Ada’s Dilemma 

They had spent the past five years of their lives planning ahead from the day they would officially say I do. They had agreed on everything: what deco was needed in the house, who will do what, who was welcome to stay with them and for how long, how many children they would have, how they would spend financially and other things couples had to agree on before marrying. But nothing had prepared him for his wife’s comment on their wedding night.
“I think you we should use protection tonight babe”

“What?”

His tone wasn’t angry. He just wanted to make sure he heard right. A lot of things had already started running through his mind, like did his wife have a disease she was not telling him about? He trusted her so he was not going to be too forward. He just needed to understand.

“It’s just I’m not ready to get pregnant it’s too soon”
“Um… okay”

He waited for more explanations because even her reason was outlandish and unexpected. They must have discussed wanting to have children and when, but he did not remember discussing how long they were going to wait till that happened. He said nothing but stared at the frame of her body in the darkness of the room.

Ada had a dilemma in her own mind. She was not ready partly because she wanted to enjoy her husband but also because she had her career to think about and being pregnant now would perhaps make the climb to the top a little slow. What if she would have to quit her job? Being overly dependent on her husband wasn’t her style. Another thought that bothered her was that what would happen if when she was finally ready to have children she wouldn’t be able to. Igbo women were fertile anyway but with the uncertainty of the universe, there was a possibility that things would not go as planned. She prayed against her latter thought. But at this moment how was she going to explain this to her confused husband?

This was the exact dilemma that Ada confessed to her mother the next morning. Her husband did not take her silence lightly. There wasn’t any place to get protection at that time of the night so of course it was lights out.

The mother of the bride stared at her daughter, mouth open in disbelief, as she listened to the drama that had unfolded.
“Didn’t you discuss this during counselling?”

“Well, we did, but was thinking along this line recently.”

“And you decided to wait till after the wedding to state this?”

“I did not want him to have any doubts.”

“About what? You’re his wife!”

Ada remained silent.

“Okay let me tell you the truth and hopefully this truth will set you free.”

Ada stared at her mother.

“What you’re feeling is very normal. But it’s a feeling borne from fear and fear isn’t permitted in the life of a child of God, neither is worry. But here’s what I’ve learned and I’ll share it with you because it’s a passage that addresses all your current problems”

Her mother rose up to pull out her bible from the bedside dresser. The older woman then returned and sat by her at the foot of the bed.
She opened the little black book and read:
“Deuteronomy 28:11-13

The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
See, you’re under a new covenant and under this covenant you will be fruitful. Also under this new covenant, you will flourish.”
“You say new covenant but yet you read from the Old Testament.”
“Exactly, and that is because God’s promises are yes and Amen. Regardless of the time, he had decreed, He will bring it to pass. There isn’t any need to worry about this any further. Go home and agree with your husband. Honor him and please him. But don’t hold back because of fears, especially knowing now that your fruitfulness and prosperity have been settled long ago.”

Ada wipes away tears that have suddenly begun to slip down her chin.

“Thanks Mama.” She stretches her arm for an embrace.

^^^^^^

As we should know, in a coupled relationship, it is not just what ‘I’ want or ‘you’ want. It is what ‘We’ want. This is a difficult bridge to cross and that is why couples go through months of counselling and take time to agree together before the big balloon day. But even after all the ceremony it takes a conscious effort to make decisions together. Another lesson displayed in the story is the importance of having a spiritual partner. Either a friend, relative or mentor, you need to be open with someone. You also need as much confidence that that person’s advice will steer you in the right direction of peace and joy and not fuel your fleshy emotions. The most evident lesson is not to let fear and worry cloud your judgment on certain decisions. God’s word has the answer to whatever questions we are asking in secret. The answers may not come black and white but if we seek for his opinion on life’s most challenging situations, He is ready with an answer and with a very active support system (the Holy Spirit)

Shalom

UNTOUCHED

Okay think.

Here I am wide awake and in the dark. The same line playing in my mind over and over again. The same thought. I do not know if I am going crazy but I am most certainly going to die…soon…if I do not do something. My husband is sound asleep beside me. He is so peaceful and handsome. He is so loving. God bless him for waiting for me and for being patient for 60 years. Yes, I am freak’n 85 years old and I cannot even believe myself. Why am I still alive, what’s really my purpose? My husband seems to have one and I can’t stop myself from thinking that I am the reason he has not fulfilled that purpose. But that is my purpose right, as his wife, to help him fulfil his.

Sigh.

The only plan I can come up with now means I’ll have to give up my position for someone else. That will only prove my love for him, right?

I wish someone will answer my questions.

