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
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!
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
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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This was not one of those situations where saying a bit was enough.
I needed something big.
As I weaved through traffic, I was consumed by trying to figure out this thing and not so much guilt.
The guilt for what happened would eventually come.
But for now, I need these danfos (buses) to get out of my way and I need the Lord to come my way and save me.
As I turned the corner about 16 minutes from the venue, I finally figured out the first step.
I reached for my phone sitting in the cup holder and dialled his number.
He picked up on the first ring.
“Bro, please tell me you are outside”
He asked as I heard him make his way out of the room.
I cursed as I switched lanes and replied,
“Bro, I’m almost there.
I can’t explainnnnnnnnnnn”
Sayid was always the calm influence, he stopped walking, presumably now outside and in a “safe” space.
“Everyone thinks you got cold feet and bailed.”
I cursed again.
“Wura has been crying all morning and some people have been panicking.
How far away are you now?
I glanced at the dashboard clock and said,
“12 minutes max”
Get here as fast as you can. Your clothes are here.
I’ll inform Wura and the rest of the gang.
Hurry up bro”
The phone clicked and I dropped it on the passenger seat.
I heaved a huge sigh.
Part 1 cleared.
A respectable lie.
Oh don’t judge me! You’ve told a lie or two before.
Well isn’t that a lie.
My palms were sweaty as I put the car in park.
I hopped out and Sayid was right there waiting for me.
Some late guests were still arriving and making their way into the church.
I was scared.
Worse than the time I got arrested back in Canada. This one terrified me.
What was supposed to be the biggest day of my life, was now a huge mess and it was all my fault.
I ran into the room earmarked for the groom and his groomsmen.
Flipping my clothes, it was a complete makeover.
I went from looking like a cheating average man to the guy your company would bring in to complete a merger.
I was wrapping up the knot on the tie when I heard a knock on the door.
Without turning around and losing anymore time by walking to the door, I said,
The door opened slowly and Wura walked in.
“Diji, where the hell were you?!
I was worried sick!
Did you get cold feet?”
I walked over to her and placed my hands on her shoulders and said,
“Babe, I was robbed last night at gunpoint.
They took the car and threw me in the back. They took my phone and used my car to rob others.
They eventually drove me all the way to Mowe (a city 30 minutes outside of Lagos)
They kept me there with them all night. I begged them and told them I was getting married today.
It was only God in his mercy that allowed them to let me go.
I rushed here as fast as I could.”
She looked so concerned as she said,
“Oh my God!
Baby are you okay?”
“Im fine love.
I just need to hurry up and wife your beautiful self up!”
She smiled and I said,
“I love you baby.”
“I love you too”
“Now go back out there so I can come and make this official”
She beamed as she hurried away in her elegance.
I was a lucky fool.
I looked at myself in the mirror and whispered to myself,
“God please help me”
What was I to do?
Oh how I wish I knew.
Being married wasn’t as difficult as people have always made it out to be.
Between Wura and I, we began to come up with our own systems of doing things.
Communication was key and I honestly feel like being responsible for another allows us both of us, to do a bit more.
One of the things I loved about Wura as my wife was her effortless ability to drift within her roles.
From Marketing Guru to Home Manager; she was always on top of things.
Trying to make sure I was always happy and I truly appreciated her for it.
But there was something lingering in my chest.
Remember that guilt that I spoke about?
Yeah, it was consuming me. Preventing me from being happy with Wura.
I always wondered, “what if!”
What if she found out?
What if I got tempted again with Bimbo?
To be fair, it had been a month since I spoke to or contacted Bimbo.
We never even processed that night and what might have truly happened.
It was in the past and I wanted to keep it that way.
I was married now, with a new life and new approach. No need going backwards.
But I knew I had to let go of the baggage weighing on my heart.
It was 3:44am.
I lay there looking at Wura as she slept peacefully next to me.
How was she going to take what I was about to say?
Would I still keep my wife, my happiness?
My friend once told me that holding the truth from someone was down to human arrogance, to decide if someone deserved to be in the know.
I was scared and starting to doubt myself again.
I gently tapped Wura.
She didn’t move.
I almost took that as a sign to ignore it and just forget it. One more night to manage living a lie.
