M’ORE 3 (CONTINUED)
I was pinned to my bed extremely expectant to know what happened but mum at this point had her palms on her face again breathing into them as if to avoid saying something hurtful, “Mum please go on”, I said and she did after a long pause. “M’ore, when we got to the hotel, Dare and Temi’s boyfriend stayed back at the counter and asked us to go upstairs to our rooms. We did and as Temi wanted to relax she said, she was with the wrong key for Dare’s room and she had to go back downstairs. I didn’t shudder for a second not until Dare walked into the room, I sat on the bed wondering what was going on but explained that Temi had gone to get his keys, he didn’t look like he was listening and smelled of deeply concentrated alcohol. He just kept on drawing closer and the more he did, I pulled backwards and at a point we were going in circles. Like a beast he chased me from side to side, I finally succeeded in reaching the door. Fortunately for me he didn’t lock the door. I ran out as fast as I could. The receptionist hollered at me to stop, I didn’t pay attention to her. On getting to the main road, I waved just in case any vehicle would come to my rescue, the first passed by, the second and even the third; my heart had travelled fast into my throat by now but a fourth car stopped. An elderly woman maybe around 50 was in the car, she asked her driver to pull over for me. She opened the back door for me to get in and asked the driver to move on. In the car, she looked at me with much curiosity and began asking questions, she enquired my name and what I was doing at the spot she found me wondering if maybe I was a victim of ritual killers or kidnappers. I just couldn’t help but explain all that happened to her particularly Temi’s betrayal; I felt so bad thinking of what happened as I said them, that I burst into tears. The lady introduced herself as Mrs. Badejo, she tried to calm me down and yes she asked why I was out at such an ungodly hour. I in turn really didn’t know what to say because at that point I had weighed the decisions I made. I tried making up a story but as if she knew, as angelic as she had been and was asked me to be very honest. Then I told her in actuality what happened, she was so calm with me and explained she was also a mother and understood how children acted sometimes and she made me understand the gift of grace that prevailed on me that night. She advised me to hold on to the gift grandma had given me especially when I found myself in trouble. She was so kind to me and advised me to be careful and also forgive Temi for what she did to me. I succumbed at her words but in real fact, I wasn’t sure I was going to forgive her, she was my best friend.
Mrs. Badejo gave me her card though she stayed in Lagos but was travelling by road back to Lagos when I saw her. She dropped me off in front of the school, I was so grateful and relieved aside the resentment I felt for Temi. I got into the hostel where Tara and Ay couldn’t just wait to hear all about my outing. I hid the truth from them and just gave them some uninteresting gist to me that I knew they would be interested in. I just lied straight on my bed thinking of how I could correct my mistake not forgetting to promise myself never to go to any late night party again.
The next day after lectures, I went to the cafeteria where I saw Temi, I looked at her with contempt; I couldn’t just help it no matter how much I tried. She on the other hand bent face down trying not to look at me. There I met Donald again, he yelled, “Kemi!”and on getting to where I sat, he sat facing Temi who sat behind me. He asked, isn’t that your friend Temi? I avoided the whole issue and when he pressed on, I asked that we left, at that point Temi looked like she was about to come tell me something but I ignored her totally. Donald insisted on me telling him and I did, he took it so personal saying he would kill Dare who was twice his size. I had to calm him down, he continued and said, “I made a mistake leaving you, if we were together, this wouldn’t have happened” and he sounded so sure. He even made me feel good for despising Temi, explaining how evil a friend she was. Acting like a guardian angel, he walked me to the hostel, calling me his daughter; well he was quite older than me. He dropped me off and left. I wore a smile on my face as he made me laugh so much, I forgot about the whole incident.
