RaPoem: Murder in the Vestry by Shomuyiwa Oladapo

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/thumb/msid-48164432,width-400,resizemode-4/48164432.jpg

Photo Credit: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/thumb/msid-48164432,width-400,resizemode-4/48164432.jpg

The upper room of the clergy

Men gathered together in the vestry

Diverse races in the attachment

United for the sake of a dying congregation.


Men with black thought, long ropes intertwined with a white mindset

They are just rainbows of colors that depict evil

If they cry you a river on the outside

You’ll feel much pity

But on the inside they are drops of the red sea.


Bullets exchange is the bureau they work with

From the auditorium to the Pastor’s corners

Winks of sorrow, finger signs while raising holy hands tend towards the shape of nine

Let’s reverse a case, then an illustration.


If Pilate was Jesus to be crucified,

The Jews won’t have yelled at the Messiah King

Torn vestments but you’ll see them walk together to hide their patches

The congregation had Jesus

But Pilate was the forsaken god.


Fed with lies now they sip syrup of hatred

Melody of loose rhythm, when the choir do songs with hook uncatchy

Staunch sinners

Heaven’s at sight but I see a more glorious view of hell

Believe me when I say they’ smooth players.


‘Cuz winking at a rev sister during service?

Y’all know they hold nun (none) like that

From the wink to sex on the sink

Her belly be bulging

For shame she abode with

Had a 9 in the vestry tucked in her garment

At the 9th hour…the sun was darkening…

A bullet went through the windows with a blood stain.


Murder…a trinity just died

Monk, nun and the unborn

They go seek solace in hell

Here is murder in the vestry

A place where nuns shoot monks for cock-sake.


Do you have a story, article, poem etc you’ve written & would love me to read and/or publish on my blog ( of course with credit to you)? Do you have second thoughts about your story and you aren’t sure if it is good enough? Is your long written creative work gathering dust somewhere and you would like a second opinion on it? Kindly send me a message ( haroldbensonthefirst@gmail.com ). I’ll love to read your work, critique your work and/or help you in any way possible. And of course, I’m not charging for it. Thank you.

#GrillandRead Report Card

Read this post to the end. I’ll be giving away the book, Guardians of the Seal by Tunde Leye at the end of this post.



On Saturday, August 27, 2016, I attended the first #GrillandRead event in Lagos. #GrillandRead is a literary event and it held at the RoofTop of CCHub, Yaba, Lagos (yes, the very same CCHub that Mark Zuckerberg visited on Tuesday August 30, 2016). I could have sworn I stood on the exact spot Mark stood on (when I excused myself from the #GrillandRead event to enter CCHub work space on Saturday). I guess great minds stand alike.

Anyway, back to the gist of this post. #GrillandRead was a very fun event. The gate fee was a meagre N1,500 per person and N6,000 for a group of 5 people. I hope the organisers  don’t read this post and be like, “Oh, meagre N1,500? We’re making it N50,000 next time”. Mba, you guys should not even “thunk” it.

So as I was saying…There were performances by poets and spoken word artists, critiquing of books and movie adaptation of those books, meet and greet with authors, book auctions, networking with strange and familiar faces, consumption of grilled turkey and yes, dance! Dance!! Dance!!!

I particularly loved the book auctioning process. I actually won the first auction. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram , you may have known that by now. The books are Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko; Sector IV by Abigail Anaba; June 12, 1993: Annulment by Abraham Oshoko; Promise of The Future by Towunmi Coker and Guardians of the Seal by Tunde Leye.

I loved the concept of the book, June 12, 1993: Annulment by Abraham Oshoko. It is the first graphic novel by a Nigerian that I would ever come across. And it is really beautiful too and well bound! Kudos to Farafina!

I can’t wait to read Tunde Leye’s Guardians of the seal. Nigeria has been waiting for that book like since forever. I hear it will be officially launched on September 25, 2016 (I hope I heard right). Watch out for that one. I’m glad to have won this book during the auction but since Tunde Leye had prior to now, promised to give me an advanced copy of the book, I want to give away the copy I won.

Another reason I enjoyed #GrillandRead was because I was able to put a face (and voice) to some people I have come across (who I may not even be following) on Twitter. It was good to know how they look and sound in person. Tonypox did a good job Emceeing.

There was also books sale at the event.

The highlight of the event for nightcrawlers (unfortunately for me, I am not that type), was the after party at night. Come and see groove on a Rooftop! Blazing music, dark clouds with spots of shiny stars above your head, trail of red lights in Yaba traffic below, the feel of cool breeze against your body, and the feel of another sweaty human body against yours. Literati folks sure know how to have fun.

Here are a few pictures I took at the event. Sorry they aren’t that much.

From L - R: Oge,Harold, Toperants, Seun Odukoya

From L – R: Oge,Harold, Toperants, Seun Odukoya



Slaying the dragon

Slaying the dragon



With the GodFather, Tunde Leye


Books I won at the auction.



I have decided to give away a copy of Tunde Leye’s Guardians of the Seal. Answer these two simple questions for a chance to win the book.

  1. Why have I decided to giveaway Tunde Leye’s book?
  2. Why should I give you the book?


I have no particular format for choosing the winner of this giveaway. Just let me know your answers in the comments section below and I’ll randomly pick a winner on Friday, September 2nd, 2016, on or before 3:00pm Nigerian time. Also include your contact email after your answer.

You can share this post and ask your friends to participate. That way, if you don’t win it, one of your friends just might win it. And you guys will read the book one after the other. *wink*

New Series Feature Alert: Diary of a Jumoke



Hi, everyone. Here is the blurb for an upcoming series that will be featured on my blog. The series is written by Abdulwahab Olajumoke. I’ll be posting it every Tuesday. Make it a date.


Sexy, sweet Jumoke has it all. A nice body, sexy shape, and a butt that can set the world of the most upright man on fire. Coupled with her accent so flawless that she’s like a demi beauty goddess. She’s living her life to the fullest, easily nabbing any man of her choice with her looks.

But when she realizes she’s pregnant for the one man she detests for leaving her and Ariana her daughter, she must find a way to make sure he doesn’t use her and dump her the second time.

Will she ever end up with the man of her heart?

Will she be able to leave her work for a home?

Find out in the most exciting, most thrilling, most captivating Diary of a Jumoke.



“Good morning, beautiful.” Tobi said, as he pulled the curtains back, allowing the rays of sunlight to bounce off Sharon’s face perfectly. “You slept quite long.” He continued, as he took his seat. “It’s been a while since I had anyone use this room.” He added. “My mom uses this room whenever she comes around.”
She stared at him. “Is there a time you don’t talk too much? I mean, I understand it comes with the job and you get to talk a lot when you are on the job arguing football and whatnot but is there really a time at all in your life when you don’t talk?”

Tobi smiled as he ran his eyes over her body. “I am sorry I disturbed you, but I hardly have anyone around here to talk to and so I am just excited to have a new friend.”

Sharon caught his gaze all over her. “Friend? Dude, don’t sweat it. I am not your friend.” She replied, crouching up on the bed, using the blanket to cover her legs.

He nodded. “Yet you are lying in my bed and you ate my food last night. That automatically makes us friends.” He replied.

“What do you want?” Sharon asked, starting to dismiss him. “Isn’t Dapo back yet?”

Tobi shook his head. “He is still pretty much hung up on Jadesola and maybe he wouldn’t be returning with the laptop as soon as we thought.” He replied. “So, I suggest you get back to your sleep or you go with me to church.”

Sharon chuckled. “So that the blogs could bare stories of how I went from the side chic to the girlfriend of a celebrity sports analyst in less than twenty four hours, right? Thank you, I decline.” She replied.

Tobi’s phone buzzed. He smiled as he saw Dapo’s name on the Caller ID. “It seems our friend, Dapo, might have had a change of mind after all.” He said and then tapped the answer button. “Hey man, what’s up?”

“Tell your overzealous security man to let me in.” Dapo said and then hung up.

Tobi stared at Sharon with a smile. “He is here and the security man won’t let him in because I have a habit of not entertaining guests on Sundays.” He said, dialling on his phone. “Please, let the gentleman in.” He said as he put a call through.

“Why don’t you allow guests in on Sundays?” Sharon asked, getting off the bed.

He smiled. “It’s a day I dedicate for my rest.”

She hissed. She had hoped to hear something more intriguing but as usual Tobi would not disappoint her with his excessive desire to create an impression of himself which was clearly not impressive to her.

“Let’s go and welcome our friend.” Tobi said, leading the way out of the room. Sharon followed closely. They arrived in the living room to meet Dapo who was setting the laptop on a table. “Good morning, Dapo. We didn’t think we would be seeing you.”

“We? You both are now an item?” Dapo asked, staring at them. “Trust me, it won’t last. I thought mine would.”

Tobi chuckled. “Don’t be so negative, man.”

“We are not even an item.” Sharon protested. “What is wrong with you, Tobi?”

Dapo stared at them. “Make up your minds. Sharon, can we get to work, please? Tomorrow is Monday.”

She nodded. “Of course.”


Jane was tossing and turning in her bed. She didn’t have a good sleep. She was worrying about Sharon and maybe it was her fault for trying to be supermom and have everything all knit together. She hoped she wasn’t getting more paranoid with her recent decision taking. She got out of her bed and made for the living room. She was sure her Mom would be in church by now, giving her room to have a moment alone. As she arrived in the living room, she gaped upon seeing her mother and husband standing by the door. “Chike?” she said, shocked.

He took a deep breath and walked over to her. “I have missed you, Jane.”

“What are you doing here, Chike?” Jane asked.

He ignored her, hugging her tightly as he absorbed the smell of her hair. “Lavender?”

“I haven’t even showered yet.” Jane replied, pulling away from her husband. Chike was quite the tease. “You didn’t tell me that you were returning home.” She said, staring at her mother who tried to avoid their glare.

Chike nodded. “I didn’t think I needed to be home too but Mama thought otherwise and I think she is right.”

“Chike? Mama called you and you came home?” Jane asked.

He led Jane to the sofa. “I have been meaning to come home for a while but you know how it is, right?”

“I know how it is and that is why I am surprised that you found some time out of your schedule to see us. What could be so important that you left your busy schedule to be here?” she asked.

“Jane, you know why I am here.” He replied.

She shook her head. “No. I don’t know! I am not paranoid and I am doing very well. I don’t know what my mother might have told you but I am not going to allow you commit me to an institution.”

