Old Flame EP 4

Welcome back, fam. Sorry for the delay. Enjoy episode four.

Episode Four

Ebika sat on her bed with legs crossed in front of her. She had her Bible in her hand and her devotional manual close to her. She flashed the passage of the Bible with her phone’s torchlight. When she was through with the passage, she picked up her manual and read from it. She closed her eyes afterwards and prayed. Just as she was rounding off the prayer, her phone rang. She ended her prayer and picked it up. Her eyes flashed in anger when she saw the caller ID. She dropped the phone back on the bed and placed her devotional manual and Bible on her bedside table.

She straightened her bed sheet and tucked it in properly. She picked up the yellow floral print dress she had chosen to wear to work that day and dropped it carefully on the bed. She picked out her silver peep-toed heels and dropped them at the foot of the bed. While she prepared to go take her bath, her phone started ringing again. She ignored it again and went to take her bath.

When she returned to the room, she checked her phone and realized Bina had called five more times. She erased the missed calls. “I am not ready to talk to you, Bina. I’m still hurting. I haven’t gotten over what you did yesterday.” She said to herself.

Thinking about the events of the previous day brought Tolu to her mind. Her face gleamed with smiles. She had finally seen her first love again after all these years. He was still as remarkable as ever. He needed no prodding to do what he was supposed to do. Just like when he had found out she had accommodation issues back in school and couldn’t afford to buy a bed space. He had willingly given up his place off campus for her and went to squat in the hostel with his friend.

She later discovered he paid for the place with the money he saved from his plumbing business in school. Her love and respect for him grew after that. Out of his nothing, he had given her something. Not for once did they fight. They had a way around all their disagreements. Their love blossomed so much that they were given the award of best couple in Creek Haven during SUG week.

She never imagined spending her life with someone else. But then, Tolu disappeared into thin air. She only received a call from him, informing her he was off to work as a seaman and the money involved would set him up pretty good. He told her not to worry as he would come back for her.

She sighed heavily. He never came back until yesterday. Days without him in school had been terrible. She couldn’t answer all the questions posed to her by friends, gossips and enemies. What kept her going initially were his calls once in a while, but it stopped after some months. She left Creek Haven with a broken heart. A heart that kept hurting until Bina came into her life.

Bina, charismatic, hardworking and God-fearing, had come into her life with his pleasant smile and simple nature and became a friend to her. She couldn’t remember if he proposed to her formally or when their friendship became love, but they had started something special. It was not the passionate love she shared with Tolu back then. It was just a steady love between two level-headed people faced with the realities of life. She liked their relationship but seeing Tolu yesterday, being in his company made her yearn for that fiery love she once had with him.

She threw her head back and rested her weight on her palms spread out on the bed. The butterflies had flown in her belly just being with Tolu for some time. Her heart had responded with great excitement. Maybe she could make a change in her relationship with Bina. They could fire things up a little. They could be more passionate and lively. It wouldn’t just be the usual: prayers,   Bible studies, planning and minimal show of love. Things would have to change.

With this resolve she got up from bed and started dressing up for work. She was just buckling her wristwatch around her wrist when her phone rang again. She groaned. “Why can’t you just get the message, Bina?” She picked up the phone from where it was on the bed with the intention of ending the call, but stopped herself when she saw it wasn’t Bina. It was Tolu.

*************

 

He waited with bated breath for her musical voice to fill his ears. He hoped it wasn’t too early to call, but he didn’t know her schedule. His wife was not in the room, giving him the privacy he needed for this call. He had turned restlessly in bed all through the night because of Ebika. At one point, he had gone to his study to look through his old photo albums. He had found just what he went there for – a picture he took with Ebika when she said yes to him. She had been laughing when the shot was taken. The photographer had captured every detail of their posture: her perfectly curved body resting in his arms and the look of awe on his face as he stared at her with all the love he felt.

He had stayed back in the study admiring the picture until the wee hours of the morning. That picture was hidden under his pillow. It must have found its rightful place, because he slept after he placed it under his pillow. His dreams had been filled with her. Once he heard his wife leave the room, he picked the phone to call her.

“Hello.” Her sweet voice floated across the line like cool evening breeze on a sweaty skin.  He heard the smile in her voice. His heart jumped in excitement. “Hi, my dear.” He replied, drawing himself up in bed. “How was your night?” he asked.

“Fine.” She answered. “And yours?”

“Fine too.” He pictured her still in bed. “Mine was filled with thoughts of you.”

“Oh, really?” She laughed.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t dream of me. I must have crossed your mind.” He teased.

“Of course you crossed my mind.” She answered.

“I’m so happy we met after all these years, Ebika. I hope we really keep in touch.”

“That depends on you, Tolu. You are the one who is good in disappearing.”

