Styling And Shoe Review

Read Previous Episode Here One Year After Tonye Princewill Arinze It was the morning after the successful launch of my footwear line and I was having breakfast at my parents' house with my sister Preye and her family, my parents and my kids. Breakfast had been going well until my father decided to bring up the conversation that spoiled everything. "Daddy, but I thought we were over this, I have made it clear that Chris and I are done and I thought we were in agreement. I am done with him, I am done with the marriage, I have since moved on daddy, I don't know why you're bringing this up again." I dropped my cutlery and pushed my plate away from me. At the same time I was having this outburst, Preye got all our children together and asked my parents' housekeeper, Madam Grace to take them to the patio with their food. The atmosphere got tensed up, I wasn't even in the mood for this. I was still basking in the euphoria of finally having my own shoe line and now this. My dad spoke. "Tonye, I don't mean to upset you and before I go on, I have to admit at this point that I am extremely proud of you, for how well you have carried yourself through this ordeal. I would never wish for you to go back to a life of misery, but I also want you to at least consider the fact that Chris may be a changed man. I have spoken to him enough times to know that he's living with regrets. Talk to him, that's all I am asking you to do, for the sake of your children" I couldn't believe these words were spoken by my dad, I replied, trying to be in control of my emotions "Thank you daddy, I appreciate your concern for my children, but what I don't appreciate is the fact that you're putting Chris' show of remorse over my feelings and all the trauma he has put me through. I am yet to heal from all that emotional damage. Now that I am getting a hang of myself and focused on moving forward, you want to take me back to that dark space? No daddy, I am not having this conversation with you and I assure you that my kids are just fine. I don't plan to deprive them of seeing their father, but I Tonye will not be a family with Chris Arinze and that's final" I got up and left everyone there, my eyes burning with the tears I was trying so desperately to hold back. I went into their study and locked the door. As I made my way to the large antique oak wood chair, I felt the tears fall down uncontrollably as I broke down. The past one year had been hell for me, worst than the 9 years I had stayed in the marriage. My mind flashed back to everything that happened since the day I left the house. For the entire week I was in Abuja with my sister, Chris did not call me one time. I wouldn't say I was sure what I was expecting, but what I knew I wasn't expecting was the total silence. I panicked, what could be going on? By the fourth day, Preye wanted me to call him but I refused and for some reason, my stubbornness kicked in. If that's how he wanted to play game, then I was ready to play ball. The day I was scheduled to return home, I decided against going to see the kids at my parents' as I had earlier planned, I took the Uber ride straight to my house. It was a Sunday afternoon and I met Chris at home, relaxed in his Pajamas, drinking a beer and watching football. I was confused. "Hello" I said, as I dropped my bag on the floor beside me where I stood. "Hey, ahn ahn, you're back already? I take it you have a clear head now" He said, without taking his eyes off the TV. He continued, "Come now, let's watch together, see, Man U is taking the lead, I'm so sure we're winning this match" He said, patting the seat beside him for me to join him. I picked up my bags and went upstairs, this was going to be a lot more difficult than I had Imagined. Obviously, he had seen my note, but this unbothered attitude is what I couldn't understand. What was Chris playing at? Our bedroom was a mess, so I took my time to change the sheets and curtains, I cleaned the entire place out, after which I had a long warm bubble bath with scented candles and some jazz music in place. I needed all the peace and inner strength I could gather. I washed off, cleaned out the bath tub, dried my body and got into my night wear. I said a short prayer and went downstairs to the kitchen to find something to eat. Chris was right there where and how I had left him. Getting into the kitchen, I wasn't in the mood to cook anything, so I ordered take out from the Chinese restaurant close to the house. I wasn't sure if I was ready to talk, but I was desperate to know what was going on. So I went into the living room and sat on the one seat sofa. "Do you care to talk?" I asked him. "Sure" he answered, sitting up and facing me, his expression, suddenly serious, like a session he was prepared for and had been waiting to happen. I cleared my throat, trying not to choke on the tears that was starting to build up. If I was going to win this battle, I had to be strong, this was not the time for any pity party or to show any signs of weakness. "What exactly is going on Chris? What are we doing in this marriage? For how long are we going to continue like this? Do...

