Thank you so much for taking the time to read this week’s post. I appreciate all the love and support over the last few weeks and since 2013. I am trying to stay consistent with posting every week, your comments, messages, likes and more are genuine fuel to post more. I always say this, I write ALL the time but I sometimes struggle to post. When I know I am coming to deliver to you all every week, it gives me a bit more fire. So please, never hold back your comments on the blog post and if you cannot comment here, feel free to send me a message as well. They all go a long way. And with that, here are the WordsOfWednesday from The Wordsmith. Enjoy!
. . . . . Hear Me Oh Lord, I Pray
For two weeks straight. Hardly any sleep. There I was, night after night, praying for it to end. The echoes of voices in my head. Sleep would visit but never lodge. I felt powerless in trying to change the situation. The people stronger than me were calling the shots. I was drifting away again. Deep into the night at 2am in the morning, I could hear the tambourines cymbals clang together sending echoes of tear laced prayers into the night. As I lost myself, I felt a firm a hot slap on my back slash shoulder area. It shocked me back into consciousness. Unclear of what just happened, I looked around and there staring at me while muttering something was my mother. We were doing night vigil. It was 3am.
There is power in prayer. The story, I just told you above was my reality for two weeks straight. In the early 2000’s while trying to japa my parents led a family vigil for two weeks straight. The prayer points varied but the theme was “God abeg”, we needed to leave Nigeria badly. Thank God we were all able to leave a few months later. It’s incredibly sad that Nigeria collectively is praying the same prayer now.
Prayers work – short and shallow or deep and vulnerable, they all work. While you are rushing to get to work despite waking up late because you watched Netflix throughout the night before or whether you are on your knees and praying with tears. I just wanted to share with you that prayers got me to where I am today. The prayers I know of and the ones that went straight up for me. Prayers are important.
. . . . . Disciplined Disciple
For many years, I would feel like shit. Everytime I lost it, or shared too much. I always felt like I was “weak” and while I don’t think weakness is a bad thing, I always felt having great discipline was one of my strengths. I was raised to have discipline. My grandfather loved to brag about how discipline made him great. My father talked about how it made him stand out in a crowded polygamous family. But there were times where I would let it slip. Asking for playtime when I was not going to have any. Or holding to chapters in journals lent out to others. Books that had my pages long ripped out. I had to tell myself I needed and deserved more.
In my situation, my lack discipline was affecting just me but in other situations, there are people benefitting from your lack of discipline. The longer you take to take full control of your life, some may continue to benefit from it. There is a man/woman that continues to take advantage of you because you don’t want to hold your boundaries. You haven’t gotten to that next level because you haven’t forced yourself to grind in this season. That life change, you want hasn’t happened yet because you haven’t pushed you as hard as you can. You know it too.
As a high achiever, whenever I don’t hit my goals, I feel unfulfilled. I did notice however, that on the goals that I aspired for and tried hard to give my best, if they don’t work, I am usually fine with it. But on others where I know I didn’t apply myself, I feel like a failure. Creativity is important, desire is necessary, consistency is key but discipline, changes everything.
. . . . . Get help!
I had double booked. As I sat down in my barber’s chair, I greeted him but did not respond to his greeting properly. I signaled that I was on the phone. I was trying to quietly reschedule my therapy session, so I could get this haircut and head on vacation. Then it dawned on me – why was I hiding that I was in therapy? Or “ashamed” of it?
I cannot tell you where it came from or how it did but the courage to speak up returned. I rescheduled the session and then I told him about how I’ve been in therapy. It got me thinking about how men mostly don’t talk about therapy and getting the help they need. The stigma around it has been long documented and I can completely understand why. Therapy requires a level of vulnerability and honesty that the world does not celebrate within men. But I like I have said over the past 11 months, I am no longer hiding from who I am or who I want to be anymore. Our chat about therapy was very short – he never said if he was in it or not but I shared my story, my journey and for me, that was plenty. I may have been the domino that made him consider therapy, return to it or move a step closer to it. Who knows? But I am glad I spoke about it.
For those of you out there considering therapy, here are some of the things I have learned so far.
Therapy is expensive – financially and emotionally. It will ask a lot of you – be ready to give it, so it can work.
It requires vulnerability and honesty – I always tell people that the easiest person to lie to is yourself, for it to work, you will have to be very honest about you and with you. Remember that.
It is a lifelong process – there will be phases where it seems like your whole life is put together and you don’t need therapy anymore, don’t fall for it. I did once. Stick with it. Make it a part of your lifetime emotional workout. Continue strengthening the muscle and you will be better for it.
Shout out to everyone that celebrated Valentine’s day yesterday. Your reward is in 9months. 🤰🏾😊
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It’s been about 6months since I started my diet with changes that I hoped would help change my internal and external appearance.
I called my diet Green and Grown – I focused on eating things primarily green (leaves) and grown out of the ground (potatoes, vegetables, and such) My target date to check in on my body and see how much progress I had made was 9/2/22 before my friend Renny’s wedding.
I had to weigh myself for something else around August 2nd and I had already hit the target goal I was aiming for. Altogether, I had lost ~49pounds. I was shocked and I began crying – I think I always knew I was capable but I also just didn’t know I could. But here I am doing the damn thing- someone asked me recently how I had been able to achieve most of my goals. Truth? This battle has been won in the kitchen and evidence made known at the gym. Here’s how
Green and Grown
– I made sure I was overloaded on vegetables and things loaded in fiber (I swear by Shirataki noodles), they are low in calories and high in fiber. My typical meal with them stays balanced – Shirataki noodles, a scoop of rice, grilled chicken thighs, half a plantain (y’all know I love my plantain) & avocado.
Outside of the meals, the biggest thing was the mentality change. I became super conscious about everything I ate – yes sometimes I get obsessed with counting calories but the truth is by checking EVERY SINGLE THING, I have been able to stay ahead of my diet.
Fell out of love with rice and pasta
Growing up in a Nigerian home, Sundays were meant for rice. I fell in love with pasta when I came to America and frankly it is the only thing where portion control goes out of the window. Over the last few months, I cut both out. Completely. I replaced them with other carbs and when I started eating them again, I would only eat them in very small quantities. I quickly realized I really like both but I was not that deeply in love with them. I got creative about supplementing them. Truth be told, I won’t say cutting them out entirely has changed my diet or life – but helping redefine my relationship with both has helped.
