“So we wait till maybe ten O’clock,” she said. “Give me his number.”
“No,” I said. “When you’re ready let me know. I want to be there when you call him.”
My sister nodded. “Okay then,” and she got up. “Let me go and eat, I am hungry.”
It wasn’t that I did not trust my little sister or anything…. Okay it was just that. I did not trust her to talk to Philip alone. She could get carried away and say too much, causing my embarrassment in the long run. I decided to join them at the dining table.
My mum was in high spirits. She did not even make any nasty comments when I tipped the sixth piece of fried plantain on my plate to eat with the jollof rice she had cooked.
We talked a lot at the dining table, and I only indulged them so time could move quickly. But no matter how long we gifted, the nine snailed past seven o’clock, then eight, and then nine till eleven and still no phone call. I decided to go to bed, hopefully I would have gotten over it by tomorrow when I woke up. It was a lie that I would, throughout the night, convince my brain into believing it.
It took a while before I fell asleep, and when I did, I had a dream. I was riding in a carriage, and as I tried to look out the window to figure out where we were, the carriage suddenly stooped with a jerk, and I was thrown out of it. I landed hard on the cold ground, and that was when I realised I was totally naked. With my arms folded tight, I made to get back into the carriage, perhaps to check if I had any clothes in there, when suddenly I heard noises in the bushes, and this tall guy came out, holding a knife.
I recognised him instantly, it was Henry, the guy who took my virginity, and he was still as handsome as I remembered, if not more. He came towards me, brandishing his knife, and then he tried to stab me. I screamed, and then suddenly he was no longer there, instead I saw him hanging from a nearby tree, the knife in his chest, I tried to run but then Philip appeared.
“I’m here now, you are safe,” he said to me. He was only searing tight shots, his bare chiseled chest and well developed abdominal muscles were exposed. I ran to hug him, not in gratitude but because I just wanted to feel his body on mine. He hugged me back, kissing my neck, when suddenly I felt something sharp pierce the side of my neck, and then fluid dripping. I pulled away from Philip, and saw two long and sharp fangs protruding from Philip’s mouth where normal teeth should have been. It was dripping with blood, Philip had bitten me. He grabbed me forcefully for another bite, and that was when I woke up.
My sister had left her laptop on, and the Vampire diaries was playing. I quickly closed it, wondering if it had been the cause of the dream, and searched for my phone. I could not find it.
I went to the toilet to pee, and then I heard my sister in the parlour giggling. I tiptoed towards the parlour and switched on the light, startling her.
“Give me back my phone!” I said, snatching it from her.
“Chill,” she said quietly. “Philip is on the line.”
“Liar,” I said to her, and then I put the phone to my ears. “Hello?” I said into it.
“Yeah hello,” I heard the voice, I almost lost my balance. “Cynthia, hello.” The sound of his voice sent chills down my spine, and my heartbeat quickened.
“Seriously!” I mouthed, giving her back the phone. “Can you put in on loud speaker?”
My sister shook her head and took the phone from me.
“Yeah that was her,” my sister said after a few seconds. “Yeah she can’t sleep either, she feels very stupid and she’s sworn not to call you…. yeah she’s proud like that, haha.”
I wanted to snatch the phone from her and cut the call. Why was she painting me in a bad light like this? But for some reason I let her continue.
“Ok then you call her tomorrow, ok. Bye.”
“Why didn’t you wake me up?” I asked sharply as soon as I was sure the call was over. I was half angry and half excited.
“Because you were sleeping, duh?”
“But you could have woken me up, duh?”
“I did not want you to interfere sister,” my little sis said. “That’s why I did not wake you up.”
“And what we’re you guys talking about?” I asked, sitting on one of the parlour couches.
“Nothing really,” my sister said with an air of someone that wasn’t really interested in saying anything. She normally did that whenever you wanted her to tell you something. It made her feel important, but it irritated me.
I looked at my phone, checking the call duration. “So you spent almost six minutes talking about nothing?” I asked.
