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BN Prose: Till Death Do Us Part by Jibola L



Anniversaries are wonderful mostly because they remind you of how far you’ve come. When the venture — in this case, a marriage — is still fresh, it’s something to look forward to.  A couple of years down the line, complacency and boredom set in, and what used to be a special day becomes just another day. Unless you’re Funmilola. “L…” she sang, “…is for the way you look at me“. At 10 years, the novelty would never die. “O…” she continued, as she and got out of the bath “is for the only one I see“.  She smiled thoughtfully as she toweled her body.

To her, it wasn’t even because Bade was a breath of fresh air, or that at 32 she had given up on men and the idea of marriage in itself. It had more to do with finding love and companionship and then realizing that all the crap she’d been fed growing up thanks to Disney and Harlequin really didn’t come up to scratch beside the real deal.

Ultimately, it was about finding a friend whose ears never got too full to hear her rants and then miscellaneous gossip about people he hardly even knew. It was also about having that friend be a lover fully committed to pleasuring her body. And finally, having that friend and lover be a husband; providing, guiding and protecting.

She looked at herself in profile in the mirror, her yellow sun dress gently caressed her curves, her face curving up in a smile. Bade would be pleased. Together, they were a bundle of contrasts; where he was outgoing, she preferred to be quiet; he was as light skinned as she was dark – Funmi Coal, he fondly called her. She smiled as she moved to the kitchen where she had already packed his favorite – White Amala and Efo Riro, in a cooler.

As she walked over to the bus-stop, she knew he would have forgotten. She had gotten past being angry with him over it. It had even become amusing, watching him act like he’d remembered and he had some master plan. She would then give him a hard time, a little and then laugh as he smothered her face with kisses. As the Ojuelegba bound bus from Ikeja breezed past bus stop after bus stop, her thoughts drifted to the day the journey officially began. You would imagine they’d be faded but they were still fresh in her head. He had pulled a surprise on her with the vows. Rather than take the standard ones, he’d had an arrangement with the clergy-man. A stroke of panic had hit her when his words weren’t matching the pamphlet she held in her hands. She looked up to see him smile at her as he said those words…

I, Bade Olayinka , choose you”. His voice cracked with emotion and then he paused. “I choose you Funmilola, as my wife, my partner in life and my one true love and my best friend. I will love you because I was made for you. For all of my days, I will cherish our friendship. I will trust you and honor you, I will laugh with you and cry with you. I will love you faithfully and you alone, through the best and the worst, through the difficult and the easy, in sickness and in health for all my life – till death parts us.

It was all she could do to not skip her own vows and just kiss him over and over. The tears she shed softly on the bus, in remembrance of that event, were a shadow of the ones that streamed down her cheeks at the altar. The conductor’s voice brought her out of her reverie. “All passenger!” he called out, signalling that they’d reached the final bus stop. When the driver had stopped long enough for her to get off, she walked in the general direction of Yaba on Ojuelegba road.

Wrapped up in her thoughts, a gentle breeze toyed playfully with the hem of her dress, but if she was aware that the wind was about to render her indecent, she gave no indication. She just trudged on, her chin tilted just a tad with a small smile on her face and her eyes still glassy with emotion.

Further down from the road from where Funmilola walked with purpose to celebrate the anniversary with her husband, a small crowd was gathered around a mad man. Like the many others in Lagos, people hardly cared that they were not in an institution. He had the requisite loony ensemble – shaggy hair and beard, perennially dirty clothes, crazed look in the eyes, and a raffia rope tied in a windsor knot around his neck. He was holding court by the side of the road, with the people hanging on to his every word. The older folk in the crowd were laughing,, the kids giggling endlessly while others just looked on with pity.

Eeeeeeeeeee is ekwal to EM CEE SQUARED! Not MC like Master of Ceremonies o ehen! M for mass, c for speed! I know speed is supposed to be S but you know light is a fast, sharp bad guy so his own speed gast2be different! Ehn? Question? Whose mass are we measuring? Ah I have noooo clue! Class dismissed!

Professor of Life!” Someone in the crowd called out.

Quiet! Quiet! I’m on to something here!” He said, seeming to be  deep in thought. He looked out into the crowd, and noticed someone on the edge of the people gathered. The people began to scatter for fear he might have taken an interest in them.

Funmilola mi…” He called out softly. The crazed look in his eyes seemed to have departed, to be replaced by a look of recognition and tenderness. She just stood there, frozen. This crazy man, her crazy man, her husband. The dirt and grime meant nothing to her as he pulled her close to him.

