Tag Archives: Heartbreak

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

Blind Pact – Chapter 10

Gboyega sighs deeply as he thinks about Kofo. He wishes he could erase his past with her. She was the reason why he continuously asked God daily for forgiveness. He wasn’t proud of his past and he found it difficult to discuss it with Bola. Now that Bola was aware, he had to come out clean with her.

He smiled. Thoughts of her always brought a smile to his face. She had given him a reason to look forward to a bright future. The text message she sent last night had endeared her more to him. He loved her and he was ready to protect her from Kofo.

He gets to the bus-stop and waits for a bus that will call his destination. He remembers when he only transported through taxis. He once asked Kofo to get him a car. Her response had been that if he needed one, then he needed to steal one. He had been shocked at her response but that was the last time he ever asked her. She was satisfied with paying for his taxi trips to their rendezvous. She would cringe now if she saw him in a public bus. But that was all in the past now.

He decides to ring Bola. Right now, she was all that mattered. Bola picks up on the second ring. “Hey beautiful.” He crooned into her ears.

“Hi.” She replies groggily.

“Looks like I woke you up.” He says laughing.

“Yes, you did.”

“No lectures this morning?”

“No. Besides, I’m not on campus. I’m home.” Bola replies.

Gboyega is surprised. “Are you okay? Is there a problem?”

Bola sits up on her bed. “I’m fine. I had missed home and just wanted to see my mum.”

“How is she?” Gboyega asks smiling.

“She’s good.”

Gboyega sighs. “About Kofo?”

“Kofo?” Bola asks confused.

“Yes, the lady that came over to your hostel. I am sorry I haven’t talked about my past but it is because I am not proud of it.”

Bola listens quietly.

“I used to be her boyfriend.” Gboyega breathes deeply. “Actually, I was her toy boy. A lover who warmed her bed for pecuniary gains. I won’t say she seduced me because I made a choice to continue with the relationship. I was getting paid for laying her and I guess the pay became too attractive for me to look the other way.”

Bola sighs.

“But, I am not that man anymore. I have left my past behind. I even decided to change my mobile number so she would not be able to reach me any longer. You are everything I need now and I mean every word when I tell you that I love you.”

Bola takes a deep breath. “Thanks for trusting me enough to tell me about your past. But it is a lot to comprehend right now, Gboyega.”

“I understand. Life has not been fair. I know it is not an excuse and I accept responsibility for all my actions. I just couldn’t get myself to tell you about my sordid past. I assumed the time was never going to be right. I never wanted you to find out this way.” Gboyega says soberly.

“I just…I just wish things were different.”

“I don’t understand.” Gboyega says confused.

“We can’t toe the same path, Gboyega. We are poles apart.” Bola says as hot tears sting her eyes.

Gboyega feels like his heart is being ripped apart. “Bola, please, don’t break my heart. I love you and need you. I want to spend the rest of my days with you. I can’t change my past but I can recreate my future.”

“We can’t have a future together.” Bola says as the thought of what she just said stabs her in the heart and she breaks down into tears. She had fallen in love with Gboyega but his past was too tainted for her to ignore. She could not imagine being with him anymore. “Good bye Gboyega.” She says as she cuts the call.

Gboyega tries to call her back but she refuses to pick up. He looks around him and realizes he is still at the bus-stop. A look at his wristwatch shows that he is already behind time and he is definitely going to be late to the office today. He sighs as the next bus that approaches calls his destination. He flags it down and enters it. He tries to call Bola again but her phone rings out. “Bola, please don’t do this to me.” He begins to type. “I love you.”

He sighs deeply as he lays his head on the head rest in the public bus. Today is already turning out wrong for him. He is going to be late to work. The two ladies in his life have placed a huge burden on his heart. One he has rejected and who wants him back at all costs and another who he loves but has rejected him.

********

Bola sobs quietly after she cuts the call. Gboyega keeps calling her but she refuses to pick up his calls. She reads the text message from him and that brings more tears. She suddenly wishes she had not heard about his past. She only wants to retain sweet memories of him. Memories of them in fellowship worshipping God, memories of them sharing the word, memories of his graduation when she was the only one by his side.

blind-pact-10

She stands up from her bed and picks up her school bag lying on her reading table. She opens the bag and takes out their picture together. Tears roll down her cheeks as she looks at him. He had captured her heart. And now, she had to let him go. She lay on her bed and curled into a fetal position holding the picture to her bosom. Why did I have to fall in love with him?

She wipes her tears as she determines in her heart. This is the end of the road for Gboyega and her. Her roommate Miriam, had been right after all. He was a toy boy. It was difficult to comprehend how a lady as sophisticated as Kofo could have Gboyega as a boyfriend. He was just a student and the lady standing before them that day oozed class from every pore of her skin.

I have to let him go. But the thought of that action tore her heart into shreds and she started sobbing again until she fell asleep.

