“And what the fuck are you doing hanging around a criminal ehn? Is that what your boss told you to do? Just tell me you are not fucking him because that will just piss me off”
Chima was not back up to a day and he was beginning to drive her insane. Since Dapo left, he had been going on and on about him and asking her series of questions.
“Chima please let this be. Please”
“Tiwa, you brought a criminal to your house and I should let it be? What if he harms you?”
She scoffed, “Dapo can’t harm me”
“I thought you were smart.”
“No, not anymore. If you were you would have realized that having a criminal hang around you is the dumbest thing to do. How can you trust him? Other people do pro bono cases and let it go, you decided to keep yours as a boyfriend after.”
She pulled a pillow from the bed and picked the duvet.
“And what the heck do you think you are doing?” Chima asked as he watched her leave the room.
“I am going to sleep in the sitting room, away from your madness.”
He pulled her back, “Okay I am very sorry.” he said and then he kissed her, ran his hand through her body and allowed them find her boobs. Usually she moaned, this time, she just stared back at him, feeling nothing.
“I have missed making love to you” he said huskily.
She hadn’t missed it.
He removed the duvet and pillow she was holding and carried her to the bed. There he undressed her and made love to her.
There weren’t many people who had stuck with them when their parents had passed. A lot of the friends they thought they had simply turned their backs on them, some offered a bit of sympathy and others just went behind them to say negative things about their family.
Tiwa and Ewa had hurt immensely during this period.
Their father had been a philantropist; he gave without holding back.
In one of their houses in Ikeja, beggars and less privileged lined up the streets when they heard their father was close and they waited until his limousine slowed down and gave each of them money that was enough to feed their families for a month.
He had a good heart.
And that heart had been forcefully stopped by the people closest to him.
Tiwa sat opposite her maternal Uncle, one of the very few people who had chosen to stick with them when their parents passed, the man had seen to it that they were not weighed down and had helped Tiwa get her job with IGE&OBI.
“I’m sorry for coming late, Uncle” she said as she picked the menu. “There was serious traffic on Ajose Adeogun and I spent a lot of time there”
Her uncle smiled warmly, he motioned to the waiter to come.
“How is your sister?”
“She is fine”
“She told me she was getting married soon”
Her uncle was smiling, he was really fond of Ewa, and Tiwa knew he would support the girl even if she’d wanted to get married three years before.
“You know Ewa now…”
He nodded, “I know”.
She ordered a plate of Plantain and scrambled eggs with a glass of chapman while he just took a can of Heineken. She was halfway through the delicious meal when he started discussing the main reason he’d asked her to lunch.
“How are you feeling?”
She was feeling fine, maybe not great but at least fine and that was what she was going to say until it occurred to her what he meant.
“It hurt to be honest, but hey, this happens all the time in this country. People die and nobody bothers about it.” She shrugged and downed some chapman that washed down the delicious eggs, “They all go about their businesses like Daddy didn’t spend his whole life trying to make their lives and this country better.”
Her uncle reached for her hand, “Tiwalola, terrible things like this happen sometimes but they must not weigh us down.We have to learn from every bad situation, lean on God and find a way to move on from pain.”
She understood him, it was hard but she would learn to stop hating all the people who had ignored her late father’s legacy and who had contributed to leaving Dynamite free on the streets again.
Her Uncle made her feel better and after such a long time, she felt as though a heavy weight had been lifted off her shoulder. There was no need chasing shadows or haunting the past, life had to move on.
She thought about calling Ewa and discussing how she was feeling with her so they could heal together. She knew her Uncle would have spoken to her too but healing together would help them both heal and shed the terrible feeling faster.
She stepped into her apartment, turned on the light and the AC and retrieved her iPhone from her bag. She was about to dial her sister’s number when Chima’s call came through.
“Hey babe, so there is something we are going for tonight”
“Its a party organized by one of the top guys in Government who I am dying to do business with, we have to be there and you must be ready in an hour” He said flippantly and hung up.
She was irritated at his attitude. Chima grew up in immense wealth and had everything laid at his feet, but that was not an excuse for the irrational and disrespectful man he had become. He had so much money but so did the rest of them, yet they did not go around making other people’s lives miserable.
She dialed him, “Chima what is the meaning of this now? It is a week night for Heaven’s sake and you did not inform me about this before.”
“Tiwa it just came up. I did not know the guy was going to be there…”
“You did not know he would be at his own party?”
“Tiwa just get ready na, what’s the big deal.”
“The big deal is you are just telling me and you are not giving me space to cancel. Must I go? In fact, I’m not going.”
