MagaQuestions; Does She Like Me?

Every male at several, multiple un-ending points in time have been faced with this question. Does she like me? Should i continue playing this field? This is of course the time where she’s telling you to send her recharge card, give her money for her hair, for a wedding, for shopping, the list is endless.

This is the big question every potential maga asks right before they fall. So you met this new girl and you really like her but you don’t know if she likes you too even though she has already started asking for stuffs and of course you’re willing to give but still you’re wondering. I know, it’s a long sentence but that about sums it up. The typical known way of knowing if she likes you is when she says ‘Hmmmmm! So all those your girlfriends will come and beat me abi?”

Well, this works but there are other subtle ways that works too.

When a girl likes you, she flirts, she delays the conversation, she asks you questions just so you two can talk longer. So is she always rude and abrupt? Can’t wait to go home or get off the phone? Does she have time to ask for money and yet she always answers you in rude one syllables? Yeah, she pretty much doesn’t like you that way, maybe as a brother but not as a boyfriend.

When a girl likes you, she’s comfortable with holding your hands in public. I didn’t say kissing cos some girls don’t like public displays of affection. So you take her to a restaurant to buy her lunch and she absolutely refuses to hold your hands, she avoids touching you in any way and she walks behind you or in front of you all the time but never actually walks beside you. Yeah, she doesn’t want any fine boy around to think that she’s taken.

When a girl likes you, she makes a face or an issue over any new idiotic fine girl hovering around you like your female friends. Pity those guys who have female best friends cos those two must logger heads over who owns you. But if all the fine girls in this world talks to you or whatsapp with you and she doesn’t say a word or act funny, my friend she doesn’t care.

When a girl likes you, she asks if you have eaten and what you ate. I don’t know what it is with women and food but they always care about this stuff, hinting that if you had been around, they would have made you a better dinner instead of the crappy one you cooked yourself. It’s a show-off thing. I don’t know why. Now how about the girls that don’t like to cook (and trust me, they exist), they still ask and offer to let their maid cook for you. Lol. Not really.

When a girl likes you, her voice automatically becomes a bedroom voice whenever you call or you’re around. Observe her voice when she picks your call. Does she use a soft romantic tone or a harsh, rude and rushed tone of voice to answer you? By now, you should know whether you’re the maga or not.

When a girl likes you, she finds every excuse to touch you like putting her arm in the crook of your elbow when walking or allowing you to lead the way when you’re going somewhere together. She will be helpful to you like call to remind you about something or help you hold your bag when your arm is full or tell you when your tie is crooked.

When a girl likes you, she takes her time to look good for you. So if she comes out of her house in her old house clothes without even bothering to brush her hair or put on lip gloss, you know what to think by now.

When a girl likes you, she buys you gifts. Don’t guffaw and think i’m lying. It’s true. She just wants to take care of you and doesn’t mind spending her money on you except of course she’s the really selfish type. Then you’re in for it. Odikwegu!!!

When a girl likes you, she’s not afraid to tell you where she lives. If she doesn’t, maybe she doesn’t want a stalker or unwanted admirer who has access to her gate. Think about it.

When a girl likes you, she doesn’t cringe when you lean in to kiss her. Stop closing your eyes when you’re about to kiss her. Read her body language. Is she leaning towards you or away from you? Is she closing her eyes or staring at you like an ugly fish?

When a girl likes you, she is not perpetually busy and always telling you to call back. You don’t want to be a bug who is always going to be sent away to come back at another time.

 

Now this is not to say that this is true all the time. Some girls may not want to talk for long, or tell you where they live because they’ve got really really strict parents. That may be why she’s always telling you to call back. You don’t know if her mama is standing above her with a bottle of olive oil.

Some girls may sound rude and harsh on the phone because they are shy. Yes, the shy type always reacts with harshness, hiding the fact that they are shy. This could be why she doesn’t like holding your hands in public. So be patient. Hang in there.

Some girls may not ask you if you’ve eaten or what you ate because it’s a cliché. It’s overdone. It’s an obtuse conversation that’s been used a thousand and one times.

So while these signs may work, they are not always a hundred percent correct.

His Confessions 2

“They’ll never know peace……their generation is cursed….”

“Amen!!!”

“May their manhood shrivel up and dry…”

“Amen!!!!”

“May they never feel the joy of carrying a new born baby in their arms…….”

“Amen!!!!!!!!!”

“May they never watch their children grow up…..”

“Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

The door opened and the doctor walked in, bringing relief to Kunle. ‘Good. Maybe now the cursing can end”

“Doctor, good evening” Kunle greeted heartily, almost hugging the doctor.

Dumebi’s mother and sister,Cynthia had been cursing for two hours now. It was almost a frenzy.

“Doctor, welcome…” Dumebi’s mother said as she stood up to adjust her wrapper. She wasn’t a tall woman but she had a wide waist that carried her wrapper up occasionally and swayed with the wind.

“Any news?” Cynthia asked anxiously.

The doctor, a young man who couldn’t be above thirty shook his head sadly.

“We are still awaiting her test results. It’ll take a while. For now, let’s focus on her waking up. Alright?”

“Thank you….” Cynthia said absent-mindedly. She looked like she still had a lot on her mind.

“Madam, maybe you should go home and rest for a while….let Cynthia stay while you go freshen up….” The doctor said to Dumebi’s mother.

As if on cue, the tears pooled and poured in Dumebi’s mother’s eyes.

“I can’t go doctor. Which home? The one where my dead husband’s body still lies? Or the one where my daughters’ blood still runs? No…….i can’t.”

The young doctor hung his head down for a while. Kunle could see his adam’s apple bob up and down, as if he was swallowing his tears.

“Staying here is not the best. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for her…” He nodded at Dumebi who still lay unconscious. “It won’t be nice for her to wake up and see you like this. Please consider it.”

She nodded and he walked to the door.

“Doctor wait…..” Cynthia called out just as he got to the door.

She swallowed hesitantly. “How about my……my own….my own results? Are they ready?” She almost had tears in her eyes.

For the first time, the young doctor smiled.

“Yes….You’re clean, not pregnant, no STDs, nothing. Congratulations.”

Cynthia smiled shyly and ran to hug her mother, the two crying quietly…..

Just as the door closed….it started again.

“It will never be well with them….”Dumebi’s mother shouted.

“Amen!!!!” Cynthia echoed.

“Mummy i’m coming…” Kunle said, ready to escape the curses being heaped on his generation.

“Ehen my son…are you coming back?” she asked.

“Ah, yes ma. I just want to buy water downstairs. Do you want anything?” He asked before he remembered that the money in his pocket probably belonged to her dead husband.

“Just water too. Thank you. You are a very good friend…. God bless you my son”

if only you knewi was responsible for your plight, you would be looking for a gun to kill me.’

He ran downstairs. Contemplation. The only thing left was contemplation. In one operation, his life had crashed. Now he was stranded and alone on a deserted island and if life kept up to its sadistic norm, there would be an active eruptive volcano somewhere just waiting to spew forth liquid fire.

The worst part was the fact that though everything was in shambles now, he had to hide it and pretend to be Dumebi’s good friend and the strong tough leader the boys expected, not minding the tears, pain and broken family upstairs.

Even though he pretended that the operations didn’t hurt anybody, in one night, they had rocked an entire family and it was all his fault.

What had the priest said….on Sunday ‘It always comes back to you’.

He was still contemplating, when he entered the room and was met with hugs and smiles. Dumebi’s mother was on the chair, singing ‘Thank You Jesus” while Cynthia hovered all over Dumebi. Her eyes were open.

He didn’t know when the water bottles fell from his hands and he rushed to her side.

“Baby…” He said, then caught himself, turned to Dumebi’s mother and cleared his throat.

“Oh thank God you’re awake…..thank God baby…”

The doctor came in.

“Let me examine my patient….give me room” He said but he was smiling.

He did whatever it is that doctors do, fussing all over Dumebi and removing Kunle’s hand on her head every now and then.

“Can you speak?” He asked her finally.

She nodded no.

“Say something” He urged.

“Wa….water….i..need..water!!” She managed to croak.

Her mother rushed and put the bottle water to her lips as she drank slowly.

“Do you remember what happened?” she asked as Dumebi finished.

Everyone looked at her expectantly.

“It’s my fault. It’s all my fault. I killed daddy….” She burst into tears.

Surprised silence for a while then Dumebi’s mother sprang up.

“Don’t say that. Don’t say it again. How can you blame yourself for something that those evil boys did?” she admonished.

Dumebi shook her head fiercely. “It’s my fault mummy. I saw it…..in a dream. I had a dream about it, where daddy died. But I didn’t take it serious. I just…..i just….Oh God, God was trying to warn me. Maybe…..maybe if I had prayed….or even told you…..Mummy I killed him….God please forgive me….i killed my father…”

Nobody saw the doctor wipe his eyes surreptitiously and exit the room hastily. Everybody had tears in their eyes, Dumebi holding on to her mother’s arms while Cynthia sat on the chair weeping hot bitter tears.

“God will punish all of them….they will die bitter painful deaths….ah…..” Dumebi’s mother cried out.

The cursing began again. Kunle sat down bleakly on the floor as more curses rained down on him. What could he say?

Life of the Nigerian Unemployed

Long queues, CVs and letters of applications, job sites, networking, eternal hopes and prayers, connections and lack thereof, taxi hopping, interview seeking, red tapes and bureaucracy, and the worst of all, trying to describe yourself in fun glowing terms so a potential employer can like you.

