Tag Archives: engagement

The Wedding

The minister faced the congregation. “Does anyone have any reasons why these two should not be joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace?”

Kayode smiled as he beheld the face of his bride. He had no skeletons in his cupboard and he was sure everyone in attendance wanted he and Tolani married.

He had told them to take out that phrase from his marriage vows but the minister had insisted; saying it was part of the church tradition to include it. He was positive no one would disrupt his wedding and he felt that phrase was useless.

The minister was about to continue with the wedding proceedings when Tolani raised her right hand. There were loud gasps within the hall. Kayode’s smile wiped away immediately giving way to a shocked expression.

The minister looked at Tolani as he nodded his head expecting an explanation from her.

“I can’t do this, Reverend.” Tolani said to the minister. Tears spilled down her cheeks as she looked at Kayode. “I’m sorry.”

Tolani dropped her bouquet on the floor and ran out of the hall. Kayode looked at Lolade; Tolani’s younger sister and chief bride’s maid. Lolade shrugged and ran after her sister with a smile on her face.

Her sister eventually did it and she was proud.

********

 

The night before, Tolani had confided in her that she could not go ahead with the wedding. Kayode had proposed to her at a family dinner in the presence of both familes and everyone had urged her to say “yes”. They had only started dating six months before and he was already proposing. She felt she still needed to know him and be comfortable with him. Every time they were together, the only discussion they had was about him, his work and his passions. Whenever she tried to talk, he shut her down by saying, women needed to be seen and not heard. She had said “yes” to his proposal to save his ego. She had however returned the engagement ring the next day telling him that she was not interested in getting married to him.

The next three weeks had been weeks of cajoling and threatening by her parents. They insisted she had to get married to him as he was a suitable choice according to them. His own parents had also done their bit of cajoling. Even though, she loved his parents, she could not bring herself to love their son.

Wedding preparations started against her wish. She begged, cried and explained to her mother but no one listened to her. They all concluded that she was insensitive as Kayode had proved that he loved her.

*******

 

Lolade held her elder sister in her arms as she cried. “Sis, if you don’t love him, don’t make the mistake of marrying him.” She had concluded. As Lolade ran out of the hall, Tolani was getting into Lolade’s car. She had told her elder sister the night before that if she decided to change her mind and cancel the wedding, she could leave in her car. She had booked a stay in a hotel out of town for her sister. The car key was intentionally left on the ignition for a speedy getaway. Lolade watched as her sister sped off from the church premises.

“Where is she going? You are looking at your sister and you couldn’t stop her?” Her father barked.

“Ah! Tolani has embarrassed me today!” Her mother lamented.

Lolade looked at her mother; disgust written all over her face. “Mum, is that all you can say?”

“C’mon shut up! What do you know?” Her mother shouted at her.

 

Lolade shrugged as she walked to the car her sister had come in. “Please take me home.” She said to the driver.

As the driver pulled out of the premises, Lolade laid her head on the head rest and smiled. “Finally, her elder sister was taking charge of her life.”

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.

———

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

Second Chances – Episode 15

Ten weeks after Sola’s visit to Wale’s apartment, he walks into Wales Construction Company on a warm Tuesday afternoon. Wale stands up from his desk immediately Sola is ushered into his office and they shake hands. He signals to the couch and they both sit down.

“My guy, where have you been?” Wale asks.

“Port-Harcourt”. Sola says smiling.

Wale laughs. “Port-Harcourt? Doing what?”

“I needed a breather. First, I decided to take a well-deserved vacation and go lick my wounds alone. I was in Calabar for four weeks. I had barely resumed when I was asked to go do some work in Port-Harcourt. I was there for another four weeks. I came back to Lagos last week but it was a very busy week. I would have checked on you”.

Wale smiles.

“You are looking well. How is Kunbi doing?”

“She is keeping up. Her introduction took place some weeks back”.

“I am happy for her”. Sola says.

“Are you sure you are?”

“Of course. I wish her the best”.

Wale stands up from the couch. “Sola, I never knew you to be one who gave up easily. I remember vividly how you refused to give up when you found a particular course difficult in school. At the end, your grade amazed me. I remember putting you through that course. What happened to that guy I knew back then who was ready to give his all till he achieved his desires?”

Sola sighs and shrugs. “Wale, I don’t know. Love is a difficult terrain”.

Wale looks at him. “Commitment issues?”

