Continued from here.
People are so eager to draw their own conclusions about your life and they will say they want to know what made you the person you have become, they’ll tell you to open up, they’ll say they want to know all the pieces so they can understand you better, but life is not a jigsaw puzzle. If it were, life wouldn’t be this complicated.
Maybe some of you won’t agree with me, but I believe in new chapters, new seasons, and new pages of a person’s life. I believe in examining history, learning from your past and building a better future.
I can relate with the concept of sharing my life story because another girl out there might be going through the exact same thing and she needs a success story to draw strength from.
I will share my past. I want more than anything for people to draw life lessons from this story. I am sharing this piece of my life with the world every Tuesday for this purpose. It is deeper than the shoes, the trends, and the flamboyant over the top lifestyle. It is about the perils and turbulent times the average girl in Lagos goes through finding the right man, it is about setting life goals and accomplishing them, it is about keeping in touch with family even when everybody is leading separate lives.
I want to share my past and the events that have made me so driven. I am not existing solely because of the money. I spent 5 years of my youth with a man that made me work for his love and attention. When I got a pass, I would be rewarded with his money. It took a long time for me to realize that I was more than that, that I deserved better, way better than a current account, way better than trips around the world, way better than flossing in Milan and attending private art exhibitions. That part of my life made me so weak and insecure. I will share it all soon, I will, I want more than anything for some strong African girl going through this same thing to see my story and take strength from it.
Most days I want to bury it all and move on with my life, is it too much for a girl to want to leave the past in the past? I am scared, terrified. I know the woman Jide fell in love with, Ibukun Donald, a strong and driven woman. Not the woman I was who spent most nights those 5 years with my face buried in my tear soaked pillow, telling myself I loved this man, wondering if love was supposed to hurt this much. I was young, foolish and selfish. So right now I am working on myself. I am working tirelessly on being a different woman from who I was a just a few short of years ago.
Some days I wish I could open up easily and share these details with the people I love and care about, but I don’t feel that safe. With Jide I know he loves me and we have a future but I am not a magician I am not 100% sure that we will stay down and involved with each other long enough to live out this future, so it’s hard for me to open up fully to any man I am involved with. How about if we break up the next day or the next month and there is this person wandering about with your box of secrets, your gist in his back pocket. It scares me, it really does.
I stand in the doorway fuming in sheer frustration and anger.
Regina takes a step to the side and whips her glorious mane of hair like she is in a shampoo TV commercial. I take one good look at her from head to toe before I look away and turn my attention to Jide. She is wearing a Marni A-line silk-blend dress, with a prismatic pictorial print, and burgundy patent leather Christian Louboutins.
He looks back at me, his expression heated but why isn’t he saying anything? He just looks at me but I can see that he is upset. We keep looking into each other’s eyes, visibly upset and fuming. There is so much to say to but not enough time and words to properly express our anger. Then Regina decides to take the centre stage and stands between Jide and I.
Regina: ” Oh, so you’re here.”
She says casually like she is in her Palace and she just noticed a servant in her presence. Onyeka snorts loudly in disgust. I want to slap the living daylight out of this b***h, but we are in Lola’s house and Maami is here.
I shove shove past her to stand in for of Jide almost giggling at her tripping over her feet and almost falling over but that would be childish. Onyeka quickly moves to stand at Regina’s front in case she tries to lay a hand on me, but I doubt she will. She should know better than to mess with a Yoruba babe. I will clip clap her weave and use her to mop the kitchen floor. Jide looks over at Regina and for a fleeting second he looks surprised and amused.
Me: “What are you still doing standing here Jide? Get out! Now!”
He raises his eyebrow lazily and looks at me.
Jide: “Have you finally lost it? What now, you’re being violent and feeling all tough? Is something wrong with you?”
Regina: “Jide are you really going to watch this woman disrespect me?”
Jide turns to her.
Jide: “Really Regina? You know you came here for this drama. You hoped she’d be here and you came to stir things up. I have enough on my plate. The last thing I want is to get involved with you two ladies and your bickering.”
Regina flushes and looks like smoke is going to start doing out of her ears. She looks at Jide like she is about to pitch a knife in his direction. Onyeka is laughing and holding her tummy.
“I am leaving! I won’t stand here and be insulted in this manner, where is JJ? Where is my son?” she yells at the top of her voice.
