All posts by Mz.shioze

I'm a fun loving person who loves food and nature.

The Begging Child

Tell me please…how is it that you speak so well but move in the suburbs?

Well, I go to school and sit by the window listening to people speak.

What exactly is your story little one?

If I start to speak out the words describing exactly how I feel, how we feel, how it feels, we may spend the week here and perhaps the weekend too. However I am obliged by my mates here to give you just a sneak peek of how we survive here daily, how we live just for the day with no hopes of a tomorrow because truthfully, our tomorrow never comes — we only have today.

We come from diverse neighborhoods and estranged homes but somehow we all found a family in each other. I am here with my elder sister — who is autistic and my kid brother. Our poor parents died a very long time ago of some strange illness and our villagers sent us away saying we were possessed. My siblings and I found our way to the big city after several weeks of trekking and eating raw plants in a bid to survive.

I thought that after coming to the big city, my elder sister will become normal once we saw the ‘Man that God sent to Earth’ so that she can take care of my brother and I, but I think my sister’s faith was not strong enough and because she did not believe, she remained as she was. And so I was left with the responsibility of taking care of us.

I cannot start to tell you how many people tried to sell us when I approached them for food and shelter for myself and my siblings and how we always kept running every single day to avoid their angry-money wanting hands but I can tell you how we finally found a home, a home where we all understand each other — this home where you are now looking at all of us.

It was one heavy raining night — when the city of Lagos had gone to bed and people like my siblings and I had been chased out from under the bridges for a cleaner Lagos without nowhere to go. I was very cold but more so, I felt pity for my sister who did not understand what was happening and was crooning behind my brother for warmth, constantly tugging at his shirt. In that swift moment of desperation, I cut my long skirt in half and wrapped her with the half of it hoping she would leave our brother alone but she kept clinging to him. I looked at them with tears unshed as I prayed silently for the heavy rain to stop. There was no way we could find a shelter with the kind of rain that was blowing sand and dirts into our mouth and faces. We ran around looking for shelter in abandoned stowaways and market sheds but at every turn we made, someone else was already occupying it. My kid brother must have seen something because he started running and I grabbed my sister’s arm and ran with him wondering what must have triggered him. Suddenly he stopped, looked at me and shifted back. I knew what that meant, so I stepped forward and walked into the shabby uncompleted building and created a shelter for us all. It was not a covered shelter but it was a place where we could hide by the corners and rest our heads till the morning with the rain still falling on us.

I must have slept off for too long because I felt someone jab me by the stomach, quite intrusively. My first instinct was to fight back but as I opened my eyes, I suddenly closed them because the light shining down at me was too much. I realized it was morning already as I looked up at the young lad who had jabbed at me. I quickly stood up and smoothed my skirt saying ‘I’m sorry, we will leave now,’ as I bent back to wake my siblings.

“Let them be.” I heard him say to me. “Who are you?”

“Nobody,” was my instant reply… “we are not meaning to intrude. We will go now.”

He kept quiet as he watched me wake up my siblings, telling them that we had to leave. I didn’t realize that he had two others standing with him way up in the opposite direction until one spoke out… “they are clearing the streets because of the elections and locking up people like us. Stay for a day before you set out with your people, it is not safe out there today.”

I turned to face who had spoke and saw a young girl just like me looking at us. Suddenly, I realized there were so many peeping eyes from several corners of the building looking at us. I held my siblings closer not sure what next to do. “Please, let us go. We meant no harm.”

We mean no harm too. We are just like you but we have made a home here, and you are welcome to join us after today. Stay and join us for the morning food. The younger boys have gone out very early to get the scraps that the Akara women and the buns seller at the junction feeds to them. It is usually enough for us all to manage till the evening when we all get back from the daily hustle, only that today’s hustle will be different because of the elections, so the girls may go out in the afternoon with some of the boys to see what food they can hustle and I and the older ones will go out later tonight to help with the night meal till we resume work tomorrow, hopefully.”

I looked at them in pity wishing that I could help them all, and then realizing that I was also in the situation, I offered to help. “Can I join the girls in the afternoon…I am sure I will learn from there.”

Take today off and rest. You will need it for tomorrow, hopefully when we start work proper. Get used to the system here. What should we call you?”

Oma.”

And the people with you?”

My sister, Blessing and my brother, Osas.”

Welcome home, Oma.”

That was how I made a home and we grew together in friendship, making sure that we took care of each other at every turn while on the streets hustling and begging and making sure that the 35 of us all returned home safely. That was two years ago.

We used the money from our begging spree to start the business of buying and selling but only three weeks ago, the police arrested Stanley, the head of the house because he was hawking at odd hours. I tried to go with the second eldest to beg the police to release Stanley but they would not listen to us. We pray for him everyday hoping that one day, he will come back to us. We are trying to raise money now to get him out and so we are more merciless with our begging.

Just in case you see me running towards you or towards your car, please remember to put some money in my bowl, it is for Stanley’s bail.

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Relationships: What kind of love is too much to handle?

