Monthly Archives: February 2017

Omoshalewa – Episode 7

Shalewa drove home with Akin tailing behind. All through the journey home, she smiled as she kept her eyes on the rear mirror. She still could not believe that Akin, her first love was back in town. Oh Akin, how much I longed for you all these years. And now, you waltz back into my life at this time; when all hope is lost. She shook her head as she sighed. Why did you have to wait this long? She soliloquized.

She drove into her residence and asked the gateman to allow Akin in as well. As she eased out of her car, she waited for Akin. Akin got out of his car and strolled towards her. As he got to her, he held her hand and kissed it with a smile on his face. They both proceeded to walk towards the main door hand in hand. As they were about stepping into the main house, Akin whispered something into Shalewa’s ears and she burst out into laughter.

Funke looked up from the fashion magazine she was browsing through when she heard Shalewa’s laughter. Shalewa walked up to her mum and bent halfway to kiss her on the cheeks. She dropped her handbag on the couch as Funke picked up her glasses from the side stool. She put it on to have a good look at the person walking in behind Shalewa. As she recognized him, Akin smiled as he touched the floor in a half prostrate.

“Good evening ma.” He said.

Funke stood up to give him a hug. “Ah..ah, Akin!!!” She exclaimed.

“Yes ma.”

“Wow! It’s been how many years?”

“Fifteen years ma.” He replied grinning.

“How are your parents?”

“They are fine thank you, ma. I spoke to them on the drive down here and they asked me to send their greetings.”

Shalewa beamed with smiles as she looked at her mum and Akin.

“When did you arrive? It is so nice seeing you again.”

Akin smiled. “I arrived a few weeks ago.”

“Ah…ah, Akin!” Funke said stressing his name. “You have grown into a fine young man. Please sit down, my dear. What do we offer you?”

“I am okay ma. Shalewa and I had some drinks before coming. I just wanted to stop by to say hi after a long time. I have missed you and daddy a lot.”

“Oh, thank you. That is nice of you but he is not home yet.” Funke said.

“No worries ma. Since I have seen you, I have seen daddy.” Akin said as they all burst into laughter. “I should take my leave now. Thank you for taking very good care of Shalewa.”

Shalewa blushed as she looked at her mum. “Ah, do I have a choice?” Funke asked as she raised her palms heavenwards.

“Let me walk you out.” Shalewa said to Akin.

Akin did another bow towards Shalewa’s mother as he stretched forth his hand towards Shalewa. Shalewa immediately took his hand and they walked out of the living room smiling.

Akin eased into his car still holding Shalewa’s hand. He started the ignition and looked lovingly into her eyes.

“I almost feel like you shouldn’t leave.” Shalewa said.

Akin smiled. “I don’t want to as well but you know I have to go.”

“Yeah, I know.” Shalewa said looking downcast.

Akin pulled her closer as he raised up her chin and planted a kiss on her forehead. He caressed her face with his thumb and smiled.

Shalewa smiled back. The unspoken feelings between them saying a thousand words with their eyes.

“Give me your phone.”

“It’s in my handbag. I dropped it in the living room.” Shalewa replied.

Akin picked up his phone from the passenger seat and handed it over to her. She typed in her number immediately.

“Expect my call.” Akin said as he saved the number.

“Definitely.”

Akin engaged the gear and drove towards the gate. The gateman opened up and he drove out of the Samuel’s residence.

Shalewa walked into the house smiling to herself. She met her mum shutting the window blinds as she sauntered into the living room. Funke sighed as Shalewa walked in.

“Mum?” Shalewa said as she gave her mother a curious look.

Funke sat down and tapped the couch. “Please sit down.”

Shalewa obeyed as she sat beside her mum. “Is anything the matter?”

“Yes. I watched the display between you and Akin.” Shalewa’s smile faded immediately. “I don’t think it is right considering that you are getting married very soon.”

“Is that all you have to say, mum?” Shalewa asked beginning to get upset.

“Omoshalewa, listen to me. Tunde loves you….”

“And Akin doesn’t?” Shalewa asked cutting her mother short.

“Shalewa!!! You should concentrate on your wedding preparations.” Her mother said scolding her.

“I have had enough of this, mum. Can I leave now?” Shalewa asked as she picked up her bag from the couch and stood up in anger.

Funke looked at her daughter as she sighed deeply.

Without another word from her mother, Shalewa stormed to her bedroom slamming the door shut.

Shalewa’s phone began to ring. She had been lying down on her bed fully clothed the last one hour. She stood up and walked towards her mini-library where she had dropped her handbag in anger. She took out her phone, looked at the caller ID, hissed and flung the phone on her bed. The phone rang three more times but she refused to pick up the call.