——–

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

To Love and to Hold – Episode 28

Fadeke arrived Lagos at 1p.m and took a cab straight home. She had cried enough. Tears weren’t going to change the situation. She needed to think of the next step. Her life was going to take a different course and she needed to think. The one she loved had rejected her and the only person she could turn to now at this time of need was her mother. She knew it wasn’t going to go down well with her but she needed her.

 

As she sauntered into the house, she heard the hum of the blender and moved towards the kitchen. Her mum was making an apple smoothie and did not hear her walk in.

“Mum?”

She looked up surprised and switched off the blender. “I thought you said you were coming back tomorrow evening”.

“There was a change of plan”.

She looked closely at her daughter expecting more. “Okay?”

Fadeke looked away and was quiet.

“Is there something I need to know?”

Her mother knew her too well. She burst into tears again; invading her mother’s space and hugging her tight. She wept like a baby while she was rocked from side to side. When her sobs subsided, she looked up to search her mother’s face.

“Mum, I am so sorry. I know you would be disappointed in me”.

Mrs. Peters cradled her daughters face in her hands. “Fadekemi, I love you no matter what you may have done wrong”.

“I…I…I…went to see Chinedu in Abuja”.

“Okay…and?”

“I’m pregnant”.

Mrs. Peters hands dropped. “You are what?”

“I’m pregnant, mum. I’m sorry”. She broke down again.

Mrs. Peters looked on like she was in a trance. My own daughter pregnant? “Fadeke, how could you?” She cried.

“It was just once”.

“And you did not deem it fit to use protection? How am I supposed to explain this to your father?” She screamed.

Fadeke fell on her knees and sobbed. If only her mother knew the rest of the story. She did not think she could bring herself to tell her. She felt like her heart had been ripped apart. Her mother turned her back on her as she sobbed.

“What did Chinedu say?”

“I couldn’t tell him”.

She turned round to look at her daughter astonished. “What do you mean? Isn’t he responsible?”

“He is but…but….I met my roommate in his house”.

To Love & to Hold 41a

“What?”

“She said Chinedu had been playing games with me all along”.

Mrs. Peters raised an eyebrow. “And you believed her?”

Fadeke looked dazed. “Of course, mum”.

“So did Chinedu confirm what she said?”

“I did not wait to see him. I left with the next flight back to Lagos”.

She sighed. “You didn’t give him an opportunity to prove whether what she said was right or wrong. What if she had lied?”

“I know it is true. She said so many other things to prove that I had been deceived all along. I was devastated, mum. I couldn’t take it. I just had to leave”. She cried.

Mrs. Peters pulled her daughter close to her. Her sobs were breaking her heart as well. “Sssh….Go upstairs and take a rest, okay? You’d be much better when you wake up”.

She nodded as tears streamed down her cheeks.

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The plane touched down at exactly 5.30pm. Chinedu looked out of the window at the runway but his mind was far away. He had tried to figure out what Fadeke could possibly want to talk about which brought her all the way to Abuja. What could have happened between when she arrived his house and when she decided to leave but no ideas had come up. He was lost and he needed to find his way out.

As he stepped out of the plane, he flagged a taxi to take him straight to Fadeke’s house. He knew he risked meeting her father at home but she hadn’t given him much of a choice. If she could only pick up his calls; maybe he could decide on an alternative. He tried calling again. Her phone rang out again and he decided to give up. There was no use calling. She wasn’t going to pick up and he also did not have a choice; he was going to meet her.

 

He looked at his wrist watch as he stood before the expansive gate of the Peters’ family. It was a quarter to 7pm. He hadn’t even called his mother to tell her he was in town. That could wait. The matter before him was more important right now. As he pushed down the door bell, the door man looked at him through the pigeon hole.

“Yes, how may I help you?”

“I want to see Fadeke”.

The man looked at him surprised. “Now?”

“Yes”.

“Uncle, seven don almost nack oh and my oga dey house”. He said in Pidgin English.

Chinedu thought for a minute then answered. “What about madam? She dey house?”

“Yes, she dey”.

“Abeg, help me tell her say na me Chinedu”.

“I know you nah. I just dey wonder the time wey you dey come”.

“Please, it is urgent. Could you tell madam that?”

“Okay. I dey come”. He said as he closed the pigeon hole and ran towards the house.

 

“Come inside”. The door man said as he opened the gate. “She said you should sit down in the guest parlour”.

Chinedu nodded his thanks as he walked towards the house.

As he opened the door to the house, he met Mrs. Peters’ easing herself into a couch in the guest living room. He greeted her as he closed the door shut.

“How may I help you, Chinedu?” She wasn’t in the mood for pleasantries.

“I’m sorry I came to visit this late but I really need to see Fadeke”.

“She’s asleep”.

Chinedu moved closer to her while still standing. “Please, I need to know what is wrong. She has refused to pick up my calls. I am confused”.

Mrs. Peters’ looked at him and simply shook her head. “You know her father is home, right?”

“Yes ma. I was told”.

“So I’d advise you leave now. I only came to attend to you out of courtesy. If my daughter doesn’t want to pick up your calls, then you can be rest assured she doesn’t want to see you as well. Have a good evening”. She said as she stood up to leave.

