Friday, 8 July 2016

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Ogechi & I (Episodes 1 - 20)

By: Itchy Inks On: 02:03
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  • Ogechi & I


    Special commendation goes to the distinguished author of this story. 



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    EPISODE 1


    Lying alone on a massive bed in one of the rooms in my father’s house, thinking about almost everything that was there to be thought of in the world, a weighty thought pressed my spirit so hardly that it spilled out what I would refer to as a ‘way out’ of the predicament I happened to find myself in as at that point in time. Having completed my National Diploma Program, I was unable to secure myself a job for nearly two years before I got a job as a software engineer in a computer firm in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. My monthly pay was good enough for a 20 year old who was still living with his parents and had no bills to pay. Three years later I resigned from the job and travelled to Ebonyi State in search of greener pastures which I foresaw, but it turned out I was too forward to see forever from yesterday. Everything I had foreseen became nightmares and daydreams, and I got very familiar with misery and depression.


    When I had it up to my neck I decided to heed the advice of MISH, a singer from Akwa Ibom State who with the lyrics of one of his hit tracks titled; ‘AKWA IBOM AYAYA’ (Akwa Ibom is beautiful) urged Indigenes of the State to return home before they starved to death in another man’s land. My mother was over excited on my arrival, and her warm welcome almost wiped off the memories of my ordeal at Ebonyi for the past eight months, but I refused to forget even the tiniest detail of all. Though my mother was more than willing to house me until forever, I grew very uncomfortable with the idea of still having to live with and be fed by my parents at 24 years of age, so I tried all I could to become independent but it seemed like the more I tried, the more dependent I was. The first thing I did was to leave home to stay with an Igbo business man friend of mine who virtually fed me every day. Secondly, I turned myself into an OLX market where sellers would advertise their products for interested buyers to purchase, but it turned out that when there were sellers, there were no buyers, and when there were buyers, there were no sellers. So I resorted to selling off those properties of mine that were of little or no use to me which I had managed to acquire during the past few years. Whenever I sold any item, I would come temporarily alive until the money discovered from the sale was finished. Whenever I sold an item, I would suspend my friend from providing food for us and take over that responsibility to also show how capable I was and how independent I could be. But as soon as my wallet was dry, everything returned to the way it was, and for a longer time than any of mine ever lasted. Sincerely speaking, I was tired of all that and desperately needed a change. But what was I to do?


    Many thoughts crossed my mind. I thought of fraud, which I eventually got involved in and made 10k barely three hours from the time I was introduced into the game. Walahi, if you’ve ever hit a mugu, you’ll despise even the highest paid jobs. To me, I had found myself a job that was gonna pay me enough to enable me measure up with my peers who were already swimming in the ocean wealth. But barely a week into the game, my boss committed a blunder that nearly landed us in the EFCC net. If not for the mercies of God, I would have been less than history by now. After then, I thought of hacking into a bank database to transfer some cool millions of naira into my account. So I subscribed to the Airtel Nigeria 4GB plan at N1,500 and started my research on how to hack into bank database. By the time I tried the first and second step I found in my research, which I wasn’t even sure if it was gonna work, my 4GB reduced massively to 1.7GB. Hmmm, na only God go punish Airtel oo. I spent approximately 30 minutes online and my data was over 50% gone? So I started wondering how long it was gonna take me to successfully hack a bank and how much I was gonna spend on data. I realized again that it took money to make money. And in this case, the money to be made wasn’t even sure to be made. I could end up spending my money on data for nothing, so I backed out and began to think of something new. The next thought that got into my mind was football betting. Seriously ehh, I no be football fan at all!! I have never sat down to watch a complete 90 minutes play except in cases where my beloved Super Eagles was the team playing. Even at that, 50% of my attention would be on the reaction of the people watching the match, and whenever Nigeria scored a goal, I would scream to the top of my voice G..ooO..aaA..llL..!!!!!!! Amazingly, I ventured into football betting and was as hopeful as a politician that I was gonna make it in that line because I saw an advert on Surebet’s homepage of a man who staked N400 and won over N7,000,000. Chai!!! My head scatter!!! What have I been doing all these while, I asked myself.


    From then onward, all the money that ever came my way again went into my nairabet account for staking. I began studying football, and I did so more diligently than I ever did study any course during my time in school. Soon enough, I was known as a forecaster by nearly all my pals, even the ones wey don dey stake game before me. During my course of betting games, I discovered that I remained nervous for 90 whole minutes while a match I had staked my money on was ongoing, most of which never ended to my favor. So I settled for another option called ‘VIRTUAL FOOTBALL LEAGE’ where a match only lasted for 3 minutes. At least, this one won’t keep nervous for longer than necessary, as the result was determined at the end of 180 seconds. And I would keep making money every 3 minutes, but it turned out I was losing money little by little every 180 seconds. When the whole money was gone, I would sit in front of my laptop and stare at it like a lunatic who wanted to jump into the laptop screen to retrieve the money I had lost to football betting.

    After that, I would take a very long nap to dissolve the pain of losing since I don’t do alcohol and weed anymore. Lastly, I thought of doing something tangible with my hands, but it wasn’t easy finding a job either, except I was ready to take on the ‘lowly jobs’. By lowly jobs I mean stuffs like security jobs, brick laying, and whatever I could lay my hands on just to make some money. Indeed I was ready to do so, but definitely not in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. That’s where I grew up for crying out loud! How was I supposed to do such jobs there after such a wonderful reputation I had built for myself over the years? I even got promoted to the position of a manager in the computer firm I worked with before I resigned, and all my peeps knew about that. During that time, I was privileged to interview and employ staff, and also sack staff. How could the mighty fall so low? Nonetheless, the fact remained that I needed cash and I had to do those things for cash, so a very intelligent thought entered into my heart. ‘Since you can’t do those kinds of jobs in Eket, why not travel to a place you are not known and do them until a mega opportunity comes your way?’ That was the thought that came into my heart, and I bought it. Yes!! That was indeed the ‘way out’ of the predicament I happened to find myself in at that point in time. But there was still a problem.


    I needed money for the relocation. I had to rent an apartment at Enugu, which is where I had chosen to relocate to. I chose Enugu because I was quite familiar with the place since I schooled there. Raising the money was a major challenge, as I needed to make my move with nothing less than N100,000, which would at least be enough rent me a room that goes for N60,000, while the rest of the money would go for a little furnishing of the room, feeding and some minor expenses until I was able to find myself something to do, which I was sure to find in no distant time. Sadly, I couldn’t lay my hands on anything more than N20,000 which a kind hearted brother in my church gave to me after I had narrated my predicament to him. I knew that if I stayed back and tried to find more money to make it up, I would only end up spending the N20,000 that had been given to me. So I packed my stuff and prepared to leave for Enugu, not minding how far I could go with that amount of money in Enugu without accommodation. On a very bright Wednesday morning, I went to AKTC park in Eket, boarded a bus for Enugu, and off I went! About four hours later, I arrived at Enugu. I went out of the bus with my big school bag which contained all my stuff, walked out of the park and stood by the side of the road. First thing I heard was the voice of a conductor shouting; Emene!..Emene!..Emene!..Hahaha, Enugu, I DON SHOW! Not knowing where to go from there, I just started walking along Garden Avenue, hoping that thoughts of the next step to take would cross my mind in no distant time. By then, I was left with N17,250.


    EPISODE 2


    After I had walked some distance away from the park, I got hungry and stopped by a local restaurant to refresh myself.


    “Madam, wetin you get?”


    “I get Egusi, I get Dror soup, Oha and Bitter Leaf. I also get Stew-Rice, Ofe Akpu and Pepper Soup. Which one should I brought for you?”


    “Give me Bitter Leaf.”


    “Garri or Akpu?”


    “Akpu.”


    “Make I put how many meat?”


    “A plate with one meat how much?”


    “N400”


    “Ha! Madam ee too cost oo.”


    “My son ee no cost oo. Ee go bellefull you well-well.”


    “The meat na today meat?”


    “Na today meat nah. We no dey do carry over for here oo.”


    “Okay oo, oya bring am nah.”


    “Okay my son.”


    “(Soliloquizing) Inside IMT campus, a plate of food was N150 back in 2008. I don’t know if it has increased by now oo. No matter the increment, if at all there is any, it won’t be up to N400. For what? Is that how much I’ll be spending on food? N800 for two meals a day? From tomorrow, I’ll be eating inside campus. And I’ll still patronize that my 2008 madam. At least she knew more than embarrassing me by asking how many meats I wanted because she know say I no dey chop meat.”


    After eating, I stayed back to watch television until it was closing time and I left. I joined a bus that was going to New Heaven, with no exact destination in mind. When the bus got to Otigba junction I told to conductor to stop. I stopped because it is always very lively there and remains so till the next morning. What made that place lively were the hookers that normally hung around there waiting to be picked up by customers. I located a nearby bar and ordered for bottle water, sat there sipping the water little by little while feeding my eyes. That became a normal routine for me. During the day I would go to a valley by Ebano tunnel where water constantly flowed through an opening on the surface of the rock to have my bath. That place was more like a stream for the guys. Girls were only permitted fetch water and leave, and that only happened when no guy was bathing. If any guy was bathing, a girl that wants to fetch water would have to wait some distance away till the guy is through before being allowed to step in and fetch. The wonderful thing about that place was that there had never been a rape case there, even though the environment was conducive enough for that. Sometimes, there could be up to 20 guys bathing and just one girl waiting to fetch, yet, no guy would harass her. Besides that, every other thing you could think of happened there, from weed smoking to ritual sacrifice all went on there.


    Meanwhile, I had not forgotten the purpose for which I embarked on a journey to Enugu in the first place, so I was busy trying to find what to do before I ran out of money since a place to freshen up and a place to spend my nights had been settled. One day I stumbled into a little café with some inexperienced workers. From the look of things, the café was struggling to stand and could not afford paying for the services of capable hands. I took advantage of that and offered to render professional service for whatever amount they could pay. They doubted my capabilities at first and brought out a typing project with they had at hand and told me to type. They offered to pay me N50 for each page I typed, and that motivated me a lot. Omor come see typing! After my JSSCE exams, my mother had enrolled me in computer institute, and out of all I learnt, typing without looking at the keyboard was the lesson I was most passionate about because I watched American actors do so in the movies and I so loved it. So when I had the opportunity to learn about computer, I took it upon myself to study and master typing. I became a very fast at typing, and as soon as I had learnt how to type, I stopped going for the computer lessons. Eventually, I worked with a computer firm where I acquired the rest of the basic knowledge of computer. So when I was given this very project to type, I shone very well. I typed 50 pages within 90 minutes and got N2,500 for it. Oh, what a wonderful day! They asked me to come again the next day, as there was still so much to me typed. The typing lasted for 12 days, after which I was employed as a full time staff with a monthly pay of N5,000 only. How I wish there was always something to type. That way, I would make more money to rent an apartment. Well, no problems. Half bread is better than none.


    One of those days I did a lot at work and was so exhausted. After dinner I went to my normal spot and bought a bottle of water. I started sipping the water and feeding my eyes, but before long, I fell asleep on the chair I sat on. I felt a very soft hand tapping me on the shoulder. I could tell that whoever had the soft hand was trying to wake me up, but the softness of the hand made it seem like a massage to me, so I lay back and enjoyed it while it lasted. If that hand had continue to try waking me up in the same manner it started with, there would have been no end to my slumber. But after a while of trying to wake me up unsuccessfully, I heard a slap on my left chick and the soft tone of a gentle voice screaming; WAKE UP! Immediately, I woke up. I noticed everyone running helter-skelter. It seemed like there was chaos, and I started weeping. LORD, PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON ME! HAVE MERCY ON ME DEAR LORD! DON’T LEAVE ME HERE WITH THE ANTI-CHRIST. PLEASE I WILL GET IT RIGHT THIS TIME. JUST GIVE ME ON MORE CHANCE.


    “What’s wrong with you? The gentle voice which woke me up asked.”


    I didn’t even pay attention to it. I thought the RAPTURE had taken place. I was still weeping deeply and asking the Lord for mercy, and then the soft hand that had slapped me before did so again. Then I noticed that it belonged to a very pretty damsel who was squatting beside me as though hiding from something or someone.


    “What is wrong with you? She asked again.”


    “Can’t you see that the world has come to an end? I replied. The saints have been taken up to heaven by the Lord and the sinners have been left behind. Now we will have to suffer for not paying attention the commandments of the Lord.”


    “I can see that you had so much to drink today. That’s the only reasonable explanation to this drama, said the girl.”


    “What do you mean by drama? I asked. Or are you so ignorant that you don’t even have a clue what’s going on?”


    “I should be asking you that, she said. The police are here arresting people and there you are, pleading for mercy and begging for a second chance. Better keep your head low before we are spotted and arrested too.”


    “You mean it is not the rapture?” I asked with much excitement. “So it’s the police? Thank God!!!”


    There was a great relieve within me that I even forgot the police were on operation and nearly screamed but the pretty damsel stretched out her arm and covered my mouth with her palm.


    “Are you crazy? She asked. Do you want to be arrested? Well if you want to, I don’t, she said. Just wait till I’m out of here before calling such attention to you.”


    “I’m sorry,” I said. And suddenly, my courage, which seemed to have left me temporarily returned, and I remembered everything I had forgotten.


    “What is your name?” I asked her, smiling.


    “Seriously?!” She exclaimed. “Do you really think this is a nice place for that? We are caught up in the middle of a mess and all you can do is ask my name? Are you really that drunk? I bet the next thing you’ll ask for is my number. Crazy dude!”


    “Don’t take my wanting to know your name the wrong way,” I said. “I’ve got a perfect idea of how we could get out of here unnoticed by the police. You know if we keep hiding here long enough, they will find us.”


    “Really? Okay, my name is Ogechi”


    “Now ogechi here’s what will happen……………………………………….”


    I devised a means by which we escaped to a nearby hotel where we hurriedly checked into a room.


    EPISODE 3


    After checking into the room we spent the first 7 minutes in silence, cooling off the tension. When we were both relaxed we continued with the silence, waiting for the first person to make a speech. Whenever I looked at her, she would pretend to be looking at something else to avoid making eye contact with me. And when she finally turned to look at me, I would do the same. So about 10 minutes more was spent in silence. Then I started talking.


    “So how’s the hooker thing going?”


    “What? What hooker thing?”


    “Come on girl, I’m not trying to nasty or something. I’m just trying to make a good conversation here.”


    “And calling me a hooker is your idea of a good conversation? I think I better get going right now in case you think you can just say anything to me because you paid for this room.”


    “Oh no, you don’t have to do that! Okay, I won’t say anything again till we leave. It could be dangerous out there. You could have told me you didn’t want to talk, and I would just keep shut.”


    “You don’t get it do you? I’m not a hooker!”


    “Seriously? Then what the hell were you doing out there with the hookers by this time of the night?”


    “This time of the night? It’s just after 11pm, and this isn’t my first time of returning home late. I return home after 10pm on Friday nights because my fellowship holds a prayer meeting to pray and commit the weekend into God’s hands. We dismiss by 10pm. And what just happened today doesn’t take place this early. For some reason it did today and I happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Thank God I didn’t fall prey into the hands of the police.”


    “(Smiling) Yeah, thank God I was there to rescue you.”


    “(Laughs gently) You’re not serious. And you, what were you doing there? You went to pick up a hooker right?”


    “I didn’t want to tell her why I was there because of shame. After all, we’ll go our separate ways in the morning. So why should I begin to let her in on such information.”


    “Not really. I felt so bored at home. I had been sleeping all day and there wasn’t any sleep left for the night. So instead of just lying on my bed like that, I decided to……..”(Ogechi interrupted)


    “I know! You decided to go there and get yourself a woman to keep you company till morning. ooOOhH’ Guys!”


    “That’s not what it was. I just went there to have a drink and then, you know, feed my eyes a little.”


    “Oh yeah? You expect me to believe that?”


    “Of cause! How on earth could a man who went to take home a hooker be sleeping on a rubber chair in a semi bar with a bottle of water in front of him? Haven’t you thought of that?”


    “It’s possible you just fell asleep, or you could be waiting for a girl you had already concluded arrangements with.”


    “No! None of that happened! Just like you, I was at the wrong place at the wrong time okay?”


    “Okay, I believe you. (Turns away from me and whispers) wrong place at the wrong time my foot. (Speaks out loud) I need to take a shower.”


    “Yeah me too. You go first. When you’re done, I’ll do same.”


    She got into the bathroom while I lay on the bed waiting for her to come out so I could also get in and take a shower. After we both took a shower, I asked if she wanted anything to eat before going to bed. She didn’t, neither did I. There was no pajamas whatsoever so we went to bed with the cloths we had on. Before we went to bed we watched TV a little. She sat on the couch while I lay on the bed. It crossed my mind to switch and let her have the bed in case we slept off, but the bed was so soft and comfortable to lie on, plus, I paid for the room and that was the first time I would be spending the night in such a comfortable place since I got to Enugu, so I should get all the comfort there was to get. I was still contemplating on whether or not to make the switch when she stood up from the couch and turned off the TV. Next thing I heard was, LET’S PRAY. I said okay and stood up without hesitation. We held hands, sang some worship songs, and then prayed. After the prayer, she at once made way for the left hand side of the bed and lied down, not minding if I was gonna sleep on the bed or not. I wasn’t really sure of what to do, but I decided to lie on the bed with her, expecting to get an objection from her but instead, she turned and faced the ceiling, closed her eyes and said goodnight. Good night, I replied. I was so happy she made no objections because I really wanted to sleep on that bed.

    By 6am in the morning I heard a tap on my shoulder. Wake up, wake up, she said. I stretched myself a little and went back to bed. Wake up, wake up, she kept saying. Then I woke up still feeling sleepy. What is it? I asked. It’s morning, she replied. This is just 6am; allow me to sleep a little more. Besides, today is Saturday and the pay for this room expires by 12pm. So relax. Saturdays was usually my day off from my N5000 job. I didn’t know about her but I assumed she would also be free on Saturdays no matter what her occupation was. If she had somewhere to go, she could go ahead and leave. Why wake me up? She got up from the bed and stood beside it, looked at me and said; LET’S PRAY. I didn’t say anything more. I got up and joined her and we prayed. After freshening up she wanted to make use of body cream but there was none there. Oh! She exclaimed softly. What is it? I asked.


    “I can’t go out without applying cream to my body.”

    “You shouldn’t worry about that since you’re going home from here. You’ll do that at home. Or will you skin change its color if you don’t do so now?”


    “Stop kidding! I’m not going straight home. First I’ll go cash some money from the ATM, and then to the market to buy some stuff for the weekend. I might not return home soon enough depending on the queue at the ATM and the total time I might spend in the market. So I must apply cream on my body to avoid some stuff like that. You wouldn’t know. You’re a guy.”


