By Tomi Adesina
“I would like to welcome you all to the coming out event of my second daughter.” Dad started. “For 24 year, Darlene Williams has been the only recognized daughter I have to the spotlight, but now, I would love to introduce my younger daughter, Dora Williams.”
The crowd cheered as Dora stepped out. She was accompanied to the mini podium by her mother. Dora wore a black velvet evening gown, she had her hair beautifully styled and she was looking more radiant than ever. I cheered as she stepped forward. She smiled at me. The paparazzi did what they were known for; they started taking her pictures with Dad. I maintained a heavy smile as I feared that if a frown was spotted, I would be tagged as the ‘unhappy step sister’ in the morning tabloids. Especially now that Millaroca was at the event, you don’t to be dubbed twice by those guys. I had my first wash when I appeared like a clown at fifteen.
“Before we go further, I would love to acknowledge the presence of Dora’s mother, Dami Oluwole.” Dad introduced. She received applauds from some people and I could hear some indistinct chatters from the crowd. ‘I hear she was a prostitute’ ‘yeah, I heard that story too.’ ‘It only means that he was unfaithful to Danielle.’ ‘I think it was after her death.’ Okay! I had heard enough from the crowd about my sister’s mother and probably my step mother, if my guess about Dad was right. I stepped away from the pool side where the party was being held to get a glass of champagne.
“You look beautiful tonight.”
I turned swiftly to see Wole Shodipo standing behind me. “Thank you. Wole Shodipo, right?”
“Yes, I am.” He replied, adjusting his tie. “So how does it feel not to be an only child anymore?” he asked, smiling.
I smiled, trying to hide my anger. Anything that would pull the press had to be avoided including Wole Shodipo. “Where’s Wura?”
“She’s somewhere around the corner with her husband.”
“Wura is married?”
He nodded in agreement. “Yes, and to a loser for that matter. I hate the guy; I guess you know him,” he said rubbing his beards. “Dotun Davis from high school?”
I almost dropped my glass. “Dotun?” Dotun Davis never told me he was married, well I never asked. “Why do you hate him?”
“Nothing in particular, the guy has always been a fool. First, he drooled over you in silence at high school and later, he was kicking it with my sister after she left Jacob.” He said and paused. I could guess he was about to mention Jake. “Where’s Jacob? I guess you guys are still fooling yourselves about being best friends. Better get real.” He said and gulped his drink.
I swallowed hard. “Wole, Jake and I are friends like we have always been.”
“And I bet you fools are still single.”
I frowned. “Wole, we are not fools. We are friends and that is it.”
“Don’t get worked up beautiful, your being single is good news for me.” He sighed and continued. “Where is Jake? I haven’t seen that loser around.”
I clenched my teeth. “Jacob isn’t a loser!”
“Did somebody mention my name?” Jake asked as he joined us smiling.
Wole smiled and stretched out his hand. “Hey man. You are still alive.”
“I’ll survive.” Jake replied and shook his hand firmly.
Wole was the first to withdraw from the handshake. “There was a lot of tension in your hand man. How is Jane?”
“She is doing fine.”
Wole and Jake seemed to be engaging themselves in some cheap discussion so I set out to find Wura and Dotun. Well as they say, a bundle of joy is a bundle is joy. Things change a lot after high school, especially when you don’t see some friends until later. I didn’t meet Wura and Dotun alone, they were with a baby. That makes the bundle of joy!
“Hi Dotun.” I said with a sly grin
He smiled. “Hi Darlene, erm…meet my wife, Wura.”
“Hi Wura Shodipo, oh, Wura Davis.” I said, almost mockingly.
She smiled. “I know you are not happy to see me here. But it’s okay; your dad said its fine. Meet my daughter, Temi Davis.” I bent over and touched the baby’s cheek. It brought back a lot of memories. I thought of my childhood and being without a mother for the larger part of it and about Dare losing his child due to his irresponsibility.
“Be a good mother, oh, I mean be good parents.” I said and walked away.
Dotun chased behind. He pulled my hand. “Darlene, I should have told you about Wura and I. I am sorry.”
“Why are you sorry? I never asked. And it doesn’t matter, does it?” I asked. Dotun wore a tensed look. “Never mind, Have yourself a good evening. I have to meet up with my family.”
I joined the rest of the audience at the pool. “Special recognition to my daughter and pride, Darlene Williams.” I raised my glass in acknowledgement and joined them for a group photograph. I didn’t join in the photo session for long as I went over to Toni and Gideon.
“So Dare managed to man up to you, I think he has finally done what a man should do.” Toni started.
Gideon nodded in agreement. “I think it’s time you ‘woman up’ to him and both of you should end this suspense. Or isn’t it getting too boring for you both?” he asked.
