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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

EPISODE 7

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NOW EPISODE 7




BROKEN…OR NOT? EPISODE 7


EPISODE 7
            *IJEOMA*
I wished I could move my leg and go and meet Omololu in the bathroom. He had been in the bathroom for almost an hour and he won’t come out. Did he regret that he made love to me? Or didn’t I meet his desires and he hated me for it? I cursed myself for driving into the tree in an attempt to end my life. If only I could be with Omololu and tell him that I was sorry and I could hold him and tell him how much I wished that ‘night’ had not happened. I couldn’t take back that night, there was nothing I could say, no words could take back bruising my man’s ego. He had to forgive me and that I really did doubt if he could.
I let my tears flow freely as the sadness consumed my heart. The shower was now running. He must be washing off the fact that he had anything to do with me. Even though he couldn’t change it, he must despise me really much. I cursed my luck. My own husband (well, soon to be ‘ex’) did regret being with me. Who would even want to sleep with a paralyzed woman?
            *OMOLOLU*
I sat by the tub as the shower ran. I had turned it on so that Ijeoma would think I was in the shower. I didn’t know how to face her. I wanted her more and more but I was disappointed in myself for wanting her. I had Olivia. If only that night had never happened, I would be with Ijeoma right now. I washed my face and prepared to go back to the room. I would sleep on the couch and pretend as if nothing had happened between us. I hesitated as I approached the door and I returned to the bathroom. Maybe sleeping here would be better. I knew Ijeoma couldn’t come to look for me, she would just sleep off and I would leave when she was asleep.
Inasmuch as I want to hate her, it’s too hard. A look at her eyes and I just melt. Behind the fa├žade of her new tough look, I still see the Ijeoma that was weak, fragile and needed me for everything. Poverty made her tougher. We were broke and there was nothing for us, Mom had to juggle two jobs to help us with Ijeoma’s pregnancy and we finally had Tiwa. Ijeoma almost lost her life due to complications and we couldn’t afford the surgery. We were told that she had a fifty-fifty chance of survival if she tried to have the baby by pushing because of her frail system, but she still went ahead and had Tiwa.
Ijeoma changed after that experience, she had the academic excellence on her side so she pushed in for every job and when the offer finally came from Lagos, I had to let her go. I had no choice. She was willing to go.
I drew myself up from the floor and pushed the door open slightly to see if she was still awake, but she looked asleep, so I crept back into the room. I threw myself on the couch and tried to sleep but I couldn’t. I kept staring at her so I decided to go back to the bed.
            “Should we talk about it?”
I gasped as I heard Ijeoma’s voice. I turned as I stared at her. “I thought you would be asleep.” I said.
            “Should we talk about it? She asked.
I sat up. “Ijeoma, you should go to bed.”
            “Omololu, can we work it out?”
I took a deep breath. “I need to sleep. You should too.” I replied, turning away from her.
            “Are you that ashamed of me? Are you disappointed that you slept with a crippled woman? Are you sad about it? Is that why you went to rinse off?”
I gasped as she went on and on. “Ijeoma stop!” I shouted. She was silent. I stared at her and took a deep breath. “I am not ashamed of anything except for the fact that I slept with you when I have Olivia because I wanted to. Ijeoma, I want you. I still love you and that makes me sad.” I replied and tried to leave but she held my hand. “What?” I asked as I turned sharply at her. Her eyes were wet.
            “Forgive me, Omololu. Please.”
I swallowed hard. “It’s too hard, Ijeoma. It’s too hard for me.” I replied and left the room.
*IJEOMA*
I drove my chair round the garden in a circle. I had to find a way of pacing around, if I couldn’t do it on my feet, I would do it one way or the other. I had nothing left to fight for anymore. Omololu was very clear with me last night; he did not want anything to do with me anymore.
I fiddled with my phone for a while and then dialed Austin. “Hey Austin, I need your help. Please come to the house.” I said into the voicemail.
Omololu approached me and stretched out a glass of juice to me. “Hey.” He said as he pulled a chair.
I ignored the glass and continued driving in a circle. “I don’t need you trying to pacify me, everything was clear last night.” I replied.
            “Drink it.” He ordered.
I hissed and drove my wheelchair on. He walked quickly after me. “Ijeoma, stop doing this.”
I halted. “Go back to Olivia. I’ll be fine.”
            “I am not leaving here until you are better.”
I rolled my eyes. “That will take a while, Omololu.”
He nodded. “I have called your therapist; you have a session for noon. You’ll be back on your feet in no time, I promise you.” he said and started to walk away.
I drove after him. “Can we just talk about it?”
            “No.”
I crossed him. “Are we going to keep running away from it? I messed up and I know it.”  
            “Messed?” He screamed. “That’s the least of what you did, Ijeoma. Don’t go mild on it.” He shouted. “I don’t want to talk about it.” He replied.
            “I want to. I want to talk, Omololu. Couples talk.”
He scoffed. “We may not be that anymore.”
I felt heat flush across my face as he said those words. “How long would you keep punishing me?”
            “You think this is a punishment? You killed me. We had something special. You threw it all away.”
I nodded. “I know and I am sorry, Omololu. Look at me, I just want you back.”
            “Olivia doesn’t deserve this.”
I swallowed. “Do you love her?”

