3rd January, 2014.
“Today will be good, I believe it.” Funmi said as she rubbed her stomach. She slipped on her wedding ring and leaned against her bed. No sooner had she gotten up than it started to rain. The rains used to be her favourite moments but not anymore. She had met her first love in the rain…
7 YEARS AGO
Funmi ran across the road as the rain poured heavily. She had left her umbrella at home intentionally. The sun had shone so bright that she wouldn’t have guessed that the rain was looming in the offing. Anyway, how could she have guessed? She wasn’t a meteorologist.
“If only someone could come here and save me.” Funmi lamented as she looked through the flooded roads.
She tried to push her weight against the thin pole that bore the bus-stop sign so as to avoid the rain but it wasn’t successful. Then, the rain stopped falling. She smiled as she looked up and saw an Umbrella over her head, she then turned her head to the side and saw a man smiling down at her. He was drenched in the rain.
“I am so sorry.” Funmi said apologetically.
He smiled. “It’s fine. I chose to do it.” He replied. “We can go in my car.” He said pointing to a car on the other side of the road.
It was like an angel had come to her rescue. She smiled and followed her ‘lifesaver’ to his car.
“So, what were you doing in the rain?” The man asked as he turned on the heater.
Funmi stared at him and then cleared her throat. “I…I am sorry, I don’t know you.”
He smiled. “I am sorry, pardon me. My name is Charles. And you are?”
“Funmi. I am Funmi.”
He nodded. “Where do you live?”
With that, Charles and Funmi started an amazing friendship.
“I want you to marry me one day.” Charles said over dinner one day.
Funmi stared at him. “But Charles?...”
“No Buts, Funmi. I love you, and even though I’ll be travelling back to the UK next week, I want to marry you. I want to take you to my family so that you would know I am serious.”
Funmi’s face glowed with a smile which dampened almost immediately. “But how long are you going for?” she asked. “I’ll miss you.”
“It’s just a short programme and I assure you that I’ll be back in about a month or two. Nothing serious.” He replied with an assuring smile.
Funmi took a deep breath. “I am scared.”
“You shouldn’t be. I love you and that’s all that matters.” Charles replied.
Music pulsed around the compound as Charles’ Family came over to Funmi’s. Funmi’s joy knew no bounds as the families concluded their meeting with a set date for the wedding. A week after Charles’ arrival and they would be ready.
Playing the dutiful wife to be, Funmi made her presence felt in her in-law’s home with frequent visits and care for Charles’ elderly parents.
“Our wife, we can’t wait for the wedding.” Charles’ mother said as she drank some tea. “It’s just some weeks to Charles’ return.”
Funmi nodded in delight as she helped Charles’ mother with her medications. “My mother said she’ll come over by the weekend to discuss preparations with you.”
“Of course, we mustn’t waste any more time, you know how men are, they would dilly-dally until we don’t get anything done. We have to help them.” Mama said with a smile.
Funmi checked her wristwatch as they waited for Charles’ arrival. “The flight was due to arrive by 9pm.” Funmi said as the clock ticked 9:30pm.
“I know, maybe it’s traffic. We’ve sent the driver to the airport.” Charles’ father replied.
“Or maybe we should call the driver?” Funmi suggested.
A call was put through to the driver and he replied. “I am still awaiting the flight, Sir.”
This threw the whole family off balance as Charles’ flight didn’t show up by midnight. They however got a call from him early the next morning. “I am so sorry, Funmi. I couldn’t leave, my flight got cancelled.” He said.
“You should have called earlier, this is unfair.” She complained bitterly.
“I know, but, there are a lot of complications over here. I’ll call you tomorrow to talk things over. I have to call my parents now.” He replied.
She nodded with a smile. “At least you are fine. I’ll be expecting your call.” She replied.
“I am confused. Why are you saying you want to go and join Charles?” Mama asked.
Funmi shrugged with a smile. “It was Charles that suggested it. He has even called Brother Ifeanyi to help me with the processing. His family is in support of it too.” She replied.
Mama took a deep breath. “So, you are going to leave me alone in Nigeria, abi?” she asked with a faint smile.
“You know I am going to leave one day.” Funmi replied.
Mama chuckled. “Don’t abandon me here yet like your Father did, I’ll die of loneliness.”
Funmi smiled as she hugged her mother.
