Category Archives: Second Chances

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.

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Thank you.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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“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.

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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.

——–

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

Second Chances – Episode 13

Kunbi arrives Lagos Sunday evening. Sola is walking out of Wale’s apartment as she gets to the door. She smiles on seeing him. “Hi Sola, leaving already?”

“Yes, how was your trip?” He asks.

“It was okay”.

“I wasn’t aware you had resumed your weekend trips. I was expecting to meet you at home”.

“Erm….yes, I have”. She stammers. “You haven’t been visiting on weekends as well”.

“I decided to visit today”. Sola says.

“Well, I’m back. You can stay a while or are you in a hurry?” She asks hoping he would oblige.

Sola smiles as he stretches his hand to collect her weekend bag. “Let me help you with that”.

They walk back into the house, Kunbi using her keys to open the door. “Wales, I’m back”.

“In here”. Wale says from his bedroom.

Kunbi walks towards the kitchen. “Should I get you a drink or a glass of juice?” She asks Sola.

“I’m fine”. Sola answers.

“Okay. If you say so. I need a glass of cold water”. She says disappearing into the kitchen.

Wale sees Sola as he walks into the living room. “You came back?”

Sola shrugs.

“I thought you said you were going to visit your aunt”. Wale says.

“You were?” Kunbi calls from the kitchen.

“Yes, I was. But you asked me to stay”.

Kunbi smiles as she shakes her head. She is glad she is alone in the kitchen. She closes her eyes and she feels the butterflies. Oh Sola, if only…….

“Why are you smiling?” Wale asks breaking into her thoughts.

Kunbi is startled. She had not realized anyone had walked into the kitchen.

“Nothing”. She says.

Wale squints as he looks at her. He grunts as he gets a bottle of water from the refrigerator. “We need to talk”. He says.

“Now?” Kunbi asks.

“After Sola leaves”.

“Okay”. Kunbi says wondering what the discussion could be about as she goes back to the living room.

“So, I assume you and Ola are back together?” Sola asks.

Kunbi is unable to respond as she looks at Wale, who is walking into the living room. He looks at her as he tilts his head expecting her response.

“I….yes, we are”. She says uncomfortable with the discussion.

Sola looks into her eyes. “I wish you good luck”.

Kunbi looks away unable to look at him. She wishes they did not have to talk about her relationship. Just then, Wale’s mobile phone rings breaking the unwelcome silence. He looks at the caller ID and walks towards the kitchen as he picks the call.

“Hello mum”.

“Báwo ni Wálé?” (How are you, Wale).

“Adúpé mà” (I’m fine, thank you ma).

“Sé o ti bá àbúrò ë sòrò”. (Have you spoken to your younger sister?). Wunmi asks.

“Kò ì pé tó wolé” (She just came in). I will definitely speak with her”.

“Jòó (please), let me know the outcome of your discussion”.

“Okay ma”. He cuts the call and walks back to the living room.

“That was mum, right? Is there a problem?” Kunbi asks, worry written on her face.

“No. She asked me to discuss something with you”.

“Okay. What is it about?”

Wale looks at Sola but says nothing.

Sola notices and gets the hint. He stands up immediately. “I think I should leave now”.

“But I just arrived. Besides, you came to see me, right?” Kunbi asks.

“Looks like Wale has something very important to discuss with you”. Sola says.

“I am sure Wales can talk about it while you are here unless you would get jealous with our heart to heart talk”. She smirks.

Sola looks at Wale.

“I am not sure you want Sola listening to this conversation”. Wale says looking at Kunbi.

“Why? Is something wrong with my mum? Kunbi asks, beginning to get worried.

“No, she is absolutely fine. This is about you”.

“About me? I don’t understand”.

Sola who is still standing looks from Wale to Kunbi, trying to understand as well.

“Kunbi, can’t we discuss this later?” Wale asks.

“No Wales. I want to know now. Too many things happen without my knowledge. I want to know what is going on”.

Wale takes a deep breath. “She called about your engagement to Ola”.

Sola looks at Kunbi with shock.

Kunbi opens her mouth looking aghast. She is about to say something when she hears Sola’s voice.

“You are engaged?”

“Yes….No, it is not what you think”. She replies in confusion.

“Really?” Sola and Wale ask in unison.

“Ola proposed.……”

“And you agreed to marry him”. Wale finishes her sentence.

“Sola, I wasn’t expecting the proposal when it happened. I needed time to think about it”. Kunbi stands up as she walks towards him.

“When did he propose?” Sola asks.

“Sola, please….” Kunbi closes her eyes as she holds him.

Sola yanks his hand from hers and asks again. “When did he propose?”

“The weekend Wales and I went to Ibadan”.

Wale is stunned. “That was three Saturdays ago”.

Sola sneers. “Looks to me like you have had so much time to think about it”. He looks at Wale. “I have overstayed my welcome. Thanks bro. I appreciate every effort you have made”. He says as he walks towards the door.

Kunbi runs after him trying to stop him from leaving as she holds his hand. Sola looks back at her. “I thought I could hope for a future with you but I guess I deceived myself for too long. Good luck and take care”. He says as he gently releases his hand from her grip.

