Till We Say I DO Interviews – Mr and Mrs A

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Till We Say I Do Interviews. If you want to catch up on previous editions, click here.

Today’s couple have chosen to remain anonymous for personal reasons. Just so you know, they are not imaginnery lol. I’m friends with Mrs A and and I remember we had a conversation about how they abstained from pre-marital sex a few years ago. So, I definitely knew I was going to interview them. I also think they are very very romantic!

Mrs A opens up about being sexually abused as a young child, how it broke her and eventually made her passionate about women.


Hello Mr and Mrs A, it is a pleasure to have you on Till We Say I Do Interviews! Please tell us a bit about yourselves.

Mrs A: I am an IT Project Manager by profession excitedly preparing for a change in career soon, a Christian who is totally sold out to Christ, a wife, mother and teacher. I have a passion to see women (sisters) fulfill all that God has called us to be. I am very involved in the women department of my parish.

Mr A : I am a son of God, a Properties sales manager, a loving husband and wonderful father if I do say so myself *laughs*

Mr A, how did you meet Mrs A?

I met her in church after a service. I actually walked over and struck a conversation because I had the leading to. During the service that day, while ministering, God told me that I would meet my wife and when the service ended the Holy Spirit lead me outside and directed me to go say hello. That was the first time we struck a conversation but a year before I had seen her at another church event. I was sharing refreshments to guests and served her (she got in late). I noticed her beauty but I wasn’t lead to speak to her that day.

Mrs A, what attracted you to Mr A?

His lips *covers face*. Before we ever struck up a conversation, his lips made me take a second look at him. When we finally became friends and started talking, I got attracted to his pure heart. My husband is a very sincere and trusting individual. He has no room in his heart for bitterness, envy, hatred, anger or unforgiveness and that really attracted me to him.

How long have you been married?

We have been married for about 4 years.

Describe your spouse in one word.

Mrs A: Amazing. I actually call him Mr Amazing.

Mr A: Awesome

I’ve noticed you both are very romantic! Who is more romantic and why?

*laughs* Funny enough, we tease each other that we are very unromantic! So when people say we are romantic, we are usually a bit surprised. We honestly just show how we feel about ourselves, no pretenses. I guess that is what people see and describe as romantic. We are very good friends; best friends actually so that vibe is there. We relate more as friends in love than as spouses. We sometimes even forget we are married because of how free we are with ourselves.

What are your love languages?

Mr A: Physical Touch

Mrs A: Acts of service

Why did you decide to wait?

Mrs A: I decided to wait because of my walk with God. I suffered abuse as a young child so for a long time I felt dirty and unworthy. I was too young to understand the depth of what happened but I carried that burden that maybe I wasn’t good enough that’s why it happened to me. The first time was at the age of 7 and it was a youth from church. Then it happened again with someone from the choir and the most damaging I would say was a minister who took advantage of me. It broke me and I just did not understand why I was being abused. Deciding to wait for me was as a result of finding myself in Christ – who I truly am and realizing that all that happened was not my fault. I refused to let the ill-actions of these trusted people ruin me. This is one of the reasons I am passionate about women. A lot of women have been abused in one way or the other and carry deep hurts (some from childhood) that are yet still fresh; like new…open wounds and this can in turn affect our seeds (children; biological or otherwise), family, esteem and our purpose which Christ has called us to if not properly handled. The decision to wait was a challenge to myself not to fall for the horrible voice of the devil which kept saying that I was unworthy of waiting because of the abuse.

Mr A: I was very involved in the children and teenager’s church while growing up so I didn’t have much room to be in situations that would cause me to engage in such activities and when I became a young adult I in turn started serving as a teenage teacher in church. The decision to wait was fuelled by the people I was teaching and who were looking up to me. I had to make them see that it was possible to wait.

“Also I knew that the decision to wait made him respect me and I didn’t want to lose that respect.” – Mrs A

What practical steps did you take to make it possible?

Mrs A : Delayed gratification. We knew we were going to get married so I looked forward to that special day. It didn’t seem unachievable as I was in a relationship. It might be abit difficult for someone who is single to fully utilize this since there is no partner to look forward to it with but it helped me.

Also I knew that the decision to wait made him respect me and I didn’t want to lose that respect. Whenever I felt weak I would remember the respect and hold body *laughs* I used to be quite full of myself so respect was a big deal to me.

I made friends with people of like minds. I made sure my friends were people who had the same values with me so we encouraged one another.

Mr A: Do not fall for the trick of masturbation. It would not help you. I prayed and believed that God would give me an awesome sexual life in marriage. My love language is physical touch so it wasn’t easy for me. One of the things I did was to avoid discussing masturbation which is a common topic among males. I also avoided consuming sexual materials whether written, audio or video. I took a cold bath when the urges seemed unbearable and went out for a run or to the gym to burn out the excess energy.

Mr & Mrs A: Don’t be alone with a member of the opposite sex for extended periods of time.

Don’t hug or encourage physical touch with members of the opposite sex.

Understand and appreciate your self-worth. Anyone asking you for your premarital sex is not encouraging you to be a vessel unto honour. Be willing to cut ties where necessary.

Avoid going into relationships when you know you do not want to get married anytime soon, don’t arouse or awaken love until it’s time.

Know yourself and what your triggers are and map out a plan to avoid those triggers. If one of your triggers is romantic books for e.g then dump them for more edifying materials. Know yourself.

Find someone more mature in faith to be accountable to. Please limit approaching someone who is unmarried lest things get complicated. Also limit it to the same sex please, do not choose someone of the opposite sex even if married to be accountable to if possible.

Be sensitive to what consumes your time. Fill your hours so that you do not have idle time. An idle mind can truly become the devil’s workshop.

Be part of a bible believing church where the true word of God is taught and be active.

Avoid being best friends with someone of the opposite sex as much as possible please.

Don’t underestimate the power of prayers.

Avoid going into relationships when you know you do not want to get married anytime soon, don’t arouse or awaken love until it’s time. – Mr and Mrs A

How did you deal with peer pressure?

Mrs A: I made friends with people of like values so there was no pressure to experiment in that aspect. I didn’t have friends who put such pressure on me.

For someone dealing with peer pressure I would advise that you change your circle of friends. Also, find a mentor who can encourage and help you deal with such pressures.

Above all, know who you are in Christ and be confident so that no one can fool you or make you feel less of who Christ has called you to be. Spend time knowing yourself and growing in your walk with God. Don’t be desperate to associate with any and everybody so that you are not easily swayed.

Mr A: For guys a lot of us hype things so don’t fall for the hype. Most times they are all lies and haven’ done what they are saying.

I attended a boy’s only school so it was common to hear sex talks. When I was younger I feel for the hype and would lie that I was doing stuff as well when I was not *laughs*. But by the time I got to senior secondary school I stopped engaging in such conversations and let people know the side I truly was on – the Lord’s side. If you let people see where you stand, they would be careful to say some things around you.

It was not as easy in the university though because you would have girls (some even from church) try all sorts of things to get in bed with you. I made sure to avoid such people and I refused to be alone with any girl. If there was no one around then we had to sit out in the open.

Sex is powerful, you join your body, soul and spirit with the other person when you sleep with them so it is not a casual activity. It takes only some minutes but it can actually ruin destinies. – Mrs A

Why is sex worth waiting for?

Mr A: Because it is mind blowing

Mrs A : lol

Mr A: Well, sex is worth waiting for because of that victorious feeling of achievement when you are able to wait. It makes you know that you are powerful in Christ and that your body does not rule you. It is also a good thing to have guiltless sex and explore as you want in the confines of marriage.

Mrs A: Firstly, it is worth waiting for because that is what God has commanded of us. If we say we are for Christ, then we need to adhere to his instructions. Also, sex is worth waiting for because like my husband said having guiltless sex is incomparable.

Practically, you also keep yourself safe from STDs and unwanted pregnancies. It also makes your relationships less complicated when you wait. Sex is powerful, you join your body, soul and spirit with the other person when you sleep with them so it is not a casual activity. It takes only some minutes but it can actually ruin destinies.

Any advice for young Christians?

Mr A: Always put God first.

Mrs A: “We fall down but we get up…”. If you have been engaging in premarital sex, pick yourself up. Like an adage says, it is when you wake up that is morning (though please do not wake up too late, the world is coming to an end soon). Do not let the guilt eat you up, take that decision to let the blood that Christ shed on the cross of Calvary not go to waste. Activate the power of that blood and ask for God to wash away the sin of immorality and help you stay pure.

If you have not engaged in premarital sex, kudos! Do not bed tempted to experiment. Don’t listen to the world and hold dear the teaching of our Lord. It is worth waiting.

Please, for Christians who are preparing to get married, take your counselling seriously. Do not neglect to read and educate yourselves about sex so that you go in with a balanced mind-set. It will not be all bombs at first but be willing to explore and know your likes and that of your spouse especially in the early days of your marriage. For Christians who have been molested or abused, please cast those burdens on the cross, and remember that it was of no fault of yours. That voice that keeps saying you are dirty is a lying voice, silence it with the authority in Christ. You will pull through by God’s grace.

In conclusion, don’t stop discovering with your spouse. You need to be friends so that open discussions can take place in your home. Be knowledgeable and read widely because changes will occur. Sex after a birth is another ball game so is sex during pregnancy.

Above all, do not neglect to make sure your core friends i.e. your inner circle are people of like values.


Who else feels this interview is loaded?! I sure do! Mrs A’s passion for women is evident in her responses.

Again, the importance of godly friendships cannot be over emphasised.  Just as Mrs A said, if you have been engaging in premarital sex, do not let guilt eat you up, ask God to wash away the sin of immorality and help you stay pure.

Why not share this post with someone who needs to be encouraged, someone who needs to know that there are still christians abstaining from pre-marital sex.

Thanks for reading!

Have a fabulous looooong weekend.

Till We Say I Do Interviews – Chinedu and Agnes Ossai

Hello 😀

Thank God is Fri-yay! Fridays are my favorite days for obvious reasons lol. I go to work with a bounce in my steps knowing that there is no work for the next two days.

We have our second edition of Till We Say I Do Interviews. If you missed the first one, click here. 

On the blog today, we interview Chinedu and Agnes Ossai. I’ve known them for a little over 4 years and always seen them as two people who are clearly in love with one another. The way they hold hands, the names they call each other and just the friendship between them.

My sisters and I went to visit them a while back and we watched their wedding video and they told us how they met. When we got back home, I told my sisters that I really liked them!

Without further ado, let’s get to the interview, shall we?

IMG_20170511_151214_848

Hello Chinedu and Agnes Ossai, it is a pleasure to have you on Till We Say I Do Interviews! Please tell us a bit about yourselves.

Chinedu (Husband)- Chinedu Ossai is a lawyer by profession. One of three boys from a family with three other female siblings of the Ukwuani descent of Delta State. Most importantly, a Christian.

Agnes (Wife)– My name is Agnes Ossai. I have a degree in Education and proud to be an Educator. I love to impart youngsters, enjoy giving godly counsel to singles also enjoy listening to godly music.

