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After The Storm 2 – by Osarugue Adeyemi

Hello people!

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

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

******

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*******

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It has, hasn’t it?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What street? We live miles apart”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes, in England”

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

“So, I take that as a ‘no’?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But my ticket is for Monday”

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

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

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

She giggled “That’s better”

“So is that a yes?”

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

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

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

“Is that okay?”

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

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

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

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

“That’s how it should be”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She giggled “Almost fifteen”

“Yeah…seems like that”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You must be really tired”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Very much so, Dad”

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

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

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

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

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

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

*******

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So what goodies did you bring back?”

“Hugs and kisses!”

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

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

The guy must have arrived

“Ada, I ‘ve got to dash off now”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Finished lectures for today?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you sure about that?” Yemi teased.

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

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

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

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

“So how’s the Prof and his wife?”

“They’re good”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Mum! So you ‘ve been watching me!”

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

“Mum……you are exaggerating!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But what, mum?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Will do, mum”

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After The Storm – Chapter 1

Hello People,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Then get them both”

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

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

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

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

“Hey, let me help you with those bags”

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

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

“Thanks, that’s kind of you”

“My pleasure”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No worries! Just carry on”

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

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

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

“Now you ‘re making fun of me”

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

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

He arched his brow slightly “Why is that?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No idea!” Yemi laughed “We just do!”

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

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

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

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

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

“Sushi?”

She made a face “Nah!”

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

She shook her head “Thanks but no thanks!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What kind of business do you do?”

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

“That’s patronising”

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

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

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

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

“How old are you?”

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

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

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

“Twenty nine next birthday”

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

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

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

“So where do you live back home?”

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

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

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

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

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

“I can take you home”

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

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

“Oh”

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

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

“On the Island, Lekki”

“What discipline does your mum lecture?”

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

“He’s a professor of economics”

“Whoa!”

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s written all over your face”

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

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

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

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

“Warwick”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“All right, thank you”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No I ‘m not. Are you?”

“No” He replied “So?”

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

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

“I’ll let you know”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How did the shopping go?”

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

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

“No! the price can’t be that low!”

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

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

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

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

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

She eyed Yemi “I can see you like him”

Yemi smiled coyly “Not really sure….”

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She paused before answering “I believe so”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“That will be an own goal, won’t it?”

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

“I’d better not see you again then”

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

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

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

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

“No way!”

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

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

“Yeah…So have a good night”

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

*****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Am I seeing you tomorrow?”

“Not tomorrow but I’ll call you”

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

*******

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

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

“Has he asked you out formally?”

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

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

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

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

Yemi scowled “Be serious Tola”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sister-Zoned? You Are Not Alone.

Hi guys!!

How are you? and how was your work week? Today’s post is by Tomilola, she blogs at http://www.withtomi.com Please check it out.

I enjoyed reading the story and I’m sure you will. Please remember to leave a comment.

Have a fab weekend!!

********
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday, the birds chirped happily, children played joyfully by the make shift playground opposite my house and I was all dressed ready to meet up with Segun- my long lost friend.

Back at Unilag, Segun and I were inseparable. I mean, being one of the few female students studying Mechanical Engineering meant that I had lots of guys around me all the time, but in the midst of them all, Segun had a special place in my heart. We were often teased about being an ‘item’ but we shoved it off. I was way too concerned with getting a first class at the time, so relationships were the last thing on my mind. But that was three years ago, the story is different now. I’m so ready for the next phase of my life. I’ve got the first class honours, the job to die for at Chevron, but no guy on the horizon. I’m so tired of being a professional bridesmaid. I can even vouch that I make the most visits to Bella Naija website, but only to look at the wedding section. This wedding fever is so bad that there’s barely any guy I meet without wondering if he’s “the one”.

Anyway, so I met up with Segun at some Chinese Restaurant on the Island and it was exactly like old times- unending gist and loads of laughter (mehn, that guy is funny sha). But there was something else I noticed this time; his looks. Like seriously, how can someone be this ridiculously handsome and tall at the same time? Is that fair? Within two seconds of our date meet up, I had carefully placed him in the ‘could be the one’ folder and I even started drafting our ‘how we met’ story for Bella Naija- all in my head of course.

We got really close, too close to be honest. Everything seemed perfect, I already knew his family, he knew mine, he was my plus one to my weekly bridesmaid duties (seriously, I should have been paid for that, it was like my part time job), he would listen to me rant about my job for hours (although I really loved it at Chevron, well let’s be honest, it was the money) and he being in a similar but more senior role at Mobil would offer me lots of practical advice. We had been going steady like that for about three months, but yours truly wasn’t 100% sure where she stood with him, so I spoke to Biola my bestie about it.

