If you wish to be loved,
show more of your faults than your virtues.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
Tori sat in the middle of her bed, legs folded. She was
wearing a black tank top over a pair of red shorts. Her
jet black hair was packed into a perfect ponytail not
leaving a strand out. She had a jotter and a pen on
her folded legs. She bit her lips as she looked
thoughtfully into space, deciding on what could be the
best gift to give Tobi for his birthday which was just
She had totally forgot and had only remembered him
telling her his dad left on 12th, his birthday when she
saw that family picture he was looking at the other
day inside her drawer. It had skipped her mind to give
it back to him when she was done looking. She had
written a long list of possible gifts but had crossed all
out because they seemed lame.
Nothing extraordinary or mind blowing came out of
her intense rumination and it was then she realised
she really doesn’t know much about him like she
thought she did. It was then she it occurred to her
that she should perhaps include those who knew him
in her plans. If she would be leaving anytime soon,
she should show her appreciation to him one way or
the other. Showing interest and planning his birthday
for a start.
She squeezed the sheet of paper on her leg into a ball,
then aimed and threw it inside the trash can behind
the door before scampering barefooted into Tife’s
room and thankfully her mum was there too. She was
holding a purple cord lace up for Tife for assessment
when Tori walked in and they both turned their gaze
‘So, what are you guys doing for Tobi on his
birthday?’ She announced hoping that would satisfy
their curious stare but they just just looked at her like
she just landed from a space ship and she had an
antenna protruding from her forehead.
Tori held out her hand and gave them a ‘I am waiting
for your reply’ look but none came through.
‘Like a surprise party or something!’ She added
hoping they’d get her now.
‘Oh that!’ Tife finally said not as surprised as her
‘Don’t bother going extra lengths because of his
birthday. You might just get disappointed, irritated
and angry in the end.’ Tife explained further.
Tori didn’t understand what Tife meant by that and
was going to ask when Tobi’s mum interjected.
‘Tobi doesn’t celebrate his birthday anymore.’
Tori doesn’t need to ask why. She already knows
what the reason is.
‘The last time we tried throwing him one. He almost
brought this roof down in fury. It wasn’t a memorable
experience and I won’t want you to experience it. You
might just end up hating him if you try.’ Tife added.
‘But I won’t be throwing a party, I would just buy him
a gift then…’
‘He made it clear he doesn’t want a party or gifts or
to even be reminded he was born that day. Just
forget about it dear. We already did.’ His mum also
Tori stood rooted to where she was thinking about
how sad and complicated his life is. He did a good job
in masking that with being all naughty.
‘I was going to come to your room anyway. Thank
God you are here.’ His mum started, stirring her back
to reality. She was holding up the purple lace up to
her neck for Tori to see. ‘I was going to wear this but
Tife said the blue lace is better. What do you think?’
She said gesticulating with her chin to another sky
blue lace on Tife’s bed.
‘I think I’d go with Tife. The blue lace looks nicer. If
you don’t mind, can I go back to my room now?’ Tori
‘Sure.’ The duo said and Tori scampered back to her
So, his birthday was just going to be like every normal
It shouldn’t be that way.
She got a piece of paper and did some scribbling while
pacing the not so lengthy end of the room.
It’s high time someone break that rule.
‘What are you doing?’ Tobi was standing before her
door and he was looking at her in awe. It appeared he
had been there for quite some time.
Tori stopped pacing and looked at him.
‘Why are you up at this time?’ Tori asked carefully
folding the sheet of paper and putting it in her shorts
‘Are you not going to work?’ He asked ignoring her
own question and asking another question entirely.
‘Nope. Until later this evening.’ She replied. ‘What
about you? When are you going?’ She asked.
‘Not until ten or eleven.’ He replied leaning
comfortably on the closed door.
‘Leaving for work at 11am, is that really something to
brag about? Just because you owned the company
doesn’t give you the right to do anything you like. You
should show some enthusiasm and lay a good
example to your subordinates.’ She lectured.
