Emptiness and sadness were mostly what he felt these days. It was never in him to react the way he had in the past few months, but then no one could predict what a person could or couldn’t do when in dire need.
Daniel rubbed his forehead gently and stifled a yawn.
The apartment was empty and he missed Ulunma’s cries for attention and happiness. He missed her laughter and all her googly sounds. It had been more than two weeks since he last saw her but he called every once in a while to ask how she was. He been too consumed with his obsession for Adesewa.
This morning he was determined to drive over to his parents house to greet her. He would meet his mother at the gate of their house to drop some things off for Ulunma. His father had made it clear he didn’t want to see him until he got back together with Efe and Daniel wasn’t interested in giving his father his wish.
Daniel felt he was old enough to make his decisions without his father’s influence, and when he was settled he would take his daughter out of their house. If his father wanted to see his grand-daughter Daniel knew he would drop all his silly demands and come visit. All was just a matter of time. First of he needed to get his head straight and know what he wanted in his life.
Daniel made his way to the kitchen and hustled a breakfast of Fried egg with the agege bread he had bought earlier in the morning. There was nothing else at home so he would have to add a few groceries to his list while shopping for his daughter.
The drive to the grocery store took ten minutes and he purposed to spend even fewer time picking all that he needed.
“Hello. I knew I would see you again.”
Daniel spun around to see a pretty young woman with her hair packed smiling at him, despite the tired expression on her face.
He picked the sugar he wanted and dropped it in the shopping cart. “Hello. Have we met before?”
“Yes, we have. I gave you a tract sometime ago and invited you to church. Remember? Your little girl was taking some ice-cream at the time.”
“Oh! Yeah, I can. How are you doing? You doing evangelism today?” He asked they both walked down the aisle and he continued with his shopping.
She shook her head. “No. But then evangelism should be done everyday. I talk to people about Jesus whenever I have the opportunity to.” She wiped the trickles of sweat off her forehead still smiling at him.
Why is she sweating in this air-conditioned room?
“Are you okay?”
“Yes. Just did some exercise a while back. How’s your daughter?”
remind of your name again.”
She smiled. “Mitchel.” She stopped at the egg section and placed a pack of six eggs in her cart. “And I recall you said your name is Daniel.”
Daniel suddenly felt embarrassed that he had forgotten hers. She caught on to it and said, “It’s fine. I almost forgot… but then Holy Spirit reminded me. You know God loves you right?”
I used to know that… now I doubt it. Daniel asked, “How do you know He loves me? ‘Cause it’s written in the bible?”
“So how do you know?”
“Because He told me your name. It means He cares about you. It means He’s interested in you and He has great plans for you.”
Daniel couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m sorry. You know all these because He told you my name?”
She didn’t look offended. “No. I know because He told me.”
Daniel shook his head again. “Maybe we can continue this conversation some other time.”
“So you would come to my church this evening at 5? We’re having bible study for men and women and afterwards we can talk.”
The idea wasn’t so bad to him. It had been a long time since he had gone to his own church after they had suspended him from singing after finding out about his actions. Maybe going elsewhere would help him. Or maybe staying away from God is best…
“I would think about it. What’s the address of your church?”
She reached into her purse and got out a piece of paper and gave it him.
“Okay? Aren’t you going to write the address down?”
“I’ve already written it down. Like I said, I knew we would see. Have a great day and see you later on.”
She walked away from him and went straight to the cashier while Daniel was left staring at her and the paper. It would have been completely strange to him if he didn’t know God at all. But he knew and for a brief moment he wondered what was happening . . .
He tossed the files on the table and rubbed his eyes tiredly. The meeting with the various head of departments in the company, as well as with the MD, had taken longer than he had thought it would. They had argued over his decisions on the company’s end of the year party. It was apparent most people expected him to fail ‘cause of the little errors he had pointed out when they had planned the events themselves.
But then this year’s event was different.
This time around they were celebrating ten years anniversary of the company, so there were going to be a lot of dignitaries around. Hence the need to discuss his plans with his colleagues.
Amanze loosed his tie alittle and sat down on his chair. He had met a couple of event planners some time ago who, despite not being in the limelight, were great at their job and worked with some vendors that were equally good.
A knock om his door drew him out of his thoughts and he asked whoever it was to come in. A smile crept up on his face as soon as Efe walked in, looking good in a blue fitted gown. Lately, she had changed her wardrobe and was dressing more classier. He loved the change.
“Good evening sir,” She said.
“Efe, what’s up?”
“I just wanted to check up on you and ask if you’re okay. How was the meeting?”
“It was good. Have a seat.”
Efe moved towards his table and took the seat adjacent to him. Amanze could remember the two kisses he had stolen from her. It felt like an eternity now.
“It’s getting late. When are you heading home?”
“Very soon. Just wanted to check up on you first. You mentioned this was a big meeting for you.”
He nodded. “Yeah. It went well. Not fantastically well but it could have been better. I wish I could just go home to a wife and some home-cooked meal to lift my spirit.”
Efe kept quiet but looked away from him.
“When are you inviting me over for lunch?”
She looked back at him. “You want me to cook for you?”
“I would like to taste your cooking and maybe we can schedule a tourism of some sort. What do you say?”
Please say yes.
“I’ll think about it.”
“Okay. No pressure.”
