Friday, April 12, 2019

The eyes of love and hatred

Mark was trying to get through to Susan on the phone as he walked briskly to where they were meant to meet. With the phone glued to his right ear, a busy tone was all he could get as he wondered who could be on the other end of the line with this girlfriend this long.
An hour had gone by since they were meant to meet at the cafeteria, he was dead sure that by now, she would be pissed at him.
“Hi?” a girl said, as she walked up briskly beside Mark from his right side. She quickly wrapped her left arm around his right, simultaneously putting up a smile. There was confusion all over Mark’s face but it felt perfect. She moved in closer and whispered in his ear, “Please act like you know me.” He looked into her face; frowned, but the beautiful smile didn’t leave her face. By now, they had gotten to a tiny path on the road, he could now see about four guys gathered under the tent that was usually occupied by the lady who sold doughnuts. There, almost instantly, he put two and two together, figured out what was going on.
She kept talking whilst they walked as Mark played along with the fake conversation to the best of his abilities. As they walked past the tent, he could see some level of disappointment in the eyes of the men. He tried to double up his pace, but the girl pulled him back, slowed him down and tightened her grip on his arm. At the end of the small path was an old rusty gate; Mark opened the gate gently as he stylishly looked back towards the tent. The four guys were arguing, and just about the same time, looked in his direction. Suddenly, in their eyes was some renewed sense of determination. Just as he was about to drag the girl along with him in a dash for the main road, she laid her hands on his cheeks, pulled his face towards hers’ and kissed him passionately.
A few seconds went by, they disentangled and continued walking. Both silent, they only stopped when they got to the main road. The girl leaned on a sign-post on the side of the road that read ‘Speed Limit: 40 Km/Hr’. Subconsciously it now clicked; Mark had always thought that it quite was ridiculous for a University campus road, but that was the last thing on his mind right now.
“Do you mind telling me what all that was about?” he said with a quite disgruntled voice. She looked his way but didn’t say anything. He took a good look at her now, and noticed that her height and features were quite intimidating. He wondered why she needed his help earlier. He noticed she was still staring at him. As much as it freaked him out; he kept his eyes on hers. Just then, she stood upright and sighed.
“Thanks a lot for that.” she said with a smile.
“Well…its okay, but I’d still like to know what kind of trouble you are in. You know…”
“Sorry I had to kiss you.” she said with a frown, cutting Mark off… “You will surely feel as bad as I do later, trust me.” she continued in a barely audible voice.
“What? Oh! Nothing…I wasn’t talking to you.” She said, and started stroking her fingers in her hair. Mark looked around him and noticed no one had passed by since they had been standing there, and fear slowly crept into his mind again. He wondered why the girl was still standing there staring at him, and not running off to some place safer.
“Look…” he said, as he scratched his head. “I really need to get to my girlfriend, are you okay?”
“Oh! yea, I’m going that way.” she said, pointing towards the right side of the road. “I stay at Amina hall.”
“Okay. That’s not far from here. I’m actually going across the road to the cafeteria, are you sure you’ll be okay?”
“Yes.” she said, before turning around. Mark stood there, staring at her coke-body figure walking away from him, and he wished he could get to know her a little more. Just then, she looked back.
“I’ll be expecting your call.” she said, and hastened her pace.
How am I supposed to call you when I don’t even have your number, Mark thought to himself. “Hey, wait!!I don’t have your number.” he yelled, but she didn’t look back. She just kept on walking, till she got to the school chapel, and disappeared by the bend down the road.
He made his way uphill to the cafeteria. That part of the campus was now an old abandoned village. Many years ago, the inhabitants of the village had won many battles because of the advantage they had of seeing their enemies approaching from downhill, and having the upper hand when fighting them off from that elevation. But as time passed, and warfare became more complex, the village was finally conquered and pillaged by foreigners who wanted the area for selfish reasons.
Mark wiped the sweat off his brow as he walked into the cafeteria. It was always a tiresome walk up the hill, and he wondered if the school made it that way so people would eat less and study more. He saw Susan sitting at her usual spot, close to the Coca Cola Refrigerator, wearing one of her favorite polka dot gowns. She was talking on the phone, and she sounded really pissed.
“Hey Mark! How are you doing?” A familiar voice called out from behind him. He reluctantly turned around.
“I’m fine Abigail, how are you doing?” Abigail had been trying to get Mark to attend her church fellowship for a while now, and she just wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. She went on and on as usual, telling Mark how good things would become once he gave his life to Christ and started attending church regularly. When Mark noticed she wasn’t going to let him go easy this time, he decided to give in, and promised to attend her Church. A big smile appeared on her chubby face. She took down Mark’s phone number, and gave him about half a dozen Christian tracts. He collected them, slipped them in his right pocket.
Susan had just finished answering a call and was putting her phone in her purse as he approached her. She looked at him, hissed, picked up her purse and walked passed him. He pulled her back by the arm, and was about to apologize, but the look on her face made him let her go. Mark knew what his girlfriend was capable of doing when angry, and this was definitely not a good place for them to settle their drama. He leaned on the Coca-Cola refrigerator and pondered what to do next. He brought out the tracks Abigail had given him, and looked to make sure she was not looking in his direction before putting them on a chair next to him. Someone that needed it more than him would find them, he had thought to himself. Just then, another girl walked up to him, with a look on her face like he was supposed to do something. He stared at the bald headed girl, wondering where he knew her from. “Hello!!! I need to get a bottle of Coke, duh!” she finally said.
“Oh! Im so sorry”, Mark said, and moved out of the way.
He walked out of the cafeteria, but this time stood by the entrance. The view was another spectacle, and he could see the whole hostel area from that elevation. He looked towards the brown multiple storey building by the chapel, and wondered if he could spot the girl he had met earlier from the tiny dots of movements he could see from where he stood. His eyes hurt from focusing too long, so he stretched to relax. Whilst yawning uncontrollably, he felt something when he slipped his hand into his left pockets. He at first thought it had to be one of the tracts, but when he got it out from his pocket, he found out it was a sticky note with something scribbled on it. Just then, he noticed someone approaching him from his right side.
“Who was that girl you were talking to!!?” Susan barked out as she stood inches from his face.
“What?” He said, and quickly put the paper back in his pocket.
“I saw you talking to a girl; didn’t I? Who is she?”
“Abigail?” Mark replied, and laughed. “That’s the girl from my department, she…come on! You can’t possibly be getting mad over me talking to Abigail?”