But something in me caused me to touch her again, and this time she slowly woke as I said her name,
She said as she woke up and cleaned her eyes with her left hand.
“What’s wrong babe”
I sighed and said,
“Nothing. I need to talk you about something”
She seemed more awake now as she said,
“Okay babe. Talk to me”
I almost chickened out but it was like I heard a voice in my head that told me to go on. So I did, I said
“Wura, I want to start by saying I am sorry.
There is nothing you did to cause this. This is all my responsibility.
I want to ask for your forgiveness more than anything.”
She looked puzzled as she tried to keep calm.
“Babe, talk to me. Whatever it is, we can work through it”
If only she knew, I almost wanted to say that it was impossible to just overlook.
And working through it?
Well that would mean a tremendous amount of work and trust.
I turned to my left and looked at her as I said,
“The night before our wedding.
I lied about bring robbed and lost. I went over to Bimbo’s house to talk.
And we ended up having sex. When I woke up in the morning, I was running late.
I wanted to tell you but I was torn between telling you and ruining your special day or keeping it.
But I am tired of keeping it. I wanted to start the rest of our lives with honesty and this has been eating me up inside.
…whatever you decide to do now, I completely respect.
it was my mistake and even though I can promise it will never happen again, whatever consequences come my way, I am prepared to face.
I just want you to know I am deeply sorry and I love you”
She was crying.
She just stared at me and kept crying. It was extremely scary because I couldn’t tell what she was going to say next if anything.
I just waited.
After a few minutes, I said
“Wura, please say something.”
The crying was replaced with sniffles as the tears dried.
She looked at me and said,
“Diji, it’s okay. We will talk more about it in the morning.
I can’t think right now”
I couldn’t believe it.
It almost felt like a joke, a very expensive one. But true to Wura fashion, she turned over and closed her eyes.
A few minutes later, she was breathing calm and sleeping away.
I couldn’t sleep.
This was a Yoruba woman, a true believer in what is right, sleeping next to me.
The rest of the night till she woke up for work at 6:45am, my eyes stayed wide open.
No sleep whatever.
I couldn’t risk closing my eyes and waking up on the other side.
That morning, as we got up, Wura greeted me and we quickly went about our preparations for work.
At about 7:15am, I was ready to start heading out the door as Wura followed closely behind me.
Normally, I would get in my car in the driveway and back up to either to leave for work or to move so she could leave.
We had a one car lane driveway.
As I reached my car, I didn’t attempt to give her a hug or kiss like I normally would before leaving.
As I opened the door to my car, I turned and said,
“Have a great day love. I’ll see you when I get back”
She smiled and said,
“Have a great day Diji but I won’t be here when you get back… I need some time alone”
There was no use fighting it.
No use trying to change her mind.
Wura was not easily swayed and trying to force her to change her mind would only make her more upset.
I lowered myself into my car and I slowly backed out of the driveway. I waved at her.
She lifted her hand and waved back.
That was the last I would see of her.
Three months went by.
Wura had been living with a friend of hers on the Island.
She had sent her friend to pick up some things when I wasn’t home.
Basically, we were separated.
I didn’t tell anyone about us being separated except Sayid.
He was the only one that truly knew what I was going through.
I had tried repeatedly to reach out to Wura but she blocked all my efforts.
I knew she was clearly sending a message.
She wanted to be left alone.
That evening, I met up with Sayid for drinks at a place near his house in Ikoyi.
Mid way through the conversation, he asked
“Do you think you guys are done?”
I feared the answer to that question as I replied,
“Bro… I don’t know”
He sipped from his drink and said
“…I think you need to know.
You have to earn her trust back if you want to stay married to her.
Leaving her alone won’t work forever. You have to aggressively show her you are sorry and ready to be better.”
He was right.
He was almost always right.
But where would I start from. I feared the vulnerability of begging her and being turned away but I wasn’t considering that I had just violated her vulnerability by my act of cheating.
Something needed to be done. And fast.
In an attempt to lighten the mood, Sayid switched the conversation to soccer.
