Category Archives: Simi’s Musings

Simi’s Musings- Conclusion : From Zanzibar, with love!

Hi guys,

I sincerely apologise for not putting up a post last week…I was quite busy and couldn’t make out time to write.

Today’s post is extra loooong because it is two episodes in one- last week and this week’s post.

Simi’s Musings finally ends today, thank you for reading each episode every week. When I started Simi’s Musings, I had an idea of how I wanted the story to unfold but surprisingly, it didn’t go according to my ideas, sometimes characters take over and tell the story and that was exactly what happened.

I hope you enjoyed it and learnt a lesson or two? Please be kind enough to leave a comment after today’s episode. I would like to hear from you!!
God bless you
Xoxo

*******

“You still haven’t told me what happened Tayo.” When she came back yesterday, mum and I helped dress her wounds and we were all furious. Dad wanted to send policemen to arrest David but Tayo pleaded with him not to.

Some minutes of silence pass between us.

“Yesterday was not the first time he hit me.”

“Really?” I’m dumbfounded. I look at her eyes accusingly and say”Tayo and you didn’t tell me.”

“I didn’t tell you because he begged me after it happened… he said it was a mistake and promised it won’t happen again…you remember the Chanel bag he gave me?”

“Of course I remember.” I have borrowed the bag on two occasions.

“That was an atonement gift.” She let out a bitter laugh. “I was stupid enough and blinded by my love for him to believe it won’t happen again… I convinced myself that he was a good man, a good Christian man.”

“So I went to his house yesterday…I didn’t even want to go because I knew grandma and grandpa were coming but he insisted I come because he wanted to spend the first day of the year with me. He was upset when I got to his house because I didn’t come on time and I tried to explain to him but he would have none of it. Anyways, we eventually made up and settled down to watch a movie and then he said he was hungry, I suggested we drive down the road to Sweet Sensation to get food and he said no that he wanted me to cook.

I told him I wasn’t up for it because I had spent the morning cooking at home and then we started arguing. He said I wasn’t acting like his fiancée and that I was disrespectful…he said how was he sure I won’t be acting this way after we get married…he said all sort of hurtful words… and I had enough and told him I was leaving.

I picked up my bag and walked to the door and I heard him say ‘How dare you walk out on me?’ Before I could reply, he jerked my hand and pushed me to a chair…I got up to leave again and then he landed the first slap-”

“Oh my goodness, Tayo no way.”

“After several slaps and punches, he finally got over himself and started apologising…he was even crying…it was then it dawned on me that I was engaged to a potential wife beater…I removed my engagement ring right there, dropped it for him and walked out.”

I’m too stunned to say anything; I can’t believe what my ears.

“Simi I… I did the right thing right?”

I look at the mark on her right eye through blurry eyes and gather her into my arms. “Of course you did sweet heart.”

We hold on to each other tightly with Tayo’s heart wrenching sobs breaking my heart. I had my reservations about David because I felt he was controlling but not in my wildest imagination did I imagine he was a hitter too.

I would go to his office and give him a piece of my mind.

******

I’ve been waiting in the reception of the law firm where David works for over 30 minutes. He must be stalling; surely he can’t be that busy. I had only been to this office twice and I’ve never waited this long,

The office seems quiet, not the usual buzz of smartly dressed lawyers and paralegals clutching their briefcase and files, constant ringing of the reception phone lines and even the reception is empty, I’m the only visitor. I guess it’s because it’s January; there’s a sort of quietness and dullness that accompanies each day in January, probably a way of recovering from the festivities of Christmas.

“You can go in now.” The receptionist finally says. I pick up my bag and march into his office in giant strides, resisting the urge to scream his name along the thickly carpeted corridor.

“Hi..hello…Simi.” He says cowering behind his desk; hiding behind his laptop. On a normal day, he would have given me a hug.

“Hi David.”

“Please sit. Should…should I get you a drink?

“No thanks David I’m fine.” I reply still standing.

“Look, I’m sorry about what I did to Tayo…I don’t know what came over me.”

“Really? I’m surprised you don’t cos from what I heard, that wasn’t the first time.”

“I’m sorry okay. Just sit down so we can talk.” He closes his laptop and points to one of the chairs opposite him.

“I won’t be staying for long. I only came here to understand why you would hit someone you claim to love.” I reply stressing the syllables of the word love.

“I love Tayo and she knows it… I can’t believe she called off our engagement, after all I’ve done for her.”

His reply stirred up the anger I was trying to suppress and I shout “David listen yourself! You give your fiancé a black eye and you are shocked she called off your engagement? Who wants to be engaged to a potential wife beater?”

“Please lower your voice Simi, this is an office.” He says nervously. “Like I said, it was a mistake.”

“You know what? I don’t even have anything to say to you other than the fact that you need help. Serious help and I don’t want to see you within miles of my sister.” With that, I walk out of his office. I can’t believe this is the same guy who introduced me to Sunkanmi.

*****

“Happy birthday to you…happy birthday to you…happy birthday dear Simi, happy birthday to you.” My parents and Tayo sing and Tayo holding a birthday cake. I hope it’s red velvet.

“Awwwww thanks guys.” I had been woken up few minutes earlier by a phone call.

“We wish you…many happy returns of the day; Long life and prosperity. Hip hip hip!” they continue.

“Hu-rray.”Three of them form a circle with me kneeling in the middle and dad leads us in prayer.

“I pray God gives you the best birthday present you can ever wish for in Jesus name.” Mum adds as soon as dad ends his prayer.

“Amen!” We all chorus. My parents leave and Tayo takes the cake downstairs.

Today is my 27th birthday and I certainly don’t feel any different. Sunkanmi was the first to call me at midnight and Susan’s call was waiting while I was talking to him. I woke up to several missed calls, text messages and BBM messages on my phone; that’s what I love most about birthdays, all the love and attention you get on that day compensates for the other 364 days of the year.

I open my Bible to Jeremiah Chapter 1, where verse 5 is highlighted in pink. God told Jeremiah that before he was formed in his mother’s womb, He knew him. That He had set him apart to be a priest to the nations before he was born. This verse reminds me each time I read it that God already had a plan for my life even before I was born; it means I must be very special and important to Him that he knew me even before my mum conceived me! There’s a certain confidence that comes with knowing that the Almighty loves me that much.

I kneel beside my bed to offer a prayer of thanksgiving to the One who has kept me alive since the day I was born. I hear the sound of my door as I am rounding up my prayer and find Tayo on my bed with a wrapped present.

“Yaaaaaay, my first present! So what did you get me?”

“Actually, it’s from mum, dad and I.”

I open the gift wrap to find an iPad mini. “Oh wow! You know I’ve wanted to buy an iPad for ages.” I grab her in a massive hug. “Thank you! Thank you!”

“You are welcome!”

“What time is Sunkanmi coming to pick you up?”

“He said he’ll come by 4.”

“Okay, that’s perfect then.”

“Perfect for?”

“Susan and I are taking you to the spa for some beauty treatment.”

‘Are you serious?!”

“Yep…it’s your birthday and you deserve to be spoilt rotten.”

“Why do I have a feeling this is going to be a very special birthday?”

“Hmmmm you just never know.”

“I’m also going to make you breakfast so just go brush your teeth and I’ll be at your service.”

“Awwww I’m overwhelmed gosh…thank you.”

“You are welcome sis.”

I love my sister so much. It’s been three months since she broke up with David and she seems to have gotten over him; no more seclusion and tears. I told her God would bring the right man that would treat her like a princess that she is.