Biola had been married for ten months and theirs seemed like the perfect marriage, from the outside anyway. Biola advised me to start dropping obvious hints and also try to get him jealous and right away it clicked, I had been giving him too much of my time yes, that was the problem I concluded. So for the next three weeks, my plan was to let him see less of me with the excuse that I was going on dates after which I’d happily gist him about the non-existent dates. O boy, this guy no wake up o, he’ll happily listen and tell me who to consider going on a second date with. Chai!

As usual, I gisted Biola and she decided it was time to go into phase two of our operation. It was the confrontation stage, as Biola referred to it as. “Just sit him down and ask him straight up”, Biola advised. I was so nervous, but I had to do it. It was the only way to get my wedding or rather our wedding featured on Bella Naija sooner rather than later. I had it all planned out. It was my birthday and he was taking me out to dinner after work. He picked me up as he had already told me not to drive to work, since he was going to be dropping me back home. On our way to dinner, I decided to check-in with Instagram. I hadn’t had time to do it all day as I had been particularly busy with work. Guess the first post I saw? It was a post dedicated to me from our beloved Segun and the caption read:

“You’re more than a million friends wrapped in one, combined with the beauty of another one million. You’re incredibly smart and talented, a great cook, if I must add (nothing beats your efo riro). Here’s wishing you a lovely birthday, I love you now and always. P.S: we should totally get married, we’re both single, right? Haha, nah! You’re just like a sister to me”

What? This guy just “sister-zoned” me, but he could not even do it one-on-one, he had to do it on INSTAGRAM, like really? Just when I had concluded our wedding arrangements. Life can be so unfair..LOL.
And oh, you already guessed right, dinner was horrible. I completely lost my appetite.

“Girl, are you kidding me, he wrote that? Gosh, this Segun guy is in a class of his own o.” Biola finished off. “Anyway, I’ll look on the bright side, he’s not interested abi? No wahala, at least I got to find out now. Better late than never” I consoled myself as I walked to my car and bade Biola goodbye.

The next few days were particularly difficult for me. I didn’t realise how close and attached I had become to Segun and breaking the attachment so abruptly wasn’t the easiest of things. I had to stop myself from texting him anytime I felt the urge to, which was every five minutes or so. Everything reminded me of him. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was the tears. I couldn’t even explain it. Why was I so emotional about this? We didn’t break up, I mean we were never together, so why all these emotions? The fact that I couldn’t place my hands on it frustrated me the more. After about two weeks of trying hard to avoid Segun, ignoring his calls and hardly replying his texts, I was finally going to see him. It was inevitable, I had to be at Laura’s birthday dinner.

It was Laura, my very good friend’s birthday and her boyfriend, Sam was Segun’s childhood friend, so yes, he was definitely going to be there as well. I got to the restaurant quite late, no thanks to Lagos traffic and everyone was already seated at the table. There was only one seat left, so I had to take it, albeit reluctantly as it was right opposite Segun’s. The atmosphere around us was so tense and uncomfortable and I could see it in his eyes that he really wanted to talk to me, but I didn’t want to have that ‘talk’. I know he didn’t like me in ‘that way’, but I did not want to hear him say it, neither did I want him to know how I felt about him, so I really had to avoid him.

As the evening progressed, people seemed to loosen up a bit more and everyone got talking. Prior to now, I had been so preoccupied with trying to avoid Segun that I did not notice that the guy sat right next to me had his eyes on me. At some point, I got up to use the ladies and on my way back, the guy seized the opportunity to talk to me. You know the usual ‘you’re stunning, can I get your number line’? Yea, that. At first I declined, but then I realised that he seemed to be the kind of guy that wouldn’t mind spending the entire night trying to get my number and quite frankly, I didn’t have the strength for it, so I succumbed and gave it to him. Just then, Segun walked past. He didn’t seem pleased at all and next thing I knew, he walked right back and asked to speak to me when I had a moment. I should narrate the convo to you, but I honestly think it’s more interesting if you read it yourself. Here it goes:

Segun: hey

Me: hey.

Segun: how have you been?

Me: good

Segun: okkkayyy…what’s up with the one liners?

Me: what one liners? You asked a question, I responded.

Segun: look, I’ll cut to the chase. I really don’t know what’s going on with you, you just switched off like that and if I remember correctly, it was after your birthday meal. Not picking my calls, avoiding me, not replying my texts. I don’t know what’s up with you and it’s bothering me, it’s bothering me real bad.

*As he said that, my heart sank. For a moment I almost blurted out ‘you like me too’, but thankfully I came back to my senses rather quickly. It wasn’t so much about what he said, but how he said it. I could literally see the affection written all over him. But then, it occurred to me that the affection must have been from a brother to his ‘sister’.*

Me: Look Segun, we got too close and I just needed my space.

Segun: okkkayyy, this is making no sense. We get on really well and we’re pretty much best of friends and all of a sudden, this is a problem?

