Monthly Archives: August 2016

To Love and to Hold – Episode 27

Chinedu was confused. What could have happened? He wasn’t expecting Fadeke until 2p.m and he was meant to pick her up at the airport. If she was coming early, she would have called him to pre-inform him; but she had not done that. She was supposed to discuss something very important and he had not the slightest idea what it could be about. And now; Kemi’s call. He remembered Kemi back in school as the nerd but he hadn’t known that she and Fadeke had become friends. He also did not know that she was also in Abuja. So much he did not know.

He stood up from his desk to go talk to his boss. It was just 10.30a.m. He had sought for permission earlier on in the week to leave the office for 1.30p.m. He hoped his boss would grant him another favour if he asked to leave now.

“No Chinedu, you can’t leave the office now”.

Chinedu’s countenance fell immediately. “I understand that our earlier agreement was 1.30p.m but I really need to attend to some personal issues”.

His boss looked at him over the rim of his glasses. “What time should I expect the report you are meant to deliver?”

Chinedu sighed. The report was what had brought him to the office in the first place. He had not gone half-way with it and he knew there was no way he could leave the office without delivering it to his boss. “You would get the report in another two hours”.

“Once your report is submitted, you can leave”.

Chinedu walked back to his desk and for the next two hours, he put all his efforts into getting his report done. If he had to leave the office, then he had to be focused. By noon, he sent the report to his boss by email and immediately shut down his laptop. He did not want his boss calling him back, so he removed the battery out of his official mobile phone so that he would be unreachable and put the second one on silent. His colleagues could reach him on the second one if there was anything urgent. He however prayed that nothing would come up. He hurriedly went down to meet his taxi driver as he had called him about thirty minutes earlier. As he eased himself into the taxi, different thoughts ran through his mind.

To Love & to Hold 40

“Mr. Chinedu, I dropped Madam Fadeke in the house this morning”. The taxi driver said as he drove off.

“Oh, did she call you?”

“Yes, she asked me to pick her up at the airport before eight this morning”.

“Was she okay?”

“Okay? I don’t understand, sir”. The taxi driver asked looking confused.

“Never mind”. Chinedu said trying to focus. If she had called the taxi driver to pick her up, it meant she had changed her flight but had not informed him. He checked his personal phone to see if he had any missed calls from any of his colleagues and found out that Kemi had called him six times. Oh no! He had not considered that Kemi would also try to call him. He rang her number back and she picked up on the first ring.

“I thought you said you were coming immediately. Why haven’t you been picking your calls?” She hissed.

“I couldn’t get away from work earlier but I’m on my way to your place now”.

“Don’t bother coming”.

“Why?”

She sighed. “She left already”.

“How? How could you let her leave without seeing me?”

“Look Chinedu, I am pissed already. So don’t let me say what I would regret later”. She said with irritation.

Chinedu tried to calm down. “Okay, I’m sorry I flipped. I just don’t understand what is going on”.

“Well, I also don’t. You were meant to come and fix whatever went wrong, right?”

She had a point and he had bungled that opportunity.

“What time did she leave?”

“She left with the 12 o’clock flight to Lagos. She was bent on leaving. I almost felt that she knew I had called you”.

“But she had not pre-booked, had she?”

“No, she was a walk-in”.

Chinedu blew air from his mouth. “She was running away from him. But why?

“Kemi, I know the question may not sound right; but did she give you a faint idea of what could have happened?”

“No, she did not. But whatever it was, she was really hurt”.

“Thanks. I appreciate your help”. He said cutting the call with Kemi.

He scrolled through his phone and dialled.

After the usual introductions, he spoke “Hi, my name is Chinedu Ugo and I would like to fly to Lagos on the next flight”.

“The next flight is at 2.30p.m sir but there are no available seats”. The lady on the phone crooned.

“Please I really need to get to Lagos. Could you check through again?”

“Please hold on sir”. She was silent for about two minutes which looked like forever to Chinedu as he tapped his fingers endlessly. “We have an available seat for the 6.15p.m flight. Would you like to book that sir?”

“6.15 is too late. Please I need your help. I need an earlier flight”. He said in desperation.

“I am sorry sir. I wish I could be of help but….”

He interrupted. “Could you take down my number and call me once you have a window on the 2.30 flight? It is 0801 234 5678”.

“Okay sir. I have your number penciled down for a probable 2.30 slot”.

“I would really appreciate it. Thanks”.

 

As soon as he arrived home, he asked the taxi driver to wait for a few minutes. He went in, packed an overnight bag and he was off to the airport. It was a quarter to two already and he was getting really tensed. The airport attendant hadn’t called back to give him news and he was spent already. He wasn’t thinking straight anymore. He decided to call Fadeke. She should be in Lagos by now. Her phone rang out three times without a response. She was running away and now she wasn’t picking up his calls. What have I done wrong? Why would she torment me this way?

 

He got to the airport and eased out of the car in a hurry. He ran towards the departure desk and introduced himself. “I called earlier for a seat on the 2.30p.m flight. Tell me there is an opening now, please”. He said almost out of breath.

The attendant smiled at him with compassionate eyes. “I’m sorry, sir. It is filled but we have an open slot on the next flight which takes off at 4.45p.m”.

He put his hands on his forehead. He was beginning to have a headache. “Please put me on that flight. I need to get to Lagos today”.

The attendant asked for his details and when he was done, he looked for a tuck shop to buy a coke. He was tired, hungry and absolutely on edge. As he opened the can, he tried calling Fadeke and her phone rang out again. “What is the meaning of all this? Why won’t she even pick up my calls? Even if I have done something wrong, at least, I have a right to know what it is”. He spoke to himself. He looked at his wrist watch. He had over two hours to wait for the next flight.

Two hours of his life which seemed like forever right now?

To Love & to Hold 40b

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Photo Credit: http://www.wikihow.com

Second Chances – The Finale

Hi,

Thanks for following me on this story of jealousy, abusive relationships, commitment and the fight for true love thus far.

Second Chances has been published and the concluding episode can be found on http://okadabooks.com/book/about/second_chances/11931 for N200 (Two hundred naira) only.