*******

Sunkanmi and I have just been shown to our table by a waiter; apparently he had to make reservations because the restaurant is quite popular. I’m wearing a red dress, nude heels and gold stud earrings and he’s wearing a shirt I got him for Christmas and dark blue jeans. I felt overdressed when he came to pick me up and almost went back upstairs to change into something else.

We talk for some minutes before the waiter comes for our order. I notice Sunkanmi has been extra touchy today- holding my hands, giving me hugs.

“The food was yummm…the fish was cooked to perfection.”

“Yes it was. Now I see why Emeka recommended this place.” Emeka and Sunkanmi are close friends and work in the same office.

“I’d recommend it to my friends. It’s a bit pricey though.”

“Yeah but it’s so worth it.”

“I guess so.”

“Sims please excuse me I’ll be right back.”

“Okay?” I wonder where he is going.

I check my BBM while he’s gone and reply a message from Tayo asking me how my date it going. A few minutes later, I see him walking back towards the table. My heart flutters as our eyes meet; his eyes saying a million things.

He takes my hands in his as soon as he sits and says “I love you sweet heart.”

“I know you do and I love you too Sunkanmi.” Just then I hear All of Me by John Legend playing. “I love this song.” I say to Sunkanmi.

“I know you do babe.” Before I realise what is happening, he gets on his knee right in front of me and produces a black velvet box from his pocket.

“Oh my gosh! Sunkanmi you are about to propose!”

“Simisola mii, ololufe mii (my lover), my heartbeat my best friend… I bless God for the day he brought you into my life… The past 11 months have been amazing, you’ve been my confidant, best friend, prayer partner and biggest fan and I don’t want it to end. I want to wake up every morning to the sound of your voice, your beautiful face and beautiful smile…Simi I want to grow old with you, I want you to be the mother of my children and a mother to Joshua. I want to walk this journey on earth with you by my side…Simisola Omotola Bakare will you marry me?

“Yes Yes I will Sunkanmi.” I reply with tears in my eyes and he slides the ring into my finger.

“I love you Sims.” He gets up and pulls me into a hug.

“I love you too…the ring is soo beautiful, I love it.” I reply and give him a kiss.

Its only when I hear the applause of other people in the restaurant that I realise they’ve been watching us.

*******

I called Tayo immediately after I became engaged and she wasn’t surprised; apparently Sunkanmi had informed my family he was going to propose to me. I called Susan too and she was surprised and really happy for me, I could hear it in her voice. It was obvious Sunkanmi put some thought into his proposal because the ring fit perfectly; the restaurant played my favourite love song just when he was about to propose, the bunch of roses he gave me and the waiters who captured the proposal and took pictures with Sunkanmi’s phone.

We are on our way to my house and we’ve been talking excitedly about our wedding plans.

“We should have 3 kids.”

“Suks calm down, let’s do the wedding first.” I tease back and peck him on his cheek.

“See why we should get married really soon…so I can get kisses all day.”

“So that’s the only reason you want to marry me abi? Hmmmmm SUN-KAN-MI.”

“Well-”

“I want just two kids plus Joshua which makes it three.”

“Four then”

“You would carry the last pregnancy right?”

“Yep anything for you my sweetheart…I told Joshua I was going to ask you to marry me and do you know what he said?”

“What did he say?”

“I thought she already wants to marry you, haven’t you asked her already?”

“Children are so innocent.”

“They are I had to explain to him that I still had to ask you to make it official and then he said okay.”

“Joshua is an intelligent little boy.”

“Like his dad right?”

“You wish!” I reply and nudge him on his shoulder.

We get to the front of my house and he turns off the engine. Sunkanmi says a word of prayer: “Heavenly father we thank you for today. We thank you for adding another year to my FIANCEE’s life, we thank you Lord for her life, for how you’ve kept her right from the day she was born till this day. Father we ask that you crown her year with goodness and that her path continue to shine brighter and brighter. We also thank you for bringing both of us together and for this step we took in our relationship today. We ask Lord that you take perfect control as we plan our wedding and prepare for marriage and help us Lord to always put you first in our lives in Jesus name.”

“Amen.”

“Goodnight darling.”

“Goodnight wifey.” He gives me a peck and I come out of the car. He blows a kiss to me while I watch him drive away.

I skip happily towards the front door and meet everyone in the living room when I open the door.

“Congratulations!!!” They chorus.

*******

From Zanzibar with love:

Dearest Tayo,

How are you?! Hope you’ve recovered from all the wedding stress? My wedding planner extraordinaire!

I’m so grateful to God for how the day turned out. From the minute you woke me up to pray for me ( I don’t know if you noticed, but I had tears in my eyes as you said that heartfelt prayer that morning.) and when mum came in to the room prayed for me and gave me more motherly advice while you went to coordinate the bridesmaids.

I was so happy we got to church on time because I had nightmares of getting to church so late that my wedding was cancelled lol. As I walked down the aisle with daddy, it dawned on me I was no longer daddy’s girl; but when he placed my hands in Sunkanmi’s and I saw the love in his eyes, I knew I was in good hands. I had never seen him look more handsome! I didn’t expect him to be so emotional as he said his vows.

The decorations in the reception venue was perfect, just the way we wanted it, I didn’t know yellow was such a beautiful colour; we had an amazing bridal party, I’m so glad Susan came up with the Happy mime you guys did, even Joshua wasn’t left out, he had fun with the little bride. The only let down was the souvenir which didn’t go round.

We danced so much at the reception that when we got home that night, we hit our beds straightaway after Sunkanmi helped me out of my dress, we were too tired to do anything lol.

We are having such a blast in Zanzibar!! I’m sure you can tell from our pictures. Our hotel is very close to Paje beach which is the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been too; turquoise blue sea water, white sand and lots of palm trees. I picked some beautiful sea shells for you. I can’t believe we’ve been here for a week already and I almost don’t want to come back to Nigeria!

You remember this verse mum pasted up on our room when we were much younger? “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” I know God is writing your love story and at the right time, He’ll bring it to pass.
You did such a fantastic job, I couldn’t have asked for a better maid of honour.:)

Sunkanmi sends his love and he said to tell you his best man has been asking for your number.

I looooooove you soo much and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Mrs Simisola Durotola (excited much lol)

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Simi’s Musings 9 – A New Thing!

Hi people,

Happy new month! The year seems to be flying! Simi’s Musings would soon come to an end, we have 2 episodes to go.

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

If you have a short story and want it to be featured on Feyi’s Diary, please send it to feyisdiary@gmail.com.

You can also click the on follow button to get regular updates about blog posts.

Have a fab weekend.

God bless
xoxo

*****

I haven’t spoken to Sunkanmi in four days.

He has called relentlessly and sent me countless text messages. I’m not upset that he has a 7 year old son (okay, I am) but what’s more upsetting is the fact that he hid it from me. We’ve known each other for about 8 months- more than enough time to mention he was a father.

My mum and I are in the kitchen making dinner. Tayo is her room because she has a tummy ache.

“You still aren’t speaking to him?” mum asks as she slices ugwu leaves.

“Yes mum I’m not. Only God knows what else he’s hiding, I mean where or who is Joshua’s mother?” I open the lid of the pot to stir the boiling meat.

“Who knows he might be a serial killer too!” I add and we both laugh.

“Serial killer and he hasn’t killed you since? You have to talk to him dear…hear what he has to say.”

“Mummy I really don’t feel like. Can you imagine he was already talking about marriage oh yet he had a gigantic skeleton in his cupboard.”

