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Friday, March 31, 2017

The Men She Loved (2)



Would you like something to drink?”

He looked away from her.

“Sure."

“What would you like?”

“What do you have?” he was looking at her intently again. He had this way of looking at her, like he was trying to read her soul. She turned away from him

“Water, apple juice, cranberry juice, that’s it.”

“Water please,” she left him on the couch and went to get him the water; she returned with water and a bowl of milk for the puppies but they were still asleep. Lanre took a sip of his drink. “You seem a little sadder than usual,”

“Than usual?”

“You never really seem happy; it’s as though there is something sad that’s always at the back of your mind,”

“Perhaps, I was born a little sad,”

The doorbell rang, she sighed and excused herself. As soon as she opened the door, Ada burst through with her ever-evolving stomach leading the way.

“I have been calling your phone all freaking day. They call it a mobile phone for a reason,”

“I’m sorry; I must have dropped it somewhere. I haven’t seen it,”

“I bet you haven’t even looked,” Lola said nothing. She really hadn’t wanted to talk to anyone. Ada walked right through to the living room and practically stumbled over Lanre.

“Oh! I didn’t realise you had a guest!”

“Ada, Lanre; Lanre, Ada,” Lanre stood to shake Ada’s hand but her attention was already elsewhere

“Omolola! Are those dogs??? I leave you for one day and you get dogs!”

“Actually, I got them for her.”


“She needs a man, not another excuse to stay at home. But we appreciate the gesture,” said Ada.

 Lola could see that Lanre wasn’t warming to her friend’s brash ways; she hoped he would excuse himself but he sat back down.

“I thought she had a man," Lanre said.

“Well she does in theory but she is way too caught up with the past."

“The past?” Lanre asked. Lola gave up and sat down; there was nothing Ada loved more than a story. She gave Lola her 'if you don’t tell him I will' look. Lola sighed. Ada’s version of the story would sound so much worse than it needed to.

“When I was younger, in secondary school, I fell for this guy. His name was Dayo. I wasn’t the only one though; every girl wanted him. He was tall, handsome, charming, smart. He was head of the basketball team and the football team. I never imagined he would look my way, but he did. And suddenly, it all seemed to make sense.”

“What did?” Lanre asked

“Life,” Lola said.

Ada groaned.

***

She was with him the day that they arrested him. She would never forget it. They had been watching Die Hard, cross-legged on the floor, holding on to their ben and jerry’s ice-cream. There had been a knock on the door.

“Don’t worry; I’ll get it,” Lola said.

Dayo hadn’t acknowledged her statement. He never opened her door. She had wondered why she’d even bothered telling him not to worry.

There were cops standing at her front door, but she had not been concerned. There was always some domestic abuse or other going on in the houses in her neigbourhood; she had assumed they wanted her to answer some questions. She had smiled at them

“Good afternoon ma’am.”

 The speaker was skinny, but he was approximately the same age of her father. His face was drawn and he looked stern. The man beside him was younger with a floppy blonde fringe, but he had looked equally stern.

“Afternoon,” she had responded.

“We are looking for Mr Dayo Abeke,” he said Dayo like Day-you.

“Why?”

“Is he here ma’am?”

“Er…”

“We have a warrant for his arrest,”

If she was the fainting type she would have fainted; it would have been a small mercy. They walked past her and into her home. She had no idea if she had stepped aside or been pushed aside.

She remembered the startled sound Dayo had made as they had stormed in on him. She recalled them reading him his rights, as they had handcuffed him. She had stood there stunned. Dayo ceased being shocked and begun to exude anger but she could see the fear in his eyes, it mirrored her own.

“Get me a lawyer,” he told her again as they were leaving. It was after they were gone and she had sunk into the sofa that she realised, she had no idea what he was being arrested for.


“What are you thinking about?”

“What?”

“You seem distracted,”

Lola looked at Temi, looked through him, and wondered if she could tell him about her past.

“I’m cool. Just tired.”

“Long day at work?”

“Mmmm,”

Temi was satisfied with that. He returned to his driving and she closed her eyes. Dayo would have pressed the issue, tickled her, frustrated her, held her until she spoke, until she spilled her guts.

She knew she still loved him but he had been far from perfect. He had cheated on her so many times. He had the face of an angel and the body of a devil. He had fair skin and soft hair. It was hard for any woman to resist him and Dayo found it hard to resist women that couldn’t resist him.

“Do you mind if we stop by my office. I need to get a file from my desk,”

“Sure, it’s cool,” she smiled at him, guilty over the direction her thoughts had taken. Dayo was history, she had to focus on her relationship with Temi who was responsible and kind and ambitious; the polar opposite of Dayo.

Temi was a perfect gentleman, asking for a kiss before he kissed you; Dayo took what he figured was already his for the taking. No, she was glad she was with Temi.

The guard opened the office gate for them once he saw Temi’s face and they drove in. It was her first time at his office. He opened the car door for her and she stepped out

“I’ll give you a tour,” he said as he took her hand. He rarely held her hand and she was pleased with this new development. They walked into the building.

 “This is the reception. We haven’t hired a receptionist yet but we will soon.” She smiled at the quaint oval table.

“This is the meeting room, the kitchen facilities are to your right and the bathroom facilities are to your left. Our office is this way, it is open-plan.”

 He took her through a set of glass doors. The office was widely spaced but the desks were only six that she could see.

He walked over to his desk and grabbed the file. She was struck by a need to kiss him to be in his arms in the present; so she walked over to him and held his face in her hands. He smiled at her and she kissed him.

He set his file on the desk, and half sat on it drawing her closer with his hands on her waist. She leaned into him and deepened the kiss. She slipped her arms around his neck and she felt him move his hands down to her hips and then around.

 She relaxed into his grip. She felt light-headed and slightly drunk. She wanted him to make her forget but his kisses only reminded her of how much more she wanted from him.

She pulled away. He stared at her with lust in his eyes and she wondered if he would pull her back into the embrace. He didn’t. He smiled at her, picked up his file and led her out of the office and into the car.

“Aren’t you going to say anything?”

“About what?”

“About what happened at your desk, what else?” He paused and looked at her, then back on the road and then at her again.

“It was really nice.”

“That’s it?”

“You’re a good kisser.” Lola folded her arms, dissatisfied still. It was the first time they had kissed and all he had to say was ‘it was nice’. He was looking at her again, waiting for her to say what was on her mind.

“You’re a good kisser too,” she conceded. He grinned at her and returned to driving with both eyes on the road but Lola’s thoughts continued to run laps around her mind. He walked her to her front door and kissed her gently on her lips.

“Goodnight.”


 To be continued


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