Loitering in my subconscious,
For me to awaken,
When I would be filled with fleeting contentment.
I want to admire you from afar,
To dwell in your mystery,
To ponder on the unknown.
I do not want to come too close,
I will keep my distance,
As I watch you,
As you burn hot like a flame in the depths of my mind.
Fear mixed with longing grip me tightly,
Rendering me immobile,
As I watch you from the outside.
I will not come close.
You will remain a dream to me.
©Ivie M. Eke 2016.
I am in a big field of flowers,
Illuminated brightly by the sunshine,
I walk through it, barefoot,
As I am joyful that he is now mine.
The stones on the ground pinch my feet,
But I do not really mind,
I focus rather on thoughts of him,
And on how he is just so kind.
A cool breeze blows over me,
I feel it brush past my skin,
I stare up at the sky and wonder,
‘Why did it take so long to find him?’
The scent of the flowers fills my lungs,
I inhale, and smile at the sweet smell,
I think about how nicely he treats me,
And about how he knows me so well.
I pluck some flowers that I see,
They make a very pretty bunch,
I know that they will make him smile,
They will show that I love him very much.
©Ivie M. Eke 2016.
His words were intended to cut her down,
To make her miserable, and to make her frown.
His words were intended to kill her soul,
To make her shrivel, and be far from whole.
His words were intended to berate, and not soothe,
To her, he said ‘you are nothing; that is the truth’.
She smiled, and then she laughed,
And realized all her errors and gaffes.
She said to him ‘The only truth that is here to stay,
Is that I should flee from you, and quickly walk away’.
‘I will rise and I will soar, for I have nothing to lose,
You obviously do not deserve me- and that is the real truth’.
© Ivie M. Eke 2016
It was Saturday morning, the day of the date, or ‘D-Day’ as Ade called it in his head. With the focus and determination of a Military General, Ade was up early that morning. He did his weekend routine of exercise, half-hearted house cleaning and laundry, after which he counted the minutes until it was 9am, when he felt it was an acceptable time to call Mimi.
He dialed her number once it was 9, and Mimi answered the phone on the second ring.
After exchanging morning greetings, Ade asked Mimi where she would like to go for their date. Without any hesitation, Mimi suggested that they should see a movie at the cinema in Central Area, which was fine with him. Mimi said that she had noticed the cinema’s website was down due to a system upgrade, so they couldn’t choose a movie until they got to the cinema. Ade didn’t mind; he just wanted to spend time with her and make up for their botched date the previous evening.
They agreed that Ade would pick her up by 2pm. ‘Alright, see you later!’ said Mimi, sounding amused. Ade closed his eyes after the call had ended. ‘Don’t mess this up’, he muttered to himself, and went into his room, wondering what outfit he could wear that would portray him as a ‘nice guy’.
Ade sighed and settled for blue jeans and a black polo-neck shirt, which he laid out on his bed. He checked the time on his watch: it was 9.30am.
He waited (impatiently) for the time of the date to draw closer.
Mimi stared at herself in the mirror.
She had been trying on different outfits for her date with Ade later that day. Her current choice of outfit was an off-the-shoulder paisley top with a denim pencil skirt. She felt that she looked nice, but was she trying to hard?
Mimi glanced at the pile of discarded outfits on her bed. She wondered why she was suddenly so nervous about the date. Maybe she liked Ade more than she realized, she mused.
In the end, Mimi settled for a more casual outfit of jeans and a top. She just wanted to be comfortable.
She looked at the time. It was 10am. She decided to make good use of the time by tidying up her room. The place looked like a clothes bomb had exploded in there.
Mimi couldn’t wait for it to be 2pm.
Shola called Mimi at about 11.15am.
‘Hey girl! What are you doing today-do you want to hang out?’ she asked. Mimi suddenly felt guilty; she had not mentioned that she was going out with Ade when she and Shola had spoken the night before.
‘Actually…I’m going out with Ade this afternoon’, Mimi replied.
‘Ohhhhhhh!!!! That’s wonderful! I knew you guys would work things out!Wait-why didn’t my brother tell me he was taking you out today? I have to call him now. Let me know how it goes, okay? Bye!!!’ said Shola, before she hung up.
Mimi laughed to herself; now she knew why she hadn’t told Shola about the date. Shola tended to get overexcited about things in general.
