Emily and Korede alighted from the car. Emily’s heart was beating so wildly. She couldn’t explain why she was so scared, they were just meeting his parents. His parents house was on Bourdillon, Ikoyi. From the outside it looked to be a well maintained duplex, with beautiful grounds. He was obviously from old money, judging by their address, one more thing she didn’t know about him. She knew zilch about his family, for he never talked about them. She glanced at him as they walked towards the house in silence. He looked nervous. Shouldn’t she be the nervous one? She took his hand in hers and squeezed it reassuringly as the front door opened and a boy of about six ran out screaming; “Daddy!” excitedly, running towards Korede.
The rest of the visit, Emily lived through on auto-pilot. It was sheer good manners that stopped her from storming out on Korede, such a rude shock! On the heels of the boy came a nice looking older woman, whom Korede introduced as his mother.
Emily was ushered into the house and introduced to everyone as ‘our new wife’.
In the house was; Korede’s father (a matured version of Korede, who invited her to call him ‘daddy’), his youngest sister; Abike, the young boy; Babatunde, and their domestic help. Emily gave Korede a questioning gaze when his mother introduced Tunde, a gaze which he couldn’t meet. She was introduced as daddy’s ‘friend’, and Tunde politely greeted her.
Korede was growing increasingly uncomfortable, Tunde wasn’t supposed to have been here today. He should have been at his sisters’ for the weekend. Yes, he knew he couldn’t keep the boy a secret forever, but he just hadn’t found the right time to tell Emily about the boy. Judging by the gazes Emily was shooting his way, it was blatantly obvious she didn’t like this new development. Just when he thought the day couldn’t get any worse, just as they were about to seat down to lunch, his mothers phone rang, and after exchanging pleasantries with the person on the other end of the phone, she passed the phone to Tunde, saying;
“Here Tunde, its mummy!”
“Oh my gosh!!! How do you get to have all this fun, I mean, all your dates are characterized with serious drama. My life is dull compared with yours.” Buchi exclaimed, trying to control her laughter. She had returned from a date with her fiance to find Emily burrowed in bed.
“It isn’t funny Buchi.” Emily retorted stiffly.
“Yea, I can imagine. But only because this is real life. Seriously Em, imagine this were a movie you’ll be in stitches with me by now. This is so hilarious! Better than the movie; ‘Meet the Fockers’!”
“You’re just a clown.” Emily smiled in spite of herself.
“Ok, lets get serious now. What’s his explanation?”
Emily exhaled loudly. “I didn’t let him speak, I told him I didn’t want to hear whatever he had to say.”
“Why? You should have heard him out!”
“For what? Korede talks a lot, but its obvious he doesn’t talk about the important things. Like, how can I not know he has a six year old son? Its honestly not him having a son that’s the issue, it’s the fact that he kept it from me. I mean, if he kept this from me, what else is he hiding?”
“Which is why you should have heard him out, than explain your anger to him.”
“What does it matter, I returned his ring already. We are over.”
“You did what!!! Emily Oyesanya what is wrong with you? I’ve told you time and time again; you need to be more patient, more tolerant. How can you just break off an engagement like that, is a child a disease?” Buchi screamed.
“You don’t get it Buchi, the child isn’t the problem, as a matter of fact in the few hours I spent there, I found him to be well mannered. His father is the problem. If Korede can keep something this big from me, what else is he keeping secret? And you know me Buchi, I hate important things being kept from me, I hate secrets!”
“How else will the secrets be aired if you guys don’t talk? This is a perfect opportunity you just missed to probe as much as you can.”
Emily sighed sadly and burrowed further into the bed. “I didn’t ask for this!” she sobbed softly. “I mean, here I was on my own, planning how to merge my Masters degree program and my job, he was the one who came to me, he was the one who proposed.” She sat up. “I don’t need this kind of drama in my life seriously, why cant I have a sweet, peacefully-exciting relationship like yours, why can’t I get someone like your Samuel?”
Buchi burst into laughter. “Oh my! First of; is ‘peacefully-exciting’ a word, I mean, is it even possible? Sam and I have our own issues, some of which you’re aware of. The grass just looks greener in the other yard. Emily, you need to stop being impatient, relationships take work, be it with Korede, or Dayo, or the next John Doe, it takes work.”
“I don’t want a relationship anymore, I just want to be left alone.” Emily muttered.
“Yea right! I pray you don’t get that wish. ‘Cos if you do, five years down the line, you’ll regret this day.”
“Go away and leave me in my misery.” Emily covered her head with a pillow.
“You wish! Come and help me pick a dress, Sam and I have this office dinner next weekend. Better to begin preparation on time, so we’ll know if we need to go shopping.”
Emily perked up. “What’s the dinner about, can I come?”
Buchi laughed. “I thought you said I should go away?” She said walking towards the door.
Emily followed her.
It had been weeks since the disastrous visit to his parents house, weeks during which Emily had ignored his calls and messages and Korede was at his wits end as regards what to do to get to Emily. He had tried enlisting Buchi’s help, but she had refused to get involved.
Today he was determined to speak with her, he was headed to her house and wouldn’t take no for an answer. He stopped at her favorite ice-cream shop to get her some Strawberry ice-cream. His eyes were drawn to a couple seated at a table, his eyes narrowed as he recognized Emily engrossed in a conversation with a guy he immediately knew was a rival.