Tag Archives: romance

The Wait – Chapter 4

Ajoke picked up the water pot she had hid in the bushes behind her house. She brought out a filled keg of water from the bushes and filled her water pot. She searched the bushes as she retrieved a small wrapper, rolled it into a ball and balanced it on her head. She bent down to carry the water pot as she placed it gingerly on her head.

As she walked the short distance to her house, she smiled as she thought about the kiss she had shared with Kokumo. She had never been kissed before and it made her ecstatic. He had turned back at the junction that led to her house. She had hoped he would kiss her again before leaving but she knew he did not because he had to be careful. Anyone could be watching them and later report her to her father or her elder brothers. She prayed in her heart and hoped he would not get into trouble with his mother when he got home.

 

Ajoke placed the pot of water in the small kitchen and walked to the front of the house to look for her mother. She saw her bent over a basin of garri which had just been fried. “Ëkú’ròlé màámi.” (Good evening, my mother).

“Ibo lo lö lát’àárò?” (Where have you been all day?)

“Mo lo pön omi ló’dò.” (I went to fetch water from the stream). She lied.

“Lo wá pé tótó yën?” (And it took you so long?)

“Ë má bínú. Mo rí àwön òré mi, a wá n sòrò nípa ilé ìwé. A ò mò pé àkókò ti lo.” (Don’t be angry. I saw my friends and we started discussing about school. We did not realize time had been spent).

“Kò burú. Sáré lô gbé óúnjë sóri iná fún bàbá ë àti àwön ègbón ë.” (Okay. Go and prepare food for your father and your brothers and be fast about it).

Ajoke placed her hand on her chest, wiling her heart to be still as she turned to go into the kitchen. She knew she could not afford to do this again but she was glad her journey today had been successful except for her encounter with Kokumo’s mother. She sighed as she thought about her. She hoped the woman would be more receptive to her the next time they met.

 

Kokumo walked into his compound and saw his mother seated outside on a low stool in the veranda. As she saw him walking in, she stood up and entered into the house. Kokumo sighed deeply as he took quick steps into the house. His mother was in the kitchen when he walked in.

“Màámi.” (My mother). He called.

She turned to look at her son. “Kí lo fé?” (What do you want?).

“Ëni tí mo fé fé nìyën.” (That is the person I intend to marry).

Iya Kokumo looked on without a response.

Kokumo closed the space between them and held his mother’s hands. “Màámi, nítorí ömö yën ni mo sé n tiraka ki n lè lö sí ilé ìwé gíga. Ti bá ti se tán, mo ma fë.” (I am doing my best to go to the University because of her. Once I am through, I will marry her).

“Sé baba ömö náà mò é?” (Does the girl’s father know you?) Iya Kokumo asked.

“Rárá mà.” (No ma).

“Kí ló wá fi é lókàn balè pé to bá se tán ní ilé ìwé gíga, o yì ma ba l’ómidan?” (What gives you the assurance that when you graduate from the University, she would still be single?)

“Àdéhùn t’émi àti è jö ní ni.” (That is the agreement between us).

Iya Kokumo took a deep breath as she removed her hands from her son’s grip. “Ölórun á bá ë sé o.” (God will do it for you, I hope). She said as she walked into her room.

 

Kokumo continued to till his father’s farm day and night with a mission. He hoped he would not have to defer his admission beyond one year and he worked towards achieving his objective. God smiled on him and the harvest season was bountiful. His mother had more than enough to sell and Iya Kokumo had to employ a sales girl to man another table of fruits for sale in front of their house. Iya Kokumo was overjoyed and she sang praises to God each day for not putting her to shame. She also praised Kokumo’s hardwork and told him times without number that he had made her a proud and happy mother.

 

Another school year was approaching and Kokumo was elated. He went back to the University of Lagos and he was re-offered his admission to read Accountancy. Since his house was a distance to the school, he knew going home every day would be a herculean task. He employed someone to manage his farm during the week while he went home every weekend to see to the on-goings on the farm. He quickly made friends in school and asked one of his course mates who had a bed space if he could squat with him. His request was accepted and he put his few belongings in a corner of his friend’s room.

Once he was settled in school, he wrote a letter to Ajoke informing her of his admission. He told her it was only a matter of time. In four years, they would be joined together as husband and wife. Ajoke received the letter a month later. She read the letter over and over, smiling each time she read it. She put it under the pillow and kissed it every night. She imagined that as she kissed it, she was kissing Kokumo wherever he was. Since she shared a room with her brothers, she was careful not to allow her brothers see her anytime she read the letter.

 

Just before the second semester exams, Kokumo wrote to Ajoke that he wanted to visit her. He told her he was aware her father may not allow her receive male visitors, so he proposed a date, a place and a time where they could meet. The venue was in-between the two towns, on the way to their secondary school. He figured that picking that venue would give Ajoke a sense of security and douse any fear of anyone seeing her and reporting to her father.

Ajoke wrote back responding in the affirmative. With that agreed, the wait began and both of them looked forward to the date with excitement. Ajoke had a little diary which she guarded jealously. She had written down the day she received her first kiss from Kokumo. Now, she wrote down the date she was to meet the love of her life after many weeks of being away at school.

 

Kokumo finished his exams and packed his few belongings into his travel bag. He had stopped shuttling between home and school just before the exams started so that he could have full concentration on his studies.

As he boarded the bus that would take him home, thoughts of Ajoke filtered into his mind. He smiled as he imagined how she was going to throw herself on him in a hug. He had missed her so much and he couldn’t wait to see her and have her in his arms.

 

Iya Kokumo was still in the market when Kokumo arrived home. He walked to the back of the house to drop his travel bag and then decided to go to the market. He was still a few metres away when the woman in the next stall to his mother’s shouted; “Ìya Kòkúmó, ömö yín kó ló n bò yën ni?” (Kokumo’s mother, isn’t that your son coming?)

Iya Kokumo looked up from the fruits she was arranging and started dancing on seeing her son. “Ömö mi ti dé o.” (My son is back).

Kokumo closed the distance between them and prostrated. “Ë kú ìròlé, màámi.” (Good evening, my mother).

“Kú’ròlé, ömö mi. Báwò ni ilé ìwé?” (Good evening, my son. How is school?) She asked as she pulled up her son from the floor and embraced him.

“Ilé ìwé wà dada.” (School is fine). Kokumo answered smiling.

Other women started to stretch their necks to catch a glimpse of the University student. They gossiped among themselves about Kokumo’s fortune. A university graduate in the making regardless of his father’s demise about a year ago.

Iya Kokumo began to pack up her left over fruits into a basket.

“Se ti ta öjà tán ni?” (Have you finished your sales for the day?) Kokumo asked his mother.

“Öjà wo ni mo tún fé tà, nígbàti ömö mi ti wálé?” (What else am I selling when my son has come home?) Iya Kokumo responded as she opened her palms.

“Ó da nígbà yën. Ë jé ki n bá yin palèmó.” (That is okay then. Let me help you pack up).

Fifteen minutes later, mother and son walked home with Kokumo carrying the basket of left over fruits on his head. They stopped to greet a number of villagers who were excited to see the University student.

 

A week later, Kokumo told his mother he needed to see a friend while Ajoke told her mother that a friend from her secondary school just came back from Lagos and wanted to see her. The two mothers told their children not to stay out too long. Iya Ajoke reminded her daughter that she needed to get back home in time to prepare dinner for her father and her brothers.

