Mrs Afolayan was a well to do woman, she had everything going for her; her children were successful, her business was striving, and though she was a widow she lacked nothing. Despite all her successes, there was one thing she sought; her second child Funmi was unmarried. Not only was she unmarried she also refused to see any man or date anyone as long he wasn’t Adebayo Williams. She had tried everything possible to make Funmi get married but all to no avail, Funmi had remained adamant that Bayo was her husband.
Mrs Afolayan got home that day ready to give Funmi an ultimatum; she wanted her to see the light. “Funmi when was the last time you spoke with Bayo? “Mum not too long ago”, Funmi replied with a stubborn look on her face, “Ok let’s agree it’s not too long you guys spoke, but who made the call? “Mum it doesn’t matter who made the call, the most important thing is, there’s a communication’. She answered stubbornly.
As they were conversing, Funmi’s friend Ronke also a mutual friend of Bayo walked in, after the exchange of pleasantries, Mrs Afolayan turned to Ronke, “Ronke thank God you are here, please speak some sense into your friend. How can a well-educated lady like Funmi be hung up on a man who doesn’t care the least about her? He doesn’t call, doesn’t visit, he hardly even picks her calls and word on the street is that he’s dating that TV presenter”.
“Mum, how do you know that? “Because I am your mother and I know these things, wake up Funmi”, and with that, her mum walked away angry. Funmi started crying and Ronke was consoling her, “why can’t anyone understand when I say I am convinced Bayo is my husband, why? “Babe please calm down”, Ronke said patting her back, “do you really love Bayo or you’re just hung up on him based on your infatuations or your desire to have the “what could have been”. “Ronke I don’t know, I just love him and in the back of my mind I feel he’s the one”.
“But Funmi you can’t force anyone to love you and how long are you going to wait for Bayo to come around? How long? Funmi so many good men have come and you haven’t given anyone of them a chance, what if you are wrong, everyone can’t be wrong and you alone be right”, “Ronke I can’t deny the feelings in my heart”, “Baby girl in this game of love, when you love with your heart, you must take your head along with you”.
Funmi said nothing and just kept on crying. “Funmi can you tell me why you are crying, you aren’t even in a relationship with him yet, yet you are always crying like a baby, you know you are more than this; crying over a guy that doesn’t even remember you”. “Ronke, you are my friend, not my shrink, please stop all this Oprah talk and just be a friend”, “I’m sorry oh I don’t just want you to get hurt”.
At the Adebambo’s residence
The next morning Mrs Adebambo called Foye, “Foye haven’t you heard that your sister has been kidnapped?” “Mum, what do you mean she has been kidnapped?” “Foye exactly what I have just said, in fact, she didn’t sleep at home last night”. “Mum but that’s not enough reason for you to say she has been kidnapped, just wait let me try her numbers”, “Foye don’t bother we’ve been trying her numbers to no avail”, “mum I’m still going to try” and Foye hung up on the call.
“Shalewa? Shalewa?” “Foye, I am here, what is it?” “It seems you have no idea that Mum & Dad think you have been kidnapped”, “me, kidnapped? But why will they think such a thing?” “Mum called me this morning telling me all your lines are not going through and you didn’t sleep at home last night, by the way, where did you sleep?”
“Babe I slept in Efosa’s house, and it’s not what you think”, “and how do you know what I think?” Foye said with a smile. “Foye I’ve been going through a rough time at home and Efosa just thought I needed a change of environment”. “Hmm, Shalewa ok oh. I’m not judging but please give Mum & Dad a call so their mind can be at rest”. “I have heard you, how’s school by the way?” “Shalewa school is fine, I gat to go now; Takia and say me well to Efosa, ok?” “Sure I will bye”, “bye”.
Mr Adebambo was really worried, he along with his friends had gone to all the police stations on the island to make a formal complaint, he had gone to all the places he felt Shalewa normally went, still no sign of her. He had even called Bayo. Bayo told him he would make efforts to find her and get back in touch with him.
He sank into his bed really frustrated, he was just contemplating his next line of action when he heard his wife scream, he rushed downstairs. “Iya Shalewa what is it?” “Daddy Shalewa, you won’t believe Shalewa just sent me a text”, “let me see it” and she passed her phone to him. He read it and immediately he was relieved, but right after his relief was anger. “Why will Shalewa put us all through this stress, why didn’t she just let us know where she was going and with whom? What type of child is this? You have spoilt this child”, He shouted at his wife, “Daddy Shalewa don’t put this all on me, I don’t care where she went, the most important thing is she has been found”.
“You better go and tell those blind prophets of yours Shalewa is not missing and I want them all out of my house”, “when we didn’t hear from Shalewa the prophets were not blind abi, all of a sudden they are now blind?”
“You know I don’t believe in those prophets of yours, it’s because of you, they are here”. Mrs Adebambo just hissed and walked away. Shalewa’s dad started calling Shalewa’s line it rang severally but Shalewa wouldn’t pick, he then decided to send a text. “Shalewa please talk to me it’s your father”, but still Shalewa wouldn’t respond.
