I apologize to everyone who has been following/reading here. Life happens.
As it is, I just about wrapped up work on the second book in the Lebe series! It should be headed your way quite soon – I would have given specifics but I’d rather not disappoint. Suffice it to say; it’s coming.
I’m pretty excited – not only did I get to visit that world and its characters once more, we got a major facelift. Namely:
How are we looking? Good, I’m sure!
Lẹ́bẹ́’s world is heating up – but as they say; ‘It’s darkest before the dawn’. Get ready.
Buy Lẹ́bẹ́ Book I here.
Sometime In April…
I’m sorry. I’ve been slow putting this one out here – and its simply because there has been so much on my mind.
So what else is new?
Without further ado, I’d like to share with you a sneak peek into the pages of Lẹ́bẹ́: First Cut!
There were no stars in the sky that night; Chibuzor could tell that much from his position as his vision seemed to dim and brighten alternatively. He was conscious enough to regret not backing up the latest designs for the clothing line company he and his girl were setting up; conscious enough to know the police could see what was happening to him but refused to do anything; thinking about how he was alive with nothing worse than a headache and ripped pants to show for his ordeal. He could hear the clatter of plastic on tarmac and tried to sit up.
A light-headed feeling rushed in on him; his stomach rebelled – he quickly lay on his back once again. From the sounds, it didn’t seem the thieves had noticed him.
Another thing to be thankful for, he decided.
He lay still, feigning unconsciousness, wishing they would just go away. They were mumbling, but for reasons he wasn’t sure about, he couldn’t hear what they were saying.
“Wetin una dey do dia?” said a voice.
Chibuzor’s eyes flew open; the police had come! He stretched his hand, groping for the iron grating of the compound. He found it and pulled himself up, at the same time forcing his swimming vision to focus long enough and seek out who it was that had spoken.
What he saw however made him freeze halfway up.
A figure, a tall and dark figure stood not too far away from the left of Chibuzor. It was what this man was wearing however that made Chibuzor freeze. It was impossible to tell what he looked like because his head was covered with a hood, leaving his face in shadow. He was wearing a dark-colored hooded shirt with a huge, white skull and crossbones printed on the front of it. His hands were wrapped in white bandages; like a boxer would have on before putting on his gloves. Dark-colored jeans and ankle-length black and white Converse sneakers completed his ensemble.
He looked out of place considering the evening heat; there was nothing friendly about the way he stood, in the way darkness somehow clung to him.
The thieves looked at each other and then the self-elected spokesman for the group said, “Oga, waka dey go o. Na we reach here fest. We don even obtain am finis, tomorrow fit be your – “
Chibuzor wasn’t sure what happened. One moment the tout was trying to discourage the stranger, next moment he was staggering backwards trying to keep blood in his nose with his hands. The hooded guy was standing in front of Chibuzor now.
“Oya, drop everything wey you collect back!” the man snarled.
The other touts jumped forward, the smoker pulling out a kitchen knife from the waistband of his jeans, the second wielding a plank. Hooded guy slowly moved backwards, drawing them away from Chibuzor who couldn’t believe his eyes.
God! I must have banged my head real hard, he thought.
Nevertheless, he watched as his savior sidestepped the descending plank and hit its wielder with a left uppercut. Chibuzor winced as he heard the clear crunch of teeth clashing together in a not-so-nice way. The plank wielder went down and screamed through mashed lips and blood-soaked hands. The one with a smashed nose straightened from his crouch and, grabbing the plank, joined the knife-swinger who just sent the knife towards the hooded guy’s midriff in a stabbing move.
A left forearm knocked the knife-holding hand aside and a right jab to the throat put him out of the fight permanently. The knife fell to the tarmac with a clatter and he held his throat with both hands and staggered, thudding loudly beside Chibuzor, breath rattling in his throat.
The loud blaring of a horn drowned out the coughing sounds and a danfo screamed past. “See dis mumus wey dey fight for night!!!” somebody, probably the conductor, yelled.
The plank wielder and the hooded guy circled each slowly, like boxers looking for an opening – and then the plank went up. At that moment, a sound interjected and Chibuzor realized that a phone somewhere was vibrating. The next moment he was once again focused on the tableau before him, forgetting what he’d heard.
He watched as the hooded figure moved aside to avoid the plank with a smoothness that reminded of Michael Jackson moonwalking. He blinked – and the hooded figure was close enough to the plank wielder to hug him. Instead of a hug however, the hooded figure hit him with a swift right-left combination that would have made many a professional boxer envious. In this case however, the street lights were enough illumination for Chibuzor to see the tout’s face change color – and then, he turned his head away as the tout threw up.
The tout fell to his knees and continued to throw up, blood dripping from his nose and mixing with the puke.
Chibuzor was disgusted.
“How you…are you alright?”
Chibuzor stayed against the wall, frightened into immobility. He stared as though hypnotized at the man’s face – at least, where a face was supposed to be. The man’s voice was gruff, uncultured…not too different from what the thieves had sounded like. Chibuzor didn’t move, his heartbeats thunderous in his ears.
“E for beta if you begin dey go o, because dem go wake soon,” hooded guy said, waving in the direction of the touts who were slowly moving again, holding parts of them that hurt. The tout throwing up had stopped, but he was bent over on his knees holding his stomach, rocking back and forth and making moaning noises. Chibuzor left the wall and staggered a bit, feeling for and finding a lump on the back of his head, aware his headache was now a distant pain. He looked at his savior with disbelief.