“I know I have commitment issues but I was ready to be committed to Kunbi”.

“You were but never mentioned it to her. Did you ever discuss the future with her? The only reason why she is getting married to Ola is because she is scared you will never be committed. She doesn’t even know if you have plans of settling down. She wants to be married”. Wale says in exasperation.

“It hurts me to know she is getting married to him but…..”

“But what? Guy, she loves you. I asked you never to hurt her but that’s exactly what you are doing. She cries herself to sleep sometimes. I stand behind her door and I hear her stifling her sobs. Why are you doing this to her? I trusted you but you ended up hurting her”. Wale points at him in accusation.

The expression on Sola’s face is that of surprise and confusion. “Wale, you know this is not intentional”. He says trying to explain himself. “I love her with the whole of my being….”

“If you truly love her, will you allow her spend the rest of her life in love with you but married to someone else? She is getting married in a few weeks. Preparations for the wedding are on-going already”. Wale says interrupting him.

Sola winces as he stands up. He rubs his forehead in confusion. “I am sorry I have hurt her. What do I do?”

“You should be apologizing to her, not me. Kunbi is no longer a stranger to you. If you love her, you should know what to do”.

“Thanks. You have always been a good friend”. Sola says.

“I want the best for Kunbi as well and I can’t stand the hurt she is going through. Her smiles are sad these days”.

 

Sola is seated in his car thinking. If you truly love her, will you allow her spend the rest of her life in love with you but married to someone else? She is getting married in a few weeks. Preparations for the wedding are on-going already. Going to Wale’s office had removed the blindfold covering his eyes. He loved Kunbi and he knew deep down his heart, he would never be happy seeing her married to someone else. Guy, she loves you. I asked you never to hurt her but that’s exactly what you are doing. She cries herself to sleep sometimes. I stand behind her door and I hear her stifling her sobs. Why are you doing this to her? I trusted you but you ended up hurting her”. He smiles sadly as he remembers their conversation. He had been wrong about Kunbi and he was sorry. He had thought she did not love him. How selfish of me to have ignored her feelings all along? He imagined how difficult it would have been for her to decide to have a future with Ola when she was actually in love with him. I made this relationship all about myself. Kunbi, I’m so sorry I hurt you.

2nd Chances 15

He picks up his phone and speed-dials a number. The call is picked after the first ring. “Hi ma”.

“Sola, I was just thinking about you”. She says as she stresses his name.

He smiles. “Are you missing me already? We spoke last week”.

She laughs heartily. “You do know if I could, I would speak to you and your brother everyday”.

Her laughter warms his heart. “I want you to meet someone special”.

“Okay”.

“When can we visit?”

“You know I am always available. Just call me when you are on your way”.

“See you next week”.

“Okay dear”.

He cuts the call and smiles. He closes his eyes and lets out a long sigh before dialing a second number. The call is picked on the second ring. “Hi Kunbi”.

“Hi Sola”.

“I would like to see you this evening”.

“Okay?”

“Can I come over to your apartment?”

“If Wales is fine with it, then it is fine”.

“Thank you. I will be there at 7.00pm”. He says.

Kunbi is uneasy after Sola’s call. Why does he want to see me? Is Wales aware of his visit? Oh Sola, I have missed you so much. Her heart had leapt at the sound of his voice and she had been disoriented for a few seconds. Ten weeks of no form of communication had made her heart tender. She looks at the engagement ring on her hand. In a few weeks, Ola and I will be married. She closes her eyes and remembers vividly the hurt on Sola’s face when he had heard about her engagement. If only you knew I never intended to hurt you. Her heart wills the time to hurry so it can be 7.00pm already.

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Kunbi sits on her bed waiting anxiously. She looks at her bedside clock for the umpteenth time. Every second ticking looks like forever to her. She stands up and takes a look at herself in the full length mirror. She is suddenly conscious of how she looks. She takes out the ribbon she had used to pack up her hair in a bun when she was leaving for the office in the morning. She rakes her fingers through her hair and brushes it out with a comb allowing it to fall loosely on her shoulders. Just then, she hears a knock on her door. “Yes, come in”.

Wale walks into her room and looks at her with surprise. “Are you expecting someone?”

“I…..yes. Sola says he will be here. I…..I assumed he had sought your permission. I can tell him not to….” She stutters as they hear the doorbell ding.

Wale smiles. “I’ll get the door. That must be your visitor”. He winks as he walks out of her bedroom.