Me: Here’s the thing, I just don’t think it’s very healthy to have such a close relationship with a guy who isn’t my boyfriend or husband. Loads of people were beginning to think we were an item and it was scaring my male admirers off.

Segun: Exactly, I needed to scare them off. I don’t want to share you with anyone else, you’re too special to me.

Me: Yea right, as a sister abi?

Segun: What sister? Far from it. My feelings for you are far from sisterly. There’s something special here and I want us to take it to the next level.

Me: but that Instagram post though? What’s up with that?

Segun: that was my way of hinting marriage to you. It seemed to me like you only ever saw me as a ‘brother’, but I so desperately wanted more than that and so I figured if the word marriage and Segun came up in the same sentence, you’ll start thinking of me in that light. It sounds silly, I know. But that was my thinking at the time. Oh wait, did you like me as well? Is that the real reason behind the acting up? Hahahaha.

Me: LOL. Stop laughing jor. Yes, I thought you ‘sister-zoned’ me and it broke my heart.

Segun: Awww, come here sweetie, I’ll never do that to you. I love you too much for that. So are we official now?

I simply nodded with a huge grin on my face as he pulled me into a warm embrace.

Segun: I want to spend the rest of my life with you babes. I love you so much, it’s crazy. This past two weeks have been horrible. Even my boss advised I take a break from work as I seemed ‘distracted’ as he put it.

*At this point, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. The guy that I had spent the last two weeks crying over felt exactly the same way I do?*

“And this guy that you just gave your number to, he better not be calling you. Your BOYFRIEND wouldn’t like that” Segun said jokingly as he emphasised the word boyfriend.

The Real Life

Hi people,

How are you? How is your week going? Today’s post is by Jerry, a reader. Please read and remember to leave a comment.
You can send in a story to feyisdiary@gmail.com

Enjoy the rest of your week.
Hugs and kisses.

He sat on the toilet bowl, he felt really relieved now, and he had held it for the whole day. You know those golden toilet bowls we see only in BBM display pictures and twitter timeline? They actually exist, but the bowl he was on was nothing close to them. This was the only toilet in a compound of 53 people. So you can imagine how unimaginable the toilet was. Somehow he had forgotten to put his usual tissues on the seat before he sat (and rightly so, when you share toilet with the entire Nigeria, you should protect yourself. Hepatitis is a dire something)

Ok now jokes apart, back to my story. He sat on the bowl, thinking seriously about his life (anyone else wonders why the toilet suddenly becomes the best place to do your brainstorming and making those life decisions too). At some point, he flashed to his university days. Back then he was in school, he was the Real Deal. I repeat Real Deal. At least that was what his friends called him. With his cute face, sexy smile, muscular body and most importantly the big daddy he rode (though his uncle’s) no girl stood a chance not even sister Juliet the campus fellowship’s secretary (there were rumours though, even videos :x)

He rocked every party on campus, wore the latest trend. He was that dandy dude, the most popular in faculty of law and even popular among lecturers. He even had a diary where he kept the list of girls he had slept with, the dates and places- the black book he named it. A good number of them were in his “big daddy” at Newhall and oh, his apartment? LEGEN -wait–for–it–DARY. Simply put, he was “living the dream”.
This was every boy’s dream; to live the dream. But then, there was this little problem. His swag grade was inversely proportional to his cumulative grade point. And oh yea, you guessed right. He didn’t care at all; I mean who needs a high CGPA when you’ve got swag……He smiled frequently on his “bowl” when He remembered his escapades and frolicking. His debauchery was unmatched.

Then he fast-forwarded to the past 4 months. How he walked the entire length of Lagos in search of jobs. He remembered being humiliated by one of his interviewer who said “young man the only job you’d get with the result is a nursery school teaching job……if you’re lucky”. He flashed back to those dreadful days when he ate nothing at all for an entire day. In the past few months, he’d come to realise that he wasn’t the Real deal anymore. He’d realised that swags was gonna pay no bill. He also realised that most of those his girls back in school were married now…to rich husbands. One even came to preach to him some weeks back. He’d realised that university was just superficial and that the real life is after school. He’d realised that university wasn’t an end in itself, but a means to an end. He’d realised that the society is unforgiving and only the fittest survives. And very importantly, He’d realised that when a man gets a woman, his friends asks “is she fine? Is she endowed? ” But the girl’s friends asks her “what does he do?” (Personally, I think this is an unfair attack on men. The expectations on men are just too high)

Reality had set in.

But What other worse place is there to realise all these “world-changing-Einstein-discoveries” than a pitiful toilet bowl in some rural place in Nigeria with two of your neighbours banging on the toilet door cussing you to come out already “Oloriburuku shey you dey born pikin for there ni…….Chai!! Darrisgod ooooo!”

A birthday to remember by Oye Onafeso

Hi people,

Today’s post is a submission by one of my readers. Please remember to leave a comment.

