The eagle rules the skies Choosing to roam in the blues Floating into the realm of those beneath To feast Only when it chooses Therein lies the value It chooses Never allowing the winds or the skies to dictate It chooses When to soar And when it’s wings, to rest It drifts low And sends shivers further down shaky spines An eagle makes its intentions known Wings open or wings closed.
It was Sunday evening and I was leaving Safeway (Yoruba Demons, Weed, and a Safeway). Actually, I was sitting in my car in front of Safeway when a couple parked behind me and exited the car.
Hand in hand, they giggled and laughed into Safeway.
They were an African American couple in their late fifties or early sixties.
I watched them from my rear view mirror as they walked in and basically ignored it.
I thought I would have left the parking lot before they returned but I get lazy in my car sometimes after a workout.
I think I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline when they emerged from Safeway.
I looked up at the dashboard clock and realized that I had been sitting there for more than 20 minutes.
It didn’t matter very much when I looked up again and saw them still laughing and giggling.
They entered their car and I watched from my rearview mirror as they laughed and the man placed his left hand on her cheek, he said something to her and then leaned in to kiss her.
When they broke the kiss, she picked up his left hand and kissed the back of it.
I felt something but I tried to ignore again.
They lingered as he put the car in reverse.
And I felt it again, this time, I didn’t ignore. I stepped out of my car and said
“Excuse me, can I please ask you something?”
Surprised, the man said
I bent forward to get a better view of them inside their Toyota Rav4.
“How do you stay so happy?”
He smiled and looked over to her and then back to me before replying. He said
“If you know what I know about this woman, it is easy.
She gets me but more than that, she is good people”
I nodded in agreement and then she spoke and said
“We love each other everyday.”
I thanked them for their insight and turned to head back to my car. The man said with a slightly embarrassed look
“You saw all that?”
I nodded and said
“Yup and I’m glad I did. You guys have a good one”
They both said and they drove off.
That interaction got me thinking about intentionality. I speak about it a lot.
Particularly with my friends and with my show.
I learned a few years ago about intentionality. You can be good in general but you can be intentional in how you choose to display your goodness or how you decide to be impactful with it.
Are you intentional in love? Forgiveness? Friendship? Trusting? Growing? Evolving?
I know it is easy to coast through life but the thing that separates the regular is intentionality.
Loving takes so much humility but more importantly, intentionality. As we are innately selfish, you have to choose love everyday like the couple I met.
Forgiving takes intention, you have to choose to shelve the hurt and the pain to let go.
Growing and evolving requires you putting active effort into the process.
Success requires intention towards perfection.
I find myself sometimes questioning my ability to be intentional.
Taking steps to live beyond the regular. Do I go the extra step to show my friends and family that I care?
Or do they just get the regular because they know I am a good person?
Think it through.
Think about what is the bare minimum in everything you do and then decide to be intentional about doing more.
It will set you apart.
You will be better for it, the world will be better for it.
And like the couple I met, you will have reasons to laugh into your old.
Thank you for reading and sharing my thoughts.
What are some things you will like to be more intentional about? Time with God? Working out? Trying new things?
Leave me a comment below and let me know.
I have a new challenge on my hands and I intend to dominate. It will take patience and effort but I am determined to be successful. But till then, stay up!
From the desk of,
Thanks for reading as always!
New series out on Saturday!
Please watch this space!
Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated.
I could feel the heat in my ears.
Also in my fingertips. It felt like someone was standing behind me and forcefully pushing down on my shoulders. It just felt like a weight was on my shoulders and I couldn’t breathe.
We were sitting at one of the restaurants in the airport, I can’t remember what it’s called but I wasn’t paying much attention to anything else.
My mind was racing and back to a familiar place. A place I had hoped getting on a plane would keep away from – for good.
“So Dee, I didn’t want us to meet like this but I am glad that I was able to reach you before you got on that plane.
I know you must have a million questions and I promise, I am here to answer them all.
I am tired of having to keep you in the dark”
I just sat there silently.
Sandra pushed the cold bottle of water that she had just bought towards me.
I didn’t even look up. My eyes were fixed on a chip in the tile.
It truly felt like if I opened my mouth, it would be a watershed of tears.
With my left hand, I reached for the bottle and twisted the cap open.
I took two full gulps before I looked up and said
“I don’t even know the questions I should start with…”
He straightened up and then said
“I completely understand… how about this?
I’ll start with the things that I think you need answers to and you can fill in?
How does that sound?”
I nodded without making eye contact.
He started and said
“I have known your mother since we were in university and before she met your father, we were very much in love.
But we had different life goals at the time. I wanted to move to Ethiopia to work for Shell and your mother wanted to teach. Everything happened very fast and before I knew it, she was off to the States with your father.
I never even got the chance to stop her. She was gone.
And I had to settle with that for 6 years, until they moved back to Nigeria with you.
We met up and at first, I was just glad that she was back and I was able to spend time with her.
I very quickly noticed that she was still in love with me and I never stopped loving her anyway.
One thing led to another and we were sleeping together and basically living our lives outside of our marriages… yes I briefly got married but it didn’t last because I was not in love with her.
I loved and I still love your mother very much. “
I looked up with a scowl on my face and said
“So why didn’t both of you just get divorces? And save us all the pain”
He looked down and sighed before saying
“We should have. I totally know we should have.
But there are certain things I am not able to speak about. She has to be the one to tell you much of what happened”
Sandra placed her hand on my lap and said
“Dee, are you okay?”
I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. I just kept my head down and continued crying.
She moved in and hugged me tightly. It just set me off even more.
Out of the corner of my eyes, I could see people worriedly looking on, trying to decipher what was going on.
This went on for a couple of minutes and then I stopped.
I looked at him and said
“I need to talk to my mom”
HONEST MOMENT:For many of you reading this right now, I know the numbers, you won’t leave a comment. I think this blog is one of the purest forms of my expression. I am the most real here in what I write and what I create for you all. Your comments and interaction go along way. They encourage me to write more, post more, think outside the box and sometimes they simply make me feel better about life. Even as I write my novel, your words go a long way to fighting the imposter syndrome and doubt that sometimes aim to derail me.
So this is all to say, please leave me a comment when you read something. I am open to criticism as well. It’s the best reward a writer gets. Thank you all. Now back to this captivating story!
After more than an hour in traffic, we pulled into our home.
I think all our workers were surprised to see me coming back so soon.
“Oga wetin happen?”
I just ignored and walked into the house. There were people there.
Two of my mom’s childhood friends, and they immediately smiled when they saw me.
One of them, Aunty Dolapo brightly said
“Dee baby! Look at you all grown up.
You’re a big man now. I remember when I used to cradle you to sleep. See you now!”
As she rubbed my back.
I sheepishly smiled as my mom greeted Sandra
“Ehn, bawoni Sandra” (translates to how is it going?)
She knelt in courtesy to my mom and my aunts.
As she rose, the main door quietly closed. Everyone including my mom looked towards the direction of the hallway that connects the main entrance and the sitting room.
My mom curiously asked
“Did you guys close the door when you entered?”
I didn’t answer.
I knew what was about to happen. She wasn’t ready and somehow I was happy about that.
The hallway was dimly lit and connected a few rooms, so the image was going to come as a surprise.
A few moments passed and there he was.
My mother’s lover.
As he emerged, she gasped. They all gasped.
Not because they didn’t know who he was but because they were surprised he was there.
They all knew who he was from their time in college.
And I would later find out that they knew about them sleeping together for more than two decades!
My mom found the words and said
“Lamide, what are you doing here?”
He didn’t respond as he took a few more steps into the room.
A quick glance around the room and you could pick up the jaws of my mother’s friends off the ground.
They couldn’t believe what was happening.
Ki lo wa se ni bi????”
She screamed at him.
He didn’t flinch and he moved closer. Then he said
“I didn’t think it was right for him to leave like that. You can’t push him away because your world is changing. He deserves all the love he can get.”
She snapped, and you could tell she was trying to hide something.
“Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do???
Who gave you the right?!”
He took a step back.
“Who gave you the right?!”
I stepped in and said
“Here I was thinking I was the fucked up one. I have attempted suicide. Wanting for the whole thing to end. Yet here you were with secrets so big that they have killed people for less.
You are evil.
You tried to ruin my world when you were living a lie! And you go to church and mount the pulpit like some holy person. You are fucking evil!
I wish my father could look into your eyes and see how much you lied to him and cheated on him for years!