Chima was shocked, “Are you serious?”
Of course she was. Did he think he could just bark orders at her and it would just happen?
“Tiwa a Donna Karan dress which cost me a lot of money is on its way to your house as we speak, it was supposed to be for that party. Are you going to ruin my night and waste the dress because you are being unnecessarily difficult?”
She scoffed, “Unnecessarily difficult” she reiterated, some how everything he did was her fault.
She was about to point that out when he said, “Please just dress up would you? I promise this won’t happen again.”
“It better not” She said and hung up.
The party was like she expected; good wine, small elite crowd, plastic women with heavy make up, fake laughter and extremely shallow conversations.
But the good wine helped her through half of the night, she kept picking every champagne flute that passed her way and at a point had an entire bottle on their table.
She could not figure out why Chima had asked her to come, she just stood there by his side, like a zombie watching as he networked through the crowd and as younger women flirted shamelessly with him.
Before now, this used to bother her. At that moment it simply disgusted her. It made her sick to her stomach.
She watched as his secretary flirted with him as if she was not there by his side. She knew the girl had mentally cropped her out and it didn’t matter if she tattooed Chima’s head with her name, the secretary would still shamelessly flirt with him.
“Excuse me” she told Chima and went to take a seat. Chima did not seem to care if she was there or not, after looking around for a while she pinged her sister via bbm. The conversation went something like this:
The Queen Ewa:Tiwa sup? Uncle Sam said u guys saw today?
Tiwatope: Yeah we did. He just wants us to be really cool about the whole thing that recently happened.
The Queen Ewa: i’m kinda cool. like John’s been really supportive and stuff buh if only…
Tiwatope: Please don’t think much about it. Tomorrow is Friday, maybe you and I can catch a movie and you can crash @ mine?
The Queen Ewa: John is taking me to see his mom… chill BRB.
And she waited for a long time for Ewa, she did not return. She glanced at Chima, his secretary was running her fingers through his chest now.
Tiwa scoffed. She toyed with her phone. She decided if he didn’t get ready to leave soon, she would have to pick a cab and go home by herself.
She scrolled through her phonebook and her eyes fell on Dapo’s number.
She dialled it.
“Hello?” His voice sounded groggy and she knew she woke him.
“I’m so sorry, I had no idea you were sleeping already…” she hurriedly apologized, he chuckled.
“Its okay. I was reading a book when I slept off sef. Where are you? Its quite noisy there”
Tiwa looked around, she stood up, “I’m at a very boring party with Chima”
“On a Thursday night? Is that how you rich folks do it? Party late at night during week nights?”
She laughed as she made her way through the crowd, unseen by Chima, towards the ladies’.
“I was dragged here, Dapo. Didn’t have much of a choice and I was bribed with a Donna Karan dress. I don’t know how to say No to fine clothes.”
“I have to work hard then”
She knew what he was talking about and it made her smile. She reached the toilet and made to open the door, it was locked. She frowned. What type of insane crowd was at this party?
Who locked a public toilet from inside? Was the person sitting on all the toilet seats at the same time?
She decided to lean on the wall and continue her conversation there, “So what book were you reading before you slept off?”
“A book on being successful as a farmer”
“You like farming?”
“I love farming. Its the only thing I have been passionate about all my life.”
“You are an idiot!”
she turned, those words had not come from Dapo, neither had they come from the locked toilet. She looked beside her, of course they had come from the male toilet.
“Dynamite I got you out of there for a reason…”
Immediately, her eyes widened and everything Dapo was saying became lost on her. She leaned closer to the door, the person had reduced his voice but she knew he was still talking.
“I picked you for this job because of how professionally you murdered that Kuburat bitch…”
Her heart tumbled… the Kuburat bitch was her mother. Who was in there? And what…
She heard footsteps. The person was coming out. she was scared. she looked beside her and the door to the ladies opened, a group of girls walked out and she hurriedly rushed in and ducked behind the door.
Then she watched from there as Dynamite and Chris Owambe walked out, passed the ladies’ and returned to the party.
Even though she had spent earlier that day listening to her Uncle and finding a way to forgive the people who had let her mother’s killer walk free, she realized that hearing her mother being referred to as a bitch could change a whole lot of things… everything including her heart.
“What are you doing tomorrow night, Dapo? Can you please come over to mine?”
The overwhelming urge to hit Chris Owambe till he stopped breathing was heavy. And she knew she would do everything to convince Dapo to help her murder him.
This time, she would leave him no room to say no.