All Fun and Games. Series Finale

Happy Holidays! All Fun and Games by award winning writer Tomi Adesina comes to an end today….but the story does not end just yet… Get the eBook All-Fun-And-Games-The-eBook-Tomi-Adesina to complete engaging love story.

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ALL FUN AND GAMES – EPISODE 13

“Except if a grown man has become too tiny to find, I suggest we stop wasting our time.” Moira said as she shot a glance at a busy Aisha. Aisha wouldn’t budge as she looked behind the couch. “Aisha….” Moira stressed as she watched her friend search hopelessly.
Aisha pushed the couch aside and made for the inner house. She had to find something. Anything. She needed to find something that would assure her that the game was still on and far from over. She needed to be sure that Craig had not walked out of her life forever. The apartment was as clean as new. Even the plates in the kitchen were washed and stacked! Behind her façade, she had hoped that something meaningful might come out of this relationship and that moment when she ‘thought’ that Craig actually proposed to her seemed to be the turning point. He had captured her heart behind the piles of their lies and deceit. However, she was alone in those fantasies and dreams. Craig had been the real player all along. There was a game plan and he stuck to it. She took her seat on the edge of Craig’s bed as she stared at the hollow room. She took a deep breath as she cast her mind to the few moments she had shared with Craig. They were moments that she knew she had to cherish forever, they had gone and were gone forever.
Her heart pulsed at almost the same rate as the day that she had crashed into Craig’s arm in tears. She closed her eyes as she relived the moments of his heart close to hers. She knew his heart did beat that day. She knew that for that moment they were locked in an embrace, there was no game player among them. There was no leader. It was just two helpless people in the room in an embrace, needing each other.
She wiped a tear drop from her face as she thought of her best moment with Craig. A moment she thought marked the end of their folly. A moment that she had believed was the turning point for them. He had proposed to her. Craig’s victory was not in his ring or in his suit. She had seen it in his eyes that day. For sure, she had seen the wrong thing. The man she fell for was a first class con artist. The combination of a thief, liar and a loner. He had all the attributes to sway any woman. She acknowledged his physical attributes but wasn’t totally smitten by them. The moments that welled in her was when he reached to her loneliness and sealed them. For that, she was grateful. But then, she couldn’t believe he was gone, that he couldn’t even stay and make what was a lie seem real and be real. Her intention was to tell Craig how she felt about him. There would be no need for that now, at least, she now knew how he felt about her. Not everyone could really find true love. For women like her, there was no true love. She had tried it and it went wrong. How did she ever fall in love? Aisha’s heart was filled with questions that needed to be answered. A song lyric had spelt love to be ‘a beautiful thing’. There was nothing beautiful about how she felt. She felt defeated, sad and most of all, weak. She had been too weak with Craig, she had let him creep in effortlessly to her heart and the mighty amazon without love did finally beat for another.
She wept.
Moira took a deep breath as she watched her best friend cry without holds. Aisha wasn’t fighting back tears or wiping them off classically. She was bleeding out her emotions the only way her eyes could. She was in tears and Moira knew this was the Aisha that she might have been proud to have under another circumstances, but right now, her friend was hurting and hurting badly. Moira joined Aisha on the bed. As she reached out to Aisha, she turned away and buried herself in the pillow. Aisha wanted to cry. Maybe it was best to let her cry at this moment. Moira could only watch as her friend cried.
Crying had never been Aisha’s style. She would just sit at the piano and let it all out with hard strokings of the chords until she had started to sweat. Crying seemed good and Moira wasn’t about to ruin one of their best moments. For Moira, she had found a new angle to taunt Aisha from. For Aisha, she had learned how to heal. Moira drew the sheets over Aisha as the loud tears declined gradually to the sob phase and eventually she couldn’t hear anything. Aisha was asleep. She had cried for over an hour. Moira stared at the dried marks from the tears that had formed on Aisha face and shook her head sadly.

++++****++++
Bolu stared outside the window and let out a huge roar. He smiled as his voice echoed into the distance. He paused again and let out another roar and he continued until the fifth time. He smiled at Craig. “You might want to try it, it’s refreshing.”
“Keep that up and they are going to be sending Security up here in no time.” Craig replied as he sipped his drink.
Bolu smiled as he took his seat beside Craig. “How do you feel? You own so much money right now. Aisha was good business.”
Craig dropped his glass and walked over to the window. “I am ashamed.”
“Ashamed? Bro! No one would be ashamed to have the money you have right now.” Bolu replied as he joined Craig at the window. “Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Poverty is gone forever!” he shouted.
“I am not proud of it.” Craig replied.
Bolu tapped him. “Guy! Why you dey do like this na? Money is money o! You worked for this one! After all, you’ve gone everywhere with her, appeared on papers, at least, she won’t be tagged as a woman who never had any man and it is all thanks to you.”
“I stole this money. I didn’t work for it.” He replied as he bent over the window. “Besides, Aisha doesn’t need to beg for a man. She is a woman who needed real love. The best she could find.”
Bolu chuckled. “Well, she chose the wrong guy for the job. Dude, I think we can hire some men to look for Vicky for you, now that you have some cash to spare, I mean, she is a good girl and maybe you can actually care about her too.”
“Never.”
“Why not? She loves you. You just have to love her back. Simple.”
Craig shook his head. “Never happening.”
“Are you feeling remorseful about this Aisha thing? That babe isn’t bothered, you dey kill yourself. Her money flows.”
Craig ignored him and took a seat.
“When you hype prices for people in the mall and make some profit, what do you call it?”
Craig stared at him. “Business.”
Bolu nodded. “Do you feel sorry afterwards?”
“No. Why should I?” Craig replied.
Bolu smiled. “Well, this is business, bro. You shouldn’t feel bad.” He said grinning. “Business, bro! Good business!”
“Aisha might have been business, but she stopped being business for me.” Craig replied almost inaudibly but loud enough for Bolu to hear.
Bolu’s smile faded as he stared at Craig’s face. Craig wasn’t looking like the guy who pinned down his feminine conquest for fun and without remorse. He was looking far from the guy who was on a mission to get the best out of Aisha Bello and run. It was typical for most guys to change their minds once deep into such relationships, but Craig didn’t – not even when a father pleaded. He might have felt pity for Aisha, but he still had his intent straight. Bolu took a deep breath. “What’s going on, Craig?”
“I care about Aisha. I want to be there for her, I want to fight for her. I want to protect her. I want to love her. I want to be her friend, confidant and lover. I want to be the man she wakes up and sees, the man who kisses her to sleep, I want to be everything in her life. I just want to be the one in her life.” Craig blurted. Bolu’s jaw was agape as he listened to Craig. Craig took a deep breath as he stared at Bolu. “I love her.”
“Oh no…” Bolu said as he slumped into the chair.
Craig wiped his forehead. “I don’t know what happened to me. I swear. It just happened. I can’t explain how I feel about Aisha.”
“Then why did you take the money?” Bolu asked.
Craig stared at him confusingly. “You told me to.”
Bolu stuttered. “Clearly, I didn’t know you felt this strong about her. Why didn’t you just come clean?”
“Come clean? Aisha Bello? How do you come clean before a woman that is almost perfect? What kind of love do I have to offer her?”
Bolu shrugged. “Your imperfection.”
“Imperfection?”
Bolu nodded. “Beautiful imperfections.”
“Oh God…” Craig said as he buried his head in his hands.
“I am sorry I pushed you, but I thought you got this covered.”
“Love happened.”
Bolu smiled as he took a seat. He watched Craig as he stroked his forehead. Bolu started to snicker. Craig stared at him as Bolu had now exploded into what seemed like a mocking laugh.
“What is it?” Craig asked.
Bolu struggled to catch his breath. “Look at you, man. I can’t recognize you. ‘I want to love her, I want to be her friend, confidant, and lover…I want to be the man she wakes up and sees and blah blah blah. You sound like a sixteen year old boy. Have you been watching those Mexican soaps?”
Craig smiled faintly as he tried to turn his face from Bolu.
“Oh my gosh! You love her!” Bolu shouted.

++++****++++
“Here’s some water.” Moira said as she handed Aisha a glass of water.
Aisha stared at the glass. “What is the water supposed to do for me?”
“Err…Water regulates Homeostasis.” Moira said proudly. “I am your fairy godmother.”
Aisha nodded. “Turns out that’s the only thing you must remember from school.” She replied as she set the glass on the side table. “Since you are playing fairy godmother, you might as well serve me something real to eat.”
“Water is the appetizer.”
Aisha rolled her eyes. “Water? Appetizer? Where did you learn that from? Moira’s special cookery book for idiots?”
Moira pinched her. “Easy on me. I am being nice to you.”
Aisha smiled. “Thank you. But, what I need now is my money.”
“What money?”
Aisha stared at her. “The money that Craig-fine-faced-robber stole from me.”
Moira smiled as she took her seat beside Aisha. “What did you dream about when you slept?”
“Nothing.”
Moira raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure? This is a plan for you to see Craig again, right?”
“Why would I want to see a thief again? For your information, I am over him.”
Moira smiled. “It doesn’t take a genie to know that you can’t fall out of love in a day. So, keep that lie to yourself, darling.”
“I don’t care what you say, right now. I am going to work this out.” Aisha replied, getting off the bed.
Moira nodded. “What plans do you have to recover your money?”
“I have none yet. But I want you to think of it.”
Moira shook her head. “No, I am not very proud of playing a part in that sham we did. Even though Alhaji hasn’t directly confronted me, I know he is really disappointed in me, so, I don’t want to have to think of anything now.”
“What are you afraid of? Is your mind so full of filth that you can’t birth a clean plan?” Aisha asked with a smile.
Moira smiled back. She had a light Aisha with her. “I know you still want to see Craig.”
“A part of me wants to see him and ask him lots of questions and afterwards slap him.” Aisha replied.
Moira nodded. “That’s all? You forgot something. After the slap…”
“Then kiss him.” Aisha replied.
Moira smiled. “Okay, so do we set our dogs on his trail? I assure you they’ll comb him out from wherever he is hiding on the surface of the earth.”
“Why don’t we declare him wanting by reporting him to the police?” Aisha asked with a grin.
Moira frowned. “Aisha? Do you know what that means?”
Aisha shrugged. “He becomes more popular by gracing newspapers and magazines.”
“No, ma. You, my friend, become the ridicule of the town for having a scammer as a fiancée. I am assuming you forgot the society knows about the both of you. We are going private on this one.” Moira replied.
Aisha nodded. “But what if they can’t find him? There are no numbers to call or places to go, he’s disappeared into the thin air.”
“Well, we just have to trust our guys to find him for us. I believe they will.”
Aisha wanted to see Craig again. She knew she might not have the words to say if they eventually did meet again and she might feel low of herself realizing that she had wasted her time loving a man that only wanted her for the game, but, she would take her chances. She would want to see him again, even if it is before…she throws him in jail.
“Any word from Alhaji yet?” Moira asked, jolting Aisha out of her thoughts.
Aisha shook her head. “I apologized to him and I really hope that he could forgive me.”
“I know he will. I believe he doesn’t hold it too much to heart.” Moira replied.
Aisha rolled her eyes. “Why did he will all my fortune to my child?”
“Be grateful, at least, he didn’t will it to an outsider.” Moira replied with a smile.
“Dad is pissed at me. I worked hard to earn all what the family has. Why did he have to that to me?”
Moira smiled. “He is only securing the future of your baby. I would do anything to be born of you right now.” Moira added with a grin. “Where’s Hakeem?”
“Why are you asking me?”
“Maybe because I think he would have tried to contact you?”
Aisha fetched her phone from her purse. “He hasn’t and I haven’t either. Do you want to speak to him?”
“No. But, I have a feeling that Hakeem might just be…you know?” Moira added with a grin.
Aisha rolled her eyes. “Where are you heading with this, Moira?”
“I am only suggesting something that might be a possibility, the reality of which, we have closed our eyes.”
Aisha smiled. “No, we haven’t closed our eyes. I have closed my eyes to it, you still have your eyes open and you are still very much ‘legally’ single. So, who knows?” Aisha asked as she walked away.