Find out what happens to Kunbi, Ola and Sola in this love triangle suspense-filled story.

2nd Chances_Okada

For Non-Okadabooks users, kindly send an email to naomie2debra@live.com to indicate your interest in purchasing the book.

You will receive a response within an hour of details of account to make payment into; and Second Chances will be sent to your email upon confirmation of alert received.

We will begin another journey into the love department next week.

Do keep following and kindly share.

Thank you.

Dear Employer

Dear Employer,

I am writing this letter because I know you would understand my plight or maybe I assume you would.

You see sometimes, I wake up in the morning very tired and really do not want to step out of my house. I just want to lie down in bed under the comfort of my duvet and sleep the whole day (if NEPA, no PHCN – which is it now sef, I ain’t even sure any longer allows me). Fortunately and unfortunately, depending on which side of the coin we are looking at, the decision to remain in bed is a risky one.

I called that decision risky because when I accepted your offer, it was printed on paper in black and white the time I was meant to resume daily at my desk. I remember signing that agreement but I had no choice then. Or did I? But you know I could not have rejected your offer. Your offer is what pushes me out of bed daily, even if reluctantly. It will therefore be unfortunate and risky to remain in bed. I will explain why.

You are the reason I can still afford those lovely shoes, bags and wristwatches I see on DSW or Amazon. You are the reason why I can check Konga, Jumia or Dealdey to see if there is anything new or something I may like (even if it was not initially in my monthly budget). You are the reason why sometimes I don’t feel like cooking and I just want to spoil myself and do take-outs. You are the reason why I smile broadly when I hear “pim pim” on my phone at the end of the month. You are the reason why I can buy those nice clothes and shoes for my family. You are the reason why I can afford to compare schools instead of just sending my kids to just any school. You are the reason why I can cater for my parents, extended family and even those annoying hangers-on who don’t have an idea what I go through every day. You are also the reason why I can even consider investment opportunities. Hmm…you can imagine! Small me oh. Ah, I want to be like you too nah.

I know sometimes I may look ungrateful to you when I ask for a raise but it is because my tastes move higher and get classier as my pay increases. Please do not take this as a reason to stop increasing my pay oh. As you are aware, the quantity and quality of items I could buy with my salary last year cannot buy same this year. Oga mi, you too know say dollar and pounds don increase. Abi? Anyways, that is by the way. Let me not digress.

Back to the matter. I would not mind if on those days I just want to sleep, you would indulge me and allow me nap for a few more hours. I do not want to take you for granted, so I won’t ask for the whole day off – I would not mind though, if you allow full indulgence. (Shey, I am allowed to ask, I may just be given).

You may say I am entitled to leave days and I should go on vacation but on such days, I really just want a few hours to refresh and recoup my energy. You see, I will feel very important and loved if you would indulge me on these days which are my own trying times. It will even boost my motivation and I would be able to give my best when I get to work. I will be able to loud it to the whole world that your company is one of the great places to work because you care about my welfare.

I look forward to receiving a response from you and I hope it would be favourable.

 

Yours-in-service,

Your loyal employee

——-
Photo Credit: http://www.wpcnhf.org

To Love and to Hold – Episode 26

Fadeke touched down in Abuja at 7.45a.m. She changed her itinerary at the last minute and decided to take the second flight into Abuja. She knew Chinedu wasn’t expecting her until 2p.m but she wanted to give him a surprise. She had called him two nights earlier and he had confirmed that he would be leaving home at 9.00a.m. Since it was a Saturday, he did not need to get to work very early; he had said. If she could get to his house before 8.30a.m, she was sure she would catch him at home or most likely on his way out since his office wasn’t too far. Even in her state, she was still very excited that she was going to see him. She had thought over and over about how she was going to break the news to him. She wasn’t sure what his reaction was going to be. He loved her no doubt; but a baby hadn’t been part of what they had planned for. She pulled out her bunch of keys from her jeans pocket. She looked at the key to his apartment and smiled. How else could a guy prove that he loved his girlfriend? He had given her the spare keys to the apartment on her last visit and told her the house belonged to both of them. She placed a call to his taxi driver and asked him to come pick her up.

 

In fifteen minutes, she was at the apartment and tapped the door gently. It was just 8.25a.m and the neighbourhood was quiet. She tapped the door the second time and straightened out her hair. She should have brushed it. The door opened and she saw the last person she was expecting to see.

“Who do we have here?” Tochukwu said resting sideways on the door lintel. She was dressed in one of Chinedu’s shirts which barely covered her thighs. The top buttons of the shirt were open revealing her bust. If she were a man, the sight before her would have caused a lot of heat to flow through her.

Fadeke stood unable to say a word.

“Come on in. I don’t want you attracting the neighbours and causing a scene”.

Fadeke still dumbfounded walked in like a sheep led to a slaughter house.

“Sincerely, it never crossed my mind that you were still dating Chinedu”. Since Fadeke was still too stunned to speak, Tochukwu tried to gain an upper hand in a conversation.

“What in the world are you doing here and in Chinedu’s shirt?” Fadeke screamed suddenly finding her voice.

She shrugged. “What does it look like?”

So many thoughts started running through Fadeke’s mind. How long had this been going on? She remembered what Kemi told her about Tochukwu and Kunle dating back in school. What was going on? If Tochukwu and Kunle were back together as Kemi had said, why was she dressed scantily in Chinedu’s shirt this early in the morning?

“Hey, why are you looking like the world has come to an end? Did you think you had sole ownership of Chinedu?”

Fadeke tried to talk but Tochukwu shut her up with a hand.

“I am not finished. I had always been there before Chinedu decided to look your way for reasons best known to him. I wonder what he saw in you”. Tochukwu spat as she eyed her from top to bottom.

To Love & to Hold 39

Fadeke’s jaw dropped.

“You want proof? Kunle is enough proof. I only dated him because Chinedu decided to look your way and I was just waiting to have him back when he was through with you. And as for Kunle, I knew about all the stunts he tried to pull with you. It was just to get you away from Chinedu so I could have him back where he truly belongs”.

