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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Bachelor Life (Episode 1)





I sat on my sofa staring blankly at the screen.
A little tired, I had just finished seeing an American film titled ‘Bachelor’ and I couldn’t help but mentally slither through the whole concept of bachelorhood.

For the guys, nothing beats having that feel of freedom; freedom from parents, freedom from a nagging wife and freedom from commitments. No better phase in a guy’s life does he get all these than when he remains a bachelor.

Weirdly, being a bachelor has its perks and difficulties. The perks I will come to later but being a bachelor without them girls can easily be likened to being stuck alone in a desert with the feeling of everyone having gone on an outer space travel.

But if you are a bachelor and you have the control number of the girls, then one of the perks is having the world literally in your pocket.

Plus if you are a bachelor like me, a handsome lawyer with a sense of humor rivaling that of a comedian, intelligence like that of a nerd, a salary from an oil exploration company job enough to comfortably support a family of ten, an SUV car and an apartment in the most posh area in Surulere, Lagos, then the world isn’t just in your pocket, it stays in your pocket and is zipped in your pocket forever.

The feeling of empowerment and freedom was enjoyable enough for me to ignore the many pressures from the different quarters in my family to get married. Marriage can wait.
I was not in a hurry to stop ‘living the life’.

I had always had a thing for the ladies. Luckily enough for me, I learnt early enough that to get your dream lady did not always have to be all about the Benjamins. Playing your cards right and saying the right words at the right time were key in the game of ‘girl hunting’. If girl hunting was an art, I would easily be termed the ‘J├Ągermeister’.

Whilst having the extra cash made my choice of women classier these days, I always had my regular flow of women even when I didn’t have much from my days as a youth corper.
I wasn’t always the randy guy. In fact, I was a virgin till my 500 level in the university. I was aged 24. I had grown up having nerds and ‘spirikoko’ guys as the core of my friend’s circle. I unconsciously believed having a girlfriend was a ‘sin’.

All that was to change from the moment I met Bimbo.

I had met Bimbo in my 400levels. Bimbo had a lovely personality and a chuckle that melt hearts. She also had those kinds of booties you will usually see in Jo'burg, South Africa. She was blessed with a firm, rounded and protruding booty held by a tiny waist and a flat tummy giving her the perfect hourglass shape. Bimbo and I had met in fellowship on campus. I was an usher in fellowship and a diligent one at that. I guess I must have been too diligent that particular night because only a diligent eye could have noticed the size of the booty from the distance I was positioned.

From then on, my eyes stayed glued to her like a radar locked missile. I just couldn’t concentrate throughout the service and once service was over, I glided through the crowd to where she sat.


                                                      


Unlike present day, I was still very shy back then and had not thought of mentally preparing a pick-up line. I just stood right in front of her not knowing what to say. Her eyes locked on to mine and she smiled. I looked away embarrassed.
‘Hi usher’. she quipped.
‘Hello’ came my weak and feeble reply. “i..er…em…was wondering if you have the  offering envelope?”
(Every time I look back and remember that night, I still get embarrassed. Jeez! That had to be a contender for one of the dumbest pick-up lines ever!).
Funny you. Why would I need one? Service is over remember?” she asked, still having that smile etched all over her face. Why don’t you be a gentleman and walk me to my room?”
Oh ok. Why not? (Phew! That was a get out of jail card she played there. Everything is working far beyond what I expected).

I walked her to Idia hall and by the time we had finished gisting, I had concluded in one part of my mind that I had met ‘the special one’.
If it all went well that night, it was to become better in the weeks that followed. It seemed as if she was practically waiting for me all her life! This was 2003. GSM phones had just been introduced into the Nigerian market and I and Bimbo were a few of the lucky ones who had a phone to use on campus.

Despite the rather high rate for calls and text messages, my school allowances went into recharging my phone and calling Bimbo. Calls on an hourly basis and text messages to discuss the most mundane issues became the norm and within weeks, we had developed a bond. (Of course by this time, sex was not part of my lexicon yet).

That bond was to last a few weeks till she decided to attend foundation class for fellowship members and she met the Bible Study Secretary. Bro. Seun.