    “Yeah, right. You’ll have to go home then and do so before proceeding with you plan.”


    “Good idea, but my house is nowhere close.”


    I didn’t know what else to say to her so I just proffered a solution that never existed just to appear to be kind and concerned.


    “My house is just close by. I would have taken you there so you could make use of my cream if I had one. As it is now, na only Olive Oil I get.”


    “(Cuts in) That will do! At least half bread is better than none.?


    “(My eyes wide open)What? Olive Oil? no no no. That is definitely not good for the skin”


    “Don’t worry. It is my skin. I’ll wash it off before the day is half spent. I just need oil on my body. So let’s go. Let’s not waste much time. There is a whole lot more to do today besides going to the market. I also have to cook, clean my house and wash some cloths”


    “Ehm…, ehm…, ”


    “What is it? You don’t want to go now? If you don’t want to go now, just let me know so I can be on my way. ”


    “(I stared at her, looking confused and then said); it’s not that I don’t want to go now o o, but eeh…..,,”


    “But what? In fact, I don’t know what the matter is with you oo. I think I better get going. Thanks for everything.”


    She made way for the door of the room and I rushed towards her, held her back and said; you see…, the truth is that I don’t have a place to stay for now. I just got into town barely a month ago and have not gotten an apartment yet. If I had known you were going to buy the idea of making use of the Olive Oil, I wouldn’t have mentioned it at all. I was just pretending to be kind and concerned. You don’t have a place to stay? She asked. How then do you survive here? I mean like, where is your baggage? Where do you sleep, where do you have your bath and all that? Wait a minute, you live in a hotel? No I don’t, replied me. That place you saw me last night is where I spend my nights. I then narrated everything to her and she took pity on me.


    “So how soon do you plan on getting yourself an apartment?”


    “As soon as I have saved up enough money for that, let’s say two months.”


    “(She went into deep thoughts for a moment snapped out and said) I live alone. I can’t bear the thought of letting you continue like this when I can do something to help. That would be against my believes. But that will only happen if you promise to be of good character during the period of your stay in my house.”


    “Haha, don’t worry girl, I can take care of myself. I’d rather sleep on the streets than in the house of a girl who will have me live by her rules. What do I look like to you? Your kid brother? Kill that! I’m a big boy, and big boys don’t cry. I’ve been in this position before and I survived. Thanks but no thanks.”


    “Hmmm, I see your ego is getting the better part of you. I wish you would just understand that I’m trying to help. Come on, you’re a guy, and I’m even offering to let you stay at my place. Isn’t that strange enough? It could be a very big risk because I don’t know you and what you’re capable of. But none of those matters because I’m doing this for Christ’s sake and I believe God will save me from any danger should you turn out to be undeserving of this kindness. But I can’t path ways with you just like that after what you just told me. Allow me to help. Just be of good behavior.”


    “I don’t need your help g..i..r..l. I can take care of myself. And I must tell you to be careful of the kind of kindness you show to people you don’t know. I could just be a member of an occult group seeking whom to kill and sacrifice to keep the money flowing, and then you show up like this with such offer? You would have succeeded in making things quite easy for me you know? Be careful! I warn you. You don’t know who I could be.”


    “Whoever you couldn’t be last night, you won’t be within the next two months. Besides, if you were anything that ugly, you wouldn’t be exposing yourself would you? So let’s go.”


    (After much convincing words from her, I succumbed. But I had already agreed to her offer in my heart the moment she voiced it out. Just that I didn’t want it to look like I was waiting for her to say that. It also amazed me that a girl would take a guy into her house to live with her without even knowing him. And that she said she was doing for Christ’s sake. Or could it be that she’s an agent of darkness looking for guys with bright future to destroy? Well, I’ll find that out soon)


    “Seems you don’t want to let it slide. Okay, I’ll do as you say. And know for sure that I didn’t ask for this. This is sorely your choice. I’m just playing along because you said you’re doing it for Christ’s sake. I wouldn’t want you go against your believe.”


    “(Murmurs) Egotistical fellow!”


    “Say what?”


    “(Sharply) Nothing. Let’s go.”


    We left the hotel room to the ATM. She withdrew some money and we boarded a bus to her residence. You are welcome to my humble abode. I hope you find it very comfortable. By the way, where are you belongings? She asked. I came here with just a school bag and I keep it in a store at my office. I’ll go over there later on and get it. She raised her shoulders and said; ok then, let me prepare you breakfast before I head to the market. Thanks, I replied. She quickly prepared tea for me with left over bread that was there. While I was consuming the bread, she went into the bathroom with some set of creams and cosmetic. I wondered what would happen to her if she didn’t apply cream for one day. I used that time to survey the house she lived in. It was a self-contain. She had a set of electronics and a refrigerator in it, a bed big enough for two, a reading table and wall hanger. I wouldn’t know what she had in her bathroom and kitchen. This kind of houses cost a lot in Enugu, so I concluded she must be a rich girl. After a short while, she came out of the bathroom glowing like a diamond in the sky. I stared at her in an unusual manner, and she noticed. Immediately, she dropped those cosmetic in its place and said; I’m heading for the market now. See you when I return. Okay, I replied. She got to the door of the room and stopped suddenly, turned towards me and asked; I forgot to ask what your name is.


    “oOhH! My name is Jesusboy”


    “Like seriously?”


    “Yeah, that’s my name.”


    “Okay, enough with the joke. What’s your name?”


    “I’m not joking. That’s my name”


    “As in, that’s the name your parents gave you at birth?”


    “Nope! I gave it to myself”


    “And why would you call yourself Jesusboy?”


    “Because Jesus is the one I claim.”


    “(Kind of short of words for about 5 seconds) Okay Jesusboy, see you when I return from the market.”


    “Okay, goodbye.”


    She left shaking her head and smiling. I quickly got up to analyze her from the window. That was when I realized that she was a beauty to write about. She had long black hair, amazing curves and was about my height, probably my age. Her fair skin glittered at making contact with the light of the sun. Her slow and gentle steps made the guys around take a second, third, fourth and fifth look at her. When I noticed these things, I was glad that I was gonna be staying with her for a while. I watched her until she boarded a bus to the market before I returned to the breakfast she had prepared for me. I couldn’t stop thinking about her afterwards and couldn’t wait for her to return so that we could enter into some real conversation.


    EPISODE 4


    The evening met us eating vegetable soup together which she had prepared on her return from the market. While eating, we discussed about many things. My eyes were fixed on her face, as her smile made me want to tell all the jokes in the world. She treated me like a brother. She had no fear of me and attended to me as though it was her obligation to do so. I had never been in that position before. I only imagined it. Right then I found that there was a remarkable difference between imagination and reality. We finished eating and she took the plates away. The TV set was on, the sound of the ceiling fan could be heard clearly, and she was talking to me and laughing all the while. She was a very joyful being. But in all that made sounds in that room, all I could here was echoes of angelic voices miming to heavenly songs as she was talking. I wasn’t listening to her. I could only see her lips moving. The allurements of her lips almost led me to overcome my conscience and fears. Just then, my phone rang, and my brief mind travel ceased. I answered the call. It was my mother calling to check up on me. I told her everything I hadn’t told her yet except that I shared the same room with a girl. A very pretty one at that. After the call, Ogechi and I conversed a whole lot. I told her about myself and she did same. It continued until about 10pm when she asked me to join her in prayer, after which we retired to bed. (On the same bed)


    The next day was a Sunday. We prayed and prepared for church service. She was a member of Christ’s Embassy. I followed her there. On arrival, almost everyone we came across stopped her to say a thing or two before letting her proceed. I became more like a bodyguard, having to wait until she was done with whoever she stopped to converse with. It seemed to me like she was really popular there. When we got to the main building of the church, she handed me over to a pretty female usher who took me in and gave me a seat. I didn’t know where Ogechi had gone to. I expected her to sit right next to me in that church. Soon enough, the chairs in my row was filled and she still hadn’t come. I got my mind off that and concentrated on the brother who was taking the opening prayer. Midway into the service I couldn’t still lay my eyes on Ogechi anywhere in the auditorium. When the choir was called out to minister their song, I looked, and there she was among them. She hadn’t told me she was a chorister. The choir director introduced the song and handed the mike over to guess who; Ogechi. She was the lead singer. When she started singing, first thing that stood out was her angelic voice which made its way at once to my body system to awaken sleeping cells and tissues. While the congregation was getting blessed by the lyrics of the song, I was all the while admiring and adoring Ogechi. She was simply awesome. Her uniqueness kept unfolding as the days passed.


    After service, almost everyone complemented her for her performance during the choir ministration. I had to wait until all that was over. She introduced me to a couple of the brethren there as Jesusboy. They kind of marveled at me for bearing such name. And whenever any of them asked why I beard that name, I would say; because Jesus is the one I claim. Some of them would laugh to that while some others got short of words. However, they would all call me Jesusboy afterwards. They asked Ogechi how she got to know me, and she said; I met him two nights ago under an unseemly circumstance and he turned out to be a good acquaintance. I know that in no distant time he’ll be up and serving in one of the units here in church. She turned to me and said; right Jesusboy? Definitely! I replied. It will be my pleasure to make myself useful to the Lord in this great house of worship. They were all glad to hear me say that, and they commended her for bringing me to church. To some extent, I felt she was proud of me because of the speech I just made. I wouldn’t know since I never inquired.


    In the evening that day, I wanted to hang out a little since I was already used to doing so every evening before I met her. I asked her if she had anything doing that evening and she said no. why? She asked.


    ‘I want to hang out a little. I was wondering if you would join me’


    ‘N..a..h., I’ll just stay at home’


    ‘Look, I know you’re reserved and all that. I also am, but once in a while you need to loosen up. And in case you’re afraid ‘What happened on Friday night might repeat itself, don’t be. I’ll be there to protect you if it does’


    ‘(She lay there on the bed looking at me without saying a word, probably wondering what made me think I could save her from the police) Don’t worry. Go ahead. I’ll join you some other time’


    ‘Come on Oge, it will only take a while. I’ll be so bored hanging out all alone’


    ‘Then find some girl out there to keep you company. Like you said, it’ll only take a while’


    ‘That would have been a good idea if there was some girl out there as beautiful as you are. A pretty girl like you by my side will give me a memory to hold on to. You never know what you might derive from this time out. Just come with me, I beg you’


    She still didn’t yield to my plea, but as soon as I went on my knees, it was like I had cast a spell on her. I couldn’t believe that the girl I had spent quite some time trying to persuade to hang out with me just consented helplessly. As soon as I knelt down, she immediately jumped from the bed and said; I WILL COME WITH YOU. She said that three times without me saying anything. I was greatly amazed! I kept that in mind. That seemed to me like her soft spot, and I planned that I would use it whenever she grew tough. So I rose to my feet and thanked her for agreeing to come with me. She told me to give her some minutes to change into something nice. She went into the bathroom and came out in a red gown that didn’t go down below her knee level, with precious stones glittering all over the gown.


    ‘You look extra ordinarily gorgeous’ I remarked.


    ‘Thank you’ she replied blushing


    I stood there for 30 seconds staring at her with a grin without saying a word. I think she loved the way I was admiring her because she smiled all through the time. Then suddenly she raised her eyebrows, clapped her hands a few times and said; ‘HELLOO? CAN WE GO NOW?’ I gave her my hand, she took it, and we left.


    AT A SIT OUT


    ‘What do you care for?’ I asked.


    ‘I don’t know. Anything will do’


    ‘Okay. Waiter! Please get us two bottles of Legend Extra Stout’


    ‘Legend Extra Stout?’ She exclaimed.


    ‘Of cause! Thought you said anything?’


    ‘(Aggressively) Y..e..a..h.., but not alcohol’


    ‘Oh’ really? How was I supposed to know that? So now, what do you care for?’


    ‘You’re really crazy you know? I’ll take malt’


    ‘Waiter, please change of order. Two bottles of malt instead. And tell that mallam to bring suya worth N1,000


    ‘Okay Sir’ said the waiter


    ‘Thank you’


    ‘Why did you change your order too? Don’t you want to drink Legend again?’ she asked.


    ‘I will if you will’


    ‘I don’t take alcohol’


    ‘Well, same here’


    ‘Why then did you order for it in the first place?’


    ‘Because……..(waiter interrupts)


    ‘Here’s your order sir’ the waiter said as he dropped our order on the table.


    ‘Thank you. (Turn to Ogechi) So Oge, you never told me you were a chorister’


    ‘Yeah, it never crossed my mind to do so. But now you know. You have a problem with that?’


    ‘Absolutely not. On the contrary, I love music, as well as singers. Especially singers like you who can pitch high’


    ‘Great! Thank you. I wouldn’t be wrong to assume you’re a chorister would I?’


    ‘Not exactly. You see, I do music, but I’m not a chorister. I’ve never been in a church choir or music group before, but I’ve recorded quite a number of songs’ I said, feeling like a star.


    ‘Wow! You’re a musician! Small world! I’ve always dreamed of the day my church choir will start doing studio recordings. I look forward to the day our songs will go global and touch lives. We have so much to offer, and it has to go beyond the four walls of the church to the world at large. I just don’t know how soon that is going to happen. My choir director doesn’t seem to be as eager as I am to see that happen. And I’ll have to wait until he does’


    ‘You’re wrong. You must not be in a church choir to make that happen. You can always go solo if you are that eager to reach out to the world. Who knows if your choir director will ever buy the idea of getting your choir to record an album? Maybe all he wants is just to minister in church. I’m not certain about that anyway. But that’s a thought you should take to heart’


    ‘(Ogechi pondering on what I just said) It had crossed my mind to do so. I just didn’t find the right motivation’


    ‘It’s finally here isn’t it?’ I said confidently.


    ‘I guess it is. But I’ve never recorded a song before in a studio. It’s all going to be new to me’


    ‘There’s always a first time. Besides, that’s not what you should be worried about. You should be more concerned about the writing and composing aspect of it’


    ‘That’s the problem’ she said sadly.


    ‘What do you mean?’


    ‘Song writing is not really my thing. That’s the reason why I couldn’t do without my choir director. He writes our original songs, and I give melody to it’


    ‘That won’t be a problem. I’ll do the writing for you. It is a good thing you can create melody. And I’ll also assist in that, if at all you need my help at any point’


    ‘How come you can do all that when you’ve never joined a church choir or music group before?’


    ‘I’m sorry you may have to direct that question to G.O.D’ I said, feeling funky.


    ‘Are you serious about this or you’re just playing pranks on me like you did with the Legend Extra Stout thing?’


    ‘Of cause not! I’m serious. Like I said; I’ve recorded quite a number of songs’


    ‘I’d like to listen to your songs. If what you’re saying is true, then let me listen to them.


    ‘You still don’t believe me right? Okay doubting Thomas. My songs are all on the internet. I’ll give you a link to one of them. If you like them,

    I’ll give you links to the others. Are you ready for the link?’


    ‘Just a second. (She reaches for her pus and brings out her blackberry z10) Okay, go ahead’


    ‘Okay Mister! I’ll do so before I retire to bed tonight. Let’s drink up and get going. It’s getting pretty late’


    ‘Alright Miss! Whatever you will, that shall I do’


    ‘You’re a really funny guy’


    ‘And you’re the cutest girl I’ve ever seen’


    We stared firmly into each other’s eyes after I made that statement. It was as if I had dropped the bomb. The longer we looked each other right in the eye, the closer our faces got to each other’s. Oh’ my gosh!!! Was this really going to happen?


    EPISODE 5


    I got really nervous as the gap between our faces reduced to three inches. I saw this willingness in her eyes that made my eyelids want to hug each other as the motion continued. But out of nervousness, my left hand, which rested on the table between us mistakenly hit the glass of malt that was in front of me and it spilled all over the table. Immediately, we retreated to our normal positions, and the drink that had spilled on the table became the talk of the moment till we left.


    Next morning belonged to a Monday, and I was up and prepared to leave for work while she was to leave for school. Ogechi was a first year student of Creative Arts in the University Of Nigeria. We bade each other goodbye and left to our different destinations. Before we left, she smiled at me and said; I enjoyed your music. It’s really nice. More grease to your elbow. Thank you, I said, and we left. Sometime later, Ogechi suggested to me that instead of continuing my education at IMT, where I obtained my ND certificate, I should apply for direct entry at UNN and continue there. I told her I didn’t want to spend more than two years in any higher institution, explaining to her how long Ive spent already after obtaining my ND. She went ahead to explain to me that if I’m taken into UNN via direct entry, I’ll start from year two and will only have to spend three years. Isn’t it better to spend three years to get a university degree than two years to get an H.N.D, considering the fact that more value is placed on a university degree? She tried to make me see reasons with her.


    After many arguments, I consented, not really because of the B.A and H.N.D thing, but because I was going to become her course mate if I did. I studied Communication Arts at IMT, and would be admitted into the department of Creative Arts at UNN with the necessary steps taken. I had grown so fond of her that I didn’t want to be apart from her when I finally left her house. And talking about leaving her house, I was to leave after two months. But this is the third month since I moved in. She hadn’t said anything about me leaving. Seems like she had also gotten to love my company so much that she didn’t want me to leave again, plus, I was really of good behavior. On the other hand, I didn’t want to leave because I wouldn’t get the kind of treatment she was giving me anywhere else. There was another reason why I didn’t want to leave, but I hadn’t figured out what that reason was. I just knew there was. All the same, I knew I was going to leave some day, hence the suggestion she brought up ensured that our worlds never went apart after I left.


    Ogechi got so concerned about the low state of my finances and offered to borrow me some money to start up any business of my choosing, so long as I promised to make refund on a promised date. I agreed to that, and got N100,000 from her, which she gave cheerfully. She really trusted me. I added that to what I had saved up and invested it in FOREX business. From then, the mornings met me in front of my laptop, and nights left me still trying to make some profit out of the stock market. The time I spent conversing with Ogechi reduced, we didn’t hang out often again, we rarely came together except we wanted to have a meal together, which we always did. I just had to make enough profit to repay her on time and also have enough left for me to become a big boy. After countless sleepless nights, I started making profit from the FOREX business and soon enough, I hit my initial mark and repaid Ogechi. Then my approach towards the business intensified.


    It wasn’t quite long before Ogechi’s elder brother who graduated from UNN called in and announced his coming over to Enugu in three weeks for his clearance and some other things he needed to do before going for Youth Service. Ogechi was dull after the call. I asked why she was dull and she told me. I had only three weeks to get my own apartment and leave before her brother came in. Of cause everything was now okay financially. All I had to do was to find a good apartment for myself. I started my search for a house and found one after nearly two weeks. I paid for it and moved in without even furnishing it. My plans was to furnish it little by little after moving in because I didn’t want to spend more time at Ogechi’s house in case her brother decided to hasten his journey down to Enugu. Ogechi accompanied me down to my apartment on the day I moved in. The apartment was virtually empty. The only things that could be found in there were the ceiling fan, the carpet, wall hanger and the mattress. These were the first of the items I bought for the apartment after I paid for it. We both sat on my bed watching a movie (love don’t cost a thing) with my laptop. It was about after 8pm when she asked me to see her off. I urged her to stay a little longer.


