A Landscape of Friendship

friends-landscape

 

Sotonye and I were friends first. I forget now, how we met, that memory superseded by memories of our friendship: the innocence of it. We walked around town and hopped on buses to places too far to walk like the old amphitheatre at the university. One afternoon, we sat together on a leather beanbag, shoulders rubbing, while we fiddled with the controls of my parent’s Panasonic sound system. We took turns to put our cassettes into the tape deck and listen to each other’s mix tape.

“Sit apart!” my mother’s voice startled us. Before I could understand the implication of her words, Sotonye had sprung to the chair farthest from the beanbag, and from me, in the living room. That day heralded the beginning of the end of our friendship, I think.

After I met his best friends, Charles and Karibi, I saw Sotonye less and less. He caved under my persistent interrogation and admitted that he had kept a distance because Charles had warned him that girls like me could derail a guy’s destiny.

I should have told him that I was hurt, but I did not. I could have pointed out that in his stead, Charles was now spending more time with me, the destiny-stealer, and Karibi was a close second, borrowing books from the library to feed my love for books, but I did not. Universities were on strike and Sotonye was convinced that his future lay in the United Kingdom. His plans to relocate consumed his focus.

Ten years have passed since the alliance—three boys, then two boys and one girl— we formed crumbled because we grew up and went to discover ourselves on the map.

Presently, Charles and I are having lunch after a chance encounter earlier in the week, and I am reminding him of how we met. He is laughing so hard, he begins to cough.

“That’s not how it happened, didn’t I meet you first?”

“You wish,” I say, rolling my eyes.

“I can’t believe I did my guy like that!” He slaps his thigh, still amused.

“Better believe it; do you know where Sotonye is now?”

“Last I heard he’s still in the UK, directing theatre productions or something weird like that. That’s what Karibi said when I bumped into him, last year.”

“Karibi . . .” I say wistfully.

“You always liked him. That traitor who swooped in when I left for school—”

“No, it wasn’t like that at all. He was like a big brother to me.”

“Yeah, right!”

“Go away joor. He was the sweetest boy I’ve ever known.”

“That’s because he didn’t shave your head. Abeg, leave that thing!”

“We all were great friends . . .”

“Yes,” he agrees, “but you did not understand boys.”

We distill years past by exchanging phones and swiping photos, who’s this and where’s that, make our puzzle pieces fit faster. But photographs cannot capture all. Suddenly, Charles looks down at his drink and admits to being a closet alcoholic.

“It’s not so bad,” he says, looking up at me.

I nod. In the movement of my head and the steady gaze of my eyes, there is no judgement.

“Why don’t you tell someone who can hold you accountable on the road to recovery—”

“What! You haven’t changed! You’re still naïve . . . like back then . . .”

I trace the rim of my glass with my finger, uneasy and unsure of what he means.

“You still think everyone is like you, and everything is black and white,” he answers my unspoken question.

“No not really—”

“You trust easily. Haven’t people hurt you . . . enough?”

I sigh. Maybe I should not have let him look at all my photos.

“I am no longer afraid of getting hurt. But this isn’t about me. Isn’t your secret too heavy to bear alone?”

“I’ll survive. I haven’t told anyone . . . I don’t even know why I told you.”

I know why he told me. In just two hours, we have travelled back to the road leading to my parent’s house, where, unable to stop his voice trembling, he confided in me about his parent’s impending divorce.

The moment passes and we reminisce about happier times, about the place near the overhead bridge where we met in the evenings after Sotonye left. Charles would arrive with a packet of cigarettes and after he dragged on a cigarette a bit, he passed it round. I took tentative puffs while Karibi backed away as if it were a snake, reminding Charles of his asthma and me of the dangers of lung cancer.

“I gave up smoking,” Charles says. “Best thing I ever did.”

I nod again.

“You were the glue . . .” he begins.

“Nah,” I say, “Sotonye—”

“It’s true, everything was centred around you.”

He signals to the waiter for another drink. I shake my head, no.