*OMOLOLU*
How did she expect me to answer that question? Love? My heart didn’t beat for Olivia, it never had. I loved being around her because she was able to distract me, but Love? Passion?
            “Do you stop loving someone overnight?” I asked. She looked at me then buried her head in her hand. I bent beside her. “I didn’t stop loving you for one minute. I wish I could. It’s been a torture for me.”
            “Then why did you sleep with her?” she asked in tears.
I scoffed. “You…you don’t understand, do you?”
            “How am I supposed to understand you sleeping with another woman in our matrimonial home? I walked in on you with her.”
I hissed. “You walked in after how many years, Ijeoma? Fifteen years! What do you know about a matrimonial home?” I shouted. She started to drive away. I hurried after her. “Running away so soon? What? Why don’t we talk about it now? Let’s talk about how you destroyed our marriage.”
            “Omololu, I am tired. I want to go to bed.”
I held her face. “Now you are tired? I am not tired. I want to talk about it. I want to talk about everything. Let’s start talking.” She started to drive off and I hurried after her. “I want to talk.” I shouted.
She didn’t stop, she drove faster and returned into the house.

*IJEOMA*
I stopped driving as soon as I got to my bar. I was able to find a bottle of vodka and I started to drink it. I cried along as I drank.
            “My Father said you could never drink alcohol.”
I turned as I stared at Tiwa. “What do you want?”
            “He said he stopped his drinking habits because of you. How is it that you are drinking?”
I swallowed as I wiped some of the liquor from my mouth. “It’s my business.”
            “Did you have to change that fast? Why did you change so fast?” she asked.
I drove my wheelchair closer to her. “Listen to me, Tiwa. People change.” I replied as I started to drive off.
                        “He said you were a good woman.” She replied.
I paused as soon as I heard her and turned in her direction. “Good woman? When did he say so?”
            “He has never stopped saying so.” She replied.
I swallowed. “People change.” I replied.
            “Do you still care about him?” she asked.
            “Tiwa, these things are complicated, you can’t understand.”
She nodded. “Help me understand.”
            “Don’t you have to go to Lord Tanners’ tonight with Austin?” I asked waving off her curiosity.
She nodded. “I will, but right now, I want to talk. I want to know what happened, I want to know if you deserve my forgiveness. You abandoned me, I want to try to forgive you, but it is hard for me. Help me to understand.”
I took a deep breath. “Tiwa, I…I can’t talk to you about these things. It is complicated.”
She nodded. “Then we can stay complicated too.” she replied and walked out.
           
            *OMOLOLU*
                        “Tiwa! Where are you going?” I shouted as I watched her walk out of the house.
            She ran to me. “You lied, Dad. You lied.” She said in tears.
                        “What do you mean? Tiwa, what did your mom say to you?” I asked.
She cleaned her eyes. “You always told me that she loved me and cared so much and that she had to leave, but now, she is here and she won’t even be friends with me. Why did you make up all that for her?”
            “I did not. Your mother is a great woman and she loves you a lot.”
She rolled my eyes. “Dad, she doesn’t.”
I pulled her to me for a hug. “She loves you. I know it.”
The Gate opened and Austin drove in. He hurried into the house that he didn’t even notice Tiwa and I. “Austin just came in.” I started. “Is tonight the Lord Tanner show?”
She nodded. “Yes, Dad.” She replied. I took a deep breath. “But that’s not due yet.” She added.

