‘My Name is Love and I’m not Stupid’ (FAMILY) VI

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Mr Solomon
How do you deal with life when you know your only child is dying and there is nothing you can do about it? This has been the question on my mind ever since she broke the news of her Cancer. I am a strong believer in God and I believe in miracles too, that’s why I pray every day to Him for one for my baby.
If God could transfer the cancer to me I wouldn’t mind.
At times, looking at her, I wonder what manner of pain she goes through. She is very good at masking her emotions I know but I can always see through her pain and discomfort. She thinks she is smart; well, she actually is. That’s my baby. As stubborn and strong willed as her mum. They are my two most favourite people in the world. I watch my wife age over since the news. She has even lost weight.
Hmmm… I don’t know what God is trying to tell us as a family but I don’t think we are ready for it yet.
My sister had told me yesterday at her place, “Don’t you think you are lucky to see her like this before she passes away than she would have died suddenly, leaving you unprepared for her demise?” The question got me all walked-up and angry at her because what luck is there to see your very active child suffer in pain but then again, I saw her point. I think we would have been more devastated if she died suddenly. This brief period is just a time to prepare us for the inevitable when it happens. We can shower her with all the love we can think of. The truth however, is that our lives had changed right from when we received the news about her condition and it will change even more if God does not make a miracle happen.
So we had agreed to at least break the news to Justice Onifade or Mrs Onifade as she prefers being called by us, who would have been our in-law if this ugly thing called ‘cancer’ had not come to surprise us all.
She is a lovely and wise woman. At least she will know how best to tell her son the news. I feel sorry for him. I rang the bell and waited as I heard footsteps approach the door.
“Oh! Welcome sir. It’s been a long time.” Miss Grace the house keeper said as she ushered me inside the stylishly designed, magnificent sitting room. The room stuns me each time I come here. The colour and the lighting even in daylight are awesome and pleasing to the eye. The interior design is in a class of its own. It screams of very good and eclectic taste. Classy doesn’t begin to define it. You can imagine how pleasantly shocked I was when I learnt that Mrs Onified designed this place herself. She is really gifted.
“Yes Miss Grace! How are you?”
“I’m fine thank you sir.” “Please make yourself comfortable while I inform His Lordship that you are here.” It felt strange to hear her referred to as ‘His Lordship’ at home because she had told us that she preferred Mrs Onifade.
I took a seat as I waited for my never to be in-law.
I heard the piercing scream from up above me, it was one of fear. Probably coming from one of the rooms upstairs. I also heard shuffling of foots running towards the voice.
I leaped up, running up the winding stairs to see what was wrong. I saw her run into the room which I suppose the voice came from, so I followed suit.
Tito is lying on the bed as if asleep while a young man in a black corporate Jacket kneeling on the bed clutched his head shouting his name as if he was insane. Mrs Onifade rushes to his side asking the young man, “what is wrong with him?” whilst calling out his name with so much dread in her voice.
“What is wrong with him?” I asked trying to be the only sane one in the room seeing Mrs Onifade had gone almost frenetic what with the sound of her voice and the look on her face.
The young man who is now crying points to the white paper on the ground as he tries to say something legible as his tears stifles him. Just as I picked up the paper, I heard them gasp. “Tito!”
I turned to look at him as he asked “What is wrong?” He looked stray-eyed and a little disorientated. I saw the shock and relief on everyone’s face.
“Are you mad? Why would you do that to your family?” the young,  man screamed at him still crying but this time I believe they were tears of joy and obviously relieve as I could hear it in his voice.
“What did he do?” Mrs Onifade asked in an almost cracked and tired voice as she cuddled his head lovingly with a sigh. Her eyes red and puffy from crying.
It was then I took a look at the paper in my hand and it was as if I was hit by with a sledge hammer as I felt round for a chair to help maintain my balance. This did not help Mrs Onifade who saw my reaction and asked again, this time using the authoritative official tone Judges are known to use when soliciting an answer from people in court.
“What does that say?”
“Please ma, let’s talk outside” I suggested as I stood up rather slowly.
“What is wrong?” she asked exasperated as she threw suspicious darting looks between the young man, her son and I.
She stood and led the way to the living room as I walked behind her.
“I believe you have something to tell me Mr Solomon.” She said as she suddenly spurned round looking me in the eye as though challenging me to say no.
“That paper says Tito tried to commit suicide because my daughter broke up with him today. But beyond that, he doesn’t know why she did break up with him which is why I came to see you.” I saw the glint of shock cast over her as her face clouded over and cleared immediately as she stood up.
“Excuse me. I’ll be right back.” She said as she walked out briskly.
I heard the conversation from where I sat because her voice was more or less thundering.
“Tito! How could you? That was bloody selfish of you. Did you ever pause to think what your stupidity would have caused us as a family? By the way; how come you are still alive since according to this note…” she waves the note in the air. “You took an overdose of the sleeping pill which is supposed to help you die as a coward.”
Silence.
“Will you open your mouth and talk to me young man”.
“I thought about you and Ayobami and I couldn’t do it”. I think that was what he said since he wasn’t really audible from where I was sitting.
“So you didn’t swallow the pills after all, right?” I heard a tone of relief in her voice.
“Yes mom”.
Silence.
“I thought I taught you enough about life but obviously I haven’t”.
Pause
“No! I have taught you more than enough, you just refused to learn and act as the wise, courageous young man I have trained you to be”.
I couldn’t take it anymore; I had to stop her from lashing out at the young man and destroying what bit of self-esteem he had left.
“Mrs Onifade, please, let it be for now. It is not his fault. Just calm down.” I said as I strode into the room. Without turning to me she asked, “So are you trying to tell me to blame your daughter?  I won’t do that. She has her reasons. It is up to him to work things out. There is no perfect relationship. There will be storms but couples have to wither through either collectively or individually as the case may be. So there is no excuse for this foolishness”. Her eyes still trained on Tito who sat head bowed as a criminal who had just been convicted of a heinous crime. She hisses, shakes her head, turns and walks out.
“Hey son, don’t you worry. You will be fine”. I said not believing those words.
I met her in the living room still fuming.
“Please calm down”. I said to her.
“Stop telling me to calm down. I would have lost my only son today!”
“My daughter has cancer. Cancer of the heart.” She gasped in shock. Blood drained from her face as her mouth hung open.
“How? Oh! My God. Why?” I knew that was an irrational question and she was trying to process what she just heard so I let it pass before adding, “She has less than three months to live”.
She stood up as if to walk out, a taut mask of pain on her face but her footsteps faltered as she fell to the ground.
I rushed towards her petrified as I screamed her name shaking her now limp body.

