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Added: Sep 07
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Prisoner Of Love - Season 1 - Episode 9
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“BROTHER TOMMY … BROTHER TOMMY, aren’t you going to work today? It’s 6.30 am already.” Wale called out as he knocked hard on Tomiwa’s door.

“Oh, Jeeeez!!!” Tomiwa screamed as he quickly jumped out of his bed. He had overslept and he was going to pay dearly for that. He was supposed to wake up by 5.30 am in order to beat the early morning traffic on his way to work. Grabbing his phone to check the alarm clock, he complained bitterly, “This stupid alarm clock was supposed to wake me up! What is heck is wrong with …” He was scolding the clock like a disobedient child but soon mellowed down when he looked at the screen and realised he was mistaken. Oh, it actually did ring but he was too deeply lost in Paradise to hear the sound of the alarm when it rang up to five times! He was actually in the land of dreams savouring every wonderful moment with his heartthrob.

With the speed of light, he rushed in and out of the bathroom in a flash, got dressed and hurriedly set out for work. By the time he got to work he was about thirty minutes late. He quickly settled into his seat after greeting his colleagues briefly. He put on his computer and it began to boot. At that time, Mrs Roseline Ikechukwu, the Head of Marketing Department cum Tomiwa’s Team Head, walked up to his desk and announced, “Tomiwa get set. We have a call at Victoria Island by ten this morning and we’ll be setting out by 9.30.”

“Copy that ma.” He responded as he smiled at her.

Mrs Ikechukwu, fondly called Madam Rosie, was an elegant fair-complexioned tall lady probably in her late thirties with a knack for high heels. She looked gorgeous as usual in her grey trouser suit with matching makeup. She could pass for a model or a ‘hot chick’ to say the least. She was especially fond of Tomiwa to the extent that their fellow colleagues usually called her his auntie.



Tomiwa checked his watch and realised that he still had some time to quickly take his breakfast before setting out for the Victoria Island call. He walked down briskly to the kitchenette singing, “Ebute-Metta laiye wa … se ti ri bo se nlo?” It was a line from one of his Naija hip-hop songs rendered in Yoruba meaning: ‘Ebute-Metta is where it’s happening … hope you are seeing that?’ This song had suddenly become his favourite in recent times.
On the corridor leading to the kitchenette, he met Lanre and Amaka who just came out of the kitchenette having finished their meal.

“Tommyski.” They hailed.

“Lanre baba, waddup? Hope you’re good?” He responded shaking hands with him. He turned to Amaka and complimented, “Amaka Baaaaby … mehn, you are looking gorgeous, gbabesky.” Amaka blushed like a little baby as she thanked Tomiwa for his compliment and they continued their walk back to their desks.

“Are you blushing already, Amaka?” Lanre teased.

“Well … you know, Tommy has a way of making one feel good about oneself.” She said still blushing. “By the way, what is it with Ebute-Metta and Tomiwa these days? The guy doesn’t seem to get tired of singing about it.” Amaka asked inquisitively.

“Don’t mind Tommy ooo. Ebute-Metta is where his fiancée resides and since he met her we haven’t known peace in our department. It’s been ‘Ebute-Metta laiye wa’ all the way ooo.” Lanre explained smiling broadly as he did so.

When Tomiwa settled down to eat, his mind drifted back to the dream that made him oversleep that morning. The thought alone sent a strange but titillating feeling through him. It felt like a touch of an angel of love. He remembered vividly how he was carried away by Rachael’s beauty and how the aromatic fragrance of her hair got him filled with intoxication sending him into a frenzy. He knew that he was no doubt deeply smitten by love. He began to wonder how he could fall so easily into the inescapable grip of love.