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Kunbi kneels down and begins to cry.

Wale walks up to her and lifts her up as she sobs on his shoulders. When she is spent from her crying, she looks up at him. “Wales, I am confused”.

“If you love Sola, why are you getting married to someone else?”

“I don’t know what to expect from him”. She says wiping her eyes.

“Is this about his commitment?”

Kunbi nods.

Wale sighs. “I don’t know about his issues with commitment but I know when I see someone truly in love. And there is no doubt that Sola loves you and it is obvious that you do as well”.

Kunbi looks away.

Wale lifts up her chin and turns her face towards him. “You have fought your feelings for him for too long. You need to let go and follow your heart”.

“Ola is supposed to see mummy next week. What do I tell him? His engagement ring is in my bag”.

Wale shrugs as he walks away. “I have no idea but I know you can handle it”.

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Sola sits in his living room depressed and heartbroken. The living room is tastefully furnished with entertainment gadgets. Even though different ladies had previously left him to get married, the rejection he felt had never been this deep. He had made up his mind to be committed to Kunbi. He loved her with his life. Tolu had just been a distraction for him. He knew he could never love her as much as he loved Kunbi. Tolu had made it easy for him to go back to the one he loved by her betrayal.

I was a fool to have believed Kunbi loved me. I thought I saw love in her eyes, her actions, her mannerisms. But it was all a joke. He assumed giving his love and attention to Kunbi would eventually make her fall in love with him but how wrong he was. He stood up and walked to the credenza by the wall. Two frames sat on it. He picked up the smaller one and staring at him was a picture of himself with his parents at a restaurant. He had a big smile on his face and his parents had their arms around him. He could see from their faces that they must have been happy and in love. The frame was beautiful but old and he had refused to change it. It was the only reminder he had of who his parents were and how they had lived. His aunt had given it to him when he turned eighteen. After the accident that killed his parents, she had picked up the frame in his parents living room and decided to keep it till he was old enough to have it. She wanted him to have a constant reminder of his parents. The second and bigger frame was an older version of him with his aunt and cousin. His aunt had made sure he and his cousin attended the same schools. The picture was taken during their graduation from secondary school. He stood on the right while his cousin stood on the left of his aunt. They both had their lips on each side of her face in a kiss; and she had a smile that ran from one side of her cheek to the other. She had been a happy mother on that day as they had both graduated with good grades.

He smiled sadly as he looked at the two frames. His parents had a good marriage according to his aunt. His cousin had gotten married five years ago and lived in Tanzania. His job as an engineer had necessitated his relocation. He had two kids; a boy and a girl who he doted on. Every time, they discussed on phone, he never ceased to talk about his loving wife and kids. He shook his head as he sighed. His cousin had found love despite his mother’s failed marriage. He wondered if he was ever going to find true love.

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

Second Chances – Episode 12

Wale and Kunbi arrive back in Lagos on Sunday evening sans drama. The engagement ring still sits in Kunbi’s bag undisturbed. Both of them by an unspoken agreement steer clear of discussing her mission to Ola’s place. For Wale, she is an adult; besides, it is her life. For Kunbi, love covers all sins.

The week rolls by with Sola and Kunbi still having lunch as usual every afternoon. Kunbi decides not to wear her engagement ring as she is unsure of what Sola’s reaction would be. He is already heartbroken as a result of Tolu’s betrayal, I don’t want to hurt him as well. She resumes her weekend journey to Ibadan every Saturday and everything seems to go smoothly.

One Saturday, she forgets to put on her engagement ring before leaving for Ibadan. As she approaches Ola’s apartment, she looks at her hand and realizes the mistake. Oh goodness, how could I have forgotten?  She contemplates on what to do but then shrugs as there is nothing that can be done at the moment.

“Hello darling”. She says as she walks into Ola’s apartment. She had requested for a spare key last weekend since Ola had previously changed the locks and he had obliged her.

Ola is seated in front of the TV engrossed in a video game he is playing and barely notices her presence. Kunbi drops her weekend bag on the floor and stands akimbo. “Helloooooo”. She stresses.

Ola glances at her and smiles but goes back to playing the game without responding. Kunbi upset that she is being ignored, walks to the TV and stands before it.

Ola’s face changes all of sudden and he screams. “What do you think you are doing?”

Kunbi maintains her posture. “Did I travel all the way from Lagos to be ignored?”

“You ain’t a visitor, go ahead and make yourself comfortable”. He says. “I’m in the middle of something right now, as you can see”.

Kunbi stamps her feet on the floor refusing to budge.

“Kunbi, please don’t get me upset. We both know it is not a pretty sight when I do”.

She gives up the fight and slumps her shoulders as she heads towards the kitchen.

“Can I have a glass of water?” Ola calls as she is walking away.

She comes back to the living room with a glass of cold water and places it on the side stool beside Ola. He looks at it briefly and notices that Kunbi is not wearing her ring.

“Why are you not wearing your engagement ring? He asks as he pauses the game to look at her.

