Dapo sat down on the couch in his living room with the sound system on full blast. Funny as it may seem, it always helped himto think better. His thoughts went back to Kike, and he couldn’t believe that it had been nine years since she disappeared. He had initially spent about three years trying to track her down, especially considering the fact that she was meant to have been carrying his child at the time, but his effort was to no avail.
Before the argument they had in his car, they were originally meant to meet in London, but she never showed up. He would walk around places tourists liked to hang out; major stores; parks, even clubs at night, but he guessed she probably decided not to come over again.
He got back to Nigeria and continued his search. He would always drive by her house every night; even though they had informed him that she was not in the country. After three years of an obsessive search, he decided to move on. Then he traveled back to London and just kept a low profile; not really doing anything with his life. The thought that he may have a child in some part of the world, with a girl he loved disturbed him. He would have nightmares and wake up in cold sweat. His life continued in a reckless abandon, living everyday with no enthusiast, and making no plans for the future, until he finally returned to Nigeria about 2 years ago and met his wife.
His thoughts came back to the present as she walked into the room. She held him from behind and planted a kiss on his neck. She said she wanted to get something from the store. He volunteered to go with her, but she said she wouldn’t be long. He turned around and kissed her, and she walked off.
‘What happened in the past should stay in the past’, he thought to himself. And he promised himself not to ever bring up thoughts of his old girlfriend again.
He turned off the hi-fi system, and turned on the television. There was news about the lady speaker of the House of Assembly who had embezzled hundreds of millions of Naira. Dapo thought it was because of stories like this that he never really followed Nigerian politics; it was all dirty crooked people trying to stuff their pockets with public funds. Nigeria had a problem of inequitable distribution of wealth, which is why the margin between the rich and the poor kept getting wider. You would find all the latest luxury cars in Nigeria immediately they hit the market; the Range Rovers; the Bentleys; Rolls Royces Phantom; Maybachs; and in the midst of all that, there were plenty that couldn’t afford the basic necessities of life; food, shelter and clothing. That is so sad for a country with all the potentials to be in the top 10 list of the most economically stable countries in the world.
Since Lola informed him last week that she was pregnant, he had been thinking differently. He knew he had to start preparing for the kid, and the responsibilities thatwould come with it. He heard the door open and she shouted out that she was back. He heard some sounds in the kitchen, and guessed she was making food. It was a Saturday afternoon, and he thought of going out, maybe he would just ask Lola if she would like to go out for an early dinner or something. His watch said 5p.m; they could be ready in about 45 minutes. He got off the couch and headed for the kitchen. She was using the dish washer, her back to the door, and he tip-toed till he got inches behind her. He just stood there and took in the scent coming from her body; she sensed his presence and turned around. Lola stood on her tip toes to kiss him, and then pushed him away with her left hand. “I got to get dinner ready.” She said, getting the dishes out of the machine.
“Forget that, let’s go out. You need a treat. I want to take you to this new restaurant…”
“Oh, honey, I already made plans for dinner.” She said and walked up to him to put her arms around his neck.
“You haven’t started cooking, have you? Let’s just do something different today.” He said and she just stared at him, then a smile slowly formed at the end of her lips.
“That’s not a bad idea.”
“Good; now run off and change.” He said and slapped her butt as she walked away. He went out to check out the car, and he bumped into Florence, their neighbor’s daughter. She greeted him shyly and walked off. Lola always teased that the girl had a crush on him; the idea of that was really funny to him.
He turned the rear view mirror to an angle so that he could see his wife, and he smiled. There was no baby bump yet, and no one even knew she was pregnant. She had on a red satin gown that stuck to her skin, just the way she knew that Dapo liked her. His mind started wondering, and he was thinking of how she would be in about 6 months time, and the smile started clearing off his face, then he looked at her again, and he was overwhelmed with joy. He turned to the side and kissed her as she settled down in the front passengers’ seat. “We need to have as much fun as we can before the baby comes.”
“Hey, you make it seem like the baby is going to be a distraction.” Lola said.
“The baby is going to be a distraction, let’s be honest. That aside, I just thought we should spend some quality time together.”
“Aww, that is so sweet.” She said and planted a kiss on his cheek.
Dapo stepped out the car and watched the meter run as the attendant sold the fuel. He had heard a lot of stories of people getting ripped off, and not getting the amount of fuel they paid for, so he watched with rapt attention. He got distracted as Lola got out of the car. She came to stand in front of him, with a smile on her face, and blocked off his vision. He wanted to push her aside, but he just stood there, trying to figure out what she had in mind. “What’s up?” He said, and the smile on her face got wider.
“Nothing, just felt like checking out my husband.”
“Very funny, but seriously, why did you get out of the car.”
“As I said, I just came to check out…” She didn’t finish her sentence, as she stood on her toes and planted a kiss on his lips. She pulled back, looked at him and laughed at how embarrassed he felt, then she went in again, and tongue kissed him. The attendant that was filling up the car stared at them in disbelief. Just then, Lola pulled away and looked into Dapo’s eyes. “I will always love you baby.” She said to Dapo, who was still in awe and didn’t notice that the attendant was through with the re-fill.
The honking of horn from the car behind them got his attention, and he raised his hand in apology. Lola tapped his butt as she made her way over to her side of the car, and he lost concentration, and had to start counting the money all of over again. The driver of the black C-Class Mercedes Benz honked his horn a few more times, but Dapo ignored him as he got into the car.
“What was that for?” He asked Lola with a smile on his face as he got into the car. She smiled and told him that she just felt like doing something daring for once, and that she felt good after doing it. He laughed and said he didn’t believe she couldpull that off in public. Then as he was getting ready to drive off, the man from the car behind came to the driver’s side of the car and started shouting at Dapo for wasting his time.
“Hey, relax; I was just on my way.” Dapo said with a little laugh. The laugh wasn’t meant to be offensive, just a laugh to ease off tension, but the man took it otherwise, and mumbled some curse words as he made his way back. He was half way to his car when Dapo hit him with a blow from behind. A shove came after the blow, and caused the man to stagger backwards. Lola was beside Dapo in seconds. “I’m very sorry sir, my husband…” Lola was saying, as she pulled Dapo back. The man just held his left cheek and stared at Dapo in disbelief. Dapo was hyper-ventilating, and couldn’t say anything. Another man came out of the car, in a hurry to get to the man that was hit. He tapped the man, motioned him towards the direction of the Mercedes, where a hand was waving him over. He looked at Dapo one last time before he reluctantly walked off.
Dapo got into the car, and before he could move out of the way for the car behind him to get fuel, they drove out of the gas station. Dapo and Lola silently stared at the car as it made its way out of the station, slowly.
To be continued