Written by @dj_fleau
My niece means the world to me, I know how protective I get over her and how eager I am to meet her needs. I can’t even imagine anything happening to her, I would give an arm to shield her from the evils of this world. Although I can’t categorically say I know exactly how the mothers of those 200+ girls feel right now, but I can imagine what they are going through just by looking at my niece every day as she goes to school to get the same education those girls were trying to get before their abduction.
My readers imagine if one of the girls was your sister, niece, daughter, cousin etc. Imagine you waking up every night in cold shivers with your imaginations running over what could possibly be happening to her wherever she is. Is she sleeping now? Is she slaving now? Is her fragile body been used to satisfy the sexual needs of some men? Is she been abused for refusing to listen to her kidnappers? Is she still breathing?
You and I know the government can’t do much about this, they can’t do it alone. Hence I implore you to join the #BringOurGirlsBack campaign in any little way you can join, don’t just sit on the fence it could have been you in this situation. Let’s help save about 200+ lineages that are about to be cut off, destroyed or tampered with
My heart goes out to all the parents, I pray the good Lord would strengthen the parents as they await the return of their daughters, and just like the Israelites were released from their Egyptians so would they be released.
These girls are our girls, we miss them, their families miss them, we want them back home #BringBackOurGirls
I wanted to pinch myself to make sure this was just a joke
“Me and this guy go way back , I can’t even begin to tell you how much we have been through together as friends” That was Andrew. Who kept talking like he never was going to stop.
“I went beserk when he sent me a mail saying he was in Nigeria. I haven’t seen him in years but men this guy is everything” Andrew said giving accolades to Isaac and describing how fantastic and great he was to have as a friend
Isaac stood there smiling. His smile felt like he was saying “Can you hear him, that’s me the great and awesome guy you won’t give a second chance”
“You know this man” I asked Andrew
He looked confused. He wasn’t sure if I was talking to him or someone else.
“How can someone like you know someone like him “ I said angrily.
“Temi what on earth are you talking about?”
Isaac stood there with a smile on his face before finally saying
“Well, Temi and I kinda know each other we go way back”
“Really, what a small world” Andrew said sounding surprised
“I can’t believe this is happening” I said as I walked away from the two of them. I walked towards the stool where I dropped my car key.
“Okay, what is going on here?” Andrew asked
I said nothing but picked up my key and walked towards the door. Andrew ran after me
“What is going on here?” Andrew asked as he pulled me back from entering my car
“That is him” I said
“Who?” Andrew asked with a surprised look
“That’s Isaac ?” He replied himself
“Okay, I know” he replied in an unsure manner of what I was talking about
“The Isaac I told you about , my ex-boyfriend”
“What! You have got to be kidding me right now?
I said nothing. I had tears in my eyes already. How could a perfect gentleman like Andrew know a beast like Isaac. How could he even call him his best friend? I felt hurt.
“You mean the man in my apartment right now is the man who abused you in Ghana?” He asked
I said nothing. For the second time I removed my hand from his grip and entered my car. He had an angry look on. He looked really pissed. I wanted to ask him to calm down, but then I didn’t think it was necessary. His anger was a relief to me as it made me feel like he was different from Isaac. He said nothing as I drove away. I saw him storm into his apartment.
The drive home was long. I kept replaying the introduction in my head, all the accolades he gave Isaac. I couldn’t even believe this. Or was Andrew also abusive and was only hiding it same way Isaac hid his until that night? But he seemed angry at what I just told him, I guess that ought to mean something to me that he was mad at what his friend had done.
The next day at work Isaac was already seated in my office waiting for me.
“So, Andrew is the man you have been seeing”
I said nothing as I put down my bag
“Look I am sorry, for what it’s worth your boyfriend did this to me”
I was so mad that I didn’t notice the bruise on his cheek, apparently after I left Andrew had gone back to his apartment only to punch Isaac in the face without asking for an explanation. I wanted to laugh and maybe call Andrew to tell him how grateful I was for his action.
“And so, look just leave me alone this morning” I said
He walked towards the door before turning to say “Andrew won’t change my mind on wanting you, you can tell your pretty man that”
I wondered what gave him the impression that I was dating his friend, or did Andrew tell him we were dating. Well I was going to play along for sure and not deny it.
The rest of the day I avoided him as we worked on the project and had meetings with prospective partners.
I walked out of my office at closing hour to see Andrew standing with a bouquet of flowers. He had the warmest smile on his face, I couldn’t help but smile back. I couldn’t really be mad at him, I was not even sure anyone could be mad at him for so long. I walked towards him and he gave me a hug after which he said
“Look I am nothing like Isaac, I would never do such a thing like that to you”
“I know” I said
I wasn’t so sure about that but something inside of me told me I could trust him. He drove behind me as I drove home. Bola wasn’t home when I got home so I asked Andrew if he could stay for a bit to keep me company. I asked him how he knew Isaac.
