MONDAY CHOCOLATE MELTDOWN – TWINSTER 2

Click here to read TWINSTER 1

Victor listened to the first two minutes of Suzie’s rant about who they just saw and then switched her off through the rest of the drive. He dropped her at his new four-bed-four-bath house on the edge of town to finish setting up and returned to his newly set up office. All in a day’s job. He could have gotten someone more suave from Phoenix, but Ms. Suzie came in an attractive package. Besides the fact that she charged less than half of the worst from the big city, and would custom-design and do your shopping, she was the embodiment of the compendium of Ego’s Trip.

But what the–hell was going on?

How cruel would the hand of fate twist him till ten years was back, right here in the middle of nowhere-Arizona! Destiny Murray lived here? How could that even be remotely possible? He thought he saw her ghost in every shadow in New York. He was happy to get a contract big enough to lure him away from the demons of his city, long enough too. Had he chosen to go to Hawaii, or Mexico, would he have found her there or was he being paranoid?

And that boy…Manny Murray, smartest kid in three states, his son. Suzie had told him everything about the mother and son.

He closed the door to his office and leaned against it. If he hadn’t signed the contract papers the minute, he stepped off the plane ten hours ago, he’d be writing Ms. Suzie a fat “I’m-sorry-but-you’re-fired” check and be on the plane to New York now. He’d not care to get bad reviews for his professional incompetence either.

He didn’t think he could live in New York with Des. Was it here in this narrow strip, he would?

Victor slid to the polished wooden floor and glared at his manicured fingers.

 

***

 

The only way to find out about Victor Henric and what she saw at Walmart was to visit Suzie, though she’d eventually know, she wanted to have a heads up.

Daz opened the entrance to the annoying chime that alerted Suzie of presence in her realtor office and stepped around a few boxes placed so close to the door as though they were about to be taken out.

Suzie called out. “At the back, give me a minute!”

“I’m fine, Suzie. It’s–”

“The gorgeous Ms. Destiny Murray!” Suzie marched toward her, blond hair tussled. “What brings you here finally?”

Daz took a minute to respond, and Suzie spoke. “I’m sorry, just been a little busy since I picked up Mr. Henric from the airport yesterday. Mr. Victor Henric.”

“I’m sorry to barge in on you. Mom thought I should ask for your advice. We want to, ur, refinance and thought ur, do a little bit of interior touch-ups…”

“I’ll finally get to enter your beautiful home.” Suzie winked. “Kidding. But right now’s not the time. Mr. Henric is totally happy with his new place, but I wanted to add a few extra blessings as he’s going to be staying in the big place alone. Teddy bears that sort of thing.” Then Suzie leaned closer as though to tell a secret. “We saw your boy yesterday. Had an incident actually, and the handsome gentleman tried to run after you to know if you were married or not!” She giggled. “I had to wonder if this man had a tiny bit of fear of God in him. But then I couldn’t tell him you were–”

Daz swallowed and turned toward the entrance. “I’ll be on my way now, thank you, Suzie.”

Victor leaned against the doorpost.

Suzie exclaimed. “My goodness, Mr. Henric! My chimes didn’t announce your presence.”

Victor’s eyes bore into Daz’s. “Destiny, we meet again.”

 

The story continues in Twinster 3 next week.

Photo: The Aneke Twins Source: Bellanaija.com, 2017

 

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MONDAY CHOCOLATE MELTDOWN – TWINSTER 1

The petite blond, Suzie, talked non-stop while Victor Henric scrolled through messages three days old on his iPhone. How had he gotten so overwhelmed to not remember them? He swiped right and left sure Suzie would soon punctuate her chatter with a question. The thought hardly left before she did.

“Whole or skimmed?”

“None,” he mumbled without asking what. He never took anything with those options.

“You don’t seem to have a healthy diet, Mr. Henric,” Suzie said. “Only artificial stuff is in your cart.”

One woman complained about that in his past and got him drinking beetroot smoothies first thing in the morning. He shook his head to forget her.

