In The World Of 3 Women – Episode 13
© Kayode Odusanya
He finally decided to take up the offer, and he made Lola understand that he felt it was the only way he could pay the man back for what he had done for him.
After a few talks with the lawyers, and a few paper works here and there, he resumed as the C.E.O of all the company’s that the man had owned. And within a week, meetings had been organized for him to get familiar with all the board of directors of the companies. All this got Dapo so busy that he wondered how the man handled all the work. He was home fewer hours and Lola despised his new position with every passing day.
After a couple of weeks as the new boss he had become, he re-assured Lola that it was only a matter of time before he would eventually have to give up the job, but that he had to find the right person to transfer the responsibilities to.
Dapo dropped by the Cole’s house one day after work, with the intension of seeing Anu. She had been informed that he was her real father, and had started avoiding him, because she found it hard to understand.
He met her in the garden as he made his way to the front door, and she walked over to greet him. Their conversation went well, but not as warm as before.
Mrs. Cole was on the couch watching TV with a bowl of some sort of food in her hand. She smiled as he walked in. “Hmm! What a surprise.”
“Sorry, I should have called, but I made up my mind while driving home. I just wanted to see how you guys were doing.”
“Thank you.” She said and got off the couch. “Juice…wine? What can I get you?”
“Orange juice would do.” She disappeared into the kitchen as Dapo took a seat opposite from where she had been sitting. A glass jar of juice and two cups were on the tray she brought back into the room. It was odd seeing her carry it; he thought she would have gotten a maid to do that for her.
“I’ll be leaving for the states this weekend.” She said as she poured a full glass of juice for him.
“How long would you be gone?”
“I don’t know; weeks, months, it depends.”
“Months; how can you leave Anu alone for that long?”
“She would probably come and join me soon; for her holidays, that is.”
“That does not explain why you would leave for that long; after all she has been through lately.”
Mrs. Cole looked at Dapo for a while before responding. “I don’t have to travel, you know.” She kept staring at him, and passed an unspoken message to him. Then when he didn’t say anything, she got up and walked over to where he was. She went down on her knees; then, she got Dapo’s attention.
“What?” He asked and sat upright in the chair. She didn’t say anything, but just kept staring at him. And then when she saw that Dapo was letting his guard down, she went in with a kiss. He was surprised that he actually felt good about the kiss for a while, before he gently pushed her away.
“Stop!” he shouted and got up from the couch.
“Please Dapo, come back. We can be a family. I still love you, and I have your kid; let’s start over.” She said, still on her knees.
“What are you talking about? I have a wife and a kid on the way.” He fired back at her.
“Dapo, she can’t love you the way I would love you. I can’t stop loving you.”
“Why are you making this difficult for me? I have a wife; a legally married wife that I love.”
“I have your Anu; we have the house; the money, and everything we would need to be happy together.” She was in tears now, as she walked over to where he was standing. He took some few steps back in repulsion as she got to him, and she stopped advancing and just stood there crying.
“I’m expecting my child in about 3 months.” he said, trying to make her see reason.
“You can…you can take care of her baby and be with us.”
“Kike, are you insane? Don’t you have a heart? How can you be talking like this?”
“You took my heart; you took my youth away from me. You took away the life I was meant to have”
“Hey, don’t play it that way. Trying to make me feel guilty won’t work.”
“I waited a long time for you, and I had to move on, okay! I think I am justified.”
“I…” Dapo came to a halt when he saw Anu at The door. It was hard to say how long the little girl had been there because they had been too engrossed in their argument. Mrs. Cole walked up to her and whispered something into her ear and she turned around and headed out of the living room. She turned around for a second to wave at Dapo, with a smile, and then she was off.
Dapo picked his car keys from the table and headed out. “I’ll be seeing you.” he said without looking her way.
Dupe had been trying to call him all week, but he was always in the middle of something and couldn’t pick her calls. And he always forgot to return her calls. She had been calling while he was having the argument with Kike and he could not pick up then too. He dialed her number as he drove out of the Cole’s mansion, and then disconnected as the line connected. He was in too bad a mood to talk to her and he was not ready to tell her all that just went down.
He remembered that his landlord had asked him to represent the house at the emergency neighborhood meeting. The gathering was scheduled for 7.30p.m, it was 6.30; he had about an hour before then. He sent Lola a text as he was at driving in, but when he got to the door, it was opened alright, but there was no Lola in sight. She usually greeted him with a kiss and a hug. He saw her sitting at the dinning section as he made his way into the house. She had a paper spread out on the table, and there was a angry look on her face.
“Dapo, what is this?” She asked and pushed the paper forward so that it was clear for Dapo to see. The magazine was opened at the centre page and Dapo thought he was going to faint. This only happened in the movies, he thought to himself.
There were all sorts of pictures of him and dupe taken in more than two locations.
“Dapo, what is happening?” Lola said and then started crying all of a sudden, like she couldn’t believe something of this nature would happen to her.
The caption on the paper read; BEAUTY QUEEN AND SECRET LOVER.
“There is nothing going on Lola; it is a big misunderstanding,” He said and was thinking why he hadn’t told her about Dupe all along. If he had, then he would have had a chance with explaining all that was happening. He took one more look at the pictures, and they looked so intimate, and he couldn’t think of when the pictures could have been taking. He closed in on Lola to hold her but she moved away.
“You have to trust me on this one; I would never do anything like this to you. Not now, not ever.”
“What were you doing coming out of her house?”
“I can’t explain everything right now, but trust me, I didn’t and do not have an affair with her.”
They were interrupted by a knock at the door, and Lola went to see who it was. Dapo caught a glimpse of the paper again, and saw a picture of where he was holding on to Dupe, damn! That must have been when he was tipsy.
“You have a visitor.” Lola said as she walked back into the dinning, followed behind by Dupe.”
