Sunday, 31 August 2014

I DID Episode 01






"Good evening Sir. Welcome to Balorama restaurant. Would you like to place your order now?" Theresa said, smiling, revealing the entire set of thirty two. That was how they had been trained at Balorama; to smile always. To lay whatever personal feelings they had and place the customer first. The customer was key. The customer was king. The customer was the business.

Truly, Theresa was smiling, and really putting aside her personal feelings. She had her school fees to think of. The new session had begun and she hadn't still been able to raise enough money for her school fees. Her father's medication was also pending on the list. And the landlord was also on their necks; her neck specifically. The rent was due. In the order of priority, she couldn't place which came first; her father's drugs, or the landlord's money. Her education could still wait. She could defer again. The second time.

When the customer responded, she hadn't heard what he said, but her grin was still from ear to ear.

"I'm sorry sir, could you repeat that?" She asked.

The man in the tailor-made navy blue suit was about to repeat his words when his date raised her voice.

"Are you deaf? Is your mind here at all?" The lady said.

Theresa apologized immediately before the matter got escalated. She couldn't afford to lose her job.

"I'm really sorry, Madam." She apologized.

The man told his date to let it go, then he repeated the order.

Theresa handed the piece of paper to the server and immediately went back to wait on other customers.

...

She glanced at the screen of her phone. The time was 10.30 PM. She had about five thousand Naira in her purse but she didn't want to spend half of it on taxi. It was late and she couldn't find any buses around and she needed to get to CMS. She saw a couple of young guys lurking around. She clutched her purse tighter. She knew they were thugs. She wanted to guard the sum of bills in the purse. Her phone rang out loud for a few seconds. It was a flash from her younger brother. She dialed back his number but as soon as she said hello, the battery of her phone went off. She remembered that she had forgotten to charge it.



***



That had been her life once upon a time. She had gone down memory lane as she stayed home, waiting up for her husband. Her husband was the man in the tailor-made navy blue suit.

Yes.

His name was Dehinde Roland. And he owned the Balorama restaurant with his cousin, Jide Roland. Dehinde's father was the chairman of a group of companies of which Balorama was the food subsidiary of the chain. Theresa had no idea that he was actually her boss. It all started when she noticed him at the restaurant again, but without his usual snob of a date. She had gone a little further than she should have. She had taken his order, and then she had asked after the woman who always came with him. Dehinde had laughed and told her she was his girlfriend but he had broken off the relationship with her. Theresa had given him her two cents by telling him the woman was a snob and ill-mannered and that she thought he was too gentle a man for someone like that. Their little friendship started like that. She became his usual waitress and he became her usual customer. Then one day, he had requested she had lunch with him at his table. Theresa had been afraid at first because her Manager would not have relented in firing her. But she was more afraid when Dehinde called the Manager and told him to serve Theresa whatever she wanted. It was there and then that Theresa realized that Mr. Dehinde Roland was her boss' boss.

Maybe it was luck that shone on her. Mr. Dehinde picked an interest in her and told her he wanted to see her again. Their relationship started and then, he told her to quit her job and marry him. He didn't want his wife to be a waitress who worked for him. Theresa had been shocked. She had of course fallen in love with him. And it wasn't because he was rich.

She fell in love with the way he laughed, and the way he always threw his head back when he did. She loved the way he looked at her with so much emotion, and she loved the way he talked to her about his big dreams and how he still wanted to be richer than Dangote. Even if she couldn't contribute much to his plans and everything, she understood his zeal and she was more than happy to support him every step of the way. And that was why she agreed to marry him when he asked. It wasn't because he was rich.

She knew she would have to deal with his family. She expected it. She knew his mother would be a stuck up society Lagos woman, and she knew his father would expect that she at least had a Masters' degree from a foreign University. She knew his friends would expect her to be drop dead gorgeous. She expected these things because she knew she was short of all these expectations. For one, she was just a twenty four year old girl who lived and won the bread for her sick father and younger brother. Her mother was dead. She had died because they didn't have enough money for her Kidney transplant. Theresa wasn't drop dead gorgeous. She saw herself as plain enough but Dehinde always told her she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. And she wondered why he thought so. She was 5'3, dark skinned, had short receding hair, and no curves.


Her expectations were true. His family had not liked her and his friends had at least pretended to. But Dehinde had gone ahead and married her. It was only after they got married that his family began to come around. Roughly a year after they got married.











***


It was three years now in their marriage.
It was 01.15 AM and her husband was still not home. Theresa was worried. She wondered where he was. She had called his phone very many times. The first three times, his personal assistant picked the calls. She had told Theresa that Dehinde was in a meeting and he didn't want to be disturbed. That was 9.00 PM. She called back a couple of times later but the calls were ignored.

She was trying not to doze off when she heard the door creak open. The footsteps were bold and audacious so it was not as though he was sneaking in.

"Dehinde! Oh my God I was so worried!" Theresa ran over to her husband and hugged him. She wanted to flare up and demand answers but his coldness turned her authority to persuasion and sucking up.

"Have you eaten...Should I run you a bath?" Her voice shook. She was afraid.

She was growing afraid of the man who had once protected her from anything that scared her. He was changing. He was more distant. He always said it was work. Theresa had confronted him once if he was seeing someone else and the reply she had gotten had made her to never ask questions like that. He had hit her hard in the face and had warned her never to disrespect him like that.

He looked at her as she took his suit jacket and laptop bag from his hands. His look wasn't one of endearment. He looked...disgusted.

"Did you take a bath today?" He said.

Theresa looked at herself. She was wearing her nighty. Well, it was the same one she wore the night before. She hadn't taken a bath because she had been home all day. She was always home all day because her husband did not let her work.

"I..I have been waiting for you all day..." She stammered, stepping backwards.

"You stink." He said, looking at her with disapproval. 

"What...about dinner?" She asked. He was walking upstairs already.

"Look at the clock. Dinner isn't served at 1.30 AM." He said and walked away.

Theresa didn't know what to say or do. She just stood there in her humiliation, blaming herself for why she didn't take a bath that morning. 





*fisayotalabi
*I did.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

CONTINUATION OF FOUR




Due to complaints and non-access of some people to dowload the book, I have posted the continuation on the blog. 

