Dapo watched her as if she was nuts. Then he stood up, grabbed yet another carrot stick and made his way out of the house silently.
Tiwa had expected him to turn her down, what she did not expect was for him to do it silently and without emotions. She turned off the heat from the dinner she knew would take only her, five days to finish.
Her conscience did not make the next few days easy. Her conscience and Dapo’s mother’s phone calls. The woman wanted to know why she had stopped coming to her house to see her son.
“He needs to be a man again and get used to the outside world. Please my daughter don’t leave him now. You have gotten him out, please help him get better”
She wanted to tell the older woman that Dapo’s life on the outside wasn’t really any of her business but the overwhelming guilt she felt from asking him to murder someone and refusing to apologize was killing her and so she agreed when the woman pleaded with her to come over to the house during the weekend.
She had chosen to wear a pair of ripped blue pencil jeans and a mustard peplum top. Her legs were stylishly fitted in a pair of nude flats and she had let her hair down.
When she stared at the mirror before leaving the house, she smiled at her reflection. It was pretty; she was pretty for him.
She let the thought go away as quickly as it had come. It was not a normal thing to be harbouring unexplainable thoughts towards an ex con. Besides, who started thinking about another man just few weeks after she left a five-year-old relationship?
He opened the door for her when she reached his mother’s apartment.
“Your mother asked me to come, is she in?”
Dapo stared intently at her, making her flinch and causing her to look away. He was distracting in a pair of old stone washed jeans and a grey shirt that clung to his toned abs, making him look like a Gbenro Ajibade.
“My mother travelled this morning”
Tiwa blinked a couple of times as she tried to process his words. “I’m sorry, she must have forgot to cancel” she muttered.
He knew his mother hadn’t forgotten to cancel. She had purposely left without telling Tiwa because she wanted her to come and spend time with him.
He stepped aside, “Come in”.
Tiwa knew she should say no and go away but instead she obliged and stepped into the house, Dapo shut the door behind her.
“I’m sorry for being insensitive”
Tiwa hoped he wouldn’t make her apology any harder than it already was.
“You know, if my mother knew you were trying to get me back in jail, she wouldn’t be friends with you. She wouldn’t even let you come three miles close”
Tiwa was ashamed of herself, “I’m sorry”.
Dapo shook his head in disbelief, “You were the one who did everything you could to get me out of prison, now you want to do everything to get me back in there?”
“It was a stupid thing to say, I know”
“Damn right, it was stupid!”
He was mad, his eyes said it. Even though he stood a few spaces away from her with a blank expression she could tell that he was very mad at her and she knew she deserved it.
“It hurt to see that Dynamite killed my mother and he is walking around free because Chris Owambe let him free”
“You don’t even know it was Chris for sure”
“No, I don’t”
He gave her a look that said, “So what are you saying?”
Tiwa stood up and walked closer to him, the closer she got, the smaller the room became. There was some sort of unexplainable energy between them and the chemistry they had, just seemed to pull them closer at that point.
“I’m saying that I am very sorry. Please forgive me, Dapo. Your mother is such a nice woman and she wants the best for you and I don’t want to be the one to cause her more pain by sending you back to jail”
She stood in front of him, afraid to step closer but unable to move farther.
“Are you sorry because of my mother or because you disappointed me?” He asked in a voice too cool, too calm for the moment, his eyes falling on her lips and then looking back into her eyes.
And she could swear the world stopped moving that instant. She could swear her heartbeat had stopped and only this man, this beautifully sculpted ex con, could make it beat again.
come on, just baby, try a new thing
Her favorite line from Chris Brown’s song was nudging her to do something different for once, to kiss this man that was all shades of imperfect mixed with every form of wrong.
The doorbell rang and he walked to the door to open it, giving her time to get her senses back. Monica burst into the room and chirped like a bird.
She stopped in her tracks when she saw Tiwa and the zest she possessed when she stepped into the house fizzled out.
Tiwa noticed Monica wasn’t as warm and friendly as she was with her when they just met and she knew it was because of Dapo. She could not blame the girl much; if she owned Dapo she would probably put a tracking device on him.
“Hi Monica, I was just leaving”
“No, you weren’t” Dapo said and the room fell dead silent. “Monica is not staying here for long” and then he faced Monica for confirmation, “Right Monica?”