Our usual meetings started drying up with excuses of having to attend lectures, discussion groups, and foundation classes. Within three weeks, we basically stopped seeing. She also stopped picking my calls and depression started setting in for me. I ‘died’ any time a mutual friend informed me of seeing Bimbo with this same Bible study guy. I felt ‘chanced’ and ‘cheated’. I was only rescued from the torture by a three month ASUU strike that ensured I got Bimbo out of my mind.

On resumption in school after the strike, I was to get the biggest shocker of my life. After a Wednesday meeting, the fellowship pastor had announced to the full congregation that night that the Bible study secretary, Bro. Seun had been engaged to Bimbo. My Bimbo! The announcement literally had the effect of a magnitude 12.0 earthquake on my legs and I was literally shaking till I got back in my room.

After three days of ‘mourning’, self-pity and anger, I rose up and made some life changing decisions. I was quitting the fellowship, I was quitting the ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ persona and I was losing my virginity.
And that’s where it all began for me. Sit back and take a tour of  my bachelor world of sexual escapades and self-discovery.

By the way, my name is Shola.


 To be continued








Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Forever (9) Finale




   Her cell phone rang, she checked the caller ID and smiled when she saw it was King.

“Hi,” she said happily.
 ‘Hi to you too.”

 “You sound happy.”
“Oh, I’m very happy.”

 “Good.”
 “How are you?”
“I’m very fine.”
 “So, what’s up?”

 “I’ll like to have dinner with you tonight.”
“Hmmm. Business, celebratory, casual or formal?”
 “I’m supposed to figure all that out?” 

Alewa laughed. “Yes. So I’ll know what to wear.”
 “I’m but a man Alewa. Just wear anything you want, you look beautiful in anything.” Alewa was silent for a while. 

“That didn’t help at all.” 

“How about hoping-to-celebrate-something-dinner?”

 “Okay, that’s better.”

 “We aim to please.” 

 She giggled. “Where do we meet? And what time?” 

“I’ll come pick you, just be ready by 6pm.” 

“Okay then. You’re not going to give me any hint about what you’re hoping to celebrate?” 

“Not a hint.”
 “Is Georgina going to be there?”

 “It’s just you and I babe.”

 “Hmmm, that just got my curiosity level to 99%.”

  He laughed. “You’ll just have to wait to satisfy that 99% curiosity. See you later.”

 “Okay, bye.” She hung up. 

Alewa could not imagine what the call was about but she guessed she would have to wait to find out. 

 ***

Alewa and King were settled at their table about 6:45pm. It had taken them about forty minutes to get to the restaurant they were to have dinner at. 

You look really beautiful tonight Alewa.” King said.

 “Thank you King. You look handsome yourself.” She smiled. 

“I didn’t say that to get a compliment out of you. I meant it; you always take my breath away, even dressed in pajamas with your hair uncombed.” 

Alewa laughed. “That feels like a very long time ago.”

 “That’s because you’ve grown so much since then.”

 “Very true. But I did mean what I said. You know what I used to call you?” 

What?” he looked in her eyes and smiled. Alewa’s heart skipped a beat at that smile. 





“This handsome devil,” she whispered.

 King laughed. “A devil? Why that?”

 “Because you always made me do things I didn’t want to do.” 

“I’m hoping I can get you to do what you want to do today.”

 “What’s that?”

 He took her hand. “You know I love you right?” 

“Yes. I love you too King, you’ve been so awesome to me.” 

 He shook his head. “Not like that. I mean, I really love you.”

 “Oh….but King, you know that’s not wise.” 

 “Why not?”

 “Because of my condition. I don’t ever want to put you in that position.”

 “Alewa, you’re not putting me in anything. I’m choosing to be in if you’ll let me. Ever since the day I met you, my life hasn’t been the same. That day, I knew I will be a part of your life in some way, and I stuck around even when you made it very difficult.”

 He smiled. She returned his smile. “King, this disease is not going to go away.”

 “Don’t say that. There’s nothing impossible for God. Besides, there are measures to ensure both of us are safe in a relationship, as long as you keep taking your drugs.” 

She was surprised. “You’ve done your homework on this.”

 “Yes I have. And I believe we can make it work.”
 “I’ll like nothing more. But what about Georgina?”

