Tag Archives: Family

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.

——
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Are we mentally aware?

“Aunty, I took care of your car while you were away”. The man said.

I looked at him briefly and ignored him.

“You have a nice car and you are very pretty.”

I tapped the unlock button on the car remote once and eased in. I locked the door and started the car.

“Aunty I just need hundred naira.” He said through the wound-up window. “Please Aunty….” He kept saying as I drove off.

*****

This is the fourth time this well spoken man probably in his late 40s or early 50s would be accosting me. He walks the length and breadth of the popular streets in Surulere every day. The first time he accosted me, I did not realize he had a problem. As I eased into the marwa that was to take me to my destination at about 6:15a.m, he walked up to me and complimented my hair. I had packed it all up and it fell like the leaves of a palm tree around my head.

“Aunty, I like the way you packed your hair. It makes you look like an African beauty.”

“Thank you.” I had replied as I looked away and hoped the marwa would fill up on time so we could move. I was already running late and not in the mood for any chit-chat with anyone early in the morning.

“I just need hundred naira, please.” He had asked.

It was at that point I actually looked at him. A tall, well spoken man begging for hundred naira early in the morning. I was confused.

Thankfully, the marwa filled up and the driver eased in and drove off.

 

The second encounter with him was in the afternoon. I was walking with my son. As we attempted to cross the road, he looked at my son and smiled at him.

“How are you? Hope you are taking care of mummy.”

“I am fine, thank you.” My son replied.

I immediately recognized him and I held tightly to my son as we crossed the road.

“Aunty, please I need just hundred naira.”

 

On my third encounter with him, I had stopped to buy suya from my regular customer. He walked up to me and said; “I thought you had a baby on your back. I didn’t realize it was your knapsack.”

He started with his compliments as usual and kept talking. I ignored him and faced my business. He asked for hundred naira and when he realized I wasn’t looking at him, he walked away.

The guy selling suya to me smiled and I asked if he knew him.

“Yes, I know am well well. He dey waka everywhere dey ask for hundred naira.”

“Ahn…ahn…” I lamented.

“I hear say na this street im papa house dey. Dem say after im papa die, na so he kolo.”

“Wow!!!” I exclaimed. “He no get family?”

“Dem say im brother just leave am for house. I hear say he don travel comot.”

I paid for my suya, thanked the guy and walked away.

 

Whether the story about his father dying, his brother travelling out and leaving him alone is true or not, I have no idea. But one thing is sure, the man needs help and it seems like he has been left to his fate.

—–

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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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Love, Lies and Murder – Part 1

This Monday, Olubukola’s Thoughts serves you another African love story broken into three parts. 

Please enjoy, drop your comments and don’t forget to use the share buttons below.

Thanks 😊

*********

 

As the police led Mojirayo away from the scene of the crime, she looked at the faces of her parents. Her mother put her hand on her head as she threw herself on the floor in lamentation. Her father who she expected to be man enough to handle the situation wasn’t any better. He was crying in broad daylight. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he looked at his first daughter. His pride, the one who was meant to take them out of the depth of poverty. The one who was meant to be the shining light to her nine younger siblings. The one he had given out in marriage at the age of sixteen because he needed to provide a better life for his family.

Mojirayo raised her head high. She wasn’t sorry for what she had done. She showed no remorse. This was not the time to be sorry. This was the time to be happy. The time to jubilate because she had finally been delivered from the hell she lived in. Yes, it was hell but her parents thought otherwise. Even though she hadn’t planned what happened, it had worked perfectly in her favour. Baba Ibeji was a pain she endured the past twenty-four months. He had a pot belly that irritated her anytime he tried to hug her. He had a terrible mouth odour that nauseated her and made her puke when he kissed her. After retching, she washed her tongue with her toothbrush vigorously so that she did not also become a victim of his terrible sickness. When he visited her room to satisfy himself, he grunted like a goat during his height of ecstasy and snored like a generator that was about to knock its engine immediately after. Most times, she picked up her pillow and went to the living room to sleep. When he awoke in the morning and asked if she enjoyed him, she faked a smile and nodded like an agama lizard. Her three senior wives would hiss and spit at her for the next three days. She was the intruder. The one who had come to reap where she did not sow. The one who had come to take advantage of their husband’s goodwill to better her own family. The selfish, bad-mannered girl who was old enough to be a daughter to them but was sleeping with their husband and keeping him away from their rooms for the most part of the month.

