A Christmas Story

I opened the pot to check on my rice. I added a little salt to it. I brought out the shredded beef sauce from the fridge and cooked my chicken in chili sauce. I turned down the heat on my corn sauce. I loved cooking but cooking tonight was extra special. My parents were going to be home for Christmas for the first time in almost as long as forever. My parents were workaholics and the type of jobs they had didn’t make it any better. My father was a pilot and he was one of the most highly recommended pilots I knew. He got paid very well but was never around much especially during holiday seasons as his work load increased during the periods. My mother was a banker or so I was told. Regular bankers I knew never knew so many miles in such short periods. My parents told me they had met on a flight and well I came into the picture and they got married.

I was an only child. My mother had said no to having other children. She loved her work and her figure and my father loved her.  I was sent to boarding schools and the house was always filled with maids who did and got whatever I asked them to. I had everything I could ask for. My parent’s way of saying “I’m sorry but I’m too busy to be there with you.”  For every time they missed a school event or a birthday, there was always a gift waiting for me at home.

Christmas every year was the same, I would go out with my friends and we each took turns to host Christmas parties every year. I always stayed over at my friends on Christmas, staying in that big empty house alone was too much pain to bear. When I got home in the morning, there would be a big gift waiting for me in my bedroom. This year I cancelled all my plans and sent all the maids home.  I was going to make Christmas dinner for my parents. I felt so happy that they were going to be here themselves and not skyping me to say merry Christmas. They were going to be here to deliver whatever gift they had bought for me. My friends knew what this meant to me and so they understood when I couldn’t host this year.

I looked at the time. It was 30 minutes after 9. Their flight was supposed to get in at 9:45. They were coming in together and they said they would call as soon as they landed. By 10 ‘o’ clock I hadn’t gotten a call, not even a single message. I set the table and went to the living room bowl of ice-cream in hand as I thought that maybe their flight was delayed. By 11, I gave up. I left the food as it was on the table. I didn’t feel like eating and the maids would clear it up tomorrow.

I walked to my room, the house echoing every step I took. The downside of walking in a big old empty house. I tucked myself in and left my laptop on. By midnight I couldn’t sleep and I tried watching a movie. My skpye alerted me to a skype call. I figured it was my parents, they were probably going to give me another excuse about how they couldn’t get away or how they’re flight was delayed or some silly excuse that wouldn’t fly with me and that there would be a gift waiting for me in the morning. You can be a world-class pilot but you still can’t get away on Christmas.

I checked and I was right it was from them. I didn’t pick up and I suddenly burst into tears. I was all alone on Christmas again. I turned off the lights as I cried myself to sleep. 


Being Single…..

