Archive | March 2013

The Song Is Fading In

Here’s my 1st attempt at poetry. On the rising of writing of a new kind in Nigeria, in Africa

TL

singing twitter bird

THE SONG IS FADING IN..

The song is fading in

But the old do not hear it

For to their mind it brings

Only memories of beautiful songs of old fading

———–

The song is fading in

But the young do not hear it

For they recognize not this thing

For their generation does not sing

————

This song is fading in

But the locals hear it not

For the song to them is naught

Except the foreign tell them its worth

————-

The song is fading in

But the foreign cannot hear

For it is a song which their interest once held

But they have long since longed for a different song

———–

But the song is yet fading in

The enlightened hear it already and are glad

Its singers refuse to listen the nay saying

Of the elders and the young who cannot hear

Of the locals and the foreigners, unhearing pair

Until it crescendos, until we cease to say

The song is fading in,

For then, the song would be sung.

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Broken Mirrors – Episode 8

On Friday,  a literary icon died. Three of his sayings resonate in my head when I write, as I write this.

“Until the Lion has its own historians, the hunter’s historian will always tell the story of the hunt to glorify the hunter”

“As men have learnt to shoot without aiming, so I have learnt to fly without perching”

“Okonkwo said yes so strongly that his chi agreed”

RIP Chinua Achebe.

CHINUA ACHEBE - NOVELIST

CHINUA ACHEBE – NOVELIST

Thanks for all the entries you sent in for Write Right. We got 75 of them. And now the judges have been working for one week to select the top 5. Get ready toread great stories and start voting from next Monday, April 1st. Enjoy today’s Broken Mirrors

“Dude, are you totally out of your mind?” Kamal exclaimed over a beer as he listened to Derin’s story. They had decided on the garden beside the National Theatre and were by now on their third bottles of beer, accompanied by steaming point and kill. The djay regaled them with sweet highlife tunes and the breeze rustled pieces of paper.

Derin wasn’t flustered “no bro, I’m with all my wits, I assure you. Nothing can happen with Ope, it will be strictly professional client/lawyer relationship.”

“Oh, and if it’s strictly professional, how much are you paying for these services?” Kamal paused for an answer and when Derin didn’t respond, he continued “I thought so! Nothing. Look, you might want to keep it professional and all, but there are two of you, and she sure doesn’t want to. I’m your friend, and as no be you dey feed me, I can tell you without mincing words when you’re being foolish and stubborn. You’ve had many instances of this in the past, but this has to be the most stubborn you’re being ever. Dude, drop the damn case!”

“En, so if you know me, shebi they say, once you know your person’s behavior, saying they behave that way isn’t abusing them. Drop this talk of dropping the case bro, its’ not happening.”

“Suit yourself. But at least have the sense to preserve your marriage and find another lawyer,” Kamal said.

“Na you go pay? I don’t have the money for any expensive lawyer, so Ope would have to do. Wonder why all of you are seeing it as Ope using me, when it’s the other way round. Women flirt to get what they want all the time, don’t they? Men should do it once in a while. As long as Ope assumes she can have me and winning this case is her only way of achieving that, she will fight this case with all of her strength.”

“As you wish, your highness,” Kamal responded, and sipped his beer.

*********************************************************

Awazi’s day couldn’t have ended worse. The traffic descending third mainland was killing. She had chosen to pass here when her colleague, Tessy who had left before her called to warn her of the killer traffic on Eko Bridge, all the way to Western Avenue. But she was certain whatever the situation had been on Western Avenue, it could not be as bad as it was on Third Mainland. Then suddenly, she heard a crunching sound of metal and glass colliding, and she realized she had taken out someone’s side mirror when her mind had wandered. Like an expert Lagos driver, the black tinted-glass Toyota Camry car crossed her to block any escape she might have been contemplating. Not like she had been contemplating any though. She turned off the ignition and came down to go and inspect the damage.

The moment the white linen bespoke wearing occupant of the car came down, she gasped. She rubbed her eyes. It simply couldn’t be.

“What the hell were you thinking that…” the guy was saying when Awazi screamed “Samir!”

He stopped midsentence, seeing her properly for the first time beyond the damager of his car.

“Awazi!” he screamed right back.

They embraced and kept checking each other out until the angry blaring horns of homebound weary Lagos drivers reminded them that they were on the road.

“There’s a KFC somewhere along this road we’re about to enter, let’s meet up there,” Samir suggested and she nodded in assent. Forgetting his dangling side mirror, a visibly excited Samir hopped into his car, and they weaved through traffic for another thirty minutes before reaching the KFC. In those thirty minutes, Awazi remembered Samir. Growing up in Lafia in those days, the tensions had been high between her Eggon people and the Fulani settlers. There had been series of clashes between them over grazing lands, and the Fulani herders had been particularly brutal in their night attacks on Eggon villages.

So when she had seen this very fine (the way Fulani people can be fine when they want to be) Fulani boy in Lafia, in her third year in university, she had at first been wary. But he had been so nice and so un-Fulani that she capitulated and fell for him. But she had hidden him from her friends and family; she knew they would all not approve a Fulani man. But even as she hid him from her own family expertly, Samir had not been as good at hiding her. All hell broke loose when his father found out that Samir was seeing an Eggon woman. Samir’s father had come to see her father and it had not been a cordial visit. Her father had forbade her from seeing Samir, and Samir’s father had moved him abroad to go and study. They hadn’t seen each other since then and it had been in the pre-GSM, pre-Facebook days, so they lost touch totally. And lo and behold, she had run into him in Lagos traffic of all the places on God’s earth.

“You didn’t change one bit, Awazi,” Samir was saying, looking at her with open admiration.

“And you haven’t changed, Mr. using your eyes to say all the nonsense in your head. I’m married now o, so tell your eyes to stop talking” She retorted.

He laughed. “Kai, I wish it was in these days of all manner of connectivity, we would have kept in touch. Now your dad has finally succeeded in shipping you off to some lucky Eggon man.” He made a sad face as he said this.

“Ah, you’re right on that one, we would have kept in touch. But you’re wrong on that one. My name is now Awazi Banwo” she replied.

“What! A Yariba man,” he said. “Noooooo way your dad agreed to you marrying someone who isn’t even a northerner. What did you do to the old man? Is he dead?  Paralyzed?”

She laughed so hard her sides hurt. “Oh Samir, you will not change, ever dramatic. No, I didn’t inject my dad with secret mind control poisons. And yes, he is dead now, but he was alive when I married Derin, and he gave his blessing. My Derin’s a charmer.” She said with a twinkle in her eye. Then she remembered how things were with him and she sighed deeply.

Samir was too sharp not to notice.

“Things not rosy with the husband?” he asked.

“Well, that would be normal. The ups and downs of marriage, what can we do?” Awazi said.

Samir wanted to probe, but he didn’t think it wise. If it was something she was comfortable talking about, she would have mentioned it.

“So my father says I have a deadline to marry this year. Any good girls in your circle?” Samir said.

“Haba, you haven’t married? Fine man like you. What have you been doing?” Awazi asked, surprised.

“Reading the plenty book I need to enter politics at the top in the north. Been in the US since,” then he switched his accent into some oyibo accent Awazi couldn’t place and said “and this brother couldn’t find no black sister to marry.” Then he switched back to his Nigerian accent, and said “so I’m back in Naija, wife hunting. The deal with my dad is I either find me a wife this year, or he gives me one next year.”

Awazi laughed again. “Samir, you are a case. But, I will look through my archives and see what I can do. Most of my friends are married now, abi you expect women of my age to be single ni?”

Samir rolled his eyes.

“Why are you rolling you eyes Mr.” she asked.

“See you saying things like ‘ni’. Your husband has removed all the north in you and replaced with Yoruba ngbati ngbati.” He responded incredulously.

She said in mock seriousness “Ba turenchi, Ba Yariba. Hausa ne”.

He laughed and laughed.

“I’m sure there are one or two little half-caste children wondering who is keeping their mummy now.” he said.

Awazi was silent, and a tear fell from her eye before she could control herself to catch it.

“Haaaa, Kai Awazi, Minini? What did I say to elicit tears?” Samir said frenetically, worry lines appearing on his brow as he frowned.

“It’s not you Samir, it’s not you aboki”. She said, her voice shaking.

“I’m not taking that, you need to tell me,” Samir said forcefully but softly.

“I lost my only child, at six months old, two days ago,” Awazi blurted out, and then the wellsprings opened and the tears poured out without restraint.

Immediately, Samir crossed over to her side of the table and helped her to her feet. Heads turned towards them in the eatery so he quickly chaperoned her outside into his car and then went over to the driver’s side and sat down after starting the engine and running the ac.

