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Ade's Journal Part 6

Ade's Journal Part 6
My Valentine & The Elegance Of A Clean Breakup

Ade's Journal Part 5

Ade's Journal Part 5
My Scrumptious Valentine Kiss

Ade's Journal Part 4

Ade's Journal Part 4
A Scorpion is not a Lobster

Ade's Journal Part 3

Ade's Journal Part 3
My Insane Week Before Valentine

Ade's Journal Part 2

Ade's Journal Part 2
He Had The Guts To Come Back

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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Dodging A Scorching Caked Mud Bed


     Like a viper, Dodging A Scorching Caked Mud Bed, a make shift road paved by the harsh elements, a path to my shaky future. Trap ridden by your lies and wickedness and you, insisting on been part of me by depleting my time and my life right now. It has to stop. 
        As the evening coughed out flaming Ice crystals, sliding and melting away my pain. I tire from your gaze and retire from a place of despair and just move to repair all my broken pieces. But I realize, I do not stand alone. I have friends stuck in a mud hole of deciet, sunk so deep they only feel the tension and the heat from their hardened situation and have accepted. It's a dangerous place to be and we must fight, and crack open all that is hidden.

              The question is when?

     I watch as the power supply fluctuates dangerously and rush to rescue and switch off my extension box from the wayward claws of electricity. Before I get there, poof.
A large ball of smoke escapes from under my laptop plug and I shout.
'Yeakpa, no, no, no, please be alright. Please be alright'
    I disconnect the box with gray burnt fuse smelling smoke, escaping from it and move it far away from all my documents. And as I place it on a bare marble floor, I wait. It didn't go up in flames but it's burnt and now condemned. Now I must grab the Buffalo by the horn and check my laptop. I can't afford to buy another one right now, but I must accept my fate. Slowly, I go to my laptop. I am afraid to smell it but I do. It does not smell burnt its intact and still working, i hope. But as for typing and my work, its over for now. I can't work on my laptop, I should have charged it since.
'Oh, oh o', I grumble and moan out loud.
'What are you doing?'
     I freeze, because I know I look strange, with my nose touching my laptop plug.
'My surge box just blew up', I informed Mr. H, my boo could feel my pain and rocks me till I am smiling.
'I'll keep us, on generator, all night'
'That's a lot of petrol...'
'Diesel generator, petrol can't carry all the electronics in the house'
'Wow, it's still a lot'
    Yes my boo, can afford the silent cabin diesel generator. Now that I am trying to upgrade my own self o, so that I can afford the finer things in life, NEPA strikes. After all, the joke in Nigeria is that it's translates to Never Expect Power Always. Although, it's no longer called NEPA but now Power Holding Company. They better stop holding on to supplying us electricity. This is very annoying.
'Is the power situation any better in your former house?'
Mr. H's question brings me back to the current situation.
'Worse you mean, at least, here you get six hours of power in a day. I get two sometimes in a week'
'So how do you store food?'
'I buy ice blocked water and put them in my deep freezer'
'Eh hehn now. My big petrol generator packed up, so it's 'I better pass my neighbour''
Mr. H cracked up and laughs.
'What is that?'
'Small petrol generator that can run for two hours on one litre of petrol and carry some heavy load'
'Not bad'
'Us, masses got to survive somehow'
'What masses? When I didn't have, we didn't refrigerate, our old rusty fridge was a storage box. We salted and hung our meat and sun dried or caught it fresh. That is how, the real masses live'
'So I was middle class'
'Yes, and I like how you say 'was', getting out of the rat race starts with in your mind'
'It's tough though'
'But you can do it'
'And I will'
    I rock his face in my hands and give him a quick dry peck, dont want to encourage hanky panky. Its getting harder not to, i better get my mind out of my lustful whirlwind.
'So, how do you like my family?'
'A hundred percent, do they know you bad mouth them?'
'Not really'
    Na wa o, so I bad mouth my family, this English language self. I was protecting him from them, shaa it turned out in a different direction. He was loved by all, even my crazy Aunt.
'So, what's up with my cousin?'
'You heard me loud and clear, Celine'
'You two didn't talk?'
'She ran off before I could and I wanted her to meet your parents'
'Not with that guy'
'Even you don't like him, why?'
'I didn't say anything'
'Tell me, you know we should not keep secrets'
'Ask her', see me see trouble o. After all, she is his cousin.
'I'm asking you'

