Meant To Be
By Olunfulola Adeola
The next day, around past 12, Kore c@m£ over again this time to pick Ayo and Kore. As they got to the Palace, Ayo turned to Itunu who was playing game on her iPad and said in her stern voice,
“Mister man, make sure you behave yourself and do well to do everything I taught you, okay?”
“What did she teach you?” Kore asked.
Ayo asked, turning to him, “Ki la pe yin si?”
“My dear, just be yourself okay? This is my second house. Do anyhow you like.” Kore advised.
“Okay.” Itunu answered.
Ayo turned to him asking, “Okay what?”
“Okay sir.” Itunu said.
“Fist bu-mp?” Kore asked and he and Itunu fist bu-mped then they got out the car.
As they walked in, Olori Adenike was sitting in the sitting room addressing a maid but as they both looked up, they were shocked . The maid was amazed at how wonderful and out-of-magazine the trio looked while Olori was shocked because of something else which made her thinking faculty to take a pause for some seconds before she said to the maid,
“I will talk to you later.”
“Yes ma.” The maid said and left.
Then Ayo and Itunu chorused, Ayo kneeling while Itunu prostrated, “Good afternoon ma.”
“How are you my dear? And you must be Itunu?” Olori asked.
“Yes ma.” Itunu answered.
Olori said stretching out her hands to him, “Come here. Come to Grandma.”
He did and she placed him on her knees and said, “You have to tell me all about yourself and I will do the same
. And then we will go make some cookies. Deal?”
“Deal!” Itunu replied smiling.
“Mummy, we nko?” Ayo asked.
“You and your husband should go and find something to do na.” Olori said as she stood up and left with Itunu, hand in hand
“I like your Mum.”
“Yeah. She is likable and good news is that she is now your mum too.” Kore said before leading the way upstairs.
Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ
“Mummy, we are leaving ma.” Ayo announced.
“Leavimg ke? You have not seen Kabiesi yet na.” Olori said.
“We don’t know when he will be back and it’s going to get dark any moment from now.” Ayo said.
“Yeah, that’s true but wait small na.” Olori convinced.
“Okay…” Ayo was saying when the man in question arrived himself and said,
“Alafia fun yin.”
Olori said, standing up to hvg him, “My dear, you c@m£ back at the right time. Ayo and Itunu were just announcing their dep@rture.”
“Mo mo rin niyen o.” Kabiesi said as he and his wife took their seat.
“Welcome Dad.” Kore greeted as Kabiesi took his seat and nodded at him. Ayo also greeted kneeling down,
“Good evening sir.”
“Good evening to you too my dear and who do we have here?”
Itunu greeted prostrating, “Kaaaaabiesi o! My name is Itunuoluwa Balogun.”
“Wow! Who taught you that?” Kabiesi asked smiling.
“My mum and grandma sir.” Itunu replied,
“Interesting. Taiwo?” The king called for his personal @ssistant/b©dyguard.
“Yes sir.” Taiwo stepped forward a little.
“Give me my purse plea-se.” The king requested and Taiwo gave him a black purse then bowed and fell back to his previous position. Kabiesi took out two one thousand naira notes and stretched it towards Itunu saying,
“Take this as a reward for learning and knowing how to greet a king.”
Itunu shook his head and Kabiesi said,
“Iro o! Your mother and grandmother didn’t teach you that you don’t reject a king’s offer to you?”
“Well, now you know. Oya, take it and use it to buy something nice for yourself.”
“Thank you Kabiesi.” Ayo appreciated.
“I didn’t give you money. I am so sorry I was not here when you arrived. I went for an emergency Kings’ meeting.” Kabiesi apologized looking at Ayo.
Ayo answered, “No problem sir. Mummy told me though we would like to leave now.”
“Before you leave, my dear, I need to talk to you.” Olori said.
Kabiesi protested, “But ‘Denike, it does not affect the people that are leaving na. Let the children go jare.”
“My dear, it’s not going to take a while at all. Just some seconds.” Olori pressed.
“Okay, Ayo, you heard the queen. You will have to wait a few more minutes but I will ensure Taiwo drive you and Itunu safe home.” Kabiesi promised.