I know just the right person and am I wrong for already despising her. She is beautiful, hardworking and loyal. She knows my husband and she knows me. But what if she actually gets pregnant, what will happen to me? I know that’s kind of the point but I don’t think I can bear the humiliation. To know that it is actually me that has a problem-that I am barren.

So why am I here? What is my purpose, Lord? To be humiliated? But I am humble, right? I mean, I am willing to give up everything even my pride and position to fulfil your will.

Who said God needed help? Silence

At the first break of light, I am going to make haste. He might not like it but he won’t say no. The moment I bring her before him. He’s a man. Yeah sadly he’s a man and he won’t be able to say no because she’s so beautiful. And I am old.

I’ll wake her and say “You have lived with us since your birth. We have fed you and clothed you. We have trained your hands to work and we taught you to fear God. Now you will do this thing for me, Hagar, you will give my husband a son.”

The thought of it makes me want to throw-up. But what if he refuses and doesn’t take her. That will just increase my guilt. If I died maybe he would feel better.

Stop Thinking.

It is easier to runway from the truth and just keep living like nothing matters but eventually it does and you begin to question the purpose of life. It is at this time that some seek God. It is at this time that some take their life out of frustration. But me, I’m not doing any. I am trying to find a solution myself. I will probably fail. God never does it quickly and taking my life is cowardice. And right now my attitude is plain pride.

I am tired of pondering this path. I’ve been on it too long and God and my husband have been good enough to me. I Feel like I do not deserve it anymore. Yeah the pity. I cannot differentiate it from love anymore.

EXODUS 23:26- AND NONE WILL MISCARRY OR BE BARREN IN YOUR LAND. I WILL GIVE YOU A FULL LIFE SPAN

How does it feel to be without a child for so long?

What can you do to overcome the trying period?

Have you been in a similar position what is your advice?

Are you still in a similar position what is your strength?

 

 

 

 

I remember talking to an older friend who had a baby and I remembered her expressions and description of the process. A lot of procedures go into delivery and sometimes it can be a painful one. But there is also this feeling of joy and hope. From an African background, for ones family to be satisfied with the cries of a baby is peace enough. A lot of women are disrespected for their conditions. More troubling is what women go through in their mind just to see their families happy.  I called this untouched because a barren woman has not experienced the mix of pain and joy. She has not experienced the child moving around in her womb. For some the miracle is around the corner and others have moved on from the thought. This story is reaching out to women in this struggle. Also this story is about purpose. For a single person, the physical reward of a life well served can be a struggle if not received when expected. We begin to question and doubt our faith and purpose in life. We begin to feel that matters should be handled by our own hands. But eventually we fail. ‘Life is not a sprint, it is a marathon.’  With hard work comes perseverance.

The Weekend with Demiladeayo.

So for me this weekend was amazing. I could call it my post birthday weekend celebration. So rather than keeping it all to myself I have decided to tell you about it (I’m keeping it simple of course):

Friday 29-04!
People say the weekend starts on Friday and after work everyone is excited to chill with friends and hang out for the rest of the evening before heading home. So on Friday some colleagues and I headed to Hard Rock Cafe down the road from our office building (Landmark, Water Corporation Drive, VIctoria Island, Lagos)
The whole idea was to hold a mini send off gathering for some people that were leaving.

Hard Rock Cafe is a restaurant and bar and that night they were hosting DJ Jimmy Jat but it was getting late and I had to go home. But from pervious visits to the Cafe, their food is great and they have a variety of nice cocktails and a wonderful ocean view! Although being inside is more comfortable because Nigeria is so hot!

Saturday 30-06!

AAND Architecture Exhibition

Saturday was looking more like the stay at home and watch Jane the Virgin kind of day but later in the evening I got invited by my dad to a private architecture showcase – African Alliance for New Design(AAND) hosting three architectural firms: cmD+A, MOE+Art Architecture and SI.SA. It was an exhibition promoting architecture with African based ideas and modernism. I ran into a school mate of mine who is an architect and works at cmD+A (they are responsible for designing the new Maryland shopping mall that is to open on the 26th of May).

I was the only one that came with a professional camera and ended up photographing the event. No regrets there because I did not take the pictures for free; thanks to the encouragement I received from a passionate guy that works with Si.Sa. I wasn’t perfect but he made me see that with passion and wisdom I could earn from the pictures taken.

I am currently serving at an organization that is into Mechanical and Electrical consulting and happened to come across one our projects designed my MOE+Art Architecture. I was really excited because I happened to have visited that particular site on Friday with my boss!

Sunday 01-05!

