In The World Of 3 Women – Episode 8
© Kayode Odusanya
Dapo and Lola were seated in church the next day, and Dapo remembered how he used to really like coming to this particular church. But now, it was like the wh0le congregation was more concerned about what they had on than the pastor’s sermon. They had become so fashion conscious.
Lola was an interpreter for the Yoruba language section of the church, so they never sat together. He noticed a lady staring at him, and he wondered if what people said about the church was true. He pondered on the thought if it was true that most of the ladies came to church with one intention; to find a life partner. The girl must think he was still single, because he was at the youth section. It was hard for him to break his over 5 year ritual of sitting at this section, and since he never got to sit with his wife during the service, he thought there was no use sitting at the married peoples section.
The pastor was saying something about the year being a year of transformation. Dapo thought about all the transformation he had gone through in the last couple of months, and he couldn’t agree more with the pastor.
After the service, he walked off to the car alone. His ritual had always been to sit in the car and listen to some Hip Hop music while waiting for Lola, but today he had decided to sit on the car. The moment he saw the lady approaching the him, he knew he had made a grave mistake by making himself look so available. He felt like getting into the car in a hurry, but that would seem very immature.
“You’re Dapo, right?” The lady said as she approached. ‘Oh, she even knows my name already.’ Dapo thought.
“Yes.” Dapo answered with a quizzical look on.
“I knew I couldn’t be wrong.” The lady said with a smile. She stretched out her hand. “I’m Jane.”
“It’s nice to meet you.”
“Don’t bother trying to remember if you know me, you don’t.” She said and laughed lightly as she read the expression on Dapo’s face. “I used to stay across the street from Kike’s house.”
“Oh! Yeah!” Memories came back in a rush. The image of the last day he had seen Kike was as fresh as ever in his mind now.
“I think we met once back then…or rather, you saw me one time. You probably wouldn’t remember.” The lady said looking at Dapo, knowing that he was lost in thoughts. “You are married now, right?”
“It is funny how things always end up; anybody that knew you two back then would have thought you would end up together.”
“Yeah, but poo happens.” Dapo answered after getting himself together again. “So…you and Kike used to be friends?” Dapo said, finally giving in to the urge to get some information on his ex-girlfriend’s where-about.
“Yeah, we were; that is until she travelled and cut off all communications from her friends.” The lady said and looked into space like she was reminiscing on the good old days. “She is back in the country though; I saw her last week.”
“You actually saw her?” Dapo said as his eyes popped out in shook.
“Yes. But we couldn’t talk much…she was in her car and I was in mine. I think she made it really big.”
“Why did you say that?”
“She was in a real fancy car.”
“That’s your wife, right?” The lady said, pointing at Lola. Dapo looked behind him and saw Lola approaching them.
“I guess you weren’t meant to be with Kike after all.”
“Why did you say that?”
“Your wife is wonderful. I guess God saves the best for last.”
“Keep a tight grip on her.” She said with a smile and a goodbye wave.
Lola winked at Dapo as she approached the car. It was funny, because he would think she would react differently after seeing another lady with her man.
“Who was that?” Lola asked as she came up to the car.
“She used to…she used to stay around my area from back in the day.”
“So why are you looking like…”
“Your mind is miles away Dapo…what’s up?” Lola said as she got into the car; obviously tired from standing for too long.
“Nothing.” Dapo shrugged and walked over to the drivers’ side. They had agreed to go see the Cole’s today because Mrs. Cole had specifically called up Lola and ask that they come over. The journey to the house was a very quiet one, as Dapo’s mind started wondering what was up with Kike, and the fact that he could accidentally run into her one of these days. He didn’t even know why he was thinking of running into her; they had no course to see; he was a married man now.
Lola de-railed his train of thoughts. “I wonder if Anu’s mom would be the receptive type, or just an arrogant rich man’s wife. What do you think?”
“Come on…give her the benefit of the doubt. I feel, judging the rest of the family, she’d be a great person to meet.”
“Hmm! We would get to know that pretty soon.”
Dapo’s thoughts went to his unborn child; he didn’t know if he wanted a boy or a girl. He was just so overjoyed that they were expecting their first child.
As they drove into the Cole’s mansion, he noticed the wh0le family was under a small canopy in the garden. The lady that seemed to be Mr. Cole’s wife got up from her chair as Anu ran towards their car. They got out of the car and greeted Anu warmly as they started walking towards the rest of the family.
As they got closer to the canopy, Dapo’s heartbeat quickened. He remembered what Mr. Cole had said about his wife being a beauty; although he couldn’t see the face yet, because she had shades on, he could only imagine a beautiful face going with the figure he saw in front of him; her dressing was very stylish too.
The lady took off her shades and Dapo’s heart skipped a beat; he thought he was going to pass out. She looked him straight in the eye and smiled. “I’ve been dying to meet the couple that my husband and kid have grown so fond of.” She extended a hand to Dapo; he shook it. She walked closer to Lola, and held her in a tight embrace. “I feel like I already know you guys.”
“So how was church today Dapo?” Mr. Cole asked.
“It was great.” Dapo answered, still trying to recover from the shocker he had just received. He was looking at his ex-girlfriend, who he didn’t even formerly break-up with, so he could actually call her his “lost and found” girlfriend. What he didn’t understand was why she wasn’t even surprised to see him. It was like she was expecting him, or else, she wouldn’t have been as composed as she was.
“So what can I get you guys?” She said as they took sits under the canopy.
“I’m good with anything cold, thank you. It gets really hot these days.” Lola said.
