It is 7:03pm.
I just walked into the house. I flicked on the lights with my right hand, turned to my left and headed into the hallway. There, I turned on the heater and set my knee brace down in my room.
I wonder where my ring is. I usually wear it on the middle finger of my right hand but I haven’t been able to find it for about two days now.
Sooo… now I am sitting on the floor of my living room. The heater is blowing too loud to my left.
My feet are crossed.
The next words are being typed and here we are.
Something I have enjoyed about writing is it allows me to talk , spill my heart even when my mouth is shut.
Christmas is in a few days and I don’t feel the spirit nor do I feel festive but it will be nice to have a long weekend.
Every year for the last few years, I have sat down and written who and what I have been thankful for.
This year was harder.
I wrote about most of it in my last piece but I think I finally realized what I was thankful for.
By losing so much, I realized how much I gained.
There is a similar feeling I have right now, to the one I had at the end of last year.
So yes, I have told myself, that I let myself down.
But I realized, you don’t have to please anybody but your family and God.
I spent so much time trying to be politically correct and “right” for folks that won’t deserve it.
Also, realizing that you are all you’ve got. At the end of the day, when the chips are down, all you really need is you.
So 2017 is about getting better with self, purpose, art and God.
Focus and channel your strength into all those things.
One thing I realized was that, intentionally or unintentionally, the things I channeled the most effort into are the things I succeeded at this year.
Keep your circle small. Keep your head down. And just be the best you.
Those goals you have lined out for 2017, chase those harder than anything out there.
Pray about them. Chase them. Pursue those goals.
2016, I am thankful for painful lessons.
I tried to love this year. I did.
Infant, I might have loved or at least what felt like it.
Truth is this, if you are not totally ready in 2017 and beyond, stay single. Tattoo it to your forehead and enjoy your time.
If you are not filled up, you will have nothing to give.
Ultimately you will hurt yourself and those you might even have intentions of loving.
Be true to you.
Protect your peace.
Cherish your happiness.
Do your best to show the people you genuinely love AND those that truly LOVE YOU, the best care you can.
Never give up on yourself. Even when others give up on you.
Cry if you have to and then get up.
It is okay to be alone, as long as you are happy and fulfilled.
Stress should be a thing of the past.
Do not deal with folks that hover for chaos.
Let your passions and purpose direct your path.
I know this piece is a bit all over the the place but it’s reflective of my mood right now.
2016. What a bloody wawuuuuu….
Thank you for always reminding me that I have you and I have God.
My mom would always redirect it back to place of safety in Christ. It was so hard to admit to her that I felt like I lost a bit of my way but truly grateful for the unconditional love parents show.
There is a gift of foresight that God has given you. It is amazing.
So many times this year, you could have justifiably said
“Sanmi, I told you” or “I warned you”
I know you sometimes desperately want to but thank you for not.
Thank you for being a listening ear for holding me up. Praying for and with me.
Standing by me even when I have doubted my art, my truth, myself.
You are real one and I pray for a bigger 2017 for you.
It’s already loading anyways. Baba God no dey sleep! But you are still very annoying!
Man, so much of this year, you were everything. The aftermath of the fire.
When I felt depression creeping back in, even when I couldn’t verbalize. The thankless things you did. The morning voice notes of prayer.
When you would fight for me and pull me up.
This one is hard because of where things are now. But I trust God and I trust his word.
I pray for a better 2017 for you. And I pray he truly grants all your hearts desires. And I pray you find love.
And someone that you will feel safe to let go. And someone that will never give up on you.
You are like a silent pillar.
2016, you were a bit scarce. More than you have been in recent years. A lot happened for you too but life in general was a challenge that we overcome. I always feel a sense of warmth and grounding when I talk to you.
We haven’t had one of those “hit your core” talks in a min. Now you ran and went to Nigeria. Useless.
I am happy for you and your love. It reminds me of a time and now inspires me back to a place I once knew.
There is a level of vulnerability that came with meeting you and beginning to know you.
You are truly a gift. Somehow you have your way. The way you challenge me, I don’t get to slouch or have the easy route. I truly appreciate that.
And you steady giving them!
You have brought so much light to my path this year and I pray the same for you in 2017. Thank you so much.
Yoooooooooooooooo. Where would I be without you?
You are just a pleasure in my life. A true definition of a brother.
You make me laugh effortlessly and you ALWAYS put a smile on my face.
Your advice, your humility and your honesty is so refreshing. You are truly one of the good guys.
And I am thankful for you. Like gahhh.. aint gonna cry but I love you bro.
I don’t think you have decided if you want to stay in my life and stop stressing me out or stay and keep stressing me out. Lol
But make up your damn mind!
Me I don tire o.
You were an unlikely confidant, one that I would sometimes even forget to thank but you have been truly amazing. Thank you for all of the times you weren’t fighting me lol
There is an energy you bring. Genuineness in interactions that I admire.
You make people around you feel really good. And that is what I aspire to be always. We met on July 2nd and every interaction I have had with you since then has been positive. You might not even have realized it.
So thank you for your telling mark. It has been a blessing.
And to everyone new that I have met that is becoming more important in my life as the days go by, I appreciate you all. OO, TJ, Pepe, Jua,
For a long time, I spent 2016 trying to feel sorry for the things I lost but I had to become thankful for so much more.
For lessons, perspective, growth and the love of those that matter.
You won’t believe that it can get better but it does.
it really does.
Let thanksgiving never depart from your mouth.
There will be tears of overwhelm and of joy. But amongst all things, give thanks!
There is so much to look forward to in 2017!
I will be back to giving you monthly series. #TheRants will only be more impactful.
The book will finally come out. And that web series is definitely being worked on.
So trust me when I say 2017 is mine. It’s ours.
Its for #TheRants. Its for positive and powerful people.
It is for #WhatTheHeckMan
Check out my weekend offering. I will be releasing a one part story this Saturday. See the flyer below.
Till next time ladies and gentlemen! Bless Up! 7:38pm
Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Christmas Shopping. Annual Evals.
Time to balance the books…
Time to balance the books. It’s a #WhatTheHeckMan audit. So what’s ha’nning?
The end of the year often brings about reflection. Unwanted or preplanned, you find folks taking the time out to recollect and recount the year that has just gone by.
We find boxes to put things in.
Think of it like sorting through a giant box of undated photographs and trying to create albums that you then stuff under your bed or away in the hallway closet.
So here I am reflecting on what the year brought along with it.
Light It Up!
March 6th, 2016.
I remember sitting that evening by the water fountain and repeatedly saying
“The Devil is a liar”
I had a fantastic day that day before that moment. I gave a testimony at church, led worship and felt very lifted to be honest.
The Friday before that, I had gotten a promotion at my job.
I was so happy.
So when majority of my apartment went up in flames, I knew it was the devil trying to steal my joy.
I think I was in shock for the most part. I didn’t cry immediately.
I was in shock.
The following weeks were crazy.
The support and love from some people was amazing. It showed me the kinds of people I had in my corner.
Some were mad at me that they found out about the fire on social media and some were rallying around to support me.
Sleeping out of my house and trying to figure out how much I lost, I learned a lot in that time.
I truly thought I lost everything but something that truly stuck with me was the value in the people I loved.
They stayed close.
So in 2017, I plan to be a better friend and partner in 2017 to those that truly deserve it.
Over the year, I battled.
Trying so hard to hold on to things. Picture walking into the groceries store and only needing one item but you stretch out your arms and fill them up with things you realize that you need.
But what happens now is that you’re carrying a lot, too much sometimes.
How I was in 2016 was like when you get home from the grocery store and you want to only make one trip from the car to the house.
So you are carrying twenty bags like your life depends on it. Your hands are hurting but you gotta only make one trip!
And then you end up in the house and realize you forgot one bag in the trunk! That one bag can be that really good friend that you ignored or forgot about this year.
I have a couple of those.
but this was also the year I said “Fuck Your Friendship” and meant it.
It was the year I got tired of glorified interactions. People you only interact with on a surface level that you give undeserving titles, like friends.
NOT EVERYBODY YOU CALL YOUR FRIEND IS YOUR FRIEND.
It was the year I realized that some people claim to be your friends off past experience.
And not merit.
Respect is earned, given and maintained.
The people that care about you. Shouldn’t have to tell you everyday, but you shouldn’t doubt that they do either.
It was an eye opening year in that regard.
Be wary of friends that only want to talk to you about life when they hear “bad” things about you.
“Oh, I heard this today and I just wanted to come and talk to you first, because you know, you are my friend”
But the last time you spoke was 3weeks ago and it was because they heard something then too. Lol.
Now I’m not saying you have to be babied by your “friends” daily but you yourself, check yourself. If the only time you contacting someone is to talk about bad things, you might need to realign the kind of friend you are.
But if a friendship ends and the person is now out in the street dragging you at every chance they get, you have to tell yourself “Na me fuck up” for thinking you had sense to begin with.
There were some I literally said “fuck you” to, while knowing they were listening in.
Drop dead weight relationships or interactions. Sometimes we hold on to people because we are afraid of what our lives will look like without them but they are not even bringing anything to yours.
Don’t play yourself.
Only keep people that invest in you as often as you do them. No time for credit advance relationships. #TheRants
What a blessing!
To have an outlet to create, explore and just share community with others.
I was/am/will be truly grateful for this year and the depths my show reached.
I bless God.
And I plan to work hard to bring better and bigger shows to those that love and support me. Financial Responsibility
As I write this right now, my checking account is in negative $496.
I was out of work all of November and disability still aint come from post surgery.
So all my bills have hit, money long gone and savings vanished.
Nigeria on the horizon for many and I just dey here they pray.
I don’t say that for sympathy or whatever. Trust me, as much as I have many responsibilities as a first born, I was also financially irresponsible at certain times this year.
So I gotta do better for me and those relying on me.
You don’t realize who and what you are spending your hard earned money on, till the end of the road and you are looking back like what?!
2017, I need to save better and have more residual income.
So if it aint making money, cut ittttttt.
I let God down so much this year.
“As much as it your responsibility to not bring shame to your family name, you shouldn’t bring reproach to God’s name.”
If someone insults God because of who you are, you are somewhat liable.
People are tired of reading the bible. They read you.
So when things go sour, they use you or your life to reflect God.
Someone called me a fake Christian this year. Mutilple times.
Essentially highlight that I displayed certain behaviors that would make God unhappy with me. And they were right.
So we have to be careful.
Even though some of the behaviors involved the person, it was still hugely damning to hear them say you are less of a child of God.
You can sin with an “unbeliever” but when they want to point the finger, you’re the one with a father to answer to.
I didn’t read my bible enough this year.
I was so distracted yo.
Focusing on people and pleasures that didn’t keep me filled.
And I gotta do better.
Starting today and through 2017, I will make a conscious effort to spend more alone time with God. Vibes
I was just telling my cousin how much Mr Eazi has allowed people to over use this word in 2016.
But you truly have to just enjoy vibes. Positive vibes.
Have people with positive energy around them.
You really gotta look at certain people from afar and watch the aura around them.
Even I brought on negative vibes in certain area of my life this year. And I had to check myself.
So surround yourself with positive and optimistic people that want to see you win at all costs.
People that will lift you up.
Do away with glorified “besties” and sometimes allow yourself to just be.
Here are some of the things I learned in 2016
1. It will be okay. As long as God sits on the throne, you will be fine.
2. Be thankful in all things.
3. Letting people go is just the beginning. You will not die
4. Love Yourself more than anything else. It radiates
5. You will make mistakes. Learn from them but learn more from others, so people don’t use you as a textbook.
6. Forgive yourself
7. Follow your passion. Discover your purpose.
8. Never settle for mediocrity.
9. Dare to be different. Like push the envelope
10. Demand the love and support you want and deserve.
11. Be accountable for your actions.
12. Your intent is not always enough. Your impact matters more.
13. believe in you and your heart. if you have a good heart, it will win. Eventually.
