PAPA LOVES HIS GIRLS (Part 1&2) – OPEYEMI AKINTUNDE
PAPA LOVES HIS GIRLS
I Loved Chike!
Chike Knew I loved him.
My Sweat Knew I loved him.
My Body Knew I loved him.
My Reasoning knew I loved Him, because whatever I thought must Favour Him.
His Parents, His Siblings, My Parents, My Siblings, Our friends, the entire community could also testify that I Loved Chike.
Did Chike Love me back in return?
Most definitely! We were two inseperable lovebirds. Modest, well brought up, smart , humble are few of the words you could use to describe our pair.
Everyone loved us together! Parents gushed over us. They saw two teenagers who were mature enough and responsible enough to start a relationship.
Chike and I met when I was sixteen years Old. He was Nineteen.
We met at as a result of attending the same Tutorial Center. I was fresh out of secondary school, while Chike had stayed at home for three years awaiting admission to the University.
The first Day we got to talk was when I was trekking back home after classes. I had no money on me, thanks to my very humble background. I wasn’t aware that prior to that time, Chike and I always boarded the same bus home. Forgive my unawareness of my environment, you could blame it on my addiction to crime novels. Crime novels were my escape from the obviously criminal world I lived in.
That day, I couldn’t read my novel as reading while trekking was definitely not the way to go. I noticed a bus stopped some metres ahead, reversed towards me…
” Hey! I told the bus you were going to Abenga” Chike said from the bus…
I shook my head in the negative…
” I am not boarding a bus today, thank you!” I replied, yet I was wondering where I knew him from me… Then , I guessed it must be from the Tutorial center.
” Ok” Chike had replied and trust Nigerian impatient bus transporters, the driver zoomed off. The reason he stopped in the first place was because he thought I had money to commute myself.
I remember thinking in the next few seconds why the boy was interested in making me get into the bus. My crime novels’ memory bank began to give suggestions as to why, and trust me they were not good suggestions, it ranged from kidnapping to Assault to Vendetta on my parents who may have done terrible things to his parents when they were younger… ( As I write I am Shaking my head at the naive 16 year old Mayowa who didn’t know that someday in the nearest future, she would be a main player in a real life crime).
I saw the bus stopping suddenly and fear gripped my heart. My first instinct was to run off but somehow I was too glued to the spot to move.
I saw Chike running back towards me on foot while the bus was waiting.
” If you are short on cash, please let me be of help” Chike said on reaching me.
” Oh! Thank you for the offer but No thanks!”.
” Come on, the bus is waiting”
” No please… I will get home in no time”
The bus started moving and before I could tell him to avoid being left behind, the bus zoomed off throwing his Backpack on the ground.
” Wow! Your bag?” I said
” Yeah! Guess We will be trekking home together and let me give you a free one; I am a very good companion”
I smiled at that!
I consciously took my time to look at him for the first time. He didn’t look like any of the bad guys in My crime novels, instead he had the eyes and demeanor of a character from a love story.
” I am sorry” I said feeling sorry for how he had been left behind because of me.
” Don’t be! I am actually excited that I am able to catch you for once without your novel” Chike said ..
I gave a surprising look.
” Someone has been stalking” I said . Stalking was a regular thing in my Crime novels. It was meant to be a red flag, but surprisingly my heart felt safe…
” I am not sure stalking is the right word, it’s more of admiring.” He said and I blushed…
That was the first time someone tickled my fancy. That was the first time someone was actually speaking to me in that manner.
I was not an ugly girl, but just like Chike had pointed out, I was always too buried in my novels to be caught having conversations around. I was nothing like the hot girls at the tutorial center. I was nothing like Sewa, Abigael, Joan and Peace.
From that day, we walked everyday.
Walking made us bond more. Even after writing our examination, he would come to my house and we would take a walk together for hours.
However, our walking together came to an end when our admission letter came and the reality of our background standing in the way of success became clear… Neither of us had what it took to pay our university tuition fee.
I decided to act in love. I decided to forfeit my education for that year so that Chike would go to the university.
My thinking was;
“Chike, you are a man. Get into the university first, by the time you graduate and start working , I can start my own degree” I remember saying
Chike refused bluntly, telling me it should be the other way round.
Adamantly, I won!
Chike got into school. One of the ‘hot’ girls from the Tutorial center also gained admission to the same University. Her name was Joan.
Meanwhile, I toiled! I mean I toiled day and night to sponsor Chike’s education…Even my Blood and Sweat knew I loved Chike because of how much I toiled for him.
Was I wrong to have toiled to sponsor my boyfriend’s education bearing in mind the plan we had? Before I proceed with my Story, What do you think?
PAPA LOVES HIS GIRLS
I laboured; I washed clothes, I cleaned houses, I was at every menial job you could think of. I didn’t want to do a Salary based job like being a Sales Attendant because I was sending Money to Chike every Sunday Evening.
Whatever I made from the week, I would split into two unequal parts; that is 70:30, 70 percent was in Favour of Chike while my family and I struggled it out with the 30 percent left.Four years felt like Four months, because it was back to back for me. There were no holidays. If I didn’t send money any Sunday, Chike would starve that week, so I could not afford to stay idle.
