Tag Archives: Betrayal

The Plan

His eyes were trained on her face but his mind was faraway. Tears pooled in his eyes and he fought to hold them back. Was this what their relationship had degenerated into? His ego was deflated as his mind swam with different thoughts.

“Ayodeji, are you listening to me?” Olamide asked tapping him.

He looked at her. She only called him “Ayodeji” when she was angry or needed his attention.

“Ayodeji.” She called again.

He nodded. “I have heard you, Olamide.”

“No, I don’t think you heard me.”

“I did. You said you needed to get married to Chief for a better future.”

“I said….” She paused for emphasis. “For a better future for us and our kids. You were not listening to me, Ayodeji.” She said getting angry.

“I’m sorry but I don’t understand how you would be married to Chief and still have a future with me.”

Olamide sighed and stood up. “Ayodeji, I explained everything just now.” She took a deep breath. “Okay, I will explain all over again.”

Deji nodded his response and tried not to drift away into his thoughts this time.

“I said that Chief has asked me to be his fifth wife. He has promised to take care of me and my unborn children. So the plan is; I would get married to Chief but we would continue to see each other. I will carry your kids and have them for Chief. But we both know the kids are yours. When we have made enough money from Chief, we would elope together to maybe the U.S with our kids. Chief would have no idea what hit him.” Olamide said smiling.

“And what happens when Chief finds out about us?”

“How would he find out?” Olamide sneered.

Deji shrugged.

“C’mon Deji, this could be the big break we have been looking forward to. You haven’t been able to secure a job for the past four years since graduation. And this opportunity drops on our laps on a platter of gold. What else do you want?”

Deji sighed. “Hmm….Olamide, I am not so sure about this. You seem to have everything all planned out.”

Olamide laughed. “Of course, ain’t I a combination of beauty and brains?”

********

Deji put his head in his hands. They started dating six years ago while they were still students at the University of Calabar. Four years ago, they both graduated. Deji with First class honours in Chemical Engineering and Olamide with a Second class lower degree in Biochemistry. It had taken Olamide just six months after their National Youth Service to gain employment in one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria. Deji on the other hand had thrown his resume in various organizations but was yet to get a call for an interview. He had been frustrated but Olamide had stood by him and encouraged him to keep his hopes high.

Olamide had met Chief during their last end of year party in the office. Deji had refused to go with her as he got tired of attending the parties when he had no job. Some of Olamide’s colleagues were young graduates and seeing them having fun and partying in their office further dampened his spirit.

Chief was a friend to one of Olamide’s bosses and he had given her his card and asked that she kept in touch. At first, she had been indifferent but when she heard how Chief doled out money to those who stayed close to him, she decided to do same. She had met up with Chief for dinner on a number of occasions but always lied to Deji that she was working late. She traveled out of the country once with Chief and he had lavished her with gifts. She lied to Deji that she was on an official assignment and he had believed her. When Chief proposed marriage to her, she had told him to give her a few days to think about it. She thought hard and long about the offer. She did not want to break Deji’s heart as she still loved him; but right now, their future seemed bleak. She also had no intention of staying married to Chief. She only needed him to boost her financial status. She therefore hatched a plan which she knew could not fail. Chief had no idea she still kept a boyfriend. Even though, she had mentioned Chief to Deji, she never told him she had been having dalliances with him.

 

“Deji, my love.” Olamide said as she knelt in front of him and raised up his head. “This plan would work, trust me.”

Deji sighed deeply.

Olamide slept over at Deji’s apartment that night. She teased his body and whispered into his ears that it was a night of celebration for them. In anger and despair, Deji hardly let her go through out the night and barely allowed her to catch some sleep as he knew in his heart that this was probably the last time he would ever touch her.

******

Three weeks later, Olamide got married to Chief at an elaborate wedding. Pictures of the couple were splashed in newspapers and magazines. Their honeymoon was in Cancun and Olamide broke the internet with pictures of herself and her husband. Deji saw her pictures both in the papers and on social media. The love he and Olamide had proclaimed for six years had been washed down the drain by the love for fame and fortune. Deji became a recluse; hardly stepping out of his apartment. Soon, he began a descent into depression. A few of his friends who were aware of his relationship called him severally on the phone but he refused to pick their calls. His elder sister who was in the U.S also called him as she usually did every weekend but Deji refused to take her calls as well. Life lost meaning to him.

 

After two weeks of honeymoon, Olamide and her husband returned to Nigeria. As soon as they arrived home, Olamide told her husband that she wanted to go visit her parents.

“That’s okay darling. Yusuf will take you.” Chief said.

“Honey, I can drive myself.” Olamide replied.

“I know you can; but no wife of mine will go out without a driver and an escort.”

“Chief?” Olamide exclaimed.

“Yes darling. Now run along and come back quickly so we can continue from where we stopped.” He said winking at her.

“Don’t worry Chief. I will just give them a call to inform them that I am back in town.” Olamide said frowning.

Chief smiled. “Good. Let’s go in and have another one before the other women recover from slumber.” He said as he held her by the waist.

*******

The next day, Olamide woke up and was shocked by the sight before her. She quickly pulled her duvet closer to cover her naked body. A man in a red wrapper and a red cloth tied round his head stood in her bedroom. He was holding a calabash and making some incantations. She was about to scream when Chief walked out of her bathroom. He saw the look on her face and smiled.

“Oh darling, don’t be scared. He just came to do some regular rituals for you.”

“Ri…ri…rituals Chief. I…I don’t understand.” Olamide said stammering.

Chief shrugged. “It’s not difficult or painful. It is just a few incisions on your breasts and vagina.”

“What?” Olamide screamed.

“Stop shouting my darling. The older wives all went through it. They can confirm to you that it is not painful.”

Tears began to stream down Olamide’s cheeks. “Chief, what did I do wrong?”

“No, no, no. You did not do anything wrong. It is for your protection for when another man touches you.”

“My protection? How Chief?” Olamide cried.

“Any man that touches you will die an instant death.” Chief said matter-of-factly.

“Chief?” Olamide screamed as her eyes grew big.

“Relax. Once the man dies, we become richer.”

Olamide put her hands on her head and burst into fresh tears. She was Chief’s pawn. She thought about Deji and his face flashed before her. What would he think of her? Was their plan for a future going down before her like a pack of badly arranged cards? Oh how happy they had been before she met Chief. Even though Deji had no job, his smiles were enough medicine for her when she was down.

She shook her head as she thought about Chief’s four wives. How many men had Chief’s wives slept with for him to become this rich? It all made sense to her now when Chief’s wives had been indifferent towards her when he introduced her to them. She had always heard about troublesome older wives but she had been shocked that they all accepted her without an objection.

As she opened her legs for Chief’s herbalist to make his incisions, she regretted the day she hatched the plan which had now become her undoing.

———-

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

The Wait – Chapter 14

Ajoke filled the forms and handed them back to Kokumo two days after. He submitted them and she began to study in preparation for the forthcoming exams. Kokumo made it a duty to call her every morning and night. He also shopped for her children buying them clothes, shoes and toys befitting for their ages.

A week after Ajoke’s visit to the bank, Adunni called Kokumo. She wondered why she hadn’t heard from him and he told her he had been busy with work. “But you have always been busy, Lekan.” She said; calling him by his second name. He had dropped his first name after university and picked up his second name.

