Bar Man 2

Bar Man. Episode 2 Almost five years gone into our courtship, and I hadn’t gone close to suspecting that Pauline’s sexuality was anything but conventional. I now reflect back on those days of sexual starvation and upbraid myself for having … Continue reading

“HE TREATED ME LIKE I WAS A SEX OBJECT”

By Iwuji Chioma Glory

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It was a bright sunny day, and I was travelling from my place of residence to Owerri in a public vehicle. Beside me, sat this grey-haired man, old enough to be my grandfather. Truthfully, he looked handsome. I rarely engaged people in conversation in public transport vehicles, so, I just greeted him and kept quiet. After some minutes, he started talking about how bad the road was and so on. We began to converse. He explained every junction we stopped at and complained about the government. Maybe because he observed that I was making intelligent inputs, he asked for my details. I barely responded. He went ahead to ask for my phone number. I glanced at him and said nothing. What really peeved me was when he asked me to wait for him at a hotel not too far from my place of residence (that is after I had come back from Owerri.) That he would just put a call across and a room would be reserved.

Huh? I was mad but I had to contain my anger in order not to create a scene. I did not speak to him again till I got to Owerri. He offered to pay for my transport fare, I refused the gesture. He insisted and paid. I brought out some cash, paid my bill and asked the conductor to keep the change. As we were the last people to come down from the bus, he was calling me. I just stormed out without looking back.

Personally, I have had a lot of issues with some members of the opposite sex who tend to see most women as sex objects. I don’t mean women who are promiscuous. No, I mean women of substance who have something meaningful to contribute. It leaves me wondering if they really understand the concept of womanhood.

I don’t know how growing up as a woman in this part of the world has been for you. But for me, it has been trying, difficult, funny and even strange. One thing that has really helped me all these years, aside knowing God, is some tough decisions I have taken.

Growing up in a society that tends to restrict women is somehow challenging and difficult. Sometimes, male chauvinism raises its ugly head, and one finds it difficult to beat it. I don’t have any problem with women submitting to a man but my problem with the man is when he takes advantage of it. I still doff my hat for those men that see loving a woman as a privilege. Salut!

The incidence narrated above is just one out of many. It is terrible sincerely, and sometimes, you can’t control these people. I tell women I care about, that sometimes it takes something more than discipline not to give in. And to guys, biko, value her. Sex is good but we are not sex objects. Thanks.

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#Ladies speak

Chioma Iwuji is a graduate of the University of Nigeria.

THE WEDDING EVE

FRIDAY
A DAY TO THE WEDDING
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The wedding bells can be heard everywhere, ringing- in Wole’s house which continues to grow in population, in the city and even as birds whistle.

Everybody is talking about the grand celebration- family, friends, foes and the media. It will attract the crème de la crème of the society for Nene’s father is a heavyweight in both the business and political climes of the nation and beyond.

Nene has succeeded in getting the blackmailer off her neck. She paid the money as directed and true to his words, the whistleblower decided to seal his mouth. He even called her after getting the money and left her a kiss on the phone too.

Nene is not happy about the extortion but likes that she is free at last to live her dreams. It is a big relief. What is twenty million compared to the new life she is separated from by just a night?

Meanwhile, Wole has discussed with Tope and he denied going to the company to see Nene’s father. He said he had been after a lady crush of his. Wole believed him and allowed the matter to rest. It was an undoing.

It is twilight, night gradually creeping in. Wole enjoys the company of Tope and his other friends while Nene and Kemi shuttles between the venues of the many events mapped out to mark the wedding- the church, hotels for different guest, a hired night club for party freaks, etc. The wedding planner has everything in stock for different categories of people.

The summary of the plan is church, reception at a hotel and then dispersal of the guests to venues of choice where their needs will be met.

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They are sharing jokes and laughter in the sitting room when Wole’s phone beeps. ‘Meet me at the Old Mayor Hotel. Room 308.’ A message from Nene.

“Excuse me guys.” He dashes off to see his fiancée.

He reasons that Nene wants to spend the eve with him alone. He has to do it even though being close to her makes him want to puke. He has no love for her but it is necessary he doesn’t show it for his ulterior motives to be attained.

After driving through the growing darkness of the late evening, Wole gets to the hotel room and turns the knob of the door. A lady lay naked on the bed. He can only see her back. He locks the door behind him and walks slowly towards the bed, all the while thinking up ways to evade spending the night with Nene.

“What is the meaning of this?” Wole asks, frowning.

The woman on the bed is not Nene but Kemi. Kemi is the one who has invited him to the hotel.

“Honey pie.” She wriggles herself on the bed, parting her legs. She is stark naked.

Wole takes a few steps backwards to leave the room. At the door, he is held by two pairs of strong hands. Two huge men in dark suits with stern faces have flanked and seized him in tight grips.  He can’t shake them off.

“I want to have you.” Kemi mouths, walking out of the bed towards him.

“Why are you doing this and who are you?” Wole feels more of shock than anger. The scenario is unexpected and very strange.

Kemi stands close to him, too close that their bodies touch. “The question is, who is Nene your wife?”

Wole keeps silent. He doesn’t see a point in saying anything further to a female rapist. His breathing has started to grow in intensity.

Kemi continues: “Your wife Nene is wrecked. A prostitute, drug addict, a gambler, smoker, and the list is endless. You want to marry someone who has used cocaine and heroin for years? She claims to have quit but right now as we speak, I am sure she is stuffing drugs into her nostrils.” She pauses and adds: “She is a murderer too.”

To be concluded in the next episode…

Don’t miss it on Monday.

BEFORE THE WEDDING 3

THURSDAY
NENE’S FAMILY HOUSE
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Two more days to the wedding. Nene is twitchy with anticipation and excitement. She has waited a long time for the moment and can’t bear the thought of anything go wrong.

In her quest to achieve perfection, she has checked all the wedding clothes severally for body fitting and even practiced the proceedings of Christian wedding.

Aside keeping a secret from Wole, her husband to be, Nene has one other issue that troubles her. In the last two days, she has received two calls from someone who threatens to blackmail her with her horrible past.

It is midmorning and Nene is on her bed reading a novel. Her phone rings and she hurriedly grabs it.

“I know you, you slut! Don’t even try to deny again.” A voice from the other end says.

She quickly recognizes him and begins to palpitate. It is the same guy. The third time he is calling.

“What do you want from me?” Nene’s face turns pale, her eyes watery.

The stranger is poking at her scarring emotional wounds.

“I need money. Twenty Million Naira. It should not be too much for you. You are the spoilt daughter of a…”

“Shut up.” Nene bursts out. A fit of her old personality tries to return. She has so much impatience for intimidation and nearly catches herself unleashing the demons she has worked so hard to put on leash.

“No, you shut up, Bloody slut. The money or I would have a little chitchat with your dumb husband. I imagine how he is going to take all I have to tell him.”

“Please!” Nene wipes out a stream of tears, sagging her spirit. Her eyes are red. “Why not pity me? I am a changed person. Why do you have to keep hurting me?”

“Are you bloody crying?” He roars in laughter. “You have until tomorrow. I will send you my account details this evening. If anything goes wrong in this, you would never have your dirty body in any man’s home ever. By the way, how is that ass? I kind of miss it.”

The line cuts suddenly and Nene breaks down totally. She shudders as she weeps out her eyeballs. After a while, she stops. The tears dry up quickly and cakes up on her face.

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Nene remembers the guy. Someone she was involved with in the past. Together, they did terrible things. She doesn’t think there is an easy way out of the mess. He goes to Wole and her whole world comes down in rubbles. If that happens, she would have nothing else holding her back from suicide.

She changes into new clothes and heads out to her Dad’s office. She is convinced of the need to see her father but doesn’t know what exactly she wants him to do.

Her dad, Chief Ezeilo is versed on handling bad guys. It has been the highpoint of his career growth as a business mogul with a chain of businesses scattered all over the country. Nene knows that he could help her smoke out the guy and gorge on his eyes. But she is not sure she wants to toe that path again.

She settles for the alternative. Lie to her father to get the millions of Naira from him. She wants peace. Being that close to a beautiful, brand new phase of her life, she doesn’t want things to crumble. She only wishes for a man of her own and kids to live in the world for.

She pulls over at a parking spot in her father’s company. As she is about to come out, she sees a familiar face enter a Black Camry at her far opposite. She isn’t mistaking. She knows the guy- Tope, her Wole’s best man for the wedding. She has not seen much of him lately.

Tope drives out while Nene waits in her car for him to go out of sight. She doesn’t want their paths to cross. Tope is a guy every decent lady hates to know. He gets a hard-on at the most casual touch from a woman. Always lusting for what is under the skirt.

“What did that man in grey suit who just left come here for?” Nene questions the receptionist immediately she enters the gigantic building.

“He asked to set up an appointment with Mr. Ezeilo.

In the elevator, on her way to her dad’s office, she calls Wole.
“Honey, you sent Tope here. You should have told me. He left without seeing my Dad.”

“I didn’t. Tope was at your dad’s company? For what exactly?” Wole sounds genuinely astonished.

To be continued…

We are almost at the climax. The next episode will reveal a lot.

GET MORE ROMANTIC THIS XMAS SEASON

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Christmas is a season of love for it marks the celebration of the birth of Christ who set the benchmark of love by dying for us. In the spirit of the essence of the holiday, the yuletide presents couples with a unique opportunity to breathe a new life into their relationship.

Here are some suggestions you might fight interesting and workable for you:

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1. Prepare a hand-made card for your partner: Don’t excuse yourself from this on the basis of the lack of skills. You have to try and produce something. In the card, write a romantic Christmas wish yourself and make it unique. Forget copying from the web or any other source.

2. Buy a Christmas present: It is natural for everyone to expect gifts during the Xmas period. Whatever you do, make sure you buy a little present for that special person in your life. Such gestures are never easily forgotten. Preferably, go with something non-edible, like a framed picture, clothes and cloth accessories. What it goes to show is that you care.

3. Encourage your partner to travel home: This is for unmarried couples as families have travelling plans of their convenience. Tell your spouse of the importance of going home to spend even if it is the briefest period of time with his/her people. If possible, buy a gift for his/her mother too. Doing this gives the impression that you are unselfish.