I’m single. Yes, I said it. And it’s not because I’m so much in love with myself. But that’s just the way it is.  I see every day tweets and posts from people saying that being in a relationship is overrated and being single is the new relationship. Well, they say the grass looks greener on the other side. From my side I can say being single is greatly overrated.
There are moments in your life that you want to share with someone special. There are moments when you want to talk to someone because you trust them and they mean something to you, Moments when you want to be the subject of someone’s affection and attention, Moments when you just want to be held, Moments when you want to look into someone’s eyes and see they are looking back at you with the same passion. And trust me; you can’t have that when you’re single.
I’m sure at this point; you’re probably thinking “Nooo…”, “Bro before Hoes”, “Best friends over boys” or some reason to justify the reason why you’re alone. Probably because you don’t want to admit I’m right or you don’t want to admit you’re wrong. I justify myself by saying “G’s for life.” But then all your friends would probably meet girls they like and then the boys’ time becomes their time or when your best friends meet boys they are crazy about and they spend all their time with them and you end up being the third wheel. The only thing worse than not having your our relationship is being the third party in someone else’s.
Some people are just really picky about what they want. Some guys are like they want a pretty girl with that perfect body all guys talk about, but then a girl can’t have that all the things that we all desire. She could be pretty and short. Her body could be perfect but then her face might not be so. Or girls who go about saying they’re looking for Mr. Perfect. That guy that’s tall, dark and handsome. Your Mr. Perfect can’t have everything. He’s definitely going to be flawed one way or the other. I’ve learnt that either ways you can’t always get what you want; you might have to make do with what you have.
It gets worse when your family makes subtle comments about your apparent lack of a love life. They mention things they think are funny but are meant to pass a point. Openly talk about that one cousin or sister or brother’s relationship hoping you catch the drift and bring someone home. They joke about marriages and wedding bells and bring out the old photo albums of their wedding to try and prove to you that you’re making the biggest mistake you can think of. They pawn you off to that family friend’s daughter or son hoping they made the effort to correct your pathetic mistake of a love life. And when that doesn’t work and all else fails they question themselves and wonder where they went wrong in your upbringing. They wonder if they didn’t bring you up in the Godly way. And they ask you the one question that makes every parent feel like a failure, the one question that questions your sexuality. “Are you gay?”            Of course you’re not gay but try and convince parents who haven’t seen you with a girl or with anyone else for that matter.
Forgive me for being a bit old-fashioned but at this age in your life I feel that entering into a relationship is because you see a future in it. I feel you should enter into relationships because there is an end goal. And the end goal of every relationship is marriage. Yes that word that so many people see to dread nowadays. That word that spells doom. The legendary lock, key and bolt that so many people are running away from like it’s a plague.  I think it’s a beautiful thing when people marry the ones they love. *Silent Shalla to Deke and Dele*
Relationships shouldn’t be a bore or a chore. If it is then it’s probably because you are in the wrong one. Sure there are ups and downs but nothing is or can be perfect. You just have to admit you have differences and work past them. Taking breaks for yourself are worth it after a bad break-up to clear your head and refocus yourself. But the one thing I refuse to admit is that relationships are overrated. It isn’t supposed to be if you are in one with someone you love.

Where have you been?

As I sat in my KIA Rio driving back home from work, my mind raced off. It had been a stressful day at work. I had been called in out of the blues due to some emergencies. The beauty of my work was that I didn’t have to work until I was needed. Today, I was called into one of the organizations I worked for because there had been rumours of a hostile takeover and my employers needed to prevent it and hence my presence at work today. I was a private consultant and at the moment I was contracted to several well-paying companies.
I turned on the radio to the sound of Rihanna singing ‘Where have you been’, her newest single, the sound of techno beat filling the car. I un-knotted my tie as I asked myself the same question. Where have you been? I had previous girlfriends, but none of them fit the picture I had in my head of the perfect girl. I had seen my parents act with love ever since I was a child, but now my father was dead and my mother tried without success to forget him. I could see she missed him each and every day. I had wanted that since I knew what it was. I wanted the kind of happiness and love that my parents had while they were together. I wanted that kind of love that was supposed to be a myth.
My mother kept asking me when I was going to bring a woman home to her, when she would see my children – her grand-children. My sisters were all married and bearing kids. I was comfortable enough to start my own family she said. She had eventually stopped asking, I remember her saying “I wouldn’t let you kill me, when you are ready I would be here waiting”.
I took a left turn at the next intersection. My stomach grumbled. I remembered I had not eaten breakfast today because of the rushed visit to the office. I spotted a KFC outlet in the distance. I parked into one of the available spaces. I took off my jacket, tossing it into the car seat beside me and straightened my purple shirt and rolling up my sleeves showing off my muscular arms. I looked in my car mirror and thought I looked good for someone who had just clocked 32. I applied some Vaseline to my dry pink lips and brushed my hair. I stepped out of the air-conditioned car, and into the building.
I walked over to the register and ordered myself a meal, and as I turned to take a seat I saw her. She was tall, with chocolate-brown skin, the prettiest face, hair that I wanted to run my hand through and a dress that showed of her beautiful body. She looked me in the eye and I saw her beautiful eyes and I knew she was the one. She was everything I looked for in a perfect girl. Tall, but not taller than me, I liked to look down into a woman’s eyes. Being pretty, was a requirement. But it was the eyes I always looked out for. One requirement was beautiful eyes. I had a thing for beautiful eyes.
We stared into each other’s eyes for a while before I stopped the eye contact to take a seat. She went on to order her meal and sat down at the table opposite me, facing me. I couldn’t take my eyes off her face. She was the most exquisite thing I had seen.
She picked a piece of her French fries and slowly, looking me in the eyes dipped it ketchup and brought it to her mouth. Done putting the fries into her mouth, she licked her fingers in a slow, seductive way. What she was doing was working and she knew the effect she had on me. She then grabbed her bottle of Pepsi and slowly sucked the dark liquid with her straw. She was playing with the straw like a pro showing off her pretty lips and putting suggestions into my head of what I wanted to do to her once I had gotten her alone.
She smiled at me like she had no idea what she was doing. I couldn’t swallow the food in my mouth as my throat instantly felt dry. I gulped a large amount of my Pepsi to force the food down my throat. I decided to play the game she was so willing to play. I stroked my chicken with my expert hands. I dipped two of my fingers into the ketchup and brought it to my lips and sucked on it. Her eyes widened as she saw what I was doing. I dipped my fingers back into the ketchup, brought it out and stroked the chicken with it.
I didn’t care that I was in a public restaurant, I was too far gone with the little game we were playing. I noticed a ketchup smudge on my palm and I brought out my tongue to lick it off, showing her the length of my tongue and what I could do with it. She crossed and uncrossed her leg. I smiled to myself and winked at her. She laughed loudly, her voice rich and melodious. I was hooked and I wasn’t sure she was letting me off anytime soon.
I stood up abandoning what was left of my meal, and noticed the staff staring. I smiled and walked to her table. I placed both my hands on the table and looked her in the eye and asked her the first question that came to my head.
‘Where have you been?’ and with a smile she replied me.
‘I’ve been right here, waiting for you’.

