The ringing of his phone woke him up. He opened his eyes and found Adiza sleeping beside him. She came into his apartment that morning and found him still in bed. She teased him, calling him ‘lazy-bones’, but now, she had also fallen asleep. He smiled and reached out for his phone which was on the rugged floor. He noticed that he had several missed calls from his childhood friend. Wasn’t she supposed to be with her fiancé and his family? He sat up and picked the call.
“Tjay… I have been trying to reach you,” she sounded exasperated.
“Are you okay?”
“No,” she sounded like she had been crying.
“What is it?” his heart missed a beat.
“Please, come and get me.”
“Where are you?”
“Somewhere in Ikorodu.”
“Why don’t you take a cab home?”
“I need you.”
He scratched a spot on his scalp, “Where is your fiancé?”
“He is with… he has called off the whole thing,” she sobbed.
“Ah-han! What happened?” he became worried.
Adiza woke up and turned on her side.
“Please come and pick me up.”
“Okay, okay, text me your exact location.”
“Thank you,” she sounded relieved.
He hung up and sighed. He couldn’t imagine what might have gone wrong. He felt sorry for her.
“Who was that?”
He turned around and found her seated on the bed, “It is Bina. I need to pick her up at Ikorodu.”
“Why?” she frowned.
He got down from the bed.
“Why can’t she get a cab or something?” she observed him.
“She is in no condition to come home alone,” he opened his wardrobe.
“What does that mean?” her eyes drilled into his bare back.
“Eru called off the wedding,” he belted his brown Chinos trousers.
“And so?” she cared less. She wasn’t happy that her boyfriend had to be dragged into his childhood friend’s mess.
Her response caught him off guard. He glanced back at her in surprise.
“Is this how you will continue to be at her beck and call? What happens when we get married?”
He blinked and began to laugh. Women and their vivid imaginations never ceased to amuse him.
“This is not funny. I am beginning to think that there is more to this your so called alliance with her.”
He stopped laughing and placed both hands on his hips, “Haba Adiza.”
“Why should it be you all the time? Why can’t she call someone else?”
He picked up the car keys on the table.
“Don’t go,” she pleaded. She had thought they would spend the weekend together.
“I have to. She needs me,” he tried to make her see reasons.
She got down from the bed, “I need you too.”
“Come on Adiza. You know that you have me one hundred percent.”
She closed the gap between them, “Then stay with me, you can call one of those cab drivers to pick her up and take her home.”
He sighed heavily, torn between pleasing his girlfriend and helping his friend, “I will be back soon,” he pecked her on the forehead and headed out.
She bit at her lower lip. Was it possible that her man had feelings for his friend? If he does, what does he feel for her? Was it possible to be in love with two people at the same time?
Bina started to cry again when she saw Tjay’s car. He helped her with her bags and they got into the car.
“What happened?” he didn’t like the way he saw her. Her eyes were red, her face was red and she looked like her whole world had ended.
“He chose his family over me. He collected his ring,” she sobbed, “Tjay, I think there is something wrong with me. All the men that proposed to me always leave me, why, why Tjay?”
He pulled her close in a hug, “It is going to be all right.”
“I don’t have anyone. I am all alone in this world,” she sounded distressed.
“No, you are not. You have Granny and of course, you have me.”
She stopped crying. He was right. He had stood beside her despite all odds, “Thank you for always been there for me.”
“You are welcome,” he released her and started the car.
Lolly was taken by surprise when Tjay brought her grand-daughter home. Bina narrated what happened at the Ogheneochuko’s place. She wished she could ease the young girl’s pain.
Tijay tidied Bina’s room and watched her fall asleep. She held unto his hand and refused to let go. His girl friend called several times, but, he couldn’t pick her call.
Lolly watched him in amazement. She had always sensed that the boy had deep feelings for her grand-daughter. His actions over the years confirmed what she thought.
Adiza stood outside the gate and kept on knocking. It was six in the evening and she had not seen her boyfriend. He refused to pick her calls or reply her text messages. If she find him in the Udeme’s place, he would have a lot of explaining to do.
The security guard opened the gate and allowed her in. Her anger intensified when she saw Tjay’s car parked at a corner. She marched into the house and sat in the living room. The housekeeper offered her a drink but she refused it. A few minutes later, Tjay walked in.
“Babe, what are you doing here?” he sat beside her.
“I should be asking you that,” she looked him up and down.
His puzzled gaze focused on her frowning face.
“You left home this morning and you didn’t even bother to call.”
He had been distracted, he had thought of calling her that morning, but, it skipped his mind, “Can we talk about this later?”
“No!” she flared.
He seized her up. What was wrong with her? Why was she so angry? If she was here to pick a fight with him, her timing was totally wrong. He took her by the hand and led her out of the house. He didn’t want anyone to hear them arguing.
“Are you okay?” he looked deep into her eyes.
She placed a hand on her hip, “Are you in love with Bina?”
He crossed his arms and stared back at her, “You know I care a lot about her. She is my childhood friend.”
She shook her head, “Do you love her or not?” her heart lurched as she waited for his response.
“What are you driving at?” he tried to avoid her question.
“There is something going on between you two,” she pointed an accusing finger at him.
He chuckled, “You are imagining things,” he tried to make light of the situation.
“No! I am not,” she eyed him.
He looked at her closely. He had never seen her that upset. If she had discerned how he felt about Bina, then he didn’t do a good job hiding it.
“You are in love with her. I have eyes… I see things, I hear things,” she shot him a cold stare.
He pressed his lips together. He didn’t know what to tell her.
“Why did you ask me out in the first place?” she felt frustrated. She couldn’t believe that she had been dating someone who was in love with another.
“Let me finish!” she raised a hand, her cold eyes bored into his sober ones.
He remained silent and just watched her.
“I can’t do this anymore. I cannot be in a relationship with someone who loves someone else.”
Seeing her hurt made him feel pained. Dating her had soothed his aching heart. Maybe he shouldn’t have started something he couldn’t finish. He had been lying to himself. He thought he would be able to get over Bina, date then marry someone else, but, his heart remained hers completely. He had made a big mistake.
He stepped forward, “I am so sorry.”
“Keep your sorry to yourself,” her disdainful look seized him up.
“Please forgive me,” he clasped his fingers together.
Her hazel eyes shone with unshed tears, “Goodbye Tjay,” she turned around and sauntered away.
“Adiza!” he called out to her, but she kept on walking.