Twenty Ways I Thought I Died. Chapter Eight.
My life seem so beautiful and perfect living in my fathers five bedroom bungalow well furnished and quiet. In our estate, my father was one of the richest and well respected landlord. I am an only child, with everyone at my beck and call, doting me with so much love and gifts. But I was not a spoilt child.
I do not know how father managed to handle me in a way that I still accounted for any gift I received or money I spent. He made sure, I am well brought up, respectful and responsible. Still, no one knew how lonely I was.
Being an adult can be very stressful especially when you are female. Something's are just bound to change, and everyone; most especially your peers look forward to that change.
How does it feel turning eighteen this year? My best friend asked me as we sat at the school cafeteria.
How else will it feel like? I asked back rudely.
Well I can help you out if you like. She smiled as she waited for my next response.
Ini was just a wonderful friend who just wanted the best for me. And according to her, the best thing that can ever happen to an adult is: falling in love, getting married and raising children of your own.
You haven’t helped yourself yet. I replied to her request.
Well, to further surprise you, I have. She smiled and added. Etoro proposed last night.
What! The bald head finally popped the question?
Yes he did! And guess what?
Just go ahead Ini, you know am not good at guessing.
The bald head also said he is taking me to Calabar to see his people. I just can’t wait to become Mrs Ini Etoro Bassey.
Huh? Your bald head. Babes dey trip for tall guys, or slim ones, you na bald head. Chai my friend! Who do you? Anyway where is the ring. I asked staring at her empty finger.
Well, we both agreed I will start wearing it when it’s a few days to our wedding.
But you should have brought it for me to see it. Is it an eighteen carat diamond ring?
No be only eighteen carat, na eighteen carrots. We both laughed, then she went on. He hasn’t bought the ring yet.
Huh? Who proposes without a ring?
Well Etoro Bassey did. She gave away a small laugh. Look I love him okay, and I do not mind waiting till few weeks before our wedding for him to buy it. After all the most important has been done; and that’s asking me to marry him.
Ini, you dey craze o! You just allowing this bald head man deceive you because he is from your village. He is so stingy! The only thing he is free with is sex. You cook for him with your money, you work to pay your rent, and school fees and still he couldn’t afford to buy you an engagement ring. For God's sake! What is he doing with his money?
Ufoma don’t talk like that na. Etoro is very responsible. He is nothing like all those small boys we have running around. He struggled to train himself through university, and he still sends money home to his younger ones and aged parents. He pays his rent and is now paying for his master degree program.
Abeg free me with those talks. He is just using you. You love that guy to a fault.
Ehen no wahala. Let him use me, is it your use? She said laughingly.
And that his masters program self no get end?
My dear, sometimes he pauses it so he can be able to read well and save up money again for his fees. The job at school is the only job he has for now. We are really praying God answers us o! So he can get something better. But before then, I will stick with my man.
You better make sure he doesn’t get you pregnant and turn you into a baby mama. Feeding him is enough, don’t add his baby join.
Me get pregnant ke? I have never gotten pregnant before self.
Thank God you don’t go spending nights in his place.
I would have o! But that his place na hell! It’s just a room. Their toilet and kitchen is a public one. I can’t stand it. Besides that, I don’t allow him touch me again o. I told him if we really need God's blessings we must abstain from fornication.
Really, you told him so? I asked eyes wide.
Yes na. Since then eh, I realize he respects me more now. Maybe that’s why he even proposed.
Well I just hope he isn’t getting it from somewhere else.
God forbid! My Intoro can never cheat on me.
Story for the gods. Dey dia make pant dey wear you.
Abeg shift! Miss doubting Thomas. You better go and look for your Gideon before some girl takes your man.
Gideon does not love me. In fact Ini, that guy never loved me. Just look at the way he broke my heart like I meant nothing to him.
That’s guys for you girl. He may have done that for you to prove your love for him. He wanted you to fight for him, but you just let him go.
Fight for him? Has he fought for me? Why should I fight for a man.
No Ufoma, you are missing the point. You aren’t fighting over a man but for a man. If you are fighting another girl over him, then that’s childish. But in your case he is single, and he told you he likes you. So since you were the one who messed up in the first place, you should now fight for him. Get his attention back on you, before it gets to a point you have to fight a girl over him.
Okay babes. I will think about all you said. I think we should leave now, it’s really getting crowded here.