Ten minutes later, her mum tapped on her door once and walked in. Shalewa’s back was turned to the door. “Yes mum.”

“Tunde has been trying to reach you. He says your phone keeps ringing out. He was worried and called me to ask if you were okay.”

“I’m okay.” Shalewa said; not turning back to look at her mum.

“Don’t you think you should pick up his call or at least return the call to let him know that?”

“I’m not interested. If he calls back, you can tell him I am fine.”

“But not interested in picking his call?”

Shalewa turned to look at her mum. “Mum, I really want to be alone. Please can you do that?”

Funke shrugged and sighed as she walked out of her daughter’s room.

*******

Shalewa was beginning to doze off when her phone began to ring again. “Oh goodness.” She said as she picked up the phone in anger. She was about to switch off the phone when the Truecaller app on it brought up a name. She rose up immediately and picked the call.

“Hey.”

“Sounds like you were not expecting my call.”

“I was.”

“Maybe your heart was but your body wasn’t.”

Shalewa smiled. Even though they were apart, he still noticed the seemingly minute details. “I did not realize I had dozed off.”

“I should allow you rest then. You are probably tired.”

“No, no, please.” Shalewa said with a tone of urgency. “I really want to talk to you.”

“How are you doing?”

Shalewa sighed. “Akin, I really can’t say I am doing fine.”

“So what happened between when I left your place and now?”

“It’s mummy. She won’t let me rest.”

Akin laughed. “Let you rest? I don’t understand.”

“It’s about my wedding to Tunde.”

“Okay, so what about it? I remember you said you were not in love with him?” Akin asked chuckling.

“Akin, this ain’t funny. I’m not in love with him but why is it so difficult for everyone to understand?” Shalewa asked irritated.

“Everyone except me.”

“I don’t know what to do, Akin. I am confused.”

“That is because you haven’t told them what you want.”

“But I have, they just won’t listen.”

“Then make them listen.” Akin said matter-of-factly.

Shalewa was quiet for a few seconds. She nodded her head and said; “Right? I think I know what to do.”

“That’s my Shally babe.” Akin said laughing.

Shalewa smiled as she closed her eyes and listened to the sound of Akin’s laughter. Fifteen years had not changed anything between them.

They chatted for another two hours moving from one topic of discussion to another until they both began to yawn continuously into each other’s ears. They laughed over that as well before they bade each other good night.

——-

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

Consequences….excerpted from “To Love and to Hold”

Fadeke arrived Lagos at 1p.m and took a cab straight home. She had cried enough. Tears weren’t going to change the situation. She needed to think of the next step. Her life was going to take a different course and she needed to think. The one she loved had rejected her and the only person […]

via Consequences … By Olubukola Adekusibe  — MakeADream_NG

Omoshalewa – Episode 6

The next day, one of the major soft-sell magazines in the country had the blazing headlines; “Billionaire Samuel’s daughter rejects engagement proposal from business magnate.” Bayo was furious when he saw the magazine. He brought the magazine home and dumped it in front of Funke. “What is the meaning of this?”

Funke looked at him wondering what had gotten him so upset. She picked up the magazine and saw the caption. “Oh my goodness!” She lamented.

“She can’t continue doing this. This has to stop. Let her know that I give her 3 months to make up her mind or else…..” Bayo said in anger as he allowed his sentence to trail off.

Funke asked her husband to sit down in a bid to calm him down. “Please seat down, Olowo ori mi (my crown).”

Bayo sat down still upset. Funke scooted close to him and took his hands in hers. “I know you love Shalewa so much and you want the best for her but don’t you think, we should give her a chance to decide who she wants to get married to.”

Bayo looked at his wife, shock written all over his face. “Funke, you did not just say that, did you?”

Funke gesticulated as she tried to explain. “She says she is not in love with Tunde and that we are forcing her to get married to him against her will.”

“Okay? So tell me. Who is she in love with?” Bayo said as he stood up and put his hands on his waist. “I want to know.”

Funke was quiet and unable to look at her husband’s face.

“I thought as much.” He said. “She is only in love with herself.”

“But you know that is not true.” She said looking up. “She has had relationships in the past but they were all after wealth.”

“And Tunde?” Bayo asked as he searched his wife’s face for an answer.

Funke stood up with a deep sigh.

“Go and talk to her.” Bayo said with finality as he pointed towards the bedrooms.

******

Funke tapped the door to her daughter’s bedroom once and let herself in. Shalewa was already in her night wear and about to get into bed. She smiled as her mum walked in. “Hello mum.”

