Category Archives: Short Stories

Stolen Innocence

“I say who give you belle.” Mama Ngozi shouted as she inched closer to her daughter.

“I…I….” Ngozi stammered.

“You wetin.” She shouted as a resounding slap landed on her daughter’s cheek.

Ngozi looked at her step-dad. Hot tears dropped on her cheeks as she saw the look in his eyes.

“You no fit talk? I say who give you belle?” Mama Ngozi shouted as she pummeled her daughter who was now crouching.

Emeka stood back watching. “E don do.” He said quietly. “I say e don do.” He said raising his voice.

Mama Ngozi turned to look at him with blazing eyes. “Wetin do? Ehn, I say wetin do?” She ignored her daughter for a brief moment.

“No kill am nau!”

“I go kill am if she no tell me the person wey give her belle.”

As Mama Ngozi charged towards her daughter again, Ngozi opened the screen door and ran out of the house in tears.

It was 9.00 pm but she was not bothered. She continued running until she was confident she was far away from her mother’s house.

She walked to the bus park and sat down on a bench. She had three thousand naira with her. The money she had been given to take out the unwanted baby.

She bought a bus ticket and sat in the bus. The tears came again.

Only one person came to mind right now.

Tomorrow morning, she would be embraced by her paternal grandmother.

She would relay the events of the past six months.

She would describe how her innocence was taken away at the age of fifteen.

She would tell her grandmother how she became an object of satisfaction.

She would mention how she cried every night because her heart and her body hurt.

She would explain how hatred burned in her heart and how she had thoughts of killing him each night with the kitchen knife; while he snored loudly beside her mother after visiting her room.

——-

Photo Credit: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Two Hearts

“Eko Idumota, Eko Idumota!!! Mi ò ní change o, wölé pèlú change ë. I no get change, I dey talk my own now oh.”

Adeola froze when she heard the voice. She was on her way to the market to buy black clothes for her mother. Her mother had never liked the colour black as she associated it with death.

Growing up, Adeola had been warned many times by her mother against wearing black. Her mother was of the belief that the colour was a bad omen and attracted evil. She and her mum always had a running battle over this, as Adeola loved the colour black. She sometimes dressed in all black while she was in the university and was unbothered by the strange looks she sometimes got.

Her mother who never wore black was now forced to wear it. Her husband’s body was lying cold in the mortuary and tradition expected that she was garbed in the colour black.

******

“Aunty, comot for road if you no dey go make another person enter my moto jo. Eko Idumota!!!” The voice boomed above the other voices shouting their various destinations. A passenger trying to get into the bus shoved Adeola to the side and she turned.

Their eyes met. Shock registered boldly on their faces and they stared at each other.

“Eko….” He stopped mid-sentence; his eyes locked on hers. The bus was about moving and she flagged it to stop.

“O n wölé.” The conductor shouted and the bus halted.

Adeola entered the bus as she continued to stare at the conductor.

The conductor was speechless as he also couldn’t take his eyes off Adeola.

“Bèrè sí gba owó mí o.” The driver shouted at the conductor.

The conductor began to collect the fares from the passengers. Adeola stretched a two hundred note to him but he refused to collect it.

“Collect your money, Deolu.” Adeola said.

Deolu ignored her as he turned his back to her.

“Deolu!” Adeola called out again.

Deolu burst out into tears. He began to wipe off his tears with his hands, embarrassed by his sudden breakdown in the presence of strangers.

“Ahn…ahn, wetin happen?” One of the passengers sitting beside Adeola asked.

“Wetin you tell am wey he dey cry?” Another asked.

Another passenger looked at Adeola and looked at the conductor. She opened her mouth wide and exclaimed. “Olúwa ò.”

“Wetin dey happen for dia? Kí ló dé?” The driver shouted. He took his eyes off the road briefly. “S’ó ò lè sòrò ni? Mo ní kí n ló sëlè níbè yën?”

“Driver, take am easy oh. You no look the face of your conductor and this girl.” Another passenger said.

“Wetin do dia face wey I go dey look am?”

“E be like dem be family?”

“So how that one take consine me?” The driver snorted. “Me I no get family too?”

“Driver, ó wà o.” Adeola said. She turned to Deolu. “Daddy is dead, you can come home now. The burial is next Thursday.”

Deolu shook his head as his tears flowed freely down his cheeks.