“Don’t accuse me wrongly. I have not said anything that you did not do.” Mama said. “Maybe you need to get back to seeing your Doctor.”

“Chike, I do not need a doctor. I agree I have been tensed up of late and maybe my Mom thinks I am having a lapse in judgement but that is because she is overwhelmed by Sharon leaving.” Jane argued.

“Why did you have our daughter robbed?”Chike asked.

Jane took a deep breath. “Chike.”

“Why did you tell Mama that I was in on it when I had no idea about this?” he continued. “Do you know what how much danger Sharon could be in?”

“I have it all covered.” Jane replied.

He sighed. “You have it covered?”

“Yes, I have some men on ground.” She replied. “She has no idea what life is out there. The robbery is just to teach her a lesson and make her come back home.” She argued. Her husband looked displeased while her mother kept staring at her blankly. “Chike, none of us wanted her to leave. This is a chance to have her back. She would focus on her job like we always wanted.”

He shook his head. “I am forced to agree with Mama. You might be taking things out of hand and maybe you need to calm down.” He replied. “You can’t be in control of everything. You can’t control her life.”

“I am not trying to.” Jane protested. “All I ever want is to be sure I don’t make the same mistake my mother did.”

Mama sighed. “Jane, I am not responsible for the bad choices you are making.”

“I am not making bad choices.” She replied and turned to her husband. “Sharon would be back tomorrow.”

He stepped back. “No. She would stay in Lagos as long as she wants and you are no longer going to have a say in this. If this is how you want to help your daughter, I suggest you stay away from her and if you are not going to do that willingly, I am going to help you.”

“Chike, you are hardly around. Do you think you can make the rules now?” Jane asked. “All I am trying to do is get our daughter back home.”

“Don’t you get it? She wants to take this time off from us and from everything around here. We owe her that. Stop getting in the way. Tell your men to get off her back and I would be decent enough not to tell her what you have done.” He replied and made for the stairs. He stopped and turned to her. “One question, do you think Sharon is going to love you if she knew what you did to her?”

Jane nodded. “It’s for her good.”

“Then you are more deluded than I thought. Tell your men to stand down or you are not going to like the outcome of this.” Chike replied. “Tomorrow, she is going to pick up her life and we all are going to keep this between us. That’s the only way you get to keep your reputation as her mother.” He concluded and turned away.

“It’s a little too late.” Jane said as she watched her husband walk away.

Chike turned as soon as he heard those words. “What did you do?”

“Jane? What have you done this time?” Mama asked, shaking her daughter’s arm vigorously.

Jane yanked out of her grip. “I froze all her bank accounts.”


“So, what have you been up to since I left for church?” Tobi asked, taking his seat opposite Dapo. 

Dapo looked up from his phone and stared at him. “Just working with Sharon. She is doing something for me.”

“Who is she to you? Your employee?” Tobi asked. 

Dapo shook his head. “No. She is erm… she is a friend helping out with a job. I have a deadline for tomorrow to submit it.”

“Why are you not doing it yourself?” he asked.

Dapo smiled. “She is doing me a favour.”

“Hmmm… A favour that one way or the other saw you end things with Jade?” Tobi continued. “Don’t you think you guys should sit and maybe work things out?”

“Jadesola was fooling me. I don’t want to talk about her. She is engaged. I was the fool. I have moved on and I would appreciate it if we don’t dwell on this topic.” He replied.

Tobi nodded. “So, if she is doing your work for you up there… is she defending it for you as well?” he asked with a cynical smile. “Dapo, your parents might have paid your way through the University but we both know that you are not made for Architecture. You don’t know anything about it. You bought your grades. Men like me who worked hard didn’t even get a chance at good grades.”

Dapo shook his head. “I am not responsible for your problems.”

“No, you are not but why are you making Sharon do your work just because your parents have the money?” Tobi asked.

“Tobi, can you stop nosing in my business?” Dapo said, returning to his phone. 

Tobi laughed. “It’s my business! You are in my house and sitting on my couch.”

“Seriously?” Dapo said, stunned by Tobi.

Tobi exhaled. “Look man, I understand the pressure to make your folks happy but if you are not good at it, it’s fine, you don’t have to be a fraud and have someone do your work all the time.” He replied.

Dapo clenched his teeth. “Are you done?”

“I just think you should find your niche and stop keeping up appearances even when you don’t fit. There’s going to be a day when you won’t have a Sharon to do your job for you and you are going to be standing out there embarrassed.” Tobi said. “I don’t want to be you that day, brother.”

Dapo rose to his feet. “I’ll just be on my way.”

“The truth is bitter.” Tobi said. 

Dapo laughed. “Have you ever wondered why no one watches your lame show? You don’t say anything with sense.”

Tobi smiled. “Pardon me if you are mad that I didn’t find a more sensible way to call you a cheat.”

Sharon joined them downstairs. “Dapo, your work is done.” She said, holding the laptop out before him.

“I didn’t mean for her to hear that.” Tobi said. “She must have been eavesdropping.” He added quickly.

Dapo stared at him. “Thanks for the hospitality.” He said and then turned to Sharon, taking the laptop from her. “Thank you very much.”

“You can still get out, you know?” she said. “Tobi is right; you could do something else instead of hoping you are always going to have someone do your work.”

Dapo swallowed. “I will send your clothes from the hotel down here. I wish you all the best in Lagos. You’ll need it.” He said. “You’ll never see me again and I am sorry I made you do this.” He said and walked out of the house.

“Can I sleep here tonight?” Sharon asked.

Tobi smiled. “But of course, you already slept one night. I am sure I can accommodate you for an extra night.”

“Thank you.” She replied. “By tomorrow morning, I’ll be good to go.”

He shrugged. “I don’t care if you want to stay here much longer. I can use the company. I am here all alone anyway.”

“I appreciate your help.” She replied.

He blinked as she turned to leave. “Sharon, do you… do you want to see my art studio? I… I have a studio upstairs where I do my painting. I… I noticed you showed some interest in my work. I hope you don’t mind checking out where the process takes place.” He said, stuttering. 

“Okay.” She replied with a smile. 


Chike and Mama watched Jane as she spoke on the phone. They had ensured that she called the family’s accountant to reverse the block on Sharon’s accounts latest first thing in the morning and now they were listening to her speak to the men she put on Sharon’s tail. “Tell that idiot not to follow my daughter anywhere!” Chike said, impatiently. “I will have them locked up.” He continued.

Jane hung up and turned to her husband. “May I remind that they won’t be the only ones going to jail if you report them? I would be sent to prison as well.” She said.

“Is it done?” Chike asked, ignoring her.

Jane nodded. “Yes.”

“That’s the end of it, I believe.” He said, rising to his feet. “Mama, thank you so much for calling me into this. I appreciate it.”

Mama nodded. “Ifesinachi is my girl.”

“Which of us?” Jane asked. “I remember being called that name too.”

Mama smiled. “Jane, you know I love you.”

“But you love my daughter more and wish she was yours, but, it’s a shame because she’s not your daughter.” Jane said, rising to her feet.

Chike stared at his wife. “Don’t speak to your mother in that tone.”

“She never had time for me and now she doesn’t want me to be there for my own daughter. She wants it all-squared. I won’t be her. I am going to be a better mother.” She said, heading upstairs. 

Chike turned to his mother-in-law. “It might be time to call in her Doctor.”

Mama took a deep breath as she reflected on Jane’s paranoia which was largely becoming evident. “What are we going to tell him?”

“We tell him what we can see. She is being paranoid and we don’t want it to escalate, so it might be time to take her in for a while.” Chike replied.

“What would we tell Ifesinachi when she calls to ask of her mother?” Mama asked.

Chike had not figured that part out but he was going to come up with something when the situation presented itself. He was not going to risk his wife losing her sanity over a trauma from her childhood. 


“Is that woman confused? First, she asked us to rob the lady, she then told us to keep an eye on her, then she calls us to let her be and now she wants us to be kidnappers. Does she really know what she wants?”

“I tire o! The thing just dey vex me. I go dey follow person up and down every time like person wey no get work. It’s not easy na.”

“Your job is not to complain. Your job is to do what you are told to do and be at peace with the money that appeases your bank account at the end of the day.” A certain Mr John said, walking in on his boys. “We can all say that we have enjoyed quite a good sum from her. Let’s finish this job well.” He said.

“So, do we do this tonight?” one of the men asked. “Or tomorrow night? We have had a long weekend.”

Mr John nodded. “Now is a good time.”


Sharon smiled as she pushed her fingers against the last canvas in the room and took a deep breath. “This is breathtaking.”

“Thank you.” Tobi replied. 

Sharon folded her arm. “Why don’t you exhibit these works?”

He swallowed. “I am scared.”

“Of what?” she asked.

He shrugged. “Of not being accepted. I paint for the hobby. I am sure there are people way better than me at exhibits.”

“Really? You are scared of putting yourself out there?” she asked. “There would always be people better than you.”

He nodded. “I am already comfortable as an analyst; I don’t want to bash my reputation in case I am not accepted.”

“Then you are the biggest coward ever.” She replied. “You can’t hide behind your relevance. If you have got something that the world should see and you don’t show them; that’s a disservice.”

Tobi stared at her. “Why do I feel like you know better about these words?” he asked. “Dapo is using your design to empower himself. That’s a disservice on your part.”

She chuckled. “I don’t really care about that. It is the least of my worries.” She replied. “What Dapo and I had was a business transaction so I am not sad that I worked for him.”

“So, what is your greatest disservice? He asked.

She smiled. “I used to paint.”

“Used to?” he asked. “How is that even possible? If you were once a painter, you are always a painter.”

She shook her head. “Not in my case. I am quite rusty and I am not sure I would ever get back to where I once was.”

“What happened?” Tobi asked. “You sound like the bigger coward.” He added. 

Sharon looked around her. “This is the life I wanted. I wanted to paint. I wanted to go to exhibitions. I wanted to be just Picasso.”

“Then what’s stopping you?” he asked. “Architecture?”

Sharon stared at him. “Maybe Architecture. Maybe the pressure to do something better. My parents never wanted me to paint and so I couldn’t. Maybe that’s why.”

“Maybe Fear?” Tobi asked.

She nodded. “Yes, maybe fear.”

He joined her by the door as they both leaned against it. “So, let’s do something together. I am scared of putting my works out there because I think I’ll fail and you think I should and I also think that you shouldn’t let your parents stand in the way of your light, so, if you would be my teammate, we both could do this… together.”