“Omoshalewa, why are you doing this to me?”

Shalewa looked at her mum with a confused look. “I don’t understand what you are saying.”

“I am tired of this back and forth between you and your dad. Did you see the headlines of that wretched soft-sell magazine?”

Shalewa sighed. “Yes mum, I did. I wonder who is feeding those lousy reporters with tales about me.”

“That is not the point right now, Shalewa.”

“I have heard you mum. I will do what you and dad want. I will accept Tunde’s proposal.”

Funke was shocked. “You will?”

“Isn’t that what both of you want?”

“It is not about what we want. It is about your happiness. That is what your father and I are after.”

“I know mum. I know.”

Funke hugged her daughter. “I know you will be happy with Tunde and make us proud grandparents.”

Shalewa rolled her eyes behind her mum’s back as she left her hands hanging by her side.

Funke stood up from her daughter’s bed excited. “Your father will be happy to hear this.” She said as she kissed her daughter on the forehead.

 

Preparations began in earnest for an introduction of the two families. Two weeks later, Tunde’s grandmother and a few of his family members were welcomed in the home of the Samuel’s. A date was fixed for the engagement four weeks away. The engagement ceremony was done with pomp and pageantry. The pictures of the couple and their families were splayed in newspapers and soft-sell magazines for weeks; each one in a bid to outdo the other with details of the ceremony. It became the most talked about engagement party of the year and no expense was spared.

Shalewa, even though looking beautiful and expensively adorned; knew that she was getting married to fulfill her parents desire. Friends and family congratulated her and told her she was very lucky to have a handsome young man. She smiled back a response to each one refusing to utter words.

Bayo Samuel informed his family that the wedding ceremony of his only daughter would be a destination wedding. He asked Shalewa to pick a destination of her choice and began to make preparations towards it. It was agreed that the wedding would hold six weeks after the engagement.

*******

Three weeks to the wedding, Shalewa went to her neighbourhood shopping mall one evening to get some groceries. As she walked down the aisle of the departmental store, she noticed someone staring at her. She was used to stares especially from admirers by now and with her recent highly publicized engagement, she knew her popularity had been moved one notch up.

“Hi, you are Shalewa Samuel, right?” She heard someone behind her ask. Of course, I am. Who does not know me in town? She looked up to give a nasty answer and suddenly gasped; her hand flying to her mouth.

“Akin Savage?” She asked; not believing her eyes. He nodded and they both embraced each other in a tight hug refusing to let go.

“Where have you been? I waited for your letters but got none.” Shalewa asked.

Akin took a step back, held Shalewa at arm’s length as he admired her.

I did not know what to think. I assumed you forgot about me.” Shalewa said pouting her lips in mock anger.

“How could I forget about you, Shalewa? I thought about you day and night.” Akin said.

“I asked my parents if they could reach you but they were also at a loss and could not give me an answer. I was heartbroken, Akin.”

Akin held Shalewa’s hand and kissed it. “I know, my love. I was too. Let us go to a café so we can talk.”

Akin walked out of the departmental store with Shalewa’s hands in his. There was a café in the shopping mall and they took a table for two in a private corner. A waiter took their orders and returned shortly with two glasses of chapman.

Akin smiled as he looked at Shalewa. “You are still as beautiful as you were fifteen years ago.”

Shalewa blushed as she hit Akin on his arms playfully. “C’mon, you have not changed. Still teasing me like you used to then.”

Akin sighed as he held her hands on the table. “Shally babe, I never forgot about you.”

Shalewa smiled as she remembered the name Akin called her when they were younger. No one had called her that in the last fifteen years.

Akin continued. “How could I? You were my first love.” He caressed her hands with his fingers as he looked into her eyes. “I wrote maybe a thousand letters but they were never delivered. Do you remember that my parents and I left for the U.S together?”

Shalewa nodded as she listened intently.

“They wanted to help me settle down before returning to Nigeria. According to my mum, on their return six months after, your family had moved out of the neighbourhood and left no forwarding address. I asked my mum to do everything she could to help me find you but all her efforts were futile. Two years after, my parents relocated to the U.S.  I only come to Nigeria on visits. So what have you been doing with yourself the last fifteen years?” Akin asked.

Shalewa shrugged. “We moved out of the neighbourhood. My dad’s businesses started doing very well and he made sure he sent me to a good university. I concluded my postgraduate program a few months back.” She said smiling.

“Wow, congratulations! You definitely did well for yourself. So, you married now?” Akin asked looking at her fingers.

