Shadows Part 4

Kayinsola was silent for some seconds. T.J had been her first boyfriend and it had been a turbulent relationship, he had introduced her to alcohol and cigarettes and for years she had struggled to break her addiction to them until she met Rotimi who had helped her overcome it. She had completely cut off all ties to T.J in spite of how difficult it had been but her life was better off.

“Rotimi believe me, I don’t know how he got my number. I swear I didn’t give him my number.”

“So how did he get your number?”

“I don’t know! I’ve told you everything.” She scratched her head nervously, trying to remember their meeting. “He came up to me, said hello and that he wanted to take me out, I said no… that’s it. When I left the ATM, he was nowhere to be found.” She looked at Rotimi and saw that he didn’t believe her.

“Rotimi I’m telling you the truth!”

“I don’t know what to believe Kayinsola.”

“Believe me! Have I ever given you reason to doubt me?”

Rotimi looked oddly at her and she knew what he was thinking.

“Rotimi!” she said softly. “You’re thinking about my past. You think I’m having some kind of relapse after all these years? You think I would throw away what we have for another stick of cigarette?” she flopped on the bed. “I thought we were over this. You said you trusted me, what changed your mind?”

“What do you expect me to think when your ex-boyfriend is chatting you up?”

“Did I respond?”

“You could have, you would have if I didn’t see it first. Tell me you wouldn’t have.”

“Well…” she began, a little flustered. “I would have wanted to know how he got my number.”

“Whatever Kayin.” He turned away.

“Rotimi! I’m telling you the truth!”

**********

Do the right thing.

“Baby what do you think about this one?” Titi asked Leke. They were in a meeting with a wedding planner and he had presented them with various suggestions for their honeymoon.

“Hmmn…” he said bringing himself out of his reverie. “Oh that looks nice.”

“Are you okay? You look distracted.”

“I’m fine babe. Just a little tired.” He managed a smile.

“’Okay…” her eyes caught a picture. “But what do you think about this one? This Egyptian resort is so beautiful!”

“Yeah.”

“We should totally do this one!”

“That’s a wonderful choice but that resort is above your budget…” Ken, the wedding planner said.

“Oh don’t worry we can afford it. Right baby?”

Do the right thing.

“Baby?” Titi nudged Leke.

“What? Yeah, yeah!”

“Leke, focus! Can you just focus please?”

“I’m sorry babe. I’m really tired.”’

“Perhaps we can do this another time?” Ken tried.

“Of course not! We’re doing this now. Ken says the resort is above our budget but I told him we can afford it.”

Leke had given a greater part of the embezzled fund to Jeffrey, hoping it would salve his conscience. An expensive Egyptian resort was the last thing he wanted to be spending money on.

“I don’t think we can go over our budget at this point.” He said more to himself.

“At what point?” Titi asked confused.

“This wedding is already costing me a lot of money…”

“You’re not the only one spending money here.”

“Titi, I can’t afford it.”

Titi smiled tightly. “Ken, do you think you can give us a minute?”

“Sure.” Ken smiled tightly and excused them happily.

“Leke, this is our honeymoon and I want the best. You said we could go anywhere I want so what’s the problem now?”

“Things have come up…”

“What things?”

“Titit, trust me…”

“And Leke trust me when I say we are doing this. I’m not going to settle for less. If you can’t afford it, I’ll ask my Dad to pay for it.”

“You wouldn’t dare!” Leke replied angrily.

“Watch me!”

Leke stared at her for a while. “Alright, whatever you want.”

“Better!”

**********

“I was stunned. He didn’t even ask how much it was going to cost, he just simply said no.” Titi was recounting what had happened to Kayinsola the next Sunday.

“Men can be funny sometimes. We don’t know what is going on in their minds, so we just have to be patient with them.”

“Please! As if nothing goes on in our own minds!”

Kayinsola smiled, remembering that Rotimi had told her that Leke had confided in him about something. “Anyway, how are the rest of the preparations going?”

“Fine, I’m having a cake tasting on Wednesday, wanna come?”

“Cake tasting? Absolutely!”

Afar off Rotimi watched them, inexplicably angry at their happiness. He pulled his eyes away as Leke walked up to him.

“Good afternoon.”

“Leke! How now?”

“I’m fine.” He exhaled. “I just want to… actually I want to…’ Leke wasn’t sure how to phrase his sentence. “Please keep my secret.”

“Do you think I’m going to go around blabbing to people?” Rotimi asked slightly annoyed.

“No… I’m sorry, I’m just being paranoid. I hope you will be at our wedding?”

“Yes of course.”

“Alright, thank you sir.”

As soon as he left, Rotimi knew what he was going to do. He got up from his seat and went to the pastor’s office.

**********

“So my container is coming very soon.” Jeffery was telling a group of men who were members of his church.

“Na wa o! You don become importer and exporter!” the men laughed.

Augusta sat some seats away seething with rage. Why couldn’t Jeffrey keep his mouth shut? Someone tapped her shoulder. It was Obiageli, a member of the women’s association.

“Obi! How now?” Augusta said with a smile.

“Madam! I hear say your money don come!”

“Which money?”

“Your husband now!”

“Oh!”

“Congratulations!”

“Thank you.” she forced a smile.

“That reminds me, now that your husband don hammer, please tell him about our women’s day. We are going to make him a patron.”

“Hmmn?”

“Yes now! Look let me be going, my husband might be looking for me.”

Augusta hissed, making Jeffrey a patron meant that he would be spending the money he should be using for his business. Augusta cursed her husband’s tactlessness as she watched him chat excitedly with his friends.

**********

“There’s something I need to tell you sir.” Rotimi said to the pastor.

“Really, what’s that?”

“Leke embezzled some money from his company.”

“Yes, I know.”

“You know?” Rotimi was surprised, when had Leke told the pastor what he had done?

“I think we should take him off the financial team.”

“Why?”

Rotimi was puzzled. Wasn’t it obvious? “We can’t trust him.”

The pastor smiled. “I trust him. He made a mistake and he is remorseful, I’m sure the church funds are safe with him.”

Rotimi faked a smile. “Alright sir, I just thought you should know.”

“Thank you.”

Rotimi stepped out of the office and saw Titi laughing with someone. He knew exactly how to make Leke sorry.

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