She licked the ice-cream off her spoon and stared at the both of them and held back the need to laugh. Who knew two adults over their thirties could behave like babies? Ever since she got to Abuja two days ago, she could feel the tension between the both of them.
Tired of the whole thing, Adesewa uncrossed her legs and dropped her bowl of ice-cream on the table beside her and said, “You girls seriously need to patch things up or else this whole wedding process won’t be enjoyable for either one of us.”
“I beg to differ.” Zainab said nonchalantly.
Adesewa rolled her eyes.
“What? I already said there’s nothing wrong.” Zainab said and scratched her small afro.
“That’s a lie and we all know it.” Adesewa faced Audrey, “Babe what happened?”
Audrey turned to look at Zainab briefly and looked back at Adesewa. “Zainab is just being very annoying and bitchy. I don’t know if she’s been having her period for weeks or it’s just in her nature to be so.”
“Okay.” I think we all know that already. “What happened? What did she do?”
“I don’t know for her -”
“You need to mind your own business!” Zainab spat at her. “That’s the major problem I have with you, aproko!”
Audrey gasped. “Me! Aproko?”
Adesewa quickly stepped in before they began exchanging words the both of them would regret.
“Okay calm down and let’s go one after the other. Audrey keep talking.”
“There’s this babe that has offered countless times to help Zainab with the wedding preparations and miss high and mighty, I-don’t-need-nobody here is rejecting her offer. The was coming here almost every single day offering to help but Zainab was acting all snobby to her. So what’s my offence? I simply asked why she didn’t want her help, after-all this babe is a complete fashionista and so boxed-up she can handle the whole thing. Zainab just decided to treat me like shit just for asking!”
Zainab hissed. “You deserved it.”
Adesewa held up her hand. “Don’t say that. Besides, it’s not your turn to speak.”
“Like seriously I don’t have time for this rubbish.” She made to stand up but a hard stare from Adesewa made her change her mind, though grudgingly.
“Audrey are you done?”
She nodded and flipped her hair backwards and crossed her arms.
“Okay who’s this babe Audrey is talking about Zee?”
Zainab shrugged her slim shoulders. “No one.”
Adesewa was getting frustrated. “Zee nau. . .”
Adesewa’s face contorted into a frown. “Sonia? Sonia Blaq?”
“The same one.”
“Oh . . .”
Audrey looked confused but then understanding dawned on her. “Oh wow. I’m the only one left out of the loop. Fantastic!”
“I’m sorry Audrey. I’m sure Zainab would tell you when she’s ready. The memories are a little too painful for her.”
Audrey got up and wore her slippers. “Whatever. You know the way the both of you behave one would think you guys are lesbians or something. When you guys are ready to leave let me know.” With that she walked out on them, obviously wanting to give them privacy.
“Zee, does IK know?”
“No. I don’t plan on telling him.”
“Ahan. .. you have to. Wouldn’t you want to know such information if it were you?”
“No. Please drop the matter. I’ve told her I’m not interested and she keeps coming to me. If ever thinks of telling IK then she would regret it. I’m not one to be blackmailed. I’m not a child she can pushover. Enough is enough. Back then I was stupid. We had fun even in our university days but I did it ’cause I felt empty.”
“So the emptiness is gone?”
She smiled. “No, I found better things to fill it. Drugs, men. They are better options than sleeping with a woman. The thought freaks me out now.”
Adesewa sighed. How could she ever explain to her best-friend that nothing but Jesus could take away that emptiness?
Efe rinsed her hands and dried them on her jeans trousers and breathed out. The stew was almost done. The vegetable had long been ready, what was left was the poundo yam.
She would do that when Amanze came over. Till that moment she couldn’t believe she had invited him over for lunch. She wished she could call and call off the whole thing but then what excuse would she give him? And would he even buy it?
Over the past few weeks her relationship with Amanze had moved unto a comfortable friendship. Pamela had noticed this. At first, she had expressed her shock at it and assumed there was something more between them. But Efe had quickly dispelled her assumptions and made her know nothing was going on between them and nothing may ever happen.
“You have a nice place here. You and Pamela live together? ”
Efe nodded as she kept the bottle of water on the table and moved to dishing out their food.
“Without even tasting it I can tell it’s delicious.”
Efe chuckled. “Just because of the smell?” She shook her head. “Don’t deceive yourself.”
“I don’t think – infact, I don’t believe anything bad can come from you.”
“I’m not God.”
“But aren’t we His children?”
Efe settled down on her seat once she was done serving. “Could you please pray for us.”
He said a prayer and they dug into their food. Amanze kept complimenting her on her culinary skills. Efe couldn’t deny that she loved the attention she was now getting.
“So tell me about your daughter. Eluwa?”
“Yes. She’s beautiful. She’s the best present I’ve ever gotten. She’s my little princess.” Efe felt tears creep up in her eyes. “I miss her.”
“When was the last time you heard from her?”
“Yesterday. She’s with my er – mother-in-law. Her father is too incompetent to take care of her.” She was surprised at the bitterness in her voice but then it was warranted. How could he abandon their daughter?
Amanze reached out his hand and held Efe’s. “It’s all going to be fine dear. You’ll see. You would get your daughter back.”
Efe smiled and gently removed her hand from his to still her heart and the tingling sensation she felt from his touch.
God, am I falling in love with Amanze?
Happy new month and independence!
The story continues next week. Hope you enjoyed it. Please drop your comments and don’t forget to share! Thank you. 🙂