For one thing, he was a ladies’ man who had often been confronted with advances from different ladies but had always proved to be up to the task in resisting them without any difficulties. He wasn’t the type that would give in easily to such advances no matter how beautiful or highly placed the ladies were. He stood his grounds, not for the want of experience but because it was his resolve not to engage in any casual relationship until he was ready for marriage. However, with Rachael, it was a different story! “Cupid didn’t miss this time around.” He said to himself as his lips gave way to a warm smile. “If this is what love is, then I won’t mind being a slave to love for all eternity and cupid can fire one hundred more arrows for all I care!” He continued soliloquizing. Why wouldn’t he be so smitten by her? She was a perfect match for the kind of lady he had always dreamt of marrying since his teenage years. She was humble, respectful, resourceful, and never allowed her beauty get into her head—everything he had always wanted.
“That Nemuel guy must be suffering from a chronic case of insanity to have thrown away such an amazing gem.” He continued still enveloped in his soliloquy. “Well, thank God for his ginormous stupidity, otherwise I wouldn’t be this fortunate. Nemuel, may God bless your foolishness wherever you are.”

Then, he heard Madam Rosie’s voice from a distance, “Tomiwa, meet me downstairs in the car. It’s Gabriel that is driving us today.”

“Okay, ma. On my way.” He replied with the food in his mouth muffling the words as he spoke. He quickly gulped down the few spoons of rice remaining in his plate, hurried to his desk to pick his jacket and diary, and dashed down the stairs to meet Madam Rosie who was already waiting for him in their blue Toyota Corolla marketing car. As he took his seat beside her, the scent of his perfume filled the entire car.
.
“Tommy, you and this your signature perfume sha. Everyone will easily know you are around. It’s like it’s customized for you ‘cos I haven’t perceived it on any other person but you.” Madam Rosie noted and capped it with a compliment, “By the way, you smell nice.”

“Oh, thank you Madam Rosie.” He appreciated her with a broad smile. “Have I told you before how this perfume almost got me into trouble?”

“Seriously?” She asked laughing. “That must be some funny story, I can’t wait to hear it.”

“Ah! Madam Rosie, na Baba God save your boy ooo. No be small thing at all.” Then he started narrating the story to her…

“It was Rachael ooo. It happened during our last Residential stay on campus, shortly before we started our examinations. There was a group assignment that we had back then. It was a Term Paper that involved doing some research, distribution of questionnaires, analysing the data collected and presenting it as a bound document. It required us meeting from time to time to discuss the assignment and I was the leader of my group. The secretary of the group was a lady named Mary that happened to be a roommate and friend to Femi’s girlfriend. Femi was my roommate and best friend on campus. Mary was very active both in our group and in the class in general. The assignment was going to be thirty marks and from what we’d heard about the lecturer, we had to put everything into it. This called for meeting regularly to discuss our plans, progress of the work and how we were doing on finances. It also meant that the ex-officios of the group comprising Mary, Bolanle (our Treasurer) and me had to be seeing more often as the bulk of the work stopped at our table. Little did I know that those frequent meetings would land me in trouble someday …”

“This is becoming interesting.” Madam Rosie chipped in.

Tomiwa continued, “Femi and I were very close and we shared a lot of things together including my perfume. About two weeks before the incident and even before I started my official leave to move to the campus, Femi called me to inform me that they were going to write a test. He also informed me that there was a class levy of five hundred Naira per student which he had paid for me. Unknown to me, Mary was sitting next to him and when he paid, he actually paid for the three of us while Mary wrote down our names on the list meant to record the names of those who had paid. At that time, the group assignment had not be given and Mary and I barely knew each other. We were not even on talking terms but she was close to Femi by virtue of being his girlfriend’s roommate and friend. I didn’t know that these isolated events would one day add up to haunt me …”

“Wait ooo, lemme get something clear …” Madam Rosie cut in. “Are you saying that Mary the secretary of your group was the roommate of your roommate’s girlfriend?”

“Exactly, Madam Rosie.”

“Wow! This is getting complicated. Just continue.”