If you want to submit a story, please send it to feyisdiary@gmail.com.

Let’s continue praying for Nigeria and the release of our girls.

xoxo

It was a beautiful morning, the sun was bright, and the sky was blue.
It was one of those days I woke up smiling and did not drag my feet to the bathroom. It was my birthday and I was glad. I dreamt about all the gifts I could receive, I so much wanted an I-phone. Weeks before this day, I made it clear to every relative I could talk to, so if they planned to surprise me, they could do it the right way. Nevertheless, only if I knew the future, only if I had seen the coming hours, only if. Maybe I will not have even left my bed, it would have been happier that way. Staying home and my brothers singing me a birthday song could have been much better. All the same, no man knows what the future has in store.

“Wow, this shirt really fits you, my handsome son.” My mum said. I was smiling, dancing, and talking. I was just happy and it was evident in all I did. It was evident in the way I spoke, my responses to situations, how I ran up the stairs, and down, it was as evident as it could have ever been.
“Thanks mum.” I went ahead and gave her a hug. While we hugged, it was as if the joy between us became friends and did not want to let go. My mum then pats my hair, and then held my arms. She was also smiling; she kept her eyes focused on mine
“You know the reason why we are celebrating this birthday for you?”
“Yes, because you love me.” I replied, smiling.
“We have always loved you, it is also because the last time we celebrated a big party for you was five years back, and we want to make this even bigger. It is going to be an extension of two days.”
I could not believe it, “Wow, two days? What would we be doing for two days mum?” My eyes were wide open and lips far apart.
“For today, we would celebrate with all your friends and loved ones and tomorrow it would just be family, strictly family.” All that my mum said sounded nice to my ears and unbelievable. I was not expecting such a big party. The swimming pools were cleaned, the game house was also refurnished, and the compound was set for celebration.

In about an hour cars started driving in, gradually the compound got fuller and happy birthday wishes and gifts flooded in. I was so glad; I involved myself fully in the celebration of the day. There was a dance competition and I won. Yeah, I danced out all the hours I missed dancing. Sincerely though, I was surprised to have won the dance competition, maybe because it was my birthday I guessed. I ate till I couldn’t stand and I drank till I could not sit, all I could do was lay back. I started unwrapping all of my gifts and yes! You guessed right, right before my eye was my Iphone. Yes, every sense of ownership came within me right away; I leaped up from my bed, forgetting the discomfort in my belly and ran to my mum. I had not even checked the name on the wrap to know who sent it. She just smiled and followed me back to my room “So who gave it to you?” I carefully searched for the wrap and checked and behold it was my dad. I thought he had forgotten me because I had actually even forgotten him. He sent it from the Unites States. I was so glad and that even made me happier, I got to speak to him latter and even got happier because when my holiday comes I would be spending it with him. With him also means in America. I slept that night smiling, it felt great to be of such importance to many people, I received so many gifts, and even a laptop I never dreamt of. I slept that night smiling.

My eyes opened and it was morning, a beautiful morning. I prayed the day would just go has I had dreamt. All of my relatives slept over. I knew we would be going to a shopping mall, then to see the movies and then to the beach. I knew I was going to have a great day. We set out for shoprite. I knew my mum wanted us to buy some groceries and eat some special dishes. I ate a lot but not as much as the day before. I felt like I must have added massive weight since yesterday. We did go see a movie and I slept off. I guess because I had eaten too much. It normally happens that way, when I eat I sleep. The film must have been interesting because all of my relatives woke me smiling, they seemed happier at the end of the film than at the start. I did not care much about films, so I was not bothered. It was time to go to the beach; I could not wait because the last time I went was when I was a kid. I also wanted to swim so badly, wanted to make new friends, wanted to meet new people, wanted to just sit and dream of a happy future, I wish I did all that because the tragedy awaiting us would leave a scar on my flesh and also my heart.

It was fun on our journey to the beach; we sang and played games. I had never had a better time with my family than that day. My brothers, two uncles and their wives with their children (my cousins) were in the space bus, grandma and mum were at the front with mum on the wheel. I was the last man, right at the back with my cousins’. I wished the fun would never end, I wished all the party would never stop, but I had no idea it was going to stop sooner than we planned.

The next thing I heard was screeching of tyres, I looked to my front, and I saw a trailer heading straight for our car from the coming lane. I knew already that nothing could be done, my lips were wide apart, screams in the air, Jesus on my mum’s lips, and then there was the sound like thunder and then blackout. The next time I woke, I was in the hospital, my right leg amputated, my left eyes bandaged, my front teeth broken. I was in a bad state, I could not even move neither could I speak, regret was in my heart, I was saddened, I was angry, I was helpless. If that was the only case, I could still have been a happy man, but destiny would make me a sad breathing thing until the day I die, because I was the only survivor.