Wednesday, 22 October 2014
ON AIR PERSONALITY EPISODE 6
"Get out, Tobi! Get out of my house!" Lolade had ranted.
Those had been her sister's words. Tobi was definitely surprised. There was something wrong with Lolade. How could Lolade be quiet about all that was going on? It just...wasn't right. But what hurt her the most above everything else, was that her own sister had told her that it was her fault that everything had happened. How could Lolade even think it!
For one of the very few times that this happened, tears actually streamed down her face as she drove home. She needed to pour out her heart to someone. She just needed to talk to someone. Her best friend was Lolade, and now Lolade didn't want to have anything to do with her. She couldn't call their parents. She already could predict what they would say.
The traffic had started to build up as usual from Third mainland bridge. She sighed. She wanted badly to head to a bar and drown herself in something that could tune her mind off what was going on.
Her radio was on. It was on a pidgin English station. She got bored with the jokes they were cracking so she tuned it somewhere else. She remembered Flourish FM. Maybe she would hear TMac's voice. Maybe she would someone new on his show. Maybe she would just find some meaning with her life...
She was wrong. TMac was not on. She didn't know the name of the programme that was on but she knew they were talking about sharing life issues. She needed badly to pour out everything she had bottled up inside of her to the host. He seemed like an intelligent person to talk to. As soon as the last caller was done speaking, they decided to go on a commercial break but before they did, they called out the numbers to call once again.
She kept on dialing and dialing. But no one picked up. She normally would have given up but she decided not to. There was something in her that was more than determined to get all the drama off her chest. She loved the idea that she could talk to this man who had absolutely no idea who she was. At least, there would be no judging and sarcasm.
"Hello, good evening, this is Life issues shared with Donald D..." The voice at the other end of the line said.
It took her a few seconds before she realized she was on air.
"Oh my God! I'm sorry I thought I was still trying to get through...I didn't know..." She stuttered.
The host laughed.
"Please turn down the volume of your radio, Ma'am." He said.
"Okay." She replied, turning it low.
"So, can we know your name and where you are calling from?"
She sighed. She hesitated at first but she decided to go with it.
"I'm...Anonymous. Anonymous calling from Lagos." She said.
"Okay Anonymous, what do you have to share with us today?"
She sighed again.
"Donald D, I'm going crazy here. If I don't let everything out, I'm afraid I might run mad! I...I am going on thirty three years of age and I'm not even in a relationship with anyone. I have a job. I write on feminism and women rights. And a lot of people associate with this. But at the same time, some people think I'm getting my nose in other peoples' business and I haven't handled my own business. And it's so frustrating! The other day a woman embarrassed me right on a date with someone I was getting to know.
I know I'm not exactly social so that might be to blame for my singleness and all that. But I'm opening up gradually. I'm just not really given to dressing up and make up and high heels. My sister thinks I need to do this, but I feel a man should love me for who I am.
My parents are driving me nuts, especially my mother. Every chance she gets, she seizes the opportunity to humiliate me and tell me how old I'm getting and how I need to find a man.
Then, I need to talk about my sister. She's a victim of domestic violence. And I found out too that my father hit my mother. So when my sister talks to my mother, my mom tells her to count it as part of the sacrifices of womanhood. I think that's very stupid. My brother-in-law hits her all the time. And she is pregnant with their second baby! I saw her today and he hit her so bad because she confronted him about impregnating their maid..."
"Oh my God! That's something else!" Donald D said.
"The man is crazy. And I love my sister so much. He told her to resign her oil company job. She got another job he told her to decline the offer again! She stayed at my place for a long time and it was during that period that he got their maid pregnant. And now she blames me for it. She said if I had let her go back, the idiot wouldn't have slept with the maid! I just left her house now. She is bruised all over! And the maid is still in their house! I tried to interfere and she told me to get out of her house that I am the cause! I don't know what else to do. I don't want this man to kill her. I just want to prevent it before it happens because the way things are going, I'm very afraid that it's just a matter of time. And this Nigeria and the laws...I don't think there's any protection for her or the kids. I don't know why she is so blinded!"
