Love Quest Ep 9

Threats flying, Relationship building, friendship straining, hearts breaking, odds meeting! Catch all the drama on Love Quest episode 9. Get into Nimi and Laye’s world. Don’t forget to share this episode with your friend.

Episode Nine

Nimi sat behind her desk putting finishing touches to the work she wanted to submit to her team’s creative director. Although it was break period, she decided to stay back to work. Her reason for wanting to complete her work while the others left for the cafeteria was just a cover-up. Her main reason was to avoid Laye who had made it a routine to pressure her to go see Ken even when he had not invited her. The pressure was getting to her, and it was causing a strain on their friendship.

Nimi was near snapping at Laye to let her be, but her fear of her growing feelings for Ken would not allow her act. She wasn’t sure if Laye was getting on her nerves because she had a thing for Ken too, or if truly Laye’s obsession was irritating her.

She clicked the send button on her mail and leaned back in her chair. She received a notification in the following seconds that her mail had been sent. She wished what was becoming her life and her friendship with Laye could easily be sorted out. She didn’t want to get in the way of Laye and yet she didn’t want to stay away from Ken. How was it possible that she would handle that? Could she have her cake and still eat it?

Laye seemed not have noticed the ache her continuous enquiry about Ken was causing her. All she wanted was to have Ken, and Nimi must help her. She turned deaf ears to her explanation that Ken had not summoned again to his office on personal grounds –that was even giving her concern. But she would never go to him. She would never yield to Laye’s pressure and go to Ken.

No way! She shook her head vehemently. I am not a desperado. My feelings notwithstanding, I will never seek him out on my own until everything is clear to me. If Laye is so desperate then let her go to him herself. Yes, that’s better. She would tell her that when next she asked her when she was visiting Ken.

Someone touched her shoulder, drawing her out of her inner musing. She looked up into the eyes of Miss Binaebi. Her eyes grew wide in surprise.

A lovely face smiled at her. Nimi forced a smile through her lips too.

“Hi.” She greeted.

“Hi,” Elaebi replied cheerfully. She took the seat beside Nimi.

Nimi watched her every move. Close up, Nimi could see why Laye felt insecure. Elaebi was indeed beautiful. Her face seemed to glow as she looked at her. Her eyes seemed to fill her whole face and her lips wore a natural pout that drew Nimi’s eyes to her like metal to a magnet. Her pencil-thin eyebrows eased down gently to her sweeping eyelashes as she looked at Nimi.

“You had such intense look on your face a while ago and I couldn’t resist coming to ask what put such look on your face.” She said.

Nimi winced. Elaebi laughed a little. “Hope you don’t mind my intrusion.” She said.

“Oh no.” Nimi quickly reassured her. She sat upright and minimized her mail page on the system. She could use that as an excuse. “I just have a lot of work to do.” She told her.

Elaebi nodded her understanding. “My former place of work was the same. The stress was terrible. I was the only art director.” She said.

Nimi lifted her brows in disbelief. “Really?” She asked. “You’ve been in the advertising world?”

“Of course,” Elaebi replied. “For two years actually.”

Nimi gaped at her. This was definitely a case of beauty and brains. Where was Laye, who thought Elaebi was there to seduce her precious Mr. Ken? “That’s good. I have only been here for eight months now,” she said.

“I guess I can welcome you as a senior colleague.” Elaebi teased.

Nimi laughed. Elaebi joined her. “Okay, my senior colleague.” Nimi replied, with a bow.

Elaebi got up. “I just wanted to create a connection between us. Your face gave me my opening.” She winked at Nimi.

Nimi smiled. “Thanks, Miss Binaebi.”

“The name is Elaebi. Call me Ela.” She told her.

Nimi nodded. “Ela then. I’m Nimitein. Everyone calls me Nimi.”

They spent a few more minutes acquainting before Elaebi went back to her desk. Nimi watched her walk away and knew that she had just made another friend.

That knowledge proved to be true in the days that followed as they got closer to each other. She saw little of Laye. No more did they carry out their morning ritual. Nimi took her tea all by herself on her desk. There was no need going to share precious moments with someone who had become obsessed with a man and could care less about her friendship.  Each time they met, Laye nagged her about Ken. The more she nagged, the more Nimi avoided her.

When they gathered for briefing days after Elaebi came to her, Nimi sat away from Laye. She found herself beside Ela while Laye sat with Karibo.  She felt strange that morning and she really wanted to go to Laye, but the moment Laye sighted Ela beside her, she turned away and sat with Karibo who flashed a happy smile at her.

Laye’s eyes kept drifting to the entrance waiting for Ken to appear as usual. Whatsoever Karibo was telling her was going through one ear and out through the other.

When she heard Ken’s voice at the entrance, the first place her eyes went to was to Laye. Just as she thought, Laye was beaming with smiles. She shook her head sadly. Ken didn’t come close as he would have done in the past. He walked straight to the back and took a seat while the MD addressed them that morning. Laye kept stealing peeks at him.

Beside Nimi, Ela kept humming as she took notes of the MD’s address. Nimi marvelled at her. Her face radiated with so much joy as the humming gave way to words. The lyrics of the song she was humming left her lips in sweet melody. Her serenity intrigued Nimi. What was about this beautiful but simple girl, she wondered.  She looked her over. Spending time with her these past days had made her yearn for the kind of personality Ela had. She charmed everyone around with her easy smiles and caring attitude. She seemed not to notice the effect she had on people. There must be something special about her, Nimi concluded within her.

She made a note to ask her about the song and try to learn it too. She couldn’t remember the last time she sang any song on her own, talk less of a gospel song. The gospel songs she knew were from a time long ago when attending church had been part of her family’s activities; when her sister had not made them the laughing stock of the community and the rejected of the church. Each time she heard people sing gospel songs, she had her mind elsewhere. She would prefer to plug in her earphones and keep herself from singing along or learning the song.

But something about the way Ela was singing touched her. She would learn Ela’s song even if she might not believe in the lyrics. And she wouldn’t sing the song at home of course because her father would only get angry with her. He was done singing, church songs, praying and reading God’s word. It was only her mother that still took the side of God after the damages her sister caused. Even her younger ones were indifferent. Who would blame them when the head of the house had sunk under the weight of the rejection and condemnation he received from those who should have understood and encouraged him through God’s words and prayers.

Nimi sighed as the address came to an end and they left the room in groups. She would not think of her sister or her family, for now, she would focus on what she could control –learning Ela’s song.

She pulled her aside before she would go with the others. “You have a beautiful voice, Ela.” Nimi commented.

Ela brimmed with smiles. “Thank you, Nimi.”  She replied.

“I’ll like to learn the song.” She told her.

Ela clapped her hands in excitement. “Oh, great! I’ll teach you during the break, or we could visit the ladies before we get tied up with work and apply ‘powder’ to our voices.” She winked at Nimi.

Nimi threw her head back in laughter. Her laughter stopped abruptly when Ken joined them, causing her to cough.

He smiled at them. “Hello, ladies.” He said.

“Good morning, sir.” They both greeted.

“How are you enjoying DAA, Miss Binaebi?” he asked.

“Fine, sir. I’m adapting to the work schedule here.” Ela replied, twisting a strayed curl that escaped her hairpin.

Ken gave an approving nod. “That’s good. Just do your best.” He encouraged.

“I will, sir.”

Ken turned to Nimi. “It’s been a while, Miss Tombiri. Let’s meet today during lunch break.”

As usual, his invitation made her happy. A big smile spread across her face. “Okay, sir. I’ll be there.”

“Alright then, enjoy your day.” He walked away with purposeful strides.

They watched him go. When Nimi took her eyes off his departing back, she locked glances with Laye. She excused herself from Ela and went to meet her.

Laye’s mouth was drawn in disapproval, arms folded across her chest. “She’s so quick.” She stated, staring daggers at Ela, who was talking to another art director.

“Come off it, Laye. Ela is a very nice person. I like her.” Nimi countered.

Laye shook her head. “Don’t be carried away, Nimi. She’s just pretending.”

Nimi looked at Ela. She was open from what Nimi could see. “I doubt it, Laye.”

“Keep doubting. Don’t be surprised when she’ll be the one going to Ken’s office.” Laye sounded firm. “By the way, I saw Ken talking to you. What’s it about?” her voice was soft, losing the acidic tone form moments ago.

“He invited me to his office,” Nimi told her without the happiness she felt earlier when Ken invited her.

“Oh good!” Laye crowed in delight. “We’re back on track. Now, I feel good again.” She placed her hands on her waist and twisted stylishly.

Nimi said nothing. She would do nothing to increase Laye’s obsession with Ken. She only looked forward to the time in his office.


She met Ken in front of the file cabinet shuffling through some files when she got to his office. He turned when he heard the door open. He smiled at her.

“Welcome, Miss Tombiri.” He said, moving away from the cabinet with a folder.

“Thank you, sir.” She answered, standing at the same spot.

He pointed her to a seat. She took her seat. “How has the day been?” He enquired.

Nimi blew air out of her mouth. “Hectic.” She said simply, placing a hand on her jaw.

He raised his eyebrows. “That bad huh?”

She nodded. “I have been in meetings all morning setting dates for our presentations, and I have a very long document to work on. I think you should consider having four copywriters on my team.” She told him.

Ken laughed. He set the folder on the desk. “Negotiating for your team, right?” he replied, eyes twinkling.

Nimi raised her hands in mock innocence. “I just want the best for the agency.”

He chuckled lightly. “Alright, we’ll look into it.” He drew out some papers from the folder and passed them to her. “I hope you’re done with your work now,” he said. She nodded in return. “And even if you were still busy I would have talked to your Creative director to excuse you.” His eyes held hers in an intense look.

Nimi felt heat move up her neck all the way to her hairline. Her heart did a double take at his words. A tingling sensation started up in the pit of her stomach, spreading up to her heart. A happy feeling settled on her. “That would be nice.” She replied in a calm voice, despite her runaway pulse.

“I hope you won’t mind me having you to myself all through.” He said. Nimi raised alarmed eyes at that. He rubbed the back of his neck, a guilty smile on his face. “That came out wrong. I meant… well… we’ll work together.” He explained with a stutter.

“I don’t mind, sir,” Nimi responded, enjoying his discomfort. She didn’t mind him having her in the other way he thought she had understood his statement, but she couldn’t tell him that.


He gave her the file he had pulled out from the cabinet when she came in and told her to look through the final presentation for the Seasoning Company Account which they had submitted earlier. They looked over it together and finally agreed it was ready for presentation.

“Well, since you’re going to be here for a while, I made arrangement for lunch.” He moved away from the desk. He picked a basket beside the refrigerator. He came back to the desk and dropped two food flasks on it. Nimi looked at him for an explanation. “I wanted to show you I’m not just a snack lover. I love good food too, so I prepared this meal.”

Nimi couldn’t resist the happy laughter that bubbled within her. It came out with all the excitement she felt. “Wow, sir, you actually cooked.” She said in disbelief.

A worried look creased his brow. “Maybe you should taste it first before getting excited.” He pushed one of the flasks to her.

She opened it and was hit by the aroma of curry seasoning. He had prepared white rice and stew. The chicken that garnished the rice was mouth-watering. She felt herself salivating. “This is good, sir.” She commented. “It’s inviting.”

“Then you should eat.” He said. He took two spoons from the basket and passed one to her. “You can get water from the fridge.”