“My dear who doesn’t have skeletons?”

“Oh so now you are supporting him abi?” I say eyeing her.

“No I’m not; I’m just saying you should hear him out first. He’s a good man and I like him.”

“Mum I know you are eager to see your 27 year old daughter get married and leave your house and-”

“Nooooo my dear. Yes I want to see you get married, what mother wouldn’t? But your happiness is more important to me. I know sometimes I can be over bearing.”

Thank God you know!

“Okay mummy I’ll talk to him…I miss him terribly anyways.”

I pick up my phone and reply the message he sent yesterday asking if he could come over to the house.

*****

Mum and I are watching a Nollywood movie and Patience Ozokwor is in action; terrorising her daughter in law because she hasn’t given birth to a child after being married for 3 years.

“You this barren paw-paw tree!” her voice thunders from the TV screen. I can’t imagine having her as a mother in law and thank God for Sunkanmi’s mother.

I hear a knock on the door and go to open it. He’s standing outside wearing a t-shirt I bought for him, looking at me with puppy eyes.

“Hey”

“Hi”

“Happy new year’s eve.”

“Happy new Year’s Eve too.”

“Are you going to let me in?”

“Yeah come in.”

He says hello to my mum and she leaves us alone in the living room. He doesn’t say anything and we both sit in silence awkwardly pretending to be watching what’s on TV.

“Should I get you a drink?” I ask.

“No…I’m fine. I came here to talk.”

“Okay?”

Oya, start talking

He turns off the TV and moves from where he sat across me to come and join me on the sofa I’m sitting on.

“I’m so sorry Simi.”

“Sunkanmi I really-”

“Please hear me out. I should have told you about Joshua and I have no explanation for not telling you…Bimbo gave birth to Joshua 6 years ago. We met during NYSC* and started dating. I hadn’t given my life to Christ then, I was just a religious guy, I was even in the choir at the time. One thing led to another and she became pregnant just before we finished NYSC. She wanted to terminate it because she was scared of her dad but I talked her into keeping it and promised to get married to her when I got a job. Her parents sent her to go live with her aunt in Akure because of their reputation.

Luckily for me, I got a job as soon as I finished serving…I went to see her in Akure once a month and we talked about getting married. I don’t know how it happened but her dad convinced her to have the baby, leave it for me and go abroad for her masters. I begged and begged her…but her mind was made up. She had Joshua and didn’t even set her eyes on him according to my mum because she was in the hospital with her.” I can see the pain in his eyes as he’s speaking.

“My parents took Joshua and raised him up and Bimbo left for the UK…she left and told me not to try and reach her again when I called her…I got her number from a mutual friend… I tried reaching her again after I gave my life to Christ to ask for forgiveness but she didn’t want to talk to me and she never replied my mails…I heard she’s married now.”

“Wow, I don’t know what to say.”

He reaches for my hand “Simi I love you so much and I was scared about losing you if you found out… After Bimbo, I didn’t date anyone …I don’t know how David talked me into calling you because different people had tried to hook me up…my mum was worried that I was becoming a workaholic and didn’t have time for a woman… I’ve never told you this but I knew I wanted to marry you after our first date…I felt the peace of God as I prayed about you.”

“Sunkanmi I forgive you-”

“Thanks Sims, I love you.”

“I love you too Sunkanmi.”

“I know it’s a huge responsibility…loving me and my son and starting our life together with a six year old.”

“I think Joshua and I bonded well that day you know.”

“I know right? I was so relieved…anyways just wait till he throws one of his tantrums.”

******

I wake up to loud laughter coming from the living room; I know my grandparents are around already. They come to spend New Year’s Day with us every year and they always come early in the morning. A glance at my bed side clock tells me I’ve slept for almost nine hours. We came back home from cross over service some minutes after 1:00am; service was really interesting and the church auditorium was packed as usual.

Pastor’s sermon was based on Isaiah 43: 18 & 19, my favorite bible verses – “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” I smiled all through the sermon because God had indeed started something new in my life; was it not merely some months ago my mum was still harassing me about still being single at 27 and I remember how I cried when David told me he was going to propose to Tayo.

Pastor talked about how God told the Israelites not to stay stuck in the discouragement and seduction while being in exile in Babylon that they should look forward to a new thing- release from exile. He said staying stuck in the past can keep us from the new thing God wants us to do. “Do you not perceive it?”- God asks the same question today, when He leads us to something new, the Holy Spirit will be a witness. I kept nodding as he was speaking.

I know Sunkanmi is God’s will for my life, the peace I have about our relationship, about getting married to him can only come from God. Even with Joshua in the picture, I’m not scared or worried.

After Obinna, before Sunkanmi came, there were other guys. Yemi at work who claimed he was in love with me and wanted us to get married. I couldn’t even think about dating him because he wasn’t born again it was that simple.

Bayo, who I met at a wedding; he was supposedly born again but didn’t see anything wrong with touching and fumbling sensitive body parts as long as there was no sex. After he revealed this during our second date that was the last time I saw him.

With Sunkanmi, things are different, we both agree that premarital sex is a sin and that includes touching and fumbling because our bodies are God’s temple. We try to avoid hanging out alone and have our dates in public not to create an atmosphere for temptation. We encourage each other spiritually, pray for one another, and study God’s word together- last month we did a character study on Joseph.

Tayo’s sudden appearance in my room interrupts my thoughts. I’ve given up trying to get her to knock before entering my room.

“Simi, grandma and grandpa are here and they’ve been asking of you.”

“I know…let me shower and then I’ll go downstairs.”

“Be ready for grandma’s attack sha about still sleeping at 9am in the morning.” We both chuckle.

“I’ll try.” I reply, knowing nothing I say would stop the verbal attacks I’ll get.

“I’m hanging out with David later today.”

“Are you joking? What would you tell them? You know grandma would launch into a tirade about how it’s rude to go out when they came visiting.” I love my grandma but sometimes she can be over bearing, I guess that’s where my mum gets it from; truly the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

“I’ll survive.” She leaves my room and I head to the bathroom.

******

My grandparents leave at 7:30 pm and I’m knackered. We enjoyed their visit as always with grandma dishing out stories about the women she counsels at church. She volunteers twice a week as a marriage counselor at her church because according to her, “being happily married for 52 years qualifies you to give other women advice.”

She gave Tayo a lecture when she told her she wanted to go see her fiancé and let her go on the condition that she come back home before they left and of course she wasn’t back before they left.

A message from Sunkanmi appears on my phone:

Honey bunny, so looking forward to our date tomorrow xx

I smile- we are going out tomorrow to see a movie with Joshua and having lunch afterwards. I suggested it and Sunkanmi was very pleased; I might as well get better acquainted with my future son.

I hear the bell and go to open the door. I’m shocked at the sight before me- Tayo is standing there with a swollen eye and tangled hair.

“My goodness! Tayo what happened?”

“I broke up with David.”

Simi’s Musings 8- Boxing Day Surprise

13 missed calls from Sunkanmi and 4 text messages:

SUNKANMI: I’m so sorry Simi, pls answer your phone.
SUNKANMI: Simi please we need to talk.
SUNKANMI: I love you very much Simi :*
SUNKANMI: Your silence is driving me nuts. Pls talk to me.

Earlier in the day:

Sunkanmi is waiting for me downstairs to take me to his parents’ house. I can hear him gisting with my mum.

