Dave ran into Nike on her way out of Juwon’s apartment. She looked startled and stuttered as she tried to greet him. He was surprised as well to meet her there, but was more confused that she was stuttering just to say hello. He remembered her from the other night at the dinner table, how she would not stop talking and making jokes about everything. He stood before her, holding the door knob, watching her lips flicker like a failing light bulb with no sensible words coming forth.
“Are you alright Nike,” He asked.
“I…I…I’m okay,” she managed to mutter as she struggled to collect herself.
“Alright and how is Kunle?”
“Kunle? O, Kunle, She’s…sorry, He’s fine as well. I’ll let him know you said hello.” She gathered herself and dashed off immediately.
Dave watched her until she disappeared around the corner outside Juwon’s apartment. He walked in and found Juwon seated and flipping through pages of a lifestyle magazine. She heard him come in and rushed to give him a big hug.
“I’m fine o…wasn’t that Kunle’s girlfriend, Nike, I met at the door on my way in?”
“Nike, yes that was her, I hope you greeted her o?” She asked grabbing him by the arm.
“Yeah, I did, but she seemed rather off, like I was some ghost from her past or something even weirder.”
“Really…eh, maybe she wasn’t expecting to meet you here sha.” She pulled him to seat beside her.
“No, I think it was more than that. Something is really wrong with that lady, I noticed it that night we had dinner together but I still can’t quite place it.”
The deep concern in his voice and words reflected on his face and it made Juwon uneasy. She didn’t like that. Not that he was concerned, but that it made her uneasy. To her it made her seem out of control, and she hated that position. She had to find a way to get back in control.
“I think you are being too critical about her,” she said, letting go of his arm. That called his attention and he looked towards her.
“Critical? How do you mean?”
“Well, you hardly know her yet you seem to be certain that she is a crazy person.”
“Hey, C’mon, I haven’t called her crazy…”
“Yeah, not yet you haven’t said it, but you are already thinking it,” Juwon cut him off.
He was silently staring at her and she knew she was gradually getting to him. Her attempt to put him as far away from the truth as possible seemed to be paying off.
Dave was a soft man in texture and character. The Ivy-League-College-degree-with-no-scrapped-knee type. His life so far had been one of kisses and roses; he had no reason to be sceptical or critical about life or other people, so his concerns about Nike bothered him as much as they persisted. He wondered why he felt so strongly about her for no reason. He wasn’t pleased.
Juwon saw this and she was pleased. She knew that as long as he remained soft and ‘sceptically deficient’, she will always be in control. If she did not learn anything else from her father, she sure learnt how to scheme and manipulate other people.
Meanwhile, Kunle was in his apartment thinking about what the hell he had gotten himself into. Juwon’s plan was dangerous and he knew it. He had analysed the plan from many angles, and he did not find any with a blissful ending for him, but his deep love for Juwon prevented him from being able to hurt her. He always thought he would marry her someday, but that was a long time ago and has continued to diminish since the day he caught her with Ezichi, the niece to one of their neighbours at the time.