14. Save money
15. Travel and see the world
16. Allow yourself the space to be vulnerable.
17. Remember you are not an island but you are also strong enough to stand alone.
18. You cannot do anything without God.
#WhatTheHeckMan family, I adore you all. Thank you for being with me.
Thank you for allowing me to speak my truth and holding me up.
One thing I will ask each and everyone of you reading this is to hold me more accountable in 2017.
I am consumed by trying to be a better man. I want to be the best version of myself.
So if you catch me slipping, even if you don’t know me that well, please speak up.
I hope we all see the end of 2017 in divine joy, health, peace, happiness, prosperity and direction.
2017 will be great for you and me.
Say it into existence.
Thank you for being there for me.
I appreciate you. I bless God for you.
Till next time, ladies and gentlemen, it is the Wordsmith with the #WordsOfWednesday on WhatTheHeckMan.
Stay Up and Be Blessed.
Comment below and share with me, one thing you have learned in 2016 and one thing you will be better at in 2017.
Till next time, ladies and gentlemen, it is the Wordsmith with the #WordsOfWednesday on WhatTheHeckMan.
As I pulled the headphones out of my ears, I sighed.
Right as I write this, I am swimming in a mixture of emotions.
Anger, frustration, resentment, exhaustion and overall, emptiness.
The last few weeks have been defining and structurally important. It’s been a minute since we had a very real and honest “WordsOfWednesday”.
In this message, as always, I know I’ll be indirectly speaking to myself about a couple of things but who is a man without constant reflection?
So back to the last few weeks.
As we entered 2016, I was so desperate to not be where I am right now. Feeling what I feel right now.
The only difference between last year and now, I am not taking the full burden for said feelings.
I have historically been the person that would cower in emotion and blame myself for everything that has gone wrong.
Think of it like a box of donuts at work while you are on a diet.
Everyone claims they don’t want to touch it but they do, but you just walk there, take your donut and leave. When you get home, you cry tears of high fructose.
For sometime now, I thought I was broken.
Like people would tell me, “Sanmi, you’re not the man I used to know” and to some extent I agree. But I also challenge that notion.
“Why do I have to be who you want me to be? Or why do I have to be stagnant?”
I have been called “meaner, harder, less patient”… amongst others but I am thankful for all of it.
Back to those headphones, I pulled them out and I had just finished listening to voice note from a friend.
In this voice note, she spoke about all the things I didn’t do for her. How I was selfish and things.
(Back story: we had an argument last night and I snapped. Like all of the last two/three weeks came rushing out)
It brings me back to this concept of love and loving yourself.
See love is weird in the sense that it is not something from a bottomless well. You give it, you receive it.
Not in the same doses but it’s give AND take.
If you spent all your time giving love and never receiving it, you would eventually run low or run out.
And then begin to resent the people who are demanding it from you.
Emotionally, I have been running on E, for a while now.
And the man I used to be, would lie and pretend to make everyone else happy. But I cant anymore.
Like I physically cannot bring myself to lie.
Certain messages come across my phone and I become physically tired. Like tired like I just finished getting a beatdown…tired.
It’s not there.
See its not that I don’t love these people, I just am expending so much of myself in different ways that pressuring me to give what I don’t necessarily have enough off, is frustrating.
Imagine wanting a movie from the local Blockbuster store, they are showing it as “in store”. But everytime you come to the store, they tell you they don’t have it.
So why are you showing it online????
My bestfriend (who is currently not talking to me, totally related to this) called me out on it.
“Sanmi, you give just enough of yourself to draw someone in but then you close up and people are left wondering what happened or what they did wrong”
I miss the old me.
The super sweet, everyone should be forgiven me but even at that point, my ex still left me. So I obviously wasn’t as good as I thought right?
The truth is, I was trying then.
Even when I failed, I was trying. Trying to be better
I think I am finally getting back to that guy after almost two years but not for people who don’t contribute.
I have been angry for a while.
At a lot of people and for someone who writes. Calls himself “The Wordsmith”, I don’t do enough talking.
Me snapping two nights ago was out of character. Takes a lot to get me there but I am tired.
Its like I have been trying to be this thing. This person for people when I should have been filling myself up (shut up Bola)
I was already empty but here I was giving more and more.
It is so funny, you can read a birthday card from a friend and it will say stuff like “Thank you for being there for me, you taught me so much”
But once you fight?
“You never gave me anything or matched my intensity”
My point truly is, stay.
Love is great but it is not to be used like a limitless card.
See when I was giving myself years ago, I wasn’t necessarily filling up on the love from the relationship but I was filling up on God’s love.
I would sing and be happy, pray and be safe. Even though in my relationship, I was hurting.
Now, I haven’t done enough refilling.
And people have been demanding. IT’s not even like they are asking for too much.
“Reply my text, check on me”
Basic shit really but I am so spent.
My hours and days are filled with thinking about things that are so present in my world.
That sometimes the extra stuff is too much.
Sometimes I think I allowed myself to drag on baggage, I should have dropped. So I was driving around, pulling myself down.
It’s not a crime to let go sometimes.
And if God is moving things away, let him!
Love is not enough. By itself, its not enough.
It requires much more.
You can have the love but in the wrong frame of mind, time of life, to the wrong person, it will not come across.
Don’t be like me.
Thinking you are macho in healing and giving. Stop and refill.
Driving your heart on E will cause the care to explode.
Then drive into your next adventure with a clear mind.
I am probably going to cry after this because its been coming.
But I hope you learned something from all of this.
2016 has been a rollercoaster for a variety of reasons, but your heart should not be drained when it needs to be filled.
Don’t lov on E.
It will only leave you filled with resentment and still Empty.
Till next time,
Open and honest…
Standing over the kitchen sink and looking outside the window into the small backyard of the condo, my head was spinning.
Why was this my luck?
Why couldn’t I just fall for a man who would treat me right and not come with added stress?
You know when you are consumed by so much anger and youwant to cry it out?
Like shed the tears before you act and do something you would regret.
I am not sure how long I had been standing there but I heard Tabitha walk into the room.
“Bella, is everything okay?”
I smiled and tried to play it off but in my mind, I was
“asking how in the hell could everything be okay?!
You just sprung a baby on me!!!!”
“How are you ma?
How was your trip?”
She smiled and walked up to. Complete disregard for personal space.
She stood a mere two fee away from me and said
“I see you trying to be strong and thats commendable. It is okay to be angry or disappointed.”
There was a sudden comfort in knowing she understood what I was feeling. She continued and said
“From what I am gathering, you didn’t know that Darrell had a child?..”
She then smiled and said
“If it is any consolation. Neither did he.
He doesn’t even know yet. So it is up to us, you and I, to figure out how to break it to him”
Suddenly, I didn’t feel like the focal point.
It wasn’t about me.
This man didn’t even know that he had fathered a child out in the world. He was only a few hours away from returning home and I had to figure out how to tell him that he would be a daddy…to two children.
“So Tabitha (she insisted I call her that), how do you know that it is Darrell’s and who is the mother?’
She sipped from her tea and set it on the coaster.
She leaned back in her seat and started
“I came back from a funeral about 3days ago. I was in the shower when I heard a knock on the door.
It took me a few minutes to make it out but when I did, there was no one at the door. Just this beautiful baby boy.
I could tell he was Darrell’s just from how draw I was to him. His eyes.
There was a birth certificate in the car seat and it was signed by Darrell’s ex wife but had his name listed as the father.
I pondered on what do but there was no way in hell that I was going to tell him that kind of information over the phone.
So I spoke to my pastor and booked a flight. And here we are.
I tried to contact her but she did not answer. She and Darrell never had a bad divorce, so I don’t know why she did this but here we are”
She sighed and picked up her tea again while she glanced over to the baby peacefully sleeping on the couch. He was beautiful.
Tucked behind a wall of pillows, he was just safe.
“How old is he?”
“His name is Devon”
I sat back in my chair and rested on my right side while my left hand rubbed my bulging stomach.
“I don’t know what to do Ms. Tabitha. I don’t know how to tell Darrell.
This is a lot”
She smiled and said
“There is nothing we cannot conquer under the sun. Besides, that is why I am here.
You will not be doing this alone”
I will be here with you”
There truly was something comforting about her. I knew there was a reason her son was so amazing.
She smiled and sipped from her tea again and then placed the cup down.
I was talking to my cousin on the phone up in our bedroom when I heard Darrell’s car pull up in the driveway.
My heart started to beat really fast.
I remember glancing at my Fitbit on my left wrist and exhaling.
Heading down the stairs, I caught a glimpse of Ms. Tabitha.
She was standing by the front door.
She smiled as I approached and she stretched out her right hand and squeezed my left hand.
I was nervous.
The door opened and Darrell stood shocked in the doorway.
It was as if he couldn’t believe that his mother was standing there.
She moved closed to him and opened her arms.
He leaned in and took in her hug.
“Mom, what are you doing here?”
She smiled and said
“I came to see my son”
as she patted him on his cheek.
He placed his bag by the bookshelf to the right of the door and kissed me on the lips as he said
I forced a smile and he caught it.
“Whats wrong babe?”
Before I could respond, his mom said
“D, come sit down. I need to talk to you”
He looked at me with a slight frown and said
as he took his seat on the couch.
I sat on the loveseat closest to his mother as she started talking.
“So a few days ago, it came to my attention that you have a son.
You ex wife dropped him off at my home and here I am…
There is a lot more to the story but I am sure you know it better than either one of us.
The child is here with me because I wanted you to know and meet him. I can fully step up and raise him like I did you.
I totally understand wanting to start afresh with Bella. But I wanted to make sure I let you know”
Darrell looked stunned.
It took him a moment to process and then he said
“So she lied when she said she miscarried…
I wanted to get up and go to him but I also knew that he needed space.
He looked like he was angry and shocked at the same time.
But true to character, he took a deep breath and said
“Where is my son?”
His mother pointed to the guest room.
The way Darrell held him, I could tell. I could tell that through all the mistakes I made with Mfon, this was the man.
Tears began to roll down his cheeks as he kissed Devon on the forehead.
He turned and looked at me and before he could speak, I said
A wry smile and the tears streamed down.
He was proud.
There was going to be an aftermath to this event but in that moment, all that mattered was the moment.
He loved that child from the moment he set his eyes on him.
And I loved him even more.
Ms. Tabitha returned home and then came back to stay with us.
As I neared delivery and Devon moved in, I needed extra hands and she was truly my rock.
A perfect mother in law and I couldn’t be more thankful.
A new chapter was upon us and my structured story seemed like it was being written on a fresh page, filled with color and love.
Everything was happening fast.
I was so excited for my future and the challenges to come.
I essentially was raising two new borns at the same time.
I think it was shortly after my sister had posted my pictures from the maternity shoot, but I received a call that shook me.
It was Mfon.
He called that afternoon and we spoke for a little while.
In that conversation, he apologized.
He told me that he saw my pictures with Darrell and he could tell I was happy.
Him not signing the papers was only because he could not come to terms with the fact that he let things get bad between.
I urged him to seek help and follow his heart.
If he wanted to be loved by the same sex, he should live his truth.
He told me that he had sent the papers over.
And that I could come and take whatever items I wanted from the house, as Darrell and I moved into our new home.
It made me chuckle because that was how he was. Trying to do the sweet thing.
But it was unnecessary.