Her words caused his heart to ache. Sadness clouded his features. “I’m truly sorry about that, Ebika.” His words were spoken softly. He needed her to know how sorry he was to have left her back then. He didn’t hear her reply as his wife came into the room. “I’ll call you later. Have a great day.” He rushed on.

“You too.”

Once he heard her response, he ended the call and faced his wife who was looking at him like he had grown horns.

“What?” He asked her sharply.

She opened her mouth to speak, but she shook her head. “Never mind.” She moved to the in-built wardrobe in their room and started moving his clothes about.

Guilt washed over him, but he pushed it aside. He would not hurt Eladebi, but he would not stay away from Ebika.

“What are you looking for?” He asked her, his tone softening.

She turned teary eyes to him. “I don’t want us to be like this, my love. We have to let go of all offences. We’ve come a long way.” She came to knee in front of him. “Forgive all my wrongs, my husband. I just want us to be happy.”

He considered this for a few heartbeats, then he threw his legs off the bed and drew her to his chest. “It’s alright. I’m no longer angry with you. We’re fine.”

“Thank you, my love.” she smiled up at him with tears in her eyes.

He wiped them off and dropped a kiss on her forehead. “I love you.” He told her.

“I love you too,” She replied, wrapping her arms around his mid-section.

While he drove to his office that day, he told his heart to love Eladebi as much as she loved him. She never forced herself on him; not even when she became pregnant before their wedding and had to face disciplinary actions in church. He scratched his head. It was he who assured her of his undying love and promised to stand by her. She had been true to him ever since. But why was he having second thoughts. Could it be that his love for her was fizzling out? Every little thing irritated him now, and he wondered why he seemed so intolerant of her. Hmm… he sighed, his heart must have been preparing him for his meeting with Ebika. Ebika, the one he should have married.

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Old Flame EP 3

And here is Episode three. Our love journey begins!

Episode Three                             

Tolu brought out a bottle of wine from his fridge when he got back to the office that night. He opened it and filled his glass. He held the glass by the stem and took a long sip. He walked around his desk to his chair behind it. All the while a smile remained on his face. His eyes were as bright as the stars lighting up the sky that night. He downed the content of the glass and poured some more drink into the glass.

He hiccupped when he took a sip this time. He followed the hiccup with a small chuckle. Hmm… he had found Ebika after eight years. Who would have thought they would meet again? The first girl he had fallen heads over heels in love with back in the university. Her charming smile had stolen his heart from the moment she smiled her thanks to him when he returned the wallet she left in a restaurant. Thank God he had been seated close to her. In fact, he had been watching her all the while she was there with her friend. Her soft laughter cut across his heart like a hot knife through butter. That lovely smile had caught his attention. He had spent more time admiring her than eating his food. Finding her wallet was the best thing to happen to him that day. He ran after her with all glee. When she smiled her lovely smile to show her appreciation, he had felt like a hero, her hero. His shoulders puffed up as he introduced himself. That was the beginning of their love story.

Tolu pressed the glass to his lips. He didn’t swallow the drink immediately. He rolled it in his mouth for a while, savouring the rich taste of red grape. He liked his wine. It was the perfect taste for his mood. Meeting Ebika again was as sweet as the best wine he had had. Ebika was sweeter though and more beautiful than she had been before. He sat up in his chair, images of their meeting fleeting back into his mind. He saw her like she was standing right before him. Her image was so real he felt if he stretched his hand he could touch her right there in his office. He stretched his hand before he could stop himself. He took off his jacket and brought it close to his nose, inhaling deeply.

“Oh, she smells so good.” He muttered, his eyes closed.

He pictured her tall and slim figure that could rival any model at her best. No ounce of fat seemed to have been added over the years. He liked that she still maintained her figure; the figure and her shiny dark complexion. Her figure made it easy for his hand to circle her waist back then. Her face came into view. That heart-shaped face that was accentuated by her pointed nose and small lips. She still had the thick dark hair just the way he remembered. He swept his hand through the air imagining his fingers running through her hair.

“You’re the best, Ebika.” He said with all the admiration.

“Hmm… what is going on here?” A voice intruded into his musing.

His eyes flew open. He sat forward suddenly, upsetting the glass on the table. Red liquid ran across his table. He pushed files away from the liquid spreading fast. The intruder grabbed a hand towel from the top of the file cabinet and stopped the spreading liquid. He cleaned the table dry.

Tolu’s eyes burnt with anger as he regarded his friend and business partner of six years, Christopher Ebikitin. “People have doors to keep unwanted guests out.” He said in a blunt tone.

Chris flashed an innocent smile. He returned the hand towel to the top of the cabinet. “Only when their doors are locked.” He replied. He pulled back a chair in front of the desk and took his seat. “What’s the occasion, Tolu?” He asked, his eyes resting on the half-emptied wine bottle. “Why didn’t you invite me?”

“Because you’re not wanted.” Tolu huffed, relaxing against his chair.

Chris chuckled. “Well, I always go where I am not wanted.” He shrugged.

