Kunbi leaves Ibadan for Lagos early Sunday morning. The discussion with her mum had been an eye-opener. It suddenly occurred to her that she had been blinded by love. Her mum and Wale could not be wrong after all. She wondered why it took her so long to see it. Ola had kicked against her having male friends in the University but she never saw it as jealousy. She had broken all ties and friendships with her male course mates and friends. According to him, other guys were a distraction to her. She had not seen anything wrong with it. To her, it was Ola’s way of showing that he loved her.
As she sat in the bus taking her back to Lagos, she thought about their relationship the past four years. She had been so much in love, she had refused to see the handwriting on the wall. She was fifteen when she lost her father and she remembered vividly how much she had detested his jealous attitude. Her mother had lived in hurt and pain while he was alive and she had vowed never to marry someone like him.
She sighed as she looked out of the moving vehicle. As her distance away from Ibadan increased, she felt like she was leaving a part of her heart behind. Maybe it is time to move on. This realization however broke her heart.
Monday afternoon, Sola picks Kunbi up for lunch as before. After ditching her for two weeks, he wants to make it up to her. Things are going on smoothly between himself and Tolu and he is thankful to her for it. As they sit at the table with their food, Sola notices that she is not as chatty as she usually is. He thought she just wanted to be quiet during the drive to the restaurant but now, he is sure something is wrong as she has hardly touched her food.
“Kunbi, you’ve been quiet. What’s on your mind?”
“Nothing”. She shrugs.
“You can’t tell me that. You’ve been picking at your food”.
She looks up at him. “Sola, I’m serious. There’s nothing wrong. I’m not really hungry today”.
Sola drops his cutlery and stretches his hands to hold hers on the table. “Kunbi, you can talk to me or don’t you trust me any longer”.
Meanwhile, an unknown person sitting some tables away from them raises up a mobile phone pretending to be chatting on it and takes a picture of him and Kunbi.
Kunbi bows her head as she responds; “I wish I could give myself a dose of my own medication”.
“I don’t understand what you’re saying”. Sola answers looking confused.
“I am having problems with Ola”.
Sola gasps. “Oh my goodness! What’s wrong? Is it because I called you the other day while you were with him?”
“Well, it’s part of it but it started long before then”. She looks up at him all of a sudden and removes her hands from his. “How did you know about that day? Wales told you obviously”. She hisses.
“Kunbi, he meant no harm. He was worried about you and he asked me never to call you while you were out of Lagos”.
Kunbi breathes deeply. “I am so confused”.
Sola looks anxiously at her with worry. “I’m so sorry, Kunbi. What have I done? I did not mean to destabilize your relationship. What can I do to help?”
Kunbi hold his hands and smiles as she looks into his eyes. “Sola, calm down. It’s not your fault. I told you the problem is not recent. Besides, it did not start with you. I’ll try to get myself out of this mess”.
The mobile phone is raised again and their picture is taken.
He forces a smile. “When you need my help, will you call me?”
“I will”. She responds as she bows her head and Sola stares at her.
Sola drives her back to her office and they are oblivious to the car trailing them behind. Sola switches off the engine of the car and looks at Kunbi. “Are you sure you would be fine?”
“Of course”. She answers as she removes her seat belt and gives him a hug. “Thank you again for the lunch”.
The car trailing them is parked a few metres behind. The unknown person lifts up a camera, adjusts the lenses to view them and takes a picture just as Kunbi is hugging Sola.
“Do you want me to pick you up after work? I could tell Wale not to bother”. Sola asks ignoring her thanks.
“No. Wales would get worried and I don’t want to put him under unnecessary psychological pressure”.
“Okay. I’ll see you at home, then. Take care of you”. He says as he squeezes her left shoulder.
The camera in the other car clicks again.
“Thanks, I will”. Kunbi says.
She steps out of the car and walks towards her office complex while Sola starts the engine and drives off.
A young man is seated in Ola’s living room in Ibadan. He is dressed in blue faded jeans and a white Tee-shirt. He nods his head as he enjoys a music video played on TV.
Ola walks in from the kitchen as he wipes his hands on an apron he is wearing. “Sorry, I wanted to get what I was cooking off the fire”.
The man only smiles.
“So how far? Did you accomplish the task?”
“Of course. I told you to trust me”. The man answers.
Ola sits down. “Where are they?”
The man smiles as he brings out a brown envelope from his knapsack. “Here they are. Sharp and captivating”. He says as he hands over the envelope to Ola.
Ola opens the envelope, pulls out the contents and laughs mockingly. “I should have known better”.
The man rubs his palms together and smiles. “I told you I would do a good job. Didn’t I?”
Ola is upset as he hits his right palm on his forehead. “I can’t believe this”. He says shaking unable to control his anger.
Ola drops the envelope on the settee and begins to pace round the living room.
“My balance, Oga Ola”. The man says seeing that he seems to have been forgotten.
Ola looks at him in anger and shouts. “What?”
“My….my balance”. He stammers.
“How much is it?”
“Three thousand naira plus my transport fare”.
Ola looks at him, dips his hands in his jeans pocket and counts six five hundred naira notes. He throws it at him and orders him to get out.
“My transport fare, Oga Ola”. The man says as he scrambles to pick up the notes from the floor.
Ola walks towards him seething with anger and the man immediately picks his knapsack and rushes to the door.
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