2020: The Good, The Bad, The Surprising.

Meehn, 2020 has been one helluva rollercoaster for me. The good, the bad, the surprising.

January.

The new year balled in with me studying really hard for my exams. I remember refusing to go home for festivities, had lots of school stuff to cover and didn’t want to falter. (Did you see what I did there?)

Soon, I was starting to get stressed out. Really stressed out. Sometimes, I’d smack my forehead hard asking myself why I chose to study Medicine.
My blog at one end. A very heavy curriculum to cover at another. The struggle to find a balance was real.

One fateful day, I woke up to some really bad news. I slowly sank into despair. I would hold my head in my hands as tears ran down my cheeks. Lauren Diagle’s ‘Trust In You’ became my companion. Exams were approaching and damn I couldn’t concentrate!
I’d just be in class and remembering the news would fill my eyes with tears.

But yeah, I trusted God and he got me!

February/March

More stress. Much more stress. We finally wrote the exams o. And Las las we did not die. Some questions unusual, some usual ones but God got us!

Exams done. Heaves a heavy breath of freedom.
As planned in the school’s Calendar, the next posting (semester) was to start off the next week. We grumbled and fussed around, “not even a week break?”, “oh meehn, I’m tired of medical School o”….

Then COVID happened! But wait, ASUU did their initial gragra before COVID. Oh how excited we were to have a little break to finally unwind (and how very ignorant we were of what the future held).

COVID loomed, Schools closed. I travelled home hoping to resume in a few weeks. Worked on my sketchy storylines, read books on storytelling and personal development. Had more time to focus on myself.

Haq haq haq.

April

Yo! Started TOLANI! At first, I was so unsure if I should develop that story, not to talk of publishing. Felt it was a sorta common story theme, spoke to friends about it and they were like “c’mon! This is amazing stufffff”. Well, I decided to give it a go…
Published the first episode and soon my mail was buzzing with blog comment notifications of “yeah, move on”, “next please”, “such great starting…”

You guys are so amazing! What can I do without you?!

So I wrote and blogged away. Freelanced a little too. Vibed virtually with my friends on a regular. Perfect holidays.
I also jokingly told my mum about me learning photography, and she was like yeah, that’s a great idea!

May/June

I finally decided o. I was going to learn some photography before school resumes. So I would get to tell stories with jpegs too!

Was a great experience being the the most junior trainee, I observed and helped with setting studio equipments. Wasn’t long until I got ill.
Yeah, a month after I started at the studio. My Pops who had always raved about my too busy life soon linked it to my combining so much stuff. He recommended I quit so I take some rest, and that was how I dropped out o.

So yep, I’m currently a drop out student of photography, but I’m definitely setting sometime next year to doing some serious stuff.

Screenwriting.

I’d always wanted to get serious with working on my screenwriting while in Med School but the time was never there.
I stumbled into an advertisement about a Whatsapp screenwriting class while I strolled the streets of nairaland. Clicked, registered with an air of indifference about it.

Whoop. Whoop. Whoop. Turned out to be one of the best thing that has happened to me this year.

Thank you Damola Adenle!

July.

I was soon getting used to staying home almost all day.

Also, My blog was going to be ONE in a few weeks. I patiently anticipated!

And then I got anxious.

Do I celebrate big? Do some low key stuff, Go chill somewhere with friends? Take pictures and that’s all? Omo!

It soon got to a point where I lost the whole vibe.
Isn’t it just a year of blogging? Abeggg joor!

Told my friends about it and their excited responses got me feeling positive about it again. I even had some senior friends send me cash. So yes, let’s celebrate!

We celebrated one year of blogging, reading and leaving comments on my blog space. My pictures, blog logo and all tags to my blog was all over my Whatsapp space.
I even had some folks texting my happy birthday sef.
Haba, how many time I wan celebrate birthday nau?

Fam! I am really honoured by your tremendous support and how y’all helped me grow through this year.

August/September

I really can’t remember any peculiar stuff happen on this month.
It was just vibes, the blood of Jesus and me always by my keyboard while I expected ASUU’s strike to be called off.

Worked on a few projects.

My creative juice was drying up, Tolani’s problems were getting to me. I needed a break and I unintentionally went off blogging.

Goodnews: I’m resuming in January!🕺

I’m so sorry!🥺❤

October

The EndSars protests. The Lekki massacre. The nation was in turmoil. My mental health was in tatters.

So grateful for my friends who were always there. Was a terrible period.