Gosh I hate you!”
As I wrapped up. She quietly laughed amidst her tears and said
I didn’t hear her properly so I asked
She looked up teary eyed and sniffling as she said
I was shocked but she continued and said
“He always knew.
This was always his idea. Your father was a dog when I met him.
He wanted to be with anything, man, woman or whatever. I had to keep his secret and the whole marriage was a cover!
For many years, I had to pretend to love him and be happy. I couldn’t anymore. So I decided to be with someone who actually makes me happy.
And your father knew about the whole thing… It was all his idea”
I couldn’t believe her so I asked
“So why didn’t you just get a divorce?”
She laughed and said
“Omode lo n se e
(Your naivety is evident)
We didn’t get divorced because your father never wanted a divorce. He wanted to keep his ministry and getting a divorce would break that. And yes, more than accusations of him sleeping with men.
After all, there are men of god who lay with other men or people’s wives”
I was fully enraged at this point.
I started yelling
“So you and your husband had a plan to live your lives but you crucify me for being myself.
For something I am not even able to control?????
You are both devils. OMG!
I can’t even believe this shit…. Arghhhhh I wish I could strangle you!
I pray you rot in hell. You are wicked.”
Olamide stepped in and said
“Dayo, I know you are upset but we don’t need to say all that”
I turned to him and said
He put his hands out and moved them as if to try and calm me.
I continued and said
“Why do you even care?!
She had you in the shadows for 22 years! And you are okay with that?”
He smiled and said
“I had to keep her close. It was the only way I could stay close to my son”
My mom screamed
My jaw dropped. Both my aunts sitting gasped and Sandra just stood shocked.
I moved forward and said
He straightened up and said
“You are my son”
I shot a look at my mom and she couldn’t hide her face fast enough. More tears flowed down her cheeks.
I looked at my mother and said
“What is he talking about?”
She dropped her head and said
“Your father couldn’t have children!
It was part of what made him live so recklessly. I wanted children. I thought I loved him and when I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t even try to debate it.
He always knew you might not be his but he was willing to go along with the lie because it protected us”
I couldn’t believe the words coming out of her mouth.
He spoke next
“I knew something was off by how quickly your mother married him and how they ran to Boston.
I think she was pregnant and her family would have killed her. So she married the man that was ready and moved with him.
When I first set my eyes on you, I knew you were mine.
I was just glad God brought you back to me. I have always loved you from afar.”
“Yet you watched me suffer for years in the hands of this woman?
Some father you are”
I snarled back and stormed out.
Sandra followed me and soon we were gone.
It had been three years since that day.
I hadn’t spoken to anyone in that room that day except Sandra.
And I was living in Virginia now.
One evening, I logged into Facebook after a long day of work.
I had so many friend requests, many of which I continue to ignore. As I was scrolling through, I clicked on the messages tab and noticed a few messages.
One of them was from Micah – remember him?
The deacon from way back.
Apparently, he had messaged me a few days before I opened the message.
He had won the visa lottery.
He was coming to America.
I don’t know why, but I smiled at the laptop and a soft voice said
“Babe, what is making us laugh?”
I moved my laptop to the couch with my left hand as she straddled me.
“One of my childhood mentors is coming to America and wants to stay with us”
She smiled and said
“Oh thats dope. How long?
They can stay in the guest bedroom”
I nodded as she kissed me and said
“Look at us making adult decisions.”
I chuckled and she said
“Would this be before or after the wedding?”
while getting up and heading for the kitchen.
She stopped, turned and said
“Ooooh, so I’ll already be your wifey. “
I nodded and said
“Yes you will”
She did a shimmy dance with a huge smile on her face as she walked out.
I turned to my right and saw the stack of wedding invitations we were about to mail out and only one thing came to my head.
Please help pick my next series!
Pleaseeeeeeee leave me a comment and let me know how you felt about this part and the entire series. It means a lot!
Thank you for reading the #BGW series with me! I thoroughly enjoyed writing it for you all and I hope you enjoyed the ride with me. If you hate me for how the ending panned out, I AM HERE FOR IT~ 😊
I called you, twice It kept ringing No answer The next time we talk It will be over The story The movie Battery, dead Love? Left.
Unpacked & Abandoned.
You ever moved to a new place and as you are planning to leave the current place, you decide that certain things won’t go with you?
The old bed frame, that broken toaster, the deadbeat partner? 👀
Unpacking is a cornerstone of growth and change.
Sometimes we don’t actively recognize that but it is so important.
The mind is like a train, things come in and get off, some come on and never get off. There is so much that will influence you in life but not all of it needs to enter your next phase with you.
Recently, I started thinking about the things that I have experienced in my past that I still carry around with me and how they could be affecting my future.
Yes, he cheated on you or you let her walk all over you.
Unpack that and set it down, so you can thrive.
Many of us allow those interactions/experiences/moments define us going forward. It is important to cherish some things in the now but let them go.
Why are you always worried about what he might do to hurt you?
Why do you always get defensive when women get close?
Have you seriously unpacked the things that you carry?
For the first few years after my relationship, I couldn’t imagine feeling the amount of love that put me at risk of getting as hurt as I did.
I actively avoided anything that will allow me to fall that hard for someone. In some cases, I would blatantly self-sabotage myself to prevent chances of being hurt.
I had to stop once and ask myself, why do you keep carrying that around?
The annoying thing with unpleasant things you haul around is that it is sometimes the first thing new people see when they meet you.
In the second conversation, your hurt, doubts, and insecurities start showing and he/she wants to run as far away from you as possible.
And the part that sucks the most is that it is so far away from who you really are.
Set some time aside, the things you have seen or been through are all very valid but they should not govern your life and your path forward.
What are the good things? Note them and cherish them.
Everything else? Let them go.
It is not enough to unpack.
When you take your stuff to Goodwill or Salvation Army to donate, you don’t later go back to buy it.
It takes intentionality to thrive and move forward.
You need to make it a daily choice to bask in your greatness. You have let go of the “waste”, now focus on the great.
Most people will reckon that packing can be difficult because you don’t know what you will need where you are going.
It is much easier after a trip to know what you don’t need for the next one. So toss it.
Abandon it, you will be better for it.
#WordsOfWednesday #WTHM #TheRantsShow
Black.Gay.Waiting Part 4 out on Saturday!
Please watch this space!
Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated.
It’s 5:02am and I up!
Super thankful to God for another year and just stoked to try and achieve more of my dreams in 2018.
I always pray a prayer; I thank God for being faithful even when I am faithless and unfaithful.
That prayer means so much to me because it is thanking God for being God but also reminding myself to be better.
I’m up. It’s my 27th birthday today and I feel blessed.
Most of my friends usually have what I like to call the “birthday blues” around their birthdays and for the first time in my life, I experienced what that felt like yesterday.
Randomly, I went into a funk. I started to question and dissect my life, my happiness.
A part of me was missing my parents, my siblings and some of the friends I hold dearest to me.
There was also this sense of emptiness that tried to fill me up. Weird right?
But thankfully, I was able to circle back into the things I appreciate about life and the life God has given me.
I am a heavily flawed man.
Some think I am short tempered, I am not always patient, I can be dismissive and I really can’t f-cking stand puff puff. And I’m going to bald soon! Ughhhhhh!
So yeah, I am a flawed man.
But I also love really hard, forgive easily, fight for those I love and I will go to bat for any of you!
My story is not perfect but the best part is that it is not complete.
God is still working on me and I am thankful he has you on my ride.
Today, I celebrate God in me.
Humbled by his grace, love and mercy. I truly thank God for not giving up on me.
Yup! I said I wasn’t going t cry but I typed that and the floodgates opened! Where is Sonny Badu when you need him.
But my God has been so faithful.
26 was good. Challenging but good.
27 can only be better.
To mark today, I am going to give you guys 3 sides of me.
Please never let the chronological expectations of life rob you of your birthday glow! And please do something you will be proud of in 2019. Read my 2018 mantra – Sink OR Swim here and then take the leap!
From the desk of The Wordsmith, it’s a very special edition of WordsOfWednesday! Happy Birthday to Me!
THE FLAWED ME
My mistakes are like a parking ticket.
After driving fast and evading reality
It caught up to me when I was parked trying to walk and not run.
I am like Adam.