*IJEOMA*
            “Austin, you have help me out of here.” I said as soon as he walked in.
            “We have bigger problems, Ijeoma. Bigger ones!” he said.
I stared at him. “What are you saying?”
            “You remember the deal that got you suspended?” he asked. I nodded in agreement. “They just pulled out all their shares from our company. We have not tied up a successful deal since your accident and we are suffering financially.”
I gasped. “Why didn’t you tell me anything?”
            “I told you about your suspension, didn’t I?” he said as he sank into a seat. “Where is your husband?” he asked.
I shrugged. “I don’t know. You have to help me now; I am going to the office.”
            “You can’t go in your condition.” He replied standing up.
I looked down checking myself. “If you able bodied men can’t seal deals, I should be able to do it from here.” I replied and moved my wheelchair forward.
Austin stood in my way. “I can’t let you go.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Why then did you come to me?” I asked.

*OMOLOLU*
Austin was pacing around the living room when I walked in. “Is there a problem?” I asked.
He adjusted his jacket. “It’s just erm…just office matters, but the real problem is Ijeoma wants to go to the office now and I don’t think it is good for her.”
            “There is no use worrying about me.” Ijeoma said as she approached us. She was darting a smart suit with her hair let down and pretty accessories. She smiled in Austin’s direction. “Let’s go.”
            “Ijeoma, you can attend to office duties later, I already booked you with the physiotherapist.” I said.
She smiled. “I don’t think I want to see the physiotherapist anytime soon, what I want to do now is go to work.”
I bent before her. “Ijeoma, you don’t have to do this. Work will take care of itself.”
            “I know I don’t have to do it, but, I want to do it.” She replied. “Take care of yourself, I’ll see you in the evening if you are still here.” She added and drove her wheelchair out with Austin following her.

*IJEOMA*
I took a deep breath as the elevator opened into the top floor. Standing right before me was the Chairman. “Mr. Chairman, good morning.” I greeted.
He stared at me and then at Austin. “Didn’t you tell her that she has been suspended? And even if you weren’t told by him, didn’t you get the email and letters?”
            “Do you want the company back in shape or not?” I asked.
            “Mrs. Martins, this is not the time for your cheap talk, and right now, I am a wrong buyer of your merchandise.”
I smiled. “You know I don’t talk cheap, I’ll give you back the lost deal in exchange for my job and a step higher on my ranking here.”
            “What is this? Street shopping?”
I drove my wheelchair around him. “Sir, you know I can handle it. My promotion is quite due you know?”
            “You are already Senior Partner here, what else could you want? Director?”
I nodded. “Yes, Director. I don’t enjoy being suspended or threatened. I have done too much to be threatened in that manner. Now, the choice is yours, if you don’t agree, I am going to resign and when I resign, I’ll go private and you know there are one million people that will be willing to join me.”
He swallowed. “You have six hours.”
            “Too much.” I replied and punched the elevator door open. Austin followed me into the lift.
He waited until the door closed. “Ijeoma, are you crazy? What did you just do?”
            “I bought some time, we would close up the deal and I’ll get a more secure position here, it’s about time I got that.”
He nodded as the door opened to the last floor. “And what if we can’t seal it?”
            “Do you actually believe that I won’t handle it?” I asked as I drove on. I noticed that Austin wasn’t following as I reached the door. I had been rattling to thin air. I turned back to see him standing at the elevator door with a smile on his face. “What?” I asked.
He smiled wider. “You are back!”
I nodded and drove out.

*OMOLOLU*
            “I could actually take you to the Lord Tanner show myself.” I said as Tiwa focused on the TV.
She smiled faintly. “Thank you but I’d rather go with Austin.”
            “Austin?! What do you mean?” I asked.
She turned off the TV with a smile. “Easy Dad, Austin isn’t dating her.”
            “And does that mean you are going to date him?” I asked angrily.
She laughed. “Come on Dad. Austin and I are buddies. I want to help him with his girlfriend but he doesn’t know.”
            “You want to help him? He has a girlfriend? What is his relationship with your mother?”
            “They are friends and partners, Dad. I don’t know if he likes her, but, I want to help him with his girlfriend.”
I shook my head. “Stay out of his personal matters, Tiwa. You have no business with that, I’ll be taking you to the Lord Tanner show if you want to go. I’ll reserve the tickets and we would be watching ‘Magic Time’ together. That’s the name of the show, right?” I asked as I searched for information on my laptop.
            “Why don’t we all go together? We could call Ms. Dominic too.” she replied with a smile.
I swallowed as she mentioned Olivia’s name. “With Ms. Dominic?” I asked.
She nodded. “Yes, she is your friend and she can come too.”