“At first he did not want to tell me you came to his house,” she said. “But then I told him I already knew, then he loosened up. He was like, one minute you guys were making out, and the next, you just got up and wanted to leave the house. He said he knew something upset you, but he didn’t know what.”
“And the call he had received,” I asked. “What did he say about that?”
“Yeah he did,” my sister answered, and paused again for effect.
“And,” I added, impatiently.
“You were right,” she told me, and I gasped.
“NO not about that,” my sister quickly said. “About the guy, it was Reginald apparently and not Regina like i suggested. And in his own words he said the’ve been BFF like forever.”
“Really,” I said, disappointedly. “Which boy calls his fellow guy that?”
“That’s the thing,” my sister said, thinking. “I’m not sure, but if there was something going on between them don’t you think he would have been more discreet?”
I just nodded disappointedly, having lost all hope.
“If truly there was something fishy,” she said to me. “He would never have picked that call knowing that there was a possibility you would hear him.”
“Maybe he was careless?”
“Careless?” my sister said, shaking her head. “No. If there was something abnormal going on, he would take extra measures to hide it. A guy would never pick his side-chick’s call anywhere near his main chick, talk less.”
I nodded again, it was all I could do. “But what if he just did that to throw me off balance,” I said. “To make me believe nothing was up. The best place to hide something is in clear view you know.”
“Why go through all that?” my sister asked. “On the first date for that matter. I doubt that.”
Yet again, I nodded, but this time it was with renewed hope.
“But something is up though, I am sure of it,” my sister said as though she wanted to wipe the hopeful look off my face. “I just know it.”
“But it’s now what I was thinking right?” I asked like a little child asking his mother for a difficult favour, hoping she would say yes.
“Maybe not,” my little sister said. ‘It’s that Reginald boy.”
“What about him?”
“He might be a problem?”
“I don’t know, we shall see.”
Any further conversation was cut short by my mother who, apparently, thought we had sneaked out of the house in the middle of the night.
I hardly ever drool in my sleep, for as long as I can remember I’ve only done so two or three times. But when my mother woke me up the next morning, it was as though my chicks had been soaking in thick goo.
“Imagine if you had been sleeping beside him,” she said, after tapping me for the upteenth time.
I got up, and hastily wiped my chicks with the face towel hanging on the door.
“Not that I approve waking up next to a man who’s not your husband,” my mother said, as an after thought. “Now go and have your bath and get dressed. You have a date today, remember?”
“What date?” I asked, yawning. I had completely forgotten the story I had made on how the date when the other day. “I’m not going anyway.”
“With Philip, or what is his name,” my mother said. “I said go and have your bath. And where that gown your father bought for you on your birthday.”
“Philip and I..”
“Mummy good morning,” my junior sister cut in. She had a towel tied to her chest.
“It’s like your sister is going crazy,” my mum told her. “Can’t even remember she’s going out with Philip again today. Or you were lying yesterday?”
My mum pointed an accusing finger at me, and then it clicked.
“Oh yeah the date,” I said nodding. My munm looked at me suspiciously. “Of course, what time is it?” I took my phone and looked at it. “Just seven thirty? Mum it’s way too early, and there’s no way in hell I’m wearing that gown.”
“That’s your business,” my mother said, hissing. “Nonsense, you were never a fashionista anyway.”
I waited for her to leave before i turned to my sister.
“So where are we going today?” I asked her. I was back to taking the role as junior sister now. “We’re going together right?”
“I don’t know yet?” she said. “But I have to go to my friend’s place to get some things done and then…”
“I meant myself and Philip,” I said. “Is he going to call. You know mummy didn’t let us finish the discussion yesterday.”
“Will you guys eat egg and bread or bean cake for breakfast?” my mother shouted from the kitchen.
“Anything’s fine,” I answered hastily, and then continued with my sister. “So?”
“He was on call through out yesterday till this morning,” she said, and I found myself wondering just how much they had talked about. “But he’s supposed to call you as soon as he is free, maybe in the afternoon. I am coming with you to his place today so…”
“Wait why?” I asked.
