It is a Saturday morning. Kunbi and Wale have just had breakfast. Wale helps in packing up the dishes to the kitchen while Kunbi starts cleaning up.
“Ain’t it nice to have you at home on a Saturday?” Wale teases.
“Whatever!” Kunbi answers rolling her eyes.
“English breakfast served just the way I love it”. He smiles.
“My dear big brother, you need a wife”.
“Soon dear, very soon”. He answers as the doorbell rings. “I’ll get it”. He says as he walks towards the door.
“My guy, how are you doing?” Sola says he is let into the house.
“That’s Sola, right?” Kunbi calls from the kitchen.
“Yep”. Wale answers.
“Na wa oh, Sola. What happened to you? You just went underground”.
Sola smiles sheepishly. “I was having a good time”.
Kunbi cleans her hands on a napkin and walks into the living room while Wale signals to Sola to sit down.
“Is that so? With who?” Wale asks.
“Hmm…Sola, two weeks? You were having a good time for two weeks?” Kunbi emphasizes as she shakes her head.
“Who were you having a good time with?” Wale asks again.
Sola just smiles as he looks at both of them questioning him.
“Are you going to answer us or what? Because you look like someone in dreamland”. Wale says.
“Have you guys have finally hit it. Is that why you disappeared?”
“Hmmm-mm”. Sola answers nodding and smiling.
“But that’s not fair. You did not even give me a call. I had to go on my lunch breaks alone. When I did not see or hear from you, I guessed this must be the reason”. Kunbi says sulking.
“I’m sorry. I should have called at least. Or are you jealous?” He asks mockingly.
“C’mon. You can’t be serious”. She says flicking her hand.
“You guys are very funny. What or who is this secret that both of you have kept from me all this while?” Wale asks in surprise.
“Oh well, now that you know, let me give you the full gist. Tolu is a colleague at work. I spent the past two weeks with her; getting to know her better. Giving her my time and attention as my able lecturer taught me”. He says gesticulating towards Kunbi.
“Interesting. Kunbi, I did not realize I could get relationship tips from you”.
“A prophet has no honour in his own domain”. Sola says laughing.
“You can say that again”. Kunbi says as she eyes Wale.
“So back to Tolu”. Wale says.
“I just dropped her off at her house about an hour ago. That’s all you need to know”.
“I really hope that’s all”. Wale says smiling.
“Get off my back, man”. Sola laughs as he faces Kunbi. “So, Kunbi, how come you are home and not in Ibadan?”
“I decided to spend the weekend with Wales”.
“My cuz had a change of heart. Saturday breakfast was English”. Wale laughs.
“And your boyfriend?” Sola asks.
“I’ll see him next weekend”.
“That’s cool. So what are you guys doing sitting down? Let’s paint the town red”.
“I’m in”. Kunbi says standing up.
“I need to rest”. Wale says as he stretches his legs and yawns.
“Get up, guy. Let me take you out. At least you’re not driving”.
“I’m going to get dressed”. Kunbi says as she walks into her room.
“Both of you should go. Three is a crowd”. Wale says.
“The crowd is welcome today”. Sola responds. “Go in and get dressed”.
Wale stands up reluctantly. “You are a pain”.
“Glad to be”. Sola answers laughing.
The next weekend, Kunbi arrives Ibadan by noon. The traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway has taken its toll on her and she is very tired. She takes out her key from her handbag to open Ola’s apartment. The key refuses to go in. She tries it again wondering what could be wrong. She looks at the key. This is the right key.
She decides to press the door bell. Ola is lying down on a settee watching the television. He stands up to open the door. As he does, Kunbi is about to walk in but he stops her.
“Where are you coming from and why were you not here last weekend?”
“Is that how you’ll welcome your sweetheart?”
She tries to pass by him but he pushes her back. “Where do you think you are going?”
“Ola, I am tired and not in the mood for this, please”. She says dropping her weekend bag.
“You will answer my question or go back to where you are coming from”. He says angrily.
“What’s your problem, Ola? I don’t understand you any longer”. Kunbi says getting upset as well.
“Where were you last weekend? Answer me, my patience is wearing thin”.
“You better let it do. What is the meaning of……? She is saying as Ola suddenly slaps her.
Kunbi is shocked as she places her right hand on her cheek. Tears sting her eyes as she speaks “Ola, you dare raise your hand on me?”
Ola looks at her in confusion. “I….I….I did not mean to. Please….” He stammers as Kunbi picks up her bag from the ground and starts to walk away leaving him at the door.
“Kunbi, Kunbi”. He calls out as he runs after her and tries to hold her hand.
“Don’t touch me”. She shouts and her voice breaks as a result of her tears.
Ola looks around to see if anyone is watching. “You are shouting”.
“And I will scream if you don’t leave me alone”. She responds.
“Please, let’s go inside and talk about it”. He pleads.
“Inside? You asked me to go back to where I am coming from. That’s exactly what I am going to do”.
“Kunbi, please. We can work this out. Don’t let people make us a laughing stock”. He says looking around.
She stops walking and looks around. “People”. She laughs mockingly. “You better get your hands off me, if you don’t want the same people to descend on you for manhandling me”.
She hisses as she walks away. Ola rubs his neck and breathes deeply. “What have I done this time?”
Kunbi takes a taxi to her apartment. She is confused, tired and upset. “What have I done to deserve this?”
She pays the taxi driver and walks into her house depressed. She is surprised and startled when she sees her mum in the living room reading a magazine. She quickly wipes her eyes with her handkerchief to conceal her tears.
“Good afternoon, mummy”. She says avoiding her mum’s eyes. She heads straight inside.
Wunmi raises her head. “Good afternoon Kunbi, come and sit down. I need to talk to you”.
“Right now?” Kunbi asks unable to make eye contact.
“Yes. Now. Or are you busy?”
“Not really”. She sits beside her mum and places her bag on the floor.
Wunmi turns her daughter’s face to the left and to the right and asks, “Have you been crying?”
Kunbi feigns surprise.”Me, crying? No”. She lies.
“So why are your eyes red and moist?”
“Oh, that. I…em….something flew into my eyes as I was coming in”.
Wunmi smiles. “Adekunbi, do I look like a baby to you? Why are you lying to me?”
Kunbi bursts into tears and hugs her mum as she cries on her shoulders. “Mummy it’s Ola”.
“What is the problem?”
Kunbi narrates to her mum the incident at Ola’s apartment. She, however refuses to mention that he had previously manhandled her. Wunmi listens attentively to her daughter nodding from time to time and at other times, she shakes her head in pity.
“Hmmm…. Kunbi, before you started this relationship, I warned you about Ola. I could see traces of pride, arrogance and jealousy in him even back then. But you insisted on dating him saying you were in love with him”. Wunmi says.
Kunbi wipes her eyes. “Yes mum. I remember”.
“I also told you that these were the same traits your father exhibited while he was alive. I couldn’t talk to any other man. The day I dare try it, I would be hospitalized. I explained all these to you but you insisted on your relationship with Ola”.
“But mummy, Ola never behaved like this before now”.
“They say what a child cannot see standing up, an elder would see sitting down. Kunbi, you are my only child and I love you very much. I can only advice you. I can’t force you to do anything you do not want to. I only pray you do not end up living in misery like I did when your father was alive”.
Kunbi looks at her mum and sighs as she stares into space.
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