Friday, March 23, 2012
Please Break My Heart
Jake walked towards me waving two movie tickets with a big smile on his face,“I got us the last two tickets for Cars”.
“Cars, are you kidding me?”
“The movie is a sell-out and a tip was necessary to get the last two tickets, so let me rephrase your last sentence, Oh thanks a lot Jake, you’re the best” Jake replied sounding like Minnie mouse.
“I do not sound like that you retard” I replied hitting him on his shoulder. “I bet we’ll be the only adults in the cinema”
And apparently, we were the only adults in the cinema and to worsen matters, Jake got us seats in the midsection of the hall. Making our way to the seats, was like hurdling over the legs of the kids who wouldn’t adjust and let us pass because they were so glued to the screen. Then we finally took a seat beside a grumpy kid who apparently had some problem locating where his mouth was, he had pop corn flying on his shirt, the chairs, Jake’s shoes, but Jake didn’t seem to mind, he actually got a “kind” shove from me when threw his pop corn in my face.
“Now let’s get you home” Jake said as the KFC attendant handed me a bucket of half-wings and some fries. “Not quite”, I replied with my mouth full.
“The day is still young, it’s just like 8pm and besides, it’s my birthday”
We exchanged the knowing look, “are you thinking what I am thinking?” Jake asked.
“So where is it going to be?; Q-lounge, Koko lounge, Rehab...”
“Club du retard” I replied cutting him off
“And where is that?”
“You are joking right” he replied with a raised eye brow.
“Do you know the number of cars that get jacked in that side of town?”
“Just tell me you are joking”
“You chicken, come on its not that bad and beside I have got friends in that side of town, you’ll be just fine”
“Are you sure about this?” Jake asked as he pulled up into a noisy neighbourhood.
“Yes, I just want to have fun, isn’t that what you want?” I asked. “I want you to have fun but we at a pub”, he replied. “Don’t be a silly girl”, I said and jumped out of the car. The local pubs downtown had the best fun loving people. I danced into the night with Jake all around me before I knew it, I knew nothing. What does that mean? I guess I got drunk!
“Morning D”, Jake said handing me a cup of coffee. I had to shield my eyes; at least I knew where I was. Jane’s room always let in too much light early in the morning. By the way, Jane is Jake’s twin.
“Thanks”, I said as I took the cup.
“You went overboard and got drunk last night at the Pub”, he started as he raised the curtains. I sipped the coffee gently. A large smile danced round Jake’s face.
“What?” I asked.
He jumped at me and tickled me hard.
“I had never seen you dance until last night”, he said.
“That was my birthday”, I replied.
“I am so happy to see you happy”, he said.
“Thank you Jake”, I said warmly. He smiled, acknowledging me.
“I owe it to you, if you didn’t help me, I would have never known how to enjoy a birthday”, I added. “Thank you”, I said again and hugged him.
“Time to go home”, he said releasing me.
“Jake, how much did I drink last night?” I asked as we approached the door.
“Somewhere between a lot and too much”
“Hi Jake”, Dad said as we walked in.
“Good morning sir”, he replied.
“Where did you kidnap my girl to yesterday?” He asked.
“We just hung out”, he replied scratching his head.
“Why are you asking him questions Dad when I am right here?” I asked angrily.
“Darlene”, Jake whispered under his breath.
“I just wanted to know because I wanted to have a quiet night with you yesterday for your birthday”, Dad replied.
“Am I supposed to celebrate that”? I asked rudely.
“When are you going to stop resenting me”? He asked.
“I am going to take my leave now”, Jake said excusing himself.
“Why are you so pissed about not getting the job at my firm?” Dad asked.
“You are working at Ade-Cole, anyone will kill to have that job”, he replied.
“Anyone except me”, I said.
“I will not continue to take your petty insults”, he replied.
“I am not done yet; I want to know why you employed a certain Dora Oluwole in your company as your Personal Assistant”? I asked.
“That is my personal business and why are you digging into my business?” He asked angrily.
