The next day, Dapo went straight to the Cole’s mansion after work. He knew he couldn’t keep up with all the responsibilities that had been handed over to him, and he had to do something about it. Kike didn’t look too surprised when he told her he was resigning from the C.E.O status of all her dead husbands company’s.
“I knew you wouldn’t last; it’s a full time job.”
“I tried my best.”
“I know you did.”
“Your husband had good management in all his companies; I don’t think you would have too much problem. You Just have to go for board meetings, make a couple of calls, ‘okay’ decisions that the board reaches, stuff like that.”
“Don’t worry about all that, I don’t even care about the company’s”
“What do you mean?”
“My husband’s death has revealed to me that I’m still in love with you.” She said looking at him with sorrow filled eyes.
“I’ve told you what I came to say, I’m living now.”
“For what?” Dapo lashed out angrily. She just stared at him, and the sorrowful eyes turned into resentment for a while, then a little scorn appeared on her face.
“I read about your…your little escapade.”
“That’s just the press blowing poo out of proportion.” He quickly replied her and she just smiled at his answer.
“Are you sure? Isn’t that the same chick I saw you talking to at the mall?”
“So what if she was the one?”
“I knew you had something to do with that b****. I could…”
“Hey! Don’t call her that. She was just in the wrong place at the right time.”
“What does that mean? You’re losing your senses.”
“You know you’ve really changed. You didn’t use to be like this.”
“It’s your fault then; you took what human feelings that were left in me.”
“I didn’t do anything to you; you made yourself the way you are.”
“How can you say that?”
“How can you say that to me, Dapo?”
“I’m sorry, okay. Kike, I will not deny that part of me just wants to go back to when it was me and you.”
“I can’t leave my wife. I have learnt to love her, and I cannot jeopardize that for anything in the world right now.”
There was silence for a while, and then when Dapo got a little uncomfortable with it he spoke up. “Kike, please, I beg of you, isn’t there any other way we can work this out?” He concluded, but she didn’t utter a word. “You can try and understand all what I am going through and understand what is at stake. Please, do it for Anu, I know you can.”
“I’m sorry, I guess I’ve been selfish. You’re a good man; I’ll just have to try my best to forget you.” She said, with a shaky voice.
“I’ll always be your friend, but you know nothing can happen between us again.”
“I’ll try and live with that.”
Dapo got up from his seat after a prolonged silence “I got to go.”
“Okay. You know, maybe Anu should hang out with you guys this weekend.” Kike said as she wiped the tears off her face.
“That’d be cool. So will you drop her off or…?”
“I’ll drop her off on Saturday…in the morning. Maybe by 10.00a.m?”
“That’s alright with me.”
Dapo gave her a hug before leaving.
A passer-by was staring at her as she crossed the street to Dapo’s house. She was thinking; it could be the car, it could be the beauty, it could be anything. Dupe just didn’t want it to be that the man recognized her.
She waited for her brother to catch up with her after she had gone through the gates of Dapo’s house.
“Relax; the shades are doing a great job, I hardly even recognize you.”
“But you do look different in an elegant way.”
“Thank you; just be a sweetheart and knock on the door for me. I’m a bit nervous.”
Kole hesitated for a while before obliging. Dupe got a phone call and retreated a few steps away from the door to answer it.
Lola opened the door and stood ‘jaws dropped’ as she stared at the guy in front of her.
“Kole; don’t tell me…”
“Lola. Wow! This is a very funny coincidence.”
“Wait a minute, you two know each other?” Dupe asked as she came from behind.
“Yes.” Kole answered with a shocked smile on his face.
“So you’re Dupe’s brother? That is really…oh, sorry.” She said when she realized that she was keeping them at the door for too long. “You guys should come in.” Lola said and led them in “By the way Dupe, your brother and I went to secondary school together.”
“No kidding; now I understand the shock.”
“Yea! And the funny thing is that I ran into her a couple of months ago, after like ten years, and now I find myself in her house.”
“Thanks to your sister here” She said with a smile. “You guys should have a seat; I’ll go and get Dapo.” Lola added, as she ushered them into the living room. “And by the way, that is Anu.” Anu’s face lit up with a smile, and then a little bow of the head.
“I remember you; of course you didn’t get to meet me the other day at the cinema but I saw you and…whatever, so how are you doing?” Dupe couldn’t complete her sentence because she didn’t know what to refer Dapo as. The little girl was filled with smiles as Dupe sat beside her on the sofa and held her in an embrace.
