Friday, December 4, 2009

Please don't judge Atala Wala Wala

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Chinedu watched her as she slept, taking in the delicately curved lashes, the slight uptilt of her nose and her long, tied-back hair. As he did, once again he regretted the reckless streak that had made him tell her that he was an armed robber during their previous encounter. He shrugged; I guess that's just who I am.

Iphey stirred and and opened her eyes. She sat up with a jerk and looked around. How could she have fallen asleep with a guest in the flat.

"Madam, drinks are served." He bowed with an exaggerated gesture and presented her with the glass.

She sat up and took it with a grateful smile. "How long have I been sleeping?"

Chinedu smiled back. "Not long enough. After the stress of today, you definitely need some rest. Even your body agrees."

While Iphey drank, her mind turned cartwheels. He was kind and considerate; he was funny; and he was good looking. She did want to like him, but... that history. And how could he be so comfortable and nonchalant about it, too? What exactly had happened to drive him down those darker paths of life?

But did she really want to know, anyway? Wasn’t it her curiosity that had saddled her with the burden of this knowledge? What if he revealed even darker secrets - secrets that made it too difficult to bear the contrast between the person she was getting to like and the person she wanted to keep at a distance?

A musky scent intruded into her thoughts as Chinedu settled himself beside her. “You seem to be a lot better, but it looks like you also have something on your mind.”

“Oh… I was still thinking about my nephew… I’m praying that he’ll pull through.” Iphey was thankful for the handy smokescreen Obi’s hospitalization presented to her.

Chinedu nodded. “I completely understand. Was it very shocking to hear the news?”

“He’s had asthma attacks before, but nothing like this…” Her voice trailed off.

“I hope he pulls through; in any case, he’s in good hands now. There’s not much else we can do except pray”.

They sat together for a while, each lost in thought.

Iphey broke the silence. “Oh, I feel so bad; you’ve been so kind. I am a bad host. Can I get you anything?”

Chinedu laughed. “This isn’t a proper visit, I only came over when your mum told me about your nephew's crisis. I've put some Indomie in the microwave for you, otherwise, I'm happy to just talk. Like I said earlier, once I heard from Aisha, I was hoping we could set another date. ”

Again, Iphey felt herself torn apart by the self that said “go for it, he’s a great guy” and the other self that said “watch out, he used to be an armed robber!”.

The cautionary self won out. “Well, I don’t know… right now, my mind is not settled enough to think about that.”

“I understand, and that’s why I’m not asking you for anything immediate. I only want to know if you would like to meet at all.”

Seeing her hesitate further, he added “Think about it. You’ll get the chance to hear about my adventures during my life of crime.”

At that remark, all her apprehension boiled over into indignation. “How can you be so callous and talk about it as an adventure, as though you had been on holiday? Don’t you even feel any remorse?”

Chinedu nodded his head. So it was the armed robber thing; he had thought as much. “I regret what I did then, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot describe some of them as adventures. Or do you want me be to lie about my past to you?”

“I’m not asking you to lie, but please show a sense of shame! Why should I want to hear about the adventures of an armed robber on a date?”

Chinedu began to feel irritated; he had meant to bring the issue up in a light-hearted way to diffuse any possible tension, but that sure wasn't working.

“OK, I’m sorry that I’m not perfect. I’m sorry that my life has this smear you disapprove of. But at least, one good thing is that if I meet someone who made mistakes and turned their life around, I’m less likely to judge them harshly.”

Iphey was defensive. “I’m not judging you; I’m just saying that you shouldn't take it so lightly.”

“Really?" Chinedu smiled bitterly. "Avoiding Aisha's calls and not even calling me to say thanks all this while has nothing to do with me being an armed robber before? Do you remember the anger and force with which you responded to the revelation?”

Seeing that Iphey had been embarrassed into silence, he continued in a softer tone. “I don’t blame you; others have judged me before too. I found it wiser to be quiet about my past. Even now, I don’t tell everyone. I only tell people I’ve known for long enough to trust.

