Omowashe Omorishe #36


It’s so surreal that I am leaving Naija this evening. You know the feeling you get when you are stepping out into the unknown. It’s both trepidation and excitement.

Peju organised a surprised send forth this afternoon. I was surprised to see most of my friends at work. How did they get off work to come?

We shared and laughed off our heads as my friends shared funny moments at work. Peju recalled the visit we made to the Kiri Kiri prisons at the start of our career. How I was dressed to the nines on that fateful day only to meet inmates who cared less how I looked but when they would one day be free like me.

I wiped away the tears that fell freely. I was leaving valuable friendships and family behind. At this moment, it was hard to remember why I was going away.

I received quite some gifts and keepsakes.Peju presented a framed office group picture. It was one of the Bank’s award night where we had won the Branch of the year.

“Wow! Where did you get the picture? It is beautiful. See our Manager looking every inch the business guru.”

“Is that all you see?” Peju asked with a glint of mischief in her eyes.

“Unlike you, I see a guy smitten by you and who is yet to come to terms with what to do, but it is written all over him.”

“I hate to put a snag to your fantasy, Peju. The guy is not available. Please don’t put me in trouble. There is one correct babe around. In these days of jealous girlfriends, jumping around with acid. I don’t want to be a victim.

“You sure Drew is taken?”

“100%, like I know my name.”

Peju looked so comical with the look of disappointment on her face that I lost the battle to stifle my laughter.

“Stop playing cupid Peju. I am fine with or without love. Romance does not define my life. I should not be jumping straight into the arms of any guy who gives me a second of his time. I am not desperate.

Drew and I are good friends who understand each other. We have a great friendship that I would not destroy because I am unable to differentiate between friendship and lust.

“It’s just that the signs are all out there. That guy adores you,” argued Peju.

“He does, I agree but not in the way you are thinking. He adores my work and dedication while we worked together, turned mother hen when I fell ill, and we have fallen into the rhythm of having a platonic friendship.

“Recipe for true love,” remarked Peju.

“I give up,” I muttered, exasperatedly clueless how to make Peju understand her romantic dreams for Andrew and I were never going to happen. The thought alone filled me with sadness, but it was not something I could explain. The logic would be once he gets married, the dynamics of our friendship would change.

“Is Drew aware you are leaving today?” Peju asked undeterred.

“Yes, I went to tell him last night. He was mad. I could not comprehend why he was more upset that the rest of you. You could think he was losing a multi-billion dollar contract. His ranting might be justified, but I do believe it was overboard but all I did was apologise for peace sake rather than aggravate an already bad situation.

But you know what? You all will be okay, and within one week, you would have forgotten whether I am around or not. Moving to the other side of the globe is better than moving to the other side of the universe. A big thanks to technology. We can always communicate with ease.”

“Would my babies be talking to you on the phone?”

“Yep in their gibberish language. I will be cooing blowing the twins kisses. I promise to come in every three months just for them. I do take my Godmother duties seriously,” I assured Peju.

I could see her trying not to tear up, and I did appreciate. I was not sure I could hold off my tears if she started hers.

“I am trying to be strong, and little things like the twins were tearing me apart,” I mumbled incoherently hugging my best friend fiercely.




The day went in a blur. I was finally able to catch my breath when I took my seat on my plane. Six hours of sleep was a luxury I was looking forward to with delight.

I had barely settled down to begin my anticipated sleep when an air hostess came over to inform me of a change in my seat from economy to first class

“There must have been a mistake,” I argued knowing what ticket I booked and how much I paid. It was nothing near a first class.

She checked my seat number and name and reconfirmed if I was Lana of which I affirmed. All my explanations that she must have the wrong Lana seem to fall on deaf ears.

“Please, could you identify your hand luggage? I will help you with that while you follow me. We are very sorry for the inconvenience.”

I chucked. How inconvenient is moving from economy to first class?

I was still trying to figure out what was going on but I guess there would be an explanation. I hope the airline does not come back with another mix-up story as I definitely will not go back to the economy class.

Sinking into the plush cream leather seat, I closed my eyes savouring the luxury that engulfed me and like a lullaby lured me to nap.

I must be dreaming.

Why am I seeing Drew? He is seating opposite me on the plane working on his laptop like he was doing last night at his place. I was on a plane and not in his garden.

Rubbing my eyes, trying to distinguish between dreams and reality. I stretched like a shire cat and observed around me.

Shaking my head, in a bid to wipe out the image before me. How could my subconscious be conjuring Drew? Peju had messed up my head with all that talk. Laughing out loud, I assured myself I would be fine.

I picked the bottle of wine before me, reading it to be sure it was non-alcoholic. I needed my sanity to be intact when the air hostess discovered that she made a mistake. Wrinkling my nose with disgust, the mere thought of going back to economy class filled me with distaste. The airline would hear a thing or two from me if it came to that.

I poured out the wine into the wine glass and took a sip enjoying the taste of the grape. No need to worry about the future.

Hey stranger!

