Things change. Things are different now.
They are not what they used to be
Between you and me
At best, I’m the lingering aftertaste of sour milk
At best, you’re something to scratch – an itch
Wish we could go back? Too late. I’m hitched
Wish we could go back. To that, at least.
No. I really don’t wish.
It’s a waste of time – time I have not to give
To I open my journal, let my pen shed tears
Because my eyes are stingy; no water with which to grieve
That’s why I don’t do closed doors – my life is out there
In here? It’s too cold and warm
Perfected the art. I already have.
Now I can’t wait for us to take it back to the start.
When we were strangers.
photo courtesy the recording evolution
“You’re not in my life yet,” she said, I said true that,
But that other thing you asking for, I can’t do that
You ask how far can I go? I can’t wait to prove that
But still I’d love to take my time; I’m sure you knew that
I heard one time, love beat your heart blue-black
The word on life avenue is – you got too fat
You wanna know what I think – I say screw that!
Is that your past behind in my way? I gotta move that
Whatever baggage you carrying; on entry lose that
You really can’t bring old shit into new land
Put a new song in your heart – and groove to that
Show you – the way forward; and then push back
Sure; I can do that.
Do you want me to do that?
Sure I can do that.
Do I really need to prove that?
Let’s Do That.
Read Episode I here.
“When are you travelling, maami?”
Mrs. Adeoba looked at her third child and second daughter – and the corners of her lips curled up. She pushed up her steel frame glasses and picked up the paper she’d set aside when the girl came in. “I’ll leave as soon as you bring me a son-in-law,” she said.
Yemisi sighed. “Maami, what am I going to do – abduct a man in the middle of the street?”
“If that’s what you have to do, then yes!”
Her departing footsteps made no sound. “Okay then,” she said over her shoulder. “When I bring home a man who beats me, uses me like a –“
Mrs. Adeoba jumped up, forgotten newspaper falling free. “O oto be! You dare not, you hear me?! God knows in thirty nine years of marriage your father has never laid a hand on me,” her voice softened. “Except for when we are…”
“Okay okay! Maami, that’s enough information!” she looked at her mother in mock horror. “I don’t want to imagine you and daddy – not in that kind of state!”
Mrs. Adeoba laughed. “Egbe ni e. Small girl! Abi you’re trying to impress your mother?”
Not too tall but stately with intimidating carriage, Mrs. Adeoba looked like a cross between Joke Silva and Liz Benson as she gracefully glided across the carpet towards her daughter. Yemisi caught a whiff of the Chanel perfume she bought her mum last time she went shopping as the woman leaned in close and asked, “Come o, abi you’re a virgin?”
She hid her shocked expression over the woman’s shoulder as she hugged her. “I love you, Maami. I will bring you a son-in-law when it’s time.”
“What we’re looking at for the client is a sustainable model that can promote them and move units of the product at the same time,” Yemisi finished speaking and turned to the male figure sitting at the head of the table.
He nodded. “Sounds like a plan. Anything else?”
Scanning the faces across the table, she felt some measure of relief, shoving her hands in the pockets of her jeans. The usual troublemakers – guys who liked to raise issues for the sake of raising them were not available yet. She had a number of things to attend to and she was still worried about Dapo.
It had dropped into her consciousness as they were rounding up their conversation the night before that he was drinking again, but she had decided not to push it then. But she was concerned because she was sure the Mope thing got to him more than he was willing to admit.
Oladapo Ojo. Sad young man with a heart of gold.
She was seeing him as she had the first time – when Deolu, his roommate started sparking Amaka, her roommate. It was strange that they were both in three hundred level, attended the same church, lived right next door to each other – and were both willing to swear they had never run into each other before then. They had remained friends even after Deolu and Amaka ended. She was one of the few people he stayed in touch with after graduation. He hardly discussed his relations with her or anyone for that matter, so it had come something as a surprise when he’d called and told her about running into Mope again.
“Do you plan to sit there daydreaming all day – or do you have something better to do?” the CEO asked.
