“I don’t know, I admit I haven’t really thought this through, but it will make a lot of sense if we get married. I’m not really in a position to take you both back with me, but my position in Ireti’s life will be more secure with you as my wife. Ireti tells me you are seeing someone.” Femi replied.
Lara stared at him in anger and disbelief for seconds. “So, this proposal is because Ireti told you I’m seeing someone? You know what, go back home and rethink this conversation.” She turned her back on him, trying to calm herself.
“You will agree with me us getting married is the perfect solution. Our parents have always expected it, society expects it, it will be good for Ireti.” Femi explained further.
“First of all, you don’t know what is and what isn’t good for Ireti, you barely know her…..”
“I’m trying to rectify that.” He cut in.
“Don’t interrupt me.” She snapped at him, whirling around. “Secondly, you come to my house, when my daughter is ten years old, to tell Me, what society expects?”
“Calm down Lara, don’t shout.”
“I should calm down? You didn’t know what society expected of us when I was pregnant? When I gave birth you didn’t know?” She takes deep breaths. “If you had come to me with this stupid proposal when I was pregnant, I would have accepted, even when Ireti was an infant, or when she was a toddler, I would have accepted. But you see Femi, you leaving me alone all these years has given me the kind of strength and will nothing else can. I survived those years and have earned the right to do that which pleases me. And it pleases me to ask you to leave my house right now. Ireti does not visit you until she is eighteen and chooses to do so. When you are in Nigeria, you don’t see her without supervision. Take me to court.” She stared at him defiantly.
He was speechless. “Let’s give this some more rational thought, don’t make any hasty pronouncements.”
“This is the last time we will discuss this.” She heard a horn blast from outside. “That’s Ireti’s school bus, you will say hi, and apologize for leaving so soon, because you have some things to attend to.” She led him out of the kitchen to the front door. Ireti was at the door already.
“Mommy!” She flew into Lara’s arms.
“Daddy hi!” She said when she noticed Femi.
“Hi baby. How was school?” He replied.
“Same as usual. I need to pee.” She dashed into the house.
“Go ahead, I’ll tell her.”
Femi walked to his car. Dialing on his phone as he went.
“Yes dear, how are you?”
“I’m fine, feeling better speaking with you.” He sat up on the bed.
“Same here. But you know you offended me?”
“Yes you did. You attempted to blackmail me, on a matter that you could have just asked nicely.”
“Well, ehm, I didn’t , I’m sorry.”
“Anyways, let’s put that behind us. Where are you now?”
“Its a week day. No work?”
“My dear none o! Its the frustration that led to……”
“Ok, splendid. Can you meet me now at Blue hotel, its at the anthony axis of Ikorodu road.”
“Ok, I’ll find it.”
“I’m waiting. Bring all the tapes along. We’ll destroy it together. What we have shouldn’t be marred by the threat of blackmail.”
“Off course. Once again, I’m sorry for…..”
“Forget it. No harm done. Call me when you get to the hotel lobby.”
“Ok babe, see you soon.”
Titi ended the call and wrinkled her face in distaste. “He took the bait.” She turned to Chichi and Lara. “So we go to the hotel and wait.”
They all got up, Lara locked up and they drove out of the compound in Titi’s car.
When they got to the hotel reception, they requested and paid for a suite. They were shown to the suite where they finalized their plans.
Less than 30minutes later, Titi’s phone rang.
“Babe, I’m in the reception.”
“Ok, come up to 302.”
“He is on his way up.” Titi said to Lara and Chichi.
Lara and Chichi went into the inner room. A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. Titi opened the door with a phony smile on her face.
“Hello dear, come in.”
He came in, she shut the door behind him. He hugged her.
“You look as beautiful as ever.”
“And you look as dashing as ever. Sit and relax, help yourself, the fridge is stocked.”
He went over to the mini fridge and took a can of beer. He settled into the sofa beside her. “Cheers.” He clinked his can against her glass of juice. “Is that spiked?”
“No, you know I don’t need alcohol to set the mood.” She sipped her drink. “Where are the tapes?”
He reached into his breast pocket and produced two compact discs. She took them from him.
“All the videos are burnt on those discs.”
“No copies. Relax, there are all there. Now I know you are willing to play ball, I don’t need them.”
“Thank you.” She set her drink aside and broke the discs in two and dropped in her handbag. “Olumide I really hope for your sake those are all the tapes, because any further attempt to blackmail me….. Ladies!” She called out, Lara and Chichi came out, Olumide was very suprised. “This ladies here will bear us witness, any hint of blackmail, and we will come down hard on you.”
“Or if you produce any other tapes.” Chichi added.
Titi searched through her bag and produced a complementary card which she gave to him. “Call that man, he is into photography, he is expecting your call and will give you a job. I’m helping you without strings Olu, I hope you return the favor.”
“Thank you, I feel so small, I really am sorry.” He whispered.
Lara and Chichi moved towards the door and Chichi opened it and froze.
“The room is paid for for the rest of the day. Titi said to Olumide, as she turned towards the door, her gaze met her Fiance’s equally shocked gaze.
“What are you doing here?” They asked each other.