They laid on the floor, each with her back to the floor, hands holding each other, eyes on the ceiling.
“You should let your mother meet us like this.” Sam said with a chuckle, she looked at her partner and added, “I bet she would freak out.”
Alero was alarmed, “No way!” she got up, “And that is why I am calling a cab to come and pick you here soon.”
Sam had not meant what she said, but Alero’s reaction to what she said was disappointing and heartbreaking.
Nothing had changed about her and nothing was clearly ever going to change.
She pulled Alero closer to her, “Relax puppy, I was just teasing you.”
“I’m still calling that cab.” she muttered and while Sam planted kisses all over her naked body, her fingers roamed for her phone.
They had fallen asleep in each other’s arms the night before and had woken up early the next morning, each gazing at the ceiling and saying nothing.
“Won’t your fiancee be worried you are not in the hotel?” Alero asked in between moans.
Sam said nothing, she continued to please her partner and snatched the phone away from her.
“Sam” Alero moaned, “Sam you have to let me call the cab driver.”
Sam kissed the words out of her and very soon, they were both lost in the heat of passion that always consumed them both.
He had a meeting with the MD and five other departmental heads in the office that morning.
The meeting was slated for 8am but he had arrived at the office an hour thirty minutes earlier because he wanted to escape his mother’s rants at home.
She was still very angry at his attitude towards the marriage committee and he was still refusing to apologize.
He had not done anything wrong, he needed her to see that and he needed her to understand he was not a little boy anymore.
It was not her fault, he had let her make decisions for him even as a grown man and that was why she clearly did not see when she was crossing the line.
She was used to crossing the line with him but he had gotten enough of that. Now, he wanted to make his personal decisions by himself.
Tamilore had asked him to fight for her if he wanted her and that was what he was going to do.
The problem however was that he did not know how to do it.
As he rode the elevator up to his office, he asked God for help.
He loved God, cherished Him and he always wanted God to help him make decisions.
And that was why he prayed that morning, asking him to show him a sign on what direction to take.
Stepping out of the elevator, he muttered a prayer of help to God again and he knew for a fact that God would direct his steps.
They stepped under the warm shower together.
It was cold that morning because of Harmattan and Alero had turned on the heater when Sam asked them to go do it in her room.
Now, they washed under the warm water that splashed on their backs.
“She left me.”
Sam muttered as they stepped out of the shower.
“Who…” And it dawned on Alero who she was talking about, it was Sam’s fiancee, the chocolate skinned beauty she had met at the supermarket the night before.
“When you called, she knew it was you and told me if I stepped out to see you then I had made a decision and she was going to leave me.”
Sam continued to say as they made their way to the bedroom.
“I left with you so…”
Alero knew what that meant but suddenly she was too afraid to make the decision she knew Sam wanted her to make.
Sam looked at her with hope, telling herself that the decision this time would be different.
The door opened, startling them both and revealing a terribly shocked Agnes.
She looked from Sam to Alero in sheer horror.
“Alero! Alero kini mo so fun e nipa omode yi?” she yelled, “Well no problem.”
she continued and looked at Sam with irritation, “You, I hope you know lesbianism is a crime in this country, so be prepared to go on a Holiday behind bars.”
Then she pulled out her phone and dialed the Police.
He called her again before the meeting started and as usual, she refused to pick.
When the meeting got boring and he had nothing to contribute, he picked his phone and began to play Subway Surfers.
Her message came in after he crashed the first time.
Stop calling me Jide, I am never going to pick. If you want me to speak to you, you know what to do.
He smiled, the message was a welcome distraction.
He typed a response:
Where do I start from?
He did not expect any response from her, he had realized his folly immediately he asked her where to start from.
How would she know how he would take his first step towards freedom.
Tamilore threw the phone in her bag, took a deep breath and stepped out of her room.
Her mother was standing by the dining table when she stepped out, spreading out her breakfast for the morning.
“Omolola is expecting you, she has sent her driver to pick you up because she is concerned you might not know your way there.”
Tamilore picked one fried plantain and fried eggs and put it in her mouth.
It was her first meeting with her Aunt in years.
She had been concerned about “Tamilore’s condition” and had asked her mother to send her over to her.
She wanted to give Tamilore a job as her personal assistant, a job Tamilore wasn’t in the least bit excited about.
Aunty ‘Molola was a successful author, speaker and preacher, she had been married for fifteen years but did not have a child.
She had been through hell in the hands of her in laws but she never crashed, never crumbled under the pressure.
Tamilore liked her and it was the only reason she had accepted to go and see her.
She had almost finished with her breakfast when Aunty ‘Molola’s driver arrived.
She straightened her retro skirt and blouse, checked her make up in her phone’s reflection and breezed out of the door.
“Mummy please don’t call the Police. Please.”
She shoved her daughter out of the way and proceeded to lock the door so nobody could leave the building, “That is too late, they are already on their way. You should have thought of all of these before you chose to sleep with a woman like you in this house.”