 

Kokumo arrived the venue of their meeting ten minutes early. The spot was a woody area off the road and not easily visible. He sat down on a log of wood and waited patiently for Ajoke. She arrived about five minutes later than the scheduled time. As she strolled into the woods, she looked out for Kokumo. He whistled and Ajoke looked in the direction of the sound. She ran towards him and hugged him holding him tightly.

“Ajoke mi.” (My Ajoke). Kokumo said endearingly as he pulled away from her grip. “I have missed you so much.” He said touching her cheeks lightly with his thumb.

“Not as much as I have.”

“You think so?”

“Prove it.” Ajoke said smilingly sheepishly.

Kokumo pulled her close and kissed her. When he eased away from her, Ajoke’s eyes were still closed and there was a smile on her lips.

“Why are you smiling?” Kokumo asked laughing.

“Because you make me have these tingly feelings anytime you do that.” Ajoke said opening her eyes.

“I love you and would love to make you have those tingly feelings all day long.”

Ajoke’s smile grew big.

“Not today.” Kokumo said as he held her hand and sat on the log of wood pulling her close beside him. “How have you been? What has been happening in my absence?”

Ajoke shrugged. “Nothing much.  The same routine as usual.”

“How is your father?”

“Baami is fine. Broda Adisa has been helping him with his palm wine tapping anytime he has no customers to mend shoes for while the others are doing one job or the other. I still help Maami to sell her garri.”

“So have you been reading? You know, just to brush yourself up.” Kokumo asked as he traced his finger on her cornrows.

“I try to but most times, I listen to the radio. Baami has a small radio that he just bought. I listen to the news.” She said smiling. “How long is your holiday?”

“Just two weeks. I should be back in school by the next weekend.”

Ajoke’s smile faded. “So, I won’t see you again before you leave for school?”

Kokumo blew out air from his mouth as he pulled her close. “No. I won’t be able to come back here. I need to monitor the farm and make sure everything is in place before I leave.”

“How long do I still have to wait?”

“Three years.”

“It’s a long time, Kokumo.” Ajoke said as tears gathered at the corner of her eyes.

Kokumo cradled her face in his hands. “Three years and it will all be over. Please wait for me.”

A stray tear traced its way down Ajoke’s cheek. “My friends are beginning to get married.”

“Don’t worry about your friends.” Kokumo said as he wiped the tear with his forefinger.

“I overheard Baami talking about marriage with Maami but she refused. She told him she still needed me at home with her.”

Kokumo nodded. “That’s good. Just try and convince them that you still need to be with your mother to help her.”

“Okay. I will.”

“I love you so much Ajoke.”

“I love you too.”

Kokumo took her lips in his again; this time he kissed her slowly and passionately. He was leaving in a few days and he wanted to have sweet memories of their last time together.

——

The story continues……

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

The Wait – Chapter 2

Ajoke and Kokumo remained friends all through their senior secondary class. They studied in class and walked the long journey home together. Even though, Kokumo could afford to take a public bus home, Ajoke couldn’t. Her parents were struggling to survive and told her that transportation fare to and from school in the next village was a luxury. Therefore, she had to make do with long walks every day. Ajoke was however, not deterred. She loved to go to school and education was a priority for her.

Kokumo’s parents could afford to transport their son to and from school but he preferred to walk the long trek home with Ajoke. Kokumo used his transport fare back home to buy snacks and water which he shared with Ajoke as they chatted, sang and sometimes danced on the road. He knew most times, she was hungry but she never once complained about her parents not being able to give her money to buy lunch at school.

By the time they were in their final year in the senior class, they had become inseparable in school. They were teased by some of their classmates that they should get married immediately after school but Kokumo wanted more than that. He mentioned to Ajoke that his dream was to become an accountant. Ajoke had smiled and wished him well. She knew her education terminated after the secondary school level and there was no point having dreams that were not going to come to fruition.

“So you won’t even bother to make any attempt at the university by writing Jamb exams?” Kokumo once asked her. They had gotten to the forked junction before their villages but decided to sit down under a palm tree off the road.

Ajoke shrugged. “What is the point of writing an exam when the result of the exams would be useless?”

“At least, make an attempt.”

“Kokumo, both of us know my parents cannot afford a secondary education much less a University. We eat from hand to mouth at the moment and my father is waiting for my brothers to start fending for the family so the burden on him can be reduced.”

Kokumo sighed. “I wish there was something we could do.”

“There is nothing that can be done. Don’t bother about me.”

Kokumo looked at her as he cradled her face in his hands. “Don’t say that. I love you and I want us to get married someday. But I want to go to the university, so that both of us can leave our villages and have a better life in the city.”

“I know.” Ajoke said smiling. “I love you too and I look forward to the day you will make me your wife.”

 

They sat for their school certificate exams three weeks later and their results had been impressive. Kokumo had straight As in all the nine subjects he had written while Ajoke had As in six subjects and credits in the other three. Kokumo sat for his Jamb examinations and also passed with very good grades. He was offered admission into the University of Lagos to read accountancy just as he had dreamed of. Kokumo was overjoyed when he received his admission letter from the University. He couldn’t wait to get home to tell Ajoke and his parents the good news.

He took a public bus from the University gate as he danced and sang. A few passengers in the bus looked at him strangely but he cared not. On getting to his village, he ran towards his house but noticed a strange calm in the environment. He looked left and right and noticed that the traders who lined the road to his house all avoided his eyes or refused to acknowledge his greeting. This was unusual; he thought. They all seemed to be in a hurry to pack up their wares. He looked at his wrist watch. The time read 5.30pm. The traders usually sold their wares till 7.00pm. He wondered why they were all packing up at this time. He scanned through the market looking out for his mother’s stall but noticed that she wasn’t there. Her stall looked untouched; the same way she left it every evening. He stopped in his tracks. Why did my mother not come to the market today? He had left home as early as 5.00am to make the journey to the University. His mother was already up as she had insisted that he ate a small meal before leaving. She had prepared a bowl of eba and egusi soup for him and his father. He hadn’t been able to eat much as he had been anxious to leave.

The airs on his neck rose as he inched closer towards his house. There was an eerie feeling in the environment which he couldn’t shake off or place his finger on. He got to his house and saw his mother seated on a low stool on the front pavement. She had her arms across her chest as tears streamed down her eyes. She was lost in thought and did not see her son walking towards her. Kokumo noticed that she did not acknowledge his presence.

“Màámi.” (My mother). Kokumo said shaking his mother by the shoulders.

She shook all of a sudden as she saw her son. She burst into tears as she stood up and hugged him.

“Màámi, kílódé?” (My mother, what is wrong?) Kokumo said tearing himself away from his mother.

“Bàba Kòkúmó ti kú.” (Kokumo’s father is dead). She said as she put her hands on her head in lamentation.

Kokumo stood still unable to grasp what his mother had just told him. His father? Dead? He looked around him for an explanation. How could his father who was hale and hearty when he went to bed yesterday night be dead? The traders who had ignored him at the market started trooping into their compound to commiserate with his mother. Some walked in crying and lamenting while others shook their heads in pity. Was this a dream? He had been happy a few hours ago about his admission into the University. His admission letter still sat untouched in the knapsack slung across his shoulders. He had brought good news home to his parents; only to be welcomed with the opposite. No, his father could not be dead. He started walking away from his mother and everyone around him.

