His mother had not taken the news well. She had screamed, stormed towards Tamilore, told her it was a lie and then collapsed when Tamilore had told her squarely that it wasn’t.

She had insisted on being taken to the hospital after she was revived and had insisted that Jide stayed with her and nobody else, he was the one trying to kill her so he might as well stand by her.

Jide had stayed with her, all the while looking forward to the time that he would go to Tamilore’s and give her a piece of his mind.

He finally had the time to go see her when his mother was sedated. She opened the door and then stood there, refusing him entrance into the house.

He had come to the house to be mad at her, he had come there to ask her why she acted like that in front of his mother and Church members but seeing her standing at the door, her expression indifferent, he found himself unable to say anything.

“Have you called the commissioner or the AIG?” she asked

“No but…”

He didn’t finish; she slammed the door in his face.

———

“Was she saying the truth?”

He was leaning by the wall in the private and one of the most expensive wards his mother admitted in the hospital.

“Olajide, was that daughter of Jezebel saying the truth?”

Jide wanted to tell her Tamilore was not the daughter of Jezebel, that she was a good girl with a good heart but she had made wrong choices in the past and the reason she reacted that way earlier was because she was afraid, she was tensed and she was not thinking.

“You were raised in the ways of the Lord, taught well, brought up according to the word of God, yet you committed all forms of sin with the first daughter of Jezebel you come across?” She sat up and faced him, a look of disapproval etched on her face. “You did not even stop at fornicating, you went ahead and exchanged vows with her?”

They hadn’t gotten married and he tried to explain why Tamilore and him had gotten involved in the first place, “Mom I was younger and I was having fun and …”

But she was having none of it, “Fun ke? Iru fun wo niyen? Don’t you know that type of fun will lead you to hell? You should go on a fast of fourteen days and ask God for forgiveness and until then you must not near the altar in Church because right now I am disgusted with you and I am sure God is too!”

————

The next couple of days were the hardest for him, Tamilore wouldn’t speak to him because he had refused to use his contacts to find her sister and his mother would not answer him whenever he greeted her because he had been “sinfully involved with a daughter of Jezebel”

This had made him draw into himself and made him think of his life. He was angry at Tamilore, but why? She was the only one who should be angry because he had refused to stand up for her, refused to love her as much as she deserved and had refused to be there for her again as he should.

But he still was angry. He went through the days like a robot, living while he was not even alive.

When he could not take it anymore he went in search of her, she was in the house, looking dishevelled and exhausted.

“You don’t look well,” he said to her at the door.

She shrugged, “Have you made contact? The police around here seem to be unbothered about the case, maybe they are so used to people getting kidnapped that this does not interest them.”

“Tamilore I cannot just go and …”

He knew she was going to try and slam the door as usual and he had been prepared for that, so he stopped her with his leg.

“Please listen, I can go and meet someone who is not that high on the ladder …”

“Listen to yourself. Someone who is not that high on the ladder is who you would suggest because you’re so scared of ruining a person that’s not even you.” She said with irritation.

“Tamilore, I am a Child of God, a minister of God, I cannot ruin everything simply because you walked in here after four years! I can’t ruin it for you!” The words were as a result of the anger he had been feeling at himself for days. They were not supposed to be for her, he was not supposed to channel that much anger towards her but he was messed up on the inside, he was in so much turmoil that he did not even know who to direct the anger at.

“You’re right, you should not ruin anything for me.” She said calmly, too calm he knew she was angry and hurt by his words.

“Tamilore I am sorry, I should not have said that.”

“No you shouldn’t. But that’s your business. I am done with you and your stupid high level of spirituality that has blinded you so much you cannot even see this is definitely not who God wants you to be.”

She made to shut the door and he stopped her again, “Tamilore, I’m sorry.”

“You’re angry at the wrong person but you’d never see it. Go away.”

She shut the door and this time he did not stop her.

———–

Timilehin visited later and when she told him what had happened, he made a quick phone call to the commissioner and asked for the force to find Yetunde. Tamilore was grateful for him; she snuggled closer to him on the couch in the cold living room, a cup of coffee clutched in her hands.

“You need to stop drinking so much coffee” He said gently, biting her ears. She liked it when he did that, it made her laugh and brought some sort of calm to her body.

“I need the caffeine. I cannot sleep when my sister is missing” She responded as she tried to wade him off from biting her ear again.

“You don’t. You haven’t slept in days, you have to stop this caffeine intake and sleep.” He slowly pulled the cup of coffee away from her and placed it on the stool near him.

Then they sat in silence for a long time, “Thank you, Timi. You’re an amazing person” she muttered and he kissed her on the forehead.

“She would be fine and we would find her and she would return to annoying the shit out of our lives.”

Tamilore chuckled, “So you agree she is annoying.”

“I never said she wasn’t annoying. I just never paid any attention to it. But these days, I see more of the flaws.”

She raised both eyebrows, “You do?”

He nodded in response. She pulled away from him and looked at him in surprise.

“What happened?”

“You”

She looked away from him. It was happening again and she was not going to let it go anywhere.

“Tamtam if I ever asked you to be my girlfriend, would you?”

“Timi, I came back to Nigeria with a lot of issues and I don’t have a life, I never finished Uni… You’re God knows what with my sister… I cannot be your girlfriend.”

“It was not a big deal when you were trying to hook me up with Lamide, now you are pulling out every trick in the book not to be with me?” He looked at her, the words heavy with disbelief.

“Timi, you have to understand.”

“No. I don’t.” He suddenly stood up, “I have to go.” Then he strode towards the door, while she watched him.

He put his hand on the doorknob, then turned to face her. “I don’t feel okay leaving you here by yourself. You look like crap and I know you feel like crap too so come home with me.”

She wanted to decline the offer but she knew she was not good being alone so she nodded, went to grab a few things and followed him to his house.

—————–

The room Timilehin put her in was large and spacious and had several antiques hanging on the wall and that piqued her interest. After she was done taking a warm shower, she stood in her bathrobe and viewed every antique on the wall with keen interest.

Timilehin joined her after a while and told her how they were bought and why they were bought and she laughed at some and “AWWed” some.

He draped his arm around her while he told her the stories, the stories dear to his heart and the more he told her about that part of his family history, the more he realized he had never done that with any woman and the more he felt intimate with her.

“Your parents were such artistic people” She said when they were done. “I wish someone in my family could at least be like that. That way I won’t seem to weird.”

“I thought Lamide understood?”

“She doesn’t. She is just kind hearted and she supports anybody through anything.”

He laughed, “If you make me a part of your family, I will not make you feel weird.”

“You’re making marriage proposals now?”

“Not yet. But if I keep feeling this intimate with you and keep feeling the urge to take care of you, then maybe.”

She did not say anything to him. She was not sure what to say and she was not sure she even had to say anything. His phone rang and bailed her out.

“Hello. Yes.” He kept silent for a while, his jaw tightened and then he ended the call with, “Okay. We would be there soon” He ended the call and faced her.

“Tamtam, something has happened.”

He gently guided her to the bed and helped her sit, “Your sister is dead. Lamide… Lamide is dead.”

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