I realized I was an emotional eater. Emotional eating is not only eating when you are sad and stuffing your face, it could also mean not eating when you should. Typically when your mood is low. For me, when I am sad, I opt for sleep. It then means I may not eat for a long time. By the time I decide to eat, it’s 11pm or midnight. Sometimes sef, mo ti ro eba ni 1am. Not cap. I had to change and get on a strict schedule. Now I have to eat or drink a smoothie by noon, lunch or brunch snack by 3pm-ish, and dinner before 7pm, 8pm at the latest. It doesn’t matter how I am feeling, I just make sure I eat something and so far it has changed how I look at food.
The other day, I realized that I do something I thought was funny. Before when I wanted to ensure I didn’t forget something while leaving the house, I would set a reminder on my phone. The problem was sometimes, even with the reminders, I would still forget. So I changed and I started doing something else. If wanted to make sure I took something out of the house with me, I would place it right in front of the door heading out of my home. That way, I physically had to bypass it to leave.
I started doing this with my food – I changed the plates I eat with, I stopped buying certain ingredients into the house, and so on. I don’t believe it’s enough to assume or want to do something, I believe you have to be physically practical about your goals. Outline the workouts you want to do at the gym, and align on the timeline you want for certain things – all of those things will eventually help you arrive where you’d like to.
Random Musings of the Week
Adulting is HARD
I remember when all I cared about was running fast enough to use the bathroom and wash my hands before my cartoons would come back from commercials. Now I am thinking of love languages, genotypes, credit scores, savings, and more. When did it all become so difficult?
Kindness is important
The only currency I want to be paid in is kindness and respect. Too often we decline what we can do vs. what we should do. People don’t always deserve our kindness but we should give it regardless.
Stay Up, Stay Safe & Stay Strong. I LOVE YOU!
The Wordsmith Master of Cliffhangers
Please leave a comment below.
Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support. You are highly appreciated.
Why does “love” today make us harder? In many situations, people come out of romantic relationships fully afraid of reentering new ones. Think for a moment – have you ever genuinely left an ex better than you met them? A better lover, more eager to love, more vulnerable, and in today’s word of the day – softer?
Those women that think they make every partner better, please exit left. This is not for you or your ego. I’m not asking if you did a good job being a pseudo mom to a man-child or did a great job babying someone. I’ve been thinking about how we sometimes treat relationships like a war zone and we are the aggressors. We come in and pillage – we collect and collect on both fronts, then we leave and each person has to pick up the pieces and make sense of the ruins.
I’d love to think of relationships as paid internships (unpaid internships should be abolished). You go in, you learn, express yourself, develop, and when the internship is over you get offered a full-time role. Sometimes we decline the role but it doesn’t stop us from being excited to take another in another company or another team. You should be leaving everyone you interact with better than you met them, in one or many ways.
Strive for better in your next interactions. Please note that better doesn’t mean going from 10% to 35% but it can be from 4%-4.2% and sometimes that is more than enough.
What is your threshold for joy?
Our trauma and pain often condition and asks us to know what our limits to pain are but never to identify what the max level of joy we can contain. As you read this if you have been heartbroken before I bet you can easily pinpoint how much pain your heart has felt and how it never wants to experience that again. BUT…can you convey the highest realms of joy that you have experienced and if your heart can expand just a bit more to experience more joy? Many of us don’t know.
There is a question we were not really taught to answer – what if it actually goes right? What if I experience tremendous joy? Peace? Love? The natural instinct is to prepare for the worst but what happens if we strive for the best?
I challenge US to think about our threshold for joy. What if, just what if it all works out? What if we find peace in the things and space we occupy? I want to learn how much happier I can get and most importantly, I want to allow myself to experience it without fear, guilt or trepidation.
I have too many emotional tabs open right now
I think we all do but I wanted to acknowledge that.
Thank you for reading another WordsOfWednesday. I appreciate you all being here. Please leave me a comment below – they truly make everything better and I hope you have a great rest of the week. See you soon and till then, stay up!
Stay Up, Stay Safe & Stay Strong. I LOVE YOU!
The Wordsmith Master of Cliffhangers
Please leave a comment below.
Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support. You are highly appreciated.
Some friendships are only for a season, Sometimes they come in during your harvest Others during your drought Some are the shoulder to lean on Some need your shoulder A few are like mortgage contracts Thirty-year fixed Others are shorter than a Netflix show When some end It’s like an Iroko falls in the forest While others end with a soft block and unblock Then you change your Netflix password And forget they ever existed
The fear of loneliness is what makes it hard for some of us to audit our friendships because the truth is after some of those reviews, you’ll realize you were already alone. That you had grown apart while standing next to each other. Amazing to see that the pandemic of the last two years has brought many closer and some others completely dropped out of the picture. When was the last time you audited your friendships? Auditing also means reviewing your own performance and input in that space – are you worthy to still be called their friend?
Over the last few days, I have been thinking about the concept of “shelf life” and the spaces we occupy. Think of it like this – remember that vase your mom or dad had on the shelf. All your childhood, it was just there, in some African or Latino homes, it may even have been the place they hid emergency monies or keys. Notice how it was there for years and despite not moving much, it always served a purpose? Those are your riders, they may change color, grow old but they are there and impactful. Others are like the flowers in the vase – pretty for a while but ultimately, they “die and fade” and you hardly remember them beyond the short excitement they provided in the time they were there.
Auditing my friendships over the last few weeks, the following random thoughts jumped out to me
Stagnation is scary. Not really the stagnation of you life but truly looking at the core of a man or woman. Money doesn’t buy swag. Houses and cars don’t hide insecurities. And truth be told, sometimes the wealth you acquire to cover the manhole of inadequacies, only makes those flaws more glaring and sad when they rear their heads. I realized quickly that I am very afraid of seeing my friends stagnant, emotionally to be precise. How are you still having the same types of fights or outbursts as you did when you were 21? Where is your evolution? Do not be stagnant. You may have more money in the bank, and more rings on your hands but has the child in you grown? Found peace? Start within.
Am I the drama?