Stealing from God, betraying his trust and rejecting his favor
Putting myself to the sword
It feels good
To return home like a prodigal son
I tried to sneak back in
The alarms went off
He saw me from a mile and around the corner
Like my pops
He didn’t say much
I knew I had done wrong
So I snuck into my room and cried
When I emerged, he had dinner ready
The keys to his ride
To a higher place
He didn’t speak about my mistakes
He didn’t have to, I knew
I just had to not make them again
“You Are God” – Nathaniel Bassey
(feat. Chigozie Achugo)
You are God from beginning to the end There’s no place for argument You are God all by yourself You are God from beginning to the end There’s no place for argument You are God all by yourself
You’ve got times and seasons in your hands You called for light out of darkness You don’t need a man to be the God you are But you have chosen to call me your own
There is something about this song. It makes me so humbled by where I am today.
Sometimes I think back to all of the lows in my life and how I thought I would never pull through. From heartbreak to betrayal to backsliding, God has always got me.
It is so humbling and scary that someone can love you through all of the “everything”. So I wanted to share this song with you all.
The lines in song that really get me are
You don’t need a man to be the God you are But you have chosen to call me your own
Like this God really took me through it all and doesn’t need any man or what any man says to be amazing to me. I am so grateful.
I am far from perfect and evolving but it is so comforting to have a God that will never forsake me.
27 THINGS ABOUT THE WORDSMITH
When was the last time you cried?
This morning. Panic not, I was just overwhelmed by how good God is and how loved I am.
Do you have any special talents?
Do you have any siblings?
3 absolute rockstars!
How would you describe your fashion sense?
London living Bachelor with NY taste and Italian Influence who still wants you to know that omo naija ni mi
What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Hola Hola by Sugarboy
What sound do you love?
The sound of my direct deposit hitting my account.
What is your favorite form of exercise?
Partner exercises. 👀
Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
What story does your family always tell about you?
My mom loves this story but when I was a little kid somewhere between 2-3, I had bow legs but I Was cute as shit! (yes, she includes this in the story) Anyways, we had a TV in their bedroom and in the living room, so I would turn on both of them and then run back and forth between rooms to try and see if the Tv’s were showing the same exact thing. Of course by the time I made it around the corner, the frames would have changed but yeah, young me.
For the sake of today, I’ll tell you lot another one but my mom always talks about growing up as a kid, I would always come to her with a smile. No matter what happened the say before. I would be singing and barge into any room in the house with a song in my mouth. And when I am around my parents, it still happens.
When was the last time you had an amazing meal?
Brethren, it depends on what kind of meal we are talking about. 👅😴👀
What do you want to be when you grow up?
As per sey 27 never grown abi? Okay o, I sha want to be impactful. No matter what I lay my hands on, I want to positively change lives.
If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
A way to bring free education to all the kids in Africa.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Short answer:- Change lives
Long answer:- Hennessy ti wo body!
What do you do when you’re not working?
Be alone, write, listen to music and talk to my friends. Also started watching sermons on Youtube again, so yeah that too.
When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
Someone to talk through their problems with and bounce ideas off. Wide range of things to be honest.
What is your favorite way to relax?
Laying on my carpet in my living room and not being spoken to.
What social customs do you wish would just disappear?
Basically, anything that marginalizes or oppresses women.
What is your favorite holiday?
Touring Europe with Itafe.
Tell us one of your bad habits!
I am very stubborn. And sometimes when I form opinions about something and I feel strongly about it, I rarely change my mind. I can be dismissive. I am a horrible texter (blame this on people that write me essays tho). I forgive people that have repeatedly burned me.
Favorite memory from childhood?
Christmas at my grandfather’s house with all my cousins from all over the world.
Cologne. A particular brand of perfume that a friend of mine wears. Just anything clean or from Bath and Body Works.
What’s the first thing you notice about people?
How they treat other people, how loud their voice is or isn’t. Teeth as well. Does it appear clean or not?
What terrifies you the most?
That I am a fraud or that I won’t maximize the potential I see and people see in me.
I was really bullied and taken advantage of as a kid. Boarding school was initially rough. It stuck with me.
Self-esteem issues and confidence issues. Maybe that’s why I am never able to enjoy my successes, I am always looking over my shoulder. Worried about the drop. I never understand why people like me or are fascinated by me. I think I am a decent host and writer or singer. People want me to write a book but I worry like it failing will break me and reinforce my fear of not being good enough, so I have stalled on it. But yeah, I don’t think I am handsome, I don’t get what people see. And I think all of that came from those childhood feelings. So there you have that.
How much control do you really have over yourself?
Too much. Sometimes I just need to let myself live.
How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
Flawed. Talented. Emotional. Loving & Shy.
What makes you smile?
Honestly, making you and all the people I love smile in every extension of myself.
Thank you for always supporting me and being here with me!
Here is to an AMAZING 2018 for all of us! From The Wordsmith and all of WhatTheHeckMan ~ I love you all!
Come back next week for Part 4!
#BGW #SanmiSaturdays #WTHM
Our house was probably more silent than the morgue in the following weeks after my father’s passing.
My mother didn’t cry much. I was really surprised, that was always how she was.
Funny enough, my father was always the emotional leader of the home. He was very in tune with feelings around the home.
I remember once when my “friend” had a birthday party and invited the entire block but not me.
I sobbed all day in my party outfit.
My plan was to crash the party but my mother shut that down. I was not going to be out there embarrassing my family.
Notice any patterns?
That evening, my father came into my room. He was fully clothed in his all white agbada, I was only 13 and he sat with me and played video games all evening till I passed out in my outfit.
That was my father.
He always had my back, even when I was unsure and just out of it.
And I loved him dearly for it.
So you can imagine losing him under the circumstances that we did.
I was crushed.
I stayed up in my room as the funeral planning went on.
The church was handling much of it and my mother was just in the house with no one feeling confident enough to approach her.
It was about 4am in the morning when I heard a car honk.
A few minutes later, I heard the doors open and voices became more pronounced.
At first, I thought it was more people coming to pay their respects but it didn’t make sense for them to be there that early.
Shortly after, I heard a mild knock on my door.
The door swung open and it was one of my mother’s cousins. I barely sat up when she said
“You have guests. Mummy wants you”
I felt my heart skip a beat. My mother had not spoken to me since that day at the church.
I wasn’t sure what was going on but I slowly got up.
Slipping into my clothes, I headed down the stairs.
When I arrived at the living room, I noticed it was filled with about 15 people. My mother was sitting in the big chair that my father used to sit in.
Her hands between her legs and clad in an all black gown, she barely lifted a brow as I took my seat.
As I scanned the room, I noticed my dad’s cousin to my left.
He lived in Saudi Arabia and the last I heard, he wasn’t in town.
I greeted him and sat with my head bent.
He opened the meeting with greetings before addressing the passing of my dad,
the upcoming funeral and how he wanted things to go moving forward.
“….I know you are still grieving but whether you like it or not, this is your son.
God did not make you a barren woman. He is your responsibility and I have never known you to be one to shelve your responsibilities.
Now the circumstances we find ourselves in are very unique and unexpected but this is still a family.
God gives and He takes how He feels best but He gave you this one and made you guys one. We can only ask for His mercy and guidance because we cannot do it alone or by our reasoning”
He stopped and looked in my direction as he said
“…you are a man.
Regardless of your orientation or preferences. You have to step up and be the man of this house. You have to be there for your mother and be her rock”
This was a man my mother and my entire family greatly respected. He rarely spoke but when he did, people listened.
So it was surprising when my mother blurted out
We had a man of this home. He is a disgrace to this family and to God!”
She was crying as the words left her lips.
I am still not sure how it happened but I stood up and snapped.
“Are you serious?!
Are you being serious right now?
I did everything you asked for a son. I am at the top of my career, I don’t steal or cheat.
I have never brought reproach to your name, but the moment I want the freedom to love who I want, you want to call me a disgrace.
You publicly humiliated me!
Your own fucking son!!!! I am your son first and foremost!
There are people that have sons as murderers that stand by them. But the moment I want to love someone, I am the disgrace?
You are the disgrace! You dragged me in front of the house of God to shame me!
What kind of God do you serve?
Where is that in the bible? Call me a disgrace, in fact exile me!
Once the funeral is over, I am going back to America. You can have your perfect home since you want the whole world to think everything is perfect in here!”
I was standing and the whole room was stunned into silence.
I took a deep breath and said
“Uncle, thank you for your wise words but there is nothing here.
This is not my mother. I am done”
I walked out of the room as he called my name
I just kept walking to my room. I locked the door and curled into the bed.
