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grenepages_Adeyinka Oresanya THE DAUGHTER’S INSPIRATION

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Adeyinka Oresanya is a passionate Christian novelist, whose love for the Lord, His word and writing has birthed more than ten short stories, including the popular The Struggling Virgin, and two novels. She is the editor of The Daughter's Inspirations Fiction Pamphlets for teens, which has blessed many readers. She is an avid reader and committed teenage teacher.
Visit her website at www.adeyinkaoresanya.com

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Adeyinka Oresanya THE DAUGHTER’S INSPIRATION
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The Journey of Awelewa 4

Adeyinka Oresanya THE DAUGHTER’S INSPIRATION_The Journey of Awelewa 4Read the previous episodes here
When Akinyemi opened the gate, he held my hands and pulled me towards the house. “Ife, I told you I had a surprise for you.” His voice was charged with excitement.
It was Akinyemi that named me Ife (which means love) without being present at my naming ceremony. That was his pet name for me.
“Huh huh?” I replied. “So, tell me about it.”
“Nah, nah, you’ve got to see it yourself.” He opened the door and led us to the extra-large sitting room whose enormous space had been toned down by the complete set of dark brown furniture Akinyemi had just bought.
I had helped pick the cream and beige curtains to complement the walls and rug. His TV was on, connected to the PlayStation. A big white box was sitting at the passageway to the kitchen. Akinyemi was leading me to it.
“I have wanted this for us for a long time, and you will keep it for us,” he said. “Surprise!”
I looked into the box and I screamed, snatched my hands from him and backed away.
Akinyemi was alarmed. “What’s wrong, Ife?”
“No, no, we—I can’t stand it.” I shuddered. “We have to take it back!”
His forehead creased into a frown. “Ife, it’s just a puppy. It’s harmless.”
“No, you don’t understand.” I shook my head violently. “I hate dogs!”
“But it is a puppy,” he repeated.
“And puppies become dogs!” I threw my hands up and went to perch on the chair nearest to the door.
He came to sit across from me and held my hands. He didn’t say anything, and I knew he was expecting me to explain what came about my hatred for dogs, so I told him.
At age ten, I had witnessed a rabid dog tear off the skin of a playmate so deep that he ended up in a hospital and stayed there for days.
“Ever since then, I vowed never to have anything to do with dogs,” I concluded.
“I’m so sorry to upset you. I didn’t know.” he rubbed my palms in his.
“It’s okay,” I replied.
“Funny I had a completely different experience.” His eyes became dreamy. “A dog was my childhood playmate. I love them so much. I have always dreamt of having them in my home, as playmates for my children.”
I didn’t say anything. What was there to say?
“Ife, can I help you to have a better experience with dogs?”
He didn’t mean what he just said, did he? Well, I think it’s time we lay it on the table.
I shook my head. “Akin, you know how you don’t tolerate iru, onions and stock fish in your food? Well, that’s the same way I don’t—”
“Come on, it’s not the same thing, Awe,” he cut in.
“Really?” I was getting irritated. “In fact, you are right, it’s not anywhere near the same thing. You don’t shiver when a dog is near you and you haven’t experienced one tear off the skin of a child.”
“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”
“No, I don’t. I don’t like dogs and I can’t ever have them in my home.”
There, I said it.
The look that crossed Akinyemi’s face cut into my heart. I felt like taking my words back, but I didn’t.
“Okay, I will give it out and,” his voice was barely a whisper, “No…no dogs.”
I nodded, but now the feelings I had bordered on guilt. I felt like the bad guy here. When the loud silence became too uncomfortable for me, I informed him that I was leaving. He didn’t persuade me to stay. I wished he had, though I would still have insisted on leaving.
He saw me off to the car without a word. We said our goodbyes, and I crept into the car with a heavy shoulder. As I eased into the road, I began to judge my actions and his reactions. Should I have insisted on no dogs? Shouldn’t he have understood my feelings and fears? Should I have brought up the iru/onions/stock fish issue, and compared it to my fear of dogs?
That was when my confidence returned! Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to keep scores. No, I was only trying to make him understand how much I couldn’t stand something. You needed to see the scrunched face of Akinyemi the first day I cooked for him when he visited my apartment.
You see, I was a foodie and I loved cooking, experimenting with all kinds of spices (local and intercontinental) and ingredients. I preferred the local ones though. So when I wanted to cook efo elegusi for my fiancé, it was just natural for me to add generous amounts of iru, onions, stock fish, ponmo and ede, so that when he would lift a morsel of semolina into his mouth, it would be accompanied with a host of heavenly things.
I tasted the soup and patted myself on the back. Good job, Awe!
I proudly dished the food and brought it to my darling. He took a sniff and winced. I asked what was wrong but he said nothing. I sat down and began to devour my own serving.
I looked up after some minutes. My darling was pushing the soup around the bowl, and using the palm oil only to accompany the semolina. He was obviously struggling to eat the food.
My mouth fell open. “Akin, what’s wrong? Is the soup salty?”
He managed to smile. “Um…no.”
I was embarrassed. “Then, why are you messing with your food? Don’t you like my cooking?”
“I’m so sorry, Ife. I didn’t mean to.” He was really uncomfortable. “Um…it’s just that I don’t eat food with iru, onions and fish. It irritates me, and I would have to take Tom-Tom to settle my tummy.”
What! Guy, are you kidding? I practically live on onions and iru!
“Wow, I have never met someone that hates efo elegusi that has iru and stock fish,” I finally said. “I’m so sorry; I wouldn’t have put it if I knew you didn’t like it.”
Lie, I wouldn’t have cooked it at all. How in heavens would I cook vegetable soup without iru? What kind of soup was that?
“I’m okay, Ife,” he said. “Thanks for the meal.”
I packed up the bowls and dumped them in the sink, disappointment eating at my soul. I eventually got the Tom-Tom for him and since that day, I only cooked rice (or semolina or eba) and plain meat stew whenever he was around. He would sing my praises, I would sing hian inside of me. Who sings praises at plain stew? My fiancé, obviously.
Till now, I still didn’t know how we would go about it when we eventually get married, and we would have to eat from one pot. However, I knew that when we got there, we would cross the bridge.
Now thinking of it, Akin asking me to learn to love dogs was like me asking him to keep eating food that would not satisfy him. After all, he was going to take Tom-Tom after the meal. However, that would have been so selfish of him. Was it also selfish for me to stand my ground on having dogs or not having dogs?
The Scripture admonishes us to forbear one another in love, that is, to put up with one another, showing tolerance. However, what is the boundary between sacrificing as a selfless lifestyle and sacrificing in unhappiness? Where do we draw the lines between things we can learn to live with and things we can never tolerate?
It pained me to ask my darling to give up his childhood love but then I knew I could never tolerate dogs and I didn’t even want to try. Was I committing a sin this way?
With the confusion in my heart, I made my way home. I hope it wasn’t too early to declare to you that my relationship was drama free. I just hope with all my heart that regrets stay far away from it.
…to be continued.

This story or any of its series may not be copied, reproduced or transmitted without acknowledgement of the original author—Oresanya Adeyinka J. Thank you for respecting the author’s work. 

This story is purely a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, localities, organisations  or  persons,  living  or  dead,  is  entirely coincidental  and  beyond  the  intent  of the  author.

 

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