Anticipating Asa’s grand opening

Sunday was thanksgiving and also May 1st which meant it was also Workers’ Day and because of that the global holiday was to extend to Monday!!! We had a special guest at our church- Mr Laolu Gbenjo who gave us a wonderful praise session. After the service I got to talk to him because I write and sing. He asked me what my stage name was and I told him Demiladeayo(that was the only thing that came to mind). So he said to me that your stage name is the brand that people know you by. Once they hear that name they have an image of you in mind. He also promised to visit my blog (Yaay!)

When I got home my cousin asked me if I was interested in going for the Asa concert, that her boss had cancelled and she had an extra VIP ticket. Of course I said yes! So before heading out for the concert I went to eat my favorite original pounded yam and seafood okro at Yellow Chili. The concert was live with opening guest performances from: Kaline, Falana, Rachael Kerr and Bez. Then Asa came up and raised the roof!

Wow! Sunday was so dramatic I had to find a way to keep it simple but in trying to keep it simple I missed a lot! I forgot my phone at home so couldn’t take a selfie with Mr Laolu! My camera battery was low so I couldn’t take pictures at the concert + I left early 😦

Monday 02-05!

The queue before me is evidence alone of how nice the smoothie is!

Guess what?
I ran into Asa again at the Eko Hotel and Suits while visiting the UKEAS Exhibition. While I was about leaving the event and gisting with my aunt about the concert, there was Asa beside me. It was like a ‘speaking of the angel’ kind of moment(I did not hesistate to get a selfie shot this time). From there we headed to the GTB food and drink fair at Water Corporation Road. That also was live because I love food and it’s for people that love food! I ran into a colleague of mine who loves food and he cooks too which I admire so much (it’s a secret observation he doesn’t know about). He told me he was going to take cooking classes with Red Dish Chronicle which is a culinary school owned by Abiola Akanji (Chef Stone).

I also ran into a fellow core member of mine whose sister manages Smothie Express! It reminded me of the ones I had in school and I was so excited to try it and you should too.

Also to end the fair experience I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy doughnuts from Donuts n’ Crumbs

The dogged concentration of a happy customer about to receive a grand prize



Yeah! So my weekend was pretty busy- I know. But at the end of it God gave us life so that we could enjoy it!! In enjoying the life we have, we are also living for Him!

Shalom!

Conversations

So, I wrote a short story today! I’m not even sure what to tittle it and might need your help with that.

 

Chief Akin Ojuogun sat before the medical doctor. He folded his hands over his chest and tried to show restraint although clearly discomforted about what the test results would reveal.

“I’m sorry we took much of your time, Sir. The results usually take a while because of the kind of tests we were running on you.”

That was not his concern.  “So what is wrong with me?”
The middle age doctor stared down over the paper on his desk and started to fidget with his pen.

It was Chief Akin’s pride that stopped him from snatching the paper and reading the results himself.

“Mr Ojuogun..”

“Chief Ojuogun you mean.” He eyed the younger man.

“Sorry Sir.” The doctor cleared his throat. “I would first of all like to ask if you have any family members around you- ”

“-Mr Doctor man” his tone was spiteful. “What is wrong with me?” He didn’t have time to beat about the bush.

“I would be direct-”

“-then please be.”

The doctor cleared his throat again. “Sir, what I’m about to tell you-”

“-I get that you are not my family doctor if not you would know that I like to hear things as they are. Please just get to the point so that I can go.”

“But this is serious.”

“I’ve gotten that by now so can you just tell me what it is!” He was losing patience.

“You have cancer. It wasn’t discovered in time so you’re in stage three. ”

“Thank you, I guessed as much.” Chief Akin cursed under his breath.

“So can you please send these results to my family doctor and prescribe medication for me.”

“You do not have that long to live”

“Everyone is going to die someday.”

“You don’t seem bothered.”

Chief akin was quiet for a while. Not sure whether to lash his tongue at this unsuspecting doctor or just walk away.

“Please forward my results.”

He got up and walked out. He heard the young doctor calling out to him but ignored and headed straight for the exit. The air outside the hospital was fresh compared to the smell of germicide mopped floors and disinfected sheets.
Chief Akin robbed his forehead. It was probably his bad attitude that gave him cancer in the first place. He laughed. He kept laughing. He couldn’t stop. He was going to die. That was probably the best news he had heard in a while.
The driver pulled up in front of him. He must have been spotted the moment he stepped out and of course Tobi, the driver, knew he didn’t like to be kept waiting.
He was still laughing. Tobi was confused.

“Chief is everything okay?”

He stopped and frowned into the rear mirror. Eyes locking with Tobi’s. The driver looked away instantly.

“Shut up and take me home.”