4. Hang out together: Nothing fuels love more than spending time together. Visit those fun places you have been ignoring. Make out time and enjoy isolation without any distraction. Insist to do this with your partner and he/she won’t object for the occasion warrants it.

5. Unannounced surprises: Everybody likes surprises and this period offers you an opportunity to pull off a few. From sending flowers to his office to writing her a love letter and placing it underneath her pillow. Just be creative. For the ladies, decorating the house with special ornaments and colours can do the magic. Let him walk back from work to it.

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6. Pray: Yes, the season calls for it.
We celebrate the birth of our Lord. Make good use of the privilege to say a few words of prayer for your spouse. It works.

7. Write a Christmas diary: In it, recount how you met and the feelings you have had since then. Make the entries short and interesting. On Christmas day, present it as a gift to him/her. If he/she is too lazy to read, read it out aloud when the both of you have some time together. Bed time won’t be a bad idea.

8. Learn new recipes: This is specific to the ladies as the society places the cooking responsibility on them. It would do you a lot of good to find out those meals your husband longs to eat and learn to prepare them in the spirit of the season.

9. Record an emotional message on CD: If you can do this, it would be lovely. Record an emotional Christmas love message for your spouse and play it to his/her hearing.

10. Make him/her a Christmas cake: Yes. Cakes are not just for birthdays. On Christmas day, you need to cut a cake in celebration of love and the gift of life. Cake has a way of doing some magic.

I will get someone to do an article on easy steps to follow in making a delicious cake at home.

The ideas above are products of my thinking and research. If you know what works for you, go for it.

Join me next Wednesday for another interesting edition of Relationship Wednesday. Live right, love right and marry right.

BEFORE THE WEDDING**Part 2**

Wednesday
Wole’s house
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Preparations for the wedding have hit top gear. The wedding planners are trusted to be on top of the situation.

Nene and Kemi are in Wole’s house, killing the mid-week evening with idle chatter, occasionally throwing in comments about the progress of the planning. They will later hang out at a fun spot in the evening.

“I need to see her choice of flower colours.” Nene says. She is lying on the couch, with her head resting on Wole’s lap. She has grown a fondness for his body, never letting go like a tick on a cow’s hide.

Some years ago when they met, Nene thought he was too good for her. Decent, handsome and caring. For a while, she rejected his advances against her own feelings. She feared that in the long run, she would be abandoned for a better lady. She wanted to lace her heart with strong titanium shields to avoid a later hurt. Wole’s determination however, won at last.

“Yes, me too. We need to know exactly her decoration plans. Not just the flower issue.” Kemi chips in. She sips from a glass of juice and sets it back down on a side stool. Her fingers are long and slightly curved at the edge.

The room is chilly that harmattan morning. Wole is intolerant to cold and is thus, putting on sweaters.

“Alright ladies. I will speak to her. You will have your opportunity to make inputs. It is your wedding, Baby.” Wole bends and plants a kiss on Nene’s forehead. Her face flushes in excitement. She cycles in the air with her legs and lifts her big-lipped mouth to his. They kiss.

“Oh! Not in front of me.” Kemi says, looking away.

Kemi is pretty, slightly younger than Nene. Her hairs are all fluffy, fanned across her face. She regularly has to clear them from her eyes with her all flashy nails. Her eyes are gold-coloured and something about them looks very sultry.

“Don’t be jealous Kemi.” Nene retorts, enjoying the look of emotional torture on her face. “By the way, how is your boyfriend? I think you need to get laid.”

“Ladies, if you would excuse me. I need to get something from the kitchen.” Wole says and saunters off.

Kemi excuses herself to the bathroom after a little further moment of gossip with Nene. She reels with laughter as she departs. Nene said something funny about how she is going to enjoy the wedding night.

Minutes later, Neither Kemi nor Wole is back. Nene is worried sick with loneliness.

“Sweetheart.” She calls out. There is no reply.

Something rattles noisily. She starts towards the kitchen.

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“What made that noise?” Nene asks immediately she enters the kitchen, trying to hide her shock at seeing Wole and Kemi awfully close. Both of them smile coyly.

“I was helping him out.” Kemi says sharply.

“Yea…I…” Wole stutters but regains co-ordination soon after. “A spoon fell behind the cupboard and I needed help shifting it. So, I was coming to the sitting room to call you but saw Kemi first.” He exhaled.

“Alright.” Nene turns to the door. ‘Cheating’ doesn’t cross her mind. She trusts Wole with her life and Kemi, even more.

Kemi and Wole follow her, the latter zipping up his trousers. He shoots Kemi an angry narrow-eyed glance but catches her smiling sensuously. She begins to readjust her inner underwear.

Nene didn’t see any of it.

To be continued…

BEFORE THE WEDDING **Part 1**

Friday
At a Boutique in Abuja
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“White, cream or gold?” Nene asks, twisting long wedding gowns before Kemi.

“I think you have to try all of them out. We will take pictures of you in them, go home and decide carefully.” She replies, showing her snow-white set of teeth through painted lips.

Nene grins, fixing one of the dresses along the length of her body and gauging it for propriety. “You rock, girl! I will be right back.” She dashes off to the changing room, leaving a trail of thumping sounds from her high-heeled shoes against the floor.

It is just a few more days to the wedding. Nene and Kemi, her bosom friend and Chief Bridesmaid have come to shop for wedding clothes and accessories.

Nene is a lady of thirty-three, tall with brown-coloured eyes. She has a big mouth which gets even bigger whenever she smiles. Kemi has known Nene for almost five years dating back to an accidental meeting in a mall. They have since become inseparable.

After long hours of rummaging, making choices, and twerking before the camera, they leave the boutique, lugging heavy shopping bags. By then, the sun has started to amble back to the West.

Nene can’t stop smiling and poking silly jokes at everyone. Back in the mall, she told a guy checking out a cowboy hat that he looked like a biblical character in it. She then laughed. She is dying in excitement.

“Kemi.” Nene calls in a drab tone.

“Yes dear.”

“I am scared.”

Kemi has both her hands on the wheel but she looks across to read Nene’s face. Nene’s eyes have darkened and a thin line of vein emerged across her forehead. She is worried sick.

“He won’t find out. Trust me.” Kemi says, throwing her right arm to brush a palm down Nene’s hair. She quickly returns the hand to the wheel in time not to miss a turn across the road.

“The thing is that I feel bad founding my marriage on lies and secrets.”

Kemi frowns in silent reproach. “Don’t be silly…In fact, pick your phone. Call Wole and tell him everything. I hope he kisses you over the phone and whispers: ‘that is lovely baby. It doesn’t matter. It is all in the past.’

“I hope he says that too.”

Kemi grits her teeth at the silly remark. “You dumb girl. Don’t worry yourself. Enjoy your upcoming marriage. Your secrets are meant for the grave, not your husband. Next week, you will say ‘I do’. Nothing else matters.”

Nene forces a skin-deep smile.

SATURDAY
Wole’s sitting room
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Wole is seated beside his Best Man, Tope on a double couch. A lady sits directly opposite. She dons a white long sleeve shirt with a dark skirt. She is heavily made up- catchy red shines from her lips.

“I think I go for the second choice.” She says, looking into a notebook in her palms.

Wole turns and looks at Tope. The latter nods his approval. “Okay, you are the expert here. Let’s go with it.”
He says.

Miss Red-coated Lips smiles and scribbles on the notebook, then stands to go. She pulls her skirt down. Wole and Tope go on their feet too.

“The wedding will be a blast, Mr. Wole. I am good at this.” She extends her right palm.

“I hope so.” Wole replies and takes the soft hand into his. She heads for the exit door, displaying a far-from-natural catwalk.

“Tope, see you around.” She says at the entrance. The door shuts behind her.

Wole playfully slaps Tope’s chest. “She is hitting on you.”

“I so wish. Who doesn’t want that…? Well, no need to rush.” He licks his dark lips. Tope’s lips have known very little time without a cigarette caught in between them. He is a womanizer too. He always jokes to have slept with as many women as there are bees in a big hive.

The both of them sit down.

“I want to call my wife.” Wole says, bringing out his phone. He is a big-statured man but his voice is feminine. He is very emotional too as Tope always argues.

Wole is the type of person who believes in things like not wanting to just use and dump a lady at a night club. He views such things as cruel and inhumane. To Tope, Wole is pathetically weak and unmanly toward women.

“Why do you want to call her?”

“She is supposed to be my wife. I don’t want to give her reasons to start suspecting me. This our plan has to work.”

Tope holds his shoulder. “Listen. This will work. You will have your revenge. If you keep calling her, she might get into your head with all the ‘I love you’ stuff ladies are known for. Just chill.”

Wole fiddles with his phone, sighs, then slides it back into his side pocket.

“You want some alcohol?” Wole asks, heading for the wine cellar.

Tope reclines, crosses his legs and spreads his arms on the headrest. “Bring it on, Baby. Let us toast to our success. That shitty Nene and her family are going down. They won’t know what hit them.”

Wole smiles at him and winks. His lips form the word ‘yea’ but he doesn’t voice it.

Find out what these guys are up in the next episodes.

CANDY**Final Episode**

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Mr. Black Top wrapped up the bullet wound on Candy’s left palm with a clean bandage. He had placed a cotton wool directly above the hole to soak up the surging blood. Her face was blue with the pains. The floor within the dining area was coloured by patches of red.

“The next shot would be straight into your skull. So, she would come. Be rest assured.”

He gave her aspirin pills. “This will reduce your pains,” he said, and helped her swallow them with a glass of water.

Candy’s cries died down gradually as soon as the drugs began to take effect. She slung the injured hand with her right palm.

“Make the call now. Her friend has sent the number.”

Candy picked the phone and punched in the digits. As soon she heard the first ring, she put the cellphone on loud speaker and dropped it on the table.

“Hello, who is this,” a voice from the other end asked.

Mr. Black Top’s face got animated with curiousity. He stood on his feet, breathing hard.

“Sister, it is Candy.”