“Kokumo! Kokumo!” His mother called. He looked back at her strangely before turning back to walk away.

“Ë má jè kó lö o.” (Don’t let him go). Someone shouted amongst the now teeming crowd.

Kokumo continued to walk away without looking back. A man ran after him and grabbed him by the hand. Kokumo flung the man’s hand away as he continued walking.

Iya Kokumo stood up and started shouting. “Ë gbà mí. Ë má jè kí ömö mi lö.” (Please help me. Don’t let my son go.)

Two men ran after Kokumo and held him firmly. Kokumo tried to struggle with them but was overpowered. They dragged him towards his mother and made him sit at her feet.

Kokumo was not allowed to step out of his house that evening. His mission at the University was also not discussed. For three days, Kokumo looked at his mother as she wept. He was unable to console her as he was also yet to come to terms with his father’s death. His mother told him that after he left for school, she had gone to wake up his father. It was unusual for him to sleep for so long and she had been worried. He had woken up and complained about a headache. She gave him the meal of eba and egusi to eat and asked that he stay home and not go to the farm. He had nodded as he ate. She also decided to stay home and take care of her husband. He took some herbs to ease the headache after his meal and he went back to sleep. He never woke up.

The burial rites began in earnest as Kokumo’s paternal uncles took over the responsibility. A week later, Kokumo’s father was buried in his house. Two days after his father’s burial, Kokumo took out his admission letter and looked at it. Was this the end of his dream? He still had the letter in his hands when Iya Kokumo walked into his room.

“Kínì yën?” (What is that?) She asked him.

“Ìwé tí mo lo gbà ní school ní öjó tí bàámi lö?” (The letter I went to collect in school the day my father died).

Iya Kokumo sat down gently on the low mattress in his room. “Kí ló wà nínú è.” (What is written inside?)

Kokumo sighed. “Wón ti fún mi ní admission sí University.” (I have been offered admission into the University).

“Hmm….Yunifásítì t’èwo? (Which University?)

“University ti Èkó.” (The University of Lagos).

Iya Kokumo took a deep breath and bowed her head.

“Màámi, èmi náà mò pé University ò sé lö mó. Màá ló wá isé ki n lè rí owó rán ara mi lö sí ilé ìwé.” (My mother, I know going to the University is no longer possible. I will go look for a job so that I can sponsor myself to school).

Iya Kokumo looked up at her son as tears spilled down her cheeks.

“Màámi, ë jò ó,  ë má sunkun mó.” (My mother, please stop crying). Kokumo consoled his mother.

“Ah, Bàba Kòkúmó, n kan ta jö sö kó nì yíi. Àdéhùn ta jö ní kó le léyìi o.” (Baba Kokumo, this is not what we talked about. This was not our agreement). Iya Kokumo lamented as she bit her forefinger in tears.

Kokumo pulled his mother into a hug and rocked her like a baby. “Ó ti tó Màámi.” (It is okay, my mother). He said repeatedly.

When Iya Kokumo was spent from her tears, she removed the end of her wrapper and untied the knot. She took out all the cash she had in the knot and gave it to Kokumo.

Kokumo shook his head as he looked at his mother. He held her hand and said; “A ma jëun, Màámi.” (We will eat, my mother).

Iya Kokumo looked at her son as her body shook with sobs. Kokumo wrapped his arms around his mother again as he looked heavenwards. Baba Kokumo had left but he was going to make sure his mother did not suffer.

 

The story continues…….

———–

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

 

Omoshalewa – Episode 9

Funke walked into her daughter’s room and saw her lying on the bed. Her eyes were red and puffy and she sniffed loudly. Funke immediately sat on the bed as she pulled her daughter into a hug. She rocked her daughter back and forth like a baby. When Shalewa’s sobs subsided, Funke placed her hands on her daughter’s cheeks and looked straight into her eyes. “You love Akin?”

Shalewa dropped her gaze.

Funke smiled. “You always did. I remember when you came crying to me not to allow his parents send him abroad.”

Shalewa smiled despite her tears.

“I realized you were in love and it is obvious he loves you too.”

Shalewa looked at her mum, tears filling her eyes again. “Then why does daddy want me to get married to Tunde at all cost?”

“He asked me to find out from you what Akin’s intentions are.”

Shalewa looked at her mum confused. “I don’t understand. His intentions?”

“Yes. Both of you are in love with each other. What are his plans?”

Shalewa’s face lighted up immediately. “He is waiting for me to make a decision.”

“I think you should.” Funke said as she stood up from the bed.

As Funke walked towards the door, Shalewa called her. “Mum?”

Her mother looked back at her.

“Thank you.” Shalewa said.

“You are welcome darling.”

********

The next day, Shalewa walked into Tunde’s office at a few minutes to 1.00pm. The office was tastefully furnished and it was obvious that Tunde had a good eye for aesthetics. A lady was seated behind a glass table typing away on her laptop. She looked up as the sliding doors opened. Shalewa had not called to book an appointment but Tunde’s personal assistant recognized her immediately.

“Good afternoon ma.” The lady said as she stood up from her seat.

Shalewa smiled. “Good afternoon. I will like to see Tunde. I don’t have an appointment.”

The lady returned the smile. “I will let him know you are here. Please seat down ma.” She said as she walked out of the main office.

Shalewa picked up a finance magazine from the centre table and flipped through the pages. “Please come in, ma.” The lady said walking back into the main office a few minutes later. She led Shalewa in and tapped on a door. The name plate on the door read; “Tunde Richards – Barristers and Solicitors.” Shalewa smiled as she looked at the plate.

Tunde stood up from his desk as Shalewa walked in. He took her in his arms and planted a kiss on her lips. “You did not tell me you were coming.” He said with a curious look.

Shalewa shrugged. “I just decided to come here at the last minute. I initially thought about meeting you at home but I wasn’t sure what time you would get home.” Shalewa looked round his office. “You have a nice place here.” She said admiring the expansive office. A floor to ceiling bookshelf lay on the right while a comfortable sitting area with leather sofas lay to the left of the office.

“Thank you.” Tunde said. “Please feel free.” He pointed towards the refrigerator beside the sitting area in his office.

“I’m fine.” Shalewa said. “I just had an early lunch.”

“So to what do I owe this visit?” He asked as he led her towards the sitting area. He sat down while Shalewa took the cue.

“I came so we could have a heart-to-heart talk.” Shalewa said; her tone serious.

“Okay. What is this about?” Tunde asked; sitting up.

“It’s about the wedding.”

“Our wedding?”

“Yes. I am calling it off.”

“You are what?” Tunde shouted.

“You are raising your voice, Tunde.” Shalewa said calmly.

Tunde took a deep breath and closed his eyes. “Why Shalewa?”

Shalewa was quiet as she looked at Tunde. Even though his eyes were closed, she could see he was hurting. She reckoned it would not be easy but there was no way to make it less painful.

Tunde opened his eyes and looked at Shalewa straight in the face. “Are you calling it quits because of Akin?”

There was no point lying; Shalewa nodded her head.

“You never loved me?” Tunde asked.

Shalewa blew air out of her mouth. “I said it so many times that I got tired of saying it. I’m sorry Tunde. I wish we did not have to go this far.”

Tunde looked at her and smiled sadly. “I wish I did not have to be so in love.”