A tear slid down Fadeke’s right cheek. “Tochukwu, I trusted you”.

She lifted up her hand and hissed. “Abeg, spare me the pitiful face. “As you can see” – She said placing one hand on her bare thigh and the other on her bust – “He is back where he was meant to be all along. So take a walk, I don’t want him coming back and meeting you in this sorry state”.

“Why Tochukwu? What have I done to deserve this?”

“Why? Why?” Tochukwu laughed sardonically. “Because, you are just a tramp who wants to reap where you did not sow”.

Fadeke had had enough. She struggled to open the door, tears blinding her as she did.

“Bye bye”. Tochukwu flicked her hands.

******************************************************************************************

“Fadeke, talk to me”. Kemi said shaking her friend by the shoulders.

“I….I…..”  She tried to talk but the sobs caught her throat and she stopped.

She had gone straight to Kemi’s house after leaving Chinedu’s and she was lucky to find her at home. Kemi had planned going out earlier in the day but when she remembered Fadeke had promised to fly in, she decided to stay back till her friend called. Fadeke had refused to call Chinedu’s taxi and had taken another cab instead. She had sobbed all through the thirty minutes trip to Kemi’s house.

Kemi had tried in the last ten minutes to find out what had happened to her friend but the only thing she had gotten was that she was coming from Chinedu’s house. What could have happened there to make her sob uncontrollably? Fadeke’s body shook with every sob and Kemi was beginning to get scared. She stood up to make a cup of chamomile tea to help her relax.

To Love & to Hold 39b

Fadeke had her head in her hands when Kemi came back with the cup of chamomile tea. Kemi pushed it into her hands and encouraged her to drink. She was beginning to have a headache and she asked her friend for pain relievers. She couldn’t bring herself to tell Kemi what she had seen. How long had Chinedu been deceiving me? Was I that naïve that the three of them; Chinedu, Kunle and Tochukwu had taken advantage of me and played me for a fool? Five years of being fooled. Five years of being blind. I have been so blinded by love that I failed to realize it. She remembered the hate Tochukwu had shown for Chinedu. It had all been a farce. Or maybe it was hate that he was dating me? I have been living with the enemy for years without knowing. I was such a fool. The pain in her heart hurt so much and she felt she would pass out. She thought about the growing baby in her womb and tears started streaming down her cheeks again. This was the result of her being naïve. A result of her foolishness. A result of her absolute trust in the one she loved.

She sighed and Kemi looked at her expectant. She couldn’t tell her; No. This was her cross and she was going to bear it alone. How was she going to break the news to her parents? They were definitely going to know that Chinedu was responsible for her pregnancy. And then, her father would have proved himself right. Her hands shook and she tried to steady the cup in her hands. What did I ever do wrong? She burst into tears again.

Kemi had had enough of her tears. She was going to call Chinedu right away. Whatever, he had done to her; he had better come undo it. She remembered Fadeke had given her his number a while back. She would cajole her to go take a nap to ease her headache, and then she would call him.

Once Fadeke was soundly asleep in the room, Kemi scrolled through her phone to look for Chinedu’s number. She was grateful that she hadn’t deleted it as she never had a reason to call him before now.

“Hi Chinedu, this is Kemi calling”.

“Okay?”

“I don’t think you would remember me but we were in school together. I was in the same class as Fadeke”.

“Oh ok. How are you?”

“I’m good. I’ll go straight to the point”. She said getting impatient.

Chinedu listened.

Kemi told him about how Fadeke had come to her place that morning after leaving his house and how she had sobbed uncontrollably.

“But…..but, her flight was meant to arrive at 2p.m”. He stammered.

“Well, she is in my house right now. I had to give her some chamomile tea and cajole her to take a rest.

Chinedu was quiet for a while. “I still don’t understand. What could have happened to make her breakdown in tears?”

Kemi laughed sarcastically. “I should be asking you that question, don’t you think?”

“It is just that……”

“Look Chinedu..…” Kemi interrupted him. “Are you coming over or not?”

“Give me your address”.

“It is No 10, Mohammed Tinubu crescent. I’d be waiting”.

“Wuse?”

“Yes, Wuse”.

After the call was dropped, Kemi went to check on Fadeke in the room. She was still sound asleep but had a disturbed expression on her face. She prayed in her heart that Chinedu would come early enough to sort out whatever had caused her so much pain.

———
Photo Credit: http://www.wikihow.com

Second Chances – Episode 16

Kunbi walks into the living room apprehensive. Sola smiles broadly and stands up immediately he sees her. He stretches his hands and Kunbi walks towards him. Her legs suddenly feel like they have lead in them and she wonders if she would make the few steps to him without falling. Sola instinctively takes a few steps and wraps his arms around her waist. His smile and arms around her shoot unspeakable feelings into her body causing her to shiver.

“I am…..” They both begin to say.

“After you”. Sola says smiling as he moves a stray strand of hair away from her face.

Kunbi smiles as she places her head on his chest. “I wanted to say that I am sorry”. She looks up at him. “I never intended to hurt you”.

Sola traces his finger over her lips. “I am sorry I hurt you. I love you and I want to start all over. I want you and only you till the day I hit six feet under”.

Kunbi closes her eyes as tears gather at the corner of her eyes. “If only you had said this months ago”. She says.

Tears spill down her cheeks and Sola pulls her closer kissing her slowly. She returns his kiss passionately holding on to him as if her life depended on it.

2nd Chances 16

Sola lifts up her chin and sees her tears are now coming in streams. He knows he has hurt her badly and he is ready to make up for all the hurt and pain he has caused her. He tries to kiss her again but Kunbi places her hand on his chest pushing him back.

“I am getting married in a few weeks”. She says in between sobs.

Sola tries to hold her but she turns away. He moves towards her and turns her to face him. “I know you are but I also know that you love me. I told you I will wait till you are ready. I am still waiting but I am starting all over and I am ready to chase you till you agree to marry me”.

Kunbi looks at him with shock. “You are crazy, right?”

“Yes, I am. I am crazy about you. I almost lost you. I am not ready to let you go again”. He says smiling.