“What are you, Daredevil…or what…?”
The hood swung his way – and even though he couldn’t see inside it he felt a burning stare.
“Carry your tins dey go,” the voice from within the hood said.
There was a cold finality to the sentence that started Chibuzor moving. He looked around, and spotted his valuables scattered amongst the groaning bodies. Quickly he darted between them and scooped up his laptop, phone, wallet and twenty naira one after the other. Stashing them into his bag, he turned towards the hood who was pointing back towards the busier side of Opebi – the left side from where they were standing.
“Selfie?” Chibuzor asked.
Click here to buy Lẹ́bẹ́ First Cut for only N500!
Do ‘New Beginnings’ Exist?
How much of the past do you leave behind?
An innocent man is pardoned by a General after nine years in jail for a crime he did not commit. He goes to work for the General as a companion for his cripple son, who has other plans for the ex-convict; save-the-streets-hero-type plans. Lẹ́bẹ́ examines the transition a street level amateur boxer has to make from tout to local hero.
Lẹ́bẹ́ is a three-part series that will be released monthly via OkadaBooks starting from March 2017.
I’m sure you know the effusive Ogechi Nwobia.
If you don’t, where have you been hiding?!
Anyway. She had a successful run publishing what I’m just finding out was the first ‘season’ of an ongoing series called Hunter’s Game. Intriguing title, no?
This is to inform you guys that Hunter’s Game will be continuing this Saturday the first of October on Ogechi’s blog here: Her Blog.
That made me laugh sef.
Now, a sneak peek into what to expect from Hunter’s Game II:
The sun had long since completed its return home by the time she took her evening run. Her trail was different tonight as she ran through the city for the first time. It had always been through the beach or some other trail close to home but this night, she took a different, longer trail, just for the fun of it. Her ears were plugged into her iPod, Eminem’s rap filling her ears and fueling her heart rate as she maintained a steady pace of 3:38.
After completing 6km, she commenced her return home, her pace dropping slightly to 3:50. In 30 minutes, she was back to her small cottage overlooking the Jibacoa beach. She peeled her soaked tank top and tights off her body and went into the bathroom for a cold shower just as she turned on the television in her room.
When she came out of the shower, she sat in front of the television, drying her short hair. She needed to cut it again. The hair grew way too fast. She suddenly noticed an item on the news bar:
“Breaking News. Passenger plane crashes in Nigeria, killing all 120 passengers aboard.”
“Holy shit!!” Ijeoma exclaimed.
She turned up the volume of the news and listened as the reporter provided updates of a plane crash that had taken place hours ago. It was 3am in Nigeria but quite clearly, no one was asleep. The airplane was one in the fleet of Miranda airlines owned by Chief Victor Ubong. At that time, the passenger manifest was being read. The journalist reported that 3 of Chief Ubong’s children had been on the flight, one them was the pilot, the other a flight attendant and the third one apparently hitching a ride. The black box had been found and investigations had commenced.
Ijeoma buried her face in her palms. This was completely shocking. Chief Ubong was well known to her. He had actually arranged the private jet that had taken her off to Cuba six months ago. How could such a thing happen to him? She briefly contemplated reaching out to him but changed her mind. They were not exactly tight buddies. He owed her a favour and had repaid it by ensuring her safe passage out of Nigeria. No need to get emotional over his loss.
She turned off the television and changed into something light for the night, then walked into her small kitchen and fixed herself a cocktail. There was so much madness going on in the world, she would rather remain oblivious to it all.
She took her drink back to her room then turned on her Netflix and relaxed in her bed.
Against the backdrop of the movie dialogue, Ijeoma heard a ping that signified a notification for her email. She paused the movie, picked her iPad and checked. The mail had come into a Gmail account she had not used in months.
Check the news. There was a crash. Someone just murdered my kids. Come home. I need your help.
The sender was V. Ubong. Ijeoma stared at the screen for a long time before taking another sip of her cocktail. She slowly typed out a response;
My condolences chief. But I’m retired. Never returning to Nigeria.
She sent the email and shut down the iPad before returning her attention to the big screen in front of her.
The mean *&@%^!
Keep it a date with her, stalk her everywhere. I assure you, she (and it) are entirely worth it!!
To have a feel of what you missed by not reading Hunter’s Game before now, click here:
Thank me later.
CLUELESS – EPISODE 4
Sharon wasn’t ready. She had seen crazy ladies but then, they were Maitama rich kids crazy scratching at each other for silly issues like unshared blunts and boyfriends, not Lagos crazy. She stared at the lady who was ripping Dapo apart with her tongue and wished she could diffuse into the earth instantly, but it was too late! Some jobless folks at the mall had started taking videos and pictures of the showdown; they were going to make it to gossip blogs in no time and possibly trend on Twitter. She was officially screwed!
“Jadesola, please, calm down.” Dapo said, as he stared at the crowd. “It is not what it seems like.” He said.
She laughed as she clapped her hands. “Ehen?! Do I look like I have glue in my eyes? Are you not here with that skinny piece of meat?” she asked, staring at Sharon who was standing metres away from them. “Panla, I am talking to you!”