Nimi left the flask on the table and went to the fridge to get sachet water. While she went right to eating, he closed his eyes for a few seconds with his lips uttering words she couldn’t hear. She studied him as she chewed her food.

Who exactly was Ken? She pondered. Laye had finally told her what happened between them when she returned the bottle. She had related the way she met him that day.  Hmm… she thought deeply, there is something about this man. There must be something or else my heart will not be hopelessly falling for him even when I know my friend wanted him so much.

He ended his prayer and started eating. She looked away then. “How is it?” He asked her. His eyes were anxious.

He had done a good job for someone who hardly cooked. It didn’t matter that the curry was too much and the salt was a lit bit much. She wouldn’t tell him that. “Good, sir. I’m quite impressed. If you continue like this, you’ll soon become an expert.” She enthused.

A pleased look filled his eyes. “Thank you. I know you only said that to make me feel good. I can taste the salt now.” his eyes twinkled.

Nimi almost dropped the food flask as her body shook with laughter. He joined in her laughter. “But just like you said, I’ll definitely improve if I continue.” He commented when his laughter subsided.

“Alright, sir.”

After the meal, they got back to talking about work and outlining strategies for the new accounts they just got. Nimi was pleased that he thought to include her in his planning. Her respect for him increased.

While he worked on his system, she read through his ideas for the new accounts, making corrections were necessary and noting relevant points. The rhythmic movement of his fingers on the keyboard broke the silence in the room. Nimi didn’t like it initially but after a while, it became monotonous and she didn’t notice anymore. It was the reason why she didn’t know he had stopped typing and was looking at her. The hair on her neck stood, making her self-conscious. She looked up to see him watching her.

Nimi’s hands flew to her mouth to be sure she had not left some food on her cheek. She rubbed both corners of her mouth. After that, she looked down at her shirt. No stain, she sighed with relief. Then why the serious look, she wondered? He answered the question her lips hadn’t formed but her eyes had asked.

“You were humming a hymn I like so much,” he told her.

Her eyes widened ever so slightly. She didn’t even know that she had been humming. She had gone to the Ladies with Ela and spent the first ten minutes of the day powdering their faces and learning the song. It was then Ela had told her it was a hymn she had sung that morning with her younger sister during their devotion. Nimi had hummed it to herself most part of the morning as she moved through her work. She stopped to concentrate and didn’t know she was doing it unconsciously in front of Ken. His rhythmic fingers must have matched the tone of the hymn and she just flowed with it. “I didn’t know.” She replied.

“That song always touched me each time I sing it. Do you feel that way?” His tone was soft.

Nimi considered it. Had the hymn touched her? When last had she been touched? She recalled the lyrics of the hymn and wondered what would minister to her in it.

My faith had found a resting place,

Not in device nor creed;

I trust the Ever-living One

His wounds for me shall plead.

I need no other argument,

I need no other plea,

It is enough that Jesus died,

And that he died for me.

She pondered on the words from the first stanza and the chorus. Ken interrupted her mind’s activity.

“That hymn has me down on my knees each time.” He said. “It brings to my mind what is written in the book of Psalms. Psalm 112:7 ‘He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting the Lord’”. He quoted in a melodic voice.

Nimi felt a warm glow within her as he quoted the scripture. It was right in her heart where she had never felt such. What was this all about? Why did she feel so good listening to Ken? His eyes seem to glow too. She shook her head. She must have worked too much and it was affecting her.

“You know the Bible?” she quizzed, studying him.

His lips turned up in a smile. “Yes, I do.” He answered with utmost pleasure. “What about you?”

Nimi looked away. Reading the Bible was not part of her daily routine. That was done on the rare occasions she attended Sunday service –and that happens when her mother had nagged her consistently on it. “Not like you.” She answered evasively.

He looked thoughtful. “Why is that?”

Nimi shuffled papers. She didn’t look at him. She took out one and feigned deep concentration. Anything was better than answering his question.

“Nimi,” he called softly, placing a warm hand over hers that had suddenly gone cold, causing it to tingle. Her eyes jerked to him. “Feel free to talk to me.” He urged gently.

She was too shocked to speak. They were moving too fast. Ken was opening places she didn’t want to be opened just yet. Yes, she was deeply attracted to him and wanted to spend time with him, that much she would admit, but still, she couldn’t just open up to him like that. The last time she opened up to someone, he had used it against her. Raymond had shattered her heart with the weapon she gave him. This time, she’d take her time.

He must have sensed her withdrawal because his grip on her hand became firm. “Listen, Nimi, you can talk to me.” Despite his firm grip, his voice remained gentle. He wasn’t going to force her to talk. He would only encourage her as a friend. A friend right? His heart thought her more than a friend already but he could not do anything until he was certain just as he had prayed days back.

Unbidden tears pooled in her eyes to her embarrassment. She raised her head to prevent them from dropping. She inhaled and exhaled for a few seconds, trying to get her emotions under control. When she felt relieved, she spoke up. “Maybe some other time, sir.” She told him.

A sad smile played on his lips. The pain of disappointment sliced through him but he shook it off. His time with Nimi would come. He was certain of it. “I’ll be waiting to listen, Nimi.” He replied, looking straight at her. “Just consider me as your friend and call me Ken.” He added.

Her eyes flew to him. Did he just say ‘friend’? He wanted them to be friends. Not inviting her to his office under work pretence anymore, right? Friend, and to call him Ken? Wow!

“Yes, Nimi. Take me as your friend.” he leaned forward so that their faces were just inches apart. “I want to be your friend. Will you accept me?” He asked.

Her heart screamed yes, yes, yes; but she hesitated. What about Laye? Would she not feel bad about it? What would happen now? Questions flew about in her head, while Ken awaited her answer. She looked into his eyes and he looked back at her with an intense gaze, scanning her face. The walls melted around her heart then. There was no harm in being his friend. She could even tell him about Laye’s feelings for him as a friend. She refused to acknowledge the small voice that told her she was not telling herself the truth.

She gave a small nod. “Yes, sir.” He shook her head at her use of ‘sir’. She cleared her throat and spoke again. “Yes, Ken.” She said in a small voice. She didn’t look at him.

He placed a hand under her chin and turned her face to him. “Thank you, Nimi. You are my friend too.”

Her heart thudded against her ribcage. For what reason, she couldn’t tell. Maybe for fear of what Laye would think and how she would react when she told her, or for the great excitement she felt that Ken asked to be her friend.

Whatever the reason, her heart kept thudding.


Nimi met Laye seated behind her desk when she got back to her booth. She jerked back in shock. She placed a hand over her racing heart and wondered what she would tell Laye.

“Laye.” She called.

Laye looked up from the magazine she was perusing. Her eyes twinkled with anticipation. “You’re back.” She said, dropping the magazine on the desk.

Nimi picked up the magazine and placed it on the stack of magazines on her desk. “What are you doing here?” She asked.

Laye gave a shrug. “Waiting for you of course. I need the gist na so I can plan my next move.” She blew air into her neatly polished nails.

Nimi looked around. A few of their colleagues were in the adjoining booths, working. Discussion flowed in low tones. “Not right here, Laye.” She replied in a whisper.

Laye stood up. “Then let’s go to my work area.” She suggested.

Nimi shook her head. “No, I have something to do now.” She powered her system and click on Microsoft Word. “We’ll talk later,” she said, not looking at her.

“You can do this later,” Laye replied, pressing the power off button. “We can still talk for a few minutes.” She stated, flashing a wry grin.

“Those few minutes are precious, Laye.” She told her through tight lips. “I know you when it comes to this particular matter.” She crossed her arms across her chest.

Laye swirled in her chair. “Then, let me stay here and listen to you while you work.” She insisted, raising expectant eyes to Nimi.

Anger built within Nimi. She glared at Laye. “Laye, please let’s talk later.” She told her coolly, fighting for control over her emotions.

Laye’s knitted eyebrows came up in surprise. Suspicion filled her eyes. Just as she was about to fire back at Nimi, Ela joined them.

“Hello, ladies.” She called pleasantly, flashing a bright smile.

Nimi let out a relieved sigh. She smiled at her in return. “Hi, Ela.”

Laye stood up. She fixed Ela with angry eyes. “You’re interrupting.” She told her bluntly.

Ela moved back. “Oh, I’m so sorry.” she apologized, the smile still on her face.

Nimi touched her arm. “It’s no problem, Ela. We’ll talk later.”

“Okay then.” She walked away from them.

“Laye, you shouldn’t have talked to her like that, Laye.”

“Whatever it is you are doing, Nimi, don’t betray our friendship,” she warned with all venom and walked out of the booth.

Laye’s warning caused her knees to tremble. She placed her hands on her desk to support herself. What would she do? Had she betrayed Laye by accepting Ken’s offer of friendship? Would Laye understand when she explained to her?

She drew her seat close to her and sat on it, then she placed her head on her desk. Her eyes went to a piece of paper on the floor. She bent and picked it up. It was folded into. She opened it. Her eyes widened at the content.

‘Let’s meet this evening at Bliss Taste and Bites after work. I have something to tell you. Karibo.’

Laye and Karibo? Nimi was confused. She had no time to analyse that when she heard her name.

“Nimi.” Someone called her from another booth and pointed to the office behind the booth.

She drew herself up. The creative director’s call put an end to the questions that plagued her, but Laye’s warning kept ringing in her head all through.

So, did Nimi do wrong in accepting Ken’s offer of friendship? If you were Laye, would you get angry when you find out?


Love Quest Ep 8

‘You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars’ -Gary Allan.

Find out why in Episode 8 of Love Quest

Episode Eight

Nimi walked slowly down to Ken’s office, adjusting her suit skirt and pulling her jacket properly around her shoulders. She had come to enjoy being around him, she admitted to herself shyly. A smile touched her lips when she thought of each time she waited for his call to visit his office. Even though it hadn’t been frequent enough to raise eyebrows, it had been enough to be charmed by Ken’s personality.

In the last week he had called out the team for the Seasoning Company Account, she had seen more of him, but on a formal level. They had worked as a team, developing the right advert for one of their biggest clients. There had been no time to explore their new found friendship. The team broke off the previous day to create individual ideas before they resume again in a couple of days. She had waited with bated breath for Ken’s invite. She found herself watching the corridor. Each time a door opened, her eyes strayed to the corridor of their own volition. After what seemed like an eternity to her, his call had come –can we meet? His message had read. It had her heart beating fast against her ribcage. Her blood fired up with excitement. These feelings within her towards Ken were strange to her. She had no explanation whatsoever. She couldn’t be falling for Ken, could she? She stopped in her tracts and clutched her chest at this line of thought. Her eyes widened. No, she couldn’t be falling for Ken. It was still too soon after her breakup.

And if she was falling for Ken, what about Laye, her friend? She couldn’t betray her. Laye already felt like she was dating Ken. She was totally obsessed. Laye had been as enthusiastic as her when she told her Ken had invited her over to his office while they were together. She wanted information about Ken that would support her interest in him. Nimi was to provide that for a friend who had a miserable love life. She had to supply information that was vital to her friend. Top of her friend’s information list was Ken’s marital status. Everything rested on that. Laye was in her office waiting with bated breath for that information and here she was fantasizing about the same man. She gave a shudder. Her feelings or Laye’s? Whatever be the case, she looked forward to this meeting.

At Ken’s office, she informed the secretary of her meeting with him. The secretary called to inform him of her presence. When she dropped the phone, she asked Nimi to go in. Nimi straightened her shoulders as she went in.

