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Everything and Nothing (1)

Everything and Nothing breaks out from Pieces of Her. I hope you'll enjoy it. 

"It's not a ring. It's a freaking rock!" Chioma squealed, she rested the phone between her jaw and her shoulder, stretching out her left hand and inspecting her engagement ring for the hundredth time. "Chioma! You sound too excited about this ring. I hope you know there's more to marriage than an expensive ring" her mother said. Chioma grinned. Nothing could kill her vibe, not even her mother's sobering words. "Mummy it's not just about the ring, believe me. But I'll confess that my jaw drops every time I look at it. It's not just the ring, its who gave me the ring. I love him so much mum. He's everything I ever prayed for in a man" Chioma said. Well, he was almost everything, nobody is perfect, Chioma thought to herself. Mrs Okafor could hear the peace and content in her daughter's voice. She was relieved that her first daughter was finally getting married. At thirty, they were beginning to wonder when it would happen.


Chioma was undoubtedly a beautiful young woman, she had always had a string of admirers right from when she was just a little girl. Over the years she had had suitors but till now, for one reason or another things seemed to go awry. That was why the day Chioma called and said she was bringing "someone" home, she nearly broke into a dance. 
      On the day Chioma and Seyi were to come Mrs Okafor spent the morning in the kitchen, giving out orders to the cook and supervising everything herself. Before Chioma and Seyi got there the dining table was laden with a feast good enough for royalty. The minute they walked in Mrs Okafor was struck by how attractive the man was. He and her Chioma made the picture perfect couple. "Mummy this is my boyfriend, Seyi" Chioma said shyly, trying not to grin so widely and failing miserably. Mrs Okafor enveloped him in an embrace. "You're welcome my son, I'm pleased to finally meet you" she said, "likewise, ma. I've been eager to meet the mother of this amazing lady. I must confess you did a fantastic job raising your children ma. Chioma is all the proof we need" Seyi said. Mrs Okafor noticed that they couldn't stop looking at each other and it was an obvious struggle trying to keep their hands off each other. She watched as they both found excuses to make body contact, she watched as her daughter continued to "mistakenly" brush her hand against his, she watched as he repeatedly dusted off imaginary specks from her trousers, she watched them communicate with their eyes and share secret glances at each other. These two were obviously in love. "Wow he's gorgeous!" Nkem screamed as she barged into the living room. "When you were going on and on, and on and on about him, I thought you were exaggerating as usual but I was wrong. We should make a statue of him. We'll name it 'Seyi, Patron Saint of Hotness' " Nkem said to everyone and no one in particular. Everyone laughed. "Sweetie you see first hand what I had to put up with growing up abi? I present to you Nkem, the little sister that often forgets she's younger than me" Chioma said. "There's nothing little about being twenty seven, I can swear I already have grandchildren in a parallel universe." Nkem said with mock seriousness. She looked quite different from Chioma, unlike her petite sister, Nkem was tall and voluptuous. She did not have her sister's light skin but she was just as beautiful. "It's so nice to finally meet you Nkem. Pray tell, what exactly did she say when she went on and on about me? She never tells me I look good, in fact she says I look like Quasimodo, she constantly bruises my ego, maybe you can help me heal it" Seyi teased. "Lunch is getting cold, we can continue this conversation at the table" an obviously delighted Mrs Okafor said, smiling at the younger ones. 
      Lunch was splendid, the banter was light and entertaining. There was not a dull moment as they ate hungrily while each trying to outdo the other with the latest gist of events in their lives. The only wrinkle in Mrs Okafor's perfect afternoon was when Nkem asked; "So, how did you guys meet? I'm eager to hear it". Suddenly, there was an uncomfortable silence. They both struggled to speak but said nothing, then they began to speak at the same time and stopped. "Don't get excited, there was nothing romantic or exciting about the way we met, Biola introduced us, and we hit it off" Chioma finally said, fidgeting with a napkin and looking into her plate as she said it, unable to look at anyone. Seyi looked just as uncomfortable. "Oh, seen.... Biola the Benevolent. She must be blind, deaf and dumb to pass up on a guy like this. Last I checked she was still single so what gives?" Nkem asked. "Actually I just think its fate" said Seyi, finding his voice as he took Chioma's hand and they smiled at each other. Mrs Okafor knew that they were not being entirely honest. 
       "I hate that we had to lie to your family, it made me uncomfortable babes" Seyi had said as they left Chioma's parents' home. "But boo, we didn't lie. Biola did introduce us, didn't she? And like you said, it was fate. The rest is plain semantics. People meet one way or the other, you can never tell if this was God's plan for us.", She said. "Seriously babe, you're going to have to take off this cloak of guilt you always have on. It doesn't work for me. What did we do wrong? She ended things with you. If anything it's I who should feel bad, and even though it may not look like it, I do. It's just that from the moment we met it felt so right. Sometimes in life we need to be selfish. It may sound mean but its true. If you go on constantly worried about how your actions affect everyone else, you'll find that everyone is happy, everyone except from you. And guess what, you owe it to yourself to do what's best for you, it's no one's responsibility but yours. Darling, I'm in charge of my happiness, its my responsibly and mine alone. So I owe it to myself, ok?" Chioma said. "Chioma the philosopher!" Seyi said laughing. "You're actually right. But you're wrong about one thing darling. It's mine as well. I would always do everything I can to make sure you're happy. The responsibility is now mine, you've done enough, ok?" Seyi said. Biola couldn't help smiling. Did Biola really expect her to pass up on this in the name of friendship?