Shalewa stood and walked to where he was seated. She sat beside him and removed the engagement ring from her finger, placing it in his palm. “Someone else would need this. Someone who would relish in your love and return it wholeheartedly.”

Tunde caressed her face with his thumb. “Shalewa!” He said as he stressed her name. “How can I ever forget you?”

“Please don’t make this more difficult.” Shalewa said as she looked away.

Tunde turned her face towards him and planted a gentle kiss on her lips. Shalewa stood up abruptly. “I would take my leave now.”

Tunde looked up at her and nodded.

“Thank you, Tunde.”

Even though he is heartbroken, he still managed to smile back a response.

Shalewa picked up her handbag from the couch where she was seated initially and walked out of Tunde’s office.

Tunde watched Shalewa till she walked out of his office. As the door closed behind her, he took a deep breath, laid his head on the couch and used his hands to cover his face. The pain he felt was unbearable.

“Oh Shalewa!” He soliloquized. “God knows I love you so much.”

********

As Shalewa eased into her car, she took a tissue out of the box on the passenger seat to dab her eyes. She reckoned Tunde loved her but there was no point getting married to him out of pity. Her heart belonged to Akin and she did not want to regret marrying Tunde later on.

She dropped the car visor in front of her and took a look at herself in the mirror before driving out of the car park. She was almost in her office when her phone rang. She took a look at her music screen on her dashboard and saw that it was Akin calling. She smiled as she tapped a button on the screen to receive the call.

“Shally babe.” Akin said; his voice filling her air-conditioned car.

“Hey baby.” Shalewa replied.

“Can I pick you up for lunch today?”

“Nah, not today. I had an early lunch.”

“Without me?” Akin asked.

“I’m sorry darling. I had some personal errands to run so I decided to do an early one.”

Akin was quiet.

“Hey, we can do dinner.” Shalewa said.

“That means you would get home a little late. Are you sure your parents won’t begin to complain about it soon?

Shalewa laughed heartily. “They have already.”

“Wow. They did?” Akin asked.

“Yeah, yesterday. But let’s do dinner, pleaseeee.”

“Dinner it is then.”

Four hours later, Akin and Shalewa were seated at a corner in their favourite restaurant. Their order for finger foods was taken and they continued to chat away while they awaited their order. Akin was talking about his day with a troublesome client and Shalewa was laughing hard as Akin gesticulated.

Suddenly Akin stopped talking; his face serious. Shalewa was still laughing and did not notice. She was about to raise her left hand to her face when Akin stopped her hand mid-air. “What happened?” Akin asked.

Shalewa looked at him still smiling. “Happened? You are killing me with laughter here, Akin.”

“That’s not what I meant.” Akin said.

Shalewa looked at him confused.

“Your engagement ring?”

“I gave it back to the owner.”

“Seriously?”

“Yes. I did some hours ago. That was the personal stuff I needed to attend to earlier on.”

“So? Are you free now?” Akin asked; giving her a curious look.

“Free?”

“Yes, free to date again.”

Shalewa laughed. “Definitely.”

Akin smiled as he stretched out his hand to her. “Hi, I am Akin Savage. Do you remember me?”

Shalewa took his hand as she continued laughing. “Yes, I remember you.”

“We fell in love fifteen years ago. Can we continue from where we stopped?”

As Shalewa laughed heartily, Akin closed the space between them and kissed her passionately. Shalewa returned his kiss holding on to him.

“Hey, get a room!” Someone shouted from a corner of the restaurant.

Akin looked in the direction of the voice and shouted back. “We ain’t getting a room. We are getting married.”

Shalewa looked at Akin and slapped him on his arm. “Not without a proposal.”

They both burst out into laughter as Akin planted another kiss on her lips.

——–

THE END

********
I hope you enjoyed this series. Please drop your comments and don’t forget to click the share button below.

Thank you.
——–

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

Omoshalewa – Episode 8

The next day, Tunde called Shalewa while she was in the office. She decided to pick up his call this time.

“Hi Shalewa, what’s going on? I was worried sick yesterday when you did not pick up your calls.” Tunde said.

“I’m fine. There’s nothing wrong.” She said then paused. “In actual fact, there is.”

“Oh my! What’s wrong?” Tunde asked with concern.

“We need to talk.”

“Dinner at 7?” Tunde asked.

Shalewa quickly scanned through her calendar. “Fine. Pick me up, I’ll send the driver home.”

“Okay then. See you at 7.” Tunde said.

Shalewa cut the call and took a deep breath. She closed her eyes as she mentally calculated how to break the news to Tunde. She could not continue to live this lie.

At 7.00pm, Tunde drove into the office premises where Shalewa’s office was situated. As he parked his car, he dialed her number from his phone which was attached to a cell phone holder on the dashboard. She picked up on the first ring and responded that she would be with him in five minutes.

About three minutes later, Shalewa walked out of the office complex. She was wearing a grey pant suit and Tunde smiled as he saw her. She is beautiful; he said to no one. He quickly took out a mouth spray from his glove box and freshened his breath.

As Shalewa eased into the car, Tunde planted a kiss on her cheeks. He engaged the gear and drove out of the car park. “So what’s wrong?” He said looking at her.

“Hey, I just got here. Can we talk over dinner?”

Tunde shrugged as he stretched his hand to hold hers. He noticed she was not receptive to his gesture but he refused to comment.

They arrived at their destination in fifteen minutes. They took a seat at a table for two and placed their orders. Tunde tried to make light conversations with Shalewa but she seemed distracted.

Their orders arrived and they began to eat. Tunde was almost done with his meal when he spoke up. “Shalewa, why are you keeping me in suspense? What’s the problem?”

Shalewa dropped her fork and looked at him. “Well, I had no intention of spoiling your dinner; that’s why I decided to hold on till you were done.”

“I’m all ears.” He said; looking at his plate as he tried to cut a piece of chicken.

“I need a break.”

Tunde put the piece of chicken in his mouth as he nodded, looking up at Shalewa. “A break? Why don’t you discuss with your dad. He may give you some time off.”

“That’s not what I mean, Tunde. I wasn’t referring to work. I mean a break from this relationship.”

Tunde’s eyes widened. He dropped his cutlery gently and took a sip of his drink. “A break from me?”

“Well, if you would rather put it that way.”

“Our wedding is in a few weeks.”

“I am aware of that. The more reason why I need a break.” Shalewa said as she looked at him straight-faced.

“But…but Shalewa, what went wrong?”

“I just need to sort out my feelings.”

“I thought we were past this.”

“No, we weren’t. We never were.”

Tunde was confused. “But you agreed to marry me?”

“To satisfy you and my dad. Have you forgotten so soon?”

Tunde pushed his half-eaten plate of chicken aside and held Shalewa’s hands on the table. “Please don’t do this to us. I love you.”

Shalewa pulled her hands from his grip. “Tunde, don’t make this more difficult than it already is. I can’t continue to live a lie.

Tunde took a deep breath.

“I would like to go home now. I can call a cab if you don’t mind.”

“I brought you here; the least I can do is drop you at home.” Tunde said as he stood up and signaled to the waiter to bring the bill. The waiter arrived with the bill and Tunde took out some notes from his wallet and slid it into the bill pouch.

Once the waiter turned away, Shalewa stood up, picked up her handbag and walked ahead while Tunde sauntered behind her.