“Yeah, I know. I have had a lot on my plate in the last one week but I would make it up to you.”

“Hmm…..” Adunni said. “Are you coming over to my place this weekend or do you want me to come over?” She asked.

“No, no. Don’t come. I will come over.” He said quickly. He did not want to risk Ajoke meeting with Adunni just in case she decided to visit. Even though, she had not mentioned that she would see him that weekend, he preferred to play safe.

**********

Ajoke buried her head in her books for the next few months. She did not want to disappoint Kokumo so she put in extra hours of study staying up very late sometimes to read. Her exam date drew near and she became apprehensive. She hadn’t written an exam in ten years and she feared she may be incapable.

Two days before her exams were to start, Kokumo gave Ajoke a surprise visit at home during the weekend. She had been elated to see him and she introduced him to her children as her best friend. Her kids had laughed saying they did not realize adults also had best friends. During his visit, Ajoke voiced out her concerns about the exams to Kokumo. Kokumo laughed and told her he believed in her and that it did not matter that she hadn’t written an exam in years. He urged her on and Ajoke felt relieved talking to him.

While Ajoke wrote her exams, Kokumo frequented Ajoke’s home with dinner for the kids and Ajoke. On other occasions, he went to Ajoke’s house and prepared their meals. He made it a duty to keep the children engaged, sometimes taking them out while their mother studied. By the time Ajoke was through with her GCE exams, Kokumo had started discussing about the forthcoming Jamb registration. Kokumo purchased the Jamb form in the first quarter of the next year when it was released and Ajoke burnt the midnight candle again taking only a short breather.

 

By August of that year, Ajoke received her admission letter to study Law at the Lagos State University. She was overjoyed. She called Kokumo on her way out of the campus premises informing him about her letter. Kokumo told her it called for a celebration. He told her not to bother with dinner. After work, he drove to Ajoke’s house with dinner for the kids and a gift for Ajoke. The kids were excited seeing him and they thanked him for the dinner. He told the kids he was taking their mother out and that they would be back before their bedtime. The kids gave him the go-ahead. Ajoke smiled as she got dressed in the simple red gown which Kokumo had bought for her as a celebration gift. Even though she did not apply any make-up, she still looked beautiful.

 

Kokumo drove into town and took her to a bar where they were served finger food and mocktails. They made small talk over their meal after which Kokumo raised his glass and gave a toast to her future.

“I really can’t thank you enough, Kokumo. You have been more than a friend.”

Kokumo laughed. “Have you told your parents?”

Ajoke’s smile faded. “No, I haven’t. I will tell them at the right time.”

Kokumo held her hand on the table and looked at her straight in the face. “You are yet to forgive them.”

Ajoke removed her hand from Kokumo’s. “Let’s not spoil the night, please. I came to have fun with you, not to discuss about my relationship with them.”

Kokumo shrugged. “Okay. We would revisit this discussion some other time.”

Ajoke nodded and her demeanor changed as she started talking about her kids and their antics.

 

After dinner, Kokumo took Ajoke home. The kids were still awake and they asked their mum if she enjoyed her dinner. She responded in the affirmative as she looked at Kokumo lovingly. She asked Kokumo to wait so she could take her kids to bed. Kokumo nodded and sat in the living room. After Ajoke had put her kids to bed, she came back to the living room and sat beside Kokumo.

“Thank you for the dinner and the dress.” She said as she looked at him. “Thank you for everything. For believing in me.”

Kokumo rubbed his thumb on her cheeks. “Thank you for allowing me.”

Ajoke hugged Kokumo as she spoke; “You don’t know the extent of what you have done for me, Kokumo.” She said sighing.

“I may not know the extent but I have an idea.”

Ajoke eased away from Kokumo as she planted a kiss on his lips. Desire rose in Kokumo and he held Ajoke as she was about pulling away from him. He kissed her passionately and she responded. “You don’t know the extent of my love for you.” Kokumo whispered as he breathed into her neck. He eased back and cradled her face in his hands. Ajoke closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Kokumo closed the space between them again intent on making her forget her sorrows. He took her lips in his and both of them kissed with wild desire.

Kokumo stood up and lifted Ajoke from her feet as he nodded towards the rooms. Ajoke pointed towards the direction of her room. Kokumo walked towards the room, opened the door and locked it behind with Ajoke still in his arms. He dropped her gently on the bed as he teased her sensitive spots with kisses and undressed her. Ajoke shivered as a cold chill ran down her spine. She hurriedly undressed Kokumo and like a ravaging storm, they danced to the rhythm of their bodies delighting in the pleasure of the moment.

 

Ajoke woke up at about midnight and looked at Kokumo sleeping peacefully. There was a smile on his face. She sat at the edge of her bed and wondered. “What exactly am I doing with Kokumo? I have betrayed Adejoro again and I can’t seem to tear myself away from this temptation.” She sighed as she thought about how her life had panned out. She wouldn’t be in this mess if her parents hadn’t turned her life into a pawn on a chess board. She knew she should stay away from Kokumo but the more she thought about it, the more her heart broke. He was yet to mention having a girlfriend but she knew he had one. He had once ignored a call in her presence. A lady’s image had appeared on his phone while it rang. Even though, she had urged him to pick up the call, he had refused, saying he would call her later. For how long could they continue with this? She thought.

Kokumo opened his eyes and saw Ajoke staring at him. She almost felt as if he knew she watched him as he slept. He smiled as he pulled her down to lie beside him. He hugged her close as he kissed her cheeks. Ajoke tilted her head to look at him. “What exactly are we doing? Where are we going with this?”

Kokumo raised himself up and sighed. “I wish I knew Ajoke. I just want to be with you but sincerely I know it is not possible.”

“Why is it impossible?”

“You are still married, Ajoke. Don’t forget that.”

“You know I really hate it when you rub that in my face.” Ajoke said getting upset. “Married to who, please? A man who has abandoned me and my children?”

Kokumo pulled her closer to himself and held her. “I didn’t mean to upset you. I am just stating a fact. I know I am selfish for wanting you so badly but I can’t help it.”

“Do you realize how much I also want you?”

“I won’t deceive you Ajoke. We both long for each other but the circumstances in which we find ourselves is beyond our control. Let’s enjoy the moments and leave things as they are.” He said as he kissed her head.

“Okay.” Ajoke said resigning.

“School starts in a few weeks, right?”

“Yes. I should have started my search for a maid.”

“A live-in?”

Ajoke shook her head. “No, I don’t want a live-in.”

Kokumo and Ajoke talked about so many issues till the early hours of the morning when Kokumo got dressed and left at about 4.30a.m.

——
The story continues…

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

The Wait – Chapter 9

Kokumo was in the faculty building when he was told by the secretary that he had a letter. He wondered who could have written him a letter as he had only previously received letters from Ajoke. As he collected the letter from the secretary, he looked at it and immediately recognized Ajoke’s handwriting. He sighed as he put it into his folder. Why was she writing him a letter? Was it to inform him about how she enjoyed her married life or what? He wasn’t sure he wanted to read the letter. It would only open his heart to another round of hurt and he was trying to get over her. He made up his mind not to read the letter. He got to his room later in the day and flung the letter into his travel bag.

