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Betty Tuesdays

This category contains 10 posts

His name was Ayo.

His name was Ayo. I’ve always had a thing for Ayos because my first ‘love’ (and I use that term loosely) was Ayo.

But this Ayo was different from the first. He was way smarter. I like smart guys. I like smart guys a lot.

I remember the first time I saw him. Lape and I were taking the long walk home from the estate gate back home. His car paused beside us.

“Can I drop you guys off? I’m new on your street..” Or something of that sort. We got in. He did mention Jola’s name (my big sis) and Biodun’s too (our cousin). I sat next to him in front because, well, I’m older.

He asked us random questions about the estate and its social activities. I think we depressed him with our replies. He was moving from Adeniyi Jones where he’d lived all his life to our boring estate in Magodo.

“Are you guys doing anything later? My friend’s doing something. If you wanna come with…?”

We didn’t go.

I went to school and forgot about him till I got back. By this time, Jola had formed a very strong friendship with him. Not just Jola. But my parents too. He became the guy who was like a brother; the one that would make them relax when they heard we were with him.

He was our Ayo.

Jola tried her hand at match-making. But I wasn’t down for it.

“Nah.. I like Ayo and all, but he’s not my type.” I would say to her.

I lied. He was exactly my type. He was incredibly smart, witty. He got me. He knew and loved my music. Our conversations were wonderful.

But. Ayo wasn’t pretty.

Ayo had a big nose and he didn’t care much about his appearance. He wore all these old baggy suits (he had an explanation for this; something about where he was working) and just didn’t care.

And so I rejected it, denied it.

He became so involved in our lives that all my best friends came to know him.

“I think Ayo likes you…” Some said.
“And you know you guys would fit oh…” Others would say.

I didn’t listen. Ayo came for my graduation. He bought me a necklace. Yes, that necklace. The one I never part with. That I’ve been wearing faithfully for over two years.

I didn’t think he’d buy it. In one of those moments when I proclaim my desires “I want a white Range!” Or “I want to live in a wooden cabin in the green jungle!” I had pointed out a similar necklace in a Style magazine. “I want that necklace!”

Well, Ayo bought it. I have spent a good deal of this past year just staring at it. A friend versed in these things estimated it at ‘quite expensive’.

Ayo was the only person asides office people and family that I saw on my birthday. He made the long journey from his office to mine, so I wouldn’t have to use the BRT home. (Never mind his car broke down and we had to wait over an hour to fix it.)

I remember telling Anna that I would marry Ayo. That I just knew it in my belly that he was the one. That when I was older and realized he didn’t need to have a great face and hot body, that I’d capitulate.

It happened on a normal day. He was at ours some evening when he told us he’d quit his job. He’d been saying it for a while but I never took him seriously. He was serious this time.

“But why?” He shrugged.

Mother came home. And randomly asked. “When are you going for your Masters? We’re considering putting off Biola’s own till after Youth Service.”

Ayo had looked down before saying- “I’m leaving on Friday.” This was Tuesday.

I looked up in shock. Ade was smiling. He’d known all along. (He’s daddy’s P.A. Very annoying fellow!) Lape was as shocked as I was, glory be!

I picked my sandals which I’d carelessly flung somewhere and without saying a word, I climbed the stairs to my room.

I had a long bath. I wasn’t thinking anything.

Lape knocked. “Ayo is leaving.. Come say goodbye.”

“Tell him I said he should have a good life.” I replied.

A few minutes later, I got a text. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know how to tell you.”

But Jola had known. And Ade had known. Wasn’t I important?

I didn’t speak to him till Thursday evening. Lape didn’t understand why I was making such a big deal out of it. “He shaa told us finally.” She kept on saying.

She didn’t understand. She didn’t understand that this news was making me confront some things I’d rather have left in peace.

Like how I felt about Ayo. About why I wanted to cry.