November.

Usual vibes. Tried reviving my full time writing life but naah I just whiled time away. I hated it, but couldn’t help myself. Prayed about it. Even tried watching movies to spark some creative fire.

Soon started another project.

December

Last month of the year. Yayyyy!🕺🕺💃

Was almost my best month. Last minute God’s blessings. Yesss.
Started off the month with attending a Conference organized by the South West caucus of the Nigerian association of Medical Students. Made new friends, met some of my online meets, and had real, real fun.

Was a great time. No doubts.

Plays Tribettt’s Already Won🕺🕺

I got nominated for the Young Writers And Creatives Award in the Short Story and flash fiction category😭😭

Omo mheen, forget it, I didn’t expect it, was so emotionallllll. Felt really honoured and humbled to have my art get me recognized. I’m more than grateful to y’all who nominated.

And that’s it, new goals made. Plans for short stories, guest posts and yes, a film written by yours truly on paper.

I can’t be more thankful to you all for journeying with me through the year. I couldn’t have such progress without you.

Your push for new episodes, your thumbs up comments, recommendations to friends and all.
I sincerely don’t take them for granted.

Books.

Read about 22 books this year, and meehn they really factored in my rapid growth and personal development.
Learnt a whole lot ranging from stuffs pertaining to the Christian Faith, personal development and storytelling.

Take a peep at my list.

Music

Here’s a shout out to all the artistes whose songs stood by me through 2021. You’re all the real MVPs.

Album of the year.
Chandler Moore — Feelings

Movies.

Having movies to spark up my creativity is one thing I do and do so well.
Yo, a shout to y’all who had a contribution to those movies.

Movie of the year — Just Mercy

Would love to hear from you in comment section too. Kindly leave ’em comments.
Happy New Year in Advance folks.
Let’s do more in 2021!💃

And who is he that says it is not surplus?
Y’all kindly help share my blog link around. We’re coming bigger in 2021!🔥

Merry Christmas!

Hey friends!❤

Happy Holidays. Wishing you a Christmas that’s merry and bright!

Have a fantastic day. See you on 31st for a new post.

With Love,

Blalock Writes.

Christmas film recommends.
1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
2. The Snowman (1982)
3. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
4. Home Alone (1990)
5. Gremlins (1984)
6. Bad Santa (2003)
7. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
8. Black Christmas (1974)
9. Christmas in Connecticut (1945) .
10. The Polar Express (2004)

TOLANI – EPISODE 25

Copyright © 2020 by Blalock

“All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.”

Oh my God! You guys are here again😍💃. Thank you so much for journeying with me this far, I really do appreciate it and don’t and would never take it for granted❤.
Also, my deepest apologies to y’all. My inability to release new episodes has been due to circumstances beyond my control and to make up for it, I’ll try to release two new episodes next week.

***

3:00am.

Biting back a scream, a chill went through her as she sprawled out of her bed, with her chest rising and falling with rapid breaths. She’d just had a nightmare.
Making a steeple of her fingers as she tried to snap those thoughts out of her, Tolani slowly crawled back to sleep, she clutched her pillow tight as memories of her being assaulted rushed through her mind. There she laid, glancing up at the ceiling with tears running down her cheeks as she felt empty inside.

***

Taking a glance at the wall clock hanging off her wall, she realised the time to be 6:30am. Rising up, she made her way to the bathroom attached to the visitor’s room, pushed the door open with her weight as she turned the tap open: the water gushing out, as it made a brassy sound. She cupped some water, washed her face, sighed as she strutted out and jammed the door behind her, making her way to the sitting room. Settling to sit on a chair, she crossed her legs and stretched to pick up a Christian romance novella she’d left on the centre table the day before. She twirled through the pages and brought the book close to her nose, to inhale deeply, the irresistible smell of a new book.

“Tolani” Chinyere called out as she strolled into the sitting room, snapping her out of her book adventure.

“Yess dear?” She replied faking a smile, “Good morning”

“Good morning” Chinyere said in a cheerful voice, “You don’t sound good”

“I’m Owk, C’mon!”

“Tolani, just tell me what are you hiding from me?”

“Ahan ahan, I am not hiding anything” She replied in a brittle voice, “See just leave me alone”

“Tolani, there’s something, tell me. Why do you want to keep this from me?”

“Sincerely there’s nothing” She said in a teary voice as tears formed on her eyes while she fought them back.