A YEAR GONE
“Does it actually take this long to process a visa?” Mama asked as Funmi read through a text book. “Abi, why are these people delaying you?”
Funmi ignored her.
“I think you should go and see his mother and ask her what is going on.” Mama continued.
“Mama, I have told you that these things take time. If I am patient, I am wondering why you are not.”
Mama hissed. “When last did Charles call you, Funmi?”
“Mama, he is busy. He just got a job, these things stress him out.”
Mama shook her head. “I am tired o! Go and report this to his family o! He is taking too long!”
“Mama, be patient.”
“I don’t even know why Charles doesn’t call us. I thought he was at least calling you.” Charles’ mother complained.
“He hasn’t called for about two months now and I think it is the workload over there.” Funmi replied.
Charles’ younger sister strolled into the living room. “Mama, I am on my way out.” She said and aimed for the door.
“Sharon, can’t you see our in-law here?” Her mother chastised.
Sharon eyeballed Funmi coldly. “I greet you.” She said and walked out.
“Don’t worry, she is her like her brother’s girlfriend, she is afraid that you will take him away.”
Funmi smiled. “I won’t.”
ANOTHER YEAR GONE
Funmi stepped out of a taxi and knocked on the gate to Charles’ home. She took a deep breath and knocked for a second time.
“We already know your scent here, are you not tired?”
Funmi turned round to see Sharon approaching her. “How are you, Sharon?”
“As you can see, I am alive.” Sharon replied as she drummed heavily on the gate.
Funmi smiled. “I am not taking him away from you.”
Sharon nodded with a mocking laugh. “Of course, you can’t.” she replied. “I mean, you are wasting your time here, no one will tell you but I will. You dey wait for person wey don get wife and pikin. Madam, you go old o.” Sharon said with a cruel look.
The gateman opened the gate and Sharon walked in. Funmi remained stoned.
“Doctor, how long will she remain like this?” Funmi’s mother asked as she stared at her bed-ridden daughter.
The Doctor examined Funmi. “I am concerned about the doses of sleeping pills that she ingested, but I want to assure you that we are doing our best to get her back in shape.”
“That stupid man that jilted my daughter is responsible for all these o! He wants to kill her for me. May God punish him!” Mama cursed.
6 MONTHS GONE
“Funmi, meet Tobi.” Mama said as Funmi stared at her. “He is the son of my friend that used to live in Dubai. The one I told you was staying in Manchester.”
Tobi stretched out his hand. “Hi, how are you?”
Funmi ignored it and walked out.
“What is wrong with her?” Tobi asked.
Mama smiled. “Nothing my dear, she is just in a really bad mood. Let me go and talk to her.” Mama said and followed Funmi immediately.
“Funmi! What is even wrong with you? Why would you be so disrespectful to that young man?” Mama asked.
Funmi rolled her eyes. “Mama, what are you trying to do? Set me up?”
“Yes! I want to set you up!” Mama shouted. “Thank God that he saved your life. Do you want to kill me? You have not stepped outside since that useless boy Charles broke your heart. Are you going to die in here?” she asked.
Funmi fought back the tears welling in her eyes. “You don’t have to rub it in, Mom.” She replied.
Mama’s face fell and she pulled Funmi close for a hug. “I am sorry my dear, I didn’t mean it that way. It’s just that you have to move on, even his parents confirmed it. You have to let it go.”
“It’s too hard for me.” Funmi replied amidst tears. “I loved that man.”
Mama nodded. “I know, my dear and I am sorry.”
“So, what did you study in Manchester?” Funmi asked.
Tobi sipped his drink. “I am an architect.”
“Interesting.” She replied as ate her food.
Tobi smiled. “You want to check out some of my works?” he asked.
“No. At least, not yet.”
He nodded. “What do you do?”
“I am currently unemployed. I used to work as an editor for a magazine, but I lost my job when I fell sick some months ago.”
Tobi adjusted his chair. “Are you serious? What kind of sickness was that?”
Funmi remained silent.
“We’ll talk about it some other time, I suppose.” Tobi said.
“Whenever you are ready, I’ll be here for you.”
“You didn’t have to do this.” Funmi said as she walked out of a firm with Tobi.
Tobi smiled. “I meant it when I said I would be here for you. So, you are looking at your new job.”
“Thank you, Tobi.” She said, hugging him.