He had walked out of the house one morning while he was being nursed to health, the aftermath of an Okada accident, brain damaged from the impact on his head. They told them at the hospital that he may or may not get better  but they concluded with “Take him home

He walked up to her. He said nothing, neither did she. Her jaw was clenched as she tried hard to hold back the tears. Four years on and she kept hoping he would get better. The first two years had been a war in trying to get him to stay in a psychiatric hospital long enough to be treated. He always managed to break away and roam the streets. The hospitals were filled to capacity anyway, so nobody cared.

He sat there on the pavement and she sat facing him, without the slightest hesitation. As if she suddenly remembered the cooler, “I brought you food” She said. He nodded. She brought out the bowl of White Amala and the Efo riro. He never stopped looking at her eyes; while she did everything she could to avoid his gaze. He soon focused his attention on the food, eating with both hands, not minding whether the morsels of Amala got caught on his beard or if the stew splashed on Funmilola’s yellow dress. She just sat watching him.

He stopped suddenly, mid-way through the meal. “Happy Anniversary, baby” He reached for her hand with his soiled hands. “I love you…. A thousand times, I love you. With all of me, I love you. With all I am and all I own, I love you. You’re the best thing to have ever happen to me. In all the world and the galaxies, you’re the most beautiful. Ayanfe mi, Eleyinju ege, ma ke mo” he said, smearing the tears on her cheeks with his grimy hands

Olowo ori mi…” Her voice betraying her, she cracked.

Funmi stop crying. It will attract the aliens!” He said as he stood up suddenly. “The aliens! The aliens! I have to go! Baby, I have to go! Oh my god! I’m going to be late for that meeting! The aliens will make me late!” He was there, sharing a moment with her, and then the next, he was gone. He ran like the hounds of hell were at his heels. For the first time she noticed the crowd was still there. Their entertainment replaced with such sadness had them looking at her with pity. Soon they remembered places they had to be and one by one, they walked away from the scene. They were going to share the touching story of the mad man’s caring wife when they got home.

There’s this thing about grief that makes you forget awareness, so Funmilola kept walking. She had no idea when she had gotten on an Ikeja bound bus or even when it had started moving. She could only see the world through the fish bowl of her tears. Till death do us part… That vow echoed over and over in her head. A vow requires strength, a quality she felt she had grown weary of. At the front of the bus, the driver wondered what could cause the beautiful woman beside him to shed so many tears so freely.

Till death do us part…

The driver was too focused on the road to notice she had opened the door. He only became aware when she had thrown it wide open and hesitated only a second to mumble something crazy about death and freedom and then she leaped out. The Peugeot behind them could not swerve away from her body soon enough.

At that instant, a mad man running away from the aliens in his head stopped suddenly. In that moment, he realized there was something off about him. It wasn’t just his hair, his clothes, or how he smelled. Something was off. Contrary to what he’d thought, he really was mad. He was the crazy one, not everybody else. Just before the shame that comes with such a realization dawned on him, he remembered her. His wife. Funmilola mi. He knew she’d be sick with worry.

He turned back. It would be a long walk, but he would find his way home.

July is a special month for us at BellaNaija. This year, as we celebrate our 6th anniversary, we hope to bring something special to our dear readers. Today’s BN Prose is the first of five anniversary themed stories you would read this month. We look forward to sharing more interesting features with you.



  1. Laila Ikeji

    July 3, 2012 at 11:11 am


  2. bundle

    July 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

    i just shed a tear

  3. Turn turn turner

    July 3, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I’m a bit confused…did the Peugeot hit her? Is there a suggestion that her death would result in his restored sanity?

    In any case, I’m deeeply moved by the concept of this prose. I’ve said my own vows but never quite grasped what I’d have to do to show they were not just words…and now I read a story like this and I’m thinking long and hard…coud I ever be a “Funmilola mi”?

    Lord give us the grace

    • Anon

      July 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

      I asked myself that exact question…can i? May God not allow us see such evil…

    • ify

      July 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm


    • deema

      July 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      amen ooo!!

  4. DDD

    July 3, 2012 at 11:30 am

    *yawns*hungry o!tears rolling down my eyes,I tot twas hunger sha…des piece is so touching,till death do us part

  5. efe

    July 3, 2012 at 11:31 am

    So touching!!!