“I forgot to wear it”.

“How can you forget to wear it?”

“I just forgot, okay? She says upset.

He drops the handheld controller on the settee and looks at her critically. “I assume you forgot to wear it means that you take it off. Isn’t it meant to be on you always?”

“I don’t know why you are making this an issue”. She says. “I wear it every day but forgot to put it back on after I did some washing”. She lies.

Ola frowns giving her an angry stare.

She looks at him afraid he is going to hit her but he picks up the handheld controller and goes back to playing his video game.

She breathes out quietly and walks towards the kitchen. I wonder what was on his mind.

 

After about an hour of playing his video game, Ola walks into the kitchen, his senses assaulted by the glorious aroma of jollof rice. He stands behind Kunbi circling his arms around her waist. “When are we going to see your mum and tell her about our plans?”

Kunbi smiles. “Whenever you are ready”.

“This is March, we should plan towards a June wedding”. He says.

“June? That is three months away. Why the rush?”

“What do you mean by a rush? Don’t you want to get married?” He says taking his hands off her.

“I do. What I mean is we should take our time to plan instead of getting married in a hurry”.

“It is no hurry. Three months is enough for you to get everything planned. Pick a date when I can come see your mum and let’s get started”. He says with finality walking out of the kitchen.

Kunbi sighs. Do I really want to get married in three months’ time? Am I ready to spend a lifetime with Ola? Her mind drifts to Sola and her heart sinks. I can’t deny that I am in love with him. Oh God, please help me.

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

Kunbi leaves for home four hours later. She meets her mum reading the day’s newspapers at the dining table and kneels down to greet her. “How are you, Kunbi?”

“I’m fine, mum. Can I talk to you for a moment?”

“Yes dear”. Wunmi says as she drops the newspaper on the table.

Kunbi pulls out the chair closest to her mum and sits down. “Mum, Ola wants to meet with you sometime soon”.

Wunmi looks at her daughter intently.

Kunbi expects a reaction from her mum but receives nothing. “He has proposed and I have agreed to marry him”.

Wunmi takes a deep breath. “Hmmm…..Kunbi, do you understand what you are getting into? Do you realize that marriage is a life-long commitment?

“Yes mum, I do. I love Ola”. Kunbi says.

“Love is not enough. Can you tolerate his excesses? His jealousy, his pride, his insecurities. Are you ready to deal with all that for the rest of your life?”

2nd Chances 12

“Mum, Ola loves me and is just looking out for my good. Isn’t that enough?”

“I think you should sleep over your decision. You are my only child and I want the best for you. I am your mother, I won’t deceive you”.

“Mum, can you just give me a date when Ola can come visiting?” She says beginning to get irritated.

Wunmi shrugs. “Next week Saturday”.

“Thanks mum”. Kunbi says as she stands up to leave for her room.

Her mum watches her as she walks away. How else do I make her see that disaster lurks at the corner. She looks heavenwards as she shakes her head. I can’t let my daughter make the same mistake I made. She picks up her mobile phone and dials Wale. He picks up on the first ring. “Hello mum”.

“Báwò ni Wálé?” (How are you doing, Wale?)

“Adúpé mà. Sé dada l’ëwà” (I’m fine, thank you ma. Hope you are keeping well).

“Adúpé, O seun. Mo pè é nitorí àbúrò ë ni”. (I am, thanks. I called you because of your younger sister).

“Okay ma”.

“How come you never mentioned that she is engaged to Ola?”

“What? She agreed to marry him?” Wale asks in shock.

“Nkan tó sö fúnmi ní ìròlé yìí nìyën”. (That is what she told me this evening).
I am surprised that you are not aware.

“I’m not aware, mum. She knows I can’t stand Ola, so she won’t mention it to me”.

“Jòó bàmi ba sòrò” (Please talk to her). “I don’t know why she is bent on this relationship. “Sé kò s’ókùnrin tó da ní Èkó ni”. (Aren’t there other good men in Lagos?)

“Mum, I have tried talking to her but she won’t listen”. Wale says.

“Try harder. Ègbón è lo jé (You are her elder brother). She may feel I am old school but she would listen to you”.

Wale sighs. “Okay ma. Màá tún ba sòrò“. (I will talk to her again).

“Osé ömö mi”. (Thank you, my son).

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

Second Chances – Episode 11

Wale and Kunbi leave Lagos for Ibadan together on Saturday morning. Wale drives keeping his conversations with her to a minimum. He is still upset with her as he cannot fathom why she intends to continue with an abusive relationship. He expected her to be smarter than this but she was playing the fool. If he believed in superstitions, he would have assumed Ola had placed a supernatural hold on her.

After Sola had confided in him after his break up with Tolu, he had told Sola to give Kunbi some time to heal. “I don’t expect her to jump at your offer immediately. She is probably still hurting from her break up”. He had said. He could see that Sola loved her and there was also a sparkle in Kunbi’s eyes anytime she was with him; even though she vehemently denied having feelings for him anytime he brought up the issue. Her commitment to Ola had beclouded her mind that she failed to see that she was in an abusive relationship. He could not imagine that she never broke up with him after the incident that almost claimed her life. It was beyond reasoning. Her continued relationship with Ola was a slap on his face as far as he was concerned.