Adeola touched her twin brother’s shoulders as she made an attempt to alight from the bus. “Please come home. Maami’s heart has been broken since you left. Don’t let her die without knowing you are still alive. Please!” Adeola pleaded.

Deolu nodded as his sister alighted and watched the bus zoom off  to its destination.

——
Photo Credit: https://www.vectorstock.com

Pursuit of Happiness

Kemi had a frown on her face as everyone smiled at the photographer. Her mum looked at her briefly and nudged her. “Smile. The pictures have to look perfect.”

As Kemi opened her mouth to respond, she saw her father’s face and immediately dropped the idea. She faked a smile and looked at the photographer her dad had paid to cover her graduation.

*****

Ten minutes earlier, her father had told her to start preparing to go for her PhD. She was sick and tired of being controlled by her father but she could not bring herself to stand up to him.

Her father was the reason why she had studied Mechanical Engineering for her first degree. He was also the reason why she was graduating today with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. She had discussed with her mother the previous night about following her passion which was creating art but she had been told that her father must not hear of it.

She was reminded by her mother that her father had said his two children must be inventors in the field of engineering.

“Mummy, if you are after inventions, I will be an inventor as I create art.”

“Gbé ënu ë sóhùn jàre. Kí lo mò.” (Keep your mouth shut. What do you know?) Your father wants the best for you and your brother.

“And what if his best is not good enough for me, mum?”

“Kemi, of all the things to think of; it is colouring, when you are not a baby.  Whatever your father says is final. I want to go to bed. Tomorrow is your graduation.” Kemi’s mother had concluded.

*****

Kemi felt disgusted as she thought about her discussion with her mum and her father’s PhD proposition. The thought of spending about four years doing her PhD when she could be following her passion upset her. The thought of not being allowed to be independent in her decisions at almost twenty-five annoyed her.

As she lay on her bed later that evening, she began to detest herself. She began to hate her parents and her life began to lose meaning to her.

Will Kemi eventually decide to stand up to her father and pursue her own happiness?

Do you have a similar story to share? Please use the comments section below.

——

Photo Credit: https://www.healthbeatblog.org

A hair’s breadth

Emeka woke up with a start. He pulled the blinds in his room apart and looked outside. The day was bright. He cursed under his breath as he sat up. He picked up his phone which lay on the headboard and looked at it. The time read 6.45a.m. He hissed. It was too late to try rushing to meet up. Even if he could fly to the airport right now, he would not make it. He thought about the amount he had to pay for a no-show and he hissed again. He stood up from his bed and cursed.

He remembered setting his phone alarm to 5.00a.m last night. His luggage was already packed and he had put it beside the door. He could not fathom how sleep had decided to play a fast one on him.

He walked to the bathroom. As he plastered toothpaste on his brush, he picked up the remote control on the bathroom shelf and switched on the TV in the living room. A newscaster was reading the news and Emeka noticed “Breaking news” in caps scrolling behind her. He increased the volume of the TV as he continued to brush.

“…… the Enugu bound plane carrying about 93 passengers crashed a few minutes after take off and…..” Emeka spat out the paste in his mouth as he moved closer to the TV with his brush in his hand. His vision blurred and the images on the TV danced before him. He felt something wet on his left foot and he looked down and realized his mouth had been agape. He ignored the paste on his foot and put his two hands on his head.

“Oh God, oh God, oh God!” He cried out.

Image result for near death images man shutterstock

——
Photo Credit: https://www.sciencealert.com

A woman’s dream – Part 2

Adetutu pondered over her daughter’s conversation over and over. How had they missed this conversation? Omowunmi had been excited when she got invited for a written test with the unnamed organization. She had received a congratulatory email and had moved on to the next stage; the interview sessions. Adetutu had been aware of each interview session and she had prayed for her daughter but not once had she thought about asking which organization she had been visiting. Probably because she was also engrossed in her own search for employment, it had never occurred to her to ask.

Omowunmi had said she was denied the post of a human resources officer because another candidate was more qualified. With two professional certifications in her kitty, the organization was right. Omowunmi had studied Human Resource Management in a private university and had graduated with a Second Class upper. Chief and Adetutu had been overjoyed and he had rewarded his daughter with a brand new car as a graduation gift.