I was discouraged by Friends and my family. My mother loved Chike but she warned me against putting my full trust in him, her usual line was …
” Mayowa, human beings will be human beings, give your heart the allowance of being disappointed in the Long run. Invest in yourself too as you are busy investing in Chike. I am not against Chike, you know I love him so much but have it at the back of your mind that anything can happen. What if he dies? That means he would have taken your sweat of 4 years into the grave.”
” Mummy, God forbid…Chike will not die ooo” I was always quick to reply…
I would have called my mother a witch some years later when Chike died…
Yes! Chike died in a ghastly motor accident where he was burnt to ashes with no remains of him left. He had been travelling down from the east. He had gone to finalize a deal…He left me with two Children.
I guess You are a bit confused right! Or maybe swept off your feet by the speed of my story.
Let me slow it down a bit.
Yes! I got married to Chike immediately after school following Sarah’s advice. Sarah was a friend I met at one of the sites I worked as a casual labourer. She got to know about my sending money to Chike every week, and you should have seen the way she stood transfixed on the road as we were trekking back home…
” YOU BE MUMU!( You are a fool)” She had said to me after recovering from her dazed state…
” I am a fool in love with the right man” I replied
” Jesus Christ!” Sarah Exclaimed
” Don’t call God’s name in vain” I replied
” See this one, you can preach to me when you are the one who needs serious preaching…” Sarah had replied
” I don’t need preaching, We know what we are doing. We have a good plan. He is already in his 400Level, by next year he will serve the country and in two years he will start working. By that time, he will be sponsoring my education.” I supplied my usual answer to anyone whose dared questioned my decision.
” Correct! Madam Calculator…You have it all planned out, but are you sure he is still following the plans. Are you sure another girl who is educated like him is not in the picture, Hope there is no Amaka, Mitchelle, Favour or Joan somewhere in the picture…”
The mention of the name ‘Joan’ felt like someone st@bbed my heart.
” How did you know about Joan?” I asked
” Who is Joan? I don’t know any Joan, I just mentioned random names…Oh! There is a Joan in the picture already?”
” There is no Joan, she is our friend and they happen to be attending the same school. No big deal…”
” Mayowa! Your Mumu never reach?” ( Mayowa , isn’t it time you stopped playing foolish). ” Make I dash you advise for free, the one you don serve don reach, it’s either you sef start school now or you find how you two go marry so that your Labour for all this years no go enter gutter, and make the matter no end with ” I am Sorry , I don’t think we are meant for each other” ( Let me give you a piece of advice, you should consider doing either of this, either consider sponsoring yourself to school ASAP or getting married to him). Sarah had said bluntly.
Though I acted as though her words didn’t have any impact on me, it registered in my heart especially since I was beginning to feel very uncomfortable with the way Joan was sometimes the one to pick Chike’s phone whenever I called…
I held my peace till after Chike concluded his NYSC, ( Serving our country for a year).
I held a small welcome party for him at my house. It was fun…
When everyone had left, We sat in front of my house with my head on his shoulder. I was happy knowing I had made my man. I was thanking God for the Strength to have sponsored Chike through out school. Tears of joy flowed down my cheeks. I thought of the days I had to do three jobs in a day just to meet my weekly target. I cried knowing all of that paid off, because Chike didn’t disappoint, he graduated with a First Class in Business Administration. I cried while I psychologically patted myself in the back for a job well done.
The only thing I never did was to make money through s€x, but any legal work that fetched daily work was my go to anyday…
” Mayowa, it’s time I repay you back. It’s time you go to school” Chike had said
The sound of school was not good in my ears. I wanted to be Chike’s wife. I wanted him to pay me back with marriage, I wanted to be sure I would not be told ‘I am sorry’ after all my toiling.
” I don’t think I should go to school yet. Why don’t We get married, have kids and then when they are a bit old, I can go back to school. If I start school now, that would be another 4- 5 years of us still dating. Let us get married.” I remember saying.
” No…Mayowa, things don’t get easier in the future ooo, and besides it’s not easy going to school as a wife and mother of Children”.
” That’s what I want Chike..or is there someone else? Are you planning to dump me?” I blurted out..
He was surprised at my outburst…
” Won’t I be a devil to betray you, even if I fall in love with someone else, I can never marry that person, it will inhumane of me. You are the one I should repay back with marriage, but I want you to go to school first…”
As always, Adamantly I won again.
We got married and in five years we had two kids; Chinonso and Chiamaka.
Like an unannounced rain, Nine years into our marriage, Chike left me with two kids, no university education, and fear of being killed.
Yes! Fear of being Killed, because I got a letter suddenly after my husband’s demise ….
What was the content of the Letter?
1. The Story was Inspired by the Living Word
2. TO SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY OR TO GET THE HARD/SOFT COPY OF THIS NOVEL, PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR ‘MRS OPEYEMI AKINTUNDE’ via EMAIL: [email protected] or PHONE NO: 08151103646. God bless you.