Story: Taking Chances

    EPISODE 1

    The sun smiled pleasantly at the large spaced and brightly decorated
    garden of Queens Hotel which was being used as the reception venue for
    the wedding of Jide and Daisy, the atmosphere was cheerful as would a
    wedding, and the couples were beautifully dressed in their wedding
    apparel, Daisy was looking more beautiful than she had ever Imagined
    herself, and Jide, who, though seem to have a frown etched on his face,
    did not look any less as they sat in the special table meant for the
    bride and groom.
    Nobody would ever have imagined that behind all that facade lie two
    hearts burning with anger and fear; while anger burned brightly in
    Jide’s being, fear of the unknown stationed itself in Daisy’s heart,
    they were trying their best to put up appearances for their guests.
    Although Jide was struggling with that part.
    It was however, all Daisy could do whether she preferred to or not, she
    had to make her step-mum see how happy she was and relay the information
    to her dad who had sworn never to step foot in her wedding.
    Her stepmother was the only family who had come to celebrate with her,
    her step-siblings couldn’t care less and it took all the will power she
    had to plead with Uncle Tobechi to come give her away in marriage, After
    which he left. Her uncle had initially disagreed and termed it a
    ‘taboo’ for him to give Her away in marriage when her dad was still
    alive, but then Dad had vehemently opposed the union, so, expecting him
    to give her away was like expecting the moon for breakfasts!
    But the wedding had to go on, not even the insanity of it had deterred
    her, yes insanity it was, getting married to a man who she hardly knew
    and who hardly knew her in this 21st century with all her education and
    exposure was madness impersonified!
    But as they say, it’s too late to turn back the hands of time.
    The ”I
    do’s” have already being said some hours ago at Love Word Assembly,
    they were now man and wife before God and before all these guests
    gathered comprising people mainly from Jide’s side – his colleagues at
    work, his family, his friends and also friends of his friends. The
    number of people who knew Daisy, even slightly were not up to ten and
    that had made her feel scared and lost as if on an island, her
    stepmother’s presence couldn’t even quell the feeling. It was so bad
    that even the bridesmaid who was dabbing away at her face trying to make
    her look splendid every now and then was scarcely known to her, she is a
    friend of Jide’s sister whom Jide’s Grandmother had chosen because,
    according to her, she complemented Daisy just perfectly.
    She however braced herself to go through the ordeal she put herself in
    for she couldn’t abandon herself. And now, more than ever, she missed
    her mum.
    ‘Its time now for the bride and groom to cut the wedding cake, but
    before that, i would like to call on Miss Sarah Adams to come tell us
    the make up of this cake and its significance to our lovely couples
    here’ the M.C cheerfully announced.
    Amidst clapping, the said Sarah Adams walked elegantly to the stage,
    collected the Mic and started speaking:
    ‘well, on behalf of Sarah’s Bridals, i am glad to tell you that…’
    But Jide wasn’t listening. He had constantly checked the watch seated on
    his left hand and at other times checked the ‘order of programme’ that
    was placed on their table. He was checking it again and was visibly
    restless.
    ‘Just Number five?’ he muttered angrily to himself
    ‘and what is this silly lady yarning on about?’ he added while scanning
    the crowd looking for noone in particular. His eyes had continuously
    roamed everywhere but on the lovely woman seated by his side, he felt
    that the more he forced himself to ignore her, the more he could cope
    with the whole nightmare.
    ‘I need to visit the gents’ he whispered to his friend Ade, seated by
    his side, Ade was his best man.
    ‘come again’ Ade replied while his eyes focused on Sarah Adams and ears
    attuned to her speech.
    ‘Men fu.c.k this! I need to visit the gents’ jide cursed silently, making a move to stand up.
    Immediately, his friend held him back.
    ‘what’s the problem with you man?’ Ade asked now shifting attention to him
    ‘i wanna ease myself’ he muttered under his breath
    ‘no way that happening cos its time to go cut the cake made with honey, love and bliss’ he replied sarcastically, and joined in the clapping by the audience.
    ‘You have my permission to cut it, that’s why you are my best man’ Jide said standing up. Just then Daisy stood up, her countenance cheerful though she had heard the last part of their discussion. In between Miss Sarah’s speech, Daisy had wished that the honey professed by Sarah as a significance of sugar to their marriage, would really sweeten the life that lay ahead of her, even more, sweeten the attitude of Jide here, even for an hour.
    ‘well, that’s why we also have the groom’ Ade replied him later as they were walking to the stage.

    EPISODE 2

    The rest of the ceremony dragged on slowly, Jide’s anger increased with each activities they observed that was stipulated on the program menu. When it was time to feed eachother the cake, Jide almost stuffed Daisy
    with the cake, that act had given
    him pleasure.
    ‘serves her right’ he thought to himself.
    Daisy had however tenderly given him his part of the cake, but inside
    she was burning with anger, Jide was really acting s.tu.pid and
    childish, she thought, he didn’t have to be so wicked trying to choke her with the cake, so she would cough out her pitiable self infront of all these people. Well, she wouldn’t retaliate because there was no telling what lay in the sleeves of this husband of hers, and so she carried on the facade of the happiest bride on her happiest day.
    How
    hard it was!
    Also, during the couple dance, No matter how ostentatious Daisy had tried to be, it was obvious that the rift between them was far from friendly much less conjugal, those who had an inkling that somethings
    were wrong with this couple could really rest their case.
    Because Jide had been miles apart from Daisy and seemed to be dancing with one of the female guests who had come to dance with them, even the M.C observed that and chipped in:
    ‘It seems our groom here can’t tell the difference between a lady on
    white and one on red’
    But jide was far from caring, if they wanted a dance, he reasoned, then
    dance he must give them, no matter who was on the receiving end. He so
    hated his wedding and loved every opportunity he could get to create a
    scene, that would atleast teach his manipulative family spearheaded by
    his grandmother to stop meddling with the affairs of a grown man, he had
    had his misgivings about working in the family company, which meant he
    had to see the face of his over bearing father and annoying brother
    almost on a daily basis, an interaction which had finally led him to
    this sham of a union.
    And although it was too late to turn back the hands of time, it wasn’t
    too late to create a media scandal that would get through the thick skin
    of his family. This dance was therefore, short of the expectations of
    what lay ahead for them and their docile pet, Daisy.
    The wedding finally ended at about 6pm, Jide, to the chagrin of everyone
    wasn’t available to give a ‘vote of thanks’, it was said by his father,
    he had left halfway during the presentation of gifts and his space was
    filled by Ade, that act had almost brought Daisy to tears, it took words
    of encouragement from Ade to calm her, he had said:
    ‘Daisy don’t work yourself up unnecessarily, Jide can be impulsive
    atimes, but he’s a wonderful guy most times’
    ‘yeah right’ Daisy had snorted in reply.
    The other reason why she was smiling was because she was receiving gifts
    from the guests, gifts that seem to go on forever. The Olukoyas had
    friends who were very generous, she hoped she would soon get mixed in
    their world.
    ‘Well, this is enough to compensate all my loss right now’ she thought,
    calming herself.
    But at about 7pm, Jide still had not shown up, his number wasn’t
    connecting and nobody could say for sure where he went.
    ‘this is an exclusive case oh’, it has always been the bride who gets
    missing before or after the wedding not the groom, this definitely is a
    shockker’ Ade had replied dryly to Jide’s father when he had asked him
    of Jide’s whereabouts.
    ‘That’s how silly and childish Jide is, let me just set my eyes on him,
    he will surely have a piece of me’ his father had replied angrily and
    stormed off to go quiz more of his friends.
    Ade had just shook his head, and walked towards the exit door, he was
    already tired of Jide’s attitude and the drama of the whole evening,
    ‘whatever happened to pretending’ he said to himself.
    Daisy on her part had calmly gone to one of the rooms they rented in
    Queens hotel to moan her situation, she just wanted to be far from
    everybody. Although she did not expect the wedding to be so rosy, she
    hadn’t imagined it would be this bad, she was starting to regret
    everything now.
    She wondered when her tears would break forth, she was showing so much strength and calmness than she ever knew she had.
    ‘You never know how strong you are until you have to be strong’ she said quietly to herself as she slowly lay on the bed she had been sitting on.
    Just then she heard a knock, she didn’t feel like seeing anybody.
    ‘Why wont they leave me alone for once’ she cried silently without making a move to see who had knocked.
    The door opened and in came Jide’s grandmother
    ‘Daisy Omo mi’ she said going to seat by her on the bed
    ‘Am really sorry for all that happened today, Jide was so…’
    ‘Mama its ok, there’s no need to feel sorry’ cut in Daisy then she squeezed herself more, her wedding gown protested the act.
    ‘Only God knows all the pain you’re going through now, noone envisioned that it would turn out this way, on behalf of the family, i must take the…’

    EPISODE 3

    ‘Mama please, if there’s anyone to blame here, its me. Am the one who
    fell in love with a man like Jide, i did nothing to stop this imminent
    crash because of this…this…this…’she couldn’t describe it.
    ‘…love, that is causing me so much sorrow’ she completed, still lying
    down.
    ‘Please don’t be hard on yourself Daisy’ Mama cooed, tenderly stroking
    her arm.
    ‘Am okay. I just want to be left alone for now’ She said.
    Daisy really loved this woman who has been more than a mother to her
    during her years in the United States, but right now, she was irritating
    her with her insistence of crying over spilled milk. The best she could
    do now, was to let her be.
    Mama as if reading her thoughts, stood up.
    ‘I also came to tell you that Jide is around now, but he’s having a word
    with his father. He will join you shortly’ mama said walking away.
    Daisy said nothing, what was she expected to say Thank God? Jide could
    bloody well get missing again for all she cared. Yet deep down in her
    heart, she knew she cared. The reason she married him in the first
    place.
    When mama got to the door, she stood for some second as if contemplating
    what to say. Finally she uttered:
    ‘please take it easy on yourself, it will be fine’
    then she shut the door quietly.
    Daisy still said nothing. She just slept still in her pile of white
    lace, she wasn’t crying, she just didn’t know how she felt.
    Some minutes later she heard a soft knock on the door, exasperated, she
    shook her head mentally ‘why wont this people ever hear!’
    The door opened and in came her step mum
    ‘Chinwe’ her stepmother called softly ‘Are you sleeping?’
    immediately she heard her Igbo name, she stood up quickly from her bed.
    There was only one person in the wedding who knew her by that name.
    ‘Aunty, no am not sleeping, i was just…’ she stopped talking and
    looked down at the bulge of her gown, she was tired of putting up
    appearances.
    ‘oh Chinwe’ her step mum said and went towards her, extending her arm to
    embrace her.
    Daisy walked into her open arm, she felt a heaviness in her heart, then
    she knew the tears would soon come. But why now in front of her? The
    very person it shouldn’t.
    ‘Am sorry i couldnt support you enough’ her aunty said patting her back.
    ‘You tried the best you could, i just wish…wish…my father was here
    now or even my mother’ the tears had finally let down and Daisy was now
    crying.
    ‘This was what your father had seen that made him put up strong
    opposition’
    ‘Even if no one believes me, i love Jide, that’s why i married him’
    Daisy said with a teary tone
    ‘you don’t know what you’re saying child’ her stepmother replied, Daisy
    disentangled from the embrace and her stepmum led her to the bed. She
    was still crying softly.
    ‘He obviously doesn’t love you back’ aunty said as they both sat down.
    ‘He…he…i don’t know’ Daisy had wanted to defend Jide
    ‘Its okay, just relax, everything will be fine’ aunty finally said.
    Daisy nodded her head and rested it on her aunty’s shoulder.
    They stayed that way for minutes. This bond they now seemed to share was
    new to Daisy, it wasn’t as if they were enemies, but they had always
    been distanced, each acknowledging the other but not really bonding.
    Whenever she came home to Nigeria, she often stayed in her father’s
    house, she couldn’t stand her step siblings attitude towards her, but
    the few times she did, Mrs Amaka Okechukwu was civil to her and treated
    her fairly well, Daisy hadn’t cared to get any closer, afterall it was
    this woman who took her mother’s place, keeping her at arms length was
    just fine.
    The relationship she had with her father didn’t fair any better, she had
    one or two grudges against him, and the part he had played in this
    marriage would definitely fuel the grudge. Thinking about all these
    things made her cry the more.
    ‘Calm yourself now’ her aunty said softly.
    A phone rang just then, it was her aunty’s. Mrs Amaka picked it up saw
    the caller and cut the call. Daisy shifted away from her as she made to stand up.
    Standing up she said: ‘That was your father, obviously worried, i must get going now, you know how it is with Lagos traffic at night and on Saturdays?’
    She didn’t really know but she nodded, wiping the tears from her eyes, they are now red and a bit swollen.
    ‘just tell dad… everything was fine’ she said
    ‘I will’ her aunty nodded knowingly. Her phone rang again.
    ‘its him, i must go, pls take care and stop crying, everything will be fine. See you at the church tomorrow, Okay? Bye’ she finally said and started walking away, her phone kept ringing. When she got to the door, she waved Daisy before stepping out. Then she closed the door softly behind her.
    ‘Why is everyone saying everything will be fine when nothing looks fine’ Daisy wondered as she started Laying down again, midway, the door opened, she stood up abruptly and in came the object of her woe, Jide.
    ‘Mrs’ he drawled ‘its time to go, forever after awaits’ he said with sarcasm. then started walking away, but stopped when he noticed she hadn’t made a move to stand.
    ‘And you better not keep me waiting!’ he almost shouted and stormed off.
    Daisy slowly stood up and walked out to the future that awaits her.
    ****************

    EPISODE 4

    The drive home at half past eight was not smooth sailing, Jide was very
    angry and irritable all through, he cursed and yelled at any motorist
    who was unfortunate enough to make a reasonable mistake, or those that
    were not in line with Jide’s ‘driving rules’. He shouted at hawkers who
    came to sell their wares at his window and screamed abusive words at
    motorcyclist who flooded the road.
    ‘Does it look like i need bread or anything?’ he yelled at one of the
    hawkers who displayed bread on his window during the ‘hold-up’
    ‘okay make i call the guy wey dey sell champagne’ the bread seller
    replied innocently.
    The guy had noticed that he was speaking to newly wed’s, even though all
    the decorations on the car were gone and the ‘just wedded’ insignia
    that was pasted at the number plate of the car, had been ripped off by
    Jide and tore into uncountable pieces.
    ‘you must be very S.tu.pid’ Jide shouted hitting his hands on the wheel
    ‘Abeg oga take am easy, no be marry, you just marry’ the seller replied
    angrily.
    Jide wanted to come down and beat the lights out of the guy if not that
    the traffic jam they were in just cleared and the car in front of him
    had moved on, while those at his back started their impatient horn.
    ‘God saved you’ he screamed at the guy through his window before driving
    off.
    ‘I don’t know why this riff rats are allowed to stay on the roads to
    become such nuisance’ he muttered angrily under his breath.
    Daisy was calmly seated at the other side, she would have loved the
    bread, at the mention of which her stomach churned, she had only eaten a
    hurried breakfast before the church service, and then there was that
    cake that almost choked her and a little wine she drank after the toast.
    That was all the meal she had eaten today.
    But she dared not mention it to Jide ears else he would turn her into
    white bread either verbally or physically.
    One thing she had learned about her husband was that he had a very bad
    temper which can make him irrational and impulsive, whether he regretted
    his actions later was one fact she didn’t know or wish to know.
    She wondered what kind of newly wed’s drove home by this time, but then,
    her wedding wasn’t the conventional type, it was fraught with scandals
    and dramas, everybody in the Olukoya’s family were angry, all except her
    offcourse, she was now part of the family indeed, this thought made her
    smile briefly, she caught herself and cast a side glance at the man who
    was now her husband, even now, she reasoned, he looked devilish and
    handsome- if ever a combination like that existed, that lips which had
    attracted and seduced her in the picture were now curved in a frown, she
    concluded that he had obviously eaten for him to have all the will
    power to stay angry.
    Her stomach was seriously rioting, none of the assorted meals that were
    cooked at the wedding tasted her lips.
    She just hoped she could find something to eat at the new home which
    awaits her. A home she was visiting for the first time.
    *********
    Daisy woke up with a start, how long she had been sleeping she couldn’t
    tell, she had slept off in between all her musing, she looked out of the
    window to discover that they were no longer on the busy road, they were
    on a street with identical houses on both sides, the houses were
    predominantly bungalows with few scattered one-storey buildings, they
    were patterned the same nevertheless, must be an estate she thought and
    stole a glance at Jide.
    He was driving slowly now and his face didn’t hold so much scowl and
    anger it had some while ago. Whatever calmed him down she thought.
    Unknown to her, while she was sleeping, her gown had tumbled around her
    in disarray and her hair carelessly strewn around her face, the pins
    that held them up had fallen since, Jide had gazed at her, she looked
    prettier to him when she was asleep, all traces of sadness gone from her face. A sadness he knew he contributed in, even caused. The neckline of her gown had shifted a bit exposing her cleavage, they were lovely, just the size he liked, something in between big and small. Immediately he caught himself, not liking the path his thoughts were taking. He felt guilt for admiring a woman whom he had plainly shown he hated, ‘well, she’s supposed to be my wife’ he defended, but deep down he knew that he didn’t really hate her, he was angry over the fact that she allowed herself to be manipulated by his family, he should be justified for the anger he felt at everyone-his family and even his wife…what was her name again…Daisy. And so he forced himself to concentrate on the road. Not long after, Daisy had woken up.
    The car stopped in front of a black gate, Jide horned severally, no response, he was getting impatient and his temper was ascending. Daisy felt like cursing whoever it was that didn’t open the gate.