Maami: “What is all this noise and why are you all down here? Dinner is served. What is happening here?”
We all turn towards the hall as Maami comes towards the front door in the adorable apron the boys had got her for Christmas, a confused look etched on her face.
I go to stand beside Onyeka.
Maami: “Ibukun are you and Jide still trying to chop each other’s heads off? What’s all this?”
Lord, will this drama never end? I look at Jide for some help, but he is fidgeting under Maami’s glare.
Me: “No Maami, we are not. Please can you give us a few minutes, we will be there soon.”
She swats my hand from her arm and gives me a warning look.
Maami: “My friend, what do you mean nothing is happening? I clearly heard someone screeching like a dying pig and asking for her son.”
I look over at Regina and she is looking at Maami like she is about to perform her magic on her and turn her into a frog.
Onyeka: “The dying pig is Regina, she is JJ’s Mother.”
Onyeka points at Regina who straightens up even taller and turns her evil glare at Onyeka.
Maami: “Oh, her…”
Regina turns back to Jide, pointing at the rest of us.
Regina: “I don’t know whao these people think they are but…
“Excuse me young lady!” Miami interjects, “just what is your problem? Why do you think you can behave like this?”
She moves towards Regina who takes a deep breathing faces Maami.
Regina: “You know what lady, I just came by to drop my son with his Dad.”
She points in Jide’s direction.
Regina: “I didn’t come here to cause any trouble, or to socialize.”
She glares at Onyeka and I.
Yeka: “Err, no one not invited you. You disrupted a family dinner. So please, rather than being rude and disrespectful, just pick up what’s left of your dignity and leave.”
“Who are you again?” Regina asks moving towards her with a violent glint in her eyes.
Maami: “She’s a lady, a proper lady. One who has respect for elderly people. And she’s pregnant with my grandchild so don’t even think about touching her or ma fo e leti wa ri ra e lai gbe dingi. ( I will slap you so hard you will see yourself without using a mirror).
Onyeka and I gasp in shock! How does Maami know about the baby!? I look at Onyeka, did she tell her? She is as confused as I am.
“Don’t make me descend to your level and show you… ki ni e ma pe yen gaan,” she says tapping my arm, ” yes my my ratchet side.”
Regina suddenly looks deflated. Without another word she storms out of the kitchen and slams the door behind her.
Jide quickly goes to Maami and apologizes for Regina’s behaviour. before he rushes to catch up with Regina. I watch him go after her and my heart breaks a little. Maami looks over at Yeka and I.
Maami: “Ibukunmi don’t you know how to keep a man?”
I look away. How do I answer that question?
Maami smiles at Yeka and raises her hand to her to come to her. Yeka looks embarrassed.
Maami: “Ssshh my child, of course I know you are with child, you almost vomited on my fries when I brought out the jar of mayonnaise and you haven’t eaten one single thing since you got here, but your face is still glowing. I take it you girls haven’t told Rene?”
Yeka and I shake our heads simultaneously.
“Ahh… I guess you have your reasons. But I think you should tell him before he finds out on his own.” Maami says, all the while grinning uncontrollably.
She hugs Yeka and plants a kiss on her forehead and her cheeks. I can’t help but laugh and we all burt into a fit of laughter as we head into the kitten, letting go of some of the tension. Jide walks in not long after. He catches my eye and he mouths…
“I am sorry…”
I want to run to him and hug and kiss him and tell him how much I miss him but I stay calm and nod at him. Then I turn my attention to Maami and Yeka who are still caught up in their excitement Jide walks over to Yeka with a smile on his face, she hugs him and they both start laughing as Yeka recounts how Maami put Regina in her place. Jide congratulates Yeka on the baby and then tells her to tell Rene soon because he is a man and he would want to know if and when the woman he loves is pregnant with his child. He looks at me as he says the last few words.
Yeka: “I will tell Rene, soon. I will, I am just so scared and overwhelmed.”
Maami hugs her and reassures her.
Rene chooses that moment to walk into the kitchen with a concerned look on his face.
Rene: “Tell me what?”
We all jerk around at the sound of his voice. I look at Yeka and she looks like the proverbial kid with her hand caught inside the cookie jar.
Rene looks from me to Yeka then to Maami.
Till next Tuesday.