She started. “Yes sir!”
Sometime later, when everything had stabilized she called Dapo.
“Guy how far?” he said as soon as he picked. He liked calling her ‘my guy’ because; according to him, she was like his homeboy. And even though she didn’t like being referred to as a guy she understood the sentiment and indulged him.
He sounded like he was trying to be jovial. “You drank again yesterday did you not?” She accused him.
He was breathing through his mouth. “Yemisi, what do you want me to say?”
I…nothing,” she sighed. “I just worry, you know? I know how much you cared about her…and how hard it must have been to tell her – only for it to be too late. I just hope you’re not regretting it.”
“You know me – no regrets.”
The pretence at flippancy was gone. Dapo sounded like a man whose heart has just been scraped raw. “I just hate that it took this long for her to know how much I really cared. You dig?”
“I do, Dapo. How I do.” It hurt her to hear him sound this way. It made her feel small; knowing he was hurting and feeling like there was nothing she could do to change that. “I…”
“You remember the first time you saw me and her?” Dapo asked.
She smiled at the memory. “Sure I do. I had gone home after being sick for a while – and I just got back so I came over to say hi…”
“And you saw me holding hands with this absolutely divine creature. Yes o!”
“You couldn’t imagine my shock. Still haven’t figured what got me more – that you had a girlfriend on campus or that you were holding hands with her!”
She had to hold the phone away from her ear so that Dapo’s booming laughter would not harm to it. She smiled. She had made him laugh.
“Do you have any idea how special you are? Meanwhile, you won’t believe what Grace did to me this morning.”
“Uh oh! What did that she do…” her voice trailed off as the automatic prompt told her she was almost out of credit.
“Dapo dear, I have to go. I’m almost out of credit.”
“Okay. I’d call you back but you definitely have work. You just made my day – again.”
“After all, what are friends for?” she answered. “It’s okay dear. We’ll see soon enough.”
“Okay…” the line went dead.
“Please do you have a minute?”
It was Adura, the new junior strategist.
“Sure,” Yemisi responded, pushing her chair away from the desk and turning to face the standing girl. “Pull up a chair. What’s on your mind?”
The younger girl was embarrassed. “Well…em…Yemisi…I…” she stopped and roughened her hair. “I’m…I’m scared,” she finally said, looking away.
Yemisi couldn’t keep the surprise out of her voice. “Scared?”
Adura’s hands played tango as she studiously studied them. “Well…I’ve never handled a campaign by myself before. I keep making mistakes – if you hadn’t looked over the costing…” she shivered. “I would have eaten two-point-five million naira beans. Imagine that!”
Yemisi chuckled. “You want to know something interesting?”
“If you weren’t scared, if you weren’t making mistakes I would be worried. I mean, of course some mistakes can be very costly as you almost found out – but they come with the job.”
She rubbed the younger girl’s arm with her left hand – the right was still clutching the phone. “That’s why I’m here. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. People will forget how long it took to do the job – but they’ll remember if you did a good job or not.”
Adura released pent-up breath and smiled. “Thank you so so much.”
“Anytime. Again – that’s why I’m here.”
The girl curtsied, drawing another smile to Yemisi’s lips. She moved back to her table and was about to put the phone down when it began to ring.
She put it to her ear and began.
“I didn’t think you’d call back –“
The voice that interrupted wasn’t the one she was expecting. “Sorry. It’s not him – whoever that is.”
Her eyebrow wrinkled. That sounded familiar.
“Who are you?”
“You no longer recognize my voice…tell me, has it been that long?”
She grabbed her belly, feeling as though all substance had suddenly been sucked from it. She wasn’t expecting to hear him – ever again.
“Priye?” She hated the neediness in her voice.
A chuckle sent tingles into the hand holding the phone. “Guess things haven’t changed much. How are you, Princess?”
“Don’t call me that!” Startled at her own vehemence, Yemisi looked around guiltily to see if anyone heard. No one was paying her any attention.