“Which Candy… You mean… Oh! Candy my baby!!” She hollered. “How are you sweetheart?” Her loud voice cut through the silence of the afternoon.

She glanced across to him. Mr. Black Top had folded his arms across his breast, and watched her with keen attention.

“I am fine.” Candy responded.

“You don’t sound like it. What is wrong? Has something happened to Mama? This is not your number. Are you…”

“Sister, Mama is okay. I need you to come down to Nigeria.” She paused to a period of silence.

“Why? Tell me the problem.” She sounded drab.

Mr. Black Top jumped into the discussion. “Because if I don’t see you in Nigeria within this week, your sister would be dead.”

“Who is this?” She asked, exhaling loudly into the phone. “Wait, are you… You…”

“Yes me, Franca. Your one and only Mike.”

“Oh my God! Oh my God!” Her voice rang.

“Listen up. You or her. You have one week to decide.”

“Candy. Has he hurt you?”

He pushed the phone closer to Candy and poked at her wound with the nozzle of the revolver. She yelled out in pains.

“I haven’t. I will soon enough.” He terminated the call, ending the whir of fast breathing from the other end of the line.

“She will come.” He said silently as if assuring himself.

“What did my sister do to you?” Candy asked through tears.

He tapped the phone on the table. “You don’t want to know.”

“After all you have done to me, you think I don’t deserve to know?”

“She killed my baby!” He screamed back, and blinked away tears.

“What?”

“We had a daughter. We were together throughout the pregnancy… well, I did some bad things but that doesn’t justify her murdering our baby. The only child I will ever have.”

The phone rang. Candy picked it and switched it to Speaker mode.

“You can’t hurt her Mike. She is your daughter. The one you thought I killed.” Franca said.

“What!” Mike surged his head upwards “What did you just say Franca?”

“Candy is your daughter. We had her 21 years ago remember? She doesn’t know yet that I am his mother not sister. I could never have hurt my child…”

“But… I saw…”

“I am smart Mike, remember? If you have hurt her, I will…” She stopped abruptly.

Candy couldn’t stifle her cries any longer. She blurted out.

“Oh my God! Did she hear us? Candy, did you hear us… I am so sorry…” Franca screamed.

“I thought it was just ten years ago. She has my eyes. My daughter.” He mused, looking at Candy.

Candy smacked the phone away and it shattered on the floor. Mike tried to hold her hands, she bolted and sprang to her feet.

“I am sorry, Candy. I am so sorry.” Mike fell to his knees and bowed his head to the ground. “Please forgive me.” Tears dripped from his face.

Wondering why Candy had kept silent to his pleas, he lifted his head and saw his own revolver directly pointed to his face. He didn’t think she had the balls to shoot. He saw it as some psychological reaction out of annoyance. “Give me the gun Candy.”

“I can’t possibly forgive you. You should be somewhere in hell. You are never going to be anyone’s father, you psychopath.” She tightened her grip and pulled the trigger. Not once! Not twice!

The end.

If you enjoyed the series, do well to leave a comment.

WHAT HAS CELEBRITY GOSSIP DONE TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIFE?

Just recently when I was scouring through Facebook, I encountered a post from a Nigerian lady. She had shared pictures of the popular American celebrity couple, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. In one of the pictures, Kanye was squatting as he fixed a buckle on Kim’s sandals. Another showed him lugging all the shopping bags as they exited the mall while in the next, he was opening the car door for her.

The pictures had an accompanying message that suggested the flawlessness of the couple’s love and Kanye’s personality as a perfect lover. The ‘poster’ alleged that despite Kanye’s fame and money, he still treated his girlfriend like a queen on and off the screen. She therefore, called on all ‘unromantic’ African men to emulate the American singer.

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There were so much comments to read so, I set down to work. All the ladies joined their voices in totally condemning African men for their lack of romanticism while the men played the defensive role.

I realized that most of our women have been living in worlds of fantasies for so long.

Thinking about it now, no wonder many prefer to spend all day in front of the television watching celebrity news and gossips rather than doing ‘less interesting things’ as read a book. Apologies to the few who are an exception.

Let me make it clear that there is nothing wrong in desiring to be treated like a queen. As a matter of fact, ladies are delicate beings and as such should be pampered without restriction. However, things need to be clarified.

Fallacy: The life of celebrity couples on TV reflects their life when off the camera.

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Truth: Nothing could be more deceitful than the above. Very few people (if anyone) would like to appear irresponsible or ‘beastly’ when the eyes of the whole world is on them. Some of those ‘live’ celebrity stunts you see on Television are scripted. So, get over it. Romance is only flawless on set.

Fallacy: Some men are perfect while others are the complete opposite.

Truth: Every man, no matter how he appears on the outside, has flaws. This is why you hear statements like: “He changed, just two months into our relationship.” Honey, he didn’t change. You had just blinded yourself to his imperfections initially.

Fallacy: African men are not romantic.

Truth: Being romantic means different things to different people. If African ladies would count their blessings, they would surely get my point. Let me leave it at that.

Fallacy: A section of people make the best lovers.

Truth: Anybody from any part of the world can be an excellent partner or a total jerk. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

A word out to all the ladies: You are not perfect beings just like us, and we struggle to put up with your deficiencies as well as you do.

Get rid of all the fallacies you have been stuffing your head with and appreciate the man in your life for who he is and the efforts he put in to make you happy.

One secret to a messed up emotional life is being unappreciative and jumping around from man to man looking for the perfect Prince Charming as described in Children’s books.

Join me next Wednesday for another edition of Relationship Wednesday.

You can make your own contributions in the comments section or go to our relationship group on Facebook, Relationship Wednesday and post it.

All comments would be published.

PS: You are entitled to your opinions. I am not shoving mine down your throat.

CANDY 6

The headlamp smashed into the head of Mr. Black Top, forcing him to a rapid fall. He groaned, unable to quickly stand. Smithereens of glass scattered on the floor. Candy had not achieved a knock-out as he still slithered across the floor.

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She dropped the weapon and moved to dash out through the door. A punch flew into her face and she fell back into the sitting room. She began to weep.

“Not so fast, young lady.” The visitor said. A fair-skinned slim guy who had a big bald head. He cracked his knuckles and ambled closer to her. She held her bleeding nose and was screaming.

“Please let me go.”

He kicked her in the face and she passed out again.

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“Would you love to take your bath?” Candy woke up to the question. It had come from Mr. Black Top. She looked quickly around for Mr. Fair-Skinned Stranger who had blocked her escape. He was gone.

“I understand that you had to try.”

She rolled her eyes all over him as he spoke. He had taken his bath, appearing neater and more handsome in his pair of three-quarters and a different dark top with BITCH inscribed boldly at the front. A bandage plastered across the back of his head.

“You see the wound. Don’t you?” He turned to show her. “It really hurt. Trust me.”

“I am sorry.” Candy said bluntly. She was out of emotions. Too tired to cry out more tears.

“It is 11:00am in the morning. You would love to take a bath. Stand, let us go into the bathroom. I will wash you up.”

She reluctantly stood and gave him one of her hands. He led her into the bathroom, took off her clothes and scrubbed her clean. He didn’t cringe at her nakedness. Candy enjoyed the rush of warm water on her skin. It healed physical pains but the emotional bruises remained very much intact.

After the bath, he helped her slip into a nice all-pink gown and brushed her hair to order.

“Why are you doing all these?”

“I like you. Nothing else. Having spent many hours with you, I feel a kind of connection. Like we have known each other for years.”

“Just tell me what I should do for you and then either kill me or let me go.” She looked in the mirror.
No more beads of sweat on her forehead.

Mr. Black Top held her jaws tenderly and grinned widely. “Such a sweet girl. Your sister must be too silly not to have told me about you.”

He took her back into the sitting room and to the dining table where a plate of buttered bread and a jar of tea stood.

“Eat.”

Candy picked the slices and began to crunch a piece.

“You will call your sister now and ask her to come here.”

She nearly choked. “What? How? I mean… I don’t even have… Will she?”

“Shut up and make the call now.” He handed her a cell phone, all black with a blank screen. She took it.

“Do you have her number?” Candy asked.

“I last spoke to her over ten years ago. What makes you think I would have her number?”

“I don’t either.”

“Find a way to get it and quickly.”

Candy stared thoughtfully at the phone for a while, picked another slice of bread before dialing a number. She exchanged a few pleasantries over the phone and requested for Franca’s digits.

“Thank you.” She said and dropped.

“What now?”

“We have to wait for a message. Her friend whom I just called would send me the number. Do you realize that Franca is out of the country and can’t arrive her until after a very long time?”

“Good. We will wait even if it takes her a year. I have a stock of food.”

“Franca will never agree to come here. She never will. She would sense something wrong.”

“Not when her darling sister is threatened with death.” He picked the gun from the back of his trousers. “Give me your hands.” His voice was firm.

Candy shook her head. She knew what was going to happen. Unfortunately, the choice was not hers to make. Mr. Black Top attacked and pulled out one of her arms as she struggled to hide it away.

“Please…please…please…” She cried as her left hand was positioned on the table. She fought.

A shot went off.

“Nooooooooo!” Candy yelled as she felt her muscles tear apart. The pain was unbearable. She fall to the ground and rolled over in loud cries. Crumbs of bread that had flown into the air, drizzled down in pieces.

“Now you know she would come. She would feel your pains over the phone.”

To be continued…

CANDY 5

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“You have to eat some food. Get up.”

Candy lifted herself groggily and sat. Her bruised eyes blinked open to a plate of fried rice on the centre table, beside an empty bottle of liquor. She pounced on it in voracious desire, ignoring the pains at her jaws as she munched the grains.

It was the next day, with the sun already breaking out of the clouds.

“You should know that I believe you now.”

She paused for a while then, began to chew slowly. “I am free to go?” Her face was animated at the slight hope of being let off the hook.

“Not really. You said that Franca is your elder sister.”

“Yes.” She replied through a mouthful.

“Are you sure about that?”

“Yes.”

Mr. Black Top crossed his legs and stroked his spiky beards, neatly trimmed to join up with two lines of side hairs. “How come she never told me about a pretty younger sister?”