“I do bananas.”

She smiled, exposing dental implants ever so perfectly fixed. “I have a bunch.” She moved ahead to the aisle for beddings. Victor followed her absently.

A soccer ball bounced off a shelf of pillows so close it was too late to escape it. Suzie’s shortness saved her. The ball hit Victor once on the face and dropped into the cart full of groceries and home equipment.

“F-rench toast!” Victor turned to find the culprit a minute before a ten-year-old boy hurried over to get the ball.

Victor grabbed it before the boy could, and their gazes clashed. Something dropped in his stomach.

“I apologize, sir.” The boy smiled. “Mom will kill me.”

His face. The smile. A figure appeared for a split second at the other end, with a terse, “Manny!”

“Have to run, sir.” The boy took the ball off Victor’s hand and ran after who he presumed was his mother.

Victor pursued both. He caught only a mane of straight brown hair just before the driver’s door is slammed shut, and the tail of a Hyundai car.

Suzie walked over minutes later with the paid supplies. “Someone you know, Mr. Henric?”

“That will be insane, Ms. Suzie.” Victor arched an eyebrow. “Someone you know?”

 

***

 

“Dazzline! You need to stop pacing for heaven’s sake. You had me calling on the Lord’s home in vain for the past hour!”

Daz swallowed. “He’s here, Mom. I saw him at Walmart.” She rubbed her temple, her stomach churned. “What am I going to do?”

Mrs. Murray had her only solution handy. “Pretend it didn’t happen. Take it to your God in prayer.”

Daz drew in a ragged deep breath. “He saw Manny. Do you think he would recognize him?”

“He never set his eyes on him one day, hallelujah!” Mrs. Murray waved. “Boy is covered and so are you.”

“I feel so nervous, Mom. I came here to get away from him. From everything. And now–why would he come here to find us?”

Mrs. Murray stood from her rocking chair and groaned like she did every time she moved her overweight figure from a position of rest. She strolled over to Daz and patted her cheek. “Believe me, he didn’t come all the way up here to find you. He packed his bag and walked out on you halfway through having his baby in New York City.”

“Then why is he here? He was shopping for home stuff and food with that little realtor, Suzie Bariet.”

“The talkative.” Mrs. Murray moaned. “Heaven’s gate! He moving into one of her property?”

“Exactly. She’ll tell him everything about everyone in Ego’s Trip.” Daz cried. “I knew I shouldn’t have taken Manny with me today.”

“Well, dear daughter, take a deep breath, say the Lord’s prayer, and go to sleep.” Mrs. Murray walked toward her room at the end of the hallway. “A cup of hot chocolate works too. Or lemon tea.”

Long after her mother was gone, Daz stood in the semi-dark room, tears trickled down her face. Victor never wanted her or her baby. Why was he here now? After ten years! He’d seen Manny and she hoped he didn’t think of their resemblance as anything. He hoped he didn’t see her.

 

The story continues in Twinster 2 next week.

Photo: The Aneke Twins Source: Bellanaija.com, 2017

 

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MONDAY CHOCOLATE MELTDOWN – MOTHER LOVE

Loretta said my Davey was cute.

It had nothing to do with the statement but the body language, the tone of her voice, and just that mother-instinct your mama didn’t teach you. I warned Davey to stay away from unnecessary distraction from girls so many times, I wondered if I should have warned him about women too. Women my age, like Loretta.

I often joked God bypassed me when he was doling out fertility because without any medical issues or otherwise, my son was not born until ten years after I got married. And none came after him, though I never protected myself from childbearing. My Nigerian friend and co-worker consoled me with an ancient African belief that women were like the papaya tree. Some had clustering fruits and some only a couple. Well, I had only Davey.

With a bitter divorce just concluded, Davey spent half his month with Frank, his father and half with me. The first day Loretta set her eyes on him in church, we were new, she said he was cute. Davey smiled and twisted a new ring he just started wearing, arched his eyebrow, and looked away. I’m not into men wearing a lot of jewelry but Frank had developed the flair during the months we were going through the tough separation. And the more Davey spent time with him, the more I could see a rub-off. But that didn’t bother me. Davey knew the Lord.