Ostensibly they had attended the same high school which obviously was where they first met and started their friendship. Upon graduation however Isaac had chosen a college in another state but they had remained close friends all through that period. Isaac had however moved back to Accra immediately after graduation to join his family business.
He described how he went back to his apartment fuming and how hard he punched Isaac in the face. He said his hand still ached from the punch. I burst into laughter at the thought of him punching Isaac and writhing in pain afterwards
Bola walked in on us laughing
“Thank God, you are here, Andrew” Bola said
“Hi Bola, longest time” he replied
“I hear you” she replied sarcastically
“Well, I am sure your madam here must have told you about me and your cousin” she said
“Told me what” he replied looking lost. I really hadn’t spoken to him about what happened, I guess I was so mad at her I forgot to mention her own problems to him. It was weird that I forgot that part of the gist while narrating what happened
Bola looked at me like she was shocked I hadn’t told him by now. Andrew sat there confused
“I need to speak to you cousin, I have been trying to reach him, when you get home please tell him we need to talk” she finally said
Andrew nodded his headed and said “okay” in a way that sounded like he was lost and needed some clarifications.
Bola walked into her room.
As I walked Andrew to his car that night he asked what Bola was talking about. I told him everything that had transpired between Bola, Seyi and his cousin. After which he said
“You leave people for a few years and you come back to hear they have become something else”
I walked into the apartment to see Bola seated on the couch facing the main door. I knew she was waiting for me
“I know you are all love sprung but you really need to be careful with Andrew” Bola said
“My dear I know his cousin hurt you, that doesn’t mean he is the same thing’
“Well, family is always the same my dear”
“I have heard you ma”, I said as walked to my room
Andrew tried to get Bola’s boyfriend to speak to her but he was so adamant that it made Andrew wonder if Seyi had used juju on the man.
“He is not even listening to me, as a matter of fact he has been avoiding my calls” Andrew said a few days later when I asked if he had spoken to Bola’s boyfriend.
We wanted to help Bola but Andrew and I had no idea on what to do. I tried speaking to Seyi, but the girl just shoved me aside and said it was really not my fight.
A month went by really fast I was happy about that atleast this meant I had just 3 more months to deal with Isaac. Andrew’s ex-girlfriend moved to Nigeria a few weeks after and he tried to get her to lodge in a hotel but she insisted on staying at his place. He asked me if I was okay with it.
I found it weird that he even asked if I was okay for him to work on his relationship. I was a bit jealous but I knew the right thing to do was to support him. The day she arrived Andrew asked that I follow him to the airport to pick her up. I came up with a perfect excuse not to escort him as I wasn’t sure of how I was going to react upon meeting her.
She was going to be in Nigeria for a few months as she had gotten a contract job with an American firm in Nigeria. I knew I had to spend less time with him now so I started to avoid him and his calls.
After so much persuasion I finally visited Andrew’s home to meet her. She was a beautiful young lady. She was flawless, intelligent and warm to be around. She spoke calmly like whoever she was speaking to had a whole lifetime to listen to her. She was detailed on description and at every point she would stop to say “Do you understand” like I was some village girl who didn’t understand English, Andrew however would turn and say “babe she understands you perfectly well”.
I felt hurt that he called her babe. I wanted to ask if they were back together and if he was going to pursue the relationship. She laughed a lot at whatever he said, it felt like she was just doing so to spite me as she had once said she thought his jokes were lame hence I wondered why she laughed this much.
They seemed happy. They seemed perfect together. As I left that night she said “you know Andrew has told me so much about you, It is really a pleasure to meet you, thanks for helping my man survive this your Nigerian system”
Is that how Andrew described me to her?, his survival kit who he used to while away time back here. I was mad at him for this. Finally they walked me to the door, she hugged me at the door and joked about not wanting to step out for fear of being kidnapped and Andrew unable to meet the demands of the kidnappers. We all laughed at that even though I found it demeaning and disappointing that Andrew found her poor attempt at a joke and her act of ridiculing our country funny.
Andrew however walked me to my car alone and as I got in he said “Temi did I do something wrong”
“Nothing, absolutely nothing” I replied
“I feel like we have grown apart” he said
“Well we haven’t, I have just being giving you space to work on your relationship”
“I didn’t ask you for space, I miss you, I really do” he said
“Ok, I’ll see you around I guess” I said as I closed the car door
I saw him stand there looking at me as I reversed. I saw the sadness on his face. But I guess I was doing the right thing I didn’t want to be a distraction to him as he worked on his relationship.
They looked happy together, he looked happier now at least I thought she made him happy up until the evening I walked into my apartment to meet him there. The evening that changed everything for me but started the war