Tag Archives: dreams

Where is our rest?

I almost forgot today is Monday and I have to write. Today is one of those days that I am just too tired to think of something to blog about. I don’t have any story to tell and I am not in the mood to share any true life experiences.

What I really want to do is sleep. I’m on vacation….yayy….so I have all the time. Unfortunately no! I wish I really did.

Even when you are on vacation in your 8 – 5 (I don’t resume at 9, so it can’t be 9 – 5), if you manage a side hustle, the vacation period is when you put in your all into the side business. For some, it is the time to fulfill their dreams of acquiring a skill. For others, it is when they travel out and shop for the whole world.

So do we actually go on vacation to rest?

Right now, so many things are fighting for my attention – family commitments, side business, exams around the corner, finishing a story I have been writing since the beginning of the year, spending time to achieve one of my dreams, struggling to keep up with reading my novels and finding time to sleep in all of these.

I really need to find my rest.

——
Photo Credit: http://www.healthtastesgood.co

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

The Wait – Chapter 6

Ajoke’s letter got delivered to Kokumo’s department a day before his exams were about to start. He was handed the letter by the departmental secretary. As he collected it, a smile played on his lips as he recognized Ajoke’s handwriting. He closed his eyes briefly and imagined being right by her side. He had missed her so much. He put the letter in his book folder and quickened his steps towards the hostel. He longed to read from her and he wanted to do it while relaxed. He knew she would have written to fill him on the happenings in her village and also gists about her friends.

As he hastened towards the hostel, he thought about when next to pay her a visit. Exams were scheduled to end in a month’s time and he looked forward to going home just to be with her. This time, he was going to take her home and make sure his mother accepted her. He was now a grown man and if he wasn’t in the University, he knew she would have been asking about his marriage plans.

He sauntered into his room, all his thoughts on his beloved. He took out the letter from the book folder and dropped the folder on his mattress which lay by a corner in the room. As he lay on the mattress, he tore the envelope carefully.  He took out the letter and began to read.

“My darling Kokumo,

How are you and school? I hope you are doing well.

I am writing this letter with so much pain because my father is marrying me off very soon. The man to whom I will be married to is coming for my mo mi mo o in two weeks’ time.

My eyes are filled with tears as I have no choice in this matter. I wish it did not have to be this way.

I don’t know what to do any longer. I am confused. I love you with all my heart.

See you whenever you come home.

Ajoke.”

 

Kokumo must have read the letter a thousand times but each time, he failed to understand what he had just read. Marrying her off? To who? Why? What about their plans to get married once he graduated? Then it hit him like a thunderbolt. Ajoke had mentioned during his last visit that she had overheard her parents discussing about getting her married. The moment it dawned on him, tears dropped down his cheeks. Ajoke, Ajoke, I can’t afford to lose you. He said to himself. God why? First, you took my father. Now, you want to take Ajoke away from me. He put the letter on his chest as he cried silently, hot tears making their way down his cheeks. Ajoke wasn’t the only one confused; he was as well. His exams were starting tomorrow and it did not make sense to go home now. Besides, from the date on the letter, the introduction had already been done. His mind was in disarray as he thought of what to do.

Throughout that evening, Kokumo could not concentrate. He knew he was meant to read for his paper the next day but every time he did, he saw the words in Ajoke’s letter dancing before his eyes. As much as he tried to get his mind off it, he kept on seeing the words; the man to whom I will be married to is coming for my moomi mo in two weeks’ time.

After a fruitless hour of not being able to concentrate, he decided to pack up his books and go to sleep. Maybe when he woke up, he would realize it was all a dream; and Ajoke would still be waiting for him to finish school and they could get married.

Kokumo woke up fitfully the next day. He could not remember how he slept or if he did at all. He kept on seeing Ajoke crying out to him for help. While she did, he stood afar with his arms folded and watched as she struggled with someone he couldn’t recognize. The person held her tightly by the hand and he made no attempt to rescue her. Her cries filled his ears calling him and pleading with him to save her from her captor but he shook his head, turned back and walked away.