********

Five days later, Tunde walked into Shalewa’s office to have a business meeting with her father. As the elevator doors opened, he saw Shalewa and a guy laughing in front of the elevator. He was surprised at the ease with which Shalewa chatted with him and he noticed there was a sparkle in her eyes.

“Hi Shalewa.” He said; trying to catch her attention.

Shalewa looked at him and the smile on her face faded. “Hi Tunde.”

Tunde waited expecting an introduction. When he noticed Shalewa was not going to do the honours, he decided to go ahead. “Hi.” He said as he stretched out his hand. “I’m Tunde, Shalewa’s fiancé.”

“Akin.” He said as he smiled and accepted Tunde’s hand shake. “So I get to meet you Tunde. You are the one who swept my best friend off her feet.”

Shalewa eyed Akin.

“So where are you guys off too?” Tunde asked; ignoring Akin’s comments and looking at Shalewa.

“Lunch.” Shalewa said as she looked at Akin. “Are we still going, Akin?”

“Of course.” Akin replied. “Bye Tunde. It’s a pleasure meeting you.” He continued as he did a mock bow.

Tunde watched as Shalewa and Akin stepped into the elevator. The elevator doors closed and Tunde stood transfixed to the spot. Akin, Shalewa’s best friend? How come I have never heard about him? Was he the reason Shalewa had asked for a break? She looked so happy chatting with him and there was a sparkle in her eyes when she looked at him. I have to find out who this new best friend is.

As Shalewa eased into Akin’s car, she looked at him in anger. “What was that for?”

Akin faked ignorance. “What? I don’t understand.”

“Oh come off it, Akin. You know what I am talking about; the charade with Tunde.”

“Oh that.” Akin said laughing. “Did I say something wrong there?”

“Akin?”

“Yes, Shally babe.” Akin said as he leaned forward and planted a kiss on her cheeks. “You are still engaged to him. Don’t forget that and as far as I know” – He said tapping his fingers on his nose – “Your wedding is in a few weeks.”

“Please don’t remind me.”

“So can I drive off now or are we having Tunde for lunch?”

Shalewa gave him a scornful look as Akin burst out laughing.

******

Later that evening, Mr. Samuel was seated in the living room with his wife watching the evening news. There was a glass of juice on the side stool beside each of them. Shalewa walked in at about 9.30pm. She knelt down to greet her parents and headed straight for her room.

“Shalewa, please sit down.” Her father said.

Shalewa walked back and took a seat opposite her parents.

Bayo retrieved the remote control from the side stool and switched off the TV. He looked at Shalewa; his face grim. “Your mum and I felt it was important we spoke to you this night.”

Funke nodded.

“You usually don’t come in this late and we have been wondering what has changed. Of recent, you have been coming in later than usual. And I know you have been leaving the office same time as you usually did. Is there something we should know?”

“Nothing dad.” Shalewa answered as she looked straight at her dad.

Mr. Samuel nodded. “Tunde came for a business meeting today and he was asking about Akin. He was wondering how come you suddenly had a best friend he wasn’t aware of. I had to explain the friendship between you and Akin. He also said you asked for a break some days ago. Is that right, Shalewa?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Okay, so I am assuming this break is for a few days, then you can go back to your wedding preparations.”

“No dad. It is not for a few days. I am breaking up with Tunde.” She said; the muscles of her face taut as she refused to break eye contact with her father.

“I want to assume that because you are tired and stressed, you are probably not thinking right. So I would let you go to bed now, then we can talk about this tomorrow.” Bayo said.

“There is nothing to talk about, dad. I am not getting married to Tunde.”

“Will you shut up your mouth there?” Bayo said getting angry.

Funke patted her husband’s hands. “Please darling, not this way.” She pleaded.

“What do you mean? Did you hear what your daughter is spewing out of her mouth?” He said; looking at his wife in irritation.

“Shalewa, you can go to bed. We would talk about this tomorrow when everyone is calmer.” Funke said to her daughter.

“Good night mum, good night dad.”

“Good night Shalewa.” Funke said as Bayo ignored his daughter.

After Shalewa left the living room, Funke looked at her husband. “Darling, I think we need to be careful with the way we handle this matter.”

Bayo looked at his wife, shock clearly written on his face. “You can’t be serious. Are you also in support of her behaviour?

“I am not. I just feel we should tread carefully.”

“What exactly are you saying Funke?” Bayo asked infuriated.

“What I am saying is this. Haven’t you noticed that she seems happier than she was before? Since Akin’s arrival, her behaviour has changed. She has dropped the look of gloom that was always on her face and she is back to how she was before we forced this relationship with Tunde on her.” Funke said; trying to make her husband understand.

“Are you saying she is in love with Akin?” Bayo looked at his wife perplexed.

Funke sighed. “I am saying she never stopped loving him.”

Bayo laughed. “You can’t be serious Funke. What do you mean she never stopped loving him? They were friends as kids and they have both moved on.”

“They were not just friends fifteen years ago, Bayo. They loved each other and they obviously never stopped.”

“What are you saying? They were kids. What did they know about love?”

“Well, they knew enough to keep them in love with each other fifteen years after.”

Bayo was surprised. “But how do you know they loved each other?”

Funke smiled as she placed her hand on her husband’s. “Do you remember when Akin’s parents told us they were moving their son out of the country to continue his education?”

Bayo nodded. “Yes, I do.”

“Your daughter was heartbroken. She cried out to me and asked that I tell Akin’s parents not to send him away. She thought Akin’s parents were intentionally trying to separate them.”

Bayo’s eyes grew big as his jaw dropped.

“Yes darling.” Funke nodded. “That was when I realized all their time together wasn’t for a lack of siblings. It was because they loved each other. I guess her heart had always been with Akin.”

Bayo let out his breath.

“Akin’s arrival has changed her completely. She is happier and you can’t miss the glint in her eyes anytime she sees him.”

Bayo rubbed his temples. “Has he said anything to her? I mean, has he proposed to her?”

“I don’t think so. With another man’s ring on her finger, I doubt it.”

“Will you talk to her then? She should let you know what Akin’s intentions are. Her wedding is supposed to be in a few weeks.” Bayo breathed hard. “I never imagined I would have to do this.” – He looked at his wife as he continued – “Cancelling the wedding of my only daughter.”

“I know you long for her happiness, you don’t have a choice.”

——-

Photo credit: http://lightninglegal.biz/

Omoshalewa – Episode 7

Shalewa drove home with Akin tailing behind. All through the journey home, she smiled as she kept her eyes on the rear mirror. She still could not believe that Akin, her first love was back in town. Oh Akin, how much I longed for you all these years. And now, you waltz back into my life at this time; when all hope is lost. She shook her head as she sighed. Why did you have to wait this long? She soliloquized.

She drove into her residence and asked the gateman to allow Akin in as well. As she eased out of her car, she waited for Akin. Akin got out of his car and strolled towards her. As he got to her, he held her hand and kissed it with a smile on his face. They both proceeded to walk towards the main door hand in hand. As they were about stepping into the main house, Akin whispered something into Shalewa’s ears and she burst out into laughter.

Funke looked up from the fashion magazine she was browsing through when she heard Shalewa’s laughter. Shalewa walked up to her mum and bent halfway to kiss her on the cheeks. She dropped her handbag on the couch as Funke picked up her glasses from the side stool. She put it on to have a good look at the person walking in behind Shalewa. As she recognized him, Akin smiled as he touched the floor in a half prostrate.