Chief Akin was not sure where his mind had wondered to or if he had fallen asleep but the sound of the car horn brought him back to consciousness and he realized he was back at his mansion.
Everything looked different today. It looked unimportant. He just realized he didn’t even ask how long he had left but that was also unimportant. He was going to die anyway.

He walked on a cloud into the house, completely unaware of everything around him. He walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. Then he walked to the cabinet and pulled out a glass. Then he popped the cap and filled the glass and drank the water.

His stereotyped movement amazed him and he would have started another episode of sarcastic laughter except that he was not alone in the room.

There was a stranger in the room. He should have been scared but he wasn’t. Normally, he was always fearful. Afraid that someone would shoot him. Afraid that someone would poison him. Afraid that someone would leave him. Afraid that he would lose his fortune. Well all this was about to happen because he was going to die.
“Who are you?” He eyed the young skinny looking woman in the corner of the room.

She looked uncomfortable and confused. She bent her knees to greet him.

“Good morning Sir. I greeted you before but you didn’t answer me.”

He hated people that didn’t get straight to the point.

“I said who- are- you?”

“Mama Alake’s daughter.”

He rolled his eyes. “So you are Alake.”

“Yes sir.”

“Where is your mother?”

“She was not feeling well so she asked me to come. I have cleaned the house and prepared your food.”

He looked around.

“It’s on the dinning table.” She said as if reading his thoughts.

He nodded and walked away. He went to the dinning table and saw the cloth covered bowls. He sat down. He was not used to many hands preparing his food but today he did not care and why? Because he was going to die. If anyone was going to poison him, all they would be doing is speeding up the death process and easing his pain because he ached all over.
Alake rushed out from the kitchen.

“Sir, your phone is ringing.”

He waved her away but she did not get what he meant so she stood there with the phone in her hand. He ignored her.
He removed the cloth. Opened the bowls. Pulled out a plate and dished himself a spoon of brown rice, vegetables and fish. Was eating healthy important anymore? He shrugged.
He put a spoon in his mouth and chewed in silence. But his phone started ringing again.

“Sir?”

He waved her away again but she stood there and he ignored her.

He stared at his 6 sitter dining table. The seats were carved from wood and had gold lining on the back and arm rests. It cost him a lot of money. His wealth didn’t leave him after all but he was going to leave it. He would probably bury himself with some of his gold chains.

He would bury himself? A dead man burying himself.

He laughed again- the sarcastic laugh and chocked on a grain of rice.

Alake rushed to the kitchen and brought out a glass of water and handed it to him. He would have shouted at her if it was a “normal day”. Why didn’t she think to bring water to the table before he started eating instead of standing there like a zombie with his phone in her hand.

He took the water and drank it. He was grateful but he was not going to thank her because she brought the water at the wrong time.
He wiped his mouth. Alake stood there.

“Sir, are you sure you are okay?”

Alake’s mother had told her not to talk to the Chief but she was not at peace. Something was wrong with this fifty something year old man and she wanted to know what it was even if he fired her.
Chief looked at her and then back at his plate.

“Do you want to join me?”

“Sir?” Alake was stunned.

“I’m actually not fine. Please come and join me.”

Alake was not sure if she was hearing right.
“Sir?”

“You heard me.” His tone was a bit commanding. She was afraid to comply and also afraid to turn him down. She sat down.
“The chair is comfortable? I’m sure you sit on it when I’m not at home.”

Alake felt insulted but refused to show it. Did he expect her to sit on the floor. She never even sat on the house chairs in the first place. She remained quiet.

He dropped his spoon and clasped his hands “What I am about to tell you now, you must tell nobody.”

Alake was scared. Was this man going to tell her he was a ritualist? He acted like one. She would not be surprised. She watched as he dished a plate of food for her. She made the food, so she was sure she did not poison it but suddenly she was scared to eat it. Or did he think she poisoned his food and wanted to test her? Well, she was not going to eat either way.

Chief Akin was not sure what he was doing. This was a stranger- his maid’s daughter and he was about to expose his deepest anguish to her. But she was a stranger and she was probably afraid of him so that would keep her quiet.

“You can eat.”

She didn’t. He did not care.
“So, Alake?”

She nodded.

“I found out today that I’m going to die.”

Alake froze.

“But I knew. Don’t worry I don’t have Lasser Fever.”

He said that like it was going to make her relax. She didn’t. Was he really making a joke out of his shocking comment.

“I have cancer.”

“Have you told your family?” That was the first thing out of her mouth and Alake would have bitten herself for interrupting.

” Well, it depends on if I have family. Well I have family members but not an actually family.”