He looked up at her away from the laptop before him, flashing a smile. She returned his smile too. “Thanks for coming, Miss Tombiri. Please sit down.” He said.

Nimi looked around the office as she took her seat, noting all the changes Ken had made since he became the ED. Everything was in order and labelled. The shelf that had many files scattered from one corner to the other now had all files in file jacket. His table was also properly arranged. She turned back her eyes to him and found him watching her with questioning eyes. She smiled appreciatively. “I was just admiring your office, sir.” She told him, gesturing at the office.

He did the same thing, chuckling lightly. “Thanks. My effort in arranging this place paid off. My aunt would be so proud.” He said, his cheek in his tongue.

“That doesn’t sound good.” She noted.

Ken shrugged. It wasn’t time to bore her with the story of his “tough” aunt. There would be time enough for that, especially now that he had discovered he always wanted to be around Nimi. With time, it would all become clearer.

He got up from the chair and went to the refrigerator. He brought out two bottles of diet coke and placed them on a tray with a pack of strolls, then he took a nylon bag from the top of the fridge. He walked back to the desk and placed them on the table.

“The last time you were here, you rejected my offer of biscuits.” He said, unwrapping the content of the nylon bag.

Nimi’s eyes raised in defence. “Oh, no, sir. I don’t just like biscuits.” She told him.

He smiled. “You don’t have to explain. I was just setting you up for my offer this afternoon. I hope you won’t reject it.” He raised hopefully eyes to her.

“What is it, sir?” She asked, staring at the bag.

He finally unwrapped the snack in the bag. He placed two pieces of meat-pie and two pieces of doughnuts on the tray. “Viola! This is my offer to you for lunch. Please enjoy it.” He stretched his hand over the tray and bowed his head.

Nimi laughed at that. Ken was not just good with his work, he had a charming side too. The same person that had been all business while they worked on their new account was teasing her. “Thank you.” She replied with a slight bow of her head.

“Bon appetit. Thanks for the work you put in these past days working all day to get the first part of the account ready. This is just my small treat for you to say you have done well.”

She blinked. The feelings she couldn’t explain from earlier tingled her toes and warmed her up at his words. Her lips parted slowly as she basked in the euphoria of his compliment. Laye’s list of questions forgotten; all that rang within her was her heart’s response to Ken. She inched forward in her chair and said her thanks in a sotto voice, and then picked up a piece of doughnut. She took a small bite and chewed slowly. He opened the bottles of coke and dropped strolls in them. Nimi looked at his ring finger more closely this time. Other times she had been satisfied with seeing no ring on his finger, but Laye hadn’t been satisfied. She insisted on knowing if he didn’t like jewellery or if he pulled it out each time he was around women. Her reasoning had seemed real, and so Nimi had promised herself that she would have a closer look at his ring finger.

Now as she chewed she studied his fingers. No ring indeed and no mark at all. It was clear that Ken was as single as the word single went. It made her smile. It made her breathe easier in his company. Although it was Laye’s love request, she felt like she had also been waiting for that clarity. She could now move on to the next request: find out if he had a fiancée or girlfriend.

“You like taking snacks, sir. Don’t you cook?” she asked, sipping her coke.

Ken finished chewing before answering her. “I cook once in a while. I’m not so good in the kitchen.” He told her.

Nimi watched the movement of his throat as he gulped down the drink. She shook herself. What was attractive about a man’s throat movement while drinking? She must be falling hard for him, or totally nuts. Something told her the first reason was why she was irresistibly charmed by her charming boss. She moved her head to one side and then the other in denial. She was here for her friend, not for herself. She went back to her question list again. Oh yes, fiancée or girlfriend.

“You could invite your fiancée or girlfriend over to cook for you.” She suggested, raising an eyebrow.

The deep laughter that erupted from his throat took her by surprise. She found herself noticing the thick lines of his brows and the startling radiance of his brown eyes. She smiled when his laughter subsided and he wiped tears off his eyes. “I don’t have any.” He said.

Oh, this is good, so good, she exclaimed within her. Her eyes danced with excitement. “Wow! Such an attractive and a hardworking man like you should have ladies at his beck and call.” She pushed on, not stopping to think of how her words would sound to him.

Ken’s eyes closed off. The mirth left his eyes. He was suddenly the boss again and not a charming young man enjoying the company of a beautiful young woman. Nimi straightened in her chair. Worried lines marked her forehead. I have definitely crossed the line, she cried silently. What got into me? Why did I say that? oh no, I have spoilt everything even before it started.

“I’m sorry, sir. I got carried away for a while.” She said in a sober tone.

He smiled at her, but without mirth. “It’s okay.” He didn’t say anything else about her statement. He changed the subject of discussion instead and started talking about their project.

Nimi’s stomach dropped in disappointment. Ken had closed the door against her and she didn’t know how to get back in, and she was desperate to get in. She couldn’t leave it all like that. She would allow him to ease off the tension of the moment by talking about their project and then she would try to get back in again.

The next minutes flew by as he spoke about the project. His tone became animated and the air around them became relaxed. They were soon back to personal grounds. He laughed at her made up stories and didn’t question the truth behind them. Her heart felt light when his eyes crinkled in laughter. It gladdened her heart. She didn’t bring up Laye’s request list anymore.

“Thank you for sharing your lunch with me, sir.” She said making to leave.

His eyes fell on the tray. “You didn’t finish your coke and you didn’t touch your meat-pie.” He observed. “Take them with you.” He told her. He wrapped the meat-pie with a serviette and placed it in the nylon, then he corked the bottle of coke. He stretched the items to her.

She collected them. “Thank you, sir.”

He leaned back in his chair and studied her. She felt like a wet kitten. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other.

“Is there anything else, sir?” she asked when she couldn’t take his stare anymore.

He seemed to come back to himself. His eyes refocused. “Never mind. We’ll talk later. Enjoy the rest of your day.” He gave a slight nod and smiled at her.

She stepped out of the office, her heart filled with questions.  What was it he wanted to say? It was the second time he had told her not to mind. Maybe she would mind soon.


Laye munched on the meat-pie with all glee. It was meat-pie from Mr. Ken after all. She gulped down the coke.

“You mean he shared his lunch with you?” She asked amazed. She wiped off crumbs from the corners of her mouth.

“Yes.” Nimi answered, rolling her eyes. It was the third time Laye was asking her since she got back from Ken’s office and placed the items before her.

“Nimi, this guy is cool. I really need to go with you the next time he invites you.” She said, folding the nylon carefully.

Nimi scratched her nose. “What do you want to do with the nylon?” she asked when Laye pulled out a drawer.

Laye’s expression told her she should know. “I am keeping it of course. This is from my everyday crush.” She sniffed the nylon before dropping it in the drawer.

Nimi shook her head. “You’re losing it, Laye. Stop it. Mr. Ken is not like that.” She got up from the stool, away from Laye. “Fine, he doesn’t have a fiancée or a girlfriend, but that does not mean he is available. I mean he totally shut down when I said ladies swoon around men like him. He didn’t say anything about it again.”

Laye took her hand in both palms. Her eyes were dreamy. “You mean he has no fiancée?”

Nimi pulled her hand but Laye’s grasp was firm. “Laye.” She called her gently like she had gone mad.

Laye gave a yelp of delight. “Yes! He is single! He is single!” she danced around the office. Nimi gaped at her. When she was done with her dance, she came to stand in front of Nimi. “He hasn’t noticed me, but I tell you, Nimi, he will. By the time I visit his office with you regularly.” She stated, a faraway look in her eyes.

Nimi regarded her with concern. The pressure from Laye’s mother was starting to affect her. Why else would she mooning over her boss, who might never see her as anything other than his staff? It would also be wrong to take Laye with her each time Mr. Ken invited her. She cherished her time with Ken and didn’t want Laye in hand intruding on their privacy. She wasn’t even sure Ken would like her visiting his office with Laye. But she couldn’t tell these to her friend. If she was deeply concerned about Laye, then she would allow her to have her way with Ken notwithstanding what she felt for him. If she couldn’t take Laye, what would she do then?

If her friend wanted Ken to notice her badly then she would help her out. But how? She rubbed her forehead. Just then her eyes landed on the empty coke bottle on the table. A smile spread across her cheek. She just got her answer.

She touched Laye’s arm. “You could meet Mr. Ken today if you want.” She said.

Laye’s eyes widened at that. “Really?” she asked, then her brows drew together in suspicion. “How?”

Nimi picked up the bottle of coke. “This is your ticket. Just take it to his office. Tell him I sent you to return it because I have a meeting with my team.”

Understanding dawned on Laye and with it came a conspiratorial grin. She rushed forward and hugged Nimi. “You are the best. Thanks.”

“Aww… I’m touched.” She returned the hug.

Laye picked the bottle of coke and gave it a big kiss. “My ticket, my ticket.” She said in a sing-song voice.

Nimi prayed that everything would go well. She couldn’t imagine what would happen if Mr. Ken rejected Laye.


Ken turned away from his desk minutes after Nimi left his office. He faced the wall. He couldn’t concentrate on his work for now. His heart was filled with confusing thoughts. He couldn’t understand why he was so drawn to Nimi. He could not tell if it was the passion in her eyes or her open-mindedness. Something just kept him fixed on Nimi. Although, her statement had put him on guard earlier. For a moment, he had wondered if she was flirting with him. His mind had gone to Tenisha who was still causing him sleepless nights with her phone calls. He had still not had the mind to pick up her call or return them. Fear held him bound and he couldn’t free himself from its torment. He had tried confiding in Peter but still hadn’t. Yet in this midst of this turbulence that was his life, he felt himself getting more and more attracted to Nimi.

Why can’t I get you off my mind, Nimi? He wondered aloud, scratching his head. He closed his eyes and leaned against the headrest of the chair. Oh Lord, what is Nimi’s part in my being here?

He waited for the still small voice that had been his companion since he accepted Jesus as his Lord and saviour. The voice spoke reassurances to his heart and gave directions to his path. The voice that he should have sought after because of Tenisha and hadn’t done it yet. Now he called on the Lord to speak to his heart concerning Nimi.

Words that he had read in his Bible and meditated on started dancing around his head. At the thought of his Bible, he turned around and picked it up from his desk. He also picked his notepad and pen. He flipped the Bible opened to the passage he had read that morning during his quiet time.

Psalm 31: 3: “For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.”

He read it again before closing his Bible. He turned the passages of his notepad until he got to the entry he made for that day. His note was the lyrics of a hymn:

Guide me, O thou Great Jehovah!

Pilgrim thro’ this barren land;

I am weak, but Thou art mighty,

Hold me with thy powerful hand:

Bread of heaven!

Feed me now and evermore.

He closed his eyes as his lips moved in prayer. He sang the hymn over and over. He felt a strong release in his spirit and joy filled his heart. He soon lifted his hands. Tears rolled down his cheeks but he didn’t wipe them off. He would rather shed tears of victory in Christ Jesus than to shed tears for his mistakes. Mistakes that had marked his being for too long. Mistakes that Jesus had taken away through His death on the cross. Tenisha would not hold him bound, he would be free from her. And he would know God’s mind for him concerning Nimi.

Another verse of the Bible popped into his head from the same book of Psalm. This time it was from the 86th Psalm, the 11th verse. It read: ‘Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear your name’.

He was so lost in his meditation that he didn’t hear the phone ringing, nor the door opening. He suddenly felt self-conscious. Someone was in his office. Slowly, he turned around to see the intruder. His secretary stood with Miss Iteimo.