“To find out anything about him,” my sister said. “I told you something is fishy, and yes I also wanted to try and steal Reginald’s number.”
“I don’t want you complicating things for me,” I said to her. “Why don’t we just let the investigation go. I thought he agreed to another date. Why don’t we just see where it goes, and focus on whether he is or not.”
“And what if he turns out to be a serial killer, or a pimp,” my sister said, raising her voice a bit. “And by the time we figure it out it’s already too late, and his BFF Reginald has sold your parts in black market, do you think I would be able to live with myself.”
“So you care about me that much?” I asked, even though I knew my sister was solely trying to satisfy her curiosity.
“Keep telling yourself that,” she answered. “You better calls me if he calls you okay. I’ll come back and we can go together. I hinted that I might come with you, so there’s no problem there.”
ANd then she left to go and get ready so she could go where she wanted to go to.
I hoped he would call, I wished he would call but I didn’t expect him too. I had my bath as I always did, taking time to sing Beyonce’s partition and Blow a couple of times before getting out. After drink myself thoroughly, I sat in front of my dressing mirror and brushed my hair, thinking of where I could go to.
MY mother’s supermarket, Yes. I rubbed a lot of lotion on my body, took out my most basic top and pedal pushers and put on lip gloss. It was after I had gotten ready to leave that I remembered that my mum thought I was supposed to be on a date with Philip. Gosh, I needed to start keeping tabs on my lies so I could remember them. I decided to change my plans, and pick up a book to read my time away. If my mother returned I would simply tell her that Philip cancelled on something like that.
So i rubbed off the shine on my lips, and jumped on the bed to begin reading. It was then that my phone rang. I giggled at the familiar number at first, took a deep breath to calm myself, and then I answered.
“Hey Lily,” Philip said in his deep voice. The way he called my name made my heart do three back flips a cartwheel and one summersault. “I can’t talk much now, but I’ll be free in the next hour. Can I come and pick you up so we can both go somewhere?”
“What if I am busy?” I asked, trying to sound indifferent. “You can’t just call and expect me to…”
“Are you going to be busy then?” he asked, cutting me short. There was something in the way he asked it, a sort of finality to his tone. I did not want to push my luck any further.
“Yes I am,” i said simply, but immediately I added, “but if it’s really that important to you to see me, I can cancel what I am doing for later. That’s if it’s all that important to you though.”
I imagined him sighing tiredly, and shaking his head, while I bit my finger, waiting with baited breath for his response, and hoping it would be what I wanted it to be.
“I’ll pick you up in a bit then,” he said, and without another word, the line went dead.
I was too excited to feel insulted by that. I danced around for a couple of minutes before remembering I hadn’t ironed what to wear. I dashed to my wardrobe, picked out a black top i had gotten myself for my birthday, and mid-nipple strapless gown. Then i took at my flat soles. The trick was to look supra, but not too super so he would not think I cared about what he thought about my appearance.
I was ready only after I had brushed my teeth about twenty times, wiped my face thoroughly with some cleansers and then applied light make-up which took six or so times before I was satisfied. I decided to call my sister and let her know that Philip would be arriving shortly, but before I could, I heard the car horning outside. I decided to forget my sister for now, surely there would be other dates, and if there wouldn’t then there was no need for her to come in the first place.
I took my purse, counted to hundred and stepped out of the house, locking the gate and leaving the key in our secret place. Then I walked as slowly as possible towards the gate so he wouldn’t think I was too eager to see him, to be with him.
As I opened the gate I changed my happy and excited face to an indifferent one. It was already enough that my heart was racing, there was no need for my face to show it too.
To my surprise, he got out of the car and opened the door for me.
“Hey,” he said. He seemed tired, he did not smell as fresh as the first time we met, instead he smelt of medicine.
“Hi,” I said back sheepishly, and then I got into the car. He closed the door, and then walked to his side. His stethoscope hung lazily on his rearview mirror and his lab coat was folded neatly at the backseat.