Read Previous Episode Here TONYE PRINCEWILL ARINZE I needed time to breathe, to think and make logical decisions. Of course Preye and I didn't get to watch our movie again, I just wanted to go home and bury my head in my pillow. But my sister was having none of that. She said, If Chris was having fun and not sorry about it, then I shouldn't have to be the miserable one. In true Preye style, we ended up at the club and to be honest, in that moment, I forgot about everything and let my hair down. I guess it was a mix of the alcohol and the DJ. It was as if he was on cue that I'd be there, but he played all my favorite songs from the years when I knew what it was to have a good time and it brought back so many fond and happy memories. We danced and laughed and made new friends, it was such a fun night and it was all I needed to remind me of who I was and what I really wanted. We left at about 4 am and on our way home, I told Preye what I had been thinking. "Sissy", I started as I turned to look at her, "Thank you. Thank you for being there for me. I've been thinking, well not for so long", I said and giggled. "Thing is, after tonight, I think it's time to do things differently. I have stayed on in this mess for too long and tried to cope with my situation because I've always felt it's the right thing to do, especially for my kids, but Preye I'm not happy. I haven't been happy and it's been 9 years of this silent misery. As much as I want to keep my marriage together, I also don't want to completely lose myself, miss out on life and wake up at sixty filled with regrets. I think the timing is just perfect, the kids are with mummy and daddy and the holiday will be a long one, so they don't even have to know what's going on.I'd go with you to Abuja, I need to leave Chris for a while, maybe then he'd know just how serious this is. I'd know if the marriage really does matter to him or if I've been married to myself. I need to get my life back, follow my dreams and start that business. Now is the time and I believe everything is happening for a reason. I don't know where this will lead to, but I know that All things will work together for my good according to God's purpose for my life" I heaved a sigh of relief as I finished. When I looked at my sister, she was crying, I laughed at her and pulled her into a hug. We had gotten to the front of my house and the car was now parked. It was dark and I didn't realize she had been sobbing as I spoke. "Ooooh Tonye, I am so proud of you and I am so sorry this is what life has turned out to be for you, I am sorry I can't fix things for you too. I know how much you love Chris and knowing you, I know for sure you have put everything into making your marriage work. Whatever your decision is Sissy, I would always be in your corner, you can count on me to support you and also not leave you to go astray. Like you said, I know that all things will work together for you, you have a good heart and God will work things out in your favor, I love you forever sister. I love you" We stayed in each other's arms and cried till we became quiet. After a few minutes, we got down and went into the house and spent the rest of the early hours packing a few things I'd travel with, as Preye also packed up her stuff. I did a check round the house and made sure everything was in order. I took a bath and got dressed, then I wrote a note to Chris and left it on the coffee table in our living room. It was simple and straight to the point. Hey, I won't waste time with pleasantries. I'm leaving this note here to let you know I'd be gone for a while. I need to figure my life out and know what I really want for myself.I've known you for 13 years and I can say I've only been happy being with you for 2 years out of these 13 years, the 2 years before we got married. I don't need to go into details about how things have been between us, I'm sure you know. But after last night, seeing you so loved up with that girl at the mall (Yes, Preye and I were there to see a movie), after you had lied to me that you missed your flight and that you were stuck in Portharcourt, I knew it was time to review our status.So like I said, I'd be gone for a while and I also want you to make a decision and be true to yourself, do you really want to be married to me? The kids are still at my parents and they'd be there for the rest of the holiday, you can always go and see them.P.S: My folks don't know anything, I'm away on a business trip. It was well into the morning by the time we were done, so we had a quick breakfast, I waited for Preye to get dressed and headed to our parents place. I needed to see the kids before leaving. As planned, I told them I was going to Abuja with Preye for business related matters, I planned to call my mum after I arrived, to tell her the truth, when I felt it was right to do so. As I took my seat...