She got posted to a consulting firm for her National Youth Service where she worked as a customer relations officer. She had just concluded the service program when she told her mother she had been invited to write a test for an organization. Omowunmi had refused her father’s offer to work in his plastic manufacturing company. He could not understand her refusal. Every attempt to convince his daughter had been rejected and he concluded that she took after her mother’s strong will.

******

As the driver drove into the expansive compound of Chief Ara’s residence, Adetutu’s eagerness to talk to her husband grew. She eased out of the car and walked briskly into the house. At this time of the day, she knew exactly where to find her husband and she made a beeline for the study. She opened the door gently and peeped in. Chief was engrossed on his laptop and did not hear her walk in. She hugged him from behind and kissed his cheek.

“My darling.” Chief said; his eyes twinkling.

“How has your day been?” Adetutu asked smiling.

“It just got better.”

“Chief, we need to talk.”

Chief noticed Adetutu’s seriousness and stood up from his study table. He walked towards the couch and tapped the seat beside him.

“What is this about?”

Adetutu took a deep breath. “I got the offer.” She said sitting down.

“Wow!!! That calls for a celebration.” Chief said standing up. “You almost scared me. I thought there was…”

“Chief, please sit down.” Adetutu said interrupting her husband.

Chief stood still and looked at his wife. “There is more to this offer, right?”

Adetutu nodded.

“I hope they are not posting you out of Lagos. You know I won’t allow you go. Our agreement was that any job you get must be in Lagos and…”

“Chief!!!”  Adetutu stressed. “This is about Omowunmi.”

Chief sat down gently. “And what about my daughter?”

“She was denied the position she applied for and was offered the post of a customer relations officer.”

Chief looked confused. “Okay? Isn’t that the job she was doing as a youth corper?”

Adetutu nodded.

“So, how is that a problem? The company obviously sees that she is experienced in that terrain and decided to offer her employment in that department. I don’t see any wrong there.”

“Chief, I just signed my employment letter for the job she was applying for.”

Chief’s jaw dropped. “I don’t understand.”

“We both applied to the same organization without knowing.”

“But how? And how and when did you find out?”

“Sincerely, I also don’t understand. I found out on my way home when she called me and mentioned that the organization told her someone else was better qualified and offered her the customer relations role. She refused the offer. She said because that was not what she applied for.”

Chief burst out laughing and Adetutu looked at him in annoyance.

“Chief, this is not funny. You know how your daughter is when she wants something.”

Chief grinned. “I’m sure you know she got that from you. Do you know how you are when you want something? She didn’t pick this dogged attitude from the streets, my darling wife.” Chief said stroking her chin.

“What do we do? I’m confused and she is on her way home as we speak.”

“My advice is that if the company has no policy against family members working in the same organization, she should go ahead and take the offer. She is already experienced in customer relations, I don’t see why she should refuse the offer simply because she studied human resources.

Adetutu sighed as she heard the honk of her daughter’s car. She stood up and walked to the window.

“But I’m surprised the organization did not notice your surnames.”

Adetutu pulled the window blinds apart. “Your daughter uses your first name as her surname. Have you forgotten?”

“Oh true.” Chief said as he walked up to her. “I remember she is Omowunmi Olatunde and my darling wife is Adetutu Tunde-Ara.” He said as he planted a kiss on her lips.

***

Omowunmi walked in and saw her parents in an embrace with locked lips. “Erm…I can come back.” She said when they both looked at her.

“It’s fine Mowunmi. We were actually waiting for you.” Chief responded as he held his wife by the waist and led her to the couch.

“Mummy actually got me scared when I talked to her about an hour ago. What is the problem?”

“Come here darling.” Chief stretched his hand and his daughter walked over and took it. Chief pulled her to sit beside him; his wife on his right and his daughter on his left. “You both know how precious you are to me.” He said looking to his left and to his right.

The two women nodded.

“And you both know I want the best for you and the boys.”

The two women nodded.

Chief looked at his daughter. “Your mum told me about your offer. You are experienced in that department, I think you should accept the offer.”

“But daddy that was not what I applied for.”

“Your mother was offered the position you applied for.” Chief said looking straight into his daughter’s eyes.

“What?” Omowunmi exclaimed as she stood up. “Mum?” She looked at her mother with unbelieving eyes.

Her mother nodded.

“Why mum? Why didn’t you tell me you were applying for a job? And even if you wanted one, why Energy Communications and not daddy’s company? And to top it all, you went for my position?” Omowunmi asked in annoyance.

