DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 27

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

Ivy, of all people, visits me two days later.

At first, I want to speak to her through the closed door, and send her away but another part of me, the side I hate, which makes me do stupid things like fall in love with Femi, jerks open the door.

“What do you want?”

I don’t have to mince words. I’m not ashamed around her. We have done things together and she is the one who took me round Lagos when I first arrived. I have nothing to hide from her and she cannot lay any claims on me deserting her. I really don’t know what she wants now.

“To talk.”

I squeeze my nose. “About?”

“You and Femi.”

“I have nothing to discuss with you about Femi or anyone else.”

“He said you called off the relationship.”

“And so? Are you an advocate of true love now?”

“He’s a good man, Nosa. If you lose that guy—”

“You will take him? Yes, you can have him.”

She smirks. “That’s not what I wanted to say.” She sighs. “If you lose him, you will live to regret it.”

I slam the door in her face. “Nonsense. Suddenly, you think you have a right to advise. Physician heal yourself!”

 

***

 

I spent the week working on my relationship with Luke. Two dates and two nights together, no distractions. Subtly but surely, my penetration is progressing. It’s been a week now since things changed with me. He still thinks I’m a side chick, but I have nothing to worry about. It’s a matter of time.

Mabel has sent a message about the uniform, so I’m going to pick it up, and then give my tailor. She’s grateful to me about the information I shared. Strange, but I like the idea. It’s another entry point. Though I hope she doesn’t discuss me with any of the members of the family. They will know me soon.

At the fabric store, guess who is visiting? Mrs. Fiona Chase. My heart skips a beat, and for a moment, I want to turn back. But Mabel is not in. So I walk the isle with my rival. She doesn’t know me. Yet.

A young man, teenager actually, who has the splitting image of his father, Luke Chase, is with her. Hmm. Children sometimes are a good avenue as well. I need to talk to Luke about his son.

Find out his name.

I walk around the two people I am currently stalking. The boy seem not to be happy about this outing. He’s on his phone.

I place myself in his path, and boom, he bumps into me. I squelch, not too loud but enough.

His phone drops, and he bends to pick it.

Wow, look where you’re going.”

He steps back but doesn’t apologize. Such arrogance. He’s a very handsome boy too. Like his father.

“Matthew!”

He grunts. “Yes, Mum.”

Matthew.

I call out to him. “You can’t apologize?”

He turns for a brief moment at me. “I didn’t bump into you. You bumped into me.” He disappears, leaving me outsmarted.

Rude, arrogant, confident, handsome. This is enough ingredient to work with.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 26

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

My first assignment is to see Luke differently. Not the rich “player, user, and dumper” Femi called him. What a play of words. I’d fall in love with him without an effort! Oh, there goes, not a thought without him.

I guess my first assignment is to kick Femi out of my thoughts. And I wonder how I’m going to do that. It’s just 24 hours since he left and I am almost an emotional wreck. I feel so sick, it’s physical.

Should I give him a call, and tell him off?

But my small, suppressed voice asks to give him a chance instead. “No way!” I yell at no one.

I have work to do. Luke!

He has another family occasion coming up and this has to be my debut. I will buy the uniform, and not sit on one table like the chicken I was last time. I may even speak to his wife.

I giggle. This is going to be more fun than I envisage. If Ivy and Toyin have decided to turn new leaves, then I will too. Once I get married, I will stop earning this kind of living. Start having kids, being responsible. Being Mrs. Chase will open many doors and I can start an interior décor business. It will be fun. I knew there was something different about Luke when I met him besides the fact that he was madly rich, and the biggest fish I ever caught.

There you go, Femi loser!

Chasing Mr. Chase will be so much more fun than I can ever imagine. From last night, he’d made me choose this or nothing. Side-chick or nothing and I had chosen this.

He had patted my cheek. “Smart girl.”

But I will shock Luke. Where I will come from, he will never imagine. By the time his ring is in my finger, even him will not believe.

For effect, I open my laptop and go to his jewelry website. I need to pick a ring in advance. Or maybe I will demand for a new design. That is so funny, I laugh out loud.

The family occasion is his sister’s daughter’s wedding, and I want to be dressed, not as part of the inner family, but the next in line. If I ask Luke about the outfit, he may not agree especially with what just happened in our relationship, so I visit the shop I bought from for his mum’s birthday.

I had been reluctant to be friends with the shop owner but not anymore. The game has changed. I am no longer in the relationship with Luke as a side. I am now an aspirant. No kidding.

