My heart keeps telling me that perfect lie
You rip me up with every last goodbye
I don’t wanna say forever
It’s just another now or never
So heart don’t let me trust this
Don’t trust this butterflies
Cos they fool me every time.
Tori opened her eyes first. Trying to recall what
possibly happened before she slept.
Yeah, now she remembers.
She had been weak again and had let her guard down.
She flicked her eyes at her phone which was beside
the pillow she had her head on. She pressed her
phone to check the time. It was 8:13pm. She shut her
eyes in an attempt to try sleeping again blanket still
wrapped around her body.
Wait a second,
She didn’t remember pulling the blanket over herself.
Did Tobi perhaps did that?
Shrugging off the idea of Tobi acting all sweet which
made her a bit uncomfortable, she opened her eyes,
then propelled herself into a sitting position after
which she rolled the blanket off her. She wiped her
face with her palm. It looked like she won’t be feeling
sleepy anytime soon.
She stood up from the bed and slipped the pink
flowery flip-flops beside her bed onto her feet. She
walked out of her room, carefully shutting the door
Voices were coming from Tobi’s room, which was the
last room on the corridor. The door leading to his
room was opened and she could see half his mum’s
body from where she was. The other half was hidden
by the wall. Tobi was raising his voice and it doesn’t
really take an Einstein to know those two were
arguing again even though his mum still kept her
voice at bay.
Tori had no intention of spying or eavesdropping on
the duo, Tobi’s voice was loud enough to make one
figure out what the argument was all about.
‘…have you thought about how I would feel about you
two together? I think you are just being selfish here.
So selfish about getting back with him that you can’t
even consider the sole victim of his past actions. Me!’
Tobi’s voice shows how mad he was. ‘It’s really
amazing you, after being shattered about him
disappearing, could be the talking about him like he is
some small god! I’m not against you marrying
someone else but definitely not him.’ Tori couldn’t see
Tobi from where she was but she could tell his face
was probably laced with fury if she were to judge with
His mum came out of him room slowly closing the
door with her back turned to Tori. She had her head
bowed as she stood by his door holding onto the door
handle for some minutes before finally letting go.
Turning back to see Tori.
She looked at Tori still standing by the door. Tori
couldn’t read what was on her face. Instead, she tried
to avoid her eyes. She looked at her feet and watched
as his mum walked past her after which she heard
her footsteps down the stairs.
Reluctantly following the voices in her head, she
headed towards Tobi’s room taking careful strides.
She knocked but got no answer
Knowing she might never get any answer, she turned
the handle and poked her head inside. He was sitting
on his bed, his back turned at the door. She couldn’t
make out what he was doing in that position. But it
looked like he was brooding.
Tori stepped in, silently praying what she was doing
wasn’t a bad idea.
‘Which part of do not disturb don’t you understand?’
Tobi said not changing his position. His voice barely
‘Well, you didn’t actually say anything. And since I
don’t speak ‘Dumb’ nor do I speak ‘Deaf’, I think I
didn’t violate any rules.’ Tori tried sounding cheerful.
‘Shouldn’t you be sleeping?’ He asked. She wasn’t
even sick, why did he ask with a worry laden voice?
Tori didn’t give an answer to his question, but
proceeded inside the room until she was standing,
facing him. He was looking at a picture and the
drawer beside his bed was opened.
‘We woke you up, right?’ He still had his face fixed on
‘Nah. I happened to just wake up.’ She replied not
taking her eyes off the pictures in his hand.
‘What do we have here?’ Tori bent down and took the
picture from him. He didn’t fight it when she took it.
It was a family picture. It was a younger version of
his mum who carried a little girl (who she guessed
must be Tife) holding a Barbie toy and young Tobi
was standing beside a man (obviously his dad) he
looked so much like. Everyone in the picture looked
happy as they all smiled except Tife who had all her
attention on her toy.
‘Rekindling old memories?’ Tori asked, smiling still
looking at the picture. Tobi ignored her and cracked
his knuckles instead.