I laughed. “I have no idea of what you are saying Gideon”
“Sure you do baby. You are just trying to hide it.” He added, as he sipped his drink. “Been long since I experienced a normal gathering apart from being with the boys, so glad to be here.”
I could understand Gideon’s joy. It took me back to when I was done with law school and Dad had a party thrown in my honor. I had been watched by Dad’s protocol to ensure I worked hard and got s first class honors. I had to maintain the family’s standards.
“It’s always been a first class honors for the Williams” Dad had said. “Thanks for keeping the lineage intact.” He added patting me on the back at my convocation ceremony.
Jake was the only friend I had at Harvard. People were too scared to come around. Dad made me untouchable. My thoughts were interrupted as Gideon continued.
“You should search your heart more honey, I really don’t know if Dare is the perfect guy for you, as there’s no such thing as perfect for me, but I believe you guys will do fine.”
I nodded, not in agreement, but because I was tired of the ‘Dare sermon’. I needed a break from myself. I looked round and saw Kolapo drinking alone so I went over to him.
“Hi KP, are you having a good evening?”
He smiled faintly. “Not really. Can you believe that Dora hasn’t said a word to me all night?”
“Why is that? Are you guys having problems?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know, she’s been distant of late. I guess her job has her attention. It’s been a while since we had a decent conversation.”
“Have you guys tried talking?”
He shook his head. “She won’t talk. She’s always too busy to talk. I am frustrated.” He said, drinking his whisky.
Dora was committing a crime. She was neglecting KP for Jake, and things were going to get worse if I didn’t step in. Jake joined us almost immediately.
“KP, are you acting the lonely boy script tonight?” he asked, patting KP’s back.
KP smiled faintly. “What can a man do? His woman is busy with the spotlight and when she isn’t busy with the spotlight, she’s busy with her job.”
“Man, she just changed jobs; you just have to grab her fast.” Jake replied, reaching for a glass of champagne from the waiter.
KP laughed. “You are doing that well, aren’t you?”
“What are you saying, KP?” Jake asked, sipping his drink.
KP hissed. “Don’t pretend with me man, Dora is all drawn to you of late, have you guys started sleeping together?”
“You are drunk, you need to go home.” Jake said, dropping the glass.
Honestly, I wanted to hear the truth but I wouldn’t have Dora’s party ruined by two guys, so I did what a big sister would do, STEP IN! “Cool it guys, KP, let’s get some air.”
“You are not going anywhere with him.” Jake said, pulling my hand.
I yanked my hand from him. “Jacob, let me handle this.”
“KP is just drunk, let him clear his head, but not with you.”
KP threw his whisky can to the floor. “Then let’s settle it Jake.”
“Okay Jacob, I don’t want a scene. KP, please let’s go.” I said, pulling KP out of the party. Jake followed us. We stepped out of the house and walked down the estate.
KP stopped abruptly and tried to hit Jake but stuttered to the floor. He was dead drunk. “Darlene, just go in. I will handle this.” Jake said.
“What are you going to fix, Jacob?” I flashed angrily at him.
Jake sighed. “You can’t fix everything Darlene, your life is a mess too. This is a guy who thinks I am going out with his girlfriend.”
“Are you not?” I asked dumbly.
“DARLENE??? Even if you don’t trust me, what about Dora?” he said with a tone of anger in his voice. “Dora and I are just friends, just like you and I.”
KP sprawled out on the floor. I turned round to see some pressmen gathering. “Pressmen! Jake, do something.”
Jake joined KP on the floor and I brought out my digital camera from my purse and started a joke.
“You guys look so cute, don’t you?”I said. Jake laughed and tickled KP a bit.
The pressmen around joined in the foolish joke. “Is this a surprise for Dora?” one of them asked me.
“Of course, we are trying to make a fun video so she can remember today.” I replied, laughing.
He sighed. “If this video gets on YouTube, you guys are gonna go rated, because these are top socialites sprawling on the floor in the estate.”
“We would do anything for love, won’t we?” I asked Jake and KP.
“Yeah, we would.” They both replied.
We dismissed the pressmen almost immediately and Jake helped KP into his car. “I will take him home, if Dora asks, he’s at my place.”
“Don’t beat him Jake.” I said smiling.
Jake smiled faintly. “We are good. I am not sleeping with Dora, Darlene.”
I sighed and nodded. “It’s okay; you don’t have to explain this to me. You are an adult.”
“Darlene…erm…even I was, are you jealous?” he asked.
I coughed slightly and said. “Why should I be? It’s not like we are more than friends.”
“I understand.” He replied, and drove off.
…to be continued