“Do you think . . . answer me honestly, Charles . . . that boys and girls can just be friends?”

His answer is slow to come.

“I don’t know,” he says at last. “Even back then, Sotonye, Karibi, and I, wanted more.”

 

© Timi Yeseibo 2017

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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Hands That Bind

hands-that-bind

1.
The girls in my dorm sang Shakira’s Whenever Wherever, as someone drummed on a wooden surface. I stood in the middle of the room twisting my waist, when from the window, we heard, “Will you keep kwayet!” We paused but did not keep quiet. We whispered, “Will you keep kwayet,” to each other, mimicking the voice of the matron on night patrol, and stifling laughs. After she walked away, we resumed business. It was still my turn to dance. In that moment, I overcame my self-consciousness and danced with all eyes on me. I rarely dance in public because I still feel self-conscious. But when I do, I remember that night in secondary school and I feel light and free.

 

2.
In this photograph, we rest our heads against each other’s, you in a blue swimsuit; me in black, at Tarkwa Bay Beach, where the waves roll and froth like white foam. We roomed in the same dorm in junior secondary school; bunk beds joined so we lay side by side, the ceiling nearer us from our top bunks. While others slept, we traded stories, gossip, and laughter. You are in my earliest memories of holding hands. Sometimes, while others went to the dining hall for dinner, we took long walks, hands laced together at fingers and talked the way teenagers do: in earnest and in jest. You are the reason holding hands has become a lifelong habit. I peer at the picture once more. Even in the water, my right hand is on your elbow.

 

3.
One night in our first year in the university, we dressed up and headed to a room full of teenage bodies pumping hormones and loud music coaxing hands into the air. I was dancing with a guy when another guy stood behind me. In seconds, I was sandwiched between two sweaty, gyrating bodies. My eyes searched for her across the room. There. Also sandwiched between two guys. Our eyes met. We slipped away from the crowd. Side by side, we sat outside, silence wedged between us. Cool breeze brushed against our skin as trees swooshed around us, and above us, the big moon watched.

 

4.
I used to tell my friends, “If you’re going to sleep on my bed, your legs have to be clean,” and they could not understand why dirty feet irritated me so much. One night, in my room off campus, three of us sprawled out on my small bed and talked about the future, how our hard work would translate to wealth and travel. We promised to make time to hang out no matter how busy our lives became. Someone was supposed to sleep on the other bed across the room, but when I woke up, it remained neatly laid. Perhaps our tangled limbs heralded the future we had planned hours before, the connections we would always share. For once, I didn’t mind seeing dirty feet on my bed. Maybe I even smiled.

 

5.
Back then, physics and chemistry tried to make school frustrating for her. I didn’t know what it felt like to pour effort into something and not get the desired result. When she cried, I held her, wishing I could share my good grades with her. After secondary school, we proceeded to different universities. When we met again, she asked me about school.
“I haven’t been doing very well,” I replied.
She looked at me for an infinitely revolving second, “What happened?”
I shrugged, “I don’t know.”
She held my hand, “Kemi, you have to do well.”
I didn’t know what to say, but I knew she understood this kind of struggle and heard my unvoiced frustration.

 

6.
For weeks after we broke up, I didn’t tell my friends. All I wanted was to heal from this thing I mistook for love. Then I told them.

What? Is he out of his mind?
How could he have done that?
Kemi, you have to let go, that guy never even deserved you in the first place
.

Two years later, she still says, “He’s such an asshole.” I want to reply, “Babe, relax. I’m long over it,” but I smile instead.

 

7.
On one of our evening walks in senior secondary school, I asked you about your biggest fear. “Old age,” you said, “wrinkles, shaky knees, and dementia, that’s scary.” I imagined myself, grey and waddling to my favourite chair in the living room, but I was not afraid. My biggest fear is getting old and looking back at empty years of tedious inaction, never having achieved what I was created to do, and wondering if memories of Shakira’s Whenever Wherever, are phantasms sent to tease me.

