FLASH FICTION : Death is The Restitution.

 

 

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The day he died; I took a long bath, dressed in flowing red robes, donned my satin head wrap and danced for hours to  soulful music.

When I was tired. I sat on the floor of my living room, a container of chips keeping me company as I watched our wedding video again while I waited for them to contact me. I knew they would.

His sister was the one who  broke the news through a text message that read;

” I hope you are happy o. You have finally killed my brother. I hope you are happy.’’

I laughed hysterically after reading.

When I was done, I called the number back and asked;
“How did he die?”

She said  “Ask your babalawo , you unfortunate woman’’.

I only smiled and said “I do not need a babalawo. I am enough. Death is his restitution”  then I ended the call.
I knew my disposition  must cut deep into the flesh of his relatives especially his mother and sister but I didn’t care. It gave me immense pleasure to know that they were certain I killed him and yet could not  do anything about it.

I was there when he died, I knew what killed him and the other 15 unfortunate souls who had been unlucky to share a Bus with him. I was there, the little voice in his consciousness, the one that whispered “ You should have done better”  as the  brakes failed and the Bus cascaded down into a Ravine. The little voice that relentlessly whispered “You deserve this death, you hurt Olu to her core. ‘’You deserve this miserable death’’.

 

 

****

Killing him was easy . Destroying him however took me five years. I started with his finances , the very power he had wielded  over me during our marriage.  Seeing his mother in agony had given  me a perverse joy and I really owe some of my gratitude to the fake prophets she ran after. They kept pushing them in the wrong direction, making them seek forgiveness in the wrong places. I saw everything. I knew it all.

It took them four years before they finally met someone who directed then to me. They came. The three of them with subdued faces.

“My daughter I know he wronged you. Forgive him. “Mo fi Olorun be e”. The mother had pleaded while the sister kept nodding like a Lizard.  I recall laughing in their faces before saying “E je ko lo be eleda e”. When they realised after several visits that I wasnt going to listen, they started to send emissaries and I told each one of them that I will neither forgive nor release him from the bondage.”

They told me what he did was indeed very bad but  that it was the way of men to sometimes behave like fools. They also stopped coming when they realised the more they pleaded,  the hotter my wrath burned.

While they stopped, he kept trying, sending endless messages to remind  me of all the times he did things that brought me joy and I would read and not respond. I did finally respond two weeks to his death day.  I knew his time was near. I was done.

“Yes you did make me happy a few times but you took away what makes me a woman. You took my womb from me. I lost our baby, I needed help but your sleep was more precious. So you slept  while I  flooded our room with my blood. By the time you woke up and decided to take my barely living body to the hospital. It was too late for my womb.  I remember how the Doctor had asked why I was just being brought. I was barely alive but I heard you lie to him. You told him you travelled and walked in that morning to find me like that. You didn’t tell him you refused to help me and also hid my phone so I couldn’t call for help. There is no forgiveness Deyanju. Death is your only restitution.”

He kept on sending messages to plead. He told me how he has lost everything. How his health was failing. How he could barely feed. But I laughed because I knew he hadn’t lost everything.  He had something I will never have ;  the three kids he had with the woman he left me for after I lost my womb. The same woman who left the minute his problems started. I spared his children.

 

I  wanted to tell him this. I wanted to say he should be thankful I refused to touch his children despite the great temptation I felt to do so. But I  didn’t  respond again. My message had already been passed.

Death,  is the only restitution and there was no need to trade further words.

Adiye da mi logun nu. Ma fo leyin!

 

 

Meaning of Yoruba words and phrases

Babalawo : à traditional religious priest 

Mo fi Olorun be e: I beg you in God’s name.

E je ko be eleda e : Let him appease his creator. 

Adiye da mi loogun nu. Ma fo Leyin : If a Hen kicks and pours away the contents of my medicine container, I will pay her back by breaking her eggs. 

 

 

 

 

 

A Woman’s Game ..Episode 3

Hello beautiful people,

My sincere apologies for not posting  last Monday. It was quite an overwhelming week. I was practically drowning under the weight of things I needed to get done. Please forgive me. 

See previous posts ; Episode1 and Episode 2

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****

“I don’t understand. Something on my phone?” She asked remaining calm even as a thousand thoughts raced through her mind.

“You received a strange message and it just has me a little bit confused.”

“You went through my messages?” She asked trying to hide her panic behind the feigned indignation.

“No. I didnt check your messages, I wasn’t going through your phone. I was only going through your pictures then the message came in and somehow I clicked on it.”

 

“Somehow indeed. I am really disappointed that you thought it was okay to go through my phone. What exactly were you looking for? ”

“Babe, I said I wasn’t trying to go through your phone.” Dele protested again.

But Kitan didn’t listen. She instead took her phone from him and stormed out of the room.

****

Kitan went to the second room , locked the door and frantically checked through the message Dele had talked about. Her outburst had been to buy time so she could check the message and know how much damage had been done.

She read the message and heaved a sigh of relief while also cursing her intern. Is that girl even mad? Which foolish gist is she desperate to share. Alakoba.

She was glad to see the messages was something she could easily explain away so she tried to rehearse what she was going to say to Dele.

She went back to the room and pretended to be surprised to see Dele had changed out of his clothes.

“You dont want us to go out again?” She asked.

“Well considering the fact that you were being all dramatic , I figured that would be the end of our plans. ”

“I am sorry for my reaction. I was actually not in the best of moods because while in the bathroom I kept thinking of the Ruth situation , then I came out and you were asking about something on my phone with an accusing look on your face.”

“I wasn’t accusing you of anything Kitan. I was just wondering what the message was about. It was a bit confusing. I couldn’t make head or tail of it. Your reaction was actually quite unnecessary. You didn’t have to flip on me like that. ”

 

“I am sorry. ” “I overreacted.”

 

“Indeed you did. I have never snooped on you so why would you start accusing me of going through your phone? ”

“I am sorry. Now let me try and explain the message.”

“No, don’t  bother because you will soon accuse me of not trusting you. ”

“Haba. Dele. Don’t be like this now. I already explained it was mostly transferred aggression from another issue. ”

“It’s  okay. I don’t want to fight and you don’t have to explain anything. ”

“Well I want to. Kitan insisted. You know I told you about this page I run online. That message was from one of my colleagues. She is one of the page administrators.  I had told them I needed to be away for the duration of your stay and that I don’t want anyone disturbing but this particular girl joked that she could always get me to come back by sending me snippets of posts on the page every now and then. So that message was her just blaberring to see if she could tempt me into resuming admin work. ”

“Okay. I can understand that. But this means the page must be really interesting then. ” Dele Said.

“Oh Yes.” ” It is.”

“Is it on facebook? I would like to join the page. ”

“No babe..It’s on instagram. You won’t be able to since you are not into IG.”

“If its IG then kolewerk.  I have never been able to understand that Instagram. I frankly even wonder how those of you that use it enjoy it. ”

“Instagram is fun Dele. But then not every one will like it though. Same way you are so into Twitter and I can’t stand it. ”

“You are right. So now that this issue is settled , can we go out now?”

“Oh yes we can. ” Kitan replied cheerfully

 

 

****

 

Kitan was relieved. That was close. she thought.

Perhaps it’s a sign I need to stop for good. From all indications it could be another whole year or more before Dele would be fully mine again and I really can’t continue to cheat on him. 

But what do I do? She wondered.

 

****

 

 

The next day Dele had his planned discussion with Ruth. He went outside to place the call and Kitan didn’t complain.

She was sure she didn’t want to be there anyway.

After what seemed like an hour, he came back inside.

“How did it go “? “Any good news”? Kitan asked.

“I honestly can’t say for sure. After everything I said. She only said. Okay. I understand you. Let’s discuss this better when you are back in the states.”

Kitan sighed. “So what can we deduce from that?”

“I don’t know babe. I really appealed to her. I told her in the nicest way I could that I am not in love with her and I would never be. I reminded her my relationship with her was all an arrangement and begged that she does the honorable thing by abiding by that arrangement. ”

“Did you ask if she wanted more money?”

“Yes I did. But she said she didn’t and I honestly don’t know how I feel about that.”

 

“Yeah. I get you. Kitan replied. I would have felt more relieved too if she had asked for more money. But let’s be hopeful.”

 

“Yeah I will be hopeful and in the meantime start working on a Plan B.”

“And what would that be?”

 

“I mean if it all doesn’t work out. Plan B will be to come back to Nigeria. ”

“I hope it never gets to that. An alternative plan B is for you to start concentrating on getting a good job. You are a civil engineer, perhaps you could get a job that will help to secure a resident permit for you. That’s another route we have never considered.”

