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LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS : Episode 10 (Final Episode)

white_spring_flowers_in_rain-wallpaper-1600x900Nike finally opened her heavy eyes languidly. She found herself in the hospital bed and tried sitting up until there was a sharp unbearable pain in her abdomen. Series of drips and a pint of blood were injected into her and automatically her weak hands reached for her stomach. It was very flat; she had lost her baby, her precious baby. Tears of grief and pain fell weakly down her cheeks in abandonment.
In a flash, Segun stood by her side, his pupils were dull grey in pain.
“I” she said weakly amidst tears “I lost my baby” Nike cried more as she felt her treacherous emotions break loose, it reminded her of losing Madina.
“Shh” he put a gentle hand on her forehead storing it gently “its okay,” he said gently
“No, No. it’s not okay,” she said crying “It would never be okay”
“It’s all my fault,” he stared into her eyes sadly with tears. “I should have been there, in the house, I…” tears broke out of his eyes. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. That I’m never there for you when you need me the most… I’m so sorry” they cried together for a long time until he finally sat in a chair beside her bed.
“How long have I been here?”
“Over a few hours,” he managed a little smile. “I was so worried, your mother and your best friend were here for a long time. I chose to stay until you wake up.”
She couldn’t smile at him; she was heartbroken and grieving over her baby’s death. The second child Nike looked away “Can I have a cup of water?”
Segun got up and poured out a cup of water from the water dispenser at the end of the room, he helped her hold the cup while she sipped the water gradually.
“I think you should go to sleep now Nike”
“I want to talk about something with you”
“Maybe we should discuss tomorrow, you really need your rest,” he whispered to her gently.
“Please,” Nike gave him a pleading look and let out a deep breath.
“Alright,” he replied reluctantly, “shoot.”
“I want you to go back to your wife.”
Segun stared at her not shocked, his expression was hard to read and he said nothing.
Nike swallowed back tears, she had to do this, she had to set things right for once and it was the hardest thing to do in her life, something told her the next few days would probably be her last. She wanted to die; it was time to leave them alone. She sighed tiredly in her heart looking at her beloved through tear filled eyes.
“Segun can you do that for me?”  She asked, her voice was shaky.
Segun looked at her, his heart was in shreds at this point and he had lost his sense of direction.
He shook his head negatively “I don’t understand Nike, I thought we talked about this.”
She stared at him tiredly with a little sad smile, “Segun please do this for me, you have to promise me. Please I need you to”
“What has come over you Nike? Don’t you love me anymore?” his voice shook as he asked her, looking straight into her eyes. Segun held her hands by the side of the bed.
“I’d always love you Segun,” she replied as tears slid down the corner of her eyes, with great effort she carried his hand to her lips and planted a loving kiss there, she placed it there for a minute inhaling the scent of him, she could never forget the smell and never forget the man. “I need you to do this… For your daughter”
“We’ll sort it out Nike please get well for me.”
“I doubt if that could happen now,” she said through tears and he squeezed her hands tighter in fear
“Please don’t say that Nike, I need you now please don’t die on me I won’t be able to live through it.”
She wiped the tear from the corner of his eye, “I’m still here okay?” she replied gently. Nike stared painfully at the dark head bent in agony, tears escaped her eyes, it was harder than she could ever imagine. She closed her eyes in deep sorrow. This time she knew for sure she didn’t have much time left.
 

CHAPTER 20

“Nike!” her mother rushed into the room dropping her bag on a nearby chair. She stood beside her daughter’s bed worriedly. Nike still closed her eyes; she was still too tired to face any of them.
“What did you do to my daughter Segun?” Funke eyed him with anger. “What? You caused us enough trouble already!” She said crying, “why don’t you just leave her for me?  My daughter deserves to be happy too!”
She heard no sound from Segun and she opened her heavy eyelids a little, Segun sat by the water dispenser staring into space, is mind seemed to be far off. Nike closed her eyes tiredly.
Funke put her hand over her daughter’s hand close to tears, she looked at her worriedly. The place was very quiet with only the sound of her mother’s whimpers.
The doctor came in with a stethoscope hanging around his neck “Good morning everyone,” his smile was serene.
Funke shifted aside as the doctor walked up to his patient. He checked her pulse and she opened her eyes halfway.
“Ha! My wonderful patient, you are awake.”
She smiled a little and she closed her eyes while he examined her, his eyes were grave as he looked up.
“Doctor is she okay?” Funke asked worriedly.
He nodded and smiled a little. “I’ll just get the nurse to bring her drugs in a few minutes”.
He turned and left the room and Segun followed him behind. “Doctor, can you tell me if she’s really alright?”
The doctor bent his head and looked at him, “let’s just wait and see how far this goes”.
“Tell me the truth doctor; she said some things to me yesterday”.
“Really?” he asked surprised and he took in a deep breath and sighed to himself.
“She may not survive this right?” His voice shook as he asked the hopeless question.
“She lost a lot of blood and apart from that she is going through a very severe psychological trauma, I’m afraid that is not my field sir, so I don’t know much about it…. But it seems she has lost all will to survive”.
He looked away, it was hard to take the news in but he knew from the moment she woke up that he may lose the last person he has ever loved so much in his life. “Thank you, doctor”.
“Let’s just keep praying, things may later change for the better,” with a gentle pat on the back, the doctor left him walking down the corridor.
He stood outside the door, he could hear her weak voice, and it made him want to weep as his heart sank deeper into his chest. Segun stood outside the door and waited for mother and daughter to have their privacy, though right now he needed to be alone, he wanted to think; a part of him wondered why he could be this soft-hearted for a woman so much that he could cry for her when she hurt him. What sort of man was he? How would he live without her? It would have been better if they hadn’t met again at all.

***

He parked in front of his house… Tola’s house and expelled a deep breath. It took him a second to gather his thoughts together, he wanted to be by Nike’s bedside, she had been in the hospital for 3 days now and to him, she wasn’t doing any better, he was seriously thinking of referring her to a psychiatrist probably from next week.
He got out of the car and entered the compound as the gate was already opened, he wanted to pack all of his things, which was why he came, he had made his decision and he wanted to be with Nike and no one else. The door to the kitchen was also opened and he made his way to the sitting room through the kitchen, Tola and their daughter were in the sitting room watching a cartoon. Yinka sprung up as soon as she saw her father and ran up to hug him vigorously.
“Daddy!” She exclaimed beaming as Segun laughingly carried her up in the air, he missed her so much.
“My little angel! I’ve missed you so much!” he said smiling happily. Tola got up from he chair expressionless.
“How did you get in?”
He dropped the little girl who clung to his legs smiling up at him and stared at the mother. “The door of the house was open”.
“Ahmadou must have gone out as usual,” she whispered to herself.
“Daddy, are you staying?” their little girl asked, they both looked at each other and Segun tore his gaze away from his wife’s gaze.
“No honey, I have loads of work to do”.
Yinka pouted and wailed, “Daddy! Mummy said you travelled and now you’re going again!”
“Yinka honey, go and look for something to play within your room,” she smiled a little at her daughter “Daddy and I have some work to do”
Yinka stared at her father. ”Will you still be around?” he nodded and she reluctantly went upstairs, neither of them spoke until they heard the door upstairs shut.
Tola spoke first, “I can’t keep lying to her Segun”.
He said nothing and waited he knew she wasn’t finished all he could think of now was the conversation he had with Nike during the past 2 nights.
“How long do you think we can keep this up Segun?”
“I just came to pick up a few of my clothes Tola”.
She made a short frustrated laugh, “If we are getting a divorce I think it’s fair that it should be quick”.
Segun shrugged, “If anyone wants to issue a divorce it’s you, I’m the one who’s committing the adultery”.
She nodded not trusting herself to speak for a moment as she fought tears desperately, “I don’t want this family to break Segun, I don’t want our daughter living her life from a broken home”.
He said nothing and she continued, “I believe we can sort this thing out”.
“Look to be candid, on your part I messed up badly”. Segun said staring at her heartbroken face, “I think it’s fairly too late to come back. I’m not an irresponsible man and whatever decision I take it’s of my full knowledge, what sort of man would I be to come back?”
It was her turn not to reply and he continued “Look,” he hesitated before continuing, “She’s in the hospital and she needs me more than ever”.
He didn’t see the discomfort in Tola’s eyes and he bent his head to the floor.
“Really?” she tried sounding casual “What happened?”
“I don’t know, she has refused to talk” he replied gravelly making Tola’s heart twist with the way he loved this woman. “She needs me and I am not ready to let her down… not again”.
She walked to him and put a hand on his cheek “I understand”.
“No”, Segun removed her hand and walked away, “You’d never understand” he paused and then said distantly, “she’s the only woman I’d ever love this way”.
Tola looked away at his statement with tears in her eyes threatening to fall; it was very hard for her to be in this position.
Segun laughed and continued distantly, his laugh was full of sorrow. “Funny enough she wants us back together, she said it’s her last wish”, he said quietly but loud enough for her to hear and she swallowed in guilt, “God!, I love her so much!” He burst out into tears in his sunk eyes, they stood like that for a while, none of them knew how long because the minutes seemed like hours. Segun’s phone rang snapping them both out of the phantom. He picked it up it was a call from the hospital. Nike had gone into a coma.

***

He sat down and stared into space, Tola was beside him in the hospital against his wish, the doctor came out with his stethoscope hanging around his neck. Segun stood up and walked to him full of anxiety and Tola followed behind.
“Doctor, what happened?” Segun asked his voice was full of panic.
“I don’t know, she just went straight into a coma,” the doctor replied gravely.
“How is she?”
“I honestly don’t know what to say Mr Peters; I can only tell you that the rest of the healing process is up to her and God” he replied gravely. “She’s been drifting in and out of consciousness for the past few hours but we’ve been running some tests on her”.
Segun absorbed this in silence trying to balance his thoughts. “Can…” he stammered “Can I see her?”
The doctor sighed and nodded. “Please make it quick, she’s been placed under intensive care”
“Thank you very much,” he said and entered the room. His breath caught at the sight of Nike’s unconscious body with the drips and oxygen mask over her nose. He looked at the heartbeat detector machine and her heart rate was steady but slower than it should be.
He sat by her bed and Tola leaned at the door post, her eyes watered with tears that her pride fought against; guilt and envy of how much her husband loved this woman raged through her whole being. She had never seen him this way, so helpless.
Segun sat in the chair close to the bed and wrapped Nike’s hand in his, it was cold and pale and he wept into those hands, he missed her so much and he was ready to lose everything to save her, he didn’t care about the office, he hadn’t seen it for close to two weeks but he didn’t care; he had a P.A.
He missed this woman and he wept for her, for the pain she was going through, the fact that he was never there for her whenever she needed him the most.
“I love you, Nike,” he said between tears “I love you,” he continued softly “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” he said through tears. “Don’t die on me now Nike, not now?” he said mumbling.
“Don’t beat yourself up Segun” Tola called softly standing behind him, “She can’t hear you”
Segun looked at Nike’s face half covered with the oxygen mask, her eyes were closed, “She’s unconscious,” he said defensively, “not dead”.
Tola said nothing feeling tears caught up in her throat as she watched her husband anxious for another woman. They stayed that way for a while, the atmosphere was grey and Tola stood behind her husband watching Nike and remembering the incident that led to the woman being here. She knew that Segun would never forgive her if he found out what really happened and she was grateful that the woman never said a word. She stood and a tear came out of the corner of her eye which she hurriedly wiped off.
They both didn’t know how much they stayed that way until Segun finally spoke: “I think you should go back to the house Tola”.
“I want to be with you”.
He half turned and looked at her “Why? This doesn’t concern you”.
“You are my husband,” Tola replied gently, “No matter what happened you are still my husband and I love you… I can’t leave you now”.
He said nothing and turned round to face Nike again praying and hoping she could come out of her state of coma.
Nike sensed their presence and heard them, but she…couldn’t move. She felt stuck in an unknown dimension like a time quantum; Remembered her daughter Madina… she could see her laughing innocently. Madina was so pretty, so angelic. She saw herself in the hospital when Madina died, the feeling of loss came rushing back to her, her eyes watered but no tears came out and then she remembered Segun, her thoughts softened she felt like she was in paradise with him and Madina, god, they were so happy, happier than they had ever been, she liked it here, this was definitely heaven; could feel herself drifting out of this strange and she fought weakly not to let it go as she drifted slowly back into reality.
“Segun” she called out weakly opening her eyes halfway, her voice was almost a whisper. Her heart beat faster as she hurriedly called out in her heart that he should hurry, time was running out quickly as she drifted slowly back into the paradise, the images of her family slowly became vague.
Segun scrambled in his chair and Tola rushed outside the room to call the doctor or a nurse hurriedly “Yes love” he replied anxiously.
There was no answer and he panicked until she slowly spoke: “I can see Madina”.
“Really,” he replied and he smiled almost perilously. “Please don’t die on me now Nike please,” he said desperately, “please Nike I’m begging you please”.
“Go back to her,” she said her voice getting fainter as she smiled a little, a weak smile. “Do it for Yinka, Madina wants you to be happy”.
She said nothing and Segun stood up desperately,y “Doctor!” he shouted at the top of his voice full of panic, “Doctor!”
Nike could hear his voice from a distance, his face was fading away as her eyes slowly closed, she could feel the little breath left in her going away, her body was going numb fast… she had little time left, at least she would see Madina and Segun in a better place she thought as she said a short prayer of forgiveness to God.
The doctor rushed in with the nurses and Tola followed behind.
“Nike” Segun screamed with tears in his eyes, “Don’t die on me now, I love you,” the nurses were already ushering them out of the room as the doctor brought out the heart pump.
Nike made a little smile. “I love you too, Forever,” she said in almost a whisper but Segun read her lips and then the heart rate detector went into a simultaneous tone the diagram was a straight line. She had given up her ghost.
Segun screamed and fought his way to her holding her hands, they were cold now and she was truly dead, he wept as the feeling of emptiness and loss washed over him.
Tola looked at the heartbroken man and his dead lover and tears filled her eyes. It was too late already for them all, she knew they would both live with the guilt especially her and Segun who was always so sensitive about her. She should have guessed years ago, he never loved her. She should have left Nike alone.
The scene before her was in a haze as she was lost in her thoughts.
 

CHAPTER 21

Segun stood in front of their graves and smiled a little comforting smile, he still felt their loss especially Nike. Maybe he would never heal.
The grave was covered with white flowers; pretty little white roses, they always liked that, he smiled again and looked forward, the clouds were forming. It was going to rain again. He had to get back home to Tola and his daughter, at least his daughter was his only reason to live…  would always love his first family; would always want to be with them. He sniffed; a sad tear drop came from the corner of his eye. At least she was happy in heaven; he could almost touch her, though he wished he could see her one last time… one last time would never be enough. He loved her in ways he would never understand, not even Tola could understand.
He would always come here, would always be drawn to this place because this was where they were. She must have been smiling down at him as the clouds parted ways to a refreshing sunshine.
His smile was happier and more alive. God bless their souls. Love was so traitorous and funny, the way you love a person alive and love them more when they are gone, maybe because you didn’t get the chance to say good bye or because you never got enough time with that person but you’d never understand… never. He remembered her favourite movie; Fools among the Angels… the love song they played.
He would always cherish them. Forever. He would always love them both, but he had to go to move on with life, stop holding on to memories of the dead and make more memories of the living instead. She would want that the most for him now, not to dwell on the past and make a life out of the present. He was forever in love with her. Forever grateful to her.
Segun smiled one last time to himself and walked away from their graveside to go home.

The End

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What do you have to say to Oyindamola Dosunmu the author of LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS? Send it as a comment to this post or directly to her email box dosunmu.oyindamola@yahoo.com. Tell her how gifted she is, this will mean a whole lot to me, thank you 🙂 

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Author of LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS

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 MY WOMAN; MEMOIRS OF LOVE

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STORIES,

LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS : Episode 9

white_spring_flowers_in_rain-wallpaper-1600x900

CHAPTER 19

“Good afternoon Nike” Tola eyes lingered on her bulging stomach “I see you’ve wasted no time in getting pregnant,” she remarked drily to hide her anger “Can I come in?”
Nike moved and Tola entered Shutting the door behind her. They stared at each other for a few minutes; the air of tension was electrifying until Nike broke the silence.
“Please sit”
“No thanks”
“Need any drink?”
“No thank you,” she looked at her with malice “you are smart enough to know that I didn’t come for a friendly visit” Tola faced her squarely and Nike sat down feeling very weak with rising fear.
“You know,” she smiled maliciously “the situation is very funny, but I still can’t laugh” she walked to the television set to pick up a little-framed picture of Nike and Segun and smiled with envy, she put it back.
“What did you come here for?”
“I wanted you away from Segun but now that you are pregnant, I’d prefer if you leave and never come back” her voice turned ugly.
Nike absorbed this in silence, thinking of a wise response, she finally spoke, “But he’s living with me now,” she smiled at Tola, “You threw him out, remember?”
“What did you do when you caught him with that woman that night, I heard you did worse,” she laughed bitterly, “I love my husband and I’m ready to work things out as long as you’ve left us alone”
Nike gasped in surprise and she smiled at her, “Surprised? My husband tells me everything,” she sat on the single chair,“I should deal with you, but you are pregnant with a bastard!”
Nike stood up angrily and spoke in a dangerously low tone,“ I will not have you insult me in my own home,” she looked at the time, she wished Segun could just come back with one of those his surprises “I’m really sorry it came to this, I also feel very bad about this and I would love to see you and your husband reunited but…”
“But what!? You had Segun years ago and got tired of him, you offered him nothing but pain, leave him for me! The company he has whose money you are spending was through my family’s sweat, Segun had next to nothing of my class when we met, I clothed him and showed him what it felt like to be loved!” Tola’s face darkened in frightening anger and Nike walked to the door
“I have told Segun countless times to go back to you, I know what we did wasn’t right and all I should be asking for is your forgiveness”
“Which you don’t deserve” Tola completed walking up to her.
“He gives you happiness” Nike spoke softly “But I give him happiness”
“I’m not sure about that!” Tola replied bitingly. Nike moved close to the high stool standing beside the kitchen, she had forgotten the food on the fire, not even the smell reminded her. “You are just one of his old flames who has turned out to be an opportunist because Segun has this much money, you just go to hell and leave us alone” Tola snarled at her and Nike gave her a slap on her left cheek on impulse. Tola shook her head in fury.
“Get out!” Nike ordered angrily, feeling the ache in her head “Get out!”
“You slapped me? You slapped me?”
“Get out,” she said again controlling her voice this time, “I think you should leave now,” she turned her back to her lover’s wife as tears threatened to fall from her eyes.
Tola moved  close to her, her voice was dangerously low, “You’ll pay for this Nike, if you are so wicked that you can’t think of my daughter and her happiness then I wonder what you’ll do if Segun leaves you for another woman”
Tola moved a little away from her and made a cruel laugh “I don’t expect you understand how much I value my daughter’s life if you killed your daughter!”
Nike moved round blindly and raised her hands again, but Tola was quicker and held her fist roughly shoving her out of rage into the stool behind Nike. She fell down to the ground with a thud with the stool falling violently on her stomach. Nike screamed out in pain and Tola stared at the woman writhing in pain as the terrible reality of what she had done dawned on her.
Tears broke out of Nike’s eyes, instantly she felt the blood seep out of her, she was losing the baby she thought desperately as she moaned in pain. She tried to mouth the words help me, but she couldn’t hear her voice. Nike closed her eyes; she could feel the fear in the other woman.
Tola stood transfixed for a minute. What had she done? If anyone saw her in this place she would be in trouble, something she would never forgive her for… she would never forgive herself for. She ran out of the flat, leaving the door half open as she whispered “I’m so sorry” repeatedly to Nike, more to herself
Nike whimpered in pain. She felt so weak and lifeless; her body was limp with pain. She was soaked in a pool of her own blood, tears streamed down her face, but not as much as the blood around her. The light seemed to fade out slowly and everything so far away as she lost slowly lost consciousness of her environment until there was darkness and time seemed to stop.
***
Nike finally opened her heavy eyes languidly. She found herself in the hospital bed and tried sitting up until there was a sharp unbearable pain in her abdomen. Series of drips and a pint of blood were injected into her and automatically her weak hands reached for her stomach. It was very flat; she had lost her baby, her precious baby. Tears of grief and pain fell weakly down her cheeks in abandonment.

