These Are The Ways

I’ll kiss you in front of your parents while you’re pregnant with our first child. I’ll remind them of the day I met them and how terrified they were of the idea of me and how far we’ve all come from then.

I won’t tattoo your name on my skin, but I’ll ink the date we first meet over one of my ribs. The one you replaced that day.

I’ll paint you a picture. Not a picture of you, or of us. I’ll paint you a picture of your future. The one with me in it.

I couldn’t possibly sell you a dream. But I’ll embody the faceless person you’ve dreamed would sweep you off your feet so many times. Tell me your dreams.

I’ll write you a song. I’ll write a song only you would ever hear. I’ll write you a song of you. I’ll write you into a song.

When you cry, I won’t make you smile. That’s not my job. I won’t cry with you either. I’m no sissy. When you cry, I’ll understand. If I don’t understand, I’ll help you understand why I can’t. Then I’ll kiss away your tears.

You’re going to get mad at me. A lot. I’ll apologise every time I’m wrong. And sometimes when I’m not. And once in a while when you are. I’ll still let you know you’re wrong though. Just not then. Because world peace is important.

I’ll cook. With you. For you. For our kids. I’ll do dishes. I’ll dice vegetables. I’ll clean up. I’ll turn the amala while you make the soup and grind the beans after you’ve scrubbed off the skin.

I’ll take you on dinner dates. Wine and dine you. Then I’ll silently laugh at you from the other side of the door while your tummy runs because you ordered that lobster we both knew would run your tummy.

You’ll take me on dinner dates. And I’ll let you. Because you want to. And because I like it when you do. Because you like balance. And so do I. And because every now and then, only rarely, I’ll be broke.

I’ll call you sexy. Because you are. Even when you think I’m lying (I won’t be), I still will. Even when I’m mad with you, I’ll call you sexy. I won’t call you sexy when you’re mad with me though. World peace is still important.

You’ll look at me from across the crowded room and I’ll get the message. I’m not telepathic but I get you. Even when I wish I don’t.

I’ll swallow my pride. I’m (a)n adult male hu(man), and that means I’ve got an ego. It’s not big or strong or hard, but I’ve got it. For you though, I’ll put it aside… as much as possible.

I won’t look through your phone.

I’ll let you look through mine, if you care that much. It’s no big deal.

I’ll never lie to you.

I won’t tell you you look fat when you ask if you do. Even if you believe you do and you believe I think you do. That won’t be me lying to you (see above). That’ll be me dodging an obvious trap. Because I’m wise (not a liar).

I’ll break the head of any man who insults you. Except when I can’t or when you started it or when it’s avoidable… Which is every time. Okay, I won’t be breaking anyone’s head on your behalf so don’t pick any fights. That’s not how to love you.

I’ll do everything within my power to make sure you come too. Every time. At the very least, it’ll always be worth your while.

We’ll cuddle.

We’ll argue and bicker and fight sometimes. And when we do, it’ll be your fault. But I’ll never tell you it is. That won’t be me lying, it’ll be me not telling you the truth (at that moment). World peace, remember?

Let me be honest, I won’t be honest with you aaaaaaaaallllll the time. I’ll be entirely honest most of the time and every now and again, I’ll be partially honest. Never dishonest. When will I not be entirely honest? When you don’t want me to. Remember, I get you.

There’s 22 ways to loving you
And I will show them all to you

Bemyoda

Watched Bemyoda perform Forever last night and as he sang those lyrics, the idea for this piece hit me smack dab in the face.

ps I created the cover illustration 😁😁

bemyoda_forever_art

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The Way Here

I watch Ayomide sleep and can’t but wonder “How close am I to the real thing?” Does the child see me and think “Farce”? Am I good enough?

The road to get here was murky, thorny and stony all at once. Before I found myself here, it was easy to look into the eyes of the man I blamed for the childhood I detested. Now, I look back and see with pristine clarity that I perhaps judged the man too harshly. No, not “perhaps”. Without doubt, I judged him wrongly.

“Walk a mile in a man’s shoes…”

I cursed the man and his shoes. Who wanted to wear such smelly, stupid shoes? Then in trying to put as many miles as I possibly could between the man, his shoes and myself, I stepped right into the same shoes and walked the same miles I tried to run from. The more I tried to be different from him, the more I became him. What’s worse, the man I tried so vehemently not to become wanted as vehemently as I did for me to not become him. But in my foolishness at the time, I found his methods incredibly, and interestingly, foolish. Such foolishness.