Chinedu stood rooted to the spot. Was this really happening? He rubbed his eyes to be sure he wasn’t dreaming. Mrs. Peters’ who had shown him love in the past had walked him out of her house. This was a bad dream and he wanted to wake up from it.

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Fadeke woke up with a splitting headache. She looked at the little clock on the bedside stool. It read 4 a.m. She had slept for twelve straight hours. The events and the journey of the previous day must have taken a toll on her. She staggered out of bed towards the bathroom. She opened the essentials cabinet and took out two tabs of panadol. She walked back to the room, opened her bedroom fridge and took out a glass and a bottle of water. As she poured the water into the glass, it dawned on her that no one had awoken her for a chat. Did that mean that her mum was yet to tell her father that she was pregnant? She downed the water and the pain killers, dropped the glass cup on the fridge and lay back on the bed.

She put her hand on her tummy and thought. What is going to become of my baby? I am going to be an unwed mother. Everything about my life is going to change. What she wasn’t sure of was how her relationship with her father would fare. As she closed her eyes, she gradually drifted back to sleep.

 

Mrs. Peters peeped into her daughter’s room at 6a.m. She needed to talk to her. She had informed her husband about the situation last night and he had flared up. He wanted to go wake her up but she had pleaded with him. She had had a bad day; she told him. He was even more upset that Chinedu had enough guts to come looking for her at home. “I told you he was no good but you wouldn’t listen. The result is now in her tummy”. He spat. “You better take her to the hospital and get that thing out of her”. He had concluded.

She had been too dumbfounded to say anything. How could he be asking his daughter to have an abortion? She hadn’t been able to sleep all night. She had wanted to talk to Fadeke right away but she knew it would have been a futile effort. She was tired and needed to rest.

Fadeke was already awake but just lay in bed. She saw her mum peep in and lifted up to sit.

“Good morning mum”.

Mrs. Peters walked into the room and sat on the bed. “Good morning darling. Did you rest well?”

“I tried”.

She sighed. “Things have taken a turn for the worse, I must confess”.

“You told dad”.

“Yes, I did. He says you should have an abortion”.

“What? No way”.

Her mum just looked at her without a word.

“You are not in support of that, are you?”

“Honestly, I don’t know what I am in support of at the moment. I am confused”.

“I’m sorry”.

“I just wish you had been more careful, Fadeke. In this time and age, I’m surprised you could take such a risk. What happened to protection?

Fadeke bowed her head.

She sighed again. “We need to think this through so that we don’t take a decision we would regret later. Do you understand me?”

Fadeke nodded.

“Chinedu was here last night”.

Fadeke raised her head. “He was here? What did he want?”

“He wanted to see you. I had to attend to him in the lounge. Your father was upstairs and you can imagine what would have happened if he had seen him”.

“Mum, do you think he looked remorseful?”

“Do you want the honest truth?”

She nodded.

“He looked confused. He really doesn’t know what is going on and I think you should talk to him”.

“But I don’t want to”.

“Okay, fine. I can’t force you to, you know? Anyway, you should be hungry.

“I’m starving”.

“So, let’s go make breakfast”.

They both stood up from the bed and walked out of the room.

 

Mr. Peters was already in the living room watching the early morning news. It was a Sunday morning and they should normally be getting ready for church; but the events of last night had upset him so much that he wasn’t in the mood to go anywhere. Fadeke was walking ahead of her mother and as she entered the living room, she stopped short. She hadn’t expected to meet her father sitting in there so early. This was unusual. Her heartbeat increased as her father looked up from the television set and met her eyes. She was about to turn back when he spoke.

“Come back here Fadeke”.

She looked at her mum who was standing behind her with pleading eyes. She understood immediately and held her hand; walking her towards the living room. As her mum sat on the couch opposite her dad, she huddled beside her.

“So you still continued with your relationship with that Igbo boy? You see what it has caused you?” He paused and looked at his wife. “Have you arranged how to get that thing out of her?”

To Love & to Hold 41b

“My dear, let us think about this before……”

“Think about this? Hear yourself speak. What are you thinking about? She would not have that bastard in my house”. He scowled.

“You can’t ask your daughter to go for an abortion”.

“I am not asking her to. I am telling her she must have one if she is to remain in my house”.

Fadeke who had been quiet all along suddenly burst into tears. She knelt down and pleaded. “Daddy, please”.

He stood up infuriated. “Why are you begging me? You were so stupid to have given yourself to an Igbo boy. Pray that I don’t set my eyes on him ‘cos he would be as good as dead”. He stormed out of the living room leaving both mother and daughter dumbfounded.

———

Photo Credit: http://www.wikihow.com
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To Love and to Hold – Episode 27

Chinedu was confused. What could have happened? He wasn’t expecting Fadeke until 2p.m and he was meant to pick her up at the airport. If she was coming early, she would have called him to pre-inform him; but she had not done that. She was supposed to discuss something very important and he had not the slightest idea what it could be about. And now; Kemi’s call. He remembered Kemi back in school as the nerd but he hadn’t known that she and Fadeke had become friends. He also did not know that she was also in Abuja. So much he did not know.