*IJEOMA*
            “Look, we don’t have the time for you, we are not putting our shares back.”
I drove my wheelchair closer to him. “You know what? We don’t care.”
Austin’s jaw dropped. The Director stared at me. “Did you hear yourself?”
I nodded. “Why would I care? You are pulling out your shares and giving room for more share sells, right now we have a positive rise making us the best business to buy in right now, and I don’t think I want you back in our organization, your pulling out has given us room to sell more. Thank you. We’ll be on our way.” I concluded as I turned from his direction.
            “Wait!” he said.
I smiled faintly at Austin and then turned in his direction. “What do you want?”
            “Suppose I am willing to buy back, how many percent am I entitled to?”
I shook my head sadly. “Right now, I can only offer you 5% and that is because we are having people rush in demanding higher and paying better. I came here because I felt you should enjoy in this new package.”
He took a deep breath. “I want 10%.”
            “You know the price.” I replied.
He nodded. “I’ll have the money wired back to the organization and I want my shares before morning.”
            “I’ll see what I can do, 10% is quite difficult, but I’ll try my best. You are one of our best.”
He fetched his pen. “I want a contract to this effect.”
I smiled and stared at Austin. “I’ll have the deeds sent to you by noon.”
            “Ms. Martins, we have a pending deal, you know?”
I nodded. “I had an accident. We can seal that too now if you don’t mind.”
He handed the paper to me. “I want you guys to help me. I just want all my consignments in the right place.”
            “We always do.” I replied, signing the paper. “You can call the Chairman and tell him you are all in.” I added as I returned the paper to him. “I’ll be on my way now. I need to see my physio.” I concluded.
He kissed my hand. “Speedy recovery.”
Austin smiled and led me to the elevator. “How do you do that?”
            “I talk.”
***
Margaret pressed her weight into the couch and changed the television station. She had not settled into the movie she was watching when the door bell chimed. She cursed as she strolled to the door. She opened the door and smiled as she saw Ijeoma. She threw her arms around Ijeoma. “My child.” Ijeoma drove into the house and Margaret followed after shutting the door. “How is Omololu?” she asked.
            “Omololu is okay. How are you?” Ijeoma asked.
Margaret smiled. “I am bored.”
            “Why don’t you come over to the house with me? Omololu is there.” Ijeoma replied.
Margaret stared at her. “What do I offer you?”
            “I am okay ma.”
Margaret took her seat opposite Ijeoma. “Have you met Olivia?”
            “Apart from when I caught her in bed with Omololu? No.”
Margaret nodded. “Do you want to fight for your marriage?”
            “I was wrong and you know it.” She replied. “It is pointless fighting for Omololu.” Ijeoma replied.
She nodded. “We all make mistakes.”
            “If I didn’t make that mistake, Omololu and I won’t be so complicated right now and there won’t be any need for Olivia in our lives.” Ijeoma said.
Margaret took her hand. “What are you doing to win Omololu back?”
Ijeoma smiled faintly. “Last night was special.”
            “I want to hear about it.” Margaret replied with a smile.
Ijeoma chuckled. “Can I talk about this with you?”
            “What haven’t you talked about with me?” Margaret replied.
They laughed.

*OMOLOLU*
I adjusted my jacket as I waited for Tiwa by the car. She hurried out. “I don’t think Austin is coming. Have you called Ms. Dominic?” she asked.
            “No. I actually thought your mom would return quite early so we could all go together.” I replied.
She smiled faintly. “You wanted to go with her?”
I nodded in agreement. “Anyway, since she isn’t here, we could go together.”
The gate opened and Ijeoma’s car came in. Tiwa stared at me. “She is here now. Are you going to ask her?”
Ijeoma drove up to us. “Going out?”
            “It’s the Lord Tanner show tonight.” Tiwa said.
Ijeoma stared at me and then at her. “Mind if I join?” she asked.
I smiled. “Of course not.”
            “I’ll just go and change.” She replied and drove into the house.
Tiwa stared at me with a smile. “You didn’t even have to ask.”
            “She owes us.” I replied as I stroked Tiwa’s hair.
She smiled. “Dad, do you think we can become a family again?” she asked. My heart pounded as she started. “I…I know I don’t really know her but I think she is good and maybe sorry for the past even though I really don’t know all about it.”
            “I don’t know if she is sorry.” I replied turning away from her.
She held my hand. “Is it hard to have our family back? I mean all my friends have their Mom and Dad.”
            “It’s not always the same for everyone.” I replied. “And I thought you liked Ms. Dominic.”
She nodded with a smile. “Of course I do, she is very nice and she is your friend, I like her. But, S…She is only your friend, right?”
I swallowed and turned away from her. Ijeoma approached us in her wheelchair. The chair couldn’t hide her beauty. I smiled faintly and walked up to her. “You are beautiful.” I said.
She smiled. “Thank you.” she replied and drove off to Tiwa.
The gate opened and we stared at Police officers approach us. “Mr. Martins?”
I nodded.
            “You are under arrest for breaching court agreement.” The officer said flashing a warrant before me.




