Category Archives: Ellipsis

13Jul/18

Ellipsis: Mr. Akorede’ Story

Ellipsis 13
Mr. Akorede’s Story.

Mr. Akorede stormed out of the bedroom and slammed the door. He walked into the living, dropped into a chair and put on the TV. He flicked through several channels looking for something to distract him from the woman he had left in the bedroom. But nothing could distract him. He doubted that what he felt for her was hate, but it was not love either. How could he love someone who made him hate himself?
Things had not always been this way. He had been madly in love with her once and she had loved him too. He was not even sure where things went wrong but they had. They fought every day, on different issues – most of them, very stupid issues. It was almost as if she woke up every morning looking for a reason to fight him. He had sworn he would never hit her, he didn’t even think that was a possibility but every day he was getting closer and closer to it.
He heard the bedroom door open and he knew they were about to get into another round of fighting. He kept his eyes on the screen as she made her way into the living room. She sat a few seats away from him and said nothing. He tried to concentrate on what he was watching but her silence was killing him. She was done torturing him with her words, now she was going to do it with her silence?
He put off the TV and looked at her.
“What?”
“All I’m asking is that we go see the doctor together,” she said.
“So we are back to you calling me sterile?”
“I can’t call you sterile but you can call me barren?”
He should have known this was where it was all coming to. Their fights had started when after three years of marriage, his wife had not conceived. His people had started pressurizing him and he had started cracking under the pressure. He had told her to go for a test and she had insisted he got tested too. He was okay with getting tested but her refusal to get tested until he got tested too made him angry. They had fought on several things but this was always the foundation of the fights.
They sat in silence for a couple of minutes.
“Look dear, I don’t want to fight, I just want us to have a conversation about this matter.”
Mr. Akorede nodded, “Let’s have a conversation.”
“We are going to have children, I believe that with my whole heart. But I am more concerned about the dynamics of our relationships.”
“What dynamics?”
“We are supposed to be a team, right? But when you pick your mother’s side by insisting I am the cause of our delay; that is not us being a team.”
Mr. Akorede smiled, then chuckled then burst out laughing.
“So this is where you are going?” He asked. “You don’t like my mother?”
“No, no,” his wife said. “I like her. All I’m saying is…”
“All you are saying is I should throw away the opinion of people who know me better than I know myself? People who saw the problem we are having now ahead of time?”
“What do you mean they saw it ahead of time?”
“Believe me they did. Do you know how long it took me to beg them to accept you?”
“You begged them?”
“They told me not to marry you. They said you would bring bad luck to my life but I was drunk in love, I didn’t see it.”
“And now you see it?”
“Yes, I do.”
His wife stood and walked closer to him. He stood as she got closer.
“My life was good before I met you,” she started. “I didn’t need anybody to beg anybody to marry me. I had a lot of suitors but I decided to pick you. Who do you think you are? And your parents, who the hell do they think they are? My parents are not rich but yours aren’t either. What do they have that we don’t? Who are they to predict what I can or cannot have? I will have children in this life, with or without you. If you think you did me a favour by marrying me, do yourself a favour and wake up!”
Mr. Akorede boiled as he heard those words come out of her. He could feel his will losing the battle against his anger. If he stayed here for one more second, he would beat this woman to a pulp. He would not do that, not today. He pushed her out of his way, grabbed his car keys and stormed out of the house.
Thirty minutes later he was stuck in traffic, his blood still boiling. He had driven aimlessly around town but that had not eased his anger one bit. Any woman who would insult his parents like that did not deserve to be his wife. He was going to…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Mr. Akorede was one of the 30.

12Jul/18

Ellipsis: Tim Balogun’s Story

Ellipsis 12
Tim Balogun’s story.

