Hey guys, I am sorry for disappearing on you last week. A friend came to visit and I just got carried away for so long, my laptop was dead before I realized.
There’s also the (@TNSng) social media I have been handling (on Instagram and Twitter) for a while now, that keeps my eyes glued to my phone 24/7. Meanwhile, follow us for your daily news from Nollywood. We’re the Industry’s most respected platform and we cover it all round. Hit the follow button on IG, tag me (@tomilolacoco), so I can follow you back with the TNS handle. Let’s go guys!
So, back to the reason we’re here; Our dearly loved romance story – Dangerous Passion. As you already know, this is the last episode before the Ebook is ready, whoop whoop! I cannot wait to share what happens to all your favorite/non favorite characters in the book when it comes out.
So when does it come out, you ask. In a week, by God’s grace. I am currently close to finishing and just a few pages above 20 pages to the end. This shouldn’t take more than a few days and if things go well, should be ready end of this week. But I am putting allowance for my laziness and anything else (LMAO)
Anyway, I literally couldn’t have done this without you guys and that’s no joke. The way you keep asking, keep checking on me when I disappear and how you love the story, kept me going. As a lazy and very occupied Writer, I could have stopped but you didn’t let me. Thank you.
PS: The show I was working on and I told you about months ago is almost ready for announcement. Once it’s fine for us to announce, I will put it here. So don’t disappear. It’s a popular one, you’d like it!
That said, Eyin Ese will return after Dangerous Passion Ebook is done and out for sale. But keep it locked here so that you don’t miss a thing. Thank you so much, guys, I love you.
Oh, and by the way, y’all voted for the second cover the most and that’s what we’re using on Okada Books. xoxo
The drive to her Parents’ was short. Or maybe it was because it was the final time they would ride together.
It was the final time they would be together in the same place, like this, before what would have been crashed.
She resisted the urge to shed tears. It was for the best, she’d told herself so many times during the trip here.
She was doing the right thing.
This was a man she barely knew, a man whom she was certain was dangerous and a man she shouldn’t be getting involved with.
Her mind travelled back to the lovemaking sessions at his and she quickly shut it out.
She couldn’t be thinking of that intense session right now – there were serious decisions to be made.
When he stopped by the gate, her eyes caught her nephew’s frame. He was throwing the trash out. When he was done with the errand she was sure her mother had dragged him out of bed for, he stepped in, stood by the gate where he peeped from to check on her.
Ayo had been a little sensitive since she got attacked in her apartment.
He asked her many times if she was okay, was quick to run to her side when he sensed she needed something and was always the first to answer when she called.
She’d never seen him like that and she wondered if he’d thought she’d die.
It was what everyone had thought anyway – she had never given them a scare like that in their lives and so they were thrown when the call from Olumide came.
“Is that your-“
“My nephew.” She finished off for him. Nothing missed his eyes, huh?
She wondered briefly if it was part of the training they gave them at that mysterious club of theirs – how to deftly hide guns like trained assassins, noticing the slightest movements and acting like villains from superhero flicks.
“One last thing,” she said before she got ready to step out.
“The first time you came to my house…”
“Yes, it was for the same reason Sina came.” He replied, giving the answer to her ultimate question.
So she’d been right all along.
She let the silence envelop them, words failing her.
She was mad at him, really mad at him for lying to her. For making her look like an idiot and for being so irresistible in the midst of it all.
She unlocked the door of the car and made to step out. She wasn’t even going to give him a goodbye.
He didn’t deserve that.
He didn’t deserve the courtesy of getting a goodbye from her.
She saw him unlock and open his side of the car.
“You don’t have to walk me,” she spat, eyeing him as he stepped out of the vehicle.
“I’m not walking you.” He replied.
So what the heck did he think he was doing?
“See, if you think you can talk me into staying with you…”
“Good afternoon ma.”
Toni watched him flatten out on the tarred estate floor as he prostrated to her mother. The woman opened her arms wide, a warm smile on her face.
Ayo was standing some spaces away, watching them
“Omo mi,” Toni’s mother said, “Ose ojo.” She replied thanking him for the other day.
“Yes ma.” Olumide replied with that magnetic smile of his with which he drew everyone in. It was the gateway to a side of him only the world saw.
She, on the other hand, had seen him in his depth.
Something Tania would say meant the man loved her.
Tania, she really wished she was alive to help her in this moment.
“I was calling Ayo here because he took so long disposing of the trash, only for me to step out and see you. You disappeared the other day before we could say thank you.” Toni’s mother pulled Olumide’s hand, “But it is not too late for us to show our gratitude today. I just finished making lunch.”