Shalewa’s smile faded immediately. “Engaged. The wedding is in a few weeks.”

“You don’t sound excited.”

“I’m not.”

“Why? You love him, don’t you?”

Shalewa took a deep breath. “No, I don’t.”

Akin was surprised. “So why are you getting married to him?”

“Because I have been unlucky with men. Every guy in my past has been after dad’s wealth. Tunde has proved not to be one of such and dad feels he should marry me off before I lose him.”

“I’m sorry about that.”

“What about you?” Shalewa asked. “Are you married now?”

“Well, I wouldn’t say I have been unlucky. I have had my fair share of ladies but none has been able to strike the right chord in my heart.”

“Why? Have you been so hard on yourself?”

“I don’t think so. I just haven’t been able to get you out of my mind even after fifteen years.”

Shalewa blushed as she looked away. “Akin, it is complicated.” She said sighing.

“I don’t understand. What is complicated?”

Shalewa looked at him. “You know, I never forgot about you as well. I kept on hoping this day would come. I even went as far as searching for you on Facebook but the search was always fruitless.”

Akin caressed Shalewa’s face with his fingers. “I’m sorry you went through all that. I don’t do social media. Never been a fan of any of the platforms. So, you getting married to him?” Akin looked at her curiously.

“I don’t love him. I never had but no one seems to understand. They all say I would grow in love for him but I haven’t been able to. Akin, you were my first love. We were young but I loved you and sincerely, I think I still do.”

“You think? That means you aren’t sure.” Akin teased.

“Oh, come off it, Akin.” Shalewa hit him playfully.

“I love you Shalewa. I have always done and will do forever”.

“So what do we do?”

Akin answered getting serious. “I think we should just take this one day at a time. First, I would like to see your parents again. I have missed them.” He said smiling. “Just maybe, we would be able to tell them about the future we discussed together many years ago.”

Shalewa raised her eyebrows. “No, not today.”

Akin burst out into laughter as he pointed in her direction. “I got you there.”

“Oh Akin, will you ever be serious for once?”

“Nope, remember that was one of the reasons you fell in love with me fifteen years ago?”

Akin signaled to the waiter, paid the bill and dropped a generous tip. Shalewa stood up as Akin put his hand on the small of her back. They walked out of the café together smiling.

——-

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

Omoshalewa – Episode 5

Two days later, Tunde decided to call Shalewa. She picked up on the second ring. “Hi dear.”

“Hi Tunde. How are you doing?”

“I’m good. And you?”

“I’m doing well.”

“I wanted to apologize about the other day. Introducing you to my grandma when you were not ready was not the right thing to do. I don’t want you to feel rushed. Please, I’m sorry.”

Does he really understand that it wasn’t about the introduction? I am never going to be ready. “It’s fine Tunde.” She said as she exhaled. “I’m glad I met her. She is still very strong and agile at her age.”

Tunde relaxed letting out a hearty laugh. “Yes, you are right. Do you know she arranges and rearranges her home by herself? She says she does it to keep her busy.”

Shalewa smiled. “I hope you call her from time to time. I’m sure she would love to talk to you every day if she could.”

“I try my bit. I know I don’t call her as often as I should.” Tunde was quiet for a few seconds. “Is my apology accepted?”

“Yes.”

“Thanks Shalewa. I appreciate this.”

“You are welcome.”

They talked about other random issues before putting an end to their call thirty minutes later.

********

The next four weeks went by smoothly; with Shalewa and Tunde visiting each other’s homes and having private dinners.

One night, Tunde decided to hang out with his friends in a night club. They took a table of four and threw banters at each other.

“Guy, wetin dey happen with your chic nau?” Segun said facing Tunde. He was sipping from a champagne flute and it was obvious he was beginning to get tipsy.

“Abeg leave Tunde with im chic oh. Billionaire daughter. I can imagine the headlines when they marry. Tunde, the business magnate gets married to billionaire Samuel’s daughter.” Chibuzor said as he raised up his right hand to dramatize.

“C’mon guys. But you know I love Shalewa. This is not about her father’s money.” Tunde said.

“Oh yeah! You really do?” Momoh said as he burst out in laughter.

“You guys should get serious for once.” Tunde said scolding his friends.

Chibuzor looked at the faces of his friends before bursting into laughter. “Serious? You think we are unserious?”

“That’s not what I mean. I need your support, that’s all I am asking for. I want to propose to her soon.”

“Hey congrats man. You caught a big fish.” Segun said as she stretched out his hand to shake Tunde.

Tunde shook his head. “Segun, I think you should slow down on the drinks. You have never been good with alcohol.”

