I remember how I met him… My love.
“My name is Toritoluwalope Adeniyi and I know your name is Abeke, walk with me please…”
His smile was irresistible and I needed a break from the party anyway. It was a mini weekend party by one of the doctors in the state hospital where I worked as a nurse. Tolu, being his friend had brought drinks and decided to stay back to enjoy the party for a while.
“I have to leave now. Thank you for a nice evening. And for your phone number. I promise to call you.”
He kept his promise.
We have been together for five months now. It has not been easy what with his position as Sales manager at the Juicee industry. He has to travel a lot and is never in a certain location for too long. I have to balance my shifts at the hospital with my online shop and keep up with him. He coincidentally met my parents two months after we started dating. It was not planned but i was glad it happened. My mother was overjoyed; her desire for grandchildren was closer to being fulfilled. Being the first child and daughter, I am to bear the ‘burden’ of fulfilling her desire first.
Tolu on the other hand is the last born. He has three married elder sisters with kids and his mother is in no hurry to have her ‘baby boy’ get married.
The drive to their family house is filled with my anxious questions about what his parents expect of me.
“Beke, my parents don’t bite. Mum is a sweetheart and dad is everyone’s best friend. Relax, you’d be good.”
And he is right. They welcome me genuinely. His parents look so in love, with their matching ankara. His mum does not look at all like she gave birth to the four adults she calls her children. Her smile is warm and her loud laughs are contagious.
His dad though… There is something strange about him. He is welcoming, he also has many jokes and is very much interested in hearing the story of my life. But… That look; strange, unnerving, confusing. One minute, he is looking at his wife with adoration in his eyes, the next, his eyes are on me with that look.
After three hours with them, we leave. I am given a basket of fruits and encouraged to come visit them more often.
I am all smiles as I update my whatsapp status with the pictures we took together. Tolu starts the car and begins the drive back to my father’s house.
“Your parents are so nice and they look so cute together. You are so blessed to have them.”
“And they are glad to have a beautiful daughter-in-law. And dad really likes you, that is a big plus.”
I remember that odd look again but i shake it off.
“How is Bibi?”
“She is getting better. It has been a year now and we still don’t have an explanation for it all.”
Bibi is my 18year old sister, the last of the three girls in my family and the smartest one. Until a year ago when she suffered from a depressive episode. She had come home from the university with the announcement that she had withdrawn from school. We could not get any tangible information from her except that she was not doing well in school. Even that was not true as she had the best result in her 100level and her first semester 200level results were superb too. She started locking up herself in her room, sometimes crying and at other times just staring into space. We went to the school management, hoping to get some reason but they were as perplexed as we were.
Her friends also had no clue what went wrong.
We took her to see a psychiatrist and a psychologist. They made her better to some extent and she was actually improving, at least enough to want to go back to school. But none could get to the root of the whole issue.
“Beke, your phone is ringing…”
It was Bibi. She rarely called.
“Bibi, what’s up?”
“Sis, that man on your whatsapp status, who is he? ”
“That’s Tolu’s father. I finally met his parents today. What’s up?”
“He raped me.”
“What are you talking about Bibi?”
“He is the reason I left school. He threatened to fail me and make my life miserable if I told anyone.” Sis, that man cannot be your father-in-law…”
Readers, what do you advise?