It’s been an amazing 2 seasons in this mini series “The Diary Of A Shoe Lover”. I trust you guys have enjoyed the story so far. What started out to be the story of a girl who was in love with shoes and would clean her bank account dry to get her favorite pair, grew into the lives, times and experiences of three women and their loved ones. I enjoyed writing every episode and i like how i was able to get lost in each character. Your favorite series will come to an end with this episode and i hope you’ve learned a few lessons or can relate to some of the experiences. Enjoy and share your thoughts.
The store launch was a massive success, everyone came out in their numbers to support us. Family, friends, even my ex colleagues and bosses were there. It had been the busiest 2 months of my entire life, like literally. From the last 3 events of Aishat’s wedding to my vacation to Hawaii and back to get ready for the store opening and then my surprise baby shower, which wasn’t so much a surprise, as i knew it was coming. The days and weeks past had been full of activities.
Now was the time i needed to really rest. I was due to have my babies in 8 weeks and the gynecologist we were seeing, as Hakeem never allowed me go for any appointment without him, had hinted i’d most likely not carry the pregnancy to the full term of 40 weeks because it was a multiple pregnancy. With the help of Ivie, we had gotten one of the best hospitals in Houston and a serviced apartment.
Hakeem had taken a 90 day break which his boss gave him without questions and even with pay. He would be doing some work from home anyway. He wanted us to be together as a family once the babies arrived. I was really looking forward to my delivery day and the days only seemed to drag on forever.
Dayo, my brother had offered to oversee and monitor Lady Cobbler for us while we were away. That left me and Hakeem at peace, our business was in very safe hands.
“I can’t wait to drop this load” I said, handing my bag over to Dayo as i pulled out a seat at the sharwarma spot in Ikeja. You could see my baby bump 5 minutes before i entered a room, it was really huge, but i was lucky, no illnesses or ugliness, i had the best glow ever.
We had just left the store and were heading over to our parent’s house.
“Pele, it’d soon be over. If there’s anything i respect about women, it is this God given ability to carry life in you. It amazes me mehn” Dayo said.
“It is with that same respect you should treat whoever you marry, she has to be the most important person in your life” I said seriously and as a matter of fact.
“This marriage thing scares me Salewa, 99% of the men i know cheat at some point, most of the married women i know are unhappy most of the time. I swear you’re the only one who hasn’t come to me with the ‘my husband is cheating on me story’. He replied.
“It’s not easy, it’s not even something i like to talk about. But you need to make up your mind when you are ready to make your marriage work. Hakeem and i may seem all sweet on the outside and by God we are, but we still have our down moments. It is the commitment, friendship and love and of course the grace of God that has kept us together and joyfully so too. I won’t trade it for anything in the world.” I said.
We picked up our sharwarma and left.
In the car, Dayo showed me a story that came up on his phone about a Nigerian man who had slumped and died in his hotel room in Hawaii. According to the date on the report, It happened a few days after i left.
The vacation to Hawaii had been quite an enjoyable one, the first week especially, when Ivie was there. We spent hours on end at the beach, soaking up the sun and talking about everything under the sun. On one of the evenings, our conversations led to Eddy and his infidelity.
“But really Ivie, how are you able to manage or do i say cope with the situation? Hasn’t it taken it’s toll on your relationship with him? I sat up, asking her with all seriousness.
She smiled, “Babe, over time, i’ve come to understand that shit happens, most times it’s shit we have no control over. The one thing i’ve always known sha is that i don’t want to be the bitter, angry woman who loses her mind and her head and in the process her life because of marriage.
Salewa, I was slowly becoming that woman, i spent more time crying and looking down on myself because Eddy chose to have other women. But the turn around came when he impregnated that girl. It took a lot from me emotionally and psychologically, i was drained and damaged so i went to God and He gave me peace and wisdom and strength. If there’s anything i know and i’m so sure of, it’s that i’m an asset, flaws and all, i’m an asset.”
“But does that mean you no longer love him?” I asked, really curious.
“I do, i love Eddy, i can’t deny that. There are days i look at him and i’m so irritated, other days i just want to be in his arms and love him. What i’ve learned to do is to take it one day at a time, one emotion at a time and try to remain in control of what and how i feel. I still have days that i break down and cry, it’s therapeutic, i come out better.