‘Thanks for the lecture ma’am. But you should have
asked where I’d be before 11am but since you didn’t
ask, I’m going to answer you anyway. I would be at
my uncle’s. I want to atleast persuade him to go to
the hospital.’ Tobi said then thought for a while
before adding. ‘Do you want to come with me? You’ve
always wanted to come with me.’
The real reason behind him asking her to come with
him was because he wanted to spend more time with
her since she’d be leaving soon.
‘Huh… No. I’d also be somewhere. Sonewhere…’ She
stammered. Thinking of an excuse to give. Today is
the only day left to plan for and also get him his
birthday gift and if she’d be shopping for it, she’d be
doing it this morning.
‘Where? It looks like you are going to lie.’ Tobi said
giving her a doubtful look.
‘I have to submit some things at the hospital this
morning.’ Her explanation wasn’t convincing enough
so she added. ‘Why don’t you go to work early, then
you can come get me when you get off work?
Tobi didn’t want to sound persuasive and desperate
so he just nodded his agreement. Then left her room
to get ready for work.
Tori relaxed her nerves as she let out a sigh of relief.
Pheew! That was a close one.
Tobi was at his desk when he got a text message
‘I’m at home now. Hit me up when you get off work.’
Seeing that text seemed to adrelanized him. He
hurriedly work on the paperworks before him with the
speed of light (careful not to make mistakes though).
He really missed talking to her. Maybe when he they
are on their way to his uncle’s place, he’d summon
up courage to ask her to stay. To convince her not to
leave. He won’t have anyone to taunt when she’s
He would have no one to confide in if she leaves.
His thoughts got interrupted when his phone started
ringing. He resisted the urge to look at the caller I.D
but his eyes failed him.
He stopped what he was doing, took some time to
clear his throat then let the phone ring for a few
seconds before picking it up.
‘Are you at work?’ She asked from the other end.
‘Yeah.’ He replied wondering why she was so
‘Great. I’d come to your office and we’d go to your
house together. I’m bored.’ She said yawning to
compliment her last statement.
‘Huh… I’d be going to my uncle’s place from work.
You know he had been bedridden and all.’ He replied.
‘But we can go there together. Then, we’ll leave for
your place right?’ She pp.
Ditching Tori for Jo. That was tempting.
So tempting. But…
‘My uncle doesn’t really like people visiting. Maybe
some other time…’
‘Oh, okay. Some other time then.’ She sounded
disappointed before hanging up and Tobi wished he
could take back his words.
Tobi hurriedly finished his work for the day before
heading home. He called Tori’s number when he was
almost home but her number was not busy.
He could see her standing before the gate as she
pressed her phone. Tobi saw a black jeep park before
What is Marcus’s car doing before his house?
He slowed down and watched Tori stepped in the jeep
and the car zoomed off in the opposite direction.
Okay… That didn’t just happen.
Tobi couldn’t believe his eyes.
Did she just choose Marcus over his sick Uncle?
Did she just ditched him for Marcus when he had
ignored Jo because of her?
So, the ‘somewhere’ she was supposed to be this
morning was with Marcus?
Tori got back to the house after a few hours and just
in time to get ready for work. She knew Tobi must be
very mad at her. He must have gone to his uncle’s
place and probably was back now. She dreaded
stepping inside the living room and when she finally
did, she saw him on one of the couches. He must
have heard her enter but he didn’t turn to
acknowledge her or anything.
‘I’m sorry I didn’t show up for….your uncle’s place. I
had to…’ She tried explaining but Tobi interrupted
‘I helped you with your things already. Your stay here
was supposed to be temporary. People would start
raising eyebrows if you stay another day.’ Tobi said
not looking at her. It wasn’t hard to tell he wasn’t
kidding but Tori hopelessly waited for him to say he
was just kidding but that didn’t happen.
His statement made her eyes rove to the side of the
couch and she saw her luggage and every other stuff
She swallowed hard. Trying not to break down before
him but instead, carried her luggage and the other
bags before leaving the house.
She walked aimlessly and slowly on the street trying
not to think about it and trying to hold back her tears
at the same time. Then she remembered.
Remembered there’s someone who could help.
She pulled out her phone and dialed…
To be continued