HE SAID NO
Fresh tears rolled down Mrs. Akinwale’s face, she sobbe-d as her mum hung up on her. She was just 25 but she looked twice her age, she wasn’t always like that, she was a beautiful lady, whose skin mimicked the color of baked cl@yonly that hers shone brighter. Thanks to her father, professor Abiodun, she grew up to be an ambitious young lady with a promising future, her father was a solid source of moral support for her and her younger brother, even though she only discovered this after her father pas-sed on mysteriously.
She remembered how her mum used to tell her to introduce a man to her when she had none. She remembered how she met Akinwale, the short, dark, and plump young man with a broken front tooth. Although he was well-re-ad, he had a staunch local Ekiti accent, Akinwale wasn’t her type so she paid him no attention at first until he trolled her home and met her mum. Her mum liked him from the very first day, maybe it was because she was eager to give her out in marriage but she didn’t want to get married yet, she still wanted to take her time, she had always wanted to get a masters degree in English and build a career in the communications industry, but her mum wanted a grandson, she wanted to show off to her friends. She just hoped that Daniel, her younger brother, and only sibling won’t fall prey to her mummy’s gimmicks/ tactics.
She knew that if her father, were alive, he would never cons£nt to her getting married without at least, a master’s degree. Now she is stuck with a man with anger issues, and she had no one to run to, she ru-bbe-d her belly, which was gradually shooting out as she blew her nose into the edge of her wra-pper. Getting married to Akinwale not only st©pped her from furthering her education, but it also shattered all her dreams of being a career woman.
After they had Tobi, he made her quit her job at the Oriental T.V where she worked as a pres£nter and told her that he would take care of the bills while she pla-yed the role of a full housewife.
Akinwale initially appeared to her as a sweet young man who could ba-rely talk, or maybe that was the only p@rt he showed her and that made her change her mind about him quic-kly.
She remembered a p@rticular incident that made her wonder if Akinwale was actually who she thought he was…
Grace Biodun had gone to visit her fiancé, Akinwale in his house, he seemed excited to see her even though it wasn’t her first time visiting, at a point, Akinwale excused himself to get something, he c@m£ back home after some minutes with a plate of peppered meat and two mini bowls of ice-cream, she was seeing a movie on his l@pt©p and he just joined in,
“I don’t really like meat, I prefer fish,” Grace remarked, as he uncovered the plastic containing the peppered meat, she picked a bowl of ice cream instead,
“I love meat,” Akinwale objected, chewing the meat vigorously, “This p@rticular one is tasty, c’mon have a bite,” he said as he made to put one into her mouth.
Grace seemed to enjoy it as she took more and more, the pepper made them open their mouth at intervals for their ton-gues to cool off a bit as they kept eating while seeing the movie.
“I thought you said you don’t like meat?” he inquired, the plate was almost empty and Grace didn’t seem like she was re-ady to st©p.
“Did I?” she chuckled, “I said I prefer fish, that doesn’t mean I don’t eat meat moreover this one is really tasty,” she said, picking at another piece of meat. They kept eating until it was left with just one.
“Baby let me have this last one, “Grace requested, stretching her toothpick into the plate,
“Don’t try it!” Akinwale objected, taking a hold of her hands rather firmly,
“plea-se plea-se,” Grace must have thought it was a joke because she kept struggling with him as she tried to have the meat. But he was too strong for her and he was holding her in a rather harsh manner, so she devised another strategy, “Okay, fine. Let go of my hands, you can have it,” she said. As soon as he re-leased her hands, she swiftly too the meat and threw it into her mouth without the toothpick.
She had not even gotten to chew the meat when he landed her two h0t sl@ps that s£nt the peppered meat straight out of her mouth as herl-ips bled slightly, at first, she thought she had gone deaf.
“Are you mad?!” he yelled, as his eyes wi-de-ned angrily. She held her face in both hands as her ears hovered, she did not have an answer for him, she had never seen anyone that mad before and she was too awestruck to say a word. She packed her bag and stood up to leave,
As if he was temporarily possessed by some wicked demon, he knelt down before her and tugged at her dress begging her to forgive him as he blamed it on the devil,
“plea-se baby, I don’t know what c@m£ over me, plea-se forgive me,” he pleaded, she did not say a word as she j£rked her dress off his hands and made for the door.
As soon as she got home, she s£nt him a farewell message but he wouldn’t have it as he kept calling and s£nding apology messages.
Looking back at all those times, she regretted that she didn’t dump him. He claimed it was a mistake and her mum thought it was too.
Whatever charm Akinwale used on her mum was definitely working wonders because Mrs. Biodun seemed to be blinded to all his faults, he didn’t t©uçh her again after then and so she thought he had changed or maybe it was because they got married shortly after…
HE SAID NO.
“Where is Blessing?” Amifel asked as soon as Grace got to the tasty foods eatery,
“She had to deliver a birthday cake to one of her customers, she would be around soon, ” Grace replied, adjusting herself in the red seat.
Amifel, Grace, and Blessing usually hung out on Sunday evenings at designated places, except when they had other engagements, sometimes they stayed together indoors at Grace’s place, and at other times, cinemas. This time, it was their favorite eatery, they had been there a couple of times before then,
“Okay then, do we just make orders or wait for her?” Amifel probe-d,
“Erhm, I think it would be better we wait for her. We might be done eating by the time she gets here and that might kill the fun altogether, ” Grace suggested,
“Okay, if you say so, how have you been?” Amifel smiled as she rested her elbows elbow the table covered with a sparkling white table cover and beautiful flowers.
