If you’re following me on Instagram, you probably already know this; my book SQUADI: The Originals made it to top 20 Best Sellers on Okada Books in 2016 so far. Like I said on Instagram, this is a big deal to me because this book dropped last month (June) and in a month, it made it to no 7 on a Best Selling list! See, this is a miracle. And it is huge news. Okada Books remains the no 1 book selling App in Nigeria and anything that’s number one in Nigeria is most likely a very big deal on the Continent. So see why this makes me so happy? God has been faithful, can’t even lie. And, you guys have been amazing. To everyone who downloaded Squadi, the ones who went out of their way even when Okada Books wouldn’t let them on time and those buyers from France, China, Ghana, Cuba… thank you so much. God bless you. If you are yet to read the book, hurry to Okada Books and find out why it’s one of the best sellers in 2016 so far.
Meanwhile, read the post on the best sellers and see SQUADI on no 7 HERE
I think his smell brought me back to life.
I know it sounds ridiculous but I was running on a rail track, my legs barely touching the ground as I sped towards a bright light, my heart beating fast.
I think I was actually floating in the air while I neared the light which persuasively beckoned to me. I had actually raised my hand to touch it when his smell infiltrates my senses.
Or the senses of my unconscious form as it were.
Stirring, I open my eyes slightly and see him standing in front of me, worry heavily written on his fine face.
“Hey” he says in what seems like a distant echo.
“Hey” I reply.
“Are you okay?” I feel a slight pain in my arms but otherwise, I actually feel quite good for someone who just almost died.
My mind runs through the last few seconds before I had an accident. Suddenly, Scott’s face appears in my mind’s eyes and I make to sit up.
He holds me down firmly but as gentle as he can be. “Sarah, what are you doing?” he asks incredulously, looking at me like he cannot believe the audacity I have to try and stand.
“Scott” I say, “Where is he?”
“Sarah, you should not be bothered about someone else right now. You should be bothered about you and you alone”
I am not sure why I suddenly begin to panic; the fact that in movies, those words usually hint at something being wrong with the person you had an accident with or the fact that he somehow didn’t want me to see Scott.
“Is he okay?” the panic in my voice must have been evident because he smiles, rubs my hands gently and tells me to relax.
“Relax, Sarah. He’s fine. But you have to be fine too”
I manage a smile. “How did you find me?”
“When your car had an accident, passersby where more interested in taking photos and uploading on social media than actually helping. We were driving to the venue of the Reception when Cynthia pointed out there was an accident…”
I frown when I hear Cynthia. Who’s that again? I am almost certain I have amnesia as a result of the accident when he says, “The girl who says she’s pregnant for me”
Okay, that explains why I can’t remember.
“The girl who says she is pregnant for you or the girl who is pregnant for you” I correct, my face daring him to argue with me.
“The baby might not be mine” he says matter-of-factly.
I cock an eyebrow, “Why? Cos you didn’t sleep with her?” there’s a mocking smile on my face and he sees it.
“Stop doing that” he says lightly and looks away. He is sitting at the edge of my bed, his handsome face looking at his phone now because he is avoiding my gaze.
He looks breathtaking in that Tux and I cannot even say it enough. He looks effortlessly sexy and he can give Uti, Bryan and Alex whatever his name is a run for their money if he decides to hit the runway.
“Stop doing what?” I counter. “You slept with her, she is pregnant and you’re saying the baby might not be yours”
“It was a setup, Sarah” he says, his eyes back on my face. “She and her cousin…” his voice trails off as the subject of our conversation saunters into the room. Her eyes dart from AKT to me and I see a look of disdain on her face when she sees me.
“I told you to wait in the Car” AKT says to her the moment she moves closer to him.
“Well I was bored. Besides, we have a wedding to attend. You are the Best Man, we should start going” I notice the not-so-subtle hand she placed on his shoulder as if to claim ownership. The space between them is barely wide enough for a little finger. I bite back a smile, she is trying to send a message to me. But she is trying too hard.
“You should go, AKT” I say to AKT and I see a slight look of disappointment on his face.
Wait, he would rather sit by the bed of an Accident victim than go for his Cousin’s wedding?
“Nah, I’m fine. I will go when I feel like” he says stubbornly. “Cynthia, go and wait for me outside”
Cynthia’s face is in shock. “But babe, I can’t just go and sit…”
“Excuse me” he says to me and drags her out of the room. I hear him talking to her in a low voice but I can barely make out what he is saying to her. He returns minutes after without her and I realize he has gotten rid of her.
“I’m sorry about that”
“It’s okay. It’s what every woman would do”
“Looking out for her man” I say. “Every woman would do that”
His eyes flare up in anger, “Stop it, Sarah”
“What now, you’re mad at me too?”
There’s a long stretch of silence, he watches me closely, his gaze refusing to shift even when I ask quietly why he is ogling me.
Then suddenly, he asks a question I did not see coming.
“Is this your coping mechanism for the attraction you feel to me?”
Something even the accident couldn’t do to me happens when I hear that question – my jaw drops.
“I don’t feel any form of attraction whatsoever. None, nothing, zilch.” I say as if trying to convince myself more than I am trying to convince him.
He chuckles, “I don’t believe you”
“That’s your business”
My sister and her husband dash in. She hurries to my bedside, a look of worry on her face.
“Jesus! What happened? I was so scared when your friend called” she says and I frown, what friend?
“Er, I called your Sister when you were unconscious” AKT says to me and I smile.
He is attractive on the inside as he is on the outside.
“Mummy’s on her way here sef” my sister says as she feels my entire body with her hands.
