The Runaway Bride Episode 10


Tokunbo was sitting at the back of the car
with the driver when Chinwe finally joined
him in the car, she was holding her brother’s
hand tightly. He did not seem to mind or want
to let her go either, they held each other at
the door of the car. He was saying something
quietly into her ears, which she was nodding
to, he later pulled her phone from the back
pocket of the jeans he had on and placed it in
her hands.
“I installed candy crush for you and Scrabble,
and also some other games” Tokunbo
managed to hear part of the discussion.
“Thanks, will you come to visit?”
“As soon as he travels, but we will chat until
then.” He was obviously referring to his
father, he seems to be afraid of him also. This
got Tokunbo wondering how they lived
together this far.
“okay,” she hugged him again before finally
taking her seat beside him, not sparing him a
glance as she buckled herself in. the driver
started the car and she watched as they
moved away from the gigantic house that has
been the image of her misery but has been
her safe haven at the same time.
The street lights on the road made the night
yellow and lively as the car sped by so many
people still walking the streets, the woman
selling recharge cards at the end of her street
caught her attention and she wondered if her
daughter has now finished her secondary
school exams? Her mind wandered and
sampled different thoughts altogether, but she
refused to dwell on the obvious one staring
her in the face. Or better still, sitting calmly
beside her with a stoic expression.
The drive to their house took 30 minutes;
Tokunbo spent the whole time wondering how
he would handle the situation he found
himself in. How does one welcome a bride
who tried to escape their wedding back to the
house? How would he live with her and make
her happy? How would he get the information
he needed the most from her? He wondered
what sin he had committed that made her run
far from him because he has gone through
every possible details of their months together
and even hours together before the wedding
and he could not come up with tangible
reasons why she escaped.
He wished there was something he could do
just to put an end to the entire nightmare.
Tokunbo turned his head to where she quietly
occupied, wondering if she was sleeping. That
has always been her greatest ability, Tokunbo
once asked how she does it, falling asleep in
the midst of some obvious chaos and he
fondly recall her response; which was a smile
and a change in her position as she continued
to sleep.
He likes her a lot and he is so sure she felt
the same way before the wedding, but what
has changed?
The drive was smooth and as much as he felt
the tiredness in his body, he wished the drive
would continue, at least, it would postpone
the inevitable awkward situation that was
bound to take place.
The driver honked gently at the gate of their
house, the house they picked together and she
even supervised the furnishings, the place he
would have loved to call home but
unfortunately, the heart of it wants out and it
is now just a house to him.
He wondered if he should open the door for
her or if he should ignore her, but he would
like to welcome her to their house, to hell
with what she thinks he has done.
“Welcome home honey, I hope you will be
happy and safe here” Tokunbo said gently as
he leaned to open the door for her from inside
instead of doing the obvious of rounding the
car too her side to open the door for her from
outside. Their arms brushed and he could
sense her shrinking into the seat to avoid
further contact.
Tokunbo released a rush of air he did not
know he was holding and went on into the
house before her; she climbed out of the car
and walked after him, ignoring the driver
who was trying to get her bags from the
booth. She did not even know she had
anything left in her father’s house.
As she walked into the living room, she was
surprised at the beauty of it all, the furniture,
the blinds, the lightings and the little
nothings that added something to the whole
beauty of the house, she looked round the
room and could not find a trace of Tokunbo.
The beautiful house would be her prison till
her father dies or better still till she finally
Tokunbo came out of the kitchen which is
adjoined to the dining room; a section of the
living room to the right, he had seen her from
his angle in kitchen where he went to get
water and also for her to be the first person
to choose where she would be sleeping, he
would not want to get into the bedroom first
and make her choose the guest room or vice
versa. Not that it looked like they would be
sharing a room anyway.
Tokunbo treaded gently to the room that
would have been their bedroom and was
surprised to see her there, sitting on the
dresser with her back to the mirror as if she
was observing something on the wall opposite
her. Tokunbo walked past her into the
bathroom and placed an extra toothbrush for
her while he removed his as well as his other
personal belongings from the bathroom, when
he came back into the room; Chinwe was
sitting on the bed, removing her sandals.
“If there’s anything you need or can’t find, let
me know, the domestic staff are not yet
employed” he said simply as he exited the
room, not waiting for her reply.
Chinwe took her sandals to the compartment
beside the large wardrobe and placed her
sandals there wondering if she would get to
ask him for anything, she went to the
bathroom and was surprised and amused that
a fresh toothbrush was laid out for her.
She went about the process of brushing like a
zombie and bathed in a very hot water to jolt
her senses on what could be happening to
Clara, Joseph and Davis, wondering if her
father had made good his promise of not
getting the police involved.
After bathing, now wrapped in a large towel
and feeling refreshed, she sat on the bed and
picked her phones, transferring the numbers
of her friends from the smaller phone to the
bigger one her brother just returned to her.
She dialed Clara first and was beginning to
get worried when she did not pick at first;
she dialed again and with a sigh of relief,
when she heard her friend’s voice over the
“Hello Chi, how are you?”
“I am fine, I should be the one asking that,
did anyone come there to harass you, and
how is Henry?”
