One thing I never knew was that Angela was Mabel’s friend. My heart bled and grew numb when I found out and days passed as my mind ruminated on the fact that they were really great buddies. I was driving out of the “Peppermint Restaurant” one afternoon when they were driving in. It was so amazing that none of them saw me as I maneuvered the steering wheel of my car, driving into the highway.
“I have gist for you.” Mabel told Angela.
“Wait a minute…let me eat something first.”
“Ooh, I’m also damn famished.”
“The waitress is already here.”
The waitress handed each of them the menu and they ordered some fried rice and chicken. I had assumed that they were mere acquaintances but they discussed and shared intimate issues about each other that made me conclude that they were more than mere acquaintances. As they were eating, drinking and conversing, they laughed and in their laughter, there was a certain kind of friendly assent that bespoke of familiarity. I wouldn’t have known if I had not driven back into the restaurant and sat at one end, watching them with keen interest. They were engrossed in their conversation to know that someone was looking at them.
“Angie, you know what?”
“What like what?” Mabel smiled.
“All men are cheats.” Angela said firmly.
“Don’t say that…I trust my guy ooo. He’s faithful.”
“Do you know what he does when he’s not with you?”
“I don’t but if he tries any shit with me, I will lynch him.”
As they chatted, they shared their life experiences, their desires, their dreams and passions.
“Is your guy your first?” Angela asked with a chuckle and Mabel laughed out loud. She was surprised that she would ask her this. She had had many guys in her life and was thinking that she must have had a similar experience.
“My first love was Timileyin, a nice guy, handsome and hardworking. He brought joy into my life and exposed me to things I had never known. This is to say the least.” She paused for a while before she said further. “Although I didn’t marry him, we are still good friends, and I often visit him and the woman he married. I was scared of living my life with him.”
“And why were you afraid of being his wife?”
“I loved him so much but he was bad tempered and almost nearly ended up beating me and I don’t want a husband who will be beating me all the days of my life.”
“Same thing here baby. I don’t want a monster for a husband.”
I stood staring at them as they talked. It was an enchanting sight to behold and I wondered how they met and became bosom friends. The genuine smiles on their faces brought confusion into my heart. I thought about the difference between the tyrant who exploit his or her countrymen and women with the political drum of tyranny and the family tyrant who tyrannizes by beating his wife and making his home a dungeon in disguise.
My blood boiled and my heart throbbed with alarming crescendo. My sight could no longer contain the two of them talking out so freely and telling each other their loves and experiences. I stood up and walked to my car. As I kicked off the car, I saw them standing up and walking to Mabel’s car. I bend my head in order to avoid being seen.
While in the car, their faces were still radiating joy and true friendliness.
“My relationship with my guy had been in trouble for a while but I could see in his eyes that he truly loves me.”
“Is there anything like true love?” Mabel asked as she turned the car’s ignition.
“I believe there is true love but it’s hard to find.”
“Do you think your guy truly loves you?”
“I don’t think so but he’s such a nice gentleman.”
“What is his name?”
“His name is Andrew.”
“Are you kidding or what?”
“That’s his name. I mean it.”
“Yeah. Does the name remind you of anything?”
“It reminds me of my guy too.”
“What a coincidence!”
“A happy coincidence really.”
I was following them from behind and didn’t know when a lorry almost hit my car. Obviously, I couldn’t continue to follow them but my curiosity was satisfied. They were friends and my mind’s preoccupation was how to go about relating with the two of them. I really loved Angela but I find it awkward to bluntly put an end to my seeing Mabel. It was a dilemma of some sorts and I wondered as I pondered what course of action to take.