“Madam Rosie, believe me, the day all these things played out it was as if I was seeing a Nollywood movie!”

“How?” That was Mrs Roseline again. She was already getting impatient. She was so much enjoying the story that she just wanted Tomiwa to continue.

“It happened on the last day for us to submit another important assignment. I had done the assignment for both Rachael and me, and we went to the submission point together. Then, we had earned a reputation for going everywhere together. On getting there, I discovered that I had forgotten to take the assignments along when I left my room for class that morning. So, I rushed back to my room to pick them leaving Rachael and others behind.

“By the time I came back, Femi, his girlfriend, and Mary had also arrived at the point. Rachael’s countenance had changed and she was boiling with anger. Upon setting my eyes on her, I didn’t need an oracle to tell me that something was wrong but I couldn’t figure out what was the cause, at least, at that moment. I was surprised by the sudden change of mood—after all, she wasn’t like that when I left a few minutes ago. She wasn’t going to talk to me. Ah! See gbege!

“After pestering her to tell me what was wrong, what came out of her mouth hit me like a punch from Mike Tyson’s deadly left fist! ‘WHAT IS GOING ON BETWEEN YOU AND MARY?!’ She demand with such emphasis and tone that was very scary. I was shocked. I laughed it off and answered, ‘Sweetheart, what sort of question is that? You and I know that there is nothing more to the relationship between Mary and me than that which exists between ordinary classmates working together on a group assignment.’

“‘How come I perceived your perfume on her body?’ That was the next missile dropping off her mouth and her stern look showed that she meant serious business.

“‘My perfume?! What are you talking about?’ I replied highly surprised and somewhat lost.

“‘You know that perfume is unique to you and as far as I am concerned there is nobody else on this campus that uses it except you.’

“‘Yes, I know that.’

“‘Good! You also know that I know the scent so much that I usually know when you are in place even if I haven’t seen you or you are still far off? So, I know what I’m talking about when I said I perceived your perfume on her!’ She countered.

“‘Are you sure it wasn’t from Femi you perceived it? You know he also uses the perfume sometimes.’ I tried to explain what could be a plausible explanation for the drama that was unfolding right before my very eyes.

“‘No! I’m sure of what I am saying and please don’t play on my intelligence here, Tommy! When you left I did three different things to confirm from whom the scent was emanating and all the three pointed to the fact that it was coming from Mary!’ She analysed with great precision.

“‘Oh! But how could that be?’ I couldn’t figure it out myself. ‘Sweetheart, could it be that she too has started using the same perfume and it’s no longer unique to me anymore or maybe Femi took mine with him when going to see his girlfriend and she used the opportunity to stray it on herself thinking it was his.’ I tried hard to reason out.

“‘Well, that is not all.’ She continued with her analysis.

“‘Oh, Jeeez! Not all?!’ I screamed inside of me.

“‘When you left to get our assignments, the Class Governor insisted that he wasn’t going to collect the assignments from those who had not paid their class levy. So, I decided to check your name on the list, so I could pay if you had not paid in order that we won’t waste any more time submitting by the time you arrive with the assignments and what did I see?’

“‘What did you see?’ I cut in.

“‘Behold! Your name, Femi’s and Mary’s names were written immediately after each other by the same person which means one person paid for the three of you. Don’t tell me it was Femi because I know that was not Femi’s handwriting and definitely it wasn’t yours. It must be Mary’s.’ She concluded her analysis and followed it with an interrogatory question, ‘First, she paid for your class levy, she’s always calling you all the time, at night, and even when you and I are together in the name of one stupid group assignment and now I’m perceiving your perfume all over her, and you are telling me there’s nothing between you two? You expect me to believe all these are mere coincidences?!’ She spat out with disgust. I just stood there and became morose. I was completely lost. It was as if I watching a drama! ‘Jeeez! What kind of soap did I bathe with this morning?’ I asked myself.”

