I stopped for a second, to ask him what was wrong, but he kissed me silent, and once again I pulled him towards the bed. He resisted, I tripped and almost fell but he caught me before I could reach the bed, and then started laughing.
“What’s funny?” I asked, feeling frustrated, confused and every other negative thing it was possible to feel at once. “Is anything wrong, tell me?”
“Why would you ask that?” he said, holding me to his chest. “Nothing’s wrong.”
I wriggled free, and moved to the far end of the bed.
“It’s just,” he began, and Instead of me to just shut up and let him finish, I cut him short.
“It’s just what?” I asked him angrily. I wanted to cry now, but I held the tears back in. The last thing I wanted was for him to have a history in his dirty book of the girl who cried because he wouldn’t have sex with her. “Am I the problem?”
“It has nothing to do with you,” he said, even angering me the more. “It’s about me, not you.”
“You’re not attracted to me?” I asked him stupidly.
“Do you have to ask that?” he responded looking down at himself, and then back at me.
I sounded really desperate, you did not need to hit me on the head with the sign to know that. Is this what it had come to, I shook my head. Was it because I had not had sex in so long that I was behaving like this, or was I naturally like this, I was confused. I now knew how guys felt, when their girlfriends let them go all the way just to stop them halfway when the real deed was to go down. Some guys really had discipline, I had a new found respect for them, because right now, the only thing stopping me from knocking out this sexy piece of meat and having my way was the fact that there was nothing heavy enough to do the job, but light enough that I could carry and swing just as fast and effectively.
“Do you have a disease you’re protecting me from?” I blurted out. Clearly that was the only possible reason he could have for acting this way.
He looked at me incredulously. “What?”
“Are you sworn to celibacy?” I asked again, thinking up more reasons why he was acting like this.
He shook his head.
“Or are you…” I stopped myself before I could finish the sentence. Obviously he couldn’t be, the evidence was pressing against me moments ago, and I felt it strong, pulsing and very much alive. It wasn’t possible.
And then, like every other important moment where I needed no distraction, we heard a voice call out from outside.
“Philip nawa for you oh, you left your key in the keyhole again.”
Philip’s reaction was weird in my opinion. He jumped up at the sound of the voice, scrambled to put on the boxer shorts he had laid out, his shorts and a brown T-shirt. He put on a cap, wore his slippers and turned to me.
“Whatever you do,” he said in hushed tones. “Do not come out.”
“Is that Reginald?” I asked, confused as to why he was acting strange. If I hadn’t heard the voice, I would have thought his girlfriend was outside.
“Philip are you gay?” I couldn’t help it; the words just fell out of my mouth like vomit. He tripped and fell at the question.
“What the fuck?” he asked, getting up, and staring at me. “Hell no, where did you get that id…”
“Bisexual,” I asked again. I was determined to ask all the question I could think off before I lost my nerve.
“Why are you asking me these God damn questions?” he asked, and for the first time, he did not sound cool, neither did he look it. He was angry.
“No need to get angry,” I said quickly. “Sorry I asked.”
“Philip!” Reginald’s voice was much louder now.
“Just stay here please,” Philip said to me, and without another word, he slammed the door in my face.
I don’t know why I thought today would be any different, like seriously. I looked around his room, and then went to the window, and looked outside. A black G-wagon was packed outside beside Philip’s jeep. I assumed it was Reginald’s. On a normal day I would have been wondering what kind of work he was doing to afford such an expensive car, but today wasn’t a normal day, at least for me.
I now wished that I hadn’t agreed to this date, and why hadn’t I come with my little sister. I left the window, and went to his computer. I pressed the keyboards, and the screen came on. It requested a password. I searched around for clues as to what his password might be, and gave up when I found nothing.
Finally I went to his cupboard; I pulled apart the sliding doors and marveled at what greeted me. In the middle compartment of his cupboard, hung about ten or more suits with dry-cleaned shirts, and below them were different shoes, arranged neatly, casual shoes, corporate black, brown, blue, grey and multicolored shoes, party shoes, work-out shoes and a few leather slippers.
I got pissed off as everything I saw just made him seem like the perfect guy to have as a boyfriend. The way everything was stacked neatly and how freshly they smelt, with vestiges of perfumes that had probably lingered even after the clothes had been washed. You would think that after getting rejected twice that my heart would get the hint, it didn’t.
