Chapter Thirteen of Bayo Adebowale’s Lonely Days focuses on Yaremi’s struggle with her rejection of the proposal of a second marriage, her daughter Segi’s influence, and the eventual departure of her grandchild Woye. This chapter explores themes of generational bonds, family dynamics, and the emotional toll of solitude.
The chapter begins with Yaremi grappling with self-doubt regarding her firm rejection of a second marriage. The uncertainty in her subconscious prompts her to question the validity of her decision. However, the arrival of Yaremi’s first child, Segi, from her husband’s village, diverts her thoughts and offers her some respite from her inner turmoil.
Segi’s reaction to the news of her mother’s potential second marriage is intense. She voices concerns about the complications that a second marriage would entail, raising questions about inheritance, relations with step-children, and co-wife dynamics.
Segi, wise beyond her years, concludes that her mother, as a grandmother and widow, is well past the age for such worries. Her support for Yaremi’s decision to remain single resonates with the view portrayed by Bayo Adebowale in the novel: the complexities of a second marriage for a widow, especially one who has grandchildren, may outweigh any potential benefits.
Yaremi’s relationship with her grandchild, Woye, is also explored in this chapter. Woye’s presence brings joy and activity into her life as he plays, collects items, and constructs imaginary structures. Signs of his readiness for school enrollment begin to show, and Yaremi contemplates this before Segi’s arrival. Woye’s appreciation for Yaremi’s allegorical stories and his eagerness for learning demonstrate the strong bond between the two generations.
However, the chapter takes a bittersweet turn as Woye expresses his desire to return to Olode with Segi, citing a wish to begin school. Yaremi’s mixed feelings reflect the struggle of a grandmother torn between her desire to support her grandchild’s education and the inevitable loneliness that would follow his departure. This highlights the emotional weight of solitude that a widow may experience, particularly when familial companionship is removed.
In summation, Chapter Thirteen of Lonely Days delves into Yaremi’s internal conflicts, the influence of her daughter Segi, and the departure of her grandchild Woye.