Hello dear reader and happy new year! It’s good to know that we all made it to a brand new year. This year is full of possibilities.
This is the first series and post of the year. It’s called I See You Through the Peephole and it is basically a story of wanting more, even when it will overwhelm you. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to your comments and conversations around it. This is NOT A FREE story, as with Behind Mud Walls and We Knew Them, I’ll post some and then sell the rest as an Ebook for a token.
I must say that I appreciate everyone who was a part of this blog in 2016, shallout to #TeamDerick and #TeamLanre lol!
Thank you to everyone who has bought my works and shared their feedback, you give me more reasons to keep doing what I love doing. God bless you tremendously.
The new neighbours are moving in. I can hear their children running up and down the stairs and screaming in delight. Are these people going to be a nuisance? I turn in bed, trying to shut out their noise and get some sleep when Dayo comes in.
“Hey… we have new neighbors.” He says and lies down on the bed.
“Yes, I can hear them.” I reply irritably, trying to hold on to my grogginess.
“Why are you sleeping?” he slaps my arm playfully.
“I’ve been cleaning the house and taking care of the children all day.”
“Is that not your job?” he says.
“My job?” I hiss and turn away from him.
“Ah ah are you angry? I was only joking with you! Ah ah, Remi, what have I said?”
“There’s nothing wrong with you helping me Dayo, I don’t have to do everything all by myself.”
“So you want me to be sweeping the floor for you abi?” he asks sarcastically.
“You know what, forget it. You never get it when I talk to you about this.”
“What do you want me to understand? I should sweep the floor and mop, after a long week?”
“Forget it Dayo. Enjoy your manhood.”
Even though I’m furious at him, I manage to fall asleep for an hour and a half until the children come to wake me up.
“Mummy we want to eat!” my oldest son, Tomiwa, says to me.
“Go and eat the remaining moin-moin.” I reply sleepily, not willing to be awake.
“Daddy has eaten it.” my younger son, Dotun replies.
It is then that my eyes open wide. I made twelve wraps of moin-moin this morning; I had one, served the boys one each and served Dayo three. How did the remaining six disappear?
“Mummy!” Tomiwa shakes my arm. “We’re hungry!”
“Are you sure that there’s nothing in the pot?”
Stomping off to the kitchen, I hope that the boys are wrong and that they just want me to be awake. In the kitchen, I see the leaves dropped carelessly in the dustbin. There is really nothing left in the pot.
“Where’s your Daddy?” I ask, turning wildly towards them.
“He’s in the sitting room.” Dotun replies.
Dayo is slumped on the couch, watching a movie when I get to the sitting room.
“Dayo, what happened to the moin-moin?” I ask without preamble.
“My friend came over, you know Jamiu now? I offered him some.”
I shake my head in disbelief. “Well, your children are hungry.”
“There’s one in the fridge, they can eat that.” he replies nonchalantly, his eyes still on the TV.
I tell the boys to go and eat the moin-moin then I face Dayo. “You know how much we are managing. Why would you give your friend, who has more money all the food we have left?”
He looks at me oddly. “Remi… are you saying that I shouldn’t have given my friend food?”
“I’m saying that you didn’t have to. You could have offered him some water…”
“I could have offered him water!” he sits up and stares at me wide-eyed. “Remi, is there something you’re not telling me?”
I shake my head in disapproval and return to our bedroom. Minutes later he opens the door while I fiddle with the cosmetics in my wardrobe.
“Remi… what’s going on?”
“I’m tired Dayo, I’m tired of managing. Why can’t we stop managing? I’m fighting with you over moin-moin because now I have to think of what we can eat for lunch. The remaining six were supposed to be for lunch, what will we even eat for dinner?”
He sighs, squeezes my hands and leaves the room.
I’m even more offended, why won’t he say anything to me?
The next morning when I step out of the house to meet the rest of the family in the car, the new neighbour’s door which is opposite ours, opens as well.
“Good morning,“ I greet the pretty dark-skinned lady who is standing behind the door with a warm smile.
