The Wait – Chapter 15

Ajoke resumed in school weeks later to study Law. She recruited a maid who helped her with the cleaning of the house, picked up her kids from school and made lunch for them, while they awaited Ajoke’s return in the evening. She decided to visit her parents two days before she was to resume school. As she walked the journey from the bus-stop to her father’s house, different thoughts ran through her mind. If not for Kokumo, I would not step into Baami’s house to give him this news. They don’t deserve to share in this joy that Kokumo has brought into my life. This celebration is meant to be for Kokumo and I alone. What would I do without you Kokumo? Life has new meaning to me all because of you. Kokumo! My one and only true love. I know you have constantly preached forgiveness; I will forgive my parents but it will take some time. How do you just expect me to forgive Baami just like that for throwing away my youth? Even if he could not send me to the University, he did not have to marry me off to Adejoro for his own benefit and ego. Ten years of my life crumpled and thrown away like a piece of paper? The only joy I have derived from the ten years are my children. Ajoke smiled as she thought about them. Despite the turmoil in her heart, her children meant the world to her.


Iya Ajoke was bent over a tray of garri. She tied a faded blue Adire scarf loosely over her head. Even from a distance, Ajoke noticed her mother looked tired. She remembered the blue Adire blouse and wrapper she was wearing. It had been one of the attires her father had included in the list given to Adejoro’s family during the preparation for her engagement. Her father had insisted every item on the list must be bought. She looked at her mother as the blouse hung loosely on her neck. The fabric had lost its luster and beauty. Just like I lost mine but regained it when Kokumo walked back into my life. Ajoke moved closer to her mother and greeted. Iya Ajoke looked up from her tray and covered it up in a hurry. She stretched her hands to welcome her daughter as Ajoke knelt.

“Ëkú’ròlé Màámi.
“Good evening my mother.”

“Àjoké ömö mi. Sé daadaa lë wà?” Iya Ajoke pulled her daughter up as she held her hands.
“Ajoke, my daughter. How are you doing?”

“Adúpé Màámi.
“We thank God.”

Iya Ajoke looked behind Ajoke.

“Àwön ömö mi nkó? O ò kó wön wá rí mi ni?”
“Where are my children? You did not come with them to visit me?

“Rárá mà. Wón ti lö sí school.”
“No ma. They have gone to school.”

“Ó da béè.” Iya Ajoke nodded. “Jé ka wö inú ilé.”
“That’s fine. Let us go inside.”

Iya Ajoke asked her daughter what meal she could prepare for her but Ajoke declined and told her she only had a few minutes. She informed them that she had been admitted into the University to study Law and that she was resuming in two days. Her mother was excited and shocked. She asked how long Ajoke had been preparing and planning; Ajoke told her for a few months. Baba Ajoke could not utter a word. He bowed his head in shame; he knew he had failed his daughter. First, denying her the education she desired and secondly, sealing her fate with a man who had abandoned her and made her a single mother prematurely. He prayed for Ajoke and asked God to distinguish her in her studies. As he prayed, his voice broke and Ajoke stood up from her kneeling position and hugged her father. He may not be the greatest father but she forgave him; he did what he thought was best for his family at the time.


Ajoke’s first year on campus went by smoothly. Kokumo was always available to assist her financially. Even though Ajoke began to kick against it, Kokumo did not relent. He told her the proceeds from her salon were not enough to sustain her family and education. He therefore transferred money into her account with his bank at the end of every month.

After Ajoke’s second semester exams in her third year, Kokumo called her and asked that she stopped by his house on her way home. She packed up her travel bag and flagged down a taxi to take her to Kokumo’s house. She had taken up a short-term accommodation so she could concentrate on her exams. She had also gotten her mother to stay with the kids and the maid; so she could keep an eye on them in her absence. Kokumo met her at the door and planted a kiss on her lips. “I have missed you.” He said.

“You don’t know how much I have.” Ajoke replied as she hugged him tight.

Kokumo collected her travel bag from her and dropped it on a single couch. He smiled as he held her hand. “Have you eaten?”

“Yes, I had lunch just before leaving school. So what’s up? How was work today?” Ajoke asked as she sat down and made herself comfortable.

“Work was fine. I came in a few minutes ago. How were your exams?”

Ajoke rolled her eyes. “Hectic. I’m glad it is over so I can sleep better.”

“I wanted you to come here before going home so we could talk.”

Ajoke smiled. “What’s the gist? I have all evening.”

Kokumo cleared his throat and sat down a little away from Ajoke.

“Erm….I……I’m…..”Kokumo stammered as he avoided Ajoke’s eyes.

Ajoke looked at Kokumo. She was surprised he was at a loss of what to say. She scooted closer to him and held his hands. “Kokumo, what’s wrong?”

Kokumo took a deep breath.

“Is this something I need to be scared about?” Ajoke asked as she searched his face.

“I don’t know….erm….I don’t know…how… to say…erm….”

“You don’t know….Kokumo, what is going on?”

“I’m getting married.” Kokumo blurted out.

“You are what?” Ajoke screamed as she dropped his hands and stood up.