++++****++++
Bolu joined Craig in the living room. “What have you decided?”
“I don’t know. I can’t keep running like a coward.”
Bolu nodded. “But you can’t act like a fool either. Right now, you have bruised one of the most powerful families and I am sure that they will have their guns blazing for you.”
Craig took a deep breath. “I need to talk to Aisha.”
“It won’t be easy to go and see her. Why don’t you call her? Maybe you both can arrange to meet somewhere and clear this up.”
Craig shrugged. “That might be an option, but I can’t call her. I want to do things well and do them right.”
“I just think that going to her is like walking into a trap riht now. There would be police everywhere looking for you. We stole…I mean, you stole!” Bolu said with a smile.
Craig sighed. “Well, let them pick me up. I am going to her and I am going to tell her how sorry I am and how I feel about her.”
“She is not going to believe you and you know why?”
“Why? Because I stole some money?”
Bolu smiled. “It is not only about the money. Her father just willed to his grandchild, right? Do you think they are going to trust you with that?”
“You might have a point, but we all make mistakes and I have made mine and I am terribly sorry about it. Is that so hard?”
Bolu smiled. “It isn’t. Except that you are directing it to the wrong person. I am not Aisha.”
“What if she doesn’t want me?”
Bolu shrugged. “That’s a huge possibility and you have to understand the fact that she is not obligated to forgive you. So, whatever you do, try not to be your usual self.”
“And what is that?”
Bolu smiled. “Cocky. False humility is the new cool.”
“I care about her, nothing here is false.” Craig retorted, feeling offended.
Bolu nodded. “It’s a line I picked up, don’t take it personal.”
Craig took a deep breath and approached the door. “Wish me luck and if I don’t return.”
“Go and win the woman you love, don’t come back if you don’t win her heart.”
Craig stared at him.
“Well, the possibility of that is high, so, maybe don’t come back at all, I can enjoy some of your acquired riches.” Bolu said with a smile.
Craig showed him two cards. “I have them with me.” He replied and walked out.

++++****++++
Aisha handed some files to Alhaji Ibrahim. “We have good returns here, Sir.”
“I’ll look at them after lunch. Do you want to go to lunch with me?”
Aisha smiled. “Thank you, Dad. But, I am going with Moira.”
“That’s okay by me, I’ll just see you after lunch then before the next meeting.”
She nodded. “Okay, sir.”
“When are we discussing the details of your break up to the press?”
“Details?” Aisha asked, looking stunned.
He smiled. “At least, we have to let them know that there won’t be any wedding again…at least, not yet.”
“Dad, we’ll discuss after lunch. Bye.” Aisha replied and hurried out.
Alhaji took his seat and stared at Aisha’s picture on his table. The door opened after a few minutes and Craig stood before him. “What??? Why are you here?”
Craig blinked as he approached Alhaji. “Sir, I am deeply sorry for disappointing you.” He said.

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Tomi Adesina is a fiction writer and also a screenwriter.
She blogs weekly at https://tomiadesina.wordpress.com & http://tommyslav-island.blogspot.com. She has previously completed “PLEASE BREAK MY HEART” and “DEAR FUTURE HUSBAND” (which also has an eBook adaptation), “BROKEN…OR NOT?” And recently, “ALL FUN AND GAMES”
Her Fiction blog, Tommyslav’s Island, was nominated under the Best Writing Blog of the Nigerian Blog Awards in 2012. She went on to win the Best Writing Blog Award (Judges’ choice) in 2013.
As a Screenwriter, she wrote the first season for the hit TV series, DEADLINE which aired on DSTV’s cable network Ebony Life TV. She also co-wrote episodes for a Ghanaian TV series, BROADWAY. She hopes to have her works adapted for film and Television in the nearest future.
Twitter: @tomi_adesina @tommyslavisland
Blog: http://tommyslav-island.blogspot.com http://tomiadesina.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/moradeadesina

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Life of a Barack Boy. Episode 2

Episode 2: One Good Look Deserves Another
Read Episode 1 of Life of a Barack Boy by Ojay Aito Here
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Ahh, I forgot to tell you my name at the beginning. First, let me ask you again, how well can you pronounce non-yoruba names? I ask because I had a big problem with my friends who purposely or innocently murdered my name. Not that the name is so difficult to pronounce – at least it’s not as bad as Ughapkoteni, or Ekpeogharanetse, or even the Yourba name, Ikushebiala (death is like a dream), but my friends were just so notorious for destroying any ounce of self-respect you could muster at any given time in their company…..Trust me, I always replied them hot. Barrack boy no dey carry last.
My name is Osereme Izobofolo Oluwabunmi Joel Aito, but for official use it was, and is simply Osereme Joel Aito. I for don die if to sey them know the rest of my name. But as simple and sweet as my official name is, you would feel like killing yourself after my friends finished pronouncing the name. How on earth Osereme metamorphosed into ‘Assignment’ and then something like Osa–ere– –meeeeh!!!! (you run and bleat like a goat “meeeeh”), is left only to the weird imaginations of my barrack friends. And you dared not protest your new name. That was the only way it won’t stick… I mean for too long. I wasn’t surprised whe my Aunty called me Agric on a good day. I didn’t blame her though, because she probably had overheard my friends call me Agric Fowl. The worse was my mum calling me Salami. Initially I
protested and screamed against the nick name, but subconsciously, I embraced it. So whenever she called me by the name my father gave me, and I didn’t answer quickly, she would revert to “Salami!” which would cause me to scream out in frustration from anywhere I was.
Well, as luck would have it, my dad stumbled on a nick name for me, which I love so much. It has brought more than good fortune for me. One fateful evening after he indulged himself in watching us play football in the lawn of our compound, I scored a fantastic goal that made him shout from his chair, “Ojay the player!” It was later I
realized O. J. was simply coined out of my initials. So this was the sobriquet I used throughout my university days. Just recently, during my radio training programme, I discovered my name wasn’t simply Ojay, but Ahw-jay! Yes, with the triphthong. But you should understand that before Ojay or Ahwjay came to be, many water don pass under bridge, many iron don done for inside fire.
Sorry for the long intro…It was absolutely necessary.
We never had a nuclear family while we lived in the barracks. My mum was raised in a polygamous family, so she grew up having to eat from the same basin with about 17 or more of her siblings. So a way to make up for the polyandry family she could never have was to take in as many nephews and nieces and uncles and grand uncles’ cousins as possible. Our house was the real Fuji House of Commotion, not the one you saw on TV. My dad didn’t complain, the only thing he did was to make sure his own children weren’t abused in any way. But were we? Well, if oppression from my aunties was a form of abuse, then I would say, “Yes!! We
were” And we retaliated in ways you could never imagine.
My closest Cousin, Collins, who was about a year younger than I, left home to my neighbor’s house on a Tuesday morning (we must have been on holidays then). We called him Leku-Leku, because he was always talking, and never liked staying
indoors. After few minutes he came rushing into our room. I was hanging on one side of my bunk when he crashed into the door.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Come, come, come.”
“Come for what? To where?” I asked again, balancing my weight on the bed.
“Sshhh,” He put his finger over his mouth. “Follow me,” he beckoned with his hands.
And so we crept out of the room, out of the house, until we were in the corridor of our neighbor’s house. Our neighbor’s children were seven. The eldest, Nalegu, wasn’t in the veranda
where most of them were. Collins nudged me and then disappeared into the passage that led to the rooms. I followed noiselessly. There in the corridor behind all the noise from the sitting room, Collins motioned for me to keep things calm and steady. We crept on all fours till we came to the door of the third room. My
dear cousin pointed at the door which stood right over us; it meant: this was our destination, at least that was what I understood from the sign language. I wasn’t wrong.
He straightened his body into a bend, arms on his knees. I followed suit. Then he pointed into the keyhole in the door, and peeped through. A small smile crisped his face, what was he looking at? I thought. When it was my turn to peep, the curiosity
on my face blurred my vision. I didn’t see anything. I looked at Collins, like what was he trying to do here. Was this one of his pranks? My facial gesture asked him. I received a ‘no’ and a ‘yes’, which meant there was something I really needed to
see. He peeped through and was smiling almost immediately again. I didn’t wait for my turn, I shoved him slightly and took another peep. Then I saw. Or did I see?
Yes! I saw. I see-saw. Wow, I consciously began to take a permanent posture at the front of the ‘pin-hole camera’. Wow, this was very, very… my cousin shoved me, it was a little bit hard. I moved aside for him to take his turn. I was counting the
seconds in my head. The image of what I saw was screaming in my head. Am I supposed to tell you what I saw? You don’t mean it! What if my pastor gets to read this story, or my dad, or rather, my children? Did you say all join? If I hear….
My turn: I pushed Collins this time around, and quickly fed my hungry eyes. Oh my, my. Uhh. Ahhh! Okay. Calm down, I’ll tell you: it was Nalegu on his bed with someone. I know that face. Oh boy! Yes, that was the pkoff-pkoff seller who lived
in Block 43, beside the old Armory. What was her name again o… A heavy push from my cousin sent me rolling on the concrete floor. We hadn’t blown our presence yet, but the pain I felt at the back of my skull reeled through my head that I didn’t care if we blew our cover or not. Why would Collins have hit me so hard? In
impulsive retaliation, I landed a heavy blow on his left chin and almost sent him convulsing. All this was a soundless encounter. Who would dare make a noise? You won die?. I hadn’t peeped for a micro-mini second when Collins landed an equally
heavy punch on my mid-rib. I screamed in a soundless terror.
We dragged each other to the backyard through the back door and continued our wrestling. Before we knew it our faces were red, dresses soiled with clay sand, and the fighting continued.
In the barracks, no one stops a fight. You fight until you are
tired and yelled for help. That’s the only way help can come. Before we knew it, some ‘quarters’ boys and girls had gathered, Nalegu and his pkoff-pkoff bed-mate inclusive. It was my elder brother that came to our rescue. Minutes later when we were asked what caused the fight, neither of us was able to
say. We just panted and looked from one person to the other, then back at each other. No way we would tell. That was the telepathic agreement between my cousin, Collins and I.
When my mum’s sister who was a nurse got back from work, she asked the same thing. But who born you make you talk. I had a broken nose, Collins had a bloodstained eye. When my mum got back from work she asked the same question, but we knew the
best way to help matters was not to say anything. Not even a lie. Cause as soon as one lie comes out, both of us had to keep on lying the exact kind of lie. When my dad came home, he didn’t say anything and we knew that was the worst thing that could ever happen to us.
You all must have an idea what happened later…Next week!
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Ojay Aito blogs weekly at ojayaito.com and he is @1ojay on twitter.