He paused like he was waiting for a reply but when he didn’t get one he continued.

“I’m wealthy in debt.”

He saw her eyes twitch and knew she did not understand.
” I mean I’m rich and I have lots of money but I also owe a lot of people money. If they find out that I am going to die they may start praying for me so that I would pay them back. But I don’t have money.”
“But you just said that you are rich.”
“I’m rich because of the borrowed money I have.”

That’s sad. Alake thought it but she did not say it.

“What does that have to do with your family?”

“Well, my wife left me and took my two children. When she remarried, my son came back. But when he moved to the university in England he just never came back and never called. I see my daughter sometimes because she is a lawyer and she persecutes me most of the time so that is funny.”

“She works for the people that are against you?”

“Yes. I think she does it intentionally”

“Friends?”

“Um, I don’t have friends. With the kind of person I am and what I do, you don’t really have friends. It is always a competition. People are with you for money or fame. My doctor is probably my only friend”

That is sad. Alake thought again but did not comment.

“So what are you going to do?

“What do think I should do?”

Be less nasty. Tell your family. Pray! But she kept it in her gut.
“I don’t know yet Sir. But why did you tell me?”

“Because you are a stranger. And you won’t tell anybody.”

Alake squinted at him.
“Do you think it has anything to do with your pompous attitude.” She was not angry.

“Angry?”

“Just asking”

“So you think I’m pompous?”

“I think you are pompous and lonely and maybe bitter.” She looked around.”You have such a big house and you do not have a single person living with you. Even with the few people you have around, you don’t treat them well-”

“Is that what your mother told you?”

Alake panicked for fear of getting her mother fired “No!” She became silent.

“So I am pompous,lonely and maybe bitter.”

“Mr- I mean Chief Akin that’s not what I meant.”

“That’s what you meant.”

“Okay yes, but I did not mean to be so direct.”

“I like direct.”

“Okay Sir.”

They were silent.

“You need to let someone know. You need your family, if not you’ll be depressed”

“I’m always depressed and that’s why I’m telling you.”

“But I’m not your family?”

“Precisely.”

Alake did not get why this man was so nonchalant.

“What are you afraid of?”

Chief Akin crossed his arm over his chest. “I’ve told you already. I’m afraid….”

“You will die alone?”

“I’m already dying alone.”

“Then what are you afraid of?”

“I was going to answer before your interrupted me.”

“Sorry sir.”

“I’m afraid that my misery would continue after I die. I would still be a debtor and I would still be alone and worse I’ll have to pay for all the wrong decisions I made in the my miserable life”

They were silent again.

“But God can give you a fresh start.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that before. But my problems are too many to be solved in the little time I have left.

“How long is that?”

Chief Akin remembered again that he forgot to ask how long he had.

“I don’t know. Not long.”

“Nothing is too hard for God. You should start my asking God for forgiveness. Then sell everything you own and pay your debt. Then go and look for your family. It’s that simple.”

Chief Akin laughed his sarcastic laugh again.

Alake was not laughing.

“You are serious?”

“Yes Sir, I am”

Chief Akin looked in deep thought.

“But why should God forgive me and if I sell everything I own what would I have?”

” A mans life does not consist in the things he owns- go and live with your daughter.”
He laughed again. Alake did not laugh.

“Are are serious?”

“Yes sir. Nothing is too hard for God.”

Chief akin sighed.

“But won’t God ask me why I had to wait till I was about to die.”

“Don’t overlook the obvious here, Sir. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.”

“Hmmm.”

“Yes sir.”

“Nicely put”

“Correctly put, Sir.”

Chief Akin laughed ” I can’t remember the last time I prayed.”

“Now isn’t too late, Sir.”

Chief Akin stared into space for a long time then got up and walked into the kitchen. Alake remained glued to her seat, not sure if she should have followed him. But she felt at peace. He probably needed time. She took the opportunity to pray for him and she was too grateful that she had a relationship with God.
After what felt like thirty minutes the older man emerged from the kitchen, eyes swollen but with a smile on his face.
“I wish I had done that a long time ago”

He laughed allowing a tear slide down his left check. He sat down at the head of the table again.
Alake smiled. Holding back her own tears.

“Most people feel that way too. Some don’t even get to make that decision till it’s too late.”

” I guess I have something to be grateful for then.”

“What?”

“That God sent me a stranger.”

” Hmm, not exactly. I’ve been to this house about three times but you never notice me.”

“Oh.”

“But it’s fine. I guess it was about right timing.”

They both chuckled.

“And the food is cold…”

Chief Akin stared down at his plate.

