Tag Archives: travel

Where is our rest?

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

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

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

So do we actually go on vacation to rest?

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

I really need to find my rest.

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

Tears, Blood and Death – Part 1

He stood before the ruins of the old house. The house was a complete shadow of itself. It was a white duplex but the paint on the outside had totally peeled off. He pushed back the low gate and walked in. The compound had become overgrown with weeds and a big rat scurried away as he stepped forward. He looked up at the louvres on the right and his mind raced back to when he sat on the railings of the balcony turning it into a swing. This action always got him a scolding from mother.

The door was broken down. He walked into the house. The interior looked like a hurricane had happened in there. The cream leather settee that always sat on the right of the living room was no longer there. A cool breeze blew into the room and he began to hear the sound of the wooden rocking chair. He smiled in spite of the situation. He closed his eyes and saw grandma seated on the chair. As it rocked gently, she knitted and hummed a song. She looked up at him and smiled.

“Come here darling.” She said as she patted her laps.

He walked forward and stood before the rocking chair. She would lift him up as she dropped the knitting accessories on the side stool beside her on the right. He looked there and noticed the stool had been upturned. He bent down to lift it up. He placed his hands on it gingerly as if it was an egg that could break. He closed his eyes and a tear slid down his cheeks. The stool was grandma’s favourite.

He heard the sound of clinking glasses and looked towards the kitchen to the left of the living room. As he walked down, he passed by a blue teddy bear lying on the floor. It had become dirty and the colour was hardly recognizable. It looked more brown than blue. It had been his tenth birthday gift from father. He held the teddy bear by the hand and headed towards the kitchen.

“Food is ready.” Mother sang as she held his two hands and danced to an imaginary tune. It had become her signature. “Get seated.” She would say and he would run to set the table ready. Grandma always said the prayers at dinner.

********

“My daddy is coming back tomorrow.” He told his best friend. They were both ten and sat together in class. They were in Primary five.

“Will you bring something for me?” His friend asked.

“Of course. You are my best friend. My daddy will bring goodies from abroad.”

********

Mother was restless as she jumped every time she heard the sound of a car. She had asked him to go to bed as there was school the next day but he refused. He wanted to see father before going to bed. They heard the honk of a car and mother ran to open the curtains. Light from the headlamps reflected into the living room and mother began to dance. Her husband had arrived home from Spain.

Grandma dropped her knitting pins and lifted her glasses from the rope around her neck. She placed the glasses gingerly on her nose as she awaited her son.

Father paid off the taxi driver that brought him home and trudged in as he rolled his travel luggages. Mother ran to give father a hug and a kiss.

“Káàbò, olówó orí mi.” (Welcome, my crown).

“O sé. Sé àláfíà ni gbogbo yín wà?” (Thank you. Are you all well?)

“Adúpé l’ówó Ölórun.” (We thank God).

Father prostrated to greet grandma as he came in and she began to pray for him. After grandma’s long prayers, father hugged him and asked him why he was still awake.

“Don’t mind him. He refused to go to bed because he was waiting for you.” Mother said as she laughed heartily.

They heard the sound of a car parking outside.

“You should go to bed now.” Father told him.

“I want to see what you bought for me.” He told father.

He had promised to bring something to school for his friend and he wanted to fulfill his promise.

The gates outside opened slowly and father looked towards the door. He looked at mother and grandma. “Are you expecting anyone?” He asked.

They both shook their heads.

All of a sudden, the front door was kicked with so much force that it broke into splinters.

Father’s movement was very swift that he hardly understood what had happened until he saw himself in the toilet and he heard the door lock behind him. He knelt down by the door and peeped through the key hole. What was going on?

“Where is the money?” A male voice asked.

“Which money?” Father responded.

“Give me the money before I blow off your head.”

Father looked at mother and grandma with a hard stare. They were the only people who were aware that he was coming home. He had never seen father look at them that way and he wondered what mother and grandma could have done wrong.

“Please my son, don’t do this. He doesn’t have any money.” Grandma pleaded.

“Shut up mama. Tell your son to bring the money he brought back.”