‘Do you want to talk about your Dad?’ Tori asked
sitting on the unoccupied edge of the bed beside him.
‘No.’ The ‘No’ was quick and unexpected. Unexpected
because Tori was expecting him to ignore the
‘I think it’s high time you talk to someone about it.
So?’ Tori tried again.
‘No.’ Tobi’s answer was firm even though he doesn’t
seem angry and sad anymore. ‘Shouldn’t you be
sleeping. You’d be leaving for work as early as
possible tomorrow.’ He quickly added.
‘I just woke up. It would be hard sleeping soon. Only
if I want toss and turn on the bed all night though and
what you just did now is what is referred to as one of
the lamest method of trying to change the topic. I’m
going to ask you nicely before I beat it out of you, Do
you want to talk about your dad?’ She raised her
eyebrow to show how playfully serious she was.
Tobi couldn’t help laughing slightly.
‘No, I’m not talking about it!’ He replied amidst trying
to stiffle his laughter. ‘And I’d like to see you try the
beating up thingy.’ He said folding his arm across his
chest, still smiling.
Tori could feel her heart melt at him smiling.
‘Do you want to talk about it?’ She asked again.
‘Nooooo!’ Tobi stressed his answer this time. Maybe
that way, it would sink inside her brain.
‘Do you really want your last word to be ‘No, I don’t
want to talk about it’?’ Tori said pursing her lips as
she looked at him intently ‘Don’t tell me that’s how
you want to spend the rest of your life. I can do this
for like forever you know.’
‘Why do you even have to ask? You can just say ‘talk
about it’ instead. Because you aren’t even asking as a
request, but as a command.’ Tobi said giving her the
‘I can’t believe it’ look
‘Just spit it out.’ Tori looking at him more closely.
Tobi hesitated for a while.
‘My Dad…’ He began and Tori listened attentively. Her
face was just inches away from his now and Tobi
‘Do you want to jump inside my head or something? I
can’t be comfortable with my narration with you that
close!’ He said leaning away from her.
‘Fine.’ Tori moved away from him. ‘Start.’
‘Okay. So, where was I?’ Tobi started.
‘You haven’t even started. Is this another type of
evasion methods?’ Tori replied feeling a bit irritated.
‘No. I was just trying to remember.’ Tobi continued. ‘I
admired my Dad. He was like my superhero. He was a
loving husband to my mum and a caring father to us.
There were times, I can’t sleep without him being by
my side to watch me sleep. It was like that. I was so
used to him and I always feel like nothing could go
wrong. I was a child with no worry whatsoever. He
loved my mum despite her flaws. I remember, he used
to do the cooking sometimes while mum would be
with him getting him whatever he needs and washing
the dishes when there are dirty ones as both two will
chatter away. He doesn’t want any maid when mum
proposed she wants one. He always say he wants
only his immediate family.’ Tobi paused for a while.
His voice was visibly laden with hurt.
‘Then, August 12, a day to my 12th birthday, My dad
left and never came back. We all thought he died. I
was traumatised and so was my mum. Tife was still
very young so she knew nothing then. It got to a
point that I couldn’t talk for days. My mum was
scared I’d become melancholic, so my grandpa, who
never really liked nor trusted my dad in the past for a
reason I later have to bitterly find out , took me in. I
stayed with my grandpa until I was out of college.
Now, the funny and amazing thing is, earlier last year,
we saw my dad in the papers. Hale and healthy and
super weathy too. Not dead like we thought but one of
the best entrepreneurs in Ghana who was thinking
moving to Nigeria. You should have guessed how
surprised we must have all been. Now, he came to
mum, with no explanation whatsoever about why he
disappeared fourteen years ago! And mum wants me
to accept him as the same father I knew!’ Tobi
seemed pretty mad now. He was trying so hard to
hold in the tears that welled up in his eyes. ‘I don’t
know him anymore. I really don’t!’ He screamed and
Tori’s heart ached for him.
