Reviews

Book Review: Remember 

Remember by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley. 

This is the second installment in the Redemption series and wow wow wow! I’m still not over it. After finishing Book 1, Redemption, 2 weeks ago, I just had to get myself the second book and boy! was it worth it. If you haven’t read this book, I’m recommending it now! 

I just love the way the authors manage to make the title of the book, which is usually an abstract noun or a verb rhyme with the whole story till the end. 

Remember was basically about remembering, Kari got to remember her first love, her first husband and all, Ashley’s story was the bigger one with a deeper rooted meaning and bringing Alzheimer’s patients into the novel was just beautiful. 

The authors also wrote about the 9/11 attacks in the novel. I was barely a toddler when the attacks happened, but the ability of the writers to carefully, adequately and expertly explain the attacks, from the plane crashes, to the global shock, to even little details like the smell of sulphur and ash, the smell of death, the smell of hell; I was taken to another place and time and God knows, I cried. 

The narrative is exquisite and next to none really. The ability of the writers to write the novel from several view points, giving each character particular traits and a means of observation to make the narrative style unique is simply goals! 

The ability of a Christian writers to also delve into the field of humanism, explaining the concept; giving it weight, credence and even life was beyond me. For well-founded Christians to expertly explain and showcase the minds of those who are dead-set against God, wow! Just wow! Extreme kudos to the authors, I cannot wait to read book 3.

This novel is simply a winner! The message given to readers at the end is basic. Don’t get too caught up! Remember the most important things in your life; remember your faith; remember your first love. 

Don’t forget! 

Remember!!!

👑 Àyànfé

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EXP #1

EXP #1.27

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Its Tuesday evening.

I cringed as another crashing sound came from upstairs.

The Slave Master has been at it for close to 20 minutes now.

He stormed into the house and went upstairs without so much of a glance in my direction—not that it bothered me or anything—his personal aides had followed him in, dropped his stuff off in his study and made their exit immediately. Then it started, different crashing and breaking sounds came from his room intermittently, each one causing me to jump in fear.

What could be wrong with the Slave Master?

The sound of household furniture that had just met its demise met my ears once again.

I sighed as I stood up from where I was perched on the couch.

Shaking my head as I thought to myself ‘I can’t take this anymore’ I marched up the stairs.

I paused at the landing that led to his room and I remembered how the Slave Master had categorically warned me not to set foot into his room. I hesitated as I realised just how foolish a step I was about to take. The Slave Master was usually very ill-tempered on his good days, and today was apparently a bad day for him. Was it really in my place to get him to stop this temper tantrum of his?

The sound of something breaking not too far away from me pulled me out of my reverie and made up my mind for me. I marched forward to the Slave Master’s room.

The door was open and right in front of it lay the carcass of a dead Samsung phone.

I took a deep breath before pushing the door open, the sound of my entry made the Slave Master pause from where he stood and he turned to look at me, lowering his arm which held a bedside lamp that he was probably about to fling out of the window.

“What are you doing here?” he asked in his dead and emotionless voice.

I blinked.

I had not been expecting that question.

What exactly was I doing here?

I thought I already decided that it wasn’t in my place to get him to stop his temper tantrum?

How had my brain forgotten to process this information to the rest of my body?

Oh crap!

“Are you deaf?” he bellowed, causing me to shrink back from where I stood in terror.

I cleared my throat “Um…”

I cleared my throat again, it seemed as though all my words were stuck there and my brain wasn’t even making an effort to want to function at all.

I don’t know for how long I stood there, standing like a fool, probably with my mouth hanging open because the Slave Master suddenly burst out laughing.

I just kept staring, and he kept laughing. As in, actual laughter and not the usual humourless and dead laughter I was used to from him. He doubled over and wiped his eye and looked up at me and burst into another fit of hysteria.

That was when I shut my mouth.
He was probably laughing at me and how foolish I looked. Scratch the probably part. He was laughing at me and how foolish I looked.

“What’s so funny?” I finally found my voice when he was done.

“Oh God! You should have seen the look on your face”

I sighed and looked around the room. Everything was a mess. The beside table lay in a broken heap, clothes were strewn all over the place, the full length dressing mirror lay in broken shards on the floor, and that was just the little I could see from where I stood at the door.

“Why don’t we go outside for a bit” I said looking up at the Slave Master who had been staring at me as I carried out my inspection on his room.

