Love Quest Ep 3

So sorry this episode is coming now. Had a lot on my table. We meet Raymond in this episode. Happy reading!

Episode Three

It was cloudy when Nimi left her place of work on Tuesday evening. She looked up and saw that it would rain soon. She groaned in frustration. She had left her umbrella in the house that morning while she made a mad dash to the bus stop. Her hand went to her hair. How would she cover her hair? It had taken three hours to braid her hair. Hours that would have been used to tidy up her work now that the ED wanted to get reports for all their accounts in details. It would be a disaster if the rain poured down and caught her on the road. She groaned as the sky rumbled. She followed her groaning with a silent plea to heaven that the sky not to open up until she got home. Getting home would be after her meeting with Raymond.

Raymond, hmm… she sighed. What would be the end of it all? Where had she gotten it wrong? What did she miss? All was in place at least that was what she thought. These thoughts drifted in and out of her mind as she stood at the bus-stop. Images of her times with Raymond filled her head like motion pictures. Her heart felt hollow where feelings for Ray should have warmed. Deep in her heart, she wanted to be free from the nightmare that had become their relationship in the past months, but she couldn’t shake off the lonely feeling that thought brought. How would she start all over if Raymond truly called it quit? What about the time she had invested in the relationship?

Comot for road.” Someone bellowed at her.

She jumped just in time to step off the way of a man pushing a water truck. He sent her an angry look as he passed her. He murmured words Nimi didn’t hear but was sure were abusive. She shook her head. Nimi, think positive thoughts, she admonished herself. Your negative vibe is inviting negativity from people around too. She looked at the man pushing the truck again. He was several feet away from her. His back was bent. That image filled her with sadness. Everyone had problems. They just handled it differently. While she was lost in thought, lightning flashed across the sky, followed by a crashing sound. People took to their heels. Mothers grabbed their children and ran for shelter. Some others came out their houses to call children out in the streets.  Those at the bus-stop became impatient, flagging down tricycle riders. Some walked briskly away.

Nimi joined those walking away. She was sure she wouldn’t get a tricycle; not with the way, people struggled for the empty ones. Raymond’s house was not too far. She could get there in fifteen minutes if she walked fast. Her only prayer was that the rain would hold its peace.

She picked up her pace. Shop owners packed their wares quickly. Some roadside traders positioned their umbrellas properly. Some others filled empty cartons arranged on wheelbarrows with their goods. Nimi branched off at a bend. She would take a shortcut to Raymond’s house. She maneuvered her way through the potholes filled with water, evidence of the rainfall on Sunday night. Children jumped excitedly in front of their houses, expecting the rain. Buckets, water drums were placed under the roof to get rainwater.

Despite her fear of the coming rain and her anxiety over her impending meeting with Raymond, the atmosphere made her feel good. Her face brightened as she stole glances of the happy children. She could pretend to be like them for a while – carefree, innocent and without secrets. This feeling stayed with her until Raymond’s house came into view.

Her heartbeat changed its rhythm. No longer did she feel the relaxed beat of her heart against her ribcage. In its place was a fast rhythm normally used for an ominous scene in movies. Her steps faltered as she drew close to the house. The brown-coloured two-storey building stood out amongst other buildings. It was flanked by two unpainted bungalows. The squared-shaped compound was surrounded by a low fence, and its entrance was marked by a black gate.

Nimi drew closer to the house. Her eyes roamed the first floor of the building and settled on the second flat at the back wing of the compound. It was Ray’s flat. She knew every inch of the house like she knew her own house. The opened window she could see was the second window in Ray’s bedroom. Her eyes stayed on it for a while. Happy thoughts floated in her head like clouds on a bright skyline.  She had been certain of the love they had for each other. Raymond had promised her his heart for eternity. It wasn’t even looking like a couple of months together. She gave a sad shake of her head and moved towards the gate. She pushed opened the small gate and walked in. She walked straight to the flats at the back wing and stood in front of the door that would lead her to Ray’s flat. Before she could stop herself, she did a sign of the cross. I am ready for whatever, she told herself. She repeated this mantra a couple of times before she knocked at the door.

She stood there shifting from one foot to another when Ray came to the door.

She looked up at him. “Good evening, Ray.” She said in a breathless tone.

The smile he gave her didn’t reach his eyes. “Welcome, Nimi. I was just about calling you.” He said, raising the phone in his hands. “I was worried about the weather.” He added.

“It’s okay. I’m here now. We can have our talk.” Nimi said in a bland tone. There was no need beating around the bush. They both knew this talk would either make them or break them.