**********

Twenty-six months ago, Mojirayo was about to write her SSCE exams. Every day, she reminded her father about the payment for the exams but she got the same answer each time; he did not have the funds. Shina was an okada rider who lived in a one room face-to-face apartment with ten kids. His wife was a petty trader who sold Ugwu leaves for a living. Mojirayo once asked her mother why she had to give birth to many children when they could not afford to cater for them. She had received a resounding smack across her face as her response. She was told never to stop the flow of God’s blessings. Family planning had never been an option. As far as her mother was concerned, it was a sin.

But Mojirayo had overheard their neighbours making jest of them many times. They were the butt of the neighbours jokes in the building. They said Shina could barely feed himself but never ceased to get his wife pregnant. They said he was either trying to prove his virility or was too stupid to look for another form of recreation besides the bedroom.

 

When Mojirayo refused to allow her father rest, he decided to approach members of his okada riders association for a loan. He however received sad stories from everyone. They also had obligations to their various families that they couldn’t fulfill. This denial made him take a visit to Baba Ibeji’s house which was a stone throw to theirs. Baba Ibeji was their landlord. He was a big time farmer who dealt in cassava plantation, fish farming and piggery. He had a number of employees working for him and he built the face to face apartments with the proceeds from his business. Shina had pleaded with Baba Ibeji to loan him the money for his daughter’s exams. Baba Ibeji had gladly accepted to oblige him but under a condition. Shina had promised to accept whatever condition it was. He had assumed that Baba Ibeji would probably ask for a free supply of Ugwu to his family or ask for his monthly rent to be increased to cover the cost of the loan.

He was however in shock when he heard Baba Ibeji’s condition. He wanted to make Mojirayo his fourth wife. Shina had stammered and asked if Baba Ibeji was serious. Baba Ibeji had gotten upset and walked him out of his house. Shina had gone home dejected. How could Baba Ibeji want to take Mojirayo who was old enough to be his own daughter as wife? What about his other three wives? Shina had been unable to sleep that night. He had tossed and turned on his tattered mattress. Even when his wife, Omowunmi had tried to touch him, he had turned his back to her. She had been surprised as Shina never refused her advances. They always practiced Proverbs 5 verse 18 – 20 and Ecclesiastes 9 verse 9 to the letter.

 

The next morning, Mojirayo greeted her father with news. She wasn’t going to write the SSCE exams because she was yet to pay for it. She had been told in school the previous day. Shina made up his mind immediately. He went to Baba Ibeji and agreed to his conditions for the loan. Baba Ibeji smiled as Shina almost prostrated before him. He had eyed Mojirayo for a while. She was a stunning beauty and he felt she should live a happy life; away from the poverty of her parents. He gave Shina cash on the spot and asked him to bring Mojirayo to his house immediately after her exams were over. Shina nodded as he collected the cash and left Baba Ibeji’s house. Baba Ibeji smirked in a self-satisfied triumph. He touched his nether region and licked his lips. Mojirayo was going to be his trophy wife.

 

Tears streamed down Mojirayo’s cheeks when her father told her about his agreement with Baba Ibeji after her last paper. Shina had thought it wise to allow his daughter write her exams without any distractions. Mojirayo told her father that she would have rather missed writing the exams than get married to Baba Ibeji. According to her father, she needed to look at the bright side of the situation. Baba Ibeji was rich and he would offer her a better life. She would be able to have the nicer things of life which she would never have access to under his roof. She would be able to help him send her younger ones to school which he could barely afford to do at the moment. She would make all their neighbours envious and he would have the last laugh as they would all love to be in her shoes. There was nothing Mojirayo said that made sense to her father. As far as he was concerned, this was a dream come through for them. Mojirayo was their ticket to a life out of abject poverty.