Kunbi shakes her head. “I can’t. I can’t do this”.

He holds her shoulders and looks straight into her eyes and into her soul. “If you don’t love me, if you have no feelings whatsoever for me, I’ll leave you alone and never turn back. I promise”.

Kunbi looks at him unable to form her words. She breaks down into uncontrollable tears. Her feet are unable to hold her up and she begins a descent. Sola stops her from falling down and hugs her tightly. He knows he has hit home. It is only a matter of time.

Two hours later, Sola kisses Kunbi goodnight. Wale is yet to arrive and Kunbi decides to go to bed. She is spent from her tears. As she lies in bed, she hears the door opening but is too tired to talk to Wale. She makes a mental note to discuss with him the next day.

********************************************************************************

Sola picks up Kunbi for lunch the next day. As she slips into the car, Sola plants a kiss on her cheek. “You look beautiful”.

“Thank you”. She says blushing. “Sola, are you sure of what you are doing?” She asks looking at him seriously.

“I have never been so sure. I want you to meet someone next week”.

“Who?”

Sola smiles. “My aunt”.

Kunbi is surprised. “Your aunt?”

“Yes. I told her I was bringing someone special over”.

Kunbi smiles as she looks away. Can this be for real? Is he truly ready to be committed?

Sola touches her hand. “I know Kunbi. This should have happened a long time ago”. He says as though reading her thoughts. “I am ready to make it right this time”.

Kunbi stretches her left hand and looks at the engagement ring on her finger. What am I doing; engaged to one man and in love with another? She closes her eyes and says a little prayer. Oh God, please help me. I am so confused.

 

On Saturday, Kunbi travels to Ibadan as usual. Ola notices she is unusually quiet and distant. He asks her if she is okay and she replies that the stress of the wedding preparation is taking its toll on her. She also complains about the stress of having to travel every weekend to see him.

Ola is surprised. “But you always travelled every Saturday”.

“Don’t you think it is becoming increasingly stressful considering that I am also running around for the wedding?”

“Well, I wanted the wedding done quickly. You and your mum decided to push it forward”.

Kunbi is stunned. “Really? Would the stress involved have been lesser if we had done the wedding in three months like you wanted?”

“By now, you would have been in my house married to me and you would not have to complain about shuttling between Lagos and Ibadan”. Ola smirks.

“And what happens to my job?”

“Your job? You are resigning and moving back to Ibadan”.

Kunbi looks at him in horror. “Resigning? No way. I am not”.

Ola laughs derisively. “You definitely are, my dear. I am not leaving you to be devoured by Lagos wolves”.

“Ola, we need to discuss this amicably”. Kunbi says trying not to get upset. “My organization does not have a presence in Ibadan, so I cannot ask for a transfer”.

“How does that bother me? You are moving back to Ibadan when we get married. Period!” He says with finality.

“Ola, be reasonable. You can seek a transfer and you know you will definitely be given”.

Ola moves towards her and touches her chin. “I-know-I-can. I-know-I-will-be-given. But I am not seeking a transfer. You will resign and move back to Ibadan. And we ain’t discussing this again, okay?”

Kunbi shakes her head in pity as Ola walks away. She feels pity for herself and pity for her future.

*****************

On Thursday, Sola picks up Kunbi from work after seeking Wale’s permission. In about an hour, they arrive at their destination on the outskirts of Lagos and park in front of a bungalow in an expansive estate. Sola kills the engine and looks at Kunbi. He takes her hands in his as he smiles at her. “Are you ready?”

Kunbi shakes her head. “I don’t know. I don’t even know if this is right”.

He touches her hair lightly, gently stroking it. “We love each other. That is all that matters”. He says winking at her.

They both get out of the car and he puts his hand around her waist as they walk towards the bungalow.

The door opens after the first ring. A beautiful woman in her sixties smiles at both of them. Her hair has streaks of gray and she is dressed in a white tee-shirt on gray lounge pants. “Welcome home”. She says as she hugs Kunbi and holds her hand leading her in.

Two hours later, Sola and Kunbi walk out of his aunt’s apartment. Sola drops her at home after kissing her goodnight.

———

Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

Second Chances – Episode 15

Ten weeks after Sola’s visit to Wale’s apartment, he walks into Wales Construction Company on a warm Tuesday afternoon. Wale stands up from his desk immediately Sola is ushered into his office and they shake hands. He signals to the couch and they both sit down.

“My guy, where have you been?” Wale asks.

“Port-Harcourt”. Sola says smiling.

Wale laughs. “Port-Harcourt? Doing what?”

“I needed a breather. First, I decided to take a well-deserved vacation and go lick my wounds alone. I was in Calabar for four weeks. I had barely resumed when I was asked to go do some work in Port-Harcourt. I was there for another four weeks. I came back to Lagos last week but it was a very busy week. I would have checked on you”.

Wale smiles.

“You are looking well. How is Kunbi doing?”

“She is keeping up. Her introduction took place some weeks back”.

“I am happy for her”. Sola says.

“Are you sure you are?”

“Of course. I wish her the best”.

Wale stands up from the couch. “Sola, I never knew you to be one who gave up easily. I remember vividly how you refused to give up when you found a particular course difficult in school. At the end, your grade amazed me. I remember putting you through that course. What happened to that guy I knew back then who was ready to give his all till he achieved his desires?”

Sola sighs and shrugs. “Wale, I don’t know. Love is a difficult terrain”.

Wale looks at him. “Commitment issues?”

“I know I have commitment issues but I was ready to be committed to Kunbi”.

“You were but never mentioned it to her. Did you ever discuss the future with her? The only reason why she is getting married to Ola is because she is scared you will never be committed. She doesn’t even know if you have plans of settling down. She wants to be married”. Wale says in exasperation.

“It hurts me to know she is getting married to him but…..”

“But what? Guy, she loves you. I asked you never to hurt her but that’s exactly what you are doing. She cries herself to sleep sometimes. I stand behind her door and I hear her stifling her sobs. Why are you doing this to her? I trusted you but you ended up hurting her”. Wale points at him in accusation.

