Hi fam! So I’ve been going on and on about a novel coming up. Had the idea a couple of years ago and just got round to finally completing it. It’s been held onto for too long and it’s about time I let it out. So here’s an excerpt of the book.
Toke looked at her two closest friends once they were both settled on their seats and smiled. This was what she looked forward to in her few times of loneliness and when she wanted to relax and have fun; being together with her friends and discussing anything and everything. But then things were going to change and she was going to be the odd one out.
The trio had met at a women conference few years back and had kept in touch with each other. The distinct personalities each of them had made them flow like the blending of different fruits to produce a delightful flavour; at least that was the way Toke liked to look at it. She didn’t want to think of the fact that she would soon be the only single woman in their midst.
What would conversation with them be like? She thought.
“Honestly Toke, those gowns were beautiful! Thank you so much!” Ibidun thanked her for the umpteenth time since the studio after her dress fitting. “I’m so excited.”
“You’re welcome. Can we please eat now? I’m starving.” She had skipped breakfast that morning because she was up to her neck with work. Ibidun’s wedding preparations were going well. Toke was making fuchsia pink ankle length gowns for the bridesmaids and was almost done. Ibidun had chosen mint green for the maid-of-honour which blended well with Toke’s caramel skin tone.
Ibidun signalled for a waiter to attend to them and they all placed their orders. He returned briefly with the bottle of water Toke requested for and hurried off to get the rest of their orders. “Remember when we first spoke of us going to various places and spending time with each other? Having time despite our busy schedules?” Ibidun asked them and they nodded. “I’m really glad we’ve been able to keep up with it. These days work has been something else at the bakery and if not for you girls I would just be at home snoozing away or maybe at a work-function.”
“Yeah, but I never imagined I would do it being single for so long.” Toke raised her glass from the table to take a sip of water. “Honestly, I don’t know why I still spend my hard earned money coming here. Not that it’s wrong,” Toke quickly added when Chiemerie raised a brow at her. “It’s just . . . there are times I want a man taking care of my expenses once in a while and spoiling me. Is that too much to ask for?”
Chiemerie looked at Toke and snorted. “Imazu! Dreamer! Don’t remain in the dream world for too long. Trust me . . . these days it’s not so bad being a woman who has her money. And I think that’s what guys are looking for now; an independent woman, not a trophy wife that sits at home and does nothing,” She said, using her two index fingers to enunciate the words trophy wife. “They don’t realize that her being at home is enough work on it’s own.”
Right then two tasteful looking men walked in, dressed in what appeared to be expensive suits, and were seated at a table not too far from theirs. They had both hers and Chiemerie’s full attention.
Chiemerie eyed them suggestively and Ibidun, who was going through her phone at the time, turned, following her gaze.
“Haba Chiemerie!” Ibidun hissed.
“You’re a married woman.”
“And so?” She held up a hand to her. “Abeg leave me alone. I’m simply admiring God’s creation. Is that a bad thing? Isn’t God awesome? How he sculpted man – the eyes, nose, the lips, broad shoulders, torso. . . You sef look at them and stop all this your I’m-getting-married-and-can’t-admire-another-man behaviour. You think your husband-to-be won’t also look at other ladies once in a while. It doesn’t mean he would go after them o!” She added at Ibidun’s frown. “Just that an attractive woman is always an attractive woman. Abi I lie?”
Ibidun shook her head and looked incredulously at her. “I trust Tolu and I’m not insecure.”
Toke gave Ibidun a thumb’s up and arched her eyebrows at Chiemerie. “But seriously? Is that how you see your husband? As a perfectly sculpted man?” As well as she could remember, her husband wasn’t exactly James Bond.
Chiemerie waved her hand. “No, he’s more like a . . . caricature.”
Ibidun opened her mouth down in amazement and Toke’s shoulders moved up and down in rhythm to her laughter.
“Close your mouth and you too stop laughing. Let the facts remain the facts. I love my husband. The pimple on his big nose makes him adorable to me,” she said without even smiling and her hand placed on her chest.
Chiemerie was a drama queen at her best. . .
“You can’t rely on anyone again!”
Lola got into the car and slammed the door. It was a terrible way to start a Monday morning and already she could perceive the week wasn’t going to be as wonderful as she hoped it to be. “I still don’t know why we have so many incompetent people in this country.” She shook her head. “Just to charge ordinary battery is now a problem and you complain to me that it’s the light issue that’s affecting your work. Can you just imagine that? Didn’t you know there would be such contingencies when you got into the business in the first place?”