“What are you talking about? I saw you…”She stopped mid-sentence as she was hyperventilating now. Mark stopped to think for a second, and realized who Susan was referring to, but he didn’t know how he was going to explain that situation to her. “Mark!” She shouted out.
“Hey! I’m sorry. I actually thought you were talking about Abigail.” Mark finished his sentence with a chuckle, and started walking towards his girlfriend. She put up a hand, and Mark knew what that meant, so he stopped approaching.
“So, who is she?”
“Susan, technically speaking, I don’t know her.”
“What are you talking about?” She said with a low menacing voice.
“Some guys were going to beat her up; she just used me for protection or something.”
Susan squeezed her face, and looked into space. “Susan, I swear, I don’t know the girl.”
“Call me when you get your facts right.” She said, and angrily walked out on Mark for a second time that day. He leaned on the barricade outside the cafeteria and watched her walk downhill. When she got to leveled ground, she looked up towards him and shook her head before walking off. Mark sighed, and reached into his pants pocket for his phone. His heart skipped a beat when he discovered his phone wasn’t there. He checked his pockets again and again, and then he pulled out the small sticky note he had noticed earlier. ‘Helen- 0802-7794635’ was written on it. Just then, it hit him.
Room number 006 was pasted on the door of the last room on the corner to the right, on the long dormitory corridor. He knocked on the door three times just as the girl had instructed him to do when they spoke on the phone. After a couple of seconds, he heard the door being unlocked from inside, but no one came forward. He looked to his right; there were girls going back and forth and all had strange stares on their faces. He was thinking of turning around and quietly walking away, but his phone really meant a lot to him. The girl was sitting on a neatly made bed, typing on her laptop as he walked into the room. She didn’t look up at him, so he just stood there in the middle of the room, wondering if he had walked into a trap. She finally looked up to him, “relax; take a seat.” she said and patted a portion of the bed. She had an Aiwa sound system opposite the bed, playing jazz music at a low volume. He looked at it as he sat on the bed as it reminded him of the one that had been in his Dad’s room when he was a teenager; it was an exact replica. He remembered always sneaking into his Dad’s room to play his favorite Hip Hop music on the player back in the day.
From the corner of his eyes, he noticed the girl had been staring at him, so he nervously sat upright. The strange thing was that she didn’t avert her eyes when he caught her staring, such that it made Mark uncomfortable.
“Can I just have my phone and be on my way.” Mark said. He had heard crazy stories of h---y University girls ganging up to rape boys, and he wondered if this was her plan. ‘She can’t rape me here’, he thought to himself. When looked at her again, he saw something in her eyes he couldn’t describe. It wasn’t desire; it was more like joy, and it left Mark confused. “Angela, I would really appreciate it if you would just hand over my phone, please.”
A frown appeared on the girl’s face, which was quickly replaced by a smile. She reached under her pillow and pulled out Mark’s Xperia X10.
“My name is Helen, not Angela.” She said as she handed Mark his phone.
“So sorry” he said.
“Those guys earlier were going to give you a real beating.” she said. Mark froze, and his attention shifted from the screen of his phone back to her.
“What are you talking about?” He asked looking all puzzled.
“I’m sure you’ve heard of the Dalmatians.”
“Well…I have heard a little about them” he replied.
“Those were their pimps.” she said in a most confident manner. “You must have offended one of the Dalmatians.”
“I don’t understand all you are talking about. I’ll be on my way if you don’t mind.” Mark said and started heading towards the door.
“Mark, wait.” She said in the softest pitch of her husky voice, and rushed to block him from leaving the room. Mark stood there stunned.
“How do you know my name? I don’t remember telling you.” Mark said, looking straight at her for answers.
“Mark; who knew you would be passing through that road path earlier today?” she asked, ignoring his question.
“No one; I was going to meet my girlfriend.”
“Okay then, your girlfriend knew. What’s her name?”
“You are kidding, right?” Mark said with a little laugh. “Are you trying to tell me my girlfriend set me up? That she’s in some sort of cult?” Mark stood there, shaking his head. “Why should I believe any of this bull crap?”
“Because…” she stopped mid sentence and headed over to the Aiwa. She bent down, and turned up the volume a few notches. She removed the scarf on her head as she walked to where he was standing. He stood there, staring at her lovely black hair, which fell down to her waist. “Mark, I’m the head of the Black Amazon cult. I know everything that happens on this campus before it does. Mark got weak in his knees and held on to the door handle for support. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing yet.
“So…what’s your girlfriend’s name?”
“Susan Jones.” Mark said, reluctantly.
Helen smiled before talking. “Mark, your girlfriend is one of the Dalmatians.”
“That’s impossible. Susan?’’ Mark said and laughed. “Your story is ludicrous.”
“Why? Because you think you know her?” Helen said, looking into Mark’s eyes. “Why do you think she wears all those white Polka dot dresses? You think she’s a big Disney fan?”
Mark was confused now. “How did you know that? How do you know…?”
“Don’t be naïve.” She said, cutting him off. “That’s how they identify themselves.”
Mark was lost in thought now. He was thinking of any incidence in the past that would give him a reason to believe that Susan was really a member of that cult, but he couldn’t find any. He looked up at the mystery girl again, and asides from the weird way she always looked at him, there was something else about her he couldn’t place. He had a feeling he had met the girl before, or seen her at a party recently. He went back to the thought of Susan being an actual cult member, and he just couldn’t come to terms with it. Even if she was in a cult, he couldn’t think of any reason why Susan would get guys to beat him up.
“They believe in Earthly punishment to ill-treatment of the vulnerable. You must have done something to offend Susan.”
Mark thought about the party he went to last Saturday, and he remembered getting drunk and having sex with Alicia Johnson in his car. But he didn’t think Susan would have found out about that. Besides, everyone lies about having slept with Alicia Johnson, because of how loose she was, so it would be hard for Susan to believe any rumors of him sleeping with her, he thought to himself. “But Susan would never do that to me.” Mark said out loud.
“She would be going against their laws, and there are consequences for that.”
Mark’s face was screwed up as he looked up at her. “Why did you help me?” It got Helen off guard, and she became speechless. After a couple of seconds of silence, Mark walked out of the room.
He saw his dad driving the Jaguar out as he drove into their street. He waved at Mark, and Mark bowed his head in greeting. He had been looking at his Dad differently lately, ever since he caught him at a park close to his school with another woman. He wasn’t mad at the fact that his dad was seeing another woman; he was just double pissed because she was a very much younger woman. He had watched them from afar for about half an hour, and they hadn’t spoken much, but as they held hands, he could see there was a lot of passion in their eyes.