Wednesday, October 23, 2013

BROKEN...OR NOT?

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BROKEN…OR NOT?


EPISODE 06
*IJEOMA*
I tried to digest what Austin had just said to me. “Suspended?” I asked.
He nodded and then took his seat. “Ijeoma, it came as a surprise to me too and I had to rush down to the office from the hospital when I got the call, but we lost the deal and the Chairman was so angry that he ordered that you be suspended.” He replied as he passed his phone to me. “I have the message from the Chairman there. Your letter is in the office.” He added.
I scoffed. “I made the Chairman and I’ll take him down in an instant.” Austin stared at Tiwa and then back at me. I rolled my eyes as I got his message. “Fine, but this won’t be the end of it.” I replied and pressed the button on my wheelchair. “I’ll be upstairs.” I added and drove off.
***
Tiwa stared at Austin. “Mind telling me what that was about?”
He smiled faintly. “You don’t need to know about it, they are just complex office matters.” He replied as he fetched the T.V’s controller and switched the station to‘Fashion TV’. “This should interest you.” he said as he tried making a call on his phone.
“Am sorry, do I look to you as though I am still having baby food?” Tiwa asked to Austin’s surprise. “In fact, babies are not so slow.” She added.
He stared at her with a smile. “I don’t understand.” He stopped his call and stared at her.
“I rather you put it on Cartoon Network if you want to make a complete fool out of me.” she continued. “I am not a child. Why was she suspended?”
He took a deep breath. “Tiwa,…it’s just a complex office issue. Your Mom is very instrumental to us in sealing mega deals, she’s the adroit negotiator.”
“And because she decided not to show up, she gets suspended? Not even taking into consideration that she had an accident?” She asked looking puzzled.
Austin smiled. “Tiwa, it is not in my place to explain these things to you, maybe if you talk to your Mom, it would be clearer.”
“I don’t have anything to discuss with her, all I am saying is that they give her her job back, you should talk to them. It was my fault.” She replied.
*OMOLOLU*
I helped Olivia to a seat and took mine opposite her. “You haven’t said anything to me, you just told your Mom to excuse us.” She said as she brought out her phone.
“Olivia, Ijeoma is in a pretty bad condition and I was just thinking that I need to be with her.” I started.
She smiled. “You are always thinking of others. That’s so sweet.” She replied. I smiled. Olivia made it all so easy, she never made my life hard. “But, have you forgotten the judges’ order of ten metres, I mean, it still stands doesn’t it?” she asked.
My smile faded as I remembered the Judges’ order. “But, I was in the hospital and I didn’t get any warning from them, why would this be a problem?”
“Why exactly do you want to go there?” she asked.
I frowned. “Liv, it’s an obvious answer. I need to help her.”
“In the bathroom? In the Kitchen? Or in the Bedroom?”
I stared at her as for the first time I saw Olivia look angry. “Liv, it’s not what you think.” I started.
“I get it, Ijeoma is still your wife, and I…I am the side chick, right? Or isn’t that what they call it?” she asked. “I have read about Ijeoma Martins in the papers, she is extremely wealthy, she can have maids cook for her willingly and possibly help her in the bathroom too, why does it have to be you?”
I was silent. “I am sorry.”
“You are sorry? Why?” she asked.
I shook my head sadly. “Tiwa called me, and I…I just felt that if Tiwa saw it necessary that I go there, it had to be serious.”
“I don’t know what to say, I am sad. I am disappointed, I am going to be all alone and you would be moving in with her. How do I reconcile that?”
I took her hand. “Olivia, I am always here for you.”
She yanked her hand from my grip. “Omololu, I want you to be with me, I don’t want you going away, I’ll be alone.
I swallowed hard. “Olivia, what if you come with me?”
She stood up looking angry. “Why do you want to humiliate me? How do you want me to stay in the same house with you and your wife? Isn’t that too much? You want her to call me your mistress?”
I scoffed. “You are not my mistress! I am going to marry you as soon as I divorce Ijeoma.”
“And when would you file for the divorce?” she asked.
“I…I don’t know.” I replied.
She nodded and picked up her bag. “Fine, when you know, call me.” she said as she motioned towards the door.
I ran after her holding her back. “Olivia, please.”
She smiled and pecked me. “It’s fine.”
“Are you sure?”
She squeezed my hand and walked out.
“Are you still going?”
I turned to Mom who had now come into the living room. I took my seat beside her. “I am breaking Olivia’s heart, right?”
“You have to be careful, Son.” She replied. “It’s your decision to make in the end.”
“I am staying with Olivia.” I replied.