He sat next to me Friday evening. His flight was late that night. We were trading songs on our phones. We said mostly nothing. I’m sure the tension wasn’t from just me.

When it was late enough, we all watched our parents pray for him before walking up the street to his house. We sat for another hour in front of his gate.

And when it was time to go. I hugged him. “Don’t forget us..” I whispered. “Never.” He said.

I think he knew. I know he knew.

Ayo left. And I cried. I cried alone. I cried in the bathroom when no one could see me cry. Because I was cold Biola. Biola doesn’t cry.

Now, with hindsight; I know that Ayo did not know. In fact, in his head, this story is told by him. And I’m the one who was clueless.

We’ve had one of those round-about conversations with a lot of ‘what-if’s dancing around. But we didn’t get to it. We left it as it is.

One of our conversations circled around the lyrics of ‘Lions, Tigers & Bears’. If you know it, you’d understand.

I’ve met smarter guys. Guys have bought me very expensive stuff. But Ayo is still Ayo to me.

We no longer talk as much. I expected this. But our conversations still leave me smiling.

I don’t know how to end this in a non-sappy way. So, I guess I should just end it here, eh?

Ok then. The End.

*************

Ok people. This story is slightly non-fiction. It might have happened to my cousin’s grandma’s friend’s nephew’s bestfriend. But I want to hear from you; is this cousin’s grandma’s friend’s nephew’s bestfriend the only one that has let go of something that coulda been phenomenal based on something so flighty? Not necessarily in looks; maybe you never tried with that guy because he didn’t have a car? Or because she’s igbo? Or because he’s shorter than you? Or she has four fingers on her left hand?

Or just because you’re a chicken?

Am I alone? Share with me.

The old man’s why.

For those who know me personally, you might have heard me make such a sweeping statement like “Atta is the coolest person in the world!” Well, I won’t go into why I think so. But I’ve brought you one of his shorter pieces to read. It’s a bit different from what you’ve been seeing on here but I’m glad I have versatile readers here. Without further ado, I bring you Atta Otigba’s ‘The Old Man’s Why’.

*******

I was born without a smile. I do not smile because I must. Long before I learned to laugh I knew what sadness was. I was born in the dead of night, into large freezing hands and a frost-bitten world with nothing but my wailing to call my own. I did not know the hands were large. If I did then I have forgotten and will never know. So I did not. I only knew to scream at the top of my lungs – they would not listen otherwise. It was all I knew and far too cold for smiling.

Now I am old and frail and weary of wailing. I have learned one thing more I did not know before – or if I did, I have forgotten; that nothing stops. Even still things move in time. Perish the wailing. There is now, for me, only laughter. It is all I know and far too late for crying.

I smile before I must. Smile, I must. So I do not wait to have no choice. I smile without a cause. I am not mad, only weary of waiting. There is no reason in waiting for reasons. There is no reason in waiting; if time will not wait then neither will I.

I was born without a smile. But I will die smiling. I will go to sleep with both corners turned up, on one side of a great, grim, grey curtain, and wake up on golden sheets, laughing at the top of my lungs – and they will listen.

******

Can you identify any talking point? I’ll just let you guys share your thoughts on the piece using the comment box.

Now, Thetoolsman has mandated me to give away 5 invites to The Naked Convos #1. I’m really not a big fan of these things so I hope this challenge doesn’t come across as too ‘challenging’.

I’ll give out invites to the following:

1. First two people to give me a synonym for the word ‘pulchritudinous‘.
2. First person to name my first ever post on this blog.
3. First person to name all the writers the participated in The Vagina Monologues on this blog.
4. First person to name the other blog I write for.

Good luck.

Writing for Betty.

So, today’s different. Everyone’s a writer today. We’re writing 3-lined poems. Either a haiku or just a free verse. But three lines. No more. No less.

There’s only one rule. Your lines could be long-ish or short but a line shouldn’t complete itself on the next line. They could be #Deep (rolling eyes) or flighty.