As he was walking away, he saw his mother walking towards him. She pulled his ears as she got to him and repeated their last conversation over and over again.

“Sé bàbá ömö náà mò é?” (Does the girl’s father know you?)

“Rárá mà.” (No ma).

“Kí ló wá fi é lókàn balè pé to bá padà láti ilé ìwé gíga, o yì ma ba l’ómidan?” (What gives you the assurance that when you graduate from the University, she would still be single)?

“Àdéhùn t’émi àti è jö ní ni.” (That is the agreement between us).

“Ölórun á bá ë sé o.” (God will do it for you, I hope).

He sat up on his mattress and noticed that the tee-shirt he wore to bed clung to his body. The tee-shirt and his mattress were wet with sweat. He shook his head as he sighed deeply. What sort of nightmare did he just have? He would do anything within his power to rescue Ajoke from danger but why didn’t he do that in his dream. It made no sense to him. He loved her and would never allow anyone endanger her life. Who could have been holding on tightly to her? Was it her father or the man she was to be married to? Why had he made no attempt to save her from her captor? Instead, he had turned his back on her when she needed him most. The dream was all so confusing and he could not fathom what it meant.

To Love & to Hold 40

He stood up from his mattress and stretched. He looked at his other room mates who were still sound asleep. He needed to concentrate if he wasn’t going to fail his exams. He thought about responding to Ajoke’s letter but words were not enough to convey everything he had to say. He would rather see her in person and they could discuss their next line of action. Just give me three weeks and I will be with you, Ajoke. He said to no one.

He picked up his bucket and decided to get ready for the day ahead. As much as he loved Ajoke, he also wanted to make her proud and graduating with good grades was of utmost importance to him. Her friends who had gotten married had been given out in marriage to secondary school certificate holders and artisans. Just like Ajoke whose parents could not afford to send her to the University, most of them either could not afford to do so or did not see the importance of sending their daughters to a tertiary institution. Those who did not see the importance believed it was a waste of funds as she would eventually get married and be confined to taking care of her husband and her children.

Kokumo reckoned it would be a thing of pride when Ajoke stood in the midst of her friends to say she had gotten married to a graduate. She would become the envy of her friends just as his mother’s friends envied her in the market where she sold her fruits. She was no longer referred to as Iya Kokumo. She had been given a new name and was now called Iya Gradue. Even though, he had tried to correct them that he was still an undergraduate, it did not matter to them. The fact that he was even in the University had upgraded his status and that of his mother. He also wanted the same change of status for Ajoke and he was going to make sure he worked towards not just being a graduate but one that finished with good grades.

He walked towards the bathroom to take a shower. Once he was done, he sat down to read as he pushed the contents of Ajoke’s letter behind his mind. In three weeks, he would be done and if he needed to present himself to Ajoke’s father as the man who loved his daughter and wanted to get married to her, so be it.

——
The story continues…..

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

The Wait – Chapter 2

Ajoke and Kokumo remained friends all through their senior secondary class. They studied in class and walked the long journey home together. Even though, Kokumo could afford to take a public bus home, Ajoke couldn’t. Her parents were struggling to survive and told her that transportation fare to and from school in the next village was a luxury. Therefore, she had to make do with long walks every day. Ajoke was however, not deterred. She loved to go to school and education was a priority for her.

Kokumo’s parents could afford to transport their son to and from school but he preferred to walk the long trek home with Ajoke. Kokumo used his transport fare back home to buy snacks and water which he shared with Ajoke as they chatted, sang and sometimes danced on the road. He knew most times, she was hungry but she never once complained about her parents not being able to give her money to buy lunch at school.

By the time they were in their final year in the senior class, they had become inseparable in school. They were teased by some of their classmates that they should get married immediately after school but Kokumo wanted more than that. He mentioned to Ajoke that his dream was to become an accountant. Ajoke had smiled and wished him well. She knew her education terminated after the secondary school level and there was no point having dreams that were not going to come to fruition.