 

Let’s not forget the hope of being an entrepreneur and chasing your own dream, trying to start your own business, thinking of funding, time, resources and registration.

It’s a rat race, a vicious circle of hope, an unending swirling turbine and you’re just praying that somebody notices you by accident and pulls you out of the crowd.

Let’s also not forget the night vigils, midnight prayers, oil of favour and lucky pens, pastors handkerchief and the potency of a mother’s prayers.

The struggle is real and everybody wants to be on top of their game. An unemployed, job seeking Nigerian is automatically in a fight-to-the-death boxing competition and they have to compete with millions of others out there. You need to have the stamina to take blows and dish one out yourself. The competition is fierce. The minute one vacancy spot opens up, thousands have already applied like fast ninjas. The journey is long and the road is hard.

With millions and more millions graduating each year, the competition gets tougher and tougher, the queues get longer and the desperation gets thicker.

So let’s all migrate. To a happy place filled with jobs for just about everybody. Do we abandon hope for Nigeria and abandon ship?

The Nigerian unemployed has registered with a thousand job sites and everyday, they are forced to consider jobs outside their area of interest and expertise.

The Nigerian unemployed wishes their leg had more stamina to stand longer hours in queues, waiting for that interview. Maybe they should take along a novel, groundnuts, or bole to keep the time while waiting. Food for Thought.

The Nigerian unemployed wishes his grades would change to a first class because that is what most companies search for. The better jobs, hard as they are to come by, are only for the important few who burnt the midnight oil and candles. Ok. It’s time for fasting and miracle hunting.

The Nigerian unemployed wonders just how old they can be for them to have ten or twenty years experience in order to qualify for a job. Nobody wants to hire a greenhorn. Do they expect them to have full time office jobs while they were still in school?

The Nigerian unemployed is tired of seeing their hard-earned printed CV thrown out by companies to groundnut sellers and bole roasters.

The Nigerian unemployed shrinks every time they hear that so and so company has fired two thousand staff. This means competition just got fiercer and more experienced people just joined the queue for rapidly shrinking jobs.

Job! Job! Job! Everyone is searching. But the good news is that, no matter how the economy may be, a lion can never eat grass.

 

 

Kidnap

The baby was in his stroller in the mall, the biggest mall in the city that attracted thousands, especially during weekends. There were couples holding hands and giggling, friends hanging out and having fun, the old trying to understand what the noise was all about and the serious shoppers who hardly smiled. But everyone was busy. A few sat at the restaurant, sipping cool drinks and talking gaily.
The music was an old love song, dimming the voices. Still the baby slept in his stroller, blissfully dreaming of milk and candies. When the stroller moved, the baby didn’t wake up. He didn’t notice that the hand and face was different. The strange hands took the stroller to the second floor before picking him up. The baby’s face settled on a smooth material and soft chest, the thick smell of the perfume intruded and roused him up. He looked at the face holding him. That wasn’t his mother. Then he opened his mouth wide and began to scream with all energy. The woman holding him smiled nervously and began to pat his back. It didn’t work. The cries began to attract attention. She immediately brought out a feeding bottle from her bag and put the nipple in his mouth. He sucked tentatively, then rejected the milk. It was cold. The woman hugged him close. She stepped on the moving staircase and descended to the last floor. She walked past the security woman who was sitting on a yellow plastic chair and went into the big car park.
The security woman, Ruth was bored. The task of standing for hours while people walked in and out was one that encouraged boredom. She usually played a game as she stood there, trying to determine the personalities of the people who walked in. They were always the same. She could tell when a married man brought his mistress to shop, the guilty boyfriend and his angry girlfriend, the husband and wife on a tight budget, even the young ones who came in just to take pictures. The first bites of hunger were beginning to gnaw on her stomach and her mind was trying to decide between buying snacks with juice or going out to buy bole, roasted plantain with fish when the woman passed with the baby.
She looked absentmindedly, then paused. There was something about that baby. Something was at the back of her mind but she couldn’t place it. Meanwhile the woman got to her car and opened the back door. She put the baby in the back seat and was moving to get into the drivers seat.
Suddenly, Ruth remembered. That morning, a couple had walked in with that baby. She remembered them because she had watched the husband struggle to get the stroller out of the car as the wife watched impatiently. She could see the woman’s arm getting heavy from carrying the chubby boy so she had gone to offer her help. The wife had looked at her disdainfully and snubbed her open arms. Ruth had left angry and gone back to her post, wondering how somebody so rude could have such a handsome baby.
Ruth began to run to the car. The woman was already driving away. She took a detour and moved to the west side and stood directly in front of the car. The woman stopped the car, frowning. She pulled down the window and stuck her head out.
“What is it?” she asked impatiently.
Ruth motioned to the security guards at the gate. Two of them began to walk towards her. She walked to the woman and peeped into the car. The baby was in the back seat, still crying.
“Is there any problem?” the woman asked again.
“Please step out of the car madam.” Ruth said and stood politely by the door, her eyes on the ignition.
“What is wrong with you? I need to leave now. As you can see, my baby is hungry. Get out of my way.” The woman said.

 
“Madam step out of your car. I will not repeat myself.” Ruth said fiercely.
The woman switched off the ignition and came down, muttering angrily.
The two guards came up to her. “What’s happening here?” asked Peter, the youngest guard there asked.
“What nonsense is this? What kind of embarrassment is this? Is this how you treat your customers? I want to talk to your manager.” The woman shouted.
Ruth ignored her and turned to Peter.
“This woman has stolen this baby, I know the….” a wild slap interrupted her. The woman grabbed her shirt and began screaming.
“Are you mad? How dare you insinuate that I stole this baby? Do you know who I am? Do you know who my husband is? Where is your manager? Call him…” she directed at Peter.
“Madam calm down.” Peter said, trying to placate her.
“Don’t tell me to calm down. This woman must be fired for this. Call your manager here.” she still held Ruth by the collar.
Peter placed a phone call and briefed Mr Nyebuchi.
“He’s on his way madam” he told her as he dropped the call.
He took Ruth aside and asked “are you sure? See this woman will make sure they fire you oh. Better apologise now and let her go before manager gets here.”
Ruth smiled wanely. A small crowd had gathered around, watching intently.
Mr Nyebuchi hurried down, his short fat frame jiggling up and down as he walked fast.
“What’s going on here?” he asked even before he reached them.
The woman turned to him.
“Are you the manager?” she asked.
“Yes.”
“Listen, you are going to sack this woman here. She has insulted me.”
“What did she do?” Mr Nyebuchi interrupted.
“I was leaving to go and feed my hungry baby when she stopped me and accused me of stealing my own child. Can you imagine?”
Mr Nyebuchi took a deep breath.
“Madam, right before they called me here, I received a call from my security on the fourth floor about a missing baby. It seems this two incidences are related. You’ll have to wait while I call the other couple looking for their child.”
Ruth could see the woman’s heart beat faster. She smiled inwardly and leaned on the car beside the side window so she could keep an eye on the baby.
The couple arrived. It was the rude woman. She rushed to the car and peered in, heaving a sigh of relief as she saw the baby in the back seat, now sleeping. She turned to the other woman, the kidnapper, and gave her a slap. The other woman reeled.
The rest happened quickly. The kidnapper was kept in the security room awaiting police custody. The relieved couple took their baby and went to the car. The mother couldn’t stop kissing her sleeping baby. The father watched her happily.
It took ten minutes before the wife remembered. She went to Ruth who had gone back to her post.
“I…i..i..want to apologise. I know I treated you shabbily this morning. But..you saved my baby…” tears rose to her eyes and spilled down her face.
Ruth smiled. “You don’t have to apologise madam. I understand.”
“Thank you so very much” the wife said and hugged Ruth.
Of course Ruth was offered some compensation. She refused it.

Splitting The Cheque: Should Ladies pay on a first date?

The Modern Man

He’s so enlightened, he supports feminism, he believes strongly that a woman is not just a house keeper, she should be in the office, career oriented if she wants to and nobody should harass her for that.

All this is good but where do we draw the line?

He takes you out on a date and just after you’ve swallowed the last bit of rice and chicken from your plate, he says you have to pay for half of the meal, after all, you’re a 21st century chick and you should know that the rules have changed.

Or maybe he informs you before hand that he doesn’t believe that a only a guy should pay for a date.

Some persons (modern women who don’t exist in Nigeria) would actually see nothing wrong with this but let’s get real. Nigerian women? Nah!!!!!

First of all, if a woman pays for half of a meal, then it can NEVER be considered a date. She just went to eat or watch a movie with some random (idiotic) guy and every time she thinks of him after that, it’s only with dark thoughts and rapid anger.

What may be considered as ‘modern’ in the west is only seen as ‘stingy’ in this part of the world.

If only the modern man could see what modern men in Nigeria are doing for their wives and girlfriends, they would go into epileptic shock. When Nigerian men (not all of them) are building houses for the girl’s family, the modern man is debating about the cost of a meal.

But to be rational, what if he really and truly can’t afford to pay for all of the meal?

Then he shouldn’t have taken her there. simple! Why take her to a place you can’t afford? That’s dishonest and leaves a very bad impression.