I almost dropped my wine glass with fear.Now I needed to visit a psychiatric doctor.I was not only hallucinating Drew being on the plane with me, but it had gotten worse that I could hear his voice.






Omowashe Omorishe#35


Today I knew I was in love with Lana. There was no point fighting it. If ever I had no clue to define the emotion. The loss of having her close by only opened my eyes to what I felt. It was love. It had been love all along. And for the first time in my life, I had a situation I was at a loss what to do.


For two weeks. I had taken off work and was supervising the setup of the investment company. I had gotten my father to buy into that to add to his conglomerates. I would manage the investment arm while working with him on the rest of the companies till when it was time for me to take over entirely.

The time just flew by with so much to do. Sometimes I remembered Lana and would plan to call or drop a text, but it would be well into midnight, I forgot I had not. I was in and out of the country jetting between five destinations trying to seal a deal. It had indeed been exhausting for me.

Today was a caution to rest and take it slow as I came in last night from New York fatigued.I took my phone to call Lana when another call came in. My attention was needed again at the office. I groaned as I rushed out.

At 4 pm, I quickly placed a call but her line was busy, so I sent a text.
“Howdy stranger. Can I check you up today?”
The chat dropped but remained unread. I got caught in the activities of the day. I tried calling two hours later. This time, she picked the call.

“Hey, stranger!” I called out.
“I could say that for you too,” she responded with an excitement that was contagious.
“Yeah,” I replied dryly. Guilty as charged
“How’s my favourite friend doing? ”
“I am fine better than I have ever been.”
“Wonderful! I am excited to hear that. Would you be free this weekend? We could go somewhere of your choice to catch up.”

I could hear her groan on the other side of the phone. That was Lana with a filled up schedule.

“What about tonight?” she asked.

“Tonight?” I was surprised. Weeknight outings were never her thing to do.

“Yeah if you are free. I have something to tell you, and I want to do it in person.”

A million reasons flew through my mind. But I seem to be getting ahead of myself.
“What time, it’s already half six.”

“8:00 pm is fine.”
“Any specific place?”
“Nah, anywhere, but come to think of it let me come by your place,” she offered.

The red alert was up. Lana rarely came by my place. She had been over to my house just once.

“That’s fine. Since it’s my place, do you want me to cook or order?”
“Cook?” I could hear her scream over the phone.

“Please order.How do I pay for such personal services?” you want to run me bankrupt?”

“Is that your worry? I thought money was never your problem.

I should not use my life savings on engaging a personal chef.” I could hear laugh over the phone.

“Joking! I will buy Chinese on my way. You can provide the drink.”

Perfecto! See you then. I managed the little Spanish I knew.

One more reason why she was a dear friend. She came to you as an equal friend not dropping any burden at your doorstep.

I switched off my phone and concentrated on reviewing the proposal before me. I should be able to leave work half seven and make it home shortly before 8.00pm.




I made it back home at the same time Lana was driving through my driveway.

Lana came out struggling with the boxes of food and her handbag. She looked gorgeous in a simple white top on blue jeans, big round channel O earrings, cropped hair and light make up.

I drank in her looks, perfection to the T’s.

“Hey, please help me out and stop looking at me that way,” she scolded.
“Taking the boxes,” I laughed to cover my embarrassment.

“What way?”

She replaces a frown on her face with her eyes hitting both inner corners.

“That’s a scary look. I doubt that was what you saw.”

“Nah,” her favourite expression for No.

I took her in a big hug wrapping her with my hands filled with the boxes of food, placing a light kiss on her hair.
“You are good?” I asked searching her face.
“Perfect Drew.”

I felt a tug at my heart the way she called my name.
What was wrong with me? I must be tired.

We walked into the house. I placed the food on the worktable in my open plan kitchen opening the sliding doors so we could seat outside in the garden.

“Beautiful night. Lana exclaimed looking up the dark sky.
“I love looking at the stars and lucky us the weather was just right to stay out.”

“Give me a second,” I requested as I went upstairs to change into a more casual outfit.

I came back watching Lana as she gazed into a recent picture of my sister and me.
“She is lovely,” she said to me turning around with a wistful look on her face.
“How come I never get to see her?”
“She lives abroad but should be home anytime soon.”
“You are lucky to have her.”
“You can say that again. I won’t trade her, for anyone else.”

The wistful look was back in her eyes so fleeting a less observant eye would have missed it.

“You ready?” she asked linking her hand into mine as she dragged me outside to the garden like she owned the house.

I served the drink while Lana busied herself putting the Chinese food in the paper plates the brought along.

We settled in the lounge chairs eating our meal as the silence of the night engulfed us under the bright stars shining from the sky above.
“The meal was wonderful that I am feeling so sleepy. I am ashamed, and I came to visit” Lana stifled a yawn.

“Feel free. You can rest while I catch some work.”
“You sure?” she asked with those large almond eyes gazing at me in the dark in a bid to reassure herself.

“Yeah, I would send some emails quickly and come pour some cold water on you, half an hour later if you are not awake by then,” I offered wickedly.
“Very tempting,” Lana retorted sarcastically.