I was wrong. Clearly.

It was when I must have just hit puberty and had begun to try to find my way for myself that I realized, or so I thought, how wrong his was. How could all the other kids have mums except me? How could I not even know her? …what she looked like? …if she loved me? She couldn’t possibly, and it was all his fault. Why else would she leave? Certainly couldn’t be my fault and if it wasn’t mine, whose could it be but his? It was my father’s fault my mother left and no one could tell me any different. It was my dad’s fault I had no mum…

Sigh.

Such utter foolishness.

With that entirely flawed notion in mind, I went against everything the man ever told me: the lies, the truths and the misyarns. Everything. Everything the man tried to protect me from, I flung myself at. I went shining lights into the places he’d always hid in darkness; went seeking the people he’d barred from me; went digging up the dead things he’d buried away. And everything I sought, I found.

I found out the man I thought was my father was not.

I found out the woman I expected would be my mother was my grandmother.

I found out the man that was indeed my father was long dead.

I found my mother wanted nothing to do with me. Never had.

I found that the man I had always thought to be my father was the most selfless person ever walked the face of the earth, as far as I was concerned.

But all this I found out too late.

“A man who knows not the mistakes in his-story is doomed to repeat them.”

Already, Morolake was pregnant and we were expecting Ayomide. Just like my father had impregnated my mother out of wedlock. Just like my father had been conceived before the man I call father had wed my grandmother.

Rolake and I were to be wed though, that was the plan. We would be wed after Ayomide was born. We would be the generation in which everything changed. We would not be like the men before me, bringing children into the world who would have no mothers. We would be different. We would be different.

We turned out to be the same, just not in the same way. Morolake died before Ayomide was even a year old, leaving me all alone to raise our child. And thus, once again everything was much the same. One man, one child.

Perhaps our entire lives are all an effort in futility. Perhaps everything we fight to not be are the very things we are cursed to become; doomed to endlessly repeat the cycle. Perhaps I shall strive all my life to be as good a father to my daughter as my grandfather was to me and she would only run run run from me and everything I try to teach her.

I see now that my grandfather, was indeed the best father and mother he could possibly be, considering all his shortcomings. A man worthy of emulation. An inspiration to me and to  my daughter. The way she looks at him, the way she stretches her hands for him to lift her, the way she says “gwampa”… Sigh. I wonder if I can ever be as good a father to her. I wonder if she will ever look at me with the same eyes. Eyes filled with pride and joy.

“A man who knows not his history…”

How can I show her? Show my daughter the shortcomings of all the men who came before her. How can I raise her without protecting her from the horrible realities of her past? Am I to repeat the mistakes of my father? Am I doomed to fail before I even begin?

Damned if I do. Damned if I don’t.

Now I see even clearer the dilemmas my father was forced through while raising me. Now that I am faced with same, I see the wisdom in his choices and I realise that I must protect my daughter from his ugly truths. I must maintain, for as long as I can, the hero vision she has of him. Wise, strong, dependable grampa.

“Gwampa will catch me before I fall.”

“Gwampa will always be there for me.”

“I love gwampa.”

I love grampa aka daddy. I appreciate him. He knows that now. I’ve told him in thought, word and deed. Now, I can only hope that one day, Ayomide will say also “I love you, daddy”. And if we are lucky, we won’t have to go through half the murky route my father and I had to go through before we arrived here.

_______

This was one of several pieces which made up a week long series titled For Our Fathers hosted by @Rolayomide on her blog</em>

Deep Dark Musings

“This mysterious life.”

Life is a mystery. A long, complicated enigma. We all go through it trying to solve the puzzle for ourselves individually. Figure out the intricacies, unravel the tanglement, know the unknown, make whatever iota of sense we can of the chaos, randomness and madness.

Some contribute to the endless confusion. Sowing seeds of discord, initiating actions that will spiral out of control, becoming tyrants, embarking on killing sprees, bombing shopping malls, shepherding zombie congregations, wrecking havoc on entire nations, starting world wars, spreading the darkness. “The heart of man is desperately evil.” But then there are some who suppress the evil and desperately fight for peace and light. They spread love and joy and constantly preach the idea that we can all live in congeniality.