DAVID

I pick up my phone to call Tosin as my driver eases the car into the traffic as we leave the hospital. Today has been quite a day indeed.
“Hello Love! Where are you?” I asked in a tired voice. I was hungry and worn out for the day.
“Hey love!” “I just got home. What’s Up! You sound really stressed out”.
“You got it right love. I’m really stressed out but believe me, it’s a short story. I can’t start telling you all about it on phone”.
“Argh…you’ve started with this your ‘short story ‘ talk.” she said testily.
I laughed. I think it is the first time I am laughing today.
“David! If I catch you ehn…!” she threatened mockingly.
“Okay.  I will tell you but you have to prepare me that egusi soup and pounded yam you promised me last week at my mum’s place.”
“David! Repeat after me, ‘I am not serious’. Do you know what time it is? It’s past 7 pm already. But well, I may still surprise you because my sister prepared egusi soup and brought me some yesterday. ”
“I knew it! The Lord is directing my footsteps. Whew!”  She laughed.
“Footsteps ni, footsteps ko. Shebi it is because of egusi soup that you are saying that He is directing your footsteps. For your information, there is no yam flour but I can prepare you amala if you don’t mind.” “Oh! Okay! It’s better than nothing jare. You think that will stop me from devouring that egusi soup. I don’t mind licking the soup without the amala sef.” She laughs.
“I believe that stress is really affecting you. You had better hurry and get here before I change my mind about giving you my egusi.”
“Babe, if you change your mind, then I guess I’ll just change my mind about you and check out that your knocked-knee office Secretary! Ermm…What’s that her name again? I said teasingly.
“David Oh!” She exclaimed laughing hard.
“Hey, you know I love you right?” I said.
“I know. That’s why I’m not serving you that egusi soup again but get here fast. I miss you.” she said as she hung up before I had the chance to chip in a reply.
God! I love this woman. For some reason I don’t know why I still have a huge grin on my face. I wonder if she will stop having this effect on me. She is always facetious. I don’t even remember I had a terrible day.
I told my driver to make a detour to her place.

BOLATITO

We are driving home and I am seething at mum for being too headstrong by insisting to take her leave from the hospital when she came through after the doctors and resuscitated her. I am also mad at Dr Yetunde who acquiesced. How am I supposed to know that she will be okay at home? At least she should be kept in the hospital and be observed for at least a day to make sure that she is really okay. I mean, she gave me a scare there when I saw her lying lifeless on the ground today.
So the doctor says she has high blood pressure.
Now I feel bad. This is all my fault, if only had not written that stupid note; nobody would have had inkling as to my drama. She holds my hand intertwined in hers and has remained quiet ever since we left the hospital.
I’m wondering what is going on through her mind right now. I wouldn’t mind paying a penny for her thoughts right now. She looks pale, almost fragile. She looks very different now. I almost lost her. God!
Thank God for Mr Solomon who was with her. David has once again proved to be a friend in deed, coming through for me and running round with me and being part of the family drama. God bless him. Ayobami was frenetic when I called to inform her. She couldn’t make it to the hospital so she kept calling at thirty minutes interval for updates. She is now on her way home to receive us. I wonder what I would have done without her.
She has been a great influence on me just like mum.