Yesterday we spent Christmas as usual- We woke up very early to start cooking; we made efo riro and pounded yam, fried rice and jollof rice, moi- moi salad, and turkey.. By noon we were all exhausted. Some relatives and family friends came over and we had lots of leftovers to last us for a week. I don’t know why my mum insists on this ritual every year.

“Wow Simi…you didn’t have to buy a hamper…thanks.” Sunkanmi says referring to the hamper I’m holding. My mum suggested I buy a Christmas hamper for Sunkanmi’s parents.

“It’s no biggie, I can’t just go to to see your parents house empty handed…bye mum.”

“Bye ma.”

“Byeeee, my regards to your parents Sunkanmi…drive safely.”

“What if your parents don’t like me?”

“They will Simi, in fact my mum loves you already.” he replies not taking his eyes off the road.

“Okay.”

I’m very nervous about meeting his parents because of the experience I had with Obinna’s parents; which wasn’t very pleasant. His parents did not hide the fact that they weren’t pleased that I was Yoruba. They spoke Igbo over my head and I felt ignored. I’m relieved that at least tribe wouldn’t be in the way with Sunkanmi’s parents but I’ve heard stories too. I heard of a guy who broke up his engagement with his girlfriend after she met his family because she couldn’t speak Yoruba.

I spoke to Susan the night before and she assured me they’ll like me. “You are a lovely person Simi, your head shouldn’t swell sha and I’m not just saying it because you are my friend. If I had a brother, trust me, I would want him to marry you.”

“This is my secondary school.” Sunkanmi says pointing to a cluster of storey buildings made with bricks, bringing me out of my reverie.

“You are an ajebutter sha; see how massive the school is. You should see the government girls’ secondary school I went to.”

For some reason, Sunkanmi seems a bit preoccupied; he’s not his usual chatty self. Maybe he’s also nervous about introducing me to his parents.

“Thanks again for the Christmas present. I looooove it.”

“You are welcome babe, I love mine too.” He gave me a gift bag when he came to pick me up. Inside it was a pair of red stilettos, which fit perfectly and a silk scarf. I got him a lilac shirt with white stripes and cufflinks.

******

We arrive at their house a few minutes after 1pm. A bungalow located in a plush estate; in front is well trimmed yellow bushes and two cars parked in the driveway. Sunkanmi’s mum comes out of the door. She’s a petite woman with grey hair and she’s wearing a red kaftan.

“Simisola my dear, welcome.”

“Good afternoon ma.” I greet on two knees.

“Stand up stand up. Good afternoon my dear, how are you” She says and pulls me into a hug. She releases me and says “it’s good to finally meet you Simisola…Sunkanmi has told us so much about you.”

“Thank you ma.” I reply shyly with a smile.

“Really mum? What have I been telling you? ” he says jokingly.

“Simi this, Simi that.” She teased back and then whispers to me: “My son is crazy about you.”

As soon as we enter the house, a little boy comes running towards Sunkanmi and jumps on him.

“Uncle Suks!”

“Hey little man”

Sunkanmi lifts him up, puts him across his shoulder and spins around.

“Again! again! again!” he shouts asking Sunkanmi to pick him up again for a spin.

“Nah…I don’t want to be dizzy…remember what happened last time.”

He must be Joshua. I had seen some pictures of him on Sunkanmi’s phone. Sunkanmi told me he was a relative and he lived with his parents because his mum didn’t want him. I remember asking what type of mother didn’t want her son and commending his parents for being so nice to take care of him.

“Have you said hello to auntie?” Sunkanmi scolded.

“Good afternoon ma.”

“Hello Joshua, how are you? Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas.” He says timidly and says to Sunkanmi in an intended whisper: “Is this auntie Sims?”

“Yep she is!”

Just then Sunkanmi’s father comes into the sitting room and I kneel to greet him. He has the same features as Sunkanmi- same face, same nose, dimples and smile. At least, I have an idea of how Sunkanmi would look in his 60s.

“My dear how are you? And how are your parents?”

“I’m fine thank you sir and my parents are fine too.”

We spend the afternoon looking at old family albums of Sunkanmi’s childhood in Ilorin, birthdays, his teenage years, and graduation pictures from Unilag. His mum sits next to me the entire time narrating stories behind some of the pictures while Sunkanmi and Joshua are busy playing a game.
The maid announces food is ready and we head to the table. The meal is ofada rice and sauce, my favourite meal and I wonder if it is a coincidence.

“Is that enough for you dear?” Sunkanmi’s mum asks pointing to the rice I just dished on my plate.

“Yes ma, it is.”

“Abi are you watching your weight?” Sunkanmi’s dad asks.

“You are fine like this dear.” His mum adds.

“No sir…I’m not oh…I’m not just very hungry.”

“Okay…honey, make sure Bose packs some food for Simi when she’s going home.” He says to his wife.

“Yes of course, we made this food specially for her.”

Sunkanmi and I look at each other and smile. Conversation flows easily from work, to family, to the recent happenings in the country.

I feel like a member of the family already.

After lunch we move to the living room to watch a Christmas movie Joshua insisted we watch. He comes to sit between Sunkanmi and I on the sofa while Sunkanmi’s parents sit together. He talks excitedly throughout the movie, telling me what’s going to happen next because everyone else had seen the movie before.

“Ice cream anyone?” Sunkanmi announces halfway through the movie. His dad had fallen asleep.

“Yes please!”

“Yessssss”

“Yes please, but only vanilla.” His mum says.

“Do you need help?” I call after him on his way to the kitchen.

“Nah…I’m good. Continue the movie”

We continue the movie with Joshua leaning against my shoulder. Sunkanmi’s mum gets up after a while and goes into the kitchen. They are both in the kitchen for a while and I decide to check up on them.

“Joshua please can you pause the movie? Let me check on Sunkanmi.”

“Okay auntie. Don’t be long cos we just got to the interesting part.”

“Yeah, I’ll be right back!”

Sunkanmi and his mum are talking when I get into the kitchen oblivious to my entrance.

“She doesn’t know ke?”

“No mum she doesn’t. I’ve been trying to tell her.”

“Ah! Sunkanmi ko da o (It’s not good). How can you hide something like that from her? I really like Simi, omo daada ni (she’s a good girl).”

“Hiii Suks…I came to check on you.” I say pretending not to have heard their conversation. If they both suspected I overhead them, they did a good job at hiding it.

“Oh…babes I’m almost done.”

“Yes…he’s through.” His mum says.

I help him carry two of the ice cream bowls to the living room.

My mind travels a million miles while I watch the rest of the movie.

******

“Sims you okay?” Sunkanmi asks because I’ve been quiet since we left his parents’ house.

“Yeah I am.”

“Hope you liked my parents? They sure liked you.”

“Yeah your parents made me feel at home…it was nice to meet them.”

He drives in silence for a while and I insert William McDowell’s Arise Album and it brings back memories of our first date. This time however, we don’t sing along.

As soon as he parks in front of my house, I ask him the question that has been on my mind.

“So what have you been hiding from me?” I read the emotions on his face. Shock, guilt, embarrassment.

He doesn’t say anything for a while and I’m about to get out of his car when I hear “Joshua is mine.”

“Huh?”

“You heard me. I’m Joshua’s father.”

Image credit: Google images.

Simi’s Musings 7-

Sunkanmi and I had just seen a movie, a romantic comedy that has gotten rave reviews since its release. The movie was really good and left me teary eyed although the story line wasn’t anything new, usual boy- meets -girl, the girl had given up on love because of previous heartbreaks but she found herself falling in love with boy and they lived happily ever after.