He laughed as he said,
“You better go and fight for your wife since your team Arsenal can never seem to fight for the title”
A huge smile covered my face as I prepared to reply,
“….Abeg shift, all we need is a few more good players and we are ready to….”
My phone started to ring.
It was an unrecognizable number.
I reached down and Sayid said,
“Who is it?”
I shook my head as I said,
“I don’t even know”
I slid my finger across the screen and said,
The voice on the other side was short and concise.
“Hello Diji, it’s Bimbo.
We need to talk”
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I made Sayid come with me that evening as we drove to Bimbo’s house.
I didn’t tell her he was with me but I wanted him there incase anything funny tried to go down.
I could sit here and lie to you but daughters of jezebel are everywhere and men can be so weak; sometimes.
Sayid was convinced that going to her house was a bad idea.
But I considered the fact that if I allowed her to come to my house and Wura ever found out, I would for sure be dead.
I wanted to get this over with.
We pulled up and I asked her to come and meet me outside.
As she walked outside, she noticed Sayid was in the car with me.
I rolled down the window as she said,
Sayid smiled and replied,
“Bimbo toh baddest!
Na you dey avoid us o!”
She laughed and said,
“you know thats not true o. Hows everything?”
“We thank Allah.”
Their greetings ended and Bimbo asked if she could talk to me in private.
I stepped out of the car and we walked about 15 feet away from it.
Bimbo started by saying,
“Thank you for coming in such short notice.
I really wasn’t planning on calling you.
You made your decision in getting married to Wura and I respect that… so this not an attempt to break you guys up or anything.
….I just wanted you to know that I am pregnant.
Before you ask, you are the only one I have been with since I moved back to Naij.
And I took multiple tests before confirming it at the doctors this morning.
I’m not expecting anything from you but I thought you deserved to know.”
I was in shock as I just stared at her.
She looked at me and said,
“Dj, are you okay?”
I gathered myself and said,
“Yeah..ya. Thanks for telling me.
I just need a moment to think”
Slowly, I turned around as she walked back into her apartment.
When I arrived in the car, Sayid asked me what had happened,
“She’s pregnant bro”
I answered as we turned onto the road.
I nodded as I said,
He said nothing else.
And his silence said it all.
I dropped him off and he told me he would swing by the next day.
The drive home was silent.
I kept thinking to myself.
This was bad.
It was for sure going to break Wura and I.
I cheated once and now that one time produces a child.
A part of me wanted to scream so loud but I would just look like a mad man on the streets of Lagos.
I just wanted to get home and hide under my bed.
And never leave the room.
As I pulled into the driveway, I noticed Wura’s friends car.
Oh maybe she came to pick up some stuff for Wura.
I sat in the car for a few minutes as I gathered myself before heading inside.
As I opened the door, I turned the corner to my right to the living room.
There were suitcases sitting in the middle of the living room.
And Wura was sitting on the couch behind them.
I looked at the boxes and then at her, speechless.
I didn’t even reply. My first reply was,
“Are you leaving for good now?”
She looked down at the ground.
My heart began to race.
How could this be happening today!
“Wura, are you leaving me?”
She looked back up at my scared face and said,
I’m coming home.
We have a lot to talk about and work through.
I’m not leaving my marriage.
I’m coming home”
I heaved a sigh of relief.
Hurriedly, I rushed over and gave her a hug.
She was reluctant to hug me.
She looked at me with a half smile and said,
“Diji, we have a lot to work on and deal with.
I am not giving up on my marriage especially over things that happened before we said our vows.
Does it hurt?
Hell fucking yes.
But God heals and I’m willing to work and let you earn my trust if you are willing too.
I honestly thought of running but what good is that…Trials will always come.
But one thing is for sure, I am not giving up on this union and my vows to you before God and man.
… I am also not giving up on our family”
My eyes grew big,
My ears a bit wider.
I thought I didn’t hear her right.
So I asked,
She smiled and said,
I am pregnant Diji”
My face suddenly dropped and I began to cry.
I just sat there and cried.
My heart was happy but I was terrified.
How could this be happening right now?
Life was dealing me a cruel blow and it was going to hurt even more.
Only a short while to go before the skies parted for the sun to arise.
You could hear the crows and their morning call.