“Why are you here anyway?” Tolu asked him, fixing him with suspicious eyes.

Chris’ eyes lost the playfulness from moments ago. His eyes drew in deep seriousness. He became the level-headed, the sensitive man Tolu knew him to be. Tolu suddenly preferred the playful Chris. He waited for Chris to speak. He knew whatever he had to say wouldn’t be good anyway.

Chris cleared his throat. “Your wife called, Tolu.” He told him, regarding him with steady eyes.

Tolu returned his gaze without flinching. “What did she tell you?” He quizzed.

Chris leaned forward in his chair and placed his elbow on the table. “Tolu, what you are doing to that poor woman and your children is not fair, and you know it. How could you leave the house for two days now?”

“If she insist on working, then I won’t return to the house.” Tolu replied in an iced cool voice.

“Come on, Tolu. Eladebi has tried and you know it. Your second son is three years old now. Let the woman work.” Chris implored in a pleading tone.

Tolu sat up in his chair, fixing Chris with unblinking eyes. His jaw was set firmly. “I won’t allow her work, Chris; not after the insult her father and her uncle dished out to me back then. They made jokes that I wouldn’t be able to take care of her. I have proven them wrong and will continue to prove them wrong. Let her stay at home and mother our children.”

Chris sighed, rubbing his clean-shaven jawline. “I just wish you’ll learn to communicate more with her than going off like this whenever you have a disagreement.” His eyes went to the picture frame of Tolu’s family on the wall to his right. “We both know that Eladebi is a good wife and mother.”

Tolu followed his eyes and stared at the frame too, taking in the image of the woman he had married five years ago. Was he losing his love for her? Why did he always take their argument to the extreme even when he was in the wrong? Yet, Eladebi will still apologize, prepare his meal, pray for the family and let peace reign?

He released a heavy sigh. “I have heard you, Chris. I will go home, but I still stand by my word: she’ll not work.” He replaced the files he had moved back to their position since the wine had dried off.

Chris’ lip turned up in a smile. “Just do what is right, Tolu.” He told him, then he added “So what were you celebrating when I came in?”

The heaviness in Tolu’s heart dissipated as a bright smile light up his face. The smile grew bigger as he thought of the one who had put it there; not his wife but the one who had his heart right from the beginning: Ebikaboere.

 

************

 

Her husband was back home. Eladebi jumped up from where she sat with her children watching Spongeboo Squarepants on Nicklelodeon. She ran to the window and peeped through it. Truly, her husband was back home.

“Daddy is back!” she announced to her children, grinning from ear to ear.

Tari, their first child, got up and yelped in delight, throwing his hands up. “Yeeeeeee!”

His brother, Timi, looked at him briefly and went back to his cartoon. Tari joined her at the door as they waited for Tolu to make an appearance. The minutes he took to park the car in the car park beside the house and walk around to the front door seem like forever to Eladebi. She adjusted her bubu gown, then she smoothened her weave-on with her palm.

The door opened and there stood her husband of years and the father of her children, looking as breath-taking as always. She wrapped her arms around him, while Tari, and Timi who had seen his father, hugged him by the leg. His free hand didn’t embrace her back. He just stood there as rigid as a rock waiting for her to ease off.

Her excitement slipped a little when she looked at him. His face was as hard as it had been when he left the house two days before. He dropped his briefcase and picked up Timi, while he patted Tari’s head. That was when she saw a smile on his face. She picked up the briefcase he dropped.

“You’re welcome, my husband.” She said to him, plastering a smile on her hurt face.

He eyed her. “Why are the children still awake?” He questioned scowling.

Her eyes went to the grandfather clock on the wall. It was past 9 pm. She turned apologetic eyes to him. “I’m sorry about that. I guess we got carried away.” She explained.

He dropped Timi gently on the floor. “Take them in and prepare them for bed. They have school tomorrow. I’m going to the room.” He moved towards the hallway.

“I made something.” She called after him.

He turned to her with questioning eyes. “I didn’t tell you I’ll be coming home, did I?”

She shrugged, smiling. “I prayed about it. I knew you would come home.”

Tolu crossed his arms across his chest. “Really?” He sneered. She nodded. “Was that after you called Chris or before you called him to bring your missing husband to you?” He asked in voice heavy with sarcasm. His lips turned up in a mocking smile when he saw her winced. “I am here, but I still stand by my word Eladebi: you will not work. Go and return that appointment letter to that school.” With that, he went down the hallway to their bedroom.

Eladebi’s face fell. Her shoulders sagged as she led her children inside.

 

 

 

Old Flame EP 2

Glad to have you back, friends. As a post birthday celebration, I have also uploaded episode three. Enjoy reading! Please share your thoughts.

Episode Two

“Ebikaboere Daumiebi?” He called in a tone of uncertainty, searching her face.

