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Like a man who suddenly stripped himself naked in the market square to express his new birth of insanity, I became a center of attention and controversies. I was determined to survive against all odds, yet I was greatly confused and indecisive. I didn’t have the slightest idea of how to handle Kike’s situation, if she truly has leukemia she deserves a great deal of attention, yet her statement, “I am a lawyer, I am trained to win cases whether or not I have to fight dirty” makes me doubt her sincerity. There’s no clarity as to what Lizzy wants, yet the way we connected while kissing made it seem as if we’ve been together for too long. At least until Morenikeji came into the picture; I was shocked to see her there. She regarded Lizzy with the prefix ‘aunty’, which explains that they are either related or enjoy a cordial relationship.
“You two know each other?” I asked with the intention of hiding my confusion, “Yes” they answered simultaneously.
“Morenike was my school daughter while on campus, my big baby. I invited her over for the weekend” Lizzy explained, “How do you two know each other?” she asked me,
“We are neighbours, and he also tutors me any art related courses when I don’t understand” Morenike interrupted with a lie. I simply let out a cheapish smile.
“Wow, it’s a small world. Keji, why don’t you go inside and drop your bag, so we can drop off Kunle at the gate and get dinner on our way back.”
“Okay big sis” Keji got in and out of the house within a minute.
Lizzy drove past her estate gate and when she didn’t pull over I was swift to point it out.
“Oh, let’s just drop you at home. I don’t think it is proper for you to use public transport while you are still recovering.”
“No, don’t stress yourself” I countered; “I wasn’t negotiating sir” she smiled, then winked at me. I knew I was in trouble; two things were involved; Keji’s presence made me uncomfortable and Lizzy was driving to an apartment Kike rented for me. Why do I keep walking into such snares?
“So, how do you two know each other?” Keji asked,
“Kunle is my patient” Lizzy answered,
“Hmm” Keji cleared her throat, “Big sis, I saw you guys kissing. Is there a definition to that? Maybe brother Kunle should answer that.”
“We are just friends”
“I see” Keji said cynically while rolling her eyes, I could see her through the rear mirror.
“Take the next left” I instructed Lizzy on what road leads to my house. We were there in about ten minutes; I let myself out of the car and expressed my gratitude to Lizzy for dropping me off,
“This is the second time I am giving you a lift Mr. Man, pay up” she teased. I laughed and promised to pay her when the time was right.
“How about right now? The mood is right” she said, a little seriousness in her tone. By then I was already by her side of the car.
“A goodnight kiss wouldn’t hurt” she replied in a mushy manner. “Mogbe!” alarmed in my head, the woman I have always been in love with was seated right there. I couldn’t possibly kiss Lizzy, I thought within me as I restrained.
“Please” she insisted. I leaned over and pecked her on the lip. I was about to say goodnight when Keji cut in,
“Is that the best you can do? A lady persuades you to kiss her and all she gets is a light peck. Brother Kunle, come on! Okay, I promise not to look.” I knew I was in for it; she was going to torment me till I get frustrated.
“Oshey baby mi” Lizzy commended her and they hit a high five. I kissed Lizzy again, said goodnight to both ladies and turned to leave.
“Brother Kunle” Keji called out again, “what?” I yelled within me as my anus tweaked in pain, what does she want this time? To be kissed?
“I am sorry about Tayo’s demise. Bisi called to inform me, may his soul rest in peace.”
“Thanks. Goodnight.” I answered reluctantly; her mention of Tayo bruised my conscience. I wasn’t sure she did it on purpose, but she reminded me that I was supposed to be mourning and not kissing. Tears flooded my face as I walked into the compound; they drove away.
I flipped the switch to the presence of Kike standing by the window; she must have let herself in with the spare key.
“I hope you enjoyed the kiss. I thought you said she wasn’t attracted to you? If that isn’t attraction, I’m not sure what it is.”
I was speechless. I felt emotionally trapped. I wasn’t sure of what to say to her; whether or not she deserved an explanation. Yet, the only definite thought I had was that of pain; the mental pain Tayo’s untimely departure created and the physical one presido inflicted, thanks to Keji for the reminder.
“How are you?” I asked as I sat down.