“I’m so sorry, I couldn’t imagine, Sanu Kawa,” he said, confused as to whether it was appropriate to even say anything. The tears kept flowing, but he didn’t ask her to stop. He sensed she had been bottling it all up and would only find relief after she cried her heart out.

“Why should I lose my child? Of all the people selected by God to lose a child, he chose me, who has only one, and who searched for that one for twelve years. Samir, how can I believe there’s any purpose in this? If there’s a God, how could he allow this?”

Samir almost said something, some explanation, but then realized it was just the grief in her speaking. He allowed her continue.

“And as if losing my child is not enough, I’m losing my husband.”

“He’s dying too?” Samir said, brows drawn in surprise.

Awazi dabbed her face with her handkerchief, but it only ebbed the flow briefly.

“No, he isn’t, but I don’t know which is more painful fa, losing someone who is dead and gone, or someone who lives and sleeps with you in the same house. He’s consumed by getting justice against the hospital. I’m alone, Samir, so alone. I can’t grieve, I don’t feel loved, I feel like my child was taken because I’m not a good mother, I feel like…”

The tears drowned the words again.

After some minutes, she calmed herself down

“I’m so sorry Samir, I shouldn’t have dumped all this on you. I really should get going. It was good seeing you.”

“There’s no way I’m going to allow you drive yourself home in this state.” He took the keys in her hand from her and then led her to her car. “I’ll leave my car here and drive you home. I can take a cab and come back to get my car.”

“Haa, you don’t need to worry about that, I don’t want to bother you with my wahala,” she protested. But he was having none of it. He was already in the car and she was too exhausted to protest really. The drive home was to Surulere was quick, most of the traffic had cleared.

“I don’t think it’s wise for me to drop you right at your gate,” Samir said, when Awazi told him they had turned into their street. “At least, I wouldn’t want strange men dropping you off in your car if was your husband.”

Awazi managed to laugh weakly. “Nagode, Samir. It was really really good seeing you, and I mean every word of that. I haven’t laughed in days, and I feel really relieved.”

He pressed his card into her hand. “here’s my number, I’m in Lagos till the year runs out, it’s the one place my old man hates coming to. Call me, if you ever need a familiar ear to talk to.”

She reached over and hugged him, and then he got down, and waited for her to get into the passenger side.

He watched her drive for the few seconds she needed to reach her gate and then turned and walked slowly the junction to get a cab back to his car.

********************************************************

It was Wednesday morning that Dr. Ajanaku sat with his council in his office. Derin’s statement of claim had finally come in and he had hurriedly called the meeting.

“Rasheed, please break it down for us in simple, regular people English, what are his demands?”

“Well, he wants the following. First, he wants Hakeem’s license withdrawn. Second, he wants the operating license of the hospital withdrawn. And finally, he wants financial compensation of fifty million naira to enable him and his wife to pursue fast-tracked conception options to ensure delivery of another child. He basically stopped short of trying to institute criminal charges against you for murder. I’m sure if it was within his power to sue you for murder, he would have.”

Bintu, the head matron sighed. The boy wasn’t playing at all, he wanted to shut them down patapata.

“Why isn’t he being reasonable. We are offering him those fast tracked conception options, on a platter of gold, and he wants to go to court to fight for it? Isn’t that plain stupid,” Hakeem said with contempt.

“Listen to yourself, calling somebody stupid. A pot calling a small kettle black. Anyway, we will come back to your own matter, abowaba” Doctor said.

“I said it before that the boy won’t negotiate. We have no choice but to fight to save ourselves in this matter. Oga Rasheed, you said something about a pretrial conference, I think that’s what we should be looking at now” Bintu said.

“Yes, that’s the next step.” Rasheed responded

“Do you possibly think we can kill this case in pretrial by any means?” Doctor inquired.

“I will attempt to. One of the new rules is that we have to do what we call front-loading for evidence. It means we have to submit our evidence before going to court. So, we will ask for the autopsy report at pretrial if he still insists on being unreasonable. Let us see how willing he will be to dig up his child from the grave.”

“Has anything about this appeared in the press yet?” Bintu asked

“No, we haven’t heard anything and I have my people monitoring,” Rasheed responded.

“I hope they are checking on blogs and social media?” Hakeem asked.

“Blogs? Social media? Which one is that again?” Bintu asked.

“You don’t know about social media? I really hope you are monitoring it, it’s the fastest way news spreads these days. One person says it, and everyone spreads it. I’m surprised it’s not one twitter yet.” Hakeem said

“Wise Hakeem, that knows about social media, you are surprised it’s not there yet or you are doing something actively to make sure it doesn’t appear there?” Doctor said and then said to no one in particular “this is sha my cross, I will carry it.”

Hakeem became hot between the ears. “I was just pointing something out, Dad, there’s no need to make me look stupid,” he retorted.

“Like you need any help with that. You cannot manage to hold on to your license abroad and at home, and you are here talking about being made to look stupid.”

Bintu saw that this would devolve into a distraction and she quickly brought the meeting back into focus.

“So Oga Rasheed, you believe this your measure would save us the court wahala?” she asked.

“He has constrained us to that choice now. I have an ace up my sleeve though, but I don’t think it is ripe for revelation just yet, I would rather keep it up that proverbial sleeve. I also need to research this his lawyer. If he or she put together stuff of this quality within the few days between now and when he or she must have been briefed, then we have one formidable opponent in our hands.”

“I will trust you on that one Rasheed.” Doctor said.

*****************************************************

Derin couldn’t believe how excited he was about having lunch with Ope. He could count the number of words him and Awazi had said to each other since Sunday on his fingers. The woman was being stubborn; she always wanted it to be him that would apologize first whenever they quarreled. She seemed to have gotten into that habit since he had gone after her that time she left the house, and now he saw many instances in retrospect where this was the case. Well, she wasn’t having her way on this one. He would do this, and she would have to come to terms with it.

They had selected the new chic restaurant inside Osborne Estate, minutes from his office. He got there minutes to one, a little earlier than they planned to meet. He was surprised when he got there and met Ope. She had selected a corner away from the door, arranged so that they had a good degree of privacy away from most of the other customers. She was in a figure hugging black gown that hugged the contours of her body like it was sewn onto her frame. Her hair was neatly packed and she was wearing her glasses, peering into her iPad. She looked up as he got to her.

“Ah, Derin, you came in early too. I anticipated traffic, but as God would have it, the road was sort of free, so I got here some minutes ago. You don’t look so good. Have you been eating properly?”

Wow, Derin thought. His worries were beginning to affect how he looked.

“I’m a married man, and my wife makes sure I eat jo.” He patted his belly without any enthusiasm and then sat down.

“So straight to business, what is this that you’d like to discuss about your office?” Ope said, her tone businesslike.

Derin had expected that they would banter a bit but since Ope had chosen to be all business, he decided to be that way too.

“My boss has effectively asked me to end the pursuit of the case.”

“Derin, how exactly has he done this? There’s a fine line between the legal and the illegal there, and it’s how he has framed this that would determine it.”

“Well, he didn’t say ‘Derin, if you continue with this case, you are fired’. No, he basically said that the case should not affect productivity, I should ensure that I met all deliverables and that I was not going to get any days off work to go to court.”

Ope rubbed her  chin, pondering for a moment. “Your boss is one smart fox, he’s trying to get you off the case without exposing himself to the possibility of a lawsuit. Thing is, you have a duty and a right to answer court summons where it is material to a case before any court, and your employer has no right to stop that. Now, if he can prove that your appearances in court are affecting your productivity, he might have a case to disengage you, especially where the reasons for drop in productivity are not directly caused by your appearing in court, but by the pressures of pursuing the case. So, you walk a fine line here Derin. You’ll have to make sure that for the duration of the case, you do not goof on deliverables at work. And where you have to appear in court, and your boss threatens you with a sack, tell him he’ll be hearing from your lawyers. If it’s what I think it is, he will back down.”

“What do you think it is?” Derin asked.

“I don’t know for sure, so I won’t insinuate. Give me his name, and I’ll do my research. Would tell you when I’m certain my about it.”

Ope didn’t say anything further and for some reason he couldn’t understand, Derin ran out of things to say. There was an awkward silence between them for a few minutes before she began to pack her things. “I guess we should be going then, you do have to get back to work on time.”

“Yes, yes, true.” He responded.

She got up, and then as if it was an afterthought, she turned to him and said “Oh, and Derin, you should be prepared to travel either Friday or Saturday, as we’ll be invited for a pretrial meeting around that time. They’ll try to make you look unreasonable for wanting to go to court, in spite of their offer, and would try to convince the court to throw out the case as a waste of judicial time since they’ve made a compelling offer. So be ready.”