It could be about your lover, your bicycle or taking a dump. As you please… I would like you to be creative.

Try not to be like Uncle Toolsman whose poem read-

‘Roses are red,
Violets are purple.
Blue may be calm but that aint you.’

Here are some I made 11 friends write- take a cue. And if you like them, do show some love.

Alright people, get writing.

Oh mine?

Umm..

Black, Green, Purple, Blue;
The tips of her fingers.
Her colors of rebellion.

(And- Yes, I can write 2, I’m Betty!)

Give me your chest.
Scarred from war.
For my headrest.

(Yes. Yes. It might be crap, let me see yours before you judge. 😐 )

1. Tolu Talabi (@NaijaRookie)
Another rainy morning, my clothes are drenched;
My hair is a mess and my hands are cold
Like my heart.

2. Osi (@osizurunkle)
Undo that voodoo that you do so well
The one that makes you the thing on which my thoughts must dwell
Secrets I’d like to keep my eyes always tell.

3. Bankole (@banxman)
Discovering seven new colours
In your beautiful eyes
As I send you to the sky

(And because he sent me many beautiful ones, another-)

A wild cat with nine lives
That’s died eight times
Is what I am

4. Moyo (@MazeDaMouth)
This was what the old knew
What makes the young groan
Hardwork is the key, not luck

5. Ayorinde (@awizii)
Emptiness fills my heart, depression claims my soul
Worry and so much negativity is hard to control
You overpower me so much I’m hard to console, what are you?

6. Osemhen (@OsemhenA)
You say you know me, but you don’t
I know a secret, that you don’t
See, I’m going to marry you.

7. Andre (@AndreBlaze)
I slave a verse for you
Make bars about us
Appeal through music to you; my sentence.

8. Samantha (@SamanthaSiren)
Trained myself not to love;
Love exists when its found-
But not everyone’s love-bound.

9. Omotayo (@JadenTM)
Moments:
The sun will still be there
Tomorrow will not care
Let go your breath my dear

10. Oyekole (@Qurr)
Party hard on Saturday Night
Pray hard on Sunday Morning Weekend Warriors

11. Nnaemeka (@MauriceNN)
The sounds of silence
are the babbling of a brook
and an avalanche.

PS: Ok. Ok, I’ll be nice and add one of the other ones Thetoolsman sent me:

Your eyes found me guilty of the heinous crime of staring at you
Your eyes found me guilty of the unavoidable crime of noticing your beauty.
Your eyes sentenced me harshly to the lifelong duty of forever loving you. I dare not appeal.

Alone Again.

I met Tolu Talabi, whose work you’re reading today, at the Farafina Workshop. Tolu is an extremely intelligent guy whose work I think is simply brilliant! I saw this and thought to share it with you. Do enjoy and share your thoughts on your way out.

Tolu writes (along with the other members of the Farafina 2011 workshop) at Linguistic Playfulness.wordpress.com.

*************************

You say, “I’m not looking for anything right now. I’m not interested. My life is too complicated, I am never home, I can’t make time for it.”
But they counter with the same arguments they always use, “It’s so cute, you’ll love it. It’s beautiful.” “Won’t it be nice to have something to come home to? something to look forward to?”

So you argue back and forth and eventually get to a concession that sees you going home from the florist with a potted plant. A simple plant that you should be able manage on your busy schedule. Something so low maintenance even you can’t screw it up, all you have to do is check on it a couple of times a week, take it out so it spends some time in the sun, and feed it by watering.

The first couple of days are wonderful, everything looks great, its beautiful flowers stand upright greeting you with a smile at the end of every day. But then it all starts to go wrong because even the low maintenance ones have needs they don’t tell you about. At first it’s little things, bits and pieces that used to exist before no longer do. Some of the things that change are hardly noticeable, but all are warning signs. The welcoming smile is gone. Petals wilt and fall off. The leaves hang limply, browning at the edges. You do everything you’re supposed to, but there is no improvement.

