She had been bored at home, and so she decided to drive over to visit Hajia. Plus Laraba had jut returned from the U.S. Alhaji had traveled out of the country for an international business conference. Truth was, she really needed someone to talk to. Even though her husband had kissed and hugged her that morning before he rushed out for work, she still felt that disconnect. Maybe it was her though, and maybe like he had said, she just needed to take her mind off Rolake being in the picture. But she couldn't.
When she arrived at the mansion at Banana Island, she spotted the white G-class at the car park. It was a new one. She knew Alhaji didn't like Mercedes Benz so she was surprised seeing it. Then it clicked that maybe Alhaji had bought it for Laraba's graduation present.
Laraba jumped on her sister as soon as she spotted her.
"Umilicious! I've missed you!" Laraba exclaimed.
Umi laughed, hugging her back, then gradually freeing herself from her sister's grip.
"Careful now. There's a little person in here." She whispered, smiling.
Laraba shrieked with excitement and was about running inside to tell their mother when Umi dragged her back.
"No, no. I don't want to tell mom yet." She said.
"I'm just not ready...you know how she gets. She can decide to move into my house so she can take care of me."
"Whatever. But I'm so happy! How's your hawt husband?"
"First, tell me, is that yours?" Umi said, pointing at the white G-class.
"Of course. Daddy got it for me two days ago."
"It's from Ugonna motors right?" Umi asked. Laraba nodded.
"Did you get a cake with it from them?"
"No I didn't. Just a congratulations card." Laraba replied.
Umi shook her head. She remembered when Ugonna had said he would deliver a big cake with the car, for Laraba's graduation.
"I'm jealous!You've stolen Daddy's love from me!" Umi said.
Hajia had joined them now. Umi had to admit her mom looked gorgeous in an aqua green Jalamiya with a matching head wrap.
"Umi, jealous haba? Your dad sent you on vacation to Hawaii and Paris with your friends for your graduation present too. So leave your sister alone." Hajia said.
Umi laughed, hugging her mom.
They had lunch together and caught up on life and new happenings. Laraba announced she had met someone new, and that he was coming to meet the family as soon as Alhaji came back from his trip. The someone was from a wealthy Northern family too...In fact, the son of an ex-governor of Niger state. Umi knew Alhaji would approve without a doubt.
Often times now, she had begun to wonder if Alhaji was right that she would regret her choice of marrying G.D. She had wanted to discuss the situation with her mother, but then on second thoughts, she decided not to, and thought it was best she handled things her own way.
G.D was going through the company's Statement of Financial Position and Statement of Comprehensive Income which the finance department had sent to him, when he saw his wife's phone call. He had wanted to ignore, because he assumed she would be calling to complain about something. But then he picked up.
"Yes, Umi." He said, looking through the figures in the documents.
"Hi, Baby. How's work?" Umi said softly.
"Good. Thanks." He replied.
"I hope you're not missing me too much?" She laughed.
G.D dropped the documents and walked towards his window. He knew he was in love with his wife. This was just a phase and he knew they would get past it. She hadn't been this emotional with him in a while.
"I am, my love." He said.
"Then come home soon, okay. I miss you too." She said.
"Um...I'll be working a little late today cos we have a board meeting in two days. I'm so sorry, Umi. But we can skype too. I'll check on you very frequently."
He swore he heard the drop in her tone but she tried to camouflage it.
"It's fine dear. Have you had lunch?"
"No. But I'll grab something quick." He replied.
"Okay. Guess what, daddy got Laraba a G-Class!"
"Wow! That's so good. Did she come by the house?"
For a moment, he tried to imagine when he would be able to afford a G-class...Brand new, not Tokunbo. And he hated Loans. Some bankers had come marketing auto-loan facilities to him but he had declined. And here was his twenty-two year old sister in law with a Brand new G-class. "There is God" ...He said silently.
