He was nervous. Well, nervous wasn't exactly the word to describe his feeling. Perhaps it was anxiety. Yes, Jibola Dauda was anxious. And anxious was one feeling that he usually never had.
He had closed from the office quite late that Friday. He didn't really have any need for the rush home. He and his ex had recently just broken up. Just, meaning about two months ago. He convinced himself that he had moved on. He had moved on with work, by burying himself more into his job. Maybe with time, he would also be able to bury memories of her. She had been his girlfriend for about six years. They had issues. His mother hadn't liked her. But he had decided to hold on to her because he loved her. However, out of the blues one day, she told him she couldn't marry him and live the rest of her life on egg shells with a mother-in-law who disapproved of their relationship. And in two weeks time after the break-up speech, she had tied the knot at Our Lady of Assumption, Falomo, Ikoyi, with a new man. Jibola couldn't wrap his head around the whole drama. But somehow, he had to come to terms with the reality that she must have been cheating on him with her new husband while they were still together.
His friends had tried to hook him up on very many occasions. The ladies were never his type. Some were okay, but they seemed desperate. He knew he was a good looking man. He stood at 6.3 feet, and his ebony complexion flunked by well architecturally shaped muscles and edges, made him have a magnetic effect on ladies. Yes, he was also a successful young man; the CEO of his own company. The kind of business he was into was also a contributing factor. And it made other guys hate him because their girlfriends and wives couldn't stop mentioning his name. Jibola Dauda was the CEO of JD Hair extensions.
When he had launched the idea of selling female weaves in the whole sale and retail market, his father had thought he was nuts especially because he quit his job at a bank. His mother had begged him not to embarrass the family and even their village in Ijebu-Igbo. And his friends had thought he had gone gay. But two years after, he was the largest distributor of human hair which was a very fast moving commodity in the Nigerian market. His trade had expanded beyond the shores of even Nigeria. He got demands on a daily basis from ladies who lived abroad for different textures and kinds of weaves. He had started a hair, nails and spa outlet and in a year, he had opened branches out of necessity. Jibola was now a rich man.
He had been driving home and had been listening to local radio. He stumbled on Flourish FM and left it there as a result of nothing better to listen to. The show was Cupid hour where the host helped people find soulmates. Then he started to laugh at the phone calls from people, mostly ladies, who wanted a life partner. He wanted to call. Perhaps he could get lucky. But then, he didn't need to. The second to the last caller...the one whose sister had called her Margaret Thatcher. She seemed interesting and strong-willed. He liked strong-willed women, and that's why he had been disappointed when his ex had told him she couldn't keep up with the relationship because she was afraid of his mother. He wanted someone whom his mother could respect because of her self-confidence. This caller seemed very confident in her self. Especially the part where the presenter had told her that her order was quite scarce, and she had told him that she had a right to her choice.
He wanted to call the station so he could get her number. He tried calling for about a week but he just couldn't get through. He finally got through the following week, but the presenter had told him he had called on another show. He decided to go to the radio station personally to ask for her number. And he had gotten it!
This was three days after he had gotten Anita's number from Flourish FM. He wanted to give her a call, but different thoughts ran through his mind. What if she didn't like him? What if she wasn't interested anymore? Or what if she had met somebody. Too bad if he had been slow...
He decided to send an SMS. He realized that there was something called Whatsapp. He hurried to the App on his phone and tried to check her profile picture. He tried to enlarge the thumbnail but he couldn't. He hissed and finally decided to be the thirty five year old man that he was by giving the young lady a decent call.
Tobi had just stepped out of the shower. She had just finished preparing lunch, and wanted to go back to the unfinished article about the Chibok girls. She heard her phone ring. She ignored it the first time. She didn't want to be disturbed. When the call came through the second time, she decided to answer it. Maybe it was someone who needed her help...probably one of the many helpless women who called and emailed her to assist them.
"Hello, good afternoon." She said, dapping the towel on her wet hair.
"Good...good afternoon, Anita." A man's voice said.
"I'm sorry I think you have the wrong number."
"Um...I don't think so. Isn't this 080111333555?"
"Well, yes it is...but I'm not Anita."
"Oh okay. I'm sorry for the mix up. Thanks a lot and take care." He said. Then he hung up.