Some just come to terms with the randomness. The world has experienced confusion for billions of years. Nothing shall change. Between the incalculability of nature and the perpetual self-destruct mode with which human nature operates, many eventually come to terms with the fact that we are but “passers-by in this strange world.” And “This world is not my own.”

They are right. At the end of the day, regardless, where one stands; regardless what one believes, regardless how much order and control one brings the their world and maybe even to the world of others. Regardless of anything at all, one thing is sure…

Death.

We will all die. At the end of the day.

The question is “When does the day end?”

“Every dog has its day.” I use that in entirely the wrong context of course, but, it applies still. The point is no matter how attached, entangled and joined together the strings of our life become, they are all individual strings still. We may all be in this so called ‘rat race’ but our finish lines are not the same. Yet, we run the race together. Not against each other. Together.

Kindness is underrated.

There’s a lot of sniffing going on around me right now. Pep talks too. And prayers. A whole lot of prayers. “We will not die.” “No more deaths.” “We will live long and old and see our children’s children.” Lol. The words “untimely death” keep popping up a lot too. Funny.

How can anyone tell?

Death creeps up upon one, taking them by surprise. Announces his arrival from a mile off to another. Comes for the new born, the toddler, the teenager, the young adult, the middle ager, the elderly. Did the elderly finish their race and the toddler get chucked? Is the middle ager a failure for giving up before his time? Is the young adult unaccomplished?

Death will come. The time and place unknown. A teenager somewhere is more accomplished than an 80yr old elsewhere will ever be. A popular person somewhere has far less of an impact than someone else who has a really small reach.

This mysterious life.

Death will come. For us all. At one point in time or another.

“Ready or not, here I come.”

Are you ready?

No one can answer that better than you. Especially seeing how “ready” translates to so many different things to so many different people.

If you died now, what would you be remembered for? Ok, you’re still alive, aren’t you? Well, how about if it were 2weeks back? A year ago? Remember that grudge? That mistake you made that you haven’t admitted to yet? Remember the apology you know you should have offered so long ago now that you feel like a complete fool now that you recall? I don’t go around with a ‘death consciousness’, but I hate to leave anyone with the tiniest bit of a justification to bear a grudge against me. “Sorry” should never be that hard to say.

Emeka’s smile. That’s what I remember the most of him. I hear he was a spiritual dude and that is something I’m glad to hear. But what I can speak for is his joviality and niceness. Emeka smiled a lot. He handled a really sensitive desk and was constantly put under pressure. Yet, he never let the pressure get to him. We hung out a few times, we were not close but we were certainly not distant. Emeka was my friend. I can say that. Emeka was my friend. People tend to look for only the good to say about people when they die. I have nothing but good to say about Emeka. I like to think I’m an objective person and yet, I can’t think of a single negative thing to say about him. Having experienced death very early on in life, I’ve come to be a sort of numb towards it. Very few times, the numbness is broken through. It happened with Dolu not long ago, it’s happened again now with Emeka.

There’s no point praying to live forever, or very long, or that death will not come. We will all die (or get caught up) eventually. “Na you pray pass?” More prayerful people have prayed harder than you will and died young. Heathens have lived long, ‘full’ lives. What’s the point in trying to avert the inevitable.

Live the life you want to be remembered for. Live your dreams.

Emeka smiled a lot. He was a good person. These cannot be contested.

Emeka will be missed.

Emeka

Finale Part III: Tokunbo

I was given the pleasure of sharing a review of my 2012 over on 19th street. Thought I’d share it with my dear Nostalgians too… 🙂

Much awaits us in 2013, especially on here. Details tomorrow. 😀

19th Street

January 6th. He didn’t have to type the letter. All he really had to do was edit the one he’d made use of previously. It felt amazing stepping into the office on the first working day of the year just to edit and submit this letter. The first time he’d had to do this, it had been easy, straight forward. The organization was dying and no one seemed to care. Here, it was the same, and yet, not. The organization was dying, but these people cared. They’d flailed and struggled through the decay, but it was all effort in futility. They recognized this, yet they tried… until they couldn’t anymore. An opportunity came knocking, he dismissed it, not recognizing it for what it was. They say lightning don’t strike the same place twice… well, it did. The opportunity came again, miraculously and this time, he accepted. On January 6th…

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Letter To My Mother

Every year, on April 11th and on August 5th, my siblings and I celebrate the life of our late mother. We shared her with so many people who never hesitate to let us know how much they loved her and what she meant to them. I posted Smile, a poem I wrote in  her memory, on the occasion of her last two babies’ birthday last year. (Funny, after all these years, I realised for the first time today that she birthed her last two children on 08/05 and passed on 05/08. Weird and interesting, right?)

