“Well, well, won’t you invite us in? Where are the original owners of the house?” Father is already unlacing his shoes while mother begins the questioning.
“Why are you here? How long have you been here? Do you know Mrs. Edichie has been with them for a while? How is Tafo doing? You know how pregnancy can be…”
“No ma, i don’t. Never been there, never done it.”
“You are a nurse.”
My mother can be very annoying and frustrating. With her barrage of questions, i suddenly remember the spa across the street and i think i need a thorough massage.
Everyone goes into spontaneous greetings and expressions of surprise and delight at the sight of them. Of course, Jide is a bit out of place but everyone is still caught up in the whole excitement.
“Wow, this seems like a family reunion. How have you girls been?”
“Dad, we’ve been good. I mean, look at me.”
We all laugh.
“And who is the handsome… “. Father finally gets to see Jide fully and is now looking at him strangely.
“I am Olajide Akorede. I don’t know if Koko has mentioned me yet…”
“Ah… I see…. Olajide. Who are you to Koko?”
“Dad! I thought mum would have mentioned him to you.”
“This is the Jide you told me about? I thought he was just some doctor at your place of work.”
The descent of awkward silence is expected as everyone tries to hide their curiosity in the motions of finding a sofa to sit on.
“He is my boyfriend. Maybe if you had listened or tried asking further questions you would have known.”
“Excuse me? Young lady, you don’t get to use that tone with me.”
I roll my eyes at my mother. Father is weirdly quiet. His gaze on Jide looks like he is studying him, trying to figure out something.
“Jide, why don’t you tell us about yourself while my non gravid daughter gets us some refreshment. Travelling down here was not easy.”
I give father a smile as i walk into the kitchen.
You know how you want to listen in on your boyfriend’s conversation with your parents. I hear Jide mention his childhood days, his love for football and the times he fractured his leg. Twice. Same leg.
“You must have been a very stubborn boy then.”
“My mother would always scold me, asking me what money she would use to get detergent.”
“Imagine. How is she?”
“Jide’s mum is late. I think you guys have had enough of him. Mama Edichie said he has to come greet her.”
I take Jide’s hand to drag him towards the guest room.
“Mama Edichie is Edi’s mother. She is more of a mother to me than Mrs. Kanayo. Let me check if she is awake.”
Jide and I spend considerable time with her until Edi comes to inform us that my parents were leaving to the hotel they had booked rooms in.
“Koko, please get me my wallet from the car. Let us go say hello to Mrs. Edichie before we leave.”
Father has this weird habit of keeping his wallet under the driver’s seat. I open the car and bend down, reaching under the seat for it. I notice some movement behind me and Edi’s deodorant wafts into my nostrils.
“I checked my result. Negative.”
“Are you listening?”
“Please take your arms off my waist. I have a boyfriend.”
“What are you looking at so intently?” He makes to pull me towards him. I smack his hands off.
“Is that not… Jide?”
“I found it in father’s wallet… It has some numbers written behind it.”
“Koko, have you forgotten where i keep my wallet?” Father comes out of the house, holding hands with mother.
“Dad, why do you have Jide’s picture and account number in your wallet?”