    EPISODE 5

    Just then a middle aged man dressed in a long flowing robe came out through
    the small gate, bowed and muttered something before disappearing inside
    to go open the bigger gate.
    ‘The f.ool! always sleeping on duty’ Jide said angrily.
    Soon they were driving into the compound, Daisy eyes instantly became busy scanning her environment.
    When the car stopped. Jide got out first and slammed his door, this jolted Daisy who gathered her gown, opened the door and came out. The gateman was already at their side.
    ‘Oga, good evening’ he greeted, Jide didn’t answer him, he just pressed the lock button in his car keys and started walking.
    The gateman waved to Daisy smiling, she waved back. It really was a shock to him to see a lady on a wedding gown with his Oga who is also on suit. Jide had kept his wedding a secret, his house keepers didn’t know, much less his neighbours, but then it was a ‘mind your business’
    neighbourhood which suited Jide just fine.
    ‘Oga, Madam fine well well’ the gateman exclaimed, Jide heard him from where he was fumbling with the door.
    ‘Why don’t you stick to your business for once Adamu’ Jide shouted back, before entering inside.
    ‘Its okay, thanks for the compliment’ Daisy said, she had a slight American accent, developed during her years in the States.
    ‘what’s your name?’ she asked
    ‘Adamu ma’ the gateman replied smiling sheepishly
    ‘Adamu it is then, see you tomorrow’ Daisy said walking away.
    ‘Ok madam’ Adamu replied.
    He walked down to his tiny room that adjoined the gate, he looked back
    severally at the retreating figure of Daisy, he was going to like this
    his Madam he thought.
    Daisy walked inbetween the shrubs that led to the door. The shrub formed a ‘Y’ shape towards the front porch of the blue painted bungalow. It
    was well trimmed, the compound she noticed, was a bit spacious, to her
    left was a tennis lawn with an adjoining basketball post, ‘no wonder he
    looks fit’ she thought.
    To her right was a small swimming pool with few chairs arranged close
    by, that man sure liked to be comfortable.
    ‘not bad…’ she said ‘i will surely need that’.
    She moved on, she had been standing during the exploration. When she
    opened the door, what she saw didn’t amaze her, the parlour had the aura
    of a bachelor crib, It was decorated predominantly with blue. The
    settee were dark blue, the curtain that led to the hallway was blue, the
    wall paint was a light blue, they were hi-tech musical appliances at
    one side of the parlour, she could also see the dining room, typical
    male, she thought as she went to seat on one of the settee.
    ‘Home it is’ she said drily, kicking off her heel shoes, she felt sore
    all over. What a day indeed, she thought.
    Jide was nowhere in sight, ‘good’ she said to herself, she didn’t feel
    like seeing him now. Slowly she lay on the settee, she was very tired and hungry.
    The pangs of hunger jolted her again, she sat up and now wished to see Jide, if atleast to get a meal, her eyes moved to the clock hung just above the Plasma television, it was quarter to 10! And she was still on her gown? This was worst than a nightmare! She almost exclaimed.
    Just then, Jide walked in, he was all freshness, he had taken his bath,
    the light jersey he wore clinged to his body just too perfectly, Daisy
    thought, that had earned her a feeling way down in the pit of her
    stomach.
    ‘For Jeez sake, Daisy!’ she chastised herself silently ‘this man has
    treated you less than human and you still feel this way for him?’ she
    mentally gave herself a knock.
    Jide didn’t even act like they was someone in his parlour, he just
    walked past Daisy, picked up the remote on a nearby side stool, pressing
    it, he sat down on the chair directly opposite the television.
    Immediately the television lights came up and few seconds later, a
    wrestling match surfaced.
    He threw the remote onto a nearby chair, raised his legs unto the chairs
    and focused his attention on the match.
    Daisy was short of words to say, she felt so like crying, did he hate
    her that much? She thought.
    Yet nothing, not a move or realisation from Jide.
    It was then obvious to her, she had to make a move if she wanted to come
    out of these annoying gown, ‘cos that man sitting over there doesn’t
    seem to care one bit.
    As if to confirm her thought, Jide smiled, obviously at something or
    someone in the wrestling match. Maybe he had forgotten her or he was
    just pretending. Daisy wasn’t sure.
    Daisy stood up slowly, she was too spent to feel angry, had she expected
    Jide to carry her high up in his arms unto their ‘matrimonial’ bed and
    give her the best wedding night ever? Yeah right that’s if pigs finally
    knew how to fly, she snorted.
    ‘Jide i need to freshen up and i’m hungry’ she said calmly. Somehow she knew that she dared not raise her voice if she didn’t want to bring his irritable temper to fore for that would only worsen her situation.

    EPISODE 6

    Jide didn’t reply immediately, he just
    stretched forth his hand to pick up the remote where it sat. After which
    he started pressing its buttons, midway in the act he spoke:
    ‘Mrs Olukoya’ he drawled sarcastically ‘the kitchen is over there
    through the dining and the bedroom is in the hallway behind that
    curtain’ he continued pressing the buttons of the remote without as much
    as a glance towards Daisy.
    ‘Besides…’ he continued ‘since this is technically now your home, i
    expect you do the maths yourself and explore it the way you explored the
    exterior’ he completed, then placed the remote by his side, and
    stretched himself on the chair, a sign that she was dismissed.
    Daisy said nothing, so he had noticed? This was the longest he had ever
    spoken to her since this issue started a month ago, but then again, they
    hardly knew eachother well before the whole marriage ish began.
    she quietly bent down, picked up her shoes and walked out of his
    presence to go start her ‘exploration’
    Jide still didn’t move, he felt his temper rising and was fighting hard
    to control it. What was it about her that angered him so? He couldn’t
    fathom, It wasn’t worth the trouble now, he mused waving his hands
    mentally.
    Daisy feet took her first to the kitchen, she was really hungry and any
    food she saw now would be jackpot. But she was disappointed, the kitchen
    was sparkling clean, but no food was in sight. She only saw an unopened
    bag of rice, but didn’t see any accompanying ingredient, but then she couldn’t possibly cook now! Considering the time and the dress she was still wearing. Just then another issue hit her, what was she going to wear after she bathed? All her clothes were over at the family house in Victoria Island. This is gonna be a long night, she said to herself.
    Thinking about this, she walked out into the dining, there she saw some beverages on the table, immediately then she wished she had braved up to tell Jide to buy that bread back then on the road. Oh well, she should be grateful for this atleast. She made herself a cold cup of tea after which she walked down to go explore the hallway.
    ****************
    The hallway was dimly lit, they were four doors, two on both sides, Daisy wondered which, was the supposed bedroom, well explore he had said, and explore she would.
    She went over to the door at her left, it was locked, ‘can’t be this’ she said, then over to the right door opposite she went, the door gave in without a sound, she peeped inside, it was the bedroom. ‘quick luck’ she said as she walked in.
    The room was sparsely decorated, the walls were painted white, a huge bed loomed in front of her, a large dressing mirror was close by and few steps away was the wardrobe. The room was neat, like every other part of the house, he must be a neatness freak she concluded.
    Few minutes later, Daisy came out of the adjoining bathroom, draped in a
    towel that hardly covered her, it was all she could find. The problem
    of what to wear resurfaced. She looked at the disgusting pile of her
    wedding gown.
    ‘Ain’t gonna be that’ she muttered and marched to the wardrobe for more
    exploration.
    Few minutes later she was on Jide’s T.shirt and walking down the hallway
    to the parlor. Shontelle’s ‘Nothing but your T.shirt on’ song was
    playing in her mind. She found herself humming the song, Inspite of her
    situation, well it described her perfectly she thought. She was totally
    Unclad under this huge shirt of Jide’s and oddly, she felt good about it,
    his perfume, though faint, exuding from the shirt did wonders to her
    nerves and she found herself thinking that everything might just be fine
    afterall. Maybe she was feeling a little sexy too. This made her smile.
    Daisy was a huge suckker for music, she didn’t just love the rhythm, she
    paid attention to the lyrics even learnt it. Every song, she had
    reasoned address every life’s experience, you just had to know when to
    apply them and let the song massage and soothe your nerves. Her love for
    music was so great that her mum her teased about it wondering why she
    wanted to read nursing instead of music. That was long ago before she
    passed away.
    Daisy was now in the parlor, the light were switched off. Though light
    from the windows illuminated it lightly. Jide was now sleeping and
    snoring away though not loudly, he had moved to the bigger chair and,
    television was off.
    ‘so he even snores’ she said to herself ‘behind all those handsomeness’
    she giggled walking to the kitchen.
    In the kitchen, she stood, momentarily lost on why on why she had come.
    Then it hit her. Juice! She came searching for juice. She walked to the fridge and opened it quickly.
    Nothing! Just a few can of Star beer. She looked around, soon she was at the cupboard that hung up, even as she searched vigorously she knew it was futile.
    Whoever kept juice in cupboard she thought resignedly.
    She was a bundle of nerves now, So much for feeling sexy and good a while ago. The night couldn’t get any worse!
    Daisy leaned upon the cooking platform, she felt a tear drop, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. How was she going to survive this Night when the cravings began, ‘juice craziness’ her mum had referred to it.
    Whatever it was, she never skipped it, the consequences were grave. But now she would, on her wedding night of all nights! She pitied herself and hated the love which so clouded her senses.
    Minutes later when she walked past the sleeping Jide towards the hallway leading to the bedroom, she wished that none of her friends or family would ever dare gamble with love and take the chance her foolish self did.

    EPISODE 7

    Daisy woke up rather late this morning for she was an early riser, the
    bed-side clock showed the time to be 7:30am, but Daisy made no move to
    stand, instead she curled up further into the blanket, she was feeling
    sick and her head really hurts. This was an aftermath of skipping her
    nightly dose of juice and as she had predicated, the consequence had
    been grave, it shook her like an earthquake.
    She had all but consciously walked to the kitchen at about 2am earlier
    that morning for that was the time the craving begins. Still not fully
    awake, she searched the fridge and cupboards looking for Juice, it was
    minutes later that it dawned on her that She wasn’t in her apartment in
    Boston.
    But by then, the kitchen was a mess, things were out of their place and
    sprawled on the floor while cupboards and cabinets lay open. Daisy
    didn’t care, she remembered then that she had searched before so she
    just walked like a zombie to her room, half noticing Jide who was
    snoring away, oblivious of the noise she had made.
    When she got back to the room, her trouble doubled, for minutes later,
    she started sweating profusely, her body shaking uncontrollably, the
    worms gnawed at her intestine and she felt a sickening sensation, she
    was a pile of wreck, more like a drug addict who didn’t get a dose of
    drug. She was deeply addicted to juice, her hungry stomach compounded
    the problem and she found herself visiting the toilet to vomit now and
    then, nothing came out for her stomach was more or less empty, but she
    went back again nevertheless.
    She couldn’t sleep, for hours she just sat on the floor, her back
    resting on the bed and her hands on her head. It was hours later that
    sleep came knocking and slowly she had dragged herself to bed.
    The
    reason she woke up late this morning.
    Daisy now rolled to the other side of the bed, she was still queasy. She
    suddenly remembered what Today was. Sunday! and it was their wedding
    thanksgiving service, still she made no move to stand.
    It wasn’t as if there was anything to wear, and her phone wasn’t with
    her, in all of yesterday activities, she didn’t know who she had given
    it, and she was sure Jide wouldn’t bother calling the family house.
    Well, she wasn’t feeling any better herself.
    Soon she heard noises. She attuned her ears to it, it was coming from
    the parlour.
    ‘Kilonshe gbogbo awon omode yi!’ someone had shouted.
    She guessed it to be that of Jide’s father, that must mean the family
    were here she reasoned. Slowly she started rising up, but stopped when
    the door flung open, and in came Mama.
    ‘Daisy, what are you still doing in bed by now? It’s almost eight, i
    don’t know you to be a late riser, first service will end by nine and we
    are booked for then!…’ Mama said, her voice rising with every
    sentence, she was now by the bed.
    Daisy was sitting down now, no movement, her expression blank. She
    didn’t reply either.
    Mama felt her temper rising, if Jide was adamant, atleast not Daisy too.
    Noone seem to care.
    ‘kilo de?’ she asked in yoruba.
    Daisy said nothing, she just pulled the blanket up to her folded knee.
    Mama pulled down the blanket and fuming still, said:
    ‘O fe dami lo hun ni? See the time, its sharp eight, you nor Jide is
    prepared, are you children bent on causing scandals?
    ‘Daisy!’ she shouted when Daisy still made no move to stand or reply
    her.
    Mama continued complaining in yoruba language, she did so, mostly when
    she was angry, Daisy understood all she was saying, her 10 years stay in
    the States hadn’t eroded her knack for the language. she couldn’t speak
    it fluently but she understood it quite all right, she had been perfect
    in the language due to her long stay in Ijebu-Ode with her grandmother
    before she left for Boston to stay with her mother, though the years
    took away her ability to speak yoruba fluently, Mama had made sure she
    never lost the language totally. She often than not converse in yoruba
    with her.
    Mama was ranting on about how Jide was so ungrateful, how children of
    nowadays were spoilt and disrespectful, how nobody seem to appreciate
    her one bit, how Daisy seem to have joined in frustrating her and so
    on…’
    Inbetween all of mama’s ranting, Daisy had slide down into the blanket
    drawing it up to cover her face. You don’t try arguing with Mama when
    she was this way.
    Having said her piece, mama sighed, her anger seem to have dissolved.
    She now sat calmly on the bed.
    When Daisy noticed Mama was no more talking, she stole a glance at her, peeping from beneath the blanket.
    ‘coast clear’ she said quietly to herself and pulled off the blanket.
    Standing up she said ‘Mama don’t overwork yourself already, i was feeling sick then’
    Mama immediately looked up from where she had bent her head wondering whether she didn’t deserve how she was being treated.
    ‘Sick! How? when? Why didn’t you tell me…’ she was now at Daisy side and touching her body.
    Mama and her fussing, Daisy thought resignedly.

    EPISODE 8

    …… ……
    ‘It’s gone now, am okay. Twas because i missed my nightly dose of juice’
    she said in truth, maybe all of Mama’s rant had somehow paid off afterall.
    ‘juice? but they was more than enough at the wedding and You should have
    told Jide to get you some…’
    ‘yeah right’ Daisy snorted cutting into Mama speech. she wont be surprise if she got acid instead.
    Mama was still looking her over, she’s like a mother hen when it
    concerns Daisy’.
    ‘Mo wa pa!’ Daisy exclaimed in a funny Yoruba accent and hugged Mama.
    ‘you should worry about the clothes i will wear when i take my bath, all my…’
    ‘oh, that has been taken care of, Jumoke is with it in the parlor, just get prepared’
    ‘okay’ Daisy said, blew Mama a kiss and bounded off into the bathroom.
    Mama smiled inspite of her initial anger, this was another reason why she so loved Daisy.
    *************
    Down in the parlour, Jide hadn’t found it easier either.
    A loud knock on his door earlier had jolted him from his slumber,
    opening it, he was surprised to see his dad, grandmother, Yemi, his
    immediate younger brother and Jumoke, his sister at the door.
    He had totally forgotten that it was Sunday and his supposed
    thanksgiving service. But then what’s there to thank God about, he
    thought drily.
    His family were not smiling one bit, well, so wasn’t he.
    Shaking his head and with a disgusted look he said:
    ‘Hail the pack of trouble’ and walked away to go lie back on the settee.
    ‘Is that supposed to be a greeting or what?’ his father asked
    ‘or what’ he muttered
    ‘Omo de yi ti baje tan’ put in mama almost shouting. She was also
    clapping her hands.
    Yemi and Jumoke left the bickering ‘grown ups’ to go sit down.
    ‘Really Mama, keep your voice down, you don’t wanna wake the whole d--n
    neighbourhood’ Jide said angrily, mother and son were at it again. He
    thought
    ‘what kind of lazy neighbours sleep till this time and on a Sunday too?
    Mama retorted. no more clapping.
    ‘My friend, just quietly go inside, take your bath and prepare, time is
    not on our side’ his father said, he was sitting now.
    ‘prepare for what?’ came Jide’s curt reply
    ‘its your wedding thanksgiving service for God’s sake!’ his father
    replied, his voice high.
    Jide laughed briefly, this family of his were really something. He’d be
    darned if he moved an inch or dance to their tune, not this time around.
    Thanksgiving Ko, praisegiving ni.
    ‘What am i going to thank God for? For a wedding that was forced on me?
    Or for a family that is driving me insane?’ his voice had risen.
    ‘I don’t have your time, Nibo ni Daisy wa na?’ mama had said angrily and
    walked off to go find Daisy.
    ‘Kilonshe gbogbo awon omode yi?’ his dad thundered.
    ‘look Dad, am a grown man, you don’t just come to my house to tell me
    what to do, havnt you done enough already?’ he asked, really pissed.
    ‘Yemi give him his cloth, look at the time, we are supposed to have been
    in church by now, in an hour time, the service would end, will they
    wait for us specially’. Jide’s dad said, as if Jide had not spoken. He
    was middle aged, bulky and almost as tall as Jide who stood on 5’7.
    ‘Its okay! if you think you can order me around like a child, we shall
    see where it ends!’ Jide said shouting.
    Yemi tossed the bag he had been holding at Jide, he really didn’t envy
    Jide now with father at his back, they were both stubborn and he
    wondered whose turf would hold.
    Jide, out of curiosity, opened the bag that was tossed at him. Soon His
    face held a deriding smile, inside was a cloth exactly the same material
    with that which his family were wearing, he guessed Daisy would wear
    just the same Ankara material, he never doubted that she would gladly
    without resistance adorn it, well that was her business, his was making
    sure he was not caught dead on this uniformed cloth with his annoying
    family trotting like an i.diot in front of a large congregation to go
    thank God for nothing spectacular he could name. No sir, he won’t!
    ‘you guys got all the bloody nerves’ he said rather calmly and tossed
    the bag back to Yemi.
    ‘did you actually expect me to wear that? Jide, wear the Ankara with…’
    He stopped midway, it was really not worth the trouble to keep the word
    exchange, he would just stay and watch who was gonna force the cloth on
    him and he would show that person a piece of his mind.
    His mind set, he picked up his remote to switch on his television.
    Noone pushed further, even his dad rested resignedly on the chair while
    jumoke rose to go meet Daisy and Mama in the room. The guys could tear
    themselves up for all she cared.

