They confided in each other. They shared their secrets and dreams of the future with other. Deji had
rejected his mother’s offer to go the United Kingdom for his degree on the account of not being able to
cope wherever there was no Nike.
One time Deji even dared to bring her to the palace to meet his parent. His mother, not surprisingly, was
most displeased with Deji’s little friend. However, the king thought Nike was one intelligent and
charming girl and encouraged the friendship, and for that reason alone Deji felt even more love for his
‘’So what is the king saying about you studying abroad?’’ She asked stroking her hair. Her eyes showed
‘’He finally decided I won’t have to go if I don’t want to. I promised him he won’t regret the decision.’’
‘’Wow! Finally. Is he aware you deferred studying in the UK because of me?’’
‘’Yes. He kind of figured it out. He also promised to pay for tuition fee throughout the university since
he’s aware of your mother’s financial condition.’’ Deji narrated.
‘’What! You’ve got to be kidding. Are you for real?’’ she exclaimed in excitement as she jumped down
from the bed.
‘’Of course baby.’’ Deji came down from the bed to hug her.
‘’Iya Onidodo needs to hear this.’’
Releasing her, Deji said, “about that. You can tell your mother about it for sure, but we really need to be
discreet about it. The queen shouldn’t know. My father promised to see to that.’’
‘’Alright. Well noted. My mom can keep a secret to the grave. She always say that.’’
Awele, Nike’s mother, was at the shop where she sells a special type of fried plantain popularly known as
Dodo Ikire when she sighted a familiar face. In fact, it was 17 years ago she last saw that face.
‘’Baba! Baba Tewotegbo!’’ she called out loud.
The man looked around to know who recognized him in a city he just came into two days ago. Then to
his greatest surprise, though he was hardly surprised by anything, he saw Awele.
‘’Awele, is that you?’’ the old man asked to confirm what he was seeing.
‘’Yes, baba. It’s me.’’ She affirmed.
‘’Orunmila O ka re.’’ Tewotegbo praised the god.
She offered the man a seat on the bench inside her shop which he gladly accepted. She then hurriedly
got a schnapp drink for him.
‘’How is my daughter?’’ he asked after gulping a drink.
‘’Very fine, baba. She’s all grown up now.’’
‘’Hope she’s learning the culture of the Ife Ooye?’’ He asked. Ife was also known as Ife Ooye.
‘’Yes Baba. One of the prince is her close friend, in fact.’’
‘’Really? You mean one of the Ooni’s son?’’
‘’Hmm. Ori ade.’’ The man said softly with a lot of meaning attached to it, which Awele couldn’t fathom
out even if she tried to.
‘’Baba, you know you’re yet to tell me why you told me to come and settle here with my daughter?’’
Awele asked hoping to get an answer this time around.
‘I’m only doing what the gods sent me, Abeke. Just let your daughter stay here a little longer, when the
time comes for you to know, you will.’’ Tewetegbo responded with a tone of finality.
THE NEXT MORNING
A sharp rap on the door half-awoke Deji in his hotel room. It was a single hotel room with a king-sized
bed, a sofa and a coffee table. A Samsung television set hung on the wall. Beside the bed was the closet.
The hotel room also had a private bathroom.
He opened his eyes slightly. His head was pounding, his throat was dry and he was feeling drowsy. He
raised his head, surveyed the room and then fell back to his pillow. He grunted and closed his eyes.
Another rap came on the door, this time louder. A voice followed, ‘’Adedeji!’’
It was his mother’s voice. With that, he sat up quickly on the edge of the bed. He poured himself a glass of cold
water which was on the coffee table. ‘
’Please hold on, mom.’’ He grumbled.
He washed his face in the bathroom hurriedly, before coming back to turn the key on the door knob.
‘’What have come of you, Deji?’’ Ireti snapped as she walked into room. She didn’t wait for him to invite
her in. She wasn’t a vampire.
‘’You arrived late last night. Like that wasn’t horrible enough, you missed breakfast this morning.‘’ her
eyes flashing with obvious displeasure.
‘’I kind of over-slept.’’ He simply said.
His mother raised an eyebrow and continued, ‘’of course you did. I don’t like the way you’re treating
Theresa. She was at the breakfast table with her uncle. She was getting a lot of stares. You need to get
serious with here soon, or you might lose her to another man. A girl like that won’t wait around for your