Ebika pushed away from the rail. She fixed him with piercing eyes. He knew her full name. She angled her head from one side to the other. He looked vaguely familiar.

“You’re Ebika, right?” He asked.

Ebika gave a small nod. The man’s lips curled up in an excited smile. “Oh, my God! Ebika.” He called excitedly, taking her hand.

“I can’t seem to place you.” Ebika admitted shamefacedly since the man seemed to know her very well.

The man gave a deep throaty laugh, his eyes dancing in joy. “It’s me, Ebika: Burutolu Smooth.”

Ebika processed the name in few seconds. She jumped when she connected the name to a time in her past. “Burutolu! Tolu!” She pointed a finger at him. Her eyes dilated with unbelief.

“Yes, Ebika, it’s Tolu, your Tolu.”

Time stood still as they embraced each other. When they eased off each other the first time, they stared at each other for some seconds and then hugged again.

“I can’t believe it’s you, Ebika.” He said, looking her over with eyes filled with admiration.

“Neither can I. You have really changed, Tolu.” She replied

He shrugged. “Just a little work-out and I turned out this way.” He pointed to his body.

“Hmm…” Ebika gave an approving nod. “It turned out way nicer than it was back then.”

“Come on, are you saying I wasn’t good looking back in school?” He questioned.

A playful glint came into Ebika’s eyes. Her lips curled up in mirth. “Huh, not so good.” She teased him.

He placed a hand on his chest. “That hurts.” He took her hand and placed it on his chest.

Ebika giggled. “It’s good to know you haven’t lost your sense of humour. You always know how to make me laugh.”

He bowed. “I serve to please, my lady.”

She laughed some more. Her laughter was interrupted by the chiming of her phone. She looked at the screen. Her laughter fizzled out immediately she saw the name of the caller. She let out a heavy sigh. The call was her reality check: money for her mother’s drugs.

“Hello, Ere.” She said.

“Ebika, the nurses are on my neck. They need the drugs now. I haven’t received the alert.” Her sister told her in a panicky tone.

Ebika’s eyes watered a little. “I’m sorry, Ere, but I’m having difficulty sending the money. Please, bear with me. I’ll try and do something before today runs out.” She replied. She bent her head to shield her face from Tolu’s piercing eyes. He was listening to every word.

“Chei, Ebika, please do something o.”

“I will. Just take care of mother.”

She ended the call and dropped the phone in her handbag. Her brow drew together in deep worry. “It was nice seeing you again, Tolu, but I have to attend to something very urgent.” She informed him.

His eyes held hers in a steady gaze. “What is the problem?” He inquired.

Ebika hesitated. Tolu sensed it. He took her hand. “Ebika, I’m not a stranger, remember. Forget the years gone by, I’m still the Burutolu you know. Tell me what is wrong.” He urged her in a soft tone.

Ebika looked at him. This is the Tolu she had dated for two years back in the university. The same Tolu who had taken care of her so much. The one who had willingly given her the key to his house when she couldn’t get hostel accommodation and went to squat with his friend in the hostel. The Tolu she had fallen in love with from the first day they met, when he returned her missing purse with all her belongings intact. Should it count now that he disappeared at the beginning of their third year without a backward glance? Could she trust him?

“Trust me, Ebika.” He urged, reading the distrust in her eyes.

She sighed. She was desperate anyway. What does it matter if she had to confide in her boyfriend from years ago? “My mom has been in the hospital for two weeks now. She has been on drugs and injections for some days. I was supposed to send money to my younger sister to buy her drugs, but my bank has network issues. I got a debit alert minutes ago. What I have left is not enough for the drugs. Even if I want to send cash to her, the banks are closed now.” She peeked at her watch and gave a nod. “Yes, it’s past four already. She just called now to tell me the drugs are needed urgently.”

“How much?” He asked.

Ebika’s eyes met his. She saw the deep concern in them. Is this the answer to my prayer, Lord? She asked within her. “It’s twenty thousand naira.” She told him.

“Just that?” He asked, bringing out his wallet. Ebika gave a small nod, watching as he took out different cards. He picked one out of them. “Let’s go. I’ll send the money to your sister.” He nodded towards the ATM, returning the wallet to the inner pocket of his jacket.

Ebika stood rooted to the spot, mouth gaped. She watched his large, confident strides as he marched to the machine. He was almost there when he noticed she hadn’t followed. He came back to meet her.

“Ebika, let’s send the money to your sister.” He touched her shoulder.

She blinked severally. “You’re going to help me?” She asked with disbelieving eyes.

He shrugged in response and took her hand. He led her to the machine. The queue had reduced so they had access to the machine quickly. He slotted in his card and typed in his details. He left her to do the rest. The transaction was successful. Ebika turned grateful eyes to him.

“Tolu, you don’t know what this means to me.” She held his left hand with her two hands, her eyes lifted to his. “You just put a very big smile on my face and my sister’s face.” She told him a hoarse whisper.