Then she got up and left, smiling a knowing smile. She didn’t have to look back to know that his eyes followed her to the door.

Derin got up slowly after Ope had gone. He wondered how he would be able to tell his wife he was travelling alone with Ope.

Broken Mirrors – Episode 7

Just in case you haven’t been in town and have heard nothing about how to win a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in Write Right, read all about it here https://tlsplace.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/write-right/

We stopped recieving entries at 12 Midnight Yesterday. The judges begin work on selecting the top 5 finalists from today and we will post that top 5 here on the blog on Monday 1st of April. You will then have one week to vote for your best of the bunch.

Enjoy today’s Broken Mirrors.

Broken Mirrors Art

Awazi did not return to the room for an hour. What killed Derin the most while he waited was that he had to guess at what she was doing by listening to the sounds. As if to torture him with more uncertainty, she slotted a Bob Marley greatest hits album in and turned the volume up so that the music drowned every other sound in the flat, effectively removing his auditory eyes.

When she came in, she stood at the edge of the bed, and looked him in the eyes for minutes. He could see she had been crying, her eyes were puffy even in the dim light. He opened his mouth to say something but even as he did, her right hand which had been behind her back came into view. The light reflected sharply on the object she was holding and it only took an instant for comprehension to hit him. His wife had returned into the bedroom where he was tied to the bedposts, immobile, with a huge kitchen knife. He tried to say something, but the music was so loud it drowned his voice. He tried to scream but a lump formed in his throat. If he screamed, to what effect? The house door was probably locked and no one could gain access, save for having powerful tools to break through the burglary proof and door. And even if they did, did he want them to see him like this? And in all that time, she would have done whatever she had in mind to do anyway. He knew, realized in that instant that he was fully at her mercy. What gripped his heart the most was the look in her eyes as she looked down at him. They did not hold hate or love, or any emotions for that matter. They were blank, empty eyes.

*********************************************************

Ope had had a good day. She had long gotten past the beating herself for letting him go phase with Derin. She truly had tried to love other men, but it just hadn’t been the same, the relationships with them never measured up to what she had experienced in those magical years with him. She would have all the fun possible and do either of two things – marry a very rich oil block owning dude when she was almost forty or just have a baby and focus on her child. She had tried to get pregnant for Derin the last time they were together when his wife left him, but somehow, fate hadn’t smiled on her. He had gone back to his wife, and she hadn’t gotten pregnant. She had fallen into a mild depression.

She shifted those thoughts away from her as she sifted the information she had been able to gather since her meeting with Derin earlier in the day. First was that she was up against a formidable opponent. She had found out that Omega Hospital’s lawyer was the respected warhorse Rasheed Sanda, and an oooooooooooold SAN. She couldn’t have drawn worse from the fates. She wondered if Derin would be up to the dogfight she envisaged this would devolve into.

She had randomly googled Hakeem Ajanaku, and had seen that he was on Facebook. His profile had listed that he had worked in a hospital in the U.S and she decided to research his career there. When she googled using his name and the hospital’s name combined as keywords, the first and second pages of the results were majorly adverts and links to the hospital. But she struck paydirt on the third page – the never-forgetting internet threw up a series of news reports. She spent the next one hour scrounging every detail of the story, flitting from each news story back to his Facebook page. She established the timeline for his move back to Nigeria and smiled. This was good. She settled down to write the demand to the medical association. She decided to write the statement of claim simultaneously, as she was sure she would not get the response from them anyway.

**************************************************************

Derin watched as Awazi rounded the bed to stand on the side, big kitchen knife in hand. She was still as naked as she had been when she left, and in spite of himself, he became erect, his body betraying his mind. Tears had begun to flow from her eyes, silent, quiet tears. The loud voice of Bob Marley came over the home theatre

“is this love, is this love…”

She leaned over and put her lips beside his ears. “Why would you do this to me, Derin, why?” and then without waiting for a reply, she cut the ties that held his hands and sat back on the ground.

Relief flooded through Derin, numbing him momentarily. His hands were finally free. He quickly undid the leg restraints and jumped to his feet. The sudden rush of blood to his feet made it feel like he was walking on miniature needles as his feet hit the ground. The first thing he did was to race to the living room to turn off that now maddening Bob Marley jam. As if the hours of inactivity had confined his movements to short races, he sprinted back into the room and stood in front of Awazi who was now sitting on the edge of the bed and shouted

“What the hell was that about? Tying me up and scaring me like that! What exactly were you planning on doing?”

Awazi didn’t shout initially but as she spoke her voice got louder. “What was what about? Tying you up was about having sex with my husband. Leaving you tied up was about my insensitive husband who raced to his ex-lover whose number he isn’t supposed to have and then asked her to be the lawyer in a case that every single person that matters in his life advises him not the prosecute!”

“She is the best lawyer I know for this case. Plus, she will not charge huge legal fees which would have made me unable to pursue the case. She was the only option for this case!” he shot back

“Why do you HAVE TO PURSUE THIS CASE EN? And you assume she would not ask for other payments if she’s forfeiting the financial ones? I’m not stupid Mr. Banwo, contrary to what your actions are suggesting, and I know nothing is free even in Freetown. Oh, you will pay and pay in full you will. And we both know what payment she will be demanding from you!” she shot right back.

“So, I’m a mindless fool without a will of my own? Once she demands, I will give in? Your opinion of my honor is really high, I see!”

“Oh shush! Honor, honor, honor. You want to pursue the case, to preserve your honor. You will fight this to the end even if you lose everything else, to preserve your honor. And then what?”

“And then we have justice!” He shouted

“And. Then. WHAT!” she said, getting up from the bed.

He searched for an answer, but he couldn’t find one.

“You won’t understand,” he finally said, a bit more quietly.

“But Ope does, yes?” she asked in measured tones

“Yes! She supported me, understood the need for closure. I wonder why my own wife cannot see things as I do!”

“And you assume she’s supporting you because she feels this is the best course of action? Or because she sees that you correctly don’t have support from your best friend, from your mum, and from me, and is offering you support because you are support needy, because you need someone to support you to convince you that you are right and we are all wrong?”

“Arrrghhhh!” he cried, raising his hands to his head. This was not getting them anywhere.

“I’m pursuing this case, with or without your support, even though I’d rather do so with it.” He said with finality and then picked the towel he had discarded earlier, wrapped it around himself and left for the parlor. Awazi did not bother to follow him; he could not truly hear anything she was saying.

******************************************************************

The next morning, Derin and Awazi got ready for work, practically avoiding each other in their preparations. He bathed in the guest room, and only came in to pick his clothes up, dressing up in the living room. Awazi had thought of calling in sick at work, but she knew she wouldn’t have been able to bear being alone at home all through the day. She would drive herself mad with thoughts of what Derin was doing, and would see Isaac in every turn. The despair she felt tore her inside. How could she be dealing with the loss of a precious child to death, and the loss of her husband to this folly of revenge? She breathed a prayer to heaven.

When Derin got to his office in Ikoyi that morning, he was glad he had decided to come to work. At least the familiar routine and environment would take his mind off the many things that troubled him. A text message came in as he settled into his chair.

“The demand just left for the medical org as per license withdrawal. Would be sending claims on Wednesday as promised. Hope you’re holding up well. And here’s my PIN so we can keep up better”

He read the text message twice, rolling over adding her on his BBM for a few minutes.

“What the hec,” he said out aloud and then added her. The request went to the pending list.

Theirs was a small company of two teams and he worked in the business development team. He directly interfaced with the MD and so wasn’t surprised that morning when he was told by the MD’s secretary that he was calling him. He was on his way to the MD’s office when he realized he hadn’t finished the report he had been working on for his MD over the weekend. He hadn’t been planning on disclosing the events of the weekend to anyone at work yet, but he knew he would have to tell the boss when asked why he didn’t have the report.

“Good morning sir,” he greeted the MD, bowing slightly as he entered the exquisitely furnished office.

“Morning Derin, how was your weekend. I thought I made it clear that I wanted the report waiting for me this morning,” Arinze said, putting on his best glare for Derin’s benefit.

“Sir, there’s a perfect explanation for this,” Derin said, wondering why the nonsense secretary had not left.

“Let’s hear it sir,” Arinze said turning on his skeptic look.

“Sir, I’ll have to speak to you about this alone,” Derin said, tilting his head slightly towards the secretary.

“Dorcas, leave us,” Arinze said. The skinny legged young girl deliberately took longer than necessary to leave. Arinze made a mental note to cut her off; she was beginning to grow wings because she had seen oga naked. These girls always amused him at how replaceable they were without knowing it.

He turned his attention to Derin after she left “yes, I’m listening.”