“I’m so sorry, sir.” The secretary apologized quickly when she saw his face. “I called but you didn’t pick up the phone, and Miss Iteimo said it was important she talked to you.” She explained.

He waved off her apology. “It’s okay.” He pinned his eyes on Miss Iteimo. “Yes?”

She cast a wary look at his secretary and then back to him. Her message was clear to him. “You can go back to your office now.” He told his secretary. He picked up his face towel from the desk and wiped his face. Miss Iteimo came to sit before him, beaming with smiles as usual.

“Wow, sir, you are a good singer.” She praised him. “Despite just standing here for a few seconds, I was totally enthralled by your voice.”

He acknowledged her compliment with a nod. “You wanted to talk to me? About what?” He quizzed.

She cleared her throat. “Er… you see, sir, I volunteered to return the coke bottle since Nimi had to attend a meeting.” She raised the empty bottle.

A hardness came over him, filling his chest with steely resolve. He would send her out of his office. He fixed angry eyes at her, but something within him stopped him before he could order her out. It would do no good to react anyway; not when she had seen him in the mood he was earlier. He rubbed his forehead. “Drop it with the secretary.” He told her with a calm he was far from feeling. At that stage, the urge to throw her out filled him strong. He waited for her to leave, but she didn’t. She started smiling again.

“I’ll like to learn how to sing, sir. How about you teach me? I could come for my lessons after office hours.” She suggested.

Ken’s expression remained bland. “I have no time, Miss Iteimo.” He replied, emphasizing his point by looking at his wristwatch. The clue was either lost on her or she didn’t just want to leave. He sat back, feeling his patience waning.

“How about weekends, sir?” she asked. “Just tell me where you live and I’ll gladly meet you there for the lessons.” She said with enthusiasm.

Ken drummed on his desk with his fingers. “Miss Iteimo, I have no time. You could join your church choir and learn one or two things.” Each word he spoke was deliberate and controlled.

Her mouth formed an ‘oh’. She pinned a stray curl of hair behind her ear. “Maybe some other time, sir.” A momentary sadness filled her eyes. Ken didn’t know why.

He forced a smile through his tight lips. “Thanks for helping Miss Tombiri. I bet she’ll appreciate it.” He tried to keep the acid from his voice.

She got up. “I did it so you wouldn’t be worried about it,” she told him in a small voice, holding the bottle close to her chest.

He remained motionless. “Thank you once again.” He moved his chair forward and touched the power button on his laptop. Light flashed on the screen. He went back to what he was doing before his time with God. He didn’t look up at her again until he heard the door opened and closed. He released a deep sigh of relief.


The week went by in a blur as Laye moved around with a long face. Ken had embarrassed her. He had done it so that she had no story to tell Nimi when she got back from his office that awful afternoon. She winced at the mere thought of it.

During the week she had found it difficult to keep her head high when he was around. She kept her eyes away from him and ensured they had no direct contact. She had it so badly that Karibo noticed. She denied his suspicions and kept him shut when he kept insisting she was avoiding the boss. But how could she really? Ken didn’t make it easy for her. He made sure she was included in team activities. He picked her out for explanations of designs. In all, he acted like a boss. It should have relieved her but her shame was deep. The only thing that took the edge off her hurt pride was the fact that Ken had not invited Nimi to his office all week. They were even. Nimi had a nice time with him and didn’t get another invite.  She had an embarrassing time with him and didn’t also get another invite.

All hope was not lost. She smiled as her eyes went over Nimi who was seated beside her that morning waiting for the ED’s briefing. She was sure to get Ken. All she had to do was to allow the incident between them die down and pick up from where she stopped.

Yes, it was a good plan and she would see it to the end. Her esteem that had taken a nosedive skyrocketed. She adjusted in her seat when the door opened to reveal Ken. He came in looking as breath-taking as usual, flashing his Oscar-award winning smile. Laye found herself smiling from ear to ear. The smile remained on her face until she saw the young lady beside Ken. Immediately, the smile froze on her face. Her eyes bulged out. Heads turned towards the two as they made their way to the front of the room.

The lady looked like she had been taken out of a beauty magazine. Her ebony black hair flowed over her shoulders. The tip bounced as she moved her twine-thin figure graciously. She had a bubbly outlook. She moved with elegance, her yellow jacket swaying slightly behind her back. A set of dazzling white teeth gleamed as she smiled.

Laye swallowed. She nudged Nimi beside her. She was satisfied to see that Nimi was also taken by the lady’s appearance. She was however sad to note that Nimi was not the only one drawn to the newcomer’s look. Most of the men in the room had their eyes on her, including Karibo. It annoyed her greatly to think that he was admiring the lady. She glared at him with fiery eyes. He met her gaze briefly, raised his eyes and gave a shrug, and turned back to the object of everyone’s attention.

Ken pointed an empty seat to her at the front and she took it, smiling at those around. Laye, who was just behind her, sat stiffly in her chair. She waited for Ken’s address.

He started with the usual: appreciation and encouragement. He told them of the work the administrative teams were putting to tackle the challenges facing each team and department, and the agency as a whole. His eyes rested on the lady. Laye grabbed the arm of the chair she sat on tightly, waiting.

“To deal with the shortage of art directors, we have employed Miss Elaebi Binaebi as an art director, and she will be working on Miss Tombiri’s team. We are still conducting interviews. More hands would be employed to lighten the burden some of us are bearing and make us effective in discharging our duties. For now, we have Miss Binaebi with us.” He informed them.

Those around Miss Binaebi shook hands with her, smiling as if they had just received salary increment. It pissed Laye off greatly. She was among the first to leave the conference room. What would she be doing welcoming Miss Binaebi when she was not on her team? Nimi, however, lingered briefly to welcome her and make the necessary introduction. She followed afterwards.

Just around the corner, she turned to Nimi. “Can you just imagine?” She said. “That one wants to work here. She should be in a fashion school. DAA is not for people like her. Maybe she is here to seduce the male staff. She won’t get Ken. I won’t allow it.” She told Nimi with so much intensity.

Nimi laughed. “I agree that she is very beautiful, Laye, but that does not mean she came here for seduction. If Ken finds her qualified to be employed, then her beauty must go with her brain.” She argued lightly.

Laye pursed her lips, her eyes flashing daggers. “What if Ken falls for her?” She asked.

Nimi shook her head. “I don’t see why that should concern you, Laye. They are both single. They won’t be doing anything wrong if they fall for each other,” she commented.

Someone walked past them, stalling Laye’s response. She waited until he was out of earshot before speaking again. “You seem to forget that I like Ken and want him for myself.” She said in a whispery tone.

Nimi placed her hand over Laye’s mouth, her eyes darting left and right. “Don’t put yourself in trouble, Laye. You haven’t gotten a job with Shell, have you?”

Laye took her hands off her mouth. Her eyes were sad. “I just feel Ken is the one for me. My spirit accepts him, Nimi. Please understand. I’m also counting on you to help me.” She took her friend’s hand. “Don’t forget to get him for me.”

Nimi sighed. It was useless reasoning with Laye. She seemed bent on getting Ken, even when the poor man had not noticed her. “It’s okay, Laye.” She said in a soothing voice. “Whenever I have the opportunity to see him, I’ll get you all the info you need to pursue him.”

Laye gave a quick hug. “That’s why you’re my best friend. Thank you so much. I’m happy we’re together here.”

“We won’t be anymore if we don’t get busy right now.” Nimi joked.

“Oops! Let’s go.”

They hurried down to the corridor to their work areas.





Old Flame Ep 20B

Episode 20B

Finally!!! This is the concluding part of Old flame, the story of Tolu and Ebika. happy reading!

Tolu searched through the box of pictures he had carried into his bedroom from the study. He had given up on sleep the previous night when it eluded him and filled him with memories of what the past had been. He had also spent the better part of the night thinking of all that he had discussed with Chris. His friend had listened to him pour out his heart. He admitted the mess he had made of his life and how difficult it would be to fix it. His heart ached badly when he thought of all the hurt he had caused Eladebi and his children. Guilt also wrapped his heart like a fine wrapper around a woman’s waist. The mere thought of what he had done to Ebika, and what he might do made his heart heavy with guilt.

He scratched his day-old beard. Things were so complicated, but must be put in order notwithstanding. It was the same thing Chris had said. He had given him a shoulder to lean on and not the I-told-you-so attitude. His encouragement, and not mockery, had given him more reasons to be engaged in the deep soul searching he started in the night.

He finally found the picture he was looking for. It was one of his favourite of all his wedding pictures. It was the picture that had given hope to his marriage with Eladebi. The picture that reassured him that he had done the right thing by marrying Eladebi. Their posture in the picture told the story of their determination; determination to shame those who thought their coming together doomed.

He smiled as he looked at his wife. Eladebi had given the brightest smile when the picture was taken. She had wrapped her arms around his waist and looked lovingly into his eyes. In that look, he had seen all the love she felt for him, and the hope she had for their marriage. With his arms around her waist and eyes on her too he had given hope to her hope. That brief but special moment during the photo session doused the doubts in his heart and filled it with peace instead. It gave him the confidence to believe in his marriage with Eladebi. True, it wasn’t so rosy at the beginning, but they pulled through and shared laughter, joy, and friendship before he lost it.

Holding the picture, he moved to the bed and laid on his back, then he opened the floodgate of his heart and allowed the memories to flow through.

And they did flow.

The times they shared, both good and bad, came back to him like pictures on motion. Pictures after pictures of shared laughter, smiles, and jokes flashed through his mind. Eladebi’s joy each time she served their food, her superb mothering skills that gave their children the perfect setting for normal growth touched his heart now. She laughed at his jokes that weren’t really funny. He couldn’t remember her criticizing him once; even when he started treating her bad. He blanched when those pictures came next. All the times he had hurt her and brought tears to her eyes came back to him. He had put more tears in her eyes and caused her lips to quiver in sheer pain than smiles. He closed his eyes in shame when he thought of what he had done before sending her packing.

‘Oh, Eladebi.’ He wept. He had taken advantage of her kind-and-loving heart. The thought filled him more and more and made something that had always been lurking in his heart clear to him: he loved Eladebi. He drew himself up as the thought of how much he loved his wife and all she meant to him sank in. This excited his heart and brought a happy smile to his face but it brought more troublesome thought. If the love he felt was his wife had not died, then what did he feel for Ebika? What kept him so attached to her like a chain around a dog’s neck? The more he thought about it, the more he became confused. He ran a hand through his thick head and threw his head backward.

“What a mess you’ve made, Tolu.” He said out loud.

Yes, he had to put things right even if it earned him eternal hatred. He didn’t mind grovelling before both women to convey his apology. He would continue to ask for forgiveness for all the hurt he had caused his wife and his children and Ebika. He picked up his phone, drew a deep breath and dialled Ebika’s number.


Ebika burst into a happy dance when she ended Tolu’s call. Just some minutes ago she had been wallowing in self-pity and cursing herself for leaving Bina who was her bird in hand, and now Tolu wanted them to meet in one of the best hotels in town. That banished every form of regret and thought of Bina. She still felt bad though that Tolu ignored her all through yesterday and caused her sleepless night, his call had put her world back in order. To think that she had even called in sick and so had not gone to work because of how depressed she had been when she heard nothing from Tolu despite numerous calls. Hearing his voice reinvigorated her. She felt strengthened.

