“I don’t know what he is still doing with that girl sef. I have told him times without number that she’s an harlot, a good for nothing girl. She only wants Daniel for his money; not that he has any sef.” Tolu hissed, handing me a clean wrapper for the second time that night.
Daniel had told one of us to go. I wasn’t expecting him to kick out his girlfriend, so I packed my things and made the decision for him. I was reaching for the door knob when I felt his presence behind me.
“Daniel what are you doing?” His girlfriend asked.
“Look, I don’t want you to have to go like this.” He murmured, so close to my ears.
“Its okay…” I said, turning around to face him. “Thank you for your help. It’s been more than I expected. I think I can take it from here.” I managed to not sound hurt.
“Let me see you off at least.” He took my bag from me.
“Daniel!” His girlfriend yelled, baffled at his action. Daniel grabbed my right my hand, pushed his door open and we were gone. I looked back at his girlfriends who was ready to explode from anger in no time.
He took me to his sisters apartment. Even though Daniel had just woken her up in the middle of her sleep, her face lit up when she saw me peeping from behind Daniel.
“It’s, Ngozi….” He paused. While scratching his head, he continued. “Just keep her for tonight.” He gave my bag to her.
His sister hissed and collected my bag from him. She slammed the door before he could say anything.
“I guess you have met the girl that’s been screwing a nut in my brothers head.” I nodded, following behind her as she led me into her bedroom.
“Ola’s father is not in tonight so we can all manage this bed. ”
The bed in question was a twin size bed. I couldn’t imagine two adults fitting in that same bed. To my left, her daughters soft snore’s drew my attention. She was lying on a wrapper on the floor.
“Let’s carry her to the bed, I will take the floor instead.”
“She’s fine jare… she’s used to it.” Tolu said, tucking Ola’s blanket closely on her.
I insisted that we allow the child enjoy the comfort of a bed. As a child, I had a comfortable queen size bed with fluffy pillows to lay my head but I could have been that little girl lying on a cold hard floor.
All through the night, I turned and turned. It wasn’t the hard floor that prevented me from sleeping, it was rather the fact that I was jealous of Daniel’s girlfriend. I had suspected he was dating someone but I never expected to find out the way I did.
By morning, my bones were sore. I could hear them popping as I walked to where I perceived the scent of someone cooking.
“Ah good morning. How was your night.” Tolu greeted me, covering her cooking pot.
I smiled wearily, as my stomach growled. I was about to respond when Ola came out from no where.
“Aunty! Aunty!” she chanted, running into my arms, she hug me. “You’re still here. Will you take me to school today?”
“Is that how to greet in the morning? Come on get back here.”
Ola separated herself from me. Frowning, she went and stood beside her mother.
“It’s okay, she’s just a child. I cant remember the many times I forgot to greet my parents in the morning—” and then it hit me; I hadn’t spoken to my parents in 3 days! They must have been worried sick already. I sighed.
“Hey do you have a phone I can use?”
“For what?” she asked, fixing the collar on Ola’s uniform.
“I need to speak to my parents before they start to think the worse. The last time I spoke to them was when I was boarding the plane to come to Nigeria.”
“Oh sure. You suppose don call them say you don land.” She said, in a language I still quite understand. “Ola go and bring my cell phone under my pillow.”
I waited to take Ola to school before calling my parents. I had the road to her school mapped out in my head, and so as I walked beside Ola, there was no fear in my steps.
I hadn’t seen Daniel all morning. As I walked past his apartment, returning from dropping his niece at school, I wondered if his girlfriend was still in. I knocked on his sister’s door, I was startled when Daniel opened the door.
There was embarrassment written all over his face. He held the door open and I entered just as Tolu was saying,
“But you still slept with her didn’t you?”
Clearing her throat, she added, “Well e no concern me o.” she went into her bedroom.
We were both quiet after Tolu left the room. My nerves got the best of me. Why should I care about what he did or didn’t do with his girlfriend?
“Hey i just came to say I’m sorry—”
“Is your girlfriend okay?” I did’t need him to apologize for what he had no control over. I would have did the same thing his girlfriend did if I found my boyfriend with another woman.
He frowned. Sighing, he said, “I explained things to her, she sends her apology.
“That’s a lie!” his sister shouted from her room. She had to be eavesdropping on us.
I took a seat on the couch where Tolu sister laid dying the first day I met her. The event of that day brought chills down my legs.
“My sister said you wanted to call your parents.” he said.
“Oh yeah!” I answered, facing him. He brought out a Blackberry phone from his pocket and handed it to me.
Because I knew who my parents were, especially the one I was about to call, I moved away from Daniel as I dialed my mother’s number.
“This child you wont kill me! Where in the world have you been? Your father and I have been worried sick for the past 2 days. His gone to the police to report a case of a missing person to them.”
“This isn’t funny…” then she paused.
“What sought of silly joke is this? Why is the number you’re calling from showing a Nigeria Area code?” she paused again. “Patricia please tell me it’s not what am suspecting!” she shouted.
“Mom please calm down. I know I should have told you about it, it just happened and…”
“and what? Who do you know in Nigeria? Who have you been staying with in that country? Your father and I have been patient with you…’
“I know, I know,”
“We allowed you to travel because you promised it will clear your head and help you make the decision of divorcing Micheal… your child has been without a mother for 2 months, what are you thinking!”
But what my parents didn’t know was that i was running away, and possibly never coming back.
I hung up.