My life had moved forward and I didn’t want anything from the past to follow on.
Our chapter closed and that was the last time we spoke.
Darrell was facing his own challenges with his ex wife. She was being very difficult and trying to start a custody battle with him over Devon.
Even after she dropped him off!
I was furious but Darrell always told me not to stress.
One evening I heard him yelling on the phone to her
“…you just want Devon because Bella is being a better mother than you would ever be!
You gave him up! and now you want him back?!
No way… take me to court!
I will fight this with every bone in me! I can promise you that!”
When he came up to bed that night, I didn’t say a word.
I kissed his forehead and told him I loved him.
I knew it wasn’t the solution he sought but it was the best I had.
PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO SELECT MY NEXT SERIES BELOW.
A few days later, my life changed.
My status changed and my world began to orbit around another. My daughter and heart; Daisy.
I will never forget the pain and strength it took to arrive there.
Everything I had been through to that point was a precursor to where I needed to be.
Divorce, heartbreak, betrayal, restarting.
None of it came close to those moments when they asked me to push and I had past my limit of pushing.
But somehow as a mother, you dig deep.
Deeper than you have even gone.
You get lost in the love and life you bring that you forget the pain the world tries to make you see.
I fought for Daisy.
But I had fought for her before she was conceived.
This was Mfon’s child as well but she was all mine.
So here I was through all I stayed through, trying to hold my last marriage together.
I was about to start a family with a man who fathered a child with another and I was bringing a daughter that shared another father.
But it was my story and as I lay in that recovery room with Daisy in Ms. Tabitha’s hands, I was content.
Gathering my strength back, Darrell came up to me and sat next to me.
He leaned in and kissed my forehead as I forced a smile.
He smiled and then got serious as he said
“Bella, I am proud of you.
Through everything you have been through
You have been a rock
From every turn
And how life tried to make you stop
You conquered all
You are woman
A fighter and a warrior
Abeaming torch in dark world
You are a mother to these kids and to me
And I promise to love you like its the first time
I swear I will”
My eyes filled up.
I couldn’t say much but
“Darrell, I fucking love you”
He smiled and said
“Shhhh…we have kids now!
You can’t be using that kind of language”
A few minutes passed and then he said
“Oh babe, I noticed there was a huge purchase on the Chase credit card, was that you?”
I laughed even harder.
He smiled but looked surprised and then he said
“Whats funny babe?”
I continued to chuckle and then I stopped and said
“Let’s just say that someone’s ex wife will be receiving a huge delivery of expired baby food”
Still confused he said
I squeezed his hand and said
“Don’t worry my love. Don’t worry”
It clicked for him and he said
You are so petty!”
I smiled, shrugged and said
“At least, I’m still beautiful right?”
He nodded and leaned in for a kiss as he said
“Yes you are. Oh yes you are”
Bella is a story of triumph and glory. A thank you to women.
To those that stand firm and fight hard. For what they believe in and what is right.
There is a Bella in all of us. She went through so much. Life threw curve balls at her and she stayed strong. Think of your life, your 2016 and how many times you have falled but gotten back up. How many times did people do you wrong and expecte you to fail?
You are a fighter and a winner.
I wrote Bella for the women I know in my life that have been through one battle or another and those who are striving for better each day.
Your strength is life and life will favor you.
Never give up.
Be less petty.
And always happy.
Bella is my gift to you. Your true beauty is a gift to the world.
Mfon clutched his face as he recovered from the heat and shock that just slapped him.
I wanted to strangle him.
“You stupid piece of shit. You really had me out here crying over your sorry ass!”
I was spewing all sorts of curses on his head.
All I remember was being carried out of the restaurant.
My fingers were sticky from some of the coffee. I was dripping in rage as the once sweet syrup that soaked our love, now tasted like stale burnt bread.
As I waited for Darrell to come out of the now chaotic restaurant. The police showed up.
They walked right past us and into the restaurant. Darrell, came out and we got into the car.
He didn’t speed or anything.
He just drove.
We arrived back at the house and he turned off the engine.
Mine was still running-overdrive.
I was filled with so much anger.
It truly felt like I had been injected with a cocktail of emotions. At an alarming speed, my brain was combing through emotions.
He quietly exited the car and walked into the house.
I just sat there; thinking and scheming.
I wanted to get him back.
I wanted to make him pay. This man put his hands on me.
And left marks that scarred beyond the physical. There was a mixture of failure and a resolution to make him pay, in the worst ways.
I considered telling his family members and the entire Nigerian community.
If only I was truly that wicked but I knew I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I almost felt cuffed by the institution. But I only had myself to blame.
After all, I went in there and asked them to join me to this worthless being.
I hated the church.
I hated my family.
Questioned my own instincts and suddenly I arrived at it; I blamed Bella.
I must have been in the car for a minute because when I walked in Darrell was asleep.
I headed straight for the shower after I placed my purse down.
The water was really hot. I lowered myself to the floor of the shower and just allowed the water to beat my skin.
Each drop burned but not as much as every memory that floated into my mind.
I really wanted to not think about him. I thought of the two years wasted.
Of all the things I put on hold for the betterment of this man.
I swear, I felt used.
My mind went back to our wedding night.
How handsome he looked in that tuxedo. How his smile lit up the room and tickled my pink.
How I couldn’t wait to be his wife. How I couldn’t wait to cook for him. Pray for and with him. Hold him up.
How I couldn’t wait for him to enter me in the worst ways. And then he threw it all away for someone else. Much less another man.
I started crying and I didn’t know I was loud until I heard Darrell come in.
“Babe, are you okay?”
I didn’t bother to stop crying.
He came in closer and said,
“Bella, are you okay?”
“I’m okay. I just want to be by myself”
I replied through water.
He stopped in his tracks and said,
“But Bella, I am here for you.”
I could feel his helplessness but I truly just wanted to be alone.
I heard him exit the bathroom.
The shower was not refreshing. I walked out feeling physically clean and emotionally soiled.
I dried myself off and walked into the room.
He was sitting upright in the dark on his phone. As I walked into the room, he placed his phone down and the room was pitch black except for the lighting from the DVR beneath the television.
I hit the light switch and the room lit up.
Standing by the bathroom door with a glum face, I opened my mouth and tried to speak but the words didn’t come out.
I could see the anticipation in his eyes, he wanted to know what he could do to fix it for me.
But there was no short fix.
I stood there and tried again.
This time the words came out.
“Darrell, I’m pregnant.”
His eyes grew big and he seemed excited for a brief second and then it vanished.
He then said,
“Is it mine?”
My head dropped.
“No, its not.”
He got up and walked to me.
His arms provided the warmth and his heart the safety I needed. He wrapped them around me and kissed my forehead.
I wasn’t sure how things would play out but in that moment I felt safe.
The weeks slowly added up and I fully moved in to Darrell’s place. He was still shuttling between both cities and I would stay in the house when he was gone.
I was still in love with this man.
It was happening with each passing day.
I would find myself picking up the nuggets from my last experience and trying to apply them with Darrell.
He was so sweet and considerate. I could see him going the extra mile for me and wanting to take care of me.
My belly was growing and my anger towards Mfon was reducing.
I was feeling myself allowing him back in.
I really did not want to forgive but I could not hold my anger.
The days were long as I worked part time and mostly from home. I had too much time on my hands.
Mfon would call and try to explain himself. Our families also wouldn’t take their foot off the gas.
Everyone wanted me to forgive him for the sake of the baby.
You see my view was that I had always hesitated around bringing a baby into the world. And now I was going through with it, with a man I could not trust. So I had to be sure, I protected my child and most importantly my own life.
One evening, I was in the worst of moods.
In limbo, I hated where I was. Mid divorce, pregnant and living in the house of another man.
I think when I envisioned my life as a woman, none of those things came to mind as possibilities.
So I felt unfulfilled and behind schedule. Angry at myself and some of the decisions that got me there.
I was in my feelings as Darrell returned from a long shift.
In my mind, I knew that it was the best time for the kind of conversation I was about to start with him. But somewhere in there, I needed that validation. I needed to hear him say the things I wanted to hear.
“How was your day?”
I asked him as he unbuttoned his shirt.
Without looking at me, he replied,
“It was good. Just really long”
I went quiet for a bit and then I said,
“I was thinking today…what are we doing here?”
He glanced at me and said,
“What do you mean?”
“I just want to know what we are doing here. This baby, getting the divorce, living with you. I just want to know. What are your plans?
Why am I here?”
He looked confused as he slid on his shorts. He said,
“We have talked about this before and I think you know my intentions. So why is this coming up?”
I scoffed and said,
“You know what, never mind.”
He growled in frustration and said,
“Bella, you know thats mad annoying. Can you please just tell me whats going on?”
I knew I had him. But I couldn’t just bring myself to speak up then.
“Darrell its nothing really”
He was trying so hard to not lose his cool. He sighed as he came and sat next to me.
He asked me again,
“Bella, if something is the matter, can you lets just talk about it now.
There is no reason to start something and then say nothing.”
I still didn’t respond.
He waited a few minutes and then he sighed really loudly and got up.
As he was about to talk, I spoke,
“So what am I to you?
This version of a wife in your home. Am I just here so you can feel good about yourself?
Do you even care about me?… Like wtf happens when this baby comes?
You’ll just be over me”
I looked at his face as I stopped talking. Shock, anger, disappointment and disgust all mixed in one.
He took a step back and said,
“Bella, are you fucking serious right now?”
I looked away. He didn’t say much after that.
“Bella, you know better and you are just wrong for all that. I have nothing to say.
I’ll sleep in the other room.”
He exited the room and I think that sent me over the edge.
Now I was so angry at myself because I didn’t get what I wanted and there was no hope of me getting it.
I cried that night as I felt empty.
He never left that room all night.
The next morning, he was gone before I woke up.
I went into the room, hoping to apologize and he wasn’t there.
I tried to go about my day, hoping to apologize for my childish behavior later that night.
So when I heard a knock on the door around midday, I was nervously excited. I thought he had come back from work early and we were going to squash things.
I made my way to the door and opened it up without looking through the peephole and there he was.
“Mfon, what are you doing here?”
I was surprised and certainly taken aback.
He tried to smile.
“I had to see you, Bella”
“How did you get this address?”
“I just asked the right questions. Can I come in?”
I replied with a sharp,
He nodded and continued,
“Well I just wanted to let you know that I want your forgiveness and I am willing to work for it.
But more importantly, I am not letting go. I want to be in the life of my child, so I will do everything possible”
I nodded and said,
“I have nothing against you being in the life of our child but I just want to be clear that we are over.
I would really appreciate if you just signed the papers and allowed the courts to do their job.
This whole year has been stressful enough. I just want to move on”
Still standing at the foot of the stairs, he looked up to me and said,
“I’m not signing those papers”
I couldn’t believe the words coming out of his mouth. I wanted to jump on him and bite his neck off.
“Are you fucking kidding me? After everything!
You better sign those papers or I will make your life a living hell Mfon, a living hell!”
I was fuming and yelling at the top of my lungs when I noticed Darrell’s car pulling up.
He parked in the driveway and hopped out.
Mfon turned and started to back away.
As he walked away, he said,
“I’ll be in touch”
Darrell walked past him as he nodded.
As he got close to me and said,
“What did he want?”
I turned around and walked into the house.
Darrell followed me in and said,
“Bella, are you okay?”
I turned and said,
No I’m not okay!
He’s not letting me move on”
Darrell moved closer to me and then he took my hand.
He looked down at me as I looked up to him and very softly, he said,
I couldn’t believe the words. I stepped back and said,
He didn’t bat an eye.
