I See You Through the Peephole Part 12

Dear reader,

This is the last post of the week. This series will be available for sale next week (not on Monday), I hope that you are anticipating it!

I also hope you have a good weekend, I will be busy at a conference. What are you going to be doing?  ☺

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Oby and I have decided to meet at a national conference for researchers, after several hours of boring speeches in which I dozed off more than a few times, we go to a cafeteria. Oby is sponsoring lunch.

“So how’s everything?”

By everything, I know she means what’s going on between Sola and I but I act as if I don’t know it.

“Everything is fine.”

“So you’ve decided to give Sola a chance?”

“Na wa for you o Oby. Are you his solicitor?” I ask wearily.

“He really likes you.”

“And how do you know this?” I ask, picking fillets of my grilled fish with my fork.

“He won’t stop talking about you and pleading with me to talk to you on his behalf.”

“I thought you said your phone was bad, and that’s why you had to ask for my number again? How have you been keeping in touch with him?” I ask suspiciously.

“He gave me his card!” She replies with a grin.

I look at her doubtfully. “Are you sure you don’t want him? You can have him o!”

“Please! It’s not even like that. Besides, I already have someone who makes me happy.”

“Is that so? I assume you’re talking about Isaac.”

“No, it’s not Isaac. Look let’s get back to the subject, allow yourself to be loved by another man. Sola will take care of you.”

“And his wife? Who will take care of her?”

“That’s where you’re getting it wrong. You keep thinking about other people when you should be thinking of yourself. Allow yourself to enjoy life. You deserve your own happiness!”

I look away from the intensity of her stare and smile. “This food is really nice.”

**********

It’s the weekend and we’re at Uju’s house. Kevin looks very good, not a hint whatsoever of his condition.

“You look good,” I say hugging him.

“Your friend is taking very good care of me,” he replies, looking at Uju with so much love that she blushes.

“Kevin, see how you’re making her blush!” Dayo says laughingly.

“Man, she deserves it. She’s been so wonderful!”

We walk into the living room and I look at the room in admiration.

“You redecorated!” I exclaim.

“Yes o, I thought I’d give the house a facelift,” Uju says, flopping onto one of the chairs.

Wow, it’s good to have money. I say to myself. The boys have run upstairs with Uju’s children. They’ll come downstairs when they’re hungry, which will be soon. Uju and I leave the men to their discussion and go out into the garden where she’s grilling chicken and potatoes. The cook, Ruth, is securing the foil wrap. She greets me warmly. We walk towards the center of the garden where there are cane chairs and a table.

“How’s everything?” she immediately asks.

“Fine.” I answer chirpily.

She looks strangely at me. “You look excited… no, excited is not the word, you look peaceful…?”

I laugh. “I don’t know what you’re seeing o!”

“Wait, are you pregnant?”

I stare at her in shock. “For what now? Where is the money to take care of more children?”

She laughs. “You look different though, I can’t explain it but you look different.”

Have you bought this sequel to We Knew Them? Purchase yours today!
Have you bought this sequel to We Knew Them? Purchase yours today!

I dismiss her observation and we settle down to catch up on all that has happened with Kevin. After a while she decides to go and check on the children and confirm that the cook is doing as she has instructed. When she leaves, I unlock my phone and check my notifications. There’s a message from Sola.

Hey beautiful

You guys are not home today?

Did you travel?

I’m pleased to see that he’s noticed my absence. We’re at Ikoyi.

He’s online, he’s almost always online. I got you something, was hoping that I’d give it to you.

I’m surprised. You did?

He sends me a photo of a pair of sparkly green earrings. They look expensive and I’m flattered but I wonder how much this cost and what Bimbo would think of this. I shove aside my hesitation and smile widely.

It’s beautiful!

Thank you!

He reponds. ☺

You’re welcome

“Remi!” Uju calls, she’s standing and staring at me in wonder.

“Oh my God!” I jump in my seat, startled. “Why are you sneaking up on me?”

“I didn’t sneak up on you, I’ve been standing here for a while. Who are you chatting with that’s making you smile?”

“One of my friends,” I reply dismissively, hoping that she’ll let it go. She doesn’t.