“But sometimes, I take a chance, follow my instincts and tell people who I feel I have strong connection to, even though I’ve just met them; people who I feel will be willing to listen more and judge less.” He looked into her eyes, and continued. “The trouble is, sometimes, my instincts are wrong.”

Chinedu rose and stretched. “It’s getting late so I must head out.” At the door, he stopped and turned. “My instincts may be wrong sometimes; but somehow, I don’t think this is one of them. How do I know? Maybe it’s my instinct telling me.”

He smiled wanly and added. “I really hope your nephew makes it out of intensive care. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. Have a good night, Iphey.”

She listened to the door latch slowly, her head bowed in thought. The ping of the microwave brought her out of it.


That is it folks and thanks for reading. Vote on the left side for the next chapter. Our next contributor will be BUBBLES. Please if I have skipped you, let me know. We're still taking writers so continue to indicate interest in the comments. Thanks.

Finally, I may be biased cos of who's writing but the ending of this episode made me think. What are your thoughts?


  1. Thank you so much for visiting our blog. I'm looking forward to exploring yours a bit more.

    Abby is such a sweet girl who loves music... and who doesn't love Bob Marley?! He has a special place in my heart and it warms it so much that apparently he does in her's, too. XO

    Did I read correctly that you're in Seattle? I grew up in the N.W. and miss it a lot. Blow a kiss to the city from me. : )

  2. Hi There! I just stumbled onto your blog and am fascinated by what you are doing. I am an aspiring writer as well and would love to participate.

    Please check out my blog to sample me bit. I wish you the best of luck in achieving your goals!

  3. First???!!! Funmi

  4. Please let me know if I won the ebook. :)

  5. Na wa o! Talent dey abeg. when are we reading the next ma?

  6. ahh not the first again??!!! na wa ooo

    i swear i loved this! like, absolutely, totally everything!

    well sha i was the first to vote so i guess u know what i voted for!

  7. very good,
    i think she should give him achance, pple change

  8. I must really say this is a very good one,well written.Thumbs up myne's SO.

  9. @Erin, thanks for coming over and the comments.

    @Vivianne, I will contact you to contribute. Thanks for your interest.

    @Funmi, yes you have won the ebook. Send me your email to mulan.mine@gmail and I'll attach it to you.

    @All, thank you all...

  10. He sure sounds like a nice guy and i think I'm beginning to root for him, although truth be told...its sure going to be major hard for me to date an ex-armed robber, i guess cos it'll be hard to trust him but as they say, the heart has reasons the head knows nothing about.

    Waiting for the next

  11. yeah, I think I'm beginning to like Chinedu too.

    I also was irritated by how cavalier he seemed to be about his past but the truth is that he's changed so why judge him huh?

    Really Nice!!!!

  12. I was really wondering about what she wud do.....
    Loved the suspense!

  13. Chinedu - sounds like a good chap who mixed with the wrong crowd in the past. I am liking this character already.

  14. I really enjoyed reading this. I look forward to what happens next..hmm.. we'll see how this pans out. Thanks for the read.

  15. ok oo,muyiwa hansome dey here,yeah well written,good to follow one's instinct,off to vote

  16. nice - i have always liked Chinedu, and its a good thing they had this fight already

  17. hehehhhehe...first fight before the actual relationship...LoL...I can't wait!

  18. We always say we wanna know everything about someone we're getting into a relationship with but it's not really true. We only think we do. He's very brave for telling her he was an armed robber. Looking forward to Bubbles's story!




  22. YA...clearly!! I am not first!! AGAIN!! GOOD JOB GUYS!! I am very evry very impressed!

  23. Thank for all the wonderful comments, please remember to vote too.

    @Ms. O, if you still want the eBook, you can check the FB page, there's a contest to win that going on.

  24. I think its a good thing he up and came clean about being an armed real life it would be so hard but he sounds like a nice guy. I've been trying to catch up with the previous flow of the story.
    Thank you so much for your continous encouragement on my blog. I'm humbled.

  25. Wow this is my favorite Iphey-Chinedu scene/narration yet. Very nicely written! Definitely held my attention throughout.