This morning, I received a beautiful, beautiful letter to her from my best friend. I’ve been given permission to share the letter with you. Enjoy…

_________________________________________________________

Hey Mama,

I’m Suliat Banderas*, your daughter.

I know you never got a chance to get to know me before you had to leave but that’s okay, I know you and I have kinda met…. through your sons.

I know you are sitting up in heaven loving and watching out for all of them… Tobi, Ola, Pelumi, Funto and Rachel too! I just pray you find it in your heart to love and watch out for me too…

I wish we got a chance to meet. I can tell you were an absolutely phenomenal woman. I would have loved to hear your amazing stories, see your beautiful smile, maybe get some cooking recipes and come to you for advice whenever I needed it… Especially now!

Oh well, we will all get to meet in heaven and we will talk and laugh till both our mouths ache 😀

I’m sure you already know, but just in case you don’t, your baby and I are in a very serious relationship. He fills my heart with so much joy, mama, its incredible! You did an amazing job raising him and I’m sure you must be very proud at how he’s turning out… I know I am!

Best part is, he’s not even really started yet.

To say I love him, mama, would be the understatement of the century. Your son is my whole world.

I solemnly vow to love, honor, respect and protect him always…. till my dying day. Mama, I will be his backbone whenever he needs support. His Cheerleader whenever he needs encouragement. His companion so that he knows he’s never alone. I will be his lover and his friend… Forever.

I do need your help though, mama… While you’re up there, can you please watch over me and ‘La’s journey? Please be a guiding angel as we go through our life together…

We love you, Mrs Folake Aworinde,
May your spirit continue to Rest in Perfect Peace.

click to enlarge

Love, Your Daughter,
Suliat Banderas

*Suliat Banderas may or may not be a real name.

( ._.)

A Million Pieces

Today, in the spirit of St. Valentine, some poetry.

Happy Valentine’s Day… Whatever that may mean to you…

Enjoy

  *     *     *

You broke my heart into a million pieces
Uncollatable by any form of indices
Could I be part of the collateral damage?
Or was I the target in the very first place
So savage, the way you tore me apart
After to you I entirely yielded my heart
From the start you could have never claimed you loved me
Instead, you enchanted me with promises of milk and honey

Rent heart, fragmented soul, broken spirit
The apparent results of your visit
My Point Of View so young and restless
Reckless, my oversight far in excess
Until the scales were removed, unimpeded my vision
Full system upgrade, 40/40 precision
How could I see the wounds heal through my tears?
How could I feel the pain cease through my fears?

But the demolisher, it turns, out is also the potter
The butcher: the surgeon, but only after the slaughter
Made it all worse, ultimately to make it all better
As the potter put all the pieces back together
All done out of love purest, truest, deepest
Despite all of my flaws, you went and loved me first
And so took me apart to make me truly whole
How could I not see that, O lover of my soul?

You broke my heart into a million pieces
Recalibrated the matrix, rewrote the thesis
Refined the edges and smoothed the creases
And into me blew a million holy kisses…
I love you, Jesus

Awestruck!

Today’s post was written by my darling twiyawo. It’s only a little bit lengthy but the end is defo worth it. I mean, she’s learnt a lot from her twusby ;-). Sadly, she’d rather remain anonymous. For someone who likes PDA, I don’t understand why she would act so shy. I asked her to write me a love letter and here’s what she came up with.

___________________________________________________

“Hold it!”

I screamed sliding through the nearly closed elevator doors. There was absolutely no way I was going to climb down from the 13th floor to the ground floor. I smiled at the elevator-operator who had been laughing at my little stunt. I tried to catch my breath whilst taking my usual position at the left corner of the elevator. There was nobody else there, which was quite unusual for the busy afternoons in this building.

“Ground floor?” he asked still smiling.

“Yes”, I answered.