So you ask, “how can I fix things? How can I make things better? How can I turn things back to the way they used to be?” But it’s a plant and plants don’t talk. Communication has always been a one-way street, and that didn’t bother you back when things were rosy. You didn’t care until things turned sour and now you need to be told what to do.
“What do you want? Just tell me what you want and I’ll do it!” you scream, but there is no response.

You look up ways to make it better, online searches for sunny getaways, anything to bring the smile back. You seek expert opinion, the advice of someone who understands, anyone who has been in a similar situation.
“Is there an horticulturist in the house?”
Nothing works… its once proud flowers droop, all but dead, shadows of their former selves. But you don’t give up, not yet. You spend more and more time on it, trying different things, taking it out more often, watering feverishly. Things that you should have done more of in the beginning. It’s too late for regrets now, your frantic attempts only bring you closer to the inevitable end.

Finally, you make a last ditch effort, you put in so much water that it spills over the edges, love overflowing, you take it outside on the hottest day…. there it all comes to a head, the plant drowns, the remaining leaves wither away in the scorching sun. All you’re left with is an empty pot with dead roots.
A flower pot that once held a beautiful daisy.
An empty heart that once had a connection.

Letting Go.

“Samirah…”

She felt his chest rumble beneath her ear as he called her name. She sighed and curled closer to him. They were sharing the large armchair in his living room. His hands moved rhythmically across her back. She sighed again.

“Yes Ty?”

His hands paused.

“Let me in, S. Let me into your head.”

They’d been together for four months. Samirah was one of those weird ones- The men didn’t understand but wanted her even more fiercely. She chose Ty. Ty chose her. They fell in love. But Samirah still held a part of her back. They’d shared their bodies; their homes. But not that.

He’d shared his all. Told her everything. “I hate my family,” he’d said. “I never want to see them again. Ever.”

She’d consoled him but never let go of what he wanted the most. The part of her soul that was behind a thousand barriers, all made of steel.

“I love you, Ty.”

“I know you do, Sam.. But… Talk to me. I’m here.”

She turned her head so it was buried in his broad chest; her muffled words drifted up to him. “A long while ago..”

And she let go and let him in. Her fears. Her past. All. And when the tears fell freely; he cried with her. Reveling in her words. Not the words in themselves, but what saying them meant. She had given herself totally. To him.

And they took themselves, there on the carpeted floor in front of the armchair that now held significance- of two souls reaching out and melding into each other. For life.

The white walls were a sharp contrast to her purple kaftan. Her hair was standing around her pale face. Dark circles underneath her slanted eyes.

She found the doctor. He looked down at her kindly.

“Where is he?” Her voice came out in a whisper. A crack in her voice. “Is he dead? Just tell me.”

“No. But are you family?”

She let out a sharp breath. “Yes. Yes, I am.”

Tears slipped down her face. Relief, evident in her dark eyes.

The doctor frowned; hesitated then said-

“Come with me.”

He was sitting up in bed, smiling at some stranger.

He looked right at her. Then looked away.

She walked in. “Ty..”

“Who are you?” The stranger asked harshly. “Who is she, John?” He asked the doctor.

The doctor frowned again. “Sorry Kenny. She said she was family.” He turned to her. “I thought..”

But she wasn’t listening to either of them. She walked over to Ty who was looking confused.

“Ty…”

She reached out to touch the bandage on his head. “Taye…” He was quiet. “Taye?”

He stayed quiet.

Then. “I’m sorry, I don’t know you.”

She froze.

She looked to the doctor. His face had softened again. “I’m sorry, Taye has lost some of his memory.”

The stranger spoke again. “Well, I’m his brother. His twin brother. Who are you to Taye?”

Samirah’s eyes cut back to Taye’s. Urging him to speak up. To remember. To remember them.

But after a few seconds, he looked away, uncomfortable.