She was almost at the computer when it suddenly hit her. She was Anita! She had called on TMac's radio station some weeks ago as Anita. Maybe this was a potential....man. She dashed back to pick up her phone but he beat her to it. He was dialing again. She laughed.
"Hi." She said.
"I'm sorry, but did you call on Flourish..."
"Yes, yes I did." She said, catching her breath. "I'm sorry. I am Anita. Well I'm not Anita really but I am Anita...um..." She hit her palm on her forehead. "I'm not making any sense, am I?" She laughed.
He laughed too.
"Well, I think I understand you." He said.
"I called as Anita. I didn't want to give my real name." She said.
"Oh. Okay. So, do you mind telling me your real name?"
"I don't know yours either." She said, shrugging. The towel fell from her head.
"I'm Ajibola. Jibola Dauda." He said.
He knew the name wouldn't ring a bell. He liked to keep his privacy. Not too many people knew his name as the man who owned JD hair except those whom he dealt directly with.
"Okay." She said.
"Okay? Aren't you going to tell me yours?"
"It's Tayo..." She said. She didn't want to give her real name still. She feared he would know her name, and maybe when he knew who she was, he would become uninterested in her. But nevertheless, he would still eventually get to see her if they got serious with their relationship... Wasn't it best she just came out clean? She decided to go with Tayo, till she was sure enough that she was comfortable on meeting him physically.
Their conversations had started like that, spanning from day to hour to minute. They spoke all the time, and even Lolade knew that something was different about her sister.
Lolade and her son still lived at Tobi's place. She still hadn't made up her mind on if she was going to go back to her matrimonial home. She didn't even miss him, and she was beginning to get scared that maybe she didn't love her husband anymore...
She had resumed at the new job. Tobi had urged her to take the offer. Lolade herself could see that there was a difference in her countenance and appearance. The first day of work, she had stared at herself in the mirror from head to toe. She wasn't the same woman she was before she resigned her job and got married...there were now some folds of fat around her curves and edges, but she still looked good for a woman who had birthed a child, and was carrying another. Looking at her reflection brought tears to her eyes. She was beautiful. And she couldn't understand how she had let herself become a man's punching bag. But it wasn't as though she could stop him physically. He was overly stronger than she was. Her only strength was in raising her voice and yelling at him.
Her conscience pricked her, she had to admit. She never would have ever imagined in her wildest dreams that she would end up as a house wife; an abused one at that. And that she would eventually have to live apart from her husband.
"Babe, I'm suspecting you these days o. What's going on? You're always chatting with someone. And I know it's a man because you're always blushing..." Lolade said, frying eggs that Saturday morning.
"Blush? You should know me, sis. I don't blush. I'm just not wired like that." Tobi responded.
"So you're indeed a lesbian ehn? Nawa o!" Lolade laughed.
Tobi hissed and walked out of the kitchen. Lolade noticed that she forgot her phone but she didn't mention it. As soon as Tobi stepped out of the kitchen, she locked the door and started to scroll through the chats. She burst out laughing. She couldn't believe this! Her stuck up sister was typing mooshy words to this new stranger. She scrolled up to read further. The man was requesting that he wanted them to see each other face to face, but Tobi had told him that she didn't think it was a good idea just yet, and that she still wanted to get to know him.
Lolade shook her head. She went through Tobi's contacts and searched for Jibola. Typical Tobi. Lolade already knew she would save his name as Jibola plainly. No love or pet words.
She heard the call connect, and she also heard Tobi's footsteps.
"Pick up, pick up, you idi..." Lolade muttered.
"Hey sweetie?" He said.
Wow! His voice was....ecstatic!
"Hello, I'm not her. I'm her sister." She said. She walked away from the door towards the window.
"Oh...ermm I guess this is Lolade?" He said.
"Yeah. I see she has talked about me already." Lolade said.
"Pleased to meet you."
"Look, she doesn't know that I'm calling you. I just wanted to give you the address to the house. I want you to come over for dinner tonight so you guys can eventually meet each other."
Tobi was knocking furiously.
"Lolade, what the...! Open this door! What are you doing?" Tobi yelled.
"I can't talk. My number is 081113745335. Get that down quick. I have to go, Call me for the description. Don't fall my hand!" Lolade said and hung up.
She sighed. She hurriedly dialed their mother's number and her own number so that Tobi wouldn't really suspect when she checked her call log.