How long have you been married?

We’ve been married for 5 years.

How did you meet?

Chinedu – We were in the same youth choir, I was a secret but platonic admirer of her simple disposition to life, especially the Christian faith. At the time when it became evident that I needed to start preparing by way of prayer before tying the nuptial knot, I became drawn to her. The more I tried to resist the inner assurance that it was her, the more I became drawn to her. I just had to let it be.

Please note that we attended the same primary and secondary school and almost attended the same university, grew up in the same community in Lagos, but all these factors did not in any way influence my decision to marry her. It was just love for simplicity and display of Christianity in a most alluring way. Got the ball rolling in 2010 and tied the knot on January 14 2012.

Agnes – My Chinedu happened to be a family friend. He was a leader and choirmaster in my church. One day, he came visiting as usual and I saw him off. As I returned, I heard an audible voice from God that he was my husband. I objected immediately but couldn’t resist. He asked me out after a while then I remembered I heard God’s voice.

IMG-20170511-WA0008

Did you have a “list” for your future spouse? If yes, what did you have on the list?

Chinedu – Simplicity, humility, educated, not eccentrically extrovertish, natural beauty, all embedded in the Christian life.

Agnes –I did oh. A Godly man; tall, dark and handsome; a man who will always take me for who I am and loves me more than I do; someone who says I love you frequently without the need to remind him to say so; someone who would gist with me in the kitchen while I cook; not stingy at all; a man who will not encourage me to backslide… my list was long but I’ll stop here.

The truth is that, my man, my love has all and more of the qualities I listed above, making me the happiest wife in the world!

Describe your spouse in on word.

Chinedu – Christian

Agnes – Mr. Fantastic

 Why did you decide to wait?

Chinedu – Because God wanted me to wait. I also grew up with friends who had the same resolve and I also prayed for the grace to wait.

Agnes- We are both Christians and the Bible says that marriage is honourable and the bed undefiled. Also, I had always told myself I want to start having sex only after I have gone to the altar.

“Sex is sweet only when having it with your husband. The rush will not be there and you’ll take your time to enjoy it to the fullest.” – Agnes

 What practical steps did you take to make it possible?

Agnes – We tried as much as possible not to get too close together when we were alone or where people couldn’t see us. Avoided thoughts of immorality when together, we did not try to hug each other before marriage, let alone kissing. Though the thought was always there, I kept reminding myself of the promise I made. I also didn’t want to disappoint my parents and the church.

IMG-20170511-WA0010

 How did you deal with peer pressure?

Chinedu – Peer pressure was no issue because from my youthful age, I defined the rule of friendship engagement. The church helped a whole lot to define who could be my friend. At school, I had christians from the school fellowship as friends; on campus, my close friends were christians, though not restricted to my denominational fellowship.

The deciding factor for me was that my christian identity and standard was an open secret at every point of my developmental stage. I never attended any birthday parties at unholy hours not at unholy places.

I never pretended to be a holy genius. Hence, I was careful and cautious in my approach to life. A lady once admired my lips and requested to touch it but I refused. That is not to say, I never had near falls but God’s mercy was always there for me. Job 31:1 was a song among my peer group while growing up and this helped a whole lot.

Agnes – Well, it was easy quite easy for me because I was brought up in a godly home. I am a gentle girl and have very few friends and always minded my business.

“Never test your strength by putting yourself in a compromising situation.” – Chinedu

Why is sex worth waiting for?

Chinedu – Those who waited found out after all that there was no need to rush for it. The intermittent urge for it prior to marriage won’t kill. There is a joy that comes after a patient wait. The opportunity to share the experience is also a reason to wait. Also, blackmail and STDs are also avoided.

Agnes –Wow sex is worth waiting for! Doing it outside marriage is like “thieving”. One would be doing it with the fear of being caught. Having that type of fear doesn’t make pre-marital sex worth it cause you’ll just be punishing yourself. Sex is “sweet” only when having it with your husband. The rush will not be there and you’ll take your time to enjoy it to the fullest.

IMG_20170511_151242_858

 Any advice for young Christians?

Chinedu- Young Christians must have life principles that are worth dying for. Watch where they go, what they see and whom they choose as friends. A chirstian leader told me few weeks after his wedding, which was prior to mine, why the rush? Just wait for it, you’ll enjoy it and get tired of it.

Never test your strength by putting yourself in a compromising situation. Learn to say no to even supposed Christian friends in compromising situations. Idleness is a killer and a veritable tool in the hands of the devil; be busy with something productive for the lord also. Selah

Agnes- Young Christians should patiently wait for the right person. Abstain from all pre-martial sex because it may mar their marriage. Do not be in a haste to bite what you cannot finish. Marry someone who loves you and who is God fearing.

Don’t be carried away because of the title or position of the person in church, pray very well and be convinced before accepting the proposal. Finally, keep yourself only for your would be spouse.


 

Who else noticed they had matching  outfits in all the pictures?! I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did​. Just as Chinedu said, never test your strength by putting yourself in a compromising situation.

What lessons did you pick up? Please share with us in the comment section.

Thank you for reading! Please share this post with other people!

Have an awesome weekend!

Xoxo

 

P.S : If you would like to be interviewed please send an email to feyisdiary@gmail.com

Till We Say I DO Interviews – Demola and Busayo Abolarin

Hello people!

We have our very fist interview on the blog!!! As I mentioned in my previous post, I am introducing a new feature on the blog titled Till We Say I DO interviews. The purpose of these interviews is to share experiences from christian couples who abstained for pre-marital sex before saying I DO.

In our world today, sexual purity and chastity seem very old fashioned and christians even find it difficult to speak up about sexual purity. I pray that we are encouraged by these interviews and aware that there are still believers who obey God’s word.

In Hebrews 13:4, the Bible says “Marriage is honourable among all and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers, God will judge. So, just because Hollywood or Nollywood depict that pre-marital sex is fine, does not make it right. Remember, God’s standard has not changed! He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

If you have been engaging in pre-marital sex, it is not too late to repent and ask God for forgiveness. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9 that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Our first couple is Ademola and Busayo Abolarin. Busayo and I are cousins and I was her maid of honour. I don’t quite remember having a discussion with her about abstaining from pre-marital sex but I just knew that they waited till they said I DO from spending time with them during their introduction and wedding weekend.

When I was collating the names of couples to interview, they came to my mind immediately. I asked and they agreed!

So, grab some popcorn, a drink and enjoy the interview!


Hello Demola and Busayo Abolarin, it is a pleasure to have you on Till We Say I Do Interviews! Please tell us a bit about yourselves.

Busayo (Wife) – I am Busayomi Abolarin. A pharmacist, singer, mother of two and married to Ademola Abolarin.

Demola (Husband) – I’m Demola Abolarin, I work as a resident hemotologist at University of Ilorin teaching hospital, Ilorin. I’m from Kwara state, married to a lovely wife with two great kids, love God and sports.

How long have you been married?

Busayo and Demola – 3 years.

Demola, how did you meet Busayo?

I met Busayo at work. She came to meet someone in my department and I complimented her aloud (I didn’t think she would hear me). She did, turned around to face me and the rest is history.

Busayo, was it love at first sight?

No, it wasn’t love at first sight.

So, what attracted you to Demola?

Lets see…it was his uniqueness. He believes so much in God and himself and does not allow the environment define or change who he is. For me thats solid.

Top three qualities you love about your spouse?

Busayo – Confident, considerate and a large heart.

Demola- Her honesty, intelligence and her love for God.

You must have heard about the 5 love languages. What are your love languages? What makes your love tank overflow?

Busayo – Quality time, acts of service and gifts.

Demola – I wouldn’t say I have specific love languages per se, but these are some of the things she does that makes me love her more:

  • when she wears herself out trying to do something for me
  • when I’m down and she gives me some encouragement
  • her smile.

“I asked the Holy Spirit regularly for help and strength. I was determined to wait and put boundaries in place like not watching sexual things all the time or staying alone with the opposite sex in enclosed places.” – Busayo

Why did you decide to wait?

Busayo – Because it was the right thing to do and the bible says so.

Demola – For me, it was about trying to please God in my relationships. I also made up my mind not to jump from girl to girl. Most of my friends who were having sex got fed up after a few months or even weeks and broke up. This gave me some more motivation.

 What practical steps did you take to make it possible?

Busayo– I asked the Holy Spirit regularly for help and strength. I was determined to wait and put boundaries in place like not watching sexual things all the time or staying alone with the opposite sex in enclosed places.

Demola – It wasn’t easy, I must tell you. What helped was that I actively avoided situations that could lead to me sleeping over. That took some resolve, especially when you are enjoying each other’s company.

Having the right type of friends also helped. Temptations were stronger when I had friends or close acquaintance who were doing what I did not want to do; when I kept my distance, things became easier.

“Having the right type of friends eliminates peer pressure.” – Demola

Why is sex worth waiting for?

Ademola – A lot of reasons. First, God commands us to wait and for a good reason too. Most couples who jump into sexual activities end up having only sex in common. It has a way of dominating the relationship and making other important things like communication seem irrelevant.

Stolen water is sweet, but later leaves a sour taste. Many people who jump into sex find themselves bored with their spouse and set off to find another high, leading to a lot of bitter, dejected single ladies and a lot of insatiable young men.

Finally, there is always a risk of an unwanted pregnancy. Premarital sex often ends up in a baby bump, leading to a critical decision: abortion or shame. A lot of young couples have needlessly scarred themselves by getting into this position.

Sex is the crux of marriage, the cream, the spice. If the sex life in a marriage is sour because the couple is bored with one another, then the only way is down.

It is worth the wait.

Any advice for young Christians?

Busayo –Know what you stand for and stick with it. Maintain constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Also surround yourself with the right people such as friends who are also willing to wait till marriage. Don’t let anyone define who you are but God’s word.

Demola – As I said earlier, I reduced the number of unbeliever friends I had. For the ones I had to keep, I kept my private life out of our discussions. Having the right type of friends eliminates peer pressure.

Identity also matters; once you are known to be a Christian, they might joke about your refusal to be like them, but they won’t pressurise you and keep away for fear of you reprimanding them. A double identity however, invites enormous pressure.


I found this interview very interesting and picked up some key points! Busayo and Demola spoke about the importance of godly friendships. It is very important to be surrounded by friends who have the same stance on purity.

I’m sure you picked up some points too, please share in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

P.S  If you would like to be interviewed or know a christian couple who would love to be interviewed, please send me an email at feyisdiary@gmail.com

Stay blessed and have an awesome weekend!

Feyi

Guess who’s back??!!

Hello guys,

*Dusting off cobwebs*

After a long hiatus, I’m back to blogging. I had to take time off blogging because I had a lot going on this past two years (some of which I’ll share later on the blog).

I have a new series coming up (sorry i couldn’t complete Through the waters) and some new exciting stuff too. I also plan to start an interview series for Christian married couples who abstained from pre-marital sex, in line with God’s word. If you would like to be featured, please send me an email.