“If you won’t answer, you might have to leave. The parents will soon be here, Mother won’t want a stranger lurking around.”

Samirah was silent. Her gaze still intent on Taye.

“Ty…”

Silence.

Then she turned and walked out of the room, the hospital and his life. Leaving most of herself behind.

******************

Hi everyone. So, first of all, I’d like to dedicate this post to my soul sister @Ms_Dania…be happy in Bayelsa. Now to the post. Writing this, I imagined just how difficult it is for some people to open up to others. The fear, the hurt, the pain that goes along with it. Now imagine this scenario after going through all of that. They say every decision in life is a gamble; some are just worth more than others. Imagine yourself as Samirah, would you stay, would you leave? Use the comment box and speak your mind. Ciao.

Everybody Smile.

Hi everyone. It’s my turn to thank you guys for all the support you’ve shown us here. 5 nominations at the Nigerian Blog Awards, that’s just amazing. Use the link: here to vote and keep showing us your love. Thanks again. On to today’s post then. Enjoy.

**********

“Everybody smile..!”

I stretched my lips into a wide smile. There. Nobody’s was brighter.

Now, will you leave me alone?
But, of course not.

The hugs. The platitudes. The chatter.

Yakking. Babble. Prattle.

I clenched and un-clenched my fingers.
“Excuse me, please.” I said to the friends clustered around me that had been going on about nothing for the past few minutes.

I didn’t wait for a reply; just walked out of the crowded room with my head bowed. Refusing to make eye contact with anyone.

I walked to the kitchen. Raised voices greeted me. Rola and Segun were fighting again. I sighed and climbed the stairs.

Getting to Jon’s room, I walked in and locked the door softly behind me. I ignored his massive elegant bed and crumbled to the floor. My back against the smooth mahogany door.

The door was thick enough to muffle the sounds drifting up the stairs. I took off my expensive shoes and let out a long deep breath.

Whooosh.

I picked at the hem of my navy blue dress and the reason for this gathering glinted back at me. My engagement ring.

I see my friends eye my 5’9″ frame in envy. I see my friends eye my 6’2″ fiancé with envy. I see them eye my 5-bedroom soon-to-be house. I see them eye my very successful PR job.

Heck, everybody wants to be me. Beautiful, successful, engaged at 25.

So, why am I scared? Why is this numbing fear gnawing at me?

All good things come to an end. Jon and I laugh at that song. What he doesn’t know is that deep down, I believe this..

My insecurities assail me at every corner. What if I’m not a good-enough wife? Mother? What if I die? Worse, if Jon dies? What if we fall out of love?

What if? Silly as it sounds, it has a deathly grip on me. Jumps on me at the oddest moments, taking away my breath. Leaving me wheezing.

Too good to be true. To last. Nothing can be perfect. Right? What will it be? It terrifies me that I can’t answer this.

A soft knock on the door made me sigh again. I’d been found.

“Babe? You in there?” Jon’s husky voice reached out to me. I loved it when he called me babe.

“Yes.” I didn’t move.

“You coming out? Your sisters are here.”

I said nothing. “I love you, Jon..”

Jon was quiet. “I love you too..” More silence. “Why won’t you talk to me? Tell me what’s wrong, babe.. We’ll work it out together.”

A tear slipped down my cheek. I brushed it away roughly.

Where do I start from? What do I say? How do I tell him without him feeling somehow responsible? He doesn’t put pressure on me. And no, I don’t have low-self esteem.

I can imagine Dupe laughing it off; ‘What do YOU have to be insecure about?’

It’s just.. I’m too realistic, pragmatic to believe in this fairy tale.

“Just tired. I’m coming out.”

************

Most people might not admit it but the picture painted above captures a lot of lives out there. Many women (and men too) go about with suppressed emotions. Insecurity and perhaps depression hidden behind smiles. My question is this, do you think our culture/society encourage this? If not, what other factors can you think up. You know the drill, use the comment box and speak your mind. Ciao.

