Check my last post to discuss my short novel, With Love, From The Grave if you have read it. If you haven’t purchased it, I took 20% off for the Sallah break on Okada Books. This sale ends 12 midnight, so oya! Do quick and download and share with your loved ones. Thank you. Link HERE
For my iOS users, first off, I learnt Kobo is using Canadian dollar which is cheaper than American dollar. Yup. For real, for real. So you shouldn’t worry about investing your money. Plus, working on sales for that one as well. Slight issues for now though. So until I fix, click on KOBO and get With Love From The Grave for that cheap Canadian dollar!
“Unbreak my heart, say you’ll love me agaiiiin….”
I chuckle as I rejoin him as we tear Toni Braxton’s classic into shreds with our loud voices singing off key in my Hotel room.
We are holding hands, standing on the bed while we sing together.
I’m dressed in nothing but his Game Of Thrones Shirt and a pair of socks. He is wearing his white V neck undershirt and his denim and we do strike the pretty picture of a couple who just had sex and are having mad fun.
And that is what we are.
As the song nears the end, we tighten our hold on each other as if on cue and increase the sound of our voices.
And when it ends, we hold each other’s gaze; smiling like somewhere inside this room, there’s a camera crew clicking away as we pose for a Magazine cover.
With his hold on my hand, he pulls me close to him in one quick move.
“You’re beautiful, Sarah” he says and I chuckle.
“You don’t look too bad yourself, Akin”
Lifting my chin, he kisses me slowly.
I halt when I hear the next song playing on TV.
“Hey! I love that song!” I scream as I make for the Remote and increase the volume of the TV.
“They must be having a Toni Braxton celebration of some sort today” I say as I start to sing along to Toni Braxton’s Spanish Guitar.
I do remember fantasizing to this particular song as a little girl. I imagined my man hot, handsome and with a lot of money… sorta like AKT.
I laugh as I remember the silly fantasies now.
“Sing together?” he asks and I nod as the song nears its bridge.
“I’ll be your song, song song… I’ll be your song, oh yeah!” we sing together, hands held just like before as we hum instrumentals as the song nears its end.
Then, we collapse on the bed, lying on our backs.
“Remember when P Square carried the Instrumentals of this song and made Omoge mi?” I ask.
He chuckles, “Bad guys. Then they started acting like they were playing instruments for real in the video” he shakes his head “Remember that part where one of them stood in front of a Fan with his shirt open and he was forming Tyson Beckford?”
I grin, “And the Shirt just refused to blow… weird situation”
“Maybe he used too much starch” he quips.
We both laugh hard at the memories.
“But it was a good song though” I admit
“Yup” he nods. “I liked it”
“And you’re Omoge mi”
“And you, Bobo mi”
We fall silent for a bit before I say “I love doing this with you”
“I have a feeling we will love doing a lot of things together”
And that, I agree with.
I drag myself away from Sarah’s side around noon. It is hard really but I have been summoned to Kaycee’s through text.
She’s here. She said she has news. I think the baby is Steve’s.
I take a quick shower and tell Sarah I have to go.
“Can’t I come with you?” she asks as I step out of the Shower.
“Nah, babe. It is work” I lie, kiss her on the lips and hurry out of the room.
I don’t tell her the truth because I am worried she would get scared and bail on me.
This is drama I want to handle alone and only tell her about when I am sure the child is mine.
Besides, recent history has taught me that Sarah cannot handle too much drama at this point.
And to be honest, I don’t want us laying the foundation of our relationship tending to baby mama issues.
“Dinner by 7pm?” I ask when we get to the Car park.
She nods. “I will wear something nice for you”
I smirk. “Let me tell you what I don’t want you to wear”
“Hmm I like that idea, naughty boy” she winks, kisses the nape of my neck, her body tightly pressed against mine before she turns to leave. “See you by 7pm, babe. When you would have to decide the dinner you want better, this or the one on the menu”
And she bites her lower lip, her sensuous action quickly followed by a wink.
You know, I think I might have to disagree with that saying that says a man doesn’t know what will kill him.
I have found mine.
And it’s Sarah.
I am lying face down on my bed, my legs entwined, my phone in my arms as I text Akin.
Feels good to call him that. Gradually, calling him AKT is becoming foreign.
I’d hate to be a part of the public. I’m not private. And private gets to call him what close friends and family call him.
At least, it is what I tell him in my last text.
I laugh to myself as another text comes in.
I am in the process of responding to that when my sister’s call comes in. The smile on my face is wiped clean and a frown replaces it in an instant.
“Hello” I say coldly when I pick it
“Sarah, Hi. Where are you?”
“Is there any problem?” I ask
Quite frankly, I don’t think I can reduce the frostiness in my voice even if I tried very hard to.
She pauses before she continues “I think we need to talk”
“Sarah, stop giving me this attitude…”
“Please I was actually doing something before you called. Now if you do not have anything to say I will like to get back to it”
I am about to hang up when she says “Wait!”