He looked puzzled. “What about her?” 

“I got the impression you guys were more than friends, especially on her part.”

 “Alewa, Georgina is just a very good friend of mine. I never gave her the impression I wanted more.”

 “It didn’t stop her from hoping though.”

 “Well, I assure you I didn’t encourage her in any way.” 

“Okay.”

 “So, will you have me?”

 “I’m willing to try, but I’m so scared.”

 “Why?”

 “You know why.”

 “Believe me, I’m in for the good times and the bad too.”

 
  “Okay King. I trust you.”

 “We’ll take it one day at a time until forever.” He said and kissed her hand. 

Alewa smiled and nodded. “One day at a time until forever.”


  The  End

 
 Thanks for staying with us till the end of Alewa's captivating story. Our next series starts this weekend. Watch out!!



Monday, March 11, 2019

Forever (8)





"If you’re interested, I can refer you to the therapist I used then?"

“I’ll like that, thank you.”
 “Okay, that’s settled then.”

 At that point, she looked at King. King nodded his permission for her to continue. “Another thing that really helped me is this: I work with young girls that have gone through this and are still going through it.

  I volunteer at an NGO that helps girls like that and we do all we can to get them out of the situation  through my issues while helping others work through that. I can connect you if you’re interested in that too.”

  “I’d really love that!” Alewa exclaimed.
 “Wow, that’ll be so interesting.”
 “I’m glad you’re excited about this Alewa.”
 “Oh yes I am. I’d love a chance to help someone going through what I’m going through.”

 “Awesome. So I should set it up?”
 “Could you hold off on that for a bit?” she asked.
  Georgina looked confused.

 “I’m not backing out. It’s just that I’ll love a chance to see that therapist you mentioned earlier. I think it’s better I work through my problems first, before trying to help other,”  she explained.

 “Alright. That’s fair enough.”
  “Cool.” She looked to King again, and he nodded just as he did earlier. Georgina cleared her throat and dived in. “Alewa, there’s something else I purposely left till the end; not because it’s less important but because it might be the best decision you ever made.” She paused.

  “I’m listening.” Alewa was curious to hear what she’s about to say. Georgina looked her in the eye. “King told me you were averse to the idea of going to church?”
 Alewa looked away. “I don’t really want to get into that right now.”

 “I understand. But can I say something?”

  “Go ahead Georgina.”
  “You must understand that I’m not trying to coerce you into what you don’t feel comfortable doing, but the fact is God has been a big part of my life for years now and he played a significant role in how I was able to move on and attain peace. I don’t want you to trifle with that. At the very least, think about King’s offer.”

  Alewa looked at her steadily for some seconds. She looked towards King too and he smiled. “Okay, I’ll go with him this Sunday,” she finally said.
 Georgina beamed. “Fantastic! Now let me get the card of that therapist. I’ll be right back.” She excused herself.

King hugged Alewa the moment Georgina was out of the room. “I’m really proud of you my dear. Now, you can embark on your healing journey.”
“Thank you King. But church?” she asked doubtfully “I know how you feel about that. Just try it out this once, and if you don’t like it then I won’t bother you about it anymore.”

 “Okay then. Let’s try that this Sunday.”
  “Awesome.”
   
    ***

 Eight weeks later
 Alewa stood at the door watching the girls in the room. They were all involved in one activity or the other. Some were reading, some playing games, and some knitting. One girl was seated by herself at the corner, reading a huge book, and glancing at the other girls from time to time.

Some of the girls had trouble fitting in and Hannah was one of those. She approached her where she was seated.
 “Hannah, is everything alright?”

  “Yes ma’am.”
 “You look rather uncomfortable sitting there.”
 “Oh, I’m just trying to wrap my head around this. These girls seem really happy.”
Alewa smiled. “I assure you they are.”

 “That’s really something.” Alewa saw the longing in her heart. She patted her knee. “Don’t worry, you’ll get there. It takes some of us more time than others.”
 Hannah nodded. “Thank you Miss.”

Alewa patted her knee once more. “You’ll be fine,” she told her and walked out.
 To think she herself had come so far in just two months. She had grown from the lady who was scared of her own shadow, to the one who could confidently work with girls like these.



