“What on earth are these two up to now?” I wondered as I stared at them wearily. My father came out of his room, sized up the situation and sat down with a smug smile; he asked that drinks be served and started chatting as if it was normal to have ‘two suitors’ in his living room at the same time. I sat beside him dutifully, wishing I could be anywhere but there at that particular time.
The men chatted for almost 45 minutes before Rick stood up and told my father that he needed to head back to Lagos as he had an early morning flight to catch to Paris. He explained in brief about his business concern in France and assured my father that he will be back, now that he knew the family house. All through this, Dennis maintained an uneasy silence, in observation mode. I got up to walk him out while my father kept chatting with Dennis. When we got to his car, he asked his driver to come out while we both entered the tinted glass car; of course we could see everyone but they couldn’t see us.
He reclined in his seat like he had all the time in the world. “I thought you said you needed to be on the move?” I asked with a sigh. “Do I detect concern? I am touched. Don’t worry ‘cat’ I will be on my way shortly, he said but not before this,” he said huskily, knocking the breath out of me as he pulled me into his arms silencing my protest with a passionate kiss. “Do you know you are driving me crazy Tobs?” He said hoarsely. “I can’t seem to get you out of my mind,” he continued in a desperate whisper. “I am surprised you are telling me this, shouldn’t you be spinning this line to your baby mama?” I spat out mockingly still angry with him for having the audacity to impregnate another girl while professing to love me.
In fact the thought of it was nauseating and enough to clear any starry eyed, dreamy feeling I had. I made to open the door but he had used the central lock. “Tobs what happened with Sotonye is in the past, I have my regrets but I can’t change the past” Rick said quietly.
I know that but try as I would I haven’t been able to get past it. “Tobs, when I come back from my trip, we need to talk,” Rick said looking at me intently. Hmmn another talk? I beg I don tire for talk oh, I grumbled under my breath. “Can I go now? My father must be wondering where I am,” I said nervously. “Your father or Dennis?” he asked blandly mentioning Dennis for the first time. I pretended not to hear and insisted on getting out of the car; he gave me a blank stare for a minute then opened the car door.
I quickly scrambled out of the car with indecent haste, my relief evident. “There you are, we’ve been looking for you everywhere,” Bola said as soon as I got out of the car. “I was seeing Rick off,” I stammered. “Yes we know,” Zara said giving my dishevelled appearance a knowing look. “You are after all the belle of the ball, one down one to go” Zara taunted derisively. “Don’t rain on her parade; she’s already a hot mess as it is.
It can’t be easy juggling two powerful men like Rick and Dennis. I really do not envy you girl,” Jasmine said sympathetically. “Really? You have got to be kidding me! Which lady wouldn’t want handsome, power brokers like those two hunks after them? I beg I wan that kin man palaver,” Zara said unrepentantly. “Well Ladies may be you can go to where the last cow is being slaughtered or under the canopy where the disc jockey is playing some hot vibes while in Zara’s words ‘one down one to go’, I deal with the other one,” I said laughing with a wink, referring to Dennis; my sense of humour returning as I saw the absurdity in the situation. Men!