HEAD OR HEART - Episode 1

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Lagos, Their lips met as their eyes shut, kiss, They kissed passionately in silence, love, I will marry you, Volvo, full lips, Canadian cities, spicy pepper soup, Enugu, Canada.

“This is not my first time dating an Igbo girl. Promise me you will never leave me,” Kayode pleaded with Iruoma. “Of course I’ll never leave you, Kayode. I am traveling to Lagos with you to see you parents. If I was planning to leave you, why would I be on this trip with you, my love? You have stood by me all these years I was in University. Now that I am about to graduate, there is nothing I want more than to be your loving wife,” Iruoma explained with palpable enthusiasm. Kayode leaned over and gave her a peck. “I can’t wait to kiss you,” Kayode said with a smile. “Is it just kissing that you are thinking of? I know that look in your eyes. You have other things in mind,” Iruoma replied. “Like what?” “You tell me. You know what you are thinking.” “Well, you are the one reading my mind, so go ahead and tell me what I am thinking.”

“I can see how your eyes are gallivanting all over my body. I bet you want to rip my clothes off with your eyes…” “You are the one thinking of it, and not me. I was not even thinking of that,” Kayode defended himself. “Hahaha!!!” Iruoma laughed. “I know you well enough. “It is time to leave!!!” The bulky-looking conductor of Ifesinachi bus Line announced. They had stopped in Agbor en route to Lagos for a quick meal. They hurried back onto the bus as did other commuters. Back on the bus, Iruoma leaned over and placed her head on his shoulders with her eyes closed. Kayode stroked her hair as the bus galloped along the Benin – Ore road towards Lagos.

“Mom and Dad, please meet Iruoma. She is the one I have been telling you about. She is truly, the love of my life,” Kayode introduced Iruoma to his parents enthusiastically. “My daughter, we are very pleased to meet you. Our son has told us a lot about you. Welcome. Please make yourself at home,” Kayode’s mother said with a ravishing smile. “You are a beautiful girl, my child. Kayode was right. I am glad he has his father’s knack for picking out beautiful girls…as you can see, his mother is a paragon,” Kayode’s father added humorously. Iruoma smiled blushingly.

Kayode helped her take her luggage to the guest room. As soon as he set her luggage on the floor, he kicked the door shut and pulled her to himself. “Your parents might walk in,” Iruoma protested weakly. Kayode barely heard a word she spoke. His mouth was rushing towards her lips and his hands were rummaging all over her body. Their lips met as their eyes shut. They kissed passionately in silence except for their lips and tongues that made a slight noise as they both waded through each other’s mouth. “Enough. Your parents must be wondering what is going on,” Iruoma finally said. Kayode smiled and pulled away. “There is a connecting door there,” Kayode said pointing. When my parents go to bed at night, you can sneak into my room through that door. I will be sure to leave my end of the door open,” he explained. “I knew you were thinking of that all the way from Enugu,” Iruoma pointed out. “Yes, I was and I bet you were too,” he shot back at her.

The next afternoon, Kayode’s aunts, uncles, cousins and extended relatives descended on his father’s premises to see Iruoma. There was a lot to eat and lots to drink too. “I have waited for this day for a long time now. Thanks to all of you for coming to receive my love…my sunshine…my angel, Iruoma. There is nothing else that makes me happy as much as she does…except for you all my family,” Kayode said. “For over three years now, Iruoma has been my girlfriend. One day at a time, our hearts have become meshed…our souls have been knitted together by time, using love as the gum and thread to bind us together.” Iruoma sat in front of him smiling as his parents and relatives listened.

“Please my love, would you marry me? I am empty without you. I am lost without you. I am like a ship without rudder, roaming the sea of life with no direction in mind. With you in my life, I am as surefooted as a deer. You bring peace and purpose to my heart…direction and vision to my mind…will and passion to my soul. Please, would you make me complete by marrying me, honey?” His relatives were standing by now as he knelt before Iruoma who was half smiling and half crying. “Of course, I will marry you,” she replied. Gently, he slid the glistening ring onto her finger and she closed her mouth with her other hand. Kayode’s mother began to sing and the women in the room joined her in songs of praise and joy. Kayode was their only child. They had been pestering him to get married and he kept telling them he was waiting for his girlfriend to graduate. Now, she has and he can’t wait to be married to her.

Later in the night as the party continued, Iruoma’s mother called. “Where are you, Iruoma? I called all your friends at university and they said you were not on campus. Where are you?” She queried her. “Mama, I am old enough to go where I want now, so you need not worry about me. I am fine. I will be back in school next week. I have but one more exam to write before I graduate. All these years did you have to watch over me like a hawk? Please be calm mom. I am fine.” “Okay, if you say so. I called you for something else though. There is someone in town who would like to see you.” “Who is that?” “You have to come to Enugu to see for yourself.” “I am not coming if you don’t tell me, mom.” “Well, it is a young man by the name Ibeneme. He is from our neighboring town, but he leaves in Canada. He wants to marry you!!! Kelere m Chimoo, wnanne m kelere m Chimoo na chim emela!!! (Thank my God. My sister thank my God for He has done me well!!!!)” Her mother bellowed.