Candy didn’t think to reply. She signaled for water. Mr. Black Top walked to the fridge and returned with a glass. She took it from him. The moment immediately after guzzling a little, she sucked in air to quench the burns in her mouth and throat.

“How is this water?”

“It is not. It is alcohol. That is what I can offer.” He sneered. “So, tell me Candy, where is Franca?” He sat.

“She is out of the country for now. What did she do that you want to hurt her so badly?”

“You have to do something for me.” He ignored her question. “You will help bring your sister to me. My business is not with you.”

“I will do my best…” She was quick to reply, sensing freedom. She had emptied the plate of food and reclined to the sofa.

“I don’t know if I have made myself clear enough but you are not leaving here until I have Franca. You think I am that foolish. Let you go?”

“I don’t think I can get Franca here for you without leaving.”

“You can.”

A knock sounded from the entrance door, the only door to the outside. Both pairs of eyes turned in the direction. Candy seemed excited knowing that someone had come around. Her next idea was to scream.

Mr. Black Top was smarter. He had picked the gun, pointed it to her chest.

He mouthed to her: “One word and you are dead.” She had heard it before, and again, believed he would put a bullet through her heart.

Candy wrapped up her mouth with her palms and swallowed hard. She trembled silently.

He walked to the door and gently unlocked it.

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“Who is that?” He asked, his voice sounding distant to Candy. She looked at him at the door. The nozzle of the gun no longer pointed in her direction. She watched him quietly open up and begin to speak to the person at the other end.

A voice in her head brought her attention to a possible chance to escape. It persisted: ‘when that door closes, it will never open again.’ A creak of laughter woke her from her reverie.

She searched around quickly and made out a lamp just beside the last cushion as you headed for the dinning space, tiptoed to it and grasped it firmly. Her heart thumped faster. She had to take the chance.

Angling the weapon to the best striking position, Candy moved towards the door, gently creeping closer to the Mr. Black Top, his back to her. He seemed completely lost in the discussion. She came close enough, tightened her grip round the metal, aimed for his head and struck as hard as her arms could.

To be continued…
Two more episodes to go.

CANDY 3

Candy’s eyelids fluttered heavily before opening to blurred images of carved feet of cushions. The entire floor appeared to be turning and about to cave in. She began to rub her vision to clarity, and gradually, returned to consciousness.

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“Are you finally awake?” He had removed his shirt, wearing a white singlet that flaunted his masculinity. He sweated on his arms and forehead.

Candy moved to sit up. Her head ached. She grunted in pain. She sat and looked around. Her jacket, pairs of shoes and hoses had been stripped from her. They lay in a heap on the floor.

A bucket sat on the ground beside the man. The revolver looked harmless on his laps.

It was then Candy noticed her drenched body. Water still dripped from her hair. She realized that the bucket had been for her awakening.

“If you can tell me what I did to deserve this…” She stopped in response to a migraine. The pain was excruciating.

“You are yet to answer my question.” He stood up and walked to her.

She braced up for another hit, clenching her teeth. He squatted right in front of her face and rearranged her fluffy hairs, brushing them askance.

“Darling, you are yet to answer my question. Why?” Alcohol oozed from his mouth. He had had a lot to drink while Candy was away.

“Why what? I swear I don’t understand what you are saying.” She struggled for composure.

Mr. Black Top lugged her up and sat her down on single sofa. He poured another glass of wine from the stout bottle on the centre table and sipped a mouthful, gurgling the hot drink before letting it slip down his throat.

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“I find your denial quite annoying. You are heartless.” He paused and stared at her with narrowed eyes. “She was just a kid.”

“Who was just a kid?”

He squealed: “She was your daughter too. Why did you have to do it? Did she have to pay for your hatred? You have been enjoying prostitution while I suffered through emotional trauma for years.” He exhaled loudly and tightened back his face.

“I swear to God. I wish I know what you are talking about.”

He glanced at the wrist watch strapped to his left wrist. “It is 2:00am now. Hopefully before dawn, you would have snapped out of your false life and answered my questions. Otherwise….”

Candy started to sob again, occasionally wiping a hand across her face to keep the tears away from her eyes. Her shoulders rose and fall. She kept her bare feet close to each other.

“You still love the soap?”

She looked and saw him pressing the buttons of a remote before a wide TV set.

“Which show?”

“Your favourite.”

The television set flashed coloured beams of light and displayed people in exotic dresses, smiling, laughing and chatting noisily. Candy focused to see what the show was about. Her purported favourite. It was the Single Ladies series.

“I don’t even like the show. How could it be my favourite?”

“Because we watched it together over and over again. You were once a sweet girl really.”

She shook her head, then sighed.

“Wait…” She sounded urgent.

“Wait what? What do…?”

“I think I know what is wrong here and you need to believe me.” She said.

To be continued…

CANDY 2

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“Stand up and come over here.”

Candy stood and wobbled towards him, her eyes wide with maddening shock. A million thoughts raced in her mind. What could he possibly want? Jewelries? To rape her instead of having to pay for the sex? Or he was just a sociopath. Answers weren’t forthcoming. Whatever the situation, she understood the threat level as being high.

Mr. Black Top swiped a back palm straight into her face, so hard that she crashed on the rugged floor. Candy gasped, then tried to scream out the pain.

“Not a single sound!” He shushed her.

She believed he wouldn’t wink at the thought of pulling the trigger. His eyes was cold. She knew he was capable of blowing out her brains and feeding it to dogs for dinner.

Candy cupped her palms over her mouth. Her teeth clattered in growing fear. As she lay there on the floor with a smarting cheek and an aching backside, she thought about her life, and death. Soft moans escaped her mouth.

The neighbourhood was very quiet. No sounds of vehicles or signs of human presence. She was alone.

“Stand up!” His voice broke into her thoughts. Immediately, he grabbed her by the neck and roughened her up to her feet. Then again, with greater precision and power, hit her. Right in the face. She spat blood on her way to the floor, this time, without attempting to scream. She went down pretty badly.

She coughed, and stood up sluggishly without waiting to be ordered again. In that moment of hopelessness, she thought he was going to continue hitting her until she bled to death or her spirit eluded her. It was one of those horror nights she had thought existed only in the movies.

Those ‘if’ questions began to torment her with guilt. If she had stayed back in her home state. If she had not resorted to prostitution. If and just if she hadn’t come out to work that night.

“Turn around.” The man instructed, signaling to her with the dark revolver.

“No!” Her mouth was heavy with swelling, and curdled blood drooled from her lips. She could feel her teeth shake.

“What did you just say?”

“I said no.” Candy cried out. The nerves along her neck tightened. “If you will shoot me, just do it and stop messing around. Are you a coward?”

He tightened his grip on the trigger and place it to her forehead. She shut her eyes, her hands trembling. Tears trickled down her cheeks. At that point, Candy didn’t pity her already gone life anymore. What was it worth? She thought about her siblings and her paralyzed mother who was going to lose yet another loved one. Her suffering and heartbreak would know no bounds. She resigned to fate. Death called.

Without realizing it, she started to mumble words of prayer. Something she hadn’t done for a long time. Mr. Black Top moved the nozzle of the gun down to the ridge of her nose and clenched his teeth. His hand was unsteady in gently quivers. He pushed the gun down to her chest. Yet, unable to shoot.

“Damn! Why?” He blurted, swinging down his arm.

Candy still prayed and cried in silence with eyes shut.

“I said why did you do it?” He yelled.

She opened her eyes. “Do what?”

“Don’t play with me.” His brows tightened.

“I am not.”

He hit her on the face again and straddled her on the floor. After taking several blows to the face, Candy passed out.

To be continued…

Five more episodes of this grueling tale. Follow it up to see how it ended.

Do We Ever Learn Anything From Our Past Failed Relationships?

“Never be too possessive as if you are married to her. No monitoring. Allow her to do as she pleases. She is yours only when she is with you. When she is away, she is not yours. Never love with all your heart. Never try any serious relationship if you are not working and buoyant; ninety percent of the girls won’t be serious. When there is no money, they won’t respect you.”

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Photo credit: Humans of New York

Those were the exact words of a male Facebook user who was asked on a Relationship page (not mine) what he had learned from past failed romantic relationship(s) with the opposite sex.

Just last week, I decided to snoop around and gather opinions from the field. It is said that experience is the greatest teacher. I made good use of the platform provided by a Facebook page to take a peek into the world of experience of many Nigerians. Their identities have been hidden. Below is an excerpt:

“I learned to love with my eyes wide open, not with my heart, and again, to trust nobody.”

“I learned that having sex or not having sex, marrying a virgin or a prostitute are never criteria for successful marriage or relationship but knowing God and applying his wisdom.”

“Never let any man or person know your weak point and don’t love too much.”

“Never fall in love but stand in love with broad eyes, wide open to see and run. Understanding is the first step in a relationship, followed by other things like submission. Whether you are wrong or right, be ready to say sorry.”

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“Love is for suckers. And that relationships are just for sex and shouldn’t be taken seriously unless you want to die before your time. If the girl starts to act up, kick her aside and move to the next one. Since I started applying this, I have been having the fun of my life.” This was a guy’s opinion.

“Never to break up with a lady. Like saying, ‘let us quit, I am tired of this relationship.’ Don’t force your partner into what she doesn’t want to do. Know when to start and when to say no in sharing ideas, decisions, issues, etc. Love her when she hurt you and don’t hurt her. Be friendly. I think that is my take on that.”

“He taught me not to always say the truth. The truth should be said only when necessary because he will definitely use it against me one day.”

“Self-control. Love with my head and not to spend for a guy.” A lady opined.

“Never love hundred percent, except she is your wife. Even if you are going to marry her, don’t love 100% until the marriage registry confirms that you guys are married and she is legally your wife.”

“He taught me never to trust any man.”

“Never tell a woman your secrets. Only trust her when she is with you, and never trust her when you are with friends. When she is not around, she becomes ‘our’ girlfriend.”

“My past relationship has taught me that loving is the best way to stay young. Love is the oil that keeps our wheels in motion. But then, you must learn to love yourself first.”