Raymond looked like he wanted to say something, but changed his mind. He invited her in. She walked past him to the stairs, moving as far away from him as possible. She would keep everything as impersonal as possible. She would just take it as a civil meeting between two people planning a better future for themselves.

When they got to his apartment, he invited her to sit down. She took her seat in one of the black-leathered sofas in the living room and placed her bag on a side stool beside her. Power was out due to the weather, and although it was still early evening, Ray had an electric torch on, placed on the glass table in the middle of the room. The dim light hid the shadows in her eyes and she liked it. She waited now for Ray to speak.

“What would you like?” Raymond asked, standing in front of the refrigerator beside the dining table.

“Nothing,” Nimi answered in a stone cold voice.

“Okay.” He shrugged, then he came to sit with her. “I called you here so we could talk about us.” He told her.

Nimi rolled her eyes. Was it not obvious? She wondered. “Well, guess we should start talking.” She fixed her eyes on his picture frame on the wall. She would stare at anything but his face; even though her picture with him was no longer on the wall where it was the last time she visited him.

Tears prickled in her eyes. He didn’t even wait to officially break up with her before erasing her memory from his life: memories they spent two years building. Anger welled up in her as she waited for him to speak.

He placed his right leg on the couch so he could look straight at her. He took her hand. “Nimi, being with you these past years has been wonderful. Honestly, you made me a better man. I bless the day I met you that day in the bank. You are a charming lady, and I really wish to spend the rest of my life with you…” He scratched his head with his free hand, struggling with the right words.

Nimi regarded him calmly. “But…” She said.

He looked confused. “But what?”

She smiled without humour. “Everything you’re telling me, Ray, will end with a condition. All the accolades will not stop the unpalatable news you want to give me.” She challenged him.

He got up from the couch. “Why do you think it’s unpalatable?” He asked.

Nimi lost her patience. “Please cut the crap, Ray. We both know where this is leading to. Even if I don’t want to admit it, it’s obvious we’re finished.” She snapped at him, anger clouding her face.

He pivoted. “Why would you..?” he started talking, but she raised her hand to cut him short.

“A blind man can see the big hole in this farce that has become our relationship. For crying out loud you took my pictures of the wall.” She pointed out. Unbidden tears rolled down her cheeks. She pressed her lips together to stop them.

Raymond’s eyes went to the wall. Guilt covered his face. He had no explanation to give. He just thought it was better not to be reminded of anything related to her to make the breakup easy for him. He wanted her, but he couldn’t go against his mother. He looked at her now and felt as if a knife was twisted in his gut. His heart broke when he saw the tears she was struggling to hold back. Better to get on with everything so they could move on with their lives.

He cleared his throat, drawing her attention to him. “I’m really sorry, Nimi. I didn’t mean for things to end like this, but I have to obey my mother.” She raised questioning eyes to him. He rushed to explain. “My mother found out that your elder sister ran away from her husband’s house and married his best friend. She went to see a prophet in her church about you and your sister’s character. The prophet told her that it’s in your family’s nature not to stay with one man. She got worried and told me to end it with you.” He finished. He exhaled. Sweet relief, he thought, he had finally said it.

Nimi stood up slowly, her eyes filled with shock. She opened and closed her mouth and no words came out. She placed her hands on her waist and took a deep breath. “This is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard, Ray. To think that I’ve been killing myself these past months, wondering what I have done, and you’ve been holding this against me.”

Laughter bubbled within her and she laughed. For a few minutes, she kept laughing. Raymond looked at her with concern. When she didn’t stop, he came forward to touch her, but she pushed him away. “I know you told your mother about my sister because I told you about it.” She said in an accusatory tone. Shame and guilt washed over Ray’s face confirming what she suspected. She picked her bag from the chair. “You’re not a man, Raymond. You are a boy. Go and marry your mother.” She told him in a tone as cool as ice. She went right past him. She placed her hand on the handle of the door, and faced him “Screw you, Raymond, for wasting my time. Screw everything you represent.” She fired at him, then she walked right out of the door, banging it loudly.

Thanks for reading! I promise to post episode  4 right on time. Question from this episode: What should be the rate of Parents’ involvement in their children’s relationship?

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Old Flame Ep 14

Welcome, friends! Happy reading!

Episode Fourteen

All hell was breaking loose. She should have known better than telling Bina her intention concerning their introduction in church. Now he was very angry with her. But what could she have done? She had tried calling him, but he couldn’t meet with her because of his work. Well, meeting him in church was the alternative since she couldn’t wait till he had his off day. She just hadn’t planned for his volatile reaction. He had given her a look that could kill her and then stormed off to tell Doubara.

