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 Her face was sad and withdrawn.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.

Don’t forget to share! I’ll like to know what you think. Kindly share your thoughts right here or any of my social media platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Flame EP 8

Welcome back, friends! sorry episode 8 is late. happy reading! Don’t forget to share your thoughts after reading.

Episode Eight

The atmosphere in Lakeview Restaurant suited Tolu’s mood. He liked the corner he had chosen for them to sit. The room was dimly lit, casting a soft glow on the tables in the room. The low background music caressed them. It made him feel free. It took him back in time with Ebika, before he went off to work as a seaman and before he married Eladebi.

He forced thoughts of his wife down as he stared into Ebika’s twinkling eyes. Her eyes shone with merriment. Strands of hair that had come loose on the drive to the restaurant now rested on one part of her face. She looked lovely. He felt himself lost in her beauty. He watched as she took her glass to her lips, taking a sip of her wine. He smiled when she dropped the glass, her fingers around the stem.

“This reminds me of the night we spent outside my hostel talking through the night till dawn.” He said. Images of that time came to him like it had happened a day before and not more than eight years ago.

Ebika smiled, a dreamy look in her eyes as she also pictured that time. “We were so in love, and we couldn’t stay away from each other.” She laughed a little. “We were supposed to be studying that night, but we started talking and forgot about the books we left in the lecture hall.”

Tolu looked straight into her eyes. “We were inseparable.”

Ebika nodded. “We were.” She agreed. Her tone was sad. She looked away from him and down at the drink in front of her.

Tolu knew what she was thinking. He hadn’t stopped thinking that since he met her again. He unwrapped her fingers from her wine glass and held them in his. “I made a mistake back then.” He said.

Her eyes glistened with tears as she looked at him. “You never came back. Where did you go? Why did you leave?” A tear rolled down her cheek. Tolu caught it with his hand.

“I’m so sorry, Ebika. The job paid well, but it was very stressful. I couldn’t promise you anything. When the opportunity to travel abroad came, I didn’t think twice: I took it. I thought I’ll find you once I got settled. Well, it didn’t happen. I ended up spending two years in London with the business man who facilitated my journey there building what I have today.” He rubbed her palm lightly. “When I got back, I felt ashamed of what I had done, cutting off from you like that. I couldn’t find you anywhere.”

Ebika blinked back more tears. Life had given them reality, taking away their fantasies. What did it matter now that they have found each other? She had Bina, and she was certain someone else had his heart. It wasn’t possible for someone of his status not to have ladies around him. These were her thoughts as she listened to the last part of his story. The part that told her how he was able to build his business empire now.

When he finished, she fixed sad eyes on him. “I guess there is someone now.” She said, easing her hands off his.

He looked away, regret clouding his eyes. “Let’s not spoil tonight with talks like that. Tonight is for us, just us, Ebika. Let’s get connected again.” He said in an intense tone, imploring her with it.

Ebika hesitated. She should tell him about Bina. He should know that she would be tying the knot soon with the one who had rescued her heart when he left it shattered. The more she thought of it, the more she couldn’t bring herself to do it. If she could just have this harmless time with him, what did it matter? She would do nothing to hurt Bina. She prayed so. The feelings Tolu was arousing in her heart scared her, yet she liked it. She liked going back to a time where she had been deeply in love with butterflies in her stomach; when love had been exciting and carefree.

Tolu watched the different emotions moving across her face. He shook off his feeling of guilt. There would be time enough to tell her about Eladebi and his children. For now, he needed to stay connected to her, to keep the special memories they had shared in the past.

“Say something, Ebika. Let’s stay connected. I want us to go back to our time in Creek Haven. Let’s bridge the gap of eight years.” He pleaded with her, taking her hands again.

Ebika sighed. “I’ll really like that too, Tolu.” She said in a small voice.

His lips turned up in a relived smile. “Thank you so much, Ebika. You don’t know how much joy you have put in my heart.” He placed his hand on her cheek.

She leaned towards it. “Thank you too, Tolu. This moment is special.” She replied.

They remained that way for a while, his hand on her cheek and her head slightly turned to it. After a while, he took off his hand and placed it on her palm on the table. He talked about her birthday coming up in a few days. Back then, they had always celebrated her birthday in a big way.

“What would you like?” He asked her.

She shrugged. “Anything filled with love.” She batted her eyes at him.

He gave a hearty laugh. “Keep doing that and you will get more than you bargain for.”