She dropped low in her seat. “What do you want?” she whispered.
He had stopped smiling. She could hear it.
“I miss you. I don’t like that I did not tell you before I traveled and that made nonsense of my feelings – made it look like I didn’t really care. I did…I mean I do.”
Yemisi looked at her nails; they looked blurry. The sudden wetness of her eyes hurt – deeply upset her. Inhaling and willing back the tears, she closed her eyes, opened them and cleared her throat.
“Are you back?”
“Not yet – but I soon will be. I’d like to see you when I arrive.”
“Call me,” Yemisi answered, trying not to smile.
“I will! Take care…Princess.” He laughed and hung up.
She had a moment of wondering why the clammy feeling in her belly was still there. I should be happy, she thought. He’s back and wants to see me.
Is that what you want?
Yemisi ignored that completely. She reached for her phone and dialed Dapo’s number before she remembered she’d run out of credit.
She wanted to talk to him again – but more importantly, it bothered her that an encounter with his ex could drive him back to drink despite years of abstaining. She wished there was some way she could…
No. She would not wish. There had to be something she could do to help instead of just wishing.
She opened Google and typed how to help heartbroken friend.
The day was almost over before her mind brightened with illumination from an idea.
If you have…
Almost drunk. And I still can’t sleep.
He wanted to blame his restlessness on the generating sets roaring in the neighborhood; he wanted to blame it on the fact that it had been a long weekend. He wanted to blame it on anything but what the problem really was.
He sat up – and then fell back as the walls of the room began to move. There was a muffled thump as something rolled off his thighs and onto the floor. “Bloody hell,” he said aloud as he turned this way and that, patting the bed. “Where’s that…”
The sudden ringing of his phone added a new sound to the din, and the illumination within the darkness pointed him its direction; slightly underneath the pillow. He pulled it out and looked at the screen; Yemisi.
“Sorry. I meant to call you back but mumsie started talking about my love for trousers and what-not.” She paused. “So how did it go with Mope?”
“The movie ended,” Dapo finished. “She told me she was getting married and walked away.”
“Oh Dapo…I’m so sorry.” Yemisi answered. “Want me to come over?”
“At what – after eleven in the pm?! Stay in your house jo.”
“Have you been eating? You know I don’t mind making you some…”
“I’m good o, Yemisi. Noodles haven’t killed me yet. And I still have some of my birthday cake left.” He paused. “Fantastic cake by the way. When are you starting your own catering service?”
“Don’t change the subject! This is about you and the fact that…I’m sure you’ve lost weight…”
He interrupted her again. “Stop mothering me – or is it ‘sistering’? Whatever it is, just stop.”
The smile in his voice allayed her fears. “Will you be fine?”
A subdued gleam caught the corner of Dapo’s eye compelling his glance downwards at the half-empty McDowell bottle lying beside his feet and the moonlight reflecting off it. “Oh, I definitely will be,” he responded, eying the bottle. “I have work tomorrow, so…”
“I get. Goodnight, dear. I’m praying for you – always.”
“I know. Night.”
He watched the Samsung Galaxy bounce on the bed as he flung it carelessly, hoping it didn’t fall of on the other side – and then turned away without waiting for it to land.
He didn’t care.
The McDowell bottle cap crackled as he wrenched it open – and then everything stopped to matter as the amber liquid hit his throat. His previously hunched shoulders relaxed as fire coursed through his body, and he unfolded his legs, enjoying the feeling.
He winced as a random wind of memory blew a face into his thoughts – eyes that looked like they were melting, a nose that sweated a bit too much and lips that were like chewing gum – made to be chewed.
He watched the water flow over the lashes and spill over in a drizzle that became a stream and became a flood. The image crumbled as the water became too much for it, and it looked like a watercolor painting water had spilled across.
He threw his head back and drank.
Dapo could have sworn the clock said four twenty-nine two minutes ago when he’d closed his eyes for two more minutes of sleep. Yet within two minutes of sleep, it had somehow jumped to six fifty.