Tim heard his secretary clear her throat and he realized he had not even recognized there was somebody in the room. He quickly placed his phone on the table and looked up.
“How long have you been standing there?” Tim asked.
“Two minutes. I wanted to see how long it would take before you noticed me but I got tired of waiting.”
“Sorry, I was… Anyway, what do you want?”
“Are you still proposing tonight?”
“That is none of your business Tonia, okay?”
“Weren’t you just staring at her picture?”
“Didn’t I just say it was none of your business? What do you want?”
“I have forgotten why I came in here.”
“Okay, you can leave then.”
Tonia smiled and walked out of the office. Tim picked up the phone and looked at Nike’s picture. He had taken this picture the first they met. She didn’t even know he took her picture. It was a creepy thing to do and he did not tell her about it until he was sure their relationship was past the point his creepiness could break it. When he eventually told her about it, she laughed it off. He didn’t tell her, however, that it was this picture that made him fall in love with her.
Nike radiated a certain joy that he could not explain. She was not even smiling in the picture but he could tell she was joyful. He met her a point when his life lacked any sort of joy. It was a blessing to meet somebody like her. Three years later and he was ready to take her to the altar. She didn’t know yet though. She would tonight.
He was always a late planner so his proposal had no shape at the moment. There were two people in his life who could handle something like this under this kind of short notice. Nike was one, and he obviously couldn’t involve her. He was very reluctant to involve the other but he had no choice.
“Tonia?” He called.
She walked in, with a huge smile on her face.
“Why are you smiling?” Tim asked.
“I knew you would call for me.”
“Why would I call for you?”
“Because you have no idea how to go about your proposal.”
“Of course I know how to go about my proposal.”
“Oh okay, I’m sorry. So did you want me to print something for you?”
“No.”
“Okay, what do you need?”
Tim sighed, he knew he had to swallow his pride.
“Okay, I admit it, I need your help with the proposal.”
Tonia ran back to her office and came back with a piece of paper.
“I never doubted that you did, I just didn’t want to be too forward. I have a list of questions here that will help us plan well.”
“You do?”
“Yes sir, I do. Number one; do you have a ring?”
Tim realized saying ‘no’ would make him look as foolish as he felt. How was he planning a proposal without a ring?
“Yes, I have a ring.”
“No, you don’t have a ring. But we can order one very fast online. We might have to pay extra for express delivery. Is that okay?”
“Okay.”
“How many people do you want at the proposal?”
“People?”
“Do you want friends, siblings, me?”
“I just want it to be special for her. I don’t need a lot of people.”
“Will you leave this at my discretion then?”
“No, your discretion will probably invite like twenty people.”
“I was actually thinking more like fifty.”
“Tonia! I don’t want more than ten people. Next question?”

***
Tim was in a bus headed to his proposal and he was nervous. He did not understand why he was nervous but he could not shake it. Tonia was the best at planning things like this and she had made a plan he was comfortable with and one he knew would make his soon-to-be fiancée very happy.
His life was good and it was just about to get better. The only thing that upset him was this traffic he was stuck in. He hoped it wasn’t going to be too serious. Most of the proposal depended on good timing. Maybe he could…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Tim Balogun was one of the 30.

11Jul/18

Ellipsis: KB Danjuma’s Story

Ellipsis 11
KB Danjuma’s Story

Money is good. It does not matter what anybody says, money solves every problem. KB could not understand why anybody would argue with that simple logic. Bayo, his ‘casco’ classmate was the latest person he had to school on the omnipotence of money.
“You realize even the bible says ‘money answereth all things’ right?” KB asked.
Bayo smiled but did not answer. KB shook his head, why were people always so eager to dismiss the importance of money simply because they didn’t have it? He was a student and he had a lot of money. Part of the evidence of that was the Benz he was driving. The same one Bayo the ‘casco’ brother was riding in.
“KB, you know this conversation was never about money. Believe me, I know how important money is.”
“Finally, something we can agree on. So what was your problem before?”
“You know how you quoted the bible earlier, can I quote another part of it?”
“Does it say ‘money does not answer all things’?”
Bayo chuckled. “You’re funny KB, I didn’t know. But no, it doesn’t say so, not exactly.”
“So, what does it say?”
“What will it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul?”
KB shook his head. “So what now, you are about to start preaching to me?”
“No, KB, we are still talking about money here.”
“How does that…”
“Money is important, and it is great to have…”
“Amen to that,” KB interjected.
Bayo smiled and continued. “But no matter how much you have, you cannot buy your way to heaven.”
“You think I’m not going to heaven?”
“Are you?”
“Of course, I am. Is the love of God not evident in my life?”
“The love of God?”
“The car I am driving for example?”
“KB, you are a yahoo boy. You don’t hide it, everybody knows that’s how you make your money.”
“So?”
“That was not God; that was fraud.”
“Are you saying God couldn’t have killed me if he wanted? I am not the only one doing this business, how many of them are blessed like I am? You don’t see the hand of God in this?”
Bayo didn’t respond and they rode in silence for a few minutes. KB soon got tired of the silence and turned on the radio. As soon it came on, Bayo turned it off.
“Hey, don’t touch my radio,” KB said.
“You think your life is so great, right? Tell me the things going well for you.”
KB looked at him and smiled, this guy really didn’t know the life he had.
“First and most importantly, I am rich.”
“We know that part.”
“I just wanted to remind you,” KB said with a smile. “I am healthy, fit as a fiddle. I am still a 2-1 student and without bribing a single lecturer. I have never been busted by the police, never!”
“Okay, what else?”
“What else do you want to know about?”
“God has been good to you, hasn’t he?”
“I told you God loves me.”
“I can’t disagree KB. God does love you. But you know the ultimate show of love was sending his son to die for you.”
“No bro, the ultimate show of love is watching me ‘maga’ that Ukrainian woman and not striking me down with thunder. Because even I scared myself after that scam.”
“And you took that for God’s approval? The goodness of God to you has only one purpose, to lead you to repentance. That’s what the bible says.”
“And if I don’t repent?”
“I’m sure you have heard about this part several times. If you refuse God’s offer of love, the only thing left is judgement – Hell.”
“My guy, don’t scare me with hell. I am young, I am healthy, hell is far away from me.”
“Hell might be far away but God’s love is close to you. If hell doesn’t scare you, shouldn’t God’s love attract you?”
“Bayo, I love God too, I swear. I just have to arrange a few things first. After those things are set, we will have this conversation again.”
“KB?”
“Yeah?”
“What if you die tonight?”
KB slammed his brake and pulled to the side of the road.
“Get out of my car.”
“KB, come on.”
“You speak death into my life, my hospitality ends immediately. Get out.”
“Alright KB. You know I said everything out of love, right?”
“Whatever, just get out.”
Bayo stepped out of the car.
“See you tomorrow.”
KB pulled back into the road and rode in silence.
He usually loved talking to these religious people. They always tried to scare him with hell and he always laughed them off but this guy had gotten under his skin. He actually felt bad for throwing him out of the car. But nobody spoke death into his life, nobody.
He pushed a button and the radio came on. He turned up the volume, he needed to drown out Bayo’s words that kept ringing in his head. It did not help that he was now stuck in a heavy traffic. The few times he had ridden with Bayo, he had always been good company, the kind of company you wanted in heavy traffic. If only he had…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
KB Danjuma was one of the 30.