The expression on Sola’s face is that of surprise and confusion. “Wale, you know this is not intentional”. He says trying to explain himself. “I love her with the whole of my being….”

“If you truly love her, will you allow her spend the rest of her life in love with you but married to someone else? She is getting married in a few weeks. Preparations for the wedding are on-going already”. Wale says interrupting him.

Sola winces as he stands up. He rubs his forehead in confusion. “I am sorry I have hurt her. What do I do?”

“You should be apologizing to her, not me. Kunbi is no longer a stranger to you. If you love her, you should know what to do”.

“Thanks. You have always been a good friend”. Sola says.

“I want the best for Kunbi as well and I can’t stand the hurt she is going through. Her smiles are sad these days”.

 

Sola is seated in his car thinking. If you truly love her, will you allow her spend the rest of her life in love with you but married to someone else? She is getting married in a few weeks. Preparations for the wedding are on-going already. Going to Wale’s office had removed the blindfold covering his eyes. He loved Kunbi and he knew deep down his heart, he would never be happy seeing her married to someone else. Guy, she loves you. I asked you never to hurt her but that’s exactly what you are doing. She cries herself to sleep sometimes. I stand behind her door and I hear her stifling her sobs. Why are you doing this to her? I trusted you but you ended up hurting her”. He smiles sadly as he remembers their conversation. He had been wrong about Kunbi and he was sorry. He had thought she did not love him. How selfish of me to have ignored her feelings all along? He imagined how difficult it would have been for her to decide to have a future with Ola when she was actually in love with him. I made this relationship all about myself. Kunbi, I’m so sorry I hurt you.

2nd Chances 15

He picks up his phone and speed-dials a number. The call is picked after the first ring. “Hi ma”.

“Sola, I was just thinking about you”. She says as she stresses his name.

He smiles. “Are you missing me already? We spoke last week”.

She laughs heartily. “You do know if I could, I would speak to you and your brother everyday”.

Her laughter warms his heart. “I want you to meet someone special”.

“Okay”.

“When can we visit?”

“You know I am always available. Just call me when you are on your way”.

“See you next week”.

“Okay dear”.

He cuts the call and smiles. He closes his eyes and lets out a long sigh before dialing a second number. The call is picked on the second ring. “Hi Kunbi”.

“Hi Sola”.

“I would like to see you this evening”.

“Okay?”

“Can I come over to your apartment?”

“If Wales is fine with it, then it is fine”.

“Thank you. I will be there at 7.00pm”. He says.

Kunbi is uneasy after Sola’s call. Why does he want to see me? Is Wales aware of his visit? Oh Sola, I have missed you so much. Her heart had leapt at the sound of his voice and she had been disoriented for a few seconds. Ten weeks of no form of communication had made her heart tender. She looks at the engagement ring on her hand. In a few weeks, Ola and I will be married. She closes her eyes and remembers vividly the hurt on Sola’s face when he had heard about her engagement. If only you knew I never intended to hurt you. Her heart wills the time to hurry so it can be 7.00pm already.

***********************************************************************************

Kunbi sits on her bed waiting anxiously. She looks at her bedside clock for the umpteenth time. Every second ticking looks like forever to her. She stands up and takes a look at herself in the full length mirror. She is suddenly conscious of how she looks. She takes out the ribbon she had used to pack up her hair in a bun when she was leaving for the office in the morning. She rakes her fingers through her hair and brushes it out with a comb allowing it to fall loosely on her shoulders. Just then, she hears a knock on her door. “Yes, come in”.

Wale walks into her room and looks at her with surprise. “Are you expecting someone?”

“I…..yes. Sola says he will be here. I…..I assumed he had sought your permission. I can tell him not to….” She stutters as they hear the doorbell ding.

Wale smiles. “I’ll get the door. That must be your visitor”. He winks as he walks out of her bedroom.

Wale lets Sola in and they both shake hands. Sola walks into the living room while Wale picks up his car key from the dining table. He strolls towards the door smiling. “Kunbi, please don’t keep your visitor waiting”. He calls out to her.

Kunbi takes one last look at herself in the mirror. She closes her eyes, places her right hand on her chest willing her heart to be still.

———–

Photo Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com

To Love and to Hold – Episode 25

Fadeke was quiet all through the forty-five minute trip to Lagos. Her colleagues chatted on end about different issues but she chose to stay alone. She needed to brood over what had taken place last night. It had not been planned but it had happened all the same. She had woken up at 6a.m and found Chinedu sleeping on the couch in the living room. She almost thought she had been dreaming but when she saw their clothing strewn all around the room, she knew it had been no dream. She had gone to the bathroom immediately and washed herself. She tried to calculate her menstrual cycle backwards to see if she was safe but she wasn’t sure. As she got dressed in a blouse and jeans that Chinedu had bought for her during the week, she hoped they hadn’t made a mistake that would cost them their relationship. She had tried to talk to Chinedu about it but he had apologized profusely and hadn’t given her an opportunity to say anything.

He had called his taxi driver and the man had taken both of them to her hotel. He had helped her pack her luggage and she had been grateful. He had however; been so quiet that she wondered what was on his mind. Was he regretting their action? He had continued to apologize and had been careful as his hands brushed hers while he was putting her clothes into her travel luggage. After her other colleagues had called her room to find out if she was ready as a cab was waiting; she had moved closer to kiss him but he had barely touched her lips with his and had stepped back. He had however hugged her so tight that she had thought he was going to break her.

To LOve & to Hold 38

As the plane touched down in Lagos and she switched on her mobile phone, a text message dropped. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am about what happened last night. Please forgive me. I love you very much and would never do a thing to hurt you”.

She sighed and started texting back. “For how long do you want to keep on apologizing?”

“For as long as it takes”.

“Please can you quit the apologies? Is that the reason why you refused to kiss me back?” She texted back.

“I’m sorry about that. I did not mean to take it out on you”.

“Baby, I love you very much. Don’t let the event of the night cause a strain in our relationship”.

“I love you too darling. Much more than you can imagine”. Chinedu texted back.

“I’d call you when I get home”.

“Okay, my love. I’d expect your call”.

