After she had convinced herself to finally let go of all of her emotional attachments to Lanre, she found herself again and felt so liberated. She started doing all the things she had always wanted to do but never got the opportunity to. She joined a fitness group, started going to night clubs occasionally, attended dance classes and kept herself busy with being happy. She found that happiness was contagious as in her times of sadness and sorrow, not much people spoke to her on daily basis but as soon as she had shed that off, she became like a magnet. Everywhere she stepped into, people both male and female would want to strike a conversation with her.
One day as she and Vanessa sat at Millennium Park, eating and talking about different topics ranging from men to their boss’s disappearance from work, two men wearing the same style of white agbada approached them. They both looked at each other and continued with their gist. The men stood in front of them…
Vanessa: “May we help you please?”
Nkem: “Yeah you may help us” he gave her a dazzling smile, one that made her cheeks turn rose pink. My name is Nkem Ilo and my friend here is David Adefaka” he introduced them and they shook hands.
David: “Can we sit with you two beautiful ladies please? We are just coming from a wedding now and you wouldn’t believe how boring it turned out to be. I think the wind of fate blew us here since we never had the intention of coming here but just decided to drop by”
Vanessa: “Well you are free but this is just a mat, wouldn’t it stain your attire?”
Nkem: “We don’t mind as long as we will get to sit with you” he said as they removed their shoes and sat down beside each of them.
David: “You haven’t told us your names though” he said looking at Nkeiru who was not moved by their dazzling smiles and agbada. She wanted them to hurry and leave so she could enjoy the serenity of the park as had planned to do. They were a distraction to her.
Vanessa: “My name is Vanessa while my friend is Nkeiru”
Nkem: “Nice meeting you two. You both have beautiful names and I am most glad to make you acquaintance” he gave a slight bow and Vanessa laughed.
They got engaged in a discussion till far into the night. They found out they were both estate surveyors and worked for the same firm. The guys bought them drinks and as much suya as they could eat. Vanessa soon took to Nkem whom she found very charming while David kept trying to catch Nkeiru’s attention. They exchanged numbers and later dropped the ladies at home. Vanessa was super excited and looked forward to talking to Nkem on phone or better still going out on an official date with him. Nk did not even want to hear anything about David but she could not help but admire how calm and polished he looked like one from a well cultured family background.
She sat outside the house weeping profusely. The landlord had just left the house threatening to send her packing if she refused to pay the rent in a month’s time. Lanre’s line was not connecting, neither was he calling her. The money he sent her on monthly basis also stopped and she started finding it difficult to feed herself. She would borrow money from her friends promising them to pay back when her son must have sent money to her by month ending but they got tired of hearing the same story over and over again and stopped wasting their monies on her. They started gossiping about her, about how her son had abandoned her after she sent her daughter in law packing.
As she sat at the balcony that day with tears on her face due to the hunger she was feeling, she kept thinking “how will I keep living like this when my son is outside the country? What exactly is happening to him? What do I do about this whole problem on ground? Is this how I’d die of hunger? Assuming Nkeiru is here now, I wouldn’t even have to bother about all these. Hei… I should have been nicer to her, and she was a good girl o. where do I start in looking for her now?” She bent down to dab at her eyes with the edge of her wrapper, lifted her eyes again and saw someone looking like her son whom she was sure was not her son walk through the gate. The person kept walking towards her until he stood right in front of her and realization dawned on her…
Iya Lanre: “Lanre” she jumped to her feet. “Olanrewaju…ah!” she knew something was wrong by the look of him.
Lanre: “Maami” he burst into tears.
Iya Lanre: “Don’t cry. Don’t cry you are home now, come let’s go inside” she said leading him by the hand into the house. “What happened? Why have you been unreachable on phone? Why are you home like this?” she asked one question after the other.
Lanre: “Is there anything eatable in the house?”
