Diary Of A Fusspot(14)


My eyes scanned the mail once more and I snorted in disbelief. I could not believe it. After the interview, I had left the venue felling rather surprised at myself. They had harangued me with questions but somehow I had managed to answer it poise and confidence I didn’t know I had. I also managed to leave the impression that taking care of a household was a good business position in itself what with making budgets and plans and good bookkeeping. They were all nods and smiles and definitely impressed with my technical knowhow. Or so I thought.

That was why I couldn’t understand this mail. It was a regret mail alright but the reason they were sending me the mail was because I was ‘overqualified’ for the position. Whatever that meant. So I had over impressed them with my skills? Maybe, I needed to be more underwhelming. Or perhaps it was just a line they used that to soften the blow of rejection. I decided not to think about it much; it was after all Apapa and I really did not want to go to work there. I deleted the mail and started another round of applications.

Ike had gone out to finalize the deal on the car and I was lost in the internet world when my phone rang.

An unfamiliar voice came on the line. “Are you Mrs. Chinelo Okafor?”

“Yes,” I hesitantly replied. Had they changed their minds and decided to give me the job?

“My name is Debra. I am a nurse calling from the Royal Flower Hospital., Lekki. Your friend Titi Lawrence is in the hospital and she asked us to give you a call.”’

I was stunned. I knew the hospital. It was within the estate. “Is she, is she alright?”

“She’s fine. She had a nasty domestic accident but she is stable now. She does not have anyone with her and that was why we asked her who we could call.”

I sighed. “Ok. I’m on my way.”

I drove out of the compound with mixed feelings. A call from Titi was the last thing I expected.

I found her very shaken with her head wrapped in a bandage. Her neighbor had found her and called the hospital for an ambulance. She was said to have fallen down the stairs and lost consciousness and when she came to, she made feeble cries for help. She was all alone in the house. Even before Titi told me herself, I knew better. He had pushed her himself.

She looked contrite when she saw me. “I didn’t have anyone else to call.”

I smiled. “It’s Ok. I guess I should have let you know sooner who I was.”

She sighed. “I didn’t mean what I said Chinelo. Since we met, you’ve been such a good friend to me. Not that I have any now. He took them all away,” she said her voice breaking off. “I’m sorry.”

I held her hands in mine for answer and all was forgiven.

She said it first before I did. “I need to leave him now Chinelo. I need to leave him now, and leave that house before he kills me. But I don’t have anywhere to go.”

And she explained to me how he had made it so she would be totally dependent on him. She had no savings of her own. She was alienated from her friends. Her parents were dead and her only sibling was in Canada and there was a bit of estrangement.

“I need your help Chinelo. I need to protect myself and my son. Please tell me what do I do?”

I opened my mouth to answer but nothing came out. I was in no position to help her. What advice to I give to such a person when my own affairs were in such a pitiable state? The thought of taking her into my own home was a crazy one. It couldn’t happen. Not the way things were at the moment.

“I don’t know Titi. I honestly don’t know.”



The Science Of Love

love science 2

We are taking a short break this week from fusspot series to honor valentine.

The Science of Love.


Most of us have definitely felt that rush… that tingling sensation when we look into another person’s eyes and see some deep emotion mirrored there.

But love is so much more than a feeling only. Scientists claim that love is very much like a drug. It is something that we absorb, gets distributed throughout the body and then exerts its action throughout the whole body. There is a lot of science and art behind this thing we call love. In medicine, a lot of hormones have been associated with love and a lot have been released with their functions such as:

Oxytocin and vasopressin- Research shows that these two hormones interact to allow the dynamic behavioural states and behaviors necessary for love. It is said that oxytocin is one of the fundamental hormones for lasting love.

Phenylethylamine-anxiety and stomach burn at that first date.

Endorphins-It’ s that hormone responsible for pleasure when you’re with your partner.

Testoterone-It is responsible for the rush of sexual desire in men which usually activates the senses in a particular order – vision, sound, smell and taste. Other symptoms include: increased pulse, dilating of pupils and salivation.

It is widely advised that if your relationship is undergoing some problems that you should learn to watch for changes in your biochemistry. All these chemicals running around in your brain are often triggered without your conscious thought, and you are left with making sense of them and how they affect your decision making.

Apart from the hormones in our brain, every part of our body also responds in its own way when we are in love. Right from the top downwards:

Our eyes: We have a special look that we give the one we love. It could be seductive or a knowing look that shows that you have an important secret that you both share or it might be the way your eyes light up when you catch a glimpse of the person you love. Sometimes, your eyes can do what your mouth does-smile!

Our nose: We lean in deep to smell their cologne or perfume.

Our mouth: We definitely smile first, then kiss them or brush our lips against theirs or their cheek or their forehead.

Our neck: We move our head and neck as close to them as possible

Our arms: We hold them tight in an embrace

Our hands: We touch every part of them that we have been permitted to touch, trace their fingertips, clasp their hands in ours, and brush a straying hair away.

