“…..How is your little girl, Femi talks about her all the time? Oh, I see my hubby. Later darlings.” Bisi walked away leaving Femi and Lara staring after her speechless.
Lara snapped the menu shut with a loud bang. “Wow!”
Femi cleared his throat. “I can explain.” He began.
“I’m sure you can, and I’m waiting to hear your explanation.” Lara smiled mischievously. “So…..” She prompted when Femi failed to begin.
He cleared his throat again. “When I finished grad school, I got a job at Sheila’s dad’s firm. He encouraged us to get together and hinted at passing the company to me when he retires, Sheila is his only child. I swear its a marriage of convenience, its you and Ireti that matter to me.” He said solemnly.
Lara stared at him for a long time. He had a nerve. She could not just understand his thought process. Did this whole trashy thought make sense to him?
“So, truthfully this plan makes sense to you? You will have your ‘oyinbo’ family and Nigerian family? How? All these your requests for Ireti to visit you were going to pass her off as your niece?”
He couldn’t say anything in his defense, he couldn’t even meet her eyes.
“I’m out of here.” Lara grabbed her purse and walked out of the restaurant.
“Please don’t go.” He ran after her and caught up with her at her car. “Please Lara, we can work something out.”
Lara hissed loudly, entered her car and drove off, almost running over him in the process.
She parked on the road side and placed a call to Femi’s mom’s cellphone. “Mama, please ask Ireti to be waiting for me at the gate, I’m on my way.”
“Already, hope there is no problem?”
“No problem. Mama I’m driving.” She ended the call. When she got to their gate Ireti and Femi’s mom were at the gate. Lara waved to Ireti to get into the car and they drove off.
After some minutes of silence Ireti asked; “Mom, are you okay?”
“I’m fine baby.”
“What happened, you returned almost immediately. You guys didn’t do lunch again?”
“Sweetie I’ll explain when we get home. I need to concentrate.”
“Have you had lunch?” Lara asked her daughter after a while.
“No. We were just setting the table when you called.”
“Sorry about that. What do you want to have?”
Ireti smiled widely. “Burger . A very big one.”
“You never change.” Lara smiled wistfully. “Let’s go get some burgers.”
“…..He was waiting for us when we got back in the evening. He and his mother. I wasn’t really suprised to see them, I kind off expected it.” Lara narrated to Chichi, Titi and Tunde. “His mother came to plead on his behalf, and to entertain Ireti while we ‘talked’.
“Talk about what again? What do you guys have to talk about again?” Titi fumed.
“That guy has got serious balls.” Tunde said slightly amused. “He never gives up.”
“I think you should thank that Bisi lady, but for her you might have made a second mistake.” Chichi pointed out.
“Abi o! I insisted they say whatever they had to say in Ireti’s presence. Anyways to cut the whole gist, he goes back tomorrow. I hope I’ve quashed all hopes of reconciliation.”
“And his mother was also in on the whole scam?” Titi asked.
“What do you expect, he is her only child.” Lara replied. “That’s their business, I won’t give him another opportunity.
“Give him time, he’ll probably come up with another strategy.” Chichi said.
“Who has that kind of time, I’ve closed his chapter.” Lara replied.
“Yes o! And opened my pastors chapter.” Titi winked.
“Please, I need to rest. Not yet.”
“Ehm as you are resting you and pastor Smith will be cementing your relationship.”
“Lara is involved with a pastor?” Tunde said very suprised. “Where have I been? Please give me gist.”
“You’ve not heard?” Chichi asked.
“Let me give him the gist.” And Titi began to tell Lara and Smith’s story.
“Hello dear, how are you?”
“I’m fine, and you?”
“I’m good, I bless God. How is Ireti?”
“She’s good. She’s asleep.”
“Were you asleep as well, did I interrupt your sleep?”
“No, not yet. I just rounded off some work. How was your day?”
“It was good, and yours?”
“Same as usual.”
“I called to check up on you ladies and to invite you both to a picnic on saturday.”
“A picnic, where?”
“That’s a surprise, its somewhere beautiful, you will like it.”
“I’m sure we will, you have good taste.”
“So, its a date? Saturday?”
“Saturday is good, its a date.”
“Ok. Every moment I’m away from you I miss you.”
“I miss you too, I enjoy your company.”
“And off course my smart friend.”
Lara laughed. “I don’t know who is smarter, every time she spends time with you all I hear for days afterwards is pastor Smith this, pastor Smith said that.”
Smith laughed. “That’s so good to know. She gladdens my heart. I would love to talk with you all night long but I know we both have busy days ahead of us tomorrow.”
“Yes we do.”
“I’ll bid you a good night now and pray God’s angels watch over you.”
“Good night Smith.”
“I pray that sometime soon, we won’t have to bid each other good night over the phone lines. Sleep well dear.” He ended the call.
Lara prepared for bed. As she lay down to sleep her phone rang, it was Titi’s ring tone.
“Why is Titi calling me by this time of the night?” Lara spoke out loud. “Hello Titi” she answered the call.
“Lara the worst has happened!” Titi said through tears.
“What happened?” Lara panicked.
“Ik was in the shower when his phone rang, it was Olumide.”
“Yes, I panicked and I picked the call to find out why he was calling Ik, we were arguing and I was warning him to stay away from Ik when Ik came out of the shower. He snatched the phone from me, switched it off and left the house. I’ve been trying his number since without success. I even called Fabian, he said he hasn’t seen him. Lara I’m worried, its late.”
“Did you ask Fabian for possible places he might go?”
“Yes, and he said he will check around himself. That was over an hour ago, now Fabian’s number is also not available.” Titi wailed.
“This is serious.”
“If anything happens to my Ik, I will kill that Olumide, that devils child.”
“Calm down Titi, nothing will happen to him. What did Olu want?”
“I didn’t give him the opportunity to state his reason for calling. Lemme call you back, someone is driving into the compound, I hope its him.” Titi ended the call.
Lara knelt on her bedside to say her prayers.
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