 

Ajoke wondered why she did not receive a response to her letter. Even though her husband tried to make her happy, she remained an unhappy woman. She did her wifely duties as she should but found no joy in her home or her husband. She thought about Kokumo day and night and sometimes imagined he would pay her a visit. She lived with her husband in a decent self-contained apartment within the averagely expensive part of town. All her friends who had gotten married before her envied her. None of their husbands could afford to live in the part of town where Ajoke lived with her husband. Adejoro continued to work hard and he did his best to take care of his wife. However, Ajoke’s heart still longed for Kokumo even though, she knew his good bye to her behind her house on the day he arrived from school had been final.

Four weeks after her first letter, she wrote another one. She longed to hear from him. She wanted to know if he still thought about her. She wanted to know if he still missed her or if he had moved on and thrown her into the dustbin of history.

Kokumo received the second letter six weeks after the first. He was at the verge of opening it when he shook his head and flung it into his travel bag. No, he wasn’t going to read any letters from Ajoke again. In a few days, he sat for his exams and was through in another three weeks. He packed his few clothing into his travel bag and prepared to go home.

———-

Three months after Ajoke’s wedding to Adejoro, she found out she was pregnant. She knew she was supposed to be happy at the life growing inside of her but it only made her more sorrowful. She endured every night attending to the needs of her husband and the consequences lay inside of her. Adejoro had been elated when he found out his wife was carrying his first child. He immediately registered her in a Primary health care centre and ensured she got enough rest.

Six months later, Ajoke gave birth to a boy after an easy labour. Her mother praised her for her bravery and was thankful to God for giving her a grandson. Adejoro’s mother moved in with them to assist Ajoke with taking care of the child. Adejoro converted his self-contained apartment into a two-bed so as to accommodate his mother. She stayed with Ajoke for a month before leaving and Ajoke’s mother moved in to continue from where she stopped. Iya Ajoke stayed for six weeks. When she was sure her daughter was strong enough to handle the job of taking care of her home and her son, she returned to her husband’s house.

With a baby to take care of, Ajoke’s mind became occupied and thoughts of Kokumo became relegated to the back. She however wrote him another letter to inform him that she now had a son which she would have loved to be his. Six months after she had her son, she found out she was pregnant again and was even three months gone. Adejoro was ecstatic. Everything seemed to be working in his favour. His family was doing well and he was never short of sub-contracted jobs to handle. In a few months, he would be through with the technical college and he knew that while his friends would be roaming around looking for jobs, he already had jobs waiting for him to handle. Life couldn’t be better for himself and Ajoke.

Ajoke had a baby girl six months later. Her mother-in-law and her mother took turns to take care of her baby as they previously did. Iya Ajoke told her daughter how proud of her she was; having two children of different sexes in quick successions. She also never failed to praise her daughter’s husband, Adejoro for taking good care of her daughter.

 

Ajoke’s children were aged eighteen months and six months when Adejoro came home to inform his wife that one of the companies he sub-contracted for was offering him a scholarship to further his education in the United Kingdom. Ajoke looked at her husband as if he spoke in another language.

“You can’t be serious.” Ajoke shouted when she found her voice.

Her daughter began to cry and Ajoke immediately scooped her up and strapped her to the back as she patted her daughter’s bum to stop her from crying.

“It is just for a few months, Ajoke. Before you know it, I will be back.”

Ajoke harrumphed.

“Ajoke try to understand. I may never get this opportunity. Don’t deny me of this, please.” Adejoro pleaded.

“How long is a few months?” Ajoke asked as she sighed deeply.

“Twenty-four months.”

Ajoke’s jaw dropped. “And you call two years just a few months?” She asked in anger.

“Ajoke!!!” Adejoro called as he stressed her name.

Ajoke clapped her hands together and opened the palms facing upwards. “Okay oh, I have heard you Adejoro.  I don’t want you to say later that I denied you of progressing in life; God forbid. You are free to go.”

“Thank you.” Adejoro said as he moved closer to his wife and gave her a hug.

“When are you leaving?”

“In two weeks’ time. I will make sure I send money to you monthly through one of my friends for your upkeep.”

Ajoke shook her head as she thought about her children. How was she going to cope in the next two years?

 

Two weeks later, Adejoro travelled out of the country leaving Ajoke in the care of his mother. Even though Ajoke was yet to fall in love with her husband after over two years of marriage, she had grown fond of him and thought maybe she would eventually forget about Kokumo.

Adejoro’s mother moved in with Ajoke immediately after her son’s departure to keep her company. She stayed with her for six months and left after her grand-daughter clocked one.

Even though Adejoro was on a scholarship, the company paid him a monthly stipend to keep body and soul together. He therefore kept his promise by sending Ajoke a portion of his monthly stipend through his friend, Akanbi. He also wrote letters to her to keep her informed of the on-goings with his education, while Ajoke replied with pictures of his children.

———–

Twenty-four months came quickly and Ajoke looked forward to her husband coming back home. She wrote him a letter in the twenty-third month to let him know that she and the kids were eager to have him back and expected a response from him. Four weeks passed by and she did not receive a response from her husband. She kept on going to the post office every day to check her box wondering why she was yet to get a response. By the twenty-fifth month, she became worried when she did not hear from her husband. She wondered what could have gone wrong and decided to go to his friend’s house.

Akanbi was about stepping out when Ajoke arrived there with her kids in tow. She strapped her daughter on her back while she held her son’s hand. Akanbi welcomed her in and told her to make herself comfortable. Ajoke unstrapped her daughter and put her on the floor so she could play with her elder brother. She sat in the cane chair in Akanbi’s house favouring it for the couch in the living room. Akanbi brought some biscuits for the kids and a cup of cold water for Ajoke. He then asked her if he could be of any help.

Ajoke told him she was wondering why she had not heard from her husband. He was meant to return to the country after two years and it was a full month after the agreed time. She asked him if there had been any change in the terms of his scholarship and why Adejoro had not responded to her letter. Akanbi stood up from the couch he was seated on and walked towards Ajoke. He sighed deeply as he took her hand and kissed it. Ajoke stood up abruptly, yanking her hand from him.

“What do you think you are doing?” She asked him.

Akanbi stepped towards her as Ajoke backed away. “You know Ajoke, you are still very beautiful even after all these years of not having a man to warm your bed.” He said smiling.

“Akanbi, I respect you a lot as my husband’s friend. I only came here to find out what is wrong with my husband.”

“Give me a chance to take care of you, Ajoke.” Akanbi said.

Ajoke looked at him as if she had just been punched in the face.

“Are you surprised?” Akanbi asked her as he moved towards her. Ajoke continued to back away from him till her back touched the wall.

Akanbi smiled knowing that he had her cornered. He moved closer to her pinning her to the wall with his body. He traced his fingers over her bare arms sending Ajoke into a shiver. “I have always liked you but Adejoro was faster than I was. Beautiful Ajoke, the darling of many Ipaja young men.” He said as he moved his fingers up and down her collar bone, his breath on her face.