The Intruder

The house was dark. The scenes from the TV casting a myriad of moving colours on the watcher and her surroundings. She had fallen asleep though. Her neck was bent at an awkward angle, her fingers lax around the remote.

She was middle-aged. Most estimated her age at late 30s. She was 44. She’d been married three times. She was certain her present business tycoon was The One. She did love him. And she’d been with him for 6years. A record.

The very business tycoon entered the room. Shaking his full head of grey at the scene, he turned off the TV and tapped her.

“Victoria?”

She jumped. Startled. Her usual reaction to being wakened. She looked about frantically. He tapped her again. She settled.

“Oh. I slept off.” She smiled at herself for stating the obvious.

There was a knock at the door. They looked at each other, both frowning. A visitor at such a late hour? She frowned; he squared his jaw and shoulders and approached the massive bullet-proof door.

“Who is it?”

“Na me, Oga. Musa.”

They both relaxed. He turned the lock and was startled when Musa was pushed in by a mask-wearing taller man.

“Jesus!” Victoria screamed and rolled to the carpeted floor.

The intuder paused. Raising his right arm, he showed off his gun.

“Everybody, down.” He didn’t shout. He had such a commanding aura; even the house-owner didn’t hesitate much before kneeling.

He pushed the tied-up Musa to the side of the door and pointing at the tycoon, he gestured to the expensive couch behind which Victoria was cowering.

“Sit.”

Trying hard to keep a calm exterior, the tycoon did as was asked.

“Victoria. Sit too.” The inturder said making the tycoon flinch at the familiar use of her name.

Shaking and confused, Victoria joined her husband. She reached out to clutch his hand, pulling it to her lap. She huddled closer.

The tycoon thought it was time to take control. “Young man, how much do you..”

“Shut up!” The word resounded in the large room and the tycoon’s eyes widened at the authority it carried. This was no tout. He shut up.

“I just want to talk.” The intruder said, then paused. He lowered the gun to his side. “Do you have kids?”

They were both silent.

“Answer me!”

“Yes.” “No.” They said together.

His hand clenched around the gun.

“What.. what we mean is I have a daughter but Victoria has n..no children..”

The intruder sat heavily on the marble center table.

He was silent. Then:

“Why shouldn’t I kill you?”

Victoria started sobbing loudly. The tycoon nudged her to shut up. She buried her head in her hands and continued to sob, but quietly; already envisioning the end of her life.

“You have no reason to live? Funny. Let me tell you a story…”

The tycoon looked wildly about. He was one of the crazies, what did the TV shows say again? Just let them talk. His eyes flitted about, looking for a way out. Let him talk.

“My mother hated me. She was raped as a teenager by a robber, a killer. I was the product. Her parents won’t let her kill me… She always reminded me I was the spawn of the robber, a killer, the devil..”

Victoria had stiffened beside her husband. The tycoon was barely listening.

“She left me in church one day when I was seven. I never saw her again..”

Victoria had stopped sobbing. She still didn’t look up but her breaths were coming out in sharp gasps.

“Until today..”

The tycoon finally listened. “What?!” He looked confused.

“Victoria. My mother? Weren’t you listening?” The arm with the gun came up again. A silent but heavy threat.

He pulled off the mask swiftly with his left hand. “Mother, look at me.”

The tycoon’s eyes widened. “Victoooriaaa…” He whispered softly. She didn’t answer. “Victoooriaaa! Is any of this true? You.. you said you couldn’t have children.. Victoria. Victoooriaaaa?!”

“Yes?!” She fell to the ground. Her face contorted with tears. She still refused to look up. “What can I say? What could I do? I was raped! Raped!”

“I. Said. Look. At. Me!”

The intruder stood up again. He had gained command of himself again.

Taking a long deep breath, he pointed the gun at her.

“Mother.”