"No. I was bored so I went over. Then had to stop by the hospital too for my check-up with the gynecologist." Umi said.
"Okay babe. I have to go now. I love you. Take care of you for us."
After a few minutes, he received a notification on his phone. It was their wedding picture. Umi had sent it to him via BBM, and had sent a message following it that she loved him.
-I love you too, my mata. He replied.
Umi dropped the phone after she had spoken with her husband, but for some reason, she wasn't convinced. She didn't believe that he was working late. She just had this really strong feeling that it had something to do with Rolake.
She felt bad with herself that she was beginning not to trust her husband. She decided to discard the thought, and went to watch some TV. Guiliana and Bill was up. She tried to imagine life after her baby was born. She didn't even have a clue yet if it was a boy or a girl. But she knew for sure that the child would be really cute. She still wasn't comfortable though, so she decided to talk to Kema about it.
"Hey, Kema," Umi said, as he picked up her call.
"Hi beautiful." He replied.
"Are you with G.D?"
"Umm...not now. I'm busy at my desk."
"Oh. Really sorry to disturb you. Can you talk?"
"I haven't gone to Rolake's house yet. I dunno if I should now. I just want to get this over with. I want her to stay away from my man!"
Kema cleared his throat.
"Then go to her house and talk." He said.
"Okay. I will."
"Do you have the address?"
"Yeah. She described it the day she came over for dinner."
"Alright then. Let me know how it goes."
"Okay. Thanks Kema."
"Thank you too." He said, after he had cut the call.
Umi was right. She saw Rolake's car drive in just as she turned into the Avenue. She was scared at first. What if G.D was there? He would be mad. But she had every right to be more mad.
The gate man opened the gate for her after she had said "Tell your madam that I'm from Mr. Ayiba."
Umi stepped into the living room. Rolake's place had taste, but nothing like her own home. She hissed, hating herself for even comparing in the first place. Soon, Rolake joined her. She was wearing jeans shorts and a really low neck tank top. Umi's mind began to imagine the worst. What if G.D was sleeping with this woman! She wasn't half as busty or as curvy as Rolake. Her stomach churned.
"Hi Umi," Rolake said, surprised to find Umi. She had thought maybe G.D sent someone to drop something.
"Rolake. Surprised to see me, yeah?" Umi said, gathering courage.
"Yeah, I am. You look pretty. Where did you get your purse?" Rolake started conversation, and then went into the kitchen to get her something to eat and drink.
Then Umi saw it.
Her painting. She was confused.
"What's my painting doing here?" She asked, as soon as Rolake walked in with a small tray of drinks and peppered snails.
Rolake sighed. Uh-oh.
"Oh my God. How did it get here? You weren't at the event..."
"You know what, I don't wanna get in the middle of anything, okay. I think you and Ayiba need to talk."
"Shut up! Stop calling him Ayiba."
Rolake rolled her eyes and stood akimbo.
"Hey, small girl. I think I'm giving you too much respect. I'm not your age-mate at all. So don't disrespect me. I've known AYIBA for years before you even knew his name, so you don't have any right to shut me up. I'll call him whatever I want till he says otherwise." She said, stressing the AYIBA.
Umi didn't know what to say. G.D had caused this. He had caused another woman to disrespect her.
"Why are you so possessive, Umi? You're gonna choke him out!" Rolake added.
"Oh shut up! Who are you to give me advice? Do you even have a man, let alone being married?" Umi yelled back.
Rolake laughed, clapping her hands.
"I don't have time for this." She said.
"Are you sleeping with my husband?" Umi asked, as she picked her purse to leave.
"I could if I wanted to."
Hot tears streamed down her face as she drove back home. She felt so embarrassed. Her heart kept on pounding. She dialed Kema's number and put the phone on speaker.
"I found my painting at her house! Kema tell me is she sleeping with my husband?!"
Kema sighed, telling her to calm down.
"He bought the painting. He gave it to Rolake."