“I don’t understand.” She said.

He took her by the hand. “We’ll work together, we’ll paint together and we’ll show our works together.” He said.

Sharon’s heart raced fast as she listened to him. She had yearned for this. An opportunity to get back into the world she always wanted. 

“What do you say?” he prompted. The door bell went. “It seems like we have a late visitor.” He said as they walked out into the living room.

Dapo was standing in the living room with a bag in his hand. 

“Dude, you said you wouldn’t be returning.” Tobi said with a chuckle. “You can’t even keep your word.”

Dapo kept his gaze on Sharon. “Can I please have a minute with Sharon?”

Tobi took a look at Sharon. “Are you sure about this?”

“Dude, I am not going to kidnap her, am I?” Dapo asked.

Tobi smiled and obliged them.

“Sharon, I am sorry.” Dapo started. “I took advantage of you when you needed me the most and I am sorry.”

She shrugged. “Dapo, I don’t consider it as a wrong deed.”

“I consider it as one and maybe I shouldn’t be here faking what I am not but it’s all I have known how to do. I just wanted to get by and make my parents proud and that’s why I have been hiring people to do my work for me. I am a fraud and a cheat and I took advantage of you, I am sorry.” He apologized.

She nodded. “It’s alright. Are you ready for the presentation?”

“That’s the second reason I am here. I would love for you to please do the presentation.” He started.

“You want me to impersonate you?” she asked.

Dapo smiled. “No. I have replaced my name with yours. If you would love to make your first buck in Lagos, the presentation is yours tomorrow.”

Sharon stared at him. “You are skipping on your big day?”

“It’s not my big day. I don’t deserve it. You have the slot, all you need to do is say yes.” He said. “Would you do the presentation?”

She took a deep breath and nodded. “Yes, I will.”

A story has no name

The wind kept whooshing as the thick dark clouds stayed motionless in the sky, although they had roared over a hundred times. Leaves around and trees whirled up and down in space, flying in different directions, making the atmosphere look quite frightening. Lightnings took over as several straight bright lines drew all over the sky. From a distance, one could hear the eerie cries of bats and could see them fly breathlessly, looking for trees that could stand the vast strength of the howling wind. Tall and thick grasses parted into strands for the rushing wind.

Suddenly, a din sounded from afar and every other disruptive activity ceased. The clouds swallowed up their roars; the dirts fell back to the earth; the lightnings submerged into the clouds; the bats stopped flapping their wings and the moonlight became fainter as the moon withdrew its rays slowly into the clouds. The wind also became cold.

Then a figure surfaced from the dark. It stood as a man would but it was not a man. It had a round trilby on its head and a black cloak fell from its shoulders to the ground. It also had long, black hairs which fell from beneath its hat and poured around its shoulders. Under its hat was a pale face, and at the cuffs of its cloak, fell pale fingers. Its eyes blazed with fury and it spat a pall of heated air from its mouth. Its huffy steps carried along with them air of strong heat which wilted the plants around, leaving them lifeless. Drops of red covered the ground beside its feet as it moved. It pulled its fingers to take a look at them. They dripped of red. Taking them a little closer to its mouth, it licked the red and gave a deep sigh of disappointment. The red tasted sour.

It kept walking in a speed of rage and stumbled on a bundled sackcloth lying on its path. Then stopped to pick it. Its spirit was angered again at the sight and it screamed in disgust of its escaped prey. Looking at the sackcloth, it snapped its fingers once and from nowhere, the once-gone wind resurfaced to take the object away. The pale-faced figure turned around and kept walking, heading back to where it had emerged.

Then, the troubled clouds returned. The dim moonlight blotted into abyss. The bats resumed flapping their wings. And like a thief in the night, the rains poured from the sky without warning.


In the ancient city of Yaba, the morning was calm and quiet. The sky was filled with beautiful sets of rainbow colours after the heavy rain which fell the night before. Different birds assembled into groups as they flew across the sky, rendering melodious tunes. The sun had risen earlier, promising a brighter day.

Along the street of Iwaya, petty traders sprawled their wares on top of overflowing gutters and beckoned on passersby to patronize them. Rickshaws and okada riders lined on each side of the road too, each either yelling “Sabo-Yaba!” or “Obalende!” Commercial bus drivers joined in the beehive of activities, beckoning on passengers who were going their direction.

A young maiden could be seen making her way into Iwaya road from an adjourning street. She was approaching a tomato seller by the roadside when she noticed a black Toyota Camry driving slowly behind her. She realized it was the car which had been trailing her for some time now. She quickly changed directions and walked into one of the stores nearby. A fat and roughly dressed boy sat at the counter, his eyes fixated on a newspaper.

“I need…” the young maiden said, looking out of the stores window for the Toyota Camry. It was parked under a tree close by. “I need a tin of Peak Milk,” she said.

The boy at the counter pointed to a shelf without lifting his face from the paper. The young woman walked to the row where the shelf stood. She looked through the row but could not find what she had asked for.

“It is not here,” she said.

The floor of the row was littered with tiny pieces of papers and nylon bags, suggesting the store had not been swept that morning.

“The next row,” the fat boy said from the counter.

The lady walked to the next row, looking through the shelf for the milk section on the shelf. There was no milk section.

“It is not here,” she said, frustrated.

“Check the next row,” the boy screamed from the counter.

The lady walked to the next row between the shelves. No milk section.

“Not here!”

At this point, the fat boy raised his head from the paper he was reading.

“What did you say you were looking for again?”

“Peak Milk!”

“Oh,” the boy scoffed. “We are out of Peak Milk,” he said with a smile on his face. “But we do have Three Crowns.”

The lady walked to the counter in a speed of rage. Just as she was about to give the fat boy at the counter a piece of her mind, she observed from the window beside the boy that, the Toyota Camry outside the store had left its parking spot. She heaved a sigh of relief and walked out of the store.

Why would anyone trail you? A voice in her head asked as she walked on the gutter slabs. The young lady shrugged. Then she looked back at the spot where the Toyota Camry had parked. The car was back there like it had never left.

“Oh my God,” she gasped.

She could hear the engine of the car start. Then it started moving towards her from behind. At this point, she had only one thought: Run back home.

And so, she started running. As she ran, she kept looking over her shoulders for the car. It rode slowly behind. She increased her pace.

“Cat! Cat!”

A voice called her but she was too worried to hear.

“Hey wait! Catherine!”

She heard the last call and halted. She turned around and saw Ehiz standing a few metres from her. She had run past him without noticing. Ehiz was casually dressed in a blue sleeveless shirt and a denim short. He had a groceries bag in his hand. On Catherine sighting him, she summoned some courage and ran towards him, hoping that the Toyota Camry would keep on moving until it was out of sight. Catherine was shocked when the car halted and parked under another tree not too far away from where she and Ehiz stood. Catherine pretended not to see it and hugged Ehiz as tight as she could. Ehiz was forced to drop what he had in his hands and wrapped his hands around her as if to squeeze away her fears.

“Ehiz, oh Ehiz..Thank God…” Catherine sobbed. Dollops of tears rolled down her cheeks as she took another glance at the car. It was still waiting under the tree.

“Why are you running?” Ehiz asked. Catherine kept sobbing. “Everything is okay now,” Ehiz consoled.

“This time it is real,” Catherine said.

“What is …”

“Look over there,” Catherine said, pointing to the tree where the car is parked. “Just look, it is there.”

Ehiz followed her finger.

“I can’t see anything there.”

“It is there. Just look under that tree…I mean that one.” Catherine held Ehiz’ chin, trying to direct his face towards the car. Ehiz focused on the big tree which she was showing him but could not spot any car under it. He shook his head and said, “there’s nothing there, Cat. It’s all in your head.”

“No, Ehiz,” Catherine protested. “There is a black Toyota Camry parked under that tree. It has been trailing me…”

Ehiz heaved a sigh. “I thought it was over. You still see these things?”

“Ehiz, there is a car under that tree!”

“Cat, there is nothing there… Have you had your pills today?”

“What?” Catherine asked softly. “You think I’m crazy, don’t you?” Then she sobbed some more.

“Cat, you have to take your meds…When last did you check with your doctor? We can go today…”

“Never. I’ll be fine.” With those words, Catherine decided to leave as she could not find solace in Ehiz’ words. The last thing she wanted was to go back to her therapist, Dr. Segun Eletu.

“Hey Cat, come back,” Ehiz called. “Where are you going to?”

As Catherine walked with her eyes filled with tears, she decided to take another look at the Toyota Camry under the tree. It was gone.



About ten/eleven years ago, I had a muse for a story. The story was so compelling in my head and it involved exploring some unusual themes and characters. So I penned down the story. It was supposed to be a not-too-long story. But as I kept writing, the plot expanded. By the end of the day (which was about two years), I had hand-written a full length manuscript of 320 pages. I already briefly talked about how I lost the typed out version of the manuscript in my “About HaroldWrites” page. Anyway, over the years, I have toyed with the idea of resurrecting that story. I still have the hand-written copies. You can find the picture of them below. They consist of about four 80 leaves “Higher Education” notebooks.




The 5th notebook in that picture is another manuscript. You can even make out the tentative title of that one in the picture. Long story.

Anyway, with regards to the 1st set of manuscripts, over the years, I have read and re-read and read yet again the story but for some reason I have not been able to decide if I want to go ahead with publishing it as a book, or even, putting it out there for anyone to read. The only person who has read the story is my brother…some eight years ago. And he liked it.

One thing is certain. If I ever decide to put it out there for the public to read I’ll definitely cut out some subplots. I may even have to re-write the story -you know, tweak the plot and characters… And that is the part that scares me (and wears me out). Re-writing a story!

At this moment, I thought I should share a part of the story with you. Let me know what you think of it in the comment section below. And oh, you can suggest a title for the story/book. I love catchy titles. The story is of the gothic/horror genre. Have you read any gothic/horror works from African authors? Can you help me out with a few titles? I think Nnedi Okorafor writes African fantasies/sci-fis. Any African gothic/horror works out there?






Sharon wasn’t ready. She had seen crazy ladies but then, they were Maitama rich kids crazy scratching at each other for silly issues like unshared blunts and boyfriends, not Lagos crazy. She stared at the lady who was ripping Dapo apart with her tongue and wished she could diffuse into the earth instantly, but it was too late! Some jobless folks at the mall had started taking videos and pictures of the showdown; they were going to make it to gossip blogs in no time and possibly trend on Twitter. She was officially screwed!