Beautiful Stranger. Episode 5

Read All Previous Episodes of Beautiful Stranger by Tomi Adesina Here

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Emeka took a seat taken aback by Jerry’s word. Jerry looked serious. This, in part delighted Emeka and also worried him. “Love is a strong word, Jerry.” He said.
Jerry nodded. “You have never heard me say it before. This time, it is real.” Emeka sighed. Jerry drew close to him. “You should meet this lady, she is amazing. I was struck from day one. She is so beautiful, and I am not just talking about her face, she has a beautiful personality too…you should see her when she smiles, Dude, she is-”
“-Abeg jare! Have I met the girl?” Emeka said, cutting him off.
Jerry hissed. “You are just jealous.”
“I think I am…I don’t talk about my babe with this much excitement.” Emeka replied. Jerry started to smile at this. “But then, she is not your woman.” Emeka chipped in immediately, cutting off Jerry’s excitement.
Jerry frowned. “You don’t have to rub it in. I am thinking of taking her to the movies with me. The cinema is a nice place to take a lady, right?” he asked.
Emeka started to whistle.
“Emeka, I am not used to these things. Be nice.”
Emeka turned to him with a smile. “So, you need me to tell you where to take her?”
Jerry nodded. “Obviously. What kind of place do you take a lady…I mean, fun stuff. So that she might want to go out with me another day.”
Emeka took a deep breath. “What if she turns you down?”
“I am not looking at that possibility. She won’t turn me down.” He replied.
Emeka stroked his beard. “The Movies is a good start. When your friendship progresses and you think she might have subtle feelings for you, you should introduce the beach, it gives you guys the avenue to walk and trust me, a lady would love to take a walk with a man she loves. Key word, a man she loves. So, I am sorry for you if this lady doesn’t love you.”
Jerry swallowed at this.
Emeka smiled as he continued. “You can also take her to a fancy restaurant on a dinner date, another good option is to take her to Jazz night or see a Rock band, but be careful, ladies love rockers and you may not come back with her.”
Jerry frowned. “You can stop with the advice.”
“But I am not through. We are yet to get to the part where you start having dates at Shopping Plazas, bro, your life is over when that starts. I know you are well endowed with money from the Hospital, but once you start visiting boutiques for clothes, jeweleries, you can start counting your loss.” Emeka said.
Jerry smiled.
Emeka stared at him. “You think it is funny?”
“No. I now know why you are always so bitter. I mean, that babe you are about to marry will make you pensive. No offence, bro.” Jerry replied.
Emeka hissed. “And you think this girl you like won’t drain you?”
“I am ready to be drained for her.” Jerry replied with a smile.
Emeka smiled cynically. “Smitten fool!”
“Now that I think of it, you should thank the Director on my behalf for this two weeks suspension. I am going to use it to the peak.” Jerry said as he picked up his phone. “I should pay her a visit this afternoon. I don’t have her number, but I have her address” Jerry rambled on.
Emeka nodded. “You can be rest assured that I will tell that to the Director. So, what would you tell her about your Job when she asks why you have so much free time?”
“Hmmm…I am on leave.” Jerry replied. “Besides, I told her I work in a Bank.”
Emeka stared at him. “Why?”
“I…I don’t know. I am not proud about being a failing Doctor.”
Emeka laughed. “Failing Doctor? Man, you don’t lie to people you love.”
“Are you preaching to me? Don’t you lie to your fiancée?” Jerry asked.
Emeka smiled. “I am not proud of it. And I just think that if you love her as much as you claim, you should tell her the truth about your profession.”
“She already knows I drink. How is she going to like me? A Doctor that drinks? A custodian of life that is careless? That is how she would see me.” Jerry replied. “I can’t let her know that I am a Doctor. I am also a failure in the field, what is there to talk about?”
Emeka sighed. “I get your point, but, I am sure that if she is as amazing as you say, she would relate with you, you might even gain her sympathy.”
“I don’t want her sympathy. I won’t let her feel sorry for me. I just don’t want her to see me in that light. It is totally ridiculous.” Jerry replied.
Emeka nodded slowly. “Quick question, Jerry. What if this lady falls in love with you, do you think you can keep up with the lie forever? The truth will eventually come out and trust me, you won’t like it when a woman finds out that you have been keeping things from her.”
Jerry wiped some perspiration off his forehead. “I don’t know what will happen when…if that eventually happens.”
“No, Jerry. When the truth eventually comes out. I promise you, the truth is something that would eventually come out, you can be rest assured that I got your back on this, but I just want you to know what you might be getting yourself into.” Emeka said.
Jerry nodded. “Thanks a lot.”
“So, when is the first date going to be?” Emeka asked, standing up.
Jerry shrugged. “I will ask her today when I go to her place. If all goes well, Friday night.”
“Good choice. Jerry, just one pointer, you might want to keep a good track of all the lies you tell her.” Emeka said. “Maybe write it down in a diary.” He added quickly.
Jerry raised an eyebrow. “I don’t get.”
“Ladies don’t forget a thing. I don’t know how they do it, but, they remember every tiny detail. And I hope you know that you would have to tell many lies to cover up the little lie you have started with. So, I would advise that you get your brain ready to remember every little lie you tell, because, they will be your undoing in the end.” Emeka concluded with a smile.
Jerry swallowed. “I don’t know why you are being very negative.”
“I am only being honest, bro. I wish you the best, man. I would be glad if you can tell her the truth about your profession before she finds out though.” He said grinning.
Jerry opened his door. “Thanks.”
Emeka smiled. “See you later, Dr Jerry.”
Jerry frowned as he pushed Emeka out of the house.

****
Toni brushed Nora’s hair backward. “You should feed your hair more.” She started. “The hair needs to be healthy and to be healthy, it needs food.”
“Rice and Beans?” Nora asked.
Toni pulled a grimace. “Is that you being funny?”
Nora nodded with a smile. “I try.”
“No. Failed effort.” Toni retorted. “Anyway, how much do you pay Ehis for the wigs she supplies you?”
Nora turned her head over her shoulder quickly. “Are the wigs of low quality?”
Toni smiled. Her sister might just have Ehis’ head for dinner if she had even pulled a joke at the moment. “Chill babe, I just think you are spending too much on buying me wigs. I want to leave my scalp.”
Nora swallowed painfully. “No, Toni. You can’t do that.”
“Why not, Nora? Eventually the whole world will see the scalp.” Toni replied as she continued with Nora’s hair. “I just think the money could be channelled to other things.”
Nora scoffed. “Toni, stop being modest. I am not buying wigs of fifty grand, you pump enough money into your charity organization monthly, and we don’t need to donate the money for your beautification too.”
Toni giggled.
“What is funny?” Nora asked.
Toni smiled. “Beautification is funny. The context I mean.” She replied.
Nora sighed. “I just want you to be happy.”
“I am happy. You should sing that hymn in reverse.” Toni replied.
Nora nodded. “I am trying to be happy.”
Toni smiled as she packed the hair. “Your hair is looking lovely. You should pay me for this.” She said as she stepped away and took her seat on the edge of the bed. “Nora…”
“Yeah…” Nora replied sloppily as she checked the hair in the mirror.
Toni stroked her eyebrow gently, at least, she still had that. “Do you think that I…I might live?”
Nora’s face fell as she turned to her sister. “I know you would live. People get through Cancer every time. You are a fighter and I know that you would.”
Toni nodded slowly. “Why then do you stare at me every night? Why do you waste your time keeping vigils over me every night?”
Nora took her seat beside Toni. “I…I just love watching you sleep.”
Toni’s eyes started to get wet. “You don’t have to lie to me. You think I might just go.”
Nora cleaned her sister’s eyes. “You are not going anywhere…I have to go first, remember? I am older than you, it should be turn by turn.” she said with a soft chuckle.
Toni smiled. “Death is not a respecter of any one.”
“God gives life.” Nora replied as she kissed her sister’s forehead. “I love you, Toni.”
Toni pulled herself away from Nora. “Don’t get all mushy on me.”
Nora chuckled. “So…what do you want for breakfast?”
“Your head.” Toni replied as she crawled up on the bed.
Nora frowned. “Babe, I don’t have time for your jokes this morning. I need to get your food ready now. So, tell me what you want to eat.”
“I really don’t know. I would have whatever you decide to cook.” Toni replied.
Nora nodded as she approached the door. “I’ll be back then.” She said and walked out.
Toni pulled out her diary and started to scribble.
“New Guy: His name is Jerry and yes…I really like this one.”
She shut the diary and left the bedroom.
“What are you doing here?” Nora asked as soon as she saw her sister.
Toni took a seat. “Watching you cook.”
“You know that you don’t have to be here.” She replied.
Toni nodded. “I know I don’t have to be here, but, I want to be.”
Nora sighed. “Fine. Have it your way.”
The doorbell went. Toni stared at the wall clock. “Early visitor. Hmmm…doesn’t James sleep at night?” Toni asked with a grin as she strolled out of the kitchen to the door.
Jerry stood before her with a smile as soon as she opened the door. “Good morning.”
Toni closed the door after her as she shoved Jerry outside. “Morning, Jerry.”
“I see you don’t want me inside.” He replied.
She folded her arms. “Why won’t I want you inside? I am just surprised that you are here this early instead of being at work. Don’t they miss you there?”
“I…I don’t think I can lie about what I want to say.” He started.
Toni smiled faintly. “Don’t worry, Jerry. It is a thing of the mind.”
“Can…Can you just quit with the…the sarcasm…I am trying to say something serious here.” Jerry said as he stuttered. He placed his hand behind his back as he crossed his fingers.
“Okay, I am listening.” She replied.
The door opened and Nora joined them. “Look at who we have here.” She said as she stared keenly at Jerry. “Mr Nice outfit!”
“The name is Jerry.” He said, stretching out a hand.
Nora took the hand calmly and turned to Toni. “Why did you leave your guest standing outside?”
Toni gaped. “We were-”
“-No. I was just leaving.” Jerry said hastily.
Nora gripped him by the arm. “No way, you just got here. Please come in with us. Breakfast is ready.”
Toni sighed.
Nora smiled at her. “Let the gentleman come in. Won’t you?”
Toni flashed an awkward grin at her. “Of course, I will.” She said and turned in Jerry’s direction. “Please eat with us.”
“I already had breakfast.” He replied.
Toni smiled. “You would love this one.”
“Besides, you can’t turn two ladies down. It so ungentlemanly.” Nora added quickly.
Jerry nodded. “Okay then.”
Nora smiled and led the way into the house.
“So, tell me, what do you do?” Nora started as she stared at Jerry.
Jerry cleared his throat as he prepped himself to continue his lie. “I am a Banker. I work in the Micro-finance bank down the lane, the sort of investment bank that we have here.”
Nora nodded. “I know that bank. Does anybody still visit there? I think you should consider a switch of jobs.”
Jerry smiled. “I am happy to help there. I am doing someone a favour by being there.”
“Oh…that’s noble. But, I am more concerned about what the bank does for you than what you do for the bank.” She replied.
Toni watched her sister interrogate Jerry as though she was her mother. She didn’t contribute to their discussion and continued to eat her meal.
“I work in the Customer Care unit of the leading service provider in this nation.” Nora bragged.
Toni hissed.
Nora flinched at her. “It is…”
Toni nodded cynically and reached for her phone. She dialled her sister’s number on it. Nora’s phone rang to Toni’s delight.
Nora smiled as she saw her phone ring. “Private Caller. I have to take this, guys.” She said and picked the call. “Hello…Hello…Hello…”
“Talk about leading service provider.” Toni said with a grin. “That is a traditional network problem with them, you can call endlessly and not hear anything from the other end.” Toni concluded.
Nora dropped the phone on the table. “This is just a slight hitch, Jerry. It doesn’t always happen like that, I can assure you.”
Jerry nodded with a smile. “I quite agree with you.”
Nora smiled at Toni. “In your face, Toni. In your face.” She said and then turned towards Jerry. “Just so you know, Banking is a good profession and I have nothing against it, but I just think you should consider a change of jobs.”
“Mom, he has heard you.” Toni interrupted.
Nora nodded. “So, off to the main question. What are your intentions for my sister?”
Toni spilled her drink from her mouth. “Nora!”
Jerry smiled. “It’s okay. I want to take her out this Friday, if you don’t mind.”
Nora nodded. “I don’t mind. Toni, you are going out this Friday.”
Toni rolled her eyes. “This is just amazing.” She muttered.
Jerry smiled at Toni. “Do we have a date?”
“Of course, you have a date.” Nora replied. “Ensure you bring her back home by midnight.”
Toni shook her head. “I have my own mouth, you know?” “Yeah…and I also know that you have a way of making the wrong decisions when I don’t wave my magic wand in your direction.” Nora replied.
Jerry sighed. “You are really cool together.”
Nora smiled. “We try.”
Toni stared at Nora. Her sister was unnecessarily excited and this worried her. She had always wanted to rub off some goodness on Nora, but something seemed to have gone wrong somewhere, Nora was overjoyed and jumping in and out of every conversation that she would naturally not want to have.
“Quit staring at me.” Nora said to Toni.
Toni smiled. “Done.”