Thanks to everyone who sent me messages, emails to check up on me. I sincerely appreciate your love and concern.

Have a blessed week!

Love,

 

 

 

After The Storm 2 – by Osarugue Adeyemi

Hello people!

How are you? Hope you are having a great weekend?

After the Storm was written by Osarugue Adeyemi. The rest of the story is up on her blog : http://osaradeyemi.blogspot.com

******

“Delivery for you Yemi” Tola said coming into the room the next day.

“What delivery?” Yemi asked sitting up in bed and tearing her eyes away from the London fashion show airing on the TV. The designs were awesome. Sewing and designing was something she enjoyed and she found shows like these so inspiring. She hit the record button on the remote and looked at the parcel in Tola’s hands with raised brows “But I didn’t order anything”

“Well it’s definitely got your name on it” Tola said handing the large parcel over to her “Open it, let’s see what’s inside”

Yemi opened the parcel wondering what it contained and as she undid the tape and wrapping, her eyes widened in disbelief.

“Oh my goodness!” She exclaimed as she saw the Mulberry bag she had admired at the Shop with Akeem.

“Wow! No guessing where that came from” Tola said taking the bag from her and admiring it.

“There is a card attached” She read out the words ‘For my little girl, from your old man’. What on earth are you guys talking about?”

“Remember I said he calls me a little girl!” She cupped her cheeks with both hands. She was still so dazed by the gift “This guy is so sweet! Do you think I should accept it?”

“No don’t” Tola said sarcastically “Or you can accept it and give it to me”

“But I hope he wouldn’t think I took him to the Shop to make him buy it for me!”

“What are you on about?” Tola asked in an exasperated tone “Did you beg or ask him for it?”

“Definitely not!” Yemi replied indignantly “You know I’d never do that”

“So gracefully text him a nice ‘thank you’ and kindly tell him you have a cousin that also loves Mulberry bags”

“Go tell that to your Andy or is it Mike? Not even sure anymore, I’ve lost count”

“Whatever!” Tola retorted “Going to ditch him right away anyway. He’s never thought of buying me a Mulberry bag. Andy just keeps taking me from MacDonalds to KFC, then occasionally throws in some Chinese in the evenings, what am I going to get from that?”

“Calories!” Yemi laughed “But C’mon,it’s not about the value of the gift or the outings but the thought behind it”

“Same thing, girl” Tola replied unrepentantly “The thought behind it should make a guy give one valuable gifts”

“You’re impossible!” Yemi laughed bringing out her phone “I need to text my thanks to my Prince Charming as you call him”

“Don’t forget the bit about your so very nice cousin that also loves Mulberry Bags”

“No deal!” Yemi replied as she text Akeem. She would have preferred to call him but knew he was going to be busy all day. He was coming to take her out in the evening so she would see him later in the day.

This time around when Akeem came to pick Yemi up, her Uncle and Aunt were in the house and Yemi introduced him to them. She could see that they were very impressed with his manners and she felt very proud of him as she watched him interact easily and confidently with them.

*******

She continued to see Akeem and found herself liking him a little bit more everyday. They agreed to meet at his apartment two days before she was to return back to Nigeria. He wanted to come over to pick her up from Kent but she declined, moreover Tola was going out in the same direction, so she had company on the way.

Tola dropped off at London Bridge station and Yemi went onto Canary Wharf. She smiled as she spotted Akeem as she went through the barriers at the station.

“You look very pretty” He hugged her then drew back a little to look at her “Very summery or is it springy?”

She giggled “Thanks” The weather forecast was good, so she felt safe enough to wear a knee length blue denim skirt and orange tank top. Tola had tonged her hair for her that morning and it hung in ringlets around her face

They got to his car and she did up her seatbelt “Is your apartment far from here?”

“About fifteen minutes” Akeem replied reversing out of the Car park.

“Time seems to have gone so fast” She mused as he drove along “I can’t believe I ‘m going back home in two days”

“It has, hasn’t it?”

He seemed to be in a quiet mood, only replying when she spoke. They got to the block of apartments where he was staying and took the lifts up to the third floor where his apartment was.

“Mmmm…nice place, very cool decor” She said as she moved slowly round the room “Love it! You must have had some help with it though” she said turning towards him.

He smiled “I wish I could lay claim to doing it up, but yes you are right, it was done by an interior decorator”

“Really nice. Whoa, Look at that view!” She marveled as she stood by the French windows. “I could spend hours here!”

“That was one of the attractions of this place for me” He turned her round to face him “But today you ‘re not going to spend hours gazing out of the window, I need your full attention on me”

Yemi smiled mischievously “But you have my full attention always, even when I ‘m gazing out the window”

Akeem looked down at her smiling face for a moment, then tweaked her nose lightly “Going to miss you”

“Me too” Yemi confessed. He still had five days left in England to complete his work “But at least we’ll talk every day” She shook her head slightly “It still seems amazing though that I’ve known you for just nine days!”

“I’ve known you forever” Akeem replied softly, cupping her cheek with his palm “I’ve just been waiting for you to show up”

“And we had to meet outside our home country” Yemi replied, feeling the now familiar fluttering within her at the look in his eyes. She had decided to ‘go with the flow’ as Tola advised. She had no choice anyway. The guy had completely taken over her heart “But then, we may never have run into each other back home”

“You never can tell, I may just have bumped into you on the street”

“What street? We live miles apart”

Akeem moved a little closer. His gaze getting more intense as he held her eyes “Maybe our hearts would have pulled us together somehow” He said a little huskily.

She forced her eyes away from his. The air was getting too charged up. She hoped coming to his apartment was not a bad idea

“Have you eaten?” She asked lightly, moving away a little. They needed to defuse the tension.

“No, I was waiting for you before I order some food in”

“You don’t have to do that. I brought some food with me, that’s what’s in the other bag” she said pointing to the second bag on the table.

“You shouldn’t have bothered” Akeem replied as he watched her bring out the food “I ‘m sure you had to wake up early to prepare that”

“No bother at all. I love cooking” Yemi replied “That’s the kitchen, right?” She asked pointing towards the open doorway.

“Yes, let me show you where the plates are”

Yemi chattered as they ate. Akeem listened to her, smiling occasionally at what she said but he was still rather quiet and looked somewhat distracted.

“Where’s your mind, Akeem?” She asked after a while, a little puzzled by his attitude.

A guilty expression came over his face “I am sorry, just running some things through my mind”

“What things?” Yemi asked, puzzled by the look on his face.

“Would you like to live here?” He asked a little abruptly.

The look on his face told he wasn’t joking “In England?”

“Yes, in England”

“I haven’t thought about that” Yemi replied slowly “Like I’ve told you, we lived here for a while and had a good time but I like Nigeria”

“So, I take that as a ‘no’?”

“It will take a lot for me to do that” Yemi replied.”Would you like to live here?”

“I can’t because of my work, but I wouldn’t mind my family living here”

“So your family would only see you occasionally? Not cool”

“There are other advantages though, the educational system, for instance, would be better for kids”

“I had a good education in Nigeria and I didn’t even have to go schools half as expensive as the ones you went to” She replied “But hey, what’s all this relocation business? You sound like you don’t like Nigeria!”

“Not at all, like I said, I was just thinking of some possibilities”

They did the washing up together after they finished their meal. He was still rather quiet and she caught him looking at her when he thought she could not see him. He got out a bottle of wine and they went back to the sitting room together.

“Very nice” Yemi said taking a sip of the wine as she sat on the sofa beside him. “You are rounding up your meetings now, aren’t you?” She asked “Are you satisfied with the outcomes?”

“They’ve actually exceeded my expectations” Akeem replied “I was able to tie up some stubborn deals that have been lingering for some time” He cradled her a bit closer “It must be you. Your presence in my life has helped me function better”

She smiled, pleased at what he had said “That’s so sweet”

“I mean it” Akeem replied, trailing a finger along her cheek “And so you have to remain with me so I can continue to do well in business”

“I’ll think about it” She replied teasingly.

“I’ll simply carry you off if you keep me waiting too long”

Yemi smiled mischievously “I won’t mind being kidnapped by you. You’d find me a very willing captive”

He cupped her cheek with his palm “Don’t go back on Monday” He said looking into her eyes “Stay back until I’m done”

“But my ticket is for Monday”

“I can easily change that, and also upgrade it so we can fly back together”

She looked at him a little indignantly “Upgrade? how do you know what kind of ticket I have?”

He smiled “My apologies. I meant I ‘ll upgrade mine to your’s”

She giggled “That’s better”

“So is that a yes?”

“But what will I tell my parents? Besides, my cousin is getting married on Saturday”

He just kept looking at her. She lowered her gaze. He was making her feel guilty. She was very tempted to do what he was asking but her parents would want to know the reason for her staying back. They were also aware she had spent all her money and would wonder how she was going to change her ticket. There would be too many questions and she didn’t want them to know about Akeem just yet.

“We’ll talk every day and I’ll see you as soon as you come in on Sunday” She said, looking up at him a little pleadingly.

“Is that okay?”

“Do I have a choice?” Akeem replied “But things will change very soon. The professor’s consent will not be needed when I want to spend time with my girl”

“Looking forward to that as well” Yemi smiled; happy again that he was more relaxed “Now where were we in this movie?”

He laughed “What movie? Have you watched any part of it at all?”

“That’s always the problem when we are together. We just get so wrapped up in each other”

“That’s how it should be”

She turned round to look at him “Will it always be so?”

“Always” He leaned forward towards her, tipped her chin up gently and kissed her slowly “Always” He repeated, kissing her again.

His kiss was everything she had imagined. Sweet, tender and awakening all sorts of foreign emotions within her.

She drew back a long moment afterwards and tried to catch her breadth. “Hey! my dad said I should not kiss any man except my prince” She said a little shakily, trying to still her racing heart.

“And am I your prince?” He asked huskily, his face inching closer to her’s again.

“Mmmm…….” She pretended to think hard “I may need another kiss to convince me” She jumped up as he lunged at her “Oh no! I am convinced; you are definitely the one, my northern prince!”

“I don’t mind convincing you” Akeem replied softly. His gaze moved to her lips again and her heart skipped at the look in his eyes.

“I ‘m fully convinced” Yemi replied, keeping her distance. “Absolutely no doubt in my mind at all”

“Pity….just when I was looking forward to helping you make up your mind” He patted the seat beside him “Come back and sit down”

She smiled at him but made no move to return back beside him

“Don’t worry, little girl, you’re quite safe” He looked a little amused at the hesitant look on her face “Honestly”

She gingerly sat down beside him again and he laughed softly as he placed his arm around her and drew her close to his side

“How old are you again? Twenty one or fifteen?”

She giggled “Almost fifteen”

“Yeah…seems like that”

They continued chatting and at different times tried to watch the movie but somehow there was always something to talk about and they could not really concentrate on the movie for any length of time. Yemi did not know that it was possible to feel so much at peace with someone or to feel so complete just by being with him. She wasn’t going to worry about who he was or how much more experienced he appeared to be, So long as she had the assurance that he loved her, she was okay.

******
Her elder brother, Ayo picked her up from the airport when she arrived Nigeria two days later.

He hugged her before taking the baggage cart from her.”Hope you had a good time?”

“The best ever” Yemi smiled happily as they made their way out of the departure hall.

The heat enveloped her immediately they stepped out of the airport. Yeah, she was back home, the land of perpetual summer!

Ayo saw her face and grinned “Don’t worry, you ‘ll soon get used to it again”

“Hope so, right now, I feel like I’m roasting”

She was glad when they got into the car and sighed with relief when Ayo switched on the air conditioner. Little beads of perspiration were already forming on her forehead, and to think she had only been away for a month!

“Derin said she will pop in tomorrow to see you” He said referring to his wife.

“That will be cool, I ‘ve missed everyone” Yemi said, stifling a yawn with her palm. She looked out at the familiar road networks. Hot weather or not, it was good to be back on her own tuft. She yawned again and Ayo glanced at her

“You must be really tired”

“I am” She leaned her head back against the seat. “I had to get up really early this morming to catch my flight”

“You’ll feel better after a nap. I have a surgery later this afternoon so I ‘m just going to drop you off and head back to the hospital”

She smiled at him gratefully; she knew how busy he was. Her parents were attending a conference where her dad was one of the speakers and Ayo had told them he would pick her up from the airport.

He helped take her things in when they arrived at the house and then left almost immediately. She made a call to Tola’s parents. Tola was attending a job interview and would not be home until later in the day.

“Yemi, there is food in the Kitchen when you are ready” Bose, their house keeper bustled into her room a few minutes later.

“Thanks, Aunt Bose, I’ll just freshen up, then eat later” She was not a blood relative but in Nigeria, every older adult was automatically called Auntie or Uncle.

“Okay. I made your favorite. Fried rice and plantain”

Yemi smiled fondly at her “Thanks, Auntie, you are the best!”

She showered and decided to have a nap. She was already missing Akeem so much. It was amazing how much he had come to mean to her in such a short time. She didn’t want to tell her family about him yet. She hated to admit it but she wanted to see if his feelings for her would still be the same when he got back on familiar territory.

Tola had googled him up while she was still in England and they had read about his business profile, but there had also been other bits about his social life, bits that had worried her. Akeem had been linked with so many beautiful women in the past and even quite recently too. Women far more sophisticated than her, not to talk of their cool careers and wealthy backgrounds. She had again had doubts about their relationship but somehow, those doubts always faded anytime she was with him.

She sighed and rolled over on the bed. She sincerely hoped everything would be okay when he came back. She had fallen too hard for him and didn’t think she could bear it if they broke up.

The next time she opened her eyes was three hours later. She lay for a few minutes just savouring the feel of being back on her own bed again, then turned and picked up her phone from her bedside. She grimaced in dismay when she saw several missed calls from Akeem and a text saying he would call back later.

As she padded into the bathroom to wash her face, she heard her parents voices coming from the direction of the sitting room. She wiped her face and went to join them.

“Welcome back, darling” Her mother beamed as she enveloped her in a hug “Good to have you back, this house has just been too quiet!”

“Good to be back, Mum!” Yemi hugged her back, then went over to hug her Dad “Good to see you again, dad, thanks so much for super hols!”

“You are welcome, dear. I can see you enjoyed yourself”

“Very much so, Dad”

“Go get some food” Her mother urged her “Bose said you have not eaten yet”

“Better still, bring your food out here and come sit with us” Her dad added.

Just then, her phone rang. She could not stop the smile as she saw Akeem’s number. She went into the Kitchen to take the call. He told her he would call her back when he realised that she had only just seen her parents.

She took her food back to the sitting room, suddenly feeling more alive now that she had heard his voice again.

“Your holiday has done wonders for you! It’s a good thing the weather was nice all through” Her mum said, looking at her smiling face fondly “You are practically glowing!”

Yemi smiled at the compliment. “If only you knew, Mum” She thought to herself, “This glow is due to a certain attractive man and not to the English spring weather”.

*******

The next few days were busy ones for her. She had a few things she wanted to look up before Uni resumed the next week. She smiled whenever she thought of Akeem’s teasing comments about lecturer’s kids. He had been right, her academics were very important to her.

She attended her cousin’s wedding the followimg Saturday. She had made the bridesmaids dresses and felt very pleased to see how good they looked in them. Of course she knew her cousin had been trying to cut costs by asking her to make the clothes but that hadn’t dampened her enthusiasm and she had finished the dresses before her trip to England. Designing and sewing was something she enjoyed. It was more of a natural talent but she had done a few courses over the years when her mum noticed her interest in it. One of her Aunts, had a small fashion outlet close by and she went there occasionally during her hols just to help out and hone her skills.

She was often teased by her friends about why she hadn’t taken up fashion designing as a course instead of accounting but to her, that was just a hobby she enjoyed and accounting was serious stuff. Something everyone would expect from the daughter of professor Delano.

She was so excited when Akeem came in on Sunday. They were not going to be able to meet that day as she had to attend her cousin’s wedding thanksgiving service along with the rest of her family but nevertheless it felt good to know he was now just a few miles away.

She resumed school the next day. It felt nice to be back and she and her classmates swapped stories about their holidays and what they had done. Lectures were not serious yet and she had only a couple scheduled for that morning.

“Aren’t you just looking good, girl!” A familiar voice interrupted her thoughts as she hurried out after her last class. Akeem had already called her that he had sent his driver to pick her up.

“Hello Ada” she smiled on seeing her course mate behind her “You are looking good yourself, how was your hols?”

“So so” Ada replied, admiring her top “How was your holidays? I learnt you went to England”

“Lovely” Yemi replied, glancing down at her wristwatch. She had just a few minutes to walk down to the library where Akeem had told her his driver would be.

“So what goodies did you bring back?”

“Hugs and kisses!”

“Thanks but you can keep those” Ada retorted “I ‘ll to pop into your house later in the week, so have my goodies ready”

Yemi heard her phone vibrate and recognised the two last digits of the number Akeem had given her as his driver’s number.

The guy must have arrived

“Ada, I ‘ve got to dash off now”

“No worries!I’ll let you know what day I am coming to your place” She called out after her as she hurried off.

Yemi called the driver’s number and it was just as she had thought, he was already around.

“Hey Yemi!” She heard her friend’s voice Sesan’s voice and turned around. She had been concentrating hard on getting to Akeem’s driver on time and had not seen him approaching.

“Hi Shez!” She said calling him by his nickname “How ‘ve you been?”

“Good” He replied as he caught up with her “Looking great” He said as he gave her outfit and admiring glance.

She flashed him a smile “Thanks, Shez” She hoped Akeem would think so too. She had taken extra care with her appearance before leading home.

“Finished lectures for today?”

“Yep, I had only a couple of lectures, what about you?”

“I’m done as well. I ‘m off to the Library now”

“Heading in that direction as well, meeting up with someone around there”

“Good, we can walk together then” Sesan replied falling into step with her “We ‘ve not really had time for a proper talk since you returned from the UK. How was your trip?”

“Super!” Yemi smiled “Best holiday I ‘ve had in a while”

“Really? You really did say you had something to tell me when we spoke on the phone. Was that what made your holidays nice?”

“Yes, but we need plenty of time to talk about that bit”

On their way, she told him about what she had done in England, leaving out the meeting Akeem part. She would tell him about that later, she could do with a masculine perspective about Akeem anyway. Sesan and her had always been close, he was her closest friend apart from Tola, who didn’t really count, since they were cousins.

They rounded the corner before the Library and she saw Akeem’s car. It was easy to spot by the description he had given her.

The driver was standing by it and Yemi waved to him, he waved back at her.

Sesan arched his brows as he looked at Akeem’s black BMW jeep and the driver standing beside it.”Is that the person you are meeting up with?”

“Yes” Yemi replied, suddenly feeling a little self conscious “Or rather, he’s the driver of the person I ‘m going to see”

Sesan’s brows went up by another notch “Okay…”

Yemi glanced quickly at Sesan’s face. His voice had disconcerted her but his face was expressionless “Let me leave you then” He said a little quietly “I ‘ll talk to you later”

“Okay, Shez” Yemi called out to him as she hurried towards the car “We ‘ve got lots of stuff to talk about”

He stood at the same spot and gave her a small wave but his face had non of the usual cheeriness she was accustomed to. She wondered what was up with him, anyway she would catch up with him later.

“Hello, you must be Mike” She said to the driver as she got to where he was “I ‘m Yemi, thanks for coming to pick me”

“You’re welcome” He replied opening the door to the back seat for her “Are we ready to go now?”

“Yes, thank you” Yemi said settling into the car.

She brought out the magazine she had bought earlier and looked through it during the journey to Lekki where Akeem lived. There were smatterings of traffic on the road but not quite as bad as she had expected and they arrived at the house about forty minutes later.

The house was picturesque as was typical of houses in Lekki and was surrounded with well manicured lawns but she paid no more than a cursory glance at it as her eyes were immediately caught by the sight of Akeem coming out of the front door.

He hugged her tightly “So good to see you, baby. I ‘ve really missed you”

“Same here” She breathed in his now familiar cologne. It felt so good to be with him again.

He drew back a little and looked at her face critically “I think you ‘ve become even more beautiful since I last saw you”

Yemi giggled. “With all this hot sun on my skin?”

“You look beautiful in any weather” Akeem replied putting his arm around her and leading her inside the house.

“And I thought your apartment in london was nice…..” Yemi said as Akeem took her through the reception into the sitting room. She looked around admiringly at the beautiful interior of the house “It’s not even half as lovely as this”

“Glad you like it. That’s a plus as you’re going to be spending a lot of time here”

“Are you sure about that?” Yemi teased.

“Remember my threat in London?” He growled “My ancestors didn’t waste time those days. They carried off their women and sought parental consent afterwards”

“Somebody help me!” Yemi pretended to be scared “But like I told you then, I’d be such a willing captive that my parents will be thoroughly ashamed of me”

“They will get used to it” Akeem smiled back at her.”Drinks or do I show you round first?”

She linked her arm through his “Let’s go round first”

“So how’s the Prof and his wife?”

“They’re good”

“I’ll be take you home this evening, so hopefully I can see them then”

Yemi hesitated. She knew her family and although she had no fears that they would like and accept Akeem. She did not want to just spring him up in their faces like that without any prior notice.

“Let’s do it this way” She said as they climbed the wide spiral staircase, “I will speak to my mum about you and then you can meet them at another time”

He appeared to think about it “All right but I want to register my presence in your family” He pulled her close for a moment

“I get a little scared sometimes at the thought of another guy having any ideas about you”

“It’s hard to imagine you scared” Yemi smiled “But for the record, there is absolutely no competition”

“Those Uni boys had better not come anywhere near my girl!”

