They lounged and gisted for hours by the pool. When it got too chilly, they went into the sitting room and got cozy on the couch. They had so much to catch up on. No one mentioned the elephant in the room, Eddy’s fiancee. She was out of the country and he knew there was no chance of her popping in.
At about midnight, he led her to his room and offered her a T shirt. She took a shower, changed and came in to find him putting some music on. Diving into the plush bed, she smiled at his choice of music. He still remembered her favourite artists. He went to take a bath while she flipped through abook by his bed. She was dozing off when he returned. Getting into bed with her, he drew her close and turned off the light.
“Goodnight, baby”, he whispered.
“Goodnight”, she replied.
The next morning, she woke up to find that he had already dressed for work.
“Good morning, baby”, he smiled.
“Morning”, she stretched.
“I have to rush off. Sebastian will serve you breakfast. Please don’t leave. I left some money for you to buy some clothes if you like”
“What would I be doing here all day?”
“Watch a movie, swim, shop, whatever” he leaned over to kiss her gently. “I enjoy being with you. Please be here when I get back?”
“Eddy, I think I….”
“Pleeeeaaaase? Wasn’t I a gentleman?”
“Don’t you want to be with me?”, he pulled a sad face.
Laura bit her lip.
“Sebastian! “, Eddy called. “Bring in her breakfast”
The steward wheeled in a trolley of toast, ham, eggs, sausages, baked beans, coffee, orange juice and cereal.
“I’ll be back at 4pm. I’ll close early, for you, okay?”, he promised.
She nodded. Bending to kiss her again, he patted her cheek and left. The steward began to serve the food.
Uche had enjoyed her outing with Dan and Bobby. They spent the afternoon at the beach, where Dan played his guitar and she and Bobby sang along. Bobby was very impressed with her and happy for his friend. He hoped she would fall for Dan. He prayed he would find someone as humble andsincere soon. She was very easy to get along with. Though she had an opinion on everything, she made her point without being rude or argumentative.
Dan had bought suya and drinks for them to enjoy. He caught his friend’s eye and saw his approving nod. Of course, he knew Bobby would be smitten. What was not to love. He anticipated introducing her to his mother and siblings. They would definitely be overjoyed at his choice. He felt really lucky.
When they dropped her off at about 7pm, they headed for Bobby’s house. His father was hosting some business associates and had invited Dan for dinner.
“Guy, how you see the girl?”, Dan asked in pidgin English.
“Tight, man. She’s a great girl!”, Bobby smiled.
“I pray she accepts me”
“She has no choice O! We will give her no space! Those moneybags have nothing on you!”
“Bobby, I really worry. If this girl steps on the street, there will be commotion”
“Let us assign a car to carry her everywhere, with armed guards, then”, he joked.
“Even if it requires prayer and fasting, she must succumb!”, Bobby went on.
Dan laughed again and punched his arm. “Thanks, man”
“Hey, anything for you. Just know that when I find my girl, you are on duty too”
“Of course. Brothers for life”
They grinned at each other and shook hands as Bobby drove. Dan settled to send a text to Uche, while Bobby turned up the radio.
At home, Uche was surprised that Laura was still out. She checked her messages and found that she had followed Eddy home. Uche gasped in unbelief. She wondered what to do. Laura’s phone was off but, she sent several messages urging her to come home. She even offered to come and get her. Sadly, they were unreplied.
The next morning, she dialled Laura’s number and it rang. It was about 9 am. She had tried earlier with no success.
“Laura, where are you?”, she asked worriedly. “Are you okay?”
“Uche, I’m fine. Sorry I didn’t call you earlier”
“Where are you?”
“In Eddy’s house. Didn’t you get my message?”
“I’m coming to pick you right now! Send me the address”
“I’m serious! I’m coming to get you out of there! What’s wrong with you?”
Laura was silent. She battled within herself.
“I’ll come home this evening. I promised him I’ld be here when he gets back”
“You what? Give me that address or I’ll never speak too you again!”
She kept mute.
“Give me his address or I’ll find his fiancée on facebook and send your number to her!”
