Thursday, 26 September 2013

TABOOS: HEARTH AND HOME

Remi Ayorinde smiled at her reflection in the mirror. I look absolutely wonderful, for a sixty-year old. She turned her face from one side to the other. Satisfied with her inspection, she patted it gently. Of course, there are a few wrinkles here and there, but I’ve fared a lot better than most.
She allowed the towel wrapped around her chest to drop and still looking at the mirror, she slowly turned around, looking her body over. When she faced the mirror again, her hands went up to cup her breasts gently, then a slow smile lit up her face. They are a tad fuller than I’m used to, but I must admit, they are perky!
Her hands dropped and she gently ran her right hand over her belly. The fold she had always hated, on the lower portion, was gone. A tiny part of me misses that proof that those beautiful babies came out of me, all those years ago… A very tiny part, though.
She giggled and ran her hands on both sides of her waist, before twisting to look at her back. Bye-bye, love handles and Spanx!
Suddenly, she felt the need to dance for joy and the smile on her face grew wider. Who would have thought that the body I had as a girl would return? Omo was right… Dr. Abiodun does really good work.

Friday, 13 September 2013

TABOOS

“I love you.”
There was no response for about two minutes after the message was read, so Femi Ayorinde frowned and sent another.
“Please, say something.”
“What do you want me to say? That you have a funny way of showing it? Or that I don’t think you’ve ever understood what love means?”
He blew out a breath from his mouth. “Please, don’t be like that.”
“Femi, have these years not meant anything to you at all?”
“How can you say that? This situation torments me too, you know?”
“Torment? Does whatever that word means to you, come close to how I feel, just by looking at your DP?”
Femi sighed wearily and dropped his blackberry phone on the ledge of the bathtub. He closed his eyes before rubbing his left thumb and index finger over them. When he dropped his hand and opened his eyes, he picked up the phone and stared at the open chat. The smiling face he had used as his display picture stared back at him, her dimples winking at him.
He gently rubbed his right thumb over her face, before typing, “You know how these things are.”
There was no reply for a while, but he could see that some typing was going on, at the other end, so he waited. Soon the reply came and he started reading.
“No, I don’t. Do you see me taking the liberties you do? From the way I see, it, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds. I don’t entirely blame you for your selfishness. I share a part of that blame too; because I have always indulged your every whim. All you have ever needed to do was snap your perfectly manicured fingers and I come running to you. It’s almost pathetic the way I wait to hear you say that you need me. I have a lot to give anyone, so I’m sick and tired of being hidden away, like some scum.”
Femi shook his head twice and started typing furiously. “You are in my life, as visible as you can possibly be.” Exasperated, he frowned and rubbed his left hand over the smooth skin on his head and resumed typing, “I love you and I want to be with you always. I want to shout to the world that you belong to me and I belong to you. But, I can’t. You know it.”
“You can, but you have chosen not to. We have options.”
Femi was still for a few seconds, a frown on his face. Sometimes, you’re the most exasperating person I know. He continued typing, “Those options have dire consequences. Have you forgotten that?”
“Then, you don’t want to be with me enough.”
He closed his eyes, at a loss for words. There was silence, for a about a minute, till the vibration of his phone alerted him to a new message. He opened his eyes and read, “Go, Femi. Go back to the one who the world knows belongs to you and to whom you belong. I bet you’re hiding away in some corner of your home, while she lies in your bed, waiting for you to come into her arms. When you make love to her, I’m sure you’ll think of me and I’m sure you’d wish it were me. I promise you this; you’ll never have me again. That would be my sweet revenge.”
His heart beat fast and he typed, “Come, on. Don’t take any rash decisions. You can’t do that to us.” When the message didn’t deliver, he got up from the edge of the bathtub and paced the bathroom. Soon, he flushed the toilet, before going to the shower stall to turn on the taps. He lifted his phone to his face and noticed that his last message hadn’t been delivered still, so he punched in some numbers, instead and put the phone to his ear.
The automated female voice at the other end told him, “The number you have dialed is switched off.”
He slammed a fist into the tiled wall and the jarring pain along the entire length of his arm had him biting off an exclamation and wincing. Nursing his throbbing fingers, he stepped into the shower and soon, his tears mixed with the water droplets.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

SECRETS: REKINDLING THE FLAME

“I loved you a whole lot, back then, you know.”
She turned her head quickly to him. He kept his eyes on the road, as he drove. “You never said so.”
“Not in words.”
“How was I supposed to know?”
He glanced at her. “I showed you…” He looked away again. “…and if you had stuck around, you would have heard it.”
“The last time we were together…”
“Yeah, immediately you left, I regretted not saying it back. I waited till I was sure you were home before calling, but you never picked. Then, I sent messages full of…”
“Romantic nonsense.”
When he cast a sharp look at her, she smiled ruefully and said quietly, “That’s what she called them.”
Without looking at her, he asked, “Who?”
She sighed deeply. “I told you I didn’t feel so good the last time I was at yours, remember?”
He nodded. “You had come from the hospital to see me.”
“I thought I had malaria and because I really wanted to see you, I didn’t wait to collect the test results.”
She shrugged and continued, “I planned to stop at the hospital on my way to work, the next day.”
She smiled slightly and shook her head. “But, before I got home, the doctor had called my dad and told him that I was pregnant.”
Slowly and in a detached manner, she recounted all that happened afterwards.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