Wale lets Sola in and they both shake hands. Sola walks into the living room while Wale picks up his car key from the dining table. He strolls towards the door smiling. “Kunbi, please don’t keep your visitor waiting”. He calls out to her.

Kunbi takes one last look at herself in the mirror. She closes her eyes, places her right hand on her chest willing her heart to be still.

———–

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

Second Chances – Episode 14

The next Saturday as Kunbi sits in the bus taking her to Ibadan, she is oblivious to discussions and the on-goings around her. Her mind is faraway. The week had been a very difficult one. She had barely been able to concentrate at work and even a few of her colleagues had noticed and asked if she was fine. Sola had stayed away the whole week. She went for lunch alone and after the second day, she stopped going. What use was the lunch anyway as she ended up wasting her food each time? She cried herself to sleep most nights. She was torn, confused and depressed.

She had Ola’s engagement ring as his commitment to her but Sola was yet to state his intentions. He showed her he loved her, but love wasn’t enough. She needed a commitment from him. He had told her that he was scared of being committed. And then in another breath, he said he had hoped for a future with her? What future was there with him if he was never going to be committed? She sighs as she alights from the bus at the final destination. She decides to go to her mum’s first. She does not think she can face Ola yet.

“Are you okay, Kunbi?” Wunmi asks her daughter as she opens the door to her room. Kunbi had arrived about 30 minutes earlier, greeted her mum and gone straight to her bedroom. Her mum had waited for her in the living room hoping to speak with her. Wale had called during the week to inform her about the outcome of their discussion and she had been surprised to hear that her daughter was in love with another man. Her cousin’s friend. She had decided then to discuss about the other young man her daughter was in love with.

“Yes mum”. Kunbi answers as she turns to look at her mum standing at the door.

Wunmi walks into the room and sits on the bed beside her daughter. She takes her hand in hers. “Are you in love with Sola?”

“I don’t know mum”. Kunbi says bursting into tears.

Her mum hugs her as she sobs quietly. “I think you are, Kunbi”.

“Did Wales tell you he has a phobia for commitment?”

“He mentioned that you told him. He said they had not seen each other since school until recently when they bumped into each other again. So he was not aware of his commitment issues”.

“Mummy, Sola told me himself. He said he had lost a lot of good ladies because he was scared of commitment”.

Wunmi looks at her daughter as she lets out a long sigh of despair.

“I want to be married and Sola is not ready”. Kunbi says wiping her tears and blowing her nose with a tissue pulled from a box of tissues by her bed.

2nd Chances 14

“How do you know he is not ready?”

“I know mum. It is obvious he loves me, but what happens if he decides never to get married? Am I going to remain his girlfriend for life? Kunbi looks at her mum expecting an answer. “What kind of relationship exists between us? Am I his lunch partner or his confidant? Or am I just a girlfriend or someone he wants to spend the rest of his life with? Mum, I don’t even know. I don’t know what I am to him.” She says in frustration.

Wunmi cannot answer her daughter’s questions. She feels her hurt and pain and she wishes she could relieve her of them.

“I can’t keep on waiting forever? Ola is ready to marry me. I would rather go with him than wait based on assumptions”.

Wunmi exhales. “I wish I had an idea of what the future holds. Whatever decision you take, I will stand by you”.

“Thanks mum”. Kunbi says as she hugs her mum.

Tears begin to stream down her cheeks again.

“You have cried enough”. Wunmi says wiping her daughter’s face as she stands up. “It is time to take decisions and you need a clear head to do it”.

Two hours later, Kunbi freshens up and takes a taxi to Ola’s apartment. He had called her earlier to find out if she had arrived Ibadan. She confirmed in the affirmative and told him she needed to make sure her mum was home and ready for them. As she approaches his apartment, she puts behind every thought of Sola and decides to face the task ahead.

Ola is seated in the living room already dressed. He gives her a kiss as she walks in and thoughts of Sola go further away from her heart. He smiles as he lifts her left hand and sees the engagement ring. “You are beautiful and I promise to make you happy”.

She blushes. “My mum is ready to see us”.

“Okay. Let’s go”. Ola says as he puts his hand on the small of her back.

Ola and Kunbi walk out of her mum’s house later in the evening. Her mum had prepared iyan (pounded yam) and efo elegusi (vegetable stew with melon) before they arrived. She insisted they both ate before discussing their mission. According to her, decisions and thoughts were better processed and assimilated on a full stomach.

