A silly love story

Valerie had stayed up all night. It could have been by choice but it was more by compulsion. She was on the phone all night with Zara, listening to the tale she knew she shouldn’t be hearing because when the events occurred between Zara and Valerie’s boyfriend, it definitely wasn’t for Valerie’s consumption.

It started from needing a friend. Valerie was new in town and she had no one but her ex-boyfriend as her friend. Unfortunately, he is in another relationship now hence he had even less time to spend with her, taking her around town. So he introduced one of his college friends to her. Zara lived not too far from where Valerie stayed so it was easy for them to take a stroll together or to each other’s house or to go on a date together or just hang out. However normal she noticed Valerie and Jon’s friendship was trying to play out, she knew they had both shared something so powerful because Jon had told her of their relationship that ended not so long ago but they had managed to stay friends regardless of their painful and complicated break up.

One evening after Jon dropped off his girlfriend after she had stayed with him for a few days, he wanted to see his good friend Valerie so he drove straight to her. They sat in his car while they spoke. Then his phone rang. It was his girlfriend.

‘’Jon, I forgot something at your house. I’m downstairs to pick it up. Could you come open up for me?’’ she said, acting innocently. She knew Valerie was in town and like a well-known Romeo and Juliet story, almost everyone knew the strong connection that Jon and Valerie once shared. Hence her stay with him days on end and perhaps the cause of deliberately forgetting something for the excuse of coming back again so soon.

Jon shut his eyes tightly together. He knew she wouldn’t let him free that easy. ‘’I’m not home now’’.

‘’Where are you?’’

‘’I stopped at a friend’s’’.

‘’Can I come meet you there?’’

‘’No, I’ll come to you. Wait for me’’. Then he hung up. Facing Valerie, he said, ‘’I have to go’’.

‘’Yes, I got that. See you around’’.

‘’I’m sorry’’, he said in that usual concerned way.

‘’It’s ok’’ and she stepped out of his car but didn’t wait to watch him drive away.

Getting upstairs to her room, she knew it had upset her that he had to leave her to meet his girlfriend who was the same person he had once cheated on her with. He blamed it on the distance between them then but it didn’t take away the hurt and disappointment she felt. So she grabbed her jacket and headed out the door again. She headed for Zara’s house. She didn’t want to be alone.

Jon called her mobile phone on her walk down to Zara’s house. He heard the wind blow through her mouth piece so he asked where she was. She had told him she was going for a walk and they had left it at that. She called Zara on the phone when she got to her house and Zara came out to talk with her. They spoke, gisted and laughed and as they did, Zara recognised Jon’s car driving into her street.

‘’Did you tell Jon you were coming here?’’ Zara asked when she sighted him.

‘’No, why?’’ Valerie asked and turned in the direction of Zara’s eyes when she asked her. Argh! It was Jon. Silly.

‘’Did you guys have a fight?’’ Zara asked.

‘’No’’, Valerie was confused. ‘’Why?’’

‘’I don’t know. He didn’t come here for me, that’s for sure. He must have known you would be here’’.

Jon pulled over and walked towards Valerie. He hugged her as though he hadn’t seen her in days. She liked the way he hugged her. It made her feel like nothing had changed between them. Then he hugged Zara casually.

‘’I know you didn’t come here for me because you didn’t call me to say you were coming’’, Zara accused jokingly.

Jon smiled.

‘’So I’m gonna excuse the both of you and you can talk’’.

‘’Hey’’ he said to Valerie.

‘’I thought you were seeing your girlfriend’’.

‘’Yes, I saw her. She got her stuff and I dropped her off again’’.

‘’That was fast’’.

‘’Oh well’’, he said casually. Then he looked with intent at her and said, ‘’I didn’t want to leave you like that’’.

‘’Like how?’’ she knew what he meant but it was the only thing she found to say at the time. She didn’t want to be overwhelmed by her emotions for him.

He knew she knew what he meant so he ignored her question and said instead, ‘’I knew you would come here’’.

‘’Hmm, very few choices of places to go anyway’’, Valerie laughed.

And they talked and laughed and reminisced and hugged and flirted and all those silly love things they thought they weren’t doing. At the end of it, they had both ended up visiting each other at Zara’s house. He dropped Valerie off at her house and he left her late into the night.

It was that night that Zara called her and one talk lead to the other and before Valerie knew the motive Zara had called for, they were talking about how Jon had also cheated on Valerie with Zara.

‘’So how did it happen?’’ Valerie asked, not really wanting to know but she did want to know.

