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Bobby sat in the car with a grim look on his face as he watched Kayode walk towards him. The doctors had discharged him after three days in the hospital. Luckily for him, the accident hadn’t done much damage. The door opened and Kayode got in.
“Thanks for coming to get me man. I appreciate.”
“Well, you better. I should be at work now but I’m here.”
“Jeez! Calm down. I know I should have asked Jakes to come get me instead.” He grumbled.
“You better suck up that attitude. You have serious issues and you need to work on them.”
He started the car and eased out of the parking lot.
“Don’t drive when you’re drunk. If I haven’t said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times! But no! You never listen! We’re always cleaning up after you.”
Kayode was not going to have any of it. He snapped
“Don’t even lecture me. I’ve had enough of those the last few days. I don’t know what kind of friend you are.”
“Don’t you dare tell me to not lecture you because whatever you have coming to you now is well deserved. If you’d listened to the numerous lectures, we wouldn’t be here. You keep acting like some recalcitrant child.” Bobby fired back
“You could have bled to death. You have that nice lady to thank for it.”
Kayode sucked in some air and forced himself to be calm
“What nice lady?”
“The one who brought you here nau. I dunno her name.”
“How come you don’t know her name?”
Bobby looked at him and hissed
“Because I didn’t ask. She was too busy being a pain for me to consider asking for it.”
Kayode had a glint in his eyes
“How could you not ask for it? She could be my soulmate”
Bobby looked at him and shook his head. How Kayode could be joking like this was beyond him. That was the problem with Kayode. He could not be serious for more than five minutes.
“Right! Soul mate ke? Abi simply a good Samaritan? Anyways, I think she told me her name when she called and I simply forgot.”
“Okay. Is she fine? Did you at least get a number?”
Bobby shook his head and sighed.
“Na woman go kill you. No, I don’t think she’s fine. No, I did not get her number and no, I will not push this conversation further.”
“Alright! But just know that if I never marry, it’s your fault. You chased away the woman of my dreams.”
“That accident should have damaged your head. It’s basically useless on your shoulders.”
Kayode laughed loudly and turned his head to the window
“I think you should stop fronting and go and look for him.”
Teni twirled the pen in her hand and rolled her eyes. Deola was something else.
“See why I said you wouldn’t make it as a counselor? How would you ask me to do something stupid like that?”
Deola’s gentle laughter floated through the line.
“That’s not the subject of this discussion. If I wasn’t a good counselor, you wouldn’t keep coming to me.”
“Don’t flatter yourself jor. I’m talking to you because I’m bored and you’re available.”
Deola laughed again.
“Sis, you know you’re interested in him. Even if only a little. But you’re definitely interested.”
“Mehh. I’m not. Just curious. Besides, he’s silly. He didn’t see me that night and he just assumed that I deliberately stood him up again-”
“You can’t blame him. You stood him up once.”
“So? Whose side are you on sef?”
“I’m on your side jor. I want you to be happy. He sounds like fun. Go out with him and have a good time.”
“I wonder why you’re my sister. Shey you didn’t hear me say he’s not talking to me abi? He hasn’t taken my calls since that day. It feels really weird. I sent text messages but he didn’t reply.”
“Did you try calling with your own phone?”
“Okay, I really don’t know why we’re having this conversation. This is how trouble starts. You convince me to chase some guy who’s obviously lost interest, I do that and I wind up hurt. You’re the last person I should be taking dating advice from.
I had a rough day. It woulda been nice if he’d at least picked up and spoken to me that day but no. He had to assume. Abeg, leave matter jare. I’ve given him undue attention for too long. I just don’t know what to do with the S4.”
Deola was quiet for a while and Teni began to wonder if the call had dropped.
“Are you there?”
“Yeah, I am. Just worried a little and not sure what to tell you. I was really hoping you’d hit it off with this Benjamin guy.”
“Tor. It didn’t happen so suck it up and move on. I did say I was never getting married. Things like this are only a distraction. The idea of messing around with someone else’s emotions sounded like fun. The gods favoured him and he took himself out of the picture.”
“Hmm. Okay o. Boss lady. So how about the guy you took to the hospital? The one from the accident”
“Omo, I’m not sure o. But I’m guessing he’s fine. I’ve been too busy to even call. I’ll call right away as soon as I hang up.”
“Alright. What are you doing tonight?”
“Dunno yet. Might hang out with the guys from the office or just go home and read a book. It all depends on how I feel at the close of work.”
“Alright sis. Sha have fun. I’ve got to run now. You take care.”
“You too love.”
Teni hung up and turned her attention back to her laptop. She hummed Bruno Mars’ “Catch a grenade” for a bit then remembered she wanted to call Kayode. She dug in her purse and produced his card. Kayode picked after the third ring.
“Hello, good afternoon”
“Hi, is this Kayode Bankole?”
“Speaking! Who am I on to please?”
Teni smiled. He sounded proper.
“My name is Teni and I’m mighty glad I can hear you loud and clear.”
“Sorry, I’m a little lost.”
“You were in an accident a few days back. I’m the lady who took you to the hospital”
“Oh wow! Wow! This is great. I’d actually tried to find you. My friend in all his wisdom didn’t take your number and couldn’t even remember your name.”
