Belina (Tender Beauty) Episode 3
The alarm that went off in my head would have
definitely woken the dead. I wanted to tell dad to
repeat what he just said but I knew that I was not
having problem with my ears. I turned cold eyes at
Tunji and said quietly but firmly, “leave”. “What?”
He asked looking like a fool. I moved towards him
slowly and before he could count one to three,
what he heard was ‘kpa’; even though my hand still
ached from the hot slap I gave him, I forgot all
about it and dad who was busy saying all sorts of
rubbish as I push Tunji out of the house.
After slamming the door forcefully, I turned around
to face my mistake of a father but I was greeted
with a hot slap. The slap was so hard that I
practically started seeing things but I steeled
myself against crying. ‘Never let them see your
tears, it makes you vulnerable’, I remembered the
words of my mum.
“You this little brat, you are so stupid. How dare
you slap Tunji? You better go after him now and
beg him”. Dad growled.
“God forbid. You have no right whatsoever to think
you can control my life. Who do you think you are?
I am not going anywhere with you and that son of
a nobody but you can go if you want to. I am 22
for God’s sake and I have the right to make my
own decisions”, I yelled.
“Not while you are under my roof. You have to do
what I tell you”. He shot back.
I almost said something but I bit it back. I looked
at my dad and as quietly as I could, I said
emphatically, “like I said, you can go with him but
as for me, you can go with him but as for me, you
better think again ‘sir’”. I stormed out of the
As I walked on our ever quiet street, my blood flow
started normalizing and the incident that I had
been trying to keep at bay started pushing itself
back to my memory. The slap that dad gave me
seemed to also slap back that memory.
Throughout my secondary school, I succeeded in
keeping men at arm’s length and didn’t have a
boyfriend throughout, despite my numerous
admirers. I finished with a remarkable grade and
gained admission immediately into UNILAG and also
focused on my studies not glancing twice at any
guy but my charade was cut short in my third year
when I discovered that there are some guys that
your eyes can’t finish assessing with one glance.
I sat on the open field one afternoon reading, when
one of my annoying toasters came.
“Oh baby”, he drolled, “you too dey read sef”.
I ignored him “Abeli”, he called in his usual way
but I ignored him again.
He yanked the book out of my hands and my head
jerked up as my eyes drilled holes into him.
“Give me back my book”, I demanded.
“Why didn’t you answer me?”
I stretched forth my hand, “Hand it over now”.
He smiled, “A kiss and I would give you”, he said
pouting his lips like a demented beast. I wanted to
slap him hard but . . .
“Give the lady her book”, a voice said. That voice
chilled me to the bones and I could almost feel the
ground shake at the sound but surely, I was
hallucinating. That was the voice that shook my
world both positively and negatively.
“Enough of all this rubbish”, I thought. I need to
solve this problem. After thinking for some
minutes, I fished out my phone from my pocket
and dialed the only person I could. She picked on
the third ring.
“Sweetheart mi”, Prisca said over the receiver.
“Pric, I need your help”.
Tunji sat furiously at the owner’s side of the car
on his way home. He was busy clenching his fist
like someone who was ready to box the life out of
“No woman has ever slapped me”, he thought. He
still couldn’t believe that he had actually been
slapped. And by a woman? “No matter how
beautiful she is, she won’t get away with this”,
he thought as he picked up his phone to dial a
“Omo deputy governor mi, your excellency sir”, a
“Please shut up Tolu, I need you to do something
for me. Someone had the nerve to raise her hands
against me”. Tunji said.
“Ehn… A she? She must be dealt with”
“Alright, here is what I want you to do …”
You know at times, you get to a T junction where
you know that either way you go is going to change
your life one way or the other. I thought about my
discussion with Prisca and knew that going with
that plan was the best thing I could do.
I got back home and met the house empty. My
phone started ringing immediately I sat down and I
discovered it was an unknown number. I picked it
and waited until I heard a baritone voice at the
other end saying “hello”. “Good morning, pls who is
this?” I answered. “Is this Miss Belina Badmus?”
the speaker asked “Yes pls” “My name is John,
calling from Heaven’s gate Chapel. We just want to
remind you of the musical concert which would be
holding tomorrow” he said.
I opened my mouth as I realized that I had actually
forgotten everything about that concert. Though I
hadn’t produced any album, I was invited by some
churches to minister in songs. “I would be there,
thanks a lot”.
I dropped the phone some seconds later and
mentally began to search for a nice song for the
Mr Badmus entered the large compound of his
friend, chief Olowodolu, and looked round jealously.
Every time he entered this place, he always
remembers his good old days.
He had nothing less than three buildings in the
island, and one small building in the mainland,
Ikeja to be precise. He had lived a life of affluence
but his business crumbled after five years of
marriage. He sold off his properties in the island
to pay debts and moved with his family to Ikeja.
“I must be rich again”, he thought as he entered
his friend’s sitting room.
“Let us go now Richard, I don’t want to be late
o…” Tony and Richard are inseparable friends and
have been for five years. Apart from them being
medical doctors, they were also in the music line.
Being exceedingly handsome, they were the envy of
other guys and the desire of ladies. Tony took
advantage of this and had so many girl friends by
flirting with them but Richard was the quiet type,
jovial at times which made him more desirable but
he could turn the heart of any girl perhaps
unknowingly. Tony seemed to have arrived at his
bus-stop where women were concerned and Richard
had become indifferent towards them.
Tony attended a musical concert in a church some
weeks ago and hadn’t stopped talking about it, for
some unexplainable reasons, Richard felt he needed
to attend the next edition with Tony.
“For God’s sake Tony, you told me the concert
would commence 5 o’clock, this is 4:20, what is
the fuss about?” Richard asked looking exasperated.
“If we don’t get there in time, all the good seats
would have been taken and we would have to seat
at the back”. Richard sighed; “Alright then”, he
said leaving the movie he was watching for the
I looked at myself in my bedroom mirror and
smiled. I definitely look stage worthy, I thought to
myself. I took out a styling comb and combed my
hair to perfection. Thank God for long hair, it
could make you look presentable even when you did
not make your hair. The blue flowing gown I was
putting on always gave me confidence and made me
look dashing, even though I was worried about the
numerous stares I would be receiving which always
made me uncomfortable, I wanted to look my best
today. I applied a little powder and lip gloss and
I alighted from a public bus and looked at the
address again. Wole, who had made sure I was one
of the guest artists had warned me that the
church was a big church. I almost passed by a very
massive building when I looked at the sign-board
and discovered that that was my destination. I
opened my mouth as my heart started racing.
“Hello miss” My head jerked round and I discovered
I was already at the entrance. “Uhhh, hi”, I said.
“Are you one of our artists, ma’am”, the guy
obviously an usher asked. “Ehm, Yes. I am Belina
Badmus”. The guy checked his file and smiles at me
before calling a lady to take me inside. As I
stepped inside, my heart almost stopped.
I saw nothing less than 500 people and still saw
empty chairs which could easily seat close to three
hundred people. The highest number of people I
had sang to was 200 and I was totally afraid that
day. I considered turning back as I stood
transfixed. The lady usher noticed my fright and
gave me a comforting smile. She looked at me from
head to toe and back again and said, “I am sure
you can handle it”.