He repeated himself,
“Marry me Bella”
All I could think was WhatTheHeckMan.
I was on a cloud.
In a different planet to be very honest.
The stars were beneath my toes and I felt so happy.
The way Darrell took care of me, ladies would understand. He checked the boxes and I could see a great father in him.
The lawyers were doing their work and the divorce process was nearing a close.
We had started looking at homes in the area and preparing for our next chapter.
Everything was falling in place.
I was returning from the grocery store that Sunday evening. As I emptied the trunk and I was taking the groceries into the house, a car pulled up and an older woman came out.
She stopped me and said,
“You must be Bella”
I nodded and said,
“Yes and you are?”
She smiled and said,
“My name is Tabitha and I am Darrell’s mother.”
I felt a twitch. I had heard so much about her and I was very sad that we hadn’t properly met.
“Oh my God!
It’s so nice to meet you ma. Come in!”
She smiled really big and took in my hug before pulling away and becoming very serious.
She looked at me and said,
“So are you ready to be a mother?”
I smiled and nodded as I said,
“Yes ma. I am excited”
She shook her head and then pointed to the back seat of the car she had just exited. Then she said,
“Not to the baby inside of you. A mother to that child.
She looked at me and I looked at her.
No words were said but there was something deep I felt.
Oh Lord, say it with me y’all What The Bloody Heck Man!
Return for the concluding Part of the Bella series on Saturday!
With You (feat. Maleek Berry, Stonebwoy & Eugy) by Juls
My tongue went dry. My eyes started to water.
“Don’t cry. Don’t cry”
I was trying to tell myself that tears in this moment would only signal guilt.
I was really trying to hold it together.
But I couldn’t.
I shook in position. His voice was like a jolt of electricity through my body.
“I can explain”
He scoffed and said
“Well I’m counting on it. Go on.
Who was that?”
I just couldn’t imagine another lie.
So I came clean
“Babe, I promise I never did any of this to hurt you.
You have to believe me… before our wedding… a few weeks before, I slept with Chibuzo.
I promise you, I was drunk and I can’t even remember half of what happened that night. I just know he came over and he and I had a thing before you and I, so I assume that we had sex.
Baby I am sorry”
His face was blank.
I could see the rage I was so familiar with, growing inside of him.
“You did what?!”
“Baby, I am sorry. It was a mistake.
It was one time!”
My voice pitched as he swung his right arm at me.
I ducked but not fast enough as he caught me right behind my neck.
The last I remember was my head striking the ground.
When I opened my eyes, I was stiff.
There was a cast around my neck. I slowly opened my eyes and tried to find my bearings.
Bed.. Hospital lights… I lifted my right arm and noticed the tag with my name on it.
I was trying to retrace how I landed there but nothing was coming to me.
The door opened some thirty minutes later and it was my doctor.
I knew who he was at least.
“Bella, you are awake.
How are you feeling?”
“Ummm…I don’t… I don’t know”
I replied as I straightened out while trying to look at him to my left.
He came close and pulled a stool.
He sat down with one leg on the stool and the other on the floor.
He smiled and said
Before he could continue, I asked
“What happened doc?”
He smiled again and said
“You had an accident. You slipped and fell.
You are lucky your husband noticed you quickly enough and brought you in.
It’s normal that you don’t remember everything that happened. You may be suffering from temporary memory loss and thats totally fine. Your working memory is still intact at the very least you remembered me as I walked in.
You just need to rest and you’ll be fine in a few days.
The cast is just a precaution with head injuries”
“Where is my husband?”
The doctor closed the folder in his hand and said
“He left yesterday when he brought you in. He hasn’t been back since”
“Thank you doc”
As I moved to turn over, he said
“Bella, I have something I want to talk to you about”
Whats going on doctor?”
I replied with some concern.
He placed the folder on the bed next to me and took my left hand into his hands as he said
“Bella, we ran some tests when they brought you in yesterday and I can say with certainty that you are pregnant. About 4 months along”
I was shocked.
I wanted to turn away.
i wanted to run.
He continued and said
“Now, I know part of what I wanted to talk to you about was the fact that, I noticed some heavy bruising around your torso and some pretty consistent cuts along your right arm.
Coupled with the fact that this your 4th pregnancy that you have chosen not to take to term and your husband never being involved when you become pregnant, I am not sure how to proceed beyond ensuring you are okay.
Bella, are you having suicidal thoughts?
Is everything okay?”
A part of me laughed inside as a single tear traced down my right cheek as I turned away from the doctor.
“I’ll like to be left alone doctor”
I said with my back turned to him.
He got up and walked out quietly.
“Was I suicidal?”
That question was a joke. When hadn’t I been suicidal?
For the last two years of my life, I had been suicidal and close to death on many occasions.
I had aborted my last three pregnancies, against the knowledge of my husband.
Between him beating me, to the pressures of my career, and family breathing down my neck, I swore I would never bring a child into this world to witness that.
It would be unfair to them.
The red in my heart should course through them but they should never see the black beneath my eye that their daddy put there.
Or the tears I shed.
It was overwhelming.
And on many occasions, I felt like giving up. But I am not a coward. I have never been a quitter. So I fought harder.
Tried to stay positive.
But in many ways, whenever I found my feet, something would knock me down.
My husband never missing a target.
Two days went by and my husband understandably didn’t come by.
I remembered what had happened now.
In many ways, I am glad he had lied at the hospital.
I definitely did not want the hospital knowing that he swung at me because he found out that I cheated on him.
I mustered some strength on that evening to take a walk.
For most of the days, I was cooped up in my room.
As I made my way through the hospital, I was reminded of the value of life.
Seeing many people fight for it, I vowed to fight for mine.
As I entered the garden, I sat down and watched the sun set. It was a calming feeling.
I knew I had to leave my husband.
But how was the issue.
His family would fight me and mine would be highly embarrassed.
I was deep in thought when I heard someone say
I looked up and it was Darrell.
“heyyyy, what are you doing here?”
I chanted out as I got up to give him a hug.
He smiled with that gorgeous smile of his and said
“I work here”
“Wait, I know you’re a surgeon but I didn’t know you worked here!”
He kept smiling as he said
“Yeah, I consult for the State on some cases here. So I fly in for weeks at a time to get the work done.
And why are you here?”
I tried to hide but there wasn’t really much hiding that could happen with the huge white thing around my neck.
I don’t know what happened but I think it was because of all that I had been holding in, but I broke down.
Everything came out.
He was shocked but slowly, he reached his hands around me and pulled me in.
For the first time in two years, I felt safe.
In the arms of a stranger.
“You mean if you told your parents, they would still blame you?”
Darrell asked me with disgust and genuine concern seated on his brow.
He frowned as awaited my answer.
“Nah, its more complicated than that.
And being that I cannot tell them the real reasons for it, it would be harder to accept, you know?”
“I guess but damn, your family should bat for you regardless, you are their daughter. Fuck a nigga because he married you”
There was a silence.
The he spoke
“I’m going to extend my stay and you can come and stay with me if thats okay with you.
I definitely do not feel comfortable with you going back to that house”
I nodded as he pulled me in again.
It was had been almost a week since that evening outside the hospital with Darrell. I was living out of his condo and just trying to gather myself again.
The days were hard when he went to work because I was leftalone with my thoughts. But when he was home, it was amazing.
He was so smart and emotionally aware, I felt like I was talking to a long lost friend.
I would occasionally temper my feelings with caution.
I definitely didn’t want to get caught falling for a man that I barely knew.
One night a lot changed.
he came back from a late shift a few minutes past 2am, I was watching Girlfriends.
I gave him a huge hug when he walked in and told him, I made some pasta earlier.
He told me he wasn’t in the mood for pasta and that he wanted breakfast food.
I started walking towards the kitchen to whip up some eggs when he said,
“Grab your coat. There is this late night breakfast spot that I want us to check out.”
I smiled as I ran up the stairs to grab my coat.
It may sound stupid but it felt like a real date or something of the sorts.
As we jumped in his rental car, I remember looked over at him while he backed out of the driveway.
He smiled and said
I smiled back and looked away as I said
That moment felt so real. It was everything.
We were waiting for the pancakes he raved about.
“I promise you. These are better than anything you have had”
I laughed and said
“Being that I don’t really like pancakes, the bar isn’t set that high you know?”
“Don’t worry, you’re just saying that now. You’ll testify in a minute”
I laughed at his confidence.
We chatted about his day which he told me was very heavy so he didn’t really want to talk about it.
I was fine with that.
I can’t remember what was being said but there was a moment when he went silent.
I looked up from my phone and noticed him staring at me.
“What are you looking at?”
I shyly asked.
He smiled and said
I could feel myself blushing.
My cheeks were so wide, I could feel them ready to crackopen into dance on an ashy beat to a Fela song.
“I wish I could kiss you right now”
My eyes grew big.
He caught it and immediately apologized
“Im sorry if I overstepped”
He didn’t but I wasn’t going to seem easy.
I smiled and said
“It’s okay. I know you would love to kiss my awesomeness”
We both laughed.
He excused himself and went to the restroom.
I fiddled with my phone as he left and tried to play Words with Friends.
I wasn’t getting the word I wanted, so I gave up and dropped the phone, just in time for the waitress to place our food in front of me.
A few seconds later, he showed up
I joked and said
“You smelled the phone all the way from the bathroom huh?
With your huge nose”
He laughed hard and said
“Look these are legendary pancakes!
I would smell them all the way from Wisconsin”
He placed a few on his plate and drenched them in syrup.
He was about to take a firs bite when he froze looking up.
I didn’t first catch it until he said
“Dort turn around but I think I just saw someone you know”
I smiled and chewed on the food in my mouth as he lowered his fork.
“how do you even know who I know Darrell?”
He didn’t take his eyes off what he was looking at behind me.
I was backing the entrance to the restaurant and I badly wanted to turn around but he had said not to.
“I know this person off your Instagram. I know because I was stalking it at work today.
If I am not mistaken, Bella that is you husband with his tongue down another mans throat”
I almost choked on the last bit of pancake that slew down my throat.
There was no fluff in what he just said.
I turned around and got up.
Without saying a word, I charged towards that table with Darrell closely behind me.
Before I could even open my eyes, tears were following down my cheeks.
I stopped right in front of his table and said
“What The Heck Mfon!”
He was stunned. Frozen in place.
The whole restaurant was silent.
“What the fuck are you doing here with a man!
I yelled at the top of my lung with spit and tears flying off my face.
He still didn’t respond.
I blacked out and reached for the cup of coffee sitting in front of them and launched it at his face.
Unlike when he swung at me, I didn’t miss. I connected square on his face as he screamed and squealed at the burn from the coffee.
If I was ever afraid of going to war regarding my marriage, it was all gone now.
Only offering to appease me?
Till death do us part we agreed?
Well I was now death, and I would not stop until I tore him apart.
I looked over to my right as the older woman next to me said
“You made it?”
I didn’t reply.
I was still trying to catch my breath. But yes, I made it.
As I waited, I just wanted this moment to pass.
Inhale and Exhale.
I closed my eyes, kicked my head back and l clutched my sides.
“Just get it over with.”
I thought to myself.
A few seconds later, there were faint voices and I took another deep breath.
I heard a thud but I didn’t open my eyes or move. I clutched my sides harder.
With my eyes closed, I stepped out of the moment and back into a time.
It felt like a recoil of an old VHS tape. Momentarily stopping to take in certain memories.
It had been a long weekend.
Being out in the DMV to attend Monét’s wedding brought back so many memories.
We had graduated from law school together, passed the bar around the same time and even did our internships together.
Monét was more than a friend to me.
She was a sister I never had and one I loved dearly.
