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So, here is Episode 1 of the new series “Two Weeks To Go”. The series would have 7 parts in all. Happy reading.
Copyright 2015 © Tomi Adesina
“Hi guys, so, the countdown is here…and it is just two weeks left! Am I excited? Yes. Am I nervous? Yes. Do I want this? I think so…and ultimately, am I scared? Of course. I know it’s weird, you sitting there and having to listen to me rant about my life all day can be pretty exhausting and I am thankful for you guys and your endless comments because they have always given me the strength and courage to go on because it really does get loud inside my head, but with you guys…I don’t have to feel so lonely. It’s like having someone you can’t see walk with you every step of the way and I am yet to see what tops that feeling for me…that is love. Thanks guys, I’ll be back in the evening, but now, I am off to the mall to see a movie. It’s new and it’s sci-fi, you all know how much I love those things. So, have yourselves a very nice day and let’s play catch up when I am back. It is I, Ade Jones and this is my podcast”
Ade smiled as he stopped his recorder. He turned to his brother. “Did you like it, Tunji?”
“When have I not liked anything you said?” Tunji replied with a sigh.
Ade smiled. “You want to see the movie with me? I am paying.”
“It’s sci-fi. I don’t like those things.” Tunji replied with a shrug. “How long would you be?”
“I don’t know. It shouldn’t be long.” He said, putting on his sweatshirt. “You are free to change your mind, bro.” he said.
Tunji didn’t want to go anywhere. He’d rather sit in and watch TV, and maybe eat some food too. That seemed to be all he was doing anyway…but his brother, Ade didn’t seem to have any worries about what was going on around them. That tired him. “You take care, alright?”
Ade chuckled. “I am still your big bro, stop playing daddy.”
“That reminds me, when last did you hear from him?” Tunji asked, adjusting in his chair. This was important.
Ade shrugged. “He is busy at the Hospital…probably holed up in the research lab trying to find a way.” He said with a smile. “Racing against time.” He added with a chuckle.
“And don’t you think that’s a good sign?” Tunji asked.
Ade smiled. “You worry too much. There’s nothing good about our father stuck up between the hospital walls trying to save a life while he gets lean. He should save his own life too.”
“Just go, Ade. You are so impossible.” Tunji said with a laugh. His brother had just made light of their father and a serious situation. Everything seemed funny to Ade. Even his own life.
Ade grabbed his car keys. “Try not to eat too much.”
“I am hungry.” Tunji replied.
Ade smiled. “You are running. You are not hungry.” He replied and reached for the door. “Later, bro.”
Tunji nodded as he stared at the bag of chips that was beside him. He had learned to eat for pain. When their mom passed on, Tunji’s best escape from the pain was food. He’d eat and then sleep and he never had to shed a tear about it…he gained more weight, but that didn’t bother him.
The bag of chips enticed him, he didn’t see the need to refuse this temptation.
“Yvonne Laoye! Oh my!”
Yvonne sighed but managed to force a smile across her teeth. She had thought that her timing was perfect. It was Monday and it was Ten am. Who comes to the cinema at this time? Plus, she had gotten dark sunshades which would be totally inappropriate considering she was not in the sun, but she needed them to shield her from her fans. Yes, she was the movie industry’s biggest sweetheart.
“Please sign my ticket.” The lady said, handing it out to her.
Yvonne maintained her smile as she signed the ticket and of course waited to take a couple of shots with the others who had spotted her. In a few minute, her phone was vibrating. She knew she must have been tagged in pictures on instagram or mentioned or twitter or Facebook and the likes. The life of a Nigerian Celebrity.
She walked up to the counter to purchase her ticket before heading down the hall for the cinema. She smiled in satisfaction as she noticed the emptiness of the hall. Exactly her wish! See a movie alone…or if that couldn’t be achieved, see a movie unnoticed. Well, the hall was empty for a start, she could cash in on her luck.