For those who haven't read the earlier chapters, please find it: here



Thursday, 21 August 2014

The ebook of FOUR



Hi guys!

The ebook for iphone, ipad, bb, android and windows users is now available for download on Kobo books. Please download the app and search for FIsayo Talabi to find the book. 

It's free. 

It's also available on okadabooks for android users. 

I got the mails about people who have other devices. I'm working on something for that. 

Thank you all so much. 


The picture above is a munch of what it looks like on kobobooks app. 




...and i'm thinking of a plot for the next series on the blog. 


Xoxo

*fisayotalabi

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

POPPING THE QUESTION - short story.




This was one of the worst feelings I had ever felt in my entire thirty years of age. I guess it was accumulated pressure though, from my mother back at Lagos, and my twin sister who just had her second child.

Yes. The pressure had always been there. At first, they had complained that I was a bad girl and that I attended too many parties. Momsi had even warned me and asked the other ladies from her Christian Wives Society in her church to talk to me. They had said that with the way I was going, I wouldn’t find a man to marry me. They asked me to be more like my twin, Theodora. I always laughed because I was really the only one who knew the truth about everything. You see, I was the good one here. I was the one who partied less of us both. I was the one who went to church more often. It was me who didn’t sleep with lecturers for good grades, and it was still me who didn’t lie to our father about how much we had been asked to buy Photosynthesis. My twin sister knew that our parents were illiterates and she used it to her advantage because our parents are quite bucksed up.

But I don’t understand how she got married before me, to a very handsome and rich guy at that! I was the conservative one! I don’t think I’ve ever heard Theodora pray before! Except last week, when she called me on our thirtieth birthday and advised me to please find a man! and had added in her prayer Father please bring a man! Any man! What an insult? She now spoke like Momsi, with every conversation ending in the usual phrase; when will you marry?

Well, of course. I want to get married. I badly want to. And I have given my boyfriend all the signals I can come up with. I have told him how much I love kids, and how I want to spend my life with someone as wonderful as him, how I love his last name, even though I hated it. My boyfriend is an African American. Well, I just think we’re both Africans, except that he doesn’t know what part of Africa he’s from. His name is Daniel and his surname is Doug. I don’t like to pronounce his surname to Nigerian people. They always say Dog ke?!



...

I thought this was the day Daniel was going to ask me to be his bride. He had woken me up with a call at 6 A.M and he told me he loved me so much and wanted us to go on a romantic date in the evening. Then he sang John Legend’s All of me to me! (I forgot to mention that Daniel has an awesome voice. He’s actually a budding musician part-time).

By the time I got to the office, I met roses. They had been delivered before I got there. And they were from my Daniel. I am not really a flower kind of girl, but he’s American so I had to love them anyway. It clicked that he might be proposing when he sent a text again that he had been thinking about us so much and he wanted to discuss something with me. That was it. I told my boss that I was sick and needed to go to the clinic. Well, I went to the clinic alright. The Hair and Nail clinic. (Lol). I needed to get all dolled up and have the perfect manicure for the ring he must have picked out! 


I couldn’t keep it to myself. I called my twin in Nigeria immediately and told her that I had some big news for her and I would tell her later in the evening. 

***

THE DATE

“You look so beautiful, baby.” Daniel said, as he admired me. We sat together, facing each other, at the Italian restaurant. I was all smiles. I was just trying to maintain a straight face though, even if within me, my heart was almost jumping out with anxiety.

After what seemed like a million hours, he held my hand (the left one) and started to look into my eyes and he started saying a lot of romantic things that I didn’t even hear. I was just waiting for the question to be popped.

“I think it’s time we took the next step in this relationship. So baby,” He said, putting his hand into his blazer pocket. I was so thrilled. I didn’t know when I started crying and nodding my head.

“Will you move in with me?” He asked.

Huh? 

I stared at the house keys that he had brought out of his pocket. That was it? House keys? Seriously? I couldn’t stop crying.  And he actually thought my tears were because his question meant so much to me. But really, I was crying because I felt so stupid!


Then my phone began to ring. It was my evil twin sister.





*Popping the Question 
*fisayotalabi

Sunday, 17 August 2014

FOUR; a shortstory of four chapters











  


All characters in this book are entirely a creation of Fisayo Talabi’s imagination and Intellectual property. 


Dedication:

For all strong women


_____________________________________________________________________








01:


“Guys, we should do this more often, you know? It’s been a while and I’ve missed my girls so much!” Boma said, scooping the last of the ice cream in her cup. 

Joan looked at Bimbo and Mercy, and then they burst out laughing. 

“Oh my God you can’t change, Boma. I thought London would have tushed you up.” Bimbo said, still laughing. 

Boma had recently moved back to Nigeria from London. Her mother had practically forced her back home so that she could find a Nigerian husband and not all the white boyfriends she always dated. But majorly, Boma had come back because she wanted to start her hair extension and African fabrics business. She had worked for a while after her Master’s Degree in London but she felt she hadn’t really been able to save up any reasonable amount of money in commercial quantity, in the two years she had lived there. So she had moved back finally. 

“So how often are we going to hang out?” Boma asked again, looking between her three friends. 

“It has to be weekends. Maybe even Sundays. My job is soooo draining! Some Saturdays, I have to work.” Joan replied, shaking her head. She was a banker with one of the top banks in Nigeria; a Manager. 

“What about you, Bimbo?” Boma asked. 

“Erm…sorry guys, I have to take this…” Bimbo said, excusing herself to answer her ringing phone. 
Joan rolled her eyes after Bimbo left. 

“Nawa for Bimbo’s husband o. He can’t even give the girl breathing space. Her phone has been ringing since but she’s been silencing it.” Joan said. She had been sitting next to Bimbo. 

“Well, I think it’s cute. He loves her and checks on her all the time. Gbenro won’t even flash me till night. He’s so occupied with his business and he never even has my time.” Mercy said, shaking her head. 

Mercy was dating a high-profile business man whom she had a daughter with. Their daughter was about four years old and they had been dating for about seven years. Gbenro had shown commitment though. He had proposed to her when she gave birth to their daughter; four years ago. Each time Mercy asked him when they would get married, he always blamed her for not being understanding. He said he didn’t want to rush into another marriage because he had only just divorced his wife. The divorce was five years ago. He also had kids with his wife and he said his kids were still trying to accept the fact that their parents were divorced. He didn’t want to put them through the shock of bringing in a new wife. 

