Sequel to last week’s announcement, I’m so excited about the upcoming release of my first published book titled “George’s Pieces Of Me”.
I’ll keep you posted with the important details.
We’ll be sharing the cover art and information on the release date in due time.
Help share and tell someone to tell someone.
Thank you all
Muna wasn’t sure if she made the right decision leaving Tami alone with Kunle’s Mom but there was no way she could stay. It was not respectful to sit through the conversation nor eavesdrop so she excused herself politely to sit with a silent Amina in the room. Now that she thought about it, maybe sitting with Amina wasn’t so wise after all. The girl kept to herself even though she gazed at her from time to time making her uncomfortable. If she did not do something urgently about the silence between them, she feared she was going to end up pulling out Amina’s socket…more like her own socket.
“So, Amina, tell me…what erm… What do you like doing?”
Amina shrugged. “Nothing.”
“Seriously? You don’t like doing anything?” Muna asked, hoping Amina would say more. She was almost losing her mind to the silence.
“What do you like doing?” Amina asked.
Muna laughed with relief. “Finally! Yes, I like a lot of things. I like to see movies. I like to read books. I like to—“
Muna nodded with a smile. “Yes, I like to talk.” She said. “I can’t stand silence. It scares me.”
“Me too.” Amina replied.
Muna drew closer to her. “Why?”
“Where I am from, you are safe in noise, not in silence because after the silence comes the noise.”
Muna stared at her, quite puzzled. “You sound like an old lady trapped in a young body.”
“I am really sorry about the insurgents in your town.” Muna said, before things could get pretty awkward between them again. She didn’t want to have the opportunity to think about Tami or what she could be doing with Kunle’s mother.
“A lot of people are sorry but I don’t know if it will change anything.”
Muna nodded. “You are right. It doesn’t change anything, but I guess it’s good to know that someone is always here for you, right?”
“I want to be with my people.” Amina said softly. “Do you think I’ll ever be with them again?”
Muna drew close to her. “Honey, I don’t know many things, but all I can tell you is that with Tami, you are in safe hands. She’ll do everything she can for you to be happy.” She said.
“She said she will take me back home when all this is over to find Usman.” Amina replied.
“Who is Usman?”
Amina smiled with genuine happiness as she prepared to take Muna into her world.
Tami tried to hide her anxiety. She wasn’t particularly comfortable with Kunle’s mother taking a seat and not saying a word. She had no idea what had brought her here. She just wanted her to say something. She had made an effort towards breaking the ice by asking her what she’d like to have but with a simple shake of the head, she had turned down her offer.
“I am sorry, Tami.” Mrs. Olugbile started, breaking the silence.
Now Tami was worried. This was not what she expected from Mrs. Olugbile. Her first words should not have been words of an apology. She was the one who ought to be crawling on her knees and apologizing for bringing shame to their family. The apology scared her. This was the part that she never liked.
“I am sure you are confused because up until the time I arrived outside your door, I had no idea what I was coming here for and now that I am here, I still don’t know why I am here,” She continued. “Happy married life.”
Tami took a deep breath. Her to-be mother-in-law was finally back. Hearing some cynicism in her tone reminded her that not much would stay normal between them or maybe she thought wrong.
“Do you love Kunle?”
“I need an answer.”
Tami clenched her teeth. “Yes, I love him.”
“Do you love him in a pitiful way?”
Tami shook her head. “I love Kunle.”
Mrs. Olugbile folded her arms. “Really?”
“Yes, Ma’am.” Tami replied.
Mrs. Olugbile relaxed in her seat. “Have you thought about talking to someone?”
“I don’t understand.” Tami replied, clearly confused.
“I know you are a psychologist but don’t you think that it might be time for you to see someone?” she asked.
Tami shook her head. “I am doing just fine, thank you Ma,” she replied. “The situation with Kunle is temporary. We are working on it.”
“I wasn’t aware there was a situation with Kunle.” She said.
Tami swallowed, hoping she had not shot herself in the foot. “Kunle and I ought to be married today, there is a reason why we had to put it off…if he told you something else, it’s because Kunle is always looking out for me.”
“Don’t you think that it is time you looked out for yourself? Don’t get me wrong, Kunle will always look out for you because he loves you but don’t you think the both of you might drown if you don’t start making efforts to climb out?”