“Good evening ma.” He said.

Funke stood up to give him a hug. “Ah..ah, Akin!!!” She exclaimed.

“Yes ma.”

“Wow! It’s been how many years?”

“Fifteen years ma.” He replied grinning.

“How are your parents?”

“They are fine thank you, ma. I spoke to them on the drive down here and they asked me to send their greetings.”

Shalewa beamed with smiles as she looked at her mum and Akin.

“When did you arrive? It is so nice seeing you again.”

Akin smiled. “I arrived a few weeks ago.”

“Ah…ah, Akin!” Funke said stressing his name. “You have grown into a fine young man. Please sit down, my dear. What do we offer you?”

“I am okay ma. Shalewa and I had some drinks before coming. I just wanted to stop by to say hi after a long time. I have missed you and daddy a lot.”

“Oh, thank you. That is nice of you but he is not home yet.” Funke said.

“No worries ma. Since I have seen you, I have seen daddy.” Akin said as they all burst into laughter. “I should take my leave now. Thank you for taking very good care of Shalewa.”

Shalewa blushed as she looked at her mum. “Ah, do I have a choice?” Funke asked as she raised her palms heavenwards.

“Let me walk you out.” Shalewa said to Akin.

Akin did another bow towards Shalewa’s mother as he stretched forth his hand towards Shalewa. Shalewa immediately took his hand and they walked out of the living room smiling.

Akin eased into his car still holding Shalewa’s hand. He started the ignition and looked lovingly into her eyes.

“I almost feel like you shouldn’t leave.” Shalewa said.

Akin smiled. “I don’t want to as well but you know I have to go.”

“Yeah, I know.” Shalewa said looking downcast.

Akin pulled her closer as he raised up her chin and planted a kiss on her forehead. He caressed her face with his thumb and smiled.

Shalewa smiled back. The unspoken feelings between them saying a thousand words with their eyes.

“Give me your phone.”

“It’s in my handbag. I dropped it in the living room.” Shalewa replied.

Akin picked up his phone from the passenger seat and handed it over to her. She typed in her number immediately.

“Expect my call.” Akin said as he saved the number.

“Definitely.”

Akin engaged the gear and drove towards the gate. The gateman opened up and he drove out of the Samuel’s residence.

Shalewa walked into the house smiling to herself. She met her mum shutting the window blinds as she sauntered into the living room. Funke sighed as Shalewa walked in.

“Mum?” Shalewa said as she gave her mother a curious look.

Funke sat down and tapped the couch. “Please sit down.”

Shalewa obeyed as she sat beside her mum. “Is anything the matter?”

“Yes. I watched the display between you and Akin.” Shalewa’s smile faded immediately. “I don’t think it is right considering that you are getting married very soon.”

“Is that all you have to say, mum?” Shalewa asked beginning to get upset.

“Omoshalewa, listen to me. Tunde loves you….”

“And Akin doesn’t?” Shalewa asked cutting her mother short.

“Shalewa!!! You should concentrate on your wedding preparations.” Her mother said scolding her.

“I have had enough of this, mum. Can I leave now?” Shalewa asked as she picked up her bag from the couch and stood up in anger.

Funke looked at her daughter as she sighed deeply.

Without another word from her mother, Shalewa stormed to her bedroom slamming the door shut.

Shalewa’s phone began to ring. She had been lying down on her bed fully clothed the last one hour. She stood up and walked towards her mini-library where she had dropped her handbag in anger. She took out her phone, looked at the caller ID, hissed and flung the phone on her bed. The phone rang three more times but she refused to pick up the call.

Ten minutes later, her mum tapped on her door once and walked in. Shalewa’s back was turned to the door. “Yes mum.”

“Tunde has been trying to reach you. He says your phone keeps ringing out. He was worried and called me to ask if you were okay.”

“I’m okay.” Shalewa said; not turning back to look at her mum.

“Don’t you think you should pick up his call or at least return the call to let him know that?”

“I’m not interested. If he calls back, you can tell him I am fine.”

“But not interested in picking his call?”

Shalewa turned to look at her mum. “Mum, I really want to be alone. Please can you do that?”

Funke shrugged and sighed as she walked out of her daughter’s room.

*******

Shalewa was beginning to doze off when her phone began to ring again. “Oh goodness.” She said as she picked up the phone in anger. She was about to switch off the phone when the Truecaller app on it brought up a name. She rose up immediately and picked the call.

“Hey.”

“Sounds like you were not expecting my call.”

“I was.”

“Maybe your heart was but your body wasn’t.”

Shalewa smiled. Even though they were apart, he still noticed the seemingly minute details. “I did not realize I had dozed off.”

“I should allow you rest then. You are probably tired.”

“No, no, please.” Shalewa said with a tone of urgency. “I really want to talk to you.”

“How are you doing?”

Shalewa sighed. “Akin, I really can’t say I am doing fine.”

“So what happened between when I left your place and now?”

“It’s mummy. She won’t let me rest.”

Akin laughed. “Let you rest? I don’t understand.”

“It’s about my wedding to Tunde.”

“Okay, so what about it? I remember you said you were not in love with him?” Akin asked chuckling.

“Akin, this ain’t funny. I’m not in love with him but why is it so difficult for everyone to understand?” Shalewa asked irritated.

“Everyone except me.”

“I don’t know what to do, Akin. I am confused.”

“That is because you haven’t told them what you want.”

“But I have, they just won’t listen.”

“Then make them listen.” Akin said matter-of-factly.

Shalewa was quiet for a few seconds. She nodded her head and said; “Right? I think I know what to do.”

“That’s my Shally babe.” Akin said laughing.

Shalewa smiled as she closed her eyes and listened to the sound of Akin’s laughter. Fifteen years had not changed anything between them.

They chatted for another two hours moving from one topic of discussion to another until they both began to yawn continuously into each other’s ears. They laughed over that as well before they bade each other good night.

——-

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

Omoshalewa – Episode 6

The next day, one of the major soft-sell magazines in the country had the blazing headlines; “Billionaire Samuel’s daughter rejects engagement proposal from business magnate.” Bayo was furious when he saw the magazine. He brought the magazine home and dumped it in front of Funke. “What is the meaning of this?”

Funke looked at him wondering what had gotten him so upset. She picked up the magazine and saw the caption. “Oh my goodness!” She lamented.

“She can’t continue doing this. This has to stop. Let her know that I give her 3 months to make up her mind or else…..” Bayo said in anger as he allowed his sentence to trail off.

Funke asked her husband to sit down in a bid to calm him down. “Please seat down, Olowo ori mi (my crown).”

Bayo sat down still upset. Funke scooted close to him and took his hands in hers. “I know you love Shalewa so much and you want the best for her but don’t you think, we should give her a chance to decide who she wants to get married to.”

Bayo looked at his wife, shock written all over his face. “Funke, you did not just say that, did you?”

Funke gesticulated as she tried to explain. “She says she is not in love with Tunde and that we are forcing her to get married to him against her will.”

“Okay? So tell me. Who is she in love with?” Bayo said as he stood up and put his hands on his waist. “I want to know.”

Funke was quiet and unable to look at her husband’s face.

“I thought as much.” He said. “She is only in love with herself.”

“But you know that is not true.” She said looking up. “She has had relationships in the past but they were all after wealth.”

“And Tunde?” Bayo asked as he searched his wife’s face for an answer.