“And I know you too; you an actress.” Anu said. Kole took a quick look at her. He thought she sounded older than her age.
“Who told you that?” Dupe retorted with a comical look on her face.
“I know; I’ve seen you on TV a bunch of times.”
“Well, from now on, you refer to me as your friend, alright?”
“Okay.” The girl answered, smiling all the time. Dupe looked around the living room; not bad, she thought. All the essentials were available; plasma, DSTV decoder, home theatre system, and good leather furnishing. It would all look better in a duplex, and not a flat, she thought to herself.
“Hey guys; what’s popping?” Dapo said, buttoning his shirt as he approached the living room. Dupe was by the door checking out a painting on the wall when he came in. She playfully nudged him with her shoulder, knocking him off balance.
“Watch it, lady.” He said facing Dupe, before turning his attention to Kole. “So, I guess you have met little Anu here? She’ll be accompanying us on the outing.” He said as he shook Kole.
“No problem with me.” Kole said.
“So where should we head to?” All the while he was talking, Dupe had been poking him in the back with her finger; offended by him not acknowledging her. He turned around and lifted his hands in the air as a sign of exclamation, and then later smiled at her and went over to join Kole on the couch
“I think we should head out to the island and decide from there.” Dapo said.
“Good idea.” Lola boomed as she entered the room, wearing a gown that did little to hide her bulging belly.
“Dapo, do you know that I and Dupe’s brother attended the same secondary school, from back in the day.”
“Tell me she’s kidding.” Dapo said and Kole just shook his head and smiled. “What? Things just keep getting weirder and weirder around me.” Dapo concluded.
“So, have we decided on where to go yet?” Dupe asked, obviously tired of all the re-union going on.
“Let’s just hit the island and we’d decide…”
“Maybe we should drive down to the Galleria, and then we can conclude on where to go from there.” Dupe suggested; Cutting Dapo off.
The little girl just sat there, her eyes moving from one adult to the other, depending on who was talking at the time. She was thinking of how she just lost the man she had called father all her life, and she got to know that he was not even her real dad.
The adults were still debating on where to go, and she focused her eyes on Dupe. ‘Wait till I tell my friends back in school who I spent my weekend with.’ she thought.
It was Sunday morning and Dapo laid in bed all dressed up and ready for church. Lola appeared from the bathroom, Unclad, apart from a shower cap on her head and a towel hanging from her shoulders, which she used in drying herself as she walked into the room. She headed straight for the dressing table. Dapo looked at her bulging tummy ‘How many months now? 5? 6?’ He thought and wondered how his wife would be at 8 to 9 months of pregnancy. Lola playfully threw her towel at him. “Hey! Where is your mind?” Dapo didn’t answer her; he just looked at her as she applied cream to her body. He remembered her holding Kole, Dupe’s brother’s hand and was sympathizing with him after she had heard that his ‘wife to be’ had left him months to their wedding. He had never really known anybody from Lola’s past and now he felt threatened. The way she laughed and talked about people that only she and Kole knew; how she was so free with him got Dapo feeling jealous. “You know what? Just go without me. I really don’t feel like going anywhere today.” Lola said and dropped the comb she had been using on her hair. “What’s the matter?” Dapo asked her, looking concerned. He walked up to where she was sitting and held her in an embrace from behind. “Nothing, I just don’t feel right. You know how pregnant women can get…” she was saying then just stopped and smiled. “Are you sure you want me to go? I could stay here with you.” “No. Go! Go! You staying here would just make me feel worse. I just need to be alone for a while.” she said and Dapo poked his face in front of her to get a pretty look at her, and his eyes showed concern. “It’s not you, it is me. Please, just understand.” Lola concluded. “Okay.” Dapo said and started living the room “Wait.” Lola said and got up from the dresser. “Drop by Dupe’s house and give her this.” Lola picked a little purse from the table and walked over to hand it to Dapo. “She must have left it by accident in the car yesterday. Tell her I said hi?” The pregnancy is really getting to Lola, he thought to himself as he drove. He was at an intersection now, either take a right turn to church or a left to Dupe’s house; he took the left. Maybe it wasn’t just the pregnancy; maybe she saw something or someone lately that got her thinking. He looked at his watch; it was 8.45a.m, which was 45minutes before church was supposed to start. The drive from Lola’s house and back wouldn’t take him more than 30 minutes he thought. Someone ran up to the gate as he was about to