Have you ever felt like you were not loved enough by the one person you truly admire or have you felt that they loved you too much and you can’t return the favor?

Have you felt that everything that the person does should or ought to revolve around you or have you felt that the person ought to give you some space?

Have you ever felt that the words coming out from the person’s mouth are utter false lies and sugar coated words that does not bare deep down in your soul or have you felt that you hear the words too often you are afraid you will hurt the person?

Have you ever felt that gut feeling that tells you, you are not the only one in their life and just zip up before you go haywire or have you felt that you are the only person in their life and you are afraid they will go insane if you leave?

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CREDIT: Google

To what extent then, should you love – even when your heart is bursting with all the emotions and you can’t keep calm? OR To what extent, should you not love so that you don’t give off the wrong vibe?

To what extent, should you hide your true desires just so that in the end you don’t get hurt? OR To what extent, should you accept their love and try to let them know you don’t love them as much?

To what extent, should you not expect or hope for things, just so things do not go south? OR To what extent, should you go, to let them know not to expect so much from you because you can’t love them just as much?

To what extent really, can you compromise on this love thing?

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CREDIT: Google

These may seem like a lot of questions but I was going through a poem a friend of mine wrote yesterday and I just had these many thoughts in my head. So here is my own fantasy tale:

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CREDIT: Google

Just when you think that there is nothing called love, someone comes by your door and teases you with a piecemeal offering of it – you try to neglect it but the person is persistent. So you finally taste it, it feels so good but just when you return to have some more, the person (who was standing by the door) you finally offered a chair, is knocking at your neighbor’s door – so you sigh and close your door, knowing fully well that you have just lost your chance to what might or might not be love.

As you try to move on, the person comes knocking again and this time you open fully wide, hoping that it will stay – at least for a while and it does. You feel good, very good and you begin to want more without really saying it because you don’t want it to go back to your neighbor’s door or any other neighbor for that matter. So you lock it off and smile.

The person looks at you sometime later and asks to look outside your compound for a bit, you oblige because love does not possess. It wanders around looking at the beauty outside and you wonder what is taking it so long to come back inside, so you peep through the window and see how happy it is alone outside. You want to join in, you wish you could but you don’t want to take the first step because you think it should acknowledge your presence and take you there too, so you writhe in pain – waiting, hoping, desiring.

It never comes and somewhere along the line, you close your door to stop the dust from coming in since it has been open for too long. You look out again from your window and wait a while, still watching. It still doesn’t look at you, so you shut the window in anger because you are tired of looking and you tuck yourself underneath the duvet, fighting back the unshed tears.

As you begin to sleep peacefully after days of counting the ceiling over and over, you hear a knock on your door but instead you open your window and see the person standing outside, cold and hungry. You pity it but resolve not to open the door and rather create a shed by the window where you pass out warm blankets and a hot meal. You want to let it in, you want to hold it but you are not quite sure it will stay and you have a huge lump somewhere in your throat that makes it uneasy to ask the brooding question – so you keep quiet and watch it eat instead, as it smiles at you wondering why you spoilt the door – because that is what you told it happened to the door – at just the short time it was not around.

You look at it, hoping that it will get the cue to at least repair the ‘broken door’ from outside to come in or ask how it can fix it for you but it doesn’t and you just smile. You wait for it to sleep as you look at it smiling, singing; once it closes it eyes, you count to twenty and silently say goodbye as you shut the window forever!

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CREDIT: Google

When do you know when to draw a line in a relationship? What kind of love will you consider toxic to you? When will you know that this relationship is too much for you to handle? When should you pull out? What kind of love is too much for you to handle?

OR

Is it rather worth it to have a conversation with your partner even though the signs are clear? Is it really true that there is nothing too much for one to handle?

Let me know your thoughts as you drop your comments below – you know I love to read from you.

Thank you for stopping by!

Free Education for Homeless Children

Ever heard about 1000 helping hands?

The child education and empowerment charity – Destiny Trust, has stated that most of the children in urban centers who have no home, will not have access to education despite government’s free education policy; unless deliberate efforts are made to address the peculiar problems they face.

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The programme Manager, Oluwaseun Abimbola, stated this in a Press Release announcing the kick-off of the charity’s annual crowdfunding campaign “1000HelpingHands” to support school enrollment and reintegration of out-of-school children in homeless settlements around Lagos.

According to him, “children become hard to reach with the opportunity of free education when they don’t have a home. We must pursue initiatives to address child homelessness and ensure that children displaced from school environments are reintegrated into school. From our work, we find that a vast majority of out-of-school children of school age in communities we work with, were once in school. Some of them dropped out of school because there was no stable home environment through the years of basic education. Some lost home in squatter settlements during urban gentrification and were displaced from where they go to school. With repeated experience, they lose motivation to go back to school in new environments because they are not sure of how long they will be there.This demography will continue to raise illiteracy statistics if nothing is done to address the issues. Consequently, efforts to fight child illiteracy in Nigeria must be taken seriously in securing a stable environment for children to grow and get basic education”.