He stood up from his desk to go talk to his boss. It was just 10.30a.m. He had sought for permission earlier on in the week to leave the office for 1.30p.m. He hoped his boss would grant him another favour if he asked to leave now.

“No Chinedu, you can’t leave the office now”.

Chinedu’s countenance fell immediately. “I understand that our earlier agreement was 1.30p.m but I really need to attend to some personal issues”.

His boss looked at him over the rim of his glasses. “What time should I expect the report you are meant to deliver?”

Chinedu sighed. The report was what had brought him to the office in the first place. He had not gone half-way with it and he knew there was no way he could leave the office without delivering it to his boss. “You would get the report in another two hours”.

“Once your report is submitted, you can leave”.

Chinedu walked back to his desk and for the next two hours, he put all his efforts into getting his report done. If he had to leave the office, then he had to be focused. By noon, he sent the report to his boss by email and immediately shut down his laptop. He did not want his boss calling him back, so he removed the battery out of his official mobile phone so that he would be unreachable and put the second one on silent. His colleagues could reach him on the second one if there was anything urgent. He however prayed that nothing would come up. He hurriedly went down to meet his taxi driver as he had called him about thirty minutes earlier. As he eased himself into the taxi, different thoughts ran through his mind.

To Love & to Hold 40

“Mr. Chinedu, I dropped Madam Fadeke in the house this morning”. The taxi driver said as he drove off.

“Oh, did she call you?”

“Yes, she asked me to pick her up at the airport before eight this morning”.

“Was she okay?”

“Okay? I don’t understand, sir”. The taxi driver asked looking confused.

“Never mind”. Chinedu said trying to focus. If she had called the taxi driver to pick her up, it meant she had changed her flight but had not informed him. He checked his personal phone to see if he had any missed calls from any of his colleagues and found out that Kemi had called him six times. Oh no! He had not considered that Kemi would also try to call him. He rang her number back and she picked up on the first ring.

“I thought you said you were coming immediately. Why haven’t you been picking your calls?” She hissed.

“I couldn’t get away from work earlier but I’m on my way to your place now”.

“Don’t bother coming”.

“Why?”

She sighed. “She left already”.

“How? How could you let her leave without seeing me?”

“Look Chinedu, I am pissed already. So don’t let me say what I would regret later”. She said with irritation.

Chinedu tried to calm down. “Okay, I’m sorry I flipped. I just don’t understand what is going on”.

“Well, I also don’t. You were meant to come and fix whatever went wrong, right?”

She had a point and he had bungled that opportunity.

“What time did she leave?”

“She left with the 12 o’clock flight to Lagos. She was bent on leaving. I almost felt that she knew I had called you”.

“But she had not pre-booked, had she?”

“No, she was a walk-in”.

Chinedu blew air from his mouth. “She was running away from him. But why?

“Kemi, I know the question may not sound right; but did she give you a faint idea of what could have happened?”

“No, she did not. But whatever it was, she was really hurt”.

“Thanks. I appreciate your help”. He said cutting the call with Kemi.

He scrolled through his phone and dialled.

After the usual introductions, he spoke “Hi, my name is Chinedu Ugo and I would like to fly to Lagos on the next flight”.

“The next flight is at 2.30p.m sir but there are no available seats”. The lady on the phone crooned.

“Please I really need to get to Lagos. Could you check through again?”

“Please hold on sir”. She was silent for about two minutes which looked like forever to Chinedu as he tapped his fingers endlessly. “We have an available seat for the 6.15p.m flight. Would you like to book that sir?”

“6.15 is too late. Please I need your help. I need an earlier flight”. He said in desperation.

“I am sorry sir. I wish I could be of help but….”

He interrupted. “Could you take down my number and call me once you have a window on the 2.30 flight? It is 0801 234 5678”.

“Okay sir. I have your number penciled down for a probable 2.30 slot”.

“I would really appreciate it. Thanks”.

 

As soon as he arrived home, he asked the taxi driver to wait for a few minutes. He went in, packed an overnight bag and he was off to the airport. It was a quarter to two already and he was getting really tensed. The airport attendant hadn’t called back to give him news and he was spent already. He wasn’t thinking straight anymore. He decided to call Fadeke. She should be in Lagos by now. Her phone rang out three times without a response. She was running away and now she wasn’t picking up his calls. What have I done wrong? Why would she torment me this way?

 

He got to the airport and eased out of the car in a hurry. He ran towards the departure desk and introduced himself. “I called earlier for a seat on the 2.30p.m flight. Tell me there is an opening now, please”. He said almost out of breath.

The attendant smiled at him with compassionate eyes. “I’m sorry, sir. It is filled but we have an open slot on the next flight which takes off at 4.45p.m”.

He put his hands on his forehead. He was beginning to have a headache. “Please put me on that flight. I need to get to Lagos today”.