Now that she had found a purpose, her life was much more meaningful. King and Georgina had been there for her all the way. They had helped her when she needed help, and encouraged her when she felt like giving up. Going to church with King had been the best decision she made as Georgina predicted. She felt renewed, refreshed and rebirthed when she gave her life to Christ.

 She did not fully understand this God yet, but she was working at it and focusing on her walk with him one day at a time.

The therapist Georgina recommended had been helpful too, but after two weeks of seeing her every day, Alewa was ready to move on. She was ready to focus her time and energy on helping those like her.

Her introduction to the NGO had gone very smoothly. Alewa had been there for a week now and she was enjoying every minute of it. She resigned her job at the company she was with so she could focus more on this. She had enough money to last her through her lifetime and she could afford to share also.

After she finally had something to live for, she decided to take her disease seriously. She commenced taking her drugs religiously and she felt better for making that decision. Even her doctor had been surprised when she told him she was coming in regularly for check-ups. She is taking that one day at a time too.

Her cell phone rang, she checked the caller ID and smiled when she saw it was King.


Watch out for the concluding part of this series coming soon.


Friday, March 01, 2019

Forever (7)






It’s happening already, she thought. He does not want anything to do with me anymore

. King was still staring at her in shock. “Don’t tell me it was your dad……?” he asked hoarsely Alewa gave a tiny nod of affirmation. King slumped back in his seat and covered his face with his hands.

 Alewa kept her eyes down with tears trickling down her face. She could not look at him, she could not bear to see the censure in his eyes, she did not want to see the disgust, and the revulsion he must be feeling.

 “Alewa…” King whispered. She didn’t look up and she didn’t answer him, she just kept her face down, crying silently. King reached for her hand once more and held it tightly in his. That gave her the courage to look up. She slowly raised her head and looked into his eyes fearfully.

 She did not see any revulsion, she did not see any censure; all she saw was compassion, with tears swimming in his eyes. Alewa could not help herself, she just started sobbing loudly.

King quickly composed himself and called for the waiter to bring their check. He paid for their meal quickly and drew Alewa to her feet, wrapped his arms around her and led her out of the restaurant. He could feel the other diners’ eyes on them as they walked out. They were probably thinking he just broke up with her.

 He led her to his car, opened the door and deposited her in the back seat. He then joined her there, still holding her, allowing her to cry her heart out and let go of the hurt. What type of father will do this to his daughter? I don’t understand Lord. Why did her father do this to her? He thought frantically as he consoled her. Feed my lamb, he heard a quiet voice whisper in his spirit. He listened carefully and heard clearly once more, feed my sheep.

He started praying quietly. Father, he began. Lead me and guide me, give me the wisdom to deal with this situation. This is your daughter, she is hurting, and she is in pain. Heal her Lord, grant her peace in her spirit and restore order into her life. Let her see clearly that you are the only one who can take her pain away. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 Immediately he finished praying, he felt peaceful and he knew what he had to do. By the time Alewa calmed down enough to notice what was happening around her, they were on the move. King was driving and she did not know where they were or where they were headed to. It was so dark out; she could not see anything beyond the car window.

 “King.” She called tentatively He looked back immediately and regarded her. “How are you feeling?” he smiled.
“Much better. Where are we going?”

 “Just relax. I’ll explain everything when we get there. We are not so far now.” Alewa relaxed and closed her eyes. Her eyes were so sore from crying and she had a pounding headache, but at the same time she felt light, as if some weight had been lifted off her. She felt almost clean. Few minutes later, King pulled over on a side street. He parked the car and switched off the engine. Then he turned back to her and started talking.

 “Alewa, I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through in your young life.
Nobody should go through that, and I know sorry cannot begin to heal the pain and hurts in your heart but that is all I have to offer. I’m deeply sorry and I hope I can be a friend to you, loving you and helping you through it all.”

“Thank you.” she said quietly, grateful for his support “I have a friend who went through a similar experience as yours and this is who I brought you to meet. I believe she can help you through this, offer some support and aid when you need it, and just be one more shoulder to rely on. She lives in this neighborhood, and I’ll like you to meet her tonight. Maybe, you both can begin the healing process.”