“Which friend?” she asks.

“You don’t know the person.”

“Is this friend a man or a woman?”

“Ah ah Uju, what’s with the interrogation? Do you think you’re my only friend?”

“You’ve not answered my question.”

“You want me to tell you about all my friends?

She takes her seat beside me with her mouth agape. “Oh Remi, you’re having an affair!” she says softly.

“I’m not.”

“No wonder you look different, happy! How long has this been going on?”

Uju knows me too well, I cannot lie to her or even dismiss her suspicion. “I haven’t done anything Uju, I’m not having an affair.”

“So what are you doing?”

“I’m just talking to him, that’s all! He gives me a listening ear and God knows I need that!”’ I take a sip from the drink she’s brought.

“What are you doing Remi?” she asks again, shaking her head.

“You don’t know what I’m going though Uju!”

“And is this the solution? Is having an affair going to make you more comfortable? Is it going to change your husband?”

“But what about me? Don’t I deserve to be happy?”

“You want to be happy by ruining another woman’s home?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“But you know that’s what’s going to happen.” She shakes her head in confusion. “I can’t even believe that we’re having this conversation. Remi you know the right thing, we are not supposed to be women like this…!”

“Women like what Uju? Women who are tired of redundant husbands? Women who can no longer stand being unhappy? Well I’m sorry to disappoint you but I’m one of those women. It’s easy for you to tell me what to do when you’re not in my shoes.”

“You think my life is perfect? Remi, I have problems too! Do you know what it means to be married to a man who is suicidal? Do you know what it means to have your children go away for a while because their father is in the depths of depression? Do you know what it means to keep tabs of his medication and administer them when he’s in one of his moods? Do you know what it means for me to have to explain his behaviour sometimes? Do you know what it means not to be able to sleep well because you’re afraid that your husband might kill himself while you’re asleep…?”

She breaks down into tears and I feel so sorry for her. I really cannot imagine such a life and I’m amazed at all she’s endured. How did I not know this?

“I’m so sorry Uju!” I hold her and let her cry for a while. Then, she sits up abruptly and wipes her face.

“That’s my reality Remi, but I would not leave him, not except I’m in danger of him harming me. I made an oath to be with him for better or worse, it doesn’t matter if he wouldn’t do the same for me, what matters is that I made a commitment to him. So I chose to love him even when I just want to scream and run away with the children. He wants to get better and together we can work to make sure that his life is as normal as can be. It’s hard and it’s not what I bargained for but I wouldn’t run into the arms of another man because my husband is flawed.”

I sit back in my seat and fold my arms.

“Leave him Remi, stay with Dayo, and support his dream even if he wants to sell moi-moi. Take his small dream and make it bigger, you have the power to do that! He’s flawed, aren’t we all? Cheating on him is not the way, think of the woman whose heart is breaking because of what you’re doing. And don’t think that because you’re not sleeping with him, you’re fine. If you don’t break it off now, it’s only a matter of time before you do. And I assure you, it will be the greatest regret of your life!”

When Mowunmi marries Adegbola, what she gets isn't what she hoped for. Consider buying this historical novel today!
When Mowunmi marries Adegbola, what she gets isn’t what she hoped for. Consider buying this historical novel today!

**********

Thinking of Uju’s words has made me pensive, and as I go about preparing dinner I’m unaware that Dayo has been staring at me.

“Are you okay?” he asks.

“Yeah, yeah I’m fine.”

“You look like you have something on your mind.”

I shrug. “I’ll be fine. Just thinking of something Uju and I talked about.”

“Oh okay.”

He’s leaning against the door frame, his hands in his pocket. Then he bring them out and puts them back in, all the time shifting from one foot to the other. He repeats this process several times as I realize that he has something on his mind.

“What is it?” I ask him, covering the pot of food I’ve just checked on.

“I want to tell you something and I’m not sure how you‘ll take it.”

I stare at him for a while. What does he want to say? Does he suspect that I have feeling for another man?

“What is it?” I ask him uncertainly.

“Can we go and sit down?”

The boys are playing in their room so we have the sitting room to ourselves.