Tami absorbed the words. Was she already drowning? Was she pulling Kunle along? It seemed as though everyone was saying the same thing to her. What could they see that she didn’t see?
“I didn’t love my husband when I got married but I married him still. Some decades down the line and two children later, I can’t swear on the life of any of my kids that I love him, but I tolerate him,” She started. “I am not proud of not being in love with the man I have built my life around but I am not ashamed of myself. I have done what I had to do to survive. Tami, you didn’t need to love Kunle to have married him today, you just needed to care more about the shame than about tomorrow and we’d be dancing in a hall masking the pain underneath our smiles. I’ll go home happy, his father will go home happy and probably both of you would have laughed and even made love but when the scales fall off, you’d have destroyed my son… So, thank you.”
Mrs. Olugbile nodded. “Yes. Thank you for not marrying him with feelings for another man.”
“I… I don’t have feelings for Justin.” Tami replied.
“I am sure you’d like to convince yourself about that but it is alright. I might have tried putting pressure on you and I am sorry. But let the dead mourn the dead, Tami.” She said, rising to her feet with her bag in one hand. “Take care of yourself.”
Tami rose to meet her. “Thank you ma.”
“I hope I see you again.” Mrs. Olugbile replied and left.
Kunle walked over to Mrs. Ibekwe who was sitting in a corner of the restaurant with bogus dark shades on. “Nice shades.”
Mrs. Ibekwe chuckled as she took them off. “Happy married Life.”
“I don’t know how to react to that greeting.” He said, taking a seat.
She smiled. “Na you go sabi how you wan react,” she replied. “What would you like to have?”
“No, Ma. I’ll order for us.” He replied, taking a look at the other customers in the restaurant.
She laughed. “What did you think when I said I was taking you out? Or… Are you shy? Do you think people will think I am a cougar?”
Kunle laughed. “I am sure they’ll think you are my Mom.”
“Cougars are moms too…don’t worry this is not the life in which I’ll be a cougar, Chike will kill the two of us, that’s if Muna doesn’t kill us first… Or your wife, Tami.”
Kunle’s smile faded upon hearing wife. He had waited for the day he’d call Tami his wife and with every passing moment, it seemed like that day would never happen. “Wife? Well, she is not my wife.”
“What wine would you want?” Mrs. Ibekwe said.
Kunle didn’t like how she switched topics on him but he wasn’t going to react to it. “Whatever you are having.” He replied.
She chuckled. “Me, I am not having wine o, I am ordering the wine for you.”
“So what would you have?” he asked.
She shrugged. “I really don’t know. I am not here to eat. I am here to make sure you have been eating.”
Kunle laughed. “I have been eating. You do know I am a chef in my own rights, Ma?”
“I know you are a chef when you are not running your book store but that is not enough for me. You might be a doctor and not use drugs for your headache because you believe it will go away, so I need to be sure that this headache is actually going away.” She replied.
He blinked and managed a smile. “You…You are…”
“Don’t say it.” Mrs. Ibekwe said, stopping him.
He swallowed. “Do you know what was on my mind?”
She nodded. “Your mother loves you deeply and she’s doing her best.”
“You are doing more than she is.” He replied. “I feel like you are my mother, like I can tell you anything.”
She shook her head. “Trust me, I am not your mother o. Well, I’ll be a half part of your mother if you marry my daughter, Tami but for now, I am just a friend who you think is amazing because I am saying the right things, it doesn’t mean I can’t say the wrong ones tomorrow.”
Kunle smiled. “Thank you for everything you are doing for me right now.”
“You look like you could use the laugh.” She replied and signalled to a waiter. “We’ll start with wine.”
“Usman sounds like my type of guy.” Muna said pouring some juice into her glass.
Amina cleared her throat.
Muna chuckled. “I don’t mean it in that context. I don’t want to steal your man. It sounds pretty awkward calling him your man because if you were my sister and you had a boyfriend, I’d be beating him out of your brain.”
“It’s a good thing I am not your sister and Usman is not my boyfriend, he is the man I’ll marry.” She replied.
Muna took a deep breath. “But you know that from everything you said, there’s a chance we won’t find him, right?”