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Thursday, April 11, 2019

The great Sade of All time(emotional story)

Sade opened her eyes which had been shot firmed for some minutes ago, she was relaxed, happiness filled her lungs, the atmosphere and countenance of people around confirms her prayers had been answered; she smiled satisfactorily. The priest ordered the congregation to have their seat. Sade sat amidst her choir team; indeed her prayers had been answered. She remembered what the good Lord said in the Holy Book that ‘when ye pray, believe it is answered’ she smiled again. Ronke saw the happiness that was written all over her friends, off course, she was seated beside her looking big in their choristers’ gown. She teased Sade, using her shoulder to hit her; that was when Sade’s gaze came back from its long viewing of Bola, the handsome guy who just joined the church some weeks back, in his early 30’s, he was alarmed and gait. Sade felt some genuine love for him on her first sight of him some weeks back, 3 weeks to be precise. Sade almost fell from her heels that faithful day when Bola was called out by the priest as among the first timers. He was charming. Her smiling and prayers this day had been for Bola just to like her because she was schooling her mind to approach the young man; of course she’s old enough to be married she’s 27 and also a working class lady all she prays for today was just for Bola to accept her and not see her as ‘cheap’.
“Sade this one you’re smiling this morning any good news?” Ronke had asked. Sade, again this time looking at the big picture of our Lord Jesus hanged on the wall of the gigantic church, she smiled again, she said “Ronke, just help me pray to him’ pointing her fingers to the picture of the good Lord ‘that my prayers should be answered, if it be so, there’s a reason to celebrate Ore mi”. Ronke found her words funny; she giggled not wanting to laugh loud. They were forced to stand at It was the turn of the choir for the next activity.
The service had barely ended after the grace had been said, Sade, quickly rushed inside the dressing-room to pull off her garment, she puts on her head tie ‘gele’, a little bit of make-up and rushed outside the church gate where her good friend Mummy Assam was selling snacks and drinks to exhausted passersby and members. Her gaze was fixed on the church’s main gate monitoring every human movement in and out of the entrance. Her heartbeat raced more as Bola’s steps were approaching her, he was clad in slim ironed white shirt and a black tuxedo trouser, and he looks perfect. Sade said the Lord’s Prayer before moving to his direction. She re-adjusted her blows and straightens her blue lace skirt lowering above her knees. Bola about to open his car’s door heard a sweet melodious voice gently called his name from behind “Mr. Bola” she called smoothly with a sheepish smile written over her face. ‘God he’s d--n handsome’ she concluded inwardly and pray he worth being a husband material “Hi, Hello” bola replied with a smile ‘yes! Thank God he smiled’ she said inwardly. “Hi, I’m Sade” she said stretching her hands. Bola took it to his for couple of seconds before releasing her hand. “You’re welcome Sade, am Bola” his voice not as jaw-breaking as she had expected, but his handsomeness has covered that up. “Nice meeting you, sorry, where are you headed I don’t mind a drop” she said with all boldness and seriousness. “The third avenue, your route?” he asked. The third avenue wasn’t her route but she needed that more moment with him “yes, my route please” they hoped in and drove off.
“Ah….. Mmm… Mr.… Bola” she said stammering. “Bola is nice, please, skip the Mr.” Bola said sarcastically. Sade smiled, she glanced at Bola whose gaze were fixed on the steering, he was sit tight on the wheels, his face beaming with smile. Sade, to him appears to be lively and fun to be with. She said some Lord’s Prayer before finally breaking out her everlasting words “Ahm… since the first day…” she breaks. ‘That’s not what I should talk about now’ she cautioned inwardly. “Ehn.. You want to say something?” Bola asked with all seriousness. Sade looked away ignoring his gaze, she wondered why she’s curious to say those words; this is what she had been praying for for weeks. “Yes, sorry, if I may ask, where do you stay?” she asked expectantly. “A Street on the third avenue”. “Hmmm” “and what about you?’ “Am keeping it” Bola laughed out loud, he’d never come across a lady like Sade before, she just full of fun. Bola turned the wheels to the right hand side of the road and almost ran to a car parked at the side of the drive way. “Gently” Sade tenderly warned. “Thanks mam” “hmm, skip the mam” they both smiled. ‘God what else should I say’ she asked rhetorically inwardly. “Sorry, can I” they both said at once, looking tenderly at each other for seconds before Sade swiftly move her gaze away. “Ham… You want to say something?” Bola asked sheepishly. “No, you also want to say something?” “No No”. silent filled the car for some seconds before Sade breaks the boredom. “I’ll soon be dropping now please can I have your card” Sade asked, forgetful that a lady don’t ask a guy for such. Bola opened his car drawers and brought out a piece out of the hundreds of wads of cards and handed it over to her. “Hmm” she intones after fixing her gaze tenderly on the card. “Anything the issue?” Bola asked sarcastically “No No, I… just felt people like you shouldn’t be a doctor, what fits you is the job of a comedian” laughter filled the atmosphere. “Really? And I never thought that way even though most people tells me so” “sorry, I will be dropping at the next junction, I have some stuff to buy” “hmm, alright” Sade Sang some hymns inwardly; Lord Jesus had answered her prayers. The long awaited lucky guy seems to have finally arrived, she was grateful. Bola halt the car at the junction he was told. Sade dropped and waved goodbye to him, Bola smiled back to her and wave some goodbyes hand to her before droving off.
A month had barely passed after their conjunction. It took Bola less than 96hours to found a new wife-to-be after many attempts on some losers. His life had found new meaning in Sade; he had found love, joy, happiness, peace and victory. Job had not been a problem for him; he’s well employed as a resident doctor at St’ Barnabas international hospital in the Lekki area of Lagos. Life had been moving well for him, his mother had told him millions of time to bring home a wife; he’s 32 and time is no more on his side. Finally his Mum could smile, Sade, he knew is the right person, the right mind and the right attitude. Sade is also a working class and God fearing Lady In her late 20’s, he had concluded in his heart that they are perfect-match for each other.
This Saturday, Bola had informed his mother that he has something special as a surprise for her. Sade had dressed smartly bringing about a well trained lady from home, she’d come very early this day because Bola had propose to drive them to his mother’s house. They’ve both gotten intoxicated with happiness; Sade had prayed all night long, she knew the good lord she serves will not let her down. “Shall we?” Bola asked with a broad smile waving his hands to the direction of the door. “Yes we can” Sade replied with that sigh of relief.