He obliged and followed me downstairs.

“I take it you’re in a bad mood” said I.

“How did you manage to figure that out?” he asked sarcastically.

“You know what you need?” I asked, ignoring his stupid comment.

“What?” he asked.

“Puff puff, puff puff always makes everything better. Where are your car keys? I know a place nearby that has the best puff puff” I replied.

“Are you kidding me?” he asked with his most serious straight face.

“Nope, I’m dead serious”

The Slave Master sighed then shrugged and ushered me outside.

Yay! We’re going to get puff puff!!!
_______________

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EXP #1

EXP #1.16

“Are you sure about this?” Aunty Juliana asked for the umpteenth time that afternoon. 

“Yes aunty” I answered rubbing my temple.

“Mama, calm down or you’re gonna give her a headache” Vwaire said, from where she sat across me on the dining table. 

“Let me go freshen up, I’ll be leaving in an hour’s time” I said and excused myself before Aunty Juliana could try to change my mind, either that or she would start another round of her incessant worrying. I sighed as I closed my room door, I was here for just 3 days and it already felt like home. I was instantly accepted, and although Vwaire wasn’t the most accomodating person in the universe, there was still that invisible bond that bound us. I didn’t want to go back to the Slave Master, not because he was a condescending, menacing bully, but because I was finally in a place where I didn’t struggle to fit in, I was finally in a place I could easily and readily call home and I was not ready to leave. 

I packed my things, my very few things into a small bag Aunty Juliana had given me earlier and made my way downstairs.

“I’m set” I said entering the living room where Tinuade, Vwaire and Aunty Juliana were sitted “See you guys whenever”

The three women stood up and walked me to the gate “Have a safe journey” Tinuade said to me as she clapped my shoulder.

“Stay safe” Vwaire told me, gripping my arm.

“Oh Brino” Aunty Juliana said, she was already glassy eyed.

“You guys, I’m not dying!” I had to exclaim, the sombre mood was already choking me “Nothing bad is going to happen stop acting like this”

“I’m sorry” Aunty Juliana managed wiping her eyes “But we only just found you and we have to be separated from you so soon, it’s painful. I need you to promise me something. Promise me that you’ll come back home to your family”

“I promise” I said.

Vwaire then shocked me by giving me a hug “No matter what, we are family, blood, never ever forget that, and don’t ever forget you have a place here”

“Sure, I won’t” I coughed, these people were getting too mushy for my liking “I’ll be on my way now” 

“God be with you” Aunty Juliana said one last time before I left the house.

.

It was relatively easy getting to the Slave Master’s house since I have a very good sense of direction, I already knew my way since the first time Henshaw had brought me back here from the market when I was trying to find out where I was, so as to sneak out and see Bruno.

I pounded the gate instantly “It’s me. Let me in” I said as the gateman opened the little flap on the pedestrian gate to check who it was.

“Oga is not around and he said I should not open the gate for anybody when he’s not around” the gateman said from within.

I slumped my shoulders in frustration and gave an exasperated sigh before making myself comfortable, leaning on the gate. The sky began to turn gray in a matter of minutes, I pounded the gate once again “Open up, it’s about to start raining”

“I can’t! You know the way Oga used to do. Small time he will vex and sack me, I take God beg you, abeg, manage for there” the gateman said from within the house and I could emphatise, the poor man knew how crazy his boss could get and was not ready to take chances with his means of livelihood and I couldn’t blame him. 

Unfortunately, the rain began to fall, straight atop my head without any mercy. I stood in the rain as the sky got darker and I shivered within my clothes. I had no umbrella or anything to shield me from the downpour and I was already soaked to my bones by the time his car drove up to the gate, I had been standing there for over 15 minutes. I grit my teeth as the car honked, the gate was opened and I made my way in behind the car and ran up to the porch where the downpour was greatly reduced. 

“Oh my goodness, I hope you didn’t stand too long in the rain” the Slave Master said with feigned concern as he strolled up to his front door, umbrella in hand as he inserted the key into the keyhole.

I couldn’t reply, but ran into the house as fast as I could to get my inhaler, I had brought it along when I’d packed my stuff from my mother’s house, I could feel an asthma attack coming and I was not ready to die. Thank God the Slave Master came back at the time that he did and not any later.  