Mr Solomon  

The whole events of today won’t stop playing in my head because I can’t stop thinking about it. Everything happened so fast. It felt surreal. It more or less ranked among one of those things that happen that you will rather want to believe is a dream. Tito and his friend had run out to see why I had screamed. I thank God Tito was composed enough to rap his head round the whole thing and stayed sane enough to call the family doctor. Same could not be said about the young man who was his friend as he cried and whimpered like a baby all through the journey to the hospital. As for me I was dazed and plagued by guilt as I blamed myself for breaking the news of my daughter’s cancer to her . I knew she was going to be shocked just like we were when we first heard about it but I had not anticipated this. “What have I done?” I took my leave when the doctor said she had been resuscitated and stable. She was diagnosed of high blood pressure.
I should have just stayed back home. This was all a bad idea.
My phone buzzed. It’s my wife. Apparently she has called me more than ten times. I missed some. Actually, I missed all. I know how frantic with worry she must have been by now. In the rush to get Mrs Onifade to the hospital and all, I had literally zoned out, focusing on the situation at hand.
“Hello babe!” “Before you say anything, I am fine and very sorry for not picking your calls.” I rushed over my words anticipating the panic-questions that may follow.
“Thank God!” “I was so worried-sick. I even had to call Mrs Onifade to check in with you but her phone was switched off.” “What happened?” I heard the worry and relief in her voice all at once.
“Babe I’m driving in now. We’ll talk.” I replied as I hung up. She was already outside waiting for me. “Hey babe!” I said as I gave her a tired smile.
“Hey!” she said as she kissed and hugged me tight. I was lost in that moment. This is why I always look forward to coming back home no matter how bad my day has been because God had given me a woman who is crazy in love with me who will give me a kiss and a warm hug and tell me everything is alright. Sometimes when I am going through a very terrible day, I close my eyes and begin to imagine the fecundity of her love for me and everything dissipates to nothingness because I know I have her. Love is a beautiful thing.
We walked hand in hand inside the house.
“What happened?” she asked.
“Tito attempted suicide and Mrs Onifade collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. It…”
“Oh! My God!” she gasped as she covered her mouth with her hands and her eyes wide in alarm.
The sound of a shattered glass startled us as we looked from across the room to see our daughter look at us glazed and crying hysterically as she kept saying, “it is all my fault.”

Dr Morgan Ebong MD

As he reversed the black Ford Edge SUV out of the car park reserved for him and heading for his aunt’s place at the highbrow area of Ikoyi, he thought about the young man who he had just operated upon and how he had almost lost him when he suddenly went into shock. He wasn’t even sure if he was going to make it to the next day. His experience in the medical profession as a surgeon had taught him one thing; life is very delicate. So sometimes, people’s actions can be very intrinsic to the totality of how a person’s life is summed up.
He increased the volume of his car stereo as he slotted in the ‘Bed of Stones’ album by Asa.
The traffic was building up. He prayed silently that he would get past it before he got stuck. But that was not to be. He was stuck in traffic for forty – five minutes as the cars in front of him moved at a snail pace.
Frustration crept in and he was tired as he had a very busy day. The ‘Moving On’ song by Asa who happens to be his favourite Nigerian soul music artiste failed to fill the void as usual in circumstances like this.
His aunt had better not be annoyed about his lateness. He thought.  She had left for home after rushing in to attend to her friend, Justice Onifade.
She wasn’t feeling too well herself and had decided to take the day off but when she got the call about her friend, she had suddenly sacrificed her rest. It’s pretty amazing what we can give up and to what extent we can go all out for our friends. She once told him, “When God brings certain people your way, He makes them your family and not just mere friends.” His taut facial muscles relaxed as he thought about her.
She had taken him in and became his guardian when he lost his parents in a car accident while he was still a child. She had played the role of mother and father all at once. He became her only child since she had none of her own and has been a divorcee twice.
Marriage just did not work for her.
She had done well for herself though, she took over from her dad as the Chief Medical Director of ‘The Blue Chest specialist Hospital’ where he is now helping out as a Surgeon after taking a years’ break from working as a volunteer senior medical personnel for the United Nations in Afghanistan to have a feel of what it is like to practice in Nigeria.
The traffic light ahead turns green as the cars ease forward faster than ever. “Thank God! At least we are moving” He thinks to himself. He steps on the accelerator hoping to beat the red light he is sure is going to come up very soon. He is startled when he sees the mono-chrome black BMW 6 series Grand Coupé drive across him. He hits the break but it was no use as the impact of the two cars sent him to murky darkness. The BMW lay up-turned after somersaulting four times. The Peace Corps and other motorist ran off to help the occupants of both cars as people screamed and cried as blood trickled from both cars.
It was total pandemonium.

Design Credit : Ayodexterity.com

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Jesus!

Hello guys, sorry for my inability to post the continuation of the series ‘My Name is Love and I’m not Stupid'(FAMILY). I promise to do that next week. Here’s a featured piece by Nwokolu Obarianenu.
Take a Read!

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Do you know why we keep following Jesus? It is because He knows where He is going. He knows how to get there.
He is the only way there, and we like where He is going.
Even more than that, His love draws us to Him.
We love Jesus so much, we’ll do anything He asks.
Why do we love Him? It is not because He threatens us with a big hammer, saying, “if you sin, I will kill you”. He doesn’t say that. He says,  if you sin, I am faithful and just to forgive you”. (see 1 John 1:9)
Isn’t it wonderful to follow someone like that? Every time you slip, He picks you and brushes you off. He doesn’t talk about your past at all.
We submit to Him because we love and He loves us.