They had drove into the gigantic building, the gateman, whose smiles increased on seeing bola gave hundreds of greetings on their arrival, Bola had wriggled some naira notes in his hands and the later had said “Eh shey oh Oga, anty welcome oh” Sade had waved at him, naturally loving his genuinely. The maid had informed them that Bola’s mother will join them soon; Sade took the opportunity to say the Lord’s Prayer. The maid had asked Sade why she’s not taking her drink, when Bola had already gulped half of his flute. “Thanks, anty, I’m fine” Sade had said. The young maid smiled letting her know playfully that she is not ‘anty’. The later descending from the stairs looks African-natural-woman, in her early 60s; her first gaze on Sade ignited some inbuilt smile. Sade quickly rushed on her kneels greeting the old lady; she had raised her up in a warm embrace. Bola, greeted his mum, she had raised some praises on him, the ones that makes ones head swell like a yeast added to a dough, “welcome my dear, pele, Bola bawo ni?” “Am fine mum” he had said smiling changing his seat by seating at his mum’s side. The mother, who wouldn’t hide her happiness had hit the nails on the head, looking at Bola frantically; she had playfully teased him “Abi….” She had said dragging the word and stylishly looking at Bola’s eyes for the right answer. “Yes mum” Bola had replied, Sade out of shyness bends her heads smiling. “Come come come my dear, ah, come and sit beside me. Pele omo gidi” she praised Sade; Sade had this smile of a villager who had just been given a visa to travel to the U.S. “what’s the name oko mi?” “Anuoluwapo Afolasade ma” shyly she had replied “oh that’s a good name, which state are you from my dear?” she asked this time anxiously waiting for her response. “Ogun state ma, an indigene of odogbolu ma” “aah, tige tige” laughter and smile had lit up the atmosphere, Bola was just smiling all through, now his worries are over, the days of the losers are over. “What’s your profession my dear?” “Am a college teacher ma, currently teaching English language” “oh that’s lovely my dear, Pele, mummy ati daddy nko?” “They are fine ma, they are both doing well” “that’s good, Wo, oko mi, no need to long to see them, our meeting day will come soon like a groom waiting anxiously to pluck the virginity of his newly wedded virgin wife” they all smiled heartily. Sade had used the medium to prepare a sumptuous meal for her mother-in-law-to-be deliberately showing off her skill of a well trained lady.
Three weeks ago, the Anuoluwapos and the akanbis had met together in what is called “mo mi’n mo e” in Yoruba language; simply “introduction In English. The day had been eventful, the akanbis had come in packed house, except Mr. Akanbi senior, Bola’s dad whom death had summoned to his maker some donkey years ago. Bola’s families were all happy for him. The event was meant to be family to family event; friends, colleagues and foes of the duo had attended to grace the little event. Bola and family were accepted by the Anuoluwapos. Sade’s father had proudly told her daughter after the event had ended in their living room with much joy in his heart “Sade, you have brought joy to this family, we are so proud of you.” She had smiled and thanked her father; the mother also took her time to rain showers of blessings on her. The day had been a remarkable one in both Sade and Bola’s life.
Sade had been the trending topic at church, work place and every surrounding she found herself. Their wedding day is getting closer; she had been nervous all through these days. Her school’s proprietress, a woman, in her late 60s had encouraged her about the new-life-journey she’s about to embark on. “Waiting days will soon be over for you, shade” she had immensely told her “I pray the cap will fit you perfectly well” “Blissful days are reproaching, Sade, soon, you will pick this new cap. You will wear the cap. And by the grace of God, the cap will fit you well, Sade” Sade had been so grateful to the old lady thanking her profusely for words of courage and advice. Colleagues of Sade at work and friends were all waiting for this day to come. It’s been a blessing for her; getting married at 28 she was grateful to God, her prayers had been answered.
* * * * * * * * * *
Tomorrow is the day, the day Sade had been waiting for, and she had called Bola thousands of times today. She had been given a month break at work. Gentle breeze had rested on her beautiful baby-face bringing that sheepish smile like that of an Ega bird. The brides’ maids had come so early to Sade’s house to mend and tend her beauty for tomorrow. Text messages of all such had beeped on her phone giving her smile whenever she read them.
Bola had been boastful to his friends in their get-together last night. Laughter, songs, and merriments had flown between the folks. Bola was appreciative to his group of friends; the married ones among them had called him ‘Man’ and had in advance welcomed him to their league.
At church, the previous day, the about to wed couples had received a warm party from the youths of the church. Items of all such had been given to them in a humorous act dancing round them from toothpaste, to soaps, to turning stick and all wares of items had been joyfully given to them. In the choir, Sade had been shown love; prayers for a successful married life had been prayed for her. Ronke had teased her, she had told her that now her prayers had been answered and this is the time to celebrate.
* * * *
Interior decoration of the church had brought the atmosphere to the topmost. The big portrait of the sweet lord that hung on the bare wall of the church had brought the church to the imaginative of how beautiful heaven is. The congregation had been packed full of peoples in different native attires, the ushers had dressed gorgeously for this day. Laughter, giggles and murmuring had fill the auditorium. At the front of the podium were two huge-beautiful sofa chairs the one which were mostly decorated for kings but these were decorated for Bola and Sade.
The atmosphere had picked to its utmost when Bola and Sade had danced to the front seat. Sprinkles of strawberry hibiscus leafs had been sprinkled on them, songs and applaud and dances had been used to welcome them. When it was time for the couples to say ‘I Do’ the whole congregation had stood at attention listening carefully like one who’s expecting a call for a credit alert. “I DO” had been shared by the couples; Bola had gently slotted the golden ring into his wife’s finger like a hunter waiting patiently to target a glaring antelope. Showers of blessing had been rained on the couples. Gift items had been dropped; it was a perfect experience for the couples. Sade had dragged her husband to the dance floor; the sound dispensing from the speaker had brought rhythmic melody to the heart of the couples. Sade had been intoxicated with dance swinging her youthful waist all over her husbands’.
The couples had been escorted to the car that is to take them home, everyone had waved at them from friends, families, colleagues and the invitees; the local drummers with their gan-gan had drummed to their strength. Tears of joy dropped from Sade’s warm face as she waved goodbye at last to her parents and siblings. Now it is time for her to start her own blissful life, she had picked this cap and there are signs that this is a perfect one; Bola had tenderly told her this night holding her warm-tender skin lightly into her ears. “This is a beautiful thing”.
The End.