The Moment

I was excited! They announced there was going to be an over-night meeting because it was our turn to decorate the school. Seeing as I just joined a unit of the student chaplaincy, this was going to be the first time I would be decorating and my first time pulling an all-niter in order to get the student auditorium ready for the series of programs set for tomorrow, marking the founder’s day.

I was buzzed; everyone was asking why I was going. I was going, not because if I decorated tonight there would be an exception from the programs tomorrow which was compulsory for all students of the university, but because I had promised myself to try new things as soon as an opportunity presented itself and this was no exception.

The meeting was to start by 9 p.m. An hour to the time I had gone to the cafe to grab myself a pack of white rice, beans and fish, because that was all I would have access to; the cafe would be shut down by 9 and the halls of residence by 10. I had ulcer, so if I didn’t eat I would have to endure pains and that was not the way I intended to spend my all-niter.

At a quarter to nine after having my bath, I dressed up wearing a white and black striped polo shirt, a pair of black trousers and my palm slippers. My best friend commented on my look saying that I looked like someone going to see a girl, rather than someone supposed to be decorating the auditorium. I sprayed some perfume and grabbed my watch as I looked at the time. I picked a set of beaded bracelets that my sister had given me and I was off to the auditorium.

It took me about 5 minutes to walk from my hall to the university auditorium, it would have taken about 7 but I was walking fast. I was that excited. As I got to the auditorium, expecting to see a throng of people all working together to beautify the auditorium, I saw instead a few people sitting in different spots and talking. I walked down two flights of stairs and past an air-conditioning unit as I made my way to the unit office.

There were people inside piling up fabric unto different parts of the floor. The executive members of the unit were all present going over the final designs of the decorations to be displayed in the auditorium. They were all smiles as they said I should carry some fabrics and wait with everyone upstairs. As I waited, the auditorium gradually filled with the members of the unit. We were divided into different sections of the school which we were also supposed to decorate.

I was posted along with some other people to decorate the cafe. I noticed you and your friend.  You were the pretty, tall chocolate-skinned girl while your friend was shorter, fatter than you. Being a new member I didn’t know too many people in the unit and the few people I knew were executive members and they were too busy to socialize. I decided to join the two of you. I was rewarded with a simple “hey,” as I said hi to you. You were also posted to cafe along with me.