      The night Biola showed up at her doorstep, Chioma had felt a range of emotions and relief had been one of them. Finally the cat was out of the bag, she no longer had to sneak around, no longer had to lie to Biola about where she was and what she was doing, no longer had to listen to Biola moan about being lonely and single, no longer had to pretend she cared when Biola repeatedly asked if she made a mistake letting Seyi go, she was getting tired of having to convince her that she didn't, while she was in fact now with the same guy. After Chioma shut her door, leaving Biola out in the rain that night, she tried to stay strong but she it wasn't easy. She walked back into her bedroom but before she could make it to her bed she fell to her knees and wept. She wept as though she was mourning a loved one, and in a way she actually was. She was mourning years of friendship to the closest person in the world to her, who loved her as she would a sister. Though she had sounded cold and unfeeling when she was talking to her, even in the darkness, even as she stood under the heavy downpour, Chioma could see the hurt, the pain, the sheer confusion on her face. She cried as she remembered that look, like the look of a young child who was just told that her mum was not her mum. The pain, despair, the confusion, the hopelessness. The realization of the fact that everything you thought you ever knew was a big lie. She felt it just as much as her friend did. But she and Seyi were already in too deep. She had never really thought they would fall so deeply in love with each other, and so soon. When she was went after him, she honestly was not sure how he would respond. She was scared he would reject her and also rat her out to her friend, but that was a risk she was willing to take. Seyi was not the kind of man who came along often and he would be totally worth any risk. Chioma felt her friend's pain but she convinced herself that Biola being the beautiful, domesticated goddess that she was would have no problems finding someone else soon. And if all else failed, she had her faithful friend and colleague to fall back on. Besides, she thought to herself, if Biola really wanted Seyi, she would still be with him. You did not give up on something you really wanted so easily. They had eventually decided Seyi would go and apologize to her and having done that, Chioma felt free of every guilt. 
       "A penny for your thoughts" Seyi said, breaking into her reverie. She looked so beautiful lying there in his bed in nothing but his T shirt. She looked just like the stuff wet dreams were made of, he thought, joining her in bed. "Really Hun, a penny? Your have no idea how devastated I am to know that's all my thoughts are worth to you." Chioma said and they both laughed. "I was just thinking about the wedding preparations. If we're really doing it in three months as you suggested then we don't have much time to plan. I may need to take time off work" she said, as he pulled her close to him. "Babe, we'll get a wedding planner, I don't need you getting stressed about all that. My mum knows some really good ones, when we go over tomorrow you guys can talk about it" Seyi said. Chioma was reminded that they were going to visit her soon to be in-laws the following day. She mentally rummaged through her wardrobe searching for something to wear. In the months she and Seyi had been together, if there was one thing she knew it was that Seyi and his mum were very close. He did all he could to make her happy and gain her approval, he was, after all, her only son. Chioma had thought that might put a damper on things but when she first met with his parents she knew she had nothing to worry about. They were very warm and pleasant people. It was easy to see where Seyi got his good manners and kind heart from. 
       Chioma eventually settled for a long Ankara dress and a pair of flat sandals. She wore no make up, except for a little eyeliner and lip gloss. She didn't want to give Mrs Oladunni Cole any reason to raise her brows. As they drove into the Cole's massive compound, Chioma's heart beat a little faster. They had been to visit Seyi's parents just two weeks before, and Chioma was a bit surprised, albeit, pleasantly, when Seyi informed her that his parents had invited them over, again. They probably wanted to ask what plans they were making concerning their wedding. Mrs Cole was at the door to welcome them into her palatial home. She hugged them both warmly and led them into the living room. "Chioma, how is your family? I hope everyone is well?" She asked. "Yes ma, everyone is fine, thank you. We spoke to them yesterday and everyone was in good health" she said. Soon after, lunch was served and Chief Cole joined them. Unlike lunch at the Okafor's residence, lunch at the Cole's was a quiet affair, but just as pleasant. Chioma wanted to ask her soon-to-be mother-in law about wedding planners but decided to wait till lunch was over, she imagined them having a little girl talk, away from the men. "Thanks for the meal, it was fantastic" Chioma said warmly to her Seyi's mum. "You're welcome my darling. I'm glad you enjoyed it. " 'Enjoy' is an understatement ma. I loved it, I hope you'll be kind enough to share your recipes with me" Chioma said and Mrs Cole smiled in response. "Seyi come, help me clear up" she said, turning to Seyi. "My dear girl, sit down and have a chat with me, Seyi and his mum can handle the dishes" Chief Cole said as Chioma made to get up and help clear away the table. Seyi thought it was rather unusual that his mother wanted him to clear the dishes but did so without asking any questions. "Oluwaseyi, shut the door behind you" Mrs Cole said when they got into the kitchen. "We aren't done clearing up the table mum. What's going on?" He asked. When his mother called his full name he knew something was wrong. "I wasn't expecting you guys" she said. 
"I'm confused, you asked us to come over this afternoon. I'm certain you did. You even promised to make iyan and egusi and you did. So what do you mean?" 
"Exactly Seyi, I asked you to come, you and not, not your friend over there" she made a gesture with her hand towards the sitting room where Chioma was. 
"My friend? You mean Chioma. Really, I must have been mistaken, I'm sorry ma. But I would have still brought her anyways" he said smiling at his mum.
"We need to talk Seyi, that's why I asked you to come" Mrs Cole pulled out one of the chairs beside the small dining table where they stood and motioned him to it. "Please sit down, I'll be as brief as possible" 
"Mum, I think I'll rather stand. Talk to me, what's going on?"
"It's about your friend" she said. "My fiancé mum, she's my fiancé. Why do you keep calling her my friend" Seyi said, cutting in. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to upset you. But that's why I asked you to come here today" 
"Upset me, how? Is something wrong? " 
"Your dad and I didn't think you were actually serious when you first brought that girl home. We've thought about it, and we've both decided that you cannot marry that girl Seyi. We want to see you married and settled soon. But not to her, not to an Ibo girl. You have to call it off, immediately." Mrs Cole said, gently but firmly. She held her son's gaze and left no room for questions or arguments. The air-conditioned kitchen suddenly became too stuffy for Seyi. He opened the first two buttons of his shirt as he finally accepted the chair his mother had offered. He sat down and looked up at his mother, perplexed. "But I love her, I really do, I thought you did too. And in any case, my mind is made up" he said. His mum smiled, it was a strange, cold smile. "Sweetheart, you're my only son, unless you have another mother outside, you will do as I have said". Seyi looked at her face, he knew without a doubt  that his mother meant every word. 


