Thinking about something that is not yours to have in the first place, is very tiresome and energy draining. I stopped making contact with the man I thought I loved ( although I was not sure if he ever returned the feelings). I tackled more important issues that became too personal. I succeeded in bailing my mother from jail and relocated her to Jamaica.
Kemi adviced me to let Gabriel off the hook, as he was already committed to another woman. I desired a love of my own. She suggested I tried out new things, go out and see other men : which I did as there were many fishes in the river. Unfortunately non felt like Gabriel.. None was as sweet and understanding as him. None ever touched my soft spot and made my heart leap and bubble with anticipation…
It was the very opposite of attraction : it was shere forced affection.
” I have to leave , please …” I said , already disgusted by the bragging fool who sat across the table.
He was so pumpous and idiotic , all in one . He Exaggerated about everything: ranging from how many fleet of cars he had and to the daily importations of tanker loads of goods he commanded. The typical “Igbo man” style. Of course he was , no doubt about that .
“Why? Kwanu(what’s the problem) “. He asked in a very thick accented tongue.
” Nne , we just got here . Wh— why are you leaving nah? . I can order for more “Nkwobi” ( A very delicious meal of meat and vegetables ) , you didn’t even take your small stout . Do you want to have more dry meat?”
The way which he pronounced the “Nne” was very ibotic , and I wondered if I resembled his momma or something. I hissed and grabbed my bag. I walked out ,while people stared at the drama going on at our table when he tried to stop me but I landed a slap on his left cheek.
” Get your hands off me.” I said “ti o ba ohun ode ( meaing :you are an idiot, in yoruba).
That was the seventh date in a row with seven different guys and none ever made it to the next level. They were just useless.
” So how did it go? ” Kemi asked with some joy in her voice.
She suddenly started living at my house and her reasons was that she wanted to be closer to me so as to give tangible advises . What sort of reason was that? Anyways she was always welcome to stay anytime.
” He thinks am his mother.. Let him go and date his mother , not me. I can’t be his “NNE” The guy was so annoying”
I hissed bitterly.
” What do you mean ?… Because he called you NNE…? What do you even want in a man?. Is it the way he talks or how he treats you? Lola buckle up o, I don’t understand you o…”
“The first guy you met last week , his bad breathe irritated you; then the second, it was his body odour or was it the cologn he used. The third guy had a small body physique and you concluded that his deek would be small too…What is wrong with you, Lola? She blurted as eyes opened like an automated teller cash dispenser.
I was silent and sat deep into the cushion. flung my hand bag to God knows where…..
I never had the idea of what I really wanted but , certainly not some cheap bragging fool or any other fool that couldn’t woo a lady.
” What happened today , Love ? Kate asked with her arms crossed and she stood at the centre of the parlour.
I was quiet when she entered the house. David came in before her and I pretended to be happy but immediately changed my facial expression when she followed behind . I thought she would have stopped to ask questions then but she went straight into the room and changed . Returned and stood before me like a mopol.
” Mtcheww. Is that the good afternoon you will greet your husband? ” I was angry but I hoped she didn’t notice it.
” Sorry Love..” she apologised” I was just concerned about your wellbeing and the job interview you went for today”
I expected her to say something better and not remind me of my failures, not remind me the fact that I was now broke as hell. To cap it all I was reminded that I just saw her outside ,hugging a stranger.. In front of my house. The same stranger whom I suspected to be behind Tayo’s present condition. She really wanted me dead so she could just get on with her life.. Maybe she was already tired of living with me…maybe..
” I don’t know why you want me dead ” I said ” I know women can kill a rich husband just to be with their lover , but I’m poor and have nothing . At least not yet . its very easy for you to just leave me like that…. Why try to kill me?
” What’s that suppose to mean? She was puzzled.
I looked straight into her eyes and sighed with regrets and less emotions.
” One thing I won’t do is sit around here and allow you and your lover kill me . Kate you can go on with your flirting but I won’t sit here and allow you to kill me before my time”
” I don’t just understand him . I dont get it” I said to Mimi.
She was as silent as a grave yard. I suspected that she must have been shocked by the incidents which I reeled out to her.. She was the type of woman that would reply at any slightest opportunity . But now she was dumbfounded.