“So you won’t even bother to make any attempt at the university by writing Jamb exams?” Kokumo once asked her. They had gotten to the forked junction before their villages but decided to sit down under a palm tree off the road.

Ajoke shrugged. “What is the point of writing an exam when the result of the exams would be useless?”

“At least, make an attempt.”

“Kokumo, both of us know my parents cannot afford a secondary education much less a University. We eat from hand to mouth at the moment and my father is waiting for my brothers to start fending for the family so the burden on him can be reduced.”

Kokumo sighed. “I wish there was something we could do.”

“There is nothing that can be done. Don’t bother about me.”

Kokumo looked at her as he cradled her face in his hands. “Don’t say that. I love you and I want us to get married someday. But I want to go to the university, so that both of us can leave our villages and have a better life in the city.”

“I know.” Ajoke said smiling. “I love you too and I look forward to the day you will make me your wife.”

 

They sat for their school certificate exams three weeks later and their results had been impressive. Kokumo had straight As in all the nine subjects he had written while Ajoke had As in six subjects and credits in the other three. Kokumo sat for his Jamb examinations and also passed with very good grades. He was offered admission into the University of Lagos to read accountancy just as he had dreamed of. Kokumo was overjoyed when he received his admission letter from the University. He couldn’t wait to get home to tell Ajoke and his parents the good news.

He took a public bus from the University gate as he danced and sang. A few passengers in the bus looked at him strangely but he cared not. On getting to his village, he ran towards his house but noticed a strange calm in the environment. He looked left and right and noticed that the traders who lined the road to his house all avoided his eyes or refused to acknowledge his greeting. This was unusual; he thought. They all seemed to be in a hurry to pack up their wares. He looked at his wrist watch. The time read 5.30pm. The traders usually sold their wares till 7.00pm. He wondered why they were all packing up at this time. He scanned through the market looking out for his mother’s stall but noticed that she wasn’t there. Her stall looked untouched; the same way she left it every evening. He stopped in his tracks. Why did my mother not come to the market today? He had left home as early as 5.00am to make the journey to the University. His mother was already up as she had insisted that he ate a small meal before leaving. She had prepared a bowl of eba and egusi soup for him and his father. He hadn’t been able to eat much as he had been anxious to leave.

The airs on his neck rose as he inched closer towards his house. There was an eerie feeling in the environment which he couldn’t shake off or place his finger on. He got to his house and saw his mother seated on a low stool on the front pavement. She had her arms across her chest as tears streamed down her eyes. She was lost in thought and did not see her son walking towards her. Kokumo noticed that she did not acknowledge his presence.

“Màámi.” (My mother). Kokumo said shaking his mother by the shoulders.

She shook all of a sudden as she saw her son. She burst into tears as she stood up and hugged him.

“Màámi, kílódé?” (My mother, what is wrong?) Kokumo said tearing himself away from his mother.

“Bàba Kòkúmó ti kú.” (Kokumo’s father is dead). She said as she put her hands on her head in lamentation.

Kokumo stood still unable to grasp what his mother had just told him. His father? Dead? He looked around him for an explanation. How could his father who was hale and hearty when he went to bed yesterday night be dead? The traders who had ignored him at the market started trooping into their compound to commiserate with his mother. Some walked in crying and lamenting while others shook their heads in pity. Was this a dream? He had been happy a few hours ago about his admission into the University. His admission letter still sat untouched in the knapsack slung across his shoulders. He had brought good news home to his parents; only to be welcomed with the opposite. No, his father could not be dead. He started walking away from his mother and everyone around him.

“Kokumo! Kokumo!” His mother called. He looked back at her strangely before turning back to walk away.

“Ë má jè kó lö o.” (Don’t let him go). Someone shouted amongst the now teeming crowd.

Kokumo continued to walk away without looking back. A man ran after him and grabbed him by the hand. Kokumo flung the man’s hand away as he continued walking.