Ajoke held her breath as her heartbeat increased. She closed her eyes and bit her lips. She had not been touched in two years and her body was sore with desire. She did not push Akanbi back and he took this as his cue. He was already aroused and excited as his nether region stood out in the Ankara sokoto he was wearing. He slipped his hand under Ajoke’s dress lifting it up as he glided and pressed his excited lower torso to hers and hugged her tightly at the waist. A shiver ran through Ajoke’s spine causing a   gasp to escape her lips as her body warmed and craved a man’s touch.

Akanbi’s excitement increased as he realized he had broken her will and she longed to have him. He struggled to take off Ajoke’s underskirt with one hand while he tried to untie the rope on his sokoto with the other hand. All of a sudden, Ajoke’s daughter started to cry. Ajoke shook as she came out of her reverie. Her underskirt was on the floor and Akani groped her as he also struggled to step out of his sokoto. She looked at her daughter who was crying and crawling towards where she stood and took a look at Akanbi. He had taken off his underpants and was about to lift her off the floor when she pushed him back. He staggered backward a bit surprised at the sudden change.

“What is wrong with you?” He said moving towards her.

“Don’t come near me.” Ajoke shouted.

Akanbi laughed. “What will you do?”

Ajoke started sobbing. “Why would you do this to your friend’s wife? He trusted you.” She said as she picked up her underskirt from the floor and put it back on.

Ajoke’s tears shocked Akanbi and he stammered. “But…but…Ajoke, you also want this. I know you do. Your body longs for a man. Just once won’t hurt. No one will know, I promise you.” He said as he stepped forward and tried to touch her.

Ajoke knew she had failed her husband and she felt sorry. She shouldn’t have come here in the first place. She hit Akanbi’s hand away as she picked up her crying daughter, put her on her back while Akanbi watched confused.

“Ajoke, please don’t go. I will take care of you.” He said.

“I don’t need you to take care of me. I just want to know when my husband is coming back.” Ajoke cried.

“Your husband is never coming back.” Akanbi spat.

Ajoke looked at Akanbi with shock. “What did you say?” She asked as she held on to her son’s hand.

“You heard me. Adejoro is never coming back. He is dating someone else who he intends to get married to.”

Ajoke shook her head vigorously. “No, no, stop lying against my husband.”

“So why hasn’t he responded to your letter? Why hasn’t he told you anything about his return?”

Ajoke burst into tears as she carried her son, opened the door in a hurry and ran out of Akanbi’s house.

——-
The story continues…..

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

The Last Prayer – Part 2

Papa wrapped his belt around his hand. How many times had he told Ade that he should walk like a man anytime he called or honked? He had had to open the gate himself to drive in his rickety beetle car. The sound of the car could be heard a 100 metres away as it coughed out thick black smoke. Many of his neighbours had told him to get the car serviced but whose business was it, what he did to his car.

As he closed the gate with the weather-beaten padlock, he calculated in his mind how to deal with his son. Since his mother left them to become Chief’s third wife a month ago, Ade had been unnecessarily absent-minded. He had broken a plate, a flower vase and even forgotten a pot of soup on fire. He wondered what the boy’s problem was. He had had enough with his mother. He was not ready to deal with his forgetfulness.

He remembered how Ade’s mother had insulted him every day over his inability to provide her the nicer things of life. He worked hard to provide for his small family but it was never enough for her. He tilled his farm day and night to put food on the table. They never lacked food as he planted every food item they consumed. Cocoyam, maize, tomatoes, vegetables etc. He even had a small poultry he managed all alone but Chinenye was never happy.

She whined every day about how Mama Nkechi’s husband had bought his wife twelve yards of Hollandis. Mama Uchenna’s husband bought his wife a brand new car with which she went to shop in the Epe fish market. Mama Kunle travelled abroad like she was going to the salon. It did not matter if she went to Ghana or Benin Republic which was just a few hours away. As far as she was concerned, those countries were abroad as long as you had to fly there.

Each day, she reminded him of his inability to satisfy her materially. She refused to work because these other women just sat at home taking care of their kids. None of them got their hands soiled; she always crooned. Each day for the past ten years, his confidence dropped a notch lower. His confidence was eventually shattered when she left him and moved in with Chief. She left with nothing. She said everything she had or shared with him was wretched compared to what Chief would provide. She did not even remember to go with her son, Ade. He was probably one of the wretchedness she left for him.

Chief was one of his major clients. He bought all his food produce from him. He always sent his boys to his farm to pick up but on one occasion, Chief had told him to take the produce home. He said his boys would pick them up from his house. He had filled his rickety beetle car with Chief’s produce and sang with his croaky voice as he drove home. The only time he was happy was when he was outside his home.

Chinenye had hissed as he walked into the house that fateful day carrying Chief’s produce and heaving under the weight of the baskets. As usual, she had refused to make his dinner. He walked into the kitchen with Ade and they both prepared eba. He had just finished eating when he heard the honk of a car outside. He told Ade to go open the gate for Chief’s boys. He was however shocked when Chief sauntered into his house. He paid for his produce and asked his boys to carry the baskets into his station wagon parked outside. Chief also gifted Ade with a thousand naira to buy biscuits for himself. Papa had thanked Chief but Chinenye’s thanks had been profuse.

He breathed deeply as he thought about it. She had obviously been carried away by Chief’s generosity. The day she left him was the day he realized that she had been visiting Chief secretly. Chief continued to send his boys to buy produce from him but he was unable to turn them back. If he did, he and Ade would go hungry. He therefore swallowed his pride and continued to supply Chief’s household with food even after Chinenye’s betrayal.

******

Papa looked at Ade’s raised arms waiting for the onslaught of his belt. He saw something glistering in his palm as he gripped the shard of glass tightly. He was bleeding severely and did not even realize that his body was drenched in blood. As he tried to lift up his son from the floor, he struggled and whimpered. He pulled him up with force and he suddenly went limp in his hands. “Ade, Ade.” Papa shouted his son’s name. He took out the shard of glass out of his son’s palm and threw it into the bin. He carried him in his arms and ran out of the house. He struggled to open the stiff passenger door of his beetle with Ade in his arms. The door opened after much force and he placed his son gingerly on the back seat.

“Ade, Ade, Ade.” He called again but his son refused to answer. “Oh God, hear my prayer. Please save my son. I will never touch him again. I will never let the anger I feel for his mother get to me again. I will never transfer the aggression to him again. God, I need your help, please. He is my only son. He is all I have got.” Papa reeled out prayers as he struggled to start the car. It always took a while to start and it usually did not until it was pushed. But there was no one to help him push it now. Ade who always helped in pushing lay still in the back seat of his rickety beetle.

Tears streamed down Papa’s cheeks. He got out of the car and opened the gate in a hurry. He tried to single-handedly push the car. He grunted as he pushed and jumped into the moving vehicle. The rickety beetle coughed and started. As he raced to the hospital, he prayed in his heart that God will forgive him and save his only son.

——-

The End

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

Consequences….excerpted from “To Love and to Hold”

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 […]

via Consequences … By Olubukola Adekusibe  — MakeADream_NG

The Height of Deceit….excerpted from “To Love And To Hold” by Olubukola Adekusibe.