    EPISODE 9

    *****************
    The atmosphere was still cooking with a kind of angry heat, when mama,
    Daisy and Jumoke walked in. As Jide had noted, Daisy was wearing her share of the family uniform, though her hers fitted her perfectly and highlighted her curves. The clock showed the time to be 9:10. Yet Noone
    in the parlor was making a move.
    The entrants quietly went to seat on different settee in the parlor,
    they too didn’t know what to say or do. As they sat, each to his
    thought, Jide looked different, he hadn’t taken his bath neither was he on the uniformed attire.
    Daisy had noticed a sort of glint in Jide eyes, in the split second he
    had paid them a cursory look when they came in, his eyes had lingered on her for more than required, and that her unsettled her a bit. Later, on
    her seat she translated it to mean admiration or at worse, a figment of her hazy imaginations. She wasn’t sure, ‘Must still be the juice’ she thought.
    Noone said anything for the next few minutes and the silence was
    deafening, everybody was tired of the mulish Jide, His was a case of
    taking a horse to the stream and then leaving the drinking part totally to the exigencies of the horse for Jide still didn’t show concern one
    bit as his gaze fixed on the Tele.
    Mama spoke now, she was visibly angry. If everyone kept their peace, Jide would end up having his way and today would be a total waste,
    Though Jumoke had called one of her usher friend at the church to shift
    their thanksgiving to the second service, the service was already
    30 minutes underway! What kind of defiance was jide putting up? she thought fighting hard to contain her anger.
    ‘Jide’ she started ‘please for the sake of Abike…’ Abike was his
    deceased mum ‘…and for the sake of the love and respect you ever had
    for me and your dad, wole ko lo we, jó omo mi, jó … am begging!’
    (enter go and bath please, my child pls) mama said with the softest
    voice she could mutter, ‘cos inside she was burning hot. It was very
    obvious that Jide wouldn’t respond to force, best to try the pleading way.
    ‘Don’t bring mum into this issue’ came jide’s curt reply few minutes
    later, as if he had been contemplating.
    Everyone kept mute, even mama. And after what seemed like ages, Jide switched off the television, stood up, hissed and muttered something, before storming out of the parlour.
    Silence still.
    Some minutes later, Jide resurfaced, he’d taken his bath and was wearing
    a black shirt on a jean trouser, he was also putting on a black speck,
    every eyes turned on him but he said nothing to his family, he just went past them outside.
    An impatient horn from Jide outside jolted them from their inertia, they quietly stood up and walked out, noone uttered a word. On the chair sat
    the bag containing Jide’s Ankara cloth, it would obviously rot there
    forever, Daisy thought rather amused, this husband of hers was
    definitely a character.
    ********
    Minutes later, they arrived at the headquarters of Love Word Assembly
    situated in Ikeja, mama had insisted on riding in Jide’s car, even
    though he disagreed. Mama had said she could not take any chance with
    him, if not he would do something st.u.pid like dropping Daisy along the
    road and zooming off elsewhere, after much persuasion accompanied with
    another family drama in the compound, Jide grudgingly accepted.
    Their thanksgiving kicked off not long after they arrived for they came
    in quite late but in the nick of time. The family had hardly settled
    down when the Olukoyas family was announced to come for their wedding
    thanksgiving. Mama immediately got busy, soon, relatives and family were
    dancing to the altar with huge tubers of Yam, mama could not contain
    her joy, she danced from one corner to the other shaking her behind, she
    would dance front and dance back even to the amusement of the
    congregation.
    Jide felt so sill.y in the midst of his uniformed family, it turned out
    to be that some of their relative were also wearing the same Ankara
    material, he was angry, irritated and mortified, if not for the presence
    of a large congregation, he would have simply left. Mama’s dancing was
    irritating him the more, she was dancing like she was the one who had
    wedded not him, Daisy on her part was all smiles and was shaking her
    body lightly to the praises being sang by the choir, not only her but
    all his family, his sister, father, brother, the relatives and well
    wishers from the church, he wondered if there was another reason this
    people were happy about if not the obvious? He just couldn’t wait to be
    out of these clowns known as his family.
    Daisy on her part was having a good time, she had atfirst felt silly about the uniformed clothes everyone was wearing, soon she got used to it, even loved it, ‘another reason to love the yorubas’ she thought. She noticed her aunty and waved, her aunty waved back, she was part of the entourage of thanks givers, Daisy felt welcomed and at home in the midst of them all.
    she didn’t regret her marriage at that moment any bit, she couldn’t rein in her joy as she just let the music take over her and soothe her nerves, while she ignored the anger and irritation on Jide’s face.
    ‘He won’t spoil my fun, not this time around’ she thought happily as she danced away her sorrows.
    **********
    Daisy waved sadly at the Olukoyas as they boarded their car back home while Jide waited impatiently for her in his car. The normal thing would have been to go the Family house to celebrate proper, but counting on Jide’s acceptance was a tall order, so that would pass.
    Mama had promised to send in her clothes and phone later that day and she found herself wishing that she could drive home with them instead.
    As she climbed beside the visibly irritated Jide, she wondered what fate had in stock for her in her forever after.
    Jide zoomed off without as much as a glance or word to her.
    That night again, he slept on the settee in the parlour.

    EPISODE 10

    Daisy woke up by 6am, it is a normal routine for her because her body had grown accustomed to it, today was Monday. She went to the kitchen to see what she could fix up as breakfast for Jide before he left for work, much as she would have preferred a honeymoon, she knew it was as
    close as wishing for the moon so she thought it best to settle herself into her wifely role, even though she knew Jide would neither care nor appreciate the gesture.
    At about 7 when Jide came out from his study-for that was where he had
    moved his clothes to yesterday while Daisy watched with a sunken heart
    as the hope of them ever consumating their marriage slipped-he hardly
    paid a glance to the set dining table before he picked his car keys and left the house without a word at her either.
    Daisy wasn’t hurt, she had half expected that to happen, it wasn’t even as if she had fix anything spectacular for him to eat, she had improvise with the little food items she could find in his scanty kitchen and
    fixed him jollof rice cooked with sardine, she however applauded herself
    mentally for her super effort in bringing something out of nothing, so
    it was totally Jide’s business if he decided to starve himself!
    Her piece said, she rose from the chair in the parlor where she’d been sitting and carefully carried the untouched food back to the kitchen then walked to the room to go arrange her legion of clothes, mama had
    sent them yesterday evening through the family driver.
    Though Daisy would have loved if Mama had came herself for she needed
    company to cope with the cold silence that pervaded the house after they returned, she consoled herself with the cartoon of juice mama also sent, it meant her ‘juiceless’ nights were over.
    As she hung her clothes in the now empty hanger, she sang along Alicia
    Keys’ ‘Super human’ playing from her phone, she wondered where her
    husband would continue sleeping and wished he had rather slept here with
    her even if he decided to still keep his distance on the bed.
    ‘As if that was possible’ Daisy said to herself and giggled.
    ************
    she was through with her clothes ‘chore’ and was now hanging her bags
    when she heard a noise out in the hallway. Stopping, she tiptoed to the
    door and listened closely by placing her ears by the door, she heard a
    noise like someone opening a door.
    Immediately she opened her door and
    looked down to see a guy trying to open Jide’s study which was the last
    room at the left side of the hallway. She guessed him to be in his
    mid-twenties.
    So many thoughts coursed through her mind, was he a burglar? a friend?
    or at worst Jide’s male part…… She stopped that train of thought,
    she didn’t believe Jide would stoop that low!
    The guy, very oblivious to the fact that he was being watched had opened
    the door and was about to enter when he turned and saw Daisy.
    She was
    in between the half opened door.
    ‘Don’t come any further’ she spoke now, alarm in her tone. The guy had
    been walking towards her then.
    He stopped midway and smiled very unsure.
    ‘Am sorry ma, Adamu told me you were around but i….’ he had this
    slight calarbar accent.
    ‘Who are you?’ Daisy interrupted still not pacified, she also made no
    move to leave her position.
    ‘oh, sorry…’ he apologised again ‘i should have… Well my name is
    Okon Edet, i am the house keeper here, well…sort of’
    ‘The housekeeper?’ Daisy asked, she was getting a bit relaxed.
    ‘yes, i come to clean every Monday, Wednesday and Friday’
    That’s plausible enough she thought, her initial alarm gradually
    evaporating.
    ‘oh…okay…hello’ she greeted now and wanted to come out fully, but
    remembering that she was still clad in Jide’s shirt now turned to her night wear since since he seemed not to need it anymore, she stopped.
    ‘Hi’ okon replied smiling.
    ‘but how did you get the key to that room?’ Daisy asked.
    ‘Mr. Jide dropped it with Adamu, he asked me to clean it up and do other things there cos…’
    ‘its okay’ Daisy said, she couldn’t care more. ‘Let me leave you to your work then’
    ‘ok ma’ Okon said and walked away.
    Daisy closed her door and locked it this time, she wouldn’t take any more chances with whatever housekeeper of Jide that came calling again. She chastised herself now for where her stray thoughts would have led her then and resumed her ‘chores’ singing along the song that was now playing in her phone, it was Beyonce’s ‘halo’.
    So much for the neat freak jide she had formed, for there goes the secret. She thought again.
    ************

    EPISODE 11

    Jide was all angry when he drove into the family company building
    located at Eric Moore part of surulere. He didn’t reply the greeting of
    people that he passed nor bothered about the look of surprise etched on
    their face.
    The moment Daisy knew better to keep her distance and stop annoying him
    more with the pretence of love, docility and submissiveness, the better
    for them both. What had she thought would be the outcome of her preparing breakfast for him?
    Did she think they were the best of newly weds? Maybe the surprise visit of the furniture persons would jolt her
    out of her fantasy. Jide thought angrily as he marched through the
    stairs that led to his office in the second floor of the two storey
    building they shared with another company.
    The olukoya’s company occupied the first and second floor while the
    other company occupied the ground floor. Their company deals with the importation of household items and other sundry, the second floor housed
    the offices while the first floor served as the show room.
    Jide’s presence startled his secretary who had been making a call that was obviously not concerned with business.
    ‘goodmorning sir…i didn’t know you would be coming in this morning, i….’ the secretary stammered, she had carelessly dropped the land
    phone and the phone was now dangling carelessly by her side.
    ‘oh really, did my schedule show that i will be absent today’ jide asked irritated.
    ‘no but since you got married on Sat…she started defensively
    ‘that, Joyce is not your business, your business is to get me the
    invoice and documents that come into my section…’
    ‘your father intercepted them, he said you wont be coming in today…’
    ‘he what! What’s wrong with everyone? just cos i got married doesn’t
    mean am paralysed or that life wouldn’t go on’ Jide was saying as he marched out to his father’s office.
    Minutes later, he was in his office. The way he had barged in startled
    the oldman who had been perusing a document.
    ‘what the hell is the meaning of this?’ he shouted.
    ‘what right have you to intercept the document meant for me?’ Jide
    barked
    ‘Is that a new form of goodmorning?
    ‘i didn’t come here for pleasantries’ jide shouted. ‘why did you
    f.ucking redirect all my invoices to your section?’ he asked again.
    ‘come on, you and i know that you were not supposed to be in office
    today or even this week, you just got married and you ought to be on
    your honeymoon…’ he was saying with a rather cajoling tone.
    ‘give me a break ‘dad’ you can go honeymoon for all i care, i just need
    those invoices so i can get to work immediately’ he interrupted still
    shouting.
    ‘its okay, very Okay Jide, i quite understand, your document are still
    with Alice out there, you can get them on your way out’
    ‘fine!’ Jide barked and stormed out of his office, banging the door
    after him. ‘foolis.h old people trying to run my life’ he muttered.
    Jide’s father was speechless, he regretted listening to his mother about
    forcing this marriage on Jide, For he wasn’t sure now, if it had been
    the best thing he had ever done, though it had seemed so then.
    As Jide marched angrily to his office, the documents in his hand, he
    almost ran into Ade who was coming towards him.
    ‘slow down man! why are you all smokes?’ Ade asked smoothing his suit,
    he was one to care so much about his look for he thought himself
    handsome and the ladies delight.
    ‘i really don’t have the time to chat’ Jide replied irritation showing
    on his face, but he didn’t make any move to continue on his way.
    ‘oh yeah, you should have said so man, rather than try to make me look
    all ruffled and on a Monday too!’ he was still sulky over his suit.
    ‘really Ade grow up, ‘Jide said with an irritated tone ‘its only a suit
    not your miserable life!’ Jide retorted and started walking away.
    ‘and aren’t you supposed to be cruising the world with that damsel wife
    of yours for the honey…’
    ‘not you too!’ jide interrupted almost shouting and stopped ‘why don’t
    you f.ucking stick to your business?’
    ‘its my business you know, i witnessed the marriage, i was the ring
    bearer, infact i …’
    ‘yeah, you could also go witness the honeymoon in my place’ Jide replied
    now walking away for real. Ade was really an annoying pest and he could
    go on forever with this discussion. Jide was clearly not in the mood to
    banter with this friend of his who made it an habit to pester people.
    They weren’t even best of friends, but then again Jide hardly kept
    friends.
    ‘I’d love to!’ Ade shouted to the retreating figure of Jide.
    Unlike Jide, Ade considered it a blessing for Jide family to have gotten
    him hooked with a ‘kokolet’ like Daisy, that girl was sooo fine and
    even though he wasn’t thinking about marriage soon, he wouldn’t have bothered much if Daisy was forced on him and he just might take up Jide’s offer one of this days, he thought merrily as he waltzed with a funny step to his own section of the company.
    From then on, Jide made sure that nobody talked to him about his
    ‘unfortunate’ wedding or even mentioned something as close to it, if they didn’t want problem with him. Everyone in his office respected his
    ‘orders’ and acted as it they hadn’t trooped to Queen’s Hotel on a
    pleasant Saturday to celebrate a wedding, things just went back to
    normal as if their second in command hadn’t experienced any change. But
    the grapevine didn’t cease their wagging.
    ************
    Daisy was all dressed and sitting in the parlour watching a movie in
    Africa Magic, Okon was scrubbing away at the dining table, he was also
    whistling a tune as he worked, then out of nowhere he asked:
    ‘Madam, do i also clean the room’
    ‘what?’ Daisy asked, she had been engrossed in the movie, she was also a sucker for Nollywood movies, they intrigued her.
    ‘I asked if i could clean the room too, you know with you around and…’he was saying
    ‘No no don’t bother with that’ she said and was returning her attention
    to the movie again but stopped and added ‘you don’t also need to
    clean…you know what, just continue’ she completed and turned back to
    the movie. she had wanted to include the kitchen.
    Not long later, they heard a noise outside, it was rather loud and
    sounded like a big truck just rammed into the compound.
    ‘what could that be?’ Daisy stood now and was walking towards the door.
    ‘it should be the fur…’ Okon was saying when he zoomed past her, but she didn’t get the last part of his statement, she didn’t need to
    because as she got to the door, what she saw in front of the compound
    was a large truck with the name ‘Johnson’s furniture’ written boldly on
    it, it was also accompanied with pictures of different house furnishing
    accessories.
    Immediately her heart sunk. But she wasn’t sure why.
    Okon was talking to one of the men now, later two men climbed into the
    truck and came out with wooden parts of a bed, they were followed by two
    other men
    carrying a blue king size mattress. They were marching towards the
    house.
    She clearly knew why her heart missed a bit then, this husband of hers
    had show the greatest derision and disrespect she could ever imagine or
    handle, so this was what he had been cooking all along without even a
    breath of word to her? And to add to the insult, he had intimated his
    housekeepers with the info while she was left in the dark. She felt so
    invincible, She didn’t know which was more painful, the fact that he had
    totally disregarded her in front of the world or the fact that he had
    openly shown that he couldn’t be bothered by their marriage. She felt so
    hurt down to the bone marrow, her hope was slipping away gradually and
    the fear that the future was laced with cold and loveless days loomed in
    her heart.
    She quietly left the door to go sit on the chair so that the men could
    pass.
    ‘Madam they want to…’ Okon was saying but stopped when he noticed the
    expression on Daisy’s face, it was gloomy.
    ‘Just do whatever, its okay by me’ she managed to say, she wasn’t sure
    of herself or her emotions anymore, she could feel that ancient gland
    that held her tears starting to rise. Okon left her.
    This emotions would not be the death of me. She thought angrily and
    forced herself to concentrate on the movie.
    In the movie, Jim Iyke was then kneeling down in proposal to an actress,
    Daisy wasn’t sure she had seen her before, but right then, that was the
    least of her problem. Infact it was like compounding the problem, she
    felt like slapping the two Id.iots who didn’t know that marriage wasn’t
    that rosy as the st.upid smile on the girls face.
    Infact, she simply lost interest and switched off the irritating movie,
    then started for her room.
    ‘Her room’ she thought painfully, she wasn’t gonna be sharing it with
    Jide or anyone else for that matter so she had better start getting used to it. Her initial question about his place of rest was now more than answered.
    In the hallway, she met the men bearing the mattress trying to fit it through the narrow hallway to Jide’s study now turned his room. Maybe that was what Okon had been telling her earlier in the morning she remembered.
    Well, It didn’t matter anymore for now she knew. She quietly shut her door and locked it without a second glance at the struggling men.
    Later on her bed, she mechanically went to her phone’s playlist and selected Beyonce’s ‘Broken hearted girl’. Even though she knew it wasn’t the best of song for her nerves right now, she still didn’t care, instead she set the song to replay then slowly drew the blanket over her. Minutes later, she felt those hateful stream of tears roll down uncontrollable.
    She spent the whole day locked in, she didn’t know when Okon left or when Jide returned. The only time she left her room was around 2am when she practically sleep-walked to the kitchen to go take her nightly dose of juice.
    So sorry guys.You have to forgive me o.
    @loveth ,you have to log in into ur account so u can upload and set ur profile pic