Through #1000HelpingHands campaign, the organization is calling attention to the unique problem the homeless children face and asking members of the public to support the #1000HelpingHands fundraising campaign, so as to put more out-of-school children in school and assist those who may have dropped out of school to go back to school this September 2018.

With donations from the public, the organization provides basic school needs to children, ensure they are enrolled in schools around them and support under-resourced schools that admit the largest number of children. The organization’s intervention has been in slums and poor communities around Lagos. The organization also runs a residential learning and rehabilitation center which provides home accommodation to children who are either orphaned or who have no responsible guardian or parent.

Some people out there have joined in the 1000 hands and have started donating to this cause so as to help the kids out of school get back to school.

As a well-meaning member of the public, you are invited to support this cause as well as make up the 1000 hands by donating, sharing this information and encouraging people within your social network to donate, in order to give the opportunity to more children to be educated with the collective contribution.

Donations can be made by direct transfer or cash payment to the Trust’s account:

                   Account Name: The Destiny Trust Projects

                   Bank: Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) PLC

                   Account Number: 0209963873

OR through a safe online payment platform available through the link https://paystack.com/pay/1000Hands

Join the cause for free education for out-of-school kids and be a kid’s helping hand! Your donations will go a long way and no amount is too small.

Thank you.

Relationships: Best ways to respond to ‘I love you’

Most people find themselves in several kinds of relationships ranging from family, platonic friendships, romantic affairs to/or Godly/Christlike relationships and sometimes, there is that need to show and tell the next person that you care – whether you self started it or they did. Either ways, it will finally bee-hove on you to show back that you care just as much and so when those people you have a relationship with in your life say the words ‘I love you’, how best should you respond?

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There might be several approaches to this statement and quite also, various ways to respond depending – of course – on the relationship you have with that person. The scenarios might play differently but I have listed below several types of responses in several relationship types…read on.

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Please keep in mind that it took a lot for this person to tell you how they feel – especially if they ACTUALLY feel that way. If you are not ready to say “I love you” back to a person you are romantically involved with but you do care about them a lot; I recommend looking them in the eyes, smiling, and then making out with their face. A passionate kiss will feed their ego, while subtly letting them know that you’re not quite ready to say it back.

Or you could say:

  • “Hearing you say that makes me so happy.” OR
  • “It means so much that you’re opening up to me like this. Thank you.” OR
  • “I’m so happy you told me.”

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If you’re dating this person however and you have crossed the 3 months wait-line (which is most times, the probationary period in your head to see if ‘this‘ will last a while and not just a crush), the main thing to remember is that you want to appear HAPPY that they told you this. If you seem scared or upset, things are going to go downhill. So here are instances of the kind of response to give…

Person: I Love You.

You: ‘Sometimes I feel like my heart will burst with happiness when you say those three words!’

_________

Person: I love you.

You: ‘To the moon and back.’

_________

Person: I Love You.

You: ‘And I’m crazy about you!’

________

Person: I Love You.

You: ‘If I could say how much I love you in mere words, I might be able to talk more.’

_________

Person: I Love You.

You: ‘Me too and I’m yours, forever.’

_________

Person: I Love You.

You: ‘I know, I love you too.’

________

Person: I Love You.

You: ‘You’re the only sunshine of my life.’

_________

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However, if you’re not dating this person and don’t have romantic feelings towards them, tell them you love them too but as a friend. While it sucks to hear that, it’s a good way to let them down easy. So for instance;

Person: I love you

You: ‘Lol, thank you and I love myself.’

___________

Person: I love you.

You: ‘Awwn, now you are going to make me cry. I hear that a lot!’

__________

Person: I love you.

You: ‘I really like you too but just as a friend.’

__________

Person: I love you.

You: ‘You are so on your own my dear friend.’

_________

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Sometimes the statement could just come when you do not expect to hear it and you are thinking of how best to process it and give a worthy response. It may not all be that easy at times but here is what you could likely say if you truly adore that person. So for instance –

If the person is family [a sibling, a parent, a relative]…

Person: I love you

You: ‘When did you become so soft? Are you okay?’ (If the person is your elder sibling/relative) OR ‘You know I will do anything for you.’ (If the person is a cherished cousin/twin) OR ‘I love you too dear one, so what do you want this time?’ (If the person is your younger sibling/niece/nephew) OR ‘I love you too.’ (If the person is a parent).

If the person is a platonic friend…

Person: I love you

You: ‘You know I love you more and nothing can change that.’ (If it is a really close friend) OR  ‘I hate you forever!’ (If the person is a long time friend) OR ‘Awwwn babe, I love you too.’ OR ‘Much love dear.’ (If it is just a mutual friend you met three months ago).

If the person is someone you don’t even have an actual LIKING to or someone random…

Person: I love you

You: ‘What kind of nonsense is that?’ OR ‘When did this rubbish start?’ OR ‘I love myself too’ OR ‘Everybody does, get over it!’ OR ‘And God loves you too my dear.’ OR ‘Ehya…you will snap out of it soon, don’t worry.’ OR ‘Very funny, please shift biko.’ OR ‘Thank you.’

