There we both stood facing each other; what I felt at that point? I do not know. It was like I stopped feeling if for a while or maybe I just blanked; is that even possible? I could barely read the expression on his face because I did not care to look at him after the second that I had unlocked the door to let Frankie in; and now it seemed to me that I had let in my worst nightmare; I had let in the epitome of my pain, suffering and misery or at least, half of it all in that second. I just wonder why this all drama was happening to me all at once like there is one grave sin I had to atone for as soon as possible.
I had control over my emotions which was so unlike me and that surprised me; I didn’t utter a word to him but turned and walked in to the sitting room;
“Jackie, it is you; it really is you”
His voice was barely audible and I could hear the shock, wonder and disbelief in his voice. I still wasn’t feeling what I knew I should feel, to me, he still wasn’t existing. I turned to face him and this time, I looked at him, I had a good look at him and I noticed that he had some grays, (I wondered what must have brought that on? His wickedness maybe I thought to myself. All 6ft3 of him, dark and handsome enough to still create havoc for the ladies gullible enough to fall, neither fat nor slim. But I had seen him; I had seen him at his worst, not just seen but experienced it first hand; the nastiness and self centered trait just beneath the suave surface; he could see I was not impressed; I am sure the disdain and disgust I felt for him was firmly etched on my face.
“Let’s get some things straight here, some ground rules” I said stopping him midway- he just nodded.
“I have to tell you that as far as I am concerned, you’re just my friend’s boyfriend who I’m just meeting for the first time; I don’t know you and you don’t know me; during your stay here, try to make yourself scarce when I’m around in anyway you deem fit, I do not care; I don’t even need you to be a pleasant friendly stranger, I am sure you can manage that; me on my part, I’d try to move out of this accommodation as soon as possible, because the sight of you ( I said gesturing at him) isn’t what I care to see often okay? Do we understand each other perfectly?’’ I asked;
“Wisest decision I have ever heard you make” he said derisively.
I ignored him, if he expected me to rise to the bait then too bad for him ‘cause I was way above that; but there still remained one thing and now as I thought of it, I felt bile rise to my throat, but I knew I had to bring it up;
“Haa… Mina said I should get you something to eat; I’m sure you can take care of that yourself huh?”
He laughed at me; a laughter with an underlying sarcasm and I knew I was not going to like what he was going to say next.
“It’s what she told you to do right? So you just do as she says, my woman has spoken; I need my food ASAP; We are strangers so please act nice, I’m hungry; I’d go wash up and be out in a jiffy, let it be ready by then please? Thank you!”
So saying, he walked out on me!
He walked out me? Really? Did he now? I tried not letting that bother me as I had gone through worse situations. I felt the beginnings of a huge headache as I walked to the kitchen.
Amina had everything in full abundant supply; wife material! She had several tubers of yams lined up and it was then that it occurred to me that Frankie’s favourite meal is boiled yam with fried eyes and well garnished at that and then I smiled in satisfaction. After going through all the contents in the fridge and freezer, I brought out the container that seemed like it contained the oldest soup, warmed it up and made eba filled with lumps and set the food for Frankie on the dinning and went back to my room.
I waited for him to call complaining about the food but he didn’t; idiot! The fool, thinking he could order me to cook for him. I was too restless to lie down let alone sleep and I noticed that I was hungry; so I decided to dress up, go out for a walk then get something light to eat. As I made to step out of my room, a call came in on my phone- Amina.
“Babe how you dey? Shebi you don see my fine bobo?”
I rolled my eyes; I had him before you! A voice deep inside of me said and I shrunk that that kind of thought could have emanated from me. The way I replied, it would have been a shock to anyone that my mind was in turmoil
“I don see am oh. You have your job cut out for you oh, how are you? How far? Full house?” (Indicating if we had loads of patients.)
“No be small thing oh, full is an understatement! I hear you have 3 procedures tomorrow; I don’t envy you at all.’’
“Mina, it’s that devil Awolabi that wants to kill me oh, but I don’t mind the work, not like I have anything else doing” I said, while she laughed softly in response.
“Okay oo, give the phone to frank please” she said
“Frank?” I asked blankly
“My bobo na haba!”
“OMG I’m so sorry! I’m in the room, he’s in the sitting room, hold on please’’
“Haba Jackie, you are supposed to keep him company na, you sef! You too do! Try and loosen up. This guy is the love of my life oh so you both should bound oh as you are my best friend”
Oh God…I moaned inwardly, as I shut my eyes briefly. What kind of mess is this? I was just happy that she didn’t notice my lapse. I know Frankie as ‘Frankie’ and had forgotten that his name is actually Frank; I was too slow to catch up. Amina is intuitive and I do not need her noticing any underlying currents ‘cause then, I would be done for.
Frankie was in the kitchen, frying eggs; at my voice he turned to me with annoyance, I handed him my phone;
“Mina”, I said explaining my presence.
“Me, how are you? Hope they’re not stressing my baby over there oh, yes, your friend Jacqueline took real good care of me (he said and pointedly ignored my presence); she gave me yam and eggs; I didn’t know you had friends who made sense, I’m missing you crazy; okay, I ‘d see you soon Hun” and handed the phone back to me.
He calls her ‘me’; hmmm such love! Well good for them, they should keep their lovey dovey acts to themselves. And not for the first time did I regret dropping my friends after my episode with Frankie all in a bit to move on… I wished for the umpteenth time that there was someone I could call up to really discuss the current events as they kept unfolding, couldn’t do that with Amina as she had become part my drama filled life.
“I’m stepping out” I said
“I’d wait for you till you get back” he replied
“And oh, I had fun with the food you served but I wasn’t satisfied so I decided to rustle up something again, I hope you don’t mind?’’
I said nothing as I stepped out and shut the door gently behind me.