    By precisely 9:30pm when she was about to leave, the cloud changed. It was definitely going to rain. She had to pick a cab or board a bus before the rain started. We both went outside and waited for the next available bus or cab. Seemed like the bus and cab drivers also wanted to hurry home to avoid being caught up in the midst of a heavy out pour. We still waited for a driver that probably was still willing to do a little business before retiring for the day. Then suddenly, the skies gave way to volume of water it held and it met us right there. Apparently, there was no way she was going to get a cab or bus to take her back home that night. The only option we had left was to head back to my apartment, and we did.


    We started running back home, but before we reached my house we had already been soaked by the rain because my house was some distance away from the tarred road. We stopped at the veranda and waited for some water to drain off our cloths before getting inside the house to avoid messing up the carpet. I took off my shirt and trouser and hung them on the burglary proof. I was left putting on boxer and singlet. I turned and looked at her, and she asked; what? You expect me to do that too? I’ll do that in the bathroom, she said. We went in afterwards and she hit the bathroom to dry herself up and all that. I heard her call my name from inside the bathroom. I answered and she asked me to get her something to change to. I had no girl cloths whatsoever, so I brought an oversize t-shirt that was given to me by my father and handed it over to a hand belonging to a body which hid right behind the door of the bathroom.


    Some minutes later, she came out of the bathroom with her hair loosed and scattered. The t-shirt swallowed her but was a little bit above her knee level. I also got into the bathroom to get refreshed. On getting in there I noticed something. Not only did I see her dress hanging in there, her under garments were as well. She had nothing on except the oversize t-shirt I gave to her. On realizing that, my heartbeat increased. I had promised to be of good behavior, and I definitely was while at her house. This was my house for crying out loud. Does that promise still stand? Many negative thoughts crossed my mind. The more I tried to dismiss it, the stronger it got. Then it became like Satan himself had sent me a voice message from the depth of hades when what I refer to as; ‘THE STRANGE VOICE OF A DECEITFUL THOUGHT’ crossed my mind. This is the voice I heard in my head;


    When the time comes, you will stop,

    For now, you can go ahead and sin.


    Even God knows you will flop,

    So just keep the mess from being seen.


    These sins take long to fill a cup,

    So fear not God’s judgment, His mercy will always win.


    If you fall today, God knows there were times when you were up,

    So don’t panic, soon, you’ll again be clean.


    Come on; take some time out from the top,

    She eagerly awaits your arrival at her in-between.


    It’s been forever, since anyone went there to shop,

    So hurry! She’s already high on dry gin.


    She wants to be harvested like a wild crop,

    Ha-ha, don’t be amazed, it’s a thing in her gene.


    Play her like hip-hop,

    Forget the saying that God watches you like a TV screen.


    After that finished playing in my mind, I rushed out of the bathroom with an attitude of determination and met her lying on the bed and scanning through the songs in my laptop’s music library. She noticed my unusual manner, sat up and stared at me confused while a song was still playing from the laptop. The look on her face showed that she perceived something strange about me. But she neither asked nor said anything. Instead she lay back on the bed like one who ran out of defensive measures, surrendering to an opponent that couldn’t be defeated. That action of hers provoked a powerful response from my body system and……,


    EPISODE 6


    Like I was saying before the fly flew in, that action of hers provoked a powerful response from my body system, and I proceeded to act on the thought which the strange voice had played in my mind. I knelt on the bed, looked her in the eyes and smiled, but she didn’t return my smile, neither did she frown or make any objections. Just then, the song that was playing from the laptop ended, and another one began. The new song that started playing was actually one of mine, and the lyrics to the song altered a lot. It lifted the present at atmosphere and dropped another. This is how the lyrics go;


    The reason a thing is loved is the reason it is HATED.

    The reason a thing is praised is the reason it is PERSECUTED.


    There are doves and serpents EVERYWHERE,

    If I could fly, I’d be the one the sky would call my DEAR,

    I would be flying with the eagles in the AIR,

    And I wouldn’t even shrink out of FEAR.

    But I’m down HERE,

    Sounding so loud, hope u can HEAR?

    The gospel is what I SHEAR,

    You know that the end of all things is NEAR,

    So tell it to the ones u hold DEAR,

    That they may fear what you FEAR,

    & wear righteousness as you WEAR.

    Tell them that have ears to HEAR,

    For no one knows the day, the month or the YEAR,

    When the saints of the Lord will DISAPPEAR.

    I pray I’ll be one of them, Oh! How hard it seems to PERSEVERE,

    How I wish the only thing I had to stay away from was BEER,

    But it isn’t, because I look around and see temptations EVERYWHERE,

    Too much pressure from a group called PEER,

    So much that even when I sleep, in my dreams they APPEAR,

    But nah, in all these things I’m still HERE,

    & I am not going anywhere until I’m caught up in the AIR,

    Not just I, but all whom to God’s word have not turned a deaf EAR


    As soon as I heard just the first verse of that song, I relented, lay on the bed beside her and released the deep breathe I had taken in. After about five to six minutes of silence, Ogechi said; I’m proud of you. And again she said; goodnight. I replied her goodnight and we retired to bed, music still playing. We didn’t pray that night.


    By the time I woke up the next morning she was already prepared to leave. You’re up already? I asked shyly. Yes I am. I have to hurry home and prepare for school. She didn’t in any way seem disappointed at me like I thought she would, so I bottled up the apology I wanted to tender to her. Or could she have been hiding her feelings? I couldn’t help but feel guilty, even though I hadn’t done anything wrong, so to speak. Just that she didn’t even expect me to put up such act. But then, she said she was proud of me. Many thoughts just kept running through my mind, and I didn’t know which one to settle with. So I dismissed them all and concluded that I would take whatever comes as a result of what I had done. After all, whatsoever a man sows, so shall he reap. Alright then, I replied. Let me escort you to a cab. Okay, she responded sharply. As we worked down discussing, the usual flow in our conversation was absent. I would say a thing and she would respond, and then they’ll be silence for about 30 seconds. She would also say something of which I would respond to before the silence continues.


    That’s how it was until she boarded a cab home. We said goodbye to each other, and it sounded like goodbye forever. As I walked back home I met two guys who started hailing me unstoppable. I wondered why they did so. I just moved in yesterday and hadn’t made any acquaintances yet. As we closed the gap between us, they started raining praises on me and misinterpreting their suspicions to suit their own purposes. Well, that’s left for them anyway.


    I got back home, freshened up, turned on my laptop and started my normal FOREX transaction. The figures in my bank account were increasing little by little. But while the figures were on the increase, my communication with Ogechi was on the decrease, as we didn’t call each other often, and only met in church during church services, since I had become a full blown member of Christ’s Embassy. Even at that, we barely had time enough to speak to each other. I couldn’t visit her due to her brother’s presence, and I couldn’t summon the courage to ask her out or tell her to pay me visit at my house because of our last experience, which wasn’t terrible according to my judgment. But for some reason, I just couldn’t say a word in that direction.


    Out of sight became out of mind. I was missing her company like hell. The money I was making could not fill the vacuum her absence left in me. Nothing was of interest to me anymore and I began bearing the burden of indescribable feelings. The more I kept trying to shove away the memories that triggered those feelings, the more I kept reminiscing on the good times we shared together. I couldn’t bear it anymore. I had to bring back those days. Truly, you don’t know what you have until you lose it.


    I consulted the brightest of part of my mind on how to resolve this issue and found that the best way to get close enough to her again was by joining the choir. I made my intension to join the choir known to the choir director and he brought me in and introduced me the crew. Judging from the look on her face, I could tell that Ogechi was surprise at this development. From the night at my house till this very moment, she never acted as though she was pushing me away; neither was she coming to me. She was simply unpredictable. As soon as I joined the choir, everything went back to normal and soon enough, her brother was done with his engagements in Enugu and left. She and I were alone again.


    EPISODE 7


    After her bother left, we resumed visits to each other’s houses again, but we never got to spend any nights together. One of those days we got talking, and this is the record of our conversation;


    ‘So what made you decide to join the choir? She asked. Thought you said you weren’t good with high pitch?’


    ‘I’m not. But I’m ready to learn. And I can do the tenor part till I’ve learnt how to pitch high. There’s no need having a talent that can’t be used to the glory of the giver of the talent in the first place’


    ‘But you’ve already done so with your songs haven’t you. By the way, ever since I listened to your song ehh, I play it more often that you can imagine. That track is really breath taking. You’re really talented you know?’


    ‘I do. Thanks for the complements. I don’t get that often. But you see, there is no limit to what a man can do to honor

    God with his abilities. I figured that doing my own tracks doesn’t require more than me to get it done except I want to feature another singer. But with the choir it’s different. The ideas are collective, and I’ll get to the chance to do more live performances than I would with my own songs, especially now that I’m not yet lunched into stardom. And this will also act as an opportunity for me to get conversant with singing before a multitude of people, so that when I become a star, I would do so with ease’


    ‘So now, is it about glorifying God or rehearsing for the future?’ She asked with raised eyebrows’


    ‘Both my dear. Both’ I replied


    ‘May it be onto you according to you plans’


    ‘Amen. What about you and your dream to reach the world through music. I promised to help out, remember? Or have you given up on it?’


    ‘Of course not. A lot was going on which didn’t permit the pursuit of that dream’


    ‘So what about now? Are there still things going which still don’t permit you do it now?’


    ‘I guess not’


    ‘Then let’s get started! On Saturday I’m taking you to the studio so you can see how things work there. Maybe you’ll be challenged when you see some people doing some pretty nice songs and will be inspired to do something too. Just tell me what you want to sing about and I’ll create suitable lyrics for it’


    ‘You’re so enthusiastic about this whole thing’


    ‘Sweet heart, it’s called LOVE. I love music, poetry, and writing. But definitely not as much as I LOVE YOU’


    She was shocked beyond measure to hear me say that to her. She just kept staring right into my eyes with utter amazement and had a countenance on her face that depicted something like ‘SERIOUSLY?’ She was short of words. She just smiled softly and looked away from my face to the ground in slow motion. Perhaps, that was the time for me to empty my heart of its content, so I began;


    Swiftly was my heart glued to you,

    When my eyes got a glimpse of your hairdo,

    Earnestly, my mouth longed to say a thing or two,

    Even if it meant just giving you a clue,

    That all of me agree with all you do.


    Honor would it be for me, to untie you shoe,

    Enter my heart and see if all I say is true,

    Access my soul, search it all through,

    Rate what I feel for you and see if it’s not true,

    Truly speaking, I love you. I wish you love me too.


    Ogechi kept staring at me as expressed my true and sincere feelings towards her endlessly. All through that time, she was smiling unceasingly. When I was done, she didn’t say anything. I believed she needed more time to ponder on all I had just said to her, so I expectantly waited for her to be done with that and maybe, give in. Or was she going to carry this over, in other to have much time to think it over? There wouldn’t be any need for that. She knew all there was to know about me already. I didn’t know whether or not to place my hopes high since she had been very unpredictable since her first and last visit to my house. I just kept whispering tender loving words which caressed her emotions to the point where her body started moving to the rhythm of my voice. Then she asked;


    ‘How long has your heart nurtured this truth?’ she asked


    ‘The moment you walked out of the bathroom fully made up on the first day I set foot in your apartment. I was watching and admiring you from behind as you left for the market. Ever since then you’ve occupied the better part of my heart.


    ‘Why did it take you so long to say something?’


    ‘I don’t know. Let’s just say I was waiting for the right time’


    ‘And you think now is the right time?’

    ‘I couldn’t think of a better time. My heart may explode if I try to hold it in any longer. So tell me, do I stand a chance?


    “We’ll see about that’


    I and Ogechi started pursuing our dreams. We visited different studios, went for big and small show, and did a whole lot of stuffs aspiring singers do. With time Ogechi was ready to start recording her own songs. I was not really ready to record more songs since I had a couple of them already which had not been adequately promoted. Besides, Ogechi came first in everything. So she would just give me an idea on what she wants to sing about and I would write lyrics for it, and she records. It was just a matter of time before she started writing her lyrics herself. In our course of doing all these, we met a number of gospel singers who were making waves already in the music industry. One of those days we were in the studio recording her song when a male gospel singer by name, Ck walked in to buy studio session. Ck got impressed by Ogechi’s wonderful voice and started to inquire about her. After talking a whole lot with Ogechi, he proposed to make her his backup singer in his new song, the very song he came there to do.


    Ogechi was so glad to be a backup singer to Ck, who was on his to, and very close to his prime. I was also happy because the part I lead her to walk in was taking her exactly where she wanted to go. So she started meeting with the Ck more often than not for rehearsals. At a point it got so much that I became uncomfortable because she barely time to spend with me anymore. It’s either she was with Ck rehearsing, or she was with Ck’s manager deliberating on her costumes and makeup for the video of the song, since Ck intended to shoot the video of that song as soon as he was done with the audio recording. I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t even tell her how bad I felt about her directing all her attention to Ck’s song. I just waited and prayed for the whole thing to be over so that things between I and Ogechi would return to normal.


    Soon enough the song was recorded and the video was shot, but it didn’t end there. Whenever Ck had any invitation to sing, Ogechi would go with him because he always sang the song Ogechi backed him up. And you know that guy had gone a long way to the top. He had almost become like the singers at the top and had a lot of fans, so there was no end to the invitations he got to sing at different places in Nigeria. This is exactly what Ogechi wanted. Just that it wasn’t her own songs she was showcasing. But at least, she was very close to that. Ogechi became known to be a good backup singer and other singers called on her to back their songs up as well.


    Her voice was soon heard on quite a number of songs and she was very close to signing autographs. Ck even went ahead to get Ogechi to do an international passport, reason being that she would have to go with him if he was invited to sing there. That was done before anyone could say J.A.C.K! I was happy for her since her dreams were finally coming true, and I helped in making it happen but at the same time, I was missing her company because she was either in school receiving lectures or somewhere performing. The only time we had for ourselves was when none of those were happening, and that was rare. While she was doing all those, I was always in front of my computer on FOREX transaction, making cool cash.


    The next academic session began and I was with Ogechi in the same department. Remember she had suggested to me to apply for direct entry and continue year two in her school? Well, that’s exactly what I did. This way, we got the chance to be close to each other again on a regular basis. She was so excited at that. She really wanted to be close to me. As a matter of fact, she loved it, and it was more obvious than ever. After this somewhat ‘REUNION’, everything went well between us and we were ready for everything. I and Ogechi were now formally ‘COURTING’.


    EPISODE 8


    Three delicious fantastic memorable fun filled years passed in a hurry and it was time for our industrial training, so we both left for our homes. I came back home. She didn’t go anywhere far. She was an indigene of Udi LGA there in Enugu. When I got home, my peeps were so excited to see me. I got back with a better bank account than ever, so there was a lot of celebrations and jubilations. With time I started missing Ogechi. Though we talked and talked on phone, yet it didn’t seem enough. We proceeded to Skype calls, and that was a bit okay for a while since I got to see her beautiful face daily. During one of our calls, she told that one of her relatives who stayed in Ghana had invited her to come over there, promising to get her fixed up in a cinema for her industrial training, and she was set to leave in two weeks. Hmm, na wa o. Must you go to Ghana for I.T? I asked. ‘Of course not! But that seems to be where there is an opening at the moment. I wouldn’t want to be far from you. But if all efforts to find an alternative turns out futile, I guess I have no choice’, she said. Okay, I understand. Next thing she said was; I have to see you before I leave to Ghana. Definitely! I replied. So how is it gonna be? She asked. ‘Would you mind coming over here’? ‘Alright’. We fixed a date for our little get together before her journey.


    Just one week to the day of our meeting I got a call from her, saying that Ck, the singer, who was then at the United States Of America, asked her to come over to the US for a song he was recording. According to Ck, the Americans loved that music so much, but critics said a woman’s voice would spice it up all the more, so he decided to call on Ogechi who had once done excellently and attracted a lot of thumbs up. Out of all the female singers Ck knew, it was Ogechi he decided to call on to feature him. Not even the American female singers impressed Ck as much as Ogechi did. And the song had to be recorded as soon as possible, so Ogechi had to be in the United States in three days’ time to be back in Nigerian after her deal with Ck before heading to Ghana for her IT. So I was only waiting for her to finish up there and come back so that we could meet before she left for Ghana. She left for US in three days. We continued our audio and video calls all the while.


    The song she did with Ck, titled; VOICE IN MY GENERATION was trending highly on TV and radio stations both home and abroad. She had spent three months there already and there was no sign that she was returning anytime soon. She soon got famous to an extent and created her own website in order to reach out to her fans. One day she called me and asked if we could communicate via BBM. Her reason was that she didn’t want to draw the press’s attention to herself before they documented her conversation in the newspapers since she had become a little bit famous and was mostly in the midst of other really famous singers. So we switched to BBM, and this was our conversation;


    ‘Hi baby’ she greeted


    ‘Hi. Still glowing as usual. Your dp says it all’ I complemented


    ‘Hahaha, I only get like that when I think of you’


    ‘Wow!! You must have been thinking of me the whole time then’ I said.


    ‘You are not far from the truth. I really have’


    ‘I miss you too, beautiful. What’s been happening?’ I asked


    ‘Nothing much, It’s just the songs and the performances’


    ‘You need not say. It’s all over TV and radio stations here. ‘Ck featuring Oge’. Why did you make Oge your stage name?’


    ‘The Americans find it a bit difficult to pronounce Ogechi, so I made it short for their sake, and now it’s everywhere’


    ‘Everywhere indeed. What about the song you did with Ck? I don’t seem to find it on the internet’


    ‘It is’ she said.


    ‘Well, I’ve been searching for it endlessly yet couldn’t find it. Can you give the link please? I want to have it in my phone so that I can listen to it anytime’


    okay here is the link to get more stories http://newstension.com/category/whatsapp-stories


    Alright. I’ll download it right after now. So when are you coming back home to me?’


    ‘Actually, that’s why I called for this conversation’


    ‘Oh really? I get the feeling you’re coming soon. That’s what you want to tell me right?’


    ‘Eehm.., on the contrary, I won’t be coming home anytime soon. Ck has been booked to sing at various places already, and the bookings will keep coming. As his backup singer, I need to go with him everywhere he goes. From the look of things, I might not be coming home till the period for our Industrial Training is over’


    ‘What?’ I exclaimed.


    ‘Yes dear. I really wish there was something I could do to avert this. But as it stands, I’ll have to go along with everything that is happening.


    (Still finding what she said hard to believe) ‘Are you serious about this?’