Yvonne picked her spot at the corner in the dark room. It was the complete contrast of the spotlight she was used to. Lights…camera…action. Those were her things. But here, it was lights off, big screen on. Totally different! No one had bought a ticket but her. She would just sit and see the movie alone. It was meant to be a sell-out. She had seen the movie trailer. It was ‘dope’, ‘epic’ and all things awesome! Why weren’t people trooping into the cinema to see this movie? Maybe Monday Fever? But then, she looked on the brighter side, the absence of people in the cinema would give her more alone time. Alone time was something she didn’t have the liberty of owning. From photo-shoots to endorsement deals, script conferences, set locations and award nights. When she was not busy with these, she had her manager dragging her from one charity ball to another, orphanage visits and relief centres. Her life was scripted round the clock. She didn’t like this life…not anymore. It was fascinating initially. She would have given anything to be in the spotlight and now that she got it, it was not it. Stardom had taken a lot from her than it had given her and that was her biggest regret. Maybe her home was the best place for her to get her precious alone time, but she knew she couldn’t. Maybe she could…but then she might have been tempted to defy her new mission which was two weeks away. She had set a two weeks ultimatum for what she had dreamt of doing since she got to her knife edge. Her ultimate desire to put an end to all the drama in her life which was totally off the stage. She was going to put a gun to her head and pull the trigger, she would not miss.
Ade picked up his popcorn and drink and made for the cinema. He hurried as he feared the movie would have started. He had spent some time in Lagos traffic that morning much to his distaste. The idea of seeing a movie that he had anticipated since the trailer was released at the beginning of the year was the only thing that kept him from turning back home as he drove into the City’s necked traffic.
He pushed the door open and walked into the empty room. The lights were off…the movie was on.
“Damn!” he said and hurried up into the top corner of the room.
He settled quickly and dug his hand into his popcorn and focused on the movie. As an ardent, he made a point of duty to review every movie he had seen, now he wasn’t sure if he would be able to give a very accurate one of this movie. Every detail from the opening credit mattered to him…well, not as much as the movie. But it still did matter.
He smiled to himself…he had the cinema all to himself. He would just take a selfie to proof that point…and then drop that news on his instagram and then read it to his listeners in the evening.
Epic Moment. Selfie time! Flash on! And click!
Yvonne turned away as the flash light shone in her eyes from the other end. Did this moron have to take his selfie in my direction? She thought.
Ade managed a grin as he stared at the lady he had just upset with his goofiness. She must see me as a kid. He thought to himself as he took a seat. She was some seats away from him and in the dark corner, he couldn’t be blamed for not noticing that anyone was in the theatre but him.
So what? They were just two in the cinema and seeing the same movie. They must have common interests. What else could we have in common? Ade thought to himself with a snicker.
Yvonne hoped that this guy would be a little different from the male species and not try to initiate a conversation with her by drawing close. He surely must have noticed that a lady was all by herself and she knew the normal trick. He would come over and ask if the flash disturbed her eyes…or maybe not. Maybe he would just come up with something lame. Maybe he would just be a guy about that. Not that she didn’t think highly of males…she had a brother whom she adored, but she was just so used to guys and male fans that it was hard to see beyond the surface…and most times, they made it difficult for her to see beneath the surface. Ever since she hit stardom, all she had were men rolling over to be her friends. The reason wasn’t far-fetched – money. She had a lot of that. She had bagged all the top endorsements in the region and was heavily loaded with cash. She commanded the highest appearance fees in the movie industry. See…money can be a problem. A good problem, actually. If they didn’t want money alone, they wanted to bed her. Maybe not every man wants to sleep with every lady he meets, but somewhere along the line, she had the perception that he did consider that possibility. Or maybe she just thought too wrong. But then, it was difficult to meet someone who actually cared about Yvonne. The lady. All they saw was the superstar, the one who they adored, who could do no wrong. The one who could solve all their financial problems. The one who was designed to answer their questions. She had not met anyone who for once made her feel she was human too. She was weak. Flawed. She was lonely. She was afraid. Life made no sense to her, she didn’t want to be here.
