Domestic Violence episode 4



*Six years ago*

Shana was a beautiful young undergraduate of Salem University, Lokoja where she was studying Banking and Finance. It was her final year and that day she came home to visit her parents who were celebrating their silver jubilee wedding anniversary that weekend. It was a period of great celebration for the Banjo’s. Her father who was a director in a government ministry had contacts of top notch politicians who willingly funded the occasion. Her mother, the daughter of a one time ambassador of Nigeria to Switzerland also left no stone unturned in making sure that the Silver Jubilee was well celebrated.

Prior to this time, Mrs Banjo who is herself a fashionasta had taken care of asoebi’s which were in different categories, depending on the guest’ closeness to the family. And indeed, their marriage was worth celebrating for it had been 25 beautiful years of marital bliss. The marriage had produced 3 children; two boys and one girl. Shana who was also the last child of the family was the apple of her parent’s eyes.

Right from her infant days, she went to the best of schools and had everything she wanted. Her parents had insisted on sending her to Switzerland for her university education but she had refused saying she didn’t want to leave her parents in Nigeria and go to another country where she will not have all the privileges she had in Nigeria. Her two elder brothers had obtained their first degrees in USA and UK and they had settled down there after their studies.

Some years later, they had returned home to pick Nigerian wives and had returned to the respective countries with their wives who had bore them children. They including their wives and children were expected to be home for the anniversary and Shana was looking forward to meeting her nieces and nephews.

On the day of the anniversary, the Banjo’s alongside friends and well wishers dressed elegantly drove to Our Lady’s Pro Cathedral in Garki Area 3 where the thanksgiving service which was presided over by the Archbishop of the diocese was held.

After the thanksgiving Mass which lasted for about 2 hours, guest filed to the grand reception which was held at the International Conference Center. The reception was indeed grand as people from all walks of life graced the occasion. It was a show of affluence and splendor as everyone was gorgeously dressed with enough to eat and drink and throw away. The Banjo’s had employed the services of four caterers to provide both local and intercontinental dishes to the guests. Different artists were invited to perform at the show and the guest had a wonderful time.

At the end of the programme, Shana who was the only female and baby of the family was invited by the MC to the podium to give her vote of thanks. Dressed gorgeously in a red cord lace dress and gold head gear, Shana although shy, composed herself and walked elegantly to the stage. She had travelled all the way to Ghana to sew her dress and the effort was not wasted as the fitting came out well, flattering her curves.

Shana: “It is a great privilege for me to be invited to give this vote of thanks on behalf of my parents. First, I would like to appreciate God for the lives of the most amazing parents on earth. Every day, I pray to God to give me this kind of marriage where love and peace reigns. I couldn’t have asked for a better family, my parents are simply the best and I am sure that you all agree with me and that is why you have taken time off your busy schedules to grace this occasion. On behalf of the Banjo’s I wanna say a very big thank you to you all for the love and support….”

While she was talking, Ayomide who was sitting with his parents and half brother was staring at her and day dreaming of having her as a wife. Although he was younger than his half brother, Femi, he was already looking forward to settling down soon and he saw the qualities of a good wife in Shana. He thought of telling his family of his intention to ask her out after the reception but he thought against it for several times his father had warned him never to talk about getting married until Femi had married. But he made up his mind to visit Shana later in the evening, several times he had been there with his parents for the two families were very good friends with so many things in common.

After her speech, Shana decided to move round familiar guests to appreciate them properly, her brothers were also doing same and she came to the table where Ayomide and his family were seated. As soon as Ayomide smiled, her heart skipped a beat because he had been her crush for long ever since their teenage days when the two families visited each other with their children. For her, what she felt for Ayomide was beyond mere crushes that come and go with time, she was infatuated with him, what she felt for him was an obsession. Even when they met in Church, she would lose concentration and instead of listening to the homily, she would keep an eye on Ayomide because she didn’t want to miss any of his moves. She knew that he had an elder brother Femi who was more matured than Ayomide but she never liked him for once. Her parents had told her that Femi’s mother died at childbirth while she was having him and some years later after mourning his wife appropriately, he had married Ayomide’s mother who gave him one child, a boy named Ayomide.

“Hi, you look beautiful”, Ayomide said offering her his hand and waking her from her reverie.

Shana: “Thank you”, she replied shyly shaking his hand weakly. She greeted their parents respectfully. “Thank you so much sir and ma for coming. Your presence means a lot to this family”.

“You are welcome, my daughter”. They chorus.

Femi who was busy fizzling with his phone didn’t even acknowledge her greetings. He had raised up his head to look at her once and had mumbled an inaudible greeting. Several times, he had met her sitting on the pew next to him in Church and deep within his heart, he thought her to be plain and childish. He was interested in sophisticated girls and this one obviously wasn’t one.

