First of all, happy new month! It’s the last month of the year and I’m as grateful as I am excited about the festive season and the coming year. I hope we share the same sentiments!
This is the last episode of the week, the series continues on Monday. Thank you for being a part of the series this week.
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“You really should learn to mind your business.”
“That’s your response?” Gbemi said.
“Yes.” Lanre replied and slid off the stool he had been sitting on. “I’m not cheating on Toyin, no matter what you heard or think you heard.”
“I didn’t say anything about cheating. Is that your guilty conscience speaking?”
“Good night.” He said, walking past her.
“I told you, I won’t let you hurt Toyin, and I mean it.”
“But you’re perfectly alright with hurting her aren’t you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Your friend is pregnant, are you going to put her in distress because you suspect me of something?”
Gbemi looked at him angrily, he had touched a nerve. She wasn’t going to distress her friend with baseless suspicions, yet she knew that Lanre was hiding something.
“Your life would be better, if you invested half the time you invest in others’ lives, in yours.” He said scathingly and left her standing at the counter.
“You need to tell her everything.” Gloria said to Jumoke.
“I don’t want to.”
“She’ll never believe me. She’ll think I’m probably making things up so I can look good.”
“I doubt that.”
Jumoke laughed dryly. “I want to doubt it too but I know that’s what will happen. She thinks her father is a knight in shining armor, there’s nothing I can do to change that impression.”
Gloria sighed. “I hate what’s going on between you two.”
“I hate it too.” Jumoke replied dully. “That child is so ungrateful! I should never have let her see Lanre.”
“It was only a matter of time Jumoke.”
The two were silent for a while.
“So what are you going to do?”
“Nothing. She’s not going to see Lanre anymore.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. You’ll only make her pine for him and make yourself look bad.”
“I struggled to raise this child all on my own Gloria, I’m not going to let him take away my right to a child that he wouldn’t even have seen if not for coincidence!”
“I hear you Jummy, but, and I hate to say this, you’ve opened a door that you just can’t slam. They’ve seen each other now, the best you can do is supervised visitation…”
“Or maybe we should go back to London…”
“When you’ve just become a partner?”
Jumoke sighed and started to cry. “It’s painful Gloria, the child I suffered so much for is now spiting me. Is this what I deserve?”
Gloria held her friend and sighed.
“What happened between you and Hope?” Lanre asked Jumoke over the phone two days later.
“What are you talking about?” she asked surprised wondering how he could have known what happened in their home.
“You slapped her…”
“First of all, how do you know that?”
Lanre exhaled sharply, he hadn’t thought through his actions. Jumoke would now know that he and Hope had been having telephone conversations.
“We need to talk…”
“We’re talking now. How did you know what’s going on in my home?”
“Isn’t it possible for us to have a civil conversation? I just want to talk.”
“You don’t get to ask for a civil conversation Lanre. We could have had civil conversations twelve years ago. Don’t open your mouth and talk as if you even deserve this telephone ovation we’re having. Now tell me how you knew what was happening in my house, because there’s no way you could have known that if Hope hadn’t told you… oh my God, she found a way of telling you didn’t she?”
She immediately hung up and called Hope’s school, where she told her class coordinator to promptly seize her daughter’s mobile phone.
“You’ve been talking to him without my permission? Every night, when you should be asleep? What is going on with you Hope? Did I not teach you better than to go talking to him behind my back?”
“He’s my Dad, mum!”
“And you’re still justifying yourself?”
“No, I’m just trying to explain why…”
“I didn’t ask for your explanation! You’ve betrayed my trust, you don’t get a phone until you can prove to me that I can trust you not to give your phone number to random people.”
“Mum… please!” Hope cried. “I’m sorry!”
“Yeah, me too. Please go to your room.”
Hope sobbed as she walked out of her room.
“I think you need to cut her some slack.” He said, after he and Jumoke had had dinner in her house the next night.
“What are you saying?” Jumoke replied irritably.