Some may argue that it can’t be wrong for a woman to pay for a date and i totally agree. Some girls will have no problem with splitting the cheque but only if the man has proven himself as a generous gentleman in the past. The high expectations and demands of women is the reason why we have terms like ‘gold digger’

Every man who has been played by a girl will have no problem with asking a girl to split the cheque. No man wants to spend their hard-earned money on a girl who despises them. These days, true love has a big question mark behind it.

The average girl has about five guys in her life and she loves none. What she does is to ‘collect’ money for recharge cards, money for weaves, clothes, transport, almighty school fees and house rent. The list is endless. It’s no wonder that every time a guy takes a girl out, he’s demanding for payment after, in fact, he feels entitled to it.

But how about the few decent women out there? In a bid to dissuade ‘runs’ girls, the man could just be chasing a good woman away. If you want to know whether she likes you, check out the article on ‘How to Know She Likes You’ will be uploaded soon.

Being stingy and splitting the cheque does not guarantee that she’s not with you for the money. Neither does splitting the cheque mean that he’s stingy.

His Confession

He was seated in an arm chair beside a bar, a glass of what looked like brandy in his hands. Last night’s mission had been a success. Not only had they retrieved the money, they got the old man’s stash of gold watches and pendants. Even now, the boys were in the living room downstairs, drinking, smoking and celebrating their mission last night.

He wasn’t in the mood to do any celebrating. All that filled his mind was Dumebi. If any of his boys knew that he was sitting alone, lonely and miserable because of a girl, they would call him soft but right now, he didn’t care. Right now, he missed Dumebi so much his heart ached. He rubbed his chest, dropping the cigar in his hand into the ash tray. Dumebi, that soft spoken girl that broke the walls in his heart and made him love for the first time. Where was she? How was she doing? His stupid pride refused to allow him pick up the phone and call her. A thousand times he had dialled the number and disconnected before it could ring. He even deleted the number, though her number was burned in his mind.

He groaned and stood up reluctantly. There was still discipline to be done and it fell on him. Even though the mission had been successful, the boys had been too reckless, shooting the old man and raping his two daughters. He had to discipline them. Shooting meant bullets and bullets meant money. More than that, bullets meant death and death left a bitter taste in his mouth. He avoided it whenever he could. It only brought about complications involving the police and his nagging conscience.

He would die before admitting that every time any death occurred during operation, he would pay a visit to the confession box in a far away parish. He had killed once, only once and even though it had been self defense, it still haunted him, the sound of that gun shot, his shaking heart and quaking mind, and the sound of cheers from the boys as he stepped out of that room. Olawale’s room, the former leader.

The boys thought he orchestrated it so that he would become leader. Nobody knew what actually transpired in that room. He never talked about it and the legend began to grow. Now the boys considered him an icon worthy to be emulated. They would never know how his heart beat three times faster during any operation. Always he carried with him the fear that he would be confronted with killing again, in front of his boys. The one murder had nearly killed him, the nightmares, the heavy guilt, the fear, the pain. He couldn’t go through it again. As far as he knew, if the matter of killing rose up again, he would flee. None of the boys would ever find him. His escape plan was well thought out and thorough. One thing he knew for certain, he would never kill again.

The business of burning the culprits hand with cigarettes was a brisk one, dirty but brisk and he gave the task to Odewale, his right hand. Now he could get to other things. Like Dumebi. No matter what he said, Dumebi mattered, she mattered so much that he knew he couldn’t survive another day without seeing her.

Kunle drove off to Sandy’s a bar he frequented when he wanted to be alone. There, after downing several bottles, he finally mustered courage and dialled Dumebi’s number. She didn’t pick at first. Then a hurried panicky voice answered

“Please call her later! Oh God…..please call later…” the line went dead.

Kunle stood up in dread. Who was that? What happened to Dumebi that she couldn’t even answer her phone? Graphic images of accidents filled his mind and he hurriedly called again.

“I said…..”

“Wait!” Kunle shouted with the voice he usually reserved for the boys.

“Where is Dumebi”

“She’s in the Emergency Room right now. See I can’t talk please…..”

“Emergency? What happened…”

Silence. The line was dead. What happened to his Dumebi? He sank down heavily and called her again.

“I said….”

“Just tell me the hospital, please?” Kunle pleaded.

The girl took a short breath.

“St Mary’s at Clement road.” the line was dead.

He rushed out of the bar and drove to the hospital, tormented by images of Dumebi declared dead by the time he would get there.

He rushed into the receiving area to the nurse at the desk.

“Dumebi, where’s she?”

The nurse frowned.

“Young man, there are many patients in this hospital. Be specific.”

“A young girl, she’s in the theatre right now….”

The nurse looked at him, obviously expecting more.

“I don’t know anything else. I don’t have the details. Please help me check, please”

Her eyes softened and she looked into the computer, pressing a few keys.

“Okay. Dumebi Okonjo. She’s in OR3 right now, on the third floor.”

 

Kunle dashed up the flight of stairs and halted in front of OR3, staring at the door. Someone tapped his shoulder.

A slim tall light skinned girl. She couldn’t be above sixteen but she looked ashen, withdrawn and old.

“Are you the guy that called?”

Kunle nodded. “What happened?” He asked, afraid of the answer.

At that, a black fat woman sitting on a long chair exploded into a loud wailing, crying and shouting “Oh God!”

The perfect sight of grief. The girl rushed over to the woman, her own eyes filled with tears. She tried to pull the woman up to her seat but she failed.

“Mummy stand up. Stop this thing. Stop it. Daddy’s gone. We can’t bring him back. Please stop this thing, please.”

They broke down, each wailing bitterly. Kunle turned away, ashamed to witness such raw pain, his own eyes wet and his heart heavy.

The girl tapped him again.

“Are you Dumebi’s friend?” she asked him.

He nodded. “Please tell me what happened.”

She swallowed, her face going into a hard frown as if she was working up the courage to spill something heavy, bigger than her throat.

“Last night, we were attacked by armed robbers….”

Dread filled Kunle’s heart. It couldn’t possibly be…

“….they shot my father and killed him.” she blinked rapidly, like one in a trance. “Then they raped my sister and I. But Dumebi got pushed down the staircase. She….she couldn’t wake up again.”

The blood drained from Kunle’s face. The house, the very house they had attacked the previous night was Dumebi’s house!

He sat down heavily on the floor. How did it come to this? How? It was just a robbery, like several others.

The theatre doors swung open and the doctor came out, sober and unhappy.

Kunle’s heart fell. At that moment, he knew. He knew that if Dummebi didn’t survive, he would kill himself. Nothing would stop him.

Calmly, the doctor droned on and on about how she sustained injuries and fell into shock, she would have to be tested for STDS and probably a pregnancy test.

“Can I see her please? Can i?” Kunle asked.

The doctor nodded no and walked away.

Get the Wedding of your Dreams without Killing your Bank Account!

Get the Wedding of your Dreams without Killing your Bank Account!

 

The glitz and glamour that usually accompanies weddings can be overwhelming for engaged couples especially for those on a tight budget. Those big weddings that have exotic food and drinks, bole and fish on the side, popcorn and ice cream for the kids, smoke machines and disco lights should not overwhelm you.

It’s not impossible to have a glamorous wedding on a budget. All it takes is planning. Here’s a few tips that can help, gotten from experiences.

First of all, make a list of everything needed. Be very thorough.

Food, drinks, decoration, photography, hair and make-up, canopies for the traditional wedding, music and DJ, bridal wears and accessories, train(bridesmaids, little bride and groom, grooms men, ladies in Aso-Ebi, etc.), bride and groom’s parents wears, ‘The List’,  brideprice, tables and chairs, cake, wedding invitation, wine for inviting extended family, thanksgiving wear, souvenirs, etc.

 

Don’t let the list scare you. Be thorough, ask wedded couples about their mistakes so that nothing takes you by surprise. The worst thing is forgetting to budget for an important thing, like a photographer.

Don’t be the groom rushing out on the morning of his wedding, searching for where to get cold drinks, more tables or a cooling van. Be prepared.

 

Now let’s break it down.

  1. Court Wedding.

This is usually the cheapest. You don’t really need to buy much.

The bride and groom can use nice clothes if they already have that. If not, the bride only needs a nice gown, hair-do, make-up and shoes.

Make-up artists are everywhere now. You don’t need to hire the most expensive make-up artist on instagram. Truth is you should already know someone who knows someone who’s a make up artist. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. They are not all so expensive.

About two or three cars needed to convey family members to the court. Family members should be bride and groom parents and siblings if any. You don’t need to invite the entire family, uncles and aunts or even best man and chief bride’s maid for your court wedding. Luckily, family members have their own cars and others can join them.

After the signing, take the family to a nice inexpensive restaurant and buy lunch. This will reduce the stress of cooking and it’s not that expensive.

 

2.Traditional Wedding

This can be the most expensive of all because of the crowd, attires, expensive beads etc but luckily, time and wisdom has changed it all.

 

  1. Dealing with the Crowd

You don’t need a huge crowd for this wedding. Make it a small one with only extended family members and very very few close friends.

These days, traditional weddings are not held in the village anymore. This is probably to avoid the crowd of villagers that troop in or because of distance. Big crowds only bring about theft, confusion, quarrels and juju (yes, juju, voodoo,African magic, etc). It can be held in the bride’s house in the city. If her parents reside in the village, it can still be managed.