 Click to continue to the Final Episode

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Written by: Oyinda Dosunmu

Author of LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS

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Thank you for reading, I’ll be waiting to see your comment.

Other stories on this blog that you must read;

THE BLINK

SOPHIA’S DIARY

GREY

 MY WOMAN; MEMOIRS OF LOVE

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STORIES,

LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS : Episode 8

white_spring_flowers_in_rain-wallpaper-1600x900A tear spilt out of Nike’s eye as the future seemed bleak, the present messy and the past untidy. The familiar ache in her heart resumed for Segun as she gripped the mug of cold Bournvita tighter in her hand. The sacred scenario of him and his wife, Tola happy together replayed for the hundredth time in her head. He had abandoned her leaving her cold and hungry for him when he heard of her condition. There was no way she would sit back and do nothing if he didn’t reply the text she sent him, she would go to his office. Even if it meant stooping as low as a bereaved mistress.

CHAPTER 18

She sat gingering on the king size bed and marvelled at the love scene that took place on the bed some time ago. In the bid to get to work early when he was already late, he forgot his phone. Tola smiled to herself, it was romantic she could be the source of his lateness to work.
How perfect life was going, Yinka had no problems at school, and she and Segun were working out their differences thanks to Uncle Lai. She took his phone as a message came in; scrolling down to the messages she clicked on the view button. It was from Nike.
Nike? She heard that name from somewhere; yes! Yinka’s previous nanny. Why would she be sending a message to him if not her? She clicked on view. It reads thus;
“It’s been so long since we spoke after I broke the news to you, I know I said some bad things and now I’m not sure of the things you told me. I need you to sort this out, we can talk this through; meet me at home as soon as you get this, I’m on maternity leave. Please, love you. Forever.”
Tola stared and stared at the text message, its intent sank into her. Nike and Segun… something was happening between them something more than a mere relationship, they were having an affair. Nike, Segun…. The names kept ringing loudly in her ears.
A tear spilt from the corner of her eyes as her once happy expression changed to pain and vengeful anger. Screaming in pain Tola threw the offending phone smashing it on the wall. Quick footsteps climbed the stairs towards her room as she wailed in pain at the betrayal. Nike was sleeping with her husband; they had played her for a fool.
Ahmadu entered at the sound of her frightful wail amidst the tears “Madam,” he rushed towards her in surprise.
“Stay away from me!” Tola screamed at the top of her voice in pain sitting on the rugged floor. He tried once more to calm her down and she hit him hard on the cheek “Stay away from me! I don t want anyone here or else you are fired!”
Ahmadu left in a state of confusion as she willed herself to comfort only this time silent tears of a bruised ego burned her cheeks. She would show them, would pay them! She would teach them both the lessons of their lives!

***

He drove in silence, the radio was off, and it gave him a headache, especially with a thousand worries on his mind. Segun made a turn into the quiet estate where he lived. His heart ached for Nike, it ached so much that he thought his chest was torn apart. Love could play wicked games on its victims when they clumsily fell into his pit. There was a new issue now, she was pregnant, 6 months pregnant and he was very happy only she refused to see that he was willing to leave his wife for her just like they always dreamed.
Good, God! What mess did he put an innocent child in? He horned at the gates of his house and almost instantly the security guard opened the gates and he drove in.
Segun parked and locked his car; he entered the house through the kitchen only to find Ahmadu sitting morosely on the kitchen stool with no food on the fire, he got up immediately when he saw him, “Welcome sir”
Segun nodded derisively “Where is everyone?”
“Yinka is in her room”
“What of my wife?” he asked as the boy collected his briefcase.
“She’s in the room, sir”
“How come there is no food?”
Ahmadu hesitated and looked at the floor “Madam has not told me to cook anything since morning”
“Since morning?” Segun asked, surprised “Why?”
“In the afternoon she screamed from the room. She said nobody should enter the house”
“Tola?” Segun asked himself surprised “Okay, thank you… has Yinka eaten?”
“Yes”
He nodded and collected his briefcase, Segun walked slowly upstairs into the room, hesitating, he knocked the oak door.
“Ahmadu I told you I don’t want any disturbance!” a demanding voice shouted from the inside.
“Segun entered the dark room and turned on the lights to find different pills and an almost empty bottle of dry martini on the bed. Tola’s head was downcast, she didn’t move.
“Tola what’s wrong?” he walked hurriedly to the side of the bed “oh my goodness look at all the pills”
“Welcome Segun” she replied in almost a murmur, she didn’t look at him.
“Tola, tell me what’s wrong”
“How is Nike?” she asked and looked directly into his eyes, she didn’t fail to see the shock in his eyes.
Segun stared at her. The game was up. Didn’t matter how she found out at this point.
Tola laughed full of evil zeal. “Don’t you want to see your phone?” she asked again “Don’t you want to see it? Look at the floor”. Segun’s eyes were drawn to the floor and he stared at it shocked. She must have seen his messages.
“What has gotten into you woman?” he asked in anger, trying to cover up his guilt. “Do you know how many contacts I’ve lost?”
“Oh, like Nike’s number?” Tola completed finally standing up to meet him in all her rage “When were you going to tell me?”
“Tell you what? You must be drunk!”He moved away.
“Stop lying to me! Her voice shook with tears “Do you think I don’t know about your secret affair? Oh, I don’t know who you are anymore, you have no clue ‘dear’ what you’ve put me through!” she shouted with heavy sarcasm “Look at the time,” she pointed at the wall clock “It’s past 10, don’t you think you should call her?”
Segun sighed, inside him, he was reeling and on the outside, he maintained a defiant face staring into horizontal space. He felt sick, sick of himself and everything “Calm down Tola, Yinka is asleep”
“Ah Yinka” Tola dragged with a gesture “You are a poor excuse for a father and a husband. I know about your baby on the way. Congratulations!”Tola said, clapping,” I hope it’s a boy!”
He stomached it in silence and he put a hand on her shoulder. Tola gave him a stinging slap that made him move back a little “Don’t you” she shimmered, fresh tears spilling out of her bulging eyes” don’t you use your filthy hands on me, ever again. In fact…” She walked to their cupboard flinging his clothes out jerkily. Segun realised her intention, she was throwing him out!
“Please Tola, we can talk in a civilised manner,” she paid him no need” Throwing his clothes out “Please Tola,” Segun went on his knees” You don’t understand”.
Tola stopped and turned around to face him “I don’t understand “a bitter laugh escaped from her lips “What is it I don’t understand? You are sleeping with a nurse, a nurse who is carrying your child?” Tola shouted the question all the cords standing out of her neck, her face washed with tears.
“We were…” he hesitated; he knew it was time, to tell the truth.”Come on, tell me what happened. Tola continued to mock “Did you love her or not…”
Segun couldn’t bear it anymore. She is my ex-wife” there was an uncomfortable silence for a minute.
“Why didn’t you tell me this?” pain echoed her emotions, making him look up at her, sober.
“Because I didn’t know it would come to this,” he nearly wailed in frustration and he gathered himself with pride” it’s a long story Tola”
“Oh my God!” Tola said to herself, at last, putting a hand over her mouth” Over feminine curiosity, tell me the story and leave my house tomorrow” She paused” before I wake up”…

***

“So what are we going to do?”Nike asked quietly as they lay on her bed, a bed sheet clumsily covering them.
“I don’t know” Segun answered back equally quiet and sighed.
“Well, you have to decide soon for all our benefit”
He shifted and put a hand on her bulging stomach.”This child needs a father”
“And Yinka needs you” Nike replied with watery eyes,” I’m scared Segun. He sat up, turning her face to his “Don’t be,” “You shouldn’t be here Segun. We should never have started this”
He managed a choked laugh despite the raw truth of situation” If you love me, Nike, you’d support me”
She got up pulling on a long robe jerkily” I need to think Segun; this is a sin against God and man. I love you, but I never dreamt of reuniting with you this way.”
His voice was so harsh, “what are you saying?”
“You should go back to your wife,” she looked away, feeling jealousy and loss tear her apart “I’ll have this baby alone,” she closed her eyes temporarily and opened them to see Segun still on the bed.
“I have nowhere else to go, Nike, I love you more than anyone else and I can sacrifice every fibre of my being for you. I love you so please don’t tell me to leave again”
Nike sighed sadly and remembered a play she once watched “We are acting so much like fools among the angels”

CHAPTER 18

“I’ve never known a love or lust to last this long” Funke said loudly to herself “This is madness”.
Nike looked away at her mother’s words.
“This man is married Nike, what you were thinking?” she asked, “ I thought you are mature enough to know that besides I didn’t bring you up to be having affairs all over Lagos and now you are pregnant!” her mother said distantly.
“Mama, she needs you now more than ever m please forgive her” Carol pleading on her behalf. “I’m just recovering from Nike’s misconduct myself but as her friend, I can’t push her away. It would be very wrong”
“Mum, I’m so sorry” Nike spoke pleadingly. “I really need you now; I can’t do things without your advice, I…”
“Well, you didn’t pay my advice any attention before getting into bed with a man that cheated on you when you were married and now he has used you to cheat on his wife. What sort of an irresponsible man is that?” Funke shook her head sideways in disappointment “I’m still angry with you, but you are my daughter, I have no choice do I?” Carol nodded and Funke continued “After all, it’s an innocent child in your belly “It’s not right for you to have this child alone “the all grim face broke into a smile “All is well” her mother concluded warmly.
Finally, they got up and said goodbye to her mother leaving. They both walked down to the car park and got into Carol’s car, but she didn’t start the ignition, after a while of silence Carol asked: “Are you still with him?”
“Yes,” that was all she could say. She was emotional, mentally and physically drained.
“What of his wife Tola?”
Nike shrugged, looking out of the window “She’s alive”
“I hope you both understand what it means to have that child under this circumstance” she paused “and I hope you know you can’t be his mistress forever, things don’t work that way in this world, you’ll never be happy knowing you broke another person’s happiness for your own… if you have a conscience”
Nike said nothing, preferring a little silence on her sighed “Can you drop me off at the church”
“What for?” Carol looked at her surprised.
“Please I need some time alone before Segun gets back from his office,” she smiled a little at her best friend “I’ll go to the Catholic Church along the road to my estate”
“Okay,” she started the ignition and drove out to the road. Silence reigned in the car, each woman in their own thoughts. In less than an hour, they got in front of the church and Carol parked, then turned to look at her. “Okay, ” she watched her get down from the car, “should I wait?”
“No thanks” Nike replied, trying not to sound too tired as she peered at Carol through the window
“You sure?” Carol asked, unsure of the idea and Nike nodded “alright, I guess I’ll see you later”
Nike smiled “Thanks”
Carol said nothing “Think of what I told you,” she smiled a little “I love you a lot Nike and I’m worried that something might happen to you and you know I’ll be travelling in a week’s time, I need you to be strong for me okay?” the engine of her car roared as it came back on “Take care” she drove off.
Nike waked inside the chapel compound, it was time to come clean before God, all she wanted now was peace and only the worthy, omnipotent God could give her that.
***
She drove into the lonely street in the estate with the familiar unknown force; she had been doing this since she could remember.  Knowing she had to confront Nike no matter what, her uncle was right, no one stepped on her family’s toes like that, and that was an insult to her and her family.
Tola parked in front of an old abandoned building and got down walking down the road towards the house. Now, where was the number of that wretched house? Tola asked herself, Ah; number 12. She walked into the compound and looked around it was neatly kept, good enough for a nurse. She knew the woman’s house was on the 1st floor. Tola walked around the compound and passed the stairway by the side of the building to the first floor. It had only one flat.
Tola knocked on the iron door as her heart beat madly in her chest; there was someone in the house as the aroma of chicken sauce filled the air from the inside. The door opened and she stood face to face with her enemy, she loved the expression of shock on Nike’s face.

CHAPTER 19

“Good afternoon Nike” Tola eyes lingered on her bulging stomach “I see you’ve wasted no time in getting pregnant,” she remarked drily to hide her anger “Can I come in?”
Nike moved and Tola entered Shutting the door behind her. They stared at each other for a few minutes; the air of tension was electrifying until Nike broke the silence.
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Written by: Oyinda Dosunmu

Author of LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS

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LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS : Episode 7

white_spring_flowers_in_rain-wallpaper-1600x900CHAPTER 15

They sat cuddled up in a sofa in the sitting room after eating rice for Sunday lunch. Tola kissed him and smiled into his eyes.
“Uncle told me the construction has reached the first floor now”
Segun nodded, “I’m very grateful to your uncle and he said he spoke to your dad sometime ago”
“Really?” She sat up to look at him a little and laid her head down to his chest again “I spoke to dad and mum isn’t feeling strong at the moment. I promised to call them today, I’ve been trying to reach them for a while now since morning, you know these international calls are quite hard to make these days”
“Greet them for me, okay,” he smoothed her hair.
“How come you never say hi to them yourself,” she whined “honey, my parents don’t bite”
Segun laughed “Don’t worry, I have all the time in the world to talk to them my dear”
They kept quiet for a second and Tola spoke “Baby, I have something to tell you,” she sat up and stared at him smiling, “guess”
“You know I’m not a good guesser,” Segun replied playfully and she made a face. “Okay; you got a new contract?” Tola shook her head sideways, “you got a gift?”
She made a face and laughed, “No silly,”
“Okay, so tell me”
“Well,” she bent her eyes down twisting her fingers nervously and then she expelled a deep breath “This isn’t going to be easy to say” she paused and looked at him then looked back at him blushing like a school girl. “I’m pregnant!”
There was an incredible silence as Segun just stared at her shocked, unpleasantly shocked. Tola looked at him, expecting him to say something. ”How did you get pregnant?” She looked at him pregnant and he quickly shook his head “I mean when did this happen?”
“We have been lovers for over a year Segun so what do you expect?” she stared at him as if disgusted.
“I’m not saying I’m not the father. I just want to know when this happened.” He rasped.
“Aren’t you happy?” Tola sat up with tears in her eyes.
“Of course, of course I’m happy” Segun shook himself mentally and forced a smile she was still not convinced, he pulled her closer trying to be enthusiastic.
“For a second I thought you weren’t happy” Tola remarked after a while in his embrace “I love you, you know?”
He nodded as she rested her head under his chin, his heart beat loudly in his chest, he was sure she noticed. This was the last thing he wanted; a baby… his mind was still on Nike even after a year “How long?” his voice was clipped.
“Three months old,” she replied, smiling.
“What of the contraceptives?”
“I don’t know what happened. You still love me don’t you?” she looked up at him. “You’ve never said that to me before”.
“Really?” he still couldn’t say it, not to her. “I care about you a lot Tola, what’s important now is the baby”.
She giggled “I guess we’d have to get married”
Segun thought his heart paused for a split second “Marry?”
“Of course”
“I wouldn’t give birth to a child out-of-wedlock Segun” she stared at him. “You should be matured enough to know that.
He took in a deep breath. This was not what he wanted, a baby and now marriage, how much worse could it get? Why did he make such a mistake? He didn’t want her as a wife; he didn’t want anyone as a wife… except Nike.
“Well, I have to accept my responsibilities,” he thought out loud.
“Yes” Tola replied “You are a good man Segun, I hate to lose you”
“You won’t,” he smiled sadly at her “It’s too late for that now”

***

Segun smiled at the tombstone wind the gentle wind blew around him. He placed the white rose on her grave site and smiled again, he loved coming here; the silence, the peace away from trouble… He could almost hear her voice. He sighed just staring in the air.

“Maybe, things would have been different if you were alive,” he said out loud. Madina was here or so he would love to believe. The wind howled a little, he could smell the earth beneath his feet, it was going to rain.
Whenever he had problems he brought them here and somehow he always felt better just being here like now. ”I have to marry her Madina,” he murmured, half thinking he was mad, you have a younger one now, what you always wanted, that doesn’t mean I would forget you”
“I won’t forget to bring you flowers every month, I’ll always love you my dear and I miss you”
He sat on the rubble in front of her tombstone touching it. He missed her and missed her mother, they used to come here together cleaning and dropping fresh white roses at her grave site. She loved white roses. She had always been attracted to white flowers. They always came here together, but for a while now he came here on his own. He had told Madina the first time he came alone, he told her everything, she was the only one he trusted who would always listen and never criticise, and she was always there for him no matter what, when he let her down, telling her the things he did. She was the next best thing after God and he loved her to death.
“I’m so sorry Madina, I love you,” he sighed with tears in his eyes, he was a bitter man, perhaps he would always be. After standing there for a while, he sniffed back what seemed to be tears and smiled sadly to himself “I guess I’d go ahead with the marriage. See you next month Madina” he paused “I love you”.
He got home that night and he went into Tola’s waiting arms. He could try to love her, maybe she was more precious than Nike, maybe so. He smiled in her embrace as a little voice said “try and be happy”.