“I can warm that for you Sir”

Without waiting for a reply, Alake scooped up the tray and disappeared into the kitchen.
He found himself shouting thank you to her back. Something he hardly ever did. He smiled. He was more than thankful, not just for the food but for her presence and more thankful to God for giving him the small sense to converse with the daughter of his maid who now for all he knew is the only friend he has.

‭‭

Stop at nothing 3

The abrupt pause caused Mula to go slow on the chorus. In his mind, blood of Jesus was still ringing and his lips were vibrating but no sound came. He stared at his Madam. She was staring at his table but she was not blinking, her mind clearly miles away from the small congested room they were both hiding in. The mad man tapped the glass again. 

“It’s Sam.” 
Like someone had suddenly given her a jolt, Buki sprang to her feet. 

“From where?” 
“Moshood Abiola” 
“What is that?” 
“University now!” 

Mula tapped her shoulder. “This man doesn’t sound mad.” 

“Shhh..” She shoved his hand away.

 “Do you remember me?” 

Of course she did! The cultist who killed someone and was sentenced to prison for it. 

“Your boyfriend.” 

 Buki and Mula chorused a resounding “God forbid!” 
“Madam the man just said he is your boyfriend.” 
” I said God forbid” Buki took her hand around her head. 
Mula followed her actions “I forbid it for you too.” 
“What do you want?” Buki spoke. The beating in her chest was still causing a vibration in her ears but she was not as shaken up as before. 
“Was surprised to see you and wanted to talk” 
“About what?” Mula had impulsively replied him.

“Shhhh..” Buki flagged him down. 
“I don’t know….” Sam really didn’t know. In fact he wished now that he didn’t recognize her. He wished he didn’t call her name or made himself look crazy. He was not crazy. 

 “I’m not crazy.” He thought he should let her know. 
Buki was not sure of what to make of the whole scenario. She would definitely not get over the shock of what just happened and was certainly going to call up her friends to let them know who she ran into. Buki was picturing it in her head. 

“Should I chase him away?” Mula asked a very sincere question and something Buki would have really liked. 
She stared at him and nodded. 

“But give him this” she pulled out her wallet from her bag and counted five thousand naira. She handed it over to Mula to give it to the man. 

“Madam are you sure?” Buki nodded.
Mula peered out of the small glass window. 

“Eys step back. You said you are not crazy abi. Go and stand outside the gate.”
Sam was hesitant for a second. But he didn’t want any trouble, not even one that would land him back in prison. He obeyed. 
Mula unlocked the door. Carrying a stick, he emerged from his man cave. 
Stepping a few centimeters from the gate he ordered Sam to step back again. Mula placed the notes infront of the gate then stepped back a few centimeters. 

“She said I should give you.” 
Sam was silent. “Oya take it and go.” 

Mula wove his stick in the air. 
Sam was not sure what to do. He needed money. He hadn’t decided yet however what he was going to do if he had it. He muttered a thank you then moved to retrieve the notes off the floor. First thing he was going to do was find a way to call home, then find a place to shower and probably something different to wear. He counted the notes given him- five thousand naira. Whether it was enough or not, he was thankful. 

It was a head start to a new life after 40 years. When he was cleaned up he would come back to look for Buki maybe then she would see him differently and not the crazy person that tried to attack her. 

 He muttered another thank you. Mula wove his stick. 
He walked away in the opposite direction from the main road figuring that Buki would want to head in that direction. But even when he glanced back he didn’t see her. She was probably still frightened because it was Mula that headed to the main road instead. Probably to fetch her a taxi.
For the first time in the one week of getting out of Prison, Sam cried. He allowed himself to cry. He allowed the anger, the pain, the sympathy, all of it to just overwhelm him and he cried. He collapsed to his knees in the middle of the dark street sobbing into his palms; unto the notes that had been given him. 

His shoulders rocked violently and he gasped for breath as the tears flowed down his cheeks. 

Who was he going to blame? He made the wrong decision just because he wanted to be cool. It seemed like a harmless decision then but still a puppy that lives in the midst of lions is still seen a wild animal. 

Stop at nothing Part 2 

Buki sighed.
Finally the report was over and the slides were ready for tomorrow’s presentation. She was really pushing for a promotion and a managerial position was just a pebble throw away. 

She sighed again, this time out of fustration. How was she going to get home at this hour? It was 9pm. Her car had broken down this morning and had been taken to the mechanic at noon. Because of her pursuit of excellence, she had turned down Nnonye’s offer of a ride home so that she could finish up for tomorrow. Maybe that was a bad idea now that she was thinking about it, but then she really just had to get done with this presentation. 