Fadeke touched down in Abuja at 7.45a.m. She changed her itinerary at the last minute and decided to take the second flight into Abuja. She knew Chinedu wasn’t expecting her until 2p.m but she wanted to give him a surprise. She had called him two nights earlier and he had confirmed that […]

via The Height of Deceit … By Olubukola Adekusibe — MakeADream_NG

To Love and to Hold – Episode 29

Chinedu had tossed and turned all through the night. Sleep had eluded him and as he lay awake on his bed; streams of sunlight peeking through the curtains; he replayed the events of the last twenty-four hours in his mind. There had to be a missing link between Fadeke’s proposed visit to Abuja and her rush back to Lagos. What could possibly have happened that he wasn’t seeing?

After he left the Peters’ residence, he had gone home. His mother had been surprised to see him. He narrated the events that had taken place to her and she had also been at a loss.

“You said she came all the way to Abuja to discuss something very important with you?”

“Yes, she did”.

“So, how come she did not wait to see you before she left?”

“That’s the part I do not understand. Her friend, Kemi said that she was really broken”.

“Could she have succumbed to pressure from her father to give up on you?”

Chinedu thought for a minute. “If she had, she wouldn’t have left Abuja in tears. She was at my house but did not wait….”

All of a sudden, it dawned on him.

“What the …” He swore.

“What is it?” His mother asked alarmed.

“Tochukwu came to my house the day before Fadeke’s trip”.

“Who is Tochukwu?”

“Don’t you remember her? The lady I told you about; Fadeke’s roommate”.

She thought. “The lady that came to congratulate you and Kunle on your graduation?”

“Yes”.

“Okay. What was she doing in your house?”

His face was grim. “Oh mum. I hope I haven’t made the greatest mistake of my life”.

“Calm down and tell me what happened”.

“She called me on Friday morning and said she was flying into Abuja that evening. She wanted to sleep over at my place and I told her it wasn’t possible”.

His mum nodded.

“She said she would have stayed over at her friend’s place but that her friend was travelling early Saturday morning. I asked her what she was doing in Abuja and she said she came for an interview”.

“Okay”.

“So she needed a place to get dressed as the interview was scheduled to hold at 10a.m. I told her it would be advisable to stay in a hotel or in the alternative fly in with the first flight at 5.30. She flew into Abuja that Saturday morning and I asked my taxi guy to pick her up from the airport. By 6.30, she was at my place. I wasn’t ready for any of her troubles that morning, so I decided to leave home earlier than I had intended”.

“If you knew she was trouble, why did you allow her in your house in the first place?”

“Good question, mum. She obviously realized I was avoiding her. On my way out, she told me she and Kunle were back together. She asked for my forgiveness over all what she had done in school and she was even shedding tears”.

“Hmm. Crocodile tears”.

“I’m used to her tears, mum. They don’t move me one bit. I told her it was okay and just told her to drop the key to my apartment with my next door neighbour”.

“You left her in your apartment?” His mother asked with surprise.

“I did not have a choice. I know Tochukwu too well to have stayed there with her. I hadn’t spoken to Kunle in a while to confirm if they were back together and I wasn’t ready to wait and watch her spill tears that were scripted”.

“So do you think Fadeke met her in your apartment?”

“I don’t know mum, I don’t know. She has refused to speak to me”.

“Then we can assume that she must have met her”.

“Possibly”. He thought for a moment. “Do you think Tochukwu could have fed her with lies? She always had this beef with her”.

“What’s that?”

“You mean beef?”

“Yes. What does it mean?”

He smiled. “It means a grouse”.

“Since Fadeke would not talk to you, you could find out from Tochukwu if they met. Then you can be rest assured that Tochukwu is behind all this”. She concluded.

*******

Chinedu stood up from the bed and stretched. He had to talk to Tochukwu. She was most likely the missing link. He picked up his phone and dialed her number. It rang out twice before she answered.

“Hi dear”. She said groggily.

“Hi. Did Fadeke meet you at my house yesterday?”

“Excuse me!”

“I asked if Fadeke met you at my place yesterday”. He said getting impatient.

“What kind of question is that? Is that the reason why you woke me up this early?”

He was quiet for a while. “I’m sorry I did not realize you were still sleeping”.

“Now you know”.

“I just wanted to know if you were at my apartment when Fadeke came. She came into Abuja to see me and left without doing so”.

“No. We did not meet”. She lied.

Chinedu sighed. “Are you sure? I mean, you did not maybe see her on your way out or something?”

“Look, if you are not sure, why don’t you give her a call and leave me alone”.

“She has refused to pick up my calls”.

Tochukwu smiled. “Well, I can’t help you”.

“Sorry, I woke you up”.

Tochukwu dropped the call and smiled. Her plan had worked. The next step was ensuring that they never came back together.

If she couldn’t have Chinedu, neither would Fadeke.

**********

By 9.00p.m, Chinedu was back in his apartment in Abuja. This weekend had been his worst ever and he felt he needed a break. He was tired both physically and emotionally. What was he supposed to do? He had run out of ideas. He had tried calling Fadeke on different occasions during the day but as usual, she had refused to pick up his call. The only option he had now was to send a text message.

“Baby, I don’t know why you are doing this to me”. He texted. “What have I done wrong? Don’t you think you should at least let me know? You came to Abuja to discuss something very important and left without even waiting to see me. My love, please talk to me. I am down and out of ideas of how to reach you”.

After waiting for five minutes without a response, he sent another text. “My love, please talk to me. You are breaking my heart”.

No response.

He went to bed two hours later dejected.

Fadeke had seen the text messages. She was still upset. He had betrayed her love and her trust so why was he trying to reach out to her now. When she read the second text message, she broke down in tears. He wasn’t the one heartbroken; she was. She had given everything she had to him; body and soul. And she had to pay the ultimate price. She thought about her father’s threat earlier in the day. How could he be advocating for an abortion? She was torn. What was she supposed to do? What if she died in the process? She had heard stories of people who never survived one. No, she wouldn’t do it. If her father wanted her out of his house, so be it.

to-love-to-hold-42

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

Chinedu woke up earlier than usual on Monday morning. He hadn’t been able to sleep all through the night and he knew if he continued this way, he was probably going to break down. He got dressed early and stepped out of his apartment. The next flat was directly opposite his and as he tapped on the door, he prayed in his heart that his question wouldn’t sound silly to his neighbour.

“Hi Wale, I’m sorry to disturb you this early”.

Wale was knotting his tie as Chinedu spoke. “No problems. I hope everything is okay”.

“I just wanted to find out if you saw my girlfriend here on Saturday?”

“You asked her to drop the key to your apartment with me, didn’t you?” Wale asks.

“Erm…not exactly. I mean that’s not my girlfriend. She is just an old friend that needed a place to change; she had an interview that morning”.

“So, who else are you asking about?”

“Fadeke. Did you see any other lady come out of my apartment? I know it sounds weird but I really need to know”.

Wale thought for a few seconds and shook his head. “Nah…I don’t think so. I wasn’t taking note anyway”. He shrugged.

“Okay, thanks”.

“You are welcome. I hope no hassles. You don’t look like you’ve had any sleep”.

Chinedu rubbed his eyes. “I’m okay. Thanks”.

He walked back into his apartment and sat down on the couch. Who else could he talk to? He picked up his phone and dialed.

“Hi Chinedu”. Kemi said picking up the call on the second ring.