Please catch up on all the previous episodes by clicking the links below. Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 ADESUWA Esther's birth was as easy as a child bearing process can be for a 16 year old. I don't know how I would have gone through those 9 months without my mum. She never for one moment made me feel like a failure. With each passing day, our love for each other and the baby to come grew. I never stopped studying and thankfully, it happened at the time when I had just completed my Senior Secondary School Certificate examinations, preparing to go to the university. In the course of the pregnancy, my results came out and I had passed all the subjects with distinctions. My mother was ecstatic. In those years, after my dad passed, things became really difficult for us financially. His family had taken everything he had, as he died intestate. My mum had always been in the business of designing and making clothes, but what she made from it was not enough to sustain the kind of life our dad had started us out with. She never gave up, we felt the change, but she broke her back to give us all the basics. My oldest brother had graduated from University at the time and had gotten a job, so he was able to assist her in taking care of the home. She moved us from Benin City we were lived to Warri, her home town in Delta State. To augment the income from her tailoring job, she got a house keeping job at the Arinzes. This was where the whole saga began. On some days, when she had a lot of cleaning to do, I'd go with her to their house to help out and this was where I met Chris. Chris schooled in the UK and he was already in the University. It was the Christmas holiday, and he was in the country to spend some time with his family. His parents had planned a Christmas party and prior to the day, there was a lot of work to do around the house. I went with my mum to the house everyday that week to assist her and soon Chris and I became friendly. He was friendly and he seemed nice. He'd ask me questions about what I'd like to become and allow me listen to music on his ipod. He also gave me some books he had, after I told him I loved to read. We got along really well. He invited me to the Christmas party but I didn't even consider it, especially as my mum was off work that day, and we had our special Christmas Day family ritual. Two days after that, she resumed and there was a lot of cleaning up to do from the party, so I went to work with her. I saw Chris again that day and when I had completed the task assigned to me, I sat for a while to gist with him. That was when he invited me to his room to see the video games he had been telling me about. My mum had always warned me about going into rooms with boys or staying alone with them without the company of other people. In this case, I didn't think of anything going wrong. Chris wasn't even interested in me like that and I didn't have eyes for him like that too. Besides, it was a family house and my mum was there. It was actually the last thing on my mind. He had music playing in the background and took the only chair in the room as he set up the game for us to play. I sat on the bed and after the first game, he came and sat beside me trying to show me the buttons on the key pad to use, so I could win the next round. I was so into the game and excited about it, I didn't notice when he got up and locked the door. He came to sit with me and soon started touching me all over, saying things like he likes me and would want me to be his girl friend, promising to take care of me and even get his parents to sponsor my education abroad. As he said these things, he was feeling me up and pushing me to bed, I fought him off as hard as I could and even tried to shout for help. He over powered me and because I had a dress on, it was so easy for him to get into me and in less than 3 mins, it was all over. My pride, my virginity, gone, just like that. I was so numb I couldn't cry, I just wanted to go home. I adjusted my clothes, picked up my purse and left immediately. My mum was still working when I got outside, I asked her if there was anything else I could do to help her but she said no, so I told her I had a headache and I would like to go home. As soon as I got to the house, I fetched 2 buckets of water and took a bath, I washed and scrubbed over and over again till I broke down and cried my eyes out. There was no way I'd ever let my mum know this. The Arinze's had been really kind to us and I didn't want her to lose her job. Besides, she will blame me and be disappointed for putting myself in that position. I encouraged myself to move on and forget all that happened, of course I never went to the house again and it was only a few weeks after, my mum casually mentioned Chris had gone back to the UK. The bastard! It wasn't too long after this when we discovered I was pregnant and I was forced to tell my mum what had happened. If she was disappointed,...

Read Previous Episode Here Omolola Fajimi I sat at the edge of the bed and watched as Chris wore his shirt. I never thought I'd let myself get so smitten by one man and to think that I am actually okay with what we have. It had never crossed my mind to want to be his wife, I did not want to be his wife, but I thoroughly enjoyed being his other woman and even more so, knowing the power I wielded over him. Almighty Chris, the one who made jokes of the maid's daughter and made her the laughing stock of the whole school could not survive a day without my presence. My mind wandered to that party many years ago, it took everything in me not to pee on myself. I had never been so embarrassed in my life, I stared at the guy that had just pulled out the carpet from under my feet as he walked away. I wanted to leave the venue immediately, but Nneka would not let me. She taught me a valuable lesson that day, never to be ashamed of who I am or where I am from. She told me to ignore him and she made sure we enjoyed the party as much as we could. We broke off from the group and danced to our hearts fill for the rest of the night, paying no attention to who was watching. I don't understand what happened, but after the news of me being a cleaner's daughter went around the whole school the Monday after the party, everyone suddenly wanted to be my friend. Nneka said it was because I had stayed on at the party with a confidence that wasn't expected. No one could shame me because I didn't shame myself. With