She’s up to something, she has to be. I had come up with a story about being carried away by a research with one of my colleagues which was going to be my excuse for being out so late and incommunicado on the night I got back home from the Cokers, where I was stuck under Blessing’s bed for hours. I never got to tell it; immediately I walked in she got up from her seat on the couch.
“Welcome, your dinner is served. You’ll find a letter from the children’s school on the table beside the food, please sign it. Good night”
“Toke, Toke…” I called out to her
“Don’t you want to know where I’ve been?” I asked
“No, I trust you” she said, her face expressionless “just keep in touch next time”
How could she not be affected by my lateness? “Toke…”
“Segun I’ve had a long day and it’s late, I’m going to bed” she said.
Ever since that night I’ve been afraid; i say extra prayers when I’m about to eat and pray fervently before I sleep. She’s been so civil to me; she’s shown neither a happy or angry emotion. How can anyone be like this? Lately I’ve been having nightmares, seeing myself drown. I know there’s something she’s not telling me and I’m going to get to the bottom of it right now.
“Toke can we please talk?” I ask
“It has to wait, I’m already late for my appointment” she replies
“Aren’t you meeting with Titi?”
“Yes, but we have to set out on time before the market is crowded”
I know she will continue cutting me off so I go straight to the point “What’s been going on with us lately?”
“Going on? Has there been something going on?”
“Toke let’s not play games, ever since that night I came home late and tried to explain you’ve been different. You’re neither hot nor cold so can we just talk about it?”
“There’s nothing to talk about, I already told you that I trust you” she said flippantly “Or is there?” She asked with meaning
“If you would just listen to my explanation….” I began
“Oh please! You want me to waste my time listening to your cock and bull story when we both know you were with another woman and have been with her for a while now?” She said furiously.
I was stunned “Toke if you would just…”
“After your promise to me the last time! I should have known better than to trust you, after all you’ve been like this since we were dating. But I thought that responsibility and commitment would change you, now I see that I was terribly wrong. I’m going to find the whore you’re sleeping with and I will make you both pay!” She said quietly and walked out of the room.
This is trouble, but I’ve been careful with Blessing she won’t find out. I should have known she would, my cup was full this time.
“Titi!” Toke called out
“In here!” Titi replied from the kitchen
“Hi, sorry I’m late. Segun and I got into something.” she said as she hugged her
“Something uhn?” Titi said with meaning, smiling.
“Believe me, it’s not what you think. That has not been going on for a while,” she said seriously.
“Really? Why? I hope you’re not denying him ?”
“Whatever! Please let’s talk about something else,” she said as she popped a fried plantain
into her mouth.
into her mouth.
Titi wondered what could be going on but Toke obviously didn’t want to talk about it and she didn’t want to pry “Okay, err… so I was thinking that we should buy lace instead of ankara, I’m not sure
the others would like ankara”
the others would like ankara”
“Yeah, you do have a point. I know for a fact that Modele would cringe at the idea, let alone the sight of ankara,” They laughed “Meanwhile your kitchen floor is unusually dirty where is your broom?”
“It’s by that door” she said pointing to the door which led to backyard “Blessing is coming back today so the cleanliness in my home will be restored!” they laughed again.
Toke reached for the broom as her eyes caught a shiny object entwined in the broom. She picked it up, this was Segun’s cufflink, she had bought the pair four years ago for his birthday.
“Titi whose is this?”
“What is that? A cuff-link? I don’t know, it doesn’t look like Bode’s own” she said, leaving the plantains she was frying to inspect the shiny object. “It’s nice, maybe the kids brought it home from a friend’s house”
“Yeah, maybe” Titi replied slipping it in her jeans pocket as Titi returned to the frying plantains.
“Emma how now?” Toke greeted
“Aunty, fine o.”
“How is your wife?” she teased
Emma laughed shyly, “She’s fine, I’m saving money to buy a television and other things. I want to marry her soon.”
“Really? In that case, let me contribute to the wedding” she said and gave him two thousand naira.
“Ah Aunty thank you o! God will bless you!” he said happily
“Bye ma!” he replied
“That reminds me” she said turning back, “Hope you’re behaving yourself? No more trouble with your boss?”
“No ma, not since that day. Blessing was even lucky that she was sick; her salary would have been deducted too. Oga was very angry. But it must have been a very bad day for her because later that night, when she was going to dispose of the waste, she told me her grandmother died.”
Toke didn’t want to believe it but the alarm bell in her head was ringing so loudly.
“She was alone all day?”
“Well, I was around throughout except that time when I went to see my friends. But she was sick so she couldn’t have gone out”
“And around what time did you say she told you her grandmother was dead?”
“It was late o, maybe around 11. She even locked the gate herself.”
Segun heard her come into bed and snuggled up to her. He held her waist and started kissing her neck.
“So it has been Blessing” she said. She felt him stiffen and it confirmed her suspicion
“What? What are you talking about?
“You’ve been sleeping with Blessing, Titi’s maid.”
“Toke, Toke where is this c… coming form… from?” he stuttered
“The maid!” she laughed
She turned back towards him and said quietly with a twinkle in her eye “I will destroy