We marched along with the rest of the group to cafe. When we got there we couldn’t start with our decorations right away because the materials we needed were not there. We volunteered to go back to the auditorium office and talk to the head of the unit, John – my course mate – for the materials, mostly because we were bored and you kept saying how thirsty you were.

We figured that there would probably be water in the unit office. As you kept mentioning how thirsty you were, my throat began to dry up. We walked back to the auditorium, talking about our favorite songs, joking about random things that had occurred. Your friend stayed upstairs while you and I went downstairs to the office. John told us that the women who were supposed to bring the materials we needed were not yet around and that there was no water in the office, the women were also supposed to bring water for us.

The thirst was becoming a bit unbearable. John told us to wait till the women came. When we got outside, some guys were standing there talking, right on the air-conditioning unit was a barely-drunk sachet of Hebron water. We walked past it as we climbed the first flight. I mentioned the fact that we were looking for water and someone had left a barely-drunk sachet of water to you and you smiled.

The boys took off and the thirst got unbearable, so we ran and grabbed the water while laughing about it. We sat down on the air-conditioning and shared the water looking into each other’s eyes and laughing. All of a sudden the laughing stopped and we sat there facing each other not saying a word. There was this look on your face like you wanted more and so I raised my hand to touch your face and you brought your mouth down to meet mine in a kiss.

The kiss was electrifying, like thousands of little currents flowing through my brain. Neither of us wanted to stop, deepening the kiss. Thirst couldn’t even come close to what was rushing through my veins. You tasted like I had taken a swig of strawberries. The mumbles of people’s voices were coming closer and sounding clearer. We pulled apart like there was an invisible force-field separating us; you were breathing hard, with your lips swollen from the kiss. We walked back to the auditorium in silence not mentioning what just happened.

We see every day; you wave, smile and sometimes wink. Sometimes I do the same. We talk some times, but we never mentioned what happened. Sometimes I just think about the moment we had together and smile.


I hid under the bed holding my favorite teddy bear close. I pressed myself flat on the ground; it hurt as my nipples were sensitive. But the pain I was feeling was nothing compared to the pain I would feel if my father found me. I hoped my mother would succeed in calming him down but something inside me told me that the odds of that happening were quite slim. I heard the combined sound of my father’s angry voice and my mother’s pleading coming slowly up the stairs. I thought about the events of the day as I moved further under the bed.

My father had told me for as long as I could comprehend things that he never wanted to see me with a boy, talk to one, hold hands with one or even acknowledge one. He said it was for my safety and that boys would destroy me like they had destroyed his sister – an aunt I had never seen. After 14 years I was curious as to what evils boys would do to me but my fear of my father and the memory of the last time he lashed me with his belt out-weighed every bit of curiosity in me.

All the boys in school had been warned by the principal and the entire teaching staff not to approach me, my father is an influential figure in the school and so he was respected and feared and most of what he said was law. But today, a new student was transferred in, he was the cutest boy I had seen and he stood out from all the others. He was tall, surprisingly built, with dark skin, coal black eyes, wavy hair, shining white teeth and a model’s face. The story was that he and his parents were returning to the country after some years abroad. I pushed him to the back of my mind as I focused on the classes of the day.

The time flew by, the day dragging on. He passed by my seat during break and smiled at me, revealing his beautiful white teeth, making butterflies fly in my stomach. I swallowed and went back to being on my own. School was over and I packed my books into my bag in a hurry and as I turned to leave he was right beside me giving me a sly grin. My heart was beating faster and everyone in class was looking at him, shocked that he dared to talk to me. I tried maneuvering round him but he was quick and followed me for every step.

“I’m not moving until you say something to me” he said with his beautiful bass voice.

“Please…” I croaked out.

“School is barely over, chill a bit”

“I have to get home, my father mustn’t know about this. I have to be home in 15 minutes. Please.”