“Sir, I lost my son over the weekend,” Derin said quietly.

“Ah! Lord of heaven, God of love,” Arinze exclaimed, feigning appropriate surprise. “How? What exactly happened?”

Derin went on to summarize the events of the weekend to his boss, and that he would be going to court. It was at that point that Arinze stopped him.

“I understand your grief, Derin, but going to court would not be the best for you now. First, on a personal level, your wife needs you more than your dead son, take that from an old man who has lost one son.”

Derin’s eyes widened. He didn’t know his MD had lost a son before.

Arinze continued, his voice sterner now, “and I cannot afford any disruptions to your work here that the court case would warrant. Except you would be appearing in court at non work hours, that is. I have a business to run here, and you would agree with me that I should think of that first.”

Derin could not believe his ears. How could this man who he had given so much to in the past one year be this callous and unfeeling to his pain?

“Sir, but the courts are in session only during working hours on weekdays. The court appearances will be few and far between and it will not disrupt any work sir, I can promise you of that.”

“Why don’t you ask your wife to represent you at these hearings? She might not be as essential to the work in her own office, maybe their operation is bigger. But here where I run a lean and mean one, I cannot have a staff distracted by a court case and bringing attention to our business. I don’t want some reporter snooping around about you and then digging up stuff I’d rather keep out of the public view.”

Derin could not have noticed the sly slant of Arinze’s eyes as Arinze said “wife”.

“Sir, my wife does not fully support me getting justice for our son, so I cannot count on her to be in court.” Derin responded.

“She is a wise woman, Derin, and you should again listen to an old man’s advice. Listen to your wife more. I have said my own. I will not condone incidents like this morning where you don’t deliver because you are pursuing a case. And I am not giving you any days off for court appearances. In fact, because of this subsidy wahala, no one is getting any time off anytime soon. If you can sort yourself out with that, fine. And if you cannot, I’ll be one staff short for a while, before I get your replacement.”

“But sir, I thought you will understand and be supportive of me…” Derin blurted out.

Arinze stood up, looking very imposing as he did “and you assume that I built a business of this size by being an understanding man? On sentiments? I’m a pragmatic, practical man Derin, and I’ve told you exactly what I’ll do, even as much as I like you. Listen to your wife.”

Derin stood up and left the office, his head held slightly lower than it was when he came in. He trudged through the rest of the day absent mindedly.

*****************************************************************

Awazi was facing exactly what she had hoped she wouldn’t have to. How the gist of Isaac’s death had spread in her office, she could never tell, but she had handled enough commiseration and condolences to last for a lifetime from her colleagues. She escaped for a breather for lunch when her phone rang. It was her mother in-law.

“Hello Awazi, how are you,” Agatha said

“I’m fine ma, I tried to call to find out how your trip went, but your number didn’t go through.” That was a lie, but Awazi didn’t mind telling it.

“It’s okay. How is Derin? Did you talk to him when he came back home about this court case matter?”

Awazi rolled her eyes. The woman wasn’t concerned about how she was holding up; she was just concerned about Derin. Some things would never change. She was just being friendly now because she thought Awazi could be useful to what she was trying to achieve.

“Yes I did ma,” Awazi responded.

“And what did he say? I hope you were able to make him see reason and leave this case?” Agatha asked.

“No,” Awazi responded, piqued. Agatha has suddenly phrased it like it was her responsibility to make Derin do something. How could she make a full grown man do anything when his mind was set on doing just the opposite?

“No, just like that? Awazi, you are his wife, you should be able to reach him and change his mind.” Agatha said

Awazi was not having any of this “And you are his mother and should also be able to reach him and change his mind!” she shot back.

“What!” Agatha shouted, enraged. “What responsible daughter in-law talks to her mother in-law like that?”

“The type that the mother in-law doesn’t care about how she feels after losing her only child and sees her only as a tool to reach her husband. I have to get back to work now ma, if you don’t mind” Awazi said.

“It’s not your fault. It is my yam that has made my hand to be stained with palm oil. Good day.”

The line went dead. She had hung up.

Awazi gathered herself up to go back to her desk. People at the canteen made bad efforts to conceal the fact that they had been looking at her. She must have been shouting. Silently, she sobbed, tearlessly on her way back to her desk.

******************************************************

Rasheed called Arinze that morning. He wasn’t sure about if his friend would actually try to convince the boy. Arinze had the annoying habit of pulling on some piety at the most unbecoming of times.

“Kilanko, good morning.” He said

“SAN, I know the morning is not good jor. It’s the boy you have called about.”

“But of course, you think I relish hearing you voice daily? How is that going? Did you speak with him?” Rasheed asked

“Rashy, that boy is stubborn. I spoke with him first thing this morning, threatened and all, but he didn’t budge. You are in for one hell of a fight.” Arinze responded.

“En, so carry out the threat now!” Rasheed said

“Oga, calm your creaking body down. First, he isn’t in court yet, so why would I say I sack him? Second, I don’t want an annoying court case on my head, so I have to make sure if I sack him, it is clean. As long as his pursuit of the case doesn’t require him to be absent from work, or cause non-performance at work, I cannot sack him without that possibility.”

“So, I take it that you are feeling cool with yourself now abi. Cos I know you won’t be spelling out all of this if you haven’t thought of a favorable solution in all this,” Rasheed said, slightly irritated that Arinze seemed to have bested him.

“Well, you should pay me for all this consultancy oh, Mr. SAN…” Arinze said

“Oh please, stop gloating and just talk jor!”

Arinze chuckled at his friend and then continued “well, you simply have to work with me to create a situation where he will have to choose between jeopardizing the case or lose his job. And I don’t think any sound thinking young man will chose to lose his job. So we win, you and I.”

“I see, and I can think of just the perfect scenario for this.” Rasheed said.

Mo jeri e, I trust you, SAN, practicing law since we were under her majesty!” Arinze said.

“You are just a senile fool, Kilanko,” Rasheed said, laughing too.

“Oya, let me make calls that will bring money”

********************************************************

Derin checked and saw that Ope was now on his BBM contact list

He had been worried about the conversation with his MD in the morning. He couldn’t fault the old man’s logic, and yes, he wasn’t expecting the man to run this place like a charity. But he just felt that the man was just being plain rigid. He needed to talk to Ope, to hear a lawyer’s view on this. But even as he tried to convince himself that this was the reason he was sending her this message now, a more truthful part of him told him it wasn’t true.

“There’s something that happened at work with my boss today, a sort of veiled threat about pursuing this case. I need to discuss this with you, are you up for drinks tonight? We can do somewhere in Ikeja”

He waited nervously (he wondered why he was nervous at all) for about five minutes before the D changed to R on the message, indicating that she had read the message.

“Sorry, not in town, recall I said I would be out till tomorrow. Let’s either discuss on phone, or wait till we see lunch hour on Wednesday.”

Derin felt like a fool. He didn’t like rejection (even though again, his mind told him he hadn’t been rejected and that only circumstances disallowed her from seeing him). He quietly began to round off work, somewhat sad that he would have to go home straight. Or maybe not. He called Kamal up.

**********************************************************

Ope smiled on her bed. She knew Derin very well. The fact that he was unable to see her today and tomorrow would make him long for her even more. He wasn’t used to rejection by women, and his mind and ego would have construed her message as a tacit rejection. She turned to the computer and continued work on the statement of claim. For the right time, she would wait.

ff @tundeleye on twitter

Write Right

Write Right

Fellow tlsplacers (in Nigerian coup announcement voice), I am pleased to inform you that this blog would be one by the end of this month. When I posted the first episode of Finding Hubby April last year, there was no way I could have anticipated what tlsplace would become. But what a phenomenon it has grown into; one year later, 700,000 views later, one book later, one event later, I should say thank you. To everyone who spread the word, and to everyone who took the time to read my stories, comment and help make it better with insights shared, I say thank you.

So to celebrate, we’ll be having another TLSPLACE GIVEAWAY – THE WRITE RIGHT COMPETITION and here’s what I’ll be giving away – A WHITE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10.1 courtesy APPZONE (http://www.appzonegroup.com/)

Samsung Galaxy Note

To stand a chance to win this, you need to enter for the WRITE RIGHT competition and we’ll be tweeting about it with the hashtag #WriteRight

THE WRITE RIGHT COMPETITION

You would need to read the final episode of Finding Hubby HERE to get the plot. Toke and Hawt Pastor started a relationship. Simply write a short story with not more than 1,000Words (we’ll be real strict about this. No Long Thing!). The story should be about Toke and Hawt Pastor and must feature Gloria, Femi Tosh and of course Oyin Clegg (You’ll have to read Finding Hubby to get this. If you haven’t, read the first episode HERE)

Send in your entries to ajileyeb@gmail.com

You can start sending in entries from today Monday 11th of March, 2013. We will stop receiving entries at 12 Midnight on Sunday 17th of March, 2013.