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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

i love my girlfriend(episode 4)

I went through all the emotions possible, after the incident with Tonye…
Journeying back to Abuja, I was heartbroken like I had never been before…ever. The finality of the end of whatever there was between Tonye and I, broke my heart. It was as if the last year hadn’t happened, and all the progress I had made getting over him had been destroyed…just like that. I realized that my consolation that past year had been that I was sure that, if it hadn’t been for Juliet and her (what I now realized was a phantom) pregnancy, Tonye would have been with me. But after what had just happened, even with Juliet out of the picture, he had rejected me…
After hiding away in my bedroom for a few days, the next emotion I went through was numbness. I switched to autopilot mode and performed my tasks with mechanical accuracy, not entertaining any thoughts about Tonye, or anything that had to do with him. It was over, it was over…and I just had to deal with it. There was no use lying in bed all day, crying myself to sleep, when I could be out there doing something with my life! So I pushed it to the farthest part of my mind, and decided to focus on my work and philanthropic interests.
But by the time Christmas came by, my numbness gave way to an anger so intense, it scared me. I hated Tonye for his rejection…but I hated myself more for putting myself in that position. I hated myself for giving my heart away. I hated myself for not resisting the gravitational pull that had led me to Tonye…that had placed my heart firmly in his hand, for him to do with it as he pleased. I hated myself for making myself an object of his humiliation. I hated myself for loving him. I hated myself for putting myself in that kind of situation time, and time, and time again! I hated myself for always choosing men who didn’t give a damn about me!
So I got rid of anything that reminded me of him. Letters, books, CDs…if it had the potential of reminding me of the man I no longer wanted to remember, off it went. And it worked…albeit only during the day. In the daytime, my anger was enough of a companion for me, giving me the strength to banish all thoughts of Tonye out of my mind. But at night, when it was just me, lying on my bed, staring into the night, there was no amount of anger in the world that could stop the pain I felt.
But as the year 2014 rolled in, I decided that enough was enough. I was going to turn 40 that year. Four good Forty! And I made up my mind not to carry all the baggage and mess from my 20s and 30s into this new decade of mine. I’d had more than enough drama to last me a lifetime. Now, it was time to put me first, and run far away from anyone who tried to hurt me.
Thankfully, God had great plans for me, and as the year progressed, so did my business. My client base grew to the point where I had to hire more hands, and before I knew it, I was too swamped with work, too busy building my empire to even spare Tonye any mind. And when thoughts of him tried to sneak into bed with me at night, they were quickly banished to the purgatory in which they belonged.
Soon, it was August, and time for my big 4-0! Even though I was excited about it, I found myself growing increasingly irritated by how everyone around me felt it was such a big deal! My parents, all the way from Ihiala, were planning a huge Thanksgiving Mass followed by a party, my siblings abroad were in support of my parents’ plans and were even making their own travel plans, my employees were chomping at the bit to throw me a ‘party like no other’, even my Church Members were not left out of the mix! When all I wanted to do was to be by myself and reflect.
So I decided to just run away.
Two weeks to my birthday, I took off! After sending apologetic text messages to my parents (to cancel their party plans) and my siblings (to cancel their travel plans), I got on the plane and headed to Malaysia. I had always wanted to visit South East Asia, and figured there was no time better for it. I didn’t want to go to some beach somewhere, and feel sorry for myself. I wanted to be happy…with me and for me! So, for two weeks, I was your quintessential tourist in Malaysia, exploring all the country’s amazing sights and sounds; from the Genting Highlands, to the amazing food island of Penang, to the gorgeous beaches in Langkawi, not to mention the fantastic shopping attractions in Kuala Lumpur, I had the time of my life. And on my 40 th birthday, as I sat in a restaurant overlooking the most picturesque lake, I blew out the lone candle on the cupcake I had ordered, and wished myself a very happy birthday. I felt bad about disconnecting my lines, and denying those who loved me the chance to wish me well, but the truth was, on that day, all I wanted was to just be me!
A few days after, I returned home, and it was almost like I needn’t have bothered running away! The party my employees were planning still happened, and my Church members still went ballistic over my milestone birthday. But as much as I wanted to complain about all the attention, I was actually grateful for it. I had people who loved me…and it wasn’t something I was going to take for granted.
In October, my brother, Tobenna, turned 50, and unlike me, wanted to have the mother of all parties to celebrate it. Tobenna had recently relocated with his family from London to Vancouver, Canada, but that wasn’t going to stop him, or any of my siblings for that matter, from having the party of their lives. And that’s how all roads (or should I say skies) led to Canada for my big brother’s big birthday. Our parents opted out of the long haul flight, and were pacified by the assurance of a double Thanksgiving party in December, when we would all be in the village for Christmas, celebrating both my and Tobenna’s milestone birthdays.
I got to Vancouver on the 14 th of October, a Tuesday, a few days before Tobenna’s party on Saturday, the 18th . By Thursday, my other siblings had arrived from their various locations, alongside their spouses, and it felt so good catching up. Yes, it hurt that I was the only unmarried one, but being in the company of these strapping men, who loved me more than life itself, made up for any insecurities I had about being there alone.
On Friday, the 17 th , two clear months after my own birthday, and a day before the big party we were all there for, my siblings decided to throw me a surprise ‘birthday’ party.
“You guys! How can you be throwing me a party when I am almost 41!” I laughed, after recovering from the shock of the surprise. “In a couple of months, we will be in a new year oh!”
“I’m sure you were there thinking you could escape us!” my brother, Buchi, had joked. “How can our baby sister be turning 40, and she’ll go and hide under a rock in the middle of nowhere?! You know we weren’t going to let that happen!”
I looked around at the people gathered in the living room; my siblings, sisters-in-laws, and a few of Tobenna’s friends, and I was actually emotional by the display of love and affection. It was a small living room gathering, but it was more than enough to make me feel like the most special woman on earth.
“Make a wish before you blow your candles!” Ugo, Eloka’s wife, chimed.
I smiled to myself, and shut my eyes before blowing out all the candles. Make a wish indeed! I no longer believed in that kind of foolery. Love and happy-ever-afters were pure make believe.
Once I was done blowing the candles, I opened my eyes and the smile on my face froze when I saw who stood before me.
“Happy birthday, Chets!” said Tonye, anxiety and nervousness mirrored all over his face.
I looked around at my siblings, all looking at me eagerly and with bated breath, while the other guests also looking on, probably wondering what was happening…and I felt the anger in me boil.
“What’s this?” I retorted, to nobody in particular, before turning to Tonye. “What are you doing here?”
He cleared his throat. “I wanted to wish you a happy…”
“It’s not even my birthday!” I snapped, cutting him short.