    EPISODE 12

    Daisy was feeling much better than she had these past few days, for two days after the ‘mattress’ incidence, Daisy had hardly seen the exterior of her room, even when Okon came yesterday for his cleaning rounds, she
    had totally ignored his knocks on her door. But today, after much
    thought and resolution, she was out & in the kitchen.
    She had somehow consciously come to grasp with her situation, and told
    herself that getting so down-beaten with any cold shoulder act that Jide sprang up would only give him pleasure if she kept showing that it
    affected her badly. She resolved to try play along his ‘game of
    shoulders’ and show him that if he was trying to pass across a message, she wasn’t decoding! She would show him also that she was the least
    afraid of all his tantrums, his arrogance, his impulsiveness, his bad temperament, his ego and whatever package came with the man now her husband.
    However, she was going to make sure she didn’t pay him back in his own coin, she would show him that two wrongs don’t make a right and that ‘evil’ can be bought with good, though she knew it was going to be an
    uphill task.
    She would try her best to condone, comply and give him the much space he was trying to tell her he craved. Didn’t the Bible admonish wives to
    respect and submit to their husbands with all the patience they could
    muster? Even though she wasn’t really a ‘Bible person’ she remembered
    that the Pastor had said something like that during their wedding service, also, every book on marriage issues she had read or glanced
    through revolved around the same virtues; But she wasn’t going to
    sacrifice her comfort and emotions on the altar, if it eventually came
    to that.
    This was the reason why she was up early and busy in the kitchen trying
    to fix breakfast for him again, even though there was little to work with today.
    She made a mental note to ask him for money to buy food items for the kitchen, for it was his d--n responsibility, even if he was gonna go all smokes on her, she wont care. The jollof rice she had cooked on Monday
    had served her hunger needs yesterday evening when she emerged from her
    room to eat, for she had practically been surviving on juice before then. Bless Okon for heating it on Wednesday morning else they wouldn’t have been
    any left to salvage. But now, she couldn’t keep mute and starve to
    death, her Bank at the states told her it would take time for them to
    complete the money transfer to her new bank here in Nigeria, she didn’t
    even know how far they’ve gone with it, due to the recent activities
    that demanded her time.
    After much deliberation, Daisy decided to boil water and fill the flask, then she arranged the tea items close to the down-turned tea cup.
    She surveyed her work and shaking her shoulders in resignation, she went to seat in the parlour, they was plainly nothing in the house, maybe that would give him an idea of it she thought.
    The time was 6:20 & since she didn’t feel sleepy, she decided to watch Television.
    When Jide surfaced at about seven all dressed for work, Daisy who was engrossed in the musical video she was watching on Trace TV, didn’t notice the surprise that appeared on Jide’s face for a flint second.
    He was surprised to see Daisy in the parlour and the dining, set. For the past two days, she had locked herself in and now she re-appeared and was acting as if nothing had ever happened.
    He quietly picked his key from a side stool, a scowl played up on his face, then he thought he heard someone say ‘hi’ but when he cast a glance at Daisy, she looked deeply engrossed with the television.
    Was she trying to show him how resilient she could be? Jide thought angrily as he marched out of the house banging the door after him.
    The sound jolted Daisy, her gaze travelled to the door, then to the
    dining before it settled back on the television.
    She had said ‘hi’ to him then and had wanted to say more but the scowl on his face stopped her, she just feigned to be engrossed in the Tele instead.
    So much for her brave resolution then, for she knew now that it wouldn’t
    be as easy as she had thought. She was far too weak, emotionally to keep up the game. She slowly lay on the settee, her mind blank.
    ************
    Daisy opened the door to see a man in front of her, he looked very
    familiar but her brain was finding it hard to firmly piece him together. The man smiled now and extended a hand to her, she put out her hand to
    receive the handshake, but she still wasn’t clear who he was or where she had seen him before.
    ‘Mrs. Olukoya right?’ the man asked as he cut the handshake.
    Daisy merely shook her head to his question, she wasn’t sure if she
    should invite him in, he was also holding a large brown envelope that looked heavy.
    ‘Good’ the man said bringing out the content of the envelope ‘…I came here to deliver the wedding pictures, mama gave…’he was saying but Daisy had lost attention, the word picture had jolted her memories and
    now she remembered who the man was, she felt so silly for how hard she tried to recollect who he was. Her wedding photographer!
    ‘The photographer!’ she nearly screamed.
    ‘Yes’ the man said an amused streak on his face
    ‘Do come in’ she said
    ‘okay’ he replied and Daisy gave way for him to pass.
    Towards the settee, he brought out the picture album and gave it to her.
    Daisy got busy immediately flipping through the pages, she was visibly
    excited and forgot about the man or the fact that they were still
    standing.
    ‘I will also collect the remaining payment for the picture’
    ‘oh’ she replied, that had definitely gotten her attention.’how much is
    it’ she asked closing the album, her face didn’t hold the initial
    excitement.
    ‘5K’ the man said simply.
    ‘I… I am sorry but…I don’t have…i mean, the money is not ready,
    uhm…Jide…i mean my husband had no idea that…’
    ‘I understand quite alright’ the man interrupted. He thought the woman
    before him to be really amusing with the way she stammered with that
    American accent of hers, he honestly understood her plight. It would be
    best for him to come back and since the family was well off, his money
    should be ready then.
    ‘Am sorry’ Daisy calmly said.
    ‘Its okay, I will come back… lets say Saturday…’
    ‘It would be ready then i promise’ Daisy cut in, the color now returning
    to her face.
    ‘let me be on my way then…’ he replied and started for the door.
    ‘Is there anything i can offer you?’ she called.
    ‘Thanks but am in a hurry’ he replied without looking back, soon he was
    out and walking down to the gate.
    Daisy heaved a sign of relief, then reopened the picture album and went
    to seat down. She had taken her bath and had been watching television
    before she heard the knock. She was over the trauma of the morning
    incident with Jide, that was one good thing about her, she hardly sulk
    for long or allowed her emotions weigh her down completely, except
    offcourse, in some instances.
    The picture before her now was the one where Jide had been dancing with
    the ‘lady on red’ during their couples dance, the picture brought back
    memories of the wedding celebration she had succeeded in blanking out,
    anger burned in her, just below that was the ‘cake-stuffing’ picture,
    she wondered if the photographer had intentionally arranged the ‘ugly’
    pictures together because the previous pictures had been lovely, Jide
    seemed to be in his best behaviour then.
    It didn’t get any better As she flipped through the next pictures, they showed how desperate Jide had been to create a scandal, just then, the movie scene of Julia Roberts in ‘Runaway Bride’ running away from her wedding on a horse flashed through her mind, she imagined herself in the same situation but this time in a Nigeria busy road as the horse galloped away through traffic, she smiled, that would be scandal enough for Jide and the nosy media she thought. Another thought struck her then: she hasn’t browsed the internet to see if there was anything about their wedding, the Olukoya’s might just be prominent enough to attract media attention.
    Her phone rang then interrupting her flow of thought, it was crying helplessly on the dining table. She dropped the offensive picture album and started for the Dining.
    The number that showed on her phone looked familiar, it bore the international code of Boston, Daisy had a feeling that she knew who it was.
    ‘Hello’ she said.

    EPISODE 13

    ‘hello!’ the voice at the other end
    screamed, Daisy pushed the phone away from her ear to curtail the
    noise. She definitely knew who it was.
    ‘Jeez Bren, you don’t wanna bust my ear drums now, do you?’ Daisy
    replied smiling while she sat down on one of the dining chairs.
    ‘Spare me that Bullshit! ‘ave been searching your number for days now’ came the reply.
    ‘And who let the cat out of the bag?’
    ‘It was quite a search, i had to call Mama’s house and the housekeeper gave me her Nigeria number and then i called there, then she gave me your number, jeez Dee, why didn’t you call me Since you left?’
    ‘Maybe cos i was pissed at you’ Daisy replied.
    ‘oh Dee, you know i wouldn’t miss your wedding for anything in the
    world, but my exams…’
    ‘got you!’ Daisy screamed ‘how i love every chance i get to make you whine like a dog’
    ‘oh you! You know i would squeeze your neck for this if i get you’ the other said playfully.
    ‘you gotta catch me first then’ Daisy giggled. She really loved
    Brenda,they were the very best of friends infact they were ‘BFFs’. It
    was indeed her Master exams which coincidentally fell on her wedding day that stopped her from coming, she understood.
    ‘So how was the wedding?’ Brenda asked.
    ‘so and so’ Daisy replied, that question changed her countenance.
    ‘And what’s that supposed to mean?’
    ‘lets just say it would have been bearable if you had been there with
    me’ Daisy said, her tone laced with sadness, her eyes instinctively
    travelled to the album on the chair.
    ‘oh Dee, like i knew that dude ain’t worth the sacrifice, but you were
    so bent on your shortsighted perspective of love and affection, it beats
    me to know how…’
    ‘really Brenda, i don’t think you called to tell lash an ‘i told you so’
    did you?’ Daisy cut in angrily
    ‘Chilax girlfriend, i don’t wanna fight with you over the phone, i
    missed you that’s why i called’
    ‘well okay, forgive me, i missed you too’.
    Silence on both sides.
    ‘that reminds me i saw Peter the other day…’ Brenda was saying.
    ‘Am a married chick now!’ Daisy cut in. Peter was her Ex-boyfriend
    ‘oh puleaseee, spare me’ Brenda replied stressing the ‘please’
    They both laughed.
    ‘Talking about marriages, have you and your hubby done the deal, you
    know what i mean’ Brenda said
    ‘yeah right’ she scoffed ‘that dude would rather beat me into a pulp
    than make sweet love to…’
    ‘oh no he didn’t!’ cut in Brenda with an alarmed tone.
    ‘jeez sister, i was trying to make an expression here’ Daisy replied
    exasperated.
    ‘that better be, cos i know that man ain’t tripping if he don’t want me
    to be all over his face’
    This made Daisy smile, she knew Brenda was capable of all that drama,
    she was, as Mama referred to her ‘agaracha ibo’, she could really cos a
    drama when she set her mind to it unlike the calm and docile Daisy.
    ‘He wouldn’t dare’ Daisy said ‘not when you are there’
    They both laughed.
    ‘I really miss Boston, you, the Hospital… everything …even Peter’
    Daisy was sober now.
    ‘I know, you don’t know how i feel too, you are married now and can’t come back…’
    ‘Don’t be too sure about that’
    ‘It still wont feel the same, you know, am thinking of coming back finally to Nigeria, mother Africa calls’
    ‘Not you too!’
    ‘America holds no more splendor for me, i wanna be close to my friend and family’
    ‘I can’t wait for then, it will be just like old times’
    ‘keep your fingers crossed girlfriend’
    ‘they are most definitely’ Daisy said. The two friends were really nostalgic.
    Daisy heard a knock just then. She cursed silently, when would this people stop springing up on her?
    ‘A knock Bren, I’d just go get it then…’
    ‘Oh no, i gotta go too, will call you tomorrow’.
    ‘okay Bren, don’t forget to. I’ll Miss you’.
    ‘I’ll miss you too, byeee’ Brenda said and cut the call.
    Daisy felt so alone now and wasn’t curious to know who was knocking, the drama of today was overwhelming and she didn’t need more.
    She slowly stood up to go see who it was that was knocking louder now.
    ****************
    Daisy walked unsteadily towards Jide’s study, it had taken all the
    strength she could, to actually make this move. The photographer had to
    be paid, he would be coming on Saturday; there was practically nothing in the house to eat and She couldn’t possibly starve!
    Her resolution firmer, she got to the door but hesitated some seconds before knocking softly, like the door would bite if she knocked any louder.
    No response from inside.
    She was about knocking again when she heard Jide’s voice.
    She opened the door gently and stepped in standing an inch from door, she however made no move to go further.
    Jide had been writing when he heard the knock, he was surprised ‘cos he knew there was only one person in the house who would be knocking & he was curious to know what she wanted.
    Now she was standing at the door and didn’t seem to want to come any further, she was holding something like a parcel, he wasn’t sure what it
    was, she didn’t say anything either, she just stood lost in thought and glancing round his room.
    He considered the woman that stood before him, she was pretty, though not any prettier than his girlfriend. Grace qualified now as an ex, he thought drily, they should be of the same height he guessed, she was 26, he remembered his grandmother had said when he had inquired of her age, then he had accused her of wanting to get him hooked with an immature girl, but now as he examined her in that shirt of his she had annoyingly
    decided to turn into her nightwear, she wasn’t immatured in any way,
    she had the curves at the right places with that bossom of hers that was guaranteed to drive him mad if he ever let his guards down, she was all feminine and any man would appreciate that she was their wife, but that
    man wasn’t him, she wasn’t his hand picked choice, she was forced on him through treachery and manipulation of his family and that grandmother of his whom he had loved dearly but obviously not anymore,
    she had betrayed his love and trust in the most unforgivable way.
    Jide anger rose automatically when he considered all this, he turned now to the document on his table, if Daisy was going to stand there
    forever, he would gladly watch her do so.
    Daisy stood lost in her perusal of the study now turned Jide’s bedroom.
    It didn’t look homely to her, it had a bed jammed to the wall at one
    side and a shelf stacked with books at the other, jide was perched on a
    chair and an adjoining desk, writing ‘who knows what’. Daisy wondered
    why a warm blooded handsome hunk would decide to camp in this unromantic crib, when a sexy willing damsel waited with open arms just a room
    away, eager to fulfill his fantasies. She smiled at her silly thoughts
    and caught herself, realizing only then that she had been standing at the door without uttering a word. She looked at Jide now, he had
    continued writing and the expression on his face made all her earlier
    thought and strength shrivel and in place was an unexplainable fright.
    ‘hi’ she said softly.
    Jide continued writing, without a glance her way.
    His coldness got to her and she looked down at the picture album she was
    holding.
    Another painful silence.
    ‘Daisy, what do you f.ucking want?’ Jide asked angrily, he wasn’t sure
    he could ignore her forever again, her presence was making him
    uncomfortable to his chagrin and he just wanted her miles away, if he
    didn’t want to lose concentration or let his guards fall!
    Daisy flinched at his tone and her face became all sober and sulky like
    she would break down in tears the next minute.
    Jide noticed her facial expression and even though he wasn’t sure if it
    was real or faked, it affected his anger, he found it melting down that
    he couldn’t keep it up, this scared him more and now he really wanted
    her to be off and done with.
    ‘I don’t think you set out to come showcase yourself to me this evening,
    so say what you want and be off from my presence’ he said, his tone
    however held not the trace of anger it had before.
    Daisy, finding strength in his renewed tone spoke:
    ‘uhm, sorry to disturb, but i uhm…the wedding photographer came today
    and he…uhm, you know wanted…uhm, money for the pictures he brought
    in today and i don’t…’ she was stammering, her face down all the
    while, she did so whenever she was nervous.
    Jide was amused by the way she was speaking, it showed she wasn’t all
    that strong and resilient as she had shown, he resolved to make it
    harder for her.
    ‘don’t you feel silly, standing there and talking to me about pictures
    of a wedding you know i don’t care about?’
    Daisy stared at him now ‘I…I…well…the man said on Saturday…I
    told him..uhm…promised him that his money…but my bank…’
    Jide was trying hard to stifle a laugh, that was surprising. Daisy was amusing him silly with all her stammering, he didn’t remember her to have speech problems, and he thought that the faster she was gone, the better for him.