Toni watched in utmost shock as her mother pulled Olumide along with her towards the house. “I hope you like amala?”
Toni gasped as Olumide glanced behind him to lock the doors with the car remote.
“Mummy,” Toni began to call, as she tried to catch up with her mother and Olumide’s long strides.
“Toni, I was beginning to wonder why it took you so long to return from Tania’s funeral. How did it go? And her Parents?” the questions didn’t seem to require an answer, Toni thought as she watched her mother pull Olumide towards the entrance to the house.
Toni, determined to convince her mother letting Olumide stay was a bad joke, strode towards the house.
“Is he like your boo or something?” Ayo asked behind her.
“No.” she gritted.
“Okay…” he drew out his response like he didn’t believe his Aunt.
“Okay, what?” Toni asked over her shoulder.
“I don’t know. You guys just seemed like you were going to kiss in his car or something.”
Toni gasped. She was about to ask her nephew how he knew people who were about to kiss in cars when she heard her mother call out to her father.
She decided to worry about discussing the topic of kissing with her nephew later.
“Toni wasn’t going to let the boy come in and say hello,” her mother said to her father as the door to the house opened.
The aroma of ila alasepo wafted through the air, welcoming them as they stepped into the interior of her parents’ house.
Nina Simone was playing quietly through the speakers.
Since she returned from the hospital, her father had been trying to ease her stress.
He had mentioned the day before that sound, food and the people she loved would speed up her recovery.
It was something he said the Doctor had mentioned.
Hence, the Nina Simone music.
She watched in horror as her father welcomed Olumide. The latter flattened himself out on the floor, his hands as support as he greeted her father the same way he’d greeted her mother.
She rolled her eyes.
What an Actor.
“Thank you for the other day, son.” Her father’s voice said, shaking Olumide’s hands and patting him on the back.
Toni fought back the urge to roll her eyes for the hundredth time since they stepped in.
“I hope you do not have plans, because we have enough food to feed you this afternoon.”
Olumide glanced at her, a wide grin on his face, then he replied, “Not at all.”
Toni glared at him as he followed her Parents to the sitting room.
She excused herself and ran to her room where she shed her clothes and shoes and settled for something more comfortable – a pair of black slacks, a white camisole and her slides.
Hands thrown in her pocket, she found her way back to the sitting room where her father was laughing at something Olumide had just said.
Shaking her head in disgust, she strolled to the Kitchen and peeped on the pot of ila alasepo sitting on the gas cooker, the blue flames beneath it licking its bottom.
The aroma made Toni hungry. Grabbing a spoon to stir the soup, she was grateful she hadn’t taken up Olumide’s offer to eat the pancakes he made.
Turning off the heat, she tasted the soup on her palm to be certain it was ready for consumption.
The tiny chunks of smoked panla, ponmo and saki a welcoming sight to behold.
Her mother emerged, Ayo in tow.
“Where’s your car?” she inquired and it was only then Toni remembered she’d abandoned the vehicle at the cemetery.
How stupid of her.
Who was she these days anyway? Long gone was the Toni who took note of everything.
“It is at Olumide’s house.” she lied through her teeth. Of course, asides being careless and stupid, she’d added lying to her new habits.
She’d never lied to any of her parents before.
Ayo was pouring sieved yam powder into the boiling water on the gas cooker now. Toni handed him the turning stick once he was done.
She and her mother kept their eyes on him as he turned the amala carefully like a trained chef.
“You now turn amala so well; I’m proud of you.” Toni teased and her mother laughed.
“Wait until you find out he now pounds without lumps,” her mother replied, grabbing clean ceramic plates from the dish rack. “The other day we ate pounded yam and egusi, your father was so sure I pounded the yam. And I was asking him why I will be pounding yam when I have a boy as old as this in the house.”
“Staying in Tunde’s house did him good.” Toni said, watching as her nephew balanced the hot pot between his feet, the pair of slides on his legs shielding him from the heat emanating from the pot.
He turned the amala, as if he was oblivious to the two women talking about him in the kitchen.
“It did. He now behaves like someone who knows what home training is.” Her mother said as she scooped hot soup into beautiful ceramic bowls with floral designs.
Dishing was quick, Toni and Ayo lending a hand to Toni’s mother as she served lunch.
Large chunks of goat meat made it into each person’s soup bowl, Olumide’s own slightly bigger than everyone else’s.
Toni wondered if this was just gratitude on her mother’s part or something else.