 

Two weeks after Mojirayo’s exams, Shina was yet to take his daughter to Baba Ibeji’s house. He knew he was meant to fulfill his promise but he wanted to have his daughter for one more day. He told himself he would do it tomorrow but tomorrow never came. He noticed his daughter’s countenance had changed since he told her of his agreement with Baba Ibeji. She wore a sad face permanently and looked as if she was waiting to be taken to the slaughter house. Even though, he also felt bad about the agreement, he consoled himself that it was for a better life. Once she became Baba Ibeji’s fourth wife, their fortune would change. All those neighbours who taunted him would see the other side of him. He would make sure they apologized for all the insults they had heaped on him all through the years. He would stop riding an okada because Mojirayo would urge her husband to buy him a nice Toyota camry 2001 model which he would use as a taxi cab. His other nine children would change their school and move to a private school in the area. Omowunmi would stop selling Ugwu leaves and start doing supplies like Baba Ibeji’s first wife. She would rub shoulders with the big women who tied their geles like a satellite dish every Saturday. She would supply party souvenirs, canopies and chairs and maybe even start cooking for large parties. At least, she loved to cook and the aroma of her food anytime she was cooking was the reason why she was called “Ìya Mojíráyò, Ölówö síbí” by their neighbours.

He had just finished a bowl of eba and edikaikong soup as his mind played around with ideas shooting them into the goal post. He smiled and picked his teeth with a broom stick as he thought about what he would do once he became rich. A hard knock on his door jolted him out of his reverie. He wondered who could be banging his door that way at this time of the night. Another bang on the door got him upset and he stood up to accost the intruder.

He opened the door and standing before him was Baba Ibeji. He had an angry stare on his face which highlighted the tribal marks on his cheeks. Many of the kids in the compound whispered to each other whenever they saw him that he must have fought with a tiger to have such terrible marks. Shina knew the wait was over. Baba Ibeji asked him to pack his family and wretched belongings and leave his house the next morning or fulfill his promise. He pleaded with Baba Ibeji and told him Mojirayo would arrive at his house first thing the next morning.

——
The story continues…

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Wedding Chronicles – Are we family?

The wedding procession was taking place inside the church. The bride’s brothers, sister and sister-in-law were outside the church trying to make sure that the reception venue which was within the church premises was neatly arranged and ready.

While they were at it, a sister of the bride asked for a pack of juice. Her brother and sister-in-law told her they would help her get one. There was a large drum stationed beside the church building. It contained chilled drinks. They went to the people manning the drum and asked for a pack of juice for their sister. The men said they had been instructed by the groom’s family not to give anyone anything. They explained that it was for the bride’s sister but the men turned a deaf ear.

When they were about to leave, the groom’s sister walked by. The bride’s sister-in-law went ahead to explain the situation to the groom’s sister. The groom’s sister looked at the lady standing before her like she was some piece of trash. “Yes, I gave that instruction and no one gets anything. If you knew you wanted a drink, you could have come with yours.”

The bride’s sister-in-law was embarrassed. She was about to give the groom’s sister a befitting response when the bride’s brother pulled her away. “Just don’t say anything. Leave her alone.” He said to her. They went across the road, bought a pack of juice and handed it over to their sister.

 

The church service was soon over and guests trooped out to take their seats under the canopies arranged outside the church. The bride’s family had made arrangements for food for all guests and they served everyone present.

While the reception was underway, the groom’s family brought out another meal which had kept to be served at a later hour. They started to dish out the meal to their guests and another sister to the bride went to them to ask how she could be of help so she could serve some of their own guests. The groom’s sister refused and told her the meal was brought strictly for the groom’s family’s guests.

The bride’s sister-in-law stood afar and watched the drama taking place. If the groom’s sister could do this on her brother’s wedding day to the bride’s family, she wondered what awaited the bride in the future.