“Damn! Could it get any worse?” Dapo muttered under his breath. He had always thought of how he would react in such a situation as this, and now that it was in his face he was dumbfounded. He was just happy Lola didn’t start slapping Dupe from the door.
“Hi, D? I guess this is a very bad time to ask for an introduction.” Dupe said as she walked up beside Dapo.
“I saw the paper a couple of days ago, and had been trying to reach you since then.”
“I didn’t know there were paparazzi in Nigeria.” Dapo said with a tired voice.
Lola coughed from where she was at the corner of the room, like she wanted to remind them that she was still in the room. She looked furious and confused at the same time.
“I must say, it’d be tough work for me to convince you that there is nothing going on between me and your husband, I really don’t know what I would say.”
Lola kept quiet for a while before talking.
“Dapo, what will I find out tomorrow?”
“Lola, don’t talk like this.”
“Talk like how? And you; you this brat, this…”
“Lola, don’t talk to her like that.”
“So you are now on her side, right?”
Dupe just kept quiet and retreated towards the door.
“Dapo, is it because I am pregnant that you are…I’m less attractive, right? That’s why you…” she was breathing heavily now as she pointed at Dupe with anger in her eyes. At that point, Dupe dropped her head and started crying. Her youthfulness was brought to life. She cried like a teenager in distress.
Lola stopped talking for a while and focused on the kid. She couldn’t understand why the girl was still around, or why she even came in the first place. It was more like walking into the lion’s den. And now, she was crying like a baby.
Dapo didn’t move from his position at the dining table to comfort dupe. He was lost in his own world. All this in one day, he thought to himself. He looked up and saw Lola still staring at Dupe, dumbfounded.
“I’m sorry…if I caused any problems…I.” then she opened the door and started walking out.
“Wait.” Lola shouted out and moved towards her. Her expression had changed now; she was more confused than anything else. “I don’t know what to say…I don’t know if…poo!” She paused for a while and covered her face like she was trying to gain control of her speech. “I’m sorry I called you a brat. Umm! I don’t know why, but I believe you.”
“Thanks for believing me.” Dupe said with a smile.
“But, I’ll still need an explanation for these.” She said, pointing at the paper on the table.
“I was going to tell you about her, but it always skipped my mind. We…we are just friends. We met by chance at the cinema, sometime ago when I took Anu on an outing.”
“The pictures still look so…”
“”Lola, those pictures were probably taken on the day I got the news of Mr. Cole’s death. I needed someone to talk to.”
“So…I get all that, but how did you end up in her house?”
“I think I have to answer that; he got a little drunk and I couldn’t let him go home like that.”
“Trust me Mrs.…Oh poo, I don’t even know your name. Anyway, I took him to my place because it was pretty late.”
“I slept in my brother’s room”
“I’m sorry for all these…I’m sorry Lola.” Dapo said.
“I don’t know if this would do any good, but I don’t date married men.”
“Well, I guess I have to take your words for it.” Lola said and lifted up her hands in surrender. “By the way, I’m Lola.”
Dupe shook her hand “And I’m Dupe, as you already know.” Lola held the hand shake for a little while longer, and stared straight into Dupe’s eyes, like she was trying to detect if the girl was lying. And as if she got her answer, she hugged her briefly and then let go.
“I got to go; with your permission, I would really like to come and visit you guys again; a proper visit this time” She said, directing the question at Lola.
“Anytime; you are welcome.” Lola answered with a smile. Dupe waved at them and disappeared out the door.
“Hey! I think you should walk her to her car.” Lola said to Dapo. He nodded and walked out the door after Dupe. He saw that the Land Rover was parked right outside their gate, but there was someone in the driver’s seat. He caught up with her before she got to the car. “Hey! Wait up; sorry for all the mess I got you into.” He said and she turned around to look at him, before she continued her slow walk to the car.
“How did I do in there?” she said and Dapo looked at her puzzled.
“Wait one second; don’t tell me all that was acting?”
“What do you think?” She said and laughed a little.
Dapo smiled at her as he shook his head. “I got to give you credit for that.” He said and clapped a couple of times.
“But, seriously, what was I supposed to do? I don’t think she would have believed a word I said if I didn’t fake the crying.”
“Thanks for that.”
“Hey! Really, why didn’t you tell your wife about me?”
“As I said, I never really got a chance.” They were by the car now, and rap music was bumping out of the car deck. “So, you brought your boyfriend along?” Dapo said, looking in the direction of the car.
“No; it’s my brother. I didn’t know if I’d live here in one piece, so I brought back up.”
“Come and meet him.” She said and pulled Dapo towards the car. The guy came out of the car before they got to him. He was above six feet with a heavy set figure.
“D, meet Kole, my brother.”
“D as in dayo?” the gentleman asked.
“No, D as in Dapo. Your little sis started calling me that all of a sudden.”
“Okay, I heard the whole story. I hope there was not much drama?”
“I think Dupe handled it well; it’s a wrap.” Dapo said and they all laughed.
“”You guys should come over sometime, you know, maybe a weekend or something.”
“Cool, dupe what do you feel?” Kole asked his sister.
“It’s not a bad idea, considering the reputation I already have.” She said sarcastically. And they laughed again.
“But Dupe that is the point; If you come along with your brother a couple of times, it would re-write the story in the minds of a lot of people.”
“Well, it does make sense.” Dupe said and slowly nodded her head.
“Great then; next week Saturday, how is that for a start?”
“Well… I’ll have to check if I don’t have anything for that day, then I would get back at you.”
“Good; see you guys. I think I need to get back to the wife.” He said and winked at Dupe. He gave Dupe’s brother a ‘thumbs up’ and turned around to walk to the house. He turned around just before he went into the house and waved at them.
To be continued
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