If you are the one constant when drama arises in a group, maybe, just maybe you should stay closer to your therapist and be more diligent in your self-improvement work. The tweet above sums it up. At some point for your friendships and relationships to blossom, you need to find a way to self-reflect and introspect. Are you the drama? Are you the one people need to tiptoe around? Have you gotten those mood swings in check? Do you drift in and out of being present? Are you still unable to see the group but only yourself? Hmmm.
When did we become our parents?
I noticed a few months ago that I was the person that would be wronged by someone and not really feel the need to defend myself. Happened a lot. People would say or do things that were false and I would always rely on “God knows best and my truth is mine” I recently realized where that came from. A few years ago, there was someone in my church that was going around telling lies about my dad – the Pastor. It was causing so much pain to me because all I wanted to do was defend him but he always told me to let it go. For months, it raged on till the person left the church and went to another church. Still smearing his name.
A few months later, I came back home late in the evening, it must have been around 11pm. When I pulled up, there were cars I recognized around the house. Walking in, I noticed a group of people in the second living room. They did not see me, nor did I want them to but I did peek in. Guess what I saw? That same woman and her husband were on their knees begging my dad. She apologized for lying against him and such. And my dad in typical fashion, he forgave. My mother was furious! But my dad has always been big on forgiveness. And so am I, the only difference is that I am not one to forget, you will not do it to me twice. IT just got me thinking, when did I become my dad? I am super particular like him, I dress serious like him, and I emotionally approach things and conflict like him. Damn, I truly am that man’s son. Sorry, Maury.
Are you like your parents or guardians in any way? And when did you realize that you had become like them? Let me know in the comments below!
It’s been a tradition for many years that on my visits to Lagos, I get incredibly inspired to create new content. Whether that is writing or pictures or even business ideas, something always pops up. The struggle always comes around taking the time to actually write or share the content created – something I hope to improve on in 2022.
But last night, I slept early. In my hotel room alone, after missing dinner plans, I ordered in some Afang (not a fan) and Eba. Because I need to watch something while I eat, I watched Zootopia. Don’t question me! I love my kid/animation movies. Shortly after, I knocked out and I woke up about an hour ago. 6:56am. I have plans today that I am very excited for but for now, I wanted to put down a few thoughts swirling in my head. 2022 is young but it already promises so much, so here are a few thoughts.
If you are like me, there are certain things that have been on your resolutions list for a few years. You keep watching it and moving it from year to year like a depreciating asset on your balance sheet. Look, life is hard. Mr Eazi lied. But one thing I have always lived by is that regret is much worse than failure. Think about the things you regret, not saying “I love you” to someone or seeing your favorite actor and not asking for a picture. Those linger longer and cut deeper than the time you burnt a recipe you tried for the first time or when you got a low mark on a test. The key here is that you tried. Me, in certain areas of my life, I am never afraid to try but in others, I hesitate.
I ask us this year to just do it. Execute on it. You really won’t “fail” because you’ll be learning from each instance. Do it now, so you can look back months from now and see progress and learnings. Not regret for never starting.
Stop Breaking Your Own Heart
Stop waiting on that apology. Stop expecting that person to treat you better. Stop overstating your importance in the lives of those around you.
Most of my heartbreak in recent times has been from over-extending my heart into areas where it had previously been scarred. For a long time, there was a person that I wanted our relationship to work so badly. The biggest stumbling block, they are the friend that never apologizes first or sees they’re wrong unless they’re completely backed against the wall. Believe it or not, there were nights I would cry because I just wished they would do better. The final nail in the coffin, they tried to gaslight me. This person said to me that they believed how I responded to them upset them and they couldn’t explain it. Plus they assumed some of my tweets were directed at them. On said day, I was working and very busy. So obviously replying the message was not a priority. Don’t get me wrong – I was fully aware that them not getting a prompt reply was a trigger for them but what happens when I am not even looking at my phone or focusing on that at all? Or when MY own world is busy. Anyways, the friendship fizzled out and I have no intentions of being the one to rekindle it because I am tired of breaking my own heart. IF all the time passes and they are not self-aware or reflective enough to realize where they messed up and own the situation, why should I keep hurting myself?
This year – say no to things or situations that keep traumatizing you and stop breaking your own heart.
You do not have a monopoly on someone else’s happiness
Less Ego, More Love – nothing related to Wizkid or Burna or Davido or Shatta “He needs a psych eval” Wale. Oftentimes, we believe that because of what we experience with certain people, their future happiness should be tied to how they made us feel. Sorry but that can’t work. Never. A previous ting of mine got engaged recently and it was beautiful to see. Truth be told, I knew it would happen someday – aside from our relationship she was a good person. But a part of me always felt slighted that she wasn’t this great version of herself while with me. Self-reflection will tell you that I probably had a part to play in that but I still felt a way.
In 2022 and beyond – please remember, you do not own people or have any influence on their short or long-term happiness. Focus on making you the greatest version of yourself and leave the rest for the universe to sort out.
If you are like me, you have been through quite a bit. It’s normal. We’ve seen things and felt things. Been hurt, hurt people and seen ourselves evolve. One thing about people is that we wear our trauma like tattoos gotten in dark alleys and reminders on our hearts like passport stamps but we fail to sit in our happy moments as if the showers of joy come with hailstones.
Much of the trauma and hurt you have faced have you cautious, closed-off, defensive, reclusive, overextending, overcompensating, unable to accept compliments or love, and so on. It’s normal and perfectly okay but this year, look into the mirror like Issa and forgive yourself. For the parts, you played and for the things you did or said, then forgive yourself and move on.
You deserve light and fluffy love like perfect pancakes. You deserve smiles that light up the room. You deserve the best YOU.
So go after that person in 2022 and truly be the best of you. The world will be better for it.
It’s barely 4pm and I just had my first meal of the day. Well if you count my smoothie, then I guess second. But my smoothie was three scoops of protein powder and half a cup of Almond milk. I’m deep in the trenches.