She raised her head, still sobbing; but only to the level of his wide chest rising and falling steadily.

“Mother..  I’m exactly what you said I was. Now tell me again, why shouldn’t I kill you?”

END.

A not-so-simple question is what I’ve put before you today. I’d like to read your answers, opinions and comments. Thanks for stopping by. Ciao.

Superman

Hi everyone. Today’s post is……. maybe I should just let you help me out with the adjectives on this one. Enjoy.

I am superman.

“Tinkolo tinkoko!”

I will save the world.

“Tinkololo tinkoko!”

Nobody else can. The job is mine.
They have become robots.

“Left! Right! Left!”

I laugh long and hard. They look at me strangely. Why don’t they laugh? I will save them. So they can laugh.

The music comes on. Maybe they’ll dance.

“Kimon! Let’s go! Wa gba!”

I break into dance. Left foot askew, right foot at an angle. Body undulating in jerky movements.

But they don’t dance. They just walk so rigidly. Can’t they hear the song? Why won’t they dance?

This is serious! I must save them so they can dance.

I need a plan. I sit.

A plan. A plan.

Superman needs a plan. When? How?

Superman is hungry. Food. Food.

Superman should eat before he plans. Before he saves.

Aha! There’s food! Superman is happy.

“Tinkolo tinkoko!”

I dance to my food. Warm bread. Ahhh…

“Ha! Weee-ree! Wee-re! Ole! Mad man ohhh! Come back here! Oooo-le!”

Why is she shouting? She needs to be saved. She’s gone mad. I have to run. So I can eat in peace. So I can be strong. So I can save her.

“Tinkolo tinkoko!”

END.

There you have it. Can you relate? Maybe yes, maybe no? It’s always interesting imagining how things really are on the other side. Please use the comment box to share your thoughts experiences and so on. Ciao.

Addicted

Hi everyone. I really don’t know how to introduce this piece so I’ll just let you read. Enjoy.

She clutched his arm, refusing to let go. “What? Tunde, but I love you!”

He pried her fingers off, while taking a step back. “Sade, I know you love me. I…I think a little too much. You’re just so intense.”

He took another step back when he saw the wild look in her eyes. She looked almost… mad.

She hugged herself, not bothering to stop the tears. “No.” She shook her head from side to side. “No. Tunde, I gave it all up for you. I gave you my body, Tunde, you own my soul. I let go of my friends…”

“I didn’t ask you to!” Tunde snapped. He’d become worried when during the second month of their relationship, he had met her cousin:

“Sade already has a new boyfriend?” the cousin had blurted out. “But Jide died barely two months ago! And Jide was everything to Sade.”

Sade had never mentioned any ‘Jide’; never mentioned any death to Tunde. She was always going on about how much she loved him, needed him; not even bothered or fazed that Tunde never said it back.

He took long strides to the door. He looked back to see she hadn’t moved an inch. She looked to be in shock, eyes glazed,  repeating the “No!” over and over.

“Sade, this is best. Especially for you. I think you need to be alone for a little while.” He shut the door behind him with resolve, cutting all ties to the woman behind it.

Sade turned around sharply. She paced while looking around frantically. She let out an eerie scream, reminiscent of a tortured animal’s, as she threw the nearest vase to the ground.

No! What was wrong with her? Her dad had left her mum because of her; Jide had left her; now Tunde! No! She couldn’t let him leave her. Tunde was perfect for her.

She fell to the ground, rolling herself into a ball as shudders coursed through her frame.

She just had to remind him of how much he loved her. She wouldn’t live; couldn’t live without him. She’d just remind him.

She got up, ran to the kitchen to get the sharpest knife. She laid her equipment on the center table and sat still as she watched the clock.

Her busy-banker mother always got home between 9:00 and 10:00p.m; like clockwork. She’d do it at 9:50. Her mother would call Tunde and he’d remember. He’d remember he loved her.