Anyway, this guy hadn’t come over to meet her and the incident was about thirty minutes gone. Good sign.
Ade enjoyed every bit of the movie he was viewing so far. But then, he couldn’t help but notice the lady isolated in the corner. He didn’t see it as a big deal for anyone to sit alone and have a good time alone. It might have seemed awkward but it did provide some serenity for those who cherished it and maybe she, like him, was enjoying it. He wanted to talk to her, but then, he’d just let her be…or not?
He grabbed his drink and popcorn and approached her.
Yvonne sighed. He had just fallen her hand. After all the accolades she had showered him, he was walking up to her to ruin it all. She took a deep breath as he took his seat beside her. Damn! Nice cologne! That was the first thing that caught her attention about this imposter. Apparently he had not yet realised who she was. She would not help him by smiling.
“Hi.” Ade said.
“Hey.” Yvonne replied without taking a look at him.
Ade smiled. “My name is Ade.”
He turned to her. “Your name is cool?”
“Nice try.” She replied with a smirk.
“I guess we are just two who like this movie.” He said as he ate some popcorn. He then passed the popcorn to her. “Want some?”
“No. I am fine.” She replied.
Ade shrugged. “That’s okay. If it makes you more relaxed, I got them from the stand out there.” He said with a smile as he took another munch.
Yvonne smiled. Someone actually talking to her with no holds barred. And that had to be because he didn’t know who she was. She wished she could stay invisible forever.
“Do you think I could be a serial killer?” Ade asked, trying to start a conversation. The lady didn’t seem to talk too much. “You seem to choose your words.”
“The wise choose their words.” She replied calmly.
Ade smiled. “Low blow, Ade. Low blow.” He said. “I should just keep shut.” He said and focused on the movie.
“Yvonne.” She said.
Ade stuck his fingers into his ear drums.
Yvonne smiled. “You are going to beg me later.”
“I-can’t-hear-you.” Ade replied with a chuckle.
Yvonne smirked and faced the screen.
“Have you ever wanted this?” Ade asked, starting a conversation. “I mean, some quiet. Peace. Just you.” He added.
She didn’t even know when she nodded in agreement. She wanted that, but some things can’t easily be reached…or maybe they could.
“Can I see your face? You are really rooted in the dark or are you so black?” Ade asked with a smile.
She could see his smile. It was beautiful. “What do you want to see when you see me?”
Ade paused at the question and almost laughed. Every guy would want to see a fine girl first. That’s just logical. But then, this lady was different. She had asked a question that had never been posed to him in all his years of hanging around females.
“No answer?” she asked.
Ade blinked. He was brilliant with words. But he was also careful with them, not everyone had the same reaction to his responses. “What do you want me to see?” he asked.
Yvonne smiled. She was enjoying the game already.
“What are you running from, Yvonne?” he asked.
What was she running from? Everything! There was nothing here for her anymore. “I am not running.” She lied. She wasn’t about to let this guy in…and maybe that had always been her mistake. But then, the guys who had ever come close had let her down. She was frail. Nothing like the picture she depicted. Rough and hard on the outside, weak on the inside. Maybe what made her vulnerable was that people thought she’d never get hurt, but they were wrong.
Ade smiled. “I’d like to see your face.”
“I like talking to you. Would it change when you see my face?” she asked.
Ade shook his head. “No. Why would it change?” Okay…that’s easier said than done. Once in his university days, he had bonded with a lady via the internet and when they finally met, she was physically not what he had expected. But then he wasn’t the sculpturing of George Clooney, Channing Tatum, and Ramsey Noah in one man, so who was he to expect her to be a complete stunner? He brushed off his vague thoughts and was able to continue their friendship from that point. But then…he was curious about Yvonne.
“Let’s wait till the lights come on after the movie.” She said.
Ade nodded. “I’ll be waiting.” He said. He forgot about how interesting this movie was and prayed that it could just skip to the end credits so he could see this lady that had decided to stay in this dark corner…The movie got boring to him. But the movie wasn’t boring.