“Mum I told you Shalewa hasn’t been kidnapped, I just spoke with her now”, “Foye she just sent me a text, but why would she leave the house just like that?” “Mum, why won’t she leave, when you & Dad are forcing Bayo on her”, “but it’s for her own good”, “mum please say something else, abi you think I’m still a child? Anyway, mum I have to go now”, and before her mum could say another word, the line had gone dead.
Meanwhile at Efosa’s House
After the call Shalewa signed and shook her head, how can they think I have been kidnapped? Anyway who blames them? So they even still care about me she asked herself and smiled. She then decided to send her Mum a text, Mum I have not been kidnapped, I am in a friend’s house I will come by the house later in the day, bye.
She turned on the King Sized bed, wrapped the duvet around her and smiled to herself. For the first time, she took in the room; she was too drowsy and too weak to look around her last night. The room was very big, en-suite, twice the size of hers. It had a flat screen TV, 3 large wardrobes, and a side lamp. The covers on the bed were pretty plain but beautiful and the room was clean. If I didn’t know better, I would say Efosa is married. How can a bachelor have visitor’s room that was this detailed? She asked herself.
Just then Efosa walked in, “Hey beautiful did you sleep well?” “Yes I did, thank you so much Efosa for all you did for me. I just wonder if you hadn’t shown up when you did, I would have done something stupid”, she said as she sat up on the bed, “well I don’t think so, God has a plan for your life and He won’t let you ruin it”, he replied.
“About that, just before you found me in the bathroom, I heard a voice telling me I will never leave you nor forsake you; I have a plan for your life and what not. I don’t understand it, to be sincere with you I haven’t spoken with God for years and it feels kind of weird to think that God could talk to someone like me”.
Efosa taking her hands in his, “God speaks to each and every one of us; regardless of who you think you are, the problem is we are either too busy to hear or we don’t recognise his voice. The truth is, everyone on planet earth is made for a reason, no one came to this earth by mistake and until we realise our purpose we would never have peace. Shalewa God has a plan for your life, He loves you and it would kill me if you refuse to accept His love”.
Shalewa withdrew her hands from his and began thinking, she was really looking thoughtful. “Shalewa what’s going through your mind?” “Where has God been all this while that I have been under pressure from my parents?
“Shalewa in life, we are not promised it will be a bed of roses, one thing we should know is that challenges are synonymous with the living. God may allow such pressure so you could be able to talk to other ladies or help them deal with marital pressure. Why do you think you are stubborn and a woman of her mind, God gave you that quality so you could stand your ground and that’s one of the things I like about you. But it also baffles me how a lady of strength and courage like you could want to take her own life”.
Shalewa started tearing up, “Shalewa no I don’t want you to cry, I just want you to help me understand”. “I couldn’t handle the pressure anymore and I couldn’t give in to them so I just thought the easiest way out is to take my life”. “The truth is suicide is not and has never been the answer, you didn’t give yourself life and you have no right to take it. The thing is the devil will make you think Life is hopeless and there’s no way out, but that’s a lie. There’s no situation on planet earth that is hopeless and as long as you are breathing there is always a way out”, Efosa said to her.
“So what can I do now?” Shalewa asked him. “Accept Christ as your Lord and personal saviour, join a bible believing church, grow in God, put your trust in him and he will deliver you from every opposing situation”, “How can I grow in God? “Read God’s word, worship, pray, speak in tongues, fellowship with other believers”. She thought for a while then said,
“Ok, I’m ready to accept Christ now”. “Say this prayer with me”, and they bowed their heads and said the prayer of salvation. And immediately Shalewa opened her eyes, she was overwhelmed with peace. “Thank you”, she said to Efosa and gave him a hug. “No we should be saying thank you to God”, Efosa told her.
Efosa then stood, “I made breakfast, should I bring it here or you come with me to the dining and have it there? “You made breakfast? “Of course, why is that a surprise? “Nothing, I will come to the dining, just give me some minutes”. Efosa left the room and for the first time in ten years, Shalewa prayed to God. She knelt by the bed, “Father thank you for saving and rescuing me, thank you for Efosa and today I ask that you give me the grace and the strength to do what is right and pleasing in your eyes, thank you in Jesus name”, and then she stood and walked to the dining table.
She stepped into the dining which was just opposite the sitting room and was awed by the beauty of the area. The seat and the back of the dining chairs were padded and the legs deep mahogany, the table was also deep mahogany, the white casement window was beautifully draped with light brown curtains, on the wall were beautiful art paintings, by the side of the chairs was a brown cupboard on which stood a lamp.
“Efosa this dining area is beautiful and classy; in fact, the part of your house I have seen is beautiful and tastefully furnished. Your house is like that of a married man, by the way, are you married?”