“I’m sorry if I woke you up”. He realized he was beginning to do that often.

“Not at all. I am getting dressed for work”.

“Quick question”.

“Okay”.

“Has Fadeke spoken to you?”

“No, she hasn’t called since she left. I tried calling her yesterday but I guess she must have been resting ‘cos she did not pick up”.

“If she calls you, could you please convince her to talk to me?”

“She hasn’t spoken to you?” Kemi asked surprised.

“No, she hasn’t. I had to fly to Lagos that evening”.

“Are you serious?”

“Yes. I went to her house but her mum walked me out. I did not get to see her”.

Kemi sighed. “I’m sorry Chinedu. I really wish I could help”.

“Just ask her to please talk to me; that’s the help you can render”.

“No problems. I will”.

“I really appreciate your help. Thanks a lot”.

“You are welcome”.

With that done, the only thing he could do now was to look forward to his leave which was just two weeks away. He had asked for a four week vacation because he needed time with Fadeke. He had also intended to use the period to see Fadeke’s father but with the turnout of events, he wasn’t sure of anything anymore. The only thing he was sure about right now was that whatever had caused the friction in their relationship had to be nipped in the bud.

And that was exactly what he was going to do.

———-

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

Second Chances – Episode 13

Kunbi arrives Lagos Sunday evening. Sola is walking out of Wale’s apartment as she gets to the door. She smiles on seeing him. “Hi Sola, leaving already?”

“Yes, how was your trip?” He asks.

“It was okay”.

“I wasn’t aware you had resumed your weekend trips. I was expecting to meet you at home”.

“Erm….yes, I have”. She stammers. “You haven’t been visiting on weekends as well”.

“I decided to visit today”. Sola says.

“Well, I’m back. You can stay a while or are you in a hurry?” She asks hoping he would oblige.

Sola smiles as he stretches his hand to collect her weekend bag. “Let me help you with that”.

They walk back into the house, Kunbi using her keys to open the door. “Wales, I’m back”.

“In here”. Wale says from his bedroom.

Kunbi walks towards the kitchen. “Should I get you a drink or a glass of juice?” She asks Sola.

“I’m fine”. Sola answers.

“Okay. If you say so. I need a glass of cold water”. She says disappearing into the kitchen.

Wale sees Sola as he walks into the living room. “You came back?”

Sola shrugs.

“I thought you said you were going to visit your aunt”. Wale says.

“You were?” Kunbi calls from the kitchen.

“Yes, I was. But you asked me to stay”.

Kunbi smiles as she shakes her head. She is glad she is alone in the kitchen. She closes her eyes and she feels the butterflies. Oh Sola, if only…….

“Why are you smiling?” Wale asks breaking into her thoughts.

Kunbi is startled. She had not realized anyone had walked into the kitchen.

“Nothing”. She says.

Wale squints as he looks at her. He grunts as he gets a bottle of water from the refrigerator. “We need to talk”. He says.

“Now?” Kunbi asks.

“After Sola leaves”.

“Okay”. Kunbi says wondering what the discussion could be about as she goes back to the living room.

“So, I assume you and Ola are back together?” Sola asks.

Kunbi is unable to respond as she looks at Wale, who is walking into the living room. He looks at her as he tilts his head expecting her response.

“I….yes, we are”. She says uncomfortable with the discussion.

Sola looks into her eyes. “I wish you good luck”.

Kunbi looks away unable to look at him. She wishes they did not have to talk about her relationship. Just then, Wale’s mobile phone rings breaking the unwelcome silence. He looks at the caller ID and walks towards the kitchen as he picks the call.

“Hello mum”.

“Báwo ni Wálé?” (How are you, Wale).

“Adúpé mà” (I’m fine, thank you ma).

“Sé o ti bá àbúrò ë sòrò”. (Have you spoken to your younger sister?). Wunmi asks.

“Kò ì pé tó wolé” (She just came in). I will definitely speak with her”.

“Jòó (please), let me know the outcome of your discussion”.

“Okay ma”. He cuts the call and walks back to the living room.

“That was mum, right? Is there a problem?” Kunbi asks, worry written on her face.

“No. She asked me to discuss something with you”.

“Okay. What is it about?”

Wale looks at Sola but says nothing.

Sola notices and gets the hint. He stands up immediately. “I think I should leave now”.

“But I just arrived. Besides, you came to see me, right?” Kunbi asks.

“Looks like Wale has something very important to discuss with you”. Sola says.

“I am sure Wales can talk about it while you are here unless you would get jealous with our heart to heart talk”. She smirks.

Sola looks at Wale.

“I am not sure you want Sola listening to this conversation”. Wale says looking at Kunbi.

“Why? Is something wrong with my mum? Kunbi asks, beginning to get worried.

“No, she is absolutely fine. This is about you”.

“About me? I don’t understand”.

Sola who is still standing looks from Wale to Kunbi, trying to understand as well.

“Kunbi, can’t we discuss this later?” Wale asks.

“No Wales. I want to know now. Too many things happen without my knowledge. I want to know what is going on”.

Wale takes a deep breath. “She called about your engagement to Ola”.

Sola looks at Kunbi with shock.

Kunbi opens her mouth looking aghast. She is about to say something when she hears Sola’s voice.

“You are engaged?”

“Yes….No, it is not what you think”. She replies in confusion.

“Really?” Sola and Wale ask in unison.

“Ola proposed.……”

“And you agreed to marry him”. Wale finishes her sentence.

“Sola, I wasn’t expecting the proposal when it happened. I needed time to think about it”. Kunbi stands up as she walks towards him.

“When did he propose?” Sola asks.

“Sola, please….” Kunbi closes her eyes as she holds him.

Sola yanks his hand from hers and asks again. “When did he propose?”

“The weekend Wales and I went to Ibadan”.

Wale is stunned. “That was three Saturdays ago”.

Sola sneers. “Looks to me like you have had so much time to think about it”. He looks at Wale. “I have overstayed my welcome. Thanks bro. I appreciate every effort you have made”. He says as he walks towards the door.

Kunbi runs after him trying to stop him from leaving as she holds his hand. Sola looks back at her. “I thought I could hope for a future with you but I guess I deceived myself for too long. Good luck and take care”. He says as he gently releases his hand from her grip.

2nd Chances 13

Kunbi kneels down and begins to cry.

Wale walks up to her and lifts her up as she sobs on his shoulders. When she is spent from her crying, she looks up at him. “Wales, I am confused”.

“If you love Sola, why are you getting married to someone else?”

“I don’t know what to expect from him”. She says wiping her eyes.

“Is this about his commitment?”

Kunbi nods.

Wale sighs. “I don’t know about his issues with commitment but I know when I see someone truly in love. And there is no doubt that Sola loves you and it is obvious that you do as well”.

Kunbi looks away.

Wale lifts up her chin and turns her face towards him. “You have fought your feelings for him for too long. You need to let go and follow your heart”.

“Ola is supposed to see mummy next week. What do I tell him? His engagement ring is in my bag”.

Wale shrugs as he walks away. “I have no idea but I know you can handle it”.