She dashed into the bathroom to quickly take her bath, then she dressed up in a lovely peach-coloured straight gown; an off-shoulder gown that would show-off her delicate bone structure. She removed the hair rollers from her weave-on and combed lightly. Curls fell about her neck causing a silky bob. She flipped it, and it gave a gracious bounce and settled around her neck again. She looked at herself in the mirror and smiled back at her reflection. She liked what she saw and was sure Tolu would like it too. He would once again know that she was the only one for him as he was the only one for her. She slipped her feet into her silver-coloured low heel sandal and strapped it lightly around her ankle, then she picked up a silver purse to match. As she swayed out of the house, she felt certain all would be well because she had chosen the right man.

Her confidence waned when she got to the room that Tolu had told her he would be. She had expected romantic atmosphere with flowers and all, at least they were meeting in a hotel room, but she had not seen any of that. Tolu had asked her in without coming to answer the door and he had greeted her with a brief smile from his position beside the window with arms across his chest.  There had been no hug or sweet words. He just asked her how was she was doing and if she didn’t have difficulty coming down. He sounded more boring than Bina at that moment. He seemed to prefer looking out the window than talking to her.

When ten minutes passed and no meaningful word had passed between them, Ebika spoke up.

“What is going on?” She asked, feeling the first rush of anger. “If you knew you so loved what is beyond that window then you shouldn’t have called me here. You could just stay and enjoy the view on your own. I can’t imagine leaving my house to come and watch you looking out of the window.” She bit her bottom lip to reign in her anger. “You haven’t even apologized for what you did yesterday.” She added.

Tolu moved away from the window and came to sit in front of her. “I’m sorry, Ebika, so sorry.” He told her in a sombre tone.

Ebika? Tolu just called her by her name and not the sweet names she had gotten used to. An alarm went off in her head. She looked closely at him and noticed his uncombed hair and roughed jaw. She became worried when she saw the circles under his eyes. What was happening?

“Ebika, I’m really sorry,” Tolu repeated.

“It’s okay.” She answered, clasping and unclasping her fingers on her laps.

Tolu got up and came to kneel before her. She looked at him, mouth agape. “What is the meaning of this?” She asked. She looked down at her finger and saw the engagement ring he gave her still there. What then was the reason for him kneeling before her?

“Ebika, I’ve kept some…” he coughed a little. “I should have told you this long ago, but I thought it would affect our relationship and I wanted you by my side.”

Ebika waited with bated breath, her heart beating against her chest like a sea against a rock. A sudden feeling of unease crept up her back.

“Forgive me, Ebika. Please forgive me”

“Just tell me and get over it.” She told him in a tension-filled tone.

“I have a…” he hesitated.

Ebika pulled his hand. “Let it out, Tolu.” She urged, trying not to sound desperate.

He let out a breath. “I have a wife and… and two children.” He said quickly looking away from her.

Shock slapped her across her face. She pulled away opening and closing her mouth. She placed a hand over her trembling lips. How could it be? A wife? Two children? Was that the reason why he invited her to a place like this to shatter her heart? Unbidden tears filled her eyes and started rolling down her cheek.

“How could you?” She cried. “How could you do this to me, Tolu?”

“Ebika, I’m sorry. I had to let you know.”

She wiped her tears with the back of her palm. “Where are they?” She asked.

“My wife and our children are with a friend since I… I sent them packing a couple of months back.” He shifted his eyes from her.

Ebika shook her head. What had she gotten herself into? Tolu was married. All the while he was with her he had a wife and children, and yet he had behaved as if she meant the world to him. He had been playing her and had proposed marriage? What would happen to his wife and children if she decides to go on with him? Could she really bear tearing down a home just to get her heart desire? A lump formed in her throat. She pressed a hand to it as if to push down the lump. She waited for Tolu to speak but he didn’t. He just kept staring at the door behind her.

“What do we do now?” Ebika inquired a sober tone.

Tolu looked at her. The look in his eyes didn’t assure her that he had a favourable solution to what had become a very tangled web. Her heart that started beating earlier just before he dropped the bombshell of his wife and his children doubled its beat. Tolu touched her hand.

“I hope you can forgive me, Ebika. I never meant to hurt you. I thought I was doing the right thing.”

Ebika pulled her hand away from his. “You didn’t mean but you hurt me still.” She replied.

“I thought about everything deeply. Ebika,” He called softly taking her hand again in a firm grasp. “Please forgive me.”

She tried to pull free again, but Tolu held on fast. “Let me plead my case.” He pleaded. After a while, Ebika stopped struggling with him. He sighed. “Ebika, what we shared in school was special and what we felt was real. I can’t deny that fact. Meeting you again was like giving an alcoholic drink to a man who has sworn never to take alcohol again. I couldn’t resist the fire you sparked in me when I saw you again. I got drunk with you and I had to explore this feeling. And I did. We both couldn’t deny the fire burning in us and it led us to this point. All I wanted was you…” He let go of her hand and placed his hands on his face.

“But…” Ebika chipped in.

Tolu dropped his hands on his laps. “But we… we can’t be together. Everything had been a fantasy, Ebika. My wife and my children are my reality and I love them dearly. I realized everything we’ve done has been on memories of our past together. I have come to know how much my wife means to me and I hope to win her again. I am truly sorry for everything. I don’t mind grovelling before you both for the rest of my life just to ask for forgiveness. Ebika,” He leaned towards her. “Forgive me.”

Tears filled Ebika’s eyes and ran down her cheeks like a fountain. It was difficult to gather her thoughts. She looked at Tolu but couldn’t even see him right before her because her tears blinded her. Her head started pounding. She placed her arms around her body and rocked it side to side. Mucus flowed out of her nostrils and mixed with her tears spilling down her lips.

“Ebika,” Tolu called her in a panicky tone. He held her by the shoulders and shook her a little. “Ebika.”

“You… you… you are going back to your wife?” She forced the words out in a shaky tone.

Tolu let her go, releasing a heavy sigh. “I’m sorry, Ebika.”

She fell on the floor, her eyes rolling in their sockets. Nothing made sense to her. Her head kept bobbing to an unknown music. Her whole body shook convulsively. Tolu rushed to her in a full panic mood. He placed a hand under her head and called her name. She couldn’t respond as her tongue was heavy with the same heaviness in her heart. When he got no response from her, he carried her and ran out of the room down to the parking lot where his car was parked. Between the room and the parking lot, her senses came back to her. She opened her eyes and stared at Tolu. It was all clear to her: Tolu was leaving her. He was going back to his wife. Anger like a raging fire welled up inside of her. She pushed his chest and he set her on her feet.

“Ebika, I’m sorry. Please for…”

She silenced him with a slap across his cheek. Tolu staggered looking dazed. She straightened her dress and walked away from him with the pride she had no more. He called her severally but she didn’t look back. She had no more business with him. What she felt didn’t end back in school had finally ended, and she had the scars now to show for it. The scars that would last for eternity had been caused by her. If she had not been carried away she wouldn’t be where she was. She cried hard as she as she made her way out of the hotel. She didn’t mind the curious glances or stares of the people she passed on the way. They didn’t know the pain in her heart. They didn’t know what it meant to see a light and still choose to walk into darkness. She had run from the light complaining of his dullness and chased after a bright light that was just a mirage. Just that morning she had thought all was alright. It was just past midday and her world had turned upside down. Who will hear her story and not laugh at her? Who will hear her story and not put the blame on her? Oh, tongues that would wag! Oh, lips that would sing her mockery. Oh, fingers that will point at her as a warning to erring youth. She had paid the drummer and now she must dance to his beats.

The pain in her heart became unbearable. She clutched her chest and leaned against a tree few metres from the hotel. Fresh tears filled her eyes again and came running down like a stone on a sloppy hill. Oh God! Oh, God! She wept. She thought of the days she would walk in the darkness she had created for herself and prayed for a little light to ease her darkness. She thought of Bina and Doubara. Their laughter would hurt her the most. While she wallowed in sorrow, pain, and darkness, they would be joyful and would progress.

Just a little light, oh Lord. Just a little light I pray. She bent down and wept. How long she stayed like that she couldn’t tell until a hand touched her. She looked into the concerned eyes of a man.

“Young woman, what is the matter?” He asked.

She said nothing and just kept staring at him. He smiled at her and stretched a hand to her. “Come, let me help you.”

She stared at his hand for a few heartbeats and then she placed hers in his. As he pulled her up and led her to a car parked across the gutter, she sent a silent prayer to heaven within her. ‘I’m not asking for a lot, oh Lord, for I don’t deserve it. All I ask for is a little light.’ She prayed for a light to walk down the dark tunnel that had become her life. Whether she would get it or not she couldn’t tell.


Dear Readers,

It’s been a great time writing the story of Tolu and Ebika. I hope you liked it. I trust you also learned one or two things from it. Thank you for your time. God bless you for going on this journey with me. If you have truly enjoyed Old Flame, please don’t just read this episode; drop your reviews. I REALLY need them. My next story is titled LOVE QUEST. It will be on the blog soon. Just keep in touch.

To end this, please answer this question: Who deceived who? Tolu or Ebika?

P.S: Answering the question doesn’t take the place of your review.  If you think I’ve done a good work, then let me hear it. Until next time, keep reading.

Faith P.I




Old Flame Ep 20

Hey, guys! Thanks for your patience. This is the first part of the final episode of Old flame. The concluding part will be on the blog on Thursday. Happy reading!

Episode Twenty

His phone was ringing again. Tolu raised his eyes and noticed the Permanent Secretary looking at him. His hands were on the table and he must have felt the phone’s vibration. It was the fourth time it was ringing in ten minutes. That did not include the previous times it rang before the meeting commenced formally. He pressed the end button, but not before he checked the caller ID. He sighed when he saw it. Ebika was making him uncomfortable. All the calls he had received in the last hour had been from her. It annoyed him more to think that he told her he had an important meeting to attend with some stakeholders that would boost his business connections. He didn’t expect her to be calling so much. He picked the phone from the table and dropped it in his pocket. He smiled at the Perm Sec and nodded a few times to one of the businessmen giving analysis on economic growth.

Five minutes passed. He sighed with relief. Oh, sweet peace! He muttered within. His phone hadn’t vibrated. Ebika must have gotten the message that he couldn’t take her call. His mind was more focused on the deliberations now. Just when he was all set to contribute, his phone started vibrating in his pocket. Almost as a reflex action, he quickly looked at his pocket as he stood up. His hand held the offending phone in his trouser pocket. He heard a loud sigh, and didn’t have to look up to know who had sighed. He couldn’t mistake his voice even when they had spoken to each other for the first time couple of months ago. The voice could break through the strongest heart and leave you shivering. If he hadn’t created a gap between Chris and him, he would have invited him to come with him. Now, he waited for that voice to tell him off.

“Mr Smooth, why don’t you go outside to answer your call?” He said gently.

The undertone was apparent.

Tolu gave a polite nod. “Thank you, sir.” He replied.

He took long strides and walked out of the hall. He was grateful for the venue of the meeting. Unique Hotel could handle the mood he was in. He was very furious with Ebika, and he needed to cool off.

He walked down the stairs and straight out of the doors, waiting for her to call again. He drew a deep breath when he stepped outside. He lifted his palm and used it as a fan to cool his burning face. It wasn’t like the weather was hot. In fact, the meeting hall had good air conditions, but he couldn’t stop the heat that crept up his body each time he saw Ebika’s call. It was almost like he had a choking chain around his neck. He ran a hand over his neck as if to be sure he didn’t truly have a chain around it.