CHAPTER 16

THE PRESENT DAY…
Tola jerked out of her thoughts as she heard the car horn from the gates. She peered through the curtains and she quickly went to the door, hoping to see it was her husband. She took a deep sigh of relief knowing it was Segun and went outside the house with a sober expression on her face.
“Segun you are back,” she smiled at him “Can I help you with that?”
He moved his luggage to his other hand “No thanks” Segun replied with an angry look, giving her a signal to leave him alone. He walked past her as if no one was there and slammed the door behind him pushing Tola backwards.
Tola jerked the door open angry and embarrassed that the family driver had witnessed all this. She followed him back inside the house into the bedroom.
“What is your problem Segun?” Tola asked, frustrated, “what have I done to deserve all this?”
Segun did not reply, he changed his clothes, ignoring her pleading eyes “Segun please answer, we can talk this out, we keep getting angry at each other over silly things Segun, and I want to know what I’ve done wrong”
He finally looked at her “Tola,” his voice was full of exasperation “can I have peace for once? For Pete’s sake, I just got back home and I’m tired, I really don’t feel like talking to anyone right now”
She looked at him with tears in her eyes “Are you having an affair?”
He turned his back against her, a little scared that she may have found out the truth. Tola waited and anger began to rise inside her “Are you having an affair Segun?” her voice was louder this time. ”I knew it!” Tola shouted crying “I knew it! What have I not done for you Segun? I have given you everything you’ve ever wanted and I have a child for you, so is this what I get for all this?”
Segun turned and stared at her angry with a little twinge of guilt in his heart, he looked at her silently
“Can’t you at least answer me?”
“And say what?” he replied in a roar “and say what? If I tell you I am, would it make you feel any better?”
“Are you?” her voice rose too, “every servant in this house has heard everything about the way we fight, spare me this embarrassment Segun and tell me the truth”
“You concluded yourself Tola, if it pleases you, you can think that way for all I care!”
“Segun what happened to us?” Tola lowered her voice in tears “we used to be such good people are we pulling apart from each other?”
“Tola can you please stop all this ranting and leave me alone. I have things to do,” he moved out of her way, tying his silk robe around his body.
“I don’t know when you became this selfish” she remarked in a small voice loud enough for him to hear.
He stared at her and made a little crooked smile, with that he walked out of the room leaving her to cry alone.

***

In the office, Segun was thinking of what was happening to him. He looked at the time; it was 20 minutes to 4. He sighed heavily thinking about everything. He never like this, when he left school he had gotten a good job met Nike and fell on top of the world…in love, they had gotten married and had a beautiful daughter until she died due to leukaemia… that had been the genesis of his problems . Nike changed drastically after that and when things were just beginning to look better she caught him ‘kissing’ his best friend. Not that he could blame her entirely for their break up, it was also his fault, but then things between them was just not right
Then there was Tola, Tola who nurtured him, she had come into his life with a promise of a brighter future, given him hope to live. He felt the only way he could repay her was to marry her… it seemed best since she had been carrying their daughter. He felt indebted to her and he cared for her, but he never loved her, she was so kind and understanding he couldn’t tell her about his affair, he didn’t intend for her to ever find out, it would kill her because she loved him dearly but he didn’t feel the same way about her.
They were living happily as husband and wife until Nike barged into his life, bringing memories and the buried feelings he had back to the surface again. And now it seemed like they had always been tied to each other, he couldn’t think straight and now his poor wife was suffering for it. He was having a relationship with Nike and though he knew it was wrong, he just couldn’t bear the thought of losing her again, he thought about his little girl and the only thing he felt was pity. He was such… there was a knock on the door.
“Excuse me, sir, you have a visitor, should I transfer it to you?” His secretary asked, her husky voice interrupting his thoughts.
“Yes, please do,” that must be Nike she promised to come. He smiled to himself. He picked up his jacket. They were going out on a date.

***

“At last we are alone,” he sighed beside Nike on the king-sized bed. They were lodged in a hotel in the outskirts of Lagos and they switched off their phones intending to have the best weekend together.
“I love you” Nike said, looking into his brown eyes, she gave him a light peck.
“Forever” Segun stood up, his face darkened in remembrance of Tola “I wish I hadn’t married Tola,” he said with regret.
Nike looked away, her heart twitched at the mention of his wife’s name. How would the poor woman feel knowing he was having an affair with their child’s nanny, the woman would break down in misery, even Nike knew Tola loved her betraying husband, the man who loved someone else. She looked down at her clasped hands “We promised not to bring up that issue” Nike said in a small voice.
He shook his head sideways “We can’t run from it forever. One day she’ll find us out, the question is, will you still be there till the end?”
Nike stood up and walked round the bed to him putting arms around his neck. She kissed him on the lips “That question is for another day,” she replied unbuttoning his shirt “is for another day, let’s take what we have now”…

***

“He’s not picking his calls,” she looked at Uncle Lai. Who stared into space in deep thought “In fact, it’s switched off,” Tola got up, tear streaked pouring wine into a glass and gulped it down. She welcomed the soothing calmness it gave her and sighed painfully.
“And you say he’s been acting very strange for the past how many months?”
“Four months,” she gulped down her drink again “Oh Uncle! I don’t know why this is happening to me. Segun was never like this, he must be seeing another woman” Tola slumped into a chair with tears spilling out of her bulgy eyes, “I can’t believe this is happening, why?”
“I warned you Tola” her uncle remarked smirking his lips, “I knew that boy was not trustworthy. Look at you now, see what he has turned you into”
Tola knelt before her uncle and rested her head on his laps in tears “Please uncle help me talk to him, please. The situation has gotten out of hand, it’s so bad that he was gone since Friday and this Sunday,” she said with sobs racking through her “I’m very worried, my parents mustn’t hear this” she got up and sat beside her plump uncle.
Ahmadu entered the sitting room and prostrated dropping Segun’s briefcase on the chair
“Has Oga come back?”
“Yes ma,” he left.
Tola looked at her uncle worried “Don’t worry,” he soothed “I’ll take care of this”
Tola readjusted her booboo attire hurriedly wiping tears from her cheeks. She sat up lifting her chin with a shaky pride; she drank the remaining wine and dropped the glass on the stool beside her.
Segun entered and stopped short when he saw Uncle Lai “Good afternoon, sir” he could guess what this was about, he turned towards the staircase loosening his tie.
“Segun!” came a booming voice from his in-law; he turned round to face him “Sir” he answered wearily.
Uncle Lai made a brief disbelieving grunt and stood up “So it is true what I’m hearing”
“About what?” Segun feigned ignorance.
“About you and your wife” he snapped back “You leave home without telling anyone and come back at any convenient time… or rather day!”
He threw a glance at his gleeful wife and returned his gaze to Uncle Lai “Is that what she has been telling you?”
This time Tola answered angrily, “Is that not the truth or do you want to deny it?”
“No, I don’t,” he replied as if bored.
“Tola leave us alone”
She hesitated, not trusting the outcome of a private conversation. Her Uncle’s voice grew louder this time with more force “Tola leave us alone!”
Tola let out a defeated sigh and climbed the rugged staircase upstairs not bothering to glance at Segun. When they were alone, uncle Lai began with a troubled sigh.
“Let’s sit”
Segun looked away “I prefer to stand”
“Very well then,” he replied, sitting down “if you’d rather be a prisoner no problem,” he cleared his throat “Let’s talk. Man to man and I want nothing but the truth Segun. When my niece first met you, you were still a budding businessman and now that you’ve stabilized what has come into you?”
“Nothing, uncle”
“Then why this sudden change? Don’t let your success come into your head,” he continued with a controlled anger “I’m very disappointed in you Segun and I mean it,” he stopped and Segun said nothing still looking down at the floor “don’t you have anything to say?”
“I would like to believe I do, but no one wants to hear me out”
His companion looked at him steadily “what is it?”
“Tola, she has become overbearing, always asking for my whereabouts who I’m with and always complaining about my job”
“Is she not your wife? Please, don’t look for excuses to cover up your mistakes. You have lost respect for what you once were Segun, I hope you’re not having an affair outside this marriage, if not,” she gave a choked laughter “only God will deliver you” a pause, and then he continued “I’m a family man and you know I don’t joke with my loved ones. If Tola has any cause complain about you to me again, the outcome would be drastic to your job. I’m a man of my words”

***

It was a month now and still no call from Segun. Nike bit her lower lip softly at the thought and rested her hand on the gentle swell in her stomach. A great tide of emotion swept through her, she was carrying Segun’s baby and she was six months pregnant as the test result had confirmed. In the next three months she was going to have his baby alone.
Alone? For heaven’s sake, he was married, with an angel of a daughter. It wouldn’t be the way it was when she delivered Madina by his side, it would be different, there would be no husband, no family, no friends, only the doctors, strangers.
She had refused to see her mother after their last encounter at the hospital. Breaking the news to her was like throwing a pebble in the air because her mother rejected her unborn grandchild. Everywhere she went, it felt people were gossiping about her condition. No one wanted to leave her alone, no husband, but pregnant, a taboo.
A tear spilled out of Nike’s eye as the future seemed bleak, the present messy and the past untidy. The familiar ache in her heart resumed for Segun as she gripped the mug of cold Bournvita tighter in her hand. Sacred scenario of him and his wife, Tola happy together replayed for the hundredth time in her head. He had abandoned her leaving her cold and hungry for him when he heard of her condition. There was no way she would sit back and do nothing, if he didn’t reply the text she sent him, she would go to his office. Even if it meant stooping as low as a bereaved mistress.