She stifled another yawn, and I was almost bowling over with laughter with the look of embarrassment she wore so angelically.

“You better take that needed rest, or you might be sleeping over here tonight,” I warned.

I could as well have been talking to myself as she was already fast asleep.

I chuckled only Lana could ask for a visit and fall asleep.

An excellent opportunity for me to go on the conference call I had forgotten.I adjusted her head with a soft pillow and threw a blanket over her feet. She slept so soundly that I doubted if she would wake up should a hurricane hit the area.


Lana is a beautiful girl. I watched the smile on her face with was contagious. I found myself smiling too. I wondered what it would be like to wake up each morning beholding her face. I needed to get a grip on myself. Why all these thoughts.

I settled in the seat opposite her putting on a table lamp with light enough for me to work while keeping her other end still in darkness. Whatever, has she done to be that fatigued? I wondered but thankful for the warm weather which made it comfortable to sit out there.

I lost track of time and place while working. Not until Lana stirred did remember I had company.
Sometimes I could be that pathetic, always caught up in work. I was lucky to love what I did or else my life would have been empty and miserable. So where work was concerned it was recreation for me.

“Hey sleeping beauty,” I called out.
“What says the time?” asked Lana, struggling to sit up and doing it gracefully.

I resisted the urge to help her up. I did not trust myself.
Something was messing with my head, and I needed to get my acts together, or I lose the trust and friendship I have built over the time with Lana

I glanced at my watch and winced aghast.
“Half Eleven.”
“Half what!” She screamed scrambling to get her things.

“Oh, Drew, I am so sorry, what sort of person am I. I came to see you and practically slept all through.” she wailed.

“Don’t worry. You seemed quite tired though. Are you sure you are okay? Are you using your medications?” I asked concerned for her health.
“I am perfectly fine, please don’t go Mother Hen on Me.” she raised her hand and rolled those lovely eyes.

“I got to go. My flight is tomorrow.”
“Flight?” I asked perplexed.
“Where are you going?”
“Oh,” she groaned.
“I am such a scatterbrain. That’s what I came to tell you. I am going back to school. Cambridge UK. It is a two-year program. I should be back, but I can not be too sure. I would also have the opportunity of spending time with my mother,” gushed Lana all in one breath.

I swallowed hard. I was angry. It seemed Lana would have left without bothering to inform me, had I not called her today.

“When did you decide this?”
“Oh, two weeks ago. I had the offer last year and deferred it. I had forgotten about it. I was lucky to remember within the time frame, or I would have lost out completely.

Maybe loosing out would not have been a bad idea. I thought to myself. At the same time criticising myself at my selfishness.

“And when were you going to tell me?”
“I am sorry. That’s what I have been doing all week. My friends are so mad at me right now that no amount of explanation or apology is being accepted. Please don’t add to the number,” pleased Lana.

“It’s a lifetime opportunity especially with all the drama happening in my life now. A change would help. I hope.”

I let out a loud breath. Exasperated. Why did I not see this coming? Putting my hands in my pocket, I walked away from her to the end of the garden starring into space.

Lana had become a very integral part of my life. She seeped into my subconscious that it was a routine to reach out to her always. There were times I deliberately did not contact her giving her all the space that she needs, but I do not think I would ever mean anything to her more than a friend.
Her decision to go back to school was a clear indicator that she did not think of me more than a friend.
“Is there anything wrong,” Lana asked coming behind me.
I turned almost bumping into her.
“Nope, why do you ask?”
“I feel like you are upset with me or something.”
“I won’t tell you that I am not. I am so upset I could toss you into the Red sea right now,” I pretended to want to carry her.

She moved back. Laughing. “No, you won’t.”
“I can. I challenged Lana. “What friend comes up to you and tells you, I am going to school in the UK; Cambridge,” I mimicked her.

Lana slapped my arm in protest, laughing so hard that the tensed atmosphere became lighter, protesting I was unfair.

“A friend who values you and would miss you so much,” she said.
Should she ask for the stars at that moment, I would not hesitate to hand them over to her

I took her hands in mine.
“I will miss you is an understatement, Lana.”
I wanted to say more, but I could see the confusion in her eyes.

“Let’s get you back home quickly. Tomorrow is a long day for you,” I kept back my words.

Today I knew I was in love with Lana. There was no point fighting it. If ever I had no clue to define the emotion. The loss of having her close by only opened my eyes to what I felt. It was love. It had been love all along. And for the first time in my life, I had a situation I was at a loss what to do.







Omowashe Omorishe#34

I was pressing the bell a second time today filled with anxiety as I stood at the entrance of the cream coloured well designed Victorian – contemporary house. It was not my first time here, but today the character flaw its design screamed out dissatisfaction. At face value, it did not look out of place but judging with a critical eye; the architect should have stuck to either a period house or a contemporary one or look for a way to harmonise both seamlessly.