SECRETS: MOTHER KNOWS BEST


“I’m so sorry, Sade.”
Eyes narrowed, she shook her head, confused. “What exactly is going on, Niyi?
Niyi blew out a breath with his mouth, ran his hands over his face and turned to Kunle, who was staring at Bunmi with a look of shock on his face. “Kunle.”
Slowly, he turned his head to look at Niyi and his eyes narrowed. “Yes, what exactly is going on, sir?”
“I am your father, Kunle. Your mother and I…”
“You brought your mistress to live in my house?”
He turned back to an open-mouthed Sade and shook his head quickly. “It wasn’t that way, at all. Agnes has never been my mistress. I had a brief relationship with her and that ended almost two years before you came into my life.”
Still looking at his wife, he waved a hand in Kunle’s direction. “Kunle was born, as a result of that relationship.”
Tears fell rapidly from her eyes and wiping them away, she whipped her head away from him. “How could you keep something like that from me, Adeniyi?” She turned back to him, tapping her fingers rapidly on the side stool between their chairs. “When was I supposed to find out?”
Her eyes narrowed. “In another will, maybe?”
He leaned over his chair, to grab her hand and she snatched it away. He sighed deeply and leaned back on the back of his chair. “I didn’t always know about him, Sade.”
Shaking his head, he waved his left hand. “That’s not entirely true.”

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

SECRETS: THE FATHER FIGURE


A few hours later, in her grandmother’s living room, she wiped the tears that ran down her face, with the back of her left hand. With her right, she picked up the piece of paper on her laps and continued reading.
The way he asked me how you were, anytime I came back home, from a visit to you, told me more than you ever wanted to. You may never have talked about it, but I knew he was the one.
A teardrop fell on the paper.
Trust me, my darling. It will be alright.
Your father…
She stopped reading, as memories of a night, five years ago, came rushing in.

“How could you have been so stupid, Bunmi?”
“Daddy, I…” She put her face in her hands and started crying.
“Niyi, calm down, please.”
“Calm down, Sade?” He spread his arms upwards and shook his head. “Calm down, she says!”
He spun around to face her. “Where were you when your daughter was sleeping around?”
Bunmi raised her head and gasped. Niyi looked at her and nodded continuously. “Yes, you must have been. Why else do you not know the animal that got you pregnant?”
He pointed his right index finger at her. “Do you have any idea who you are? Tell me, do you?”
He brought his hand down and shook his head slowly. “The daughter of Adeniyi Williams-Akanbi will not have a child outside wedlock. That won’t happen!”
Bunmi fell on her knees and stretched out both arms to her father. “Daddy, please. I beg you… Please… Don’t ask me to have an abortion. I can’t do that.”
“You can’t do that?” He drew his brows together and nodded slowly. “I see. You prefer to bring shame to this family, right?”
“Niyi, please…”
Still looking at Bunmi, he said, “Sade, stay out of this. Oluwabunmi, I ask you for the last time; who is the man that dared to defile my daughter?”
Still kneeling, she pleaded, “Daddy, I can’t say now, please.”
He turned away from her and went to sit on his chair, behind the table. Supporting both elbows with the table, he put his head in his hands. There was silence in the study, for a while, till he raised his head again. When he wiped away tears from his eyes with both thumbs, Bunmi sprang up. “Daddy!”
His raised hand halted her in her tracks. He shook his head and spoke slowly, “I cannot allow another…” He paused and continued, “… a bastard child into this family and I will not have a daughter with loose morals.”
“Niyi, I beg you.” Sade got up from her chair and fell on her knees. “Please, don’t do this.”
He ignored her, still looking at Bunmi. “You will leave this house immediately. I cannot bear to see the shame that is you.”
Bunmi, crying harder, fell to her knees again and stretched out her arms to him. “Daddy… Please, don’t send me away. I beg you.”
He spoke slowly, pronouncing each word carefully. “You will take your things and you will leave this house now. Till you get rid of that thing in you, I do not know you.”
She turned slowly to look at her mother, who was crying too. “Mummy…”
“Leave my study now.”

Sunday, 3 February 2013

SECRETS: WHEN THERE IS A WILL



Otunba Adeniyi Williams-Akanbi smiled at his daughter. “You used to fly into my arms after any time away. Five years is a long time, Bunmi.”
She opened her mouth and shut it again. I can’t believe the nerve of the man.
“Why did you send your goons to kidnap us?”
“Goons?” He started laughing. “Kidnap you?” He waved his left hand in a dismissive manner. “You’ve always had a great imagination, Bunmi.”
Suddenly, he stopped laughing and spoke slowly, “A child who refuses to respect her elders will be treated like a child, no matter how old she is. I am your father and when I…”
Raising her voice, she cut him off. “Five years ago, you lost all claim to that title when you…”
His face tightened, but his tone remained the same. “Oluwabunmi Williams-Akanbi, I am your father and that has never changed. When I ask you to visit, you will respect me and do just that. When you refused to take my calls, you left me no choice but to force you to…”
She turned, pulling the twins to the door. He raised his voice, “Where exactly do you think you’re going, young woman?”
She opened the door and they walked through, without bothering to shut it. He was quick to go after them. “How dare you walk out on me, Bunmi? Have you lost your mind?”