“You are right. I have been busy expending all my energy on route. It was supposed to be the easier option you know. ”

“But what about you Kitan? Haven’t we been apart enough? ”

 

“I will be fine. I will miss you very much but I will be fine. ”

“Are you sure?: Dele Prodded.

“Yes. I have coped this far so don’t worry. ”

And then Kitan said something else without really thinking it through.

 

“Err babe, what do you think about me getting a vibrator?”

 

She slapped herself mentally as soon as the words came out of her mouth.

 

“Vibrator? As in a sex toy?” Dele asked.

“Yes. That’s what I meant. Just something to amuse myself on days I feels extremely lonely. ”

“Okay. ” “Sure.” “Sounds fine.” “Anything you want”.  Dele Shrugged.

 

“Would you like to pick up one with me?”

Dele laughed uncomfortably. “No babe. I would really prefer not to meet my rival. ”

Then there was an uncomfortable silence. Kitan felt stupid.

What is with you and blurting out nonsense? You promised yourself you were going to think of an alternative to cheating. Even if it was vibrators, did he have to know?  But wait  why is he even  so uncomfortable about the Prospect of me using toys though? Afterall it’s an inanimate object. Does he expect me not to have needs? Nonsense. Kitan thought feeling irritated. He should be angry o. He doesn’t even realise how thankful he should be that I am willing to do something different. 

“You don’t like the idea?” She asked breaking the silence.

 

“I have nothing against it. I understand. I just wish something else didn’t have to take my place. ”

“Dele, its not like that na. Some spouses who live together even use these things. ”

“See forget the fact that I live in America. I am still a local boy at heart o so this topic is really somehow to me. I really don’t want to discuss it but it’s okay. When I leave, you can get them.  Which reminds me, I am finally ready to show my face in the village and say hello to my uncle. Can we do that the day after tomorrow? Will it be convenient for you? ”

“Yes Dear I do not have anything else to do until you leave. My time is yours and I also think you should see your uncle now that you are around. He is practically your only living relative. ”

 

“You are right. We may not be best of friends but he is family. Meanwhile have I told you today how happy being with you like this makes me?”

“No you haven’t and I wonder why. “Kitan said making a face.

“Well. Come here and let me show you. I intend to take my work seriously while I am here. When I leave my rival, Mr Dildo can show his face. ”

Kitan laughed but it didn’t come out genuine. There was something in his voice that made her uncomfortable.

 

****

Later that night , Dele told Kitan he needed to take a short walk within her estate. He used the opportunity to call Kolade.

“Guy , How far? Are we seeing you when you get back from Abuja next week?”

“Before Nko?. Do you even need to ask? I am coming to camp in your house oga. There is so much to catch up on.”

“Great. Now I need your help and it’s not something we can talk about when you are here. In fact I left the house to place this call to you. You mentioned something a while back when you were talking about how unsafe it is to leave Kitan all alone. You said I didn’t even allow you to keep an eye on her for me.”

“Okay…. yes I did say that. ” “Did something happen? ” Kolade responded.

 

“Not really. What if I want you to do that now? How will it work? ”

“Ahhh correct. Your head don dey boot well. I told you o but you were saying I trust my wife o. Lailai o.” “So wetin she do .”

“Nothing. She hasn’t done anything. I still trust her Kolade. I just want to shake off a lingering feeling. ”

“Alright. If you say so. Since you are around now. The best thing is to download a tracking device on her phone. That way you will know about everything she does when you are not around. There is this app that I can recommend . It won’t show on her dashboard. You will see all her messages, who she calls, her location too at every point in time.”

Ahh that sounds so extreme and creepy man.

“Trust me.  Even though it’s like a monitoring spirit, It’s not as bad as it sounds. Also you can choose to do it for just a short period, stop it and then enable it again if need be. I will send you a link to their site and you can read more information.”

“Thanks my guy. But this thing is still making me feel somehow o. ”

“Don’t feel anyhow Dele. Things like this are necessary atimes.  This is what will give you peace. Ignorance is not bliss Ore. ”

“Hmmm.” “Okay.” ” But guy you self when you dey marry? ” He asked changing the subject of their conversation.

When he was done with the conversation. He spent some more minutes thinking.

Dele why do you want to do this? This is worse than what she earlier accused you of. Why will you want to take such a drastic measure?  He asked himself. Is this about the message?

He knew it wasn’t just about the message. It also had to do with her wanting a Vibrator. That had affected him in a way he never thought was possible.  He had several questions. She had never given him the impression she couldn’t handle being celibate for a long time. So he couldn’t  understand why she would want to be using a sex toy when he wasn’t around.

He couldn’t shake off  the image of her lying in their bed, pleasuring herself with a Penis that wasn’t  his. What happens if the Dildo is unable to do a satisfactory job which I am sure it can’t? There is no way it can be like the real thing. Will she seek out other men?.  

No . Dele. Dont allow your mind to stray. Stop acting like a Caveman. Maybe you should learn more about how those things work. Maybe it would be perfect for her and keep her happy. 

No mahn. I can’t make myself accept this thing jare. It’s not done. It’s not right.

There and then he decided he would go along with Kolade’s suggestion. It will only be for a while. Just to clear my mind. 

 

 

***

 

Back in the room Kitan was mentally composing the post where she would announce to her blog members that henceforth she would be retiring from the MLS life but however continue to share their stories. She felt so much peace with her decision.

She had considered washing her hands off the page completely but she reminded herself about the money she was making from advertisements. There was no way she was going to allow herself miss out on that. She would continue to make money from the page but the life she had been living was going to stop. Her mind was made up.

Henceforth no more clandestine activities. Your husbands only rival will be your toy. She couldn’t wait to start shopping for one online. But knew she had to wait till Dele was gone. She couldn’t risk aggravating him again. He definitely didnt seem happy about the idea.

Silly him. He has no idea this is for his own good as well. If only he knew the things I have been up to. What will he now do sef? Probably kill you o babe. But thankfully he never will. That she was going to make certain of.

For the first time since her husband arrived. Kitan felt truly at peace and filled with hope of better days. Dele would get his Green Card and until then she would have a safe way to handle the loneliness. One that holds no risk.  It’s a new day. I have played this particular game well. Now it’s time to end it.

 

Sweet Mother

I wrote this in 2012 and posted on another site. Reposting here to celebrate my sweet mother on her birthday today. 

Happy birthday Mummy Mi. 

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I believe my Mom deserves a whole book written about her. There is no way I can do justice to her essence with one blog post but I will try.

 

I definitely can’t remember the start of our relationship, which I guess would have began the moment I was conceived, neither can I remember the day we eventually met because I am of course not capable of such memories but my first memory of her was of being in the crook of her arm on a dark evening, there must have been no light because my memory of the night is that it was very dark. I vaguely remember mats spread on a cemented floor in a courtyard and different families lying out there talking about only God knows what.

My mum once told me that my delivery was the easiest among all four of us as I was very small; she said I weighed less than 3kg.  I have heard stories of how people asked her where she saw the sickly child she carried around. I seemed to be incapable of holding any food substance down, I had this tendency to expel food as soon as it enters my body so of course I was thin and practically lived on Seven Seas tablets.  I was also the one with a constant runny nose and a cough that never seemed to go away. I was told someone even joked that some funny spirits must have entered her stomach and replaced the original child placed there by God probably during her one of her sujourns to the neighborhood swamp.

By the time we moved to another house few yards away from where I was born, I was still very young probably just five, I already understood what it meant to be born without a silver spoon (although reading Eddie Iroh’s without a silver spoon in Primary three made me understand the phrase better). Things were definitely not easy in our house but my Mom gives meaning to the word – resourceful, I remember she raised Rabbits and Chickens; she also grew pepper, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, garden egg   e.t.c in the Garden behind the house. She and Dad grew yam, cassava and every other staple food on the family farm some kilometers away from the house. Mum also had a Rice farm in a Swamp  close to home, the same Swamp where I (a supposed forest spirit) jumped into her stomach. They farmed so we won’t have to spend money on buying food, everything we ate was what we grew, Rice from her farm, Yam from the family farm, Garri processed by Mum from the Cassava on our farm and the meat was the Rabbits and the Chickens.