****
FRIDAY NIGHT

Emeka handed Jerry a blue tie. “I think this should go.”
“It is just the movies, right? I think I am overdoing it.” Jerry replied as he stared at the tie.
Emeka shrugged. “I don’t know, but you might get to her house and see her in a dinner gown, so, you better at least match up.”
Jerry sighed. “I should have told her that we were going to the movies. Do you think I should call her and tell her that now?” he asked.
Emeka hissed. “Guy, wear something jare. First impressions matter.”
But…But it’s not like I am proposing to her, right?” Jerry asked.
Emeka nodded. “Either way, you might want to be prepared, she might propose to you.”
Jerry stared at him with a grimace.
“Haha…I was trying to be funny.” Emeka replied.
Jerry nodded. “I observed.”
Emeka took a seat as he watched Jerry fumble with the tie. “So, which new lie have you told to her?”
“Still on the same.” He replied.
Emeka nodded. “That’s good. Remember to keep the lies simple, and beware, she will ask a lot of questions about your family when you guys go to eat, try not to lie about that. I don’t think she would forgive any of that.”
Jerry took a deep breath and sank into a chair. “Man, I am scared. I don’t want to hurt her.”
“Bro, you have already started the lie trend, try to see it out to the end…and maybe you can just come up with you have decided to switch jobs, you know?” Emeka suggested.
Jerry laughed. “You don’t just switch to being a surgeon.”
Emeka nodded. “You are in soup, bro.”

****

“Nora, I think I am okay.” Toni protested as Nora stared at her make-up box.
Nora ignored her as she picked up a brush. “We are going to apply a little more powder here and there.”
Toni jumped up. “Okay baby, I am fine. I am not going to let you turn me into a Chinese dragon.” She replied as she slipped into her jean trousers.
“I was thinking you would wear a gown.” Nora said as she stared at the gowns on the bed. “I already picked out that black gown for you.”
Toni stared at the gown. “Hmmm…I’ll pass. Besides, I know it is just the movies and I can bet that he won’t be doing more than a top and denims. I am not going to show up like someone who is about to get proposed to.”
“Oh come on, Toni!” Nora said.
Toni smiled. “Don’t worry, I am wearing that top you have been dying to see me wear for ages.”
Nora didn’t smile.
Toni shrugged. “Whatever, man.”
The doorbell went. Nora stood up. “I would go and see Jerry in.”
“I am going to tell him.” Toni said as she picked up her purse.
Nora stared at her. “Are you sure?”
“It’s better not to let them get close and get hurt later on, he would know about my condition tonight.” She replied. “Let’s go.”
Nora nodded and opened the door as they walked downstairs. Jerry was already standing in the Hallway after being let in by a maid. Nora stared at Toni with an evil grin as they stared at Jerry’s suit.
Jerry swallowed painfully as he stared at Nora’s simple wear. “Emeka, you devil!” he cursed in his heart.
“Good evening, ladies.” Jerry greeted.
Nora smiled. “Good evening to you, Jerry. You look dashing.”
Jerry smiled at Nora. “Thank you.” He then walked up to Toni. “You are beautiful.”
“Everybody knows.” Nora cooed. She then shoved both of them out. “Now be on your way, avoid the late night traffic.”

****
“Do I look seriously dressed?” Jerry asked as they walked into the mall.
Toni smiled. “Do you think you look seriously dressed?
“Yes, I do.” He replied
She nodded. “Then, you do.”
“I…I hope this doesn’t embarrass you.” He said.
She paused and stared at him seriously. “Why would it?”
Jerry smiled. “I don’t want people thinking I am your Daddy.”
Toni smiled. “In that case, I have one cute Daddy.”
He smiled. “That’s…that’s a compliment?”
She stared at him. “What century are you from, Jerry?”
“Alien world.” He replied.
“Is that a century?” she asked.
He shook his head. “No, that’s the movie we are going to be see. It is amazing! I mean, you need to see the aliens and their tricks at getting humans to submit to their will.” He said with a glow.
“So we are going to see sci-fi?” she asked.
He nodded. “It is one of the coolest things you would ever see.”
“I think we should see Cars.” She replied.
He stared at her. “Cars? That’s a cartoon. It should be for kids”
She nodded. “And young adults. Did you see your face when you were talking about Alien world?”
He shrugged. “I was kidding though, you get to choose the movie.”
“Of course. No way am I going to let you torture me with alien world.” She replied as they stepped on the escalator.
Toni looked around the movie section while Jerry got the popcorn. He returned to her as she flashed two tickets before him. “I got us a good movie.”
“Is there any part where you get to cry on my shoulder?” he asked with a smile.
She paused to think. “Erm…”
“Dr Jerry!” A man with a young boy called out as he joined them. “I didn’t know it was you, but my son kept on telling me that it was you. Children” He said as he ruffled his son’s hair with a smile.
Toni stared at them and then at Jerry who managed a smile at the man.

****
Beautiful Stranger is written by @tomi_adesina; Author of Dear Future Husbandavailable for Free on African Stories. Follow @tomi_adesina on twitter for more thrilling stories. Her new book “All Fun and Games” also available for FREE on African Stories

Love on the 25th. Episode 13

Read Previous Episodes of Love on the 25th by Uneñ Ameji Here

Episode 13

****
Vince

The cold marble floor as I paced the dimly lit room in my socks
had me reaching for the A.C remote as I waited for the man that had mysteriously disappeared for two weeks. Two long weeks! And then he had magically reappeared last night and John, Harold’s manager at the lounge had contacted me immediately as demanded. Debbie and Kole had suddenly gone off the radar after a shocking interview a day after our glorious tryst – both looking at each other with adoring eyes and radiant smiles. Debbie looked flawless and a masked countenance that I knew too well was her poker face or was it me hoping she was under duress? Kole seemingly ecstatic at the ‘love’ questions caressed her as much as possible and even had the balls to kiss her! I wanted to hit the roof.
Series of calls and emails to Debbie were left unanswered and Sandra worked tirelessly on her seduction plan. I moved into my private quarters in Asokoro after I found her waiting for me in bed naked. I wasn’t interested and the fact that she would think I wanted sex as payment for good deeds done in the past was appalling. Restless and doubtful, I knew something was wrong – had gone wrong. Debbie was not going to marry Kole after what we had, was she? The possibility distracted me from work and the first executive meeting was the fastest in the history of the Group.
Now waiting for his arrival, I moved around the large room wondering what was taking him so long. A Saturday morning with less traffic, I had expected him sooner. Just then the sound of the gate opening and motorcycle filled the quiet compound as I walked out to the balcony of the 2 bedroom condo on the 3rd floor and waved him up. I made to it door in split second and stood with the door opened.
“Good Morning Sir” it was Caleb, a little slant of shoulders, he gave my breakfast with his right hand as he struggled to catch his breath from the climb up.
“Come in. Close the door behind you” I said leaving the door open for him to come in. Momentarily suspicious, I caught him looking inside the room before stepping in.
“Your package Sir” he said extending the sweet smelling pancakes.
“You can leave it on the table. I have a couple of questions I need to ask you” I said rather impatient, my eyes fixed on him. He looked a bit alarmed and then the look was gone.
“Yes sir” he said meekly going to the 2-seater dinning table, turning his head to look at me as he went. I took a seat and I motioned him to do the same as he returned.
“Do you know her?” I asked after he finally found the courage to sit and I passed him a picture of Debbie on my iPhone gotten from Sandra’s Facebook account. The picture taken probably at a party had Debbie laughing out loud at a joke with the girls. She looked refreshingly happy and I found myself glancing at it as often times as I could.
“No sir” he said barely looking at the photo. It was almost as if he was expecting the question.
“Have a second look” I pressed, zooming on her face. He didn’t miss a beat…he simply stared at me and shook his head. He knew without looking who I was referring to out of the five faces.
“I have never seen her” his eyes staring right at me but his Adam’s apple told a different story.
“I asked if you know her, not seen her” I corrected firmly.
“If I have never seen her, how can I know her Sir” he was playing smart and annoyingly so.
“Of course” I nodded, eyes resting heavily on him.
“I don’t suppose you would like to chat with some of my uniformed friends” I said easily.
“No Sir” he was looking around the flat helplessly now.
“I ask you again. Do you know her?”
“Alama” he said almost in a whisper.
“What?”
“She was my wife”
“..Was your wife” I repeated, disbelieving.
“My wife, she is…was my wife Sir” he looked restless, a bit fearful.
“How is that possible?” heat rising up my neck.
“No, we married, like that, it was in registry” he sounded confused and incorrect.
“Of course you were married!” what was this clown saying? He was speaking but not communicating. It looked like he had a lot to say and couldn’t compose himself because he was afraid. Afraid of what? I had to find out and fast too. I didn’t like where this was going.
“Yes. We were but she died” his eyes avoided mine.
“She died” I chuckled with a grunt. This man was either clueless or there was more to the story.
“No sir, Yes sir, Sir, I really don’t know what happened to her Sir” he was speaking louder now. I nodded. He definitely knew more than he was letting.
“And what did you call her?”
“Alama, Alama” he repeated looking at me.
“Alama” I called slowly, tasting the name on my tongue.
“Please Sir, I am begging you. I am sorry…it was the devil’s work and it was my past” he was soon on his knees and I was at a loss for words.
A simple question had turned to a full blown confession – however scanty and I was hardly prepared for it.
I dialed Umar.