He took a deep breath. “I…I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’ll be returning to Manchester but I’ll-”
“-No. Just end it there.” Funmi cut in. “Now I see what you have been doing, coming into my life, making me happy and all, and now taking the next route out of my life. Just great!”
“No. This is not my fault! My office called me back urgently but I’ll be back for Christmas. I swear to you.”
“You don’t have to. You are all the same.” She replied, walking away.
Tobi chased after her and grabbed her hand. “I won’t hurt you like he did. And it is just for a couple of months or so. This is September. I will call you every day, text you, we would Skype and keep in touch, I promise.”
“I don’t know.”
Tobi took her hand in his. “I will never leave you, I’ll be back in December and I’ll make sure that we are together forever. I promise you.” He said looking into her eyes.
She took a deep breath. “Please come back.”
“I will.” He said and kissed her forehead.
Funmi smiled at Tobi via the Skype chat. “Your flight is tonight, right?”
“Yeah.” He replied “Did you get the stuffs I sent?”
She smiled. “I always get them and I even got tired of receiving gifts almost every week.”
He smiled. “I just want you to be happy. Will you be at the airport to pick me up?” he asked.
She nodded with ecstasy. “I will be there. I can’t wait to see you. I have missed you.”
“Me too. It’s been hard living without you.” He said.
“I can’t wait to see you.” She said as she blew him a kiss.
He blew her a kiss back.
“Merry Christmas to you, my love.” Tobi said as he fed Funmi some cake.
She took her turn to feed him. “Is this real or is it just a dream? With you everything is special and perfect, don’t wake me up.
Tobi pulled up the sheets and pulled Funmi close to him and started to stroke her hair. “I love you, Funmi. Nothing can ever change that.”
“Tobi, would anything tear us apart? I am too scared, this is too good to be true.”
Everything was going fine for Funmi and Tobi and plans were set in motion for one of the biggest societal weddings until Funmi had rolled to the wrong side of the bed and accidentally tapped Tobi’s phone on.
The BBM CHAT read
ANNA: Hey Babe, when are you returning to Manchester?
TOBI: I can’t return anytime soon. I told you there’s a lot to be done here.
ANNA: Like your fancy wedding? Look Tobi, I want my money soon! *angry*
TOBI: We’ll talk about that later.
ANNA: Does she know about me?
TOBI: You are my b!tch, you are not relevant to her.”
ANNA: I’ll make them deport your black a&* if you keep up with this nonsense.
Funmi had had enough, she dropped the phone and screamed so loud that Tobi ran out of the bathroom covered in soap. “Hey Babe, nightmare?!”
“You are my worst nightmare!” she shouted. “You are a phony!” she added.
He stared at her looking confused. “What are you saying?”
“Who is Anna?”
Tobi swallowed. “Babe, you misinterpreted it.”
“I didn’t misinterpret jack! You are just a liar and a cheat!” she shouted as she grabbed her clothes from the bed and hurried out of the room.
Funmi’s life didn’t appear to be any better and her luck with men took a very bad dip. It was safer to have every new man in a ‘zone’. That way she didn’t get hurt. This played out for another year in her life and her spinster status soon started to bore her mother again. Funmi however couldn’t be bothered by this. She had loved and lost…not once…not twice.
Working at the Editorial firm that Tobi got Funmi into seemed like a perfect consolation. She focused on her job and ignored every side attraction as she never got lucky with men.
Today was just another day at the office, but it had a difference. Bolu Johnson, a dashing young oil magnate came to the firm.
“Hello.” Bolu said as he approached Funmi’s desk.
Funmi smiled at him. “Good morning, sir. How may I help you?”
Bolu handed her a card. “I was referred here for my interview.”
She nodded. “Okay, Mr Johnson. We have been expecting you.”
He smiled. “So, when do I have the interview?”
“I’ll set it up for next week Monday.” She replied as she checked through her file.
He nodded. “You are Funmi, right?” he asked looking at her name tag on the table.
She nodded with a smile. “Yes, I am.”
“Nice to meet you, Funmi. I’ll see you next week.” He replied and walked out.
“Tell me, Bolu. Why are you stalking me?” Funmi asked.
Bolu shrugged. “I like you.”
“You like every woman. You told me that yourself.”
He nodded. “I know and I am interested in you, but there won’t be any commitments.”