“Tolani” Chinyere grinned at her as she settled on the chair beside her, “Tell me everything please, I’m always here to help”

“O-oh-owk” She stammered, “I got raped weeks ago”

“JESUS?!!!” Chinyere screamed, “Tolani, why did you choose to keep this from me?” She said as she placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Don’t worry, I’m good now, I didn’t want to get you worried. I promise I am fine, healing already and pretty fast. Seen a therapist and a Doctor”

“Thank God, you would be just fine. That dickhead would not know peace! Godddd”

“See Chinyere just forget it. I’m good now” She said as she plastered on a smile.

“Tolani, you always amaze me!” Chinyere grinned as she put a straight face, “But have you reported to the police or anything?”

“See just leave the police out of this thing, do you see why I didn’t want to tell you?”

“I am sorry but…”

“Chi, there’s no but, I am good I promise” She said smiling widely, “Seriously now”

“Hmm, owk, if there’s any problem, please let me know”

“Small mummy yi sha” Tolani giggled, “I am really sorry for keeping it from you for this long, I would always open up from now”

Giggling she said, “Owkay ooh, Tolly Baby”

***

After they gobbled up some bread and egg for breakfast in silence, they got dressed in readiness of the hospital visit to see Musa, with Tolani replying her unreplied WhatsApp texts. Just then, a mail buzzed her phone. Clicking through she realised it to be a mail from Jimi Solade. It read:

Hello Tolani,

I sincerely can’t appreciate you enough. So yeahhh, I got to push out my first content to the internet today. I am really excited and so so grateful to you for being a part of my journey. I would also be glad if you could help check it out and send me your thoughts on it.
Here’s a link to my first post: gkfkd.wo.m

Thank you so, so, much!
Yours,
Jimi Solade.

Her mouth curving into a smile as she propped her chin on her hand, she thought on how best to reply him. Making a steeple of her fingers, she rushed typed:

Hello,

Thanks for the honour Jimi, I’d sure check it out. Congratulations once again!

Tolani.

She skimmed through and clicked send, ate her last slice of bread, turned to Chinyere whose gaze was fixed on her phone as she scrolled through posts on facebook with her food half finished in front of her, “Chinyere, won’t you finish your food?”

“Tolani, come and watch this comedy clip ooh” She amidst giggles as she shoved her phone across her face.

“Who is this guyyy?” Tolani said as she guffawed, “He is sooo funny, Baba say incredibly stupidious!”

“Asin ehenn” Chinyere laughed, “And the guy is upcoming ooh”

“Wow, what’s his name?”

“Brother Johnny!”

***

Not too long after, they were done eating and set to go. Tolani tucked a lock of hair under her ear as she gave her self a look on her phone’s screen while Chinyere twirled her hair as she picked up her hand bag.

“Omo see fine girl!” Chinyere yawped out, throwing her head back as she shifted from one foot to another.

“Awwwwn” Tolani crooned as she hugged herself.

“Sha don’t feel yourself too much” Chinyere grinned as she strolled up, and opening the door.

“Ehen ehen”

“So, yeah, off we go!” Chinyere said as Tolani strutted out of the house after which she turned the key in the lock to lock up the door.

“So, we’re heading to the amusement park after visiting Musa hun?”

“Yeah, sure!”

As they strolled up the Keke-Napep’s park, they sighted Segun walking down towards them with his hands jammed in his pockets. Seeing them also, he yelped out, “Oh mheen, you both look so, so amazing! Would you take me along too? lemme quickly change ooh”

“Go away joor!” Chinyere smirked as she bursted into a roll of laughter, with Tolani giggling too.

“Ehen, ehen, it is now like that abi?” Segun grinned.

“Shege!” Chinyere laughed, as she tucked a lock of hair under her ears, “Where are you coming from sef?”

“Went off to get a new pair of ear piece, the one I use previously stopped working”

“Ehyaah”

“Thank you ooh”

“See we don’t want to be late ooh, see you later”

“See you hun” Segun waved at them as they went off to board a trycycle.

“Byeeee” They greeted back animatedly.

***

Strolling up the male surgical ward, Chinyere pushed the door open and they strolled in.

Blurting out in unison as though they had it planned, “Musa” as they took in the sight of him lying on his hospital bed while he played with his phone with Amina sitting on a chair beside him.

“How are youuuu?” Tolani said in a voice soft with affection.