“Mowunmi, I discussed my job applications with your father. I never knew we both applied to the same organization. Yes, you told me about your tests and interviews but I was so engrossed in my own job search, I never asked for the organization you were applying to.”

“This is so unfair. What do you need a job for? Daddy has always provided for you. It is not like you need the extra money. Does the company even realize they gave a rich man’s wife a job?”

“Omowunmi!” Chief said calling his daughter to order. “You realize your statement to your mother is unfair. She stopped working to take care of you and your brothers. I gave her my blessings when she started writing her professional exams. I believe she deserves the job.”

“And what about me, daddy? Is it that my feelings don’t matter? You don’t think I deserve the job?” Omowunmi cried.

“Mowunmi, if you were a perfect fit for the job, do you think the organization would have denied you? Do you realize that the organization was probably impressed with your performance and decided to give you an alternative offer in a department where you have experience. My dear, I own a company and I can tell you authoritatively that most organizations would not do that. Once a slot is filled, that is the end. Every other candidate is let go.”

“So you just expect me to go and accept the other position?”

“You don’t have to. The position I offered you in my company still stands.” Chief said matter-of-factly.

Omowunmi harrumphed. “I will call the organization and accept the offer.”

Chief looked at his wife who had been quiet all along. “I think you also need to inform the organization about the family ties. This will help them decide on what to do.”

Adetutu nodded.

“I believe your mother deserves to be congratulated.” Chief said as he looked at his daughter.

Omowunmi took a deep breath as she walked towards her mother. She bent down and hugged her. “Congratulations mum. I’m sorry about what I said.”

Adetutu took her daughter’s face in her hands as she smiled with tears in her eyes. “I love you Omowunmi. Don’t ever forget that.”

***

Energy Communications had a policy against family members working in the same department and branch. Omowunmi was posted to manage the Ikeja branch of the office while Adetutu was retained at the head office in Victoria Island.

The End!

——
Photo Credit: https://www.financialfreedominspiration.com

A woman’s dream – Part 1

This story was inspired by a colleague. We had a discussion and she imagined that it would make a good story. This two-part story is dedicated to her.

————

Adetutu walked out of Energy Communications with her employment letter. She smiled and heaved a sigh of relief. Who would have thought at her age and little experience, she would be considered for employment as a Human Resources Officer? She walked to the car park and eased into the owner’s corner of her car.

“Where are we going ma?” Monday, her driver asked.

“Home.”

She wanted to share the good news with Chief face to face. She believed that a phone call will not suffice. She knew he would be proud of her; even though he had initially kicked against her search for employment.

—–

Adetutu had a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and was serving as a Youth Corp member in a law firm when she met Chief Olatunde Ara. He had come to see her boss who was a partner in the law firm. It was love at first sight for Chief as he spotted her manning the reception desk. He wasted no time in making his intentions known after three visits to her office. Adetutu had initially turned down Chief’s advances until the day she was summoned by her boss into his office.

“Tutu, I will go straight to the point and not mince words. I understand if you want to keep things very professional but Chief has asked me to help him talk to you. Sincerely, since Chief lost his wife three years ago, I have never seen his face light up at the sight of another woman. I think you should reconsider your stance and give him a chance.”

Adetutu took a deep breath.

“You don’t have to give me an answer. This is Chief’s card.” Her boss said handing over a complimentary card to her. “Give him a call once you make up your mind. I only hope your response will be favourable for Chief’s sake.”

Adetutu thanked her boss and left his office. She pondered over their discussion for the rest of the day. She reckoned Chief would be in his forties while she was just twenty-two. Was she ready to have a relationship with a man old enough to be her father?

——

Two days later, Adetutu called Chief and agreed to his proposition but with a condition that she did not want to be rushed. She wanted them to take the relationship at her own pace. Chief had been so excited. The next day, Adetutu met a bouquet of red roses and a box of chocolates on her desk.

Chief sent his driver daily to pick her up for lunch dates with him. She however, made sure she was back in the office before her lunch break was over as she did not want to take her boss or her job for granted. Chief told her about his late wife and how she had died after an ectopic pregnancy. It had been the first time she had been pregnant in their seven years of marriage; she had therefore refused to see a doctor even though she kept having pains. Both mother and child were lost.