Can I drink from Gid again?
What Ini said to me during the day made so much sense as I lay on my bed later at night. Could I have corrected matters instead of dying inside? Well, its never too late to make amends. With Gideon’s complementary card in my hand, I said a prayer to God first. In which I thanked him for giving me a friend like Ini, who was so thoughtful to have kept Gideon’s complementary card so I can reach him when I have a change of heart. And I also prayed I got favorable response from Gid.
Hello. Came his baritone voice at the other end of the phone.
Hi Gid, this is Ufoma.
There was this expected silence which almost took up to a minuet, then he asked.
How are you Ufoma?
Would you like to find out? I asked.
I felt his harsh breath over the phone, then he added. Maybe you should be the one to find out. You devastated me the last time we met.
How about I meet you up at your place .
My place? The Ufoma I perceived will never be comfortable meeting in my place.
I am turning eighteen this year. Am an adult, no longer that childish Ufoma.
Wow! I like the sound of that. But still, let’s meet somewhere else, not my home.
Okay then, if you insist. Text the venue and time.
Okay dear I will. And if it’s not okay by you, let me know so I can reschedule.
It’s okay. Bye for now.
As the line went dead, I fell on my bed and breathed a sign of relief. I never knew it would be this easy rekindling a love affair. Gid is mine, was mine, and will always be mine.
I quickly made a call to Ini who encouraged I follow up with the meeting immediately.
I called Gideon a couple of few times before he was able to make a definite appointment. He complained of his tight schedule which I saw reasons with. At last we met at chicken toasters, somewhere around VGC. It was a very friendly meeting that I almost took it to mean Gid was no longer interested in me romantically. We spent three hours chatting about our families, school, work and growing up.
I got to know that Gideon is actually twenty seven years old presently and comes from a polygamous family. He happens to be the third child of his mother; who is the fifth wife of his father. He has a younger sibling and two older ones. His father as twenty eight children and ten grand children. Such a large family! I concluded.
I told him about my life, my birth mother I didn’t meet and her sister Ejiro I just got to know. Was looking forward to meeting my maternal grandparents this year according to the verdict by the law Court. And I told him about dad and his parents. Not really much to say: I concluded.
Are you kidding me? You have said a whole lot! You have being through a lot. Especially the coma, and law case. Oh Ufoma, am really so sorry. I should have stock with you, understand you. But I guess it’s too late.
Late? What do you mean?
I am already engaged. I am sorry. It happened so quickly because I just want to be responsible and start family life on time. I don’t want flirting around like most oil and gas workers. So when you didn’t show interest in me I just went back to one of my old time friend Adesuwa who had always been there even though I never cared. And I am just to responsible to break her heart, now that I have engaged her.
Those words broke me into a million pieces. I couldn’t seat there any longer. I just picked up my purse and ran out without looking back. On my way home, Gideon kept on calling my cell phone and sending messages but I just couldn’t respond to any. I was just too devastated. How could he just move on and forget about me like that? What kind of heart do men have? I just made a fool of myself. No wonder he was just so friendly and not romantic at all from the start of our meeting. I just needed to get home and cry.
Thank God father was away on one of his business trips, and wouldn’t have to see me in this mess. I entered the house already in a pool of tears when I dialed Ini's number. She was so shocked and sad for me that she decided to come over to my home to sleep over. It was really a good idea. Even I was afraid of dying. I just thought this was another way I was going to die.
Ini came over with lots of food. She loved eating and told me eating helps to overcome heartbreak. We ate and talked and cried together. Ini is very emotional and she made my pain hers. She was just a big sis and a best friend. Everything I could ever have wanted in a friend was in her. Before retiring to bed, she advised I listen to Gideon when I have calmed down. Talk to him one on one again, to be sure of the final outcome of this issue. She suggested she went with me this time, but I promised her I would handle it maturely so she should not bother coming.
The following day, Gid was happy to have heard from me. He said he couldn’t sleep last night and it’s affecting him at work already. He thought something bad had happened to me.
I apologized for my actions and told him I would love to see him on Saturday morning before going off to school. He said he had a job to do at home that Saturday morning and won’t be able to leave home that early. I told him I would come over to his place. This time, he didn’t hesitate to give me his address.
Saturday came, and I was at Gideon’s house 7am. He was still in his pajamas looking extremely hot! I fell for him a million times over. How could I have let this guy go? He was the cutest I have ever seen. His home was tastefully furnished and well organized. I envied this Adesuwa.