“I don’t know why you’re wasting your time with that man. He obviously isn’t ready to marry you. And you’re turning thirty five next month. He’s a man o. Men don’t age.” Boma said. 

“And you’re thirty six without a child.” Mercy fired at Boma, angrily. 

Boma opened her mouth to say something but Joan cautioned her not to. 

Bimbo joined them shortly, rubbing her palms together. 

“Em…girls, I have to leave.” Bimbo said. She hugged each friend and then grabbed her hand bag. 

“How are you going? Will you take a taxi?” Joan asked. Joan had picked up Bimbo from her house earlier.

“Kenny’s almost here. He’s taking me home.” Bimbo replied. 

Kenny was the perfect husband. He did all the work and bought Bimbo all the expensive things she could ever want. He made a vow to her that she wouldn’t have to undergo any kind of stress and he was sure living up to his promise. Mercy didn’t understand why she couldn’t have this life too. Gbenro never showed her any sort of PDA the little times he got to spend time with her or his daughter. He was always looking over his shoulder, hoping no one was watching them. But he was a totally different person when they were indoors. He knew how to please her intimately and make her forget every reason to be angry with him. He knew the right words to say, and the right places to touch her to give her that emotional amnesia. 

“Hi ladies! So good to see you guys again. I think the last time I saw you all together was at the wedding.” Kenny said, walking in on them. He hugged Bimbo and kissed her forehead, and then he hugged the other ladies. 

“You’re looking good o. I can see Bimbo’s cooking tins showing all over you.” Joan said, laughing. 

“What can I say now? I got the best woman ever.” Kenny laughed, pulling Bimbo closer. 

“We have to go now. Was really nice hanging with you all. I’ll call you.” Bimbo said, and then, in a jiffy, she pulled Kenny away. 

“Some people are just lucky in this life.” Mercy said, after they had left. 

“I knew it! I knew you were going to say that.” Boma burst out laughing. 

“I think Kenny is sweet, but I’ve learnt not to believe everything I see on the surface.” Joan said. 

“Can’t you guys just be happy for Bimbo? Admit it; she is a happily married woman.” Mercy said. 

“Maybe you should let Kenny teach Gbenro how to make you a happily married woman, Mercy.” Boma said, rolling her eyes. 

“What’s your problem, Boma?” Mercy raised her voice.

“Girls, it’s okay! Please don’t turn this place to home video. Calm down, abeg.” Joan said. 

Mercy shook her head and hissed then she walked out on them. 

“So much for a re-union.” Joan said. “Let’s go, abi you want to eat the Ice cream cup too?” She eyeballed Boma. Boma laughed, then she finally let go of the Ice cream cup and took her purse. 










02:


Mercy yawned and opened her eyes. It was Sunday morning already. The weekend was already over and she would have to go to work again the next morning. She turned to the other side of the bed. Her four-year old was fast asleep. She had kicked the duvet off the bed, totally. Mercy stood up finally and then picked up the duvet. She kissed her daughter’s head then she opened her closet to bring out her church clothes. 

“Mummy…” Her daughter said. She had woken up.

“Hi Sophia. Come give me a hug.” Mercy said, squatting and spreading out her arms. Sophie ran to her mother and Mercy gave her a big kiss on the cheek. 

“I did not wet the bed today.” Sophie smiled, revealing her tiny set of milk teeth. Mercy laughed. Finally, they were breaking free from Sophie’s constant over-night water supply. 

“Good girl. Now go to the bathroom and poopoo before I come give you a bath.” Mercy said. The child scurried into the bathroom, removing her pink shorts and leaving them on the floor for her mother to pick up. 


Mercy picked it up, and then she checked her mobile phone. She had been charging it overnight. She had some missed calls. One was from Gbenro, and the other was from Boma. She called Gbenro back. He didn’t answer the phone. She hissed and then called Boma.

“I saw your missed call….What do you want?” Mercy said, her voice flat and cold.

“Babe, how far.” Boma said.

“What do you want?” Mercy repeated.

“You’re still angry? Haba! You can’t be God o. Your anger doesn’t end ni?” Boma said. “Anyway, let me call you back…”

Mercy swore that she heard a man’s voice at the background.

“Gosh, Boma this is Sunday morning!” Mercy said.

“I know. We will start praise and worship after he gets dressed.” Boma laughed.

“You need to repent. What if rapture happens this morning?” Mercy said.

“What if rapture happens the next time you sleep with Gbenro.” Boma said.

They were silent for a while.

“I’m sorry dear. Give Sophia a big kiss for me. I’ll call you later.” Boma giggled, then she ended the call.






....




*TO READ THE REST OF THIS SHORT STORY, ALL DEVICE USERS CAN DOWNLOAD IT. AND GUESS WHAT? IT IS ONLY FOR 0.00 OF WHATEVER YOUR CURRENCY IS! ABSOLUTELY FREE.

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(I'LL PUT UP A POST TO NOTIFY YOU AS SOON AS IT IS READY FOR DOWNLOAD ON KOBO READING APP.


GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

HAVE A GREAT WEEK AHEAD. 


Friday, 15 August 2014

SPOKEN FOR 11 - FINALE



Shomi had walked out on the scene and on the job. She hadn't heard a word of the ranting mother-of-the-bride yelling at her for delaying. She hadn't heard all that Madam Joyce said...about taking it easy, about giving Aunty Kemi a listening ear, about hearing James out, about calming down... She didn't hear a word.

As she sat in the cab, running from all that had just unfolded; the truth of her existence, she couldn't help the tears. Crying was the only way she could let it all out. It was too much for her to bear. It was just too much. She couldn't stuff her issues no longer in a bottle. The bottle was filled already with bottled up emotions. If she stored anything else, the bottle would shatter. 

