Thursday, January 28, 2016

ThAwEd... PT 5

Source: graphicriver.net



I dug out my keys and dragged my feet to the gate. I had parked outside the previous day in the bid to preserve some space to be used at the party. I unbolted the pedestrian gate as quietly as I could and let myself out. The air was moist and chilly. I quickly got into my car and heaved a sigh of relief. It was a Sunday and I silently promised myself a marathon sleep. I ached all over and could not help resting my head on the steering will. My phone buzzed. It was Eddie. I wasn’t sure I had the grace in me to spend what energy I had left on a husband who was as absent as grey hair on my head. I silenced the ring and put down my roof mirror. I hope that’s what it’s called. Anyways, I took some wet wipes from my pigeonhole and wiped my face clean of all the makeup that had formed a horrid mess on my face. I still had a bottle of water from the previous day and I gulped half of it down. I still felt very groggy and needed to get home as soon as possible before I passed out on the wheels.

The traffic was light and I was so grateful. I don’t think I would have been able to handle Lagos traffic. Somehow my mind drifted to coffee. A friend of mine had mentioned this place in Victoria Island that had spectacular lattes. I couldn’t remember the name but she said it was somewhere around Kofo Abayomi so I set out to find it. I drove around for five more minutes before I spotted the shop, I hoped. I grabbed my purse and picked up a pair of flip-flops from the backseat. The aroma of hot pastries and the brew of coffee hit me hard in the face as soon as I got in; I almost staggered with pleasure. I don’t know if their stuff tastes as good as it smells but at that moment, I just wanted to stand and inhale. The d├ęcor was commendable; dark wood, upholstery of diverse textures, mirrors and beautiful bulb holders. It had a homely touch to it and it was surprisingly warm. Not so warm that you start to sweat but warm enough that I didn’t wanna go back outside. I realized I had been standing at the entrance for almost a minute. Thankfully, the place wasn’t buzzing with people so I didn’t get to feel embarrassed. I found a table set for two chairs and made myself at home. I was getting weaker by the second and reminded myself that I had to get going as soon as possible. I began to scan through the menu on the table when I felt a hand on my shoulder.  I looked up and there was Amanze and his bright eyes looking down at me. My heart missed three beats and I think my intestines shrank or something. My pulse was definitely at 100km/h. I quickly remembered how much of a mess I looked like and wished to just vanish into the thin air. “I think you’re stalking me” I squeaked. His laughter was rich. “You look like a mess… a beautiful one though. I never noticed your eyes beneath all that eye shadow” he said still retaining his smile. He pulled out the other chair and sat opposite me. I immediately noticed the scar at the base of his neck. It looked like it had been stitched. He had what looked like two-day old stubbles and his hair was slightly tussled from sleep, I guessed. He was wearing a sleeveless cotton shirt and sweat pants. On his feet, he wore a pair of Nike sneakers and I could see the cables of his ear phones from peeking out of his right pocket. He smelled strongly of deodorant, perhaps, axe. He had sweat on his brows and biceps and back. I was still weak but I definitely had the energy to stare at a beautiful man on a Sunday morning. “You know what I said about your eyes, it was supposed to be a compliment.” “Thank you. So umm…you run every Sunday?” “As a matter of fact, yes. I attend the 4th service at my church so early morning runs or walks on Sundays have become a habit.” “Oh I see. I just dropped by to get coffee. I hear they have good stuff here” I said picking up my purse in the bid to leave. There was something about this man that made me feel uneasy in an exciting way. I hope you can understand that. “Come on now. You don’t have to leave. I can go if you’d rather be alone. Maybe give you a call later on” he said and grabbed my arm gently. I froze literally. The first and only time I had reacted this way to a man was when my husband kissed me for the first time. His countenance changed immediately; he must have sensed it. It looked like guilt, like when a person thinks he must have hurt another one. What was wrong with me? Whatever I was going through was none of his business and he didn’t deserve for me to act as though it was. “I’m sorry. I’m just a bit jumpy. I have had quite a night.” All of a sudden, fatigue hit me like a wave of strong currents and it suddenly wasn’t about last night or Edikan’s calls or even the fact that I had been losing it slowly for some time now. It was about everything. I knew it was coming; a great flood of tears so I put my hands in my face as soon as I sat down. As I anticipated, the tears came. I couldn’t control them but I made great effort not to make any noise. So I sat there silently and cried while this stranger sat opposite me, probably not knowing what to do with me, a woman who he barely knew. I heard him move away from the table and felt shame wash over me. I probably freaked the poor man out with my drama. I still couldn’t raise my head but I was done pouring tears. I thought about my kids and remembered that Nini had to be taken back to school today. I had forgotten to tell the driver to come get her. I had to make the phone call before it was too late.