The thing with Monet was this; she was the last link to what my life used to be.
Our party days, men, our “reckless” nights, be daring moments…
Basically my past.
So anytime, I was around her, there were either pieces she was still connected to or memories that she brought up for me.
So this past weekend was bittersweet.
Monet finally got married to Victor and I found out they have a baby on the way.
I couldn’t be more pleased but the joy they shared only reminded me of what I once had.
The turbulence of my life in the last two years, met me at the height of my womanhood.
In peak position to dominate, I have had to contend with the challenges of womanhood on a completely different plane.
Through it all, I have maintained that my attitude will affect my altitude.
The “seat belt off” sign went off.
“Miss, you dropped this”
A deep voice bolted through my unconscious and tickled my ears drums.
I slowly opened my eyes and there he was.
Flashing that amazing smile, he stood over me and said
“You dropped this”
I looked down from his pursed pink lips and made a quick stop on his arms. Before traveling to his hand, where he held on to my Pink Lemonade Snapple drink.
He outstretched it to me and I said
He was supposed to walk away. This was his opportunity to turn around but he asked
“Can I sit?”
I smiled and shrugged and he sat on the aisle seat across from mine.
He wouldn’t stop smiling.
It bordered on creepy but the man was just so handsome, it could be forgiven.
It was his perfect teeth, his eyes almost disappeared when he smiled.
He had that deep baritone in his voice and he made amazing eye contact.
And he had the perfect lips, they parted and glistened as he licked them every often.
“Hi, my name is Darvell.
Whats your name?”
I smiled and said
He smiled as he leaned over and said
“Well nice to meet you Bella”
As he was about to speak, someone got up and made their way towards the back of the plane.
He leaned back and let them walk by but then he returned and said
“So where are you headed Bella?”
I tried to keep the conversation short as I replied
There was a scoff and smile as he replied and said
“Where is home?”
He smiled and responded
“This is my first time in Atlanta… Maybe you can show me around?”
I smiled and said
“I don’t think my husband would appreciate that”
“Oh you’re married?”
He answered with surprise laced on his perfect lips.
I smiled and lifted my left hand so he could see my wedding ring.
He looked even more surprised as he said
“I don’t see a wedding ring”
I looked down at my hand and noticed my ring wasn’t there.
Where did I leave it?
Oh I remember! I left it on the bathroom sink while I washed my face and tried to hide my tears.
The night before my trip when my husband had gotten into a huge fight.
I gathered myself and said
“Yeah, I just forgot it at home but I am married”
He chuckled and shrugged as he said
“Well forgetting your ring is not a good sign in any marriage.
But what do I know, I’m not married”
“How are you not married?”
I replied with surprise.
“Divorced. And no, I don’t have any kids because I know thats your next question”
I laughed and said
“You don’t know that!”
He was right.
That was my next question.
We talked about his work, his failed marriage, my job and my marriage as best as I would let him get. There was talk about my ambitions as a lawyer. Plans to become a judge.
And even favorite TV shows over the two hour flight from New York.
I would be lying if I said the conversation wasn’t stimulating.
He was just easy to look at and might I add, very smart.
The plane landed and he moved back to his seat a few rows behind me.
As we exited into baggage claim, he smiled and said
“I’m in ATL for a week, maybe we can grab coffee or you can be my tour guide. With your husbands permission”
I smiled and waved him goodbye.
A quarter of an hour later, I had my suitcase in my hand and I walked outside.
No sight of my husband.
I continued to call his phone and he didn’t answer.
It was cold and I was getting even more frustrated.
After about 10 more minutes, I realized he wasn’t coming.
I was washed with sadness and regret as I turned to my left.
There he was, Darrell, on his phone.
I walked up to him as he coordinated his ride.
I tapped him on his shoulder and he turned around.
As he liked at me he said
to the person on the other side and then I said
“Can I still take you up on that coffee?”
Dinner was getting cold.
I moved it to the microwave, returned the juice to the fridge and refilled my glass of wine.
As I sat down not he couch watching Love and Hip Hop ATL, I scanned the room and let out a deep sigh.
This was not what I wanted.
I wanted nights tucked away in the arms of my hero.
Lately my mother had been encouraging me to stay strong. To keep my home.
But my heart was emptier than my 4 bedroom home.
Why was I being encouraged to stay?
And no one was telling him to fix up.
Why was I taking this?
I deserved better than this. I leaned back and down my glass.
An invite into the safety of my unconscious.
A singular expression of me.
Where the “us” was put aside and I could dream about the “me”.
I woke up a few hours later and realized I had fallen asleep on the couch.
I picked up the remote control and turned the TV off.
I slid on my slippers and walked up in the room.
As I climbed into the bed, I swamped the pillows and took the onefrom his side.
I placed it down on my side and laid face down into it.
A long whiff from the pillow.
I missed him.
I could hear the clanking keys outside the door of our two bedroom condo, a few seconds after I heard the closing of a car door.
He stumbled through the hallway and made it into the room. The door opened slowly as he noticed I was asleep.
I could hear him almost drowning in his breath, so he didn’t wake me up.
He stopped in front of the dresser and took off his jewelry and he set down his keys.
I stayed still and kept my eyes closed but I could hear him clearly.
Almost like I was directing his steps.
He flicked on the closet light which was behind me from how I was laying.
The light shone over me and hit the wall I was facing. I assumed he was changing into something more comfortable.
The light went off.
There was silence in the room.
And the shower went off.
As I heard him step into the tub, I quickly got up and walked into the closet.
I reached for this pants and immediately stuck my hand in the back pocket, pulling out his wallet.
I flipped it open and looked into one of it’s pockets.
It wasn’t there.
I checked the next one.
It wasn’t there.
I was beginning to panic. I turned the wallet and checked the next set of pockets.
As I put my finger into it, I felt it.
I immediately heaved a sigh of relief.
I pulled out the condom and examined it. I was still staring at it when the shower stopped.
I heard him getting out of the shower.
I placed it back the way it was and shoved his wallet back into his pants.
It was the fastest I had run in a while but by the time he was stepping out of the bathroom, I was back under the covers.
But I had seen something drop from his pocket.
There obviously was no time to put it back.
A few minutes later he was in bed.
He came up behind me and pulled me in.
He whispered “I love you baby”
I faked a sleepy voice and mumbled, “I love you too daddy”
He smiled as we spooned to sleep.
I could hardly sleep.
My mind kept racing about how we had gotten to this point after just getting married two years ago.
Here I was hoping if he cheated, he used a condom and playing detective.
This was not the life I wanted or the oneI chose.
I finally fell asleep.
The next morning, I was up.
I could not get up the whole night because he had his hand locked around me as he knocked out like a rock.
Once I was able to wriggle out in the morning, I tiptoed into the closet and scanned the floor.
I soon saw a white paper in the corner, inside a show.
I picked it up.
It was a receipt for chewing gum from a gas station. I flipped it around and noticed a number on the back.
He was still sleeping as I walked out of the room in my nightgown and into the living room.
I picked up the house phone and stared at the number.
I couldn’t wait but a part of me wanted to.
I didn’t know what I would find.
But also not knowing was killing me.
I was going to do it.
I dialed out the number and it began to ring.
And then someone picked up.
It was a man.
My eyes grew big as he said
I immediately relaxed. At least it was a guy.
And my husband wasn’t gay.
I dodged a bullet.
I gathered myself and I was about to hang up when the man on the other end said
I almost choked.
How did he know my name?
I remember saying
I could almost hear his smile.
“Well, I’m glad your husband gave you the message and my number.
Its been a while and I’m assuming by how surprised you are, he still doesn’t know.
We ran into each other last night and I wanted him to give you my number. Being as we grew up together and I haven’t heard from you since”
I was stunned.
What were the odds?
We got married in Nigeria and the last I checked, that was where he lived.
“Chibuzo, its been a while.
Umm..I don’t even know what to say”
He laughed and said
“You got married and ran away na.
Makes perfect sense. At least we had one last magical night before your marriage. I will never forget it.
Unless you’re trying to create another memory…”
“Thats not going to happen”
I immediately shut down the idea.
and then I continued and said
“That was a mistake I made before I got married and I love my husband.
I could never do that again”
As I finished the statement, I heard him say
“Do what again?”
I swallowed hard and slowly turned around.
It was my husband.
I heard the dial tone ringing through the phone as he had ended the call.
It was frankly that moment, that my marriage also ended.
Some important information for Part 2…..
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Bella walks us through the highs and struggles of a Black woman trying to find her balance in the a demanding and largely unfair world. But I tell you this, no single story written by me, follows one track. So get ready for a bumpy but exciting ride!
Again, welcome to #SanmiSaturdays and #WhatTheHeckMan.
I appreciate you and I am lucky to share my art with you.
Word travelled fast as I left the hospital and returned home.
Think of gossip flowing through the grapevine between Nigerian Aunties. It moved faster than your mood from angry to not angry after you get your hands on food.
There were calls of concern and care.
People were genuinely worried about me and I could feel the love.
Taiwo and Cynthia were basically living with me at this point and I could truly feel their love in it’s purest form.
I was trying to live a normal life but no one was normal. I could feel the pain in all their hearts.
But I was the only one that knew was I was feeling.
One afternoon, I heard a knock on the door as I exited the bathroom.
I sluggishly walked to the door.
I leaned forward and looked into the peep hole, it was like my eyes were playing tricks on me.
Back, I leaned and then forward again.
On second glance, I saw clearly that it was Annie.
As I opened the door, I stepped to the side and allowed her in.
Standing in the same spot where I had slumped a few days prior, she said
I turned the lock on the door and said
as the words left my tongue, Taiwo came out of the room and into the hallway.
She was looking dead at Annie when she said
“What are you doing here?”
Before she could answer, I jumped in and said
“Taiwo, can you please give us some privacy?”
She rolled her eyes and said
“I asked her to tell me why she’s here and I want an answer”
as she approached Annie and I.
Annie replied and said
“I came to show honest care and concern. Something you obviously know nothing about”
I could almost hear Taiwo grinding her teeth as her fists clenched.
I immediately changed my standing position to occupy a space between both of them and I again said
“Taiwo, please go back to the room please”
She hissed and said
as stormed back towards the room.
I motioned Annie toward the couch where she sat and I asked
“So what can I do for you?”
She fiddled with her hands and said
“Kola, I just came to apologize and say I’m sorry for all that happened.
I can’t help but feel like I contributed to the whole thing by what I did that day and I’m really sorry”
I made a sound that was almost a mixture of a scoff and a smile as I said
“it’s okay. It’s all in the past now.
She apologized a bit more and stood to leave when she said
“I heard you were poisoned. I don’t know if you care, but it was not the one who did that. I would never do that to you”
I smiled and didn’t respond as I held open the front door.
She smiled and took a step forward as if to walk out and quickly she turned.
She hugged me and squeezed me.
“Kola, I still love you and I need you.
Please come back to me”
I let go of the door, it slid and closed.
I looked down at Annie as she sobbed. Her tears soaking my shirt.
I placed my hands around her back as I tried to comfort her.
She looked up and our eyes met, I leaned in and I didn’t know when I kissed her.
It was not one of those “she forced herself on me” situations. I actually went in for the kiss.
It felt good.
There was a surge through my body.
She sucked on my bottom lip as our tongues interlocked.
We must have been tongue tied for a few minutes before something clicked in my head that Taiwo was only two doors away.
She stepped back and wiped her juicy lips.
We both smiled and I spoke first
“Annie, we have to talk about this some more but later”
She smiled and said
“I look forward to it”
Not without leaning in and planting another long kiss on my lips before heading out.