“Money is love. You don’t have it, don’t go into any relationship; if you do, don’t expect respect, and get ready to cry.”

“Never be carried away when a lady continues to shout that she loves you. Curtail your spending.”

“Never to love any man.” This came from an apparently hurt lady.

“To never love any relationship more than I love myself so I will know when to run.”

“I just learned that love is reciprocal. Don’t give more. Don’t do everything to win her because you will always lose her.  Another thing I will always say and be glad of is that I learned that love is a sweet thing because it brings joy to your heart and peace to your mind.”

“My past taught me to love with my head, not my heart. Don’t hope on things to always turn out perfectly. Don’t be a liability to your partner. Learn to deal with the worst situation that comes your way.”
*****
I am not inclined to any of the above opinions. I published them as raw as they had come without any attempt to trim or filter. It is left for you to know what to do with the data. I am however positive that knowing other people’s innermost thoughts arms you with so much knowledge.

Join me next Wednesday for another edition of Relationship Wednesday.

If you are yet to join our Facebook group, Relationship Wednesday, do that now.

Have you told your friends about this Wednesday column? Do me and them a favour.

CANDY 1

The night was typical. Activity-filled, in a slightly breezy clement weather. Car horns from vehicles honked. Beams of light from headlamps stabbed through the darkness. In a city that celebrated obscenity, the Eve junction was very popular for it was the operating base of prostitutes with class, like Candy -the kind that ruled the cabal.

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A potential customer in a Lexus Jeep had waved off the other hawkers that had swarmed his car earlier and pulled over beside Candy. He seemed to have come out searching particularly for her. It would be no surprise given her impressive resume, though still a teen of 21.

The dark-skinned man with a black top wound down the side glass and opened up to a warm smile from the red-haired lady with heavily-coated lips and a blouse that stopped short of her navel.

“Check me out Bros! I have the full package.” Candy said, twisting herself into various sensual forms to flaunt her bumper behind and lemon-shaped breasts plastered to her chest. She slapped her buttocks and added: “Fully loaded.”

He sized her up with an expressionless face. “How much for a night?”

Candy smiled back and leant towards him, her breasts settling on the car frame. She could feel the man shudder at the behest of involuntary arousal.

“Only 30 thousand naira.” She whispered.

“Hop in.” He waved her in and clicked the door open.

As she hunched into the vehicle, Candy could hear her colleagues shout out to her in contrasting tones of jealously and praise. Many of them didn’t fancy the fact that she got most of the enviable jobs. Alice, the oldest prostitute at the junction held on strongly to the allegation that she was evil.

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The Jeep drove through the streets of the city- Calabar, a land known for its robust culture and fun-loving inhabitants. The reputation of Calabar people preceded them -voracious libido and superhuman strength in bed. It was a popular saying that to a Calabar lady, sex came before food.

Candy kept smiling to Mr. Black Top whose face was still largely blank. He neither smiled back nor frowned. Just occasional peeks at her and a bite of his lower lip.

“You look cute.” Candy said, trying to strike up a conversation. She didn’t like the creepiness of the silence.

“Really?”

“Yea of course.” She pulled down her hose. A pair of fresh-skinned legs came into full view.

She expected him to take it up from there but he stopped at a sly nod. She gave up caring as well. They needn’t say a word to each other, she thought.

Many bars and joints in the city were still very much in business. People thronged into every hall that had alcohol and a blasting stereo. At different sidewalks of the busy highways, guys and ladies capitalized on the darkness to perform ‘wonders’. In dark alleys and behind flowers, it happened.

Candy started to feel uncomfortable in her own skin as the journey took longer than expected. It seemed to her that the man either drove in circles or headed for the suburbs of the city. All those thoughts of prostitutes being lured to hell and slaughtered like a ram started to take dominance in her mind.

Turning on the car Disc Player would have helped her paranoia but Mr. Black Top didn’t. He shot her a cursory glance, tapped at the steering, and refocused on the road. He steered away from the main highway. Candy held her breath.

Finally, he pulled into a compound. The gate had been left open, like a visitor was being awaited. When they alighted, Candy couldn’t help but compliment the building. Still, no reply. She slipped back into the high-heeled shoes which she had pulled off to ease her aching feet. Mr. Black Top closed the gate and urged her in.

He locked the door of the exquisite flat behind Candy while she took a look around.

Mr. Black Top instead of jumping right on her, walked to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of wine. He took out a glass from a shelf and poured himself some drink.

“You won’t offer me a drink.” Candy said jokingly, marching towards him. She sat on his thighs and moved to kiss his ears.

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He bounced up, throwing her off, took a long stare at her and emptied the glass of wine in one swoop. It was strange to Candy that a customer who had gotten himself an all-night booty was acting so weird.

She relaxed back to the sofa while Mr. Black Top walked away from the sitting room to a connecting door. He could take all the time he wanted. The price would still be the same.

He reappeared seconds later, wielding a revolver. A shinning black pistol. His grip on it was firm.

Candy saw the right index finger he had across his lips on time to stifle an approaching scream. It was a one-word-and-I-shoot scenario. She peered into his eyes – dark and bloodied, and obeyed.

To be continued…

Six more episodes to follow. Visit the blog daily for updates on the story.

RIGHTEOUS RAGE**Part 2

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Mummy Grace, the pastor’s wife invited Cecelia to a meeting of the married women of the church which she chaired.

It was on a Tuesday evening. The women arrived the venue in trickles and sat in a semi-circular pattern. As the rest were awaited, those present gossiped about Cecilia. One raised her voice in disgust; another snapped her fingers.

“I really want to find out what you are doing with my husband.” Mummy Grace pounced on Cecelia not long after she arrived.

Cecelia parted her lips and darted her eyeballs in all directions. She hoped it had been a misconstrued question, and waited in shock for the Pastor’s wife to call it a bluff.

“Don’t you see the kind of blouse she is putting on? Bloody seductress.” A woman whispered to another, rather too loudly.

“Excuse me!” Cecelia sprang to her feet. “With all due respect, what is all this about?”

“Sit down young lady.” Mummy Peace barked. Cecelia sat, biting down her anger.

Mrs. Grace fired more shots: “Why aren’t you married? What business do you have with my pastor husband? He has a wife and a child. You should…”

Cecelia stood and dashed out of the gathering. She hissed as she half-ran. Heavy in her heart was a blend of hurt and disappointment. Her hips swayed back at them.

Peace went after her like a predator seeking to devour a prey. The other women read the situation very late. Before they knew what was up, Mummy Peace had grabbed Cecelia by the cluster of her hair, first pulling off her scarf before lugging her to the ground.

They fought, bit, scratched and tore. At first, Cecelia wanted to break-out and avoid making a scene but Peace had clung tightly and angrily, seeking to destroy. She then, had had to fully commit to the fight or be mowed down like a blade of grass without putting up an effort.

“You are fighting Mummy ewoo!” Some of the women began to chorus.

Extra pairs of hands sided with Mummy Peace and Cecelia was kneaded like flour. Flaps of arms smashed all over her body. She was rolled in the dirt and torn like rags. All the time, she screamed for help as she fought away from the entanglement.

Some men within the church premises who had heard the shouting besieged the scene to separate the fight. Peace breathed hard as she resisted the disentanglement. “Leave me to deal with this shameless whore.” She huffed and puffed; kicked and clawed.

“Peace!” She recognized the voice and toned down her madness.

Shock was written all over her face as she saw who had called her. It was as she had thought. She hurriedly scanned the church hall for her pair of footwear. They had been spun into different directions. A woman helped her get them while she walked gently outside.

“J.D., it is not what you think.” She said apologetically, starting to regain her sense of control. Her face, with a stretch of fresh wound looked sore.

“Get into the car,” was all her pastor husband could muster.

J.D. drove quietly. Peace made many moves at striking up a conversation but none clicked. His grip on the wheel was tight and he occasionally released a hand to massage the beards on his jaw. She couldn’t tell if he was annoyed or terribly embarrassed.

“Start getting ready for our divorce.” J.D. uttered. He had taken Peace into their room and sat her down.

“You don’t mean it honey.”

“I mean every word I just said. I am tired of you.” He blinked severally and exhaled.

“I am sorry.” She began to sob.

“For what exactly?”

“Everything. Everything honey.”

“Accepted. But, it ends today. This marriage is over. We are doing nothing being together if all you do is monitor me. No atom of trust. You have brought nothing to me but regrets and shame. You fought in a church, Peace. How shameless of you! Why am I even talking to you…?” He turned and started slowly towards the exit door.

Peace in a swift dive, caught one of his legs. She clasped it and sprawled across the floor, crying and begging.  He struggled to free his legs to no avail. He pushed her but she was stiffly attached like a lice.

“You would kill me before I agree to leave your house. Please honey, forgive me. Think about our daughter…I will change.” She wept, mucus stringing down from her nose.

J.D. moved backwards and sat on the bed after failed attempts at releasing himself. He had lost ownership of his leg. Peace cried and pleaded until she dozed off almost an hour later.

He carried her to the bed, covered her up and kissed her forehead.

The end.

RIGHTEOUS RAGE**Part 1

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Rumours began to spread like wild fire that Pastor J.D. was having an affair with a devoted member of the church choir, Cecilia. Some people snickered in sarcasm at the possibility of it being true. To a whole lot of others who could vouch for the piety of Sister Cecilia, it was just an act of wicked defamation. But then, what was the source? No one could tell.

The pastor’s wife Mrs. Peace got wind of it. A plump woman whose mouth was ever busy, told her after a meeting of the church women one Tuesday evening.

“Are you sure about this?” She asked the news –bearer from a corner of her mouth.

“Mummy, I was told oo. I am not sure.”

“But what do you think about it? Any reason to be suspicious?”

“Hmmm. I don’t really know.”

Mrs. Peace dismissed her. She wasn’t sure. Nobody had caught her husband and Cecelia in the act. She didn’t have any reason to be bothered. But the fear that lurked in her heart was real. She felt vulnerable. How could the suspicion possibly exist in anyone’s mind, no matter how warped it was? What if it were to be true? She would ask herself. It would mean the loss of her husband and…possibly, her place and position as the pastor’s wife. All that elegance and respect.