I looked up just in time to see Amanze drop a latte and a thick layer of paper towels on the table. I quickly picked up a paper towel and dabbed my face with it. “I’m a strong woman. I don’t know what just happened here” I said quietly. “I’m not patronizing you when I say we all have those moments.” He said with a smile. This time the smile wasn’t smile. It was as though he was smiling just because he had too. He soon lost the smile and uncapped the latte carefully. “Here. This is the best you’ll ever have in Lagos. And it’s my recipe. I’m the only one who gets this here” he said as he handed me the cup. I took it cautiously, careful not to let our hands touch. I closed my eyes and brought the cup to my lips…then I paused and inhaled. The brew was heavenly and I just took it in for a few more seconds before I finally took a sip. By the time I opened my eyes, he was gazing at me with a kind of intensity I cannot quite explain. “So you’re a romantic. Not everyone knows how to or can even take coffee in this manner.” I smiled. “My father, I learnt it from him. He never takes coffee without inhaling. Some people might think it’s a rather weird or nasty habit but I find it as sweet as he was.” I was still smiling but he wasn’t. “Was?” He asked with slightly piqued interest. “He passed away last year. I try to hold unto what I can about him.” I looked out of the window, still smiling. I could never talk about my father and not smile no matter how bad things were. By the time I turned back to him, his arms were crossed across his chest and his eyes were still intensely fixed on me. Boy, this man is bold! I quickly looked at my left hand; I wasn’t wearing my ring. I had pulled it off the bid to keep it safe when I got really busy yesterday. Maybe that was why he was so comfortable looking at me this way; there was nothing visible to stop him. He didn’t strike me as a wild or loose person but for some reason, I always remember that I am married around him. It would have been nicer to actually feel married but… I changed the line of my thoughts. I didn’t have more tears to spare.

“I can tell you’re a really strong woman and that what went down here was a sea breaking through a wall of ice you’d built. You had to have been expecting that for some time now. I don’t mean to pry” he added and picked up his own latte. I couldn’t say anything to that so I just sat, sipping on the coffee he’d handed me a few minutes ago. He was right, this was the best latte I had had in my entire life. I was tasting something I couldn’t quite lay a finger on but I wasn’t in the mood to know what it was. So I inhaled and sipped and inhaled again. “So are you gonna tell me why you look like you just woke with a hangover…not that the sexy, messy look doesn’t work for me.” I gave him a look that said “you’ve got guts.”  He quickly figured that out. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t quite think of any synonym for the word.” He looked really sincere and I found that funny. I laughed and he smiled. “Now we’re making progress.” I told him about Dami’s party and the role I played in it and about Nini’s health. He was so easy to talk to. He told me stories of from his childhood and how he’d left his job as a Senior Manager at an investment bank to own restaurants. Just like before, we talked about a lot of things. “You mentioned that Aniekan had to be taken back to school and that you needed someone to drop her off” he said veering off the current track of our conversation. “Umm… Yes. There’s this driver that I call to take them to school but I’m yet to call him and he’s on high demand. I even doubt that he’d be available since I haven’t called until now.” I said as I began to worry. “Relax. There’s always a way around these things.” He said, sipping on his latte. “Sadly, I can’t think of any at the moment. I should get going.” I braced myself to stand. “She goes to Corona at Ogun right?” I had to look surprised. Where was he going with this? “Yes. Why?” “I could offer but that’d probably freak you out. We are not there yet.” I considered the offer in my head. First of all, I didn’t really know this guy and with all the silent drama we had going on, I wasn’t sure I wanted to get my kids involved. Besides, you don’t just take a person’s Sunday away from him like that. On the other hand, I could really use his help. “Thanks for offering. Really. But I think I’ll try to reach that driver first before exploring other options. Thank you for coffee and pardoning my breakdown.” I said with a smile. He was still looking at me in that very intense way, like he was trying to figure out something on my face. “That’s okay but if that doesn’t work out, I’ll be just a phone call away.” he said rising to his feet. I have always had it for men just about his height. I even married one. I smiled at myself and turned towards the door. He was right behind me. When we got to the door, he held my arm to stop me and then opened it for me. Outside the building was slightly windy for some reason. I quickly caught a wisp of his scent and it was musky with a zing of sweat or I dunno… but he smelled good alright. Shit! I probably smelled like crap. I unlocked my car and got in. He leaned in over my window and smiled. “I hope you have a hard time finding someone else to go on this trip.” I nodded said thanks and shoved the gear into reverse mode.
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Hello my lovelies, I hope this made a good read. I know it's high time we got to the end of this series. I will try to bring it to the table more promptly and consistently.
As usual, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how things are unfolding.