” What do you mean? ” Mimi asked ” w– what’s does he mean by YOU want him dead?
I couldn’t explain. I told her about my incident with Gabriel the previous day and she dropped her jaws down in disbelief. Gabriel’s conclusion was absurd and uncalled for.
I held him in high esteem but that fateful day, he proved to me that he was really frustrated. It showed in his eyes and I suddenly felt pity for him when I blocked his path from leaving the parlour.
” Please Kate. Let me pass nah. I’m tired . Even if you want to kill me , let me go and rest for today. Another day is a perfect chance.” ……
” My sister ” I said ” I’m confused here too. I have nothing to do with Tayo’s gunshot. And Why would Andy try to hurt Gabriel? The guy is too timid to boo a fly.”
” He is a man..men are like that and you don’t expect him to be happy when he is broke? Mimi replied, as she stroked her long wavy hair.
I sat down into the cushion in Mimi’s well furnished apartment. She stayed alone and it was the epitome of simple beauty .. I hoped she was going to get married anytime soon, it was rather to early to assume because she was like the queen of ” single forever”. She never maintained relationships or didn’t even try at all.
” But come o , babes” Mimi blurted out and tapped me on the laps..
” what is it?
” The mastermind of the gunshot was indeed a genius” She continued” Like , think about it : Get Tayo out of the picture and Gabriel is stranded… ”
There was some truth in what she said, but she had to explain better.
” Where are you driving at? I said.
” Maybe Gabriel wasn’t the target after all. He was wounded , fine. Then he used all he had on treating himself. And his best friend and ally is subjected to a coma.”
She tried to exlpalin even further and then it dawned on me that Tayo was Gabriel’s pivot. The life force of his existence. Remove Tayo, and Gabe is rendered hopeless.
” So He was just a pawn on the chess board. Is that what you mean?
Mimi sipped her juice and placed the glass on the table carefully.
” …. Think of him as the main price.. The King on the board”
I stared blankly at her before she continued. Cheerfully.
” … And o yes , Kathy . I’m so happy right now.. Elisha is back from the States”…
I left early for St Francis hospital just to avoid bustops overload . I waited on the pavillon for the next bus, and the day was not too bright yet. I gazed at my feet and wondered how I got to that point in my life . I already sold my car( in short Kate sold it when I was still receiving treatments).
” Bypass … Rumukuro.. Shoba shoba ( the Conductor called it as the bus stopped. The actual location was Choba and not shoba… But his weed fried tongue was saying otherwise).
” Bros you dae go?” He asked and jumped off the bus entrance.
” Enter moto nah… No time ” He tapped me on the back and called out more passengers.
When I got to the hospital , I was afraid to enter Tayo’s room . It felt like a ghost would tear me apart. Some mythycal guardian would disengage my limbs if I opened the door. I stood there for a while and summoned courage.
Inside the room , there were countless machines and a windpipe went down his throat aiding his breathing. His heart rate was shown on a screen on the left, and I shook with fear ; thinking it would stop any minute. His wife sat near his bed and lay her head on his right side.
” Omotola’ I said and touched her gently.
” Gabriel… What are you– you are here early….”
” Don’t worry . I came to relieve you off your night watch”
I chuckled a smile and she reacted positively to it.
” Well then ” She said” I’ll just go home and take a quick shower . But I’ll be back as soon as possible…”
” Take your time — Tally just take all the time you want. I’m here for Tayo. He is like a brother to me ”
She stood up and hugged me, tears showed down her cheeks . I could feel her heart beat . She was in deep pain.
We untangled and I watched her as she religiously kissed Tayo on the fore head , wiped his face with a towel and left reluctantly.
I sat down on the plastic chair. My mind was racing and thoughts flew in sporadically. I grabbed Tayo’s arms and the paleness shook me internally. He was almost at the brink of no return relying on machines for his life.
” You can’t leave me .. Bro .. Not yet. No , not yet man. We have been through alot, Tayo. Don’t let me grind it alone. ” I sniffed and blinked then continued” Bro.. I have a lead on the person who attempted to take your life. Soon I’ll have proof and he will pay dearly… I promise you– he will so rot in jail”