“I’m much more better now. Would be getting discharged on Monday” Musa said smiling as he sat up on the bed, “Thank you for coming”

“A-han, a-han, don’t mention joor”

“Ehen ehen” Miss grinned, “So, how’s your ‘Body, souls and spirit’? ”

“Fine ooh”

“How’s your writing too?”

“Fine ooh, I got shortlisted for a bloggers award too ooh”

“Osheyyy!” He said giving her a mock bow.

They giggled and chattered away while Chinyere and Amina conversed. Before they knew it, they’d spent about 2 hours there. Taking a glance at her phone to check the time, Tolani realised the time to be 1pm already. Just then, her phone rang, and checking the caller ID she realised it to be Kemi.

***

Please Continue Sharing, Liking and Leaving your Comments!💕

Kindly Share!, as I would be needing you in helping me increase my reading audience❤
AND YESSS, PLEASEE SUBSCRIBE🙏🙌

JUST SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BLOG UNTIL YOU SEE THE “FOLLOW-VIA-MAIL” BOX!!!

-enter your email address in the box
-click follow
-go to your email and confirm your subscription in your emails and voila!, you have those amazinggg stories popping your email weekly!!🔥

Simple huh? Please don’t forget to subscribe😉 Love y’all❤

***

Love and Peace❤
Blalock Writes

Editor: Shuaib Simbiat
©CollegeAfrican
17/10/2020

ANTICIPATE!!! EPISODE 26

TOLANI – EPISODE 24

Copyright © 2020 by Blalock

“All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.”

***

Touching her hand to her heart, she took three steps backwards as she watched the last passenger hop into the bus with the next bus waiting on the line yanking the door of his bus open, and screaming on top of his lungs, “AGEGE AGEGE!!”

Letting out a huge breath, she ambled into the bus, crossing her ankles in front of her as she settled to sit.

In no time, after calling out for more passengers the bus was soon full and ready to take off. Kick starting the bus, as he turned the key in ignition, the bus gave a shudder, a pause and a zoom of an old engine thrown open. “E bere sin san owo yin ooh” The driver seemingly in his late 50s with white hairs announced, requesting them to begin paying their fares.

“Owaaa ooh” Tolani yelled out on getting to her destination, as the driver swerved on bringing the car to a halt.

Hopping out of the bus, she crossed the road in a regular lagosian daredevilry and afterwards hailed down an Okada rider, “OKADA!!”

“Where you dey go Madam?” The Okada rider asked as he gripped the handle of his scooter gruffly.

“Do you know Mama Shukura’s place in the Estate? Just behind her house” Tolani disclosed.

“Yes, Its #150 ooh”

“On top wetin” Tolani said as her forehead furrowed.

“Petrol don cost now”

“Owk, #70 abeg”

“You these people sha, no wahala” He said with Tolani climbing up his bike, as he kicked started it, and zoom, they were on their way to her house with the warm breeze of the afternoon sweeping over her face as she tried to snap out the assault memories off her head.

“Here ko?” The Okada rider said in an Hausa intonation, jolting her out of her reverie as he brought his scooter to a halt in front of her house. “Ooh yess, thank you” She replied him in a tired voice then she climbed down his bike, paid him, and strolled down her house.

Wheww! She smacked her head as she removed the plate of food out of her bag, and flung her bag across the sofa as she sunk into the chair; tore off the cover of the plate as she gobbled up a spoon of fried rice. Just then, she felt her phone buzz in her blazer’s pocket. Shoving her hand in her pocket, she grabbed her phone, checking it through she realised it to be a mail.

Toggling through into her email, she realise it to be a mail from Jimi Solade. Wow! Jimi. It’s being a really long while he sent a mail. Toying with a lock of hair, she clicked through and read:

Hello,

I must say the few weeks I have spent under your tutelage has been an enriching and enlightening phase in my life. Thank you so much ma! So, I finally got to create a lifestyle blog (after a long while of deliberating on if I should do) in which I would be leaving my rantings on random issues.
You made this happen Tolani through your push and writs. Thank you so, so much. I sincerely don’t take this for granted.

Yours,
Jimi Solade.

Touching a hand to her heart, as fresh energy filled her, she dropped her half finished food on the centre table, took a deep breath, and typed hurriedly :

Hello Jimi Solade,

Your words are kind, I really appreciate them, and my hearty congratulations on your blog!
We’ve got a long way together, thanks for the honour too.

Tolani.