10Jul/18

Ellipsis: Professor Salako’s Story

Ellipsis 10
Professor Salako’s Story.

“I will see you later tonight sir.”
Professor Salako read the text and smiled. He typed a response.
“Make sure you wear my favourite underwear.”
The response came.
“You don’t have a favourite underwear.”
He smiled and replied.
“Exactly.”
He placed his phone on the table; that was another night sorted. Now, he needed to sort the weekend and he was having some trouble. Sometimes he wondered what these students felt like. How could a girl, a small one like the one seated in front of him, be acting stubborn? She wasn’t the first stubborn one and she wouldn’t be the last. Like everyone before her, she would not last in her stubbornness.
The first time he had slept with a student it had been a mistake. The girl had practically seduced him. He was newly married and had no interest in other girls but somehow this girl succeeded. He had failed her out of anger at his own weakness and lack of control. Of course, she had come back the next year when she needed to retake the course and this time he was more willing. He had discovered how easy it was to sleep with students. Some of them came of their own accord and some had been passed to him by other lecturers. He never asked a student out, it was wrong.
But he got older and soon the girls didn’t find him so attractive anymore. The lecturers who passed girls to him were themselves not getting enough girls and he had to learn to hunt. Once he got his teeth in, he was not going to let go. His wife, like him, was getting older. Sex wasn’t the same anymore. And there was something about a fifty-year-old’s body that was not like an eighteen-year-old’s. He usually went for the easy prey, people like the girl he sleeping with tonight, he had lots of those. But there were some who he had to hunt specially. He was yet to fail to get any of his targets and he wasn’t going to fail with this one.
She had been in his department for three years and was about to enter her final year. There was something about this girl that attracted him from the first time he saw her. She had an innocence that most of the girls in his classes did not have. She was very playful and you would almost always find her smiling. She wasn’t the best student in the class but she was doing okay. She never had a reason to come to him so he had to go after her. And for three years he did to no avail. It was getting annoying.
“Look here Mary, I am not asking you to do anything you are not already doing. Don’t you have a boyfriend?”
“Yes sir,” she said.
“Don’t you sleep with him?”
“No sir,” she said.
Professor Salako frowned, “You have never slept with him?”
“No sir,” she said.
Was she…?
“Are you a virgin?”
She hesitated, “Yes sir.”
Professor Salako smiled, this was a first. He had not slept with a virgin since his wife, this was going to be sweet.
“Okay sweet little girl, I understand your fear. In fact, I will be doing you a favour because if you lose your virginity to one of these small boys, they will just handle you roughly. You see, I am experienced and I will be gentle with you. So what do you say? Will you go out with me this weekend?”
“No, sir.” The girl’s voice was low but firm.
Professor Salako was starting to get angry.
“Do you know who I am? I am your Dean and I could very easily destroy your academic career in this school.”
“That’s okay sir,” the girl said.
Did he hear wrong? “What did you say?”
“I would like to leave sir.”
“You would like to leave?” Professor Salako stood and walked around the table to the girl. “Do you understand who you are talking to?”
The girl just stared at her feet.
“Look, girl, do you think you are better than all your colleagues who have slept with me?”
“No, sir.”
“So what is your problem?”
“I’m sorry sir, I cannot do it, sir.”
“Mary, I am rich, I am powerful and I can make your life very easy. But like I said, I am rich and I am powerful and I can throw you out of this university.”
The girl did not respond.
“Do you understand what I am saying to you?” Professor Salako asked. He had never had to threaten any girl before she understood what she had to do. “If I don’t get a call from you before 7 PM tonight, understand that you are out of this university. Is that clear?”
“Yes, sir.”
Professor Salako returned to his chair and the girl hurried out of his office. He had never had to do this but he was going to throw all his force against this girl. She was just one girl and he could have thousands but he could not let this news spread around the school. Once girls knew they could refuse him and get away with it, he was done. Mary had just made herself a very huge target and she was going to be hit soon. He would wait till 7 PM.
***
Professor Salako woke up in the car and looked at the clock on the dashboard. It was almost eight o’clock. The girl! He picked up his phone, he didn’t have any missed calls. She hadn’t called. It was time to unleash his power on her.
He scrolled through his contacts and settle on Mr. Iyke, her level adviser. He dialed.
A few seconds later his voice came over the phone. “Hello, sir?”
“How are you Iyke?”
“I am fine sir.”
“Do you know one Mary Nwakali in your class?”
There was a pause. A few metres behind him, a man limped on to the road.
“Mary Nwakali? Yes sir.”
“Good. Now, listen to the following instructions.”
As he started to speak…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Professor Salako was one of the 30.