“So, this Olumide boy, is he seeing someone? I didn’t see a ring on his finger so I know he’s not married.” Her mother said as she placed amala and soup on a tray, handing it over to Ayo.
Ayo let out a chuckle as he walked past her out of the kitchen.
Toni wanted to smack the smile off his face.
“Why are you asking me this question?” Toni asked as her mother pulled another plate.
“I want to know if he’s single.”
But Toni ignored her, watching as she scooped soup into another bowl.
“I thought there were five of us eating lunch, why are you serving a sixth bowl…”
Emmanuel’s loud voice boomed through the sitting room and filtered into the kitchen.
“You invited Emma for lunch?” She’d spoken to him on the phone earlier but still, she hadn’t expected him to breeze in so early after her arrival.
“He’s worried about you.” Her mother said, defiant.
“And then you brought Olumide in…”
“Ahan, shebi you said you’re not interested in Emma? What does it matter if both men are eating lunch with us? There’s enough food to go around and we aren’t complaining.”
Toni dished her amala into a soup bowl and doused the hot meal with some steamy okra soup. Rinsing her hand in the sink, she leaned against the kitchen counter.
“I am eating my own food from here,” she said stubbornly, rolling some amala in soup. “I am not coming.”
Her mother ignored her. It wasn’t until Ayo had come to pick what was left of lunch and his, that she said to Toni, “If you like finish the food, sleep and have your bath here. In fact, have children here when you’re done.”
Then she strolled out of the kitchen.
Olumide didn’t like that the Emmanuel guy was around. It unsettled him and he wished he could usher him out of the door as quickly as he had come in.
Emmanuel was eating but Olumide was thinking about Toni. Where was she? Since her mother and Ayo emerged from the kitchen few minutes before, she hadn’t come out.But he ignored his presence, focusing on the food before him instead.
He decided to ask.
“Is Toni in the kitchen?”
Emmanuel’s eyes shot up the instant Olumide voiced the question.
“Yes, she said she wants to-”
But Olumide had already marched out of the dining room into the Kitchen. When he got there, she was wrestling with the goat meat in her hands.
He leaned towards the wall at the entrance, his gaze settled on her. Even while she was wrestling with a piece of meat, she looked effortlessly beautiful.
It was as if she had been born to eat meat, as if she was a model on how to eat meat.
It didn’t make sense but that was how her beauty and entire person was – senselessly good; if that made sense.
“Why are you eating here alone?” he asked and she finished off her meat, gulped a glass of water before she replied him.
“Because I cannot stand your face right now.”
He sighed. “You are really going to stay mad at me forever, aren’t you?”
She nodded, “Forever.” Finishing off her meal, she tossed the plate into the sink and turned on the tap.
The water hit her hands in full blast as she rinsed and then washed with the liquid soap sitting by the tap.
“I will wait forever for you.”
She knew he meant the words.
But she also knew she wanted to punish him for making her look like a total idiot while she was falling so insanely in love with him.
He’d made himself seem trustworthy, yet he wasn’t one to be trusted. Yet, he held so many secrets and stalled long enough for her best friend to get killed.
When she turned around, Emmanuel was walking into the kitchen. He spread out his hands and asked for a hug.
Toni held Olumide’s gaze as she walked into Emmanuel’s embrace, her head gently placed on his chest. He stroked her back gently with the back of his unwashed hands.
“I need to wash my hands and show you something,” Emmanuel said to her with a grin so wide, it would slice his face into equal halves if it were a knife. “Come with me.”
He washed his hands quickly by the sink and Toni was tempted to ask both men where their plates were before she was led out of the kitchen by Emmanuel.
Once she stepped into the dining room, she saw her Parents finishing lunch.
“Olumide, you should spend some more time with us before you leave o,” her mother said, ignoring the hesitation on Olumide’s face. “At least until your food digests. Abi you want the food to go to your legs?” she teased. When Olumide offered a smile, she added, “No need to be in a hurry, dear.”
Olumide’s phone rang, it was Goke. His finger was hovering over the screen when he heard Toni’s mother say, “In fact, I have something interesting I think you would like to see.”
He looked up to see a warm smile he couldn’t say no to on the woman’s face and he found himself throwing the phone in his hand back into his pocket.
“Yes ma.” He replied, a smile on his face.
Trudging behind her, he followed her into a smaller sitting room, one a few doors away.
The sitting room was smaller than the main one and it had just a sofa, a glass coffee table and an old TV set sitting on a mahogany stand.
There was also a vintage clock hanging on the wall, an old wedding photo of Toni’s parents and a family photo nearby.