 

Less than two years later, Adetutu became Chief’s wife. Exactly nine months after, Omowunmi was born. Less than eighteen months after, Adetutu gave birth to a set of twin boys. Chief convinced Adetutu that there was no point going back to work. She had her hands full already with three young kids and after much persuasion, Adetutu agreed. Chief opened a boutique for his wife and also paid her a monthly salary.

——

One evening, as Adetutu retired to bed in her husband’s arms, she propped herself up and looked at him. “Chief, I want to go back to school.”

Chief looked at her and laughed.

“I’m serious Chief.”

Chief’s countenance changed as he looked at his wife of seventeen years.  “What do you need the certificate for?”

“I want to go back to work.”

“Ahn…ahn, go back to work ke? At what age?”

“I am not yet forty-five. I can still get a job.”

Chief sat up straight. “What exactly do you need the job for?”

Adetutu smiled as she scooted closer to her husband. “The kids are grown and in the University already. I want to do something for myself. I feel unfulfilled.”

“I don’t understand. Your boutique is doing well. You have even expanded your business and have a spa and a salon, so what other fulfillment could you be looking for?” Chief asked in confusion.

“Please Chief, I just need your approval.”

Chief sighed as he nodded his head.

——

The next day, Adetutu registered as a professional student with a Human Resource Institute and began taking lectures almost immediately. In two years, she passed the exams in all the stages and Chief was proud of her as he stood beside her like a rock of Gibraltar during her induction. Adetutu went ahead to register as a professional student of a Management Institute and Chief thought she had lost it.

“You just finished one and you are starting another, Tutu.” Chief looked at her with unbelief.

Adetutu smiled. “Well Chief, I have the time. I can as well make the best use of it.”

“Does your daughter know you are doing all these courses?”

Adetutu shrugged. “Omowunmi is living her life, mummy too can live hers.” She responded.

——

In less than two years, she was done and inducted into the Institute. Omowunmi, who had just graduated from the university, attended her mother’s induction. Both father and daughter beamed with smiles at Adetutu’s achievements.

Adetutu, immediately began her search for a job.  She looked up job websites and purchased the daily newspapers looking out for vacancies. She knew it was not going to be a walk in the park considering her age but she kept her hopes high.

Her prayers were eventually answered with Energy Communications. As the driver took her home, she threw her head back and smiled. She heard the familiar ring tone she used for her daughter and rummaged her bag for her phone.

“Mummy.” Omowunmi spoke on the other end.

“Yes darling. How was your interview?”

Omowunmi sighed.

“What is the problem dear?”

“I wasn’t given the position I wanted. I was told someone else was better qualified.” Omowunmi hissed.

“Oh my! I’m so sorry darling, but you were offered another position?” Adetutu asked.

“Yes, mummy. I was offered the position of a customer relations officer.”

“I think you should take it.”

“But mummy that is not what I applied for?”

“What position did you apply for?” Adetutu asked as she adjusted herself.

“I applied for the position of a human resources officer. That is what I studied in school, mum. Why should I be given the position of a customer relations officer? I refused to accept the offer. They asked me to get back to them if I decided to change my mind but sincerely mum, I doubt I would.”

“Hmm…” Adetutu hummed. “Which organization is this?”

“Energy Communications.”

“What?” Adetutu screamed.

“Mum, are you okay?” Omowunmi panicked.

“Erm…erm…I’m fine. Are you on your way home?”

“Mum? What is wrong?”

“Nothing….nothing. Are you on your way home?” Adetutu stammered.

“Yes, I am just about driving out of the company premises.”

“Okay. Come home, we would talk about it when you get home.”

“Mummy, what is wrong?” Omowunmi asked; unconvinced with her mother’s responses.

“Just come home.” Adetutu said with a tone of finality.

….To be continued.

——–

Photo Credit: https://www.financialfreedominspiration.com

Identity Disaster

Mr. Olaiya’s jaw dropped as he looked at the lady standing before him. She was dressed in a skimpy dress that barely covered her thighs. The man holding her by the waist was wearing a white jalabia and the expression on his face was irritation.

“Moriamo, you deny me your father?”

Chief looked at Stella and also at the strange man. “Mr. man, she say she no know you. What is your problem? You are constituting a nuisance and I fit call the police.”

Ah! Moriamo, èmi bàbá ë. Ayé mi!” (Moriamo, I am your father). The man exclaimed.

“Chief, let’s go. I don’t know this man and he is embarrassing me.” Stella said.