09Jul/18

Ellipsis: Pako’s Story

Ellipsis 9
Pako’s story.

He could barely contain his excitement, things were finally falling into place. He sat at the edge of his seat trying to stay as calm as possible. The man in front of him was on the phone with his lawyer but Pako knew that was just a formality. When it got to this stage, there was no doubt the deal was done. He knew the lawyer would urge caution but if he had done his job well, the lawyer’s words would fall on deaf ears.
The man ended his call and smiled. “We have a deal.”
Pako stretched forward his hand and the man shook it. “I’m glad to hear it. All that is left now is, you transfer the money and that is that.”
The man whipped out his phone and made a call. In less than five minutes it was Pako who was bringing out his phone. The transaction was complete and so was the con.
He smiled, this was getting too easy. He had just sold the same plot of land to the sixth person and none of the buyers had considered the chance that they were being swindled. With the proper presentation and language, you could sell anything to anybody. He had learned this lesson on the streets and it was paying off very well.
Two years ago he was a regular thug on the streets. He had been educated in the best schools until his parents died when he was about to complete his secondary school education. His parents’ properties were taken over by his Dad’s family members and he had run off when an attempt was made on his life. For years he learned the life of the street thug but he had a disadvantage; he did not have the strength for the fights that he regularly had to engage in. But he had learned other things.
His English was impeccable and even though English was not needed on the streets, it opened doors for him into a different ‘street’. He quickly found out that he could make more money wearing suits and speaking English than he could ever hope to make brawling and harassing bus drivers. He was soft-spoken and smart. He appealed to people’s desire to get rich very quickly but he was the one who was getting rich quickly. Conning greedy people was very easy.
“Will I see you tomorrow?” His latest victim was asking.
“Sure sir,” Pako said.
The man shook hands with him once again and headed to the door. It was dark outside and he was almost late with his celebratory party with his friends. But he could not appear in a hurry.
“Congratulations on the purchase sir,” Pako said.
“I am very grateful to you Mr. Badmus.”
“The pleasure is all mine sir,” Pako said.
The man stepped out of the house and Pako watched him walk away. He smiled and returned into the house. Of course, this wasn’t his house and it was time to leave. He picked up his wallet and car keys from the table and walked out of the house. He locked the door behind him and walked towards his parked car.
He was about to get to his car when he noticed a strange movement behind him. He stayed calm and slowly turned in the direction of the movement.
“That is him!”
He saw a man pointing to him and behind the man were two policemen. He was not sure who the man was but it was safe to assume the man was one of his unwitting clients. This was not good. Pako turned around and ran as fast as he could. People watched him as he ran but none of them made an attempt to stop him. How was he sure anybody was pursuing him anyway? He had always been careful, how would anybody know where to find him? He got to a corner, paused and looked behind him, the policemen were still after him. He resumed his flight. This was not good at all.
He’d always made an escape plan during his earlier cons but he didn’t make one this time. He was getting confident and cocky. He got to a Tee on the road. He turned to the right, there were more people here and he could easily get lost in the crowd.
As he ran he heard someone shout “thief”. He kept running but this time people were starting to pay attention to him. And suddenly somebody stuck a leg out and he tripped. He stumbled but he kept his balance and continued running. People were trying to grab him now and he had to jump over legs and dodge blows. The policemen coming behind him were shouting for people to stop him and he knew he had to get out of this crowd or he would not escape. He would not be arrested, these people would kill him. He needed a way out.
The way out soon presented itself. He saw an alley not too far away and he ran for it. A few people had joined the chase now, he needed to get away soon. He ducked into the alley and climbed over a fence and in a swift dash, he changed the direction of his run. He removed his shirt and threw it into a gutter. He saw a few men gathered around a local herbs seller and he joined them. He stifled his heavy breathing as much as he could. He was sweating profusely but none of the men noticed. He stood there for about ten minutes and nothing happened. Had he escaped?
He waited for thirty minutes and he didn’t see the policemen or the men chasing after him. He had stopped sweating and he had bought a cheap shirt from a vendor. He had escaped. He smiled, even death could not catch him now.
He got back on the road. He would be sleeping far away from his house today. He thought about ordering a cab from Taxify but he needed to get away from here as soon as possible. The traffic was too heavy for a cab, he needed a motorcycle. He walked past a group of prostitutes and he shook his head; not today.
A few meters from him he saw a man limp on to the road and he paused. Was that a policeman? It was not. He sighed, he could never be…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Pako was one of the 30.

