Breaking The Silence: Drama?

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Here’s the continuation of the Breaking the Silence series. If you haven’t read any of the episodes and/ or have missed any episodes/ or can’t remember them; here’s the first: And the news came, the second The situationshipThe Situationship 2,  The End and a Beginning and The End & A New Beginning 2

Please read, enjoy, let me know what you think (comment) and don’t forget to share. 

****

…… She read all 22 messages, laughing at the desperation to hear gist in Linda’s messages. Rather than text a response, she decided to call her.

After the call, she checked her other whatsapp messages. Regular group convos, and …… a message from Chike “Hi, how are you?”

*****

Like seriously, how am I?

I’m peachy, very fabulous!

Lol! Angry female alert!!!

I need to get over this guy and all other guys and I need to do it fast. Like one line from him and I am cave girl all over.

Seriously, the line probably meant nothing to Chike; he was cunning like that and might just have been catching trips. Meanwhile; here I was, about to burst a vein. Smh for myself.

Anyways, Ada wasn’t going to reply that message; at least not this night. She had had enough of the day.

Just before she drifted off to sleep a text came in. curious she checked her phone; it was from Mofe saying goodnight.

She went to bed with a smile on her face.

***

The coming weeks were drama-filled for Ada.

She avoided speaking with Chike and only responded to his messages r calls when it was absolutely necessary. But he was persistent! Like he invented the word.

At the same time Mofe was pursuing her like with all he had. Mofe was a sweetheart, but she just wasn’t ready to commit to a relationship with him. He said all the right things, made all the right promises, but Ada was like; been there done that! Lol!

She threw herself into the final details for Linda’s wedding and when that day came it was so beautiful, Ada teared up a number of times and she wasn’t a crier.

Their friends came in for the wedding so it was a sort of girls’ reunion.

In one of their men bashing/ advice offering sessions, it just clicked; Sola and Chike!!!

Sola was an ex-coursemate of theirs who rarely kept in touch. She was such a special person, peculiar in her own way. Sola wouldn’t keep in touch for months, but in your hour of need she was one person you could bank on, not just count on.

She came in for Linda’s wedding from Port-Harcourt where she worked and it was like they had never been apart. To be friends with Sola, you just needed to understand her and give her the space she needed when she needs it. And, what set the light bulb off in Ada’s head; she and Chike were so alike in their relationship ideals! With her (Ada and Chike), she had thought the law of opposites thingy would be what they had going for them, unfortunately; that didn’t work out. Their differences was responsible for all the fights they had. So….. maybe with someone more like him; they will be in sync! Why didn’t she think of this all the while? Ever since that text, Chike had been hounding her. He wanted them back together, but she was having none of it. Maybe if she hooked him up (discretely ofcourse on his part), he will let her go; focus on the new catch.

But she will pre-inform Sola though. Sola was too solid a friend for her not to fully disclose.

“Ok!” Was Sola’s response when she spoke with her about it. Her face lit up in a mischievous smile.  “Let’s have a bit of fun!”

Classic Sola! The plan was to get Sola to run into them; Chike had been asking for a meeting, she will indulge his request and somehow get him to meet Sola.

Either way, whatever the outcome of the meeting; she wasn’t leaving the meeting with Chike still nursing a come-back bid.

***

She invited Mofe to Linda’s wedding (more like he made her invite him, lol). She forgot she had also invited Chike sometime in the past. Or maybe she didn’t forget, she just had not expected him to attend. Even when they were together he always had an excuse why he couldn’t be at family events.

So it was very surprising when he showed up at the reception!

They had ushered in the couple, the reception was in full swing with the MC piloting the affairs, the bridesmaids and groomsmen had left the couple and joined the party. Ada had gone to sit with Mofe and his friend, and just like in the movies; Ada’s gaze was pulled to one of the entrances and there was Chike walking in with two of his friends.

She stopped mid-sentence with her mouth open in shock, her smile froze, her throat was suddenly dry.

She managed to end the sentence and promptly excused herself to go block him off before he came in and made a scene at Ada’s wedding.

Walking on rubbery legs she searched her brain for what she would say to him; empty, she came up empty. She felt like everyone in the party was watching her; which couldn’t be but it felt that way. The MC’s voice fell away, all felt silent and all she could hear was white noise. Her mind went over all the possible reasons Chike could have for coming to the wedding. In her mind’s eye she saw him walking in angrily, seeing her with Mofe and making a scene.

She would just die from mortification.

She was so lost in thought she didn’t see the waiter until she had bumped into him.

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The End & A New Beginning 2

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Hey dearies, how have you all been. 

I’m sure quite a number of you must have given up on me. I apologise deeply. 

I have really truly not tried

So here’s the continuation of the Breaking the Silence series. If you haven’t read any of the episodes and/ or have missed any episodes/ or can’t remember them; here’s the first: And the news came, the second The situationshipThe Situationship 2, the most recent The End and a Beginning

Please read, enjoy, let me know what you think (comment) and don’t forget to share. 

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As expected, he called. Luckily for him it was later in the evening when I was true with the day’s hustle and bustle and able to put my feet up.

He sounded pleasant (don’t they all at the beginning?), we talked for like an hour. A lot of it was just getting to know each other. He said he was Mofe Boboye, worked for an investment firm (more like his father’s investment bank, lol; I have CIA skills), second son of a family of two male and two female children, single (google didn’t help with that), liked water sports bla bla bla.