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

Many reasons to be thankful!

This is the last post for the year 2016 and I have every reason to be grateful.

  1. I am grateful for life.
  2. I am grateful for sound health.
  3. I am grateful for my family; immediate and extended.
  4. I am grateful for my friends, colleagues and acquaintances; especially my course mates I hooked up with after 18 years.
  5. I am grateful I have a roof over my head.
  6. I am grateful for my job.
  7. I am grateful for my business, NDJs and how far God has taken it.
  8. I am grateful for my clients, without which my business does not exist.
  9. I am grateful for my talents yet untapped and business ideas still being cooked in my head.
  10. I am grateful for Olubukola’s Thoughts; and I am grateful for the eyes reading this.

grateful-thankful-blessed

If you are truly grateful for the year 2016, share in the comments section below.

Here’s wishing you a happy new year!

See you in 2017 by His grace!

——

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

Blind Pact – Chapter 4

Gboyega looks on as Bola walks away. He had noticed her when she came into school as a fresher and he had felt there was something strange about her. He knew it was beyond being just a girl studying Civil Engineering. There was more to her and he had been curious to find out. He watched her from afar hoping to understand her peculiar personality. When he found out that her life revolved around school, fellowship and the hostel, he had smiled. One of those born-again chicks. They had always being a mystery to him. There was something about them that he just did not understand.

His parents were not religious. They attended church whenever they felt like it. And their kids, all seven boys always stayed away on such days. His parents were secondary school teachers who believed that as long as their kids were morally upright, they were fine. The boys however, all engaged in one vice or the other without the knowledge of their parents.

Two years ago, he lost them on a trip back from their hometown. They had travelled home to attend the burial of a family friend who had died of a heart failure. The bus conveying them had somersaulted a number of times after a burst tyre. The bus had been mangled and bodies were thrown out during the mishap. There were no survivors.

Gboyega suddenly became an orphan with six younger brothers to take care of. He tried to keep his brothers as one family but they all rebelled. Family members deserted them and life became tough. This further hardened the boys and the centre of their family could no longer hold. Each went his own way taking his destiny into his hands and struggling to chart the course of his life.

It had been a sober day for him during one of the crusades organized by a church close to his house. He had been loitering around thinking about what had become of his life and that of his siblings when he felt a strong urge to go into the crusade ground. He looked around and saw joy radiating as the people danced and worshipped God.

When the pastor started preaching, he looked around wondering if anyone had mentioned his travails to the pastor. The pastor kept on talking as if he was referring directly to him. He stood up in annoyance thinking someone was playing pranks on him. But as he was about to leave the crusade ground, right before his presence, he saw flashes of his life before him. He saw himself struggling in vain to come out of a dark pit. The pit was deep and hollow. He looked up and there was bright light at the top of the pit. He cried out but no one heard him. His voice bounced back to him in deafening echoes. All of a sudden, he started to sink. He stretched out his hand for a lifeline but there was nothing to hold on to. The more he struggled, the more he sank deeper. He was neck deep in the bog and was about to be enveloped in the darkness of the pit when he suddenly came to himself and realized that he was still standing in front of the crusade ground. He turned back and right there on his seat, he called on God to save him. He could not boast of his past and he was haunted daily by a past misdeed. He continuously prayed every day that God will forgive him for all the wrongs he had done in the past.

Gboyega becomes a regular in the fellowship longing to know more about God. His lifestyle changes and he garners a lot of whispers within campus. His close friends notice his turnaround and they are surprised. He moves close to Bola trying to learn more about God from her. When he is confused about a scripture, he calls on her to expatiate which she gladly does. At other times, she refers him to the pastor of the fellowship. His changed life has an effect on a few of his friends and some also turn a new leaf.

 

A few days to his graduation, Gboyega attends his last fellowship meeting. After the service, he walks up to Bola and asks if he can accompany her to her hostel.

“Okay.” She replies.

“I want to thank you for being a good friend and helping me in getting grounded in Christ.”

