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Torn - Episode 2



  • By Serah Iyare



    "While growing up, they usually lock me up in my room whenever they were entertaining visitors," her voice wobbled.

    "What the..."

    "They made excuses that they were tired of explaining to people why I looked different."

    "That's crazy."

    She bit her upper lip, "My father had a DNA test done..."

    "Oh God!"

    "The fact that I am his blood didn't change anything. I believe he wished I was switched at birth," pain seared her chest.

    "I am so sorry," his voice became hoarse.

    "Gaining admission into the university was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I dread the holidays."

    "It doesn't matter what your family think of you. God loves you just the way you are. You are made in His image."

    "That fact alone has seen me through all my growing up years. If not for God's love, I would have committed suicide."

    She heard him gasp. "I am glad you didn't. I am glad we got to met, howbeit via phone calls and online chats."

    "Same here."

    "You are stuck with me. You've got nowhere to run."
    __
    She started to laugh and wiped her wet face with the back of her hand.

    "If you are twenty-two, I am six years older than you."

    Her eyes widened in surprise.

    "You are a very small girl."

    "You are not serious," the smile returned to her lips and reflected in her eyes.

    "What's your discipline?"

    "Business Administration," she rested her head on the arm of the chair.

    "Level?"

    "Three hundred."

    "Nice. I work as an Accountant in Nice Baby Limited."

    "Nice Baby?"

    "Yep."

    "Diaper?"

    "We produce quality diapers for babies and the aged."

    "Interesting. Hope you are not stingy."

    She heard him laugh. She chuckled and grinned.

    "My father owns the firm."

    "Oh really?"

    "Yes."

    "Cool."

    "Where do you worship?"

    "TREM."

    "Bishop Okonkwo?"

    "Yep."

    "I attend Royal City International Church."

    "That's my pastor."

    She began to feel hungry.

    "I got to run errands. Later girl."

    She sighed with relief, "Okay, later," she hung up and thanked God for bringing a good friend her way.



    Funmike and the guard carried the heavy bags into the four bedroom bungalow. The second semester was over. She was home for the long holiday. It was a relief that she would be in her finals the next session. She hoped to graduate with a first class degree in Business Administration. She wondered where she would be posted her service year.

    She heard the loud music before they went into the house. What was going on? On her way to her bedroom, she peeped into the sitting room and found her parents and siblings in the midst of relatives, close friends and neighbours.

    Everyone was gorgeously dressed. They were eating, drinking and dancing. She had no idea what they were celebrating. As usual, no one thought of including her. They always prefered her absence. Was she a leper?

    She made her way to her room, thanked the guard and locked the door. She placed her hands on her hips and bit at her upper lip. Next holiday, she won't bother to come home.

    Her phone began to ring.

    "Hello."

    "Hi. Are you home?" his voice soothed her.

    "Yes," she walked towards the bed.

    "You sound as if it is a bad thing."

    She kicked off her shoes, lay on her tummy and sighed heavily.

    "Guess what?" his excited tone made her smile.

    "What?"

    "Guess."

    "My mind is in hibernating mode."

    "I will be in Lagos on Friday."

    "What?!" several thoughts ran through her mind.

    "A friend of mine is getting married on Saturday."

    The thought of meeting him face to face fillf her with joy and fear.

    "I will travel back to Abuja on Monday morning."

    What if he doesn't like what he sees? Even though they had communicated via webcam several times, it wasn't the same as a one on one, eye to eye situation.

    "I am really looking forward to seeing you."

    "Me too," she swallowed saliva.

    "Hey! You don't sound... don't you want to see me?"

    She sat up, "Of course I do!"

    "Hope you are ready to entertain me."

    "You and who?"

    He started to laugh.

    "You better come prepared,"

    She sat in the lobby of the hotel. She got a text from Dantenimu that evening that he was in Lagos and was staying at Sheraton. It took about an hour to decide on what to wear and another to get to the hotel.

