The car cruised along the highway the sun setting slowly over the horizon, I was driving mechanically, my mind wasn’t on the road my current dilemma filled my thoughts, the total number of people in the car numbered six including me the driver, bunmi was at the back seat with Tolu, his girlfriend Sewa, and Dara also an housemate, his girlfriend precious sat the front passenger seat, we were about five minutes from our destination, when precious asked
“Richard, who is the babe?” she asked, I could barely hear her above the music playing in the car.
I didn’t have an immediate response, I thought about the last time someone asked about bunmi.
“Who we dey wait for na?, make we dey push” Dara asked, he was fed up of waiting, we were standing around the car, all dressed up and ready, we wore varsity jackets of our club, before I could answer, Tolu answered for me.
“We dey wait for him babe”
“Simi dey come here?” Dara asked surprised.
“Oga, no be Simi, na bunmi” Tolu continued, he was obviously enjoying himself.
“Who be bunmi again?
Tolu burst into laughter, on the cue bunmi walked in, they all became silence, she walked towards them, she approached me kissing me softly on my lips,
“I missed you” she said softly in my ears.
She disengaged from the embrace greeted the others as she walked into the car
The boys huddled with Richard.
“who be the babe na” Dara asked curious his voice slightly raised
Richard explained as quickly as he could to them both when he was through Tolu and Dara turned to stare at bunmi
“Na lie!!” Dara said.
Richard gave him a questioning look “”y I go lie?”
Dara thought for a while “na true sha, but wetin she want?” he asked.
“I no sabi for am o” Richard admitted.
“Baby are we still going” bunmi said interrupting their discussion.
“We are leaving soon, just sorting some minor details” I replied with a smile
“What of Simi?” Tolu asked.
“Simi dey meet us there” I replied
“Wetin you go tell am, na wetin I dey ask”
i walked towards the car with Tolu and Dara in tow “what am I going to tell Simi” he thought as he entered the car
Sewa’s voice brought me back to the present
“Answer na, who is she?”
I felt like sharing my problem with her, get a female perspective on the issue but you can never be sure with girls, their allegiance waivers
“A friend of a friend jare” I said “she needed a lift, my friend begged me to help her so….” I left the sentence hanging.
Sewa looked at me skeptically before replying “if u say so”
I was relived she didn’t pester me more, I sighed when I realized I was going to answer that question a lot over the course of the night.
We got to the location of the party, it was the happening club in town at the moment club diamonds AY did right booking it for the day, the outside was bubbling already, cars were packed with people milling around, all with excited looks, we all got down from the car, the girls spent few minutes freshen up, precious and Sewa stayed together, bunmi separated from them.
I was still worried about the whole bunmi situation, I still had no idea how to handle it “how would I introduce her?” “What would I tell Simi?”, “how would I stop bunmi and Simi from interacting?” bunmi approached me with a smile on her face totally unaware of my inner turmoil, I smiled back at her, she stood beside me and held my arm tightly, we headed towards the entrance, Sewa and precious gawked at us openly, I felt self-conscious walking with her like that but I couldn’t disengage from her arm lock, I didn’t know how she would react, a low profile was my aim this night, no attention at all, the party still had not started to my annoyance “if I catch that ay boy ehn”, people were milling around the entrance, my group eventually got there after numerous handshakes, patting on the back and polite smiles, Bunmi was still at my side holding my arm tightly, to some I introduced her as a friend, couple of people accepted that without hesitation, some others looked at me skeptically, some asked about Simi, when I said she was going to be around soon they looked surprised, I just smiled back at them, I hung around the entrance for about 15 minutes before I got a glimpse of the birthday boy Ayomide Williams (AY Camry to friends) he was surrounded by couple of people, all laughing heartily, I felt a sharp pang in my chest, this time last year I was like those people, part of his inner circle “a lot can change in a year” I thought as I advanced towards him, I felt a painful squeeze on the arm Bunmi was holding me, she looked apprehensively and scared, I was puzzled at her “what’s with her?” I wondered, after maneuvering around I finally got close to the man of the day, when he saw me he hugged me so fiercely bunmi was forced to relinquish her hold on me, when he finally disengaged from the embrace he look at me with a smile
“how u dey na?” he asked
“the way you left me o” I said
I looked at him and still couldn’t believe he had finally matured, I meet Ay in my 100l year we both belonged to the same entertainment club in school Odions, I was brought in by my cousin who was in 300l while Ay was brought in my his elder brother we were groomed to the future of the club and we didn’t disappoint, our friendship waxed very strongly over the years, we complimented each other well, my laid-back attitude to his ghun-ho attitude, AY has charisma, I have to give him that, people loved having him around and being around him, it was cool for me then when we walked and lived together I got to meet lot of people, in our 300l we were roommates when we left the school hostel, we had a serious falling out which led to him leaving the next year, things were never the same after then numerous awkward conversations, but he is still my bro we had gone through so many things together, if push comes to shove I am certain he has my back and I have his.