‘’It wasn’t spontaneous. We thought we were attracted to each other so we planned it actually. We were going to leave college early one day and meet at his’’’, Zara explained unapologetically. Then as if deliberately, she described in detail to Valerie how he touched her, where he touched her and how they both made each other feel.

For some reason, that conversation had gone from late that night into the wee hours of the morning. Valerie got very little sleep afterwards and before she knew it, the sun was up. As she struggled to get up from bed, she thought, one was explainable but two? He had cheated on her with two girls. Then she looked forward to their meeting later in the afternoon. Jon had taken some pictures of her which he said he would help her develop and bring. So she waited patiently for that time.

When they saw, she didn’t want to tell him of what she knew because Zara had made her promise not to tell him what she had told him. So she only just observed him, wondering how easy it must have been for him to cheat on her.

‘’Are you ok? You seem unusually quiet’’ he said.

‘’Why were you with Zara while you were with me?’’ she uttered without giving her emotions away.

She had caught him by surprise. He didn’t know how to answer her. Well, he should have known better than to introduce your ex to your side-chick and expect them to be friends while still treating one as special in the presence of the other without incurring any consequences.

‘’It was out of curiosity. She must have told you’’, he confessed sadly.

‘’You were curios to touch her and to feel her?’’ she was confused at his honesty.

‘’You wouldn’t understand’’, he resigned.

‘’Help me understand’’, she said as she sat there calmly.

‘’You weren’t here. I had a void. You left a void in me I so desperately wanted to fill’’.

Valerie struggled to understand him but for some weird reason, she understood but she refused to be won over so easily. ‘’So at what point were you with her different from the time you were with Ella while you were with me?’’ Even the question seemed unbelievably confusing to her.

‘’Let’s not go there. I apologize’’, he said, looking really sorry and confused himself.

‘’Ok’’, she simply said.

‘’You know it all didn’t mean anything, right?’’ he said, holding her hands gently in that way that usually melts her heart. She looked up into his eyes. She saw the tough, strong and caring man she wanted him to be but she didn’t know if she could ever see him like that again.

‘’I did love you’’, she whispered sadly.

‘’And you know I did. I still do but I didn’t want to keep hurting you because of the distance so I had to end it’’, he explained.

She said nothing but nodded her head. Then said, ‘’I want to go home now’’.

He was hurt that he had hurt her but he didn’t want to insist on making her see reasons or explaining himself when it would only hurt her. So he said, ‘’I’ll drop you’’.

On the ride to her house, he looked constantly at her, trying to read the expression on her face and read the hurt in her heart. When he couldn’t, he reached out to hold her hand while it was on her lap. Perhaps, he would feel the vibe of her emotions from her hand. She looked at him but was not attracted to the whimpering puppy he had become. Yet she knew that all she had come to know wouldn’t change the way she felt about him or erase the beautiful memories they had both shared. … More A silly love story

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Together forever in comfortable separation

One of the commonest slogan for wedding souvenirs these days is ‘together forever’. I remember when I saw that on my wedding souvenirs, I hadn’t asked the printer to add that but he did anyway. So when I saw it, initially I was scared. I was scared at the realization that I would be with this one person for the rest my life. I had never been with anyone past 2 years and I knew I easily tire of anything, especially if at some point I can’t connect anymore. Recently, I celebrated 8 years of ‘conjugal bliss’ and did you notice? I have passed the 2 year mark and we’re still going strong.

Anyway, so it just dawned on me that while I was growing up, my parents had separate bedrooms as do many old couples I know. Heck, at some point even I considered having a separate bedroom from my husband. I suppose I felt I needed it of privacy. Does that even make sense? Why would I want privacy from the person I have sworn to live with together forever?

Well, first and foremost, we are all humans and we need what we need. Imagine someone needing to go the bathroom and because you say he or she is grounded he shouldn’t move an inch. Ultimately, the person will defecate on the spot. Is that even a sensible analogy? Yes, but you get the idea. So as humans, we need what we need. For men, they want a man cave; somewhere to be alone with their books, toys, gadgets or whatever. Somewhere he can be away from the noise and distractions. Just an escape haven of sort. When he’s done refreshing, he comes out feeling better, more energized and better involved in the family. Some women like to take alone vacations or trips sometimes just to rejuvenate and re-energise again. Ultimately, it’s for the good of the family. When you deny your partner of their private space, a lot of things can go wrong – anger, frustration, bitterness and maybe even regret because you haven’t let them be themselves all because they are now married or have ‘certain’ responsibilities. You don’t want to make your partner feel stuck just because they married you. Only a sane mind can be a responsible mind or person.

