Not So Happily Married…… Episode One

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A new series begin. Let’s start the ride. New episodes to drop every Wednesday.

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Couple_ToyinFABBB

Yes I do…………..But should I really be doing? I asked myself the moment the pastor said the words “You may kiss the Bride”.

“Join me in wishing the latest couple in town a happy married life.” the pastor shouted as soon as Jite’s lips met mine.

The cameras clicked away and the wedding guests shouted excitedly as we kissed. It seemed genuine enough; we tried to make it look so.

As we received hugs after hugs and wishes after wishes the smile plastered on my face never wavered, perfectly masking the fear and sadness that enveloped my throbbing heart.

****

To say I didn’t know I should not have married Jite will be a big lie. Who else marries a man that hates her? Truth be told, I don’t know why he married me either. He obviously hates me enough to not go on with it but for some reason he saw it through. I have my suspicion though. I think it might just be due to plain ego. He once promised me it was either him or no one else. If he can’t have me, no one will.

 Jite used to be wonderful you know. Every inch the gentle man. He was the kind of guy that won’t expect you to cook for him just because you are his babe, he was a man that would open doors for you, fight anyone for you and say I love you like a hundred times daily. Yeah he was that kind of man from the first day we met until the day an unborn baby and a cripple came between us.

*****

I don’t know whether to call how we met unusual or dramatic. I had been in Game to look for a set of pots. For some reason I had scoured the whole of Lagos looking for a set of non stick cookware and had frowned upon every brand I saw until that day in Game. There it was on a well polished low shelf; sleek, red, with ornate wooden handles. Just what I had been looking for. I was about to grab the carton not bothering to check the price when another pair of hands touched it.

‘‘Hey, I bought that.” I said.

“And you bought it how?” He asked fixing me with a piercing glance.

 “Errrr…. I bought it by thinking of it already and as you can see I was standing in front of it about to carry it.”

“And madam, as you can also see, I was about to carry it too and I think my hand touched it first though.”

“It did?” I asked unsettled by his glance. He had on one of those massive eye glasses that some guys believe look cool. We looked about the same height but because of the advantage my heels gave I decided to stare him down but I needn’t have bothered. Dude was ready to stare back.

“What kind of a man even drags pots with a woman?” I exclaimed exasperatedly.

“The kind of a man that cooks and also appreciates good quality cookware.”

“But there are other brands here, Mister. Why don’t you just pick one?” I asked my eyes already getting misted with tears. 

“No Madam, I want this.”

“Okay”, I said walking away before he could see the tears in my eyes.

“Hey, you know we can solve this by getting married. That way the cookware will be ours or better still yours.”

“Oh, Jokes.” I replied waving him off. I would later learn that phrases like “let’s get married”, “I love you” and “let’s break up” were some of the easiest words for Jite to say. They come naturally and it’s hard to decide if it’s being said jokingly or seriously.

I left the mall few minutes later. I was about to start my car when someone leant in and said

“Can you open your Car boot”? I looked up sharply and it was him.

“Hey, I’m sorry if I sounded like a twat in there but I was just pulling your legs really. You can have your cookware; all you have to do is refund my money.” He added handing me the receipt.

I didn’t even think twice before jumping out of the car to hug him. I didn’t let go until he started patting my back like I was a baby. That was when the irritation came back full force and I condescendingly pointed to the boot for him to drop the carton in.

 “Can I get a ride?” he asked afterwards and against my better judgment, I allowed him. Halfway through the journey, we were already talking like old friends and I think I fell in love the moment he told me he left his car at the mall just so he could meet me. Yeah, that was the cool Jite. Not the one he became after I did what I did.           

****

We prepared for the wedding with so much passion and energy that you couldn’t tell how much Jite detested me. Sometimes I blame him, Most times I blame me and the rest of the time I blame both of us for going through the charade of getting married.

The day we went to see our wedding planner. I smiled when the wedding planner asked what the budget was and said just one word.

‘‘Unlimited’’ Jite’s mom had decided her son’s wedding was going to be one to remember and had given us a blank cheque. She had just finished a contract for the federal government and was rolling in cash. We were to spend as much as we wished she had said while giving us the cheque.

The event planner shifted in her seat and then asked.

“What and what do you want, how do you envision your day to be?”

 I told her we wanted something that screamed money, romance, elegance and class. I pushed away the niggling thoughts at the back of my mind and smiled.

“Just go all out please, go all the way. Money is not a problem.” Jite interjected rubbing my arms affectionately.

And all the way she went.

****

My friends’ emotions were bitter sweet and also tinged with slight doses of envy. I had paid for their bridesmaid dresses and I had also handed a kit to each of the sixteen of them complete with jewellery, hair accessories and even toiletries. In the midst of the oohs and the aaahs I couldn’t fail to see some of what they really felt. It was quite hard for them to get over the fact that I was leaving the single’s league and in style too. We had all shared stories of our efforts to make the men in our lives propose and they knew there weren’t going to be such stories again. That brought a kind of grief. I have felt it before and so could recognize it.