08Jul/18

Ellipsis: Shina Akanbi’s Story

Ellipsis 8
Shina Akanbi’s story

Shina scrubbed the car tires till they returned to their original black colour. This was his life; scrubbing tires and cleaning cars. He was not one to complain though. He was grateful for the opportunity to have a job and something to pay his bills with. His boss was nice, his colleagues – well, he didn’t really have colleagues. He didn’t have the life he dreamt of as a student of agricultural engineering but he could not complain. His brother did not agree.
Five years ago, before he got his driving job, he and his brother had started a business. His brother had a job but he didn’t. He was the one who hit the streets. He was the one who got rejected by the banks, he was the one who got rejected by the customers. It was tough, especially because he had to ask his brother for money to do anything. He had convinced himself it was all part of the process and they were going to make it soon. Unfortunately, three years later, ‘soon’ wasn’t any closer.
He met Mr. Dim Nathan on one of his searches for investors. The man got interested in him and promised to mentor him. He even promised to pay him. He had dropped their failing business immediately for a chance to work with this heaven-sent angel. But things had not turned out exactly how he expected. His job was never defined and soon he turned into a driver. It had been two years and the only thing he had learned from Mr. Dim was how to navigate the city and how to wash a car till it sparkled.
Shina’s phone rang and he knew who it was. It was his brother. He had a pitch that day and he swore this was the deal they were looking for. But Shina had thought that too so many times.
He answered the call.
“Hello?” Shina said.
“Hey, are you coming?”
“No, I’m not,” Shina said.
“You know I need you here. You ran this business for three years, and you know more about it.”
That was true but it didn’t make any difference. Those three years were the worst of his life.
“I’m sorry, I can’t take time off my job.”
“Take time off? You should resign. This business is your dream too.”
Mr. Dim walked out of the house and Shina knew it was time to go out.
“I have to go. All the best with the pitch.”
He ended the call and ran ahead of his boss to open the door for him. He didn’t love his job. He wasn’t crazy about opening doors and driving around all day but it paid money. Real money. The pay was all that mattered for now.
“Are you okay?” Mr. Dim asked as he entered the car.
“Yes sir,” Shina said. It was a lie.
***
Dim sat inside the car listening to the radio. This was his life whenever his boss didn’t have him driving around. It drove him crazy to just sit there doing nothing but it was part of his job. He could easily run off to meet with his brothers and no one would notice. But there was also a chance his boss would need to go out in the middle of the day and his absence would become a problem. He wished there was something he could do.
His phone rang and he looked at the screen; it was his brother again.
“Hello?”
“We just finished the pitch,” his brother’s voice was ecstatic.
Shina was excited. “You got the funding?”
“Well, not yet.”
Shina shook his head, of course not. “So what now?”
“The investors turned us down in the room but one of them talked to us later. He is interested and asked us to come to his house for another pitch this evening.”
“Really?”
“He said he knows a little about our business. Do you know one Mr. Adeyemi Adegoke?”
Shina knew who it was. “Don’t bother yourself, the man isn’t going to invest in an agricultural business.”
“So you know him?”
“Yes I know him and I know he’s not going to invest.”
“Don’t say that Shina. Just come this evening and we will see what happens.”
“I can’t leave except I want to get fired,” Shina said. They didn’t get it. He was making an income and was living without borrowing money, why would he want to leave that?
“Then get fired, Shina. If we get this funding, you will have all the money you want and you can finally do something that you love.”
“If? If we get this funding?” Shina said and shook his head. “Goodbye.”
He ended the call and slipped the phone back in his pocket. Why would he leave a steady job for an ‘if’?
***
Shina slowed the car to a stop, they were going to be here for a while. His phone beeped and picked it up. He’d gotten a text from his brothers.
“We got the funding! We did it! Resign that job!”
Shina smiled, they did it. After all these years, they were finally going somewhere with their business.
“Shina, be careful with that man,” Shina heard Mr. Dim say.
He looked up and saw a man limp into the middle of the road. What the hell…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Shina Akanbi was one of the 30.

