After so long, a new series starts today (yaaay!). This one is called We Knew Them. As always, you can expect drama, romance, suspense and everything in between. I promise you that this is going to be awesome!💃💃💃
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Jumoke Oludare put her hand on her waist and exhaled, it was the alternative to speaking rashly to the middle-aged woman who was waddling around her little shop with two small black carrier bags.
“Madam give me the bread now!” An impatient customer said.
“My change! Just give me change ma.” Another customer said.
“Ah madam no I asked for Milo!” Yet another customer said.
Jumoke shook her head, it would take forever just to buy two seasoning cubes. Behind her was Lanre Williams, he couldn’t take his eyes off the fair skinned girl with the dark blue dress. he watched her flip her long black hair backwards, scratch her neck, stomp her foot impatiently, and smelt the flowery fragrance that emanated from her body. Nothing however warmed his heart as much her voice, it was soft and clear.
“Ma, please I just want to buy two cubes of Maggi.” She implored the storekeeper who eventually attended to her several minutes later.
He followed her after she left the shop as if hypnotized. She began to swing her arms and sing and he thought his heart would burst with the warmth that filled it. Who was this girl and where had she been all his life? He watched her cross the road and knew that he would soon lose the opportunity to speak with her.
“Excuse me! Hello!”
When Jumoke turned around and saw the young man standing in front of her, she was monetarily lost in his eyes. They were the most beautiful that she had ever seen and they twinkled. Then her eyes travelled down his mouth, curving in the most entrancing smile.
“Good evening. Can I help you?”
Lanre’s heart beat faster at the sound of her voice. She wasn’t beautiful but she was pretty, her lips were a bright pink.
“I’m Lanre Williams.” He stretched out his hand but she didn’t take it.
“Do I know you?” she asked instead.
“No you don’t but we can change that.”
Her eyebrows creased in confusion and then irritation. Her mother had warned her about smooth-talking boys and men like this.
“Please excuse me.” she replied and turned to leave.
“Hey… Did I say something wrong?” Lanre asked desperately.
“My mother is waiting for me.”
“Alright. Can I see you again?”
“Please excuse me! My mother is waiting, and I don’t even know you!”
“That’s what I’m trying to fix!” he smiled enigmatically. “I want to know you.”
Jumoke shook her head in unbelief. Why did this person choose to disturb her when she was clearly uncomfortable with him?
“Is this the way you just stop girls on the road? If you follow me again, I will shout.”
That said, she walked away and left the young man staring longingly after her.
“One boy stopped me on the way home from Mama Yellow’s store.” Jumoke said to her mother later that night as they cleaned up the kitchen.
“Ehn ehn?” her mother said with slight trepidation. “And what did he say?”
“He said he wanted to see me again and that he wanted to get to know me.”
“And what did you say?”
“I told him no and that my mother was waiting for me.”
“That’s good.” She replied with relief.
“He sounded nice sha.”
Her mother stopped wiping the slab and looked her daughter in the eyes. “Don’t be fooled my dear, guys like that have practiced on many girls. They know how to be nice.”
Jumoke nodded her head and tried not to think of the young man with the twinkling eyes.
Jumoke was reading in her room when her younger brother Korede, knocked on the door.
“Mummy is calling you, we have visitors.” He said, standing but the door.
“Argh! Do we have to see every visitor?”
“Let’s just go. I don’t want Mummy to be angry.” He pleaded.
Laughter filled the sitting room when Jumoke and her younger brother got there.
“Ah! These are our children. This is Jumoke and this Korede.” Her father Mr Oludare said, holding her hand. “Children, these are the Williams. We all attended the same university, many years ago. They just moved into this area.”
“Haba, Sola it’s not that long ago.” Mr Williams, a skinny unassuming man said.
“Deceive yourself if you like!” Mr Oludare replied and they all laughed.
“Good evening.” The Oludare children chorused.
“Good evening young lady and gentleman… But it’s been quite a while o.” Mr Williams thought out loud. “We left UniIfe in 1981, this is 2003. Twenty-two years ago!”
“Time flies my brother.” Mr Oludare said.
“Your daughter looks exactly like you Tayo.” Mrs Williams, a plump well-dressed woman noted.
“That’s what they tell me.” Mrs Oludare replied, looking at her daughter with pride.
“Hello children,” Mrs Williams said, looking closely at Jumoke and her brother. “These are our children, that’s Lanre our charming son who studies in the US and our twin daughters Gbemi and Remi who will soon be joining him.”
“Dear you didn’t tell them that Remi won the trophy for the best maths student in the state.” Mr Williams said.
“Then she is just like her father!” Mr Oludare said. “He was a mathematical wizard!”
