The Men She Loved (2)


Dayo stood before her, bearing down on her and as she looked behind, she saw there was nowhere to run to.

“Where were you when I needed you?”

His words echoed in the room. Her heart tripled in pace and she clutched her breast.

“Dayo please…”

He struck her and she fell to the ground.

“Every day I waited,”

She tried to crawl away and she felt a sharp pain in her back. He had stabbed her. He took the dagger out and stabbed her again. And again.

Lola woke up with tears in her eyes and her heart going so fast, she thought she would faint. But the dream was familiar to her now. Ever since Ada had told her of Dayo’s arrival in Lagos she hadn’t had a restful night. Every night he judged her; and executed her.

She kicked the duvet off and strode purposefully to the bathroom. When she turned the faucet, it groaned, spat out brown water and then nothing. She sighed and picked up the bucket. She would be late to work again. Fortunately she was her own boss; otherwise she would long since have found herself without a job.

Lose It Love It Live It (LLLit) was a concept that had materialised in her mind and Ada and her husband had provided capital for. Thanks to Ada, she owned (or at least partly owned) a building that held a gym, a dance hall, a health/medical clinic, a swimming pool, a spa, a tennis court, and a basketball court. LLLit was her dream and she often taught dance and acted as a personal trainer to a few of her clients. She had also starred in and produced a couple of workout videos.

“Good morning,” Lanre was washing his car as she locked her front door. She could time herself by him. He washed his car 9am each morning, left for his office at 10am, was back for 7pm, mowed his lawn on Mondays and Wednesdays, and visited his mother on Sundays. She smiled at him and told him good morning. She looked at her own neglected car guiltily, as she usually did when she bumped into him; yet another reason to leave the house on time. He followed her glance and laughed.

He wore one of his three ‘wash the car’ outfits – a pair of faded grey shorts and a black tee.

“Did you sleep well?” he asked. She didn’t feel up to chatting, but Lanre wasn’t just her neighbour, he was her friend.

“So, so.”

“I ask because you look a little tired,” she touched her face subconsciously. She had put on more make up than usual to mask the bags under her eyes, but Lanre stared at her with a concerned expression. He tilted his head to get a better look. The sponge was in his hand and dripping, if he got any closer it would drip on her shoes. “Are you sure you’re ok?”

For a moment she was tempted to tell him, not just about the dreams but about a time before he knew her; a time when she was young and free and sometimes a little wild. His hand on her face jilted her thought process and she stepped backwards. She hadn’t realised he had gotten so close.

“I’m ok. Gotta go, duty calls.” He called her name and she pretended she hadn’t heard. She could feel the reflection of the sun off of his newly glossed car on her back. She felt rather than heard him sigh.

“Ok. Have a good day at work.”

She mumbled her appreciation as she entered her jeep, waved to him and drove off.


About the author

Oyinkan Braithwaite


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May 2019
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