“If you are asking about my health, the good news is that I am dying. At least death will save me from my miseries. And if you intend to learn about my emotional state of mind, news flash, you are doing a very good job to make sure I give up on survival; thanks to the kiss between you and Lizzy.”
“Kike, I don’t want you to die, and the kiss with Lizzy isn’t what it seem” I replied gently, “I wish things were different. These past few months have been tough for me and has led me to embrace certain situations out of self-pity; that is what got me here in the first place. I wouldn’t want you to make the same mistake because you think you’re dying.”
“It will hurt you badly if I embrace you today because you are dying and let go if you survive. I care about you, but I am not sure I feel anything for you, at least not right now.”
“Okay, I understand you. Can you just give me the chance to prove my worth to you, let me make things right. If that’s the last good thing I do before I die, I will be glad.”
“How?” I inquired,
“We can start by visiting Akure together on Monday”
“As just friends” I chipped in, “Yes, just friends” Kike affirmed,
She smiled and went ahead, “when we return, we will work towards getting you another job and devise means of jailing presido, or whatever he calls himself.”
“That’s a good plan” I added, “Yes it is, but only on two conditions,” she pointed out.
I sighed and waited for her to state her terms, “we will not keep secrets from each other, and you won’t talk to me about Bade, ever. Deal?”
She sat beside me after picking up a branded KFC nylon from the floor and handed me a pack from inside, “here, dinner.” I struggled with my appetite but was able to take few bites so as to take my medications.. We lay to sleep several minutes later and she requested to put her head on my chest, I approved of it.
“Talking about secrets, I saw Morenikeji today,” I whispered.
“Oh!” she sounded surprised.
“At Lizzy’s place, they attended the same university.”
“Please don’t tell me she was the one in the car tonight”
“That was her”
“Yet you kissed Lizzy right in front of her,” Kike burst into laughter “you are a bad ass superman.” We laughed and I can’t remember who dozed off first.
Kike wasn’t there when I woke up around 10am; I must have woken up that late because of the drugs I took the previous night. She left a note informing me that she had several court appearances to make and wouldn’t be back till evening. She was kind enough to drop some money in case I needed to get anything, especially food, since I was on medication.
Few minutes Lizzy sent me a text: At work now, I sent Keji over with breakfast. Is she there yet? Take good care of yourself, talk later. Xoxo.” I heard a knock on the door as soon as I was done reading the message, it was Keji. I opened the door, she bumped into me with a hug and wouldn’t let go,
“Okay… What was that for?” I asked. It isn’t as if we haven’t hugged before, it just felt strange; considering the drama she put up the previous night.
“I am sorry Kunle” she pleaded remorsefully.
“For the way I behaved yesterday, I was just jealous”
“But we are not even…”
“Yea, we are not together. But that’s the point, I wanted you to make more out of your life and I left you to do it by yourself. I could have shown more commitment and be with you all the way; supporting and encouraging you. I was too harsh. I was also stupid not to admit that I was… that I am in love with you.”
Her last statement left my mouth ajar. She still wouldn’t let go of me. I managed to shut the door before asking her to sit down. My emotion was aroused by her show of remorse; it was obvious I was still in love with her.
“Don’t fault yourself Morenikeji. You were only being yourself, the words you said to me that day has been a great push for me to survive, and…”
“That has only cost you more than you bargained for. Lizzy told me what happened, again? It’s my entire fault,” she began to weep.
“Hey” I shushed her, “it’s all over now, and we will be fine. Okay?” She leaned on my shoulder and we soon started kissing.
“Baby, you should eat so that you can use your drugs” she said after taking a long drag on my upper lip. She brought out a cooler and handed me a spoon. I was about to open the cooler when my phone rang, it was Bisi;
“Brother Kunle please come home, I am scared” I could hear the fear in her voice and the way she gasped for air,
“Bisi, what is it?” I asked with great concern.
“He wants to do it again”
“Who? Do what?” she was crying bitterly and sure sounded like she was being hunted, “he wants to rape me!”
“Rape you?” I screamed, “Who?” she was no longer on the line, last thing I heard was a disconnect tone. I tried to call back but her number was switched off.
Written by Femi Fragile (Twitter: @fragiletimbzz | IG: femifragile)