The door was opened by a young girl I had not seen before.
“Please, I would like to see Mrs Coker and her sister”. I could not remember my birth mum but could get to her through her sister.
I tried to think what I had seen on my birth certificate, My Father handed over to me on the day of the engagement, but my mind was blank.
“Mummy is in, but her Auntie is not,” replied the petite young girl who answered the door.
Thinking of either leaving on learning my main reason for coming was not available or going in to say hello to Bode’s mum. I did try to reach my birth mum. I could defend myself when accused of not making any effort to see her.
I was not left with a choice as I heard Bode’s mum’s voice and there she was before me.

A look of recognition shone in her eyes as she warmly embraced me. Had things gone to plan, she should be my mother-in-law. I felt the pain slowly stealing back into me. When would I be free? Would I ever be able to get past this hurt and loss?

“She waited so long for you to come. She left this afternoon but not without leaving a box for you,” she said pulling me away to take a look at my face.

“I am hanging in there,” I assured her although far from it. I was a basket case of many emotions.

I tried, I said to myself trying to still the feeling of despair threatening to sweep over me like a hurricane, the sense of losing something so precious. I did not know her, why was I feeling this way?

Mrs Coker took my hands and led me in.
“Sit, let me get the box.”

I have not seen her since the failed introduction. Her warm reception was almost making me cry as tears pooled in my eyes and I willed them not to fall.
She went in and came back dragging a suitcase which filled me with curiosity about its content.

I stood up to leave once she handed over the box to me.
“Thank you Ma, I have to go,” I gushed. I had nothing to say to my almost mother-in-law and now Aunt.

I fled with the speed a dragging suitcase will allow afraid I could no longer hold the tears.


Back in my room. I sat on my bed battling whether to ignore or open the suitcase to check its content. Eventually curiosity won. I opened a small envelope addressed to me, and there were letters penned to me with several dated photos of me as a baby till about two years old.

How did she have access to these pictures? Was she in touch with my parents?
There were letters for each year of my life. Every month of the year and the last was written last night.

I spent the whole night reading my birth mum’s letters. She never wanted to give me away, but she knew she could not give me the kind of life I deserved. She would have had to drop out to take care of me. Going back to my Dad was out of it she did not want him to think she had tricked him into marriage by getting pregnant. They had always used protection. She knew Segun would not have minded, but she felt playing the marriage card would not have worked for their relationship.

Time would come when resentment would set in. She never wanted the day Segun will look at her and hold her responsible for not fulfilling his dreams because of a forced marriage.

It was bad enough she had gotten pregnant. Her parents back in Nigeria would hear none of it. She took the easy way out by giving up the child. She was delighted when Segun’s brother and sister in law decided to take the child and help raise pending when Segun decided what he wanted to do.

She wrote of nights she longed to hold me. Nights she cried that she had made the wrong decision. However, she needed to complete her medical program, become the surgeon she had always dreamt of being.

She stumbled one day at the park where Mum brought my sister and me to play and kept coming to observe from a distance. She could tell I was happy and began to feel she might disrupt my life should she want me back

Not too long they stopped coming to the park. She made up her mind on my fifth birthday to come and pick me up. She now had a good job, and she could juggle her life and mine together. She was shocked when she located the house and they were no longer living there.

It was later she got to know that the family had moved back to Africa. She was devasted. She did not know how to contact them. She had been so silly to think they would always be in the United Kingdom.

The letter on my 16th birthday was about boys. How to keep away from them and keep your head in your books. I smiled at that one.

My 21st was how I must have become a lovely woman. I had her eyes while the rest of my features favoured my Dad.

It was the early hours of the morning, and I forced myself to go to bed not before sending a text message to uncle Segun that she won’t be able to make it in for work today.

Uncle Segun replied the text immediately.
Does the man ever sleep? I wondered to myself.

Uncle Segun: Are you okay?
Me: Yes. I did not want to go into details.

I laid on my bed, too much on my mind.
My birth mum loves me. She did not give me away because she did not want me.
I wondered what it would be like to get to know her.
With that thought, I bolted out of bed to pick my laptop.
There was an admission offer from Cambridge I was to respond to, but with all happening around myself I had forgotten.
I opened the email. Today was the deadline for the offer.

I applied over a year ago when I was considering going away for my masters before Bode and I came back together.
I deferred and now was not a perfect time. I could do with a distraction and change of environment. Something to take my time and energy.
I accepted the offer then realised I had two weeks to resumption!

I groaned. What was I thinking? I could send an email to defer, or I could get ready in two weeks. My thoughts went back and forth. Reasons why I should and should not but I knew that going away for the program was what I needed now.
I chose to go.
I had to tell my parents, friends, stop work at the firm and a long to-do list to clear in 14 days.


Omowashe Omorishe#33

Peju alias Mummy twins


Once I settled Phil, I got back to Lana. Knowing we had hours to catch up.
Was it not nine months we last saw, but the stories were like that of a lifetime. Finding out Bode was her cousin blew my mind. What if they had gotten married? The issue of congenital disabilities might arise, and they would have no clue the cause of the problem.