 

My mum should have been a teacher then if only she got a teaching job (unemployment issues didn’t start today). She was a graduate of a college of education but as she couldn’t get a job, not for want of trying, rather than sit at home and depend on my father’s civil servant salary, she turned to self help. Every Monday morning she was at Sabo market in Ilesha selling her goods that ranged from melon seed, dry pepper, to Beans e.t.c She would travel as far as Nupe land, Zaria and the rest just to buy goods, in later years I understood how that must have been when I see truck load of women sandwiched with their goods at the back of a truck, that was the way my mother got the goods she sold. She would get back from these trips, sell her goods at the Monday market and resume on her farms on Tuesday eking out a living for us. We could have still lived howbeit comfortably on my Dad’s salary if they didn’t feel the need to give us a very sound foundation in education.

 

My parents made sure we attended the best nursery school there was back then. Their friends and some family members laughed at them, they wondered how they would be able to sustain school fees payment at such an expensive school. My elder sister and I attended a school which was without any argument the best around then. Some of our classmates were children of Car merchants, Monarchs, Cocoa Merchants, children with parents abroad and in short Rich kids, most of these lived in the boarding house but we could only be day students. This school as far back as 1984 was teaching the Montessori Method of education in and from what I know today they were doing the real thing. We did all the things children in the best nursery schools in Lagos do these days. My parents made sure we didn’t feel inferior to anybody in school, and so they would even buy lunch tickets for us although it would have been easier on them financially to let us carry food from home.

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For a very long time my mother never owned more than two pair of shoes at a time; she and my Dad were ready to wear rags just so we could have a solid and secure future. My Dad belongs to a club that till today organizes Christmas parties for their children. Members come all the way from Lagos, Ibadan to spend Christmas in Ilesha and the essence of these parties was so the families could interact. The party was usually held at Atlanta hotel, which was like the biggest hotel in Ilesha back then. The wives of my father’s friends were always adorned in the latest lace materials with shoes and bags to match. My mother was that woman who usually wore the same lace material she wore the previous year along with the same shoe and bag (sometimes no bag). We on the other hand were always well dressed in new dresses and shoes. They would have bought our Christmas wears around September and she would hang it in her room. She made sure we always looked our best for this party. Mum was also the one who never attended occasions because she didn’t have anything to wear. She never felt sad about it. It just wasn’t a  priority for her.

I remember following her to her Rice farm, sitting under a shade chewing on sugar canes she cut for me while watching her tend her rice farm or watering her vegetables. She will later harvest these vegetables and take them to the market for sale. Despite the lack in our household, my parents never allowed us to perform much manual labour; my dad wanted his girls to have supple hands and skins free of bruises. Whenever I followed them to the major farm, I sat there in a make shift shade prepared by my Dad eating roasted yam, these were moments I treasure till today, I thought it was fun being there amidst Yam plants, Maize stalks, Cassava plants and the rest.

Mum would harvest her Rice, parboil it all by herself, and dry it on the concrete floor of our compound. She would then carry it to the mill where they process the rice- by mechanically removing the husks from the grain. This was the rice people refer to as Ofada Rice; the same Rice that has now been rebranded si much that low income families can no longer afford it.  This was what served as our everyday rice, I remember my mum will only cook stews with pepper grinded on a milling stone. She will only make Egusi soup with the Egusi and pepper grinded on a milling stone. Everything we ate was fresh, our vegetables were picked in our garden just before usage, the meat was from a Rabbit or Chicken she killed herself, our Egusi seed was separated from the melon fruit and not bought in the market, I remember even our Fufu was not bought but prepared by Mum herself from raw Cassava; Mum took every opportunity there was to save money, there was school fees to be paid, textbooks to be bought, uniforms to be sown and so on and so on. She reasoned that the less we had to buy, the more money she can save towards the well being of her children.( Looking on the bright side, I think all that fresh food was a very good thing and I actually miss those days).

I remember Mum’s emergency ‘’obe’’, (that was what she called it- a soup she could prepare within five minutes) we never cooked a standard pot of soup that was eaten for days on end, there was no money for that, instead we lived day to day. My mum could cook an amazing pot of soup with just 50 naira or at no cost at all, she would gather everything she needed most of which she already had in her garden anyway, she will sometimes buy fish, for thirty of forty naira, it was the type that was dipped in flour or Elubo (I strongly suspected our customer used the latter back then) and sold in units of N1, N2 and N5. By the time this pot of soup was ready, it was fit for even a king, she would have added snails (gotten from her farm of course), kere (a type of periwinkle), freshly killed Rabbit or Chicken with fresh Ugu or Water leaf to complete the Egusi soup and we were ready to eat. This most times went with pounded yam. My mum makes the meanest Efo riro in the world, with fresh vegetables (hand grinded), dried fish, snails, Kere…and so on. The amazing thing was she did it all at little or no cost at all. Another great economy soup she made was obe ila alasepo. I never knew until much later that we were not eating those soups by choice but because we didn’t have enough money; my parents somehow completely insulated us from their struggles, they never made us feel like we didn’t have enough.

 

The first story book I owned was bought by my Mum, she saw I loved reading books and thought that I was too young for the kind of books I was reading, my mum bought me a complete set of Jola readers (don’t know if they still exist; publishers of books like Lagos boy, the money doublers e.t.c) and when I decided to fashion out my own library right there in our sitting room, both her and my Dad allowed me. Her joy was seeing her sacrifices on our education pay off; she was always excited when people commend me and my siblings on our depth of knowledge. It gave her joy when she saw that neighbours and cousins who were already in secondary schools consulted us to help them with their homework. She loved hearing people say;

Awon omo yen mowe, Olatunde ni won’lo.

She was especially proud when while my elder sister and I were in secondary school, we represented our school in state wide competitions, my sister for the senior class and I for junior class. She beamed whenever we brought our prizes home, I will never forget the day I checked my WASSCE result, I had 9 distinctions, I was on my way home when I met my mum along the bush path that led to our house, I told her the news there and then, her eyes misted and I could see the joy plainly on her face. These things were enough for my mother.

Even after my elder sister and I entered the university, my mother was still actively involved in her farming, she was still growing cassava, and processing it; she would fry her own Gaari herself, and sell it in the market. There was a time she started processing groundnuts, she would buy groundnuts, take it for grinding at the mill and start the painstaking and energy sapping process of extracting the oil with her bare hands, after getting the oil, she would then fry the paste to produce what people call kuli-kuli (groundnut-cake), this she sold along with the groundnut oil extracted. At the same time, she would go to a cold room every morning to buy slabs of fish (Panla) which she fried and sold at home. People were confused about what names exactly to call my mum, some called her iya onikuli, some others iya Eleja, others iya Elefo, she was just into so many things all so we could have a smooth journey in life. She is tireless!

I never lacked throughout my school days, I attended a fee paying secondary school and not the public schools that were offering free education. I was in the boarding house as it was a quite some distance from home, my parents made sure I had everything I needed, I was never broke, you would never have been able to guess my background if you knew me. In my university days, I could call my parents for money as many times as I wished after collecting my standard allowance for the month, they made sure we had everything that we needed while they had almost nothing personally.

 

Getting our mum to stop these strength sapping jobs was a very hard task, we assured her she didn’t have to do all those things, this was when we were already in university, my elder sister and I, our two younger ones were still in secondary school at this time, my mum refused saying she couldn’t let the whole family depend on my dad’s salary alone. By this time we were already living in our own house, my dad had a good car which was like the best he ever owned in his life as at that time, things were definitely a lot better, we wanted her to stop the stressful jobs but she refused.

My mum eventually got a job with the Osun state government in 2005; more than 20 years after leaving school. She was very happy and we were excited for her, the pay was definitely small, her school mates were already head mistresses and she was only just starting as a junior teacher. For a lesser woman this would have been unacceptable, but my mum knew her worth and she still went ahead to work in a school where she had to say “yes Ma” to her mates. She of course didn’t need the money to survive anymore but she was still excited about an opportunity to teach and this she has also excelled at, she uses our old nursery school notebooks and textbooks in teaching her primary one students, she also uses writing workbooks to teach them how to write well, her students definitely turned out differently and even her fellow teachers fought among themselves to get students she has groomed promoted to their classes.

She would tell anyone that cares to listen that she doesn’t feel inferior to anybody, her mates might have advanced in career than she did but her reward is in her children, while her peers still struggle with getting children through endless WAEC and UME exams, her own children have all gone beyond that, today she finally has more shoes than she can wear, she now drives her own car something she never thought she could ever do. Her peers respect her, her husband and children call her blessed. We love her so much, our dear mother, she is more than a mother and on her birthday I say happy birthday my sweet mother, in my next life I still want to come through you and Dad.

 

 

 

Daddy Mi

I wrote this in 2012 and it was published on Zebbook.com . 

