After work that day, Susan came over as usual to join us home, and Clara gisted her in detail. They laughed so hard at the car detail, I couldn’t help but manage a smile.
We were seated in our favourite lounge sofa, all our staff gone for the day.
“Zach is your own live Christian Grey. Can u believe it, there’s a ‘girlfriend special’ car!” Susan remarked through laughter.
“Seriously, we don’t know for certain he bought her the car.” I said.
“I’m willing to bet my wedding ring he bought that car.” Susan replied.
“And she has MaryAnne’s stature and colouring also. He also has a type.” Clara added.
They laughed harder.
“Oh my God! I’ve been such a fool!” I cried.
“I think you should speak with Zach before you draw that conclusion.” Clara sobered up. “I personally think it odd that she came over, insisted on meeting you, talked so much….. That spells ‘ex’ to me.
“Clara does have a point. This whole visit seems calculated to me, like she came to introduce herself, check you out, that kain thing.” Susan added.
“You girls are just trying to cheer me up.” I muttered, I was so confused. This whole thing seemed like a dream to me, but I was very aware of the reality of it.
“Oya be sad. This relationship is so drama filled, we could write a soap outta it.” Susan jibed.
“Fifty shades of Zach!” Clara added, and they laughed.
“Okay, enough fun at my expense. We need to get going.” I got up, clutching my bag and car keys.
“Mary Anne is in her suppressing mood element.” Susan said to Clara in a stage whisper as they both got up.
“Her strong woman mood.” Clara agreed, talking about me as though I wasn’t there.
I left them to lock up and walked my car, feeling all levels of down.
“Please give me the keys, I have no desire to go swimming in the Lagos lagoon.” Susan said when they met up with me at the car.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked defensively.
“Mary, it’s obvious you are upset, why not let me drive.”
I got overwhelmed and burst into tears.
Clara unlocked the car, and they ushered me into the back seat. Thank God the parking lot was deserted, I would have hated to cause a scene.
I alternated between quiet racking sobs, and wailing and questioning fate. Why couldn’t I have a normal loving relationship. With a normal regular guy?
I didn’t ask for all these complications, the suspicion, numerous girls. This wasn’t me, I can’t go on this way.
Long minutes later, I stopped crying, and Susan drove homewards. I must have dozed off, I heard Clara call my name in my subconscious, I jerked awake.
“MaryAnne!” She called again.
“I’m, I’m awake.”
“Your phone is ringing.” I heard it, Zach’s ring tone.
“Answer it. Don’t say anything. I have a plan.” Susan urged.
I answered the call and said nothing about meeting his girlfriend. When he commented about my flat tone, I told him I was tired. So tired Susan was driving. He said all the right things, and we made tentative plans to see the next day.
The next day dawned bright and early, I got a twitter notification: ‘Lady Adeola’ followed me. I followed back. Then she sent me a facebook friend request, haba? This was beginning to look like witch hunting. I drew Clara’s attention to it and she made a joke and posted it on her PM; When your boyfriend’s girlfriend friends you on fb and follows you on twitter, you know there’s war in the land. Truly, this looked like a siege. I went through her profile, according to her she worked as a PR consultant for Zach PR rep. Either way, I was going to ask Zach about her.
Steeling my emotions, I drove to Zach’s. One look at me and he asked what was wrong.
“Nothing much, just tired.” I replied flippantly, summoning false cheer. “How are you, you also look beat.” I enquired as he led me into the house.
He exhaled and spread his hands expensively.
I laughed as we sat. “We are prototypes for the normal Lagosians. Tired but still hustling.”
“Yea. I have an idea, why don’t I order massages for us both?”
“Off course now. They can be here within the hour.” He picked up his phone from the side table, dialled and placed the order.
“They are on their way.” He said after the call.”
“Okay.” I liked the idea of the massage, at least it would remove the pressure of having to pretend all was fine. “I hope you ordered a male massuese for me?” I teased.
“Hell no! Female.”
“Male for you?”