  6. Lue

    July 3, 2012 at 11:36 am

    SMH……………if she had just waited for one more day…………..
    too sad.
    happy anniversary BN, thanks for all the wonderful things you bring to us

  7. Marie

    July 3, 2012 at 11:37 am

    These proses on bellanaija are just simply breathtaking. This one is no exception. Amazing piece!

  8. icex

    July 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Such a touching she died&d madness left job

  9. Married

    July 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I just cried a cup full of tears 🙁
    There is something about making vows in marriage that changes you. No matter what happens, you will always be intertwined with the person. They will always have a profound effect on your happiness or sadness.

  10. Berry!

    July 3, 2012 at 11:44 am


  11. S

    July 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I’m utterly speechless…vows are not just words, they are a life line between the two who have chosen to utter them. A chord that can only be broken by death and nothing else. Lord, pls help us realize the truth in this as we look forward to eternity with or already share vows with that someone, Amen.

  12. MizV

    July 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Awww! this made me shed a tear. this story has many lessons. lessons in waiting and patience and hope. No matter what keep hoping against hope. if only she had waited one more day. What will be her fate now in the hereafter? sob.. well thank God its just fiction. Phew!

  13. doll

    July 3, 2012 at 11:51 am

    *sobs *this is so so sad.

  14. Nomy

    July 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Goose bumps egbu o mu! Wonderful story! That said, please look at the 1st line, it is wrong!

  15. Person pikin

    July 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    This is quite long ooooh!
    I will come back durng my lunch time to read it

  16. Person pikin

    July 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Ok I got tempted to read…..
    All I have to say is wow!!!! ….and for all who are eager to get married…. IT’S A VOW YOU ARE TAKING! MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY FOR IT

  17. Miss NIRA

    July 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    OMG!! *tear-filled eyes*

  18. Abs

    July 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I’ve pledged i’ll do all that I can to keep the novelty in my marriage and two years down the line, I love him even more because he makes it so easy for me to do so. The secret is being careful in choosing the kind of person u marry. It shouldn’t be all about money and the pressure to settle. We all deserve to be happy and this is what I wish everyone I come across.

    • myladymo

      July 11, 2012 at 1:08 am

      Amen sweetie…may you and your hubby keep loving eachother in peace,happiness and health forever.IJN.Amen

  19. dammiedee

    July 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    awwwwww, more ink to ur Pen, Jibola. this is a classic. Happy anniversary BN!

  20. Priscy

    July 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    so sad and touching…i’m in the office but can’t help shedding a tear. touching too…I’ve not said any vow, but dis just made me realize how strong a marriage vow should be. thank u BN for this

  21. Ronnie

    July 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Woooow! Great read and so touching.

  22. Bee

    July 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Oh God,im in tears.wat a touching story.

  23. sunshine

    July 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Gawd!! u r gifted! abeg! abeg!abeg!

  24. NICKY

    July 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    OMG,its so touching.tears running down my cheeks.i just thought of my husband.what will i do if such shld happen to him>God forbids dt.such a caring wife.did the car actually hit her?i’m so confused here.nice piece though.

  25. zuu

    July 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    eyah… sad….dont even know what to say…..may God give us the grace…but may our eyes never see such evil…

  26. ennie

    July 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    wow!!beautiful piece.

  27. 'Goke

    July 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm


  28. chika

    July 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    That is the sweetest but yet the saddest thing i’ve read in a while.

    • d

      July 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      exactly!! so sweet yet so sad.. made me cry .
      nice work jibola.

  29. ada

    July 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    this is so touching, it unravels the sanctity of marriage which is quickly being lost in our world. God bless the writer, simply beautiful

  30. onlooker

    July 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    This piece is for all the “I WANT TO MARRY, I WANT TO MARRY” people out there. Sit your asses down and THINK carefully about the significance of your vows.

    • Nike

      July 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      ABI OOO!!! Please tell them! They will just be shouting and they do not understand anything about the institution they are entering into

  31. Lami

    July 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    This is beautifully written…sad but beautiful.

  32. omolere

    July 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Very touching story.

  33. ohwlahdoonie

    July 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    SO, u just made me shed tears @ work for dt matter…..
    its a very beautiful piece….
    it rily does take d Grace of God in everything we do……
    its nt easy, bt i say to myself ALWAYS…….its a test.
    God wouldn’t shove things we cant handle in our faces….He expects us to overcome them….
    its nt easy …but only His Grace saves.
    a very beautiful piece…

  34. Folake

    July 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Ugh I cried for this man! So touching

  35. iruoma

    July 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Wow wat a sad story, I hv tears running down ma face.