But she was shattered already. Finding a long lost mother who had rejected her, and an irresponsible father, both in one day! It was too much to bear or handle. She didn't want to go home. Madam Joyce would keep trying to talk her into hearing her parents out. And no. Shomi couldn't stand them. She couldn't give a listening ear to the woman who had refused to hear her cries as a child. She remembered one time she had been ill with a really bad stomach ache. She had complained and cried about it to Aunty Kemi. Aunty Kemi had been in the bedroom with a man. Shomi had walked in on them, crying and rolling on the floor. Aunty Kemi had been so angry that she kicked her and pushed her out of the room. 

She could never forget the look on her (father) driver's face when Kemi told him that Shomi was the product of the experiment done in the Chemistry lab. Kemi had thought there had been chemistry between her and Uncle James back then, quite alright, because of the fluttery butterfly feelings she felt whenever he looked at her. 
James had looked at Shomi with surprise and confusion. But what hurt her more was what he said. 

"Please my daughter, don't sack me. I need this job. All my children are out of school because I can't afford school fees. Please my daughter." 

Shomi had been so irritated and disgusted. The man who was supposed to be her father; whom she now begun to see the striking semblance they shared in  skin colour and shape of eyes, her father who had never met her before. The first words she had thought he would say were words of apology, asking for forgiveness. But this?! Asking for his job, and telling her he had other kids to take care of! Even Madam Joyce had raised her voice at the man, in defense of the child she had raised. 


...

Shomi almost forgot to pay the taxi man who was now looking at her like she was weird because she had been crying and lost in thought, all through. She handed him a five hundred naira note and walked away, forgetting to collect her change. After he zoomed away, not mentioning her forgetfulness, she stood at the gate of the house, knocking endlessly. 

He opened the gate. And he saw her, drowned in her own tears. He had never seen her that way before. Well, yes, she wasn't exactly the cheerful kind, but he had never seen her so broken. 

"Dapo, please..." She started to speak. "I am going insane." 

Dapo pulled her closer and led her into his apartment. 

He didn't know if it was the weight of all she had said that made him shudder in surprise, or shut his eyes in shame. He had no idea she had been through so so so much. This was too much for one person.

When she told him how she had been raped by two teenage boys, how they had pushed her to the floor and forcefully torn her dress and panties, how she had wept in pain and fought tooth and nail to run away, and how she woke up to find herself in Madam Joyce's house, he couldn't control his emotions any longer. He pulled her into his arms. He didn't know the extent the hug would go but he wished it could shield her from all the hurt that still lurked around. 

"I'm so sorry. Baby I'm so sorry! I'm sorry for everything! I take the blame. I..." He held her tight, stroking her hair. 

"I don't want to see those people. They're not my parents. They never going to be my parents. He doesn't even care about my feelings! He begged me if he could keep his job!" Shomi cried. 

"I know baby." Dapo whisphered. 

"Dapo I'm so sorry about what I did. I shouldn't have hit you or walked out on you. You're like the only family I have and Yes, I want to marry you and be with you if you want me to. Please don't leave me, Dapo. Please I can't..." She mumbled. She was scared. She was afraid. 

Dapo didn't know what to say. He couldn't look her in the eye without his conscience killing him. And he knew he had to tell her. He needed to get this off his chest. She needed to know that it killed him not hearing from her all this while. It wasn't that he didn't want to call her to beg her. He wanted to, more than anything. He missed her. But he couldn't find the courage and the voice to talk to her. 

"Baby, I'm the one who is sorry. I don't want to tell you this now, especially with everything you're going through right now..." He looked at the rug, avoiding her eyes. 

Shomi swallowed. What more worse could happen? 

"Were you actually cheating on me with your ex?"  She asked. Maybe her suspicion was true after all. She looked at him eagerly and hungrily, hungry for his response, hoping what was left of her heart wouldn't be broken further. She hoped he would say no. 

"No I wasn't." Dapo said. She sighed. 

"But after you accused me and hit me, Shomi I lost it. I swear, I lost it and I had a little alcohol. I didn't know what to do so I went to her house cos it was her birthday. She invited me and told me people would be there. I shouldn't have...I was just angry that you accused me of something I never did. I've been faithful to you since the inception of this relationship and even when you cheated on me, I still loved you." 

He put his head in his hands. 

"She was the only one at the house. And I don't know... Yes, she seduced me, but it's my fault. Because she didn't put a gun to my head. I should have left, but...oh my God I'm so sorry. I had sex with Biola. I'm so sorry, Shomi. I slept with her and when we finished I hated her so much! I hated her for what I did. I felt so dirty within me." 

Shomi sighed again. She didn't know what to say. She nodded then she picked up her purse. 

"Please forgive me. Please." Dapo said. He went on his knees. She kicked his off his hands that held her legs, and she walked towards the door. 


...

Dapo had felt so rotten with himself that day. He had hated Biola so much. She had begged him and told him that she wanted to marry him but he had told her to stay away from him and walked out on her. 

The next day had been a Sunday. He had to clear his head. He had to sort out his life. He felt so misplaced and he needed to hold on to something to fix him. So he decided to go to church. 

The Pastor's sermon hadn't really touched him. Or maybe it was because he had felt so guilty judging himself and giving his conscience the permission to prick him, that he hadn't been able to listen to the sermon. 

"Before I end the service, I'd like to ask...is there anyone here who feels like there is a void in his or her life? Do you feel empty? Let the Holyspirit come and hover and fill you and give your life a meaning. Let Him create the Heavens in your heart. Let Him give you peace and rest of mind. Is there anybody here who wants to enter into God's rest? He forgives! Trust me He does! He wipes away your sins, no matter how bad they are! Red as scarlet as they may be, he makes you as white as snow. Open your heart and take that decision to give your life to Him! Please do it today. No body knows what tomorrow holds..."

Dapo hesitated for a bit. The pastor had asked the congregation to shut their eyes. He knew some wouldn't shut theirs because he was guilty of the same thing. He always opened his eyes in church to see all the sinners whenever pastors made an altar call for people struggling with one addiction or the other. But now, he wanted to see the first person that would stand on his or her feet to be born again. He didn't want to be the first. 

He finally decided to take a stand, when no one stood up. He knew he couldn't go back with the heavy feeling he felt. 

"God bless you my brother..." The pastor said. "Please wait behind after the service, I want to speak to you and pray with you." 



