“…I would be staying with Amina, Infact that is the reason she’s here right now seeing that you’re not eager to take me in” I replied in answer to Sweet’s initial question before I was informed that Amina had come.
“So you would feel better if I said I was going to put up at a hotel?”
I continued whilst making my way down the stairs to see Amina. Sweet didn’t even dignify my question with a response.
When I entered the sitting room, Amina was perched at the edge of the seat looking as uncomfortable as a cat looked when drenched in water with my mum looking at her, her countenance of someone who had perceived a bad smell. It was so funny that I would have laughed under different circumstances.
Amina stood up so fast I knew she couldn’t wait to leave;
“How far? What’s up? Where are your things? I’d soon be on call oh so I have to be on my way to the hospital; Sweet, how are you?”
She said all in one breath; I thanked her for coming then while she and Sweet exchanged pleasantries, I rushed back upstairs to get my belongings and proceeded to struggle them down the stairs with no help from anyone.
No goodbyes from a family I shared blood ties with, not even from my sister or her husband or Uncle Jay; I left with everyone happy to see me leave not minding what was going on in my mind or how I was feeling.
“Madam, what just happened in there?”
Amina asked with curiosity shinning through her eyes as we drove out of my parents’ residence, I could see, the beginnings of a gossip.
“How?” I asked;
“Haba don’t you have disagreements with your family sometimes? That’s what happened with mine na. Everyone needs space and besides like you’ve always been saying how I’m too old to live with my parents, so make I kukuma use this opportunity get my own place, because if I lose this chance, na im be say no more for me oh” I jokingly replied.
“Shebi na now you just dey wake abi? Sha thank God you did, it’s never too late, you’re welcome to stay at my place for as long as you want; why would you want to get a place when we can stay together, we are more out than in, you know the job; besides, I even got a second job where I’d be working 3days of the week too so, it’s not like we’d be in each other’s way”
I did not have a reply to this, it was too early for me to say and I have learnt that a free gift so eagerly given had to be accepted with utmost caution so I merely listened.
When we got to her home, she showed me my room which, thank God was self-contained and meant that my privacy was intact and she said I could help myself to the food in her kitchen and hurriedly rushed off.
I was alone again and had my thoughts to myself; this time, I thought long and hard. I was sad and felt so lost and lonely; how much do I have in my account? I wondered, I should find out tomorrow because, I wasn’t sure. This was a time I needed someone to hold me and say simple words like:
“I am here for you”
Apparently, I didn’t have that, the words, ALONE began to lend a whole new meaning.
I hung my clothes, arranged my cosmetics, footwear, my cds and my laptop, I had my bath and without bothering to eat, I fell in to an exhausted sleep until I was awakened by a rude knock on the door. I cursed inwardly as I struggled to ignore the knock willing it to go away. The knock became more persistent until it was obvious the person won’t let up. I roused myself and dragged myself to the door.
“Who is it?” I asked;
“Open up and you’d see who it is” A man replied.
“If you’re here to see Amina, I’m sorry she’s not in; you can call her or something to reschedule” I said, but he cut me off saying:
“I don’t need to do any of that seeing I’m her boyfriend and I pay the bills around here so please lady, whomever you are, open the door already!” He said with impatience and annoyance in his voice.
What?! Amina had a boyfriend who actually paid her rent and all? Why didn’t she tell me? I wondered; I wouldn’t have asked to stay with her if I had known, and then, there was something about the voice, I just felt I had heard it somewhere, but whatever, my imagination again, I thought; working overtime; I then called her just to make sure:
“Mina, ‘sup? A guy’s at the door oh; he’s actually claiming to be your boyoyo and wants me to open up for him to come in that he pays your bill; that true?”
“Heee, I forgot!” She exclaimed, “I meant to tell you but it escaped my mind as I was in a hurry; I didn’t even think he’d come in today; please, abeg eh, let him in and help me give him something to eat please, I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t bother you, but he always wants his food as soon as he comes in.” She pleaded. I wondered at her not getting upset that the guy had the divulged paying her bills without even meeting me, apparently, he had no respect for her at all; but oh well, what’s my own? I shrugged, mentally dissociating myself from getting involved.
I sighed; so this is how it was going to be eh? I knew it would be too good to be true. I was already shaking my head knowing that I would have to get a new place sooner than I thought amidst the knocks that kept coming from the boyfriend asking why I had not opened the door for him. The guy sure sounded nasty and with little or no manners!
“It’s okay, I’d be glad to help you out, it’s not like there’s anything else I’m doing” I replied with a resigned note in my voice which I was sure she noticed.
“I’m sorry it won’t happen again I promise” Amina said.
I nodded like she could see me and at the same time, moved to open the door, and standing right there in front of me was Frankie, the guy who got me pregnant and denied my existence as well as the pregnancy.