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

Sola sits in his living room depressed and heartbroken. The living room is tastefully furnished with entertainment gadgets. Even though different ladies had previously left him to get married, the rejection he felt had never been this deep. He had made up his mind to be committed to Kunbi. He loved her with his life. Tolu had just been a distraction for him. He knew he could never love her as much as he loved Kunbi. Tolu had made it easy for him to go back to the one he loved by her betrayal.

I was a fool to have believed Kunbi loved me. I thought I saw love in her eyes, her actions, her mannerisms. But it was all a joke. He assumed giving his love and attention to Kunbi would eventually make her fall in love with him but how wrong he was. He stood up and walked to the credenza by the wall. Two frames sat on it. He picked up the smaller one and staring at him was a picture of himself with his parents at a restaurant. He had a big smile on his face and his parents had their arms around him. He could see from their faces that they must have been happy and in love. The frame was beautiful but old and he had refused to change it. It was the only reminder he had of who his parents were and how they had lived. His aunt had given it to him when he turned eighteen. After the accident that killed his parents, she had picked up the frame in his parents living room and decided to keep it till he was old enough to have it. She wanted him to have a constant reminder of his parents. The second and bigger frame was an older version of him with his aunt and cousin. His aunt had made sure he and his cousin attended the same schools. The picture was taken during their graduation from secondary school. He stood on the right while his cousin stood on the left of his aunt. They both had their lips on each side of her face in a kiss; and she had a smile that ran from one side of her cheek to the other. She had been a happy mother on that day as they had both graduated with good grades.

He smiled sadly as he looked at the two frames. His parents had a good marriage according to his aunt. His cousin had gotten married five years ago and lived in Tanzania. His job as an engineer had necessitated his relocation. He had two kids; a boy and a girl who he doted on. Every time, they discussed on phone, he never ceased to talk about his loving wife and kids. He shook his head as he sighed. His cousin had found love despite his mother’s failed marriage. He wondered if he was ever going to find true love.

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

Second Chances – Episode 9

As Sola drives to Tolu’s apartment, he rethinks his decision to see her while Kunbi lies critically injured in the hospital. The doctor had said she needed to rest but he still felt obligated to be by her side in her time of need. She was the reason why his relationship with Tolu was going smoothly. The visit to Tolu could wait. He is about to make a U-turn when he remembers that Wale would have left the hospital as well. He shrugs and decides to continue with his visit.

30 minutes later, Sola parks his car a few metres away from Tolu’s apartment. He walks to the door carrying a shopping bag and a bouquet in his hands. He attempts to knock on the door but then hesitates. On second thoughts, he places his hand on the door handle and the door opens. His surprise visit is working better than he planned and he goes in smiling.

The TV in the living room is switched on but no one is there. There is an opened bottle of wine and two glasses half-filled with wine in the living room. A shiver runs down his spine and he feels cold and hot at the same time. Sweat beads at his forehead and he pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe it. He drops the shopping bag and the bouquet on the floor as he hears laughter. He recognizes that laughter which has become distinguishable. He moves towards the direction from where he has heard the laughter. It gets louder as he moves closer to a room. It is obvious there are two people in there as he can hear a man talking.

As he gets to the door, he shuts his eyes afraid to imagine what is going on behind it. He breathes deeply as he places his hands on the door handle and opens it. He gasps at the sight before him. Tolu is shocked when she sees him. She stands up from the bed immediately and struggles to tie a wrapper over her chest. She runs to meet Sola but he turns back and leaves in anger.

Spying

“I don’t know how I got home. I still can’t believe it. I almost feel like this is a bad dream that I would wake up from. She has called me severally today but I have refused to pick her calls”. Sola says shaking his head.

“I’m at a loss for what to say. I guess I should say I’m sorry but I think you should have picked up her call at least to hear her out”.

Sola looks at Kunbi in shock. “What? How can you say that? What could she possibly have to say?”

“I mean, just maybe….”

“Just maybe what, Kunbi. Maybe what? Am I to listen to an explanation for being in bed with a man old enough to be her father or will she explain why I was fooled and led on all along? Please give me a break”. Sola says in anger.
“I’m sorry, Sola. I know you are hurt. I have no intentions of rubbing it in”.

Sola sighs as he moves towards Kunbi. “You don’t have to be. I’m sorry I yelled at you”.

“It’s okay”.

He looks at his wrist watch. “It is late. I should leave now so you can rest.” He says as he lifts her up to re-adjust the pillow. “I won’t be able to come here with Wale tomorrow morning but I’ll definitely come home to see you. Is that okay?”

“That’s fine. Thank you”. Kunbi answers smiling.

“Take care of you”. He says as he touches her lightly on the cheeks.

Kunbi looks at him and is scared of what she sees in his eyes. She looks away as she replies; “I will, thanks”.

She refuses to look his way again until she hears the door shut firmly. She breathes deeply as she shakes her head and turns to look at the door through which Sola has just stepped out.

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

A week later, Wale is sitting in the living room reading a newspaper. The TV is switched on and a music video plays on mute. He suddenly remembers something and drops the newspaper on the settee.

“Kunbi, Kunbi”. He calls.

“Yes dear”. Kunbi answers from her room.

“Please come to the living room”.

She walks into the living room wearing a white tank top and lounge pants. “Yes, what’s wrong?” She asks as she sits down on the couch facing him.

“I’ll be traveling to Abuja to supervise one of our sites. I leave tomorrow evening”.

“Home alone again?” Kunbi asks.

“I can’t help it”. He shrugs. “I have informed Sola and he will pick you up from work in the evenings”.

“Thanks. That’s thoughtful of you”.

“Anything for my baby cuz”. He says smiling. “I would have asked him to pick you up in the mornings as well but I don’t want to push the favour”.

“No, that will be too much. I can take a taxi to work”.

“Sola is just a call away in case you need anything”.

“Okay, how long will you gone?”

“About a week. I pray it doesn’t take longer than that to conclude”.

“Okay”. She says nodding.

“So are you going to tell me who beat you up last week?” He asks; his tone serious.

“Wales, I thought you’ve forgotten about the issue. I’ve put it behind me”.

Wale looks at her with surprise. “What do you mean by forgotten? Someone barges into my house, beats up my sister and you say I should forget and put it behind me? Really?”

“Wales, please we have talked about this….” She is saying as Wale interrupts.

“Don’t patronize me. I have only given you time to recuperate. I need to know the culprit”.

“Please promise me you won’t go out this night”. Kunbi pleads.

“I can’t. Is it meant to be a trade by barter?”

“Why can’t you? Okay, I’m taking the car key”. She stands up to pick up the key.

“Do whatever you like, I’m not bothered. What I need to know is this person you have refused to name. Is it Ola?”

“Erm….” Kunbi stammers.

Wale looks at her as he searches her face. “Yes….”

“Actually….erm….”

“Speak up, Kunbi. You’re wasting my time”. He says with irritation.

“It’s….it’s Ola but he didn’t mean to….”

Wale stands up in anger. “Give me the key”.

“I’m not giving you the key. Wale, please listen to me”. She pleads trying to calm him down as she holds him by the hand.

Wale snatches his hand. “Leave me alone. If you are not giving me the key, then just leave me alone”.

He paces the room biting his finger in regret. Suddenly, the doorbell rings and startles Kunbi. She runs to the door, fidgeting as she opens it.

“Thank God, it’s you”. She says.