“I’m good babe, this week was the bomb! You know we are close to the month-end?” Amifel nodded as she continued, “we had to do our monthly reports coupled with all sorts of meetings, Grace lamented, ” Eeya, I can imagine, sorry about that, ”
“Thank you, Ami, how did your week go?” Grace asked, “Went well, I was quite less busy, I only organized one event, so I was virtually free!” Amifel said, swinging her hands in the air,
“Someb©dy is enjoying herself,” Grace smiled, “You can say that again, ” Amifel said, flaunting her weaves,
“Lest I forget, there is something we nee-d to talk about, ” Grace said, dragging her chair closer to Amifel, “I had a dream, ”
“Oh, not again!” Amifel sighed, “Let me talk first now, I’m serious about this, ”
“Who were you s£nt to this time?”
“I dreamt about you, Amifel and it was very serious,”
“Uhmm! Grace the dreamer! Okay, fine, let’s hear it. I hope it’s good though because the last one you had about me was a nightmare, ”
“I’d let you be the judge of that, ” Grace said, “I saw a man in handcuffs, dragged by uniformed men and I was wondering who he was and what he had done, ”
“plea-se, how does that concern me?” Amifel asked nonchalantly, “Let me finish abeg, ” Grace said as Amifel listened, “Then I saw you in handcuffs too, you were dragged by another set of uniformed men, ”
“I felt so burdened up when I woke up that I had to pray throu-gh. I just wished I saw the face of the man, ” Grace concluded, “Wow, I don’t even know what to say to this, ”
“Have you told George?”
“No…” Amifel dragged, “I don’t think I want to tell him about it anymore, ”
“Why?” Grace queried, ” I thought you said you…”
“Yeah, I did say I wasn’t convinced, but I am beginning to feel that I am being unnecessarily scared, ”
“How do you mean?”
“Even if something bad was bound to happen, the bible says that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available, we can overturn the course of events with our prayers, ”
“Uhmmm… Interesting! Where is all this coming from?”
“From a man who knows the power of prayers, ” Amifel answered,
“Really? So you want to use prayers to turn the course of an event that God wants you to avoid altogether, are you even listening to yourself?” Grace said while gesticulating with her hands,
“Amifel, don’t try to pl@ysmart. God did not ask you to avert anything, he said you should let this man go!”
“I am getting really confused about the whole thing, ” Amifel said, looking dejected,
“Listen to me Amifel, God is all-wise and he can see what you are not seeing oh, ” she paused for a while before she continued, “even though I didn’t see the face of the man in handcuffs, something tells me that that was George, ” Grace said as Amifel looked away
“I alre-ady prayed about it though but you don’t hide un-der the guise of prayers when God has alre-ady told you what to do, prayer ought to give you direction and once God tells you what you do, your response should be to obey and not to act smart, to obey is better than sacrifice,”
“But I am scared, I am scared that I am getting older, where would I find someone else?”
“Do you trust God?”
“I do, ”
“Then, you should trust him enough to know that when he asks you to re-lease something, it is because he wants to give you a better one, God loves you, Ami. Trust him on this one, let George go, ”
“I feel I am incapacitated to tell him, ”
“Pray about it, be sincere with God and with yourself, then ask him to help you. I am so sure he will, ”
“Hey ladies! ” Blessing said excitedly, as she swung her purse in the air and catwalked to where they were seated, her pleated short Sk-irt danced to the rhythm of her movement, “Did I miss much?”
“Not really, we have been waiting for you, ” Blessing said as she helped her drag out the third seat on their table,
“Awww, thank you ‘durlings’, I was held up in thick traffic, I was even thinking of calling you guys that I might not be able to make it here, ”
“How did you now manage to get here this fast, if the traffic was as mad as you claim, “Amifel asked,
“Okada to the rescue baby!” Blessing said, “Let’s go get something, I am a little starved, ”
“I’ll go with you, ” Grace volunteered, standing up to adjust her blue polo.
“We will talk about this later, ” Grace whispered to Amifel before she followed Blessing,
They c@m£ back some minutes later with snacks, two bottles of coca-cola and one sprite, Blessing and Grace carried a tray each, “Did Grace tell you about the S.U brother that has been trolling her up and down?” Blessing asked as soon as she took a seat,
“No o, plea-se come and give me the full gist, ” Amifel giggled,
“Let her tell you about him herself biko, “Blessing said as she gr@bb£d a bite of her meat pie,
“Which of them oh?” Grace asked, “The brother that has been getting my friend excited, ” Blessing chuckled,
“Don’t mind Blessing, she is talking about Mike, we attend the same church and he’s just a friend,”
“No o, It has not finished, tell us everything, ” Blessing insisted,
“plea-se, leave me oh, I have told you all you nee-d to know abeg, ”
“You know I won’t take no for an answer, ” she insisted, “Except you want me to cook up stories of my fantasies, I have told you all that happened. We are cool, just friends for now but I’m hoping something beautiful comes out of this,
” Awwwwwn, something beautiful ” they chorused, as they cl@pped excitedly, as they chatted into the evening…
To be continued…