She waited for 2pm.
Ade was trying to pass the time waiting for 2pm by deleting unnecessary pictures from his phone when Shola called him.
‘Yes Madam, how can I help you?’, he asked with mock formality. ‘Very funny, bro’ Shola replied. ‘I hear you’re taking Mimi out today’, she added.
‘Yes, I’m taking her to see a movie’, Ade replied. ‘Good-please be on your best behaviour’, Shola said sternly. ‘Okay, I’ve heard you’, Ade retorted.
‘And don’t be late! Okay-bye bro!’ Shola said before ending the call.
Ade parked his car in front of Mimi’s house at 1.48pm-he had been slightly paranoid about being late and decided to err on the side of caution. He walked up to the front door and pressed the door bell. After a few moments, Mimi opened the door, looking radiant.
She was wearing a blue t-shirt, blue jeans and a pair of blue and white sneakers. Ade was sure that Mimi was going for a casual look, but in his paranoid mind, she was dressed to flee at any sign of trouble.
Realizing that he had been staring, Ade cleared his throat. ‘Hey! You look great!’ he said. ‘Thanks, so do you’ Mimi replied with a smile.
They set off on their date.
When they got to the ticket counter of the cinema complex, Ade waited patiently as Mimi studied each movie poster, looking decidedly serious while doing so. He had said he wasn’t particular about what movie they saw; that the decision was hers to make.
‘Can we watch that one?’ Mimi asked, pointing at a movie poster with three women dressed in 18th century clothing who looked very sad. The movie was appropriately titled ‘The cries of the roses’.
Ade felt like crying himself.
‘Ermmmm…well…if that’s what you really want to watch…’ he started to say, until he heard giggling beside him. Ade looked at Mimi and saw that her eyes were full of mischief. She had been pulling his legs.
‘I’m joking-that movie looks depressing! Can we watch the James Bond movie-Spectre?’ Mimi asked, still in a fit of giggles. Ade smiled with great relief. ‘Of course’ he replied, and he paid for their tickets. They then went to buy overpriced popcorn and drinks at the concession stand.
Their movie was due to start soon, so they made their way to movie hall where ‘Spectre’ was showing. Mimi was still giggling when they showed the movie usher their tickets, making the young man regard her with a puzzled look.
As they walked towards their seats, Ade clutching the jumbo popcorn pack with his left arm,and Mimi holding their drinks in her right hand, he took her hand in his.
Mimi didn’t remove her hand.
Ade knew at that moment that the rest of the date would go well.
And it did.
Note: You can read parts 1-3 by clicking on the ‘short stories’ link under categories on the right side of this page.
***Read part one: The First Date…The Only Date
***Read part two: The First Date (part 2): A Misunderstanding
Shola listened to Ade’s explanation of what had transpired on his ‘date’ with Mimi.
She was quiet for a few moments.
Ade sighed. ‘What’s on your mind?’ he asked.
‘I think you should go back to her and explain what happened-that it was just a big misunderstanding’, said Shola.
‘Seriously??? That’s your advice? You didn’t see the look she gave me-no, I’m not doing that’, said Ade, shaking his head vehemently even though Shola couldn’t see him doing so over the phone.
‘She probably thought that you just wanted to sleep with her; did that cross your mind at all?’ Shola asked.
‘Why would she think that?’ Ade replied, now very perplexed. ‘You didn’t make it clear that you wanted to take a shower’, said Shola. ‘But she never gave me a chance!’, argued Ade.
Shola sighed. ‘Look bro, it’s your choice-but it wouldn’t take anything from you to try. I know Mimi can be quite intense, but she’s a nice person. Just think about it, okay?’, she appealed.
‘Fine’, said Ade, and they said their goodbyes.
He sat and brooded over his sister’s words for a few moments. Then he got up and went inside to take his much needed shower.
At about 9.45pm, Mimi was sitting in her living room, eating a bowl of ice cream and watching TV when the doorbell rang.
‘Who could that be?’ she wondered. She was trying to erase the memory of that evening’s events and just wanted to relax, eat ice cream and watch some EPL football-even though her team, Arsenal was losing, sadly.
The doorbell rang again. Mimi sighed. She switched off the TV, walked to the front door and looked through the peep hole.