Ola informed her about his intention to get married to her daughter and asked when he could come with his parents for a formal introduction. Wunmi raised her objections about her daughter getting married in three months’ time. There was no need for the rush; she stated. She agreed to inform other members of the family and have representatives meet with his parents three weeks from then. A date will be fixed for the wedding after the meeting, she said.

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Kunbi goes about her job with renewed zest. Her colleagues notice the engagement ring on her finger and compliment it. She receives a lot of congratulations and hugs. She resumes going for lunch alone and manages to put behind her thoughts of Sola. Sola avoids visiting her apartment as the pain of her engagement is too much for him to bear. He decides to stay away and lick his wounds alone.

Wale congratulates Kunbi reluctantly with a sad smile on his face. He touches her cheeks lightly. “Regardless of everything, you are still my favourite cousin and I love you very much”. She smiles her thanks and hugs him tightly. She knows if she falls down, he would be there to pick her up and pat her on the back. In the night season alone on her bed, within the deep recesses of her heart, she remembers Sola and sometimes cries herself to sleep. She knows she will never be able to totally forget him.

Three weeks later, Ola’s parents meet with Kunbi’s mum, Wale and her father’s brother. They discuss about their children and agree to begin the marriage rites. A larger introduction of the two families take place a month later and the date for the wedding is fixed for four months away.

——–

Photo Credit: http://www.wikihow.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”.

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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 12

Wale and Kunbi arrive back in Lagos on Sunday evening sans drama. The engagement ring still sits in Kunbi’s bag undisturbed. Both of them by an unspoken agreement steer clear of discussing her mission to Ola’s place. For Wale, she is an adult; besides, it is her life. For Kunbi, love covers all sins.

The week rolls by with Sola and Kunbi still having lunch as usual every afternoon. Kunbi decides not to wear her engagement ring as she is unsure of what Sola’s reaction would be. He is already heartbroken as a result of Tolu’s betrayal, I don’t want to hurt him as well. She resumes her weekend journey to Ibadan every Saturday and everything seems to go smoothly.

One Saturday, she forgets to put on her engagement ring before leaving for Ibadan. As she approaches Ola’s apartment, she looks at her hand and realizes the mistake. Oh goodness, how could I have forgotten?  She contemplates on what to do but then shrugs as there is nothing that can be done at the moment.

“Hello darling”. She says as she walks into Ola’s apartment. She had requested for a spare key last weekend since Ola had previously changed the locks and he had obliged her.

Ola is seated in front of the TV engrossed in a video game he is playing and barely notices her presence. Kunbi drops her weekend bag on the floor and stands akimbo. “Helloooooo”. She stresses.

Ola glances at her and smiles but goes back to playing the game without responding. Kunbi upset that she is being ignored, walks to the TV and stands before it.

Ola’s face changes all of sudden and he screams. “What do you think you are doing?”

Kunbi maintains her posture. “Did I travel all the way from Lagos to be ignored?”

“You ain’t a visitor, go ahead and make yourself comfortable”. He says. “I’m in the middle of something right now, as you can see”.

Kunbi stamps her feet on the floor refusing to budge.

“Kunbi, please don’t get me upset. We both know it is not a pretty sight when I do”.

She gives up the fight and slumps her shoulders as she heads towards the kitchen.

“Can I have a glass of water?” Ola calls as she is walking away.

She comes back to the living room with a glass of cold water and places it on the side stool beside Ola. He looks at it briefly and notices that Kunbi is not wearing her ring.

“Why are you not wearing your engagement ring? He asks as he pauses the game to look at her.

“I forgot to wear it”.

“How can you forget to wear it?”

“I just forgot, okay? She says upset.

He drops the handheld controller on the settee and looks at her critically. “I assume you forgot to wear it means that you take it off. Isn’t it meant to be on you always?”

“I don’t know why you are making this an issue”. She says. “I wear it every day but forgot to put it back on after I did some washing”. She lies.

Ola frowns giving her an angry stare.

She looks at him afraid he is going to hit her but he picks up the handheld controller and goes back to playing his video game.

She breathes out quietly and walks towards the kitchen. I wonder what was on his mind.

 

After about an hour of playing his video game, Ola walks into the kitchen, his senses assaulted by the glorious aroma of jollof rice. He stands behind Kunbi circling his arms around her waist. “When are we going to see your mum and tell her about our plans?”

Kunbi smiles. “Whenever you are ready”.