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Other possible reactions to the question – when you actually do LIKE the person so much but you are not sure if they mean what they say – may include –

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1: When you’re tired of hearing “That was a joke. I was only flirting. You really thought that was serious?

Person – “I love you”

You – “Hahahahaha what? Very funny! Please shift make I see road.”

2: When you’re tired of hearing “ I don’t know what I was thinking then. I was so sick. I am really sorry if this hurts you.”

Person – “I love you”

You – Feels their forehead. “Are you sure you aren’t sick? Say it next week when you feel okay.”

3: When you’re tired of hearing “I loved you then, I don’t love you now.”

Person – I love you

You – “and this mode lasts till…? Abegii” upturns an hourglass in your mind.

4: After almost two decades on the planet, several images of previous dates on social media and you hear it from the person you always knew. Please.

Person – “I love you, you’re my only and first love”

You – “I hear you! Linus Linda Mba” *smirk smirk* (Come on, liar)

5: When you really wish to see where it goes and stay polite.

Person – “I love you.”

You – “Don’t say, prove it!”

NB: No, proving doesn’t mean someone has to jump off a cliff for you, that is not being in love, that’s insane.

6: The epic ones you get to hear

Person – “I love you, I cannot live without you.” *Sad face*

You – Leaves. “ Please die before you kill me.”

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I love you is 95% a promise, and 5% a confession, most people never seem to understand that. It needs to be proven everyday, in small subtle ways, not just for days, months or years, but for a lifetime. Period.

What would be your ideal response to the words ‘I love you’? Are you the kind of person to lead someone on with your response or would you just smile and wave away the statement without an actual response? I’d love to read your comments and thank you for stopping by!

 

Relationships: Heartbreaks – Pins & Needles?

The toughest part of letting go, is realizing the other person already did! Because it is funny how when someone says they love you, you can’t really feel it because you hardly think you love the person back but when they say they don’t love you anymore, you can then begin to feel every ounce of what was drained out of your entire being. Really amazing!

Do you ever understand this feeling of tingling? This feeling of numbness, quiet and then gradually pain and grief? Yes, that is the situation with pins and needles. Should I liken it to a heartbreak? I think so. Because the worst feeling is feeling unwanted by the person you want the most.

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Recently, my friend was heartbroken and I could not but feel all the empathy I could for her. She was in a place of grief. A place of numbness. A place of pain and terrible heartache. I watched my friend struggle to sleep and breathe. I watched my friend cry over and over again. No amount of my cheerfulness could cheer her up. I saw that it was best to let her cry out her grief; for there could be a million reasons why she should have just given him up, but the heart will always want what it wants.

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I was upset. I was livid. I was furious.

How does someone make you so vulnerable that every other thing around you makes no sense without them? How do you build your life around someone so much so that when they pull free, everything in your world crumbles to dust? How do you not want to eat so that you can at least stay alive for the next great amazing thing that might happen to you all because someone has left you? How do you struggle so hard to breathe because you have cried so much even your body cannot take it anymore? How?

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This was the exact situation of my friend and I struggled hard to try to make her smile, to say the least. It seemed like all my efforts could not get to her at a certain point. She refused to eat. She could not sleep. She was always absent minded, sometimes I would worry how she went about her day at work. She would ignore all calls, all texts and all chats, waiting and hoping that ‘he’ would call or even text. He never really did. The only time he called, it lasted for barely two minutes and my friend was more distraught, I wished he had just not called.

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Sometimes I try to understand the concept of a heartbreak and how it causes severe heartaches that leads to crying for more than a week. Like how do you not feel hungry for more than a week? How do you not know what it means to smile for more than a week? How do you not know how to talk on the phone because you are constantly tired and worn out from crying your entire body out? Just how?

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I don’t want to go about the sordid details of how the man in her life broke up with her via phone over a silly misunderstanding or how he could not have come to see her to iron things out maturely after over two and a half years of their being together. I remember her considering several options like being a nun or even travelling to see him or joining the ministry for single women [Lmao]. It was hilarious but I could tell she was being serious because really, only God can heal a broken heart.

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Two days after my friend kept crying and sleeping, I realized the only thing I could do to aid her healing process, was to be there for her and hold her close till she was okay to move on with her life; because truly, her life still laid bare in front of her and moving on was just the best option. We can try to forget what hurt us but we can never forget what it taught us in the long run.

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Whilst I agree that it is sometimes okay to cry over spilt milk especially the one that may be hard to get, I also hold the opinion that the quicker you move on to clean the spilt milk, the faster your chances of getting another glass in your hand no matter where it will come from. The question to ask yourself really will then be, who was I before they broke my heart? Did I like that person I was? Does this teach me to learn from this experience and be different?