“Wow! That’s serious!!! So, how did you resolve the issue?” Madam Rosie asked longing to hear the end of the story.

“Well…” Tomiwa continued, “We eventually submitted our assignments and left. She wasn’t going to talk to me and very cold throughout our walk to one of our usual spots where we sat down to discuss the issue. I was like, ‘Baby, so you think I have something to do with Mary? Oh, Jeeez!!! How could you ever think of something like that? Fine, I may not have a clear explanation for how my perfume came to be smelling on her … it still baffles me too but that had nothing to do with me. As for the names on the list, I wasn’t even in school the day the payment was made and at that time I didn’t really know Mary because the group assignment thing that brought us together had not happened then. Perhaps, she was sitting next to Femi when he made the payment and she just happened to write our names after the payment.’

“‘What about the frequent calls?’ She cut in now sounding warmer. She had definitely begun to reason with me. I started thanking God within me.

“‘Sincerely, those calls were nothing but purely secular; simply for the assignment, no strings attached.’ My next statement was the epiphany she needed to put the matter to a permanent rest. ‘Sweetheart, how could I have a priceless diamond in my hands and throw it away for mere copper? Do you think I’m that stupid? You are a diamond for God’s sake and Mary could only be compared to copper beside you. Is it that you don’t trust me again, baby?’

“With those words, she melted and responded feeling a bit remorseful about her reaction. ‘It’s not that … I … I … don’t trust you. It’s … just that all the evidence were against you … and … I was a little bit scared too. I don’t want to lose you.’

“‘Ah-ah! Beautiful, how could you ever think I would leave you, an angel, for someone like Mary? Fine, Mary is equally cute but when compared to you, she’s nothing but copper placed beside a precious diamond. Moreover, you know me … you know how much I love you. I tell you about all the ladies that make advances towards me and how I treat them. I can never look at another lady when I have you—I won’t do it!’ I explained with all sincerity. She smiled now relieved that I wouldn’t cheat on her. Seeing she smiled I felt an outburst of joy inside of me. Thank God, I was able to win my sweetheart back.

“‘Sweetheart, do you remember that Wande Coal’s song I normally sing for you?’ I asked her.

“‘Which one, dear?’ She responded now relaxed. So, I sang the song melodiously to her.’”

“So, you still had the mouth to sing with all that happened? And with which voice sef? Your crocodile voice?” Mrs Roseline asked laughing out loud.

“Madam Rosie, you know me nah. You know I don’t joke with music nah.” He replied Mrs Roseline and went on with his story …

“Then, I sang the song to her, ‘Trust me … I no go use you play … ten-ten. Everyday … ten-ten, yesterday … ten-ten. My love no be ten-ten; I no be small pikin ooo, I no be small pikin ooo.’ She started nodding her head to the rhythm of the song blushing uncontrollably. I went ahead, ‘Sweetheart, when I say those words, I mean them…’ I sang the next part of the sentence, ‘…because I no be small pikin ooo.’ I went out of my music mode and continued, ‘That means I know what I’m doing; I’m old enough to know what’s good for me. Hence, if I have chosen you, then, you should know that…’

“‘You no be small pikin ooo … you no be small pikin ooo.’ Rachael cut in to finish the line for me in her ‘song mode’ poking me gently by my side. I wiggled a bit and we both laughed and hugged each other tenderly. She whispered into my ear affectionately, ‘I love you, Handsome.’

“‘I love you too, Beautiful.’

“Madam Rosie, in fact, my voice was really like a crocodile’s compared to hers when she sang that song ooo.” He explained throwing a jab at himself. “That was how God saved me that day ooo, Madam Rosie.” Tomiwa ended his narration of the incident.

“Ah! No be small thing ooo. That was very close indeed!” Madam Rosie commented laughing. She really enjoyed the story. Just then, Gabriel bumped into a small pothole that jerked Tomiwa and Madam Rosie forward forcefully.