"Hmmmm...dear Anonymous this is so much!"
"Donald D I'm sorry but I am not even done. I feel this void in my life. I don't know what can fill it. I have a job I love and I am passionate about but it seems like everyone is walking out of my life! My sister, my parents, and even the man I was beginning to like...He said he couldn't deal with all my drama...I know I was a little harsh on him to say the least. I'm thinking of going to a bar right now to get drunk on something. I'm just so frustrated and depressed and empty!" Tobi started to cry.
"I need something to hold on to before I go totally berserk. I'm at the end of it all. I can't carry on much longer..."
"It's alright my dear, please don't cry." Donald D said.
"Thank you." She sobbed.
"I want you to give me a call or send me a text. We might need to do some talking personally. Can you send me a text with your name so I can arrange and schedule a meeting?"
"It's fine, but I need some sort of magic right now." She said.
"First things first, there's only one person who can fill the void in your life. And I'm sure you know who I am talking about. Without him, everything else will be empty. That's what Genesis even teaches us. The earth was void and without form. But the Holy spirit came and filled the void. You always always need something to fill the emptiness in your heart. Now it's a choice...you either let the things of this world...temporary things, fill that void. Or you pave way for God to do just that for you. And trust me with God comes peace! Everlasting peace. He will sort you out like it's magic! Because He loves you."
Tobi nodded. She wasn't really given to preachers and all but this kind of made sense to her. She just needed something.
"Give me a scripture to read or something. Please." She said.
"Very well then, dear Anonymous. Please jot these down somewhere...."
Tobi typed the scriptures he called out on her other phone.
She didn't exactly feel better at the end of the conversation, but she felt lighter, like a burden had been lifted in a way. Talking sure did help!
"Father Dominic, please I need to talk to you before I go crazy." Lolade said. She was holding her yellow purse in her left hand. Yemi had gone to work and she was home by herself. She had resigned from her new job. He had forced her to.
She wanted to tell the Priest everything about what had been going on in her marriage. She couldn't hide it any longer. She felt like she was living a lie. She was confused. Very confused. On the oone hand, her mother wanted her to take things easy. On the other hand, she just wanted to run out of the marriage. Yes, her conscience weighed on her heavily. But she just wanted to run far away and never look back. Maybe if the Priest could talk to Yemi, perhaps things would get better. She knew he was very particular about his reputation in the church.
"Hi Lolade. How are you today." Father Dominic said, joining her in the living room at the Parish quarters where she was waiting for him. The seminarian there had brought her a glass of orange juice.
"Father, I'm not fine. I need to talk to you desperately." She said.
"Before you do, I must say I am rather disappointed. Your husband told me you sent Maria away because she didn't obey you..." The Priest said.
Lolade didn't know what to say. She just shook her head and laughed.
"That's why I am here. I want to tell you that my husband is a liar from the pit of hell."
The Priest was shocked.
"That's a very grave thing to say about your husband."
"But he is! He is a hypocrite!"
"What do you mean? I have known Brother Yemi for a very long time..."
Lolade shook her head again.
"He slept with Maria. And Maria is pregnant. That's why I sent her away." She blurted out.
His mouth went ajar.
"What?!" He exclaimed.
"Yes Father. He slept with the girl!"
"You mean Brother Yemi put Maria in the family way?"
"He hits me every time. He is a liar and a total opposite of the impression you had."
The Priest shook his head.
"I will make my investigation, okay. I cannot believe this. I also need to hear his side of the story. this is unbelievable."
"Please don't tell him I came to you. He will only beat me the more. Please my life is at stake here."
He nodded and then escorted her to the main road where she called a cab to take her back home.
"Father, please don't listen to her. She is just a woman and all she has said are mere suspicion. Maria is not pregnant. I have spoken with the girl myself." Lolade's mother replied the Priest just before the evening Mass that Sunday.
The Priest had told her everything that Lolade had come to tell him. The woman had told him that Lolade was just being delusional.
"I knew Brother Yemi can't be guilty of everything she accused him of. Your daughter needs to watch her tongue. She has probably been listening to bad friends. In fact I will preach about it at the sermon today." He said.
