When they moved into the estate,
they were by far the poorest family!
Her father acquired the land through
the cooperative organization at his
place of work
The cooperative bought several acres
of land and sold single plots to members
who indicated interest!
The cost was deducted from their salaries!
Somehow a bigger company got interested
in the same parcel of land!
The company approached their cooperative
and offered much more!
The cooperative told the members and all
of them sold their land except for her father!
Her father was tired of paying rent and
found the location of the land very central
Her father was a cook with a multinational
The job paid well but not well enough for him
to build without the family going through
some hard times!
Her mother was a typist, she had a shop right
outside the post office where she helped
people type their letters.
As soon as they roofed the house, they moved in!
Their rent was due and her father cannot to
pay the rent because he had committed his money
to building the house
Rent took the bulk of the household income and
contributed to the slow pace of work at the building
It was a giant step of faith
The house didn’t have doors and windows,
the floor wasn’t tiled and they had to make
do with pit latrine!
But they were in their own house and things
can only get better She was the first of five
girls and a boy
They had a vegetable garden in their compound!
They also had a “farm” by the roadside where
they planted maize and cassava!
They were poor and had to make their own food
because they couldn’t afford to buy anything!
She had a total of five clothes apart from her
As a result, she and her sisters stayed indoors
most of the time!
They were surrounded by wealth!
Mansions flanked them on every side and
flashy cars littered their street!
The land on which their house was built had
appreciated greatly in value, her father
could have sold it
And built another house somewhere less
valuable and put a lot of money in the bank!
But he refused He was determined to live
on the land he bought with the sweat of
his youth! His stubbornness made their
mother very unhappy!
She was tired of struggling and her father
could have eased their struggles by selling
the land to the moneybags!
She was in their compound, tending to the
vegetable garden at the age of eighteen
when the window of the mansion next to
A young man stood there, looking at her
curiously through the window!
It was awkward!
She had never seen the window open before!
The house belonged to one of the super-rich
and snobbish families that had never
acknowledged that her family was next door!
He said “Hi”
She said “Hello”
He said “Can I come over and join you?”
She said “Okay”
He closed the window!
A few minutes later, there was a knock
on their gate One of her younger sisters
opened the gate and he walked in
He was polite He wore an Ankara shirt on
a pair of Jeans and leather slippers
She didn’t know what to do
It was the first time ever a guy who is
not a family member
Will walk into their house
He walked straight up to her and introduced
himself He said he liked nature and admired
what she was doing She smiled & continued
her work on the garden
He stayed three hours that first day before
he returned home All she could offer him
as their guest were words!
So she talked and he talked
He told her he was studying abroad and had
to return home due to health reasons
She told him she was still awaiting admission
into the university She just wrote JAMB at
He came back every evening after that day
He was harmless!
They tend the garden and talked
After a while they started taking strolls in
the estate and watching movies together
He was kind to her sisters (they were young
and swooned at him for obvious reasons)
but he handled them just like his younger ones
Her parents also got to know him
It was inevitable, he came to their house
every day at 5pm and wouldn’t leave until 8 pm,
sometimes he waited till 9pm
They ate together in their house sometimes
He had been born in the UK and was visiting
Nigeria for the first time
They had a lot to talk about!
They both had a lot to learn!
After three months, her results were released!
She passed and was offered admission
into a federal university!
He also told her about his impending return
to the UK
The doctors had cleared him of the illness!
He had improved drastically!
He never told her what the illness was!
She felt it was his decision to share it with
her or keep quiet
On the day she was going off to school,
she realized she was in love with him
She cried all the way to school
Her parents thought she was just being
sentimental about leaving home for the
They had no idea she was pining for her love!
He showed up in her school the next day!
He said he couldn’t sleep all night and had
to see her
He didn’t confess his undying love but it
They hugged and kissed for the first time
and promised to exchange emails every day!
He went off to the UK a few days later!
Two days after he left for the UK,
his parents came to thank her parents!
They said he suffered from clinical depression
in the UK and things got so bad they had to
bring him back home!
The time he spent with their family was
He got better faster than the psychiatrist
projected and had settled down in the UK
to face his studies!
They said the doctor has advised that to
prevent him from becoming obsessed with
their daughter and their family
The family must severe all communications
with him and do this immediately!
They said he had been calling them and
every time he called he would ask after “her”!
They believed this was unhealthy for him!
They requested that she cut off all communication
with him immediately so that he can heal!
Her parents told her!
It made a lot of sense to her!
He was the first rich boy in the estate who
didn’t treat her as if she was beneath his class
He was kind and friendly and acted most
times as if they were equals.
The explanation fits! She faced her studies
and ignored all his mails
She would read them and cry but she wanted
him to be well!
The emails came in daily for 100 days...
Then they ceased!
He had seen the handwriting on the wall!
She was never going to respond!
He stopped writing
She talked to herself
Of what use would it be to start what would
only end in tears!
He was different but his path had been
clearly mapped out by his parents!
She did not feature in it She faced her studies
She did her NYSC
Five years later, she went home for the
She got an invitation to attend his birthday party
in his parent's mansion
He would be coming home!
All she wanted to do was see how well he was
and explain to him why she didn’t reply to his
He was the only one at home
There was no party
He told her he didn’t want to come to her
house to see her He wanted to bring her
into his world He showed her around
She explained what happened and apologized
for not replying to his emails
He told her he was too ashamed at the time
to tell her he was suffering from depression!
He felt she might not understand and she
might consider him crazy or dangerous!
He was hurt that she didn’t write to him,
not even once!
She opened her bag and brought out all
She had printed every one of them and
kept them in her room!
She read all 100 emails to herself over and
over to remind herself that she once mattered
She had never been in another relationship
that made any sense!
He was her first sensible relationship and the last!
The other guys she met were all about sex and lust
Some even act as if they were doing her a favor
for being with her
He was never inappropriate with her and
treated her with dignity
She really loved him
He had missed her
He told her he couldn’t date anybody else
until he was sure she really didn’t want
anything to do with him!
His parents told him they told her and her family
to keep off but he had expected that she would
at least write to wish him well and inform him
of what was going on!
They were together till late in the evening
His parents arrived
He introduced her to them as his girlfriend!
They embraced her with joy
He saw her off and told her to pick a wedding
He said “let’s get married”
He arrived at her house with his parents the
Their parents had a discussion
After almost two hours of anxiously sitting
on her hands
She was sent for!
Her parents asked her if she wanted to marry him
She said yes!
The family agreed on a date for the introduction!
They got married in July 2017!
Their marriage is blessed with a Son!
Ps: The event happened in Ibadan
The couple lives in the UK
When love is real, it proves itself to be so!