To be continued......

Comments

  1. I'm loving it! I' want moreeeee

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  2. Chei baybay finsh dis stooweeee nw...I can't w8 4 d. Next part...

    ReplyDelete
  3. hmmm. Thelma you've come again! In yo face Chioma!!! lol. oya where's part 2? lol

    ReplyDelete
  4. Strange as it seems Chioma spits some truth sha. she's so right. sometimes you have to be selfish, otherwise you'll never truly be fulfilled.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thelma! I'm still waiting for Biola,s happy ever after o! I LOL'd @ patron saint of hotness. I'm waiting to see where this goes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I write this with a grin on my face.

    Everyday, I try to remind myself that Christ died for me, if he were selfish then I would not be where I am today neither would I have the assurance of salvation. If I say I am a follower of Christ then I will let Christ reign and put away my selfish ways and die for others on a daily basis.

    With this in mind, I wonder how each character will sacrifice self for another.

    Biola, Seyi, Chioma, Seyi's Mom, Michael and Soji.

    The story continues...

    Keke

    ReplyDelete
  7. Do people still do this though? Tribalism. I'm surprised. they should free these two please. Thelma I like some of the themes in your stories.
    Tony

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  8. Thelma dear,I hope we won't av to wait till 20114 to read d final part of this story! I can't wait

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm.... Story of my life, is there a good way to fall in love with your friend's ex? If you guys end up getting married, all might be forgotten but if you don't then you're just another slut.}

      Delete
  9. When i first started reading this story and saw that it was an extension of 'Pieces of her', I decided my poor heart couldn't wait for part 2 for another week. So I stopped reading.

    That being said, I'm super excited ! Off to read Part 2 now!!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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