“Ah-ah! Gabriel! What was that?!” Madam Rosie shouted from the back.

“Madam, no vex ma. I no see that pothole in time.” Gabriel begged, holding the steering wheel tightly as if his life depended on it.

“I have always told you to be more careful when driving, Gabriel. You drive too rough for my liking at times.” Madam Rosie cautioned.

“Calm down, Madam Rosie. It was just a small pothole.” Tomiwa calmed her down. “You don’t look good at all when you are angry.”

“You are not a serious boy, Tomiwa.” She said laughing.

“Ehn-ehn, better. You now look adorable. You see the reason you shouldn’t be getting angry?”

“Hmmm?” She managed to utter amidst a hearty laughter.


Tomiwa’s phone started ringing. It was Rachael. He picked the phone and answered it with a song, “Beeeea-u-ti-ful Baaaaby … Omaaa-li-chan-waaaa, Heeeello girl.”

Rachael who was obviously blushing on the other side responded sharply, “Hello, Handsome, how are you doing?” Rachael’s soft voice gently seeped into his ear making a wonderful feeling raced within him.

“Hello Beautiful, I’m doing quite fine. Just that I’m missing my angel.”

“Ah-ah! But we still spoke last night.” She replied laughing.

“But you know I can’t have enough of you; I can’t stop missing you even if we spoke a few minutes ago…” Then he went poetic, “See, for thousands of years, men have watched the moon in the sky but I am the first man to hold the moon in my hands. So, why won’t I miss you?”

“Mm-Hmmm … Are you sure, Handsome?”

“I am as sure as I’m talking to this angel right now. Lest I forget. Mehnnn, that soup you prepared for me over the weekend …” He paused to salivated a little before continuing with his statement, “Has been making me speak Chinese—ching ching chong—ever since.”

“Oh, you haven’t finished that soup yet?!” She exclaimed.

“Ah! Beautiful, see I’m not praying for that soup to finish anytime soon.”

“Okay ooo. Just make sure you don’t eat maggot in the process … Anyway, I just felt like hearing your voice that’s why I called.”

“Jeeeez! So you were actually missing me too?”

“Something like that.”

“That’s pretty cool to know. Sweetheart, did I tell you that we would be going to Ilesa for Fatima’s wedding in the next two weeks?”

“You mean Fatima, you colleague at work?

“Yes. Would you like to go with us so I can order for the aso-ebi for both of us?”

“That will be fun. I’m in.” She answered with excitement.

“Okay then, I will talk to you later in the evening. Make sure you take care of yourself for me … love you.” He was about hanging up when Rachael called his attention to something.

“Tommy, ain’t you forgetting something?”

“Hmmm … what’s that, Sweetheart?”

“Tommmmmy?” She stressed. The tone of her voice instantly jolted his memory.

“Oh, sorry Love. I forgot your goodbye kiss.” He apologized. “Muuuuaaaah!”

“Better!” She responded filled with satisfaction and returned the gesture. “Muuuuuaaaah! Love you too … Bye.” She ended the call.

Madam Rosie who was following the conversation with keen interest smiled and commented, “Wow! You two lovebirds are interesting to watch or should I say listen to?” Then she added, “How I wish my husband was like you, Tommy! You know what? That girl is very fortunate to have you.”

“Thank you, ma.” He appreciated her for the remark and continued, “But Madam Rosie, do you know that Mr IKechukwu too is very fortunate to have you?”

“Seriously?”

“Absolutely!” He reassured.

“Well, I pray he understands that someday.”

Soon they got to their destination. It was one of the blue-chip companies on Victoria-Island that they had been pursuing for an account for a long time. Fortunately, the call was successful; they won the company’s account for the bank. That called for a celebration because the account was going to be very big with great potentials for the bank. Deservedly, their team was going to be celebrated for the massive breakthrough—the following week’s Performance Review meeting was going to be really, really interesting!

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