    ‘Yes I am. I really am’ She replied


    I held onto my phone without being able to type another word. She tried to keep the communication flowing but my spirit was too destabilized to chat anymore. When it was apparent I wasn’t going to continue with the chat, she just typed; talk to you later honey. At this point, the hard nut was cracked. My emotions got the better part of me to a point where I nearly shed tears. I couldn’t believe what she just said, and there was absolutely nothing that could be done. I felt like my world had crumbled. At least, if she was in the country, I would have the liberty to visit her whenever, but with her out of the country, nothing like that could happen. I was deeply traumatized for weeks. Eventually, I got over it, got involved with a theater and won a role in a major stage play titled; STOLEN. Rehearsals for the play were all I did throughout the period for my Industrial Training. Conversation between me and Ogechi reduced little by little until it was no more. We got to see each other again after the IT period was over. I went back to school first. The first quarter of the semester was over before Ogechi got back to join us from the US. She was highly respected and admired. Above all, she was also very RICH! Time alone with her became a myth. She always had people around her. At that point I didn’t know if she craved for my company the way I craved for hers. There were lots of guys around her. Rich guys, handsome guys, singers, actors, and all manner of guys lingered around her to achieve different purposes. All my meetings with her was brief and in public. When I asked to see her privately, she would promise to make out time for that but won’t eventually, perhaps because she had become a very busy person. I was confused and didn’t know what to do anymore. So I assumed that things had taken a new turn which I had to accept, and I did.


    Travelling to America became like traveling from Lagos to Abuja for Ogechi. During our final year in school, she had travelled more than twenty times abroad to perform with Ck. A recording label abroad even concluded plans to sign a contract with her the moment she was done schooling. Apparently, God had made a way for her to live her dreams. I, on the other hand directed all my focus to studies and business. The only mega thing I was expecting was to be called upon to play the role I had won in a stage play, which was to be performed anytime soon. But the play wasn’t performed until I graduated from school.


    The year ended in a hurry and we became graduates. I went for service while Ogechi bypassed service and travelled abroad for her contract. Ogechi and I were still in good terms, but only as acquaintances. We usually met online and would chat a little. But that happened once in a long while. I followed her work closely. I became one of her fans. I knew I stilled loved her, but at a point I murdered my feelings and thought of her to be the closest person to me that had hit the walls of fame. It was an honor knowing her. I still called her though, as an acquaintance and a fan.


    EPISODE 9


    I was posted to Nnewi in Anambra State where I got acquainted with a young man named Onyedikachi. I called him Onye for short. We were lodge mates and pretty much became good friends. He was the most optimistic being I had ever seen. In the face of whatever difficulty, he saw nothing but blessings and glory. He wasn’t much of a singer, but I guess that ‘show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are’ thing came into play. We both had everything in common. We shared ideas, pursued happiness, and hoped for better days to come. Until that very moment, FOREX was my only source of income, and that weighed me down a whole lot because I had thought that I would make it in life before graduating from school. The only thing that had power enough to lift the burden of such thoughts from my shoulders was Ogechi’s call, which didn’t come in often. And if I called, some guy would pick up and say he’s her manager and that she wasn’t available.


    Hmmm. So I moved the good old days to the present and revitalized my Christian living. I and Onye went to church and prayed a lot. We became church boys. We even joined a drama unit in church where I got to discover more about myself. More gifts and talents of mine emerged from my inmost being. This was really good for me because I got to know what I needed to do and how to do them. I did a lot of creative writings, some of which I documented in my blog, and others far away from a second party. However, I made myself known by people as one who does such writings. After youth service, I worked as a broadcaster in a radio station and was a bit fulfilled.


    Onye, who was more of a business man, began communicating with a relative abroad, urging her to keep her promise to send him some cars to sale and start life after graduation. He normally communicated with her via Skype. One of those days he introduced me to his relative and we got talking. Our steady communication built some sort of relationship between I and Onye’s relative, who was an unmarried lady in her early thirties, and she fell in love with my writings, music and poetry. She said I couldn’t afford toend as an ordinary university graduate working as a broadcaster in a local radio station. She asked if I would like further my studies abroad. I was so excited to hear that. She made necessary arrangements and made the funds for me to get avisa and fly abroad. I testified in church and everyone was happy for me. Onye went well with the idea of studying masters abroad and as such, dropped the idea of business and joined me.


    We were set to leave, and a couple of folks accompanied us to Enugu airport where we boarded a flight to Abuja international airport. Our flight was delayed for a little bit. While we sat there talking and waiting for the flight to be ready, shouts of celebration right outside the airport caught ours and everyone else’s attention. We moved out to see what was happening and found that there was a crowd around an unknown personality, probably the governor or something. We went back and took our former positions on our sits. But the shout just wouldn’t stop and as such, we couldn’t enjoy our chat because of the noise. The noise kept drawing nearer and nearer unstoppably. I wondered what sort of person could pull such crowd. So my curiosity led me outside to see who it really was, and guess who it was; OGECHI.


    This girl is a bomb! Mehn, she was becoming like Michael Jackson. I was amazed at this coincidence, but that was just the beginning of my amazement. Well, I would have loved to say a thing or two to her, but for the crowd I relented and let go. I found myself a spot from which I could view her clearly. She was signing autographs, responding to the press and doing all the superstar stuff. When I looked at her enough, I returned to Onye. He asked why I went to that extent just to get a clear picture of her. I told him I was her fan, and had wanted to see her for a long time now. Our discussion continued, but I wasn’t a part of it anymore.


    I was thinking about so many things at the same time. As a matter of fact, I mind travelled. What brought me back was the crowd, which seemed to be drawing close to where I was sitting. I snapped out of it and tried to understand what was happening. I saw some people pointing their fingers at me and saying things I couldn’t hear. Then it dawned on me that Ogechi had seen me. But why all the talk and finger pointing? I couldn’t comprehend. Next thing that happened was that Ogechi screamed on seeing me, ran towards me, and jumped on me. WHAT THE HELL? I m..i..s..s..e..d.. youuuu, was the first thing she said to me. I was FLABBERGASTED! Ogechi! I called out in utter amazement. Yes dear, she replied all happy and smiling.


    Suddenly the whole attention was on me. The press started commenting and asking questions immediately. I was live on AIT answering questions I hadn’t planned to answer anytime soon. Oh, what do we have here, said the press woman who headed the press team. ‘This is more like a happy reunion’ do you mind letting us in on what’s going on now? She asked Ogechi. And Ogechi began talking;


    ‘Well, I’ve been in the in the United States for the past fifteen months. I definitely missed a couple of people at home, and prince charming here happens to one of those I’ve missed the most.


    ‘Wow! I’m sure he’s glad to see you too’ said the broadcaster


    ‘(Confused) Definitely! I replied.


    ‘(To Ogechi) I heard you say something like ‘Prince Charming’; can you please say more about that?’ The broadcaster asked


    ‘W..e..l..ll.., I will, but definitely not today. Some other time I guess’ Ogechi replied smiling joyfully.


    ‘That seems to me like something private’


    ‘You bet.


    ‘Apparently, prince charming here and your fans in Nigeria are glad to have you back in the country, and probably wish you wouldn’t leave again, which is not likely to happen. So can you please tell us how long we should expect to have you around?


    ‘On the contrary, I have come to stay. You see, my contract with my recording label abroad just expired and I refused to renew it because there are some people I really need to be with in Nigeria. If I had renewed that contract, that wouldn’t have been possible because I would still have to stay abroad. (Turns to the camera) So to my fans in Nigeria and Africa, it’s you me together forever.

    (Crowd hails)


    ‘You said there are some people you really need to be with here. Can you please name a few of these people and the roles they will play in your life which is more important than that which your recording label would have played? I know for a fact that they would have funded your account with some cool dollars. So who on earth would you forgo that for? The broadcaster asked.


    ‘Sometimes, our determination to excel in life can be outweighed by our willingness to accept our destiny’ Ogechi replied romantically.


    ‘So you’re saying destiny brought you back to home? The broadcaster continued.


    ‘Exactly!’ Ogechi replied


    ‘Well, that explains a lot. We’ll stick around and see how this turns out. (The broadcaster turns to me) So prince charming, would you say Oge’s sacrifice to leave the United States for the sake of some set of people, or should I say, destiny, is worth it?’


    ‘(Stammering) Y..e..a..h.., I would say it is, considering the fact that she left a lot of people who love her behind when she left to America, and some of those people have really longed to see and be with her all these years. Luckily for them, she’s back here to stay’ I replied with an attitude of less concern.


    ‘Do you in anyway happen to be one of such people?’ The broadcaster inquired.


    ‘(Stammering) Y..e..a..h.., I am. I’m one of her greatest fan. I’ve followed her right from the start’


    ‘Wow! That’s obvious enough. But isn’t there a little bit more to it than just a celebrity and fan thing? Judging from the look of things, I mean, her excitement on seeing you, the hug, you being here to pick her up, it seems there is. I bet she would have kissed you if not for the camera.

    (Crowd roars)


    ‘You know she’s been in America for a while. Judging from the Hollywood movies I’ve watched, kisses and hugs are like handshakes over there’ I replied.


    ‘That was a smart one prince charming. Can we know your name?


    ‘Jesusboy’


    ‘What?’


    ‘Jesusboy’


    ‘What is that, a name?’


    ‘Yes oo, a name. My name’


    ‘Why do you call yourself Jesusboy?’


    ‘Because Jesus is the One I claim’


    ‘Interesting. I guess you’ll have to pray for us then. (Turns to Ogechi) Well, we are set leave you to your fans now. It’s been a wonderful time out with you, and once again, welcome home. Any lasts words for our viewers?’


    ‘Yeah. (Ogechi turns to the camera) Thank you everyone, I love you all, I’m proud of you, believe in yourself and trust in God.


    ‘Well viewers that was one of Nigeria’s most talented singers landing all the way from the United States not to visit, but to stay. You can see her fans showing her the love she needs to keep going higher. I believe you all out there watching have in one way or the other joined to welcome her home. We’ll keep you posted on more celebrity talk as you stay with us. My name is Shola Ade, AIT.


    Ogechi signed a lot of autographs afterwards. All the while, she didn’t let go off me. Anyone who saw the way she clung to me would not be mistaken to think we had something going. Indeed we had. But was it still alive?


    EPISODE 10


    The airport securities tried to cut down the crowd that followed Ogechi as she led me to a more restricted area in the airport.


    ‘(With much excitement) I missed you like hell. It was almost like I was going to explode if I didn’t see you soon enough. Ogechi said to me.


    ‘I missed you too Ogechi, but’…(Ogechi interrupts)


    ‘Say less my dear. There’s a whole lot of time for words. I can’t wait to hear you say those things that captured my heart. For now, we have to board a flight to Enugu. We’ll talk when the plane is in the air. By the way, how did you know I was coming in today? Don’t tell me it’s one of those your IMAGINARY REALITY stuff. I was planning to pay you a surprise visit’


    ‘Well, Ogechi, our meeting here is a coincidence. I’m actually on my way to the United States for a Master’s Degree program. All plans regarding that has been concluded. If not that my flight got delayed, you wouldn’t have met me here’


    ‘You are on your way to America? Thank God your flight got delayed! Sweetheart I came back for you. You are the reason I let go off a multi-million dollar contract with my label. I came back to be with you. How come you didn’t even bother to talk to me about it? I would have stayed back and waited for you instead’


    ‘How was I to know you were coming home? Besides, our communication was on the low, so there was no way we possibly could have talked about that’


    ‘You could have at least tried to inform me. I’m not just anybody to you’


    ‘I contacted you a couple of times and got to speak with some guy who kept telling me he was your manager and that you were unavailable. After a couple of times, I stopped because it was obvious I wasn’t going to get the chance to speak with you’


    ‘oooOOOhhhHHH!! Is there really nothing you can do to cancel this trip? I can’t stand being here without you. It’s going to affect everything I do. My music career might even collapse as a result of your absence’ she said.


    ‘God forbid! I countered. How can that be when you’ve been in America without me for months and it didn’t collapse?


    ‘It was about to. I came back because I started losing concentration on everything I did. My manager noticed and talked to me about it. He told me my label owner had started complaining about my poor stage performances during the last few months of my contract with them. I was the only one aware of the problem I was having. I tried to hold on, but to no avail. There was only one way to solve the problem, and that was being with you. Seeing you every day and knowing you are close to me. Jesusboy, that misery that made me leave America will surely come upon me if you continue with this journey.

    (She held my two hands and wrapped my arms around her waist, wrapped her arms around my neck, held me close and kissed me PASSIONATELY) CHOI!!!!


    ‘I LOVE YOU JESUSBOY’ she said in the most romantic way ever. Neither Romeo nor Juliet ever professed love in such manner.

    Honestly speaking, I didn’t know what to do again. Onye’s relative had spent a lot of money and time trying to get me a visa. How would she feel if I told her I wasn’t going to push through with the journey anymore? I needed council but there was no time to get enough of that, because I needed to be counseled before my flight was ready, and there was no way that was going to happen. I went deep in thought while Ogechi was just staring at me and hoping I would change my mind and stay back. After thinking about a whole lot, I released a deep breath and said to her; why don’t you come right back to the United States? I have already declared publicly that I have come to stay. Secondly, my recording label had brought in another singer to replace me the moment I left. If I go back there, they might not give me preferential treatment as they should. I don’t want to be ridiculed by anyone. Even you wouldn’t like that for me would you? No oo! I answered sharply.


    I then explained why I couldn’t cancel the trip abroad. I told her about how Onye’s relative had been so kind to me. How she spent a lot of money on my visa and all that. After I told her, she saw reasons why I had to go, but still didn’t want me to go. While we were still arguing, Onye called me and asked; Guy! Where you dey nah? Plane don ready! I dey come now-now, I replied. I turned to Oge and said; I have to go now, my flight is ready. She cried and held onto me tightly. I could tell she was willing to hold onto me till the flight took off if she had the capability to do so. Her tears moved me. As her tears rolled down her eyes, she raised her face, looked me in the eye and asked; are you really going? I looked at her watery face, which her wet eyes had rained tears upon, and I changed my mind. She looked beautiful, tender, soft, and adorable. I’m definitely staying.


    Onye, found us. When he saw us he screamed; Guy wetin dey worry you nah? People don dey enter plane finish. Abi you want disappoint my cousin? As soon as I heard the word ‘disappoint’ I came back to my senses. I embraced Ogechi and then let go off her. I promised her I was going to call her every day till I returned. I also promised to return more regularly than I had planned to. All those promises didn’t appeal to Ogechi’s emotions. She kept weeping and following after me closely as I and Onye headed for the plane. When we got close to the door I stopped and looked back at her. She was weeping more bitterly. I couldn’t take it anymore. Everyone had gotten on board the flight except I and Onye. Onye held my hand and was pulling me gently towards the door as I looked at Ogechi. I shook Onye’s hand off me and stood firm. What do you think you’re doing? Onye asked. I turned and looked at Onye, turned again towards Ogechi. Her mood changed automatically when she noticed my actions. I turned again to look at Onye, and he said; come on guy, let’s go. There’s no more time for all these. Then I turned towards Ogechi again…..,,,


    EPISODE 11


    Then I turned again towards Ogechi for the last time and said; I LOVE YOU TOO, but I have to go. I hurried back into the plane. The doors were closed and the flight took off. I could see her weeping through the window. The girls she flew in with tried to calm her down but she was still weeping till the flight was far in the sky and she was out of sight. I sat back in the plane thinking of the many other things I could have done. I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice yet. Onye was so surprise at me that he couldn’t say anything. After a while he tapped me and asked;


    ‘Guy, what was that all about? What kind of drama did you just act with that singer out there? Do you know her or something?

    ‘Mehn, that girl out there is my girl.

    (Amazed) ‘What? Oge, your girl? You’ve got to be kidding me. How can she be your girl when she has been abroad all the while? And you never even mentioned it to me? Mehn, say something else.


    I started narrating to Onye how I met Ogechi and everything that went on between us until she traveled for abroad. I hadn’t said a word about Ogechi to Onye before now. It was quite a touching story to him. I asked what he would have done if he were in my position. He told me not to ask him such questions since he wasn’t the one in my position. Hours later we landed at the United States airport. Onye’s cousin was already there waiting to receive us. She identified us and led us to her black land cruiser jeep with alloy wheels. We hopped in and she drove us straight home. Her house was like the WHITE HOUSE I had seen in Hollywood movies. She showed us round the house and introduced us to her cooks and cleaners. I was so happy to have finally travelled to the United States. My room was like heaven. Everything in it was white, and I feared I wasn’t going to maintain it that way while I stayed. And that could cause some sort of problems between I and Onye’s cousin. Then I remembered she had cleaners there. I was relieved. I jumped on the broad bed with my shoes on and lay there thanking God for the turnout of things. Shortly after, Ogechi crossed my mind. I called her, but she didn’t pick up my calls. That continued for days, and at a point I was upset with her. I never did that to her, even when she left for the US. I simply understood it was something she had to do. Why wouldn’t she also understand that I needed to do what I did? I even promised to visit more often because of her, yet she refused to pick up my calls. After a while of contacting her without response, I stopped.


    Onye’s cousin, whose name was Cynthia, was overly nice to me. I wanted to begin my Masters’ Degree program at once so that I could be through soon enough and return to Ogechi full time before one smart guy made away with her heart. But instead of helping speed up the process, Cynthia became reluctant about the whole thing. She didn’t see the need to do it in a hurry. Whenever I insisted on getting started with the program, she would ask if I wasn’t comfortable in her house. In order to make me discard the idea of beginning my program immediately, she made everything available for me. Before I knew it, she bought me a car and provided me with the kind of life I had dreamed of living right from my days in school. She started taking me to various wonderful places around the United States as though I had gone there to stay permanently. She did a lot of things that baffled me and I was somehow scared because of the reasons I suspected could be responsible for her kindness. I just hoped I was wrong. I spent nearly two months in the Cynthia’s house without beginning the process of the purpose I went to America for. I almost let go of the idea of furthering my second degree program there due to the kind of life I was living.


    Cynthia had introduced me to a couple of big shots who eventually fell in love with my poetry. One connection led to another, and I got to meet with a music producer who agreed to make me a part of his recording label with time. They say ‘delay is dangerous’ but in my cases, delay was nothing to be feared because whatever I wanted done was done whenever I wanted it done. Thanks to Cynthia’s powers and connections. I wondered how she gained that much ground there. Even some citizens of the United States couldn’t call the kind of shots Cynthia was calling. She had a lot white people who were loyal to her. I wondered again, why is she not married till now? She was in her early thirties and didn’t seem desperate for a husband. Well, I didn’t bother myself with all that since I was having a really good time there. I must confess I almost forgot that I promised to visit Ogechi often. But then I used her refusal to pick up my calls to strengthen my unwillingness to go back to Nigeria anytime soon or even contact her. I was simply overwhelmed by the treatment I was getting abroad that I didn’t want to put an end to it yet for any reason.


