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Khalid spent a long time in the shower but by the time he was done, he had figured out how to handle the situation. He would attend the summit alright, but he would go with Aisha. He would raise the money for her flight and she would share his room. He would attend the summit during the day and at night, they could explore Accra together. It sounded like a good idea; one he would pitch to her the in the morning.
He decided to just go to sleep. Aisha left here really mad for reasons he was uncertain of, but he knew the trip to Accra would make for a good peace offering. Whatever was wrong with them, he hoped the trip would fix it. Again, he noticed the trouser she had folded neatly on the bed. He picked it up, took it to his closet, dropped it but decided he would want to wear it the following day so he unfolded it to pair up with a shirt in the hanger. He felt something in one of the pockets and he reached his hand into the pocket and pulled it out.
He held the condom in his hand and chuckled at the memory. Tayo was just an idiot. A couple of days before their return, he told Tayo about Ella and how she was hitting on him. Tayo thought it would not be a bad idea to add her to his list of conquests. They talked over the issue, more like joked over it because he could not believe Tayo was serious.
“Dude, you’re just engaged, not married. Besides, I thought you said Aisha had gone celibate.”
“Yes, she has, and so have I. We’re engaged to be married and by God, I’m going to stay faithful to her.”
“You’re dulling o oga. You’re really dulling. Why do you get to be the one with the looks and I the one with the brains? That’s not fair.”
They laughed and Tayo passed him a condom.
“Just in case you change your mind.”
At that moment, Ella walked into the room. Khalid took the condom and stuffed it into his pocket before Ella could sight it. He shook his head while laughing.
“No man. I ain’t changing my mind. And I’m trashing this the next opportunity I get.”
Only he never trashed it. He completely forgot about it and it had followed him home. Realization suddenly dawned on him. Aisha must have seen it when she was trying to unpack. Khalid’s heart started racing.
Of course! That made perfect sense. She must have seen it and assumed he had gotten involved with someone else. Aisha! Why hadn’t she just asked him? No wonder she’d asked if he was trying to hide something, no wonder her tone was suspicious when she asked about his time in Port Harcourt.
He quickly picked up his phone and dialled her number.
Bode was completely taken aback by the kiss but he kissed her back nonetheless. Seconds later, he pulled back gently.
“Do you feel better?”
Aisha seemed to recover herself. She blinked severally before stuttering a reply.
“uh… er… yeah, I think so. I sorta kinda do.”
Bode smiled and rubbed her arm.
“Let me take you home.”
She did not respond. Rather she reclined in her seat and shielded her eyes with her hands.
There was awkward silence between them for a few minutes then Bode turned on the car stereo as he moved the car. Traffic was pretty heavy tonight.
“When is your supervisor’s birthday?”
The question was totally random and Aisha turned to look at him, a confused look on her face.
“I dunno. Why?”
“I’m thinking maybe you can get her the Z10 as a gift and then she can stop hating.”
Aisha smiled dryly.
“You should ask how much my salary is. There’s no way I’m spending my money on the mean witch. I’m not her husband.”
“Maybe you could be her fairy godmother then. Bippity boppitty boo! Give her a Z10 and turn her life around forever”
He waved his hand in the air as he cast the imaginary spell and Aisha laughed. She was thinking of a response to give when her phone rang. She did not need to check the ID, the ringtone told her who the caller was.
“Please could you turn down the volume of the radio?”
As Bode turned the knob, she answered.
“Hey, love, we need to talk. Are you home? I want to come over to your place now.”
“I’m not home.”
“Okay? Where are you? Are you going to be home anytime soon?”
“I’m not sure. I’m really tired so when I get home I’ll be heading straight to bed.”
“My love, I know you’re mad at me and I’m really sorry, I’ve got quite a lot to explain to you.”
Aisha rubbed her head. It was aching slightly.
“I’m sure whatever it is it can wait till tomorrow. I’ve had a long day and I’m going straight to bed. Let’s discuss in the morning.”
“Ok babe, if you say so. I’m really sorry we fought tonight. It was not supposed to be like that. We’ve both been under a lot of pressure and I should have been more understanding. I’m sorry I snapped at you love, I really am.”
Aisha could feel her heart melting. Khalid had called to say he was sorry. He sounded genuine and he said they needed to talk. Perhaps there was an explanation after all. Her tone however did not change. She did not need Khalid to think she had forgiven him just like that and she did not want Bode to be curious about the conversation.
“Okay then. I’ve heard you. You can give me a call first thing tomorrow morning and we’ll talk about it. I’ve got to hang up now, I’m on transit.”
“Okay dear. I love you.”
“Yep.” Was all Aisha said before she hung up.
Khalid wasted no time in throwing on his brown jalabia and grabbing his car keys. If Aisha thought he was going to let another moment pass before they resolved this particular issue, she was joking. He had long since learnt that delay was dangerous. And he noted how Aisha had not said she loved him too. He would go to her home and if she wasn’t there yet, he would wait for her but he was certainly not going to let the night go by without explaining himself. In less than five minutes he was on his way to her home…
Bode kept his eyes on the road while Aisha spoke on the phone. He tried to figure out who it was on the other end of the line but with Aisha’s cryptic responses, it was impossible to tell. When she wrapped up the conversation, he guessed the caller had either been from work or the person who had gotten her upset but he was almost certain it was the former. She did not say anything to him but simply stared outside in silence.
He was more curious than concerned but his voice did not betray that fact.
She shut her eyes and maintained her reclined position.
Bode could sniff the loopholes in his plan already. Aisha might not be so easy after all. She was just showing him a side to her he had never seen before. The quiet resolve to hold her ground and not do more than she was willing; that could be a problem.
“I’ll need directions from here o.”
Aisha was a little sobered up and suddenly she could not wait to get out of Bode’s company. She needed time and space to think. She had kissed Bode and it had felt good in that moment and now Khalid had called. This night was going all wrong and she needed time alone to sort herself out.
“You know what, just stop me here, I can drive the rest of the way home. It’s not far.”