I stood quietly for the next 30seconds without fidgeting or talking like I would usually do. I was lost in my thoughts planning my possible escape routes in case the lights go out or a bomb exploded in the building. The BokoHaram threats in the country were getting very rampant and I, like every other Nigerian, was terrified. I looked up at the ceiling of the elevator trying to identify the removable vents I had seen people in the movies escape through even though that happened mostly when they were being attacked flesh-eating zombies. That can’t happen here. I mean our current flesh-eating zombies are our pot-bellied, hat-wearing lea-

BING!

The elevator had stopped on the 11th floor. I disliked stops especially at times like this when I was very hungry and craving the sharwama sold across the street. I considered it the best I had eaten in Lagos and trust me, I have eaten a lot of sharwama. I could never figure what made it so perfect was it the chicken, the hotdog, the vegetables in ketchup and mayo wrapped beautifully and heated perfectly to my liking. My belly grumbled at the thought of it. I wondered who that could be that had stopped my jolly elevator ride. Who was that person that couldn’t sacrifice his or her comfort and take the stairs for me to enjoy a straight ride to the ground floor?

It hit me and hard too. That scent… that aftershave was so familiar.

BOSS.

He stepped into the elevator slowly and gracefully like a lady yet with the strong footing of a gentleman. The elevator-operator greeted him with even more smiles than he had on when I had performed my Tomb Raider act.

“Ass kisser”, I thought to myself.

I hadn’t seen his face yet but his voice when he replied the elevator man had me seriously wondering who he was. He stood quietly at the right corner of the elevator except for the light tapping sounds that came from his phone. I took my time and scoped him from toe to head starting from his well-fitted trouser to the watch he had on.

ROLEX.

Classy.  Judging from his hands, he was most definitely fair in complexion. In his left hand, he held a leather briefcase. I continued to his right hand which was busy dexteriously typing away on his BlackBerry. His fingers were slim and long with visibly, well-manicured nails. I smiled mischievously at the naughty thoughts I was having of what those fingers could and should do. His suit was obviously tailored with the way it clung to his slightly built frame. Up to his chin then his neatly-shaven cheeks and those pink supple lips that had cracked a smile as I stared at them. His smile, beautiful and simple revealed a set of sparkling white teeth. The kind you would see in a Macleans Advert. That smile…that SMILE?!  He was smiling. Why?!

My eyes met his. They were light brown and seemed to be shimmering under the elevator lighting. He was looking at me and smiling. It was like his eyes could see into my soul. Did he know I was checking him out? Oh no! How embarrassing! I cringed and smiled back sheepishly at him.

“Hi”, he said. My heart flew out to the Empire State Building, melted and somehow, found its way back where it belonged. I couldn’t reply for a few seconds. Speechless, I was. His voice got me exploding inside like the skies in America on the fourth of July. I got myself together and tried not to make my inner drooling so obvious.

“Me?” I asked looking back like there was someone else behind me. There wasn’t.

He laughed and nodded. Was there anything he could do that wouldn’t make me die and resurrect inside?

I responded in the most beautiful and sexy tone I could make up.

‘Hello!’

“Work going good today?” he asked.

Why was he torturing me, ehn?!  He obviously had no idea what every word he said did to my innocent soul.

“Not so busy today, so yes… work is good”.

He smiled back, shining those probably bleached out set of teeth.

‘Where are you headed?” he asked again.

“Across the street”

“Sharwama?”

I gave him a puzzled look.

“Yeah. How did you know?”

“Everyone loves that sharwama”

I laughed in the most lady-like fashion I could portray covering my mouth as I laughed  so as to hide my slightly browned set of teeth. So much for all that Close-up talk. I’m switching my toothpaste after today.

“True”

The elevator stopped and a few more people got in. We were on the 8th floor. He moved closer to me to make room for the new passengers. The elevator door shut closed and our journey continued.

“So how does a lunch date sound?”

What?! Not only is he Adonis, he is smooth and suave.

I wanted to front a little as required by the Dating Rule Book but what the heck, I’ll front later. All that was going through my head was FREE LUNCH! FREE LUCNH! FREE LUNCH WITH A HOTTIE THAT COULD MAKE GRANDMA HAVE AN ORGASM (and she’s dead!)

“I am headed there and so are you, right?  Sure then.”

“Cool!”

He smiled and looked at his phone to reply some messages that had been coming in.