    One morning I woke up to meet Cynthia and Onye in the parlor discussing. Onye was telling her that he’ll be heading back to Nigeria to start the car selling business he had planned to start beforehand. Onye’s reason for wanting to leave was that unlike me, he wasn’t fitting into the opportunities Cynthia had made available for us, as he wasn’t much of an arts person. He was business oriented, just like the last Igbo business man friend I had. IGBO KWENU! So he resorted to going back home to sell cars sent to him by Cynthia. They understood their terms and agreement. That didn’t bother me. What bothered me was how I was going to live with Cynthia without the person who linked us together. I tried to convince Onye to stay but he wouldn’t yield. Cynthia, on the other hand was doing everything possible to send Onye home before he had a change of mind. She promised to send him five cars to start with, demanding for just 30% of the money discovered from the sales. It was obvious she wasn’t doing it for the profit therein. I had my fears if I chose to stay back with Cynthia, but I wasn’t going to let such fears drive me away from heaven on earth, so I stayed back.


    We continued our normal outings till it began to seem as though I was the man in Cynthia’s life, and that called to the attention of quite a number of American girls. This Cynthia of a girl may have been in her early thirties, but she glowed as though she was ten years younger. So I was proud to go out with her, just that there was nothing going between us. ‘So I thought’.


    Sometime after Onye left, one of Cynthia’s Asian girlfriends by name Lin, celebrated her birthday at far away China. Cynthia was invited and I went with her. Of course Cynthia wouldn’t go anywhere without me. There were a couple of things about me which Cynthia normally boasted of to her pals whenever we were out together. I on the other hand was using her to form James Bond for Oyibo based on say I from Naija come dey control babe wey dem dey loyal for. No be small thing oo. I thought we were going to lodge in a hotel when we arrived at China, but we didn’t. Instead we stayed and Lin’s place which was more like a hotel. The house belonged to her father Chang. But she was Chang’s only daughter and next of kin. Chang was advanced in age and likely to die anytime soon. I thought those things only happened in Nigeria but na lie oo. Can you imagine that some Chinese guy-men like that started forming hot mad love for Lin? There was no end to their verbal expressions of love towards Lin. Lin became very confused and indecisive. Her girlfriends were her solace, as they were the only ones she could trust not to want to take advantage of her.


    Well, the celebration went very well. Cynthia never failed to introduce me to any big shot whenever there was one around, and Lin’s father was one of them. As I was sitting in the middle of two amazing Chinese girls who were telling me about China and the happenings there, Cynthia showed up with two other Chinese girls who didn’t look like the others I had seen.


    ‘I believe you’re having a good time’ she said.


    ‘You can’t imagine how much’ I replied.


    ‘There’ll be time enough for that. For now you have to meet Mr. Chang’


    ‘ooOOhh ladies, I’m sorry I have to go. We’ll meet again’ I said to the girls I was with.


    ‘Alright then, let’s roll’ I said to Cynthia.


    ‘Not just yet’ she replied quickly. ‘You have to go with these two ladies and get cleaned up’


    ‘What do you mean by GET CLEANED UP?’


    ‘You need to take a shower, and these ladies will make sure that is done’


    ‘Cynthia, what kind of embarrassment is this? Are you implying that I can’t give myself a good bath?’


    ‘Not at all. You see, it’s like a tradition here. Before any stranger meets Mr. Chang, he or she must get cleaned up, and by two Chinese maidens who have been specifically trained to do so. Let’s not waste any more time. Go with them’


    Before I could utter another word, the two Chinese girls grabbed me at once and off they took me. I got really pissed and tried to shake them off me to stop them from taking me to the bathroom but to no avail. I tried to overpower them and what happened marveled me. These girls were just doing those things Jackie Chan does in Chinese movies. They would bend and rise before I even got to know that they bent. They did a lot of those martial arts stuff but didn’t hurt me in anyway. All they did was to defend themselves and make sure they took me to that bathroom to give me a bath. And I wondered; ‘if they use this kind of martial arts to get me to a bathroom, what kind will they use to take my clothes off me when the time for that comes because I wasn’t going to let that happen. Over my dead body!’ The time for that quickly came. Omor! No be small Kung Fu oo!


    More at newstension.com


    EPISODE 12


    Hmmmm, we got to the bathroom oo, and what happened there is better left unsaid. The summary of the whole matter is that I was bathed by those two witches who used hard brushes to scrub my body as though I was infected with the deadliest skin disease they didn’t want me to transfer to Mr. Chang. I felt so bad because I couldn’t even give one of them a slap. They were just so good at dodging them. All I could do was frown and get angry with everyone, especially Cynthia for allowing me to go through that. Must I meet Mr. Chang?


    After 30 minutes I was out of there looking as shy as a bush man who just encountered humans for the first time. Cynthia came to my room to take me to Mr. Chang. I couldn’t look her in the eye due to what just happened, and she made fun of it. ‘It must have felt pretty cool being bathed by ladies’ Cynthia said. I didn’t say anything in response. ‘Hey, are you angry with me? You know it wasn’t intentional. It’s just a norm here. Come on, snap out of that mood. We need to go see Chang. How I wish I can have that done to me by some cute Chinese guys’. ‘You can if you want’ I retorted. ‘They are a couple of them who’ll be more than willing to help you out’. ‘I prefer you to them’ she said carelessly. ‘I’ll be back in a little bit. Get dressed.’ She said and left the room. A short while later she came back and we left to see Chang.


    Chang welcomed me like I was a distant relation who just got back after so many years away and I wondered why. I wasn’t even introduced to him anymore. It seemed like he already knew all there was to know about me. Even Cynthia was surprised at that. Chang dismissed Cynthia and those who were with him, leaving just both of us. ‘How are you doing young man’ Change asked. ‘I’m doing great’ I replied. ‘Enjoying the party?’ he asked again. ‘Pretty much’, I replied. ‘You have an edifice here. I almost mistook it for a hotel’. Chang laughed and we kept exchanging pleasantries for some minutes before he started letting me in on his success story. It was almost like mine, but not exactly. He fell in love with a girl from the same background as his, back then. The girl took advantage of the free education scheme that popped up then and performed excellently. She was later awarded a scholarship due to her excellent performance. Chang said he was struggling to keep his family going as he was the breadwinner of the family. He hoped that things will turn around soon enough so that he could pursue his dreams of owning a martial arts academy as he was a master of martial arts. But things changed when the girl he fell in love with came back and told him she was pregnant. He was happy about the news, but the girl wasn’t. She suggested an abortion but Chang objected. Problems began and they later agreed to give birth to the child and let Chang have her while she went ahead to marry a Chinese billionaire who promised her heaven and earth. According to Chang, the man she ended up marrying took excellent care of her to a point where he, Chang began to wonder if he would have taken that much care of her.


    Lin was the product of their union, and Chang had not remarried after then because he lost fate in women and resorted to what Nigerians refer to as flexing. The truth remained that he didn’t want his daughter to have any of such experiences, so he called on me to help him out. How was I supposed to help him? I thought to myself. The man didn’t even know me. What even made him think I could help him? So many questions popped in my head and I got really confused. Chang said to me; ‘I’ve known you before now’. I asked how, and he told me Cynthia is a really good friend to Lin. He said they had been discussing about me on phone and Cynthia mentioned that I was a respectable man. ‘She told Lin you weren’t like a lot of the other guys she had come across’ Chang said. She also said you’re not forward and can barely express yourself before women. She said you’re not a flirt, and all that. She even said that judging from your actions around her, she dared to believe you’re a virgin’. Chai!! Cynthia don finish me! After saying all these things he laughed. I was already feeling embarrassed because of those things he said Cynthia told Lin. I couldn’t wait to leave that place to see Cynthia and unleash hell upon her. I controlled myself and pretended like I wasn’t bothered by any of those details. But then I asked him why he laughed, and he said;


    ‘I heard your name is Jesusboy’


    ‘That’s correct Mr. Chang. Does it sound funny?’


    ‘Not exactly. Just the boy part of the name. It goes a long way to confirm all Cynthia told Lin about you. Never mind, I’m okay with that. I love boys. I just wish every man would add boy to their names if that would make them be of good behavior’.


    I couldn’t take it anymore being seen as an innocent naïve boy, so I spoke out.


    ‘You see, Mr. Chang, Cynthia doesn’t know me that much. All she told your daughter are just what she thinks I am. I’m not saying I’m a bad person, but I’m not exactly all she said I was. Especially the part she said I can’t express myself before women. Those are just speculations not facts. So please make no judgments based on her insinuations.’ If you think of me as the best of councilor due to those things you heard, you might be mistaken. Nevertheless I’ll help you in the best way I can’


    ‘Definitely you will’ he replied confidently.


    ‘What do you want me to do for you, Mr. Chang?’


    ‘With much hard work I have acquired a lot of wealth which I will have to leave behind for my daughter when I’m gone. I don’t trust these guys that keep hanging around her. They’re all gold diggers. I don’t want my daughter to end up with any of them. Boy, I want you to marry my daughter. That way I’ll die knowing my daughter and wealth are in safe hands’


    ‘What?’ I replied almost screaming.


    ‘Come on boy, quit the drama. You might be a nice guy, but you need money and a good girl for a wife. All these I offer you today and it will be my pleasure if you take them’


    I was short of words, and my entire mind was greatly troubled. I didn’t know what to say to him. I kept rolling my eyes round and round until Chang’s priest came in and told him it was time to make prayers to Buddha. He told me he was going to converse with me again soon. I said okay and thanked him, and he left. Obviously, I had a lot to meditate on.


    I went out and joined the party. The two girls I was with before Cynthia came to take me away rushed to me the very moment they saw me back at the party scene. But I dismissed them because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to engage them in the conversation they required. I sat at a dark corner viewing all that was going on. Cynthia was dancing with virtually everyone who was on the dance floor. She really loved dancing, as much as she knew how to. All the while I sat there analyzing Lin over and over again to see if she matched my kind of girl. Even if I agreed to marry Lin, I would be assassinated before long. There were lineup of guys plotting their way to that girl’s fortune, and I would just come in from Africa and shut them out? No nah, they definitely wouldn’t take it lightly with me. But that was sure not to happen, or was it?


    It got pretty late and I started feeling sleepy. Cynthia obviously wasn’t going to retire anytime soon, so I didn’t bother saying a word to her before I went to my room to sleep. My soul had almost transported itself to another realm when Cynthia called it back as she burst into my room with an orange transparent night gown which was designed to reveal whatever hid beneath it. She shut the door behind her, leaned on it and stood there staring at me with a dangerous grin. And then she started moving towards me in the same way and manner the Indian ladies do when trying to impress their husbands on their wedding night. It was clear to me that all was not well because she wasn’t an Indian girl, and that definitely wasn’t a wedding night, let alone being ours. Unlike me, I was unable to figure out what to do to avert the situation before it got out of hand. I just lay on my bed watching Cynthia perform to no music. Her moves were so captivating that I lost the power and will to do anything more than lay still and take what was coming. She drew nearer and nearer stylishly until she got to the edge of the bed I lay on, knelt on it, and then GBAM!


    EPISODE 13


    Like I said, she drew nearer and nearer stylishly until she got to the edge of the bed I lay on, knelt on it and then like a tree that had been cut down from the root, she fell on the bed and became motionless. I thought it was part of the process of whatever she was doing, so I said or did nothing until my heartbeat which had increased as though I just finished a 100 meter race reduced. Then I called on her and got no response. I tapped her, still no response. It was when I turned her face towards mine to find out what happened that I perceived the smell of alcohol, and then I knew she had been acting under the influence of alcohol. Or was she? Time will tell.


    I woke up early enough the next morning to discover that Cynthia wasn’t there. She had woken up and left the room while I was still sleeping.

    Three days passed and Cynthia and I were ready to leave for America but Chang urged us to stay. I knew why, but Cynthia didn’t. It appeared that Cynthia told Lin about me not knowing that Lin went ahead to tell her father, which made him admire and want me as a husband to her daughter. So Chang’s plan was to get rid of Cynthia while I stay back with Lin. Cynthia was really kept in the dark by Lin and her father, and now, they wanted to make me a part of it. Cynthia innocently agreed to spend a few more days in China because she couldn’t say no to a man like Chang. Chang and I had another conversation and I asked what Lin had to say about the arrangement. Chang told me his daughter will always do what he asks her to do because she’s young, vulnerable and unable to make the right choices. I made up a lot of excuses in order to escape but Chang always found ways to bastardize my excuses. When Chang saw that I wasn’t giving in easily, he admired me all the more.


    One day he arranged for Lin and Cynthia to be taken sightseeing so that he could have enough time alone with me since Cynthia was almost always sticking to me like glue. Chang then told me he was going to take me somewhere to meet with the men who ran China and other countries of the world. I went with him. He and I entered into his snow white limousine and the driver took off. It took three hours to get to our destination, where we had to pass through eight gates before reaching the main building. The building was nothing like any buildings I had ever seen, even in the movies. At all the gates were men dressed in black suits. And before we could gain entrance into any gate a password had to be given verbally by Chang. None of the men in black said a word to us. They only stood there to make sure that nothing went wrong. Chang gave eight different passwords in Chinese language before we got to the building. Fear had already consumed me when he gave the third password, but by then I couldn’t go back, I could only go forward. As we reached the building, some other men, also dressed in black suit opened the door to the car for us and we came down. No one said a word of greeting to anybody, everyone there concentrated on their duties and minded their own businesses. There were no ladies there. We passed through three doors before getting to the sitting room of the house, which was as bigger than usual. Everyone there was in uniform and surrounded someone that couldn’t be seen. As soon as Chang and I stepped in, a voice from the midst of them, probable that of the unseen man echoed angrily,


    ‘You’re late Chang’.


    ‘I will make sure to pay the required fine’ replied Chang.


    The unseen man echoed again, ‘Don’t be deluded by your wealth. It can be taken just as it was given’.


    ‘Forgive me’ said Chang meekly.


    Next thing the unseen man said was ‘FI-FA-FO-FIM! I hear the smell of a little boy. Be he dead or be he alive, I must eat his body with my bread. FI-FA-FO-FIM!’ Chai!!! I don die!!! Wetin bring me come this place ooo??? I started panicking but Chang asked me to keep my calm. I couldn’t. How was I to keep calm after everything I had just seen and heard? I started begging Chang to forgive my errors. I said so many things to Chang and even promised to marry Lin if he let me live. I was convinced that Chang was going to do something bad to me there and then. So anything I could do to get myself out of that situation was done without hesitation. But then, all I could do was plead and make promises. My whispers were regarded as noise because the place was as silent as a grave yard even with the number of people in it. The meeting didn’t continue further because of me, and Chang was blamed for it. When the meeting ended, everyone took off their uniforms and then I discovered that some of those in uniform were ladies. Apparently, there were also ladies there.


    Though they took off their uniforms, their faces were masked. Two masks were also brought for Chang and me. They all left the sitting room to unknown destinations in pairs just like in the case of Noah’s ark. While I was still trying to study what was really happening, two ladies walked up to Chang and me, held us by the hand and led us away from each other to different destinations. I wanted to object because I didn’t want Chang out of my sight, and I couldn’t wait to leave that place. There was so much horror there. But change said to me, ‘Don’t worry. Go with her. I’ll see you at the end of Pleasure Street’. After saying that, he left with one of the ladies. I turned to the one that held my hand, tried to recognize her but it was needless. We both had our masks on. So I followed her to quiet and secluded area of the house where everything in sight was made of pure gold. We sat on a couch and started discussing.


    ‘What is this place’ was the first thing I asked.


    ‘If I were you I wouldn’t bother’ she replied.


    ‘I need to know because that man out there said he is going to eat my body with his bread’ I insisted fearfully.


    ‘Oh that?’ she asked. ‘Have no fear of that. It’s just a phrase used to announce the arrival of a new PRADA’


    ‘PRADA?’ I asked. ‘What does PRADA mean?’


    ‘Anyone who is a part of this organization is referred to as a PRADA’


    ‘But I’m not a part of this organization. I came here with a man named Chang, and he never said anything about any organization to me’


    ‘It doesn’t matter if he said anything or not. Once you’re here, you’re here. If not that you arrived late, your initiation would have taken place today. But that will now be postponed till next meeting’


    ‘When is the next meeting’ I asked with fright.


    ‘In three days’ she replied’


    ‘What about you miss? You’re a PRADA too?’


    ‘No. They don’t take women. We’re only here to give them a good time, like I’m supposed to give to you now. We better stop this talk and proceed to business’ she said with a grin.


    ‘What?’ I yelled. ‘My life is at stake and here you are talking trash?’


    I got really pissed off by her and tried to take off her mask so I that I could see her face very well while yelling but she fought back with some of those tai chi stuff and got me off her. Our little combat caused some noise that called to the attention of two other masked girls who were passing by just at that time and they turned in to find out what was happening. ‘What going on here?’ they asked. I couldn’t say a word; neither could the girl I that was with me. Instead she left in anger. One of the two girls who came in went after her while the other one stayed back to inquire of me what happened. As was talked, her voice sounded familiar but I couldn’t tell if I knew her or not. Of course I won’t know her because I hadn’t made any acquaintances yet in China and wasn’t going to make any because I was going to leave China the very moment I met Cynthia. So I just concluded that she was a strange girl with a familiar voice. Due to my encounter with the previous girl I didn’t pay any attention to this very girl at all, not until her phone rang and she picked and started talking. ‘What?’ She was speaking Igbo with the caller. Igbo girl in China and in a PRADA territory? She noticed I was shocked at the dialect she spoke. When she dropped the call she asked why I was shocked at her dialect. She went ahead to make fun of Chinese language thinking I was a Chinese guy.


    ‘Who are you?’ I asked.


    ‘Listen man, if you don’t like ladies tell me and I’ll just get the hell out of here at ones. Stop making fun of me’ she retorted.


    ‘No miss, I don’t mean to insult you. I just want to know you’.


    ‘Is that necessary?’ she asked. ‘We probably won’t see each other again after today, so what’s the point?’


    ‘Okay, I agree with you’ but can you at least take off your mask?’


    ‘It’s a taboo here’


    ‘What do you know about PRADA?’ I asked.


    ‘Dude! What’s your problem?’ Why are you so inquisitive? Even I, who’s just coming here for the first time haven’t asked these much questions?’


    ‘This is your first time here?’ I asked.


    ‘Of course’ she replied. I came here with a friend of mine. I don’t even know what this place is. She just told me it’s a party, so I’m here to enjoy myself. I suggest you the same and stop all acting weird’


    ‘Well this is my first time here too’ a man named Chang brought me here to be initiated into the organization of the PRADAS without my consent’


    ‘Did you say Chang?’ she asked curiously.


    ‘Yes Chang’ I replied. ‘Do you know him?’


    ‘Wait a minute’ she said. Are you…,, are you…, ‘Take off your mask’ she said seriously.


