I was confused. What text? I had a foreboding about what it was… The text meant for Kelvin.
Koko, how did you get into this mud now?
I called him, trying to spin a web of lies about business partners, extra job opportunities and all.. Which, technically, were not exact lies though. The Chief was an extra job opportunity and Kelvin, my business partner.
He actually got my name right this time, pronunciation and intonation. Must be serious!
“I love you. I don’t know if i’m the one imagining things. I don’t want to play around with you, that’s not my way. Am i alone in this?”
“Uhm, Jide, i respect your feelings…”
“This is not about respect. Do you love me?”
“It is more complicated than that. I like you a lot. I really do. I just don’t know if i am ready… I know it sounds cliche but that is the truth.”
“Alright. I won’t push things. When you’re sure and ready, i would be here. Meanwhile, your extracurricular activities are not my business. I know what ‘fixing up’ means. Take care.”
The emotions i was battling with; joy, shame, doubt, fear. Just one positive emotion. The second emotion was new though and i blamed Jide. Was i ready to put aside my ‘fun’ just for him?
My phone was ringing… Tafo. Now what?
“Hi sis. I know you grudgingly attended the wedding. But i think Edi deserves more respect than that, you did not even look back to check on us after that.”
“Tafo, i am not a marriage counsellor. Neither am i observing your marriage for research purposes. What is it?”
“Can you come stay with us for a while? You know Edi’s mum came to stay with us. She fell some weeks back and has been placed on bed rest. I can’t handle this house alone. When will you be on leave?”
Irritating. Just so irking. She was not pleading, she was demanding. She probably thinks we’re still little girls.
“My leave won’t be till the end of the year. Sorry i can’t help you.”
“I understand. But you know Edi needs to have someone around. You know how my job is…”
I laughed. “You really think you can dangle the Edi card in my face. Not working. Get yourself a help or something. I need to get to work.”
“But today is Saturday.”
“Yes, nurses work on weekends too. And your ministry of works? Exactly my thoughts, you don’t. Bye.”
I was glad i would not have to face Jide till the next Friday.
“Nurse Kanayo, how are you today?”
Turning round to face him, i am most certain my face bore the looks of a very confused human. What was he doing at work on Saturday?
“Good morning doctor. Do you need me to do something?”
“Please see me in consulting room 5 when you are less busy.”
I decided there and then that my ‘less busy’ would be when i would be getting off duty. I worked hard at avoiding him in the mean time.
At 4pm, i knocked on his door. He looked quite tired, his tie had been loosened slightly and he had removed his glasses.
I really was wondering what all the formality was for. We talked about the day’s work; The different patients, especially the ones known at the hospital, the drug companies and their agents and the promise of getting our salary the next week.
“I would like to take you out tomorrow.”
This was unexpected, especially with the formal approach and our talk earlier in the day. I thought he was going to keep me at arm’s length.
“Uhm, yes. Sure.”
“Great. I look forward to seeing you outside this uniform again.”
I smiled. This guy is just too sweet.
Church was over before 1pm. I had two hours before my outing with Jide. I cooked dinner ahead of time, envisioning that i would likely get back late. I also dropped messages for my parents. Then scrolled through Facebook.
Truth? I was anxious. This was going to be my first real date. My parents had not been helpful in matters concerning relationships. The best i got was, “don’t let any guy touch you”. I don’t know about Tafo but that was the exact reason my curiosity killed my cat. My parents know Tafo is an extreme extrovert and she makes it obvious that she handles herself well. I on the other hand, they probably still think i’m a virgin.
The dress i pick is knee length. I dislike matching colors but this one matched my deep brown leather wristwatch. I let down my hair. At least, i have more of that than Tafo. Blessed be God!
Jide told me he would pick me up at 3pm. Talk about punctuality.
There is this beautiful thing about seeing doctors outside their ward coats. Especially those with a great fashion sense and enough cash. Jide looked stunning!!! Great fashion sense, yes, i know he has that. But, how come he looks… Richer than i thought?
There is no way the salary at UCH and the private practise could give enough for what i was seeing. He came in a silver mitsubishi outlander. Definitely different from the silver toyota corolla 2015 model he drove to work. I noticed his love for silver/grey/ash, just like my father.
” You look surprised.”
“Shouldn’t i be? You look great by the way.”
“Thank you. I love your dress and those wedge sandals fit just right.”
Hmm, a guy who compliments foot wears. Interesting.
“So, are you getting extra bonuses from our oga or where is this lifestyle being fed from?”
“Uhm, sorry i asked. It really is not my business.”
“It’s fine Koko. I have this anonymous benefactor. He… Or she, i don’t know, sends in money every 15th day of the month. This has been ongoing for over 10years.”
I look at his face. I know he is concentrating on navigating our way though the traffic. But i see worry lines on his face too. He is not joking.
“Do you know anything about this person? Have you tried finding out who it is? Ten years is a long time not to know.”
“I left the money untouched for years. I have tried to find out. Gone to my bank to ask. Apparently, there is an instruction to hide the person’s identity. But i know the initials.”
“That is something. Do your parents know about this?”
“Uhm. Mum died 10years ago. I don’t know my dad.”
“I am so sorry. I think i should just keep quiet now.”
“Koko, i need you to be free with me. Talk. Suggest. Prod. I promise to also do the same. The initial is JK.”
“Oh… Same as my dad’s.”
Our dinner ends up being much more fun than i imagined. Behind his cute face and innocence, i discover that Jide is a man of many talents, quite deep in thoughts and mature. He sings in his church choir, has a personal blog, contributes to a fashion blog and enjoys cartoons as much as i do. His hair happens to be extra curly, giving him this ” I am not from here” look.
Back at my apartment door around 9pm, he leans in to kiss me. It barely lasts 15seconds before he turns back to his car and drives off.
Koko, please do not fall totally for this guy.