My Novella, #HeartsAndHomes, is out and you’re missing if you’ve not read it yet. Below is the cover photo and the link to it.
And now, the day’s business.
Here is Episode 4 of Familiar Strangers, written by Timayin Folorunsho, @IamTimayin.
Click here to read episode 3
Click here to read episode 2
And click here to read episode 1
You can check out his blog here
Have fun reading, and don’t forget to comment and share.
The days that followed their visit to the medical laboratory for enquiries and submission of samples for the DNA test were hellishly panicky and tense. You could scoop the tension in the air where it lingered. Each soul staying away from the other and both keeping silent like they would contact a plague if they moved close, yet beaming love in their eyes.
Needless to say they already had given up on each other.
Ibukun sat watching a documentary on the television while Dupe was wrapped up as usual in the bedroom which, once upon a time, was their matrimonial but the turn of events had changed its use to a room of wailing and crying and sobbing.
She was in bed as usual, sobbing away and changing tissues and sniffing and sighing all the same. She never left the room. A strange fear banned her from leaving the room and Ibukun was gradually becoming more worried for her stability and sanity. He made it a point to check in on her from time to time despite his own woes.
Just as the documentary was drawing to an end and he was about to get up from his seat to check on her once again, his phone rang.
He froze as his heart beat rapidly when he saw the caller ID. It was the medical laboratory where they’d been just a few days before.
“Hello, Mr. Tunji…”, he started as he answered the call and placed the device against his ear.
He walked lazily to the bedroom and told her quickly, worry showing all over his face – or was it resignation to fate?
“Dee, the test results are ready. Please, freshen up so we can go together to get it.” He said as she slowly raised her head to meet his gaze.
She resonated the tension in him too. Both hearts beating. The ultimate moment was here. She couldn’t say the words. All she did was sigh and move to get out of bed.
The doctor called them into his office and just as he was about to reveal the test results, Ibukun spoke up, much to his own shock.
“Doctor, we really do not want you reading the results to us” he started. He observed the look of surprise on the doctor’s face and then continued. “I and my wife will go through it when we get home. I believe the results are well explained in the remarks, yeah?”
The doctor looked from Ibukun to Dupe and back to confirm he heard correctly and when he got it, he responded.
“Very well then. Here is the test result” the doctor said as he handed the sealed envelope over to him.
“Thank you, Dr.” Ibukun said. Dupe was too absorbed in her thoughts to be active. She merely nodded her head as that look of loss lingered on her face. She just wanted it all to end so she could wake up to a bright new day without the troubles life had thrown at her.
The couple left the doctor’s office while he merely smiled back and shook the outstretched hand Ibukun offered him, he could clearly see the signs of worry and a brave attempt at composure on his face. He was trying to stay calm.
The drive home would have been really hellish in addition to the tense atmosphere if they had not been lucky enough to meet light traffic. Neither one spoke to the other all through, nor did they exchange glances. All Ibukun managed to do toward the end of the drive was place his hand on hers and mutter a brief “We’ll be fine, whatever the outcome” to her as they approached the gates.
Once home, he threw the envelope on the table separating him from his wife while heaving a sigh. She just fell into the seat opposite his like a sulky, abandoned child. Ibukun could read the expression on her face and was quick to offer her some cool water to help ease her stress. They would need to be well-prepared for the news sitting in the envelope on their living room table. He feared it would be the end of them both. He was relieved when she drank the water he offered. It had a calming effect on her.
“Dupe, we have the test results right here in front of us” he started after heaving a sigh. He shifted his gaze from the envelope lying on the table to his wife who sat opposite him in the room with legs crossed and arms folded. She simply did a slow nod of her head but her gaze steadily seemed to be boring past him into the chair on which he sat.
He got up, picked the envelope and scrutinized it for a few seconds before saying “Babe, you’re the most amazing person I know and I want nothing more than to have you by my side, holding my hands while we embark on this journey. I want you to be the mother of my kids and to be the one who the little kids would call ‘Grandma’…” He went on after a short pause in which he drew in some air into his lungs, “I want this life but more importantly, I want it with you, only you, no one else. I wish from my heart that we had never experienced the news that has drifted us apart all of a sudden.” He said as he held her hand and squeezed gently, tears welling up in his eyes as he finally let his guard walls down and the tears flowed in a torrent. “This here envelope holds the one element that would either shred us into bits and make us strangers for life… Or make us the best lovers ever”. He felt himself sigh. It took all her strength to hold him close.
Never before had she experienced him in such pain or tears in the years she had known. She held him and both wept together on the floor where he had crumbled. Weeping and sobbing and wiping each other’s tears and consoling each other…
Then she took the envelope from his hand, raised it up in the air and gave it a scrutinizing look before saying, “Ibukun mi, Ololufe mi. I could tell you a thousand things right now but they’d ask be wrong.” She paused to look into his eyes and then continued in her scrutiny of the envelope. “I vowed on that altar not so long ago that we would be man and wife for all of our days… And there’s no one else I would rather be with.” She then paused to compose herself before she went on.
“I refuse to be relegated into the shadows of knowing you from an angle after already knowing you from all and desiring this eternity with you. You’re an amazing lover and best friend among others and I’ll be damned if I let the rest of our lives be dictated to us by a piece of paper”
That said, she held one end of the envelope in her outstretched arm toward him saying, “what do you say we get rid of this stumbling block and live the amazing life we always wanted!” with a smile on her face.
His face gently lightened up and joyful tears ran down the latitudes and meridians of his face. They held opposite ends of the envelope while looking into each other’s eyes like they were making their vows for the first time. They mouthed the “Forever and for always” just before they ripped the envelope into shreds.
“I love you, Ibukun mi. Always will” she said and pulled him close for a hug.
“I love you, my Queen, my lover, Dupsy” he responded and kisses her passionately on the lips.
Then they disposed of the shredded paper bits and after a few hugs and kisses and sobs, started to pick things up from where they left off.😋
And life sat somewhere where he mumbled “Awon ode” and picked the shreds disposed and used them to wrap his ‘Jedi’ which he lit while taking swigs of his ‘Alomo’ and hummed along to Orezi’s ‘Shoki’.
…”Alade Orezi, mo ti gbe jo tuntun de o… Terere 🎵…”