As the rain came pelting down, I just stood there soaking it all up. I could feel people staring at me as they hurried pastto the safety of shelters. I could only imagine the thoughts going through their minds,

“Is this one mad?”

“Must be in the early stages, she still has clean clothes on and shoes too!”

“Where is her family? They had better come and pick her up before she degenerates”

“What a wicked world this is, such a beautiful lady”

And so on they must be thinking. But I cared less as I just stood there with outstretched arms, willing the rain to wash me clean. Why did I go there? I saw the signs, why didn’t I stop, but like the proverbial stubborn dog bound to get lost, I ignored the hunter’s whistle.

Yimika was the most handsome man I had ever set my eyes on; I still wonder how he noticed me. That wasn’t one of my best days, as I had hurried out of the house without making my face up. I didn’t want to miss the bus, but I did eventually and that’s how he came into my life. Why didn’t I leave the house early? Now as I look back I realize my tardiness brought him my way. I felt too lazy to wake up to the sound of my alarm, hence my getting to the bus stop late, and my meeting Yimika.

As I stood at the bus stop lamenting my fate, a light blue BMW 3 series pulled up to me. My first instinct was to step back, but as I did, the person in the car wound down the glass and I came face to face with the most charming smile on the most handsome face I had ever come across. All my resistance fell at that moment; my legs felt like jelly, and the only thing I remember after that was getting out of the car outside my office with his card in my hand and a promise to call him. I couldn’t recall giving him my number until I got a call from him later that evening. He asked if he could take me to see a movie – thankfully the cinema wasn’t far from both our offices. Warning signals started blaring, but I completely ignored them thinking to myself “what could possibly happen in a cinema full of other people?”

It was quite an enjoyable date; apart from the movie, which was very interesting, Yimika was great company. I didn’t even notice time fly past and like the gracious gentleman he seemed to be, he offered to drop me off at home, which further endeared him to me.

We met several times after that, and our lunch dates became a ritual we had to observe each day. On days when I couldn’t see him for lunch because he was too busy, I always felt uneasy, like a part of me was missing. I knew I was falling in love with a man I knew next to nothing about, but I loved it. He was gracious, nice to a fault and really good to look at. I allowed myself a free fall into love, and it seemed it was mutual so I didn’t give a second thought to it. Trouble started when I asked to know where he lived. He hesitated and then tried to change the subject. It was all strange to me but since he didn’t wear a wedding band I was sure he wasn’t married and he always talked about his mother, so I knew he still lived at home with her. I concluded his family must not like me but he’d assured me that wasn’t the case.

Since I had fallen hopelessly in love with him by now, I didn’t bother asking to be taken to his house again. I was content with him knowing my family and they loved him too. Each time my mum brought up the subject of his family, I always tactfully avoided giving her a straight answer.

On this day I got to work as usual, longing for lunch break and my Yimika to show up. I was especially excited since it was our first year anniversary and I couldn’t wait to celebrate it with him. He was my prince in every way, the defender of my virtue; never demanded for sex, so different from the other guys I had dated who didn’t understand my stranglehold on my virginity, or my decision to save sex for marriage. He was the yang to my yin, my knight in shining armour, my love, my life. The wait was killing me. My boss even noticed and decided to put me out of my misery by allowing me leave way before lunch, giving me the rest of the day off (she thought I was coming down with something). I almost ran to our usual meeting point. I had a surprise for Yimika, so I made sure I got there before him, instructed the waiters on how to present my surprise, then settled down with a drink to await my love’s arrival.

After about thirty minutes I got scared; he wasn’t picking my calls and he hadn’t shown up. The clock kept ticking and after I had waited for three hours, I paid off the waiters and decided to go look for him in his office before they closed for the day. However he wasn’t there! I was told he didn’t show up. I tried to get his address but nobody had it and I was confused and close to tears. The receptionist must have felt sorry for me, because she got a hold of his employee data form and gave me his address. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had to see my Yimika, even if his family would throw me out. A glimpse of his face and the knowledge that he’s okay will do. I got to his house located in a posh area of Ikeja, the massive gate was intimidating, but I pressed the bell continually, undaunted. If Yimika was behind them, then I had to go in. The gate man asked me to wait while he got clearance for me to enter. But immediately I saw him retreat, I followed closely. Then I saw an older female version of my Yimika and I knew immediately she was his mum. As I hurried up to her, I immediately went down on both knees in greeting and politely asked to see Yimika. She looked really sad, like she had been crying, before I could finish my question fresh tears came to her eyes, and my heart almost skipped a beat.