“She made a mistake and you have every right to be offended but try not to be too harsh on her.”
“Did you hear everything I said that she did…?”
“And you heard when me when I said that she gave her number to Lanre without my consent?”
“So how can you sit there and tell me to cut her some slack?”
“Listen to me Jumoke…”
“No, no, no. I’ve listened to you enough! All of this is your fault! If I had stuck to my way, this issue wouldn’t even have come up, because I never would have let her see that man. But I decided to listen to your wise counsel, even though I felt that I was doing the wrong thing. Now I’m dealing with this mess and all you can tell me is to listen to you again?”
“I think you should leave…”
“My greatest mistake was getting parenting advice from someone who’s not even a parent. Please leave!”
Without another word, Derick got up and left her house.
Lanre was waiting by Jumoke’s car when she got to the parking lot the next evening.
“You sneaky, irresponsible, man!”
“I’m sorry Jumoke…”
“I didn’t ask for your apology. How did you know my car?”
“I told them I had a gift for you….”
“And they let you…” Jumoke was furious, she walked to the gate and called one of the guards.
“Yes ma!” The man said when he got to her.
“Why did you show this man my car?”
“He said he’s your boyfriend ma!”
“And you believed him? What if he had a bomb? I hope he tipped you well enough because your work here is finished. Don’t come back tomorrow…”
“Ah madam please!” the man prostrated begging.
“Get out of my sight and don’t ever let me see you here again!” she yelled and walked away towards her car.
“Get out of my way,” she said to Lanre.
“Please Jumoke, let’s talk.”
“You know I really, really, want to smack you silly. You seem to have a huge problem knowing the appropriate time to talk. You go behind my back to have whatever conversations with my child and then you come here and ask us to talk because I found out? You are so clueless as a father! She gave you her number and instead of you to have let her know it’s wrong to give strangers her number, you took it and started having midnight conversations with her! You are such a despicable human being and I wish to God I never met you!”
“I’m really trying here Jumoke.” Lanre was fed up of Jumoke’s harshness. “I made a mistake and I’m trying to correct it…”
“By being sneaky?”
“I made a mistake…”
“You mean you made a mistake again? You seem to be an expert at making mistakes.”
“I can only stand this verbal abuse for a while, you’re really pushing it.” Lanre said irritably.
Jumoke boiled with rage. “I’m really pushing it?” she hit him with her bag. “I haven’t even started to push anything!”
“Get yourself together!”
“I am together! You don’t want to see me lose it, because you’ve had it coming…”
“Oh please! I made a mistake, we all have! I’m not going to let you make me feel guilty forever.”
“That’s your business. I don’t even know why I’m wasting my time talking to you. Just stay away from us.”
“I want to be a part of my daughter’s life…”
“Whatever!” she replied opening the door to her car.
“I’m serious!” he said, holding her arm.
“Get your hands off me!”
“I’m serious, I want to be a part of my daughter’s life.” he replied holding on to her arm.
“I said get your hands off me!” she yelled, hitting him on the chest violently.
“I’m warning you!”
“And I am warning you! Get your hands off me!”
In a swift movement, Lanre pulled her closer and kissed her lips hard. Jumoke pushed against him, trying to get herself out of his embrace but his grip was tight, his lips tingling her in the most intimate places, reminding her of one afternoon twelve years ago.
Jumoke slowly gave in to him, kissing him with a mixture of fury and pent-up passion, both of them oblivious of their surroundings. It was the sound of Lanre’s phone that jerked them out of their emotional cocoon, they pulled away from each other startled.
“Oh my God!” Jumoke said regretfully.
Lanre silenced his phone and stared intently at her.
“We were blindsided by circumstances… “
Jumoke shook her head violently, holding her face in her hands.
“Give us another chance. Let’s be a family!” he urged.
“No, no, no…!” she said frantically, getting into her car and zooming off.
Don't miss my exciting news about January 2017! Watch this space to read all about it!