We stopped at an ice cream stand and were gisting. He invited me to his parent’s house on Boxing Day, which is three weeks away. He said his mum was eager to meet me because she had heard a lot about me.

“What did you tell your mum?” I ask.

“I told her that…”

“That what? Answer jor.” I playfully nudge him.

“I won’t answer till you have a spoon of my chocolate ice cream.”

“Bribery and corruption… you know I don’t like chocolate ice cream.” He had been trying to get me to taste his ice cream, claiming it was the best flavor. I got coconut and strawberry ice cream instead.

“Open your mouth” he urged.

“Ahn ahn that’s huge.” I protest, eyeing the large quantity he is about to feed me. I open my mouth and swallow the brown soft ice cream, it doesn’t taste too bad.

“Okay, so what did you tell her?”

“Well, I told her I was bringing my future wife home.”

“Future wife?” I asked

“Yep, Simi I want to marry you.”

*******

I haven’t seen Susan in over a month and she blames it on Sunkanmi because we practically hang out every weekend. Today thankfully, we planned to meet up in the salon after church. I got a bus from church to the salon because my car is at the mechanic and had just gotten off the bus when she pulled up beside me.

“ Lover girl, get in!”

“Joker.”

I get into the car and she continues driving down the street to the salon. My stomach rumbles at the sight of the roasted plantain she’s munching.

“Mehn I’m hungry.” I say.

She points at a black bag containing roasted plantain and groundnut. “I got you some.”

“Thanks.”

We get to the salon and walk towards the entrance.

“How’s our bobo naw?” She asks, referring to Sunkanmi.

“He’s fineee.”

“My friend is in looooooove.” She says as she opens the salon door.

We catch up on gist- I tell her about Sunkanmi, about the invitation to his house and him referring to me as his future wife.

“I like Sunkanmi, he ticks all the boxes mehn- He’s born again, focused, intelligent, loves you like crazy, gosh even the way he looks at you. I remember how he kept looking at you when we went for Buchi’s wedding.”

“I Know right?! And we have so much in common. I feel really blessed.”

“You are gurl! And he’s cute too…not on the tall side sha. Your kids might be short.” She teases.

“Na tallness I wan chop? It’s what is on the inside that counts.”

“I’m just joking…of course it’s what’s on the inside.”

“I think I’m ready to wash off the relaxer…it’s beginning to hurt.” She says to the lady who just relaxed her hair.

She goes off to wash her hair and I continue braiding mine. I get a text from Sunkanmi:

SUNKANMI: Sims how’s your hair going?
SIMI: I’m tired already and we are not halfway thru. Susan is here. What u up to?
SUNKANMI: Just chilling oo. Maybe I shd come by and see your pretty face.
SIMI: Really? You don’t have to.

He asks for the address of the salon and I send it to him. Susan comes back to blow dry her hair. She’s gisting me about a man from her church who had been disturbing her for some months.

“So after church last Sunday, he came to me and said ‘Susan, God told me you are my wife.’ I had to hold the laughter that wanted to come out and told him God hasn’t told me he’s my husband oh.”

“I know right? Since God told him why hasn’t He told you too?”

“Exactly! God is not an author of confusion.” We burst out laughing.

“But seriously though, have you prayed about it?” I ask.

“I have Simi, you know me now, I’m waiting for God’s choice and I know he is not the one.”

“Hmmmm”

“You won’t believe what I found out today. You remember Irene? The one in the choir that has a beautiful voice.”

“Yeah I remember her”

“I gave her a lift home on my way here and she told me Voke told her that God told him she’s his wife too.”

“Are you serious?”

“Can you imagine?”

“Seriously though, we Christian ladies have to be very careful and prayerful because there are wolves even in the church.”

“God help us.”

Susan finishes her hair and leaves the salon and Sunkanmi comes in through the door almost immediately.

“Hi babe.” he says.

“Awwww Sunkanmi I didn’t believe you would come you know…thanks.”

“You are welcome hun.” He says hello to the guy braiding my hair and sits opposite me.

“I thought you said Susan was here.” He says looking around.

“Didn’t you see her outside? She left just before you came in.”

“No I didn’t.”

“She only relaxed her hair…I’m almost through.”

“You ladies try…”

“Yep…I’ve been at it for five hours. Like they say beauty is pain.”

“Pele.”

I glance at the man I’ve fallen in love with who is comfortable sitting in a ladies salon. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I finally finish my hair after an hour and a half and we both leave the salon and stop to buy suya on our way to my house.

When we arrive at my house, we see Tayo and David. It looks like they are having an argument. David is leaning against his car and Tayo is standing opposite him. I can’t make out what they are saying.

“What’s happening?”

“Ermmm I dunno, looks like they are having an argument or something.” Sunkanmi replies.

“I hope everything is okay?” Lately Tayo seemed distant.

“They are engaged right?” He asks.

“Yeah they are, we’ve even chosen dates for the engagement and wedding.”

We sit in silence and watch them till Tayo storms off into the house. David gets into his car, waves at us and speeds off.

Truth be told, I’ve never really like David and I couldn’t voice my thoughts to anyone else because everyone in my family seems to be smitten by him. I think he’s controlling and arrogant. I know he’s the one behind Tayo’s appearance- she stopped braiding her hair and only wears long weaves because he doesn’t like braids, she’s always fully made up because he likes make up and according to him, “she has to look on point all the time.”

******

I meet my parents reclining on a sofa when I walk in. Mum is leaning against dad and he has his arm around her. My mum has stopped her marriage talks because of Sunkanmi, she’s relieved that there’s a man in the picture.

My parents make marriage look so beautiful; they’ve been married for 30 years. My dad kisses her every morning before he leaves for work, they tease each other like best friends, complete each other’s sentences, go on dates and getaways- last weekend they went to Obudu cattle ranch to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Even the few times they have misunderstandings, doesn’t last long at all.

According to them, it hasn’t always been rosy. When they got married, dad was newly employed in a struggling insurance firm and mum was a primary school teacher. They lived in a one bedroom house somewhere in Ebute Meta. Six months after the got married, my dad lost his job and roamed the streets of Lagos looking for a job. He was unemployed for the next one year; they both lived on my mum’s meager income and the little money he made from odd jobs. Dad told Tayo and I that the only thing that kept him going despite all the hardship they faced was my mother. She was his pillar; she never once complained about their poverty but believed in him and kept encouraging him. Even when they had to move out to a face –me- I face- you apartment because they could no longer afford their rent, she never complained.

He finally got a job in a bank, put in long hours, worked during weekends because he didn’t want to lose the job for any reason. He became the branch manager within a few years because of his hard work and dedication.This affected their marriage because my mum felt neglected. I remember not having my dad around while growing up, he was always out of town on business. He resigned and started his own business when his job threatened to destroy his marriage.

“Mummy good evening, dad good evening.”

“Good evening dear.”

“Simi welcome, how are you?”

“Your hair looks very fine, come closer let me see.” My mum says.

I move closer to her so she can admire my hair.

“It’s only you young ladies that can do this type of hair…se ko dun e? (Hope it doesn’t hurt?)

“Just a little, I’ll take panadol before I go to bed.”

“Pele…Please check up on your sister, she looked angry when she came in and she said nothing was wrong.”

“Okay”

“And how is Sunkanmi? Has he said anything about marriage yet?”

“Haba mummy…calm down!”

“Don’t mind your mother Simi.”

I leave my parents and head upstairs to Tayo’s room. She’s in the bathroom and has some wedding magazines scattered on her bed.

