WHAT A TIRED DAY! thought Mr Adeyemi on his way back from work. He hoped his wife had prepared his food.

Back in their house, Bisi Adeyemi, a plump woman in her early forties and a school teacher was in the kitchen. She was just returning from a friend’s place and was still preparing the evening food when her husband entered the house.

Seeing the dining table empty, Mr Adeyemi was angry. “Bisi, Bisi,” he shouted. “I told you I was coming home early today and still you did not have my food ready.”

“I am very sorry.” Bisi apologised. “It is not yet ready because I went to see Mrs Ajayi. But just give me a few minutes and the rice and stew would be ready.”

Just as she’d known it would, the thought of rice and stew put a smile on her husband’s face.

“Okay, hurry up though. I am very hungry.” Mr Adeyemi smiled, consoled by the thought that it was his favourite food cooking.

While Bisi was in the kitchen, her eldest daughter joined her. Toyin was a twenty-one year old undergraduate of the University of Lagos, where she was studying law. She had come back home two days ago for her holidays.

Bisi looked at daughter; she wasn’t looking bright at all. “Toyin, you have been looking so unhappy since you got back home, anything the matter?”

Toyin didn’t respond, just stood by the sink staring down at her hands.

Getting a little angry at her lack of response, Bisi asked sharply. “What is wrong with you, Toyin?”

“It is Jerry, mum.” Toyin murmured, twisting her hands. “I think he is having an affair with a girl called Gloria.”

Bisi was shocked. She knew Jerry and he had seemed like a good man. “Are you sure?” She asked.

Toyin nodded her head. “Yes, I am. I saw him leaving Gloria’s room a week ago. And Juliet said she saw them together at the beach.”

Bisi sighed. She didn’t believe in hearsay. “Have you asked him about it?”

“No, mum, I haven’t.” Toyin replied, shaking her head. “But why should I? He is always in that Gloria’s company.” Toyin felt like crying again. “I’m sorry, mum, but I’m having a slight headache, I think I will return to my room.

Bisi wanted talk to her some more but this was not the time. “Okay, but please before you go, help me serve your father’s food.” She instructed.

Toyin carried the food to the dining table, greeted her father and returned to her room.

Mr Adeyemi dropped the newspaper he had been reading and began eating his food. Bisi joined him a few minutes later. She was considering telling her husband about what Toyin had said when their last child marched into the dining room.

“Do you want to join me?” Mr Adeyemi asked him, knowing full well he will say yes.

The boy liked eating and like him rice and stew was also his favourite.

“Ah, but I just gave him his food.” Bisi protested.

Femi looked at his mother pleadingly and said. “But mummy, I’m not satisfied o. Look at me now, I’m so thin.”

“You will always be thin even if you eat the whole pot of food.” His mother said with a hiss.

Mr Adeyemi chuckled. “Bring your spoon and join me, don’t mind your mummy.”

Femi raced off to the kitchen to get his spoon.

“Dear, you are spoiling this boy o.” Bisi warned.

“Relax Bisi, he is just ten and still growing.” Mr Adeyemi smiled at his wife.

When Femi returned, they all went on their food. But inside her room, Toyin was not sleeping, she was crying silently.


*** ~~~ ***

TFL: 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

This was my first ever written story. I wrote it at 13—June/July of the year 1990. Then I self-edited it three months later, October 1990. My Notebooks show this… lol.

This was when I was just Theodora Okafor (TM David-West hadn’t quite been birthed then.) But even then I had this awesome dream of becoming a writer like the Mills and Boon authors I was reading then (illegally *wink*) via my mother’s very rich bookshelf.

When I first posted this on Alifediary (my first blog), a commenter made the comment that it was too refined to be my first work—the writing of a 13 year old. Well, it is my first story. I wrote this at 13 and did this edited version you’re about to read still at 13. I started reading Mills and Boon at the age of 9 and when I decided I can write, I did my very best to imitate the style of writing I’d been reading in the last four years before that date.

I think I did all right. Lol.

I present you, THE FORGIVING LOVER. That was the title I gave it then and it will forever remain so—an honour to 13 year old me. Lol. I hope as you read this, you catch a glimpse of where I’m coming from and then enjoy a short love story.