“Yeah, it is the global warming. Sometimes when I am in Florida, it is almost like I am back home; the heat is just as squashing.” Mrs. Cole sat there with a smile on her face as she checked Lola out.
“So Dapo, how are the Indians treating you?” Mr. Cole asked.
“Not too bad I guess.”
“Don’t let them get at you. They can be very tricky people.”
“I’ll remember that.”
“So what would you take?” Kike asked Dapo.
“Hmm! Stout; if it’s available.”
“Sure, but you’ll have to help me out with a little something.”
“Lola, I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your husband for a little while? There are some things I want to get from the store.”
“No problem, as long as you bring him back in one piece.” Lola said and laughed.
“I’ll try my best.” Kike said and walked off, with Dapo tailing behind. Anu ran passed them laughing and a full grown Alsatian dog came after her. Dapo jumped out of the way as the dog ran by and it made Kike laugh.
As they got into the house, Dapo walked up beside her. “So…do you have any maids in the house?” He asked.
“Nope; they all went home for the weekend.”
“Kike, what is this? What is going on here?” Dapo said as he pulled her aside.
Mrs. Cole’s eyes grew bigger like she was shocked. “How do you mean?”
“Did you plan all this? You knew I was coming here today; how’s that?” Dapo’s voice had climbed up a notch and Kike was nervously looking around. “What happened to you? Where have you been?”
Slowly, Mrs. Cole lost her composure, and a worried look came on her face. She brushed Dapo’s hands off her, and walked over to the wall. “I needed to get my life right.” Kike said, trying to avoid eye contact with him.
“Our life, Kike; I would have been there for you. I tried all my best to contact you.”
“Please lower your voice and get a grip of yourself. My husband could walk in any minute.”
“Your husband? How did you end up marrying someone old enough to be your Father?”
“You’re pathetic; let’s get the drinks and go back out there.”
“Why did you choose now to come back into my life? I’m happily married.”
“Well, the last time I checked, I’m also happily married.” She opened the refrigerator, got two drinks out, and started heading towards the door.
“What happened to the baby?” Dapo asked, pulling her back into the house.
“Hmm! So now you are concerned. You didn’t give a care in the world back then.”
“Don’t be difficult, I spent half of my most productive years trying to find you. Yeah, I agree I reacted badly when you first told me; that was because I was not thinking straight.”
“You got that right.” She said and walked out to a back door veranda that had a small refrigerator. She pulled out an ice pack and headed back towards the door.
“So what happened?” Dapo asked, looking like a desperate kid asking for ice cream.
“What do you mean what happened; I had the baby. And because of that I couldn’t come back to the country.”
“So where is he now?”
“Who said anything about a ‘he’?” They locked eyes for a while and there was an exchange of unspoken words.
“My God!” Dapo exclaimed as the facts sank in.
“Let’s get back out there.” She said. Dapo stood dumbfounded as she made her way out the door. “Are you coming or what?”
He ran up to catch up with her. “Does he know?”
“I mean does he know I am the father of…does he know I am Anu’s father?”
As they walked out into the garden, they found out that Lola and Mr. Cole had gone for a walk towards the dog kernel.
“My husband likes dogs; He just got in a rare breed; a Great Dane from England.” She said as they took their seats. Dapo looked confused as he stared ahead. He looked at her and noticed she hadn’t changed much. She had grown, but the beauty he had fallen for years back was still very evident.
“I don’t know what to say; you are telling me Anu is my daughter?” Dapo said as he shook his head.
“Yes; as funny as it may seem to you, she is your daughter.” She said and handed Dapo his drink.
“Can I go in and see her?”
“What is wrong with you? Get a grip of yourself.” She said with a frown on her face. “You…you have been spending time with her…it is not like you are going to be seeing her for the first time.”
“Yes, but I didn’t know she was my daughter then. I really need to see…”
“Keep quiet. They are on their way back.”
Dapo slouched in his chair and took two quick gulps of his drink.
The table was full again, and they got talking. The general conversation was mostly on the state of the country. Dapo did all he could to take his mind off what he just heard and stay in the conversation, but it was a hard task.
When it was time to go, Kike once again asked for Dapo’s help back in the kitchen.
“He’s dying.” She blurted out, when they were alone in the kitchen. “He really wanted the girl’s father to be around for her. He really loves her.”
“Cancer; the doctor said he hasn’t got much time left.”
“Wait a minute. Slow down a minute here, this is starting to sound like a Nigerian Movie.”
“I’m not joking here.” She said as tears rolled down her eyes.
“He was a friend of my uncle’s. We met when Anu was about 9 months.” She said and wiped off the tears from her face. “He had come for the summer from Nigeria. He obviously knew I had a baby because I took Anu everywhere. We became good friends and one day he asked me to marry him.” She looked at Dapo as he looked sorry for what he had put her through. “He must have heard about the cowardice father.”
“I’m not a coward.” Dapo retorted.
Kike smiled and laughed lightly “You’re still so charming. Can I…can I hug you.”
He had her in an embrace before she even finished the sentence. He had been holding back the urge to do so for a while. He held her in his arms as she sobbed and said some things in his ears that weren’t audible. Dapo pulled away when reality dawned on him; the fact that he was married and his wife was right outside waiting for him.
They walked out and tried to act normal; like nothing had happened. Lola’s eyes were on Dapo; it was obvious she knew something was wrong and she was trying to figure it out.
The conversation went on for a while, before Dapo announced that they had to leave.
To be continued
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