Ah! Ah! Sèbí, mo sín gbéré sí ë láyà ní ìkókó. Jë ki n ri? (I made an incision on your chest as a baby. Let me see it).

“What is he saying?” Chief asked as he looked at Stella.

“I don’t know Chief. I don’t understand what he is saying. Please, let’s go.” Stella said as she pulled Chief away from the scene. The strange man was beginning to garner a few stares.

Chief and Stella left Mr. Olaiya whose hand was on his head in lamentation.

********

The next day, Chief and Stella flew back into Nigeria. Stella convinced Chief that she wanted to cut short her vacation as her encounter with the strange man had made her homesick. She wanted to go home to see her mother and also visit her dead father’s grave; she told him.

 

Immediately they arrived into the country, Stella took a cab to see her mother in Akute. As the cab took her to her destination, she kept thinking about the encounter she had in the United States. She shook her head to dispel her thoughts as she approached her house.

Stella eased out of the cab, paid the driver and took out her hand luggage from the boot. A woman stood outside an unpainted bungalow throwing corn grains at some chickens. She stopped when she saw Stella walking towards her.

“Ëkáàsán màámi.” (Good afternoon my mother). Stella said as she knelt down.

Moriamo, ökö mi. Káàbò.” (Welcome, my husband).

Báwo ni ilé-ìwé?” (How is school?)

Adúpé mà.” (Thank God).

Bàámi nkó?” (What about my father?)

Jë ka wö inú ilé náá, ògiri l’étí.” (Let us go inside. The walls have ears).

Moriamo dragged her hand luggage into the small living room and put it by the side. As she sat down on the single couch, she looked eagerly at her mother.

Bàbá ë ti lö fa gbùrù ní ilú òyinbó.” (Your father has travelled abroad to hustle).

Moriamo bent her head as she thought of her encounter with her father. She knew he was her father. A man knew his children but how was she supposed to explain her business in the U.S? How was she supposed to explain that she had told Chief she was bored in school and wanted to go on vacation? She had had no choice but to deny knowing him. He was right that she had been given an incision on her chest as a child. When she kept falling ill, her father had taken her to visit a herbalist who had give her the incision and her bout of sicknesses had ceased immediately.

As she went to bed that night, she decided the United States was no longer a country to visit.

——–

Photo Credit: https://www.collaborativelifecoaching.com

The blame game

Toyin opened the door of her room and the sight before her shocked her. She felt like she had been hit by a thunderbolt. Her eyes grew big and she opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out. Chike held his little member with one hand and stroke it like a pro while he caressed Chinwe’s bust with the other. He parted Chinwe’s legs and moved closer to her. A sharp pain spread across Toyin’s chest and she found her voice. She screamed and collapsed on the floor.

Chike and Chinwe were startled by the scream and looked towards the door. They had been so engrossed in their act that they had forgotten to lock the door. Chinwe stood up and got dressed in a hurry while Chike pulled up his boxers. They ran towards Toyin who was still unconscious and began to shake her.

“Bring water quick.” Chinwe commanded.

Chike ran to the bathroom and came back with a bowl of water. He stood before the two ladies as he put his hand on his head in lamentation. He ran to get a piece of paper and began to fan Toyin with it.

Chinwe rubbed Toyin’s face with water and she opened her eyes. Toyin looked at them and burst into tears.

********

“It’s important to discuss sex education with your kids.” Omolade said.

“Abeg, I don’t want to introduce my kids to what they shouldn’t know.” Toyin replied.

“Would you prefer they learn about it from outsiders. You need to let them hear it from you.”

“My mother never taught me anything on sex education and I turned out well. I don’t believe in exposing them. Chike is nine and Chinwe is twelve and you want me to start telling them what adults do.”

“I didn’t say you should tell them. I said educate them on what they need to know about their bodies; you know things like puberty and how to be conscious of sex predators.”

Wo o, Omolade, change the topic. Sex education is not happening in my house. If my mum had taught me, I would have been curious and eager to experiment. My kids are still too young to start putting ideas in their heads. So let sleeping dogs lie, abeg.”

Omolade shrugged.

 

As tears streamed down Toyin’s cheeks, she remembered the discussion with Omolade like it had happened yesterday. Two months ago, Omolade’s maid had told her six year old son, Jola to caress her bust. Jola had refused and told the maid that his mother asked him never to touch any lady there. Jola reported to his mother immediately she came back from work and that had ended the maid’s stay in Omolade’s house. Omolade had praised Jola and told him she was proud of him for speaking up and encouraged him to never keep quiet on sexual issues.

