It was almost thirty minutes since I arrived Lagos, I sat at the arrivals terminal in ABC car park. It was still the regular hustle and bustle in the city, I had always wanted to relocate back to Lagos after my family moved to Enugu, my parents retired and decided to live in the house they built in Enugu, and they were tired of the busy city, my dad will say why will I pay keep paying rent in another man’s land when I have a house in Enugu. That was how we relocated to Enugu, I got a job there but I have been praying for a transfer back to Lagos. The opportunity came when there was an opening for a three months support position in our Lagos branch, I knew I had to apply. My parents kicked against it at first because they didn’t want me staying alone in Lagos, but I just needed a little space and freedom. I lived with my parents and my sibling all through my life, I was at that stage in life I know you have also been through, curious to know what independence felt like. I glanced at the digital clock on the wall, I started getting impatient and worried. My phone started ringing, checking the caller id it was my mum.
“My dear, have you arrived?”
“Yes, I just to Lagos”
“Praise be to God!, Have you settled in?”
“No ma, I am heading to the place provided for us”
“If you don’t like the place, please let us know. I can call your uncle so you can stay with him. You know I don’t like this idea of you staying with strangers” She said worried
“Mummy, I would be fine. I am no longer a baby, I am almost 24” I said in a tired tone, we always had this conversation.
“Ok, have you found something to eat?” She persisted
“Not yet, mummy let me call you back please. I have a call coming in” I said hurriedly.
I switched immediately to the second call, I have been waiting and getting impatient for his call.
“Hello, I have been waiting for almost an hour” I said irritated
“Baby, I am so sorry, I was tied down at work”
“So are you on your way now?” I asked
“Yes, I am almost there”
“Ok, please make it fast. I am tired and hungry”
“Ok, I ordered some take out food. Just give me a few minutes ok”
‘Aiit” I said ending the call with a frown. I didn’t like being kept waiting or people who didn’t keep to time.
My phone battery was almost flat, my power bank was no good either, I got it at an exorbitant rate but it never seemed to charge my phone fully. Yes, we all have that power bank that you wonder why you bought it.
Finally, I saw him approaching me “Muna, I am so sorry” He pleaded as we exchanged hugs
“Ok, please help me with my luggage” I said, my anger was already fading. I was excited to see him, I have been waiting for this day as I was already tired of the long distance relationship we were forced to begin after I relocated. The relationship was just four months old, and I was heartbroken when we had to move.
I started asking a string of questions as we walked to the where he was parked. I had a lot to say and talk about, I missed him a lot even if I didn’t want to openly admit it.
I was already settled in his car, while I waited for him to arrange my bags at the back seat. Finally, he settled on the driver’s seat.
“So can I have a proper welcome?” He asked with a smile. He was a ladies man and he knew it, his smile was one of the first trait that attracted me to him
“But I am the one who just came into town” I argued.
“You talk too much” He said, moving closer to unstrap my seat belt
I laughed as we shared a tight embrace, I smoldered his face with kisses while making dramatic sounds.
“Are you okay now?” I asked
“Not the kind of kiss I envisioned but this will do for now” He said pulling back.
“Where is the food?” I asked yawning
“I ordered it, it would be delivered at home”
“So you are still terrible at cooking? Anyways before I leave, I would make sure you develop a pot belly” I teased poking his Tommy
“That is almost impossible, I don’t have a single ounce of fat in me, and I still go to the gym regularly” He laughed. “But Muna I didn’t want to tell you this on the phone, I thought I should inform you in person” He said switching to a serious expression whole trying to avoid my gaze
“What is it?” I said sitting up, already worried
“Well…” He paused “I will be out of town for some weeks” He said watching my reaction
“What! What do you mean out of town for a few weeks? I told you about this trip two weeks ago” I raised my voice. “The least you could have done was inform me”
“I am sorry” He said sounding apologetic “I wanted..”
“Where will I stay and when will you be back?” I asked fuming
“At my place of course, you won’t be alone. I have a flat mate now” He explained like that was supposed to cheer me up
“I don’t want to stay with any friend, I want to stay with you” I folded my arms
“I understand, I feel so bad about this too but I couldn’t avoid it” He pleaded.