“Simi…hi.”

“Tayo what’s up?”

“I’m okay, just a bit tired.”

“Pele. How was your day? How was David’s christmas party?” She told me she was going for the end of the year party organised by David’s office.

“I wish I didn’t bother sef.”

“Why? I saw you two outside when I came back.”

“I don’t know Simi, David has been annoying me lately…really annoying me…We are always arguing about one thing or the other. Today it was about me not wearing heels-”

“You are joking right?”

“No I’m not. He said he was embarrassed that I decided to wear flats after he told me we were going for his office event after church.”

“Gosh, it’s never that serious naw . You looked gorgeous in that dress and flats you wore today oh.”

“I’m just tired. He’s so-”

“Controlling?”

“Your hair is nice…I can’t remember the last time I braided mine.”

Well, thanks to your boyfriend.

“Thanks…don’t change the topic. Don’t you think he’s a bit controlling?”

“I…I don’t really think he is…he just wants me to look great all the time.”

“Are you sure?”

“Simi…I need to get ready for the week.”

“Okay then.” That was my cue to leave her room.

Simi’s Musings 6 – When the past comes knocking.

“Hi Susan.”
“Hey Simi…what’s up?”
“I’m okay-”
“You sure, what’s wrong? You don’t sound good.”
“Obinna called me”
“Wow… he called you? After all this while? That silly guy thinks he can just disappear and appear as he wants. So why did he call?”
“Hello, Simi are you there?”
I must have been silent for a while. “Sorry, he said he wants to see me, he wants to talk”
“Oh so he can talk now? Abeg that’s so unnecessary…don’t tell me you want to see him?”
I have asked myself that question a thousand times. “Ermmmm I-”
“Babes remember this dude is HIS-TO-RY, we shouldn’t even be talking about him.” She made a loud hissing sound.
“Yeah I want to. I need closure…especially now that Suks is in the picture.”
“Okay oh, trust me, if I were you, I would have hung up immediately I heard his voice. Sha REMEMBER how he ripped your heart into shreds, REMEMEBER how you cried for months, REMEMBER-”
“Yeah I REMEMBER Susan.”
“Ehen better. Anyways let me know how it goes.”
“Sure, I will.”
“Should I tag along so I can punch him in the face?”
I know she means it.
“It’s never that serious…I’ll be fine.”
“Alright babes, take care.”
“Byeee”

I hang up and walk towards Tayo’s room to check up on her. We’ve both been very busy this week and haven’t really had time to gist. She’s lying on bed and looks like she’s been crying.

“Tayo, what’s wrong?” I ask.
“Nothing…I’m fine Simi.”
We sit in silence while I wait for her to open up but she doesn’t say anything.
“Did something happen at work? Is David okay?” I ask
I notice the expression on her face as I mention David’s name.
“Is David okay?” I repeat.
“Yeah he is…we…we had a little misunderstanding.”
Okay now I’m confused. That still doesn’t explain why you are crying.
“So? What happened?”
“Simi…I don’t want to talk about it. We’ve settled it already and it was my fault anyways.”
“Okay then… I’m here for you when you want to talk.” I leave her room without mentioning Obinna’s call.

July 4th, 2013

Today should have been our fourth anniversary.

I woke up in the morning and had a good cry before leaving for work. My eyes were so puffy when I got to work that some of my colleagues asked if I was okay.

The first two months after Obinna left for the UK were great. We spoke to each other almost everyday thanks to Skype and constantly chatted on Whats App. When he started lectures in September and our communication reduced, I blamed it on school work. This went on till October, I stopped calling him in the evenings because he stopped answering my calls, gave excuses of always being in the library. Even weekends, he always seemed in a hurry to get off the phone. He also stopped calling and I sensed something was wrong.

Finally on the last day of October 2012, he confirmed my fear. I got a mail from him (he couldn’t even call me) stating that he wanted to end our relationship because he had met someone else. I remember the last sentence of the mail: You are a great person Simi, any man would be lucky to have you. I don’t know if that was meant to console me.

I was so heartbroken; my heart shattered into a million pieces that day. I called him- he didn’t answer any of my calls, What’s Apped him- he didn’t reply that too.
Even after eight months, from October till July, my heart still hadn’t healed. I still hoped he would come back, still held on to the precious memories I had. My family and friends told me to forget about him that he was gone for good but I refused to believe them. They had no idea of what we both had.

That night, it finally dawned on me that it was really over. It was as if not celebrating what was meant to be our fourth anniversary severed the strings of hope I held on to.

*******

Sunkanmi was disappointed that evening when I called him to cancel our date for Saturday. I told him my ex was back and I needed to see him. I heard the uncertainty in his voice as he said “You are over him right?” to which I replied “Yes Suks, I am, I got over him a long time ago. I just need to speak to him that’s all.”

As soon as I walk into the restaurant, I see Obinna sitting at a table for two. He’s busy with his phone and doesn’t notice me till I get to his table.

“Hi Obinna” I made sure I called him his full name and not Obi. Right now, he’s someone I used to know.
“Hi Simi.” He says. He stands up and I know he wants to go give me a hug but I quickly pull out the chair opposite him and sit.
“Long time.” he says. I see the disappointment in his face. Did he really think I’ll give him a hug? My hugs are reserved for my friends. I smile and don’t say anything. He invited me here, so he should do the talking.
“You look great Simi.”

No answer.

He hasn’t really changed since the last time I saw him two years ago. He has filled out a bit and his skin looks fresher, I guess that’s what happens when you live in the UK, away from the Nigerian sun.

“I’m so sorry Simi.” He says and looks at me, waiting for a reaction. I don’t react.
“I feel horrible for the way I treated you… I guess I got carried away.” He reaches out to touch my hands on the table and I snatch my hands back.
“I was stupid and didn’t realise what I had till I lost you…I moved back to Nigeria since March but couldn’t bring myself to contact you till yesterday.”
“Obinna, I’ve moved on. I forgave you a long time ago.”
“Thanks Simi…I would really love for us to ermmm… continue where we stopped.”

Oh wow, so unbelievable!.

I’m surprised at my outburst of laughter. ” You must be kidding right?” I finally say.
“No Simi, I’m serious. What we had was-”
“Remember I’m a great girl and any man would be lucky to have me? ” Picking my bag from the table and easing off the chair, I fix my eyes on his, “well, someone already does.” and walk out of the restaurant without looking back.

*****

I get into my car and dial Sukanmi’s number. He answers it almost immediately.
“Hi Sims…you good?”
“Suks I’m good…really good. Are you still up for the date I cancelled?”
“What about your ex? Have you seen him?”
“Just answer the question jor, he’s not important.” I say smiling.
“Yes I am, of course I am.” I know he’s smiling and can picture his dimpled cheeks.

Image credit: Google images

Simi’s Musings 5- July 4th

Hi people,

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In Nigeria, July 4 is just a regular day. In America, it’s Independence Day. To me, it marks key points in my life; like the points you join together on a graph sheet to form a line in geometry.

July 4th, 2009

Obinna had asked me to be his girlfriend two weeks ago and I told him I wanted time to pray about it before giving him an answer.

I met him at my friend, Tola’s brother’s wedding. I noticed him because he was incredibly handsome and stood out in the crowd because of his height. We barely spoke to each other but I noticed he stared at me occasionally which I found really annoying. Tola told me some days later that her brother’s friend liked me and wanted my phone number. I said no at first but he kept disturbing her and I gave in. Ten months later, he wanted to take our friendship to another level. He said he had fallen in love with me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. According to him, I fit into the picture he had of his future. Over the past ten months, I had fallen in love with this loving, selfless and perfect gentleman who was passionate about God. I actually felt butterflies in my tummy each time we spoke or hung out. I prayed about it and felt at peace to go ahead.