Lord, what have I done to deserve such a blessing of nature. I had stolen a lot of stapling pins today and Emeka’s last slice of sandwich. I watched him as he replied the messages on his phone. He smiled at some of them. Maybe those ones were from his girlfriend. I hoped and prayed he was single…and searching. I was single… not searching but he just might be a package sent from the Lord to soothe my stressed and occasionally lonely romance-movie-watching, ice-cream-eating, novel-reading workaholic soul.

As I stood there, watching Brad Pitt over there do his thing with his phone, my mind began to travel far away like that of most girls when we meet a new guy. I began to wonder what it would be like to date him; to be held in those arms when it is cold at night and kissed by those soft, full pink lips that would probably turn slightly red after a few soft nibbles on them. The thought of being told the words “I love you” with the sincerest of hearts made my toes crinkle. I felt like a little girl with a new Barbie doll. He looked like the romantic sort. The kind to take long walks by the beach and run around trees with me like in those Nigerian movies they show on Africa Magic. How pathetic those films are sometimes. Leg no dey pain camera man. If he is wealthy enough- from his watch to his tailored suit to the phone in his palm, that was a yes- maybe he would be the type to surprise with me dinner at a beautiful restaurant and lovely gifts. The thought of Vacationing with him on the Caribbean or maybe on Obudu Cattle ranch seemed far-fetched but slightly realistic. We would make love in every corner of the hotel building. Gosh, I have missed a lot in this lonely life of mine. I’m surprised cobwebs haven’t covered my delicate area. I sighed.

Would he be the cheating type? Guys this good looking have the tendency to be such with all the ladies throwing themselves at them. Women can be such sluts sometimes. We would fight and have wild make up sex in the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom ending up in the shower and if we ever broke up, he just might be the type to come under my window and sing me my favorite love song to win me back. We would probably have ‘OUR SONG’. I wonder what it would be. Certainly not something razz. Imagine if he is a huge Terry G fan. No way. He’s looks too polished to be a member of that Noise maker’s clan. He looked more like a Beethoven kind of guy or maybe Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga… that would be a laugh but who cares? I like Lady gaga… and Nicki Minaj.

He looked over to and smiled as if to tell me “I’m thinking about you too and hoping you are okay.” If that was it then I’m fine, baby. Just ogling at you makes the world feel perfect. I smiled back and he continued with his phone. The elevator stopped again as some people got off and more got in.

My mind began to wander off again. I began to imagine being proposed to in a restaurant just like in the movies. I am a very simple person so the Sharwama restaurant would do just fine or maybe the Eiffel Tower. I’m simple but come on, don’t I deserve a bit of crazy classiness in my life. I am a sucker of PDA and not a lot of men in Nigeria do such. Let him not be one of them, Lord, because me I want kisses under the rain.

The elevator stopped at the fifth floor and the usual exchange occurred. I should have been irritated by these frequent stops but I was entranced by the thoughts of Gorgeous McSexy over here. He looked up from his phone and smiled at me again. I smiled back and looked away so as not to come across as desperate or too interested. I stole a glance at him. He was back to replying his pouring messages. With the frequency at which he has looked up from his phone to smile at me, I was sure he was thinking about me too. Chemistry is definitely booming and boy, do I see some biology in our future.

My mind travelled again carrying with tiny bits of my heart. Married life with him looked blissful with beautiful children running around. Would my dad accept him? That man sef, what or who does he want me to marry? I prayed he was Ibo at least that would calm my mother down a little. The wedding would be grand. No, not grand. I’ve always wanted a small wedding with my future husband over there and our nuclear families. All those ceremonial things that Igbo people indulge in are, in my opinion, absolutely unnecessary. He looked like he would want a boy and girl or maybe two boys and a girl. I just wanted three kids. We would have date nights and steamy Friday nights with interesting role-playing. I’ll dress as a maid or a school girl and he would be my master or school teacher. Oh yeah, whip me with your mighty cane! The kids would be at grandmas or at a sleepover. I smiled sheepishly at myself.

A startling thought crossed my mind. What if married life is not that blissful? What if he is a smoker and alcoholic carefully disguised in this façade of elegance? What if he is just trying to get into my pants like some guys out there, with Sharwama as bait? But I’m not stupid na. Why would I open Nyash for just Sharwama?  What if he was a rapist? Or even a wife-beater? What if he stabbed me and cut me to pieces like some psychopaths in the movies do? Like that Skye bank babe’s husband did recently. Thank God I don’t work in Skye Bank.