In homes around the area, you could hear the moving engines that are people, as they prepared for the new day.
The keys clanked on the front door as I let myself in.
The cold from the Harmattan morning froze beneath my nails.
“I should have worn gloves.” I thought to myself as I dropped the mail on the receptionist desk. I was the first one here most days.
It was the safest place.
Cliche, as most people claim it as the home of their safety but it truly was that for me.
I have always had a questionable relationship with the church; or God.
But the events of the last few years have been truly humbling.
The way things moved or transpired, I continue to be amazed by how quickly it all changed.
And how everything I thought was not what it was.
I turned on the lights in the main auditorium.
Glancing at the huge wall clock behind me, the time showed 6:48am.
A few paces, and I was back to the technical department where I handled the visual display for the first service on Sundays.
Tuning things in preparation for the welcome chaos that was Thanksgiving Sunday, I realized that it was now 7am.
I needed to check if my brother, Dimeji, had woken up to get my sons Matthias and Tomas ready for church.
He was notorious for not waking up on time, the type to set 5 consecutive alarms to finally wake up.
I tapped my pocket and realized that I had left my phone in my car.
The keys to the church were sitting on the other end of the auditorium. I considered walking all the way across to grab them before going outside but I decided against it.
Figuring that if I left the door slightly open, I would make it to my car and back before the door could shut.
The phone was ringing as I walked back to the auditorium and then I heard it.
I looked up at the door, as I walked slowly, praying that somehow the door hadn’t shut itself.
By now, I’m sure you know how that went.
It was locked.
And there I was with my phone to my ear and then I heard Dimeji say on the other end in his slurred wake up voice,
“…What’s up bros?”
Get them ready ”
At that moment, the feeling of being stuck out in the cold was all too familiar.
I had made another wrong choice again but this time, someone would let me back in.
The last time I made a decision this big?
Well let me just tell you the story and you can decide how big your #WhatTheHeckMan would be.
“E gbe epo wa”
Roughly translating to “bring the fuel”
Voices piercing the skies laced with anger and discontent, in the familiar pandemonium that is Lagos. People gathered on the side of the street as the yelling continued,
I didn’t immediately run over to offer my help.
The truth here is that through my time living in this state or even country, I have usually avoided situations like this.
There is an unwritten rule in the state that is home to one of the largest economies in the world; “mind your business”.
I turned to the right and headed towards the quickly assembling crowd. I moved my phone to my pocket and began pushing my way through the crowd.
“E file na”
“Leave him alone”
The angry crowd beginning to douse him in petrol, getting ready to torch him for some crime.
I quickly gathered that he was alleged to have stolen a woman’s purse.
Neither the purse nor the full story were confirmed missing.
But in the streets of Lagos, you are guilty till proven otherwise.
“E fi sile”
Translating to leave him alone I said.
“Maa fun yin l’owo”
I yelled at the top of my lungs. A few things make Lagos and it’s inhabitants popularly known as Lagosians tick.
Money sits atop that list, never troubled.
My last statement caused some of the parties involved to slow down.
The man was drenched in petrol and all that really was left would be the unfortunate presence of some form of a lighter.
“Let the man go, I’ll give you money for the purse”
I repeated myself as they began to let go of the man.
One man looked at me, unwilling to give up this opportunity to right the wrongs life had put him through. He said,
You know him? Is he your family?”
I almost smiled at his weak attempt at resistance. I reached into my suit jacket and pulled out my check book.
The lady in question and her defence team now shifted their focus to me.
It really was a smooth transaction.
She claimed to have items worth 400,000 Naira inside her purse, if you factored in her iPad and her phone.
A check was written up and I handed it to her.
She thanked me and left.
The man in question, rose up and began thanking me for saving his life.
I told him it was God and not my doing but I couldn’t watch him be tormented like that.
He continued to thank me.
I asked him where he lived and he said,
After negotiating with a cab driver and paying him, the man was on his way.
I wasn’t entirely sure he was innocent but he didn’t have the purse with him for starters.
And who deserves to be burned to death over what was potentially fake leather.
I took off my suit jacket and opened up my car, placing it on the back seat. I grabbed my phone and it began to ring.
“Babe, where are you?”