“Jade! Stop this nonsense. We are in the public!” Dapo said as he tried taking her hand. She wouldn’t let him. “Let’s go and talk about this outside.”
“You told me you were going to work for the weekend. Is this the work?” Jadesola asked. “Look at the babe, this one is not work na.” She added, accessing her body frame. “I am work.” She said, firming her hands against her buttocks. “This is work.” She said, emphatically.
Dapo exhaled as laughter rang across the room. The onlookers were definitely having fun with this. He turned to Sharon who was clearly embarrassed and mouthed. “I am sorry.” He said. Sharon nodded and turned away from them, heading downstairs.
“Where is she going?” Jade asked as she tried going after Sharon but was restrained by Dapo who grabbed her firmly and lifted her over his shoulder. “What are you doing?” she cried. “Put me down!”
He was having none of her theatrics. He had seen enough of it, and unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time. Other times, he had learnt to walk away but this was not one of such occasions. He was at fault. He ought to have told her that he wasn’t alone and maybe that would have made her less dramatic…after all, there was not one drama-free woman, yeah? He released her as soon as they got to the car. “Get in.” He ordered, looking over her shoulder in Sharon’s direction. He could still see her walking down the road. But, she was not alone. Tobi was closing in on her. He hated that guy!
“I am not going anywhere with you until you tell me who that lady is.” She replied, in an unusually calm tone.
Dapo scoffed. “Why didn’t you speak like a proper human being up there? If you had this humane part of you, why didn’t I see that part? Aren’t you going to continue raging like a madwoman?”
She flipped her hair over her shoulder. “Who is she?” she asked.
“She is a friend who needs my help and thanks to you, she is out of sight” Dapo replied. “Now if you would please, get into the car and let me drop you home.” He said.
Jade took a deep breath. “I can’t.”
“Why not?” he asked.
She sighed. “I have a date.”
Sharon stopped walking and turned towards the person that had been calling after her. It was Tobi Adebiyi. The TV Presenter. Now what could he want? An Interview? She could only ask the Heavens to help her so she wouldn’t be rude towards him. She had had enough for a lifetime and the only thing she could think about now was getting on the next flight to Abuja on Monday morning. “Yes?”
He smiled as he stood before her. “I was on my way out when that episode happened up there and I would love to apologize on behalf of my friend and his psychotic girlfriend.”
“Name calling? That’s classy.” She replied and started to turn away from him. She couldn’t be interested in anything that had to do with Dapo or his girlfriend.
Tobi hurried after her. “I am sorry about that. I usually come off wrong some times.”
“Well, this seems like all the time.” she replied.
Tobi chuckled. “You can’t judge me by one incident.” He replied. “Where are you off to? I could drop you.”
Sharon paused and then realized that she had no idea where she was off to. She couldn’t return to the hotel. She wasn’t the registered user of the room and she was sure the receptionists would be more than happy to turn her back. Maybe it was time to get off her high horse and call for help. Lagos was going from bad to worse. She was sure that her parents knew people in Lagos who could camp her till Monday morning. She was going to return to Abuja and get her job back. She was not all rusty with her skills on AutoCAD, she was halfway done with helping Dapo out so she knew she still had it in her even though it was not what she wanted. She loved to paint but her Dad was not having that so she settled for the closest thing to her art skills – Architecture. Her parents were delighted. She was going to make them proud and of a truth, she did. She had hoped to find something special in Lagos but it seemed as though every step she had taken was akin to taking two back. Her trip was pointless. Her rediscovery process was pointless. She was going back home. She took a deep breath and stared at Tobi. “Can I use your phone?”
He nodded as he fetched it out of his pocket. His phone buzzed just as he was about to hand it to her. “Dapo is calling.” He said. “One second.” He added and answered the call. “What’s up, man?” he asked and paused to listen. He nodded. “You want me to take her to my place?”
Sharon stared at him. “I am not going anywhere with you.” She replied.
Tobi passed the phone to her. “He wants to speak with you.”
“What do you want?” Sharon flipped. “I get it. You are sorry, but I don’t want to go anywhere with him. I don’t know him.”
“I am a good guy.” Tobi intercepted. “I am better than Dapo. You can bank on that.” He added, staring at a black jeep packed a distance from them. He had noticed the driver staring at them so he waved at him. For all he knew, the driver could have been a fan. He then turned to Sharon who was done with the call. “My lady, what say you?”
“Let’s go.” She said.
He smiled. “Of course.”
“Sharon is fine.” Jane announced as she took a seat opposite her mother on the dining table. “I just got off the phone with one of my men in Lagos. He is keeping a close watch on her and I am sure he would prompt her if necessary to be on the next flight.”
“Just out of curiosity,” Mama started. “How much did you pay those men to watch over Ifesinachi?”
Jane smiled. She was not willing to answer that question. She dug her fork into some beef and started to slice it. “Your granddaughter is fine, but I cannot guarantee that she has been feeding fine.” She started. “That’s what she gets for wanting to do things her way.”
Mama took a deep breath. She was going to ask the hard question she had not asked her daughter in a long time. Jane was dealing with a bi-polar condition but she had been just fine in recent times. However, her recent actions were a cause for concern. “Are you relapsing?”