She saw Ade standing on the front porch. Mimi was surprised, and wondered why he was at her house again. She looked down at her t-shirt, hoping that there was no ice cream stain on it. Satisfied that there was no stain, she opened the door.
When the front door opened, Ade half-expected Mimi to come at him with anger and insults. Instead, she just looked at him, in the cool, unwavering way that he was now accustomed to.
‘Hello’, said Mimi.
‘Hi’, he replied.
Ade noticed that Mimi had changed from her date outfit to grey jogging trousers and a black t-shirt with a picture of Mickey Mouse on it. He quickly lifted his gaze from her chest to her face-he did not want to be misunderstood twice in one evening.
He said, ‘I just came to apologize for my actions today. I was badly in need of a shower and I should have just said so. I now realize how what I said to you could have been misunderstood. I know I’ve messed up tonight, but please give me a chance to make it up to you’.
Before Mimi could respond, he added: ‘How about tomorrow? I’ll even be on time-I promise’.
Mimi was quiet. Ade wished he could know what her thoughts were.
She sighed. ‘How about calling me tomorrow?’
‘Great! I’ll call you in the morning’, said Ade, hoping that his relief wasn’t too evident on his face.
Mimi smiled, and Ade felt an unexpected surge of joy at being responsible for her smile.
‘Good night-oh, Shola says you should please switch on your phone’ said Ade.
‘Oh, I forgot I did that; I will switch it on now’ Mimi responded.
They smiled at each other, and then Ade turned and walked to his car, while Mimi stepped back into the house and locked the front door.
‘Maybe he really is a nice guy’, thought Mimi, as she sat down on the sofa, finished her nearly-melted ice cream and switched on her phone.
She switched on the TV. Arsenal was still losing their match, but she found that she was smiling.
She didn’t mind anymore.
As Ade drove off, he could still see Mimi smiling at him in his mind’s eye. It made him smile.
He was still smiling when he got home.
***Read part 1 here: The First Date…The Only Date
‘Well, it appears that Mimi’s phone is switched off’, said Shola to Ade when she called him back. ‘What did you do to her?’ she asked him.
‘I didn’t do anything!’ Ade replied, and proceeded to explain to Shola the events which had led to the abrupt end of his date with her friend, Mimi.
Ade had got to know about Mimi through his younger sister Shola’s countless Facebook updates which he viewed with much bemusement while he lived in London. Ade admitted to himself that he thought Mimi was very attractive, but she always looked so serious in her photos, and he noticed that she dressed nicely but conservatively-definitely not his type of woman.
Ade got a managerial job offer in Abuja which he felt was worth moving back home for, after working in the UK banking sector for almost ten years. His parents threw him a welcome party some days after his arrival. It was there that he met Mimi for the first time.
He took it for granted that at age thirty-three, he was a catch. Shola often joked that he was a walking- cliché: tall, dark and handsome. He was therefore used to ladies smiling shyly at him and batting their eyelids in his direction in a come hither manner.
Mimi did neither of those things.
She looked directly at him, rarely breaking eye contact. She seemed to regard him with thinly-concealed amusement, like his good looks were comical.
Though he was slightly wary of her intense gaze, Ade found that he really enjoyed chatting with Mimi. She was interesting and funny, and asked him several questions about his new job as Deputy Manager of OakTree Mortgage Bank in Abuja. He left her after chatting for about thirty minutes to mingle with other guests at the party.
It was after the party that Ade realized that he had not asked Mimi for her number-the first time this had happened to him after chatting with an attractive woman.
He called his sister Shola the next morning, and asked her for Mimi’s number. ‘Hmmm…seems like the player’s game isn’t as strong as it used to be’ she quipped. Ade sighed; his sister could be a real pain at times. ‘You guys would make a cute couple, you know’ she added. Ade rolled his eyes. ‘Are you giving me her number or not?’ he asked Shola. ‘Jeez, calm down; I’ll text it to you now, okay?’.
Ade called Mimi in the evening of the same day. She didn’t seem surprised to hear from him. They began a phone-friendship, calling each other every few days to talk about trivial and intense topics, and Mimi would often tease him about his British accent, though Ade was certain that he had a ‘refined’ Nigerian accent.
This went on for about two months; Ade often traveled for work so he wasn’t always in town.