I watched her as she walked through the halls and towards the stairwell,
“Oh how do I keep getting myself into this?”
I thought to myself.
Reopening doors that should stay closed. Oh great Nigerian man.
My mother was due to arrive that evening.
So right before as Cynthia and Taiwo made dinner in the kitchen, I said to both
“There will be no talk of dying or anything along the lines to my mother.
They both agreed.
I then brought up the earlier interaction as Cynthia and I teased Taiwo.
“…you should have seen her clenching her fist like she was going to beat Annie!
It was so funny!”
I recanted to a beaming Cynthia.
Taiwo jumped in
“I don’t know whats so funny. Me that I was ready to beat her ass. Y’all here laughing”
I replied as I laughed
“She was just trying to apologize”
Taiwo chimed in again and said
“Thats how it starts and then she’ll want to be talking to you. Then she’s kissing you and before you know it, you’re fucking her.
You dont know women”
I laughed as Cynthia suddenly switched sides and agreed with her.
“Yup Kola. It always starts with some cry baby act before we start using our tears to wash your penis.
You know better”
I smiled knowing that Annie’s lips were just all over mine.
but that was for me to worry about.
A few hours later, my mother and Taiwo arrived from the airport.
The mood quickly changed. There was an air of seriousness or cautiousness that my mother brought into the space.
We all ate together and watched a Nigerian movie my mother selected.
About halfway through the movie, my mother looked at me and said
“Kola, je kin ri e.”
Kola let me see you (in private)
We headed to my room, she sat down on the bed and said
I sat next to her as she began speaking. It was a mixture of simple words and prayers.
She was crying through it all as she said
“….I have learned to not question God but this leaves a big question mark regarding his loyalty to me. I thanked him for you and raised you in his ways and re-dedicated you to him.
This is not fair but I want to tell you that I love you more than my own life”
As she spoke, I felt her heart break into tinier pieces than mine.
My mother was my everything, and to see her shattered like that was hard to swallow.
I reached my hands around her and pulled her close.
She squeezed my shirt and sobbed harder reciting my Oriki (praise poetry, is a cultural phenomenon among the Yòrùbá-speaking people of West Africa.)
I looked down and slowly moved her off me and I said
“Mummy, I’m not dying”
She sat up straight and said
I swallowed hard and quietly repeated myself and said
“Mummy, I am not dying.”
She looked at me like I was strange and said
“What are you saying Kola???”
She stood up and raised her voice as she said
“Are you serious???
You had the entire family worried and devastated and you are not sick
Explain it to me!!!”
I stood up and motioned to her, gently asking her to quiet down
as I spoke
“You see, I spoke to the doctor and paid him so we could plan the whole thing.
I just needed a fresh start and for all these women to leave me alone.
It was weighing me down”
Her mouth was ajar.
She was stunned
If she could slap me at that moment, I bet she would have.
There was so much disappointment in her eyes.
I couldn’t hide.
I wanted to hide but I couldn’t.
“A new beginning is moving to a new state or country. Getting a different career, giving your life to God… but this… this is low.
Even for you.
I can’t believe this”
She got up and exited the room.
I wanted to follow her but I was ridden with so much shame.
I just sat on the floor there and played my actions.
All I concluded with was that it needed to be done. It might have seemed horrible to others but to me, it was necessary.
The rest of the week, my mother and I danced around each other. She barely spoke to me.
My mother ranks high as one of the most passive aggressive people I know.
She was clearly upset with me but not saying anything.
Even Taiwo asked me what happened and I played it off as her just being upset with the situation.
It was around 6am when I felt a sharp slap around my shoulder.
It wasn’t your friendly wake up call.
It was firm and painful.
I sprung up and said
It was my mother and she put her finger across her lips.
She stood over me and said
“There are people out in the living room.
You are going to go out there and tell them the truth about all this.
Otherwise, I will”
I looked at her in shock and said
She looked angry as she said
“Kola, don’t make me slap you here. If you know what is good for you, you will get up and go out there now.
Thank God you know I don’t stand for this nonsense”
I was so upset.
This was why I didn’t want my mother to know about this whole situation.
I sluggishly got myself out of bed with my mother policing me, almost like when I was in grade school.
She walked behind me as I walked to the living room. As I turned the corner, I noticed two people sitting on the couch; Annie and Cynthia.
I actually let out a sigh of relief because Taiwo wasn’t there.
She was the one I wanted anyways.
I sat across from them and finally gathered the courage to speak and I said
“I want to start by saying I am sorry.
I have been selfish and a coward. I have lied to both of you and even made you feel like you weren’t enough for me.
I lied to both of you and others about my medical condition, I am not actually dying. I just did that because I wanted to leave all the situations I have at the moment and return to a stress free life.
I know you probably hate me, but I Truly enjoyed the memories we made and I hope someday you can both forgive me”
Annie said nothing.
She got up, picked her bags and walked out.
I turned and watched her leave.
Cynthia sat there with her hands on her laps and my mom at the end of the couch.
She sighed and said
“It’s unfortunate that you have people that actually love you but you have done such a despicable thing to them.
To bring such grief to people you call family is just downright low and beneath you.
And to think I was holding off on telling you that I was pregnant.”
I gasped and sat straight.
She looked at me and said
It’s not yours and I’m glad because you changed Kola.
You really changed. This was not the man I fell for.
I wish you all the best but I’m out”
I heaved a sigh of relief. For a quick second, I thought I was going to lose out on everything and somehow have ended up as a father.
Cynthia stood up and left.
She shook her head as she said
“You brought this upon yourself”
She walked and left the house. She would later return as she was still staying with me till she found her own place.
As everything settled, I got up and my mother looked at me. Her glare was telling, then she said most she had said to me in days
“I am proud of you for manning up but I am leaving tomorrow back to Nigeria”
I didn’t even get a reply in. She walked out of the room.
Somewhere in my mind, I felt less pressure on my shoulders.
I still had to talk to Taiwo, at least now we could properly be together.
I picked up my keys and in my shorts,
I headed over to her house.
About 30 minutes later, I was knocking on her door.
My heart was racing.
I heard someone walking towards the door.
It opened moments later.
She smiled and said
That greeting might have sounded normal to everyone else in the world but I knew Taiwo, she was upset.
I looked at her, smiled as I said
“You must have heard huh?”
she replied swiftly.
I realized this wasn’t going to be easy.
“Taiwo, I lied about being sick.
I paid the doctor to say all that at the hospital. I just wanted to get everyone out of the way, so we can better together.
I’m sorry I lied to you baby.
I would never do anything to hurt you”
Taiwo closed the door.
I was so confused. I heard some shuffling on the other side then the door opened again.
Taiwo had a box in her hand.
She placed it on the floor between us.
Then she stepped in the doorway and said
“You are a liar, manipulator and a self centered prick.
So no. I don’t want you or your love that taints or hurts others.
In this box, I have packed all your shit.
Please leave me alone and never contact me, I don’t need your love.”
She slammed the door.
That was it.
I couldn’t believe what had just unfolded.
I wanted to scream/cry/punch something all in the same breath.
I couldn’t even gather myself to pick up my belongings in the box.
Slowly, I trudged to my car.
The drive back home was painful. I kept playing it all in my head and trying to find ways I could have avoided all of this.
I felt like I had eggs broken only face.
What The Heck Man.
When I returned home, I sat in my car for almost an hour.
You know that defeated stance where you even get home but you can’t bring yourself to go inside.
I finally pulled myself in.
When I opened the door, Cynthia was watching the television and my mother was in the kitchen.
Standing in the door, I couldn’t hold it anymore. I started crying profusely.
Cynthia got up and approached me.
“Are you okay?”
I looked at her as I slumped to the ground.
My mom said
“Whats wrong with him?”
“Annie posted a secret recording of him confessing that he lied to people about being terminally illl.
It is all over the internet”
I raised my head and looked up to her as I said
She looked at me puzzled and said
“You haven’t seen it?”
I hadn’t seen the video.
Apparently Annie had a camera in her purse, recording me that morning as I confessed being a fucking liar to her.
She had never been one to play fair and I couldn’t even muster anger towards her.
I felt a sharp pain in my stomach.
The tears flowed faster and I slumped farther into darkness.
Cynthia then said
“Kola, you’re bleeding”
I cleaned my nose with my right forearm and there was blood on it.
“Are you okay?”
My mother hissed and said
He gets those when it’s too hot or he’s stressed. He brought this stress on himself.
Kola go to the bathroom and wash that nonsense off before you stain the walls”
She walked right past me and into the bedroom.
And in that moment, I realized how low I had fallen.
My reputation was tarnished and I lost all the women I had and even my mother walked away from me as my heart lay broken.
And all I could think was What The… you know the rest.
I hope you enjoyed the Confessions of a Yoruba Demon series. I know lately they have gained prominence for creative heartbreaking techniques and patterns. I enjoyed writing this series and I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Please if you know a Yoruba demon, stay with him. He needs all your love.
LOL it’s play o! RUN!!!!!
But in all good fun, ladies and gentlemen, treat your partners well.
“Yoruba demonizing” is a way of life. WE must all cast and bind!
Please leave a comment/SHARE and let’s meet back up here next Saturday for a brand NEW series from the mind of your one and only
There was an oxygen mask across my face as I slowly opened my eyes.
Where was I?
There was a bitter taste in my mouth.
The way it would taste if you hadn’t spoken or opened your mouth for hours.
I scanned from left to right, there were bodies around me, leaning over me. I could hear someone talking but I wasn’t sure if they were talking to me.
I couldn’t hear them anyways.
The voices were all too oud and the way the truck moved, I wasn’t going to make out the words.
As my eyes got clearer, I noticed that Cynthia was seated to my right.
She smiled at me and mouthed something I thought to be
“You’re gonna be okay Kola”
I tried to force a smile but I only had enough energy to bat my eye lashes and my lids closed.
I could still hear them, talking and I felt Cynthia place her hand on mine.
It was cold.
I opened my eyes just as the van came to a halt.
The noise level rose again as they worked to lift me out and on to another gurney.
Into the hospital we went, they were moving really fast and then I heard new voices. There were more people touching me now and saying things to me.
My head was spinning and I just wanted it to stop.
I heard someone ask me a question. I didn’t answer.
The person leaned in closer and asked again, I nodded.
A few seconds later, I felt a pinch in my arm. I had been injected with something.
Just a few more puffs and my eyes went shut again.
Please leave me a comment at the end of this story. Trust me, you will want to leave one. I reply to them all.
Let me know what you think about the Confessions!
I had a huge headache as I woke up.
My body felt sore. Maybe from all the moving around but somehow I felt better than before.
There was an intravenous line passed through my left forearm. There was some food on my tray to my right.
I was looking at the food when I heard someone say from behind it
“Hey handsome, you up.”
I tried to make out who it was and then they said
“You can sleep sha!
Just be over there snoring all the time.
How did you sleep?”
I forced a smile back.
It was Cynthia.
In a quiet and raspy tone, I responded
“How long was I out for?”
She smiled, now standing right by the bed. She said
They really knocked you out”
Immediately my mind flashed to Taiwo. I’m sure she would have been blowing up my phone.
As I tried to figure it all in my head, Cynthia said
“Don’t worry, I already told her what happened. She was here earlier and she will be back soon”
Puzzled as to who she could have been talking about.
“Who do you think I’m talking about?”
She smiled as she turned around and headed back to her seat. She sat down, reached for her phone and said
“You little girlfriend Taiwo or whatever her name was.”