I could hear the stress in her voice. Who knew that planning ones glorious day, could bring so much preparatory stress.
I looked both ways before I crossed the street as I continued talking,
“I’m just walking into the place to check on the drink order and give them the deposit”
She sighed on the other end of the line as I opened the door into the building.
The receptionist greeted me with a smile and paused as she waited for me to finish with my phone call
“Babe, why are you just getting there?
You were supposed to be there an hour ago. you know we still have the rehearsal at 7.
We don’t have that much time”
I nodded as if she could see me. She was tense.
I was too but someone had to always level us out.
That was how we worked.
I smiled and reminded myself not to say “calm down”, unless I was looking to stare death in the face and prepared to lose.
“Wura, I’m coming.
I know you’re stressed. I’ll be there soon”
I could tell she rolled her eyes.
There was a way she always did it.
“Just hurry up!
I’m having to deal with all these people myself and it’s too much”
She hung up before I could respond.
I knew I had to get home as quickly as I could. Wura wasn’t one to “crumble” under pressure but if you know weddings in Lagos these days, you would know that pressure doesn’t even come close to what people go through.
It had been 3 years since I started dating Wura. The next day, our wedding day, would mark the beginning of the 4th.
And ultimately the rest of our lives.
Wura loved me.
I state that by itself because I want to emphasize it.
The woman loved me into my bones. To the places I never knew love could reach.
I had promised myself to never return to the place of vulnerability that love exposes.
Wura did it.
She found her own way to take my heart away.
Cliche again but she did and I had to find a way to pay her back.
Starting with returning to the rehearsal hall on time.
On my drive back, I got a call from a Tobi. My medical school buddy from Canada.
He was calling to inform me of his safe arrival back home.
I was pleased to hear his voice because Tobi introduced me to Sayid, my best friend, almost 12 years before.
Fresh into school and the cold days in Canada, Sayid and Tobi kept me connected to home.
Tobi had gone to University of Ibadan and introduced me to Sayid who had attended the University of Ilorin with me.
I never actually knew Sayid while at University of Ilorin, he graduated a year before me but we instantly hit it off.
It was always a great time around him from the music, to the stories and the constant laughs.
We grew close very quickly.
When I pulled up into the rehearsal hall’s parking lot, Sayid met me outside,
“She’s pissed bro”
I pressed the car remote to lock the doors as I walked towards the entrance.
There she was, ever so beautiful, even in her frustrated state.
“I am sorry baby”
as I approached and flashed a smile at her.
She tried to fight her smile but she soon started smiling.
Inside, I was relieved because Wura had the tendency to go over the deep end if she felt slighted or disrespected.
The rehearsal was pretty painless.
“Stand here, walk this fast, look here… who will have the rings?”
For two hours and then it was all done.
There were some refreshments provided to the wedding party and other friends present before we all set out.
The guys were staying with me at my father’s house in Lekki while the girls stayed at Wura’s aunts house in the heart of Victoria Island.
I was the last one to leave.
Walking back into the hall, I headed all the way to the front.
I took my position as I scanned the room, in less than twenty four hours, I was going to be marrying the woman I loved right in that spot.
A quick flashback to where we had been as my eyes welled up. I quickly dried them as I began to recite my vows.
“Wuraola, you are the essence that gives my life purpose
Through loving you, I have discovered what life can be in many ways
To have someone in your corner
To listen to your troubles and your fears
There is something about the way you love me
That makes me want to be a better man
I am lucky to have found you
I can’t promise to always know
But I promise that I will never stop at okay
I promise to love you with all of me
To protect you
Be your friend
And everything you need me to be along the way
I am thankful to God that I am about to embark on this journey with you
Thank you for loving me too”
There was a level of honesty to that piece.
It still brings tears to my eyes as I think of them.
But those were the words that rang true for me. Wura gave me a new purpose in love and I wanted her to know it.
I lingered around for a few minutes and then headed to the car.
As I sat in the car, I reached for my phone and noticed I had two missed calls.
I didn’t recognize the number, so I listened closely to the voicemail.
“Hey Diji, it’s Bimbo.
Long time, I know you’re getting married soon and I was just hoping we could talk before.
If it’s not possible, I understand.