***
Austin passed his phone to Tiwa. “What is this?” she asked.
“Just check it out.” he replied as he turned the Television. “I’ll watch football while you engage yourself with that.”
She shrugged and passed the phone to him. “I might as well watch soccer too instead of reading anonymous stuffs.”
He smiled and tossed the phone back at her. “You must read it.”
She rolled her eyes. “Who is Lord Tanner?” she asked staring into the phone.
“That’s why you are with the phone.” he replied grinning. “Read it.”
Tiwa smiled back. “So what am I to do with it?”
“My…My ex works there. It is a theatre group. They perform stage plays and go on tours from city to city within Nigeria publicizing their dramas.” He started. Tiwa sat up and listened with rapt attention. “I am subscribed to their mailing list so I know they have a stage play this weekend, if you don’t mind, we could go and see it together.”
She shrugged. “I…I don’t know.”
“If you are worried about Ijeoma, it’s not a problem. She’ll let me take you there.”
She nodded as she stared into the phone. “What if I don’t find it interesting?”
Austin paused and then smiled. “Then I’ll buy you dinner.”
“You are buying me dinner either ways, so just place a better bet.” She replied.
He raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure that you haven’t lived with Ijeoma at one time in your life before now?”
She shrugged. “If when I was a baby and unaware of existence doesn’t count, then no.” He smiled and then started to laugh. “What’s so funny?”
“You sound just like Ijeoma. When she newly arrived in Lagos, I was her first friend and housemate.”
Tiwa stared at him. “Housemate?”
He nodded with a smile. “Yeah, she and I lived in the same house, we had to save our first salaries so it made sense to live together.”
Tiwa laughed scornfully. “Didn’t she find any female friends?”
“Oh? ... I helped her out with the kitchen duties.”
Tiwa frowned. “Don’t play with me, how would a grown man and a grown woman live in the same house together?”
“Why not? Ijeoma would not stop whining about Omololu, and I am a really decent man.”
She nodded with sarcasm. “They all say so.”
Austin smiled. “So, would you go with me to the Lord Tanner show?”
“Why are you so interested in going?” she asked.
He shrugged. “I just want to take you there.”
“Or you want to see your ex?”
He smiled faintly. “Ex?”
“You mentioned it to me earlier that your ex works there.”
“Yes, that’s true. But, we are done.” He replied as sprawled out on the seat.
She nodded. “Do you miss her?”
He shook his head in disagreement. “No.”
“You are lying.”
He scoffed. “I don’t have to, and I don’t have to talk about my private life with a kid.”
“Kid? You have to be kidding me.”