***


Shomi held the knob of the door, but she shut her eyes. She was still in Dapo's house. She didn't have anything outside there. She didn't have any comfort. If she walked out on Dapo again, she knew she would feel miserable. She turned to face him. 

"I don't know what to say..." She said. 

"Please forgive me. I need you to!" Dapo said, hurrying towards her. 

"How could you do that to me?" She asked. 

"I promise you I'll never hurt you. I vow. I will not hurt you! I was stupid. I was angry that..."

"I pushed you to it. I should never have doubted you." She said.

"What? No way, Shomi. I took the action. I am an adult. You didn't push me, and Bio didn't..."

"Biola. Not Bio." Shomi said.

Dapo nodded. 

"Biola." 

"I don't know what to do. I'm so confused about my life right now." She said, rubbing her temples. 

"I know somewhere we can start. Cast your burdens on Jesus. He will give you rest." Dapo said.

Shomi hissed.

"Coming from you? You are the last person who should be preaching to me. You had sex with someone! When did you get all religious?" 

Dapo smiled, but then he held her hands and began to pray. She hissed and walked away from him in anger. But then, she joined him... There was no other option. 



***


Shomi took in a breath. She didn't want to remember her childhood. They were now on Ovion street. It was the same street where their house had been. She couldn't forget. She saw the tap where Aunty Kemi had always sent her to fetch water. There were kids there now, playing ten ten while their buckets filled up from the dripping tap. She looked to the opposite side of the road. The Suya stand was no longer there. It was now a mini-park for Okada riders. Dapo snapped her away from her thoughts. 

"Babe we are here." He said. He parked the car. Shomi nodded and opened the pigeon hole of the car where she had kept the envelope. She took it and put it in her purse. 

Dapo put his hand on the small of her back, as they walked into the wretched looking block of flats. The landlord had still not fixed the rusted brown gate that led to the staircase inside the building. 

"I can't do this." Shomi stopped. 

Dapo kissed her head. He didn't have to say anything. She knew he meant they should go ahead. 

Aunty Kemi opened the door of her apartment. She was surprised to see Shomi. Folorunshomi. There was a handsome young man with her too. She guessed he was her husband. She was lost for words. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know if to let them in. She had been drinking and smoking...she was heartbroken, and she didn't have anything else to turn to. She was scared to let Shomi see the bottle of alcohol and ashes of cigarette in her living room. She would think she was still an irresponsible woman. 

"I see you're busy. Is there a man in there?" Shomi said, perceiving the alcohol and smoke. 

Dapo cleared his throat.

"May we come in please?" He said. 

Kemi nodded and let them in. Then she hurriedly packed up the littered items on her table. 

"What can I get you?" Kemi asked, rubbing her palms on her blouse. 

"We're fine ma." Dapo said. 

Kemi sat on the wobbling chair opposite her child. 

"We just came to give you this. It's our wedding Invitation...that's if you're interested." Shomi brought out the envelope and dropped it on the table between them. Kemi smiled and picked it up. Then the first words she read on the card sent her to tears instantly. 

We the families of 

Madam Joyce Nnamdi...


She stopped there. She couldn't take it. Shomi was being given away in marriage by Madam Joyce. That should have been her name on the wedding invitation. Then it occurred to her that Shomi's surname was obviously Shomi Nnamdi because Kemi had never mentioned a surname to her. 

"I'm so...so grateful that you are inviting me." She said in the midst of tears. Then she went on her knees. 

"Please forgive me. I am so sorry. I was a bitter young girl and I didn't know what to do. My father sent me away, my mother died, and I never got to see my sisters. I felt...I didn't have anyone else to put the anger on. Folorunshomi please forgive me." She cried. 

"I was raped! The night you sent me to buy Suya, I was raped! Two boys raped me and I fainted!" Shomi raised her voice, pointing her fingers at her mother. She started to cry. 

"You were not there for me! You never protected me! One of your men who used to come to the house! The man touched me! He didn't rape me but he touched me!"

"Why didn't you tell me?" Kemi cried. 

"Because you wouldn't believe me! Because you hated me!" Shomi screamed. She started to shake. Dapo stood up and held her. 

"Please forgive me. Please!" Kemi begged. 

Shomi cried in her fiance's arms. She was so broken. She sighed, as Dapo cleaned her face. 

"Let go and let God. You need to forgive her so you can heal." He whispered in her ears. She nodded. Then she turned to look at her mother. 

"I forgive you. It will take time to have a relationship with you. I don't even know if I can be around you. But I forgive you." She said, looking Kemi in the eye. 

Kemi nodded. 

"I love you. I love you my child. I love you." She said. 

Shomi sighed again, heaving heavily. They sounded like cool water to the soul; her words. She had never heard her mother say she loved her. 





The End.





*fisayotalabi
*Spoken For
Photo credit www.timthebartender.com


*thank you for following the series so far! Please share! 






Wednesday, 13 August 2014

STILL ON EMAIL UPDATES




Hi Guys, 

I have included the other email addresses but I guess Feedburner takes time to deliver, plus It seems a little complicated. So please, just refresh the blog for new posts. Will try to post very often as reasonably possible. 

Thank you so much!

Much love!

And thanks for your comments. It makes me happy that you enjoy the story. And for criticisms too. It's all for better output. 

And please, I'm really sorry for the inconveniences with this e-mail issue. 

Phew!




Fisayotalabi

SPOKEN FOR 10




She woke up that Thursday morning, not to a beautiful ray of sunlight, but to the near-blindness of dawn. It was 6.30 AM. Figuratively though, this was a new dawn for her. She had just gotten a job as a server for ceremonies...and she had almost missed it by the whiskers.

She didn't know how much time had passed till she noticed that she had started loosing her many men customers to younger women. She was now forty one years old. And she still lived in that same shack of a house where she had always been. The Landlord had died and his son took over and had increased the house rent. She still spent her earnings on house rent and the same kinds of bills she had to foot. She wondered where the time had flown to. It still seemed like yesterday when she had been trying to get by. She was still trying to get by many years after.