Our theme colour was Gold; it dominated the 1200 capacity hall that was our reception venue. The hall was exquisitely decorated. There were Gold draperies, fireworks, table to ceiling high center pieces, Candle holders, and a cozy couch for Jite and I strewn over with rose petals. The dimness of the purple lighting and the coziness of the couple’s enclave gave our reception the perfect romantic ambience that I wished for.

Our faces radiated sunshine, warmth and love, we smiled at the cameras, we kissed at every available opportunity, we both smiled for the guests, for the cameras. We danced for an hour to Lionel Richie, Phil Collins and Marvin Gaye’s songs; our favorite songs. He held me close and we smiled into each other’s eyes. To the world the pictures will show a couple totally in love but within us we know it was all a lie, we know it was a mistake that should never have happened.

****

The Limousine that took Jite and me from the reception was snow white. Mom stood by the door and wiped at her eyes. ‘‘Go well my daughter’’, she said. ‘‘We miss you already’’. I felt tears roll down my eyes and Jite wrapped a hand around me to comfort me. He kissed my ear and cooed against my ears. ‘‘Don’t cry baby’’. We closed the door, and we watched them wave till we could see them no more.

Jite’s mood went black immediately the Limousine moved. ‘‘Drive us around’’ he told the driver before closing the partition.

I cleared my throat. “Jite, aren’t we going to the hotel?”

“Not yet.” he grunted removing his arm from around me and shifting to create space between us.

“Okay, Jite will you just hold me? I’m cold.”

“Well, that’s your business. Didn’t you know you would be cold when you chose that dress he asked pointing a finger to my strapless mermaid tulle dress. I would have thought wearing a dress that accentuates your flat and firm stomach would have given you enough happiness and you won’t even need me.”

“Jite, please let’s not do this, please make me happy if only for today please.” I said my eyes misting over. Silence. It was as though I was talking to a wall.

to be continued …………

image designed by Okunade Hammed (@okunadegoodman)

Boarding Tales (Episode IV)

Bosola

I brought down my dress, sighing. I wasn’t in the mood for a fight; I just wanted to clean up, eat and sleep.

“Where is the water I asked you to fetch?” She bellowed waking up the other three occupants of the room.

“Senior Toluse asked someone to bring it to the hostel for you”, I replied calmly my back still against the wall. She was holding the front of my dress in a tight grip and I thought of how easily the dress could be ripped.

“I sent you and not anybody else and I want you to produce that water now along with an explanation on why I sent you somewhere since 6.30 am and you are just getting back at 11 am’’. Her face suddenly tightened in a frown as if something occurred to her and then she said:

“No problem, you can continue with what you were doing.”

I was confused, wondering why she would change her mind so quickly. I however heaved a sigh of relief that she left, I quickly removed my dress, wrapped my towel around me and carried my bucket of water to go to the bathroom, I glanced at Slappy’s corner and saw she was lying down, holding a book in her hand, she looked too calm and I was puzzled, wondering what plans might be brewing in her mind.

****

The bathroom was at the back of the hostel, it was a more of an excuse for a bathroom. It was made of iron sheets and the door was also made of iron sheets and planks. It had no roof but was high enough to prevent prying eyes. I entered the bathroom and almost puked. The floor was not cemented but was laid with gravel. Somehow the water wasn’t flowing well so the floor was water logged. The place was also dirty with used soaps, sponges and soap wrappers littering the floor. I spotted a plank and used it as a stand. I draped my towel on the bathroom wall and that was when I noticed the rock; the one behind the hostel. I hissed upon seeing it wondering why they had bothered to make the bathroom walls high. It would be easy for any boy who wanted to have a view of naked girls to see to his heart’s content. All he or they needed to do was climb the rock and to make matters worse, there were enough brushes and shrubs to hide behind. I took my bath hurriedly determined to return to the hostel, dress up and leave before Slappy’s friends got back from the fellowship.

It was when I finished my bath that I realised what Slappy had been planning all along. I turned around to pick my towel and behold, it was no where to be found. The first emotion was anger and then fear; anger that Slappy would be so cruel and fear that I might have to stay in the smelling bathroom until someone comes there by chance. I was reluctant to stay there since I wasn’t sure what Slappy’s plans were, I imagined her bringing a whip and chasing me around the school naked. I shuddered at the thought and finally decided to venture out of the bathroom and look around. I walked out glancing furtively around; I saw the cloth drying line but was disappointed to see it empty. I was about to walk back to the bathroom and wait for whatever Slappy planned when I saw it; a towel that had become a rag, it was very dirty but thankfully dry. I shook the dirt out, wrapped the towel around me making sure it was far away from my skin as was possible.