It’s been 3weeks since I started my Green and Grown diet (basically eating only veggies and things growing out of the ground with chicken and turkey for protein). It has been an interesting road so far. And I figured I would share some updates on how things are going. So here are some of the lessons I have learned in my 21days of changing my diet and my life
Lesson 1: Ignore the scale and the mirror for a while
You know how you, yes YOU will go to the gym once and the next morning you’re looking for the abs or the fatter ass? Yeahhhh same concept. I struggle a lot with this because on most days, I would wake up and check myself in the mirror. Mostly because I would always observe my body and make sure everything was still in place and still working. You know 30+ vibes
But there have been many days where I look at myself and because I don’t see the full sculpted version I have been working on, I briefly get discouraged. Thankfully I ultimately push through but I can’t help but notice that I struggle with it. This past weekend, I was at a birthday dinner for one of my really good friends and someone hugged me – touching my torso, they said “oh wow, your work is really showing. I be seeing you go off on IG but you’re killing it” The next day, I had another event and people again complimented my progress, despite the fact that I was wearing a sweater that hid most of my body.
There is progress – someone asked me recently after complimenting “how much weight have you lost?” I honestly don’t know and I don’t want to know. I have found that the scale has been one of the places where my joy had been stolen. So no I do not want to know. I would rather continue working on myself till I see visible changes that I want like I sleep better, not be short of breath when I run upstairs or I can go longer – hehehe if you know what I mean. So my lesson for you as well in this time, ignore the scale and the mirror – keep pushing and one day you will look up and love the way you look. I guarantee it – props to you if you got that Men’s Wearhouse reference!
Lesson 2: Love on yourself more than you want others to
Positive talk – remind yourself that you are a work in progress and frankly you are doing the work. For me, I decided that this year and this stretch would be when I change my body for the rest of my life and that means a lot to me. For who I Want to be – for my wife, my kids, my future.
I am trying to be kind to myself in any way possible because like I said, I am doing the work. I realized that my discipline is the biggest gain I can ever get – when it’s all said and done, it won’t be how many pounds lost, it will be how much I’ve proven to myself that I would never give up. And that is love. Never giving up on someone or something.
So spend time telling yourself you are awesome and you are great. Remind yourself that you will achieve all that you want to achieve.
Lesson 3: Celebrate the small wins
Last week on one of those days that didn’t feel so great at the gym, I felt annoyed. I was starting to lose faith in the work I was putting in. But from somewhere I got the nugget (oh how I miss those!) to focus on the small wins. That for me looks like in the last 9 days I have typically eaten dinner before 6pm. Some days are even closer to 4pm.
Yes. I would eat a decent-sized meal (really small – sample picture below) and just drink water later at night when I get hungry. There was a day last week when I REALLY wanted to drink Garri with Peppered Turkey but it was 10pm. I almost gave in but I forced myself to say no. I drank some water, and some green tea and I went to bed. The next morning, I had a smoothie for brunch and forgot about the night before.
I am cherishing my small wins. The compliments I have been getting from people about looking smaller and my face shrinking. Someone even told me my head was getting smaller. I NEVER knew that was possible.
I urge you to celebrate your small wins AND the big ones too. What are you currently working on that you can point to as some small wins? Please share them in the comments.
I hope you have a fantastic rest of the week and as always, please share and comment.
Written 4/5/2022 after eating the last batch of beans and chicken for dinner before a call with the Nifty Nine.
Everything was in slow motion. It was as if we moved through the scenes in the movie Inception. My mouth went dry. My heart was racing. My eyes began to water as my palms got sweaty. I was angry, very angry. Lost in my head trying to make sense of this but I couldn’t believe what I was staring at. My father’s coffin in his home? How? I was still trying to process when I heard a sharp wail from my left hand side.
My mother dropped to her knees as she was crying uncontrollably. “Ta ni mo se” “Who did I offend?”
She continued to repeat as the twins tried to console her. Inconsolable as you can imagine. My older sister snapped into action and she said
“Dejo, how did this get here?”
Genuinely confused and fearfully of being blamed, Dejo began to shake as he responded.
“Madam, I swear to you, I no know”
“You don’t know?”
She followed. Dejo tried his best to explain.
“Madam, I dey that side dey wash the cars when I hear wetin be like truck for outside. I just think sey na delivery people dem dey drop something. Na when I finish come open gate, na him I see am”
As he wrapped up a small gathering of neighbors was forming. I could see everything playing out but it was like I was and just watching everything play out and I was still.
“Oya, help us bring it inside the gate and close the gate before the whole estate knows what is happening”
My sister instructed. Dejo, the drivers of the lawyer and my brother were joined by a few other men from the neighborhood. The coffin was lifted into the compound and the gate closed. My sister said
“Do we know if the body in there?”
No one answered. No one was certain. Then she said
“Open it up”
She said. My mother who was still on the floor crying suddenly sprung up and said
“Don’t you dare!”
Huffing and puffing, she looked enraged and possessed. She said
“That our family name has been dragged through the mud is not enough? You want to dishonor the memory of your father? NO WAY! That coffin stays closed and you all go about figuring out who in the hell would do such a despicable thing”
She turned around and began walking inside when I snapped out of the trance and I headed for Ivie and Kunle. They were standing apart as you can probably imagine that the things he heard inside had rocked his world a bit.
“You did this”
I said to Ivie with conviction. I could tell she was scared.
“You fucking did this with your diabolical ass. You did this shit like you planned all this other shit”
She froze. I yelled
Kunle stepped in and put his hand across my chest I turned and looked directly at him
“Kunle if you do not remove your hand from my body, I swear to God who made this earth, I will fucking pound in your face till you bleed to death. Get the fuck out of my way”
He stepped back but not too far, he seemed a bit concerned about what I could do to Ivie.
“Ivie, tell us how you are months away from a wedding with me but carrying my brother’s child. Tell us how you planned with Adesuwa to get me killed and then killed her yourself? Or just tell us why you dug up our father’s coffin and brought it into our home? Start anywhere”
Kehinde sprung and said
“Ivie is that true? Please tell us it’s not true”
Ivie in tears, said
“I had nothing to do with this”
Pointing to the coffin laying in front of us all.
“And the other things?”
I asked. She said
“I can explain honestly”
Sobbing she began to explain.
