Category Archives: Short Stories

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-

Tick Tock

Heyyy guys,

How’s your week going? I’m feeling quite generous today lol and I decided to share this story today, even though it’s not Friday. It’s based on a true story someone shared with me. Please read and remember to leave a comment. Don’t forget to check back on Friday for the continuation of ‘From this day forward series…’
Enjoy!!

Beep beep beep

Sarah heard the familiar sound of her phone alarm which signaled the dawn of a new day. She mumbled a quick prayer and reached for her torch light by the side of her pillow. She quickly set about her morning routine:

Went to the back of the house to turn on the generator, she noticed her neighbor hadn’t turned his on which was odd; most times she was greeted by the blaring sound of his generator by the time she went outside.

She put some water in the kettle for her kid’s bath and started packing their lunch boxes with the leftovers from yesterday’s dinner. Lunches packed, she pulled out two packs of Ribena and 2 apples and added them.
The wheezing sound from the kettle, sounded just as she took the lunch boxes towards the dining room.

Thank God today was Wednesday, two more days to go. She couldn’t wait for the weekend when she had the luxury of sleeping well into late hours of morning.

A sad smile crossed her face as she got to her daughters’ room. She hated waking them up so early every morning. No 6 year old deserved to be woken up by 4:30 am every school day. She had been praying to God to bless her with a better job,preferably one on the mainland, so this madness would stop. She had to enroll her girls in a school close to her office on Adeola Odeku street in Victoria Island because she didn’t trust any house help with her kids.
Their school closes by 2 pm and their school bus would bring them to the creche beside their office. They would stay there till 5 pm, sometimes 6 pm, when she closed and go home together. They usually don’t get home till around 8 pm, her girls would be asleep most times as she maneuvered through the terrible Lagos traffic. Last Friday, they didn’t get home till 11pm, apparently, there was Holy Ghost service. The only thing that kept her going was that her job was quite rewarding.

Her twins; Jadesola and Simisola were asleep in their pink room. Jadesola slept on the top bunk and Simisola on the lower bunk. She gently tapped them and right on cue they opened their sleepy eyes.

‘Morning mummy’ Jadesola cooed
‘I don’t want to go to school today mummy, I’m tired’. Simisola protested

Jadesola made her way down the ladder and came to hug her.

‘Simzy, just two more days okay?’ she pleaded with her eyes.
‘Okay girls, get ready fast so we won’t be late’

She left them and made her way to her room to get dressed. She was surprised as tears gathered in her eyes. She wondered what was making her so emotional today, she checked her phone, 4:48, they had to leave home by 5:20 if they didn’t want to get caught up in the morning traffic. Her daughters would sleep all the way to work. On a good day, they made to the Island by 6:30.

Two sleepy little girls and their frantic mother who was worried they would be caught up in a little traffic because of the extra 10 minutes they delayed made it out of their house. Sarah opened the back door for her daughters to get in; made sure their seat belts were secured before getting into the car. She reversed out of the driveway she shared with her neighbor and surprisingly, his car was still there, she concluded that maybe he wasn’t going to work.

One of the advantages of living in an estate was that the quietness and security it provided; but today was unusual, the streets were empty.

A glance at the clock on her dashboard caught her attention.

3:32am

Her eyes were glued to the red digits that blinked before her.

3:32

As if on cue, it changed to

3:33

She pressed her brake pedal and checked her phone; the time was 5:40.

Something was wrong.

She searched her bag frantically for her wristwatch, brought it out, the hour hand was in between 3 and 4 and the minute hand was on 7.

It was only then it hit her, Simi had dropped her phone inside a bowl of water yesterday.

She couldn’t believe what had just happened.

She burst into uncontrollable tears.

The Chase

Hi people!!
How are you? How did your week go? Mine was quite busy.
On Sunday, March 30th is Mothering Sunday and I’m putting up a Special Mother’s Day Feature on Feyi’s Diary (trust me, you wouldn’t want to miss it!!), so please remember to check on Sunday.
Also, I’m starting a new series next Friday; it’s going to run for about 7 weeks. Stay tuned!!!
A quick reminder:
You can submit a short (flash) fiction to feyisdiary@gmail.com.
Enjoy today’s post and please remember to leave a comment.

xoxo

Seya invited me to her house.