“Thanks Femi, thanks Ayomide for coming. We appreciate your presence”, she said sweetly.

Ayomide: “You are welcome, ma”, he teased while she moved to the other guests.

That evening, Ayomide picked one of his father’s car and drove to the residence of the Banjo’s. Few minutes later, he was sitting face to face with Shana in one of the sitting rooms and suddenly he lost his voice. All the sweet words and poetry that he had conjured in his head to say to her suddenly flew away. Shana on the other hand was excited to see him and she prayed in her heart that he would ask her out which was what she had always dreamt of.

Shana: “So, how are you?” she asked when it was taking him too long to say a word to her.

Ayomide: “I am fine. You know, I just thought of coming over to see how you are doing this evening after the long day”.

Shana: “That was very thoughtful of you. It had been a hectic week for me, and to think that I have to go back to school next week. If not for the event planners mum and dad employed, I don’t know how we would have coped”.

Ayomide felt cold when she said she was going back to school the next week but then he decided not to allow that dampen his spirit. They continued to chat and laugh and Ayomide found himself talking about irrelevant things instead of talking about what brought him to her. This trend of him visiting and not saying any meaningful thing continued until the next week and he was thinking of asking his brother to help him talk to Shana on his behalf when his brother walked on his room one evening.

Ayomide: “Hey, bro. I was just about coming to your room”.

Femi: “Well, there won’t be any need for that. I have something to discuss with you”.

Ayomide: “Bring it on then”.

Femi: “It is about Shana…”

Ayomide startled up from the sleeping position he was on the bed.

“What about her, he asked”.

Femi: “I just want you to tell me about her because I noticed that you two are pretty close, I mean from the way you were talking with her during her parents’ silver jubilee, I didn’t know that she could be so lively until that day.

Ayomide relaxed for he saw this as an opportunity to paint her good before his elder brother, that way his family will support him any time he summoned courage to start up a relationship with her.

Ayomide: “Shana is a very good girl o, big bro. In fact, she is one of the most humble girls that I have met. You know despite the fact that her parents can afford to send her to school abroad, she refused to go and insisted on getting her first degree in Nigeria. The other day she told me that she had never been in any relationship before because her parents and her brothers told her to stay away from men. Can you imagine such loyalty? Even when she went to the university, she is still holding on to what her parents taught her. And the girl is very beautiful o, you need to go to their house and see her without make up, that is when you will know that she is a very beautiful girl”.

Femi: “Really? Is that so?”

Ayomide: “Yes o, bro. And she can so cook? Anytime I go to their house and I meet her cooking like this, I usually wait and eat o, let me not lie. The aroma alone seff is enough to make your stomach full”.

Femi: “Wow! That is impressive. I never knew that the girl is that good”.

Ayomide: “She is o. I can’t even talk about all her qualities”.

Femi: “That’s nice”, he left the room without saying another word to his brother. Already, his plans were already incubating and he knew just what to do.

All through the night, the description of Shana’s virtues as provided by Ayomide kept ringing in Femi’s ear. Suddenly he began to see her in a different light as he confessed that she was very pretty and wasn’t as childish as he had thought. He found himself thinking more and more about her as the night progressed and he knew that he had to go for her. He had noticed that his younger brother was making efforts to get close to her and he was determined to corner Shana to himself for he was impressed with what he had been told about her. With his mind made up on what to do, he soon fell soundly asleep.

The next day in the evening, he bought a cute bottle of nice perfume, wrapped it in a box with a pink bow and drove to the Banjo’s residence where he intended to add their only daughter to his list of numerous girlfriends. When he got to the door, he pressed the door bell and the maid answered and ushered him in to the well-furnished sitting room.

Maid: “Welcome, sir! What do I offer you?”

Femi: “Nothing, thanks. Where is Shana, I am here to see her”.

Maid: “Small madam don go back to school this morning”.

Femi: “Oh my, that was close. Do you know when she will return?”

Maid: “Na only oga and madam fit know that one”.

Femi: “Okay. Do you have her phone number? I used to have it but I lost my phone recently”, he lied.

“Look who we have here”, Mr Banjo’s voice interrupted them and the maid greeted him and left the sitting room.

“Good evening, sir”, Femi bowed and greeted courteously while shaking Mr Banjo’s out stretched palm.

Mr Banjo: “How are you, Femi? And your parents? Did you come alone?”

Femi: “They are fine, sir. I actually came alone today. I came to see Shana but I learnt she returned to school today”.

Mr Banjo: “Oh yes, my baby has gone back to school”.

Femi: “Then I should be on my way home, sir”.

Mr Banjo: “Why this soon? Please join us for dinner”.

Femi: “Thanks for the offer sir but I can’t have that today. I need to run along”. He excused himself and left the house after giving the gift to the maid to keep for Shana.