Yemi giggled at the possessive look in his eyes “They could not get me interested in the four years I ‘ve been there, so it’s definitely not happening now I that I ‘ve met you”

“Good to hear that but I ‘m still not letting my gaurd down”

“What if a lady gets ideas about you?” She asked “Come to think of it, how am I sure that there are not loads of them hanging around you all the time?”

“To borrow your words” Akeem said looking down at her “No competition”

She looked into his eyes. She loved him and that included trusting everything he told her “Nothing for either of us to worry about then. Now show me the rest of this beautiful house!”

Much later in the evening, he took her back home. She let herslef in with her key. There was no one in the sitting room and she assumed her parents were in their room. She walked to her room quickly with the bags of shopping that Akeem had gotten her from England. All designer labels from shops so exclusive they didn’t have branches at malls like Bluewater.

She was removing her shoes when she heard her Mother’s voice outside.

“Yemi, are you back?” Her mother opened her bedroom room and peered in “I thought I heard someone come in”

“Hello Mum” Yemi smiled as her mother came into the room “Did not want to disturb you, how was your day?”

“Busy but fine” She eyed the bags on the bed “Still not finished unpacking yet?”

“Mmmmm….. just some more stuff from my friend”

Her mother arched her brows curiously “Anyone I know?”

“Not really, Mum” Yemi replied a little self consciously”I met him during my holidays in England”

“Oh, the guy that has been calling you nonstop, eh?”

“Mum! So you ‘ve been watching me!”

“How can I help it?” Her mother asked, smiling as she sat down on Yemi’s bed “My daughter suddenly starts smiling into space without any reason, appears distracted when she is with her family, not to talk of constantly being on the phone twenty four seven!”

“Mum……you are exaggerating!”

“Am I?” Her mum countered smiling at her “So who is this mystery man?”

Yemi smiled as she told her about Akeem. Her mother listened and watched her face as she spoke, only interrupting to ask her a few questions.

“So, mum?” Yemi asked when she was done “What do you think?”

“He sounds like a nice guy and you ‘re obviously in love with him” Her mother replied rather carefully.

“But….you ‘re not sounding too excited for me”

“I ‘m happy my daughter has finally told me about a guy that she likes but…….” She stopped and shrugged.

“But what, mum?”

“He’s a bit older than you, sounds a lot more experienced too” She exhaled slowly “I’ve heard of his family or at least, I know the businesses they own…”

“Mum, Akeem is so simple, you’ll not believe it!”

A slight frown furrowed her mother’s brows “I ‘m just a little concerned about how you would fit into his background”

“Mum, the age bit is simple” Yemi began earnestly, getting ready to tackle the issues her mum had raised. “I’ve always wanted someone older…..”

“Yemi” Her mum cut in gently “You have always been a very responsible girl. We will accept any friend of yours but all I’m asking is for you to be very careful”

That was a relief. She loved her parents and wanted them to accept Akeem “Thanks, mum” She replied giving her a hug.

“So invite him over and let’s meet him”

“Will do, mum”

After The Storm – Chapter 1

Hello People,

How are you? How was your week? For readers in Nigeria, Eku elections!

Today’s story, After the Storm is by Osa Adeyemi. I was hooked after reading the first chapter. You can read the rest on her blog :http://osaradeyemi.blogspot.com/ .

Sorry for not completing Through The Waters yet, I haven’t been able to write.

*****
Yemi gazed at the trees in full bloom outside the Blue water shopping mall in Kent. She felt they were absolutely breath-taking especially the Cherry blossoms. She stood there for a few minutes, then brought out her mobile phone to capture the scene. She reluctantly tore her eyes from the trees and walked into the shopping mall.

It was a lovely spring morning in April. Spring was her favourite time of the year and today’s weather was just perfect. The good weather coupled with the fact that she was going shopping, another favourite pastime of hers all added to her being in very high spirits.

A few minutes later, she walked into River Island Store. They were having sales and the prices were unbelievable. She picked out three tops and a couple of pants. She was making her way over to the fitting room to try them on when her gaze caught some more tops on display. She groaned inwardly when she saw the price tag. They were new stock so were full price. She began to move away but could not resist glancing back at them again. She would have to forfeit something else in order to get it but she was already sold on the top. She stopped further debate within herself and picked a size eight.

Three hours later, she had gone to several stores and had quite a few bags on her arms. She walked to the Hawes and Curtis shop to get some shirts for her brothers, her cousin, Tola and herself. She picked three male shirts and was undecided about the fourth one. She stood there for a while trying to make up her mind, then decided to go pick the female shirts before coming back to the male section.

Picking her own shirt was easy. She wanted a pink shirt and saw a patterned one she liked immediately. She looked at other shirts trying to decide which would best suit Tola, she would definitely not want something monotone. She was a bit whacky and the crazier the colours, the more she would like it.

As she stood there looking at the different shirts, she was not quite sure what made her look up and as she did so, looked straight into the eyes of a guy across the store. It was obvious he had been staring at her and as their eyes met, he made no effort to look away, rather a small lazy smile curved his lips.
She looked away, feeling slightly miffed. “At least he could have looked away when he was caught staring” She thought to herself.
A few minutes later she finally made up her mind what shirt to pick for Tola and then moved across the store to make the final selection in the male section.

“I believe the blue shirt looks better” Yemi heard the deep smooth voice before she saw the person speaking. She turned around and saw the guy that had been staring at her.

“Both shirts are nice but the blue looks a bit more attractive” He said to her with a slight smile.

She was not in the mood for smart pick up lines from any guy and her first thought was to dismiss him as quickly as possible but as she cast another quick glance at him, she found herself unable to do so. She didn’t know if it was the dark eyes that had a hint of roguish charm or the chiseled attractive face that arrested her, but she found herself feeling strangely tongue tied.

“I think so too” She heard herself replying a little lamely “Just that I like the purple shirt as well”

“Then get them both”

She looked at his face again. She was not short but judging by how much she had to look up to see his face, he had to be well over six feet. His fitted beige polo shirt showed his lean muscled arms to good advantage and his lithe frame was suggestive of someone that either had an active lifestyle or worked out a lot. Yeah, he was an attractive man, she thought to herself and judging from the very confident air that exuded from him, was probably very aware of it too.

“I’ve already gotten these other ones” She replied looking at the other shirts she was holding “I ll just pick the blue shirt shirt. Thanks for helping me decide”

“You’re welcome” He replied, extending his hand towards her.”I ‘m Akeem Kadiri”

“Yemi Delano” She briefly clasped his extended hand “Well, thanks again for helping me choose” She said as she took the shirt and made to head towards the Till.

“Hey, let me help you with those bags”

“I ‘m okay” She said as he made to take the bags from her “Really I am” she repeated.

“Can’t have a lady lugging all these bags around” Akeem replied, smiling charmingly at her as he took the bags from her. A faint whiff of his cologne teased her nostrils, masculine and fresh.

“Thanks, that’s kind of you”

“My pleasure”

“Do you live here?” He asked her as they made their way towards the till.

“No, I’ m on holidays. What about you?”

“I ‘m here on business but my little sis does not understand that” He smiled ruefully as he glanced at the shopping bags in his hands “I’ve always got to get her something”

“But I can see you I’ve got some things already” Yemi said looking at the shopping bags he was carrying. Some bore the names of some shops that she only ever went in to have a look because their sale prices were higher than the full prices of items in other stores.

“I’ve actually bought everything I need. Got her some other stuff and she specifically asked for shirts from this shop, so that’s it, I ‘m done now” He sounded relieved.

She was amused at at the expression on his face, typical male, it was obvious he didn’t enjoy being in shops.

They got to the Till and took their turn on the short queue. Akeem paid for the shirts he had picked then made to pay for her’s.

“Oh no, I’ve got that covered” She replied quickly, handing her money over to the cashier. He must have noticed the determined look on her face because he said nothing more.

He shot her an amused glance as they walked out of the shop “Are you always this independent? I didn’t mean any harm”

“I ‘m sorry if I sounded ungrateful but I had really budgeted for those shirts” She glanced at her wristwatch “I’ve got to go now but it’s been nice meeting you…” She held out her hands for her shopping bags.

A teasing smile curved his lips “Trying to get rid of me? Not so fast. Are you done shopping?”

“No, but I can see you don’t like shopping and I don’t want to hold you up”

“I’m not complaining. So long as you agree to have lunch with me afterwards”

Yemi hesitated “What were you planning up do after getting the shirts for your sister?”

“Have lunch, go home….nothing special planned”

She shrugged “Very well then but I want to pop into about three more stores and then I ‘ll be done”

“At your service” He made an exaggerated bow and she was forced to laugh.

“Don’t say you weren’t warned” She told him as she led the way towards another store.

“No worries! Just carry on”

True to his word, he followed her to all the stores she wanted to go to and waited patiently while she looked at different items and picked what she wanted. She could feel him looking at her all through. That seemed to be a habit with him and he just smiled in that slow attractive way of his whenever their eyes met.

“Phew!” She whistled as she stepped out of Next Stores a while later “I am really tired now, you must be too” She said in an almost accusatory tone. There was no way he could have enjoyed what she had just put him through. She had actually been expecting him to tell her that at some point that he had to go.

“I told you that I ‘m at your service” He replied, clearly amused at her slightly peeved tone “Are you sure you ‘re done?”

“Now you ‘re making fun of me”

“No I’m not!” Akeem laughed. “And really, I ‘m quite okay if you still have any more shops to go to”

“One more actually” Yemi answered, smiling mischievously up at him “But this time just to look, not buying anything”

He arched his brow slightly “Why is that?”

“You ‘ll see when we get there” She smiled mysteriously “I always go in there when I am in Bluewater but like I said, it’s just to look”

She led the way towards the store and a few minutes later they entered the Mulberry Shop.

“See what I mean!” She laughed as she held up a bag for him to look at the price tag. “That’s all the shopping money I brought to England!”

“Nice bag though” He commented, looking at the bag closely “Neat finishing, beautiful leather”

“Mulberry Bags are always lovely, but way too expensive for a student like me” She picked up another one and giggled at the price tag. It was even more expensive than the first one.

“Hmmm….” Akeem was still busy looking at the different bags “My sister would love one of these but I wonder why ladies like bags?”

“No idea!” Yemi laughed “We just do!”

“I think this is the prettiest” He held up one of the bags.

“I like this one best” Yemi said pointing to another one “Tan is a lovely colour. It has a way of bringing out the beauty of a bag more than black”

“Seems like you know what you are talking about” Akeem teased.

“I love bags; I may not be able to afford a Mulberry bag now but someday…” She clicked her fingers “I shall snap one up” She turned towards him with a satisfied smile on her face “I think I ‘m done now”
Akeem took one final look at the bags before following her out of the store “So now that we’re done, where would you like to eat?”

She shrugged “I don’t really mind anywhere, KFC, MacDonald’s, Nando’s, any one of them will do”

“Sushi?”

She made a face “Nah!”

He laughed “It’s very healthy, you know, tastes good too”

She shook her head “Thanks but no thanks!”