By the time I was done, I turned around to find him leaning against my room doorway “Fortunately, you didn’t die”

“Like you care” I replied, finally able to breathe perfectly. 

“Of course I care” the Slave Master replied “Why will I not be concerned about the welfare of the latest shareholder in the Judisque-Allan shipping company, who just happens to be working for me and living under my roof because she destroyed my car and doesn’t have the money to pay me back?” 

“That doesn’t even make any sense at all” I said going out of the room, with him following behind me, turning on the lights as I went. 

“Does it?” 

I turned around to face the Slave Master, we were in the living room at this point. 

“So you have connections everywhere and you’ve heard about my inheritance. So what?” I asked with arms crossed rubbing them with my palms as I spoke. 

“Nothing” the Slave Master replied with a shrug “I just wanted to remind you that you are now a very relevant person, so I should be concerned about your welfare”

“Whatever” I muttered and went to pick up my bag from where I’d discarded it. 

________

So I had to read all the previous EXP #1 posts before I could even type this, and I have to admit, I’m proud of myself. And it’s so beautiful how I’ve been writing this for close to 3 months and it’s about 3 weeks that has passed within the story.

Yes, so I promised and failed to post this on Saturday and I didn’t even post on Sunday either. My most sincere apologies, I came down with illness on Saturday and I was unable to get anything done throughout the weekend (I couldn’t even read for a test I had on Tuesday till that very morning!) I’m better now though, so I hope you guys forgive me and accept my apology. 

As we all know, my next blog post should be on Friday and it might just be EXP #1.17 to make up for Saturday (fingers crossed here guys, I’m not so sure)  

So make sure to A.N.T.I.C.I.P.A.T.E

<<EXP #1.15

>>EXP #1.17

🍔 Cheeseburger. 

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EXP #1

EXP #1.12

“Actually, he’s not my boyfriend” I said
“So who is he to you? And why is he pretending to be your boyfriend?” Aunty Juliana asked sceptically, eyeing the Slave Master. 

“I bashed his car, this car” I said pointing at the Honda Pilot car parked right next to where we stood.

“I don’t think that’s the proper way to put it Brino” the Slave Master said coolly “you stole my car for a joyride and utterly destroyed it”

Aunty Juliana’s eyes widened.

“And instead of sending you to rot in jail for the rest of your life, I pitied you” 

“Turning me into a modern slave does not count as pity” I retorted. 

The Slave Master laughed humourlessly “Modern slave eh? I have never harassed you, nor have I ever laid a finger on you and you think you’re serving as a modern slave because you are doing menial jobs around my house? I told you, you are going to work for me till you pay back every kobo that went into repairing this car”

“And just how much is that?” Aunty Juliana asked having gotten wind of the situation, the Slave Master told her and her mouth went a little slack when the amount ran into 8 figures.

“A Honda Pilot is not the cheapest car to maintain in case you never noticed”

“Yes, but keeping someone against their own free will is against the law” Aunty Juliana equally quipped. 

The Slave Master gave another dead laugh “It’s like you don’t understand my benevolence in this situation, she could be rotting in jail for the rest of her life under this very same law for what she did, with multiple charges of breaking and entering, stealing and destruction of property, and she would also have to pay me back for damages. Do you guys really want to go down that road? If so, fine by me, just know I have a degree in law and I can sue all of you for all you’re worth. You have 3 days to rethink this decision of yours and you know where to find me” the Slave Master said looking at me “and if you don’t find me… I’ll just have to find you then. You know I always do” with that said the Slave Master turned on his heels and went into his car which drove off immediately.

.

“How did you get yourself into such a mess?” Aunty Juliana asked, pacing about the living room. 

I sat on the living room couch looking downcast, Tinuade and Vwaire were at the other end of the room, huddled together and whispering to one another. 

“Do you like do things like this often? Randomly steal and destroy people’s cars?” Tinuade asked. 

Aunty Juliana’s eyes shot up to her in a reprimanding look, before she turned back to me, expecting an answer. 

I sighed “Not anymore”

“Not anymore? Meaning you used to do this before? Are you like kleptomaniac, should we be cautious with our stuff when you’re around?”

I steeled my expression, Tinuade meant no harm, it was obvious with the way she spoke that this was just the kind of person she was, but that didn’t stop the anger within me from stirring. 