07Jul/18

Ellipsis: Rose Adam’s Story

Ellipsis 7
Rose Adam’s Story

“No, I cannot do that,” Rose said into the phone. “Michael, I love you but I can’t.”
She ended the call and threw the phone on the bed. It was too early to be fighting her fiancé on the phone. She’d always thought Michael to be the perfect guy and he was until she met his parents. He’d always described his parents as liberal, educated and very nice people. But she had met them once and it had been a terrible experience.
She was not even sure what she did wrong or what irked them about her but from the moment she walked into their house, she knew they didn’t like her. They pretended to but she knew they didn’t. His father hid his dislike a little but his mother carried it on her face like a stamp. She could not wait to leave the house that day.
Michael insisted they liked her but she knew he was just trying to save face for his parents. He then had the nerve to accuse her of acting aloof or distant. How would she not be? His parents were rich, hers weren’t. She knew what was going on in their mind, they thought she was marrying Mike for his money. She wasn’t. Michael knew this but Rose wasn’t sure he’d convinced his parents about this.
A knock sounded on her door and she dragged herself to the door. She opened it and it was Michael.
“You were on your way here?” She asked. “Why did you call then?”
He walked into the house. “I wanted to gauge the mood you were in before arriving.”
Rose walked back to the bed and dropped on to it.
“Rose, we have to go. My Uncle just came back, and I’m not sure how long he’s staying for. All my family members would be there, this would be a good chance to introduce you.”
“Your family members don’t like me,” Rose said.
“You have met only two of them.”
“So you agree your parents don’t like me?”
“No, I never said anything like that.”
There was a long pause then Rose spoke.
“I will come but if I want to leave, you will leave with me.”
“Why would you want to leave?”
“Come on, Mike.”
“Okay, I agree.”
***
Twenty minutes into the party and Rose was ready to leave. She was not sure if it was Mike’s parents who talked to the other family members or there was something about her that repelled this family but it was clear nobody here liked her. They all smiled and said nice things to her but she could tell they were only pretending. Michael said she was being paranoid but how could he know what she was feeling? She had told him she was leaving and they had to leave together.
It was already 7 o’clock but she could still claim to have a meeting. Michael, who was supposed to sell this excuse to his family was failing at it. His dad especially was getting upset. He could not believe they were not even going to wait for his brother to arrive at the house.
“Rose, what is the problem? Is anybody giving you any trouble?” Mike’s Dad asked.
“No sir,” Rose lied. “I just need to get to a meeting.”
“At this time? Michael did not mention any meeting before.”
“It just came up sir.”
The man turned around, said something to Michael and walked away.
“What now?” Rose asked.
“He said…” Michael paused, Rose knew whatever was coming was not nice.
“What is it?”
“He said you are free to leave but I cannot.”
“What? Michael, you promised me.”
“I can’t disobey my Dad. This is important to him. I’d love if you could stay.”
“Are you picking your family over me?”
“What?” Michael didn’t seem to like that. “Why would you even say that?”
“How much do you love me, Michael?”
“Don’t ask me that.”
“Why would you make me a promise and break it?”
Michael was getting upset too. “What do you want from me?”
“I want you to pick me,” Rose said. “If you don’t pick me now, how will I know you will do the same when we get married? How do I know decisions in our family would not be made by your parents?”
“My parents are not like that and I am not like that.”
“Well, prove it now.”

***
The car slowed to a stop as the traffic got worse. They had ridden in silence for almost one hour. Michael’s parents had called him but he was not picking their calls. Rose knew Michael was upset but this was just a fight and they would settle it. She was happy he had picked her. Now his parents knew where their place was in this relationship.
“What is that guy doing?” Michael said.
Rose looked up to see what Michael was referring to and…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Rose Adam was one of the 30. Michael wasn’t.