“Jadesola, please, calm down.” Dapo said, as he stared at the crowd. “It is not what it seems like.” He said.

She laughed as she clapped her hands. “Ehen?! Do I look like I have glue in my eyes? Are you not here with that skinny piece of meat?” she asked, staring at Sharon who was standing metres away from them. “Panla, I am talking to you!”

“Jade! Stop this nonsense. We are in the public!” Dapo said as he tried taking her hand. She wouldn’t let him. “Let’s go and talk about this outside.”

“You told me you were going to work for the weekend. Is this the work?” Jadesola asked. “Look at the babe, this one is not work na.” She added, accessing her body frame. “I am work.” She said, firming her hands against her buttocks. “This is work.” She said, emphatically.

Dapo exhaled as laughter rang across the room. The onlookers were definitely having fun with this. He turned to Sharon who was clearly embarrassed and mouthed. “I am sorry.” He said. Sharon nodded and turned away from them, heading downstairs.

“Where is she going?” Jade asked as she tried going after Sharon but was restrained by Dapo who grabbed her firmly and lifted her over his shoulder. “What are you doing?” she cried. “Put me down!”

He was having none of her theatrics. He had seen enough of it, and unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time. Other times, he had learnt to walk away but this was not one of such occasions. He was at fault. He ought to have told her that he wasn’t alone and maybe that would have made her less dramatic…after all, there was not one drama-free woman, yeah? He released her as soon as they got to the car. “Get in.” He ordered, looking over her shoulder in Sharon’s direction. He could still see her walking down the road. But, she was not alone. Tobi was closing in on her. He hated that guy!

“I am not going anywhere with you until you tell me who that lady is.” She replied, in an unusually calm tone.

Dapo scoffed. “Why didn’t you speak like a proper human being up there? If you had this humane part of you, why didn’t I see that part? Aren’t you going to continue raging like a madwoman?”

She flipped her hair over her shoulder. “Who is she?” she asked.

“She is a friend who needs my help and thanks to you, she is out of sight” Dapo replied. “Now if you would please, get into the car and let me drop you home.” He said.

Jade took a deep breath. “I can’t.”

“Why not?” he asked.

She sighed. “I have a date.”



Sharon stopped walking and turned towards the person that had been calling after her. It was Tobi Adebiyi. The TV Presenter. Now what could he want? An Interview? She could only ask the Heavens to help her so she wouldn’t be rude towards him. She had had enough for a lifetime and the only thing she could think about now was getting on the next flight to Abuja on Monday morning. “Yes?”

He smiled as he stood before her. “I was on my way out when that episode happened up there and I would love to apologize on behalf of my friend and his psychotic girlfriend.”

“Name calling? That’s classy.” She replied and started to turn away from him. She couldn’t be interested in anything that had to do with Dapo or his girlfriend.

Tobi hurried after her. “I am sorry about that. I usually come off wrong some times.”

“Well, this seems like all the time.” she replied.

Tobi chuckled. “You can’t judge me by one incident.” He replied. “Where are you off to? I could drop you.”

Sharon paused and then realized that she had no idea where she was off to. She couldn’t return to the hotel. She wasn’t the registered user of the room and she was sure the receptionists would be more than happy to turn her back. Maybe it was time to get off her high horse and call for help. Lagos was going from bad to worse. She was sure that her parents knew people in Lagos who could camp her till Monday morning. She was going to return to Abuja and get her job back. She was not all rusty with her skills on AutoCAD, she was halfway done with helping Dapo out so she knew she still had it in her even though it was not what she wanted. She loved to paint but her Dad was not having that so she settled for the closest thing to her art skills – Architecture. Her parents were delighted. She was going to make them proud and of a truth, she did. She had hoped to find something special in Lagos but it seemed as though every step she had taken was akin to taking two back. Her trip was pointless. Her rediscovery process was pointless. She was going back home. She took a deep breath and stared at Tobi. “Can I use your phone?”

He nodded as he fetched it out of his pocket. His phone buzzed just as he was about to hand it to her. “Dapo is calling.” He said. “One second.” He added and answered the call. “What’s up, man?” he asked and paused to listen. He nodded. “You want me to take her to my place?”

Sharon stared at him. “I am not going anywhere with you.” She replied.

Tobi passed the phone to her. “He wants to speak with you.”

“What do you want?” Sharon flipped. “I get it. You are sorry, but I don’t want to go anywhere with him. I don’t know him.”

“I am a good guy.” Tobi intercepted. “I am better than Dapo. You can bank on that.” He added, staring at a black jeep packed a distance from them. He had noticed the driver staring at them so he waved at him. For all he knew, the driver could have been a fan. He then turned to Sharon who was done with the call. “My lady, what say you?”

“Let’s go.” She said.

He smiled. “Of course.”


“Sharon is fine.” Jane announced as she took a seat opposite her mother on the dining table. “I just got off the phone with one of my men in Lagos. He is keeping a close watch on her and I am sure he would prompt her if necessary to be on the next flight.”

“Just out of curiosity,” Mama started. “How much did you pay those men to watch over Ifesinachi?”

Jane smiled. She was not willing to answer that question. She dug her fork into some beef and started to slice it. “Your granddaughter is fine, but I cannot guarantee that she has been feeding fine.” She started. “That’s what she gets for wanting to do things her way.”

Mama took a deep breath. She was going to ask the hard question she had not asked her daughter in a long time. Jane was dealing with a bi-polar condition but she had been just fine in recent times. However, her recent actions were a cause for concern. “Are you relapsing?”

“Are you going to ask a madman if he is mad?” Jane replied with a cheesy smile. “Mom, I know where you are headed? I am not relapsing. I am fine. And every decision I have taken is for the good of my daughter.”

Mama nodded. “Would your daughter still love you if, when she returns on Monday, she realises that you were behind every ordeal she went through?”

Jane smiled. “It was all for her good. Sharon thinks she is seeking answers to questions. The truth is there are no answers. The only answers are the ones we give ourselves. If you want fulfilment, you have to accept the things you have before you and stop seeking the things out of your reach.” She replied.

Mama took a deep breath. “Fulfilment is wherever you find it and if you think putting a leash on your daughter so that she is dependent on you will be a recompense for the times you and I never had, I need you to understand that you might be suffering a relapse and you are not even aware of it.”

“Are you attacking me based on my mental state?” Jane asked, staring into her tab. “Mama, I am fine. I am only protecting my daughter the way you never protected me. I want to ensure that Sharon never has to leave my sight so that she is safe.”

Mama laughed. “So, I am guessing the robbery plan was to tell her the things she could face without your coverage? Jane, you are mad and you don’t have anyone to tell you.”

“Mama, you are wrong. You just told me and I would like to finish my food in peace.” Jane replied.

Mama rose to her feet. “And when Sharon gets married? Would you like to live with her too, so she is protected from her husband?”

“It’s a good thing she doesn’t see marriage as important.” Jane replied. “You and I know that.”

Mama shook her head. “Jane, you can’t take care of your daughter forever. She is going to take care of you some day. It might be time to let her go.”

“I have decided not to. Deal with it, Mom.” Jane replied. “I am not letting her go like you let me out of your sight. I am not allowing her face the world alone.”

Mama was genuinely sorry for Jane. Now she was sure, more than ever, that her daughter needed help.


Sharon watched Tobi as he gave instructions to his stewards before returning to meet her in the living room. “You have stewards for different purposes.”

“As it should be.” He said, sinking into a chair. “Two for the kitchen because I am very particular about my food and gaining weight in the right places.” He started. “You know, the office pays for them. I have one who drives me about and I have one who does my laundry and another for my menial chores.”

“And you live in a rented duplex?” Sharon said, cutting short his enthusiasm.

He nodded with a smile. “The office pays for everything.”

Sharon chuckled. “And I believe they talk a small cut from your monthly salary.”

“Pretty insignificant stuff.” He replied. “Dinner would be served soon.” He added.

Sharon chuckled. “I am surprised you don’t understand the yearly import of that ‘pretty insignificant stuff’ on your annual pay.”

Tobi shrugged. “I don’t care. Life’s too short.” He said and then ran his eyes over Sharon with a smile. “So, what’s a pretty young thing like you doing as Dapo’s chic? That bastard is too sleek. He got Jade on one side and he’s got you as his side squeeze. How is a brother that lucky? Maybe if I was light skin or something. Right?” he said, turning to Sharon.

“You should really put a leash on your mouth.” She replied, standing up. She walked over to the wall and stared at the paintings that adorned it. She smiled as she thought about what she would have been as a painter. She jumped as soon as she felt Tobi’s hand around her lower back. “What are you doing?”

“Making myself comfortable.” He replied.

She shook her head. “Don’t you care about the impression that you make on others?” she asked, dropping his hand. “Most importantly, you are a celebrity. People look up to you. How about you live up to the reputation you have falsely put out there?”

“Now where’s the fun in that? This is who I am.” He said with a smile.

Sharon shook her head as she returned to her seat. “You leave a very bad impression about yourself.”

He joined her. “Fine. I agree. Now tell me, what are you even doing with a guy like Dapo?”

“What do you mean by a guy like Dapo?” she asked. “Because of his babe? She doesn’t define him.”

Tobi laughed. “Nah. Jadesola is a lovely girl except for when her anger buttons are spiked. Dapo is a… he is a weird guy. I mean, he drops off the surface and flies away again.” He replied. “He doesn’t even keep in touch with me and we were like good friends in those days.” He added with a laugh.

“In what days?” Sharon asked. Her hope was that Tobi was another blast from her past. She wondered why she was, all of a sudden, looking for familiar strangers in her life when all she wanted was to run away.

He relaxed in his chair. “We used to be friends way back in the university. We both studied Architecture but look at me; I ended up a sport presenter and that guy, oh well…”

Sharon hissed as her enthusiasm was watered down at the mention of ‘university’. She had hoped to hear primary school. She sighed and thought about home again. It was time to call in the cavalry. She was done with the adventure. “Can I, please, use your phone?”

He nodded and passed it to her. “Who are you going to call? Dapo told us to wait for him.”

She ignored him as she walked over to the paintings with the phone to her ear. “Mama.” She said, tiredly.

“Ifesinachi! How are you?”

Sharon could hear the panic in Mama’s voice. “I am fine, Mama. How is my mom?”

“She… she is very fine. How is Lagos treating you? Is it all you hoped for?”