He strained his eyes through the key hole to see what was going on. Grandma looked at father with tears in her eyes. “Which money is he asking for?”

He noticed there was another man in the room. The man pointed the gun at grandma and pulled the trigger. The shot was silent. Grandma fell back like a sack of potatoes hitting her head on the stool. He heard mother’s scream and saw father struggle with the man who had pulled the trigger. He heard three more muffled shots and then silence.

Tears streamed down his cheeks as he peeped through the key hole. He touched his lower body. It was wet. It dawned on him that he had peed on himself.

“Why did you kill them?” The first man shouted at his partner.

“Can’t you see that he wasn’t co-operating and he was even trying to collect my gun?” The man replied as he pulled off the black mask on his face.

“Just carry the boxes and let’s get out of here fast. This was not the plan.”

As the men walked out of the house with the same travel luggages that father had brought in some minutes ago, a black car reversed from the beginning of the street to the front of the house. As the car got to the men, the boot had already been opened. They dumped the luggages into the boot and and the car sped away with lightning speed leaving sorrow, tears and blood behind.

….To be continued

Photo Credit: http://www.shutterstock.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

To Love and to Hold – Episode 30

Fadeke woke up tired. This was becoming a norm and she wasn’t sure she could continue this way. Waking up early and driving to work which had previously been a necessity had now become a luxury. Her father had presented a car to her a week after her graduation party and she drove it herself. She did not need a driver to take her around; she had told her father. Right now, she was beginning to wonder if that request couldn’t be reopened. She knew she couldn’t talk to her father as he had refused to acknowledge her presence in the house since the Sunday morning he had instructed her to go for an abortion. She also tried to stay out of his way; waking up early to go to work and going straight to her room immediately she was back from work. Her mum had employed a cook and her meals were brought to her in her room.

As she stood up from the bed, she thought about putting in her resignation at work. Even though, the dizzy spells had reduced, she had been advised that she needed to take rests. She was working herself too hard; the in-house doctor had told her. She put her hand on her tummy. She was almost twelve weeks gone and she was beginning to show a bump. She had started wearing loose shirts to work and she did not want her colleagues to find out before she tendered her resignation. The sooner she did it, the better. She had to talk to her mother. Over the past few weeks, they had become closer. She knew her mum was disappointed and she did not fail to chip it in once in a while but she had accepted the present situation and was trying to make the best of it. She would ask her mum for a chat when she returned from work.

“I want to resign, mum”. Fadeke said later that evening. She was dressed in a loose blouse over a pinafore and her legs were stretched on a stool.

“Why?”

“I don’t think I can continue this way. My bump is beginning to garner a few stares from my colleagues”.

“Is that the reason why you want to resign?”

“Coupled with the fact that I get tired easily as well”.

“That is a norm once you are pregnant”.

She sighed. “This ain’t easy, mum”.

“You should have thought about that when……”

“Mum?”

“I’m sorry”.

“I don’t need this right now”.

Mrs. Peters was quiet.

“What do you think about my resignation?”

“If you can’t handle it anymore, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t. But you have to let your father know”.

“He hasn’t spoken to me in weeks”.

“You still have to let him know”.

Fadeke fidgeted with her fingers. “Mum, can I ask you a favour?”

“Go ahead”.

“I want to go stay abroad till I have my baby”.

Her mother looked at her astonished. “Why?”

“I…I don’t want Chinedu finding me in this condition”. She stammered.

“He is in Abuja. How is he going to see you?”

“He’s coming home in about a week or so”.

Her eyebrows rose. “How do you know that?”

“We had discussed about it before. He is taking his vacation and he wanted to come and see dad”.

“He better not”.

“I sincerely don’t know what he would do but I don’t want to be around when he comes”. She paused. “Can I go stay with Aunt Morayo in the states?”

“Till you have your baby?”

“Yes mum, please”. She pleaded.

She put her right hand on her head and looked at her daughter. She wished things did not have to be this way. Aunt Morayo was her cousin and would gladly take in her daughter. With four sons and no daughter; she treated Fadeke like the daughter she would have loved to have. Fadeke always stayed with her during her visits to the states so living with her now would not pose a problem. The problem however, was convincing her husband. It was bad enough that father and daughter now lived like strangers. Sending her out of the country was going to totally breakdown the relationship between them. Whatever the case may be, she wanted her daughter’s happiness.

