CHAPTER XIII
Tubosun
***
There was something
incomplete about the last day in October. I couldn’t quite put a finger on it.
I hung my leather jacket on my door hook, ransacking my mind for what it was. I
came up blank. Frankly, it had been a very long day at work. I felt a sudden
slight pain – more discomfort than pain – on the left side of my back and my
hand went to it instinctively. I decided to lay down on the bed for a moment
before rustling up dinner. The discomfort seemed to ease.
A 3,600 change had
happened within five weeks. I had been offered a supervisory role in a
completely different department. I had accepted because it paid better and
would look good on my CV. Now I had begun questioning the wisdom of that
decision.
Almost everything had
to be learnt about this department, and accomplishing this from a supervisory
level, made the process more daunting. It didn’t help matters that most of the
team members were giving me a hard time: the slender lady with a droopy eye
moaning about being assigned to the same task all the time; the petite one with
a sarcastic smiley face who I could sense questioning my every action; and my
supposedly perfectionist line manager delivering more negative than positive
feedback. I could almost place a wager that they all expected me to fail.
Perhaps I was being
paranoid. I wasn’t paranoid about one thing though: the job was stressing me
out. But it was good for one thing. I had little time to think about Beatrice. And
then the thought that had been elusive so far suddenly struck home.  Sumbo hadn’t rung my mobile phone all day. I
had hoped passionate sex would rid me of the effect she had on me.
And perhaps it would
have. But news of the accident had brought my world crashing down. Memories I
had been trying to tame, memories of the events revolving around Beatrice’s death
suddenly reared their ugly heads. My behavior on that day had been unfair and
possibly terrible on so many levels but I had had to leave. I had needed
to.  And perhaps that move would have severed
any cord between us, if I didn’t still want her. Even though I had a powerful,
ominous feeling that anybody that found a way into my heart would die, which
had prevented me from picking her calls, I still wanted to be with Sumbo. I
yawned.
What
a conundr-
Sumbo
***
I was itching to
terminate the conversation, but my mother wanted to talk, talk and talk. 
‘So,
when are you coming to greet us?’
she asked, her face
stretching beyond usual as she peered into the video chat screen.
Ha!’ I exclaimed in disbelief. She was incredulous sometimes, my mother.
I was home, only some months ago!’ ‘That
was a long time to be away from your aged mother. A long time for any young
woman to be away from her mother,’
she hissed. I knew my mother all too
well and allowing her to guilt me into an action wasn’t an option. I decided to
employ some tact. ‘Mama, you know I
cannot just up and leave my workplace whenever I want to.’
‘Mo
.’
That in my traditional language Yoruba meant I know. She resigned and relaxed
into her blue sofa, ‘but you should pay
me a visit as soon as you can. It gets lonely here.
I had two siblings
and they lived with her, but there was no need pointing that out. ‘I’ll see what I can do,’ I replied
noncommittally. 
So, when are you bringing a man home?’ Her quiet question sounded
more like a demand.
For some reason, that
question opened the veil to the memory of Tubosun, simultaneously saddening and
rendering me speechless. I was angrier at him for ignoring my calls than for leaving
in such an abrupt manner. I had spoken to Edna about it and she had advised me
to give him some space. ‘If the truth is
to be known, it would be revealed at its own time,
’ she had said. Akin
hadn’t been so philosophical. Without mincing words, he had epitomized Tubosun
as a damn fool. 
‘I
asked you a question, Sumbo,’
Mother said
peevishly, her slightly raised voice dragging me back from memory lane. 
Soon Mama,’ I said, hoping she would let the matter rest. But that
was wishful thinking. ‘Twenty-eight years
old, Sumbo! You do know that you are not getting any younger?’
Her voice
registered a blend of disappointment and dismay. ‘I want to carry my grandchildren in my hands before I die.’
The alarm on my
mobile phone went off and I exhaled in relief. Saved by the bell.
Mama we can discuss this further at some point, but I’ve got to go.
Today is Akin’s birthday.
  She
sighed deeply. ‘Ok o, I have said my own.
Give my regards to Akintunde.
’ She had always preferred referring to Akin
by his full name.  And the video chat
went dead. I felt for her because I understood that the culture in Nigeria
preaches that ideally a lady should be married in her mid-twenties. But what
could I do? You couldn’t just conjure a marriageable man by snapping your fingers.
I pushed the thought from my mind, scrambled got off the bed and pulled open my
wardrobe to select a dress for the nightclub. Akin and Beatrice would be
picking me up in another thirty minutes. During the picnic we had some hours
ago, Beatrice had insisted that I came along, completely ignoring my polite
excuses. I decided on the only purple dress in the closet. As I stepped into
it, my eyes caught sight of the ring on my finger. I barely noticed it these
days. Perhaps it is because it’s been ages ago since I had had the dream. 



Kreate
is a budding Nigerian writer with a flair for fiction. Writing for him
began sometime in secondary school where he dabbled in poetry and plays.
He has authored two self-published short novels.
He is a banker and lives in Surulere.

Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.