On getting to the hostel, I met some students from one of the fellowships we had in school; I just walked by responding hi to their hellos. As I pulled of my sandals to get into my room, one of them came to me with a tract and she started evangelizing to me, truly, I wasn’t so interested, she just asked me to read the tract which I nodded affirmatively to. I got into the room and Tara explained that Temi came over to look for me, the smile I had melted away again, I was still very much angry with her. Ay noticed and asked what went wrong between I and Temi which I said nothing. I kept my bag on the locker beside my bed with the tract underneath, I was about to rest my head when Temi walked in. with tears in her eyes she was begging and saying she was really sorry for what happened. I wasn’t about to listen to her and so I turned away facing my locker and as I did, my eyes caught the words on the tract, “SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN” and beneath was Matthew 18:21-22 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but Until seventy times seven”. At the same time, Temi said she’d explain, I was willing to hear after reading the words on the front page of the tract and so I asked her to go on. She replied, “Kemi thank you so much, please I beg you it wasn’t my fault, Kemi please forgive me anyways.” Looking about her she turned and said, “Dare is a cultist Kemi, and he promised to kill me, if you didn’t show up. I didn’t want to die but gave an excuse that you won’t be coming because you travelled. I got to know his plans through his discussion with a friend of his, who caught me eaves dropping. I made it look like the money wasn’t with me, in fact here it is”, within me I was amazed and thought ‘so that was what happened’. She (Temi) continued, “… I knew I shouldn’t have left the room without telling you but Dare was at the door all along hold and I’m glad you are safe, please forgive me”. I couldn’t hold anything against her anymore; I forgave her and told her to stop crying. I had forgiven her but we both knew we weren’t supposed to be found in the same place together so a distance was created whether we liked it or not but she was still a friend.
I had begun confiding in Donald and he was in fact always interested, I had explained Temi’s actions but he didn’t seem to find truth in it and since I had made up my mind on it, I didn’t bother. He always made me feel comfortable around him so, when he invited me to his house I saw no reason to turn down the offer.
Donald stayed off campus, he lived in a two bedroom flat, the flat had nice furniture, and it could draw the attention of anyone to itself. The flat was just splendid, I made myself comfortable, I sat on the sofa while he turned on the TV. He went off to get us food and when he got back, brought out a romance movie for us to watch. I knew what it was going to be about but I was glued to my sit, the casing said a lot but never stopped me from saying I wasn’t interested, I sat still. I had a nice lunch and in the process we watched the movie together giving different opinions about the movie and at a point found my hands in his hands, my heart racing fast, I didn’t know what next would happen, we were already entangled in the movie that anything felt right. He just called my name and locked a stare in my eyes. I sat glued still and within a few seconds got back my consciousness; I quickly cleared my throat before the unexpected could happen. I took it as a sign to go home, he apologized for the behavior but I insisted it was simply nothing to worry about. I picked my bag and left for my hostel.
As I walked into my room, I met Tara and Nancy, one of the squatters, practically gossiping. I went straight to my bunk as usual to lay my head. Within me I questioned myself on if I was really interested in a relationship at this stage looking at what almost happened, maybe it was just me; I couldn’t be so sure. Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t know Nancy had been staring at me. Out of the blues she said, ‘what’s up Kemi, you think a lot, what’s your qualm or am I lying Tara, she thinks too much, why are you in a sour mood?’ I said nothing and she started giving stories of how secretive I was, always on my own. She added that I’d die alone if I continued that way. As cunning as she was, she made feel it was very necessary to loosen up and say what troubled me. I did pour out my heart to them and they gave it an air of superiority, two love birds. The more they explained, the more I got interested, how he’d take care of me if he truly loved me which I nodded affirmatively to that he was always at my side and very protective, and Nancy replied, ‘that’s a real guy I tell you, he really likes you’. The conversation was very interesting to me that I told them I’d give them updates on whatever happened. I didn’t really have much interest in him but I felt we were drawn towards each other especially from their explanation.
As the days passed, I and Donald got really close with his whispering every now and then of how beautiful I am, he just made me feel so happy within, we were almost inseparable but there was nothing official. I suspected he was going to ask me out especially from the teachings I got from Nancy and Tara, so I called your grandma just wanting to know what her take would be. I made up a story of a friend in the same position I was in but she just asked me to read the bible she gave to me. Remembering Mrs. Badejo’s words to read my bible anytime I was in trouble pushed me to open it.
I opened it randomly in the middle of the night expecting to see at least one of grandma’s highlights but I got nothing, I was confused at this point, I was left to make my own decision. I didn’t know if to pray or what to pray about, so I just sat up on my bed and closed my eyes knowing fully well it had been a long time that I did pray. I asked, ‘Lord please give me your direction’. I prayed it repeatedly, opened the bible but saw nothing. Soon I slept off not knowing what to do but I had a dream that night. Raised high on a large scroll from where I stood was written clearly 1Corinthians 15:33, “Be not deceived evil communication, corrupt good manners.” I was woken up by Tara who explained that my phone had been ringing. I checked and it was Donald, I called him up and he said we needed to talk, I promised to meet him later in the day and we agreed on his place.