“Mom, I am not sure I am keen on him, please,” Iruoma explained calmly. “What!!! Are you out of your mind? Have you forgotten how I have suffered to raise you and your brother and sister since your father passed away? This young man is tall, dark as chocolate and well to do. You should see his Volivo (Volvo). When he comes to visit us, he parks his big Volivo (Volvo) in front of the house and all those people who thought my children and I would never make it can only watch. When he starts the engine, my goodness…the engine goes vroom!!! It is like an aeronplani (airplane) flying directly over the roof of our house. Please when are you coming home?” “Mama, I have someone else I would like to marry, actually!!!” “Don’t be silly, Iruoma. I said don’t be silly!!!”

After a prolonged argument, Iruoma promised her mother that she’d be home in a week to see Ibeneme, just to end the argument. She did not mention the discussion to Kayode. For the rest for the week, they traveled from one end of Lagos to another. Kayode could hardly let her off his sight. He spoiled her…literally; showering her with assorted gifts. They visited every cinema and shop of reckoning in Lagos. Kayode worked for Nigerian Breweries, and he had been promoted recently. He could not think of a better way to celebrate than to propose to Iruoma and then spoil her with love and gifts afterwards.

By the end of the week, they both traveled back to Enugu. Iruoma returned to University of Nigeria, Nsukka campus, while Kayode stayed back in Enugu. After taking her final exam, Iruoma traveled back to Enugu to see her mother and siblings. She made sure to stop at Kayode’s for a night first, before returning home. “Why did you take so long?” His mother asked. She had been calling her all the while she was away. “I told you I am not interested, mama.” “Isi omebiri gi? (Have you gone nuts?) Ibeneme has not returned to Canada because he is waiting to see you. You are marrying him whether you want it or not. If you don’t marry him, I will kill myself for you,” her mother threatened. “Maybe you will have to marry her, mama because I am certain that I don’t want to have nothing to do with him.”

The argument raged on. The next day, Ibeneme visited, but Iruoma was not at home. She had gone to see Kayode. Her mother had urged Ibeneme to check back again. “She will be back in the evening. Come back in the evening…she should be home by then.” “I will do that ma,” Ibeneme agreed. After seeing Iruoma’s picture, he could not stop thinking of her. His younger sister had been urging him to marry her. Her luscious full lips; bold sexy eyes and stunning figure had left him gasping for air. He’d look at her picture before going to bed every night.

Iruoma was walking into the compound when the Volvo pulled in with a loud sound, vroom!!! Ibeneme hopped out and walked quickly towards her. “Hello,” he said. Iruoma looked back. “My name is Ybeneme (Ibeneme),” he said in an attempt to anglicize his Igbo name. “Pleased to meet you. I am Iruoma.,” Iruoma answered. They walked into their apartment and Ibeneme began to tell her how much he had been dying to see her. Iruoma’s mother stepped outside to allow them space and time to chat. In the meantime, she proceeded to prepare chicken pepper soup for Ibeneme. “Ogechukwu!!!” She called to Iruoma’s younger sister. “Yes mama.” “Please go and catch that black fowl for me,” she instructed her as she pointed at the fowl that did not know that judgement had been passed on its head.

“That big one?” Ogechukwu asked. “Yes, that one there.” “I thought you said we’d sell it at Christmas mama?” “You don’t have eyes to see, Ogechukwu. Christmas is here…right here right now. Can’t you see the Volivo parked outside?” Ogechukwu nodded although her face was swamped with utter bewilderment. “The rich man from obodo oyibo (abroad) is going to marry your sister, Iruoma. This is the Christmas we have been waiting all our lives, Ogechukwu. Fetch me that fowl quick!!!”

Soon, she was stirring and tasting as the chicken simmered on the wood-powered fire. “Baby, you should see Vancouver. It is one of the most beautiful cities on earth. I can’t wait to bring you over and show you around. Seriously,  would have returned some weeks back, but I had to wait…I could not bring myself to leave without setting my eyes on you – your beauty is like a rainbow…a gem that takes its place across the sky once in a long while,” Ibeneme showered a deluge of encomiums on Iruoma. As the evening wore on, she was somewhat drawn to Ibeneme’s stories of life in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and other Canadian cities. Soon, they were both sipping on the hot, spicy pepper soup that left them breathing in rapidly, whistling and drinking gallons of water in an effort to douse the burning sensation of African red pepper.

“This is for you baby,” Ibeneme said as he walked towards his car with Iruoma. He handed her an envelope. “Thanks,” she said. “Don’t mention it, Iru my girl,” Ibeneme roared. He brought the massive engine back to life with a deafening sound – vroom!!! He smiled as he reversed and steered the big car out of the narrow street. Iruoma entered their tiny apartment and went straight to the bathroom. She flipped on the light and opened the envelope. Quickly, she counted the money. She was amazed – Ibeneme had given the one hundred and fifty thousand Naira, just like that! She counted the money again. She sat on the toilet seat and admired the money. She had never handled such an amount of money in one fell swoop. She found herself smiling….thinking of Ibeneme.
Story Continues...
Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: HEAD OR HEART - Episode 1
HEAD OR HEART - Episode 1
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Lagos, Their lips met as their eyes shut, kiss, They kissed passionately in silence, love, I will marry you, Volvo, full lips, Canadian cities, spicy pepper soup, Enugu, Canada.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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