About the Nwokolu Obarianenu
He is a practicing Lawyer. Loves reading and writing and most of all is very passionate about God!
He tweets @betterdays2kom

The Tale of a Different Kind of Feminist

Hello Fellas! So today happens to be my birthday. No! Our birthday. (My friend Ayobami and I).
Here is a featured post to Mark the special Day!
Just so you know; she’s one of the many friends I have who prefer to read but not write because they think they suck at it so it took a lot of cajoling on my part to get her to write this piece.
It’s Awesome! Take a Read!

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So, I won’t call myself a ‘Fighting Feminist’, but perhaps today I will be one.  You guys might wonder why I’m saying this and what point I’m driving at. But just listen…
I got to extensively hear and understand this feminist word starting from an incident that happened in my former relationship. There was a slight disagreement that fateful day. My ex was so pissed at me and He hissed and called me ‘feminist!”. That was definitely not with so much love in His heart at that point. It sounded every bit like a spiteful, derogatory word. Well, I was pissed too and I scoffed; what does that even mean?!
It was forgotten for a while and I heard the word Feminist again.
It got me thinking. Who is a Feminist?!
You know, most people think it’s just a group of certain insecure females who feel like they are ‘man enough’ to compete with men. They think Feminists are those whose desire for power and ambition outweigh their thinking, whose sense of morals has been seemingly shaped into a wrong pattern… And then, men too with their ‘over inflated egos’ will fight with such people and even mock them. Well, I guess different people have their different opinions but hopefully, this will open and enlighten us. Well, back to my story…lol, like there is any sef. (Just walk with me).
Now, why did my Ex (*sighs* For the records, We broke up later on…Another story for another day) call me a Feminist? Did I disrespect Him? Was I anything less than a lady should be? Did I behave like the man in a relationship? Was I being ambitious and competitive? There must have been a reason. Apparently, as I later found out, He called me a Feminist because I refused to be in a relationship that continually pushed me down. I refused to be in a relationship where my voice was not heard, where I had no say whatsoever on pressing matters. I refused to be abused in a relationship; I refused to be in a relationship where my opinion, feeling, emotion and my very essence of womanhood was not respected. And that was the eventual cause of the breakup. Now; dear men, I’m not trying to say you all are the same or that we women are trying to compete with you for same rights and those over dramatic shows.  Well, that’s not what I totally have in mind as I pen my thoughts.
Even the society has not even helped us. You see, I love to get people’s opinion on issues and I asked my male friends what they thought about this feminist issue and of course I got various reactions ranging from, “Of course I love girl power” to “A woman’s place is in the kitchen and cutting my toe nails” to ‘whatever!’. I chat with some ladies and all they tell me is that after school, they just want to marry and become a housewife. Nothing wrong in that oh, But I just wonder,’ is that all there is to life?’ ‘As in, don’t you want to work, fulfill God’s plan for your life, become somebody? Your unique self? Outside your husband’s shadow?’. Due to this plain way of thinking, I see people abused in relationships but lacking the strength and courage to leave such a place. They say, I’m after all just a woman, the weaker vessel, Men are the head and blah, blah.. So, is that why they cheat on you, is that why they use you and leave you in the cold, is that why you should settle for less? These people now raise children with such mentality and the vicious cycle of ‘weaker vessels’ palaver continues. Now, I’m not judging or criticizing, we can’t be the same anyways.
However, I’m so sure God didn’t make us to just be a housewife or to just be a woman so we can give birth. In fact, I believe that the domestic function of the woman doesn’t exhaust her powers…To make one half of the human race consume its energies in the functions of housekeeper, wife, mother is a monstrous waste of the most precious material God has ever made. We were not made any less than a man. God created woman from the ribs of man. Not from the head to be above him, nor from the feet to be under him. God took us from the ribs to stand beside men. We too are special because we are extensions of him. Around this bone we were shaped, we were created; we were modelled perfectly and beautifully When I say this most times, people automatically hiss and say “You don’t want to get married”, and start with different stories. Do not get me wrong, I want to get married (in a Golden castle or in the moon, lol, some fairy tale dreams sha), I want to be loved by a man (Hmmn, Husband, where art thou?), I want to be a wife, I want to be a mother, I want to raise my Children. But I also want to be the woman God has made me to be. And I believe every woman should want that. After all that’s what purpose entails. This is not me starting up a silly fight between genders or just me being lazy and encouraging women to follow suit. This is not me saying women shouldn’t perform their house chores or fulfil their wifely or motherly duties. This is so not me asking women to disrespect men (or any other person) and be over ambitious for power. Far be it from that. Do not view it this way as that will be a distorted way of thinking. This is me telling the women to think outside the box, to be something, to fulfil purpose while still balancing it as a female. And to the dear men out there, please help us, encourage us to be something outside just being the ‘house wife’ or ‘kitchen maid’. Help us to fulfil our individual dreams and purpose. It won’t be used against you as most people think. It will make us all happy, you will be happy; we would love and respect you more. I would love to write and explain more but I think I should stop here.
Hopefully I have changed your thinking of who a feminist is. The word ‘feminist’ though sounds a little bit too extreme and weird. Calling purpose driven females ‘feminists’.
Just call us women! It’s way better.
*

About the writer: Ayobami Ajayi is a graduate of Economics from Covenant University, Nigeria and is presently on her masters programme at the University of Essex. She aspires to be the World Bank President in the nearest future. She loves singing and dancing. *And she loves me* Lol!