The attendant asked for his details and when he was done, he looked for a tuck shop to buy a coke. He was tired, hungry and absolutely on edge. As he opened the can, he tried calling Fadeke and her phone rang out again. “What is the meaning of all this? Why won’t she even pick up my calls? Even if I have done something wrong, at least, I have a right to know what it is”. He spoke to himself. He looked at his wrist watch. He had over two hours to wait for the next flight.

Two hours of his life which seemed like forever right now?

To Love & to Hold 40b

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

Second Chances – Episode 10

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

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

“I’ve been thinking”.

“About what?”

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

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

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

“Oh dear. Jealous? Why?”

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

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

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

“No, you weren’t”.

“Love sure hurts”.

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

“I wish it were that easy”.

“It will be if you take things easily”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2nd Chances 10

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

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

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

“Why?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Shoot”.

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

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

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

“How do you mean?”

“Did Sola discuss me with you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t know”. She shrugs.

“Kunbi, is there something I should know?”

“No, why do you ask?”

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

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

“And?” He asks expectant.

“And what?”

“Are you going to see Ola?”

Kunbi refuses to answer.

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

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

———-
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Second Chances – Episode 6

Kunbi leaves Ibadan for Lagos early Sunday morning. The discussion with her mum had been an eye-opener. It suddenly occurred to her that she had been blinded by love. Her mum and Wale could not be wrong after all. She wondered why it took her so long to see it. Ola had kicked against her having male friends in the University but she never saw it as jealousy. She had broken all ties and friendships with her male course mates and friends. According to him, other guys were a distraction to her. She had not seen anything wrong with it. To her, it was Ola’s way of showing that he loved her.

As she sat in the bus taking her back to Lagos, she thought about their relationship the past four years. She had been so much in love, she had refused to see the handwriting on the wall. She was fifteen when she lost her father and she remembered vividly how much she had detested his jealous attitude. Her mother had lived in hurt and pain while he was alive and she had vowed never to marry someone like him.

She sighed as she looked out of the moving vehicle. As her distance away from Ibadan increased, she felt like she was leaving a part of her heart behind. Maybe it is time to move on. This realization however broke her heart.

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

Monday afternoon, Sola picks Kunbi up for lunch as before. After ditching her for two weeks, he wants to make it up to her. Things are going on smoothly between himself and Tolu and he is thankful to her for it. As they sit at the table with their food, Sola notices that she is not as chatty as she usually is. He thought she just wanted to be quiet during the drive to the restaurant but now, he is sure something is wrong as she has hardly touched her food.

“Kunbi, you’ve been quiet. What’s on your mind?”

“Nothing”. She shrugs.

“You can’t tell me that. You’ve been picking at your food”.

She looks up at him. “Sola, I’m serious. There’s nothing wrong. I’m not really hungry today”.

Sola drops his cutlery and stretches his hands to hold hers on the table. “Kunbi, you can talk to me or don’t you trust me any longer”.

Meanwhile, an unknown person sitting some tables away from them raises up a mobile phone pretending to be chatting on it and takes a picture of him and Kunbi.

Kunbi bows her head as she responds; “I wish I could give myself a dose of my own medication”.

“I don’t understand what you’re saying”. Sola answers looking confused.

“I am having problems with Ola”.

Sola gasps. “Oh my goodness! What’s wrong? Is it because I called you the other day while you were with him?”

“Well, it’s part of it but it started long before then”. She looks up at him all of a sudden and removes her hands from his. “How did you know about that day? Wales told you obviously”. She hisses.

“Kunbi, he meant no harm. He was worried about you and he asked me never to call you while you were out of Lagos”.

Kunbi breathes deeply. “I am so confused”.

Sola looks anxiously at her with worry. “I’m so sorry, Kunbi. What have I done? I did not mean to destabilize your relationship. What can I do to help?”

Kunbi hold his hands and smiles as she looks into his eyes. “Sola, calm down. It’s not your fault. I told you the problem is not recent. Besides, it did not start with you. I’ll try to get myself out of this mess”.

The mobile phone is raised again and their picture is taken.

He forces a smile. “When you need my help, will you call me?”

“I will”. She responds as she bows her head and Sola stares at her.

 

Sola drives her back to her office and they are oblivious to the car trailing them behind. Sola switches off the engine of the car and looks at Kunbi. “Are you sure you would be fine?”

“Of course”. She answers as she removes her seat belt and gives him a hug. “Thank you again for the lunch”.

The car trailing them is parked a few metres behind. The unknown person lifts up a camera, adjusts the lenses to view them and takes a picture just as Kunbi is hugging Sola.

2nd Chances 6

“Do you want me to pick you up after work? I could tell Wale not to bother”. Sola asks ignoring her thanks.

“No. Wales would get worried and I don’t want to put him under unnecessary psychological pressure”.

“Okay. I’ll see you at home, then. Take care of you”. He says as he squeezes her left shoulder.

The camera in the other car clicks again.

“Thanks, I will”. Kunbi says.

She steps out of the car and walks towards her office complex while Sola starts the engine and drives off.

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

A young man is seated in Ola’s living room in Ibadan. He is dressed in blue faded jeans and a white Tee-shirt. He nods his head as he enjoys a music video played on TV.

