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Gram-mii could not believe what she heard, even with all her scheming and prediction she never anticipated this outcome. It was even worse than she thought. “Bukola go and meet your husband and calm him down, Tori and I will stay with TJ and watch the game, soro sii(talk to him)” facing Mrs Ajayi, “I will do just that Mummy” Mrs Ajayi replies as she goes after her husband. TJ already headed towards his team, very much dejected from all that had just happened. Gram-mii takes her sit beside Tori, “I never saw that coming Gram-mii, what else can we do to convince dad that TJ loves this, I have run out of ideas ooo”, “ma worry Toriola, I will find a way, you should know me by now I never back out of a good contest and this is one I am relishing”, “So you have a plan now Gram-mii?” “O ma wa, it will come, let us just watch the game and hope it does not affect Babatunde”.

The game turned out not so palatable, ISL Falcons lost to St. Finbarrs and TJ had the worst game ever, he had to be substituted in the second half of the football match. “Gram-mii I better go look for him before he does something crazy”, “oshey, quickly go because if he is anything like his father, he can do something naughty. I will be beside the car with Adamu, ma pe (don’t be long) joor”. Tori climbed down the sitting area, and approached the dressing room, while moving she hits someone. “Watch where you are going mister” Tori vented out in anger, visibly upset with all that was happening, “I am sorry young lady but you hit me, you were not watching where you were going?”, “Here we go, guys and their chauvinistic and egocentric feelings please spare me”, “I see you are really pissed young lady, I apologise whatever is getting you so worked up I can assure you it will pass, but I really was not at fault here”, “and I don’t care, just leave me the hell alone”, “touchy young lady, I like a lady with fire, my name is Nuru” He gives a cheeky smile and stretches out his hand, “do I look like one of those girls that line works on? Mister I am not in a very good mood and I have no time to even play along and watch you do what most guys do”, “and what is that?” Nuru inquires. “Make a joke of themselves” Tori fires back. Nuru could no longer hold back the laugh, his laugh was nice with his set of nice dentition that caught Tori off guard, “I am sorry if I appear that way but that is not my intention, I did not notice you till you bumped into me… errrr let me rephrase till there was a colliding” “Better you are learning fast” Tori cut in, “and then your fire was amazing, come to think of it I noticed you after that guy sang so beautifully and went over to your stand, are you his sister?” “And if I was, what difference would that make?” “True.. No difference at all sigh.. Will you make it a little easy for me at least?” “And why would I want to do that, I don’t know you and you are not even a gentleman, what happened to asking for my name?” “Wawu!!! I guess I am cornered, I am sorry, would you do me the pleasure of telling me your beautiful name?” “Cliché young man, I hate used, over used and worn out lines it does not work with me, you have to be innovative with me, My name is Tori by the way and if you want my number, you will have to find it”, Tori replies and walks off, “What a lady! What an amazing lady!!!” Nuru said to himself as he stared at her walk to the schools changing room.

                                                                   ^^^^^

“TJ listen to me, what happened as happened we have to move on from it”, “I hate him, he embarrassed me in front of everyone and made me lose the match, I don’t know why you even invited him” TJ replied Tori, “Oh shut up boy, don’t talk to your dad in such a manner, he is the one paying your bills remember”, “and so?” “So it means as long as you are not working or making your own money you do as he says. But really TJ he is just being a 90’s dad and you have to understand that and not let that get to you. Gram-mii is on it and you can trust she will find a way around this” “like she found a way around this embarrassment in my school” “zip it TJ, stop acting like one spoilt brat, I know you to be better than this. Gram-mii will get this sorted out and besides it takes eleven boys to play a football match because you were having a bad day doesn’t make it all your fault or all of dads” “You would not understand Tori, my impact could have turned the tides”, “Maybe so but that is why it is a team sport, If you were not in your ‘A’ game then they should have stepped up for you. So I may not know football as much but I know they also let you down”, “sis I am just so angry with everything, everything just went from 100 to zero in a flash”, “I know how you feel TJ but that is life, you dust yourself, get back up and move on with it, no time to sulk or get mad” “I hear you sis….. Thanks though”, “So I take it you would prefer to cool off and come home with the bus?” “you know this Tori, reading my mind since 1960”, they both laughed it off, and TJ gives his sister a hug, “dude that is consecutive hugs in less than a week, don’t turn this to an actual thing unless I will be staying ten feet from you anytime we talk”, “Come off it joor Tori, you are a lady show some emotions biko”, “I have told you before I am not your regular, average lady so don’t expect the usual TJ. Anyways I am heading home and would be waiting for you. Like mum would always say, remember the child of who you are, don’t go doing stuff your mum or dad wouldn’t do” “aye aye Captain Tori, don’t go sounding all adult on me, you are still the black sheep durrrh”, “guilty as charged young man”. She turns and heads back out.