She walked out of the office door and headed to the security room. She had told Mula that she was going to leave late so he would be expecting her. She wasn’t surprised. He was asleep. She tapped on the dusty glass to wake him up. He woke up with a stare then slowly lifted himself to the window. 

“You are going?” 

The smell of alcohol and onions slapped her face. She wished she had stepped back a little from the window. 

“Hmmn.” 

 She didn’t wait for him to reply. She just turned around and walked away.

“See you tomorrow” she muttered as an after thought. It was necessary to be polite irrespective of who she was addressing.

“Okay Madam. Goodnight.”
She swung open the gates and stepped out, slightly hitting her foot on the raised platform of the gate.

“Ouch!” 

Her tight shoes were already a burden only to make it press tighter against her toes. She pulled out her slippers. The things women go through, if you do not carry a pair of slippers or flat shoes in your bag then you must be really sophisticated. 
She stuffed her shoes in the bag and and bent down to examine the corn that was forming on her toe. 
She stood straight. If she walked to the end of the road she could get a taxi….. 

Buki froze. The thought was lost in her mind as a sense of panic rose in her. Why was a mad man staring at her? He wasn’t even blinking. Buki wasn’t sure whether to ignore him and continue down the road-but she would have to walk past him. 

What if he attacked her? What if the mad man was actually an armed rubber? Should she go back inside and call Mula to walk her down? She was considering her options. 

Then, it looked like the man was about to move or speak. Panic was rising in her, making a knot form in her chest; her mouth was dry; she was sweating and her feet were weightless. 
The man turned fully now to look at her. Then, he called her name. Buki didn’t know how the sound escaped her. Or how she found herself in Mula’s cave. But she was almost crying. A mad man called her by her name! Mula had peered out of his door to see what was going on. Then he quickly shot the door and locked it. 

” Madam someone is coming.” 

She started to plead the blood of Jesus. 
The mad man was shouting now. 

“Buki! Buki is that you?”

The tears swirled up in her gut and the salty water stung her eyes. The blood of Jesus had turned to words of desperation for God to come and save her. 

She was sweating; afraid. Mula’s room smelled like dirty boxers that had been soaked in water for days. 

“Buki is that you?” 

Mula was confused. “Madam ‘im dey call you.” 
She didn’t know where the anger came from.

“I can hear!! Blood of Jesus!” 

Mula joined her. The two chorusing blood of Jesus like performing deliverance on a demon possessed individual that refused to be delivered. 
“Buki it’s me.” he tapped the glass. 
“It’s Sam.” 
To be continued…..  

Stop At Nothing.

Sam crouched over the waste drum that stood outside of the office complex. He had watched from across the street as the fat lady brought out the trash and dumped it into the drum. He had waited till dark when he thought all the office people had left before heading to his newly discovered dinner table. 2 days ago he had discovered the hidden treasure:Left over chicken pieces, whole doughnuts, pies and even pizza. Yes! Even pizza. That people hadn’t eaten or merely just took a bite of. Who said he wasn’t a wealthy man in his own right. At least when others boasted of delicacies they had tried, he could boast as well.

Tears stung his eyes now. His pride had been so shattered to the point that he could boast of eating out of a dustbin. He hated himself for a split second but shook it off. He had to survive and feeling sorry for himself was not going to cut it. But still he felt sorry. 

He was an educated man, at least he made it to his second year in the university before getting mixed up with the wrong people. I don’t have to do what they do, I could just hang out with them and command the respect of others on campus. They would fear me or who they think I am . So he thought and what a fool he was.

He stuffed half eaten meat in his mouth. It tasted sour but it was better than nothing. The owner probably threw it away because it was hard. His teeth ached but he chewed on. 

He laughed at himself. How foolish could he have been back then. He was just at the right place at the wrong time- If there was anything like that. He went to visit his girlfriend when a shooting broke out in the hall. She hadn’t come out yet. Everyone went from ground to window, some into an invisible bush. How they found the bush at that time no one knows. Unfortunately for him, someone just said they saw him there at that time and that he was a cult member and that was how he was arrested. He later found out that someone died. The someone till this very moment he still doesn’t know but the wails of a mother crying for vengeance for her son had persuaded the judge to convict him to 20 years in prison. He was upset of course. He was sad too but he thought 20 years was not so far away. But now he was 43. No home, no family, no money. No nothing. 

That was in the past. He was out of prison now for about a week. No one had come looking for him. Not even his mother, his only guardian. They had moved to Lagos when he was still in Primary school. After his father had died they simply had to escape from village troubles. She was always loving and caring but maybe the fact that she tried so hard to provide for them kept her from seeing just how much he needed her around. While she was financially available, she wasn’t emotionally available. He was alone. After he was convicted she was so upset that she said she would not see him and she didn’t. But one day she came. She brought clothes and food and prayed for him. He was upset also but non the less grateful for the support. Then she didn’t come again.