“Dad, I can drive her.” Kore pitched in.
“I know. You can join them but Taiwo will do the driving. Oya, Iya, let’s get this over with.” Kabiesi said and left the room for his room with Olori on his heels. When they got to his room, he asked,
“Madam, what are you up to?”
“I am not up to anything jo. Did you see that boy?” Olori asked.
“Which boy?” Kabiesi asked sitting down.
“Itunu nao.” Olori said.
“Ehn, what happened to him?” Kabiesi asked.
“Can’t you see he is like the spitting image of Adekorede when he was that same age?” Olori asked.
“Adenike, you’ve started with all these your wahala and speculations o.” Kabiesi said.
“Wait, I will be right back.” Olori said and dashed towards the adjoining door between her room and his room then c@m£ back seconds later with some pictures. Then she gave Kabiesi and said,
“See for yourself.”
“Iro o!” Kabiesi exclaimed looking at the resemblance.
“Tooto ni.” Olori confirmed.
“Korede actually looks like the boy o. Could it be that…?” Kabiesi trailed off.
“How? Judging from the boy’s age, Adekorede was in the university and if you recall very well, he didn’t come back all the time.” Olori said.
“What do we do now?” Kabiesi asked.
“I will talk to Adekorede.”
“plea-se do, so we can get to the root of this matter.”
“Okay. Let’s go back na so you can s£nd these children off.”
“O ti re mi o.”
“Hahan, it will be bad if you don’t bid them goodnight o. They’ve been waiting since na.”
“Okay.” Kabiesi said and they both went back to the sitting room. He opened his purse and said as he brou-ght out five N1,000 notes.
“Ayo, come and take this.”
“Daddy, this is too much o.”
“Come on, I should be able to take care of my daughter. Take and let Taiwo take you home (Ayo collect the money)
. Kore, Taiwo plea-se ensure they get home safe and ensure you get back here in one piece.”
Taiwo nodded while Kore said,
Then they trooped out.
Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ
Olori waited till Kore got back to his room and even gave him an ample time to shower and do other things before going to knock on his door.
“Come in.” He answered and she went into the room.
“Mum?” He asked wondering why she was here.
“I just c@m£ to talk to you.”
“Okay.” He said and shut down his system. She sat down at the edge of the be-d and said,
“Have you asked Ayo who the father of her child is?”
“Mum? No! Why should I?”
“Don’t you think you should know? I need to know and you need to know too. It won’t be good to start off a marriage on secrets.”
“Mum, I love A.Y, I don’t want to upset her by bringing up the past.”
“It will be upsetting if in the future things go south because you don’t want to upset her now.”
“I will do something about it Mum.”
“You must tell me.”
“Okay. I will leave you to sleep now.”
“Thanks Mum.” He said and saw her off to the door and then he locked the door and went back to his be-d.
He picked his phone and called Ayo. After three rings, she picked it,
“Hey. Were you sleeping alre-ady?”
“Yes, why aren’t you asleep?”
“I was working on a proposal before Mum c@m£ to see me. She just left and so, I decided to call you.”
“I wish I could have you in my arms right now.”
“Let’s go out tomorrow.”
“No. I have to at least stay with Mama for a day.”
“How about next tomorrow? I want to take you out.”
“Okay o. We will see next tomorrow.”
“Good. What about Tunz?”
“You don’t trust him ni, he is out like a feather.”
“All right. Let me leave you to sleep.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.” Ayo replied and ended the call
Meant To Be
By Olunfulola Adeola
Two days later, Ayo finally had his time. He drove down to her house to pick her up around 3:30 pm for an evening d@t£. He got out of the car and went to greet his to-be grandmother in-law then after dropping the fruits he had bought for her, he and Ayo left.
Ayo asked as they got into the car, “I don’t know why you keep coming here with something.”
He replied, “Because it’s not ideal to go to your in-law’s house empty-handed.”
“E Pele o. Oni in-law.”
“Ese o . Nitori ti yin na la se n se gbogbo e. Where are we going jare?”
“I thought you were the one taking me out?”
