………They made small talk through the meal, Simi and Kunle’s mom asking her more questions in an attempt to know her better.
“I thought its prospective husbands that are grilled this way, all these questions remind me of when I came to marry Simi. You all asked so many questions and I’m sure turned over every stone in my family before you allowed me to marry her.” They all laughed.
“Yes o, that’s how it’s done. It’s normal. We’ll investigate her family, and they in turn will investigate us.” Mrs. Philips replied.
And the delicious food turned to sawdust in Deola’s mouth. She didn’t want anyone looking too closely at her.
The rest of the afternoon passed pleasantly, they finished the meal and returned to the sitting room where Kunle’s mom regaled them with tales of Simi and Kunle’s antics.
Ade and Simi left soon after to pick their kids who had gone for a birthday party. Simi whispered to Kunle as he saw them out that she liked Deola.
Kunle returned to the living room and heard the tail end of Deola inviting his mother to her brother Dayo and Chima’s wedding, and his mother accepting to attend. He couldn’t be happier, things were going so well, his family loved Deola; he could tell, and Deola liked them to. He knew her, had seen her pretend to be pleasant to people, and he knew she wasn’t faking it now. They left in the early evening; he dropped her off at her home, and went on to his while she recounted her afternoon to her mother.
That night, they all went to bed happy; Kunle, Deola, and their mothers.
Simisola Ade-Johnson was a career banker on a two-week leave. She loved working, and she loved her job. She found that unlike most people, when she was on leave she was bored listless. She had capable domestic help, and a loving but equally busy husband who was rarely home. So she had very little to occupy her when on leave. She and he husband; an engineer had planned to synchronize their leave but an emergency on a site that needed his expertise had necessitated Ade being called into work, and she was home alone and bored. She would gladly have foregone her leave days, but company policy was that all staff had to complete their annual leave days.
So, on the Monday after lunch at her mom’s with Kunle and Deola, after the kids had gone to school, and her maid had gone for her vocational training, she was bored, there wasn’t anything she found interesting on TV, so she decided to find out more about her soon-to-be, she expected sister in-law.
She entered the website address Deola gave her; she was impressed with what she saw on her official website. It was obvious Deola had talent, and she was a rarity too, a designer who could actually sew, and was actively involved in the creative process.
She googled her, hoping to find reviews of her designs on other websites. She was shocked at the hits she had. There had to be a mistake, she refined her search. Same; articles on Deola Lasisi and a married senator kidnapping saga. This couldn’t be. But the pictures she saw were of the Deola she had lunch with the day before. The same Deola had been a suspect in the kidnapping of her lover, a very married Senator Tom Briggs.
She couldn’t believe it! This was the same woman Kunle wanted to marry? No way. She was about to call her friend Lola, a gossip blogger to get more information when her doorbell rang. She hurried to the door, wandering who it was and was pleasantly surprised to find it was her husband.
She opened the door and hugged him, very excited that he was home.
“Welcome honey, what’s up, you’re home early.”
“Yeah, we made remarkable breakthrough on-site this morning, so I left the site engineer in charge, and came home to you, my dear.” He replied.
“That’s very good news. Come in and sit, let me get you something cold to drink.”
He sat down, while she went into the kitchen to get him so juice.
“Honey you won’t believe what I just found out.” She said as she returned to the living room with two glasses of juice on a tray.
“What is it?” Ade replied wearily.
“Apparently, Deola has this scandal involving her and one married senator who was kidnapped recently, she was his mistress,……”
“Senator Tom Briggs?” Ade asked.
“Yeah, I think, that’s him.” She pouted. “How come you know this things, and I don’t? I thought gossip was meant to be a women thing?”
“I don’t know about the gossip aspect, I just remember the senator was kidnapped sometime last year, and his mistress was a suspect. What does Deola have to do with all that?”
“Deola is that mistress!”
“Wow! Small world!”
“Small world indeed. I need to call Kunle and alert him to this fact and mama as well.”
“I don’t think you should do that.” Ade dropped the now empty glass on a side stool and turned to face his wife.
“Why? Kunle needs to know who he……”
“Do you honestly think Kunle doesn’t know? What the line of business he’s into?”
“Obviously he doesn’t or he won’t be serious about her. He won’t have introduced her to us, I mean, that’s an insult to mama, introducing such a woman to her.”
“I think you should stay out of Kunle’s business. He’s a grown man.”
‘He‘s also my brother, my only brother. I cannot fold my arms and watch him make a mistake.”
“Stay out of his business Simi.” Ade warned. “I forbid you to discuss this with him or mama.”
“Simi!” Ade warned sharply.
Simi struggled with her husband’s warning that she was to stay out of Kunle and Deola’s relationship. How could he expect her to sit back, do nothing, while her brother made a huge mistake?
She cringed as she drove into her parents’ compound later in the week; she had gone grocery shopping and picked up a few items for her mom. To think that Deola had fooled her as well, she had come across so innocent and nice, whereas the reality was different.
Anyway, her husband had made her promise, so she wasn’t going to say anything to her mom. But she believed her mom would find out herself sooner or later. This things had a way of coming out. A bad reputation couldn’t be covered.
“Good evening mom.” She greeted her mom on entering the house going on her knees.
“Simisola, bawo ni?” Tinuke Phillips replied asking how Simi was doing in Yoruba.
“I’m fine ma.” Simi replied in English, rising to sit beside her mom on the sofa.
“Your husband and children, nko?”
“They are fine ma.”
Her mom’s maid; Alero came into the living room to greet Simi, and Simi gave her her car key asking her to get the groceries she bought from the car. She joined her mom in the movie she was watching on Africa Magic Yoruba. They were watching and discussing the movie, when her Mrs Philips pointed out that a fabric one of the actors was wearing in the movie was similar to the one Deola sent to her as the aso-ebi for her brother’s wedding.
Her mom came out with the fabric in a bag. “You won’t believe she didn’t measure me, she sent a finished iro and buba to me, and it’s my perfect size. Would you be free to attend the wedding with me, its next month?”
Simi had truly meant to keep the promise she made her husband, but if her mother and Deola were getting so familiar for her to plan on attending Deola’s brother’s wedding, she just had to speak up. She owed it to her family to tell what she knew.