So, I have some questions I need to ask…

  1. How do you really allow yourself to be vulnerable to someone that the mere exit of their presence in your live turns you to a vegetable?
  2. Why do people develop heartaches from heartbreak that spans over a week?
  3. Why do people realize after a heartbreak that the person who just pulled free was right for them all along that it only took the heartbreak to realize that fact?
  4. And really, why do people break up with their partners [long-time standing] for some mere issues that could easily be settled with proper communication and understanding?

Have you ever experienced an heartbreak? If yes, how did it make you feel? Did it feel like the end of the world to you and was there anything you could have done to bring back that partner? Looking back at it, was there anything you wished you had done differently?

I would love to read your comments below on the above issues.

Thank you.

Image Credit: Google

Relationships; Should you talk about that Ex?

An Ex is a term of the past and really should stay there…it has no business being in the future or even the present. So why then do people feel that we should talk about that Ex to our new partner or even tell a dirty little secret that has really lost its’ fire in our lives and really makes no sense anymore, when in all honesty it MAY destroy this new fire that has built up a space in our lives? – Shioze

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Hi guys,

So I have been wondering and thinking a lot and I want to know your thoughts on these issues…

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There are times in your life when you just want to totally give in and do all the things you never really thought would be worth the try. There are those down moments in your life when you think that life should have served you a better plate. There are those times when you actually believe that for once, you maybe deserve better and even more and so you set out to it – doing the things you never thought you would do, going on that fabulous date with that one man you have always assumed would break your heart but you are now just willing to try out the spark that has refused to leave your chest and then the date turns out to be more than just a date; it turns out to be something amazing, something regular, something promising, something lasting, something that you know you DEFINITELY want, something that your gut feelings tell you is the right thing and without a doubt, you plunge yourself fully in, giving it your all.

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Then comes the deal breaker! The head tie that has housed a lot of worms begins to loosen and you see yourself in some sort of trap. In some sort of mess. That Ex you thought you had buried somewhere, out of nowhere begins to suddenly manifest itself out. That spouse of the married person you once dated begins to appear every time you go out with your boo. That one night stand you had on a crazy night out with the girls begins to rear out its’ ugly head. That dirty little secret you never shared with anyone begins to smile at you from behind and you begin to ask yourself, ‘to whom have I done any wrong?’

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You find yourself between telling your new boo about your ugly past or burying it so deep in sand that it doesn’t see the light of day. You begin to deliberate on why you should inform this new boo. Why should you let this boo know about something that doesn’t even matter anymore and will just spoil the good thing you have at the moment? Why should you even disrespect them by being honest with a bittersweet tale that has long been forgotten? Why should you even bother about letting them know? Why now? Then, you start to act weird and strange. You start to dodge your calls because that Ex won’t leave you alone and has suddenly started calling you again. Because that one-night stand has come to town and just wants to see you again. Because every gifts or strange number looks all of a sudden suspicious. You start to lose sleep. You start to lie and cover up simple nothings. You start to fuss and your new boo is worried about this your new strange behavior.

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How would you really go about telling them the truth? Is this something that you even need to tell them about? I mean, they don’t know what you did and will never know unless and until you tell them. Is it a wise decision to even tell them about it seeing that it may change the way they look at you or perceive you?

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Please dear friends, what would you rather do?

Would you rather bury that ugly past that you think is a closed chapter in your life or would you rather tell and face the consequences?

If you would tell, how will you go about telling? Is it worth it at the moment to be honest about these things that, oh well, really don’t matter?

What if the past comes to hunt you and you stand the chance of losing that boo forever, will you succumb to honesty and tell?

Really, what would you rather do?

I will love to read your thoughts on this.

Friday Nights; Sexcapades 6

Click here to read the fifth episode on sexcapades if you are just joining us…Friday Nights; Sexcapades 5

‘Sexcapades’ is the second part of Friday Nights and a continuation of the first part; Reckless Journey; so just in case you might be wondering where the extra characters are coming from, please start reading from…Friday Nights; A Reckless Journey 1

Enjoy!

______________________________

MIMI

Mortified by the sudden intrusion into our privacy, I scrambled and hurriedly put on my clothes as I watched Dafe walk towards the door.

“What is it?” He asked calmly as he opened the door lightly, standing between the open space.

“Someone is here for you from Dr. Imafidon. She says it is urgent.”

“I will be down shortly. Please attend to her and tell her to give me another 10 minutes.”

“Yes, Sir.”

I got to my feet as I tried to straighten my hair and my appearance. He closed the door and walked up to me, kissing me by the nose as he tried to grab me by the buttocks.  Shocked at what could have happened a moment ago, I smacked away his hands. “Stop it jhoor. Leave me.”

“Shut up jare, Mimi.” He said grimly adjusting the neck of my polo and putting his hands into my blouse to adjust the hem of my bra. Then he took my belt and fixed it round the loops of my denim shorts, strapping it tight round my waist. He forced my chin upwards, causing me to look at him. “Hey sexy.” He said softly, “are you okay?”

