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    Scrolling through Instagram, one of the first posts I came across was by an online friend. It read: I’ve always liked the Idea of having a fairy tale wedding. I will invite lots of my friends; especially those from UNILAG.

    I scrolled to look at her pictures and my laughter must have distracted Shola, my colleague, sitting at the opposite desk. She raised her head from the document in her hand and glared at me.

    I rolled my eyes and returned them to the screen of my
    Apple iPhone X . Something else caught my attention as I scrolled through my Instagram feed. It was Yeyedu. She had just posted her proposal pictures online. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I zoomed in on her middle finger to be sure that a silver ring sat on it.

    “Shola, Shola o. Abeg! Help me check if na engagement ring this babe wear,” I passed my phone to her. She was the only colleague I shared office space with at Princel Audit Firm, Asokoro, Abuja. She was Accountant II, while I was the Chief Accountant of this reputable organization.

    Shola and I aren’t friends but at least, we try to be good colleagues to each other. I didn’t know if she was envious about my lifestyle or something, but the thing is, I wasn’t envious of a woman who gets beaten by her husband almost every day.

    “Yes. It’s an engagement ring,” She replied and passed the phone back to me.

    “Wha…” I almost screamed. Not out of joy or excitement…naah. I wasn’t happy for her. How could I be happy for our neighbour’s last child who was just 23 and getting married? What is this world turning into?

    “What? Are you not happy for her?” Shola frowned. Oh, I am used to her. The lady never smiles, perhaps her situation must have imprinted a stoic look on her face.
    “Well, clearly I’m not. She’s 23 and getting married,” I shrugged and continued zooming on her dress. I made a mental note to get the kind of dress she had worn. It was an A-shape skater pinafore/button detail & white collar inner . I knew the dress would fit my hourglass figure and so I didn’t hesitate to switch to my Chrome browser and typed in

    “Your point exactly?”

    I looked up to see Shola still scowling at me. Wait oh. Are we not done with this conversation? I thought, then dropped my phone on the table and turned to faced her.
    “My point is, she should have waited for…”
    “For what age? 35? Before she gets married to her heartthrob? Why are you so bent on making everyone be like you sef?”

    My hand flew to my crystal heart necklace . Okay, wait. I wasn’t expecting that outburst. It was obvious Shola was looking for who to pour her frustration on. But I needed to make my point clear.

    “Shola can you calm down and let me talk? I know you are trying to insult me to my face but I don’t care. The thing is, she ought to have waited until at least, 25 years of age, so she wouldn’t end up with a man who beats and rapes her at the slightest provocation.”

    I almost gave the air chop knuckle at my comeback. I had successfully lashed back, and she knew I was referring to her terrible situation. But instead of replying, she returned to typing furiously on the Apple MacBook before her.

    “Make sure you type that work well o. When I’m back from break we have other documents to type,” I mocked and picked up my car key. Lately, I’ve been having lunch at eateries. It wasn’t as if we had no cafeteria at my workplace.

    We had an exquisite cafeteria but I had a reason for going out to eat and at the end of the month, I knew I was going to achieve that goal. I tagged it, project get a husband.

    You wouldn’t understand the need for my push to get a husband. My name is Rita Ejike; an Igbo lady by tribe. I could possibly pass for a Rita Dominic, facially, and an Omotola Palace, body wise. I am exceptionally beautiful and I would agree with anyone who said my beauty got into my head. Maybe that’s the reasons I’ve remained unmarried, even at age 35.

    I exited the office building and made my way to the parking lot. I opened the door of my Toyota Corolla and slipped in. I re-fixed my makeup and combed the curly strands of my human hair . To be candid, I was tired of my singlehood. I am rich. I am running a brilliant side business, and there are huge investments that I put my money into. I am comfortable and I am currently working on my character but still, no man.