Stay in love,
Pray harder,
Work smarter,
Be beautiful.

xoxo,
Nazzy


Saturday, January 23, 2016

ON DECIDING TO BE BEAUTIFUL


So guys, here’s the thing. I have been drowning recently; drowning in the ocean of activities that make up my life. I have lost weight recently, acquired eye bags the size of Texas and broken down one or two times. Let’s not even talk about the needs vs pockets ratio.

Needless to say, contrary to my plans and hopes for starting the New Year, I haven’t been entirely happy lately. This has turned me into such a nag that I sometimes cringe when I start with these rants. At some point, it was okay to rant; I mean I have the right to. It’s me we’re talking about here. But somewhere along the line, I realized that I was actually becoming sad. In the two weeks, I have broken down in serious tears about thrice and shouted more times than I can count. My countenance became sour and every day, the ball of negative energy around me expanded and somehow got tighter.

I am not going to delve into some of the issues I have been dealing with since I do not have the privilege of being an anonymous blogger but here’s the deal: I HAVE CHOSEN TO BE HAPPY. I made a choice to be at peace with myself last year and by God’s grace, that turned out amazing. I was in my ACCA class on Saturday and whilst classes were going on, I was bus making lists of my immediate needs and attaching price tags to them. By the time I was done, I understood why some parents pop B.P pills after looking at their children’s lists.

After dwelling on these needs for quite some time, I decided that although it’s quite disappointing that I may not be able to afford all at the moment, they are not worth my happiness. So guess what, I dropped all that burden somewhere along Ojuelegba and moved on. I mean, when has God not had my back?

I retraced my steps and decided to uphold some of the decisions I made with taking good care of myself being one of those at the top of the list. So I thought you might want to hear some of my year-long resolutions. Note that I didn’t use the term “New Year.”

§  I decided to start zinging my water with lemons and other fruits. My citrus zinger water bottle is already "IN" and I’ve got tons of recipes waiting to be tried out. Yass Fit Fam!!!

§  I decided to start pampering my skin and believe me when I say that most of the things on that list were for my hair and face. Anyways, I walked into Montaigne Place and walked out with 3 bottles of awesomeness in a Clarins range.

§  I decided to stop being grumpy and get around to chores that I felt like are not in my jurisdiction. Like I won’t let myself be uncomfortable cuz I’m too pissed at you for not doing your job; I’ll go ahead and do what I can cuz I’ve got standards and there’s no way your smallness is messing with them.

§  I decided to eat fruits every single night; I need to have that healthy glow. Who knows? Shining bright like a diamond can get a girl a diamond. Lol.

§  I decided to stick to black soap…Yes, you heard me. I have been using Cussons Baby Soap for some years and as you all know, I’m a grown woman whose skin has grown-up issues plus my mum decided that she was done with my child support programme. So I discovered FOREVER LIVING AVOCADO BAR which is amazing and does a fine job of making me N1000 poorer every two weeks or so. Then I went to Akwa Ibom state for work and an old friend introduced me to this jar of black gooey sweetness called “ATONG.”
I’ll skip the details and jump to the part where I started using Dudu-Osun thereafter. So far, I’m loving it. It’s cleared some of the zits I had on my chest and back and the rest of my body is glowing. I was a bit skeptical about using it on my face and just stuck to my Neutrogena face wash. I also read reviews on Dudu-Osun online and many people had amazing stuff to say about it. I also learned that I can use it for my hair. Can I get a “Halleluyah”?
*REVIEW ON MY BEAUTY REGIMEN COMING SOON AS A VLOG*

