Excerpt from Episode 2:
I was so pleased to see everyone smiling and having a good time. I was busy with my phone and next thing, I looked up and I saw Ella coming my way. My heart beat began to accelerate faster as she approached me. She had a smile on and I knew I was in trouble. She pulled out a seat on my table and sat down, “Look who we have her, Mr. Loner.” she said with a sheen smile.
To read episode 2: CLICK HERE
You haven’t really changed have you? Hi Ella, it’s so good to see you.” I complimented in awe.
She was really dashing and to think that I had always had a thing for her kept burning down the walls of my heart.
“Oh, Adeoluwa the guy I liked so much but never had the balls to walk up to me,” she teased with a smirk.
I was really startled by the gale of emotion she displayed. Really? How could she have never made me know?
“Wait, you don’t mean it. You are kidding right?” I quizzed.
“You never knew I liked you? Why did you think I was always in your class hanging with Chioma?” She asked with a tinge of annoyance for my naivety.
“Oh my God, but you ended up dating Osas, how should I have known? Chioma was a scare crow to me so there was no way going close to Chioma would send the message,” I explained with the hope that I could spur up something.
“You are pathetic Adeoluwa. If you knew how long I came around your class hoping you would act. You know, I knew you have always been serious minded, focused and very dedicated. You were not just man enough,” she kept teasing and chuckling.
“Are you still with Osas?” I asked.
“Osas and I broke up during service year, he wasn’t serious at all,” she said.
I wasted no time in asking if it was already too late now? She laughed and shook her head. “Adeoluwa you are still pathetic. You haven’t changed but it’s still cute though.”
I then asked her, “How about your craft business?”
“It’s doing well, I use my house for now but I really need a place because sometimes I get large orders and no space to work. I am thinking of getting a job so I can save up to get a place for my business.”
“Okay… Ella, I know I messed up in the past. I am sorry about that; I was very shy and immature. I have really changed, trust me on this. I have always admired you, always patronized your crafts even though I never needed them. If there’s nobody you are seeing, please consider me. I am begging you.”
“Aww, how sweet,” she expressed happily, “you know what? Let me have your number. Meanwhile, let’s go meet up with our friends over there.”
I gave her my business card and she was like, “Wow!!! Adeoluwa, you here. I have always known you were special.”
After the reception, I dropped her home and called her as soon as I got home. We spent over an hour talking on the phone. We kept on talking for long over the week and the prospect of Ella and I starting a relationship grew by the day. We decided to fix a date the following weekend and we chose Saturday. On the appointed day, we went to a nice restaurant to have lunch. We cracked school jokes and talked about old times. It was a wonderful moment. I was so much in awe I asked her about her business and how much it would cost her to relocate and restructure everything. In her estimation, it would cost her three hundred and fifty thousand naira. I reached out to my small bag and brought out my cheque book and wrote her a cheque of the sum she needed. We battled for hours as I wanted her to have it but she refused and insisted it was too much of a favour for her. I jokingly told her it was a loan with interest, she laughed, hugged me and that was it. I really wanted to do something very important in her life, so she would know that I was very concerned about her future.
When I got home my mom called. She wanted to know my next move. Obviously marriage, I told her about Ella and she wanted to see her the following weekend. I told Ella if she would like to pay my home a visit and meet my family. She delightfully welcomed it. She came over and my mom really liked her. They talked for over an hour and I even felt left out. It was a good thing. She had lunch with us and she also helped in washing the dishes, my mom was so proud of her, even though it was their first meeting. After I had dropped Ella off at her place, I got back home and my mom called me.
“Ella is a good lady, she will make an awesome wife. She’s creative, she’s got her own business, she’s going to have time to run and maintain her home, have time for the kids. I mean what else do you need?”
“I know Ella is wonderful.” I agreed.
“When are you proposing to her? You better do it soon before someone else does.”
“Well, we will be traveling to Calabar in three weeks for her friend’s wedding. I think I I will do it then.”
“Good, make sure you do your thing.” My mom said as she rang off.
Ella and I became so close, I went to see her family and they gave me a warm welcome, her siblings were so friendly. Things were getting more and more interesting. We travelled to Calabar for the wedding. I had the engagement ring with me and I was praying she would say yes even though a part of me was sure. She decided we stay in different hotel rooms because she told me she was still a virgin and she needed to keep it that way until the special night of her wedding, I felt so lucky. After the church ceremony at the reception, I gave someone my phone to make sure he captured the moment. I then called Ella’s attention.
“Ella,” I said as I knelt down with the ring.
“Oh my God,” she said obviously swooning.
“Will you marry me?” I asked.
She covered her eyes and screamed. “Yes!! I will.”
To my surprise, people around were clapping and that made me very uncomfortable.
After the event we headed back to our hotel rooms and I called my mom telling her the good news. My mom was really glad. That night, I went on Facebook to post the proposal picture. I noticed I had several unread mails so I took my time to read them. There was one mail that took my attention the most. The sender didn’t have a profile picture byt I went ahead to read the mail. It read: “Please are you the Adeoluwa that served in Kogi over a year ago? Please call this number ********** Tope.”
I felt very disturbed and I called the number immediately. Unfortunately the phone was switched off. I checked when the message was sent and it was about four months ago. I got back to Lagos and kept on trying the number with no success. On Wednesday morning it rang. I waited to hear the voice and it was Tope’s.
“Oh Jesus, Tope I just saw your mail are you okay?”
She began to sob. “Adeoluwa please come and help me. I need your help now more than ever….” She pleaded.