I was walking with some boys towards the tuck shop during break after Mr. Ojo’s boring double period Geography class. We had just gotten to the end of the senior’s block when we saw Seya walking towards us. The boys scoped her like as usual while she ignored them and whispered to me. I broke away from them and walked towards her; all the while feeling their eyes drilling holes at my back.
I said hello and shook her hand, hugs were not allowed in school, and she asked if I had any plans for Saturday. I said no as soon as she asked without thinking, forgetting the game I had with my cousins. She went on to invite me to her house. I couldn’t believe my ears; nobody in school had been to her house. She promised to send her address to me. She really didn’t have to because I knew her house, everyone did.
I went back to the boys who were eager to know what our conversation was all about.

“She asked me to come to her house on Saturday” I said
“Yeah right!” Biodun mocked, while others laughed.
The laughter died down as they seemed to realize I was serious. It was no longer news Seya and I had become friends.
“Guy, ain’t you lucky? Maybe you’ll even get a kiss from her”

More laughter

“Make sure you give us the full gist about it sha”

Our friendship began two weeks ago in Art class. She had forgotten her poster colour at home and I offered to share mine with her. Subsequently, we would say hello to each other, hang out together a few times during break, exchange novels and our new friendship didn’t go unnoticed by our classmates.

Seya Mohammed.

There was just something about her.

She is easily the prettiest girl in the whole of SS3. She doesn’t giggle annoyingly or catwalk in a funny way like most of the other girls. She also makes a different hairstyle every week unlike some of the girls who had the same hairdo for two weeks. Last week she made shuku and now she has those single plaits girls like doing, I think they call it calabarising.
The gist around school is that she is mixed race; her mother is supposedly British and her father is an army general. It might not be far from the truth considering how fair she is, her pointed nose and long black hair which goes way past her shoulders.
She is the mysterious new girl in school.

*********

On Saturday morning I wake up early to my chores, to the surprise of my family. I wash the cars and do my laundry. Our ‘date’ was set for 2pm and I sure didn’t want to get there late. I leave home by 1:30pm after lying to my mum I was going to see David and she studied my appearance without saying a word. I’m sure she was wondering why I was dressed this way. I wore my new polo shirt my aunt bought me the last time she visited and my pair of converse shoes I usually wore to church on Sundays. I wanted to impress Seya because this would be the first time she would see me in mufti.

I walk towards the big white fence that surrounds her house. I bring out my phone and send her an instant message to let her know I’m outside; she replies immediately with ‘I’m coming’. I open my mouth and release hot breath into my hand just to be sure; I had brushed my teeth again just before leaving home, after all, I might just get that Kiss like Biodun said. Her house is a mansion compared to the other houses on the street; all I had to do was tell the bike man I was going to the white house on Balogun Street.

I lean towards the giant black gate and peep into the big compound; I count 5 cars and I hope her parents are not at home. I’m silently praying her parents at home when I see her walking towards the gate. She’s wearing a pink tank top and acid wash jeans and her hair bounces as she hops towards the gate. I adjust my collar as she opens the gate.

‘Hi Bolaji’
‘Hi Seya’

She moves closer to me and gives me a quick hug. I hug her back and it feels so good. After the hug we stand facing each other awkwardly…

‘Ermm you look great; I didn’t realize your hair was this long’ I finally managed to say.
‘Thank you. That’s why a lot of people think I’m mixed race’ she whispers like she had just revealed a secret.
‘Oh wow’ I reply and raise my right hand to feel the long mane in my hands.
‘Let’s go in’

She leads the way and I following behind observing my new environment. I pass a comment about how nice her house is and she mumbles thanks in reply. We get to the front of the door and I begin to take off my shoes but she notices and says there is no need to do that. I try to put on my left shoe I had taken off when I hear a sound.

A dog barked.