© Kemi Falodun 2016

Kemi Falodun loves words and fine sentences. She writes short stories, essays, and occasionally, book reviews. She blogs at KemiFalodun.

 

Photo Credit: AdinaVoicu/ https://pixabay.com/en/hands-friendship-unit-together-1445244/

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Riposte: To Catch A Fly . . . Again

aging

 

Ife Nihinlola’s article follows from last week’s dialogue. The question is: when it comes to romance, does age really matter?

 

Riposte: To Catch A Fly . . . Again

“Hey, someone did not sleep well today. So are we celebrating?”

“Celebrating what? See, we have work to do this morning, let’s just focus on that.”

“Wow. Did she curve you that badly?”

“No one curved anyone, okay? I’ve not even asked her anything yet.”

“Okay. This is becoming a problem. Talk to me. Is this psychological?”

“How do you feel about marrying someone older than you?”

“I see what is happening here. How old is she?”

“Answer my question first. Would you have married your wife if she was older than you?”

“Of course I would. She’s a great woman. Age is just a number, you know?”

“What if that number is thirty-five?”

“Ermmm, are we talking about the same person you showed me her picture on your phone?”

“Yes. And this universe is a cruel one. Just last week, I watched this thing on Al Jazeera about women who tried to get pregnant later in life . . .”

“Slow down, slow down. Now you’re thinking of kids.”

“My friend, focus. I’m talking about something I watched and how that was all I could think of when I heard her age. Do you know women are often advised to freeze their eggs when they’re young so they can have better chances of conception later in life?”

“What are you talking about? Who wants to freeze eggs in Nigeria? All I want to know is what went down between you two yesterday.”

“There’s actually nothing to know. All that happened is that I heard her age and my brain hasn’t stopped doing calculations ever since. Do you know she actually thought I was thirty-eight?”

“You’ll soon be thirty-eight and single at this rate. So what did you guys do when you found out your ages? This is actually good you know—knowing this early so you can get the awkwardness out-of-the-way?”

“How is this a good thing? I’m actually trying to move on right now. That’s the goal of the next two weeks.”

“But she has great genes sha o. That is how I want my wife to look at thirty-five. You know, one of my aunties gave birth to her first son at forty last year, and he’s a very healthy boy. Very healthy.”

“What are you saying, this man? You think I should go ahead?”

“I’m not saying anything, but at least take her out on a date, just one date to make up for all the seminars you’ve made her endure.”

“Isn’t that stringing her along? Because I don’t see how she is even interested in me anymore. You should have seen her face when she realized I was twenty-nine. It was like she wanted to faint.”

“Doesn’t mean she still won’t appreciate you making an effort. Let me tell you something about women: no matter how old they get, they still appreciate a guy treating them decently.”

“So you get married now and suddenly become a girl whisperer?”

“Trust me on this one. I know it because I read my wife’s WhatsApp. You should see how much they rate young men who know how old they are and still pay them attention like they’re twenty-one year olds.”

“It won’t be bad to take her out on a date sha. You know she likes Sade too.”

“What is my own with whether she likes Sade or Emile Sande. All I know is that you should call her now and ask her out on the way you should have done yesterday.”

“Okay Sensei.”

“And put it on speaker; there’s no one in this office yet.”

“Yes Sensei.”

***

 “Hello. Hello? Hello?”

“Hello, can you hear me? It’s me.”

“Of course Junior, I know it’s you. Ha ha ha! I hope you made it home before your curfew last ni—”

 ***

 “Why did you cut the call?”

“I . . .I—”

“Never mind, Did she just call you junior? My God. Wife this woman abeg.”

“I can’t do this.”

“Of course you can, and you will. You’re going to call her again and ask her out properly and live happily ever after. That’s a fact. I’m going to my cubicle.”

 

©Ife Nihinlola 2016 @ IfeOluwa’s Rambles

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Riposte: To Catch A Fly

quote men

Ife Nihinlola’s article follows from last week’s dialogue between two girlfriends about the ‘elusive’ boyfriend. He creatively presents the viewpoint of the said boyfriend. Read last week’s post here.

