“She’s against our relationship right?” Deola asked calmly.
“Not really, she’s just….”
“Don’t lie to me Kunle.”
“Yes.” He responded tersely.
“Ok, that’s it, I’m out.” Deola said, detaching herself from Kunle’s embrace.
“What do you mean by; I’m out?” Kunle asked slowly.
“This relationship, it’s over. I’m done.” She got up and went to stand, leaning against the wall in the corner farthest from him, arms crossed defensively.
“Unacceptable.” Kunle replied.
“You heard me, that’s unacceptable.” He repeated. “Thing is Deola, I’m happy you used the word relationship, because that’s what this is. You, me, we’re in a relationship. Every relationship, every marriage always has the nay-sayers, there’s even provision for it in all marriage ceremonies. This is our moment of opposition, and we,” He indicated the both of them. “We, would weather the storm together. It is totally unacceptable of you to back out of the relationship.”
Deola started to cry softly.
He sighed and threw up his hands in dismay. What did he say now to get her crying? He got up and went to her, pulling her into his embrace.
“Why can’t you let me go?” She sobbed.
“I can’t D, I love you.”
She pushed him away, or attempted to, because he held fast.
“But your family is against our relationship.”
‘They’ll come around. Mom is already coming around. Simi will too.”
“What do you mean mom is already coming around, your mom knows too, she knows about my past?” Deola cried. “Can’t you see, can’t you see this is a disaster waiting to happen?”
“No D, I can’t see that. We aren’t denying your past, I’m fully aware of everything that happened. Everything Deola, still I love you. In spite of it, and with it, I love you and want to marry you, I want to spend the rest of my life with you Deola, you, not anyone else. Tell me you don’t love me Deola, this is your one last chance. Tell me you don’t love me, and I walk away now, I walk away”
She sobbed some more.
He hugged her closer and pecked her on her fore-head. “We’ll be fine, we’ll be just fine.”
Simisola had barely parked her car before her children jumped out of the car, and ran into her parent’s house. They had been excited all morning since she told them they were going to spend the night at their grandma’s. She needed for them out of the way that night, so she and Ade could have a couple’s night. For over a week since they’d argued over Deola and Kunle, Ade had been cold towards her, and she couldn’t bear it anymore, she needed to bridge the divide and she had a romantic evening planned just to show how sorry she was.
It had taken a visit and a talk with Ade’s sister Rolake for her to really understand the gravity of what she had done. Rolake who lived in Abuja with her family had come to Lagos for a week-long course and had stayed with them for the duration. She had observed the frostiness between Simi and Ade and had asked Simi what it was about. Simi had confided in her, for amongst her in-laws, Rolake was the nicest, and easiest to get along with. Coupled with the fact that she was a Christian indeed, and lived her faith. According to Rolake, when Ade had wanted to marry her, he’d been met with stiff opposition from his family. They had made some enquiries, and hadn’t liked what they found out. They had been the issue of the questionable untimely death of Simi’s father and her maternal grandfather; it had raised doubts in Ade’s family as to the safety of their brother in marriage with Simi. They was also the issue of Simi’s ‘pregnancy’, his family hadn’t believed she was pregnant, or if she was, that Ade was responsible. According to Rolake, the family had been very against the union, but Ade had defended her solidly, even risking disinheritance.
That revelation had opened Simi’s eyes, and helped her to understand where Ade was coming from when he had warned that she stay out of Kunle and Deola’s relationship. She had been so bitter against Deola, blaming her marital dis-harmony on her, and had sworn she would do all within her power to frustrate the relationship. It had taken a bit of soul searching after Rolake’s visit for her to realize she was the one to be blamed for the dis-harmony and not Deola. She had apologized to Ade, and he had accepted, but remained cold and distant, barely saying more than was needed to her. Hence she felt the need for both of them to have some alone time.
She got her children’s overnight bag out of the car boot and followed the sound of their excited chatter into her mother’s bedroom.
“Good afternoon mom.” She greeted going on her knees as is customary.
“My daughter, how are you?” Mrs Tinu Phillips replied, her voice muffled as the children were all over her, competing for who would give grandma the closest hug.
“I’m fine mom.” She sat beside her mom on the bed and summoned her sternest voice. “Kids, let grandma breathe.” She warned.
Reluctantly, they disentangled themselves from their grandma, and allowed her to sit up. They promptly sat beside her, one on each side of her.
“You kids go put your things away in your room, let grandma and I talk.”
“Okay.” They chorused, and happily ran to do their mother’s bidding.
“It’s amazing the kind of energy this children have. They never tire.” Simi said, as the kids ran out.
“That’s kids for you. You were once like them.” Her mother replied laughing softly.
“Who, me? Impossible. I must have been a cool kid, very well behaved.” Simi replied smiling.
“Yes, indeed.” Her mom replied, and they both laughed.
“Ok mommy, I have to run. Ade would be returning soon, and they are still a million things to do.” Simi said, glancing at her wristwatch.
“Ok. You just take it easy.” Tinu advised. Simi had briefed her on her plans for the evening when she had called that morning to confirm if she could bring the kids over for the night. She had also informed her mom of her decision not to oppose Deola and Kunle’s relationship anymore, but rather to pray for them.
Her mom had echoed the same sentiments, for she had prayed about it and was convinced the best they could do for Kunle was to support his choice and uphold them in prayers.
Simi left her mother’s house soon after that, after warning her children to be good for grandma. A warning she knew they wouldn’t heed. As they used to say when she was a child; the warning had probably entered one ear, and flown out of the other. Simi laughed out loud, as she drove out of her family compound, they were a few things she had to pick-up before heading home, but first she had to see Deola. She hoped she would be in her shop, since she hadn’t called her to confirm. It was a spur of the moment decision, but the right decision nonetheless.