Reposting here today as it’s another day to celebrate the birth of my father .

Happy birthday Daddy Mi. We all love you so very much.

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22/11/2012

Daddy mi, happy birthday! I wrote this yesterday in snatches whenever I could get a free minute at work, I love you so much dad and it occurred to me that I should be super grateful to God that you are alive to witness today, I am happy and I give glory to God. I sat there thinking about you and I decided to write this letter to you, I need to share some memories with you, very few of the many wonderful reasons why I love you so much..

 

My earliest memory of you was of this very tall man who would carry me on his shoulders everywhere we went. I remember I never had to walk on the streets except if you were not around. There is this memory of walking home from my maternal grandmother’s place riding on your shoulders that is forever imprinted in my mind.

 

I suffered from cold and catarrh a lot during my early childhood but despite this I had a constant craving for all things cold especially what people call Ice cream or Lolly in those days. I would consume loads of this at school and you will have to stay up during the night giving me regular doses of cough syrup and in some cases palm oil mixed with Sugar and salt. Those days I slept on your chest every night and on days that you traveled, I wouldn’t sleep until Mum covers me with your agbada.

 

Dad, I miss those days when while you are asleep, I would seat beside you combing your full hair and playing with your feet. I would seat there watching your chest; for the rise and fall of your heartbeat, afraid it could stop. My meal was never over until you passed your left over to me, and on days when I refuse to eat probably because I got angry at something, you would beg and cajole me to eat which always irritated my mum. Daddy I was just your little girl through and through, there was always a smile, a hug and those pats on the back that still mean a lot to me. There was and is always something there in your eyes anytime you look in our eyes; pride, love and joy. You never stop telling us how much you are proud of us.

 

Do you remember the day a boy in our street kicked me? You might not remember but I do. We were living in Irojo then and I had gone on an errand for Mum; the boys had been playing football or something, I expected them to stop so I could pass, so I went on without a care in the world believing they would have the decency to pause for the few seconds I needed to pass, but there was this boy there, a teenager who kicked me suddenly and without provocation, I fell and bruised my Knee. Dad I ran home and told you what happened, you followed me immediately and we went to the boy’s house, we met his mother, you told his mum that no one bullies your daughter. You told her you were going to arrest the boy for molesting me. I remember the boy’s mother begging you, nobody sees you and not respect you dad, not with your impressive height and those eyes that can turn blazing red in anger. The woman cut a small tree branch and gave me to use in beating the boy. You didn’t want me to do that but the woman used it on him herself. I felt on top of the world that day, After God, you were and you still are my hero and my protector from bullies.

 

 

Dad you taught me to believe in myself and that there was nothing I couldn’t do, I remember when I was reading the complete works of Shakespeare and the Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury tales and everyone that saw me with those books felt they were too much for a seven year old, you told me to keep reading that even if I didn’t understand, the pieces will all come together later. They certainly did.

 

How can I ever forget the joy of having unrestricted access to your great collection of books, My holidays were never boring with all the best books in the world at my disposal, I could read and re-read to my heart’s content. Dad, those books went a long way in shaping who I am today, you helped me nurture my love for books, for that I am forever grateful. How could I forget those days when I would read novels till 1.00 am in the morning and you would come to the sitting room, begging me to go to bed. You were also always worried that my tendency to read anywhere and at anytime no matter how bad the lighting was could affect my eye sight, yet you would never stop me, you would only look for more suitable lighting for me.

 

On the few occasions you raised your hand to beat me, you would hug me afterwards saying ”ti a bi fi owo otun ba omo wi, a tu fi ti osi fa mo ara”. You would sit me on your lap and tell me you were sorry, you would say you beat me because you had to. Dad that hug and the words took all the sting of the beating away, it told me you were not beating me to cause me pain, it told me you were only correcting me because you love me. Dad I was and I am still proud of you for all the love you showed us.

 

I cherish the memory of those days when you come to visit me in boarding school which was almost every week despite the distance, I would run to you and hug you, and you would look me up from head to toe noticing every little change, Dad you still do that although the “grown up” in me feel embarrassed by it these days.

 

Dad you taught me not to be ashamed of my abilities and be confident in whatever I do, I loved dancing and you encouraged me not to feel ashamed about it. You would walk up to me at a party and dare me to go out and dance telling me I was too shy to do it, I would want to show you I could and I would go out to dance, you would then come there to join me and spray me with money.

 

You taught us never to borrow from anyone but to be content with whatever we had, It was funny but you would buy all the music and video CDs of all the songs we loved just so that we would never have a reason to borrow them from anyone, if there was anything that you saw with any of us and you know didn’t belong to us, you would show your disapproval asking us to return such immediately and latest the next day, we would have whatever it was except you felt it was something we didn’t need.

 

Most importantly Dad, I will forever appreciate you and mum for the investments you made in our education, things were not easy at all financially while we were growing up, but you still struggled to put us in a school that was essentially for rich kids, you would sit down with us and help with our assignments, I loved seeing my name on my notebooks and textbooks written in your beautiful handwriting, you would use cello tape on all our book edges which left them neat and made them last longer. You would help in packing our bags even up until university.

I remember when I wanted to go for pre-degree and there was no money, you and Mum struggled and made sure the money materialized. Dad you even hated us taking public transport, you were that father who will drop us at school on resumption (even in university) and come to pick us at the end of the session. No matter how tight money was, you would never give us no for an answer but you and mum would get the money whichever way you can, we were and still are your babies, the ones that must never go hungry. The amazing thing is that you still do these things even today for the younger ones who are still in school. Did I say this before? You are incredible!

 

I feel a certain joy every time I see your comments on my write-ups and the messages you send to me afterwards telling me the things I could have done better and where I need to improve upon but most especially always telling me that you are proud of me and I should keep it up, Dad I don’t think I have ever told you before but it means a whole lot to me.

I love you so dearly and I always will, and today I just want to say happy birthday Daddy mi, more glorious years in Jesus name. Amen

Your daughter

Oluwatoyin

 

 

 

 

 

A Woman’s Game …Episode 2

In case you missed the first episode. Clck here….. https://toyinfabs.wordpress.com/2019/11/11/a-womans-game/

 

kajuru-castle-kaduna-55575-2

 

 

Accident? No Kitan. That’s not the right word to use.  Oh well. Whatever it was. What mattered was you broke your vows girl. 

Kitan sighed again.

 

It was one of those days the  despair  felt was so overwhelming that she would imagine that maybe she should slash her wrists. She had been so miserable and had eventually decided that  a massage would help her relax. So she had checked online and found a place that appealed to her.

 

There were days she wished she hadn’t gone for that massage and other days she was  just grateful for the pleasure finding it had brought to her.

 

She had gotten there and had been pleased with what she saw.  Her masseuse was undeniably skilled and by the end of the session she was relaxed and ready to doze off.  And that was when it happened – the event that had moved her to the class of spouses who seek out pleasures outside their marriage. She had heard him say “Would you like anything extra ma’am , we also offer extra services”.

She had simply said. “Yes, extras would be great” without asking further questions or seeking to understand just what the extra meant. She liked to blame it on how drowsy she had been.

The next thing she knew was that he was leaning over her on the massage table and  stroking her inner thighs.  Her eyes had widened but she didn’t ask him to stop. Her throat felt dry and when she opened her mouth it was to moan. A part of her wanted to scream and run out of the room at the liberties he took with her body but instead she had remained on the table savouring the pleasure that coursed through her body.

This is sinful but I deserve this. She had thought.

 

Kitan sometimes remembered it as an out of body experience.  On other days when she thought of that first time , she would imagine it was a dream. Something she had conjured up in her head. On such days she refused to allow her mind remind  her that she had  remained willingly on that  massage table, a stranger lying between her wide flung legs ; gyrating and moaning as he ministered to her body.

 

Do I regret it? Kitan wondered as she laid thinking in the tub. Yes I do. But not enough to have stopped going. Oh Dele would die if he ever finds out. 

 

 

She thought of how  she had sworn to herself after leaving that it was a mistake that happened in a moment of weakness and which she would never repeat. But instead she had found herself going to the same spa over and over and being attended to by not just Dominic but any one of the male masseuse that was available. She would later find out that spas like that were one of the well kept secrets of Lagos married women.

It worked well for women like her who didn’t want to have a full blown affair but needed to receive earth shattering orgasms every now and then. The staff were discreet. Each session was by appointment so there wasn’t the risk of you running into another client.  Kitan had always been grateful for that.

 

Yes you were grateful for the discretion  but still you got more reckless and  didn’t stop at just the Spa.  Dele would first kill you before ending the marriage if he ever knows.  

