Matured Stories

THE RUNAWAY BRIDE – Season 1 – Episode 17

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“What nonsense are you saying?”
“Senator, it is either you listen to me this time or no show. I want to work and I must be sure of a place to work before I get out there to give more lies”

Senator looked at Tokunbo to see if the
decision was from them both but saw the
same surprise mirrored on his face.

“You can work at your husband’s side when he resumes office after the press conference”

“I am not working beside anyone, get your phone and call your friends and get a position for me somewhere; otherwise, I will tell them I eloped and will tell them more than you want them to know, sir.” She added the word
spitefully

“Chief, about her working, I can arrange that, we need an administrator at our chamber and she could work there, but you have to still meet with my partners so we can decide a
befitting salary, I’m sure we could use your expertise and education. Is that alright with everyone?”
the lawyer sensed trouble and
decided to interfere quickly
Tokunbo looked up and was surprised they were all looking at him to give his blessings; so he was the ‘everyone’?

“I am totally fine with that, it is what she wants” Tokunbo replied with a shrug.

“so that is settled, on Friday hopefully in the afternoon, we give the interview and later that night, we will have a dinner party to host our well wishers; it will also serve as a
welcome party for you my dear.”

“Sir, don’t deceive yourself, it s more like a campaign party than a welcome party.

Well, I am still standing on the condition; no job no interview”

“Young lady, you will not push me to suit your desire.”

“Father, you have pushed me to suit yours longer than I can recall, so it is either my way or no way,” she replied him hotly and walked
out of the room, leaving everyone staring after her.

Tokunbo walked their guest out and watched as they drove off in a Hilux vehicle full of police blaring their siren as they went.

****************************************************

Davis sat down at the desk in the admin room of the café and read from his laptop, his mind was not on the pages opened in front of him but on the woman that has been occupying his thoughts. He decided to take a careful and logical look at the situation, could she give them a chance irrespective of the situation
confronting her at the moment. Would he
really take that leap with her, considering
who her father is and the kind of force he
pulls, is Chinwe even willing to divorce the
man she is married to or is there more
holding them together than what she told
him?

She once liked the guy enough to marry him and she only left him because of the incident with Clara, even though she claims they have nothing more to do with each other and that they are only together because of her father,
would she give them a chance?

Each time he tried to open a discussion down that line of thought, she always said something to change the topic or ask him to forget about him. He really likes her but who was he kidding, do they have a future together or is he simply grabbing onto nothing?

One thing he cannot deny is that he likes her a lot and feels comfortable discussing things with her, maybe because they are practically the pawns in their parents’ hands or because he could relate with the vulnerability she exuded. They have never stopped chatting nor
talking since she left Uyo.

His phone vibrated and he smiled as he saw Clara’s number calling him, funny how you think of Chinwe and Clara calls. They agreed to meet today at the café to help discuss how much she could get a laptop and what type she should go for.

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Poor lady, he has never stopped admiring her kind of person since Chinwe told him about her. She never looks sad, her approach to everything is all smiles and positivity and she’s funny in a cool way too and yes, Henry,
his own buddy always pulls a stunt that
makes him smile whenever he thinks about them.

Davis deduced she was not getting much from the new job, and considered paying part of the laptop cost for her without really letting her in on it; he has to tell Joseph about it too.

With a genuine affection in his voice he
listened to Clara; who just wanted to confirm if he was in the café and would like to come over.

Joseph watched his friend and Clara chatting away and sitting very close, too close for his comfort. He has never really felt this way about a woman. Yes, he has had his days of wild party, drinking and all that but he stopped when he moved down to Uyo.

He walked up to the chair the occupied and pulled a chair to join them, for all he cares,
Davis is still pinning for Chinwe but he has
never told him he feels anything for Clara
He pretended to be listening to the
explanation Davis was giving about the
different laptops that would be affordable to her.

“That is true, I think you should go with that one, it is 65k, or what do you think Rabbi? He is the chief here” Davis turned to his friend.

“Perfect choice”

“Joseph, I heard you opened the café
yesterday; why do you open the café on
Sunday”

“Because the house can be boring”

“Be serious”

“I mean it, the house can be pretty boring, but I don’t come every Sunday, I just do when some people ask me to come because of them”

“That means you have to charge them like crazy”

“Not really, but it can’t be the normal charge”

“Of course not, let me be in charge of that next time you have a customer”Clara said


“Mummy, poopoo”
Henry announced with a contorted face


“ehn, what poopoo are you talking about Henry”
she made to stand up before he spoils the atmosphere
Davis simply stood up and pulled the little
man behind him, leaving his friend with
Clara; he probably needs it, seeing the way he keeps staring at her when he thinks he’s not watching.

“Clara, what’s happening with Chinwe, and before you look at me with those crazy eyes, yes I know everything, but what is happening.
With what I gathered from Davis, she is not happy and that can only be solved by you”

“How do you mean?”
“I mean what do you think is happening with her and her husband, and how long can she live like that. Maybe all she needs is just you
forgiving her husband and then she would to, or what do you think? It is not just her life that is in a pause, yours is too and Henry’s.”

“I understand, but I just don’t know if I can face the man just yet”

“You face him every day; Henry”

“I know, but you can’t imagine how hard it is to even think about it”

“I can’t but I have an idea”

“And besides, I have forgiven him”

“You can’t be sure of that until you can look him in the eyes and say that to him, and on another note, seeing him and straightening things out would make you move on with your life, date other men”

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“Men ke, at this age?” she said with a short laugh


“What is wrong with you, what are you
talking about. How old are you?”