I closed the door, and checked the other compartments. Here there were perfumes on one layer, loads and loads of boxers folded neatly, some stockings and ties wrapped neatly. I pulled out the perfume bottles one after the other, reading the labels. I knew just four of them by names, the rest, only their scent seemed familiar, and then, just as I was about to drop the bottles back, I saw a blue box. It was too large for a shoe box, so I pulled it out.
It was quite dusty, compared to how neat every other thing was, as though it was deliberately left that way. I did not bother to dust it, so as not to leave any evidence that I had searched his room, so I opened it. What I saw made me drop the box, causing dust to shimmer, and causing me to sneeze.
Female underwear, pants, bras, panty hose, fell out as I dropped the box when I sneezed. I scrambled to pack them all up, noticing the expensive labels on almost all of them; Victoria’s secret, Zara, Bordelle, Myla, Jean Yu….. They were not new either, because they smelled of soap, like they had previously been washed.
There was no way Cynthia was going to believe this if I told her, I would need proof. SO I whipped out my phone and took several shots and almost immediately I sent them to her phone. Then I heard footsteps.
I quickly packed everything, put them back in the cupboard, tried my best to push the little dust under the bed, and sat still. The contents of that box were just what my mind needed to correct my stupid heart. I was totally disgusted, and resisted the urge to think of what those under wears might be doing there.
The footsteps had stopped, and then I heard Philip’s voice.
“Why did you pick her, am I supposed to believe it’s a coincidence?” he asked.
“Believe what you want,” Reginald replied. “I like her, so back off.”
“Don’t test me Reg,” I heard Philip say. “I know why you picked her.”
And then I heard a third voice.
“Reginald what’s keeping you so long?” and then as if on queue, I heard the familiar Tiwa Savage song, Eminado that was my sister’s ringtone whenever she received a message from me.
“Cynthia?” I gasped, and without thinking, I burst our of the room, and into the corridor, where Philip stood, a scared expression on his face, his hand leaning on the wall. And not too far, stood Reginald, wide eyed and grinning, and opposite him, my sister, whose laugh was cut short as she saw me. She pocketed her phone.
“Sister what are you doing here?” she asked me.
“Are you the one supposed to be asking me that question?” I shouted.
“And you said there was nothing going on between the two of you,” said Reginald, a funny expression on his face.
I was too upset to react to that statement.
“This is Philip,” I said to my sister, presenting Philip. “And that’s Reginald, the REGINALD!”
“Oh,” my little sister said, but something about the way she said it, told me she already knew. “You’re the Reginald,” she said to Reginald, pointing. “Philip’s Reginald.”
“Someone has been talking an awful lot about me,” Reginald said with a smug look that I wanted to wipe off with a resounding slap.
“Lilly,” Philip began, but I wasn’t listening to him.
“Nice to meet you Lilly,” said Reginald with a simper. “So you’re the girl that has been causing commotion between me and my best buddy?” he asked.
Philip rolled his eyes, and shook his head.
“Oh you haven’t seen commotion yet,” I said, testily, staring at my sister who seemed dumbstruck, staring from Reginald, to me, and then to Philip and then back, unsure of what to do. “But I will soon start causing commotion if you don’t tell me what you’re doing with my sister in this house.”
“Whoa I didn’t force her,” Reginald said, raising his hands as if in surrender.
“I didn’t know it was him,” Cynthia said defensively. “Sister I swear.”
“Really?” I said, not believing one word. “What? You did not know his name? You followed a total stranger to his house? How stupid can you be?”
“Not as stupid as you,” my little sister replied, and I lunged at her. She took out a knife from her bag; Reginald cowered, while Philip grabbed me moments before I could reach Cynthia.
“At least I was smart enough to take protection,” my little sister said, brandishing the knife at the three of us, as though it was three of us, and not just me that tried to attack her.
“Come on Cynthia,” said Philip still holding me. “Is the knife necessary?”
“Sister I did not know I swear,” My little sister said again.
“I like crazy chicks,” Reginald said.
“Shut up Reginald,” my sister shouted, and then she turned to me. She let down the knife, and the angry look on her face moments ago had turned to that of plea. “Sister I swear, I only came here just to be sure he was Reginald, the very one. I figured if I followed him to the house I would discover something.”
“Follow me for what?” Reginald asked. “And there I was thinking I was the one scoping you.”