“What is it?” I ask him again as I sit.

He clasps his hands together before he says: “I resigned yesterday.”

I gasp, put my fingers on my lips, open my mouth to say something and then shake my head. “Are you serious?”

“Yes, I’m very serious. I’ve also applied to become of one of their wholesale agents.”

“How are you going to get the money to do this?”

“They’re paying me some money as part of my benefit…but I need some more money…”

“How much?”

“About two point five million.”

Where are you going to get that?”

“Kevin has offered to loan me.”

Now I clasp my head in my hands and exhale slowly, is there no end to this provocation?

Without looking up I ask. “So while we went to check on his health, you were asking him for money?”

“I didn’t ask him for money, he offered it. Do you think I went there to beg?”

I put my hands together, my forehead resting on the tip of my fingers. “Dayo, how could you think of doing this without talking to me about it first?”

“I didn’t tell you because I knew what you would say. You’ve never supported this idea, and I want to do what makes me happy…”

“And what happens to your responsibilities?”

“I intend to put aside some money to take care of the next school fees and the basic household needs. I hope that before we have to pay for another term, the business would be able to pay me.”

“You’re placing everything on your hope that things will go well? This is my problem with you Dayo, you never think things through, and you’ve never been able to look beyond the present. How can you do something like this?”

He laughs humorlessly. “Remi, do you think that all I’ve come to do in this life is to provide for my family?”

It’s my turn to laugh humorlessly. “Then you shouldn’t have gotten married Dayo!” I’m so furious now that I’m yelling. “You always think of yourself alone! You are so selfish!”

“And you’re such a nag! Ah ah! Nothing ever pleases you, I have to walk on eggshells in my own house! I have to wonder will Remi approve or not! I can’t live like this!”

“Neither can I!” I retort, standing up, my body trembling with anger. “If I had known that you were such an irresponsible, selfish man I would never have married you! How can you quit your job because you want to explore a ridiculous idea! And you did it behind my back, knowing I would tell you no. You couldn’t even wait to save some money or actually plan this idea of yours! What’s going to happen to the other things we spend money on? I should go and work and give you the money right?”

“This is your problem!” he retorts, standing up too. “You think that because you have some money, you’re better than me! You’re so full of yourself!”

“I’d rather be full of myself than be full of nothing! You’re such a disappointment! Look at what you’ve become, you had big dreams but then that’s what you’ve always been, a dreamer! Wake up Dayo! Wake up and be a man!”

He looks at me defeated and it is then that I realize that my boys are standing, watching us, and crying. I’m crying too.

I hold my head in my hands overwhelmed by shame, pain and anger. “I can’t do this anymore, I just can’t!”

I walk out of the house and close the door. Bimbo is waiting outside her door, she opens it wider, and I go in.

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I See You Through the Peephole Part 5

Uju Cole is my best friend, we’ve been friends for the past thirteen years and even though we don’t get to see each other as often we want, it hasn’t affected our relationship. She’s still the one person I feel most comfortable telling anything. She lives on the island but always makes an effort to see me whenever she’s on the mainland. From our recent chat, she’s become worried at my state of mind so she’s here in my house on an unexpected visit. Continue reading “I See You Through the Peephole Part 5”

I See You Through The Peephole Part 1

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.

Please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, if you haven’t already.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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?”

“Yes Mummy…”

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?

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**********

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.”

“I will.”

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.

When Mowunmi marries Adegbola, what she gets isn't what she hoped for. Consider buying this historical novel today!
When Mowunmi marries Adegbola, what she gets isn’t what she hoped for. Consider buying this historical novel today!

**********

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.

“Yeah…”

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.

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**********

“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.

“Good evening.”

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!

We Knew Them Part 17

The next day, while Jumoke was deep conditioning Hope’s hair, there was a knock on the door. She covered the hair with a plastic cap and rinsed her hands quickly.

“That must be your uncle. I’ll be right back.” She said to her daughter.

At the door, she hugged her brother tightly.

“Someone’s happy to see me!” he noted.

Jumoke didn’t respond, she simply held on to him. Continue reading “We Knew Them Part 17”