He smiled down at her. “Thanks to God, my dear.” He shook her lower jaw.

“I’ll pay you back once the bank rolls back my money. It shouldn’t take long before they do that.” She assured him.

He shook his head. “Don’t pay back, Ebika. Take it as a reunion gift.”

She stopped in her tracks. “Seriously, Tolu?” She quizzed.

“Seriously.” He answered.

She hugged him. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” She cried in delight.

Tolu laughed. “Don’t squeeze me, Ebika.” He joked.

Her sister called her then to tell her she received the credit alert. Ebika told her to pay for the drugs and take care of their mother. Tolu didn’t leave her. After the call, he offered to take her home. She declined and told him she was going to the market instead. He insisted on taking her to the market. He led her to a Lexus jeep parked in the bank’s car park.

“Is this your car?” She asked in sheer amazement.

“Yes.” He pressed a button on the car key to unlock the door. He opened the passenger door for her. “Get in.” He said.

Ebika didn’t. She faced him instead, arms akimbo. “Wow! Tolu, things have really changed for you.” she said, her pencil-thin eyebrows rose in admiration.

He chuckled lightly. “Let’s just say God has really blessed me.” He told her simply.

A burning desire to know more filled her heart but she decided not to bombard him with questions on their first meeting. She entered the car, and he drove her to the market. All the while they chatted about their time together back in Creek Haven University. He later dropped her off in the apartment she shared with her cousin after they had exchanged phone numbers.

She called him later in the night when she had settled for the night to show her appreciation. He asked about her mother, and she related what her sister had told her few minutes before she called him: her mother was stable. He was happy to hear that, and then he expressed his joy for finding her again. He assured her he’d keep in touch. When she ended the call, fantasies of yester years crept into her mind and stayed there. Fantasies that had been created by her and Tolu.

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Old Flame EP 1

Welcome, fam. Thanks for stopping by. Get on the journey with Ebika and Tolu. It’s going to be a long but interesting ride. Don’t get tired!

Episode One

Time was against her. Ebika checked her wristwatch for the umpteenth time since she joined the ATM queue in front of Royalty Bank. She grimaced when she realized she had been on the queue for over thirty minutes. She tapped her feet impatiently. She counted the persons before her now. There were three persons left. She frowned deeply. It shouldn’t take long anymore, if only the man using the ATM at that time would hurry up. He seemed to be making withdrawals for his entire family. People around started murmuring. The man remained unperturbed. He had his back to them, his broads shoulders raised confidently. Ebika finally lost her cool.

Putting up her best imitation of British English accent she called to him. “Hello, Sir. I hope you know there are people waiting on this queue to use the ATM.” She said. Heads turned towards her. She kept her face serious, adjusting her glasses a little. It wasn’t the time to count the number of persons she had charmed with her accent. “You should not remain there like it is your living room.” She added.

The man turned to look at her. When he didn’t turn back to the ATM after a few seconds, Ebika’s confident waned. What if he was a Professor or a Linguist? She pondered. Has he sensed my British accent is not the real deal? Her heart beat against her ribcage in fear.  He must be someone important, she observed, looking him over. He was smartly dressed in a grey suit that hung perfectly on his lean but muscular body. His shoulders reminded her of wrestlers in WWE. She swallowed when she looked at his face. His beard was neatly-trimmed around his strong jawline. When her eyes met his, his was twinkling. A strange feeling crept up her body. There was something oddly familiar about him.

“Oga, face wetin you dey do abeg. We no come here come play.” The man immediately behind him fired at him.

That broke the magic of the moment. The man went back to what he was doing. Ebika shook herself. What was that about? She wondered. Why does he look familiar? She rubbed her forehead. Nothing came to her.

She let it go when it was her turn to use the ATM. The feeling of urgency from before hit her again. She typed in her details and went on to transfer money to her younger sister. Her heart thumped lightly as she awaited the service report. It soon flashed on the screen. Her eyes grew with disappointment as she read the reply: issuer not available; contact your bank.

“Oh, God!” She screamed in deep frustration, banging her hand against the machine. Her card was injected.

The person behind her stepped up to her in front of the machine. She eyed him angrily. “Please, I’m not through with what I’m doing. Give me space.” She said.

The man hesitated, but when she refused to move away from the machine, he went back to the queue. She tried the transfer again and got the same reply. Her eyes glistened with tears as she took her card and stepped away from the machine. She took off her glasses and dropped them in her bag. Enough with the fashion, she was not in the mood anymore.

How would her sister get the drugs now that she couldn’t transfer the money needed to her? She swiped off the first tear that came down her cheek. She inhaled deeply, fighting for control. What good would it do if she broke down in tears now? She would try another ATM. Just as that decision took root in her heart, her phone bleeped, notifying her of text message. She pulled it out of her bag and read the message.