    EPISODE 14

    ‘is that all?’ he asked and resumed his writing.
    ‘uhm…no…I also…need…no…not me…just that there isnt any
    food…’
    ‘food and pictures brought you here, which automatically means money…’
    he was saying.
    ‘not exactly like that…’ Daisy wanted to protest but jide’s raised
    hand signalled her to stop.
    ‘I have heard you’ he said with finality.
    More like ‘I have heard all your stammering’ he thought amusingly but
    his face held no smile. He wasn’t even looking at the pitiful sight of
    Daisy at the door.
    Daisy curtised mentally and left his presence closing the door softly
    behind her. Once out, she relaxed her back on the wall, she realised she
    was shaking inwardly, she raised her hand to her forehead and felt she
    was sweating too, She became angry with herself. What was it about his
    presence that
    turned her into Jelly butter, she thought.
    ‘I bet Grace would be bolder in his presence’ she said angrily as she
    walked to her room now.
    ‘such a chicken livered Daisy!’ she continued and banged the door of her
    room like it had been the one who upset her.
    Grace had been the caller of the afternoon, Daisy recognized her
    immediately as the ‘lady on red’ from the picture and wedding. She
    became a trifle jealous, because Grace was a stunner and she was as
    nasty as she was pretty too.
    She had gone on about how Daisy appeared from nowhere to steal her man
    and how she was not gonna give up without a fight, how she would wait
    for the day Jide would definitely push Daisy away with the messiest
    divorce she (Daisy) had ever known and how the pain would be greater
    than the scandalous wedding she had…bla bla bla…
    Daisy was all calm throughout the exchange, she was only grateful that
    her emotions didn’t give up on her, the worst she could have done was to
    whimper and give up a tear in front of that woman! She wished she was
    all bitchty like Brenda her friend. She would have given her a piece of
    her mind too. But she wasn’t and all she had done was to tell the irate
    Grace to kindly leave her home when she was done, then she had left her
    standing in the parlour.
    She didn’t know when Grace left cursing fire and brimstone. She just
    went to her room to sulk, but bounced back to her cheerful self hours
    later and started preparing for the confrontation with Jide.
    Jide however, had not been aware of Grace’s visit to his home, he had
    last seen her at the wedding.
    The next morning he dropped a considerable amount of money for Daisy on
    the Dining and that became his routine, dropping money weekly for Daisy
    on the dining to buy whatever things she needed for the home or her personal effects. she should well know that his love and attention wasn’t hers, but she could eat and fatten up for all he cared.
    He however, never ate the food Daisy unrelentingly prepared and left on the dining daily for him, until weeks later, he reconsidered and started eating the breakfast and dinner that was readily and steadily available for him.
    He reasoned that since it was his money she used in preparing the food and couldn’t possibly poison him, they was no reason skipping it and waste money eating out.
    But that was where the contact ended, he didn’t go any further. They lived like familiar strangers up on till…

    EPISODE 15

    Any outsider who examined how the marriage of Jide and Daisy came about
    might come to the conclusion that Daisy is a gold digger or was paying back a debt to Mama or at worst a confused girl who allowed her emotions
    direct her blindly. But Daisy might probably not be that because, for as
    much as anyone cares to listen, she truly loves Jide, hers is a love
    that budded and flourished for over 6 years that even sometimes she
    wonders if such a love could ever exist.
    It all started with her sojourn to America and her later acquaintance
    with Mrs. Bimpe Olukoya, preferably called Mama by all, a meeting whose
    history was both eventful and tragic.
    Daisy Chinwe Adelade (for that was her maiden name) was born to Laide
    Adelade and John Okoye, she was however a product of a love affair gone
    sour, born out of wedlock and raised without the love of any of her
    parents, She grew up with her grandmother.
    John’s parent had bluntly refused his marriage to Laide when he had
    intimated them with her pregnancy, they told him to concentrate on his
    studies and leave the Yoruba girl who might just be deceiving him
    afterall. John, regardless of how his parents wanted and eventually made
    him deny the pregnancy knew he was responsible, but wasn’t courageous
    enough to stand up against them or rather it was more about his
    cowardice and fright that controlled his choice to finally deny his
    responsibility to the distraught and heartbroken Laide.
    Iife continued. Someway, somehow through America Green card winnings,
    Laide left for America, happy for the chance to pick up her life again
    she left behind barely one year old Daisy in the care of her grandmother
    in Ibefun, Ijebu-ode. She however, didn’t relent in making sure that
    Daisy had all she needed Financially, but she could not give her the
    love of a mother that every child so craved.
    And so Daisy lived her early life wishing for the acceptance of her
    father and the love of a mother after she learnt of the circumstances
    surrounding her birth, but when that didn’t happen, she gradually
    relapsed into hatred for her father and anything that had to do with the
    Ibos, she felt that it was some unnamed customs of her father’s tribe
    that had somehow influenced his decision to not marry her mother, she
    grew up with a grudge against him. Although he much later pushed to be
    associated with her and even invited her over during those years she was
    living in Boston.
    But Daisy couldn’t totally erase her ill feeling towards the ibos and
    had subconsciously craved for a means where she could detach herself
    from every trace of her paternity, that was one of the reason she had
    taken the chance with Jide, for he represented amongst others, the life
    that would align her with the yoruba people she was more at home with
    and whose blood ran through her veins nevertheless her half relation
    with them.
    Her father however, wanted otherwise, that being the reason he had
    opposed her marriage with Jide wanting her to marry an Igbo suitor of
    his instead.
    **************
    Daisy was invited over to Boston by her mother when she was about 17
    years and just through with her Secondary school. Excitedly she bade her
    friends and family goodbye, it was a dream come true for her because it
    afforded her the opportunity to be closer to the mother who had loved
    her from afar in years past, and in addition, she would live in America
    where everyone craved to be, she was going to live a beautiful life and
    get the best of education.
    It was a rare opportunity and she welcomed it with open arms, whatever
    grudge or fault she ever had against her mother forgiven and forgotten
    and she also found herself letting go of some of the hurt caused by her
    father. She was all ready to experience that bond that she had always
    envied in other girls and their mother and she reasoned that it was better to concentrate all her energy there. her Life wasn’t so unfortunate afterall.
    Laide didn’t disappoint one bit, it was all too obvious that she ached and had been waiting for the reunion all her life, she wasted no time and grabbed every opportunity she could to make up for the loss and the years she had missed in the life of her only child and daughter for she was married to a white there in America, but had no child to that effect.
    Just a year after her sojourn and reunion, catastrophe struck, Daisy’s mum was diagnosed with cancer with the doctors predicting that she had just few months to live. Daisy got busy, Most of her educational trust fund went into the treatment in the hope that something could still be done to save her mum from dying. Laide however did not buy the idea of tampering with the money she had stashed away for her daughter’s education but Daisy was obstinate and cared more about saving her mum whom she was still getting to know. Since she was a co-signatory to the trust fund, she spared nothing atall.

    EPISODE 16

    However, all her efforts proved futile, Daisy lost her mum some months later,
    she felt her world crumble.
    She was a little fortunate that she had completed her registration at
    Boston University and was a fresher reading Nursing there before her
    mum’s death, now she worried about her chance of ever completing her
    education, considering the fact that most of the money for her schooling
    had gone down the drain. Daisy considered herself an orphan, she held
    no grudge anymore against her mum but transferred it to her father,
    reasoning that he and his people caused her mum to come live far away
    from home thereby making her prey to death.
    If Daisy thought her nightmare was over, she was mistaken ‘cos months
    after the death of her mother, her mother’s husband started making
    advances towards, his excuse was that he’d always have a thing for
    African beauties and Daisy looked so much like her mother, therefore she
    could continue where she stopped while he would provide for her always.
    Daisy could not be more angry and repulsed at his offers and one day,
    she quietly packed all her things out of his house to go see what the
    future holds for her.
    ********
    Daisy, now living more like a destitute was switching between two jobs,
    working as a part time cook and a waiter at an African restaurant there
    in Boston, due to the nature of her job, she changed over to part time
    in her school in other to meet up with the demands of her job and her
    education. It was while working at the restaurant oneday that she met
    Mrs Bimpe Olukoya.
    Mama took a liking to the young African lady who had a sadness about her
    inspite of her open cheerfulness and she was curious to know what her
    story was. Experience had taught her that most Africans who found their
    way to America had a story or two to tell.
    When they finally got talking, Daisy intrigued her the more, she found
    out the sorrow that trailed her and her attempts at surviving, she also
    loved that Daisy was technically yoruba and spoke the language fluently
    too and she was moved to compassion for her.
    One thing led to another and they became good friends, the elderly woman
    decided to strike a deal with the younger: she wanted Daisy to resume
    full time at the College, to drop her job with the restaurant and come
    work for her part time as a ‘practicing’ nurse. While she contributed to
    Daisy’s education and Daisy could pay her in the future when she
    graduated and was working.
    Daisy was elated, it seemed fate wasn’t really cruel to her again, she
    accepted the offer and promised to pay back the money as soon as she
    could. She however secretly kept the cooking job because cooking was one
    of her passions, though she bargained for lesser days and shorter time.
    Mama later got to know of it, but she didn’t seem to mind.
    And so, their relationship went beyond nurse and patient affair, Daisy
    was family and like a daughter to mama and soon she became her
    unofficial assistant, helping her run errands for the company. Mama was
    the over seas representative of the Family company down in Nigeria, she
    took care of the purchase and exportation of the household items in
    which the Olukoyas company deal on and Daisy naturally offered
    assistance wherever she could, but still maintaining her job as mama
    fussy nurse.
    Since Daisy practically was family, Mama introduced her to her son and
    his children down in Nigeria, it wasn’t a physical introduction per se,
    just through conversations, anecdotes and photographs, Daisy gathered
    that Jide was the stubborn and favourite grandchild of mama and that had
    intrigued her young heart.
    When she eventually set her sights on a picture of Jide amongst the album mama kept and showed her, he caught her fancy the more and unconsciously held her heart, she never knew she had fallen blindly for him, until when years later he had visited Boston for official reasons, Daisy who was 22 then, saw her Picture idol come to life and that had cemented and strengthened the feeling, she knew then that she was sold out completely to the handsome, stubborn, arrogant man who was so sure of himself.
    Jide on his part, wasn’t any particular about Mama’s little assistant, he was simply civil to her the very few times they met in mama’s house, but then he only stayed a week before traveling back to Nigeria, America and its fancy wild girls held no allure for him and he was glad to be done and off with.
    Daisy however felt more, Jide was the perfect man she felt could rescue her and give her the fulfilment she had long craved, she let her young heart dream on and on about him. She became mildly absorbed with fantasies of him, so much so that she had secretly stolen that picture of Jide and stashed it away for keeps.
    When she wasn’t into bickering and girls stuff with Brenda or running around and taking care of Mama, keeping up with her studies or trying to make
    her relationship work with Peter, she was busy building up fantasies of
    Jide and her. Even though Daisy was matured enough to know that at her
    age, she should be able to tell the difference between love and
    infatuation, she cared not neither did she try piece the difference when
    it concerns Jide.
    It was years later, that Brenda caught on to her friends secret
    admiration and she very well didn’t approve of it, to her, it was so
    pointless that a pretty and matured girl like Daisy should waste her
    precious time pinning over a guy that wasn’t aware of her affections nor
    was guaranteed to return them if he ever knew. But Daisy always got defensive when she tried to set her straight and since it became a bone of contention in their friendship, Brenda just allowed the matter slide. It wasn’t worth it for it was Daisy’s life and most definitely her heart which would receive the heartbreak when the time comes. She reasoned.
    However, Brenda let go of the issue only too late after mama got wind of the situation, it had first amused her and she had hoped Daisy would snap out of the illusion. But when reports of Jide’s bachelor behaviour filtered in. Her diagnosis was to get Jide settled down and the most appropriate candidate was her very own Daisy. She counted on Daisy easy acceptance but hadn’t anticipated that strong opposition would come from her dear favourite grandson, Jide.
    ********

    EPISODE 17

    Daisy stretched lazily on the sleeping chair close to the swimming pool.
    She had had an hour bout of lazy swimming and now lay facing the sky,
    intermittently sipping from the glass of orange juice that nestled on
    the table close by.
    ‘Life can be good sometimes’ she murmured contentedly, raised herself up
    slightly and sipped once more from her juice.
    Lying back, she caught the gateman Adamu, staring at her.
    When their eyes met, Adamu looked away immediately and fondled with the
    broom he was holding in pretence of sweeping.
    Daisy grinned and stretched further on her back, she couldn’t care less
    if he stole a glance or two at her. ‘so long as he can’t touch, Let him
    indulge himself’ she thought.
    Daisy knew she had the right curves to turn masculine heads anytime.
    With a skin like the evening sun, a heart-shaped face and a pair of eyes
    which Peter had once described as ‘deep and innocent’, Daisy knew that
    both old and young men would fall for her charm, if she ever set her
    mind to, but charming men wasn’t particularly one of her passions,
    especially when she knew that the charm couldnt capture the attention of
    the only one man in the world that her soul craved. So what was it use?
    Daisy mood became threatened by the road her thoughts were taking, why
    did thinking about him these days not hold so much ‘lily
    flowered-fantasies’ it previously had? She wondered.
    It was now three weeks into their marriage and they were still like
    total strangers, he had only recently started eating the food she
    painstakingly prepared and kept for him consistently daily.
    She had been all surprised and hopeful the Tuesday she had perfunctorily
    gone to clear the dining, knowing fully well that it would be the way
    she had set it earlier.
    ‘So he had finally decided to eat’ she had exclaimed happily. The fried
    eggs was half eaten and the bread nylon was undone, proving her right,
    if it had been Monday she would have thought Okon had helped himself to
    it, because he had always been the lucky beneficiary of Jide’s untouched
    meal, but it wasn’t!
    Daisy had remained cheerful throughout that day, even taking extra pain
    in preparing the dinner of that night. She had also gotten a reward for
    her effort too, because he downed every bit.
    ‘what an appetite!’ She had said, satisfied with herself and thanking
    her stars that they was a tiny light to work with afterall.
    But that was where it had ended. Nothing changed. Noone said anything to
    anyone. The few times she had tried saying ‘hi’, the silent response
    she got had put her off, finally she stopped trying.
    Daisy knew her life was downright monotous. Wake up by Six. cook. Bath.
    Watch movies or whatever. Chat with Okon whenever he came. Surf the web
    with her phone whenever she was bored.Listen to the endless music on her
    phone. Cook dinner. Sleep. Wake up for midnight for her juice-dose. And
    back to waking up at 6.
    Daisy smiled sadly as she mentally listed her life’s routine, ‘circle of
    the bored’, she tagged it.
    Add occasional swimming she mused and you would have the life of Daisy
    Olukoya at your fingertips.
    No action, no lovemaking, no petting, no care, no love!
    No companion too. She completed.
    Mama had visited last week to intimate her of her trip back to Boston
    because business calls. Daisy had sadly wished the elderly woman a safe
    trip back. She understood quite alright, but was sad to see her ‘mother’
    go, she would definitely miss her.
    Mama had promised to keep intouch too, the loss of her ‘assistant’
    wasn’t easy too and she felt like a grandmother going to one of those
    ‘homes for the aged’ that characterised American family life.
    Daisy mood was now totally ruined, she slowly stood up, tied the
    transparent scarf over her moderate swim wear, for it covered her
    perfectly while still flattering her figures.
    ‘that’s all swimming for today’ she muttered and picked up her the glass
    of juice, then bounded off for the house. Today was Friday, she needed
    to plan her Saturday purchase for the market tomorrow. Especially now
    that Jide had started eating his meals.
    Those thoughts of mama brought back memories of another time and another
    place, barely a few months ago but now seemed like a thousand years had
    passed. It was the day mama had broached the marriage issue to her, and
    slowly but vividly her mind replayed the scene.
    ********
    ‘Why are you up till now? It Ain’t good for your health you know’ Daisy said as she made her way to the back of the chair mama sat.
    She was spending the weekend at Mama’s residence, it had been a routine since her sophomore year, and though now she has graduated and even
    working, the tradition still stuck.
    Daisy had been watching a late night movie when she noticed light rays from Mama’s study, she had then decided to go check on her since the movie had also ended.
    ‘am stronger than you think’ mama replied smiling, her eyes shut as she relished the pleasure from Daisy’s hand massaging her shoulders.
    ‘its midnight already, you need rest.’Daisy replied continuing her act.
    ‘or did a new order arrive from Nigeria?’ she added. Mama always worked into the night whenever that happened.
    ‘yeah, that and a lot more’ replied Mama sitting up.
    Daisy stopped the massage. She had sensed something was amidst through out the day. Mama wasn’t her cheerful self. And now her words just confirmed it.
    Daisy walked past mama, drew a chair and sat close to her.
    ‘I know something is wrong, why don’t you tell me what it is?’ she said.
    Mama gave a painful smile, took down her reading glass and cast a glance at Daisy. Her expression unreadable. Daisy pulse raised involuntarily, she was worried.
    ‘Daisy Omo mi…’ she began ‘i don’t know how to put this across to
    you…’
    Daisy heart beat faster, that was a bad line to start with, the two
    women were so close that no secret existed between them, why was Mama sounding like that!
    Daisy made to speak, but mama shook her head signaling her to stop.
    ‘jó kin soro tan’ (please, let me finish speaking) she said.
    Silence ensued for what seemed like hours to Daisy, she was beside
    herself with worries, different thoughts coursed through her mind and
    she couldn’t rein in her desperation.
    Mama spoke then.
    ‘My son, called me just yesterday from Nigeria, it doesn’t seem ok over there. Jide…’
    ‘Jide what happened to him? Hope he’s …’ Daisy cut in.
    Mama smiled shaking her head. It wasn’t going to be hard afterall, she thought.
    ‘Daisy, ni suru, mo ni pe ko Je kin soro tan’ mama calmed the agitated girl. (Daisy be calm, i told you to allow me finish)
    ‘quite alright, Jide is the reason for this discussion now, but nothing
    bad as you think has happened to him. omo jati jati yen wa da da ni,
    tori yen lon fin she yeye si nigeria’ mama said raising her voice in the
    last statement. (that silly boy is very fine, and that’s the reason
    he’s misbehaving in Nigeria).
    Daisy heaved a sigh of relief. Her man of dream was okay, then what was wrong she thought.
    Mama continued. ‘my son called me, and he was relaying to me how irresponsible Jide has become, especially with women, Jide ngbe awon Omo oloriburuku obirin to po si ile eko!(jide mingles with iresponsible
    women that are all over Lagos) can you imagine that, at his age, he’s
    not settled down, omo mi Adekanbi was married and has given birth to him
    and his brother at that age. Yet he feels sleeping around is best for
    him…’mama was shaking with anger now.
    ‘pls calm down mama, are you sure of this…’ Daisy cut in, she was
    hurting with all mama was revealing and still worried over her working
    herself up because of her health.
    But Mama was not deterred. There really was no stopping her when she
    became like this.
    ‘…ofcourse am sure! And to think his father and i are working hard to
    see the company grow and see that our family name is untainted, yet he
    disobeys him and even refuse to come to work, he keeps late night, going
    from club to club, dancing around his life! ah! Ko ni da fun gbogbo
    won, i swear!’ (it will not be well with all of them) mama completed
    heaving with anger and a tear stained eyes.
    Daisy watched on quietly, she was heartbroken, the picture mama had
    painted made her feel Jide was actually cheating on her. A tear rolled
    down her cheeks.
    Mama saw the tear and held her hand gently.
    ‘Daisy omo mi, ma ke’ (my child do not cry).
    ‘its okay, am fine…’ daisy replied with a weak smile, there wasn’t any plausible reason why should she be crying over the issue, how would mama take it, it wasn’t as if jide was married to her or something. Only she knew her secret fantasy, what she should do now was console mama and not bloody cry! She wiped her tears.
    ‘am really fine, am worried about you that’s all’. She added and looked down
    Mama considered the younger woman for some seconds, Daisy actually crying confirmed what she already knew and she was secretly glad because it meant her plan would perfectly work.
    ‘crying would not solve OUR problem you know…’she said. Daisy looked up then to find Mama smiling and staring at her. She was confused.
    ‘i know you like him, i know everything, even though its recent’. She continued

