Days after I arrived Nigeria, I had met with more people. Even distanced relatives came to greet me. Ayokanmi proposed to go on a date when I was less busy and I agreed. I saw it as reuniting with an old friend.
Ayokanmi was impossible to miss. I had caught a glimpse of her as soon as I drove into ‘Eko hotels and suites’. Her blonde hair was tied at the back of her head and her bright adventurous spirit was still the same as it had always been during the University days. The moment her eyes landed on me, a smile bloomed on my lips, watching as she easily weaved towards me.
“Heyy! What’s up baby” I said excitedly, wrapping my arms around my best friend once she was within my reach. There was a clunck as her hand bag dropped to the floor beside us.
“I’m fine…. I can’t believe you’re finally here in Nigeria Timmy.” She replied as she pulled slightly with a smile that matched mine on her lips.
“You took too long” there was barely time for my agreement to be heard before she continued “let’s go sit over there” Ayokanmi pointed at a vacant seat.
“So how’s life without me?” Ayokanmi asked sighing happily.
Although my happiness diminished slightly thinking about the honest answer to give her. I couldn’t help but push my feelings aside seeing her eyes blinking with curiosity.
“Life’s been good” i replied “though nothing has really changed much since we part ways after convocation.”
“What the f**k are you talking about Timmy?” Ayokanmi asked in a confused tone to her words. “Everything’s changed. You’ve got a new apartment at Victoria Island, a new job, a new car, you use the latest iPhone, you’re now married with a bouncing baby girl. What else could anyone ask for?”
“But I’m not married yet. I’m still the same me.” I replied timidly.
“How about your wife?” Ayokanmi asked in a soft tone
“She left me” i replied with a smile returning to my lips. We were interrupted by a security guard.
“Assalaamu alaykum sir. Are you the owner of the black Lexus RrX-350 Jeep with plate number KJA-40AA?” A security guard asked in a fluent English language.
“Yes, It’s my car. What’s the problem?” I answered.
“You parked in the space reserved for the Manager sir.” He added.
The two of us apologized profusely as the security guard left for his post. I went to park my car properly then I realized the club wasn’t the best place to catch up. I proposed we go to my apartment to finish our discussion so that she’ll get to meet my mother and my daughter again.
“I can’t wait to see your cute, little baby girl.” Ayokanmi said as we head out of Eko hotels and suites.
At the mention of my daughter, Iremide, a sheepish expression overtook my features, knowing that I couldn’t keep the news about my fiancee, Faridah to myself for much longer.
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Ayokanmi turned her gaze towards me with a raised eyebrow. She pulled me to a stop.
“What do you mean by her father threatened to get rid of you?”
“Well, you see……” I started faking a laugh to try and lighten the gist. “Her father actually sent for me when I was in France and he said that he wanted to his daughter to marry his business partner’s son and uhm…”
I watched as Ayokanmi’s expression shifted to one unreadable expression. I gulped and continued. “I don’t know what my tomorrow holds with Faridah…. I honestly don’t know”
“So what do you wanna do about it? Will you take Mr Pedro’s contract and get married to someone else?”
“No!” I was quick to reply
“Great!” I heard her muttered under her breath, a definitive sigh to her words as she crossed her arms across her chests.
“Are you now married?” I asked nervously nodding my head slowly.
“No, I am not married yet.” Ayokanmi replied.