Lara slowly made her way through the house, picking up as she went. A blouse here, a shoe there, a doll there. She smiled at the doll Mary, her daughter’s best friend. Ireti had that doll since infancy and refused to throw it out. Rather she patched it up as it fell apart. Mary just might make a surgeon out of Ireti.
She picked the bits and pieces of clothing away in Ireti’s room, shut the windows and the door behind her as she exited the room. Ireti was spending the weekend at her paternal grandma’s, so Lara had the weekend to herself, that is until the girls got here. The doorbell tinged. Lara smiled. They were here, she went to open the door. She flung the door open and screamed in surprise.
“Tunde!” She jumped on him and the hugged hard and long.
“Lara love, look at you.” He spun her around when they disentangled. “Looking all fresh and fine, like a sweet sixteen!”
She swatted him playfully. Looking past him she noticed Chichi and Titi. “Girls, where did you kidnap him from?” She asked them. “Come on in.” She led the way inside dragging Tunde with her while the girls came in behind. Titi went straight to the kitchen while Lara, Tunde and Chichi settled in the sitting room.
Tunde looked around the sitting room, examining the decor, nodding approvingly.
“Do you approve?” Lara asked him.
“Yes, it does look nice, cozy. Did u do it yourself?”
“Yes I did. Where is the money to pay a designer?” They all laughed as Titi entered with a tray of drinks. She dropped it on the table and they all picked their drinks.
“So where did you find Tunde this saturday afternoon?” Lara asked, picking up the conversation. They gisted all day, the four of them who had been friends since their primary school days. When they were leaving Tunde promised to return the next day to see Ireti whom he hadn’t seen in a long while.
Thirty minutes after they left Lara’s phone buzzed, it was Titi calling her.
“Lara, I forgot to confirm the timing for the church counseling tomorrow. Pastor said its by 4pm.”
“Oh! Can’t it be earlier? That’s when I should be picking Ireti up.”
“No o! I guessed as much so I called Tunde first and made him promise that he was going to show tomorrow. We could pick Ireti up on our way to church and she and Tunde will hang out while we do the counseling. Ik and Fabian have confirmed. Fabian even told me he is anxious to see you again.” Titi rolled on.
“Titi,” Lara interrupted her. “I hope you are not encouraging him?”
“No o! He likes you, and he is a decent man, why don’t you give him a chance? Titi persuaded.
Lara laughed softly. “Titi don’t match make o!” She warned jokingly. “Anyways, if Tunde shows up tomorrow your arrangement should work. You know he is now a hot architect plus hot bachelor.” They both laughed.
“He will.” Titi assured Lara. “Aite, so tomorrow afternoon?”
“See you then. Dream of the possibility of Fabian.” Titi teased.
“Hia! Does he have enough patience to wait till after Ireti is married?” Lara teased back.
“Eeya eeya! Please! After my wedding that leaves you o!”
“You want to use Chichi’s style on me? It won’t work. She passed it to you, now you want to pass it on to me?”
“It has worked already o! Please end the call Ik is calling me.”
“Aite, blow him a kiss from me.” Lara ended the call. She continued her bedtime preparations as she took a walk down memory lane to her late teenage years, when she found out she was pregnant.
It was the year after her SSCE exams, she was awaiting her university admission. Femi was an undergraduate in his third year in the university which she had applied to. His parents house was on the same street as hers so he served as her contact in the school. Secretly they took the relationship to another level and she found out she was three months pregnant the same week she got the admission to study linguistics. She had to defer her admission for a year. Femi’s parents were divided on what to do about the pregnancy, but Lara’s parents insisted that she bear the child, and her friends Tunde, Titi, and Chichi never deserted her despite them having to take up their own admissions. Nine years later they still remained friends despite their busy schedules. Femi left the country immediately he graduated and she had barely heard from him since then, her only connection to the family was his mother who dotted on Ireti and always insisted that Lara bring her over whenever possible. Both hers and Femi’s fathers had passed on, Lara’s father less than a year ago. Since her father passed on, Lara’s mom had been trying to get her and Ireti to move back home saying she was lonely, but Lara liked it being just she and Ireti. Her career as a translator was a well paying one, with flexible timing. So she and Ireti didn’t need anyone. Least of all a man. She flipped through her bedside tv searching for a soapy movie that will lull her to sleep and when she found one, she curled up in bed to watch it.