9:48. 9:49. 9:50. She carefully raised the knife to her left wrist. “I’ll just remind you.” She repeated under her breath; almost like a chant. She cut her lower lip from biting so hard so she wouldn’t cry out.

The knife clattered loudly to the ground when she was done. She pulled her bleeding hands to her chest, closing her eyes tight so she wouldn’t see her crimson life flow out of her.

She’d just remember her love for him while she waited.

“I love you, Tunde. I love you…”

But Mrs. Ajayi, in an unusual bid to please her daughter, took a detour to the Supermarket to get those rare sausages and the French chocolates that she always saw Sade eating.

It wasn’t her fault that the Supermarket’s computers were down and everything had to be done manually.
It also wasn’t her fault that Sade didn’t get to taste the chocolates.

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I know, I know, classic Betty right? Some of you might argue that these things don’t happen in our society but I hope the comments here today will not only change that perception but also help proffer solutions. Please use the comment box and speak your mind. Ciao ciao…

Mammon

Hey guys, so things are getting pretty busy here nowadays. Anyways, this has been a long time coming but I’m glad to finally announce the birth of our very own in house baby blogger’s category. Let me introduce y’all to our new category:  “Betty Tuesdays“.  I’ll now hand you over to your host, @Uberbetty.

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I could start by gushing about how this is such an awesome privilege. But I won’t. Thetoolsman knows how grateful I am to have been allotted this spot, I hope to thank him by spurning stories you’d like. However, I come with no grandiose aspirations as I’m just a story-teller. All I ask is that when you’re done reading, that you share your own related stories, opinions or impressions with me using the comment box. Here’s to New Beginnings. Cheers.

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His hands clenched the wheel tight. He was quiet. No one could tell from his bland exterior the chaos that roiled inside.

She raised a brow. “You’re awfully quiet today. Are you still upset about the Abdul thing?”

Abdul. Ahmed. Dapo. Chijioke. He couldn’t keep track anymore. She always went and came back and apologized. And he always took her back.

All because of money. He loved her. And he did believe she loved him.
But these other dudes could take care of her. He couldn’t.

His ramshackle car and dingy one bedroom apartment to their mansions and Porsches.
And she was so beautiful; they were drawn in like moth to flame.

“Mike. Answer now…” She reached out to touch his ear. He drew away. She sighed and pulled out her phone. “Fine! Be that way!”

He turned on the radio. But it refused to distract him.

Walking into the bar with his buddy. Remembering the sneers and raucous laughter.

You’ve got nothing.
You’ve got nothing.

“I thought you were gonna fix the A.C? I’m hot.”

He said nothing.

Remembering the phone calls from his guys- “Dude, let her go… You can’t afford her standards. I saw her out last night with…”

Broke-ass. Pauper. Have-not.

He gripped the wheel even tighter. He’d reached the end.

She laughed at something while she fanned herself with her left hand. She looked up. “This guy’s house is far sha.. Since, na wa..”

It was dark when they arrived.

“Why does he live so far?” She hissed. She stepped down, flipped her hair over her shoulder and peered into the darkness. “Doesn’t he own a gen? No light.. After that hot long ride..”

He came over to her side of the car. Held her hand and turned her to face him.
She smiled. “Oh, you’ve forgiven me now?”

He drew her into a hug. Buried his nose in her neck. She wrapped her arms around his back. She let out a long sigh. “I do love you, y’know?”

“I know. I love you too. So bloody much. And that’s why.”

“Why what?”

He never got to answer.
Figures jumped out of the darkness and latched on to her; the surprise factor making it easy to bundle her without much resistance.

Her eyes widened. She didn’t scream. Her eyes sought his out.

“Mike.. What’s going on? Mike? Mike!”

He turned his back to her and refused to look back as her screams faded.

He drove back home slowly. Tears pouring down.

“You have to give up whom you love the most. That’s how I can make you rich…” The Baba had said.

They won’t laugh anymore.

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