“This is March, we should plan towards a June wedding”. He says.

“June? That is three months away. Why the rush?”

“What do you mean by a rush? Don’t you want to get married?” He says taking his hands off her.

“I do. What I mean is we should take our time to plan instead of getting married in a hurry”.

“It is no hurry. Three months is enough for you to get everything planned. Pick a date when I can come see your mum and let’s get started”. He says with finality walking out of the kitchen.

Kunbi sighs. Do I really want to get married in three months’ time? Am I ready to spend a lifetime with Ola? Her mind drifts to Sola and her heart sinks. I can’t deny that I am in love with him. Oh God, please help me.

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

Kunbi leaves for home four hours later. She meets her mum reading the day’s newspapers at the dining table and kneels down to greet her. “How are you, Kunbi?”

“I’m fine, mum. Can I talk to you for a moment?”

“Yes dear”. Wunmi says as she drops the newspaper on the table.

Kunbi pulls out the chair closest to her mum and sits down. “Mum, Ola wants to meet with you sometime soon”.

Wunmi looks at her daughter intently.

Kunbi expects a reaction from her mum but receives nothing. “He has proposed and I have agreed to marry him”.

Wunmi takes a deep breath. “Hmmm…..Kunbi, do you understand what you are getting into? Do you realize that marriage is a life-long commitment?

“Yes mum, I do. I love Ola”. Kunbi says.

“Love is not enough. Can you tolerate his excesses? His jealousy, his pride, his insecurities. Are you ready to deal with all that for the rest of your life?”

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“Mum, Ola loves me and is just looking out for my good. Isn’t that enough?”

“I think you should sleep over your decision. You are my only child and I want the best for you. I am your mother, I won’t deceive you”.

“Mum, can you just give me a date when Ola can come visiting?” She says beginning to get irritated.

Wunmi shrugs. “Next week Saturday”.

“Thanks mum”. Kunbi says as she stands up to leave for her room.

Her mum watches her as she walks away. How else do I make her see that disaster lurks at the corner. She looks heavenwards as she shakes her head. I can’t let my daughter make the same mistake I made. She picks up her mobile phone and dials Wale. He picks up on the first ring. “Hello mum”.

“Báwò ni Wálé?” (How are you doing, Wale?)

“Adúpé mà. Sé dada l’ëwà” (I’m fine, thank you ma. Hope you are keeping well).

“Adúpé, O seun. Mo pè é nitorí àbúrò ë ni”. (I am, thanks. I called you because of your younger sister).

“Okay ma”.

“How come you never mentioned that she is engaged to Ola?”

“What? She agreed to marry him?” Wale asks in shock.

“Nkan tó sö fúnmi ní ìròlé yìí nìyën”. (That is what she told me this evening).
I am surprised that you are not aware.

“I’m not aware, mum. She knows I can’t stand Ola, so she won’t mention it to me”.

“Jòó bàmi ba sòrò” (Please talk to her). “I don’t know why she is bent on this relationship. “Sé kò s’ókùnrin tó da ní Èkó ni”. (Aren’t there other good men in Lagos?)

“Mum, I have tried talking to her but she won’t listen”. Wale says.

“Try harder. Ègbón è lo jé (You are her elder brother). She may feel I am old school but she would listen to you”.

Wale sighs. “Okay ma. Màá tún ba sòrò“. (I will talk to her again).

“Osé ömö mi”. (Thank you, my son).

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

Second Chances – Episode 11

Wale and Kunbi leave Lagos for Ibadan together on Saturday morning. Wale drives keeping his conversations with her to a minimum. He is still upset with her as he cannot fathom why she intends to continue with an abusive relationship. He expected her to be smarter than this but she was playing the fool. If he believed in superstitions, he would have assumed Ola had placed a supernatural hold on her.

After Sola had confided in him after his break up with Tolu, he had told Sola to give Kunbi some time to heal. “I don’t expect her to jump at your offer immediately. She is probably still hurting from her break up”. He had said. He could see that Sola loved her and there was also a sparkle in Kunbi’s eyes anytime she was with him; even though she vehemently denied having feelings for him anytime he brought up the issue. Her commitment to Ola had beclouded her mind that she failed to see that she was in an abusive relationship. He could not imagine that she never broke up with him after the incident that almost claimed her life. It was beyond reasoning. Her continued relationship with Ola was a slap on his face as far as he was concerned.