I paste a big smile on my face when I saw the lady in one of her aisles.

“Hi. My name is Nosa. Remember me?” She arches an eyebrow. “I guess you won’t. I came to buy a dress for Mama Chase’s birthday.”

Oh, yeah. How are you? It’s been a while.”

“I’m sorry. I would have loved to visit again but things get so busy.” I look around. “Are you supplying the lace for Tosan’s wedding?”

She frowns. “Tosan?”

Yeah. She’s getting married. Fiona’s husband’s niece.”

“They didn’t tell me about it.”

I gasp. “Really?” I take the invite from my bag. “It’s only a month away.”

She takes the glittery card from me. “Fiona didn’t even tell me. And we were together last week.”

I sigh, and collect the card back. “Will you discuss with her. I can come back in a few days—or can you give me a call when you get the stock?”

“Sure.” She rushes to her desk and gives me her card to scribble on.

I write my other phone number for her, and get another copy of her card.

“I’ll give you a call.”

“Thanks. Huh,” I look at her name. “Mabel. See you next time.”

She sees me out and I get into my car. It feels good to drive such a car to such a place.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving

Appreciating everyone who has been added value to my life, through thick and thin. Thank you.

Above all, my God…this is all for You!

I Thank You Jesus
(written by Kenneth Morris)

Verse 1:
(I thank You, Jesus) I thank You, Jesus.
(I thank You, Jesus) I thank You, Jesus.
I thank You, Jesus, I thank You Lord,
oh, You’ve brought me from a mighty,
a mighty long way,
a mighty long way.

(I thank You, Jesus) I thank You, Jesus,
(I thank You, Jesus) I thank You, Jesus,
I thank You, Jesus, I thank You Lord;
oh, You’ve brought me from a mighty,
a mighty long way,
a mighty long way.

Verse 2:
(You’ve been my mother) You’ve been my mother,
(You’ve been my father) You’ve been my father,
You’ve been my sister, my brother too;
oh, You’ve brought me from a mighty,
a mighty long way,
a mighty long way.

(You’ve been my doctor) You’ve been my doctor,
(You’ve been my lawyer) You’ve been my lawyer,
You’ve been my teacher, my friend indeed;
oh, You’ve brought me from a mighty,
a mighty long way,
a mighty long way.

Verse 3:
(You’ve been my bread) You’ve been my bread,
(You’ve been my water) You’ve been my water,
You’ve been my life, my everything,
oh, You’ve brought me from a mighty,
a mighty long way,
a mighty long way.

(You’ve been my bread) You’ve been my bread,
(You’ve been my water) You’ve been my water,
You’ve been my life, my everything,
oh, You’ve brought me from a mighty,
a mighty long way,
a mighty long way.

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 25

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

I wake up the following morning with an ache all over my body, like someone flogged me. I am a wreck, emotionally too. Luke told me he could never marry me. He has a family, and I am a side, nothing more. Then he came back home with me, and spent the night.

I am just pissed, and disgusted with him. If his wife was so great, why is he with me?

And then Femi. The poor trash I tangled myself with. It has never worked in the past. Forget what romance novels tell you. It’s the reason I don’t even read romance novels at all. Well, I used to be an addict but I don’t read them again. Unnecessary lies that bear nothing with reality.

Luke on the other hand is wrong. I have never married a boyfriend because I never played that hand. He thinks he’s smart, and cool, and rich. He has another “think” coming. Not only am I marrying him, he will send his wife packing if he’s not careful.

I leap out of bed because now I have a mission. I’m going to marry Luke, and I am giving myself a deadline. One year. If I am not married to him in one year, then I will quit being a side-chick for life. Go in search of my Femis and marry poor.

A plan begins to form. I have never put my emotions into play in any relationship. Except Femi.

I hiss. His name just keeps popping up in everything. I allowed him to creep and get under my skin. He must get out! I have to purge him, and Ivy and Toyin. I can’t allow any bitterness in my life right now.

“Sweet, romantic, sexy.”

That’s what I have to be. My heart is going to be placed on the altar of sacrifice. Luke knows I don’t love him. It must change.

Once I fall in love with Luke, it will be impossible for him not to marry me. I have seen it happen too many times. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but I can do it.

It starts with me. It starts now.

 

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The Truth, The Lie and The Dare – A review

“I am particularly impressed by the prowess with which the author weaves a riveting tale so real that the reader feels like a part of the story.”