“I am sorry for lying to you Tomiwa, I really am. You did not deserve this. I was misled but my father…”
My mother jumped in
“I was instructed to get information on Tomiwa and the family by my father. I would often listen to business conversations with Tomiwa and funnel the information to my father. He told me to marry Tomiwa and that Chief Fehintola and he had come to an agreement to merge our families. But I was also told to not have sex with Tomiwa. Under any circumstances. The plan was to marry Tomiwa and ultimately get as much money from the family. Kunle and I met before I was introduced to Tomiwa. The day we met at your family Christmas party a few years back, I actually came with Kunle. We even had sex upstairs in the twins room while everyone was downstairs because it was the only free room. Kunle and I had been seeing each other. He knew nothing about the rest of the plan. And initially, all I wanted was Kunle. But once I knew I could choose to not sleep with Tomiwa and continue having Kunle, I was fine with that. I made peace with it. I would have the man I wanted.”
Teary eyed and flushed with tears, she rubbed her belly and said
“Kunle, your son or daughter is inside of me and I love you. And I will love this child with all of my heart. I completely understand if after all I have done, you no longer want to be involved in our lives but I love you and I will love this child”
Kunle looked down and away. Clearly the words got to him but he was conflicted and then he said
“Did you try to get my brother killed?”
Ivie sobbed harder and looked away.
“Yes. Yes, I did My dad told me I had to. Something had come out that would affect our plans and frankly, it seemed like a better deal to go that route and we could have just married without issues”
I was shocked.
“You wanted me out of the way. So you decided the best way was to kill me? When you could have just asked me to leave? When you knew it was Adesuwa that I wanted to marry and she was the woman I loved??? You are evil”
I was fuming. Kunle asked
“How can I be sure the baby is mine, with all these lies?”
Those words broke her. I could tell. She sobbed harder and said
“Kunle, I have never been with any man but you from day one. Only you”
He shook his head and turned away and I spoke.
“You had everything. A family that loves you, the big wedding you wanted, the houses, cars, trips around the world. All of it. Yet you wanted me dead, as if my family had not been through enough…”
There was a honk at the gate. All our eyes immediately shifted, who was it?
The gate swung open and a black tinted Mercedes AMG drove in. The driver rushed out and ran around the car to open to the owner’s corner. Out came a man that I was familiar with. A friend of the family and someone I had watched my father spend time with as we grew up. He was someone you could consider a true pillar of our family. Chief Akpo. Ivie’s father.
As he stepped out of the car, I had every intention of jumping him. But I had to contain my rage. He smiled big as he fixed his Agbada and he said
“I know you have many questions. Let us all go inside and we can clear things up”
We all sat down in the living room. Chief glee as ever while the glum faces of all of us waited to find out what was going on. Chief spoke first.
“I had hoped we would not get to this point but in life, some things just need to be done. That is the truth”
He smiled as he continued speaking
“Before all of you came about, way back in the day, Chief approached me with a proposition. He wanted me to father all of you. I agreed out of love for the man and I wanted to make sure that he had the joy of being a father too. But then, midway through the testing process, the Chief told me that he went with someone else. He never said who for years. And I could not prove who it was. I knew that if the DNA was run, it would show Chief was not the father but as far as showing who actually was, I was sure that we wouldn’t really get that luxury. Chief asked me to join the board as one of his closest friends and when we knew international investors were coming. I agreed but this time, because I did not trust his word, I demanded security. I got him to commit in writing that my daughter if I had one, would marry his son. And as you can see, God gave us what we wanted. The deal was done. Then you…”
He pointed at me and frowned a bit
“…You started making noise about not wanting my beautiful daughter. Something about wanting to marry who you loved. Well who you loved gave you up pretty easily to protect her parents. I bought out Adesuwa’s parents and simply threatened to run them into the ground. It was difficult but eventually we were able to convince her to take you out of the picture.”
I was stunned. The whole room was dead silent.
“This was simple. If the Chief held his end of the bargain, I got a couple of legitimate grandchildren in one of the wealthiest families and life would go on smoothly. When you started your drama, I approached Chief and reminded him that I knew his secret and it could be damaging if word got out. At first he appeared to listen and then he did not. I had to take matters into my own hands. I had my team working tirelessly to get the information I needed to make a move on him at the board level and take over the company. But before I could put my plan in action, he passed away. Around that same time, he told me that he was going to tell you all the truth after his trip. I guess he never made it to that. I knew that Chief was the type to not be blackmailed, so I sensed that he may have included the true identity of your fathers in the will. Well, everyone except you.”
He pointed at me again. Everyone sat up. My mother who had now stopped crying looked on inquisitively as he spoke.
“What do you mean?”
He leaned forward in his chair and said
“Everyone knows that Kunle is not yours. No surprise. But Tomiwa is the one legitimate child of you and Chief.”
The entire room gasped. The lawyer looked away.
Chief smiled and said
“Lawyer Williams knew. Chief knew. On our trip he told us about how his health was deteriorating and he might need a marrow transplant or something of the sort. Tomiwa, remember the set of tests you went to do with your father? I was able to acquire those from the hospital. It was in those results I found out that you were his only legitimate child. The results of the others showed what we already knew. Again, I planned to release the information for the takeover but your father elected to die before the news could get out.
He stood up. Flashed a fake smile at most of the room as he smoothed out his clothes. He said
“Look, I have no ill towards Chief nor will I speak ill of the dead but he chose to try and outsmart me instead of keeping his end of the agreement we had many years ago. For that, he will not rest. Digging up his coffin is only the start…”
Enraged I snapped up and yelled
“Say another word about my father and I will finish you here”
Lawyer Williams quickly jumped up and put his hand across my chest to stop me. Chief Akpo chuckled mischievously and said
“Now wouldn’t that be so beautiful? To see our new CEO beating up a board member. I dare you to do it, do it, so I can bury this family once and for all. It’s admirable to see you have the fight chief had in him though, maybe that’s why his swimmers were able to conquer out of the many failures. He chuckled”
He smiled mischievously and waved his finger in the direction of his daughter and said
“Ivie, let’s go”
She sheepishly got up, sobbing profusely and followed him out of the room. As the door shut. My mother looked at Lawyer Williams and said
He leaned back in the seat, almost tired and replied
“Yes but the Chief wanted to confirm. And you know I was bound by confidentiality laws”
She looked back at my siblings and said
“We are not letting any of those Bastards take what your father built.”
And she stormed out of the room.