Photo Design Credit : Ayodexterity.com

‘My Name is Love and I’m not Stupid’ V (FAMILY)

Hello guys, sorry for my inability to post this last week. I decided to make this episode a bit long to make up for last week.
Hope I’m Forgiven!
Cheers!

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Dr Solomon

She was lost in thought. Looking back at her impeccable career as a reputable psychiatrist for the past 28 years, she could not reconcile that with her inability to help her only child who had over the past week become a shadow of herself. She was worried and sad. She was helpless as she couldn’t evaluate or analyse her daughter. She knew she was losing it. She was trying to stay sane as a mother. She refused to question God. She mourned for the many things her daughter will never get to experience in life. Like getting married and having a child. The joy of motherhood.
Hmmm…If only she had heeded their advice and gotten married to that handsome fiancé of hers, maybe, just maybe she would have experienced all this and more but she was so stubborn. Maybe she got that from her. She preferred to pursue her career first before thinking of marriage.
“Baby, please not again.” Mr Solomon said as he brought his wife back from her reverie. He had seen her like this ever since their daughter came home crying to them as she broke the news about their doctor’s diagnosis that she had Heart cancer (primary cardiac tumour) which she said was very rare and to crown it all up she was said to have just about three more months to live. The news had broken them as a family. They also prayed for a miracle.
They had both insisted that she get a second opinion outside the country which she did but the diagnosis remained, never changing. Sometimes life was not just fair, being one of the richest families in Africa whose name Forbes had brandished each year on their magazine for their contribution towards safe and clean water and low scheme housing and giving grants to young African entrepreneurs to invest in mostly agriculture, knowing all the important people in the world and being friends with government of many countries round the globe was not going to help them.
This was their own cross to bear.

Tosin

She bashed into my office crying and it was strange because I rarely see my best friend cry. She was more strong willed than most and thus she almost never broke down because according to her, “We are working in a terrain full of men who think it’s their birth right to be decision makers and the only creative creatures God created. We don’t need to show any sign of weakness as women so my dear when you are in this office you stop being a woman.”
“Babe what’s wrong?” I asked alarmed and concerned.
She won’t stop crying, rather at some point she started heaving and panting heavily as if she was short of breath which was actually very scary. Though I was rubbing her back trying to salve whatever pain she was going through, my mind went on a wild west trip trying to figure out what might have caused her this much misery.
Yes, I did think of her fiancé but he was so in love with her to break up or maybe she caught him cheating on her, after all it was what men had a talent for, but be that as it may, I will be shocked to my marrow. You know this thing about some people being so perfect to a fault, Tito was in that class. No! He was a Saint. So apart from him being the cause for her pain maybe there was trouble at home.
“Babe please calm down and talk to me” I said as I watched her cry. She suddenly stops crying, looks at me and gave me the most chilling news I have ever heard, “I have only about three months to live” she said in a hoarse voice as she let herself go to another heart wrenching tears. “God forbid!” I almost screamed. “It’s true.” she said in between sobs.
“How can that be?” I asked too flabbergasted to believe what I was hearing. I took the envelope I saw her clutch in her hand. It left me more confused than I was as the medical jargon was upsetting; but in between all the nonsense I did see it, it was written in bold black ink, ‘Heart Cancer (primary cardiac tumour)’. To say I was speechless will be an understatement. I could not comprehend it and I can’t still comprehend it till today.
This is a young beautiful lady with cogitation, a beautiful mind and a vivacious God lover. She has contributed so much to humanity through her various charities and foundations powered by her family’s enormous wealth. She was just too brilliant a light to be deemed by this cancer.
I can’t remember how we made it through the day because I cried my heart out that day. She didn’t even look ill, she had just complained of chest pains some weeks back before she went for her routine medical check up and now I was watching her life fold up in front of me.
Life was all vain.
“Promise me that you will keep this just between the two of us” she said with pleading eyes. Of course I was going to keep it between us or what did she think I was going to do. She is my best friend for crying out loud.
I wasn’t however prepared for the bombshell that she dropped when I asked “When are you telling Tito?”
“I’m not telling him, I’m breaking up with him next week when he returns from his business trip to London.” she said sotto voce.
“What? Are you out of your mind?” “Why would you do that to him?” “Don’t you know what that will do to him? It will kill him” “God!” “Please don’t even think about it” I reeled.
The look in her eyes was frightening,  I did not want to believe she meant what she just told me but knowing my friend,  I knew her mind had been made up and nothing I was going to say to her will make her change her stance. When she told me her many very stupid reasons to me why she was breaking up with her fiancé of five years, I felt sorry for the young man.
My friend can sometimes be a douche bag.
She was now wearing that mean bitch look that said ‘it has to be done’.
Since when did telling someone you love how ill you are become a means of robbing him of his life’s happiness, this was my friend’s theory.
As far as I was concerned,  she hadn’t really understood the real meaning of love nor the string of sacrifice that comes with it. She was doing the young man a great disservice because he won’t understand why the woman he treats like a god dump him after five years. And to think that they were going to get married in seven months.
Hmmmm…the twist and turns of life. It’s so not fair to him.