I quickly got off the phone trying to remember what I saw, so in a bid to check the bible grandma gave me, a highlighted scripture was what I saw in Revelation2:5, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candle stick from its place, except thou repent”. I was very scared at this point, I remembered clearly what had happened weeks ago but had I repented or grown worse. Just then, Nancy came in from the bathroom, she said, “babe what’sup, I heard you talking to that your guy, any new gist?” I replied yes, that he wanted me to come over to his place. She encouraged me to go explaining that no guy in his normal senses would spend so much on me, she also added that maybe he had a big surprise like a car for me. I was particularly inquisitive from the last statement she made, I wanted to know what he was about to say.
Later in the day, I went over to his place, his heart spoke joy the moment he saw me. I didn’t even know why. He ushered me into his house, it looked even more beautiful this time, he told me to have a sit. After a while he came back, he went on his knees right in front of me holding a case in his hand, he asked me to open it. It was a really lovely neck piece, and then he said, ‘Kemi, you know we’ve been together for months now and you know I’d be graduating soon, I don’t know if you’d consider it but would you be my girlfriend, the one who I can share my feelings with, would you be my everything? I promise to always be there for you, I know you’re meant for me and me for you’. I was thinking of what to say, I didn’t know if to say yes or no and I didn’t want to make him feel bad. Then he enquired that I say something, I just said “maybe and maybe not”. He stood up and faced the wall with his palm on his forehead, he stood for some minutes then I walked up to him asking why he had grown sour by my answer. He shouted back, ‘why won’t I be! Can’t you see how much I love you, I just can’t do without you, I’m crazy about you.’ At this point I felt very bad like I said something wrong, noticing my countenance, he said holding my hands, ‘Kemi we’re meant for each other, let’s not waste any time at it’. His eyes were blood shut from the very moment he shouted, it was tear filled, I felt the urge to calm him down and then he hugged me begging me not to leave him.”
It was getting so late now and I just didn’t want mum to stop but now she had stopped talking, no words slipped from her mouth but she took a deep breath, closing is her eyes. When she opened them tiny tear drops fell. ‘Mum please continue I said’, she did and said from a hug, he just stroked his fingers through my face, everything felt right, from a kiss, I found myself on his bed. We had done it; I had lost my virginity, my most precious gift. He placed his arms around me and kissed my forehead, “No stop it!” I shouted but it was of no use anymore, he had gotten what he wanted, freely and without force. I cried my heart out, I wept with no consolation. I picked up my things and was about to leave when he called me back and said, ‘take this, its #50,000’. I looked at him with scorn and left the room.
I felt disgusted in myself. I went to the hostel, didn’t reply Tara or Nancy’s greetings, I didn’t know what to think of them. I got to my bed, turned over and cried my heart out slowly. I felt I’d be okay with time but as the weeks got by my depression had taken over let alone an illness which I didn’t understand. I finally called your grandma that I was coming home. She knew at once what had happened immediately I stepped into the house and greeted her. The sickness grew worse but she was with me through it all even when the doctor confirmed I was pregnant. M’ore please forgive me” I didn’t know what to say, I just asked if I had a brother or a sister somewhere but she refuted it. “M’ore it’s you, I know how hard it is right now, M’ore forgive me, I didn’t want you to think of it or feel different, your dad didn’t want you to know about it, I just can’t help hiding it from you any longer.”
It was indeed hard for me, I burst into tears too not knowing what to do, “Mum if I may ask, how did you know I was in trouble?” still weeping she explained that she had a dream and saw me in trouble, doing exactly what she did and immediately she woke up, she called.
She kept on explaining that she loved me so much and was sorry- with a hug, and in tears, I promised her from that day never to take to her wrong step and not just keep but read grandma’s gift every day. I have found however what a gift God has placed in my hands−a wonderful mother no matter what her past said and a wonderful gift from a wonderful grandma and mother. Most of all He kept me from making the same mistake all over again.
Hmm…I’m sure we want to know about Sola and Lade, I’ve not seen them till now, Juliet and Remi knew absolutely nothing about it and you know, “God has not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of sound mind” 2Tim1:7.