Iya Kokumo stood up and started shouting. “Ë gbà mí. Ë má jè kí ömö mi lö.” (Please help me. Don’t let my son go.)

Two men ran after Kokumo and held him firmly. Kokumo tried to struggle with them but was overpowered. They dragged him towards his mother and made him sit at her feet.

Kokumo was not allowed to step out of his house that evening. His mission at the University was also not discussed. For three days, Kokumo looked at his mother as she wept. He was unable to console her as he was also yet to come to terms with his father’s death. His mother told him that after he left for school, she had gone to wake up his father. It was unusual for him to sleep for so long and she had been worried. He had woken up and complained about a headache. She gave him the meal of eba and egusi to eat and asked that he stay home and not go to the farm. He had nodded as he ate. She also decided to stay home and take care of her husband. He took some herbs to ease the headache after his meal and he went back to sleep. He never woke up.

The burial rites began in earnest as Kokumo’s paternal uncles took over the responsibility. A week later, Kokumo’s father was buried in his house. Two days after his father’s burial, Kokumo took out his admission letter and looked at it. Was this the end of his dream? He still had the letter in his hands when Iya Kokumo walked into his room.

“Kínì yën?” (What is that?) She asked him.

“Ìwé tí mo lo gbà ní school ní öjó tí bàámi lö?” (The letter I went to collect in school the day my father died).

Iya Kokumo sat down gently on the low mattress in his room. “Kí ló wà nínú è.” (What is written inside?)

Kokumo sighed. “Wón ti fún mi ní admission sí University.” (I have been offered admission into the University).

“Hmm….Yunifásítì t’èwo? (Which University?)

“University ti Èkó.” (The University of Lagos).

Iya Kokumo took a deep breath and bowed her head.

“Màámi, èmi náà mò pé University ò sé lö mó. Màá ló wá isé ki n lè rí owó rán ara mi lö sí ilé ìwé.” (My mother, I know going to the University is no longer possible. I will go look for a job so that I can sponsor myself to school).

Iya Kokumo looked up at her son as tears spilled down her cheeks.

“Màámi, ë jò ó,  ë má sunkun mó.” (My mother, please stop crying). Kokumo consoled his mother.

“Ah, Bàba Kòkúmó, n kan ta jö sö kó nì yíi. Àdéhùn ta jö ní kó le léyìi o.” (Baba Kokumo, this is not what we talked about. This was not our agreement). Iya Kokumo lamented as she bit her forefinger in tears.

Kokumo pulled his mother into a hug and rocked her like a baby. “Ó ti tó Màámi.” (It is okay, my mother). He said repeatedly.

When Iya Kokumo was spent from her tears, she removed the end of her wrapper and untied the knot. She took out all the cash she had in the knot and gave it to Kokumo.

Kokumo shook his head as he looked at his mother. He held her hand and said; “A ma jëun, Màámi.” (We will eat, my mother).

Iya Kokumo looked at her son as her body shook with sobs. Kokumo wrapped his arms around his mother again as he looked heavenwards. Baba Kokumo had left but he was going to make sure his mother did not suffer.

 

The story continues…….

———–

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

 

The Visit

“Crack”. The sound of shattering glass rent the air. The kids all stood still like they had been paused by a remote control and looked at each other’s faces. Different emotions washed over their little faces; fear, shock and regret.

“You caused it.” Eze, the oldest among them shouted as he pointed accusing fingers at Bode.

“It wasn’t me.” Bode screamed. “It was Ngozi’s turn to catch the ball.” He continued.

“How can it be my turn? Tola was supposed to catch the ball after you. He should have caught the ball.” Ngozi retorted.

“Why are you saying I should have caught the ball? Didn’t you ask me to leave the circle because I could not catch? Now, you want to blame it on me.” Tola cried.

“Let us run away. Mr. Alakori will not know who did it.” Eze said.

“But that will be unfair. My mummy said I should never be scared to own up if I commit a wrong.” Ngozi replied.

“Yes. I think we should go and apologize to him. We would tell him we are very sorry.” Bode said.