“Don’t you think that she is too young for an affair, she is only 22 Dad”, I yelled.
“Why would I date my own daughter?” He asked.
I was shocked!
“Listen Darlene, I wanted to talk to you about it yesterday, I am very sorry”, he said.
I ran upstairs and shut the door angrily.
"Hi", I heard a thin voice say.
"I am Dora", she said.
"What"! I yelled.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Please Break My Heart
I could hear the sound of slow hip-hop pulsing behind the closed windows of the Beamer as I approached. But Jake killed the music as soon as I reached for the door handle. I slid into the front seat next to Jake and told him to take me home.
“Who was that you were listening to?” I asked him.
“Um, that was Lil Wayne.”
“How to love?”
Over the years, I had become knowledgeable in the subtle distinctions, regional and otherwise, in rap and hip-hop. Across the board, most of my friends listened to it. Some of them fashion their life styles from them. I wouldn’t think of being totally tuned to music, especially rap. I reached for the disk rack and chose one at random. I noted the handwritten ‘Dido’ on the disk. I handed the disk over to Jake and he slid it into the dashboard stereo. I didn’t have to tell him to play it at a volume so low that it would amount to little more than background noise. Jake knew I hated noise. I turned my phone on, checked my voice mail and had two unread messages. One from my great aunt, Aunt Sally, she was apologizing for missing my mom’s remembrance service, this is the fifth consecutive time she was missing the service, so I was used to her constant apology messages. The other message was from Mrs Small.
I called Mrs Small back first; I was uninterested in returning Aunt Sally’s message. “Hi Toni”, I said, signalling to Jake to totally kill the music. “Hey Honey, how are you holding up?” she asked. “I have been holding up well for the past twenty four years”, I replied sarcastically. Honestly, why would Toni ask how I have been holding up? My mom has been long dead. “I just thought you might need comfort”, she said sounding a bit defensive. “Oh Toni, where is your sense of humour?” I asked. At this junction, she burst into a mean laughter. “I do not like the sound of your laughter,” I said into the receiver. “Dare came for the service”, I said. “Oh! That’s nice to know”, she replied. “I am happy to know that he at least has one human bone in him,” I said. “And speaking of Dare coming to my mom’s service, how did he get the address?” I asked quickly. “Apart from the fact that you in your rude behaviour flung the card at him, I gave him the address”, she replied. “Did he ask for the address?” I asked smiling impressively. “Yes, he did”, she replied. The line started to break as we spoke and so I had to end my call with Toni.
The traffic heading downtown bottle necked on the third mainland bridge. I spent the time in the car ‘tweeting’ and trying not to think about going back to Ade-Cole and the argument I had with my Dad about resenting him, My Dad was right and that’s what hurts. For a long time, I had been angry with the old man for a lot of reasons. It was something I had thought about changing myself. In a few minutes, we broke free of the bottleneck. I looked out of the window and saw no accident, I saw nobody with a flat Tyre and no high way patrol cruiser parked on the shoulder. I saw nothing to explain the traffic. It was often like that. Freeway traffic in Lagos was as mysterious as the dark side of the moon. It moved and flowed, then stalled, crawled and stopped for no easily explainable reason.
“Always thought that I would love to live by the sea...” Dido’s lyrics titled straight into my thoughts or rather interrupted my thoughts. I didn’t vision my life to be this complicated, never knew that Lagos could shrink so much that I would have to run into Mr Ex every other day of the week. I tried not to think about work. There are so many assholes to think about and so little time.
Then solid bass blaring from the custom beamer speaker almost sent my head into the window glass, I turned swiftly to look at Jake with my hands covering both ears, I frowned at Jake who seemed to derive so much pleasure from the noise he had created, noticing the swift movement, he turned in my direction.
“What?” he asked with a smile.
Then he noticed the frown and the hand to ear gesture it made, he let the volume down from the media control on the steering wheels. Then he looked back at me and noticed that I hadn’t looked away and still had the frown on, I spotted his fumy smile spreading across his face, showing his white but broken canine.