  36. April Laugh

    July 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Oh wow! I’m deeply in shock at the moment! Wow! Well done Jibola! I’m not married, living the fabulous single life and consciously noting down ‘I WILL NOT SETTLE’! Told my friends yesterday that I’ll rather settle for a Fairly Used car than a MAN. It’s not worth it because at the end of the day whatever reason you married for asides LOVE will eventually fade! When situation arise only LOVE will make the sailing smooth. Happy 6th Anniversary BN! 🙂

  37. EKA

    July 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    It took her death for his sanity2 be restored?! Life is not fair mehn 🙁

  38. princesszee

    July 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    OMG, i cant stop this tears, this is by far d most touching piece i’ve read in a long time

  39. Jumoke

    July 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    This was too sad!!! wow! I love bellanaija! you guys always bring out touching stories!

  40. Onazare Olatt

    July 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    This is so sad…And I know someone who loved like that…

    • d

      July 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      you do?????

  41. Ada

    July 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    i cried literarily. touching story

  42. Nonye

    July 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    this just made me think about my vows again….deep!

  43. miss chy

    July 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    this piece is very prepares those of us wishing to tread the marital journey, food for thought.marriage goes beyond what we see on tv or the movies.It entails patience, pain and love.I Shudder at what Funmi went through.Not every lady would stay that long to endure a an euphoria with a mad man.Nevertheless, patience is the key.Too bad not everyone has that virtue.

  44. Adura

    July 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Wow. Love it!
    Very talented writer. From her happy memories to the revelation of his current state to hoping that they’d have a miraculously happy ending. Although that wasn’t the case, it is a GREAT write up.

  45. sewa

    July 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    wowwwwwww!!!…i had tears streaming down…sooo sad..

  46. layour

    July 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    omg,this is so touching…..niice work there

  47. olateju

    July 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm


  48. Tunmise

    July 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    oh Lord, if only she had waited just a day more….Lord help me.

    • Purpleicious Babe

      July 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      THAT exactly what she has been doing for the last few yrs.. waiting one more day.. it just so happens that day was the day she made the decision and he happened to be well.

      Its a lesson to learn… lets stop wishing it didnt happen. it did.. and now LETs appreciate the concept…

      WOW… amazing, talented and exceptional writer Jibola.. Very captivating, intriguing and ultimately breath taking.

      I loved every piece and thoroughly enjoyed the surprises. Wow u are deep and creative.

      I LOVE IT.

      Thanks BN for sharing.. xxx Happy Anniversary.. well done for the hardwork. RESPECT. God is good.

  49. slimgirl

    July 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Lovely piece Jibola. U just made me cry at work. Its so sad yet inspiring. Inspiring that a love like this can actually exist. It jolted me to realize the gravity of the marital vows especially as life can sometimes dish things we never envisaged at the start of a marriage. May we never see such things in our lives but if we do, may we always remember the vows we took are through sickness and in health…

  50. Ivie

    July 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    not fair…….it should have ended with *and they lived happily ever after*

  51. mee

    July 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    my hubby showed me a pic on my wedding day 15 yrs ago and it all came flooding back my vows, hubby, happiness and love, glad I chose you hon!

  52. nickyminaj

    July 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    love u jibola over and over again. i think our young generation need this reminder that vows are not just words but promises. for better for worse does not exclude somethings or permits them . Till death do us part rilly should be that.

  53. BeeT

    July 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Oh, gosh!!!!

  54. creamy

    July 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    wow…., i have tears in my eyes, even in his insane state he remembered her and how much he loves her and she loved him no matter what,sigh

    • myladymo

      July 11, 2012 at 1:19 am

      Love when its true is so powerful.

  55. bonita

    July 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    beautiful piece…sad but inspiring. Am about to take that step and its really an eyeopener for me. thanks jibola

  56. Funmbi

    July 3, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    ‘Till death do us part’……….beautiful piece

  57. Linda

    July 3, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Awwwww nooooo! nooo Jibola! Please no!!
    So touching and so profound, it calls to take a time and meditate on the meaning of the covenant called “Mariage”. You were brave Funmi, just wish ou had held a bit longer.
    Oooh *shedding tears*

  58. flicky

    July 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Wat a wonderful story so touching,I cried deeply for all d fairytale stories peeps tink always happen in marriages.dis was a fab piece.I love happy endings thou

  59. debbie egwuogu

    July 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

    *sobs* so sad.