Amina shut her eyes. “I know but I don’t want to think about it,” she said. “We are going to find Usman.”
“Yeah. We will.” Muna replied, sipping her drink.
Amina smiled sheepishly.
Amina folded her arms. “Your turn.”
“What turn?” Muna asked. “Young lady, I am not playing this game with you. Please, let’s leave it here.”
“So you want information from me and you don’t want to tell me anything about you?” Amina asked with a gape.
Muna smiled. “There is nothing to tell.”
“When is your wedding?”
Muna rolled her eyes. “After my sister’s wedding.”
“When is your sister’s wedding?”
“You’ll have to ask her that when she returns,” Muna replied. “On a second thought, please, don’t ask her.” She added quickly.
Muna’s phone rang. Tife. She took a look at the caller ID and at Amina before getting off the bed. “I’ll be right back.” She said and slipped out of the room into the hallway. “Hi, Tife.”
“Hey, Muna. How are you?”
She smiled as she lingered against the door. “I am doing just fine. And you?”
“I am fine, thank you.” He replied.
“I thought we had a date tomorrow?” Muna said, starting off the conversation. She wasn’t sure it was the perfect approach but she hoped that with a little cynicism, her heart would not require that she fed it with beats from Tife’s voice. If she did not nip it in the bud, it was not going to be Tife’s voice that she needed next. It was going to be Tife and if that moment ever happened to her…then love had found her.
“So, I know I am taking you out tomorrow after church but I…I was hoping I could talk to you today.” Tife replied.
“Don’t you have a cab to ride?” she asked, sticking to her script.
He laughed. “I have some time to spare and don’t think I am hanging up because you haven’t forgotten that I ride a cab.”
“I haven’t forgotten. I am quite busy and I would rather we speak tomorrow if you don’t mind.”
Tife sighed. “And I had so many questions to ask.”
“You’ll get your chance tomorrow.” She replied, bluntly.
“Did I catch you in a bad mood, Muna?”
Muna exhaled. “No.”
“Alright, Muna. Thank you. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” He replied.
She exhaled as she hung up. She hoped she had passed the first stage in pushing Tife back from her heart. The pounding of her heart as she leaned against the door said otherwise. Deep down in her heart she had waited so long to feel like this about someone and now that she felt it, it terrified her. But that was not the only thing that terrified her. She was worried about not hearing from Tife anymore if she had succeeded in doing the one thing she knew how to do a lot – shutting people out.
“Do you like your food?” Dr. Ibekwe asked.
Tami smiled as she sipped some soup. “It’s perfect.”
Dr. Ibekwe drank some water. “I thought it was really hot.”
“It’s pepper soup, Dad. What were you expecting?” Tami asked, wiping her mouth.
“A little less pepper.” He replied. “I don’t think they make good food here for men like me. I wouldn’t come here next time.”
Tami smiled. “It’s not like you’ve preferred any chef to your wife.”
“I am loyal to my woman.” He replied. “The best cook in the land, no other person comes close.”
“Come on, Dad, it’s just the both of us here.” Tami said with a smile.
Dr. Ibekwe smiled. “I said what I said.”
Both of them laughed.
“I am really sorry that I took this day away from you and Mom.” Tami said, wiping a tear drop from her eye.
He took her hand. “No, darling. You did not take this day from us because you did not give this day to us. Life is a gift. That we are alive today is a gift and a wedding is never the most important thing, what happens after the wedding is all that counts.”
“I know but I really didn’t want this to happen.” Tami said, not able to fight the tears in her eyes. “I really loved Justin, Dad but it’s in the past, I am not just able to move on from it.”
He reached across the table and hugged her. “It’s alright, Tami.”
“Kunle would never forgive me.” She said, amidst tears.
“Darling, Kunle is not that man.” He replied. “He is not that type of man. He loves you and he’ll forgive you.”
“How can you be so sure?”
Dr. Ibekwe shook his head. “I am not sure but if there is anything that I know, it’s that true love really does conquer all.”
Tami wrapped her arms around her father’s neck. “I don’t know what to do anymore.”
“It will all be alright.” He said softly into her ears.
Tami wasn’t sure that it would all be alright, but maybe her father knew more than she knew. “How is Mom?”