They arrive Ibadan at about noon and get to Kunbi’s house in a few minutes. Kunbi would have alighted on the way to go to Ola’s apartment but she did not want to incur Wale’s wrath. The expression on his face all through the journey to Ibadan spoke volumes. Even though he tried to make small talk with her, she figured he was still upset. She had taken a novel to read on the trip as she also wanted to avoid having to talk to him. He had refused to understand how much she loved Ola. Besides, she felt Wale was favourably disposed to Sola as a result of their friendship.

She kneels down to greet her mum and gives her a quick hug before telling her that she needs to see a friend. Wale, after prostrating to greet Kunbi’s mum sits down beside her and is surprised to see that Kunbi is leaving immediately after their arrival.

He calls her. “Kunbi”.

Kunbi gives him a pleading look and he shakes his head in pity. Wunmi notices the unspoken drama between them.

“So, mummy how are you doing?” Wale asks ignoring Kunbi and facing Wunmi.

“I am good. It’s so nice to see you after a long while”. She says smiling.

“I’m sorry mum. I know I should visit more often”.

“It’s okay. As long as both of you are doing well, then I’m happy”.

“Yes, we are well ma”.

“Did Kunbi just leave for Ola’s house?” Wunmi asks.

Wale squeezes his face and shrugs. “Yes, she is going to his place”.

“Hmm….I hope she knows what she is doing”.

“No, mum. She doesn’t”.

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

Kunbi takes a taxi to Ola’s apartment. She has missed him so much and she is eager to see him. As she walks down the close where his house is located, she sees him from afar standing outside his apartment. He is wearing a green striped short sleeved shirt on dark denim pants. She doesn’t have the familiar butterflies in the tummy feeling as when she sees Sola. She however, dismisses the thought and walks faster. When she gets closer, Ola sees her and she smiles at him but she does not get a welcoming smile back in return. She reaches him and throws her hands around him in a hug. “I have missed you”. She says.

“I thought you weren’t coming. You did not respond to my last text message”. He says ignoring her statement.

“Let’s go in and talk about it”.

She notices that the furnishing in the apartment has been recently changed and she smiles at him. “Wow, you have done some work here. But I told you I wanted us to do it together”.

“And I remember saying I wanted my apartment furnished my own way, right?”

“Yeah, you said so. Anyway, it’s nice”. She sees there’s a mark on his head and she knows instinctively that it was placed there by her.

“I bought some ice cream. I know you love it”.

“That’s so thoughtful of you”. She is about to go to the kitchen but he stops her. “I’ll get it”.

She switches on the TV and feels the couch. She is impressed even though she would have loved to be involved in the decision making as well. Ola walks back into the living room carrying two ice cream bowls. He hands one of the bowls to her and sits beside her. “Thank you”. She says smiling. She knows they should talk about the last incident, but Ola is refusing to. She decides not to bring it up so as not to open old wounds. He has apologized by text anyway.

She scoops a spoonful of ice-cream into her mouth and feels something on her tongue. She is startled and carefully takes the strange object out of her mouth. A silver engagement ring with a massive stone stares at her. She looks at Ola, shock clearly written on her face. She opens her mouth to say something but she is unable to form the words. Ola, seeing that she is still in a confused state, decides to seize the opportunity. He goes down on one knee and asks “Kunbi, please marry me”.

Different thoughts run through Kunbi’s mind. Her heart begins to do a somersault. “Marry Ola? This has always been my heart desire but why don’t I feel happy. I should be all over him right now, laughing and crying tears of joy. Why am I suddenly scared of his proposal when I have always looked forward to today? But I always wanted a romantic proposal; dinner, candle lights, an atmosphere of love filled with music and the like”.

2nd Chances 11

Ola touches her hand and she realizes that he is still on his knees waiting for her answer. She still has the ring in her hands and she looks at it again and smiles. “Yes, I will marry you”. He pulls her up as he stands and kisses her passionately. She returns the kiss but her mind is in disarray.

 

As Kunbi is about stepping into her mum’s house, she looks at the massive sparkling stone on her left fourth finger. She stops, pulls off the ring and puts it carefully into a zipped portion of her handbag. She is not sure she wants Wale or her mum to see it just yet. She still has misgivings about the proposal but Ola has always remained committed to her. Commitment was important to her and she was not ready to throw it away just because she had feelings for someone else. She tries to force a cheery smile but deep down, her heart is in turmoil.

——–

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

Second Chances – Episode 10

Kunbi and Sola walk into Wale’s apartment. Kunbi slumps into the settee while Sola sits gently by her side.

“Home sweet home. I couldn’t wait to get home from that maddening crowd at the airport. Oh God! I’m so tired and tomorrow starts another working week”. She says yawning. “I wish the weekend could go on and on”. She notices Sola is quiet and looks at him with surprise. “Helloooooo”. She stresses. “What’s wrong? Why are you so quiet?” She says nudging him.