My eyes dart towards the direction of the sound. I see the biggest Rottweiler I’ve ever seen. Its wide eyes stare deep into mine.
You are dead meat today

I stay frozen on the spot. Dogs and I have a mutual hatred for each other. All my encounters with dogs have been disastrous.

Woof! Woof! Woof!

‘Bolaji, she won’t hurt, Lucy come here’
Okay, calm down, Seya is here. She would calm her dog.

The dog doesn’t stop barking.

Bolaji run for your dear life. I hear the warning bells in my head.

I remain glued to the spot and try to form ‘cool guy’ till I noticed the dog’s perfect set of incisors flashing.

My survival instinct comes on and I run as fast as my legs can carry me. I run with all the strength I can muster and I know the dog is coming behind me. I will my legs to run faster before it catches up with me.

The gate is locked and the gateman is nowhere to be found. I begin to figure out how to jump over the gate-

‘Bolaji STOP’
It is only when I hear my name that I look back to see Lucy standing next to Seya wagging its tail.

The New Comer

Hi guys:)

Hope you are having a fab week? I can’t believe its March 14th already?! Time seems to be flying!!

Reading some of the comments on Kikelomo 2 (thanks for your comments guys!), some people asked for a continuation, that was supposed to be the conclusion lol; I don’t have any more Kikelomo story. It was inspired by a very pretty lady I met who had tribal marks…

I talked about submissions last week; so if you would like to submit a SHORT (FLASH) FICTION to be featured on this blog, please send it with your name to feyisdiary@gmail.com. Please don’t send in a story written by someone else I don’t want copyright wahala oh. 

Enjoy today’s story and please remember to leave a comment.

Peter walked into Good News Assembly some minutes before 10 o’clock after going round the town center in circles. The description on their website was like a maze. Frustrated after walking in the cold for 20 minutes trying to locate the church and was on his way back when he saw two black ladies walking towards him. He caught up with them and asked for the direction of the church and luckily they were heading there.

He heard the familiar tune of Everybody praise the Lord now as they neared the church. How he had missed Nigerian Praise and Worship. He joined in the praise and worship which was spirit lifting. The lady who led was clearly in the spirit. She ushered in the pastor who led the church through another 5 minutes of worship.

He scanned the church and noticed most of them were young which was expected because of the university in town. What surprised him though was the ratio of males to females. It was the norm to find more ladies than guys in church but in all his church going years he had never seen it this bad. He counted about 11 males including the pastor. He was sure the number of females was 3 times that.
The sermon was good, the pastor preached about the Widow of Zarephath, except for the occasional yelling.
‘You have to GIVE in order to RECEIVE, church are you with me? Even if it is all you have left!’ he said pacing around the altar. Someone from the congregation shouted ‘Yes Pastor!’ while others nodded their heads in agreement. Why pastors shouted, he never understood. The pastor ended his sermon with an altar call while the pianist played I surrender all. This was followed by tithes and offering.

‘If you are worshipping with us for the first time in Good News Assembly, can you please signify by waving and rising to your feet’
Oh, he didn’t want to wave but then he knew there was no hiding in this small church. He slipped his up hand and got up. The people beside him shook his hands and smiled at him while the choir sang ‘You are welcome in the name of the lord...’. He was surprised to hear this same song his choir sang back at home.

‘Please can you take a step of faith by coming to the front’
He picked up his Bible and walked towards the altar.

******
Onome smiled as she shook the hands of the new guy that walked to church with them this morning. She couldn’t look at his fingers while they were walking because of his gloves. She couldn’t help but smile in relief when she noticed his bare fingers when he took off his gloves. She watched him from the corner of her eyes throughout the service. He seemed very churchy. He danced during praise, raised up his hands during worship and she was sure she heard him speak in tongues when he was praying. His Bible looked worn out, which meant he read it regularly, she noticed several verses were highlighted.