“The spa usually sends female.” He replied flipping through TV channels.
“Ok.” I almost blurted out the question/accusation about Adeola, but decided to wait. I would ask after the massage. “I need a drink, you want some thing?” I asked instead, getting up.
“Mix me a cocktail.” He replied, intent on the football match re-run showing on Supersports.
“Aite.” I replied rolling my eyes at him. Behind him off course, inside me I said: yes your majesty.
I took my time making the drink, and a light snack too. All to kill time. By the time we finished the snack, the massuese had arrived. I gladly submitted myself to their expertise. An hour later, when they were done, we were both so relaxed. I felt like you could pour me in a bowl, so relaxed I dozed off for a while.
He woke me with kisses ot tell me it was getting late.
“You look so beautiful when you sleep, seeing you wake up, lights up my world.” He murmured. Planting more kisses.
Yikes! How did I end up in his bed? He must have moved me from the guest room. If I didn’t stop him, I knew what would happen in the next few minutes.
I yawned and stretched. “It’s late already?” I glanced out the windows through the drapes at the darkening skies.
“Gosh I need to get going.” I sat up.
“No time for your poor, lonely boyfriend?” He sighed, putting up a ‘poor me’ face.
“You know how it is, and besides it’s not a good time of the month.” I lied, anything to get out of there. I couldn’t bring myself to have sex with him knowing and suspecting what I did.
“Okay.” He sat up. “Then you need to get dressed and outta here soon.”
I didn’t need to be told twice, I got moving. Halfway through my dressing, I heard a: “Damn!” From Zach. I turned around curiously.
“What?” I asked, he was staring at me intently. What did I do?
“You are so beautiful.” He softly crooned. “More beautiful than Botticcelli’s Venus.” He came to stand behind me, we both looked into the mirror. damn we really looked good together. But if he felt this way, why the need for other girls? I was tempted to ask, and again I lost my nerve. I turned around and kissed him. Okay, wrong idea!
He broke the kiss. “You need to get going, and I have a meeting in thirty minutes.”
His phone rang, he stepped out of the room to answer and returned fully dressed.
“I have a show tomorrow, can we see the day after?” He asked.
“Ok.” I acquiesced.
He walked me to my car and watched me drive.
I placed a call to Clara to find out where she was. As usual the LED notification light was blinking, I made a mental note to check it when I got to the shop.
I walked in to find Susan and Clara sitting in our chair, staring at me expectantly.
“You girls are so ameboish! Haba! See them sitting waiting for gist.” I teased.
“Oya joor. Gist!” Clara urged.
I dropped my bag and joined them on the sofa.
“I couldn’t ask him, kept loosing my nerve.” I said staring straight ahead.
“So what did you guys do all these time, because you don’t ever go out. Abi?” Susan asked.
“We had a massage, and I slept off.”
Clara sniggered. “He gave you, you gave him?”
“Off course not. Professional massage, with a massuese.”
“Oh! In-house off course?”
I sighed by way of response.
“But this Zach tries in some things, my fiance doesn’t remember things like massage and pampering things.” Susan said aloud, kindoff to herself.
“Zach and I have been having unprotected sex.” I announced in the ensuing silence.
“Please say that was a joke?” Susan whispered hoarsely. Turning on me.
“How? Why?” Clara’s voice was louder. Both staring searchingly at me.
I got up and leaned against the wall.
“I thought it meant something, the intimacy. But recently, I don’t know again. And I’m scared.”
We all avoided each other’s gaze, lost in our own thoughts.
“Yes, it does mean something; stupidity.” Clara remarked dryly. “How could you….?”
“No sense crying over spilt milk.” Susan interupted. “Tomorrow we go for a medical test, and you need to sort this thing with Zach quickly.”
“I guess you haven’t checked your twitter notifications, LadyAdeola mentioned you in a tweet.” Clara said.
I got out my phone, and went straight to my twitter notifications, there was Adeola’s mention: I love social media, it gave me my Zach, and a cool new friend in @creativemaryanne!