“God!” She exclaimed holding her head.

He must never. He must never know. This is one secret I have to carry to my grave. I will die first before I ever let him find out.

No way she was ever going to mention it. She decided.

All I just have to do is find out what’s holding Deles Green card. Once we are living together fully I will have no need for these men.

 

 

*****

 

Later that evening Kitan brought up the Green Card issue.

Dele had been bracing for it mentally but still he felt himself panic as she asked.

What do I tell her ? He wondered. I dont want to lie.

So clearing his throat he said ;

“Babe, I am not making much of a headway. Things have gotten a bit complicated. Ruth is frustrating our plans.”

“Wow! But why is she doing that? Does she want more money?”

“No babe. It’s not money. Things have kinda gone beyond what I planned and I don’t even know how to explain this to you. In fact I am afraid to but I feel the need to explain everything.”

Kitan felt herself getting chills.  She could already guess what it was he wanted to tell her but she wasn’t going to allow him to. If he tells me then I won’t be able to deal with the fact that I am also hiding things from him so I need to play this smart.

“No Dele. To be honest I really do not want to know all the details.”

“You don’t?” Dele asked tempted to heave a sigh of relief..

 

“Yes baby , I don’t really want to know every single thing. I choose to trust you. So let’s focus on the major issue. Since she is frustrating things like you said, what do you think we can do to get her to cooperate?”

 

“Babe” . You know we had already done the initial applications and we have been asked to submit the I-130 forms and that’s where we have been stuck for over five months now.”

“She is not ready to submit them and its entirely up to her as the sponsoring spouse. I have done everything necessary for things to work out and for our interview to be a success. Like I told you I had to move in with her. Send flowers to her office regularly, take her on dates. Rehearse back stories on how we met, things we did when we dated and so many other things just so the authorities will believe my marriage to her is authentic and not fraudulent.”

“Yeah. You explained all these”. Kitan replied swallowing the lump that had formed in her throat.

“You know Dele sometimes I wonder that perhaps we shouldn’t have actually done this. I mean sometimes I think “Why was all these necessary “? It’s not like you were doing so badly here before you travelled.”

“Even though I understand why we both feel the need to leave the country seeing how everything is at the moment, I still sometimes feel like maybe if you had stayed and we just consolidated efforts here , we would be fine. I have been making a lot of money lately by running an online  page here. Easy money.  So sometimes  I just wonder that perhaps we shouldn’t have bothered.”

Kitan slapped herself mentally  at the mention of making money from an online page. What are you doing? You are talking too much. Just hope he doesn’t pay much attention to that. She chided herself.

 

“Babe. I get you. I have also had similar thoughts in the last one year. I hate being apart from you. A lot of days I actually wish I hadn’t started it. But seeing how much time, money and emotions we have already invested in it, I believe it’s just best to see it through.”

 

“I understand that Dele. I just get tired at times.”

 

“I am so sorry my love”. He said. Drawing her close. “You need to know I hate leaving you here. Being apart like this, its killing me.”

“Same here. We will be fine. Let’s just think of what we we can do to get Ruth back on track.” Kitan said relieved he didn’t mention anything about the extra money she talked about.

“I am thinking maybe you should have a talk with her now that you are here. I mean remind her that you are committed to your marriage to me and that she really should stop sabotaging things. You should also ask what she really wants. I think we need to understand. Could it be she is falling in love with you? Or perhaps she wants more money but doesn’t want to ask out rightly. These are the things we should find out. ”

 

Dele sighed. He knew exactly what Ruth wants and he was prepared to tell Kitan about it. The guilt from keeping it inside was killing him but she had made it clear she didn’t really want to know and strangely he felt some relief. As much as he wanted to talk, he also dreaded hurting Kitan.

Ruth wanted him. She had told him that much months back.

 

“I am in love with you.” she had said. “I know this wasn’t part of the deal and I didn’t also ask for this but it’s happened and I can’t help how I feel. I am in love with you. ”

 

Before that declaration , their relationship had evolved into a sexual one and Dele liked to blame the strict monitoring they had to endure from officials of the USCIS  for that. Somehow a sexual relationship had become inevitable seeing as they had to spend so much time together and even share a room  to keep up appearance.

 

The first time they had sex Dele had felt so much anguish and had promised himself it was never going to happen again but he couldn’t have been more wrong. They had gone on to having regular sex as though they were married for real and that was the point where everything went downhill. Ruth had seemed to lose sense of the fact that their relationship was a business arrangement. Instead she had began to make more demands of him using the Green card as a tool to control him. Even coming to Nigeria had been almost impossible and Ruth had threatened to cancel their arrangement. It had taken months of persuasion before she allowed him go.

 

 

“What do you think of my idea Babe?” Kitan said cutting into his thoughts.

 

“Yes it’s good. I will talk to her.” He responded. “Meanwhile you said something about money the other time. What advertising agency is that and when did you become a digital marketer? You have never mentioned it.”

 

“Oh it’s nothing much.” Kitan replied with a wave of her hand. “I just manage the page that’s all. But I am thinking of starting mine. It has the potentials to bring in good money. I have been trying to learn a thing or two about digital marketing”

Ok. Sounds great. Dele replied. Too distracted by his thoughts to dwell on the issue.

 

****

They both laid there on the mat Kitan had laid on the floor of the balcony; reclining on pillows; hands entwined both thinking about the many ways in which they had broken their marriage vows in the last one year.

Kitan thought of the other men she had encountered apart from her special massage therapists. She thought of the gym guy. It was the memory she had tried to suppress earlier but this time she allowed it.

 

Oh Kitan . You have been acting like one possessed woman. There must be a name for what you have been in these past months. Slut! Kitan . That’s the word you are looking for.

The gym guy! It was the first and last day she had gone there. She had been trying to avoid going for her special massages yet she wouldn’t stop craving a man’s touch. Her body wouldn’t stop yearning to be pleasured so she had thought that perhaps physical exercise would fill the void. Then on her first day she had met the devil himself – the Tempter.

 

He was the first person her eyes locked on as she walked into gym after registration. The plan was to start slow, work on the threadmill for 30 minutes or 1 hour and head home but all that changed after she entered the gym and her eyes had honed on him.

She remembered her mouth going dry on seeing his bare chest, powerful arms and rippling abs.

 

Run.  Kitan Run.” She had thought but instead she had stared thinking of how much she wanted to feel his hands on her. How she would like to lie beneath him and watch him do push ups over her body. It didn’t also help that he wasn’t wearing decent shorts but instead had been sporting tights that showed his dick print clearly. She couldn’t concentrate. It was as though it was just the two of them in the room. Instead of heading for the threadmill, she had chosen a stationary bike as it gave her a vantage position from where she could fill her eyes with him. She had known he could tell she was watching him and that she liked what he saw because he had given her a knowing smile.

 

She would later learn that she wasn’t the first and only woman to have fallen to the Tempter. She would learn that his speciality was to prey on lonely married women and that the gym was his hunting ground.

 

But that morning Kitan didn’t know any of this and the only thing that filled her mind was how she wanted him. And so when he met her eyes and winked at her from time to time she felt flattered that he found her desirable too. When he slipped a note that said “Meet me in the rest room” she didn’t employ any rational thought but instead had found herself walking into the men’s room , her heart beating in anticipation , all rational thought suspended.

 

 

What she felt when she entered the male bathroom and he pulled her into a bath stall had been excitement, no guilt that she was about to betray her marriage vows yet again. Dele was far from her thoughts . All that filled her mind was the thought of relieving her sexual tension and this man whose name she didn’t know, who she hadn’t even exchanged one spoken word with had seemed to know the right buttons to push to push her over the cliff over and over again.

 

 

She only regained her senses when after they were both done; and while putting his shorts back on ; he had uttered his first words to her.

 

” I take transfers if you don’t have cash. This is 5,000 naira. If you want us to repeat it again and you want home service because of privacy that would be N8,000 exclusive of my transport fare.

Pardon me? Kitan had found herself asking suddenly enveloped with shame; her eyes almost popping out of its socket. She remembered reaching for her gym pants where they had been discarded and hurriedly getting into them. She could hardly breathe and could feel tears forming in her eyes.

 

“I am paying you?” She asked again wanting to be sure she heard right.

 

“Yes ma’am. Not that I dont count it a pleasure spending time with a beautiful woman like you ; never the less I believe I have rendered a service  and that deserves remuneration.”

 

Kitan’s mouth had been dry. She couldn’t argue, she in fact didn’t want to. It certainly wasnt so different from her arrangement at the spa but for a moment she had thought they had a mutual attraction.

