“Baby, you look so far away from here, what is going on? Are you still thinking about what happened to you? I promise I will make it up to you…..”.
“No, Daniel, I’m not thinking about what happened to me. There’s something else on my mind.”
He pulled my hand towards himself and gently squeezed it and that reminded me of Yemi.
“What is it, baby? Please share with me. It hurts to see you this way.”
“Don’t worry. It is something I can handle.”
“Come on, Dami, we do not need any secrets between us. I want us to make this relationship work but if we are going to do that, we need to start trusting each other very much.”
I smiled. Though I tried to hide the smile, I bet it showed.
“What relationship are you talking about?”
“Oh come on. You are not a kid. Why would something happen to me and the first thing I would do is want to talk to you about it. I have known you for only two weeks but it already feels like my life is tied to you. I would be lying to you if I told you that I have not been in any relationship before now but the truth is that this is the first time I am feeling the way I feel right now. I have spoken to my mum about you, who by the way, was the reason I traveled. They said she slumped and she was calling my name just before she passed out. That was why I rushed home like that.”
“Oh my God, I am so sorry to hear that. How is she now?”
“Thanks, love. After I told her about you, she said that she had recovered.”
We both laughed and then I asked
“Why would she say that?”
“My dear, my mum has been on my matter for almost one year now to get married. She has threatened to call all my uncles for a meeting over the matter. I even have a feeling the slumping was a way of blackmailing me to do something. You know how these mothers are.”
I chuckled because I know what Mrs. Coker can do. She has once called for a meeting of the whole family. She said it was absolutely necessary that we all attended and we were all panicked. My younger brother had to come down from South Africa because of the summon. We were so scared because you know what happens in Nollywood movies where the woman calls her children together to bless them before she dies. We all gathered for the meeting only for my mum to burst into tears that she did not understand why I had refused to settle down and choose a man out of the myriad of men coming my way. She asked my younger brother to ask me if I was a lesbian. Men, was I embarrassed. But what could I do? Mama is mama and you must love her that way. So, I really identified with Daniel at this point.
I held his hands and said, “I know it may sound too sudden or too quick but the truth is that I have not felt this way about any other person either”. In my mind, I was asking myself if that was the truth but it did not really matter at that point. All my fears were allayed by the concern in his voice. I looked into his eyes and saw love; genuine love. This is home for me.
In a flash, thoughts of Yemi crossed my mind and my heart missed a beat. I had to remind myself that sticking with the devil you know is better than trying out the angel you do not know. Then, I asked myself who between them, is the devil I know and who is the devil I did not know. Between the two of them, I had spent more time with Yemi that I had with Daniel but I liked Daniel first and I resorted to Yemi after I thought Daniel was a bad person. Turns out he was not bad anyway so, I had better stick to him. Yemi said he was not with me for anything romantic, that he was fine if nothing worked out between us; he only wanted to be my friend. So, I am sure he will not feel bad about me choosing Daniel.
I know what I will do. I will introduce them to each other and get them to be friends, that way, I can have them both in my life; Yemi as my friend, Daniel as my boyfriend. No competition.
“Darling, what is eating you up? You look so distant.”
“Oh dear, it’s still the same thing I told you I can handle”
“Maybe you should share with me. Even if I don’t need to handle it, it would be nice knowing what is going on in your pretty mind. This is us getting to know each other better. What do you think?”
I smiled. He is very intelligent.
“While you were away, the guy who bashed my car 2 Sundays ago was the one who helped me walk through the whole pain and all….”
I saw him raise an eyebrow, “Wow! I was away for a few hours and someone else is already warming your heart?”
“Daniel, are you for real? Who is talking about warming the heart here? You presumably duped me of 650,000 Naira, someone was there to help me not feel as terrible, even paid some part of the money and you are here talking about warming the heart?”
“Calm down baby, I was just pulling your legs. I am just wondering why it is bothering you so much that you look distant while with me.”
“The thing bothering me is how to convince him that it was not you who duped me so that he does not see you as a schemer and me as gullible.”
“Errrr…. How come his opinion matters so much?”
“You know what? Just forget it. I will handle this.”
“Well, if you say so. I just need you to know that I am a very jealous lover. I like having my woman to myself, attention undivided.”
“I like sharing my man with the whole world. He does not even need to give me attention at all.” This I said while eyeing him. He laughed heartily, throwing his head backwards. He was really handsome. I smiled and looked at my time. I had exceeded my 1-hour break period and I needed to return to the office.
As soon as I stepped into the office, my phone rang. It was Yemi.