I gave him the short and simple version; Ada, coincidentally they shared similar birth positions, and no; she wasn’t a fan of water sports.

He tried to get her to open up more but she gave him the short and simple response versions.

The conversation ended when she began to drift off to sleep. He ended the call, promising to call the next day.

***

True to his word he called and several times after. She who said she was on a break found herself looking forward to his calls and messages. They talked a lot and knew so much about each other. He was easy to talk with, and she had told herself she wasn’t looking for a relationship at that time. With the absence of those pressures, it was easy to just enjoy the conversations and budding friendship. Then came their first physical date. He took her to an upscale restaurant where the food was fantastic.

Against her better judgement and with Linda’s encouragement, she dressed up nicely and was happy she did. It would have been disaster for her had she dressed in jeans and top and he brought her here.

There had a nice dinner with enjoyable conversation. Undiscussed, both of them put their phones away for the duration of the meal. Not even for one second did they glance at their phone. That was a rare feat in this social age where a lot of people behaved as though their phones were their life source.

Without her saying anything he ensured he got her home in time. When he got to her front door, he said his aim had been 9pm but traffic saw them getting in at a quarter past nine. Not so bad, it was a Saturday night she didn’t have to get up very early the next day.

Ofcourse as was to be expected there were several update requests from Linda. Lol, the girl liked amebo.

She would reply to the messages after her bath.

While she was in the bathroom her mom came into her room.

“How did your date go?” Amaka Chukwuemeka asked.

Adaeze rolled her eyes in the bathroom. ‘Next thing mommy would start planning wedding’ she thought to herself.

“It wasn’t a date, but it went well.” She replied.

He mother sighed deeply. “You and your sister, do you think you are getting any younger. All my mates already have grandchildren even the males. Yet I don’t even have an in-law not to talk of grandchildren.

“Mommy …” Ada attempted to interrupt as she came out of the bathroom.

“Don’t interrupt me!” Her mom shut her down. “What do you want to say; that will you marry yourself, or that every relationship must not end in marriage?”

Adaeze didn’t reply. She concentrated on selecting a sleep wear as though it were the most important task in the world.

“I’m not asking you to perform magic or do something impossible. All I’m asking is that you and your sister come off these your high horse and choose one of the men flocking around you. In a few years, there will be no one. A woman’s time ……”

“Mommy, we’ve heard.” Ngozi, Adaeze’s elder sister came to her defense.

Adaeze turned around sharply. She hadn’t heard Ngozi come into the room and neither had their mom.

Both Ada and Ngozi held their breath expecting their mom to continue with the scolding, but Mrs. Chukwuemeka just sighed and rather said; “Your Uncle Sam called, the burial has been fixed for June.”

“June!!!!” both Ada and Ngozi exclaimed.

“That’s a whole 9 months!” Ngozi said quickly calculating.

Amaka Chukwuemeka sighed deeply by way of response. “Anyway, it’s their brother, there are the one who have the final say.” She got up to leave the room. She turned back to the ladies at the door. “You ladies need to settle down, you are not getting any younger. Ehn, biko!” with that she left the room.

“How was your date?” Ngozi asked after their mom had left.

“It wasn’t a date, why is everyone seeing it like a date?” Ada sank into the bed.

“Ok, how was your meeting?” Ngozi rephrased.

“It went well.”

“So…….?”

“So nothing. We just had a nice meal; a delicious one at that.”

“Lol, did you go there for the food?” Ngozi teased.

“Ofcourse. I was hungry. Anyways, Mofe is cool, but….. I’m not ready.”

“Why, because of Chike?”

“No, because of me. I just, … I get mommy’s point of view that we aren’t getting any younger. Believe me; I know. But; I’d rather not make a mistake.”

“Isn’t that our fear? Anyways, just to remind you that overtaking is allowed.”

They both laughed. “You and this your overtaking is allowed. I need to reply Linda’s messages before she has a heart attack.” Ada picked up her phone.

“Aite. Good night. Church tomorrow?” Ngozi asked as she got up to leave.

“Sure.” 22 messages from Linda! She read them all, laughing at the desperation to hear gist in Linda’s messages. Rather than text a response, she decided to call her.

After the call, she checked her other whatsapp messages. Regular group convos, and …… a message from Chike “Hi, how are you?”

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Breaking the Silence: The End & A Beggining

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‘I’m not going to get into how you never see anything wrong with your actions, I’m not going to get into how much you’ve hurt me. But you have and try as I have I can’t get past it. This thing of ours is unlike anything I have ever known; it’s been two years and I can’t get used to it. I don’t want to be friends with you anymore; it hurts too much! Don’t ever contact me; if you do I will block you. Have a good evening.’

Adaeze edited and reread the text. It might not look like much but her heart was in those words. She really needed to pass the message to Chike that they were done for good.

A few hours later he responded. ‘Wow, many words! No worries, I will honor your request. If you want it like this so be it.’

**

Adaeze’s philosophy to breakups had always been; it’s not over until the ex tries to make a comeback and you refuse to go back, avoid Okafor’s law and all…. Then it really is over.

Adaeze tried to move on in spite of the pain of the broken dream and dashed hope. She threw herself into work, life; there was just something about living and not existing, especially when you are living on your own terms and not on the whims and caprices of another in the name of being ‘girl-friend’.

She could go out with her girls without having to check with Chike on convenience or if he would have preferred that they do something else.