 

“Give me your account details.” She saidd. “I will use my bank short code to transfer now.”

 

She hurriedly transferred the money and took the back door out of the building. She had felt ashamed as she walked to the Car.

 

“Kai.” Kitan sighed aloud overwhelmed by her memories. She had thought her Married living Single page would help her deal with the guilt but it was apparent  it hadn’t helped much. Having Dele around was proving to be a huge trigger for her.

 

“Are you okay ? ” Her husband asked.

 

“Yes love. I am. I am just thinking about the Ruth issue.” She lied.

“Me too.”

“Instead of sitting here moping, why don’t we go out to see a movie?” Kitan suggested. “We still have plenty of time to spend together. I am sure we will figure out a solution for this situation.

“You are right.” He replied.

 

“Great. So in the meantime let’s enjoy each other’s company. ” She added giving him a peck on the cheek.

 

 

****

 

 

Dele agreed with Kitan. It didn’t make sense for them to spend the little time they had together in gloomy conversations about his attempts to get a green card.

He set about dressing as she entered the bathroom.

 

“What movie do you have in mind babe?” He called after her.

 

“None actually”. She replied from the bathroom laughing. “What I do usually is to just go there and watch whichever movie that’s next. I love to just sit down and take bags after bags of popcorn. So we will figure things out when we get there don’t worry.”

 

“Okay then.” He replied.

 

Minutes later he was ready but he could still hear the shower running so he decided to sit on the bed and wait for her and that was when he heard her phone rang. He picked it up and saw caller name as “Intern BJ”.

 

 

Intern? Maybe an intern at her work place . He thought. There was no use disturbing her so he didnt bother calling out for her.

 

 

The Phone stopped ringing and his face brightened up as he saw her wall paper. It was one of the pictures they had taken during their honeymoon at Kajuru Castle in Kaduna State.

 

Happier times . He thought with a wry smile. We could have remained this way but I had to fuck it up with my silly American dream.

 

He held the phone there in his palm looking lovingly at their photo. I could

 

He held the phone there in his palm looking lovingly at their photo. I could look at this all day.  Perhaps I should have even planned for this homecoming to be somewhere like this. Like maybe Yankari National Park or even the resort he had read about in Ikogosi Ekiti. Maybe it would have been better. He mused.

 

He decided to check her photo gallery to see more pictures and that was when the WhatsApp message came in. The one he inadvertently clicked on. The one that made his heart lose its regular rhythm and adopt that of a Conga drum.

It read;

 

Hi Sis. I know you said I shouldn’t contact you so I am sorry. So things are going fine. We are having fun even though you aren’t here. I posted two really crazy stories this morning. You need to see the comments. Perhaps you should just check the page from your personal account just to have some laughs. That should be something you can do discreetly. I just dont want to be having all the fun alone that’s why I am sending this. Mad gist o. We be learners where some of these women dey sis. If you see the kind of escapades ehn. This is crazier than anything you or I have ever done. Mad stuff. People are going gaga with comments.

Anyway hope you are having fun o. Load up on the D well sis. But I trust you sha. You will. LOL. Talk later. Just to let you know we are doing fine on the page. Talk to you later.

 

Dele must have read the message at least a dozen times before the bathroom door opened. His eyes looked from the phone to Kitan.

 

“Ifeoluwakiitan, what is this?”  he croaked. Holding out her phone.

 

 

To be continued next Monday.

 

 

***

Picture – Kajuru Castle. Kaduna State. Nigeria.

Photo Credit : Google

**USCIS – United States Citizenship and Immigration Service .

 

 

 

 

 

A Woman’s Game

ONE

 

As she drove to the airport; Kitan’s mind cycled between moments of euphoria and despair that bordered on fear.

She doubted if what was gnawing at her insides was fear though. It couldn’t really be fear. At least it wasn’t the kind you feel when danger looms. It was something else. Something to do with guilt. She wanted it to go, she needed it to go but it was there making her heart constrict from time to time. Necessitating the breathing exercises she kept doing.

Her husband- the one she last saw Eleven months earlier was coming home. He lived in America while she lived in Lagos. He lived with another woman to whom he was also legally married. His marriage to this other woman was not a love match but an arrangement. He had paid her to marry him because he needed her status as an American citizen to get his Green card. Kitan had reluctantly agreed to the arrangement especially since he assured her it wouldn’t take more than a year for the process to be complete. But it was over two years now and he still hadn’t gotten his Green Card. Also that day would be the second time he would be coming home.
She was indeed excited that she would be seeing her husband soon and she had prepared for him with anticipation yet there was that other thing in the pit of her stomach. The guilt that also felt like fear. What if he finds out?
The evidence of her guilt was in black and white. Written by her on several posts on the anonymous page she ran on Instagram. Married living single @MLS. The place where she had poured the things she would otherwise not have shared with a single soul.
The urge to create the page was one she had been unable to resist. There is something about doing things you shouldn’t be doing that makes you restless and want to confide in somebody; anybody. You feel that push to let it all out.
MLS had turned out to be a hit! She had gone from 0 followers to 10,000 followers in just a week and six months later had over half a million people following.

Her first post had read ;
My name is Peace (Not my real name) . I am a married woman whose husband lives far away from her and rarely comes to visit. One day I started a journey I will never be able to tell my husband about. But I need to tell someone so I will be making my confessions on this page. Please be gentle with me.

She had gone ahead to add some key hashtags to the post and then she published. The response had been unprecedented. In 24 hours she had more than 600 comments. All it took was someone with all a lot of followers who had stumbled on her post and reposted and that was how traffic came pouring in for her.
By that morning her husband was to arrive, more than six months after her first post on MLS , she had grown to publishing adverts for vendors and making a lot of money from a page that was just supposed to have served as an electronic diary.

The previous day; she made a post to inform her followers she would be away for a month. Her husband was coming home and every trace of MLS had to disappear from her phone. She had explained. She told them her intern would be handling the page and posting stories sent to her inbox.

She imagined the post would generate a lot of reactions and comments but she didn’t wait to read them. She instead had deleted her instagram app. She couldn’t afford to take chances. Dele must never know.
*****

Face glued to the window seat Dele watched the clouds give way for Lagos. He couldn’t believe how excited he felt. He smiled as Lagos filled his view.  I am in the same city as the love of my life! Whew!
I am seeing Kitan today.

Its been too long. She must really be excited too. Eleven months is a long time. I really should do better .

Who leaves a woman in her prime for almost a year? He chuckled upon realising he had just echoed his friend Kayode’s words to him.

The day he told Kayode on phone that he would be coming to Lagos and had gotten an earful from him as usual.
“About time o.” He had said.

” You know I been dey tell you sey you no dey try. Since last year o. You are just coming to see her. ”

“Guy you know everything na”. He had retorted. “You understand the situation.”

” Yes I do but still Dele. Hmmm. I know what I am afraid of o. Lagos boys bad gan. Even under your nose dem fit dey run things  not to talk of when you leave a beautiful lady like Kitan all by herself. I even told you to let me put an eye on her for you. You said No. You trust her. Well thank God you are coming sha.”

“Kayode leave this issue na. Kitan understands the situation and she knows it’s all temporary. Asides that I trust her. She won’t mess herself up with any man. She is a decent girl. So leave that yarn jare”.  He had said steering him away from the conversation.

In all the time he had been away, Dele had never allowed himself to entertain any thoughts of Kitan being unfaithful to him. He chose to trust her and that was it. The only part he wasn’t really sure of was her being understanding of their situation. He could already tell that her patience was wearing thin. His arrangement with Ruth was supposed to have been something that lasted a year at most. Yet here he was two years later; there was no Green Card and his arranged marriage had gotten so complicated that extricating himself from it was proving impossible.

Just how do I sort this mess. he sighed as the plane landed on the runway. I need to make things right and make her happy.
I need to shelve this guilt and awkwardness I feel and just enjoy the time I have to spend with her. When I get back to America, I will go back to dealing with my problems with Ruth. Hopefully Kitan won’t make things awkward by asking too much questions. These were the things he told himself as he walked to baggage claim.

******

Kitan paced the arrival hall, she couldn’t sit from the moment Dele’s flight had been announced.

“He is here!” she had said aloud ; hugging herself tight. I can’t believe he is here and that I am really going to see him, hold him, smell him, feel him. Your baby is home Kitan. He is home!

She kept her eyes glued to the entrance searching for Dele. She wanted to be calm but she knew there was no way she could be. “He is here”. she whispered again to herself.