“Well, whatever the lady wants, why don’t we go downstairs then and see where the least queue is?”

They settled for Nando’s, the queue was surprisingly short. They were led to their table by a waiter and Akeem went back to queue up for their orders.

“So how long are you staying in England?” He asked when he came back to the table.

“I ‘ve got nine days left. What about you?”

“I am here for two weeks, although I will be flying to Scotland in between”

“What do you do?” Yemi asked curiously. The more she talked with him, the more she felt he was not like the regular guys she had known in the past; in fact he made seem like boys.

“What do I do?” Akeem repeated, as if trying to remember “In broad terms, I am a business man”

“What kind of business do you do?”

“I don’t want to bore your pretty head with business talk”

“That’s patronising”

His lips twitched in amusement at her tone “My family is largely into Oil and Gas, real estate and banking”

Yemi kept a bland face as she tried to take in the information. She looked at his face again as though trying to decipher if he was joking or not. He seemed to have loads of confidence but other than that, appeared to be guy on a day out. Yes, he bought his sister designer clobber from exclusive stores but anyone that wanted to give their sister a treat could do that, couldn’t they? Her thoughts were interrupted as the waiter brought their food.

“Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?” Akeem asked a few minutes later, spearing a piece of chicken with his fork.

“Go on and ask. I don’t guarantee giving you an answer though”

“How old are you?”

“You should not ask a lady how old they are”

He chuckled “Yeah, I’ve heard of that, that’s why I asked you for permission”

“I was twenty one, two months ago. This holiday is actually my birthday present from my parents and my brothers. What about you? How old are you?”

“Twenty nine next birthday”

She pretended to do a double take “Hmmm…. old man” She teased.

“Little girl” Akeem replied, smiling that slow attractive smile at her again “Little beautiful girl”

Yemi looked away, feeling slightly flustered. He had such beautiful eyes, dark with thick lashes. She shook herself mentally. She had to get a grip on herself. He seemed to have a way of making her feel unsettled with just one glance. She decided to concentrate on her chicken.

“So where do you live back home?”

Yemi made to answer, then heard her phone ring. She looked at her handset and saw it was Tola.

“Sorry Akeem, I have to take this call, my cousin is meant to meet me up here and may be wondering where I am”

A few minutes later, she put her handset away, looking slightly disappointed.

“Are you okay?” He asked, looking concerned.

“I ‘m fine” Yemi sighed “She was supposed to pick me up but she’s held up in traffic”

“I can take you home”

“You drive here? Oh, I see, you have an international driving license”

“I did both my A levels and Uni here, got my UK driver’s license then”

“Oh”

He took another sip of his drink, not taking his eyes off her “So back to my question, where do you live in Lagos?”

“Akoka, my dad is a lecturer at University of Lagos, we live in the staff quarters, what about you?”

“On the Island, Lekki”

“What discipline does your mum lecture?”

“Maths”
“Mmmm….clever lady, and your dad?”

“He’s a professor of economics”

“Whoa!”

“You are from the North, aren’t you?” She had been trying to decipher that for some time. His accent didn’t tell her anything but after struggling to fit him into a state, she had concluded that was the most likely region he was from.

He smiled “Correct. I’m from Niger state. My parents moved to Lagos when I was five”

Yemi looked at him thoughtfully and he looked back at her with an inscrutable look in his eyes. She was dying to ask him more questions but didn’t want to appear to be prying.

“Go on and ask” Akeem said, a smile tugging the corner of his lips.

She could not help smiling back “What makes you think I want to ask you a question?” She countered.

“It’s written all over your face”

“How is the chicken? hope you like it?” She asked mischievously and Akeem laughed.

“You know you weren’t going to ask me about the chicken” He said, still laughing. “So go on and ask me what you want to know”

Definitely not. She thought to herself. That would be setting herself up and he would think she was interested in him. It didn’t matter that he had carried her bags all afternoon and insisted she had lunch with him.

“What Uni did you go to?” She asked. That was a general question, wasn’t it?

“Warwick”

“Mmmm, nice one. It’s part of the Russel group of schools, isn’t it?”

“Lecturer’s kids like stuff like that, don’t they?” He teased “Russell group, Ivy League……” He said each word in a lofty manner before laughing at the look on her face.

“I don’t have to be a lecturer’s kid to like a good school” Yemi protested.

“But you guys tend to be more academic minded” He leaned forward slightly and his cologne teased her nostrils again as he did so, woodsy and spicy. Heady. “Tell me what it was like growing up in a university campus”

She made a face at him “No way, you’re just going to turn around and use it against me” She glanced at her wristwatch “I’ve to get going now anyway”

“No need to rush off, I ‘m taking you home, remember?”

She hesitated “I really don’t want to take you out of your way”

“It’s no bother, Yemi, and we can set out now if you like”

“All right, thank you”

They made their way to the parking lot and he led her towards his car. He clicked on the car keys in his hands and the indicators of his car flashed as they got closer. She didn’t recognise the make of the car but it was a sleek looking low sports car. He held the door open for her and she was again impressed with his manners.

She tried not to stare at the plush interior of the car. What he had said earlier about his family business was starting to make some sense to her. Well, if he was from that kind of family, he certainly had no airs whatsoever. She watched him subtly as he keyed the postcode of her aunt’s house into the satnav of the car.

The strains of some soft jazz music filtered in from the speakers as he drove out of the parking lot. They talked lightly as he drove on towards Darent Valley Park where Yemi was staying with her Aunt and her family.

As they got closer to the street where she lived, he glanced sideways at her “My business meetings take up most of my mornings and afternoons but I’d love to see you in the evenings, is that okay?”

She did not reply immediately. He seemed a nice guy but someone as good looking as he was had to have tonnes of girls around him. She was not joining that queue. “Let me have a think about it and get back to you”

He cast her a quick look before focusing ahead again “Are you in a relationship?” He asked after a couple of minutes.

“No I ‘m not. Are you?”

“No” He replied “So?”

She pretended she didn’t know what he meant “So, what?”

“So now that we have that out of the way, shall I pick you up tomorrow at about seven?”

“I’ll let you know”

He glanced at her again but said nothing and continued driving. A few minutes later, he drove into the street where her Aunt lived.

“That’s the house over there, by the blue Hyundai” Yemi said pointing to one of the houses in the street “You can park anywhere around here”

He carried her bags to the front door then asked her for mobile number. She waited until he had driven off before she went inside. She felt strangely light and happy and could not keep the silly smile off her face. She started to put her shopping away but changed her mind, she knew Tola would want to see them when she came back. She flopped on the bed and rolled over.

“No use getting your head up in the clouds, he may not even call again” But she could not stop the warm fuzzy thoughts flitting through her mind.

She must have dozed off because the next thing she knew was Tola tapping her gently.

“Wake up sleeping beauty” Her cousin grinned at her “How on earth are you still going to be able to sleep tonight?”

Yemi smiled sleepily as she stretched herself on the bed “Wow, I feel so refreshed!”

“How did the shopping go?”

“Let me show you” Yemi stretched herself again before getting up.

“Cool choices!” Tola said as she inspected the clothes “But then you ‘ve always had an eye for good stuff” Her eyes caught a particular top “Whoa! look at that!” She held it against herself and her eyes widened some more as she saw the price tag

“No! the price can’t be that low!”

“Seventy per cent discount, my girl” Yemi replied smugly “I snapped it up immediately, that was the only one left”

“It’s beautiful. You’re going to blow everyone away this last semester”

Yemi put her things away, then lay back on the bed. “I met someone today…”

Tola pounced on the bed in excitement “Hey, what have you been up to, girl!”

Yemi recounted her afternoon to Tola while the latter listened with rapt attention.

She eyed Yemi “I can see you like him”

Yemi smiled coyly “Not really sure….”

“Don’t deceive yourself. When is he going to call?”

“He may not even call again” She pouted slightly “He called me a little girl!”

“But he spent the whole of the afternoon with you. That has got to mean something; he is definitely going to call”

“That’s down to him. I ‘m certainly not going to call him

“Loosen up,girl! What have you got to lose?”

Her heart to a handsome stranger on a business trip to England? She didn’t like the picture that came up in her mind. Maybe it would be just as well if he didn’t call again. She didn’t need any man messing with her emotions.

*****

Tola and her spent the evening cooking and chatting and then decided to watch a movie afterwards. Much later, they trudged upstairs to their bedroom. Tola’s parents had retired to bed and the girls were the only ones awake in the house.

Yemi heard her phone ring just as she settled in bed. She fished her handset out of her bag and her eyes widened as she saw Akeem’s number. Tola’s eyes gleamed, catching on who it was. She smiled and inched closer to Yemi. Yemi put a finger across her lips motioning her not to speak.

“Hello Akeem” She said as she connected the call “Aren’t old men supposed to be in bed by now?”

He chuckled “Little girls too. It’s way past your bedtime”

“I ‘m already in bed. What have you been up to?”

“Thinking of you, hoping you were not just a daydream. I had to call you to make sure”

Yemi laughed “I can assure you I ‘m very much flesh and blood”

He pretended to exhale deeply “I ‘m definitely breathing easier now. So is our date on tomorrow?”

She paused before answering “I believe so”

“Great! I ‘ll definitely sleep better now that I know I ‘ll be seeing you tomorrow”

“Do you always call ladies this late at night?” She smiled as she saw Tola inching closer still and trying to hear Akeem through the phone.

“Only beautiful ones that keep flitting around in my mind” She could hear the smile in his voice. “What are you doing during the day tomorrow?”

“Not going anywhere. Just going to laze around with my cousin”

“I wish I could spend the whole day with you” He said softly.

Yemi felt her her heart flutter at his tone “Well that’s obviously not going to happen”

“Don’t be too sure, I could scrap all my meetings. Call in sick, think up an excuse, anything”

“That will be an own goal, won’t it?”

“See your effect on me? You are making me think irrationally”

“I’d better not see you again then”

He laughed “Girl, I will be camped outside your door until you do! Placards and all!”

“You I’ve been watching too many romantic movies”

“My schedule’s been too tight for movies lately but even when I do, it’s definitely not romantic movies”

“Then maybe we should go watch a nice soppy one tomorrow”

“No way!”

She looked at Tola who was now lying back on the bed “I ‘ve got to go now, Akeem”

“Do you?” He replied, sounding as if he didn’t want to end the conversation “All right, tomorrow is almost here anyway”

“Yeah…So have a good night”

“You too, little girl” Akeem replied softly “Have a lovely night”

*****

Akeem sent her a text at about noon the next day. Yemi read the text and then text him back. They continued texting each other back and forth until Tola was thoroughly disgusted.

A few minutes before seven o’clock later that evening, The door bell ring.

“Looks like your guy has arrived” Tola said peeping out through their bedroom window “Can’t see the face clearly but there is someone at the door. I’ll just go check”

Yemi looked quickly at the mirror. She was wearing one of the new dresses she had bought the day before. The simple cut flattered her figure. It had thin straps, flared out just after the hips and ended in soft folds around her knees.