Doubara stood before her now regarding her with eyes spitting fire.

“Did you really call off the introduction?” She inquired, lips turned up in disapproval.

“For crying out loud, I did not call off the introduction.” Ebika replied, throwing her hands up in exasperation. “Why can’t Bina understand the difference between ‘postpone’ and ‘call off’?”

“I doubt you know the difference, Ebika.” Doubara said coolly, crossing her arms across her chest.

Ebika glowered at her. “Don’t start, Doubara.”

Doubara let out a tired sigh. “What exactly is going on, Ebika? Please, tell me.” She urged.

Ebika looked away from her. “Nothing.” She said.

Doubara drew close to her. “There is something, Ebika.” She responded, her voice strong with conviction.

Ebika threw her hands up again, stepping away from Doubara. “I just feel we should hold on a bit. What is wrong with that, Doubie?” She faced her with challenging eyes. Doubara stared back.

A minute passed.

Ebika started squirming under her persistent stare. She shifted from one foot to the other. “What exactly do you want me to say, Doubie?”

“Ebika,” Doubara started in a softer tone. “I don’t want you to make a mistake. Whether you tell me or not, I know this has to do with that friend of yours from the past.”

Ebika looked away.

“Bull’s eye! I knew it.” Doubara pointed a finger at her. “But why, Ebika?”

“But nothing, Doubara.” Ebika’s lower lip quivered. “I haven’t broken up with Bina. We just need time. I still… well… like Bina.”

“Like? Like you say, Ebika.”

Ebika shrugged. “Well, I mean… I lo… love Bina.”

Doubara shook a finger at her. “Tsk, you can’t even convince me, how much more Bina.”

“Where is he?” Ebika asked, changing the subject.

“He stormed off after he told me you called off the introduction. He went that way.” Doubara nodded towards the exit beside the pastor’s office.

Ebika touched Doubara’s arm. “Trust me, Doubie, I know what I am doing.”

“If you say so.” Doubara replied in a cheerless tone.

“Let me go and look for Bina. I need to explain things to him. I didn’t call off the introduction. I only postponed it.”

Doubara gave a nod. Ebika patted her arm and went off.

 

She met Bina at the back of the church auditorium. He stood against a pillar with a faraway look in his eyes, arms akimbo. She walked quietly to him and touched his arm. He turned slowly and looked at her.

“Bina, you got it all wrong. I didn’t call off our introduction. I only postponed it.” She said, injecting what love she had left for him into her words.

A sad smile curved his lips. “Ebika, I can feel what you are not telling me. I can see it in your eyes. I can hear it in your words.”

It was her turn to look into the distance. “I don’t know what you are talking about, Bina.” She answered in a whispery tone.

“You know, Ebika, all I want to know is where I got it wrong. What did I do exactly?”

“Why are you asking me that? Why do you sound like I’m the bad person here? You sound like I’ve done something wrong.” Her voice thinned with veiled anger.

“I didn’t call you a bad person. I just want to know why you suddenly have cold feet.”

“Cold feet huh? Isn’t it enough for me to have cold feet? You don’t even know what I want. You don’t listen to me. You don’t do fun things with me. We struggle to keep money flowing between us. How do we cope when we get married?” The words flew out of her mouth in anger. “Oh yes, I’m postponing our introduction until I’m sure you are man enough.”

Bina’s jaw went slack. “I’m suddenly not man enough after two years.” His heart thumped within his chest. Things were going from bad to worse.

“What does it matter how long we’ve been together? Thank God I didn’t rush into anything, Bina. I still want us to take our time.”

Bina’s eyes grew very cold as he regarded her. “For how long, Ebika?” He inquired.

Ebika pulled her right ear lightly. “Huh, I don’t know. Sometime soon, but not now.”

“I can see that you don’t take us seriously, Ebika. You can’t just decide without me. We should have talked about it. Well, since you started it, I’m also going to take my stand. If truly you want to be with me, then we will have the introduction as we originally planned. If this relationship ever mattered to you, then you will do the right thing. I’m giving you tonight to think over it and give me an answer. If by tomorrow, I don’t hear from you, I’ll take it our relationship is over.” His words dripped with icy chill. His tone reflected his seriousness.

The look in Bina’s eyes sent a tremor down her back. Ebika didn’t doubt him for once. “Bina, you don’t understand.” She tried to reason with him.