Will he know ? Will he be able to tell? How will I stop myself from blurting out my sins? Will I be able to pretend that all is well? Will I be able to act normal around him?.  All these questions whirled through her mind. It didn’t help that her body still ached from her last encounter with Dominic two days prior.

You sef Kitan. You no dey try o.  she chided herself. You knew Dele was coming , you shouldn’t have gone to Dom at least not so close to his arrival. Her heart was beating fast again.

The deed is done and right now I just need to be calm. Breathe Kitan. Breathe. Just then she saw him and found herself running to him.
******

Ifeoluwakitan! Dele screamed as he saw her running towards him. He dropped his bags and threw his arms open to receive her. She fell hard against his chest and he held her there; love and gratitude welling up in his heart.
I needn’t have feared. We are together again and all I feel is completion . He thought.
“My baby. Iyawo mi. Let me see you well.”

She hadn’t said a thing. She had tears in her eyes and he wiped them off with his palms. He twirled her around pleased at what he saw. She was beautiful as ever. Her skin looked fresher than he remembered. Caramel was what came to his mind.

” You are beautiful as always Ife mi.”

“Baby” she whispered standing on her toes so she could kiss him. I have missed you so much. The tears were still streaming down her face.

“Shhhh” he hushed her. “Let’s get out of here. I am hungry.” he said giving her a knowing smile.
…..
The drive home was frustrating for Kitan. There was gridlock at Ojota which saw the drive from International Airport to Magodo G R.A that should have taken them 30 minutes end up taking over an hour.
Throughout the drive Dele’s hands stayed on her lap sending electricity currents all through her body. She was glad he could still make her feel that way. It was the same way she felt the first she met him. It had been in Church. She had taken the seat beside him and on seeing him had felt an instant attraction. Her first thought was “Why so handsome”? She saw a slim handsome man of medium build and clean shaven and her heart had glued to him. She had liked what she saw and the attraction had been mutual.
They had spent the entire service getting to know each other and that served as the start of a beautiful relationship that saw them tying the knot about a year later.

.

“I see there is no end on sight yet for traffic problems in this city.” Dele said cutting into her thoughts.

“None o. I no longer complain sef. I have accepted it”. She responded.
“Kai. Sorry love.” He said smiling at her and squeezing her thigh. A movement that made her want to groan in pleasure. She loved his hand there.

She kept stealing glances at him and smiling throughout the drive..

I needn’t have worried. He is here and all I feel is joy. He is mine and finally for the first time in months I can feel like a woman who has a man. Now I can look my new neighbor in the eye and say. “Mummy Ibeji meet my husband”. Now I wouldn’t be tormented by her and her husbands raucous lovemakimg for at least another month.

By the time they got to the house she could almost feel her juices trickling down her leg. She was ready for him in a way she hadn’t been ready for any of the men she had been with in the past six months. This felt different. This was her own man. This was legal. This didn’t come with guilt and she was ready to enjoy every bit of it.

And so the moment she opened the apartment door, before they could go back to get the rest of his luggage from the car, she had grabbed him by the waist, pulled him to her, sticking her nose to his chest so she could smell him . She inhaled deeply filling her senses with him. She heard the door close. She heard him whisper “I want you so bad”. His voice inside her ears was what got her completely undone..
“Take me”. “Now”. “Here”.
****

For Dele the drive had been a torture. Seeing Kitan had done things to him. It made him feel things he hadn’t felt since the last time he was with Kitan.

Her pictures and their video calls didn’t prepare him for how she really looked. She was thicker than he remembered and in a good way. He loved the dress she wore. He knew it was worn with him in mind. He had never seen Ankara look so good. Flowery, Short with frills and puffy sleeves and a low cut bosom that exposed the peaks of her breasts.
His plan was to get home and carry her straight to their bedroom but that changed when she grabbed him by the door and commanded him to take her.

Dele obeyed.

He didn’t give much thought to whether he was gentle or not. All he wanted was to feel. He held her head with both hands and claimed her mouth in his; both of them clashing tongues with a hunger that was raw and crushing.

He led her to the first Chair he could see. It was as though their minds had melted into one. They both could tell what the other had in mind. Something guided them, their bodies remembered. In seconds she was against the chair, her ass arched into his groin, her skirts raised. In that moment it felt like he had been dragging down her pink satin panties and releasing his own trousers all at the same time. He watched her body vibrate in anticipation of receiving him and it drove him wild. He groaned as he sank himself into her. It was wild for them both. Kitan had tears in her eyes. Dele’s eyes were dead shut. He felt like he was floating in the air , he felt breathless but he still had his voice; he planted his mouth against her ear and whispered some of the beautiful things he had fantasised about telling her. She was his Queen, the love of his life. His wife. His mother. His joy. His entire existence and he had missed her so much.

*****
Minutes later they were in bed together. Spent but he was lying on her crushing her into the bed. He asked if it was okay and she said yes. She loved his weight on her.
His luggage was still in the car but they both couldn’t care about that for now. They just wanted to savour the feeling of being together.
They were still both naked. She could feel him growing hard again and she opened her thighs in invitation.
“I am good to go again.” she said in answer to his unspoken question.

But first I think you should eat. I made what you requested. *Asara elepo rederede.*

“Hmmmm I am torn.” he said in response to her laughing as he spoke. “I am very hungry actually. But I will still take you over the food right now.”
“Babe I am here for you now. You know I took leave from work so we have time.  but come eat first.”
“Ok. I will eat” He agreed. But can I just eat this first? he asked as he roamed his hands across her breasts.

“Oh well I can’t say no to such an enjoyable proposal.” she replied laughing.

She closed her eyes as she felt his lips on her breasts.  I want us like this forever.  She thought. It was another thirty minutes before they made it out of bed.

****

When he was done eating and they had brought out his luggage, Dele told her he needed to sleep and she was glad for the reprieve. The initial euphoria of seeing him had waned and now she could feel her initial trepidation creeping back.

She settled for a bath hoping it would make her feel better. As Kitan soaked in the bath her mind whirled in a turmoil. She thought about all the times she had allowed other men claim her body since the last time her husband visited.
Every single time was etched in her memory and they wouldn’t wane. Babe, why couldn’t you just  keep your legs closed? Now he is here and you can’t even rest easy. Was all that pleasure worth this?
She thought of her blog and all the stories she had shared over the months. Some hers and some from other women who had sent her stories which she posted for them anonymously. She knew for a fact that she wasn’t the only married woman who had been cheating on her husband but that didnt stop her from feeling so dirty and guilty.

Guilt. The same feeling that had made her start the blog in the first place.
Kitan sighed and hugged herself as she took her mind back to the first time her body had welcomed the manhood of another man. But it hadn’t been her fault. It had been an accident.

 
To be continued next week Monday. 

 

I HATE MY MOTHERS HUSBAND

Hey Rukky ; this is for you. Thanks for all the nuggets of encouragement. I do appreciate the subtle push. 

 

I sent my dad an email yesterday to tell him that I hate him. I know he got it because he called.  More than 10 times. I didnt pick and that’s because I am not yet ready to talk to him. I also know he didnt mention it to my Mom because if he did , she would have contacted me and try to tell me how Inwas wrong and how my father will always be my father and how everything I am upset about is none of my business.

 

.

 

My letter was short and didnt give him much details partly because I want him to suffer wondering just how much I remember and also because I wasnt yet ready to say all the things I want to say.

 

.

 

Hello Dad,

 

I hate you for all you did to my mother. You have never loved her and I hate you for it. I have hated you for a long time now and I am glad we no longer share the same space.

I just want to let you know I won’t be coming back to the house you share with my mother. Every moment I have spent there since I was 10 was painful. I am glad I no longer have to. You tried to be a good dad to me but you were a bad husband to my mother and I hate you for it.

The next time you see me , It will just have to be somewhere else.  Not the house. 

                                                          Sarah. 

 

……

 

Children see more than they let on. I was still quite young when I knew for certain that my mother’s love was unrequited, and that she was in a loveless marriage. She loved my dad , that much I could tell. Dad on the hand mostly treated her with indifference. She rarely smiled and seemed to be in a constant state of day dreaming. She would hug us, cook, help with homework  but I cant really recall her laughing or just being happy.

 

.

 

In my parents marriage, There were no hugs,kisses,we didnt see any signs of a shared affection; not even for the benefit of our young ears and eyes. I dont remember them celebrating anniversaries and would have sworn they weren’t legally married if I hadn’t found a dusty album filled with wedding pictures.