“Who says?” Segun asked; his words beginning to get slurred.

“Anyway, let’s toast to Tunde’s proposal to billionaire daughter.” Chibuzor said as the other two raised their glasses.

Tunde refused to raise his glass but Momoh nudged him. “C’mon it’s your day. Let’s celebrate.”

********

It was a Saturday and Tunde’s thirty-fifth birthday. He had planned a small birthday party for himself; intending to celebrate the day with a few friends. His grandmother had woken him up with heartfelt prayers as she had gone on and on with blessings for his life, his fiancée and his business.

He stepped out of bed after her prayers and took a look at himself in the bedside mirror. At thirty-five, he had not done badly. His business was doing well, he lived in his own house and his relationship with Shalewa had been smooth the past few weeks. He took a quick shower before going downstairs to monitor the caterers who had started trooping in. They had been allowed in by his house-keeper and his dining table already looked busy with various chafing dishes. He smiled as he sauntered towards his music system and slotted in a jazz CD putting it on auto-repeat.

His friends arrived at about 1.00p.m and immediately made themselves comfortable with drinks. He warned them that there would be no alcohol as he did not want anyone to ruin his day. Even though, they kicked against the idea, they realized they had no choice and decided to make do with the mocktails served by the waiters.

Shalewa arrived 30 minutes later with her driver carrying a massive cake behind her. Tunde’s friends became green with envy as Shalewa gave Tunde a birthday kiss on his cheeks. Tunde had invited about two of Shalewa’s close friends and they also arrived a few minutes later.

With all guests present, the party got lively and everyone chatted, laughed, ate and drank. After about two hours into the party, Tunde strolled towards the music system and decided to change the CD playing to another. KC and Jojo’s “All my life” began to play, filling the house with their sonorous voices. He walked towards Shalewa where she sat chatting with her friends and asked for a dance. Shalewa was caught unawares and wondered what was going on but her friends urged her.

Tunde held Shalewa by the waist as he sang along to the music playing. As the music drew to a close, Tunde went down on one knee and brought out a small box from his jeans pocket. Shalewa was shocked and began to shake her head. Tunde opened the box to reveal a sparkling diamond ring. “Please marry me, Shalewa.” He said.

Shalewa was stunned as she looked at Tunde who was grinning from ear to ear; still on his knees awaiting her answer. Her friends cheered her on while Tunde’s friends were whistling. Shalewa closed the box in Tunde’s hands and his smile faded off immediately.

“Can we talk about this in your room?” Shalewa asked.

Everyone was shocked at the drama that has just happened. Tunde got up and he led Shalewa by the hand up the stairs to his room. He looked at his friends and signaled to them to continue the party.

 

Tunde shut the door to his room and rested his head on it. “What have I done to deserve this, Shalewa?”

Shalewa paced round the room unable to utter a word.

“Shalewa?” Tunde called; his voice more like a guttural sound.

She stopped pacing and stood before him. “I wasn’t expecting it. At least, not in front of everyone downstairs.”

Tunde raised his head to look at her. “They are my closest friends and two of your friends. There are no strangers down there.”

“You don’t get it, do you? I’m not ready for this.” Shalewa said in frustration.

“Shalewa, when would you be ready? When? I have never loved any woman the way I love you and I have never been hurt so much by any woman except you.”

“I’m sorry, Tunde. Please understand.” Shalewa said as she moved closer to Tunde.

Tunde shook his head in pity as he walked towards the massive bed in his room. “I am out of ideas of how to make you fall in love with me. We have been on this for about six months now and there has been no headway.”

Shalewa walked to the bed and knelt before Tunde. “I know my dad is behind the rush for our wedding. Why don’t we give it some time? Would you prefer I get married to you without loving you?”

Tunde took a deep breath as he held Shalewa’s hand. He cradled her face lovingly with his right hand and traced her lips with his fingers. Shalewa closed her eyes savouring the feel of his fingers on her lips. Tunde moved closer as he took her lips in his kissing her slowly but passionately. He pulled her up from her kneeling position as he continued to kiss her; the fire of passion steadily burning in him. Shalewa suddenly put her hands on his chest and pushed him back gently.

“I think I should leave now.” She said as she stood up and adjusted her dress.

Tunde closed his eyes and nodded his head. “I think so too. You can leave.”

“Are you sure you will be okay?” Shalewa asked.

“I’m fine.” Tunde answered; his eyes still closed.

Shalewa stretched her hand to touch him but changed her mind and dropped it immediately. She looked at herself in the mirror in his room, straightened out her hair and walked out.

