A Fresh Start for the Aremus (Short Story)

Estimated Read Time is 10 mins. Tap or press on underlined slangs for translation.

“I’ll take the yellow apron; you take the so you think you can cook” one, said Remi.

Ha! Just because I’m back home from work early today, you recruit me to cook? Alright, let’s do this!” said Fikayo, holding Remi’s waist from behind and giving her a kiss on her cheek. “What’s on the menu? You cook the soup, and I will take charge of the swallowA type of Nigerian dish. These muscles of mine are not for play,” he adds, flexing his muscles.

Swallow kini?What swallow? Jor jorPlease please, today is a special day. No local food. Ribeye steak, pesto dressing, mashed sweet potatoes, and grilled zucchini salad.”

“Yaasssss baby! This is why I love you. OyaOkay, what do I do?”

“Grab the potato peeler and…”

“But wait, why do I get to wear the so you think you can cook apron? Baddest chef ni miI am a really good chef now?”

They both laugh. Remi and Fikayo upload short videos of their cooking to their Instagram stories. They have a page together with 71k followers. They are so lovable, their followers coined a hashtag for them #FIREbaegoals.

Click click, Remi snaps the final plated dinner.  

“Okay, okay, enough pictures,” said Fikayo. “Now it’s time to eat. But first, let’s toast to paying off 50% of your student loans!” he added, opening the bottle of Montoya Cabernet he picked up on his way from work.

“Yes! Toast to progress, baby!”

*******

Remi wakes up to see an email from Fikayo with a spa certificate. “Mogbe!Oh no! What’s today’s date?! Our anniversary? No, no it’s not, and it sure isn’t my birthday.” She opens the email, and the message says, “just because I love you.”

Remi rolls over to give Fikayo a tight hug. “I love you too, ayanfe mi.nickname meaning my chosen love Thank you so much.

Click click, Remi takes a screenshot of her gift certificate and uploads it to their Instagram page. The caption read – “woke up to a pleasant surprise from le hubs. #FIREbaegoals.”

“Hey, I was thinking…can I go with you on your work trip to San Diego in April? It’ll be sooooo much fun!” Remi says.

“Remember we have to stay focused to pay off the rest of your student loans. I want to stop my part-time job once…”

“Pleeaaasseeee?” Remi interrupts, in her sweet little voice. Let’s not get hung up over money. Sometimes, chopenjoy life. I want to have experiences with you and just live a happy life, you know?”

“I know you won’t let me hear the last of it, so San Diego vacation it is.”

“Yasss yasss!!” Remi exclaims, kneeling on the bed and waving her hands in the air.

“Uuuummm, babe you’re cute and all, but your breath stinks.” Fikayo says, waving off the air directly in front of his nose.

“Whatever,” Remi responds, laughing.

“But this will be our only vacation this year oh!” Fikayo warns.

“Doesn’t matter. We’ll figure out the rest of the year later,” says Remi.

They fluff their pillows, open the curtains for sunlight, and click click…a photo to update their followers. Remi is wearing a white silk spaghetti strap nightgown and leans her back against Fikayo’s shirtless body. The caption – “San Diego vacation loading soon! #FIREbaegoals”. Remi looks at the photo with a sad face. Just one thing is missing – their baby sitting in between them. In less than a second, the first comment comes in… “aaaaw you both are my favorite couple ever!!”

*******

They fly in to San Diego on a Sunday evening, and after settling in, they go out for dinner at Mister A’s restaurant. It is perfect; they are seated by the large windows and have a gorgeous view of the waterfront.

Click click. The waitress helps them take a picture and looks to see how it came out. “Aaaaaw you both are a perfect couple!” she says, genuinely.

She was right. The photo was everything, with the waterfront backdrop, the beautifully plated food in front of them that looked like it came right out of food network, and Remi and Fikayo looking like hot faya themselves.

Later that night in their hotel room, Remi is scrolling through the comments on their latest Instagram photo, and most of them are saying how gorgeous Remi and Fikayo look. Then Remi’s eyes catch this one – “Aayyyye!! Fam, like this comment if you think our sweet Remi is going to return from San Diego, pregnant.” The comment gets 937 likes and 66 comments. Remi closes her Instagram app immediately and takes in a deep breath.