That night, I missed my father more than ever.
The funeral was as you would expect – big.
There were so many people from all over the world. His church folk, friends from his days at the Rotary Club, high school buddies and just random folks.
Everyone came out to pay their respects.
My mother and I didn’t stand next to each other like you would normally see in movies.
There were a few family members standing between us.
Dressed in all white, my mother said my father would not have liked us in all black, I stood and just counted down the minutes.
It was scorching hot and humid.
The sermon was long and unnecessary.
Tears rolled down my eyes as he was lowered into the ground.
Even more when I poured the dirt on the coffin.
I think it really hit me then that he was gone.
Sandra was right next to me as we turned away and headed to the car waiting for us.
There were traditional drummers singing my “praises” as we walked to the car.
They were expecting a token but all I wanted was my father back.
I got into the back of the car and just stared out of the window.
We went back to the house. Sandra and a few of my other friends were in my room with me while I laid on the bed staring at the ceiling.
What next from here?
I thought to myself.
It was 3 days after the funeral.
And I was packed and ready to go. Sandra was taking me to the airport with her boyfriend Eugene.
All of my suitcases were loaded into the car.
Dimeji walked up to me and said
“Oga, you sure see you wan go like this?
At least wait make mummy come back from where she go with her friend”
I nodded and said
“Oga D, time don reach to day go.
E better like this. No wahala for anybody. Take, use this one by biscuit for Salewa and Timi”
I handed him some money in his right hand while supporting the firm handshake with my left hand.
He pulled me in and gave me a hug.
“We go miss you for here sha.”
He said with a saddened look on his face.
I forced a smile and said
“You know sen even when I day go school for that side, I day always call na.
I go day whatsapp una. “
he nodded and I lowered myself into the car.
Off we went, I remember buying Gala and Fan Yogurt on my way to the airport.
I couldn’t wait to leave all of this behind.
I was lost in thought when I heard Gaga Shuffle come on the radio, I turned and looked at Sandra who had a wry smile across her face.
We started singing as I pulled out my phone to record a snapchat video.
As I watched the playback I said,
“You know I’m going to miss you right?”
She rolled her eyes and said
“You’re going to see me in a few months. Literally less than 3 months!”
I smiled back and said
“But it feels like forever!
You better buy enough plantain chips when you are coming. Otherwise, I am turning you away at the airport!”
She chuckled and said
“Come on, you know I got you always”
We parked the car in the garage and used the trolleys to get my bags to the terminal.
Check-in was fairly smooth but for the waiting in line.
I had weighed all my bags at home and paid for the excess luggage online to save time at the airport.
The attendant asked me
“Where is your final destination?”
She smiled and handed me both of my boarding passes before tagging my bags.
I walked back to Sandra and gave her a long hug.
As I let her go, I said
“You know, I actually have time before we board, we can grab food and chill at that spot”
pointing towards a restaurant.
She smiled and said
“I wish I could but remember I have my fitting for my cousin’s wedding. Have to make it back to the Island”
I nodded and gave her another hug.
She whispered in my ear
“I love you”
“I love you too”
As I let her go and began to walk away, I heard someone call my name
I stopped in my tracks and turned around. It wasn’t Sandra.
She was stopped too, trying to figure out where it came from. I looked to my left and noticed a tall and slim man in a suit approaching me.
I faced him and he smiled before saying
“Hi, sorry to interrupt”
Still puzzled, I shook his outstretched hand.
He smiled again and said
“I know you have questions…”
I then spoke and said
“Please who are you?”
He ignored my question and said
“…I had to stop you because I could not allow you to get on that flight.
You deserve to be here with the people you love. This is your home”
I was even more confused, this man knew my name and seemed to know a bit about what was going on at home.
So I asked
“Please sir, who are you?”
He moved closer and now with a straight face, he replied and said
“I am the man your mother has been in a relationship with for the past 22 years”
Sandra yelled out
I couldn’t believe my ears. This ride was about to get a whole lot messier. PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW!
What happens next?
Come back for Part 4 next Saturday!
Please retweet and leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!
I was sitting in a sexual harassment refresher about 5 years ago. My job at the time made it mandatory that everyone within the company took the training once a year.
It was the very first time I heard the phrase “it is not your intent, it’s your impact”.
Now, believe me, the first time I heard that I was like “that is selfish!”
If I’m not trying to hurt you and you get hurt, that’s your problem. Not mine!
But as he explained it further, I began to understand the responsibility placed on us as people and as people who have others we love.
Now the initial discussion was about sexual harassment right?
An example of how intent vs. impact works was imagine showing up to work tomorrow and you see Sally on your way in.
You tell Sally “I love your dress, it really brings out your figure”
In your mind, you have done something nice. Most of us would think like that. Start Sally’s day with a compliment right? Make her feel good a bit?
What happens when you find out that Sally took offense to that. Imagine for a second that Sally was having a crappy morning and her mother had criticized her weight earlier that day.
Your comment reawakening the crappy feeling she already had – impact.
Intent vs. Impact.
Since that day, I have always tried to apply the same logic to my friendships and romantic relationships.
I understand that it is human to offend but more importantly, how I approach something is the only thing I can account for.
How someone receives it, is their choice as well.
They are entitled to that.
And even when it annoys you and you feel like they are taking a piss, you have to still look at things from their end.
It is also important to be aware that while someone may offend you and that was their impact, it may not have been their intention.
The best way to look at this is how you want to be loved.
Anyone that knows me well enough knows that I hate talking about things I cannot change.
Things that aggravate me are words with no action and feeling powerless in a situation.
I used to date someone in a long distance situation that would say, “you never come to see me or even talk about it”
In their mind, my lack of dialogue around it has impacted them into thinking, I don’t care.
But that is not my intention. For one, like I explained earlier, I hate empty talk. I am a doer, if I want something, I wait till I can execute till I bring it up.
Until we had a conversation about it, she always thought I just didn’t care.
5years ago, I would have said she was being selfish for not understanding my intent but you have to communicate it.
It is also your responsibility when you love someone to afford them the benefit of the doubt.
One of my partners used to be horrible with the public display of affection and love.
I host a radio show and I expect that a woman that loves me, would listen and support weekly.
But she was one of those people in the background.
Listening but never using the hashtag or commenting. It bothered me for a while. But I had to understand that her intent was not to seem uninterested or absent.
Did it annoy me? Hell yes, but I had to see the big picture.
This also brings me to the concept of how you love people.
You have to understand your past successes in relationships count for nothing if the current one you are in is failing.
Nobody wants to be in a failed relationship or friendship but it takes work to make all of that tick.
I am pretty confident that nobody likes the idea of repeatedly saying, “that’s not what I meant”
That is part of where the work comes in. You have to be able to align your intentions and your impact.
That is one of the ways relationships/friendships are successful.
I have a friend that gets mad at me all the time for my response times to text messages. They assume that I must not care or that I am just absent.
Totally untrue but I understand where there are coming from.
I get busy, absent-minded, distracted or forgetful but at no point does any of that translate to not caring.
But it happens and people feel things.
If you love them, tell them.
Fight for them.
Be available and
Try to be sensitive to their needs. Their concerns, frustrations.
Also, try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Do not start every thought with assuming that they are doing everything to hurt you.
If there is anything you need to remember today from this, make sure your intent and impact are as closely aligned as possible.
You won’t always get it right but you can try.
Now, if you don’t get me a gift for my birthday, the impact is that I will be very upset and NO, I don’t care about your bloody intent. 😂
Okay, just kidding.
Go out there this week and be great. Until next week, it has been WordsOfWednesday from the desk of The Wordsmith.
Follow @adewus4real and please LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW! Thanks!
#WordsOfWednesday #WTHM #TheRantsShow
Black.Gay.Waiting Part 3 out on Saturday!
Please watch this space!
Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated.
Head first in the deep,
I may sink or swim
Learning how to breathe
I end as I begin
Oh, I don’t know if I can do it, do it
I’m not sure I can do it, do it
I know I wanna do it, do it
Fuck it, I’m gonna do it, do it
Cos I gotta feeling… (Deep inside of me)
Telling me to do it… (Deep inside of me)
–Sink or Swim by Jacob Banks
The very first time I heard the song, it was at the Jacob Banks concert. I had been slacking as a fan because I had never properly listened to the song even though I had the EP on my computer.
So the night before the show, I was watching videos to a lot of the songs I had listened to and I played it.