“The clock must be crazy,” he croaked aloud.
He jumped out of bed, groaning as Occupy Nigeria began again in his head. Talk about starting with a bang, he mused. Hung over on a Monday morning. Great.
Doing his morning routine at half the usual time made no difference. It was almost ten o’clock before he stood over his desk doing the same thing he did every morning – rearrange it.
“Thank God for miracles! Mr. employee-of-the-year actually came to work late!”
Dapo did not slow down in his cleaning; at the same time running through his to do list. A steady knocking sound made itself known to him; a sound that became progressively louder. His hands curled into fists as he recognized the sound for what it was – approaching heels.
“Dapo! What happened…”
He looked like an avenging angel as he turned towards the speaker. “Yes I know, okay? I’m late! I know – I have a wristwatch, two freaking phones and a system – and they all work perfectly well! I know I’m late!”
For the space of about nine heartbeats, the only sound was Dapo’s agitated breathing as he towered over the object of his pent-up anger – Grace, the office accountant. Then she spoke calmly;
“I was…I was wondering at your appearance, not that you’re late. I’m sorry.”
Her heels sang a rhythm as she walked away.
Drinking’s no longer good for my disposition.
His reflection grinned back at him from the washroom mirror, agreeing with Grace about his appearance. His hair looked like it was run over with a shaving stick, he had three days’ worth of hair on his face, his shirt was askew and his tie – he looked like Frank Donga – up to the bags underneath his eyes.
That wasn’t good enough.
He pulled out his phone and called Grace. “Could you please come? I’m in the restroom.”
He couldn’t have counted up to five before her heels began their singing as they came towards him. One thing was sure; she wasn’t sneaking up on anyone.
Not in those heels.
It always intrigued him how she moved so quickly and nimbly in them despite her build.
“This is a strange place to apologize in,” she said blandly as she entered the room.
“It works, does it not? I’m sorry. I had a very rough weekend.”
Grace walked closer and put a warm hand that had a curiously cold spot against his cheek. “I can help you forget,” she said huskily.
Dapo almost tripped as he stepped back. “I don’t doubt that,” he responded quickly, “but it’s not the time or the place. Right now I need your help to straighten up.”
“No wahala – so stop running!”
Dapo stopped retreating at her advance, and sighed quietly as she nuzzled his cheek before rearranging his tie. “I like your cologne sha. What say I make you dinner at home one evening?”
“Em…madam, you’re married.”
“Yes, to a man who prefers younger and slimmer girls. I’m bored out of my weave-on!” She patted down Dapo’s shoulders. “Hmmm, such muscles!”
He stepped away. “Thank you – I think I look good now,” and looked in the mirror as he spoke.
“No, silly. How about your hair?”
Yeah. My hair.
At least his tie and shirt were presentable; which were an improvement from ten minutes before.
“I –“ he started to say before realizing he was alone in the room. He smiled and opened the tap to wash his hands – and was somewhat startled when Grace reappeared over his shoulder brandishing a hairbrush.
“Just stay that way,” she said as she came round to stand beside the sink in front of him. Dapo closed his eyes as she started brushing his hair, consciously trying not to bump into the huge chest she was shoving in his face.
“Hmmm. Dapo’s afraid of breasts!” Grace exclaimed, chuckling as she pulled his head forward firmly. He gasped and stood erect, pulling himself away from her.
“Yes I am afraid of breasts, breasts that have another man’s fingerprints all over them constantly and consistently.” He glanced in the mirror, appreciating that he did look better. “I’m grateful, Grace dear – but if you keep up this behavior I’m going to have to report you for sexual harassment.”
Grace’s eyes ran over his face, trying to see if he meant what he said. “Chicken,” she retorted, “Just say you can’t handle a real woman!”
Dapo allowed himself a small smile as the clicking of her heels faded away quickly and moved closer to the mirror. His appearance had vastly improved, and that did a number on his mood. The thumping behind his left eyebrow had become nothing but an annoying buzz, and he felt somewhat better. Have to watch the McDowell dose from now on, he mused.