    EPISODE 18

    Daisy said nothing, she was dumbfounded. How had mama known, she had guided
    the secret carefully. But mama was insinuating otherwise. She was still aching inside from the hurt and even felt a strong force to protect her man from the claws of those ‘oloriburuku’ girls that filled Lagos.
    Mama stroked her arm gently, ‘am really glad that YOU are the one who likes Jide, maybe also love him, and even though he might not seem the best option of a man for you right now, i believe that you are what he needs, your charm is enough to get him on the right tracks, and i want
    you to help me’
    ‘Me? What can i do’ daisy asked confused, she wasn’t sure where mama was headed.
    ‘Yes you, iwo ni mo fe’ (its you i want)
    ‘mama i….’
    ‘its my plan to get him settled, and i want you to be his bride’. Mama dropped the bombshell, it hit Daisy like a tornado.
    ‘Bride!’ daisy exclaimed standing up. ‘you don’t…are you…i…will
    he…i mean…its sudden…i don’t…there’s Peter…and what…’ she was stuttering for She was nervous.
    ‘Daisy calm down please’ mama pleaded. ‘i know you and Peter broke up last month, or did…’
    ‘No we’ve not’ Daisy replied
    ‘Then that’s not the problem, please think over this issue I know it’s a bizarre request i make, but help me out, lets save this
    man we love’
    Daisy sat down. What was she to make of this request? Marry Jide! Like Marry Jide! Was that a dream come true or what? She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
    She slowly raised her head to see the expectant look on Mama’s face. Mama was indeed serious!
    ‘what about Jide, has he agreed to this?’ she asked.
    ‘He has…i mean he will, he has no option than to, your acceptance is
    what i need now’.
    ‘Let me think over this’ Daisy replied calmly.
    Painful Silence.
    Mama stood up and patted her back. ‘Goodnight my child’ she said and
    walked out.
    Daisy kept still, she was deep in thought. Was he worth the risk?
    The next morning, Daisy had told the over joyed woman that she accepted. That became a catalyst to series of quarrel, fights, austerity measures to subdue Jide.
    Soon the proposal was ‘exported’ to Nigeria, its ‘importer’ Jide’s father and the ‘consumer’ Jide himself. It hadn’t been easy but the wedding occurred at last amidst fire and brimstone.
    Daisy placed the last of the food on the dining table, the time showed that Jide would soon be back. All that travel through Memory lane was making her dizzy and emotional, she needed so much to rest.
    If she had been thrilled and happy then, when she had accepted the proposal a month ago, she wasn’t now. She was living on hope that the man whom she had left everything in Boston to come ‘save’ would one day, see and and atleast thank her for her unsolicited gamble of taking chances with him.
    She left for her room when she heard the noise of the gate signifying that he was back.
    *********
    ********
    Jide walked into the parlour and headed for the dining, he was really hungry, today had been so hectic that he had skipped lunch, the only food he had eaten was the Fried plantain and eggs Daisy had prepared this morning. So far so good, his choice of eating her meals hadn’t been a bad idea, she didn’t do bad atall.
    He opened the dishes in front of him. Rice and stew it was, not bad, he thought and went about the business of dishing it.
    After two spoonful of rice, he noticed something was amidst, what was it? he ruminated. Bingo! It hit him, the parlor was unusually quiet
    today, Daisy would have been in that favorite seat of hers directly
    opposite the television, lost in the world of all that make-believe she
    so enjoyed, for him Africa Magic was disgusting, they showed nothing but annoying Nigerian movies all day, Then there were Mnet, MTV base, Channel O, Trace TV, E! these were the Stations he would see her watching
    everyday, whenever he passed on his way out or back to the house,
    that was what his ‘dear’ wife dedicated her time to. He grunted, it was totally her business if she decided to stay out of reality.
    She practically owned the television set, not that he minded for he didn’t have time for all that nonsense, give him his Super sports and then, sometimes CNN, then he was ok. He completed taking a sip of water.
    Soon Jide was perched in a chair watching a repeat broadcast of a
    football match on Super sports, he was filled to the brim and satisfied, Daisy had been right when she had noted that he had a big appetite for
    he had downed most of the rice.
    He looked up at the clock, it was few minutes to eight, he expected
    Daisy to walk in any moment, there was this soap-Tinsel or something-she
    was so crazy about, he knew that it started by 8pm, and if he happened
    to be in the parlor by then, he would press away at his phone to kill
    his boredom and irritation. She never missed it.
    Watching television at nights had always been done like an unspoken
    agreement, Daisy would watch all her innumerable movies and soaps till
    9pm then he would take over to listen to the newscast of the day after
    which he would retire to his room and Daisy would continue with her
    ‘business’ till way into the night. He wondered how she managed to wake
    up early inspite.
    They always watched in silence, just the way he liked it. The cold
    silence pact they signed was yet to be dissolved. Jide knew that it
    might just as well stay that way for a long while to come.
    The time now was half past eight, yet there was no sign of Daisy. That
    was strange he thought.
    ‘oh well, maybe i get to colonise the television for today’ he said,
    stretched lazily and picked up the remote. Tomorrow was Saturday and
    that meant no work, unless something came up, he doubted the possibility
    of that happening, therefore there wasnt any need to retire early.
    Hours later, Jide gave up the fight of trying to stay awake. Listening
    to the news had proved the hardest task, he had had to force himself to
    stay awake through out, he realised then that maybe Daisy’s presence the
    other nights had beefed up his ability to seat through a programme,
    that thought angered him.
    ‘What was that supposed to mean?’ He asked no one in particular as he
    switched off the Tele and started for his room.
    In the hallway, he stopped in front of Daisy room, he heard no noise
    from within, that again was odd, he thought. That girl never kept quiet
    especially when she was inside, she would unrelently sing alongside her
    phone, sometimes that had irritated him, other times it had amused him.
    He couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with her this night? For close to a month now that they’ve lived together, he very well knew her nightly routines. He wasn’t sure about daytime for he was mostly out by then. He made a mental note to call Adamu later and confirm if she was actually in the house.
    That said, he continued to his own room, but again he stopped, cast a glance back at his former room then at his study now his room, he felt his anger rise, it wouldn’t have been like this. He, jide, now settled with sleeping in a room that had been his study ever since he packed in. His anger increased now. He entered his study banging the door.
    Now on his bed, his mind slowly drifted to the very discussion that had changed his life for good.
    ********

    EPISODE 19

    ******
    Jide drove in his Blue Sedan car into the family house of the Olukoya’s situated in Victoria Island, Tuface’s ‘For instance’ track reverberated in his car. He was feeling really high.
    Jide horned loudly when he finally settled his car in the garage. As he
    came out, the music wafted out disturbing the tranquility of the
    compound.
    Jide didn’t seem to care, he threw some steps as he sang along the
    music. In this bright Saturday morning, what could possibly go wrong? He thought.
    After some minutes of musical ‘performance’, he went back into the car, switched off the music and started for the house. ‘Let get this over and done with’ he said to himself.
    ‘Iwo omode yi, what is wrong with you?’ his father ‘greeted’ angrily as he set foot into the parlour. The noise of Jide’s entrance had distracted him, and now the newspaper he had been reading lay carelessly on the table.
    ‘Morning dad’ Jide simply replied and went to sit on one of the settee.
    ‘O ni da mi lo hun ni!’ (wont you answer me) his father pressed.
    ‘Really dad, the time is 10 in the morning and i don’t wanna bicker with you, simply tell me why you asked to see me, then i take my annoying butt, outta this house. Simple as that!’ he replied.
    ‘Its early as you say, yet you disturbed the peace of this house with ur music and all…’
    ‘If that’s the contention here, please accept my apologises and lets move on, i haven’t got all day you know’ Jide cut in.
    ‘Exactly the issue, you haven’t got all day and yet we wont see you at the company…’
    ‘my apologises again! But i’ve been in touch with my department, Joyce tells me if anything comes up that requires my attention, and since
    Tuesday she didn’t call me, so i supposed…’
    ‘Hear yourself Jide! Just hear yourself, you relegated your
    responsibility while you frolic around Lagos doing God knows what’ his father shouted.
    ‘oh well, i knew we can never come to an understanding, since i didn’t come here to be shouted at, i’ll just kindly leave’ Jide said
    resignedly, stood up and made for the exit.
    ‘Jide come back here, mo ni ko pada wa! His father shouted again.
    Jide stopped in his track, stood for some seconds and retreated back to his seat. This overbearing attitude of his father was definitely gonna
    make him give the old man a piece of his mind, he thought angrily.
    ‘We are not done here…’
    ‘oh, gush! Jide exclaimed angrily ‘why don’t you get on with it then!’
    ‘Ma kigbe fun mi, sho gbo (Don’t you dare shout at me, you hear!)’ his father shouted back.
    Jide sat quietly. He wasn’t in the mood for his father, shouting back
    wouldn’t solve any matter, the time was fast moving, today was Saturday, there was so much fun to catch, why is this man trying so hard to get
    on his nerve! He seethed.
    Silence. As no one spoke to the other.
    ‘well, your irresponsible behaviour these days is a cause of concern for
    your grandmother and I, and we cannot seat back and watch you destroy
    your life, so…’
    Jide wasn’t listening, his irresponsible Behaviour? Grandma! He just
    couldn’t wait to be out of here, just because he personally decided to
    skip work since Tuesday and relax his aching bones, Groove the town with
    Grace and his hommies for a while longer than the two days he got
    weekly, didn’t mean he was going bad or anything. The next time he stood
    to leave, he would walk out for good! He thought shaking his head.
    ‘Did you hear what i just said’ his father asked. He had expected a
    fierce reaction, not this calm distant look on Jide’s face.
    ‘I heard and i agree. I’d love to be on my way now’ Jide lied and stood
    up.
    His father was confused, he doubted Jide had heard him. There was no
    way, this son of his would calmly receive the news he had just dished.
    ‘Dad don’t sweat it, i heard you, so see you later’ Jide added and started walking away.
    Mr Olukoya was really confused.
    ‘So you would marry her then?’ he asked, just to be sure.
    Jide stopped, glanced back at his father, he wasn’t sure he heard well.
    ‘Marry…i don’t understand’
    ‘Daisy, that mama’s nurse in Boston’
    ‘yeah, what happened to her?’ he asked.
    ‘Have you been listening to me? Your grandma and I have decided she is the right bride for you’
    ‘i still don’t understand, i never knew they was a marriage somewhere…’
    ‘oh, Jide, you weren’t listening then. It’s your marriage, Daisy is the choice. Try listen to discussions’. His father said with finality and made to pick his newspaper. Jide laughter halted him. He knew now that it had hit home and he braced up for the aftermath.
    ‘Like dad, could you recap or something?’ Jide asked.
    His father said nothing. He Just concentrated on the newspaper.
    ‘Like Dad, don’t f.ucking keep quiet, am talking to you! He screamed.
    ‘Yes, and i spoke English. Your granny and I decided to get you settled, tame
    your wildness and we have the perfect bride for you’ his father replied
    without a glance his way.
    Jide smiled bitterly, this father of his was d--n joking, maybe a little
    crazy. It wasn’t even April fools day, so if it wasn’t a prank, maybe
    a…whatever, he was definitely leaving here for good.
    ‘ya all must be kidding me’ Jide simply said and thundered out of the
    house, got to his car and zoomed off.
    His father hadn’t tried to stop him.
    Jide might not have taken the matter seriously initially, he most
    definitely did when Mama landed into the country the next Saturday with a
    mission to conquer and subdue.
    Jide ears was troubled with ‘you must Marry Daisy!’ everywhere he went,
    it had been as if the whole world was against him. Threats of ‘i will
    disown you!’ ‘i will Bankrupt you!’ ‘i will kill you myself!’ were
    shooting from various directions, before he could say ‘jack Robinson’,
    Daisy flew in and preparations started earnestly, Yemi represented him
    at the introductions in Daisy’s father house, even though that side had
    met obstacle, nobody had paid attention.
    Jide couldn’t understand why Mama whom he loved and trusted for she had
    been a mother to him and his siblings when their mum passed away while
    they were still young, would be the leader of the pack, she even came up
    with threats of ‘Killing herself!’ if he didn’t oblige.
    Then, Like a flash of lightning he had found himself, Jide, 32 years of
    age, Matured and sane enough! walking down the aisle with a girl he
    barely knew, or had ever spoken to. Worst of all was the fact that the
    silly girl hadn’t relented or objected even in the face of opposition
    from her father.
    ‘crazy s.h.it that was’ Jide said after what seemed like hours. He had stood, relaxing his weight on the reading desk and ruminating over the marriage craziness. Just a careless impulsive action of his had gone this overboard. If he had known, he would just have remained straight up and not skip work that eventful week.
    Months after, he wasn’t sure how he felt, funny enough, he wasn’t that angry anymore, it would be a waste of emotion to stay angry, he thought. He just had to stick through the marriage and wait patiently for the time when Daisy would be fed up, pack her bags and quietly leave. He was going to make certain that happened.
    His mind set, he staggered slightly to his bed and let the sweet embrace of sleep soothe his angry nerves.