****
Caleb Hontal – 1998

You don pay the money wey you dey owe Baba D?” It was Taiwo in between thick puffs. It was a cold Saturday and I was free to go about my business since Oga Fred was out of town. My Oga Fred was married to an Edo woman who didn’t like life in her state but would rather stay in Lagos with the children. She was indirectly encouraging her husband to bring University girls home because Oga Fred didn’t look like he could keep it zipped and I wondered what possessed her to trust him especially since she called the house often to keep tabs on her husband. I liked Madam Joyful because she was nice to have around and food was always in abundance but I was indebted to Oga Fred. He was after all my employer, benefactor and gave me the go ahead to have his women after he finished with them. Other days, he brought untouched ones for my pleasure if he was particularly pleased with my chores or for being discreet. My Oga was the best Oga and nothing Madam gave me or bribed me with could loosen my tongue. Oga Fred’s women were non-existent as far as I was concerned.
Madam, Oga no be dat kine man” I’d swear on the phone or in person when she came for holidays touching the earth and raising my guilty fingers to the heavens.
In all the drama, I had a large family and as the first boy, I had the sole responsibility of sending money to my mother who didn’t care how I got it. Taking loan from Baba D was only natural after I was introduced to the “peacemaker’s club”. The club was a den of borrowers and a dark mean lord known as Baba D ruled with fear. I had borrowed a time too many and now the richest old man as popularly called was looking for me like lice for his Fifty Thousand Naira. Oga Fred wasn’t going to give me any extra money because I had exhausted my credit limit with him and lately, he wasn’t so pleased with my chores. Madam had nearly caught him just last week when she came in unannounced and I had taken off my clothes and joined the naked girl just in time.
What was I going to do now? I kept the talks loud and raps solid about having some ‘big’ money soon – a lie I kept telling to buy time before I was roasted alive like the Ofure who had disappeared to Kano but was found out and dealt with. With Baba D, there was no hiding place.
Mehn, na so I see am o” I said as I took a little puff from his cigarette and handed it back. The second son of my poor father, I had left the house when I was 17 because I had 13 direct siblings and father was taking a third wife. With just eight years of schooling, I headed to my Uncle’s place in Benin City and he had found me a cleaner’s job at Oga Fred’s office. Soon, he brought me home as his house keeper and I had been living with him for 8 years.
“You have to settle the old man. I hear say he dey kill him debtors o. Suggest say make you get him some cash before your call up” Taiwo advised as we rounded up on the cigarette.
He had come around for breakfast knowing I was home alone.
I go pay” I said scratching my head as I went to get some boiled yam.
Hours later, Taiwo and I headed to the market with a whole tuber of yam laid to rest in our bulging bellies and there she was, standing across the street in a long black gown that seemed to flow endlessly, giving her the illusion of a matured woman ready to be plucked. Taiwo caught me staring and laughed.
“That is Alama, and if your P dey scratch you, better find Chichi o because I hear say she sharp pass razor” he sneered. Taiwo, the general adviser said again following my eyes. She was sweet and innocent, eyes darting and avoiding mine as she noticed she had become the subject of my slow appraisal. Quickly moving through the deserted street, she entered a house I came to know as hers 9 blocks away from mine. If there was girl who I wanted more than anything, it was Alama. I was in love.
I took to strolling by her house when Oga Fred was out or traveled, I waited to see her as she walked by and called her to corners for talks, offered to help her carry her baskets but she would not give me the time of day – evasive and rude, brushing me off before I took two steps close. The break came one cold Sunday night. Oga Fred was due to come back Monday and so I stayed out late with the boys at Mama Bose’s joint drinking on my heavy account. I had no idea when I was going to pay – if I was going to pay. I knew she was simply going to embarrass me one day and throw me out but until she did, I was a customer and enjoyed the benefits.
Stumbling down the eerily lit street a little drunk but conscious, I stopped to take a leak at her gate just for fun. As I held my trousers and made to unzip my fly, I suddenly noticed movement in the dry gutter and a face came into my blurry view. Alama.
She was sitting up with legs spread in front of her in the dark empty gutter at 1am and if not because I had stopped at the gate to take a leak, I’d have missed her frame.
“There is someone here” she said and I jerked, turning back to quickly zip my trousers.
“What! What are you doing there?” I asked turning around to face her.
“Going to bed obviously” she said in crisp English lying down back.
“In the gutter? At this time of the night?”
She didn’t give a reply.Forgetting I had full bladder to empty, I stood wondering what she was doing in the gutter in front of her house at that time in the night.
“Is everything ok? Were you locked out?” I finally found a reason. She still didn’t answer.
“Let me knock so that you can go in” I said after another minute of silence.
“Can you just go away?” She said in a whisper. I didn’t. Too tired to continue standing, I decided to seat on the tarred road with her but she shot up so fast with a cutlass I had not noticed, I moved backed.
“Hey!!! Be careful” I raised my hands in surrender and for the first time I saw fear in her eyes.
“What do you want? Don’t come near me” She was backing away and I saw a bag when she moved out of the gutter.
“Where are you going? What is wrong?” I asked, suddenly afraid for her. Something was wrong but a proud chin, pressed forward declared she was traveling out of town.
“Running away looks more like it” I said under my voice.
“Don’t say anything to anyone” she raised a little finger to warn me.
“And what if I do?” I said going to knock on her gate. She was out of my sight with her bag and down the street in long strides. There was one option I followed in hot pursuit.
Catching up with her, she fought for her bag and I fought for control.
“Stop! Stop!” I said, struggling with her. She stopped, breathing high and looking around as if someone had seen her.
“Please let me go” she begged trying to dislodge my fingers from her bag.
“I will. First tell me what is wrong” and then she broke down in tears. Crying and trying unsuccessfully to stop, she let me hold her while she cried, sniffing and trying to keep the tears from falling. Without a word, I picked her bag and helped her to the 1bedroom Boys Quarter I was staying.
She was quiet as we reached and had assumed a position I knew as suspicious.
“Don’t worry. I won’t take advantage of you” I said in good English, trying to impress her.
“Ok” she sniffed as I moved around the space without aim.
“How old are you?” I asked as I took a seat far from her. She was standing by the door with hands folded and eyes alert.
“16” she voiced and stared at me in a challenge.
“16? Wow” I couldn’t believe it. She had the body of a 20 year old – her flawless skin, perky bosom and evident curves even in the long gown. She always wore gowns.
“Please don’t tell anyone you saw me” she said after a while, looking uncertain.
“I won’t” and she nodded. We stared at each other for a while.
“What is your name?” She asked dropping her hands.
“Caleb”
“Ok. My name is …..”
“Alama. I know” a little surprised, she looked around the room.
“It is late. You can sleep in here. I am going to …. ” I looked around and she watched me.
“I will go and sleep in the main house. My Oga is not around. Please lock the door” I said and was out before she decided to go sprinting again. I was dizzy now and needed a bed to sleep off the exotic liquid in my stomach. I reached the main house soon enough but decided against going to check if she decided to run away. If anything, I knew was running away and I had to earn her trust.
The next days were quiet but definitely worth it. She lived in my room, not stepping out but watching my movements with eyes wide whenever I came in and eating only after I had taken a spoonful of food.
“You know I am not going to bite right?” I asked putting on my English tongue. With her, I was a different person and wanted to be proper.
“Yes” she answered and for the first time in 3 days she smiled.
“Are you not supposed to be in school?” I asked sitting in the kitchen. She was a little relaxed now and didn’t mind having me around.
“No” was a short reply and she went back into her shell.
A week later, we had turned to ‘friends’ and talked about movies we had watched and places we had traveled to. She kept asking if her parents were looking for her and I said no mostly because I had an agenda. I wanted her and was beginning to fall for her or so I thought. But the truth was that the street was filled with her picture and her ‘white’ mother had come from ‘Overseas’ and was seen for the first time asking for her daughter. We were told her father had a new African wife who didn’t want Alama in the house and so the girl had either committed suicide because she was rejected or ran away. I didn’t offer the truth even when the white sad woman had placed her picture in my hand and asked if I had seen her daughter. I shook my head. Two days later, we heard the white woman had shot her husband and new wife dead and was on the run. Telling Alama that her mother had committed murder was hard and if she came out now, the police would pick her up. It was best she remained missing.
Another week and we were sleeping on the same bed, talking about nothing but dreams and aspirations. She didn’t tell me why she was running or where she was going to. Few days later, we ended up naked and I was surprised at the tears dripping from the corners of her eyes as I pumped away without a sheath, too late to stop.
We were back to strangers after that and then Baba D happened. A broken nose and few body cuts from his boys, I was left with her to heal and a 7 day ultimatum to payback. I was at the end of my rope and had to act. I waited for Oga Fred to travel the weekend after the attack, sold couple of his belongings, settled a larger part of the debt and kept the balance for myself and new responsibility – Alama.
She knew what I was doing but she didn’t say a word; looking as I moved around and sold Oga Fred’s belongings without thought. My life was better than all his belongings put together and I was willing to keep it.
“I am leaving Benin” I had told her Saturday night knowing Oga Fred was returning in the morning.
“I will follow you” she had declared and we were off in the middle of the night a month after I had found her in the gutter. A stop at the Registry had us our changing names, declaring age and out of character decided to get married. Ecstatic and happy, we moved from town to town until we reached Ugeli…a ghostlike town and settled down in a slum after exhausting the remaining money from Oga Fred’s sales. We both wanted to be lost and we were weeks that followed were blissful, days of insistent sex even when she wasn’t up to it, I’d say it was her duty as a wife and she’d submit quietly then ignore me for few days and we will continue from where we stopped – the bedroom. And then she got pregnant.
That changed everything. I couldn’t believe she would allow herself get pregnant? I blamed her for carelessness and chastised myself for not taking more precaution. Why didn’t she tell me she was now menstruating? How could she? Knowing our condition? I was angry. I had to get the unfortunate being out, keep her to myself and had to do it without her knowing because she was excited at having a baby.
That was the beginning of spiking her food and drinks with diclofenac and ibuprofen with the hope of an early miscarriage but she progressed. What was I going to do with a child? I started a cocktail of Accutane and Mycophenolate after I told the sad tale to Dr. Ifeanyi – a pharmacist who had access to drugs at the General hospital in town but stayed in Ugeli. Known as the doctor from ‘Obodo-Oyinbo’, Dr. Ifeanyi soon became my friend and gave me what I needed to help his ‘new couple’. It was that or I’d have to start borrowing again. Nothing I gave her terminated the pregnancy and desperate for escape, I had gone back to drinking, waiting for the inevitable – a baby I didn’t want. Nights after nights, I stayed at the bar and found a new love interest – Bisi. Then I ran into a long friend of Taiwo from Benin. Needless to say, the next day, I was discovered by Baba D’s boys and was beaten mercilessly. Only a promise to give up Alama as a sex worker in his establishment had set me free because I was penniless at this point.
That afternoon as I walked back with pains all over my body ready to take my bags and run with Alama to a new town, I met a crowd at the red hut we called home. Alama was in labor and hours later had a still birth with Dr. Ifeanyi at the helm of affairs. I was more than relieved. The drugs worked but now she was too weak to run. I was torn between leaving her in that state or simply waiting it out. I decided to wait. Perhaps, they wouldn’t want a woman who had just given birth. The thought was comforting. She soon slept off out of exhaustion from the tears and injection Dr. Ifeanyi gave her and I snuck out to the joint shortly after.
They didn’t show up at the bar as agreed that night and so I went with Bisi – my new love interest to her room at the back of the joint. I drank all the beer I could possibly drink and slept off almost immediately. Bisi hated Alama because Alama was the only thing standing between us and made comments of making her go away so she’d have me to herself. I laughed it off and made good on the threat by pounding her sore in her little room where she serviced other of her sister’s customers.
Then my world came crashing down the very next day. The place where my hut was meant to be was burnt to the ground and red earth mixed with black ash was the only evidence of existence. What had happened? Did the neighbors see anything? Mama Goina said Alama may have died in the fire because they all came out and met an empty hut. I was relieved when I heard that because I was convinced Baba D had her but then ‘Collector’, Baba D’s first son had been found dead in the little stream down the house. Alama was not in Baba D’s custody and I was blamed for the death of Collector. Alama was either burnt to ashes or was simply gone.
Baba D had my left hand for the remaining part payment and I was handed me over to Oga Fred who was looking for me. I was left with the police for couple of weeks until Madam had come to my rescue. She promised to help only if I told her everything she needed to know about Oga Fred’s activities. Apparently, she had contracted HIV from her husband and she wanted to know who he had been sleeping with because he accused her of bringing the killer disease into their home. A deal was struck and I told her what she wanted to hear without mentioning I had sloppy seconds. She pulled some strings and I was out barely two months later. Without a hand and the clothes on my back, I was headed to Abuja – no man’s land. This time determined never to get caught again until I had seen her on TV. My Alama. She was older definitely but she still looked as she did at 16 years. And now, here I was kneeling before this man who held out her picture asking me if I knew her. Of course I did but she was my past and Pastor Biola said our past did not matter.
I had given my life to Christ and all things were now new.