I rolled my eyes and said
“She’s not my girlfriend”
Her response was a cheeky
“Mhmm…whatever you say daddy”
I frowned and said
“I told you not to call me that anymore”
She got up and walked towards me as she smiled and said
“You’re telling me that you don’t want me to call you daddy?
Be acting like you don’t like it”
She ran her fingers up my right thigh and stopped right beneath my aroused member. I tried to keep it down but it only rose more and she smiled harder.
“Have I ever told you that I hate you?”
I said with a smile.
She smiled too and said
“Don’t make me get crazy and sit on it right in this hospital because you know I’ll do it”
I knew she would.
That’s how she was. That’s who I am.
So it made sense that she would but I couldn’t.
I didn’t want to and that was telling. But I teased back and said
“You wouldn’t even be able to handle it”
She grabbed it in her hands and said
I would ride this shit right now… Boy don’t play yourself.. you know I can put it o…..”
The doctor walked in and cut her off.
But Cynthia didn’t let go off my hardened member in her hand.
He looked down awkwardly at my lower regions and then at me and then at Cynthia.
It was only then Cynthia let me out of her grip with a huge smile on her face.
I was so on.
But I was more interested in what the doctor had to say.
He looked at me and said
Completely butchering my name.
“I’m pretty sure I just butchered your name…I’m sorry.
Do you think we discuss some of the details of your results in private?”
I sat up in the bed and looked at the doctor
“It’s okay doc. You can say whatever in front of her.”
He nodded in approval and said
“Well, we did some extensive tests and we discovered that you had elevated levels of arsenic in your system”
I frowned and asked
“So what does that mean doc?
Am I okay?”
He looked a bit serious now as he said
“Yes, you are okay. What usually comes with this condition is internal bleeding, vomiting and such but your bleeding from your nostrils was unusual.
I think your body failed to display the other symptoms because you were soon unconscious. Your levels were off the chart, which leads me to believe one thing…you were poisoned”
I heard Cynthia gasp as my face dropped.
By who? Why? What could I have done that was that bad?
Now before you start to judge me, some of you may think
“Oh, he’s Yoruba. He’s a demon.”
I had always made myself very clear to the women I date.
No lies, just true feelings and vibes.
So who could have wanted to hurt me or better yet, dead.
My eyes began to water as I mustered the strength to ask
“So you mean someone tried to kill me?… I couldn’t *sniff*
I couldn’t have ingested something bad”
He seriousness seemed to be replaced with compassion now as he said
“Unfortunately, these levels we saw were too high.
You would need to have ingested a full bag of coal to have reached those levels. The thing that surprises people the most is it’s slow effect before kicking in. It can take a few hours to a day before it toxic impact is felt.
I’m sorry… the good news is that you got to us early enough for us to pump a lot of it out.
Some of your organs are lightly damaged and in recovery, we will just keep you here for observation but you should be set to head home within a few days.
So rest up and try to eat as much as you can”
He excused himself, I thanked him and he left.
I was stunned and playing detective in my mind. I wanted to cry but Cynthia being close wasn’t making that easy.
Who could have poisoned me?
The last meal I ate was at Taiwo’s and before that, I had eaten with Annie but even that was more than 3days ago.
So was it Taiwo?
But why would Taiwo want to harm me? We had just spoken about relationships and how she wanted me.
I looked over to Cynthia.
There was concern written over her face and anger but more importantly love.
She still loved me.
You see, Cynthia and I were engaged to be married.
I was sure that i wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
We met during her Master’s program while I was working with the research team at her school.
She made me work to get her.
I truly put in work. The late night calls, always being present for her and all that was in between.
So I proposed, my family thought I was high off the fumes of love but I felt like she was the one until one day when I came home and walked in on her and her ex.
Everything changed that day.
Her family tried and begged but I called off the engagement and she moved.
I know she loves me and I still love her but I could never come back from that.
And maybe that affected my trust in allowing other women in but ultimately, I felt like I was hurting again.
I had let one in, and somehow, they had tried to take my life.
Tears trickled down the side of my right cheek as I cried with the door behind me.
Whenever I am overwhelmed, I would try to force myself to sleep, so I didn’t have to think.
I was trying to sleep when I heard Cynthia say in a harsh tone
“What do you want?”
I immediately opened my eyes and saw her standing, my eyes shifted with my body as I heard a reply in Cynthia’s direction
“What do you mean?
I told you I was coming back”
as I arrived on my back, I saw Taiwo with her furrowed brows looking angry at Cynthia for that question.
“Cynthia, chill… Can you give us a moment to talk?”
She looked at me surprised. She rolled her eyes, turned, unplugged her phone and then headed out of the hospital room.
Taiwo approached the bed and said
“Kola, what was all that about?”
“Shut the door, please”
She walked to the door and closed it.
As she walked back towards me, I said
“Taiwo, what did I do to deserve this?”
She looked confused and said
What are you talking about Kola?”
she placed her hand on me, as if to display her harmlessness.
I shrugged her off and said,
“You know exactly what I’m talking about!”
with my voice raised.
She took a step back and replied
“I don’t know who you think you’re yelling at or why but you need to calm the fuck down.
I’m the one that needs answers. Like why you never told me that you were engaged before or why you felt like I shouldn’t know that your ex fiancee was in your house.
So you give me answers instead of expecting me to read your mind”
I dismissed what she said and charged back
“You poisoned me Taiwo!”
Her eyes grew big and she looked hurt by my accusation
“The doctor came back with the test and he said I had been poisoned. The last thing I ate was from you”
Taiwo was already in tears.
She wiped her tears with her right sleeve and sniffled before saying
“Kola, you really just accused me of poisoning you?
I felt something.
There was something there.
But I had to try to fight what I felt and go for the facts as I said
“I’m not trying to accuse you.
but you are the last person I ate from. So where would I say that I ate that from?
I’m just going off what the doctor said”
“Well the doctor is wrong and you are so fucking wrong.
After everything. After picking people over me.
After years of waiting, you’re here accusing me?!
Of trying to kill you?
nah, you’re a fucking bitch and you’re fucking up!…. this is why you are alone. Because you sit here and push people away….
She snarled right back at me.
I was trying to keep my voice down and hers as I said
“You know I find it hard to trust people and it’s all been very ha…”
“Fuck your trust issues Kola!
That shit is a cop out!
Like nigga I love you! I have fucking loved you!
Yet you want to treat me like one of your side pieces. You’re going to regret ever saying those words to me Kola.
She picked up her purse and left the containers that had food she brought. As she started to bolt out the door, I jumped out of the bed, forgetting the IV was still under my flesh.
I screamed as I felt my flesh rip.
She stopped as her right hand held the door knob.
I looked at her back as she refused to turn around and said
“Taiwo, I am sorry.
I shouldn’t have said that. I know you would never try to hurt me.
I was just scared and I lashed out.. I’m sorry babe”
She turned around and looked me square in the eye and said
“Kola, you think I’m not scared?.. you think it’s not scary to get a call that the man you love, nearly died?
You think it’s not scary loving you with your entire fan club of women wanting a piece of you?
What part of that do you think is easy Kola?”
I placed my hands on tear filled face and said
“Taiwo, I’m scared but I feel safe with you.
Please let us try.
Don’t walk out on me. I need you”
I could feel her knees buckle under my words.
She sheepishly smiled and said
“You are annoying but you are lucky I love you”
I smiled back and led her to the bed.
As I climbed in, she placed her purse back next to the food and said
“Are you hungry?
Or do you think I poisoned this one too?”
I jokingly glared at her and replied
“Too soon. Too soon.
Just come here”
I motioned to her to climb into the bed.
“When, shift now. You don’t know your butt is big. Abi should sit on the railing.”
I moved over as she climbed into the bed with her iPad.
And turned it to some Nigerian movie on Iroko TV. I was about to make a joke about it when she said
“You better not say anything or you will go back to watching your hospital cable”
She continued and said
“So what else did the doctor say?”
I started speaking and then I heard a knock on the door.
The door opened and a nurse walked in with Cynthia closely behind.
She greeted me and told me she was there to check on me.
As she walked around the bed to my right side, I thought she was about to chastise me for letting the IV drop out of my arm but she said
“Sir, it looks like you’re bleeding again”
I looked down at the pillow case and there were droplets of blood.
It was about to be another rollercoaster ride.
There were doctors circling me and nurses coming in and out.
I was on the high priority list.
Taiwo did not leave my side except for the time when I had to get an MRI done and even then, she was right outside the room.
Everyone was trying to figure out what was going on.
My mother was flying in from Nigeria shortly as my whole family and friends, wrapped around me.
The next morning, as I slowly woke.
I remember feeling a sense of calm.
Like answers were to be had and things would sort itself out.
I remember cracking jokes with Cynthia and Taiwo as we tried to take our minds off the situation while awaited the results from the doctors.
I remember Cynthia was talking about how men don’t appreciate the lengths women go to look good or something along those lines.
As she was demonstrating her points, the doctor knocked and let himself in.
He greeted me and asked some simple questions about my well being and proceeded to ask if he could talk to me about the results they found in front of Taiwo and Cynthia.
I gave my approval.
He closed the door and approached the bed.
With a folder in hand, he opened it up and held up some X-ray sheets as he said
“So we did a full body scan and located what we believe to be the problem.
Here, is a copy of the brain scan and there *he pointed to the picture*, there is a brain aneurysm right here.
Due to the size and it’s closeness to sensitive areas of your brain, we actually cannot advise to operate on it.”
There was a tension in the room.
Shock on both of their faces as I said
So how long do I have doc?”
He looked at me and said
“In my professional judgement, I would say about 4-5 months give or take”
Cynthia held strong as she comforted a sobbing Taiwo.
The doctor shook my hand and excused himself.
I stayed silent for a second as it all hit me.
Then Cynthia looked at me and said
I couldn’t hold the tears anymore.
They began to flow down my sullen cheeks as I replied
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I could feel the cold from the metal bench stinging the lining of my skin as I waited in the holding cell.
There was nothing I had done to deserve this .
In many ways, I felt betrayed by Annie.
Now don’t get me wrong, there was probably something I could have done better in the situation with regards to Taiwo but the turn around time never gave me a chance.
But that still isn’t justify Annie basically lying to the police and threatening my career and future.
One of the officers was understanding as he knew that disagreements with partners can sometimes be over embellished.
Still that didn’t mean I was getting released.
I sat in the cell for more than 20 hours.
Each hour felt like a rerun of watching my favorite team losing the Championship in thefinal seconds of a game; it sickened me.
There were knots in my stomach and I could feel my palms get really sweaty.
How could she do this to me?
I would occasionally drift to my parents, particularly my mother and what she would be feeling if she found out that I had been arrested.
Disappointment. Pain. Helplessness.
Where would I start to explain myself?
My parents sent me to school in the United States when I turned 16.
I had finished high school in Nigeria and my time at Atlantic Hall High School still remains one of my best experiences in life.
I loved growing up in Nigeria and I was extremely appreciative that I had parents that valued hard work and education.
A lot of what I needed was always provided by my parents and I could count on them for anything.
So how would they take this news?
My father never put his hands on my mother, so having to hear that his son was a wife beater?
I felt another knot in my stomach.
I managed to finally fall asleep when I heard someone calling out a name.
I wasn’t sure if it was mine or not.
Someone was calling and banging on the rails.
I opened my eyes and mouthed to the guy sitting next to me
“What’s going on?”
He looked at me and said
“is your name Coller?”
I looked away and at the officer still calling my name.
I got up and walked to the gate
“Are you Coller?”
“Yes. That’s me”
He began to open the gate as he said
“You made bail”
I was surprised as I became more aware of my surroundings.
I walked out of the cell and began to think,
“who could it be?”