They laughed together. After spending a few hours together, Tolu took her home. They promised to see each other soon. As Tolu drove off, he knew he would be spending his night in his study at home. That was the only way he could talk freely with Ebika, and he planned on spending the night chatting with her. It made him smile as he anticipated their chat later.

 

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

 

Ebika walked into the living room and came face to face with Bina. Her eyes dilated with surprise. He looked up at her from the book he was reading. He closed it and placed it beside him.

I didn’t know you were here.” She said in an accusatory tone, moving away from the door. She flopped down into a couch opposite him. She rested her head on the couch and closed her eyes.

“I thought you would be home since we spoke some hours ago.” He replied. “Where have you been, Ebika? I called Doubara, and she told me you didn’t show up in church.”

Slowly, she sat up and faced him. “I had more work to do.” She lied. It was almost liked she had practiced what to say. When he kept looking at her, unconvinced, she had to look away. “I couldn’t finish the time I told you I would.” She rushed on to add in a shaky voice. Guilt enveloped her like a thick blanket on a cold night. She couldn’t push it aside. How would she tell Bina she had spent the last hours in a restaurant with her ex-boyfriend?

Bina kept looking at her. She shifted under his piercing eyes. She felt naked under his scrutiny, like he could see through her lies. Her eyes kept shifting from his. She couldn’t tell what he had in his mind. She sighed. Better to change the subject before secrets become revealed. She didn’t trust herself to keep on lying to him about her evening. She knew what the Bible said about lying.

“What did you come to do?” She asked. Now this was a safe topic, she said within her.

Bina leaned forward, his hands clasped in front of him. “I came to discuss our introduction.” He told her.

Ebika’s eyes bulged at that. Introduction? She blanched. Oh, she had forgotten about their plans for it all because of Tolu’s sudden appearance. She swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat. “What about it?” She asked.

“Since we have been cleared by the marriage committee, we can have it first Saturday in April.” He said.

“That’s three weeks from now.” She responded. He gave a nod. “Can we afford it?” She quizzed.

Bina shrugged. “We don’t have to make it a big affair. Just few members of our family. We can work with a small budget. You can draft the budget and show it to me when we meet tomorrow.”

She thought about this for a few heartbeats, then she sighed. “Okay. We’ll make it a small affair. I would draft a moderate budget.” She agreed.

Bina released a relieved breath. He had prayed for Ebika’s understanding, and God had answered him. “Thank you, Ebika.” He picked up the book from his side and got up. “We’ll discuss more tomorrow. It’s getting late and I need to head home. I’m on morning shift tomorrow.”

She nodded her understanding, getting up too. They stood looking at each other in silence. Ebika moved towards him. His eyes lifted in curiosity. She opened her arms to him.

“Can I get a good night hug?” She smiled at him, her eyes filled with innocence.

Bina looked around. Nobody was in sight of course. Douye was in her room. He moved slowly to her and placed his right hand around her shoulders, touching her side with his.

“Good night, Ebika.” He said quickly, moving away from her.

Ebika swallowed her disappointment. “Good night, Bina.” She replied.

She waved him off and went back to the living room. She sank into the couch. What did she expect? That Bina would hug her as tightly as Tolu did when he had the opportunity? Or he would make her even yearn a little for the time they would be married?

“All I wanted was just a little chemistry. I mean everything is just so detached.” She mumbled to herself.

“I saw you.” Her cousin’s voice broke into her mind’s activity.

Douye left the side door that led to the bedrooms to sit beside her. Her lip turned up in a mischievous smile. “I saw you.” She repeated again in her high-pitched voice.

Ebika regarded her cousin with irritation. Much as she loved Douye, she was too nosy for her liking. “Saw me where?” She asked in a disinterested tone.

“I saw you in that luxury car with the guy that dropped you.” She told her.

Ebika sat up straight, a slight tremor ran through her body, causing her to tremble. Douye laughed at her reaction.

“Relax, Coz, I have no intention of telling on you. Besides, that guy looks better off than ‘our Brother Bina.” She teased, tickling Ebika.

Ebika’s lips refused to laugh. She picked up her bag from the couch and looked straight into Douye’s eyes. “Let that be my assessment.” She said with all the authority of an elder sister that she could muster.

Douye gave a non-commital shrug. “I just feel that guy is better. I know you were with him all through. You weren’t working in any office.” She threw Ebika a challenging look.