Very easily liked it but it still did not register.
When I got to the concert and he played the song, he had changed it.
He changed the pitch, the melody was tweaked a bit and everyone was singing along except me.
And it was in that moment I realized how much I liked the song.
So I went back home and just binged on it and that was how I fell in love.
I knew standing in that crowd and mouthing off that this song was going to define my 2018; Sink or Swim.
Many of you reading this, started this writing/blogging journey with me.
In many cases, you have watched my evolution as a writer, creative, host, and most importantly, as a man.
I think with that evolution, comes a sense of ownership.
People think I should believe in myself more and it should be reflective. They are right.
I think I am a pretty decent everything listed about. But most times, people around me see more.
More than I can and more than I am sometimes willing to admit.
I think I am a pretty good writer but not great. Same goes for hosting my show or being a big brother or anything.
I mostly operate in the above average range.
That is about to change.
2018 is my sink or swim year in many senses.
One, it is the year I venture out of my comfort zones and tell the stories that I keep locked away.
It is the year where I approach discussions and creative platforms that scare, challenge and motivate me.
It is the year I tell myself “do it” and damn the consequences.
It is the year I take the love I deserve and settle for nothing less. I have written many times about the fear of being alone. Like even in the times I was single, I was never alone.
And out of the fear of not having to walk alone, I have settled for less than I deserve. No more.
It is the year of creative exploration on a more spiritual level (Check out my current series Black.Gay.Waiting here). When I wrote Black Gay Waiting, people freaked out. Some thought I was gay, some called me gay.
But it was mostly because the story was so believable but also because I wrote it, expect more.
2018 is also the year that I allow myself to be more vulnerable spiritually. I have always hidden behind the bare minimum. “Oh just enough that God knows I love Him and I do His work” but never truly pushing the envelope like I should. Change.
WhatTheHeckMan, TheRantsShow and I have all grown over the years but in a way, I feel like we stagnated last year.
The numbers say we didn’t but maybe because I am the force behind all of those things, and I’m never content with what I have, I want to push for more and more is what we are getting.
In 2018, everything should feel like a jump off a cliff.
You obviously have a parachute in your bag but no plans to use it. You’ll jump and soar.
Glide into your victories and be miles above your enemies.
Too often, we are okay with okay. “Okay, I think if I hit this level, I’ll be okay” “What I have done so far, is okay jare”
All very fair but there is more. There will be more. And it is okay to chase it.
2018, do not be okay with being above average because if the entire world is above average, then technically, you’re average.
I remember when I moved out of my parent’s house, what is now 9 years ago.
The plan was to split my rent.
I had gotten a part-time job and for the first 6 months, my parents were going to support me.
8 days after moving out, I lost the job.
My girlfriend at the time, bless her heart was the rock that held me through as I waited four months for another job.
It would be as a lifeguard.
I didn’t even know I could swim, until one day there was an emergency in the pool and I had to dive in and save a kid.
That is how I am approaching this year.
I don’t know if I can do it,
I am not sure if I can do it,
But I know I want to do it,
So fuck it, I AM GOING TO DO IT!
My name is Sanmi Adewunmi. You may know me as Adewus4real or The Wordsmith.
I create and I do a damn good job of it.
In 2018, I am pushing myself to the limits and challenging every person that is reading this to do the same.
Here is what will happen.
Not trying to be negative but we will fail at some things – but we will gather learnings to improve new approaches and we will succeed at many things and thrive in our best lives.
None of which won’t happen if you don’t jump in the water.
Write those goals out.
If you are religious, pray about them.
Religious or not, work hard at them.
Success will come.
It has to.
Say it with me, “In 2018 and beyond, I will thrive in everything I set my heart, my mind, my body and my soul to”
In 2018, we swim!
So get in the water.
And if you think you are going to drown, don’t worry, I gotchu.
After all, I was a lifeguard for all of 5 months!
Let’s go out there and take 2018; spiritually, financially, romantically, creatively, professionally, physically and any other kind of “cally”
This is the first WordsOfWednesday for 2018 and I promise to be more consistent with these this year.
Please retweet, comment, share and let me know if you plan to Sink or Swim this year.
Come back next Wednesday for another piece and make sure you catch the next episode of @TheRantShow before that. Also find the track that inspired my approach to 2018 below~
I appreciate you all.
2018 is ours. Part 3 of Black.Gay.Waiting will be out this Saturday! I promise! ❤️
LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW! START THE NEW YEAR RIGHTTTTTTT! lol
Bless & Happy New Year!
#WordsOfWednesday #WTHM #TheRantsShow
Black.Gay.Waiting Part 3 out on Saturday!
Please watch this space!
It was 6am in the morning, I was just standing out in the middle of the quadrangle and looking embarrassed.
I was trying to understand how I missed it.
My clothes were on the window pane to my left. I had placed them there before I began to bathe myself as I prepared for school.
Why would someone do this to me?
This was only my first morning in boarding school.
I wanted the safety of my home.
My temperature controlled shower, consistent electricity, hot breakfast and just emotional safety!
Here I was thrust into the “wild”.
Anyone that experienced it will tell you straight up that it builds character and forces you to face a lot of the fears you will meet in life.
One thing it also does though, it awakens fears you never thought you had.
That cold morning, I stood there and wished I could teleport.
I swear I had seen my clothes there. Just a minute before.
Someone obviously moved it because they wanted to teach me a lesson.
I eventually made my way into my dorm and tried to forget that had happened, but it hurt.
That day, I prayed that I would never be in that kind of situation again.
Well, I have been in that situation 3 times since then but this had to be the most embarrassing.
My father, a renowned minister, was standing less than 10 feet away from me while I clutched my undergarments to protect my exposed genitalia.
How did this happen?
How did he know I was here?
“Pastor, I am sorry”
Micah said in whimpering tone.
My father barked back at him.
He looked up to me and said
“You are still at this?! After everything your mother and I have done for you?”
My head dropped.
He continued on
“You are a disgrace. A complete disgrace.”
It was at that point I dropped my clothes on the bed and I started putting my boxers on.
I was so tired of being called all sorts for being who I was.
My father turned to Micah and said
“…and you, I cannot believe you would do this. I never want to see you again.
Or anywhere near the church.”
He stormed out without saying another word.
I quickly put the rest of my clothes on and followed. Micah tried to grab me, I stopped and he said
“I’m sorry. This is my fault”
I smiled and gave him a kiss on his lips and then said
“Don’t be. You did nothing wrong”
as I wiped his lip.
He dropped his head and I patted his cheek as I walked out.
Walking into the parking space, my father said to me
“Give him the keys”
referring to his driver who was now standing outside to my left, right next to my car.
I wanted to ask why but I knew why.
He wanted us to ride together so he could berate me further.
I didn’t question it, I tossed my keys to Dimeji, our longtime family driver and the man that taught me how to drive.
He nodded, almost in apology and then entered my car.
I walked over to my father’s car and entered.
To my surprise, he did not say a single word during the entire ride home.
When we got home, I went straight to my room and stayed there most of the day.
I shuffled between scrolling through Twitter and watching season 4 of the Blacklist. I was basically trying everything to get my mind off what had just happened.
My mom was out of the country and returning later that night. One thing was for sure, my father was always going to tell my mother what happened.
They tell each other everything.
So I knew it was only a matter of time before she was brought up to speed.
And she was going to be home in a few hours.
I was awakened by the buzzing of my phone.
I actually didn’t realize I had fallen asleep. As I answered, I tried to keep my eyes closed.
The voice on the other end was familiar. It said
“Are you ready?”
I wasn’t understanding. So I asked
“Ready for what?”
“Drinks. I texted you and told you I was coming”
I hadn’t seen the text. Probably because I was sleeping. So I asked
“Where are you?”
I sighed and said
“Aight, I’ll be out in a bit”
I quickly got up, brushed my teeth and then washed my face before heading out the room.
As I approached the living room, I could hear the sounds of the television – MSNBC.
That was one of my dad’s favourite channels, so I quickly put it together that he was in there.
I knew I had to walk past him and I was going to do it as quickly as possible.
As I entered the living room and was almost out of the main door, he said
“Ni bo lo da?” – translating to “where to?”
I stopped in my tracks, turned to my right where he sat and said
“I am grabbing dinner with a friend”
He squeezed his face and dismissed me with his mouth closed.
And out I was.
In the car waiting for me was Sandra.
