I used to know love
Now when they ask me,
I just reply slow,
And sound like an iPhone,
I do not know love, I am a robot.
I used to know love
Cos I had a fire
Passion and desire
Now all I require
Are circuits and wires
Jon Bellion (iRobot)
Tori woke up with a banging headache. She checked
the time on her phone still lying down. It was
11:47am. She never realised she could wake up this
late but it was expected since she slept around
4:30am and had to wake up something between
5:30-6:00 because of that dream she had.
She tried to rise but her head hurts so bad she felt it
splitting in her palms as she held it gingerly. She
walked to the bathroom and ran water over head from
the tap. While the water cooled her brain, she busied
herself with her thoughts.
What was the reason she had that weird dream
again? It had been fifteen years since she had the
exact dream and she remembered how frightened she
was. She was so scared she clung to her grandmother
all through the night.
It was still so fresh in her memory because she had
never had a dream as scary as that before. But what
really made the dream super weird was she was
having it again. The exact way she did the first time.
And it had scared her like it did the first time too.
Is there really any meaning attached to it?
She turned off the tap after washing her face and
staggered back to her room.
Great! The water only succeeded in making her feel
cold cos her headache seemed to have worsened. She
must have cried so hard yesterday.
There was simply no other explanation for this….
She sat on her bed and threw her head backwards
gently placing it on the wall behind her, eyes closed.
She thought of the dream again and she knew she
needed to place a call to her grandmother.
‘Grandmother, I had that dream again.’ Tori narrated
the dream to her grandma while she held her head like
that would save it from the excruxiating headache.
All her grandmother did was give a deep sigh.
‘Listen carefully to me Toriola. We have to talk. When
do you think I should come to Lagos?’
‘Right now, things aren’t going exactly as planned.
My accomodation is not even certain. It is as bad as
that. Once I secure a place here, I’d come get you
myself. What ever you have to say, can’t you say it
‘What I want to tell is not something that could or
should be discussed on phone. Or why don’t you just
come home instead?’
‘Grandmother, it’s not that easy…’
‘It would just be a day… ‘
‘I’ d let you know when I should be coming but the
truth is I don’t think it’s anytime soon.’
‘It’s like you are not curious about your dream.’
‘I think that could wait till whenever I’m ready.
Alright. Goodbye. I love you.’ she made a kissing
sound then hung up.
She knew her grandmother was going to ask her to
come home in order to give her dream various
superstitious meaning. She wasn’t going to let that
happen. It’s not like the dream is meaningful anyway.
It looks senseless if she view it from a different point.
How could she push herself in a ditch? It made no
sense to her.
Or maybe that’s what she wants herself to believe.
But no matter how hard she tried to convince herself
her dream was pointless, a part of her knew there was
something to it.
Something she doesn’t want to know.
Events that happened the other day kept coming to
her. Firstly, it was Richard, then she remembered she
told Tobi everything about her relationship.
Her ex-relationship with Richard to be precise.
Well, so far so good. She wouldn’t have to think
about their relationship anymore. She wouldn’t have
to constantly brood on whether they are still together
It hurts her.Yes, but she was just going to brace
herself up and smile at her worst nightmare. There
are some people she has to be strong for and Richard
is not really worth her tears.
Even though she felt a lot relieved when she told him,
even though she felt like a newborn baby when she
was done talking to him, something still felt so wrong.
The Tobi guy was just a stranger a few days ago!
She hasn’t even seen him!
How could she had let her guard down so easily!
She felt so much like a weakling.
She prays he doesn’t see her as one.
She picked up her phone and messages popped up
upon opening it. They were all from Tobi.
‘Wakey Wakey sleepy head. I hope you are done crying
now. I have absolutely no tissue to offer you if you
aren’t. I would have loved to but I used a whole roll
myself after downloading the dictionary.’
Typical Tobi. A smile crossed her lips.
She tapped on the second message.
‘Just a little humor to cheer you up.’
Then she proceeded to the next one,
‘You shouldn’t let anyone make you feel like that ever
again and to cheer you up even more I’ll be changing
your name (which is actually a honour and you should
be applauding right now) from Miss Lousy back to
Really? When is this dude growing up?
Then to the next.
‘Good news! My mum already found out I lost the
phone. She succeeded in squeezing it out of me and
now, since there’s little or no assurance I’d be in
Lagos today and Tife (My sis if you must know)
seems to have convinced my mum she’ll be needing
her phone for one made-up assignment, you would be
meeting my mum and you’d be giving her the phone.’