“Are you going to ask a madman if he is mad?” Jane replied with a cheesy smile. “Mom, I know where you are headed? I am not relapsing. I am fine. And every decision I have taken is for the good of my daughter.”
Mama nodded. “Would your daughter still love you if, when she returns on Monday, she realises that you were behind every ordeal she went through?”
Jane smiled. “It was all for her good. Sharon thinks she is seeking answers to questions. The truth is there are no answers. The only answers are the ones we give ourselves. If you want fulfilment, you have to accept the things you have before you and stop seeking the things out of your reach.” She replied.
Mama took a deep breath. “Fulfilment is wherever you find it and if you think putting a leash on your daughter so that she is dependent on you will be a recompense for the times you and I never had, I need you to understand that you might be suffering a relapse and you are not even aware of it.”
“Are you attacking me based on my mental state?” Jane asked, staring into her tab. “Mama, I am fine. I am only protecting my daughter the way you never protected me. I want to ensure that Sharon never has to leave my sight so that she is safe.”
Mama laughed. “So, I am guessing the robbery plan was to tell her the things she could face without your coverage? Jane, you are mad and you don’t have anyone to tell you.”
“Mama, you are wrong. You just told me and I would like to finish my food in peace.” Jane replied.
Mama rose to her feet. “And when Sharon gets married? Would you like to live with her too, so she is protected from her husband?”
“It’s a good thing she doesn’t see marriage as important.” Jane replied. “You and I know that.”
Mama shook her head. “Jane, you can’t take care of your daughter forever. She is going to take care of you some day. It might be time to let her go.”
“I have decided not to. Deal with it, Mom.” Jane replied. “I am not letting her go like you let me out of your sight. I am not allowing her face the world alone.”
Mama was genuinely sorry for Jane. Now she was sure, more than ever, that her daughter needed help.
Sharon watched Tobi as he gave instructions to his stewards before returning to meet her in the living room. “You have stewards for different purposes.”
“As it should be.” He said, sinking into a chair. “Two for the kitchen because I am very particular about my food and gaining weight in the right places.” He started. “You know, the office pays for them. I have one who drives me about and I have one who does my laundry and another for my menial chores.”
“And you live in a rented duplex?” Sharon said, cutting short his enthusiasm.
He nodded with a smile. “The office pays for everything.”
Sharon chuckled. “And I believe they talk a small cut from your monthly salary.”
“Pretty insignificant stuff.” He replied. “Dinner would be served soon.” He added.
Sharon chuckled. “I am surprised you don’t understand the yearly import of that ‘pretty insignificant stuff’ on your annual pay.”
Tobi shrugged. “I don’t care. Life’s too short.” He said and then ran his eyes over Sharon with a smile. “So, what’s a pretty young thing like you doing as Dapo’s chic? That bastard is too sleek. He got Jade on one side and he’s got you as his side squeeze. How is a brother that lucky? Maybe if I was light skin or something. Right?” he said, turning to Sharon.
“You should really put a leash on your mouth.” She replied, standing up. She walked over to the wall and stared at the paintings that adorned it. She smiled as she thought about what she would have been as a painter. She jumped as soon as she felt Tobi’s hand around her lower back. “What are you doing?”
“Making myself comfortable.” He replied.
She shook her head. “Don’t you care about the impression that you make on others?” she asked, dropping his hand. “Most importantly, you are a celebrity. People look up to you. How about you live up to the reputation you have falsely put out there?”
“Now where’s the fun in that? This is who I am.” He said with a smile.
Sharon shook her head as she returned to her seat. “You leave a very bad impression about yourself.”
He joined her. “Fine. I agree. Now tell me, what are you even doing with a guy like Dapo?”
“What do you mean by a guy like Dapo?” she asked. “Because of his babe? She doesn’t define him.”
Tobi laughed. “Nah. Jadesola is a lovely girl except for when her anger buttons are spiked. Dapo is a… he is a weird guy. I mean, he drops off the surface and flies away again.” He replied. “He doesn’t even keep in touch with me and we were like good friends in those days.” He added with a laugh.
“In what days?” Sharon asked. Her hope was that Tobi was another blast from her past. She wondered why she was, all of a sudden, looking for familiar strangers in her life when all she wanted was to run away.
He relaxed in his chair. “We used to be friends way back in the university. We both studied Architecture but look at me; I ended up a sport presenter and that guy, oh well…”
Sharon hissed as her enthusiasm was watered down at the mention of ‘university’. She had hoped to hear primary school. She sighed and thought about home again. It was time to call in the cavalry. She was done with the adventure. “Can I, please, use your phone?”
He nodded and passed it to her. “Who are you going to call? Dapo told us to wait for him.”
She ignored him as she walked over to the paintings with the phone to her ear. “Mama.” She said, tiredly.
“Ifesinachi! How are you?”
Sharon could hear the panic in Mama’s voice. “I am fine, Mama. How is my mom?”
“She… she is very fine. How is Lagos treating you? Is it all you hoped for?”
Sharon took a deep breath. If she told Mama the truth right now, she would have failed…again. Maybe she could give herself another fighting chance. Or maybe she didn’t need to be so stupid and just let her grandmother come to her rescue.
“Ifesinachi? You are silent.” Mama echoed.