“That was M.I”, had to play him out loud.
I shrugged and thought, what it was with Ex BHS boys and M.I....he is like a super hero to them. No disrespect to the Lagos superstar, but I wouldn’t even have him on my rack. “Why do you hate M.I so much?” Jake asked as if he read my thoughts. “I have never liked him, even knowing that he is an alumnus of our high school,” I replied coolly applying my lip gloss. “What will you rather have me play?” “Adele?” he asked with a grimace. “More like it”, I replied smiling. “I will not play such music in this royal stereo of mine”, he replied proudly. “And I suppose M.I is royalty?” I asked mockingly. Jake and I were very used to banters, especially on our favourites; we basically didn’t like the same things. I can’t stand M.I, and Jake thinks that Adele is a pathetic musician. When it comes to our choices in Football, I love Chelsea Football Club, and Jake can go on everyday about Arsenal Football Club. To worsen our usual Footie outburst, Jake hates my best footballer, Didier Drogba. Why would anyone hate Didier Drogba? I couldn’t really blame Jake, Drogba is known for “ripping the brakes out of Arsenal’s Car” whenever the London derby arises.
Jake drove on into the night as I remained glued to my smashing new blackberry I had several “pings” to reply and of course, have fun “tweeting”. The journey to my house was taking longer than expected, but I couldn’t be bothered, I was with Jake! I feel very safe with my “big bear” as I love to call Jake. Speaking about Jake’s physique, he had been working out since high school when I had problem with seniors boys coming at me because of the “so-called attitude” they said I posed at them whenever they wanted to go out with me. Jake got into fights in school because of me, I always got on people’s nerves and then I rush to Jake for help, he has always been there, and nothing has changed.
“Here we are”, Jake said as he pulled up. I stared at the very familiar environment, then turned and punched Jake hard on the shoulder. “What are we doing at the galleria?” I asked as I peered out of the tinted glass windows. “We are here to celebrate your first ever birthday and put an end to your annoying birthdays”, he replied turning his phone off. “Jake, my mom’s remembrance service started when I was four years old, so I don’t think it’s that bad, and beside I like hanging with my mom at the cemetery” I replied. “It is horrible you know what?, you’re hanging out with me today and we are having fun even if I have to drag you along screaming and kicking all the way” he said smiling, “Jake, am I crazy?” I said smiling back at him. “No you’re not crazy, and I’m the crazy one in case you forgot”, he replied closing the doors of the car.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Please Break My Heart
“Do you think that Dare would grant me the opportunity to attend the programme?” I asked Toni waving an invitation card before her. Toni raised her head slightly and took a quick peek at the card. “You will have to see for yourself, you are very new here and a function would be regarded as inappropriate”, she replied. “I have never missed it and I don’t intend to now”, I replied and left for Dare’s office. “Morning Dare” I said. He nodded. “I would like to be excused from work tomorrow”, I said. “Are you feeling ill?” He asked without looking up, his gaze was totally fixed to his laptop, who does he think he is? He should have at least looked at me. “No, but I have a very important function to attend”, I replied. “What function can be more important than your job here”? He asked staring at my hand. At least, he is looking at me now. “It is a service for my mother”, I replied. His look was now very stern. “Is she a clown?” Why would she want a service? He asked, looking irritated. Listen to me, if you go for it, you can kiss your job goodbye, he added and faced his laptop. I flung the card at him in utter disgust, “it is a remembrance service for my late mother, and I quit”! I yelled and walked out.