Funke stood up with a deep sigh.

“Go and talk to her.” Bayo said with finality as he pointed towards the bedrooms.

******

Funke tapped the door to her daughter’s bedroom once and let herself in. Shalewa was already in her night wear and about to get into bed. She smiled as her mum walked in. “Hello mum.”

“Omoshalewa, why are you doing this to me?”

Shalewa looked at her mum with a confused look. “I don’t understand what you are saying.”

“I am tired of this back and forth between you and your dad. Did you see the headlines of that wretched soft-sell magazine?”

Shalewa sighed. “Yes mum, I did. I wonder who is feeding those lousy reporters with tales about me.”

“That is not the point right now, Shalewa.”

“I have heard you mum. I will do what you and dad want. I will accept Tunde’s proposal.”

Funke was shocked. “You will?”

“Isn’t that what both of you want?”

“It is not about what we want. It is about your happiness. That is what your father and I are after.”

“I know mum. I know.”

Funke hugged her daughter. “I know you will be happy with Tunde and make us proud grandparents.”

Shalewa rolled her eyes behind her mum’s back as she left her hands hanging by her side.

Funke stood up from her daughter’s bed excited. “Your father will be happy to hear this.” She said as she kissed her daughter on the forehead.

 

Preparations began in earnest for an introduction of the two families. Two weeks later, Tunde’s grandmother and a few of his family members were welcomed in the home of the Samuel’s. A date was fixed for the engagement four weeks away. The engagement ceremony was done with pomp and pageantry. The pictures of the couple and their families were splayed in newspapers and soft-sell magazines for weeks; each one in a bid to outdo the other with details of the ceremony. It became the most talked about engagement party of the year and no expense was spared.

Shalewa, even though looking beautiful and expensively adorned; knew that she was getting married to fulfill her parents desire. Friends and family congratulated her and told her she was very lucky to have a handsome young man. She smiled back a response to each one refusing to utter words.

Bayo Samuel informed his family that the wedding ceremony of his only daughter would be a destination wedding. He asked Shalewa to pick a destination of her choice and began to make preparations towards it. It was agreed that the wedding would hold six weeks after the engagement.

*******

Three weeks to the wedding, Shalewa went to her neighbourhood shopping mall one evening to get some groceries. As she walked down the aisle of the departmental store, she noticed someone staring at her. She was used to stares especially from admirers by now and with her recent highly publicized engagement, she knew her popularity had been moved one notch up.

“Hi, you are Shalewa Samuel, right?” She heard someone behind her ask. Of course, I am. Who does not know me in town? She looked up to give a nasty answer and suddenly gasped; her hand flying to her mouth.

“Akin Savage?” She asked; not believing her eyes. He nodded and they both embraced each other in a tight hug refusing to let go.

“Where have you been? I waited for your letters but got none.” Shalewa asked.

Akin took a step back, held Shalewa at arm’s length as he admired her.

I did not know what to think. I assumed you forgot about me.” Shalewa said pouting her lips in mock anger.

“How could I forget about you, Shalewa? I thought about you day and night.” Akin said.

“I asked my parents if they could reach you but they were also at a loss and could not give me an answer. I was heartbroken, Akin.”

Akin held Shalewa’s hand and kissed it. “I know, my love. I was too. Let us go to a café so we can talk.”

Akin walked out of the departmental store with Shalewa’s hands in his. There was a café in the shopping mall and they took a table for two in a private corner. A waiter took their orders and returned shortly with two glasses of chapman.

Akin smiled as he looked at Shalewa. “You are still as beautiful as you were fifteen years ago.”

Shalewa blushed as she hit Akin on his arms playfully. “C’mon, you have not changed. Still teasing me like you used to then.”

Akin sighed as he held her hands on the table. “Shally babe, I never forgot about you.”

Shalewa smiled as she remembered the name Akin called her when they were younger. No one had called her that in the last fifteen years.

Akin continued. “How could I? You were my first love.” He caressed her hands with his fingers as he looked into her eyes. “I wrote maybe a thousand letters but they were never delivered. Do you remember that my parents and I left for the U.S together?”

Shalewa nodded as she listened intently.

“They wanted to help me settle down before returning to Nigeria. According to my mum, on their return six months after, your family had moved out of the neighbourhood and left no forwarding address. I asked my mum to do everything she could to help me find you but all her efforts were futile. Two years after, my parents relocated to the U.S.  I only come to Nigeria on visits. So what have you been doing with yourself the last fifteen years?” Akin asked.

Shalewa shrugged. “We moved out of the neighbourhood. My dad’s businesses started doing very well and he made sure he sent me to a good university. I concluded my postgraduate program a few months back.” She said smiling.

“Wow, congratulations! You definitely did well for yourself. So, you married now?” Akin asked looking at her fingers.

Shalewa’s smile faded immediately. “Engaged. The wedding is in a few weeks.”

“You don’t sound excited.”

“I’m not.”

“Why? You love him, don’t you?”

Shalewa took a deep breath. “No, I don’t.”

Akin was surprised. “So why are you getting married to him?”

“Because I have been unlucky with men. Every guy in my past has been after dad’s wealth. Tunde has proved not to be one of such and dad feels he should marry me off before I lose him.”

“I’m sorry about that.”

“What about you?” Shalewa asked. “Are you married now?”

“Well, I wouldn’t say I have been unlucky. I have had my fair share of ladies but none has been able to strike the right chord in my heart.”

“Why? Have you been so hard on yourself?”

“I don’t think so. I just haven’t been able to get you out of my mind even after fifteen years.”

Shalewa blushed as she looked away. “Akin, it is complicated.” She said sighing.

“I don’t understand. What is complicated?”

Shalewa looked at him. “You know, I never forgot about you as well. I kept on hoping this day would come. I even went as far as searching for you on Facebook but the search was always fruitless.”

Akin caressed Shalewa’s face with his fingers. “I’m sorry you went through all that. I don’t do social media. Never been a fan of any of the platforms. So, you getting married to him?” Akin looked at her curiously.

“I don’t love him. I never had but no one seems to understand. They all say I would grow in love for him but I haven’t been able to. Akin, you were my first love. We were young but I loved you and sincerely, I think I still do.”

“You think? That means you aren’t sure.” Akin teased.

“Oh, come off it, Akin.” Shalewa hit him playfully.

“I love you Shalewa. I have always done and will do forever”.

“So what do we do?”

Akin answered getting serious. “I think we should just take this one day at a time. First, I would like to see your parents again. I have missed them.” He said smiling. “Just maybe, we would be able to tell them about the future we discussed together many years ago.”

Shalewa raised her eyebrows. “No, not today.”

Akin burst out into laughter as he pointed in her direction. “I got you there.”

“Oh Akin, will you ever be serious for once?”

“Nope, remember that was one of the reasons you fell in love with me fifteen years ago?”

Akin signaled to the waiter, paid the bill and dropped a generous tip. Shalewa stood up as Akin put his hand on the small of her back. They walked out of the café together smiling.

——-

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

Omoshalewa – Episode 4

Tunde became a constant feature in the home of the Samuels’ walking in and out of their residence at will. Bayo Samuel took his daughter to his office and introduced her to the staff as the new Executive Director. The news made headlines the next day. “Shalewa Samuel becomes Executive Director at Samuel Group of Companies.”