“Sorry just got out of work,” he said to me, as he closed his door, and then he turned to me, and said. “First and foremost, I am very sorry.”
“For what?” I asked sincerely.
“I think I must have done something to upset you back at my place,” he answered. ‘For that I am very, very,” he stressed the very. “Very sorry.”
‘What if I was just being a bitch?” I said, defending him. “You didn’t do anything, I just had some issues that’s all, and you’re apologising for nothing.”
“Firstly I don’t think you can ever be a bitch even if you wanted to,” he sounded genuine. “Secondly, my mum always said that whenever you were in doubt, always apologise to the girl. And get her flowers.”
I feigned looking around for the flowers.
“Those kids at the hospital,” he said with a sigh. “I will make it up to you. So am I forgiven?”
It was so strange. He was the one asking for my forgiveness, kind of like asking my permission yet it felt like he was in control. He was just too sexily confident, if that’s a word, and I hated it. Hated it because it was making me fall for him more and more..
“So where are we going?” I asked, ignoring his plea for forgiveness.
“My house first,” I said. “Let me freshen up, have a bath and look clean. We can’t go out and chill with me looking and smelling like a sick patient.”
I laughed a bit too loudly for a joke that wasn’t the list bit funny. And that was because I had heard the word “Bath” and it sent a jolt of electricity into my brain causing me to react that way. Because having a bath meant someone was getting naked, which could lead to the other person getting naked, that’s two people getting naked.
“No problem,” I said, and then he drove off.
My sister can be very annoying at times, I swear. Especially when she is confused and needs my help, and I being the good little sister have to step in. It is only when it’s convenient for her that she acts like the older sister.
But i still Love her. I finished early with my friends and decided to go and join my mother at her supermarket, and hang out there till Philip calls my sister and then she’ll call me and then we can all go to his house. My mother hated me coming over to the supermarket, but I loved it, because a lot of good looking guys patronised her store, rich good-looking guys.
I joined her in her office and waited patiently, ignoring her questions as to why I was around. Philip was supposed to call by three O’clock which meant in the next hour I would be out of here. I could endure my mother’s shenanigans for that long without dying.
It was half past three when I checked my phone again, and no missed call. My sister hadn’t called me yet. I suspected she decided to go without me, but I had to be sure; maybe Philip cancelled or something. I dialled her number, it rang for a while and then cut off.
“Stupid girl,” I said to myself, irritated.
My mum was crosschecking her register, so I used the opportunity to slip outside her office, and walk through the aisles. Maybe a few cute boys I could scope would be around.
I walked past the lingerie section, and then past the vaginal hygiene section then towards the condom section where I always met most of them. I never dated anyone of them just to be clear, but it was nice to just admire the beautiful things God created, even if they were doing not so beautiful things, but I’m not judging.
To my surprise the condom aisle was empty, so I walked past it, and then down the liquor section, another popular place. It was after I had walked past the water section, and I was approaching the diary section that I saw a guy.
He was light-skinned, quite tall, and from his side view slim. I usually hate when boys carry mohawks around, but when the guy turned and faced me, it seemed cool for his small head. He was also kind of cute.
He seemed confused as he compared two brands of milk with each other, or maybe I just assumed he was confused so I could have a reason to talk to him, I don’t know but whichever way, I walked up to him.
“Hem hem,” I cleared my throat. “Can I help you with that?” I asked, as I reached him. He wore a blue and white dotted shirt, with a black trouser.
“Maybe,” he said to me. “Just trying to decided what milk to get between this blue or purple one.”
His accent was okay, his teeth were quite jagged but his voice was deep.
“Are you Hausa?” I asked him, taking the products from him and looking at them. His perfume smelt really expensive.
“Yeah,” he said. “From Kano, but I never lived there, how could you tell?”
I ignored the question, and pretended to concentrate on the product.
“I’m Reginald,” he said.
“Reginald?” I said, looking up. The name instantly rang a bell in my head, and I remembered once again about Philip and Lilly.