Each person can only send in one entry and entries can be sent in from anywhere in the world.

HOW WE’LL GET THE WINNER

Once entries are closed, our judges will select FIVE of the entries. These five entries will then be posted on tlsplace on Monday 1st of April 2013.

You will then be able to vote for one of the five posted entries. Voting will last from Monday 1st of April to Sunday 7th of April 2013. The entry with the highest number of votes wins the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

THE JUDGES

AYOMIDOTUN FREEBORN

Ayomidotun F

Ayomidotun Freeborn is an Administrator at OnePageWeekly http://www.1pageweekly.com an online literary magazine; and also the Creative Director at Lucid Creatives. Though a certified electrical engineer, he currently makes his living in the field of Creative Design and Brand Identity Creation, after spending time as Creative Director for Vine Media Services (a Media and Publishing Outfit) in Lagos. While at Vine Media Services, he was also involved in organizing the first-ever Bookvine’s SeunWrites.com #EndTheStory Competition. Though he likes to stay behind the scene, he is known in the literary circuit for his efforts at supporting and promoting literature and new writing in Nigeria, and making OnePageWeekly an open platform for aspiring writers to showcase their works.

When he is not doing any of these things above, he is attending book-readings around Lagos, discussing African literature or viewing the world through the lens of a camera.

EBUN FELUDU

Ebun Feludu 3

Ebun Feludu worked with Farafina Books and then moved on to True Love Magazines as one of its most prominent writers and editors for three years. Her work at True Love cemented her reputation as a writer’s writer.

She has wide and varied experience as a writer, editor and PR consultant amongst other things. She is currently the principal partner at Plug Nigeria, which creates human capital projects as PR platforms for private and public firms.

EMA EDOSIO

Emma 4

Ema Edosio is a prolific film maker and photographer, with experience in areas as diverse as documentary making, movies, music videos and events coverage. She is a graduate of the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan where she studied Cinematography and Directing and is pursuing her masters in Communications and Media Studies.

She has worked as an editor for Capital Dreams Productions for various music videos. She worked on major productions such as the Celebrity Takes Two Reality show, Chanel O Music Awards and as a producer on Hip TV Nigeria. She has also shot documentaries for NLNG and the Nigerian Society of Engineers.

OC UKEJE

OC Ukeje 1

OC Ukeje is an award winning actor, with experience in film and on stage. He has starred in various productions including Two Brides and a Baby, Hoodrush and the soon to be released adaptation of Chimamanda’s Half of a Yellow Sun. He broke into Nollywood after winning the Amstel Malta Box Office reality show and has not looked back since, growing to become one of the most sought after leading men in the industry. He bagged the Best Actor in A Drama in the just concluded Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards.

OC is also a prolific writer, musician, events host and speaker.

TOLU ADELERU

Tolu Adeleru

Tolulope Adeleru is a broadcaster and journalist who likes to think of herself as a princess of all trades, queen of some.

She hosts the top rated Morning Crossfire on Nigeria’s first news, talk, and sports station, 99.3 Nigeria Info. Since she spends most of her days immersed in discussions on politics, the economy, security and the like, when she gets the chance she lets her hair or maybe braids down.

Tolu reads anything that can hold her attention within the first 5 pages. She says that she gives every book a chance to draw her into the author’s world, because the journey could be incredible.

Asides from reading, Tolu loves cooking, listening to music, and discussing issues as well as planning her world domination.

THE EVENT

The prize will be presented to the winner at an event we’ll be having at the very nice LitCaf (check them out HERE), situated on the first floor of the E-Center, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos. The top five entries would be read at the event (preferably by the writer, except they are unavoidably absent).  The event will hold at 2pm on Saturday April 13, 2013.

I would also read an excerpt from the book I’m currently writing Guardians of the Seals (read an excerpt HERE). So please plan to come around for this event.

Where the winner does not reside in Lagos or Nigeria, I’ll be sending the prize to wherever he/she desires.

If you’ve got any questions, please hit me on twitter @tundeleye and I’ll answer as best as I can.

SO LET THE ENTRIES BEGIN, LET THE HUNDRED FLOWERS BLOSSOM, AND LET THE BEST WRITER WIN.

Broken Mirrors – Episode 6

I’M GIVING AWAY A SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10.1 IN THE WRITE RIGHT COMPETITION. READ ABOUT HOW TO WIN IT BY CLICKING HERE!!!

Write Right

Broken Mirrors – Episode 6

Derin walked on needles all day in the house. He had been expecting a blowout, some boiling over when he came back home, but Awazi had been surprisingly calm. But her quietness reminded him more of the quietness of a lioness before it sprang upon its prey. He remembered that broadcast message that had been making the rounds on blackberry sometime ago about when a woman was quiet – it meant she either thought you were too stupid to get what she had to say, or she thought you were a lost cause and couldn’t be bothered to speak with you. He consoled himself by occupying his thoughts with the match he was watching, and when that was done, he fiddled with his laptop, working on a report he had neglected since yesterday but had to turn in at work the next morning, all the while thinking of the kickoff of the case against Omega Clinic.

Evening came, and she disappeared into the kitchen for hours, the occasional clanging of metal utensils and a sweet aroma wafting out from there the only confirmation that she was actually making a meal. He assumed she was deliberately staying that long in the kitchen in order to avoid him. When she emerged from the kitchen in a pair of bum shorts and a small spag top, he marveled at how quickly her body had bounced back from childbirth. He felt something stir in his loins as he gazed on her dark skin glistening with sweat, and her firm, full breasts peeking out from above and beside the top, nipples firmly pushing against the fabric of the top.

He was so carried away gazing at her breasts that he didn’t notice she was carrying something in her hands until she set the tray down in front of him.

She spoke the first words she had said to him since he got in “I’m certain you are very hungry, you’ve not had a proper, homemade meal since yesterday morning. And I’m not talking what you ate wherever you went, fast food iskanchi. Now eat up, Mr. Banwo.”

She had set before him a steaming plate of pounded yam, with what Derin liked to call a thickly populated bowl of efo riro (vegetable soup). It was the type where you would pick one of crayfish, stockfish, smoked fish, pomo, or some other condiment with each bolus of pounded yam you dipped into the soup. Beside the food, she had put a bottle of chilled Fortunela red wine, which she knew was his favorite. The sight of the heavenly food and its aroma made his senses register just how hungry he was. He really hadn’t realized he was that hungry until now. But even as he began salivating, something in his brain told him Awazi was up to something. He had been with her for long enough to know this was the preamble to something, and he hoped she wasn’t trying to have him well fed for a fight.

But all that thinking was shoved to the back of his mind as the hunger got the better of him and he attacked the meal before him, mumbling his thanks to his wife.

“Let me let you eat in peace while I run your bath water,” she said, and then was away before he could respond.

***********************************************************

Arinze Kilanko rounded off the call and turned to hold the young girl he was with for tonight. As the owner of one of the most discreet but major players in the Oil and Gas industry, he could afford these and more exotic luxuries even at his age. He always found it interesting as girls who were young enough to be his last daughter’s age would profess undying love for him and tell him how attractive he was. He knew it was the money and good life he could give them they loved, but it wasn’t bad for his ego to hear them say what they said anyway.

The call had been from his longtime friend. He had been the son of an Ibo woman married to a Yoruba man, and when his father had died; his father’s family had raised hell for his mum and for him by extension. They had been left with virtually nothing and were almost going into the streets, when a certain Chief Sanda had taken them in and treated him as a son. It was when he grew older that he realized that Chief Sanda had also taken his mum in and treated her as a wife, one of the sixteen he had, albeit being legally married to only one.

The call he had just finished taking was from one of Chief Sanda’s sons from that legal wife who had become a good friend as they had grown up together. Rasheed was the only one of the kids who was nearly as intelligent as he was (He liked to tell himself that he was just slightly more intelligent) and they had grown up in a competitor/collaborator kind of relationship. Rasheed was now a respectable lawyer with prestigious titles likes SAN, and while he didn’t have all the prestigious titles, he had way more money.

The conversation with Rasheed had been disturbing though. He replayed it in his head now, as he fondled the young woman’s perky breasts absentmindedly.

“There’s a case I’m working on, Kilanko,” Rasheed had said. He never called Arinze by his first name, as if he had something against his Ibo background. So since they were kids, Rasheed had called Arinze by his Yoruba surname.

“En, and so? How does that one concern me, Mr. SAN?” Arinze responded. It was his own pastime to refer to Rasheed by whatever title he had acquired and was proud of, first Barrister and now SAN.