“I’ve been thinking”.

“About what?”

“It’s nice to know someone cares so much about you”.

“Are you talking about Wales and I?” Kunbi asks smiling.

Sola turns to look at her. “Of course and frankly speaking, I’m getting jealous”.

“Oh dear. Jealous? Why?”

“You won’t understand”. Sola says as he takes a deep breath.

“I know you are finding it difficult to fathom what happened between you and your girlfriend but you have to get over it. Life has to go on”.

“Yeah, I know. I guess I was expecting too much”. He says looking morose.

“No, you weren’t”.

“Love sure hurts”.

Kunbi smiles as she holds his right hand and pats it. “It does sometimes. Take heart, you’ll meet your heartbeat at the right time”.

“I wish it were that easy”.

“It will be if you take things easily”.

Sola looks straight into her eyes. “Kunbi, I need you”.

She removes her hands from his and looks away. “Sola, we have talked about this before”.

“Yes, we have. But I never stopped loving you”.

Kunbi’s heart begins to beat faster. He just said he loves me. Oh Lord! My heart is already broken. I can’t handle this. “We can’t go through this again”. She says stalling her thoughts. “Besides, I don’t think this is the right time. We are both hurting”.

He turns her face to look at him. “I am ready to wait till you are ready”. He stands up and shrugs. “I should go home now”.

Kunbi keeps her head bowed and is unable to look at him. She cannot deny her love for him but she is confused. Deep down her heart, she still loves Ola, regardless of all he has done. She knows she should move on but her heart has refused to do so.

As Sola walks out of the house closing the door behind him, hot tears roll down Kunbi’s cheeks. “Why is love so complicated? I love Sola but I am scared of his non-commitment. And I still can’t get Ola out of my mind”. She decides to retire to bed and does so dreaming about Sola and what could have been between them.

2nd Chances 10

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

Sola picks up Kunbi from work every day and drops her home as promised. He also takes her for lunch as usual. He, however, keeps their conversations very simple and avoids getting intimate. Kunbi misses their intimate conversations but refuses to say anything about it. She knows Sola is still hurt but she is helpless.

Wale arrives from his trip a week later as planned and decides to take a taxi home from the airport. He expects to see Sola in his apartment but is surprised that Kunbi is home alone. He drops his luggage in his room and has a quick bath.

“I was expecting to meet Sola here”. He says walking into the living room and eyeing Kunbi as she hands him a glass of juice.

“Why?”

He shrugs. “He ain’t dating any longer, so I just felt you guys would keep each other company”.

“He obviously told you about the incident between himself and Tolu”.

“Yeah, we talked on the phone while I was in Abuja. I wanted to check up on you, so I called him”.

She looks at him with surprise. “You wanted to check up on me and decided to call Sola?”

“Yeah, you would have told me you were fine. But Sola, would have told me if there were any issues. It only made sense to call him”.

She sighs. “Wales, can I ask you something?”

“Shoot”.

“Erm….I don’t know how to ask this”. She breathes deeply. “Are you aware of Sola’s non-commitment to relationships?”

“Hmmm….no, I am not aware but I don’t think he has such intentions with you”.

“Why do I feel like I am the only one in the dark?”

“How do you mean?”

“Did Sola discuss me with you?”

Wale smiles. “Sola had made his intentions known to me from the beginning but you were too preoccupied with Ola to notice that he likes you”.

“I still love Ola”. Kunbi says looking away.

“Obviously”. He says wrinkling his nose. “I can’t help but wonder what hold the guy has over you. C’mon, when are you going to open your eyes and see?”

Kunbi moves towards him and picks up the empty glass. She goes to the kitchen refusing to respond to Wale.

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

During one of Sola and Kunbi’s lunch breaks together the following week, she is chatting with Sola when she receives a text message. She looks at the sender and instantly hides her phone. Sola notices but feigns ignorance. On the drive back to the office, she decides to open the message. “Hello darling, I hope you are fine. I am sorry about the last incident. I still love you and will always do”.

She breathes in and out before typing back a response. “How could you? Your intention was to kill me”.

She receives a response immediately. “I would never do anything to hurt you again. Please come to Ibadan this weekend and let’s talk”.

She puts her phone away without responding to the last message.

 

As Wale and Kunbi drive home from work on Friday evening, Kunbi thinks of how best to discuss her trip to Ibadan. “Wales, I have missed mummy and I want to see her this weekend”.

“Okay. I would like to see her as well. It’s been a while. We can do the trip together”.

“You want to go this weekend?” She asks.

“Yeah, do you have a problem with that?”

“No, no. I just thought you might be busy”.

He looks at her curiously. “Busy doing what?”

“I don’t know”. She shrugs.

“Kunbi, is there something I should know?”

“No, why do you ask?”

“Cos, you have never been good at lying. Why are you going to Ibadan this weekend?”

“I told you already. I want to see my mum”.

“And?” He asks expectant.

“And what?”

“Are you going to see Ola?”

Kunbi refuses to answer.