I jerked my chin away from his touch. “I don’t know. Do I look okay?” My throat burned, I was still aroused and mad and very very embarrassed. I didn’t think I would ever in my life, lose my mind like that to a complete stranger and I hated that I had done so with him; a man whose approach to sexual intimacy was so cynical, it depressed me just thinking about it.

“I know you know that I want you so badly it hurts but I have just been told I have an urgent request waiting for me downstairs. Can you stay a while so I can get done with the person downstairs? You can do whatever you want and have Stanley show you around or make you anything to eat. I will be in my private study, so don’t be bothered about walking around. Please?”

I knew I needed to get away from him; go home and take a long nap, while I think of what I was just about to do with him. Staying behind would just complicate the matter and I didn’t want to do that. “No Dafe, I’ll rather go home. Thank you for the offer.”

His fingers curled around mine, “just so you know, we are not done. I will come back to get you, no matter how many times you push me away.” He leaned to kiss me, “I will have the driver take you home,” as he walked away smiling.

I was terrified!

**************************

ZIZI

There is something I have noticed about life. Just when you think that you have everything all figured and planned out, the unexpected begins to happen!

It was 6pm and I was jittery with excitement as I finished with my make-up and proceeded to wear my new hot burgundy jumpsuit from Deji. Deji had texted an hour earlier to remind me of our date. I had rolled my eyes and stood up to take a quick shower after I read it, wondering why he had to remind me of something that sat on my mind all day. I gave myself one final look after I had worn my very sexy jumpsuit and heels. I decided to pair it up with a gold clutch purse since it matched with my pair of earrings. I looked at my wristwatch, it was 6.26pm. I shivered.

Was I ready for this?

Just then, my phone rang – it was Deji. I picked up on the third ring…

“Hey you, I’m outside.” He started, “Do you want me to come in?”

“No” I hurriedly replied, “I will meet you outside. Give me two minutes.”

“Okay then.”

He ended the call while I frantically thought of what I had forgotten to do. HA! I pulled open the dresser and sprayed a little bit of the perfume I had. I stepped out of the room and told my mum I was going out for a while, hoping that she wasn’t going to ask so many questions. She looked at me as she smiled, “Take care of yourself oo and make sure you come back in time.”

“Bye mum.” I replied smiling at her as I hurried out of the house.

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I walked towards the car with Deji standing right in front, quietly waiting. He looked good. Very good and I was impressed. He came towards me, his strides graceful and strong. He caught up my hands and lifted it to his mouth after which we shared hugs as he smiled broadly at me while he walked me towards the car, opened the passenger’s door for me and I hopped into his Range Rover Sports.

His gaze was intense. Intensely hot, intensely focused.

“Sorry, I’m late.” I started.

“Oh no, really it’s okay. At least you are here and you didn’t take more than three minutes.” He looked at me searching as amusement warmed his eyes, “you look beautiful. The dress suits you just perfectly.”

I smiled brightly delighted at his compliment. “Thank you Deji. It was really thoughtful of you to do.”

A slight frown knitted a space between his brows. “It was the least I could do.” He started the ignition of the car as he looked back at me, “Shall we?”

I nodded my head in affirmation as he drove away. I wondered where he was taking us to and I didn’t want to ask. We made light conversations on the way ranging from my hobbies to his hobbies, my passions and what I enjoy doing, his travel experiences. It was not surprising that Deji had traveled to so many countries; France, Monaco, Chicago, Russia, Malta (I didn’t know anyone traveled there).

“I’m glad I met you.” He suddenly said to me in the middle of our conversation. I wasn’t sure how to respond so I just smiled wondering if now was the time to bring up Omotayo or wait till when we get to where we were headed.

“Now that I think of it…” he glanced at me, “I don’t know your age. How old are you?”

“Is there a reason why my age is of importance?” I asked wondering why he suddenly wanted to know.

“I just want to know. I am 33 if that is any consolation.”

“Oh, wow…you don’t look 33. I would have guessed you were 29.”

“So you think I look young?” He shrugged,  “well, that is something coming from you.”

I chuckled, as I noticed him look at me again and back to the road. “So are you going to tell me your age?” He asked again

“25.”

He looked at me befuddled, “are you serious?”

“Is there a reason why I should lie to you?” I asked.

“Wow! I sincerely thought you were 28 or something. You are pretty young and mature for your age.”

“Oh, I see.” I fiddled with my hands as I looked out the window, enjoying the view of the balustrade on the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge.

“Hey Zii…” he murmured, the vibration of his voice making me ache all over. “I really want us to work and be together.” He took my hand and ran his fingertips over the palm I opened to take in his hand, the simple touch sparking a fierce desire. The way he studied me, while we waited in traffic, made my chest hurt. He looked grateful, his eyes warm and tender.

I was mute, hoping that we get to our destination on time, irrespective of the traffic.

Four minutes later, we arrived at Lagoon restaurant in Victoria Island, where Deji slowed down and finally stopped his car by the parking spot. We walked in and went into ‘Churrasco‘. It was a very lovely and beautiful place. I wondered why I had never heard of it.