“You didn’t have to call her” I say gently
“She was coming to settle our issues anyway”
I nod, knowing the issue she is talking about is the one she’s having with her pervy husband.
That one smiles at me and winks at the same time, saying something about being happy I am fine.
“Are you her boyfriend?” my sister asks AKT and I am about to tell her to stop being so ridiculous when my mother darts in.
She is by my bedside in seconds, praying and asking God to heal me while thanking Him for mercies.
“Ahn ahn it is good your boyfriend called us o” my mother says, “When Esther called and said you were in the Hospital I said it is a good thing your boyfriend…”
“He’s not my boyfriend” I correct but I must have been high on the painkillers infused into me through the IV if I thought she was going to hear me. My voice was obviously drowned in the truth she chose to believe.
The truth she is now extremely obsessed with.
She rushes to AKT and begins to thank him profusely. AKT smiles, lowering his head in respect as he tells her it is nothing.
“He’s kuku not my boyfriend” I say in one last attempt to kill my mother’s euphoria but again, she’s too elated by the idea to hear me.
“I am happy you finally found yourself a man” my sister says and I bite back the urge to say something nasty to her. When she smiles, I realize she is aware of the truth but has purposely chosen not to see it.
“You should invite him over to dinner so we can thank him once you’re discharged” she faces AKT before I can say anything else. The glittering ring on her finger tell me she’s back to wearing the wedding ring she previously removed. “I make the best Fried Rice” she says, “You should come over during the week”
I wait for AKT’s response.
Abort, abort, abort!
I chant in my head.
“Sure. I will come over on Monday” he says and I shut my eyes tightly as my family thank him.
Why is everyone suddenly acting strange? Am I the only one who thinks something is wrong?
“I have to go now, Sarah. I have Best Man duties” he says and leans over to brush his lips across my cheeks when Scott waltzes in.
He looks quite okay save the slight cut on his face.
“Hey, Sarah. You okay?” he asks as he marches towards me, barely acknowledging the presence of the people in the room with me. “Hey” he says coldly to AKT who has now succeeded in kissing me again just to send a message to Scott.
“I’m fine” I say to him. I make a mental note to ask him what went wrong and how he, one of the most careful Drivers I know, missed an oncoming Truck.
We could have been dead or in the ICU or something.
We only got lucky.
“Don’t you have a wedding to attend?” Scott asks AKT. The silent war going on between them is the only thing more evident than the color on the wall. AKT smiles and leaves without another word.
“My mother and my sister” I say to Scott, desperate to kill the awkwardness which looms over us like a Giant in the room.
He greets my mother, his own greeting devoid of the whole dramatic AKT had infused in his minutes before.
“Mummy, my boss”
He glares at me when I say that. I know he wants more but no, I won’t be saying more.
Especially when he doesn’t mean more.
Not at the moment.
When I return to the Car, Cynthia is glaring at me as expected. Fuming, she reminds me of flour ready to be made into puffpuff.
I refuse to say anything to her, my fingers busy with selecting a song for our trip to the Reception venue.
“You’re just acting anyhow, forgetting you’re going to be a father. Is this how you want your child to meet you? Behaving anyhow to his or her mother? You seem to forget you’re expecting a baby” she says to me
“What does that have to do with anything?” my brows furrow in a frown as I settle for a Nina Simone track.
“Sitting there with the woman who is not the mother of your child like the mother of your child doesn’t matter” she snaps.
“Do you?” I ask. As I make a turn and drive into a Petrol station, I realize my car isn’t the only thing getting fueled, my anger is too. Somehow, I find myself being engulfed by an overwhelming anger I didn’t see coming. Even petrol couldn’t have ignited the fire that suddenly burns in me; the fire that drives me crazy.
I suddenly realize this is rage I have bottled up for a long time.
Rage I have bottled up since the day she waltzed into my house, my life and my space. The rage that built a wedge between Sarah and I.
Gripping the steering wheel of my car after making payments for my fuelled car, I try to put my emotions under control.
However, that is the only thing I am willing to put under control, my tongue I allow to go unbridled.
“You set me up, spread your legs and refused to take measures” before she can say anything I raise a hand, “And before you give me BS about not forcing me and me knowing better than sleeping with you without protection, you were fucking dishonest! You came on board knowing damn well what you were doing even after I tried to make up for sleeping with you without protection!”
I make a sharp turn without caring for her. She lurches forward and is barely held in place by her seatbelt.
“You think this makes you a better Parent? It makes you an awful Parent honey. That baby would come into this world knowing mommy used him or her as a trick to get into Daddy’s life because she wanted Daddy’s money. That makes you a gold digger not a good mom.” I slam my foot on the Accelerator as I speed down the free road to the Reception. Slowing down at the gates, I continue, “I don’t care about you. You were good pussy and that’s all.” Pulling the car into an abrupt halt as I shoot into a parking space, I shoot her the final part of my sermon I am hundred percent certain she didn’t see coming. “Pack your shit and get out of my house today. You and your mother”.
Getting out of the Car, I go to the other side, open her door and add, “Now actually. I don’t want to see you when I get back”
The next thing that happens should have ignited some sort of emotion in me but it didn’t.
Sitting out, she vomits on the ground near me, splashing some of her breakfast that morning on my expensive patent shoes.
I am aware she feels sick because of how I drove here but I am also unbothered.
Scrolling through my phone, I ask for a ride through Uber.
And when I am done, I call my Driver, “Bring me a change of clothes from my room” I say and march into the Hall where Steve and Kaycee are having their wedding reception.