 

As she walked down the stairs, her friends were smiling and winking at her. She sauntered towards them and informed them that she needed to leave. They were surprised but she lied that something came up in the office that needed her attention urgently.

After Shalewa’s unceremonious exit, Tunde’s friends waited expecting to see him return downstairs. After about ten minutes, his friends urged Momoh to go check on him in his room. Tunde was still seated at the same spot he was when Shalewa left the room. He had his head in his hands and did not hear Momoh walk in.

“Guy, it’s your birthday. What are you doing here alone?”

Tunde looked up at his friend and sighed. “I don’t know what to do to get her to love me.”

“Abeg leave mata for Martha. Don’t let that dampen your spirit.” “Who knows you may meet someone else tomorrow who will fall hopelessly in love with you?” Momoh said shrugging.

Tunde gave his friend a confused look.

“C’mon, you should not keep your guests waiting. Let’s get back to the party.” Momoh said as he pulled up his friend from the bed and patted his back.

********

As Shalewa eased into the back seat of her car, she asked the driver to take her straight to the office. She had nothing to do in the office but she needed to be alone. She threw her head backwards and closed her eyes. She hadn’t expected the kiss from Tunde but she had also not stopped him. He was good looking, caring and enterprising. He had proved to be better than all her previous boyfriends. Maybe she was being too hard on him. Maybe she could learn to love him.

As different thoughts filtered through her mind, she made a conscious decision to give him a chance.

——–

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

The Height of Deceit….excerpted from “To Love And To Hold” by Olubukola Adekusibe.

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 […]

via The Height of Deceit … By Olubukola Adekusibe — MakeADream_NG

Omoshalewa – Episode 4

Tunde became a constant feature in the home of the Samuels’ walking in and out of their residence at will. Bayo Samuel took his daughter to his office and introduced her to the staff as the new Executive Director. The news made headlines the next day. “Shalewa Samuel becomes Executive Director at Samuel Group of Companies.”

With a business deal sealed between Tunde and Bayo Samuel, the prospects of Tunde getting married to Shalewa were raised. Business meetings in the Samuel Group of Companies became a regular feature in Tunde’s calendar. Bayo Samuel began to relate with him as he would a son-in-law.

One afternoon after a business meeting together, Bayo called Tunde aside. “What’s happening between you and Shalewa? When would I see an engagement ring on her finger?”

Tunde laughed. “Very soon sir. I don’t want her to feel rushed.”

Bayo looked at him with surprise. “Rushed? Her mother and I have accepted you as family already. You should get it done as soon as possible.”

“I will, sir.” Tunde answered.

Bayo looked around as if watching out for eavesdroppers, moved closer to Tunde before whispering in his ears. “You know she isn’t getting any younger. The earlier, the better. Hmm…you get my drift.” He said as he winked at Tunde.

“Yes sir.”

******

 

“Hey darling. How was your day?” Tunde asked later that evening, as Shalewa picked up on the second ring.

“It was okay.”

“Can I pick you up for dinner tonight? Maybe 7.00p.m.”

“Okay. I would still be in the office, though.”

“Works perfectly for me. Just tell the driver to take your car home. I would drop you off after dinner.”

“Okay then.”

 

Three hours later, Tunde and Shalewa were seated in a classy restaurant making small talk over dinner. As they were served dessert, Tunde held Shalewa’s hands on the table and looked lovingly into her eyes.

“Shalewa, I love you with the whole of my heart.”

Shalewa looked away without uttering a word.

“My grandma is eager to meet you. She raised me after I lost my mum and with my dad also gone, she is one person I would love you to meet.”

Shalewa took a deep breath.

“Tunde, I have no issues meeting with your grandma. I would also love to meet the woman who raised a fine young man; but how else do you want me to explain to you that I don’t love you the way you love me. I love our relationship the way it is but I don’t think I am meant for you.”

Tunde smiled as he looked at Shalewa. “I know you love me, maybe not like I do. With time, you would get there.”

“Time? Tunde, we have been seeing each other for some months now and I am yet to fall in love with you. I doubt time will sort this out.”

“Let’s not spoil the evening, okay. We can talk about this some other time.” Tunde concluded.

******

 

Two weeks later, Tunde took Shalewa to see his grandmother. She was delighted to see Shalewa as she began to sing and dance, rejoicing that her eyes had seen her beautiful wife.

Even though Shalewa was happy to see the elderly woman, she was not comfortable with the innuendos from her. She wished she could stop the woman but she felt she would be rude to tamper with the woman’s joy.