The up-side to being in a relationship is it provides for companionship, the downside- is its restrictiveness. When you’re in a relationship you become a part of a pair (as it should be). The downside comes when the relationship is over. Then you find you don’t know who you are anymore. Everything reminds you of your ex; movies watched together, places visited together, you could just be in the middle of a conversation and you say a word that had double entendre and just like that you are back in pity party land.

Adaeze gave herself time to mourn her relationship. She knew she needed to heal. Beyond Chike she knew she needed to get rid of the daddy issues she had. This constant search for a father figure in her relationships needed to end lest she do herself in by settling for a crappy relationship or worse; a crappy marriage.

Linda was a rock through this trying times for Adaeze. Adaeze had always admired Linda’s relationship. Linda had been seeing Tayo Fayemi for about three years at the time and they were the classic ‘point of contact couple’. They rarely had any fights of note, got along famously, were so in sync, could finish off each other’s sentences, and were good old friends. They were getting married the next year. ‘Daeze was sure they were going to do the ‘I’m marrying my best friend’ lol! They were an inspiration and a heartache; the classic Yoruba and Ibo union, their relationship surviving against all odds. They were also a heartache, could drive a sister to envy! Lol!

Adaeze threw herself into helping Linda plan her upcoming wedding. Between work, church and the upcoming wedding, she was kept very busy. Too busy to think about a guy! Lol! At the time, the last thing she needed was a guy distracting her, she just wanted to be alone to ‘find’ herself.

It was a busy Saturday, she was backing out of Sofresh neighborhood market, a parfait in one hand, her phone wedged between her ear and shoulder, her handbag and a shopping bag in the other hand. She bumped into a warm body and spun around so very quickly almost spilling the contents of her cup on the person she bumped into.

“I’m so sorry!” She apologised. “Babes, lemme call you back.” She said into the phone and dropped both the shopping bag on the floor with her handbag on it. She retrieved her phone from her shoulder. “I’m sorry she apologised again. “Hope I didn’t stain you.” She examined his shirt, and well; got a good look at him. He was tall, but not so much; say 5’ 9”, dark and of average build. Adaeze took in the smile, sunglasses and the white ‘Yoruba demon’ attire (as she had come to think of the popular male traditional shirt and trousers) and her defenses rose.

“No you didn’t.” He replied, giving her an appreciative look.

Duh! She could see that for herself. His cocky attitude was putting her off already, she was immediately irritated. Besides, she knew she didn’t look her best, she had been shopping and running errands all day, was in a plain top and leggings, her hair was unmade and she wasn’t wearing any makeup. What was he appreciating?

“Sorry I bumped into you.” She bent to retrieve her hand and shopping bag. She made to walk around him.

“Not so fast beauty. My name is Mofe” He extended his hand in a handshake.

“Nice to meet you Mofe.” She replied with a plastic smile. She raised both hands in an indication that her hands were full.

He followed her out of Sofresh. “Where are you headed?” He asked walking with her.

She pointed to the waiting cab.

He walked with her to the car and extended his phone to her when she got in. “May I have your number?” He asked in perfect politeness.

She looked at him, her perfect smile in place, set to decline. And then she thought……… ’wharrevva

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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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Breaking the Silence: And the News Came

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I’m not much of a sharer. I prefer to share my thoughts and imaginations on air, to strangers and friends.

A friend once told me I have a hyperactive imagination. Lol! I’m owning it. I do, so what? A lot of my experiences have been shared through my writing. Some truth, some fiction. You know what they say; truth is stranger than fiction.

I sometimes think my life is too boring. I always long for excitement. Matter of fact I can’t really explain my personality type. I’m the one who will be the first to get ready for an event, but 30 minutes into it; having seen everyone and smiled to jaw aching point, I’m ready to go home and cuddle with a soapy book or movie and a smoothie or tigernut milk. Lol. Soon as I have that, I’m looking for the next exciting outing; and the circle continues.

So here goes the Breaking the Silence series. A diary series of the twenty-something lady. I invite you to step into my imagination with me; I haven’t written in a long while and as such I’m rusty. Coupled with that some of this series will be written in the first person pronoun (which I have difficulty doing but as it is a diary series I have to try) except when Adaeze is narrating. I hope you like, I hope you enjoy, and as usual; lemme know what you think.

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We have a culture of silence, it’s ingrained in us. Just like our culture of respect for elders, fear for authority, there is also a culture of silence. We all want to keep up appearances, and when it’s not particularly about keeping up appearances, it’s about not showing our shame to the whole world. It’s that inate desire not to open ourselves to the world. We are all guilty of this. Lol, just writing this reminds me of a recent happening that involved my ten year old cousin. He had done something extremely incorrigible and my sister commented on the believability of it. She said; if I say this outside, nobody will believe me. And my response was; who asked you? How can you be answering questions not asked?

It might sound hilarious but it is very true of us. We don’t share, regardless of the fact that sharing may help someone. Or maybe it’s about the fact that everyone has their own issues; the person you’re sharing with has greater problems than you do. I overhead someone say; a lot of people’s current situation is such that if you come to them with a problem, by the time they share theirs you will end up trying to solve theirs first. But then; I think that’s the whole essence of sharing. The saying goes; a problem shared is a problem solved. Abi?