Teni smiled, savouring his excitement but at the mention of his friend, she rolled her eyes. So he didn’t even remember her name. But she remembered his because she’d called him.
“Oh, it’s fine. I took your card from your wallet and made a mental note to call and check up on you but I’ve been so busy.”
“I’m really grateful you called. Thank you so much. I’d have probably bled to death if you hadn’t stopped and taken me to the hospital.”
“You’re welcome. I’m glad you’re alright now.”
“Yes, I am. Thanks. I was discharged earlier today. So I’m home now trying to get some work done. I missed out on so much while I was at the hospital.”
“Alright then. I just called to check in. You take care.”
“Thanks again. I really appreciate. Take care.”
She was about to hang up but his voice stopped her.
“Sorry, would it be awfully wrong if I asked to meet with you? Just to express my gratitude?”
Teni hesitated but only for a second.
“Umm, okay. I guess we could meet up.”
“Would tonight be too soon?
“No. It should be just fine.”
“Okay. Now there’s the question of where to meet. Any place you’d like to go?”
Teni smiled again. Proper gentleman eh?
“Silverbird should be fine. We could just buy drinks and sit down and talk”
“I like that. I’ll see you in three hours?”
“Sure. Take care.”
Teni loved water. She would go swimming every day if she could. She could sit by a fountain for hours and not realize how much time had gone by. She was really obsessed with water. She said it gave her peace. Her family often teased her, saying she was a water spirit but she always laughed it off and said water was good therapy. It was the main reason she chose Silverbird to meet with Kayode. She planned to just sit by the fountain and enjoy the cool breeze and the lovely sound of the water. She took a seat close enough to the fountain and reclined her back into it as she waited for Kayode to show up.
Kayode paid the cab driver and walked towards the seats by the fountain. He saw her reclined in a chair, eyes shut looking really at peace. She had to be the one. Every other lady seated around her was paired with some guy.
She opened her eyes and sat up.
“Hi, yes. Kayode?”
He nodded and smiled. She was pretty. He stretched out his hand and she took it
“Nice to meet you.”
She nodded and said same then asked him to sit down.
“You looked like you were falling asleep. Did I keep you waiting for long?”
Teni shook her head.
“Naah. It’s just the water. It always has a calming effect on me. I only got here a few minutes ago.”
Kayode could not stop gawking. There was something about her that reeled him in within the few minutes that he’d been in her presence. Her beauty wasn’t striking, but it was there alright. She was seated so he could not measure her height. Maybe it was the way she spoke or the easy smile she had on. She looked like an open book. She wasn’t guarded and certainly did not appear pretentious.
“If you keep staring like that, I’ll get scared and run.”
“Sorry. I was just assessing you.”
He could have slapped himself. He was too blunt for his own good, always blurting out whatever came into his mind without considering it first. She had a questioning look in her eyes and he nudged himself.
“Sorry, I can be pretty forward sometimes. Can’t believe Bobby said you weren’t pretty. That guy has his eyes behind his head.”
Teni laughed a little uneasily. The guy was beginning to creep her out. She casually drew her bag close to her and doubled checked her pepper spray. She silently cursed herself for agreeing to meet up with a total stranger simply because he’d sounded nice and proper over the phone.
“Please, you’ll have to forgive me. I’m used to meeting ladies who always put up a front. You just seem too natural.”
Teni pushed her bag back and laughed. Okay, the guy definitely had issues but he wasn’t a creep.
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘too natural,’ but I’ll take it as a compliment and say thanks.”
Kayode smiled and relaxed.
“What would you like to drink?”
“Malt should be fine.”
“Malt? You don’t drink alcohol?”
Teni smiled and raised her eyebrows
“I do. But not tonight. What are you having?”
“Hmmn. Okay. Heineken.”
“Oh no you’re not! You’ll drink malt too and water if you must. But you’re certainly not drinking alcohol tonight. Not after what happened to you the last time.”
Kayode frowned. What did she know?
She answered his unasked question.
“The doctor said you had lots of alcohol in your system, your friend said you had a drinking problem, I really think you should watch it.”
Kayode scratched his head a little embarrassed.
“Err. Alright. Fine. But for the record, I do not have a drinking problem. Bobby was just running his mouth and being a grouchy grandpa as usual”
Teni chuckled lightly.
“Grouchy grandpa, I’ve got to agree.”
Kayode got up.
“Excuse me please. I’ll be right back.”
She watched him walk over to the stand and place an order. She smiled. He didn’t wait for them to come to him. Impressive. She saw a man walk up to him and the two greeted like old friends. She turned her attention to her phone to send Deola a text.
“Hey you, turns out my Friday night plans involve drinking malt by the fountain in Silverbird with the young man who was in the accident. Hehe. Fun stuff eh? Good night!”
She hit the send button and as she returned the phone to her bag, Kayode returned with his friend.
“Bros, this is Teni, the lady that saved my life. Teni, meet Ben, my cousin.”
Teni stared Benjamin in the face unsure how to react. She was surprised and mildly uncomfortable. This was awkward. She gathered her wits in a matter of seconds and smiled then stretched her hand to him.
“Hello Mr. Tariye, nice to finally see you again.”