Ola walks in from the kitchen as he wipes his hands on an apron he is wearing. “Sorry, I wanted to get what I was cooking off the fire”.

The man only smiles.

“So how far? Did you accomplish the task?”

“Of course. I told you to trust me”. The man answers.

Ola sits down. “Where are they?”

The man smiles as he brings out a brown envelope from his knapsack. “Here they are. Sharp and captivating”. He says as he hands over the envelope to Ola.

Ola opens the envelope, pulls out the contents and laughs mockingly. “I should have known better”.

The man rubs his palms together and smiles. “I told you I would do a good job. Didn’t I?”

Ola is upset as he hits his right palm on his forehead. “I can’t believe this”. He says shaking unable to control his anger.

Ola drops the envelope on the settee and begins to pace round the living room.

“My balance, Oga Ola”. The man says seeing that he seems to have been forgotten.

Ola looks at him in anger and shouts. “What?”

“My….my balance”. He stammers.

“How much is it?”

“Three thousand naira plus my transport fare”.

Ola looks at him, dips his hands in his jeans pocket and counts six five hundred naira notes. He throws it at him and orders him to get out.

“My transport fare, Oga Ola”. The man says as he scrambles to pick up the notes from the floor.

Ola walks towards him seething with anger and the man immediately picks his knapsack and rushes to the door.

————-

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

To Love and to Hold – Episode 16

“When can I bring Fadeke home?” Chinedu asked.

“Fadeke?” His mother asked looking up from the dinner she was preparing.

“Yes mum. I told you about her the last time I came home”.

“Oh, the lady you said you wanted to bring home as a wife?”

“Yes. Her name is Fadeke”.

“You are bringing home a Yoruba wife?” She asked alarmed. (Western part of Nigeria)

“Mum! Don’t tell me you belong to the group of people who discriminate against tribes”.

“I have not said that. Have I?”

“You haven’t but you were going to”.

She was about to bring down the steaming pot of stew from the stove when Chinedu stopped her. “Let me help you with that”.

“Thank you”. She said standing up from the stool she was sitting on. “Hmm, her name is Fadeke”. She said sighing.

“Yes. Do you have anything against her tribe?”

“No. I don’t. It just never occurred to me that you could bring one home”.

“I have them all around me and the fact that she is Yoruba really makes no difference to me. I love her. I guess that is a good reason to bring her home, right?”

“I understand, Chinedu. I hope you know what you are doing. Marriage is for a lifetime. Have you thought about that?”

“I know mum, which is why I need you to meet her and give us your blessings”.  He said holding her hands.

“Have you met her parents?”

“No, not yet. We would do that sometime soon. We wanted to start off with you”.

“Hmm”. She let out a long sigh. “Bring her home over the weekend”.

He kissed her on the cheeks. “Thanks mum. You are the best”.

To Love & to Hold 27

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

“Hey love, how are you doing?” Fadeke asked picking up the call on the first ring. She was sitting on a bean bag with her legs raised on an ottoman in her room. She had been absentmindedly flipping the channels searching for a programme to watch.

“I’m good. And you?”

“Cool. You sound excited. What’s the gist?” She smiled.

“My mum is expecting you this weekend”.

She dropped the remote control on the floor with excitement. “Are you serious?”

“Very serious, baby! We talked about you earlier and she asked me to bring you home”.

“Oh my goodness, I haven’t even thought about what I’m going to wear”. She said standing up to search through her wardrobe. She took out a red gown and shook her head. She took out another, looked at it in the mirror and flung it on her bed.

He wondered if she was still on the phone. “Hello love, are you still there?”

“Yes, I am. Just looking for something suitable in my wardrobe”. She replied; the phone between her right ear and shoulder.

“Right now? Today is Tuesday. You have three days to do that”.

“I’m sorry darling. I’m just so excited”.

“Besides, my mum is very simple. Anything you choose to wear will do just fine”.

“Okay. I’ll keep that in mind”. She said walking towards her bed. “How has your day been?”

“A little hectic. I was at the Adedeji’s house today”.

“How are the kids doing?”

“They are good and all grown up. The boys are taller compared to the last time I was home”. He chuckled. “They really gave me a hard time today with our arm wrestling bout”.

“You arm-wrestle them?”

“No, they arm-wrestle me. The twin boys, Temitayo and Temidire always do”. He smiled.

“And the girl?”

“Temitope! She’s very quiet. She is growing into a beautiful lady. And I tell you, she’s not running short of the protection of her brothers. They treat her like a queen”.

She pulled back the duvet cover on her bed and lay down. “I hope I get to meet them someday”.

“I hope so too. You would love them”.

“I’m sure I would. They have obviously struck a chord in your heart”.

“Not like you have”. He replied in a whisper.

She closed her eyes and could see herself in his arms once more. “You mean the world to me”.

“I love you with every breath that I take”. For a few seconds, they were both quiet; each one of them in their world of fantasy.

Fadeke opened her eyes and smiled. “Where do we meet?”

“Hmm….” He thought.