“You know how meticulous I am when it comes to planning our d@t£s but here, I don’t really know much.”
“Okay, you know things have changed. Let Google be our guide then.” Ayo said and took to her phone to check for good restaurants or fun places in the area. They browsed them together and finally decided on one before Kore drove them out.
The restaurant turned out to be cool. Customers were not so much so it was all serene and nice. They had their food then desserts talking all throu-gh. Then Ayo said around past five,
“I will like to do some sightseeing.”
“Isn’t it too late?”
“Not at all.”
“Okay, my lady
. Where do I drive you to?”
“Let’s start with those gardens then the stream.”
“See this babe o. Who told you that the stream will still be there after all these civilizations?”
“You think everyb©dy will be like you and damn nature.”
“I am just being realistic.”
“Oya, let’s bet.”
“I’m not betting with you!”
“One, one thousand.”
“Oya, drive us there.”
“Game on!” Kore said and they left the restaurant and he drove them to the place.
Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ
About forty minutes later after leaving the gardens, Kore killed the engine and they got out. He locked the door and they walked towards the stream’s location and there it was.
“Pay up loser!”
“Duhhh. I will transfer to your account later.”
“Okay then! Kore, will you like to lie down a while? I want to look at the stars.”
Kore looked at her as if she had grown horns on her head.
“Come jo. You this rich people will be doing as if you don’t go to toilet.”
“You want us to lie down on those gr@ss where only God knows what can be.”
“Sebi, one of my wra-ppers is in your boot? let me get it sef.” She said and collected the key from him while he looked on. Within minutes, the wra-pper was on the floor and she sat on it and was untying her sneakers. He joined her and they both laid down staring upwards at nothing in p@rticular.
Kore asked breaking the silence, “What’s so special about this place anyway?”
Ayo laughed and said, “Plenty.”
Kore said, “Tell me one.”
She answered, “This place is serene and it teaches me to embr@ce my pain.”
He said slowly, “I see.”
Then they fell into a companionable silence. Several minutes later, Kore asked,
“Can I ask you something?”
“What is it?”
“Promise me you will give me a reply.”
“As long as I have or know the reply.”
“Who is Itunu’s father?” Kore asked immediately without break. He heard her inhale sharply as the question hit her and she felt a tremor in her system. The time has come! She thought and wondered if Kore would still want to marry her if and when he knows the truth.
“If you don’t want to answer, it’s fine. It’s just, I need to know because I’m planning to adopt him. I don’t want someone knocking down my door claiming paternity.”
“I don’t know him.” Ayo said softly.
“What!” Kore exclaimed, stunned.
“I don’t know him.” Ayo repeated with a more audible voice. Kore turned to her fully and asked quietly,
“What happened? How did it happen? plea-se tell me.”
“I was going to fetch water that night. Mama had told me not to go because it was alre-ady around 7pm. It was late alre-ady but because there was no water in the house and I just c@m£ back from school for holiday.
“Anyway, I went. I was just by that path that we p@ssed on our way here when I heard some guys talking but I disregarded it because I didn’t ever think something bad could happen around here. I had lived here all my life and it was no threat. Anyway, as I kept walking, I was suddenly pranced on. I screamed for him to get off me but he didn’t and I wasn’t strong enough. Next thing I knew I was on the ground…”
“You were on the ground and he held you there. While his friends laughed and egged him on, he took your innocence and they ran off as soon as he was done.”
“How? How did you? How did…?” Ayo stammered, tears streaming down her eyes.
Kore stood up, unable to face her. He turned his back to her as he shakily answered,
“I was the one.”
Ayo was so shocked.
. She just sat there trying to comprehend, hoping for a mistake. “You were the one that did what?”
“I was the one that R@p£d you Ayo! I did it! I was being a boy trying to show himself as a man and at the same time, earn the respect of my then friends. Oh God! I was so awful and clumsy and no thinking. Forgive me plea-se. plea-se, I beg you. Forgive me.” Kore begged, facing her and sinking to his knees. His face in his hands, his b©dy shaking due to his loud sobs as his memory continually emit flashes of that night.