Our heart: It beats faster when we see them more so after a physical expression of love, like a touch an embrace or a kiss.

Our belly: That’s where the phrase butterfly feeling comes from.

Our feet: Run towards them when we see them coming in the distance. Also our feet can get a special treat from the ones we love and we don’t even have to pay for it-a feet massage.

Whatever we do to express our love and however we respond to the person we love, we must not forget this salient fact: a life without love is not a life fully lived. Although research into mechanisms through which love protects us against stress and disease is in its infancy, this knowledge will ultimately increase our understanding of the way that our emotions have an impact on health and disease. We have much to learn about love and much to learn from love itself and we should endeavor to never stop learning.


Fusspot 13



That night I couldn’t sleep. I just tossed and turned on my bed and wondered where God was. I wanted to awaken from this living nightmare where nothing seemed right. As if sensing my frustration, Anna fussed in her cot and I got up to cuddle her. I was surprised when Ike came out of the bedroom to join us in the nursery.

“What’s the matter dear? Is she ok?”

“She’s fine,” I said placing her back gently in her cot.

“Are you ok dear? You’ve been restless all night,” he said putting a hand on my shoulder. I sighed. So he had noticed.

“I’ll be fine Ike. Just thinking.”

He put his arms around me but strangely at that moment I didn’t want to be held. I just wanted the storm to pass. I just wanted things to be the way they used to be before this evil wind blew.

We went back to bed and I finally settled into a dreamless sleep.

In the morning, I eagerly checked my emails and yes, there it was. An invitation to a job interview for the next day. I was dismayed when I saw the address. It was at the opposite end of town and traffic was infernal. It was in a bid to avoid that awful traffic that we had bought a house in this estate which was close to everything; Ike’s job, church and many of our friends. This house that we might have to sell soon, I thought grimly.

Anyway, it was no use feeling sorry for myself. I had an interview to prepare for. As I searched for likely interview questions online, I was surprised to see Ike dressed up smartly coming out of the bedroom.

“Where are you going?” I asked him.

“Well, my friend Lamide has found some potential buyers for the car. And now, don’t fret honey but he also wants me to meet a real estate agent.”

“For the house?” I queried.

“Yes,” he said and I could see him bracing himself for my outburst.

“Ike, we agreed…” I began.

“I know Chi. Just like you said we wouldn’t do it unless we had to. I won’t bring him to see the house. I’ll only discuss with him.”

I nodded, resignedly. This nightmare was becoming more real every day.

“By the way, I have an interview.”

“Oh great,” he said. “Where?”

“Apapa,” I said. He grimaced and I knew he was thinking about the traffic I would face.

“I’m sure you’d be great honey,” he said and gave me a peck on the cheek as he left the house.

As soon as the door shut down, I began to think of the ramifications of my working out of the home.

We would need someone to take care of Anna; perhaps send for Ike’s mother who lived in another state which also meant we would have to tell her everything we were going through. Or on the alternative we could find her a crèche but that also meant more money that we couldn’t afford. No more elaborate meals because I wouldn’t have the time or energy to cook them. I might have to consider using the bus more often because it was often a lot wiser to do so than driving home in the awful traffic. I just felt depressed thinking about it.

A verse of scripture came to my mind at that point. “Cast all your anxiety on Him for he cares for you.”

I opened my Bible to find it. There it was. I Peter 5:7 . Such a simple scripture yet so difficult for me to do.

My heart was full. I wasn’t sure I could even adequately express how I was feeling. But I would give it a try.

“Lord you alone know the anguish I feel at this moment. I feel as if my world has been ripped out under me. Clear my husband’s name Lord. He cannot go to prison neither can we lose this house. Help us lord. Give us wisdom. Deliver us…”

I was rambling but I believe God understood my heartfelt plea. And slowly it crept on me that I didn’t even notice at first. A strange sense of calm. Something very much like peace.


I left my house around 6.00am for the 9.00amm interview. It had been a struggle to get into my smart skirt suit that morning. Apparently I had gained a few more pounds than I was aware of. Perhaps getting out of the house might not be so bad for me after all. As the bus moved slowly on, I thought about the events of the previous night. Ike had come in a bit more optimistic than he had gone out and said he was getting better offers than he expected on the car. But he was going to meet with a few mire potential buyers before making up his mind. He was surprised to see me looking calm and cheerful and I told him about the scripture verse and my prayer. Then we prayed together and went to bed more hopeful than we had been in the past week.

The bus was moving at a crawl and I sighed. I brought out my novel and tried to lose myself in the story and forget everything around me.

Finally at a quarter to nine, I got to the venue with beads of perspiration on my forehead. I glanced at two other candidates who were reading some material with them and did not seem willing to make conversation. They seemed like young, fresh graduates.

I was suddenly very nervous. What would they say when they heard Í had not been working for three years?

At 9.15 I was ushered into the room and I saw the interview panel of six people. And I wanted to disappear. They were too many! It wasn’t like I was interviewing to be managing director of their company for Pete’s sake. As I took my seat, I had never felt so far out of my league…