“Married ke? I am not”, “ok oh”, “no seriously I’m single and searching”, “ok. “So who designed this house for you?” “Believe it or not, I designed it myself”, “no away”, “yes I did, I have an eye for good things and the money to buy them”, “hmm”. Shalewa said rolling her eyes. “The first day we met, I told you I’m a domesticated man, I can cook and I’m useful around the house”. “Where’s the food you talked so much about, let me judge your cooking skills”, “I can bet I can cook more than you”, Efosa said to her and he laughed, “why do you think so?” Shalewa asked him, “Shalewa you are a butty”, Shalewa mockingly made an angry face and said nothing.
Their breakfast went well and they both enjoyed a meal of Coconut curry sauce with chicken, vegetables and white rice. “Efosa I must say you know how to cook, this was super delicious, I don’t even think I can make this”, she said wiping her mouth. “I told you I can cook”, he replied with a look of accomplishment on his face. Shalewa stood to clear the dishes, but Efosa stopped her, “no, you are my guest, just sit and relax”. Shalewa sat, “is this how you treat all your women”, she said eyeing him, “Shalewa there’s nothing like my women and it’s not funny”, he then stood and was clearing the dishes.
She followed him to the Kitchen, “Efosa I’m sorry, I meant it as a joke”, “true I was angry but no more, you’re forgiven”, he said with a smile “Thank you”, she said and gave him a hug from the back. He stiffened and she immediately let him go. They both washed the dishes in silence, he washed and she rinsed. “Where do I put this?” She asked about the plates, “don’t worry I will stack them” he said to her. “Efosa I insist”, “Shalewa I insist too” and they both laughed.
“You just keep me company here, that’s enough,” he told her, and so while he stacked the dishes, they gisted and talked and laughed.
When they were done in the kitchen, they continued their gist in the sitting room, “Shalewa I’ve been thinking”, “about?” “About the fact that staying at your parent’s house will not be good for your psychology, I would advise that you move to Orode’s place at least for a while till tension at home dies down; at least Orode is on leave and she will have time to stay home with you”.
“Efosa I won’t leave my parents’ house, no matter what they do, if this is what I’m supposed to pass through; I will pass through it. Don’t worry about my mental state, I am fine”. “Are you sure? “I am very sure, I will stay in that house and I won’t give into their pressure”. “Shalewa if I may ask; who is the guy your parents want you to marry?” “It’s Adebayo Williams”, “the same Adebayo Williams whose father owns the prestigious Williams Corporation?” “Yes; that same Bayo”. “Wow, you are really strong, but why did you refuse?” “I know Bayo is most women’s dream but he’s not mine and he doesn’t have the character I want in a husband”.
“Hmm, interesting”, Efosa said thoughtfully. Shalewa threw a pillow at him, “Efosa what are you thinking?” “Nothing” and he threw the pillow back at her and they started playing pillow fight. As they were tickling each other, suddenly their eyes met and there was a sudden sexual tension. Efosa recognised it immediately, stood, left the sitting room and went outside.
Shalewa was confused; she followed him outside, “why did you leave like that?” “Because if I had stayed any longer in that same position with you, I would have kissed you and if I kiss you I don’t trust myself on what will happen next”, “you mean to tell me you have never kissed a woman?” Shalewa asked him, “I have never and I don’t intend to until I get married”.
“Wow, that’s rare and I respect that”, “thank you” he replied. And there was a sudden quietness between them, Shalewa feeling awkward finally said, “Efosa I have to go home now, thank you for everything”. “Ok, I will take you home”. Shalewa then went in and took her phone and met Efosa warming the car.
When they were almost at the gate of her house, he told her “Shalewa I had a splendid time with you”, “me too”, “please don’t forget what we discussed and the decision you made today, that reminds me I should have bought a bible for you on our way here”, “Efosa I’m not that bad, I have a bible at home and I would read it”. “I’m happy to hear that, and please in refusing your parents pressure do not be rude to them, ok?” “I will try” and Efosa got down from the car, turned around and opened the door for her.
Shalewa walked into the sitting room of her parents’ home and meet the astonishing look of her parents, “Shalewa where have you been? Her father thundered, “Why the hell did you leave this house without saying a word to anyone? Her father continued.” “Shalewa we have been looking everywhere for you” her mother chipped in.
Shalewa just sighed, “Dad and Mum I am sorry I left without saying a word, but at the time I had no choice. You both almost drove me to the wall and I was on the verge of doing something stupid, but never again I repeat never again would that happen. I am going to say this now and please you both should hear me clearly, I will not marry Bayo and I don’t care what you two do, I will not and neither would I give into your commands”.
She was about walking to her room when she turned suddenly and faced her parents, “if you guys try to pressurise me again to marry Bayo, I will leave this house and you both WILL.NEVER.SEE.ME.AGAIN.
Read Part 18 HERE
Catch episode 20 same blog same time next week, lol.