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Deola sat on the toilet seat in her bathroom and cried. Her tears weren’t coming down in torrents but her heart was breaking. She dabbed at her eyes with some tissue and struggled to find Teni’s number. It rang out the first time she dialed it and she tried a second time. Then a third and finally, Teni picked. She sounded like she’d just woken up from sleep
“Madam, how far?”
Deola pulled herself together so she could be coherent
“Morning sis, did I wake you up?”
She heard the mild irritation in Teni’s voice as she replied
“It’s past 6am on a Saturday morning. What do you think?”
“Wait, are you crying? What’s the matter?”
Deola burst into fresh tears even as she tried to keep her voice down. She heard Teni sit up and imagined the worried expression on her sister’s face.
“Dee, talk to me! What happened? Is Deji okay? Are the kids alright?”
“Sister mi, Deji is cheating on me. Deji… Deji… He’s seeing… He’s seeing another woman.”
“Ah! Sister mi. You said it o! These men! They can’t be trusted. After two kids! Ah!”
Teni’s voice was rather stern.
“Stop being dramatic Deola! Pull yourself together and tell me what happened.”
Deola sniffed and wiped her nose with the back of her hand.
“I saw text messages, love notes he’s been writing, funny lunch and dinner meetings…”
She hiccupped and continued
“I used to know everything about his schedule. What he did, where he went, who he met, these days, I know nothing. He just keeps hiding things from me.”
“I thought I told you never to go through your husband’s phone-”
“Sis, I don’t need scolding now o. I’m telling you Deji is cheating and you’re scolding me.”
“I need you to calm down. I’m only trying to help. Where are you sef?”
“I’m in the bathroom. He went jogging and he took his phone with him.”
“Alright. Calm down, clean your face and stop crying. My brain isn’t booting properly now coz I’m not yet fully awake. I’ll call you back within the hour. Prepare him breakfast and go about your normal activities. We’ll talk soon.”
“Alright. I’ll be expecting your call.”
Yeah. Just chill. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s not that bad. Don’t give yourself BP for nothing.”
“Hmmn. Okay o. Bye bye.”
Deola hung up and rinsed her face. She was already having a headache. She desperately hoped that Teni was right and that she was wrong but the evidence that presented itself in her face was overwhelming.
She walked out of the bathroom back into her bedroom to begin her weekend cleaning. She had a lot to do that Saturday so it was best she got to an early start. Clothes were littered all over the place. She sighed and went about cleaning up.
Deji returned at 7am and met her by the washing machine. He smiled and pecked her on the cheek but she instinctively recoiled. She knew she shouldn’t have. After all, Teni had told her to act normal but she just couldn’t help it. Deji looked surprised
“Ahan. Am I smelling that bad? It’s just sweat o.”
He smiled and pulled her cheek. She smiled back but it was a fake smile. Deji shook his head and walked away.
“I’m going to have a bath.”
She turned her attention back to the machine and continued what she was doing.
Benjamin woke up Saturday morning really cranky. Who was the young man Teni had gone to see the previous night? And why had she not mentioned him before? Teni had gotten to the core of his being in so short a time and he was not willing to share her with anyone. He remembered the Sunday they finally had lunch together. He had gone all out to impress and he was sure she had been impressed. He cooked and served her a proper three course meal that left her dizzy after the experience. For starters, he had made Tom Yom, a Thai pepper soup, then his main course was Spaghetti with mixed vegetable sauce and tomato sauce with a side of fish. For dessert, he served her ice cream he bought from shoprite. He could tell she was greatly impressed with his culinary skills.
She asked where he learnt to cook like that and he just smiled. Having a chef for a mother had its many advantages. Food had always interested him while he was growing up so it was no surprise that he turned out a great cook. She asked why he did not take it up career-wise and he laughed. Business interested him more than food.
They talked on and on, late into the night. She had been at his place since 1pm. It was almost 9pm when she finally got up to leave. She praised his cooking again before leaving and this time, when he asked to see her again, she did not hesitate. They agreed to see a movie sometime during the week.
They had seen a movie, then they had gone swimming, then she had accompanied him to a friend’s birthday party. He concluded in his mind that they were already a couple. They spoke every day and he was totally taken by her. So who was this old friend and why did the very idea of the guy make him uncomfortable?