“Cheta, cool down…” Ebere, one of my sister-in-law’s said. “He has traveled a long way. At least be nice…”
“You came all the way from Nigeria just for your girl’s birthday?” one of Tobenna’s Caucasian friends said. “Wow! She must be truly something!”
“She’s not truly something.” Tonye responded, not taking his eyes off me. “She’s everything.”
From the look on all the faces, he had clearly won them over with that line. But for me, it was all a load of crap. All I could hear were his words from the year before, calling his love for me toxic. Toxic indeed!
I rose to my feet, hissed, and stormed upstairs. The cheek of my family trying to pull off something like that! And the nerve of Tonye, showing up here after what he did to me! What did they all think I was? A button that could be switched off and on at whim? Well, they were all in for a rethink, as I was hell bent on not carrying baggage into this wonderful new decade of mine!
Getting to the guest room, I was once again angry at the No Key policy in Tobenna’s house, which didn’t allow me just lock myself in the room. But lying on the bed, I was surprised that nobody even followed me. Nobody came charging after me. Nobody came barging into the room to talk to me. Instead, from the voices I heard downstairs, the party had moved to the garden, which was already set up in anticipation of Tobenna’s birthday party the next day.
So I sat in the room, sulking. One hour turned to two, and I was still wasting away in the guest room, while everyone else had a good time at what was supposed to be my ‘birthday’ party. Just as I was about to give up and retire to bed, Tobenna walked into the room.
“You’re missing a great party!” he teased, sitting on the bed.
“Who invited him?” I asked.
“I did.” Tobenna answered. “I thought it would be a great gift to you…Clearly, I was wrong.”
“You don’t make decisions for people like that!” I snapped. “I’m 40 years old, for crying out loud! When are you guys going to quit thinking you can help me live my life?!”
Tobenna smiled, and I could see the wisdom of his 50 years of age, as he contemplated his next words.
“First of all, nobody is trying to help you live your life.” he answered calmly. “Tonye got in touch with me a few months ago…June, to be precise. He told me about what happened between you the last time you saw. He also told me that he was still in love with you, and wanted to reach out to you but didn’t know how. I told him to be patient until your birthday, but when you decided to disappear to Malaysia, that plan couldn’t work…”
“So is he the main reason you’re having this party for me? To set the mood and tone for Tonye and I to reconnect? I’m sorry to disappoint you, but that is never, ever going to happen!” I muttered, still angry.
Tobenna was quiet for a while, and we both sat in silence on the bead, the only sound coming from the music downstairs.
“When I first met Ego, I thought she was too good for me…” he mused, breaking the silence. “I was scared by the intensity of my feelings for her. I hated the fact that I wasn’t ‘in control’ when I was with her, and that she had me wrapped around her little finger. So, I can relate with Tonye.” he smiled, as he remembered his own past. “Don’t you remember how long it took for me to finally marry her? It wasn’t until we’d been together 10 years, that I realized that being in control of my emotions was not worth my losing the love of my life!”
I kept on looking ahead, understanding his analogy, but choosing to ignore it.
“Cheta…even as far back 2007, when he was running up and down like a headless chicken, trying to get you out of Police Custody…I knew it wasn’t just neighbourly love. It was obvious to me, 7 good years ago, that love was his driving force. The man is in love with you.”
“Tobenna, please don’t get me upset. I came all this way just to celebrate with you. Please don’t make me regret it!” I snapped. “What kind of love is that? A year ago, I bared myself to him. I exposed myself like a fool…literally begging. But all he did was shun me and send me away!”
“I need you to step out of that selfish little box you’ve created for yourself.” Tobenna scolded, in that mellow voice of his that, if you didn’t know him well, you would never hear the hidden jabs that usually came with it. “Step out of it, and look at things from his perspective. He was there when you were with Tersur. He was there when you were pining for Atoo. And, from what I hear, he was there when you were cavorting with all kinds of different men. You must really fancy yourself the fairest in the land, thinking he would just jump straight into your arms like that!”
“He got engaged himself, or have you forgotten?” I demanded.
“But that engagement ended because of you.” Tobenna answered. “You know yourself that he was still in love with you, even if he was engaged to another.”
“Well, that engagement ended…and you know what he did to me, when I tried to enter his life last year? He shut me down! He called our union toxic!”
“Chets, I’m not here to tell you the hows, the whys, or the whats! All I know is that there is a man downstairs, who loves you very much. A man who flew halfway across the world for you.” Tobenna rose too his feet. “If you’re not moved by that, feel free to fall asleep. But if you are…if by any chance you are, you know what to do….”
Long after Tobenna had left the room, I sat there thinking. I thought about the friendship Tonye and I shared…and how, somehow, love had happened for us. I realized, for the first time, how truly difficult it must have been for him, having a front row seat to all my mistakes, to all my promiscuities, to all the men that had walked in and out of my life. I had only been a spectator with one person, Juliet. Tonye, on the other hand, had witnessed as I gave my love to Tersur, Atoo, Eyitemi and Farouk.
And then, I understood.
I rose to my feet and walked down the stairs. The house had emptied, and the only people that remained in the garden outside, were my siblings, their partners, and a few of Tobenna’s friends. Walking into the garden, I noticed Tonye still sitting in a corner, without nary a word to anyone. There was an empty chair next to him, so I took it…
And we both sat in silence, staring straight ahead and not looking at each other.
“Why are you really here, Tonye?” I asked, after a while.
“To tell you that I was an idiot for letting you go…and that I love with my whole heart, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you…”
“You said our love was toxic. You said your love for Nengi was a better and more stable love…”
“Overwhelming? Yes! Intoxicating? Very! But not toxic. There is nothing toxic about what I feel for you, Chets.” still staring ahead, his hand covered my own hand, and as our fingers intertwined, I felt all my anger and reservations fall away like autumn leaves from a tree. “I miss you, Cheta. I miss your voice…I miss your laugher…I miss your stories. I miss your constant indecision of what to eat…every single day of the week. I miss seeing that crinkle on top of your nose when we’re gisting and you suspect I’m exaggerating. I miss that after I spend the day with you, I still smell your perfume on my clothes. I miss you being the last and first person I talk to every day. I miss you, Cheta.”
This time, I looked at him, and he looked at me, and it was like our hearts took over the conversation through our eyes.
“I’m complicated. I’m an emotional mess…you know that yourself…” I said, my voice uncertain.
“The you…the beautiful you that you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, last year, the year before…and the you that I will be in love with tomorrow.” was his beautiful response.