Extended family members include uncles, aunties, cousins, nephews and nieces.

 

  1. The List and Bride Price

First, the List and bride price have to be ticked off. These days, bride price are not millions and billions. Usually it’s a small amount just so it won’t appear that the girl is being sold.

The big money is spent on the List. That list contains everything imaginable. Be prepared to buy goats, yam, powder, oil, soap, fish, rice, cream, etc. And don’t complain about it either. That’s just cheap and doesn’t look good on you.

 

  1. Invitations

After printing the wedding card, you can buy a carton of Eva wine or Pure Heaven to invite her uncles and aunties and all those ‘important’ people. This shouldn’t be your headache.

 

  1. Bride’s Hair

For hair, the bride needs to buy a nice weave to be used also for the white. Hair depots usually have gorgeous hair that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

 

  1. Make-up

The make-up artist can be a friend or the friend of a friend. Ask around. Ask for help. You’ll find a good make-up artist. It could even be someone in your department or office or a friend’s sister etc.

 

  1. The Train.

The train does not need to be as long as Mississipi. Four or six of the bride’s friends can serve as her escort. You don’t need to buy matching wrappers for them to tie. Tell them to bring their own wrappers to tie for the first outing. They should also come with their own blouse, usually the colour of the theme. Those who don’t have can borrow or use the ones they have. Then you buy a set of matching wrappers for them to tie under the blouse. Gbam!

 

  1. Bride Attire

Bride Attire can be expensive but that depends on the tailor. Good tailors are scattered here and there, not everywhere. She will need to sew two awesome blouses, tie some expensive wrappers and rent some magnificent beads. Sometimes, the bride may know someone who makes beads. She may even be a beadmaker. This reduces the cost of buying beads for her escort.

Buy and tie the two gele at the market and keep. Don’t wait till the last minute.

 

  1. Canopies, Tables and Chairs

Hire canopies, tables and chairs from a retailer in the village there so you won’t have to pay transport costs. Make sure they are without leaks and they should arrive at the venue the night before so they start setting up as early as 5 am.

Some would advice you to go pay the village rainmaker so he prevents rain from falling. If you’re a christian, don’t! if it rains, not that i pray it should, enjoy it as showers of blessing. just kidding. it won’t rain.

 

  1. DJ

Wedded couples should recommend  a good and reliable Dj for you. You might even get a discount from that. But ensure the DJ and his or her equipment and speakers are at the venue the night before or very early in the morning.

Music should wake up the entire village that day. It sets the mood and gets everyone excited and ready to help.

 

  1. Decorator

They should arrive at the village the day before. Make sure they are well acquainted with the location so they don’t waste time looking for the right house or village. Use your bargaining skills and get recommendations. These things, there’s always somebody who knows somebody who will be willing to give you a discount.

 

  1. Bride and Groom’s Parents Attire.

Sometimes, you may have to buy the attire the bride’s parents will wear. If necessary, do this without complaining but also don’t be extravagant. You should establish a good rapport with them so they can understand the situation.

 

  1. Cake.

Buying from a restaurant or a cake outlet is always advisable if the caterer does not bake cake. Some of them will go and buy from a cake outlet making a huge profit from your pocket. Visit the cake outlets and know the prices yourself. Be not deceived.

Again, the couple may know someone who makes cakes. Always ask around so you don’t spend more than you need to.

It will be very painful when after borrowing and spending so much, somebody will come and say ‘you should have asked me. I know someone who would have done it better and cheaper too.’

 

  1. Food and Drinks

Food and drinks won’t be so expensive here because you’ve not invited everybody yet. All the same, make enough preparation so there’s no room for complaints and grumbles. It’s a small trad after all.

If the women are doing the cooking, ensure that you work hand in hand with the bride’s mother.

If you can’t afford a cooling van, put the drinks in big drums with ice blocks to cool them. Entrust the drinks to an impartial friend. Some greedy people would want to keep most of the drinks for themselves. Give this job only to a trusted impartial friend.

 

  1. White Wedding

Now you can invite the whole world, friends, distant friends, secondary school friends, university friends, office workers, neighbours, enemies, etc. And don’t forget that they will also invite their own friends. Let them. After all, this is the only one they are attending.

You don’t need a soothsayer to tell you that you may be feeding battalions that day except you’re the type that don’t have much friends. Don’t be cheap. Buy enough drinks and food.

  1. Reception Hall

Ask around for good halls that can contain your invited and uninvited guests. You may have connection with someone who owns a hall especially if the church is a big one with lots of facilities. Book the hall on time so there is no confusion.

Ensure that you are at the hall the day before to check on the decorators, cleaners, parking spots, security,etc. Make sure there is a secure room to keep your drinks and a clean rest room for your guests.

 

  1. Food, Dj, Decor

You already have these from your trad. Bargain with the food contractor, the decorator and DJ. Don’t pay the first asking price.

Here the decorator should be very creative. Ensure they have enough chair and table covers.

 

  1. MC

The MC determines the mood of the wedding. Dull MCs make dull weddings. Sometimes, the MC is usually a cousin or a friend. If not, ask around for a funny and innovative MC and book them on time. Some of them have two or three weddings on a Saturday. Don’t agree with that. Look for somebody who will be committed and give all his attention to your event.

 

  1. Tables and Chairs

Rent enough tables and chairs. The chairs should be more than the tables, just in case of overflow.

 

  1. Wedding Gown and accessories

The bride’s wedding gown can be rented, her accessories bought. Ensure the bride’s shoes are very comfortable for easy movement. We don’t want any accident.

 

  1. The Train

You don’t have to sew gowns or buy suits for the train.

Buy the material for the train from a big market like Aba Market. Let them pay for the gown which should be a short fancy style to reduce cost of buying material.  You tell them the colour of shoe they need to wear and they’ll handle the rest. Nowadays, people don’t need a long procession. Minimum of four or six bridesmaids and groomsmen will do.

You don’t also need to pay for the grooms men suits. They are your friends. Chances are they already have suits. Don’t choose an off colour like brown or green. Black or ash is a neutral colour.

You also need a little boy to carry the ring. Okay, maybe a cute little girl as your little bride. Just because they are cute. You just may buy a teensy weensy suit and gown for them. Oh, you also will pay for the little bride to make her hair. Sometimes, their parents might fund all the cost. Sometimes, they won’t.

 

  1. Make-up

Your make-up artist should be contracted to also make the chief bridesmaid up. The train can do theirs themselves. Chances are that one of them is already an accomplished make up artist. The make-up artist should meet with the bride severally before the wedding to determine what make-up style suits her the most.

Now, you should take the bride and her train to a hotel the night before the wedding. She doesn’t need the stress and crowd at home. Besides, her pictures from that morning at the hotel will give the air of glitz and glam. Ensure the photographer and videographer record her dress up at the hotel and the preparations at home too so the photo album and video comes out detailed.

 

  1. Cake

Cake can be bought or contracted. Book for the white wedding cake as you book for the traditional wedding.

 

  1. Souvenirs

You don’t have to buy iphones as souvenirs. This is where you get creative. Big markets usually have so many souvenir articles. Buy the much you can afford. Most times, family members help out in this area.

The necessary ones are the jotters and the branded paper bags with your pictures. When going to buy the souvenirs in bulk, take along someone who is conversant with that market so you don’t get cheated. put on your game face and don’t be afraid to price. its your money, your wedding.

 

  1. Transport

You should get about five or six cars ready to ferry the wedding troop to the church and reception. Please, get reliable and trusted drivers. Friends and relatives usually help out with this. Ensure that the cars get back to the owners at the reception.

 

  1. Dance, Dance, Dance

Yeah you’ve spent a lot on this one-day wedding. You might as well enjoy it. Let go of every inhibition and dance your way into a new life.

 

 

The Reason 1

Mr Ugboajah was in a sour mood this morning. His wife was at it again. The fool woman was always asking for money like it grew on trees. He swore as he eased into the traffic heading to his office, recalling how she had ambushed him as he was dressing up to leave, undeterred by the angry scowl on his face. It seemed his frowns and grumpy moods were no more effective in keeping her away. Maybe the woman needs a lesson to remember who was boss. So what if the children’s school feeswere a little late? It’s not like he wasn’t doing his best. The woman just did not appreciate him. Growing up as a child from a poor background, he had been sent home from school for lack of school fees on many occasions so he did not understand what the fuss was all about.

His lazy wife needed to get into the office, then maybe she would understand the pressures he was facing, how much it cost to keep up appearances at work. Just last month after buying the latest Rolex that everyone who was something were wearing, his boss had raised the standard again this month by coming into the office with the latest Ford Ranger.  He groaned and honked angrily at the snail pace of the car in front of his, thinking of how he could buy the car and hide it from his wife.

The Rolex had caused a lot of nagging. “You’ve not paid the children’s fees yet you’re buying a Rolex….selfish man, greedy man…” his wife had said as she had seen the Rolex , clapping into his face and shouting for the neighbors to come and hear.  The minute the salary hit his account this month, he was going toput a down payment on the car, just to spite her. How could that woman, who sit at home all day doing nothing but spend his hard earned money, dictate to him how to spend it?  He wondered how he was going to manage to pay the school fees and still manage to buy car. Added tohis worries, his newest ‘sweet thing’ Mary had requested for money to buy some new clothes. He wondered just how much clothes would satisfy her.It seemed she needed new clothes every week.