    EPISODE 20 & 21

    Daisy gently opened the door to Jide’s study, she simply couldn’t take it anymore. All her insides were on fire and she desperately needed liberation.
    She felt like one in need of water after 3 months of thirst in the
    Sahara desert! The only rational thought in her head right now, was to take another desperate chance with Jide. At the state she was in, she could go at any length to quench this flame that threatened to consume her, even if it meant her crawling on her knees.
    Three painful months had passed, where Daisy had indeed lived in a
    fiercer desert than Sahara. If she had ever imagined that she would be strong enough to remain celibate till Jide came around, she was highly mistaken. For now, Daisy’s desire was finally ruling her senses, while
    her once proud and irresolute feet were leading her to another dare
    game, she was going to try her luck with Jide, even if it meant a ‘one night stand’.
    The door gave in easily as if it urging her on. Jide raised his head
    where it had bowed under his hands and stared at the intruder with disbelief and anger. Not you now! he thought angrily.
    He had been arguing with Mama on the phone over a discrepancy in the last shipment, formally it wouldn’t have called for raised voices. But for the fact that the two were still nursing hurt & anger over the wedding incidence, temper had risen and smokes had puffed out of the heated argument they had had.
    So much so that Jide hadn’t heard Daisy soft knocks.
    Daisy stood transfixed, that angry look of his always had a way of
    turning her paralytic everytime. She felt ashamed immediately, more by the skimpy nightwear she adorned than with the knowledge of what she had
    come for.
    It was the ‘wrongest’ time for Daisy to hatch her week long plan.
    ‘Daisy what do you want?’ Jide almost barked at the inappropriately clad woman who was so not unconnected with the heated argument of minutes
    ago.
    ‘I…I…I…came for you…you. .to .know…’Daisy had relapsed to her
    nervous stutterring. She felt like crying.
    ‘really now, am not in the mood to hear you stammer like some craz.y person, say what you want and be out of my goddam face!’ Jide cut in. He was at boiling point.
    ‘Am sorry’ Daisy simply said in a teary tone. Where was his anger coming from again? she’d thought it was fast fading away after 3 months. Even though they weren’t normal couples that conversed in conjugal companionship, they weren’t exactly enemies too. So what had happened?
    ‘Sorry! is that what you came here dressed like some cheap girl to tell
    me!’ Jide shouted angrily.
    The voice had frightened Daisy and in panic she screamed ‘no!’
    ‘For jeez sake tell me what it is then!’ Jide screamed again, his temper totally lost.
    ‘I came to ask if you could spend the night with me’ Daisy replied
    shaken, her heads bowed.
    Jide’s wicked laugh stunned Daisy who looked up at him, hot Tears burned at her eyes.
    ‘Not only are you pathetic, you are also d--n shameless!’ jide replied
    with all the venom he could muster.
    So this was how God had chosen to comfort him for the way the wicked
    plotters had snatched his life away from him! Their very docile puppet
    was standing right there, craving a night with him! He would definitely
    make the most of it. Now was the time to bite off a sizable chunk of
    flesh, an opportunity to hit back at Mama and his father. He wouldnt
    fail to drain dry the cup of opportunity.
    ‘please’ the highly shamed and hurt daisy cooed softly.
    Jide snorted, so now she’d resorted to begging? Grim luck it was.
    ‘kindly take your pitiable and cheap self outta my sight while you still
    have an iota of dignity left’ he retorted, the venom very well still in
    his voice.
    ‘Please jide’Daisy cried softly.
    Jide gave a wicked smile.
    ‘obviously, my manipulative and overbearing grandmother forgot to tell
    you about this part, did she? Neither did your narrow and shallow mind
    imagined it would come to this. This here is reality sting Daisy! I
    cannot bear to lay my hands on an irrational forced filth like you. This
    is not some African magic sh.i.t, you know, so get it into your
    f.oolish and over the cloud brain that you weren’t my choice for a wife,
    not then, not now, not ever! Okay! He finally shouted.
    ‘please’ Daisy cried again. This time however, She wasn’t pleading to be
    laid again, she was pleading for help, for comfort, for love from
    anyone out there.
    ‘you obviously enjoy it the hard way then, don’t you?’ Jide replied
    without a trace of pity, stood up, held Daisy by the arm and pushed her
    out of his study.
    ‘go please yourself out there!’ he shouted and banged the door, making
    sure she held the sound of his door, lock.
    He was feeling really satisfied for She definitely shared in the plot
    and scheming and this was her own dose.
    Anyone who cared, could call it
    transfered aggression or nemesis, it just didn’t matter. What mattered was the fact that he hadn’t felt any better than he did tonight.
    ‘you most def. reap what you sow’ he said happily to himself and
    strolled back to his seat.
    Out in the hallway, Daisy dragged her pitiable self slowly to her room. She couldn’t control her tears. Noone had ever treated her this way in all her miserable existence, not even her parents who had abandoned her
    when she needed them the most.
    ‘oh, my poor poor miserable life!’ she cried.
    On her bed later on, the foolishnes.s of her very earlier decision hit her like a tornado. Marriage wasnt like what you see in the movies, nor read in harlequin romance series, it was deeper than that, love and
    friendship should be topmost, the exact items that were so lacking in theirs.
    This realization left her torn and heartbroken.
    ************
    If jide had felt remorse after how he treated Daisy, he didn’t show it
    neither did Daisy see it. Infact it became a catalyst to a side of him,
    Daisy had never seen. He started keeping late nights, he hardly ate the food Daisy kept for him and reduced the amount of money he dropped for house upkeep on Saturdays.
    Daisy, already a shadow of her cheerful self, didn’t seem to notice the reduction in money, while the late nights were a blessing to her. They meant she could be free from his tortuous presence for a little while. She would gladly return the untouched meal to the kitchen and replace with another on the morrow, So far he kept his distance. She had withdrawn into an impenetrable shell, frightened stiff of Jide, his anger and temper.
    She would prepare his breakfast earlier than usual and resign into her room, coming out only when she was sure he had left for work.
    And at night, she would retire to her room after she had placed his food on the dining, resurfacing again when she was sure he had retired to his room. Anything she could, just to blot out the pain and trauma of that faithful night.
    She couldn’t face him anymore, she would always cringe in pain and shame whenever their paths accidentally met. Jide, on his part would make sure she saw him gloating. So she made it a
    business to avoid him at all cost.
    The saying that ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ didn’t pertain to her, what Daisy craved was a haven where she could nurse her scorn, not vent her fury .
    Every scales that had previously clouded her eyes, were falling down now in painful places. She lived only to eat, watch whatever programme the cable stations dished, make her weekly trips to
    Aguda market, for she loved to hear the market women call her ‘iyawo America’ because of her slight American accent, she would light up a smile or two then.
    Daisy had no friend in the neighbourhood, she carefully avoided making friends with the women who called out to her or tried to start a conversation whenever she decided to take a stroll round the estate, she
    just didn’t want their pity or companionship. Their lives were rosy as it was, they didn’t need to rub it in.
    Sometimes, she found herself wishing Brenda was in the country, even Peter her ex too. For they where pretty close nevertheless their failed
    relationship. The distant correspondence through calls didn’t satiate
    her longing to once more be in the company of those who loved and
    cherished her. She missed Mama too, but sometimes, she felt anger
    towards her. She reasoned that mama had also contributed to her present
    plight.
    At times, Jumoke, Jide’s sister would come calling, Daisy appreciated
    her visits but it didn’t change much, the two women seemed worlds apart,
    one was 22, the other 26.
    Daisy had once considered working at any hospital to atleast change
    environment, but she didn’t know how to go about the job search, so it
    eventually remained at the thought and wish level.
    These traced the mundane existence of Daisy after that night’s event, it
    was like an eye opener that demoralized her for quite a while.
    *******
    Okon had also noticed how withdrawn Daisy seemed these days, but
    reserved his comment. Even though he liked his cheerful and hospitable
    Madam, he couldn’t help but wonder where she appeared from. The only
    girlfriend of Jide he knew and had met occasionally was Grace. Then when
    did the love affair of Daisy and Jide bloom to the extent they ended up
    married? he wondered.
    He guessed it was an arranged marriage or something reasonably close. Judging by the fact that the couples lived apart, there was no other reason he could fathom.
    The little he had learnt about her from the few conversations they had revealed that she had lived in America and was a nurse before she came down to get married.
    He pitted her, she was too pretty and nice (for he always got a meal after every clean up) to have accepted a marriage that was only making her sad. But since pity and worrying wasn’t part of his job description, he let it slide.

    EPISODE 22

    ‘oh! Forgive my ‘patheticness’, like for real you’re gonna be in Nigeria!’ she asked, still excited.
    ‘real as hell, told you Africa calls’
    ‘And a lovely sound she made too!’ Daisy added.
    ‘So Girlfriend, get prepared to get your life back.’ Brenda said matter
    of factly.
    ‘you are the life i need Bree, God i can’t wait!’.
    ‘Next Saturday and am touching down, so keep a date with me’
    ‘I definitely will!’ Daisy replied excited still.
    ‘get good life till i come’
    ‘i will!’ Daisy replied differently for the first time since she had
    been hearing that phrase.
    ‘catch ya later then’ Brenda said and cut the call.
    Daisy gave another bout of scream before slumping on a close settee.
    Nobody can ever imagine what it meant for Bree to come around! A family
    and a friend, that’s what she is. She would definitely get her life
    back, Jide wasn’t gonna stop her, infact she would work on moving on and forgetting the one mistake she had made. Life wasn’t so cruel to her afterall and she wasn’t gonna be miserable.
    ‘Am coming home, coming home, tell the world…’she sang happily to J. cole song. For It expressed how she presently felt. All the heartache for five painful month locked in this marital sham, was gonna soon be over or atleast bearable. She smiled once more and sang on happily.
    ********
    Jide drove into his compound at about 6pm today. Adamu had opened the gate with eyes wide open, it was unusual for his boss to be home at this time. Not on a Friday anyway!
    Jide manoeuvred his car swiftly to the parking space specially
    designated for his prized ‘baby’. If Adamu’s face had registered
    surprise, he hadn’t notice. He was simply happy, today was Friday. It
    meant fun and relaxation, he wanted to enjoy it to the fullest and spend it with his wife.
    He smiled at the thought. when had he finally realised what the word ‘wife’ meant? And why was he even referring it to Daisy? He halted that line of thought, switched of the car stereo and climbed down.
    ‘home sweet home!’ he said to himself. How lovely a feeling it was, returning to a house that didn’t exude the former emptiness it had; to companionship-visibly scarce but palpable nonetheless; then a wonderful meal; and a pretty movie-crazed wife. He chuckled at this & made for
    the house.
    Jide couldnt place when and how he had started looking forward to coming home, all he knew was that he had suddenly developed the urge, somehow, he’d gotten tired of staying out late to spite his wife and prove to himself that he was in control of his life.
    Few minutes ago he’d envied a young couple he’d seen while driving. They were gardening outside their home, oblivious to the world around them.
    Even though he wasn’t one to muddle in dirt, gardening, he knew they was an intrinsic value to what they were doing, something he and Daisy
    didn’t share. Anger ate him up at first, then gradually he turned green with envy. He had unconsciously craved for what they shared, even
    decided to work towards building one.
    Now in the parlor, he frowned. Daisy was nowhere in sight, a glance further, revealed his food awaiting him on the Dining, that was a normal occurrence.
    He hadn’t failed to notice that Daisy had avoided him successfully the past months, infact it had always been the highlight of his evening
    whenever he happened to return early. But today, the emptiness strangely affected him and he desperately wanted to see Daisy.
    Even if they didn’t get to talking, her presence would suffice. When last had he even
    seen her? He wondered.
    Jide moved further, stopping only to cast a disappointed glance at the arranged plates on the dining, he was hungry quite alright, but the food wouldn’t quench all the hunger raging in him.
    At the hallway, again he stopped in front of his former room. He felt a
    powerful urge to open the door, if only to take a peek at the one woman
    who he was strangely missing this night. But He didn’t get to doing
    that, the knowledge that she’d be surprised at this attitude of his,
    stopped him midway, just inches to the door knob.
    He sighed, pulled back his hand, then made for his own room; surprised
    stiff at his thoughts and action this night.
    In his room later on, he felt a painful constriction in his heart as he
    saw the room for what it was-‘a study’. He couldn’t wait to be out.
    ******
    Jide hungrily dug into his dinner of semovita and Egusi soup, the
    quietness of the parlour forgotten and the cravings and wanting to see
    Daisy relegated to the back.
    He chewed on a piece of meat for a minute and then sipped the glass of
    juice he had helped himself to from the freezer. Even if he hadn’t
    personally bought them, he knew there was never a shortage of it in the
    house. Somehow he had caught on with Daisy love for juice, even wondered
    why but couldn’t pursue further. They weren’t in talking terms anyway.
    Whoever had postulated that the way to man’s heart was through his meal,
    jide thought, weren’t wrong one bit, for his heart was satiated with
    this meal and each balls of semo he swallowed increased his love and
    admiration for his wife this night.
    His lovely wife, he thought again. They were so many questions he wanted to ask her, questions like why she took daily nocturnal trips to the kitchen to take juice? He also wanted to know why she so loved music, movies and all that silly stuffs she watched? Then where had she learnt to cook this well? Howcome she had all the characteristic of a Nigeria-made wife, yet had lived in America? For how long too? He wanted to know.
    These were pointers that there was a history to her, a history he so wanted to unravel, he most importantly wanted to know why she had agreed to marry him and stick with him against all odds, was there something she saw in him that he and other women he’d dated didn’t see? He needed these answers desperately. But he didn’t fail to note that getting these answers depended on the chance of them ever getting together. Not that he was planning on giving up the chase anytime soon.
    These were the thoughts coursing through his mind when Daisy walked in and headed for her favourite chair directly opposite the television.

    EPISODE 23

    Jide pushed the food away, he was satisfied already, carried the dishes to the kitchen-something he’d never done-then went to join Daisy in the parlour.
    Daisy was surfing through the stations then. Two guesses and you would get where she would land. He thought amused.
    And he was right, Daisy stopped at Trace Tv, settled comfortably in her chair and concentrated on the television without as much as a glance his way. Jide wasn’t sure if she’d seen him or was simply pretending.
    Whichever, he didn’t care, he was satisfied with his just concluded meal and this luck of seeing Daisy afterall. The quiet company she would share was worth millions at this hour. He would even be willing to allow her usurp his 9:00 news hours just so she could linger more. It would soon be 8pm which meant her time would end in an hours time if
    they were to go by their previous ‘agreed’ viewing time, that was
    offcourse, before that fateful night. He could swear that, that had changed a lot.
    Well, he mused he was out to make it right and somehow get Daisy to love him once again, her present countenance spoke volumes that she was done
    with and couldn’t care less about him.
    ********
    Daisy swam round, lazily in the pool, though today was Saturday, she wasn’t making her weekly trip to the market, that and much more had been covered yesterday. Today was designated to swimming and then off she
    would go.
    Daisy was feeling unusually happy, it wasn’t just because Brenda was
    arriving today but also because she had finally broken off the senseless
    fright Jide’s presence created in her. Last night was evidence enough.
    The Daisy of months ago, wouldn’t have dared come out while Jide was
    around, much less braved up to watch TV while he was right there in the
    parlour! She had quickly switched off the television and scurried to her
    room when she heard the early sound of his arrival. But after much
    deliberation and chastisement on her weakness, she’d finally decided to
    take Brenda’s advice to get a life. And that began with shaking off
    Jide’s hold on her, emotionally, physically and psychologically.
    She’d noticed that Jide’s countenance had been different, his face
    didn’t hold that scowl it always had, infact she’d felt him staring at
    her from where he sat across her. He even spoke to her for the first
    time ever!
    ‘its okay, you can leave it here’ he had said when she had picked the
    remote to switch over to a news station for him since it was his turn to
    watch the Television.
    That had halted her. She’d been stiffened by the fact that he’d actually
    spoken to her and not because of what he’d said.
    ‘Nothing new’s happening i guess’ he had added rather calmly and
    patronizing!
    Daisy was all smiles now with the way she had reacted then. For She had
    changed the channel regardless to CNN, stood up and left the parlor
    without a word or reply to him.
    ‘thumbs up Daisy, you actually have a star in your ‘getting a life gig’
    Daisy hailed herself and plunged deeper into the water.
    Much as she didn’t understand what had happened or had gotten into Jide,
    she wasn’t about to turn all jelly and putty on him. Not now anyways
    when operation ‘get your life back’ was underway’
    The sound of a car honk startled Daisy out of her musing, she raised up
    her head to see a car drive into the compound.
    ‘now what’s that’ she said.
    The occupants came out amidst loud music from the car that reverberated
    the atmosphere, they were three guys and one of them seemed familiar to
    her.
    They were now dancing unpreturbed to the music that filtered from the
    car. They hadn’t noticed her, but then she was out of view, the ‘Y’
    shaped shrub shaded her, so that she alone could see them through the
    shrub.
    One of the guys entered back into the car, and soon the ceaseless honk
    was heard, piercing further into the already noisy atmosphere, making a
    disorganized sound. The other two didn’t seem bothered by the sound,
    instead they intensified their dancing.
    ‘Jeez!’ Daisy said rolling her eyes. ‘bunch of noise makers’ she added and plunged again into the water.
    Minutes later, when she noticed that the sound had died, she went back to her peeping hole through the shrub, She saw that they were at the other side of the pathway, standing at the basketball court. Jide had joined them now, and guess what he had offered them? her juice! What happened to his stock of wines resting undisturbed in the cabinet at the kitchen? Daisy cursed silently.
    But then again, that actually was the least of her problem, problem now was how she was going to pass through into the house, dressed in swim wear! She had left the towel hoping to sun-dry after swimming and the big scarf she had opted for wouldn’t suffice.

    EPISODE 24

    Jide pushed the food away, he was satisfied already, carried the dishes to the kitchen-something he’d never done-then went to join Daisy in the parlour.
    Daisy was surfing through the stations then. Two guesses and you would get where she would land. He thought amused.
    And he was right, Daisy stopped at Trace Tv, settled comfortably in her chair and concentrated on the television without as much as a glance his way. Jide wasn’t sure if she’d seen him or was simply pretending.
    Whichever, he didn’t care, he was satisfied with his just concluded meal and this luck of seeing Daisy afterall. The quiet company she would share was worth millions at this hour. He would even be willing to allow her usurp his 9:00 news hours just so she could linger more. It would soon be 8pm which meant her time would end in an hours time if
    they were to go by their previous ‘agreed’ viewing time, that was
    offcourse, before that fateful night. He could swear that, that had changed a lot.
    Well, he mused he was out to make it right and somehow get Daisy to love him once again, her present countenance spoke volumes that she was done
    with and couldn’t care less about him.
    ********
    Daisy swam round, lazily in the pool, though today was Saturday, she wasn’t making her weekly trip to the market, that and much more had been covered yesterday. Today was designated to swimming and then off she
    would go.
    Daisy was feeling unusually happy, it wasn’t just because Brenda was
    arriving today but also because she had finally broken off the senseless
    fright Jide’s presence created in her. Last night was evidence enough.
    The Daisy of months ago, wouldn’t have dared come out while Jide was
    around, much less braved up to watch TV while he was right there in the
    parlour! She had quickly switched off the television and scurried to her
    room when she heard the early sound of his arrival. But after much
    deliberation and chastisement on her weakness, she’d finally decided to
    take Brenda’s advice to get a life. And that began with shaking off
    Jide’s hold on her, emotionally, physically and psychologically.
    She’d noticed that Jide’s countenance had been different, his face
    didn’t hold that scowl it always had, infact she’d felt him staring at
    her from where he sat across her. He even spoke to her for the first
    time ever!
    ‘its okay, you can leave it here’ he had said when she had picked the
    remote to switch over to a news station for him since it was his turn to
    watch the Television.
    That had halted her. She’d been stiffened by the fact that he’d actually
    spoken to her and not because of what he’d said.
    ‘Nothing new’s happening i guess’ he had added rather calmly and
    patronizing!
    Daisy was all smiles now with the way she had reacted then. For She had
    changed the channel regardless to CNN, stood up and left the parlor
    without a word or reply to him.
    ‘thumbs up Daisy, you actually have a star in your ‘getting a life gig’
    Daisy hailed herself and plunged deeper into the water.
    Much as she didn’t understand what had happened or had gotten into Jide,
    she wasn’t about to turn all jelly and putty on him. Not now anyways
    when operation ‘get your life back’ was underway’
    The sound of a car honk startled Daisy out of her musing, she raised up
    her head to see a car drive into the compound.
    ‘now what’s that’ she said.
    The occupants came out amidst loud music from the car that reverberated
    the atmosphere, they were three guys and one of them seemed familiar to
    her.
    They were now dancing unpreturbed to the music that filtered from the
    car. They hadn’t noticed her, but then she was out of view, the ‘Y’
    shaped shrub shaded her, so that she alone could see them through the
    shrub.
    One of the guys entered back into the car, and soon the ceaseless honk
    was heard, piercing further into the already noisy atmosphere, making a
    disorganized sound. The other two didn’t seem bothered by the sound,
    instead they intensified their dancing.
    ‘Jeez!’ Daisy said rolling her eyes. ‘bunch of noise makers’ she added and plunged again into the water.
    Minutes later, when she noticed that the sound had died, she went back to her peeping hole through the shrub, She saw that they were at the other side of the pathway, standing at the basketball court. Jide had joined them now, and guess what he had offered them? her juice! What happened to his stock of wines resting undisturbed in the cabinet at the kitchen? Daisy cursed silently.
    But then again, that actually was the least of her problem, problem now was how she was going to pass through into the house, dressed in swim wear! She had left the towel hoping to sun-dry after swimming and the big scarf she had opted for wouldn’t suffice.

