How Ola knew she loved poems was beyond her. She loves anything in verse form and for years, she had been a collector of all forms of poetry. Foreign, local, ballads, old, modern, just name it. If it is poetry, then consult Fateemah Oluwafunmilola Olaoye. She had been trying for years to write poems herself but she had not been able to come up with something concrete.
So, when she saw the poem Ola had sent to her, she headed straight to his office.
”Good morning, Ola.” she greeted after the secretary had showed her in. Ola was anxious. He thought the poem did not go down well with her. But as he saw her grinning, he knew he had struck a cord in her heart. He relaxed.
”Good morning Funmi. How was your weekend? To what do I owe this early morning visit?” he feigned innocence.
”Did you write this?” she asked waving the typed matter in front of him. Ola collected it and looked it through as Funmi studied the expression of happiness on his face. He looked up and said, ”Don’t you like it? If you don’t like it, just tear it up. I just felt I should let you know how I feel about you. You have successfully captivated me and….in short I think I am in love with you, Funmi.” he said his face contorted into a frown as he expectantly stood up from his chair and sat on his table a few metres away from where she sat.
She looked at him. Her face filled with unshed tears. She could feel his true feelings in those words. She loved him.
”I don’t like the poem. Ibrahim, I love it and its writer. I had come to know that there is something I just feel anytime I am around you. There is this aura of peace and tranquility you carry. Ola mi, I love you too.” She got up and gave him the tightest of hugs she could offer, and in a few while, they were locked up in the hottest of kisses. Ola recovered faster than her and said, ”This is the greatest news of my life. Would you believe that you are my first love and the first girl I would ask out successfully?” She doubted it and he went on to tell her about his life around girls, she was perplexed. Such a handsome guy like him and still untainted! She had just discovered a gold mine and nothing would let her leave him forever!
That was the begining of their romance. It started as a rumour but the whole office later knew it wasn’t. It was for real. They were seen together anywhere outside the office. Yet, they never joked with their work. Their parents were soon in the know of things and Ola’s mother was particularly glad and happy for her son because she was beginning to get a little worried about his single and searching status.
But there was one person who threatened the well being of their love life. It was their M. D. Funmi’s direct boss.
Mr. Bisi Adebesin was a thirty nine year old divorcee. He was a father of two renowned for his philandering activities. He was an average heighted man, fair complexioned, a little bit on the plump side and boasted of a large potbelly. He drinks anything in a bottle and chases anything in skirts. He had had his way with lots of female folks within and outside the organisation. He had been after Funmi since she was transferred to his office as his secretary but had been highly unsuccessful. So, when he discovered that there was an amorous affair bloosoming between Ola and Funmi, he decided to hijack the it and use it to his own advantage.
For long, her boss had been pestering her for an affair but Funmi had blatantly refused. She had not the guts to tell her lover but she thought it was something she could handle on her own till he started threatening to fire the two of them. When this happened, she had to tell Ola.
Ola could not decipher why Mr. Adebesin would not let the love of his life have her peace. He approached hi one sunny afternoon in his office.
”Good afternoon sir,” he greeted.
”Ah! Ola, my very good boy. How are you? Hope no problem? We don’t have a meeting today, do we?” he queried rather surprised.
Ola went on to state the object of his visit and pleaded with him to leave the lady alone for him. He agreed to leave her alone only if Ola would let him have her for just a weekend to which Ola openly disagreed. Since, a compromise can’t be reached, he threatened to take both the woman and Ola’s source of livelihood. Ola called his bluffs, stormed out of the office and slammed the door in Mr. Adebesin’s face.
”The battle line is drawn.” He heard him growl as he angrily walked to his office.
Back in his office, Ola thought and thought of a way out, he came up with none until he left for home for the weekend…
Ola was confused. His brain was as dry as a pikestaff. He was short of ideas. He sat on the floor of his room wondering why his only source of happiness was being threatened by this devil of a man called Mr Adebesin. Throughout the day, nothing passed into his stomach.
Funmi was reluctant to go with her boss to the luncheon. She had wanted to damn the consequences and refuse totally but after the call to Ola, she felt a little bit of relief as she prepared for the luncheon.
Mr Adebesin came to pick her up at the appointed time he was astonished as she shone radiantly in the black dinner gown she wore. She draped a black shawl over her shoulders, her hair was encased in a black skull cap and her feet dwelled in a medium heeled black slip ons. She had never been a fan of make ups, hence, she was natural beauty at its peak. ”Shall we go?” he said stretching his hand towards her. She ignored it and walked towards the car.
At the luncheon, she lost interest in everything as her mind told her that her fiance would be in the worst of moods but here she wad sitting uselessly in front of these pot bellied old and young fools. She declined everything she was offered saying she was alright. At long last, it was over and by 6 p.m, she was at home. She called Ola and asked if she could still come over, he said she needed to rest that he will call her later. He was alright and at Daniel’s. He would be back at the programme they would have the following day.
Ola had called Daniel sounding embittered. ”Ol boy, how are you? This one you are sounding like you lost your wife. Is everything okay? How is Funmi?” Daniel had asked without waiting for a reply.
Ola explained what happened during the week and Daniel had laughed at him. He asked him to come over and they would work out a solution. Ola had changed his clothes, jumped into his car and drove down to Ikeja.
There was a knock on the M. D’s door early the following Monday morning. ”Yes, come in.” Mr Adebesin had said. The door opened and two people walked in hand in hand and dropped two envelopes on his table. They sat down and watched the expression of surprise and gloom on his face as he read the two letters.