Kemi was grateful that it wasn't the rays of sunlight that woke her up because the rays would expose her own shame to her, even without looking at her reflection in a mirror. She preferred the dimness of dawn...It afforded her the opportunity to hide from the truth. She knew she couldn't last long in the ashawo business anymore so she started thinking of getting a job. She didn't know what kind of job she would get. She didn't know who would want to employ a forty one year old woman with no experience other than in sleeping with men. Perhaps God had heard her worries; that was if he was still interested in her. She wasn't exactly in the good pages of God's book. One time, she had tried to go to church. But she had left almost as soon as she had walked in. She had walked in on the prayer session. The prayer leader; the man whom she guessed was the pastor, was dressed in a brown suit two sizes bigger than him, sweating profusely despite being under the ceiling fan. He was screaming at the top of his lungs and the congregation was trying to follow his pace. Kemi even heard a woman who had started to choke probably because her voice couldn't keep up with the pace of the more spiritual person next to her. It seemed as though each was trying to out do the other. Then the next prayer point was Every prostitute sleeping with your husband, begin to pray! Say after me, Oh you prostitute from the marine world, fall down and die! die die die! die I say die oh you prostitute! Kemi had been scared. She had felt more like an evil spirit than a prostitute. She grabbed her bag and left the church immediately.

It had been on her way home from the church that she had seen a poster pasted on the cement fence that shielded a piece of land. There were other things written on the fence with paint or charcoal. Some talked about Men Sexual health. Another was about herbal drugs to cure Staphylococcus and Gonorrhea. There were also a couple of others which had placed phone numbers in case any one wanted GCE coaching lessons. Kemi laughed at that one. She remembered once upon a time when all that had been chief on her mind was getting her GCE's done so she could go to the University and have a good degree and a good job in future. Future was here already and she had never expected that she would be where she was now, at her age.

The poster was an advert for Food servers at ceremonies. They wanted young people but Kemi had hissed at the requirement and had gone ahead to punch the phone numbers on the poster into her phone. She was going to call anyways, and she wasn't going to lie. She was going to cut the age short by just five years. After all, many of her customers had told her she had a great body for her age. She had called the number and voila! they had taken her. Kemi had been so surprised herself. If the serving job kicked off, she would kick off prostitution and think of living the rest of her life with a more honourable source of living.

Later that week, after she had been interviewed by the employer, she was asked to get ready for a wedding on Thursday the following week.



***


Shomi was heart broken. She more angry at herself because she had allowed her heart to fall that deep in love with Dapo. She hadn't heard from him the past week, and now, it was almost getting to the end of another week. She decided that she wasn't going to let this week be as horrible as the last one was. She had felt so empty and lonely not hearing from him. But she wasn't going to beg him for his attention. She couldn't believe that he would cheat on her with his ex-girlfriend. A part of her wanted to give him the benefit of doubt, but then, she shook off the thought. She had read the text messages with her own eyes. There was no denying it. She wasn't used to being loved by anyone. Maybe that was why it hurt more that she had opened up her heart and then he had shown her love but only to eventually cheat on her. What was the point of loving her in the first place then?

She decided she was going to channel all her energy into focusing on her job. And she had done exactly that. Lucky for her, someone had called her up and requested that she catered to the guests at a wedding reception. The customer was the mother-of-the bride and the wedding was for Thursday. Shomi was glad though. It would mean a wider customer base and more referrals for her business. Thursday was a work day and she couldn't lock up her restaurant because of the wedding. She decided to get servers who would help her because her staff who served customers at the restaurant would have to stay back while she and Madam Joyce would go for the wedding reception job. She had asked one of her customers who had a Food service and Catering business to help her get about five servers. The customer had stalled a bit so Shomi hadn't had any time to interview any of the servers that the lady had eventually gotten. She decided she would meet the servers at the wedding reception venue so she had requested that they came early enough.


That Thursday morning, Shomi decided to start heading for the reception venue at around 10.30 AM. She guessed the couple and wedding guests would still be at the church by that time. She had asked her driver James to get all her utensils and ingredients into the trunk of the vehicle. Madam Joyce and her sat in the back of the car, and then James hit the road. Unfortunately, there was some traffic. Shomi began to panic, especially because James hadn't fueled the vehicle before they left. She had already insulted him before Madam Joyce told her to calm down. The mother of the bride started to call her by 11.35 AM when she had still not arrived the reception venue.


***


Kemi got dressed in her new white shirt and black skirt. That was the uniform stated in the text message informing her of the Thursday wedding job. It was good choice though. A white shirt and a black skirt was as basic and as affordable as it could get. She had brought out her black high heels, but then she changed her mind. She decided to wear her flat shoes instead. She had to admit that she didn't think she had the strength to walk to and fro serving people in six-inch-heels.

By the time she got there, she met the other servers. They were obviously younger than she was, but she didn't mind. All she wanted was to do the job and get paid. She was a little late though. The Akara woman, was already setting up the stand and arranging the plastic plates. She was giving instructions to the servers. She would go to the back of the hall so she could do the frying while one of the servers would follow her to help move the fried food from the back to the hall for the guests to be served.

...


Shomi was trying not to get upset. When they got to the reception, the mother-of-the-bride had walked up to her and started to raise her voice complaining of how unprofessional they were. Like that was not enough, Shomi realized that they hadn't moved the bunches of plantain, the pot of sauce, and the paper towels and serviettes from the car. She asked Madam Joyce to send one of the servers to join her at the car so that they could move the items in time.

"James! Come and open this car for me abeg! You caused all these!" Shomi raised her voice at the driver who had gone to sit with the other drivers that had brought guests.

James hurried his steps as he ran towards his madam who was looking very frustrated.

"I'm sorry ma!" He said as he opened the door of the car.

Shomi looked around. She didn't see any server yet. She picked up her phone to call Madam Joyce again.


"Good morning ma." Kemi said. She looked at the lady whom the older woman had directed her to. She was a very young woman.

There was something about her.

She couldn't place it, but there was something about the woman she was looking at. It reminded her of her child. Shomi. Folorunshomi. Her child would have been around the same age as this woman.

Kemi sometimes wondered if her girl was still alive. She regretted every day how irresponsible she had been. She had hated the girl so much and blamed her for all her misfortunes. She had labelled her as the cause of her circumstances when instead, Shomi had only been a victim of themthe grass that suffered between the legs of one elephant. Kemi was the elephant.