The weeks flew by and the event of that night was quickly forgotten. Fadeke was back at work while Chinedu asked his boss for a transfer to Lagos. His application was rejected as the organization felt that he was needed more in Abuja. They had enough experts in Lagos and did not see the reason why he should become a statistic in Lagos when he could stand out in Abuja. Since he couldn’t get the transfer, he decided to look forward to his vacation. He had so many things to sort out and topmost on his list was meeting with Fadeke’s father. It had to be now not later. He did not care what grouse the man had against his tribe. He was going to introduce himself to him as the man who had fallen in love with his daughter.

 

Eight weeks after the trip to Abuja, Fadeke started feeling sick. Since she wasn’t one who readily fell ill, she waved it aside as the stress associated with her job. She took some pain relievers and tried to rest more during the weekends. She felt much better with the extra rest and was back on her feet in a week. Chinedu was going to be on vacation in three weeks and she was already looking forward to the time she would spend with him. She had just arrived home one evening from work when all of a sudden, she felt dizzy. She tried to steady herself by quickly finding a couch to rest on. “What was wrong?” She thought. She had had lunch and she knew it couldn’t be hunger. Yes, she was tired but she did not think it was enough to give her a dizzy spell. She decided she would visit the in-house doctor in her office the next morning before getting started with work. She did not want her mum getting unnecessarily agitated, so she decided it was best to keep what had just happened to herself.

“Miss Peters, the result of the test is out”.

She looked at the doctor indifferently “Okay. So what’s wrong with me?”

“You are pregnant”.

“I’m what? How can I be?” She cried out.

The doctor just looked at her without a response.

“Are you – are you sure of what you are saying?” She asked suddenly becoming jittery.

He looked at her grimly. “Yes, I am. You are about nine weeks gone”.

She put her hands on her head and opened her mouth but no words came out.

“We treat every case with confidentiality so you can be rest assured that what we have discussed remains in here”.

She looked at the doctor’s face and wondered. “Confidentiality? That was the last thing on her mind. How could she have gotten pregnant? It had only happened once. She couldn’t believe this was happening. Her father was going to be so disappointed”.

“You are free to take a rest if you wish to”. The doctor said as he stood up to leave the room. He could see she was shocked and confused. She needed time to process what she had just heard.

Fadeke sat down in the doctor’s office for another one hour with her head in her hands. Tears trickled down her cheeks as she thought about Chinedu and the night they had spent together. He had been so apologetic and she wondered if the reason for his apologies was because he thought that single mistake could get her pregnant. She thought about her father’s threat. She couldn’t get married to Chinedu, he had said. But right now, the situation was different, she was carrying his baby. Everything seemed to be spiraling downhill and she wondered if she wouldn’t be consumed.

To Love & to Hold 38b

She arrived home like one in a trance. Her mind had barely been at work and her boss had advised her to go home and rest. He had noticed that she did not feel too well. She arrived home and found out from the doorman that her mum had gone shopping. She went in with her own key and slumped on her bed without taking off her clothes. She was grateful that she did not have to face her mum in this state. Within a few minutes, she was fast asleep.

 

The mobile phone in her handbag kept on vibrating and Fadeke turned over to push the bag down from the bed. When the phone refused to stop ringing, she picked up the bag and was about to switch off the phone when she saw it was Kemi calling. She had missed her so much.

“Girl, where have you been?” Kemi asked.

“Around”. She replied unenthusiastically.

“I heard you were in Abuja and you did not bother to call or check on me. That ain’t fair, you know?

“I’m sorry. We were always so busy in the office that I hardly had time to myself”.

“Hmm….but you had time to visit Chinedu, didn’t you?”

“C’mon girl. You know the way things are”. She said as she smiled sadly. “So how did you know I was in Abuja?”

“A friend of mine was just transferred from Onitsha to your Abuja office. He told me you were among those chosen to go prepare the Abuja office for them. Girl, you are big. Enjoy the life”. Kemi said as she laughed heartily.

Fadeke smiled. If only she knew what that trip had resulted into. She sighed.

“Guess who I saw some weeks back?” Kemi said excitedly.

“Who?”

“Tochukwu and Kunle. I think they are back together”.

“Back together? I don’t get it”.

“Yeah, back together. Have you forgotten that Kunle broke up with her in her second year?”

Fadeke opened her mouth but couldn’t say a word.

“Hello”. Kemi called thinking the line had cut off.

“I’m…I’m here”.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, I am. I was not aware that they ever dated. I’m just…..”

“You didn’t know?” Kemi asked dismayed.

“No, I didn’t”.

“C’mon Fadeke, how couldn’t you have known? She was your roommate”.

“Kemi, I’m serious. I’m just finding out from you”.

“Anyway, they dated for a year before Kunle dropped her for some chick. She was devastated and I don’t think she ever got over the pain”.

Fadeke remembered all that had happened. The night Tochukwu had come back to the hostel almost in tears. She also remembered she had asked her who the guy was the day she was moving out of the room to her new apartment. She had been evasive with her answer. It dawned on her now, that Tochukwu obviously did not want her to know she had dated Kunle. But why? Did Chinedu have anything to do with it? She tried to put the pieces together but it did not fit.

“I should be in Abuja this weekend”. Fadeke said interrupting her friend who was still chatting about Tochukwu and Kunle.

“Really? Cool. So should I expect you this time?”

“Yeah. I’d check on you”.

“Okay. You sure you are good? You don’t sound excited”.

One thing she had found out about her friend was that she was so perceptive. “I’m okay”.

“Honestly?”

“Honestly”.

“If you say so. I’m a call away if you need to talk, okay?”

“Thanks dear. I appreciate this”.

“Always welcome”.

After Kemi’s call, Fadeke decided to call Chinedu. She informed him that she would be arriving Abuja on the 2p.m flight and that they needed to discuss something very important. Chinedu had tried to persuade her to give a hint but she had been persistent on discussing it with him in person. He had told her that he was going to work that Saturday but promised to pick her from the airport at 2p.m. She dropped the call ten minutes later and thought about the excuse she would give to her parents. An official trip would go down well. As she lay back on the bed, she thought. So many things were going to change between her and her parents and right now, she needed Chinedu more than ever before.