CLICK TO CONTINUE TO EPISODE 8

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Written by: Oyinda Dosunmu

Author of LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS

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THE BLINK

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GREY

 MY WOMAN; MEMOIRS OF LOVE

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STORIES,

LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS : Episode 6

white_spring_flowers_in_rain-wallpaper-1600x900She turned round catching her breath. How she wished everything didn’t have to end like this, she didn’t have to leave with a wounded head and a bleeding heart. She looked at Segun through blurry eyes.
“Let me drop you home” came the emotion filled voice.
“No, I’ll find my way home by myself,” she replied with steel in her voice.
“I’m so…”
“No, don’t be sorry, you are my past now, what ever happened is over” with a long pause, she said “We both have long lives ahead of us”
Segun sighed “Would you someday forgive me? I shouldn’t have hit you”
“I can forget, but not forgive you” it was a lie; she knew it as she walked out of the gate. Briefly, Nike closed her eyes, remembering that fateful night of their argument which led to their heartbreaking divorce.
A tear burned through her right cheek as she hurriedly wiped it off walking slowly towards the lonely junction.
CHAPTER 12
The following one month was not an easy one for Nike. First she had to tell James she had quit the job, second she had to run from place to place gathering up her documents to resume as head nurse but luckily she pulled through.
Nike walked up to the door or her flat opening it and entering inside. As usual, there was no power supply and slowly, she had a warm bath dressed in a velvet red mini-gown for bed, she fried a little plantain while closing her eyes to the little dark wall behind those of her eyes.
It was hard not to think of Segun and her Madina, much harder than it was the first time. There would be pouches beneath her eyes in the morning; she knew it because every day she cried herself to sleep also praying for long life for Yinka. Finally the food was ready, carrying it in a saucer to the sitting room; Nike sat down in the dim light of the lantern eating her food.
There was a loud knock on the door and Nike looked at the time, it was past ten. Who could it be at this hour?
“Who is it?” she shouted, walking towards the door and wrapping the gown more tightly around her.
“It’s me” came the reply. It was a male voice adding to her discomfort, a familiar male voice.
Nike opened the door to face Segun staring at her. Silence engulfed them as they stood staring at each other.
“Were you expecting someone?” he asked gravely misjudging her dressing. A lover, perhaps.
Nike ignored the question and the excitement welling up within her, he had sincerely caught her by surprise, much to her practical discomfort.
“What are you doing here?”
Segun shrugged, his eyes still on her “I just came to see you”
She blocked his entrance into the sitting room.
“Well, you’ve seen me now, you can leave,” she replied coldly.
“I can’t, not until I talk to you,” he paused and looked at her intently. “You’ve been crying,” Nike looked away and asked again, “Why are you here Segun?” her heart did a flip, “I can’t stand here all night and I’m not letting you in”
He nodded as if disappointed “I had a fight with Tola”
It was her turn to shrug “So what does that have to do with me?”
“A lot”
“It really doesn’t concern me if you both fight as far as…”
“Can I have a drink?”
Nike looked at him, grabbing hold of his ambiguous statement. “Come in”. Segun entered nodding in approval at her little modern apartment as she brought both of them two glasses of wine. They sat in silence, staring round the same room.
“You know I can’t think straight anymore”, Nike stared again trying not to listen to his sweet words and Segun continued. “I just had to see you one more time”
“You shouldn’t even be here,” Nike replied.
“But I am”
She closed her eyes, feeling the wine relax her… so much she didn’t know when he slipped beside her. The power was so much she could feel his presence as if they were bound together by a rope. She started crying, crying for the good old times. Segun seeing this, held her close to his chest as her body continued to rack with sobs.
“I am sorry. I never knew that seeing me again would make you cry so much please stop crying” After a lot of begging, he managed to calm her down. He motioned her towards the settee and when they sat, he just kept on looking at her face.
“Why are you staring at me like that?” she asked amidst tears “because you are so beautiful when you are not crying, when you are crying and even after crying” He said in a hushed tone looking at her tear streaked face. Gradually, he brought his lips closer to her, and she, needing comfort simply relaxed his lips met hers to give her the passion and love her heart longed for.
“Where is the bedroom?” he asked tearing his lips from hers. She could not respond due to the shivering expectancy of her body so she only pointed to the right side of the house.
***
She woke up the next morning feeling very happy. She wondered why and as if all of a sudden, she remembered Segun and everything that had happened last night. He had given her the best night she had had in a long time and oh, he made her feel like a woman in every way, shook her to her very core… but where was he? She wondered, looking around the room. She was already beginning to entertain the thought that he had left her, disappointment welled up in her when she heard his whistle and her heart did a flip and only then did she realise how much he meant to her.
He came in with a tray containing bread, tea and fried egg “I see you are awake, sleeping beauty”
She smiled up at him biting her lower lips as she greeted him good morning. She no longer felt ashamed of sleeping with him after all, he was her ex- husband and he also came to her house to meet her. He would have been hers if not for the divorce so what difference did it make whether she slept with him or not? She wanted to be with him and that was all that mattered at the moment… even if she had to throw her conscience into the bin.
“I see you brought breakfast,” she said, smiling at him when she saw he was trying to read into her thoughts. He kissed her lightly as he poured the tea into the mug. “So, you told me you fought with your wife Tola, what exactly happened?”
Segun sighed reluctant to speak about his wife “I guess we just fell apart” he said simply.
Nike only nodded slowly as he continued talking. “Look Nike, I know it’s against your principles… it’s against mine too. but the truth is I can’t live without you again. These past 11 years have been the most terrible years of my life. I don’t want to lose you after finding you again”
“These past 11 years have also been the most trying years of my life. It’s not the same without you” Nike replied slowly, “There were times when I felt so alone and discouraged. The truth is I also want to be with you, but you don’t understand what it feels like to know that I can be this disloyal to Tola after how nice she was to me. But if it’s what it takes to be happy then I want to be your lover,” she concluded closing her eyes, trying to block out the guilt of her decision.
Drums were being drummed, cymbals were blaring and harps were blown in his head as she said those words. It was as if he had just proposed to marry her and she agreed. He looked at her trying to see whether she was actually awake but what he saw was love and he made up his mind to always love her.
***
5 MONTHS LATER…
“Segun, where have you been?”
Segun stared at his wife wearily as he dropped his office bag with a soft thud on the chair. He walked into the master bedroom and she followed behind irritating him.
“Segun, where have you been?” Tola asked again. His mind wandered back at what happened in Nike’s place that afternoon as he pulled off his clothes ignoring his wife.
“I called your office and they told me you weren’t in.” He said nothing as she spoke “You aren’t even answering me” she turned him around roughly.
“Tola what is your problem? Can’t you for once let me have peace?”
“Segun I don’t know what has come over you”
He shrugged “you are just over reacting”
“Are you seeing someone else?”
“Can you stop questioning me?” he asked in a very controlled voice.
Tola started crying “I’m just scared” she put her arms around him and he mutely responded to her with a little twinge of guilt.
“I’ve just been very busy”…
CHAPTER 13
2 WEEKS LATER…
Pacing up and down, Tola wondered where her husband could be. Their once happy home was crumbling. After yesterday’s argument, he left without saying a word and he still wasn’t back by 12 noon. She sat down for a while with tears in her eyes, remembering how they met;
9 YEARS AGO…
The party was very well put together, but he would have preferred a slow romantic song with a sad ending at the moment, that was how he felt…sad. Segun sat in a corner only vaguely aware of the loud thudding music, his mind was on something else, Nike. He missed home, he missed her. Today in court, she looked like she had been crying, they had both been crying even in his new apartment there was really no place like home.
His lawyer had advised them to see if they could still work it out, he had looked at her momentarily and there was no visible emotion in her eyes, maybe she had stopped loving him after all. He couldn’t talk to her, not after that night, not after the argument she clearly wouldn’t believe him even if he knelt down.
Maybe he hadn’t been supportive, but God knew he had tried his best to be patient. Segun sighed inwardly, he didn’t want this life, he wanted to be with her, he shouldn’t even be at this party, he didn’t like seeing so many people, didn’t want to socialize, but he was just being a nice colleague from work to Ese, the host of the party, besides the whole office was here.
“Oh, Segun you are here!”
Segun looked up and his other colleague and another woman were staring at him “Why are you sitting in a corner?”
Segun shrugged “I’m very tired Kevin. I’m even thinking of going home”
“Ahan!” Kevin replied cheerily “anyway, this is my friend Tola”
He looked at the woman and they shook hands. She was pretty, but Nike was prettier, he pushed her away from his mind “Hi”
Tola smiled, staring at him with interest. The man was clearly not happy to be here.
“Okay, you guys, chat, Tola I’ll come back for you later” Kevin left dancing away from them. Silence reigned in the little corner as they stared blankly at the ongoing party.
“So, Kevin told me you are the company’s engineer”
“It’s a team actually” His voice was smooth and silky.
“Oh,” she smiled a little at him “I’m Tola by the way, Kevin didn’t give a proper intro”
He smiled a little; he wanted his privacy “Segun”
“Are you okay?”
“Sure,” he replied blankly.
“You don’t look happy to be here. You know a problem shared is a problem half solved” She laughed trying to encourage him.
Segun stared at her “There’s no problem, I’m just tired that’s just it. So what do you do?”
“I’m just into buying and selling, I hate being a worker to someone”
“No one does. So how did you meet Kevin?”
“Through his girlfriend, she’s my cousin’s friend”
He nodded. There was nothing more he wanted to say…
***
The driver sped past the narrow road trying to get to the airport fast as Tola checked through her things to ensure she had all the right documents in her handbag. The flight was in four hours, so she didn’t understand why Saheed, the driver was speeding. She stopped and closed her eyes, remembering the man she had met at the party Kevin had invited her to, what was his name… Segun. Pity she hadn’t collected his number. She really wanted to see him again as he was a fine young man.
Suddenly the car came to an abrupt halt and she jerked forward nearly bumping her head on the passenger’s seat in front of her. “Saheed what is wrong with you!” she looked ahead and he had nearly hit a man. Segun! She rushed out of the car hurriedly as he angrily dusted his trouser.
“I’m so sorry. So, so sorry”
Segun looked up and his expression changed when he saw her, he was in a bad shape. It wasn’t about the near accident, it was something else, maybe he wanted to kill himself!  “Tola!” he breathed disappointed and surprised.
“I’m so sorry,” she repeated and he nodded numbly and she dragged him into the vehicle casting a venomous eye at the driver who stared blankly at the two of them.
They sat in the car and Tola stared intently at Segun, she knew there was a very serious problem. “Segun, are you sure you are really okay?”
He nodded, his eyes were downcast. “I’m fine”  No, he wasn’t; a tiny voice said to him, they had finalized their divorce today. He wasn’t alright; he could never be alright again.
“Okay, so what happened to your car?” Tola asked gently. The man was in obvious pain.
“I parked it at the office; decide to walk for a change”
“What a surprise! I’m really sorry about the whole incident”
“It’s okay,” he managed a fake laugh. “So where are you heading?”
“The airport, I’m going to Abuja, what about you?”
“Home… but why aren’t you passing the express, it’s a faster route to the airport”
She laughed “Well, I had to check on a friend living around the area, do you live around?”
“Yes, last house along Dokunmu Street, on the left,” he smiled at her, “Maybe I should take your number? I’ll call you after you return”
“That’ll be great” they exchanged numbers “I’ll call you instead or pay you a visit”
“Okay, I guess I should be going” He smiled a little at her and got out of the car “Nice chatting with you” with one last smile he turned round without waiting to hear her reply just the start of the engine starting.
He walked along the lonely street, so sad and alone.
***
2 MONTHS LATER…
They laughed heartily in his car parked in front of her house. Tola checked the time and made a loud sigh. It was about to 11 in the night much to her disappointment. She stared at him as he spoke, her mind was far off. She was madly in love with him and he failed to see it. She had made him learn to trust her and tonight was a very special night as, it wasn’t like the other outings they went on, it was about the loan her uncle the CEO of Spiral Bank approved for him to start-up his own construction company. He chatted happily and she could only give him a little smile.
He was the perfect man; caring, mature and hardworking but he hadn’t said anything about emotions and he knew how she felt without her saying it. She still didn’t know much about him except he was an orphan and an only child; she didn’t know why he was so upset the past few months.
“I suppose it’s late now” Segun smiled at her happily
“Yes, it’s about past 11 now,” she replied.
“Well, I had a nice time, I hope you did, but I guess I should let you get in”
She wavered “It’s too late for you to start driving,” she paused “you can always stay in the guest room”
“No thanks. I really should be going,” he looked at her and smiled. Silence reigned in the car for a few minutes.
“Are we moving too fast Segun?” Tola asked distantly
He looked straight into her eyes and nodded
“Am I making any demands?”
“I haven’t noticed”
“I think I’m wasting my time here”
“We’ll see about that” he gave her a lingering peck “I’m really grateful to you and your uncle alright?”
Tola smiled and got out of the car as the security guard opened the gate of her compound. The gate screeched in the silent estate and Segun drove off.
He sighed to himself as he drove out of the estate to the main road. He lost his smile as he thought of what Nike would have done if she heard the news. He really missed her and no one could take her place not even Tola. He wanted her back, maybe they could work something out. Segun wondered what she could be doing, reading perhaps… or with another man. He made a painful swallow as he turned right boy cutting the traffic. It was funny how a man could love a woman like this, it was pathetic. He hadn’t heard from her since their divorce and he wasn’t surprised, he had being thinking of an excuse for ages just to see her.
He got into his area and smiled to himself. It wouldn’t hurt to imagine he was going home to meet her… and Madina.
CHAPTER 14
Segun got out of his car, excited. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea since Nike hadn’t contacted him, today was Madina’s birthday, and they always dropped white roses at her grave site. He could always go alone; he had no ties with Nike anymore. Segun crossed the road to his former home where he and Nike lived. The gate was locked to his disappointment and he moved back to see the janitor of the compound
“Kenneth!” he shouted through the cracks of the wall banging the gate “Kenneth!”
The janitor saw him and opened the gate surprised “Oga!”
“Kenneth, how are you?”
“I dey o, aunty talk say you travel,” he replied smiling, not noticing the change on Segun’s face.
“Where is she?”
“Ah, she no tell you?” he said as if surprised “Aunty don pack commot!”
Segun could not hide his shock “When?”
“E don tey ooo…like last month side,” the man said, “she no tell you?”
“No” he replied and smiled a little “Her number isn’t going”
“Yes, she don change am”
“Okay, thank you,” he turned and brought out money giving the man
“ Oga thank you o,” he was smiling
Segun nodded and left the compound very disappointed. Segun got into the car and let out a breath, tears threatened to fall “Shit!” he shouted “Shit! Shit! Shit!” he shouted hitting his fists on his laps. In the first place, what was he doing here? He started the car and drove on to the road heading to Victoria Gate Cemetery, he missed his family and it was tearing him apart. Segun sped off angry and heartbroken.  He had to face it, she had moved on and he would never see her beautiful face again. He would never hear her laugh… or see her cry again. A tear spilled out of the corner of his eyes, then another and another. He didn’t mind sobbing like a child, he had lost her forever.
He had lost her over a stupid mistake and he kept blaming himself, he couldn’t help it! His phone rang and he ignored it. He looked at the bunch of white roses on the passenger seat and smiled, at least he still had his daughter… she would never leave.
***
Tola was in the house when he got home very late in the night; she sat in the sitting room with food on the table and got up hurriedly when he got into the house. His face told her he had a very rough day, this wasn’t one of his moods it was a very bad incident. Tola rushed towards him and hugged him “What’s wrong?”
He said nothing and slumped on her in tears “it’s okay, it’s okay” she continued to whisper gently into his ears, he was in pain, it was too obvious.
“It’s okay, don’t worry it would be alright” she said “I’m not going anywhere” they sat on the chair and she landed on his laps as she wiped his tears away”
They sat like that for over a long time until he calmed down; she had never seen him this way “What happened?”
Segun said nothing at first, he didn’t want to tell her, didn’t want to share Nike with anyone except his thoughts “I hit someone today”
Tola put her hand over her mouth “A child?”
He looked at her as she believed him “Yes, she’s dead”
Tola gasped “It’s okay”
They stared deep into each other’s eyes but clearly they were thinking of clearly different things and she thought wrong. Tola put her lips down to his and she kissed him until he started responding. It got intense, because he was heartbroken.   It took them a long while before either of them could speak.
It took him a while the next morning to get over the fact that he had slept with Tola, he stared down at her sleeping body beside him for the umpteenth time that morning, he didn’t like this; the last thing he needed right now was a relationship. It was way too soon for that, but then he had to move on in life. Segun got up gently from the bed and pulled on pyjamas trousers, then brushed his teeth and left the room to the kitchen. Segun stood in the centre of the kitchen for a few minutes and began to make coffee. Gosh, things weren’t going the way he wanted; he didn’t need anyone in his life right now. Tola would want a relationship and that was a big challenge.
He poured out the hot coffee into a mug and sipped it sitting alone in the sitting room. He sat there for a while, not thinking, just in deep thought.
“Hello sleepy head”
Segun looked up to see Tola standing by the door post in his tee- shirt, Nike had won in once and God!, she had looked so sexy in it with her hair ruffled up and… he blocked out his day-dream “Hello Tola”
She came to peck him on the forehead and he made no move to respond, she didn’t seem to be disappointed  “I thought you had gone out and let me in this house alone”, she wrapped her arms around her waist.
Segun threw her a puzzled look, “Why? I don’t think that’s a nice thing to do with someone you’ve been intimate with”
She blushed.”So what’s up?” Tola wanted to kick herself in the shin; she was behaving like those little girls in the high school movies!
“What’s up with what?”
She licked her dry lips “Us?”
“I think we moved too fast yesterday,” he paused, not looking at her “We are adults and I don’t think it’s right to rush into these things. We just met and…”
“We just met?” Tola’s voice rose in rising anger and disappointment “We’ve known each other for almost a year!” She went into the room to change into her things and he followed behind trying to calm her down.
“I just think we should be patient, we have all the time in the world”
“I have been patient Segun and we can’t deny, it’s very obvious to both of us that I love you and I want something out of this,” she threw her hands in the air with tears in her eyes “You are being mean here”
“Let’s not do this okay?” he asked her pleadingly
“Do what Segun? You are a grown man and I am also a grow woman it shouldn’t be taking you too long to know that I am getting older and I need serious relationships with serious men not those who are still unsure of a woman!” she zipped the front of her dress and tossed his shirt on the bed.
“Please can you give me some time to think? It’s not that I don’t like you it’s just…”
“Like?” she cut in hurt “I can’t do this”
“Just give me some time okay? To straighten things out”
She stared at him for a fraction of a second as a tears drop spilled from the corner of her cheek and with that she left his flat, slamming the door behind her.
***
Segun got up from his desk and looked outside the window facing the busy road. He felt so guilty about Tola, they hadn’t spoken for over a week which wasn’t surprising. Maybe he was such a jerk, he has to move on…the way he moved on with Madina. Segun picked up his phone; it was time to put the past behind him without telling Tola about Madina and her mother.
***
A YEAR LATER…
Nike sat down in her room, idly; things felt so different… things were different… without him. She shut that part of her out and stared at the man sleeping on her bed. From outside, the time seemed to be past 5 in the morning. He was the first man in her life after Segun, it was nothing serious, just a casual affair….to try and forget her ex- husband. Femi was different, he was smart and funny with a very good personality unlike Segun, and he was smart … very smart and cool, she shook herself, what was she doing? Comparing them? He was everything she wanted now and Segun was in the past.
Femi wanted to marry her and she didn’t want that now, not now, maybe she was moving too fast to date someone… too fast? It was over a year since the divorce and since she heard his voice. She stared into at a distance.
“Baby, you are awake”
Nike turned to face Femi who stared at her sleepily, his face looked silhouette in the dark “Yes”
He patted the bed “Come over”
“I don’t feel like sleeping,” she watched him as he wiped his eyes with the back of his hands.
“You are still thinking of my proposal?”
She nodded and looked outside the window not wanting to face him “I need time”
“You have all the time in the world,” he replied yawning, “look, I love you so I’m prepared to wait just don’t be unfair to keep me waiting for long”
“I won’t”
“You’ve been saying that for close to a year”
“That’s because I made it clear from the start that I just wanted a casual affair,” she replied a little annoyed, she didn’t want to be put in a spot but she knew she’d never get married to him, she didn’t love him and sooner or later she’d tell him.
“Oh, so why do you want to think of it if you want to tell me no?” Femi asked a little frustrated
“Because I still want you around,” she needed him to be able to forget Segun not for anything else.
“You have all the time you want. I love you and whatever you say is right, okay?” he asked, turning to the other side of the bed.
“Sure” she looked out of the window.

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Written by: Oyinda Dosunmu

Author of LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS

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LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS : Episode 5

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A few minutes later she found herself on the cold tiled floor, which brought her back to her senses as Segun lay atop her unbuttoning her shirt to expose her bra covered breasts. Nike lay still trying not to respond…he was married.
Sex would lead to a secret affair, it would lead to heartbreak, then suffering and what about God… all the rest of her life as a loner.
The shrill ringing of the phone in the sitting room was her salvation as Segun uttered a curse and left her to drown in emotions. Quickly, Nike stood up and ran hurriedly to her bedroom. She could do this! She couldn’t live in the same house with her ex-husband!
 

***

“So Nike, what are you planning to do?” Carol asked pouring them both a glass of non- alcoholic wine. She sat, staring through the glass of dark red wine.
Nike sighed looking at her plump friend morosely. “I don’t know. Everything is just…”
“Messed up” completed her friend wearily. The events of what happened in the morning rushed into her head as she looked into the red velvety drink and a sigh escaped again.
“Have you guys done it?”
Nike looked at her friend again and rolled her eyes in Carol’s two bedroom flat “We nearly this morning”
“Ah” replied Carol in a motherly tone “Girl, you are still in the love zone heading for heartbreak “
“What should I do?” her tone was heavy as she spoke sadly “You are adroit when it comes to men”.
Carol laughed briefly “I think you should just quit this job, after all, it’s not by force”
Nike sighed again “I can’t, you know I can’t commit adultery” she sipped a little of the cold wine “If you see the way I dodged him to go outside you won’t believe. I’m so ashamed, so embarrassed”
“Have you talked to God in prayers?”
“Several times, he doesn’t seem to be answering” she replied frustrated.
“That’s because you’re not patient enough to hear him” Carol chided softly “There’s nothing God doesn’t have the answer to my dear and I’m sure he doesn’t want you to go through all this stress, do you remember Jeremiah 33; 3. It says call me and I will show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not”
“What should I do?” she asked again in almost a wail of frustration.
“Do what you think is right. I can’t decide for you because trust me it won’t work”
“Nothing makes sense anymore Carol”
It was Carol who sighed this time with a look of pity on her face “You have to choose common sense in this issue. He cheated on you when…”
“I’m not even sure anymore,” Nike said in a small voice “We still love each other…I still love him”
Carol shook her head sideways “He’s married so that means there is no vision of a future with him. Bow out of this sin before it is too late”
“It’s already too late”
“No, it’s not until you fall into bed with him. Sin is sweet, as they say, but it leaves you with pain. Do you want to spend the rest of your life in tears?
“No”
“Good” replied her friend sipping wine “Then move out of this axis and start your life afresh as if you were just born” Carol sighed and continued “I know it’s hard but it’s the right thing to do”
“Even just thinking about him and of his wife in bed makes me angry”
“This truly is a sin” Carol responded “You can see for yourself you’re obsessed with love, get another guy and just forget about him. He’s your ex- and that means your past and if you can’t maintain your relationship strictly on business terms”
Nike hissed exhausted in her thoughts “If my mother hears about this, I’m dead”
“Well you are old enough to take care of yourself so everything would be under control by God’s grace”
“Amen o”.
 

CHAPTER 10

In the week that passed, Nike managed to stay away from Segun burying herself in her work. She and Yinka got closer; too close it made her eyes glint with tears for her own late daughter.
Finally, the day came when she had to speak to Segun. She had tucked Yinka in bed and was making her own way to her room downstairs when she heard the master bedroom open; Nike quickened her steps to her room and reached halfway when Segun spoke.
“Wait for Nike!” he said lowering his voice.
By the time she turned around he was by her side breathing levelly, she moved back fretting a little. “What is it?” her tone was evenly cool enough.
“We need to talk”
“About what? Surely it can wait until tomorrow” Nike relied upon walking to her room.
“I’m leaving tomorrow” Segun answered hurriedly “It’s about Yinka”
She looked u at him puzzled “Yinka?”
“Can we talk in the kitchen?”
Not bothering to answer she led the way smiling briefly at her performance in the dark; she turned on the kitchen light and looked Segun ignoring the weak feeling in her. To Nike’s shocking realisation Segun shut the door approaching her.
“Don’t come close” the warning was uttered shakily as she held a cooking spoon in her hands “I’ll hit you with this”
He stopped and looked at her as if hurt “I just want us to talk” his voice was desperate and Nike gave in… the first sign of her weakening defence.
She walked opposite the kitchen close to the store “Please say it quickly, I’m very tired” said she feigning boredom. Segun sighed and looked straight into her eyes.
“Why have you been hiding from me?”
“Me?” Nike asked in pretence “I’ve been very busy”
“Busy?” he gave a short snort “Come on Nike, you know better than this”
She looked at him steadily calming her excited emotions but said nothing.
“You can’t deny you don’t feel the passion between us” sighed Segun.
The bewildered expression she feigned supported her “You are a married man and I have my principles”
“I’m not suggesting that we have an affair” he replied mockingly.
Nike felt the colour stain her cheeks in embarrassment and she spoke quickly to cover it up “and I’m not suggesting that either”
“Sure, since you’ve said all you’ve wanted to I believe I can go to bed now?” she made her way out of the kitchen pushing past him and she stood short to complete her statement “Segun?”
Segun turned to face her “Mmmn?”
“Don’t ever call me on a false alarm. Ever again” with that she made her way to the bedroom slumming in unnecessary tears on the bed. Crying over spilt milk.