Funmi laughed. “I am not that type of woman.”
“I know and that is why I want you. I don’t want any kind of woman, you are special and all we have to do is see if we are compatible.”
Funmi rolled her eyes. “Do you think this is a lock and key model where we check compatibility?”
“Sorry I sounded crude, but, we can have a relationship without commitments and we could be really okay together.” He replied.
Funmi had to deal with harassments from Bolu Johnson on dating him till she finally succumbed to his pressure and decided to try out another relationship.
Bolu Johnson, a wealthy young man full of desperation to be with the right woman didn’t have to wait long as Funmi appeared perfect to him. Unlike the others, she was not after his money or status. She simply loved him for who he was and accepted his faults. He didn’t know if it was real or if she acted with ulterior motives.
He made her terminate two pregnancies on the grounds that he wasn’t ready to have any child yet.
“Another abortion, Bolu? You could have told me that you didn’t want me.”
He took a deep breath. “I understand how you feel but right now, I am not ready to be a father. There is so much work to be done at the company and I don’t want any distractions.”
Funmi nodded. “I will keep this child and even if he is a distraction, I will make it easy for you.”
“No, Funmi. If we want to continue this relationship, we have to get rid of that child and avoid any complications. We would have a child when the time is right.” Bolu concluded.
For the first time, Funmi’s relationship met with an end point. Bolu proposed to her and they got married. Bolu showered her with love and care beyond her understanding and she reciprocated the love given to her, but their home lacked the presence of a child. This didn’t bother Bolu as much as it should have bothered him, but Funmi wasn’t going to accept the situation.
“Bolu, I can’t have any child because of the abortions, I just want to find an alternative.”
Bolu took a deep breath. “You don’t understand, you don’t have to bother about this. When the time is right, God will give us our own child.”
“I already ate up my children when I aborted for you.” Funmi shouted and charged out of the house.
Funmi walked out of the hospital slowly after her discussion with the Doctor. He had suggested an IVF (In-vitro Fertilisation) to help out with the situation. She had bought into the idea but she knew Bolu wouldn’t. The frustrations and travails she had been through made her suffer more. She was lost in thoughts and tears as she approached her car that she didn’t hear someone call her.
She jolted as soon as she felt a hand on her shoulder. She gasped as she turned to see Tobi. “Tobi?”
“Hi.” He said with a faint smile.
She swallowed. “Hi.”
He drew her close for a hug. “It’s okay, let’s talk about it.”
“Are you happy with him?” Tobi asked.
She nodded. “He loves me.”
“And you? Do you love him? I just divorced my wife, the situation was too tough for me so I let go.” He replied.
She scoffed. “With the way you hurt me, I am not shocked that you are receiving the same treatment.”
“Anna and I meant nothing. Right now, you are the only one I still care about. We can still work it out.”
She showed him her wedding ring. “I am married, Tobi.”
He nodded. “I know. But you are not happy with him and there is no need for you to punish yourself. We were perfect, I made one mistake and I am remorseful. Please forgive me, let’s go back to what we were before.”
“I don’t know if I can do this, Tobi. I am married. I need to make my marriage work.” She protested.
Tobi swallowed. “But he is making you sad; I won’t do that to you. We would do an IVF and we will have our baby. Please give it a thought.”
Funmi shook her head stubbornly. “I have to go.” She said and walked away.
Funmi didn’t stop getting the pleas and apologies from Tobi and Bolu remains bent on not having the IVF she requested.
It seemed complicated to her and she really had no idea of what to do.
Church seemed to her as a resolve and she found out through prayers that Bolu has ulterior motives attached to their relationship and that deliverance is needed from their relationship.
Waking up to positive thoughts as she watched the rain pour, Funmi rubbed her stomach. “Today will be better.” She said.
She knew she would still get the same refusal from her husband Bolu and that Tobi would still ask her to leave Bolu for him.
This is very important to us all, I would like you to please give your opinion on Funmi’s predicament and what you suggest that she should do. I would need all Ghost readers to please leave a comment today or tweet at me @tomi_adesina OR @tommyslavisland as this is very important to somebody and she needs our advice.
I should have posted this since the ‘Broken…or not?’ series, so, I crave your indulgence to please read carefully and objectively and give your candid and sincere opinion on the matter.
Please comment/tweet. You are helping someone. Thank you.