    “Hmm. Soon,” I thought as I made my way to the driveway of an eatery that had the inscription ‘ IYA AMALA FOOD JOINT’. It is a popular joint located at the heart of Abuja. I am not a fan of Amala. In fact, I rarely eat it. But I had marked down this joint in my book recently. Having done my research, a lot of ‘Yoruba demons’ patronize the restaurant. And of course, I had gone through the stress of wearing a bow sleeve midi dress to match with my open toe stiletto . I was hoping to get at least 6 guys to ask me out. That was my major target.

    By the time I settled down on one of their leather seats and my order was staring right at me, I knew that I had succeeded in bringing attention to me. All eyes,’ I repeat, ‘all eyes,’ were on me. I stared at the beautifully moulded Amala with green soup; which I presumed to be the famous Ewedu with stew on top and assorted meat, and ignored my admirers. I had to appear unconcerned. My first aim was to try the Ponmo. It looked fried and I intended checking to know just how tasty it was…


    I froze. Who could possibly know my name in this restaurant? Was this a sign from God himself that I was in the wrong place? Or, is this the right place?

    O God, let whoever called be a fine working-class dude in a well-ironed suit. Of course, the good lord always answers my prayers. I looked up to see Kayode Williams march towards my seat with a tray of Amala and soup in his hands. He was grinning and suddenly I found my cheeks giving way too. He placed his tray on my table and took the opposite seat.

    “It’s really been a long time I saw you. How are you?” he asked, already preparing to devour his plate of amala.

    “I’m good. And yes, it’s been a long while,” I went ahead to pick my Ponmo and drop it in my mouth.

    Dressed in a blue striped blazer, he looked way more exquisite. You may be surprised I know his name. Kayode is a popular guy in our industry. He works in a far better auditing firm in Gwarimpa and is one of the finest eligible bachelors that I know of. He is 6ft, has a cute face, caramel skin, and is a smooth talker. We’ve had a run-in with each other a few times during some executive conferences held in the state. A few other times though, I was made by my boss to help him with some company files and documentation, despite knowing he works in a different firm?

    My eyes strayed to the wristwatch latched on his left hand. I almost gasped. It was an Invicta Chronograph green dial watch; quite expensive, unlike my Geneva executive.

    “So what brought you here, Mr Williams?”
    “Oh, please call me Kayode. This is my joint. Rita,” he laughed, “a normal African, Yoruba man would prefer this place anytime, any day. Come rain or sunshine.”
    “Oh, that’s right. I’ve forgotten this place is mostly swamped by Yoruba guys,” she chuckled.

    He chuckled too. “But I should be asking you. What are you doing here, Omo Ibo?”
    I watched him swallow the third morsel of his Amala, only then did I realize that my food was getting cold. I forgot about my phobia for Yoruba stew, and staining my perfectly manicured nails, I delved into the Amala proper.

    “I decided to change where I normally eat. I wanted to try something new. Besides, I like Amala too,” I swallowed back my lie with a morsel of Amala. But then, it was good, because Kayode bought into my lie.
    “Wow, that’s great!” he took another swallow, “I’ve actually been looking for you.”

    “Really? Why didn’t you just come to the company? How is work anyways?”
    “I didn’t want to bring personal issues to your workplace. Please pardon me, but you should know I resigned from my workplace.”
    I swallowed another morsel of Amala, this time, to hide my disappointment because his most eligible bachelor’s rating was dropping.

    “Why did you resign?” I just had to ask.
    “Well, God called me into ministry. And by God’s grace, I’ve started already.”

    “Really? Wow! Where?”

    “Grace Living Court. In Kubwa,” he smiled, revealing teeth stained with soup.

    “You mean the same Kubwa where I live? How come I didn’t know there’s a new church in my area?”

    “Kubwa is big, Rita. If I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t know.”

    I nodded in agreement. He had finished his food and was washing his hands now.
    “I wanted to see you. First off, please, I need your number.”

    “Oh, okay. No problem.”

    He passed me his Samsung Galaxy S10 . I entered my digits and passed it back to him.