One of my true best friends and one of the only few that knew my situation.
As I sat in the car, she turned and gave me a hug.
She followed it up by saying
“How are you?”
In that moment, I wanted to break down and cry but I mustered the strength and said
“I think I’m okay hun.
Like… I don’t know but I’d like to think that I’m good”
We chatted about her week and her boyfriend whom she felt was dragging his feet and not proposing.
I told her to be calm, after all, only 20 months of dating was never going to be enough time to know someone.
Sandra was extra like that.
As they cleared our table, Sandra asked for the check and brought out her wallet.
I looked at her with confusion and said
“What are you doing?”
She scoffed, smiled and said
“Paying. Or what does it look like?”
I was about to reply when she said
“Abeg hold that your machismo nonsense. I got this one.”
I just swallowed my words. She then asked
“So what are you going to do?”
I looked up to her and locked my fingers into each other as I said
“I honestly don’t know but I sure as hell know that I am tired.
I mean for crying out loud, I am almost 30!
I have never had sex and I have done everything my family has asked of me…but I cannot change who I am!
This is who I fucking am. Sandra it is soo tiring.
Is it my fault that my parents are pastors? Or that I like men and not women?
Like let’s get this straight, I am almost fucking thirty! Like is it because I moved back home or something?
Like I am just tired”
She nodded as I could see the sadness all over her face.
“I am sorry hun. I really am.
Let me just say this though. Just continue to be yourself. We appreciate you for who you are.
I know for sure that I do, and I love you for being you”
Dinner and those drinks certainly helped me feel a bit better. As I rode home in the back of the Uber, I couldn’t help but think about how much I had wanted to break free.
For many years, nobody knew of my status and I truly didn’t need people to know.
I was always sure that I never wanted people to treat me any kind of way because of my sexuality. I was going to be great at anything I did without being treated differently.
But how come my home never felt like I was welcome?
My father would preach love and togetherness, being non-judgmental, forgiveness and unconditional love.
Yet, since I became an adult, those things have been far away from me.
The Uber pulled up to the gate and said
“Okay sir, we are here”
I looked up and noticed we were in front of my house.
I grew up in that house and I had come to hate that house. Every time I brought up the idea of me moving out, my mother scoffed at it and tried to make me feel bad for not wanting to live with them.
I heaved a deep sigh as I knocked on the gate for the gateman to open.
The house was quiet when I got in but the television was on.
I turned it off and went to my room. As I began taking my clothes off, I heard the gate open.
My parents were back.
I turned the lights off and got into my bed.
I heard them make their way into the house. I could hear my mom’s voice and even though I hadn’t see her in a few weeks, I decided against coming out of my room.
I heard them talking in their bedroom which was a floor beneath mine but when the house was quiet enough, it felt like they were next door.
I heard the water running. I figured my mother was taking a shower.
Sleep came calling and soon enough I was struggling to keep my eyes open.
I hadn’t been asleep for too long when I heard my door open quickly.
By the fruity scent left behind, I figured it was mom that came to check if I was awake.
I was, but I was not ready for the things that followed.
Sunday mornings were always sluggish for me.
I think as I got older, I hated the pressure that came from being a PK (Pastor’s kid). So I became more distant from the church in many ways.
I would still go but I was always late or very detached. Only at the church, my parents pastored.
This morning, I woke up and I just lay there for a while.
I kept playing that day and my dad walking in.
As I replayed the day, I kept blaming myself.
Maybe I shouldn’t have slept over or maybe I should have rushed and put my clothes on as I heard my dad barge in.
I kept going through a bunch of maybes but I eventually settled on the fact that, it already happened and there was nothing I could do to change it.
When I made it to church, praise and worship was just about to start.
For the next twenty-five minutes, we sang and danced to the glory of God.
Then came the Liberty prayer and then the announcements.
The sermon was about to start when I noticed my father hand the microphone to my mother.
He wasn’t taking the sermon today.
I figured that it was because of everything that had happened over the weekend, he wanted to absolve himself of any ill feelings while ministering.
My mother got up there like she had many times before and began preaching.
She was firm, she was direct and told it as it was.
The title of her sermon was “Finding Your Way Home”
A lot of what she said convicted me, I felt like I had drifted from God.
I used to be active in the church and closer in my journey against sexual immorality.
I had promised that I would never have sex until I was married.
And even though I had dated women and almost got married to one, I was determined to wait until after I was married to have sex.
Now some of you may say, but what is the point in going on God, when you are already gay.
I wish I knew but it felt like the right thing to do within me.
And that was what I was going to do.
Midway through her sermon, I remember my mother saying
“Some of us have been so blessed by God that we stray. We let the blessings get to us and then we forget all that he has done.
We start to simplify his goodness and take it for granted.
Brethren, I encourage you to never let the elevation you have in life, make you think you no longer need God…”
I remember thinking
“hmmm, maybe I had turned on God and forgotten how much he had blessed me…”
I was in that thought when I heard my name over the loudspeakers.
I looked up and my mother was motioning me towards the altar.
I looked around to be sure.
Slowly, I got up and walked to the front of the church.
She stepped down from the altar and came up to me.
Placing her hand on my shoulder she said into the microphone
“An example of forgetting home and God’s blessings is my son here.
God has given him so much that he has forgotten God to the point that he is now engaging in sinful acts that made God burn down Sodom and Gomorrah.
My son has been participating in a homosexual relationship”
The entire church gasped.
I swear I thought I had died for a second.
It was like I was hearing a cassette tape played backwards. Everything in my head was scrambled. I was stunned.
My eyes quickly welled up and I couldn’t understand.
“How could she do this to me?”
I thought to myself.
I turned and people in the congregation had their hands covering their mouths in shock.
Something in me wanted to run but I couldn’t.
My mom continued and said
“It is important that when people are trying to lead you back to Christ, you take note because you can be lost in the world”
As she finished, someone got up in the second row and said
“Abeg what is all this nonsense?
Is this what we came to church for?”
My mother, microphone to her lips, said
And the man continued and said
“Yes, is this why we came to church. So you can air your personal drama?
We come for the word, not this theatrics.
Besides, this is not news at least not to your family. Your husband always knew and he has known for a while now, so why are you here lying to us.
Please let us hear word”
My mother, surprised, turned around and looked at my father.
He rose up with his head hung low.
He took two steps forward and then he slumped. My father died that morning.
What happens next?
Come back for Part 3 next Saturday!
Please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!
Please leave me a comment or tweet at me here@adewus4real! Feedback is EVERYTHING~Thanks!
Part Three next Saturday and ready to drop! @adewus4real
Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated.
Thanks for the love and
“I don’t know if I am allowed to say this but I love your smile.
Ethnic people are just so beautiful”
I tried to force a smile back as I looked down to this old white lady that thought she had just paid me a compliment.
I muttered back with my “professional” smile plaster across my coconut oiled face.
“You know, I have friends from Africa.
What part of Africa are you from?”
I was shocked that she had even continued to talk to me.
They called out my name from behind the register.
“Tall chai latte for Dee”
I excused myself from the conversation with the lady and I walked to the counter, grabbed my drink and without saying a word to her, I walked out of the Starbucks.
That night as I took a shower, my mind flashed back that interaction that morning.
I suddenly became annoyed.
That was normal, people saying inappropriate and culturally insensitive things.
That was my entire time living in Boston.
There were two schools of people – the ignorant but sometimes well meaning group and the downright racist/white supremist quarter.
Overall, I hated Boston but I understood why my Nigerian parents sent me there for school.
My father went to Law School. His brother and family that I would spend most holidays with, currently live in Boston.
My mother taught for years in central Baltimore. The only things she loved more than those white kids she taught were my siblings and I, my dad and her commute to work.
You never messed with my mothers radio or her Ebenezer Obey cds in the car.
After graduation, I moved to New York for a few years, working out of a mid level law firm.
Yes, I took after my dad.
And as some of you may be able to relate, I had no choice.
I didn’t like practicing law but I didn’t hate it either. I passed the bar on my second go and I was making good money.
The people I worked with were decent and they made the days go by.
But I knew I was only buying time.
My friend Duke tried to tell me.
I replied as I didn’t hear him clearly.
“The total is 300k”
“Did you factor in a tip?”
I pulled out my card and handed it to him.
“Put it on here”
I said to him as he took it from me and turned.
It was my birthday dinner and everyone was eating and having a good time.
I hate birthday dinners.
