Breaking the Silence: The Situationship 2

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If only he had left it at that. If only he hadn’t tried to push by asking if she will talk to him this time if he came to her house. For that was when she snapped!

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He first thought was to call him and rant. Second thought; send him a stinker. Pour out her anger and give him a piece of her mind. But then she reflected on who she was dealing with. Railing at Chike won’t make any difference. He was immune, numb as a matter of fact to criticism or suggestions for improvement. She decided to send him a message indicating irrevocably that she was done with whatever it was they were doing. This situationship (for lack of a better word) was over.

She tried to calm herself before sending the message. For if there was one thing she always said to herself it was to never act at a time when emotions are running high. So she called Linda. Linda was her bestest friend in the whole wide world! Lol! They had been neighbors, nursery, primary and Junior-secondary school classmates until Linda’s father got an out of station transfer while they were in SS1. They reunited in University, studied the same course, lived in the same hostel; were practically twins.

“Babe!” She greeted Linda when she answered her call.

“Hey love, how are you doing?” Linda replied drowsily.

“I’m good, but I can tell you’re better. You’re sleeping at this time.” Adaeze teased.

“What’s a girl to do nau? Been running myself ragged for two straight weeks, barely had a moment to breathe.” Linda yawned. “What’s up?”

“It’s Chike.”

Linda hissed into the phone.

“I know you’ve never been his fan but can you listen to me; unbiased?” Adaeze pleaded.

Linda sighed. “Ok darling. What had he done this time?”

Linda had never been a fan of Adaeze’s relationship with Chike and had only tolerated him for the sake of their friendship.

Adaeze poured out her pain to Linda, telling her of Chike’s recent exploits.

“It is well with you and Chike o!” Was Linda’s only response for a bit.

“Chike was the first person I called when I heard the news.” Adaeze went on near tears. “Was it too much to ask for him to just be there for me? Lin, step back am I asking for too much?” She got up off the bed and began pacing. “Maybe you are the wrong person to ask; being female and my friend. I should ask a guy. Because, I don’t get it! This is someone I’m supposed to be in a relationship with but has never been there for me; not once! But he sneezes and I run to his side immediately. And Lin, this isn’t me just praising myself; he has attested to that in an unguarded moment, his brother even said the same thing.

Did I put myself out too much, do I appear like I can carry the weight of the world open my shoulders?” Adaeze was actually sniffling at this point.

“Babes, calm down. You are working yourself up over nothing.” Linda said calmly.

“I am calm. In fact I’m done. I can’t keep doing this. I intend to formally break it off not the unofficial; drifting apart things and we will come back together again! Clean break!” She said affirmatively, wiping her tears.

“My dear; like I said you need to be calm and really think about this.”

“Babes, I’ve thought about it. Can I really continue like this?” Adaeze lay back on the bed face-up. She sighed deeply. “This thing of ours is fruitless o! It doesn’t have a future. Chike himself told me that although he denies it but he said it unconsciously. And you know; n’ibi ere, la ti moo to oro.” Adaeze said in Yoruba, meaning ‘a lot of truths slip out as jokes.’

Both ladies were silent for some seconds.

Linda broke the silence. “You know my problem with this conversation; one word or text from Chike and all your resolve is down in the gutters. Like I don’t know what it is about this guy; na jazz abi? Or is it the age thing? Are you just holding on to him cos you feel age isn’t on your side? This isn’t you Daeze, I can’t understand it. I mean; your exes will strongly testify that this isn’t you. Kilode? I refuse to believe this is love, like how can it be?” Linda asked heatedly. “He’s been trouble from the first moment but you kept on keeping on. You want to change him, are you the Holy Spirit?”

“I ask myself the same questions. I really don’t know what this is about, but I know I’m done.”

“You’re not done until he tries to come back and you stand your ground that you’re done.” Linda reminded her,

“I know. But this is it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes dear I’m sure. Can we talk later, mom needs me now.” She lied to get off the phone for she was very close to tears.

She ended the call and burst into tears. She bawled like a baby. She cried for what could have been, for the lost hope, time wasted, emotional investment and otherwise, for the uncertain future; she cried for all the pain of the moment. And when she was done crying; she composed the text.

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Miriam’s Tale E4

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……. I opened the door to Chief Pius mirroring the smile on my face. Chief Pius had been my husband’s mentor while he was alive. He was one of the people who hadn’t abandoned us since Ken’s death. He had a habit of dropping by unannounced, and always with treats for the kids.

“Good morning sir, please come in.” I welcomed him in.

He came in, his driver; Kunle behind him carrying two overflowing shopping bags.

“Please sit.” I ushered him to a seat. “Please drop it in that corner.” I pointed to the corner closest to the kitchen. “Is there anything in it that drips?”

“No ma.” Kunle replied.

“Then it’s fine there. Sir, what can I get you?” I asked Chief Pius.

“Nothing my dear.”

“Ahn ahn Chief! It’s not yet that bad.” I teased. He was probably refusing out of consideration for us.

“Ofcourse I know it’s not that bad, but I’m fine.”

“Ok sir. How’s your family?” I sat down facing him.

“We are fine, and yours?”

“We’re very well, thank God. The children have gone to school. They’ll be sad they missed you.”