  I say nothing and he opens his dark brown eyes wide. I suspect he suspects, and grasps the real situation Celine is in. As it sinks in, he shakes his head.
'No, don't tell me he's abusive, my God. Why didn't I see it, sense it..'
'....She's afraid of him'
'How? She provides all the money'
'And I think it's escalating'
  Mr. H grabs his car keys, he is furious. I can tell that he is ready to, brush the living day light out of Celine's boyfriend.
'Not like this...'
'How, how am I going to free her from that mad man? That man child'
'She will deny it and go back to him'
'So what do I do?'
   I think for a minute and then I raise my eye brows.
'She needs to know she can survive without him'
'I'm listening'
'Bala's wedding, we can make sure she gets the Nigerian theme and then add a French theme'
'He will follow her, he follows her like a desperate dog waiting for a bone'
'Not if we get ahead of this, an impromptu special order with an exploration trip package, tied to it. South of France, go now or miss it kind of offer'
'How is that supposed to work?'
'We all go there now, photography shoot and all. With all our girly pose and my crew filming everything'
'You want to corner him, corner her'
'Can you pull it off, tonight?'
'The photoshoot yes, but the France trip... That is up to you'
      I watch Mr. H crack his brain, thinking of his diplomat friends and fast tracking her escape.
'She has her papers, right and he does not have any?' It was a question I hoped Mr. H could answer.
'Ajoke and I will do the rest'
 I grab my phone and announce, 'call Bala ooo'
   Mr. H nods his head and I really, really pray that this plan works. A month to three months away and she will not miss his bullying sorry ass. And if she's still stuck on him, then 'o.y.o', on your own. Better still, she is on her own. For now we will all try.  And if that does not work....
    I bet you, he's a sly business man and all her legal money he siphoned, must have gone down the drain, tax evasion style.
Na die him dey.

   All the media team want double the normal price and Mr. H does not mind. Ajoke and Bala join me and we are all excited to play our part.
     Mr. H isn't, he is quiet and I hold his hand and squeeze slowly. I know that look, it's the same one my mum gave Aunt Fadeke when she found out that on top of bringing girlfriends home, he was beating her. In her case, her husband was rich but in Celine's. It's emotional blackmail, almost a kind of abusive syndrome. It was not going to be easy but we can only try.

  Big surprise, Ajoke does not like my outfit.
'We are going there to set her boyfriend up. He is not stupid, if you look casual he will know', there was a familiar sadness in her eyes.
'Who was abusive?' I ask my dear friend.
'My dad, he was not rich, but he owned his house and well bullied my mum and threatened to throw her out, once he was mad. Which was often, my father's sisters supported him and siphoned all the money they could. Until they threw us out'
Her posture collapsed and she was sinking deeper into a sad state.
Then Ajoke shakes her entire body and stands erect.
' I vowed to upgrade my education and to marry into a family where contracts were drawn and rights upheld'
   I knew Ajoke had a hard life but nothing like what she just said. My own father is such a kind and gentle being, I can't imagine how she must feel.
'This looks nice', Ajoke announced as she unearths, my coffee brown mini catsuit and a deeper brown Fedora.
'Perfect with these brown Woven stilettos'
'Too much', I said and tucked it back in place.
'Make a statement or forget it', she dangled it in my face.
   As I step out, Bala claps his hand.
'I knew she was going to pick an asawo cloth for you, see Mr. H, Ajoke is a bad influence'
'Nonsense, I picked it for her', Mr. H was smiling from ear to ear.
'Not asawo cloth, a show stopper', Ajoke corrects Bala and tilts her stance in her off shoulders bandaged pink gown and baby blue peep toes shoes. Now, the show begins.

