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. 

a chance at love, chinma eke's blog

 

‘…. 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

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Second Chances- A Sequel To Motive

Hey y’all!!  How have you been?  It’s been several whiles, but the story is finally here! Yayyy!

Like I said, it’s a continuation of a past series; Motive and you can read up on it from the archives, while I also give a quick synopsis.

Deola Lasisi was dating Senator Tom Briggs; there were plans for them to get married when the senator goes missing. No one knows if he’s been kidnapped and held for ransom, or if he’s alive. Deola was the first suspect; Senator Briggs’ wife wanted her arrested. Deola is vilified in the press, she lost her pregnancy, and when the senator was finally rescued alive she decided to walk away. Her career as a designer was in crisis, she was the poster girl for home wrecking, but all through her family and friends stood by her, most especially; her PR rep Kunle Phillips.

He professed his love for her, but based on her recent experience, she was wary of another relationship, most especially, on how society and Kunle’s family will view the relationship.

Second Chances is Kunle and Deola’s story. It’s a story of love, forgiveness, and second chances for all.

Enjoy, share, and comment.  XX

second-chances- chinma eke's blog

Deola straightened up from her sketches, stretching her back to ease the ache. She glanced at the wall clock; past four? Which meant she had been sketching for over three hours! Whew!!! She looked around her office; design sketches all over the desk, discarded balled up papers littered the floor all around her. A once cold half-filled bottle of water lay on the floor beside her chair. She picked up the bottle and emptied its contents. That wasn’t so bad, although she would have preferred something cold.

Her stomach rumbled. She was hungry, breakfast was light years away, and she didn’t have lunch either. She sank into her chair and thought on what to eat. She wasn’t on a starvation drive, she just ate when she needed to, which was when the hunger pangs were overwhelming. She had a collection to turn out in less than a week, and she wasn’t satisfied with any of her designs.

She hadn’t concluded on what sketches she wanted to work with, and decided the designs was just the beginning. She would have to select fabric, models, etc. all in a few days. This was what was procrastination did to a person, she thought to herself ruefully. She had put off preparations till the last minute, and when she had begun; it was as though her creative juices dried up. She exhaled loudly, almost blowing some of the sketches away, and just on cue, her phone rang. That must be Chima; her bff, and soon to be her sister in-law, they had plans to meet up this evening to conclude on Chima’s wedding dress designs. Chima was marrying Deola’s brother Dayo in five weeks, and she couldn’t decide on what style of wedding dress she wanted. She couldn’t decide between a princess gown and a mermaid gown, and Deola had this sneaky suspicion Chima might be the first bride to change clothes during the church service.

Chima was already decided on her reception dress, but couldn’t decide for the church wedding. Deola smiled fondly as she followed the sound of the ringing phone to find it. On finding it, she was reminded that she hadn’t set that ringtone for Chima alone, Kunle also shared the same ringtone. Kunle was a business acquaintance turn friend. They met back when she had opened her business and contracted his PR firm as her publicist.

They became fast friends beyond business, and he had been a rock when she had been engulfed in the kidnapping-mistress scandal about a year ago. Deola had been surprised to find that Kunle along with two of his friends owned the PR firm. Kunle wasn’t big on titles, or ceremony. His friend had the responsibility of the management and financial part of the business, while Kunle oversaw business development and off course their raison d’etre; Client PR.

Kunle and his partner were good at their business, and the PR firm, in less than five years of its existence was one of the leading PR firms in the country.

“Hey Kunle” She answered the phone happily. “How are you?” She asked, sounding like she said; how you?

“I’m good.” He replied in his rich velvety baritone voice. “And you, how has your day been?”

She sighed. “So so. Don’t know if I’ve achieved anything, I have some sketches but don’t know if I’ll like them tomorrow. You know me.” She laughed, perching on her desk.

“You’re overthinking it. Why don’t you break for the day, come out with me, let’s go somewhere nice.”

“Ok, I’m liking what you’re saying. Where are we going?”

“Somewhere nice, somewhere dressy.”

“I’m in shorts!” she protested, glancing at her shorts and fingering her cotton top.

He laughed richly. “How did I know?” he asked rhetorically. ‘For a cloth designer, you have no personal sense of style.”

“Oh! I do, and you know I do. I just choose not to wear haute couture every day. I’m working.” She reminded him good naturedly.

“I know, I know. Well, I’m sure you can find something nice to wear. I should be with you in thirty minutes and we are going somewhere classy.”

“Ok. I will. Got to go, need to go search for something to wear. Later!”

She ended the call and called to her shop manager; Helen to help her select something to wear, while she tidied her office. Kunle was very punctual, even traffic obeyed his sense of timing. If he said he was picking her up in thirty minutes, he would be there in thirty minutes.

“Yikes! She remembered Chimamani was supposed to come around that evening. She placed a call to her immediately, to find out where she was and if it was possible to cancel. Chima was happy to cancel as she was still some distance away and would appreciate going home to rest. Or, surprising Dayo and taking him out for dinner.

Helen brought a dress into Deola’s office, and seeing it, Deola refused, shaking her head in negation. Helen disagreed, mouthing a yes. The dress was a very deep blue lace bodycon dress; the dress was a show stopper, sure to flatter the wearer. Deola and China referred to the dress as ‘the dream dress’ as Deola got the inspiration for the design in a dream. She had refused to sell it, content to just display it, Chima and Helen had been trying to get her to wear it, but Deola had refused. She ended the call, and turned to Helen and in a voice that invited no argument asked Helen to bring her something else, something understated, as had been her style in the recent past.

**********

Kunle took her to the newest restaurant in town which had just opened the day before. It was an ocean-front restaurant, and Kunle’s firm handled publicity for the event. She had read nothing but good reviews for the restaurant.

There were ushered into a private dining room with a view of the lagoon. Everything from the décor to the ambience spoke of elegance, and Deola was immediately at ease. Her fear of being seen in public and being fodder for the gossip blogs forgotten.

Kunle asked her the details of her day and she launched into an excited tale while they ate. When she got to the part about Chima happily forgoing the dress fitting for a chance to surprise Dayo with a dinner date, she paused and looked up to find Kunle watching her wistfully.

“What?” She asked suddenly self-conscious.

“You are beautiful.” He murmured.

She blushed beneath her dark skin and took a nervous sip of water.

She cleared her throat, and made to continue, but he stopped her by speaking first.

“I want you to be this passionate when you talk about me. I want to be more than just a business associate, I want more.”

“You are already more than a business associate, we are friends.” She replied, increasingly getting uncomfortable at the line of discussion.

“Yes, but I want to be more than friends. I love you Deola, and I want to be with you, I want us to get married, it’s been months now since you asked for time and everyday it’s been torture. I……”

“Are you okay?” Deola snapped at Kunle, suddenly angry, why was Kunle putting her on the spot like this?  “Like, really Kunle can’t you see what a relationship with me would do to you?”

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