Please seat Ufoma. What can I get you?
Please don’t bother. I had breakfast already. I just wanted to see you.
Ufoma, please next time no matter what, do not run off like that.
I love you Gid, I love you to a fault! How could you just give up on me like that?
Ufoma, it’s hard for me too. We have been over this last week. Why bring it up again?
It’s not over Gid. We can still get back together. It’s me o! Your Ufoma.
He sat with his head bent down. I felt sorry for him because he looked so confused. I just wanted to console him and tell him I will always be here waiting. Acting on impulse, I got up, walked up to where he sat and bent to face him. I lifted him face with my hands and placed my lips on his. We kissed.
It was my first kiss and it felt like the air on my skin. I absorbed every moment, very feeling and there was nothing left to give other than my body because he had my all in his mouth. Within minutes, we were on his couch, kissing passionately when I heard a scream from behind us.
What the hell! What’s going on here?
The voice was female. Obviously the person was familiar, with the way Gideon sprang to his feet with his hands in the air.
What is going on here I ask again? She demanded.
Who are you? I demanded back.
I am Adesuwa Adodo his fiancée. Who are you I ask again?
Couldn’t you have just walked out and break up with him as you saw him cheating on you? I asked.
Ufoma! Gideon called me to order. Please babe sit, I can explain. He told his fiancée.
No honey, there is nothing for you to explain here. It’s obvious she came here to seduce you. So please my love, leave this battle for I and her.
With that, she dragged me out of the house and warned Gideon to stay indoors or face her wrath.
Outside of Gideon duplex, she stood three inches shorter. But looking extremely beautiful. She went on.
So for your little mind eh, you wan steal my man? So if no be say I walked in on both of you, you for fuck am eh? Chai! Thank God say, I listen to my Church mind wey say make I come prepare breakfast for my bobo, I for no know say one small rat one chop my fish.
Excuse me? Who are you referring to as small rat?
Common shut up! See this small pikin wey still dey grow breast. You no dey look face? Because say you talk like horse no mean say, you no fit know your mate na. Look me well o, I am twenty six years old! Do you know what it is to be single at twenty six? E be like say village people done dey follow you: that’s what it means. After I done suffer wait for Gid, come manage get am after he don turn oil worker, you wan come collect am from my hand?
Please I don’t have time for this rubbish. I want to take my leave. I am going for lectures.
Oh! Because you go school eh? Look I can speak English o! Forget say I no go university. I am a business woman! A cosmetologist by profession. I learn am well. I will not repeat this again, stay away from my Gideon.
I took a good look at her and hissed. I walked out without looking back and got into the Uber I hired and the driver zoomed off.
I was in school 45minutes later. I didn’t bother going to my study group, I just went looking for Ini at our usual spot and she was there to receive me.
Are you kidding me? Ufoma you and Gid kissed?
She exclaimed after I had told her in details what happened.
And this Adesuwa thinks she now has Gideon? She is joking. My dear, fight for him. Even if it’s now fighting over him, abeg fight. This fight is worth it. Babes you are beginning to get liver. This is what I like. Don’t ever run away again from what you want. Always learn to fight for what you want okay.
We sat there talking for roughly twenty minutes, when I saw an average height lady, fair in complexion, talking aloud to a student who coincidentally happens to be in my department, asking if he knew where I was?
Yes he said. In fact look at her over there. He pointed at me.
It was then I saw the lady's face, I recognized her as Adesuwa Adodo.
What are you doing here? I asked her as she approached me.
So you get mind ask me that stupid question? You this cheap slot!
Abeg your pardon! Ini fired back on my behalf.
Okay! So this is your partner in crime? Eh? Look my face well. I be Benin babe! You don hear Benin witch before? We fly both day and night!
Please spare me with this your nonsense tale, you no hear my name? Na Urhobo babe I be o! So bring your worst, I go break am, you think say na only you sabi speak pigin? Dey dia make pant dey wear you.
Ooh! So you wan open eye for me shey? I go show you! I trace you reach this place o, as you enter motor wey no be your own. I can trace you down to your house and mess you up. I dey craze o! I dey craze for my man o! After he don butter my life, buy me car and upgrade my business, you think say I go leave am for you? See ring he give me! Diamond! I go chop life chicken on top your matter this night. I go chop am, drink the blood. Try me na, this game just start.