A Book Review of The Truth, The Lie and The Dare, a novel by Sinmisola Ogunyinka

Reviewer: Philip Amiola

You only need to read the first few pages of The Truth, The Lie and The Dare to see why the author has so many awards in her kitty. I devoured the 283-paged book in two sittings in spite of having a full schedule including three highly prized nonfiction books out of which I had only read a few pages.

In this novel published in 2017 and set in southwestern Nigeria, Sinmisola Ogunyinka tells a story of love and redemption with Christine, a dedicated and very successful professional in the civil service and Chico, a self-schooled butcher and the owner of Ode abbatoir, as the main characters. I am particularly impressed by the prowess with which the author weaves a riveting tale so real that the reader feels like a part of the story.

Christine, the first daughter of a rich businessman, turns down her dad’s arrangement of a transactional marriage to Hassan, a reckless son of his business partner. Saffron, the third daughter agrees to the offer and gets their father’s manor willed to her, together with the portions that should have been Christine’s. Christine does not get as much as a pin. Even the car she has is withdrawn. Christine lives with the pain worsened by Saffron’s haughty and deliberately unkind disposition. The situation is further compounded by the conspiracy of Janella who sours Christine’s relationships and practically hijacks her suitors on at least two occasions.

Pebble, the fourth and last child, has Down’s Syndrome and is mostly left in care of Wendy, their mother, until an unexpected turn of events brings Chico the butcher into the family after he got smitten by Christine. Chico had first set his eyes on Christine during her visit to his abbatoir as a university student on research when she was in fact an undercover agent from the Ministry of Environment.

Against the backdrop of his relationship with Christine, Chico takes special interest in Pebble, renames her Precious and takes responsibility for giving her appropriate education while also brushing up her culinary skills. This and other selfless acts reveal the kind heart and refined character beneath the Chico’s tough exterior. Christine eventually dares to marry the butcher against the ‘better judgement’ of others including her pastor who saw him as a liar and criminal without doing due diligence to see the man behind the mask.

If you like good novels you will love The Truth The Lie and The Dare by @SinmisolaogCLICK TO TWEET

One theme that particularly strikes me is the gulf between true friendship, as demonstrated by Tolani and Christine who always had each other’s best interests at heart, and heartless betrayal, as demonstrated by Bala who exploited Chico’s generosity for ignoble objectives.

The Truth, The Lie and The Dare paints a vivid picture of various situations revealing the best and the worst of the human condition. Like a wise and experienced guide, the author takes readers on a journey with breathtaking scenes. Starting from the abusive Usmani, Chico’s father, to the seemingly indifferent Wendy, crooked Agoro, hypocritical Jon, deceptively attractive Ayo, the discreet Basi Lejoka and the wise Oloye, the characters evoke a broad spectrum of emotions – with conflicting themes like wealth and poverty, love and hate, diligence and laxity, integrity and corruption, family problems – all leading to a refreshing climax of good triumphing over evil.

Although the book is set in Nigeria and the author effortlessly allows her Christian perspective to seep through some pages, the book has been carefully crafted for a global and secular audience. I heartily recommend it to everyone who loves a good story with practical implications for everyday life.

Can’t wait to read this masterpiece? Click here to access it on Panacea e-library.

DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 24

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

“It’s not Ivy. Well,” he shrugs. “Ivy told a little bit. It’s Toyin, your good friend. Who used to arrange boys for both of you. Now she’s repented, and given God a chance.”

“Untie me, and get out of my house. I never want to see you again.”

“Or else what?”

My head pounds. Good question! It’s just about eight in the morning. What can I do? Luke won’t be around till six in the evening.

Femi leans forward. “We want to help you. Forget about Luke! How will you feel if he marries you and starts cheating with another prostitute?”

I want to kill him. I want to kill Femi right now. This is what happens when you agree to sleep with a man who doesn’t have money. Love is a mirage. This insult is too much, I feel I can do anything. But my hands are bound, secured behind my back.

“That does not concern you, or Toyin or Ivy.” I snicker.

How did he even find Toyin? But I refuse to ask him. This evil man has been snooping around my things. This is why it is dangerous to fall in love and bring a stranger to your life.

“Untie me, and get out of here, Femi. And I don’t ever want to see you again.”

“I will untie you if you promise not to attack me again.”

I breath hard. “I want you out of my house. Just untie me and leave.” I want to add that if he doesn’t leave, I will attack him, but I can’t. He has the power now.