He sighed when his hand fell to his side. Ebika was becoming too tenacious. She suddenly felt all clingy to him. The same Ebika that was playing hard to get sometimes back. What had changed? Was a ring that powerful? He shut his eyes tightly and imagined himself having no worries at all. He tried a smile to back up the imagination, but it didn’t work. He ended up with a deep frown when he opened his eyes. Just then, a couple walked past him hand-in-hand, smiling into each other’s eyes. Before he could pronounce doom on their love, two boys of about ten rolled two boxes past him. They wore identical Tees and Shorts. One ran ahead and called to the couple. They stopped and called back to him, then both boys ran to meet up with them at the entrance.

Tolu shook his head sadly. He wanted a family just like theirs. Truth was he had that few months back but he threw away what he had for what he was beginning to doubt. Eladebi’s patience, kind-and-loving heart could never be matched. It was why he hadn’t found it difficult to marry her back when she became pregnant for him. At the face of threats and challenges, she had stood her ground against forcing anything on him, and when he had agreed to marry her, she hadn’t become overtly possessive or vengeful. She had seen it all as a partnership. He had offered her his shoulders for tears and his strength for her weakness when she felt she couldn’t go on, especially when the mockery became worse. Those days had been filled with more tears than laughter, but they had grown through it and built a loving relationship. What drew his heart closer to Eladebi back then was her kindness. Not once did she accuse him for ruining her life. She loved him with the whole of her heart. How he could now pay her with such cruelty was beyond him. Tolu tried to imagine Ebika in similar situation and doing the same thing, but he couldn’t. Ebika would not have taken things as Eladebi had taken them. While she had her own good sides, Tolu doubted patience to be one of her virtues. Eladebi on her part had all he wanted. Just as that line of thought flittered into his heart, his eyes grew big in realization. The realization of what Eladebi meant to him and what he felt for her filled his darkened heart with light.

He staggered. “What am I doing?” He asked aloud.

Making a fool of yourself, a small voice responded within him.

He placed both palms on either side of his cheeks. His phone rang just then. He guessed the caller again. It was Ebika. He stared at her image but made no attempt to answer the call. Few seconds after the call ended, he received a message notification. He hesitated for a few heartbeats before checking it.

“I hope you’re not ignoring my calls because of another lady right there. You promised to love me alone and that is what I expect. Don’t you dare break my heart after all I gave up for you. Let’s finalize the plans for our wedding. The sooner the better. Love you.”

While he was used to the first statement in the text message, the others laid a heavy burden on his heart. He had made a big mess and he had no way of getting out of it. There was no way he would repair all he had done without hurting Ebika. She would hate him for life. He could just go on with her. But that would mean cutting off from his children forever. He couldn’t bear that. He scratched his head vigorously. I need help. Oh, Lord, help me. He muttered within.

“Tolu.” Someone called from behind.

The voice sounded familiar. He turned around slowly and saw Christopher, hands in his pocket standing a few feet from him. Tolu’s eyes widened in surprise.







Old Flame Ep 17

And their love blossomed… hehehe


Episode Seventeen

 It was time for a major clean-up. Tolu stood in the middle of his living room with his hands on his waist, looking around. Things had changed for him in the two days Eladebi and the children had been absent from the house. He was enjoying his freedom with the knowledge that he could have the love of his life to spend it with.

Ah, yes, Ebika. He sighed with deep pleasure. Ebika, the one for him, had accepted him back into her life. She was ready to create more memories with him. He made up his mind to please her. He would go extra length just to keep her by his side. The extra length he was willing to start with was to remove all of Eladebi’s pictures from around the house.

His eyes went to the first frame on the wall, just above the television. The picture had been taken on their wedding day. He took the frame off the wall and stared at the picture. Despite Eladebi’s stress that day, she had managed to smile and look good. It was he who went about looking like a lost soul.  He did feel like a lost soul then, and even now. He couldn’t understand how he went from Ebika to Eladebi back then, and how he would soon be a father. Each smile had been strained, and yet, he had kept smiling to keep up appearances. He had to be happy. He stood at the altar with Eladebi and told himself over and over again to be happy.

That happiness eluded him initially when he had to go through the awkwardness of life with Eladebi. They related almost as strangers during the early stage of their marriage, but things took a turn for good. Eladebi proved to be a wonderful woman indeed, and his heart eventually accommodated her. Too bad now that the owner of the heart had come back for what was rightfully hers. He couldn’t deprive Ebika of what truly belonged to her, even if it meant letting go of the woman he had spent years with, and the children God had blessed them with.

“Let’s hope it’s worth it after all.” He said aloud and took down the frame. He dropped it carefully on the side stool he had placed beside him.

Each frame he took down told a story of his life with Eladebi. There were pictures of both of them in the church during the children’s christening. Pictures of the boys at three and six months. He also looked at pictures of their children’s first birthday. He kept dropping them one after the other swallowing the emotions threatening to choke him. He didn’t know it would be so difficult to clean out Eladebi and his children’s presence in the living room.

The last frame he took down was a family picture of all of them together. It was taken at the New Year party organised by his in-laws a year ago. He took in their happy faces and thought again how that happiness had been there without Ebika. How had he been so happy with Eladebi? When did he stop feeling that way towards her? Was it just because their minor disagreements which Eladebi would always apologize for and do his bidding, or something else?

His heart thumped wildly against his chest in guilt. It was foolish to dwell on the issue when he knew his heart had rejected Eladebi already. He dropped the frame with the others on the stool like it was burning his hand. He had to forget Eladebi. She was his past now. His past as at two days ago.

He carried as many frames as he could and dropped them in a big carton in his study. When he was through, he dusted his hand and examined the living room. The walls only held pictures of him in various outings, meetings and all. No one would ever know he had a wife if they stepped into his living room now. That should make him happy but all he felt was a gnawing in his heart. He tried to smile but his lips won’t cooperate. His heart refused to warm to the prospect of a smile. He had to fight the sadness in his heart. He had what he always wanted. There was one way to keep reminding him of what he has now.

He ran to his bedroom and returned with Ebika’s picture. He attached it to one of his own already on the wall. He stepped back to look at it.

“Yes!” He exclaimed with smiles. “Now this is how it ought to be. This will definitely impress Ebika when she visits tomorrow.”

He left the living room and went to the guest bedroom. He picked out every incriminating item; incriminating items like his children’s toys that Eladebi didn’t go with. Hair brush, Hair shampoo and conditioner, shower cap and an empty bottle of ‘Romantic Women Perfume’ that Eladebi left in the bathroom when she stayed in the guest room.

When he left the guest room, he found himself in the children’s room. A frustrated look entered his eyes as he took in all that was in the room. He shook his head. He couldn’t clean out the children’s room. It would have to be an out-of-bound room for Ebika. He would ensure she didn’t go there.

The master bedroom was already cleaned out. It was just unfortunate that his kitchen was too organise to be in a bachelor’s pad. Then again, Ebika could stay away from the kitchen. He would be the perfect host, and if he was going to put up a good show for Ebika, then he had better do it all; all included cooking Ebika a meal.

That thought didn’t excite him at all. He left the master’s bedroom and wandered to the kitchen to start his catering practical.




Four years was such a long time to have forgone cooking, but for Ebika’s sake, Tolu was in the kitchen wiping up what he hoped to be his best. He had spent the entire day after the clean-up cooking.

Standing in the kitchen felt so odd. For a long time his place had been at the dining table and not the kitchen. He had never been disappointed before when he waited for Eladebi’s food at the dining. It was always right on time and very delicious. Saliva filled his mouth and he swallowed nosily. He hoped his food would also make Ebika salivate.

He checked his pot of Jollof rice one last time, then he turned off the cooker. He rubbed his palms together in excitement. Time to get set for the arrival of the queen of his heart.

His bath took few minutes, but he spent more time dressing up. Ebika liked his looks. He would ensure he satisfied her. He ran a hand across his neatly trimmed beard.

“Nice.” He said, smiling broadly at his reflection.

He pushed his comb through his afro and styled it properly, then he looked over his blue polo and combat short. It was casual enough but also stylish. He wanted Ebika to be comfortable around him. By the time the doorbell rang, he was all dressed up and ready to entertain her.

“Hi, love.” He greeted, pressing his lips to her cheek. “You’re welcome.”

“Thanks, dear.” She answered with a smile.

His eyes swept over her, and he liked what he saw. She looked gorgeous in a well-cut pencil gown that revealed curves that made her more appealing to him. He swallowed. His guilt over his treatment of Eladebi flew out of his head as he drank all of Ebika. She seemed to enjoy the attention because she flipped her shoulder-length weave-on over one shoulder and batted her eyes at him. A burning desire rose within him, such as he had never felt for Eladebi in a long while. He quickly stepped aside before the thoughts in his heart were put into action.

“You look so beautiful, my love. Come in.” He invited.

She gave a deliberate sway of her hips as she walked past him. He liked it all. He liked what she was doing to him. If she continued keeping him interested the way she was doing at that moment, then marriage should not be too far off.

He led her to a couch and he sat beside her. He gave her time to enjoy the beauty of his living room. She nodded severally in approval. Seeing the admiration in her eyes reassured him of the good work he did while he was preparing for her visit. Nothing was out of place.

Ebika’s eyes finally stopped their roaming and came back to him. “Wow, Tolu! This place is so lovely.” She stated in an admiration-filled voice.

He grinned from ear to ear. “Thanks, my love. This will soon be our place.”

She fixed him a dreamy look as she considered what he just said. Her eyes went round the room again. She jumped up abruptly startling Tolu. She moved to where he had arranged the frames and included her picture. He joined her in front of the television. She had her back to him. His eyes rested on her waist. He imagined his arms encircling it. He thought of her reaction if he did. He hesitated. It lasted only for a few seconds. He moved to her and placed his hands on her waist. She leaned into his body, rubbing her face against it.

“I can’t believe you kept this picture, dear.” She said in a near whisper, caressing his ear.

He kissed the ear. “I can never throw away the memories I have with you.” His voice matched hers. Her eyes drifted close as he spoke of his love for her.  “You’re the best thing in my life, Ebika. Time could not separate us because we were meant for each other. I have always loved you and still love, and I will continue loving you.”

She turned to face him then. He drew her into a bear hug.

Emotions built within him. This was what it meant to love. He thanked his lucky stars for granting him another chance with Ebika, and for giving him the courage to kick Eladebi out of his heart and life. Sending Eladebi and his children away for the love of Ebika was worth it. He dropped a light kiss on her lips as he led her back to the couch.

Their love was the topic for the day. They both pledged underlying love for each other while they ate. He kept stealing kisses every now and then during the meal. It made Ebika bat her eyes more at him and even return his kisses. He was excited beyond words. This was the kind of life he wanted.

After the meal, they lingered over the wine he had poured to celebrate the moment. He held her hand.

“I believe you enjoyed your meal. I made it specially for you.” He told her.

She smiled. “I’m impressed. If you keep doing this each time I come around, I promise to love you till infinity.” She tapped his nose with her finger.

His smile wobbled a little. Cook each time she was around? Did she mean it or was she just joking? It must be a joke. He concluded within him.

“I’ll like to eat your food too. Maybe you should invite me to your place.” He suggested.

She pulled her hand free from his. “I would love to, but I prefer you entertaining me here.” She answered with a small shrug.

The magic was slipping. He took her hand again and changed the subject. “I’ll do anything for you.”