*OMOLOLU*
Mom strolled into the living room for the umpteenth time and returned to the kitchen and then her room. She’d walk back and forth, stamp her foot, mumble over inaudible words and then return inside.
“Mom, this can’t continue.” I said as she walked into the living room again.
She stared at me as though she was clueless about it. “I am…I am just relieving myself.”
I nodded. “Mom, I don’t know what to do, you have to help me.”
“Omololu, I know you care a lot about Olivia and I know you are grateful to her…”
I sprang up from the chair cutting her short. “I am not grateful to her, I love her. I am not with Olivia out of appreciation.”
She smiled faintly. “Have it your way, Son. Although your defensiveness shows that I am right.”
“Stop it, Mom. Olivia is important to me.” I argued.
She nodded. “I haven’t said otherwise. I am only saying that I know where you heart lies.”
“Sop exaggerating it, Mom. I can never be with Ijeoma and you know it.”
She sighed. “Is it so hard to forget? I…I know how you felt, but, Omololu…please.”
I scoffed and pulled my bag. “I am going to Ijeoma’s.”
Mom smiled. “Have you thought of what Olivia would say?”
I took a deep breath. “Olivia is right about one thing, Ijeoma is still my wife and I’ll do what any honorable man would do.” I said heading for the door.
“Did you mean what any man in love would do?” Mom asked with a smile.
I smiled back and walked out.
*IJEOMA*
I drove the wheelchair back and forth as I sipped my drink. Tiwa and Austin were engaged in a discussion I didn’t understand and I didn’t know if interrupting them would make any sense. She seemed to have found a friend in Austin, at least if I couldn’t be a good mother or friend, Austin could help me out. He had always helped me out.
Flashback
“I am a married woman.” I said as I dropped my bag in my room.
He smiled. “And I am a single man.” He replied.
I eyeballed him coldly.
“Don’t worry, I have no interest in you, you are not my type.” He replied as he hurled a blanket at me. “We could manage this place pending the time I get a bigger one, because, I am so sure that I would be promoted in no time and you my dear, you can have this place.” He cooed.
“Show off.” I replied as I started to lay the bed.
He smiled. “So tell me about your family except Omololu.”
“Omololu is my life.” I said with a wide grin.
He scoffed. “You don’t stop, do you?” he asked. He stared at me for a while. “I like your neck chain.” He said.
“It’s Omololu’s.” I replied.
He sighed and took his seat. “I like someone too, but I don’t know how strong it is. We are complicated. We break up all the time and come back and break up and all.”
I stared at him. “You need to stop breaking up…learn how to have a fight.” I replied.
“I’ll try, but I certainly don’t promise you a thing.”
I shrugged with slight defiance. “I really don’t care. You are the one with a girlfriend. I am the one with the husband.” I replied with a grin.
The door bell chimed. Austin and Tiwa turned. “Don’t worry, I’ll get it. I am crippled, but not useless.” I said as I drove to the door. I turned the door knob and stared at Omololu.
*OMOLOLU*
I didn’t know what it was, but my heart leapt fast on seeing Ijeoma. It had to be pity. She was on a wheel chair even though it is a choice type, but she was on it. She just stared at me and tried to smile. She successfully did. “How are you, Omololu?” she asked.
I swallowed as I stepped forward. “Are you okay?” I asked.
She stared at me and then smiled. She then laughed. “I am not dead. Don’t cry for me. Why are you here?” she asked as she drove into the house. I closed the door and followed her.
“Daddy!” Tiwa said as she came over to me in smile. “Nice to see you here.” She said.
I hugged her and watched as Austin bent over to talk to Ijeoma. It made me angry. I had no right to be, but I was angry. He then pecked her and approached me. “Hello, Man.” He said stretching out his hand.
I took the hand firmly and then released him. “How are you, Austin?” I asked.
He smiled. “I doing great.” He replied and turned in Tiwa’s direction. “Going to Lord Tanners’ this weekend?”
She nodded with a smile. “That would be nice.” She replied. “I’ll walk you out.”
I watched them leave the house and I walked up to Ijeoma. “I am not comfortable with that man hanging around my daughter.” I said.
“And I am not comfortable with you being within ten metres. Besides, I lived with Austin for almost two years, I know him.”
I scoffed. “You can never know anyone; you can only know some things about them.”
She nodded sarcastically. “Why are you here, Omololu?”
“I am here to help you out with anything you might need.”
She smiled and then laughed mockingly. “Ten staffs are at my beck and call, they cook, wash, clean the house, drive and do whatever I ask.”
“I see.”
She folded her arm. “What about your…your girlfriend? I won’t be comfortable having my man come over to help another woman.”
“Another woman? Is that who you think you are to me?”
She stared at me and then smiled. “Wow…I am impressed. You actually still love me.”
I paused. “Love? Don’t flatter yourself, Ijeoma. You are the mother of my daughter and if your condition is of no good to my daughter, I have to help her.”
She nodded sarcastically. “That’s nice to hear.”
“Where is the guest room?” I asked.
“Guest room? I am sorry, if you want to help me, you would have to sleep in my room. I won’t be ringing a bell to gain your attention.”
I felt my heart skip a beat. The thought of being close to Ijeoma again sent my blood hot. She drove closer to me. “Don’t worry, I can’t touch you.” she said staring at her legs and drove upstairs.
I followed her.