“I love you, Nosa. I’ve asked myself several times why I do, despite knowing the truth about you. I can’t say why. All I know is that I love you.”

“Untie me, Femi!”

He slouches for a second, and then unties me. As soon as I am free, I run into the kitchen and get a knife, but he is already at the door.

“I will always love you. And think about it, you know where to find me if you decide to change your life.”

“Get out!”

But he is gone before I finish barking the order.

Alone, I feel as if the wind just left my sail. Femi has never followed me to church, but he has more respect for God’s word than I do. I heave and puff, and wonder if I didn’t just throw my Jonah out of the boat. The answer to my life’s questions.

Toyin and Ivy! Now Femi.

The other voice in my head laughs and thanks me for getting rid of the enemy of progress and good life. I return the knife and enter my room. Thank goodness, I have a few hours to gather myself together before Luke arrives.

It’s not easy going back to normal after such a traumatic day but at six o’clock, I am ready for my lover. We go to an exclusive diner for a luxurious meal, and then stand on the beach front for hours just staring into the beauty of nature.

Throughout my mind remains on Femi, and the things he said. My heart thuds because there is no future in the man across from me. Even if he marries me, will I ever feel fine if he starts to see another woman?

“About your proposal this morning,” Luke says out of the blues. “You really don’t mean it, do you?”

I turn to him, and I see Femi’s face telling me I have no future with Luke. And there and then, I decide to change my strategy. I must prove Femi wrong. And Luke too.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 23

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

When I return from my one-hour walk and stay away from my house, Femi is dressed, ready to leave, but seated on my doorstep.

“Why haven’t you gone? I thought you had a job to do this morning?” I sweep past him and into the house.

He follows. “I wanted to talk to you.”

I walk into my kitchen and look for what to eat. Not that I’m hungry. “It could wait till you return in the evening.”

“Well, I overheard your boyfriend say he’s picking you.”

I smirk. “Oh, it’s finally dawned on you?”

He grips my arm. “Nosa, what are you doing? Why are you proposing to a man?”

I shrug off his hold. “Let go of me. It’s none of your business what I do with myself.”

“What do you do with yourself? Who is that man to you?”

I scream. “I told you I had a boyfriend, didn’t I?”

“And you’re begging him to marry you? Why would you beg any man to marry you? Because he bought you a car?”

I remember I told him about the car. Goodness, I’ve told this guy everything about my life except what I do for a living.

“Why are you desperate?”

“Don’t ask me silly questions, Femi.” I brush past but he grabs my shirt and pulls me back. “What is the meaning of that?” I yank myself off his hold.

“Are you a call-girl?”

I don’t know when I do it but my hand flies to his face. Only that Femi caught it before it made contact with his cheek.

“How dare you?”

“Ivy told me everything about you two!”

Oh, Ivy is snitching?” I yell. “Then what are you doing here with me?”

“You need to change your life, Nosa. I’m still here because I love you, and I see great potential in you.”

He still has my offensive hand in his wrist. I twist it but he doesn’t let go.

“Luke Chase is not going to marry you. He never will. He’s a player, a user, and a dumper.”

My left hand goes up but Femi easily arrests it. I’m like a wingless bird in his hands.

“Let go of me!” I shriek. I shake and wriggle and try to kick him in between his legs, but he is strong, and has a fast reflex.

“Calm down, and listen.”

“I don’t have to listen to you. You’re just a plumber. You have no money and can never have a good life.”

“You know that is not true.” He chuckles. “And even if I don’t have your so-called good life, I have peace, and joy.” He shrugs. “I wonder how you do it. You go to church, pay tithe, serve, your pastor knows you, and yet, you are a professional call-girl!”

That was just too much. How apt he puts my hypocrisy to my face. I do a wild wriggle, but he keeps me under control. I scream but my house has been designed to be sound-proof, at the time when I moved in and didn’t want neighbors to have a clue as to what I do in my house. The bane of privacy!

I realize Femi is doing something. He transfers my two hands into one of his, and he starts to unbuckle his belt. I go crazy. No way in hell will I let him rape me.

But once the belt is off, he easily ties my hands behind my back and leads me into my parlor. He pushes me into the sofa, and sits opposite me.

“You are a beautiful woman. You have an amazing talent with colors, and designs, and textures. You know about lighting, patterns, and interior structures. Besides, you have one or two sisters who can get you jobs in Benin—”

I bit out. “I’m going to kill Ivy.”

 

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