He laughed. “ It’s ok, ofcourse I’ll come at another time when they’ll be at home, but today it’s you I’ve come to see.”

“Oh, ok. What’s it about?   

Miriam's Tale, Chinma Eke's blog

He laughed softly. “It’s nothing serious, I just want to talk with you. You know, find out how you’ve been coping, you know.”

I don’t know if anyone else feels that way, but, I get irritated by: ‘you know’, I always want to scream ‘I don’t know.’ I mean, why can’t adults talk without saying that? Now, back to this conversation; I was beginning to have a very creepy feeling that this man was trying to get ‘fresh’. “I’ve been coping. God has been my sustenance, like the Bible says; ‘He won’t give you more than what he knows you can bear.’ I replied calmly and primly, wiping all smiles from my face.

“That’s good, that’s good.” He looked around nervously. “I’m here for you, you know, whatever you need, whenever you need it, you can call on me. You see, I want us to be closer, very much closer.” He gestured by rubbing his palms together and anger boiled within me.

I said nothing. I guess he became uncomfortable, he shifted nervously on his seat. Still, I said nothing. He got up, I remained seated.

“Ok, let me run along. Remember, I am here for you.”

“Ok, thanks.”

“Won’t you see me off?” He put his hands in his pocket, and as a sharp girl that I am, I knew he had money in the pocket. I hissed in my mind. What? For what? Do I look like a beggar he could lure with money? Or all those shameless runs girls littered around the world with no brains.

I got up calmly. “Thanks for coming. We appreciate it. I’ll tell the kids you came by.” I said, trailing him behind.

“No hug?”

“No hug Chief Pius.”

“Okay, bye.”

He left, and I almost slammed the door behind him.

What nonsense! I turned in anger on the things he brought. Common-sense was the only thing keeping me from thrashing those gifts. Ah! Ken! Can you see the insults I’m receiving because of you? Tears rolled down my face unchecked. If ken hadn’t died would the likes of Pius have the guts to speak to me like this?

I was known as the ice queen back in school, men thought twice before they approached me. Even Ken confessed I was his toughest conquest. Now, in a very short while, I had been propositioned by two old lizards! How insulting!

My doorbell rang. I turned on the door. If it was that dirty old man I will give him a piece of my mind.

I stormed to the door. Wiped my tears and composed myself. Lai lai he won’t see me cry. I opened the door in anger; it was the gateman; Bala.

My emotion at the time was both relief and anger. Relief that it wasn’t Chief Pius; because him returning would have meant he thought he could get lucky. Anger that I had lost the opportunity to vent.

‘Bala what is it?” I said a tad rudely, some of my aggression still transferring.

Madam, na nepa bring bill.” He extended an electricity bill to me.

I collected it and sighed; what else is new? I was still thinking of where to get money, and bills were steadily piling.

“Jesus!” I exclaimed when I saw the amount I was billed “FOURTEEN THOUSAND, THREE HUNDRED NAIRA?” I screamed out loud. What? In all my years on earth, I hadn’t ever seen a residential apartment receive a bill that much, just current charges.

Haba nau, Nepa, PHCN, or whatever they were calling themselves at the time. How could they do this to me?

I turned away back into the house, leaving Bala at the door.

I went into my room and wept.

***********

You know how it’s said; that the darkest part of the night signals the breaking of the dawn, or something like that. That was my story, Ijeoma’s goods was taking forever to arrive, I was fast running out of money with no hope in sight. Just when things had gotten so very bad, the dawn broke.

One day, I got the usual job alert emails from all the job boards I had subscribed on, it was the position of an admin officer in an FMCG. I applied, and wonders of wonders, they called me in for an interview, and offered me the job on the spot!

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Dear valued readers, 

I thank you for your loyalty and patience to and with me. I appreciate each and everyone of you. I acknowledge this episode is a tad short, and I apologise, bear with me.I promise to do better. 

Have a happy holiday to my Nigerian readers, keep visiting Chinma Eke’s blog.  

Miriam’s Tale E3

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Miriam's Tale, Chinma Eke's blog

My very first interview; I was a bundle of nerves. I was older than all the other applicants in the waiting room, with no experience to boot. I hadn’t even ever attended an interview; Ken had wanted me to stay at home with the kids until they were older before I could start a career.

I wanted to laugh out loud. If only we could see the future, we would have seen the foolishness in that. Now, he was gone, and I was left all alone to cater for our kids. At the thought of our kids I remembered the other two kids he had with Ifeoma. No. I wasn’t going to let that thought weigh me down. Those children were not my problem, I had been magnanimous enough; the entitlements paid by Ken’s company I had shared on a 60/40 basis. When Ken’s family had come to me to concerning the entitlements, I had wanted to tell them all to go-to-hell. I was the only wife known by his employers and my kids were his only kids on record, and considering how Ken had hurt me I was well entitled to that money. I was the wife who packed him breakfast every morning, kept dinner warm late at night, and sorted out his laundry every weekend. I was the wife who smiled and attended company social events even when I didn’t want to. I was the wife who gave up a shot at a career for him and our kids so he could be free to work the oddest of hours, and take business trips at the drop of a hat, which earned him high flying promotions, bonuses and commendations.

