He was still in shock on how she had treated him. She had acted like he was not standing there, like he was invisible, like she had no regard for him.
That had hurt him. He must have underestimated her hatred for him.
He sat in front of Yetunde now, a sharp contrast from her sister while she made light conversations.
She was a beauty. She was light skinned, slim and curvy, her long human hair cascading down her shoulders.
If she stood in a room full of MBGNs, she would be picked before anyone of them. Unlike her sister, Tamilore, she seemed to take extra care of the beauty and was more aware of it.
This made her more attractive, flashier.
He had not seen her that way until that evening, when he sat in her pretty living room, in front of her on the couch.
She was wearing a floral dress that made her more attractive. As if she was not so attractive already.
“How did you people know each other though? Because you are two very different people. People like you don’t talk to people like that.” she said as if her sister belonged to a category of abnormal people.
“We met in London.”
Yetunde frowned, “London” she reiterated and he nodded.
“Were you friends?”
They had been more than friends.
“So you were friends with Tamilore.” she said with a look of disapproval. As if people like Jide should not be caught dead with her sister. “How did you cope?”
He laughed, “How did I cope? She is not so hard to cope with.”
“She scoffed, “Indeed.”
“She is fun. I liked her because she was fun.”
Her curiousity was piqued, “What type of fun did you people have?”
He would die before he told her that. Before he told her that her sister and him had committed varieties of sin together. “Normal fun.”
She raised her eyebrows as if to ask, which one is normal fun.
“Do you know when she would be back?” he asked her and she shook her head.
“But you can wait for her.” she said sweetly, too sweetly.
Tamilore liked Old soul. It was the type of place she never thought would exist in Lagos and the type of place she felt at ease.
Timilehin’s friends were there and they were the type of people that made it easy to talk to them.
She struck up a conversation with his friend, Nkem almost immediately they were introduced.
Nkem was an upcoming artiste. He was already popular in the east and his latest single was currently doing well. He liked her and stayed glued to her throughout their time at Old soul.
She nodded to the jazz music that played anytime someone was done reading a poem and another person was coming up.
Nkem leaned close and asked her, “Do you like jazz?”
“I like anything nice.” she responded, picking suya with a toothpick.
“Does it mean you like me?” he asked and she smiled.
“Are you hitting on me?”
He nodded and that made her laugh.
“Give me your number, Tamilore. I will like to see you again.”
She gave him her number shortly before he left. He had a show the next day in Ghana and he had to leave he told her.
When he was gone, Timilehin teased her about him, and then he said, “I think your sister is mad at me.”
“She would get over it” Tamilore said.
“Are you sure? When this happens, it always takes months o.” he said and laughed nervously. Tamilore looked at him, feeling a pang of pity for him. He loved the wrong woman, the woman who did not deserve him. A woman that even if she did deserve him, would take years before she did. That was because she had a lot of growing up to do, a lot of change to undergo and being with people like Timilehin would never make her grow up.
He would love her, give in to her wiles, indulge her and not make her see that she had to change.
“There’s a public holiday on Thursday.” She said to him.
He frowned; he had been expecting her to say something about her sister.
“You, me and Yetunde can go see a movie together.” she said, knowing deep down that Yetunde would still be mad and will not be interested.
Timilehin lit up instantly; this made Tamilore worry more for him. He was prince charming with a good heart and Prince charming with a good heart deserved Cinderella not Princess Bitchy.
“But she won’t answer me if I invite her.” he began to say
“Don’t worry, I will talk to her.” Tamilore said to him and he squeezed her hand in gratitude.
“I don’t know why she is so mad though. I just wish she would change sometimes.”
Tamilore suppressed a smile, she wished Yetunde would not change at least not until she introduced Timilehin and Lamide.
She picked up her phone and sent a quick text to Lamide, asking her to come out for a movie on Thursday.
When Tamilore got home, she was surprised to see Jide was still there. He was watching something on CNN and ran to her side immediately she stepped in.
She ignored him as Timilehin walked over to Yetunde who looked everywhere but him.
Jide followed Tamilore into her room and entered just before she slammed the door.
“What do you want?” she snapped, refusing to look at him.
“I want to see you.”
“Well, you have seen me. Now what do you want?”