“The Posh café at Ikeja isn’t too far away from your place, right?”

“Yeah, cool. I’ll pick you up from there at 2.00pm. Is that okay?”

“Okay by me!”

They stayed on the phone for another one hour talking about different issues till they decided it was time to go to bed. As soon as Chinedu hit the bed, he was fast asleep. Fadeke, even though sleepy, decided that it was best she started her search for a suitable dress to wear. She rummaged through her wardrobe and after about 45 minutes, she picked out a long dress sewn with an Ankara fabric. She smiled as she set it aside. She was determined to create an impression on her future mother-in-law.

To Love & to Hold 27b

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

Kunle sat in his living room thinking. He had just received a phone call from Tochukwu and she had sounded calmer than she had in months. She wanted to meet with him at some place where they could talk. He wasn’t ready to have her in his home; she was too much trouble. He decided to meet with her at a café a stone throw away from his house. She agreed without any misgivings and even that made him suspicious. “What was she up to this time?”

The café was just a fifteen-minute walk from his house. He sat facing the main door so he would see her when she walked in. He ordered a sandwich and a bottle of coke and absentmindedly watched the TV screen on the wall. The waiter was just placing his order on the table when she walked in. He waved his hand to signal his position. She was looking very radiant in a knee-length jumpsuit. Her hair was braided and each strand fell loosely on her shoulders. She garnered a few stares from others seated in the eatery and Kunle couldn’t help but smile.

“Hi”. She said sitting down.

“Hi. You look good”.

“Thanks for the flattery”.

“If I were doing that, everyone else wouldn’t be”.

To Love & to Hold 27c

She looked round and saw that some people still had their eyes on her. She smiled back at those who caught her stare. “Thanks all the same”.

“What would you like to have? I was just about getting started on mine”.

“I’m okay. I just had lunch before leaving home”.

“Okay. A drink?”

“A drink will do”.

Kunle called the attention of the waiter and her drink was brought in a few minutes. Since she called the meeting, he decided he was going to let her do the talking.

“I came to say I’m sorry for all that I put you through in the past few weeks”.

Kunle, surprised at what he had heard almost choked on his drink. “You are sorry?”

“Yes, I’m sorry. I know I have been really nasty”.

Kunle set down his half-eaten sandwich and looked aghast. Is this for real or is this another scheme of hers? “Is everything okay?” He asked unsure of what next to expect.

“Everything is okay. Kunle, I know what you are thinking. You probably think this is another plan of mine but you need to understand how I feel”.

She does actually know what I am thinking. Of course, it is hard to believe that Tochukwu would change all of a sudden. He thought; his left eyebrow raised.

She saw the expression. “Believe it or not. I’m really sorry. Do you know how it feels to be rejected by the one you love deeply? Has it ever crossed your mind that I am hurting?

She was quiet for a minute as her mind raced back to her relationship with Kunle. She had been on the receiving end of his breakup. He had proclaimed his unending love for her and had come round after a year to reject her like a used rag. What the hell! She thought. I am willing to throw all in the dustbin of history. He was never who I wanted anyway.

Kunle breathed deeply. “I won’t tell you that I totally understand how you feel because I probably can’t fathom the depth of your hurt. The only thing I can tell you is that I wish you would give up the fight. You have fought for too long and it hasn’t yielded any results”.

“I would try but can you promise me one thing”.

“If it is within my power”.

“If for any reason it doesn’t work out between them….”She paused unsure of his reaction. “Would you talk him into giving me a chance?”

“Tochukwu, has it crossed your mind that there is a very high probability that they would stick together?”

She tapped her finger on the table continuously. Kunle noticed and took note that she was trying to still her temper. “I know. Would you do that for me if it ever happens?”

“I would. I promise I would”.

“Thank you. I need to leave now”. She said standing up.

“I hope you are okay”. He asked worried.

She smiled. “I am, thanks”.

She walked out of the café with her head raised high. She was letting Chinedu go for now but the fight was one she was coming back to fight another day; because whether anyone liked it or not, Chinedu Ugo had become her obsession.

————
Photo credit: http://www.wikihow.com
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To Love and to Hold – Episode 5

Fadeke and Chinedu became more attached to each other as the days went by. Fadeke had noticed that whenever she talked about Chinedu to Tochukwu, there was always an unexplained hostility, so she decided it was best to keep talks about Chinedu out of their chats. She had thought of telling Chinedu, but what difference would it make? Besides, she did not think he knew her, so she also kept mum over the issue.

Fadeke had tried inviting Chinedu to her hostel off-campus but he had declined saying there was no need for them to be in a hurry. They had a whole lot of time ahead of them to do that, he had explained. He also did not want her visiting him in his hostel. He did not see any reason why she should. Besides, he knew how rough hostels for men could get, so he wanted to save her any embarrassment. Besides, they both had mobile phones and with most telecommunication companies in the country running midnight call promos, they both made use of the opportunity and chatted till they fell asleep. As far as Chinedu was concerned, that was enough to make him have sweet dreams.