On one end, you can plan and people will flake or you can’t accurately split the bill.
Everyone knows that people always forget their drinks and tip.
So I had deduced that whenever I had one, I would either be blessed to have a sugar daddy that would handle the bill or I was going to do it myself.
It was the latter.
We did pictures shortly after.
I had picked up my friends Sandra and Bisoye from Ikoyi on my way to the dinner, so I had to drop them off before heading to my parents in Surulere.
My mother was the type that wanted to make sure that I attended services whenever I was in town.
She used to say “you need know God before you need God” or the line I loved so much, “how do you expect to hold your home together if you don’t have a vibrant prayer life?”
Yes, my mother was the typical Pentecostal bible believing mother.
My father wasn’t always there for direct interaction. Leading growing church and law firm can be challenging sometimes.
But fear not, he was just as influential as my mother.
Overbearing, loving, kind, annoying and everything in between.
Those were my parents and I loved them so much.
And that was how much I loved and appreciated everyone that came out to celebrate with me.
After the last set of pictures, I said out loud
“Thank you all for coming. I truly appreciate it. You guys are awesome.”
Hugs and pecks as I headed towards the car.
Sandra is obsessed with 2Face Idibia’s latest track, Gaga Shuffle and it didn’t help that she worked at one of the top radio stations.
She would never stop going on about it!
So we knew as we entered the car that she was going to start playing the song.
Together we belted out the first line “As I want craze, I want involve you for my f-ing craze”
Such a tune!
Sandra’s calling was to be in music. No doubt.
I love sharing songs with her, she knows almost every song!
If it’s on the radio or has the potential to get there, Sandra knows it.
I looked into the rear view mirror and Bisoye has fallen asleep.
It was like a curse. Once Bisoye enters a car and she is not the one driving, sleep is what happens next – always!
Sandra and I teased as Bisoye mumbled some words out of her sleep.
It is exactly as you imagine it, the cutest thing ever but also the most consistent thing whenever we all got into the car together.
About twenty minutes later, I was peeling out of their apartment complex. Sleep was creeping up on me as I got back on the Third Mainland Bridge.
I had probably gone about 5 miles when I heard a loud thud. I went another mile as I tried to guess what had happened.
At first thought, I figured I must have run over something or hit something but as I drove on, I felt my car begin to wobble.
Everyone knows that late at night in Lagos is not the time for your car to be having issues. So as I pulled over, I was very frustrated.
On one hand, this was probably money I didn’t need to spending that would be going to that repair and on the other hand, I just wanted to sleep!
Upon closer inspection as I stepped out of the car, I noticed that one of my tires had blown out.
This was going to be a short while but I knew how to change a tire from watching my father do it.
I locked the car and walked to the trunk as I opened it, I noticed that the jack that was needed to change the tire was missing.
I could scream!
I knew someone in my house must have gone in there and failed to return it, now here I was stuck on this dangerous bridge in the crack of the night.
I walked to the passengers side and unlocked the car.
Immediately, I called the person I knew would answer.
“Deacon, I need your help”
He showed up about 30 minutes later and very soon the tire was changed.
As I was about to get into the car, he said
“You can come to my place since I know your estate will be closed by now”
I paused and thought about it, he was right. The security team at my apartment was notorious for stressing my life out whenever I returned late.
“Okay, lets go”
He handed me an oversized shirt at his apartment while I connected to the wifi.
“you can take the bed, while I sleep on the couch”
I shook my head and replied,
“You don’t have to do that”
He quickly replied
“I just know what you said the last time and I was trying to honor that”
I nodded and said
“I remember what I said but as long as you respect yourself, we should be good”
I headed into the bathroom to wash my face and then into the bed. He was still in the living room when I got in.
At this time, it was 3am and I was super tired.
I knocked out pretty quickly after.
I must have been asleep for about an hour when I felt a strong arm come around my midsection. He pulled me close.
His arm was strong, warm and I remember how safe I used to feel in his hold.
A part of me wanted to break away because I had warned him, but I also really liked his touch.
I stayed put and awake.
A few minutes later, I could feel his rising member between my cheeks.
I was getting turned on, even though I knew I wanted to fight it.
A few moments later, he turned me around and passionately kissed me.
I could taste the cheesecake I brought over with me on his lips.
His tongue was strong like his hands. It searched me and I got weak.
He was on his side with his right arm across my midriff.
He tasted so good and I just sunk into his arms. It was like his mattress was suddenly softer than a cloud and I was free falling.
It had been a while, a long while since someone took charge of my physical and made me lose myself.
He began to kiss my neck and I was losing it.
I was really excited now. His tongue licked behind my left ear.
It ticked and pushed me further off the ledge.
I wanted more, so I don’t know where the words “we have to stop” came from.
He pulled back and towering over me, he said
“You don’t want to?”
I closed my eyes and said
“I just don’t know… I’m just worried we will get into this space again… you know”
He pulled further back and said
“I understand. I’m sorry”
I quickly replied and said
“Don’t apologize. Its not just you. It has to be both of us”
He didn’t say anything else.
He laid on his back staring at the spinning ceiling fan with the light from the DVR partially illuminating the room.
I turned over on my left side and stared out of the window.
I won’t lie to you, I so badly wanted him to grab me again. I know what I said but I wanted the opposite at that moment.
I thought he had fallen asleep when I said
He didn’t even say anything, I heard a grunt.
And I turned and planted a wet one on his lips.
He ran his hand under his t-shirt I was wearing. That was it!
Our lips locked and it felt so good.
So good, I was annoyed when he turned me over and spooned me.
Until he spread my cheeks and slid into me.
He belly was cold but he breath was warm and his throbbing member was anything but.
With each thrust, he spread me wider and I grabbed a handful of the sheets in my right hand.
My moans were subdued. It was very late and his window was open.
But I wanted to scream.
It had been so long and naturally it hurt a little. And I loved it.
I could feel him pulse and I moved my hips to match his stride.
It was satisfying as he filled me up.
He pumped and grunted before panting for air.
I turned over and snuggled into his chest. I could hear his heart beating.
He wrapped his arm around me and it was only moments before he knocked out.
I placed my leg over his and that is the last I remember of the night.
I ignored it.
I thought I was dreaming but I slowly started to come into my consciousness.
Then I realized the noise was actually outside.
I sprung up, only to see Micah getting up as well. I said
“What is going on?”
He motioned with his left hand and said
I’ll go check”
He grabbed his robe hanging off the inside of the open closet door and put it on.
Out the room he marched, leaving it slightly ajar.
I heard him put on his slippers and head towards the door.
I hated how he dragged his feet. It was always a pet peeve of mine.
Still surprised me how I developed feelings for a man that did something I hated so much.
I heard the front door open.
I actually thought it was someone that he owed money or maybe his car was blocking someone from leaving out the parking lot.
As the door opened I heard someone say very loudly
“Where is he?! Where is he?!
I know you have my son in here”
I recognized that voice – it was my father.
It took a second for what was happening to register, so there was a delay in my head.
Before I could jump up and put my clothes on, my father barged into the room
There was midway hunched over trying to grab my boxers. Butt ass naked.
I turned and looked straight and my father.
A lagging Micah was behind as he said
“Pastor, I can explain”
All I could say was
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It felt like an eternity.
I was staring out the window and watching the cars on the busy street. My eyes would fix on a particular car or person and track them till they moved out of the show.
I didn’t want to turn around.
My eyes were swollen from all the crying I had done in mere minutes.
So here I was for years, fasting and praying that God would give me something from someone who was doing everything within his power to hinder me.
Tobias broke the silence
“Adeola, let me explain”
I didn’t turn around yet.
“There is just a lot that I should have told you sooner and I am deeply sorry”
I swallowed hard.
My saliva was thick and I could feel a slight headache coming on, still looking outside the window and without turning, I said
“Were you ever going to tell me?”
He paused and then began to say
“You will never know the amount of guilt and sadness that I have held over the years. I have always wanted to tell….”
I turned and yelled
“Are you kidding me?
9 years Toby! (I called him Toby)
Nine years, I slaved, prayed and bled to give you a child and you couldn’t bring yourself to tell me?!
Are you fucking serious?”
I was barely able to get the words out as I was losing my voice
“Adeola, I promise I never planned to hurt you.
Do you know how it feels to live in a prison of life?
Pretending to be somebody else and trying to convince yourself that you are not who you think you are.
Marrying you was a mistake because I should have known who I was.. Falling in love with you was not one.