As we got to the reception, the lady smiled and asked if we had made any reservations to which Deji affirmed. She looked through her list on her system and after confirming the table for two, showed us where had been reserved for us. The ambience was beautiful and the environment was serene and peaceful. It was really a good place to laugh, eat and talk with soft music playing in the background.

Deji took my hand as we walked to our seat which was just facing the outer view. He pulled out my seat as I sat down while he went over to sit down. Two waiters came to us; one holding an ice bucket of some expensive wine and the other holding a menu. The one with the ice bucket handed it to the other waiter as he opened the bottle of wine and filled our wine glasses before setting down the ice bucket. Deji motioned for the other waiter to hand me the menu and come back later.

The two waiters left, leaving me alone with Deji. It seemed like he had reserved the entire space as there was no one else coming in to the restaurant. I took a gulp of my wine as I remembered that we ought to speak about Omotayo before anything. I didn’t want to spoil the moment but she kept coming up in my head.  I coughed.

“Are you all right?” He asked softly.

I looked at him meekly, “no Deji.”

“Talk to me about it. I am here to listen.” He stretched his hands to hold mine as he stared.

“Well, it’s Omotayo and the thought of her constantly plagues my mind. What is it with both of you?”

He sighed as he placed his palms together and held it under his jaw. He looked at me with concern as he started, “Omotayo is my ex. She was my very first girlfriend and subsequently when I relocated to New Jersey after my secondary education here in Nigeria, we thought it best to break off our relationship. Of course, I had other girlfriends back in New Jersey and subsequently at Berlin, where I started working after college. Omotayo kept in touch and we maintained our friendship. She knew I was dating other people and she was as well, so I didn’t think she had a problem with me dating other people.”

He stopped to look at me searching my face for any expression before he continued, “When I decided to move back to Nigeria three (3) years ago to start my own business, I told Omotayo about it. She was one of the closest friend I had that lived in Nigeria, so it made sense to tell her I was coming home and that she was going to take me to all the new spots that had opened after I left the country. For the first one year of my return back to Nigeria, Omotayo was my right hand man – showing me around and making sure that I wasn’t cheated by anybody. She was more like my personal assistant and for that, I will be forever grateful to her. Seven months after my return to Nigeria, she broke up with her boyfriend Daniel. When I asked her why, because Daniel seemed like a really good guy to me, she said he wasn’t the man of her dreams. I thought she was being crazy or overly ambitious, so I told her to be sure of what she wanted so that she doesn’t lose a good man over nothing. That day, I remember her clearly smiling at me, saying what she wanted wasn’t far from her any longer and that it will take a matter of months before she gets it. At that time, I didn’t understand she was talking about me.”

He stopped to take a sip of his wine. I looked at him, waiting. “Two months after that, I met Theodora – one thing led to the other and we started dating. Omotayo was mad at me. She was always warning off Theodora from me, distracting her and causing trouble. At first, I thought she was doing it to protect me because she knew Nigerian girls better until Elvis told me, it was me she wanted and that she didn’t want any other lady to take what she had suffered to build for years. I was distraught because it took me five months to realize that and that was after Theodora broke up with me, saying that I was a cheat and she couldn’t continue the toxic relationship. I tried to talk to my mum about it but my mum won’t hear of it. Unfortunately, our families are closely tied and my mum really likes Omotayo – so she kept advocating on how Omotayo was and is the best woman that could eventually be my wife. One year and two months after my stay in Nigeria, I took the courage – even after I had told Omotayo that I was no longer interested in her in the way she wanted me to be – and started dating Fisayo. Fisayo was a real catch and she was really great! We were happy together for two months and then she found out about Omotayo. Omotayo knew that Fisayo was a jealous lover, so she capitalized on it and sent her some friendly pictures we took when I first came into Nigeria through a private phone, labeling me as a cheat and calling her my side chick. Some of the pictures contained almost naked pictures of Omotayo with me at the beach and on a yacht with some of our other friends during our first re-union. How she cropped the photos to look compromising is beyond me. Fisayo got very livid and without waiting to ask me, she stormed my home one evening and destroyed my things. I am not a man of too many words and I don’t like toxic people, so I broke it off with Fisayo. I was so upset at what she did and why she would do it. She kept calling me a cheat and a fuckboy but I didn’t understand anything she was saying or what she was talking about; all I could see was how toxic she was. I didn’t even know it was Omotayo’s pictures with me she had seen that got her raving mad. I just ended it. Some weeks later, when I was calmer and ready to listen to Fisayo, she told me how upset she was when she received the pictures and why she did what she did without thinking. She said she finally got to know from Jay that the girl in the picture was Omotayo and my supposedly childhood friend whom had turned to a really close friend. She apologized but there was no way I was going to take Fisayo back, even though I forgave her. When I confronted Omotayo, she openly told me that no one was allowed to date me except herself and that we were destined to be together. I told her off, and ignored her until I met you. I didn’t believe she would continue that way because it constrained our friendship for a period of four months and she promised to stay off my relationships. We weren’t even on talking terms after that and I was clearly shocked that night when she came in to Radisson Blu. Honestly, I didn’t think it would happen.” He sighed.