During this period, Shola kept giving him unsolicited information about how Mimi was single, how he and Mimi would have cute children, and how he and Mimi should name their first child after her. Ade told her that he would ask Mimi out when he was ready, and that she should look for someone else to disturb. Shola told him not to feel too special; that she was also pestering Mimi in the same way.
Ade soon decided that he wanted to spend time with Mimi, and he gave her a call during his lunch break on a Monday. ‘Are you free this Friday? I would love to take you out to dinner’ he asked. There was a slight pause on the line, after which Mimi asked, ‘What time?’. ‘6.30pm’ Ade replied. His closing time was 5pm, so he was certain that 6.30pm was very convenient for him. ‘Alright’, said Mimi, ‘see you then’, and she ended the call.
Ade stared at his phone long after his conversation with Mimi had ended. He wasn’t used to a woman not sounding overly excited to go on a date with him.
Ade was intrigued.
Ade was frustrated.
The internet connection at his office that Friday had just started working again after hours of downtime. The team which he supervised was now trying to catch up with the deadline for uploading the monthly reports on the office’s in-house database.
He glanced at his watch, and realized with shock that it was 7.30pm; he had completely forgotten about his date with Mimi.
Ade stood up abruptly from his desk, picked up his phone and sent Mimi a quick text message telling her that he was running late and on his way to her house. His sister Shola had often complained that she barely understood his ‘shorthand’ text messages, but he was certain Mimi would understand his message.
He gave his team necessary instructions and then left the office. He felt slightly guilty about abandoning his team, but was determined to have an enjoyable date with Mimi.
As Ade pulled up in front of Mimi’s house, he saw someone look out of one of the windows downstairs and return the curtain back to its former position. He sat in his car for a while, wishing that he had time to take a shower and freshen up.
When he saw that the front door did not open, he pressed his car horn several times. He then wondered if he should have walked to the front door to ring the bell. He was still thinking about this when the front door opened and Mimi stepped out of the house. She was wearing a pink long-sleeved top, blue jeans, black flat shoes and carried a black bag. Ade noticed with surprise that Mimi had a nice figure, and wondered how he had missed that detail. Her hair was in braids which she had tied at the back of her head, and she wore subtle makeup.
She looked lovely.
Ade watched Mimi as she locked the front door, walked to the passenger side of his car, opened the door, sat down, and shut the door. She then turned to look at him.
He told her that he was sorry he was late and smiled while doing so, hoping that his smile looked genuine. Ade couldn’t tell from Mimi’s neutral expression if she was annoyed at being kept waiting. He suggested a restaurant to her for their date, and she said she was fine with it.
‘Great’, said Ade, and he winked at Mimi. ‘Why did I just wink? She’ll think I’m a psychopath’, he thought.
As they set off for their date, Ade suddenly felt tired. The tedious work day was beginning to take its toll on him. If only he could have a quick shower…he didn’t think Mimi would mind.
He broke the silence and asked Mimi if they could go to his place as it was closer to them than the restaurant.
‘No’, said Mimi.
The next thing Ade knew, Mimi was asking him to take her back home. He was speechless. He looked at her, trying to catch her gaze but she stared straight ahead, looking quite annoyed.
‘Please do not call me again’, she said, before stepping out of his car and walking into her house.
‘Wow’, thought Ade, as he drove back home. When he got home, he sat down on the sofa in his living room, all thoughts of a shower forgotten. He had called Shola just as he was leaving Mimi’s house and told her that Mimi had ended their date abruptly; Shola listened, and then said she would call Mimi immediately and call him back afterwards.
Ade sighed as he ended the call. He switched on the TV, only to see that the team which he supported in the English Premier League-Arsenal-was losing by two goals to zero to Manchester United.
He switched off the TV in annoyance.
She checked the time on her watch again.
The time was 7.30pm. Ade had told her that he would pick her up for their date at 6.30pm.
She had been looking forward to the date but after one hour of waiting, her enthusiasm had started to decline.
Just as she contemplated what to do next, a text message came into her phone, lighting up its screen:
“Hi. Sry. Got bsy @ wrk. On my wy 2 ur hz”.
Mimi read the message a second time.
She sighed yet again.
The terrible grammar in the text message was enough to make her call Ade to cancel the date, but she restrained herself and decided to just give him a chance.