If it gets too overwhelming, i pack up and take a break or bury myself in work. In other areas, Eddy is a fantastic guy, caring for us and giving us the best of everything. He’s kind to me and looks out for me and Osas always. So i focus more on the important things like giving the kids a stable foundation emotionally and psychologically”. She said.
I don’t know if it was admiration or surprise, but i couldn’t seem to stop looking at her, Ivie had grown up a lot more than i thought, there was a higher wisdom and deeper understanding in her words. I Sighed deeply. I couldn’t imagine myself in her shoes.
“Don’t stop praying for him Ivie” it was all i could say.
“Trust me i do pray for him, i want the Eddy that proposed to me, the one we started out together those many years ago. Sometimes i wonder if he had been cheating from the get go, i mean there were messages from women back then who wouldn’t let him be and that’s all i thought it was.
But recent times have made me think otherwise. Anyway, all that is past now, i pray he encounters God and can subject his flesh. We are all sinners Salewa, we just sin differently. I’m emotionally disconnected, all those mushy, lovey dovey, flesh emotions have been buried, i miss it sometimes but that’s the only way i can stay sane. It’s more like a brother sister relationship even though we still have bomb ass sex” She laughed, then continued,
“I’m no longer angry or even worried, just working with the boundaries that have been created and trusting God to restore trust, emotional security and all that has been lost.”
We had stayed for a few more minutes and then headed back to our hotel room with Osagie who seemed to be enjoying the vacation more than us.
Ivie left for Nigeria 2 days after, so i was left to myself. I enjoyed the first 2 days of solitude but by day 3 i was already getting bored. I took a walk around a shopping mall close by and was contemplating leaving for Nigeria earlier than planned when i saw a pair of Ronnie No 21 mules in a shop window. I went in.
“After all these years and she’s still in love with shoes” A deep voice said behind me. I jumped and turned around.
My face lit up in a huge smile “Adrian, what are you doing here?, Oh My God, it’s been what now, almost 20 years”.
We hugged, i fit the sandals, paid for them and walked out the store with him.
“So what are you doing here?. First of all congrats” He said pointing at my bump.
“Oh thank you, my first after almost 6 years of waiting. You, are you married now?” I asked him.
“No, i’m not, but i have a daughter” He replied.
We played catch up as we sat down to have ice cream. Adrian had attended our secondary school, he was 2 years ahead of us. I had a huge crush on him back then and so did every other girl in school. He was of mixed race, an ibo father and a Russian mother and save for his eyes and hair texture, you never could tell. We had met again in my first year in University and had a bit of a fling before he went to join his mum in Russia and that was the last i heard of him.
After almost 3 hours of catching up, i excused myself and we agreed to have dinner the following evening. He was walking me back to my hotel when we heard Usher’s “My Boo” playing from a small cafe. That was our song when we were still together and it brought back a lot of memories. We laughed and sang along and walked on by.
“I actually miss you, Salewa. Those years, i was so lost.” He said, holding my hands.
I forced a laugh, “It’s too late for that now, all that is in the past and clearly, we’ve both moved on”. I replied.
“Yea, you have and i’m happy for you.” He said and leaned in to kiss me. I didn’t move, the kiss lasted longer than 10 seconds because i responded and almost immediately, i pushed him away.
“I’m sorry Adrian, i’m really sorry. It was nice seeing you again but of course you know dinner is cancelled. take care and have a nice life.” I said as i hurried away.
I saw a message when i got into the hotel room. It was from Adrian.
“I’m sorry, i shouldn’t have, you looked so beautiful and i couldn’t resist”
I deleted the message and his number. I’d be so screwed if Hakeem ever found about this. I struggled in my mind whether to tell him about it. Wouldn’t that be foolish of me? I could barely sleep, i was officially a cheat. Eventually, i prayed to God to fix it for me. The next few days were a drag, i did as much work as i could on Lady Cobbler.
On my way back to Nigeria, i prayed through the flight asking God to erase those few destructive minutes. I’m not sure i could ever tell Hakeem. If he was able to forgive the situation, would he be able to forget and trust me again? I prayed even harder.
The Nigerian man who had died of a heart attack was Adrian, i couldn’t mask my shock.
“I know this guy Dee, don’t you remember him? I dated him in UNILAG Diploma, the one i cried to you about that left me to be with his mum? I said, trying to remind him.