”Are you trying to blackmail me?” he asked in fear. The man replied
”It’s not a blackmail sir, we have copies of those letters with us and we will forward them to the headoffice before close of work today. We need to resign our appointment but when we are asked why, we will tell them it’s because you had threatened us with the sack. Why? They will ask again and we will tell them that it’s because Funmi here refused to sleep with you.”
Mr Adebesin was shocked. He was in a tight corner. These guys had won. If they resign, they will get better offers elsewhere especially Ola. He was one of the most sought after faces in the communication industry. Funmi too will get a job anywhere. She is rightly qualified. But if they go, he (Mr Adebesin) will be fired because his past will be unearthed. No! He won’t allow them ruin him, these smartasses!
”Okay, what do you two want?” he asked.
‘It’s simple, just lemme be and leave us alone!” Funmi spat at him.
”If that’s all, it is granted. I wish you both a happy married life when the time comes.” He said resignedly as he watched the couple walk out of his office grinning from ear to ear.
Funmi was at home on a Saturday evening. The look she wore said that she wasn’t in any way alright. She had been calling Ola since the previous day and his number was switched off. She had called Daniel who said he hadn’t heard from him. Tutu had said the same thing when contacted. She was restless. She got into her car and drove towards the Third Mainland bridge. She is going to his parents’ place. She did not want to scare them with calls until she was sure. Her parents were out of town. As she approached the bridge, her phone rang. It was Daniel calling. She parked well and picked the call. ”Hello Funmi,” Daniel said calmly.
”Hello, have you heard from him?” she screamed into the phone her heart beating madly.
”Yes. He is at the Ikeja General Hospital. He was coming to my place when he had a minor accident. But he is fine. Wiill you meet me there?”
Funmi never bothered to answer the question as she engaged the gears of her Toyota RAV4 and sped towards the direction of the hospital.
The traffic was light and in less than thirty minutes she was at the hospital. She called Daniel who was waiting for her at the gate.
Daniel took her to the ward where Ola was supposed to be. As they entered the ward, she saw Tutu who was, by then, pregnant with her second child. Some other friends of theirs were there as well. She was confused and the first words that found their way out of her mouth were:
”Where is my Ola?”
From somewhere in the ward she knew not came:
”I am here Fateemah.”
He was the only one who called her that name. She turned towards the direction of the voice to see him.
As he approached her, she could see that nothing was wrong with
him and he was perfectly okay.
Then he knelt and brought out a tiny box containing a diamond ring, he stretched it forward and said:
”Fateemah, please make me complete.”
She was ecstatic. Her anxiety had given way to pure happiness as tears of joy flowed ceaselessly from her eyes. She looked at him
and pulled him up.
”I will make you complete, my Ibrahim.”
He slipped the ring into her finger and the whole ward rang with claps and shouts.
The Nikkah was a simple but grandeur affair. Both families were united to make the day a
lasting one in the memories of those who witnessed it. It was held at the popular Sky Pavilion, Adebola House in Lagos.
The presiding Imam joined the couple according to the basic tenets of the Islamic faith. They were thereafter lectured on the
requirements of a lasting home. Prayers were offered for them for the success of their marital journey which they had just begun. The parents and well wishers were not left out as they lend their blessings to the couple.
The reception took off almost immediately. Mr Adebesin was the chairman of the day. He spoke glowingly of the the couple. He described them as one united from heaven that no man can put asunder. He also enjoined them to be patient with each other as that was the key to a successful home.
There was plenty to eat and drink. A popular musician entertained the guests. Lots of dignitaries in the Communication sector greeted the occasion.
The wedding over, the couple headed home. Ola was shy when he was left alone with his wife at night. The first day, he slept like a log. The second day, nothing.
On the third day, Funmi woke him up and asked if she had offended him. He said ‘No’. He did not just
know how and what to do. Funmi smiled. She taught him how to do it!
A year after Mr and Mrs Ola Adeona were joined together, Funmi woke up feeling sick. It had been recurring for three days. She told Ola as he prepared to go to the office. He had to see a client at Ibadan. He told her to see the family doctor and he left for work.
At the doctor’s, Funmi was told that she was three weeks gone. She was very happy, she checked herself over and over again, she was going to be a mother. She thanked the doctor and left.
She called her husband and broke the news to him. Ola was beyond himself with joy. He had finished the discussion with the client and it had gone well. He was coming back home to celebrate with his wife.
He got into his Honda CRV and headed to Lagos via the Lagos Ibadan Expressway. He was thanking God for all that had been
happening to him. His life had been a fairy tale. Growing up had been tough, now he was succeessful and soon he will become a father. He slotted his Qur’an recitation disc into the player and as the recitation filled the car. He was grateful. What else could he had said to God but ‘Thank You’.
Ola was too late. A small child had left his mother’s hand and ran into the busy road. That was along the Mowe axis of the road.
Ola braked sharply and swerved to avoid hitting the child. The child was unhurt and safe, but Ola was not. He crashed into the road median. The airbag and seatbelt could not save him. He gave up the ghost on the way to the hospital.
Eight months later, Funmi put to bed a bouncing baby boy. It was an exact replica of his father.
Seven days later, he was named
Ibrahim Olaoluwa Adeona (Junior).
Funmi never remarried. She spent the rest of her life mourning the gold mine she had found and nursing Junior into the untainted man his father had been.
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