She was a raving beauty, dark skinned, tall, with full brows and lips. She was the princess of the house, the only child of her middle class parents. No, her parents didn't pamper her. They taught her to be disciplined, responsible, bold, a goal getter and most importantly, to never take no for an answer, especially when she truly desired something good.
Stelyka was a sort of guy name, carved out from her real name, Stella. She talked a lot - not that what she said always made sense. Then one day,sitting in front of her hostel room off campus, someone told her, "shut up Stelyka, you just keep spewing rubbish".
"What?" She asked, obviously mad with anger. "What did you just say?"
And because this someone didn't want the kind of quarrel he knew was brewing in her head already, he said, "Spew".
"Spew?" She asked
"And what about the rubbish? You said I'm spewing rubbish",
"Just spew my dear. Just spew", he grinned, sheepishly.
Since then, the name stuck. Her hostel mates, when they wanted to cash fun, called her Stelyka Spew. And because she loved the modernized version of her name, she let it stick. Everyone in campus knew her as that.
"Hey Stelyka, where are you off to?" several of her friends would ask when they saw her going out
"Good morning Stelyka' how was your night?" Her neighbors answered her greeting
"My only friend with an English name, Stelyka Spew", her best friend would tease.
And when she contested and won the beauty pageant organized by her faculty, her name spread some more around campus.
Stelyka was proud and outspoken - a quality most of her boyfriends didn't appreciate in her. She was hardworking and also very jovial. People found it easy to relate with her, but they sometimes avoided her for being too outspoken. once, when a course mate of hers farted, and tries to cover it up, she exposed him. And at another time when she saw her neighbour with a sugar daddy, she went on to expose her, telling everyone who cared to listen who the sugar daddy was - the dean of social sciences.
She never really paused to think before talking. It earned her a reputation as campus loud speaker.
After graduation and NYSC, her family insisted she got married quickly so as to be settled and have her kids early. At the time, she had no boyfriend, let alone a fiance. Her relationship were very unpredictable - some lasted only a month. Some stayed longer. However, those who stayed longer with her were married and had commitments to their families.
"My relationships are doomed from the start", she told herself once, while checking out herself in front of the mirror. And so when the issue of marriage came up, she wondered if there was anyone who would marry her.
Unknown to Stelyka, her mother and her mother's best friend, Aunty Bola Olatunde, decided to play match makers for their children. And that was how Tobi Olatunde was introduced to her. She fell in love at first sight. He was the handsome hunk she always dreamt about - the type only found in romance novels. His smile seemed to make the sun shine brighter and his baritone sent chills down her spine. But there was a problem. She noticed his smiles were forced. She noticed he seemed reluctant to be alone with her. He also was reluctant when she asked that they take a stroll down the street.
It was clear he wasn't into her. He didn't love her. He preferred to have her as a casual friend, as he was still very much in love with his long time secondary school sweetheart. His mother had done everything to persuade him to meet with Stella, hoping the duo will fall heads over heels in love. But all Tobi thought of was his girlfriend and the fact that he was supposed to meet her in less than an hour. Instead he was stuck with a date forced down his throat by his own mother.
30 minutes to the time he was to meet his sweetheart, Tobi told Stella he had to go.
"Please call me Stelyka", she said, "Stelyka Spew", she thought her guy name would catch his fancy. But he frowned at it, as he had always preferred local names. Maybe that was why he loved Fegiro so much. She stuck with her local name and dialect, as it helped one easily identify her tribe and locality.
"Ok. I have to go, Stelyka", he said, rolling the name off his tongue like he had just tasted bitter leaf water.
"Ok then. So when will we see again? And you know we have to discuss marriage plans and ...."
"Please hold it. There will be no marriage between us. I am only here because my mother pleaded with me to be. I have a woman I love and she's the one I'm going to marry. I don't mean to offend you, you seem nice. But its better you know the truth than to be deceived".
Stelyka watched, speechless, as he marched off without giving her a second look. She felt terrible. She sensed from the beginning that he didn't want to be with her. But she had kicked the feeling aside and had decided on wanting to know him more. But then, even during the long stroll from her father's house to the busy junction where commercial activities took place, she had been the one talking. He said very little and seemed distant. Now she knew why. But she wasn't going to let it stop her. She was going to do her best to win him over and make him forget about the other woman. In fact, all other women.
Unfortunately, things took a different turn that evening. For as she walked back home, taking a bush path short cut, she was ambushed by three men who raped her mercilessly. She never recovered from the experience - an experience she told no one about, not even her mother, before she discovered she was pregnant.
If only Tobi was nice and had at least, walked her back home that evening, she wouldn't have been raped. Since she didn't know who the rapists were, being that they each wore a skin mask, she decided Tobi would take the fall for it. He would take responsibility for the child, and he would be forced to marry her. It was his words against hers. Women drew more sympathy than men. All she had to do was cry hard and swear, and everyone would believe her story. She cried, and they believed.
And so after 8 months and three weeks, she put to bed. A boy. He bore sticking resemblance to Tobi, hence it was very hard denying the allegations against him, as no one believed his side of the story. His mother was disappointed that he would deny her grandchild. Stelyka's mother was angry that he wanted to do a hit and run on her daughter.
"That baby's features have proved that he is your son!" she told him, "therefore, you will marry my daughter and care for the child".
But Tobi refused. He will not marry her. He would have nothing to do with her and the child. And he was dead serious about his decision. Whoever Stella fucked had better show up and claim responsibility. Better still, she should produce him. Tobi was bent on not allowing his world to be ruined, all because of a one hour forced date with a girl he barely knew.
While he quarreled with everyone and refused responsibility, little did he know that all was not black and white. There were other unseen colors. He couldn't just make decisions and get away with it. A pair of eyes watched him. Their owner smiled inwardly. Tobi would play his role as father, whether he liked it or not. He would have no rest, he would have no friends, even his business would be destroyed, if he even for once, turns his back on the child.
The news of the boy's resemblance to Tobi caught his girlfriend off guard. She believed Tobi when he said he didn't sleep with Stella. Well, that was before the birth of the child. How do one deny a carbon copy? Fegiro felt betrayed and lied to. She was going to leave him. He had a child and a mistress to care for.
To be continued....
©Karo Oforofuo. February 2017
Happy mid-week everyone. We should have started yesterday. I'm sorry I kept you waiting. I'm glad we kicked off already. The first chapter comes in tomorrow morning. I promise not to disappoint.
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