   Celine paced up and down and as her boyfriend dropped his cup, she quickly wiped the glass table and put coasters on it.
Even the speed at which she responded, irritated her so called boyfriend. Celine's only saving grace was the reality camera crew, filming live. He tries to get her alone and Ajoke and I rush to her and take selfies.
He could no longer hide his disgust and blot's out.
'Celine is the only one looking old and scattered'
I freeze, i did not know anyone could deliberately ruin a good day, without regard for the cameras filming everything. He sucked all the life from the air and Celine looked down at her toes.
Ajoke laughed.
'Nonsense, Ade and I have on fake hair, wigs. Celine is the only natural beauty here. That's why she designs our clothes and brings out our true beauty'
  I was proud of Ajoke, she is quick on her feet and thinks fast.
'Yes, she's naturally beautiful, doesn't need to cake up her face like you two, she's just fat'. Her idiotic boyfriend adds and cuts his eyes at Ajoke.
   Yawa, so men eye you up and down, I did not know men did that. But I'm too pissed to take anymore of his emotional verbal abuse. I raise and point my finger and Mr. H grabs it and gives me a peck.
'I give you two six months and it's over, me and Celine are the true deal. No one can seperate us. Never'
Even Mr. H didnt see that coming, I swear, this Celine's boyfriend was high on cheap drugs. I was boiling mad but I smiled for the camera, his saving grace.
'So you don't mind her making extra money', I baited him.
'If she's smart like me, she will grab every opportunity'
 Mr. H is standing beside Celine and watching her.
'He's not always like this', Celine whispered when she was sure her boyfriend was not looking. Her excuse was as lame as the black eye she failed to mask.
'And you fell and hit your face right?' Mr. H sarcasm cut deep.
'We were fooling around and he hit me by mistake'
'Do you have a will?' Mr. H announced.
It was meant to upset her, instead she covers Mr. H's mouth.
'Are you kidding me, are you a prisoner here?'
'We will talk about this tomorrow'
'And if he kills you before then?'
Mr. H was shouting and lucky Celine, her boyfriend was absent, he was in the bathroom smoking weed.
'Explain this to me'
'I can't, you all should leave'
'You don't want the contract, or are you afraid he will do something?'
'Okay, you want to hear it, he beat me. I was nagging. But, if you continue to ask and he hears, he will make me regret it'
Mr. H raised his glass and Celines boyfriend entered, this time, he did not conceal smoking his weed.
'This is to Celine, we are all curious to see your morning natural hair routine'
Her boyfriend was mad as hell, and puffed smoke up in the air.
'Celine, you didn't tell me this was all night'
'Honey.. '
'Don't honey me', he grabbed her hand and Mr. H intervened. They struggle without throwing a punch and test each other's strengths. The boyfriend realized Mr. H was fit and strong so he let go.
'If I can't have peace here, enjoy', and on that note, he storms out.
'Ope o', Ajoke announced in relief.
Celine starts to cry and cry, she is embarrassed and ashamed.
'Don't worry, be strong. You can do it', I reassured her.
'How? We have not spent up to two days apart'
Mr. H grabs her phones and removes the sim cards.
'What about work?'
'You start now', Mr. H hands her a new phone.
'I'm leaving him for real?'
'You are leaving him for good', I announce to my captive audience.

   It feels good to watch Celine walk towards the departure loungue.
'For three months, I wish my mum could come', Celine was stalling.
'This trip is for you and you alone', Mr. H States firmly.
'And your business associates', Celine shrieked and hugs Mr. H. In all her excitement, she adds.
'Ade thank Mr. H for me o'; Celine hugs me and massages my back.
'You, thank Ade, this was all her idea. My business partners are eager to see what's trending in Lagos. Don't keep them waiting'
Mr. H wants her to cross immigration as quickly as possible. Celine hugs me and whispers in my ear.
'Thank God you heard my cry for help'
 I smile, it feels like I have two new genuine friends, I am happy.