She skimmed it through, clicked send, and took a deep breath, as she stole a look at her wrist watch, lo and behold, it was 4:30pm already. Ooh man, she wouldn’t want to go late ooh.

Picking up her food, with her eyes widening, she rushed ate, rose up, as she took long strides into her bedroom to take a shower. In no time, she was in the bathroom, with the water from the shower cascading down as it went down with the stress of the day. In a flash, she was out, wore a jean and T-shirt, rubbed some liniment, took a look at the mirror and sprayed cologne.

Closing the door of the room shut behind her with her bag of clothes for the weekend in her hand, she strolled out of the house.
***

“Tolly Baby!” Chinyere blurted out on hugging Tolani as she strolled in.

“Chi Chi Love” Tolani crooned as they made their way to the main entrance.

“Ahan ahan”

Tolani narrowing her eyes, as they strolled into the sitting room, noticed a man seemingly in his early 30s, seated on the cushion chair in the sitting room with his legs crossed as he scrolled through tweets on his phone.

Chinyere spotting the confusion on Tolani’s face, chuckled, as she tapped her playfully. “Ooh, he’s a friend. Segun, meet my Bestie, Tolani!”

Rising up from his sit, on noticing them, a smile tugged at his lips, as he stretched his hand for an handshake, “Hello Tolani, nice to meet you”

“Tolani, this’ Segun, my neighbor, he’d just come to help me check out my generator ooh, that thing has been giving me issues for about three days now” Chinyere explained.

“Ooh,..” Tolani said in a level way as she settled into a chair.

“So yeahhh, Tolani, Chinyere told me about you” Segun said in a friendly voice as he sat down, “She said you own a blog. I’d read through last night and mheen, I was wowed!

“Hun hun, really? She said as smile danced on her lips.

“Yess, you write amazingly well!”

“Thank youuu, so do you write too?”

“Aha aha, I have left that part of my life for a while now, I used to until well, life happened”

“Hun hun, really?” Tolani said in curious tone, “Tell me more”

“Yesso! I used to back in the University until I soon got busy with work on graduating”

They made more chit chats as Chinyere excused them to go off to check the food she was cooking in the kitchen.

Not too long Segun called Chinyere to tell her that he would be going, as herself and Tolani both accompanied him to the gate.

“Chinyere! And you did not tell me that you have gotten a new bobo. Is that life?” Tolani said in a friendly manner after Segun had gone, “Is that how we are doing now?”

“Fish! New Bobo kor” She grinned, “Segun is just a friend ooh”

“Ehen, ehen, you have joined the just-a-friend gang so?” Tolani said. “Na so e dey start now”

“Go away joor” Chinyere smirked as she gave a half shrug.

“Ehen, the guy is cool sha, knows how to make productive conversations”

“You are the one that knows ooh” Chinyere said as she opened the door.

“Don’t pretend joor”

“Abeggi, Ehen, ehen, about the Lois girl, I’m really sorry about how I reacted, I’m so so sorry.

“Ahan ahan, it’s no problem now” Tolani said, “Anyone would have done that too”

“Thank you!” She said in a voice soft with affection, “The beans should be ready, lemme go and cut the plantain for crying”

“Osheyyy! Our Chef, lerrus go and see what the Lord has started doing in your life” She said as she gaily followed her as her hands dangling at her sides.

As they entered the kitchen, Tolani felt her phone buzz and checking out what was up, she realised it to be a text from Kemi.

It read:
Hello Tolani,
I really don’t know how much to express my gratitude for your coming today. It was almost as though you came down to take away my heartache.
PS: Kayode and mum are just beside while I type this text. We all appreciate you. Would call you tomorrow.

With Love,
Kemi.

***

Man! I really can’t appreciate you all enough for journeying with me this longgg! Thank you so, so much!❤❤
Please Continue Sharing, Liking and Leaving your Comments!💕

Please Share!, as I would be needing you in helping me increase my reading audience❤
AND YESSS, PLEASEE SUBSCRIBE🙏🙌

JUST SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BLOG UNTIL YOU SEE THE “FOLLOW-VIA-MAIL” BOX!!!

-enter your email address in the box
-click follow
-go to your email and confirm your subscription in your emails and voila!, you have those amazinggg stories popping your email weekly!!🔥

Simple huh? Please don’t forget to subscribe😉 Love y’all❤

***

Love and Peace❤
Blalock Writes

Editor: Shuaib Simbiat
©CollegeAfrican
28/09/2020

ANTICIPATE!!! EPISODE 25

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