    ‘Why’ I asked. I demanded that first and you waved it away, now you want me to take mine off?’ ‘No way! If you want to see my face, I’ll have to see yours first’


    She took off her mask; low and behold she was Cynthia. ‘What in the world are you doing here Cynthia?’ I screamed. ‘Is this what you do?’


    ‘Hey stop yelling’ she said. ‘How do you know my name? Who are you? Tell me, who are you!’ I grew weary at discovering that Cynthia, who was supposed to go site seeing ended up in the PRADA territory, not as a member but as a pleasure tool. I didn’t know whether or not to reveal myself to her but then, she brought me to China, and I needed her to leave. So I slowly took off my mask. She was so shocked on realizing it was me that she almost fainted. But she got a hold of herself and screamed; WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? Imagine question oo? ‘What am I doing here?’ Wasn’t she supposed to go sightseeing? Now she’s here, asking what I’m doing here. See this girl oo!


    EPISODE 14


    ‘Don’t even try to play dumb with me’ I retorted.


    ‘Play dumb?’ What do you mean? Who’s playing dumb here? Weren’t you supposed to be out with Chang?’


    ‘Of course I was’ I retorted again. ‘And this is where he brought me out to. And you? I heard that this place is an organization for a group of people called PRADA. From what I gathered, they don’t take in female members. The females’ only come here to satisfy the s#xual appetites of the PRADAS. Amazingly here you are’


    ‘What are you insinuating?’ she asked angrily.


    ‘I’m insinuating the obvious’ I retorted the third time.


    Before I could say another word, Cynthia landed a slap on my face. The impact wasn’t that much anyway because her palm was as soft as that of someone I know. But I got furious and we started a quarrel. As we exchanged words, I got to know that Lin, Chang’s daughter was the one who brought her there without of her knowledge of what happened there, just like Chang had done to me. I also narrated to her how I got there, but I could sense doubt in her eyes. I didn’t have a problem with that because I didn’t believe her either when she told me Lin brought her there. I asked her to bring in Lin for questioning and she did. Lin explained to us that her father watches over her strictly to make sure she doesn’t indulge herself in s#xual activities until she was married.


    According to her, her father had sent word to his friends and loyalists to keep a close watch on her to keep her from trying to do it secretly. So the only opportunity she had to do so was in the PRADA meetings where everyone was masked and she couldn’t be seen. She was 25 years of age and she confessed she started going for the PRADA meetings secretly from the age of 22. I asked how she managed to bypass the password and she said she had a godmother who her father didn’t know of. Her godmother was there for the same purpose as the other females. She confessed a whole lot to us. Then Cynthia busted out in anger. ‘Why didn’t you tell me all these before bringing me here? Is this how you treat you friends?’ She was asking so many questions at a time and almost called to the attention of some people who could be hearing her voice from a distance. I stepped in and separated them from each other as Cynthia almost started a fight with Lin.


    I took Lin away to another chamber and questioned her all the more. I was more concerned about my initiation to the PRADAS than anything else. I asked Lin if she was aware of her father’s plan to get us married. She said she was but was afraid of what might become of Cynthia if it pulled through. Lin told me that Cynthia had always been referring to me as her fiancé and had said a lot of good things about me. Since all the men around her either came for the money or fame, her father decided to secretly arrange for us to marry each other without Cynthia’s knowledge, and this was supposed to take place after my birthday. She explained everything to my understanding except the part where Cynthia said I was her fiancé. I inquired more about that and she kept talking. At a point, she noticed the look on my face and suspected that what Cynthia said about me being her fiancé may have been a lie. She asked; why is your face like that? Isn’t she your fiancée? If I said she wasn’t, Lin won’t see any wrong in getting married to me. And if I got married to her, I would certainly end up as a PRADA, which I didn’t want to be a part of.


    Throughout school days, I never belonged to a common campus cult, not to talk of full blown OCCULTISM. So I answered immediately; she is! ‘We are set to marry next summer’ I said. That’s why we need to leave immediately so that we can begin preparations. As you know, summer is here already. ‘Next summer? That’s just around the corner. How come she never mentioned it to me?’ Lin asked. ‘I wouldn’t know’ I replied innocently. The next thing she said was; ‘I need to talk to that so called Cynthia’. I held her back as she stood up from the couch we sat on. ‘You know you just had a little fight with Cynthia. I bet she’s still upset with you for bringing her here. Just give her some time to cool off, and then you can go talk to her’. She saw reasons with me and left to have the fun she came there for.


    I went to Cynthia and briefed her on the situation of things. Even Cynthia was afraid and couldn’t believe that Lin and Chang could do that to her. From then, she lost trust for all except me, and that was a problem. We planned to keep our calm and act as though we knew nothing while arranging to leave the next day without anyone’s knowledge. She and Lin reconciled. Lin never knew I had told Cynthia everything and because of that she doubled her regard for me.


    The whole pleasure thing came to an end. Lin excitedly came in to meet us. Apparently, she had taken a dose or two of what she went there for.


    ‘Cynthia hurry! We have to leave before my father gets to know we were here’ said Lin


    ‘Alright’ Cynthia replied and the left. I went to find Chang so we could leave as well. I found Chang discussing with a group of people on a round table. He quickly saw me and signaled me with his hands to come join them. That caught the attention of everyone on the table and they turned to see who he was signaling. All eyes were on me. I put away all my fears and joined them on the table.


    ‘This is my daughter’s husband to be’ Chang said.


    ‘Is he good enough for her?’ one of the men on the table asked.


    ‘He couldn’t be any better?’


    ‘In that case he’s already one of us’ another man said. You’re welcome son.


    ‘Thank you’ I replied.


    It was all over and we left. On our way home I couldn’t think of anything else than a means of escape from Chang. After a long while of trying to figure out what to do and couldn’t come up with something, I quit trying and slept off in the car. Next thing I heard were echoes of children’s voices. They seemed so happy that I envied and wished to be a child again. That way, I would be free from these troubles that follow me everywhere, especially that of Chang and the PRADAS. Since it was impossible for me to be a child again, I decided to join them play for the last time before I journeyed to the land of no return which Chang was taking me to in three days. If Cynthia had not brought me to China, I wouldn’t have met Chang. If I had stayed back with Ogechi at the airport the day I traveled to America, I wouldn’t have met Cynthia. If Ogechi hadn’t let the whole superstar come between us, I wouldn’t have considered traveling. I was pursuing happiness but there I was, ready to be initiated into an organization I knew nothing about and marry a girl I haven’t dated before. But fact remains that I would be very wealthy. But what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.


    I was so happy playing with the kids, but a little distance away I saw some rich kids mocking a poor kid because he couldn’t afford candy but needed it. They would offer him candy, but when he stretches out his hand to get it they would draw back their hands and laugh at him. Then the poor kid would weep and weep while the rich kids would just keep laughing and having a good time. They loved to see the poor kid cry.


    The poor kid secluded himself to an area short of people but could be seen by everyone. I watched carefully to observe the poor kid because I had taken pity on him. I wanted to go and console him and then buy him candy. Before I reached him I saw an old man in rags approach him and whisper into his ears. Whatever that old man said to that poor kid made him brighten up like he hadn’t been sad in two years. I really wished to know what that man told him so that I could tell it to the children I and Lin would have whenever they got depressed.


    Immediately the poor boy jumped up and went in again to the rich kids. As soon as they saw him they offered him candy so that they could withhold it from him when he tries to get it like they had been doing. But amazingly, the poor kid wasn’t interested in the candy anymore. They offered and offered but the poor kid showed no interest in it. They thought maybe he needed more than candy so they went and brought chocolate, ice cream and all the things kids love, but the poor kid was not interested in any of them. Instead, he was interested in something as insignificant as doll.


    The rich kids noticed that he was interested in their doll and they withheld it from him and gave him the former instead. When they had mocked him enough, they threw all their chocolate, candy, biscuit, and the rest they had on him, and then left the scene with their doll, just to let him have what he didn’t want while they starved him of what he really wanted. They were wrong! The kid only did what the old man told him to do in order to get what he wanted. When they were all gone, the poor kid found a large bag and packed all they threw on him into that bag and left. He ended up having more than he asked for. As he made away with the bag rejoicing, he saw the old man and thanked him for helping him acquire all those candy with his council. The old man waved him goodbye and turned to leave to where he came from.


    I wanted to meet the old man to see if he could proffer a solution to my own problem, so I called out to him in a loud voice as I ran towards him. He saw me running towards him and also started running, thinking I wanted to harm him for helping the poor kid out. Wait! Wait! I kept screaming but he wouldn’t even look back. He kept running and I got so angry and screamed again to the top of my voice; WAIT!! Then I opened my eyes to see the driver struggling to keep the car on the right lane to avoid accident as other cars were horning ceaselessly while Chang was trying hard to hold onto something to avoid hitting himself against the window glass of the car.


    ‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ Chang asked furiously as he looked at me as though he was going to unleash hell upon me. ‘Why are you screaming?’ he continued. ‘You almost got us killed’


    Then it dawned on me that I had been dreaming all along. We were still on our way from the PRADA meeting. All that stuff about the candy and the kids was just a dream. Oh s##t! I couldn’t say anything than sorry to Chang. He yelled at me for about a minute of two before letting it go.


    When calmness returned, I leaned back and started thinking about the dream I just had. I couldn’t seem to find a suitable meaning to it. But then, I meditated a little more on the dream until I got an understanding of it, and then I smiled. Chang noticed my smile and asked; ‘What are you smiling about?’ I looked at him mischievously and said; I WANNA MARRY LIN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Can you make that happen?


    Chang looked at me and tried to smile to what I said but couldn’t. He asked why the suddenness on that matter. Of all he said and asked, all replied him with was; I WANNA MARRY LIN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Can you make that happen? I had hoped that just like the rich kids in my dream, Chang would keep what I wanted from me and present me with what I didn’t want. He enquired again to know what brought about this sudden eagerness to marry Lin. Seeing that Chang was slowly falling for my antics, Intensified it by saying; I want to marry Lin, I want to base in China, and I want to join the PRADA. That was supposed to speed up the rate at which Chang was falling until he fell and crashed but immediately Chang heard the word PRADA, he leaped for so much joy. He gave a horrible smile and said; Lin shall you marry, China shall you base, and PRADA shall you join. Surely, PRADA shall you join! Omor See me oo! Na who send me dream?


    EPISODE 15


    I and Chang got home to meet Cynthia and Lin at the sitting room watching some girly stuff on TV. Cynthia was obviously uneasy. I guess Chang was too high in spirit to observe that. I was walking with Chang all along, forming Rambo to convince him all the more that I was really willing to do all I told him. Even Cynthia did not understand me. I followed Chang to his room and he was kind of marveled at that action of mine. ‘You might want to go to your room, boy’ he said. No! I replied sternly. I really believed that what transpired in my dream was going to work for me like it worked for the poor kid. So I kept following hard after Chang. ‘I want to know all there is to know about the PRADAS. I don’t want to go in there too naïve’ I said. Tell me everything about the PRADA. ‘Are you sure of this?’ Chang asked. ‘I think you’re going so fast’. ‘Are you telling me or not, old man?’ I asked sternly. I believe that at that point, Chang was a bit confused and may have been angry that I called him old man, but he didn’t show such emotions. I was supposed to be afraid, but I was more than eager to become a PRADA. Something is not right. But what? Chang couldn’t figure that out, so he told me he was weak and needed to rest. ‘I’ll tell you all you need to know about PRADA tomorrow’ he said, and I left without saying goodnight. I borrowed that attitude from the PRADAS. They never say a word of greeting and never act familiar. I wonder what must have been running through Chang’s mind.


    I wasn’t convinced that all that display before Chang was enough to get him to act in accordance with my plan, so I decided to try something rugged. At least, if my previous display wasn’t enough to get Chang to change his mind about me, this one will. Having convinced myself of the rapid result this very plan of mine was going to yield, I excitedly proceeded with my next move.


    In the middle of the night I went to Lin’s room and asked for a piece of her. She objected. ‘If you must be my wife, you must let me have a piece of you whenever I ask for it, pending when we’ll get married. I’m not ready to wait eternally for our wedding night’. ‘But you said you’re engaged to Cynthia’, Lin asked. ‘Things have changed’ I said. ‘Ask you aged father and he’ll explain it all to you. We are getting married soon. But I can’t wait until then to have you. I need you now. I mean now!


    Left for Lin, she wouldn’t resist. But for the fear of her father she objected. I knew all that. I just wanted to give Chang a reason to disqualify and send me away. I began to threaten Lin that I was going to get physical if she continued resisting me and she threatened to scream if I did so. ‘That’s exactly what I need nah’ I said in my heart. I proceeded towards her, bundled her and threw her down from the bed, unbuttoned my shirt and lose my belt. Guess what? The girl didn’t even sigh, not to talk of scream. Between her and me, she wanted it to look like I forced myself on her, but no one would hear of it. When it was clear to me that Lin was a wrong chemical, I made my way out of her room and she asked; What? Did I do something wrong?


    I couldn’t sleep that night. By 5am I went Chang’s library and got a number of books about jets, estates, and mansions. I opened up all of them and kept on Chang’s reading table. When morning fully came, I heard Chang ask about me and no one seemed to know where I was. I knew he was going to look for me when morning came since he and I had almost become fellow PRADAS. After searching a while for me, one of the servants came to the library to find me lying on the books on the table like one who fell asleep while reading. I was just acting.


    Chang was called in by the servant who found me. He woke me up and asked if I was drunk. I laughed mischievously and told him that I just found a reason to live. He asked what I had found and I showed him the books. ‘How do books about jets, estates and mansions give you a reason to live? ‘Guess Chang, guess’ I said smiling. I’m not guessing anything. Tell me if you want to or let’s go and have breakfast so that I can tell you about PRADA afterwards as you requested. ‘Excellent!’ I screamed. But before then you’ll have to answer some questions. ‘I don’t have time for all these, boy’ Chang yelled. ‘Please Chang, please. It will only take a while’ I said. Chang sat down and I asked;


    What’s the price of the most expensive jet you know?


    ‘24 Billion Dollars’


    ‘What about the price of largest estate you know?’


    ‘About 50 billion dollars’


    ‘Okay. The largest mansion?


    ‘What’s all these about?’


    ‘Mr. Chang, just answer the question’


    ‘400 million dollars’


    ‘Thank you Mr. Chang. If you add all that money together, you’ll get 74 billion 400 million dollars.’


    ‘That’s right’, Chang concurred. Now what was that for?


    ‘Those are the things I’m going to buy after I marry your daughter’


    Chang laughed and laughed and asked; ‘where are you going to get the money to buy all that, boy? If I remember correctly, you still an aspiring actor and singer. So how the hell are you going to achieve that?’ After he said that, he kept laughing. I waited for him to be through. When he was, I looked at him and said; WITH LIN’S MONEY.


    Chang paused and looked at me firmly. I bet he wasn’t seeing me in the light he had seen all the while anymore. I went ahead to tell him how I hated martial arts and would sell off his martial arts academy when Lin inherited it. I made Chang believe that I had become greedy for Lin’s fortune and he suspended the idea of my marriage to his daughter. But no, he didn’t suspend the idea of making me a PRADA.


    Cynthia couldn’t stay any longer in China. She just couldn’t take it anymore. She didn’t understand Chang, she didn’t understand Lin, and worst of all, she didn’t understand me. She asked me to secretly leave Chang’s house with her but I objected. I told her I had everything under control. She didn’t understand at all but I told her to trust me, and she did. As a matter of fact, I had grown to become the only one Cynthia trusts.


    I told her to make her intentions of leaving known to Chang. Chang wouldn’t stop her from leaving. He had no business with her anymore. So she did, and Chang bade her farewell. She asked for me to escort her to the airport. I refused. She begged but I still refused. She put up a fight with me for refusing to escort her to the airport and that called to the attention of everyone in the mansion including Chang. He asked to know what the problem was and Cynthia told him how heartless I was for refusing to escort her to the airport. Chang thought I was really ready to turn bad and was already acting like it even before turning bad. He pleaded with me to escort her to the airport and I yielded. I and Cynthia got to the airport, boarded a flight to America, and off we went. Whoow! That was entirely my plan, and it worked.


    I wouldn’t know what happened when Chang and Lin discovered we were gone. I left China without packing any of my stuff except the cloth I wore. Thank God! We arrived at America and were so relieved. Lin called in later that day to find out where we were and Cynthia gave her the nag of her life. I don’t know if Lin got to say any more than hello, because Cynthia never paused while on the phone with her and it seemed as if she was rapping Twister’s music. No be small thing oo. I and Cynthia started a recap on our experience in China. She made fun of me and I made fun of her. Seemed like our experience in China brought us closer than we were before, and she was so comfortable with it.


    I had been sleeping all day one of those days and couldn’t sleep early enough at night. I jumped out of my bed and made my way to the sitting room. There I found Cynthia watching TV. ‘You’re still up this late?’ I asked. ‘Yeah. I couldn’t sleep. What about you? You’re afraid to sleep alone in your room? She asked. ‘Maybe I should come join you’. I just smiled and waved that away, then I joined her to watch TV as we discussed. Cynthia then began to apologize for the slap she gave me in China. She was so tender with words that I began to admire her in a way I hadn’t before. She drew close to me and laid her head on my chest, telling me how willing she was to make it up to me, not minding how I wanted her to. She gave me a blank check, and my mind became as blank as the check. The fragrance of her hair was to die for. She was putting on that same gown she wore the night she paid an unusual visit to my room in China. The light in the sitting room was off, and the overwhelming darkness lacked the power to reveal much to my eyes, so my mind wasn’t troubled much. But then, she slept off on my chest since it took me too long to decide what to fill into the check she gave me.


    I tried to wake her up unsuccessfully. After several tries, I decided to carry her all the way up to her room. On reaching there I dropped her on the bed gently, drew back and watched her stretch herself and wiggling like a worm on the bed while turning to a comfortable sleeping position. Unfortunately me, the light in her room was on, and it shone so bright that it didn’t even look like night. I could see all her gown revealed, and leaving the room became an issue. I longed for a strange voice like that which played in my mind in Ogechi’s case to play again so that I would have an excuse to misbehave and blame it on the devil. Haha, devil don suffer! But fortunately for me, it didn’t. Na wao. Abi devil dey sleep? When it was clear the voice wasn’t going to speak, I considered improvising. (WRONG MOVE)


    EPISODE 16


    After much effort to provoke negative inspirations, only sensible thoughts crossed my mind, and I ended up remembering Ogechi, who seemed to have forgotten me. When I got it up to my neck I left for the sitting room and continued watching TV. Just then, a replay of a TV broadcast featuring TV stars of all sorts was put on air. That was my kind of program. I loved it more than the football fans love football. I sat back and watched. I was still aspiring to get there, so I wouldn’t miss anything that could mold me to fit in.