 

On the drive back, Shalewa was very quiet as she looked out of the window by her side. Tunde noticed and placed his right hand on hers. “What is the problem, Shalewa?”

“Nothing.”

“You weren’t so quiet when we were going to my grandma’s place.”

“That’s because I had no idea what you had told your grandmother.”

Tunde stopped the car and engaged the gear in park.

“Shalewa, I love you. Don’t you understand?”

“And I don’t.” Shalewa said in exasperation.

“What would you have me do?”

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I just want to be left alone.”

Tunde began to drive again without saying a word. He could not understand why Shalewa was blind to the love he had for her. He loved her with the whole of his heart and he looked forward to living the rest of his life with her. He sighed as he slotted a CD into the music player to fill in the silence between himself and Shalewa.

Some minutes later, Tunde drove into the Samuel’s residence. Shalewa said a quiet “thank you” and walked into her house without looking back to say “good bye.”

******

 

The next day, Bayo Samuel was about retiring to bed when he called his wife for a heart to heart discussion. “Funke, I think you need to talk to your daughter. Do you know that she was upset that Tunde took her to see his grandma?”

“His grandma?”

“Yes, I have given him a go-ahead to propose to Shalewa. So, he took her to see his grandma and he mentioned it to me yesterday after our business meeting that she got upset.”

“Ah ah….what is wrong with her nau? Doesn’t she realize that she is no longer a child and needs to get married?”

“Well, I thought the same. You better talk some sense into her. Tunde is a good man, well brought up and enterprising. What else is she looking for?”

Funke exhaled. “I will talk to her.”

 

Shalewa was seated at her mini-library in her room going through some documents she had brought from the office when her mum knocked on the door. Before she could answer, her mum opened the door and peeped in. “Busy?” She asked.

Shalewa looked at her mum and smiled. “Not too busy to talk to my mum.”

Funke walked in and sat on her daughter’s bed. “I hope you are not overworking yourself. You need to take it easy.”

“I know mum. I am not overworking myself. Besides, there was no time to go through all these documents in the office, that is why I decided to bring them home.”

Shalewa turned to face her mum. “So what’s up? Any gist for me?”

Funke sighed.

“Mum? Is there a problem?” Shalewa asked as she stood up from the chair and sat beside her mum on the bed.

“Yes, Omoshalewa mi.”

Shalewa knew what was coming next. Her mum only called her full name when she had something very important to discuss and of recent, the only important issue had been her marital status.

“He told dad, right?”

“Yes, he did.”

“Why would he? What exactly is his problem?” Shalewa asked getting upset.

“Omoshalewa mi, you have no reason to be upset. Tunde loves you and he has proved it over and over again. Do you intend to remain single the rest of your life?”

“No mum. I will get married when I find the right person.”

“The right person? Who else could be more right than Tunde? All your relationships in the past have been based on your father’s wealth. Now, you find someone who loves you for you and you are still looking for the right person. Omoshalewa mi, open your eyes. I am your mother and I will not push you into a pit. God forbid!” Funke lamented as she snapped her fingers over her head.

Shalewa looked away.

“Accept his proposal please and make me and your father happy.”

“He hasn’t proposed, mum.”

“He is about to. Your dad has given him a go-ahead.”

Shalewa stood up in annoyance. “Why is dad interfering with my love-life?”

Funke stood up and held her daughter’s hands. “Because he loves you and he wants the best for you. Tunde is a good man.”

“Okay mum. I have heard you. Can I go back to work now?”

Funke shrugged. “Àbò òrò ni à sö fún ömölúàbí, tó bá dé inú è, á di odindin.” (A word is enough for the wise).

 

After Funke left the room, Shalewa went back to her mini-library but was unable to concentrate. She was upset and angry. Upset at her father’s interference in her love-life and angry that Tunde had suddenly become gold in the eyes of her parents. They were refusing to understand that she wasn’t in love with him. What mattered to them was that he loved her.

She slammed the documents on her table in annoyance. It was no use. The will to go through the documents she had brought home had left her. She decided to go to bed. She laid down and in a few minutes, she drifted off to sleep in anger.

———

Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com

Encounters with uniformed men – Part 1

I had just paid the kids school fees leaving my purse plus my bank account lean. I drove towards Ikeja with the intention to catch up with a friend. About thirty minutes after arriving at her place, I decided to take my leave. I contemplated on which route to take home. After much consideration, I decided to face Allen Avenue/Adeniyi Jones/Oba Akran.