While I was still feeling sad over the loss of a love so pure and genuine, she told me of diabetes and the drugs she was constantly on.
“It doesn’t show on you.”
“I look better now, and you should have seen me when I came out of the hospital. Gaunt looking, eyes sunken and bones were sticking out at every corner.
“I am glad I was not there to behold the sight.”
“Have you met your birth mum?”
“Oh my God”, she slapped her forehead.
“I was to see her today and gosh here I am.”
“You mean you have not met her all these nine months?”
“No, she answered looking at me with amazement.
“Was I supposed to?”
“Lana who won’t be curious to see and have that talk with their birth mum. Find out why she gave you up and try to see for yourself what she looks like?”
“I don’t need another mother. I have one, and it’s so confusing. Do I stop calling the woman I have known as a mother all my life and start calling my birth mum – mother because she gave birth to me? Even when she did not love me enough to keep me but gave me up so easily and never looked back.”
“What she did was wrong but don’t validate her wrong by ignoring her. Give her the chance to explain herself. You might sympathise with her and not judge her when you hear it all.”
“I just need time to get myself together to see her. I did promise Uncle Segun I would check on her today, but that would be tomorrow.
“Sorry girlfriend. It would be today, and I am shooing you out of my house to her place. Had the kids not being sleeping for a while and would wake up anytime soon, I would have gone with you to make sure you get it done. Once and for all and move on.”
“Did I tell you I did not miss you while you were away?  I was so glad I had no one to boss around.”
“Good thing I am back because you do need the bossing especially when it comes to matters of the heart.”
She threw her tongue out at me.
“He who wears the shoes feels the pain the most. I hear everyone with an opinion on the matter, but they were not the abandoned child. Neither were they the ones lied to all their lives nor the people whose favourite uncle became their Dad overnight, and you were meant to trust as you have always done,” said Lana with tears flowing like a river down her cheeks.

I held her, and we cried together. Cried for the unfairness of the world. Cried why her life and sanity were being threatened and cried because we were both hearts broken.
“You will try and see her,” I pushed Lana away to gaze at her. Pleading with her to push behind her hurt and do the right thing.
“I will try, she tried to laugh amidst the tears that came out like a croak and then bubbled into a wellspring of laughter.

“Did we just do the pity party thing just now?” She asked wiping the tears away from her eyes in a bid not to smear her mascara, although a futile effort.
“Life throws you lemons, but you have to make lemonade out of it. See I know all that motivational talk, but in here, she said pointing to her heart. It hurts so deep that I have lost the peaceful, beautiful life I had were all my worry was how to make senior manager before I was thirty. Now that pales compared to my goal of living a healthy and full life.”
“You would Lana. I have no doubt about that. God will show you mercy. Your strength and determination will see you through.
You will laugh again, love again and wondered if this pain you feel in here, I said touching her chest was ever real or just a nightmare at night.”

“What if I am too tired fighting?”

“You’ll get up and give it your best shot.”

“ On a much lighter note. How is Drew?” I asked. “Do you still see him around?”

“Yeah, I did today, he came by to check on me. It ‘s incredible how he could turn and be a father hen. Always texting and calling to make sure I am okay and have taken my drugs when I first left the hospital.”
“Father hen,” I repeated thoughtfully.

I have always felt there was something between them both although my friend was yet to see beyond what she wanted to see.
Going back to Bode, clouded it all but with the present situation, the coast was clear for Drew, but maybe the timing was not right.
Lana needed to get herself together and sort all the issues that threatened her sanity.
Drew coming in at this time was sure to mess her up and when Lana is messed up, you could not getting anything worthwhile from her.
I smiled like a wise old woman. I knew like I knew my name that this two would one day become an Item, but I was not going to throw it at Lana’s face. I would watch knowingly and do some little pushing, arranging and innocent moves to get them together.
Lana will thank me later.

Omowashe Omorishe#32

Some friendships are like fresh air


second-chanceI  walked  briskly,  then ran up the stairs and pressed the bell.I could barely contain my excitement.An unknown robust black middle-aged woman opened the door with an infectious smile. She looked too groomed to be the house help but did not look like my friend’s mum.

“Good afternoon madam, Mummy twins will join you,” she announced leading me to the living room on the west wing of the house.

I settled into the familiar living room and could notice the little changes here and there.Was it so long ago we had worked with the interior decorator designing the house while running around for the wedding? How true the saying “time flies.”

“Mummy twins would soon be with you”, said the woman I now presume must be the house help and served me a cup of orange juice with chopped pieces of dried spicy beef.

I eyed the meat hungrily. Threw cautioned to the wind and settled to devour it. I was still savouring the delicacy with much ecstasy when I heard the voice.

“I hope you enjoyed my peace offering.”

“It’s truly a peace offering,” I concurred rising into a warm hug.

“Mummy twins” I teased.

“You have barely been here five minutes, and Madam Rose has indoctrinated you.”

“I was first taken aback when I heard, but I love the sound of it. Please where are the young men I came to see?”