“Cheer up honey”, Jake said as he wiped my tears. “He called my mother a clown”, I mumbled. That Jerk! “He doesn’t deserve your tears”, he replied. “I don’t want to work here again, take me away from here Jake”, I said. “We would clear your desk tomorrow”, he replied, opening the door for me. I sat in the car feeling awful; Jake smiled at me. Jake’s smile came as a relief, there was something “kind” about his smile. We left for his place. I will get you something to drink; he said and left for his kitchen. I stared at a picture of Jake and I on our graduation from High School. “How could he still keep such a picture?” I thought. I had no idea where mine was, and moreover, I thought the picture looked boring. We were just two youngsters leaving High School and looked quite nervous. I snapped out of my thoughts as he returned with a can of soda. “I want to start my driving lessons this weekend”, I said. “I am not tired of driving you around”, he replied handing me the soda. I know, but I want to be able to drive myself around and not wait on my office stairs for about twenty minutes like I did today, I said. “That was an emergency, if you had called me prior to the time, you know that I would have been there”, he replied. That is the typical Jake Martin-Oje reply. I have to put an end to his “over protectiveness”; although I can’t really say that Jake is over protective. “But I don’t want you running here and there for me”, I said.” Moreover, I don’t like your new ‘beamer’”, I added with a light smile. “What will ever satisfy you”? He asked with a wide smile.
“Brethren, we are gathered here today for the 20th remembrance service of late Mrs Danielle Williams...” I watched the priest go over the formalities. I found it hard to shed a tear, maybe it was because I never really knew her, but as I stare at her grave like the past years, I feel drawn to her. She died on my 1st birthday, she was trying to bake my cake when she heard me cry, she rushed to me but on her way, she slipped and hit her head and that was the end of my mother and my birthdays. My father never celebrated any of my birthdays and when he told me how she died, I vowed never to have fun on my birthday, anyways, and today is my birthday, my 24th birthday. My mother’s remembrance service has always been held on my birthday, so that was enough for me to feel sad and forget ever having fun. “What is fun by the way without a mother?”
“Happy birthday”, Jake whispered into my ear. I nodded without a smile. Jake always tried to make me happy on my birthdays; he always baked me a cake, which I always dropped at the cemetery after the service. The cemetery was soon empty, Dad and his guests had left, leaving Jake and I and some anonymous figures paying their last respects. I stared at my mother’s grave; my mum would have been 50 if not for her unfortunate death. I dropped the cake and tears flowed down my eyes. That is the part where I always had to shed the tears, it felt special in a sad way to present the cake we never baked on my 1st birthday. “Would she eat the cake?” I asked Jake with a smile. His amused grin broadens and he put his hand on my shoulder. I faced the grave and dropped a flower. “I am sorry for your loss”, a thick voice said with a musical British accent. I turned round to see Dare Ade-Cole in a tightly fitted black suit; I nodded and faced her grave. “Take the week off, see you on Monday”, he said and walked away. I turned back and watched him leave. “You might need a minute alone” Jake said. “I will be by the car”, he added and left.
“A 24th birthday needs to be cherished and spent well”, Jake said as he drove. “That rule doesn’t apply to me”, I replied. “Here we go again Darlene, for how long will you allow this to continue?” He asked. I gave no answer to his “rhetorical question”. He obviously knew my answer, why was he asking? “You cry every time on your birthday, I honestly think that you should tell your Dad to change the remembrance date”, he said. “I want the remembrance left on this date”, I replied. He sighed deeply. “I get it”, he said and drove on.
Friday, March 2, 2012
The Fifth Episode of your thrilling "Please Break My Heart" is OUT! Now that we have reached the 5th Episode, I would love to give a big shout out to my NIGERIAN audience for being the highest patronizers, Also coming in 2nd place is my audience from THE UNITED KINGDOM, and the 3rd highest is coming from UNITED STATES. Thank you all for being there! Keep reading and keep tweeting, sharing, telling, blogging about this blog. Make me better, I love you!
Please Break My Heart
“Do you want me to give you a ride?” Dad asked as he came downstairs. There we go again, i knew the peace and quiet had been too perfect to last but thank God we didn’t have to go the through the ‘good morning-good morning routine’. No, thanks, I already called Jake, I replied. “When are you going to get your own car?” He asked. “Maybe when I start earning my salary”, I replied, sipping my coffee. “Jake can’t continue to do everything for you; he has got his own life”, he said, slipping into his Suit. He is not complaining Dad; I replied and carried my briefcase. See you later, I added and walked out. Jake pulled up seconds after I walked out of the house.