Another danger of not sharing is; if it’s an event that involves more than one person, the sharer controls the narrative. There’s this saying that the hunter will continue to triumph in the story of the hunter and the lion until the lion begins telling his own story. History has always been written by the victor because who writes history will always ensure he writes it such that he emerges the conqueror. So when we keep quiet, we allow others other than ourselves to control the narrative. This Adaeze found to be her predicament.

Adaeze was born into a family of four children; she had the privilege (or not) of being born as the spare, lol (for those who don’t know; the spare child is that child not occupying any particular ‘important’ position; there’s the first child- who doubles as the first son or daughter, then there’s the first son or daughter (opposite gender of the first child), then there’s the last child (lastborn). For the ‘royal or dynastic’ families, the second son can be referred to as the spare for the first son, but in Adaeze’s case; she was the third child in a family of four. She had an older brother and sister (Austin and Ngozi respectively), and she had a younger brother- Michael who was the last born. She was named Adaeze not because she was the ‘Ada’ i.e. first daughter in Igbo culture but because she was named after her father’s sister, whose name was Adaeze (Ngozi was named after her paternal grandmother).

Adaeze’s parents had been separated for as long as she could remember. Probably happened almost immediately after Michael’s birth. None of the children knew the cause of the breakup, and it was either all the adults around were not willing to tell what they knew or they truly didn’t know. All four children were raised by their mother who was a business woman petty trader.

Growing up was tough. It was obvious even to the blind that Mr. Chukwuemeka wasn’t supporting his family. He wasn’t catering for his children. It was Mrs. Chukwuemeka (she didn’t change her name because they were not legally divorced) who paid all the bills- rent, school fees, feeding, etc etc. Adaeze’s mom scrimped and saved and managed to put her children through school; ensuring they all had at least a first degree.

Adaeze and her siblings were raised in a home that was a kind-off church extension. Mommy was very involved in their church and the children grew with a love for and personal relationship with God which saw them also involved in the church.

 

**********

 

On that fateful Saturday morning, Adaeze had rolled out of bed thirty minutes earlier. She was an early riser and if she didn’t get to her chores before the sun was up, chances are those chores won’t get done that day. She was loading the washing machine when her mom’s phone rang. Her mom was in her room and had dropped her phone in Adaeze’s room. She picked the phone and went into her mom’s room.

Her natural curiosity had her looking at the phone screen before handing it to her mom. It was James, a cousin on her father’s side. James was the only one on the father’s side of the family who was very friendly with Adaeze’s family. The rest of the family was estranged from them as a result of the separation. As usual in such separation issues; it had to be the fault of the wife.

After taking the call, Adaeze’s mom called herself and her siblings and broke the news to them; their father was dead.

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A chance at love

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Hey dearies, how have you all been?

I trust you’ve been good. I’ve missed you all, missed writing been battling with some serious writer’s block. but last night, my laptop loved me.

I wrote this short story and just edited this morning. I hope you like, I hope you really like and spare some thought for Bisi as she goes through this difficult time. 

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‘…. It’s not you, it’s me.’ With those words he shattered her world.

We’ve all heard those words, jokes and memes have been made of those words, but you can never understand those words; their impact until they are said to you. That five letter sentence. Perhaps in analysis it might be that it isn’t quite a correct sentence. But none of that matters when those words are said to you; all that matters at that moment; is that those words signify the end of a journey for you.

Bisi had known Akin for a while, perhaps known off is the correct terminology. They had mutual friends, acquaintances, etc. they were even friendly, said hi pleasantly whenever their paths crossed. So, when on that day they met at his cousins wedding; they said hi, Bisi introduced him to her friend; Funke whom she attended the wedding with and tried to match make them.

A few days later she followed up with Funke to find out if they had been any progress with Akin. Funke said they had spoken a few times but she doesn’t get the vibes Akin was interested. Bisi followed up with Akin, extoling Funke’s virtues to the highest heavens. She and Akin got talking, got to know each other better.

It was on one of such follow up sessions Akin asked her why she was trying to push him to another when she could have him for herself.

Bisi couldn’t believe it; as much as she liked Akin (well, what was there not to like?) there was this little thing of a six months age difference.  Being that they ran in the same circles; everyone had an idea of how old the other was. It was an age difference that didn’t matter in friendship but could matter in a relationship especially if things got serious.

Akin’s question got Bisi thinking. What she knew of him, she liked and would have been content with just being friends if this seed hadn’t been planted. Akin pushed and Bisi who would hitherto have sworn she could never date a younger man began to consider it. history and society was littered with couples where the woman was older.

It was just six months which happened to fall on different years, and Akin had a good head on his shoulders; better than his elders Bisi had had the misfortune of dating. She reminded him of her age, and he didn’t seem to mind (or so she thought). For looking back now, she couldn’t remember his response if any. Perhaps she had just taken his silence for consent.

She thought it through; what were the implications of being with him? No more themed birthday parties; as much as we Nigerians attempt to form enlightenment you can’t have your birthday with your stated year and your husband have his the next year. She thought about the fact that they ran in the same circles and those in their circle knew each other’s age; were they going to be fodder for back talk and gossip? This also meant a future walking on shells. She couldn’t be too opinionated lest it be seen as she showing her age and treating him like a younger brother. Like this literarily meant she was going to have to be super extra submissive!

This also meant a lifetime of always being on her toes beauty and fashion wise. She would never be able to just chill and let nature take its course; like she couldn’t afford to let herself age naturally and she asked herself if she could keep up. Marriages with a much older husband still had husbands trading their wives in for a younger model not to think of one in which the wife was actually older.