BOLATITO (Cambridge University)

I met her during my final year in college. The school café was crowded as I got in but I needed to take a bite at anything to help assuage the hunger that was haunting me. It was after getting my food that I finally thought of where to seat. That was when I spotted her inviting smile and the sound of her beautiful voice as she laughed with her friends.
I was popular with the ladies since God had decided to bless me with a 6.4ft height and a body to kill for. Well, being an athlete did help my physique too. I did hear that some ladies did fight over me in my absence, it was always funny but sounded dumb to me because I believe that what is yours will be yours. I had my fare share of girls but my studies were my top priority. So I refused to be distracted by them fine babes everywhere.
But today was different,  I just told myself “I must have her for myself”. So the wooing started, after all,  the women always did fall like a pack of cards at my feet. I knew there was something different about her though, I just couldn’t figure it out.
“Hello Ladies! Hope you don’t mind my sharing your table” I said as I took a seat opposite her without their consent. I didn’t mind if they did mind. They looked at me with their lustful eyes, something I was now very used to as I proceeded to devour he food in front of me. “What’s your name?” I heard one of them ask. Without looking up from my food I answered, “Tito”.
“Wow, that’s a cool and sexy name. The petite Asian lady who I later got to know as Ann gushed.
“Sorry dear, you are the wrong person to be hitting on me, it’s not you I want” I said to myself as I said “Thanks”.
I felt her gaze on me before I looked up to meet her stare. This face was unsmiling and bland. I smiled. The girl on her left, Tracy who was English asked, “Where are you from?”
“He is Nigerian, that’s if I’m not wrong” she said as she stood abruptly leaving her friends confused as to her reaction. “Girls, I’m leaving” she announced airily as she continued to give me that hostile look that made me wonder what I had done wrong. I never stopped smiling. It was obvious that she was the leader of the pack because the so called ‘girls’ rose to their feet flashing their displeasure at her as they made their way out of the café.
Okay! So that did not go well, I thought to myself. I refused to run out after her. I just knew I was going to see her again.
Now fast forward seven months later, she is sitting in my living room eating pop-corn as we watched Arsenal lift the Champions league trophy for the second time in a row. “Where are all those anti-Arsenal fans now” she squealed excitedly as she gave me a kiss.
Now I was distracted. Arsenal have won a trophy and I have me the perfect girlfriend.  She was my trophy.
I sat down there watching her jump up and down in celebration as I reminisced about how we finally got here. It was hell trying to woo her but we are here now.
“Hey love, what’s wrong with you?” she asked as she jumped on me laughing.
“Oh! Please; do you want to crush me with your weight?”
“Are you going to tell me what’s up with you or you want me to crush you with my weight” she said as she winked at me with a mischievously smile.
“God! You must be a very naughty girl” She laughed. “Oya! Tell me already.”
“Can’t you guess?”
“Guess?” she furrowed her brows as she looked at me. “Please don’t tell me you are pregnant” she smirked as we both  burst out laughing. “You must be crazy. How can I be pregnant. What will you be doing if I’m pregnant?”
“I will take care of you and our baby” she said as she scattered my hair.
“I have been thinking of how lucky I am to have you in my life ” I said as I stroked her long brown hair. She just loved carrying her natural hair.
“Hmmm…and I am thinking how lucky our kids will be for having us as their parents.” she said whimsically.
“Wow! You have gone Far!” I said smiling. We have been talking of getting married and raising our kids but I never knew she took it this serious. I was glad she was thinking this far but we had agreed not to rush things, to build our relationship brick by brick, chip by chip and every other thing will fall into place when the time came.
“And I am also thinking how lucky we are to have each other” she said huskily as we osculated.

*
FIVE YEARS LATER-TODAY

I don’t know what I have done to deserve this. She was so cold and direct. Was she seeing someone else? No! She can’t do that. I know her well enough. I haven’t neglected her in any way. We call and hang out as often as we can. I can’t take this. She is my life.
I need to write David a note before I sleep off. I hope they will all understand.