“27 years with a 3 year old boy. You?”

“31, and you are way too young to be ruling out men, sorry a man and for your
information, Henry is a better part of the deal if someone dates you. Don’t date men, just date a man; at least one at a time”
Joseph knew he was blabbing but he could not help himself, he is smitten by her and he prays she
knows the underlying truth behind his whole preaching.

“Ok o, so how do I go about this?”

“You can go to Lagos”

“Where is the money for that now, Joe” Joe?

She already gave him a pet name? Nice.
“Money is the least of the hurdles, the first is your willingness to go, the second is to get Chinwe’s house address and then the money
will come.”

“Chinwe told me he said he would like to see me, she sent a text this morning and asked if I would be able to see him”

“Excellent, then we have a solution. How soon can you take time off work? You can go and see them”

“Joe, I don’t know…”

“See, you have to, otherwise, we all will be stuck in this position for a long time,”he announced more forcefully this time as if he were in the position with her.

They stared at each other for a long time, neither saying a word, just staring.

“This your son is funny o” Davis said as he returned to the table, breaking the spell.


“What did he do?”
she said in a funny voice and cleared her voice


“He said uncle go back, it will smell o”

They all burst into laughter and Joseph found himself laughing harder as he swung the little boy up to his laps to sit him down, looking at the mother who could not stop laughing too.

********************************************************************
Her mother has been on the phone with her for over 10 minutes and the direction of the discussion is becoming uncomfortable.

“Chi, you know what I want to say? I know you have your reason but if you can’t tell me, that means it is between you and Tokunbo, but for goodness sake, I have watched that
boy and he is a good kid, I know you know he is and I am suspecting something happened before you met him that changed your mind,
but please, settle it and find a way to move beyond that.

I don’t have another man to find for you, but if he has not murdered anyone or you found a shrine in his room or he raised his hand against you then please settle whatever it is.

Give him a chance to prove to you he is a
good man, don’t shut him out totally and choose each day at a time. Please, see beyond the things you think you know about him and learn to forgive.

Forgive him, forgive your
father, forgive everyone you think has
wronged you, you will sleep better at night when you do that.”
She did not ask what happened again but ended the call.

Chinwe dropped her phone on the bed and expected her Mum to call back and when her phone rang again, she took a look at the screen


“Hello Chinwe?”
Clara said over the phone


“Clara, how are you, did you see my
message?”

“Yeah, I did, tell him I would see him.
I will take time off on Friday and would come with Henry.

We will come back on Saturday”

“Are you sure about this?”

“Of course I am, we all need to move on, far beyond this mess holding us all in position”

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“True, thanks a lot. How was your day?”

“Fine, I went to the cafe”

“How is Joseph? I have not really spoken with him since I left on Saturday”

“He is fine, he even dropped us off and they left not too long ago”

“Hmm, you sound like you like that”

“Yeah, he’s showing me break light, but has not really said it in plain words, but I like him too”

“I like him too, just be careful and don’t you dare shut him out”

“I hear, goodnight, approko madam”

“ahhh, when he reach the time where I wan ask questions now, you dey say good night, ok o, good night.”

Chinwe smiled to her phone and imagined
her friend with Joseph, Clara needs a man
and Joseph is a good specimen, his sense of humor is what Clara would need more at this time.

Since her father left in the morning with his lawyer, Tokunbo has practically disappeared and they have not crossed each other’s path ever since.

All day she has been either
chatting with her friends or calling someone to while away time.

She needs to inform Tokunbo that Clara would be willing to come to Lagos to see them, so he would be prepared about buying the tickets for her and the son. She walked to the door of the guest room and knocked gently and was
surprised the door opened slightly at her
gently knocks. Without waiting she popped her head into the room and almost screamed.

Tokunbo was in the process of pulling on his shorts, probably preparing to sleep.


“Sorry, I thought you were not inside”
she said as she recoiled her neck quickly out of the room


“Come in”
Tokunbo called on her from inside the room

“I am sorry for barging in on you like that….

I ” she said, still standing outside the room

“Chinwe, you can barge in like that all you want, we are married. To what do I owe this honor?” he pulled the door opened and invited her in, but she remained outside still,
so he stepped out of the room

“Clara, my friend that you…”

“That said I raped her? So that is her name, don’t worry, you can say it, so what about her”

“She agreed to see you, this Friday”

“This Friday too, that would be the same day we will be having the dinner you father told us about this morning, can she come on Saturday instead”

“She works and she wants to return on
Saturday”

“Well, she can return on Sunday”

“I will have to ask her,”

“Please do, so that we can have time to talk and we can personally pick her up from the airport”

“Alright, I will tell her”

“Would that be all?” Tokunbo asked.

Chinwe still stood there, staring at everywhere, except his face.

“Yeah” she turned quickly and left the room.

It is amazing how they could have this kind of conversation agree over it and they can’t seem to find that kind of effort to make other
conversations.

Well, well, well, far be it that she finds him
attractive. Could she possible still like him and feels uncomfortable alone with him? Well, if it any consolation, he finds her attractive too and must confess that he would love to feel that the feeling is mutual. Tokunbo thought to himself as he shut down the laptop he had on
and settled for a lonely night again.

What a way to spend a honeymoon.

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