“Oh don’t mention. What are we friends for?”

Gboyega stops and holds Bola by the hand. “Bola, I want us to be more than friends.”

Bola looks at him confused. “I don’t understand.”

“I mean, am I allowed to date you?”

“Date me?” She looks at him, shock written on her face. “I see you as an elder brother.”

“But I am not.”

“I’m sorry Gboyega, I can’t date you.” Bola says as she starts walking ahead. She looks back at him. “Thanks for walking me to my hostel.”

Gboyega stands still at the spot where he had stopped Bola. She walks away without a second look at him. Their friendship had grown over the past months and he saw her beyond being friends. He had fallen in love with her. He had tried to lighten his proposition by telling her he wanted to date her. What he actually wanted was to spend a lifetime with her. But he had been unable to bring himself to tell her. She would have thought he had gone bonkers. She was so different. He had had his fair share of ladies in the past but Bola was nothing compared to them. He hadn’t planned on falling in love with her. But it had happened and he could not deny it. He was leaving school in a few days; and in about two months, he would be going for the compulsory National Youth Service. He did not want to leave without declaring his feelings for her.

As he turned to walk back to his hostel, he thought. “How am I supposed to tell that I love her if she won’t let me?”

**********

Bola walks into her room tired. Her room is empty. As usual, her roommates have gone for either a party or hangout. Sometimes, she wonders how she copes living with such roommates. They all lived for the moment. They knew Bola’s stance and tried as much as possible to respect her. One of them had actually confided in her once about changing her lifestyle. She said not having enough to spend had pushed her to hang out with the others. She wanted to be seen as one of the happening girls on campus. Bola had smiled and asked her if that was her main purpose in school. She had been sober but it had lasted only for a day. The next day, she was back in the company of the others. She did not want to be seen as a living the life of a bore.

Bola had gone straight from lectures to fellowship. She was hoping no one would try to make small talk with her as she sneaked away after the service was over. She was therefore surprised that Gboyega had still found her. His question about dating her had come as a shock. She was not interested in dating anyone much less someone she took as an elder brother. Yes, he was not her brother but he could pass for one. She had a lot ahead of her and a relationship was not part of what she saw right now. She pushes away thoughts of him and lies on her bed. In a few minutes, she drifts off into deep sleep.

 

Gboyega’s graduation day is here and he has no one to invite. He asks Bola if she would be his guest and she obliges. When it is time to take pictures, she looks around wondering where his family members are but sees no one. After the event, he asks her to walk with him to his hostel to pick his luggage. “How come no one came for your graduation? I thought you would have invited your family.” Bola asks.

“I don’t have a family.”

Bola stops short. A confused look on her face. “You don’t have a family? How is that possible?”

Gboyega smiles as he holds her hand so she can continue walking. “I lost my parents two years ago. We have been deserted by family. My six brothers all live their lives the way they deem fit.”

“I’m….I’m so sorry. I did not know that.” Bola says sadly.

“I know. I don’t like talking about my past.”

They walk silently for some minutes; each lost in his own thoughts. When they get to the boys hostel, Bola tells him she would rather wait outside. Gboyega nods and goes inside alone. A few minutes later, he emerges with two travel bags and a knapsack on his back. Bola asks if she can help him with his knapsack and he takes it off his back, balancing it squarely on hers. They proceed and walk towards the campus gate.

“Where is home?” Bola asks.

“Lagos.”

“Okay. And where were you were posted to?”

“I was posted to Ogun state.”

Bola smiles. “That’s nice. At least, you were not thrown into a bush where you would have to go in search of network to receive calls.”

“Does that mean I should expect your calls?”

“Would you rather I don’t call?” Bola teases.

“I would love to hear your voice every day and today’s pictures would remind me of you even when I am far away.”

Bola looks away. “Abeg, don’t start oh. What’s with all the ‘mushy mushy’ talk?”

“I meant what I said the last time and much more.” Gboyega stops walking.