MrUgboajah smiled gleefully as his mind strayed to the beautiful and luscious Mary. Mary was the kind of woman he adored; she had everything MrUgboajah loves in his women: she was tall, dark skinned and very curvy. Some unimaginative people would call her plump but that was just how he liked his women. His wife had been shaped like that when he met her. Only now, she was as fat as a drum. Her body was like a sack of potatoes and inspired no lusty thoughts in him. Making love to his wife these days were a chore. It has been a month since he touched her but he was not bothered about it. He had his sweet Mary to keep his bed warm every time he had a late meeting which happened frequently these days. After all, he reasoned, a man needs the sweet solace that only a woman’s body could provide. His wife seemed to understand this, turning a blind eye to his late nights and keeping a deaf ear to his calls. She had stopped going through his phone. Infact, she avoided his phone like the plague.

As he drove into the office complex, he smiled and waved at the security guard Rufus who was not just the company security but also served as an escort for his ‘guests’.MrUgboajah’s secretary had learnt to recognize these ‘guests’ escorted by Rufus. She never kept them waiting too long. She also collaborated his excuses to his wife anytime he had to ‘work late’. Of course this meant he had to give his secretary and Rufus the occasional ‘gift’ once in a while but it helped to oil the wheels of his little arrangement.

Climbing out of his car, he spied the crowd gathered at the front desk of the office and suddenly remembered that the company was conducting interviews that day. Looking at his watch, he groaned bitterly, knowing that the ‘lioness’ as he called MrsOkere, the human resource manager would be scolding him again.He opened the back door and withdrew his briefcase and jacket which he draped over his hand. Keeping a stern face, he walked into the office, increasing his pace to seem in a hurry. He felt the envious stares of the unemployed and smiled inwardly, flashing his hand so they could see his Rolex and increasing his stride to better reveal the shine of his expensive shoes as he crossed the lobby and started to climb the staircase to his office floor.

Nodding at his secretary, MrUgboajah walked into his office and set the briefcase on the table. He draped his jacket over his chair and sat down. Using the remote control, he cranked up the air conditioner, propped his legs on the table and put his hands over his head to better relax in his seat. The door opened slowly and his secretary walked in. Unfazed by his position, she dropped a stack of papers on his desk and said, “Mrs. Okere said you should see her immediately you get into the office”

Groaning inwardly, he signed. MrsOkere had on several occasions cautioned him on his tardiness. He didn’t like outspoken and stern women like her who were too rigid, based on supposed principles and integrity. She thought she was better than him, always scolding him like a little boy. The fact that she, a mere woman, was his boss, burned him on the inside.

He stood up reluctantly and sauntered to her office, a stiff sneeron his face. Her secretary made him wait for twenty minutes beforeshowing him into the office. He knew it was just a tactic to ruffle him. He entered her office and sat down without asking,looking around her office with envy. Her office was much bigger than his and he resented this. Mrs. Okere was busily typing at her system. He sat in several minutes of uncomfortable silence before she deigned it necessary to attend to him.

“You’re late” she said without looking up.

“There was abit of traffic this morning” he replied stiffly.

“Mr. Ugboajah, am aware that your house is a twenty minute drive away from this office so please come up with a better excuse for your tardiness”  she still didn’t look up, her attention centered on  the computer screen.

“Mrs. Okere, you know am a family man…” he started.

“MrUgboajah” she interrupted him as she sat up and removed her glasses, “ I am a married woman with four kids. You have a track record of tardiness which I have asked you to address. Your level of dedication and commitment to your work is appalling. Last week, you left the office before closing hour on three occasions. Let me remind you that this is a business and not your personal receiving area.” She frowned tightly as she said this. He wondered if she still remembered running into a scantily clad Mary going into his officethe previous week.

“Mrs. Okere…”

“No, Mr. Ugboajah, let me finish. Today we are conducting an interview of which you are a member of the board. You were supposed to be here by eight but you waltz in here at nine like you own the place. This lackadaisical behavior is not acceptable in this firm. I will personally take this up with the regional manager after the interviews today. That will be all. You may leave”

Well scolded and feeling like a little school boy before his principal, Mr. Ugboajah stood up slowly and turned to leave.

“The interviews commence in fifteen minutes. Don’t be late” Her voice rang out as he left the office, closing the door a little too loudly as a show of defiance.

Walking back to his office, his mind was filled with black thoughts. He shut his office door with a loud bang that startled his secretary.  Fifteen minutes later, he walked out of his office into the interview room. With a grimace, he realized that he was the last to get there. The other board members were already seated including Mrs. Okere who gave him a frosty glare. He picked up the Assessment Table and pretended to study it. This was his first time in an interview room. He hadn’t being interviewed to get this job. His cousin, who had been the regional manager then, had simply collected his application letter and his CV, telling him to start work the following week although he heard that an interview had been conducted for the job. He figured it was his luck to have that connection. Afterall, who gets ahead in this country without connections? Nobody. Feeling slightly nervous, he held the Assesment Table, everything was a huge scramble for him. He turned to Mr. Ifeanyi sitting next to him.

“Been here before?” He asked with a smile.

“Mr. Ugboajah,” Mr. Ifeanyi shifted to face him.  “What is my position in this company?”

“You’re the personnel manager.” Mrugboajah answered sheepishly. MrIfeanyi shook his head in condescension and went back to the paper in front of him.

What made him open his big mouth?MrUgboajah asked himself, mentally tapping his head in agitation.

The first interviewee, a young man in rumpled shirt, a trouser two sizes larger than his frame and a shoe that looked like it had seen better days, entered the office. He shut the door slowly and quietly, as if afraid to annoy the gods of interviews if he made too much noise. His shoes made a scruffy sound as he walked close to them. “Good afternoon ma, sir, sir, sir…” he said as he bowed low in greeting.

“Sit down.” MrsOkere said in her best headmistress voice, the one that sent little boys crying for their mummies.

The young man smiled tightly and sat down on half the seat, his back straightlike a rod. He placed his file on his lap, then held it with his arms, then placed it on his laps again.

“Tell us about yourself Mr Johnson.” Mrsokere asked, looking into the paper she held.

Mr Johnson nodded. “My name is Johnson Amadi, a native of Isuikwato local government area in Abia state. I attended Comprehensive Primary and secondary school where I was the head of….”

“Tell me why we should employ you for the job?” Mrsokereinterrupted.

“You should employ me because am a very hard working man ma. I work hard a lot. And am smart and funny ma. I don’t joke with my work. I don’t play with my work ma.” He bit his lip nervously.

“That will be all. You may leave now.” Mrsokere said. Mrugboajah leaned forward to look at her face. She didn’t seem impressed.

 

The next applicant walked in wearing a badly sewn skirt suit.

She hovered uncertainly at the door, calling out a timid “good morning” to no one in particular.

“Sit” Mrs Okere called out sharply. She obeyed like a puppy.

“Why should we hire you Miss….” Mrs okere said peering down at the paper she held.

“Joy ma” the young girl supplied. She began fiddling with her hand unconsciously. A moment elapsed. Mr Ugboajah could see the wheels in her head turning and coming up empty.

“Am waiting” Mrs Okere called out again, now peering at the girl through glasses perched precariously on her nose.

Joy swallowed audibly. Mr Ugboajah’s gaze strolled down to her chest. She wasn’t bad in the chest region. She just needed more at the back region. He noticed her chest rise and fall rapidly, increasing the pressure on her button. He imagined what would happen if the button gave way, his imaginations drowning out the girl’s answer. His mind had moved to far regions when the scraping of the chair as the girl stood up roused him. He sat straight and cleared his throat lightly. Mr Ifeanyi seated next to him shifted and looked at him, a look of disapproval on his face. Mr Ugboajah stifled the feeling of shame that rose up. The old goat, he thought angrily, with his long beard. Always acting as though a man should not enjoy the pleasures of life. He smiled viciously as he remembered the titbit of gossip Rufus the security had shared; Mr Ifeanyi had a thirty six year old mistress who had two children for him.

Then the next applicant entered. More like, made her entrance. The clicking of her stiletto heels was her first contact. Then came the fragrance of lilies, a strong sense of womanhood. Picking out Mrs Okere as the head of the herd, she walked boldly to the chair and sat down gracefully, arranging her skirt fanatically and calling out a greeting in a deep bold voice.

The look in her eyes could best be described as challenging, as though she was singing the lines from the popular song ‘hit me with your best shot’.

Mr Ugboajah surreptitiously leaned forward to peek at Mrs Okere, imagining her head going up in smoke at this new challenger. The smile and approval on Mrs Okere’s face sent him reeling back. She looked like she had just seen a friend, a new friend.

Mrs Okere asked the usual questions but it wasn’t until she mentioned Loveday, the interviewee’s Mastersdegree that his ears pecked up. The girl, Loveday, didn’t seem to be above thirty. She had the creamers look on her, like she was the one in charge. And even though he appreciated her generous bosom, he knew without a doubt this one would take his position in three months. She had that hungry devouring look in her eyes. And while Mr Ugboajahthought himself a cheap man, he also considered himself a wise man.

So when the interview ended and Mrs Okere began singing the lady’s praises, he said the smartest thing he could think of in that moment.

“But she’s a woman”

The whole table turned to look at him for a shocked minute, silence ringing loudly like an elephant in the room, making Mr Ugboajah bow his head in shame.