Abeg go Sidon! Na only mouth una get. Benin witch, Benni witch, if I no dump Gid in the first place you for see am collect? Why didn’t you attract him since with your witch. I don’t blame you yellow pawpaw!
Okay we shall see, watch out for me.
With that she walked away, shaking like jelly fish and swearing as she walked.
My heart is bleeding
Ufoma, is that Gideon’s fiancée? Ini asked.
Yes o! That’s the uneducated idiot.
But the girl fine o! She her dressing na, even her shoe. Came a voice from the small crowd Adesuwa was able to draw with her loud voice.
Who asked for your opinion? Ini replied back. Aproko's. No go mind your business.
I need to get out of here Ini. Please let’s leave.
Later during the day, I called Gideon to let him know what Adesuwa did. He was so shocked and embarrassed that he apologized over and over again. He pleaded I stay low for a while to handle things. But to my amazement, he did nothing about it. He never called me and never sent messages. Infact he avoided me and Adesuwa repeated what she did in my school a second time just to embarrass me. The second time, she came along with her Yoruba speaking friend Damilola who vowed to make my life miserable. They warned that if I report them to Gideon, they will do worse. They called me all sorts of names like, boyfriend snatcher, small breast, ugly beast, and dry bone. Honestly, I was fed up! I was drenched! And to make it worst, Gid wasn’t even helping matters. He just did nothing about it. In fact, he took Adesuwa on a road trip which she took pictures of, and sent to me via WhatsApp. How she got my number, I didn’t care to know. I was mad that my Gid was still showering Adesuwa love after all the embarrassment she was causing me.
On a certain cool evening when I was sitting in the balcony with dad, thinking what step to take next on getting my Gid back, the gate man alerted us of a visitor.
As she walked in, she reminded me of someone I knew so well. She looked so much like my new found enemy Adesuwa.
Good evening. She greeted. Please am here to see, Mr Ogaga.
Yes I am he. Any problem? Father asked.
Are you Ufoma's father? She asked again.
Yes I am woman. Any problem? He ask again.
No there is no problem yet. Just that I was expecting someone older for her dad. Anyways, my name is Isoken Adodo. Your daughter Ufoma had an encounter with my younger sister Adesuwa. Am sure you are Ufoma right? She asked looking straight at me.
Can someone please explain to me in simple terms what’s going on? Father demanded.
Dad please go inside. Pay no attention to this Benin witch.
Ufoma mind your language! Father shouted at me.
Sir, I am not here to cause trouble but to stop one from happening. With that she went ahead to relate the ordeal I have been having with her sister Adesuwa and Damilola her sister’s friends; over Gideon. She claimed she overheard her sister and friend planning something very drastic against me if I don’t desists from seducing Gideon. She said her sister is a nice person but was once heartbroken on her wedding day, when her groom left her standing by the alter. She is just very caution now, so as not to allow any of such repeat itself again. And her friend Damilola is the mastermind behind the plan. Adesuwa is just going ahead because she doesn’t want to lose Gideon Odion.
So I came here to plead with you Ufoma, as a big sister and friend, to please desist from any game you intend playing, as it would be disastrous on both sides. My sister is a wounded lioness. Please, don’t get hurt trying to fight her. I hear you are just eighteen and still in school. When you are ready for marriage, the right man will come. Look at me, I am 28 years old but still single, and now my younger sister is getting married before me. Will I kill myself because of that? No. The right man will come, at the right time.
Father was so shocked at all he heard. He thanked Isoken and promised to talk me out of any plans I have in getting Gideon back. He also warned her to make sure her sister and friend do not do anything stupid to me, because he would go any length to make sure they pay for it.
She promised to do her part, while father promised to do his. With that, they exchanged numbers to keep in touch in case anything comes up.
That evening, father didn’t give me any of his long speeches or words of consolation. Instead he congratulated me for standing up for the first time for what I wanted. Only that I stood up too late.
Isn’t it the same Gideon you sobbed on my pillow over for last year? He asked. How many times do you intend crying over him? Let him go. He isn’t yours. Go to bed now, we will talk better in the morning.
That night, I sobbed my pillow over Gideon again. I had finally lost. It was really painful to lose. I can’t really describe how I felt that night, but I thought: this was it, I am going to die now. Anyways I didn’t.