My father was re-buried and about 6months had passed by. The vote for reorganizing the board and the company was coming up fast. Most of the family had settled into their routines. Life in our new normal was going along. My siblings returned to their various homes and lives while I prepared to officially take over for my dad. My days were strictly guarded by the security team. My mother and I were basically in an enforced lockdown. Kunle had been mostly ostracized by the family but his impact was still being felt. We simply were not the same family.
Two nights before the vote, I called Kunle and told him to meet with me the following night. He asked me where and I called him to give him the address. It was a property a friend of ours was developing. I told him I wanted a fresh set of eyes on the property as I was considering buying it.
I was standing in the middle of the uncompleted building as night covered Ibeju-Lekki. The building was huge and was clearly going to make a very nice home once completed. I heard a car pull into the lot and footsteps get closer.
Kunle called out
“T, you in here?”
“Yeah, just come through the front opening here”
He walked up to me and I greeted him.
“How are you holding up bro?”
I asked him.
“I guess you can say I’ve had better days”
I shook my head and said
“I totally understand bro. Hopefully things settle soon. So I wanted you to see this place because I was thinking of buying it and using it for corporate housing for visiting executives. We fully operate the space with cleaning crews, a maid, a driver and the full home experience. It saves us the millions we spend on hotels putting them up in expensive hotels when they come to town. What do you think?”
He nodded as we walked up the stairs to the second level
“Yeah this is really nice. And we can truly curate the type of experience they have when they are here. I love the idea. Maybe we get that interior design firm to design it for…”
He paused. We both looked at each other. There was a sound. It came from the first floor. I looked at him and asked
“Did you come here with someone?”
He nodded and said
“Yeah, Ivie is in the car. We are coming back from dinner”
He called out
We both headed back downstairs. As we hit the landing area, I greeted her
“Hi Ivie, long time. How are you?”
“Fine, thank you”
“And the baby?”
“She’s doing well too”
“That’s really good”
Bang. Bang. Bang.
White noise. I could hear a loud ringing in my ears. The shock hit me like I was drowning. I felt my back hit the floor hard. Staring up at the uncompleted ceiling and gasping for air, the pain coursed through my body. I was sure I was going to die. The pain was in my lower abdomen. I placed my hand on the source of the pain and I could feel my hand wet. I was bleeding. Gasping for air, I was praying that I didn’t die and I was trying to pray but the words weren’t coming. Then a familiar voice came through. I felt someone squat next to me and say
“Breathe baby. You are going to live”
I turned my head to my right side and through the darkness, I made out her face. She smiled at me and said
“The police will be here soon and an ambulance. You will be fine”
I closed my eyes and the next time I would open them, I was in the hospital. It was also there I found out that Tunde and Ivie were dead.
It was a bright and sweltering day. The skies were clear. It felt like one of those good days for a perfect hike or lemonade on your backyard porch. The day was mostly perfect. With a gentle breeze occasionally reminding you to enjoy life. You could imagine yourself in any tropical location and it would make sense. It was the type of day for your skin and self care routine without doing much. The summer was announcing itself in style. The bell rang and the space flooded.
Stepping out, I opened the door with my right hand. They hopped in. Sitting back down in the driver’s seat and starting the car, my friend asked
“Oya finish now. Who shot them?”
I smiled and said
“Let’s just say, mother’s know everything”
“I knew it! I knew it!”
“How did she know where you were???”
I smiled and replied
“She followed me”
He exclaimed again
“Do you know if she pulled the trigger herself?”
I shook my head and said
“Fam, I don’t know and in many ways, I am grateful I don’t know anything about that night. I am just grateful for my family and continuing to grow the family business from here”
I pulled out of the school parking lot as another car sped past me almost hitting my car. I yelled out
My twin boys in the backseat both yelled out
I looked at my friend and then at the kids in the back and said
“Sorry kids. Bad habits”
We all chuckled as I turned onto the highway and drove right into Los Angeles traffic. The cars were backed up for miles. Traffic was notorious and ever present, not like the “forgotten” events in another overcrowded metropolis thousands of miles away. My friend visiting from Belgium said
“What The Heck Man, is this always how bad traffic is in LA?”
I nodded and said
He looked over to me and said
“But I bet you are glad you are far away from all that drama huh?”
Feeling the twinge from the nerve damage in my abdomen from the gunshot would I suffered that night, I looked out the window and then into the rearview mirror at my kids on their iPads and I replied
“Every. Single. Day bro Every. Single. Day”
End of the Bastards series. Please like this story, leave a comment below, and share social media!
In. Out. In. Out. In. Wow. I couldn’t see the light. Was I even supposed to see the light being that I died in sin? Has anyone figured out how that whole thing works? I obviously had not. The room was dark and everything was moving slow. I was trying to figure out what was going to happen next. Slowly opening my eyes trying to see what just happened… As I opened my eyes I looked around my body to make sure that I had not been shot. I couldn’t find any bullet wounds, so I looked over to where Adesuwa was standing. Slammed to the floor with a gun in her hand. I looked over to the door of the room and that is where I saw her standing with a gun in her hand. I was shocked. After all, she wasn’t supposed to be here till tomorrow. “How did you get here so fast?”, I thought.
“Ivie, what the fuck? What are you doing here?”
I said as I got off the bed. I slowly got up and walked over to her. As I approached, she lowered the weapon. None of it made sense. Shaking to my bones, I slowly approached Ivie.
“Ivie, let me explain.”
I opened with. I was trying to calm her down and not let her shoot me because I was cheating on her. As I approached her, I knelt down and pleaded.
“Ivie, I am sorry.”
She didn’t even look at me. Her eyes were fixed on Adesuwa’s lifeless body on the ground. A whole minute that felt like an eternity must have passed, but she eventually handed the gun to me. I took it in my hand and stood up. As I backed away from her, she said,
“We need to get rid of the body.”
My eyes grew big and I couldn’t understand why. I asked.
It was as if then she finally snapped out of a trance and she said,
“Your mistress is dead on your bedroom floor and you’re asking me why?”
“But I didn’t shoot her.”
I replied. Cold and firm, she walked over to me and said,
“Your prints are all over that gun in your hand, your semen is probably inside of her and your soon to be wife was about to walk in on you two, what do you think they would believe Tomiwa?”