They arrive Ibadan at about noon and get to Kunbi’s house in a few minutes. Kunbi would have alighted on the way to go to Ola’s apartment but she did not want to incur Wale’s wrath. The expression on his face all through the journey to Ibadan spoke volumes. Even though he tried to make small talk with her, she figured he was still upset. She had taken a novel to read on the trip as she also wanted to avoid having to talk to him. He had refused to understand how much she loved Ola. Besides, she felt Wale was favourably disposed to Sola as a result of their friendship.

She kneels down to greet her mum and gives her a quick hug before telling her that she needs to see a friend. Wale, after prostrating to greet Kunbi’s mum sits down beside her and is surprised to see that Kunbi is leaving immediately after their arrival.

He calls her. “Kunbi”.

Kunbi gives him a pleading look and he shakes his head in pity. Wunmi notices the unspoken drama between them.

“So, mummy how are you doing?” Wale asks ignoring Kunbi and facing Wunmi.

“I am good. It’s so nice to see you after a long while”. She says smiling.

“I’m sorry mum. I know I should visit more often”.

“It’s okay. As long as both of you are doing well, then I’m happy”.

“Yes, we are well ma”.

“Did Kunbi just leave for Ola’s house?” Wunmi asks.

Wale squeezes his face and shrugs. “Yes, she is going to his place”.

“Hmm….I hope she knows what she is doing”.

“No, mum. She doesn’t”.

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

Kunbi takes a taxi to Ola’s apartment. She has missed him so much and she is eager to see him. As she walks down the close where his house is located, she sees him from afar standing outside his apartment. He is wearing a green striped short sleeved shirt on dark denim pants. She doesn’t have the familiar butterflies in the tummy feeling as when she sees Sola. She however, dismisses the thought and walks faster. When she gets closer, Ola sees her and she smiles at him but she does not get a welcoming smile back in return. She reaches him and throws her hands around him in a hug. “I have missed you”. She says.

“I thought you weren’t coming. You did not respond to my last text message”. He says ignoring her statement.

“Let’s go in and talk about it”.

She notices that the furnishing in the apartment has been recently changed and she smiles at him. “Wow, you have done some work here. But I told you I wanted us to do it together”.

“And I remember saying I wanted my apartment furnished my own way, right?”

“Yeah, you said so. Anyway, it’s nice”. She sees there’s a mark on his head and she knows instinctively that it was placed there by her.

“I bought some ice cream. I know you love it”.

“That’s so thoughtful of you”. She is about to go to the kitchen but he stops her. “I’ll get it”.

She switches on the TV and feels the couch. She is impressed even though she would have loved to be involved in the decision making as well. Ola walks back into the living room carrying two ice cream bowls. He hands one of the bowls to her and sits beside her. “Thank you”. She says smiling. She knows they should talk about the last incident, but Ola is refusing to. She decides not to bring it up so as not to open old wounds. He has apologized by text anyway.

She scoops a spoonful of ice-cream into her mouth and feels something on her tongue. She is startled and carefully takes the strange object out of her mouth. A silver engagement ring with a massive stone stares at her. She looks at Ola, shock clearly written on her face. She opens her mouth to say something but she is unable to form the words. Ola, seeing that she is still in a confused state, decides to seize the opportunity. He goes down on one knee and asks “Kunbi, please marry me”.

Different thoughts run through Kunbi’s mind. Her heart begins to do a somersault. “Marry Ola? This has always been my heart desire but why don’t I feel happy. I should be all over him right now, laughing and crying tears of joy. Why am I suddenly scared of his proposal when I have always looked forward to today? But I always wanted a romantic proposal; dinner, candle lights, an atmosphere of love filled with music and the like”.

2nd Chances 11

Ola touches her hand and she realizes that he is still on his knees waiting for her answer. She still has the ring in her hands and she looks at it again and smiles. “Yes, I will marry you”. He pulls her up as he stands and kisses her passionately. She returns the kiss but her mind is in disarray.

 

As Kunbi is about stepping into her mum’s house, she looks at the massive sparkling stone on her left fourth finger. She stops, pulls off the ring and puts it carefully into a zipped portion of her handbag. She is not sure she wants Wale or her mum to see it just yet. She still has misgivings about the proposal but Ola has always remained committed to her. Commitment was important to her and she was not ready to throw it away just because she had feelings for someone else. She tries to force a cheery smile but deep down, her heart is in turmoil.

——–

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