Three is a Crowd

Whilst Jumoke was occupied with Ajapa and the club pledge, Demi scrolled down the pictures on Instagram and her hand stilled when she came across the video of Tosin’s proposal. The video started from the point when Tosin got on one knee, and sure enough, there she was just standing there in the way of an otherwise magical scene.

She groaned.

“What’s wrong aunty Beedee?”

“Nothing Jum Jum.”

She read the caption, it ended with #ToDo.

“Are you crying aunty Beedee?”

“No.”

“Here.”

Jumoke got up, planting her palms on the carpet and propping herself up. She waddled over to Demi and handed her Chief Teddy. Demi cuddled him and rested her cheek on his head.

 

 

It was too late to head home and Jummy’s parents weren’t back yet; so Demi tucked her niece into bed and then lay down next to her.

Her phone had been buzzing violently for the past three hours and she knew that Jameelah was trying to get through to her. Jameelah knew how she felt about Tosin. They had paired Demi’s name with his surname more than once. And even though Jam was her best friend, she didn’t feel like reliving her shame.

A text dropped and she picked up her phone and typed in her password. Sure enough, Jameelah had resorted to texting:

 

Abidemi Ayobami Adegboyega pick up my call right now!!!

 

This Tosin Dotun thing is serious. Where are you?

Moradeke says you are not at home.

The phone promptly vibrated again. She waited for it to stop and then replied the message:

Let’s talk tomorrow. Demi.

 

Jameelah respected her wishes and stopped calling and Demi closed her eyes and allowed the sandman to take her to a place where Tosin brought flowers to her and proposed.

 

“Wake up, Demi.”

Demi opened her eyes. She was in Jumoke’s room, she could tell by the Ajapa posters and the flowers that were painted unto the wall. Jumoke was no longer lying beside her though and Rayo was seated on the bed staring at her.

“Am I late for work?”

“It’s Saturday.”

“Oh yea.”

“How you feeling?”

“Did Tosin really propose to Dotun?”

“They have a music video on instagram now.”

“A music video?”

“Yea. Tosin is singing to Dotun. It’s really corny.”

Demi groaned. She wanted Tosin to sing to her.

“Thanks for staying with Jummy last night.”

“You know it’s fine. She’s an angel…I should probably go home.”

“You sure, you want to face mum in your state.”

Demi was sure she didn’t want to face her mother. But she couldn’t avoid her forever. She would just grin and bear whatever her mother through her way.

“It’s fine.”

She sat up and on touched her hair, which had promptly shrunk. She would have to take the time out to stretch it. For the third time that month, she considered cutting it.

“How would I look with short hair.”

“You have glorious hair…and a very round face. Don’t do that to yourself.” She swung her feet to the ground and stood up, barely avoiding the doll Jumoke had abandoned. Rayo left the room and Demi set about collecting her bag, phone and laptop. She tidied up the bed, quickly, even though she knew that Jumoke’s nanny would be in soon to return the room to its immaculate yet child-friendly state.

Rayo, Jumoke and Chief Teddy were sitting on high stools and eating their breakfast of ogi and akara on the purple marble kitchen counter.

“Are you going to eat something?”

“No.”

Ever since the proposal, she had lost her appetite for anything other than chocolate and icecream – her ultimate comfort food.

“You’re on a diet?”

Demi looked down at her slightly protruding stomach and wide hips and decided that a diet was a good idea. Nigerian men no longer sought women with child-bearing hips and breasts that were like large and looked like low hanging fruit.

“Yes, yes I am.”

“Hey. I know this babe – Lola. She does wonders with fitness and stuff.”

“Blegh, I hate exercise.”

“She owns that fitness place. You should go.”

“Lllit?”

“Uh huh! That’s the one!”

“That place costs like N50,000 to join.”

Rayo whistled.

“You know…diets are good too.”

Demi’s phone vibrated and she took it as her cue to leave. She kissed her family, and Chief Teddy on the cheek and headed to her car.

The ten-year-old Camry was fast becoming the bane of her life and she quickly popped upon the hood to make sure there was water in the radiator. The last thing she wanted was to break down on the Lekki expressway. Beside her, Rayo’s driver washed the Prado, Bayo had given his wife when he learnt she was pregnant with twins.

Demi sat in her car and rested her head on the wheel. Then having drawn in several breaths, she reversed out of the compound and headed to her home in Lekki Phase 1.

She looked to her left in time to see Lllit in the distance. The building was certainly beautiful to look at, and it was tall. The glass windows were large and clear, so you could see the occasional body working out in the rooms.  Perhaps they had a cheaper tariff for people who just wanted to lose 10-15 kg.

Demi turned her car into the next exit and headed for Lllit.

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