Wale looks at her and shakes his head. “Would you be satisfied when Ola kills or maims you?”

Kunbi opens her mouth to say something but decides against it. It was no use as she knew she could never convince Wale as far as Ola was concerned.

———-
Photo credit: http://www.123rf.com

Second Chances – Episode 9

As Sola drives to Tolu’s apartment, he rethinks his decision to see her while Kunbi lies critically injured in the hospital. The doctor had said she needed to rest but he still felt obligated to be by her side in her time of need. She was the reason why his relationship with Tolu was going smoothly. The visit to Tolu could wait. He is about to make a U-turn when he remembers that Wale would have left the hospital as well. He shrugs and decides to continue with his visit.

30 minutes later, Sola parks his car a few metres away from Tolu’s apartment. He walks to the door carrying a shopping bag and a bouquet in his hands. He attempts to knock on the door but then hesitates. On second thoughts, he places his hand on the door handle and the door opens. His surprise visit is working better than he planned and he goes in smiling.

The TV in the living room is switched on but no one is there. There is an opened bottle of wine and two glasses half-filled with wine in the living room. A shiver runs down his spine and he feels cold and hot at the same time. Sweat beads at his forehead and he pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe it. He drops the shopping bag and the bouquet on the floor as he hears laughter. He recognizes that laughter which has become distinguishable. He moves towards the direction from where he has heard the laughter. It gets louder as he moves closer to a room. It is obvious there are two people in there as he can hear a man talking.

As he gets to the door, he shuts his eyes afraid to imagine what is going on behind it. He breathes deeply as he places his hands on the door handle and opens it. He gasps at the sight before him. Tolu is shocked when she sees him. She stands up from the bed immediately and struggles to tie a wrapper over her chest. She runs to meet Sola but he turns back and leaves in anger.

Spying

“I don’t know how I got home. I still can’t believe it. I almost feel like this is a bad dream that I would wake up from. She has called me severally today but I have refused to pick her calls”. Sola says shaking his head.

“I’m at a loss for what to say. I guess I should say I’m sorry but I think you should have picked up her call at least to hear her out”.

Sola looks at Kunbi in shock. “What? How can you say that? What could she possibly have to say?”

“I mean, just maybe….”

“Just maybe what, Kunbi. Maybe what? Am I to listen to an explanation for being in bed with a man old enough to be her father or will she explain why I was fooled and led on all along? Please give me a break”. Sola says in anger.
“I’m sorry, Sola. I know you are hurt. I have no intentions of rubbing it in”.

Sola sighs as he moves towards Kunbi. “You don’t have to be. I’m sorry I yelled at you”.

“It’s okay”.

He looks at his wrist watch. “It is late. I should leave now so you can rest.” He says as he lifts her up to re-adjust the pillow. “I won’t be able to come here with Wale tomorrow morning but I’ll definitely come home to see you. Is that okay?”

“That’s fine. Thank you”. Kunbi answers smiling.

“Take care of you”. He says as he touches her lightly on the cheeks.

Kunbi looks at him and is scared of what she sees in his eyes. She looks away as she replies; “I will, thanks”.

She refuses to look his way again until she hears the door shut firmly. She breathes deeply as she shakes her head and turns to look at the door through which Sola has just stepped out.

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

A week later, Wale is sitting in the living room reading a newspaper. The TV is switched on and a music video plays on mute. He suddenly remembers something and drops the newspaper on the settee.

“Kunbi, Kunbi”. He calls.

“Yes dear”. Kunbi answers from her room.

“Please come to the living room”.

She walks into the living room wearing a white tank top and lounge pants. “Yes, what’s wrong?” She asks as she sits down on the couch facing him.

“I’ll be traveling to Abuja to supervise one of our sites. I leave tomorrow evening”.

“Home alone again?” Kunbi asks.

“I can’t help it”. He shrugs. “I have informed Sola and he will pick you up from work in the evenings”.

“Thanks. That’s thoughtful of you”.

“Anything for my baby cuz”. He says smiling. “I would have asked him to pick you up in the mornings as well but I don’t want to push the favour”.

“No, that will be too much. I can take a taxi to work”.

“Sola is just a call away in case you need anything”.

“Okay, how long will you gone?”

“About a week. I pray it doesn’t take longer than that to conclude”.

“Okay”. She says nodding.

“So are you going to tell me who beat you up last week?” He asks; his tone serious.

“Wales, I thought you’ve forgotten about the issue. I’ve put it behind me”.

Wale looks at her with surprise. “What do you mean by forgotten? Someone barges into my house, beats up my sister and you say I should forget and put it behind me? Really?”

“Wales, please we have talked about this….” She is saying as Wale interrupts.

“Don’t patronize me. I have only given you time to recuperate. I need to know the culprit”.

“Please promise me you won’t go out this night”. Kunbi pleads.

“I can’t. Is it meant to be a trade by barter?”

“Why can’t you? Okay, I’m taking the car key”. She stands up to pick up the key.

“Do whatever you like, I’m not bothered. What I need to know is this person you have refused to name. Is it Ola?”

“Erm….” Kunbi stammers.

