Cynthia dropped the call and stared at the phone. There was something terribly wrong and she could feel it in her bones. Even though her just concluded conversation with Tonia wasn’t exactly unusual-with Tonia always sounding depressed and unhappy- this particular call was different. Totally different. Tonia sounded like she had just seen a ghost. She sounded more petrified than normal or was she, Cynthia just imagining things?
Cynthia felt her heart skip a beat as a depressing thought crossed her mind but slowly, she took in deep breaths to calm her nerves. Probably it’s just one of those regular fights with her husband. There’s probably nothing wrong other than the usual. I don’t think she knows, she consoled herself. As a friend, it was still her duty to find out what happened, she decided, as she began to dress up.
Expertly, Cynthia began to think of the words she was going to say to her best friend in case things didn’t go so well. Tonia had been her closest friend since she could remember. Childhood play mates, then college buddies and yeah, they’ve had their fallouts occasionally, but somehow they’ve been able to keep their friendship afloat until…
“He asked me to marry him” Tonia announced looking at her fingers.
“I’m sorry, what? Who?” Cynthia asked shocked as she looked from the plasma TV to her friend. They’ve been watching a TV series that night, five years ago…
“Ernest na” Tonia continued trying to avoid Cynthia’s gaze.
“Ernest asked you to marry him? When was this?” Cynthia asked rising to her feet in the luxuriously furnished sitting room of her one bed room apartment. For some silly reasons, she had rented the apartment instead of the three bedrooms flat she had intended because she had thought that sooner than later, a wedding would be in view and she would be moving to her husband’s apartment. And for those same stupid reasons, she had thought it would be with Ernest after her relationship failed with Osazuwa but to her dismay, this was happening.
“Last night!” Tonia answered looking up to watch her pace round the room as if an impeding storm was about to happen. Well, if it wasn’t already happening.
“And you waited until now to tell me?” Cynthia asked angrily. She could feel the rage blubberingly within her. Ernest proposed to Tonia? This is unbelievable!
“I was going to tell you but I didn’t….” Tonia answered suddenly afraid
“You didn’t what?” Cynthia roared stopping abruptly to watch her friend shrink in fear.
“You know how I feel about Ernest. How could you Tonia?” Cynthia yelled tears streaming down her face.
“But you said it was okay Cynthia. You said it was okay for us to date” Tonia lamented desperately trying to defend herself.
“Yeah, but not to marry him. I hope you said no” Cynthia asked realizing now that there wouldn’t be any need for the dramatics if Tonia had rejected his proposal.
“No” Tonia answered quietly
“No?” Cynthia asked confused “No, you said no or No you said yes. Which was it?” She continued impatiently.
Tonia kept quiet.
“I’m asking you a question Tonia!” Cynthia roared impatiently.
Tonia rooted to her feet. “I said yes! Why are you yelling at me as if I’ve done something wrong by wanting to marry the man I love? You told me it was over between the both of you and Ernest admitted the same. You even gave me your blessing after you started dating that guy…Osazuwa or whatever his name was. He loves me Cynthia and I’m going to marry him”
“Over my dead body, Tonia! Over my dead body! I might have been foolish enough to end things with him and perhaps had been most foolish for letting you fool around with him. But over my dead body will I allow you marry him”
“Watch me!” Tonia retorted and then stormed out of her house.
She dared me! Cynthia thought angrily as the memory began to fade off. For the past five years, she had watched in silence and played along. She had let them get married hoping that at someday, Ernest would finally realize that he had made a grave mistake.
Now that time has come. Cynthia decided.
Compared to her, Tonia was not even a match. She grinned as she glanced at her reflection in the mirror and took in her appearance of her perfectly slim features, heavily fitted boobs and thighs, round buttocks and straight legs. “What man can resist these?” She wondered as she threw on her dress and began to brush up her hair into her regular ponytail but just as she was about to step out of her room, her phone beeped. Reading the content of the message that was displayed on her phone, she smirked, and then sent back a reply.
“They say the patience dog eats the fattest bone” she muttered beneath her breath as she stepped out of her room and then shut the door.
“I’ve waited long enough”.
Esosa marched angrily into the famous and glamorous restaurant “Recipe”. The cabman had charged her more than the usual fare and she knew this because she had been there before. Yeah, with one of her numerous male friends Kunle who wanted to impress her. But now, here she was, in a fat body as totally someone else with not even a clue as to who she was there to see. She scanned the crowd ahead in hopes of getting some sort of inclination of who this Cynthia was.
Frustrated, she took an empty seat and waited.