Mr Banjo was glad to see Femi ask after his daughter for he had a soft spur for the young man who was a successful banker at his age. His friendship with Femi’s father was so strong that he would be more than glad to give out his daughter’s hand in marriage to Femi as a way of solidifying the bond that held the two families together. He was a little bit disappointed when he saw Ayomide and his daughter getting along well because he had always thought Ayomide to be too playful and childish. Nevertheless, he had made up his mind not to stand in the way of his daughter’s happiness.

Few days after the futile visit to Shana’s house, Femi collected his brother’s phone under the guise of wanting to use it to make a call and copied Shana’s number out of it. He went into his room and dialed her number.

Shana: “Hello, who is this?”

Femi: “Am I speaking with Shana Banjo?” he disguised his voice and asked.

Shana: “Yes, how may I help you?” she asked suspiciously.

Femi: “Well, you are under arrest young lady”.

Shana: “What? Under arrest for what? What is my crime? And who the hell are you to call and tell me rubbish?”

Femi: “You are under arrest for stealing my heart. This is Femi calling, Femi Philips”.

Shana: “Wow! Femi. What a surprise. I was expecting your call. How are you?”

Femi: “I am fine and how is school?”

Shana: “School is fine. Last time I checked, you never said a word to me talk more of calling me. So, how did you get my number?”

Femi: “Well, now I have started talking to you because change is the only constant thing in nature. As regards how I got your number, a man will go any length to get the thing his heart desires”.

Shana: “That is interesting…”

They continued to talk for hours and soon it became a daily affair. Femi would call for hours and they would chat at any given opportunity. For him, he was beginning to fall in love with her, a slow and steady love triggered by what his brother had told him about her and for her it was just a feeling of friendship and nothing more. The fact that he was the elder brother of her crush was enough reason to thrill her and most times when they spoke on phone, she resisted the temptation of calling him her brother in law for she had hopes of marrying Ayomide. When she asked after Ayomide from Femi, he had lied to her that it was Ayo who gave him her number and that he was aware that they were always conversing.

Ayomide on the other hand was drifting away from Shana because he didn’t want to interrupt her studies and so he avoided buzzing her numbers whenever he felt the urge to listen to her voice. Soon after, he secured admission into Havard University for his Masters and left with the promise that he would tell her that he was in love with her when he returned back to Nigeria.

After her first semester examination, Shana returned home and Femi became a constant guest in their home. Although she would have preferred the presence of Ayomide to his own, she didn’t mind having him around for his presence alone reminded her of Ayo far away in the UK studying. Femi would visit her every evening after work with all sorts of gifts for her. Apart from the fact that he was well paid at the bank where he worked, his parents were rich and he had all the money he needed to get her unique gifts which was his way of enticing girls. He had tried this trick with all his girls and it had never failed him. Shana on her part was carried away by the gifts even though her parents provided more than what she needed.

That evening when Femi came to visit her as usual, he asked to take her out for dinner and she accepted because she was already getting bored of sitting at home.

They got into the car after she had taken permission from her parents.

Femi: “So, where do you want to go this evening?”

Shana: “Anywhere, you were the one who suggested that we go out so you should have plans of where you want us to go”.

Femi: “Okay, I will take you to the Blue Cubanna, I am sure you would love there”.

They drove to Blue Cubanna where they had dinner and there after the meal, Femi took Shana’s hands in his and told her how much he had fallen in love with her over the time and how much he wanted to start a relationship with her.

Shana: “This is surprising. I mean I wasn’t expecting you to ask me out”.

Femi: “What is surprising in a man asking a beautiful girl out?”

Shana: “It’s just that I thought you only wanted friendship”.

Femi: “Well, I actually wanted friendship but now I want something more. I want an intimate relationship with you”.

Shana: “I am not sure about this”.

Femi: “Why? Are you in a relationship already? Few days ago you told me you weren’t in any”.

Shana: “Yes, but Ayomide…”

Femi: “My brother? Has he asked you out? If he has, I will advise that you stick to him since he came before me. I don’t want to be seen as dragging a girl with my kid brother”.

Shana: “No, he didn’t ask me out”.

Femi: “Then what is it?” he snapped lightly, he was beginning to lose his temper at the childish lady who was finding it difficult to take a simple decision on her own.

Shana: “Ayomide is my friend, in fact he is my best friend and I promised him that I would tell him before accepting to date any man. Give me some time to talk to him about this, I am sure he would approve of us”, she lied because she didn’t want Femi to know that she had a crush on his younger brother.

Femi: “Fair enough then. Can I drive you home now?”

They walked out of the restaurant holding hands with a lot going through Femi’s head, he was thinking of a plan B that only him knew about.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *