There was a heavy and almost palpable tension in the car. It weighed most on Bola.
He stole a peek at her from the corner of his eye, trying his hardest not to turn his neck. She was still facing the window, she still had her arms folded tightly over her chest…and she was still crying.
He sighed inwardly. What had he gotten himself into?
“Sweetheart, I’m sorry. I really am.”
She didn’t budge.
He glanced at her again, this time turning fully before refocusing his attention on the road.
“Oh Lola come on. At least look at me now, please.”
She shifted even further towards the car door, after struggling with the seat belt for a few seconds, and then proceeded to rest her head on the back of the seat, sighing deeply.
“Why are you being like this? You act like I did it on purpose.”
She turned to stare at him with her now swollen eyes, in amazement. “Me? Me? What did I do? You’re the one who told everybody something that just isn’t true! You lied about me; betrayed me even. How is that supposed to make me feel?”
“Well I’ve apologized so give me a break love! People make mistakes, I wasn’t really thinking of what I was saying. Besides, we both know half of the whole thing was just a joke! You know I don’t really mean any of those things. You know that don’t you?
“All I know is that I am not speaking with you right now so please just leave me alone.”
He sighed again and decided he’d say nothing else for the rest of the short trip home. His mind didn’t join him in that resolution though. It kept talking about how the human female species were an extremely aggravating and unexplainable bunch. It concluded that no matter how hard one tried, any expectation to be on their good side for a long stretch ought to be regarded as nothing more than wishful thinking.
He shook his head and glanced again at her, and just then an idea came to him. He couldn’t figure out how to appease Lola, but he knew just the person who could help him out. Maybe.
Keeping his eyes on the road and his left hand on the steering wheel, he fumbled around in his pocket for his cell phone. He saw Lola glance at him from the corner of her eye as he scrolled through his phonebook and kept glancing up at the road.
“So what you’ve done is not enough, you must now kill me abi?”
He almost rolled his eyes. She was such a drama queen. Thankfully, he’d already found the number he was looking for and selected the option for loud speakers while waiting for the call to connect.
An elderly female voice rang through. “Bola, how are you?”
“I’m fine oh mami. Are you still at your church meeting?” The question was unnecessary; the background buzz of chatting women and a tinkling keyboard could be heard quite distinctly.
“Mm hmm. How did yours’ and Lola’s outing go?”
“It was terrible aunty!” Bola tried to hide his amusement with a surprised look. He’d been expecting her to do that.
“Ah ah, why is that? Bola, what did you do?”
“Why do I have to have done something now, eh mami? You see you now, taking her side already? Can’t an outing just be terrible of its own accord?”
Lola slapped his arm angrily then. “You’re still taking this thing as a joke!”
His mother’s order came sharply through the phone between them. “Bola will you stop misbehaving?! Lola dear, what’s wrong?”
Lola looked at him. He faced the road, ignoring her. “Aunty he will confess his sins by himself to you when you get home.”
“Okay oh. Whatever he has done just wait for me to come and deal with him before you go okay? What time do you plan to leave the house this evening?”
“My sister is coming to pick me up by nine.”
“Ehehn, good. I won’t be here for more than thirty more minutes. See you soon. Bola, drive safe.”
Before he could respond the sound of the dial tone filled the small car. Bola shook his head and looked at the phone, hardly surprised.
Well, he would report himself when they were all home. He was almost sure his mother would be as baffled as he is when she found out what had gotten Lola so irked.
“You’re just too funny sometimes sha. I can’t understand you again.”
Lola gave him a look that could slice steel. “I know very well you’re not sorry and that this is quite amusing to you. But just so you know, I no longer plan to be present at the engagement party.”
That got Bola. He almost veered into another driver’s lane. She had to be joking.
“You heard me my friend!” She snapped before giving him the smuggest of smiles. “Won’t be much of an engagement party without me now, would it? Nonsense.”
To be continued….