time, I forgot the experience but never forgot the face that gave me the experience or so I thought. It was from that point I knew for a fact that I was going to be successful and would move from being the cleaner's daughter to the girl who made her first millions before the age of 25. And that's exactly how my life went. I was thirsty, I was hungry, I was determined, but I was sure not to cross the line into becoming desperate, and life was fair to me because all my hard work paid off. I wasn't exempt from the oppression of men who wanted to sleep with me before I could get ahead, but prostitution had never been on my agenda of life goals, so it wasn't an option for me. Favor found me and my hard work did not go unnoticed. From the time I completed my NYSC, getting employment came to me easily, I moved jobs as I wanted and they were all dream jobs. True to my dreams, I hit the Seven Zeros salary mark when I was 24 years old working as an assistant in the legal department of an Oil & Gas firm in Lagos. In and out of the court room, I won cases and closed mega deals, I was an asset everywhere I worked. That day six years ago, at the party where Chris and I met, I didn't recognize him immediately, as a matter of fact I didn't recognize him at all until we got talking and got into details of our pasts. It didn't take too long after that for me to put everything together and I confirmed he was the same guy from that high school party. I was going to remind him, but I thought against it quickly. There was still that air of pride around him and I noticed the condescending way at which he looked at and treated the people he considered were beneath his social class. I didn't want to lose that flavor I already had with him. I don't know if it was a revenge mission, but from that moment I realized Chris was the guy who made fun of me years ago, I turned my charm up to the highest frequency till I had him eating from the palm of my hands. "Hey baby, come to me" He said, breaking me out of my reverie. "You've been lost in thoughts, what's up?" I got up and walked slowly towards him as I wrapped my arms around his neck and stroked his chest through the unbuttoned part of his shirt, making circular strokes around his right nipple. He groaned a little and in my softest voice, I replied,"I'm sad that you're leaving and I have to be here all by myself, I was just thinking of stuff to do to keep me busy and I thought maybe I'd go see a late night movie." He pulled me in closer till I could feel his groin pressed firmly against mine, his voice had become husky "Sounds like a plan, just that you won't be watching that movie alone" He said, as he planted a kiss on my lips. "But you have to go home , remember your flight is supposed to leave Portharcourt in about thirty minutes", I said, looking at my wristwatch. "Flights get cancelled Lola, I'd go home tomorrow, but for now, I want to spend more time with you.", he said, leading me with my back to the bed. I smiled. The most amazing feeling in the world was knowing that I had this man at my beck and call, this man that commanded so much respect and authority from everyone, this man that shamed me for being the cleaner's daughter. I wasn't sure where I wanted this to lead to, but I was sure I would enjoy every bit of the ride from behind the steering. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ TONYE PRINCEWILL ARINZE Having my sister Preye in town had made the past few weeks so much fun for me. She had planned to spend just a few days, but a business opportunity opened up and she had to extend her stay to close the deal. We went bar hopping when she wasn't working and I started...

Read Previous Episode Here Olakunle Olamiju Wine House, Ikoyi is one of my favorite places to chill, especially when I've had a hard day at work. They have the best jazz band, a wide variety of fine wine and a soothing atmosphere to drown all your worries. I didn't have to think too hard about where to take her to when Adesuwa called to say she needed company. I could have met her at her house as she requested, but I knew that hanging out somewhere like this would make her feel better. I remember the day we met at the NYSC orientation camp in Taraba state about 10 years ago. I liked Adesuwa from the moment I set my eyes on her. There was something about her that I really couldn't explain that instantly drew me to her. I could have asked her out at the time but I knew I wanted something long term and consistent. I didn't want a camp relationship that would fizzle out easily. We became friends and were able to maintain that friendship over the years. Our friendship meant a lot to me, we saw ourselves through different phases of our lives, having each others' backs through our high and low moments in our various love relationships, our careers and socially. I had fallen in love with Adesuwa, but was unable to bring myself to express that love to her verbally, I was scared to ruin our friendship. As we transitioned into becoming friends with benefits, I secretly hoped the new status would in turn transition into a love affair, but she made it clear that she didn't want anything serious and I had no choice but to agree with her. The more we had sex, the deeper in love I got with Adesuwa. I had watched her evolve over the years and I saw her grow into the kind of woman I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. After her last relationship went awry, she made it clear she wasn't ready for any more committed relationships and she just wanted to build her career and have fun. I had been in a few relationships myself but I found no real connection with any of the women I was with. I believe this was to a large extent due to the fact that my heart was with Adesuwa. I also decided not to go into any relationship after the last one ended, until I could be free from the strong emotions I felt for her. We sat together quietly, taking in the harmony of the jazz music, as we shared our second bottle of Escudo Rojo Red Wine. She looked absolutely breath taking with her pixie hair cut and very minimal make up, she was wearing a green dress that covered her up nicely but outlined her curves. Adesuwa was so unaware of her beauty and the effect she had on me. She laid her head on my shoulder and all I wanted to do was pull her in really close and kiss her lips. But I also knew I wanted a lot more than that and in that moment, I made a decision. I would let her know how I