    A lot of stars came on set, most of which I knew. Next thing I heard was Ogechi’s name being called by the presenter to come on set. I couldn’t believe my ears. I watched to see if she was the Ogechi I knew. Lo and behold, she was her. She was interviewed and I could hear her talk about me in parables. As a matter of fact, when she was asked what inspired her to embrace music, she answered saying; a handsome prince charming never stopped pushing me to do the things I lacked the courage to do. And I’m here now as a result of that. The phone line was open to callers and fans. I rushed to get my phone and call the number on the screen but remembered the program was just a replay. However, I saved the number. The date for the next live program featuring Ogechi was announced and I stored it in my head, looking forward to it. The program ended and I left to my room and retired for the day. That night, I dreamed of Ogechi.


    The next morning I woke up to meet breakfast in bed. That never happened before since I started living with Cynthia. ‘Who did this?’ I wondered. ‘Maybe on of Cynthia’s cooks has a crush on me’ I concluded. I waved those thoughts away and consumed the breakfast without brushing my teeth. While I was eating, Cynthia came into my room to check on me.


    ‘Good morning miss’ I greeted.


    ‘Morning J. How’s the day going?’


    ‘Pretty cool’ I replied. One of your cooks made me breakfast in bed. Can you imagine that? I wonder how she knew I really needed a woman to do this for me. Maybe there’s a connection between us’ I said.


    ‘Really? Do you want me to find out who did? She asked.


    ‘Oh no. I objected. Not now. When I’m ready to go back to Nigeria, I’ll find out who she is and take her to mama’ I said, as a joke.


    ‘Would you really do that for this girl?’ Cynthia asked seriously.


    ‘Of course’ I replied, still joking.


    ‘Okay then’ Cynthia said. Until you’re ready to go back to Nigeria. But that won’t be anytime soon. Everything is now ready for you to begin your Master’s Degree program. I wanted to tell you all about it today in order to make your day a pleasant one. That’s why I made you breakfast in bed to prepare your heart for this news. It appears the breakfast accomplished more than it was intended for’ she said, rolling her eyes and smiling at me romantically as she left the room.


    I was dump founded afterwards. It was Cynthia who made me breakfast in bed! Na Cynthia I want carry go show my mama? Omor see gogbe oo! She was five years older than me for crying out loud. Did I just tell her I was taking her home to mum? Oh no, that was just a joke. I hope she knows. But on the other hand, this girl has tried for me oo. She single handedly paid for all my travel documents and sponsored my trip abroad, connected me to music producers and movie directors whom I was working with from the background pending when time and chance will lunch me in. She has provided me with the good life I’ve always desired, and made necessary arrangements for me to further my education abroad. From the look of things, she’s also willing to give me….. GIVE ME WHAT? Wetin I dey think sef! I shook my head and dismissed that last thought. I rejoiced greatly over the news she brought to me. I called my mother and a few people at home and enlightened them on the development of things.


    I began my Master’s Degree Program after nearly six months of coming to America. I was going to be through with it in eighteen months’ time. Cynthia kept providing me with all my needs cheerfully. At a point I got really curious about Cynthia’s source of wealth because she was spending money extravagantly. At least it appeared extravagant to me. I wouldn’t know if she considered her way of spending extravagant. I summoned her one day and started enquiring. She told me she was just a fortunate girl. She was into modeling in Nigeria before she relocated abroad. In her early years as a model she was required to go nude on a magazine cover. She was to be paid good money for that appearance. Being from a humble background she could not say no to such offer, adding to the fact that she had to do it if she wanted to progress in her career as a model. So she decided to do it since her name did not ring a bell then. No one would know who she was. Amazingly, the magazine got so famous and found its way to the hands of a CEO of an American modeling company who loved her body so much. Every Nigerian who saw that magazine was so eager to know who the girl on the magazine cover was. Many people criticized her while others gave her thumbs up.


    So many castigations came to her and she couldn’t take it anymore. Though she had gotten rich, her image was at stake. Luckily for her, the American CEO of a modeling company who saw the magazine and loved her body reached out to her and asked her to come over to America and continue her career in his company. That was the best and only option for her if she wanted to escape the persecution her action had drawn to her. She immediately consented and left for America. The controversy continued in Nigeria after she left but there were no proofs to back up any accusation labeled against her as no one knew who she was. They only had her name but could not get to her. The Nigerian press followed her diligently to get a picture or video of her modeling for the American modeling company she worked with. But Cynthia was a smart girl. Igbo girls no dey carry last nah.


    She changed her looks as soon as she reached America. She never went on TV without disguising herself with excessive makeup and Brazilian hair that even her colleagues in Nigeria couldn’t recognize her when they saw a picture of her. Cynthia so disguised herself that no one who knew her before was able to identify her in her new look. Only the press who traveled abroad to get the picture knew that Cynthia was the one hiding behind her make up.


    Soon enough, the reign of that Nigerian magazine that made Cynthia abscond was over and no one talked about Cynthia or the magazine anymore. Even at that, Cynthia refused coming back to Nigeria again except on a visit to her parents, and that she did secretly. She didn’t want anything that would resurrect that dead memory.


    After modeling in America for five years she became a millionaire in dollars. She even became part of the management team in the modeling company and wasn’t modeling again. That’s how she got all those connections with the American stars. She made it clear to me that she never wanted to go back to Nigeria again. She was going to live in America till death. As a female child, she belonged to whoever married her so she had no business at home anymore. About her marriage she explained that she didn’t want to marry a white man. She wanted to marry a Nigerian man based in America. And since she couldn’t find a serious American based Nigerian man, she remained unmarried till she turned 32 years, even though she looked 23. As a model, she knew what to do to keep looking younger by the day, and she had the money to make sure of that. She was determined to wait until her desired Nigerian man came. Hmmm, EVERYONE WITH HIS OR HER OWN STORY OO!


    I was clarified on Cynthia’s source of wealth but was terrified on some other of her issues. After she told me everything, I felt sorry for her. She was afraid of going back home because of that involuntary action of hers that was instigated by someone who neither shared the shame or the pain. Anyone who doesn’t hear her side of the story would consider her an indecent and ambitious girl. But I knew better than to call her names. In fact, she’s an amazing girl, kind hearted and philanthropic. Beautiful, tender, soft, curvy, brown eyed and with excellent dancing skills. Chai! I remember the night she paid a visit to my room in China with dance moves that nearly suffocated me in a fully air-conditioned room. I started recalling all the wonderful things I noticed about Cynthia and even began to compare between her and Ogechi.


    I compared and found it very difficult to say who among them was to die for. But wait oo, what is wrong with me? Ogechi is my girlfriend for goodness’ sake. I’m not supposed to compare her with anybody. Wait a minute, did I say my girlfriend? d##n it! She’s miles and miles away from me and we don’t even communicate. On the other hand, Cynthia is here with me, just that she’s not my girlfriend. She could be if I want her to. Am I sure of that? Does she even like me? Come on, she made me breakfast in bed. I must be stupid. Even if she likes me, I wouldn’t want to date a girl five years older than me. Not like I’m going to marry her anyway. I could just date her until I’m done with my Masters’ Degree Program. No oo, I have no intentions of using and dumping anybody. If I get myself into any relationship, it must be a serious one that could lead to marriage if God wills, and I can’t marry a girl older than me even with one month. But wait oo, why am I thinking all these? Am I falling for Cynthia?


    EPISODE 17


    Cynthia and I went to a cinema one evening for a movie premiere of one of Hollywood’s best directors who was Cynthia’s acquaintance. Cynthia looked like a diva in the dress she had on. Nearly everyone who had known Cynthia to be a model was there. They all wanted to take a picture with her. Whenever anyone wanted to snap with her, she demanded that I stand by her. Cynthia made every preferential treatment given to her to pass through me. She made it seem as though she wouldn’t do anything without my approval. If anyone wanted to speak with her privately, they would have to ask me. I would then permit her and give her the number of minutes she was to spend with each person. I didn’t do any of those on my own accord. I just played along with her the moment I realized she wanted it that way. The big moment came when Cynthia and the other models got together. Cynthia wouldn’t let me go for even one second. Six other astonishingly beautiful models from the different continents of the world came and joined me and Cynthia on our table. I was very particular about the one among them who had an Italian accent. The way she talked made me want to kiss her. The way she smiled impressed me a whole lot. And the way she moved her body engaged my imagination and I swore in my heart that I was going meet her privately no matter the cost.


    Cynthia was just showing me off like say I be Obama pikin. I was cool with it. I loved the feeling. I cracked a lot of jokes that made the models laugh their hearts out. We began discussing about the movie that was premiered. All the models starred in the movie except Cynthia. I asked why she wasn’t a part of it and she said she wanted to limit her nude appearances on TV because she didn’t want to be seen as an indecent girl. That sounded like trash to the other models because as far as there are concerned, nudity wasn’t anything to be shy of anymore. Cynthia explained that she was an African girl who was hoping to marry an African man. A Nigerian man to be specific. ‘Nigerians don’t see it the same way the Americans do’ she said to the models. ‘An American man may let his wife go nude on TV for the sake of career, but a Nigerian man will definitely not’. The models disagreed with her and there was a little argument on that subject. The stand of American men on public nudity was known, but that of and African man wasn’t. And since I was the only African man present there, I had to stand in for all African men and give my opinion on that matter. I didn’t contribute on my own oo. One of the models asked me if what Cynthia said about African men was true.


    I tried to dodge the question but as soon as the model with the Italian accent urged me to say something, I didn’t delay for even one second before I started talking like machine. I wasn’t giving my sincere opinion at all. Whatever the Italian girl said was what I concurred to. Cynthia was surprised at me. She couldn’t believe her ears and I didn’t mind. Whatever would jeopardize my chances with the Italian girl was discarded without a second thought. What made me see the Italian girl in a different light was what I couldn’t figure out. She simply found her way to my heart and I went along with the drive.


    We discussed about many things. These models didn’t see me as who I really was but as one of the big shots they hadn’t gotten to know yet. Midway into our discussion the Australian model among them enquired to know me. Cynthia gave me a profile I had not given to myself even in my imagination. She told them all I was and added all I was yet to be. She was right to tell them I’m a singer, actor, writer and poet. Instead of ending there she told them I was working hand in hand with all those people she introduced me to. What she said of me made those girls believe that I could play a role or two to get them to greater heights in their career. And that made it easy for me to access the Italian girl without stress. There was no end to the preferential treatments I got from those girls.


    Time came for the director of the movie that was premiered to be honored for directing such a nice movie. One of the models who starred in the movie was called on to say a thing or two about the movie before the director was called on to be honored. Incidentally, it was the Italian model that was called on. She went out there and started talking about the movie and praising the director of the movie. To my greatest surprise, she said director was too great a man to be called to stage by a lone lady. So she said she was going to call on someone she deemed worthy to come join her usher in the director. ‘Ladies and gentlemen’, she said, help me welcome Jesusboy’. The audience clapped as though they knew who was called. I was shaken by that development. I never imagined standing before such dignitaries anytime soon. I thought I had overcome stage fright when I started acting drama in church but then it occurred to me that I still had fright left in me. Honestly I didn’t want to go. If I had the opportunity, I would have ran out so that it would be that I wasn’t around when I was called on. Even Cynthia was flabbergasted. But then she urged me to go join her. Cynthia would never discourage me to do anything that would add to my prestige. By the time she said a word or two to me, I gathered courage and joined the Italian girl on stage. She handed the microphone to me and I said a few things I normally said whenever I spoke before an audience. But I noticed that those people appreciated almost everything you had to offer.


    The few times I made presentations in Nigeria, I had to prepare and prepare as if I was going to win an award for it. Even at that, I hardly touched the heart of my listeners. So I had to put extra effort to make sure that my presentation was not a dry one. But in this case, it was different. The moment I stepped on stage and got the microphone I was so nervous. So I released a deep breath with the microphone close to my mouth and the sound echoed in the auditorium. Just when I was about starting to feel I had embarrassed myself, the audience applauded. I was shocked. Was it me or someone else? I looked at their faces and saw them smiling at me as though I had made their day. In order to clear my doubt I released a deep breath again and they applauded again. It was really me. At that very moment, my self-esteem tripled up. The fright diminished and I began to speak like who they all believed me to be. I called the director to stage. He gave his speech which he began by thanking me and the Italian girl whom he referred to as my woman. He thought we were dating, and so he made others think.


    His speech was over and we left to our table to join Cynthia and the others. What just happened became the topic of our discussion. The Italian girl was seen as my woman so we had to stick together to put up a good show. People who saw me on stage drew close to me afterwards to get to know me better. The Italian girl assumed Cynthia’s responsibilities immediately. She wouldn’t let me speak for myself. She just kept quoting Cynthia to all who came to me. All those people saw me as a star in the movie and music industry, and were looking forward to my movies and songs which I promised to make public soon.


    I eventually got to spend time alone with the Italian girl. We got talking. Her accent never stopped impressing me. Cynthia was watching us from a distance with an unusual countenance on her face. She was all alone, sipping her strawberry juice little by little. We discussed for a very long while. Then a white man approached us and called on her. She asked him to give her a minute but the man insisted on seeing her right away. He didn’t look happy, but I could tell I wasn’t the one he was angry with. The girl went to meet him and they walked a little distance away from me and started speaking Italian. Suddenly the started raising their voices at each other. I got angry with the man for raising her voice on the girl and wanted to intervene before I heard the man say out loud in English; I’m not giving you the divorce! Ewoo! Person wife? I couldn’t to spend a single minute waiting for her on realizing she was married. All my feelings for her went dead immediately and I started feeling guilty for having left Cynthia who placed so much value on me to be with someone else’s wife who was asking for a divorce.


    I left there unnoticed by the Italian girl and went to join Cynthia. I knew she wasn’t happy, I just didn’t know to what extent she had gotten angry. Secondly, I didn’t know how to access her heart. If it were Ogechi, I would just kneel down and her anger will vanish immediately. Since I didn’t know what to do to calm Cynthia, I just started making jokes she didn’t laugh to. All the while, most people who passed my way often stopped by to introduce themselves to me and make me an acquaintance since they all thought I was one of the stars. An elderly man then came to me and shook hands with me, telling me how honored he was to get to know me. Your woman is a beauty; he said referring to the Italian girl. I quickly objected and said; she isn’t my woman. I pointed to Cynthia and said; this right here is my woman. Cynthia turned her face slowly towards me in amazement. The man said; but she ain’t the girl who called you out before us. The girl who called me out was representing her because she was feeling a little bit heavy and couldn’t afford to stand for that long’ I said. The man shook his head in agreement and said; she also is a beauty indeed. Cynthia smiled. Yes! I have broken the yoke. But wait a minute, did I break a yoke or did I just put a yoke on me?


    EPISODE 18


    The movie premiere finally came to an end. I and Cynthia made sure to say goodbye to a good number of people before leaving. Cynthia drove the car. Midway home she made a turn that didn’t lead to her house. Where’s she going? I asked in my heart. I said nothing to her because I didn’t want anything that would ruin the mood I had succeeded to get her into by pronouncing her my woman. I knew she took it seriously. But I didn’t bother to find a way to make her understand I wasn’t really serious. I was exhausted already and wanted to rest badly. In addition, I have been proclaimed a celebrity in the presence of dignitaries who have identified with me and expect to watch my films and listen to my music. That became a problem to me. So whatever I had said of Cynthia didn’t bother me. All I was thinking about was how to live up to the expectation of those people who saw me as a celebrity.


    Cynthia drove us to a lone street with noise and the sound of music coming from just one out of the many buildings on that street. She drove to that building and stopped.

    ‘Where is this?’ I asked.


    ‘It’s a club’ Cynthia replied softly.


    I could tell she was in high spirit and wanted to let it out in that club. I don’t do clubs, even in Nigeria but since we had already gotten there I had no choice. We stepped out of the car and entered inside. There were lots of people and this was about 10pm. There were no chairs there. Only some stools at the bar for a number of people who wanted to have a drink. Even at that, the stools were not sufficient enough as some ended up standing to have their drinks. It didn’t bother them.


    The club house was a large on, yet we could barely make it through from the entrance to the bar. ‘Two glasses of vodka’ Cynthia ordered. ‘Alright ma’am’ the bartender responded and left to serve her order.


    ‘Why two glasses? I asked. You know I don’t do alcohol’


    ‘Don’t give me that! She said. Tonight is special.


    ‘Do you mind telling me what’s special about the night? Because I don’t seem to have a clue.


    ‘We’re celebraaaaating’


    ‘Really? What are we celebrating if I may ask?


    ‘Friendship I guess.


    Oh yeah, friendship. We could have done that back at home, just you and me.


    ‘Perfect! Cynthia screamed. We’ll definitely continue at home. In fact, I’ll serve the best part of the celebration for last’ she said grinning lustfully at me’


    ‘Here’s your order ma’am, the bartender said as he pushed two glasses of vodka towards us’


    ‘Thank you handsome’, Cynthia said.


    Cynthia grabbed one glass of vodka and emptied it into her mouth and squeezed her face like one who tasted something bitter. She handed the other glass to me and I was about objecting when she flung her left arms around my neck and put the drink in my mouth. I refused to open my mouth and take the drink or say anything because if I tried to say something she would just throw the drink into my mouth. But what she was doing to me became like a drama to most people in the club and little by little their attention was on us. When I saw many of them turning to watch us, I opened my mouth and took the drink so that all that more undue attention would be averted.


    After I took the drink the people in the club gave us a round of applause. Na wa for Americans oo. Imagine such a thing happening in Nigeria, no one would even notice it, let alone paying attention to it. But there it attracted some degree of celebration.


    Cynthia refused to let go off me. Instead she ordered for two more glasses of vodka and gave one to me in the same manner. She continued like that until we both had five glasses while being watched by over 50% of people in that club. What we did became like a show that interested everyone and made them want to stick around to see how it ends.


    She then dragged me to the dance floor for a dance. I’m not a good dancer. In fact, I’m not a dancer at all. But even if I said that a million times to Cynthia, she wouldn’t hit the dance floor without me. At this point, she wasn’t the Cynthia I had always known, neither was I the Jesusboy Ogechi had always known. I bet Ogechi would get on her knees and start praying for me if she knew the condition I was at that point in time. I followed Cynthia reluctantly to the dance floor telling her I didn’t know how to dance. Cynthia didn’t give a rat a#s about that. She was like a lioness that had laid hold of best prey ever. She was way beyond logical reasoning and the only language she understood was FUN.


    Although I was trying to get her to understand that I didn’t want to hit the dance floor with her, I was enjoying every bit of what she was doing. Five glasses of vodka turned things around. I was in another world indeed. I eventually got to love the attention the people in the club were giving us and I began to dance. I wouldn’t know if that thing I did was called dancing but I sure moved to the rhythm of the music. I could hear them hailing and clapping from time to time and that spurred me up all the more.