However to Bisi, all this paled to the fact that she really liked Akin. Like really liked him, she wasn’t just needy because she wasn’t in a relationship at the time, she really liked him. She had gotten to know him and loved what she knew. Best of all, he didn’t mind (or so she thought), afterall he was the one coming for her.

Against her better judgement, against her sister’s advice she decided to give it a shot. Well; in hindsight, she had about three good months. Three months in which she fell deeper in love with Akin. She glowed, she raved about him, and everyone could tell she was in love. The pessimistic, non-emotional, commitment phobic Bisi actually saw a future with Akin. She told her friends, family and loved ones about him, wanted to show him off to the world, factored him into her plans; was willing to go the long haul; this was it, this was really it.

….. And then the end began.

Akin had always had a demanding job; she had one too so she could understand. It wasn’t the easiest task to get him on the phone; she had to call many times or leave a message and wait for him to get back to her. His reply time became more and more distant, he never initiated any call or contact anymore. She went through a really trying time and he wasn’t there for her, she even got more empathy from the random colleague and neighbor than from her boyfriend. Still she made excuses for him; he was busy. Little did she know that was the beginning of the end.

They limped along with her in ignorant bliss until he suddenly became incommunicado. She one day realised it appeared she was in a relationship with herself. She was literarily the one carrying the relationship and she asked herself; na so I like man reach? It wasn’t pride which stopped her from contacting him, neither was it self-respect. It was concern that if three months into a relationship she had to be the one doing all the running, what kind of future did that hold for them?

To test this she decided she won’t reach out to him, let him do a bit of the running. And just like that her fears were confirmed. She could see his prints on social media, he was ok, communicating with others, just not her. Four days on she broke and called him.

‘Are you ok, is there a problem?’ she asked.

He replied that he would call her back and they would talk as he couldn’t talk where he was.

He called her back four days later, late at night on her birthday. He forgot and had to be reminded by seeing the felicitations on her Facebook that evening.

Like every normal female she had raved about her birthday for weeks preceding that day, but her boyfriend forgot her birthday and had to be reminded on Facebook.

He apologised, but by then she already knew they were not ok. It was probably over. All she wanted was to know why.

He came to her office the next day with a cake, she joined him in his car and barely glanced at it as she mumbled a tense ‘thankyou’. She was very nervous, in the next moments she was going to hear the life changing verdict or reason if you please. But a verdict to her because it was obvious his mind was made up.

‘I know you’re angry with me.” Akin began. “I’ve been thinking, thinking a lot about us. About taking this relationship to the next level and I can’t get past this age thing. The fact that you’re older than me. Is it something we can get past or is it something that will become an issue later in life. If you notice I’ve been withdrawing for a while, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. And well, what do you think about it?’ He asked.

While he spoke, Bisi felt like the bottom of her world had dropped away. This was her deepest fear confirmed. Regardless of the question, it was obvious he had thought it true and felt there was no way forward; hence his withdrawal. She couldn’t speak. She felt like screaming out in pain. She tried to get a grip on herself; she couldn’t afford to break down in tears, she had to go back to work.

‘I have a question.’ She tried to speak through the pain. ‘You knew our ages before we began. If this was going to be an issue why did you bother beginning?’ She asked when she could speak.

For the life of her she can’t remember if he replied or what he replied. She just knew she had to get away.

‘I have to go back to work.’ She mumbled, opening the car door she fled into her office premises.

He called her on her mobile. ‘You forgot your cake.’ He said.

‘Thrash it.’

“Sorry?’

‘Thrash it!’ She repeated. ‘Just like you’ve thrashed our relationship, thrash it.’ She ended the call. The tears were now falling freely as she made her way to the nearest restroom. She spent the next hour weeping her heart out. She wept for her lost love. She wept for a lost dream, she wept for she had dared to dream.

She wept, for age is nothing but a number was the biggest lie of all.

 

XOXO

Chinma Eke

Happy New Month, Welcome to June

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Hello people, welcome to June; the halfway mark of the year.

Yikes! it’s mid year already. Hope you had a good first five months? Are you like me, had the highs and the lows? Well, however it has been it’s past, or it will pass.

So, I’ve been a guilty procastinator; putting off beginning another series. lol.  I blame it on writer’s block, lack of time, everything else but on myself, lol. Anyways; I will begin one soon (don’t hold me to it!), hopefully; real soon.

So I wish us all a great June; the rains are here, the weather has cooled off, people’s disposition is (slightly) sweetened; and you know the best part of it all: God is still good, always, and forever will be.

I wish us all a grace filled month, with Grace speaking for us in every area of our lives. Have a blessed month.

Shout out to all the lovelies whose birthday is this month; have a great one!

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PS: Title of new series is: Journey to self!

Miriam’s Tale – The Concluding Episode

Miriam's Tale, Chinma Eke's blog

Dear Miriam,

If you’re reading this, it means I’m dead, or I’ve finally summed up the courage to leave this letter where you can find it.

I have wronged you terribly Miriam, and I apologise for two wrongs can never make a right.

It started as a stupid joke some years ago; one of the guys had joked about men not knowing whose children they were raising, and just as a joke I took fibres of Daniel and Ada’s hair and had them tested with mine. Daniel’s returned negative. I had it retested; same result. I realise now, it was a stupid thing to do, and my actions thereafter were even more stupid. Rather than discuss it with you I volunteered to go for the Abuja project for five months and when I returned, Ifeoma was pregnant for me already.