He paced about his room for a few minutes. Teni had not called back like she said she would. Her text had even irritated him. He looked around for his phone, deciding to give her another call. It was 7am. Too early. He would call her later. Meantime, he needed to occupy himself. He went into the bathroom, brushed his teeth and went to the kitchen to figure out what he would have for breakfast.
“What’s the matter?”
Teni turned and smiled at Kachi. She was sure her phone conversation with Deola had woken him up. She was still seated on the bed, staring at her phone, trying to figure out what to do when he sat up and placed his arms around her. He kissed her on the cheek and asked what was wrong.
“It’s Deola. She thinks her husband is cheating on her.”
Kachi rubbed her arm
“Oh wow. That’s pretty bad. How is she?”
“She was crying like a baby. I don’t even know. She said something about evidence and what not. Somehow, I find it hard to believe that Deji would cheat on her.”
Kachi laughed and got off the bed.
“I need to ease myself.”
He went to the bathroom, did his business and returned.
“Interesting that you won’t believe your sister about her husband cheating, yet you’d readily accept a stranger’s story of my evil deeds.”
“Don’t be like that jor. You, you’ve always had madness in your veins so I can expect just about anything plus you were pretty shifty sef when I first asked you. But Deji is different. Calm, easy-going, unassuming, boring, you know? The kind of guy that would do the same thing over and again. His life is always routine. He is not the kinda guy to cheat. It’s why I’m finding this hard to believe.”
Kachi climbed back into bed and lay down. He crossed his legs and folded both arms lazily behind him.
“The ones that seem boring and routine are the ones you should be suspicious of. Because they’re so good, you’d never expect them to go bad-”
He stifled a yawn then continued.
“What kind of evidence does she have?”
“Text messages, love notes, mysterious lunches and dinners…”
“Ahan. What other proof do you need?
If he’s having mysterious lunches and dinners and she saw love notes and text messages, what else is there again na?”
“I dunno. Maybe I’m just in denial. I’d hate to see her get hurt.”
“Tee, you can’t protect her from hurt. She’s a grown woman. She’s married with children. You’re her big sister, yes, but you cannot protect her. Let her hurt and get over it. She’ll be fine.”
“I don’t know what to do.”
Kachi smiled mischievously
“You could come cuddle with me here.”
Teni hissed and grabbed a pillow to hit him. He ducked neatly and flew off the bed.
“Kai! Such violence! So early in the morning!”
“Go away jor. It’s your fault.”
She dropped the pillow and rested her head on it.
“Come back to the bed my friend. I don’t know what you’re doing by that mirror.”
“Shey you won’t make up your mind. You said I should go away, now you’re asking me to come back. Confused girl.
Sha, I’m admiring my sexy body.”
He struck different poses in front of the mirror before retiring back to the bed. Teni laughed and shook her head. He lay close to her and she lifted her head and rested it on his chest. He ran his fingers absent-mindedly over her face for a while, neither of them speaking.
“Do you think she should confront him?”
Kachi yawned again.
“Maybe. But not yet. Let her give it some time first.
I want to nap for a few more minutes. We’ll talk when I wake up.”
Teni nodded and drew the covers over them. She shut her eyes and turned off the lights. Within a few minutes, she had drifted off to sleep.
She woke up again at past eight and once more, her ringing phone was responsible. Thinking it was Deola, she picked up the phone without checking the ID and said
Benjamin’s voice jolted her fully awake
“Hi darling, how was your night?”
Teni pulled the phone from her ears and looked at it.
Kai! She wanted to smack herself. Love indeed!
“Oh Ben. It’s you. Sorry, I thought it was my sister. What’s up?”
Benjamin’s voice still carried a light note.
“I’m great thanks. It’s a lovely Saturday morning and I woke up thinking about you. How are you?”
Teni rubbed her eyes and sat up.
“I’m fine thanks. Just waking up.”
“Oh? Did I wake you up? Sorry about that. I’d like to see you today. We haven’t seen this week and I have missed you.”