She placed her left hand on her head. Everything was going from bad to worse. The message was a debit alert from her bank. Debit alert? She cried within her, for money I didn’t even withdraw. Oh God! What she had left in her account could not cover the money for the drugs. Her legs wobbled under her. She walked on shaky legs to the rail that lined the right side of the bank and leaned against it.

Who will help me with this now? She pondered, flipping through her phone. She thought of her friend Doubara but shook it off. Doubara just paid her house rent. The next person that came to her mind brought a frown to her already sorrowful face. Her cousin Douye would never help. She was always broke. Sharing an apartment with Douye for the past couple of years have proven that her cousin was quite dependent. She would have parted ways with her if not that the apartment was free, and Douye had her good sides. Who else? A light smile touched her face when she thought of Binaebi. Yes, Bina is the right person. Why didn’t I think about him before breaking down? She chided herself.

She dialled his number quickly. After the first two calls went unanswered, her hope dwindled. She gave it a third try and he answered then.

“Hi, Dear.” She called, her face brightened with hope. She straightened against the rail.

“Hi.” His voice came across the line.

“I really need your help, Bina.” She told him.

“What?” He asked, sounding distracted.

She heard voices in the background. It wasn’t surprising since Bina worked as a customer care agent for one of the telecommunications company in the country. She took a quick look at her watch. It was a bad time to call, but she couldn’t help it.

“I need you to transfer some cash to me. I want to send it to my sister for my mother’s drugs. It’s urgent.” She told him.

He was silent for a few seconds. She took the phone off her ears to be sure he hadn’t gone off, but the call timer was still reading.

“Bina.” She barked down the line in impatience.

“Sorry about that.” He replied in a whisper. “Listen, Ebika, I can’t do anything now. My team leader just sent me a warning sign. We’ll talk later.”

The line went dead. Her tears came then. Bina was her last hope. What would she tell her younger sister? She threw her head back and closed her eyes tightly. Lord, I need Your help, she prayed silently. I’m at a lost at what next to do. Please, don’t let anything happen to my mother.

A hand touched her lightly causing her to jump. Her eyes flew open. Her fingers wound around the rail in a tight grip. She looked up and came face to face with the man from the queue earlier. The setting sun cast a light glow on his shiny dark hair, richly oiled. She squinted at him, wondering what he wanted with her.

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P.S. My birthday is on Sunday!!! yehhhhh!!!!!

photo credit: Google images. Design: Temitope Ezekiel Idowu DD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Roman god

Share this with that teenager you love.

The first time I met him, butterflies flew in my tommy. My innocent eyes twinkled with all pleasure. Oh, this new neighbour of ours looks just like a Roman god, I thought in my childish heart. His strong, angular face was so handsome. I kept smiling at him.

He flashed strong white teeth at me, and I was completely lost.

The mirror became my companion after that. My room became my runway. I posed this way and that, just to choose the right look for my Roman god.

Compliments rolled off him like raindrops on a rainy day. I couldn’t get enough of his praises.

Mama noticed. She saw my swaying hips when I walked. She saw the light in my eyes when he got back from work.

Mama cautioned me. “Finish your secondary school, dear child.”

My ears were deaf to her. I had the opportunity to be cherished and nurtured by my Roman god. I couldn’t give it up for anything. It didn’t matter to me that I was in my final class in secondary school.

My heart was lost to my Roman god. When he requested for my purity, I consented.

His request came with promises of marriage, a better life with all my heart desired. A life away from Mama’s watchful eyes, away from Papa’s belt for every wrong, and away from siblings trying to prove themselves to the world. I chose the world with my Roman god.

All too soon, I became sick in the morning. Mama gave me drugs with great suspicion in her eyes.

When my sickness in the morning continued for days, I had to stand before the doctor to listen to the consequence of the request I granted my Roman god.

The atmosphere became charged, and fireworks exploded in the house.

My cheek became a drum set as Papa landed slap after slap on it.

Hot tears found their way down my cheeks. My mouth trembled as I told them who was behind my sickness in the morning.

My Roman god stood before my family, head bent in shame and told the truth.

My things were arranged in a Ghana-must-go bag, and I was sent away with my Roman god.

The compliments stopped coming. The smiles refused to form. The face of my Roman god could rival the solidity of Olumo rock.

The beast became a Prince for Beauty, but my own Prince became a Beast.

I became the reason for every mistake. I became a good spot where anger could be unleashed.

Believe me, Soul Sister, his anger was unleashed regularly, and my little body took it all in pain and regret.

Along came our little one, and my Roman god softened like baby lotion. It remembered so until SHE came around.

She was the new employee in his office. He was drawn to her beauty and intelligence like bee to honey.

He sang her praises to my sad ears. He pointed her qualities that I could never have to my frustrated face.

Was I educated? Oh no.

Was I intelligent? Oh no.

Was I smart? The answer you know.

Was I experienced? Ah, Soul Sister, no.