Bola also stops and looks up at him. “And I also meant what I said as well. Sincerely, Gboyega, can we just remain friends and leave a relationship out of this?”

Gboyega shrugs. “Okay. If that’s how you want it.”

“Thank you.” Bola replies as they resume walking again.

They arrive at the garage some few minutes later and Gboyega loads his luggage into the next public bus on queue. Since it is going to take a while to fill up, Bola decides to hang around with him till the bus moves. They find a comfortable place to sit down and order two cold bottles of coke from a food vendor.

“So, I have never asked about your family as well?” Gboyega asks.

“I lost my dad two years ago as well. My family is just me and my mum. I am an only child.”

“I’m sorry about your dad.” Gboyega says looking at her. “What does it feel like to be an only child?”

Bola shrugs. “Sometimes, it feels lonely. No one to talk to or confide in. But mum tries her best to fill in the gap.” She says staring at the bottle of coke in her hand.

“I feel that way too sometimes. Lonely. Since my parents’ death, everything has been in disarray. My brothers don’t care about each other. I have tried to bring them together but nothing seems to work. I guess the rejection by family members worsened it. I once thought about ending it all….”

Bola raises up her head in shock.

“I was just tired. It was the same day I walked into a crusade ground and everything changed from then.” He says smiling.

“I’m glad that happened.”

“Me too.” Gboyega says as he holds her hand.

The bus fills up and Bola nudges him gently. “You should go now.”

Gboyega gets up still holding on to her hand. Bola becomes uncomfortable and tries to remove her hand from Gboyega’s hold. He looks at her straight in the eyes and smiles as he drops her hand gently.

They hand over their empty bottles to the food vendor and Gboyega takes his seat in front beside the driver. “I will miss you.” He says as Bola stands by his side.

Bola looks away and does not respond.

The bus drives off before Bola decides to leave for campus.

 

As she walks back to her hostel, she pulls out her copy of Gboyega’s graduation picture from an envelope. Even though he is smiling, his eyes are sad. She remembers what he said about his family and brothers. How sad that no family member had been there to share in his joy. She put the picture back into the envelope and sighs. At least, she had her mother, Gboyega had no one.

blind-pact-4

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

The Emergence of Married Bachelors

I won’t call it a new trend because it has been around for a while and has come to stay. However, I wonder how it became so acceptable. Some years ago, it was considered an anomaly. Some years ago, to be an absentee father was totally wrong. Some years ago, to live apart from your legally married wife was termed immoral (unless you had a harem). Some years ago, it was not a choice to live apart from your family. Those who lived apart for genuine reasons such as work, war, education; longed for when they would live together as a family. In the past, family values were passed from generation to generation by fathers while mothers held those values and ensured they were adhered to in the family unit.

Absent Fathers_Married Bachelors

Fast forward to this generation, it has become a fad to live separately. Hmm……the things this generation does; at times, I wonder what the next generation would do. Blame it on technology! It is a technology driven world. Yeah, right! I wonder if technology also helps in managing a bonded family. I hear Skype, Face time, Snapchat, Hangouts, Viber, Tango, WeChat etc. Does technology train a child or help the father see those habits that need to be quickly nipped in the bud? Does technology have arms to hug a child early in the morning or late at night? Does technology give a child the warm assurance when he is scared of shadows at night? Does technology get into bed with a child to allay his fears when he is having nightmares? Does technology whip a child in the butt when he misbehaves? Does technology sit with a child to assist with homework brought back from school? Does technology give a child good night kisses?

Absent Father_Married Bachelors 2

I wonder if training a child has now become the sole duty of the mother alone. I hear a bad child is the mother’s. So if the good child is the father’s and the father is an absentee, is it right for him to also claim the good child as his? Being that, the mother wore both the father and mother hat.

The emotional needs of the wife is another topic for discussion. If marriage is for companionship, then why marry and live apart on purpose? Why burn with passion and suffer in solitude when you have paid the price in full for uninterrupted satisfaction. Sincerely, I need valid answers to these questions.

Married bachelors

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