“I think the best place to talk is your house.” She said.
“That’s not an option.” I replied. “I don’t want to go home yet. If you wanna talk, then talk here.”
She sighed audibly. “Where do I start?”
“Start by telling me how you’re caught up in all this.” I replied shortly.
“Okay. I’m a distant cousin of Sonia’s. My dad is somehow related to Chief.” She said.
I raised an eyebrow at her, I hadn’t seen that one coming. “You do get around, don’t you?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” She asked.
“You’re the step daughter to Femi’s dad… a highly influential man, I must say. It turns out you’re also related to Chief Odeniran. And don’t forget, you’re also sleeping with Femi, a reasonably wealthy guy. How do you do it?” I was deliberately being caustic.
She gave me a wry smile. “I have my ways… I won’t acknowledge that insult.”
She leaned forward. “Does it bother you that I’m sleeping with Femi?”
I looked away from her, somehow I still found her incredibly attractive.
“It bothers you.” She said slowly. “Why? Because you’re attracted to me?”
“That’s not the issue here, Barbara. Let’s go back to the Sonia saga.” I said.
“What if I tell you I’m attracted to you too? Will that get your attention?” She gave me a piercing look.
I wasn’t taking the bait. “I’ll ignore that. Now continue what you were saying.”
She sighed again, settling back in her seat. “For now, you’re off the hook…we will come back to this, though.”
“Okay…back to my cousin dearest. You know she just got back from the States, right?”
“Yes. She’s doing her Masters’ there.”
“Is that what she told you?” Barbara gave a cynical laugh. “She was doing her Masters’ there…three years ago. Until, she had some problems.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Sonia stopped her Masters’ program three years ago. For the past three years she’s been admitted in a mental hospital in America.”
“Mental Hospital?… Somehow, I’m not surprised. She behaves like a nut job.”
“It was during her Masters’ program that she was diagnosed. After a series of problems at the school, they decided to take her in for a psych- eval. The psychologist diagnosed her with O.L.D.”
“Obsessive Love Disorder. O.L.D is an extreme form of love that transcends into an obsession over time. It is characterised by an unhealthy attachment towards someone and can be triggered off by many factors. The doctors determined that it was a serious mental disorder that required treatment. It causes an insatiable fixation of wanting to possess the target of their obsession. In this case, feelings of jealousy, insecurity and resentment override the mutual feeling of love. If the object of their obsession rejects them, it will result in the perpetual fixation and compulsion to obtain their desire. So, the unnerving aspect of this is that a person might not even be in a relationship with the object of their desire, or they might have simply had a stray conversation with them at some point and gotten interested in them, which then slowly turns into an obsession…”
I held up a hand to stop her. “How do you know all this? You sound like a doctor.”
She smiled. “Ever since she was diagnosed with O.L.D, I’ve done a lot of research, now I know it like the back of my hand.”
“I’m impressed. So, why is she fixated on me?” I asked.
She took out her phone and after tapping the buttons a few times, she handed it over to me.
“Take a look at that picture. Tell me what you see.”
I took the phone. I was looking at the picture of a young man, something about him looked familiar but I couldn’t quite place my finger on it. He looked to be in his early or mid- thirties. He was quite good- looking.
“Notice anything?” Barbs asked.
I took another hard look at the picture trying to determine why the young man looked familiar to me. Finally I gave up.
“He looks familiar…but I can’t recall meeting him before.” I said.
“He looks like you. Look closely and you’ll see the resemblance.” She gave me a knowing smile.
I looked again and sure enough the resemblance was there. I was stunned. I had always heard the story of one having a look- alike somewhere in the world, I just didn’t know they existed. Until now.
“You see it now?” She asked.
I nodded, still looking at the picture.
“He was Sonia’s first love. Austin.”
“Sonia dated this guy?” I asked.
“Yes. Years ago. She was madly in love with him; he treated her like a princess and gave her the love and attention she never got as a child. Everything was going well until her obsessiveness kicked in. She kept tabs on him, always wanting to know where he was, went through his phone every day… accused him of cheating on her. For over six months Austin put up with it until one day he couldn’t take it anymore. He called it quits. Sonia almost went crazy, she begged, cajoled, pleaded. But he was adamant. It was over. That was Sonia’s first experience of heart break and she didn’t take it lightly. She kept stalking him until he had to take out a restraining order against her.” She paused.
“And then what happened?” I asked.
“A year later he met someone else. Someone he didn’t know had affiliations with Sonia. Then Sonia found out and hell was let loose.” her voice had become subdued.
“Who was that?” I asked curiously.
“Me.” She said quietly. “He met me.”
I stared at her.