***
Margaret Martins flipped through her Magazine as she sipped her juice. The door bell chimed and Margaret walked over to the door. She took a peek to the door hole and opened it.
“Good evening ma.”
Margaret stepped out of the way and allowed Olivia in. “Hello Olivia. Omololu is not in. And I doubt if he’ll be back anytime soon.”
“I know. I didn’t see his car.” She replied as she motioned to a chair. “May I?”
Margaret nodded. “Please do.” Olivia took her seat and Margaret took hers opposite her. “I know you are not here for any camaraderie, so can we cut to the chase?
Olivia smiled. “Why do you think the worst of me?”
“I don’t think the worst of you. I know you are up to no good.”
Olivia relaxed in her seat. “I don’t understand. When did loving your son become a crime?”
“How about manipulating my son? How about taking advantage of a vulnerable man? How about using your psychological talents to hypnotize him and make him do what you want?”
Olivia shook her head sadly. “I am…I am speechless. All I ever wanted and did was love Lolu.”
“And yes, you did it in your way. What is the game plan? Why are you here? You want to win my support and love. No.”
Olivia wiped her forehead. “I can’t understand your unreasonable hatred for me.” she started. “I loved your son when that woman kicked him away, I showered with all my love and life, I have been nothing but loyal and loving to him, and I can’t understand why you want to see evil in every of my kindness. What sort of a mother does that?”
“A mother that loves her son.”
Olivia scoffed. “Love? I can only see unnecessary solidarity to Ijeoma Martins here, and I understand that Ijeoma is currently in the list of the ‘Most Influential women in Lagos’, but-”
“Hold it right there! What are you insinuating?” Margaret shouted.
Olivia took a deep breath. “I know it’s hard to admit but I leave you to your conscience, I might not be able to offer all the wealth that Ijeoma can, but, I can give love and that is something that you won’t deny Omololu and I of.” She concluded as she picked up her bag. “I know I might have sounded wrong and all, but, I will fight for Omololu’s love, and I will win it.” She replied as she approached the door. She paused and stared at Margaret. “What if I was your daughter? Why don’t you be more patient with me and allow me win your heart like I won Omololu’s?”
“Won? You don’t have Omololu.” Margaret replied. “If you did, he won’t be with Ijeoma right now.”
Olivia smiled. “Lolu is doing what a good man would do, he is helping her.”
Margaret nodded. “I leave you to your fantasy and foolishness. Close the door on your way out.”

*IJEOMA*
I watched Omololu as he took off his shirt. I swallowed and turned my chair away. It had been years since I felt like this around any man. Actually, Omololu had been the only man and ever since I left Ibadan I had been alone. I never felt that way except for tonight. “You could actually do this in the bathroom.” I said as I picked up my magazine from the edge of the bed and drove my wheelchair closer to the closet.
“You are the reason why I am here so you might as well deal with it if I have to take off my clothes here.” He replied as adjusted his towel. “Have you had your night shower?” he asked.
I ignored him.
“Ijeoma!” he called.
I shook my head. “I don’t have night showers anymore.”
“Since when?” he asked.
“Since my accident.” I replied and flipped the page of the magazine. He walked up to and picked me up from the chair. “What are you doing?” I protested.
He ignored and pushed the door to the bathroom open. “Good thing there is a Jacuzzi here. I’ll run the tub. Hot?” he asked as he reached for my top.
I slapped his hand away. “What are you doing?”
You are going to have a bath and I need to take off the clothes.” He replied as he removed the clothes. This time I didn’t resist, I just let him undress me.
I watched as he ran his eyes through my naked body and I rubbed the soap slowly. “Omololu stop.” I said. 
“I don’t understand.” He replied and he continued rubbing the soap down by body.
I took his hand. “Just take me out of here, please…”
He took a deep breath. “I’ll soon be through, then I’ll take to your bed.” He replied and ran some water through my hair as he washed it.

*OMOLOLU*
I wrapped a towel around Ijeoma and carried her into the bedroom. She looked fragile as she stared at me. “You can stop staring at me, Ijeoma.” I said with a smile.
“What were you trying to do in there?” she asked staring at me.
I fetched the moisturizer and sat beside her. “I was helping you in the bathroom. It seems you were the one having ideas.” I replied as I rubbed the cream on her body.
“I don’t use moisturizers at night.” she replied. “I’ll sweat all night.”
I stared at the A.C “It works well; I’ll turn it off and on at your request.”
“Are you saying you won’t sleep?” she asked.
I scoffed. “Why not? You seem to forget that I am a light sleeper.” I said with a smile.
She laughed. “And you would wake me every time that Tiwa cried at night.”
“Yeah…I mean, you could sleep on a log in water, Tiwa suffered a lot at nights.” I continued as I rubbed the cream on her body.
She smiled. “And you would sing to her at night. She loved listening to your voice…” she said and started to laugh.
“Quit the sarcasm.” I replied as I stared at her as she laughed. Ijeoma laughed freely, I was always wowed by her free laughter. I kept my eyes on her and I drew closer to her.
She stopped laughing as soon as I came too close. My heart raced fast as I ran my eyes through her face and then our lips met. I forgot everything I felt, every hurt and every fear as I drew myself on top of her and made love to my wife like the first time.