“how far simi na?”
“she still dey come o, she say she no fit miss your party” I replied.
“who con be the other babe?” AY asked, curious about bunmi who was currently out earshot.
I gave me a huge grin, he looked at me surprised.
“na lie, na lie” he said excited he punched and shoved me playfully.
The grin was a private way of communication between the two of us, signaling sexual conquest
“How e happen” he asked.
I gave a load down of bunmi as quickly as I could, surprise and shocked he kept prodding me for more details, then he asked the everyone asked
“What would happen with Simi?”
I felt giddy and riled up talking about my conquest with bunmi; Simi’s name brought me back to earth.
“Chairman, I no get idea” I said my voice portraying my mood
“The one advice I’ll give u I make sure two of them don’t meet or interact or even see themselves”
On the cue my phone rang, the caller id showed Simi, my heartbeat increased rapidly, the moment have been dreading has finally arrived and I still didn’t have a clue on how to handle it.
“Na she dey call me now sef” I told AY as I stared at my phone
“Sweetie, are you still coming?” I asked Simi over the phone hoping against hope
“Of course am around already, am at the car park which side are you?” she asked.
“Am with AY now, around the entrance, am coming to meet you, just hanging around there” I cut the call before she could reply.
I felt tense, “this is it, don’t get scared now”, first thing to do was dispatch bunmi, next was to get Simi, the third and most important keep them apart, bunmi held my arm has I walked towards the car park, I scanned around looking for someone I could hand her off to, I spotted Andrew, he was a 100l level student and a new entrant into Odions he would do anything to be in my good books but before I handed her off I felt I had to have a talk with bunmi, she at least deserves that, I took her to a semi-quiet corner, I disengaged from her arm look and stared at her, I hardly know her so I have no idea how she would react to what I have to say.
“Bunmi, I have a girlfriend” I said, I looked at her anxious for her reply.
“Ok” she finally said slowly.
“And em, she is around now” I added, I stared at her again.
“Ok” she said again slowly.
“I understand if you want to leave, I shouldn’t have invited you in the first place, but you didn’t ask if I had a girlfriend I thought it was for the sex alone and it would be over” I said frankly I stared at her trying to gauge her reaction, but she was straight face
“Ok” she said again
“Say something else” I replied my voice raised, visibly angry.
“What do you want me to say” she replied her voice matching mine “do you want me to get angry? Slap you? Or say am ok with you leading me on? So what if you girlfriend is around? What do you want me to do? Start sulking, get angry and go home?
I stared at her throughout the tirade I expected her to talk but definitely not this much “oh, boy, what have I gotten myself into?”
“Or do you expect me to go confront her?, you want a fight? It’s up to you Richard, it’s your decision what do you want me to do?
I was shocked at her outburst, didn’t expect it from her, she seemed quiet and all, she had changed from the cool girl I met at the viewing center to a very annoying thing, I felt like telling her to go home, I was fed up with her and it would solve all my problems, I would have peace of mind to enjoy the party but then I would forever feel bad about it, I would feel like I used her, and I definitely wanted to fuck her again letting her go would stop that from happening.
“You can stay I paused u’ll have to be with someone else all this arm holding has to stop, and do not talk to Simi for whatever reason, understood”
“Sure” she said.
We walked back to the main party I found Andrew and dropped her off with him; I left him with strict instructions not to leave her at all.
“I’ll come check on you occasionally” I told her as I left.
She nodded absently.
I jogged to the car park I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket I knew it was Simi, I sighed heavily, “today is not going to be easy”