Wale looks at her as he searches her face. “Yes….”

“Actually….erm….”

“Speak up, Kunbi. You’re wasting my time”. He says with irritation.

“It’s….it’s Ola but he didn’t mean to….”

Wale stands up in anger. “Give me the key”.

“I’m not giving you the key. Wale, please listen to me”. She pleads trying to calm him down as she holds him by the hand.

Wale snatches his hand. “Leave me alone. If you are not giving me the key, then just leave me alone”.

He paces the room biting his finger in regret. Suddenly, the doorbell rings and startles Kunbi. She runs to the door, fidgeting as she opens it.

“Thank God, it’s you”. She says.

“What’s the problem?” Sola asks walking into the living room.

“Please could you talk to your friend? He wants to go to Ibadan this night”. She says shaking.

“Hey, take it easy. I’ll handle the situation”. He says patting her on the back. “My guy, what has come over you?” Sola asks as he sees Wale shaking his head in anger and regret.

“I told you Ola was responsible. Didn’t I? I was so sure about it”.

“Yes, you were right and I was wrong to underestimate him”. Sola says matter-of-factly.

“So, if the same was done to your sister, you would fold your arms and congratulate her, right? Tell her to hand over my car key”.

“Take it easy, man. You won’t be helping matters by beating up the guy”.

Wale laughs with mockery. “You think so”.

“Right now, you’re not thinking straight. What if something happens on the way to Ibadan at this time of the night? C’mon, no one is happy with this issue, but we have to let it go. Besides, we do not want you in prison with a murder charge hanging over your head”.

Wale sits down in anger and Sola jerks his head to signal to Kunbi to take over. Immediately, Kunbi kneels in front of Wale.

“Wales, I know how much you care about me and want the best for me. I couldn’t have asked God for a better and more loving big brother, but you should understand that I still need you”. She holds his hands. “Please forgive Ola and let it go. I’ve forgiven him already”.

“Please stand up. I have heard you. So easy for you to forgive the bastard”. He hisses.

“Please….” Kunbi stresses still on her knees.

“Get up please. You can reserve the kneeling down for your husband”. Wale says as Sola and Kunbi burst into laughter.

————–
Photo Credit: http://www.pinkroma.it

Second Chances – Episode 8

Wale paces round the reception of the hospital restlessly. Many thoughts run through his mind. “Who could have done this?” “I shouldn’t have left her alone at home”. “Why didn’t I get home earlier?” Worry lines are etched deeply into his face as he punches his left palm in anger. Sola who is seated isn’t any better. He checks his wrist watch intermittently and looks towards the door where Kunbi was wheeled through some minutes ago. Time seems to tick slowly and he shifts in his seat uncomfortably.

After a long wait, the doctor walks into the reception and asks them to follow him into his office. Sola jumps to his feet as Wale takes long strides after the doctor. The doctor offers both of them seats in his office but they both decline.

“How is she?” Wale asks anxiously.

“Is she okay? Can we see her?” Sola asks.

“Take it easy, gentlemen. There is no reason to be worried. She’s okay”.

“Can we see her now then?” Sola asks again.

“She has been moderately sedated as she’s traumatized and needs to rest”. The doctor answers.

“How bad are the injuries?” Wale asks with a frown on his face.

“Nothing life threatening. She has been placed on pain killers”.

Sola sighs.

“She would be fine. I assure you”. The doctor says smiling. “If you don’t mind, please excuse me”. The doctor walks out of his office as Wale and Sola share a look of resignation. As they both walk back to the reception, Wale asks; “Any ideas on the culprit?”

“None”. Sola responds lost in thought. “I am still baffled, though”.

“How do you mean?”

“This is premeditated. I had just left the house probably fifteen minutes before when I realized I had forgotten my phone and turned back”.

“I swear if I get my hands on whoever it is, I’ll design his face worse than he did hers”. Wale says fuming.

“Could the person have been hanging around and waiting for me to leave? So much damage in just about fifteen to twenty minutes?” Sola says talking to himself.

“I have a bad feeling about this”.

Sola looks at Wale confused.

“My instincts tell me it could have been Ola”.

“Wale! How can you say that? You’re taking your dislike for this guy too far”. Sola says in amazement.

“I know what I’m saying”. Wale insists.

“C’mon. How can Ola do this to Kunbi? You had better not let her hear this. She’s going to be really mad at you this time”.

“You don’t know this guy. He’s such a jealous and insecure animal. He manhandled her once simply because you called her while she was with him”.

“But that was some time ago”. Sola says.

“This is not out of place for him to do. And be certain, if I find out from Kunbi that he’s responsible, hmmmm…..he’s a dead man”. Wale says in anger.

Sola pats his friend on the back. “Take it easy, man. Let’s just pray she is okay”.

Wale nods as he relaxes. “Yeah, that’s most important right now. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it”.

“Hey, what are we friends for?” Sola says as he nudges him.

“I think you should go on to your girlfriend’s. Since the doctor says she needs to rest, there’s really nothing to be done here”.

“True”.