“Okay, but at least let me walk you home” he said with another perfect smile.

I agreed because it was a losing battle either way. He was determined to talk to me and he wasn’t bulging.  And besides he was the first boy I had spoken to in almost all my life. His name was David. We walked and talked and I realized that apart from being the most handsome boy I had seen, he was also smart and funny. He told me how beautiful I was, the only other person who had said that was my mother during the nights when we would sit in front of her mirror and brush my hair and apply Aloe Vera to it until it shone.

It was barely a 15 minute walk but it was like I had spent a day with him. Two blocks from my house, I had to let him go for I didn’t want anyone to see me walk in with a boy in tow. He gave me this look of understanding, and as he turned to go, he gave me a quick kiss on my lips. I was stunned. No one had ever done that before. He smiled and left. If I had been fair, I would have been pink all over.

My father’s car wasn’t in the driveway. He wasn’t due till 5. I walked in feeling on top of the world with a fuzzy feeling in my stomach. The door was open as usual and I shouted a quick greeting to my mom who was always in the kitchen at this time preparing lunch. I walked into the living room to see my father seated on a couch, looking angry. I mumbled a quiet ‘good afternoon sir’ and he turned to face me.

“Who was that boy I saw you with?” he shouted at me.

“What boy, sir” thinking he couldn’t have seen me with David.

“The boy I saw kissing you.” I knew then that I was in trouble. I had violated my father’s most treasured rule and I had gotten flogged for less.

My mother walked into the room, saying that I should go upstairs while trying to reason with my father. He pulled out his belt and I ran up the stairs, into my room and under my bed.

Their voices were becoming louder. My father barged into the room with my mother behind him.

“How many times do I have to tell what boys did to my sister?”

“Dapo, please. She’s just barely a child”

“She disobeyed the one rule that was most important to me and so she must be flogged.”

I peeked from my hiding place and saw his shining black shoes walk to the side of the bed and walk away. I felt relief.

“So you think you can hide from me?” he shouted from beside me. I screamed and ran out on the other side. My mother was quick to come in between us.

“Bimpe, run!!!” she screamed at me. I moved back slowly. My father walked towards me, with even more fury on his face. She pulled on his arm to slow him down and using his elbow he pushed her away from him. She slipped on a doll and fell hitting her head on the ground and the next thing I saw was blood flowing from the back of her head contrasting against the white floor of my bedroom.

I screamed again as I ran, my father still coming towards me. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me, running out into the street. The skies were dark when I finally stopped moving. I had been walking for hours; I didn’t know where I was. I couldn’t even go back if I wanted to. My mother’s face as she lay on the floor and my father’s wrath were the images I pictured when I thought of home.

I looked up and saw that the neighborhood had changed; I was no more in the area of classy, well designed houses with driveways. I was in the area of poor housing and sanitation. I heard the loud voices of some men coming towards me. I didn’t know where to go so I bowed my head letting my hair cover my face as I walked quickly past them.

“Baby.” One of the men called just as I had walked past them. I pretended to not hear them. I instantly felt someone pull me before I saw them. His breath smelt strongly of alcohol.

“The babe set o!” he called out to his friends as he pulled at my breast. He was rewarded with a slap on the face from me. His face twisted in anger as he pushed me down and gave me some punches. I couldn’t move. I was pinned to the ground between his legs and I was seeing stars from the blows I just received. All I heard were the multiple sounds of belts un-buckling – a sound I was familiar with – and the pull of zippers as I faded into black.

I don’t recall my eyelids opening but I found myself in a space, with darkness everywhere. It was thick and choking. I heard voices calling me back from a place that was vaguely familiar. And then I saw my mother dressed in shining white walking towards me with the biggest smile on her face. I looked down and saw I was wearing a white dress too. She took my hand and we walked off towards the light with our white garments shining in the dark.