 ***

She sat in the reception of the big insurance company waiting patiently for her friend, Carol came down. Carol came downstairs hurriedly “Nike why didn’t you come up to my office?”
“I decided to take the old express” she stated drily making her friend laugh as they walked to Carol’s office. Nike sat on the chair looking round the medium size room and let out a deep breath tiredly. “I came to renew my car insurance”
Carol nodded picking up the land phone from its cradle “Hello…yes, come to my office immediately” she placed the receiver gently back in its cradle “So how is Segun?”
Nike hissed in exasperation “That one? I don’t think I can finish this job”
“So what do you intend to do?” Carol asked intently “Don’t forget you are half way through”
“I can’t continue or else…” the knock on the door interrupted her. A man entered dressed in a suit.
“Take this to Ronke and tell her to renew them” Carol gave him the papers and he nodded leaving the room. “What were we saying?”
“I have a high chance of having an affair with him”
“My dear I wish you the best of luck”
Nike sighed looking at her clasped hands “I really don’t know why this should happen!”
“My dear, everything happens for a reason…”

***

A dark cloud of pain and longing hung between Nike and Segun but still, she persisted in keeping him at arm’s length, even with that she knew that he was so close to her but so far away at the same time. During the days that passed he fell sick with malaria, it gave her more time to choke her feelings and decide what next step to take.
Nike frowned to herself running over the past few days since she spoke to him. She looked upstairs hoping to hear the sound of his heavy footsteps. She had to leave… not before she finished her contract.
Her light footsteps made no sound as she made her way upstairs to Yinka’s bedroom. Opening the door, Nike entered to see Yinka dressed and ready for bed. “I see you’ve tucked yourself in,” said Nike lightly.
“Yes” replied the little girl looking up at her “aunty Nike can I ask you a question?”
Nike nodded sitting at the edge of the rather large bed.
“Is daddy’s sickness crit…critc…”
 “Critical?” Nike corrected softly looking at the child “No, he just needs to rest”
“How do you know?” Yinka asked innocently.
“I’m a nurse and that is what I do. I take care of sick people”
“Is that good?”
“Yes” replied Nike smiling in the dark.
“I want to be a nurse too”
She stood up kissing Yinka on the forehead and sighing “Amen to that darling but you have to go to bed, remember our little song early to bed?”
Yinka laughed a laugh of innocence softening Nike’s heart as she sang the same tune.
“Good night aunty Nike” Yinka said yawning tiredly.
“Good night angel” with that she moved out of the room into the dark of the room stopping in front of Segun’s room. The urge to open the door of his room and the other to run as fast as she could be played with her heart. She heard a deep painful cough making Nike catch her breath.
“Who’s there? Yinka?”  Segun shouted as his voice echoed through the silent house from the confined shelter of his room. Nike stood as if transfixed.
“Yinka is that you?” finally, he left her knocked off as he opened the half-opened door of his room suddenly knocking her senses off balance.
Nike stood dry-mouthed at the handsome ragged sight of Segun dressed in pyjamas trousers and leaving his chest bare.
“I… I… I was elm… I went to see Yinka”
He looked at her expressionless, still silent.
“I should be leaving,” Nike said hurriedly realising all her energy was on the spot, she couldn’t move. She looked away from the hypnotizing eyes.
“You haven’t come to see me since” Segun finally spoke, his voice heavy with sarcasm. Nike lifted her chin up in defiance gathering her wits together.
“I’m not your wife anymore Segun”
“Ah”, he replied drily, you finally called me by my name. Rubbing his roughened skin, he walked up to her holding her two arms to her sides “You can’t run away anymore now can you Nike?” he whispered into her ear.
Segun’s breath was warm against her ear making Nike’s skin tingle, she tried every angle of attack. He put his lips against her throat breathing in her lavender-scented skin. Nike shivered fighting herself. She tried one last angle of attack.
“You are a married man” she let out with difficulty in her husky voice “You must be faith…”
“My wife and others can wait till tomorrow, you are for today” he murmured against the smooth skin of her cheek.
It was wrong, a little portion of her mind said to her. Wrong timing, wrong place, wrong event… wrong passion. Unconsciously, tears slid down her cheeks as Segun carried her to his bedroom manipulating her weakness and what followed were a rekindled passion of love and a sense of excess happiness for her. At least.

CHAPTER 11

She awoke in the cold light of the day with her senses, realizing what she had done. She looked around the room as if in a horror movie automatically getting up and moving silently out of the room. Nike rushed up to her own room and into the cold bath.
Her tears mixed with the cold shower as she violently scrubbed her body leaving marks where she scrubbed.  The violent wave of tears shook her to the core as she ended up sliding her back against the wall to sit heavily in the bathtub.
She had slept with him… finally, and what did it give her? Only a rekindled light of love…  and a satisfied libido. She took it as the whole world; he took it as sex, she said she loved him; he said he wanted her, her eyes told him forever; his eyes told her a lover, she wanted his forbidden love and now she had only succeeded in breaking her own heart.
She blamed herself terribly as the long-buried past resurrected.
A long wail of helplessness escaped from Nike as she hit her fist against the tap sending a spurt of blood on her fist. Nike cried herself to sleep in the now shower-off bathtub, crying for the love that was once hers.
 

***

It was late in the afternoon when she finally awoke surprised to see herself on the bed; she sat up to find Segun on the chair close to the door. She flushed as she wrapped the white bed sheet tightly across her bare breasts.
Segun walked up to her, his expression hard to read “What were you thinking when you slept in the bathtub?” his voice was with controlled anger.
Nike looked away failing to find the steel in her heart. “Please I’m very tired, I need some rest”.
“I can see that” he replied, his mouth twisted in sarcasm “Why did you leave me in the morning? It was barely five” his tone held a hurt expression making her lips quiver with a soft centre.
“Why did you leave?” he asked again looking more intently at her.
“What did you expect me to do? Sit back and smile while I was committing a sin? For heaven’s sake I slept with you on your matrimonial bed and you aren’t even bothered” Nike remarked holding back tears “You just came back into my life so unexpectedly, married, and you expect me to welcome you with open arms?” she managed a bitter laugh “You men are so cruel!”
“Oh” replied Segun as if in a world of his own “the fact I’m married is a breach”.
Nike gave a long mocking hiss “That is just a part of the problems, perhaps the most important. I can’t believe you are talking like this! We committed adultery and all you do is to interrogate me. I’m leaving this contract today Mr Peters!” her voice shook with dry tears.
Segun walked towards the bathroom door backing her, “You caused all this”
Nike gasped in disbelief “I caused this?” she asked in fury getting up naked and jerkily putting on a morning robe to face him as he backed her “look here Segun. You were the one who came to me begging me to speak to you, I didn’t” she turned him roughly to meet him face to face raising her voice and continued “You planned all this. You pervert!”
“Well, I didn’t force you to give into my so-called seduction did I?” he returned equally angry. “Of course, you know that I still love you even with everything that has happened”
“You are a dirty cad! An idiot!” she shouted at him as she was hurting inside that everything turned out to be this way. Everything was her fault she had lost him and now she knew she would always love him even when he was with another woman.”You put me in my present predicament”
Yinka entered wondering what ensued between them in her room “daddy?”  She asked innocently “what’s going on?”
Nike knew that when Segun got like this, no one escaped his wrath except and Yinka just stepped right into a ditch.
“Get lost now!” Segun shouted angrily to her surprise. Yinka looked at Nike hurt and curious to know what caused his mood.
“Yinka do as your father says,” Nike said with a controlled shaky voice and Yinka bowed out hurt leaving them alone on their own battlefield. “You shouldn’t have shouted at her!” she shouted back at him in rising fury.
“Don’t tell me what to do with my own daughter” he replied equally.
“She’s not to blame for your problems!” continued Nike in full rage “I hate you Segun, I hate every…”
“You hate me so much you personally stripped for me!” he answered heavily in sarcasm.
“I was weak!”
“You are so selfish with everything! That has been until today. You haven’t moved on psychologically, you have made yourself colder after Madina’s death”.
“Don’t talk to me about Madina’s death! Nike responded her voice shaky with rage “At least I didn’t have the guts to sleep with my best friend a year after my daughter’s death!” she looked at him full of scorn speaking through gritted teeth. “I’m surprised you have only one wife or do you think I would be your mistress?”
She knew she had driven deep into his skin and she felt satisfied and yet sad that he felt the pain from her. Nike continued in her anger “You are a poor excuse for a man! A cad! A pig…. I hate you!”
“Stop that Nike!” he cautioned his face very fierce, she nearly developed cold feet but all her frustration was seeping out and the delicious invitation of continuing was so difficult to resist. She continued with an unknown force driving her “Tell me something Mr Peters, how many promises did you make to own this business?” she eyed him with a poisonous look “Or did your wife marry you for your boring services you’ve been providing her because I must say you lack exquisite skills than other men I’ve been with!”
A sharp stinging slap on Nike’s cheek was more than enough to send her to the floor in tears with a spurt of blood seeping out of the side of her head, silence reigned in the room as the realisation of what he did dawned on them both.
“Oh my god!” he said concerned and frightened for them both “I’m very sorry,” he said squatting to met her on the floor.
Nike cried harder feeling too faint with pain wreck to stop “Get out!” she finally screamed at the top of her voice “Just leave me alone!”
Segun tried to comfort her but she gave way to hysteria with flying fists and feet even with all the pain. Segun finally left, slamming the door behind him to leave her in the company of her emotional and physical pain.

  ***

“Aunty please don’t go”
The pleading voice of the 6-year-old girl made Nike desperately want to stay… but not with her father around, the man who granted her the gift of love and pain, reality and fantasies, no, she couldn’t stay. It would be a fool amongst the angels. She was too guilty to see Tola, too guilty to touch Yinka, too heartbroken to stay.
“I’m sorry” sighed Nike giving Yinka her scarf “Take this, anytime you think of me just look at the scarf you hear darling? Just like in those books we’ve read be strong for me you hear?”
Yinka nodded in tears and Nike not looking back went towards the door carrying her one luggage with her. Segun leaned stretched out by the door looking into space as Nike squeezed herself out of the door to the compound.
“Nike”
She turned around catching her breath. How she wished everything didn’t have to end like this, she didn’t have to leave with a wounded head and a bleeding heart. She looked at Segun through blurry eyes.
“Let me drop you home” came the emotion-filled voice.
“No, I’ll find my way home by myself” she replied with steel in her voice.
“I’m so…”
“No, don’t be sorry, you are my past now, whatever happened is over” with a long pause she said “We both have long lives ahead of us”
Segun sighed “Would you someday forgive me? I shouldn’t have hit you”
“I can forget but not forgive you” it was a lie; she knew it as she walked out of the gate. Briefly, Nike closed her eyes remembering that fateful night of their argument which led to their heartbreaking divorce.
A tear burned through her right cheek as she hurriedly wiped it off walking slowly towards the lonely junction.

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LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS : Episode 4

white_spring_flowers_in_rain-wallpaper-1600x900

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

To read Episode 1 CLICK HERE

To read Episode 2 CLICK HERE

To read Episode 3 CLICK HERE

“Think about the proposal very well. If you don’t call by next tomorrow I’ll take it as a no”
Nike got the gentle dismissal and she turned around not bothering to say goodbye, she walked hurriedly towards the door.
“Oh and Nike,” his voice interrupted her and she turned around helplessly.
“What?” she made her tone indifferent as a camouflage for her raging emotions.
“I always drop white roses for Madina every 5th of each month. You know her birthday was on the 5th of March,” His eyes had some form of emotions in them when she looked at him, dropping her gaze down at his shoes she replied, “Thanks”
“I can’t forget the both of you loved white roses loyally”
Nike nodded in response feeling a lump in her slender throat.
“Do you still love them?”
“No,” she replied, making her voice emotionless “just like you said, people change” with that, she walked out of the office feeling sickly.
 

CHAPTER 7

  “Mummy I don’t know what to do anymore,” said Nike perturbed looking at her aged mother who sat in deep thought of the situation.
Funke sighed, “Indeed it is a very tricky situation”
“He gave me until tomorrow to decide and I still…”
Funke cut her daughter short putting the plate of rice on the table in her daughter’s house “It could be a big risk withdrawing from the job. I think you should just take the job but at the same time it isn’t too healthy for you”
“Segun is the child’s father and I fear I may treat the child very badly”
Funke grunted in disagreement “I suppose you don’t have any feelings for each other anymore… how old is the girl?”
“Six”
“En, so what is the problem?”
Nike shifted uncomfortably in her cane chair “she’s bearing the same name with Madina”
Her mother shook her head in frustration “okay, so what do you want to do now?” she asked impatiently.
“Resign…”
“Resign? For where? Is it in this day and age you want to resign from a good job because of a minor holiday assignment? Please, Nike, think before you talk!”
Nike looked at her mother stubbornly “But you can’t expect me to stay in the same house with him. He’s married and it would be very awkward”
“As you have no other choice nko? I’m not asking you to sleep with him, just maintain your distance and I know Segun, he has too much dignity to have an extramarital affair”
“I just want to feel right mummy and this is all weird. I don’t know what God feels about this” replied Nike uncomfortably.
“Such is life, my daughter. I am if you ever saw all those silly excuses to fight you wouldn’t be in this your present predicament”
“Gee, thanks, mum!” Nike said ironically.
“I’m just telling you to be careful; you are very much an adult so whatever decision you make is your own cross to bear” replied her mother “I don’t want you mixed up in any kind of scandal”
Nike sighed tiredly “only time would tell mummy, only time would tell”

 ********

   “I think it was very wise of you to come on a Saturday
”Yes, Madame” staring blankly at the ever cheerful Mrs Peters.
“Amadu! Amadu!” shouted the woman as a young man scuttled to her, without waiting she spoke, “Please take Miss Arinde’s things and show her to her room”.
The boy nodded and left with Nike following behind. Her room was downstairs, she marvelled at the well furnished and medium-sized bedroom with a bathroom and toilet attached to it. The bed was also medium size close to the window overlooking the pretty little garden in the backyard. Nike switched the fan on.
“Aunty, where should I put your luggage?” asked Amadu with his heavy Hausa accent.
“Please drop it near the bed, ” she replied, watching him as he did according to what she said.
“Dinner is at 8 o’clock”
Nike smiled as he reminded her of a hotel chaperone, “Thank you and please don’t call me ma, just aunty Nike would do” she stated gently.
The boy looked at her mildly surprised “Is there a problem?”
“No, ” she replied hastily not wanting him to get hurt “Of course not”
“Okay, ” he smiled back, relaxed “Please call me if you need anything”
“Sure”
With that, he left the room, smiling to himself. Immediately she heard the door shut, Nike collapsed on the bed feeling her bones relax. She sighed.
So, she finally landed the job, Nike thought in awe as she kicked off her shoes tiredly. She fell asleep after moments of staring at the designed brown smell… It was 7; 30 by the time Nike woke up feeling refreshed. Quickly she washed and unpacked looking for a casual dress she could wear for her first dinner with a new family in a very long time. Finally, she settled for a short-sleeved plaid shirt and pleated skirt combing her long silky black hair. Segun used to love stroking it.
She looked in the mirror, satisfied with her appearance, she went out to meet all the nuclear members of the Peters family, her jaw clenched unconsciously with envy. It was Segun, who spoke first looking smugly at her as he dropped his arm across his happy wife’s shoulder and also motioning for her to sit which she did numbly look at him in spite.
“So, Miss Arinde hope you are happy with the hospitality” Segun queried.
Her gaze locked coldly with his own mocking gaze “Yes sir” she replied with coated ice.
Quickly she shifted her gaze to the calm looking girl who sat in the single chair staring at her. Nike suppressed a lump in her throat as she felt a strange pull towards the girl and she knew deep down it was it was because Segun fathered the child.
“Is this your little girl?” She asked, trying to sound apprehensive.
“Oh, ” replied Mrs Peters in her usual cheerful tone, “I’m sorry I didn’t introduce you two” she replied…

CHAPTER 8

  During the days that passed, Nike marvelled at how Yinka and she grew very close, though she couldn’t help thinking of Madina and Segun.… Segun. The thought trailed her head as she had her bath and dressed in a turtleneck top and dark blue denim. Satisfied with her dressing, she went to the sitting room on hearing happy voices.
To her surprise it was her. His wife was formally dressed and Segun was in his pyjamas. They both looked at her as she approached them bearing a smile.
“Good morning”
They smiled at her and she caught the glimpse of amusement in Segun’s eyes as he assessed her.
“Nike, I’m going to work today so I need you to look after Yinka, you know she’s on holidays”
“Okay”
“Amadu isn’t coming today so I’ll need you to look after her breakfast. I prepared vegetables for lunch but I’ll be back for dinner”
“Okay,” she repeated.
The woman kissed her husband on the lips making Nike feel strange which she suppressed. “See you around Tola,” Segun called to his wife as she left the house. Nike walked quickly to the kitchen nervously looking for the egg rack.
“You don’t know where the things are kept”
She stopped, allowing his voice seep into her nervous state. Nike gathered her wits. “Thanks, but I’d look for the things I need” she replied, thankfully putting three eggs on the kitchen table.
Segun leaned on the white wall and sighed “We need to talk Nike, Seriously”
Nike ignored him and started cutting the onions. It strangely reminded her of how Segun loved chopping, her heart was filled with unwanted nostalgia for her happy marriage days, and jerkily she dropped the knife and stared blankly at the onions.
“You just can’t shut the past out can you?” Segun asked in a soft voice making her eyes water in response.
Nike shook herself; she was allowing her emotions take over her. Her wretched heart…did she ever have a heart after she broke up with Segun? Three men had come and gone and none of them had made her feel the way she felt with Segun, once again she shook herself.
“I’ve already shut the past out” in a smaller voice she said, “I thought we made a deal to keep away from each other?”
She heard the familiar brief laugh “I always thought of you each day…”
“We are supposed to stay at a distance from each other…” she repeated again, Nike shouted sharply but her voice sounded shaky in her ears. She felt the vaguely familiar feeling of weakness 7 years ago.
“We can’t run away from each other all day. A month is a long time.
Nike made her tone sharp and matched up to meet his eyes “Yes, you are right and I intend to spend every bit of it without having to see your face!”
Segun looked at her and laughed overlooking her ambiguous statement “That is not possible”
“I could always quit” she threatened “what about your daughter? She would be surprised to find her father in a deep conversation with her nurse”
He smiled and shifted in a more comfortable position “You haven’t changed in your biting choice of words”
“I would take that as a compliment Mr Peters”
“Sure. Can I ask you something?”
Nike felt his x-ray eyes on her and shivered against her will. Before she got the chance to reply, Yinka entered cheerfully dressed in a plain shirt and jeans.
“Good morning daddy” she exclaimed smiling.
Nike watched as he replied her smiling “Morning love! I hope you slept well”
The little girl smiled “Sure. Morning Aunty Nike”
She nodded not trusting to speak. Nike smiled.
“Well” sighed Segun “I should leave you girls to your girl-chat”
“Ah dad, come on”
“No” he replied catching Nike’s glance “I need to rest child”

********

2 weeks later…
The drive to the airport was a long one mused Nike as she sat on the passenger seat beside Segun who drove. She looked out of the window to the dark streets of Lagos marvelling at the tiny globes of light sprouting out from places.
“Is Yinka asleep?” Segun asked making his way into a shortcut in the dark.
Nike looked back at the sleeping child and sighed inwardly “Yes”. If only it had been like this in their own marriage, she thought reluctantly, with Madina… with Madina. She sighed again forcefully shutting out the door of the past.
“What are you thinking of?”
Her unconsciously closed eyes fluttered open as she turned to look at his cloaked profile, “About things,” Nike replied not strong enough to put up a fight.
“About what things?” he asked in a gentle persistent way.
Nike sighed again relaxed… too relaxed around him. “My past” she replied passively.
“What have you been doing all these years?”
“I studied nursing; you know I always wanted to study that. I fell sick recently and they said I’ve been killing myself too much”
“Fell sick?” asked Segun throwing her a glance sideways, “I thought you hardly fall sick”
“I’m human,” Nike replied drily. “How’s Uncle Kola?”
“He’s fine. He got a visa to America three years after us…” he seemed not to want to say the word.
“We divorced?” completed Nike coldly. She felt the uncomfortable grip of reality on her. He was married, married to a wonderful woman and with a wonderful daughter… so much like Madina.
“You know, he never really got why we divorced because of Bunmi”
Nike shifted uncomfortably in her seat and changed the subject trying to sound indifferent to her feelings “So how did you become a businessman?”
“The month after I left the house I got promoted to Jos where I met Tola. She’s the M.D of Spiral Bank’s niece, we got hooked up and I told her about my plans and basically… she was there when no one was”
She looked at him, feeling tears gathering around her eyes, she forced a little smile and looked away reading the meaning of his ambiguous statement.
No one said anything even when they got home, each in their own sober thoughts.