I remembered that period, Ken had been behaving funny at the time, and upped and went to Abuja for a ‘project’ for a five month stretch.

Her parents insisted I marry her traditionally, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I don’t know what happened with Daniel, I’m not sure you do either, but he is my son, and I love him with every fibre of my being.

I am sorry for betraying you, for two wrongs never make a right, but I ask one thing. If you’ve ever loved me; I ask that Daniel remain my son, regardless of who his biological father is.

Also, I ask that you find it in your heart to accept Ifeoma’s children, for they are mine biologically.

I love you,

Kenechukwu.

 

That letter felt like Ken speaking to me from the other side. Lol. I smiled through my tears.

Here I was, waxing lyrical, thinking of the first line in the refrain of Adele’s ‘hello’ in the midst of my pain and heartbreak. I sat weeping silently as I considered the gravity of what I had just read. I hadn’t even allowed myself to consider what it would mean if Ken knew or even doubted Daniel’s paternity. Now I had proof that not only had Ken known about Daniel, he had even kept my secret!

I was touched beyond anything I could ever imagine. These past year, I had stayed hating Ken, while for years he had covered my indiscretion! It didn’t make him having another family right, but his act of discretion really touched me.

I was sitting and weeping when my phone rang; Emeka. I didn’t want to speak to him at that moment, but I also knew not taking his call was going to get him to come over.

I braced myself and took the call. “Hi Emeka, hope you got home ok?” I asked in a forced cheerful voice.

“Yes I did. How are you?” he replied.

“I’m ok, just tidying up.”

“Ok, how’s that going?”

“It’s going well.” I replied.

“Any skeletons you need help with shaking out of the cupboard?” He joked.

I laughed and he laughed with me. “No, I’ve got this. Thanks for offering.”

“You’re welcome. So I’ll leave you to your packing.”

“Aite, thanks again for a pleasant evening.”

“It was my pleasure.”

I ended the call wondering when my heart and mood had lightened.

I made an instant decision. Ken had asked one thing of me; that I never let out that Daniel wasn’t his biological son, and that wish I would keep God willing.

I began arranging the room, throwing out the things that needed to go. This was a new dawn, I really was free.

I felt lighter than I had ever felt since Ken’s death, my grief was over. I had loved Ken deeply and felt betrayed that he had had another family. But with the knowledge that he had known our son wasn’t his biologically and had kept my secret, I freely forgave him.

Unfortunately he had died young, I would give anything to have him here with me. Unfortunately he was dead and I had mourned him. Now it was time to live.

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Miriam’s Tale E11

For Taemy, and everyone of you who has kept faith with me, enjoy!

Miriam's Tale, Chinma Eke's blog

Emeka and I sat to see the movie. I honestly don’t remember what we saw. Probably a romance flick or something. For a guy, he sure enjoyed the movie; once in a while he would say something, or refer to something from the movie and we’ll laugh about it or discuss it.

As the movie credits rolled, he turned to me.

“So are you going to tell me why you have built a wall between us?” he asked.

Huh! In a million ears, I never expected that!

“Uhm, I haven’t uhm….” I stuttered grasping for words. My thoughts deserted me, this was like having prepared for an exam, the examiner comes at you from another angle and you’re left scrambling. For the life of me I couldn’t think of a response to that question.

And then it came to me, honesty has always been the best policy, so I went all in.

“I lost my husband a year ago, when he died, everything went to pieces. I’m in the process of rebuilding my life, and there’s no room for a man in that process.” I said sincerely.

“Why not?” He challenged.

Again, I was flustered. I had expected him to take that response without questions asked. “I can’t merge both. I need to focus on my children, I have two kids.”

“I know you have two children, I’ve met them. So I know they are a part of you.”

“It’s not as easy as that, Emeka. What will people say?”

“What will people say about what?”

“I have to be a good example for my children, I can’t parade relationships in their presence, they need me to be a good example for them.” I got up and began to pace, I was suddenly so very uncomfortable and couldn’t sit still.

“I remember the first day I told you I wanted us to be more than friends, what was that, fifteen years ago?” He asked quietly. “I remember it like yesterday. I told you I was going to marry you.” He laughed. “I remember you eyed me thoroughly with all the sass in your teenage body and asked me what I knew about getting married. Do you remember my response?”

“Yes.” I whispered. He had replied my question with a ‘nothing, but you are the one I intend to find out all about marriage with.’

“The fiancé who died; she was a story I made up.” He went on. “I mourned my loss when you married another man. I came back to Nigeria soon as I could when I heard of your husbands passing. I’m not going to be another in a line of lovers. I’m here for good, here to make it work.” He came up behind me and turned me around gently to face him. I avoided his gaze fixing my teary eyes firmly on a point behind him.

“I have two children for my late husband.” I said as though it was in dispute.

“Do you?” he asked softly.

My eyes flew to his, and I saw that he knew. Oh my God! Had he known all along? I felt faint, and actually staggered. He held me from falling and led me to the nearest chair.

“You knew?” I asked in an accusatory tone.

“I’ve always suspected, you just confirmed it.”

“I, I don’t know for certain, I never suspected until that day I saw you both together. What made you suspect?”

“His date of birth. My mother told me when you had Daniel, by my calculations it could have been.”

“But all these years you never said a thing.”

“I love you Miriam and will never do a thing to hurt you.”