Mumu, you are with one of those your foolish small girls abi? You will have a heart attack on top one of them one of these days, you this after seventy trying to feel among.” Rasheed had responded.

“Bigger Mumu, is it because you are stuck with only all those your Ibadan big bumbum old women that you are envious? You better state what you want, the girl is busy here under me o” he responded. Such banter was common with both of them. He preferred to carry out his own amorous affairs with girls his daughters’ ages while Rasheed preferred much older society women.

“The thing is, my client would prefer that the case doesn’t make it to court, and we’re willing to settle generously out of court. But the other party is just bent on going to court, destroying my client’s credibility, and ruining an old man in the twilight of his illustrious career.” Rasheed said, then paused for breath before continuing “but we have one piece of good fortune. The boy is one of your employees. This case will be all consuming on him and take all his time. He won’t be productive for you, and he will be a nuisance to us. So, in the interest of all of us, I would like you to ‘persuade’ him to take the out of court settlement and forget about the case.”

The girl moaned by his side as his fingers tightened around her nipple and his thoughts were jarred for a second.

“Which of my staff would this be?” he asked.

“He would be an Ibadan boy, called Derin. Derin Banwo, I believe,” Rasheed responded.

Arinze remembered the young man. He had like the boy the first day he interviewed him. He was one of those bankers that came for oil company interviews in sharp suits and shiny shoes, only to be deflated by the jeans wearing and sneakers wearing interviewers. Arinze always enjoyed doing what he had called the Pointing and Puncture game with them. He would ask the shine shine banker what he earned and typically got figures like three million naira per annum, up to about seven million per annum, depending on the banker’s level. Then he would point at some lowly looking member of his staff, and ask for the guy’s ID card and show the banker the name. He would then ask for the person’s payslip to be printed by HR and show it to the banker. He always enjoyed the expression of shock when the banker saw the figure of jeans wearer was double his own. He had taken a liking to a fellow Ibadan boy and the boy had proven to be an asset.

“I know the boy well, and he’s a reasonable young man. So I wonder, what exactly is this case about that has made him so bent on prosecuting it?”

“Is that important?” Rasheed quizzed.

“Oga, how am I supposed to convince him about something I don’t know about? I don’t want him surprising me with any info and I will look foolish. Come to think of it,” he added “the fact that you didn’t tell me at once means that it’s a real terrible thing your client did. Full disclosure, my good SAN, before I involve myself in this your scheme.”

Rasheed hesitated for a moment and Arinze had to ask “Rashy, are you there?”

“Yes, Kilanko. Just weighing things in my mind. This is between you and I, and it is because you are family that I can even tell you this.”

“Okay, go ahead,” Arinze said. His hand had stopped its ranging on the girl’s breasts and he was now paying full attention to the conversation.

“You know Ajanaku’s clinic, Omega?”

“Ajanaku, Ajanaku,” Arinze mumbled trying to place a face to the name.

“Dr. Omega! You can forget people sha.” Rasheed said in mock exasperation.

“Ah, I remember the guy now. He is a fine gentleman, and I always wondered how he ended up befriending a rascal like you. What trouble have you gotten him into?” Arinze asked.

“I’m afraid it isn’t me this time that got him into trouble. You see, he had a stroke a while ago, and left the running of the hospital to his son, Hakeem, who really doesn’t deserve to run an ice cream van. Derin and wife rushed their baby into the clinic yesterday afternoon and while Hakeem and his staff were giving them the run around about hospital procedures and waiting their turns and all manner of bullshit, the baby died.”

“What!” Arinze exclaimed, startling the lady beside him. “I heard from the office grapevine that it took them twelve freaking years to have that baby! How can?”

“I am as angry with that blockheaded Hakeem as you are, I can assure you, but I need to save my friend and client here. This could never have happened on his watch and we have the stroke to curse for that. And so, while I empathize with Derin, his threat to go to court, get a hefty compensation and shutdown the hospital and get my friend to lose his license is not one I can allow happen.”

Arinze was shaking his head as he spoke “hell, the boy would be within his rights if he wanted to do that!”

“Yes, but I cannot allow him.  We have offered him and his wife IVF in the US fully sponsored by the hospital to the point of delivery as compensation. I am told the wife is positively disposed to it, but the boy is adamant. Again, he needs to think of his wife. We can even pay some money as compensation. I will not hesitate to destroy him, if it will be what it will take to win this case.”

Arinze knew Rasheed, and he knew how ruthless he could be in pursuit of a win.

“So you want me to convince him to drop the case and take the compensation, abi? And maybe sort of force him with the leverage I have of threatening his job. Rasheed, you are one ruthless old man.”

“Call me whatever you like,” Rasheed responded, “but I’m trying to save him in my own way here. I’ve tried to reach him through his wife, his best friend and his mother, all to no avail. Maybe if I threaten his livelihood, he will see reason, and maybe have some commonsensical fear and back down.”

“You know this is a hard thing you ask me abi? But I take your point and I know it’s best for him to let the case go. So I’ll do this for you, and for that fine gentleman.”

The call had ended and he had sat for a few moments, thinking about how unfair life could be. Then he turned around and looked at his companion. She lay on her chest, he rounded buttocks in the air, and her limbs spread around wantonly. He spun her around with his still powerful arms and spread her legs wide. He came after a few thrusts. The age had taken its toll.

********************************************************************

Awazi cleared the dishes and then informed Derin that his water was running and he could have his bath now. The same way the food had tempted him to eat, the promise of warm water, just as he liked it pulled him away from the couch to the bathroom.

When he entered the bathroom, he was surprised to see that she had filled the bathtub with water. Normally, they just stood inside the tub and used the shower. But she had gone through the pains of running water to fill the tub. The water had soap bubbles and the half empty bottle of Radox bathing gel beside the tub confirmed what he was thinking. Awazi!

He quickly relieved himself of the boxer shorts he was wearing and stepped into the bathtub. The warm water felt heavenly as he immersed himself fully in it, holding only his head above the water. He lay like this for about fifteen minutes, just allowing the flotation relax him, and ease the stress out of every pore.

Then he scrubbed himself until he felt squeaky clean and emptied the tub. He stood and washed the soap off with a cold blast from the shower, causing his hairs to stand. He felt very fresh as he stepped out of the bathroom, in only his towel.

When he stepped into the room, his jaw nearly dropped to the ground. She must have had a bath in the guest bathroom while he had his. Awazi stood right at the edge of the bed, in the nothing but white lacy lingerie. Against her ebony skin, it stood out like neon symbols, drawing attention to what they covered. The bra did an even poorer job of covering her full boobs than the spag top she had been wearing earlier had done. He felt the blood rush from his brain and the speed at which he became erect left him with no doubt as to where all the blood had gone. In the period he had been in the bath, she had changed the sheets into a deep red one. Without a word, she signaled that he should with her index finger. He took measured steps towards her, and he got harder with each step.

When he got to her, he covered her lips with a kiss like he hadn’t in a long time. Having a baby in the house to constantly tend had affected many things and that had been one of them. She tilted her head upwards to meet his halfway and the slight gasp she let out worked some magic in his tummy. He cupped her boobs in his left hand and wrapped his right around her, pulling her closer, kissing her even deeper.

With some urgency, she tugged at his towel and it fell of him. She also dug into his back with one hand and with the other, she grabbed his turgid member. Derin deftly unhooked her bra with one hand and bent to reach her hardened nipples with his tongue. Her perfume filled his nostrils, giving him a warm heady feeling. When his mouth finally covered her nipple, the appreciative gasp she let out again caused his blood to race. Then he tried to get her onto the bed but she resisted. Instead, as if getting a grip of herself, she turned him around, so that he now had his back to the bed and then pushed him firmly onto the bed. It was then he noticed four of his neckties lying on the bed. He wondered what they were doing there, but that thought raced from his head when he felt her mouth cover his erection. She teased for a bit before began to suck. Even as the pleasure registered in his brain, he wondered what the Awazi who was normally much gentler in bed was up to. He couldn’t hold on to lucid thoughts for long though.

Suddenly, when he began to fell he was going to cum, she stopped and reached for the first of the silk ties. She tied it firmly on his left wrist and the tied the other end to the bedpost. He wanted to say something but she covered his mouth with a kiss and he swallowed the words. She tied each of his limbs to each bedpost, spreading him out. He tested the strength and saw that he couldn’t move much.

Now, she stood over him, and looked into his eyes with such an intensity of desire that he felt himself become even harder. She removed her panties slowly, not breaking the eye contact for one second as she did.