The disapproval in Mrs Okere’s face burned him, his entire body going hot. He endured the rest of the interview without saying a word, silently burning in rage.

He was right. She, that stupid bitch eying his job, was a bitch.

But how do you know she’s eye balling your job? A rational part of his mind questioned.

He just knew it. That girl was too ambitious, and now she had the support of Mrs Okere, who had the ear of Mr Ifeanyi. They would give her the job, he knew it. Just as surely as he knew that they would train her to replace him.

As he stormed all through his office the rest of the day, he could see his life, the life he had built for himself slipping through his fingers. The last retrenchment had seen the sack of fifty workers. Mr Ugboajah had to bribe a member of the committe to get his name off the sack list. And now this. No. It wouldn’t happen.

With determination, he strode to Mrs Okere’s office. Office hours were over and her secretary was nowhere in sight. Mrs Okereususlly was the last to leave. He banged a short knock then threw the door open.

There she sat, in her high, prim and proper chair, like a queen. Mr Ugboajah snorted, barely acknowledging the figure seated in the visitors seat, until she turned. Loveday. The two women looked at him, their eyes challenging, disdainful.

“What do you want Mr Ugboajah? How dare you barge into my office like that? Have you no respect?” Mrs Okere held her temple, then shook her head. “Never mind. You see this girl here,” she pointed too Loveday, “i’ll make sure she takes over your job. Yes. I’ll make sure she replaces you. Just get out of here.” Mrs Okere shouted, then turned back to Loveday, who looked amused, like she was enjoying the antics of a little boy throwing a tantrum.

Shame and humiliation filled Mr Ugboajah, rushing to his head.

And there he stood, rejected, scolded, humiliated. And that, in front of an….

Without thinking, Mr Ugboajah strode to Mrs Okere, picked up the black heavy statue of a pregnant woman on her desk and brought it hammering down on her head with all the anger in him.. Mrs. Okere never had the time to look up. Her head cracked open and blood spurted out all over the desk, some flew to his shirt.

Invisible Girl Finale

Love is blind. True. For a while, I was blindly in love, blind to the fact that I stopped walking with any of my male friends, blind to the fact that I didn’t notice when other boys stopped talking to me and blind to the fact that Alex and his friends became the only boys I talked to.

I get the feeling that I just really wanted to hold on to him you know, to hold on to the idea of him, of love.

 

The first time Alex slapped me, we were at the primary school area after class, just hanging out with his friends. We normally do this when we don’t want to go the dining or observe afternoon siesta and prep.

I can’t really recall what we were talking about but I know that somehow, it was about Chika. I think that was the time he found Chika’s notebook in my bag. Yeah, sometimes he would search my bag. I always thought it was done in jest you know, to yab me for anything he would find, like the day he found clear nail polish and made me paint his nails.

He held the book for a while, quietly staring at it. I didn’t even realize what was happening until I turned to ask him a question. He responded with a slap. You know, I have never been slapped before, not by my mom or my dad. I was a middle child so I had older siblings who always fought for me.

Everyone became quiet. I could see the shock in his friends’ eyes but I was the most shocked person there. At first I had to wait for the light to clear from my eyes before I could look at him, holding the notebook accusingly. His friends took the cue and left quietly. He began telling me how he had warned me to stay away from Chika and all that but I wasn’t even hearing him. I was still holding my cheek in shock.

 

He only stopped talking when he saw the tears in my eyes. The truth is have discovered that Alex is a sucker for tears. Anytime I really wanted him to do something he wouldn’t normally do, I would use the tears trick (don’t hate me) but this time it wasn’t a trick.

 

He bent down to hold me gently. I pushed him off, stood up and walked away.

 

We got a new house mistress, a short dark woman who lived alone in one of the staff quarters near the dining hall. I didn’t like her. She would pay impromptu visit to the dorm, search our lockers and seize any indomie, or rice or food stuff she finds. Normally, other house mistresses would return these items during the mid-term break or at the end of term. But not her. She never returned anything so the only logical conclusion was that she ate them and I didn’t like her. She had a number of annoying traits too, like her high pitched voice that grated on my nerves.

Well, you know i’m a quiet, respectful girl. But not to that woman. Somehow, I didn’t have any respect for her. I opposed anything she said, blatantly disobeyed her and basically talked to her like she was my mate.

As a result, I spent a lot of time cutting the grass in front of her office as punishment. Damn! That woman gave me a lot of blisters. I saw her later, a few years after I left school in a wedding. By then, I was mature enough to feel remorse for my disrespect. I went to meet her and she greeted me not so fondly (haha) but she still had that voice.

 

The second time Alex slapped me, my eye turned red and my cheek got swollen. It was actually two slaps in rapid succession. This time, we were having an argument in class and he got angry. My pain was not even the slaps, painful as they were. My pain was that he slapped me in front of his class. The news spread round school. I could feel pity practically oozing off anybody that looked at me. I was so ashamed, I couldn’t stay in my dorm. I stayed in Mabel’s dorm, in exchange, I had to tell her the juicy story. Remember she was the school gossip and she always had a way of finding out things.

 

Girls rallied around me then, giving me hugs and advice.

“Don’t go out with that boy again” they would say and I would nod in agreement or explode into tears and they would hug me again. So we made up our minds to end the relationship. They gave me so much strong words and encouragement that I even began to feel smothered. I felt strong, strong enough to end things with Alex.

 

I lied to the school nurse that I fell down the stairs so she could give me something for my eyes. I pity Alex during that week. The stares of hate and anger he got from all the girls was enough to intimidate anybody. It was like the whole school rallied against him. I really did appreciate everyone’s support then, even though in my ignorance, I failed them the day I forgave Alex, again.

They just couldn’t understand the kind of hold Alex had on me. I couldn’t feel complete without him, life felt kind of meaningless and I missed him so much. The truth is I didn’t plan to forgive him. I was standing strong in my anger and unforgiveness, ready to break the relationship but he cornered me. He didn’t even apologise. He just looked at my red eyes and his eyes filled with tears. What did they expect me to do? How could I not love someone who felt my pain like that?

 

The problem with abuse is that if you don’t get out the first time, you fall into a web, a never ending circle that keeps twirling as long as forever. If I had left Alex the first time, maybe things would have turned out differently. It wouldn’t have ended so tragically. But I can’t blame myself. Alex was the embodiment of my dreams and I didn’t want to wake up from that.

 

Then the day came. The day that changed our lives.

 

Before I tell you about the ‘horrible day’ as I’ve termed it, I want you to understand something. In my hope that one day, Alex would change, I had begun to believe that my love and devotion could ignite this change I wanted. So I stayed with Alex, even when he pushed me down a granite gutter in anger and sprained my leg, and when he punched my mouth and broke my lip, loosening a few teeth. I even stayed when he yanked my hair painfully and cut it with a scissors.

That one was hard to explain. I escaped by telling everyone I had mistakenly got gum stuck in my hair and in a fit of rage, cut it all off. Not a good story yes, but at least, nobody bothered me after that. I told Alex it was over between us after that incident. He responded with a hard laugh and walked away. The next morning, he was waiting for me at the dining, acting as if nothing had happened. When I tried to ignore him, he grabbed my arm and held me close to his body. I didn’t want a public fight so I stayed with him all through that day and waited till everyone had left before I proclaimed, quite boldly I must say, that the relationship was over. Again, he laughed at me and walked away.

 

The following day, just in front of my class, I heard a commotion and I rushed outside to the sight of Alex beating up a junior boy. The boy’s nose was bloody, his white shirt stained red with blood and he lay weak on the ground. Still, Alex kept kicking at him until other students intervened. In the midst of the confusion, Alex looked at me and smiled. I think that was the day I truly began to believe that Alex was mad, mentally deranged. I never talked about a break up again after that day.

 

For a while it felt good being with somebody who couldn’t live without me, who was so jealous and possessive and I must confess, a good kisser. The way Alex touched me ignited me, and sometimes, I would lie awake and dream of him.

But I became afraid of him. I became afraid to look into people’s eyes because I knew I would see pity. Tragic love. Despite everything Alex did to me, I still l still loved him. And every time I said I wanted a break up, It was with the hope that the threat would force him to change. Yeah! I was hopelessly romantic.

But I got cured the day he looked at me and smiled, after sending a junior boy to the hospital. He got away with it too, since nobody told the truth. The whole class covered for him. Some days, I would look at him, handsome, tall, laughing, and being normal and wish I could stay in that moment forever.

The worst part of being in an abusive relationship is that you never know what would ignite the next fight. Sometimes a laugh, a word, an attitude, anything can start a fight.

 

The following term, on my birthday, Alex bought me a white samsung phone. Of course this was illegal but you know, nobody paid attention to their laws. There was always a way around them. Everyone oohed and ahhed about the phone. There was quite a number of envy to go around that day. I was happy, hopeful even. There had been no fights for a while now and everything seemed like it was going back to normal. I began to love him all over again. He put some love songs in my phone and told me to listen to them and think of him.

Everything was going well until….

 

That morning was a normal one, classes were a breeze and everything seemed fine till we went to the dining for the evening meal. I remember we were having beans that evening. That’s why when Alex told me to meet him in the classroom block instead of going to the dining, I agreed. So I left the dorm early and went to the classroom block before girls started going to the dining.