Let’s get to work.
His Facebook account did not have much activity and he was contemplating closing it when the ‘message’ icon suddenly popped up. He clicked on it and it was a message from Muyiwa, his roommate back in the university.
It was short and to the point.
“Are you coming to Mope’s wedding?”
It seemed to be a week of complications for him. And Man U was not helping matters.
Dapo cracked a smile as he wondered about what locker room conversations in Old Trafford would be like. Rooney will probably be cursing the hell out of Moyes – and in the same breath wondering why Fergie left.
The sudden breaking of the taxi brought him back to awareness. They were three minutes away from his street.
“Stop here,” he said to the cabman and climbed out. He paid his fare and walked into the superstore across the road.
For a moment, he thought he had somehow made his way to Shoprite or one of those megastores. He stopped at the door and looked at the human swarm that lined every aisle and corner and considered going home.
His phone rang.
“Dapo, how are you?”
He looked at his watch; 7:18.
“I’m okay sir. How is everyone?”
“They’re fine. Why were you absent at Peju’s baby naming?”
“I told mummy. I wasn’t in town – I had to travel on behalf of my company.”
Thunder rumbled down the line, and it took him a moment to realize his father was clearing his throat.
“And did you travel when my sister died too?!” The older man paused. “Even if you were around, would you have shown up?”
“No.” Dapo knew that was not the smartest thing to say, but he was frustrated. “Look dad, I have a couple of things to do and it’s getting late. I wonder why you’re wasting both our time.”
“Is it me you’re talking to like that?! Is Peju not your sister?After your mother and I die…”
“…is this how I’m going to carry on with my siblings?” Dapo cut in. “Your daughter made it – makes it clear she would rather have nothing to do with me. And to be honest, I prefer it that way.” He sighed. “I have to go…”
Chief Engineer Kayode Ojo interrupted his son. “I wonder if I birthed you at all! You must be a bastard – who knows where your mother…”
“I love you dad,” Dapo said quietly and hung up.
He stood unmoving in the corner, nostrils flaring, shoulders rising and falling with the tempo of his impassioned breathing. Then he made a beeline for Aisle 6.
The alcohol aisle.
Good Morning People!
Thank God it’s Monday. Yup!
I’m about unveiling something I’ve been working on for a while now – something for my people; something I hope you will love.
Without further ado…
The guy who meets an ex-girlfriend – after seven years of her thinking he was dead? Yeah.
Annoying guy, right?
Well he asks to see her for closure, explains his ‘death’, confesses to still having feelings for her – but then she drops a bomb on him.
She’s getting married.
Too bad abi?
The series picks up immediately after that – taking us some megapixels closer to Dapo as a person, how someone we might have forgotten can still have effects over our life and living – and moving on.
A small blurb…
“Men find love only once – or so they say. What happens when Dapo Ojo looses his ‘one great love’? Will he typically descend the road of self-destruction – or can friendship save him in time? Find Out!”
The series starts on the 3rd of February 2014. Please share and tell your friends about it!
Have a fantastic week!
Saving Dapo is powered by Real Words, Ife Olatunji, Seun Abioye, Ayokunle Moore, Moskeda Pages, Fabolosity Reads, and all my supporters.
So it’s been three months. Three of the craziest get-out-here months of my life.
But it’s over.
And so I was once again that guy who wore suits and walked back and forth Opebi, looking at beautiful girls and thinking ‘is it really worth the trouble’?
I sigh and walk on. I like the way my life is – the part where I just become part of the background. The part where I’m of no significance to anyone but my computer and my boss.
I am done with lies. Romance. Heartbreak. Done with confusion and double-dealing. Like that suddenly-trending article online, ‘Marriage Is Not For Me‘.
Mine is just a bit more literal. I am done with love and all related things.
But love is far from done with me…
- Swift Scribbles: Gobe a.k.a E Don Happen! (seunodukoya.wordpress.com)