"What are you doing with my phone, Lolade?" Tobi hissed, as Lolade opened the door.
Lolade rolled her eyes.
"I called mom. I'm out of airtime." She said.
"And you locked the door because?"
Lolade's phone started to ring. Good timing. She didn't have to answer her sister's question.
She guessed it was Jibola. She cut the call then she sent him a text asking if he was the one. He replied in the affirmative. Then she text him the address and description to Tobi's house.
The time was 4.30 PM. Lolade glanced at Tobi who was sitting on the floor and wearing a hideous red blouse and old torn pants. Her hair was a mess as usual. She didn't want Jibola meeting her this way.
"Babe," Lolade said.
"Yea?" Tobi replied.
"I have a party with an old friend tonight. I want you to come with me, please."
Tobi sighed and shook her head.
"Lolade I'm not going anywhere with you, okay. Just free me, abeg."
"But you're not doing anything at home."
"Mind your business. Leave my life."
"But you are the one always talking about finding a man...you need to go out..."
"And where did finding a man leave you?" Tobi retorted.
Lolade didn't say anything else. She couldn't believe that her sister had just insulted her with that sensitive issue. She nodded and grabbed her phone, then walked out of the living room.
Tobi felt bad. She knew she shouldn't have said what she said. She sighed again, then went into the room to join Lolade.
"I'm sorry, okay. I didn't mean it that way." She said.
"Ok." Lolade said, looking away.
Tobi knew her sister. She knew she was hurt.
"I'm sorry naaaa" She went over to the bed and pulled Lolade's hand playfully. Lolade didn't budge. Then she started to tickle her. Tickling Lolade was the easiest way to get her to do something. Tobi had been leveraging on that trick for about twenty years.
Lolade was laughing so hard with tears falling down each cheek.
"Okay! I've heard! I'm not upset anymore." She said, laughing.
"So, even if I come with you, I don't have any nice things to wear." She said.
"Leave that to me."
Jibola knew this area very well. He passed there very often on his way to the office everyday. He couldn't believe that Tayo lived so close. The time was 6.15 PM. Lolade had asked him to come for 7 PM. He didn't want to appear too eager or too early so he decided to stop at a store first to buy something for Tayo, and also for Lolade. By the time he was through, it was 6.35 PM. He got into his car and grabbed the pack of mint in his pigeon hole. He checked out his face in the mirror. He knew he looked good in his white Polo shirt and grey jeans. He didn't want to look too dressy. After all, it was a house- date.
"Lolade hurry up now! You said 7! It's almost 7! And you know there's always traffic." Tobi raised her voice.
"A minute please!" Lolade responded from the bathroom. She was buying time, waiting for Jibola to get to their house.
Then Tobi spoilt the plan. Lolade wanted Tobi to be the one to get the door when Jibola knocked. But then, Tobi remembered she had to quickly pick up something from the bedroom. Jibola was already at the door so Lolade had to get it herself.
The man was handsome! Lolade was almost tripping over herself. Jibola laughed. He always got that reaction from women.
"Hello..." He said, smiling.
"Hi, Jibola. Don't worry I'm not her. I'm Lolade." She said, letting him in.
Tobi joined them in a few minutes.
"Oh my God!" Tobi said, as she saw him. She couldn't really place the reason for her expression. Maybe it was the surprise of seeing him, or just the shock from how incredibly handsome he was. How did he find her house? How on earth? She couldn't believe he was in her living room! She had just sent him a message that she was going out with Lolade, and he had replied and said he trusted she would be in for a big surprise. She had been typing back, asking what he meant, when she walked in on him in the living room.
"Hi, Tayo." He laughed, going forward to give her a hug. He had a gift bag in one hand. Lolade was also holding a gift bag. Tobi already had her answers. Lolade had everything to do with this.
Jibola stared at her, taking a fill. She looked beautiful. She wasn't show-stopper, but she was adorable. She was wearing a white tunic and flat gold sandals. Her hair was flat tonged and her face was touched up with minimal make up. So that was the face behind the voice he had been getting incredibly fond of in the last couple of weeks.
"Tayo? Who's Tayo?" She said.
"Um..." Tobi stuttered.
*Please read, enjoy, comment and share
"Tayo? Who's Tayo?" She said.
"Um..." Tobi stuttered.
*Please read, enjoy, comment and share