*****
Love on the 25th is written by Uneñ Ameji; Author of Memoirs of a Justified Gold Digger. Get a copy. She is @UnenAmeji

All Fun and Games. Episode 12

Great News! All Fun and Games – the eBook is out and we have it!
Now, we all can get to the bottom of the interesting love tales of Aisha and Craig…did they get married? Get All-Fun-And-Games-The-eBook-Tomi-Adesina and have a good read!
Not interested in the eBook? Well, we have got today’s episode ready. Series Finale next Tuesday…enjoy.

ALL FUN AND GAMES – EPISODE 12
****

Craig smiled as Aisha and Moira yelled at each other. He stared at his wrist watch and then back at the ladies who didn’t seem to be giving each other any breathing space. Their screams now went from venting their frustrations and disappointment to who had the loudest voice while yelling. Craig smiled again, this time, not at the reason for the arguments but for the fact that even the highest pitch of their yelling couldn’t be compared to the tone of one of the girls in the hood he grew up. He concluded that ‘yelling’ had different categories – That of the Rich and the Poor. He rolled his eyes as they seemed as though they wouldn’t give up. They were quacking in his ears.
“Master Planner, I am so waiting for your next move.” A livid Aisha said.
Moira laughed. “I like the title you have attached to it, but you don’t have to be cynical about it. For all I know, I didn’t spill anything to Alhaji.”
“So, how did he know?” Aisha continued.
Moira shrugged. “I don’t know. But I am surprised that you would ever look in my direction.” She replied as she sipped her drink. “Typical of you, Aisha. Someone must always be on the receiving end of your aggression.”
“What are you trying to say?” Aisha shouted at the top of her voice.
“You don’t want me to go there and I don’t intend to.” Moira replied. “Let it go, Aisha. I am innocent.”
Aisha sank into her chair furiously. “All I know is that I want my money.”
“Is that all that matters to you?” A voice cooed from a corner of the room.
Aisha and Moira stared at Craig in an instant. It was as though they didn’t know he had been with them in the room. Of course, he had been, but their constant yelling had isolated him to a corner as they lashed at themselves. Aisha flipped her hair over her shoulder as she prepared to respond to him. “Aren’t you here for the money?”
He nodded as he approached them. “Yes, I am. This is business, remember? But…But I just think that for once we should admit that we lost this one. A…Aisha, what if this could be real? I mean…it…it doesn’t have to be a game anymore. I…I think…” Craig paused as he swallowed. He had been struggling with the right words to say all he had in mind for Aisha, but he felt like a coward, maybe Moira’s presence contributed to it, but he could find the courage to say the right words and he hoped that his eyes could say it, but Aisha wasn’t even looking. She was drawn into another spat with Moira. He knew there was no need to say how he actually felt. “Aisha, give up. We lost.” He blurted angrily.
Moira chuckled as Aisha pounced on Craig with her next response. “I have not lost anything.”
“It is in her blood to win.” Moira added.
Craig nodded. “Apparently you learnt from the best. Alhaji did well to zero us out there.” He replied. He took a deep breath and focused on Aisha. “You knew that Alhaji suspected something about this, right?”
Aisha ignored him.
“Why didn’t you tell me? Clearly you weren’t surprised when he started with us.” Craig probed.
She smiled as she stared at him. “I wasn’t about to have you go and try to cover up your tracks there with some weak story about how you grew up in the Deserts of Dubai and made it to the top when some Arabian riders took you in.”
“What? Have I ever said that?” Craig retorted.
Moira smiled. “What she means is she wasn’t going to let you make a fool of her.”
“Well, you ended up making a fool of me. If I had known, I would have been ready. We are in this together. Partners.”
Aisha shook her head with a cynical smile. “Don’t get ahead of yourself, we are not partners. I hired you for something and you have gone ahead and fluffed your lines.”
“Me? Alhaji certainly didn’t find out from me, you are the one who didn’t have your bases covered as well as they should.” He replied as he pulled out his phone from his pocket and turned it on. “I think my work is done here, we can cancel this wedding now.”
“I will blow the final whistle.” Aisha replied.
Craig shook his head. “You have been playing this game alone for a long time.”
“What the heck did you think you were doing when you proposed to me without my notice and invited the press to it?” Aisha yelled.
Craig ignored her as he stared at his phone. His face went stoned as he read Bolu’s ping. “DANIEL TOLD ALHAJI. BEWARE!!!” Craig clenched his fist in anger as he turned in Aisha’s direction. “I am sorry. I messed up. But we are done here, Good bye.” He said. He grabbed his jacket and stormed out of the house.
Aisha stared at Moira confusingly. “What was that about?”
“I should be asking you.” Moira replied. “I wasn’t the one he apologized to.” She added taking a seat. “What if it was Craig’s friend that leaked it to your Dad? Seeing how he left here”
Aisha nodded her head slowly. “You may be right. Oh boy! I am so going to kill someone.”
“And that someone should be your piano?” Moira asked. “I like how you vent all your anger on it, shame Craig chose to fool you with it.”
Aisha rolled her eyes. “Please, don’t remind me.”
“Aisha, you are in love with Craig. When are you going to tell him?” Moira asked.
Aisha stared at her. “Are you drunk? How am I supposed to tell a man that I employed to play a game with me that I am in love with him? For all we know, this might even be a whim and not love. I have no real idea of what love is and I am not willing to have that idiot play on the little emotions I have.”
“Let’s analyse the situation, how do you feel when you are around him?” Moira asked.
Aisha hissed. “This is not gonna work.”
“What are you afraid of? That you will realise that you love this guy? Come to think of it, he is not so much of a bad guy.” Moira replied.
“But he is the type of guy that might just smear my love in my face and run too. I am not taking that chance.” Aisha replied.
Moira folded her arms. “Have you thought of the slight possibility that he might actually like you?”
“I know he doesn’t. He…He is a player and a very good one. He pulled a Piano stunt to get to my heart and made me say a genuine ‘yes’ to him and all I saw was the press in my face. What do you call that?”
“Aisha, what if that dinner was actually private until you mentioned the press?”
Aisha shrugged.
“All I asked him at first was why he had organised a private dinner. You might have scared him off.” Moira continued. “Aisha, I believe that he might have actually organised that dinner for the both of you until you brought in the press issue and he just tapped them up to satisfy you. Maybe you actually chased this one away.”
“I…I don’t know. But, I said a real ‘Yes’ to him and he was messing with me. That’s what hurts.”
Moira nodded. “What am I saying is I think that you made him call the press, I believe that he was genuine up until when you introduced the press idea.”
“What if he wasn’t true at first?”
“What if he was?”
Aisha swallowed. “Why are we even flogging this issue? He is not an issue. There is no love there and that is that. Maybe it’s just one of those girly things, a crush or something.”
“Really?” Moira asked with an eyebrow raised.
Aisha took a deep breath. “He said ‘goodbye’ too. Remember? Let it go, Moira.” Aisha said and left for her bedroom.

++++****++++
“Take it easy, man.” Bolu said holding Craig’s hand as they approached Daniel’s house.
Craig pushed him away. “He’s ruined everything. Is that how much he hates me?”
“Yes.”
“I am going to teach him not to hate too much.” Craig said, banging on the front door.
“I don’t think he is here. I think he’s left town already.”
Craig fumed. “Coward! Where did he go?”
“I am not a coward. I have been waiting for this day.” Daniel said as he approached them. “The day when I would stand face to face with you because I have defeated you in your own game.” He added with a smile. “The day has come. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I can travel in peace now.”
Craig grabbed Daniel by his throat and crashed him into the floor. He pummeled his face with constant hits from left to right until Daniel’s blood had smeared his face. Bolu couldn’t get a hold of Craig and he was glad when Daniel’s blood hit Craig’s face and he had to stop pounding him.
“I have been waiting for the day that I would have to beat you without mercy and I am glad the day has come.” Craig replied as he kicked Daniel aside. “Have a safe trip.” He added and walked away with Bolu chasing after him.
Bolu grabbed him by the hand. “Craig, he is a mess.”
“Good. I was a mess before Alhaji too.”
Bolu nodded. “I know, but, we…we can’t leave him like that.”
“I can.” Craig replied and walked on.
Bolu caught up with him. “He is our friend.”
“Dude, he is not my friend…not anymore.” Craig replied as he stared at Daniel sprawled out on the floor.
“Okay, let’s be good Samaritans.”
Craig laughed. “So I am acting as the thief and good Samaritan at the same time?”
“Please man, I don’t want him to die. He is a chicken.”
“He should have thought about that before he went ranting to Alhaji about matters that didn’t concern him.”
Bolu nodded. “I know, let’s just take him to the hospital.”
Craig sighed. “We are dropping him at the corner.”
“Thank you.”

++++****++++
“Do you think the Doctors will attend to him there?” Bolu asked as Craig drove.
Craig shot at him angrily. “Look, I have tried, okay? You can go back there and take care of him if you want.”
“You are still a good guy inside.” Bolu said with a smile. “Anyway, what are you going to do now that Alhaji is aware?”
Craig shrugged. “I am not bothered about him.”
“So, what bothers you?”
“I…I think I like Aisha.”
Bolu chuckled. “A leopard never changes bro. You don’t like Aisha, you just like the money.”
“You don’t know how I feel about her!” Craig shouted. “I want to take care of her, I want to hold her close and feel her heart beat against mine and I want to protect her, i…I want to watch her when she sleeps, I want to be there for her every time and every day and even if this is how crappy our relationship, this joke is, I never want to leave her side.”
“Bro!” Bolu said as he stared at Craig. “You are beginning to sound like a girl.”
Craig stared at him. “Am I?”
Bolu nodded. “Yeah and that terrifies me. You are a man, hard core. No time for love. Love is all fairy tale and for the movies. When did you get this weak?” Bolu asked as he hissed.
“Bolu, I think I want Aisha in my life.”
“What are you saying? This is just a game. This is what it is for her and that is what it should be for you. Right now, everything is over and you should move into the final phase of your plan before Alhaji sets his dogs on your trail. You don’t want to be caught napping.”
“If I do it, I will hurt Aisha.”
“That was the initial plan, wasn’t it?”
Craig blinked as he drove on.