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

In three weeks, exams were over and students started going home for the holidays. Some, however, decided to hang around in school for a while. Fadeke, on her part was eager to go home. This was the first time she would be away from her parents for a long period of time. She had had her secondary education as a day student and the few occasions she was away from home; it was always on a trip abroad and she still had family around her. She could not wait to see her parents. She rang Chinedu and they both agreed to meet at their favourite spot.

“So you are taking a bus home or what?” Chinedu asked her as he sat cross legged on the bench resting under the tree.

“Nah….my dad would be sending his driver to come pick me up. I called him yesterday immediately after my last paper”. She said excitedly.

“Oh….so when are you leaving?

“Today”.

“Today? He asked alarmed.

“Do you have a problem with that?”

“Not exactly. I just thought we could spend some more time together now that most students are rushing home”.

“Aww…..I didn’t think about that. I’m going to miss you”.

“I know. Why do you think I wanted you alone to myself for a few days?”

“I’m sorry. I should have asked you before making the call”. She said remorsefully.

“So aren’t you going home?”

“I would but I’m not in a hurry. I would hang around with my friends for a while”.

With the earlier excitement gone, she was unsure of her decision to leave school. She had sincerely missed her parents but she also did not want Chinedu feeling lonely. Thinking it through, she decided she would go home but not without a promise from him.

She weaved her hands into his. “Would you still call me every night?”

“Of course baby, I would”. He said chuckling. “Out of sight isn’t out of mind for me. Even though we are miles apart, you would be right here”. He said putting his hands still locked in hers on his heart. She rested her head on his chest and he held her close. He struggled with the emotions that were building up in him and as she pulled closer to him. His heart beat increased and he wondered if she could hear it.

“You should go and get your luggage ready now”. He said, fighting his feelings with all the will power he could garner.

“I would do that later. I just want to stay here with you”. She said, still resting her head on his chest. She wanted to savour this moment and wasn’t in a hurry to leave. The driver could wait while she packed her luggage, she thought. She was not sure she would see him throughout the six weeks break they had been given. She therefore, wanted to make the best use of their time together. She wished she could stay in his embrace listening to his heartbeat all day. Suddenly, she realized.

She raised her head in alarm. “Are you okay?”

“I don’t understand what you mean?”

She put her hand on his chest to feel his heartbeat. “I mean this. You are beating so fast”.

“That’s what you do to me”. He said looking straight into her eyes. Her hand was still on his chest and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to take it away or not. She blushed and was about to put her head back on his chest when he held her by the chin. He kissed her slowly and gradually but the desire burning in them took over and they kissed as if they were going to tear themselves apart.

As they came apart, they panted as beads of sweat covered their foreheads. The evening became colder sending shivers down Fadeke’s spine.

“You are cold. You need to go back to your hostel and get your luggage ready”. Chinedu said pulling her into his arms again and trying to keep her warm. Deep down his heart, he did not want to let go of her but considering the way they just kissed, he knew it was best she left. He wanted to avoid doing anything that would bring regrets for them. They still had a long way to go, he thought.

She cuddled him. “Please, don’t make me go to the hostel now”.

“But you are cold. Besides, you said your luggage isn’t packed yet. It won’t be nice to keep your dad’s driver waiting, you know?” He said trying to look for every reason to make her leave. It wasn’t what he wanted as well but they had to do it this way.

“Are you sending me away?” She asked with a long face.

“Hmm….Fadeke”. He said sighing. “Do you think I don’t want to stay with you as much as you want it? But it is better you leave now. Please understand”.

Even though she knew he was right, she did not want to leave. Why had she called her dad without talking to him first? She thought. They could have had a few days alone like he had said. Now she felt miserable. She understood what he meant when he said she had to leave but could they really go that far? The place wasn’t right, so what was he scared of? She wanted to stay a few hours more but she knew there was no point flogging it. Chinedu’s mind was made up about her leaving now. A tear slid down her cheek and she looked away trying to hide it.

“Fadeke, do you understand me?” Chinedu asked turning her face to him. When she refused to lift up her head, he nudged her. Sensing that something was amiss, he lifted up her chin to look at her and saw tears streaming down her cheeks. “Don’t do this, please”. He pleaded.

She avoided his gaze. “I’m sorry. I understand what you have said”.

To Love & to Hold 12

He pulled her close and caressed her, her head under his chin. Seeing her tears made his heart break. He loved her so much and wouldn’t dare hurt her. He closed his eyes and her Daisy fragrance by Marc Jacobs which had become a signature for her assaulted his senses. The weather got windier and she broke out in goose pimples and held him tighter. He rubbed her arms rigorously trying to will some heat into her body. He kissed the nape of her neck and felt her shiver. Her lips found his and she kissed him so passionately rekindling and reawakening emotions he had tried to suppress. He had to pull her back before he got to a point of no return. Using his knuckles to caress her face, he smiled. Words were not enough to express his feelings and she smiled back as if to acknowledge his thoughts.

He stood and pulled her up and as they walked out of the campus, they both had the same thing on their minds. The next six weeks was going to be a trying time for them.

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