‘Ms Kemi, you have a call from a Mr Adesina’ Becky my assistant tells me.
‘Mr Adesina? Put the call through. Hello, Kemi Olalere how may I help you?’ I answer the phone while reading a report on my company’s market position.
‘Hello Kemi’ I freeze at the sound of his voice. To me, time literally stops. My heart is racing, my ears are hot. My first instinct is to hang up the phone.
‘Kemi, I know you’re there. You’re breathing heavily into the phone’ he says. ‘how did you get this number?’ I know its a silly question to ask since he’s calling my office number instead of my mobile number.
‘I got a contact number from your company’s website and I’ve just spent the last 2hours being passed from one extension to another. I don’t know what name you go by…’
‘I go by Olalere, Kemi Olalere, I changed my name after the divorce’ I cut him off to answer. ‘What do you want William?’
‘After what happened at Angela’s, I’m hoping we can talk but not over the phone so I’ll like to take you out to dinner’. The air in my office suddenly becomes chill and I feel a slight headache coming along.
‘I don’t think its a good idea. I’m busy and I have a kid I need to go home to, so I don’t…’ It was his turn to cut me off.
‘Kemi, you know I’m not a person who makes decisions without weighing all the options. I’m going to be in Lagos for a long time and I know we will keep bumping into each other in town so I want you to feel comfortable and for us to put all the awkwardness behind us. What do you say, dinner? Friday at 8pm?’
‘Well, what did you say?’ I’m at dinner with TY, the interrogator. We are at Angela’s Cuisine for our usual girl’s night out. The band is playing one of my favorite tunes and I concentrate on it instead of the TY’s question.
‘I love this song’ I want to make her sweat, evading the question and building up suspense for the story.
‘Kemi, I’ll leap across this table and strangle you if you don’t tell me what you told him’
‘I think I’ll have their Wednesday Special with a glass of red wine, that should ease me up real good’.
‘KEMI’ she calls my name through clenched teeth and eyes me. ‘Relax, I said yes, I’ll go to dinner with him’. Her frown immediately transforms into a smile. She even claps her hands.
‘Good, now we need to shop for a new dress, shoes, fix your hair and nails for your date’
‘Date? Who said anything about a date. Its not a date’
‘Who’s not going on a date ?’ Chichi asks as we welcome her to the table. I signal to the waiter to bring us the menu so that we can order our food and drinks.
‘Its Kemi, William called her to ask her out to dinner. Stop being delusional babe, its a date. A date date and I’m going to make sure you glam up for it’
‘William? As in William Adesina? Really? When did that happen? I leave town on business for two weeks and he’s calling you’ ChiChi looks so surprised. She’s an event planner with her own business. She’s always travelling for business.
‘We bumped into him last week. Kemi acted weird around him and for a minute I thought William wasn’t as cheerful as he let on when he saw us’ . TY fills Chichi in on last week’s drama. Our meals arrive and my stomach rumbles in anticipation of a delicious meal.
‘You and William out on a date. That is so surreal. We haven’t heard from him in 20 years and you guys bumped into him here last week. But wait, I thought he is married with two kids so how come he’s asking you out on a date?’ Chichi looks very worried. I knew her Mama Bear mode was booting.
TY: ‘I never really thought about that. I have always had a soft spot for William so naturally I’m happy that he called you and asked you out. Imagine if that old flame starts blazing again‘.
Chichi: ‘TY, Shut up, no old flame is blazing anywhere. Kemi, Will you be okay on your own with him, if you need me there with you as a chaperon, you will let me know right?’ Mama Bear Mode Activated!
Me: ‘I’ll be fine. Its old wounds but I’m sure I’ll make it through the evening and its still two days away so I have a lot of time to brace up’
TY: ‘You people should quit exaggerating. William is a good guy with the purest intention towards you and you know it. The craziest thing you ever did was break up with him. I know I sound harsh right now but I can’t help but wonder why you did it and if I guess right I would say you were being plain selfish. You didn’t to talk to me or Chichi before you made up your mind and that’s so unlike you. I love you K and so does Chi but sometimes you can be selfish. It isn’t always about you’
I sat there with tears rolling down my face. TY’s words hit me like a brick but they were true, I was selfish in my actions when I broke up with William maybe even selfish when I was married to Kunle. Suddenly, the food tasted like sawdust in my mouth and my appetite was gone. All I could think about was going home to check on Bola.
Chichi brings her chair closer to mine and so did TY. They hug me so tight. My girls don’t care that we are in an expensive restaurant. She whispers in my ears ‘no matter what happens, we will always be together’.