§  I decided to be more disciplined. I want to remain a Risk Consultant and become a professional blogger/vlogger this year and these appeal to my discipline and sense of priority. I’ll have to work smart, write better, shoot better and just be more efficient generally speaking. I’d also have to make out more time for squats (and the dumbells for those just arrived...yayy!) and making salads and smoothies. You’re probably asking why I can’t fit the four lines above into 365 days without tackling discipline. Well, if you’ve set goals that you are determined to achieve this year and realize that the first the first month is always gone, you’d have the answer to your questions.

§  I decided to build a great reputation among most people I’d come in contact with this year. Basically just be a beautiful person on the inside and on the outside. I know I can’t do this alone, and am constantly asking for help form God.

I HAVE DECIDED TO BE A REALLY BEAUTIFUL PERSON ALL-ROUND OR ELSE WHAT’S THE ESSENCE OF BEARING A NAME THAT MEANS “BEAUTY COMES FROM GOD”?

Xoxo,

Nazzy

Monday, January 11, 2016

HEARTSTRINGS

SOURCE: ideasvalentinesday

ROSE:
I always wake up to a wet sweet tingling on my cheek,
Right where your lips touch before they move to my neck.
My tongue never gets used to your flavor as it bears the drugging effect of wine, chocolates and pure love.
We’ve been married just a year and I still look forward to marrying you the very next day, and saying I do all over again when you hug me from behind.
I often wonder if this would be till the end of time.

LILY:
I have loved you for a decade or so, borne your name for half the time and will want you forever.
I took vows by the sea with waters, earth and sky echoing them in unison.
Bed sheets can bear witness of the passion we share and the lights of how often we abandon them so that I can find you with hands and not eyes.
But outside your arms I know no solace for I am yet to bear the name mother;
I often wonder whether you’ll start to mind that too.

DAISY:
At first your touch was mild and then they turned to jabs that later turned my skin purple after a day or two.
At first I never wanted you to stop speaking for your words were laced with roses and I glowed as each syllable passed through me.
Now I’m running out of heart for each word from you destroys one more inch of it and makes me less woman.
Three missed periods have ended with scarlet fluid running down my legs and more life ebbing away from me.
I often wonder how long it takes you finally destroy a woman.

IRIS:
You have renamed me, re-molded me and made me yours in a way that can never be undone.
The purity of every interaction with you saved me from myself and every hugged pulled more of me out from the clutches of a stained past.
The children are beautiful but I wouldn’t want any without you and I can only love me and them because you constantly show me how.
All this time have taught me that some things- special things like what we’ve built- can defy the Constance of change.
I often wonder how little a woman I’d be if you hadn’t come along.

JASMINE:
I have watched you love me in more ways than one; with words, gifts and care but then, I have watched you love us all in the same way.
I see the lip stains, texts, and receipts, and how you steal quick kisses from them when you think I’m not looking.
I have gotten threats from unnamed women who want more of you and forget that you are solely mine or at least, were meant to be.
But I have loved you more, kissed you more, prayed for you more and given to more of myself.
I often wonder what I’m missing and how every other women manages to have enough of it to give you.

VIOLET:
I buckle at the knees each time I hear the sound of your voice or even the horn of your car; my body lives in the constant fear of the shame my thighs face by you.
My breasts and neck hurt from where your canines constantly dig in each time the bed lamp goes off.
My nostrils are accustomed to the stench of alcohol from your breath and my face to the eerie feeling of you drooling all over it.
You’ve become a nightmare as constant as the wedding ring I wear.
I often wonder how long it will take to lose you both.

IVY:
I have watched your dark hair disappear taking with it all the passion we once had.
Sweet names have gone with age and adventure with the fading memories.
A full house at Christmas and thanksgiving keep me grateful but I often miss little things like your notes and tickles and long nights of sweet nothings in foreign lands.
These days, memories and stories keep me happy and not you.
I often wonder if we’ll ever taste passion ever again before our demise.

LEILANI:
I have loved you for half a century and more and you leave me thinking that more can be done.
I have learnt to disregard age because the longing in your eyes each time they find me have never waned.
You have taken with you “all of me” and returned to me “all of us”; something I never thought existed or could be so amazing.
You have become the best of wines getting better with age and more exotic with passing moments.
I often wonder if death will be strong enough to break what we have.