“What must have happened to my Yimika? On our first anniversary”

“Lord please, don’t let this be. Let me wake up from this bad dream”

“You must be Ruby?” she asked “Any time he opens his eyes he calls your name”

“Yes, I am Ruby. Please what is wrong with Yimika? He was fine when I saw him yesterday”

“He didn’t tell you” she asked

“Tell me what?”

“Come into the house”. As I followed her into the house, all sorts of thoughts flashed through my mind, “what could he be keeping from me?”

Then I looked up and saw my darling, even lovelier in sleep, he had lots of IV tubes poking in and out of his body, for what I couldn’t tell. Did he have typhoid? Or tuberculosis? What could it be? He looked very pale, yet so peaceful in his sleep. His mother’s voice, however, jolted me back to the present.

“He’s dying. He has leukaemia”

“No! He couldn’t be!! He loves me!!!” I screamed

“What is leukaemia? No! No! No! You are mistaken!”

She embraced me then, held unto me till all my tears subsided. I thought my heart would break. He looked so helpless, so frail; all I wanted to do was hold him in my arms till he woke up. His mother told me that he had battled with it for most of his life and maybe he didn’t tell me because he wanted to lead a normal life. He fought to be normal; “I love him Lord please don’t take him away now”. I stayed by his bed side till he stirred, and truly my name was the first thing on his lips.


“I am here”

“I am so sorry; I couldn’t bear for you to feel sorry for me”

“Hush baby, I understand and I love you” he went right back to sleep, I couldn’t let go of his hand. I disturbed the host of heaven with my prayers. I implored God with every breath in me, but those were my Yimika’s last days. He would not be taken to any hospital, he didn’t want that, said he will die anyway and he wanted to do it surrounded by the people he loved. I held him close to my heart when he breathed his last, and for a split second our hearts beat as one. Yimika my love, my life died in my arms.

Here I am in the rain without the love of my life. Will I be able to find this love again? Will I be able to love any man like I did my Yimika? People can stare, people can whisper but till I am done soaking up heavens tears for my Yimika I will not leave this place.

34 thoughts on “Yimika” by Mercy Ilevbare (@efearue)

  1. You are one beautiful writer, i was captivated till the very end, sad ending… a few letters change and that guy could have been me, Yinka! Lol.

    1. Don’t you wish now. lol
      Of course, minus the leukemia.

  2. Thanks Yinka…truly a few letters out and a new one in will make it read Yinka instead..lol

  3. Meena-Adekoya (@Olajumoke-Adekoya)

    hauntingly tragic Mercy… i love the way you told the story but i hate the fact that you killed him off…but i forgive you…lol! on the whole i love the perfect symmetry of the story, i wish it was longer

  4. Awwww…thanks Meena, your compliment means a great deal to me because you are one of my favorite naijastories writer. Didn’t enjoy killing him believe me! Glad you have forgiven me though. As for the length…I wish it was too..lol

  5. there are few stories I read and wish I wrote; this is definitely one of them. MERCY! I’ll be looking out for you in the future. lovely work. here are some points for greatness.

  6. I am so humbled by your comment..Thanks for the points and for the push to write even better.

  7. you write so beautifully and real. my one tiny criticism though…if he had leukaemia, she would have noticed that he was a bit ill at least..considering that she also just saw him day before. but wow…heart-wrenching story nonetheless.

  8. I’m glad he wasn’t a cheater or liar or any of the usual things… sad story but that’s the point innit? Nice work Mercy.

  9. Thanks Addy, I will do a proper research next time, glad you liked it anyway.
    Thanks Ce Ug..Thankfully, He wasn’t any of those things you mentioned..lol

  10. Mercy, Wow Words are not coming out if I say this was a brillant short story,I would not be doing justice I loved everything about this story. I kinda was sad at the end however it was a so good that I forgive you for killing Yimka off.

    I do hope to read more of what you write. Very good.Thanks for the pleasure of reading this short story of yours.

  11. Think it was good someone noticed the issue of the sickness n how long he lived with it without her noticing. The story was great. It’s one of the stories me’s imagining the film version. Guess with his last breathe beating together with hers, she’ll forever have two heartbeats in one. She’d’ve kissed him though. Great work.

  12. @ Hajira.. Thanks lovey, I really don’t like killing off my characters so I definitely won’t do it again..lol.
    @ Jaywriter..Thanks and a movie with you as the director will be absolutely brilliant!

  13. ouch! he died!
    great story Mercy. i like it.
    well done.