“Oh, that’s…”
The bleeping of his phone cut her short. He picked it up and dropped immediately when he saw the caller ID. “You were saying…?” He urged her to continue.

“I wanted to tell you…”

His phone started ringing again.

He ignored it and got her to continue. When the phone rang the third time, a suspicious look came into Ebika’s eyes.

“Why don’t you just answer the call?” She said stiffly. The smile had disappeared from her face.

“It’s not important. It’s just a client I dealt with some days back. He needs some goods but couldn’t meet up with the payment.” He explained. She didn’t look like she believed him. “I’ll just turn off the phone.” He picked up the phone, but she stopped him.

“Don’t turn it off.”

“But… it’s making you uncomfortable.” He tried to reason with her.

She shook her head. “Don’t worry.” The smile that accompanied the statement made him worry instead.

Things got bad after that: two more phone calls that he couldn’t take and two messages that he was not ready to read. Ebika picked up her purse soon after.

“Let me drop you at home.” He offered when he couldn’t convince her to stay back.

Her arms crossed her chest as she waited for him to pick up his car keys. When he came back to her, he pulled her into a hug.

“I’m sorry, my love. I didn’t mean to ruin your first visit to my place. You mean so much to me, and no one is worth my attention when I am with you. Don’t leave like this.” He pleaded. He felt her body melting against his. He released a sigh of relief.

“It’s okay.” She replied, playing with the button on his shirt. “Just promise me this won’t happen next time.”

Tolu crossed his heart. “I swear it won’t.”

The moment felt like the time she just arrived. He led her out whispering words of love to her. He surprised her with the cash gift he had kept aside before her arrival. She accepted it with all smiles. He felt good that he could make her happy.

All through his drive home the feeling remained with him until he got home and found out he had to clear the table and wash all they used. He didn’t feel so good again. He pulled out a chair and dropped down heavily, then he cursed Eladebi for almost ruining his date with her calls. He still didn’t understand while she kept calling even when he had

refused to answer any of her calls. One of the messages he received was from her and the other was from Christopher. He opened her message and expected to read an apology like the ones she sent their first day apart. Instead, it was a prayer for him. She went on and on praying for him, and telling him she and the children were missing him. What baffled him was her belief that everything would soon pass and they would be back together as a family. She was putting up with a friend so that her family members would not know what was happening. What made her so confident was beyond him because as far as his heart was concerned he was done with her.

Christopher told him he understood what was happening but encouraged him to do what was right which was to get back with his wife and children.

Tolu scratched his head. His eyes back to the dishes on the table. Whatever was going on at the moment, the reality for him was that he had just finished sharing a meal he cooked for his woman and was about to wash the dishes himself. There was nothing appealing in that.





Old Flame EP 10

Episode Ten

When she accepted Tolu’s invite for lunch to celebrate her birthday, she had wondered what she would tell Bina. But he had made everything easy for her when he called that morning to tell her he was on morning shift and would see her later in the evening. She made her calculations and noted with relief that her date with Tolu would be long over before Bina would meet with her.

Despite all she had told herself after Doubara’s counsel, she couldn’t stop the flutters in her stomach as she thought of being on a date with Tolu again. She rushed through her work as the clock ticked towards the time she would be with Tolu. She accepted birthday wishes from friends and colleagues. Her phone kept ringing. Everything was putting in her in the mood for a great time; even her mother had called her. Her call put a broad smile on her face. Her recovery was quite fast and it made her happy.

When she finished her major work that morning, she turned over the others to her partner whom she had planned with that morning. She went into the ladies to retouch her makeup. She would not meet Tolu looking ordinary. She must appear her best. It was the reason why her dress had been specially picked out that morning. The red gown was as daring as her mood. It was a long, flowing linen gown with a cut that ran from her knee downwards, revealing straight legs that were her pride. She left the ladies with so much confidence. As she swayed towards the reception to await Tolu, her steps faltered. She must tell Tolu the truth. She couldn’t keep up with their fantasies all in the name of old love. Yes, her heart was attuned to the feelings from the past, but she had to do the right thing. Tolu must know about Bina. Whatever the consequence, so be it.

That didn’t give her joy. She didn’t look forward to their meeting again. She dropped heavily on the metal chair in the reception. Her face was sad and withdrawn. Her hand rested under her jaw as she read the messages on her phone without her earlier glee. Her face brightened a little when she read the post Doubara had made for her on Facebook. Tolu arrived while she was at this.

He breezed into the office with the aura of the wealthy man he was. In his right hand was a bouquet of flower. His blue blazer glimmered in the bright light. The hair she loved was neatly combed. The fragrance of his perfume filled the area immediately. Heads turned to him. Some didn’t return to what they were doing before. It angered her that two ladies sitting in front of her were making ‘google’ eyes at him. She stood up then. Time to claim ownership of the fine specie that seemed to be everyone’s fantasy.

His eyes sparkled as he set them on her. The corners of her mouth widened in a smile until she felt they would tear. When he got to her, he dropped a kiss on her cheek.

“Happy Birthday, beautiful.”  He whispered into her ears. His free hand curved her small back.

If she was fair, her face would have become as red as a ripe tomato. “Thank you, handsome.” She replied in a husky voice. She met the eyes of the two ladies who had been looking at him with open admiration when he came in earlier. She didn’t expect friendly looks from them and she didn’t get them. What she saw was what would be seen in the eyes of defeated ladies: jealousy. She winked at them. One huffed and turned away.

Ebika laughed.

Tolu moved away from her and ran his eyes from her head to her toe. “You look more beautiful each day, my dear.” He told her, longing in his voice.

She giggled like a love-struck teenager. “It must be because of you.” She replied, batting her eyes at him.

He touched the tip of her nose. “Don’t kill me, Ebika.”

Another giggle. She looked around. They were the centre of attention for everyone. “We’ve given these lot a good drama. Now, let’s go before they declare war on us.”

He looked around then and guffawed. “You’re right.”

He led her through the slide doors and into his car. He drove down to a private guest house a few kilometres away from her office. He told her he had made reservations for them right there.

It was an exotic place. The environment was serene. Flowers adorned the drive way. A lawn tennis court occupied one side of the drive way. Just after it was a large swimming pool. A small shelter for relaxation was built beside it. The other side of the road had small hut-like shelters built with bamboo sticks for relaxation too.

Ebika took in the whole place in sheer delight. A place like this would have cost a small fortune. She said as much to Tolu, but he laughed it off. She was worth more than that, he told her. Ebika agreed too. It wasn’t wrong to be pampered this way, even if the one doing the pampering was your ex-boyfriend that you never broke up with.

Tolu guided her past the glass paned lobby. The desk clerk greeted him with a big smile. He got the key to the room he had paid for and led her there.

The room was quite exotic too. All was prim and neat. From the beautiful oil paintings on the wall, to the leather upholstery and the flat screen TV on the wall. She turned around. A fridge stood beside the king-size bed, laid with white bed sheet.

Tolu motioned for her to take her seat on the couch. She did with grace. If he saw her worthy to be brought to a place like this, then she would act the part of a well-cultured lady too.

She watched him as he made a call to room service. In a few minutes, a table was rolled into the room, and a feast was set before her. Her mouth opened in total surprise.

“Wow! Tolu. This is a lot.” She cried in delight.

He reached up a finger to her face, touching it with a feather-soft stroke. “You deserve this and more. This is what I would have given you if things hadn’t gone the way they went, but I’m here now to always give you this.” He stared at her with intense, burning eyes.

A strange sensation crept up her body as she looked at him. She swallowed the desire filling her senses quickly. Things were getting heated. What would be the state of her heart after this awesome time with Tolu? Her heart hammered in her chest. She looked away from him.

“You know how to make me feel special, Tolu. No one has done this.” She told him in a small voice.

He placed a hand under her chin and brought her face back to him. “I’ll do it always.”

No, you won’t, a voice cried within her. She is taken. She belongs to Bina.

Ebika shook off the voice. Tolu was not proposing to her, she told the voice.

“Come, let’s eat.” He said.

The fireworks that were on the verge of exploding moments ago eased as they moved to safer conversation during the meal. They shared stories of childhood birthday celebrations. She laughed easily at his jokes and stories. By the time their meal was over, they had relaxed considerably.

They moved to the shelter of the balcony with their drinks. The balcony overlooked the flowered garden in the compound. Tolu dropped a bottle of wine on the table that was placed alongside two chairs on the balcony. He pulled out a chair for her and took the other one.

He looked up at her, his intense gaze scanning her face. “I’m happy to be spending this time with you, Ebika. I don’t know what I would have done if you had rejected my invite.” He said.

Her gaze swept over his face. “Thanks for making this day very special for me. I won’t forget this in a hurry. It will be in my memory for a long time to come.”

He brushed her cheeks lightly with warm fingers. “I don’t want you to ever forget, Ebika. Let us build more memories.” His voice was very soft, pushing through the walls of her heart.

She lifted one dark swooping brow at him. “What do you mean?” She asked.

He placed his warm hand over hers that had gone cold, causing it to tingle. He looked like he was going to bear his heart to her, but then he shook his head. “Time will tell, Ebika.”

Ebika shook her head. “I don’t have time.” She told him in a tone heavy with sadness, her eyes looking into the distance.

He gave her a quizzical look. “What do you mean, Ebika?” He asked, making her turn back to him. He stared across at her.

Ebika let out a long breath. She felt her emotions brewing over like a cup of hot tea. She had to do the right thing.

“We’ve been separated for a long time, Tolu. A lot has changed between up.” She said in a tone that was just above whisper. Tolu fixed a steady gaze on her. She closed her eyes tightly and opened them gradually. She wanted the moment to pass by quickly. What if she was wrong about all that had been happening between them since they met again? What if Tolu was just being nice? He could have someone too, and was just being a good friend to her for the sake of old times. She sighed, let me just tell him, she decided within.

“Tolu, I’m engaged.” She said in a rush, staring into Tolu’s eyes to see his reaction. He seemed not to have heard her. He tilted his head to the left, a disoriented look on his face. He said nothing, just kept giving her the strange look. Worried lines etched her forehead. “Tolu.” She shook his hand. “Did you hear me?” She asked.

Only a small nod told her he was still with her. She sighed with relief. But then, why was he not talking, she wondered?

After what seem like forever, Tolu’s eyes refocused and gave her a conscious stare. “What do you mean ‘engaged’?” He asked her in a raspy tone. He downed his wine to wet his dry throat.

“I met someone else a couple of years back, and we are planning to have our introduction in three weeks.” She explained to him.

Tolu looked like she struck him. He got up from his chair and went to stand in front of the rail, his arms crossed his chest. His chest heaved up and down in quick succession. Fear moved down Ebika’s spine like tapping fingers as she watched him. He stayed that way for a while. All the time she kept wondering if she had kept her engagement to Bina too late. Guilt twisted her heart.

Tolu whirled, coming to her with burning eyes. He wrapped his fingers around her slender wrist. “Don’t leave me, Ebika.” He pleaded with her in a shaky tone.

Ebika swallowed at the intensity of his tone. “I’m right here with you, Tolu.” She replied. She was held captive by his gaze and so she found herself staring into the depth of his eyes.

He shook his head. “I love you, Ebika.” He admitted.

Laughter rippled within Ebika and rushed to the surface. She guffawed in his face. “That’s funny, Tolu.” She said, lifting her chin in disbelief. Her voice was calm, in spite of her runaway pulse.

