Omowashe Omorishe #36

second-chance

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.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Meena’s Diary#11

For seven days I roamed the City of Love,  another name for Paris, shopping till almost dropped dead. I should be feeling guilty spending our savings on myself, but I was far too gone to care. I was neither remorseful nor calculating our mortgage payment. I was on me and mone alone trip. After all, who knows what waits for me at home. I might be moving out and finding myself on the singles lane again.

wordle-girlstoys

The thought sent a shock of pain through my heart. Was that what I wanted? Was this pain ever going to go away? But was it all worth it to throw away twelve years of marriage away.

Why was I going agog on this infidelity thing? If it pained me so much, why, don’t I pay JK back in his coin? We could live together and have separate lives. You do your own thing, and I do mine. We could go out with whoever we wanted to.

I dropped the shopping back on the floor of my hotel room. Turned on the tap to run water. I wanted to soak myself in and wash away all the toxic feelings.

I came to Paris on a whim trying to get as far away as possible  from my problem but the whole thing was constantly in my thoughts.

JK sent series of WatsApp message to my phone, and I replied none. He had called me severally, but I did not pick his calls. I still had not confronted him before I left and I was not going to either.

Falling into the soft fresh bed, I reached out for the TV control on the bedside and flipped through channels looking for something interesting to watch but finally settled for an English news channel.

My French was horrible from Bonjour to  Cava bien mercie to Oui. I can’t remember where I was when my mates were taking French in high school. I must have been taking one of the three Nigerian languages.  And later during the one-year compulsory service after university Alliance francaise was the in thing. I  sill was not found on the foreign language zone. I was struggling with professional exams.

Every morning I wake up and hear the bellman’s greerings, I  am not sure if he is cursing beyond his “ Bonjour Madam.” But If I am to go by the smile that lights up his face. Then he must be singing blessings on me.I reached out for my phone and scrolled to my Facebook page. I had posted pictures of myself while I was shopping on the streets of Paris today.

I needed something to distract me, or I would go crazy.I still was not ready to talk about my problems to my friends.

“Oga Ju! We can see JK’s hand,” a friend commented.  People read what they want. Who was to know that the heart of the smiling face they saw was in turmoil.

“I go love o,” another comment. If only they knew.

“Where is JK in the picture?” Another asked.

“Making the money while his Babe spends it,” yet another friend commented.

“If only Ibrahim can do half of what JK does,” moaned Khadijah.

“You sure do not want him to do a pinch of it. Infidelity sucks!” I muttered to myself.

I closed the Facebook page and checked my twitter account; there would be some serious stuff there.

I checked for updates on work related issues and finally gave up switching off the phone to avoid JK’s calls.

I tossed and tossed in the bed trying to find a comfortable position to sleep. I was tired, but sleep eluded me.

 I gave up and went to the balcony of my hotel room,  beholding the beautiful city with all the lights in the night. The midnight sky filled with bright tiny stars bore no similarity to my feelings, and I sighed sadly. There was a time in my life when I believed the stars will always shine. Especially those moments when JK cast his gaze upon me. You could see the feeling of adoration and love in those eyes.

We loved looking at the stars then trying to outdo the other person with how much stars you could count and wishes you could make. JK always said he would give me the stars and more. It was for me to ask. I never did ask because I knew he would do everything to get them. I smiled. That was the kind of person he was. I am yet to comprehend what he has become. It was not in JK to cheat on me. I held his heart securely but maybe not enough. Somewhere along the line, I lost his heart and did not realise it until it was too late.

I sighed and walked back inside. It was like a lifetime away. How was I to know that all our dreams will be snatched away by JK himself? That he would take away the stars that made our lives so beautiful for an intruder who was maybe half his age, his age or twice his age.

I went to the kitchen for a glass of water, when I heard the knock on my door. It could not be room service at this hour. I quickly put on my dressing gown over my negligee and opened the door more curious than afraid.

I stood rooted to the spot with shock JK!

 

 

 

Meena’s Diary#8

My eyes flew open while I slowly stretched on the hard seat in the waiting reception of the hospital careful not to wake Hauwau.
The things I heard still rang in my head. To think that I had always thought my friend had her life on a platter of gold and was going through a difficult marriage deeply hid in the false exterior of a fulfilled life. She had opened up to me in the hours that flew while we waited for Sa’a to wake up.

wordle-girlstoys

I gasped when I saw Atiku standing before me. I knew I was not dreaming for my eyes were well wide awake although my addled brain was still trying to process the information.
“You came,” I exclaimed with joy like a little girl who had just received a gift from Santa Claus.
“Where was I supposed to be, when my dear wife is on admission at the hospital? Stay and be working? Oh no! You do not think work is more important than Sa’a?”

I am both confused and shocked simultaneously. What in the first place brought Sa’a to the hospital? I rubbed my eyes tiredly stifling a yawn, and thinking that perhaps I must be dreaming. This was not the attitude of one willing to take on a second wife.
“Atiku, I don’t know what to think.” He did look tired, but this was my chance to broach the subject. Maybe he would have a rethink and the looming calamity over my friends’ home will be averted.
I took a glance where Hauwau lay and was happy she was fast asleep. She would have reprimanded me to let sleeping dogs lie but me in my character of saying what I thought neither paid attention nor gave heed to the warning but for the intervention of providence.

There was no love lost between Hawau and Atiku. How she managed to remain in Sa’as life is still a mystery. One thing Sa’a had not been able to oblige Atiku is forfeiting her friendship with Hawau.
Atiku followed my gaze and his tired face now replaced with a scowl. I could not help but chuckle, and he scowled harder.
“You should get used to her,” I walked ahead to leading the way  Sa’as room.

Sa’a was fast asleep. Atiku rushed to her side holding her hand with so much tenderness that tears rolled down my cheek. I hoped what I heard were lies or a misunderstanding. The picture before me did not portray a man planning to bring in a second wife. There definitely must be a mistake. The look of love and anguish that filled his eyes as he watched Sa’a lying almost lifeless on the bed except her slow but laboured breathing.
“What did the Doctor say?” He asked hoarsely, and I felt so sorry for him.
“She tried to commit suicide.”
“What!” He exclaimed shutting his eyes in anguish.
“Why would she do that?”
I could see the look of confusion on his face.
“Why would she want to kill herself?”
“You have no idea?”
He was looking at me like I had a growth or something not in place on my head.
“Meena, please do not torture me further by going in circles. Tell me what I need to know to rectify why she felt the need to try to kill herself.”

A few minutes ago I was ready to give him my opinion and beg him to see reason, but common sense told me to keep shut and let this two work out whatever the issue was.
There was hope for Sa’a. A man heartbroken like what I just saw could not have been the mean guy portrayed in the story Hauwau narrated. Something was not right in the story, but the scene here was looking good.