“I think we should let the curls drop.” I said to Osas. We were either fighting about the excess make up I was encouraging her to pile on my face or the fact that I was about to stand Emeka up.
“The only reason I agreed to come over was because I thought Emeka was the one taking you to the restaurant, not the other guy.” she said. At first, she seemed excited about me meeting Segun but she wanted to know more about him, so she looked him up on Google. Yes, the man was rich but he had a stinky reputation which was a turn off for her and especially the fact that he drank alcohol. Osas was a good Christian girl, and so was I but everything she said about him never bothered me, she would have done even worse if it was her Segun had met first.
“Is that why you want to blind my eyes.” I said, flinching from her assault on my face.
“Listen to me girl, this is no joke ooh. You’re playing games with his heart, and please…….. your breath sinks of alcohol.”
“What has come over you? You went from drinking Fanta to this……” She pointed to the bottle that was on the floor. Usually, I kept drinking away from my apartment but I soon realized that wherever I went, my new found friend followed.
“Ha-ha see this babe ooh, why you dey drink Panadol for my headache?” I sighed. “Look, why can’t you just be happy for me? I have something more exciting that I never thought was out there for girls like us, I am not going to let you or Emeka quench this fire…… okay?”
“No worry madam, I go help you add kerosene join the fire make e for roost you inside.” she hissed. She walked to a chair closed by and took a seat.
“Finish what you started ooh or do you want me to go in there like this? Looking like an idiot?” I asked playfully but she wasn’t buying it today.
“I swear ehn, that’s what you are making yourself as now. Just be careful ooh, no talk say Osas this, Osas that, Osas you no tell me because my girl all that glitters isn’t gold. You no be small pikin sef, you yourself suppose know already.” she picked up her make-up brush and continued. What was it that she didn’t understand? I had found my future, and was ready to leave my past behind!
“One last thing; please tell me you called Emeka to cancel your plans with him?” The look on my face gave me away.
“But Jola!” she exclaimed.
“You know naaaw, I can’t stand his voice when his disappointed in me so I’m not even going to bother calling, don’t want to ruin my night with Segun.”
I was done with everything at exactly 5:00. I was getting more nervous as the clock moved passed 5:30 p.m.
“Are you sure he is still coming?” she asked.
“Sure na……..maybe his getting stuff ready; you know how all this UK guys love naaa.” I answered confidently and encouraged that we wait some more.
“Its 6:20 Jola, are you still sure?” she asked, almost mocking me.
My answer this time lost all its confidence. My lipstick was beginning to wear off from my constant biting of my lips as I waited patiently for him. “Maybe his…..”
“Stop making excuses for him, just face it! His no longer coming……..you just got stood up; period.” She finished.
“Where are you going to?” I asked, as she got up.
“My house na……you know what I just realized?” she asked, grabbing her things. “You and this your Segun are birds of the same feathers.”
“You better call Emeka and do the right thing.” she turned and looked at me.
“His from London, his this, his that, a real gentle man with a killer accent.” she mocked me, as she opened the door to leave. “You won’t let me hear word because say you jam money.” She hissed and left.
At about 9:00, I heard a knock. I went to open my door and a worried Emeka barged in.
“Baby what’s wrong?” he asked, with sweat all over his face.
“I was just finishing with training when you called, what’s wrong?” he dropped his dirty football boots on my clean rug. I was about to go off on him but I quickly remembered why he was here.
“I think its fever.” I lied, wrapping myself inside the bed sheets I had around me.
“But when I called you this morning, you never mentioned that you were sick,”
“Well it started after you called; I have also been throwing up.” I began to shake.
“Hmm, Jola,” he called my name ever so sweetly as he drew closer to me.
“could it be what I’m thinking?” he asked with all his hopes high. Emeka thought I was stupid enough to bring a child into this world with the current conditions we were living in.
“No, I think it’s just fever.”
“Then let’s go and see if that chemist man is still open.” he was already anxious to open the door.
“No honey…….don’t worry.” I drew him in for a kiss. “Now that you’re here, I will be fine.” I smiled.
“Have you been drinking?” he asked disgustedly, as he pulled away from me.
“I just needed something strong to keep me up.” I said, leading him into the bedroom.
The rest of the night passed with Emeka constantly hovering over me; checking my temperature. I was frustrated just lying in bed with him doing nothing. His constant questions were becoming annoying so I set out to do what I knew best to make him see that I was truly okay.
The next morning, I woke up with a big smile on my face. Maybe that was what we really needed. I felt so much more at ease with him. He reminded me of every good memory we had together. At times, I felt like crying when I remembered all the things I had done to him since my meeting with Segun. Then that same devil in disguise dared to call my cell phone! I rushed to the bathroom to answer the call, leaving Emeka alone on the bed.
“Hello?” I answered, as quietly as I could.
“Oh kill me now, I know I have really done the worse but this time, I have an explanation.”
“Okay.” I replied. “Just get on with it; the lies.” I thought to myself. But the lies were what gave me the rush. I enjoyed his bad boy act and loved the fact that he was not moping around me like Emeka did.
“My car became faulty on my way to your place which hindered me from coming but I promise I will make it up to you.” he said. I felt guilty for insulting him in my dreams. The man came with a tangible reason for why he couldn’t make it; who was I not to accept?
“Awww…….Eya…….Segun, I totally understand. Yesterday didn’t work out but we can do it some other time?” I said, convincing myself that everything was fine.
“Oh, you’re the best.” he said. I held the bathroom door knob in my hands, blushing like a school girl or rather like a fool as if Emeka hasn’t said words that were a hundred times much better than that.
After knocking the smile off my face, I turned off the bathroom light and walked out. As soon as I stepped out, I saw Emeka by the bed post pacing and panting as there was fire on the mountain.
“Who was that!” he yelled.
I moved closer to the bed, “Baby, I…..thought you…were….sleep..ing” I stuttered.
“Oh, I know what you were thinking, you thought I was a fool.”
His eyes, those eyes; all I’ve ever seen in them were desires never once have they been burning with anger.