“Suga…” The icy stare she sent his way made him refrain himself from calling her the only name he was used to calling her. “Sorry.” he muttered an apology. “Please Tamilore, the way you have been acting has been unfair and…”
“Get out.” She said gently, too gentle it sounded more like “welcome.”
“Tamilore, I have been waiting for you to come.”
“And now I am telling you to get out.”
He did not want to go. He wanted to stay here and talk to her. Just then his eyes fell on the dress she was wearing.
He had been too pained earlier to notice it. Now he pulled his gaze up from it and looked into her eyes, stunned.
She knew why he looked that way and that he was expecting her to say something. But she was not saying anything; she did not owe him any explanation.
If someone had to explain anything, it would be him not her. And she was too angry with him to listen to his explanation. She was angry, hurt, pained, and devastated.
“That dress. You said you wore it for me the day you wore it.” he said slowly, referring to the words she told him the day she first wore it.
“And I have not worn it for any other man since then.” she said to him, wanting to hurt him by making him realize she now wore the dress for other men.
“Tamilore I am sorry. I know it hurt you that I left but I am sorry. I had to.”
“You had to leave but you did not have to break my heart.”
“No. But I did not… I could not show you to the world…” the effect his words might have on her suddenly occurred to him. But it was too late, she was already enraged.
“Unlike you, I am not afraid to show the people I love to the world. Unlike you, when I love, I do it with my whole fucking heart. And unlike you, I am not a hypocrite and I don’t hide how I am feeling. And the way I am feeling now is to hurt you, so if you know what is good for you, get the hell out.”
He wanted to talk, wanted to apologize, wanted to tell her he did not mean it like that. He had only said that because he was trying to explain the past, his reason for his decision.
But she would not let him. She was livid.
“Can we see on Thursday?” He asked, “It is a public holiday and I want us to talk.”
She walked to the door, opened it and pointed for him to leave.
He sighed and walked towards it, when he was almost out, “I don’t want to ever see you again.”
“That’s not true, Tamilore. You love me and you want to see me again. I will call you on Thursday.” then he left.
She shut the door and leaned on it. He was right but she also was hurt and angry and when she was that way, love and wanting to see him again was irrelevant.
She had been right about Yetunde, she had not been interested in coming, because she wanted to punish Timilehin for choosing to talk to Tamilore all day in her apartment the last Saturday and because she wanted him to apologise forever before she agreed to be friends with him again.
And Tamilore had not been bothered. It was what she wanted anyway. Timilehin had been worried about Yetunde and how long he would have to beg her during their drive to the cinema at Surulere.
He asked Tamilore why she had chosen the cinema there of all places and she told him because she wanted to see her sister too.
Timilehin had been excited to meet Lamide. Yetunde spoke little of her and he had been interested to see someone who was Yetunde’s blood and who would be quiet.
“Both of you are feisty, you and Yetunde. Lamide just sounds like she was not in the same womb as you two.” he joked.
“We used to say she was adopted.” Tamilore responded, “She is just so different, so sweet, so simple.”
When Lamide walked into the mall later, Tamilore introduced Timilehin as a friend because she knew if she said who he truly was, Lamide would be scared to fall for him.
She would say again, “I don’t want the devil to use me.”
Tamilore made her seat in the middle of her and Timilehin in the cinema and started conversations she knew Lamide would like to discuss and Timilehin would not mind joining.
Before the film was over, they had laughed a lot, talked a lot and did not mind seeing again.
After the movie, Tamilore realized she had several messages from Jide. He wanted to see her and talk to her. She told him to back off and then he called.
Tamilore walked away from Lamide and Timilehin to receive the call.
“Tamilore please let us see. Please.”
“No.” she said firmly.
“I just want us to talk.”
“About us. About you. About everything that happened to you that turned you into someone who hates me, the only man you have loved and about me. I want to tell you who I really am.”
She sighed, looked in the direction of Lamide and Timilehin and saw that they were laughing about something. She smiled. She would give them more time to spend together.
“Where are you?” she asked Jide
“I’m on the mainland now…”
“Where on the mainland?”
“Yaba. I came to see a church member who just lost his wife.”
Timilehin was showing Lamide something on his phone. “Alright come to Surulere now, I’m at the mall.”
She heard the door to Jide’s car shut. “Thanks, Tamilore. Thank you very much. This means I am making progress.”
“Shut up and drive” she said to him and hung up.
Then she watched Timilehin and Lamide bond, a grin on her face.