Tolani smiled at the new comer as she directed him towards the altar. He was tall, dark and very muscular; her kind of guy. She remembered when he walked up to her and Onome asking for direction to church that he was the same guy she saw in Tesco two nights ago. When he walked up to them to ask for their church, the guilt she felt about going late to church because she was straightening her hair was replaced with relief; at least someone was going to notice. From the conversation they had she gathered he had just moved to Loughborough from Nigeria. Whatever interest she had quickly disappeared when he said his name was Peter Maduka. That was a no no, she had no interest whatsoever in non-Yoruba guys.

Sarah noticed the new guy as soon as he walked into church. One of the advantages of being in the choir. Facing the church while singing provided an opportunity to scan the whole church. She was glad Ayo wasn’t in church today. It was bad enough that the whole church was aware of their break up. He didn’t have to make it more awkward by coming to her church. Maybe, just maybe this new guy would be interested in her. He looked like a responsible guy and his bare fingers didn’t go unnoticed.

*******

‘My brother, you are welcome in Jesus name. We are so happy to have you in our midst and would like to know you better. My name is Pastor Ezekiel and I’m the pastor in charge. Please can you introduce yourself to us?’
Peter clears his throat.
‘Praise the lord, my name is Peter Maduka.’

Oh my, that voice certainly matches that face! Sarah thought to herself.

‘He sounds like a serious Christian, he said Praise the Lord, I mean he didn’t have to say that’ Efe reasoned.

‘I just moved to Loughborough three weeks ago on an official assignment and I’ve been looking for a church. I found this church on the Internet and I must say I really enjoyed the service.

‘Church did you hear him? He said he really enjoyed the service. Please let’s give the lord a clap offering’
At this the whole church burst into a round of applause.

‘Please can you kneel down so we can pray for you’ he did as he was told and the congregation stretched out their hands to him. After the prayer, the pastor gave him a welcome pack and pointed in the direction of an usher.

‘Brother Peter, please go with our ushers. I hope we will see you next week? ‘
‘Yes by God’s grace, I won’t come alone next week but I’ll come with my wife too’ he said smiling oblivious to the hearts he had just broken.

Image credit: www.churches-uk-ireland.org

Kikelomo 2

Hi People 🙂

How has your week been? For those of us in Nigeria, hope your week hasn’t been too stressful with the fuel scarcity and all? Anyways, TGIF!!!!!!!!!!

Below is the conclusion of the Kikelomo story which was inspired by a lady I met about a month ago. If you haven’t read the first part, please click here

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KIKELOMO 2

Titi walked into the all too quiet house with two big market bags. She had just come back from her usual Saturday shopping at Agboju market. She dropped the bags on the floor and opened the fridge to take a sachet of pure water, she frowned in disappointment as she touched it, thanks to NEPA or PHCN as they are now called, no power in 3 days. She gulped down the lukewarm water and bent to empty the contents of the bags.

It had been a week since they dropped Kikelomo off with Mama. She remembered the morning they were to leave for Lagos; how she tried to convince Jide about taking Kikelomo back with them. HE had refused despite her pleas and said they would come back to check on her the following week. Mama also reassured her that Kikelomo would be fine. Kike was still asleep when they left Akure for Lagos. Titi blinked back the sting of tears as they said goodbye to Mama. She tried not to think of how much their daughter would cry when she woke up and couldn’t find them.

She heard Jide’s footsteps.

‘I didn’t know you were back oh, you should have called me to come help you carry some of the load from the bus stop.’

‘Ahan, Jide, since when did I start calling you to come and help me carry my load?’

‘Well, I could have helped you since I’m not babysitting Kike’

Titi smiled at her husband as he came towards her and pulled her into a warm embrace. They stayed like that for some minutes till she broke the silence.

‘You promised we were going to pick up Kike today Jide’ she looked at his face accusingly.

‘Tiii-tiiii, Kike is fine, shey we spoke to her this morning and like Mama said, she is fine-

‘Yeah, I know, but –

He pulled her back into his arms

‘You worry too much; we’ll go and pick her up next week. I only wanted you to rest’

Titi nodded in agreement. Although she missed her daughter terribly, she couldn’t deny the fact that she enjoyed the break she had gotten. The bags under her eyes had disappeared and she even had more time for Jide; she smiled at the memory of Last night.