Alero was at her wit’s end, she glanced at her mother helplessly. “Mummy, I swear to you that I will never see her again if you give me this one last chance.” she pleaded.
Sam was dressed now, standing by the door, unnoticed by the two women.
“I don’t believe that.”
“Please believe me. I am going to marry Jide…”
That stung Sam but she remained quiet.
Agnes refused to say anything while her daughter pleaded with her.
When her phone rang a few minutes after, she picked it and said, “Yes please. The criminal is here.”
Alero watched helplessly as Sam was dragged out of the house.
She followed the policemen but didn’t say much.
As Sam got in the backseat of the Police van, she looked at Alero, her eyes saying things Alero knew words could never convey.
When the police van had left, Alero faced her mother, “That was unfair”
Agnes’ eyes seemed to get colder that instant, “You don’t even know the meaning of that word yet but I will soon teach you.”
She sauntered off into the house, while she made yet another phone call.
Whenever he asked God for something, he always got a response and that was why he was sure the sign he asked for earlier would come.
When he stepped into his office, his phone rang, it was his close family friend and the commissioner of Police.
“Good morning Sir” he said to the man on the other end of the line, the commissioner wanted him to do some transfer for him on his account and he was getting to that when the guy walked in.
He sat opposite him and stared at Jide with a steely expression.
Nothing was right about him, not the air that followed him in nor the way he looked.
He pulled his jacket aside and revealed a gun, hanging on to his waist.
Jide was scared but he did not show it, so he started a conversation with the guy opposite him without ending his call.
“What do you want with a gun in my office? Do you want to kill me?”
“Yes. Your time is up. You either give me what I want or I shoot you.” the guy’s accent sounded Mexican or some other place in Latin America.
Jide suddenly remembered how viscious the people from that area could be when provoked and that made him nervous.
“Don’t think I’m joking, I will kill you in five minutes if you don’t give it to me. Five minutes that is all I am giving you.”
The Commissioner of Police listened carefully on the other end of the line and looked up at his officers, then he motioned to the ones closest to him and ordered them to go to Jide’s office immediately.
“Make sure you arrest that criminal before he does something stupid. Go now.” he said careful not to raise his voice loud enough to be heard by the criminal on the other end of the phone.
The officers bowed and dispersed immediately.
Sam’s biggest fear was that Alero would not show up for her at the station.
When the Police allowed her to make calls, she had dialed Alero and her fiancee, Alex.
Then she sat at the counter, head on the wall while she waited for the person who would come through for her.
Her hope was for it to be Alero but she knew that was a big wish, hoping Alero would come through was like building castles in the air, it would all come crashing.
She nervously bit her fingers as she did whenever she was restless, her eyes darting back and forth the entrance to the Police station, waiting for the first one that would come to bail her out.
Alero toyed with her phone while she restlessly paced the office. If she stepped out of the office, it meant she had made a decision.
She needed to be sure it was what she would still be proud of the next day and the day after it and every other day that followed for the rest of her life.
She paused, thinking of the repercussions of each action that she had to take, whatever decision she took was going to hurt someone.
She glanced at the clock on the wall, fifteen minutes had passed since she received that call.
She would go.
She would go and return to the states with Sam and her mother could do whatever she pleased.
She scrolled through her phone, ready to send a message to her mother.
She was going to type when she saw it.
Her mother had sent a message to her the night before that she was returning earlier than she thought and asked Alero to prepare breakfast.
Alero frowned, she had not seen this message before then, why was it read and sitting in her inbox.
After checking the time it came in, it all dawned on her.
The message had come in while she was sleeping, Sam had seen it and refused to notify her.
She wanted Agnes to see her in the house, she wanted to put Alero in a tight position and see if she would choose her.
Alero stormed out of the door.
Aunty ‘Molola got into the backseat of the car as soon as the driver brought Tamilore in.
“Oluwatamilore, its been such a long time. And you keep getting more beautiful”
She said and hugged her tight, planting kisses all over her face, causing Tamilore to giggle.
“You liked that when I did it for you as a baby, you know?” Aunty ‘Molola said with a smile.
Tamilore had always thought her Aunt reminded her of the late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya with her warmness and her physical features. She was chubby, light skinned, very pretty.
“We don’t have time to discuss your job description this morning, I forgot that I was scheduled for a talk this morning. See why I desperately need an assistant?”
Tamilore sighted the uneven powder application on her face, fished her bag for a mirror and handed it to her.
“Yes I do.”
Jide had muttered a little prayer to God while a gun was being wielded at him in his office and had typed a quick text to Tamilore to tell her he thought of her until the end.
Standing by the alternate entrance now and watching the man that had given Tamilore sleepless nights being led away, he felt he had the answers to the prayers he said earlier that morning.
Now he knew what direction God wanted him to go.
-Tomilola Coco Adeyemo