And so lt began.
We had our second date, this time he came to the mainland.
We talked for hours on the phone.
The third date he invited me to his house. His house is beautiful, tastefully, professionally decorated.
He made us a meal; spaghetti and egg stew. We talked for hours, we exchanged sob stories about past relationships and disappointments. He sought my opinion on a range of issues from his music to the whole entertainment industry, to Nigerian social issues.
Hours later, when I left for home in a taxi, we were officially an item.
Contrary to what people think, I didn’t date Zach because of his celeb status. That was the major fact he had against him. In the course of our discussion/toasting, I made him spell out what he wants from me(yes, I believe in intent being spelt out, no assumptions), he did the whole ‘meaningful relationship’ speech, I did the same, with the proviso that I was in the relationship with Zach, not Zedeye. Secondly I wouldn’t take any form of abuse or infidelity.
We were such a good fit, we had almost the same interests, could talk for hours about everything and nothing.
My girls, Susan particularly, said I was beginning to sound like a ‘Zach fanatic’, Zach this, Zach that, Zach said… Like the ‘pastor said’ fanatics.
I was happy.
A couple of weeks later, Zach had to go for a show in Ghana. He was away for a week. Immediately he returned and called me, I hopped in a taxi, traffic was crazy, the usual unexpected but expected Lagos traffic. A journey that should take an hour plus max took over three hours. I stopped to get Pizza in his favourite flavour.
His manager; Tunde was leaving as I arrived at his place, we exchanged pleasantries and I went in.
He was playing a game on his Ipad in the living room.
“Hey babe.” I went to him, dropping the pizza box on a side stool.
He didn’t acknowledge nor respond.
“Babe are you ok?” I sat on the arm of the couch.
“Where are you coming from?” He asked coldly.
“My house. Babe there was so much traffic, gosh! I wonder what witchcraft convention is taking place. How are you, how was your trip?”
He paused the game and set the Ipad aside. “So you’ve been stuck in traffic for what?” He glanced at his watch. “You left home close to four hours ago.” He accused.
“Babe, you know how Lagos traffic can be.” I cajoled, rubbing his back.
“And you couldn’t be bothered to text, or send any kind of message? I tried calling you twice without sucess.”
“My phone has been doing hangberry all day, I’ve restarted it so many times, still no difference.”
“You have two phones.”
“There’s no airtime on that one. Here, see for yourself.” I brought out my phones from my pockets and gave them to him. He didn’t take or acknowledge them. I mentally rolled my eyes.
“And you bought pizza? I didn’t know pizza is now sold in Lagos traffic.” He said sarcastically.
“I stopped by the pizza place, I got your favourite flavour.” I slid into the chair beside him.
He got up, picked up his phones, and ipad, and without a word walked out of the sitting room.
I stared at him open mouthed. Did that just happen? Really what is he pissed about? Am I responsible for Lagos traffic? My first impulse was to leave, it appeared I wasn’t welcome.
I calmed myself, it’s probably jet-lag and tiredness. I took a few minutes to deep breathe and really be calm. I drank a bottle of water from the kitchen fridge before going after him.
He was in the bedroom, lying in bed, still playing game, or attempting to, because from the sound of it he was failing and restarting over again. I stifled a laughter, put on a straight face and ‘entered the lion’s den’.
“Babe, what’s the iss?” I asked softly, perching on the edge of the bed.
“If you don’t know, then there’s no point.” He replied after a while in the same angry tone.
“I don’t read minds, I think if there is a problem, you should share with me.”
Again, he set the Ipad away, and sat up. “You left your house four hours ago, you come in here with a box of pizza claiming traffic and you expect that excuse to fly? Who asked you to get pizza? Haven’t I said it time and time again; I hate surprises, before you buy anything for me, ask me! Is that too much for you to comprehend? You could buy pizza, you couldn’t buy airtime, couldn’t send me a text, bbm, or a facebook or twitter message? Or what, your internet subscription expired as well?” He was shouting and dramatising by the time he concluded.
“Babe, you are shouting at me.” I pointed out calmly.
He glared at me with such anger. “You know what?” He paused for a while, he sighed. “As you can see I’m busy.” And he went back to the game.
I wisely refrained from pointing out to him that what he was busy doing was ‘playing a game’. As I sat there in silence, while he ‘attempted to play the game’, I couldn’t for the life of me comprehend what the issue was. I stared at him, considered swatting his bottom(yes, I’m mischievous), but decided against it, he just might burst a vein.
My stomach growled in hunger, I remembered the pizza in the living room, I went to get it.
“Babe, we should eat the pizza while it’s still warm.” I said from the doorway.
No response. He was on the phone.
I did a U-turn, sat at the dining table and ate one-third of the pizza, washed it down with the complementary soft drink, carried my handbag, returned to the bedroom door and said loudly enough so he won’t claim not to have heard; “babe, I’m leaving.” I didn’t wait for a response, I just walked away.
With shoulders squared and head held high, I left the compound. The drive from his house to the estate gate takes about ten minutes, I think I walked it in less time than that.
At the taxi park, I entered the first one and told the driver to move. He started the engine and asked me; “Where to madam?”
Where to where?
“Surulere.” I answered when my brain processed the question. When he got to my street, I directed him to Clara’s parents house, didn’t feel like going home yet, my mum was home, one look and she would know something wass wrong.
Clara immediately called Susan, and I vented. Trust my girls, they’ve always got my back. They’ll probably point out the areas where I went wrong later, but they got that I needed to just vent. And they came through with the needed ‘Zedeye was wrong’ lines.
Two hours later, a bunch of plantain fried and eaten with fruit juice, Susan and Clara saw me home and returned to theirs.
Later that night, I was already into my first round of sleep when my phone rang. Zach’s ring tone jolted me awake.
Huh? Why is he calling me, by, I checked the time, past eleven. It was almost ringing out when I answered, waiting for him to talk first, if he was still angry I would sharperly end the call and go back to sleep.
“Hey baby!” He sang to me. “You sleeping already?”