*    *     *

I am a twenty-five year old young lady bubbling with life and gusto; well, that was until a week and four days ago when I was diagnosed of Heart cancer. Something the doctors say is very rare. So now my life is a ticking time bomb filled with continuous and unbearable pain.
I am now a young woman who will not achieve any of her many dreams in life. Dreams like getting married to the only man that I have ever loved, the man that waltzed into my life and took the place of oxygen. I know you think it’s weird considering what you think you know of me but that’s what love does to you once your ‘love button or what most Nigerians refer to as ‘mumu-button’ have been pushed.
I have always guarded my emotions so well but I did not know when and how I fell for the ‘handsome hulk’ (that’s what my friends back in college used to call him). I remember one of those many conversations we had during our walk date in Cambridge when he said “…I don’t care what they say, for me, it will be a privilege to have my heart broken by you…”.
Wow! He was as crazy about me as much as I was about him. Now, that made the two of us.
Just yesterday my parents who are taking the news of my cancer in their strides did talk me down on why I need to tell him about my cancer. This did not go well, it rather led to a verbal altercation. “What’s your reason for keeping him in the dark about this” My dad asked petulantly.
“Honey don’t talk to her like that.” My mum said coming to my rescue. “I know you don’t understand that I am no longer the same. I am like a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties” a quote from ‘the fault in our stars’ a book written by John Green which I had absorbed internally spilled out effortlessly but with so much pain. I don’t know why they want me to heap this pain on my love. I know him so well, he does not have the capacity to bear this news, but my beloved parents say I’m selfish and wicked. So much for a supporting family during my time of pain. Even my best friend Tosin supports them.
At this point I don’t know who is right or wrong but I just don’t feel it’s right to put him through this pain with me. God! I’m crying at the thought of him. But think about it; how will he feel when he realises that he will not see me again, that we won’t get married, that our kids will only exist in his head. That all our plans for the future will dissipate to nothingness.
And talking of pain, I believe that ‘ignorance is bliss’ because before now I never really thought of these multitude of sharp striking pain as cancer thus I never really focused on it but now it’s worse. All these prescribed drugs to alleviate the pain only work but for a while. I now understand what Hazel Grace went through in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ when she said “Pain demands to be felt…It possess you and wills you to do its every bid…” because this pain is sometimes so intense, I feel so weak and short of breathe. It just won’t stop manipulating me. Now I have to take a break from work as the pain wave will hit me at random. They doctors say it is necessary to take a break, and trust my parents to ensure that I stay home. I know they try to mask the pain in their eyes and faces about the thought of losing their only child. I imagine their waking up to find that their jewel is dead and it breaks my heart. I see them pray for a miracle which I can’t bring myself to believe in at this time. I don’t know why. Maybe there’s no need to put on a forlorn hope.
Life is unfair. Why did life decide to chose me out of the billions of people on earth to be the recipient of this cancer. My mum has told me not to question God but I should rather thank Him and pray for healing.
Hmmm…How do I begin to thank God for cancer. That’s just insane. This is cancer we are talking about, in fact not just any cancer, it’s Heart cancer where no surgery can be performed. I know God is not wicked. I don’t question Him but I can’t thank Him either. The pain from  this thing is crazy.
Just imagine how vain life is. With all the wealth that we have amassed as a family, I still have to die in pain and yet the Bible says “Money answers all things”. Very funny.
There’s a knock on my door as my mum sashays into my room.
“My jewel, how are you?” “Has the pain gone down?” “Have you taken your drugs?” “Have you eaten?” She asks.
Rolling my eyes, God! I’m not an invalid I think to myself.
“Hi mum” I said good-naturedly. “Now, which of your questions do you want me to answer because they are all a handful you know” I said as I shot her a smile. Is my mum suddenly growing old? Because she looked twice her age already.  This is all because of me. God! She looks tired too. “Baby just answer all of them jor” she said as she laughed. Ha! Thank God, my smile got to her. She laughed.
“I’m fine and yes the pain has gone down a notch. I have taken all those colourful, awful tasting and smelling drugs. Oh! I loved the chicken and chips” I reeled out cheerfully with another dashing smile. She sat on my bed stroking my hair, reminding me of Tito who was animated with my hair.
“You don’t want to grow up. How many times have I told you that chicken and chips is no food for a healthy human being.” she scolded me with not much of a scowl.
“Has Tito called you?” she asks just as Tosin dashes into the room. Thank God. I didn’t want to have this Tito talk with her again.
“Good afternoon ma” She curtsied as she knelt down in greeting to my mum. “How are you dear?” “Fine thank you ma”. She stands up to leave paused at the door and says “Tosin dear, talk to your friend to eat well. Maybe she will listen to you.”
“I sure will ma but you know this one is very stubborn” she said as she shot me a smile.
“You see? Everybody knows you. You had better change” she said cheekily. “Ermmm, just so you know, your dad went to see Mrs Onifade” she said as she disappeared from the room.
“What?” I exclaimed but she was already gone. I was left fuming with Tosin giving me the ‘I don’t care what you think and good for you’ look.

DAVID

I went up the stairs to Tito’s room to find him sleeping on his king size bed. Why is he sleeping now when he called me and sounded as if his world had all but collapsed on him. He had better wake up and talk to me. As I walked towards the bed to wake him, I spotted the bottle with a note neatly folded in two. I knew what the bottle contained because I had bought it for him three months back. I called out his name as I paused and walked gingerly towards his bedside table to take a look at the note which I instinctively believed was for me. “Please God No!” I exclaimed as I read the scrawled note.

*To be Continued!

Graphic design credit : Ayodexterity.com

The GOD Chit-Chat

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Me: Hey God! What’s Up!

GOD: Hmmm…see this mortal asking me what’s Up!

Me: Ha! Dad leave that thing O! Is this not how we always talk.
After all you said I should be free in your presence.

God: See you going all jittery because I called you mere mortal as if that’s not what you are.
Lol!
I’m always good you should know that.
All I do here is watch out for you.