I don’t know what made me change my mind, it wasn’t even pressure from my in-laws; they could go to blazes for all I cared. I think it was the thought of those innocent children; like it or not they weren’t to blame for their parents’ behaviour. Anyways, I split the money with them. Ifeoma could do with it what she pleased, I had put my kids share in a school fees trust for them, what she did with hers, I couldn’t care less, and now was the wrongest time to dwell on any unpleasantness. ‘Today, I will be great.’ I repeated to myself over and over again. I was going to go into the interview and I was going to wow!

The interview went in a blur. The panellists smiled a lot at me, and I think I impressed them. I had all my fingers, toes and limbs crossed lol, I was going to get a job, I could feel it, somebody say Amen.

So, I called Bunmi, my friend who worked in the bank and told me about the vacancy. She said she was aware the interview went well, and we should commit the result to God in prayers. That, I could do, so I went to God in prayers.

Four months down the line, I hadn’t gotten any feedback from the bank on the interview. I was getting desperate, no other interviews were coming forth, everyone was singing the same song; the economy was bad, and no one was hiring. I didn’t know what to do, I had some business ideas; I could either open a convenience store, or I could go into clothes and fabrics trading, I was very good at picking clothes and fabrics, when my husband was alive my friends bought clothes of my back. Like I would buy a dress and definitely someone would want it so bad she wouldn’t mind buying it off my back. I had some savings left but I was wary of committing money into a business. If it failed, what would my children and I eat? I was good at trading, I knew that from the little trading I had done in the past, but I had always had a safety net, I couldn’t gamble my kids welfare now. Besides, if I went into trading, wasn’t it the same people screaming about a rotten economy who were going to be my customers?

Hmmm! It is well.

So, back to the present, I needed to make some money quickly. With the most care and careful budgeting and spending, the cash I had available could only last me two months at the most. We were half-way through our house rent, and if I couldn’t get a job soon, I probably might not be able to make the next rent.

I had considered moving to a smaller apartment, but the extras on it billed by the lawyers and agents were probably going to come to the same as the old rent. I considered subletting; we lived in a three bedroom apartment, I could let out one. My family and friends kicked against it, regaling me with tales of flat-sharing gone wrong, that when they were done, I think I was sufficiently scared. But support me with rent money now? Everyone said ‘they would see what they could do.’

One of my ‘friends’ went further to tell me of a job opportunity, what she had described to me sounded like an escort role, and I was like; really? Was that what life had reduced me to? I told her off, but it hurt nonetheless. Anyways; I can’t be dwelling on negativity.

*****

As though our minds were working in sync, my friend Ijeoma called me. Remember Ijeoma, my friend whom I met Ken at her brother’s wedding all those years ago? She and her husband lived in the United States with their four lovely kids. Ken and I had been planning to go visit them when tragedy struck. Ijeoma called that she wanted to send a shipment down to Nigeria for sale, but didn’t want to send it through family who might not return her money. She called to enquire if I was interested.

I was like; is this an answer to my prayers or what? I almost screamed for joy.

“Offcourse I was interested.” I replied her immediately.

“Ok, I’m yet to ship the goods, I’m tagging them right now.” She said through the phone. “Miriam please, this is a business, and I know what people say about friends and money; please let it not be our story. I’m sending clothes; new ones, and I’m sending them at very competitive prices such that you’ll be able to make a good profit.” She went on. “I could send you pictures of the goods for you to have a view.”

I agreed, and made some suggestions on things I thought she could include in the shipment. We ended the call with sharing tales of our kids just as my doorbell rang.

I happily went to open the door, the kids were away at school, and I was done with the morning chores. I opened the door to Chief Pius mirroring the smile on my face. Chief Pius had been my husband’s mentor while he was alive. He was one of the people who hadn’t abandoned us since Ken’s death. He had a habit of dropping by unannounced, and always with treats for the kids.

“Good morning sir, please come in.” I welcomed him in.

He came in, his driver; Kunle behind him carrying two overflowing shopping bags.

“Please sit.” I ushered him to a seat. “Please drop it in that corner.” I pointed to the corner closest to the kitchen. “Is there anything in it that drips?”

“No ma.” Kunle replied.

“Then it’s fine there. Sir, what can I get you?” I asked Chief Pius.

“Nothing my dear.”

“Ahn ahn Chief! It’s not yet that bad.” I teased. He was probably refusing out of consideration for us.

“Ofcourse I know it’s not that bad, but I’m fine.”

“Ok sir. How’s your family?” I sat down facing him.

“We are fine, and yours?”

“We’re very well, thank God. The children have gone to school. They’ll be sad they missed you.”

He laughed. “ It’s ok, ofcourse I’ll come at another time when they’ll be at home, but today it’s you I’ve come to see.”

“Oh, ok. What’s it about?  I asked.

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Second Chances E4

…….”I tried your number countless times it was switched off, where were you?” Chima accused.

“She was hiding away from me.” Kunle replied from the doorway.

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Kunle couldn’t have asked for a better opening, he couldn’t have had a better ally than Chima. As could be expected, Chima demanded to know why Deola was ‘hiding’ away from Kunle, and he told her. She joined forces with Kunle and they both attempted to convince Deola she was wrong to hide away from a relationship because of her past mistakes.