++++****++++
“Aisha, you have hurt your father.” Moira said as she plaited Aisha’s hair.
Aisha nodded.
“What are you going to do about it?”
“I don’t know. I am scared about how he would react when I accept everything.”
Moira nodded. “He is still your father and I am sure that he understands why you did what you did.”
“I don’t know what to say, Moira. I am sure I have lost his trust.”
“You’ll gain it back. Just give it time.”
Aisha nodded. “Craig said ‘goodbye’, you think he meant it?”
“I didn’t think you cared about it.” Moira replied with a grin.
“Well, I do.”
Moira smiled. “There’s only one way to find out. Try calling him.”
“That would crush me and you know it.”
“Good. We stay in limbo.” Moira replied.
Aisha hissed. “I don’t think he is gone… at least, not like that. I’ll check him after I visit my Dad.”
“Smart choice.” Moira replied.
“What if he doesn’t love me?”
“You can send an SOS to me. I’ll come and pick you up.”
Aisha stared at her. “You don’t think I am about to go to Craig to tell him the stupid things that I feel.”
“I thought that was the plan.” Moira replied.
“You thought wrong. I am not about to disgrace myself.” Aisha replied. “By the way, do we have any business deal to handle yet?”
Moira nodded. “We do, but I am handling them. You need to sort yourself out, Aisha.”
“Is it this issue with my Dad or the one with Craig?” she asked.
“Both of them, Aisha. You are going to apologize to your Dad and then you are going to speak to Craig.”
Aisha stared at her. “I am going to my Dad, but Craig? I don’t know.”
“Well, I’ll keep motivating you till you end up in Craig’s place.”
Aisha shrugged. “Maybe…not.”

++++****++++
“Hi Dad.” Aisha said as she stood before her father.
Alhaji Ibrahim dropped his coffee aside and folded his newspaper. “Hi Dad?”
She nodded as she took a seat beside him. “How are you?”
“Twice in one day? Not typical of Aisha to visit like this.”
Aisha nodded. “Dad, I am sorry.”
“Sorry? What for?” he asked.
She swallowed. “Dad, when you said that my inheritance was dependent on getting married, I hired Craig. I know that I might have disappointed you by going so low, but, I just felt that love isn’t for me and that I just needed to get my inheritance from you and then I decided to find a way.”
She paused and stared at Alhaji who buried his head in his hand. “Dad…I…I am sorry, but, I am really to blame in all this and I accept it.”
“All I did was love you, Aisha. To be honest, I thank you for this sport you pulled on me, I can admit that for the first time in your life and even though it was a game, you had fun.”
Aisha took a deep breath. “Dad, I know you are not proud of me and that this is a huge ridicule, but I am willing to do anything to gain your trust back. I’ll wait, I’ll work for it. I’ll earn it.”
Alhaji shrugged. “Aisha, you played me and played me well. I feel terrible about it, but, it is life.”
“Father, I am sorry.”
Alhaji nodded. “I know you are. Where’s your boyfriend now?”
“He is gone.”
Alhaji smiled. “You know I actually thought that man had guts. I would have loved him as a son-in-law. Such a shame.”
“What is my punishment, Dad?”
Alhaji smiled. “That’s the problem with you, Aisha. Everything is not a game. This is not a game for me. I am hurting. My daughter was desperate for her inheritance that she stooped so low as to hire a man to convince me that she was in love. I bought it and you know why, I trusted you. I bet you paid my guard to feed me lies too? What was the plan, Aisha? Get divorced after two months and run off with your money? To do what? I don’t get it.” Alhaji said with his eyes wet. “All I care about is you. You and only you. Someone was going to love and will still love you.”
“Is that someone Hakeem? Dad, you can’t buy love.”
Alhaji hissed. “The irony of life. What was it that you did with Craig?” he asked. “Enlighten me, Aisha!”
She relaxed in the chair. “It’s all over now, Dad. I am not proud of myself and I will take full responsibility for it.”
He nodded. “Yes, you will. Anyway, I think it is time you figured out a lot of things that pertain to your life by yourself. And even though it might hurt me to say this, I think I saw a slightly better woman when you were with that phoney. So, we might take a positive from your games.”
“Dad, I really want you to forgive me.”
“I have. It is just that I can’t help but remember how my own daughter played me.”
She nodded. “I know, but that means you haven’t forgiven me.”
Alhaji smiled. “I have,”
Aisha’s phone vibrated and she tapped it on. Two messages came up and she clicked on them. She gaped as she stared at her Bank Alert and then stared at Alhaji. Her Father looked at his confused daughter. “Is anything the matter?” he asked.
Aisha knew there was a big problem, but she didn’t know how to say it to her father and at least not now. He would have a laugh and she didn’t need that now.

‘…it’s all fun and games until someone gets robbed’

******
All Fun and Games is written by Tomi Adesina, Writer and Author of “Dear Future Husband” available for free on African Stories. She is @tomi_adeshina on twitter.

Life of a Barack Boy -Ojay Aito

Hey guys!
A New week! A New Author! African Stories is thrilled to bring you a new author with a completely different genre and style of writing. Ojay Aito, a story teller and a graduate of Industrial Chemistry finds he likes ink better than chemicals. His online series “Life of a Barack Boy” debuting today on African Stories tells the tales of living within the fortified four walls and the life form that rules it. Taking inspiration from everyday living in Nigerian barracks, Ojay amply puts down the mirror images and hopes to spare you the horror of experiencing life with a man in uniform.
We hope you find it refreshing and different as we did.


Life of a Barack Boy
Episode 1: In The Beginning

There are a few things you can’t change about yourself. One of them is where you were born. Yeah, guess you know already – I was born in the barracks. First, let me ‘axe’ you, “How many barracks are there in Nigeria? I mean all military and paramilitary barracks combined. Guess no one has really thought about it, not even the Defence Minister. Imagine there was an association of all ex-barracks boys and how nice it would be to be the spoke man of the group.
You would never need to bother about how well your spoken English sounds, because everyone would understand the basis of your colloquialism. Communication ends in your understanding not necessarily how well it is passed or so they think.
Second question most people never really thought about: Which is the origin of the Pidgin English? Was it from the Niger Delta as widely insisted on, or was it from the barracks? Well, I might not have a factual answer to that, but I do know for certain that the Pidgin English is a living language and the lingua franca of the barrack world. It has passed through different stages of evolution and has not only survived but thrived wonderfully as against other indigenous languages, and even the original English language.
Back in the days, our parents would warn us, and sometimes even spank us when we seem to fall short of necessary words to express our feelings in the white man’s language. Little did they know that people like us will make millions of Naira simply by becoming Pidgin English voice-over artistes.
Still on the characteristics of this lingua franca of ours, what language would take two English words and merge it into one of itself if not the Pidgin English? For example the words “wound” and “injure” can simply be “wounjure” in Pidgin English not necessarily depending of the gravity of the wound or injury, but of the person that just inflicted the damage…lots of example coming in the course of this piece. This write-up isn’t to help support the need to preserve this language of ours, because like I said, it lives and it will take care of itself.
I am set to lead you into the first twenty years of my life – just a bit of what I can put into words. You will find out that you are familiar with the stories being told; bring back the memories and perhaps take you on a reverie into ‘Barryland’ as known as Barrack Land – the formative years of our lives not only as ‘barrack-children’ but also as Nigerians in the late eighties and early Nineties – a period where uniform ruled.
The episodes of this script will depend on how I remember my past (and yours too). I am called a barrack boy surmising that my dad is a barrack man and my mum a barrack man’s wife. But that isn’t the real case in my family. My dad isn’t a military man. He is a Teacher, an academic. It’s my mum who is an Officer. It’s just like having your mother as the President of the country, and
your dad is the First Gentleman of the Nation. Not that my mum acted in the father role at home, but my family was different, having orderlies salute my mother with rapt attention and just bow and say “Welcome Sir” to my dad when they come home from work at the end of the day.
From this little introduction, you can get a glimpse that my family is what we referred to as the ‘Ajebo’ part of the barrack family. Not that I acted like an ‘Ajebo’, but it was impossible for others in the main barrack blocks not to see us who lived in the quarters as fortunate, and therefore special. This came with many advantages and disadvantages as well. There were two worlds, and two different life styles in the barrack. The children of privates and junior uniform men who were the majority went to the notorious Army Children School, which has about 8 to 10 different schools in one. While we the officers’ children attended Command Children School. We had school shuttles
come to pick us from our respective homes and then drop us off after school. We had special shops we went to get our groceries; we had telephones in our houses, water running in our taps, security guards at our gates, laundry services every weekend, and many more. And what did my real barrack boys get? Nothing. Okay,
they had to share the toilet with two or three other families when the plumbing was bad(it was almost always bad anyway); they had to share laundry rooms and stores every day, they didn’t have any security (apart from pilferers around, the Shina Rambos never really got a chance to come into the barracks).
But with all the differences between us, we still had part of our lives interwoven – Neither side complete without the other. And we had soul friends from across spiced with arch enemies from within. And life could never be sweeter than that of a
barrack life.
There was always something cooking.
****
Ojay Aito blogs weekly at ojayaito.com and he is @1ojay on twitter.