“Who didn’t you cry about then” He replied jokingly. “Yea, i actually do, eeya, May he rest in peace o”
After a huge debate in my head, i told Dayo about all that happened and how the situation had been killing me inside.
“Well maybe this is God’s answer to your prayer, no? He said. “My advice is to let it go, don’t tell Hakeem anything, you know you didn’t mean to and i’m sure you’d never fall into such a situation again. Hakeem may never be able to understand that. Forgive your self and move on from it.” He said as a matter of fact.
“Thank you Dee, i knew i could count on you.” I gave him a hug as we continued the drive to our parent’s place.
Aishat had been away to Canada with Timeyin and had promised to come and see me in Houston. Their wedding was so colorful and beautiful. She was the most beautiful Hausa bride i had ever seen. Decked in gold from head to toe, she must have been worth the price of a house in Lagos. Her father, Alhaji Musa Illo went over and beyond for her. From Kano after the traditional marriage, we headed back to Lagos to prepare for the wedding and the Pre-wedding dinner. The dinner had a black and white theme and everyone stuck to the color code.
Even in my pregnant state, she insisted on me being her chief bridesmaid and i was glad to do her the honors. She had a full bridal train with Khameel, her son and Osas, Ivie’s daughter as the little groom and little bride. It was really beautiful.
On the night of the wedding when we were getting ready to escort her to Timeyin’s family house, she revealed to Ivie and i that she was pregnant. My heart was filled with joy. In more than 25 years of friendship, Aishat, Ivie and I had been through a lot and we were conquering it all. I prayed in my mind for Ivie’s marriage to be restored fully.
Hakeem and i flew out first to New York, spent a few days there before heading out to Houston. He spoiled me silly. From foot rubs to full body massages, delicious home cooked meals, take outs, kisses, jewelry and even more shoes.
One evening, we had just finished having dinner and i was settling in to bed when i heard Hakeem’s phone beep. I saw the first line of the message and out of curiosity, opened it.
“Hey Hakeem, thanks for dinner. It was nice seeing you too. I hope i’d see you again soon, you haven’t changed one bit. Hope you weren’t too late meeting up with your wife”
I read it over and over again, trying to analyse the situation that could have led to the message. Why didn’t Hakeem tell me he was with someone?. He only said he was going to get food for us. I tried to compose myself and waited for him to come into the room.
I handed the phone to him. “Can you please explain this?”
He read through and sighed, then said “I don’t know what you’re thinking but this means nothing, she’s an old friend, we had something a long time ago sha, and it was nothing meaningful. I saw her when i went to buy us dinner and paid for her food. Yes we played catch up for a few minutes while i waited for our food and that was it” He tried to explain.
“And you guys exchanged numbers to keep in touch abi”, I was getting worked up.
He sighed again “Trust me it was for nothing, listen Salewa, these situations come up, i’ve been faced with so many, i know when a woman is trying to play fresh and i’ve found myself unconsciously playing along but i know not to cross my boundaries. All i ask of you is to trust me. Trust that i won’t do anything to hurt you emotionally. Please just trust me, i want nothing to do with any other woman, not physically, not emotionally. I have fought off the temptations since we became an item and i don’t plan to mess up now. I just need you to trust me and believe me. I won’t be one of those guys that will act right when they are with their woman and become community helpers when she’s not there. I pray about it everyday too. Please the only help you can render is to pray for me and trust me except i give you reason not to trust me again.” He said.
“I’m sorry, my mind just went very far now. You can’t blame me too jo. And yes i trust you with my heart Hakeem, don’t ever break that, please. I’m sorry” I replied.
We hugged and kissed and cuddled to sleep. My mind flashed back to Hawaii, i had to be able to trust Hakeem as much as i wanted him to trust me too, i messed up and i will never be able to tell him about it. I can’t continue to project the fear of other people’s relationships or my past experiences on him.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, loving someone deeply gives you courage. Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own and that’s what we both apply to our marriage.
On the 26th of September, Tiwatope Joshua Olanrewaju was born at 10.15pm closely followed by his sisters Tiwalade Rebecca Olanrewaju and Tiwalola Sarah Olanrewaju about 4 minutes apart.
My name is Mrs Salewa Olanrewaju, i’m 32 years old and wife to the most amazing Hakeem Olanrewaju, mother of a gorgeous son and 2 beautiful girls and an unrepentant shoe lover and i have 353 pairs of shoes.