“Okay, Tola stay in front. You are the youngest. If he sees you, he may not be so angry.” Eze said as he dragged Tola by the shirt.

“Leave me alone.” Tola screamed. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“Please Tola, follow us. Mr. Alakori may not be so upset if he sees you in front.” Ngozi pleaded.

“Pleaseeeeee.” Bode stresses; also lending his voice.

“Okay.” Tola agreed as he led the way to Mr. Alakori’s flat.

******

Mr. Alakori stared down at the boys before him. He wasn’t only angry that they broke the windscreen of his car, he was mad because they had the guts to come to his house to inform him about their offence.

He smiled as he asked them to come in. “We are okay here, sir. We just wanted to tell you we are very sorry.” Ngozi said as he held on to Tola, who was about stepping forward.

“Apology accepted but I still insist that you come in.”

“Let’s go in.” Eze said nudging the others.

“I want to go home.” Tola said as he held on to Ngozi’s hand.

“You are just a sissy. Leave!” Eze said shouting at him.

Tola burst into tears as Ngozi gives Eze an angry look.

Mr. Alakori walked back into his flat, leaving the door ajar.

Eze peeps inside then signals to Bode, who shakes his head and turns back to follow Ngozi and Tola.

Mr. Alakori is seated in front of the TV set watching a football match. Eze stands inside the living room taking the whole environment. He had never seen a house this beautiful. His parents lived in the slums on the other side of the street.

Mr. Alakori signals to him to sit down and as he does, he is passed a saucer with groundnuts in them.

Eze smiles as he collects the saucer. He scoops up some of the groundnuts and he is on the verge of throwing them into his mouth when they all turn into little maggots. He instinctively drops the saucer in his hands and shakes his right hand to throw away the groundnuts/maggots. Unfortunately, they have started burrowing into his skin.

He screams as he sees Mr. Alakori putting the maggots in his own saucer into his mouth. Mr. Alakori walks up to him and stretches his maggot-infested hand to touch his face. Another scream escapes his lips………”Eze, Eze, what’s wrong?” His mother asks as she places her hand on his face.

———

Photo Credit: http://www.trigger.photoshelter.com

Meet Multi-talented Bukola Adekusibe: Author, Blogger and MD/CEO of NDJ’s Masterpieces

Yes, times are hard and there is recession accompanied by a whole lot of ripple effects to provide enough negative justification for Nigerians to not embark on any worth- while venture; however, there are still thousands of Nigerians who are weathering the storm and soaring despite all odds. One of such great achievers is the multi-talented Olubukola Adekusibe, whom we […]

via Meet Multi-talented Bukola Adekusibe: Author, Blogger and MD/CEO of NDJ’s Masterpieces — MakeADream_NG

To Love and to Hold – Episode 2

Chinedu could not believe what had happened this night. He could not remember how he got to his car or how he got home. As he slumped into his couch, he thought; was this a dream he was going to wake up from? If it was, he was not sure he wanted to wake up. What he wanted was for the dream to be rewound back to Fadeke standing in that elevator. He wanted the dream replayed in his own way. He wanted to see Fadeke scream and fly into his arms in a passionate hug. He wanted to feel her warmth on his skin. He wanted to be reminded after six years of her favourite Daisy perfume by Marc Jacobs. He wanted to tease her like he used to about her round cheeks which he called “poff poff” (fried flour balls).

To Love & to Hold 4

But this was no dream. He had seen Fadeke and the opposite had happened. She had ignored him. What was she upset about? He had been looking for her the past six years. She had always been on his mind. Everywhere he turned to, he saw her silhouette. At a point, he had thought he was beginning to go crazy. He had never been able to get her out of his mind. Now, six years after, seeing her standing right there, so close in the elevator, she had ignored him. He still found out it hard to believe that this was no dream.

As he lay on his bed that night, he tossed and turned. What did I do wrong, Fadeke? He thought. After tossing on the bed for close to two hours, he stood up and went to the living room. It was no use; he could not get himself to sleep. He turned on the television set to watch a tennis match being replayed. As he sat down to watch, his mind raced back to his first meeting with Fadeke.