About ten minutes later, she heard a car pull into the driveway of her parents’ house. She looked out of the window and saw that it was indeed Ade siting in the driver’s seat of the black Honda car. She was glad that her parents were out of town; she wouldn’t have to deal with their scrutiny of her date that evening.
She picked up her hand bag, glanced at herself in the mirror hanging in the hallway, and then walked to the front door. She waited for the doorbell to ring, but nothing happened.
There was silence…until she heard the persistent honking from the car outside; the apparent signal that her date had arrived.
Mimi closed her eyes, gritted her teeth and forced a smile on her face.
She opened the front door, closed it and made sure that it was properly locked. She then walked the ten steps from her front door to her date’s car, opened the passenger door, sat down on the seat, and closed the door.
She then turned to look at him.
‘Hey baby, sorry I kept you waiting, just got held up at work’ said Ade, smiling at her with his handsome face in a way that suggested that he really wasn’t that sorry.
‘That’s fine’ said Mimi, even though it wasn’t really fine.
Ade was the older brother of her best friend, Shola. He had recently moved back into Abuja after living in London for about ten years, and Shola had thought he and Mimi would be a perfect match, hence the date.
Mimi was beginning to wonder if Shola really had good intentions for her well-being.
‘So, there’s this very nice restaurant in Maitama that I want to take you to-it’s called Passions’ he said.
Mimi forced herself to pay attention to what he was saying, instead of fantasizing about how best to get revenge on Shola. ‘Oh I’ve heard about it-it’s a nice restaurant’, she said.
‘Great!’ he said, and winked at her.
Mimi cringed inwardly.
He reversed his car and navigated it onto the main road. They settled into a companionable silence for a few minutes, until he said ‘You know what? Let me just take you to my place; it’s not too far from here…’
Mimi interrupted him. ‘No’.
‘No? Just like that?’ Ade asked, looking surprised.
‘Exactly like that. Please take me back home now’, said Mimi.
The look on her face did not encourage him to ask any more questions.
Ade had barely pulled the car to a complete stop in front of her parents’ house when she unclasped her seat-belt, picked up her bag and looked at him.
‘Please do not call me again’, she said to him.
Before he could respond, Mimi opened the passenger door, stepped out of the car and shut the door calmly.
She heard him drive off as she unlocked the front door and entered the house.
As she shut the door, she leaned against it and rubbed her eyes. As she pondered on what could have happened if she had gone with Ade to his place, her phone started to ring. She brought it out of her bag and looked at the screen. It was Shola, Ade’s sister, calling.
Mimi switched off her phone.
By: Ivie M. Eke
Why, I am so glad that you’ve asked!
I am looking for something, which is very different from nothing.
I have experienced it.
Nothing relationships are tepid, lukewarm, stale.
Nothing relationships yield neither joy nor uplifted spirits.
Nothing relationships bring out the worst in you, and you are faced with a version of yourself which you do not recognize.
No, I do not want any part of that.
I want a bountiful, something-filled relationship.
One where I can be the best version of myself most of the time.
One where there is no ambiguity, no confusion, no puzzlement.
One where I do not have to play detective; the feelings are clear, and they are mutual.
One where he and I can march through life’s challenges with flair, with dedication, with resolve.
One where we are partners in crime.
One where respect is mutual, and is not taken for granted.
One where affection is freely given, and not withheld…never ever withheld.
One where flaws are acknowledged, and with mutual efforts, minimized.
Life is short after all.
Why waste it on nothing?
Why waste it dwelling in nothingness?
You could have something, you know.
Yes, I know what I am seeking.
No, I do not want nothing.
I want something.
A whole lot of something.
©Ivie M. Eke 2015
When love goes wrong…
It consumes you.
It overwhelms you.
It shrinks you.
It devours you.
When love goes wrong,
oh my, what a sight.
There is cruelty and misery
where there was once delight.
When love goes wrong, it’s like a guest who refuses to leave,
Who mocks you and belittles you, and won’t allow you to grieve.
When love goes wrong, the sound of his voice is a mood killer,
The sight of his photos, the scent of his perfume, make you feel so bitter.
When love goes wrong, it is grotesque, like a punch to the gut,
You cry and you wonder, ‘love, why does it hurt so much?’
When love goes wrong, you think life is over, like there’s nothing good under the sun,
Then one day you wake up, you’re even able to smile,
You decide that your life must go on.
©Ivie M. Eke 2015