He came to pick me up after my Community Development Service (CDS) that day. I was serving and he was working in a telecommunications company. As soon as I got into his car, I said “Yes, I’ll be your girlfriend but don’t ever break my heart and his reply was “I promise I won’t.”

July 4th, 2010

Our first anniversary.

I was very much in love with Obinna. We would talk on the phone for hours about everything. We prayed together, shared the scriptures together and encouraged one another. He didn’t just profess to be a Christian but he lived as one. God had helped us in the past year to remain pure; we made sure we met in public and had spiritual mentors we were accountable to. Even when we had disagreements, we settled it the very day. He wasn’t perfect and neither was I but we were perfect for each other.

July 4th, 2011

The past couple of months tested us. Our relationship had been stretched to its limit. Our parents, as if suddenly realising how serious we were brought up the issue of tribe.

“You can’t marry that omo Igbo! (Igbo child)…you want us to be travelling to the East whenever his people have functions, oti o (no way).” My mum said one Saturday morning as I got dressed for Obinna’s cousin’s wedding.
“Mum, seriously? Is tribe even an issue?” I asked.
“Yes, it is oh, my dear it is…those Igbo people and their love for money.”
“Obinna is a Christian and we both love each other, doesn’t that count?”
“It’s not enough dear, there are many decent Yoruba men out there. How about Tunde?” ( Tunde’s parents and mine attend the same church).
“Please forget about Tunde… and if it’s any consolation, Obi speaks Yoruba fluently.”

I remember my parents telling Tayo and I when we were younger to make sure we married Yoruba men. What I didn’t realise was that they were serious about it. Even my dad, who was more understanding and liberal than my mother was on her side. He called me to his room one day to ask how serious Obinna and I were.

“Dad, we plan to get married.” I said.
After a long pause, he said “Simisola, I don’t want you to marry that Igbo boy.”
“Why daddy?” I asked.
“It’s for your own good by dear…for your own good.”

Obinna’s family was also putting pressure on him to end our relationship because I wasn’t Igbo. My mum went to the extent of telling my uncles and aunty to talk me out of it. Obinna’s father even threatened not to give his blessings.

We both stood our ground. Like they say, love conquers all.

July 4th, 2012

“Simi, I wish I didn’t have to go…I don’t know how I’d cope for the next one year.”
“Me too Obi… I’m scared.”
He pulled me into a hug and held me for a while till my crying subsided.
“We’ll get married as soon as I get back I promise.” He said as he wiped tears off my face with his finger.
“Don’t let those UK girls take you away from me…okay? I’ll be here waiting for you.” I said looking into his eyes for assurance.
“No babe…nobody would take me away from you.” He kissed my forehead “One year would go by before we know it…thank God for Skype, BBM and What’s App.”
He placed my hand on his chest. “Simi…my heart belongs solely to you; no one else can take your place.”
That night, I drenched my pillow with my tears. Obinna was leaving for the UK the following day for his masters.

*******
It is just 3:28, time seems to be dragging today coupled with not having much to do at work; allowing me to relive past memories. A text message comes in from Sunkanmi; He is not on bbm and prefers to either call or text. He also doesn’t like chatting.

“Simi, what’s the secret? You’ve been glowing lately.” Chinelo asked.
I just read the message from Sunkanmi asking me if I wanted to hang out this weekend. She must have seen the expression on my face as I typed Yes.
“Glowing ke? When I’m not pregnant” I reply, still typing my reply.
“Who says you have to be pregnant to glow? You look like someone in love… so who’s the lucky guy?”
Amebo. You think I’ll tell you so you can get your claws on him.
“I’m just happy that’s all.”
“Hmmmm this type of happiness is sha different…oya confess”
“Have you sent the report to Felicia?”
“Okay oh, if you like change the topic…I’ve sent it.” Thankfully she gets the message and returns to her work.

Chinelo and I sit right next to each other at work. We were initially just colleagues but it seemed she really liked me and made an effort for us to become friends. We hung out outside the office, visited each other, although we never quite gelled. I tried to win her to Christ- invited her to church, shared the scriptures with her and prayed for her.

She met Obinna at a colleague’s wedding we both went for. We sat at a table reserved for our office and I noticed she flirted with him. As Obinna drove me home after the wedding, he mentioned that she was flirting with him and warned me to be careful about her.

Shortly after that, I noticed she became withdrawn and her attitude towards me changed. She went from being very friendly to being snobbish; she barely spoke to me and stopped going for lunch with me. I tried to rekindle our friendship because I really didn’t hold her flirting with Obinna against her; I blamed it on her ignorance. She was ignorant that Obinna wasn’t like the other guys she had her way with.

Obinna called me one afternoon and asked why I gave Chinelo his number. He had gotten a few dirty text messages from a certain number and ignored them till the he got a call from the number and it was Chinelo. She told him she was in love with him and wanted to come visit him at home. He warned her never to call him again and ended the call. I was shocked; not because of her action but because she tried it with MY boyfriend. I knew she was skilled at hunting men but surprised she went after Obinna since according to her, “Christian guys were boring.”

The little fragments of our friendship I was still trying to put together crumbled that day. I never confronted her about it because there was no need to. My early promotion later that year fuelled the beef she had for me.

When she found out Obinna and I broke up some months after, it was as if her temporary amnesia was gone and she remembered we used to be friends. Of course, she never made her way back to my friends list.

******

I put my stuff together as soon as its 5pm. As I leave the office building, I see Yemi from the corner of my eyes talking to two guys and I silently pray he doesn’t notice me. I pick up my pace so I can get to my car quickly when I hear his voice behind me.

Oh shoot, not today.

“Haba Simi, where are you running to?”
I turn to face him “Hi Yemi…I’m in a hurry.”
I can feel his eyes going over the length of my body.
His pervy eyes
“When are you going to go a date with me? I’ve been BEGGING since I can remember.”
“Yemi, I’ve told you I’m not interested. Is it by force ni?” I continue walking.
“Simi pleaseeee now…I like you…a lot.”

I don’t say anything and he walks beside me in silence. This guy is persistent; I have to give him that. He has been asking me out since he learnt I became single. I’ve turned him down every single time because I’m not interested, I really don’t see both of us together. He’s not even a Christian-

“Alright Simi, I know one day, you’ll say yes.” He says and turns back.
I hear my Happy ringtone and reach for my phone in my bag. It’s an unknown number.
“Hello” I say
“Hi Simi” I recognise his voice. I’m too shocked to say a word.
“Hi Simi…are you there? It’s me Obinna, I’m back.”

Simi’s Musings 4- My friends call me Suks

Hi guys,

How’s your weekend going? Sorry for the late post; I had a really long day yesterday. Enjoy today’s post and please remember to leave a comment! ( I enjoy reading your comments.)

********

You remember the guy David said he was going to hook me up with, his friend’s older brother? So I received a call on Tuesday evening. I had just gotten back home from work when I heard my phone ring. I saw an unknown number and was a bit hesitant to answer because I was tired. I answered the second time it rang.

“Hello.”
“Hi, am I speaking to Simisola?” The caller asked
“Yeah speaking…ermmm please who am I speaking to?”
“My name is Sunkanmi Durotola, but my friends call me Suks.”
“Okay?”