Then the next.
‘I know the good news in the previous text is actually
a bad one for you (cos you’ve never met someone as
great as me before and the only chance you have is
slipping off your fingers sooner than you expected).
I’d be saying my goodbyes now.
I’ve got a meeting to attend.’
Then the next.
‘My mum’s phone number and address…..’
She smiled after reading all his texts but she really
didn’t feel good about it all. She knows it should be
good news for her too. She wouldn’t have to worry
about the phone getting stolen or something.
But she can’t help thinking….
Were they still going to talk after giving the phone
Would he probably still send her his annoying and
pretty funny texts?
Would he still call her to ask for the meaning of
another word… Probably… Probably lungs?
She couldn’t help thinking ‘No’ could be the answer to
all the questions she just asked herself.
The collosal view was definitely breathtaking. If this is
really Tobi’s place, then his parents must be filthy
rich. Tori took careful steps towards the house. The
gate was opened so all she had to do was step in.
Her phone had went off. It went off after giving his
mum a call that she was on her way. If the address
hadn’t been easy to locate, she’d probably be lost
It was getting late already. It was a few minutes to
six and she would have been here in the afternoon if
that terrible headache hadn’t made her have another
round of sleep. She felt much better after waking up
The door to the building was wide open but Tori still
knocked anyway. It would be impolite to step inside
someone’s house without knocking.
A stuffy ‘come in’ amidst coughs was what she got
One step inside, and she was taken aback by the thick
and blinding smoke that was emanating from
somewhere she guessed must be the kitchen. That
was where the ‘come in’ came from too.
She doesn’t really need to be told something got
burnt. The smoke and the smell has said it all.
She got choked by the smoke and a minute later was
spent coughing and gasping in a whole lot of smoke
all over again.
The amazing thing was she wasn’t the only one
coughing. The person in the kitchen was too.
Tori knew better than to go out and just leave. She
knows the person in the kitchen needs help.
She coughed her way into the kitchen, rarely finding
her way through the enormous smoke.
First step in the kitchen and her eyes widened at the
first sight that welcomed it.The frypan on the gas
cooker was on fire!
Like fire was actually dancing inside the frying pan
and the lady in the kitchen was just coughing her
Who does that?
Tori stepped forward without thinking, picking a rag
from the floor she took the frying pan off the fire onto
the tiled floor then she off the gas cooker after which
she emptied a bucket of water on the burning
fryingpan putting the fire out in the process.
As she panted like she just ran a race, she coughed
The next minute, the duo were standing outside.
Tori could tell she looked like crap. Her eyes must
have redden so bad now. She was amazed the other
lady looked quite fine despite the hazard she exposed
herself to in the kitchen.
If this was Tobi’s mum. She looked too young from
what she was expecting.
‘I’m thinking you are the lady Tobi said has the
phone.’ The lady coughing slightly.
‘Yeah.’ Tori replied holding her knees with her palms
while she crouched
‘Well, I’m Tobi’s mom and It’s a shame you have to
discover I suck at cooking the first time we are
I know right?
‘Thanks for what you did in there. You are so brave. I
wish I could approach a burning frypan like you did.’
Tori only nodded her ‘you are welcome.’
‘It was a fried egg go wrong. I already had the eggs in
the frypan and it was cooking quite fine, I was going
to add groundnut oil when that fryingpan just went up
Seriously? Eggs in fryingpan before the groundnut oil?
She had never met a family so odd in her life.
‘I was going to impress Tobi. There is this big thing I
have to tell him and I was thinking cooking for him
would put him in a good mood. I never knew I
shouldn’t have tried it. Just like I didn’t do in the
years that I’ve passed…’ She said the last statement
quickly but Tori heard without straining.
‘Do you mean Tobi is coming back today?’
‘Yeah, he called some minutes ago that he was
already on his way. His sister went to wait for him at
the airport. You didn’t know?’
Fantastic! Her phone is dead!
‘Well, I should get going now. I think it’s about to rain
and I’d just drop the phone with you.’ She stood
upright and unstrapped the small bag she had slanted
across her chest to her side then produced the phone
from inside the bag.
‘Ermmm…’ Tobi’s mum said as she collected the
phone from her. ‘You know how to cook, right?’
Tori prayed it’s not what she was thinking thinking.
‘You won’t mind helping me in the kitchen before you
go? Please.’ Then she gave her the puppy face.
Or did she just imagine she gave her that face?
Now she knows whose gene Tobi got all ‘THAT’ from
To be continued