———-

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Second Chances – Episode 14

The next Saturday as Kunbi sits in the bus taking her to Ibadan, she is oblivious to discussions and the on-goings around her. Her mind is faraway. The week had been a very difficult one. She had barely been able to concentrate at work and even a few of her colleagues had noticed and asked if she was fine. Sola had stayed away the whole week. She went for lunch alone and after the second day, she stopped going. What use was the lunch anyway as she ended up wasting her food each time? She cried herself to sleep most nights. She was torn, confused and depressed.

She had Ola’s engagement ring as his commitment to her but Sola was yet to state his intentions. He showed her he loved her, but love wasn’t enough. She needed a commitment from him. He had told her that he was scared of being committed. And then in another breath, he said he had hoped for a future with her? What future was there with him if he was never going to be committed? She sighs as she alights from the bus at the final destination. She decides to go to her mum’s first. She does not think she can face Ola yet.

“Are you okay, Kunbi?” Wunmi asks her daughter as she opens the door to her room. Kunbi had arrived about 30 minutes earlier, greeted her mum and gone straight to her bedroom. Her mum had waited for her in the living room hoping to speak with her. Wale had called during the week to inform her about the outcome of their discussion and she had been surprised to hear that her daughter was in love with another man. Her cousin’s friend. She had decided then to discuss about the other young man her daughter was in love with.

“Yes mum”. Kunbi answers as she turns to look at her mum standing at the door.

Wunmi walks into the room and sits on the bed beside her daughter. She takes her hand in hers. “Are you in love with Sola?”

“I don’t know mum”. Kunbi says bursting into tears.

Her mum hugs her as she sobs quietly. “I think you are, Kunbi”.

“Did Wales tell you he has a phobia for commitment?”

“He mentioned that you told him. He said they had not seen each other since school until recently when they bumped into each other again. So he was not aware of his commitment issues”.

“Mummy, Sola told me himself. He said he had lost a lot of good ladies because he was scared of commitment”.

Wunmi looks at her daughter as she lets out a long sigh of despair.

“I want to be married and Sola is not ready”. Kunbi says wiping her tears and blowing her nose with a tissue pulled from a box of tissues by her bed.

2nd Chances 14

“How do you know he is not ready?”

“I know mum. It is obvious he loves me, but what happens if he decides never to get married? Am I going to remain his girlfriend for life? Kunbi looks at her mum expecting an answer. “What kind of relationship exists between us? Am I his lunch partner or his confidant? Or am I just a girlfriend or someone he wants to spend the rest of his life with? Mum, I don’t even know. I don’t know what I am to him.” She says in frustration.

Wunmi cannot answer her daughter’s questions. She feels her hurt and pain and she wishes she could relieve her of them.

“I can’t keep on waiting forever? Ola is ready to marry me. I would rather go with him than wait based on assumptions”.

Wunmi exhales. “I wish I had an idea of what the future holds. Whatever decision you take, I will stand by you”.

“Thanks mum”. Kunbi says as she hugs her mum.

Tears begin to stream down her cheeks again.

“You have cried enough”. Wunmi says wiping her daughter’s face as she stands up. “It is time to take decisions and you need a clear head to do it”.

Two hours later, Kunbi freshens up and takes a taxi to Ola’s apartment. He had called her earlier to find out if she had arrived Ibadan. She confirmed in the affirmative and told him she needed to make sure her mum was home and ready for them. As she approaches his apartment, she puts behind every thought of Sola and decides to face the task ahead.

Ola is seated in the living room already dressed. He gives her a kiss as she walks in and thoughts of Sola go further away from her heart. He smiles as he lifts her left hand and sees the engagement ring. “You are beautiful and I promise to make you happy”.

She blushes. “My mum is ready to see us”.

“Okay. Let’s go”. Ola says as he puts his hand on the small of her back.

Ola and Kunbi walk out of her mum’s house later in the evening. Her mum had prepared iyan (pounded yam) and efo elegusi (vegetable stew with melon) before they arrived. She insisted they both ate before discussing their mission. According to her, decisions and thoughts were better processed and assimilated on a full stomach.

Ola informed her about his intention to get married to her daughter and asked when he could come with his parents for a formal introduction. Wunmi raised her objections about her daughter getting married in three months’ time. There was no need for the rush; she stated. She agreed to inform other members of the family and have representatives meet with his parents three weeks from then. A date will be fixed for the wedding after the meeting, she said.

**************************************************************************************

Kunbi goes about her job with renewed zest. Her colleagues notice the engagement ring on her finger and compliment it. She receives a lot of congratulations and hugs. She resumes going for lunch alone and manages to put behind her thoughts of Sola. Sola avoids visiting her apartment as the pain of her engagement is too much for him to bear. He decides to stay away and lick his wounds alone.

Wale congratulates Kunbi reluctantly with a sad smile on his face. He touches her cheeks lightly. “Regardless of everything, you are still my favourite cousin and I love you very much”. She smiles her thanks and hugs him tightly. She knows if she falls down, he would be there to pick her up and pat her on the back. In the night season alone on her bed, within the deep recesses of her heart, she remembers Sola and sometimes cries herself to sleep. She knows she will never be able to totally forget him.

Three weeks later, Ola’s parents meet with Kunbi’s mum, Wale and her father’s brother. They discuss about their children and agree to begin the marriage rites. A larger introduction of the two families take place a month later and the date for the wedding is fixed for four months away.

——–

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30 Cartoons of the 70s and 80s

It’s Flashback Friday! 

How many of us sat in front of the TV (precisely NTA Channels) looking at the green, red and white vertical boxes waiting patiently till the time clocked 4.00pm?

TV time started with the national anthem, remember?

After the national anthem, it was cartoon time. Some of those cartoons have been compiled below. Name them if you watched and enjoyed them. (By the way, some are still being shown today on DSTV for the generation Z)

Game On!