really felt about her and how much I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life. If she still wouldn't have me as her man, then I'd have to let our friendship go, while I found the strength to move on with my life. ***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Chris Arinze I sat through the traffic impatiently, I couldn't wait to be with Lola. We were spending the weekend together at The George hotel in Ikoyi. What started out as a casual fling 6 years ago had become something real that wasn't looking to ease out anytime soon. In the past one year, I had done away with all my other side chics just to focus on her. She had too much energy and was way too much fun for me to even have time for any other flings. My phone beeped and as I opened the message that came in, I felt myself grow hard as I stared at the picture Lola sent of herself in a sheer purple bra and high waist briefs that didn't reveal too much but enough to keep me longing for everything that was underneath. Her hair was pulled back tightly and fell in a pony tail from the top of her head just like I liked it and she had on my favorite lipstick color. I felt like I was about to explode and in that same moment, there was another beep. This time it was from Tonye, She wanted to know if I had landed safely in Portharcourt, I didn't even remember I had lied to her I was travelling for a business meeting. I felt a fleeting wave of guilt, it was gone as soon as it came. I sent her a quick reply that I had landed safely and was trying to settle into the hotel and would call her before going to bed. I was about to send a raunchy message to Lola when I heard another beep. This time it was an E-mail from work, it was a reminder for a meeting I had on Monday morning. I had totally forgotten about that and I needed to get some documents ready in time for the meeting. I called Adesuwa immediately not minding that it was late into the night. She didn't answer until after the third ring and I could have sworn she had an attitude. I apologized for calling late and passed my message across to her. Since I became Managing Director at SolarTech, I had to deal with being in contact with her constantly and every time we met, it was always awkward. I was able to keep it cool on the outside and maintain my stance as a boss but it made me quite uncomfortable most of the time. I had toyed with the idea of hitting up on...

READ THE SYNOPSIS HERE ADESUWA - FLASH BACK - 17 YEARS AGO "Omote, Ovieya, my baby girl, what's wrong my angel? This is the 3rd time you're throwing up in less than an hour ehn. How the body dey do you na?" My mum asked as she took my face in her hand, turning it left and right. "Mummy, I don't know, I just feel so feverish and nauseous and a little bit dizzy" The words were barely out of my mouth, when I rushed back into the toilet to throw up some more. I was exhausted. My mum was right behind me, patting my back gently as I bent over the toilet bowl. "If No be say na you, Omote, I for say you don carry belle o, but this has to be malaria or typhoid, abi?. Get up my princess, wash your face and rinse your mouth, let's go and see the doctor." "Ok mummy, I'd be ready soon" As soon as she left, I sat on the toilet seat and burst into tears, fear gripping my heart. Many thoughts came to my mind at once. What if I was pregnant, but I can't be, it was just that one time. Pregnant at 16, for that bastard? God forbid. I said a quick prayer, washed my face and got ready to join my mum. "When you have God, your past has nothing on you. No matter how terrible your past is, no matter the darkness that filled it, no matter the mistakes you made, the death and resurrection of my Lord Jesus Christ has opened a new beginning for you . Can I hear an amen?" The excitement in the voice of the preacher and the shouts of Amen that followed his sermon brought me out of my reverie. I wiped the lone tear that rolled down my right eye and joined in the shouts of Amen that filled the atmosphere of the church auditorium. It was a Thursday evening and I had closed from work early, I was on my way home when it dropped in my spirit to head to church for the Faith Clinic. I never got to attend mid week services due to my long hours at work. I enjoyed going to church, I enjoyed the way the pastor delivered his messages, he was a practical preacher and he broke down the word of God in a way you could relate with. I decided to call my mum after the service as I drove home. I hadn't heard from her all day, it was very unlike her. "Omote", she answered after the first ring. The love she had for me was evident in every sentence she spoke. Even when she was upset with me, she never failed to call me Omote or Ovieya or my angel and in some cases, all 3 in one sentence. "Mummy, this one you haven't called me today, are you okay?" I asked, as I maneuvered the bend leading to the gate of the estate where I lived. "I'm fine my love, just that I had a really busy day. I had to make sure the clothes for the Onajites was ready for tonorrow's delivery. But Adesuwa, did they forbid you to call me? Must I be the one to always call you, ehn?" She replied. I was expecting the question and laughed "I'm sorry jo, I meant to call you right after work o, but I stopped by at church" I answered. We talked for a few more minutes and hung up. My mum and I shared a beautiful relationship. Being her only girl and her last child, she doted on me in every way possible. Her hands of discipline on me were the same as my brothers, but I had a good head on my shoulders and didn't give her so much trouble. My dad passed when I was 13 years old and about a year after, my mum moved us from Benin, Edo State where I grew up, to Warri, Delta State, her home town, to avoid the trouble of his family. I completed my Secondary Education in boarding school in Benin, and spent my holidays in Warri. I moved to Lagos when I gained admission into the University of Lagos and decided to settle there after I graduated. As I parked my car in front of my apartment building, my phone rang. It was Kunle. Adesuwa "Hey homie", I answered, fitting my ear pods properly as I fumbled in my bag for my house keys. "How was your day?" He asked, "I just wanted to check up on you, it's been almost 2 days" I smiled, "You've been counting?, I didn't know I was that important o" I teased him as I got down and locked the car with the remote control. "Is it now a bad thing to look out for my besto?" He asked, pretending to sound offended. "I was just teasing you jo, come over na, let me see your face" I looked at my watch, it was just 8.00 pm, I could do with some company. Pizza, Sharwarma or Suya?" He asked and then added "text me what you decide, I'd see you soon." We spent the night playing video games, exchanging details on our activities of the day, feasting on the chicken suya I had requested and a bottle of white wine, and slept off on my living room floor watching the latest episode of The Money Heist on Netflix. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ FLASHBACK - OMOLOLA FAJIMI - 21 years ago "Lolly boo, have you decided on what to wear to the party?" My best friend Nneka asked as she plopped herself on my bed. Nneka and I have been friends from the womb, our families lived in the same compound in self contained rooms, what we call 'Face me, I face you'. We were born just a few days apart and practically grew up together. Our parents were friends, so we were left with no choice. Lola and Nneka Growing up and getting into secondary school, we had dreams to live better lives - big houses, drop...

Adesua Eromosele I watched in agony as 8 well manicured hands shot up in the air, supporting the motion to make Chris Arinze the Managing Director, Solartech Group of Companies. If I had to be honest, he was deserving of the position. I mean, he was good at what he did and for the 5 years I have worked with him, I have known him to be nothing short of hardworking and dedicated to every job role he had to take on. But I couldn't see past my intense hate for him. Adesua Eromosele I was sitting in one of our favorite jazz bars waiting for Kunle to join me. It was a Friday night and after a long day at work, all I wanted was to let down my hair, let out all my frustrations, have a good laugh over drinks and maybe end up having sex with my best friend. Friendship with Kunle was so easy, I could talk to him about anything and everything and not feel like I was being judged, look my worst and not feel uncomfortable, be at my most vulnerable and know that I won't be taken advantage of. We met during our service year in Taraba State, 10 years ago and hit it off immediately with absolutely no strings attached. Through the years we managed to maintain our friendship as we both went in and out of several love relationships with other people. Precisely 5 years ago, there was a twist to our friendship. I had just ended another relationship that didn't last for up to 4 months and was really heartbroken. I found out the guy I was dating was married with kids and I had invested a lot of my emotions in that relationship, the discovery broke me. As usual, I had gone crying to Kunle and in the heat of the moment, we had sex. He became a mess after that, blaming himself for taking advantage of my vulnerability. He apologized severally but the irony of it all was that I wasn't upset, I didn't even see it that way. I actually did enjoy having sex with him and thought nothing more to it. It was just sex, sex with my friend. We talked about it and agreed to put it behind us and continue being friends. But we couldn't seem to get our hands off each other anytime we were together alone, and soon, sex became a part of our friendship. We made it clear we weren't going to get emotionally entangled and that's how we became Friends with benefits. As we spent the night drinking and listening to jazz music, talking about everything under the moon, I felt all the stress and anger in me melt away and I looked forward to the rest of the night with my besto as we both fondly called each other. For a moment, my thoughts wandered to Chris and how he must celebrating his promotion, I cringed. The son of a b***h. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ TONYE PRINCEWILL ARINZE I held back my tears as I read the message on my husband's phone. Years ago, I would have gone into a fit, screamed the roof off and let all hell lose. But over the years, with each episode of infidelity with Chris, I had developed some form of resistance to the hurt, for my sanity. That is not to say it didn't hurt, but I no longer allowed his mess get the best of me. I have known Chris for about 13 years - Friends for 1, dated for 2 and married for 10. We met at the airport lounge of the Murtala Muhammed International airport while we were waiting to get on board our flight to London. I was going back to school after visiting my family for the summer break and he was taking his younger sister to resume her first year in Uni. We stayed in touch after exchanging contact details and started dating after about a year. I had just graduated and decided to move back to Nigeria. Our 2 years of dating were the best years of my entire life, Chris made me feel like the world revolved around me and when he proposed, I didn't think twice about my response, It was my dream come true - becoming Mrs Arinze. Chris didn't let me get over the euphoria of our honeymoon when the philandering started. The first time I found out he was having an affair, I was livid, I almost ran mad. After a lot of pleading and promises, I forgave him and soon after, I got pregnant with our first child. That was just the beginning and year after year, it was one woman and then another till I lost count. With every affair, through the drama that followed , something in me died. He started to get defensive and no longer apologized. He blamed me for his affairs. I lost my sense of self and my self esteem dipped. I had our 3 children in the space of 6 years and they were the only reasons I remained in my marriage. I loved Chris genuinely but I knew it was time for me to look out for myself and go back to living my dreams and achieving all those goals I set growing up. I put his phone back on the table and not longer after, he came out looking and smelling all fresh. I didn't bother to ask him where he was going to, I wanted to save myself the torture of his lies. It would have been nice to celebrate his promotion with him but obviously he had other plans, other plans with his mistress. Tonye Arinze ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ OMOLOLA FAJIMI I knew he was watching me, I knew he wanted me and I wanted him as bad, but I needed to keep him eating from out of the palm of my hands. The almighty Chris, adored by everybody, every woman's dream, someone's husband, yet he could never get enough of me, and my intention was to keep it that...