Sharon took a deep breath. If she told Mama the truth right now, she would have failed…again. Maybe she could give herself another fighting chance. Or maybe she didn’t need to be so stupid and just let her grandmother come to her rescue.

“Ifesinachi? You are silent.” Mama echoed.

Sharon laughed. “It’s just great, Mama. Lagos is just great. I have my own place now and I… erm, I should be…I should be going to an art exhibition tonight to check out some artworks. I might even get my own studio once the week starts and then I think I should get back to painting. It’s just been so long, you know?” she said with a feigned smile.

“Ifesinachiiiiiii, Na like that Lagos sweet reach? One day you don get house dey jump upandan.” Mama stressed. “Should I come and visit you?”

Sharon shook her head. “No, Mama and I have to go now.” She said, taking a glance at Tobi who was receiving a meal from his steward. She turned away from him. “You can’t call me on this phone, Mama. I am yet to set my phone up.”

“Set yourself up? Ifesinachi, you are within Nigeria nau, what happened to your phone?” Mama quizzed.

Sharon blinked as she thought of a more befitting tale. “Mama, I am trying to start my life all over again and I… I really don’t want to have old contacts, so I decided to-”

“-to cut your grandmother off?” she asked.

Sharon shook her head apologetically as though Mama could see her. “Mama, you know I can’t do that. I… I would never do that to you, but I have to go now. I’ll keep in touch.”

“Ifesinachi, God be with you. I know what you are going through. But I know you are stronger than this, okay?” Mama said.

Sharon nodded. Her Grandmother’s words had given her life even though she was sure the old woman knew not what she spoke of. “Bye, Mama. Tell Mom I said I love her.” She said, hanging up.

Tobi clapped as soon as she got off the phone. “That was quite a performance. If I didn’t know better, I would have said you really had your own place and an art exhibition to be at this night.” He said with a soft laugh. “Who is the poor woman you were deceiving on the phone? Who is Mama?”

“You truly don’t know better.” Sharon replied, taking her seat.

He drew closer to her. “Do you really like painting?”

Sharon nodded absently as she thought about the next day. Monday couldn’t come any sooner. She was expectant and she couldn’t wait to get back on track. Maybe she could indeed get back to painting.

“I painted all these myself.” Tobi said.

She turned to him. “Really?”

He nodded. “I like to paint. It’s like a pastime activity for me but it’s something I love doing.”

“They are beautiful.” Sharon said, staring at the framed artworks.

He smiled. “Thank you.”

“Sorry for everything, guys.” Dapo said, walking in. “I am really sorry about what happened back there.” He added. “Can we please leave, Sharon? I need to have that presentation ready for Monday.”

“No.” She replied, “You don’t get to come here and tell me to come with you like nothing happened. I don’t want your Queen tearing at my cloth before the day is over.”

Tobi stared at them. “I’ll just let you two have this moment.” He said, grabbing his plate, disappearing down the hallway.

Dapo took a deep breath. “Sharon, I really want to apologize for everything that happened. I can’t explain right now, but I really need you to come with me so we can finish up my work. It’s important to me.”

“My safety is also important to me.” Sharon replied. “Your Queen looks like someone who could decorate me with an acid bath. I am too fresh for that.” She added.

Dapo found a wry smile in spite of how he felt and sank into a chair. “Sharon, trust me, I am too fresh for stress too.” He said.

She hissed. “How vain!” she said. “So, what happened with Jadesola?”

He passed his phone to her. “We are now famous on social network sites. Our video has gone viral; you have been tagged the side chic and Jadesola, the ranting wife and me, the clueless husband and I am pretty sure that title suits me well.”

“Except that I am not your side chic.” Sharon corrected.

He nodded. “Fine, you have made your point. Now, let’s go home.”

“Hotel, you mean.” She replied. “I am not going with you.”

He scoffed. “Why? We had a deal. And you had better stick to it.” He said, getting upset. “I don’t know whatever Tobi must have said to you but that guy says a lot of nonsense.”

“I didn’t tell her anything that she doesn’t already know.” Tobi said, joining them. “You guys are trending on the internet.” He said, looking up from his phone. “This is not good.”

“Tobi, you are not saying what I don’t already know. I have shown her the post.” Dapo said, rising to his feet. “Sharon, I think it’s time we left. We only have Sunday left. I need to get this work locked down.”

Sharon ran her fingers through her hair. “You only care about the fact that I am working for you!”

“Forgive me if I can’t think of anything else but that is all that matters to me.” Dapo retorted. “You have to come back with me and finish that job.”

“What job?” Tobi asked with a raised eyebrow.

Dapo stared at him. “Thanks Tobi for taking her in briefly but this business is between Sharon and I.”

“And I insist that I am not going back with you!” she replied.

He smiled. “And where would you go?”

“She can stay here with me.” Tobi said. “There is enough room.”

Dapo smiled. “Tobi is a joke. You don’t want to stay with him.”

“Your girlfriend called me names. She would have ripped me apart. I don’t feel safe with you.” Sharon replied.

“Small comfort in this jackass’ house and you feel safe?” Dapo asked. “Sharon, I need to get my design fixed.”

Tobi stared at Dapo. “Bro, I don’t mean to piss you off, but if she doesn’t want to go with you, she is more than welcome to stay here.” He said.

Dapo clenched his fist in anger. “Sharon?”

“Bring the laptop here. I’ll work from here. I don’t want trouble.” Sharon replied.

Dapo exhaled sharply. “Jadesola is not your problem anymore. I can assure you.”

“No. I am not taking that chance!” Sharon retorted. “Bring the laptop here. I will work from here.” She added. “You have a girlfriend. Respect her.”

“We broke up!” Dapo yelled. “We are done. Jadesola and I are done.” He replied.

Tobi blinked. “Dude, you just ended things with her like that? Na wetin?

Dapo took a deep breath. “She broke up with me. She is engaged to be married.”

“What?!” Tobi gaped. “So na you be the side bobo?

Dapo nodded. “The clueless one.”





Another Monday, another episode of Clueless by Tomi Adesina. I hope you had a wonderful weekend? Following from Friday’s episode of Clueless, we are in for another wonderful episode. We ended Episode Two with Dapo disclosing that he is a fraud. Why would he do that? Would Sharon believe him? More importantly, should Sharon believe him? To find out what transpired between the pair, read Episode 3 below.



Dapo didn’t expect Sharon to take everything he had just explained to her with great ease. He had just admitted to not knowing anything about architecture and using a man for his jobs while splitting the cut. Sharon had not said a word in the last ten minutes since he told her the truth about him. She had smiled and returned to the hotel room beaming smiles at the receptionists who would not grant her any favours the previous night while he followed her with a gloomy expression; the receptionists must have thought him to be a ‘mugu’ but he had more to worry about. He was desperate and needing all the help he could get so he couldn’t pretend. “Are you going to help me? I am giving you my room till Monday so the least you can do is to say something to me.”

 Sharon took a deep breath and then managed a smile which was followed by a horrid laugh. “If I loved anything about architecture, I wouldn’t be in Lagos, so I am not sure I am your guy…or in this case, your girl.” She replied.

“What if God brought you here to help me?” Dapo said.

Sharon laughed. “Trust me; getting robbed was not God’s plan. I came to Lagos to find myself-”

“-and you found me.” He said, cutting in.

Sharon blinked. “Excuse me?”

“Don’t take it literarily. I mean God might have positioned you here to help me get this deal tied up.” He explained.

 “God does not help frauds.” She retorted.

 He nodded slowly. “I see. Did he make you judge over me? Plus it was convenient for you to tell me that maybe God positioned us to run into each other when you needed my help to sleep in my room. So, why can’t you see me in that light?” He probed.

“Because, one, what you are doing is a crime, and two, I genuinely needed your help.” She replied.

He scoffed. “And I do too! Look, all you need to do is help me with the designs; I am going to give you a cut. You don’t even have to pay for all the clothes we bought with my money.” He said, staring at the shopping bags on the bed. “That’s a lot of money I am taking off you with this deal.”

“The name is Sharon Amadi. Money is not my problem.” Sharon replied with a cocky smile. 

Dapo exhaled as he tapped on his phone screen. “This idiot isn’t answering my calls.” He complained. “I paid him well the last time. What is wrong with people?”

“Maybe he is holding out for a better bargain. Try sending him a mail.” She replied. “I need to go and change into these new clothes so I could go and lodge a complaint at the police station.”

 He stared at her and then laughed. “Do you think they will even believe you? Why didn’t you go there when the robbery happened…except if you were not actually robbed.”

She sighed. “Am I stupid? Did you expect me to go and lodge a complaint at that time of the night in a Nigerian Police station?”

“You must think very highly of our police system.” He replied. “What were you afraid of?” 

She waved him off. “I am sure that you don’t even trust them so I don’t even want to have this argument with you.” She said. “Right now, I am going to walk in there, tell them who I am and tell them what happened, when I am done, they will catch those scumbags.” 

He stared at her. “I am not sure you are ready to find yourself.”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

He took a seat on the bed. “You claim you are here to find yourself but all I see is a lady who wants to ride on Daddy’s famous name to get the police to find her assailants. You have not stopped waving your name in my face and now I know why we were never friends in primary school back then in Abuja, you must have been really proud so I couldn’t stand you and I must have begged my parents to ship me to Lagos.”

Sharon laughed. “I am sure even you don’t believe that dry joke. If anything at all, you were a scared little thing that was only good for sitting behind me in class.”

He frowned. “Really?”

She nodded. “It’s a miracle how you have turned out to be a fine man. I mean, beards do change everything.” She said, staring at him. “You are quite good looking for someone I can’t really remember what he would have looked like.” 

“You were too full of yourself, maybe.” Dapo argued.

Sharon smiled. “We were kids, I probably don’t remember anything from then but I have quite an amazing taste and if you were not in my range then, it could only mean that you didn’t leave any impression on me.”

Dapo swallowed. “You sure have not changed a bit. Still so saucy.”

 “Put some spice on it. I’ll be right back.” She said and disappeared into the bathroom with the cloth bag.

Dapo’s phone buzzed. It was Jadesola. He took a deep breath and wore a plastered smile. She was going to rake to the ends of the earth. He knew that already. “Hey, Jade!” he said with a cool voice. He knew she enjoyed the abridged version of her name which sounded like something ‘cute’ 

“Hey, baby.” She cooed from the other end of the line.

 Dapo smiled with some surprise. She had not rained brimstone on him yet. “How are you?” he asked, relaxing in the bed.