Anyway, going back to the topic – together forever in comfortable separation. My question is, is it right for a couple to have separate bedrooms and why if you think it’s good or it helps? What are the pros and cons of it and do you think it can help a couple stay together forever even when they are comfortable in their separation?

Well, here are some of the advantages I drew from people’s thoughts. Let me know if you agree or not:
1.It helps better a couple’s sex life: Well, maybe I can see how this can be because it’s not all the time you are in bed together so when you are, of course, you want to make the best use of time and all. If your relationship is good, separate beds or bedrooms could be just what you need to invigorate your love life afresh. Something as simple as dragging the duvet down to the living room and making love there can be very exciting if you only ever have sex in bed.
2.Bigger beds, happier couples: Ergonomic research has confirmed that couples sleep better in bigger beds, waking less often during the night and feeling more rested and happier in the morning. So it would seem that, even if you don’t want to sleep separately, most couples would do well to splash out on a wider bed.
3.Keeps the relationship fresh for longer: You know what they say about distance making the heart grow fonder, perhaps some sort of separation, privacy, longing can fix any some of anxiety or tension or discomfort in your marriage without necessarily going to the extremes.

Ok, so I’m not advocating for separate bedrooms. Like I said, it’s sampling opinions. However, on the negative end, a strong desire to sleep apart because of intimacy problems or even personal preference might do damage. If you simply push away from your partner because of your issues, and don’t deal with the conflict, the problems will still be there in the morning. Sleeping apart as an escape from dealing with problems will only create an emotional distance in addition to the physical one.

Either way, to maintain a balance in your home, find time to do certain things together on a regular basis. Connect with each other and talk everyday so that you are involved in each other’s lives. You don’t want to become roommates, so keep the “married feeling” alive with quality time, and don’t keep each other from ever visiting the other’s room.

A little space is good for marriage. Even if you sleep separately once in a while, it can give you an appreciation for the nightly company when you sleep together again. Sleeping apart is not right for every marriage, however. If the two of you lead separate and busy lives, that bedtime might be what keeps you in sync. Sleeping in the same bed when you are married is a special opportunity to hold hands, talk, or just be near each other. Communication is the key, so talk it over with your spouse before you decide to move out of the bedroom. If you already sleep away from your spouse (voluntarily), reevaluate the reasons, and make sure you are doing the right thing.

Married couples don’t have to sleep together all the time. Every couple is different, and maybe it does work for some people. Just check your motives and know what works for you.
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I have no right

I have no right
To look at you as long as my heart desires
I have no right

My Beloved,
My heart says
You have every right

The night is waning away, its melting away,
The talk about love is increasing slowly
My bangles are humming; can you hear what it says?
You have the right to keep me up all night
You have that right
To steal the moon from full moon night
You have the right

For in the morning you will gone from me
Yet I will not be able to forget every single moment spent with you
Your face
Your smile will forever be in my thoughts

To feel restless in thoughts of you
I have that right
To feel thirsty to meet you
I own that right

Nevertheless, my beloved,
My heart says I have no right
More I have no right

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A short story: With eyes wide open

January is always a good place to begin a new chapter. With the New Year excitement in the air and unrealistic resolutions flying about, it seemed like the best time to hope anew. So Dupe prayed for a miracle for that year. She wanted an angel to wipe away all her tears of yesteryears, assure of the wonderful tomorrow she’d always dreamed of and take care of her today. And almost as if God heard her prayer, she met this man that same January.

“May I pay for that?”

Dupe looked up at him. He was huge and very ordinary looking. He must have thought she was less fortunate to have walked into a supermarket and picked something that she didn’t have money to pay for. Or worse still, that she was hopeless enough to hope for any stranger to pay for her shopping. He had a little girl with him. He looked old enough to her father and Dupe too had her younger sister. It didn’t seem like a good condition to be picking up a potential date.

“No, thank you”, she said and moved along.

It seemed like a good day to do nothing but spend the little pocket money she had managed to save and enjoy the outdoors. Dupe hardly enjoyed doing that. So she went across the supermarket and sat at a coffee shop with her sister. Soon later, the huge looking man showed up again with the little girl asking nicely to join them. Dupe refused to let it turn into some fancy chase so she let him sit across her sister and herself with the little girl. She was adorable to look upon anyway but that was all Dupe let herself admire – to look and not get familiar. But before she knew it, he was beginning to talk, casually, of the things she had thought in her private moments. Speaking as though he had heard her prayers, seen her dreams and knew her pain and although her sister couldn’t understand it, Dupe instantly connected with this stranger. There was nothing familiar about him but he spoke so familiar. So before it dawned on her that it was their first meeting, Dupe had promised to see him again.
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I only hear what I want to hear

Don’t get me wrong

I love it when you engage me intelligently

It’s rare to find those who are able to hold me down in such lines of conversation

So I let you talk

You end up saying so much

But I can only understand so much

Some call it selective hearing

But I’m only I struggling to keep up

Sweetheart, I’m not deaf

I hear you

But I only hear those things I want to hear
More I only hear what I want to hear

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Aren’t we encouraging corruption in an anti-corrupt dispensation?

