Lola glanced at her phone. Only five minutes had passed since the last time she had checked it. Her neck hurt, her palms felt sweaty and she had a distinct feeling that what she was doing was wrong.
Dayo had told her he would be at hers at 5pm. It was now 5:05 and her anticipation had reached colourful heights. She alternated between wanting to call him and cancel and wishing her doorbell would ring with an intensity that had her hands feeling numb. Her phone began to ring to the tune of Lagbaja’s Konko Below. She dragged her eyes to the screen.
It was Ada. She had not spoken to her friend throughout the week and she wasn’t sure talking to her now was a great idea. Ada had a great bullshit radar. She would know something was up and she wouldn’t rest until she discovered what it was. She ignored the call.
Her doorbell rang and her heart thumped She glanced at the mirror the corridor. Her makeup was light – just a gloss and some liner. She wore a bright yellow and pink summer dress. Not because yellow was his favourite colour but because it suited her and she felt summery.
Dayo stood before her in jeans and a pink polo shirt. She tried to smile but failed. His eyes were boring into her and doing terrible, wonderful things to her insides.
“Hi.” She looked at him, then blushed and looked away.
“You know you have to invite people like me in – vampires and all that…” She laughed obligingly and stepped aside “Nice place.”
They stood awkwardly facing one another.
So now what? She wondered. Her ex-boyfriend was in her home, in her space, looking excited and sexy and tense all at once. She stepped back.
“I made some food. Jollof. Would you…”
Barely had she finished putting the food on his plate that he dug in.
“This is great.” He told her mid chew, “No-one cooks quite like you.”
She grinned at him. Her phone rang again. Ada was not giving up. Dayo raised his eyebrows, but she ignored him and she ignored the call.
“I think I’m ready for seconds.” She laughed at him. She had not yet gotten halfway through her food but Dayo’s plate was clean. Spotless almost. She stood up and took his plate away from the table and into the kitchen. He followed her closely behind “I’ve got to make sure you’re not stingy with the portions.”
“Urgh. You’re such a beast. Where does all the food go? You eat like you’re an adolescent.”
He patted his six pack.
“My libido burns most of it.”
She handed him his mountain of rice with three pieces of chicken. He grinned at her. As they walked over to the table, she heard Konko Below again. But before she reached her phone to see who it was, her doorbell rang. She froze on the spot so suddenly that Dayo bumped into her.
“Are you going to open that?”
For a moment she wondered if it might be Temi. But it was out of character for him to visit her without telling her he was coming. She dragged her feet to the door and opened it. Ada stood before her with furrowed eyebrows, tapping feet and crossed arms.
“What the hell is going on? I’ve been calling you and calling you. A friend of mine said she saw you at a wedding, with Dayo – talking! I told her she must be mistaken, but now you won’t pick up my calls???”
“Ada, this is not a good time.” Ada pushed past her, stomach first and then she stopped short. Dayo stood before her, holding his plate of food and eating out of it. She turned back to Lola.
“What the hell is this?”
“Hello to you too Ada,” Dayo remarked.
“Ada, can we go to another room?”
“Not until you tell me why he is here!”
Lola tried to think fast about how to dilute the situation. Behind Ada, Dayo sat at the table and resumed the eating of his food. He seemed unruffled by the exchange, on the outside. But she could sense his anger like a biting wind radiating towards Ada. Ada on the other hand looked as annoyed and shocked as she undoubtedly felt.
“Calm down Ada. And don’t shout at me. I can hear you just fine from here.”
“Why shouldn’t I? You were doing just fine. Better than fine. But you had to rock the boat by dragging this scum out from the depths of hell.”
“Talk about him like that again, and I will kick you out!”
“Oh…how quickly we forget the past. This man cheated on you, broke your heart, broke the law and you welcome him back into your life like it never happened. You are such a doormat.” Lola heard the scraping of the chair and knew Dayo was standing up. Ada paid no attention to his movements but Lola knew what Dayo was like when he was angry and she couldn’t be sure that he had changed.
“I think you should leave.” He told Ada.
Ada snorted, “Last time I checked this wasn’t your house.”
“I think you should leave.” Lola repeated.