“I’d talk to your dad”. She concluded.

“Thanks mum”.

“But you would have to do the talking as regards your resignation”.

She sighed. “Okay. I would try”.

“Your father loves you and wants the best for you. You do know that, don’t you?”

She dropped her head. “I know mum. I know he is disappointed in me and I accept that I made a mistake by falling in love with Chinedu. I hope he forgives me”.

“He would. He is just hurt”.

“I am sorry I can’t have an abortion like he suggested”. She looked at her mum as tears filled her eyes. “Deep down in my heart, I still love Chinedu even though he has hurt me so much”.

Her mother moved closer to hug her. “I know darling”. She put her hand on her daughter’s tummy. “This baby would always remind you of the love you had for him”.

As they both sat there crying in each other’s embrace; each had reasons for tears.

Fadeke; for her heart which was hurting. Her mother; for the relationship her daughter was losing with her father and the hurt they were both going through.

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Adeola gave his sister a hug. She was scheduled to leave on the 11p.m flight on Delta Airlines. At nineteen, he understood what the whole family was going through. He was studying Architecture in the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Ogbomosho, Oyo state. Being a five year course, he had one more year to go before graduation. Fadeke had called him two days ago to inform him about her trip to the states. He had been surprised as he wasn’t aware of the present situation of things. He however came home as he wanted to see his big sister and know what the sudden move to the states was about. They had both talked for hours last night.

Mrs. Peters looked at her daughter with tear-stained cheeks. After much persuasion, her husband had eventually agreed to let her go to the states to stay with Aunt Morayo till the birth of her baby. He wasn’t exactly in support of her having the baby but he had listened to the voice of reason from his wife. What if complications arose during the termination? She had asked him. His daughter would never forgive him. She pulled her daughter close and held her tightly. “Promise me, you would take good care of yourself”.

“I promise”. She sobbed.

“I love you so much darling. Don’t ever forget that”.

“I love you too, mum”.

“I’d visit you in the next two months”.

“Okay mum”.

“Enough of the pity party. You should get going”. Mr. Peters said irritated.

He was hurting and was finding it hard to express his feelings. This was not what he had planned for his daughter. He had been a proud father until some weeks ago. He watched his daughter grow up into a beautiful girl and had even been the envy of some of his friends. A few of them had joked about visiting him soon with their sons to seek for his daughter’s hand in marriage. That dream had however been dashed by the Igbo boy she had gotten pregnant for. He never imagined his daughter becoming an unwed mother. If he had known, he would have flown her out of the country to continue her education. He never imagined that Dupe would not handle the situation as appropriate. He wasn’t just upset with Fadeke. He was also upset with her. Her carelessness had resulted in Fadeke getting pregnant.

When she sought his opinion about having the baby in the states, he had been angrier than ever. She was meant to help her get an abortion, but she was doing otherwise. “Do you think I am glad that my daughter is pregnant?” She had asked him. He had walked out on her without a response. He had come back home much later that night expecting everyone to be in bed. But she had waited up for him. She had knelt down before him in tears pleading with him. It wasn’t her desire that things were going this way, but they had to look beyond the present situation and think of their daughter’s future.

Fadeke looked at her dad. “I’m ready to leave now”.

“The driver would take you to the airport”.

She stammered. “I…you…I mean….you ain’t going with us?”

“What do you need me there for?”

Fadeke looked downcast. “Nothing”. She paused. “I just wanted to give you a hug”. She said without raising her head.

Mrs. Peters looked at her husband with pleading eyes.

Mr. Peters moved closer to his daughter, lifted up her chin and hugged her.

Fadeke burst into fresh tears. “I’m sorry, dad. Please forgive me”.

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Chinedu flew into Lagos at 9.00am. He took a taxi straight to his house and headed out almost immediately. Today was the first day of his vacation and he couldn’t wait any longer. As he walked into the premises of the bank, he looked round to see who could attend to him.

“Good morning”. He said to the lady behind the customer service desk.