“Are you satisfied with ‘the new golden carriage’? Jake asked as rolled down the tinted window with a grin on his face. “It is okay,” I replied. So you call my new ‘beamer’ okay? How many of this have you seen around,” Jake added raising an eyebrow with his “leery eyes” peering from under his dark glasses. Jake and I had been friends from as far back as I could recall, we went to the same schools, even Harvard, Jake bagged a degree in Architecture. He is very artistic and creative, that is my favourite quality in him, apart from his heavy masculine physique and cute face. Jake is the perfect listener. I rant about all my fears and pains to him, and he lends me the listening ear that I require. “Jake please don’t get me started this morning” I replied, ”wow, someone’s pissed, why didn’t you turn up for the party last night?” Jake replied with a queer, choked voice, “unlike you some of us have to go to work’’ I replied shifting my weight from the middle arm-rest, I was angry but not too angry to notice the comfy leather interior of the new BMW X6, Jake is self-employed with really no reason to work, He is the only son of the owner of the biggest construction company in west Africa. Be a good girl, he said as he pulled up in front of Ade-Cole Law Firm. I smiled and hurried off.
Good morning Toni, I said as I walked in. Hello Darlene, she replied smiling. Dare wants to see you in his office, she added quickly. A stream of anger and fatigue flew through my whole body; I immediately left for his office. “Good morning Sir,” I said. The name is Dare, he replied with a grin which he rarely did. We do a first name here, you should have read that in the handbook, he added. Yes Dare, I replied, feeling comfortable. I went through your credentials last night and I must say, it is top class, he said, “thanks”, I replied. He was too engrossed in he’s speech to notice the irony in my voice Does that mean that I get my office? I asked. No, at least not yet, the personal office thing comes when the firm feels that you are certified by all standards to be an office owner, he replied still with the strange and annoying grin. Why then did he call me here? I said to myself inaudibly. “Darlene, I would like you to accompany me to a press conference by 2pm, it is for the firm”, he said. I glanced at my watch. “It won’t take your time and you don’t need to say a thing, in fact, you have nothing to say, you are just going to be a figure there”, he continued. I wore a weird gaze at him. I am actually taking you because I think you are beautiful and would make for a good cover page standing by me, he added, why don’t you just a hire a Model? I asked bluntly. He laughed. Hiring will mean me paying her and I am not interested in paying for a thirty minutes interview. He replied. I wasn’t aware that that was part of our professional agreement...I can check with my colleagues to be certain, I replied, looking uninterested. “Could you really check?” he asked. I frowned at his Sarcasm. Look Darlene, you are my staff and you do what I say, he replied.
Dare forced me to a press conference, God knows what he would do to me next before this week runs out, I complained bitterly to Jake as he drove me home later in the evening. Who is Dare? He asked. My boss, Dare Ade-Cole, I replied. Do I sense a “beauty and the beast story” in the offing? He asked with a sarcastic smile. Yeah yeah...very funny Jake, I replied probably not impressed with one of Jake’s casual Jokes. “The firm operates on a first name basis between the staffs”, I replied. You will be fine babe, you are very strong and you will come out well there, he said.” Do you know why my Dad doesn’t want me at his firm”? I asked, with no provocation. If you work at Williams Firm, people will say that your Dad planted you there, they will disregard your merits, he replied. Jake that is so “flat”, I worked hard for my degree, I replied with a deep breath. Prove it at Ade-Cole and you will see that your father will be dying to have you at his firm, he said. I sighed. Cheer up babe, do you care for chicken? KFC is just right around the corner, he said. Thanks Jake, I replied. What would I do without you? I asked with a smile. Nothing, you couldn’t do anything without me, he replied with a grin.