    I still want to contribute o, Myne. But is it okay if I schedule my writing appointment for about 2 weeks from now? Finals and other school stuff taking up all my time these days. Hehe. Do let me know! Thanks! :)

  26. All, thanks for your compliments.

    @Enkay, I see your point (and Iphey's point too). I would wonder about someone who was so open about his past to the point of bringing it up in such a way.

    Perhaps he was a Robin Hood character who only robbed the rich, so he didn't feel so bad?

    Perhaps he was an unwilling participant who only did stuff like getaway driving?

    Perhaps he did do all that bad stuff, but had a Road-To-Damascus conversion?

    Or perhaps he was (and still is) a dyed-in-the-wool, irredeemable, hardcore criminal who is just using sweet words to trick Iphey, and she should flee for her dear, sweet life?

    Me, I know what *I* would do in Iphey's position... :) But we'll have to wait and see what she does.

  27. Hi Myne, I got the ebook! Thanks for being so generous.

  28. ooooh another stellar one! Im loving this. hmm, thats a tough one poor Iphey, im in love with chinedu already, really she shud give him a chance cos she seems like a really uptight person (for various unknown reasons of course). Bubbles we're waiting on you, do us proud lol.

  29. Okay I voted, and goodness I got caught up in that. That was written very well! I can't wait for the next.

  30. Nice! if Iphey doesnt want Chinedu, can u pple write me into the script and make me his lover?


  31. ei e hard o.... i know ppl change but armed robber?... i rily wanna know what happens now...

  32. Good work, Atala!!

    I had a 'wtf?' moment while reading his response to her reaction. Like what did he expect? He almost sounded proud. I understand the need to make it a lighthearted conversation but err dont make light of it.

    ...see as i'm getting into it, LoL!! Good job again :)

  33. That iphey babe is very useless so y ask bout his future if she couldn't handle it? Myne I honestly love this to bits. Shoutout to Atala u are mad talented. Can't wait for bubbles own

  34. this was really good...i liked it
    and i wanna write a chapter or two

    can i? please
    **sad puppy look**

  35. David, you can write after Bubbles, don't be so sad, LOL...

  36. nice one.
    i want to write too.

  37. Wow This series is really good. All of the writers are so talented. Well done. Atala is not bad oo :)

  38. awww Chinedu! I like him!!!...
    ur hubby is on point mayne!...he writes well, wat a perfect match!

  39. This story is heating up, I looved this one. Mr. Alta Wala Wala, great job! I see the excellent writing streak really runs in you and Ms. Myne's family. :-D

  40. Im 43rd hurray!!!
    Honestly im feeling this..oh the suspense...

  41. @nita if u are 43rd i guess im 44th then lol...
    myne all the contributors have done a great job so kudos to all of them, i cant wait to read whats gonna happen next but i think iphey should give chinedu another chance....

  42. I like it! :) Interesting read

  43. AWW is a brilliant writer. It definitely made me think. Y'all now see what I mean by preferring the bad guys? The good guys don't want to smear their images, so they hide the bad things they've done, and lie, making themselves truly bad. But the bad guys tell it like it is; but we also find it difficult to believe them.

    It's true though. Everyone is judegemental once in a while. I think we should air some of Iphey's dirty laundry... Yeah? I won't like to see the makings of a love triangle with Bisi though. Maybe Bisi can conjure up funky stories, cos she's feeling the guy. Please make Chinedu a one-woman guy.

    Bad boys are absoultely sexy!

  44. interesting read..guy had better not think armed robbery na joke o. werrin?

    and aah, una de represent o...splendid job y'all are doing.

  45. Sorry it's taken so long to visit your blog Myne. It's obviously been my loss because I love it! I'm loving the blogville story and I'm eagerly awaiting the next instalment. Thanks for all the insightful comments you always leave and God bless.

  46. Thank you all.

    @Sankofa, you're welcome.

  47. Ha! I'm loving this story. Well done Myne Whitman for doing this.

  48. I'm curious to see where this will go. Chinedu may be nice but I'm having a hard time "humanizing" him since the armed robber revelation. Not convinced I would go for him. What sets him apart?


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