Olumide knew he was curious to see what Toni looked like as a little girl – his own childhood had been a sharp contrast to this one and there was no family photo featuring him and his late mother anywhere in the world.
Well, except that one that also had his grandmother months before she died at the only birthday party she’d insisted his mother throw for him.
It was as if the woman knew she was going to die, so she’d used whatever little money she had to buy him second hand clothes, shoes and took him to get his first hair cut in over six months.
She’d also baked a funny tasting cake – because there had been little or no ingredients save the flour in the house – and gotten a few of the kids in the neighborhood to come celebrate with him.
Olumide remembered the events of the day with so much nostalgia for years and eventually, he’d learned how to bar it all from his mind.
Especially after both his mother and grandmother had died and he’d ended up on the streets, scavenging, sometimes stealing, other times begging.
“That was at Toni’s graduation from baptismal class in church,” her mother said when she saw where his gaze set. “She was such a bright child both in school and at church.”
She was still brilliant, even he could admit.
He’d met women whose minds worked intelligently and who could run anything they set their minds too. Actually, when he was setting out to start his pharmaceutical company, his investment banker; the best in the country, was female.
So was the senior partner at the PR firm he sometimes worked with and, the brilliant/respected pharmacist who mentored him in the business when he started out.
So, meeting a brilliant woman like Toni wasn’t new. Still, she was smart, intelligent and one who knew what the heck she wanted.
“I agree with you. She’s one heck of a brilliant woman.” He replied.
“Incidentally, I was going to just get to know you and entertain you with our old family albums. Give me a minute.” She said and disappeared through one of the doors.
Olumide relaxed on the sofa, briefly wondering if Toni thought being here with her mother was a great idea.
Her mother returned with three huge albums and Olumide knew he should be asking to leave, yet, he wanted to see every single one of those photo albums.
He wanted to know about the years he missed out on with this woman, he wanted to know about her whole life – the embarrassing years, the awkward years, the years before she grew into herself, the happy moments and if it was captured, the sad moments.
He wanted to see the toothless photos, the beautiful photos and the photos that were taken when she was unaware.
Because if they ever made it together, he wanted to share the memories with her vividly, wanted to relive the happy moments with her and laugh about the embarrassing ones.
He wanted to know about her the way no other man did – not even Michael.
“This is when she was a day old,” her mother was pointing at a tiny baby photo of Toni, her eyes shut, a beautiful smile on her petite lips. “She liked to smile in her sleep, more than other babies even.”
Olumide watched as she showed her another photo of Toni, now at 6 months with her parents.
“She barely had hair here. Head bald and shiny like marble.”
Olumide chuckled, he stared longer and that one. He liked her like that – bald head, shiny like marble and all that.
He liked his Toni however she came.
“Here she is at 4. It was her elder sister, Tolu’s birthday. Tolu always felt too grown for her.” Toni’s mother’s smile had dampened, he noticed.
Olumide wondered where Tolu was. At the hospital, he’d gotten a first glimpse into their family but if this Tolu had shown up, he didn’t see her.
Toni’s mother was flipping through now, pointing to a photo of Toni at 8 and then 10.
“And this is probably the only photo she has with Tolu.” The woman rubbed the photo tenderly, her fingers lingering on that one a bit longer.
“What happened?” he asked, wondering if he wasn’t trespassing as he tried to take a closer look at Toni’s sister.
Olumide’s heart pounded, his heartbeat almost loud enough for everyone in the building to hear.
But it wasn’t because of what he just heard, instead it was because of what he’d just seen.
“She got pregnant and everything just spiraled out of control from there-”
He could hear her talk but his mind was far away.
His palms had become sweaty, his throat dry.
Eventually, he had to let go of the album because his hands had become shaky.
Jumping on his feet, he decided it was time to go. “I have to take my leave, ma.”
A frown appeared on Toni’s mother’s face. “Is anything the matter?”
“No, ma. Actually, I just remembered I have a very important meeting with suppliers from America via Skype.” His tone became apologetic as he made for the door. “I promise to return so we can finish this.” And he instantly felt guilty because he knew that was a big fat lie.
Making for the front door, he caught Toni’s movement from the corner of his eyes.
She was headed towards him.
“If you’re leaving-”
“I am,” he cut in abruptly. “And yeah, this is goodbye.” Glancing over his shoulder he saw Emmanuel watching them. “You can hook up with him or whoever you want. I wish you all the best.”
And with that he slammed the door shut behind him.
T-Spice was Toni’s elder sister?
What the fuck?!