“You guys aren’t seeing this thing from my point of view.” Deola interrupted them. “Believe me; I have given this whole issue a lot of thought. Let me paint this two scenarios; on one hand; Kunle and I start dating, and it goes sour at some point. What next? I would have lost a very dear friend.”

“Who’s to say it will go sour?” Chima cut in.

“Please let me finish.”

Chima waved for her to continue.

“Okay, on the second hand, we date, we fall in love,…”

“I’m there already.” Kunle murmure dryly.”

Deola glared at him and went on. “As I was saying, we fall in love, we want to get married, and viola; there’s opposition from his family. What next? There’s no winning with this thing.”

“You forgot a third scenario, there’s no opposition and we all leave happily ever after.” Kunle said.

“Yeah right. Because your family has been living under a rock. Let’s be realistic, no African family will let their child get married without digging into the background of the spouse to be. In my case, when they dig, what would they find? Scandal. Do a simple Google search for goodness sake, what do you see when you Google me?”

“Honey, Kunle is a PR professional, if you want him to make you white as snow, he can.” Chima replied drily.

“Don’t be ridiculous, can you pull the articles off the net, can you,……?” Deola was overwhelmed by emotions, she sat in the nearest available chair and tried not to cry.

Kunle crouched beside her and took her hands in his. “I think you’re borrowing trouble where there isn’t any. At least not yet. You asked for realism, I’ll give you realism. I’m realistic enough to know it won’t be a smooth drive, no relationship ever is, but I’m sure of one thing; I’ll be there, no matter what. I love you Deola, I want you in my life, I was there before the scandal, I was there through the scandal, and I’m still here after the scandal. You talked about Google search, I went beyond Google, I knew all about you, and your relationship even before the scandal broke, and still I loved you.”

Deola began to cry softly, she was overcome by emotion.

“We all have pasts, some darker than others. If God can forgive us of our sins, who are we to judge? Take this step of faith with me Deola, I know you feel something for me, but if you want to tell me you feel nothing, you do not want me, tell me Deola. Tell me and we won’t ever talk about it again.”

“I don’t want to have my hopes raised and dashed. I don’t want to risk losing you.” Deola sobbed.

“You aren’t going to lose me, I’m not going anywhere. Take this step of faith with me babe.” He waited for he to respond, after a while, she nodded to her tears.

“Hallelujah!” Chima exclaimed, herself sniffing and fighting tears.

*********

Deola found that when Kunle said he wanted more, he meant more, and at full speed. He made no secret of the fact that he wanted to marry her and soon. He wanted her to meet his family, which comprised of his mom and his elder sister, as his father was late. His mom lived in Lagos, he had told his family about Deola and saw no sense in delaying their meeting.

Deola was apprehensive about meeting his family, and tried to delay it, but Kunle insisted, and a few weeks after they ‘officially’ began seeing each other, he arranged for her to visit at his mom’s house, his sister and her husband would also be in attendance.

She wore a simple gown made from Ankara fabric and sensible heels. Her aim was to look simple and not overly made-up. Kunle’s mom herself opened the door to them. She hugged Kunle who attempted to postrate in greeting as was customary.

Then she raised Deola who was on her kneels in greeting as was also customary.

“Get up my daughter, how are you?” She said to her. Mrs Tinuke Philips looked was a very beautiful woman, who looked surprisingly young, she looked more like Kunle’s sister than his mother. She stepped back into the house and led them into the house. “You’re all welcome. Come in. Simi and Ade are here already.” She led them into the living room, where Simi, Kunle’s sister and her husband; Ade were seated.

Simi and Ade got up in welcome, Deola could see the striking resemblance between his sister and their mom, perhaps Kunle favored his father. After they had all exchanged pleasantries, they sat to discuss while a maid served them cold drinks.

“So Deola, where are you from?” Mrs Philips asked Deola.

“My late father was from Odogbolu ma, in Ogun state, while my mom is from Ikorodu.” She replied.

“I guess you were born here in Lagos, and perhaps haven’t been to any of those places?” Tinuke asked.

Deola laughed. “You’re right ma.”

“I knew it. All of you.” She waved to encompass all of them. “All of you are; my parents say I’m Yoruba.”

They all laughed.

“Deola, Kunle tells us you’re a designer, what’s the name of your clothing line?”

“It’s Deola’s Signature, ma.”

“That’s nice, let me Google you and check out your line. Do you have a website, or a lookbook, what kinds of clothes do you design, ready to wear or haute couture?” Simi asked picking her phone up from the side stool.

Deola was getting uncomfortable, the words ‘google’ were now her enemy, and she didn’t want anyone googling her.

Ade, Simi’s husband came to her rescue. “Women and fashion. Why don’t you put your phone aside, I’m sure you’ll have enough time later to check-out Deola’s fashion line.”

“Abi o, children of the technology age.” Tinu added. “Let us eat first, before you people start googling and discussing fashion. Let us go to the table.” She got up and led them to the table.

They made small talk through the meal, Simi and Kunle’s mom asking her more questions in an attempt to know her better.

“I thought its prospective husbands that are grilled this way, all these questions remind me of when I came to marry Simi. You all asked so many questions and I’m sure turned over every stone in my family before you allowed me to marry her.” They all laughed.