Sharon laughed. “It’s just great, Mama. Lagos is just great. I have my own place now and I… erm, I should be…I should be going to an art exhibition tonight to check out some artworks. I might even get my own studio once the week starts and then I think I should get back to painting. It’s just been so long, you know?” she said with a feigned smile.
“Ifesinachiiiiiii, Na like that Lagos sweet reach? One day you don get house dey jump upandan.” Mama stressed. “Should I come and visit you?”
Sharon shook her head. “No, Mama and I have to go now.” She said, taking a glance at Tobi who was receiving a meal from his steward. She turned away from him. “You can’t call me on this phone, Mama. I am yet to set my phone up.”
“Set yourself up? Ifesinachi, you are within Nigeria nau, what happened to your phone?” Mama quizzed.
Sharon blinked as she thought of a more befitting tale. “Mama, I am trying to start my life all over again and I… I really don’t want to have old contacts, so I decided to-”
“-to cut your grandmother off?” she asked.
Sharon shook her head apologetically as though Mama could see her. “Mama, you know I can’t do that. I… I would never do that to you, but I have to go now. I’ll keep in touch.”
“Ifesinachi, God be with you. I know what you are going through. But I know you are stronger than this, okay?” Mama said.
Sharon nodded. Her Grandmother’s words had given her life even though she was sure the old woman knew not what she spoke of. “Bye, Mama. Tell Mom I said I love her.” She said, hanging up.
Tobi clapped as soon as she got off the phone. “That was quite a performance. If I didn’t know better, I would have said you really had your own place and an art exhibition to be at this night.” He said with a soft laugh. “Who is the poor woman you were deceiving on the phone? Who is Mama?”
“You truly don’t know better.” Sharon replied, taking her seat.
He drew closer to her. “Do you really like painting?”
Sharon nodded absently as she thought about the next day. Monday couldn’t come any sooner. She was expectant and she couldn’t wait to get back on track. Maybe she could indeed get back to painting.
“I painted all these myself.” Tobi said.
She turned to him. “Really?”
He nodded. “I like to paint. It’s like a pastime activity for me but it’s something I love doing.”
“They are beautiful.” Sharon said, staring at the framed artworks.
He smiled. “Thank you.”
“Sorry for everything, guys.” Dapo said, walking in. “I am really sorry about what happened back there.” He added. “Can we please leave, Sharon? I need to have that presentation ready for Monday.”
“No.” She replied, “You don’t get to come here and tell me to come with you like nothing happened. I don’t want your Queen tearing at my cloth before the day is over.”
Tobi stared at them. “I’ll just let you two have this moment.” He said, grabbing his plate, disappearing down the hallway.
Dapo took a deep breath. “Sharon, I really want to apologize for everything that happened. I can’t explain right now, but I really need you to come with me so we can finish up my work. It’s important to me.”
“My safety is also important to me.” Sharon replied. “Your Queen looks like someone who could decorate me with an acid bath. I am too fresh for that.” She added.
Dapo found a wry smile in spite of how he felt and sank into a chair. “Sharon, trust me, I am too fresh for stress too.” He said.
She hissed. “How vain!” she said. “So, what happened with Jadesola?”
He passed his phone to her. “We are now famous on social network sites. Our video has gone viral; you have been tagged the side chic and Jadesola, the ranting wife and me, the clueless husband and I am pretty sure that title suits me well.”
“Except that I am not your side chic.” Sharon corrected.
He nodded. “Fine, you have made your point. Now, let’s go home.”
“Hotel, you mean.” She replied. “I am not going with you.”
He scoffed. “Why? We had a deal. And you had better stick to it.” He said, getting upset. “I don’t know whatever Tobi must have said to you but that guy says a lot of nonsense.”
“I didn’t tell her anything that she doesn’t already know.” Tobi said, joining them. “You guys are trending on the internet.” He said, looking up from his phone. “This is not good.”
“Tobi, you are not saying what I don’t already know. I have shown her the post.” Dapo said, rising to his feet. “Sharon, I think it’s time we left. We only have Sunday left. I need to get this work locked down.”
Sharon ran her fingers through her hair. “You only care about the fact that I am working for you!”
“Forgive me if I can’t think of anything else but that is all that matters to me.” Dapo retorted. “You have to come back with me and finish that job.”
“What job?” Tobi asked with a raised eyebrow.
Dapo stared at him. “Thanks Tobi for taking her in briefly but this business is between Sharon and I.”
“And I insist that I am not going back with you!” she replied.
He smiled. “And where would you go?”
“She can stay here with me.” Tobi said. “There is enough room.”
Dapo smiled. “Tobi is a joke. You don’t want to stay with him.”
“Your girlfriend called me names. She would have ripped me apart. I don’t feel safe with you.” Sharon replied.
“Small comfort in this jackass’ house and you feel safe?” Dapo asked. “Sharon, I need to get my design fixed.”
Tobi stared at Dapo. “Bro, I don’t mean to piss you off, but if she doesn’t want to go with you, she is more than welcome to stay here.” He said.
Dapo clenched his fist in anger. “Sharon?”
“Bring the laptop here. I’ll work from here. I don’t want trouble.” Sharon replied.
Dapo exhaled sharply. “Jadesola is not your problem anymore. I can assure you.”
“No. I am not taking that chance!” Sharon retorted. “Bring the laptop here. I will work from here.” She added. “You have a girlfriend. Respect her.”
“We broke up!” Dapo yelled. “We are done. Jadesola and I are done.” He replied.
Tobi blinked. “Dude, you just ended things with her like that? Na wetin?”
Dapo took a deep breath. “She broke up with me. She is engaged to be married.”
“What?!” Tobi gaped. “So na you be the side bobo?”
Dapo nodded. “The clueless one.”
Read Clueless 1 here.
Read Clueless 2 here.
CLUELESS – EPISODE 3
Dapo didn’t expect Sharon to take everything he had just explained to her with great ease. He had just admitted to not knowing anything about architecture and using a man for his jobs while splitting the cut. Sharon had not said a word in the last ten minutes since he told her the truth about him. She had smiled and returned to the hotel room beaming smiles at the receptionists who would not grant her any favours the previous night while he followed her with a gloomy expression; the receptionists must have thought him to be a ‘mugu’ but he had more to worry about. He was desperate and needing all the help he could get so he couldn’t pretend. “Are you going to help me? I am giving you my room till Monday so the least you can do is to say something to me.”
Sharon took a deep breath and then managed a smile which was followed by a horrid laugh. “If I loved anything about architecture, I wouldn’t be in Lagos, so I am not sure I am your guy…or in this case, your girl.” She replied.
“What if God brought you here to help me?” Dapo said.
Sharon laughed. “Trust me; getting robbed was not God’s plan. I came to Lagos to find myself-”
“-and you found me.” He said, cutting in.
Sharon blinked. “Excuse me?”
“Don’t take it literally. I mean God might have positioned you here to help me get this deal tied up.” He explained.
“God does not help frauds.” She retorted.
He nodded slowly. “I see. Did he make you judge over me? Plus it was convenient for you to tell me that maybe God positioned us to run into each other when you needed my help to sleep in my room. So, why can’t you see me in that light?” He probed.
“Because, one, what you are doing is a crime, and two, I genuinely needed your help.” She replied.
He scoffed. “And I do too! Look, all you need to do is help me with the designs; I am going to give you a cut. You don’t even have to pay for all the clothes we bought with my money.” He said, staring at the shopping bags on the bed. “That’s a lot of money I am taking off you with this deal.”
“The name is Sharon Amadi. Money is not my problem.” Sharon replied with a cocky smile.
Dapo exhaled as he tapped on his phone screen. “This idiot isn’t answering my calls.” He complained. “I paid him well the last time. What is wrong with people?”
“Maybe he is holding out for a better bargain. Try sending him a mail.” She replied. “I need to go and change into these new clothes so I could go and lodge a complaint at the police station.”
He stared at her and then laughed. “Do you think they will even believe you? Why didn’t you go there when the robbery happened…except if you were not actually robbed.”
She sighed. “Am I stupid? Did you expect me to go and lodge a complaint at that time of the night in a Nigerian Police station?”
“You must think very highly of our police system.” He replied. “What were you afraid of?”
She waved him off. “I am sure that you don’t even trust them so I don’t even want to have this argument with you.” She said. “Right now, I am going to walk in there, tell them who I am and tell them what happened, when I am done, they will catch those scumbags.”
He stared at her. “I am not sure you are ready to find yourself.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
He took a seat on the bed. “You claim you are here to find yourself but all I see is a lady who wants to ride on Daddy’s famous name to get the police to find her assailants. You have not stopped waving your name in my face and now I know why we were never friends in primary school back then in Abuja, you must have been really proud so I couldn’t stand you and I must have begged my parents to ship me to Lagos.”
Sharon laughed. “I am sure even you don’t believe that dry joke. If anything at all, you were a scared little thing that was only good for sitting behind me in class.”
He frowned. “Really?”
She nodded. “It’s a miracle how you have turned out to be a fine man. I mean, beards do change everything.” She said, staring at him. “You are quite good looking for someone I can’t really remember what he would have looked like.”
“You were too full of yourself, maybe.” Dapo argued.
Sharon smiled. “We were kids, I probably don’t remember anything from then but I have quite an amazing taste and if you were not in my range then, it could only mean that you didn’t leave any impression on me.”
Dapo swallowed. “You sure have not changed a bit. Still so saucy.”
“Put some spice on it. I’ll be right back.” She said and disappeared into the bathroom with the cloth bag.
Dapo’s phone buzzed. It was Jadesola. He took a deep breath and wore a plastered smile. She was going to rake to the ends of the earth. He knew that already. “Hey, Jade!” he said with a cool voice. He knew she enjoyed the abridged version of her name which sounded like something ‘cute’
“Hey, baby.” She cooed from the other end of the line.
Dapo smiled with some surprise. She had not rained brimstone on him yet. “How are you?” he asked, relaxing in the bed.
“Not fine, I miss you and I am sorry we got into a fight.” She replied.
He nodded. “It’s alright. I miss you too and I can’t wait to come back home.”
“And when would that be?” she asked.
He cleared his throat. “By Monday evening. You know I have a presentation on Monday so I have to get work done before coming home.”
“Are you calling me a distraction?”
Dapo could sense the agitation in her voice. “No, not at all. You know when I am with you, all I can think about is you and I would not be able to do anything else.”
“Hmmm…why do I find that hard to believe?” she asked.