“Even as flawed and imperfect as I am?” I asked.
“Cheta…to me…you are perfect.” he answered.
I chuckled. “All this toasting, Tonye…”
He chuckled as well, and I placed my head on his shoulder. We sat there in silence, listening as Tobenna’s music switched from fast tempo hip hop, to more mellow songs. Soon, Blackstreet’s Let’s Stay In Love started playing.
Listening to Teddy Riley’s intro, it was almost like the song had been written specially for us.
Listen, I know we have our ups and downs
Our fights, our good times, and our bad times
But through it all
Nothing compares to the way I love you girl
So baby, let’s stay in love
Let’s stay in love
Tonye chuckled again. “You think Tobenna is playing this song on purpose?”
I laughed, as I looked across the garden at my brother, and other siblings, all of whom were pretending not to watch us. “I’m almost certain of it.”
“What would have happened if it he’d chosen our infamous Dru Hill song instead” Tonye teased.
“That song you made me hate after I tried to seduce you with it last year!” I chuckled back, remembering the incident from the year before.
“Well, I lied that day about hating it. I’ve listened to it almost everyday since that time we…you know…” he shrugged “It always gives me a strong memory of you. Chets, we might not be perfect human beings…but I know we can make each other whole…”
And my heart melted to butter.
Looking up at him, our lips met…and every reservation, resentment, anger, fury, rage, anxiety, sadness, disappointment that I had disappeared like doves released into the wild. Kissing him, I knew there was nowhere and nobody I’d rather be with…
“Dance with me…” he said, rising to his feet and taking my hand.
As we danced, Tonye sang along to the beautiful lyrics of the song. “Lady…I never knew a love before you. And then you came and made it clear view. And I wanna thank heaven above for placing you beside me…You’re the queen of hearts in my world…I’ll be the king of hearts to you girl. With our love, we can conquer anything…”
I looked up at him, and he kissed the bridge of my nose.
“You’re the one, Chets.” he said. “It’s always been you. Always!”
And at that moment, at that very moment, I knew I had finally found my forever love
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the night Ntombi broke his promise

Ntombi, I’m going out.”
“Mama, you can’t. It’s the third time this week and I’ve got …” But before Ntombi could finish her sentence her mother was already giving her a list of things to do while she was at Thabiso’s Tavern.
“There’s some money left for you and Zinzi. Make sure Zinzi does her homework – and don’t let her stay up too late! How do I look?” She did a twirl in the middle of the living room. Ntombi looked at the silver top and new jeans her mother was wearing and her heart sank. They were yet another gift from her mother’s new boyfriend, Zakes. Every time he went out with her mother he gave her something – but there was never enough money left over to buy something for her or her sister. He never had anything for them except for his unwanted ‘words of advice’. Words that made Ntombi want to throw something at him. Cruel, mean, words.
“You girls will never get boyfriends looking like that. Why don’t you do something to your hair? You look like village moegoes. No, what you need is to go to the hairdresser, get some braids.”With what money? thought Ntombi, but she knew if she questioned him out loud, he would get angry and her mother would only take his side. She was forever saying, “Now don’t upset Zakes,” or “He’s only teasing; don’t be so sensitive,” or, even worse: “Maybe you should take his advice. You know he’s a very successful businessman.” And once when she was really mad, she shouted at Ntombi: “He is my boyfriend and you must respect him. His word is law!” Their mother had become a stranger. Ntombi wanted her old mother back.
Even when it was just the three of them it wasn’t the same. Zakes still messed things up between them. “What does he do?” Ntombi asked her mother on one of the few nights that her mother was home these days.
But her mother had looked unsure and started picking at her nail polish. “He’s in business…” she said uncertainly.
“What kind of business?” Ntombi wasn’t going to let her mother off the hook so easily.
“I don’t know. He’s a car dealer, a sales rep.” Her mother sat up on the bed, where they had been lying. “Anyway why all the questions? Are you the police?” Her mood had changed and she was glaring at Ntombi. “All I care about is that he treats me good, and that he’s got a good job. You’ve seen the way he dresses, and the car he drives.”
“Mama, you used to tell me those things didn’t matter. You used to tell me it was what was inside that mattered. You told me you married Dad for love…”
“And look where that got me!” her mother interrupted. “I don’t see him in this room. Do you?” That was the end of the conversation. Her mother had got up and gone through to watch a soapie on TV.
* * *
Ntombi didn’t trust Zakes one bit. He was a fake through and through. And what was worse, she didn’t like the way her mother acted when he was around. Like she was their older sister, competing over guys, rather than their mother who should be looking after them, giving them good advice, and protecting them from men like Zakes.
When her dad left a year ago, just after her fourteenth birthday, her mother was very sad, but at least they still felt like a family. They cuddled up on the couch together and watched
Bold, and laughed and cried together. And then, one day, Mama came home from the rich private school where she worked cooking lunches, and told them she was going out that evening. The kitchen staff at the school had persuaded her to join them at Thabiso’s Tavern and she thought it might be good for her. Ntombi had helped her choose an outfit: a nice denim skirt, just below the knee, a tight black wraparound top with a white denim jacket. And to top it off, some gold earrings. Mama looked great. She had kissed her mother goodbye and wished her luck. Little did she guess that that night her mother would meet Zakes and their lives would be turned upside down again.
Ntombi knew the first time she saw Zakes, with his gold chains and flash smile that didn’t reach his eyes, that he would bring nothing but trouble. Even his car looked like a fake. It had been resprayed and that could mean one of two things: he had been in an accident, or the car was stolen. Things felt wrong when Zakes was in the house. He seemed too big for their small couch, sitting there with his beer, interrupting their conversations with his loud voice. He loved to say things like, “Girls, you are my daughters now. Go fetch another beer for your father.”
“Do as he says,” their mother would add if they hesitated, as she cuddled closer to her new boyfriend. There was no time for Ntombi or Zinzi when Zakes was around.
* * *
“Here.” Her mother handed Ntombi a five rand coin from her new gold bag. She smelled of some strong perfume Zakes had bought her. “Buy yourself some sweets at the shop,” she said as she rushed out, putting on lipstick as she went.
“Mama, I’m meant to be at singing practice. The competition is next week and…” But her mother was already out of the door and in the seat of Zakes’ resprayed BMW with its fluffy dice bouncing from the rearview mirror and couldn’t hear her. All she could do was watch as Zakes reversed with a squeal of tyres, and then they were gone.