With a business deal sealed between Tunde and Bayo Samuel, the prospects of Tunde getting married to Shalewa were raised. Business meetings in the Samuel Group of Companies became a regular feature in Tunde’s calendar. Bayo Samuel began to relate with him as he would a son-in-law.

One afternoon after a business meeting together, Bayo called Tunde aside. “What’s happening between you and Shalewa? When would I see an engagement ring on her finger?”

Tunde laughed. “Very soon sir. I don’t want her to feel rushed.”

Bayo looked at him with surprise. “Rushed? Her mother and I have accepted you as family already. You should get it done as soon as possible.”

“I will, sir.” Tunde answered.

Bayo looked around as if watching out for eavesdroppers, moved closer to Tunde before whispering in his ears. “You know she isn’t getting any younger. The earlier, the better. Hmm…you get my drift.” He said as he winked at Tunde.

“Yes sir.”

******

 

“Hey darling. How was your day?” Tunde asked later that evening, as Shalewa picked up on the second ring.

“It was okay.”

“Can I pick you up for dinner tonight? Maybe 7.00p.m.”

“Okay. I would still be in the office, though.”

“Works perfectly for me. Just tell the driver to take your car home. I would drop you off after dinner.”

“Okay then.”

 

Three hours later, Tunde and Shalewa were seated in a classy restaurant making small talk over dinner. As they were served dessert, Tunde held Shalewa’s hands on the table and looked lovingly into her eyes.

“Shalewa, I love you with the whole of my heart.”

Shalewa looked away without uttering a word.

“My grandma is eager to meet you. She raised me after I lost my mum and with my dad also gone, she is one person I would love you to meet.”

Shalewa took a deep breath.

“Tunde, I have no issues meeting with your grandma. I would also love to meet the woman who raised a fine young man; but how else do you want me to explain to you that I don’t love you the way you love me. I love our relationship the way it is but I don’t think I am meant for you.”

Tunde smiled as he looked at Shalewa. “I know you love me, maybe not like I do. With time, you would get there.”

“Time? Tunde, we have been seeing each other for some months now and I am yet to fall in love with you. I doubt time will sort this out.”

“Let’s not spoil the evening, okay. We can talk about this some other time.” Tunde concluded.

******

 

Two weeks later, Tunde took Shalewa to see his grandmother. She was delighted to see Shalewa as she began to sing and dance, rejoicing that her eyes had seen her beautiful wife.

Even though Shalewa was happy to see the elderly woman, she was not comfortable with the innuendos from her. She wished she could stop the woman but she felt she would be rude to tamper with the woman’s joy.

 

On the drive back, Shalewa was very quiet as she looked out of the window by her side. Tunde noticed and placed his right hand on hers. “What is the problem, Shalewa?”

“Nothing.”

“You weren’t so quiet when we were going to my grandma’s place.”

“That’s because I had no idea what you had told your grandmother.”

Tunde stopped the car and engaged the gear in park.

“Shalewa, I love you. Don’t you understand?”

“And I don’t.” Shalewa said in exasperation.

“What would you have me do?”

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I just want to be left alone.”

Tunde began to drive again without saying a word. He could not understand why Shalewa was blind to the love he had for her. He loved her with the whole of his heart and he looked forward to living the rest of his life with her. He sighed as he slotted a CD into the music player to fill in the silence between himself and Shalewa.

Some minutes later, Tunde drove into the Samuel’s residence. Shalewa said a quiet “thank you” and walked into her house without looking back to say “good bye.”

******

 

The next day, Bayo Samuel was about retiring to bed when he called his wife for a heart to heart discussion. “Funke, I think you need to talk to your daughter. Do you know that she was upset that Tunde took her to see his grandma?”

“His grandma?”

“Yes, I have given him a go-ahead to propose to Shalewa. So, he took her to see his grandma and he mentioned it to me yesterday after our business meeting that she got upset.”

“Ah ah….what is wrong with her nau? Doesn’t she realize that she is no longer a child and needs to get married?”

“Well, I thought the same. You better talk some sense into her. Tunde is a good man, well brought up and enterprising. What else is she looking for?”

Funke exhaled. “I will talk to her.”

 

Shalewa was seated at her mini-library in her room going through some documents she had brought from the office when her mum knocked on the door. Before she could answer, her mum opened the door and peeped in. “Busy?” She asked.

Shalewa looked at her mum and smiled. “Not too busy to talk to my mum.”

Funke walked in and sat on her daughter’s bed. “I hope you are not overworking yourself. You need to take it easy.”

“I know mum. I am not overworking myself. Besides, there was no time to go through all these documents in the office, that is why I decided to bring them home.”

Shalewa turned to face her mum. “So what’s up? Any gist for me?”

Funke sighed.

“Mum? Is there a problem?” Shalewa asked as she stood up from the chair and sat beside her mum on the bed.

“Yes, Omoshalewa mi.”

Shalewa knew what was coming next. Her mum only called her full name when she had something very important to discuss and of recent, the only important issue had been her marital status.

“He told dad, right?”

“Yes, he did.”

“Why would he? What exactly is his problem?” Shalewa asked getting upset.

“Omoshalewa mi, you have no reason to be upset. Tunde loves you and he has proved it over and over again. Do you intend to remain single the rest of your life?”

“No mum. I will get married when I find the right person.”

“The right person? Who else could be more right than Tunde? All your relationships in the past have been based on your father’s wealth. Now, you find someone who loves you for you and you are still looking for the right person. Omoshalewa mi, open your eyes. I am your mother and I will not push you into a pit. God forbid!” Funke lamented as she snapped her fingers over her head.

Shalewa looked away.

“Accept his proposal please and make me and your father happy.”

“He hasn’t proposed, mum.”

“He is about to. Your dad has given him a go-ahead.”

Shalewa stood up in annoyance. “Why is dad interfering with my love-life?”

Funke stood up and held her daughter’s hands. “Because he loves you and he wants the best for you. Tunde is a good man.”

“Okay mum. I have heard you. Can I go back to work now?”

Funke shrugged. “Àbò òrò ni à sö fún ömölúàbí, tó bá dé inú è, á di odindin.” (A word is enough for the wise).

 

After Funke left the room, Shalewa went back to her mini-library but was unable to concentrate. She was upset and angry. Upset at her father’s interference in her love-life and angry that Tunde had suddenly become gold in the eyes of her parents. They were refusing to understand that she wasn’t in love with him. What mattered to them was that he loved her.

She slammed the documents on her table in annoyance. It was no use. The will to go through the documents she had brought home had left her. She decided to go to bed. She laid down and in a few minutes, she drifted off to sleep in anger.

———

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

New Book Alert: Read To Love And To Hold by Olubukola Adekusibe @olubukolasthots — MakeADream_NG

Go get your copy of the book and watch out for the close-up session.

And follow this blog https://www.makeadreamng.com for other inspiring Nigerian talents…..’cos they believe in OUR dreams!😊

To Love And To Hold by Olubukola Adekusibe is now selling at okadabooks.com. A synopsis of the Novel: Fadeke and Chinedu are shocked when they come across each other in the elevator of a building they both work in. Chinedu has searched for her the past six years while Fadeke is hurt by an incident that […]

via New Book Alert: Read To Love And To Hold by Olubukola Adekusibe @olubukolasthots — MakeADream_NG

To Love and to Hold – The continuation

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“To Love and to Hold” has been published on Okadabooks.

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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