    Her heart beat erratically. She had no idea how the night was going to turn out. She held unto the pink leather purse. Eyes darted here and there. Pink leather high heeled peep-toes shoes tapped at the shiny tiled floor. Where was he?

    Funmike Williams."

    She heard her name, turned her head and saw a tall, dark, broad shouldered bloke in a brown kaftan, brown leather shoes, nicely trimmed low cut hair, clean shaved face, dark penetrating eyes, standing a few feet to her right. She sucked in breath. It was him. She got up slowly.

    His gaze seized her up. The tall, slim, fair beau in a white short sleeve round neck, straight knee length dress, long curly brown hair which graced her shoulders in a half-pattern style, looked like a fairy princess. She was as he had imagined.
    _
    She sat in the lobby of the hotel. She got a text from Dantenimu that evening that he was in Lagos and was staying at Sheraton. It took about an hour to decide on what to wear and another to get to the hotel.

    Her heart beat erratically. She had no idea how the night was going to turn out. She held unto the pink leather purse. Eyes darted here and there. Pink leather high heeled peep-toes shoes tapped at the shiny tiled floor. Where was he?

    Funmike Williams."

    She heard her name, turned her head and saw a tall, dark, broad shouldered bloke in a brown kaftan, brown leather shoes, nicely trimmed low cut hair, clean shaved face, dark penetrating eyes, standing a few feet to her right. She sucked in breath. It was him. She got up slowly.

    His gaze seized her up. The tall, slim, fair beau in a white short sleeve round neck, straight knee length dress, long curly brown hair which graced her shoulders in a half-pattern style, looked like a fairy princess. She was as he had imagined.
    __
    He met her pretty light brown eyes. How he wished he could draw her close and kiss her right then and there. It would be inappropriate, they were just friends. Sooner than later, that was going to change.

    "Hi."

    "Hello," she could read his expression. He found her attractive. It was a dream come true. She had been so worried. It was one of the few times in her life that her thin-frame didn't get in the way.

    "Am I going to get a hug or not?"

    She placed a hand on her hip and laughed, "No way."

    "Haba! Come here girl," he stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her.

    "Hey! Back off," she pressed her hands on his chest.

    "Shut up. You think I don't know that you are so pumped up right now."

    She laughed harder, crushed in his warm embrace.

    "It's so good to see you."

    "Same here."

    He released her, "Wow you are pretty."

    She blushed,"You are... not bad either."

    "Just say it. I am handsome," he winked at her.

    She chuckled, "You are a trouble maker."

    "So are you," he held her.
    __
    They sat by the pool side, sipping chapman and eating from a plate of grilled pepper chicken.

    "Will you come to the wedding?" his dark gaze rested on her light brown ones.

    She shrugged, "I don't know."

    "You are coming and that's final."

    "Did you develop dictatorship tendencies overnight?" she eyed him.

    "You are the reason why I am in Lagos."

    She raised an eyebrow, "What about the wedding?"

    "The perfect excuse."

    She lowered her gaze. The fact that he came purposely to see her made her to feel special. He was one of the few close friends she had. As a matter of fact, he was the only male friend she found attractive. She hoped something futuristic could be birthed from their friendship.

    "Although I hate to let you go, it's getting rather late."

    She glanced at her silver plated wrist-watch. It was past nine. She had no will to return home, but, the thought of seeing him the next day thrilled her. She lifted her eyes to meet his calm ones.

    "Text me the venue."

    He grinned.
    __
    Dantenimu drew her into his arms and held her, wishing he didn't have to let go. Each moment they spent together that weekend had been incredibly blissful. If wishes were horses he would whisk her away to Abuja.

    She held back the tears threatening to burst forth from her sad eyes. How she wished they lived in the same city. The thought of not seeing him again until only God knows when made her heart ache.

    His flight details was announced. He pulled away slowly and took a few steps backwards. He met her pale stare. He was going to miss her greatly. He would have asked her out, but, he wanted to wait until she graduated.

    "We are back to square one,"

    "As in?"

    "Webcam and phone calls."

    He smiled sheepishly, "You can visit whenever you are able."