06Jul/18

Ellipsis: James Omojasola’s Story

Ellipsis 6
James Omojasola’s story

He hated birthdays. He loved the fuss people made about him and the love they showed. He loved the cakes he always got from his several female admirers and the bottles of wine his male friends gave him. He rarely threw parties but people always held a party for him. He was loved by a lot of people and his birthday was a chance to show it. But there was one thing that ruined it all, everybody always talked about his twin brother.
He had not talked to John in four years and had not seen him in five. He always tried to block his brother out of his mind but their birthday was a day he could never do that. First Facebook people tagged John in all his pictures, then people would upload pictures of both of them all over the internet. Then there were the jokes about his brother being more handsome than he was even though they were identical.
James sat at his dining table eating a bowl of cereal when his phone rang. It was his mother. She said the most amazing and funny prayers. A couple of years ago, a wife had joined the prayer points. He smiled and answered the phone.
“Hello, Mom?”
“When did you last speak to John?”
James was surprised at the way his mother sounded. She did not know about the fight with his brother. Both of them had lied about it. They never traveled to visit her at the same time and always hung this on conflicting schedules. And since she would rather have one at a time than none, she eventually accepted. She’d always suspected something was up but they had both been great in their lying. But this question sounded more aggressive than her usual manner.
“I talked to him two days ago,” James lied, as usual.
“James,” her voice was breaking, “I cannot believe you would lie to me like this.”
“What are you talking about Mom?” James knew their secret was out.
“John just told me you have not spoken in five years!”
“John told you that?” Why would he?
“I have failed as a mother. My only children are fighting and I did not know,” she said and started to cry.
James knew this day would come but he had no plans for it. He just hoped she would demand they get back together and that would be the end of it. Of course, they weren’t going to.
Five years ago, James had made the mistake of falling in love with John’s girl. John wasn’t exactly in a relationship with the girl but he was making his moves. James knew about this but the girl liked him better and he liked her too. They sneaked around for a while until John found out. John did not shout or scream, he sent a text. “You are dead to me” and that was it, they never spoke again. He wasn’t with the girl anymore but it did not matter, he and his brother were done.
“Stop crying Mom,” James said. “I have tried to reach out to John but he’s not ready to reconcile.”
He had reached out, three years ago and he was done with it.
“John called me this morning to tell me about the fight.”
“Why?”
“If you don’t know why yet, I must have raised a fool.”
James nodded, “I will call him.”
“I am traveling over tomorrow. If you people do not reconcile, I will join the fight and not speak to both of you again.”
“No Mom, you don’t have to travel here. I will call him now and we will be fine.”
She spent another five minutes praying and threatening and demanding. When she ended the call, James knew what he had to do.
He dialed his brother’s number for the first time in three years. The call connected and he waited as it rang. There was no answer. Maybe John wasn’t ready to… His phone rang, John was calling back.
James answered.
“Hello brother,” he said.
***
It was the best birthday he’d ever had. He didn’t have any parties and he didn’t get any cakes or bottles of wine. Maybe because his phone was off. He spent his day alone with his brother. When you had not talked to your brother in five years, there was a lot of catching up to do. He could not imagine what stupidity made him think he could go through his life not speaking to his brother. That was over now. Family was everything, he would never forget that.
The car in front of him stopped and he stepped on his brakes. He had not even noticed the long line of brake lights in front of him. They would be here for a while. A man limped on to the road in front of the car ahead of him. He was probably one of the…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
James Omojasola was one of the 30.

05Jul/18

Ellipsis: Ada Eze’s Story

Ellipsis 5.
Ada Eze’s Story.

Lagos was a land of opportunities. That was the lie she was sold when she arrived in Lagos eight years ago. One of her former classmates, Chichi, had returned to the village with enticing displays of wealth. She drove a car, distributed jewelry she claimed she bought when she traveled to Dubai and gave some cash to the drooling village chiefs. Ada had been fascinated by this Lagos that had turned her friend into this rich woman. She had followed Chichi to Lagos with the blessing of her sick father and tired mother. They wanted her to learn whatever her friend knew.
Eight years later, Chichi was dead and she was standing by the road in a skimpy dress.
She didn’t start trading her body by choice. When she found out this was Chichi’s business, she had been disgusted and demanded to return to the village. This reaction did not shock her friend, nobody was born with the desire to sell their body. But a few weeks in Lagos and Ada saw the light. Her parents started calling and asking when she would start sending money home. Her father was sick and could not afford the medications he needed. Her younger sister was too brilliant to drop out of school, and she needed her fees paid. Ada herself was very hungry. Chichi had refused to finance anybody who would not contribute to the success of the household.
Four weeks after arriving in Lagos, Ada lost her virginity and made her first ten thousand naira. She was sick for a whole week. She had suicidal thoughts. She could not look herself in the mirror. How could she have done this? But then her parents called her and prayed for her and blessed her from a deep place of gratitude. She knew she had to do this again. And she did. Again and again and again.
After several years, her parents eventually knew what she did. They were disgusted but they needed the money she sent. She promised them to stop as soon as her sister finished her law degree and that had happened a little over a year ago. Ada could not bring herself to stop. She didn’t know how to do anything else. It was even worse now she was a roadside prostitute. She was no longer young enough for the high-end clients that bought her cars and took her abroad. But this paid the bills, and they were many.
But today would be her last.
Her parents had called, her father was dying. The doctors had said he had less than a week. He wanted to see her before he died. She wanted to see him too but she could not go back without money; a lot of it. She had gathered some but tonight she would get enough.
She had a client she had sworn she would never deal with again but he was the only one who could pay the money she required. He never did anything normal, he was a devil but he was a rich devil.
Ten minutes after she called him, he arrived. She opened the door of his SUV and got in. She was met with the bark of a dog and she jumped. She looked behind her and there was a dog sitting in the back seat.
“Don’t be afraid of the dog,” he said. “I know Jim looks fierce but he is a gentle lover.”
Ada looked at the dog and then at the man. For a second, she thought about jumping out of the car and running away without ever looking back. But she knew she had to do this. She had to do this for her parents.
***
Ada stood by the road. Her colleagues moved around her, brazenly hawking their wares. She could not talk to them but she could not go away from them. This was the only place she could be without killing herself. She had done something she never thought she would do. Was it worth it? She had sold her body a long time ago but she might have sold her soul that night. She remembered one lady preacher who said every sin was forgiven already, she shook her head; this one wasn’t.
Her phone beeped and she looked at it. It was a bank alert. Her account had been credited with 500,000 naira. She frowned, why was the man sending her more money? Her phone rang and it was the man calling. Was he calling because he’d sent the money by mistake? She answered the call.
“Hello?”
“Jim loved you and wants you again.”
“What?”
“Come back in the morning and I’ll give you another 500,000.”
No, she could not go back there. This was bad, very bad. But it was a lot of money. With the extra 500, maybe she could even save her father from dying.
Some meters away from Ada, a man had limped on to the road. And as Ada opened her mouth to say yes…

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Ada Eze was one of the 30.