He took a deep breath. “Because you doubt everything I say.”
“And with valid reasons too…anyway, if you are not home by Monday evening, you would give me reasons to be less polite the next time we talk.” She replied.
He nodded with a chuckle. “Aye Aye, Captain.”
“I love you, Dapo.” She said.
He smiled. “I love you, Jadesola.” He replied and hung up. Sharon stepped into the room in a darting black gown which did clad her skin perfectly. He swallowed and looked away quickly. See no evil…do no evil.
“How do I look?” Sharon asked. “You can say stunning because that’s the impression i hope to give those dense officers once I get into the station.”
He got off the bed. “Like I said, I don’t think you really want this discovery. I think you just want an adventure, you just want to blow Daddy’s money and not make a kobo for yourself.”
“Need I remind you, I was working in Abuja before I quit my job? I don’t like Architecture and you are not going to bully me into doing your dirty job for you because I know that’s what this entire sermon is about.” She replied. “I am going to need some money for a new phone.”
Dapo laughed. “They write mugu for my face? Or I look like your personal ATM? Madam, if you want the money, do my job. No more handouts from now.” He said. “This relationship has to be beneficial to the both of us.”
“I am going to pay you back on Monday!” she retorted.
He shrugged. “I don’t care anymore. I have a deadline for Monday. You need to make it through to Monday. The way I see it, we both need each other. Help me and you get a phone.”
Sharon exhaled. “This is coercion!” she protested. “You can’t force me into committing a crime. I don’t subscribe to that.”
“You can report me to the police too if it makes you happy.” He replied, taking a seat before his laptop. “But that’s only after my presentation.” He added with a grin. “I suggest you sit down and get to work. You can report to the police on Monday, after all, all you need to say is ‘I am Sharon Amadi.’” He said, cynically. “So much for finding yourself! Lose the Amadi and let’s see if anyone gives a jack about Sharon George.” He said and then turned to her. “I don’t mean it like my George as a last name.”
She clenched her teeth and looked away. Maybe he was right about her being a brat who wanted it done her way after all. She came to Lagos in the hopes of discovering who she really was, all she had done in the past twenty five years were the bidding of her parents and now she found it difficult to detach herself from her parents. Maybe it was time to break the rules. She walked over to Dapo. “What do you need?”
Mama didn’t know if it was time to call her son-in-law and report his lawless wife to her. She feared that he might have been in on the act too. Jane rarely did anything without her husband’s approval even though he was largely absent from their lives. Her daughter always found a way to seek Chike’s approval. Inasmuch as she loved Ifesinachi, she wasn’t her daughter. If her parents decided to kidnap her and ship her off to a faraway country, she had no say in that. She had been taught to stay out of matters that weren’t hers. She had slipped into a sour mood since Jane admitted to setting her daughter up for a robbery attack.
“Are you coming down for dinner?”
Mama turned to the door to see Jane standing by it. She had not heard her come into the room. She must have been lost in her thoughts. “Are you sure Ifesinachi is not sleeping under the bridge in Lagos?” she asked. “What you have done to her is just wrong and unacceptable.”
“Mama, Sharon is fine. She is in a hotel.” Jane replied. “She is doing great!”
Mama blinked. “How do you know that? You had her robbed, remember?”
Jane smiled. “I have my men watching her, Mom. I am not stupid.”
“You are stupid. You had your own daughter robbed. And why do you have men watching her?” Mama asked. “What’s your plan?”
Jane took a seat. “Simple. She gets pissed off with Lagos, she makes a phone call to me and she is back in Abuja.”
“I hope you know that Sharon is stronger than that?” Mama replied.
Jane laughed. “No, she isn’t and now she is a lady without a kobo to herself. That is enough reason for her to return home.”
Mama took a deep breath as she folded her arms staring at her daughter. “Does Chike know about this?” she asked.
“Of course, Mom.” Jane replied. “We really do need this mother and daughter moment, you know?” she added with a soft chuckle.
Mama stared at Jane. She was not holding her tab or busy with anything this time. It was as though she wanted this moment between them. “I am sorry for all the times I never got to spend with you but I loved you in my own way.”
Jane smiled. “Yes, Mama. And I love Sharon in my own way.”
“I was working several jobs so I could give you an education.” Mama groaned. “You know my story, Jane. You know I did my best for you.” She continued. “Don’t act as though I was never there.”
“Maybe it wasn’t enough, Mom.” Jane replied. “Now, I want your attention. Are you going to make up for all the lost time? No.”
Mama took a deep breath. “I am sorry for everything but you are going about this the wrong way. Sharon is a lady who wants to discover herself and if this is right for her; then who are we to get in the way?
“Mama, I am her mother and I promise you, she will be back in no time.” Jane replied with a smile. “That child wants nothing more than comfort and she is going to run back here looking for it.”
“What if she is weathering the storm?” Mama asked as a thought struck her.
Jane turned to her. “What do you mean?”
Mama blinked. “What if… what if she is waiting till Monday so she could carry on with her life, have you thought about it? What if she withdraws money over the counter and carries on instead of running back to us today or tomorrow?” She said with a smile. “Remember that she called me and she never reported any problem to me, so, it tells you one thing, Sharon is strong. You have to admit it and give her more credit.” She added and rose to her feet. “I think I want my dinner now. Monday is only a couple of days away.”