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She was just sixteen and a fresher in the University of Ibadan, Oyo state in the western part of Nigeria. She had looked a little lost that day as she walked down the faculty of administration building. “Jambites or Jambitos” (as they were called in school slang) had just resumed school and most of them were everywhere trying to sort out their registration and signing of course forms. Some had made friends with their colleagues and hung out in groups of twos and threes, while some still roamed about trying to find a friend.

The expression on her face that day was confusion. “You look confused, can I help you?” Chinedu had asked.

“Yes, please. I am trying to locate Dr. Abudu’s office.” She said still looking around and not meeting his gaze.

As she looked up to Chinedu, his heart stopped beating for a second. She had round cheeks which emphasized her lovely eyeballs. Even without any form of makeup, she was a natural beauty. She smiled and he saw her perfect dentition and wondered if she had ever worn braces. He was so taken by her beauty that he didn’t realize that she had been talking.

To Love & to Hold 5

When she stopped talking and was looking at him, he suddenly realized she was waiting for an answer and he pinched himself to reality. “I’m sorry, you were saying something.” He struggled to say embarrassed by his attitude.

“Oh, I was saying that I have been trying to locate Dr. Abudu’s office. I am a fresher so I don’t know most of the lecturer’s offices. I was wondering if you could help as I need to get my course form signed.” She said smiling.

“Dr. Abudu’s office is on the first floor. It is the first office by your left.”

“Thank you. I’m very grateful.” She said as she turned to take the stairs two by each.

He stood rooted to the spot dumbfounded. She was beautiful. He hadn’t even remembered to introduce himself neither did he know her name. The only thing he knew about her was that she was a fresher and was in the department of Accountancy; as that was the department where Dr. Abudu lectured.

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He was in the third year in the university and was studying Actuarial Science. It had become a tradition for “staylites” (the school slang for older students) in the university to seek out the freshers for a relationship. The tradition had been given the name “Jambite rush” and most staylites looked forward to the rush. However, this had never appealed to Chinedu. He called it a “Use and Dump” tradition because after a year of relationship, the freshers were dropped for the new batch who had just resumed.

Most of his friends called him a spoil sport since he was never interested in the tradition. They always told him he needed to “catch them young” and spice up his life. Three years in the university and he had never bothered to seek out anyone for a relationship; he was not ready to go into one that he would not be committed to.

Still looking transfixed, he wondered if this was what he needed to spice up his life. But he couldn’t do the “Use and Dump” tradition. No, he wouldn’t do that, he thought.

She looked so angelic; he wouldn’t do anything to hurt her. I have to see her again. Not knowing her name was a minus for him and standing right there, he started thinking of his next line of action; finding out her name and getting to know her.

********

Fadeke got to her hostel that day excited. Her hostel was the most expensive hostel off-campus. It had all the facilities and comfort of a home. The hostel had only 10 rooms and two students occupied each room. The rooms were very spacious and accommodated two full-sized beds, two reading tables, two wardrobes and a side stool by each bed. The room also had connection points should any of the students decide to bring in a television set. There were also facilities available for laptops in each room. Two rooms shared a large kitchenette where cooking utensils and other kitchen wares were kept making it a total of five kitchenettes in the hostel.

Fadeke eagerly waited for her roommate, Tochukwu to come back from lectures. Tochukwu was in her second year in the university and had taken to Fadeke from her first day in school. Fadeke had come to the hostel with her parents and the hostel matron had introduced Tochukwu to her new roommate. As a result of Fadeke’s friendship with Tochukwu, she hadn’t needed to hang around idly with her colleagues as Tochukwu had put her through most of what she needed to know to feel comfortable in school. She decided to make lunch for both of them to while away the time.

Tochukwu came in an hour later looking distraught. She flopped on her bed without even a greeting to her roommate.