“I have tried to understand, Ebika, but it has been difficult. It’s time we decide. We either move forward or we stop. The ball is in your court. Let me know tomorrow.” He ended his statement and walked away from her without a backward glance.

Ebika watched his departing back and felt the fire burning within her. Her plan had turned against her. It was time for drastic measures. She quickly pulled out her phone. Her hands moved swiftly over the keyboard as she typed a message to Tolu. She couldn’t lose.

 

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

 

Eladebi’s voice was grating his nerves. Tolu picked up his pillow and placed it over his head, but still her voice floated to him through the closed door. He got up, gritting his teeth. Why couldn’t she just observe her night devotion quietly? Oh no, she must sing. It was amazing that she still had such joy after what he did to her. He placed his right elbow on the pillow and settled his jaw on the opened palm. His brow drew together in deep thought. Why hadn’t Eladebi reported him? Why did she relate with him as if all was well with them?

His eyes went to the wardrobe. The same wardrobe where his ironed clothes had been put away by his wife some minutes before she called the children for devotion. He had gone through them to find fault, but found none. As usual, Eladebi proved to be the efficient wife she was. Even her food seemed to taste better than before. He drummed his fingers against his jaw. Something has to be done or else he would be caught in between. If Ebika found out his secret, he would pay dearly with his heart shattered completely. Better to deal with Eladebi soon.

But how?

That was the million dollar question on his mind even as his wife prayed for him in the living room. Ebika had given him the green light. He had to do something too. He stood up and started pacing the room, trying to lay hands on the numerous ideas flying through his mind. While this was on, his phone announced a text message.

He picked up the phone from the bed and read the message from Ebika quickly.

‘The coast is clear for us.

Things moved faster than I expected.

Am all yours now, my love.

 Everything now lies with you.

Let’s chat later and discuss what we’ll do next.

Love you.’

Tolu punched the air. “Yes!” he exclaimed, a wide smile spreading across his lips. “Finally, I can have Ebika all to myself.” He raised his shoulders and moved about the room with arms widespread by his side. “I have gotten what I want. Ebika belongs to me.” He burst into happy laughter.

Eladebi walked into the room at that moment, singing. She stopped abruptly when she met him in a happy mood. “What is going on here?” She asked.

Tolu turned suddenly, causing Eladebi to jump. “It’s none of your business.” He told her.

Eladebi regarded him for a few beats before she turned away from him and pulled out her night dress from the wardrobe. Tolu snatched the dress from her. He marched to the door, threw it open and flung out the dress. Eladebi ran to him.

“Why did you do that?” Eladebi cried.

Tolu fixed her with menacing eyes. “From now on, you will sleep in the guest room. I have no need of you here, and I wish not to see your face every of my waking hour.” He told her, nose flaring.

Aside a brief flicker that appeared in Eladebi’s face, she showed no emotion. She picked up her night dress and faced him.

“Good night, my love.” She said with a smile.

Tolu watched her, totally speechless. He stood in the same spot even after she closed the door behind her. Guilt twisted his inside. Eladebi didn’t deserve the treatment he was meting to her. A line appeared between his brows. It was getting difficult to bend Eladebi and get on with Ebika.

He went back into the room, slowly this time. He plopped down on the bed, eyes lifted up. “Being with Ebika is much more pleasant than spending the rest of my life in a loveless marriage.” His expression hardened. He drew himself up. “I won’t give up. Eladebi must leave. My life is with Ebika and not her, especially now that nothing is stopping Ebika.”

I will marry again

The aisle is not new to me
For I have marked my prints on it

The vows I know by heart

For I said them to my bride so sweet

Her eyes were pretty 

I could not resist

Her dress was fine

I like the style

Admiration was her regular drink

For her glamour stood out in a ring

Then we marked our prints on the aisle

We united in heart and body

Two seasons across the sky

Soul Sister, my lady has changed

No more do I see the curves in her skirt

For those curves are hid in baggy skirts

I run away from her warmth at night

For what comes from her hairnet could put out my light

Why the wrapper on the chest?

Why the oily face that won’t be powdered?

Soul Sister, she says she need not impress anyone any more

For she is married already

I won’t stick to a shabby wife

My eyes can’t continue to suffer this pain

The pain of a shabby wife

Now I see a new beauty rising somewhere in my office

She dress up well and I like her so

I’ll walk down the aisle again for her sake

I will stand again to take my vows

But my vows will be different, Soul Sister

I will make a vow to stick to her if she takes care of herself

Much so in marriage

What do I do, Soul Sister?

Should I walk the aisle again or stay with the one with no class or style?