‘But you should have told me, maybe I would have found an alternative plan till you return” I was trying hard not to raise my voice
“No need to worry, my friend is an introvert. You would hardly notice his presence” He cajoled.
“How will I hardly notice the presence of a full grown adult, please don’t give me this”
“But baby, it’s not like you would be sharing the same room, it’s a three room apartment. He has his own restroom in his room so you won’t have to share”
“Why is he in the master’s room?” I asked “That was your room” I looked at him suspiciously
“Well.. we actually both rented the apartment. He was not in Lagos then so I was staying alone. He actually paid more than I did because he wanted the master’s room, I was using the room because he wasn’t ready to move in yet” He explained
I was still looking at him suspiciously.
“What is it?, wipe off that look from your face” He scolded, “Can we at least be happy for now?”
“David, How long are you staying before you leave? I asked
“Two days” He responded avoiding my eyes
“Oh, great” I said with a sarcastic tone
We made the rest of the trip in an uncomfortable silence, I was trying to ease the anger I felt. Why didn’t he tell me of his trip? Why should we have a third party in the house? This wasn’t going as I envisioned. I would need to call my childhood friend, Bola tomorrow, I need to have a plan B. It was too early for ‘iranu’.
*** *** *** ***
I was setting my laptop on the dining table, when I heard the doorbell ring. I wasn’t expecting anyone, I hoped it wasn’t Blessing my next door neighbor who was becoming a pain in my flesh. “What does she want again?” I have a lot of work to do, she just left some minutes ago.
The doorbell rang again, “Not now please” I muttered under my breath. I walked to the door reluctantly, I wasn’t expecting to see David when I opened the door.
“David, whatsup” I asked, giving way for him to come in.
“I dey my brother” He responded, as he walked in I noticed he had a luggage in hand. I was still wondering what was going on till I saw he was not alone, there was a dark skinned lady behind him who had a scowl on her face.
“Hello” I said out of courtesy
“Hi” She said in a very subdued tone, I wouldn’t have heard her if I wasn’t looking at her face.
She sat on the couch and heaved a sigh of relief or tiredness, I couldn’t decide which it was . I turned to David, I wanted to ask him what was going on but knowing him I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea to ask in the presence of his guest.
“Did any delivery get here?, I ordered a meal for her” He said
“No, I haven’t received any yet” I answered still bewildered.
“I will be right back, let me take your luggage inside” David told her
She nodded without looking at him, her frown seemed to have intensified.
“Martins, please assist me with the smaller bag” He said
I knew this was his way of telling me we need to talk, I followed behind because I needed to know what he was up to, because David was never up to anything good most times.
“What is going on here?” I asked as soon as we were out of the sitting room
“Lower your tone” He said looking behind his shoulders.
‘Ok, start explaining” I was impatient
“She needs a place to stay for three months, she has nowhere else to go and she isn’t familiar with Lagos” He said scratching his head
I knew he was lying but I allowed him continue
“Let her stay here, She would be gone sooner than you know and she is not a troublemaker”
I seriously doubted this, the lady in the sitting room looked like a pretty lady with lots of attitude.
“So, you couldn’t call me to tell me this? You had to bring her unannounced” I accused him
“Guy, no dey talk like this na, what are friends for?” He said
“So are you dating her?” I asked because I didn’t understand this
“Make we leave that matter first, by the way we both paid the rent for this place and I still have a right to a room in this house. So let’s see it this way, she is occupying the room I paid for” He said.
“Oh really, I hope you still remember the reason you had to leave this house, you got married. Does she know you are married?”
“Girls don’t care about that these days, they prefer the married ones actually” He said proudly
“Ok, she can stay here just because you still have a room here. But if she is becoming a nuisance, I would refund you your money” I stated
“You too dey form serious, at least you need the company”
“No, I don’t.” I said walking out of the room
This wasn’t what I envisioned, I didn’t need this, I liked my space and solace. I liked having everything in order. Time flies I tried to tell myself, she would be gone before you know it. Sitting in the dining table, I stole a glance at her, she already had her shoes scattered in different directions, and she was eating on the couch, but still had the frown on her face. It was really going to be a long three months..