READ MISAN'S BACKSTORY HERE READ YEMI'S BACKSTORY HERE Being at Helen's birthday party and seeing how well everyone was doing gave me a certain kind of joy I couldn't quite explain. If I didn't have bills to pay and a family to take care of, therapy sessions is something I'd give for free. Everyone is going through something - fighting a demon, lost and confused, tired and about to give up. Everyone deserves redemption - 1st is the God factor and then comes an empathetic listening ear. It's been about 2 years since they all started their journey to healing and we have managed to stay together through it all. It's almost always difficult not to develop a bond with your clients even if it's just for the moment of therapy. For some reason, each one of them kept me close to their hearts and homes long after their sessions were over. I was especially happy for Helen who had shared with me about a month ago that she was pregnant. As I listened to her husband Alex make the toast that evening, I smiled, knowing that she deserved all the love and every word used to describe her. Getting married and starting a family had always been my desire but I also knew I wanted to do it the right way and most importantly with the right person. I had dated a handful of women in my adult years but none of them connected with me on the level I would have wanted. I found that most of them were only desperate for the ring and the title that came with being married. The live band was now playing and as I watched Misan sway to the rhythm of the music, my mind wandered through the events of the past year. "Yemi, will my life ever be the same again?.She asked as she sobbed, her chest heaving. What is this evil spirit that wants to destroy me? Tonia was the only one person I truly bonded with and loved genuinely outside my immediate family. Now I have completely ruined that bond, will she ever forgive me? How will I be able to look at that boy in the face? I just want to die, I can't live with this shame, I cannot" It was one of our therapy sessions. Misan's story had gotten to me a lot, I felt so much compassion for her and I knew it would take a lot to take her through all the phases of her situation and help her overcome them, but I was ready to go all the way. "Hey Misan", I said as I tried to calm her down. "I'm glad you have been able to acknowledge and accept that there is a problem and you are willing and ready to take responsibility and face the consequences of your actions. We're going to win this together, I promise you." I said as I stretched out my arm making a fist with my hand for a fist bump. I continued "First, I need you to forgive yourself. Yes, you have messed up and in as much as most of what you did is tied to your experience with Mike, it is no justification for your actions. And now that you are determined to leave that dark place, you need to forgive yourself, forgive Mike and then move on". I paused again. "Do you have any idea where he is?" I asked searching her face. She looked exhausted, my heart ached seeing her like that. "It's been years and I intentionally blocked out all memories of him or anything that will bring me in contact with him. The hurt cut too deep and all I wanted was to bury it" She answered. "I understand that, but most times, burying our issues without addressing them is a recipe for emotional damage" I said, "however it's not too late. It's okay if you wouldn't want to see him again, I would give you an assignment that will help you confront the experience, release it and truly forgive him. Are you game?" She nodded slowly. I put her through some mental and emotional activities for the next couple of weeks, and week after week, we'd meet to have a review before moving on to the next task. I got her to track down all the boys she had been involved with right before Kevin and fortunately, they were all within reach and willing to come to therapy. I had free one on one therapy sessions with each of them and after a few sessions, I was confident enough that they were ready to face the world without becoming predators or still being preyed on. Misan wanted me to follow up on them even after their sessions for the next few years and I promised her I would. It was a liberating experience for me and it pleased me even more seeing the freedom she got from it. Over time and through the course of therapy, I had grown very fond of Misan. I liked her from the very day we met but it was a feeling I dismissed immediately, making sure to keep things professional. She was caring, she was kind, she was witty and very intelligent. With us spending a lot of time together, I could no longer deny the feelings I had developed, but I was careful enough not to allow it get in the way of my work. I didn't want to take advantage of her vulnerability but I knew I wanted to marry her. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ I had never been so anxious in my entire life. The day I had been dreading for so long had come and I couldn't put myself together. I was a nervous wreck. Yemi kept assuring me that everything will be okay but I didn't understand how. I was about to meet with the woman who called me best friend and sister from another mother, the woman whose trust I had betrayed, the woman who caught me in bed with her teenage...