 “Not fine, I miss you and I am sorry we got into a fight.” She replied.

 He nodded. “It’s alright. I miss you too and I can’t wait to come back home.”

 “And when would that be?” she asked.

 He cleared his throat. “By Monday evening. You know I have a presentation on Monday so I have to get work done before coming home.”

“Are you calling me a distraction?” 

Dapo could sense the agitation in her voice. “No, not at all. You know when I am with you, all I can think about is you and I would not be able to do anything else.”

 “Hmmm…why do I find that hard to believe?” she asked.

 He took a deep breath. “Because you doubt everything I say.”

 “And with valid reasons too…anyway, if you are not home by Monday evening, you would give me reasons to be less polite the next time we talk.” She replied.

 He nodded with a chuckle. “Aye Aye, Captain.”

 “I love you, Dapo.” She said.

 He smiled. “I love you, Jadesola.” He replied and hung up. Sharon stepped into the room in a darting black gown which did clad her skin perfectly. He swallowed and looked away quickly. See no evil…do no evil.

“How do I look?” Sharon asked. “You can say stunning because that’s the impression i hope to give those dense officers once I get into the station.” 

He got off the bed. “Like I said, I don’t think you really want this discovery. I think you just want an adventure, you just want to blow Daddy’s money and not make a kobo for yourself.”

 “Need I remind you, I was working in Abuja before I quit my job? I don’t like Architecture and you are not going to bully me into doing your dirty job for you because I know that’s what this entire sermon is about.” She replied. “I am going to need some money for a new phone.” 

Dapo laughed. “They write mugu for my face? Or I look like your personal ATM? Madam, if you want the money, do my job. No more handouts from now.” He said. “This relationship has to be beneficial to the both of us.”

“I am going to pay you back on Monday!” she retorted.

He shrugged. “I don’t care anymore. I have a deadline for Monday. You need to make it through to Monday. The way I see it, we both need each other. Help me and you get a phone.”

Sharon exhaled. “This is coercion!” she protested. “You can’t force me into committing a crime. I don’t subscribe to that.”

“You can report me to the police too if it makes you happy.” He replied, taking a seat before his laptop. “But that’s only after my presentation.” He added with a grin. “I suggest you sit down and get to work. You can report to the police on Monday, after all, all you need to say is ‘I am Sharon Amadi.’” He said, cynically. “So much for finding yourself! Lose the Amadi and let’s see if anyone gives a jack about Sharon George.” He said and then turned to her. “I don’t mean it like my George as a last name.”

She clenched her teeth and looked away. Maybe he was right about her being a brat who wanted it done her way after all. She came to Lagos in the hopes of discovering who she really was, all she had done in the past twenty five years were the bidding of her parents and now she found it difficult to detach herself from her parents. Maybe it was time to break the rules. She walked over to Dapo. “What do you need?”


 Mama didn’t know if it was time to call her son-in-law and report his lawless wife to her. She feared that he might have been in on the act too. Jane rarely did anything without her husband’s approval even though he was largely absent from their lives. Her daughter always found a way to seek Chike’s approval. Inasmuch as she loved Ifesinachi, she wasn’t her daughter. If her parents decided to kidnap her and ship her off to a faraway country, she had no say in that. She had been taught to stay out of matters that weren’t hers. She had slipped into a sour mood since Jane admitted to setting her daughter up for a robbery attack.

“Are you coming down for dinner?”

Mama turned to the door to see Jane standing by it. She had not heard her come into the room. She must have been lost in her thoughts. “Are you sure Ifesinachi is not sleeping under the bridge in Lagos?” she asked. “What you have done to her is just wrong and unacceptable.”

“Mama, Sharon is fine. She is in a hotel.” Jane replied. “She is doing great!” 

Mama blinked. “How do you know that? You had her robbed, remember?”

Jane smiled. “I have my men watching her, Mom. I am not stupid.”

“You are stupid. You had your own daughter robbed. And why do you have men watching her?” Mama asked. “What’s your plan?”

Jane took a seat. “Simple. She gets pissed off with Lagos, she makes a phone call to me and she is back in Abuja.”

“I hope you know that Sharon is stronger than that?” Mama replied.

Jane laughed. “No, she isn’t and now she is a lady without a kobo to herself. That is enough reason for her to return home.”

Mama took a deep breath as she folded her arms staring at her daughter. “Does Chike know about this?” she asked.

“Of course, Mom.” Jane replied. “We really do need this mother and daughter moment, you know?” she added with a soft chuckle.

Mama stared at Jane. She was not holding her tab or busy with anything this time. It was as though she wanted this moment between them. “I am sorry for all the times I never got to spend with you but I loved you in my own way.”

Jane smiled. “Yes, Mama. And I love Sharon in my own way.”

“I was working several jobs so I could give you an education.” Mama groaned. “You know my story, Jane. You know I did my best for you.” She continued. “Don’t act as though I was never there.”

“Maybe it wasn’t enough, Mom.” Jane replied. “Now, I want your attention. Are you going to make up for all the lost time? No.”

 Mama took a deep breath. “I am sorry for everything but you are going about this the wrong way. Sharon is a lady who wants to discover herself and if this is right for her; then who are we to get in the way?

“Mama, I am her mother and I promise you, she will be back in no time.” Jane replied with a smile. “That child wants nothing more than comfort and she is going to run back here looking for it.”

“What if she is weathering the storm?” Mama asked as a thought struck her.

Jane turned to her. “What do you mean?”

Mama blinked. “What if… what if she is waiting till Monday so she could carry on with her life, have you thought about it? What if she withdraws money over the counter and carries on instead of running back to us today or tomorrow?” She said with a smile. “Remember that she called me and she never reported any problem to me, so, it tells you one thing, Sharon is strong. You have to admit it and give her more credit.” She added and rose to her feet. “I think I want my dinner now. Monday is only a couple of days away.”

Jane swallowed as her mother’s words sank in. Maybe Mama was right after all. Sharon might actually have the courage to get through the weekend. “Are you saying that she might actually continue over there?”

“I believe so. She has got money and has got a brain. I don’t think she has any reason to run back to you and I hope she never finds out that you did what you did.” Mama said.

Jane blinked. “She wouldn’t if you don’t tell her.”

 “She won’t be hearing it from me but if I find out that her safety is jeopardized because of what you did, you don’t have my loyalty.” She replied.

 Jane swallowed. She had organized everything well and it was time to call her men in Lagos just to be sure that her daughter was indeed safe.

 “Are you coming down for dinner?” Mama asked with a smug smile as she walked out of the room.


 Sharon belched as she tossed the can of soda in her hand into the bin. “I need some rest.” She said to Dapo.

 “But you are not done with the work yet.” He replied.

 She shrugged. “I feel bored, tired and uninspired and if you keep working me like a horse you would have a terrible design for your presentation.”

 He nodded. “Fine, how many hours would you need to sleep?”

 “I don’t want to sleep. I want to see a movie.” She replied,

 He scoffed. “You want me to take you to the movies?”

 “It’s the least I deserve for all this stress.” She replied, rising to her feet. “I’ll continue the work when we are back from the movies.”

 “Unbelievable! You are a spoilt brat!” He said.

 Sharon couldn’t care about what he thought about her. She just needed some distraction from the design she had invested the last three hours into.

 “What if I give you my car and some money? I don’t want to see a movie.” He replied. “Maybe I could spend the time looking at these designs.”

 She scoffed. “No way! You are either coming with me or I am done with your work. I am not about to get missing. I already got robbed; I have had enough trouble for a lifetime in Lagos.”

Dapo chuckled. “Ordinary robbery?”

 “Ordinary robbery? Have you been robbed before?” She asked.

 He smiled. “I even shared a beer with the robbers sef!”

She hissed and made for the bathroom. “Get dressed.” 

He stared at his shirt and jeans. “And what is wrong with what I am wearing?”

 “Everything and your presentation rubs off on me.” She replied, lingering by the bathroom’s door. “I don’t want to be seen with someone who matches his colours and patterns wrongly.”

 “It’s a good thing Jadesola has no problem with my fashion ideologies.” He replied.

 She rolled her eyes. “Now who is Jadesola?”

 “That’s my Queen.” He replied.

 Sharon giggled slowly until she burst out into a horrid laugh.

 “What is that?” Dapo asked, quite confused.

 She smiled. “Oh it’s nothing. You just sound like a sentimental idiot in love.”

 Dapo gaped. “That is not nothing!”

 Sharon chuckled. “Love messes you up, pal. Don’t fall in love.”

 “Oh now I am your pal? My friend, let’s go and see your movie so you can get back to my work.” He replied, heading towards the door.


 “Dapo George!”

 Dapo turned away from the ticket stand as he heard his name.

 “I knew it was you na! You this guy that has refused to pick my calls or even hangout. Na wa o. How you dey?”

 He smiled as he saw Tobi Adebiyi. “Yoruba Demon. Heartbreaker.”

 “You nko? Jadesola’s mumu.” Tobi replied as both men shook hands and then embraced briefly. He then turned to Sharon who was standing behind them all the while and smiled. “Ahan! Bad Guy, who be this?”

 “I am standing right here, you know?” Sharon said. “Mr. Tobi Adebiyi.”

 Dapo turned to her. “How do you know Tobi?”

 “He is a sport journalist and I do see his face sometimes on TV.” Sharon replied.

 Dapo scoffed as he watched Tobi brim helplessly with smiles. “I am shocked. I never thought anybody watched that show.”

 “You dey craze?” Tobi asked before turning to Sharon. “Please, do not pay this idiot any attention. I am glad you watch my show and one day, I might just give you a shout out on it.” 

“You have never given me a shout out, Tobi.” Dapo said.

 Tobi ignored him as he smiled at Sharon. “I would love to know your name so that the shout out is accurate. So, what is your name, Darling?” 

She stared at him. “Sharon.”

 “That’s a lovely name for a lovely lady.” He replied, stretching out his hand. “Just so you know, he is in a relationship and I am single.” 

Dapo shook his head. “Do you see why we don’t hang out much? You go just dey open that thing wey you call mouth dey mis-yarn.” He started. “Sharon here is a friend.”

Tobi smiled. “Friend? Just friends?”

“The movie would soon be on.” Sharon said, handing a ticket to Dapo. “I’ll see you in the hall.” 

Dapo stopped Sharon with his hand before she could walk away. “Just hang on. We’ll go in together. Tobi is just leaving.”

“Really? Am I?” Tobi asked.