Nigeria, under Change dispensation, has been experiencing a lot of “changes” which aren’t favorable to the people but some of us choose to stand by our decision. Believing that the change we want though might not be easy but we trust that the government is on the right track to getting us back where we need to be. Having said that, while my salary hasn’t increased and thousands of people are still losing their jobs across organizations, how does the government expect us to keep up with the news delivered by the Minister of petroleum. On the 11th of May, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu announced the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, effectively ending fuel subsidy which leaves us now with a new price for petrol at N145 per litre. That’s over 65% increase. Chai!

Not that we haven’t suffered the adverse effects leading to this eventual situation but if we must suffer any further, shouldn’t there be an alignment with the masses? Shouldn’t there be a consideration for the masses out of jobs? Or the civil servants whose minimum wage can’t afford a bag of rice or put into consideration the new price of the now overrated tomato? (Breathing out)

The Nigeria Labour Congress has now insisted on a nationwide indefinite strike which commenced today based on a deadlock meeting with the Federal Government of Nigeria. Whether I’m staying at home indefinitely or not, it doesn’t alleviate the sufferings we are facing in Nigeria or take away the fact that I have been suffering to get fuel at even more outrageous prices than N145 in the past 6 months. Neither does it imply that my salary will be increased by my organization to suit the increased fuel price or the overrated tomato price. So biko, both NLC and Federal Government, is anyone exactly fighting for the benefit of the people? Where was NLC when people were risking their lives and suffering to buy fuel in the tanks of their generators, risking lives and properties? I just want to plead the cause of the masses so that both NLC and Federal Government arise to their responsibilities, align with Nigerians and let us understand what is happening so we can all buy into the idea of change that you sold so beautifully to us. Because if the government isn’t going to help me alleviate my issues and NLC is not exactly being considerate, how do we achieve zero corruption in our country?

Just my thoughts.
More Aren’t we encouraging corruption in an anti-corrupt dispensation?

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Save the daughters

With a heavy heart, I write this every time. The other day, it was the issue of domestic violence that caught my attention on social media, today it is the issue of child rape. A daughter is the most precious, most delicate gift God ever gave the world. I don’t understand why evil minded perverted men will want to defy God’s precious gifts. Yesterday, it was the issue of a man in Adamawa state in Nigeria raping a 4 year old girl to death. The day before it was the issue of a so-called pastor defiling a 7 year old girl on the altar of a church in Oyo state? The day before that it was a man in Kano state raping and even, unbelievably, impregnating a 5 year old girl. However possible it is for a 5 year old to even get pregnant, I need a doctor to explain this to me because this has gone way beyond scary. What?! Seriously, what is wrong with the society now or should I just ask what the world is coming to.

I’m sure there are females your age who are willing to give you satisfaction in exchange for whatever. Why not approach those instead? Anything at all but not raping a small innocent child. Please, for God’s sake STOP IT! Forget the stigma even, the trauma, the health implications for that child, the psychological effect and a host of others is more than enough to truncate the progressive development of that child. They might never even survive it. Then the parents have to face the stigma.

Mothers, I know it is unending the teachings of having to take extra care of your girl child but please, help them to be watchful, to be mindful at all times. I know it’s not easy, especially for the child who just wants to play and let loose, but unknowingly there’s a perverted man around the corner looking at her in an ungodly way. So how do you tell them to play like this or sit like that or be conscious like this? Too much to take in but that’s what the world has come to now. We need to teach them these things and help them be reminded of them always. Early sex education has automatically now become a necessity. Of course, there are levels to exposure and awareness per age group but you can seek a counselor’s help in knowing the right amount of sex education for your child’s age.