READ FELIX'S BACKSTORY HERE "So Felix, all of these is a result of assumptions. You have no proof, you have no evidence. You are acting off of one text message you saw over a year ago. Did you at anytime ask your wife about that text?", Yemi asked, as we sat at a corner of the room in the jazz club."I wasn't ready for a confrontation. But tell me, what else could it be Yemi? What else? I remember the content of that text message so clearly. The guy, man, sender, whatever (I gesticulated with a wave of my right hand), had sent her money. Money she obviously requested for. He mentioned he had enjoyed her company and would love to see her again. He even offered to send more money if she needed more. Why would a man be sending money to Moji if he wasn't sleeping with her? Yemi sat back and kept his eyes fixed on me. I knew he could tell I was struggling with my thoughts. I knew he could tell I did not believe my thoughts. He remained quiet for a few more minutes and asked. "Do you trust Moji? Before that text message, for all the years you've known her, has she ever given you any reason to think of her as the type of woman that would have an affair for money or any other reason for that matter? " I looked down as I circled my right index finger around the rim of my brandy glass. That was a question I had asked myself many times over. "To be honest man, no. Not in a million years would I ever think she would cheat on me and that is why I couldn't get over that message. It was too much for me to process and then deal with. But if it was work related, she would have mentioned it, wouldn't she?" I asked him, hoping he'd understand my line of thinking. "I want you to be very honest in answering this question Felix. Does this have anything to do with your mum and how she treated your dad?" He waited for me to respond. My face tightened and my brows creased into a frown."I don't know Yemi, I don't. I mean, how different are the situations? With everything my dad did and sacrificed for that woman, she would still sleep around for money. Isn't that what women are about?. Look at the ones I had these flings with, all about the money, each and everyone of them, searching for the highest bidder" I answered, tired and frustrated. Talking about the whole situation was dragging me in many directions and that still voice kept telling me I had let things get out of hand. "I know you love your wife and you want your marriage back to what it used to be. But first, you have to let go of all the assumptions that have clouded your reasoning. You are going to have a conversation with Moji, a conversation you guys should have had months ago before things got this bad. Are you ready for this?" Yemi asked. "Yes I am", I answered with a deep sigh. I was nervous, anxious and worried. One thing about me that everyone complimented me for was my ability to always appear well put together and in control of everything around me. But today, it was different, I was a mess, vulnerable to the core. I was determined to get through to the end of this and I was glad that I had Yemi to go through it with me. Right after our session, I tried to set up a date with Moji. She would not take my calls or respond to my messages. I had no idea where she had gone to with our kids and it took the help of her best friend to get across to her. She finally agreed to meet me for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. I got up from my seat as I saw her walk in. She looked so beautiful with her hair up in a bun, just the way I liked it, very minimal make up and soft pink lipstick. She was wearing a white bardot blouse and white shorts that accentuated her curves without looking indecent. I pulled out a seat for her. "Thanks for showing up Moji, you look beautiful" I said, my eyes fixed on her. "You didn't leave me any choice. Why are we here Felix?" She asked. I was a nervous wreck, I didn't know where and how to begin. "Things have not been okay between us. I know I messed up, I know I shut you out and I have been an asshole, the one I promised I wouldn't be to you. Listen Moji, I am sorry, I am sorry for...

READ EPISODE 6 HERE It had been an amazing month having these sessions with Misan, Felix, Femi and Helen. If I had my doubts before, it had now become very certain that God orchestrated these meetings, and I was very hopeful that each of them would find healing, forgiveness and the strength to move on with their lives free from condemnation. That has been my life testimony. As each of them told their story, it was easy for me to relate. I had been there, I knew what it felt like to live a life that gave you pleasure and pain. A life that brought you so much fear and made you cry yourself to sleep, yet presented you to the world the morning after as bold and fearless. It wasn't a good place to be and I was there for many years. "Mummy, I want to tell you something. Do you know I was...