  60. Nana

    July 4, 2012 at 11:42 am


  61. geek room

    July 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    sad end to a beautiful love story…

  62. God dey

    July 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Finally a nice piece on BN!

  63. ruby

    July 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    This is soooooo sad…just couldnt control my tears

  64. Pd

    July 4, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Oluwa ooo….see me crying ……very touching….hmmmmm … sha!

  65. Deep

    July 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm


  66. febi

    July 5, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Aaaaaaawwwwww!!! *between tear* sooo touching & pathetic!

  67. febi

    July 5, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Aaaaaawwww!!! *between tears* soooo touching & pathetic.

  68. saphya

    July 5, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Amazing….if only she endured just one day extra 🙁

  69. emjay

    July 5, 2012 at 11:04 am

    i already stole d vow until i continued reading and felt d pain.marriage is not for the faint-hearted. GOD bless you Jibola L. God heal our land and our pain.

  70. yinka

    July 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm


  71. meee

    July 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    this is kinda scary cos my name is funmilola…….

  72. meee

    July 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    this is kinda scary cos my name is funmilola…….

  73. della

    July 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Amazingly touching… can’t help but shed tears. For me it will be till death do us part.

  74. Nouvella Cue

    July 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    This is 2 bad 4 an emotional gal like me 2 read. Read this in d office & there i was shedding buckets of tears, every1 askn wat’s wrong, my bosses even coming down 4rm d top floor to find out wat’s causing my tears. Yet i can’t tell them b’cos i sound so stupid.
    Pls, did funmi die? If she did, i kinda viciously hope d guy doesn’t regain his sanity or he gets killed also. B’cos i feel deep down, it ain’t fair, he becomes normal & starts a new life with anoda woman. Toooooooooooo bad.

  75. dang!

    July 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    That was deep mehn! too damn deep.

  76. faith

    July 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    so touching….wow!!

  77. Emo

    July 10, 2012 at 12:18 am

    I can hear my heart break into a million pieces for them both. So very sad…

  78. ify

    July 10, 2012 at 6:49 am

    na wa cant you people every write happy prose…….why do you think a story won’t be good without a sad ending ehn……smdh

  79. bashira

    July 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    very touching story,*sobbing*.May God give me the strength to be like Funmi bcos in reality it takes only the grace of God.

  80. Ola

    July 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    ok this is goood.. wow! like some1 said earlier.. “marraige is not for d faint-hearted”

  81. oyin

    July 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    This is the most emotional piece I have read this year, cant believe I shared a tear…who can ever be like funmilola? its requires God’s grace

  82. Junie

    July 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    His insanity may return when he realises what has happened to her.

  83. Vordina

    July 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Funmi is 1 in a million, I knw of a woman that threaten 2 leave her husband cos he lost his job & even went as far as selling their deep frezzer to abort the pregnancy she was carrying.

  84. funmziee

    July 16, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    woow this was amazing I cried so hard. I didn’t even no when I had started. This has made me realize the more how powerful vows are.

  85. not important

    July 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    this story is truly sad and touching. however for those that have attempted to belabour the point that marriage is till death do us part and so on and so forth, please let us understand that the till death do us part’ is for when the good lord decides to call us home and not when we no longer can bear our burden that we make the decision to end it all. sometimes, we are just not strong enough to endure or hold on for that just that one more day. i commend funmilola, i envy her strength and courage and tolerance and patience but the one thing i will never do is end my life when it gets too unbearable especially if it involves another human being. and before i get the comments, i am talking from experience, i chose life. Ichose to walk away and bear my sorrows from afar. For all those who are married or about to get married, always remember your point of endurance, build your trusted support network who will help you bear your burden or uplift youand do not focus on naysayers and under no circumstances must you go beyond your breaking point otherwise you will end up dead or mentally ill or suffer a long term illness like depression etc and always remember to ask God for help he will always without fail meet you at your point of need and not always in ways you expect.

  86. mz_nerd

    July 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    her death cured his madness? now thats another africa magic ish!

  87. Damilola Aderiye

    July 30, 2012 at 11:52 am

    This is a beautiful piece! Brilliant.

  88. Henny

    August 2, 2012 at 11:51 am

    tears rolling down my cheek……………so touching and wonderful piece

  89. Aramide

    September 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Love is a wonderfull thing to experience. for those who are able to, i give glory to God. However, it looks to me like the characters in this prose had once taken an oath before taking their vow at the alter before God. if not why would the husband become sane after the wife death.

  90. thelma

    March 5, 2013 at 11:01 am

    LOVELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!.I CRIED..

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