******

Titi woke up with a smile on her face, Saturday had finally come! The day she had been waiting for. Her Kikelomo was coming back home today. She had stocked up the house with Kike’s favourites- Noreos biscuit, wafers, a carton of Carpi Sonne and Ogi Baba*.  She also bought some provisions for Mama; she was in high spirits yesterday when she stopped at the super market on her way home from work and bought Mama Peak milk instead of the usual Dano milk. Mama had not only impressed her by taking care of her daughter but she had wowed her when she told her Kike hadn’t been ill for the two weeks she had been with her. She now nursed the idea of taking Kikelomo to Akure more often.

She also bought a pair of sandals for Joko for assisting Mama. Although, for some reason, Joko had been acting strangely over the past few days. Each time she called her; she never answered her phone and came up with different excuses. After a while, she stopped calling Joko and called Mama’s phone directly, she excused her behaviour on her teenage mood swings.

They got to Akure just after noon and Joko came up to greet them. She didn’t hug Titi in her usual manner but only knelt and collected the bags she was holding. She also didn’t make eye contact with either of them.

Mama greeted them at the door

‘Ema wo le o, Eka bo*’

They exchanged pleasantries and entered into the sitting room. As soon as they got in, Titi saw Kikelomo sitting on the floor playing with a soft toy.

Nothing prepared her for what she saw. Her eyes threatened to pop out of their sockets.

She was too stunned to speak.

The ground beneath her was gradually shifting away, she felt dizzy and nauseous at once.

She managed to pick up her daughter and traced the two vertical lines on both sides of her cheeks.

Her eyes moved from the ugly scars on her daughter’s face to her mother in law. She looked at the face of the woman she knew she would never forgive. The face of the woman who had betrayed her by giving her daughter these ugly tribal marks. What would she tell Kikelomo when she grows older, when she is teased and ridiculed by her mates?

Tears found their way down her cheeks as she mouthed the only question on her mind.

‘Why?’

* Ogi Baba –Pap, similar to custard.

*Ema wo le o, Eka bo- Mind your steps, welcome.

Please leave a comment! Thanks for reading.

Have a great weekend!

xoxo

Kikelomo

Titi dipped the face towel into the bowl of cold water on the bedside drawer, squeezed it gently and placed it across her daughter’s forehead. She looked at her husband who had fallen asleep beside her. How he managed to sleep through this she didn’t understand.  Maybe he had gotten used to the regular vigils kike’s ill health imposed on them.

They had Kike two years ago after five years of being married. She remembered the look on Jide’s face when she told him she was pregnant, how he carried her and spun her around. The tears he couldn’t hold back as he held his daughter in his arms for the first time. They called her Kikelomo.
A child to be cherished.
A name that suited her so well.

Kike was a healthy child for the first year of her life. She started sitting, teething and crawling at the right time and walked before she turned 11 months. The story changed after she turned one. What started as a slight fever led to being admitted in the hospital for a week. Series of test were conducted, she was treated for malaria, typhoid and even cholera. They became regular visitors at the general hospital, doctors ran series of tests and found nothing. They were referred to paediatric specialists but the doctors said the same thing. Nothing was wrong with her medically. Her illness had a pattern. It would start with her having no appetite, followed by rising body temperature and then proceed into bouts of vomiting. This left her looking like a malnourished one year old instead of two.

Last week Titi’s boss called her into his office and gave her a query about her frequent days off.  Last month alone she took 10 days off. Resigning wasn’t an option because they needed the income.  Jide’s salary as a bank cashier wouldn’t be enough to support them. The owner of the day care centre Kike attended expressed her fears and reluctance to admit her.

*******

‘I think we should take Kike to Mama. We really don’t have a choice right now. She’ll be fine don’t worry.’
Titi nodded in agreement. Her mother in law had offered to look after Kike in the village. She claimed that maybe all she needed was fresh air, that the type of air she inhaled in Lagos wasn’t good for her. She declined the offer despite Mama’s persistence. Not that she didn’t trust her.  She did. Well, to an extent; she brought up Jide and his siblings as a single mum. Mama reminded them each time she called about her offer and she still mentioned it yesterday. At this point, she resolved to take kike to Mama just to see what would come out of it. For a short while, not longer than two weeks. She needed time to get her life in order and Jide too. She had neglected him because all her attention was devoted to Kike. She couldn’t remember the last time they had sex, doing vigils at least three times a week sapped all the energy she had.