 

That album! My Mom had been a surprise. I had always known her to be the non fashionable type yet there she was in asooke sewn in the Oleku style wearing pumps and just looking beautiful.Dad wore agbada too and it looked so regal on his big frame. They both looked like a Yoruba King and Queen. They looked happy. I had questions but I didnt let my mind linger on them and so I didnt ask my parents for answers.

 

Chief of which was ; Did he love her then? Were they forced to marry each other?

 

 

I know Mom loved him and I know this for a number of reasons. Majorly it was about the way she scurried around when he is due back from a trip.   Mom would make Egusi and pounded Yam and Fry Goat Meat alongside.  She would bring out the best dishes and e sure the house was sparkling clean. When she was done;

She would wear one of her best dresses, powder her face and wear a red lipstick. Other times she would just wear whatever it was that she could find first in her wardrobe and use nude lipstick. The Red was reserved for special occasions.

 

.

 

Dad would arrive and make a huge show of throwing me and my brothers in the air. He would inspect us from head to toe all the while telling us how much he missed us. When he is done wih us, Mom would walk up to him; She would say something in the realm of  E kaabo or Welcome Dear. He would say a cursory Oshe, Thanks and keep moving. No hugs for her. Just that.

 

.

 

I saw everything and could feel my mothers pain. I knew she wanted to hug him, she wanted him to hold her but he wont do it and she won’t make the move either. Once he arrives it would seem as though my Mom had lost some of the self assuredness she had seemed to exude before his arrival. I was probably the only one who noticed. My brothers never appeared to.

 

.

 

One day while I was ten; I decided to stop seeing my Mom as unhappy. I told myself that perhaps in their private moments they had another way of showing each other affection. That perhaps they just didnt want to be affectionate in our presence. I told myself that surely Mom must know how much he cared for her. So I closed my eyes to all the things I didnt like and decided my mothers melancholy was just her nature. My ignorant bliss lasted two years.

 

.

 

Dad treated his phone like a body appendage. If he had to use the bathroom he took it with him. You could never find it lying around. So this one day – a Saturday he went out to get the morning paper and forgot his phone at home. I was surprised to see it but my inquisitive mind was glad to have a chance to browse through.

 

So I took it. I instinctively knew where to go. Text Messages and WhatsApp messages.

 

I didnt have to check too far before I saw “Amor”. I had read enough Mills and Boon novels to know exactly what that means. I also knew whoever Amor was it couldn’t be my mother. I knew this before I opened her messages and that of other women.

Minutes later I decided I had seen enough. I got all the evidence I needed to know my mother had never been loved and would never be. I saw enough to know that my dad wasnt just dating one woman and that he had quite a number of romantic interests. This man was living the life of a playboy while my own mother withered away unloved.

 

.

 

I was angry. My heart was beating fast and out of rhythm.  I felt pain.My first instinct was to run to Mom where she was at the backyard washing Dads clothes and tell her about everything I had seen on her husbands phone but I also knew it was only going to make her sadder.

 

But I wasnt going to keep quiet and act like I saw nothing and I didnt have the courage to confront my father either So I decided to call the one who had just that morning sent her account details and telling him she needed money to take care of a few things.

 

As I dialled the number , I felt a tightening in my chest,I could barely breathe. I dropped the call then redialled again. My better judgement told me to stop but I just couldn’t listen. She picked and first thing she said was “Hello Baby”.

 

“Baby”? I repeated. My own father your baby? I asked if someone cursed her with foolishness, I asked if she didnt know that her “baby” was married and had four babies of his own. She said “who is this?”. I said “His baby girl” and she dropped the call.

 

I returned my dads phone, ran to my room and wept. My heart was broken for my Mom. Does she know? I wondered. I cried at the realisation that my mothers love will never be requited. My brothers were in boarding school, I wished they were there so I could share my findings with them but somehow I didn’t see them caring very much. They had never understood my fixation with my parents marriage. That morning I wept my heart out at the thought that Mom would go through life and never enjoy being praised the way Dad had praised those women on his phone. He would tell them “Good morning beautiful”. He used adjectives like “gorgeous” “stunning ” “breathtaking”. Words I have never heard him use for my Mom. Why cant he love her? I wondered.

 

…..

 

I was just 12 and had just confirmed that my parents had a loveless marriage, that my father was a cheat and a liar. Hours later my father called me into his bedroom. He said “I know what you did. I am not mad at you because I love you so much. Sarah , you are a woman and you must learn to control your emotions, it is not good to be an overly jealous woman.” Ara e gbona and it’s not a good trait”. I had words for him but I said none.

 

So he continued. That young lady you called is just someone I help financially from time to time when  she is in a fix. She is an orphan. The cousin of a friend. She didn’t deserve the accusations you levelled against her. “Yeah right, I thought.  that’s why she calls you baby. But yet again I said nothing and he said I could leave.

 

.

 

I went to my room, picked up my diary and wrote;

 

My Dad

Adulterer

 

Liar

 

Hypocrite

 

This was the same dad who forbade me from wearing trousers. The same man who judge women whose trousers ride low. The one who calls out at young women wearing skimpy clothes and tell them to dress respectably. This was the same man that was sending money to random young women, calling a woman who wasnt his wife “Amor” and of course leaving our home to sleep with another woman and then coming back home like a hardworking and faithful family man.

 

I hate him! I muttered under my breath.

 

.

 

My Mom would later call me to their room and while hugging  hug me tight. She said ” Sarah my dear , I heard what you did and I am not happy. ”

I said “Mom but I saw …..” and she held a finger to her mouth to hush me. “Its not your place to do that. I don’t want to know what you saw. It was wrong of you to go through your fathers phone. ”

 

But Mom don’t you want to know what he is doing behind your back? I asked exasperated. She said “He is my husband not yours. I am not happy with you. You shouldn’t have. So you will apologise to your dad. ”

 

“No I am not going to.” I protested. “Yes you will darling. You were wrong so you will apologise. ”

 

.

 

I was certain I did nothing wrong but I apologised to dad later that day and that made me even resent him more. How dare he be able to turn this on me? Even then , I knew the outcome would be different if it had been  my Mom that was having illicit affairs. But it was as though my dad was beyond being held accountable.

 

.

 

Later that night I woke up to sounds of a struggle. My parents room was just opposite mine , I could hear sounds of a scuffle and slightly raised voices. So I opened my door making as little noise as possible and glued my ears to their door. By the time I got to their door , the scuffle stopped and I could just hear   my Mom saying   “Eleda mi a da fun e” “My creator will judge you”. She said it over and over.

 

Then I heard him say;

“What kind of foolish behavior is this, so you won’t let me sleep because of what you thought Sarah saw? So  your daughter decided to tell you tales? Both of you wont let me have peace in my own house abi? I can’t sleep in my own house again? Do you want me to leave this house for you? ”

 

And then all I could hear was my Mom’s sobs. I could tell she sidnt  want to risk him walking out on her. On us. Her sobs haunted my soul. I wanted to open the door and pelt my father with my fists. I wanted to ask why he had to make my Mom so sad. I felt her pain deep in my own heart and it was as though with every tear she shed, the disgust I felt for my father increased.

 

.

 

Morning came and we all went back to being a family like the previous day hadn’t happened but I had already decided in my heart that one day I was going to let my dad know that I hate him for all he did to her. But I never checked his phone again and I learnt to accept that my Mom was never going to walk away from her loveless marriage so I might as well learn to deal with life as it were.

 

.

 

I no longer trusted my Dad. When he said he needed to travel or go somewhere I would scoff in my mind imagining that he was going to meet one of his mistresses. I continued to love him as my father but I have been unable to forgive him for how he hurt my Mom.

 

.

 

For years I wished I could move out , I wished that I didnt have to depend on him for my livelihood. But I knew I just had to bide time till I come into my own and I no longer needed him. So I waited and pretended all was well till this time.

 

.

 

 

I had applied for a scholarship in Australia during my NYSC  without telling them. Australia because I wanted to put as much distance as I could between us. I had only told them when it was all done. They had both been upset at the thought of me being so far away but accepted that it was for the greater good. Neither of them realised I was in fact trying to run away from the darkness that being home brought on me.

 

.

 

And so yesterday two weeks after my arrival in Australia I sent that email because I believed it was the right time. I am sure it would hurt him but the thought of hurting him only gives me joy. I feel no guilt. I believe he deserves all the pain he must feel for stealing my childhood. For failing at one of the duties he owed me the most – loving and respecting my mother.

 

.

I still wish my mother would leave him. I will like to see her be that woman in her wedding pictures again. I will like to see her laugh and I would love to see her loved.

 

 

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