     I need to pick up my shoes, Mr. H found my old leather shoes and begged me to get rid of them. I refused, saying they were grade 'a' quality leather. They were shoes I had since my university days, final year to be precise. So, only equivalent quality could replace them. Mr. H ordered new shoes and I drive to pick them up from Celine's office.
Celine also wanted me to give her personal assistant her delivery ledger's.
Celine's office is cozy, it feels nice and upbeat. I want mine to be a hybrid of this and my former office.

      On my way out, her PA and I talk and I want to know where she takes her ice cream. I need new joints so I won't run into old friends. She gave me directions and suggests we both go there. Shameless me, I announce, 'hold ya money ooo'
 You can't blame me, I am on a tight budget.

  The Ice cream joint is nice, almost like my former joint. But this one has way more flavours and if you buy three scoops, you get one free.
I was digging into the third scoop laced with Bailey's Irish cream of course.
Then I heard it.
'Ade, Ade', I recognized the voice and grab  Celine's PA's hand.
'Did you two just get back?', he slides into the couch opposite us.
I stare at him, a bit confused.
'I heard you and Mr. H traveled out of the country'
I choose to ignore Frank and keep digging into my ice cream.
'Please, let's just be civil'
I stop and then look at him.
'You know why'
'Despite everything, you know deep in your heart that I care'
'For me and how many others?'
'You know, I could never be enough for you'
'Eh, eh o. See me see trouble'
  I turn to Celine's PA and clap my hands. The poor girl didn't know what to do.
'Wetin concern you with my own matter? Go home to Khadijatu'
'She told me what you said, that you will give me, our love child'
   Celine's PA's mouth dropped open, I almost shove my spoon into her mouth. Why can't this babe just compose herself.
   I fall forward laughing, and rest my  head on my right hand with my ice cream spoon in it.
  I scream and actually notice that Frank is embarrassed.
'Come and help me see this joker ooooo'
     Frank surprises me and pulls me upright. I am in shock, we face each other and he looks deep into my eyes. I stare back at him and my body reacts, it remembers the way he pierced my soul with his eyes.
Damn him, I smack his hand away, hard and he sits backwards.
'I am so sorry, I didn't mean to.... Ade please, try to remember..'
'Remember what? Lust?'
He shook his head, 'it was more than that and you know it'
'So, so what? Tell me you did not love Lara, tell me with Khadijatu it was one hundred percent lust'
'This is not about them'
'News flash, my dear. Just as it was more than lust with me and all ten others. It's the same here. It is only good while it lasts, an addiction you fill your days with when you have nothing else to do'
'Don't be like that'
I had one more scoop and it was thawing, I take in large spoon fulls into my mouth.
'Mr. H is not who you think he is. He's dangerous and has a criminal...'
And then Frank stretched his hand and I frowned.
'If you touch me...', I tilt to the side and point my fingers back at him. He knows. He knows what I am capable of and keeps his distance.
'Find something better to do with your life, instead of stalking me'
 I storm off and Celines PA, runs to catch up.
'Sis, how do you know that man?'
Are my ears deceiving me?
'Don't tell me you are sleeping with him'
Frank is such a Randy dog, is there any woman on earth he has not....
'... No o, my friend that works down the road from my office, is dating him. Frank abi?'
  She knew him alright, but Frank's bedmatics was good enough to turn any woman into a spy. And I already said too much in front of her.
'My friend is the only child and her mother spends a lot on her, she gives Frank plenty money'
'How come he does not know you?'
'My friend and i attend asalatu together'
'Oh well, It's a free world'
She tried to bait me to say more, but I don't.
I feel better when I am far away from her, and Frank.