I will just like to have one proper talk with you before you go off into the sacred land.
If that’s okay with you.
I’m staying at my place on the way to your house. Let me know if you can stop by.”
I listened to it twice.
Her voice still ringing between my ears as I placed the phone down. I hadn’t spoken to Bimbo in almost two years when I had called to let her know that I was proposing to Wura.
Bimbo and I had been together since before I went to Canada for medical school and we continued our long distance relationship.
Bimbo and Wura were completely different people.
Everyone that knew us, thought that I would marry Bimbo. The stars looked aligned for it.
We started out as kids and grew into full fledged adults. But life and it’s unpredictability happened and we broke up.
A lot of the things that happened between us could have been avoided; better communication I would say.
But Bimbo and I broke up and ultimately started dating other people.
When Wura came along, I was dating somebody else but we started out as friends.
Once that relationship ended, it was easier for us to start.
But I don’t think I ever stopped loving Bimbo.
Sometimes I had to convince myself that loving her was the wrong choice.
I rationalized the decision, but I always felt something was missing.
That night, I shouldn’t have gone to Bimbo’s house but I did.
I knocked on the door and a few seconds later, she answered.
No, she wasn’t dressed in anything sexy or seductive. It was just her.
The way her smile brightened my heart, I stepped in and hugged her.
There was a warmth that emanated from her.
It wasn’t just physical.
Suddenly, I started to feel like my coming there was a mistake.
I still had some feelings for Bimbo.
We began talking and catching up.
She told me that she had just gotten a job working for a law firm on the Mainland and she was happy to be back in Nigeria.
I felt my heart skip a beat.
Having to live so close to the woman I sometimes feel I should have married?
It wasn’t all rosy between Bimbo and I, our families for one did not get along or make any attempts to understand each other.
So we were always swimming against the current.
Hours had gone by and before I realized it, it was a bit past 2am.
Not a single bone in me wanted to leave.
So we kept talking and at one point, Bimbo suggested we watch our favourite movie together “The Usual Suspects.”
When I was in Canada and she moved to work in Tottenham, England; we would stay up late watching movies via FaceTime.
It was the first time in many years, that we actually sat down to watch a movie together.
Mid way through the movie, she turned over and whispered,
I smiled and asked,
She looked down and said,
I smiled and she smiled too.
Enough was said.
I slowly yawned as I struggled to get my eyes to open.
Scratching the side of my face and my beard, I twisted and turned.
A long stretch and I was awake.
What would happen next would change everything. I looked to my right and someone was sleeping next to me.
I was confused.
Where was I?
Then, it began to come back to me. I was at Bimbo’s house.
Did I sleep there?
I hoped to God that it was still early enough, I began to search for my phone.
Noticing it on the bed side cabinet, I reached up to get it. As I pressed the side button, the 46 missed calls did not stand out to me as much as the time did.
It read 11.52am.
I was a dead man.
I let out a squeal, waking up Bimbo as I cursed under my breath.
Oh, this was bad!
Bimbo slowly woke up and said,
“Dj, what happened?”
Standing at the foot of the bed cutting this dejected figure, I said
“I am fifty two minutes late to my own wedding”
She looked at me puzzled and reached for her phone to confirmed the time as she sprung out of the bed.
“What do we do?”
I began to reach for my shoes on my side of the bed when I noticed an empty condom wrapper, right next to my left shoe.
I reached down and picked it up. Holding up, I looked at Bimbo and then back at the wrapper.
Swallowing hard and slow, I asked Bimbo,
The look on her face said it all.
I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole.
“BEHIND THE WRITER”
IMPORTANT NOTICE:“Behind The Writer” edition #2 is BACK. Basically, I will spend that piece answering questions all of you have for me during the week of my birthday in
So PLEASE LEAVE YOUR QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENT SECTIONS BELOW. AS MANY AS 10 per person. I’ll pick the TOP 25 I like and answer them for you all in that piece! I’M DOING THIS SO ALL MY READERS, SUPPORTERS AND WHOEVER ELSE IS LEFT CAN GET TO KNOW THE WRITER A BIT MORE AND UNKNOWN THINGS ABOUT ME.