 He kept wondering if something had happened. He was bitter after that for a long time. Some times he was scared because he wasn’t sure what to make of her sudden appearance and then disappearance. 

He burped. Probably that meant he was okay with the food. But he felt tempted to take some away. But to where? How would he take away already decaying food? He shrugged. He scrambled through the bin for something small he could take with him just in case he got hungry again in the night. He stood up straight with the trophy in his hand. Chicken! 

“This office people like chicken o-” 

“Ouch!” 

He looked up into the sky. He wasn’t expecting a reply to his otherwise rhetorical comment and there were no angels in the sky so who was it. 
Sam suddenly realized that his calculations were wrong. All the office people hadn’t left after all. The young woman was bent over. Fingering her toes. He squinted in her direction. He was not sure whether to move or just stay put. His feet were stuck to the ground. He didn’t want her to see him and panic. They might keep an eye out for him and not allow him to visit his treasured food can. Stay put it is. But maybe it was a stupid idea because she saw him anyway. She froze as well not sure what to do. She was staring at him and he was staring at her and the street light was in between them casting small shadows on their faces. 

He squinted again. This time with a furrowed brow. He still wasn’t sure what to do and she seemed to be waiting for his response too. She stole a glance at the office gate like she was trying to calculate the running distance. Then he recognized her. 
“Buki….” 

Like thunder in a storm she screeeeaaaaamed and dashed for the security post inside the building.
 To be continued…..

We are the cause

We are the cause of our problems!
We are the cause of our pain!
When we speak when we dont have
to
Or smile too much making others take advantage of us
When we try to be so perfect and refuse to share our pain
When we play too much

We are the cause of the wars and famine and global warming
Our quest to live an express life at the expense of our dying environment
We are the cause of our own deaths when we refuse to redeem our souls and live in sin forgetting that it’s wages is death

We are the cause and no one is to blame!
Not God because he warned us. Not even the devil cause he tempts us.

We choose to stand or to fall
We choose to succeed or to fail
We choose to give in or to refrain
We cause what we choose and we carry the curse our cross.

But there is no problem without a solution nor pain without gain.
We can choose to be our medicine and cause our solution.

Blank pages…

It was either the feel of her soft milk chocolate skin between his palm or the smell of her hair beneath his nose, a smell of sweet coconut oil, but he was drawn to her.

She rested her head over his bare chest with her ears pressed close to his heart. His heart was not racing because he was at peace just having her chest rise and fall in sync with his. 

She looked up into his eyes. Her deep hazel eyes watching his face. He didn’t hesitate but bent his head to kiss her. Her full lips filling his. 

She was  black and she was beautiful. She was smart also. She knew him too well so she pulled away. 

“I have to go”

“But why? I’ve missed you.”

“And I’ve missed you too but you know he’ll be waiting” 

And by ‘he’ she was speaking of her father. 

“When will I see you again” he sat up now. “Tomorrow?” 

She smiled and he felt his heart tightening at the thought of letting her out of his sight so quickly.

“At least walk me out will you?” 

It was a bit chilly outside tonight and he noticed the way she wrapped her arms around herself but he fought the urge to hold her. 

“So Diana….”

His words were cut short by a fight that had broken out down the street. They were both caught off gaurd but before he could get her attention again a car had pulled up from the side of the road. 

With the speed of the turn and the screech of the tyres, a mark was sure to have been left of the road. 

He tried to pull her away from the side lane but the car was headed straight for them. He missed her fingers by just an inch before the car sent her flying one meter in the air above the road and into the windscreen. The car didn’t stop but headed straight for the glass panels of his apartment building.

He didn’t move. He felt the blood drain from his brain. His finger tips went numb and his heart stopped. There was a sudden clot in his throat and he fell to his knees. 

He felt a tear trickle down his right cheek before everything went blank.

I love him so.

I am completely aware of Him. I am sensitive to his touch and sensitive to his voice. I feel as though if I should miss his love for even a second my heart might not take it. I need him ever close to me. All I want is to be wrapped in his arms. 
He is more than just my lover. He is my first love. He is my prince. He is my teacher and my counselor. He is my father, my brother and my friend. He is my comfort. 

He is my existence.

I rest under the shade of his gaze cause I know that as long as he watches over me I can never be lost. How precious I feel as the apple of his eyes.

His words are sweeter than honey. I don’t need water to survive in the desert because his words are sweeter, even more precious than water.