Underlying Love – Episode 2
By Kayode Odusanya
Modupe had been trying to hook Stephen up with a friend of hers for a while now, but he wasn’t ready to give up his single status. They were back at it again; Stephen giving reasons why he didn’t want a girlfriend right now, and Modupe stating all the reasons why it would be great move for him.
Stephen had finished his food, but was munching on the extra chicken wings that she had dropped in his plate. The bottle of water on the table was ice cold and every once in a while, Modupe would have to mop up small puddles of water from the table as a result of the ice flakes on the bottle dissolving. She went off to the kitchen to squeeze the napkin in the sink, and as she walked back she asked Stephen, “When was the last time you had sex?”
“My goodness.” Stephen said out loud and nearly choked on the chicken he was eating. He coughed a few times and took a sip from his glass of water before adding, “What sort of question is that?”
“And I am not talking of when you…”
“Okay! Okay! I get you. You don’t have to spell it all out.” He said and looked at her for a few seconds with a frown on his face before adding, “You are now a bad girl.”
“I knew I would get your attention with that.” She said between laughs. When he didn’t say anything for a while, she continued with, “I know this is new territory for you, but you can’t tell how it would turn out if you don’t try.”
“I understand you. But it is the time. I don’t have time.”
“She’s a busy lady too; you guys will work out ways to see when you are both free.”
“So…I will have to take her out, buy her stuff and all that, right?”
“What is wrong with that?”
“I don’t have money like that.”
“That’s always your excuse.”
“But it’s true.”
“Stephen, you earn $2, 000 from your book sales monthly.”
“What!!? How did you know that?” He said, wide eyed as he stared at her.
“So, it’s true?” It was her turn to be shocked now. “That’s like 750,000 Naira. That’s 250,000 Naira more than Jack earns and we are married.”
He looked into space, and searched his mind for his next line of defense, but he couldn’t come up with any. How roles have reversed, he thought to himself. He remembered that day in 1997 when a little preteen girl was brought to him for care. It was odd for a girl to have a school father, but she was a transfer student from another Federal Government secondary school, and his Literature teacher at the time had wanted him to help out with her academics as she was finding it hard to adjust.
He was in Senior Secondary School 2, had just been elected the acting dining hall prefect and the Senior Secondary School 3 students had a few months to go before graduating. With his new level of authority, he made sure she was taken care of when it came to food, and also brushed her up academically. He became a friend of the family after she did really well in her Junior Secondary School 2 third term exams, and her parents were really grateful for what he had done in her life.
He graduated secondary school, lost touch with her for many years till one day a few years ago when he got a friend request from her. It was really odd at first, being that she was now all grown up, and he had known her as a girl, but with time, their friendship grew.
He looked up at her; smiled and shook his head as he said, “Okay. I’ll do it.”
Stephen was trying to do some writing on his new phone, and when the words weren’t flowing as he wished, he dropped the phone on the table and looked into space. He felt like a kid again sitting in the Chicken Republic fast food joint waiting for Adunni to show up. ‘Relax.’ He heard Modupe’s voice in his head. That was the last thing she had told him during their phone conversation earlier that day. He checked his black Casio digital watch again, and he noticed just 2 minutes had passed since he last checked. He chuckled and slouched in his seat. Then he remembered where he was and sat up.
He had on his favorite dark blue lumberjack shirt, with brown khakis and blue ankle length converse all stars sneakers. His shirt sleeves were rolled up two folds. He thought about dressing corporate, but that wouldn’t be him, and that would make him self conscious, which would then make him nervous.
There were just three rows in the place, and he was at the table closest to the counter, in the middle row. The place was all white, with red chicken head logo here and there on the wall. Apart from Stephen, there were four other customers in the place. Modupe had suggested the place to him as she said it was rarely crowded and would be great for a first meeting with Adunni.
He took a deep breath and leaned back in his seat. The visuals for the new Davido song with Rae Sremmurd and Young Thug was playing on the big screen TV to his left, and he shifted his focus to that. He liked the fact that Davido sang his part in a mix of Nigerian broken English and Yoruba language instead of trying to sound foreign. Exporting the Nigerian culture to the western world was something Stephen was big on, and a smile appeared on his face watching the young Nigerian musician do just that.
The smile was still on his face when the video ended and he shifted his attention to the entrance again. Walking towards him was a curvy girl wearing a black low plunging v-neck blouse, and a black mini skirt. Her skin tone was caramel. She reminded him of Tyra Banks, but a shorter version. Her shoes made a click clacking sound as she approached him, and the look on her face held Stephen spellbound. There is something sexy about a girl with a poker face.
When she was a few feet away from him, she smiled, and it accentuated her beauty even more.
“Hello.” Stephen said and as he stood up to give her a hug. The sweet smell of her perfume filled the air around him.
“Sorry i am a bit late.” She said as she sat opposite him at the table and gently placed her bag on the floor. “I had to drop something off for my mom.” She added. Her words were pouring out of her mouth in slow motion, like how girls in erotic movies talk when they are about to get the business.
“It’s okay.” He said, looking at her and trying to read her mind. She wore her hair in a bun, and Stephen found her sideburns sexy.
“Okay. Does that mean if i would have come on time, i would have had to wait for you?” She said.
“No. I actually…I just said that cos…” Stephen stuttered.
“It’s alright.” She said and smiled. ” I was just kidding.” She added.
He smiled back at her, and at that moment, even though they hadn’t spoken much, he could feel the chemistry. He knew this was the beginning of something great.
To be continued