Mummy Peace drove through the busy highways of Lagos back home, buried in her thoughts. She took wrong turns and beat the traffic severally. Many motorists cursed after her from their side windows but she was too preoccupied to be attentive. She would tap the steering and speak to her spirit: “No need to be worried. It is just all a rumour.” And then, took a deep breath.

In the evening, she watched her husband throughout dinner, searching his face and eyes for just one sign of infidelity, no matter how subtle. She wished for a moment that people’s thoughts appeared on their faces even for a fleeting moment. J.D. smiled as he picked a glass of water. He nodded to his wife but Peace didn’t smile back. How could he not have seen that she was sick with worry?

“How was your meeting in Church today?” She asked, dousing the silence.

J.D swallowed a morsel. “Fine. The members of the church council are actually a blessing to us. We talked about how to upgrade the departments of the church. I think we made a headway today. Your meeting with the women, how did it go?”

“Excellent.” She dug her spoon into her plate of food and widened the hole it created, playfully. She had barley taken more than a few bites.

“Do you still love me J.D.?”

He stared at her in shock. “Why are you asking that question now?”

“Just answer it.” Mrs. Peace shrieked, not minding the pitch of her tone.

J.D. thought she was going to slam her fists on the table next. Such a volatile woman she had lived with for many years. Once her monstrous jealousy reared its ugly head, he knew what to do. This time, he dropped his spoon, pushed back from the dining table and left, ignoring her weak apologies.

Peace never changed. Always inquisitive about who called, and why a woman shook hands with her husband longer than she thought necessary.
**********************

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For reasons best known to her, Mummy Peace offered to preach during the next Sunday service and the Pastor was more than happy to give his consent. She hardly volunteered to speak the Word in church and a few elders had complained.

After the choir had set the tone with a glorious hymn that Sunday, everyone settled to their seats. Peace started by introducing her topic as, The Sacredness of Marriage. A few heads nodded and many people in the congregation whipped out pens and notebooks to jot.

She went on and on. “In Church, there are husband-snatchers. They can be seen everywhere, even in the choir.”

Gentle murmur hovered within the congregation but died down as soon as it had risen.

The service ended as usual with tunes from the choir. Peace eyed Cecelia as she rose her sonorous voice to the glory of the lord. What a slut, she must have reasoned.

When weeks later, a close confidant informed Mrs. Peace that she had seen Cecelia walk into the Pastor’s office on a Monday evening, hell was let loose.

To be continued…

SCARS IN THE SOUL 2

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Throughout the time I suffered the doctor’s medicines and needles in the hospital, Father never showed his face. Mama was always by my side, either forcing pills down my throat or coaxing me to eat.

My likeness for her faded into a fond dislike. I hated her for being so meek and simple-minded. She wasn’t doing anything. I didn’t know what her orientation had been like. Why on earth did she have to keep quiet in the face of such viciousness?

We cried together in the hospital on several occasions. Dad offset the bills but never came to apologize. I saw myself grow to despise him more and more. Mama tried all she could to make me not to.

Nothing changed. The cruel man resumed the usual business not long after my return to the house. The cries returned. Fresher wounds on the face, and at time, broken bones.

I did what a concerned courageous young girl would do. I went behind Mother’s back to see her brother, Uncle Bernie who practiced as a lawyer. I explained everything to him in his office. He was so shocked and bitter hence, I pleaded that he took things easy. He promised to lock my father up if he didn’t stop. I was okay with that. Somewhere in my heart, I wished to see Daddy cry like mother but in his case, behind some iron bars. He was the devil’s incarnate.

Bernie drove me straight from his office to the house. He couldn’t wait a day longer to confront my erring Dad. When we arrived, I developed cold feet. I feared Daddy would make a scene. I tried to discourage my Uncle but he wouldn’t hear of it. Anyway, if it had to come down to a fight, Uncle Bernie looked ready.

We heard Mummy’s shrieks immediately we pulled over in front of the house. The cries seemed distant and echoed through the still evening air. We jumped out of the vehicle and rushed towards the door.

“She is outside.” Uncle said, observing the direction of the sound.

We went round to the backyard and saw Mother bawling to the high heavens. She would hold her head and let out bouts of high-pitched screams. We looked closely and beheld Daddy’s motionless body lying on the stiff grasses of the lawn. He wasn’t dead. I was surprised to see myself happy about that.

I thought Mother had done the needful and knocked the shit out of Daddy but she hadn’t. She narrated to us with a throaty voice interrupted by intermittent bursts of sobs.

“He fell. He rushed at me with fearsome intent to hurt me. All I did was dodge. He slipped through the window.” She cried, pointing at the broken window of the top floor. Our house was a one-storeyed building.

I wanted to slap mother when she said that it was her fault. Her fault to have dodged death or what? Daddy didn’t die but he remained stiff for long after we had taken him back into the house. We invited a doctor who administered first aid treatment and referred him to another hospital to be seen by a neurosurgeon.

They said he had damaged his spinal cord and wouldn’t be able to walk again. Daddy cried a lot when he was briefed. His legs had grown numb. He couldn’t move them or feel the sensation of a touch. His tears moved me. Suddenly, the bully had become so powerless. Mother consoled him the much she could.

Father spent many years as a cripple who couldn’t do anything. His wife had to take over the job of breadwinning. She worked so hard to keep the family going. Father still shouted at her at times but Mother’s reaction had become more of respectful defiance than fear. After all, he couldn’t lift a limb.

I would at times stare at my father with a sneer. I felt slightly guilty for having a bit of likeness for his predicament.

He once asked me to forgive him for all he had done and start treating him like a father. My sister and I had ignored him so badly. We didn’t go to see him in his room daily like he would have wanted and cared less about his pains.

“It is too late Dad. I forgive you but your sins have caught up with you,” I looked him in the eyes as I said. He bit his lips, but I was safe. The almighty Hitler had grown powerless.

The end.

SCARS IN THE SOUL**Part 1

The scar on Mama’s face was grey-dark and shaped like a distorted pear. As an ignorant young girl, I remember I always asked her what it was and how she had gotten it. “It is natural. I came into the world with it.” She had said all the time.

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The scar was very close to her eyes. It must have been a serious wound that had broken deep into her skin. Her prettiness was well affected by it. It was not until I turned 11 that I understood what might have been the likely cause.
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It was an evening. There were signs of rainfall- gentle whir from the trees and sparks of lightning. Mother ran outside to make sure that none of our clothes got drenched.

“The rice is burning.” I screamed to her from the kitchen. I was always around Mama whenever she prepared dinner. She taught me how to be a woman. She never stopped telling me that cooking was essential to womanhood. I liked helping out too. Something about the irritation to the eyes when I peeled onions excited me.

“I am coming oooh!” I heard her thudding footsteps before she dashed into the kitchen. She rapidly brought down the pot and flung her hand repeatedly in the air.

“Sorry.” I said, as she blew cold air onto the burnt region of her palm. I saw her smile. Elegance. But the scar ruined it. It made her look like a clown.

The rain began to hit the aluminum zinc, sending the house into soft vibrations. My father returned, very wet. He removed his clothes at the entrance and Mom took them away. I didn’t know why Daddy refused to respond when we greeted him. He must have had a bad day at work, as mummy would always tell me.

I went back to my room to play with my younger sister while Mother went to get food from the kitchen. She had to dutifully serve her husband. It was what a wife did. She took great joy in it.

My younger sister and I sang a song from school in our room, loving the way the sound from our petite voices got lost in the ringing resonance of water pebbles as they hit the roof. We loved it when it rained in the night for it made sleep a long sweet ride.

First, we heard a loud crash. Like plates shattering on the floor. Then Daddy’s voice rose like angry ocean tides. My sister and I rushed to peek from the door of the sitting room. We saw Mummy trying to explain something to Daddy but he was too angered to listen. I wondered what might have been the cause of his rage.

He slapped Mother so hard that she staggered to the safety of a sofa. Then we saw him pull her hair and fling her to the wall. She was begging. My soul died and resurrected.

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She didn’t hit back. My mother didn’t try to fight back. She watched him batter her. I saw a stream of blood roll down from a corner of her mouth. I closed my younger sister’s eyes for the cruelty was out of the world.

We went back to the bed and I cried softly. Sleep came, and then, morning. Mother was up as usual so early to prepare breakfast and boil water for our bath. Daddy prepared and set out to work. We had gotten used to not being able to speak to him. He barely existed in our lives.

The scar on Mother’s face had been joined by other fresh wounds- widespread and jagged. I asked her what she had done. “I burnt the food and your daddy was annoyed.”

“But it was a mistake. You were rushing to save his clothes from the rain. Daddy is wicked.”

“Shhhhh!” Mother rebuked, blinking in loving annoyance.

The beatings continued. It was either for one reason or the other. Mother was living in hell on earth. Nothing could have been more terrible. Many days, I saw her crying in a hidden corner. She didn’t want us to see her tears. Nne m oma- my precious mother. Father must have been an agent of the Satan.

By the time I left secondary school at 16, I had grown enough nerves to stand up for mother. The day I tried it for the first time, father included me in the assault. I nearly lost one of my eyes to his ferocious slap which stung like scorpion. His arms were strong. I tried to hit him back but it had just been an attempt in vain. He kicked me on the abdomen and I fainted.

To be continued…

To be concluded tomorrow!

ONE MORE SOUL IN PARIS

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“Are you enjoying the concert baby?”

She eyeballed me with lips that had widened into a smile. That charming smile had held me spellbound for years since I met Celeste. She pecked me and purred: “I love it here baby. The night is beautiful.” We were at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

The soloist on the stage dazzled with his guitar. He was supported by soft background instrumentals. His voice was melodic and rang across the ends of the hall.

At a far corner, I saw two aged couples who I surmised to have been together for over 50 years sway their heads gently with clasped palms. The old lady’s face looked flushed by overwhelming emotions. I reasoned that the soul-reaching tune reminded them of gone days of bliss. Days of passionate romance. I formed a mental picture of the two of them, young and naïve, sitting by the lakeside, laughing over bottles of alcohol as they watched the birds explore the sky.