Monday, 28 January 2013

SECRETS


“Why mummy?” Jake whined. “I’m a big boy now.”
“Jake, mummy said that someone could steal us, if we don’t wait for her,” Joanna said, pulling her twin back.
When they started to squabble, Bunmi bit back a smile as she walked pass her children and got through the revolving door first.
“Leave me alone!”
“No, Jake. We have to hold hands now. Mummy said so.”
“But, you’re holding me too tight, Jo!”
“That’s enough, both of you,” Bunmi said sharply. “Jake, you know the drill. We all have to hold hands till we get to the car. Jo, loosen up your hold a bit, okay.

The parking lot of the store they had just come of out was almost deserted and dimly lit, so she couldn’t see her son’s face clearly. But, she was certain it wore a frown now. Just like his father’s.
Her mood soured and just when her thoughts were about going to the man that had fathered her children, she heard the sound of car doors being slammed shut. Turning in that direction, she saw two men get out from the back of a dark-coloured Honda Accord. From where she stood, she thought it was the latest model, but she wasn’t sure. She looked away, not wanting to make eye contact, but before turning away completely, she noticed them walk towards her and the kids.
Quickly, Bunmi pulled her children to the car. Something about those men made her uneasy.

Friday, 18 January 2013

THE MAGIC WORDS


Some days ago, I had a really busy day and by night time, all I wanted was to send the kids off to bed and put my feet up. However, I was running a little late on their bedtime schedule and, since I didn’t want any mealtime drama, I decided on fixing them really fast food for dinner.
Nwando wanted the egg sandwich I offered, while the little boss man wanted some cereal instead.
Soon the sandwich was ready and immediately she took the first bite, she said, “Mummy, everything you cook is delicious. That makes me think you’re special.”

I wasn’t exactly surprised by that declaration, because she says such things a lot of the time. However, because I hadn’t been expecting it, it was an awww moment for me. Grinning from ear to ear, I came to her, hugged and kissed her and was rewarded with a huge smile.
Ikem was not to be outdone. He immediately stopped riding around on a tricycle and said, “Mummy, thank you for making Cerelac for me.”
Since he started talking a lot clearer, it’s always a delight to hold conversations with him, not only because he’s always certain of what he wants; but, because he mimics us a lot.
I hadn’t made his cereal yet. Infact, I was holding a plate with the dry cereal inside at the time. But, I rewarded him with a smile, a hug and a kiss too.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

THE LOST PEBBLES

Growing up, I enjoyed playing Mancala aka ncho. Whenever we travelled to the village for Easter or Christmas holidays, my siblings, young uncles and aunties, cousins and I would dig holes in the ground for this. We would use pebbles specially picked for this and we would play one game after another, for hours on end.
Years later, my mum bought a game of ncho for us. This was a wooden board, shaped like a tortoise and my siblings and I had lots of fun with it.
When I saw this board game in a store about two months ago, I was quick to purchase it in a bid to re-create some of that fun. I told Nwando it was a family game. The sound of that, for some reason, got her excited.
For a while, she reminded me that I hadn’t fulfilled my promise of teaching her. So, some weeks ago, I finally opened it. The board was plain but shiny and inside there were beautiful glass pebbles. We took the game into their room and played there. It was fun teaching her how to count her pebbles and try to outwit me and her excitement was catching. When we were done, we put away the glass pebbles into the holes on the wooden board. I folded the board to close it, then, put it into its paper packaging.
Not long after I left their room, I heard a crash that had me rushing back in. I realized then that I had forgotten the game in their bathroom. Ikem had found it there and when he tried to bring it out, it slipped from his hands and fell to the floor.
There were glass pebbles everywhere so the three of us started picking. I knew how many pebbles each hole was supposed to have during a game and I also knew how many pebbles had come as extras.
Luckily, we got all of them and I made sure to take the game with me this time.

Monday, 5 November 2012

SPAMGUARD

A few mornings ago, I heard a sound alert on my phone that indicated that I had an email but I ignored it. After a while, I heard another alert, indicating that another email had just come in so I picked my phone and saw that the emails were notifications of comments on two articles on this blog. One of them was by an anonymous person and I already suspected what it would be.
I was right. The anonymous comment was a spam comment, one of which I've been getting somewhat frequently, lately. Usually, links leading to phishing sites are embedded in them. Luckily, blogger recognizes them and moves them to the spam folder. Unfortunately, other times, anonymous comments that are 'clean' get moved to the same folder and I would have to move them out of that folder before they can appear on the post.