When she bent over and covered his pulsating member with her mouth this time, he couldn’t touch her, couldn’t use his hands to control her. The total control she had made her more intense and she sucked more vigorously. The pleasure he felt was multiplied too and he felt he was going to explode. She stopped and slowly lowered herself onto him, taking the whole of him into her. She was so warm inside, practically dripping. She rode him, slowly at first as, if in a dance, and then reached a frenzied pace on her immobile husband, letting her hair fly, the cool air from the AC keeping them from sweating in spite of the intense action. When he came, he launched deep within her, his shaking restrained to a vigorous vibration by the silk ties she had bound him up with. Moments later, she came too, collapsing in a heap onto his chest, with spasms of varying intensities running through her body at irregular intervals for the next few minutes.

“Please don’t continue with this case, Derin, it would destroy us and all I want is to be happy,” she whispered to him.

This was what all the dramatics were about, he thought.

“I met a lawyer today and she has taken the case up already.” He responded.

With some effort, she raised herself off him to be able to look him in the face. “She?” She asked. “Which she?”

He searched for the words to tell her but he couldn’t find the right words in this situation. He had meant to tell her later but…

“It’s her abi,” she said, with a voice that was as low as a whisper, yet with the venom of a thousand cobras.

Without waiting for an answer from him, she got up and left the room, leaving him tied up as he was. He tried to free himself, but she had tied him up so well that he couldn’t. He pulled hard, but the silk stood firm. He couldn’t move. He called out to her at the top of his voice, but she did not answer. And so he waited.

Flora – 16th Petal – Structure

I haven’t posted Flora in a while but hope this helps. Enjoy. Yes, and I’ll be announcing something on Monday, so stay tuned.

TL

structure

To the casual observer, the flower looks structureless because it does not seem to follow any rigid pattern. The truth however is that despite their variety, each flower has a distinct structure to which it conforms. Even though they are dynamic, they manage their creativity within a well-defined radial structure.

 

Flowers typically are composed of four parts or whorls arranged in concentric rings attached to the tip of the stem. From the innermost to the outermost, these whorls are the pistil (female reproductive organs), the stamen (male reproductive organ), the petals and the sepals or outer base green leaves. All the pollinators know this structure and it guides them in their interactions with the flower. In order words, structure forms the basis of their mutually beneficial relationship.

 

Most people have the opportunity to make a success due to peculiar circumstances at some point in time. They fail to make this success sustainable because they never get around to organizing and putting a well-defined structure into their success. What we must realize is this – without structure, increase cannot be sustained. Structure enables the people that we need to propagate our success to relate with us in a way they can trust and rely on. It ensures that when people leave your organization, everything does not crumble. Success that cannot outlast you is not success at all. Structure engenders continuity and discourages vacuums because roles and processes are clearly defined.

Never get so carried away by the success you achieve that you fail to create structure. It is the only way that time will not diminish but rather increase your success.

Broken Mirrors – Episode Five

By the end of March 2013, I would have been blogging fiction on tlsplace for one year. Yes, tlsplace will be one. And what a one year it has been. To celebrate, I’ll be doing an interesting giveaway. Details will be announced anytime within the week on tlsplace. Please ff on twitter @tundeleye to get the live updates so you can learn how to be a part of this giveaway. Now, enjoy today’s episode of Broken Mirrors. TL

Broken Mirrors Art

Agatha watched her son go, and with his exit, she knew what was going to happen. Yet she chose to cling to hope, no matter how faint. A voice niggled at her mind however, telling her that if the combined efforts of the three of them in the room didn’t convince an unprepared him to change his mind, then it was as good as out of their hands. A friend’s frankness, a mother’s earnest plea and a wife’s passionate appeal to the heart hadn’t gotten through to Derin. He had his father’s will.

“Awazi, my daughter,” she said, as she got up to help her stand. “You mustn’t give up. As it stands, you are the one who is most likely to reach him. You are his wife, and you must know as I know that this pursuit of vengeance will destroy many things.”

“How do I reach him? He can hear no one but his own heart. And all it seems to say to him to avenge his only son, a legitimate desire.” Awazi’s voice quivered with emotions as she spoke the words.

“You are the only one with access to that heart, and you must find a way…” Agatha responded.

A resolve rose within Awazi’s heart, and she promised herself she would do this for her marriage, and for her own sanity. She was unsure if any of the two would survive a long drawn out legal battle. When she spoke next, her voice was steady and firm. “What kind of hostess am I? Let me make breakfast quickly.”

And then she walked briskly into the kitchen and set about busily preparing the easist meal she could think of for her guests. But even as she went about her cooking, she wept quietly at the way her life had changed in the last twenty four hours. Time indeed changes yesterday.

**********************************************************

Derin dialed a number he hadn’t called for years, wondering if the owner would still use it. It had a noisy version Gangnam Style as its caller tune, but thankfully, the owner picked the phone before the second line and his ears were saved from the hullaballoo.

“Mr. Banwo,” the sultry female voice said. “And to what do I owe the pleasurable surprise of this call?”

Derin smiled in spite of himself. “You will not change, abi? Barrister Opeyemi Dada. Get off your bed; I want to talk about something serious.”

“Ah, I am totally unserious on Sundays. Please call back tomorrow.” She pronounced her Rs with a slightly exaggerated roll of her tongue which made her manner of speaking even more interesting with its promise of a sensuality that was only thinly veiled. He imagined her playfully pouting as she spoke those words. With some effort, he dragged his mind away from that to the task at hand

“Ope, I need to see you, and no, I’m not coming to your house lailai.”

She let out a soft laugh, “and would I eat you up?” then as if just realizing other meanings to her statement, she laughed again and then said “not to worry sir, I have no such designs on happily married you. Let’s meet up at La Mango. I might just show up in a swimsuit though, since they have a pool there.”

Derin shook his head. She was just naughty and couldn’t resist any innuendo laden opportunities.

“Can you make it in another thirty minutes?” he asked

“Ah, slow down, farabale, oga Banwo. Didn’t know you were that eager to see my Bikini body. Thirty minutes is out of it though, I can do another one hour.”

“Alright then. I’ll just wait for you until then, since I’ve already left home so I will just head towards Ikeja. Shall I order anything for you while I wait?”

“Naa, all the things I’d like to have there are a la carte and they come from a cold bottle.” She replied.

omuti” he replied.

“Ah, I learnt from the best drunkard club member of FOADs (for only addicted drunkards), remember?” she responded.

“Madam, oya, come and get off the phone and start coming. See ya in a bit,” he responded, and then cut the call off.

**********************************************************

Agatha enjoyed the breakfast of French toast, sausages, eggs and baked beans, in spite of the circumstances. She had also forced Awazi to eat, while Kamal had not required any encouragement to gulp down his own portion which was significantly larger than those of the two ladies.

“I’ll need to head back to Ibadan now; I think you and Derin need time alone so you can get through to him.”

Awazi nodded, and helped her move her things to Kamal’s car. For the first time in her marriage, she wished her mother in-law wasn’t leaving. Kamal promised to come by the next evening on his way back from work, and then she watched the car cruise away. She turned back and went into the house. And for the first time since Isaac passed away, she was all alone. She tried to call Derin’s number but it rang out twice. As if to emphasize the aloneness, PHCN took the power and the whole area became quiet. All the neighbors seemed to have gone to church, so the typical cacophony of generators didn’t break the silence. The quiet was maddening. She lay on the couch, until the tiredness again overtook her, and the sleep delivered her from the despair.

********************************************************

Derin watched from his vantage point beside the large transparent glass that divided the bar and lounge area of La Mango from the pool area as the woman he was expecting walked in. She was taller than average, almost as tall as Derin himself. Her skin was a light chocolatey shade, and years of pampering left it flawless. And she wasn’t afraid to show off that skin. She was wearing a pair of cream shorts displaying her toned legs and one of those chic sports jerseys female football fans wore to support their husbands’ or boyfriends’ clubs. And as he looked at her now, it seemed the years had not done anything to affect her figure (except she was using some advanced packaging, he thought with a smirk). But he knew the truth, that her stunning figure was for real. Several male and female heads turned as she walked in, the male ones glued to her in open admiration, and the female ones with unmasked jealousy. She had that effect on everyone, and he wasn’t exempt. In fact, in his case, she had more than an admiration kind of effect, because unlike other men whom she ignored, she went out of her way to induce those responses in him. He felt a stir within his tummy. He hadn’t expected to still be affected this way by Ope, and he was thankful he hadn’t decided to go and “pick her up from home”.

Presently she arrived at the table and sat opposite him.

“Mr. Banwo, I believe?” she asked in mock seriousness.

“No, I’m the pope,” he replied with a smile

“Then you are of no use to me sir, as I’m here to meet the hot, dashing Derin Banwo, who I intend to speak in double entendres with all morning.”