    EPISODE 25

    It would have been appropriate were the
    circumstances different, like
    maybe she was in a beach at the States or at one somewhere in Lagos. But right now, it was a ‘No no’. These were Jide’s friends, friends whom she was meeting for the first time. And what was it they say about first impression?
    Daisy sighed and wished Jide would get the inkling to lead them out of the compound to anywhere, but the impression she got with the way they
    relaxed on the tennis table sipping their juice as if that was their only care in the world! She knew to wish otherwise.
    She couldn’t possibly wait it up for She was tired of swimming and the morning sun was turning harsh already.
    ‘phew!’ Daisy finally said and braved up for the passage.
    *******
    ‘What is it you say Jide?’ one of the guy named Dave asked, feigning annoyance. He was fair with and huge in stature but wasn’t any older or
    taller than his other friends.
    ‘yeah dude, you stood us up yesterday just to rush home and do what?’ another chipped in, he was named Dele, dark complexioned and lesser in
    body build of the three friends but wasn’t shorter or older nonetheless.
    ‘Guys relax, i just didn’t feel like clubbing, that’s all’ Jide replied.
    He wasn’t in the mood to argue. Theirs was a relationship that had
    flourished and became stronger months after his wedding. He wasn’t one
    to keep close friends, but these guyz were exceptional, that was
    offcourse, if you ruled out annoying and pain in the a.rse Ade, he was
    exceptional at irritating him. But even he had some worth in his life
    being his first ever friend anyways, Jide concluded.
    ‘…are you even listening to us?’ Dele asked, he’d noticed Jide distant look
    ‘lets just settle this with few rounds of basketball’ Jide offered.
    ‘count me out man’ Ade said without looking up from his phone.
    ‘basketball or whatever! you missed! the club was hotter than fire yesterday!’ Dele continued, he was the more chatty of the friends.
    ‘yeah, and that girl you hit on last week asked of you’ Dave put in.
    ‘F.uck! these f.oolish girls don’t know what a night stand meant’ Jide said irritated.
    ‘Grace sure gave her a run for her money too’ Dele replied.
    ‘Grace was there?’ Jide asked.
    ‘question’ Ade cut in
    irritated.
    Grace and he had kicked off their relationship a month after his
    wedding, getting more intense after that night he’d sent Daisy out of his study. Although he had let her know that he couldn’t offer more, she’d hanged on with the hope that she would eventually reclaim her position, when he divorced Daisy, she’d
    been sure it would happen.
    Even if he had believed it would definitely happen then, he didn’t
    anymore. Not with the way he was getting these days.
    ‘Now we know why he stood us up!’ Ade exclaimed suddenly.
    Daisy was passing through then, draped in a pink scarf that hardly hid the blue bikini she was wearing underneath. Every eyes followed Ade’s as
    it travelled and rested on Daisy.
    ‘hi’ Daisy waved shyly and walked faster into the house. She had hoped that they would be engrossed in their discussion to notice her. Obviously not.
    Silence followed her departure and no one had replied her greeting.
    ‘Man! that chick is hot!’ Ade exclaimed breaking the silence.
    ‘and in that chick, you mean Jide’s wife?’ Dave asked
    ‘yes, one and only…uhm..Daisy, yes Daisy! Gosh i had almost forgotten
    about her!’ Ade answered.
    ‘But then, Jide hardly spoke about her’ Dele quipped in ‘…that we so
    forgot that he was even a married man!…’ he continued.
    Jide didn’t join in the discussion, he wasn’t even listening, he was
    angry at Daisy for daring to appear clad shabbily while his friends were
    around, did she think this was America? He’d had no idea that she had been swimming, maybe he’d have tried to distract them somehow. He was also angry at his friends. They had immediately switched topics, no more discussing about his absence at the club, but now discussing Daisy like she was why they came. And Ade who had seemed nonchalant minutes ago, was now an oracle of information, supplying details about the marriage to the other guys.
    They had not attended the wedding, they probably didn’t get the information then.
    ‘I will go for her to see…’ Ade was saying.
    ‘go for who?’ Jide cut in.
    Everyone fell silent. Mischievous expression on their faces, Ade was even gloating.
    Jide wished then that he had paid attention to what they’d been saying.
    ‘well, Ade was filling us on how the marriage…’ Dele offered
    ‘I didn’t employ you to discuss my life or…’ Jide cut in angrily.
    ‘oh man, please relax, its not no big deal…’Ade said and shrugged.
    ‘it’s not your f.ucking business!’ Jide replied angrily.
    ’tis mine big time’ Ade replied ‘…and Don’t come up acting like some jealous husband, cos we both know that
    you don’t even care’. Ade replied, He always enjoyed making Jide angry.
    ‘What do you even know about me?’ Jide was fast losing his temper
    ‘i know enough to know that nobody can even guess you’re married, so
    just chilax okay!’ Ade retorted.
    ‘Am gonna hit…’
    ‘Relax Jide, no need to hit someone here. And Ade you shouldn’t push
    further, its really none of your business’ Dave intercepted. The word
    exchange was threatening to blow up.
    ‘whatever man’ Ade replied unrepentant and moved away from the group.
    ‘your offer’s still up?’ Dave asked.
    ‘Basketball you mean’ Jide replied trying to calm his temper
    ‘no way that happening, we ain’t clay, the sun…’ Ade cut in
    ‘just f.ucking shut up else i hit you good this time…’Jide said
    angrily walking towards Ade now, But Dave restrained him. Ade put the
    phone he’d been pressing into his pocket, and waited for the showdown.
    ‘can you guyz get a hold of yourself, we ain’t chicks for crying out
    loud!’ Dave said angrily.
    Dele Laughed all of a sudden. All attention turned to him.
    ‘sorry guyz, i quite find everything funny’ Dele said another bout of
    laughter threatening to escape any moment.
    They ignored him, it was a thing with him, silly things amused him and
    he never even tried to control himself.
    Jide shrugged off Dave’s retraining hand and walked towards the house.
    He would one day show Ade that this irritating attitude of his, would
    get
    him beaten, and he wouldn’t let go without drawing a blood or two from
    his annoying lips. Why was the guy always on his skin anyways? He cursed
    bitterly.
    Dave and Dele followed him, Ade trotting behind.
    *****
    The guys sat in the parlour, their attention focused on a football match
    showing on Supersports, a glass of wine sat on each side tool.
    Their faces didn’t hold any trace of the previous brawl, instead,
    anticipation etched on their faces as their body moved in line with
    every shot, players in the match took.
    The fragrant of a perfume caught Jide’s attention, turning around, he
    saw Daisy at the Dining, she was picking up something. Her phone
    probably. He’d seen it there earlier and had….it didn’t matter
    anyways.
    Soon, all their attention were on her as she walked towards them. The
    clock showed the time to be past eleven.
    Daisy was casually dressed in a blue body fitted top and black jean. She
    also hung a matching bag, evidence that she was unmistakenly going out.
    Jide thought she looked breathtaking.
    Daisy stopped midway and smiled shyly. She was nervous and prayed that
    her stutterring didn’t betray her now.
    ‘uhm hi…i unavoidably need to be somewhere…so I’d be seeing you guyz
    another time?’ she asked and smiled very unsure.
    Without waiting for their response, she headed out, without as much as a glance towards Jide.
    As before, they momentarily fell silence. A shout by the commentator, jolted them out of their inertia, Dave and Dele returned their attention to the match but Jide couldn’t. He was boiling with a rage he couldn’t understand.
    Ade stood up then, smiled and rushed out of the parlour. Eyes trailed his exit then settled back on the match.
    Minutes later, Ade returned, he smiled mischievously and settled contentedly on the settee. Curious eyes turned to him again.
    ‘so?’ Dele asked impatiently when Ade didn’t seem forthcoming.
    Ade grinned. ‘what else man, i got her number’ He said and returned his gaze to the match. He didn’t notice the angry look plastered on Jide’s face nor the amusement etched on the face of Dave and Dele.
    ‘and what do you intend to do with it?’ Jide asked angrily.
    ‘oh chilax dude, i plan on taking up your offer, remember?’ Ade replied nonchalantly, his eyes fixed on the tele.
    ‘you are gonna get it one day’ jide retorted angrily, hauling his fist at Ade
    ‘whatever man’ Ade replied, hardly paying Jide a glance.
    silence fell on the group once more, as everyone relaxed, each man to his thoughts. They focused their attention to the football match. The Saturday was sadly turning into ruins for the four friends.

    EPISODE 26

    Jide paced around the parlour impatiently, his eyes darting at the clock, every now and then and his impatience increasing with every tick of the clock. The time was 7:10pm.
    His mind wandered back to the afternoon he had spent with his friends. They had eventually left around three, but not without leaving a messy kitchen and Parlour, in their wake.
    The guys, after all the banter and argument over sports, girls, cars and all other guy’s talk, had rummaged the kitchen looking for something to eat when they felt pangs of hunger.
    Dele had been the first to complain of hunger, and Soon, all four had marched to the kitchen to fix up something for themselves. The soup
    Daisy had prepared yesterday had been the most hit. It was now cooling off in the freezer with almost half of its content gone. Ade had been the super chef of the day.
    Even now, remnant of Semovita flour still littered the floor, dirty pots and dishes awaited whomever was in charge of domestic works, Okon or
    Daisy, Jide didn’t care, infact, given the fact that today was Saturday
    and Okon would be nowhere near the house, the onerous task rested on Daisy. Served her right anyways, Jide had mused.
    But then, that was actually the least of his problems. Where was Daisy, his supposed ‘beloveth wife’? Was this how she behaved and had been
    pretending otherwise since? Leaving her ‘matrimonial’ home to go on an undisclosed spree? Without a word or glance his way? Who did she even
    think she was? Making him all angry and jittery with worries over her?
    And why did he even care? These and other questions raced through Jide’s pacing form.
    Months ago, and he wouldn’t have bated an eyelid, infact he had even wished she would oneday quietly carry her self, baggage and other personal effects and simply vanish into thin air. He would have compensated her with the television and decoder if she wanted. As long
    as she took her imposed self out of his face.
    Then also, he had frowned, when he learnt that she sat home all day doing God knows what, courtesy of Adamu, who supplied unsolicited information. But Now he wished she stayed home.
    ‘Everybody’s d--n so messed up in this house’ he spat bitterly and
    slumped onto the settee. His eyes travelling back to the clock. It was
    7:30 now.
    Jide rolled his eyes and gave up a sigh, his rumbling stomach wasn’t
    making things any better. Soon he dozed off.
    *****
    Daisy smiled cheerfully at the bent form of Adamu as he curtised before her.
    ‘hi’ she said and walked on. That man was something else she thought amused.
    Today had been spectacular, she was so happy to finally see Brenda. From the Airport they had driven to her family house in Ikoyi, then the fun
    party had moved to interesting places lagos had to offer. Emeka,
    Brenda’s brother had been the tour guide.
    Brenda had been excited to be back in the country, while she had been excited to finally see her friend, so they’d drove around, hardly noticing that the time was far spent. There was nothing to come back to
    at home anyways.
    Daisy’s heart missed a beat, few steps ahead when she saw Jide’s Blue
    Sedan car parked in the compound. It meant he was around. She had not
    counted on him being home when she came back. Suddenly, She felt that
    old fear creep up again, immediately she pushed it away. She had done
    nothing bad whatsoever, so what was up with the feeling of fright? She
    chastised herself.
    Yet walking further, Daisy still felt uneasy. Silently, she wished Emeka
    had not insisted on driving Brenda back home after they dropped her at
    the gate. She sure needed the strength of her presence now.
    What was it about this man that turned her jelly with fright and
    unexplainable emotions. Daisy wondered angrily. And after a minute
    hesitation at the door, she said a silent prayer, braced up for whatever was to come and pushed open the door.
    The disarray of the parlor greeted Daisy before she noticed the sleeping form of Jide crouched on the settee. Her eyes travelled to the clock, the time was 8:20pm, Daisy sighed. She had not been aware that the time was far spent.
    Daisy resorted into tiptoe as she passed Jide to her room but a sound from him halted her. He was turning on his sides then.
    When she heard nothing afterwards, Daisy resumed her slow and steady step only to be halted again by his voice.
    ‘what do you think you’re doing?’ he asked sitting up.
    Daisy said nothing, her eyes darting at all corners except on him. She felt foolis.h. Was that question even for her?
    ‘I don’t think am invincible, neither should you think you are, what says your time now?’ he asked angrily.
    Daisy eyes went back to the clock, she thought herself foolish, for she’d checked it before.
    Jide was far from done. ‘you proclaim
    yourself a wife, yet this is when you arrive since morning you left…’ he continued.
    Daisy just stood there like a statue. She was nolonger paying attention to his ramblings. What the hell had gotten into him? She wondered. This was actually the longest he had ever spoken to her, and when did she start owing him an explanation for her actions? Daisy’s anger was fast
    rising. But Since she didn’t trust her voice to utter perfectly the way she felt, she’d just let this pass.
    Her mind set, she started walking away.
    ‘…did you not hear what i said, am hungry and i don’t eat late but
    obviously whomever graced your day is more important…’ Jide was
    standing up now. Anger shaking his form.
    ‘food’ Daisy cut in unbelievably. Here she was thinking that there was more to his strange behaviour this night, and here he was whining about food!
    ‘…yes food, since that’s the only wifely duties your little pretty
    head can come up with as the need of a husband, then get me my dinner. Or what happened? you’ve forgotten to drop it on the dining as usual and hide…’
    ‘oh stop already! food you want, food you will get!’ Daisy shouted,
    surprised at her boldness, Flung her handbag on the closest settee and dashed to the kitchen.
    Jide grinned and slumped back on the settee. They’d actually had their first Fight, he thought conceited. Maybe not your normal couple fight,
    but given the circumstance, this was a start. Jide stretched his legs,
    the grin still plastered on his face.
    ‘oh God!’ came Daisy’s sudden shout from the kitchen.
    Jide grinned harder, almost denting his handsome face. Daisy must have discovered the state of her kitchen and soup he thought smiling.
    ‘bless the boys!’ he said. For once, he was glad they came. It served
    her right too, leaving her home to go frolic around ‘God knows where’ doing ‘God knows what’. His dinner was what he wanted now and he didn’t
    care how it would manifest. What a day to start working towards building a family. He thought.
    Daisy wasn’t finding it funny in the kitchen, the whole place was a
    mess; like a football team had ransacked her kitchen, plates and pots laid carelessly around, the semovita had stuck hard to them, the tiles were covered in white, and oh no! Not her juice too! Empty packs of
    it laid about.
    She moved slowly to where it laid, to ascertain if they had even left a
    cup for her. Luckily some packs remained.
    Daisy sighed and went back to the cooking platform, she had decided to fry plantain for Jide. She had earlier planned to cook rice when she returned but going by the present situation, there was no way she would stress herself. Thankfully the stew had survived the rampage, too bad
    for the soup. She sighed again.
    ‘show me your friends and i will tell you who you are’ Daisy muttered under her breath as she got busy on the plantain.
    Minutes later, she set the last plate containing fried eggs on the
    dining. She was looking a mess, white particles perched conspicuously on all parts of her body, Daisy was really pissed. Too angry even to analyse the events of the last hour.
    She looked towards the parlour, Jide was sprawled on the settee again, either sleeping or pretending to, she wasn’t sure and didn’t care.
    She just needed a means to get his attention. She shifted one of the dining chair noisily and that did the trick, for Jide rose up.
    Daisy then walked slowly to where her bag laid, picked it up and made for her room without a second glance Jide’s way.
    ‘and where do you think you are going?’ Jide asked. He was on his way to the dining. It was more out of something to say than that it was a required question. Even he knew where she was headed.
    Daisy rolled her eyes and shook her head exasperated. He’s gotta be kidding me. She thought still moving.
    ‘am sure i asked a question’ Jide pushed further.
    ‘where else do you think am going?’ she returned curtly and disappeared through the door leading to the hallway, muttering angrily under her breath.
    Jide smiled mischievously. He had just wanted to hear her speak to him, nothing more. Infact this was the start to more conversing and bickering to come.
    Feeling unusually happy with himself, he settled to his meal.
    Daisy once in her room went straight to the showers. She was d--n pissed at Jide and his good for nothing friends. It was only later on her bed that she went over and analyzed the events that transpired that night. Jide was acting up real strange and funny, but she was glad that she had held her turf better than she would have, months ago. She appreciated fully the presence of her friend. It was like a catalyst nudging her up from her deplorable and fast-sinking existence.
    ‘Thank you Bree’ she said quietly and let the sweet embrace of sleep take over her tired being. Tomorrow was now a day to look forward to.

    THE END

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