Deola sat on the toilet seat in her bathroom and cried. Her tears weren’t coming down in torrents but her heart was breaking. She dabbed at her eyes with some tissue and struggled to find Teni’s number. It rang out the first time she dialed it and she tried a second time. Then a third and finally, Teni picked. She sounded like she’d just woken up from sleep
“Madam, how far?”
Deola pulled herself together so she could be coherent
“Morning sis, did I wake you up?”
She heard the mild irritation in Teni’s voice as she replied
“It’s past 6am on a Saturday morning. What do you think?”
“Wait, are you crying? What’s the matter?”
Deola burst into fresh tears even as she tried to keep her voice down. She heard Teni sit up and imagined the worried expression on her sister’s face.
“Dee, talk to me! What happened? Is Deji okay? Are the kids alright?”
“Sister mi, Deji is cheating on me. Deji… Deji… He’s seeing… He’s seeing another woman.”
“Ah! Sister mi. You said it o! These men! They can’t be trusted. After two kids! Ah!”
Teni’s voice was rather stern.
“Stop being dramatic Deola! Pull yourself together and tell me what happened.”
Deola sniffed and wiped her nose with the back of her hand.
“I saw text messages, love notes he’s been writing, funny lunch and dinner meetings…”
She hiccupped and continued
“I used to know everything about his schedule. What he did, where he went, who he met, these days, I know nothing. He just keeps hiding things from me.”
“I thought I told you never to go through your husband’s phone-”
“Sis, I don’t need scolding now o. I’m telling you Deji is cheating and you’re scolding me.”
“I need you to calm down. I’m only trying to help. Where are you sef?”
“I’m in the bathroom. He went jogging and he took his phone with him.”
“Alright. Calm down, clean your face and stop crying. My brain isn’t booting properly now coz I’m not yet fully awake. I’ll call you back within the hour. Prepare him breakfast and go about your normal activities. We’ll talk soon.”
“Alright. I’ll be expecting your call.”
Yeah. Just chill. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s not that bad. Don’t give yourself BP for nothing.”
“Hmmn. Okay o. Bye bye.”
Deola hung up and rinsed her face. She was already having a headache. She desperately hoped that Teni was right and that she was wrong but the evidence that presented itself in her face was overwhelming.
She walked out of the bathroom back into her bedroom to begin her weekend cleaning. She had a lot to do that Saturday so it was best she got to an early start. Clothes were littered all over the place. She sighed and went about cleaning up.
Deji returned at 7am and met her by the washing machine. He smiled and pecked her on the cheek but she instinctively recoiled. She knew she shouldn’t have. After all, Teni had told her to act normal but she just couldn’t help it. Deji looked surprised
“Ahan. Am I smelling that bad? It’s just sweat o.”He smiled and pulled her cheek. She smiled back but it was a fake smile. Deji shook his head and walked away.
“I’m going to have a bath.”
She turned her attention back to the machine and continued what she was doing.
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Benjamin woke up Satrday morning really cranky. Who was the young man Teni had gone to see the previous night? And why had she not mentioned him before? Teni had gotten to the core of his being in so short a time and he was not willing to share her with anyone. He remembered the Sunday they finally had lunch together. He had gone all out to impress and he was sure she had been impressed. He cooked and served her a proper three course meal that left her dizzy after the experience.
For starters, he had made Tom Yom, a Thai pepper soup, then his main course was Spaghetti with mixed vegetable sauce and tomato sauce with a side of fish. For dessert, he served her ice cream he bought from shoprite. He could tell she was greatly impressed with his culinary skills.
She asked where he learnt to cook like that and he just smiled. Having a chef for a mother had its many advantages. Food had always interested him while he was growing up so it was no surprise that he turned out a great cook. She asked why he did not take it up career-wise and he laughed. Business interested him more than food.
They talked on and on, late into the night. She had been at his place since 1pm. It was almost 9pm when she finally got up to leave. She praised his cooking again before leaving and this time, when he asked to see her again, she did not hesitate. They agreed to see a movie sometime during the week.
They had seen a movie, then they had gone swimming, then she had accompanied him to a friend’s birthday party. He concluded in his mind that they were already a couple. They spoke every day and he was totally taken by her. So who was this old friend and why did the very idea of the guy make him uncomfortable?
He paced about his room for a few minutes. Teni had not called back like she said she would. Her text had even irritated him. He looked around for his phone, deciding to give her another call. It was 7am. Too early. He would call her later. Meantime, he needed to occupy himself. He went into the bathroom, brushed his teeth and went to the kitchen to figure out what he would have for breakfast.
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“What’s the matter?”
Teni turned and smiled at Kachi. She was sure her phone conversation with Deola had woken him up. She was still seated on the bed, staring at her phone, trying to figure out what to do when he sat up and placed his arms around her. He kissed her on the cheek and asked what was wrong.
“It’s Deola. She thinks her husband is cheating on her.”
Kachi rubbed her arm
“Oh wow. That’s pretty bad. How is she?”
“She was crying like a baby. I don’t even know. She said something about evidence and what not. Somehow, I find it hard to believe that Deji would cheat on her.”
Kachi laughed and got off the bed.
“I need to ease myself.”
He went to the bathroom, did his business and returned.
“Interesting that you won’t believe your sister about her husband cheating, yet you’d readily accept a stranger’s story of my evil deeds.”
“Don’t be like that jor. You, you’ve always had madness in your veins so I can expect just about anything plus you were pretty shifty sef when I first asked you. But Deji is different. Calm, easy-going, unassuming, boring, you know? The kind of guy that would do the same thing over and again. His life is always routine. He is not the kinda guy to cheat. It’s why I’m finding this hard to believe.”
Kachi climbed back into bed and lay down. He crossed his legs and folded both arms lazily behind him.
“The ones that seem boring and routine are the ones you should be suspicious of. Because they’re so good, you’d never expect them to go bad-”
He stifled a yawn then continued.
“What kind of evidence does she have?”
“Text messages, love notes, mysterious lunches and dinners…”
“Ahan. What other proof do you need?
If he’s having mysterious lunches and dinners and she saw love notes and text messages, what else is there again na?”
“I dunno. Maybe I’m just in denial. I’d hate to see her get hurt.”
“Tee, you can’t protect her from hurt. She’s a grown woman. She’s married with children. You’re her big sister, yes, but you cannot protect her. Let her hurt and get over it. She’ll be fine.”