Number 1

 

Number 2

 

Number 3

 

Number 4

 

Number 5

 

Number 6

 

Number 7

 

Number 8

 

Number 9

 

Number 10

 

Number 11

 

Number 12

 

Number 13

 

Number 14

 

Number 15

 

Number 16

 

Number 17

 

Number 18

 

Number 19

 

Number 20

 

Number 21

 

Number 22

 

Number 23

 

Number 24

 

Number 25

 

Number 26

 

Number 27

 

Number 28

 

Number 29

 

Number 30

P.S: You are free to add any cartoon of the 70s and 80s not listed above.

———
Photo Credit: http://www.cartoonscrapbook.com
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To Love and to Hold – Episode 24

Fadeke and her colleagues flew into Abuja mid-day of Friday on the Nigerian-owned airline. They checked into the Falcon hotel and once they were settled, they decided to go to the office to put in a few hours before sun down. By 9p.m, they all got into a cab which took them back to the hotel. Fadeke was tired but she knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep without seeing Chinedu. Immediately she got to her room, she changed into jeans and a loose tee-shirt and set out. Chinedu had said it was a stone throw but since she wasn’t sure of the distance, she decided it was best she took a cab.

To Love & to Hold 37

She was standing in front of Chinedu’s door five minutes later. The building was a block of four flats. Two flats facing each other. He opened the door on the first knock. He pulled her in and planted a gentle kiss on her lips. “Welcome home”.

“Thanks darling”. She said hugging him.

She looked round the apartment and was impressed. The sofas had a touch of mint green while the curtains were a combination of mint green and army green. The floor was tiled and the walls were painted in two shades of green. The room also had a small home theater system and a 21’’ LED flat screen TV which hung on the wall. “Nice”. She said as she sat on a sofa.

He sat by her side putting his arms around her shoulders. “Thanks. I had to furnish according to your taste”.

She smiled.

By the time she was leaving an hour and a half later, it was already 11p.m. Chinedu already had a dedicated cab driver who took him out whenever he needed to. He called the driver and they both got into the cab. He wanted to ensure she got back to the hotel safe. Once she was dropped off and she was in, he asked the cab driver to take him back home.

 

Since Fadeke and her colleagues had just a week to set the project rolling, they spent their weekend at work as well but tried to close by mid-day. The rest of the evening was spent in Chinedu’s apartment. He usually would have hung out with his friends but with Fadeke around, this weekend was different. Fadeke spent the rest of the week shuttling between her office, her hotel and Chinedu’s apartment. Her colleagues and she were meant to leave Abuja on Saturday and she wished the week would stretch longer. By Friday, she wished she did not have to go back to Lagos. “If only the bank could post her to the Abuja branch”. She thought. Chinedu also felt the same way and he started thinking of working his way to Lagos. His organization had a Lagos branch; maybe this was the time to seek for a transfer.

“What time is your flight tomorrow?”

“10a.m”.

“Do you have an idea what time you would be getting off work today?”

She sighed. “Good question”.

“Guess that means no idea”.

“Honestly? I don’t have an idea. I just hope it’s not too late so that I can still spend some time with you”.

“If it’s too late, can I ask my taxi driver to pick you up and bring you here directly?”

“Yeah, I’d appreciate that”.

“I’d call him right away and tell him to hang around”.

“Thanks darling”.

 

Fadeke and her colleagues worked till late. By 10p.m when they eventually left the office, the taxi driver had been waiting for an hour. She eased herself into the taxi and in five minutes had dozed off. The taxi driver had to wake her up when they got to Chinedu’s apartment. Chinedu had been worried as he had tried calling her but she had missed the calls. Immediately, he heard the honk of the taxi, he stood up to open the door.

“Welcome darling. It’s obvious you are tired”.

She fell into his arms as he tried to hug her. “Jees, I don’t think I have ever worked this hard”.

“Sorry love. What would you like to eat?”

She smiled. “Eat? No way. I don’t even think my mouth can do the job of chewing”.

He helped her to the sofa and lifted up her legs as he massaged her toes. “You would feel much better after this”. He also massaged the kinks in her neck and she felt so much relief that she was soon asleep again. He decided that it was best she slept over. He lifted her up and she groaned. “I’d take you to bed. You need to sleep”. He said.

She laid her head on his chest as he carried her to his room. He placed her gently on the bed, switched on the air-conditioner and pulled the duvet cover over her.

She looked so beautiful even while asleep. He kissed her gently on her lips and her eyes opened half-way and closed again. He had thought they would be able to discuss their next line of action but she was obviously too tired for that. He took a spare duvet from his closet, switched on a bed-side lamp and was about to leave the room when she called him almost in a whisper.

He walked back towards the bed.

“Please stay with me”. She said groggily.

“Okay”. He lay by her side and lifted her hair from her face.

She moved closer to him and placed her head on his chest.

He stroked her ear and traced his fingers down her neck. “You are beautiful even when asleep”.

“Hmm”

“And I love you so much”.

“Hmm, I love you too baby”. She replied her voice unsteady.

As he continued to trace his fingers down her neck, she raised her head an inch from his chest to look at him with sleepy eyes. He moved his face close to her until they were inches away. Then like a ravaging storm, she kissed him with every strength she could muster. He tried to pull away but she refused to let go. He kissed her back slowly at first; then with a passion like no other, they tore each other’s clothing away and did not stop until they had given themselves entirely.

To Love & to Hold 37b

Chinedu woke up at a quarter to 3a.m. He and Fadeke had acted on the spur of the moment and he regretted it. Even though, they kissed and caressed, he hadn’t expected that they would go all the way. He looked at her still sleeping and prayed in his heart that she was safe. Her father was yet to approve of their relationship and he did not want anything to stand in the way. This was a mistake that shouldn’t have happened especially as they had not used any form of protection. He picked up a spare pillow from the bed and closed the door gently trying not to wake her up. He lay on the couch in the living room and couldn’t sleep any longer. “For how long could they keep away from each other”? This was becoming more difficult as the days went by. In a few hours, she would be taking a flight back to Lagos. The separation was beginning to tear him apart. He had slated his vacation for three months away but now he wished he could bring it backwards.

Fadeke’s father needed to be paid a visit and that was exactly what he was going to do.

——-

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