Ebika shook her head in disbelief. Douye had eavesdropped on her conversation with Bina. The girl was annoying. She got up and walked away from Douye. Just as she got close to the side door, Douye spoke again:

“You really should think about it, Coz. Small introduction or all that luxury. Remember, you can’t bear the family burden forever. It will take some years before Ere can assist you, and mama can’t do much now. Think about it.” She got up and moved past Ebika where she stood.

Ebika went to her room completely down. Yes, she needed assistance to attend to all her family issues: Mama’s regular ill health, Ere’s school fees, their house rent and feeding. Losing their father years back had made things difficult for them. Their mother had stopped being a full housewife then and took up petty trading. When they couldn’t meet up their needs, they had left the city for their hometown. Her school fees had been a big problem. Ere had stayed back because their mother couldn’t cope with everything. Her mother’s elder sister had taken Ebika and decided to care for her, when their mother took ill the first time. She was almost out of school then. That was how she moved back to the city, into her aunty’s house with her cousin Douye, her aunty’s only child. Her job with Hibooks Agency immediately after service further eased their burden, but the responsibility now rested solely on her. Her mother’s health was fragile, and Ere was in her second year in higher institution. The occasional support that came from her aunty, who left the country just after her service year and settled with a white man in America, was a lifesaver.

She sighed. How far could Bina assist her? They would both pull their resources together to make things work. Could Bina really bear her family’s burden and still maintain their home? But Tolu was a different case. From all she had seen, and all he had told her, he could give her a secured future if she was with him. She would have to find out what his plans were soon. Her introduction was around the corner, and she could not afford settling for less when she could have the best.

Old Flame EP 6

Welcome, Fam. Happy Fathers day. Happy reading!

Episode Six

Bina’s aunty was a nice woman, Ebika noticed. She welcomed her with open arms and complimented her without any reservation. Ebika liked the woman. It was the first time she was meeting her because she had been living in Ghana and just relocated to Nigeria after the death of her Ghanaian husband a year ago. She was a pretty woman who still stood straight despite her sixty-three years. Her smile added beauty to her aged face. Ebika had met Bina’s parents and it had left her wondering if Bina took after someone else in his family. His mother was just like her aunty – delicate and pretty despite her age. Seeing his aunty made her wonder again whom he took after. The only connection between Bina and his aunty was their fair skin.

“Aunty, who does Bina look like?” she asked, throwing him a sideways glance. His eyes twitched at her question, but she didn’t mind.

Aunty Nene laughed. “Bina is a replica of our father, his grandfather. His mother must have thought of him so much as he died some days before Bina was born.” She explained.

Ebika gave a nod, smiling a little. “No wonder.” She said.

Bina sat up beside her, his brows knitted in puzzlement. “No wonder what?” He and his aunty chorused.

Ebika’s face flushed in Embarrassment. What was she thinking bringing up issues on Bina’s look? He was not ugly. Why was she bent on painting him like that?  She coughed a little to cover her embarrassment. “Oh nothing. I was just wondering why Bina… er… well, he’s not as tall as you.” She rushed to explain.

Aunty Nene laughed again, but Bina’s lips tightened in displeasure. He kept looking at her all through the time his aunty spent telling them stories of her stay in Ghana.

“Let me go and get you something to eat, my dear. Bina is not a stranger, but you are. I must take care of you. That drink is nothing.” She pointed to the glass of juice on the side stool she had offered them when they came in earlier.

“Okay, ma’am.” Ebika answered.

Aunty Nene got up and moved to the kitchen, leaving them to watch the drama series on the television. Ebika felt Bina’s eyes on her and so she turned to him.

“What?” She asked with questioning eyes.

“Go and help her in the kitchen.” He said in a whispery tone.

Ebika looked towards the kitchen and back to Bina. “It’s my first time here, Bina. Why should I join her in the kitchen? I didn’t plan on coming here to cook.” She replied. Her tone was sharp with anger.

Bina said no more. They spent the rest of the time in silence, watching television. When Aunty Nene served the food, Ebika offered to help, but Aunty Nene brushed her off and told her to enjoy the treatment. Ebika flashed her tongue at Bina and mouthed ‘I told you so’. He gave a shrug and let it pass.

Their visit came to an end and they appreciated Aunty Nene for the good time. When they got into Bina’s car, he brought up the issue of joining Aunty Nene in the kitchen.

“Ebika, you should have joined her in the kitchen.” He chided her. “You should have shown your good home training.” He turned the key in the ignition and started the car.

Ebika waited for the noise from the engine to reduce a bit before she answered him. “Bina, please don’t spoil this wonderful evening we just had. Must I help in the kitchen just to prove I am a wife material?” She demanded in anger, arms folded across her chest.