Dapo nodded. “I’ll see you around, my guy.”

 Tobi smiled as he took Sharon’s hand and planted a kiss on it. “I hope you listen to my show next weekend. You’ll hear me call your name.” 

“Goodbye.” Dapo said, urging Tobi on.

Sharon laughed as she watched Tobi walk away from them.

“I am sorry about that. He is quite a case.” Dapo said, apologizing. “Could we go and see the movie now?”

She nodded. “Of course.”

 “Oladapo George!”

Sharon stared at him and smiled. “That’s your name, right? You are quite popular.”

 Dapo froze as he heard his name again. But this time, he knew the only person who would spell out his name in full. He turned. Jadesola!



PS: Episode 4 will be posted on Friday August 19, 2016. Make it a date.


Do you have a story, article, poem etc you’ve written & would love me to read and/or publish on my blog ( of course with credit to you)? Do you have second thoughts about your story and you aren’t sure if it is good enough? Is your long written creative work gathering dust somewhere and you would like a second opinion on it? Kindly send me a message ( haroldbensonthefirst@gmail.com ). I’ll love to read your work, critique your work and/or help you in any way possible. And of course, I’m not charging for it. Thank you.


Biting the Dust*


@Ms_AffyIt eats up

Tears down

Takes the stars from your crown

Pushes you to the ground

It shuts the door to greatness

It leaves you tearing up behind closed doors

It entertains fear

It wines and dines with failure

It is not afraid to call depression by its name

It zaps faster than a gun

It holds you bound

You neither crawl, walk or run

It destroys

Crushes the bones

It scoops the ice-cream

Disposing the cone

If you don’t let it go

You would bite the dust

Sooner than you know

It is a disability

It’s called negativity.



Poem by Affiong Ene-Obong. Affiong Ene-Obong is a lawyer,  writer, poet and artist.  She holds a Law degree from Babcock University. She is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Rivers State chapter; member of Sea View Poetry Club and member of Sisters’ Interact Network, an NGO to help women actualize themselves. Her first book,  ‘A Life Called Forever’ is a collection of inspirational poetry beautifully written to inspire, impact and transform lives. She is a polyglot.

You can contact Affiong Ene-Obong on Twitter as @Ms_Affy


Do you have a story, article, poem etc you’ve written & would love me to read and/or publish on my blog ( of course with credit to you)? Do you have second thoughts about your story and you aren’t sure if it is good enough? Is your long written creative work gathering dust somewhere and you would like a second opinion on it? Kindly send me a message ( haroldbensonthefirst@gmail.com ). I’ll love to read your work, critique your work and/or help you in any way possible. And of course, I’m not charging for it. Thank you.

Why I want to get a tattoo


Some few months ago, an avalanche of unusual emotion rose along my path, whooshed towards me, overtook me and of course, drowned me in the process. I did not know where it came from, but it was one extremely strong tide. By the title of this post, you would have guessed what this emotion was. Yes, I felt like getting a tattoo. And the reason for wanting a tattoo is not one you would have expected. I did not want it because I felt it was cool and made me look hippie. Truth is, I did not have a reason for wanting a tattoo. I just wanted it. Something was telling me I had to get a tattoo. I mulled over this thought for some time. Whilst I was mulling over it, another set of emotional tide hit me: I started feeling the need to braid my afro hair too. Arrrrgh!

Was I going through some midlife crisis? I asked myself. It was so unusual that, I, a full fleshed son of a full fleshed and typically religious African father would be considering things as outrageous as getting a tattoo and braiding my hair. I must have been going through some sort of midlife crisis.

And then it dawned on me that, I had not attained the official “midlife age” of forty. I was a long way from it. So, what was responsible for my unexplainable desires?

As I could not proffer an answer to the above mind-boggling question, I decided to kick those thoughts out of my head.

That was some months ago.

A few nights ago as I lay on my bed in the dark of my room with my eyes staring at the ceiling, my forgone thoughts came visiting like a repentant ex who had something new to say. The thought of getting a tattoo re-emerged. I thought of Chimamanda Adichie and her Team Natural Hair Movement. I thought of Wole Soyinka and his eternal Afro. And then, like Archimedes did in the 17th century, I screamed “Eureka” on my bed! I had found a reason to get a tattoo! I needed my own signature look as a writer!

Have you attended African literary events with popular authors and not-so-popular authors in attendance? Have you noticed how most of them wear African print attires like a cult? And then, there are those who keep dreads? And those who are identified by their piercings? Yup, writers have found a way to make themselves stand out in the crowd with signature looks. And I want to be a part of that. I want to have a signature look as an African writer. I want a tattoo. I can do without braiding my hair for now (my afro is gone). But I want a tattoo. I am so getting a tattoo.

But not so soon.

I will get a tattoo when I make my first million from writing.

Million dollar, that is.

I mean, I cannot be carrying a tattoo around with a bank account desperately begging for salvation. I need a bragging right of some sort. You know, if anyone wants to complain about my hippie lifestyle (getting a tattoo), I want to be able to tell them to talk to my bank account. *wears shade*

Until then, my fascination with getting a tattoo can remain a fascination.

What is your weirdest fascination? Ever wanted a signature look as a writer? What is it (and why haven’t you got it)?


Follow me on Twitter: @haroldwrites

Facebook: Facebook.com/HaroldWrites

Instagram: Instagram/HaroldWrites



Happy Friday, guys. Here is Episode Two of Clueless by Tomi Adesina. Enjoy.



Sharon arrived at Woworx Hotels and Suites with hope in her heart. She hoped that her looks and carriage might grant her some favour. In all honesty, that was all she could cling to at the moment. She had lost all means of identification during the robbery.

“Good evening.” She greeted the attendants at the reception.

The receptionist struck her keyboard with alacrity and welcomed Sharon with a smile. “Good evening, ma’am. What suite would you like?” she asked, sliding a brochure across the desk.

Sharon cleared her throat as she feigned taking interest in the brochure. She stared at the receptionist and then smiled. “I… I erm, I have a situation. I know you might have heard this before and I am hoping you haven’t.”

The receptionist stared at her companion and then back at Sharon. “Ma’am, what room would you like?”

“I understand you are wired to only ask the basic questions but I just got robbed.” Sharon replied. Her heart raced fast she watched the receptionist’s eye register contact with her companion who stepped away from them towards the back of the hotel. “It’s only normal that he has gone to get the manager.” Sharon added. “I would get the manager too if I were you, but all I am asking for is an opportunity to stay here till Monday morning and I’ll ensure you get your money with a good tip too.”

The receptionist smiled. “I am afraid, Ma’am, we do not offer such services here.” She said, maintaining a courteous smile.

Sharon watched the door open into the reception as the man who was the receptionist had now returned, but not without a woman, she believed was the Manager. Sharon firmed up for another round of appealing smiles. She grinned at the woman. “Good evening, Ma’am.” She greeted. “Are you the manager?”

The woman nodded. “How may we be of assistance?”

“I… I got robbed on my way here and I would like a favour.” Sharon replied. “Could I please get a room and I’ll pay my full bills on Monday morning once I get access to a bank.”

The manager smiled. “I am afraid we can’t help you if you do not pay the initial deposit as required.”

“It’s pretty late, ma’am. Are you going to kick a young lady who is new to Lagos to the streets?” Sharon asked, hoping she could appeal to the woman’s sentiments.

“I am sorry, Ma’am. Housing homeless people isn’t one of our social responsibilities. We can’t help you.” The manager replied and started looking through some documents on the receptionist’s desk.

Sharon gaped as she absorbed the insult. She had just been tagged homeless by a manager whose wages she was sure she could afford to triple in one breath. She had to make it through the weekend to Monday when she would have access to a bank one way or the other. She couldn’t afford to call her mother and grandmother who would enjoy nothing than to gloat at her misfortune… or maybe she was being unnecessarily proud. She needed help and if going back home was it, then it was valid to live to fight another day. Sharon wanted to fight this day. She had not come this far to chicken out. She took a deep breath as she stared at the exit and thought about what awaited her outside the safe walls of the hotel. She was scared. She turned away from the receptionists and looked ahead as she approached the door with a thumping chest. She had no idea where she was going and that worried her but she would find a way. She had to find a way.

Sharon slowed down on getting to the door, the onrushing man approaching her wouldn’t slow down. Someone had to be the ‘man’ and show some courtesy but since it wasn’t the one naturally moulded as a man, she would just play the role for him. He brushed against her shoulder as he made his way past her forcing her to shudder at his insensitivity.

“Sharon Ifesinachi Amadi.”

She stopped and turned to the man who had just rushed in past her. He smiled and walked back to her. Who could he be? She was sure she had never met him before. So how did he know her name and most importantly, why did he have to mention ‘Ifesinachi’?

“I knew it was you.” He said as he stood before her with a smile. “Whoa!”

Sharon blinked. The man spooked her with his familiar gaze. He was the only one who knew who both of them were and was having a ‘Whoa’ moment. She wasn’t.

“How…How have you been?” he asked.

She took a deep breath. “I don’t know who you are.” She said bluntly.

He nodded. “I am sure.” He started as he clutched his bag against his arm with a smile.

Sharon thought he was flushing carelessly, especially for a tall hunk with beards. She didn’t expect that from him.

“I sat behind you in primary school.” He said.

Primary School?! Christ! Who remembers anyone from their primary school?! Sharon took two steps backward as she stared at him trying to place a face. There was no way she could place his face. She didn’t even keep in touch with most of her classmates from high school; she definitely couldn’t remember the mister standing before her claiming to know her from way back in elementary school. “Okay…” she said, bulging her eyes at him, expecting some clarity.

He took the initiative. “I used to wear glasses. Really big frog-eyed glasses.”

“Now I see why I don’t remember you.” Sharon replied, getting into the conversation. “You don’t look like someone who could have been wearing those types of glasses.”

He nodded with a chuckle. “Oh sure, I wore them. But people say I have changed a lot. And… and you have too. You are now so beautiful. You used to be really beautiful then but now you—”

“—I get it! Now, I am stunning and it’s clear you used to have a crush on me.” She said abruptly, curbing his enthusiasm. “But, why did you have to call my name in full and how do you even remember the face?” she asked, folding her arms.

He smiled. “I have always known your name, so I guess it stuck and for the face, I… I have been your friend on Facebook for some years now.”

Sharon nodded slowly. “I don’t even know you are my friend on Facebook, how is that possible?”