Omolade and Toyin had discussed about it the next day at work and Toyin had been adamant on not educating her kids.

********

 

“Where did you learn about….ermm…about…” Toyin stammered unable to complete her sentence as she wiped her cheeks.

Chike and Chinwe bowed their heads as they stood before their mother.

“About sex?” Chike asked without looking up.

Toyin took a deep breath. Her nine year old son wasn’t even ashamed to talk about it.

“Ehn…yes, about that.” She asked.

“From daddy’s phone.” Chinwe answered.

“What?” Toyin shouted.

“We saw the videos on daddy’s phone.” Chike said.

“Jesus! Emeka has killed me.” Toyin put her hands on her head as she burst into fresh tears.

“Is this your first time?”

Chinwe and Chike shook their heads.

“Ah…ah, mogbe! How many times have you done this?”

Toyin looked at her son as he counted six on his fingers. Toyin hit her hand on the bed and screamed in anguish.

What was she supposed to do? She was confused. She couldn’t talk to Omolade. She would say “but I told you”. She was also wary of exposing her irresponsible husband.

Her kids needed to see a doctor but right now, she wasn’t sure if she could bear to take them to a therapist. How much damage had been done to their minds? As she thought about it, her heart broke.

As she dismissed her kids to their rooms, she refused to take the blame. As far as she was concerned, Emeka was the culprit.

Who is to blame? Emeka or Toyin?

Please share your thoughts below.

——–

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Stages of Life

Lara saw her best friend on TV and smiled. Yemi was anchoring a game show and she was good at it. Lara remembered how close they were in secondary school. They had been best friends and other students had envied their relationship. A few friends had even tried to come in-between them by telling tales but they had seen beyond the envy and jealousy and stuck together.

Lara went on to study Chemistry at the University of Lagos while Yemi had studied Mass Communication in a University in South Africa. They had tried to keep up their friendship through phone calls and text messages but after a while, Yemi became unreachable. All efforts made by Lara ended fruitlessly and she concluded that Yemi must have changed her number. She had also tried to search for Yemi through Facebook but that had also been unsuccessful.

 

*****

Ten years after graduation from secondary school, Lara watched her friend on TV and was proud of her. Watching her now, she realized the reason why she hadn’t been able to find her on Facebook. Yemi had dropped her first name and was now identified by her second name, Joyce. She did a quick search on Facebook with the new name and found her. She immediately sent her a friend request.

 

A week passed and Lara was yet to get an acceptance from her friend. She decided to send her a message. She was however shocked when she got a rejection to her friend request and a response to her message. The message read; “I have moved on from teenage friendships. Get a life.”

Lara must have read the message a thousand times. She wondered what could have come over her friend. Had she written something that resulted in such a response? She went back to read her message to Yemi again. She had congratulated her friend on the TV programme and told her she was doing a good job. She had also mentioned how she had searched for her for so long; not realizing she had dropped her first name. She had asked her to keep in touch.

As Lara deleted the message, she made a mental note to move on and forget she ever had a friend named Yemi.

—–

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A chance to live

“Mummy, let us run away.” Chiamaka cried as she held on to her mother’s legs.

Even though she was just six years old, she was tired of the situation she and her mother found themselves in. The past twelve months had been traumatic for both of them. “Mummy.” Chiamaka said as she shook her mother.

*****

Kelechi rang the doorbell. Tope rushed to open the door and smiled. “Welcome darling.” She said as she hugged him. Kelechi refused to hug her back and she stepped back to look at him. “Is something wrong?”

Kelechi ignored her as he walked into the living room of their two bedroom flat and slumped into the couch. Tope looked on as she wondered what the problem could be. She walked into the living room and sat beside her husband. “Kelechi, what is the problem?” She asked.

“Please just leave me alone.”

“Ah…ah, Kelechi. How can I leave you alone when you are looking this way? Tell me please. Did something happen in the office?”

“Woman, I said leave me alone.” Kelechi snapped.

“Okay, okay.” Tope said standing up. “Are you ready to eat now?”

Kelechi nodded a response.

Tope dished the food and put it on the table. She called her husband to have his meal and left to clean up the kitchen.