“Yes o, that’s how it’s done. It’s normal. We’ll investigate her family, and they in turn will investigate us.” Mrs. Philips replied.

And the delicious food turned to sawdust in Deola’s mouth. She didn’t want anyone looking too closely at her.

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To Be Or Not? E10

…..Just then; Emily’s phone rang. She glanced at the screen and silenced the call. Buchi immediately suspected it was Obi calling, she quickly snatched the phone immediately Emily dropped it and answered the call, Emily tried unsuccessfully to stop her from answering the call. When that failed; she gesticulated with her hands signaling she wasn’t there.
“Hello Obi, it’s been a while.” Buchi said, ignoring Emily, not given Obi the opportunity to get in a word, she went on. “And you won’t believe, but I just asked Emily about you; you’re the true son of your father. Emily is here, let me pass the phone to her.” And she quickly put the phone at Emily’s ear.

“Emily?” Obi asked staring at the phone to confirm she was still on the line.

“I’m here.” She whispered dry-mouthed.

“Can we talk now?”

“My lunch break is almost over.”

“Ok. Can I pick you up after work, today?”

“Ehm, church. I have to go to church.” She grasped at an excuse not to meet with him.

He laughed softly. “Today is Monday.” He reminded her.

“Oh, ok.” She acquiesced, she had run out of excuses.

“Six?”

“Seven pm. Like you said; today is monday.”

“Ok. See you then.” He replied. Excited he had gotten her to commit to a meeting, and the Emily he knew never went back on her promise.

Emily ended the call and looked up to find Buchi grinning widely. The grin irritated Emily greatly, she simply shook her head and pushed her plate aside.
She was suddenly very full and didn’t or couldn’t eat another spoonful.

“So?” Buchi prompted.

“You and I aren’t having this discussion, I have work to get back to.” Emily got up.

“But you haven’t finished your food?”

“I’m full. Eat up let’s go.”

“Are you going to stand over me while I eat?” Buchi raised an eyebrow questioningly.

Rolling her eyes in exasperation, Emily sat back down and patiently waited for Buchi to finish her meal.

“You know what I find funny? You aren’t upset with your mom for the hookup, because you told me you both ended up talking for hours, rather you’re upset with poor innocent Obi; who is equally a pawn in this matchmaking game. How?”

Emily’s only response to that question was a raised eyebrow.

Laughing, Buchi held up both hands in surrender before going back to her food smiling to herself and stealing glances at Emily’s disturbed face.

*

Obi was waiting, parked outside Emily’s office when she closed by 6:30 pm. She slid into the car and buckled up.

“Where would you like to go?” Obi asked her.

“Anywhere is fine.”

“Indigo?”

“Ok.”

He sighed in frustration, he couldn’t understand why she was acting this way. Where was the happy, chatty, Emily he used to know? “How was work today?” He asked in an attempt to draw her out.

“Fine.”

He smiled sadly. “Is there something I’m missing, is something wrong?” He asked. He had wanted to leave the heavy stuff till after dinner but couldn’t help asking.

“Nothing.” She replied looking straight ahead.

“Really? Because up until yesterday afternoon we were cool, but since then; you’ve avoided my calls, and now you’re responding to my questions in monosylabbles. I ask again; is something wrong?”.

“Nothing is wrong.” Emily repeated.

Obi turned to her at a red light. “Is it because of our mothers matchmaking efforts, I sense you’re embarrassed. Why?”

“I’m not…..”

“Don’t lie to me Emily, and stop with the vague denials and tell me what the issue is.” He cut her off.

She exhaled slowly. “I don’t know why I find it embarrassing.”

He laughed. “I guessed as much. You do realize you are not responsible for your mother’s actions, same way I’m not responsible for my mom’s actions.”

“I know, its just….”

“Relax. We’re here; let’s eat.” He was parked at the restaurant parking lot.

Walking into the restaurant, she realized that a lot of her previous apprehension had alleviated.

They chatted while they ate, talking about everything and nothing. From the entertainment industry to the banking industry, and politics. That was one of the things Emily liked about Obi; he was well grounded in most fields, and he was always eager to learn.

She got so carried away by the light-hearted banter and was caught unawares when he suddenly said; ” Supposing we do it?”

“Huh?” She was lost, her smile froze up. “Do….?”

“Take this relationship to the next level.” He held her gaze.

Suddenly parched and flustered, she sipped water slowly giving herself time to collect her thoughts. “I thought you said you don’t want to do the serious thing?” She asked him hoping her voice didn’t come out as shaky as she felt.

“At the time yes, and I needed to be sure its me you see and not Obi Thompson the Media personality.”

“Oh, I see.” She sipped some more water. “And now you’re sure, or is it because our mothers know each other?”

“Off course not.”

“On the flip side, what if I don’t want to be with someone in the entertainment industry, because that means living in the public eye?”

“Its just a job, which I love. You know the me behind the name.”

“Ok, what if we try and it doesn’t work out? This newly re-established friendship between our moms will be soured.”

“What if it totally works?” He countered.

“We don’t know that!”

“Nothing is given, everyday is a risk.”

“Yea.” She set her glass down and picked up her fork to toy with her salad.

He stared at her for some seconds, a smile on his handsome face. When she became uncomfortable under his glare, she asked; “What?”