“I am not kleptomaniac, I have never been kleptomaniac. What I once was however, was lonely and poor and desperate. And you know what they say about desperate times don’t you?” I snapped at her, causing her to wince. 

“Brino” Aunty Juliana said sympathetically regarding me with eyes full of pity, she came over to where I sat and regarded me “Please, if you don’t mind, I’d like to know what happened”

I gulped. I knew this day would come, when my real family would find out about my dark and awful past, I just didn’t expect it to be less than 24 hours after I met them. I closed my eyes, I had to tell them of my past, they had taken me in immediately they found out I was one of their own, I owed them this much. 

“My dad died when I was 15, I was in SS3 at the time, my so-called mother proceeded to make my life a living hell, she changed me from a private to a public school, she’d make me do all the chores around the house and her shop before I could go to school every morning, I was to get home before her and cook for the family, it was torture. I cried myself to sleep every night, I was still dealing with my father’s death and my mum had turned into a monster overnight. It was a wonder I passed my O levels exam, as soon as I was done I ran away from home. I lived on the streets for close to a month on my own, moving from place to place with no money and no direction, until I made some friends. 

“The first time I saw them, they were pickpocketting. I watched in wonder as a boy ran and slammed against a lady’s handbag, by the time he ran off after apologising, he had her wallet with him. My 15 year old self was entertained and so I followed him, having nothing else to do. I followed him as he made around the streets stealing stuff off random people, I was so captivated by watching him, I didn’t know he had colleagues, who were apparently watching me, at some point the boy just turned around and started walking towards me, he asked who I was and why I was following him, I couldn’t reply, some of his colleagues came to support him and they surrounded me and I just began to cry, before telling them my story. They took pity on me and took me with them. Apparently, they were like a family of thieves, all teenage vagabonds living together and training themselves. 

“I stayed with them and learnt their profession, my specialty was cars, I learnt how to pick the lock of a car, how to disable alarm systems, how to start a car without the keys and stuff like that we soon began to grow in wealth and in number, we had ranks among ourselves and I was No.3, the boy I’d followed on the day I’d found my new family, Idris, he was No. 2, our leader was just a few years older, Donald, he took a liking to me and made me like his personal assistant, while Idris was his righthand man. I stayed with them for 4 years, till I met Bruno, we met at a supermarket one day and we just took a liking to one another, what with our names being very similar, Bruno-Brino, we exchanged numbers and soon began to talk about anything and everything, in no time, he became an indispensable part of my life, and I just had to tell him what I did for a living. He didn’t judge me or do anything like I expected, he — he… ” I stuttered tearing up at how kind and compassionate and loving Bruno had always been to me. 

“He didn’t judge me” I continued “He told me that he was not going to condemn me, that Jesus didn’t condemn him on the cross for his sins and he couldn’t be a hypocrite and condemn me. He said he was not happy with the life I was loving but, he still loved me regardless and he didn’t even judge me or make me feel less than myself, we still kept on getting along with our friendship. After a few months, I summoned the courage and left my family, I left that life behind and swore to myself that I’d never go back. Bruno helped me to get back on my feet, he helped me get a job, provided accommodation for me, he enrolled me for A-levels classes so I could go back to school and he even caused me to go back to my so-called mother. She didn’t accept me, but for the sake of her reputation she let me back into the house, we never bothered to get along after that really. I occasionally used to bump into some of my old friends, one such time was 3 weeks ago at a party I went to, one thing led to another and they dared me to steal a car. I’ve never been one to back out of a dare so I did, I took a Honda Pilot car and accidentally destroyed it. Now I’m paying for my sins”

“So what are you going to do now?” Aunty Juliana asked worriedly. 

“It’s a no-brainer” Vwaire spoke for the first time, since I came into the house with Aunty Juliana “we can’t go bankrupt because of her, she has to go back to that guy, whoever he is”

“Vwaire” Aunty Juliana chided. 
Ding dong.

We all turned at the sound of the doorbell before Aunty Juliana could say anything else.

______

I don’t know how to start apologising to everyone who waited for EXP #1 to come up last night and was disappointed. I am so very sorry guys. I just resumed school for second semester and everything is just overwhelming and I’m trying to adjust. I am so so sooooooooooo sorry everyone. Please forgive me.

<<EXP #1.11

>>EXP #1.13

🍔 Cheeseburger.

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