“He still is!” Mrs Williams replied, eyeing her husband lovingly.
Lanre tried not to smile widely, fate was on his side. He had recognized her as soon as she walked into eh sitting room with her brother. She was wearing a dark green dress with red dots and she looked even more beautiful, this girl was meant for him.
“Ah ah Lanre, you’re smiling. Do you know them?” His mother asked.
“I know her. I saw her last week at that fat woman’s shop.”
“Is that so?” Mrs Williams asked pleasantly.
Jumoke wanted to sink into the ground, her hands began to twitch out of nervousness. “Yes ma.” she replied in a small voice.
“Can you imagine? It’s such a small world. How old are you?”
“I’m sixteen ma.”
“Oh you’re the same age as the twins! They will be sixteen in May. You girls should be friends.”
Mrs Oludare saw the look of uncertainty on her daughter’s face. “I’m sure they’ll sort themselves out. Why don’t you show them your room Jummy? And maybe you can tell Remi about the maths problem you have, I’m sure she would be glad to teach you a few things.”
Jumoke cringed with shame. “Alright ma. Come with me…” she beckoned at the two girls who were staring at her.
As the twins followed her, Lanre decided to take advantage of the situation.
“Ah ah what about us boys?” he said playfully.
“But Korede is younger than you are!” Mr Oludare said.
“It doesn’t matter, I’m sure we have a lot we can talk about.”
“So you met our brother?” Gbemi, the bigger twin said to Jumoke when they were in her room.
“Yes.” She answered simply.
“And?” Gbemi queried.
“And what? We talked and I left.” Jumoke asked with slight wonder, the other girl looked displeased.
“What happened between you two? What did you talk about?”
“Gbemi!” Remi said with a smile and tore her gaze from the pictures on the wall. “Leave her alone! Is it your business what they talked about?”
“What? I’m just curious!”
“Mind your own business.” Remi warned. “What is this?” She asked smiling, and pointed at several pictures of cities that Jumoke had formed into a circle.
She smiled. “I call it my goal circle. I want to go to all those cities.”
“You have big dreams.” Gbemi said sarcastically.
Korede and Lanre hit it off immediately, talking about football and basketball.
“You only like football this much because you’re tall.”
“Maybe, but I think that basketball is the better game.”
Korede laughed. “Lai lai!”
“I can see that you’re a die-hard fan of football. Let’s talk about something that shouldn’t cause arguments.”
“Okay, like America? I’ve heard a lot about the place, what’s it like schooling there?”
“It’s great, it’s a beautiful country.” he replied in a hurry. “But guess what? I really want to talk about your sister.”
“My sister? Why do you want to talk about my sister?” Korede asked cautiously.
“She looks like an interesting person. She was in a hurry the day we met, so we didn’t get to talk much. What can you tell me about her?”
Korede smiled. “She’s very smart.”
“Yeah, she looks like such a person.”
“And she’s very precious to me.”
”She is uhn?” Lanre said, looking into the younger boy’s eyes and seeing a warning there.
After the Williams left, Jumoke went to the kitchen where her mother was cleaning up the dishes.
“Mummy Lanre is the boy I told you about.”
“The one I told you I met on the way back from Mama Yellow’s store.”
Her mother stopped what she was doing. “Is that so?”
She now understood why her daughter had been odd when they were introduced. She sighed and wondered how to respond to this situation. The Williams used to be very close to them.
“I’m sure he was only being friendly…” she began as her husband came into the kitchen.
“Jummy go and sweep that sitting room again, I saw some crumbs on the floor.” He instructed.
As Jumoke left, Mr Oludare picked up a piece of meat from a plate nearby.
“Haven’t you had enough to eat Sola?” his wife said worriedly.
“You know I like to eat…”
”That’s why your stomach keeps getting bigger. Didn’t you see how trim Deji was looking?”
“Tayo!” her husband said, throwing the meat back on to the plate. “This behaviour of comparing your family members with other people is annoying! That’s how you made Jumoke look like a dunce when you told her to talk to the William girl about her problem with maths.”
“I wasn’t comparing her to Remi, I was only looking out for her the way I am looking out for you.”
“Instead of you to admit that you made a mistake, you’re defending yourself!”
“And instead of you to admit that you have a problem, you’re getting worked up!”
Just then Jumoke returned with the broom and dustpan. She looked at her parents for a while, wondering if she could come in. Her father wiped his hands on a towel and left the kitchen, his wife had ruined what had been an enjoyable evening.
“I want you to start studying with Remi so you can get better with your maths. It’s a good thing they live close by.” She muttered as she wiped the slab mindlessly. “There’s no shame in gaining knowledge.”