Married life didn’t look so blissful anymore. What if he did turn out to be a wife beater and an alcoholic? What if he hurt my kids? Gosh, I would never forgive him for that. What if he turned out to be a cheat? Then the entire marriage would be a huge debacle. The end result would most definitely be a break up that would hurt my kids especially if we have a custody battle. They might end up mentally disturbed and as a result become psychotic serial killers or rapists. I flinched. Men and their devious characters.

BING!

Ground floor.

As we left the elevator, I realized that whatever might happen would start from this lunch date. He got out before me and stood outside waiting for me to step out. He kept on with his phone.

“Shall we?” he said.

I thought about all what had gone through my head in the elevator and hesitated a little. What if he was also thinking the same thing about me?

“Sure”, I said. He smiled again and led the way asking me a bunch of questions as we tried to get more acquainted.

Another thought crossed my mind, With all these good looks he had better be endowed down there and know how to work it. If not we won’t even get past the second date. Second date ko. Next time we are alone in the elevator together he’s going to have to show me, abi camera no dey dey inside Nigerian elevators nah. That one go be test ride and if he don’t know how to hit it na to kick am enter Friend Zone be that.

I grinned at that silly thought. His phone rang. He looked at it and motioned to me to excuse him. I wondered who that could be. He must be a very busy individual considering the amount of time he had spent on his phone in the elevator. I began to really pray that it wasn’t a girl he had been talking to because it would completely shatter my hopes, my dreams and my future Caribbean vacations. He laughed a few times and ended with an “Okay”. He put his phone in his pocket and looked to me with a funny pair of goo-goo eyes. I died for the umpteenth time that day.

“Hope you don’t feel uncomfortable but someone else would be joining us for lunch”

WHAT THE-?! Who is she? Couldn’t he spare me a few hours of mystery and alone time with him before breaking my heart with the sad news of his engagement? Why?!

Who was she anyway? What has she got that he doesn’t see in me? What? Why? Men! I hate men!  Why did he come on to me and ask me out for lunch? Why did he come out looking so good and attractive and polished and…and everything I need in a guy…temporarily or maybe permanently. Curse you! I curse the second that the Suck Ass elevator conductor stopped on your floor and let you in. Why don’t elevators come with ‘Deceptive-guys-scanning-machines’?

I smiled at him softly.

“No I don’t. The more the merrier”

“I love that”

The shop was scanty today. There was a group of Lawyers from the firm across the street having lunch at their table. We sat at a table in the corner which was also close to the window. Nice view for a would-have-been peaceful romantic lunch. The waitress on duty, Maria came and took our orders. I was sure she had flirted with him before with the way her eyes couldn’t stay off him. She was staring at him even when I was giving my order. Like seriously, don’t you know he is taken? Sadly, it was not by me.

He answered his phone again and ended with a “Okay, hurry up.”  We chatted whilst we ate but most of the time my thoughts were filled with possible images of his soon-to-join-us girlfriend. What was she like? Did she exude just as much confidence as he did? Definitely! A powerful looking guy would want a strong woman by his side but I still couldn’t understand why he had asked me to lunch. Every time someone stepped into the shop I tried to steal a glance at the person, especially when they seemed to be stepping in our direction.

After a few minutes, a gentleman walked in. I could tell because I had, like with everyone else, stolen a glance at him when he stepped in. I was sure he was thinking I was crazy with how frequently I had turned back. The gentleman walked towards our table. He was just as dashing as my lover was and is. My face lit up as the guy drew closer because if this was our ‘guest’, it meant he was single. So far, I guess. I felt excited inside, happy and fortunate.

The gentleman sat down next to him.

He looked at me and said, ‘Hey! This is our guest. His name is Mark. We are -’

Mark cut him short…

With a kiss.

“…partners” Mark finished for him.

He smiled and kissed Mark again.

Mark stretched out his hand to shake my hand.

‘Nice to meet you…err…I didn’t get your name?’

I just sat there. Awestruck.

____________________________________________________

You’re probably wondering how this could be a love letter, right?

Well, me too… me too.

*smh* *walking away*