She smiled at him. “Good morning. Please sit down”.

He sat down.

“How may I help you?”

“I would like to see Miss Peters. Could you help, please?”

“Miss Peters?”

“Yes, Fadeke Peters”.

“Is it official or personal?”

“Personal”.

“I’m sorry. She doesn’t work with us anymore. She resigned two days ago…..”

“She resigned?” He interrupted.

“Yes, she did. If it is official or something I can help you with, I can refer you to…..”

“Don’t bother. Thanks”. He said as he stood up.

He walked out of the bank lost. What is happening? This had been his last hope of getting across to her. After the incident during his last visit to her house, he had decided that the best place to meet with her without any intrusion was her office. With the new development, he was left with no option than to go back to her house. He flagged down a taxi and gave him the address of the Peter’s residence. As he got to her house, he saw a Lexus Jeep driving out of the house with Mrs. Peters sitting in the backseat. He eased out of the taxi in a hurry and ran towards the car. Mrs. Peters saw him and asked the driver to stop as she wound down the window.

“Good afternoon ma”.

“Yes, how may I help you?”

Unsure of what her next reaction would be, he stammered. “I….I wanted to see Fadeke. Is she home, ma?”

Mrs. Peters eyed him. “What do you want from her again? Haven’t you done enough already?”

“I’m sorry ma. I still don’t understand what is going on. Please, I need your help”.

She laughed derisively. “My help? Did you just ask for my help? Look here Chinedu, Fadeke is far away from where you can harm her. Do you understand me?”

Chinedu stood transfixed.

Mrs. Peters wound the window back up and the car sped away.

What have I done to deserve this kind of treatment? What did she mean by far away from where I can harm her? I have exhausted all the options I have of getting across to her. Have I hurt her so much that she wouldn’t even give him an opportunity to defend myself?

to-love-to-hold-43b

He was still standing there when the door man tapped him on the shoulder.

“Mr. Chinedu, Aunty Fadeke has travelled”.

“She has?”

“Yes, she travelled yesterday night”.

“Do you know where she travelled to?”

Haba, Oga Chinedu, dem no dey tell me dat kain thing nah. How I go know?”

“Okay. Thank you”.

He walked back to the taxi; as the man was still waiting to get paid. He eased into the taxi and gave him his address. This was too much to bear. Fadeke had travelled without a word. He had no one else to talk to.

Everyone he spoke to seemed not to know anything and those who knew had decided to keep mum.

——–

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

Second Chances – Episode 16

Kunbi walks into the living room apprehensive. Sola smiles broadly and stands up immediately he sees her. He stretches his hands and Kunbi walks towards him. Her legs suddenly feel like they have lead in them and she wonders if she would make the few steps to him without falling. Sola instinctively takes a few steps and wraps his arms around her waist. His smile and arms around her shoot unspeakable feelings into her body causing her to shiver.

“I am…..” They both begin to say.

“After you”. Sola says smiling as he moves a stray strand of hair away from her face.

Kunbi smiles as she places her head on his chest. “I wanted to say that I am sorry”. She looks up at him. “I never intended to hurt you”.

Sola traces his finger over her lips. “I am sorry I hurt you. I love you and I want to start all over. I want you and only you till the day I hit six feet under”.

Kunbi closes her eyes as tears gather at the corner of her eyes. “If only you had said this months ago”. She says.

Tears spill down her cheeks and Sola pulls her closer kissing her slowly. She returns his kiss passionately holding on to him as if her life depended on it.

2nd Chances 16

Sola lifts up her chin and sees her tears are now coming in streams. He knows he has hurt her badly and he is ready to make up for all the hurt and pain he has caused her. He tries to kiss her again but Kunbi places her hand on his chest pushing him back.

“I am getting married in a few weeks”. She says in between sobs.

Sola tries to hold her but she turns away. He moves towards her and turns her to face him. “I know you are but I also know that you love me. I told you I will wait till you are ready. I am still waiting but I am starting all over and I am ready to chase you till you agree to marry me”.

Kunbi looks at him with shock. “You are crazy, right?”

“Yes, I am. I am crazy about you. I almost lost you. I am not ready to let you go again”. He says smiling.

