HEAD OR HEART - Episode 3

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Canadian embassy, visa appointment in Ghana, kilograms of cocaine and heroin, Canada, Nigerian Brewery, 9th Mile Corner Enugu, heart, weak dry kiss, smile, girl, hurt, love, kiss.

“Is that Mrs. Iruoma Ikenga?” A voice asked over the phone. Iruoma wondered if the Canadian embassy was calling to inform her of a visa appointment in Ghana, where the closest Canadian embassy was located to Nigeria. The voice over the phone was clearly foreign – North American to be precise. “Yes, this is Iruoma Ikenga.” “I am sorry madam. I am calling to inform you that your husband, Ibeneme Ikenga is dead!” Life turned into an excruciating ‘merry-go-round’ for Iruoma. She closed her eyes and opened them again hoping to wake up from slumber, but reality stared back at her, stubbornly. “Please tell me you are joking,” she pleaded. “I am sorry madam, your husband was carrying kilograms of cocaine and heroin into Canada from Mexico when the drugs exploded in his stomach and killed him,” the voice explained.

The phone dropped from Iruoma’s hand. Tears rushed down her face like a marauding flood beyond a broken dam. Hours later, she was back on the phone calling the same number again. Days went by, and she received the same information – Ibeneme was dead!!! Her marriage ended before it started. Weeks later, she found out that she was pregnant. Ibeneme’s body was flown back home and buried. Iruoma did not acquire any of his many foreign assets. The Canadian government seized them all, on account of Ibeneme’s drug-related activities. Soon, Iruoma was back in her mother’s apartment. She could no longer afford the rent at her grand apartment. By the time she was due for delivery, she was so emaciated that one would have thought she was suffering kwashiorkor. Her mother was broken to pieces. Her meager salary was hardly enough to support them all. She had to beg for help from neighbors to help with buying the necessary items that Iruoma needed for childbirth.

“Please forgive me,” Iruoma pleaded with Kayode. She had camped outside his office at Nigerian Brewery, 9th Mile Corner Enugu. As soon as she saw him, she made a frantic dash towards him. She was carrying a photo. “Look at him, Kay,” she pleaded. “The baby is yours. I conceived before I got married. The baby is yours. Please help us Kay,” she begged. Kayode could not believe that it was Iruoma. She had received little care during pregnancy. Her once beautiful face was now skin and bones, with ‘gaunt sunken’ cheeks. “Please, just money for baby food, Kay. It is your son we are talking about here. I know there is good…some humanity still left in you. Please help me…help your son,” she begged him. Kayode felt a pang of pity for her, but he could not bring herself to believe her. He stepped on the accelerator and nudged his car into motion. Iruoma stood there, watching forlornly as he drove off.

“Do you take this woman as your lawful wedded wife?” The pastor asked Kayode. “I do,” he replied. “Chidimma, do you take this man as your lawful wedded husband?” “I do with all my heart and soul,” Chidimma answered. About two years earlier, just after Iruoma had left him, Kayode had gone to a nightclub with the intention of picking up a girl for fun. He wanted revenge on women…Igbo girls in particular. He had resolved to punish every single one that crossed his path for what Iruoma had done to him. He was dancing wildly on the floor, fueled by anger. Then, he badged into Chidimma and refused to say sorry. “You stepped on me,” she had pointed out to him. “And so what?” Kayode asked harshly. “You seem very angry. You don’t have to, you know?” She replied with a smile. “I do what I want. You have no right to tell me what to do or what to feel,” Kayode hurled at her.

“A handsome guy like you should not allow anger to rule your life,” Chidimma said, still smiling. Kayode felt somewhat ashamed of his action, but he would not say sorry. He remained annoyingly adamant. She was a girl and should not be treated nicely, he thought. Then, Chidimma walked closer to him without warning, placed her arms around him and said, “Dance with me.” Kayode was surprised. “Who broke your heart?” She asked as they danced. “Who told you my heart is broken?” “Well, I can see through you. I know when a guy is mad, heartbroken or happy,” Chidimma explained. I can’t wait to sleep with you and dump you,” Kayode was thinking.

“It makes no difference what someone else did to you. They are not here now, but you are letting them control what you do. Do you want to let them win over and over again?” She asked him. He said nothing in reply for a moment. “I am fine. I am not mad about anything,” he said angrily. “Your face can look brighter than this…I can tell. Let it go…whatever it is that is hurting you. You have a great heart; don’t let one sad experience ruin the rest of your life. Now smile for me,” Chidimma urged him. He tried to suppress any form of smile on his face, but her personality and the big smile on her face were wearing down his defenses. “You are not smiling,” Chidimma insisted. “I don’t feel like,” he answered. “I will kiss you if you smile for me.”

Reluctantly, at first, he managed a weak smile. “You can do better,” she pressed further. “Kiss me for the smile I already smiled. You should keep your promise…you women don’t do what you promise.” “Now, I see. Some girl hurt you right? Well, you gave a weak, dry smile. If you want a weak dry kiss, I will give you one.” “Yes, give it to me like that.” She pecked him quickly on the cheek. “What was that?” “A weak dry kiss worthy of your weak dry smile. I am willing to kiss you like there was no tomorrow, if only you would forget that girl that hurt you and smile for me. I am here…I am me, not her. My name is Chidimma by the way.” “My name is Kayode.” “Lovely name. I’ll call you Kay.” “Please don’t call me that!!!” Kayode replied angrily. “I see…that’s what she called you.” Kayode said nothing. “I will call you KD then.” “That’s okay.” “So, you have one minute to earn your hot kiss before I take my offer off the table.

Kayode let out a broader smile than his earlier attempt. “Great!” Chidimma said. She pulled him closer and kissed him. Music was blasting at high decibels while she kissed him as though there was truly no tomorrow. They exchanged numbers afterwards and continued to see each other, carefully at first. Kayode was not ready to commit right away. As months went by, he became more comfortable with Chidimma. Soon, they were madly in love with each other. Kayode was still wary of her nonetheless. He tried all sorts of things to test her, but none worked. Chidimma truly loved him.

“Now you may kiss the bride,” the pastor said. The congregation clapped as they kissed. “This one was better than the one at the club that night,” Chidimma teased when they had a bit of privacy, referring to the kiss. “Each time I kiss you is better than the previous one,” Kayode said. On the other side of town, Iruoma was living in a small apartment in Obiagu with her husband. It was raining and water was dripping through the heavily patched roof. She placed a bucket at the exact spot where the roof was leaking to catch the falling drops of water. She grumbled as she went about her chores. Each time the wind picked up, it felt as though it was going to sweep the shack they called home away.

Every man had run away from her once they heard that she had dumped a fiancĂ© at the drop of a hat for another guy who lived abroad. She was forced to finally settle for a bus driver to avoid losing out completely. She had another child, a baby girl while her first son lived with her mother. She managed to find money to start a small eatery at the corner of their street. She spent days crying herself to sleep sometimes, wishing she had stayed with Kayode. Kayode on the other hand was grateful that Iruoma had left him when she did. “I would never have met you if Iruoma had not left me,” he would say to Chidimma. “All things work together for good,” Chidimma would answer.


Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: HEAD OR HEART - Episode 3
HEAD OR HEART - Episode 3
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Canadian embassy, visa appointment in Ghana, kilograms of cocaine and heroin, Canada, Nigerian Brewery, 9th Mile Corner Enugu, heart, weak dry kiss, smile, girl, hurt, love, kiss.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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