*****

The next day, Tope woke up at 6:00a.m as usual. She had her bath, woke her daughter, Chiamaka and got her prepared for school. At 7:00a.m, Chiamaka asked her mum. “Where is daddy? He hasn’t come out of the room. Isn’t he taking me to school today?”

Tope looked at the clock on the wall. Kelechi should have been out of the room by now, dressed for work and ready to drop their daughter off at school on the way to his office.

She went back into the bedroom and saw Kelechi still sleeping. She sat on the bed and tapped him. “Darling, you are late for work and Chiamaka is almost ready for school.”

“I am not going to work today.” Kelechi said as he turned his back to her.

“But you did not tell me you are going on leave. We always planned for it together for Chiamaka’s school vacation period.”

Kelechi turned to look at Tope. “Look Tope, can you please leave me alone?”

Tope’s jaw dropped as she looked at her husband. “What is going on?” She thought. She took a deep breath. “Your daughter is ready for school.”

“I am not taking her to school today.”

“Kelechi, what is the meaning of all this? I have been asking you since yesterday what the problem is and you have refused to say anything?”

Kelechi stood up from the bed all of a sudden. “You want to know, abi? I have been sacked. Sacked, do you hear me? Sacked?”

*****

The next twelve months, Tope had done her best to take care of the family. She paid their daughter’s school fees, provided for the home and made sure they lacked nothing. She was a school teacher in a private secondary school. Her salary was not fantastic but she managed whatever she received and prayed that Kelechi would get another job to relieve her of the financial strain.

Kelechi went out every evening and came back home drunk. Initially, Tope complained and each time she did, she got beaten. She was reminded that the fact that she took care of the home did not make her the head of the house. When Tope got tired of being beaten, she stopped complaining. She left the door unlocked every evening for Kelechi to come in whenever he decided to.

*****

Tope had been so tired when she got back from work that she forgot to leave the door unlocked. Kelechi rang the bell so many times before Tope opened it. As she did, dozens of slaps landed on her face.

“So you have the guts to lock me outside now, ehn?” Kelechi shouted breathlessly as he continued to pummel her face.

Tope screamed but the more she struggled, the more kicks and slaps she got. When Kelechi was done, he walked into their bedroom breathing hard and slumped on the bed. In a few minutes, he began to snore loudly.

Tope sat on the floor as she cried. She was tired of getting beaten every time. Everything she did or said was used against her. She thought of leaving but what would people say. What would her friends say? What would her family say? What would her church members say? All these questions bothered her.

She crawled into her daughter’s bed and folded into a foetal position as she cried to sleep. Chiamaka woke up at about 6:00am and saw her mother lying beside her. There were bruises all over her face and body. Chiamaka burst into tears.

“Mummy, wake up and let us run away.” Chiamaka said as she tapped her mother. “Mummy, wake up.” She cried.

Chiamaka stood up from her bed and opened the door of her room. She could hear her father snoring loudly from the bedroom opposite hers. She walked to the main door and opened it. She stepped out and banged on the door of the flat opposite theirs.

 

Kola walked to the door groggily. He opened the door and was shocked to see Chiamaka standing before him. She was still in her “Dora the explorer” pyjamas. Kola bent down and looked at her. “Chiamaka, what are you doing outside at this time of the morning? Where is your mummy and why are you crying?”

Chiamaka wiped her cheeks with her hands. “I have been waking my mummy up so that we can run away but she is not answering me.”

Kola took a deep breath. He understood what Chiamaka was talking about. He had talked to Kelechi once about it but Kelechi had told him to mind his business. He even told him that his inability to mind his business was the reason why he was still single.

“Let us go and see your mummy.” Kola said as he held Chiamaka’s hands.

Chiamaka led him into the house and into her room. Kola was shocked when he saw Tope. He lifted her up and carried her out of the house. He placed her gently in the backseat of his car while Chiamaka eased in and sat beside her mother.

“Are you taking us far away from this house?” Chiamaka asked Kola as he eased into the car.

“Chi, your mother needs to see a doctor first.”

“Okay sir. But we don’t want to come back here and I don’t want my daddy to know where we are.”

Kola sighed. “Okay Chi.”

 

A week later, Tope was discharged from the hospital. Kola took her straight to her parents house. Her parents welcomed her back with open arms. They hugged Chiamaka with tears in their eyes. They were grateful to her for saving their daughter’s life.

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