“They are being dressed and drilled to be of good behaviour. They are meeting their godmother for the first time.”

I felt both honoured and elated to receive such role, and I took it seriously vowing to be the best godmother who ever lived. Madam Rose came with the boys, and I lost my heart to them at first sight. They would be the cutest pair of babies I have seen.

“Jason and Jaden meet your god – mummy,” cued Peju on what I presume was baby talk. I held Jaden first and then Jason.

“I am so glad to meet you and feel very honoured to be your god- mummy,”I cooed in the new baby language I seemed to have acquired by instinct.

What a shame, she can’t risk getting pregnant. She will never carry a child” I heard the voice of one of my family members, and it kept echoing. “She will never carry her baby.” I also heard my mum’s voice refuting the declaration but I still heard it in my head days without end, and today, it was ringing loudly.

A tear dropped.  “They’re both lovely and so identical, you can hardly tell them apart,” my voice cracking and betraying my emotional state.

“Yes Lana, I bawled like a baby when I first laid eyes on them. How could these precious tiny cute beings have come out of me? You can hardly tell them apart, but I know although Phil always confuses them.

I played with the twins till Madam Rose came to take them away from me for their nap.

“Motherhood looks good on you. See how more beautiful and radiant you have become.”

“Is that to say I have been the ugly duckling?”

“You have always been pretty, but you look breathtaking now.”

“Please tell her,” Phil came in, giving his wife a full kiss on the mouth and turning his attention to me.

“I must seek your forgiveness for whisking your friend away. She had a difficult pregnancy, and we had to move her out to a calmer place without the drama of family and friends. I have been apologising to almost the whole world since we came back. No one told me I married the town’s sweetheart.” He had a twinkle in his eyes, drawing Peju closer to him.

“You are forgiven. I cannot be upset with those two cutie pies I just held in my arms.”

“The easiest and fastest forgiveness ever. I now know why you are Peju’s closest friend.”

He chatted with us and took his leave.

“Please give me some time to attend to him. I will be back. And please don’t go away. Please,” begged Peju hilariously batting her eye lids.

“I will advise, you keep that for Phil. It has no effect on me but if you send more of the dried meat my way. That should suffice.”

















Omowashe Omorishe#31

Love comes softly


I pulled my shoe off and placed my feet on the grass as I closed my eyes to enjoy the feeling of relief that washed over me. How such a simple gesture we take for granted could be so soothing often left me in awe of the mastermind behind earth’s creation. It could not have been the work of mortal man or an accident as some great scholars presume.It must be that God truly exists.

I poured out the bottle of coke into my glass cup filled with ice cubes on this sunny afternoon enjoying the sheer luxury of sugar and ignoring all the medical doomsday prophesy on its ills especially in my case.

Uncle Segun will not be delighted to see me here. I had left the office with the intention of going to see my birth mum and make things alright between the two of us but mid-way, I changed my mind. I would see her another day. Relaxing into my chair, I closed my eyes and allowed the feeling of contentment to wash over me.

My eyes fluttered open at the sound of the presence of someone, and I lazily smile at the sight of Andrew.

“Hey stranger,” I greet with no effort to change my position.

“Hey stranger,” Andrew replied letting himself on the other chair across from mine.

“How did you know I’ll be here?”

“I took a wild guess after being told by your security at the law firm that you have left for the day. How are you doing he asked eyeing the leftover bottle of coke with disapproval but did not pass a comment.”

“I am doing as great as I can be. I could not be any better. I can’t complain. Got a job where I do nothing and get paid good money which must be every girl’s dream.”

“Except yours?” he chirped.

I laughed. “Well, I did create a job scope for myself. Organising all the files.  I intend to move all the paper files to electronic files. Most of the work in the coming weeks will be scanning and creating a filing system for easy retrieval, next encrypt the sensitive data. I would need the help of an IT person. I should be able to complete that task within three weeks and train the rest of the staff on how to use the new filing system.”

“You sure know how to look for and find work!”
“That’s me any day, any time. Never shy away from work. It does not kill.”
“Some do you know,” Andrew commented. We laughed over it.
“I am sorry. I have not offered you a drink. What would you like to have?”
“Not that your drink,” he eyed my glass of coke like a mortal enemy. ”Water would do.”

I was not excited to have to stand up from my cocooned position in the chair, and as if reading my thoughts he offered to help himself as I gave direction. The kitchen is the first door on the left once you walk into to the living room. The refrigerator is on your left. Andrew came back with three 50cl cascades bottled water.

“The driver would love one. You don’t get these cold ones to buy along the streets. Let me go give this to him.”
“Very thoughtful, kind and thinks of others, not just himself,” came the thought.“Where did that come from?” I asked myself.

He returned to his seat. “Are looking forward to resuming?”
“What do you think?”

