Kunbi arrives Lagos Sunday evening. Sola is walking out of Wale’s apartment as she gets to the door. She smiles on seeing him. “Hi Sola, leaving already?”
“Yes, how was your trip?” He asks.
“It was okay”.
“I wasn’t aware you had resumed your weekend trips. I was expecting to meet you at home”.
“Erm….yes, I have”. She stammers. “You haven’t been visiting on weekends as well”.
“I decided to visit today”. Sola says.
“Well, I’m back. You can stay a while or are you in a hurry?” She asks hoping he would oblige.
Sola smiles as he stretches his hand to collect her weekend bag. “Let me help you with that”.
They walk back into the house, Kunbi using her keys to open the door. “Wales, I’m back”.
“In here”. Wale says from his bedroom.
Kunbi walks towards the kitchen. “Should I get you a drink or a glass of juice?” She asks Sola.
“I’m fine”. Sola answers.
“Okay. If you say so. I need a glass of cold water”. She says disappearing into the kitchen.
Wale sees Sola as he walks into the living room. “You came back?”
“I thought you said you were going to visit your aunt”. Wale says.
“You were?” Kunbi calls from the kitchen.
“Yes, I was. But you asked me to stay”.
Kunbi smiles as she shakes her head. She is glad she is alone in the kitchen. She closes her eyes and she feels the butterflies. Oh Sola, if only…….
“Why are you smiling?” Wale asks breaking into her thoughts.
Kunbi is startled. She had not realized anyone had walked into the kitchen.
“Nothing”. She says.
Wale squints as he looks at her. He grunts as he gets a bottle of water from the refrigerator. “We need to talk”. He says.
“Now?” Kunbi asks.
“After Sola leaves”.
“Okay”. Kunbi says wondering what the discussion could be about as she goes back to the living room.
“So, I assume you and Ola are back together?” Sola asks.
Kunbi is unable to respond as she looks at Wale, who is walking into the living room. He looks at her as he tilts his head expecting her response.
“I….yes, we are”. She says uncomfortable with the discussion.
Sola looks into her eyes. “I wish you good luck”.
Kunbi looks away unable to look at him. She wishes they did not have to talk about her relationship. Just then, Wale’s mobile phone rings breaking the unwelcome silence. He looks at the caller ID and walks towards the kitchen as he picks the call.
“Báwo ni Wálé?” (How are you, Wale).
“Adúpé mà” (I’m fine, thank you ma).
“Sé o ti bá àbúrò ë sòrò”. (Have you spoken to your younger sister?). Wunmi asks.
“Kò ì pé tó wolé” (She just came in). I will definitely speak with her”.
“Jòó (please), let me know the outcome of your discussion”.
“Okay ma”. He cuts the call and walks back to the living room.
“That was mum, right? Is there a problem?” Kunbi asks, worry written on her face.
“No. She asked me to discuss something with you”.
“Okay. What is it about?”
Wale looks at Sola but says nothing.
Sola notices and gets the hint. He stands up immediately. “I think I should leave now”.
“But I just arrived. Besides, you came to see me, right?” Kunbi asks.
“Looks like Wale has something very important to discuss with you”. Sola says.
“I am sure Wales can talk about it while you are here unless you would get jealous with our heart to heart talk”. She smirks.
Sola looks at Wale.
“I am not sure you want Sola listening to this conversation”. Wale says looking at Kunbi.
“Why? Is something wrong with my mum? Kunbi asks, beginning to get worried.
“No, she is absolutely fine. This is about you”.
“About me? I don’t understand”.
Sola who is still standing looks from Wale to Kunbi, trying to understand as well.
“Kunbi, can’t we discuss this later?” Wale asks.
“No Wales. I want to know now. Too many things happen without my knowledge. I want to know what is going on”.
Wale takes a deep breath. “She called about your engagement to Ola”.
Sola looks at Kunbi with shock.
Kunbi opens her mouth looking aghast. She is about to say something when she hears Sola’s voice.
“You are engaged?”
“Yes….No, it is not what you think”. She replies in confusion.
“Really?” Sola and Wale ask in unison.
“And you agreed to marry him”. Wale finishes her sentence.
“Sola, I wasn’t expecting the proposal when it happened. I needed time to think about it”. Kunbi stands up as she walks towards him.
“When did he propose?” Sola asks.
“Sola, please….” Kunbi closes her eyes as she holds him.
Sola yanks his hand from hers and asks again. “When did he propose?”
“The weekend Wales and I went to Ibadan”.
Wale is stunned. “That was three Saturdays ago”.
Sola sneers. “Looks to me like you have had so much time to think about it”. He looks at Wale. “I have overstayed my welcome. Thanks bro. I appreciate every effort you have made”. He says as he walks towards the door.
Kunbi runs after him trying to stop him from leaving as she holds his hand. Sola looks back at her. “I thought I could hope for a future with you but I guess I deceived myself for too long. Good luck and take care”. He says as he gently releases his hand from her grip.
Kunbi kneels down and begins to cry.
Wale walks up to her and lifts her up as she sobs on his shoulders. When she is spent from her crying, she looks up at him. “Wales, I am confused”.
“If you love Sola, why are you getting married to someone else?”
“I don’t know what to expect from him”. She says wiping her eyes.
“Is this about his commitment?”
Wale sighs. “I don’t know about his issues with commitment but I know when I see someone truly in love. And there is no doubt that Sola loves you and it is obvious that you do as well”.
Kunbi looks away.
Wale lifts up her chin and turns her face towards him. “You have fought your feelings for him for too long. You need to let go and follow your heart”.
“Ola is supposed to see mummy next week. What do I tell him? His engagement ring is in my bag”.
Wale shrugs as he walks away. “I have no idea but I know you can handle it”.
Sola sits in his living room depressed and heartbroken. The living room is tastefully furnished with entertainment gadgets. Even though different ladies had previously left him to get married, the rejection he felt had never been this deep. He had made up his mind to be committed to Kunbi. He loved her with his life. Tolu had just been a distraction for him. He knew he could never love her as much as he loved Kunbi. Tolu had made it easy for him to go back to the one he loved by her betrayal.
I was a fool to have believed Kunbi loved me. I thought I saw love in her eyes, her actions, her mannerisms. But it was all a joke. He assumed giving his love and attention to Kunbi would eventually make her fall in love with him but how wrong he was. He stood up and walked to the credenza by the wall. Two frames sat on it. He picked up the smaller one and staring at him was a picture of himself with his parents at a restaurant. He had a big smile on his face and his parents had their arms around him. He could see from their faces that they must have been happy and in love. The frame was beautiful but old and he had refused to change it. It was the only reminder he had of who his parents were and how they had lived. His aunt had given it to him when he turned eighteen. After the accident that killed his parents, she had picked up the frame in his parents living room and decided to keep it till he was old enough to have it. She wanted him to have a constant reminder of his parents. The second and bigger frame was an older version of him with his aunt and cousin. His aunt had made sure he and his cousin attended the same schools. The picture was taken during their graduation from secondary school. He stood on the right while his cousin stood on the left of his aunt. They both had their lips on each side of her face in a kiss; and she had a smile that ran from one side of her cheek to the other. She had been a happy mother on that day as they had both graduated with good grades.
He smiled sadly as he looked at the two frames. His parents had a good marriage according to his aunt. His cousin had gotten married five years ago and lived in Tanzania. His job as an engineer had necessitated his relocation. He had two kids; a boy and a girl who he doted on. Every time, they discussed on phone, he never ceased to talk about his loving wife and kids. He shook his head as he sighed. His cousin had found love despite his mother’s failed marriage. He wondered if he was ever going to find true love.
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