I am raising an awareness, calling on mothers, fathers, teachers, civil adults, responsible adults and the government to help us preserve our daughters. Save the daughters so we can benefit of a better tomorrow. … More Save the daughters

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A kiss on the forehead

In my vulnerable state

When in need of love, in need of comfort and assurance

He could have held me and told me all will be well

But he looked at me, deep into my eyes

I saw that man that is him

And he saw me in me in the nakedness of my weakness

Thrown, tired and helpless

He began to move close, his eyes never leaving mine

Until it reached the point where I could see it no more

I felt his breadth upon my face and the softness of his lips upon my forehead

I was caught unawares

For he had, perhaps unknowingly, showed me respect in exchange for my weakness

He had just kissed me with the deepest implications of love and trust

Because his intentions were devoid of any obligations

It says to me ‘I may like you as a friend,

I may like you as a partner,

I may want to throw you up against a wall

But right now,

I don’t need anything more from you other than to assure you of my adoration for you’.

This, for me, is the intimacy

Because you have seen me just the way I am

And you have loved me just the way you perceived me … More A kiss on the forehead

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Dealing with Domestic Violence

Have you seen the movie, “Confessions of a marriage counselor” or more recently “War room”? It’s good to watch the movies with your partner, they say. Why though? I haven’t come to the conclusion yet.

Have you noticed that there’s not one day, on social media, when you don’t find a horror story about domestic violence these days? So the question on everyone’s lips is, ‘has this always been the case or is it social media bringing these issues to limelight?’ Either way, the level of carelessness and giving to domestic violence is amazing, scary and horrifying. I thought marriage is about finding the bone of your bone and the flesh of your flesh – an agreement and consent between two adults to love and care for each other for the rest of their lives. My people say, ti iku ile o ba p’ani, t’ode o le p’ani. Meaning if the death within won’t kill you, none outside can. It’s in Yoruba language. I recall reading from the book of Psalms about eating and dinning with the enemy. The closest ones to us are the ones who hold the power to harm us the most, if we choose to ignore the signs. However, it has become disheartening when it is that special person who vowed to love and care for you, to protect and provide for you who turns out to become your worst nightmare. Worst still, the cause of your death. My bible tells me that there is one life, after which comes judgment. It’s just one life. Flee from all appearances of domestic violence. Can I shout this out loud? FLEE FROM ALL APPEARANCES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! How do we build a great nation when the foundations are now being shaken?

So what is domestic violence anyway? It is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. It is important to note that domestic violence does not always manifest as physical abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse can often be just as extreme as physical violence. Lack of physical violence does not mean the abuser is any less dangerous to the victim, nor does it mean the victim is any less trapped by the abuse.

I also advocate that you need to understand the peculiarity of your marriage. Watching War Room might not fix the problem. You need to accept that. The plot of your life and that story is different, ok? And you need to understand that the essence of watching the Confessions of a Marriage Counselor is not to boost a lazy man’s ego. It will not take away what is wrong with your marriage either. And just because it didn’t happen to your mother and her mother, doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t happen for you or vice versa (however applicable that is for your situation). And that’s the most important thing, knowing and appreciating the peculiarity of your marriage and situation.

So the churches tell you to keep praying and be patient when you ask for help. The society says it’s the norm. Your parents tell you it’s what they’ve also had to face. Your children need both their parents anyway. Your partner needs you to keep feeding his ego too and you? What do you need? You will constantly be pulled in all different directions until you summon courage to do what you need to do for you. Only the living can worry about what other people think, remember? Life will always go on, it doesn’t start neither will it end with you. You need to take care of you.

And of course, there are the additional barriers to escaping a violent relationship.
•The fear that the abuser’s actions will become more violent, and may become lethal if the victim attempts to leave
•Unsupportive friends and family
•Knowledge of the difficulties of single parenting and reduced financial circumstances
•The victim feeling that the relationship is a mix of good times, love, and hope along with the manipulation, intimidation and fear
•The victim’s lack of knowledge of or access to safety and support
•Fear of losing custody of any children if they leave or divorce their abuser or fear that the abuser will hurt, or even kill, their children
•Lack of the means to support themselves and/or their children financially or lack of access to cash, bank accounts, or assets
•Lack of having somewhere to go (i.e., no friends or family to help, no money for hotel, shelter programs are full or limited by length of stay)
•Religious or cultural beliefs and practices may not support divorce or may dictate outdated gender roles and keep the victim trapped in the relationship
•Belief that two parent households are better for children, despite abuse

All I can say is, after all that is said and done, your peace of mind and sanity with hard work is always the key to a fulfilled life. It’s not tenacity in concealing what’s not working. At the end of the day, you can’t even fulfill destiny in any unfavorable circumstances.

So, do you want to be useful for yourself and the society really or be wretched or even worse dead because you tried to keep up appearances and save face?

It’s not even a joke anymore. If we need to make a difference in the world, we need to be alive to do it.
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