 

Riposte: To Catch A Fly

 

“So, talk to me. How did it go?”

“Fine.”

“What is fine? I said how did it go?”

“Fine na. What else do you want me to say?”

“Don’t even start. I didn’t cover for you so you can come back here with fine. Abeg, tell me the full story. What did you guys do?”

“We didn’t do anything, really. I headed to her place after leaving work and called her when I was close to their estate, telling her I was in their area.”

“Hmmm, smooth . . .”

“Not smooth anything. I just didn’t want her to think I’m desperate. You know how, at a certain age, a single guy in church is the symbol of desperation.”

Oga Christian, na you know that one. So were you telling her all these grammar, or did you ask her the main thing?”

“Well, her brother and I were discussing Messi and his tax, and it took a while before he finally left the living room. Then she offered me semo and edikang ikong.”

Chai! See better wife material.”

“But she didn’t cook the soup o. I asked and she started laughing, and I thought I really blew it by asking a stupid question. Then she continued to laugh and I joined her. It was a little weird sha . . .”

“After that?”

“We talked about everything and then nothing. Again, I didn’t want to appear too desperate.”

Oga, after inviting her to, how many seminars now, six, seven? You’re saying you don’t want to be too desperate? Have you even asked her out properly?”

“It’s not like that? The question is not whether I’ve asked her out properly. It’s if I’m ready to ask her out.”

“Are you kidding me? At twenty-nine, you’re not sure if you want to ask her out? Do you think she’s ugly? Are you preserving yourself for Agbani Darego?”

“What kind of question is that?”

“So what are you waiting for?”

“Remember the last time I went out with that girl from the 45th floor and she suddenly started to talk about children and houses and family?”

“Hahahaha!”

“There must be something about candlelight and soft music and wine that makes people think it’s okay to share everything. She doesn’t even greet me at lunch anymore, so that means I must have said something stupid that night.”

“True. Your mouth can be a loose canon.”

“I’m trying to avoid that, so let’s hope I’ll be able to invite her for a date at the seminar.”

“Another seminar?”

“Yes na. That’s my excuse to see her again before the week runs out. I don’t even know if I’m doing this because my mother is always reminding me that she’s seventy-eight and life expectancy is fifty-three and I’m her only son . . . What do you think?”

“Me? What’s my own in this matter? I already have a pregnant wife, and I’m just three months older than you. What do you think I think?”

“You’re not being of help right now.”

“My friend, ask the lady out properly and go and marry.”

“You’re assuming she won’t say no.”

“If you can’t tell that a lady who has survived seven seminars and a silly visit already likes you, maybe your case is just hopeless. I’m going to my cubicle!”

 

©Ife Nihinlola 2016 @ IfeOluwa’s Rambles

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

To Catch a Fly

to catch a fly

 

“So, tell me, what happened?”

“Nothing.”

“What do you mean nothing?”

“My dear, nothing happened o.”

“So you mean to tell me that he stopped over at six, left at midnight, and nothing happened?”

“Well my brother was in the living room. All of us talked about general stuff, then he and my brother started talking about football—”

“Oh no—”

“They talked and talked. I left them and came back. They were still talking. So I cut eye for my brother—”

“Okay—”

“Then he left us alone.”

“Finally! And then?”

“I asked him if he was hungry abi if he wanted to eat, I don’t know again. He said yes. So I went and warmed some edikang ikong and made semo for him.”

“Did he like it?”

“Yeah, I mean he asked who made it, and we both started laughing.”

“I hope you told him it was you—”

“Why should I lie? You know it was my sister who made it—”

“Jesus! For crying out loud, the guy was checking if you know how to cook! If you’d be good wife material!”

“But I know how to cook—”

“How will he know when you invite him to your house and give him your sister’s food to eat?”

“I didn’t invite him! He said he was in the area and asked if he could stop—”

“Same difference! Then what happened?”