“What’s the problem?” Sola asks walking into the living room.

“Please could you talk to your friend? He wants to go to Ibadan this night”. She says shaking.

“Hey, take it easy. I’ll handle the situation”. He says patting her on the back. “My guy, what has come over you?” Sola asks as he sees Wale shaking his head in anger and regret.

“I told you Ola was responsible. Didn’t I? I was so sure about it”.

“Yes, you were right and I was wrong to underestimate him”. Sola says matter-of-factly.

“So, if the same was done to your sister, you would fold your arms and congratulate her, right? Tell her to hand over my car key”.

“Take it easy, man. You won’t be helping matters by beating up the guy”.

Wale laughs with mockery. “You think so”.

“Right now, you’re not thinking straight. What if something happens on the way to Ibadan at this time of the night? C’mon, no one is happy with this issue, but we have to let it go. Besides, we do not want you in prison with a murder charge hanging over your head”.

Wale sits down in anger and Sola jerks his head to signal to Kunbi to take over. Immediately, Kunbi kneels in front of Wale.

“Wales, I know how much you care about me and want the best for me. I couldn’t have asked God for a better and more loving big brother, but you should understand that I still need you”. She holds his hands. “Please forgive Ola and let it go. I’ve forgiven him already”.

“Please stand up. I have heard you. So easy for you to forgive the bastard”. He hisses.

“Please….” Kunbi stresses still on her knees.

“Get up please. You can reserve the kneeling down for your husband”. Wale says as Sola and Kunbi burst into laughter.

————–
Photo Credit: http://www.pinkroma.it

To Love and to Hold – Episode 14

Chinedu had woken up early to read as he had gone straight to bed the previous night after leaving Kunle’s room. By 7a.m when Kunle walked into his room, he had already put in 3 hours of study. “Hey, morning. I hope you are better”. He said as he stood up from his reading table to stretch his limbs.

“Yeah, thanks man”. Kunle replied as he sat down on Chinedu’s bed. He had woken up with a determination to call Tochukwu’s bluff but before leaving his room that morning; she had reinforced her threat to inform Chinedu about his recent attraction to Fadeke and that he was hitting on her. Even though he wasn’t hitting on her, he knew that his recent attraction was going to raise an alarm. Chinedu had noticed his strange behavior and it wouldn’t take long for him to put the pieces together. On the other hand, he wasn’t sure whether Fadeke would eventually tell Chinedu about what transpired between them the night he walked in on her.

“So, are you and Tochukwu back together?” Chinedu asked breaking into Kunle’s thoughts.

“Not at all. You were the reason why she came visiting”. He replied thinking of how best to approach the matter at hand.

“Me? I don’t understand”.

“Chinedu, don’t you think you are putting all your eggs in one basket. You know I have mentioned this to you before”.

“I still don’t understand what you are trying to say”. Chinedu answered looking lost.

“What I mean is Tochukwu came to see me yesterday still professing her love for you. She’s obviously over me and confessed that even while we were together, she longed for you. Chinedu, I think you should give her the benefit of doubt”.

Chinedu who was still standing was so astonished; his mouth was agape. Was that the reason why Tochukwu had come to see Kunle at that time of the night? He was even more shocked by Kunle who knew too well that he was committed to Fadeke. “You are crazy, man. I can’t believe you would even attempt to sell Tochukwu to me. Do you realize that Tochukwu and Fadeke are roommates? I have never mentioned her to Fadeke just because I do not want her to feel threatened. I can’t, won’t and would never give Tochukwu an opportunity; if that’s what you are asking for”. He concluded angrily.

To Love & to Hold 24b

Kunle opened his mouth to speak but thought otherwise. It was no use. He knew even before he attempted to, that Chinedu wasn’t going to give in. The next step was to inform Tochukwu about the development. He had tried his best; as far as he was concerned.

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30 minutes later, Chinedu was alone in his room thinking. How else am I meant to tell Tochukwu that I am not interested in her? I have tried all I can; but it does not seem to be working. I have never met a woman so desperate and bent on having a man. Wasn’t it just three sessions ago that she was all over Kunle? To think that she could make a drastic U-turn with an intention to win me over again with Kunle’s help is unimaginable. Kunle should have known better. I am not into the two-timing game. I am not surprised that Kunle is not in the least jealous that his ex-girlfriend is making a comeback at his best friend. He is an unrepentant casanova who has the ladies whenever and wherever he wants them. I wonder why he has become distracted and unsettled of recent. He had always been able to handle his relationships and his studies perfectly well. I hope our final year exams are not taking a toll on him. Whatever the case, my mind is made up; nothing and no one can change it. I am stuck with Fadeke.

In four weeks, exams were over and students began trooping home in droves. Mr. Peters’ driver picked Chinedu and Fadeke from school and on Fadeke’s insistence; dropped Chinedu off at home. As he was stepping out of the car, he remembered his promise to his mother to introduce Fadeke to her during their next holidays. “Would you be able to come visit me some time during the holidays?” He asked.

“Why not? I would love to”. Fadeke replied excitedly. “When should I come over?”

“I would call you two days ahead to let you know”. He said slinging his knapsack on his back.

“Two days ahead? Does that mean you won’t call me every day?” She sulked.

“I will, my sweet “poff poff” cheeks”. He smiled touching her lightly on the cheeks. “Remember I have to work during the holidays. I would let you know when you should come over, all the same”.

“Oh, I absolutely forgot about your vacation job”. She said sighing. “No worries but I would expect your call everyday”.

“Yes, ma’am”. He replied as they both burst into laughter. He loved it when she laughed that way; like one who had no care in the world. He wanted to give her a kiss but thought against it. He was standing in front of the gate to his house and she was sitting in her father’s car with the driver behind the wheel. He would not want anyone misinterpreting his actions. He held her hand and squeezed it tight as he whispered “I love you”. Fadeke who by now had tears in her eyes from her bout of laughter returned the squeeze and whispered back a response.

As she was chauffeur-driven home, she laid back her head with loving thoughts of Chinedu filling her heart. She had never felt so loved by anyone besides her family. As she made a mental note of what she was going to wear to Chinedu’s house for the visit, she dozed off smiling.

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

“Come over to my hostel at 4.00pm. We need to talk”. Tochukwu said holding her mobile phone to her right ear and blowing a bubble with the gum in her mouth.

“I can’t make it. I’m going home at 4.00pm”. Kunle replied irritated.

“Sorry, darling. You can’t go home until you see me”.

“Do you ever stop, Tochukwu? If you need to see me, you know where to find me”.

Tochukwu was quiet for a while, chewing her gum with reckless abandon. “Okay, if that is how you want it. Expect me anytime from 3.00pm”. She said flipping her phone shut before Kunle could respond.

“What is all this?” He hissed.

He dropped his phone on his bed and continued arranging the few things he felt would be needed for the holidays into his travel bag. He looked at his wrist watch. It was a quarter to two. His intention was to leave school at 4.00pm and he sincerely hoped he had not made a mistake by asking Tochukwu to come over to his place. The last time, he had wasted two hours of his valuable time discussing her game plan. He was sure she wanted feedback. He sat on his bed and picked up a magazine. As he flipped through the pages, his mind raced back to when he was dating her.

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