Iya Lanre: “Hmmmm…There is nothing eatable at all. As you are looking at me, I am starving so you will give me money so I can quickly get to the market to buy foodstuffs”
Lanre: “Okay. But you should know, I did not come with loads of money. I am able to give you this money now because my friend gave it to me after paying for my ticket back. So manage whatever you have cos it will not last”
Iya Lanre: “What are you saying? What of your wife and child?”
Lanre: “The baby is not for me and we are no longer married. I lost my job and even became homeless…”
Iya Lanre: “Aye mi o. This is your wife’s fault. I told you she was a witch. She must have cursed you…”
Lanre: “Stop it! Why are you like this? Everything happening now is your fault why blame the innocent woman whom you frustrated out of her home? I would have been a father now but cos of you, I lost my real child. Don’t think I am happy with you. I am never going to forgive you especially if Nk refuses to come back home with me when I find her. Just pray she does” he said and furiously walked out on her into the room while his mother wept silently. In the room, he fell on his knees and wept silly. He could not believe he did that to her just for a fleeting happiness he found in the laps of another woman. Meanwhile the worst was still awaiting him without his knowledge.
Erica: “Can I see your face now please?” she pleaded after he had asked everyone to excuse them when she told him she wanted to talk to him privately.
Boss: “It’s not time yet. You will surely see my face but not now. I thought you wanted to tell me something?”
Erica: “Yes! I don’t know if I have the right to tell you this but please can you stop all these you are doing? I am tired of living with my teeth set on edge because I am afraid you might get killed any moment. Please let’s leave this place together. We could live a normal life there, a place where no one know us. Please?”
Boss: “Do you really think you can live with me? I am a beast like you already know. I don’t think I want you entangled in my messy life”
Erica: “Yes you are a beast, but you are a beast who is capable of loving and I’d tell you this: love works wonders. So if you really love me like I have seen in your eyes, will you stop killing as if it your hobby now?”
He gave out a wry laugh. What he did not tell her was that he had already made up his mind to be a better person for her.
Boss: “So you think you can control me now? Tell me what to do or how to live my life?”
Erica: “That is not what I am doing please. I have never had the intention of controlling any man in my life not to talk of it being you. I just don’t want this to consume you any longer, I don’t want you to get arrested, I don’t want you to be locked up. I know you have committed many atrocities in this life but no one is beyond a second chance. There is no sin God cannot forgive. Please I am begging you” she went on her knees but he quickly lifted her up and hugged her so tightly she thought she was going to choke.
Boss: “Do you really think God can forgive me?” he asked rhetorically but she answered anyway.
Erica: “Of course He will forgive you once you ask for forgiveness. That is how merciful He is. But I need to tell you this, there is a man I love, I still have him in my heart despite everything”
He took some steps back.
Erica: “His name is Patrick, he is a poet. He does not even know I love him but with you here, I am getting confused…” his gaze softened a bit and she actually thought she saw him smile. “There is something else I need to tell you”
Boss: “Go on”
Erica: “I am pregnant for you. I just found out this morning, what do I do about it? You have so many children already”
Boss: “They are not my children. They belong to the other men. I wasn’t that daft though” he was pleased with himself. He scooped her up in his arms and twirled her around like a toddler while she struggled to free herself.
Erica: “I am glad that you are pleased. So for our baby’s sake, from now on, you are gonna turn a new leaf. You promise? And we are leaving this camp today”
Boss: “Yes madam” he said jokingly.
As they made to step out, they saw children running helter-skelter and the men who seemed to have been caught unawares, trying to get hold of their weapons. He quickly grabbed her and they made for the woods. He saw the soldiers at the back of his eyes arresting some of the men who were yet to collect themselves enough. He docked at the back of a tent waiting for an opportunity to plunge fully into the woods when he started hearing an exchange of gunfire. He remembered Audu and his heart sank, he wasn’t going to escape cowardly without him.
Boss: “I have to go back for Audu” he announced and her expression changed. She knew going back would cost him his life and tried to dissuade him…
Question: Will he listen to her? Will Nk forgive Lanre?
Stay tuned for Episode 23 (You don’t wanna miss this!)…AdeLove Stories…Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!
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