Did he sense an unusual behavior in my friend Loretta?

“Loretta is hanging out with her daughter and wants me to come with them,” Davey said over lunch, several months after he met my friend.

“As what, darling?”

“An awkwarder! She’s trying to get closer to her sort of.” He shrugged. “She thinks I’ll be an ice-breaker.”

My heart dropped into my stomach. “She told you all this? When?”

“We chat.”

I gazed at Davey. He didn’t seem to think anything was out of place in this conversation. Why would Loretta chat with my fifteen-year-old? What did they have in common?

“Huh–”

“I told her I can’t. I’m going back to Dad’s and I don’t have any plans of telling Dad about her.”

I heaved a heavy sigh. “That’s a good reason. I don’t think it’s appropriate for her to chat you up about personal things in her life.”

“I don’t think so too.”

I shouldn’t get ideas, but my heart burned in fear and agitation. Loretta could be a Mrs. Robinson and my son couldn’t be lured into her trap. What was I to do? Was I to confront this woman or warn my son to stay away from her? Maybe I was being paranoid for nothing.

“Mom!”

I startled. “Yes, dear.”

“I’m not a little kid anymore. I know Loretta doesn’t want you to know she talks to me.”

I covered my face with trembling hands. My divorce was barely a year and I still feel I failed my son. How could I tell him what I feel without coming off as a dirty old woman?

“Did she say anything inappropriate? To you, I mean? In the chat.” I stammered unable to understand myself.

“Like if I’ve kissed before?”

I exclaimed. How dare Loretta! “That’s inappropriate. You don’t have those conversations with me, Davey! Why would she ask you? And recently, she avoids me.”

Davey chuckled. “Maybe that’s because she offered to teach me.”

“Teach you what?” I could collapse.

Davey patted my hands. “Calm down, Mom. I can take care of myself.”

Only one thing came to my mind as I went to bed that night. I needed to pray and pray harder for my son. He couldn’t be lost to Loretta or any other married woman. Besides, in law, it was illegal. Davey had three more years before he could be recognized as an adult.

Loretta was seducing a minor, my son. What was I to do?

 

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BACKSTORY SERIES – #ELISAANDJOHN 1

Introducing my BACKSTORY SERIES – That “gossip” part of the story we may want to know. Reconnect with the human side of all your favorite characters from Sinmisola Ogúnyinka.

Johnny knew he was looking where he was going but she still bumped into him. Miriam was her name, and she always seemed to be all dressed up whenever he saw her, even as far back as two years ago before he left home. She couldn’t be more than fourteen then. Now, a full-blossomed lady!

“Excuse me.” He gushed. “Accept my apology. Please.”

She fanned herself, and Johnny thought he caught the glimpse of a thin layer of sweat on her pale forehead.”

“Oh dear. You do know you walked right into me, Johnny.”

“I am sorry, ma’am. I must have been lost in thought.”

They heard giggling sounds and Johnny turned to where it came from. Two girls stood right across the road, and not only gawked but giggled loud enough for everyone by a mile to hear them.

Johnny bowed and stepped aside so Miriam could pass by him.

“Ma’am! I ain’t no ma’am, Johnny Holt!” Miriam cried.

“I’m sorry, Miriam. I didn’t mean to call you, ma’am!”

“I ain’t Miriam. My name is Charlotte!” She hurried across the road, and her two friends hugged her. The three walked away quickly.

“You sure got one less by the way,” Gilbert said.

Johnny swerved around to see his friend at the entrance of the office. “Gilbert Goodling! I didn’t know you were spying on me.”

Gilbert laughed. “Come on in, old boy! Before another abrupt lady falls into you. Never knew you were back.”

The two entered the mayor’s office. Johnny stole one last glance at the road but the ladies were gone.