I was scared of going back to the hostel but I knew I had to and so I went back. I entered the room and glanced at Slappy’s bed, it was empty. I dashed to my bunk, opened my box and brought out my house wear and the backpack that contained my toiletries. I gathered both in my hands and ran out of the room. I went to the classroom block closest to the hostel and sat in a corner where no one could spot me from the hostel. I had just worn my hostel wear when I started hearing voices in front of the female hostel.  I closed the nearest wooden window and peeped through a small hole in the window. The scene I saw would have been funny if it didn’t have something to do with me.

Slappy was on a raised platform in front of the female hostel ringing a bell, her friends were standing beside her holding canes of diverse lengths. She gestured to one of them to go to the back of the hostel. She rang the bell and asked that all juniors both male and female should report to the front of the female hostel.

I had never been that afraid in my life; I shivered and thanked my stars that I hadn’t waited for too long in the bathroom.

In minutes the front of the hostel was packed full with students both male and female. I watched as Slappy’s friend came back from the backyard of the hostel and whispered into Slappy’s ear. I saw the shocked look on her face. She turned to the students and declared that no one must leave until she gets back.

Immediately she left, I ran to the door of the classroom and bolted it. I also frantically locked all the windows of the class. My heart was thumping wildly. I went back to the small hole in the window and peeped out again, glancing furtively at the door every other minute.

She walked back to the front of the hostel after what had seemed like an eternity and told the students to disperse.

I would have heaved a sigh of relief but I knew the respite wasn’t going to last long. I knew I had to do something fast. “I have to see Toluse; He is the only one to help out of this mess.” I said aloud to myself.

I left the class for lunch when the bell rang.  I saw Toluse immediately I entered; he had a cane in his hands and was standing with some other boys who I guessed must be prefects too. He  kept trying to meet my eyes but I completely ignored him, I was wearing my Sunday wear; a Yellow check dress I had adjusted to fit snugly against my curves, I had undone my cornrows and had combed and oiled my long hair till it shone. I styled it as a half parting framing my face with half of it and had also lined my eyes. I learnt very early to use my looks to get what I want and had never failed to use it to my advantage for as long as I can remember. At Thirteen, I was 1.65 cm tall, very fair complexioned and had features that you would expect an Eighteen year old to have. I was aware of this and I used it.

I ate my food slowly as I was still afraid of going back to the hostel and was hoping Toluse will find a way to talk to me especially since I had made it obvious I wanted to ignore him. I finished my food and was on my way back to the classroom when someone walked up to me and said Toluse wanted to see me.

“Where is he”? I asked

“He is in J.S.S.2 building”

“Please where is that”?

“It’s the building after the Mosque”

I remember seeing the mosque when Dad and I came in on the previous day so I thanked her and left to see Toluse.

It wasn’t hard locating the building, it was directly after the mosque, it was however quite far from the hostel and also secluded, I wondered why he couldn’t meet me in the J.S.S.1 block that was closer to my hostel.

I walked in and saw there were several other couples there, some sitting where the windows should have been, others occupying some of the chairs. There were even some girls sitting on their boyfriend’s laps. “What exactly is this school?” I mused.

Toluse sitting at the far end of the class and he waved at me and smiled as he saw me approach.

“Bosola, bawo ni” “How are you?” his eyes roved over me knowingly as if to remind me he had possessed my body.

“I am fine”, I replied still standing

“Come and sit here” he said, gesturing at the chair beside him

 “So why were you avoiding me at lunch”? He asked wrapping his arms around my shoulders.

“I wasn’t”, I said simply

“You were Bosola and you know it, do you want our relationship to be an underG thing?

“What’s underG”?

UnderG is when two people are dating secretly”

“Oh, no! That’s not it, I don’t mind people knowing. In fact I think it’s too late for that”

“Better ooo, because I want the whole school to know.”

“It was true that I avoided you and that’s because your girlfriend gave me a hard time when I got back to the hostel, she almost beat me up and I think she is even planning something with her friends, since I don’t want trouble I decided it was best to stop talking to you and look for another guy who is unattached.”

 “Bosola, I am sorry for any pain Seeke might have caused you, I will sort everything out today”.

“Are we okay now”? He asked nibbling on my ears and moving his hands around my waist.

I sat there unflinching even as he murmured against my ears;

“You are so beautiful, Bosola”

He was still on this when someone shouted Alaye, Alaye and the other occupants of the class began to run out of the class through the back door, some jumped through the window and in seconds we were the only ones left in the class, I wanted to stand up and run too but Toluse held me down. I looked at Toluse quizzically wondering why.

“Don’t worry, sit down”, he said half smiling.

“Why did they run out Toluse because I’m scared oo.”

“”Don’t worry; it’s because of Alaye Olori oko himself.”

“Who is Alaye?” I asked glancing towards the door. I gasped at what I saw, I had my answer and it filled the door way.

 

photo credit: google images

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