CHAPTER 9

  The bright morning sun gently lay on her sleeping body and Nike woke up feeling refreshed. She said a short prayer and preparation for the coming events of the day. Yinka was going to her friend’s place for a birthday party, leaving her with Segun. Nike smiled to herself unconsciously as she made her way out of the bathroom.
She was weakening; she felt it each moment she spent with him. She tried her best to run away, but it only seemed to bring her closer to the man… the married man.
“Oh my God,” murmured Nike dropping her clothes as she sat lightly on the bed, still for a long time “He’s married” she repeated scolding her thoughts…” to another woman”.
A ragged groan escaped her lips as she lay flat on the bed shutting her eyes. If only she could easily shut her feelings too. Well, she hadn’t, had she? She had picked success over love…she had picked death over love. Nike put a hand on her chest, after all these years she still loved the man… till death. What happened to the strong brick she built around herself? All the oaths she took never again to allow her heart take over, never swear to love; never let a man stay too long or there would be serious complications in her life. She was throwing caution to the mindless wind and letting her buried heart run away.
After all these years of beating herself up off her own stupidity; he was having an affair outside their marriage. He had agreed to a rusty knife to stab her back, she had to watch him and his wife together… happy. With their child Yinka… not her child, Tola’s child. A feeling of rage and envy engulfed her and Nike put her hand on her chest.
This wasn’t her; this was the old Nike, the innocent girl who didn’t understand the ways of men. She had to bury her again or else… but, this was her true self how could she kill the soul and let black rings of sorrow cover head?
It was past 12 when Nike finally went outside her room. The cool atmosphere relaxed her mind and calmed her spirits as she made her way to the kitchen to eat bread and butter.
So engulfed in her thoughts as she ate, Nike did not hear Segun coming into the kitchen until he sighed. Nike looked up at him caught in surprise, he was as handsome as always in his casual wear, by the time she finished gaping at his beauty, she raised her eyes to meet his mocking gaze.
Segun stood leaning on the shelf watching her. She was such a rare beauty with her liquid brown eyes holding pain and loss of the past both mixed to give her a hardened heart but he knew her weakness; him, and still it made him feel intimate with her. No matter how many men she encountered after him, he knew she still felt the emptiness he felt too, even when he was married.
“So” began Segun with a husky voice, “We are left alone”.
Nike shifted on the chair hardening her voice “No, you are left alone, with your fantasies”
“What do you know about fantasies?” he asked in an amused voice “come on, you know next to nothing about that”
Nike felt her cheeks colour and smiled a little meeting his challenge “How would you know? Oh, I forgot, you tested a lot of women lately,” she finished satisfied as she saw his lips thin in anger “And how is Bunmi lately?” she continued “she won’t be too happy knowing you’ve gotten married to another woman!”
Segun sighed controlling his anger. How was it possible to want to strangle a woman and at the same time love her? “You really are a piece of work you know?”
“Thanks for the compliment” she replied, standing up to wash her plate “but I’ve heard a lot of that”.
She felt something grip his heart. The old familiar feeling of jealousy “Don’t forget you are a married man” she completed.
Segun walked closer to her, too close for comfort. Nike looked at him, dry-mouthed and moved back hitting the sink. She turned to face him with her back nervously playing with the soapy water as she felt tingles all over her body. To think she hated him!
A hand played lightly over her back, causing a shiver of desire run through her. She tried to harden herself, but her whole being betrayed her to him as they played homage to the ever familiar feelings he aroused in her. Nike tried ever familiar feelings he aroused in her. Nike tried an angle of attack in a weary voice; it sounded a moan in her ears, “You are a married man,” she said as his lips trailed a path of fire on her slender throat. She struggled with herself as she felt the old Nike taking over. It was only going to be pure sex, not love-making, but to sum it up it was all wrong, it is adultery, She tried to push him off. It was all wrong but still, she wanted him so badly she threw her senses out of the window.
A few minutes later she found herself on the cold tiled floor, which brought her back to her senses as Segun lay atop her unbuttoning her shirt to expose her bra covered breasts. Nike lay still trying not to respond…he was married.
Sex would lead to a secret affair, it would lead to heartbreak, then suffering and what about God… all the rest of her life as a loner.

The shrill ringing of the phone in the sitting room was her salvation as Segun uttered a curse and left her to drown in emotions. Quickly, Nike stood up and ran hurriedly to her bedroom. She could do this! She couldn’t live in the same house with her ex-husband!

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LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS : Episode 3

white_spring_flowers_in_rain-wallpaper-1600x900He forced himself to respond at least just to give her a little joy to smile for. She smiled up at him one lighter kiss and left mixing back into the crowd. Nike stood rooted to the spot. She had seen them and Bunmi knew she was there all along, she fought back tears as her gaze locked with her husband’s who was approaching  her making her turn to rush unsteadily out of the compound.

*******

  She felt the brandy rush up to her brain as she sat in the little domestic bar in the sitting room corner. Tears of disappointment scalded her cheeks as the scene in the club remained stubbornly imprinted in her brain. They kissed, a long, slow kiss, their kiss. He shared their kiss with Bunmi. A hot stab of jealousy, pain and fury ran through her. How could he?
Why did Madina have to die? She took all of her happiness and all of her dreams, her hopes. Nike did not hear the door of the house shut close as she was drowned in misery.
“I knew I would find you here,” she looked up sharply to find Segun standing and looking at her with anxiety.
“Look Nike, there’s a logical explanation for what happened in the club”
“Save it for the judge” she heard his deeply expelled breath.
“Are you going to listen or not?”
“I don’t think I want to know what I already know”
He came up towards her and stopped when he thought the better of it.
“Look, I swear, she was the one who was kissing me, not the other way around”
Anger flashed in her eyes as she looked at her husband “But you were the one whose arms were around her” her tone was flat.
“Okay, let me explain. Please”
“And I said no, don’t you understand? And to think I thought you loved me! Who would have thought you were like this, well, I guess your hide and seek has been exposed right?” She threw the glass of brandy on the tiled floor and it shattered into a million pieces like her heart.
Impetuous with rage, she walked to him shaking him violently “To think I stood by you! I stood by you even when our daughter died and you had the effrontery to kiss her! Did you sleep with her too, did you?!”
Saigon held his hysterical wife “No, ” he replied, his voice tight with emotions “I told her no, ” he kept saying repeatedly trying to calm her.
“You disgust me Segun, she shakily turning away from him. She walked away.
“Listen to me Nike, I love you. What you saw…”
“I don’t give a damn what I saw!” She roared “I’m talking about us, I’m tired Segun, I’m tired”
“Are you saying its over?” He asked in a small voice.
She lost her voice somewhat developing cold feet.
“Answer me!” He said wretchedly.
Gathering up courage again, she made her shaky tone rise to meet his in pain “Yes. I think it’s time one of us or both bowed out of this… this marriage, ” she paused, half of her wish for a plea for him, disappointed by the silence, she continued.
“After Madina’s death things are not the same anymore…”
“I’m not giving you a divorce Nike. I’m not letting you go”
Nike shivered, but still she was adamant. She knew deep down she had no clue on how she was going to live her life without him backing her. She let salty tears already scald her already wet cheeks.
It’s for the best Segun” she replied in a small shaky voice, “I can’t continue with this sham, it will kill me too.”
“But we love each other,” he almost wailed in protest, “we can make it work”.
“But the love isn’t strong enough, I’m sure you’ll cope without me,” she sniffed. “After all, there is always Bunmi Alakeko”.
His footstep made her turn round in wonder of what he was doing only to see him walking out of the door. She desperately to call him back, to tell him to stay back, but there was no one, no Segun. For the first time her home felt like an empty old house.
As Nike slid her back on the wall to land on the tiled floor, letting her emotions take full control of her entire being. The feeling of loss, mustered with guilt and slow hypnotizing doubt of what she had done stung her badly.
A little after a long time she fell asleep feeling drained and exhausted in the dark cold empty house.

CHAPTER 5

  She could feel James fuming and fretting beside her, his eye on the traffic lights. They turned orange and he pulsated with impatience. James had a mania for punctuality. A taxi swerved and made him wince. He was not a reckless driver and he made his way carefully through the heavy clog of Victoria Island traffic. He glared at the taxi driver, who glared back, daring him to say something. Backing down, James detached his eyes and glared at his wrist watch.
“I should have started earlier hope time won’t be against us”. Don’t worry about it, ” said Nike with amused exasperation.James enjoyed worrying, it was his life work. She looked out of the car window, feeling a little headache.” Are you okay Nike?” James sounded anxious.” Fine, ” she lied, trying to look it, finally she admitted starring at the free road “I think I have a little headache”,” it’s the heat I expect” James said optimistically. That’s right the heat, the noise, the pressure of V.I traffic, the grinding sense of Urgency in a great city.
She closed her eyes, imagining herself in a quiet place, her thoughts drifted to Madina who died 11 years ago. Quickly she opened her eyes, blocking the window of the past, she sighed.
“You need a long vacation” James told her as he halted by the order of a traffic Warder I’m all right.Just because I fell sick month ago and now I’m all right. A little work is the best I can do to keep myself back on track.
“Stress is like a serious illness, ” he poured out.
“I’m aware” she replied dryly.” I’ve studied illness at close quarters for the last six years.
“You’re sure you want to talk…”
Nike sighed “you’ve asked me that a zillion times already”.
“Nike” he said smiling “still haven’t lost your wits”. He was a big man, broad-shouldered, tall, his dark curly hair flecked with gray His features oddly youthful or 45 years, thought Nike half smiling, she herself still looked far less than 39 years, with her honey glazed skin, brown eyes like Inca brown topaz, long shaped  legs, slender figure, high round busts, long; unusually long black hair to her armpits, long lashes forming bat eye, heart shaped face, perfect beauty, just like her daughter…. Her daughter, she pushed the thought away, letting out a ragged breath.
She had changed over the years, grown into a full independent woman who worked her way into being the head nurse until after her brief illness she decided to go into being a part-time nanny as a holiday job until she was fully recovered. She had given up two people whom she loved more than life itself, first, it was Madina who died from leukemia and Segun, Segun who walked out of her life…. Walked out of her life? She frowned a little still feeling a bit of the pain.
Easing forward James shot a glance sideways and said “I’m glad you wore  suit it makes you look practical”
“Thank you, she said,” she said “so brief me more on the job”
“It was an idea I had. One of my clients is looking for a level-headed girl to take care of her daughter”.
“I’m not a children’s nurse, James”
An expression of distaste ran across his face “She isn’t a child, ” he added with a pause “far from it”.
Looking interested, Nike asked “How old is she?”
“Six”
“Then what does she need a nurse for? The girl’s got a dad and…” she said in irony “her mum is travelling in a month’s time and the maid called a timeout on the job and her father is a very busy man”
“Typical” murmured Nike trying not to remember her ex-husband, succeeding she asked, “what’s the woman’s name?”
“Mrs Peters”
Peters. Segun’s surname or could it be him? She thought her racing with a little panic…no, coincidence, typical she thought again. It couldn’t be him, it couldn’t be him.
 

*******

  It was noon by the time they got there. The cool afternoon breeze caressed her as Nike got out of the car with James “This is it, ” he breathed, staring up at the detached  modern house in the midst of other classy houses. The gate covered most of the house exterior hiding all its beauty.
James banged the gate and on his second trial a gateman opened it.
“Good afternoon, sir”
James nodded “Good afternoon is madam at home?”
“Yes, are you Mr Okon? She’s been expecting you, ” he said, moving away for them to enter.
Nike’s breath caught in the beauty of the house as she looked around appreciating.
“Please wait here, ” said the man as he hurried into the house, leaving her and James.
“So what do you think?”
“Magnificent” she murmured enough for him to hear “I don’t think I could manage all this” she said laughing.
“Luckily, it’s the girl you are after”
She nodded as the man came out.
“Please come with me, ” he said, turning again inside the house while they followed behind.
He took them through the kitchen which was elegant in an L- shaped fashion and as they entered the white painted sitting room Nike nearly gasped at its proud beauty. Its drapes were parted to let the afternoon sun flood into the big room and…
“Mr Okon, I was beginning to think you weren’t coming again”
Nike and her companion looked up to see a woman standing elegantly on one side of the staircase. She came down smiling pleasantly.
“Mrs Peters,” said James approaching her “Good afternoon Madame”
“Good afternoon, you may leave now Yusuf,” She said, turning to the security guard who left the room courteously.
“Mrs Peter’s this is Miss Ayinde” They shook warmly.
“Nice to meet you, Mrs Peters”.
“Me too” She replied smiling. “Please sit down” They all sat.
“Would you like any drinks?” She asked.
James answered hastily for them, “No thanks ma” “Okay. So Miss Ayinde, I was told you had a liking for children”
“Yes Madam”
“Do you have any kids of your own?” Mike’s mind riveted down to her dead daughter. “No,” She said tightly, trying to sound casual.
“Are you sure you’re fit to do this job? Surely you must know it’s not an easy task.” Mike nodded his head in understanding, “It would be easy by God’s grace.”
“I like that!” She replied, not bothering with James. “Well, I think I should be on my way”, interrupted James, obviously feeling left out. “Thank you again, Mr Okon.”
He bowed courteously, “You’re welcome ma” He left them alone in each others company.
“So Miss. Ayinde, tell me about yourself” Mike smiled, looking at the woman. Her mind scanned through her past as she looked down at her clasped hands. “Well, I was brought up in a Christian home. My parents were both engineers.”
“So, what happened to them?” He asked the lady, looking interested.
“Well, my father is late, and my mum is retired.” “So apart from that, when are you starting Miss Arinde?”
“It all depends on you, madam and please, call me Nike.”

CHAPTER 6

   By the time Nike got home it was about eight. Clumsily she dropped her bag in her medium size sitting room, kicking off her shoes as she went into the kitchen. Putting her leftover rice from the morning into the microwave she hurried over to the bathroom and washed up putting on old pyjamas as she sat eating the food watching an old movie.
The shrill ringing of the phone made Nike pause the boring movie.
“Hello”
The voice was so cool and familiar on the other end of the phone, strangely, it gave Nike a familiar feeling of cherishing.
“Is this Miss Arinde?” asked the caller. Nike sat up wondering who it was.
“Please who is this?”
“This is Mrs Peter’s husband”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were the one. Is there a problem sir?” she asked with a touch of formality in her voice.
“No. I didn’t expect you to know me; can you come to my office tomorrow? I love to have a review of the applicants before employing them” his tone was calm as he spoke.
Even as he spoke on the other end of the phone, Nike could feel her blood rushing through their veins, she dismissed it as just the interview fright. Quickly she responded mindful of the credit running.
“Em… I don’t have the address, sir”
The heavy sigh told her his patience was hurriedly slipping out “Do you have a pen and paper?”
“Yes, yes, ” she replied fumbling with the stationary she always kept by the side of the phone for messages.
“It’s the Madina cooperation, 16 Adenomas street VI after the cinemas”
Nike stared at the phone in shock. Madina cooperation?  Was this Segun… “Madina?
“Yes, is there a problem?”
“No, no, ” she repeated again “not at all”
“I guess I’ll see you then”
“Yes, sir. What time is it, sir?”
“10 o’clock sharp. I hate late coming” with that he hung up.
Nike stared at the receiver before placing it in its cradle with a strange feeling. Mr Peters was not really an easy going person like his wife, she thought with a little annoyance. He hated latecomers, she recalled. The statement made her mind drift towards her ex-husband. A feeling of loneliness engulfed her as Nike sighed as the movie played on. Unconsciously tears of abandonment and emptiness engulfed as she stared blindly at the television set.