Me: You got me there you know.
And yes I know I am a mere mortal but when you begin to flex your muscle calling me ‘mere mortal’ it’s like I did something wrong.
And you can like to punish someone for doing wrong.

GOD: You really do not know me well. I punish people that sin because I can’t stand it but Jesus always comes to me on their behalf so mostimes I just have mercy on them.
It’s my nature to be merciful. It’s part of my bio.
Infact if I want to punish you for all your sins ehn, you will be dead and gone.
You would have been lodging six feet below.

Me:God Forbid!

God: Ehen, you see now how faithful and merciful I am.

Me: Yes O!
You too much. Thank you.

God: You are welcome.

Me: These people will not stop making noise about the importance of being grateful for 1st this and 1st that.

God: Which people?

Me: Is it not these church people? “It’s a season of first…Thank God for the grace and privilege of firsts…”, that’s what they have been saying from the first day of this year.
They are just being a nuisance.
Can you just imagine that.

God: *shaking his head and rolling his eyes*
I can not imagine anything. You men will not cease to amaze me. Just listen to you.
Church people abi?
What are you?
So you are tired of thanking me, because of what?
Ehennn, as in how?

Me: It’s not like that…

God: Will you shut up there. Do you know how many people had plans for this year and yet died without seeing the new year.
So thanking me is now stress to you abi.
Okay! Let me hold back this my free fresh air.

Me: *Prostrating and shouting with all my might*
Argghhhh! Baba God! Please Oh!
You want me to die or is it that you want to kill me?
Please Oh! I will thank you. In fact, with my hands and legs up I thank you. I Repent!

God: Good! Better!
Continue at it till you breathe your last. Always be Thankful!

Me: Wow! That was close.
*Always have an Attitude of Gratitude!
*Always be Thankful!

The Shift

Hello people, we made It to 2015! Congratulations!
So I decided to gift you with a flash fiction.
Take a read and leave a comment.

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The car horns outside signifying his arrival, she wonders why he won’t wait inside for her. The dinner reservation was for 11:00 pm and this was just 09:45 pm. She needed to take her time to look good. Tonight might be the big night, the one she has been praying and hoping for. It’s been six months already. How time flies. It has been a roller coaster and exhilarating months.
He was the perfect catch, the every woman’s dream come true. A perfect gentleman. Oh! How lucky she is that he chose her of all the lot. Men like him are rare to find.
He waits in the car.
She takes her time to dab some make up on her beautiful smooth face. Her sequinned blue short Gucci gown clings to her body showing off her curves. She knew how not to over do it. Tonight is her night. Seating before the golden ornate mirror in her bed room she viewed what she had done and with a satisfied smile got up and walked with gait to her one hundred pairs of shoe room, looked around confused on what to wear, she spots the $809 bordeaux coloured suede leather pump Gucci shoe that was delivered to her yesterday. A perfect choice.
The car horn goes off again. She looks at her diamond encrusted Michael Kors wristwatch, sighs, it’s just 10:25 pm. There is no need to hurry. The restaurant is just a 15 minutes drive; she still had time, he should wait.

10:35 pm

He honks on the horn again. She steps out of the house walking majestically towards the car. He steps out to open the passenger door as he breathes in her exquisite beauty. Her fragrance was intoxicating.
She was the reincarnation of Mona Lisa.
He was lucky to have her by his side. All traces of anger at her for making him wait for so long melts away.

10:54 pm.

The Bentley comes to a stop as he steps out to get her door.
Seated at her favourite restaurant they relieved the memories of the last six months as they drank the complimentary champagne offered them by the restaurant. He ordered his favourite Italian pasta with meat rolls while she settled for sushi,  she would eat it anytime anywhere so long as they have on their menu. The dessert arrived not too soon after.
He fed her some spoons of the chocolate ice-cream. It was her best flavour, her aphrodisiac.
They were lost in their own small world, losing track of time.
“What is he waiting for” she thought to herself as he held her eyes in his and put his hands on her hand. “Honey, you know we’ve gone full circle already.” He said maintaining the eye contact. She did not understand him but she nodded her head anyways looking intently into his eyes.
“Oh my God! This is it. My heart is beating so fast. What a beautiful way to end the year. 31st of December will always be a day to remember.” she thought as a smile spread across her angelic face. “You know I love you right?” He asked. She didn’t know why she was speechless,  maybe the excitement was really getting to her so she again nodded her head, maintaining the smile on her face.
“I want you to know that I will never hurt you intentionally; you are my best friend, I honestly don’t know how I would have survived without you for this last awesome six months of my life”. She blushed. He paused.
“The thing is I’m going back to London. I can’t leave my wife for you.” He said calmly still holding her hand and looking into her eyes.
The smile disappeared, her eyes fluttered, her body tensed. The shock overwhelmed her as she tried to make sense of what she just heard. He was kidding right? Wife? He had promised to divorce her, said he had started the divorce proceedings.
No! This can not be happening to her. This was supposed to be the night he proposed to her.
His eyes told her otherwise.
Fire works rent the air afar off with people shouting and congratulating each other as they ushered in a new year.

The End

P:S You can’t have what is not Yours!

Photo Credit: Google