park his car outside Dupe’s house. It was the guard’s son, and he let Dapo in without much questioning. The door to the house was unlocked, so he just let himself in. He heard some humming coming from the kitchen and moved in that direction. He stopped at the dinning section and waited for the person to emerge. “What? How did you get in here?” Dupe asked, shocked to see Dapo in her home. She was holding a bowl of ice cream, and wearing just a t-shirt, that stopped at her knees. “Sorry, I should have called; your guard let me in.” Dapo took a critical look at Dupe and it was like she was a different person. She had no make-up on, but she had that kind of beauty that was eminent, regardless of make-up. And she kind of looked older to him today, but he didn’t know why that was so. Her hair was scattered here and there; for the first time, Dapo saw her as a woman. He noticed her full bre@st for the first time; her hips were ever so evidently outlined as the lower part of the t-shirt rested on them. There was an uncomfortable silence in the room. “What? Are you actually checking me out?” Dupe said, with a mischievous smile on her face. “No.” Dapo answered, very composed, but not taking his eyes off her. “I better go and put something else on.” she said and started heading for the stairs. “Wait, I just came over to give you this.” he said and held up her purse. Dupe turned around and her face lit up at the sight of the purse “I hope you have not been looking through that.” she said and started running towards Dapo. “Give me that.” she tried to snatch it but Dapo raised it a bit higher. “Hey! Stop. Just give it to me.” “Calm down. What’s the big deal with the purse anyway?” “Just let me have It.” all the while, Dupe was face to face with Dapo, her body pressed up against his. Then she stopped and looked him straight in the eyes; after a couple of seconds of staring she stood on her toes and was going to kiss him on the mouth, and then deviated and kissed his neck instead. The purse dropped to the fall. Just then, Dupe retreated and picked it up. “That is how you disarm a man.” She said with a little s£xy cat walk to a corner of the room. She quickly went through the content of her purse. “Are you sure you didn’t go through this?” “Why would I?” Dapo said, with his face to the floor, embarrassed and feeling guilty that he had been thinking of Dupe in ways he shouldn’t have. He saw her walking towards him from the corner of his eyes, and then she stopped just a few inches from him. She held his face up and kissed him passionately on the mouth. He kissed her back for a while, and then realizing what he was doing, he withdrew. “Hey! I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that.” Dupe said, feeling guilty. She walked back to the corner of the room, like a naughty girl that had done something bad. There was silence for a while, and Dapo just felt uncomfortable with what had just happened. The message alert from Dapo’s phone broke the silence. He read it, and appeared to be taken aback from what he was reading. “Can I use your phone? I got to make this really important call.” he talked liked nothing just happened between them. “One second.” she said and disappeared into the kitchen. She re-appeared a couple of seconds later with a phone in her hand. “Thanks” he said, and held the phone in his left hand, and his own in his right. He located the number he was going to call, and typed it on hers. His eyes got bigger at what he saw. He looked up at her, and then rubbed sweat off his face, and copied the number from his phone again, thinking maybe he had made a mistake the first time. Then he looked at her again, this time with disdain. “What?” Dupe exclaimed. “Why didn’t you tell me you knew Kike?” “What? Who is Kike?” “I don’t get it. We saw her together at the mall…” he stopped himself, looking really confused. “Who are you talking about?” “Her number is stored right here on your phone; Mrs Cole.” he said as she walked towards him in a fast pace. “Oh!” she exclaimed, and took her phone from him. “Oh! What? You’ve known her all this while?” “It’s not like that.” “While I told you all my problems with her, you knew her all along?” “Dapo, do you trust me?” “What are you…” his phone rang and stopped him in mid-sentence. He looked at the screen for a while before picking up. “Hello Kike, I was just about to call you.” he said into the phone. He kept quiet as it seemed the person on the other line had a lot to tell him. “Okay, I’ll be there.” he said, after about a minute and hung up. He stared at Dupe for a while, and from his eyes, she could tell what was on his mind was more about what he just heard on the phone. He walked out of the house without another word. “Dapo! Dapo! I have to tell you something.” she rushed to the door, but he was already gone. She wanted to chase after him and tell him the truth, but with what she was wearing, her neighbors would just read the wrong meaning to the whole situation.