Kunbi shakes her head. “I can’t. I can’t do this”.

He holds her shoulders and looks straight into her eyes and into her soul. “If you don’t love me, if you have no feelings whatsoever for me, I’ll leave you alone and never turn back. I promise”.

Kunbi looks at him unable to form her words. She breaks down into uncontrollable tears. Her feet are unable to hold her up and she begins a descent. Sola stops her from falling down and hugs her tightly. He knows he has hit home. It is only a matter of time.

Two hours later, Sola kisses Kunbi goodnight. Wale is yet to arrive and Kunbi decides to go to bed. She is spent from her tears. As she lies in bed, she hears the door opening but is too tired to talk to Wale. She makes a mental note to discuss with him the next day.

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Sola picks up Kunbi for lunch the next day. As she slips into the car, Sola plants a kiss on her cheek. “You look beautiful”.

“Thank you”. She says blushing. “Sola, are you sure of what you are doing?” She asks looking at him seriously.

“I have never been so sure. I want you to meet someone next week”.

“Who?”

Sola smiles. “My aunt”.

Kunbi is surprised. “Your aunt?”

“Yes. I told her I was bringing someone special over”.

Kunbi smiles as she looks away. Can this be for real? Is he truly ready to be committed?

Sola touches her hand. “I know Kunbi. This should have happened a long time ago”. He says as though reading her thoughts. “I am ready to make it right this time”.

Kunbi stretches her left hand and looks at the engagement ring on her finger. What am I doing; engaged to one man and in love with another? She closes her eyes and says a little prayer. Oh God, please help me. I am so confused.

 

On Saturday, Kunbi travels to Ibadan as usual. Ola notices she is unusually quiet and distant. He asks her if she is okay and she replies that the stress of the wedding preparation is taking its toll on her. She also complains about the stress of having to travel every weekend to see him.

Ola is surprised. “But you always travelled every Saturday”.

“Don’t you think it is becoming increasingly stressful considering that I am also running around for the wedding?”

“Well, I wanted the wedding done quickly. You and your mum decided to push it forward”.

Kunbi is stunned. “Really? Would the stress involved have been lesser if we had done the wedding in three months like you wanted?”

“By now, you would have been in my house married to me and you would not have to complain about shuttling between Lagos and Ibadan”. Ola smirks.

“And what happens to my job?”

“Your job? You are resigning and moving back to Ibadan”.

Kunbi looks at him in horror. “Resigning? No way. I am not”.

Ola laughs derisively. “You definitely are, my dear. I am not leaving you to be devoured by Lagos wolves”.

“Ola, we need to discuss this amicably”. Kunbi says trying not to get upset. “My organization does not have a presence in Ibadan, so I cannot ask for a transfer”.

“How does that bother me? You are moving back to Ibadan when we get married. Period!” He says with finality.

“Ola, be reasonable. You can seek a transfer and you know you will definitely be given”.

Ola moves towards her and touches her chin. “I-know-I-can. I-know-I-will-be-given. But I am not seeking a transfer. You will resign and move back to Ibadan. And we ain’t discussing this again, okay?”

Kunbi shakes her head in pity as Ola walks away. She feels pity for herself and pity for her future.

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

On Thursday, Sola picks up Kunbi from work after seeking Wale’s permission. In about an hour, they arrive at their destination on the outskirts of Lagos and park in front of a bungalow in an expansive estate. Sola kills the engine and looks at Kunbi. He takes her hands in his as he smiles at her. “Are you ready?”

Kunbi shakes her head. “I don’t know. I don’t even know if this is right”.

He touches her hair lightly, gently stroking it. “We love each other. That is all that matters”. He says winking at her.

They both get out of the car and he puts his hand around her waist as they walk towards the bungalow.

The door opens after the first ring. A beautiful woman in her sixties smiles at both of them. Her hair has streaks of gray and she is dressed in a white tee-shirt on gray lounge pants. “Welcome home”. She says as she hugs Kunbi and holds her hand leading her in.

Two hours later, Sola and Kunbi walk out of his aunt’s apartment. Sola drops her at home after kissing her goodnight.

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