ROOM 88 – Episode 2 – In The Beginning

ROOM 88 – Episode 2 – In The Beginning

READ EPISODE 1 HERE

 

 

“Baby, will I see you tomorrow?, I’m missing you already”.

 

 

“I’d call you, I have to go now, I’m running late for my meeting” I held out the envelope of money to her and waited impatiently while she touched up her face. I leaned back as she tried to lean in for a kiss and faked a smile.

 

 

 

She was happy to take the envelope, I was happy to see her go.

 

 

 

I tried to find my way to the Ibeno beach, that’s where the therapy session would be taking place today. Great choice by Yemi I must say. It had been a long week and an evening at the beach front was all I needed. It wasn’t my first time in Uyo, but the first time I’d be staying longer than a weekend.

 

 

 

My name is Felix, I’m forty five years old and a Senior Manager at one of the top Consulting Firms in Nigeria. I am in Uyo on official duties and would be staying in town for about three months. I was having lunch at the Le Meridien Ibom Hotel the day I arrived, when I met Yemi and a group of other guys while we exchanged banter on the Premiership League. I got to find out he was a Professional  Therapist when we exchanged business cards.

 

 

 

 

Two nights later, I had brought Sharon to the restaurant to have dinner before taking her to my hotel room. We ran into Yemi and exchanged pleasantries. For the first time, I was conscious of the fact that I couldn’t properly introduce Sharon to him as she wasn’t my wife. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I knew then I needed help. I called Yemi the following day and he was sensitive enough to have read through my shame the night before. He told me about a group therapy session he was putting together and that’s how I got to be a part of it.

 

 

 

In my Bermuda shorts and crisp white shirt, I walked down the beach trying to locate the group and it didn’t take long before I found them. Everyone looked a lot more relaxed than the first meeting. We had gotten to know a bit of ourselves even though we hadn’t established the various reasons why we were there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took my spot on the floor beside Helen after saying hello to everyone and apologized for being late. I couldn’t help but notice her shoes, a pair of  Valentino espadrilles. I had gotten my wife the same pair on my last trip to Italy.

 

 

 

Valentino Valentino Garavani Vring logo espadrilles

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m happy to have you guys here and I’m really excited about going through this journey with you. You all know my story and my deep struggles with drug addiction. If anyone had told me I’d make it out alive and sane, there’s no way I’d have believed that, but look at me now, ten years and counting, free from the bondage of getting high. Like I always say, the first step to freedom is acknowledging that you need help. The fact that you made the decision on your own to be a part of this session has freed you from whatever you are going through.” 

 

 

 

I tried to listen as Yemi spoke but my mind wandered away to the early years of my life.

 

 

 

 

“Have you seen my mummy, I’m looking for my mummy” I cried as I walked around the compound asking everyone I came in contact with.

 

 

 

“You’re looking for your mother, where else can she be na, ashawo wey leave pikin go dey freak with another woman husband.” That was the response of one of our neighbors to me.

 

 

 

I was about seven years old at the time. My dad died when I was five years old, leaving me at the mercy of my wayward mother. I had heard over and over again how it was her promiscuity that led to the heart attack that killed him. I was an only child, so I practically grew up on my own.

 

 

 

 

I walked back quietly to the front entrance of our flat and sat out there while I tried to do my homework. I was hungry and needed to pee but had no access into the house. I slept off and it must have been over two hours as it was starting to get dark, when a Green Volvo car drove in. I got up slowly from the bench as I watched my mother shamelessly plant kisses on the neck of the man behind the wheels while he fondled her breasts and gave her an envelope.

 

 

 

 

 

I peed on myself.

 

 

 

 

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

 

 

 

 

The beach front is supposed to be peaceful, serene and the perfect place to relax and let go of all your worries, but the memories I held of the beach were a complete opposite. I remember pain and tears, pain from the sting of the cane on my bare back, tears of hopelessness and the need to run far away from the people that were meant to protect me.

 

 

 

 

My name is Helen, I am forty five years old and a successful Fashion Designer. My designs have been to the runways of Paris, Milan, New York and London and grace the closets of top celebrities around the world, but not many people recognize me as the face behind my brand. I have a team who represents the brand at every show. Creating designs is my escape from the reality that is my life and so I put in my all into every piece of work I make. Fashion is my thing and not only do I create my designs, I dress the part in the most subtle ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Good for nothing girl, you can’t amount to anything, are these the results your mates are bringing home?” I cried as my father threw my report sheet in my face.

 

 

 

“I’m just tired of this girl, see ehn Helen, you will not disgrace me in this house. Go and wear your shoes, let me take you to prophet for deliverance. You need it, three days with the blessed man of God will remove the demons of failure in your life.” My mother barked at me.