    As time went on I couldn’t seem to get a clear picture of anything again, nevertheless, I didn’t give anyone a dull moment because the crowd didn’t stop applauding, hailing, and laughing. Maybe I did a few Mr. Bin stuff in there. I wouldn’t know. But I know I was drooling at Cynthia while doing what seemed to me like dancing. She wiggled and wiggled that I began to entertain wild thoughts I hadn’t entertained in years. Mehn, this Cynthia is one hell of a girl. You need to meet her.


    The light that gave life to my sight shrunk until it was no more. Even the sound of noise and music gradually reduced until everywhere became silent like a grave yard. Then I heard Cynthia saying; don’t sleep on me little boy. She was smiling, she was drooling, and she was grinning. I opened my eyes to realize that she was trying to lead me to her car and head back home. My eyes were fixed on her lips. The allurement of her lips made me return the smile, grin and drool. I could tell she was screaming the words she was saying to me but it sounded to me like she was miming to nothing. I tried to keep myself awake but as soon as Cynthia moved the car and the cool from the factory fitted air conditioner of the car made contact with my sweaty skin, my eyelids hugged each other again and I lost contact with the real world.


    Many things happened after I lost contact with the real world. Things like Cynthia driving me home, two of her maids assisting me to my room since my feet couldn’t carry me, taking off my cloths and leading me to the shower to have my bath and rid myself of the smell of alcohol. You’ve got to be kidding me. I thought those things only happen in China. After they put me in the shower and turned it on, I felt like an eagle that just hatched when the water touched my sweaty skin. The two maids stood there staring at me as I played under the shower like a kid who wasn’t aware of what it meant to be naked before people. It was a good thing they didn’t take off all the cloths I had on. They left me with the tommy Hilfiger boxer I had own. I bet they thought I was going to dismiss them and continue the rest by myself but they probably had the biggest shock of their lives when they saw me bath with my boxer on. That’s why they stayed back to observe me closely. They must have believed I had lost my mind. Not that I was really aware of what I was doing anyway. I had five glasses of vodka working wonders in my system.


    Next thing I heard was Cynthia’s voice scolding her maids for staying back to watch me have my bath. She took it really personal. She was high, so she wasn’t acting like she normally would. Five glasses of vodka was also working wonders in her system. The maids tried to explain to her that they stayed back in case I happened to need anything since I was not in my right frame of mind. ‘How dare you say he’s not in the right frame of mind? Cynthia asked with extreme annoyance. ‘Now let me show you what it means to not be in the right frame of mind’. She drew near to them and gave them two slaps, one for each of them. I just sat back in the shower and enjoyed the drama. When I saw that Cynthia was blowing things out of proportion, I stepped in. I wonder how I managed to know she was blowing things out of proportion.


    ‘I told them to stay back’ I said. I really needed someone around so I stopped them from leaving’. ‘Really?’ Cynthia asked. Come on J, you should have called on me instead. She turned to her maids and said; ‘Now get out of here you two. The maids left in a hurry, then Cynthia stood there watching me do whatever I was doing. I wish I knew what I was doing. But whatever it was, it was really funny because I saw Cynthia laughing over and again at me. Maybe I was playing the clown.


    After a while she stopped laughing and started advancing towards the shower slowly. After three steps she stopped and took off the fancy roller she used to pack her hair and then flipped her hair. Chai! It was such a lovely sight to behold. Again she took another three steps and stopped, unzipped the gown she wore from behind, pulled it off her both arms and let go of it. The gown dropped at once to the floor covering only her feet while the rest of her remained exposed. After another three steps, she stopped again and did something else more fascinating than the former. At that point, I lost my mind completely and would have cursed anyone who dared come between me and that temporary insanity. I sat on the floor of the bathroom watching her as she kept blowing my mind after every three steps until there was nothing left of my mind to be blown. You won’t believe this. She got into the shower and stood right in front of me unclad. I don CRAZE! She wanted to take a shower with me.


    ‘This had to be it’ I thought. ‘I have come to the end of the road. There’s no escape this time’.

    I closed my eyes like a soldier who was giving up in a war he was determined to conquer, and then suddenly!


    EPISODE 19


    I opened my eyes. It was afternoon the next day and I was on my bed, still with my clothes on. I tried to remember how I ended up in my bed with clothes on after such a hot bath with Cynthia but couldn’t. Was I that drunk? Then I tried to remember the events that took place the previous night and could only remember to the point where I lost contact with the real world. Apparently, I had been sleeping and dreaming all along. Arrrrrrrgggggggg!!!!


    Just then Cynthia came in to check on me. As soon as she saw me she started laughing. I didn’t understand what was funny to her. I was just analyzing her and reminiscing on the dream I just had. I then imagined it was real and laughed. Seeing that I was laughing, Cynthia laughed out all the more. I then gave a mischievous smile and said ‘you’re lucky that the entire shower thing was just a dream. If not, you wouldn’t be laughing right now’. ‘What shower thing?’ Cynthia asked. ‘Never mind’ I said. Wait a minute, were you dreaming all along? Don’t tell me you’ve been dreaming’ Come on; tell me, what was it about?’ Cynthia enquired. I’ve never seen someone smiling and licking his lips as though kissing someone while sleeping’. I was shocked to hear that. “Was I doing that?” I asked. Of course you were. I came in to check on you and found you doing that so I left. I came again some moments later and found you doing the same thing. I was flabbergasted”. I thought you were going nuts so I wanted to call for an ambulance when I heard you………


    I didn’t wait for her to finish her statement. I interrupted her and told her it must have been the effect of the alcohol I had the previous night. I tried to wave that away as though it meant nothing to me but I was ashamed. Cynthia continued with the statement she was making before I cut her in. “I wanted to call for an ambulance when I heard calling my name. I thought you had seen me come into your room and wanted to say something to me but I was wrong. You laid there on that bed calling my name passionately and I got curious as to what could make you call my name in that manner while sleeping”.


    “After a while you stopped but didn’t wake up. I left for a little bit only to come back and see you awake and saying I wouldn’t be laughing if it all wasn’t a dream. What happened?” Were you dreaming about me?”


    I didn’t know what to tell her anymore. I had never felt so humiliated my whole life. I was ashamed and shy. In fact, if there was a plane heading for Nigeria at that moment, I would have joined it without a second thought. But this Cynthia sure knew how to cheer me up. She had correctly guessed the kind of dream I had and how humiliated I felt about it. She drew near to me smiling, pated me on the back and said; “I’m sorry to have made you have so much drink. I never knew it would have such strong effect on you”. “My bad” she said. She blamed herself for everything and made it look like such dreams only came to people under the influence of alcohol. There could be some truth in that anyway. Don’t you think?


    I freshened up afterwards, had lunch and went for a work. I couldn’t stop thinking about the all that happened in the last six hours. I stopped by a park to take some air. There it seemed like everyone were in pairs. Only a few people were solo, and I was one of them. The sight I beheld pleased me and at the same time made me feel lonely. Right then I remembered Ogechi big time. I missed her a lot. I remembered back at Enugu, I never felt lonely. No moment was boring. There was always fulfillment back then. But in America, things were different. Imagine what happened last night. I had so much to drink, and that made me have a weird dream. I couldn’t imagine that happening if I was with Ogechi. I remembered the days when we had little money and no fame, watching movie with my laptop was more pleasurable than going to the movies. Squeezing ourselves to fit into a sixteen inches foam for a night was more comfortable than sleeping in a family size bed in five star hotels for eternity. Trekking from campus to our residence was more enjoyable than riding in a Lincoln Navigator to the white house. Eating together in a local restaurant was more refreshing than consuming the delicacies of royalty. We all strive to attain higher heights in life but sometimes it could be very lonely and miserable up there. I missed Ogechi but I didn’t know if she missed me too. If she did, why hadn’t she called?


    I went back home pretty late and mate Cynthia sitting just outside the house. She didn’t look happy. We got talking and she told me she wasn’t happy about me leaving the house to an unknown destination without her knowledge. Cynthia had grown so fund of me that she wanted the both of us to be like five and six. She was worried sick about me just because I got out of the house without letting her know my where about. It was obvious that Cynthia saw me to be more than a friend to her cousin. She saw me as her man.


    I wouldn’t blame her for that anyway. I can remember she told Lin I was her fiancé and I didn’t deny it. At the movie premiere I told some people she was my woman. All that coupled with our time out together was enough to suggest to her that I was reciprocating the feeling. Right now it was time to face reality. Cynthia loves me and I know that. I have feelings for Cynthia but I wasn’t sure it was love. It could be lust because my heart belonged to Ogechi, but that was about to change.


    All the while I had closed my heart on Cynthia because I didn’t want to fall in love with her because I was in love with Ogechi. But after a while without any sort of communication with Ogechi I contemplated on giving Cynthia a chance since she was the one present with me and was showering me with all the love in the world. I didn’t know what was going on with Ogechi anymore. So I decided to let go off the feelings I had for Ogechi and start something with Cynthia. But then, I thought I should give Ogechi one more shot before proceeding to do anything I might regret in the future. I called Ogechi’s line twenty times daily for the next three days but couldn’t speak with her because she was so busy. Busier than how I last knew her to be. She had grown to become a superstar. How I wish it was I and Ogechi living like I and Cynthia were.


    Since I couldn’t speak with Ogechi I was ready to make Cynthia my girl for real. I didn’t consider her age anymore. After all, she looked as young as young as Ogechi, even though she was older in age. I started planning on how and when to ask Cynthia to be my girl. She had expected me to ask her that long before now but I didn’t. I bet she wondered why I hadn’t asked her for that long. Maybe that’s why she told Lin I couldn’t express myself before women. She even thought I was a virgin. I knew Cynthia was gonna go gaga the day I asked her to be my girl, and I was gonna ask her. I guess Ogechi had also found herself some nice guy over there. Well, best of luck to the both of us.


    I asked Cynthia out on a date one day. It was the day I planned to ask her to be my girl. We went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered for some Chinese meals. Getting adapted to eating with the chopstick wasn’t easy for me. Cynthia had no problems with that because she had been doing that overtime. The Chinese restaurant was my idea, so it was somewhat embarrassing not being able to properly use the chopstick. Cynthia didn’t care. Even if I peed in my pants, Cynthia wouldn’t feel ashamed of me. All those made me go crazy for her the more.


    It took a while before I could properly make use of the chopstick and thus, the main purpose of the date was delayed. Finally, I could properly make use of it and that part was over. It was time for me to drop the bomb. I didn’t just want to ask her to be my girl. I wanted to make that day a very memorable one. More memorable than any good time I ever had with Ogechi in order to completely get rid of any feelings left for Ogechi. I may have summed up courage to leave Ogechi for Cynthia, but that wasn’t likely to happen without some emotional stress. So I decided to make every part of my day with Cynthia a very romantic one before proceeding to the main subject.


    I had succeeded in making Cynthia smile and laugh and enjoy her time out with me. I made her feel secure with me. Even if I didn’t ask her to be my girl, nothing would have stopped her from believing that I was in love with her. If I said nothing that night, Cynthia would think that I am the kind of guy that wouldn’t easily profess love, but would rather act it. She believed beyond every iota of doubt that I was in love with her because of the things I said to her and the way I acted at that restaurant. But then, I still had to break the silence. The time came for me to utter the word that would change everything; my life, my purpose, and probably my destiny. Do I really need to do this?


    EPISODE 20


    The big moment came and I was about to flood her heart with melodies of love. I held her both hands from across the table and looked at her the way I looked at Ogechi the day I professed love to her. OH MY GAWD! Cynthia lost it. She knew what I was about to say. She probably had been in that position before. The look in her eyes depicted something like; “DREAM COME TRUE”. She was smiling and couldn’t wait for me to empty my heart of its content. I had almost opened my mouth to speak the words when a movie director she had introduced me to at the movie premiere walked in with his fiancée and met us on our table holding hands.


    “Look who we have here! The two love birds in a Chinese restaurant. How romantic”


    “Carl! Cynthia called out to the movie director as she slowly withdrew her hand to give him a handshake.


    “What a coincidence” Carl said. “I’m out on a date with my fiancée.” He drew his mouth closer to Cynthia’s ear and whispered; “I’m gonna propose to her”


    Cynthia screamed with excitement. The director turned to me and said; “I hope you’re here to do the same?”

    I just smiled and waved that away.


    “By the way, how’s the movie thing going?” the director asked me.


    “What movie thing?” I asked. I had forgotten that Cynthia introduced me to him as an actor the night at the movie premiere, so he expected me to have featured in some movies already and probably working on one as we spoke. So I asked that silly question and he got confused. Immediately, Cynthia jumped in.


    “He’s been reluctant about the whole thing because of the love he has for Nigerian home videos. He has climbed up the larder in the Nigerian movie industry and has gotten used to it to an extent where his desire to feature in foreign movies burns with low flames. I have been trying to talk some sense into him for a while now but he’s been resistant. I know it’s because he doesn’t know how it feels to feature in a Hollywood movie. You can bring him in and let him have a test of it can’t you? I’m sure by then his view of the whole thing will change for good”


    Truth be told, Cynthia was simply irresistible. The moment she dropped the last word, Carl consented and gave me his card and booked an appointment with me. He was going to work with me on his next movie. Only Cynthia can do this. After that he left with his one in a million fiancée to another table to propose to her.


    Cynthia quickly reminded me that besides Carl there were other people she introduced me to at the movie premiere who all thought of me to be a star, coupled with the Italian girl at the premiere who called on me to join her present the award to the director of the movie that was premiered. So we had to do something real quick for me to have TV appearance and Carl was the best starting point. I ended up not telling Cynthia what I brought her out on a date to tell. Instead, we started strategizing on how to make me a star in the nearest possible time and prevent shame. Was there anything this Cynthia wouldn’t do for me?


    Carl and I became allies and I was given the role of the major actor to play in his movie but got disqualified because I hadn’t attained a white belt in martial arts and the major actor had to do some karate stuff with the bad men. Because of that I was given the role of the major actor in the next movie Carl was to produce, and that was a long time away.


    Nevertheless, I started appearing on set to talk about the movie Carl was directing. I was part of the team and fame started coming my way little by little. I started feeling funky, but then I remembered how fame separated me from Ogechi and I promised not to let it happen with Cynthia. Whether it was real or not, I was determined to love Cynthia. Wherever I traveled to in the course of Carl’s movie, Cynthia went with me. Of course she loved such things so it wasn’t a problem for her.


    Six months passed and the movie was not even half way done. It had been one year from the time I began my Masters’ Degree Program and I only had six months left to be through with it. I wasn’t in a hurry anyway, because unlike before, I had no special one to go home to except my mother, so I wasn’t bothered since no one was gonna steal her from me like I feared for Ogechi.


    It was I and Cynthia now rocking the United States of America. Through Cynthia I had gotten highly connected to the people that would help me live my dreams. In addition to the connection, I started making some cool dollars, but nothing to be compared to what Cynthia and Ogechi had made already. They were rich girls, but Cynthia was richer. From all indications, I wasn’t going to settle for any other girl than Cynthia and she knew it, so she made everything she had mine. I had access to all she had, even her bank account that contained the millions of dollars she had made over the years. I wasn’t comfortable with it. I wanted to make my own money, but it wasn’t easy. Like they say; you don’t make money overnight, you make money overtime.


    I was very careful not to take advantage of Cynthia in anyway. I handled all she gave me with extreme caution to prevent anything that would lead to any kind of misunderstanding in the future. Cynthia didn’t care how I handled whatever she made available for me. All she wanted was my love. She would gladly pay all the bills as long as I showed her love and care. But as a Nigerian man, I didn’t want people at home to say that a woman was the one catering for me, upon all the gifts and talents that I have. So I worked really hard with that movie director and also with the music producers I had gotten to know through Cynthia.


    The music thing wasn’t coming forth as the movie thing was. Everything was flowing well with Carl’s movie and I couldn’t wait for him to be done with the present one and get started with the one I was to star in.


    I thought of traveling to Nigeria to visit my mum and some other people. Of course I wouldn’t go to Nigeria for any other reason than to visit because everything I needed was in the United States, especially now that I had decided to make Cynthia a part of my life. I wanted to make United States my home because of her, so I only wanted to come back home and spend some time with my family and friends before heading back abroad.


    One evening we sat just outside Cynthia’s house to catch some air. There I broke the news of my plans to travel to Nigeria. Cynthia wept like a baby at my breaking the news of my journey to her. She didn’t want me to leave. She was afraid I wasn’t going to come back. But she couldn’t find any strong reason to keep me from going home to see my mother. We spent a lot of time talking about my trip and the time of my return to America. If not that Cynthia was afraid of coming to Nigeria because of that magazine saga, she would have come along. But since she couldn’t come, she suggested we solidify our bond with a bl0*d covenant before I left. She was really afraid of losing me, even though I hadn’t opened my mouth to ask her to be my girl yet. Nawa o.


    I wouldn’t enter into a bl0*d covenant with anyone, not even Ogechi. So I dismissed the idea immediately she suggested it. She thought and thought of what to do to glue us together inseparably. “We have to solidify our bond before you leave” she kept saying. “And how are we supposed to do that?” I asked. “Follow me” she replied, taking me by the hand and leading me inside the house. I just followed her like a sheep being led to the slaughter, wondering how she intended to solidify our bond. Whatever it was, I was ready for it, so long as it is not a bl0*d covenant.


    Cynthia lead me to her room gently, pushed me to bed and made some kind of eye catching and mind troubling display before me. I knew what she was up to. That was her idea of solidifying our bond. Honestly, I wasn’t going to object this time, not for the sake of solidifying our bond but for the sake of the bl0*d that was running through my veins. I had resisted this beautiful Cynthia long enough because of my fears and conscience but at this point, her charms made me overcome those fears. The pressure I suddenly found myself in made me ready for any consequence.


    Cynthia excused herself and went into the bathroom to get cleaned up while I lay on her bed watching TV and anticipating the return of the mummy. Three minutes passed and Cynthia was still in the bathroom. My phone beeped. I checked to see what notification had come in. guess what? It was a reminder about the live TV broadcast featuring Ogechi and it was set to begin in ten minutes. I had set a reminder for the date and time for Ogechi’s next live TV appearance the last time I watched a replay of a TV broadcast featuring TV stars, of which she was one. Today was that day and the time had come. But I and Cynthia had unfinished business. What do I do now? If I miss this program, I may have missed the best opportunity to talk to Ogechi because the phone line was going to be open to callers and fans and I had planned to call in when the day came. I even saved the number. And what about Cynthia? She and I had come a long way and I had made obvious to her that she had a place in my heart. How do I bypass this moment and watch Ogechi’s live broadcast? Or do I just let that go since I had settled in my mind to court Cynthia?


    Watch out for episode 21 to 40


     


    Special commendation goes to the distinguished author of this story. 



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    Ogechi & I (Episodes 1 - 20)

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