04Jul/18

Ellipis: Adamu Babatunde’s Story

Adamu Babatunde sat in the office for the third day in a roll. This time he came with his wife. He hated what he was doing but it was part of the job. He had to see this man, meet all his demands and he was one step closer to winning the state house assembly seat. He looked around the room; everybody here looked nervous, except his wife. The reason was clear; they all knew whatever the man behind the big black doors said would decide their lives for the next four to five years.
This was his fourth attempt at running for political office. He had been told a straight ‘no’ the first two times. The third time had been different. He was told to step down for another candidate and he was promised a ‘Special Adviser’ position. He didn’t get it. He could not complain though, it was the way of politics. His wife had told him to use his political connections to drive his engineering firm but engineering had its limitations. Politics didn’t.
The big black door opened, a secretary came out and Adamu looked up.
“He will see you now,” the secretary said.
Adamu stood up and sighed, it was time.
“I’ll be back,” Adamu said to his wife.
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
Adamu smiled and walked towards the big black door. He got to the door and pushed it open. The chief was seated behind his chair, his big round glasses on the edge of his nose. He looked small behind the massive desk in front of him. He looked up as Adamu walked in and Adamu felt the aura that made this man powerful. He understood why nobody could go against him.
“Adamu,” the Chief said with a huge smile that communicated a love Adamu knew was not there. “Where have you been?”
Adamu frowned, “I was here last week sir.”
The chief nodded. “Come and shake my hand.”
Adamu bowed low and shook the hand.
“Are you here alone?” The Chief asked. “I told you to come with your wife.”
“Yes sir, she is here. She’s outside.”
“Tell her to come in, I haven’t met her yet.”
This was starting well. Chief never wanted to meet the family of his dependents, it made it easier to take ruthless decisions. Adamu opened the door and signaled to his wife to come in. He held the door as she walked in.
“Wow,” the Chief said.
Adamu turned around to see the Chief on his feet. He must be really fascinated with her, he rarely stood for anybody.
“Good morning sir,” Adamu’s wife said, kneeing down.
“I never knew you were hiding such a beauty from me, Adamu.”
“Thank you sir,” Adamu said.
He was not sure what to do because the chief was still on his feet, starring at his wife. Adamu could tell she was getting uncomfortable and to tell the truth, so was he. After about a minute of uncomfortable silence the Chief sat.
“You want a ticket for the house, right?” The Chief asked.
“Yes sir,” Adamu said.
“My dear, please wait outside, I need to talk to your husband.”
“Okay sir.”
Adamu watched his wife leave. The chief was about to get down to business.
“Sit down Adamu.” Adamu sat. “I will give you the seat you want.”
Adamu stood up and prostrated. “I am very grateful sir.”
“Stand up, I am not done.”
Adamu stood and took his place on his chair.
“You know the financial commitment you have to make, right?”
That was standard. Everybody knew there was a certain amount you paid to the Chief once you entered office. Of course, he was ready to pay that.
“Yes Chief, I am very loyal sir,” Adamu said.
“Well, we will know when the time is right.”
“I promise you sir, I will…”
“It is easy to promise when you don’t have the position yet. There is something you can do now to show how loyal you are.”
Adamu sat up. “Anything sir.”
“Your wife… what is her name?”
“Dunni sir,” Adamu said, a little scared of what was coming next.
“I like her,” the Chief said and waited for Adamu to understand what he was saying.
Adamu understood what he was saying but he also waited, pretending not to.
Finally the Chief spoke, “That is the price you have to pay. I know you will want to think about it but I don’t have time for that. I have another person coming in this afternoon and I have to make a decision. And so do you. So Adamu, how badly do you want this post?”
***
Adamu tried his best to focus on the road as he drove. But his mind could not focus on anything apart from what he knew the Chief was doing to his wife at the moment. His wife had cried and threatened to run away but he had begged her. Her body was the price they had to pay to change their lives. He knew he would regret this all his life and his wife might never forgive him but at least he was going to be a member of the house. Maybe the money would erase the memory of what they had to do to get it. And who said he was going to be the first person to give his wife in exchange for a better life?
He looked up ahead, the traffic was not moving at all. The sooner he could get home and sleep, the sooner he could forget about this debacle. For now. A few meters ahead of him, he saw a man limp on to the road. What the hell was…?

12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Adamu Babatunde was one of the 30.