I wait for what she has to say. Esther must have either lost her sight or she is just good playing dumb.
She actually thinks we are in a good place? A place good enough for her to just call and say “we need to talk” and I’d be ready?
I almost snort at her ridiculousness.
“Sarah, no matter what we’re family and family fixes things”
“And I know the past few months have been quite hard on you because of how things got weird between you and my husband…”
I cut in “Things didn’t get weird, your husband was trying to sleep with me.” I set her straight.
I am done trying to hide from the truth. Maybe if I make her realize I am not going to stay in the same bubble she has built around herself, maybe then she’d know that she has to stop living a lie.
She sighs “I would prefer us to see and discuss this. I don’t like your tone on the Phone…”
“Esther, while we’re on the subject of things we do not like, I don’t like your refusal to see the truth, I hate how you think you can just brush everything aside with a phone call and I hate that I am allowing you get to me as we speak right now!”
“Have a great day, Esther” I hang up and only then do I realize that I am actually fuming.
I am toying with my phone, waiting for Sarah’s next message to come in when Kaycee emerges from the Bedroom.
She’s dressed in a floral maxi dress with no makeup, her hair safely tucked beneath a silk scarf.
And I realize, as I glance up at her, that the only other thing she wears so evidently is the worry on her face.
She slumps into a seat near me “Are you okay?” I ask her. She definitely doesn’t look it.
“I know this might sound unfair but I just wish that child is yours”
“You don’t think my life has enough drama as it is?”
She scoffs, “Abeg, you lost the baby with Cynthia. You can have this one. Steve and I on the other hand… our drama is big you know…” she blinks rapidly and looks away from me. “I used to sleep with you and he married me with another man’s baby and now we would have his own kid whom he’s never seen…”
When she trails off, I discover how hurt and complicated it must be for her.
I know how hard it took Steve to come around to being with her even after falling hopelessly in love with her a year ago. And I know how much strain this will put on their relationship.
Yet, I want to be happy for what might seem like the first time in my adult life.
In the little time Sarah and I have spent together, it seems like something strong, something that will be far from perfect but will be beautiful.
Something that will give me the happiness no other woman has been able to give me.
I cannot see inside of her but she seems effortlessly into me; nothing forced or induced or pushed.
She just seems to really dig me the way I dig her.
The way Kaycee never dug me even after how much I waited for her. And the way Lade never seemed to dig me while I was with her.
“To be honest, I feel your pain. But I want to be happy with Sarah”
“How is she?” Kaycee asks
“I’m in love with her” I reply. That is literally the only thing that comes to mind, the only thing I want to say.
I feel like a 90s R&B all of a sudden and getting on the rooftop to scream out my feelings suddenly doesn’t feel so bad.
Kaycee’s face brightens up “You’re serious!”
“Aww” she pulls me into a hug “I’m proud of you, dude. Who knew your heart still worked as much as your dick with the way you prostituted around Lagos”
“Heys sharrap there” I say with a chuckle
“And Sarah? Is she in love with you too?”
I hope so. “I don’t know but she seems so into this you know… we have so much fun doing silly things together and I have that feeling that no matter what, my happiness lies with her”
Kaycee nods slowly “I know that feeling”
Lade and Steve walk into the sitting room now and Kaycee’s demeanor changes instantly.
When I came in, Steve and Lade were in a discussion in the dining room and I had gladly excused them to talk to my girlfriend.
Now, they’re done and I find my heart beating fast.
Is the baby mine or…
“Guys, I apologize for how terribly I have treated you both. I have been extremely insensitive and unfair…”
“That goes without saying” I say
“Akin, please make this easy” she pleads and I stare at her blank faced.
When she sees she will not be getting a reaction from me, she continues “I’m sorry for every single thing I put you both through over the years…” her eyes fall on Kaycee. “And this goes to you too, Kelechi. I understand how much hate you must feel for me; the girl who just pops in when it’s convenient to dangle her baby in your husband’s face but like I was telling Steve in the dining room a few minutes ago, I am tired of this life”
“Praise God” I say and Steve chuckles
“Just go on, Lade. I’m sure we all have something to do”
“I’m sorry” she pauses, then continues “The thing is, the reason I keep going back and forth with the kid is ‘cause I have never been sure who the father is…”
I want to say “for obvious reasons” but I bite back my tongue.
She was messing around with both of us at the same time, of course she didn’t know the father of her child.
We all knew this already. What’s the news in that?
But as if hearing my question, she says
“And I don’t mean between the two of you”
“I’m confused” Steve voices my feelings
“There was a third guy”
Kaycee chuckles beside me, “And I thought I was a Ho” she mutters
“A third guy” Steve repeats, looking more confused than he was when she mentioned the existence of a third guy.
“Yes. Wande Ashafa”
The name rings a bell.
“The Artist” Steve provides and I remember clearly.
Wande Ashafa was born into old money in Nigeria and he and Lade’s family must run in same circles.