My Happy Ending

I had it all figured out. You would fall in love with me the way I fell in love with you. We would get married and have kids. You would be the perfect mother, always there for her children and her husband, looking perfect and beautiful as always. I fell in love with your beautiful eyes even though they were contacts, your long, beautiful dark hair even though they were extensions, your long legs that went on forever, the way you signed your name with a little heart on top, the way your trousers grabbed you, the way I knew without even touching, that your body was perfect and the way the cleft in your lips would fit perfectly with mine, everything about you was simply perfection. I had fallen and fallen hard. You were my happy ending.

We started talking by accident. We knew each other but we had never crossed the bounds of ‘hi’ friends. It started with a game of numbers. You would pick a number and send it to all your friends and they would publicly post what they felt about you putting only your numbers. Your comments were less than kind but they were well intended and I took it a bit to heart, wasting no time in telling you how I felt. You apologized stating that hurting me was not your intentions.

School resumed and your face was the first face I wanted to see, every other face was a blur till I saw yours. We sat and talked for hours and I would stop talking to stare into your blue eyes. On other girls, blue eyes would have looked stupid, disgusting maybe, but with you it was refreshingly beautiful. When I had to leave you it felt like there was a lump in my throat that I couldn’t swallow. The next day, once I saw your face, all my lumps were gone.

I had to impress you; your approval meant the world to me. My dressing improved drastically, I consulted my top fashionable friends and listened as they matched colors, and different combos and I would beam from ear to ear as I saw your approval. You had a boyfriend but I didn’t care. I knew love would prevail.

My birthday came and I wanted you to have a taste of my red velvet cake, like it was a taste of my heart. You were a vegetarian, so I made sure not to forget as I thought to buy meals for you. A few days after my birthday we were to leave school for Christmas break, before we left my closest friend told me to stop talking to you, I asked him why but he said “nothing” and I didn’t press him, he was my closest friend and I trusted his judgment. Besides, he had known you for close to three years now after he had crushed on you in our first year, although nothing had happened between the two of you. Christmas break was painful. I wouldn’t see you for a month even though we stayed in the same state, but I made sure to tweet and mention you all the chances I got.I called and we talked. I even got curious as to why my closest friend wouldn’t want us talking, and so I questioned you about it. You said you didn’t have any idea but I should ask him. I did and he said nothing again and that I should forget about it and I did.

The break was eventful, your best friend was celebrating her birthday and of course all of her closest girls were invited along with her boyfriend and two of her male friends. And of course with the celebration came pictures, the picture of the day being one you took with one of your male friends that was present, although it was strictly platonic, your boyfriend was angry and asked for it to be taken down, you guys broke up a few weeks later. My closest friend called me and said that there was something important that you had to tell me, that something had happened to you. I asked what it was but he insisted that you be the one to tell me.

I didn’t have airtime, so I sent you a direct message instead asking what had happened, you insisted that nothing had happened but I pressed on and I pissed you off. Your anger made me feel pain. I was like my stomach had sunk and it was never going to rise again.

Days went on and so did the weeks, school resumed again and I offered an explanation along with my apologies, it seemed all was well in the world again. I told her the role our mutual friend had played and she was curious into the motivation behind his action. They had had a little squabble and she had said she wouldn’t talk to him again. But our mutual friend had sunk his teeth in deep and in no time again they were once more friends.

He turned all my truths into lies while holding me close, and keeping himself informed of my plans. You refused to talk to me. I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking of you. I turned to one of the few people I could for advice – my sister – and she told me to focus, my academics couldn’t suffer because of you. I tried but I was failing miserably at it.

I summoned up courage and told you about my feelings and you acted like I had told you that the sky was blue by replying with a simple “so???”. My heart was shattered, my hopes dashed. I questioned myself and wondered what I had done wrong. I asked your best friend but she was being vague and implied I leave you alone. I continued on with my life as best as I could, closing myself up and becoming the type of guy I had always said I would never be.

It was good, the thrill made me forget till I saw your tweets implying that you and our mutual friend were now in a relationship, one faithful august day and as I sat in class listening to Avril Lavinge’s happy ending on my iPod, rain pouring around me, I realized there and then that there is no such thing as a happy ending.