“I don’t appreciate your tone. Quite frankly, I am getting tired of all these your matchmaking schemes. I’m not desperate—”

“Who said anything about desperation? See yourself? This is a nice church boy—”

“Maybe that’s the problem . . .”

“Come again?”

“Nothing. I didn’t say anything.”

“So?”

“So what?”

“After he ate . . . did you eat too?”

“Well I wasn’t hungry . . . but I ate a little so he wouldn’t think I jazzed the food.”

“Good move.”

“Then we sha talked.”

“About?”

“You know, police shootings in America, coup in Turkey, gunman in Nice, Dino Melaye and Tinubu, church, you know . . .”

“So you were just talking until midnight?”

“Well it wasn’t midnight, after eleven.”

“Same difference. The gist must have been sweet . . .”

“Well he’s an interesting conversationalist.”

“At least he will know you have brains.”

“You make me laugh.”

“I’m serious. I overhead him saying that most girls nowadays can’t even hold a decent conversation.”

“Well, I’m not most girls—”

“I know na. So when are you seeing him again?”

“I don’t know . . . He invited me for another seminar—”

“Great! When? What are you wearing?”

“I’m not going—”

“Ah ah! Why not?”

“He keeps inviting me for these seminars. I’ve gone for seven joor, I’m tired. This one is during the week. I won’t close early enough—”

“What’s wrong with you sef? Can’t you even make small sacrifices for love?”

“Love my foot! The guy can’t even take me out for dinner! Common shawarma, he can’t even buy!”

“Shawarma? So shawarma is your problem? If you want to eat shawarma, can you not buy shawarma for yourself?”

“You don’t get it—”

“Wait, wait, wait, is there no food in the seminar?”

“You’re not getting—”

“Here we are trying to catch a fly and you’re talking about shawarma! Common shawa—”

“For your information, I am not trying to catch anything!”

“Ok sorry. I know he’s operating like slow coach. You just have to encourage him a little. He’s spoilt—”

“I think I’m just going to ask him straight up what his game plan is.”

“No o! I heard him saying he doesn’t like girls who are too direct—”

“Direct my foot! So I will just be following him to seminar?”

“Ah ah, is it because of shawa—”

“No! The problem is that if you even catch him now, you’ll be chasing him for the rest of your life. Do I look like a fly swatter?”

“Look let’s just catch the fly first—”

“Hmmm! I’m so done!”

“Ok calm down. You hear? Just calm down . . . and get ready, I’m coming over.”

“Why?”

“To buy you the shawarma . . . and strategize.”

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Three Years On

three

The first time I met Lanre, I told him about my blog. He says it must be my passion, the subject of my blog snakes into every conversation. He wonders, as others do, why I do not monetize my blog. I sigh. As if money is everything; as if money isn’t everything.

I asked a friend to write an article for my blog. His article although well-written lacked that something I look for before I publish a post, but he did not think so, he being an accomplished writer. We reasoned back and forth, threatening our friendship, as when friends mistakenly become lovers, solid lines become indistinct; the ease of communication replaced by silent awkwardness.

It should have been easy to reject a submission that did not meet my criteria except that doing so felt like losing a friend. In the end, I chose my blog and after weeks of reaching out won a version of my friend back. The subject of writing for my blog is taboo. We do not speak of it. Maybe one day we will.

If I did not monetize my blog, I at least learnt what it means to be human. This is what it means to write a blog every Sunday for three years—you become aware of your strengths and limitations; how far you will go for what you believe in.

Three years ago, Maurice, Mayura, and I waited at Holendrecht Station for the metro, cold air whipping through our hair and slapping our coats while trains sped by. I recited a list of possible blog names. When Mayura said Livelytwist reminded her of lemons, my sign-off was born: Take lemons, make life! I can recount incidents like this for every stage of the life of my blog; the people whose input helped me along the way.

Friends sometimes ask about the number of stories I’ve written ostensibly to check if I have a collection large enough for a book. Some days I want to write a book. Some days I do not. Three years on, the relationships, I have forged because of my writing matter more. Each article I’ve published has a behind-the-scenes story—where I was, my state of mind at the time, and who helped make it happen.