He laughed. “I know you’ve made a decision already, out with it.”

She smiled. “Since you know me so well, what do you think my response will be?” She teased.

“I’m hoping for a yes, or ‘ok’ like you say.” He replied in the same light-hearted mode.

She giggled. “Ok.”

His smile expanded widely.
“Ok?”

“Ok.” She affirmed.

*

Looking back to that day a year ago; Emily felt that was the day her life began. Obi was everything she had ever wanted in a man, he really made her happy.

Eight months after they officially began dating, he popped the question while they were on vacation in Kenya, and they got married today which was about a year after they began dating.

She admired her wedding ring again as the car drove them from the Church to the reception venue, it was so beautiful; a plain gold band with his initials engraved in it (his had her initials too), she was filled with such joy; she had found her prince.

**********

Emily’s story ends here, but like I always say; ‘A True Love Story Never Ends’. I hope you enjoyed it, I hope you weren’t to put-off with the delayed posts?

Let me know what you think, Read, Enjoy, Comment, Subscribe for Email updates, and Share.

To Be Or Not? E7

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‘Mommy is asking for your email and bb pin, she said she wants to give it to her friend whose son just returned from the US.’ “Oh no!” Emily exclaimed aloud. Her mom was on the matchmaking path again.

The thing with mothers is that they remain eternally hopeful; Emily’s mom wasn’t an exception. In the past, she had introduced Emily to all her ‘friends’ sons, Emily began to wonder where her mom got all these ‘friends’ from, because the women weren’t the ones she knew as her mom’s friends growing up. She wondered if there was an association of mothers with unmarried children, and they just exchanged children contacts at random.

Rolling her eyes, Emily closed the message, she would deal with that later, she was almost becoming a pro at handling all the men her mom tried to hook her up with. Besides, she and Julia her sister had devised a plan to give out wrong contact details to the matchmaking party.

Emily was sceptical about people especially men who needed to be match-made. What was wrong with them that they couldn’t see all the beautiful wonderful ladies all around them? Emily had long concluded that these men had to be flawed, how else could their inability to begin a relationship for themselves be explained.

No doubt some of these hook-ups worked, but naa, Emily wasn’t the least bit interested.

“You want to get some ice-cream?” Obi asked, bringing her back to the present.

“Sure.” She accepted, smiling secretly as she remembered the last time she was went to an ice-cream parlour with a man. Obi pulled into the parking lot of a shopping complex, they  both alighted and to get some ice-cream.

At the ice-cream booth, it became obvious Obi was a regular; the attendants were familiar with him and gave him preferential treatment.

When they returned to the car, she teased him about it. “You seem to be a regular everywhere we go, is it the stardom or………..”

“Or…………” He echoed as he drove out of the lot into traffic.

“I was going to ask if you’re taking me to all the places you take your girlfriends.” She asked, somewhat embarrassed at her train of thoughts.

He was silent for a while before replying: “Couldn’t I just be taking you to all my favorite places?” He asked quietly.

“Off course.” She latched onto that. “My curiosity got the better part of me.” She explained. “This ice-cream is really nice.” She changed the topic. “I thought I’d discovered all the good ice-cream places in Lag.”

She was kinda pissed with herself, what was she doing asking such questions, she knew better. Now he would think she was one of the usual Naija desperadoes!!!

It was all Buchi’s fault; yes she was laying this squarely at Buchi’s doorstep. She had been content with just being friends with Obi, it was Buchi who kept insisting a guy and a girl couldn’t just be friends. Where did Buchi get that logic? Emily pursed her lips and focused on the road. The day started off very well, maybe too well, maybe that was why she started thinking off and wishing for things that aren’t possible. But then, nothing is impossible.

Obi parked in-front of her building; Emily hurriedly unbuckled her seatbelt and opened the door to alight. Obi placed a staying hand on her arm and said; “I know what you’re getting at, it isn’t a step I’m ready for now.”

“Ok.” She replied. She got down and waved as he drove off.

Whew!!!! The day had been a day and half.

Walking up the stairs, she dialled her sister’s number.

“Hello Emily.” Her sister answered almost immediately.

“Julia, I got your message.”

“Mom is at it again!” Julia said excitedly.

“I got that. Did you give out the wrong details as we agreed?”

“Yea, I did, but mom checked the number, and noticed it was wrong. She called me out on it, saying I didn’t know my sisters phone number.”

Emily sighed.

“It’s ok, if the person calls, I’ll handle it.” She had gotten to her door. She leaned against the wall to conclude her call, Linda must be in and she wasn’t in the mood to see her yet.

“Ok. Emily, how about that stuff I asked you for, you haven’t said anything.” Julia asked for some money to update her wardrobe, personally, Emily thought julia already had too many clothes, but Emily knew Julia wouldn’t desist till she gave in. So, rather than voice her opinion, she said instead; “I’ll see what I can do at the end of the month.”

Julia screamed for joy through the phone. “Thank you, thanks darling, you’re the bestest big sister in the whole wide world. Thank you!!!”

“You don’t have another sister to compare me with.” Emily replied, smiling as she ended the call.

She rung the bell, it took Linda forever to come to the door, when Emily could hear her laughter through the door. Obviously, she had a guest. Emily gritted her teeth and prayed for patience, they just had a month to go for Linda would finish her course and return to Abuja.