‘We’ll take her to Akure this Saturday, Mama would be happy. Besides, you need to rest Titi’ Jide added as he looked at his wife, his Titilope who had suddenly aged. The worry lines across her forehead suggested she was older than 32. She had lost so much weight and had bags under her eyes. He was sure the braids on her head was over 2 months old.  Giving Kike to mama would relieve her. He missed his wife. He wanted her back.

Early Saturday morning they made their way to Ojota bus park to board a bus to Akure; Titi carrying Kike and Jide holding their luggage. Kike pointed to the man selling Gala beside them and Jide bought one for her. Thankfully, she was fine this morning.  She had appetite, no temperature, and no bouts of vomiting. Looking at her, no one would guess this was the same child who kept them awake two nights ago.

Titi fell asleep as soon as the journey started.  Jide held his daughter in one hand and gently stroked his wife’s hair with his other hand. He woke Titi when they got to Akure 4hrs later. She managed a weak smile as he assured her their daughter would be fine.

‘Awon ara Eko de*’ Mama said as soon as she saw them.
‘Eka bo*’ She greeted pleasantly as she carried Kike from her father into her hands. Kike burst into a loud cry as if someone had just hit her. Mama tried to comfort her but to no avail. She only increased the tempo of her cry till she was handed back to her mother.
Maybe this is a sign, Titi thought. For some reason she was having mixed feelings about what they had come to do. She told Jide this morning just before they left the house but he brushed it aside and told her it was only natural for her to feel that way. She had burst into tears and he pulled her into his arms and gently planted a kiss on her lips. He knew how to calm her fears.

Mama treated them to Iyan and Egusi soup. After the meal, Titi showed Mama and Joko, Jide’s cousin who lived with Mama her daughter’s cereals and other food items she brought. Told them about her eating pattern, showed them her multivitamins and the required dosage, and fixed the mosquito net they brought to the bed Kike was going to sleep in. Jide went to the closest chemist to buy 2 packets of bottled water.

At night, she called Joko to come watch her bathe Kike to see how she did it, she made sure Joko put her hand in the water to know the right temperature. Not too warm and not too cold. Showed her it was half a capful of Dettol she put in the water. Thankfully, Kike had warmed up to Joko so she let her carry her out of the bathroom and dress her.

Titi held her daughter close to her as they lay on the bed. She sang all her favourite songs, used her hand to carefully trace her eyes, nose, mouth and ears. She would miss her baby, her precious Kikelomo, the only person who called her mummy. Long after Kike had fallen asleep she stared into darkness, unable to sleep. The reality of what they were about to do just dawned on her. She thought about how her daughter would cry over the next few days when she doesn’t see either of them; she wondered if Mama would cope. Would she be able to stay awake all night keeping watch over Kike?

She would tell Jide she had changed her mind in the morning, they would go back to Lagos with their daughter.

….To be continued

Have a great weekend.

*Awon ara Eko ti de- The people from Lagos have come.

*Eka bo- Welcome

xoxo

She’s driving me nuts!

“Hello Tolu”

“Hi Simi”

“I just called to check up on you”

Silence

“Simi, you’ve checked up on me twice today already, I’m FINE”

“I just wanted to hear your voice, anyways should I stop by on my way home?”

“Simi you know my external auditors are around and work is crazy, let’s meet up over the weekend. Take care bye”

“I love you”

“Me too”

I hang up and meet Tokunbo’s mocking gaze. “Guy na wa for this your babe oh, how do you cope bro?”

“Mehn, Toks I’m tired.”

Simi and I have been together for almost two years. We met at a mutual friend’s wedding and it was love at first sight. I stepped out of the reception hall to answer a phone call when I saw her. She strode past me in a red knee length red dress that hugged her curves at the right places and revealed her long straight legs. Her heels making a clanking sound as she walked. For a minute, she captured my attention and I forgot about my sister who was on the other end of the phone line.