    “Great. I’ve known you for quite some time now. I mean, I know we aren’t best buddies but I would like you to be my wife.”

    “Wha…” the next thing I know, I was coughing like a fool. And then I was spitting out disgusting morsels of Amala that had already gone down my throat. The truth is, I just discovered that I didn’t only dislike the food, I couldn’t stomach it. I was only pretending to Kayode and well, look where my pretence got me now.
    I sincerely wished I could roll my eyes, but the Yoruba pepper stew had screwed my brain senseless. I remembered Kayode driving me back to the office. Shola frowned when she saw him help me into our office. But I was in no mood to answer her silent questions.

    I spied briefly at some of the documents on her table and I was glad her seriousness had made her finish up with our joint task for the day.

    I was left wishing that the day would run fast so I could close and go home.

    To be continued…

    #1300218 Reply
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    Woow nice story



    Episode 3

    Episode 4

    Episode 5 the end

    #1300220 Reply
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    continue please

    #1300222 Reply
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    @fb-itzonome check this out

    #1300228 Reply
    Ireoluwa Emmanuel
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    Lol,,, this is nice

    #1300240 Reply
    Phavourite numzy
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    @ryder thanksss for the invitation nice story…

    #1300322 Reply
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    just like that?
    that statement is funny

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    episode 2

    It’s been almost a month since I joyfully accepted Kayode’s proposal. He has been a doting husband-to-be. Always taking me out to cinemas and eateries and sometimes we would just sit at Jabi lake talking about life, future and random things while enjoying the cool evening breeze. Other times, we would just cuddle like lovers do. Things were going really well between us. He even got me a beautiful engagement ring . Trust me to flaunt it on Instagram.

    On this particular day, the weather was so cool and I had just little work to do. Thank God; because Shola went home earlier with the excuse that her son was sick and in the hospital. She knew I understood it was a lie the moment the words left her mouth, but she didn’t care. Neither did I. I heard a gentle knock on the door and whoever it was came in before I could respond. I raised my head to see who the intruder was.
    “Kay?” I asked, really surprised. He usually doesn’t show up at my office during work hours. For him to be here, then it must be a matter of urgency.
    “Baby,” he simply said and sat right opposite me with his hands on my desk. I could clearly see the worry written all over his face.
    “What happened?” I skipped the part about asking if there was a problem and delved straight to this because I was so concerned.
    “Can you get me a bottle of water?”
    I stood up to get him water while he sat quietly. Whatever it is must be real terrible, I thought.
    I soon returned and handed the water to him. He gulped it down immediately.
    “Tell me what the problem is,” I prompted again.
    He didn’t hesitate in tabling all the problems before me. Not too many problems though, just one in many parts.
    “So what do you say?” he asked, the moment he finished speaking.
    I just sat staring at him with wide eyes. A thousand and one thoughts flashed in my mind at that point. Oh no, I lamented inwardly, this is exactly what I’ve always prayed against.
    “Baby?” he called.

    I still refused to talk because I didn’t know what else to do. Should I cry or should I jubilate? Which one of them? Definitely not the latter. Kayode didn’t strike me like a man that could boldly spit out all he just said. I started to have mixed feelings about the whole relationship stuff, even the black and white striped shirt he had on was not attractive to me anymore as I was too focused on what he was insinuating.
    “Err sorry would you mind repeating yourself again?” I finally found my voice.
    How could he even think of such a thing talk less of saying it to me?
    He sat up.
    “I said, some major renovation is going on at my house right now and I will need some place to stay,” He repeated, keeping a straight face.
    I was glad Shola wasn’t around to hear this part. This would have been the death of me and I would never be able to face her and talk again, not to talk of giving her orders.

