MAGICAL MONDAYS WITH KREATE
Episode 8: Mid-Season Finale
‘Again,’ Chinwe winked at Thomas as he emerged from the toilet. They were in Chinwe’s bedroom. Ashley had gone to see Tayo. Thomas kissed her forehead. ‘You should get some rest. We have defied the doctor’s instructions enough.’ he said.
‘Don’t be silly,’ Chinwe said. ‘It’s been days now and I feel as strong as a horse. Do I look like I need some rest?’
‘Doctors don’t know everything. Besides, it is my body and it’s hungry,’ she said, putting a finger in her mouth. Thomas laughed. ‘Don’t tempt me, Chinwe. Be nice.’
‘That’s kinda the point. Stop being a ninny. Or can’t you get it up?’
Thomas shook his head in amusement. Then his face took on a serious look. ‘Chinwe. I care about you too much to continue with whatever this is. Do you not feel anything for me?’
‘Can we not talk about this now?’
‘I need to know, Chinwe.’
He looked so miserable that her heart went out to him. She didn’t doubt his feelings for her and hers for him. But she was also afraid. Afraid of what happened to the ones she loved. What happened to her cousin? She wished she was stronger and hated that she wasn’t. He deserved an explanation, at least. He had certainly earned that right.
‘Let me tell you about my parents. Dad was a provider and he loved his family. My mum also loved her family. She was a great cook but she would not hesitate to spare your bum a good beating whenever you deviated from her rules. They lived simple lives, had few friends, and stayed out of people’s business. And then just -’ Chinwe paused and a tear dropped from an eye.
‘Just like that, an auto-crash claimed their lives.’
‘I’m sorry to hear that,’ Thomas empathized.
‘I can’t go through that again, Thomas. I can’t give my heart to someone just for Life to snatch him away.’
Thomas sat down beside her and held her hand. ‘I understand how you feel, Chinwe.
Unfortunately, sometimes, we have no control over what Life presents us. But this I know, we should enjoy life while it lasts, enjoy it with those who matter to us while they are with us. Your parents sound wonderful. Am I right to believe that they constantly expressed how important they were to themselves?’ Chinwe nodded.
‘I care about you, Chinwe and I want to enjoy life with you.’
Chinwe grinned. He was wise and considerate and wonderful. ‘I care about you too, Thomas.’
They hugged and held each other in silence, expressing feelings that words couldn’t do justice to.
Her phone rang and she was glad when she discovered the caller was Tayo. They had not seen in a week not for lack of trying. Ashley’s week had been busy. He wanted them to have lunch and she was up for it. He came to the apartment around 1 pm dressed in a casual polo top, a pair of plain jeans and a pair of sneakers. She was also garbed in a simple floral skirt.
‘You look lovely,’ Tayo complimented after sizing her up.
‘You don’t look so bad yourself,’ Ashley smiled.
‘I know right.’
‘When did you become so full of yourself?’ Tayo grinned. ‘Shall we?’
‘Ready. I’m famished.’
Tropical English was popular for its well-marinated savory steaks on the whole of Lagos-Island. Ashley had been there once and the restaurant certainly lived up to its fame. A smartly dressed lady ushered them to a reserved corner in the left wing of the restaurant. Ashley couldn’t help but notice how she threw flirtatious glances at Tayo when she provided the roasted groundnuts and glasses of water. He calmly returned her advances with a calm, confident smile.
‘So tell me,’ Ashley began. ‘What happened to you?’
‘You’d have to be more specific.’ Tayo popped some groundnuts in his mouth.
‘When did you become so confident and calm around ladies?’ She gulped her glass of water.
‘Losing my mother and you changed me. I felt I had to defend myself at every point in time. I spoke my mind without a filter which led to some fights. Of course, I got into a lot of trouble in school but for some reason, ladies seem to be drawn to nasty guys. Soon I realized that they weren’t the untouchable gods I had made them to be. No offense,’ he said.
‘None was taken. I am sincerely sorry about your mum.’ Ashley responded and placed a hand over his in comfort.
‘Thank you,’ he smiled but the sadness that came with the loss of a loved one rested in his eyes. ‘So I slept with many girls and with those experiences my confidence level climbed. Soon I figured not everyone was out to get me and that deep down I wasn’t comfortable with being mean. So I changed but the confidence remained. Does that summary do justice to your question?’
Ashley nodded in affirmation.
‘So tell me,’ Tayo said. ‘Is there a man in your life?’
Ashley laughed ‘Nothing serious’
Tayo raised an eye. ‘Oh, How interesting! You have evolved.’
Ashley suddenly felt a wave of shame and steered the conversation away from the uncomfortable topic. ‘How did you guys meet?’
‘Her father is a co-investor and I was invited for a family dinner. The rest is history.’
‘That’s all I’m gonna get?’
‘That’s all there is to it.’
‘She seems sweet,’ Ashley said.
‘You barely even know her,’ Tayo replied with a smile.
‘Hence, the use of the word ‘seems’,’ Ashley said.
‘No one likes a smart ass.’
‘You sure?’ Tayo laughed.
The meal came and the conversation continued. They caught up on old times and laughed a lot in between. About 15 minutes after the meal, Tayo left a generous tip and they left.
The drive to her office was silent as if the two had things to think about. Tayo pulled up in front of Ashley’s office. ‘I had a nice time,’ he said.
‘Me too,’ Ashley concurred.
‘Can we do this again?’
‘I’d like that,’ Ashley said. The moment she responded it felt like she had made a bad decision. But she told herself it was just relationship management for an important investor. She didn’t believe it.
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. Read more interesting pieces at KREATEATALE