“Hey you, welcome.” Linda smiled brightly as she opened the door and ushered her in. “I have someone here to see you, I found this gentleman hanging around waiting for you when I returned. We’ve been chatting and he’s been telling me how much he loves you.”

Emily hissed out her frustration as she saw the ‘young man’ in question was none other than Korede.

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To Be Or Not? E3

Emily and Korede alighted from the car. Emily’s heart was beating so wildly. She couldn’t explain why she was so scared, they were just meeting his parents. His parents house was on Bourdillon, Ikoyi. From the outside it looked to be a well maintained duplex, with beautiful grounds. He was obviously from old money, judging by their address, one more thing she didn’t know about him. She knew zilch about his family, for he never talked about them. She glanced at him as they walked towards the house in silence. He looked nervous. Shouldn’t she be the nervous one? She took his hand in hers and squeezed it reassuringly as the front door opened and a boy of about six ran out screaming; “Daddy!” excitedly, running towards Korede.

The rest of the visit, Emily lived through on auto-pilot. It was sheer good manners that stopped her from storming out on Korede, such a rude shock! On the heels of the boy came a nice looking older woman, whom Korede introduced as his mother.

Emily was ushered into the house and introduced to everyone as ‘our new wife’.
In the house was; Korede’s father (a matured version of Korede, who invited her to call him ‘daddy’), his youngest sister; Abike, the young boy; Babatunde, and their domestic help. Emily gave Korede a questioning gaze when his mother introduced Tunde, a gaze which he couldn’t meet. She was introduced as daddy’s ‘friend’, and Tunde politely greeted her.

Korede was growing increasingly uncomfortable, Tunde wasn’t supposed to have been here today. He should have been at his sisters’ for the weekend. Yes, he knew he couldn’t keep the boy a secret forever, but he just hadn’t found the right time to tell Emily about the boy. Judging by the gazes Emily was shooting his way, it was blatantly obvious she didn’t like this new development. Just when he thought the day couldn’t get any worse, just as they were about to seat down to lunch, his mothers phone rang, and after exchanging pleasantries with the person on the other end of the phone, she passed the phone to Tunde, saying;
“Here Tunde, its mummy!”

*

“Oh my gosh!!! How do you get to have all this fun, I mean, all your dates are characterized with serious drama. My life is dull compared with yours.” Buchi exclaimed, trying to control her laughter. She had returned from a date with her fiance to find Emily burrowed in bed.

“It isn’t funny Buchi.” Emily retorted stiffly.

“Yea, I can imagine. But only because this is real life. Seriously Em, imagine this were a movie you’ll be in stitches with me by now. This is so hilarious! Better than the movie; ‘Meet the Fockers’!”

“You’re just a clown.” Emily smiled in spite of herself.

“Ok, lets get serious now. What’s his explanation?”

Emily exhaled loudly. “I didn’t let him speak, I told him I didn’t want to hear whatever he had to say.”

“Why? You should have heard him out!”

“For what? Korede talks a lot, but its obvious he doesn’t talk about the important things. Like, how can I not know he has a six year old son? Its honestly not him having a son that’s the issue, it’s the fact that he kept it from me. I mean, if he kept this from me, what else is he hiding?”

“Which is why you should have heard him out, than explain your anger to him.”

“What does it matter, I returned his ring already. We are over.”

“You did what!!! Emily Oyesanya what is wrong with you? I’ve told you time and time again; you need to be more patient, more tolerant. How can you just break off an engagement like that, is a child a disease?” Buchi screamed.

“You don’t get it Buchi, the child isn’t the problem, as a matter of fact in the few hours I spent there, I found him to be well mannered. His father is the problem. If Korede can keep something this big from me, what else is he keeping secret? And you know me Buchi, I hate important things being kept from me, I hate secrets!”

“How else will the secrets be aired if you guys don’t talk? This is a perfect opportunity you just missed to probe as much as you can.”

Emily sighed sadly and burrowed further into the bed. “I didn’t ask for this!” she sobbed softly. “I mean, here I was on my own, planning how to merge my Masters degree program and my job, he was the one who came to me, he was the one who proposed.” She sat up. “I don’t need this kind of drama in my life seriously, why cant I have a sweet, peacefully-exciting relationship like yours, why can’t I get someone like your Samuel?”

Buchi burst into laughter. “Oh my! First of; is ‘peacefully-exciting’ a word, I mean, is it even possible? Sam and I have our own issues, some of which you’re aware of. The grass just looks greener in the other yard. Emily, you need to stop being impatient, relationships take work, be it with Korede, or Dayo, or the next John Doe, it takes work.”

“I don’t want a relationship anymore, I just want to be left alone.” Emily muttered.

“Yea right! I pray you don’t get that wish. ‘Cos if you do, five years down the line, you’ll regret this day.”

“Go away and leave me in my misery.” Emily covered her head with a pillow.

“You wish! Come and help me pick a dress, Sam and I have this office dinner next weekend. Better to begin preparation on time, so we’ll know if we need to go shopping.”

Emily perked up. “What’s the dinner about, can I come?”

Buchi laughed. “I thought you said I should go away?” She said walking towards the door.

