She stood outside Sweet Sensation and awaited the arrival of her childhood friend. She regretted the way she had been treating him. What was wrong with her? Amongst her friends, he was the only one that stood by her, yet, she made him miserable. She had learnt her lesson. She won’t make that mistake ever again. She recognized the blue Toyota Corolla the moment it halted at the side of the road. She noticed that he wasn’t the only one in the car. There was a fair skinned lady seated at the front seat. Who was she? She got into the passenger seat and thanked him.
“Bina, meet my girlfriend, Adiza,” he seized her up. She looked okay, although a little bit unruffled.
Her eyes widened in surprise. She looked from him to the fair lady and back at him. When did he start dating?
“Hi…” Adiza turned around and smiled at her. Her boyfriend’s childhood friend was very pretty and much more physically endowed than she was. Many men would die to date the likes of her.
Bina waved a hand at her and forced a smile. It didn’t reach her eyes.
“She lives in my compound and also works at PHCN,” he added.
“How convenient…” she said to herself and folded a hand across her chest. It had been a while since she had shared her friend with another woman.
Tjay stopped the car in front of her house fifteen minutes later. She thanked him and got down.
“I would really like to speak with you,” she directed her gaze at him.
He glanced at his girlfriend and back at her, “We will talk tomorrow.”
She frowned, “What about tonight?”
“Don’t be selfish, you can see that I am with someone,” Tjay eyed her.
“Fantastic,” she backed away from the car, “Where is my friend when I needed him most?”
He eyed her again, “You haven’t been friendly lately.”
“Fine! Enjoy yourself,” she glanced at the fair lady, “Nice meeting you,” she turned around and walked up to the gate. She knocked and was let into the house by the security guard.
He sighed and shook his head. She would never change, he thought.
“Maybe you should drop me off and come back to see her,” Adiza tried to suggest.
“No… don’t mind her,” he started the car.
“She is an only child who is used to getting her way all the time. I will see her tomorrow,” he assured her.
“A spoiled brat?” She raised an eyebrow.
“Exactly,” he winked at her.
They both started to laugh.
She sat on a wooden stool outside the bungalow, breaking the shells and chewing the boiled groundnuts in it. The empty shells were littered on the ground in heaps of tens and twenties. It was noon already and her friend had not shown up. She had called him several times and left him lots of messages. Where was he? Maybe with his new girlfriend. A frown creased her brow. She couldn’t remember the last time she competed for his attention with another girl. He rarely dated. She didn’t know why and never bothered to ask. She had been a very bad friend to him. He cared a lot about her and she had always taken him for granted. The security guard opened the gate and someone walked in. Her face brightened when she saw him.
“Where is your car?”
“Adiza needed it,” he approached her.
She raised an eyebrow. How many men would allow their girlfriends to drive their cars?
He found a plastic chair at a corner and placed it beside the stool.
“What took you so long?” she eyed him.
“I am here now, aren’t I?” he looked around him and shook his head, “You will never change.”
“What?” she followed his gaze and saw the empty shells of groundnut all over the ground, “Mrs. Ekaette will clean it up. Care for some?” she passed him the big bowl of boiled groundnuts. He dipped his hand into the bowl and grabbed some.
“What were you doing in Ilupeju last night?”
She threw some groundnuts into her mouth, “I went to visit Eru.”
“Oh… so he lives in Ilupeju?” the groundnuts tasted fresh in his mouth.
She nodded in affirmation and swallowed.
“Why didn’t he give you a ride home?”
She frowned, “We had a fight.”
“Lover’s quarrel,” he chuckled.
She snorted, “It was more or less like wrestle mania.”
“How?” he directed his gaze at her.
She placed the bowl on her laps, “He slapped me.”
His eyes widened in surprise.
“And I slapped him back, twice.”
His jaw dropped in astonishment. He was against men hitting women, regardless of what they said or did. Although Ibinabo was a handful and could bring out the worst in anyone, but, her boyfriend went too far by hitting her.
“I also bit him in the tummy until he bleed,” there was a satisfied look in her eyes.
He shook his head in amazement.
“Stop staring at me like that, I am not a vampire,” she started breaking some of the groundnut shells.