    I pulled myself together and tried to be cool. Dutiful me. “Okay, what about one of your friends? At least one of them should be able to help.”
    I hope I wake up from this bad dream soon, I thought quietly.
    “That’s the problem, my best friend is out of the country and the other ones, I’m not too close to them.”
    “Okay, quite understandable. But what would you do now?”
    “The question is what would we do now? Baby we are now one and so we should act like one.”
    I tightened my lips. This wasn’t how I planned this day. I thought we only become one when we get pronounced as 1 plus 1 at the altar? I almost asked but then Kayode was kinda right. The moment he put that ring on my finger, I agreed to be one with him.
    “True. So what would we do about your situation now?”
    “Surely I can’t put up in a hotel now, wasting money when I have you. That’s a no no. We need to save money for the future.”
    At the sound of future, I unconsciously grinned, flashing my 32 teeth. When I snapped out of my reverie, I saw him smiling and nodding his head. I realized that he was referring to putting up with me. My eyes widened.
    “You mean you would be staying at my apartment? I asked, just to be sure that my ears were not playing tricks with me.
    “Yes baby,” I guessed he noticed that I wasn’t thrilled by the news, “or is anything wrong with that?”
    I almost ran mad, in my mind though, hearing about the renovations and all his problems. But, putting up with me? Hell yeah! Everything is wrong with that, I wanted to scream. But I had to act like a ‘perfect’ Fiancé
    Seeing that I wasn’t about to say anything, he murmured, “So you should expect me by weekend, Saturday to be precise, since I have to prepare a sermon for Sunday.”
    Now I was dumbfounded. There was nothing I could do anymore. “Oh, okay that’s great ” I said, dismissively.
    “You know baby,” he held my hands, captivating me with those cute eyes I’ve always admired.
    “When this storm is all over by end of April, I should go and see your parents so we can do the wedding proper.”
    My eyes almost popped out of their sockets, I couldn’t believe my ears. Is this for real? Well, I had to act natural and not appear desperate.
    “Great,” I said, with my most neutral tone.
    “Yes baby and that is why I feel we should bond a little bit you know, get to know each other properly.”
    I nodded in agreement with my lips pressed against each other before I embarrassed myself by smiling sheepishly.
    I was too engrossed with thoughts of future to even think about our living together.

    “Okay baby, I have to go. I have counselling sessions by 3pm. See you soon okay?” he kissed my cheeks and stepped out of the office, leaving me to daydream about our fancy wedding.

    If marriage was the state I saw Shola in, then I was definitely scared of going into one for the first time in my life.
    I ended up going to check on Shola on Saturday afternoon and I was right. Shola was the one on the hospital bed not her child. And she was badly battered.
    In fact, it was as though she lost a tooth or something. Her right cheek was swollen. The most touching part was that she was wearing the same black trumpet sleeve dress she had worn to work the previous day before she took an impromptu leave.

    “How long will you continue to live like this?” She didn’t need a soothsayer to tell her what I was talking about and thankfully, she didn’t deny it this time.
    I was not happy with the sight before me. The chubby Shola I knew was looking so frail on the hospital bed. I pleaded with her to let me involve lawyers and human right activists but she refused. After spending some time with her, I finally called it a day and drove home, with the thought of her and the condition she was in, filling my mind.
    I sighed as I pulled into my compound; the one I shared with 6 other tenants and very soon, my Kayode. The first person I saw was Tiwa, my neighbour whom I secretly called ‘Sharer’
    I didn’t like her, not even a tiny bit.

    The girl was a good for nothing prostitute who was never ashamed of frolicking about with both single and married men. I almost ignored her but the fact that she stood just by the tree close to my flat kinda bothered me because she was with a man, laughing uncontrollably.

    “Madam Tiwa, please you should take your rendezvous elsewhere. As you can see, you are directly facing my window.”
    “Ahn, see me see wahala o. Can you imagine? Rita, do you own this compound? I’m asking, do you own it, ehn? Ashawo!”
    What! If there was anyone to call a prostitute it was certainly her.
    I was boiling with rage and ready to fight back but the voice from the guy behind the tree halted me.
    “Kayode?” I asked in surprise. I totally forgot all the endearment we usually used.
    Tiwa was just as surprised as me. It was written all over her face. She had to turn to face him.
    She opened her mouth to speak, “Kayo…”
    “I don’t understand what you are doing here, Kayode?” I interrupted Tiwa. I had to ask because the last time I checked, I didn’t show him my house I only gave him my address. He had never had any reason to come to my apartment, I was always the one doing the visiting.