    Lagos is becoming too small for both of us o. I hate that we keep running into one another. But today is different.
 Yes, my mind tried to play tricks on me. Yes, I remember our sinful wasted time together. But that's all it is, wasted time buried in the past. Not useful to me, now or ever. What did I gain? Nothing. What did I lose? Shin, shin.
  So today I celebrate my victory, because I did get peeved for the short time he was in front of me. But thats it, nothing more, nothing less.
Mr. H calls and I pick up the phone.
'Bala's family are in town. Can you come and pick me. My driver is still on the waiting at the filing station. For diesel and petrol....'
'On Easter Monday? Na wa'
'Did you get the shoes'
'Yep, and guess...'
'Frank was there, right'
'How did you know?'
'It's in your voice'
'I know, you handled him well'
'You will have to help me decode, like you decode my voice o'
'You do it too, I just don't have an ex from my past stalking me. That's why you don't notice'
'Thank God'
'So what's the attire for the day?'
'Casual chic', I correct him and we both laugh.
'Oh, do you want shawama?'
'Please, that would be great'
'Vegetarian right?'
'Perfect and yours..'
''Abeg, you know how I feel'
'Remind me again about your theory', Mr. H was laughing.
'Don't laugh o, but for me. Not eating meat is a sin'
'Your poor arteries will pray for the day you start to eat healthy'
'I work out and always eat my red or white meat with vegetables'
I could see him shaking his head in my mind. Thankfully, he eats white meat.
'So, if I kill Sallah ram, nko?'
'Do you kill Sallah ram?'
'Well my father does, it's tradition. He gives and feeds people who can't afford it. So will you eat it'
'Once a year or once in a while, won't kill me'
'Good', I announce.
    I remember Frank, trying to force me to be vegetarian. It was annoying and irritating. Funny enough, he gained the most weight as a vegetarian; that I suspect he was cheating or binge eating. I'm not sure which one.
   Mr. H is so deliciously mature, he respects my choice and knows that I will cheat on food if he bans any from our lives.

   Na wa o, does it ever stop? Will I ever stop comparing my current boyfriend with my ex?

  As I park the car, I spot my boo with the CEO and CFO. I step out and greet his friends.
'Hope you are coming for Bala's meet and greet?'
'I wouldnt miss it for the world', Bala was my only client and as PRO for the wedding I had to be there.
'Nice concept with the billboards', the CEO announced.
'Thank you'
'Something new, old and borrowed'
'Your company did that?'
'Whirlwind Rush'
'You are no longer in...'
'Yes, the new world wants speed with a difference. And are obsessed with reality shows'
'That's what my wife loved about it, so for a beverage. What will you suggest'
'A sit down and break down of what your clients love about you and expect from you'
'Business woman'
The CFO cuts in, 'that would be in three months. We have previous commitments'
'When you are ready', I say with a warm smile and the CFO does not smile back.
'So, see you later', Mr. H shakes their hand and helps me escape.

    In the car he gives me a warm peck and I blush and giggle. Mr. H shakes his head, I amaze him atimes, I think. Mr. H drops his phones and checks his pocket.
'I forgot my keys', and steps out.
For the first time since I've been with Mr. H, I look at the phone. I had the password and never checked. But something about what Frank said.....

   Mr. H goes back into the office with the two men and I actually pick it up.
No, this was Frank's way of destroying what we have. If I can't trust him, then....
I drop the phone and rest my head, Mr. H enters the car.
'Found it', he dangles the keys.

   At Bala's house warming party, I was happy to see Ajoke in a bubu, free, beautiful embroidery edged gown.
  I had on buba and wrapper and when Bala steps out we all hail him and clap. He is in his full hausa regalia, turban and all. He looks different and all mature and I almost prostrate. Mr. H laughs and hands me his phones. He didn't want to carry anything.

Now both phones are with me and I have the password for them.

What am I going to do?

**Season 1, Episode 18**
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Adebusola Ukayat Elegbede is a Playwright and Content creator with a passion for real life challenges. Born in Kaduna state and lives in Lagos Nigeria, she has a passion for story telling from the perspectives of characters in conflicting situations. I started out on the New Writing Project in Nigeria with the British Council Lagos Nigeria and The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square U.K. My passion for creating stories led to comic books, television drama's and an online journal on my website (busolaelegbede.com). As part of the WPIC in Stockholm Sweden 2012, the experience has forged life long friends and ignited my passion as a volunteer and advocate for human rights and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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