What was my contribution to the family expenses? Zilch!

I swallowed the bitter taste of truth down my closed throat like Yoyo Bitters.

Seasons changed, and my life changed.

My Roman god packed my things into the same Ghana-must-go bag and sent me back to my father.

Papa would not accept me. He told me to go to my husband.

My Roman god told Papa he never asked for my hand in marriage. Nothing was legal between us.

Oh, what shame!

Papa spat on me and called me names that only a useless daughter like me deserved.

Seasons have changed again, Soul Sister, and baby is growing. My life is just taking shape, but I just heard my Roman god is getting married to the woman of his dreams.

My fingers are on my lips in regret as I write. The tears in my eyes are telling the tale of my shame. I stirred my love when it was not time.

Dear Soul Sister, what should I do? Do I have the right to stop the wedding? What would be my lot now?

 

 

 

 

I do or I Don’t EP 11

The END!!!!!!!! Thank you for going on this journey with me. I love you.

Episode Eleven

Kade knelt beside her bed, her palms clasped together. She sighed. She was meeting with Pastor Daniel and Priye in church later that day. She had finally seen Priye for who he really was, and she had also realized the part she played in their abusive relationship. She had encouraged him to treat her the way he did because she allowed it. She accepted the blame for each argument they had. She accepted his apology easily without dealing with the real problem.

Her stay with Mrs Damini for some days had shed light on her true situation. She had been counselled extensively by her, and a friend of hers who had a prayer group for women. Everything had become clear to Kade. She had even been able to deal with her fear of what people will say. It wasn’t important. Her part was to make things right. She would start with making things right with God.

She had sinned by lying that God had spoken to her about Priye when all the while it was her flesh that pushed her to him. She wanted to be part of his success. She had also played God when she assumed her submission to Priye would change him. She should have known she had no power to change any man.

She let out a low sigh. “Dear Father,” she started “I’m so sorry for running after material things, instead of waiting on you. Thank you for giving me a second chance to allow you lead my life again.” She prayed for herself and for Priye. She prayed for strength to do what was right. She prayed that God will touch Priye and change him. She also prayed for other ladies facing the same challenge she faced with Priye. Some were already married and were finding it difficult to leave, even when there was grave danger to them and their children. Kade prayed for God to help them break the silence before it was too late for them and their children.

When she ended the prayer, she went about her daily routines quickly. She was thankful to God for a friend like Tari who never stopped telling her the truth. She was never carried away by all the flashy things Priye represented. Some other friends would have encouraged her to keep on with Priye since he met all her needs.

Kade shook her head. When she finally told Tari the whole story, her friend didn’t tell her ‘I told you so’, instead she held her and prayed with her. Tari offered her shoulder for her to cry on, and gave her a listening ear. It made her feel better than she had been feeling before then. Her friend did not condemn her. She was with her when she made the call to Pastor Daniel. Her final prayer was for all to go well that day. She wanted no confrontation with Priye.

Pastor Daniel kept to the time they agreed on. He met her in church five minutes after she arrived. He ushered her into his office. She settled into one of the leather chairs in front of his desk. He moved some books to one part of the table and placed his arms on the created space. They talked generally for a few minutes before Priye joined them. It was the first time they were meeting after the incidence. Two weeks for her to get over her shock. Kade looked at him. He looked haggard. His usual clean-shaven face was gone. In its place was a stubbly face. There were dark circles beneath his eyes. One part of the collar of his polo stood while the other was bent. She pitied him. She saw the man she hadn’t seen before: Priye, the troubled man.

“I’m sorry for coming late.” He said in a calm voice which was strange. Gone was his larger than life attitude.

Kade shook her head. She wouldn’t be fooled by his pretence anymore. He took the chair beside her in front of Pastor Daniel. She turned to say hello to him. He returned her greeting with a ghost of a smile. It was time to end it all.

“You said you had something to share with me, Kade.” Pastor Daniel said.

“Yes sir.” She nodded. She inhaled and exhaled, trying to calm her nerves. “I want to let you know, sir, that I won’t be continuing the relationship with Brother Priye.” She informed him.

Pastor Daniel gaped at her. Beside her, Priye said nothing. He just bent his head. “Why, Sister Kade?” Pastor Daniel asked.

Kade prayed for wisdom to relay her message. “You see, sir, I got it all wrong from the beginning. It wasn’t meant to be.” She said, clasping and unclasping her fingers.

Pastor Daniel considered her words for a while, then he said, “There is more to this, right?”

Kade gave a small nod. Before she could speak, Priye burst out in tears, looking frightened. He placed his hands on the table. “I didn’t mean to hurt her, sir. I just wanted the kind of relationship my parents had.” Kade and Pastor Daniel looked at him in confusion. He continued, “If only Kade was as submissive as my mother was to my father, I would never have beaten her.” His voice hardened a little.