I have evolved since my tentative beginning in April 2013. The stories I did not write the way I had wanted to tell me so. You see, when you keep friends up until 1 a.m., seeking their opinions, it seems unfair to discard their recommendations at 2 a.m., when you realize your story no longer resembles you.

I’ve been tempted to revisit the stories, you know, to remove this, and to add that, to make them fully my own. But I leave them as they are, wincing every time I read through, as reminders of a time when although I knew what I wanted I did not have sufficient courage to articulate and execute. I leave the stories on my blog to remind me how people-pleasing distorts what I sound like.

Writing consistently for three years has made me a better writer; I am more skillful with my pen. But skills do not keep you warm, people do. At the heart of every story on this blog is a person or group of people who believed in me. None more so than you who read this blog Sunday after Sunday; you who I fight for with my pen, jeopardizing friendships. If I make it to a fourth year, it will be because of you.

Thank you!

© Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Drawing the Line

relationships

I once had a client, a man with lofty ideas and limited resources, whose business was pertinent to the success of mine.

In those days, a Lagos bus conductor who did not have adequate change for his customers, would ‘join’ two or three passengers together by giving one of them the total value of their change.

At their stop, he would explain to them, in between soliciting new passengers and calling out the names of the bus stops ahead, that he did not have enough change. Then he would give one passenger a single Naira note, which represented all of their change, as the bus driver rode away. We understood that as far as change went, our fate was sealed with that passenger and we had to find a way to split the change.

I have walked away from this arrangement—the huddling, the debate, the shadowing the ‘lead’ passenger as he perambulates in search of change, so we would not be duped twice—without my change because time was more important to me than it was to the others.

I felt as though my client was the passenger with our change but this time, the stakes were too high for me to up and leave.

I shared my worries with a friend.

“Get close to his wife. She will make things easier for you,” Ronke said.

I knew what she meant and I recoiled at her words. My client’s wife was a woman with a smile for everyone. Petite and pretty, she remained mum if she happened to be around as her husband and I discussed business, but I was aware that her intelligent eyes took in everything. It seemed cavalier, predatory even, to befriend this angel for the sole purpose of using her to influence her husband as we did not seem to have anything in common.

I endured my client’s belligerence and failed promises, promises he made after I made presentations and shared proposals. At my wit’s end, one night I sat in Ronke’s car for hours and itemized the problems I faced. She suggested, yet again that I make friends with his wife.

Soon after, a chance meeting with my client’s wife occurred. After pleasantries, she lowered her voice although we were alone and told me about a similar project they were undertaking with another publisher. In her words, the wahala nor get end. Sensing an opening, I took the ball she’d passed to me, but I did not run to the goal post. I dribbled until all obstacles were cleared and then passed her the ball to take a clean shot to goal.

“Ah ah men!” she exclaimed, “They don’t understand. Leave it to me. Here,” she handed me her business card, “if you have any issues, give me a call.”

I collected her card without looking at it.

“I’m serious,” she said, stopping me with her intelligent eyes. “Timi, if you have any problems, call me.”

I never had to call her. My client gave me my change and then some.

I’ve wondered about this incident and what I call my moral high horse. I guess because I have been used as a stepping stone in business, I did not want to bathe someone else with gifts and attention and then slam the door not minding if her fingers were trapped in the hinges or not.

But isn’t that what we all do? When we were younger, my siblings and I chose the favourite child, the one whose requests were hardly turned down, as an emissary to our parents. I sometimes attend social events with colleagues, when I’d much rather stay at home in my pajamas, to influence outcomes in the office. Relationships grease the wheels of business and human interaction is fueled more by trust than logic. We trust referrals from those we know.

My client’s wife and I never became chummy. We didn’t share enough common ground and we could not commit the time needed to explore what little commonalities we might have had. I see her once a long while and respond to her smile, the one she has for everyone, without guilt, but with warmth. And I sleep easy at night.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.