ME:
I have heard all these tales and more, and have dared love once and tasted its exotic flavor.
I have tried to protect myself from the drama and heartbreak and have prayed on every night that my tale be magical.
I have grown to desire love in its purest form and am trying to learn how to wield it.
Now I’m focused on becoming his dream even before he finds me and loving others so that we can reflect God’s intention.
Perhaps in targeting a thousand souls, I will find that “one” and would have enough love to give and room to receive.
I often wonder what beautiful tale is yet to happen with me.
*******************************************************
 DISCLAIMER: The names are fictional. Also, I do not suppose that these extracts embody the experiences of every woman. However, these tales are as true as many of the women you have known.
****************************************************** 

 I hope I struck a chord in you. 

xoxo.
Nazzy

CHRONICLES OF 2015



I know you thought I wouldn’t show up. Don’t think about it; just give me a hug!

Last year was beautiful and I’m not saying this because I feel lucky enough to have seen a new year. It’s true because since I became an adult, I haven’t experienced an age or time in which I had to take absolute responsibility of things around me. I was an independent adult facing life in its barest form.

I had real hard times; not the kind you face because they are a family burden but the kind that become all yours and no one’s. I had choices dance before my eyes, each teasing me with its pros and scaring me with its cons. I was the wind; heavy and dark one some days and light and fast on others.

Above all, I LEARNED TO TRUST GOD ABSOLUTELY AND IN RETURN HE TAUGHT ME THE TRUE MEANING OF JOY. I LEARNED THAT EACH ASPECT OF MY LIFE IS A JIGSAW PUZZLE LYING ON MY FATHER’S LAPS GRADUALLY BECOMING THE PICTURE HE HAS IN HIS HAND. I LEARNED THE TRUE MEANING OF JOY AND NOW, NOTHING CAN STEAL THAT FROM ME.

I faced a lot of challenges but unlike other years, I was joyful and completely at peace and although not all plans came through, the best of Him through me came to life. In as few words as I can manage, here’s my tale of triumph:
  •        I learned to listen to the word and became closer to God.
  •          I kept the best of friends and learned not to underestimate the power of positive energy around you.
  •          Nobody in my family was hospitalized; that hasn’t happened in a while so it’s a mind-blowing milestone.
  •          I found favor with people.
  •          Love came my way...I eventually let it go but I found beautiful moments and made memories of them… And it’ll be waiting at the next junction so spare me the “aww”
  •          I got admitted to a master’s program and a top school in the U.K.
  •          I got a great job in a multinational. (“Great” here is a synonym for stressful and nomadic in nature lol)
  •          I led the choir in church.
  •          I spent a night on the beach…you think you’ve seen it all until the sea sings you to sleep.
  •          I bought new shoes and clothes and fabrics. What? Don’t you know some people are naked?
  •          I wrote more beautiful pieces, stretching myself to uncover more deep and amazing parts of myself.
  •          I ventured into spoken word; I entered into a talent competition, did a few of my pieces and came second. Anyway, the gist is that you can now call me “a spoken word artist.”
  •          I got extra piercings on my ears and learned to love fura di nono. I hope I got that right.
  •          I reunited with one of my best friends and then made some new ones.
  •          God answered one of my prayers with a miracle for the family. Ehen? Must you know everything?
  •          I finally bought a brand new Nikon D Series camera. Thanks to Jumia on black Friday, we can finally get around to that Youtube channel and blog expansion. Please help me beg work to give me a break now and then.
  •          I took a decision to become the “Proverbs 31” woman and to love the “1 Cor 13” way. Without all that last year brought my way, I may not be on this journey right now.


Happy New Year my lovelies. You were an amazing part of my 2015 and I hope we all stay strong, loving and helping each other grow. This year is for miracles and the nature of God shining through us. Make the best of it and do not hesitate to be super amazing with no apologies.

Take every moment and create at least a fraction of your dream out of it.
Take every person and create a friend out of him/her.
Take all that you are and create a reflection of God on earth.
Lace every deed with a drop of eternity; something beautiful that someone somewhere will never forget.

Xoxo,

Nazzy