“Babe, sho wa okayare you okay??” Fikayo asks, walking out of the bathroom towards the bed.

“I…eeerrrr…I was just looking for a movie to watch,” Remi responds.

Fikayo jumps unto the bed and realizes that Remi is teary eyed. He wants to probe her some more, but he really doesn’t want to wake up the sleeping elephant in the room. Not tonight. So he grabs his phone and pretends not to notice. “She’ll get over it by morning,” he thinks to himself.

Their trip to San Diego is everything they looked forward to and more. Dinner dates, attending the San Diego soul music festival, evening walk with milkshakes on coronado beach, and pleasure rides with scenic views of the tallest trees in the world.

They had just returned from dinner on Thursday night when Fikayo grabbed his iPad to read Wuxiaworld, his favorite website for Chinese fantasy stories. An email popped up with subject, March Summary Report. “There must be a lot of gullible people out there for scammers to still be doing this hustle in 2019,” he thought. Upon clicking to open the email, his jaw drops at what he sees, and he realizes he had mistakenly grabbed Remi’s iPad.

*******

Today is their final day at San Diego, and Fikayo hasn’t said much this morning. He is about to head out of their hotel room to his client’s site. Remi pulls him back and gets on her knees. “Ayanfe mi”nickname meaning my chosen love, she says in the sweet little voice she uses when she wants something. “Do you think we can start trying sometime soon?”

“Seriously, Remi? Why don’t we talk about this after I return from my meeting?”

“It’s a simple question? Yes or no?” Remi asks, now with her eyes full of tears because Fikayo’s response said it all; he’s still not ready to have kids. “Tell me, honestly, what are you afraid of?”

“Not now, Remi. We can talk about this la…”

“Why are you always avoiding this topic?” Remi says, interrupting Fikayo.

“Aren’t you happy just the way we are? Why bring in kids to complicate our relationship? Honestly, I’d rather not have…”

“What?!” Remi says furiously, interrupting Fikayo again. “You wait till six years into our marriage to tell me you don’t want to have kids?! Why would you do such evil to me by depriving me of motherhood, knowing how much I want it?”

Remi takes a moment to breathe, then adds, “sometimes I drift away into the fantasy land of my thoughts where I have a baby without you, and it always feels so good until I come back to reality. God knows I would have left you had I known all these years before we got married.

“Is that why you have a backup plan? Or when were you planning to tell me about your estate in Lekki? 21 houses, Remi! Yet you watch me plunge most of my income at your student loans?!”  

Remi starts shaking. She never expected this to come up. Fikayo was not supposed to know. The estate is even in a different name; the name she was given at birth – Morenikeji.

“You knew?” Remi asks calmly.

“I don’t understand why you would hide what you have from me. Have I ever done something that would make you not trust me with your money? I feel like I don’t know the woman I married.”

“Is this the reason you have held me back from having a baby without even feeling any guilt? Because you were trying to get revenge?”

“That has nothing to do with this,” Fikayo responds, firmly.

I was just trying to prevent what happened to mommy from happening to me. When daddy died, she had nothing. That’s why she started calling me Remilekun; I was all she had, so I brought her comfort. We were so poor, we begged for food. You know this. How can you fault me?”

“You’re not even sorry. Don’t use your mother as an excuse,” Fikayo says, picking up his laptop bag and slamming the door behind him as he walks out of their hotel room.

Remi reschedules her flight to leave San Diego before Fikayo returns from his meeting. There are no updates for Instagram today.

*******

Months later…

Fikayo runs hastily into the labor and delivery room, panting hard. “Why didn’t you tell me you were pregnant, Remi? I ran here once I got the call.

“Because I was not going to have another abortion for you, Fikayo. Not this time.”