“Tonia?” She felt a hand rest on her shoulder. Spinning around, she came face to face with a lady with a giant grin on her lips. Her hair was worn in ponytail and her eyes dimmed with a worried look but yet with an excitement. The lady looked classy and Esosa couldn’t help but wonder what relationship she was supposed to have with the lady.
Was this the Cynthia she was here to see?
“Why are you sitting here? I made a reservation at our usual table” Cynthia said calmly as she took a seat opposite her and rested her bag on the table. Esosa’s gaze fell on it and her mouth dropped opened in awe… ”Is that Gucci” her thought reeled away in admiration.
“Tonia? Is everything okay? Why are you staring at me like you haven’t seen me before?” Cynthia asked bemused at the expression on her friend’s face.
Esosa shook her head, reminding herself of the reason she was there instead of going to her own apartment. The sooner she figured what the hell is going on, why she was in someone else’s body and not hers, why she was being called by another name instead of hers, the sooner she would be back to her old life.
“Tonia, is it your husband? Is he at it again? Cynthia asked cutting into her thoughts with her gaze fixed on her.
“Huh? Husband? What husband?” Esosa asked bitterly confused. Is she supposed to be married now? With who?
“Yea, Ernest…Did he hit you again?” Cynthia asked with concern plastered all over her face but Esosa was lost. Ernest? Husband? She began to wonder if the mentioned Ernest wast the same man who spoke rudely to her that morning. In a twisted way, the meeting wasn’t going exactly the way she expected it, Esosa realized. She thought she was the one going to be asking the questions.
“Yea did he? Oh come on Tonia, tell me what’s going on? I’m your best friend remember?” Cynthia insisted impatiently. “Something is wrong, I can feel it”
Esosa shook her head in deep contemplation.
“Well I have a lot of questions I want to ask you” Esosa finally announced as she adjusted herself on the seat ignoring the weight that occupied the seat. She noticed as a flash of panic crossed Cynthia’s face because she had suddenly become tensed. Esosa smiled, convinced now that Cynthia must have known everything that was going on.
“Questions? What questions? Cynthia asked now avoiding the look of contempt on her face.
“Well let’s start with…who are you? And how did I end up in this body? Esosa voiced out. She could feel the anger elevating to the surface again for just asking that but knew if she wanted answers to her questions, she would have to play it cool but to her dismay, Cynthia roared out in laughter.
“Why are you laughing? I’m asking you a question and you’re laughing? How’s that even funny? Esosa asked totally pissed this time. The anger she had wanted to keep in check had torn off its lid and was now in full demo.
Still Cynthia laughed on and even harder. Esosa couldn’t take the embarrassment anymore, she rose to her feet and began to walk to the door. This was a waste of time, she decided.
“No, no, Tonia, don’t be mad” Cynthia called out after her, stopping her at the door. “I’m sorry…very sorry. I just wasn’t expecting you to ask me that…that’s all” Cynthia pleaded gesturing her back to their table.
“How do you mean? What kind of question did you think I was going to ask? I don’t know who you are and how I ended up being in this body and most of all, my name isn’t Tonia…My name is Esosa” Esosa lamented her voice filled with tears. She couldn’t believe this was happening to her. Somehow she wished she was still dreaming but with every scene that was playing in front of her, this wasn’t a dream. It was a nightmare!
“How do you mean that you don’t know me?” Cynthia asked with all trace of laughter gone now, replaced with that of utmost confusion. “You are kidding right?”
“No I am not. I woke up this morning in a different bed, different room, different house, in a different body and there was a rude man in front of me. Now I’m here with you. I want answers! What the hell is going on?” Esosa screamed in frustration.
Cynthia went silent as if in deep thought but when she eventually spoke she urged Tonia to go to the hospital, “Probably you are suffering from a mental breakdown dearie. You’ve been through a lot, losing a baby and your husband mistreating you. It’s been rough for you dear. So please go to the hospital ok?” Cynthia admonished her.
Esosa looked hard at Cynthia more awed than ever. Now a baby? what baby? Her thought clattered round her head and for the first time, the tears came rolling down. She had thought meeting Cynthia would help her unravel what was happening to her but it seemed that either Cynthia didn’t want to help her because she and this so called Tonia have both plotted to ruin her life or the woman standing in front of her with sad sympathetic eyes knew nothing about anything. But either ways, Esosa decided, she intended to find out what happened and fix it. She intended to get her life back.
Wiping the tears from her eyes, she thanked Cynthia for the suggestion and promised to do something about “her” condition. As she walked out of the glass door, she could have sworn seeing a relief look daubed on Cynthia’s face.