I envied them at that moment. I wanted to be like them. With Celeste.

The first bang we heard sounded like firecrackers. The audience at the concert cheered. Paris was booming with so many people from different countries of the world on that cold night. The reason was partly because of the match going on at Stade de France between host, France and Germany. A friend of mine who loved soccer was there at the stadium cheering our boys to victory.

The second explosion was nothing like the first; louder to the point that it forced the ground we stood into static vibration. We began to shiver with attention turned away from the artiste. Faces creased in worry. I saw people look at themselves as if they searched their faces for promises of safety. The guitarist seemed lost in his art. He kept nodding and stretching his jaws to produce outstanding melody.

“What do you think is happening?” Celeste asked. I saw concern and fear in her eyes.

“I really don’t know.”

Then sporadic bullets began to fly into us. Many crouched and hampered for safety. The bullets came piercing and slaying like it was the final day of man on the face of the earth. The guitarist was the first to catch the demon grains. They lodged into his skull and trunk. He toppled over. His blood-stained guitar tumbled off the stage.

Cries rang in the air as some people tried to run for safety. But to where? Outside? I thought differently.

“Lie flat and pretend to be dead.” I pushed Celeste to the ground. She tried to shut her eyes in pretense but opened them again.

“What now sweetheart? I don’t want to die now.  I love you.”

“Shhhhh!”

I peered above the seats to see the assailants. Clad in winter coats, young and armed with Kalashnikovs. It was one of such days I wished I had supernatural powers to be the hero of the night. They were pros. One of them reloaded with clenched lips and dispatched bullets to hapless music lovers of the French Capital. I crouched again.

The dead bodies began to pile up. When I looked up again, I saw the elderly couple. The tight-lipped man was crying over the dead body of the woman. I was moved to the fringe of an outburst but I maintained my calm.

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My phone beeped. ‘Benzema has scored.’ A message from my friend. He was busy with the match. He had no idea. I messaged him back as fast as I could with trembling fingers. Celeste had reopened her  eyes and broken into fresh tears.

It was a terror night in Paris. I wondered what we had done to deserve such brutality. Were we the bad guys? I had thought terrorists fought for honour and justice. We were just lovers of music.

Another round of closer gunshots and I heard Celeste gasp. I held her hand and saw blood gushing out from her abdomen. She had been shot in the back. I clasped her in my arms and cried so bitterly. Her eyelids fluttered as the spirit of life edged out of her body. She held on tightly to me.

“All I had ever wanted in this world, all I had ever asked God was the opportunity to be with you…”

Then, she breathed her last.

This is in memory of all the murdered souls in Paris, France during the terror attacks in the city.

Pray for their souls.

Say No To Terrorism and Violence.

TRAPPING LOVE WITH MARRIAGE.

Joyce Cherished Charles with every inch of her being. Throughout their over five years of courtship, she tried to be that perfect woman. She ensured that Charles had her undivided attention. Joyce did his laundry, cooked his food and played the fool during conflicts-all in a bid to keep his third leg from straying. She wanted him to be her man; to exchange marital vows with her and be her prince forever.

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Charles’ attitude started to change at a time. He began to find fault in everything Joyce did and raised his voice at the slightest provocation. A broken plate and the house went into flames with his fury. Joyce continued to be tolerant. She took the blame for his emotional abuse, all because of love. She was not blind to the possibility that Charles had grown weary of her and would dump her immediately an opportunity presented itself. She didn’t want that to happen ever. Charles was all her heart craved for and she wouldn’t allow anything at all to change that. She hatched a plot to get a form of insurance. Pregnancy.

And it worked. She took in months later and clinked glasses at her success. Although Charles was mad at the development and ranted so much about how he was unprepared to assume a fatherly role, Joyce smiled to her accomplishment. She knew that she had trapped him down and that was all that mattered to her.
He would have no other choice but to marry her, she thought. It was over. Her man was secured. She envisioned the both of them, years later, sitting by a lake, aging gracefully.

Charles suggested an abortion but that would be over Joyce’s dead body. She swore to nurse and birth the child.

“I won’t marry you.” Charles said to her very often. She would crouch in a corner and cry but wouldn’t let go. It was a fight for love.

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Charles ordered her out of his house and when she wouldn’t leave, battered her. In her wounds, Joyce was adamant. The thought of final success after the throes of pains comforted her. She was ready to pass through agonies to make a family of him.

Families got involved and Charles was persuaded to initiate marriage proceedings. After months, everything became settled. Joyce became Mrs. Charles. She had finally hit success straight at the heart.

Her mistake was believing that things would change. That once she became Charles’ wife, he would turn a new leaf and adore her like an Indian princess. She was assaulted every night. Marriage became a garden of thorns. No companionship, no laughter and painfully, no sex. Joyce was hurt but she hoped on.

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She gave birth to a lovely young boy, as handsome as his father. Charles loved the little thing but not the mother. All he did was for his son.

Joyce began to grow lean with worries. A home where she couldn’t feel her husband’s touch. Where she was starved of emotional connection. It wasn’t the marriage she dreamed of. The climax of it came when Charles brought another woman into the home. Joyce fought all she could but lost. In a marriage, right under the nose of her husband, she lived a terribly sullen and sad life as a lonely, depraved woman. The worst of it was that the situation was going to last for a very long time.
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I hope there is a lesson to be learned. No man is worth trapping into marriage. Marriage is a lifetime affair. If he doesn’t willingly settle for you, he is not good enough for you. Ladies, for God’s sake stop belittling yourselves. Don’t endanger your future just because of something as fleeting as emotion.

Even when he rejects you and your pregnancy, it is not the end of life. It might take time but love would hike mountains to get to you again. Keep your child and stay away from the toxic man. He would never change in marriage. Men rarely change.

An unhappy marriage might break a man or not but would certainly shatter a woman. Desperation to get married will only fulfill some temporary desires. It would fetch you that place of pride among your peer but after that, you are left on your own.

Think again.

Relationship Wednesday returns next week.

Your comments would be appreciated.

You can request to join my relationship group, Relationship Wednesday on Facebook. It has just been created.

BITTER PILLS 1

“I will disown you if you disobey me you wicked child.” Mother yelled in a tone that frightened me.

I wanted to think that she didn’t mean those words but the look in her eyes said otherwise. Fury. Desperation. I fixed my gaze on her as she went to sit on the cushion. Her shoulders rose and fall with heavy breathing.

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I tried to say something but it was impossible as tears had blocked my larynx. I felt the urge to cough. My eyes had grown misty. I wobbled away like I would fall at the slightest push.

I slumped on my bed, and thought about what Mother had said. Her words came in a flurry, hitting me with careless abandon. ‘You must marry the man.’ ‘You either do it or I despise you forever.’ ‘I carried you in my womb for many months and this is how you want to repay me.’ ‘Are you that evil that you want us to perish in poverty?’ The words were heavy. I rolled over restlessly, unable to sleep a wink.

The next thing I knew, I was being tapped on the leg. “Dinner is ready.” The voice was petite. That of our last born, Kelechi.

“I am coming.” I said with half-open eyes.

But she wouldn’t let go. “Come down sister.” She pulled my legs as she said.

“Okay.” I shuffled myself down from the bed and yawned widely.

Kelechi was our last born but she didn’t fear me as much as my other younger siblings. I loved her so much and she knew it. We had spent days in the past hiding under sofas and drawing funny cartoon characters. Those days were lovely. The fun cannot happen again because of two reasons- I had been admitted into a University and Kelechi had developed a medical condition that affected her cognition and coordination. Put simply: she had lost a great portion of her brain power.

“The doctor said she has to be flown abroad for treatment.” Mother said after breakfast at the behest of my inquiry about Kelechi’s latest condition.

I just nodded and killed off the discussion. I knew what happened each time I had gone ahead to lament about the sorry situation.

“You can do something about it. You are just refusing to.” Mother would say like I was some Lucifer or someone who reveled in being sadistic.

On my way back to school, I got so lost in thought that the conductor had to almost slap me back to consciousness. Then, with rotten breath, he said: “This is the last stop.”

I looked around to see the empty tattered seats of the bus. I bundled myself off and picked a taxi to the school.

As young as I was, Mother wanted me to marry a man who would have been as old as my father if Dad was still alive. The man was wealthy so, mother needed his money and power to turn things around in my family for good. I tried so hard to explain to her the indissolubility of marriage. That marriage was supposed be founded on love and not convenience. She would not tolerate my silly and wicked excuses. Once, she threatened to stop paying my school fees if I didn’t do the needful. I was aware of how hard she toiled to keep me in school.

I had seen Chief Sonwa before but I saw him again when he visited, weeks after I had arrived school for the start of a new semester. He looked older and uglier. It was terrifying to stand beside him as a potential bride-to-be. It made me feel worthless. My heart bled at the thought of him kissing me. That nasty mouth of his with a set of dirty weak brown teeth.  He had bought me so much goods that I had more than enough to survive on for a whole year.

“I am speeding up things. We will be married before the year runs out.” He said as I saw him off.

I watched his Jeep disappear into the horizon and wished that he would drive into hell and burn to ashes. My thoughts were evil. I was on the verge of being robbed my only chance of happiness. I needed ideas as fast as they could come to save myself of the lifetime error. As days went by, I came to terms with reality. I had been eternally condemned to hell.

To be continued…

AN EXPENSIVE ONE….concluding part.

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I recalled the day Nedum, my husband opened up to me about his intention to take a second wife. His words had done nothing else but roast my soul into a crisp.

“I can’t control my feelings for her. We had been childhood friends and now I want her as a wife…”

“Shut up you fool.” I had screamed in rage and breathed so hard and fast. I restored my calmness. “What have I done Nedum?” My chest began to heave up tears. “What is my sin” The first tear fell to the floor. It glistened in the light.

“My mind is made up.” He blurted and walked out on me. He turned to say: “She will pack in anytime soon. Make the house comfortable for her.”