“I’ll get here early tomorrow to be with her in case she needs anything. Hopefully, she should be discharged soon”.

“I’ll meet you here tomorrow then. Please take care of her”.

“Thanks a lot. I appreciate your concern”.

 

Sola walks into the hospital premises at 5.00pm the next day. His shirt has been rolled up while the knot of his tie has been loosened. He stops at the reception to ask for Kunbi’s room and he is directed. As he gets to her room, he taps on the door gently, opens it slightly and peeps in. “Can I come in?” He asks when he sees Wale sitting on the bed and talking earnestly with Kunbi.

2nd Chances 8

“Of course, you can”. Wale answers.

“How are you beauty?” Sola says as he walks to the other side of the bed and gives her a light kiss on the cheek.

“I’m better, thanks”. Kunbi responds as she uses her hands to cover her face.

Wale gives Sola a cursory glance as he raises his brow.

Sola shrugs as he also wonders.

“I am sorry you are seeing me this way”. Kunbi says hiding behind her hands.

“Okay?” Wale acknowledges. “This is definitely for Sola”.

“I carried you in my arms while you were unconscious, so you don’t need to hide behind your hands”. Sola says smiling as he removes her hands from her face. “So, who did this to you?”

“Good question. Maybe she’ll tell you. She has refused to tell me the bastard who did this”.

“Wales, take it easy. I’ll tell you at the right time”. Kunbi says with pleading eyes.

“Right time? What other time is right besides now? Ehn, tell me. What other time?” He asks standing up from the bed in anger.

“Wale, I think you should listen to her. She’s probably right”. Sola says.

“I know I’m right”.

“Kunbi, you can take as long as you want. Whether now or later, be rest assured that whoever did this will pay for it”.

Kunbi tries to sit up but winces as she feels pain. “Wales, I think you should go home and rest. You need it. You are stressed already”. She strains as she tries to lie back.

Wale and Sola both rush to assist her in laying back.

“Okay, Kunbi. I will let go for now”. Wale says. “I need you to get better and come home. That is most important”.

“Thanks Wales”.

“I’m really tired. Sola will keep you company. I need to go home now”. He says yawning.

“When am I leaving here? I’m missing home already”. Kunbi asks.

“The doctor said you’ll be discharged tomorrow; so I’ll pick you up at about noon”. He hugs her gently so as not to cause her any more pain. “Take care darling”.

“Goodnight”. She says smiling.

“You are free to take over from here”. Wale says to Sola.

Sola smiles and shrugs. “You bet I will”.

As Wale walks out of the room, Sola sits down on the lone chair beside Kunbi. He holds her hand and asks; “Don’t tell me he did this to you?”

Kunbi looks at him with surprise. “Who did?”

“C’mon Kunbi. Why did you refuse to tell him if it wasn’t Ola?”

“You’re right. It’s Ola”. She says sighing.

“My goodness”. Sola gasps.

“Wales would not mind travelling to Ibadan this night and he won’t leave Ola until he’s probably confirmed dead. I am not ready to turn my cousin into a murderer”.

“Yeah. I feel you. I know Wale cares about you but he will still get to know one way or the other”.

“Not if you don’t tell him”.

“Why would I? It won’t be long for him to figure it out, though. He mentioned that his instincts told him Ola was responsible”.

“You see why he should not get to know yet. Besides, Ola would be nursing his wounds as well”. She says smiling.

“His wounds?” Sola asks confused.

“Yes, didn’t you guys notice the broken flower vase?”

“We did but we thought it was a victim of the struggle”.

“Well, it was a victim but I used it on Ola’s head when it seemed he was going to kill me”.

“Really? You are a strong woman and you thought very fast even in that situation”. Sola says smiling.

“Yeah, I had to. If I hadn’t, you would have found me dead”.

“God forbid. I can’t stand loosing you”.

Kunbi gently removes her hands from Sola’s hands and looks away. “So, how is your girlfriend?” She asks changing the topic.

“She’s fine”. Sola says frowning.

Kunbi notices the excitement in his voice is gone and turns back to look at him. “When do I get to meet her or are you still hiding her from our prying eyes?” She asks smiling.

“No, I’m not hiding her. The doctor is discharging you tomorrow, right? He asks.

“Are you intentionally changing the topic?” She looks at him curiously.

“No, I am not”.

“What are you hiding, Sola?”

“I am not hiding anything”. He says as he stands up and turns his back to Kunbi.

“Then why are you avoiding my questions”.

“It is rather unfortunate that you may never get to meet her”.

“Why? What happened? What did you do to her?” Kunbi asks anxious.

Sola shrugs. “Nothing”.

“What do you mean by nothing? Sola, look at me. What happened? Please tell me”. Kunbi says as she winces in pain trying to lift herself up.

Sola takes a deep breath as he rushes to her side and props her up with a pillow. “I don’t know where I went wrong. I told you I wanted to give her a surprise visit, right?” He says looking at her.

“Yes, I remember you said so”.

“Well, I got to her apartment and got the shock of my life”. Sola says as he replays the event of the previous day in his mind.

———-

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