Underlying Love – Episode 3
By Kayode Odusanya
They had been on the way to the cinema when Adunni got a call from her flat-mate that a technician from the satellite TV Company had come to check out their faulty decoder. There was no one to let him in, and Stephen had to turn around. They hadn’t gone too far anyway, so it wasn’t so much of a problem. Now he was waiting in the car, checking his reflection in the rear-view mirror every minute. It was his first time wearing the particular white polo top he had on, and he felt so self conscious in it.
A lot had changed in his life since he met her a few weeks ago. He had gotten a new haircut, bought some new clothes, bought new perfumes. He had even taken his Camry to the carwash instead of the fifteen minutes wash he usually gave it every time he had to go out. It took a lot of his time to do all that, but he felt it was all worth it. Every minute he spent with her was like heaven on earth; even just having her sit beside him in the car without speaking made him feel good. No girl had ever had that effect on him before, and in such a short time. It was just two weeks since their first date, but they had gone on five dates between that time and now.
His phone beeped in his pocket, and he pulled it out to notice a Whatsapp Message from Modupe asking him if everything was going fine. He was about to reply her when he heard Adunni’s house gate open. He looked up and saw her approaching the car. She lived in a cul-de-sac, and her house was the one directly ahead once you drive into the close. She looks so gorgeous in the yellow mini gown, he thought to himself. “Umm! Maybe you should come in for a minute; the guy might take longer than I thought.” She said, standing by the driver side door. He hesitated for a second, thinking of something to say then he shrugged and turned the key in the ignition so he could wind up the car windows.
“Sorry.” She said and hit him with her shoulder when he came out of the car. She was wearing heals and was about the same height with Stephen standing next to him.
“It’s okay.” He said and put his arm around her waist as they walked to the house. It was an instinctive move and he was about to slowly remove it when she put her fingers in the space between his fingers.
He saw her white Corolla parked behind a grey Nissan Pathfinder as they walked into the building. Heavy breathing from a dog caught his ear, and he almost jumped when he looked to his left and saw a large sized bull-mastiff. “Bella, sit!” She said out loud and it responded accordingly. She looked at him and smiled. “You are scared of dogs?” She asked.
“No. But I guess I was caught off-guard .”
Her flat was at the back, and he stole a few back glances at the dog before they entered the apartment. Inside the living room was neatly arranged, except for the little mess the satellite TV guy had done by the TV. He greeted Stephen with a head nod and continued with his work. “I’ll be right back.” She said and disappeared into a room. He sat on the long black leather couch that faced the TV and looked around the place. Two one-seater couches flanked him to the left and right. The walls were painted in white, and most of the furniture was black. For some reason, he thought of chess.
A few minutes later, the guy called out to her, and she came out to check the work he had done. She flipped through a few channels, and then disappeared back into the room, came out with a couple of folded Naira notes, and handed it to the man. After counting it, he nodded at her, packed his things and started towards the door.
“I need to walk him out because of the dog.” She said to Stephen, and handed him the remote control before walking out of the living room. He smiled up at her and slouched in his seat, staring at the big screen TV in front of him. It was on CNN and they were showing the damage Hurricane Irma had done to a certain Caribbean Island. The hurricane had more or less wiped out the whole island.
He started flipping through channels. A music channel showing an old Toni Braxton music video caught his attention, and he stopped there. The music video was just ending when she walked back in, and then Mariah Carey’s Dreamlover video came on. “This is my song.” She said enthusiastically and started dancing in front of him; throwing her hands and head left and right with a big smile on her face. She went ahead to sing the lyrics to the song, “I need a lover to give me…the kind of love that would last always…I need somebody uplifting to take me away…I want a lover who knows me…who understands how I feel inside…someone to comfort and hold me…through the long lonely nights, to the dawn, why don’t you take me away.” When the chorus came on, she started motioning for Stephen to join her. He was reluctant at first, and then he got up and started moving clumsily left and right to the beat of the song. She laughed lightly and put her arms around his neck. He put his hands on her waist and moved to her rhythm.
When the second verse came on, she looked straight in his eyes as she sang along to it, “I don’t want another pretender…to disillusion me one more time…whispering words of forever, playing with my mind…No! No! No! No! No! No! Baby! I need someone to hold on to…The kind of love that won’t fly away…I just want someone to belong to…every day…of my life…always…so come and take me away.” She stopped singing, looked deeply into Stephen’s eyes for a few seconds, and then leaned in to kiss him. He met her halfway.
To be continued