The hurt in Monica’s eyes was vivid and as much as she fought to be rid of it, it remained there.
“I bought you lunch, I guess I would see you later then” She said, dropped the lunch pack and left.
“You should not have done that…”
“Haven’t you learnt that I am a straightforward person? I go straight for what I want.”
She swallowed hard, “You can’t want me” and she knew she wanted him desperately to.
“I can. And I already do.”
Tiwa’s phone rang; it was Ewa.
“Tiwa, where are you? I’m in your house, you need to come like right now, it is very urgent.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, but come immediately.”
The call ended. Tiwa looked at Dapo, “It’s my younger sister. She sounded like something was up and asked to come immediately”
Tiwa looked nervous and worried, that made Dapo uncomfortable. He did not like for her to be nervous and worried.
“Let me drive you”
She nodded and handed him the keys.
She had prayed every single second on the way that her sister be safe and fine and when she got to the house with Dapo, opened the door and saw Chima standing in the sitting room, smiling at her, she had been shocked beyond words.
“Hey babe” He said, strode over and kissed her till she was breathless. The he glanced at Dapo, “Who is this?”
Tiwa was dazed from the kiss and still shocked from discovering Chima in her sitting room, looking like nothing had happened.
Ewa walked into the sitting room, a bottle of wine in her hands and a few of their friends trailing behind her carrying different shopping bags from various designers in the world.
She could spot a Balenciaga, a Christian Dior, a Christian Louboutin, a Vera Wang and a Jewel by Lisa. In Ewa’s hands was the expensive bottle of wine that cost thousands of pounds and that they had been high on during the night he proposed on a yacht in Dubai.
Her friends giggled and chuckled and told her how lucky she was and Chima posed there like a Roman emperor with a smirk on his face as if to say, “You heard them babe, you’re lucky”
She knew that was what he was thinking deep down.
Chima went down on one knee and pulled out a black box, Tiwa wanted to talk but nothing came out. How could she even think or talk when this guy gave her no room to do either of the two.
He opened the box and the most beautiful diamond studded ring stared back at her.
“I got you another ring to say I am sorry, I was a jerk, I was stupid, Please marry me and let’s start afresh”
Her friends were OOHing and AAAHing and AWWWWNing as he stepped closer and slipped the ring into her finger. Then he kissed her again and said, “I love you”
Dapo who felt he’d seen enough took that as his cue to leave, he turned but Chima was not done, “Who is the gentleman, babe?” he asked
“I don’t care, Chima. He looks yummy” One of the girls said and the others chuckled. They agreed. Tiwa turned and faced Dapo, she had almost forgotten he was still standing there in the room.
“He’s… he’s the guy I told you about”
Chima frowned, “what guy?”
“The guy I told you about… the night we… that night… you know what, forget it”
“Oh wait, I remember. The criminal”
Dapo smiled, he walked closer, pulled out a hand “I don’t need any more introductions then, my name is Dapo Obisesan the criminal…”
Tiwa couldn’t stop herself from smiling, this man was something.
Chima was not impressed, he shook hands with Dapo, “My name is Chima.”
“Good to meet you, Chima. Your fiancée is a great woman and you better marry her fast before someone else beats you to it”
Chima found that laughable, “Someone else like who? You?”
Dapo smiled, “Yes”
The girls loved the show and Tiwa wanted to hug Dapo tight, nobody ever made Chima look so much like an idiot while he was trying to make them look like an idiot.
“And how would that even happen?”
“Do you want me to show you?”
It was a challenge, Tiwa realized. Dapo stuck his hands in his pockets, he was relaxed and yet he was telling Chima that he could take his woman away from him.
“Boys, this is a happy moment. No need to fight. Let’s celebrate.” Ewa said and the other girls agreed.
One of them even winked at Dapo.
“My fiancé and other guys that you all know very well are on their way. So let’s get in the party mood. Dapo, do you want to join?” Ewa said but Dapo declined.
“I have to leave” He faced Tiwa, “Have a nice party, Tiwa”
“Let me see you off”.
Tiwa joined him and they left together. When they got out of the building and she had waved down a cab and paid despite his insistence, he pulled her close and kissed her lightly on the lips.
Then he winked, jumped into the cab and left. Tiwa touched her lips absentmindedly when he was gone. She definitely preferred this kiss to the one from Chima.