Teni sighed. Which kind of trouble was this one? They hadn’t seen all week, so? Was she his girlfriend? And why was he saying he missed her? She didn’t miss him. If anything, she missed his food but not the company. He was a great chef but when they were out together, he was unable to engage her mind in a manner she wanted. She felt no chemistry. They had no easy banter. All they did was talk about work and what they were both interested in but there was really no chemistry and she was not sure she wanted to continue hanging out with him.
“Umm, I’m not sure about that. But let’s see. I’ll go over my schedule today and then I’ll get back to you.”
Benjamin’s voice went up one notch.
“Schedule? Babe, I’m supposed to be priority for you. Why would you be checking schedule for me? I want to see you. Make out time. We haven’t seen each other all week. Doesn’t that bother you?”
The look on Teni’s face had Kachi chuckling. He had been in the shower and only just got out with his towel around his waist. He wondered who the person on the other end of the line was and what they were saying that had her so riled up.
“Benjamin, you are NOT supposed to be priority for me. I don’t know where you got that idea from. You know what? We are going to see today. You and I need to have a little chat. ‘Cause, apparently we seem to be getting different ideas.”
“I’ll be playing tennis at IBB club later today. You can meet me there.”
“No. I will call you when I am ready and we’ll meet some place. Have a nice day.”
As soon as she hung up the phone, Kachi burst into uncontrollable laughter. She eyed him viciously and said
“You don dey mad abi?”
“Hian! Calm down bebe! Who dey vex you?”
“It’s Benjamin o. The guy dey form boyfriend, I just tire.”
“You know you haven’t really gisted me about him.”
“Because there is nothing to say. He’s a great cook but other than that, we just don’t click. He has this sophisticated appearance but he isn’t able to engage my mind. It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about. Ten minutes into the convo and he’s lost me. We’ve been out like three or four times but the outings were just mehh. I only agreed coz he seemed nice. Now he’s telling me we haven’t seen all week and he misses me. Do I look like his wife?”
“Calm down babe. Just see him and talk. Apparently, he’s catching feelings.”
“For him pocket o.”
“You’re easy to fall for nau. You’re vibrant and very intelligent. You’re the entire package.”
Teni punched him in the ribs as she walked by.
“No be only!
I dey go baff jor. I need to go home.”
“Yeah. Charly sent a text. He wants to meet with you today so bathe quickly and come let’s plan your day.”
Bobby watched the girls get on ride after ride and their loud giggles warmed his heart each time. The girls were simply adorable and they had a lot of energy. He could see clearly why their mother had warned him about giving them too much sugar. They had not even had sugar and they were that energetic. He watched them dance and play and run around for several hours until they got bored.
He bought them snacks, and some ice cream and when they insisted that they were really hungry, he got them together and left the amusement park. He drove to SFC in Wuse 2 and bought them real food. They ate till they were full and eventually started pelting him with grains of rice. The two girls were extremely mischievous. He could not tell them apart so he had begged their mother to dress them differently. She had refused. So there he was with two pretty girls and he could not tell who was who.
They ran around the eatery, causing confusion everywhere and soon he was weak. He practically dragged them out of the eatery and into his car an hour later. It was 4pm and he wanted to take them home but they were still bubbling with energy.
“Where are we going next?”
Huh? Next ke? He looked at the one who had spoken and the mischievous glint in her eye told him she was Anne, the extroverted one.
“Aren’t you tired yet?”
She stood, resting both arms firmly on the front seats of his car and said
“No! I want to go to another place.”
Bobby sighed. He wondered how Ese coped. He had a new level of respect for her after his time with the girls. They were quite a handful. Then he remembered his promise to keep them out till they were almost dead on their feet and he sighed again. Who sent him message?
He thought and thought of where to take them to that would not have him buying them sugar. He had been careful with the amount of ice cream they had taken at the Wonderland Park but that in itself seemed like too much. Then he remembered it was the first Saturday of the month and it was DMP at City park. He smiled. Having them walk up and down the place would tire them out, he was sure. He could also buy them a few things. He was tired too but he figured he could last a couple more hours on his feet.
“Alright dear. We’ll go someplace where you can run around some more, okay?”
Anne nodded excitedly
He made sure both of them had their seatbelts on before he drove off towards City Park.
Later that night, he would ponder the events of the entire day in his head and he would wish he had driven them straight home instead.