That night, I heard things got dangerous during the meal. The lights went off in the middle of the meal and suddenly, everything went crazy. It was like the lights took away sanity. A fight broke out, hot beans flew and burned people’s skin and eyes, some girl got stabbed with a fork while other girls were dragged towards the boys dorm for whatever purposes. Only the timely intervention of a heroic senior girl saved those girls. Senior Maureen was the only senior prefect in the dining, you know ss3 girls and their formings. They never come to the dining when beans is being served. Senior Maureen single handedly held boys at bay, allowing junior girls to run out of the dining. Then she went towards the boys dorm and rescued the other girls before anything could happen. So I heard.

While all that commotion was going on, I was sitting in Alex’s legs in one of classrooms, talking a little and laughing a lot. I don’t know how but he managed to get some illegal snacks that night. You know what happens when a boy and girl are in love and all alone. We started making out. I told you Alex was a good kisser, really he was. He kissed me till my lips were bruised, touching me everywhere. Then my phone, the one he bought for me, rang and a message appeared. A love message from some guy named Frank.

To be frank (pun intended), Alex has always been going through my phone everyday. But that day, the message was from Mabel’s new boyfriend. She got his number from those late night shows where lonely people air their phone numbers and since she didn’t have a phone yet, she’s been using mine to talk to him. And this guy was a deranged disturber, always calling and sending angry messages if she didn’t pick. Knowing Alex, I warned Mabel to use another person’s phone to call him and she agreed. I don’t know the juju that made him send that text to my phone, about how I (i.e Mabel) wasn’t picking his calls and how much he loved me and all that. Fool that he was, he didn’t specify any name, just sent the text like the phone belonged to Mabel.

So yeah, Alex was just showering my neck with light kisses when the stupid message came in. Alex, as usual took the phone to check the message. Let me state here, that I was used to this. Anytime my phone rang in Alex’s presence, he would answer it. In fact, every morning, he would go through my missed calls, received calls, dialled numbers, inbox and outbox, facebook activities etc.

I didn’t think anything of it till he removed his hand from my chest and threw the phone to me. From the look on his face, I knew it was something bad. Something really bad. After reading the text, my mind whirled. How would I explain this? It was so incriminating.

“So this is what you do?” Alex asked me quietly, with a calm that surprised me at first.

“It’s not what you think…” I tried to explain. “Frank is Mabel’s boyfriend and….”

“Shut up!” He thundered.

There. The roar I was waiting for. I closed my eyes and held my body tight, anticipating a slap or a kick, a blow, anything. It didn’t come. Instead,he pushed me to the ground.

“Since you like other guys so much, am going to make sure you like me better than all of them.” He said calmly and began to unbutton his shirt.

Ever since I started dating Alex, I’ve known a lot of fear, but that night, watching him calmly remove his shirt, a new fear entered. It blocked my chest and paralysed me. I began to beg. He ignored me and started to unbuckle his belt. His rage, slaps and blows I could understand but this calmness was new. I became disturbed. I had to leave. So I stood up and ran to the door. He caught me and slapped me, hard.

I fell to the ground and he came on top of me, smiling as he dragged my skirt up. I thought about how I had worn that skirt with so much love, so much hope. He was heavy, I couldn’t push him away. I just lay there, crying, grunting weakly as he did what he wanted to do. I didn’t scream, not once, no matter how hard I held the rough cement floor digging into my skin.

When he finished, he stood up and began to wear his trouser and shirt. I could feel the wetness between my legs, spreading through the floor, staining my shirt and skirt.

He came and held me up, whispering words of love and how he was sorry but he just had to teach me a lesson, that now he had claimed me and I belonged to only him, that I should forget about Frank. All the while he was arranging my shirt, zipping my bloody skirt up and cleaning the dust off my body. He tied his cardigan around my waist to hide the blood then took me outside and began to walk me back to the dorm.

‘Just bathe and rest, you’ll be fine’ he kept saying. I didn’t tell him my sandals was wet with blood running down my legs. I didn’t tell him I couldn’t even feel my legs. I was numb, looking but not seeing as held me close, whispering. Then I saw it. A hoe, just laying beside the road. Probably used for labour and forgotten by a junior student. I don’t remember picking it up. All I remember was the surprise on his face as the hoe connected with his skull. There was a crack. Then he fell. Was he dead?

 

 

I woke up with a jolt. It was dark, empty and quiet. I was alone in the dormitory. Apparently, I slept through the evening meal. A bit nervous, I stood up groggy and rubbed my eyes, yawning wide and stretching.

The dorm was quiet, so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I lay back down, telling myself that the shadows were not moving and jeering at me. Once, when I was in Jss3, I woke up at about 3am and found myself alone in the entire dormitory. I could hear noises downstairs but fear did not let me leave my bed. Apparently, some girl had seen some spiritual red figures in the dorm and raised an alarm. The whole dorm rushed outside and then began a night vigil of intense prayers, worship and prophecy.

But today, it was barely dark. What did the dream mean? Was Alex truly going to rape me?

To be truthful, that thought didn’t make me afraid. It just made me realize that I would kill him if he tried anything. I once heard about a girl who got stopped by six senior boys after school and was asked to kiss all of them. She came back vomiting and full of rage, a deep dark rage that followed her like a cloud for weeks. If she had a gun, those boys would have been dead.

 

But none of that happened to me. Even though a few minor skirmishes occurred, Alex never raised his hand to me again. Okay, let me be truthful. After our holidays, Alex came back a born again. I know it sounds like a cliché but it’s the truth. He started going to Sunday services at the chapel, joined the ushering department and even made me start attending Chapel. Normally, we would go to the catholic mass because they close early and spend the rest of the afternoon playing around. But things changed.

And I have to admit, he changed me. He called me aside one evening and told me that since he’s now born again, we wouldn’t be kissing or touching or any such romance business and even said, if I wanted, we could end the relationship. I stuck with him. He got me to say the words of repentance and I did, half heartedly just to please him.

Sure enough, he was made the school prefect and I, a house prefect. People called us the ‘ideal couple.’ we even won ‘best couple’ award in our last press/social event before we left school.

I haven’t seen Alex since we left school six years ago. We tried to keep in touch but lost contact after his parents sent him to school abroad. But every now and then, I remember him and I smile. He brought out the voice inside of me and for that, I am grateful to him. I hope I see him again someday.

 

Now that I’ve told you my side of the story, which of you can guess my name? Or have you been reading about me without even knowing my name? LOL

 

 

Invisible Girl 4

After the Valentine’s day debacle, we had our mid-term break and went home for half a week from wednesday to Friday. My school has always been stingy with breaks. I don’t think they even want to let us out of the school gate except on very compulsory holidays. So while other schools would have a full week mid term, mine would give us a half week mid-term. I still remember my Jss2 Easter break, when we junior boarders crowded the gate and demanded to be let out. I had really thought that our massive number would make them let us out but it didn’t happen. And we spent Easter in school. But then I was young, now I think I’ve seen a bit of life, even though am still in secondary school (laughs).

 

In my head, I have always imagined romance to be something fun and spontaneous, you know, unplanned and magical. In the movies, they never show how messy things could go in a moment. Maybe we all need to do rehearsals in real life so that everything could go as planned.

Girls have one distinct priority over boys in the business of romance or love. They never have to bother about doing the asking. Nope. That responsibility falls on the male species. Well, we do have some aggressive females who can take the bull by the horn but that’s few and far between. I never imagined that asking a female out would be such a problem for some male, especially the young inexperienced ones.

I have not watched a stage play before but one evening, I had the ample opportunity to watch one failed romantic play with my elder brother as the star of the show. You see, he was standing outside with me, just gisting and talking generally. I think he was trying to convince me that my school was not so bad compared to his. He went to one Police Secondary School so I guess he was right. I mean, what kind of school has Police as teachers and guards? Not one I would want to attend.

As we were talking, Pamela, a pretty young girl in the area walked by. Normally, I wouldn’t see anything amiss but suddenly, my brother lost concentration. He couldn’t even complete his sentence. After trying and failing to continue his gist, he started urging me to go back into the house hurriedly. My young mind pieced two and two together and came up with one. So I pretended to enter into the gate and watched him take off after Pamela.

Feeling like a young detective, I followed him as he followed her. I just really wanted to see what he would do or say, anything. So we walked, all three of us, down to Pamela’s house which was a short distance from our house. I started singing the ‘three blind mice’ poem, you know, cos we were all walking blind.

Pamela, blind to my brother’s advances, my brother blind to my trailing him, and me, blind to the fact that I would see no action that evening. I just followed him follow Pamela till she got to her house and entered. Then he walked past like he was really just going somewhere else. But you and I know the truth; he couldn’t summon the courage to talk to her that day. You know, I never knew romance could be hard. The movies make it look so easy. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, everyone’s happy, end of story.

But real life is not like that. Things happen, life gets complicated, people leave, people stay, nobody laughs, etc. There is so much room for missed opportunities. Just one failed attempt and you might miss out on the supposed “love of your life.”

Maybe from watching too many movies, or reading too many books, we get the notion that we all have “the one”. So we spend our whole lives chasing after the elusive “one”, and we hang on to that “one” even though they turn out to be a nightmare.