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a boring saturday morning(Emotional)

It was a stormy Saturday afternoon. Busi sat alone in her grandmother’s armchair, holding her stomach as if to protect the baby growing inside her. The light was dim as she watched the rain pelting down outside. It had been raining all week and their shack was leaking. The bucket she had placed below the most rusted section of the corrugated-iron roof wasn’t much help. Everything was damp and cold and uncomfortable. The plop … plop … plop … of the water droplets hitting the bucket made it hard to sleep at night; that and the cough that racked her granny’s thin, frail body. Sleepless nights made Busi so tired and depressed that she could hardly concentrate at school and her marks were slipping. If she didn’t make a big effort now, she wouldn’t pass Matric. But somehow the weekends, when her friends were out having fun without her, were even more depressing than weekdays. It was not like they didn’t invite her along. The truth was that when she was with them, surrounded by their laughter and listening to their holiday plans, she felt even worse – like a stranger, even to herself. She knew what she would be doing in her holiday: she would be looking after a baby. Her life was about to change forever, while they would go on being young and carefree. No, it was better to be alone sometimes.
Just then Lettie’s SMS popped into her inbox:
Cum join us. Talkin bout matric
dance plans
Busi quickly replied:
Nxt tym
Then she pressed SEND.
She was going to put the phone down, but she hesitated. Instead she started scrolling through her old messages until she found it: the first ever SMS she had got from Parks:
Hey babe – had the best time –
It was strange to remember the thrill she felt when she first received it, when Parks was still the cool older guy paying her compliments, not the father of her baby. The SMS had popped into her inbox the evening of the day she met him, the day she jumped out of that broken window at school and he drove by in his taxi, Loyiso booming out of the speakers … and she had climbed inside. The beginning of their affair seemed so long ago now.
Her heart still skipped a beat when she read it. But almost instantly she was filled with sadness. Her Sugar Daddy Parks – oh so sweet in those first months – taking her to fancy restaurants, buying her gifts, treating her like a princess. Why had he turned so sour and angry when she fell pregnant – even angrier when she refused to have an abortion?
Now all she had were his old SMSes. She should have deleted them, wiped him out of her life completely – that’s what her girlfriends and Unathi had urged her to do. But she just couldn’t. Not yet, when there might still be a chance. For what? For him to leave his wife?
Lettie had shaken her head. “Never. Give it up, Busi. Why would you want him back, anyway, after how he treated you?”
Even though she knew it would upset her, she made herself read his last SMS. It still made her shudder:
Get rid of the baby. Just do it.
Then silence.
The nice Parks who had loved and spoilt her had disappeared completely. Instead that horrible Parks was out there somewhere, wanting her baby gone. She was alone and vulnerable. If only her mom were here to protect her, not so far away in Jozi. Her granny needed protecting too. There wasn’t even a proper lock on their door. If Parks wanted to get in it would be easy.
Busi looked out at the rain again. She tried to slip her cell phone into the pocket of her jeans, but she couldn’t do it any more, even though they were stretch denim – she was gaining weight by the day. The top button had to be undone now and she had to wear long, loose shirts and tops pulled down to cover the large safety pin that kept the zip from slipping down.
Busi closed her eyes, and leant back her head. She just wanted to escape into sleep, to curl up under a blanket and forget about everything. She was beginning to nod off when the door banged open and icy rain swept in on the winter wind. Seeing her grandmother in the doorway, wrestling with a buckled umbrella and a large bag of groceries, Busi leapt up. Jumping over the puddle at the door, she grabbed the umbrella and held it over her granny while she stepped inside.
“You should have woken me this morning so I could come with you,” said Busi as she shook the umbrella and closed it.
The harsh wind cut into her face.
“Come, shut the door quickly,” said the old lady, tugging on Busi’s arm with her thin, frail hand.
A moment later the women had managed to secure the door shut. They stood facing each other, the young and the old, shaking off the raindrops. Busi shivered. The rain had drenched her in a matter of seconds.
“The shops are far and you need your rest,” said Busi’s granny, putting down the shopping bag and walking slowly towards the armchair.
Busi helped her grandmother out of her navy blue coat and plumped up the cushions as the old lady eased her aching body into the chair. Then she bent down to remove her granny’s sodden shoes from her feet and rubbed them dry with a towel. Her grandmother’s feet were gnarled and small. How could they keep walking the distances they did every day? She looked up at her grandmother with concern. What would I do if Gogo got sick now, or even died, Busi thought anxiously.
“I’ll make you a cup of tea,” said Busi, turning to light the gas and putting on the kettle. She tried to control the wave of fear as she poured out two hot cups of tea and ladled in the five spoonfuls of sugar she knew her granny liked. Her granny was the only person she had right now. What if something happened to her? “Here you are, Gogo,” she said gently, placing the cup on a table nearby. “Thank you, my child,” said her grandmother, taking the hot cup between both her hands to warm them. Then, after a moment, she added, “Have you heard anything more from your mother?”
Busi shook her head. Her mother had promised to come for the birth. But it was right now that she needed her. Her tea tasted bitter, like the disappointment that she felt.
Her grandmother sipped her tea slowly and smiled weakly at her. “You must not worry too much, Busi,” she said softly. “Your mother will come. She will be here when the baby is born.”
Busi looked away, frowning, trying to stop the tears from coming. Even my own mother is not here for me when I need her, she thought angrily.
As if reading her thoughts her grandmother spoke again. “Your mother is my daughter, Busi. And I know her. If she is not here there is a good reason. Perhaps she will lose her job if she comes now. She is strong and good. Just like you are. You will be that kind of mother. Don’t lose hope. She will come.”
Busi stood up. She didn’t want to hear any more. She excused herself, saying that she was tired and wanted to lie down. On her bed, behind her curtain, Busi let the tears roll down her cheeks. She closed her eyes and there was Parks with that smile and that look in his eye that had made her heart beat faster. She remembered the sensation of his firm, warm lips on hers. She remembered the feeling of his hands running over her body, touching her most secret and hidden places.
But then she remembered the nights in the sleazy hotels and that other Parks: the crazy Parks who had screamed at her when he found out she was pregnant, the Parks who had dropped her at the doctor to have an abortion and then driven off, leaving her alone. She could see him smiling down at her, then sneering at her, sharing a joke with his wife about what a silly little girl she was. And when those unwanted thoughts came rushing in, tears came too and Busi let them. She could taste them, bitter and salty on her lips.
“You stupid, stupid girl,” said a voice in her head, over and over again. It was her inner voice, the voice of regret, but it echoed the voice of Parks. It belonged as much to her as to him. Where was he now?
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