    She smiled back at him, "I definitely will."

    Gazes locked.

    "I am going to miss you."

    "I will miss you more," he brushed a hand over her smooth fair face, "See you soon girl."

    On her next holiday, she would definitely spend it in Abuja
    __
    Funmike returned home from the airport via a cab. She made her way into the house and saw a white Jaguar parked in the compound. She went in and heard people laughing and talking loudly. The noise was coming from the sitting room.

    Curiousity got the better of her. She tiptoed to the doorway and peeped. Her parents and her younger sister, Folake, were seated facing her elder sister, Foluke and a dark looking man. Who was he? She noticed the way her sister was grinning at him. Was he her new boyfriend? She had lost count of the number of men she had dated that year.

    "My parents will be back from Europe before Christmas. The introduction ceremony will be perfect in December," he addressed them.

    Jibike glanced at her husband, "That will be lovely."

    Ajibade smiled and turned to the young man, "Yes, yes, splendid idea."

    "Oh goody! I am so excited right now," she squeaked and held her fiance's hand. He beamed at her.

    She stepped away from the doorway. Was Foluke getting married?
    __
    "If possible we will like the registry and traditional marriage to be fixed before the New Year."

    The elderly couple exchanged glances. There was a moment silence. Everyone looked at them in anticipation.

    "Very well," Ajibade directed his satisfactory gaze at them, "If it is what you want."

    Foluke jumped up and flew into his arms, "Thanks daddy."

    "Anything for my baby."

    The young man got to his feet, "We have an appointment with the Event Planner this morning."

    "Yes, we do," she released her father and helped him to his feet.

    "Hope you will visit before you leave for the U.K?" Ajibade beamed.

    He nodded, "I will definitely visit," he held his fiancee by the waist.

    "It is a good thing that you will be completing your service year before the wedding," Jibike grinned at her eldest daughter and got up.
    Foluke smiled back at her.

    Funmike backed away from the doorway, turned and walked towards her bedroom. She was very happy for her elder sister.

    "Funmike..."

    She halted at the sound of her name.

    She met her parents' stare. Their look seemed to say 'What are you doing here?' She turned her head and met her sisters' glare. They were not happy to see her either. For as far back as she could remember, her parents preferred her absence whenever they were entertaining guests.

    "Is she your sister?" he poked his fiancee on the shoulder.

    A pretentious smile replaced the angry look, "Oh yes, my younger sister," she glanced at him.

    "Unbelievable!" his shocked gaze scanned her, "Why is she so fair and... and so thin? No resemblance whatsoever?" turned to his fiancee.

    Funmike eyed him.

    Foluke coughed, "She is the carbon copy of an old aunt."

    "Oh... I get it now. Recessive Genes."

    "Come darling, we are running late," she held him by the elbow and stirred him towards the front door.

    He threw her a final glance and followed his fiancee out.

    Funmike watched them leave. He wasn't the first person that had been perplexed about her non-existent resemblance with her family. He won't be the last either.
    __


    "You know the rules," Jibike glared at her.

    "Whenever we have visitors, you are supposed to be in your room?" Ajibade stared at her like a pest. He wished he could spank her, but, she was no longer a child.

    Funmike felt the wet stinging tears that blurred her vision. She drew in a shaky breath. She dreaded the tongue-lashing that would come next.

    "That young man is going to marry your sister. How do you think he felt when he saw you?" he barked.

    "Do you know how embarrassing it is to keep explaining to people why you don't look like us?" Jibike yelled.

    Folake eyed her elder sister.

    Funmike took a step back, overwhelmed with distress. As usual, they thought of themselves. Do they even care how she felt? She would do anything and pay any price to look like them? Why couldn't they love and accept her just the way she was? She was their daughter for Pete's sake!

    Dante's image flashed through her mind's eye. She sighed with relief. At least, how she looked didn't bother him and he cared about her.

    ...To be continued
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  • Oyin Young: Sunday, 23 April 2017 at 19:50:00
  • Label(s): Torn
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