Jane swallowed as her mother’s words sank in. Maybe Mama was right after all. Sharon might actually have the courage to get through the weekend. “Are you saying that she might actually continue over there?”
“I believe so. She has got money and has got a brain. I don’t think she has any reason to run back to you and I hope she never finds out that you did what you did.” Mama said.
Jane blinked. “She wouldn’t if you don’t tell her.”
“She won’t be hearing it from me but if I find out that her safety is jeopardized because of what you did, you don’t have my loyalty.” She replied.
Jane swallowed. She had organized everything well and it was time to call her men in Lagos just to be sure that her daughter was indeed safe.
“Are you coming down for dinner?” Mama asked with a smug smile as she walked out of the room.
Sharon belched as she tossed the can of soda in her hand into the bin. “I need some rest.” She said to Dapo.
“But you are not done with the work yet.” He replied.
She shrugged. “I feel bored, tired and uninspired and if you keep working me like a horse you would have a terrible design for your presentation.”
He nodded. “Fine, how many hours would you need to sleep?”
“I don’t want to sleep. I want to see a movie.” She replied,
He scoffed. “You want me to take you to the movies?”
“It’s the least I deserve for all this stress.” She replied, rising to her feet. “I’ll continue the work when we are back from the movies.”
“Unbelievable! You are a spoilt brat!” He said.
Sharon couldn’t care about what he thought about her. She just needed some distraction from the design she had invested the last three hours into.
“What if I give you my car and some money? I don’t want to see a movie.” He replied. “Maybe I could spend the time looking at these designs.”
She scoffed. “No way! You are either coming with me or I am done with your work. I am not about to get missing. I already got robbed; I have had enough trouble for a lifetime in Lagos.”
Dapo chuckled. “Ordinary robbery?”
“Ordinary robbery? Have you been robbed before?” She asked.
He smiled. “I even shared a beer with the robbers sef!”
She hissed and made for the bathroom. “Get dressed.”
He stared at his shirt and jeans. “And what is wrong with what I am wearing?”
“Everything and your presentation rubs off on me.” She replied, lingering by the bathroom’s door. “I don’t want to be seen with someone who matches his colours and patterns wrongly.”
“It’s a good thing Jadesola has no problem with my fashion ideologies.” He replied.
She rolled her eyes. “Now who is Jadesola?”
“That’s my Queen.” He replied.
Sharon giggled slowly until she burst out into a horrid laugh.
“What is that?” Dapo asked, quite confused.
She smiled. “Oh it’s nothing. You just sound like a sentimental idiot in love.”
Dapo gaped. “That is not nothing!”
Sharon chuckled. “Love messes you up, pal. Don’t fall in love.”
“Oh now I am your pal? My friend, let’s go and see your movie so you can get back to my work.” He replied, heading towards the door.
Dapo turned away from the ticket stand as he heard his name.
“I knew it was you na! You this guy that has refused to pick my calls or even hangout. Na wa o. How you dey?”
He smiled as he saw Tobi Adebiyi. “Yoruba Demon. Heartbreaker.”
“You nko? Jadesola’s mumu.” Tobi replied as both men shook hands and then embraced briefly. He then turned to Sharon who was standing behind them all the while and smiled. “Ahan! Bad Guy, who be this?”
“I am standing right here, you know?” Sharon said. “Mr. Tobi Adebiyi.”
Dapo turned to her. “How do you know Tobi?”
“He is a sport journalist and I do see his face sometimes on TV.” Sharon replied.
Dapo scoffed as he watched Tobi brim helplessly with smiles. “I am shocked. I never thought anybody watched that show.”
“You dey craze?” Tobi asked before turning to Sharon. “Please, do not pay this idiot any attention. I am glad you watch my show and one day, I might just give you a shout out on it.”
“You have never given me a shout out, Tobi.” Dapo said.
Tobi ignored him as he smiled at Sharon. “I would love to know your name so that the shout out is accurate. So, what is your name, Darling?”
She stared at him. “Sharon.”
“That’s a lovely name for a lovely lady.” He replied, stretching out his hand. “Just so you know, he is in a relationship and I am single.”
Dapo shook his head. “Do you see why we don’t hang out much? You go just dey open that thing wey you call mouth dey mis-yarn.” He started. “Sharon here is a friend.”
Tobi smiled. “Friend? Just friends?”
“The movie would soon be on.” Sharon said, handing a ticket to Dapo. “I’ll see you in the hall.”
Dapo stopped Sharon with his hand before she could walk away. “Just hang on. We’ll go in together. Tobi is just leaving.”
“Really? Am I?” Tobi asked.
Dapo nodded. “I’ll see you around, my guy.”
Tobi smiled as he took Sharon’s hand and planted a kiss on it. “I hope you listen to my show next weekend. You’ll hear me call your name.”
“Goodbye.” Dapo said, urging Tobi on.
Sharon laughed as she watched Tobi walk away from them.
“I am sorry about that. He is quite a case.” Dapo said, apologizing. “Could we go and see the movie now?”
She nodded. “Of course.”
Sharon stared at him and smiled. “That’s your name, right? You are quite popular.”
Dapo froze as he heard his name again. But this time, he knew the only person who would spell out his name in full. He turned. Jadesola!