I stared at the gun in my hand and then at Adesuwa’s body. Fuck! She was right.
She helped me put the body in the carpet from the living room on the second floor; we hauled the body down and outside the house. As I lifted the body into my trunk, she asked me,
“Are you going to dump it in the water?”
I shook my head and said,
“No, the body could float. I have to find an incinerator or dump it on the way to Lagos.”
She didn’t argue. I ran back into the house and got all of her things. I vividly remember putting her cellphone in my pocket. As I got into the car, I asked Ivie,
“Are you coming with me?”
She sharply said
Then she continued and said,
“I have to drive my car to Lagos. Obviously cannot leave it here. I’ll meet you at the house in Lagos”
The drive to Lagos felt like the longest in my life. I kept trying to drive fast but I was worried that if I drove too fast it would raise suspicion.
Mowe-Ibafo, Berger, and I was making my way to Oshodi. Sweating profusely, my throat was dry. I was just trying to get to the incinerator at my friend’s waste management company. It was already midday as I pulled into the parking lot, I hadn’t called him ahead of time. How would I have explained needing a professional torching chamber?
As I parked, one of the employees came up to me just as I was stepping out of the car. She curtsied as she came closer.
“Good afternoon sir.”
“Good afternoon, is your oga around?”
I asked her in response.
She replied with some disappointment.
“Will he be in today?”
I asked. She shook her her head and said,
“I don’t think so sir. Today and tomorrow, we are doing maintenance around the whole facility. So I don’t think anybody from the office side will be here. Till Thursday sir.
Do you need me to call him sir?”
I raised my hand to discourage her against that.
“No need my dear.”
I got back into the car and started it as I tried to drive off. I was turned around, trying to back out of the parking spot when I heard a light tap on the window. I turned back to my left and she was standing there. As I wound down, she said,
“Oga, it’s like blood is dripping on the floor from your boot (trunk).”
I smiled and said,
“Oh, don’t worry about it, mo se se tan lodo awon eleran ni.” “Don’t worry about it, I just left the meat sellers/meat packing.”
“Oh okay, sir. Ke ni nice day” “Have a nice day.”
As I drove out of the facility, I started to panic. The body in the trunk was dripping and it was the high of the afternoon. That meant I had to keep the body in there till night came before disposing of it. Fuck.
As I pulled up to my house, I was trying to get in and park the car without anyone noticing me. Audu, my gateman, opened up the gate and I immediately sent him on an errand that required him to leave the house. Nkechi, the maid, was more than likely inside, preparing dinner. I quickly parked the car and I was walking to the gate when I heard sirens and the police swarmed my compound. Immediately, I was reprimanded, handcuffed and thrown in the back of a police car.
The head arresting officer marched into the compound, walked to my car, stopped and then walked back to the car I was in . He opened the door and said,
“Where are the car keys?”
“In my pocket.”
I replied. He reached into my pocket and pulled it out.
“Take him to the station.”
He said as he closed the door. And within seconds, the car was leaving. All I could think of was WhatTheHeckMan.
Sanmi here popping in to say hi! If you’re new to WhatTheHeckMan, welcome! I am not sorry for the cliffhangers and the suspense but I am thrilled to have you here. I hope you enjoy my stories – most of which I create in my head. My #WordsOfWednesday pieces are unfiltered and the purest me. Thank you for reading all of it. Please, if you are reading this, let me know how you feel about the story. Don’t assume that I don’t see it or that other people are doing it, so you don’t need to. Your support is EVERYTHING.
Missed the last series? Start here! Scar Tissue Now back to Bastards 2! Brace yourself. 😎
Sitting in that dark and cold cell, I kept thinking about how I got there. How did they know the body was in the car? I had only left Ibadan a few hours before. Did the girl from my friend’s business call him and he called the police? How did the police know where to go immediately? No fuss, no “detective” work, they just knew.
For the longest time, it never even crossed my mind that the person that helped me put the body in the trunk, may have snitched on me. It felt like an eternity sitting there trying to piece together what had happened. It had been an incredible 36 hours. No one ever thinks that you would find out that your beloved father was not your father, your childhood love would die in front of you and you would be arrested for murder, all before another moon.
There was a man wailing in the cell next to me. I could tell that he had been beaten and he was crying out for his family – essentially saying that he didn’t do whatever he was arrested for and he couldn’t breathe in that tight cell. I was thinking about what I would say. What would happen officially? Would people at the company start looking at my siblings and I differently? A wedding was in the works, but I was about to be outed as a cheat. And what would Ivie think of me? What was she thinking of me? Did she make it to Lagos safely? Did she know that I was taken? Did she know I was taken by the police and not robbed or kidnapped?
I wasn’t sure what time it was but I was starting to get sleepy. It was a weird feeling because my heart was racing like crazy but my body was tired. I started crying. As quietly as possible, all of the tears and sobs I tried to contain in the dark cell started to seep out. My asthma was starting to act up and I was begging my body to behave but my heart was shattering. It felt like my chest was closing in on my heart. I stopped crying and began trying to control my breaths. Slowly, in and out. In. Out. In. Out. I closed my eyes and tried to wiggle my toes – a grounding technique I learned back in college. As I was starting to calm down, an officer came to the cell door and shook the bars while saying,
I opened my eyes and sprung up.
“Yes, that’s me.”
“Your people dey here to see you.”
I asked to clarify.
“You no hear wetin I just talk?”
He replied rudely as he opened up the cell door. I quickly rose and headed out of the cell. The hallway was dark and tight but I just followed him towards the end of the hallway.
As I came into the waiting area, I noticed my mother, our family lawyer and the DPO (Divisional Police Officer) They appeared to have been in conversation before I appeared. As soon as my mother saw me, you could see the relief on her face.
“Oko mi, are you alright?”
She asked concernedly while throwing her arms around me. I nodded while fighting back those tears I was just shedding. I knew I would leave there deep down, but with Nigerian police, what can you really trust or guarantee?
My mother and I walked out of the police station and towards the car as she rubbed my back. We got into the car and waited as the lawyer spoke to the police. I sat behind the driver and my mother sat next to me. She asked again,
“Are you okay?”