When I walked back into the hall, guess who was sitting right next to my seat? Apparently, the hall was packed and she was lucky enough to find a vacant seat next to mine. We chatted like old friends throughout the event and realised we both knew the bride, in fact we all grew up in Air force Base in Ikeja. We found out we had many mutual friends and wondered why we had never met each other. She didn’t hesitate when I asked for her BB Pin and phone number. I was attracted to her lovely personality and intelligence.

 I eventually asked her out after 2 months of endless phone conversations, BB messages and a few dates.  We had a lot in common, in addition to both being Arsenal fans. We were very much in love with each other and I was sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.  She ticked the right boxes. She was the Yin to my Yang.

A couple of months later, the novelty of the relationship wore off and we both settled back into our old lives or should I was the only one who settled because Simi began to complain that I no longer had her time. She wanted us to spend every weekend together. She would come to my house on Friday after work and leave on Monday morning. At the start of the relationship, I looked forward to our weekends together but after a couple of months I wanted space, wanted to hang out with the guys, wanted to go out on my own without my girlfriend. We literally went everywhere together.

What about phone calls? Simi calls me an average of four times every day, she calls me when she wakes up in the morning, calls just to check up on me, calls to ask where and what I’m having for lunch, calls me when she’s about to leave her office; in additional to the bbm conversations we have the whole day. When we are together, she goes through all my bbm chats, she know how many contacts I have, more like how many female contacts I have and doesn’t fail to notice when there’s a new one. She complains if I didn’t make her my BBM display picture at least, once in 3 days.

It was obvious she didn’t have a life anymore, everything she did evolved around me. What happened to the confident and intelligent woman I was attracted to?

I spoke to her about it. She acknowledged that she had insecurity issues, apologised and promised to change. Things were good for another couple of months till the day she came to my office and I introduced her to Nkiru, the new lady on our team. That was all it took to awaken her former self. This time however, she has become a leech. She’s literally sucking out the life out of me.

I’ve decided to end the relationship for the sake of my sanity. It is a very difficult decision to make because I really love her but I’m terrified of getting married to her. I don’t want a wife who would question every move I make or a nagging wife for that matter.  I doubt she will change. Maybe we are not meant for each other, there’s a probably a guy out there for her who wouldn’t mind all her antics.

********

I glance at my watch, Simi would arrive any minute from now. I left home too early, maybe it was guilt eating me up or the gravity of what I am about to do. I have rehearsed my break up speech countless times in my head. I would go straight to the point, no point ripping off the bandage slowly and prolong the pain. I know she will be fine, Simi is a very beautiful and intelligent lady but I know she is not meant for me.

I remember the phone conversation we had yesterday. I had called her when I got home from work to arrange today’s meeting.

“Hi Simi”

“Hi boo, how are you?”

“I’m good, what are you doing tomorrow?”

“I’m going to the salon and then plan to stop at yours, I have to see you!”

“Oh okay, that’s why I called, lets meet up tomorrow evening then”

I heard the excitement in her voice. She sounded as if she had just won the lottery.

I didn’t see her walk into the restaurant till I heard my name. She looked beautiful as usual in a simple tee and jeans. Simi can wear a sac and still look hot. She smiles as she approaches my table and can’t bring myself to smile back at her.

I give her a hug and she reaches for my phone on the table, I tried to snatch it from her but it was too late.

“ I called you as soon as I got here, see there are two missed calls on your phone, why didn’t you answer?”

I gave her no reply because I didn’t have one, my phone was so silence and I didn’t realise she had called me.

“Tolu, why do you like someone stole your cookie, don’t tell me you know what I’m about to tell you?”

“Know what?”

She moves her seat closer to the table and looks into my eyes.

 “I’m pregnant!”

 

Photo credit: http://www.dreamstime.com

Thanks for reading! Have you been in a relationship with a clingy boyfriend/girlfriend? How did you handle it? Please share!

Have a fab weekend

xoxo