Our romance continued till we both left University of Lagos and afterwards. After our graduation from Unilag, I was posted to Kwara State for my NYSC while Kole was posted to Plateau State. The distance between us was not enough to douse the glowing embers of our romance. Instead of such happening, we would enjoy to the maximum our time together whenever he squeezed time out of his busy schedule to come visiting, usually every two months.
Soon, very soon, the service year came to an end. It flew past as if it was only a weekend in December and we again reunited in Lagos where I came down to, in search of a well-paying job.
After our service year, we continued to live the life of live-in-lovers. Getting a good job wasn’t difficult for him, as he quickly pulled together the vast connection his wealthy father had in the business world and got employed with Julius Berger – a reputable civil engineering firm.
I was soon to benefit from his parents’ links as I also got employed in a thriving financial institution along Marina on Lagos Island. Things couldn’t be rosier for us. Even then, we knew what next to do was get married as we were very much in love with each other, we didn’t rush into the stormy world of matrimony until a couple of years later.
By the time we decided to walk up the aisle, we were very comfortable. We had a whole duplex to ourselves. Two official cars were always at our beck and call.
It tried hard and submerged my grief, albeit temporarily, then thought of how my loving, caring Kole of blessed memory, proposed to me and hot tears again sailed down my chubby cheeks. How would I have known such romantic happy times would not transform into this sordid in-laws’ palaver. Oh gracious God, lift me out of this dark tunnel of gloom and I will forever be grateful to you.
Kole had opted for an outdoor dinner on that night of November. Yes, I remember now that the NTA news of 9.00pm had just relayed the death of Dele Giwa. We went to a highbrow restaurant on Olowu Street in Ikeja. The name of the restaurant I suppose I’m right is Checkers restaurant.
After the three course meals, we left the cosy interior of the restaurant and as we made for our Toyota Crown car, Kole stopped me in my tracks, went on his knees, right there in the public glare and chirruped.
“Please, Mosun come be my long partner, I’ve treated and loved like I never did to any lady all my life. Please marry me.”
“Just like that? I can’t understand all of these Kole,” I’d stuttered.
“Mosun, please marry me. You know I love you so much, I won’t toy with your feelings,” Kole again begged of me.
And with sweet tears of joy, unlike what I now shed, I found myself saying, I will marry you. I love you as much as you love me.
Barely two months after, Kole, my loving Kole who is now deceased proposed to me. We got married at a very big and elaborate society wedding. It remained the talk of the town of months to come. It was so swell a party that two well-known musicians performed at the all-night party which took place in the vast compound of a primary school in our neighbourhood.
Two years later, our union was blessed with a bouncing baby boy. The bundle of joy came less than three months after the death of Chief Akinyode Olagunwa and when it came, he was christened Babatunde.
The arrival of Tunde in 1987 was like a consolidation of our marriage. We took loving and great care of him. Pampering him with everything money could buy and he grew up into a handsome, smart and intelligent boy. Our love and marriage continued to ascend heights upon heights and we were happy for it.
As the years rolled by Kole and I continued to ascend the corporate ladder of our different professional callings. I was made a branch manager in one of my establishments, regional head offices. Likewise Kole, he became one of the very few General Managers at Julius Berger.
Kole’s elevation automatically brought with it some added responsibilities. He never complained one bit. He tackled his job with an even greater gusto and zeal which further endeared him to his bosses and employers. It was this gusto and zeal with which he got involved in his job that soon won him a trip to Germany, where he went on a working visit to the German parent company of Julius Berger.
I shudder now in pain, as electrifying melancholy sweep through my whole being at the mere thought of that ill- fated journey.
Kole embarked on the journey which lasted a lonely, miserable six weeks only to return to the country and be hit by stray bullets fired at some suspected hoodlums or so it was alleged.
Kole had phoned in from Bonn to intimate me and the kids that he would be arriving the country on the night of October 2nd, 1996.
…TO BE CONTINUED