Diary of a Fusspot (8)

fusspot

Ike was dozing on the couch in front of the TV when I got home with the baby on his lap. He had a beatific smile on his face. Anna was pinching his nose and grinning at him. It seemed like this father daughter bonding thing was working real well. I watched them for a while and then went to the kitchen to make supper.

As I peeled the yams for my special yam pottage recipe, my thoughts went back to Titi and her elaborate schemes. I didn’t know it till much later but after my first meeting with Ike, she planned another one with him. The one where she told him that I was just a little girl who didn’t know anything and he should look for a real woman to be with; a woman like her. The one where he told her he wasn’t interested. Then she came back to me and told me that she had found out that Ike had asked five other girls out in our faculty and he just wanted to use me as his plaything seeing how innocent I was. I never thought to question her. I believed her totally and thanked her for saving me from potential heartbreak.

She told me not to worry, that she would get me a decent boyfriend. She actually introduced me to two guys but it was very awkward when we met. We literally had nothing to say to each other. I ignored Ike when we passed each other at the faculty. He called out to me several times but I never answered.

One night I was going to the classrooms to do some reading up when I saw a familiar figure in the shadows. I moved closer to see and sure enough it was Titi, talking to a guy. That wasn’t unusual. I had actually lost track of her boyfriends. She had so many of them. Then she put a hand on the boy’s arm and then he turned and I saw it was Ike. I felt sick. What were they both doing here in the middle of the night behind the classrooms? She leaned over to hug him and I hurried away, hoping they hadn’t seen me.

That night in class, I couldn’t read. I tried to analyze what I had seen. Surely it couldn’t be what I thought. She told me to stay away from Ike and I assumed she was staying away from him too. Was Titi really my friend or had she been deceiving me the whole time? There had to be an innocent explanation to all this. I debated whether to ask her or not. It was the first time I was beginning to doubt her.

I watched her for a few days before I finally decided to confront her. I hoped she would tell me something convincing. Something that would let me know she hadn’t been pretending to me for months. Then she said something like: “Look Chinelo, all I was doing was for your own good. You couldn’t have handled Ike. He’s the kind of guy who wants something casual but you want to go the whole nine yards. I just wanted a casual fling with him that’s all.”

It was then I realized how clueless I had been. I took one long look at her and I told her I never wanted to see or talk to her again. I do not know where my new found boldness came from but the next day I sought Ike out and told him I wanted to talk to him. It was one of the best decisions I had ever made.

I never heard from Titi and the last I knew she had left school to get married to one oil well guy. Never heard from her until now. I needed to tell Ike about her, I thought as I stirred my sauce on the cooker. Then I left it to simmer and went to the living room.

“I have something to tell you,” I said as I sat on the sofa beside him. I was surprised that his face looked ashen. There was also a look of consternation on his face.

“What is it?” I asked him.

“It was my office,” he said. “They just called and asked me to find myself a good lawyer.”

I opened my mouth in disbelief. A lawyer? Was he being criminally charged? My world was spinning around me again.

 

 

 

 

 

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Diary of a fusspot (7)

Part 7.

fusspot

I knew that it could be difficult for me to get to see her but I was determined to try. I needed to tell her who I truly was. Perhaps that would get her to open up to me. It was only a five minute walk to her house and so I set out.

I realized that I hadn’t told Ike about her yet. I wasn’t sure why. Titi had nearly cost us everything in school. When I met her I was just considering dating Ike Okonji the hot guy in my faculty three years older than me and two years my senior. He had asked me out on my way to the hostel from class and I was so surprised that he would be interested in shy, diffident me. All I could do was nervously stammer that I would think about it. Then I avoided him for about two weeks

It didn’t take long before I told Titi about it. She was amused at my reticence and inexperience and then said she wanted to meet him to see if he would be a good fit for me.

“I don’t want anyone taking advantage of you my friend. I know you like him but I don’t want that to cloud your judgement,” she said grasping my hand.

She seemed very sincere and I believed her. I didn’t know that that meeting spelt the beginning of doom.

I came out of my reverie when I discovered that I had reached the front of her house and pressed Titi’s doorbell and waited for a response. Nothing. I pressed it again.

A boy who looked to be about seven with Tit’s eyes came to the door. He had a sad, lost look as he greeted me.

“I would like to see your mother,” I told him.

“She’s resting ma. Can I take a message?”

Smart kid, I thought. I wasn’t sure I believed him or not but I didn’t think it would be right for me to push it. Perhaps it could wait another day.

“What’s your name?” I asked him.

“Ayomide,” he replied. For someone whose name meant ‘happiness had arrived’, he didn’t look very happy.

“Ok. Just tell your mum I stopped by and that I need to discuss something important with her. I’ll come again tomorrow. Do you understand what I said?”

He nodded vigorously and watched me as I walked away.

As I walked home, I got lost in my thoughts again. I had been so naïve in school. Titi told me to invite him to my room where she and I would be waiting to meet him. It was difficult for me to muster the courage to speak to Ike on my own but I spotted him leaving one of his classes one day and the words just tumbled out.

He smiled and agreed to come. I was nervous that Saturday evening but Titi was with me and Ike arrived promptly at five dressed in a jersey and jeans and looking even more handsome than usual.

Titi had warned me to act cool while she appraised him. I bought him a cold drink and watched as she dominated the entire conversation. She seemed to do a good job of scrutinizing him. She asked him about his plans after school, what his hobbies were, whether he attended church regularly. She sked questions I would have been too shy and afraid to ask. I sat there nearly mute the entire time. Ike smiled and responded to her questions with relative ease but when it appeared as if the questions were becoming more of interrogations he stood up to leave. I escorted him out of the hostel and then he turned to me asked me why I was quiet.

“Nothing.” I mumbled. He said he hoped to see me around and left.

I was eager to hear what Titi my more experienced friend in this matters thought of him. When I got back to my room, she was waiting with a frown on her face.

“Chinelo, honestly I don’t think you should date that Ike boy.” She said giving me a serious look. “ He seems like a shifty person. I don’t trust him.”

When she saw my crestfallen look, she said. “Ok. You know what? Let me find out more about him. If he’s any good, I’ll let you know. If not, I’ll tell you. But for now, I think you should stay away from him. I think he wants to take advantage of you.”

Looking back now, it seems incredulous that I was so naive. But I was. Naïve enough to believe her every word.