“Ope, you sha will not change,” he responded. “So which of your bottled friends would you like to meet?”

“Ah, I haven’t changed yet. I’m a very faithful’ friend” she said, emphasizing the faithful while flashing a falsely innocent smile at the same time.

He signaled the attendant to bring his food and the drinks he had preordered. He hadn’t eaten since the previous afternoon since he had left the house without eating this morning. He was very famished but had chosen to wait for her to arrive before having his meal. He had ordered jollof rice with plantain and grilled fish. She would be having Heineken as she had always done since he could remember.

Amidst small talk, the food and drinks arrived and was served. The moment the waiter was gone, her countenance became serious.

“While I’d like to flatter myself that you suddenly began to miss me and wanted to see me after five years, I am with enough of my wits to know that isn’t the case. So, would you save me from worrying my pretty head and tell me why you called me away from my blissful Sunday morning laze fest?”

“I just lost my only child, Isaac.” Derin said. Suddenly, the food became unappealing and he could have been looking at a plate of sawdust.

“Oh my God, oh my God, it cannot be true. How?” the normally composed Ope lost her composure. She knew of Derin’s struggle to have a baby and how much of a miracle that baby had been. She shook her head. “Tell me it’s not true.”

“I would love nothing more than to say it isn’t true, but it is my sad truth. And what’s more, he didn’t just die, he was killed!” His voice had become a low painful drawl.

“What! WHO THE HELL DID THAT. I WILL PERSONALLY GET THE BASTARD HUNG.” She said rather loudly, and a few heads turned but she couldn’t care less.

Derin was convinced he had made the right choice in this fight. Not only was Ope his friend of many years, but she was one of the best lawyers around, and she worked on her own, taking civil cases from plenty top corporate legal departments, so she would be able to take this case on if she wanted to. And he intended to make sure she wanted to.

“Let me tell you what happened,” he began, and then went ahead to recount their experience to her and the offer they had asked his mum to come and make earlier in the morning.

When he was done, the first question she asked was “do you still have the card you took from the hospital yesterday?”

“Yes I do, it’s in the car. Would you like to see it?” he responded

“Yeah, later. But it establishes you as their patient. Makes our case easier to pursue. And I don’t know why everyone is asking you not to fight this fight. Yes, it might take a while, and be long, but it’s worth it. People are allowed to almost literarily get away with murder in this country because no one wants to fight. The ‘it is not my head that the coconut must be broken’ mentality is annoying. Look, Derin, I’m with you on this, and will do everything in my power and expertise to win this fight.”

Derin unconsciously compared how this woman supported him almost instantly and how he didn’t have his wife’s support. He shook those thoughts out of his head, but they kept clawing back in. Ope had been his first girlfriend in the university and they had been the “it” couple in school. Everyone assumed they were going to get married. But service year had changed all that. She had wanted to relocate from Nigeria after they had finished serving, and he was having none of it. After going back and forth on the matter, she had eventually left to pursue her master’s degree and it had torn them apart. He had met Awazi around that time, and by the time she came back three years later, he was married. But it was obvious she had not gotten over him, and there would always be space for her in his heart. She blamed herself constantly for letting him slip away, and hadn’t married.

They had kept in touch, and when Awazi had left him years ago, it had been in her arms he had found solace. The issues had resurfaced after a while. She was even more independent now, and again the relationship had ended. That was five years ago, and he had pursued his wife again until she returned to him. Awazi had found out about Ope eventually, and he had nearly lost her again, but he had been tenacious and they had worked it out after she had made him promise to cut Ope off. He had made the promise, but hadn’t totally made good the promise. Yes, there had been no romance again between him and Ope, but they still kept in touch and he had called her instinctively in this situation, not just because he wanted her to be his lawyer, but because he also knew she would think like him and offer her support, a support he was critically lacking at home now.

“The first step,” she was saying now “is to write the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. We will demand for the withdrawal of the operating license of the hospital, as well as the practicing licenses of the doctors involved.”

“Okay…” Derin said in question.

“They will not respond or do anything as expected. But we are doing this, so that we would be able to join them as parties to the statement of claim we will file against the hospital and doctors. The truth is, it is not a murder legally, so we cannot get a criminal case instituted. But we can file a civil case, and pursue the loss of license as well as payment of huge compensation. How is that?”

“If it’s the best we can do, then let’s go for it.”

“Okay Derin. We are also going to register an NGO to crusade against hospitals treating their patients poorly, and whatever money comes out of the compensation goes to it. To remain credible, you must not be seen to be trying to make any personal money out of this.”

He nodded in agreement and then she continued “I’ll need to find out who their lawyer is so I can know what I’m up against, whether it’s a fight by the book we are looking at, or if it will be a roforofo type of fight.”

“How soon can we start this?” Derin asked.

“I’ll have the demand to the Medical Council ready by morning and they’ll receive it before noon tomorrow. The statement of claim should be ready by Wednesday as I have something else I have to work on and have ready for a client by Tuesday.”

Then she pointed at his plate and said “Now, eat this very expensive food you have ordered while I tell you what I think we will be up against, and how to win.”

*******************************************************

Doctor Ajanaku had just received bad news. When the older Mrs. Banwo had called him earlier to tell him she was enroute Lagos to talk to her son, he had been optimistic. He had called her just now, and the first warning signal of wahala was when she had said she was on her way back to Ibadan. He wondered why she was returning to Ibadan so quickly. She had then told him of the episode with Derin, but had been quick to assure him that the wife was willing to go with the plan and had even made demands. He had thought the wife’s demands reasonable and doable and he had said so. Agatha was still hopeful that Derin’s wife would be able to convince him to drop pursuit of the case in court, but even as she said so, he knew that it was a lost cause. If three people couldn’t convince him in a concerted effort, it would take a miracle for one of them to.

He was now at his lawyer, Rasheed Sanda’s house to give him an update on the matter.

“The boy will not listen.” Rasheed said with certainty after he had listened to the gist of the matter. Rasheed was a fine judge of character and Doctor Ajanaku agreed with him.

“So, what should we be expecting now, Rashy?” Doctor Ajanaku could be informal here, since they were meeting alone and in his lawyer’s Dugbe residence.

“Again, we don’t know who his lawyer is, but I’m certain we won’t have to wait for much longer to find that out. I expect that they will file claims, and will go for license revocation and crippling monetary compensations, effectively ensuring not just the hospital dies, but that you’re unable to practice again.”

“That is as good as killing me now, removing my means of livelihood, and also ensuring I cannot even try to build anything again in future. Nkan buruku! Rashy, Gba mi o, help me, ti e o ni baje”.

“We will counter their claims, and then if that fails, we will invite them to negotiate at a pre-trial conference. With the generous offer you have made, they will be compelled by the Judge to take your offer, rather than burden the legal system with a case that would probably achieve almost same result in the end. I expect it to end there, but in case it goes to court, we’ll need to dig up as much evidence as we can, because in a case like this, it’s not just a case of creating reasonable doubt, but rather a weighing of evidence on both sides against each other. It is the side that tips the scale the most heavily that carries the day”

“This my son will not kill me! Omo eni I ba joni, a bayo, how can my own son be the source of my greatest crisis. It’s not his fault, it is that stroke. When the big thing brings one down, then the smaller ones run roughshod all over.”

“My doctor, you cannot keep thinking like this o, lest the thing comes back and brings you down irrecoverably. The boy has done this one, now it is for us elders to calmly salvage the situation.”

“I would have loved to be certain of the cause of death; there might be a loophole there. But now, the body is gone, and the baby is buried.” Doctor said.

“Hmmm. Doctor, now that you mention autopsy, I have an idea.” Rasheed said.

“And what might this be, my friend?” a now curious doctor asked, seeing the twinkle in his friend’s eyes. He had learnt over the years to sometimes speed up things with Rasheed; otherwise he would take all the time to get what he wanted to say out.

“You said the Derin’s mother reported that his wife does not support this case. So we have a weakness to explore there, should he want to go to trial. At pre-trial, one of the items of evidence we will require to proceed to trial would be an autopsy report detailing causes, time and all other info as regards the death. Let’s see if his wife would still allow him go to court, knowing that would mean their baby will have to be dug up, sawed up and that they would probably have to relive the experience of burying their child all over again.”

“Kai! You these lawyers, I fear you people o. Of course the woman would not have that happen. The case would die at pre-trial.”

With that, Rasheed called for the steaming Amala to be brought in.

************************************************

When Derin walked in, Awazi smelt the strange perfume on him, and it was a feminine fragrance. She almost tore into him in that instant, with accusations of going to find comfort with another woman but restrained herself, knowing what she planned to do that night.

She would wait.