The One I Love
Credit Temitope Daniel
Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more.
You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement.
They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful.
There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.
The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever.
Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all.
A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby.
Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do.
Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible.
You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
This is how it started
Tolani was smiling, staring at Stella and Favour with his playing cards well covered up. What else could make him happier, that time than playing with Stella and her friend, Favour? At least, they just finished their tests and Tolani had come to Stella’s room to play cards with her and discuss with her about his traveling.
He didn’t know how to start the discussion so he felt playing, at first would be the introduction to his discussion with her. He had a black bag on him, as he played with the ladies. He had been leading the game on point and had been laughing at the ladies because he told them earlier that he was going to win.
He scratched his head using his index finger. “Stella, I came because of something important.”
Stella who had been laughing raised her head and gazed at him. He seemed serious that time, what important thing had he come for? If Tolani spoke seriously, he meant every word from his mouth.
Her impression and expression showed she was ready to hear what he came for without asking what it was. Favour also paused, should she stand for the couple or remain there? What if it was something secretive they wish to discuss? She kept on pondering.
“I want to travel, Dad said he wants to send me to Manchester; where his brother lives, to complete my education.” He said.
“That’s a nice idea, but he should have done that earlier than now.” Stella was glad.
“Wao, congrats.” Fave smiled.
“What’s the happiness and well wishes all about? Do I look like I’ve accepted his offer to leave? Why on earth can’t I stay in my country to study like others? I refused.” He hissed as he took away his face.
“You refused? Large percentage of students here wish to travel abroad to study, if I have that chance do you think I’ll wait here? Yes, you may not like it but you have to go!” Stella spoke with passion and dropped the playing cards.
Tolani dropped his cards too. “I wish to leave, but not without you. If you don’t go to Manchester, I won’t likewise. But Dad is not ready to send you with me and I won’t leave likewise.” he said.
“Because of me? Tolani!” She called his name faintly.
“Yes now, I can’t imagine leaving you all alone. Your dad is on the sick bed, you also know where your mother is… I can’t!”
“If it’s because me then… I’m no longer interested in this relationship.” Stella stuttered as she was downcast.
“Stella!” Favour cut in.
“I’m for real, I’m not interested.” She repeated herself.
“Are you out of your mind?” Favour packed the cards she had with her together and gazed at Stella.
“I’m not, I’m serious! Let us depart if it will cause you not to go.”
“St…stella..” Tolani stammered, blinking.
Stella still couldn’t raise her head properly. She didn’t want to be the mistake in his life, she wanted the best for him. “This is not a joke.” She said again.
“Are you really for real?” Tolani asked again.
“I’m serious.” She spoke, looking really serious.
Tolani was taut. He stood up gently and picked his bag. He gazed at Stella and Favour again before he removed his hand bead and dropped it on the table. He was tight-lipped and wan, he left the room without returning.
♡Four years after – Present.
“I’ve grown, I’ve seen a lot, I’ve witnessed trials, was born into abject poverty, still father worked as a hotel cleaner before he was accused of stealing a golden wristwatch which the owner forgot inside the car.
He was detained, tortured until he was found innocent, free from artificiality. This landed him into a terrible sickness, no one could help, not even those who accused him of stealing or the hotel in question.
Tolani tried his best before he finally left for Manchester, then it resulted into sickness. Mother, a rare gem on earth. She worked as a maid in a rich man’s house after my father died, even with her age.
A woman that has given birth to two children, one died at the age of seven when he was sick and there was nothing to be done because there were no money and me, twenty-five years of age.
The woman who has given birth to a child of my age, is fourty-eight years, still a maid in a rich man’s house. She did it for me to excel, I passed out, made it but there’s still no job to do.
”Stella dropped her handkerchief.
“I deliberately kept quiet for you to speak, express yourself and remember the pasts. As you know, you are still a lot better than people out there. Though, you may have a very sad story, everything about you may be weird but you’ll make it someday also.” Favour said.
“This is our usual chorus, usual anthem but nothing has ever changed has it?” She questioned.
Favour heaved a sigh and kept her head low. She was born into a polygamous family of four wives and eleven children. Her mother was the first wife that was sent out of her father’s house because of barreness. It was after two months it happened she knew she was carrying a baby.
At first, she kept mute and didn’t want to get her husband informed since he didn’t even love her again too. She was persuaded by her mother who eventually took her to his house and told him her daughter, Favour’s mother was pregnant.
It was already the third month, who would believe she wasn’t telling a lie? She was refused and since then, her mother had been catering for her till she gave birth. There was no one to offer help, Favour’s mother also strived hard to make sure her daughter was well eduacted so that she wouldn’t suffer like she did.
Tolani just returned back to home, two months back. He was the one his father sent to head the headquarters of his companies. Throughout his stay in Manchester, he always remembered Stella. He did pray that she should be fine, as well as her parents.
He had tried all means to get in touch with her again but all was up to no avail. He had tried all he could but none of his attempts was able to locate where Stella was. Yes, he still loved her and the love hadn’t faded. He wished to know if she hadn’t given her heart to someone else or gotten married.
He called the phone numbers he knew but none went through. He visited the house he knew they were living in before his depature but still she wasn’t there despite his difficulties and obstacles.
He disciplined himself to the extent that he didn’t give his heart to anyone else because of Stella. He wished to know if she kept the bead he gave to her because he knew Stella did cherish whatever given to her to keep. Tolani wished to know if she just broke up with him because she wanted him to excel or she meant it.
He had imagined how she could be, where she worked and what she looked like. He wished his wishes could come true so that he could set his eyes on her again.
Will Tolani find her still single? Lets wait for episode 2………