I nodded again and said,
A few seconds after, the lawyer got into the passenger seat. The driver started the car and we drove out of the station. As we got onto the main road, the lawyer turned around and said,
“Tomiwa, I have to ask you a few questions. I know the last few hours have been hard but I need to know so we can start working.”
“Did you shoot that young woman?”
He asked. I shook my head and said,
“Did you have any intentions of killing her or having her killed?”
I shook my head again and said,
“Absolutely not. I loved her.”
My mother looked at me when those words left my mouth. She knew I did. Everyone knew I did. But it was not what my father wanted, so it never happened. It appeared that having his own children was the only thing my father didn’t have his own way.
The lawyer asked next,
“Do you have the gun or know where it is?”
“Yes, I do. It’s in the locked glove compartment of my car.”
My mother said,
“We are going to stop by my house first before we take you to yours.”
I wasn’t sure why but I replied.
A few seconds of silence and then I thought to ask,
“How did you even know where I was?”
“Tobe came back and noticed the gate was open and your car abandoned. He watched the CCTV recording and contacted me. I called around and located where you were being held. Mr. Williams and I drove down from Ibadan to get you.”
She explained. That damn CCTV finally came to use. And then it clicked. I had the same system installed in my Ibadan home. Hell, my father had us install security systems everywhere. That meant I could prove that Ivie came in when she did and murdered Adesuwa.
In a weird sequence of events, I felt quick relief and then sadness at realizing that Adesuwa was still gone. I asked my mother,
“Where is her body?”
“Don’t worry about that son. Her family has been notified and we have explained that more details will follow as the investigation develops. Like I said, it’s being handled.”
She replied with calm and confidence. I had only ever seen my mother like this once in my life – when my father had knee surgery and she had to run the business for a few months. She didn’t always flex this side of her but I always knew there was a cold blooded schemer in her. I knew there was more command, especially with the news about my father not being my father. But I was willing to wait to learn those truths.
“Tomiwa, I am sorry about Adesuwa. I am well aware that you loved her and wished you could marry her but as you will continue to find out, in life, we do not always get what we want or deserve. You will have your time to mourn her loss, but for now, I need you to be strong because we are about to be at war.”
She trailed on and I interrupted,
She looked at me and echoed,
“War. Yes, a full blown war against some bastards trying to ruin us. So brace yourself. You and your sisters need to be at full attention and stay vigilant.”
She paused and said,
“Does Ivie know about Adesuwa?”
I nodded. She sighed and said,
“Hmmm. How is she handling that with the baby?”
She tilted her head to the left as she looked at me.
“Baby? What baby?”
My mom pulled down her glasses.
“You weren’t planning on telling me that Ivie was pregnant?”
She asked almost in betrayal.
I was shocked.
“Ivie and I have never had sex. Never.”
I explained to her.
“You and Ivie have never been intimate? In all these yearsssss???”
“Yes mother. She always told me that she was waiting for marriage. And I agreed because frankly I didn’t love her anyways so having sex with her was not something that I particularly wanted.”
My mom stared straight ahead with her right hand on her chin and muttered,
“You didn’t know?”
I then asked.
“How did you know?”
“Ivie came by the house early this morning in Ibadan and told me herself. I was wondering where you were but she said you rushed to Lagos. It made no sense to me but I just assumed she was eager to share with me as she missed the funeral and all. You know…to give me good news in these dark times.”
I laughed and said.
“Ivie came to you this morning?”
I continued. She replied,
I laughed and shook my head before planting them in my hands. My head was spinning. I was out of my depth and completely confused. This woman was cheating on me as I was cheating on her but why would she try to pass off the child as mine?
My mother asked,
“So if the child is not yours and you didn’t know, then who is the father?”
Mr Williams in the front of the car responded without looking back,
“It’s his brother’s.”
I raised my head out of my hands as my mother and I screamed,
End of Part 2. I know you want part 3 ASAP but to get it, you have to comment! Go ahead and dropit below! Share with your friends and family to get us to 20!
About a month ago, I stumbled on this song. I won’t even lie to you, my first reaction was slight jealousy of how beautiful his voice was.
The lyrics of the song speak so distinctly to my life. As I write this on the ferry home from work, I had to give in to the tears.
A couple of Sundays ago, I was at church. It was offering time and as we walked up to give our offering, I noticed that I was giving a denomination much higher than I was used to. Not only that, it was now a norm for me. I asked myself, when did your offering change?
I grew up listening to pastors that preached giving. They would tell you that you had to give where it hurts and you could feel it. This space felt weird to me. Not because I was giving a crazy amount but because I had enough. More than enough.
For many, the barometer of how great God is usually gauged by financial success or wealth. And while it is not the only measurement I use, it sure is a telling one in today’s society. Being able to “financially” do more in God’s household is such a blessing.
I am grateful for my offering changing. I remembered the days where I would pray that God accepted my $1 and now I can give 10 times that without feeling like I wouldn’t see the next week. He listens. But you cannot stop giving once he gives you. That is what makes the blessings flow, even more, continuing to make God proud so he continues to give you more.
Referencing times that I didn’t have enough or realizing that my offering has changed, is a reminder that God is too faithful to fail me. At various points, I put my trust in him and when I didn’t have enough at MY time, I questioned him. I remember one year that a Pastor asked us to sow a seed at the beginning of the year. I dropped $250 for me and another $250 on behalf of my siblings. Later that year, I was out of a job. Shocked and sad, I wasn’t sure how to begin or where to begin. I kept saying “you asked me to trust you” and this happened? And then I realize something, as I tag off the ferry, there is so much I have been able to do out of this “not having enough” that reminds me that God is too faithful to fail me.
_______________________ UPDATE: It’s amazing that I wrote the piece above the line between February and March. At the end of March, I lost my job due to the effects of COVID19. Part of my offering changing and God’s faithfulness is how I have been able to stay afloat through all of this. It has been truly amazing how God has shown himself and a firm reminder that he has bigger plans for us. I wrote that without knowing a pandemic would take away my source of income and overall happiness. But God has been working hard on me as a man to not place my worth and belief in material things. God is too faithful to fail me. Also if you have not read my just-concluded series “Scar Tissue”. You can read part 4 here. ________________________
What does your growth look like to you? What are those blessings that still shock you? How is your offering different now from what it used to be? Leave your answers in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading as always! 💕 Till next time, stay up!
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