“She is fine. She’s having a good day of her own.” He replied.
Tami took a deep breath. “Kunle’s mother came to see me this morning.”
“Really? What did she say?”
“She didn’t attack me. She said a lot of truths that got me thinking,” She started. “Dad, you understand the human mind, I know Justin manipulated me but why do I find it difficult to get past it? I feel like I have been trying to find answers and it’s drowning me.”
He took her hand. “Stop looking for answers. I feel like you are running from the answers you already have.”
“Dad, do you think Kunle might only feel pity for me and not love right now? I don’t want to go back to him and make him settle with me out of pity for me, because that’s when I would have ruined my life and his.” She said.
“Then don’t do it out of pity, be sure and truly sure that you are ready for this before you get back into it. Consider this your ticket, it’s a one way ticket, you can only make one choice…make it the right one.” He replied.
Tami stared at her phone. “I feel like I should talk to Kunle today.”
“I don’t think you should.” He replied.
Tami blinked. “Dad, I don’t get you. One minute you are sounding like you want me to get back with Kunle and now you are saying I shouldn’t talk to him.”
“I think you should see him.”
Kunle walked Mrs. Ibekwe back to the car park. “Thank you so much for today.”
“It’s alright, my boy. So, are you going to talk to her?” she asked.
He nodded. “I’ll call her.”
“You children of these days. Why would you call her when you can go and see her. Abi is this one part of the forming?”
He chuckled. “No, it’s not forming. We don’t even know if she’ll want to see me right now. It’s not a very good mood for either of us.”
“See ehn, the mood is as good as you want it to be. If you want it to be good, make it good, my dear.”
He smiled. “I hear you but I am not sure I want to take the plunge into a deep blue sea.”
“Deep blue sea? Come on! Even the Red Sea did not drown the people of God oh, which one is now Blue Sea before a son of God like you?”
Kunle smiled. Her sense of humour was impeccable. “Thank you. Where is your car?” he asked, looking around.
“Who told you that I drove down here? With all these cab services these days, why would I stress myself?”
Kunle rubbed his forehead. “Oh, but you made us walk here as though you had your car parked in here?”
She looked over her shoulder as her husband’s car approached. “My ride is here!” she announced with a smile.
Kunle took a deep breath as Dr. Ibekwe pulled up before them. Tami was in the passenger’s seat. She wasn’t the last person he had hoped to see today but her sight shot his heart rate right up. He could see Mrs. Ibekwe and her husband shrinking into the distance as Tami took steps closer to him. He clenched his teeth, not sure of what the next few moments might hold for them.
“Hey,” Tami said almost inaudibly.
He smiled. “Hey.”
She managed a weird smile that she knew was as fake as she could wear it. “I am sorry.”
“You don’t look sorry.” He said.
Tami flashed an awkward grin. “Yeah, I know.”
He stretched his hand to her. “Come on, let’s go talk in my car.”
She took the hand and walked with him to his car.
“Just so you know, I had no hand in this meeting.” Tami started as she settled into the car.
He laughed. “I think I know your parents well enough.”
She nodded. “I haven’t gotten used to their surprises either.”
“So, happy married life?”
Tami laughed. “Yeah, happy married life.”
Kunle exhaled. “It’s so awkward, right?”
“I don’t know what to say, babe. How are you doing? How are you holding up?” he asked.
She shrugged. “So, so! What about you?”
“I am okay.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Don’t lie, Kunle.”
“Okay, fine. I am not okay. I miss you. I want you back. But I want you in shape first.” He said, taking her hand.
“You don’t deserve this.”
He smiled. “None of us deserves a Justin but he’s thrown a spanner into our lives and now we’ve got to fix it.”
“Don’t get caught up fixing me.” She said as tears fell from her eyes.
He chuckled. “I am not fixing you, we are fixing us, because if Justin had done this when we got married, we’d probably be fighting the same battle. So, let’s fight it now that we can.” He said, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“So, be it today, or tomorrow or next tomorrow…I’ll be waiting, Tami. I’ll be waiting for you to meet me here.”
Tami’s eyes became a fountain. “I love you and this much is true, Kunle.”
“I love you too.” He said and kissed her.