“I thought her name was Miriam. Delightful little thing.” Johnny sighed. “I should buy her flowers and ask her forgiveness.”

“Well, you have all of the summer to fall in love!”

Johnny sighed. “I want to fall in love, Gilbert! With Charlotte.”

 

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TUESDAY ROSE BUSHES – #BABOON MARRIED SINGLE

I had promised myself two things I found rampant amongst young women in my community, and tribe in general: 1. we got married to married men and 2. We got pregnant before marriage. So annoying and disturbing were these two things to me, that I made a sticker over my mirror and read them to myself every morning. I prophesied over my destiny. By the time I was midway through high school, at least five of my classmates had either gotten pregnant and aborted or were pregnant. Five may seem a small number but it was quite disturbing to me.

I focused on my studies and came out top of my class. One hurdle passed. I got into university and continued to be focused. It wasn’t as easy in university as it was in high school, and my hour-glass figure did not help matters. But alas, after four years, I graduated with honor’s in Accounting and Financial Studies. I got a job immediately at the accounts department of an airline. There, the temptations soared. Men hounded me. I had the most attractive, and richest of the bunch. They came from all walks of life, different countries, and it was easy to hit on me as a client of the airline. But one baboon got me.

He was soft-spoken, incredibly handsome and rich. He was a frequent-flier who had his account mixed up somehow when his “sister” needed to travel.

To cut a long story short, I fell head over heels in love. He as well.

I had only one question for him, “At thirty-eight, why are you still single?”

He was twelve years older than me, but the difference didn’t bother me. Only his marital status did. No wife or ex-wife, no kids? At that age?

He replied. “I want to meet your family and you’ll meet mine. You’ve been to my house, and there’s no wife or kids. When you meet my people, they will confirm it to you.”

Within months, he visited my parents and asked for my hand in marriage. I took time off work to meet his family and they were very happy with me. He tossed my concerns out and they all laughed. One aunt didn’t but my fiancé shielded me and as my heart thudded, my intuition told me they were all lying about something.

I went digging. We had fixed a wedding day, and preparations were well underway. He even insisted on a small ceremony to pay my dowry ahead of the main occasion. My parents urged me to move in with him after the bride price was paid and I did.

Thank God, I did.

On one of his many business trips, I had a chance to turn the house upside down, searching, trying to absolve me and I found what I was looking for, dated just a week earlier, divorce papers returned unsigned. The name was the same as that of the “sister” who had brought him to our office.

She had a little sticky note attached to the form: I will never give you a divorce, dare me!

 

I call this #baboon – married single. There are many of them out there, and it is heart-breaking how they prey on unsuspecting women. Are you one?

All the best in your love.

 

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TUESDAY ROSE BUSHES – #BABOON HUNTED

Bessie called her grandmother. “Grandma, he’s beating her. I don’t know what to do.”

Grnadma gasped. “Is there no chair you can throw?”

“Throw chair at him?”

Grandma screamed. “Will you be staring at your father until he kills your mother? Last time, she spent almost a month in the hospital. Please, don’t call me with stupid questions.” She hung up and paced. “Ah, God, what am I going to do? This man is going to turn me into a daughterless mother.”

She opened her phone and called Abiola, her middle son. Immediately he picked up, she shouted, “Where are you?”

“Ah, Mom, at work, what’s up? Hope nothing o!”

“Please, you need to go to your big sister’s house. Now!”

“The baboon is beating her again?”

“Yes, yes Abiola!” Grandma sobbed. “Ah this man wants me to mourn. Bessie is crying there, looking at him kill her.”

“God forbid, Mom. Bessie is just twelve, what can she do? I’m going there now.”

Later in the evening, Big sister sat on a chair in her husband’s hospital room with a bandage around his head. It was Bessie who got him before Abiola arrived.

 

I call this #baboon – hunted. Why? Because the avenger does sway his sword once in a while and hits the offender. But are you going to have a broken rib before the avenger comes hunting? Be wise. When is the closest possible time to…fill in the blank!

All the best in your love.

 

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