Tolu shook her hand. “I mean it, Ebika. Meeting you again has proven that what I felt for you never died all these years. I can’t go a day without you now.”

She gaped at him as he spoke. He touched a finger to her lips. She felt heat move up her neck all the way to her hairline. It was happening for real. Tolu wanted her. If that was the case, then nothing was holding him back too. What would hold her back? Could her love for Bina stop what was building in her heart for Tolu? She listened to him as he spoke.

“I know I don’t have a good record of keeping a promise, but this is different for me, my love. I want to be with you. I feel it strongly like I felt it the first time I saw you. Just think about it, Ebika. While you do, you could put off the introduction. I want you be the one that would walk down the aisle with me.”

The walls in her heart were crumbling. She could feel it. She placed a hand over her chest as if she could stop it, but she knew she couldn’t. Tolu appealed to her a great deal. What she felt for him made her alive. She didn’t need to make her decision immediately, and there was no need for her to rush into anything with Bina. She would have this time with Tolu and make the right decision.

“Alright, Tolu.” She finally said, smiling up at him. “I’ll think about it.”

He circled her in a bear hug. “You won’t regret this, my love. Just give us this chance.”

“I will.” She said. Her words were muffled by his chest.

When he moved away from her, his eyes were happy. Gone was the deep sorrow from before. “I have something special for you.” He moved into the room and came back with a small jewellery box. He stretched it towards her. “Happy Birthday, my dear.”

She took the box from him. “Thank you.” She said.

“Open it.” he nudged.

She did. It was a gold wristwatch. She looked at the expensive wristwatch. “Wow, this is beautiful, Tolu. I will treasure this always.” She gasped in awe.

He gave his usual shrug. “You deserve the best.”

She left her chair and flew into his hands, dropping a kiss on his cheek. “Thank you.”

He wrapped her hands around her trim waist. “I’ll do more for you. Just love me.”

Sounded easy enough to Ebika. She could do this. She would only make the right choice between Bina and Tolu.

The rest of the time spent together kept tugging her heart towards someone. It wasn’t surprising that the name wasn’t that of the one whom she was engaged to.


Promises! Decisions! Crossroads! the web is so tangled, friends. Don’t forget to share your thoughts.


Old Flame EP 9

When an advice is given, one either takes it or leave it. What will Ebika do? Happy reading!

Episode Nine

Doubara was watching her with that weird look again. Each time she picked up her phone to reply Tolu’s chat, Doubara’s eyes would become suspicious. It must be because she kept smiling and laughing as she typed on her phone. The chat that started the previous night had continued early that morning. She was totally charmed by Tolu’s show of affection and care. If she hadn’t fixed up the meeting with Doubara days before, she would have spent the evening with Tolu again with the way he gushed over her, and the time they spent together the previous evening.

She dropped her phone and looked up at her friend, the smile still in her eyes. “What were you saying, Doubie?” She quizzed.

Doubara eyed her from across the table they were sharing in HiBooks cafeteria. Her eyes went to the phone and back to her. “Who is putting these smiles and laughter on your face, Ebika?” She asked.

Ebika laughed a little. “It’s a secret.” She said. Her phone beeped again. She made to pick it, but Doubara placed a hand on her hand.

“Tell me the secret. You told me Bina is on morning shift, so who are you chatting with?”

Ebika ran her fingers through her hair. Today, she wore it down. She held the front with a green headband to match her green blouse. The ‘selfies’ she took that morning had already been sent to Tolu, who had not stop talking about how beautiful she looked. Now, she looked at her friend.

“It’s not Bina.” She admitted, looking straight into Doubara’s eyes.

“I know already.” Doubara threw her hands up in exasperation. “Who?”

Ebika regarded her with caution-filled eyes. Would she understand? Would Doubara understand the reason for my attachment to Tolu? She sighed. “I’m chatting with Tolu.” She said simply.

“Tolu? Tolu?” Doubara called the name slowly, her eyes lifted up. She placed a hand under her jaw and thought more about it. “Toluuuu?” She repeated. She shook her head after a while. “Sounds strange. Is he a new member in our church?” She asked.

Ebika shook her head, twisting her fingers on the table. “I told you about him long ago remember. He was the one I was with in school.” She explained.

A look of remembrance filtered into Doubara’s eyes. Confusion however took the place of remembrance the next second. “I thought you lost contact years ago. Why are you chatting with him?”

“Because we found each other again after all these years. It happened a week back.” She told Doubara with all glee. She couldn’t resist the smile that followed her statement.

Doubara’s eyes closed up in suspicion again. “Found each other again?” She drawled. “What do you mean by that?”

“We met by chance at Royalty bank, and since then we have been trying to bridge the gap of eight years between us. You know getting to know each other all over again.”

Doubara gaped at her like something was wrong with her. Ebika wondered why. “What?” She asked when Doubara kept staring in silence.

Doubara shook herself. “Getting to know each other again? What does that even mean?”

Ebika rolled her eyes. Her patience was wearing out. She was also itching to read Tolu’s chats on her phone. She placed a hand on her phone, but the look on Doubara’s face stopped her from picking it up. “Doubie, Tolu and I are trying to be friends again, no big deal. We just don’t want to lose contact like we did before.”

Doubara sighed. “I don’t know why I feel something is not right. Just friendship and you have been chatting with him since I got here over thirty minutes ago? I haven’t seen you smile like you are doing when replying his chat.”

The ringing of her phone halted Ebika’s response. The call was from Tolu. She mouthed an excuse to Doubara and picked the call. He wanted to know why she had not been replying his chats. She assured him she would once she was through with what she was doing. She dropped the phone and faced Doubara.

“Just friendship.” Doubara sneered.

“It’s nothing really.” Ebika insisted.

“Does he know about Bina?” She asked the question that always filled Ebika with guilt each time she was with Tolu or chatting with him.

Ebika shook her head slowly.

“When do you intend telling him?” Doubara questioned, looking straight at her.

Ebika looked away. “It’s still early. When the time is right, I’ll tell him about Bina.” She responded.

Doubara touched her arm drawing her attention back to her. “Listen, Ebika, the time will never be right from what I can see. If you’re getting to know each other again, then it’s better you let him know about your fiancé. He should have someone too, I’m sure. He couldn’t have possibly waited for you until he found you. You should ask him this. I can see the look in your eyes, Ebika. This is not just friendship. Don’t let the devil deceive you with what is glittering. You don’t know what you’ll find when you unwrap it.” she squeezed Ebika’s hand gently. “I trust you to do the right thing, Ebika. You are a Christian, Ebika. Stand firm. Tell him about Bina and your forthcoming introduction. If he still wants to remain your friend, then set boundaries. Keep your Christian values so you won’t fall.”

Ebika felt torn within her as she listened to Doubara. She couldn’t fight against what Doubara had said because it was the truth. Her excitement with Tolu had stopped her from praying about her relationship with Bina. She spent more time fantasizing about life with Tolu than life with Bina. She had deliberately kept Tolu in the dark about her relationship just so she could have the kind of love they had in school. It was time to wake up. She couldn’t ruin it all because of romantic feelings. She couldn’t be seeing Tolu as the balance in her life when she had God.

“I have heard you, Doubara.” She said, regret etched on her face. “I would not be carried away. When next I meet Tolu, I’ll tell him all about Bina, so we could be clear on the kind of friendship we are building.”

Doubara nodded her approval. “That is better, my dear. God will give you grace.” She held her hands and said a short prayer with her.

The relief she desired didn’t come immediately. While she concluded her discussion with Doubara on their choir uniform, a heavy feeling of sadness settled on her. All she could think of was Tolu’s reaction when she told him about Bina. Would he still be with her, or would he keep his distance? She hoped for the former.




Tolu stared at his phone lying lifelessly on the table. The veins stood in his balled fists which cushioned his jaw. He kept waiting for it to ring. The aroma of the fried rice his wife had prepared for dinner did not appeal to him. He wanted to hear from Ebika. His wife kept sneaking peeks at him as she spooned her food into her mouth. His two sons played with their food, giggling as they made patterns with grains of rice scattered on the table.

Their action grated his nerves. “Stop that now!” He ordered sharply.

Immediately, Tari and Timi sat up right. His wife eyed him, but he wasn’t bothered. His mind was somewhere with Ebika. She whispered to them, and they ate peacefully after that. He on the other hand couldn’t get anything through his closed throat.

He kept wondering why Ebika stopped replying his chats and wouldn’t take his calls too. He picked his phone and dialled her number again. He listened to the phone ringing. When he heard the dial tone, he knew she had ignored the call again. Was there something he had done wrong? He rubbed his forehead.

His wife dropped her spoon on her plate of rice and faced him. “Are you alright, honey?” She asked.

He pushed away from the table. “I’m fine. I just don’t have appetite tonight.” He got up from the table.

The eyes she lifted to him were worried, but he could do nothing to alleviate it. Should he tell her he was pinning for an old love? Of course not. He touched her shoulder lightly as he walked past her chair.

“I’m fine, my love.” he reassured her.

She nodded slowly, looking unconvinced. He said nothing and went straight to the bedroom. When he got there, he dialled Ebika’s number again. He lost count of the number of times he called her before she finally answered.

He sat up straight in bed. “Ebika.” He called, letting out an audible sigh of relief.

She sounded distant when she responded. “Tolu, I’m sorry.”

“What happened?” He asked.

“We’ll talk about it later.” She replied.

“I want to take you out tomorrow to celebrate your birthday.” He told her.

A short pause. “Okay.” She finally said.

He did a sign of cross. “Thanks. I’ll pick you up in the afternoon.”

“I’ll be available.” She said.

“I’ve really missed you. Let’s talk online.”

“Okay.” She said.

He punched the air when the call ended. He let out a whoop of delight. The ache in his heart left immediately as her response to the messages he had sent earlier came. He positioned himself and replied her message. He was this way when his wife came in.

“It’s time for night prayers.” She informed him.

His eyes drew in irritation as he looked up at her. “Go ahead. I’m busy.” He replied, typing a reply to Ebika. She hesitated. He didn’t keep the irritation off his voice when he addressed her this time. “Go. I’m busy.”

She said nothing after that. While he smiled and laughed with Ebika through their chat, his wife’s voice carried through the room as she sang with the children. The guilt he felt was nothing compared to the pleasure he got chatting with Ebika.

Eladebi soon returned to the room after the prayer. She pulled back the bed cover and joined him in bed. He turned slightly, shielding his phone from her.

“I noticed you don’t wear your wedding ring anymore.” She said softly, adjusting her pillow.

His head came up at that. He looked at his ring finger. He had taken off their wedding ring when he was angry with her, before he met Ebika again. But since he met her, and felt the chemistry between them, he didn’t see the need to put on his ring again. It would only scare her, and he didn’t want that. Again, he couldn’t tell his wife that. An excuse would be good, or a white lie. He shrugged.

“I have a little injury on my finger.” He said.

She drew close to him. “Oh, I didn’t know. Let me see.” She peeped over his shoulder.

He turned completely away from her. “It’s nothing. I’ll be fine soon, and I’ll wear my ring again.”

“Okay.” She muttered. She wrapped her hands around his waist. “Good night, honey.” She said, nuzzling her cheek against his back.

He pushed her back a little. “Good night. Just sleep. I’ll join you soon. I want to check something in my study.” He got up and walked away from his matrimonial bed without a backward glance at his wife who watched him go with tears-filled eyes.

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