Anyways, maybe am talking like this because of the complications with me and Alex. I’ve decided to just let it go you know. Am tired of stressing myself out with worries and anxieties. The twists and turns at every corner was making me dizzy and I was sick of it. Maybe it wasn’t such a big deal. I mean, I mustn’t date Alex right? It’s not a do or die affair. Besides, am sure by now he thinks am tooooo desperate. After watching my brother chase after Pamela, I have concluded that the romance business is too messy, too complicated for me. I would just chill all by myself. After all, I’ve been all by myself all my life. Nothing’s changed.

 

But all that was philosophy for the bulls because the moment I saw Alex after the mid terms, my heart flipped over and all the hopes I thought I had buried came crashing back with overwhelming intensity. I could see us going through life together, getting jobs, raising children, growing old together. But most importantly, my heart felt like a butterfly flying for the first time, my world suddenly came alive with colour.

I couldn’t let anything come between us. I really just needed to know for certain if he liked me or not and all of this confusion was not helping. So I had a meeting with my strategists(Me, Myself and I, three entities that live in peace in my head), to come up with a plan to meet with Alex and have an honest conversation without any interruptions or misunderstandings. Here’s how the meeting went;

Me: as the leader here, I propose that we find a way to waylay Alex and resolve this issue.

Myself: what issue now?

Me: will you concentrate? Can’t you see that we need to know for certain if all these resources we’ve spent so far on that Alex boy is worth it?.

Myself: of course it’s worth it. You’re always too stingy anyways. You and your precious resources. And who made you leader here? I want to be the leader too. (stares at Me with vehemence).

Me: first of all, am not stingy. Am just being rational and logical with our resources. Do you even have any idea how much time, energy and passion has been spent on that Alex boy? If we had spent that much on our books, we would be the best student in this school. And secondly, I am leader here because I am most adequate for it. You, with your flirty mind and lack of focus, drive or determination cannot handle anything.

Myself: (gasps) how dare you talk to me like that? I will have you know that I can be very logical and rational too. I just choose not to. Just because I follow my heart and not my head like you do, doesn’t make me any less capable. And you, (turns to I), why are you so quiet? Say something. Tell that one over there (points to Me) that I can be a good leader too.

I: well, am a peace maker. I can’t approve of this power tussle between you two. Sometimes it’s good for the head to rule, other times its good for the heart to rule. But what I will say about this Alex matter is that if it makes all of us happy, then it’s worth it.

Myself: (looks at I with anger) Mrs peace maker, I hail thee. Mtcheeeew. I don’t know why I even asked you sef.(sits down and sulks.)

Me: (clears throat.) now that you are through with disrupting this meeting, let’s go forward. Talking to Alex might not be so easy. We can’t do that during classes because teachers and friends will definitely interrupt. Neither can we do it in the dining because senior students will definitely interrupt. Suggestions?

Myself: oooh, how about the chapel area? It’s usually quiet and nobody is always around.

Me: (glares at Myself) you know that senior students are always there in the evening for romantic trysts. What’s wrong with you? Use your brain sometimes. Oh, I forgot, you don’t have any.

Myself: (cries) if you know you don’t want my suggestion, then don’t ask for it. Just leave me alone.

Me: (rolls eyes) you’re too emotional, it’s damn annoying. (turns to I) Don’t you have any suggestion?

I: how about if we meet him after classes and talk during dining?

Me: but that will mean that we’ll both miss dining. And who knows if he’ll agree?

Myself: (glares at Me) that is the perfect idea. And besides, can’t we miss food for Alex? He’s worth it. And I know he’ll agree. It’s so romantic, we’re missing food for each other.

 

So now I had a plan. Will it work? I hope so. And, please forgive Me, Myself and I. They are talkative.

 

DAYS LATER

“So let me get this straight, you saw me talking with Miriam that day so you got angry and left? And that was why you shouted at me at the dining hall?”

I swallowed and nodded weakly, looking down at the ground with so much focus you would think my life depended on it. I and Alex were sitting on the walkway in the class room block. What he didn’t know was that I was extremely uncomfortable. I’m not used to talking about my feelings out in the open. It all happens in my head. Even though I have told Alex “I like you” a thousand times in my head, now that I sat with him facing me, the words just couldn’t leave my lips. So I chickened out and told him I wanted to apologise for the dining hall incident.

And I hoped desperately that he would be the one to bring up the topic of love cos it sure wouldn’t be me. If he did like me, surely he wouldn’t see this as just an apology. Surely, he would take this ample opportunity and ask me out even….

“Are you listening?” Alex’s voice interrupted.

I nodded, again. I hope he doesn’t think am a lizard, the way I was nodding at everything he said.

“At least you should have come to talk to me about it, instead of just assuming….”

I rolled my eyes. Great! He was going to give me the same lecture I had given myself a thousand times. Will he get to the part where he says he loves me too already? I was anxious and it was making me impatient.

“So………” I swung my legs casually against the cement pave way, biting my lips as I waited. I stared at his mouth, willing them to form the words ‘I love you’.

It didn’t come. He just sat by me, taking deep breaths until a thought occurred to me. What if he was shy? I mean really. Now that I think about it, it’s possible. I look down at his hands with my side eye. His hands were trembling slightly as he held the pavement. His breaths were laboured, like he was uncertain. He was shy. Wow! I never thought.

Smiling, I put my left hand atop his and looked at him directly. He looked at my hand atop his, then looked up slowly, at me, and smiled. He liked me too. He didn’t have to say the words. I knew. We smiled like that. I put my head on his shoulders and we stayed like that without saying a word, my heart singing happy songs.

The noise from the dining hall signalled that the afternoon meal was over, so we left, holding hands and smiling. And that would definitely go as one of the happiest days of my life, you know the joy you feel when a big dream comes true.

 

They say you never forget your first love; they have a point.

I used to be so emotional then, I used to feel things so intensely. Sometimes I wonder where all that passion, that drive went to. I even miss the blissful ignorance. There’s something about falling in love without any bad experience getting in the way. It means you get to love freely, without any barrier or fear. That’s why first love is unforgettable. Because it was the one and only time you loved freely.

 

Now, as adults, every time you about to fall in love, you get afraid and tensed. You can’t look before you leap because of bad experiences and fear of being hurt. I wish we would all love freely without our past hindering us. Then we would be able to give our best and not just the part of us we can afford to give. I think I did love Alex that much, with the exuberant intensity of a hormonal adolescent. Looking back now, I feel somehow foolish and happy. Such love has its consequences. We used to fight a lot. He was always doing things that annoyed me. Like how he was always talking to girls. I hated that. He didn’t understand why I always had a problem with that. If only he knew I was just insecure. I had gotten a slice of happiness and I didn’t want anybody to take it away.

 

Deep down inside, I felt that I was not good enough for him, that he needed all those very obviously beautiful girls and then, that was my biggest fear. I finally had what I wanted but I was the one driving him away. It took a while before I was able to watch him talk to another girl without feeling intensely jealous. I would just close my eyes, smile and pretend my mind wasn’t boiling with rage.

That’s not to say that Alex didn’t have his faults. Sure he was a good boyfriend. He used to wait for me outside my class everyday, then he would carry my bag and we would walk together. I would be in class and he would send a junior boy with snacks for me. He was so cute and kind of perfect.

But they say that ‘like begets like’ and ‘deep calleth unto deep’. If I was intensely jealous, Alex was insanely jealous. His was paranormal. Really. He refused to let me sit with Chika anymore. Instead, he made me sit with some other girls in the front row, using the excuse that he wanted me to do better in my studies. He didn’t like me hanging out with other boys, and he was very calculative about it.

 

Every morning while i’m coming out for the morning food, he would be waiting for me in the dining. Then we would walk to the assembly hall together, then to class together. There we would separate to our different classes. Sometimes, I would even feel like he was staring at me from the window. But immediately after the classes, he would be waiting outside my class and we would walk back to the dining together or just sit and talk with his friends. I felt cool about it sha, and I know other girls were envious. I didn’t realize when Alex became a daily routine.

 

Ladies always say they don’t trust their men because the men give them reasons not to. Alex didn’t give me any reason to distrust him. He put so much care, attention and detail to me that after a while, the thought of him with other girls didn’t bother me.

 

I didn’t realize the extent of his jealousy until the day he saw me walking with Chika to the primary school area to buy snacks. My school has a primary school located just at the back beside the chapel. The snacks from the primary school is much better than the old dry things they sell at our tuck shop. I met Chika there and we were walking back together. But Alex didn’t see it that way. He didn’t even say a word to me. He just went straight to Chika and pushed him down. Yeah, they fought. A small part of me was happy that guys were fighting over me (and girls always feel ecstatic when guys fight over them) but the big part of me was dismayed.

 

You remember I told you Alex was tall and kind of had muscles. Well, he used them that day to his advantage, leaving Chika with a broken lip. His friends came and separated the fight but he didn’t stop there. He warned Chika not to come close to me, then grabbed my arm painfully and took me to the chapel. (fyi, the chapel was locked so we sat outside on the pavement).

Once we got there, his manner changed drastically. He held my hand tenderly and apologised for fighting. Then he begged me not to walk with Chika anymore, that he couldn’t take it. Underneath, I got the sense he meant Chika and other boys. But you know silly girls and their love of strong men, I simply smiled and said yes. Anything to make my Alex happy.

 

So I stopped walking with Chika. Inside, I was kind of scared. I know I was jealous but not anything like this. But i did love Alex and if he didn’t want me walking with Chika, I was happy to do it. But I did apologise to Chika. He didn’t say much, just that he understood.