He introduced himself as David’s friend and told me he had heard so much about me from David. He told me a bit about himself and conversation flowed easily. We spoke like old friends, laughing and throwing soft jibes at each other. We both discovered we attended University of Lagos and never met while in university probably due to the fact that I was in the faculty of social sciences and he was in the faculty of Engineering and he graduated three years ahead of me.

After speaking for over an hour, I reluctantly ended the call with the excuse that I had to go prepare for work the following day. He said goodbye and promised to call before the end of the week. That night I went to bed with imaginary images of what Sunkunmi looked like. I imagined he was tall, dark and handsome (I mean with that voice!) but you know what they say about guys with nice voices; with an afro (I really like guys who can pull off an afro). I imagined a proper gentleman who opened doors for me and treated me like a queen.

True to his word, he called again two nights after, I recognized his number but pretended I didn’t and I sensed he was hurt that I didn’t save his number. This time around, we were on the phone for almost three hours! He must have topped up his phone purposely for the call or maybe he got free minutes from MTN, who knows? Before the conversation ended, he asked me out on a date.

“Are you free on Saturday?”
“Ermmmm not really. I don’t really have much planned…I was invited to a wedding but I really don’t feel like going…I’ve been attending too many weddings lately.” I replied
“Oh, that makes two of us then.” He chuckled “Last weekend alone I had three weddings but I only managed to attend two…besides I’m not even close to the guy getting married this weekend, he’s a colleague from where I used to work. So how about seeing you on Saturday then?”
“Okay …”
“Yaaaaay! So where should we go? You decide.”
“Nah, you decide, just make sure it’s not on the Island because I don’t want to drive to the Island on Saturday. Monday to Friday is bad enough.”
“Who says you have to drive? I’ll come pick you up, just send your address”
“Oh really? That’s nice of you.”
“Yeah I’m nice like that… so is 3 o clock fine?”
“Yeah it is.”
“There’s this new restaurant, I’d like us to try…I’m a foodie, so please bear with me.”
Yaaaay, something else we have in common.
I smile. “It’s fine.”
“I’m not a stalker, don’t worry?” I hear the smile in his voice.
“I hope sooo… goodnight Sukunmi.”
“Goodnight Sims, see you on Saturday.”

Hian, he had already given me a nickname.

I told Susan about the date and she told me to wear my green dress. She said the look I should aim for is sophisticated, fun, witty and attractive.

Its 2:47 now and Sunkanmi should arrive very soon, that’s if he keeps to time. I walk into Tayo’s room to get her opinion of my appearance.
“So how do I look?”
“You look nice… why did you pack your hair though? I think you should let it down.”
“I just felt like. You think I should?”
“Yep, please let it down, you don’t have to be so uptight all the time.” She walks towards me and removes the hair band I used to pack my hair and brushes it down.
She steps back from me and examines me again. “No blusher?”
“Abeg Tayo no need for that. You know I really can’t be bothered with makeup.”
“You look really pretty anyways, with or without it.”

My phone rings and I see Sunkanmi’s number.
“He’s here!” I whisper to Tayo before answering.
“Have fun Simi.” I hear Tayo say as I exit her room.
I pick up my bag from my room and glance at my appearance one more time.

I think I look fabulous.

My heart beats with each step I take down the stairs and I ask myself a million questions. What if I don’t find him attractive? Or he doesn’t like me? What if the dates goes horribly wrong and I fall down?

“Mum, I’m going out with a friend.” I say to my mum who is watching African Magic Yoruba. She doesn’t reply and it’s obvious she’s really engrossed in her movie and doesn’t hear me.
“MUUUUUM.”
“Yessssss.” She replies without taking her glance off the TV screen. I wonder why a woman eavesdropping on a couple’s conversation should hold her full attention, Nollywood and all their drama.
“I’m going out…with a friend.”
She finally looks at me. “Okay…I hope it’s not Susan that is this friend oh? Because everyday Susan…
“No mum, it’s not.”
“Ehen ehn, good…okay have fun oh and please buy that bread I like from Big treat on your way home if you can.”

I ignore the last part of her sentence. Of course I’m not going to tell Sunkanmi to stop at Big Treat because I want to buy a loaf of bread for my mother.
“Bye mum.”
“Odabo (Bye).”

I finally step out of the house and spot a grey Honda Accord parked across the road. I smile at the male figure sitting at the driver’s sit who waves and comes out of the car. He is not as tall as I expected but of average height and cute.

“Hi Simisola.” He smiles warmly and I notice his dimples.

I love love dimples.

“Hi Sunkanmi…sorry for keeping you waiting.”
“Nah, its fine. I didn’t wait for long…nice to finally meet you. You look lovely, nice dress” He says and walks to the other side of the car to open the door for me.
“Thanks.”

Hmmmmm, gentleman. Tick

William McDowell’s I Won’t Go Back is playing in his car and a pleasant masculine smell fills the car which must be his perfume.

Like before, we talk easily as he drives through small traffic. Next, William McDowell’s You Are God Alone comes on and I hum along. “I love this song.” I say.
“My favorite song in his Arise album.” He replies.
We both hum along and sing out loud when it gets to the chorus, with Sunkanmi tapping his steering wheel gently. “You are God alone, from before time began, You are on Your throne, You are God alone and right now through the good times and bad, You are on Your throne, You are God alone…”

“Please can you repeat the track?” I ask
“I always repeat this track at least twice.” He replies and clicks on repeat. This time around, we both sing along right from the beginning to the end.
We get to the restaurant just before 4 pm and after he puts off the engine. He looks at me and says. “I have a feeling today would be memorable…I’m loving it already.”
“Me too.”

Dinner was very tasty, although the portions were a bit much I finished mine. I felt so relaxed with him; there was no need to front. Sunkanmi asked questions about me, he seemed very interested to know about me and was very attentive. I asked him questions about himself and I learnt he was an only child and never really liked it because he was lonely but then went ahead to warn me he was a bit spoilt. He lived in Ilorin till he was thirteen when his father got transferred to Lagos. He talked about his job, in an indigenous oil servicing firm, told me about his church which he was actively involved in as a member of the choir.

“That explains the voice I heard when we were singing in the car… you have a very nice voice.”

Like smooth creamy hot chocolate.

We talked and talked and talked.

We didn’t leave the restaurant till 7:45pm and the drive home was much quicker because the roads were free.
“Thanks Simi for today… for your time… your pleasantness… I had a really nice time today and would definitely love to see you again.”

Woop woop

“Awwww thanks Sunkanmi, I had a lovely time too.” And would certainly want to see you again.

He steps out of the car and comes to open the door for me and walks me to the front of my house.
“Goodnight Sims.” He says and gives me a side hug.
“Goodnight Suks.” I reply and walk into the house.
Thankfully my mum is not in the sitting room because she would demand for her Big Treat bread. I go straight to Tayo’s room and meet her on the phone. She sees the excitement on my face and knows I have good news for her.

“David, please can I call you back later?…. Simi just got back…okay babe…love you too.”
“So how was it?” she asks
“Ohhhh my days!!!! It couldn’t have gone any better.”
“I’m all ears.”
I start to tell her about my date and I hear a message alert on my phone and see a message from Sunkanmi.
“He just sent me a message.”
“Simi you are really blushing oh, oya open the message, let’s read.”

I click on the message.

“Guy how far? I just dropped Simi off at home. I think I’m falling for her already…she’s beautiful and we really clicked tonight. Thanks bro for hooking us up.”

We look at each other and burst out laughing.

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