I looked at him as I wondered what I had put my self into. This Omotayo babe was clearly not going to let Deji be with anyone else ad I wasn’t sure I had the strength to fight with another woman for a man.

He looked distraught, “I don’t know how she does it but she keeps stalking my every relationships and it is terribly upsetting.” He reached out to hold my hands as I pulled them away, not sure I wanted him to hold me. “Ziola, you are really someone I want to start something with and I have barred myself to you because I don’t want to hide anything from you. Please, don’t let Omotayo be a determining factor in something that promises to be beautiful.”

“Deji, this is not just a walk over. This is something I have to take my time to think about. Omotayo is clearly obsessed with you and my dating you will be an intrusion in something she has already imagined to be beautiful. I don’t have the strength to fight over a man.”

“Zii, I’m not asking you to fight over me. I am telling you the obstacles that are surrounding me and I want to have you beside me, standing strong. I will fight for you, no matter what it takes me.”

“I don’t know Deji. Girls like Omotayo are not people to play with. I can’t afford to have someone bath me with acid.”

He looked horrified. “That will not happen to you! Omotayo will never do that!”

“That is what you say but you never know the extent a woman can go to if she really loves a man and someone else is standing in her way.” I sipped my entire wine out of my glass distressed as to how I started to fall in love with a man with such a history. I hated women drama.

Deji looked at me, “are you hungry?”

“Very. After all this story you just narrated to me, food seems to be the only thing that can make me forget my sorrow Deji.”

He huffed as he signaled at the waiter to bring the food we had earlier ordered. My head kept spinning at the entire story I heard.

Was it not better to leave this man when I still had everything in my body and soul intact?

What kind of love will make me date a man who had a complicated history that could later affect me?

I was so lost in thought, I didn’t realize the food had arrived till I felt Deji caress my left palm gently. I looked towards his direction and saw the variety of dishes before me. Suddenly, all the thoughts about Omotayo vanished as I realized I was hungry. I had left my stomach empty in anticipation of this date. The three course meal was lovely and it felt like a private feast. As I chewed on the lamb dipped in curry sauce, Deji reached over and ran a fingertip over the corner of my mouth and then licked off the dab of sauce he had collected. I smiled consciously as I licked my lips.

“Do you by any chance even, like me?” I heard him ask quietly

I was weakened by his question. I didn’t want to answer it as I didn’t even have an answer to it. I looked at him with raised eyebrows as I wrinkled my nose, “I don’t know Deji.”

“Even if it is just 5%?”

“Deji please.”

“I want to know Zizi. Do you?”

I sighed as I nodded coyly. Of course I liked him, wasn’t it obvious? Why was there a need to ask?

“I don’t understand what you mean when you nod like that Ziola. I want to hear you say it. Do you like me 5% or do you like me a whole lot or do you not?”

I set down my fork and looked at him squarely, “Deji, even if I liked you…there is still Omotayo. I’m not ready for that.”

“You still haven’t answered my question babe.”

“Okay fine, I like you Deji…a whole lot.”

He smiled sheepishly for the first time and I thought he looked very cute. I smiled back. “So what do I do to make you mine?”

I swallowed. I took another forkful of my meal and looked at him. “I don’t know Deji. I clearly do not want to be involved in a mess. Fix your mess while you have the time and come back. Just know that I won’t wait for you.”

He groaned softly as he looked at me. The waiters cleared the table and Deji paid the bills. We sat a while and talked about other things before he decided to take me home as the time was fast approaching 9.00pm. When we got to the car, Deji leaned closer to me and nuzzled his nose against mine. I was shocked. He was so fast, I didn’t see it coming.

I set my hands across his chest as I tried to gently push him away. He carried me up with such strength and placed me by the car bonnet as he kissed me for the very first time. His lips was warm and tender and sincerely, I had been craving his kiss from the first day we met. I wobbled on my stilettos as Deji set me down, I was weakened from the full body contact and the instant shock.

“I like you Zizi. I really do and I will do anything to keep you. I won’t let Omotayo be the obstacle to this.” He leaned to me again and kissed my forehead as I swallowed some more spit – tears unexpectedly filled my eyes.

“Hey Zii, look at me…” he held my face and continued, “I never want to hurt you and I want this to happen sincerely and if you want it too.” He looked at me with all concern.

I nodded my head at him as I smiled.

He opened the passenger door and waited for me to get in before closing it. I sat down wondering if that kiss had meant yes. I wasn’t sure. He placed his hands over mine when he got in and said, “I had a lovely time with you tonight. I hope that we can do this more often.”

“Me too.” I smiled as he started the car and took me home.

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Watch this space for more Episodes of Friday Nights.

Till I come your way again next time, this is ShiozeThinksOut.

Cheers!