Worried, I retorted “I don’t get you Tope, is everything alright?”
“Nothing is alright, please come I need your help.” she said bluntly.
“I am at work now, I won’t have the chance to travel.”
“How about Saturday it’s very important,” the line then went off.
Memories of Tope came back. I was confused and very bothered about her situation. I kept on calling but the phone was switched off. I sent a text message to her I would come on Saturday, but will leave on Sunday morning because I had to prepare to travel to Port Harcourt on Wednesday on an official assignment. She responded the following day with the address and her location. I made arrangements with a driver to take me there with my car and I told Ella I was going on a business meeting to Abuja. I left very early in the morning and I got there around 11:30am. The location was a church far inside the town, it wasn’t easy locating it. I saw Tope by the gate of the church, standing. She looked pale and mucky, she had lost weight and she looked very unpleasant and troubled. I came down from the car and she ran towards me. She embraced me and said. “Oh Adeoluwa,” she was weeping.
I held her back by her shoulders, “Tope, please talk to me, what is wrong?”
“Come to the church with me and you will know everything,” she held my hand and led me into the church.
I didn’t know what to think or expect, I just needed to know what was wrong with her. We got into the church and what caught my eyes was the sight of children playing on a mat spread on the floor.
“Okay Tope we are in the church, tell me what is going on and why did you decide to blank me out completely?”
“I thought it was the right decision, ending everything we started two years ago but I was wrong and I am sorry.”
“Okay, now tell me why are you not in school? Is your mother okay?”
She burst into tears again. It was becoming irritating and I grew impatient and I heard a tiny voice of a kid saying, “Mummy sorry.”
The little boy embraced her by her leg and she carried him up. I was shocked the baby looked very much like me when I was little. He had the shape of my eyebrows and my droopy eyes.
“Is…Is…Is that your child?” I stuttered. Sweat was dripping from my face.
“This is our Adeoluwa, this is our son.” She replied with a sob.
“How come, how is it possible?”
“He is two years old, you are the only man I have slept with, he even looks like you.”
“Oh my God!” I said, sitting down as my knees became too weary to support me. “Tell me everything Tope.”
“Three weeks after you left Kogi, I became ill and I was vomiting. My mom asked me if I was seeing any man. I told her no. She took me to see the doctor, he ran some tests and the result was that I was pregnant. My mom beat me in the hospital with her slippers. When we got home, she threw my stuffs out and disowned me. I went to meet my closest relative and in spite of all the pleas, my mom refused to take me back,” she was sobbing as she told her story and unconsciously I reach out and held her hand to comfort her. “My relatives insisted I tell them who was responsible, but I refused. I didn’t want to implicate you and I know you didn’t mean it. You have always wanted to help me. So I did not tell them. Four months later, they started maltreating me and I decided to leave. A pastor’s wife took me in and I was there for one year. That was where I gave birth to junior and started working with the church’s primary school.”
“You mean this church?”
“No, I came to this church about six months ago. I had to leave the other place, the pastor made some advances on me, I reported to the wife and she threw me out. I have been here since. It’s been terrible Adeoluwa.”
She began to cry again. My mind was heavy and I knew I had to do something about her situation. She has been suffering because of me, her education stopped because of me, her family disowned her because she was protecting me. I felt indebted to her.
“Tope, I know everything can’t be okay, but I will do everything possible to make sure you get the best in life. God has blessed me with a good job and money is not a problem. I will get you an apartment here in Kogi and every month I will send you two hundred thousand naira for you and Junior.”
“His name is Adeoluwa.”
I took a pause and looked at him, he was already asleep. I didn’t know whether to touch him, carry him or something. I was just too unprepared for these before me.
“I cannot stay here in Kogi.”
“Then where do you want to stay? You can’t come with me to Lagos.”
“Adeoluwa, I have nobody, nobody. I have been rejected by my family, friends and relatives. The only person I have is you and my baby. I can’t stay far away from you, Please.”
“Tope, a lot has happened these few years. I have moved on and you being close could affect everything my mother has established for me, everything I have worked hard for recently. It can destroy me Tope.”
“Adeoluwa, I understand but I need someone to run to, someone to depend on. I will never interfere in your life again. I just need a new place to start all over, I don’t want my baby to go through what I went through. I need to further my education, you helped me once and I know you can help me again. I can’t provide for and protect our child Adeoluwa.”
I started to reflect on everything she said. I looked at the child, my child and I felt so sorry. I knew I can’t deny them solace, can’t deny them what they want. That’s my blood she’s talking about. I was hasty in conclusion. I looked at my watch and it was almost 1:00pm.
“Tope, if we have to go to Lagos we have to go now. Go pack your things, I will be waiting in the car.” It took us about five hours to get to Lagos. I lodged them in a hotel and handed her fifty thousand naira in case she needed anything urgent that night. I then left for home. I avoided everyone and went straight to my room. I was very unsettled and completely in distress. Ella had been calling me but I was too weak to pick her calls.
The following day, I drove to pick Ella so we could go to church. She noticed I was not myself and she asked, “What is wrong Adeoluwa? You have been acting strange.”
“I am pretty ill, but I will be fine.” I insisted it was a flu.
After church service, I dropped Ella at her place and I went home to get some stuffs for Tope and Junior. I got Tope a new Phone and Junior, some of my old toys and lots of candies. I got to their hotel room and she appeared more relaxed.
Next thing I heard was. “Daddy!!”
Read episode 4: CLICK HERE
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