You have to believe that I wished I could tell you but I was a coward.
Afraid of what coming out to you would mean. The woman I shared sacred vows with….”
I couldn’t contain my tears but I let his words sit for a few seconds and then I said
“Those vows mean nothing because they were based on a lie.
A vey important lie.
did you always know before we got married that you were not attracted to women?”
His face seemed to drop.
He took a deep breath and said
“I had an idea but I was never really sure.
Some people thought it was a phase and that I would grow past it once I got married.
It subsided for a while but ultimately I wasn’t happy.
Not by any fault of ours but because I needed a different kind of love.
I should have told you and the fact that I couldn’t is all on me. Not you”
Honestly I wanted to say more but I was so broken.
This was a rollercoaster ride that I wanted to stop but I couldn’t.
But I had to know
“How long were you with him? And why did you get a vasectomy? We could have still had a child.”
He shook his head and said
“No we couldn’t. My count was low.
I had checked a year into our marriage. I also did not want to bring a child into this world to a life of lies and only to be confused.
That would be selfish on another level… As for the partners, I have only had two.
I was with one for about 2years until Abike threatened to expose me to you, if I didn’t stop… and then I started back up about year ago with the boy that works with you.”
I turned sharply towards Abike and screamed
“What?!… You knew he was cheating?! And you didn’t tell me?!”
She looked shell shocked.
Eyes big and wide, she froze.
She snapped out of her trance and muffled
“What is he saying?!!!”
I snarled back at her.
She was still frozen like a deer in headlights.
“Abike, I swear to God, if you don’t open your mouth….I will slap the shit out of you!”
I yelled at her.
Then she spoke.
I knew. I fucking knew and everyone knew.
We just wondered how you never knew…
….there was one evening when I came to drop something off for you. You had given me the keys because both of you were supposed to be out of town.
I walked in on your husband giving a man a blowjob. I was furious.
I wanted to tell you but you were so happy…so in love…I wasn’t going to be the one to take that away from you.
….And like he said, he apologized and promised he wasn’t going to do it again. I figured we would all move past it and it was a mistake”
Now I was angry!
“A mistake? A fucking mistake?
Do you think I would call it a fucking mistake if I walked in on your husband blowing another man?!
A mistake?! Wow… I have never heard anything more stupid in my life!”
She raised her hands in a pacifying motion and said
“Adeola, I said this already.
Nobody wants to be a home wrecker. I didn’t know how to say anything.”
“You are my sister! my fucking sister, Abike!
I don’t care about a stupid home if my own sister cannot tell me when the walls are crashing down.
You betrayed my trust…. I can’t even believe all of this. I just can’t.
This is too much”
I started to move towards the door when Abike said
“Sis Adeola, I am really sorry. Please believe that I am and I Want to to do everything within my power to make this better. If you will just allow me to try.”
I turned around as I grabbed my purse and I said
“You see that is your problem. You all continue to take and give nothing.
I have been there for you in countless ways, I love your children like they are my own.
Yet you have taken all of my happiness from me.
I am at a junction in my life….*tears*…. where I should be leaning on you the most and here I am finding the most heart wrenching things about my life through the lenses of other people.
You are my sister for crying out loud.
….. I am pregnant with a child that I know nothing of his father. For all I know, it could be this one or the Lord visited me in the middle of the night because I know I haven’t been with anyone else.
And I have cancer Abike!
Cancer that I only just found the strength to fight. So no, I will not be giving you any chances to do anything here.”
As I tried to leave, Lizzy, who had been standing in the corner started to move towards the door with me.
Tobias reached and tried to hold me.
“Don’t touch me.”
I tearfully said and then I heard Abike’s voice
I stopped in my tracks.
She continued and said
“Since you are going to be leaving, there is something you should know now.”
Her husband Kunle looked at her very surprised and said
“Really, you want to tell her now?”
She bowed her head and said
“I have to.”
I was intrigued.
I shut the door and turned, holding my purse in front of me with both hands.
“What is it?”
She was already crying heavily which always broke my heart. She sniffled a few times and then she said
“I know the father of your child”
Pause for a second.
Have you ever been in the middle of a bad dream, and something bad was about to happen but you let it play its course, because you knew it was a bad dream?
Now, have you ever been wide awake and watching life move right in front of you, like a bad dream?
Like everything that is happening is mortifying and you cannot stop it?
I finally asked
She looked over to her husband and he dropped his head.
She dropped her head and said
Tobias charged at him and almost got physical with him.
Abike jumped in between them.
I had to sit down and then she said
“Please don’t hate me.
But Kunle is the father”
I was stunned but confused
“Abike, what are you saying?”
She started to explain
“I have seen first hand your struggle to have a baby.
After I caught Tobias with the man, I confronted him and in there, he told me that he most likely would not be able to have children because his count was low.
I watched you cry and beg God for a child and I know how much you wanted one….
….So I asked Kunle. He was initially against it and he even got angry with me for suggesting it.
But I was able to convince him.
I knew you would never step out of your marriage and I figured Tobias was the problem. So Kunle eventually did it.”
I stood up and I was the one who charged at her.
Tobias and Lizzy grabbed me as I screamed
You had your husband rape me?!”
“Noo… nooo…. I just thought that it would be better.
To keep it in the family. I was never going to say anything.
I just wanted you to be happy. I swear that I was never looking to hurt you. I thought I was helping.”
I looked over to Kunle and I asked
“Is this true?”
I really felt violated. Like someone tore open my insides and had it on display for the whole world to see.
Even though it was months later, I still felt like I had been robbed of a certain innocence.
Why was this happening to me?
What did I ever do to have my life so difficult?
I believe in God and I truly felt like I was doing the right things in life.
This was too much.
I spent my life helping people put their marriages together and here I was losing everything that I built.
I didn’t even know what to say anymore.
I stood up and walked out of the room. Lizzy followed closely.
As we entered the hallway, Abike, Tobias and Kunle followed me. I heard Abike say wait but I kept walking.
She said it again.
I stopped, and tearful I asked
She didn’t answer. The hallway had nurses and people that had been listening to all that happened in the room.
I asked her again
“A few times when you came over, I spiked your drink and you were out cold.
I promise, I wasn’t trying to hurt you!”
With heavy tears pouring out of my eyes, I said
“I pray you all rot in hell.”
That afternoon was the last I saw of those three.
Lizzy and I soon came to Atlanta together as I continued treatment.
I remember on our flight from Lagos, I kept thinking of all the signs I missed again.
The waking up sore at Abike’s house or being told not to marry him but ignoring all warnings. I blamed myself.
I went against every counsel as a young woman because I thought I was in love.
Now I am not encouraging anyone to simply accept the advice of anyone that has something to say about your romantic life but certainly evaluate everything.
I felt a certain peace in my heart that Toby was now happy with whoever he wanted to be with and he didn’t have to continue looking over his shoulder.
Love should never feel like a prison.
I felt a new dawn coming for me.
I was very uncertain about how it would all play out but I knew that this time around, I would be directing my own movie- how I wanted to.
“Are you ready?”
Lizzy asked, I nodded and smiled yes.
They wheeled me into the OR shortly after.
The doctor looked at me and said
“Are you sure you want to go through with this?
With your situation, you may never be able to have children of your own”
I nodded and said
On July, 21st 2017, I aborted the 4 month pregnancy.
For about an hour that night, I sat down in the shower and I just cried.
I cried so hard.
My hair was falling out from all the chemotherapy and I was feeling weak.
No guilt from the decision I made because I felt it was the right one.
I was never going to bring a child into this world under those circumstances.
The last few months had been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride.
I stood up and dried myself off.
Walking into the living room, Lizzy was walking out of her room as well.
In her hand, she was holding a pregnancy test stick. She had pushed back her wedding after everything that happened to come to Atlanta with me.
She looked at me, I looked at the stick, we looked at each out and my heart warmed.
I walked over to her and hugged her tight.
I couldn’t sobbing as she did the same in my arms.
If this was full circle, I’m glad.
For as long as I lived, I would love that baby like it was mine.
To love, to cherish, to counsel, to adore; against every obstacle and every odd.
Pleaseeeeeeee leave me a comment and let me know how you felt about this part and the entire series. It means a lot!
Thank you for reading the Against Counsel series with me! I throughly enjoyed writing it for you all and I hope you enjoyed the ride with me. If you hate me for how the ending panned out, I AM HERE FOR IT~ 😊