  14. Yippee! one of my favorite writers on Naijastories likes it!..lol. Thanks Remiroy

  15. Oh Gosh, what a rush!
    i don’t know much but i know i wouldn’t want to be in Ruby’s shoes.Great piece mercy, thanks for reminding us that life isn’t always a fairytale.

  16. I feel you have a good story here but I have some issues with they way you told it. First, I feel you mentioned the name Yimika too early because a paragraph later you spoke of the “man in the car” and didn’t refer to him as Yimika. You could have built some more suspense into the story by withholding his name and introducing it later

    Secondly, you said “his family must not like me” but at that time she had never met any member of his family. Consider revising that.

    Thirdly, It may be better if she finds out his address through another means, maybe the same way she got to know about his office. I say this because it is highly unusual for a receptionist to have access to or even reveal information from an employee card, considering she had never your character before and also the frantic way the character behaved (almost in tears) would normally raise red flags rather than evoke sympathy. Needless to say, revealing that information would also be unethical.

    Last on the list, Yimika’s sudden illness may be more realistic if its sickle cell anemia, which most people know can strike any day. The symptoms of Leukaemia are not well known and may lead your readers to question how he could be well and having lunch one day then have “IV tubes poking in and out of his body” the next.

    Like I said, you have a good story but I feel some minor changes can make it even better. Just my thoughts. Forgive the long post

  17. @ dwisebaba…Thanks for reading it.
    @ Zino… Your long post is forgiven it means you did read it closely. Your points are also noted, but at the time I wrote it, that was how it came to me…May not re-work this story, but will definitely watch out for those pitfalls in future attempts at a good story..Thanks

  18. unlike others, me i DO NOT forgive you for killing yimika…you have to write me a happy story in compensation!!!

    beautiful story…i actually thought yimika was cheating on her or something. didn’t expect the twist. you told it nicely. but i still DO NOT forgive u ! …lol

  19. Oh my! Now I have to write one with a happy ending just for you.. Thanks beautiful, glad you liked it..and I am hoping you will forgive me someday..lol

  20. Well Mercy, its not an easy thing to wow NaijaStories writers and you did that. Well done babe.

    I had thought during the course of the story that Yimika had raped her and it would have been a typical story. I like that no one really suspected the end. Do take the pointers and suggestions you’ve been given. Well done girl.

  21. Thanks abby,it was fun writing it. All corrections have been noted.

  22. Thanks Abby. All pointers and suggestions have been noted.

  23. D'lameone (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    I do totally agree with Zino’s comments, but must say that this is a very good story and hope you write more, but not only of love or love lost stories o. lol.
    I hope we no go turn Naijastories into a chic lit site o.
    But You guys are all the bomb. mercy, You know sey I dey feel you wella abi?

  24. ha ha ha @ turning Naijastories into a Chick lit site…Please more adventure, action and mystery short stories please..and I sure am feeling you D\’lameone..thanks

  25. 2cute4u (@2cute4u)

    This is one story that though short, It held me spell bound to the end..
    I’m so impressed! You write so well, I even forgot that it ended on a sad note I tel you.. You’re that good

  26. I’ll echo Ce ug’s comment – I was dreading the cliche’d woman-meets-man-who-is-too-good-to-be-true-and-finds-him-cheating storyline. I’m glad you didn’t go down this route – in fact, I loved the theme. The only thing with the story is that I find it hard to believe he could have deteriorated rapidly without her seeing it – but as others have said, overall, I found it a good story – thanks!

  27. Thanks 2cute4u and TolaO …Glad you all liked it. The feedbacks were received with a bit of trepidation (getting better at receiving them sha), but they will help me write better, so thanks everyone!

  28. Awwwwwwww
    very sad story,
    couldnt have written it better.
    you are good.

  29. WOW! Well done, mercy…great story.

  30. Breathtaking story! We’ve definitely got another beautiful story teller in the house! Mercy i love the way you told the story…how you took it from Ruby in the rain to her journey into love and back to Ruby in the rain.

    Everything was so well knitted together…and the sadness was so intense I almost cried. You did a good job…u got me!

  31. So sweet, not hard to believe. I only pondered on: “He was fine when I saw him yesterday” and …”he had lots of IV tubes poking in and out of his body, for what I couldn’t tell. Did he have typhoid? Or tuberculosis? What could it be? He looked very pale”
    I felt something missing in the timeline between the two, it happened so fast. But generally it was nice, your message was subtle but clear. Bravo!

  32. Adesanya Oluwadamilola (@McDahmie)

    This is so so beautiful. it made me cry..

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