For the first time, Fikayo felt a heavy sense of guilt. He picks up his newborn daughter, looks at her in awe, and leans in to kiss her. He’s all of a sudden filled with indescribable love for her. All he sees as he gazes at her, is a beautiful life that is an extension of himself. He holds her close and doesn’t want to put her down. “I’ll never let you out of my sight,” he whispers to her. Then he leans in to kiss her again, which is when he wakes up from his dream to realize he is only holding a pillow.

“Remi! Where is she?!” Fikayo says, until he becomes fully aware that it was only a dream.

Remi is still asleep, so Fikayo wakes her up with urgency. “Remi, I’m truly sorry. Ma bi nu si mi.I’m sorry Would you forgive me? Please baby, have a baby with me. Right now?”

Remi looks at Fikayo confused, yet so happy. She smiles.

Today marks the beginning of a new relationship for the Aremus, built on true love, trust, and selflessness.

—–THE END—–

I used extreme, yet real examples to demonstrate how lack of openness, honesty, trust, and selflessness, can potentially ruin a marriage. Remi and Fikayo spoke all 5 love languages to each other, yet something was still missing. What would you have done if you were in either of their shoes?

*Special thanks to Toni and Tunde for letting me use your stunning engagement photos by Femi Abolude .

26 thoughts on “A Fresh Start for the Aremus (Short Story)

  1. Oh wow. This story got me big time because I’ve seen so many examples. Very captivating. It’s highly important to discuss and communicate about everything before you get married. Love alone doesn’t do marriage o. Strictly in my opinion, there are lots of things couple should talk about before getting married and having children and how many children to have is at the top of the list. However, sometimes, we plan and God simply decides. In the case of where they both have planned all of these before marriage and she was unable to conceive unko? There are other situations where one partner’s career is set before marriage and he/she didn’t have to struggle too much but the other partner literally began their career and what to do with their life right after marriage. In this kind of situation, one would be ready to start a family while the other is still figuring his/her life out. In the case of this particular couple, I’m not sure what they are trying to do after 6 years of marriage (based on the dream, in real life, was the wife going through abortions while in the marriage?). If that’s the case, I don’t know what to tell you because to me that’s just simply absurd. However, I’ve seen marriages where spouses use protection not to have kids because of the fact that one of them haven’t reached the level of career they envisioned. On the other hand, I can understand are reasons for not informing him of estate she had because there are lots of female who are simply terrified of the worse kind of situation that could happen to them. They want to be financially stable if the husband passes away, or if a divorce occurs. They hope it doesn’t happen to them, but they want to be highly prepared for it.

    Bottom line everything is understandable, however, communicating it to the other partner matters. A marriage is not a one-way street, where you make decisions solely by yourself and for yourself. I believe communicating your fears, achievements, success, guilt, mistakes and so on matters a great deal. All these is based on the trust you have in your partner. If you trust them enough to communicate such, it’s very much easier than if you’re skeptical of whether they will judge or betray you. We are both individuals but we are one when it comes to marriage.

    I love this piece…………great job Abisola. Keep them coming!

  2. Wow….. Reading this story, all I kept saying in my mind was awwwn…. God when?? Dear future husband, where thou art?? 😭😭😂.
    Great story with impeccable moral lessons…

  3. Great story! Communication is so important in any relationship, no matter which love language. I would have been hurt (both parties were being withheld of critical information), but I am glad that they have *both* decided to take the journey to work things out, to me, that is the most beautiful part. I’m wondering how much time they took before marriage to talk about these things… food for thought.

    Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more <3

  4. I couldn’t help but have flashbacks to our babymoon in San Diego, but on a more serious note, I love how you bring up a sensitive topic that my mom and I often argue about. I’ve seen money rip apart marriage (too much or too little) and I never want it to be the source of our problems. Anything I have is ours and he knows that even if he doesn’t care to know the numbers unless it gets too low.

  5. Wow this story got me..its so relatable and I just feel like communication was a main issue here..if they had talked about about these stuff it might have been easier to handle and not been such a shocker
    Love the story line!

    • Glad you enjoyed it. They were each seeking their own best interest by intentionally holding back information. Unfortunately, marriage doesn’t work like that. Thank you for reading!

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