She wished she could rewind that night when she had sent the girl to go get Suya. She should have gone herself. She shouldn't have sent a little girl out at that time. What if something horrible had happened? What if she had been raped? What if she had been used for money rituals? But there was no longer need for the What ifs. The girl was probably dead...



...


Shomi looked at the woman. She heard her, but she heard the voices in her head louder. She was hoping that she wasn't staring at who she thought it was. She recognized those eyes...and those big lips which she had thankfully not inherited. Those big lips that had kissed the many men that always came into their shack of an apartment many years ago. She knew people had look-alikes, but the server right in front of her looked more splitting than a photocopy.

The woman said good morning again but Shomi didn't say a word. It had been so long, and her mother must have probably died from AIDS or something with her endless prostituting. So she just stared, trying to say something but no words could proceed from her mouth.


"Oya come carry the plantain..." James said, breaking the forming silence as he brought out the bunches of plantain from the boot. He turned to face Kemi so he could hand them over to her.

Kemi opened her eyes in shock. She could recognize the face any time...the face of the man who had deflowered her and deflowered her destiny. He had taken away every single possibility of beautification she had hoped for. His greying hair and crawling beards couldn't disguise his soul. This was Uncle James who had raped her at the Chemistry lab.

"Uncle James!" Kemi raised her voice.

James looked at the woman for a while. Then it hit him. He recognized her. He looked at his boss who was still mute. He tried to hide. He didn't want anything that would affect his job. Not this blast from the past. His heart started to race. He searched for what to say, mindful of the presence of his boss.

"I don't know you..." James said, looking away. He bit his lip.

"You dey madt?! You well so? Ah, James, e no go better for you o!" The ghetto area girl within Kemi started to manifest herself. She didn't care if the madam sent her away. She was too hurt to care.

"E no even better for you already sef, na why you dey do driver work. Ah! James, I swear I will curse you!" She placed her index finger on the floor and put it on her tongue then raised it in the air.

"Ko ni da fun e! Because of you I lost my mother! My father pursue me comot for house. Because of you I get bele! Ah James! I don suffer! I don suffer ooooo! Ah God! I will curse you! I will naked myself for here and curse you!" Kemi burst out crying. She couldn't hold her tears. She never knew she would run into the man who had destroyed her life again. But she had vowed that if she ever saw him again, she would curse him.



Madam Joyce wondered what Shomi was doing. She had finished frying the first set of Akara balls and fried yams so she had the servers take that batch before she started the others. She hurriedly went to the open field where cars were parked. Then she saw the drama that was going on as she approached them. James was on his knees, begging the server that she had sent over to help Shomi.

"What's going on here? Shomi?" Madam Joyce said, confused.

Shomi blinked. She couldn't keep the tears anymore. She had thought she was strong about this but she couldn't help it. Memories of her childhood...the faint but strong memories she had, flooded her mind and pushed forward the tears. Her heart was too weak to guard her emotions any longer. She looked at the woman lamenting and crying, and she knew it. She knew who she was. She could recognize her. Especially with the fake and cheap tattoo on her chest. The lady had unbuttoned her white shirt when she threatened to get naked and curse James. She remembered that tattoo. She remembered that as a child, she had always wondered why her mother had a flower roughly drawn on her left mound of mammary flesh.

Then the words found their way out.


"Aunty Kemi." Shomi finally said in a loud and shaky whisper.


Kemi looked at the madam. She had heard her right. And all her inner questions were coming together to make an obvious conclusion.

Then she began to smell the blood.







*fisayotalabi
*Please read comment and share
*Spoken For 10
Photo credit slodive.com


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

SPOKEN FOR 09



He had just finished taking his usual morning dump in the toilet. He had the habit of taking his mobile phone with him because that was mostly the only time he had to read blogs and catch up on the social pace of events. He had just washed his hands. He knew he was so hygienic that he could pass for an OCD patient. Shomi said she admired that about him because she wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up his house. He was about getting under the shower when a text message came in. He wanted to check it but he decided to wait till he was done bathing. He wrapped his blue towel around his waist, mopped up the water that had splashed on the bathroom tiles, washed his hands again, then he picked up his phone from the sink to check the message.

It was his ex, Biola.

Hi Dapman. I'm having a little get-together for my thirtieth birthday this evening. I'd like for you to come around. For old times sake, at least. Expecting you. Strictly by I.V-   from Bio in case you deleted my number. 

He read the message once, then twice, then he was going to delete it but he decided not to. What was Biola doing? Why was she calling him Dapman? She knew very well that she was the only one who called him that, and that he was the only one who called her Bio. He decided to reply her message.

Happy birthday, Biola. I'll be busy. Have fun. from Dapo

It was after he had sent it that he realized that it might look childish.

Well, he had every right to be childish. She had really hurt him. He had really been in love with her and things had been going so well until she decided to choose a career over him.

Come on. I don't bite. It's just a get-together. Make this day good for me. - Bio

Dapo laughed. He could keep on playing this game with her. He knew that she had sent Bio again on purpose.


It was a Saturday and Shomi was supposed to come over. They hadn't been able to see much of each other during the week. He had been occupied with work, and so had she. Her business was growing so well and he was so proud that she was handling things professionally. One of the things he loved about her was that she had a very strong 20/20 career vision and foresight. She already knew she would have competitors so she had told him that she wanted to input more things in her menu. She would include Fried plantain specially rolled in fish sauce, fried eggs, fried yam, and even Agege bread for those that loved Akara Sandwich. The first time Dapo tried it, he couldn't believe it was the same idea he had condemned. It was probably because he had never eaten Akara and bread before. But once he started, he couldn't stop eating it.

He hadn't introduced Shomi to his family yet. He wanted to. But at the same time, he wanted to take his time. He didn't want to rush things. He wanted to be sure that she was really in on the relationship and wouldn't back out if she found the next guy that could rent a bigger shop for her.