Yvonne sighed. Everything was bound to change once he knew who she was. Another bummer! What’s the point? You can’t even hold a decent conversation with a guy you might seem to hit it off with just because you have a name that most people might find it difficult to look beyond. She had found solace in music, pictures, nature and words, but then she could really use a friend.
Moment of truth. The movie ended. The lights came on…and Yvonne turned to him.
Ade gaped in utter disbelief. “Yvonne Laoye?”
Tunji heard the doorbell and turned off the television. He had eaten and slept afterward. It must be Ade. He hurried to the door so as not to keep him waiting. “Hey…” he stopped as soon as he saw his Dad. “Oh…Dad?”
“Yes…have you seen a ghost? Let me in.” The older man said, and let himself in.
Tunji shut the door after him and followed him in the living room. “Dad…it’s a surprise.”
“Is it?” Dr Jones asked, helping himself to a seat. “Where is Ade?”
Tunji took his seat opposite him. “What would you have to drink?”
“Are you deflecting my question? Where is Ade?”
Tunji remained silent.
“You can’t save a man from himself.” The older man said angrily and looked away. “He knows the consequences of what he is doing.”
Tunji stared at him. “You could put a leash on him, you know?”
“Watch your tone, young man!” he retorted.
Tunji sighed. “Dad, I just think you should really come home someday.”
Dr Jones looked away. He wished he could have been more for his boys after his wife had died.
“Ade should be back soon. He just went to see a movie.” Tunji replied, rising to his feet. “Should I get you something to drink?”
“Just a soda.” He replied and relaxed in his seat.
“You can stop gaping already.” Yvonne said as she rose to her feet. “Show’s over. It’s all the same.” She said.
Ade stared at her as he rose to his feet slowly. “Wow!” he said.
“What is Wow?” she asked.
He shrugged. “If you expect me to deny that I am fascinated to have held a discussion with you. You are kidding. I am fascinated. I watch television. I love you.”
Yvonne nodded seemingly. “Don’t we all know that?”
“Yeah…I guess that’s for the wont of stating the obvious, but back to this, you are a great person.” He replied.
“Person? Are you talking about me…or the idea of me?” she asked as she clutched her bag to her arm.
Ade smiled. “I am talking about the lady I spoke with for about an hour without seeing her face. She is a good person…and for the mere fact that she is Yvonne Laoye, that’s good.”
“Yvonne Laoye is overrated. Trust me.” She replied. She was willing to hold this conversation. Ade picked off well…unlike most others.
“Ade Jones is overrated too.” He said with a simper.
Yvonne smiled. “Are you just trying to be funny?”
“Some people do know me.” He replied. “My brother is my biggest fan. I am that awesome.” He replied.
She shrugged. “I guess.”
“It was nice to meet you and maybe I’d never see you again, but I’d cherish this moment forever.” He said with a bow.
Yvonne smiled. “Thank you, Ade.”
“Hmmm….I like how my name sounds. Ade.” He said with a smile. Yvonne was more than the surface. He knew that. It was easy to spot that from the lady he had met before he knew who she was.
She turned with a smile and started to walk away. For a moment, she would want to keep in touch with Ade…even if it was for a few more days.
“Yvonne.” Ade called.
She stopped. She turned and stared at him. “Yes?”
Ade took a deep breath. “Are you happy with yourself?” he asked.
Yvonne was stoned.
Dr Jones groaned. “Why is he not here yet? You said he was going to be back soon…and I have been here for two hours now!”
“Dad, I think you are overreacting. Ade is a grown man-”
Dr Jones scowled. “He is my son before being a man.”
“And there’s always a time to let a boy grow.” Tunji replied.
Dr Jones blinked. “I am not about to lose the only good thing I have left.”
Tunji swallowed and took a seat.
“I…I didn’t mean it that way.” Dr Jones said as he took a deep breath. “Tunji, I…I was just erm…I-”
“You are nothing, Dad! Just look at me! I am here! You don’t see me! I wish I was the one that had cancer!” Tunji barked.
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Thank you all!