“I think you have become so used to this easy life of 8 am to 2 pm that coming back to our 7 am to 7 pm work would no longer be interesting.”
“I do not agree with you, but I have learnt never to say never anymore. I do not have the power to predict or change what will happen next in my life. I only know what I think I want.”
“And you?” I ventured to ask. “A lot has been going on lately, been extremely busy working on some projects and my father’s company. The main reason for my silence but I should have made more time to keep it touch.”
“It’s okay. You have made an effort by stopping by, and I appreciate that. It’s not every day a girl gets her boss to stop by to babysit.”
“Is that what you think I am doing right now? He asked with the crinkles of laughter around his eyes.

“Yep,” I answered playfully.
“Then it is past your bedtime Missi.”
“Bedtime! At 3 p.m.!!” I exclaimed in mock horror.
“Oh sorry Missi, I meant it is your nap time.”

I laughed till tears dropped from my eyes as he mimicked the voice of Kizzy in the film “Roots”.

“Please stop!” I pleaded, afraid I would soon be on the floor rolling with laughter. It felt so good to laugh this way. Whoever said laughter is good medicine for the soul sure knew what he was saying.

“Who would have known you could be this funny? You so much hid behind the suit you wear.”

He stayed with me for a quarter of an hour and took his leave.
“See you around soon.” He patted my hands across the table looking into my eyes. “You’ll be fine just don’t worry and believe the best.” Something happened to me in the seconds he held my hands and our eyes connected. And I could feel he sensed it too as he quickly took his hands away but whatever that was, I don’t think I was ready to confront it. Some things are better left the way they are, don’t rock the boat.

I waved him off still not wanting to give up the comfort of the seat, but he was quick to tell me not to bother and let himself out. I closed my eyes wondering if my treacherous heart was not plotting some sinister scenes against me.

“No way,” I argued. “Don’t you think there could be a possibility?” another part of me argued.“Who would want you with your disease ravaged body?” The other voice taunted. “He is different if he comes give him a chance. A chance for what? Romance, marriage or a relationship that has no future. A relationship that is dead before it started.”

“Lana!” I called out my name willing the battle in my head to stop.
The poor guy made a mistake of being a friend, and here I am planning marriage.I shook my head and walked inside.  Why bring a perfidious twist to an act of kindness? Destroying my serenity and the innocence of a friendly gesture leaving me more troubled.

Continue reading “Omowashe Omorishe#31”

Omowashe Omorishe#30

Uncle Segun


Watching the two most important women in my life walk in through the door was the best picture to behold.
One young and beautiful with the whole world ahead of her to take on while the other who has been by my side through thick and thin. I was on the thin verge of losing them both, but I was not going to give up. I was going to fight to get their affection back. To once again see the look of adoration in their eyes that spoke volumes of how important I was to them.

I mustered enough courage and faked a vibrancy I did not feel “Here come my girls!!!!”
I could sense Bimba seeking an escape as she fumbled in her bag until I heard her phone ring and she signalled to take the call which was a good excuse. However, without the call, she would have looked for another reason to get out of my presence.
Ever since she found out Lana was my biological daughter, she had moved out of our home but came to the office every day.
She had been civil and only discussed official matters.  I wanted to give her the time and space she needed but now I needed to woo her back, or I might lose her forever.

Turning to Lana. “You should be home by now. It’s past your 6 hours of work.”
“Oh please Uncle Segun,” she said rolling her eyes. “I am as healthy as a horse. I do not need all the convalescence moves you have been pulling for the past couple of weeks.”
“Where were you coming from?”
“From the ………
She started to say but stopped midway.
My curiosity was piqued as I raised my eyebrows “when did you start keeping secrets from me?”
She shrugged and threw a barb at me “it starts one day, doesn’t it? You did keep who you were from me all my life.”

“If I could turn the hands of the clock backwards. I will Lana. I will say sorry a thousand times if it makes you feel better, or make the pain go away. I tried so many times to tell you, but there just was never the ideal time.

The period you moved to boarding school. I feared you would not take the news well, then you finished and passed with all distinctions. I wanted to shout it out to you, but it sounded selfish when all the hard work had been put in by others not me. You got admission to the university, and it did not look ideal to tell you at that time when you were testing the waters of freedom away from home. What if you reacted wrongly and flipped to the other side in rebellion. So I held on and kept postponing the day I would tell you.

Lana, I am sorry.” I had not realised the tears were trickling down my face as I pleaded with my daughter to forgive me.
I held out my arms hoping against hope that she would come for a hug just like the old times.
I could have leapt for joy as she ran into my arms crying a nerve racking sobs all over my crisp white shirt but what did it matter. She had found a place to forgive me, and that was what mattered the most.


“Are you ready to see your birth mum?” I ventured to ask Lana.
I had taken it very slow with Lana not wanting to push her.  She had not shown any interest in meeting up with her birth mum, and I had given up hoping that she would have other opportunities.

“I guess yes,” she smiled amidst the tears that laced her eyes. “I am tired of fighting. What harm would there be to hear what she has to say and make peace with her? We can’t take back the years we have lost, but we can build on the ones before us.”