 

 

 

 

I cried all the way to the Bar Beach in Victoria Island, Lagos as my mum dragged me through the sand to the point where the white garment prophets were holding the ‘deliverance service’. I remember so vividly, I was fourteen years old then. Everyday, I wondered if they were really my parents. There was no iota of love for me in them, my younger sister was the preferred child and they did nothing to hide it. Fortunately, my sister loved me dearly and was always trying to get close to me but I wanted nothing of it, I hated them all.

 

 

 

 

 

I was left out in the cold for three days and two nights at the mercy of the prophets who flogged the living day light out of me while trying to deliver me from the spirit of failure, in between, one of them tried to touch me, but the look in my eyes gave him a reset. My parents wanted me to be a doctor, but the sciences wasn’t my strength. I failed woefully in all my science subjects and I had no interest at all in trying to do better. What’s the worst that could happen, I would die right?. I had attempted suicide thrice in one year, but my younger sister Abigail found me on all these occasions.

 

 

 

 

It was my husband, Alex who had found out about Yemi and the therapy session and arranged for me to be in Uyo. I had attempted another suicide on the night of his fiftieth birthday.

 

 

 

 

“Helen, what are you trying to do?” He shouted, as he slapped the pills out of my hand.

 

 

 

“I’m tired Alex, I can’t do this anymore, I just want to go. Look at me, forty six and not a child to show for it. What is life without children  Alex? Everyone at the party came with their kids, many of them grown up. What is my joy as a woman?” I cried bitterly as he held me.

 

 

 

“My parents were right when they called me a failure, am I not truly a failure?”

 

 

 

 

He didn’t utter a word, he just held me close and continued to rock me back and forth while I sobbed uncontrollably on his shoulder. “I love you Helen and I’d be here for you for as long as I have breath in me. We’re going to have our own children, I don’t know when and how, but we will” I looked up at him at that moment, I felt a glimmer of hope in me. He kissed me gently and we lay together in bed in total silence.

 

 

******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

 

Room 88 is centered around four individuals as we have read in these two episodes, facing difficult times in their mid lives. They all decide it’s time to seek for help and end up in group therapy with Yemi Ogundare. Room 88 is going to take us all on a journey through their lives from childhood and how their foundation is the bedrock of their present challenges.

 

 

It is going to be an interesting series, you know that when I write, it’s straight from the heart. And of course, I won’t be me if I don’t throw in some high fashion. A lot of people are fighting battles in their minds affecting their reality and can’t seem to connect to the source of the problem.

 

 

The world needs love and empathy and I hope that the experiences of these characters gives us a better understanding of ourselves and others around us.

 

 

Let’s meet the characters.

 

MISAN:

Thirty eight years old, Single and extremely amazing personality. She’s one of the most friendly and kindest hearts you’d ever meet. Successful in her career , marriage is not a priority for her but she loves children. In the midst of all of this is a darkness covering all the light. A darkness that has made her a threat and has just lost her the best friend she ever had.

 

FEMI:

Forty two year old Femi seems to have it all together. Married with three children and at the very peak of his career, his life is the dream of any onlooker, but behind closed doors, there is a beast unleashed. A recent occurrence that has put him at the risk of losing it all has him seeking for professional help.

 

 

FELIX:

Forty five year old Felix is charismatic and the absolute ladies’ man, successful and married with children, he is the best father any child could ever ask for. He has it all going well for him but deep down is a caged soul seeking desperately for freedom and the free will to love.

 

 

HELEN:

A victim of verbal and emotional abuse, forty six year old, Award winning fashion designer has attempted suicide more times than she count. Childless but married to a man who worships the ground she walks on, they have both decided it is time for her to get help.

 

The story is set in the City of Uyo, Lagos and Abuja , Nigeria.

 

Please read, enjoy and share and remember to drop a comment or click on a smiley.

 

 

Hope you all have an amazing week ahead. I should resume my Sunday Style Posts, there’s actually a backlog of pictures to share. Wait for it!!!

 

 

Xoxo,

Your fave story teller

 

JAY.

 

2 Comments

  • Mz Kemz
    June 30, 2019

    Gosh, Jay. Who really are you??? Are we sure you are not some top celebrity author passing off as a fashion stylist? Cos I mean!!! Sigh. You write so beautifully…impatiently looking forward to the next xxx

  • Abimbola Sotomi
    July 5, 2019

    Of course Coz u now l sound like a broken record, you are an amazing writer.. The characters are intricate and real with childhood experiences still haunting them.. Story of all our lives!

Post a Comment