Deola was driving Kunle back to his office. She had shown-up at his office to whisk him off on a surprise lunch date. As was always the case with them, they had talked for so long, and lost track of time. Only when a client had called her with a wardrobe disaster, had they left the restaurant. Deola was going to drop him off, back at his office, and go on to hers.
Her phone rang.
“Sweet, please could you help me answer the phone and tell Madam Clara, I’ll be with her soon. Deola said, concentrating on the traffic.
He picked up her phone. “It isn’t Madam Clara’s number.”
“Who? Either way, please help me answer it.”
“Hello.” He said, answering the call.
“Hello. Ms Adeola Lasisi?” The voice at the other end enquired.
‘This isn’t Deola, she’s driving and asked me to take a message.” Kunle replied, believing it’s a customer. “Whom am I speaking with?” He asked to confirm.
“This is Preye, calling on behalf of Senator Tom Briggs, the senator would like to speak with her.” Senator Briggs assistant said, believing she was speaking with Deola’s assistant.
“Excuse me?” Kunle asked shocked.
“Yes, I said the senator would like to speak to Miss Adeola Lasisi.” The lady on the phone repeated.
Kunle silently held out the phone to Deola.
“Who is it?” Deola asked, dividing her attention between Kunle and her driving, Kunle wasn’t looking so good, who was it on the phone, she hoped it wasn’t bad news.
“It’s a lady, she said she’s calling on behalf of Senator Tom Briggs?”
“Huh!” Deola almost slammed the brakes in shock. Tom was calling her? “Why?” she asked out loud, immediately signaling to ease out of traffic and park.
“I guess, you have to answer to know.” He handed her the phone when she parked on the road-side.
“He- hello?” She croaked into the phone.
“Hello, Miss Adeola Lasisi?”
“Ok, hold on for Senator Briggs.”
Deola heard some connection static, and a few seconds later, she heard Tom’s voice.
“Hello Senator.” She replied calmly, she was very nervous inside, but tried to be calm. Kunle was reclined on the seat, his eyes shut. She could feel the tense vibes emanating from him.
Her heart was beating wildly, she didn’t want to speak with Tom, she didn’t want to know him at this moment. Why was he calling her? To screw-up her life again? And talk about wrong timing, he just had to be calling her at this moment, when she was with Kunle. Would he believe her that this was the first time Tom was calling her after the break-up last year?
“How have you been?” Tom asked after some seconds of silence between them.
He chuckled. “Aren’t you going to ask me how I am?”
“I don’t mean to be rude, but, I don’t really want to know.”
“Wow! That’s harsh.”
Deola shrugged out her response as though Tom could see her.
He exhaled loudly into the phone. “I guess that answers my next question. It would have been; if you’ve missed me, but I have a feeling I don’t want to know the answer to that question. You are okay, right?”
“Yes, yes I am okay.” She said firmly, not wanting Kunle to entertain any doubts as to her responses.
“Okay, enjoy the rest of your day.”
“Thank you, you too.”
She ended the call and realized her hands were shaking badly. She said a quick prayer for calm and for God’s help. She tapped Kunle gently. “K’ She called to him.
“Yeah, you done?” he opened his eyes and sat up.
“Yeah, he said he just called to say hi.” She tried to explain. “This is the first time he’s called in………”
“Deola?” Kunle interrupted her. “No explanations, just, drive.” And he reclined back in the chair with his eyes shut.
Deola had no option than to do as he had requested.
When she pulled into his office parking lot, he calmly got down and walked away. Confused on what to do, she called to him.
“Not now Deola, you have a client to attend to.” He replied and waved her away.
Knowing Kunle, and knowing that was the most she would get from him at that moment, she pulled out of the lot, and drove to her office. He was right, she did have a client to attend to.
“It is beautiful.” Chima cooed, she was admiring her finished wedding dress, and it really was beautiful, and on time; the wedding was still two weeks away. “Thanks dear, you always get me.” She gave Deola a heartfelt hug, almost crushing her bones.
Deola protested when the hug was getting to tight.
“You look like you needed that.” Chima replied, going back to her dress.
“Yeah, you look sad.”
“I am not sad.” Deola protested.
“Don’t lie to me.” Chima sat on the nearest sofa and patted the space beside her.
Deola joined her on the sofa.
“So tell me, what is it, why are you looking so gloomy?”
Deola sighed. “So, I surprised Kunle at his office, we went out for lunch, had a very swell time, did I tell you his family has given their blessings?”
“Yes, you did.”
“Good, ok. So, on our way back, I drove because that was part of the date, my surprise, my treat, him- just the pleasure of his company. And his appetite offcourse.”
Chima was nodding as she followed the narration.
“So, on our way back, my phone ran, I asked that he pick on my behalf; I was driving, guess who it was?”
“Who, I can’t guess.”
“Yeah, you heard right.”
“Why was he calling you?”
“He said, just to check up on me. In any case, I couldn’t care less. The problem now is; Kunle. He just went suddenly silent. He hasn’t been himself since that day. It’s been three days since, and conversations are few and far between, stilted. I’m scared Chima, I love Kunle so much, I don’t want to lose him.” Deola cried.
“By God’s grace you won’t. come here darling.” Chima held out her hands to hug Deola.
Deola avoided her hug, got up and began pacing. “Why won’t Tom and his shadow just let me be, I made a mistake, a huge one, and I’m sorry I did it. I had an affair with a married man, and I’m sorry I did it.I haven’t spoken with, or attempted to contact Tom since the break-up, and this is the first time he called. why did he call, why cant he leave me alone? I love Kunle, I want to make a life with him, is that too much to ask?” Deola was almost hysterical.
“No, it isn’t too much to ask.” Kunle replied from the doorway.