And I burst into tears.

My heart was broken in two. This wasn’t how I envisioned my life to be. Who would believe my story. What if it were true, what if Daniel were Emeka’s son? Do I tell Daniel; do I tell Ken’s family ‘oh I’m sorry, I made a mistake, but this is the boy’s biological father’; where do I go from here?

Ken had loved our children, would this be fair to his memory, to unearth information that will tarnish his memory.

I asked Emeka to go.

“I can’t leave you like this.” He protested.

“I’ll be fine, please go.” I insisted.

“Are you sure?”

“Very.”

He left reluctantly, promising to call me in an hour to check up on me. He said if I didn’t pick his call, he was coming right back.

I promised to pick his call. I just needed him gone. I had a burning urge to open that envelope all of a sudden.

Soon as he left, I went back to the envelope.  There were two folded pieces of paper, I opened the first one, it was a letter dated three years ago and addressed to me.

Dear Miriam,

If you’re reading this, it means I’m dead, or I’ve finally summed up the courage to leave this letter where you can find it.

I have wronged you terribly Miriam, and I apologise for two wrongs can never make a right.

It started as a stupid joke some years ago; one of the guys had joked about men not knowing whose children they were raising, and just as a joke I took fibres of Daniel and Ada’s hair and had them tested with mine. Daniel’s returned negative. I had it retested; same result. I realise now, it was a stupid thing to do, and my actions thereafter were even more stupid. Rather than discuss it with you I volunteered to go for the Abuja project for five months and when I returned, Ifeoma was pregnant for me already.

I remembered that period, Ken had been behaving funny at the time, and upped and went to Abuja for a ‘project’ for a five month stretch.

Her parents insisted I marry her traditionally, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I don’t know what happened with Daniel, I’m not sure you do either, but he is my son, and I love him with every fibre of my being.

I am sorry for betraying you, for two wrongs never make a right, but I ask one thing. If you’ve ever loved me; I ask that Daniel remain my son, regardless of who his biological father is.

Also, I ask that you find it in your heart to accept Ifeoma’s children, for they are mine biologically.

I love you,

Kenechukwu.

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Miriam’s tale E10

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Miriam's Tale, Chinma Eke's blog

The shoe box held a lot of papers, something told me I wouldn’t like the contents of the box, but I had to go through it, so, with a resigned sigh I settled in on the floor to go through the papers.

Bank details and data; I had all that already, work documents, his last promotion letter; my jaw dropped at that one. Huh? Ken at his death was earning over 10million Naira per annum? What the …? And I remembered pleading with him for just 500 thousand Naira in the months before he died to set-up a small business, and he had rejected that on the grounds of ‘no money’. Hmmm! Anyways, factor in the fact that he had been running two parallel families, I guess that explains the ‘no money’.

Riffling through, I found more papers, Ken kept both the useful and inconsequential, or so it seemed to me. I found even a receipt for dinner at a restaurant; I would love to hear the gist behind that receipt being kept, it must have held some sentimental value for him to have kept it. I found an envelope at the bottom of the box, it was in an unaddressed envelope, and it wasn’t sealed, so no one can claim I trespassed. Neither did it have any conditions attached to its being opened, so I went right on to open the envelope.

It contained what looked to be Ken’s will, and it was recent; dated a year from his death.

The doorbell rang just as I was about to open it. Insistent ringing typical of Susan. Talk of wrong timing.

She knew I was home, and they was no way I could ignore her. The will wasn’t running away, right? I stuffed it back into the envelope and went to get the door.

“Susan!” I said by way of greeting on opening the door.

“Hello sister dearest, how you doing?´ She tried to do an imitation of Wendy Williams.

This made me smile despite my irritation with her dropping in unannounced. “I’m good, come on in.” I stood aside for her to come in.

“Duh, was there a chance you wouldn’t let me in.” She asked wryly.

“Yes, I wanted to ignore the bell, especially knowing it was you.”

“But I brought chicken!” She brandished a bag from a popular chicken restaurant. She knows I love their chicken. She came with a bribe, lol. What was Susan up to?

I sank into a chair and watched in amusement as Susan went from room to room opening doors and peeping in. she returned shortly.

“Miriam na wa for you o! So you shipped the kids off to our place so you can be all alone by yourself.”

“That’s tautology Susan, you need to mind your grammar.” I teased.

“Forget the grammar! You mean you’re all alone in this house, no guest? Haba sis, you can be boring.”

She collapsed into the chair beside me, opened the chicken pack took a piece and offered the pack to me.

I picked a piece of chicken and bit into it remaining silent. It infuriated her when I did that, patience wasn’t one of Susan’s strong points, but it was mine. Lol.

“Are you certain there’s no man in this apartment?” I teased her.

“Are you saying there’s a man in this apartment?” She countered.

I laughed out loud. “I was sorting out Ken’s stuff, come help me.” I decided to put her out of her misery. I got up and she followed me into the room.

“I’ve sorted out his clothes, I was sorting out his shoes when I found this box of papers.” She was my sister, and I knew I could trust her.

‘What’s on the papers? Any more skeletons creeping out of the closet?” She asked as she settled in opposite me.

“Not really, this one I haven’t read, but I have a suspicion it contains something explosive.” I waved the envelope in the air.

“Open it already!!!!” Susan urged excitedly.

And just as I was about to open it, the doorbell rang again.

Ahn ahn! “Who was that again?”