Emily followed her.

*

It had been weeks since the disastrous visit to his parents house, weeks during which Emily had ignored his calls and messages and Korede was at his wits end as regards what to do to get to Emily. He had tried enlisting Buchi’s help, but she had refused to get involved.

Today he was determined to speak with her, he was headed to her house and wouldn’t take no for an answer. He stopped at her favorite ice-cream shop to get her some Strawberry ice-cream. His eyes were drawn to a couple seated at a table, his eyes narrowed as he recognized Emily engrossed in a conversation with a guy he immediately knew was a rival.

Finding Happiness Episode Eleven

“Hello”
“Babe.”
Oh God. Thank God. Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. Nifemi was awake.
“My love. How are you?” I said through dry cotton mouth.
“I’ve been better. How are you? Daddy says you’ve been worried sick and if I didn’t speak with you, you won’t sleep a wink.” He sounded so weak, but no doubt my Nifemi.
“I’m fine. Better now I’ve heard your voice.”
“Are you crying?”
“No.” I wiped my tears.
“You should know I wouldn’t let a little thing like a bullet keep us apart. We are going to grow old together.”
I was nodding my head as though he could see me.
“Now we’ve spoken, we’re going to go to sleep. We’ve had a long, rough day.”
“Okay my love.”
“Goodnight babe.”
“Goodnight my love. Love you sooo much.”
“Same here.”
We ended the call. I cradled the phone to my chest and blessed God for saving Nifemi.

“We should get married.” Nifemi said as we relaxed in the living room at his apartment, watching TV.

It was a week later and we had just returned from the hospital. He had been transferred to his company’s hospital in Lagos two days after he regained consciousness at his request (or order). And in less than a week he made the doctor discharge him, declaring that if he wasn’t discharged, he would discharge himself.

It was a tremendous relief to me when he was transferred to Lagos, for I could be near him.

“We are getting married, as soon as we set a date.” I smiled at him and snuggled in, as close as I could be on the couch we were seated on.

“No, that would take like months. Lets have a civil service immediately, this week. I want you to move in with me, as my wife.”

I stared, wide eyed in mild surprise. “But the plans are already in motion, what about all the other plans….” The plans were for us to have the traditional engagement, court wedding, church marriage and reception in a week.

“Like….” He asked.

“The church wedding?”

“It will still go on as planned, when we fix it.” We hadn’t fixed a date with our pastor.
“You said we need a bigger apartment.” I reminded him.

“We do. You’ll search from here.”

“I don’t have anything to wear, and besides I heard court weddings take time to……”

“You have a few days to find something to wear, nothing fancy, the big wedding is still up ahead. This is just going to be us and family. As for court weddings taking time to arrange, I’m a lawyer remember? Any other questions or objections?”

“None at all.”

He squeezed my shoulders fondly and kissed me on the forehead.

My mind immediately went into overdrive. What to wear? I have to inform Dupe, aunt Mabel, his parents, because knowing Nifemi he’ll probably wake up tomorrow to say our wedding was that day.

“What’s the hurry?” I asked him.

“Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” He replied immediately.

“Were you expecting that question?”

He laughed. “I know you, I can practically see the wheels turning in your head.”

I eyed him without heat. That was the thing about Nifemi and I, we knew each other so well we could almost accurately tell what the other was thinking. But this rushed wedding he was springing on me…….

In a way though, it was still typical Nifemi. He loved to surprise me.

Later, I called MaryAnn of MAP designs and asked her if she could make me a dress in twenty-four hours, that was all the time I was confident I had. I notified our family. And true to his words, two days later, Nifemi and I were married at a simple registry wedding. The service was so beautiful; we exchanged our vows surrounded by friends and family. The simplicity of the event suited me, I was tempted to cancel the fanfare of a wedding aunt Mabel and his mom were planning, but I knew they’ll probably have a fit if I did.

MaryAnn came through for me, my dress was breathtaking, it was a blush-pink lace mermaid gown, and it fitted me like a glove. Nifemi looked dapper in a blue suit, and I can’t get over the joy of being Mrs Olatunji. Dupe was my maid of honor off course, and Ehis, MaryAnn’s husband was Nifemi’s best man. We had a lunch party at a dainty restaurant, after which Nifemi and I, no, my husband and I proceeded on our honeymoon. Nifemi surprised me with a trip to Seychelles Island.

We had the church marriage blessing two months later, with the gbogbo ero reception; despite that I was seriously showing by then, MaryAnn still worked wonders with my dress, this one was cream colored.

A few months later, I had my children; yes I had twins, a girl and a boy. I really blessed God. I remembered how my year began, how God had given me my heart desire. I had found happiness!

~

Its been an eventful eleven weeks with Keji’s story on her journey to Finding Happiness, her story is by no means finished because a true love story never ends, but we’ll stop here; where she married her prince. I also concluded MaryAnn and Ehis’ story from My Super Ex-Boyfriend series.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll publish a short story, I hope y’all look forward to it. After that, another series will begin.

Meanwhile as always, Beauty and Fashion editorials continue as well as Ms Psyche. Stick around.
I love to hear from you, please leave your thoughts as comments.

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Thank you! Once again; Happy New Month, Welcome to April!

XX

CE.