“Nobody came, Henry is sleeping, I was
putting him to bed when you first called, what
is the situation of things now, hope your dad
did not get too upset with you”
“He has been upset since I was born or long
before that, don’t worry about me”
“How can I not, I am so worried I have been
useless to myself since you left, I was scared
“I am fine, and I am sorry for the troubles I
caused you, thanks for being my friend”
“Thanks for being my friend too and for
willing to foolishly throw everything away
because of me, I know I should have kept
quiet, but I just hope…”
“I wish you would stop saying that, we have
already gone through that, please, I just
wanted to be sure you are ok, let me let you
rest, hmmm?”
“Thanks, you should call Joseph and Davis too,
they were here and we all were worried,
trying not to call too”
“I will, thanks, we will talk again soon, bye”
The call ended and she placed the next call to
Davis, who picked almost immediately as if he
was expecting her call.
“Hello Chinwe?”
“How did you know it was me, I never gave
you this number”
“True, but I got it from Clara, she was worried
too but we decided not to call just yet till we
are sure of things”
“How are you?”
“I am fine, just a bit worried about you, but I
guess I’m better now that I have heard your
“is Joseph there with you?”
“Yeah, he is dozing off already”
“Must have been a long day for you both”
“Trying day more like it, where I had to
choose between my mother and my friend,
my very good friend” Chinwe could not
pretend she did not notice the way he
emphasized on the friend both times and
smiled fondly.
“What is happening there, I hope all is fine,
where are you now”
“With him, I was forced to go back with him”
not bothering to elaborate on the “h im”,
hoping he knew who she was talking about
“Wow, did you not tell them, at least your
mum what you told me, she could see sense
in your decision”
“I could not and I would like to keep it this
way, just don’t worry, I have this under
control” she said assuredly
“What is the plan, I hope you are not
planning to run away again?”
“No, my mother suffered too much because of
the first one, I can’t make her go through that
“Divorce?” he offered slowly
“It is too early to apply for one, we have to
wait at least 6 months”
“Really, does that apply in Nigeria?”
“It does, when my father is involved” she lied
“Oh, I guess that is true”
“Have you called your mum?”
“Why would I call her, I’m sure she arrived
safely, since you must have been on the same
flight with her to Lagos”
“Yeah, the plane my dad came with took us
both to Lagos, your dad was there too, but I
could not get to see his face clearly, given the
situation of things”
“Your father chattered a plane down?” Davis
asked almost unbelievably
“Wow, now I know the magnitude of what my
mum was saying, but anyways, she got to
enjoy a private jet too, and as for my old man,
I knew he would not waste that opportunity,
given the other benefits he would get from
your father for being the one who ‘found’
“Don’t be too harsh on them, they did it to
protect you and I don’t blame them”
“I hear you, my mother yes, but my old man,
forget it, that man is selfish”
“Dave, just drop it, I am tired and just wanted
to be sure you guys are ok, we will talk again
“Yeah, sorry, my big mouth running fast, you
should rest, take care.”
She ended the call and placed the last call to
her brother
When he did not pick she left him to sleep,
giving the time of the day, but as she changed
to her t-shirt she travelled down in, finding
nothing else of hers in any of the drawers,
her bags from days back still lying in the
corner of the room, he called her back and
she picked
“Hi dude, I thought you were sleeping”
“I was with mum, she needed something”
“What’s that?”
“Her drugs”
“Ok, how is she, and how are you, I hope he
did not transfer the anger on you”
“see you, I am used to it now, what’s the
worst he can do than what he has been doing
or what he did those days you were missing,
mum is sleeping by now I guess” Nkem said
“I am sorry, I am so so sorry, I wish I could
make up for it”
“No problem, mum bore most of his wrath”
“Did he beat her?”
“Of course now, twice I guess”
“Animal, I just wish he would die”
“Me too, but God does not kill bad people, he
prefers to take the good ones like our dog
shey?” He tried his joke on her and it worked
like magic. That has been their survival pill,
his sense of humor and her willing ears.
Whenever they could afford it, they would
gather, with their mum and laugh at his silly
jokes till their father returns.
One would always take Nkem to be a geek,
with his willowy stature and a thick glasses
set on his nose, but he is the sweetest, most
caring and loving brother one could ever ask
They talked some more, with Chinwe asking
most of the questions and he giving her the
answers, often times telling the funny sides of
some family members who came to
sympathize with them but ended up asking
for money or taking some items from the
house, some asking for her personal
belongings to make her return, they ended up
taking her beautiful clothes, shoes, jewelries,
one of their aunts even asked him to give her
the phone she left behind, saying she wanted
to take it to a prophet to pray on it.
“I wondered if the angels needed it to track
you down like the CIA”
“You are not serious” Chinwe could not help
but laugh out loud.
Not noticing the man at the door, calmly
watching her at wondering what he could do
to make her laugh like that with him,
Tokunbo retraced his steps back to the guest
room to get some rest that he doubted he
would be getting, especially since the woman
he always wanted is back and obviously hate
him and he can’t fathom what he did to
warrant it.
Chinwe fell asleep as soon as her head
touched the pillow, while Tokunbo tossed and
turned and was counting the time with the
second hand of the clock on the bedside
drawer. He was awake till around 3 am in the
morning and slept after that…