cloth

Short Story
Dear reader, I’m back again after an unplanned hiatus. The second season of The Blue House begins on Monday so be sure to tell your contacts and follow the blog!
In the meantime enjoy today’s post and don’t forget to share!

Ayangade slapped the drum expertly accompanied by his band members, they were the best in the clan and Olanrewaju the groom’s father had wanted only the best for his son’s wedding. The youths and a few young hearted older folks of the household gyrated to the rhythmic beats of the band and the sonorous  voices of the “Awonlewa maidens”; it was a rare moment of entertainment which couldn’t be passed up on.

Olanrewaju and his friends sat in front of the compound watching the dancers and other spectators; on one side the women of the household sat chatting about the things only women would, the groom’s friends also sat on another side conversing half-drunkenly about their friend’s sexual prowess and the young maidens who sat on yet another side. Palm wine and food were in abundance as only the household of Olagunju could afford. It was by all standards a successful wedding night party.


In the newly built hut Oladele and his new bride Olubanke lay on the raffia mat in the long awaited act of consummation. Olubanke was trying to not to fidget, this was not the way her mother had described this night to her. They had been lying on the mat for quite a while yet nothing had happened, was Oladele just taking his time?

Oladele’s heart was beating fast, time was running out and soon people would begin to wonder. What was going on? He had tried everything he knew still nothing happened.


“That boy is so greedy! Is he the only one who is a man? Are we going to wait all night long for the cloth?” One of Olanrewaju’s friends asked impatiently.

“Be patient! Do you know how long we waited for you?” Olanrewaju teased as the others laughed.

“That was a long time ago!” The fellow replied bashfully.

“Give them time” Olanrewaju said.


“The poor girl, she must be in so much pain!” One woman said.

“These young men are just so inconsiderate!” Another woman said.

“Well she’s married now, she will learn endurance”


Olubanke finally huffed. “Oladele what is going on?”

“Be patient!” He snapped at her agitated.

“I can’t be patient anymore! You should just tell me what’s wrong.” She demanded pushing him off.

Oladele looked at his wife timidly wondering what was going to happen, would this woman cover him up? He wiped his sweaty face nervously, recalling his rehearsed speech. He couldn’t remember it.

“It looks like I can’t get it up…” He explained with his head bowed.

“You can’t get what up?” His wife asked apprehensively, her heart beating faster.

“The thing… my manhood”

Olubanke laughed mirthlessly then scratched her suddenly itchy scalp. “So what does that mean?”

Oladele looked at his wife, was she really that clueless or was she just spiting him. “I can’t… we can’t have intercourse…” He replied quietly.

Olubanke let out a small cry. “Are you telling me you’re impotent?”

Oladele looked at his wife afraid to say the words so he shook his head.

“Aaaah!…” Olubanke cried before Oladele muffled her scream.


“She’s enjoying it!” One of the women said.

“These young girls… who knows if…” Adunni replied.

“If what? Adunni why are you so quick to judge others? The fact that you did not enjoy it doesn’t mean someone else can’t.” Yet another woman said.

“Hmmn…alright. But did she have to shout like that?”


Olubanke’s eyes were red with tears. How did she end up with an impotent man?

“Please stop crying, I’ll do something about it. Just be patient with me and cover my shame. It’s not my desire to be like this.” Oladele said wiping his bloody hand with the white cloth. They had agreed that he would cut his hand so that they would have something to show the impatient crowd.

“But haven’t you done this before?”

“I have… I don’t know what’s going on” he said solemnly as he walked out of the room.


The crowd cheered joyfully. They had known that he would come out soon after the bride’s cry.

“You’re a man indeed!” Olanrewaju shouted to his son who stood at the doorway holding up the white cloth according to tradition.

Olanrewaju smiled bowing then retreated to his room very afraid of the future.

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