“Well, I guess ladies like you just accept all requests, yeah?” he said with a grin. “Anyway, it was nice seeing you. I’ll see you around.” He said, turning towards the receptionist’s desk.

Sharon stared at him and then walked towards the exit. She stopped walking and turned to him in an instant. “Mr. Facebook friend!”

He turned to her. “Dapo. Dapo George.” He corrected.

She cleared her throat and joined him. “Dapo, I…I have a situation and I need your help.”


Mama stared at her phone as she had breakfast. She had not heard from Ifesinachi all night and it had her worried. Her daughter had told her not to worry about it but she couldn’t help it. Her granddaughter’s number had been switched off for way too long. She knew Sharon could be a deep sleeper on a good day but it’s not as though she had been travelling for too long, she had no reason to claim being jet lagged. She stared at Jane who had her breakfast quietly as she tapped on her tablet occasionally and sighed. “Have you heard from Ifesinachi yet?”

“No.” Jane replied, turning to Mama. “It’s Saturday, Mama and I am sure she is still in bed. That girl can sleep!”

Mama shook her head. “Jane, I am worried. She didn’t call us last night and her phone is switched off. What if she never got to the hotel?”

“Come on, Mama! What could possibly happen to her?”

Mama clattered her fork into her plate. “Many things! She could get kidnapped for a start. She could lose her way. She could even get killed, God forbid!”

“You seem to forget that this girl is twenty-five years old. At twenty-five, I was one year into my marriage and pregnant with her.” Jane replied.

“And so? Does that mean we should be so nonchalant about the fact that Ifesinachi might be in trouble?” Mama asked.

Jane exhaled. “She is not a kid anymore.” She replied, picking her tab.

“And how would you know that? You were barely around to see her grow up so you shouldn’t assume that she is all equipped because her age says so.” Mama retorted. “I am worried about her and if you are not worried about your own daughter because you are too engrossed to look up from that thing in your hand, then I believe you still don’t know a thing about motherhood.”

Jane took a gaze at her mother and rose to her feet. “I am meeting up with some friends at the salon, do you want to come?”

Mama looked away.

“Alright, have a good day.” Jane replied. “It could get really boring around here without Sharon. We should start getting used to it and maybe we could finally bond as mother and daughter.” She added, heading out of the dining room.

“Jane, is there something you are not telling me?” Mama asked.

Jane turned to her with a smile. “What could I possibly not be telling you?” she asked and walked out.


Dapo kicked his foot against the wall as he tried to stop himself from falling asleep. He turned towards Sharon who was sleeping pretty in his bed; the bed he had a paid a fortune for while he sat in a chair by the window. He shook his head as he thought about how he had believed her story of being robbed and having no place to go. She had always been the smart mouth from primary school, winning debates with words; he wasn’t surprised she had worked her way to getting him to give up his bed for her. It was only for last night, he had promised himself. He would set her off on her way as soon as she opened her eyes. He had no idea what she would have been doing in the hotel that night with nowhere to go, but it was none of his business.

He tapped on his laptop and stared at what had driven him to the hotel the previous night. He had a job to deliver to a client by Monday and he was far behind. He had no idea of how to get around the project and the dude he typically contracted for it had gone AWOL. He hoped for some peace in his house but it was not habitable, hence, he took the easy way out and avoided the constant drama that plagued him at home.

“How long have I been asleep for?”

He turned to Sharon who was stretching her arms out. “Long enough to be on your way.” He replied, placing his laptop on the table. “Would you like me to run you some hot water?”

She nodded. “Yes, please.” She replied and watched him walk across the room towards the bathroom. “Dapo, can I please get a shirt?”

“I… I am sure my shirts would not fit.” He said. “Why don’t you just get one from the mall downstairs?”

“Is being a complete gentleman against your rules?” she asked, getting off the bed. “Plus, I don’t have any money on me, remember?”

He nodded. “I should have something that fits.” He replied, thinking about the financial implication of getting a new top from the mall.

“Thank you. Can I use your phone?” she asked.

He pointed to the phone on the table and stepped into the bathroom. He watched her as she dialled on the phone. She turned towards his direction, prompting him to look away.

“Hello, Mama.” Sharon said, as she stared at Dapo’s laptop screen. She took a seat in the chair, crossing her legs. “I am fine, I had a great night.” She started. “Lagos is just great! I had the best night ever, Mama. You should see my suite, exquisite stuff.”

Dapo shook his head as he listened to her lies. He was surer than ever that she had lied to him about being robbed. She was so comfortable deceiving whoever was on the other end of the line about a fantasy night when all she had succeeded in doing the previous night was scamming a gentleman into giving up his bed. It was not like she had put a gun to his head coercing him off his bed, he was willing to give up the space for some company but she had been a terrible roommate the previous night. As soon as they arrived in the room and she said her thank you for the umpteenth time, she crashed into the bed and only just woke up this morning.

“Thank you.” Sharon said, placing the phone on the table. “Sorry about that. If I didn’t tell my grandmother something soothing, she’d be flying down here to save me.”

Dapo returned into the room. “Don’t you need saving? You are in a room with a man you barely know, you should be scared.” He guffawed, trying to sound intimidating. He was anything but intimidating. If anything, he was intimidated by people…and especially by his fiancée, Jadesola. She was the reason he had to leave home and sleep in the hotel to get work done. She was his nightmare and still the reason for his smile. It was intriguing to see how anyone could be both personas in one person. For now, Jadesola wasn’t here and he had to bully someone. “You should be scared.” He reiterated.

Sharon chuckled. “You don’t scare me, Dapo.” She replied. “I am a walking STD disburser and I have got nothing to lose.” She added. “So, jokes on you.”

“No, jokes on you.” He said with a laugh. “I have not said I wanted to sleep with you and if you think every guy you get holed up in a room with wants to sleep with you, then you have a problem with your mentality.”

Sharon could feel her heartbeat racing fast. She was getting scared.

Dapo took his seat on the bed. “That STD trick doesn’t work for a serial killer or why did you think I gave up my room?”

“Serial killers have motives and you don’t have any reason to kill me.” She replied. “They usually have a vendetta of a sort or a weird mission they hope to carry out or crusade or something.”

He chuckled. He could hear the fear in her tone. “You are beginning to take this thing too serious.” He said, reeling in the excitement of getting her frightened. “You should go and shower so you can be on your way.” He said, pulling his laptop towards him.

“I have no place to go. I have no access to money and I need you to help me.” Sharon replied.

He turned to her. “You don’t have to keep lying.”

“I was robbed on my way from the airport, okay? I don’t have to lie about that. It’s my first time in Lagos and I don’t know where to go.” She replied.

He cleared his throat. “You have never been to Lagos?”

“No. I am here for personal reasons and I just have to make it through the weekend so I can go to a bank on Monday and withdraw some money over the counter. The guys who robbed me took everything from me. I am stranded.” She said. “If I go back to Abuja because of this incident, I would have failed…again.”

He took a deep breath. “What’s your story?”


Mama stepped away from the window as soon as Jane’s car pulled up in the driveway. She had thought about going back to the east in the few hours she had spent alone at home. She was worried about what she’d find back there. A good number of her friends had passed on. Jane made her feel lonely; that was a feeling she didn’t have with Sharon.

“Mama, shouldn’t you be upstairs?” Jane asked, sinking into a chair. “I will call the stewards to get your drugs.”

“Why don’t you get my drugs, Jane?” Mama said, taking a seat opposite her. “Did it occur to you that I might have been extremely bored all day?”

Jane nodded. “I know and I am sorry Sharon is not here but there is nothing we can do, she chose to go to Lagos and even chose not to call us, we have to start getting used to her absence around here.”

“She called me.” Mama replied.

Jane blinked. “She didn’t call me.”

Mama shrugged. “Is that a surprise?” she asked.

“No, Mom. But if my daughter is calling you before she calls me, that is not fair.” Jane replied.

“Or maybe that is because I have been more of a mother to her.” Mama replied.

Jane scoffed. “You are trying to make up for your sins. Don’t use my daughter as your cleanse, okay?”

“Jane, what do you want?” Mama said. “I might have made mistakes with you but that is no reason for you to put Ifesinachi through the same cycle. Be there for her. Show up for her. You don’t get these memories twice.”

Jane nodded. “I won’t dispute that but I would make progress if you could also step out of the way.”

“Inasmuch as I want to go back home, I won’t be running away because my daughter doesn’t want me around my granddaughter.”

“Technically, your granddaughter is gone. She lives in Lagos now.” Jane replied.

Mama stared at her. “Sharon didn’t call me from her phone. I am worried.”

Jane shrugged. “I wouldn’t read much meaning to that.”

“Why not, Jane?” Mama asked. “Why couldn’t we reach Sharon on her phone and now she’s calling from another phone?”

“Maybe she needed to switch her lines. Fresh start. Mom, we don’t need this discussion.” Jane said, rising to her feet. “I am going to rest.”

“What did you do, Jane?”

Jane exhaled sharply. “Mama, do you want me to confirm what you already know? Yes, I had Sharon robbed.” She replied.


Sharon smiled at Dapo as she held out two tops before him. “What do you think of these? I think this colour is pretty loud.”

“I am just here to pay.” He replied with a shrug. “And you are going to pay me back too.” He added quickly.

Sharon managed a giggle. “By Monday, you’ll have your money back.” She replied. “So, what do you intend to do about your job?”

Dapo shrugged. “I don’t know yet, but I am not you who can just quit her job because she is unhappy and thinks her purpose is elsewhere.”

“Now you are using my words against me, that’s really low, Dapo.” Sharon replied.

He immersed his fingers in his forehead. “I am sorry. I didn’t mean it to come out that way.”

“Of course. Nobody ever means what they say.” She replied. “Anyway, I would let it slide. Now, how do you intend to meet the Monday deadline?”

“If you would let me sleep in my bed for a while, maybe I would have enough strength to pull an all-nighter.” He replied, as they walked over to the cashier.

“Good day.” The lady at the counter greeted.

Sharon handed her the bag and turned to Dapo. “What if I help you? I could do some while you do the rest. I have a little knowledge of Architecture.”

He shook his head as he thought about his truth. He had evaded that when she asked him about his story. He had gone on to tell her how much he had to do under little time but couldn’t come around being honest with her. Maybe it was time for him to take advantage of the fact that she could actually help out. She was an Architect and he could use the help. “That’s the problem.” He said.

“What problem?” Sharon asked.

He swallowed. “I am a fraud.”