To Love & to Hold 6

“What’s wrong, Tochukwu?”

“I had a bad day at school and I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to go to bed”.

“Okay, if you say so. I made lunch just in case you feel hungry”. Fadeke said looking disappointed.

“Thanks but I’m not hungry”. Tochukwu said already lying down on her bed with her clothes on and facing the wall.

Fadeke had thought she could tell her what she was excited about but with her roommate this cranky, she decided it was best to keep her mouth shut. She was also upset that her effort at making lunch was not appreciated. She decided to do just as her roommate; she lay down on her bed and it wasn’t long before she was in deep sleep as she was also very tired from the long walks in school.

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Lectures commenced in school the next week and everywhere was busy with students going in and out of halls. Chinedu had tried to find Fadeke a few times by going to the halls where the Accountancy students had their lectures but he hadn’t been successful.

“Wasn’t she coming for lectures?” He thought. But he couldn’t ask anyone for help especially from his friends who studied accountancy as they would tease him. He could imagine what they would say. “So, you are also on the Jambite rush? We thought you said you couldn’t get involved in the “Use and Dump” tradition”. The teasing would never end, so he decided to go on his mission alone without any assistance.

He stood on the corridor where he had met her and thought. He could still see her face in his mind’s eye and wondered where she could be. He closed his eyes for about two seconds and tried to imagine. As he opened them, he saw her standing right in front of him smiling. He was shocked and blinked to be sure he wasn’t day dreaming.

To Love & to Hold 7

“You look like you saw a ghost”. Fadeke said still smiling.

“I…I…em…” Chinedu stammered still wondering if this was real.

“My name is Fadeke”. She said stretching out her hand. “I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself the last time we met”. She continued.

Her hand hung in the air for what looked like hours which was actually a second before Chinedu took it.

“I’m Chinedu. I’m sorry, I’m not usually this disoriented”. Chinedu said feeling embarrassed and praying in his heart that she wouldn’t ask why he had his eyes closed a moment ago.

“No, you don’t have to apologize. I get disoriented atimes as well”.

He was still holding her hands when he realized that she was trying to pull out of the hold. He immediately dropped her hand and tried to get himself together. She was right here standing before him and he was already at a loss of what to say. Fadeke noticing that he seemed at a loss decided to rescue him.

“So, Chinedu, what course are you studying?”

“I’m in the Actuarial sciences department and in my third year”. He said silently grateful in his heart that she had spoken first.

“What about you?” He asked finding his voice.

“I’m studying Business Administration”.

“Oh, biz admin”. He said suddenly realizing why he had never seen her with the accountancy students.

“Yep, and I’m sure you know am a fresher”.

“Yes, I do”. How could he have assumed she was in the accountancy department just because she wanted her course form signed by an accounting lecturer? He suddenly felt silly.

“So, you are taking Dr. Abudu’s course as an elective, right?”

“Yes. We were told we had to take an elective course within the faculty, so I just decided to opt for an accounting course”.

“So do you stay on or off-campus?”

“I stay off-campus. Don’t think I can function in the hostels on campus”.

“Why?” Chinedu asked wondering since most students would rather stay on campus.

“Well, it’s too crowded for my liking and I love to feel comfortable”.

Chinedu laughed at her statement. “Comfortable?” He asked. “How do you mean?”

“I really don’t know how to explain but I love it off-campus”. She said trying not to go into details of why she wasn’t staying in the hostels on campus.

He wanted to ask which hostel she was staying in and if he could check on her but he felt she would think he was going too fast, so he decided to save the questions for another time. Just then, she looked at her wrist watch and gasped, “I have a lecture at 2p.m. I’m ten minutes late already”. She said.

“It was nice meeting you again, Fadeke”.

“My pleasure”. She replied as she started walking towards the stairs.

Chinedu watched as she ran down the stairs. He put his hand on his chest and felt his heart beating rapidly. She always did this to him, he thought. How long would he be able to hold before voicing his feelings? He hoped it would be soon.

To Love & to Hold 7 (2)

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