I was happy at the wisdom of her words and could not be more proud she was my daughter and the opportunity I had to invest in her upbringing. I had Agnes to thank. If she had not given up Lana from birth, I would never have been this blessed to be a part of the great woman she has become. It was this gratitude I had that propelled me to help to bridge the relationship between mother and daughter. “Lana you are one smart and intelligent woman who I am happy to have known.”
“You are always filled with praise. I should have known long ago there was something beyond the uncle – niece relationship,” she smiled her eyes twinkling. Wiping her eyes and smoothening her dress, she stood up. I got to go.
“Would you try and call her today?” I can give you her number.” I got out my phone and sent the contact to her.
“I will call her now. There is no need to wait. I have waited too long to mend this relationship.”
“Come here,” I commanded and engulfed her in a fierce hug as tears threatened to drop. “My sunshine,” I murmured.
“Hmm, Uncle Segun, whatever happened to Auntie Bimba?”
“That is my number one sunshine, and you are the second.”
“Not the first huh?” Lana feigned hurt.
“No not the first. You will get married and be someone else first let my wife be my first,” I teased.
It was no hidden secret that I would choose Lana any day above Bimba after all that’s what I had always done in the past, but it never bothered her. Knowing Lana was my daughter might change all that, but I hope she could see that she was the most important person to me next to my child.
“Then you had better go there and let her know,” she challenged me.
“Since you have taken a bold step to see your birth Mum. I should take a cue from you and go declare my undying love for your aunt contrary to the rumours peddled by family members.”
“You heard?”
“I heard every word of it, and it was preposterous. Agnes is your mother and what we had has become history. She remains a friend but nothing more. I cannot love another person than your aunt. I breathe and live for her even if she is mad at me now.I intend to fight for what we have and get her back.
“I got to run, thank you, uncle. You got unfinished business here,” Lana said looking behind me.
I turned and was more surprised to see Bimba in my office.

I strolled into Segun’s office to pick a document on a case we were working on when I heard his open declaration of affection for me. I know Segun has always loved me. There were no doubts about that fact but what I could not get around my head was his betrayal. How could he have kept such information from me all these years was my concern and how many more secrets has he kept from me?

Lana had a look I told you so with a twist of cheekiness to it as she hurriedly gave me a hug whispering, “Auntie let it go and let him love”, and glided out of the office.

Her words stunned me. The girl has grown wise over the years. Segun was not the only one who doted on her. I did not unashamedly. We both poured out our love for a child into Lana. I argued it was because she was the only niece who spent time at our place with many sleepovers and outings. Her parents were never afraid to send her over to our place unlike the rest of the family who was over protective of their children. Not that I blame them. Knowing the truth behind Lana’s parentage gave credence to the reason her parents were free to release her. After all, she was going to her father’s house.

Lana and I shared a bond fostered by her visits and time spent together talking and shopping.  None of my other nieces and nephews could have bolstered the courage to book a doctor’s appointment without my prior consent and drive me there. The thought put a smile on my face which I was not aware was plastered on my face until I heard Segun clear his throat the way he did when he was nervous.

I focused my eyes on him, and I got lost with love I saw in those eyes. I felt the butterflies in my stomach and laughed inwardly at my foolishness. Why this feeling of giddiness like a love-struck teenager? My hormones must be having a joke at my expense.

Shifting my gaze way towards the file on Segun’s table, I walked past him to retrieve the document.”I came for this,” I picked the file and made my way to squeeze through the closed up space to escape as he moved towards me.
“What do I need to do to make you forgive me?” he asked brokenly touching a cord in my heart. I was not going to do this. I was not ready for a reconciliation till I had figured out what I wanted for my baby.
“You’ll go back,” a voice said to my head. As I argued with the voices in my head. I don’t know about that. I’m not sure if I wanted to go back. I could remain civil with the father of my child but to work on broken trust was a hard bit for me.
“I would work at gaining back your trust,”  he said as if he could read my thoughts, his eyes darkening with a resolution I know he would fulfil
“I want to believe we can have what we had before. But I can’t work past the hurt lodged in my heart. There are days I honestly could pick a gun if given one and shoot you without remorse. There are other days I try to understand that you had a good reason but what I can’t comprehend is how you lied to me for twenty years with the reason for your lies within our reach. Every day you looked at her, and every time you made a big deal of the milestones in her life was an opportunity to tell me, but you did not and that I find it hard to forgive. You know why? Because you willfully and knowingly lied to me for all the years of our marriage.  Our home was fabricated on lies.What we had is over Segun.”

My heart broke, but I knew it was the best for us. May be somewhere in the future we might find a place to work our way back to what we once shared. I was too hurt to see a way out right now and being truthful to myself was what I owed myself, and the child I carried.

I saw the pain flash through his eyes so fleeting and quickly replaced with an expressionless face.
“Do you want a divorce?”
My no was so quick and vehement, and I did not realise it until I saw the smug look on his face as he closed the gap and kissed my lips ever so lightly that I was not sure if the kiss did happen except for the feelings it evoked. I could never consider a divorce I just needed the space from him till I was able to work out my hurt. But in my quick answer and his smug look, it was easy to see his conclusion that there was still hope.