The evening looked like it just might be a little cool and Tola had lent her a wrap in almost the same shade as the dress.

Tola could barely contain her excitement when she came back upstairs. “The guy is gorgeous! And he drives an Aston Martin! Peeped at it from the study, that’s the only strange car out there and I know it’s got to his!”

“So that’s what it is, thought it looked nice”

“Nice?” She rolled her eyes as if in despair of Yemi’s ignorance “I don’t know what I am going to do with you!”

Yemi made a face at her as she slipped on her shoes and took one final glance at the mirror.

“Go on, girl” Tola said, giving her a gentle push “You look fab!”

Akeem stood up when they entered the sitting room. “Hey” His eyes swept over her admiringly “You look beautiful”

“Thanks” She hoped she was not sounding as breathless as she felt. Just one look from those eyes and she was melting like butter. She introduced Tola to him.

“Hello again…..Tola” Akeem replied with a smile.

Yemi was amazed to see her brash cousin shy. It was good to know it wasn’t just her he had that effect on.

They made light conversation on their way. He drove confidently and appeared very used to the road networks. She glanced subtly at his hands on the steering wheel. He had nice fingers, long and neatly manicured. She also liked the way the cut of his navy blue blazer molded his broad shoulders, like it was made on him.

He glanced at her at that moment and caught her eyes on him. She looked quickly away, feeling a little embarrassed.

He turned off the motorway into a side road and a few minutes drove into the parking lot of a hotel.

“Nice looking place” Yemi said as they walked into the restaurant.

“I’ve been here before and really liked their service. I didn’t want to drive into London since I’d promised I won’t keep you out late”

A waiter approached them and Akeem gave him the reservation number of the table he had booked, the waiter led them to the table, took their orders for drinks and left them with the menu.

“So when will you be done with Uni?” He asked.

“About four months from now, can hardly wait!”

“Maybe you can come work for me” Akeem said and Yemi laughed “Honestly” He maintained.

She smiled cheekily at him “Are you sure you can afford to pay me?”

He smiled back at her “I should be able to pay a little girl like you. Tell me what you want and it’s a done deal”

“Don’t tempt me, I may just ask to be paid in pounds”

“I like people who place value on themselves, even inexperienced ones my company has to train first” He chuckled as the indignant look on her face.

“Inexperienced or not, I’ll definitely add value to any company I work for!”

“That’s the confidence I like so much about you” He was still looking very amused “Are you ready to make your order now?” He asked. She nodded and he beckoned to the hovering waiter.

The food was lovely but she enjoyed his company more. She found herself relaxing and laughing with him as if they had known each other for a long time.

“Do you come to England that often?” She asked she learnt he owned the apartment he was staying in.

“A few times, but this is about the longest time I’m spending on one trip, glad though” He added softly “As it will give me some time with you before we go back home”

Yemi felt her heart race at the look in his eyes but she tried to keep her tone light “And then the business man goes back to the board room and the student to the lecture theater”

“Really?” He asked with an amused frown “So you mean I ‘m just going to be some sort of entertainment for you while you ‘re on holiday?”

“Glad you’ve caught on” Yemi smiled, playing along “This is a special hobby of mine. I meet old men, amuse myself, dump them and move on”

“Whoa, I am in trouble then, a serial heart breaker!”
Yemi laughed at his mock expression of fear “Better start praying so you don’t fall prey”

“Too late” Akeem said holding her gaze “I was hooked the moment I saw you and I don’t intend to get dumped”

“You can’t prevent it” Yemi boasted “That’s the way it is”

He smiled as he shook his head slightly “”I ‘m not letting that happen to me. Baby, where you go….., I go too”

She found herself liking him more as the evening went on. He was such an easy going guy, confident without being arrogant, in fact if she wanted to be truthful to herself, she liked him a great deal.

“Here we are” He said as he parked in front of her house later that night “Safely delivered back home in one piece”

“Thanks, I’ve really had such a pleasant evening”

“The pleasure was all mine” He put off the ignition and turned towards her “Yemi, I was serious about what I said earlier. I really do like you”

She suddenly found it difficult meeting his eyes “But we’ve only just met”

“I know, but I also know there’s something special about you” He took her hand in his and squeezed gently when she remained quiet “Yemi?”

She lifted her eyes to his face. From what she had seen of him, she knew he definitely would not be lacking in female companionship “What do you want from me, Akeem?”

He met her gaze full on “An opportunity to allow what’s stirring up between us grow” He replied softly. “Give me a chance to know you better”

Yemi looked at him. She liked him but she had no intention of being a casual fling for a traveling business man “Its getting late, I’ve got to go in now” She finally said.

“Am I seeing you tomorrow?”

“Not tomorrow but I’ll call you”

He released her hand after another gentle squeeze, then touched her cheek lightly “Have a lovely night.”

*******

“What are you smiling and staring at?” Tola asked as she came into the room the next day “Oh let me guess” She said as she saw Yemi looking at her phone “Another text from Prince Charming. Are you seeing him again tonight?”

“I declined, felt I needed time to clear my head and put things in the right perspective”

“Has he asked you out formally?”

“Well sort of, he says he wants us get to know each other better. Same thing, isn’t it?”

“Yep” She nodded “And If I were you, I’d say yes to him. He appears very nice, super hot too!”

Yemi chewed on her lower lip. “I don’t want to let go of my feelings and then find out he ‘s only been playing me along”

“Relax and just go with the flow, girl!”

Yemi scowled “Be serious Tola”

Her eyes widened “But I am! Or do you know any other way to find out?”

She didn’t. She already liked him and she knew it would take very little to like him a whole lot more. It took just one look from those gorgeous dark eyes of his and all her defenses appeared to crumble. Why would a guy have eyes like that anyway?

Smouldering dark eyes with thick lashes. They were a positive hazard to any girl.

“I guess every girl goes through this” Tola said interrupting her thoughts “One’s never really sure how exactly things would go”

“But you know I ‘m not really an experimenting kind of girl”

Tola grimaced “Don’t we all know it? You ‘ve never even had a proper relationship”

“I ‘ve not missed a lot either” Yemi replied drily “Just by watching your relationships, the giddy beginnings and then the inevitable call from you telling me that it was fun while it lasted but that it’s all over” She made a face at Tola “That’s enough to turn anyone off”

“Maybe…… but I’ve got all that experience!” Tola said airily “And I’ve learnt a lesson from every single one of them and one day I’ll meet my ‘Perfect one’”

Yemi sniffed at the dreamy expression on her face “That’s the trouble with you. Take things a bit slower and and don’t even start a relationship until you’re really sure”

“Yes Grandma” Tola mocked throwing a pillow at her “But where would the fun be if I don’t experiment?”

Yemi ducked the pillow and threw another one back at her “You need help”

Arinola-temi

Hi people,

I’m officially the laziest blogger I know *covers face*, I’m sure you are tired of my numerous excuses. Anyways, I have a new story for you today. I know I haven’t finished with Through the waters but just enjoy a different story.

******

“Over my dead body! Arinola you CANNOT marry that man!”

“What will people say???”

“You will call him and return that ring. IS THAT CLEAR?”

I hear the sound of my parents’ voice over my head. My mum is sitting across and my dad is pacing about the living room.

My head is bowed and my eyes are focused on the engagement ring on my finger. I smile as I remembered the day Akintunde asked me to marry him. We had just seen a romantic comedy which I forced him to watch and he was driving me back home. He took a detour and I asked him where he was going but he refused to tell me.

“What are we doing here?” I asked when I noticed he stopped in front of Ikeja High School

“Young lady, you ask too many questions!”

“Seriously Akintunde, I haven’t been to this school in about 2 years. So I think I’m allowed to ask questions.”

“Okay, keep asking oh!” He replied playfully and got out of his car. I waited while he came round to open my door.

Even after dating for a year, he still opened the door for me; he was the true definition of a gentle man.

“AKIN! I’m not stepping out of the car if you don’t tell me why we are here! Cos today is a Saturday and obviously not a school day”

“Please now.” He begged and pulled my hand. I obliged and we walked towards the front gate. Surprisingly, there was a security man at the gate who smiled at us and opened the gate. We walked hand in hand past some classrooms and climbed the stairs to the second floor. I was shocked to see rose petals from the stairs of the second floor and I looked at his face and he simply smiled. The rose petals led us to the computer lab and I was still trying to understand what was happening when Akintunde went on his knee.

“Oh my gosh!” I screamed

“Arinola-temi this seems like the oddest place to propose to you but I couldn’t think of a better place because this was where I first realised you were special to me. I couldn’t take my eyes off you…I love you so much and would like to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

“Arinola dear listen to your father.” My mum’s voice brings me out of my reverie and I sit up.

“Mum but I love him.” I say amidst tears.

“Arinola, love is not enough my dear.”

“Love? What do you know about love young lady?” my dad says

“Pleaseeee daddy please.” I get down on my knees and beg my parents to allow me marry the love of my life, the one my heart desires. “Please mum talk to daddy.” I speak to my mum with pleading eyes, tears falling down my cheeks.
“Now I regret sending you to England to study because that’s where you learnt that something like this is okay!” My dad storms out in anger and my mum sinks back into her seat. I don’t blame them for their reaction. Whose parents wouldn’t react this way?

ARINOLA-TEMI, that’s what he calls me. He’s the one person on earth who calls me that.

People say you can’t help who you fall in love with. Now I know it’s true.

It was summer 2012 when I moved back to Nigeria. I had just graduated from the University of Nottingham with a first class in International Economics. I had always wanted to come back home so I never bothered to apply for jobs in the UK. I was so excited about coming back home after being away for 5 years since I never came home to visit because of my superstitious parents. They were scared “awon aye” would kill me just the same way they killed my twin sister when we were 10. They came to visit me together every summer and my mum came over during Christmas too.

I was so excited about the next phase of my life. I looked forward to the “new Lagos” based on all the stories my friends told me whenever they came back from summer holidays to “Naij” as they called it. I was excited at being one of the IJGB kids. I moved back with 6 suitcases as I had to go shopping for clothes and other necessities I would need. My friend Sandra kept drumming into my ears that “there is no dulling in Lagos; you have to always look on point.”

My parents were equally excited to have their only child back at home. They were so proud of me and boasted about me to anyone who cared to listen. They got an interior decorator to decorate my room, got me a brand new car and even went as far as getting me a driver because they said driving in Lagos was crazy.

I arrived on Nigerian soil on the 21st of July 2012, two weeks after my graduation ceremony. After a month of adjusting to the heat, irregular power supply (thank God for generators and inverters!) I travelled to Abuja to register for NYSC. Foreign students had to go register at the nation’s capital for NYSC. My mum insisted on coming with me but I had to stop her, thankfully, my friend Aisha who had just moved back from Canada was going to register too.

We got to Abuja, registered for NYSC and explored the city for 3 days before moving back to Lagos; we visited Ceddi plaza, Jabi lake and bought kilishi from Garki Area 2. We both hoped we would be posted to Lagos, although our parents had plans to “work” our posting to Lagos. I heard that sometimes working one’s posting fails.