Kokumo looked at her. He knew it was going to be difficult but he had to tell her. The pressure from his mother had increased and Adunni was also beginning to feel that he wasn’t committed to her. She had visited him unannounced two weeks ago and asked him what his plans were. She said she needed to know so she could move on. He asked her for time to think about it but Adunni had said she wanted an answer right away. She told him she found out he had been seeing an old flame for about two years but had decided to be quiet about it. Adunni said she had left him alone because she thought he would come to his senses. She told him she had given him enough time to consider and decide between her and Ajoke but since it seemed he was bent on continuing his relationship with Ajoke, there was no point holding on to him. Adunni said she wanted to move on and stop wasting her time with him if Ajoke was his future. She said she had given him a long rope to frolic with his girlfriend and it was time for her to know where she stood. If you are getting married to her, then stop holding on to me. Let me go; Adunni had concluded.

Kokumo had been lost for words. He hadn’t imagined that Adunni would find out about Ajoke. He thought he had been very careful and discreet about his relationship with her. He was more shocked that even though Adunni had found out about his dalliance with her, she chose to remain silent. Adunni had a beautiful soul and he couldn’t afford to lose her. He was also in love with Ajoke but life had taken them through different paths. He could not have his cake and eat it at the same time. He needed to make a decision.

He closed his eyes as he thought about all the good times he had spent with Ajoke. Their renewed love and the dreams she had shared with him during their intimate moments. He thought about the joy and fulfillment he had whenever they shared their bodies and soul. He thought about the laughter her kids brought into his life whenever he took them out. He knew all that would make no meaning if her husband decided to come back home someday. Ajoke is still married to Adejoro. It is time to move on.

Right there, he apologized to Adunni for his past attitude towards her and told her he was ready to take their relationship serious. He sought her forgiveness for taking her for granted and he promised to end his relationship with Ajoke. The next weekend, he took her to see his mother. Iya Kokumo was overjoyed and treated Adunni like a queen. She asked her if she and Kokumo had picked a date for their wedding and Adunni had laughed.


Ajoke’s sobs brought Kokumo out of his reverie. Ajoke wasn’t the only one heartbroken; he was as well. But he had decided to take what life had given him and make the best use of it. He needed to convince Ajoke to do the same. He stood up and walked towards her. Her back was turned to him and he prayed in his heart that she would listen to him.

“Ajoke, please don’t do this.” He said turning her by the shoulders to face him.

Ajoke’s body shook as she cried uncontrollably.

Kokumo took her in his arms and hugged her tight. “Ajoke, please stop crying.” He said.

“What….what….did….I….I ever do….do to deserve this?”

“Nothing my love. Absolutely nothing. Life has been unfair but we can’t continue to live in the mistakes of the past. Let go Ajoke and make the best use of what life has given you.” Kokumo said as he cupped her face in his hands.

“I love you Kokumo.”

“I know Ajoke. I never stopped loving you too but we have to move on.”

“I don’t want to; can’t you understand?” Ajoke cried.

“It would be unfair to you and to those we love if we keep our lives at a standstill. Please don’t do this to us.”

Ajoke looked up at Kokumo as she broke down again into sobs. This life means nothing to me without Kokumo. How am I supposed to live without him? God, what kind of curse have you placed on me? Why did you let him walk back into my life so you could yank him away from me again? A second time? Ha! My joy is taken away from me a second time. Kokumo held her and rocked her till her sobs subsided. Ajoke wiped her tears as she looked at him. “So this is it? Another goodbye from you just like you did years ago?”

Kokumo nodded sadly.

Ajoke sighed as she shook her head. She felt sorry for herself and wondered why she had to suffer so much for love. She raised her head and held Kokumo’s hands. “Thank you.” She said. She walked towards her travel bag and was about picking it up when Kokumo reached her in two steps and held her up to face him. He kissed her passionately and Ajoke returned his kiss with the same passion. They ravaged each other’s lips desperately as they steadily built up and fanned the embers of passion in their bodies. Right there in Kokumo’s living room, he once again took Ajoke into the throes of passion as both of them cried out and moaned in satisfaction and fulfillment. As they lay side by side, arms around each other in the still and quiet living room, they both shed tears – tears of a lost love.


Kokumo dropped Ajoke at home hours later. As she eased out of his car, she refused to look back to say goodbye to him as she did not want to break down again. Her mother and her kids welcomed her home and she faked a smile – which was obvious – as she told her mother she needed to be alone. She lied that she was tired and stressed from her exams. Her mother urged her to take a bath and go to bed.

As Ajoke stepped under the shower and opened the tap, she sat on the floor and burst into tears again. She hugged herself and cried. What kind of life is this? Why am I so unfortunate? Kokumo, I knew you had a girlfriend but I really wanted you to be mine forever. We were meant to be together. Why would you do this to me again? Why would you kill the joy I had being with you? She bit her finger, shook her head, and almost cursed her father. Baami, this is all your fault. She gritted her teeth to stop herself from screaming. When she was spent from her tears, she walked out of the bathroom thirty minutes later and flopped on the bed. She hugged her pillow as the day took its toll on her. She slept off thinking about Kokumo, regretting the life she lived and thinking about the life she could have had but lost as a result of her parent’s choices.

The story continues…

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