“Uhm, my guess is that’s Emeka.” Susan said uncomfortably.

“Emeka?”

“Yeah, well, I ran into him this morning, and he said he was going to visit you. Uhm, that was why I searched the house when I came in.” She looked uncomfortable.

This was distraction I didn’t need. Was Susan encouraging Emeka?

A part of me wanted to ignore the door, I didn’t want Emeka around me or my kids. While I wasn’t sure of Daniel’s paternity, I didn’t want to risk him coming around lest anybody see the similar feautures and suspect…… If Daniel was Emeka’s son, who would believe me when I tell them I didn’t know and only began to suspect recently?

Everyone would feel betrayed. Where do I begin? Do I tell Daniel the man he called father isn’t his biological father? Do I tell Ken’s parents Daniel isn’t their grandson?

How do I tell Emeka I gave his son to another man to father.

Who would believe I didn’t know or suspect? If I were on the other side would I believe me?

This whole thing was sordid business and had the ability to destroy lives. I couldn’t risk that happening.

“Aren’t you going to let him in?” Susan asked startling me out of my thoughts.

“I, I don’t want to.” I replied. “Susan, I don’t want to encourage him, I’m done with men.” I said wearily.

“Miriam you are still young, you cannot end your life because of one bad experience. Yes Ken betrayed you, but you have to move on. Not all men are the same.”

“What if I also betrayed Ken?” I whispered.

“What do you mean?” She asked sharply.

“It’s nothing. Go and get the door. I’ll finish up here later.” I replied composing myself.

“Miriam, you were about to say something….”

“It was nothing. Get the door.”

“Miriam…….”

“Go get the door Susan, mind your manners, and don’t keep a guest waiting at the door.” I put the unopened envelope in my bedside drawer to be read later at night, and tried to tidy-up the room. Susan hesitated for a bit before she went to get the door.

*****

I joined them in the living room a while later, Susan had offered him refreshments already.

“Hi Emeka, how are you doing?” I greeted him.

“I’m very well, and you?” He replied rising to his feet.

”Please have a seat, no need for formality in my house.” I said.

“Not formality, courtesy. When a lady walks into the room, it’s proper to rise in greeting.”

“Perfect gentleman.” Susan whispered aloud.”

I rolled my eyes inwardly. Susan had started again.

“I ran into Susan this morning on my way from my morning jog and I promised her I’ll come see you today.” He said as he returned to his seat.

I quirked my eyebrows at Susan. ‘Promised’ ? That wasn’t quite the way she told it.

“How nice of you.” I said instead.

“It’s not niceness, I enjoyed catching up with you at your parents. You know I’m still in the process of renewing friendships, been away for a while.”

“I can imagine.” I said dryly.

“It’s no hardship, and I love your kids. I don’t know how you manage to be away from them.” He smiled brightly.

Susan beamed when he said he loved my kids, and in my mind I said ‘whatever’. My kids were wonderful, who wouldn’t love them?

Yeah, I know, Overdose of mothers pride!

“So, what’s up, thought you said you were in town for a few weeks or so?”

“I decided I’m staying. I’m back for good.”

“Wow! Such good news” Susan said excitedly.

God help me get Susan out of my house right now!

“Good for you. I’m sure your parents are thrilled.”

“Yes they are. Let’s not talk about me, let’s talk about you. How are you spending your alone time, with the kids at your parents? Let’s hang out. You can show me all the interesting places to be.”

“I don’t know the interesting places to be.” I replied wryly.

“That’s not true. Remember that new mall you were just telling me about last week, the one with the cinema, that you hadn’t visited. You guys should go there.” Susan urged excitedly.

“I’m tired, been on my feet all day, I don’t want to go out.” I replied forcing a yawn.

“We could just go see a movie, minimal movement, you get to sit still for the duration of the movie.” Emeka urged.

“I don’t want to go out.” I insisted. “This is my alone time, I need to spend it resting, not battling traffic.”

“Its fine, we could work with that. Order in food, see a movie, gist, whatever you want. Or I could help you with the house chores. I have a spare set of hands, and I’m willing to work.”

‘Oh, she’s done already. You guys should order in pizza; Miriam likes pizza. And I have a movie on my flash I know she’ll love.” Susan replied.

I would gladly have stuffed her in a toilet at that moment. Lol.

“Okay, that’s settled then.” Emeka agreed.

“So, I’ll just start this up.” Susan said rummaging in her hand bag and emerging with a flash drive.

She connected it to the TV and selected the movie she wanted to play.

“I’ll order the pizza for you guys while I go see a client.” Susan said picking up her hand bag.

Sneaky little girl! She got him to come visit now she was leaving me alone with him.

“Thanks Susan.” Emeka said as Susan practically ran out of the door.

“You’re welcome darling. Pizza should be here in thirty minutes.” She replied from the door.

“Thanks for nothing.” I said under my breath.

“Pardon?” Emeka asked.

“Oh nothing.” I replied airily. “I hope you like chickflicks, because this is one.” I said to him focusing my attention on the movie on the screen.

“Oh, I’m versatile.” He replied with a smile.

I replied with a smile of my own. My phone beeped. Message from Susan.

Pizza ordered. Enjoy the afternoon.’

I quickly typed; ‘thanks for nothing

‘Lol’ She replied. ‘We’ll pick up that discussion on the Ken betrayal later, meanwhile, ENJOY your afternoon.’

 

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