                                              ^^^^^^^^^^

On getting home, Tori heads to the kitchen to get what to eat, Gram-mii had something else in mind and only she knew how to execute it, the plan had been forming in her head from the ride home. Heading towards her son and daughter in-law’s room, Mrs Ajayi comes out just in time, “Mummy you are here?” “Yes I am Bukola mii, just the person I was looking for” Gram-mii replied, “What do you want to see me for?” “I know you already know Bukola you are wise that is why you are my son’s wife but the angle I am going to come from is what you are in the dark about”, “schemer!!! I know you are up to something, MJ of a mummy” Mrs Ajayi replied, “You know this aya wa (our wife), now come let us go outside and have this chat woman to woman and you know I drive a hard bargain Bukola mii”, “I know you do and in this one I am not worried because it is for the greater good, we all want the best for TJ”, “You are a wise woman omo mii, let us go”. The two women headed outside, while Tori came out just in time to see them go, her suspicious antenna already tingling, she had to get within earshot to listen to what they were saying.

“Bukola mii, I brought you out here because I don’t want your husband knowing about what we are about to discuss, I am going to go straight to it, I want TJ to sing, I felt the passion that he felt. It gave me goose bumps all over watching that young boy sing, it reminded me of a time back in the past when I was young and beautiful, but that is not the issue. Let this boy follow his dream, he needs it more than you think, he will never feel happy or fulfilled if you force him into something he is not destined to do, I can tell”, “Mummy sorry but I have to disagree with you on this one, I cannot just accept the fact that a serious person would want to do music, it is unheard of, what if he doesn’t cut it, what if he starts misbehaving, what if he doesn’t just get there? Then he would have wasted his life for nothing and regret it all?” “Bukola mii, I am surprised you are the one talking like this of all people, I thought you would understand, O ti gbagbe nii (have you forgotten). You where into music yourself” Gram-mii tackled, Mrs Ajayi paused and the shock could be seen written all over her face, she was left speechless. “O! Come off the shock Omo mii (my child), yes I knew about your short stint into the world of music, and your voice was the most beautiful thing ever not to entertain us or grace the music industry” “mum-my, I-I really don’t understand what you are saying”, “Bukola mii” Gram-mii cut her short with a hearty laugh, “and you warn the kids about lying ooo, ki lo fe sa? (What do you want to say) who do you think made sure the manager never spoke about you to your husband or blackmail you any longer? Who do you think sent those royalty for the songs you wrote, recorded but could not release but was sang by another without full credit to you? Who do you think is still keeping your secret up until this day? Bukola mii, I was the brain behind it all and I knew I would come to collect someday and that time is now. When my son wanted to marry you, my ONLY son, I made it my duty to find out everything about the woman he wanted to marry and believe me I did my research, you are not so different from Toriola you know, she took your positive stubbornness, you followed what you believed in and even against the warnings of your parents you went ahead into music and should have made it if you did not meet that manager that was a user, I knew you were hardworking, tenacious, pure at heart not to mention beautiful and knowing this might be an issue with my son, your music I mean I decided I would cover it up for you, don’t ask me how I did, that would be my little secret. They don’t call me Gram-mii Balogun for nothing, I fight and I defend what is my own. Omo mii, I made sure your secret was safe and he never disturbed you again, but sometimes when I look at you, I know you miss singing, you miss the thrill and I saw the tear in your eyes when TJ sang this evening, I saw the pain in your heart, you were zoned in and you craved that feeling once again, one you many never have, and there and then I made a resolve TJ would not end up like that and I know deep down you know I speak the truth “Gram-mii said, Mrs Ajayi began to cry, Gram-mii pulled her close in an embrace, “Let it all out my child, I am sorry I did not share this with you all this years, but I know you are glad it is finally out”, “Thank you mummy for having my back even when you did not know me” Mrs Ajayi said in between sobs, “I love you mummy you are a true mother and you have proved it to me” Mrs Ajayi continued, “oshey omo mii, so what have you decided? We do this for TJ, for all you could have been, he could be your consolation, your reward, your legacy. What say you Bukola?” “Yes Mummy I want him to be all that and more”.

Somewhere close by Tori’s phone rings, she quickly picks up the call and whispers “who is this?” “This is Nuru, you never said goodbye before leaving, and that is equally unladylike.”

 

Watch out for the next episode….

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