Alewa was curious about this friend of his. She nodded. “Okay.”

 King got out of the front seat and came around to help her out too. He held her hand and led her to an apartment building at the corner. The street was deserted but Alewa could see a few stragglers walking around. She held on tightly as King led the way. Shortly, they came to the door of what looked like a two bedroom flat. King knocked cautiously and Alewa heard shuffling inside and then a woman’s melodious voice.



“Who is there?” she asked.

 “It’s me, King.” he replied “Oh!” she unlocked the door and opened it. Alewa could tell she was excited to see him.

 “Hiiii.” She gave him a hug, King hugged her without letting go of Alewa’s hand. He quickly stepped back so the lady could see he was not alone. Alewa could tell she was surprised to see her beside King, and holding hands. Alewa saw her mouth tighten slightly when she saw their hands tightly clasped.

Alewa tried to remove her hand from King’s, concerned she was infringing on another woman’s territory but King would not let go. She relaxed slightly and went with the flow.

 “Hello Georgina.” King said.

“May we come in?”

 “Of course.” Georgina smiled. She stepped back and motioned them in. King went ahead of Alewa, dragging her along. The room they stepped into was tastefully furnished and quite spacious. Alewa fell in love with the ambience immediately.
King led her to a settee on the far side of the room and sat down beside her.

Georgina also sat on a single chair opposite them. She looked at them expectantly, waiting for them to state the reason for their visit. Georgina was a very pretty woman. Very fair in complexion and tall. Almost as tall as King, Alewa observed. She smiled at King and Alewa could detect a bit of emotion behind the smile. This woman felt a lot more for King than mere friendship. “I’m sorry for barging in on you like this, dear.” King began. “And with a total stranger too but I assure you I have very good reasons for doing so.”

 “You don’t need to apologize King. You’re always welcome in my home.”

 He smiled. “Thank you. This is Alewa Mathews. She’s a very good friend of mine.” Georgina looked at her and smiled. “Welcome Alewa, I’m pleased to meet you.”

“Same here.” Alewa replied “And this is Georgina Makinde, a good friend of mine also.” King said to Alewa. They smiled at one another. “Can I talk with you for a few minutes?” King asked.

 “Yeah sure.” He turned to Alewa. ‘I’ll be back in a few.” He told her.

 She nodded and it was only then he let go of her hand. They stepped outside and closed the door behind them. Alewa took the opportunity to check her surroundings. She stood up and walked around the room admiring the paintings and pictures on the wall.

 She moved to the mantle, saw some books arranged neatly to one side and a display of photographs on the other side. She perused the titles of the books and saw some she had read, and some she had never heard of. She moved on to properly observe the photographs.

She saw one of Georgina, in a lawyer wig smiling at the camera, she saw another one of her with an older woman, obviously her mother, and the last one was of her and King, arms around each other, laughing at a private joke. A photograph of King, in an honorary position, right on her mantle.

Yep, there was definitely more than friendship between these two. She didn’t know the feeling that coursed through her looking at the picture, but she knew it wasn’t happiness.

Just then, the door opened and they both walked in. Alewa smiled and went back to her seat. King approached her where she sat and took her hand in his. “I’m sorry I had to do that but I needed time to explain all this to her.”

“That’s okay.” Alewa said. “What’s the next step now?”

 “She’ll tell you about it but I know she can help.”

 “Okay then.” Alewa turned to Georgina. “What do we do now?”

“Before we start anything, I just want you to know that I know exactly what you’re going through. I went through something similar myself but it was an uncle who molested me; it’s all the same to me though because these men are supposed to protect us, instead they put us in a position where we need to be protected from them. I know how you feel, and I’m sorry you had to go through that.”

“I appreciate that Georgina. I’m sorry you had to go through it too.”

 Georgina nodded.
 “Having said that, let’s move on to the next issue.” She looked to Alewa for permission. Alewa nodded to let her know she was listening. “I think you need to see a therapist to work you through your emotions and what you may be feeling. I saw a therapist and that really helped me have closure and move on. Although, this thing is going to be with me throughout my life, I am at least equipped to control my feelings and reactions to it.”

She paused to make sure Alewa was listening...


 To be continued


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