Lolade's mother nodded and then, as she walked away, she refelcted on everything that had happened the day before.
She had picked up Maria at the market. She had planned with Lolade to send her to the market to buy food stuff. Then at the Market, she picked up Maria and told her that she knew about the pregnancy. She told her she was in total support of it because children were blessings from God. Then she told her she wanted to take her to the hospital for medical check up since she had never gone for any.
At the hospital, Mama had already made her prior arrangements. She had signed as Maria's guardian, majorly because she knew the doctor was a good one.
And the baby was out.
Then Mama told Maria that she had a place where she could keep her so she could recover fully from the procedure. She told her that the procedure was part of the ante-natal processes.
The recovery place was at Enugu. Mama's old friend lived there alone. And Mama had already discussed the details of everything with the Enugu woman. Maria would be gone from Lolade's life in no time. At the same time, she considered it charity....so it wasn't really a sin because she would ensure Maria went to school.
Tobi laughed as she saw Donald D's text message. Yes, she had gone for the counselling sessions already with him, and he had given her the best encouragement she could ever ask for. He had told her to let her self free. Youth only came once, and it was best to live it rightly. He told her to be open to men and to try not to make a shield around herself every single time. He told her to give Lolade some space but to also always pray for her. And also not to give up on checking on her. Then he told her not to let her parents thoughts get to her. Things would happen in their own time...as long as she also played her part well too.
He had sent her a text message, telling her that there was someone who wanted to meet her. A young bachelor...who was looking to settle.
She laughed because it was funny to her. She was nervous. Donald had already given the man her contact details and now she was supposed to meet him at a restaurant that weekend.
This was where she missed Lolade. Lolade would have told her what to do and what to wear. She decided to call her, just for what it was worth.
"Hello..." Lolade said.
Wow! She was finally picking her calls!
"Lolade!" Tobi said.
"Tobi, I need you to forget about all I said. I'm coming to your place. I can't stay in this house woth Yemi." She cried.
"What did he do?" Tobi yelled.
"He hit me again. And I don't understand what is going on. The Priest...I told him about everything and he isn't even doing anything about it. Instead he says I'm the bad wife. Or he implies it!"
"My door is open. Please come."
Lolade was there in a few hours. She packed a lot of load this time around. Tobi knew if anything went wrong again, Lolade would blame her, but she didn't mind, as long as her sister was safe.
He sighted her already from afar. She was wearing a coral colored shirt and a black crinkle midi skirt. Her hair was packed in a bun and her earrings stood out. She looked gorgeous.
He was nervous. How was he going to introduce himself to her. What if she didn't want him?
It was too late for his thoughts. She saw him too!
"Jibola!" She screamed.
He wanted to smile but he was scarce for expressions.
"Babe, I...I'm so sorry..." He stammered.
"I don't understand what is going on...I'm supposed to meet someone..."
"What's the name of the person you're supposed to meet?" He asked.
She looked away. It occured to her that she didn't even ask for the name. She just got the number from Donald. Gosh! Was she that desperate?
"I'm the man you're meeting. Tobi, I hooked up with Donald D and got him to fix this. I heard you when you spoke on radio that day and I knew it was you. I felt so bad because I wanted to hold you right there and then and tell you everything will be okay...I'm so sorry about Lolade..."
She bit her lower lip.
"So you're here because you pity me?" She said.
He shook his head, walking towards her.
"Of course not! Tobi, I have fallen in love with you. I want to make this work. I admit it got so much for me but I want to make this right with you! Please forgive me and gice me a chance again..."
Tobi nodded. She wanted to front a little but she couldn't afford it if he changed his mind about her.
"It's okay! I missed you." She said, hugging him. She was surprised at her own display of emotion.
*Yemi will eventually confess his atrocities to the entire church. Lolade's mother will be ashamed for letting her daughter go through all the abuse. The Priest will relieve her of her duties as the head of the Catholic wives society.
He will eventually plead with Lolade who will only agree to go back to him on the condition that he seeks counsel and help.
Thanks for your patience!