********

  It took a long while before Nike finally located the building; it was a very big tall complex. You could tell from its features that the labourers put in a lot of determination and hard work to achieve this structure.
She walked through the open black gates into the big compound towards what seemed to be the reception. The reception was very beautiful with fine arts carved in portraits it made her think of an art gallery as she walked to the plump friendly looking woman behind a big neat desk. Before Nike could speak the woman started out for her.
“Good afternoon ma, welcome to Peters Enterprise, how can I help you?”
“Good afternoon, ” she replied with a little smile, “I have an appointment with Mr Peters”
“What’s your name please and what time are you being expected?
“I’m Miss Arinde, I was expected at 10”
The lady checked a file and nodded “It’s 10; 20 now”
“I am sorry, ” said Nike hurriedly, “I had trouble getting to this place”
The receptionist smiled warmly “it’s okay; most people have the same problem. If you don’t mind, let me make a few inquiries”
5 minutes later the lady finished “Please could you wait there for a few minutes?”
“Sure” Nike sat on one of the purple settees smiling at how pleasant the employees were to the visitors. She picked up a magazine scanning through it patiently.
“Good morning, please are you Miss Arinde?” Nike looked up to see a cheerful young man standing in front of her.
“Yes, I am”
“Please follow me, the boss has been expecting you, ” he said, turning towards the flight of stairs before the hall. She stood up following the man until they walked on levelled paths. She looked through the offices noticing how very few were occupied.
“How come it’s only a very few in the whole building?” She asked curiously as they made their way to another flight of stairs.
The man laughed lightly, “This office is supposed to be opened at 10 but everyone is expected by late 11; 30 so that they can have their morning break until 4 o’clock again”
“Oh”, she remarked, “your employer must be a good philanthropist Mr…”
“Mr Sola. I’m sorry, my manners. I am Mr Peter’s personal assistant” he said as finally, they arrived at their destination, there were only two doors on opposite sides of the building on the topmost floor.
“This is my office,” he said as he pointed at the door opposite where they stood. “You can go in,” the door opened slightly.
“It’s been so nice meeting you Mr Sola,” Nike smiled a little at him
“Same here,” he replied as she entered shutting the door behind her.
The cool air of the air conditioner surrounded Nike as she stood at the end of the large office room away from the desk which a dark head was bent.
She walked to the middle of the room, “Good morning sir, I’m sorry I’m late. I had a hard time locating this place”
She was cut short by the same weary tone she heard over the phone “I’m glad you came Miss Arinde”
Suddenly he looked up at her, the face… shock and recognition shot through Nike as she stared and stared at Segun’s face. She couldn’t believe it, after all these years, all these years of loneliness and wondering where he was…if he was okay.
“You aren’t the owner of…” she stammered over the words.
“I am,” he completed for her, his face impassive “well, are we here to talk about me or you?”
She drew a shaky breath “Neither, in fact, I don’t think we have anything to talk about”
“And the job?” he asked, getting up to his full length.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea anymore. I don’t want it anymore”
Segun smiled and she briefly closed her eyes as a huge tide swept over her.
“We’ve already paid Mr Okon…”
“Mr Okon would return your money or find someone else”
He laughed briefly walking up to her with only a little space between them, he touched lightly on her chin making Nike’s skin tingle with a response. She flinched.
“You still haven’t changed much, always calculating” he lowered his voice “well, there’s a little bit of flesh here and there and more extraordinary beauty,” he walked away smiling in his well-tailored dark suit when he saw the effect it had on her.
“You haven’t changed much either, “she replied scathingly “except that you could lose a few pounds!”
“So Are you taking the job or not?”
“I would have, if you, unfortunately, weren’t the father of the girl”
“Is this about us or Yinka?”
“Yinka?” she didn’t hear the ‘us’ part.
Yinka. Madina Olayinka Peters. Did he name his daughter after theirs? She stared at the centre glass table. She shrugged “Is that her name?”
“Yes”
“How old is she?”
“Six,” he replied calmly still looking intently at her. “Are you taking this job or not?”
“I’m not”
“Just because of us… me?” he corrected himself. She nodded.
“Look Nike…”
“Miss Arinde,” Nike corrected shakily as she felt the heat of intimacy in her name surround her.
“Okay,” he smiled a little. The killer smile which ALWAYS made her feel like jelly “I would advise you to think of it very carefully”
“I think I’ve had enough time”
He shook his head sideways “If you are so indifferent to me as you so want me to believe, you shouldn’t have a problem with her”
“What makes you think so?” Nike asked matching his sharp tone, “It’s enough, she’s just around the same age as Madina when she died,” she said heavily and continued after a swift intake of breath “What’s worse is that you and I are going to live under the same roof”
To her unconscious disappointment, he shrugged indifferently, “I’m a married man,” Segun answered flashing a gold wedding band on his finger at her. Nike gulped in something in fury at the sight of the band.
“Does your wife know?”
“She doesn’t have to,” he cut in sharply “and I need not tell you she mustn’t find out”
“Why?” asked Nike smiling cunningly “It doesn’t affect me if she gets to know. Why should I care if you were shot or whatever? It’s not my fault you got married”. She watched his lips thin with anger.
“If you had any respect for the 7 years we spent together, I believe you would understand”
Nike felt pink steal her fair cheeks as she looked away blinking back unnecessary tears.
“Besides”, Segun continued mercilessly “I love my wife very much, much more than you think”.
“I understand you never go into any marriage unless it’s the forever kind” replied Nike with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
“Think about the proposal very well. If you don’t call by next tomorrow I’ll take it as a no”
Nike got the gentle dismissal and she turned around not bothering to say goodbye, she walked hurriedly towards the door.
“Oh and Nike,” his voice interrupted her and she turned around helplessly.
“What?” she made her tone indifferent as a camouflage for her raging emotions.
“I always drop white roses for Madina every 5th of each month. You know her birthday was on the 5th of March,” His eyes had some form of emotions in them when she looked at him, dropping her gaze down at his shoes she replied, “Thanks”
“I can’t forget the both of you loved white roses loyally”
Nike nodded in response feeling a lump in her slender throat.
“Do you still love them?”
“No,” she replied, making her voice emotionless “just like you said, people change” with that, she walked out of the office feeling sickly.

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Written by: Oyinda Dosunmu

Author of LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS

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LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS : Episode 2

white_osteospermum_flower-wallpaper-1600x900To read Episode 1 CLICK HERE

She screamed when one of the nurses pulled the sheet back over Madina’s lifeless body, letting go of all the hurt and bewilderment and raw grief.
Segun gripped her hand firmly pulling her out of the room, even as she gave way to hysteria.
She could see Madina laughing, Madina weeping, Madina waving…eyes sparkling with mischief. Her lips gave no words as she moved further and further into the strange light. Her black long glossy hair was looking natural, she looked natural, and she looked perfect, so happy Nike was almost convinced she was alive. She heard someone yelling about sedating her and she protested wildly, she didn’t want to lose sight of her daughter until Madina left her alone taking all her happiness and joy with her.
Nike fainted.

CHAPTER 3

A YEAR LATER…
Normally at the sound of the door, she would have gone out of their room to meet him, but instead, she sat back on her bed stretching her legs out in front of her.
Nike hissed unconsciously to herself, imagine, a woman, their neighbour’s wife telling her she sees Segun constantly running around with Bunmi.
“Ah, of all people” murmured Nike, biting her finger gingering “of all people, Segun ah…”
The door of their bedroom opened as Segun working tired, discarded his jacket on the cloth armchair by the door. He walked up to her giving her a peck Nike said nothing looking away.
“How was your day love?”  Segun asked, smiling and not suspecting her rising anger. Again she ignored him as she looked up at him who was removing his clothes for a bath, she felt her blood rush in desire and made herself angrier.
Ever since Madina died Nike turned from the once charming, jovial lady; which were one of the things he loved her for; to the criticizing, hot-tempered woman. Madina’s death turned her into a bitter woman, so much that sometimes he wished he could run away.
Segun looked at his wife whose face had a distaste written all over it; he took a deep breath before he started.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” He asked wearily.
Nike looked at him with venom “I was hoping you’d ask” she replied bitingly.
“Why is it that you’ve been getting angry a lot recently?”
“And why is it that you keep flirting with Bunmi out in the open? Must you flaunt all your cheating behaviours outside to disgrace me?”
He stood back to stare at his wife in shock.
“Don’t give me that look of a poor wet dog!” said Nike standing up and walking to the other side of the bedroom opposite him. She felt sobs rack through her slim body in annoyance.
“But I keep telling you there’s nothing between that lady and I… better get your sources checked!”
She stared coldly at her bewildered. “Yes, yes, you are just friends. I’m getting sick and tired of that excuse “I have heard it one too many times”
“And still you choose not to believe it,” he replied with rising irritation.
“You really surprise me Segun, you really do” said Nike as hot tears glided down her high cheekbones, she continued, “ I always knew that cheap tart had a fling for you, I always knew and of course knowing the understanding man my husband, he would virtually encourage her,” she made a gesture clear enough to show her ambiguous statement.
Segun’s lips thinned in understanding as he gave way to anger.
“Well, since that is no surprise, I guess I have nothing else to say,” he replied, frustrated.
Nike gasped reading his speech the wrong way “I can’t believe that during these trying times for us…”
“What trying times Nike? What?” He put his hands over his mouth for a few minutes as if he is holding back his words “Nike we both know you are the one still holding on to Madina’s death”.
“I’m holding on to my daughter’s death… Is that a crime now?” she laughed bitterly clapping her hands in anger.
Segun shook his head impatiently “Ever since her death you’ve changed, always moody and suspicious of everyone, including me, your husband,” he cursed “I love you Nike and no matter what you do to me, I would still be with you, I’m not a man to take wedding vows lightly, but remember this”, his voice shook as the words pierced straight through her heart “You hurt me every time and you know I would never do that to you.”
With that, he walked out on her leaving her in the company of her sad thoughts.

******

Nike bagged on the huge oak door of her mother’s house in the large compound. She looked through the glass oak windows as she heard the door unlock from behind.
Shortly the door opened and her mother smiled at her.
“Ah Nike, come in, come in”
Nike entered the large airy sitting room and sat down on a settee putting her legs on the stool in front of her.
“I was just coming from Bimbo’s house so I decided to stop by,” she said smiling.
Funke sat down on a single seated chair close to the corridor leading to the bedrooms “So how is Segun?”
Nike looked away from her mother “He’s fine”
“Don’t tell me the two of you had another fight?” asked her mother with a worried look on her face.
Nike nodded in distress and looked at her mother.
“Nike, Nike. You have to change this bitter attitude, don’t think your husband won’t get fed up with your attitude eh, I’m warning you o”
“I’m not bitter at all”
“Well, ever since Madina died you have been so dogmatic about the supposed affair between your husband and that woman” replied her mother, not willing to mention Bunmi’s name. “After all you heard this even before she died and you have always known it’s not true, so why are you just making trouble for yourself now”
Pain and loss stabbed in her heart when she heard the mention of her daughter’s name. She pushed it with an effort to the back of her mind. She said nothing.
Her mother looked at her intensely not smiling “You really are a very obstinate woman you know?” She stopped and then continued, “What makes you think your husband would stay forever? He’s human like you and I. Even if he’s seeing that lady, it’s your fault,” she said derisively.
“I need time mum”
“Time?” Her mother grunted “a year? Don’t you know he’s a man? Of course, he’d seek comfort somewhere else. That lady is the closest to his sibling”
“But why should he be having an affair when he knows he’s married?” Nike asked defensively trying not to sound hurt.
“And how do you know he’s having an affair outside, Nike?” asked her mother bluntly.
She burst into a thousand tears as she was filled with nostalgia for her marriage’s happy days. When just had their baby Madina. Her heart lurched forward to those days as Nike tried consoling herself.
“You know Segun loves you very much” Funke said to her daughter in a mild gentle way “He has given enough time to get over that incident, but he can’t wait forever darling and if you don’t change now I’m afraid you might end up being a loner for the rest of your life”.
She patted her daughter in a mild gentle way, making Nike lean unto her and slum her shoulders in grief.

CHAPTER 4

  The soft music and the dim lit bulb created an air of peace and romance for both of them as they sat in the dining room eating fried rice and chicken.
Segun let out a low sigh of ease as he relaxed back against the chair after eating his meal “So, to what do I owe this meal?” he asked, his tone full of humour.
Nike smiled and across the table looking up at her husband in amusement and a familiar shyness like it was their wedding night, I just thought you deserved a break”.
He smiled matching up to her amusement, “ This is certainly absurd,” he looked up into her eyes, which turned like brown Inca gold in the dim light “This is also strange” he repeated spellbound in the web of desire.
She smiled to herself; at least all was going as planned. Nike stood up and walked over to him to circle her hands around his neck, she breathed in the male scent until she too was picked up by the flames of desire.
Her tone was liquid as she spoke huskily “I’m sorry dear, I’m so sorry for all the things I’ve done and I’m willing to start over again”
She felt him stir in response as suddenly he pulled he pulled her to his laps. She smiled, trying to encourage him.
“Do you forgive me?” She asked soberly.
Segun took a deep breath “Of course you know I’ll forgive you for anything. I love you too much to hold grudges against you”.
She gave him a peck on his left cheek arousing him further “But you know I’m not ready to have children yet” she started gently but firmly.
Segun looked away as she felt a little of his mood drain away, but it was quickly replaced with desire “We’ll talk about this some other time. Right now, there’s something to talk about”.
“Please give me some more time”. He nodded to her pleasure and she continued, “Now I think we should have an early night”
“You think so?” His tone was nearly a husky whisper as he understood the meaning of her words.
“Hmm…” she murmured, “sure love. I’ll be yours forever”.

******

They had gone on a trip. A second honeymoon, thought Bunmi for the hundredth time that day as she walked down the quiet street in the evening.
Her heart skipped a beat when she remembered the look on Segun’s face when he told her; he and Nike had made up again. Forever this time. She grunted, really? She had asked, she hated to believe it, but she had the usual urge they would fight again As usual.
A tide of emotion swept through her as she sat on the porch idly looking at her phone. Was she hoping it would ring, that it would be Segun? The answer was clear enough.
How desperately she missed those times they would have sat opposite each other in their favourite bar or in her home talking about their private lives or those times when he came to her for comfort after his bitter wife and he just had a row.
Her lips thinned in anger and jealousy as her mind’s eye, she saw them both making love. God! The woman didn’t deserve him; she wasn’t there the way she was for him after Madina died. Unconsciously, a tear slid from the corner of her right eye.
Darn her! Darn Nike and darn him for making her love him so much it hurt every fibre of her being. How she wished he could see her for more than a friend, a stupid companion, but Segun Peters was too much in love with his bitter wife to even cast a look at any woman’s side not even when she helped him clean up the mess after he quarrelled with his wife.
She knew she wanted the best for the only man she loved, but then staying and dying in the silence of her love was tearing her, gradually, apart each day and she knew the time had come to let him know and walk away from his life after all, her life wasn’t getting any better.
She had made her choice and she knew it was right, the right one for all of them and for her, Bunmi Alakeko.

******

“I wish our holiday was never had to end” Nike whined, her hand link with Segun as they sat on the cushioned settee watching the AIT news. She gave him a light feathery kiss on the cheek. She looked at his strong attractive features.
“We could always have more. Forever” He replied as if a promise, concentrating on the newscaster.
Nike checked the time “It’s 7 o’clock. What would you like to eat?”
She felt his shrug of indifference. “I suppose rice, then” as she prepared to stand up. He caught her slim wrist gently but firmly, looking at her in the familiar intimate way.
“Stop, stay with me babe”
She smiled softly and kissed his forehead “If I do, we’d both be hungry later in the night”.
Segun caught her head and deepened the kiss and Nike sat on his lap, a more comfortable position and the urgency grew thick with desire.
… The shrill ringing of Segun’s cell phone snapped them out of their fantasy; he grunted in disapproval and placed his phone in the right ear.
“Hello…I’m fine….now…” He looked at Nike’s waiting face and continued “I’m not sure… okay, bye” dropped the phone and an ominous silence reigned for a minute.
“Who was that?” Nike asked, standing up.
Segun expelled a loud breath “It was Bunmi.”
She made her tone and face expressionless as she spoke, seeing him rise to full length. “I thought she was at Enugu?”
“No, it’s until next week. She called for me to celebrate her joy with her,” he sat down indifferently.
She looked at him, sceptical, “so where does she want you to meet her?”
“At our usual club,” he replied, walking towards the corridor leading to their bedroom “At McAllen. It’s just a walking distance from here” his voice trailed as he entered their bedroom.
Nike wrapped her arms around her slender waist and expelled a breath. She knew she felt jealousy rising because it was an open secret that Bunmi had a thing for her husband who was so good-natured to believe that his best friend and confidant just stopped at that.
Could she trust him tonight? Could she trust anyone after Madina’s death? A pang of grief hit her as she thought of her deceased daughter. She could give him the benefit of the doubt.
“So,” he said changed out of the casual wear to a black T-shirt and trousers. “Are you coming with me or not?”
Relief seeped into her as she at least found comfort in his offer “Maybe I’ll come by. Later”
He shrugged indifferently coming up to give her a light kiss on her forehead “I love you”
She smiled, feeling alone “me too”
With that, he left the flat and his footsteps could be heard going downstairs. Nike sighed heavily and slummed against a nearby chair. “I have to give him the benefit of the doubt,” she murmured standing up again to turn off the television set and walked up to her room meaning to have a little nap before heading for McAllen.