Reaching the front counter, I was really nervous. My palms became sweaty and I was second guessing showing my face.
What if it was my uncle that my parents sent?
I shuttle stepped and turned the corner, the officer pointed to the counter and asked me to sign a form as I received my personal effects from him in a bag.
After inspecting the bag, I nodded at him to confirm that all my items were present.
He looked down at the dashboard in front of him and pressed a button, the door behind me buzzed and I pushed it open and entered into the waiting room. Standing in the center of the waiting room, there she was; Taiwo.
The street lights were out on my right side.
I stared out of the window; no words said since she picked me up.
How did she know I was there?
I couldn’t bring myself to hold a conversation. Being that I was innocent regarding the pictures and all, I think I actually felt anger towards her.
Somewhere deep inside me, I felt like her recklessness led us up to that point.
She parked next to the curb and shut off the engine.
Her hand reached into the cup holder and picked up her charging phone. She fiddled with it for a few minutes as I watched her out of the corner of my eyes.
She placed her phone down and looked towards me and said
“Kola, are you going to say something?”
I refused to reply.
She waited a few seconds and said
“Kola, I am sorry.
I didn’t mean for all this to get crazy… I just wanted to let you know that I still had feelings for you.”
I looked at her and those eyes sucked me in.
Shit! I wasn’t supposed to look in her eyes.
So here is a quick flashback
Taiwo and I “dated” for a bit and this was way before Annie.
When I say dated, I mean we actually went on a couple of dates together with the hope of knowing each other.
To be honest, I can’t remember who started playing what games but I know we were both being unserious, so falling off was easy and soon enough, Annie came along.
Annie and I were about 7 months into dating when I was reintroduced to Taiwo.
Annie asked me for details and I told her everything she needed to know back then.
We had never had sex.
We hadn’t even kissed yet.
So in my mind, we never happened like that. But Taiwo and I had a connection, I worked in mental health for a company that studies patients with down syndrome.
Taiwo’s older brother was one of our first patients.
So on many days when when Annie and I were “together”, I would see Taiwo and grab lunch or whatever.
We became very close but I always now referred to her as Annie’s friend.
Our connection was always evident, I had a hand in her family and she had hers in mine.
I felt a cold hand on my left hand, jolting me back into the present.
I moved my hand away and said
“You caused all this”
“I know and I’m sorry”
A part of me was still frustrated.
I shifted my body and stared out of the window as I said
“How did you even know where I was?”
She leaned back and said
“When I didn’t hear from you, I got worried. So I called Annie.
She screened my calls or even blocked me… I figured something must have happened.
And after calling the hospitals in the area, I called the police department through my friend Cory, the Assistant District Attorney and she was able to help me locate you and I had to come and get you”
Impressed by the effort she had shown to find me and come, I still put up a front and said
“You wouldn’t have had to pick me up from the station if things had just stayed the way they were”
She chimed back
“But Kola, I am tired of the way they are… I am tired of dancing around you and pretending like I don’t love you or want you.
I am tired.
So forgive me for going after what I want but you always say it, regret is so much worse than failure”
I did say that.
That was my line.
I looked over at her and tried to fight a smile. She smiled and mouthed
And that was it. The last bit of my flailing guard fell.
“I can’t even think straight”
“Would a drink help?”
as she pointed straight down the street at a flashing “Open” sign for a local bar.
I smiled and said
“I wouldn’t hurt”
We must have been in there for about two hours. But as we walked home, she held my hands. It was easily the most calming moment of a stressful couple of days.
We talked about what could have been if we had been serious when we first met.
When we reached her car, I motioned as if to get in.
I thought she would be taking me home. It was as I turned around, I saw her holding open the door that led to her apartment.
with some authority. I replied
“It’s kinda late tho”
Flashing my illuminated Fitbit near her face. 1:59am.
She smiled and said
“Exactly. It’s late and you know I don’t like to drive at night.
Aint nobody tryna get shot”
I walked in behind her and up the stairs.
As we entered, I could smell recently cooked food.
Taiwo walked towards the kitchen area and on the dining table, there was a full outlay of food.
Efo riro (A vegetable dish with assorted meats), white rice, red beans and meat pie.
Taiwo went in.
She put some of the rice in the microwave and headed into her bedroom.
I walked around the dining table one more time. She emerged and handed me a towel and a white medium sized shirt.
I remember teasing her that she was making me wear the clothes of one of her lovers.
The shower was amazing.
I felt like I was washing away the filth and drama from the past two days.
It was then I realized that I hadn’t thought about Annie all night.
My insides were somehow filled with disgust again.
I washed myself down and headed out into the living room.
The sweet smelling scent of fried plantains filled the air, bringing joy only rivaled by a direct deposit alert.
The smell couldn’t mask my thirst for her.
She turned around as she removed the last batch of plantains from the hot oil.
As she moved the pan to an empty burner, I slid my right hand around her.
My hand firmly on her lower back, I pulled her in close.
My first kiss was the one that set open the doors.
Her full lips sang in unison with mine.
Weaving a story of love and lust as she placed both her hands around my neck.
Our tongues laced with a passion and a wanting of years passed, I kissed her hard.
I broke the kiss and took her left hand in mine and led her till we stood in front of the couch.
Her leather Kim Kardashian jacket hugged the arm rest.
Her eyes were glued to mine. The hairs behind my neck were standing and I leaned in and kissed her again.
She bit my bottom lip as I went in for more of hers.
She was wearing a vanilla top that sat just beneath her buttocks.
As I kissed her, my mind began to race.
How far did I want this to go?
Did I really want to do this? Now?
Maybe my mind communicated with hers via our spit but she suddenly moved my hand from her lower back to sit firmly on her left buttock.
Each piece of clothing came off, and we were soon bare as we came into this world but filled with lust that ravages people.
I slowly sat her down on the couch and kissed her succulent thighs.
Her tattoos carefully placed around her body like art on gallery wall of a painter.
My tongue long for her sweet; my eyes searched her soul.
I tried to find where I fit, as I licked her thighs and stared upwards at her.
Using my hands, I parted her legs. It was brief but telling sound as I heard her wet.
The kisses around the edges were sloppy like saving a wilting ice cream cone at the state fair.
This was all I had wanted.
As I passionately locked lips with her pink, I felt her muscles tense and then relax.
I looked up again at her perfectly sculpted breasts and her silver piercing that found home in her left breast.
Her back firmed up as she began to curse under her breath.
Her right hand found its way to the back of my neck as she battled with pushing my head away or keeping my tongue closer.
Gladly, my tongue moved hard on her pink.
I slurped and gulped as I struggled to keep up with the juice that was flowing on to my beard.
I continued to work my position.
Wagging from left to right and nibbling to soothing effects, Taiwo went silent.
I could tell what was coming.
She lifted her back off the leather couch, squeezed my arm and squealed.
A fresh squeeze of her filling, lined the cavities of my mouth.
I stood and smiled.
Like a warrior that conquered it’s prey.
I began to reach for my pants to pull out the condom housed in my wallet while she writhed across the couch.
I checked the first pocket I normally kept my condom and found nothing.
This was not the time to have lost or forgotten this.
I checked the second sleeve inside the wallet, nothing.
I knew I was fucked. I was just about to make up an excuse to not continue our activities when Taiwo tapped me.
I turned around and immediately dropped to her knees and took me in.
The entire time, her gaze was fixed on me.
She sucked on the head and juggled my balls in her right hand.
It was art.
The way she caressed and then stroked. The way she tugged and slapped it across her cheek like an expert, I feared that I might just explode without warning.
I gently pushed her head away, knowing fully well that another couple of minutes of that and I would be spreading my seed like a farmer before the first rain.
I slipped the condom on my wet shaft and sat down on the the couch.
She smiled as she saddled me.
This was where we stayed.
Her eyes on me, mine on her breasts.
She controlled the motions. Slowly.
There wasn’t a rush to it.
As she dripped on to me with each stroke, I could feel myself finding new depths wishing her.
She stayed close and kissed me. Her breasts bounced as motioned up and down.
I could feel myself tense up as I bit lightly into her nipple.
She moved faster with shorter strokes.
I felt it boiling up but she stayed the course.
Her cheeks slapping into my drenched sack as she moved on me.
I was trying to fight her but the softness of her skin, those big bold eyes, her lips, her wet, I couldn’t help it any longer.
I squeezed her cheeks in my hands and felt a tickle right inside my shaft.
A few muffled grunts and spurts , it was all out.
She stayed on me for a few seconds and leaned back.
Sweat dripped from underneath her weave and down her forehead. I smiled at her and leaned she in to kiss me.
As she broke the kiss, we smiled together like shy kids that had just touched our privates for the first time.
And then she said
“Will you eat now?”
I joked and replied
She slapped me across my chest, got up and headed into the bathroom. I watched her blessed frame wander off into the fluorescence of the bathroom.
The condom came off, my clothes came on and we ate.
As we sat there watching a movie that somewhat reminded me of the Legend of Tarzan, she placed her head on my lap and looked up at me.
I looked away fro the tv and at her as I said
She smiled and replied
“I know you don’t necessarily want to talk bout it.
I know you have a bunch of girls that want you but I just want you to know that I genuinely want you.
not all that nonsense we were doing years ago. I genuinely want you.
So take your time to figure it all out but know that all I want is you.”
It felt like long needed validation.
Like the words I wanted a jilted lover to express before they found peace.
I smiled at her.
“T, you know I have a lot going on but I hear you”
She smiled back and that was all we said.
We curled up next to each other that night and slept.
The next morning, we swung by the Tmobile store and I picked up a new phone.
Taiwo then took me towards the house. I asked her to drop me off by the corner so I could buy some plantains from the Chinese store, to go with the rest of the stew she gave me.
I was so glad that I did.
As I walked home, with my bags in hand and sun in my face, I thought I would feel better.
I felt good but like something was missing.
Someone was leaving the complex as I arrived, so they left the door open. I let myself in, picked up my mail and head into the elevator.
As the doors opened and I turned the corner, I looked up and with great surprise, there was someone standing in front of my apartment.
She was leaning on the wall with her back turned to me.
As I approached slowly, I noticed her luggage and I began to wonder.
A few more steps and she heard me.
Turning around, my face flushed with surprise and maybe even shock.
She smiled and said
I stood there shocked.
“Cynthia, what are you doing here?”
She leaned in for a hug and said
“I told you I would be coming through”
I broke the hug and said
“But you never said anything about coming here or staying with me”
She rolled her eyes and stepped back
“Kola, are you going to let me in?”
I scoffed and reluctantly opened the door.
She smiled and moved her bags inside the apartment.
I stood by the door and asked again
“So Cynthia, why are you here?”
She looked a bit more serious as she approached me and said
“Kola, will you ease up.
You stopped calling me months ago. And because you called off the engagement, we can’t be friends?
You know I love you… so lets leave all that in the past.
I’m not here to take you from all your little girlfriends of which I could if I wanted because they have nothing on all this…. I’m here for a job.
I start in two weeks and until then, I have nowhere else to stay.
So whats for lunch?”
She walked past me and into the kitchen.
She bent down and her head disappeared behind the refrigerator door. As she stood up, she looked surprised and worried.
Slowly, she closed the door and said
“Kola, are you okay?”
I stood there and wondered what she was talking about as she was now walking towards me.
“Kola, you’re bleeding”
I looked down at the puddle of blood forming between my feet.
I moved my right hand to my nose and felt blood dripping down.
The next thing I felt was Cynthia cushioning my fall.
And shouting my name
For the second time in two days, I felt the cold piercing my skin.
This time around, there was no rising.
Slowly my name went faint and my body went numb.
What The Heck Man.
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