The traffic light at the Allen round-about beamed green. I moved forward with the intention to go towards Adeniyi Jones but noticed the triangular curve at the junction. I immediately became confused wondering if I would be breaking any law if I decided to go straight. I had a last minute change of mind, making a decision to go back home through the same route I came. The car before me moved and I followed as I circled the round-about.

The traffic light on the other side of the curve shone red, so I waited. All of a sudden, an officer in uniform was by my side, trying to open the passenger door. When he noticed it was locked, he asked me to go round the curve and park on the other side.

I obeyed wondering what I had done wrong. He forced his hand into the car through the window which was slightly wound down and opened the door. “Madam, you jumped the traffic light.” He said as he eased into the car.

“No, I did not.” I answered him.

“Are you saying I don’t know what I am doing? I said you jumped the traffic light.”

“And I said I did not. I was looking at it.”

“You want to prove stubborn, abi?” He asked. “Where is your driver’s license?”

I took out my wallet from my handbag and brought out the coloured photocopy of my driver’s license.

He looked at it and held on to it.

“Where is your insurance and vehicle license?”

I opened the glove box in front of him and handed him the documents. He looked at all of them one by one; then handed them back to me.

“But you know you jumped the traffic light?” He asked.

This was going to be a long one. So I switched off the engine, removed the key and rested my head on the headrest. Thankfully, I was on vacation and not in a hurry to go home.

“Madam, you are not saying anything.”

I looked at him. “What am I supposed to say?”

“You know if I call those officials standing there, they would book you for jumping the traffic light.” He said pointing towards another set of uniformed officers cooling off under the shade.

“No problem.” I answered him.

Sensing that I was not budging, he decided to be upfront. “Madam, do something.”

I smirked. “Do what?”

“You know what I am talking about.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t. Please explain.”

“You are proving stubborn, abi.” He said again.

I put my left palm under my jaw and rested my hand on the car door.

“Put your hand inside your bag and bring out something.”

I picked out my wallet from my handbag and stretched it towards him.

“You want to put me in trouble?” He shouted as he looked at my hand still stretched towards him.

A man walked towards the car. Obviously, he had been watching us from a distance. He stood beside the officer and wagged his finger at him in warning before walking away. He was in plain clothes and I guessed he was probably an officer as well.

“Please oh, keep your purse. Ahn….ahn, see this woman? In broad daylight?”

So he was scared of getting caught asking for a bribe? I shook my head as I laughed.

Another officer walked towards the car; this time a woman. “Oga, wetin dey happen nau?” She asked her colleague.

“Na this woman oh.” He said answering.

“Abeg, open back door for me.” She said to her colleague.

He opened the door and she eased into the car; sitting directly behind him.

“Madam, what is happening?” She asked me.

“I did not jump the traffic light. I was actually going towards Adeniyi Jones but I got confused when I got to that triangular junction. I was not sure if I could go through to the other end.” I said to her; looking back.

“You have not passed this place before?” She asked me.

“No. This is the first time I am passing this route.”

“Aww….you can pass through. You won’t be committing an offence.”

I shrugged. “I did not know that. That is why I decided to go back through Allen.”

She looked at her colleague. “Make she dey go nau. She no know.”

“Which one be your own?” He looked at her in anger.

“Let me see your driver’s license.” She said to me.

“It is with him.” I said pointing to her colleague.

He handed the license over to her. She looked at it and was about giving it to me when he snatched it from her.

“No tear am nau.” She said.

“No be photocopy?” He replied hissing.

“Okay, so what do you want to do now?” She asked me.

“I don’t know.”

“Make she drop something.” The man said.

“I have given you my purse. You can open it if you want to.” I said to him.

“Can you imagine? This woman wants to put me in trouble.”

“Just give him anything you have.” The woman said.

“I don’t have anything. That is why I gave the purse. Let him open it himself and check.”

The woman shrugged, confused.

“Abeg, open the purse make you check wetin dey inside.” He said to his colleague.

She opened it and brought out a N500 and a N200 note.

“This is the only thing there oh.” She said to him.

The man hissed. So after all the wahala, na only N700 you carry inside purse.

“Give me the money.” He said to her.

“No, you can’t take everything. I still have a long way to go and I am not driving home empty handed.” I said to him.

The woman looked at her colleague. “Pity her nau.”

He collected the N500 note from her and told her to return the N200 note into the purse. He opened the passenger door and got out of the car grumbling.

As the woman was about stepping out of the vehicle, I asked her; “Madam, so you say I can go straight to Adeniyi Jones?”

“Yes, you are free to go straight.”

“Thank you.” I replied as I resumed my journey home.

Uniformed men

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Have you had any encounters with men in uniform? Please share in the comments section.

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