CHAPTER 5

The loud music and voices mingled with the smell of alcohol and sweat. Segun walked immediately into the club.
He walked through the crowd to the bar, sitting on one of the stools. The friendly waiter in a white and black uniform towards him in the dimly lit noisy club” What would you like to have sir?” the waiter’s voice cut through the noise.
“Brandy please, make it a single shot,” he shouted across the counter opening his wallet to get a dirty 200 note for the glass of brandy as the waiter collected it smiling. Looking around, Segun sipped a little with ease.
“I have been looking all over for you,” shouted a voice from behind as a hand touched his back, making Segun turn to face Bunmi smiling at him.
“Can we go somewhere less noisy? She asked.
“Sure” he replied as Bunmi led the way out of the club cutting through the crowd. They got outside and picked a secluded place. They sat down in silence and Segun sipped his drink.
“So,” he began, “are you ready for the big day tomorrow?”
She shrugged “I don’t have a choice now, do I?” she replied with a feigned smile.
“I’m really going to miss you Bunmi. Big time”
She sighed in response “me too Segun, more than you’ll ever know”
“Nike is coming very soon though, I wanted her to come,” he said lightly, “You know things are far better than they were before. I still miss Madina though,” he smiled softly to himself and she faked a small smile, her eyes were downcast, but he caught the sad glint in her eyes.
“Are you okay Bunmi?” Segun asked with a note of concern in his voice.
She nodded with a lump in her throat, “I guess it’s just the idea of never seeing you again”
“Oh, come on!” replied Segun soothingly “There’s always the cell phone and email, this is the 21st century” he sipped the drink.
“I’m actually the one who requested a move to another state,” she confessed looking up at his surprised face.
“Why Bunmi? Is there a problem?”
“Thank God, but it is the best thing for everyone”
He eyed her with curiosity “What do you mean for everyone? You are beginning to speak in riddles”
Bunmi sighed, her heart heavy as she spoke the old truth “Look Segun, I don’t know how to explain this but… she paused to look at him with emotion-filled eyes “I love you”
His eyes held shock as Segun tried to calm himself, “You must have had too much to drink”
“N, everyone knows, even Nike knows that’s the reason for her cold behaviour towards me,” she paused and added hastily, “I know it’s hard to believe, but it tears me apart to realise you are so much in love with your wife even if could settle as low as being your mistress”
Segun shifted not willing to hear what she had to say and she held his hand “we shouldn’t be saying this. It can spoil our friendship”
“I’m sorry if I pushed the wrong buttons, but…”
“No Bunmi, it’s my fault for encouraging you, I should have noticed earlier,” He looked away not willing to see the hurt in her eyes, what hurt him more was that she was his best friend and they had to part ways in such a bad state, but what could he do? He couldn’t look her in the face again after tonight. “I love my wife very much even with all that has gone wrong between us”.
“And you are sure she feels the same way?” Bunmi asked bravely in the dim light making his jaw clench in reaction to her statement.
“Yes, she loves me more than anyone” his voice was staccato.
Bunmi nodded in weary acceptance not willing to start an argument. “Can we at least still be friends?”
“I don’t know anymore, you’ve brought up something I never bargained for”
“Of course,” she replied more to herself than to him “Well, I’m impressed, most men would jump at the offer”
“I’m not most men,” he replied, his face impassive and Bunmi let out a wild uneasy laugh “Hell! Let’s forget this whole thing ever happened! It’s my last night here remember”
Segun joined her in her laughter trying to ease the tension. Silence engulfed them for what seemed to her like an eternity. “You are a man in a million Segun,” she said softly as ever so slowly she brought her lips to his.
He forced himself to respond at least just to give her a little joy to smile for. She smiled up at him one lighter kiss and left mixing back into the crowd. Nike stood rooted to the spot. She had seen them and Bunmi knew she was there all along, she fought back tears as her gaze locked with her husband’s who was approaching her making her turn to rush unsteadily out of the compound.

CLICK HERE continue to EPISODE 3

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Written by: Oyinda Dosunmu

Author of LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS

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STORIES,

LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS : Episode 1

white_osteospermum_flower-wallpaper-1600x900A once passionate love and marriage were shattered by the loss of their only daughter to Leukemia. They drifted apart till he was made to walk out never to set eye on her till she walked into his new home as a nanny nurse.

Is there any love left in these hearts? Will any new spark ever survive? What is with the little white flowers?

More of these you will find in “LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS”, an intriguing love story you won’t be able to wait for every new episode. Written by Oyinda Dosumu. Coming every Tuesday and Fridays here on lifegiva.com.

CHAPTER 1

She walked hurriedly past the busy corridor toward 6 where she heard her daughter, Madina, lay helpless on the bed.
Worry and fear washed over her as she moved hurriedly approaching her husband who backed the entrance door for visitors. His back was tense with anxiety and slowly killing patience. She could guess he was biting his fingers; he did that when he was anxious.
“Segun”
Her husband turned round to face her, biting his finger, the look he gave her was not good news. Nike looked at his handsome pain filled face and a strange, uncomfortable feeling gripped her already fragile heart.
“I saw the message; she began worriedly, “Can I see…”
He cut her shut gently “The doctor, Mr Salami is attending to her”. He pulled her into his warm embrace giving her soothing whispers.
Nike looked up at his dark worried face. “What is actually wrong?” She asked softly, daring to find out.
Segun sighed, wishing to hold back the terrible familiar news. “She has to do a surgery”
She put a hand over her quivering lips to stop her from wailing out. The silence was the only way she could absorb the shock which was later replaced by tears and fear for her 5-year-old daughter.
“Thankfully” Segun continued gently, “The surgery has to be postponed”
“I don’t understand, ” she said, wiping the tears from her eyes. Maybe, just maybe it was a dream. Maybe she could just pinch herself to wake up…
“Look”
Nike looked at Segun as he returned the questioning gaze. She sensed there was more to it than met the eye.
“The situation is as critical as the doctor said, but I’m sure it’s just like the others, we’ll get through this…”
“Critical?” She asked, turning round to face him as she allowed the tears stream out of her beautiful eyes. “I can’t get used to this; it’s my daughter we are talking about here. My baby has been living her life in and out of this hospital”
“Nike, I promise this will be over as soon as it began. We should all just pray fervently to God”
She looked around her at the busy staff bustling to and from all corners of the corridor and the anxious visitors attending to their sick family members. Anger rose within her threaten to burst out, but for Madina’s sake, she had to be strong, her daughter needed her, now more than ever. Nike looked at her husband beneath her long eyelashes. “Just tell me how serious this all is, she asked, trying to control calmness.
Segun expelled a ragged breath, looking very worried as he turned to feign coolness.
“Nike, just let me handle it. Madina is going to be alright. I don’t want you worrying over….”
“For heaven’s sake, just tell me how bad it is, tell me how her condition is!” Nike shouted, making heads turn along the corridor. She lowered her voice with an effort. “I’m her mother and I have the right to know everything that is wrong with my daughter”.
Segun thinned his lips as if battling within himself and she pressurized more.
“Please I beg you Segun”
Nike’s gaze was his final undoing as he looked straight into her anxious eyes, swearing to him as he began.
“Madina’s leukaemia has grown worse. How bad it is the doctors are yet to find out, but she needs a kidney transplant.”
She put her hand over her mouth “What did the school say?”
“They said she complained about chest pain and fainted, they rushed her to the hospital and since then she has been in a coma”
“Oh my God. I don’t know why this is happening, ” she wailed “She’s just a child… she’s just a child” she repeated numbly. Fear pushed her further away from him. The doctor then came out of the room with two nurses who scuttled off to other duties.
Nike moved to the serious looking man and with growing anxiety she forgot salutations.
“Doctor, how is my daughter?”
“Good afternoon, Mrs Peters”
“Good afternoon, ” she replied hurriedly “How is my daughter?”
The doctor shifted in his coat. “Why don’t we go into my office?”
It was not an offer; he began leading the way past the rooms in the ward greeting some nurses as he made his way into an office.
Finally, they were all settled in an air-conditioned room full of neatly stacked files in a corner and shelves filled with loads of clinical books as he sat behind the desk and clearing his throat he began.
“I have to find out if she’s allergic to anything first”
“No, ” answered Nike her patience slipping out.
It was her husband who opened the topic wide “So Mr Salami how is my daughter doing?”
The doctor sighed tiredly, “Well, we’ve been under observation for a few days”.
Nike sat up sharply “A few days?”
“Yes, Mrs Peters” answered the doctor “Your daughter is in a… well; let’s just say a critical condition for now. She’s in a stage where her vital organs stop functioning periodically”
“I don’t understand; she’s too young for that to be happening” Segun cut in.
Mr Salami sighed “I’m afraid that is the situation, he failed a small reassuring smile as he looked at the anxious mother. “First, we need a reassuring okay for both parents, ” he brought out a form from the desk drawer and handed it over to the father.
“The leukaemia can affect her heart anytime soon if quick action isn’t taken.”
Nike buried her face in her husband’s arm, soaking his sleeve with fresh tears.
“Madam, you could go out to take some fresh air if you like” His heart bled for the woman, the pretty young mother.
She ignored the doctor and looked at her anguished husband through her blurry eyes, he too was fighting the urge to cry.
“So” Segun let out a ragged breath “when will you do this…this surgery?”
“As soon as you give your consent, at the moment we are searching for a good kidney donor”.
“You can take mine”, Nike offered.
Mr Salami managed a little smile understanding how she wanted her daughter to live. He thought of his children at home. “I’m afraid they don’t match so we’d have to be patient and pray to God”
Nike looked at the dark, stocky doctor still in shock “Madina’s too young to be going through this kind of thing”. She murmured loudly “what is the chance that she’d…she’d…” she couldn’t bring herself to say it.
“That she’d survive…It’s a 50/50 chance if all goes well, which by God’s grace it would”
Her husband put his hand on her’s trying to make it easier for the both of them. “Is there any other way?”
The doctor shook his head “she’s in a very critical stage now.”
Nike got up finding it suddenly very hard to sit.
“I’m sorry madam, take it easy. I understand what you are going through…”
She made a small shaky laugh full of anguish “No you don’t understand, ” she cut in sadly “Nothing must happen to my daughter”.
“We are trying our very best Mrs Peters.”

***

A WEEK LATER…
He walked up to the chair behind his document clad desk and slammed into it expelling a heavy breath.
His thoughts strayed towards his 5-year-old daughter, the pretty Madina whom everyone was charmed by her natural grace and extraordinary beauty was lying helpless waiting patiently for her surgery.
Segun looked up at the wall clock, 10”o clock, he had to go to the hospital to be with her and her mother at least before she was carried into the theatre at 10; 30. He let out an exceeding sigh and leaned back, closing his weary eyes.
… The sound of the door shutting interrupted him from his troubled thoughts as Segun snapped his eyes to see his best friend and assistant Bunmi peering down at him.
“Come, tell me what’s wrong,” Bunmi asked, studying his half-concealed face.
“Nothing I’m fine. I just need to rest”.
Bunmi twisted her lips in disbelief, her pretty face, making a funny sight “On another day I would have to believe you.”
Segun smiled at her shortly “You really are a piece of work Bunmi”
She looked up from her point of attention “it’s about Madina isn’t it?”
He sighed gravely and nodded, not trusting himself to speak.
“How is Nike taking it? Is she coping?” The sober questions made him look up to catch her sympathetic glance. “Don’t look at me like that; I’m just concerned about everyone”.
“She’s going to the theatre in about thirty minutes. I can’t yet bring myself to go there”. He sighed, checking his wristwatch for the time. Bunmi gasped “We need to hurry then!”
He sighed effortlessly, worry written all over his handsome face. Segun got up drag his suit along with him. “Nike’s not so good, but she’s handling herself better than I expected. We are trusting God” he concluded, picking up his car keys.
“Should I come with you?”
Segun paused on reaching the wooden door, turning round to face his best friend. He knew it was a family affair, but the look in her eyes told him she was determined to follow him. It didn’t matter right now. He shrugged.
“Good, I’ll get my bag”.

CHAPTER 2

Nike paced back and forth the waiting room fighting back threatening tears. She was very scared and she prayed fervently to God for a very smooth surgery for her daughter.
At least she Madina and her father had prayed had been wheeled into the bathroom to take her bath in early in the morning. The operation would last for one hour, the doctor had said. It was 20 minutes past one hour and still, no surgeon had come out of the theatre. Fear washed over her as she thought of the inevitable. Her mind raced as sweat broke out of her cold face.
Nike turned round to face her husband approaching her, she looked at him to see his friend, Bunmi Alakeko, and she nodded towards the lady paying little concern on her part.
“I thought Madina should have come out by now?”
“Where have you been?”
“Sorry, ” he replied, his tone apologetic “I had some things to take care of at the office”
She resumed her pacing and stopped at short intervals to look at the theatre door anytime a noise seemed to come from it.
“I don’t know what is happening, ” she whispered to herself impatiently. She looked at her husband and he pulled her into his embrace whispering soothing words into her ears. She murmured into his chest “Why is she here?”
Segun cast a glance at Bunmi, “Her?” Nike nodded.
“Nike now is not the time for your jealous tantrums. She’s just concerned for our daughter”
She nodded, not willing to let the subject be on the ground. “I called my mother and Mr Kola, they are on their way”.
“Okay, but how long has Madina been there now?”
Nike looked at the theatre door, fear washed over her again.
“Oh Segun, it’s close to 12 0” clock now and no one is out.” Tears slid gracefully down her cheeks and he wiped them gently kissing the top of her head, each praying silently.
They stood there like that for a while until Bunmi coughed and they heard anxious footsteps approaching them. Nike looked up to see her mother and uncle Kola, Segun’s uncle.
“Good afternoon, sir,” she pulled away from her husband, “Mummy”
“Nike, how long have they been inside?” Asked her mother with a gloomy expression on her face.
“It’s been 2 hours now”
Mr Kola looked at her in shock as her mother shook her head in discomfort “2 hours, my goodness, hasn’t the doctor come out?”
She shook her head sideways, “not even a Nurse”
“Why don’t we sit down, my dear? You’ve had quite a morning, ” said her mother understand her worries.
She nodded and sat down with her mother and Bunmi while they all spoke, leaving the two men in their own company.
Mr Kola cleared the silent tension between them “The rest of the family would have been here, they send their love anyway. Maybe she’s just resting under intensive care” He said comfortingly.
Segun’s lips twisted with irony “2 hours? Haba?”
“You never know Segun. Remember when your parents died, we…”
He managed a shaky laugh “now is not a good time to talk about death, Uncle”
The sounds of the theatre door opening made them all rush towards the surgeon who was sweating profusely. He whispered something to Mr Salami who was behind him and left hurriedly.
“Doctor, how is my daughter? What took you so long? …”
The doctor made a little smile at her and turned towards Segun. “Mr Peters, can you please come with me to my office?”  He said already walking towards the open waiting room and down the hall.
Segun looked up at his wife who looked back at him with rising fear. Steadily he walked hurriedly behind the man holding his breath with his uncle by his side. Each step he took reminded him of when his parents died, bile rose up his throat.  The men hurriedly followed and he suddenly stopped halfway and entered the personnel cafeteria. They followed behind; the room was empty and cool with only the cafeteria staff sitting idly behind the counter.
“Mr Salami is my daughter alright?” He couldn’t contain his fear any longer.
The doctor looked calmly at the concerned father not sure what to do.
“Please gentlemen sit down, ” he moved towards a seat in the corner and they all sat around the small table. “Why don’t you…”
“God, I don’t know how to say this…” the doctor murmured softly to himself. He cleared his already tight throat, “I’m so sorry, Mr Peters,” begun the doctor and then he hesitated “your daughter, ” he continued in a small still voice “didn’t make it… “
Segun let out a loud wounded cry and put his trembling hands over his mouth. His uncle sat very still with emotion, he let out another cry with tears in his eyes.” She was just a child, ” he kept repeating to himself, “she was just a child”.
“I’m sorry, we tried all we could,” the doctor said in a shaky voice. His uncle then backed him up
“I’m very sorry Segun“ he paused for a minute and then added, “I guess that’s just the way life is,” said his uncle solemnly.
Segun stood up leaning his head on the wall and weeping silently. His daughter Madina was gone, gone. His angel, his Madina was gone, gone with the wind, just like that without saying goodbye. Oh, life could be so wicked. So cruel!
“I’m very sorry, Mr…”
“Will sorry bring her back?” He asked, interrupting the doctor angry with grief “my daughter is dead and you keep going on and on about how sorry you are. She was all her mother and I got…and now she’s gone…” his uncle and Mr Salami got up to him.
“Trust me, Mr Peters I know how it feels to lose a loved one. I don’t enjoy breaking such news so please be strong at least for your wife’s sake”. He gave him a small sigh and left them in the cafeteria.
“Segun you need to be strong at least for Nike’s sake”
He looked at his uncle morosely and wiping his eyes he nodded.  With a deep breath, he left the cafeteria with his uncle thinking of so many memories at once.
The sight of her husband was all she needed to run to him anxiously with the other two women following behind.
“What is it Segun?” Asked Nike anxiously “they’ve not yet carried her out of that room. I have a bad feeling about this Segun, what did the doctor say?” She asked, looking at him intently.
The urge to lay to her hit him so hard he wanted to run away. He looked at the man behind him and he burst into tears hugging her tightly. He felt her heart beat very fast in hope that maybe the truth was gradually dawning on her.
“What is it Segun? Please tell us, ” said his mother-in-law anxiously.
He looked at Bunmi who looked back at him, as the truth must have dawned on her, her eyes were watery and he looked at his in-law who looked back at him.
“Madina didn’t make it alive”
He felt Nike’s body go tight in the reaction to the news. She stilled momentarily and she pulled away from him looking at him disbelievingly.
“You’re lying right?” She laughed uneasily praying it wasn’t the blunt truth. Turning to his uncle “He’s lying right?” She sniffed, feeling tears rack over her body.
Uncle Kola’s silence confirmed it as she moved back, shaking her head slowly from side to side “No, no, it’s not true, ” she ran towards the theatre doors hearing the people behind her calling her back. Nike flung open the doors seeing the nurses cover a small body with a small sheet, she moved slowly with sadness shaking her head.
“Madam, you are not supposed to be in here…” started one of the nurses.
She turned a deaf ear to the outside world as Nike opened the sheet to stare at the lifeless body of her daughter, Madina.
The confirmation and the look of loss, and obvious pain on her daughter’s face made her heart turn with tears gushing out of her eyes. She put a hand in her mouth crying and wrapped the other around her slender waist. The pain was too much to bear as her heart ached.
Her husband came up beside her in agony not touching her; she needed time to herself, the others stood in the doorway. The nurses had filled up the room and some workers stood in agony as she cried and cried slowly filling the emptiness in her heart.
She screamed when one of the nurses pulled the sheet back over Madina’s lifeless body, letting go of all the hurt and bewilderment and raw grief.
Segun gripped her hand firmly pulling her out of the room, even as she gave way to hysteria.
She could see Madina laughing, Madina weeping, Madina waving…her eyes sparkling with mischief. Lips gave no words as she moved further and further into the strange light. Her black long glossy hair was looking natural, she looked natural, and she looked perfect, so happy Nike was almost convinced she was alive. She heard someone yelling about sedating her and she protested wildly, she didn’t want to lose sight of her daughter until Madina left her alone taking all her happiness and joy with her.
Nike fainted.

 CHAPTER 3

A YEAR LATER…
Normally at the sound of the door, she would have gone out of their room to meet him but instead, she sat back on her bed stretching her legs out in front of her.
Nike hissed unconsciously to herself, imagine, a woman, their neighbour’s wife telling her she sees Segun constantly running around with Bunmi.
“Ah of all people” murmured Nike, biting her finger gingering “of all people, Segun ah…”

…to be continued on Friday

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