“You never stop to surprise me. What did you do that… that made him react that way?” his worried stare searched her face.
She threw away the groundnuts in her hands and faced him, “What sort of question is that?”
“Why did he slap you?” he pressed.
She hissed and looked away, “Just because… because… he… he said I turned his flat into a pigsty.”
He closed his eyes and sighed heavily.
“And then, he… he ordered me to clean the apartment,” she rose, “Am I his maid or a slave?”
He opened his eyes and looked up at her. Her coffee brown eyes flashed with annoyance, “If you made the mess, you are supposed to clean it up.”
“What, what, what? On whose side are you on? Men!” she hissed and sat back on the stool.
“I am not defending him,” he noticed that she was in a pair of white shorts which barely covered her dark smooth chocolate thighs. Her matching white spaghetti top barely covered her cleavage. He turned away and looked towards the gate, “Men shouldn’t hit women, ever.”
“Eh-hen,” it pleased her that he wasn’t taking sides with Eru.
“He had no right,” he frowned at the thought that she had been hurt.
“True, and to think that I actually liked him,” she hissed again.
He stared at her. She seemed sad. He felt a throbbing ache in his heart. He had not been able to stop loving her, despite the fact that he was dating another, “If he likes you too, he will come back.”
“Really?” coffee coloured sad eyes met brown assuring ones.
“Yes, but, you need to change.”
She lowered her gaze, “I know, I will, it’s never intentional, I just…” a tear slid down her face.
He reached out for her hand and squeezed it, “It is going to be all right.”
The security guard opened the gate. A Prado jeep drove in, followed by a Toyota Corolla. They both got up, holding hands. Eru parked the car and got out. Adiza got out of the vehicle and approached them.
“What are you doing here?” she lashed out at Eru.
He raised his hands and walked up to her, “Please hear me out.”
“I have to go,” Tjay dropped her hand.
She turned towards him, “Okay. Thanks,” her warm gaze observed him.
He smiled, “You know I will always be here for you.”
Bina nodded and pulled him close in a hug. She felt safe in his arms.
Adiza watched them. Seeing her man in another woman’s arms regardless of the fact that they were just friends didn’t make it less painful.
Tjay pulled away and faced Eru, “It is nice seeing you again.”
“And you too,” Eru eyed him. Seeing his woman hugging another didn’t sit well with him.
Tjay put his hand around Adiza and they walked back to his car. They got in and he drove out of the large compound.
“Bina…” the plea his eyes tugged at her heart.
She seized him up, hissed and walked into the house.
He hurried after her and reached out for her hand.
“Don’t touch me!” she glared at him.
“Please… I know I over-reacted that night. I was upset.”
“Oh-oooh,” she hissed, eyed him and went straight to her bedroom.
He followed her, “I am sorry. I promise that I will never ever raise a hand against you again.”
She eyed him and folded her hands across her bosom.
“Please forgive me,” he sounded remorseful.
She met his pleading dark gaze and nodded in acceptance, “All right. I forgive you.”
“Thank you,” he sighed with relief and beamed.
She dropped her gaze and stared at his tummy.
“Don’t worry,” he placed a hand on his stomach.
She lifted her eyes and met his smiling ones.
“It still hurts, but, I am fine.”
She paled, “I am sorry.”
“It is okay,” he assured her, “You have very sharp set of teeth.”
She pouted her lips, “I am not a vampire.”
He raised his hands, “Far be it from me to abhor such nasty thoughts.”
She chuckled and leaned against the wall. She looked up at him and felt the heat of his perusal.
“You look sexy,” he seized her up.
“Go away jo,” she walked past him and sat on the un-made bed.
Eru looked around the room and the desire within him dissolved. The room was untidy. Was this what he was going to face if he married her? Was he ready for that kind of life? He made enough money and could afford to employ a maid, but, he needed his wife to be at least organized. He really liked her and hoped she wasn’t beyond change.
“Why don’t you change into something and let’s eat out?” he suggested.
“Yippee!” she jumped off the bed and rushed to the wardrobe.
“I will… wait in the sitting room,” he backed out of the room, closed the door and let out a loud breath.