The story was getting more interesting. I was itching to hear more.
“So…did you know that Austin was Sonia’s ex before you started dating him?” I asked.
She shook her head. “I found out two months into the relationship but I didn’t tell Austin I was related to her.”
“So he’ll think I was as obsessive as she was?” Barbara said. “Anyway, the relationship didn’t last long, Sonia made sure of that. Soon, Austin and I were history and Sonia hated me. Four years later she was diagnosed with O.L.D.”
“So she’s fixated on me because…”
“You bear a resemblance to Austin. In her mental state, she thinks she can re-live her affair with Austin with you. And she’ll go to any lengths to do it.”
“Isn’t there a cure for it?” I didn’t like the idea of Sonia stalking me for the rest of my life.
“She was being treated in America. She has meds for it, but the problem is; she stopped taking them since she met you. That’s why she seems to be out of control.” Barbs slid a hand across the table and squeezed my hand. “I know this doesn’t sound comforting, but…”
I interrupted her.“So what happened that Wednesday night that we were supposed to have a date?”
She sighed. “Chief found out about it and also discovered she had stopped taking her meds. So he had her drugged, and sent me to check who her date was supposed to be with. That’s how I ended up there that night. She was asleep the whole time.”
“Wow.” I was actually intrigued. “She showed up at my place later that night, you know.
“Yes. No one knows how she managed to leave the house after she woke up. You need to know that her condition is a secret. Hardly anybody knows about it. And Chief intends to keep it that way, that’s why he’s been concerned about you. That’s why he’s gone so many lengths to keep you away from her. He didn’t want you to find out about her condition.”
“So why are you telling me this?”
“Because I feel you have a right to know. After all, you’re her latest obsession. And we need your help to get her back. She’s been missing for days now, we need to find her and have her sent back to the States.”
It was my turn to sigh. My life had just become more complicated.
“We need you to inform us as soon as she gets in touch with you. That’s the only way we can get to her.”
“I was with her yesterday. At a hotel, I don’t know if she’ll still be there. She doesn’t seem to want to be found.” I said.
“Well, that’s up to you. But I can tell you, it only gets worse.”
“If that was supposed to alleviate my fears, you didn’t succeed.” I said.
She laughed. “Now you know the truth. Let’s talk about more pressing matters.” She winked at me.
“You sure you’re not mental too?” I asked jokingly.
She laughed, diffusing the tension. “You ready to go home now?”
I stole a glance at her. “Am I supposed to insinuate something from that question?”
“I like this game we’re playing. But we’re not kids anymore, Jake. Let’s get outta here please.” She stood and held out a hand to me. “I know we didn’t start on a great note…but I’m ready to call a truce.”
I stood; there was no use causing a scene. We exited the restaurant together. She followed me to my car.
“So…you were saying?” I asked, leaning on the car.
“I find you attractive, Jake. And trust me, its not all the time I find a man attractive.” She said unabashedly.
Strangely enough, I was turned on by her brazenness. But something still bothered me:
“Barbara, you’re sleeping with my best friend, at the same time you’re propositioning me?” I asked.
She smiled wantonly. It was getting dark and the air between us was crackling with sexual tension. I couldn’t deny that I was attracted to her, but I had promised myself I wouldn’t dabble with anyone that Femi had claims on.
“I and Femi’s relationship is purely physical, you know that. You on the other hand…are different. There’s something about you that’s irresistible. I can’t quite figure it out but I intend to.” She leaned forward and I felt her lips on mine. It was a light kiss, I didn’t resist. The kiss deepened and I found myself responding. My head told me I shouldn’t be doing that, but my body refused to obey.
I don’t know what would have happened if we weren’t in a public place, but thank God we were, because soon enough we became aware of the sounds around us and we ended the kiss.
“Let’s get outta here, Jake.” Barbara whispered.
I wasn’t sure what the right thing to do was. Did I satisfy my longing without regard of my friend? Or did I simply take to my heels and like the Bible put it ‘flee from all appearances of evil’?
“You think too much. Just stop for a moment… and don’t think.” She was saying.
“Barbara, I don’t think this is right.” Even I knew that excuse sounded weak.
She kissed me again. This time I knew she had me.