“That’s how some people are. Take it or leave it.”
“It’s not an excuse.”
Dayo just nodded his head and kept driving. When he didn’t say anything to keep the conversation going, Lola looked at him. He seemed uninterested in what she was saying. Is he still upset with me? She looked away. Lola knew she may have overreacted a bit yesterday but she couldn’t help herself. Deep within her she didn’t want to believe he was cheating on her. He didn’t know she had realized long ago the subtle signs that showed he was lying to her. Like when he rubbed the back of his neck it was a sure sign he was hiding something. But then she couldn’t blame ladies for being attracted to him. He was a handsome man obviously there would be some women who would want grab him from her hands but she wasn’t going to give them that opportunity.
Lola had invested a lot in their realtionship and it didn’t have anything to with money.
She looked at him from the corner of her eyes. She had apologized to him about the other day. She knew he usually preferred a quiet drive to his office, but her car had chosen that morning to misbehave. ‘He would just have to be accommodating,’ she thought. She wanted to have a calm conversation with him.
“I’ve been having a lot of interesting cases these days, couples filing for divorce over silly things. The other day a man was divorcing his wife ‘cause she was not pressing toothpaste from the bottom and because of the friends she kept. I mean, what’s this world turning into? Then there was another one of the couple not able to decide on a parenting style and because of that threw away their two-year marriage.”
He scoffed. “Isn’t that a good enough reason not to get married?”
“No. I mean, I guess it’s because the couple didn’t get to know each other properly before deciding to get married. Look at us, we have been together for a while now and I think we are gradually getting to understand ourselves. We would fight a little, and I know I can be a little annoying, but then we make up and move on.”
Lola turned to look at Dayo when he didn’t answer. A smile on his face.
Was what I said funny? Or is it because I have brought up marriage again in a not so coded manner?
She was tired of the questions people asked her. When are you getting married? So who’s the bobo? All those questions and more irritated her! They made it seem like getting married was as easy as ABC. That she could just go to a shop and pick a man and that was it. It further irritated her that Dayo wasn’t really taking the marriage of a thing serious. Not once had he mentioned plans of their future with her.
She frowned at him. “Dayo, what are you smiling at? Are you listening to me at all?”
He heaved a deep sigh. “Yes, Lola I am. You know I’m driving and I need to focus on the task at hand or do you want us to end up in the grave early? Can’t you just stop talking and let’s enjoy the silence of the car? Or is that too much to ask?”
Lola blinked. His words felt more of a slap to her than a reprimand. She folded her arms and looked out the window and she heard him heave a sigh of relief. It made her wonder if he was so tired of her company.
Thirty minutes later, he dropped Lola off at her office and went on his way without giving her a good-bye kiss. Her office was on the second floor. It was a little spacious and painted in white, furnished with a black wooden table and a brown swivel chair, along with two chairs in front of it and two couches close to the window; normal office furniture. The cool breeze from the air-conditioner greeted her as she walked in. Though she was at work, her mind was yet to resume duty.
Lola thought of her relationship with Dayo. They had been dating for two years and she could testify that what she was facing now seemed more of torture than pleasure. She could still remember the first few months of their relationship. She smiled to herself as she recollected how happy she had been; the exhilarating feeling one had when liking someone you were just getting to know and at the same time found very attractive.
He was at least a foot taller than she was, which further thrilled her. Even more, she loved how cute she looked whenever she wore his big-sized shirt that reached her knees and when she rolled up the long sleeves up her arms. Apart from their differences in height, his caramel-like complexion and soft hairy skin appealed to her. He had been so interested in her. They hadn’t been able to keep their hands off each other when they had started out in their relationship. But now . . . now things were different. It was like the flavour in their ‘sweet’ relationship had suddenly disappeared and she had no idea why. Things had gone downhill.
It also dampened one of her goals for the year. . .
Our bible study Challenge which we have been doing on a group on WhatsApp ‘Cradle 2 Success.’ starts afresh with new studies. I can say it has been a blessing and privilege learning at God’s feet with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
For those interested in getting deeper in the Word of God we are having a study on GALATIANS, EPHESIANS, PHILIPPIANS and COLOSSIANS. It would run from the 10th of July till the 4th of August only on weeknights. So if you are interested get in touch asap. Send me an email @ [email protected] with your phone number. Please and please it’s for those who are really going to participate and take it serious.