Our call up letter came out and we were both posted to Lagos! I was posted to a private school in Ikeja and Aisha was posted to Ikeja local government. NYSC had a policy of posting youth corpers to only schools and government agencies. I was excited about serving in a school as I had some teaching experience from volunteering during my undergrad days in the UK.

I can’t believe I made it through the entire three weeks of orientation camp. Longest three weeks of my life! From the annoying bugle that woke us up at an ungodly 4am to the poor state of the hostels and toilet. I couldn’t believe 27 double bunks could be crammed into one small room with little or no ventilation. I hated the morning parols, hated the boring lectures under the hot canopy, hated mammy market, and hated how I turned darker despite my sun cream. I didn’t poo for the 21 days in camp because I just couldn’t get myself to use a ‘shiting bucket’ or use the disgusting camp toilets. The last day of camp had to be one of my happiest days!
At my PPA, I was made a Year 7 Business Studies teacher and a class teacher. I enjoyed my job and my students loved me. I was active at my Community Development (CD) group; we planned to refurbish the computer lab of Ikeja high school before passing out. We decided to raise funds by approaching some of the multinationals in Ikeja since they were close by.

One CDs day, a fellow corper, Kene and I decided to visit two of the companies we had written to about our project. We were given a 10 o clock appointment in the first company and we were there by 9:30am. We got our visitors tag and sat patiently at the reception. When it was 10 o’ clock, the receptionist didn’t call us, I got up to remind her five minutes after and she said the admin manager who we had the appointment with was in a meeting. At 11, we were still waiting, my friend got up to speak to her and she said he was still in a meeting. By 12:30 we were both tired and knew we had to leave to make it for out next appointment at 1 pm in the other company. We both got up to leave and the receptionist apologized and said we should book another appointment.

Annoyed and disappointed, we left and I drove to the other company praying that we would not have a similar experience. This one was even scarier because we were going to see the MD; I mean if an admin manager couldn’t make out time for us, how much more the MD of a company.

We got to the office just in time and we were immediately directed to his office. He was a middle aged man with a friendly face. He smiled as we walked in and said hello to us. As we took our seats opposite him, it dawned on me that I had seen him before but I couldn’t remember where.

We made small talk about our educational background, NYSC, the state of the economy, the company and the job market. He offered us lunch which we gladly accepted. We talked about the project and showed him pictures of the labs we planned to refurbish. All the while, I was racking my brain to remember where I had seen him before. Was it at church? At an event I attended with my parents?

“We are very much interested in this project. Personally, the state of our educational system saddens me. From lack of infrastructure to unqualified teachers to falling standards. Just two days ago, I heard over the radio that only 33% of students who sat for WAEC passed maths and English” He said.

“I have a 12 year old son in secondary school and I want the best for him.” He continued. “It’s easy for me because I can afford it. How about the common man on the street? Who doesn’t want the best for his son or daughter?” He reached into pocket and brought out his wallet, opened it and removed a passport photograph. “This is my son Bidemi, he’s my world.” He said handing the photograph to Kene who looked at it and passed it on to me. One glance at his son and then it hit me.

His son was a student in my school; which means I must have seen Mr Coker in school before. “He’s handsome sir. Does he attend Sure Foundation School?” I asked.

“Thanks. Yes he does, he’s in Year 9. Do you know him?”

“Yes I do, I serve there.”

“Oh okay, that’s good. Hope you enjoy teaching?”

“Yes I do sir.”

“Kene you mentioned you were posted to the local government.”

“Yes sir.”

“I know you must have free time on your hands. Use it wisely.”

Mr. Coker called the accountant to inform him to write a cheque for us and our lunch arrived just as we were about to leave. We thanked him, took our take-away lunch with us and went to the accountant’s office.

The amount written on the cheque made Kene and I gasp. It was way above what we expected; it was in fact the total amount we needed for the project which meant no need to go source for more fund.

We kick started our project, I noticed Bidemi more often I school and I saw Mr. Coker a few times during PTA and report day. We spoke each time we met about the project and I promised to send him an invite on the day we were going to dedicate the building.

We completed the computer lab and decided to dedicate it a week to our POP. I gave Bidemi an invitation card for his dad and Mr. Coker promised to come. We had the dedication ceremony and Mr. Coker was there right from the start of the event to the end which was impressive. We were so proud of ourselves. We bought 20 PCs, put 2 ACs in the lab, repainted it and changed the furniture. The look on the faces of the students as they saw the transformation of their computer lab was priceless.

The ceremony ended and I was exhausted but glad because it took 7 months to complete the project. I was speaking to our LGI* and I noticed Mr. Coker standing at a corner and smiling at me. I left the LGI and went to meet him.

“Hi Arin”

“Hello Mr. Coker!”

“I’m so proud of you. You guys did a great job.” He replied smiling.

“Thank you Mr. Coker. We wouldn’t have done it without you!”

“No, thank God. I’m glad he used us to help and please stop all the formalities, you can call me Akintunde or Tunde if you want.”

“Okay Sir…sorry Akintunde.”

He glanced at his watch “Do you want to grab a late lunch?”

“I’m sorry our snacks were not enough.”

“Nah it was good. I just have a large appetite. So? Lunch?”

“Yep, lunch is fine. I’ll just grab my stuff and tell my friends I’m leaving.”

“Okay Arin.”

As I walked back towards my LGI, I wondered why I had said yes to his offer because I was so tired, all I wanted to do was go home and sleep.

We got into his car and his driver drove us to Yellow Chill restaurant in Ikeja GRA. He took our seats and placed our orders. Lunch was nice; conversation flowed easily and the food was tasty.

“Here’s my card, don’t forget to send me your CV so I can help you with your job hunting.”

“Thanks Akintunde.” I replied and slipped his card into my wallet.

*******

POP day finally arrived! I was so excited because my service to the nation was finally over. No more clearance, shakara and unnecessary drama from local government officials, waiting for allowee and my job prospect wasn’t looking too bad. I had 2 interviews coming up.

I went to NYSC camp in Ipaja with some friends, we got our certificates, took pictures and it was over. We decided to go see a movie at Ikeja Mall and after the movie. The movie was a Nollywood movie which had great reviews and we were not disappointed. After the movie, I called Akintunde.

“Hello”

“Hi Arinola”

“Hi Akintunde.I hope I’m not disturbing?”

“Not at all. Congratulations on your POP!”

“Thank you, you remembered?!”

“Of course, how could I forget? I planned to call you this afternoon”

“I just saw a movie with my friends and I’m about to go home.”

“Okay…Arin?”

“Yes? Are you in a hurry? Can you spare some minutes?”

“Yeah? Why”

“I want to come say hello to you.”

“Okay that’s fine.”

“See you soon.”

“Hey guys, I’ll chill here for a bit, I’m meeting up with a friend.” I told my friends. They said their goodbyes, we promised to keep in touch and they left. I decided to window shop while waiting for Akintunde and ended up buying a top. He called me to say he had gotten to the mall just as I was paying for my purchase. I told him where I was so he could meet me.

I turned back and saw him walking towards me. He looked handsome in his blue shirt and jeans. I gave him a hug and became embarrassed immediately. I don’t know why I hugged him.

“Hello” I said shyly.

“Hi, Arinola, congratulations once again.”

“Thank you.”

We strolled around the mall and stopped to have ice cream.

“Akintunde, you’ve never spoken about your wife and I noticed you don’t wear a wedding ring.”

He was silent for a while and with pain in his eyes, “My wife died while having Bidemi.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay Arin.” He continued, “Debbie and I were only married for ten months before she died…it’s been over 12 years now and I still miss her so much.

“I put my hands over his hand on the table and squeezed it.

“You know people don’t understand why I never remarried…my mother has given up on me.”

“How come you never remarried? 12 years is a long time.”

He was silent for a while before replying, “I just never found the right person.”

******

Over the next few weeks I found myself thinking of Akintunde.

He added me on BBM and chatted with me every day, called me from time to time. We hung out at the mall and went to see a play together at Terra Kulture. We had some things in common; our love for theatre, our obsession with jazz music and our love for food. We went for lunch every Saturday at a different restaurant and rated each one.

My mum suspected there was a man in the picture but I refused to tell her anything. Akintunde I were just really good friends.

We spoke about everything; he was the first person I called when I got my job offer. I enjoyed being around him, he made me laugh, listened to me and I loved how mature he was.

One day he called me and I noticed his voice was solemn, I asked him what was wrong and he said he had to end our friendship. I was shocked and asked him why.

“Arin, I want more than friendship and it won’t be fair to you.”

I was silent, not because I was shocked but because he finally admitted it.

“Arin, are you there?”

“Yes I am…how do you know I don’t want more?”

“I can’t do that to you sweet heart…I’m too old for you. I’m 20 years older-”

“I know Akintunde.”

“I love you Arinola…I love you so much that it hurts. I think about you all the time…”

******

Two weeks and I still hadn’t heard from him; no phone calls and no messages. He refused to pick up my calls and didn’t reply my messages I called his office and was informed he was on leave. I was so miserable and everyone around me noticed, even my colleagues at work.

I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to go to his house. I had his house address but had never been there. I drove all the way to Magodo phase 2 on Saturday morning. I found his house, parked outside and walked towards the gate. I told the gateman my name was Arinola and I was there to see his oga. He told me to wait outside and went inside the house to confirm my identity.

I stood at the entrance wondering what had come over me.

I realised I was in love with him.

I heard footsteps approaching the gate; the gate flung open and Akintunde swept me into his arms.

“I’m so sorry Arinolatemi, I’ve missed you so much!” He said when he finally put me down.

I punched him playfully on his shoulder “That’s for being a goat and ignoring me!”

“I’m sorry sweetheart.”

He held my hand as we walked into his house. His living room was tastefully decorated and spotless.

“Where is Bidemi?”

“He went for swimming lessons.”

“Oh yeah I forgot, swimming lessons every other Saturday.”

I walked around, looking at pictures hung on the wall. “Debbie was a very beautiful woman.”

“Yes she was.”

I walked to the next picture of Akintunde and Bidemi taken at Disneyland, Paris. We sat down and looked at more family pictures.

“Arin, will you be my girl friend?”

******
I don’t know what to do. I love Akintunde so much and I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I don’t mind the age difference and Bidemi and I get on very well.

My friend Aisha told me to think about my decision properly; she said I should think about the future. In 20 years time, Akintunde would be 65 and I would be 45 and also the fact that we are from different generations. I have thought about it and I am not worried about 20 years time or being from different generations. I told her there are no guarantees in life, that even when two young people get married, there are no guarantees about the future.

I love my parents so much and I don’t want to offend them but I didn’t choose to fall in love with a man 20 years older than me.

Thanks for reading! What do you think? And no there’s no part 2!

*LGI: Local Government Inspector

*NYSC: National Youth Service Corp

*Allowee: Monthly allowance for youth corpers

Image credit: thehungergames.wikia.com-