He hadn't discussed it with her but he felt her love for him was tied to gratitude. Ever since he got her the shop, she had become more open. Yes, he knew that women liked gifts and nice things, but he feared. What if he invested so much in her and then she eventually cheated on him with someone who would give her more cash. He knew that he loved her, but he didn't want to compromise. He wanted to be sure she felt the same way genuinely too before he started taking more serious steps with her. Their relationship was some months over two years old now; almost three years. Shomi had never asked him when they were getting married, like most ladies would. She always seemed so unconcerned whenever he talked about them being together and having kids. She usually just smiled and changed the topic. Yes, he knew she wasn't such an open and emotional person. He was getting used to that already. He had asked her once about her parents and she had told him that they died when she was a child. He knew the subject of losing a parent, not to talk of two parents, was quite a big deal so he decided never to touch the topic.

...


"I don't want to watch football jo." Shomi hissed as she grabbed the remote control of the TV from Dapo. She had come over to spend time with him.

"I don't want to watch Africa magic either." Dapo laughed.

She shook her head and then brought out her phone from her purse.

"Rubbish. My battery is out. Where's your charger?" Her eyes were roaming the living room. She finally saw his phone charging by the large extension box beside his dining table which was still sparkling new for lack of use. She wondered why a bachelor had a dining table.

"You should sell this dining table set, you know." She said, laughing.

"It will be occupied soon. Probably when the kids start coming." He said. He waited for her reaction.

"Haha. I bet your kids will be as neat as you." She replied, trying to charge her phone.

Dapo smiled that weird BBM smiley when you're trying to keep your cool. Your kids? Wasn't she even thinking of a future together with him? Even Biola, the one who had left him for a career, still talked about their future and what their kids would look like. He shook his head and continued to watch his Arsenal match.



Shomi sighed, holding the phone in her hands. She felt so bad that tears would have been the easy way out to release her emotions, but she wasn't going to cry in front of Dapo. She wasn't going to look weaker than she already felt. She knew this was going to happen. She was just waiting for the day it would. And to think she had started to fall so much in love with him eventually. She had started to wonder if he wanted to marry her someday. Yes, she had always been scared of what his rich parents would think of her and maybe that was one of the reasons why she always kept an emotional distance. But now, she was willing to meet them more than ever before because she was thinking of the possibility of a future with him. Dapo was her haven and heaven. He was the shelter and love she had been deprived of. He was her certificate of hope for a life filled with love. Without him, she felt empty; more empty than her entire life had been from the start.

But then, all that was no longer necessary.

He was no different from every other living human male.

She wanted to pretend like she hadn't read his text messages. But she couldn't.

"I need to leave." She said coldly, after some minutes.

Dapo was shocked. He had this confused expression written all over him.

"Because I am watching soccer?!" He asked. He didn't get it.

"No. Because you are playing soccer with my heart. Say hi to Bio for me." She said.

Dapo rushed to stop her from leaving. She had already grabbed her purse and was heading for the door.

"What is this, Shomi?" He said.

She smiled.

"It is nothing. I'm going home."

"No. Please...what...?"

"I read your texts, okay."

"So you're sneaking up on me now? You don't trust me?" He yelled.

"Seriously?! That's not the point. I was playing a game on your phone when her text came in. And I read her previous messages."

"Oh. And did you read my replies?"

"Yeah. You encouraged her. You didn't ignore her. You didn't tell her you have a girlfriend!"

Dapo sighed.

"You don't trust me." He said.

"No! It's not about that."

"Then what is it? Tell me to my face that you trust me, Shomi." He demanded.

She shook her head. She wanted to say it. Dapo I trust you. You're the only human I started to trust!

"Even if I did trust you, you've betrayed it! So what are you saying?"

He grabbed his phone in annoyance to read the text messages and defend himself. Then he saw the new message that Biola sent.

I miss you though. It will be nice seeing your cute face again. Bio. No one calls me that still. 

He sighed again, out of confusion and lack of words this time. Shomi stared at him, waiting for an explanation.

"Trust me, there's nothing going on between me and this girl." He said.

"I trusted you until ten minutes ago." She turned and walked towards the door.

Dapo was angry. He was mad. He couldn't believe that he had done everything a faithful man would do in his relationship and she was still accusing him of cheating!

"I should be the one not trusting you. You're the one who took money from a man just because we had a fight. You don't even want a marriage or family with me. Do you?" He knew he shouldn't have said those words the minute he spoke them.

Shomi didn't say a word.

"I can't deal with this. It's over." She said and walked out. Dapo felt like a part of him was walking away. He wanted to run after her, but he wasn't going to play the Indian guy in Bollywood that would run after the girl in the field, and then rain would suddenly start to fall and they would start to sing. No. He was going to be realistic. They had issues and they needed to settle them. He shook his head then ran after her before she went too far. But it didn't rain. It was horribly sunny.

"Babe...I'm sorry." He said, pulling her arm.

Shomi wriggled herself free from his grip but he didn't let her go. Then she raised her other hand and slapped him across the face.

"Get away from me." She said.



...


Dapo was mad. He had never hit a woman in his entire life, let alone being disrespected by one. He couldn't believe that Shomi had slapped him in the face. He had held his hand to his cheek and let her go. He was done. He wasn't going to take disrespect in addition to her attitude. He went back inside the house and headed for his small bar by the corner of the living room. He brought out a bottle of whiskey to clear his head. He took a shot but then, he decided to put it away. He wasn't going to become an alcoholic because of a woman. She wasn't even worth his faithfulness. He grabbed his phone and started to text Biola back.

I'm on my way.


***


He parked his car in Biola's car park. She lived in a nice duplex at Lekki Phase 1. Her gateman already knew that he was coming. He guessed she had told him already. As he parked, he was wondering where the other cars were. She had said it was a get-together.

She welcomed him with her warm smile. He loved her smile. It showed her gap and her deep dimples and it reminded him of the dimples on her lower back too. His thoughts started to go beyond her lower back. Her outfit wasn't helping matters. Bio knew she was a curvy woman and Bio knew he always told her that her curves killed him. The plunging neck line and backless plum dress wasn't helping matters.

"Hi, Dapman." She smiled, hugging him. He tried not to touch her back.

"Happy birthday." He smiled as he gave her the gift bag he brought along.

He took a seat and looked around. He expected her friends and colleagues from work to be there, or even her family members. Her house was empty!

"I thought you were having a get-together..." He said, surprised at what was going on.

She smiled.

"Yeah. Who says two people can't have a get-together?"








*fisayotalabi
*Spoken for 09
*Please read and share
Photo credit blackamericaweb.com