“What?” Pastor Daniel gasped in shock. “You were beating her?” He asked in a tone of disbelief.

Priye looked away when he nodded. Pastor Daniel looked at Kade. “And you kept this all to yourself?”

“I didn’t want to destroy his image in church. I thought he would change.” Her excuse sounded foolish to her now. She didn’t need to look at Pastor Daniel to know he thought the same way too.

“That is nonsense, Sister Kade. You should not jeopardize your life like that. You should have said something.” He chided her. He faced Priye. “Brother Priye, Kade is not your mother. Hitting her is very wrong. The Bible admonishes us to respect one another. God didn’t give Eve to Adam as a punching bag. He gave her to him as a help meet.”

Priye started crying again. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I don’t want Kade to leave me. Don’t let her leave.” He pleaded.

Kade shifted her chair away from him in horror.

Pastor Daniel sighed. “Brother Priye, you don’t need Sister Kade now. You need help. You need to deal with the demons from your past, from whatever you learnt from your parents’ marriage. Until then, you can’t have any sister.” He told him in a fatherly tone.

Priye looked baffled. “Was I wrong to have hit her when she did not submit?” He asked, but went on without waiting for her answer. “Every time my mom tried to be a little bit less submissive, Dad will place her on the table in the living room, and flog her very well. Afterwards, she’ll say thank you to him, and they’ll be fine. Mom never talked back or threatened to leave him. They stayed together in peace until Mom went to the market one day and never came back. We looked for her for a long time. Dad cried. He never got over her disappearance. It was clear he loved her so much. I love Kade like that, and I want us to be like my parents.” He finished his story.

Kade jumped up from her chair. She looked at Priye like he was raving mad, and she believed he was.

Pastor Daniel looked at him with compassion. “Brother Priye, that is not the kind of love that Jesus has for us his children. He would not treat us like animals. He loved so much that he died for us, and called us his friends. What you witnessed as a child was a wrong kind of love. God never intended our marriage to be like that. Let me read Ephesians 5 to you.” Pastor Daniel picked up his Bible from the desk and read verses 28 and 29:

‘So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but cherishes it, just as the Lord does for the church.’

He closed his Bible and looked at Priye. “You can’t claim to love someone and delight in hurting the person. Will you like to cut yourself with a knife?” He asked. Priye shook his head. “That’s the way you should feel when you want to hurt someone you love, because it is like cutting yourself with a knife.” He touched Priye’s hand. “You need to learn the God-kind of love because you can’t give what you don’t have. Your heart is not ready for marital love. Let’s discover God’s love for us first. Let Kade go. Make yourself a better man.”

Priye turned to her with tear-filled eyes. “I’m sorry, Kade.” He said simply.

Kade felt a rush of compassion. “You will be fine, Priye. God will heal your heart.” She encouraged, then she turned to Pastor Daniel, “Thank you, sir.”

“It is well, Sister Kade. The Lord be with you.”

“Amen.” She answered.

As she walked out of the office, Pastor Daniel kept speaking to Priye. Much as she felt for him, she couldn’t resist the feeling of freedom that rushed through her.

“I’m free! I’m free!” She screamed when she got outside. Each step she took led her away from the bondage she brought on herself and to the future God had prepared for her.

 

THE END.

And it’s a wrap. I hope you enjoyed reading Kade’s story. Share the lessons you learnt from this story please. one more thing: We must break the silence, either for us or for someone we know.

Below is an excerpt of the story that will be on the blog soon. Wait for IT!!!

OLD FLAME

One

Time was against her. Ebika checked her wristwatch for the umpteenth time since she joined the ATM queue in front of Royalty Bank. She grimaced when she realized she had been on the queue for over thirty minutes. She tapped her feet impatiently. She counted the persons before her now. There were three persons left. She frowned deeply. It shouldn’t take long anymore, but the man making withdrawal at the ATM seem to be withdrawing for his entire family. People around started murmuring. The man remained unperturbed. He had his back to them, his broads shoulders raised confidently. Ebika finally lost her cool.

Putting up her best imitation of British English accent she called to him. “Hello, Sir. I hope you know there are people waiting on this queue to use the ATM.” She said. Heads turned towards her. She kept her face serious, adjusting her glassed a little. It wasn’t the time to count the number of persons she had charmed with her accent. “You should not remain there like it is your living room.” She added.

The man turned to look at her. When he didn’t turn back to the ATM after a few seconds, Ebika’s confident waned. What if he was a Professor or a Linguist? She pondered. Has he sensed my British accent was not the real deal? He must be someone important, she observed, looking him over. He was smartly dressed in a grey suit that hung perfectly on his lean but muscular body. His shoulders reminded her of wrestlers in WWE. She swallowed when she looked at his face. His beard was neatly-trimmed around his strong jawline. When her eyes met his, his was twinkling. A strange feeling crept up her body. There was something oddly familiar about him.