Bina kept his eyes on the road. “It shows respect, Ebika. You seem not to understand the point I’m trying to make here. It’s as if you’re deliberately disagreeing with me.” He turned to look to her briefly, then back to the road. “What was that comment about my look, Ebika. I never thought it mattered.” His lips drew together in disapproval.

Ebika huffed. “Are you saying I’m just against you for the pleasure of it?” She gasped. “Honestly, I like the fact that you are showing emotions. I like the fact that you noticed my comment about your look.”

He looked at her. “What do you mean by that, Ebika?”

“Please keep your eyes on the road.” She stated. He turned. “Take a good look at the way you are dressed today. Why would you wear a dress shirt on a jean all tucked in with a sandal, Bina?” She bawled at him.

Bina laughed. “There is nothing wrong with the way I am dressed, Ebika.” He said.

“Yeah, right.” She sneered.

He kept talking about his taste in fashion, but Ebika stopped listening. Her mind wanted to see someone who took his time looking good. She had checked his whatsapp display picture and liked what she saw. Even in a polo, Tolu could stop her in her tracks. When she complimented his look, he had forwarded some of his recent pictures to her. He requested for hers and she had sent the best. He gushed over them. It made her feel like she was back in Creek Haven University again when Tolu couldn’t get enough of her.

Sad lines crossed her face when she thought of the last time Bina had complimented her. Sometimes she wondered if he noticed at all. They just went through the motions of their relationship like actors in a scripted play. There was nothing spontaneous about them, nothing exciting. Everything was just steady, nothing out of line.

She sighed. She was definitely bored out of her mind. Bina was not helping matters at all. She’d just chat up Tolu when she got home. At least that would bring exciting memories to her. Her eyes twinkled like the stars as she thought about that. She closed her eyes to watch the texts of her chat with Tolu dance across her head.

They were not moving. Something was wrong. Her eyes opened slowly. She rubbed her sleepy eyes and looked around. She yawned a little, trying to remember where she was. It came to her in no time. She had dozed off while thinking about Tolu. She looked around for Bina. The driver’s seat was empty. The bonnet of the car was raised. She opened the door and stepped out. Bina was bent over the engine, looking hard at it.

“What is going on, Bina?” She asked.

He straightened. Worried lines were drawn across his forehead. He kneaded his forehead. “I really don’t know what is wrong. The car jerked for a while and stopped. It refused to start.” He explained.

Ebika folded her arms. “Maybe you are out of fuel.” She reasoned.

“No, it’s not fuel. Something is wrong.” He bent over the engine again and started touching some parts.

“You see why I keep telling you to change this car.” Ebika challenged him.

He angled his head to look at her. “Ebika, I can’t afford a new car now. This will just have to do.” He told her.

“Then maybe you should sell it and gather money to buy a better car.”

Bina sighed. He stopped hitting the engine. “You know we’re preparing for our wedding. Car is not our priority now.”

“If it’s not then we shouldn’t be going around in this… this…” She looked away in disgust without completing her statement.

“This what, Ebika?” He inquired.

“How do I get home now?” She said instead, fixing him with angry eyes. Around them people moved in a hurry as darkness was gradually creeping in.

“I’ll stop ‘keke’ for you. I don’t think I’ll be able to take you now.”

Her face swelled with anger. She pursed her lips and looked away from him. He came to stand in front of her.

“I’m sorry, Ebika. This is not intentional. Please don’t be angry.” He said in a pleading tone.

She said nothing. She just stood while he got a tricycle to take her home. All the way she fumed over Bina’s stubbornness. Why won’t he just buy a new car? She mused. How much exactly was a Lexus? Bina just has to change his car if he wants me to go anywhere with him again, she resolved as the keke drew close to her bus-stop.

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Old Flame EP 1

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

Episode One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hi.” His voice came across the line.

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

“What?” He asked, sounding distracted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Roman god

Share this with that teenager you love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was I educated? Oh no.

Was I intelligent? Oh no.

Was I smart? The answer you know.

Was I experienced? Ah, Soul Sister, no.

What was my contribution to the family expenses? Zilch!

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

Seasons changed, and my life changed.

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

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

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

Oh, what shame!

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

I do or I Don’t EP 11

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

Episode Eleven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kade shifted her chair away from him in horror.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Amen.” She answered.

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

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

 

THE END.

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

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

OLD FLAME

One

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

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

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