    “I thought you were expecting me? I came like I said. You gave me your address, remember?” he gave me a quick kiss on the cheeks.
    I swear I wished we could stay longer in that position, so I could keep perceiving his masculine cologne. It smelt like my Celine Dion perfume
    Wait a minute, this wasn’t his normal perfume. Did he use my perfume? How did he get the key to my flat?
    “Wait how did you get the…”
    “Tiwa, meet my wife, Rita. Babe, let’s go in first you need to freshen up.”
    I was almost going ballistic. I thought I should be the one doing the introduction and what’s up with him calling me his wife?
    Well, wasn’t that what I have always wanted? I thought.
    Kayode and I walked into my one room and a parlour apartment, leaving my crazy neighbour probably staring at us and wondering if something was wrong.
    As soon as we got inside, I flared.

    “First, how on earth did you get the spare key to my flat? And why on earth were you discussing with Tiwa like you already knew her?”
    He touched my chin, “babe, relax. First take a sit, okay?” I nodded and proceeded to sit. I needed explanation and if I was to get it, I needed to keep calm.
    That was when I noticed that the picture I hung on my wall just beside the Samsung screen TV had been removed and replaced with his. I wanted to speak but I decided to ignore it because I needed to address the issue at hand.

    “I got the key from you, Rita. Remember on Thursday when I took you out? You handed me your spare key
    “But I..,” I interrupted. I don’t remember giving him anything.
    …and about Tiwa. She is an usher in my church.”
    I couldn’t hide my astonishment. “Tiwa the prostitute, an usher?”
    “Yes, and you really need to stop condemning people. You are now a pastor’s wife”
    “What’s up with the wife stuff, Kayode? Last time I checked we were only engaged not married.”
    He frowned, looked at me like I was crazy, scoffed and entered the bedroom. I followed him into my, oh, our bedroom.

    “Wait, did you also change the position of my bed?”
    Oh lord, God knows I was more than angry already. I threw my handbag on the bed and opened the wardrobe.
    About one third of the wardrobe was filled with his clothes while mine was pushed to a tiny space in the wardrobe. I turned to him, at this point, extremely furious.
    He also looked furious but I didn’t care.

    “What is the meaning of this, Kayode? First you removed my picture from the sitting room, next you changed the position of my bed and now this?”
    I pointed shakily to my cramped up clothes. He stood up, towering over me.

    “You know what? If you want me out of your house and life just let me know! I have a house, remember? But I’m glad you are revealing to me that you will not be able to put up with me as my wife! Great! Just great!” he picked up his phone, “I would rather just sleep in the church and wait for my house to be completed, you selfish nagging woman!” With that, he stormed out.

    He must have left the house entirely because I heard the front door bang. I sat on the bed as tears streaked down my cheeks.
    Was I truly selfish? Did I nag him? I couldn’t tell, all I knew was that I was sorry I acted that way and sincerely regretted my actions.

    I knew he was rich and he had a house of his own. Then, why was I acting selfish? I quickly picked my phone to call him so I wouldn’t lose my husband. Yeah husband, we were already engaged so I had better start getting used to that before the likes of Tiwa would snatch him from me.
    I called thrice but he didn’t pick and then I texted him that I was sorry and he should come back home.

    I matched to the kitchen to dish my remaining Jollof Spaghetti. But when I opened my cooking pot I was hit with the sight of an empty pot. I groaned. Was this what married women faced?
    I didn’t dare complain, things were already too messed up. Instead, I soaked Garri for the night while I sat in the sitting room waiting for my husband to come back to me.

    To be continued…

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