“Good morning.” She replies with a wider smile. “I’m Mrs Martins, we just moved in.”
“Welcome, I’m Mrs ige. I hope you’re enjoying our estate?”
“Well yes, it’s just that we’ve not had light…”
“We usually have light o. I’m sure there’s a fault.”
“So when will it be fixed?”
“Ah very soon…”
I hear the horn of Dayo’s car.
“My husband is waiting… sorry…”
“No problem at all, sorry I kept you waiting.”
“It’s okay, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Have a nice time in church.”
As I go down the stairs and she goes back inside her flat. It occurs to me that she came out of her house just to speak with me.
I haven’t seen Mrs Martins since Sunday. It’s Thursday night and as I go up the stairs leading to the door of my flat, I’m glad that tomorrow is Friday. The door to the Martins’ flat opens and out she comes to pick up a pair of slippers from the doormat.
“Ah! Good evening!” she says enthusiastically, she looks happy to see me.
“Good evening madam.”
“How was your day? You look tired.”
“I am. I’m actually just coming back from Ilorin.”
“Wow! Do you work there?”
“No, I went to see a client.”
“Oh… are you a lawyer?” she asks and I laugh.
“No… I’m a researcher and a lecturer.”
“Wow… that sounds… serious…”
I laugh again.
“Do you enjoy it?” she asks.
I can tell that she’s about to ask a question but she doesn’t ask it. “Well, I hope that your journey was productive?”
“It actually was, I’m just tired. How was your day?”
“It was fine, I had several deliveries to attend to today.”
“Deliveries…?” I figured that since she had asked for details about my work, I could ask about hers too.
“Yee, I have an online store.”
“Oh… wow! What do you sell?”
“Beauty products. Just a minute.” She goes back into the flat and returns shortly with a colorful card.
“This is my card, we have products for every woman.”
I almost laugh, tempted to tell her that I might not even visit her site but I smile and collect the card.
“Have a good night.” She says with a smile.
“You too.” I reply with a tired smile.
“Oh! Lest I forget, I baked some brownies today and I planned to give you some. Is that alright?”
I’m not even sure what brownies are but I smile wider. “Of course!”
While I wait for her to bring them, I wonder at this woman’s niceness. She seems like a pleasant person and I make up my mind to be as friendly as possible.
“There you go!” she hands me a silver tray covered with foil paper.
“Thank you ma.”
“Oh please! Just call me Bimbo. Can we stop pretending that we are not in the same age bracket?”
I laugh. “Well then, you can call me Remi.”
“Alright Remi,” she says with a wide grin. “Enjoy your brownies.”
I thank her again and we part ways.
“So she just gave you these?” Dayo asks as the boys run to the sitting room to devour the cakes.
“Yes.” I reply as I take off my gown. “I think she likes me.”
“What’s not to like?” he replies with a drawl and I realize that he’s looking longingly at my body. “Don’t even think about it. I’m tired.”
“You’re always tired.”
“Yes, because I’m working hard.”
“And I’m not?”
I immediately regret not being tactful. “Dayo please, I don’t want to fight.”
“And neither do I! What’s the matter with you these days?” he asks and I can hear the concern in his voice.
The truth is I’m tired. I work hard to augment what my husband’s salary and commission bring in and it’s never enough. Today, Oyinkan my colleague reminded me of the three hundred thousand naira I owe her. How can I even think of intimacy when I could be ridiculed tomorrow at work?
“Remi…” he calls, putting his arms around my waist.
“Please…” I shrug him off and go into the bathroom.
The next night, I knock on Mrs Martin’s door with her silver tray in my other hand. The door opens and a fair handsome man opens it.
For a few seconds, all I can do is stare at him. He is that handsome. “I’m sorry… Good evening… Is Mrs Martins in? I live next door… she gave me some brownies… this is her…”
“Tray.” He completes my sentence and reaches for the silverware. “I hope you enjoyed them. My wife bakes very good cakes.”
“Oh yes we did. Please thank her for me.” I bid him goodnight before I embarrass myself further.
My hands are still trembling when I close the door behind me. What a handsome man!