Born, bred and schooled abroad, Wande is one of the most celebrated black Artists in the world.
And he has topnotch clients like Prince Harry, Obama and top businessmen in Dubai.
“We are very close family friends and my mom wanted us to date so bad it became annoying at a point”
Rich people problems.
“And when his mom hopped on the get-married-just-because-we-know-each-other train, I just lost it. Plus, Wande and I had only seen all of three times in our lives when we were younger and it was safe to say there was zero chemistry”
Now, she has all our attention like a well shot action flick.
“So when AKT and I drifted apart and Steve came into the picture and the whole thing just got messy… Wande came to Nigeria for an exhibition sponsored by the American Embassy”
Then she goes on to tell us how her mother and Wande’s mother had insisted on having Lade there. Lade’s mother had even ordered for a couture dress for her from one of the top designers in Nigeria and of course, Wande’s mother who was a top shoe designer had provided a custom made pair for Lade.
“It was funny because we actually connected. There were sparks…”
Lade lowers her head and smiles and somehow, I see a different Lade entirely.
A Lade that I have never ever seen before. I suspect Steve sees this too.
“I fell in love with him but I wanted to fight it. Especially since my mom wouldn’t stop talking about how I needed to leave “that son of a nobody” it was annoying” that son of a nobody was me.
“Plus I introduced him to my friend Natalie and they hit it off quite well.”
“I just never thought it could happen. Then I had gone over to his apartment one day while I was visiting the US, he was drawing in his studio and he wanted to paint a portrait of me nude.” There was that smile again. “We made love.”
“I don’t like her but I love this story” Kaycee whispers to me and I smile. I have to admit, it was interesting and quite the relief to see her talk about another man that isn’t me. Or Steve.
“So if your Parents wanted you together, why didn’t you just get together when you clearly fell for him already?” Kaycee asks.
“Natalie got pregnant” she says. “He heard her own news first and he was joyous and all that. And I was thinking, ‘oh I thought we had a thing? I thought that meant something?’ I was just pissed and hurt. I wanted to tell my mother but I knew it would have been selfish and forced. A man who didn’t want me didn’t deserve me”
Kaycee nods to that, “Very true” she acquiesces.
“So when I found out I was carrying his child, I didn’t tell him. I was just so burnt. He called, I didn’t pick. Kept sending messages, I just didn’t respond. So I just kept carrying on the love triangle here…” she pauses, “I’m so sorry guys”
And for the first time ever, I feel sorry for Lade.
“He said he wanted to marry Natalie and I didn’t want to be in the way of that. So I said, okay maybe the child isn’t even his. I had sex with two other men anyway… but I knew deep down it was his. And so I refused a DNA test for a long time because I didn’t want to confirm it. I didn’t want it to push me to him. I didn’t want it to give me the chance to face my fears…”
“Are they still married?” Kaycee asks
She shakes her head “No”
“And you and him?”
Omo, Kaycee seems to have crossed to the other side o. the only thing remaining is for her to sit near her, offer her popcorn, curl up near her and start gisting.
“He keeps reaching out.” Lade fights back tears “And I keep feeling like why go back after keeping this news for so long?”
“Whose child is it?”
And we all know the answer before she answers…
I want to be mad at her for dragging us around in circles for years, I want to be angry at her for being such an overindulged rich kid toying with everyone’s emotions because she refused to be an adult and face her fears.
But what I feel is relief. I feel relief for me and for Kaycee.
For a long time, nobody talks.
Then Kaycee says “Go to Wande, Lade. I have fought love before and I didn’t win. Nobody wins”
“I know. I just don’t know where to start with the kid and my life at the moment… I am still trying to save my business and all of that…”
“Start from somewhere. He loves you, you love him. What both of you cannot fix, love will easily work out”
“Preach baby!” Steve says to Kaycee and we all laugh.
“Seriously though. I am relieved your baby isn’t ours but I also want you to find happiness. It’s contagious, I want you to catch it!” Kaycee says with a smile “Find love like AKT has”
Steve and Lade glance at me in surprise “Ehen?” Steve says “since when?”
And I am about to say something when Sarah calls
“I thought you said you were in your Office?”
Before I can say anything she adds, “And you were married? Or is it still married? How dare you lie to me, Akin?”
I stand and walk to the Kitchen as I leave Steve, Kaycee and Lade who are talking about Wande and how Lade should get back with him.
“Babe, calm down. What is going on?”
“Babe? Babe? I am in love with you, you moron! I thought this was for real but everything about you is a lie, isn’t it? I should have known. Who changes overnight?” she sounds like she’s crying
“Stop being melodramatic, Sarah”
“Oh?” she says “Fine. I’m done. The relationship is over. And I have moved out of your stupid friend’s hotel. Don’t ever look for me you liar” and she hangs up.
When I try to call her back, the phone is switched off.
I dash into the sitting room, say a quick goodbye and go in search of Sarah.