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I can’t say how but my mother convinced me to stay. We ate dinner and sat in front of the television. A program was on but we busied ourselves with chat. I asked after my brother in Lagos. How well his business was going. Also about Papa. If he had started to recover. Mama made a joke out of everything. “That your stubborn father. I am sure teaching the old man a lesson.”

Nedum walked in at twilight and saw us on the sofa. He greeted Mama and asked about the people in the village. Mama responded affably. I was surprised that she didn’t make a scene.

When would I start to take things like Mama did? I asked myself, standing to fix dinner for my husband.

Very early the next morning, Mama travelled back to the village almost at the same time Nedum went out for work. It was as if fate had brought Mama to discourage me from fleeing my 10 year-old union.

“Please ensure that the visitor’s room is tidy. She will be coming today.” Nedum had said on his way out. I pretended to have been deaf while focusing on scooping out Margarine onto the slices of bread my kids would be taking for breakfast. I boiled in anger but refused to implode.

Junior must have noticed the pensiveness that hovered in the home. “Mummy, what is wrong? Your eyes are red.” He asked with the serious concern of a bothered son. “Is it true that Dad will take a new wife?”

Children of these days, I wondered.
“Come and eat your food ‘osiso’.” I dodged eye contact. No matter how I tried to pretend, my eyes had a way of betraying my innermost feelings. It got wet very easily.

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From my room upstairs, I heard Nedum’s voice not long after the children had gone to school. He was not alone. The new wife was around. I could tell from the sound of her heels butting against my tiled floor.

“Who is here? Why such a cold welcome?” The treacherous lady said. Nedum screamed my name after. I couldn’t come down to greet them. All I wanted was to evaporate into the atmosphere. Disappear from the shame or to fight, like gladiators, to reclaim my man.

The voice of the woman struck me as familiar. My first suspect was Nnenna, my friend. Oh yea! That slut. She had always told me how lucky I was to have such a good, rich and handsome man as Nedum. What a bitch! I would certainly murder her and feed her brains to lizards.

When I finally came down in readiness to unleash hell on Nnenna and Nedum, what I saw froze me to the bones. In the silence that held sway, I enjoyed the music of the wind.

“Sister, what have you been doing upstairs?” Nneamaka, my blood sister, the new wife, said. “You don’t want to greet me.”

I had not seen her in 15 years. The circumstance of the meet was far from likable. We were supposed to have been clasped in each other’s embrace, instead I wanted so much to hurt her; stamp her out from the face of the earth. What magnitude of betrayal!

“Nedum, is this our new wife?” My voice broke as my eyelids fluttered. No need hiding it. The tears began to roll.

“New what?” Nneamaka questioned in annoying denial. I shot her a deadly glance. When I turned to Nedum, I saw a wry smile etched on his face. I hadn’t known him for sarcasm. How on earth could he be enjoying my silent death?

“Everyone listen. Honey, I am sorry to tell you… This has all been a joke. There is no new wife. I brought your sister home to surprise you. I love you and can never take another wife. Happy birthday!”

The whole thing seemed surreal. Like he was trying to rub in the pain. It was when Nedum hugged me and I actually circled his waist with my arms that it dawned on me. It startled me how sorrow could make one so forgetful. How could I not have remembered that it was my birthday?

I finally embraced my sister and told her how I had missed her. She had been in UK for nearly two decades.

As for Nedum, his joke was expensive. I was unhappy at the prank but I was overexcited that I would be keeping my husband after all. I forgave him easily because I loved him. No wonder Mama hadn’t spoken to him at all. She must have known.

Throughout that day, I never stopped smiling.

I have decided to act up a surprise too on Nedum’s birthday. Friends, I don’t know what would match up to this standard he has set. Suggestions are needed. Please help a sister out.

This story was written by Ugwuodo Nnenna Edith.
She is a graduate of English and Literary Studies from the University of Nigeria.

Next week on this blog is #NoToDomesticViolence week. For participation in the campaign, make a comment below.

SHADOWS 6

James had missed many papers already. The exams were winding to a close. His first week since return from the station was spent between lecturers’ offices pleading for special consideration. As he got more rejections, the pains he felt deepened. How could he ever forget the days spent in the hellhole? Days of deprivation and emotional abuse.

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Dr. Nwaoma didn’t do much to help matters except for a few words of sympathy.

“How are you James?”

“I am okay Cynthia.” He didn’t look her way.

“I am so happy that you are back.”
James gathered his books. He had been to the class to study for the next examination paper on Media Laws. “Thank you but I will be on my way now.”

“It is either we talk here and now or I will go to the hostel with you. Since you came back, you have been avoiding everyone even your friends.”

James sighed. “I am sorry Cynthia. Just that I have a lot to do and there are so many things on my mind.” He said, with a tone of defiance.

“You think I don’t know what you are doing. Did you bother to ask how you got out of the police cell?”

James looked at her with shock etched on his face. “How?”

“I.”

“What do you mean ‘I’?”

Cynthia sat beside him.

“I wrote a report on your situation and submitted it to five different National Dailies. An article about a missing journalist was a hot sell.”

James stared at her for a moment. “You did that?”

“Yes.” Cynthia shrugged and smiled widely.

“Thank you Cynthia. Really. Thank you.”

The report Cynthia had written was widely accepted and circulated. Many editors reached out to her to give their assurances. Columnists wrote on the matter and both the government and the leadership of the school were forced to facilitate his release.
*************

James watched with admiration for Cynthia as she showed him the newspaper publications in his hostel room.
She had followed him back.

“It is going to be a court case Cynthia. I am still going to lose. I am planning to do what they have asked of me.”

The next edition of Panorama was a couple of days away. James was glad to know that even in his absence, the newspaper had continued its exploits. Cynthia fed him the gist of a cover story in the last edition about a girl who had died during masturbation after the cucumber she was using got stuck in her private part. It thrilled James. The news kept on making waves across the ends of the University community and beyond.

James added, after dropping the last of the newspapers: “After then, I would resign.”

“Are you planning to give up now after how long you have come in this fight?”

“Yes. I have to. I don’t have enough evidence and you know…court isn’t something I can deal with.”

“Will you allow me to help you James?”

“Why are you doing these things for me?”

Cynthia managed a half-smile. “I don’t know.”

“What can you do this time around?”

“I have done some digging around. I think I have something.”

“What?”

“Prof. Udensi’s mobile phone.”

“How did you get that?” James mouthed with clenched teeth, allowing the words just enough opening to edge out like escaping gases. It was as he responded to a top secret.

“I have been to the late Professor’s house. I think you should go there to have a feel of what it is like to be in their shoes.”

“Ya. I have to. Even the boy that wrote me a letter… I need to see them. How will the phone help us?” James asked, scratching his head thoughtfully.

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“I noticed a strange phone number that repeatedly called him for over a week before his death. If I can get the audio of the discussion they had, it would go a long way.”

James shook his head. “Telecommunication companies have a privacy policy, you know?”

“Yes but… at least it is something we can argue with even in court. We can force the hands of the Judge.”

James phone rang, interrupting the discussion. After some minutes, he dropped the call sweating.

“What is it James?”

“My mother is dead.” As soon as he announced it, he filled the air with screams that were so loud to draw hostel mates.

To be continued…

INTERVIEW ON RELATIONSHIP WEDNESDAY: “FRIENDSHIP IS A LOT DIFFERENT FROM MARRIAGE.”

Elizabeth Anadi Ekwenibe is happily married. In this interview with Chika of Chikawrites.wordpress.com, she bares her mind on what makes a successful marriage and advises young ladies on how to prepare for the great task of being a wife.

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WHEN SHE WAS STILL SINGLE AND SEARCHING

I was looking for a perfect man with all the good qualities. He should be tall, slim and dark. Naira- loaded, God-fearing and Holy ghost-filled. In fact, I was looking for a 90% complete man.

SHE REALIZED

When asked if she achieved those things she dreamt of, Mrs. Elizabeth laughed off the possibility with the popular ‘if I hear’ clause. “Those were childish thoughts,” she said. “I looked at the irrelevant things instead of searching for someone that possessed the vital ingredients of marriage which are love, understanding, tolerance, patience and forgiving spirit. And the person who would love me for who I was and who would stand by me come what may and in spite of all odds, to see that I achieve my dream and goals.”

THE ROLE OF MONEY IN MARRIAGE

She uttered an emphatic ‘no’ in reply to whether money guaranteed a successful marriage. “You may love him because of his money. When his money is gone, the love will go. I have seen women who married rich men but flirted outside because their husbands were not always at home with them.”

MARRIAGE NOT A BED OF ROSES

Once a marriage is built on Christ who is the rock and the two parties have the aforementioned ingredients of marriage, the marriage will go through thick and thin. Marriage is not a bed of roses. Friendship is not marriage. The way a man treats you when you are just dating him would not be the way he does when you are married. At friendship level, you as the woman decides what happens but in marriage, it is not that way at all.

MEN IN MARRIAGE

She disagrees with the notion that marriage entirely changes men. “Not as if marriage changes men totally but during friendship, he just wants to win your heart but when he marries you, he takes decisions as the head of the house. For instance, during friendship, there are some of your attitudes he won’t frown at but when he eventually marries you, you would be mad at the way he quarrels over the same things he hitherto neglected.”

CHALLENGES FACED IN MARRIAGE

I am just one month into my marriage, so I have not encountered any challenge for now but maybe with time, I will know.

TO ALL YE SINGLE LADIES…

You should take life easy. Not all that glitters is gold. You should always look for someone you can stay with and not necessarily money. Wealth is not the solution to all problems. And also, you should put God at the centre of your marriage.

DAILY ROUTINE AS A WIFE

As a wife, your husband’s stomach and his upkeep should come first. Men like women that do domestic chores. I make sure I cook because I have made it a point of duty to ensure that my husband doesn’t eat outside. I do his laundry except for strong articles of clothing like Jeans. I keep the house clean. I do all these things even though I am still hunting for a job. I also make sure that I say prayers together with my husband; both morning and night prayers, because a family that prays together, stays together. Another important thing in marriage is communication. Couples should talk to themselves always; share their daily experiences and their difficulties, troubles, worries, triumphs, favours. The family should not be built on secrecy. Couples should not hide things from themselves.