If you know how to console a guy who looks as
though he would break down any minute after
narrating his past, please signify. Tori seemed so lost
and would certainly need your help.
Tobi came down from his car and at his glanced at
his wrist watch. Tori should be home by now. He
didn’t have the chance to drive her home today. He
had to be with his uncle at home where he was
receiving home treatment. Uncle Soji was in a pretty
bad shape for home treatment but being the stubborn
one he was, he had declined Tobi’s offer of taking him
to the hospital because he hates the hospital’s
The illness had made him shrink somehow and he
looked like had aged during the weeks he spent at
home. Tobi didn’t take him serious when he called in
sick like he always do when he was busy with the two
things he cherished in his life so it was already late
by the time Tobi found out about it. His condition
seemed to have worsened.
He typed a short message of how he had to check on
his uncle which was the reason why he couldn’t come
pick her up at the hospital and telling her he was
back in the office to get some things and how he
would let her know when he is on his way home to
He pressed send and waited for her reply.
‘It’s totally fine. We’d make jollof rice and fried
plantain for dinner then. I hope that is okay’ was the
reply he got from her.
He smiled then typed: ‘That’s great. By ‘we’, you
mean you and who?’
‘Your mum and I. She has improved a great deal.
Atleast, She can fry plantain without getting any
burnt.’ Tori’s reply came in a while later
‘That sounds like so much progress. Thanks for not
giving up on her.’ He typed and sent his reply.
‘This is like the first time you are saying thanks. It’s
weird.’ She replied and added a confused emoji at the
‘So, me being grateful is now suspicious? I think you
like it more when I roast you ‘wordly’. He texted her
back. Then leaned on his car to wait for a reply.
He is going crazy. He could see some of the workers
walking in the premises him shoot him weird glances.
‘We both know who gets roasted during our word
battle. The problem is a loser will never want to admit
he looses. Note, I used HE’ Tobi chuckled at her reply.
‘What amuses you so bad?’
Where did that voice come from?
It’s so familiar.
Tobi turned to the direction where the voice came
from to see his dad all dressed in black. His suit, his
trousers and shoe all black. Only the shirt he wore
under the suit was white.
He looked rich.
It didn’t look like he just showed up. It looked as
though he had been waiting around for a while. Tobi
couldn’t really tell which was his car amongst all the
cars in the parking lot.
‘What are you doing here?’ Tobi asked masking his
face with a frown.
‘I want to talk to you.’ It appeared he was sorry with
his voice and that face. But it was too late to be
‘Well, I don’t want to talk to you.’ Tobi said and was
going to walk past him when he felt his dad’s hand
on his shoulder. That filthy hand.
‘If you change your mind, please call me.’ His dad
said inserting a card Tobi guessed must be his
business inside Tobi’s breast pocket.
Tobi acted like he didn’t see that and walked into the
company. His mood fouled.
‘I’m home!’ Tobi announced as he threw the door into
the living room open. He dumped his briefcase on one
of the sofas in the living room. He could see his mum
and Tori setting the dinning table. He had sped all the
way home after running into his dad in the office.
Trying not to get annoyed, he had thought about
pulling a big prank on Tori and that did the trick.
‘Just in time.’ His mum replied. ‘You’d be surprised I
did the frying.’ She seemed quite excited.
‘Where’s Tife?’ He asked when he scanned the room
‘She’s having a ‘night study’ at her friend’s. Now
come over here and come and have a taste of the
Master Chef’s sweet friedplantain.’ His mum must be
really proud of herself.
Where did he get his bragging quality from again?
The door bell rang.
‘That must be Tife. Maybe she forgot something.’ His
‘I’d go get it!’ Tobi said and sprinted to the door. He
already opened the door to see Jo before it dawned on
him to have thought about why Tife would even use
the door bell in the first place.
‘Hi.’ Jo smiled as she waved at him.
To be Continued