Love on the 25th. Episode 12

Read Previous Episodes Here

Episode 12
Vince

* * * *
She was standing few meters from the gate; her eyes straining for recognition and her long legs disappearing into well-shaped hips and firm stomach as displayed by the white shorts and see-through black sweater she was wearing. She looked breathtakingly beautiful with her hair down and half cup white lace bra barely covering her breasts.
“Vince? What are you doing here?” Her voice reaching me as I got out of the rental, eyes riveted on her flawless thighs, travelling her length unhurriedly before stopping on her face.
“Kinda need you at the office” I said smiling as I approached her. A little fluttering, it appeared ridiculous that I was feeling rather elated at seeing her after four long weeks but I was. A thought hitting me as I reached her – how was it that Rita knew Debbie was the woman Kole was getting married to? Her name was not mentioned anywhere else. Idris? Nital?
“Really, you didn’t need to come all the way out here. Idris or Nital would have passed it along” she said, adjusting the hair that blew across her eyes as a smile appeared at the corners of her mouth.
“So you told your assistants you were getting married to Kole and forgot to inform the good neighbor” it was a question.
“I didn’t tell them” she said momentarily disconcerted.
“Seems like we all know who the groom is back at home regardless I wanted to see you too. I missed you terribly” I said in an upbeat tune taking her reluctant body in a full hug. She opened her mouth to say something but stopped short.
“Barely gone few hours and I’m missed. I’m flattered” she said as she met my eyes and I dropped my hands.
“Did you give notice?” I asked coyly, putting on my boyish grin.
“I did”
“Great! Now I can’t sue you” I said with a frown as she laughed freely; almost as if she was happy to see me. It was probably wishful thinking on my part but I wanted to throw my arms around her and pick her up but I refrained.
“No, you cannot” she said in another small laugh, taking a step back and tilting her head to look at me.
“Leaving me without a neighbor and a business guru” I said looking into her eyes.
“It wasn’t my intention” she replied meeting my eyes before blinking and looking past me.
“So you really getting married” I said after a moment of silence.
“We all have to get married sometime” she didn’t deny it as I hoped.
“Not to the wrong man” I said tersely.
“Not to the wrong man” she repeated not meeting my eyes. We stood; another awkward minute passing between us.
“Where is the groom?” I asked suddenly at loss for words. I watched a flick of what I wanted to believe was doubt cross her expression because I was bursting to tell her not to marry him. To tell her that I was falling in love with her and had no idea why I wanted her as mine but that the thought of her getting married was killing me literally and knowing she was going to be sleeping in another’s man bed after sleeping in my arms and tasting her lips was unacceptable. Of course it sounded like a line from those stupid romance books that succeeded in confusing women but at the moment, stupidity was rational and I wanted her confused.
More frustrating was the fact that I had no clue how she felt about me. With her brown eyes so guarded and body without a language as experts claim, I was going by the presumption that she found me appealing.
“He went out” she said, turning back to the house. I followed.
“Without you?” I teased. She nodded with a little laughter in her eyes.
“How is Sandra?” she asked after another awkward moment.
“I should be asking you that” I answered knowing what was coming.
“Why is that? You guys were all cuddled up the last time I saw you two together” she said not looking at me.
“I was wondering when you were going to bring that up” I said as we entered the house.
“I just did” she said stopping abruptly to look at me.
“It wasn’t what it looked like” I defended using the soap opera line I avoided over a month ago. Who knew….soap operas lines were not so bad after all. And why was I suddenly feeling like the main character? I had to let her know and do it fast before my name turned to Diego.
“It looked pretty convincing to me” was all she said before taking the long corridor I was sure led to her room. My heartbeat quickened, my pace reflected it.
“It was for a deal”
“Huh?”
“She told me she was going to help me get you if I kissed her just once…..wait…wait…I know it sounds lame but lame did happen” I said arrogantly, displaying my teeth as she laughed.
“Lame Vince. Really lame” she said as we entered what looked like the Madame section of the house.
“I see you have your own house in a house” I played, following her about as she moved aimlessly around the large sitting room stuffed with too much settee and artifacts.
“You can stop following me now” she laughed as she turned and bumped into me. “Sure……..if you promise to take me on a tour” I teased, stepping into her space right in the middle of the overstuffed space and dropping my hands on her hips.
“Vince…” she warned.
“I missed you Debbie. And I don’t want you marrying Kole” I said, looking at her as I pulled her close; her pupils darting around the room and her teeth catching her lips. Those lips.
“Vince, you can’t say that” it was above a whisper.
“Why not? I am really smitten Debbie. Can’t you see that?” I answered in a whisper dropping my forehead on hers
“Sandra is….” She was saying
“I am in love with you and whether you approve of it or not, I am not going to allow you get married to anyone else. I couldn’t care less about Sandra when I have you to myself” I whispered some more into her ears.
“…I didn’t know you feel that way” she rushed out in hot breath, her face suddenly hot and uncertain as she looked up at me, her eyes lazy, her eyelashes fanning her cheeks, her brows knotted in grim hesitation.
“I do. I always did” I said, my eyes fixed on her lips, waiting for the right moment to taste it. Holding her closely and breathing her in, I dipped my head just as she moved away.
“You have to leave now” she announced, breaking off eye contact and walking to her door in quick steps.
I was going to kiss her and nothing was going to stop me.
In three steps, I pulled her to me just as she reached the door and slammed it shut behind her before dropping my head to her lips, capturing her opened lips with mine. She gasped, calling my name as I swallowed it.
She struggled weakly but I could feel her heart pound too and smiled victoriously as I slashed her lips; teasing and nibbling at her bottom. Soon she opened up and kissed me back. She tasted of strawberry and cream; hot air escaping her nostrils. In fewer seconds, I had her back up against the door, her hands round my neck in reckless abandon. She wanted me alright and she was not afraid this time.
“Vince…” she called, breathless as I kissed her neck, grinding into her and molding her firm warm globes, teasing her hardened tips with my fingers; eager to get them out of the white lace. Without as much as an answer, I peeled her sweater off as she raised her hands in surrender.
“Vince please” she was shaking and again I ignored her. Covering her lips with mine with the lone aim of getting her naked and beneath me, I made for her white lace bra and exposed her right pink flesh to my greed mouth. I feasted on it hotly; lashing and sucking at it with all firmness and concentration. All sense of proprietary had since left me and I was bent on having her. All of her. My turgid member liked the thought and hardened some more.
“Vince no!” she was still clutching at decency, twisting and resisting my mouth as she made weak attempt to push me away.
“Don’t fight this Debbie. I’m going to make love to you until you are spent. I am not stopping. Not today love” and I returned to her left nipple, greedily sucking it as if I expected milk and soon found myself on my knees.
“Please” I didn’t know if she begging for it or stopping me but her hands at the back of my head urging me to her sex confirmed it. With a tug of hips and deep uneven breathing; she was standing above me without a stitch of clothing and looking down on me with eyes so aroused I felt myself tugging at my zip. I had to get out of my trousers or risk a bruise but first I had to feast on the offering before me.
“Oh no!” she rasped as I feasted; supporting herself with hands on my shoulders as I drove her home. I wanted her to find release and soon she found it; coming undone in my hands, her knees giving way as she collapsed on top of me.
Picking her up, she held on to me as I walked to the door I hoped led to her room. It was. The white huge bed was more than suitable for what I had in mind. Setting her up on the bed, the rest of my clothing were discarded as fast as I could and when I settled in between her thighs, she was twisting and responding to my administrations with such abandon and recklessness. Definitely a freak in bed, my Debbie. Her hair had since left the hairclip used and poured on her body as she arched her back.
“Now, Vince…Now” she said in a voice I barely recognized as hers.
“Say please”
“Vince” she was shaking as I teased her with my finger.
“Say please Debbie” I murmured.
“Please” she said in a trembling voice.
“Please what” I teased, sucking her. She gave out a frustrated cry.
“Please, just take me now” and that was all I needed.
The gasps of breath as I entered her, the hot grip of her flesh, her hands on my hips urging me and huff of hot air as she met me, thrust for thrust. The thrill of dominance and pride of being the man to make her act lustfully forced me to smile as we stared at ourselves going at it relentlessly – no one ready to concede weakness.
For how long, I had no idea. All I knew was I was far gone and had only one purpose. To breed her. The thought forced me to slow down before picking up pace again as I nearly came undone. I was bent on winning the thrust match and I could fast hear her groans turn to moan and then to pleas as I fed her some more. Her eyes rolled in her head seconds later and I knew she was letting me win. So slippery with foams at our junction, I felt her tight canal grip me as she came, screaming my name, clamping and lifting herself off the bed.
I erupted hotly as I swallowed her cry in a kiss, spraying her like never before. I was spent and stayed still to catch my breath; locking myself in her womb and smiling as I imagined little Vince swimming up her eggs. The thought caused me to harden and I choked on a laugh. She was going to be the end of me I thought; heaving and sweating but absolutely satisfied.
“Look at me” I prompted noticing she refused to meet my eyes. She stilled and then found my eyes. She looked flushed with a little gloom clouding her expression; her lips swollen and red from my kisses.
“Think you should…” she said sinking her hips into the bed in an attempt to separate herself. I groaned and settled my weight on her.
“Be careful or I will not be responsible for what you get next” I said, planting a light kiss on her lips.
“Ohhh! Vince” she was giggling; the gloomy look leaving her face.
“Keep calling me like that and I am never getting up” I teased, moving my hips in circles. I was surprisingly ready to take her again.
“Stop that!” she laughed trying to push me off.
“Marry me” I voiced thickly into her neck as I trailed kisses along the nape of her neck and moved inside her. She froze.
“What have I done?” she said in a whispered as I looked up to see a frightened look replace her cheerfulness.
“What have you done indeed” it was his voice. We both turned to see him standing by the door with a pained look on his face. I felt her withdraw from me, fumbling for decency as she reached for a pillow.
“I will be waiting outside” he said and soon walked out.
“Marry me” I asked her again going over to hold her.
“Don’t touch me” she withdrew sharply, a forbidding look masking her face before she walked to the bathroom silently.
I watched her go and felt my heart skip. I realized I was afraid of losing her and the possibility was staring at me in the face. Was she seriously considering marrying Kole after what we just shared? She was probably pregnant with my baby! I knew that was farfetched but still. I sat on the bed with head straight and eyes piercing the wall. I had no regrets and if given the chance I’d do again. How was I going to convince her to marry me instead? If only self-control was a strong point of mine. ‘Damn’ I cursed under my breath as I wore my pants.
There was no way I was allowing her get married; a thought taking shape in my frazzled mind. Caleb.
****
Debbie
From the moment he walked up to me, I knew this was coming. The quick exchange of words, the walk to the house, the much expected kiss and his skilled hands, his turgid member splitting me in half and the earth shattering orgasms that followed. As I stroked in between my legs, I smiled at the memory and wanted to cry in shame at the same time; my face heating up as I remembered how I had begged him to make love to me. Why wasn’t I afraid of him? He was a man, was he not? And how was it possible that I let myself come to first name basis with the D-word after so many years?
I hated and loved the powerless he made me feel; being needy and responsive. Thrusting boldly, finding my release, taking my pleasure. Perhaps it was because it was consensual or non-abusive. It didn’t make sense but I had enjoyed him in me thoroughly I was ready to make an update on my men chapter. Perhaps, Uloma wasn’t overly obsessed with men if she got it this good.
“What is happening to me? What am I going to do with Kole?” I covered my face as I let the hot water wash the memory off me – if it were possible. I was appalled at my insensitivity and made haste to wash the soap off. I had hastily scribbled my signature on the contract before going for a walk and was hoping he had not seen it. I had to rethink the marriage proposal. Perhaps have terms adjusted.
‘Marry Vince’ an inner voice suggested but I rebuked it immediately. To have sex with him was thinkable but to marry him? ‘He said he loved you’ the voice persisted. ‘That is what they all said before they took what they wanted’ I replied. ‘None of them asked you for marriage and it was a long time ago’ the self-righteous voice pointed out.
“Oh shut up” I said reaching for my towel.
“Debbie?” I stopped the shower tap.
“Debbie” it was Kole.
“Yes?” I held my breath and shut my eyes. I was feeling remorseful not ashamed.
“He is gone. You can come out now” he sounded too calm and for a moment imagined him holding a bat to knock me off. What really did I know about the man?
“Will be out in a bit” I called back.
“You have been in there for 30 minutes” he said patiently.
“Alright” I didn’t know I had been in there for that long.
He was staring at the bed as I came out tightly wrapped in a towel.
“I am sorry” I said sounding anything but.
“I know” he didn’t look at me.
Without a sound, I made to the wardrobe and slipped into a black gown. My hair still wet, I ran my hand through it and made to get my bags.
“What are you doing?” he asked. He had turned to face me now.
“I am leaving”
“No you are not” he said, hands buried in his pockets.
“Kole, it is no use. I made a hasty decision and I am really sorry about what happened here” I said pointing at the bed.
“You mean because you allowed yourself a little slut moment” he said with a steel face.
“I suppose I deserve that” I said, remorse tugging at the corners of my conscience. A man with less than six months to live definitely did not deserve the show of moral bankruptcy I had displayed. It didn’t just feel right.
“We are getting married” he announced.
“I cannot possibly marry you after what you just witnessed”
“Well, you signed the contract” I turned to my reading desk. It was empty.
“Kole, you can’t force me”
“I can’t? We are getting married and you are giving me an heir. That is final” he barked.
“You do realize you have six months to live” I retorted too annoyed to care.
“You may be a bright lady Debbie but you and I know that men with six months don’t look as healthy as I do” he said with a wicked wink.
“What do you mean by that?” I asked, slowly noticing the sardonic smile lining his thin lips and hard unforgiving eyes.
“I suggest you unpack and meet me in the kitchen for dinner. One should always have good dinner after such a romp plus I think the face of the woman Kole McGregor is getting married to just made it online. Who knows, perhaps we will be giving an exclusive interview soon” and with that he placed a dry hard kiss on my lips before leaving my room. I could test blood on my lips and for the first time in years, I felt fear creep back in.
What have I gotten myself into?
****
Love on the 25th is written by Unen Ameji; Author of Memoirs of a Justified Gold Digger. Get a copy. She is @UnenAmeji