“No, you wouldn’t! “, Laura gasped.
“Okay, it’s Charlize Estate, Ingbi drive, Lekki. Call me from the gate”
Uche ended the call, got dressed and called the driver. He abandoned the board game he was playing with the gateman and ran over to open the car for her. She gave him the address and settled in the seat. A short while later, her phone rang.
“Uche, hi baby”, August greeted.
“You sound upset. Anything wrong?”
“You can tell me”
“It’s okay. I was just lost in thought”, she rubbed her forehead.
“I’m sending you a package by courier. I hope it will lift your spirit”
“August, I told you, I don’t want gifts”
“How else will I prove my love for you? I need my baby to be comfortable”
“I am comfortable”
“Please don’t reject my gifts. You’ve been cold these few weeks. Is it that you’re missing me?”
“Uche, I love you. You know that right?”, he asked.
“August, now is not a very good time. Could we talk later?”
“Okay, I’ll call tonight. I’m shadowing my dad’s lawyer, so I might be busy all day. Love you”, he made a kissing sound.
“Thanks “, she ended the call and went back to worrying about Laura.
Laura was the 2nd daughter of a retired civil servant who spent more time drinking than being sober. Her mother was a dress maker who shouldered the financial responsibility of her 2 daughters and a son. All her life, Laura had dreamed of a better life for herself. Her elder sister married a wealthy man and she aspired to do the same. Uche had visited Laura’s sister with her and could understand the pressure Laura felt to outdo her. It didn’t help that her sister kept emphasizing that she should not bring home any poor man.
Laura had given her life to Christ, after a string of heart breaks in her 2nd year. She and Uche met in year 1 but became friends when she joined Uche’s fellowship. They had always watched out for each other and held each other accountable. It was for this reason, that Laura was unable to get angry with her for her insisting on picking her.
They parked in the driveway outside Eddy’s house and waited for Laura to come out. She came out shortly, smiling at Uche.
“Babe, why were you threatening me like that?”, she asked as she settled in beside her.
“Laura, why did you sleep in his house?”, Uche asked incredulously.
“Nothing happened O!”
“We just had so much to talk about. Time flew”, she defended.
“You were talking all night?”
“And he didn’t try anything?”
“So why did he ask you to stay today?”
“Just to catch up some more”
“Laura, he was trying to make you let down your guard! By the time you spend 3 nights in his house, you’ll be the one offering yourself to him!”, Uche asserted.
“What of his fiancée? ”
“She’s out of the country”
“Laura, this is madness. This guy is getting married. How would you feel if you were in her shoes?”
“He’s taking advantage of you”
Laura burst into tears.
“I still love him, Uche”, she wailed, her head in Uche’s lap.
“Let’s pray for strength not to fall into temptation. Meanwhile, send him a message not to contact you again or you’ll tell his fiancée. Then delete all his contacts, especially facebook, instagram, WhatsApp and black berry”
“Yes, you can. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you”
“Remember that guy that came after me in our 3rd year? Mike?”, asked Uche.
“Remember how I nearly fell for him but you found out he was a cultist”
“Meeeen! That guy was fine!”, Laura recollected, wiping her tears.
“Neither August nor Dan hold a candle to him”
“But, beauty is vain. Or good looks, I should say”, Laura murmured thoughtfully.
“What we carry is too precious for pigs”, Uche declared.
“What we carry is too precious for pigs”, Laura agreed.
At home, Laura and Uche got out of the car and entered the house. They had decided to bake cakes to cheer themselves up. It was Laura’s hobby. She picked the skill from her mother, but went on to develop it by engaging in trainings during holidays. Uche had encouraged her to start a business, as she could barely bake a sponge cake. Laura was hesitant. She felt the market was saturated.
They were laughing and trading banters when the maid came in to inform them that a parcel had arrived for Uche. She signed for it and brought the box in.
“Who is it from?”, Laura asked.
“It must be August”
“Let’s see”, Laura joined her at the table and they proceeded to open it.
“Wow!”, both girls exclaimed simultaneously.
(To be continued. You can leave comments by clicking on the title).