“Shut up,” Philip and I said at the same time. “Discover what?” Philip said, he let me go now, and I stepped aside, trying to give my little sister a sign not to say anything stupid.
“Lilly couldn’t sleep last night because of you,” my sister continued, and I tried, with no success to phase through the wall and disappeare.
“Me?” asked Philip. “But you said…”
“I know what I said on the phone,” my little sister continued, as I searched everywhere, looking for a less painful way to kill myself than stabbing my chest. If she revealed what we talked about at home, about his orientation, then I was finished. “My sister thinks you’re just too perfect and too good to be true, and she’s determined to find a fault in you, because she thinks she does not deserve anything good.”
It was still a disastrous thing to say, considering that the earth refused to obey my command to open and swallow me, but it could have been worse. Imagine if she had told him that she wanted to discover if he was gay or not. If he reacted that way in the room, only God knows how he would have reacted now.
“I’m trying to understand something here,” said Reginald, straightening up after the threat of a stabbing was no more.
“Just drop it,” said Philip indifferently. “It’s late, we should take them home.”
“Why not make sense of it now?” said Reginald, “and save us a whole night’s gist trying to analyze these two chicks.” he eyed my little sister. “You’re a bad liar, and I like it.”
She made a face at him.
“I am serious,” said Philip. “It’s getting late, we should take them home.” he went into his room.
“Philip,” I said, but he ignored me, and entered his room.
“Well you guys can go wherever,” Reginald say, going to his room. “I just came to collect cash to take Cynthia out.”
“Like hell,” I said, pushing him out of the way. We were the same height, but I did not care. “Cynthia is coming home with me.”
“But sister,” said my little sister.
“Don’t sister me,” I scolded. “I mean Reginald? Really, of all people?”
“Give me some credit,” said Reginald. “I’m not that ugly or am I?”
“Sister I did it for you,” said my little sister, ignoring Reginald. God knows I wanted to slap her and beat her silly right then and there, but I kept my cool. ‘Just let’s go.”
“Ok then can Reginald at least drop me,” she pleaded, “I don’t want to sit in the car with you and Philip.”
“Whatever you want,” I said, and then I tried to enter Philip’s room, but it was locked. A minute later, as I was about calling his name, he opened it, handing me my bag.
For a while, the anger on his face made me forget the image of the disgusting underwear I had seen in his cupboard. I wasn’t quite sure why, but I was filled with guilt. I was also confused as to why he was angry though, if in fact he was, it was hard to tell anything about him these days. Maybe it was because of the obvious lie my sister had told, or perhaps he had decided I was just too much baggage. This was my third strike already wasn’t it?
I took my bag, we all went outside. I could see from my side eye, Reginald pinching and kidding around with my little sister. I could tell she liked it, but pretended, probably for my sake, to be annoyed by it. I did not wait for Philip to open the door for me, because I wasn’t sure if he would. I got into the car, and he got in as well.
“Are you and at me?” I asked him.
“I’m sorry if I did anything to upset you,” I said. Now I kind of knew how he felt when I was angry the first encounter and he had no idea why. He started the car, and Reginald followed behind.
We had been driving in silence for almost ten minutes when Philip spoke.
I wanted to respond, but I realized he was not talking to me, but himself.
“Why did he have to bring her back home?”
I was confused and quite frankly getting scared. Is it my sister he was talking about?
“We’re supposed to be best friends,” he continued to himself. He horned for an idiot that had blocked him from entering a lane, and continued. “I guess they will never let me be happy in peace.”
I said nothing, but just nodded automatically as he continued on lamenting on how he just wanted to be happy, but that if his happiness meant that his loved ones would get hurt then he was better off remaining sad.
I was only too happy when we stopped at my gate because at this point I was freaked out. Screw his fine face, his fine body his sexiness, whatever. He could always be replaced, but my life couldn’t. I did not even bother telling him goodbye; I just walked to my gate and waited there for my sister to get out of the car.
Reginald made a show of ushering my sister out of the car with a bow.
“Now was that so bad letting me treat you like a lady,” I heard him say. I heard my sister laugh, watched as she cut the laughter short when she saw my face, and then she hugged him, and walked towards me. I did not wait for her to reach me, I started going in.
We got to the door; it was already opened when we got there. As we entered the house, the corridor light was on, and my mother was sitting on the chair, the stick she used in making garri in her hand.
“Cynthia,” she said, as my little sister stepped inside. “Where were you?”