“I actually thought you would give them like ten thousand each.” Abena joked.
“Joseph gave me a two thousand naira limit. I don’t even know why they expect money anyway. They give it to their mom immediately, and Joseph is almost as rich as I am.” He said as they walked up to the house.
“Well they’re kids. When a visitor comes, they expect some sort of payment for intruding on their privacy.” Abena replied and Tobi chuckled.
Joseph was seating on a wheelchair, placed in front of the house to welcome them. Tobi gave him a friendly pat on the shoulder while Abena just gave him a warm smile. “You kids like money too much. They’re sU-Cking me dry.” Tobi joked and Joseph smiled broadly.
“You’re the one that spoilt them. Now they’re used to it.” Joseph replied.
He wheeled himself into the house, and Abena followed. Tobi shut the door behind them. Joseph noticed the large case she was carrying.
“Is that cake?” He asked.
“Yes.” She replied.
“Why is it so big?” He raised an eyebrow. “Ask your annoying billionaire friend.” She joked.
“I decorated it. Show him.” Tobi grinned, as though he just [email protected]£ the riche-st man in Nigeria.
Abena rolled her eyes and showed Joseph the cake. He bur-st into laughter and Tobi joined in.
The cake was sloppily decorated, but in the middle, Tobi’s perfect handwriting re-ad: ‘Hurray! The Hospital is Free From Joseph!’ “Seriously dude?” Joseph asked, still laughing.
“I heard you gave the doctor hell.” Tobi replied.
“He was so eager to re-lease me.” Joseph laughed.
Dera walked out of the kitchen. She smelt like lavender and fried chicken. “Abena!” She squealed like a little child. Abena gave her a shy smile.
She collected the cake from her, and dumped them in the hands of Tobi, then pu-ll-ed Abena into a ti-ght hvg. Abena patted her back awkwardly, not knowing what to do.
“Dera! You’ll kill my daughter before I even meet her.” Tobi joked.
“You’re having a girl?” She asked Abena, ignoring Tobi.
“I don’t know. We want it to be a surprise. The only thing I would want to know is how many children I would be having.” Abena replied with a smile.
“Hopefully four.” Joseph joked.
“God forbid!” Abena replied and they all bur-st into laughter.
“Well, let’s go to the dining room. The kids are alre-ady getting impatient.” Dera said, holding Abena’s hand and leading them to the dining room.
“Dera. You didn’t even greet me.” Tobi said, feigning hurt.
“What’s my business with you? I’m so happy I have a girlfriend by my side now. That’s why I asked you to bring her, so I won’t have to talk to you guys.” She joked.
“Asked me? You threatened me!” Tobi replied and Abena chuckled.
“If you say another word, she might deprive you from taking your chicken.” Joseph whispered into Tobi’s ear, loud enough for everyone to hear.
The kids were alre-ady seated on their seats, staring longingly at the food.
“Come on. Let’s eat.”
Abena looked around her, enjoying the feeling of having friends, and a family. It wasn’t going to last, so she was going to make the most of it.
“Are you sure my dress is fine?” Abena asked nervously.
They were walking towards the door of the club, and Abena was feeling nervous.
“If you let me seat down, I’ll move.” He said.
“Someone is seating here. Sorry.” She said throu-gh gritted seat.
“You know, when I walked in and I saw you. God! You took my breath away. And I wondered, what is a beautiful woman like you doing here all alone?”
Abena opened her mouth to reply but someone else did that for her.
“She’s not alone.” Tobi said casually, folding his arms angrily across his che-st. “Now excuse us.”
“And you are?” The man asked, offended. “Mr. Tobi Ademi. Would you like further introduction?”
The man [email protected]£ pale almost immediately and began to stutter.
“Just leave. I don’t have time for this.” Tobi said wearily and the man left quic-kly.
He sat down and turned to Abena. “You seem to be catching the eye of every man in the room.”
“Ew. I don’t catch eyes. Their really slimy.” She joked and he just laughed and rolled his eyes.
Runtown [email protected]£ up the stage to perform.
Then Tobi stood up and sm-irked at her.
“Would you like to dance?”
*Some minutes later*
“I didn’t know a pregnant woman could dance so well.” Tobi slurred.
Abena had to drive them home from the club, because Tobi had drun!ktoo much.
“I didn’t know you could be so useless.” Abena replied, leading him towards the house. “Keys.”
He fished out the keys from his blazer pocket and gave them to her. She opened the door, and let him walk in before she walked in after him. After locking the door, she turned around to see Tobi staring intensely at her.
He stumbled towards her and placed his hands on both sides of the door, tra-pping her in the middle.
“Tobi? What are you doing?” She asked in a whisper, ignoring her heart pounding excitedly against her che-st.
“You’re so beautiful.” He said in a husky voice. He had leaned in, and was whispering in her ear. “You’re always beautiful. So perfect. I wish you were mine.”
Her heart quic-kened as he stared at her, at herl-ips. She li-cked herl-ips in anticipation, then remembered something. He was drun!k. He wasn’t in his right s-en-ses and he wouldn’t remember anything the next day. He was alre-ady leaning in to k!ssher, their breaths alre-ady mixing. She interrupted the moment with a nervous laugh, which caused him to stand upright.
“Do you nee-d help getting upstairs?” She asked and he shook his head, acting like nothing happened a minute ago.
She nodded and f0rç£d her legs to walk away from him and towards the stairs. But all she wanted to do that moment was run back and k!sshim s-en-seless.
“Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” Tobi muttered to himself as soon as Abena disappeared up the stairs. He rested on the sitting room door and buried his face in his palms.
Of course she didn’t want to k!sshim. She didn’t even like him.
The good thing was that he was ti-psy, and so she would think that he did it because he drank too much.
He remembered herl-ips, and how badly he wanted to k!ssthem. He would have done it. He hesitated.
If it was another woman he would have taken the chance, k!$$£d her. But he knew Abena wasn’t just any other woman.
She was far more than that.
The next day, Abena was in the kitchen, ma-king sweet potato porridge for lunch while Tobi [email protected] the couch watching a football match.
He had refused to go to work, even after Abena tried to convince him that she was fine. He had been working from home.
The doorbell rang.
“Abena!” She hummed in reply.
“Get the door. It should be Chinwe, the cleaning lady.”
She rolled her eyes at his bossy attitude but went towards the door anyway. She didn’t bother to check, but opened the door to greet Chinwe, but it wasn’t her.
An elderly woman stood there, elegantly dressed and behind her was a chubby young woman who looked rich and overfed. Abena’s heart raced and her palms [email protected]£ sweaty. The resemblance was uncanny.
“Abena? Are you okay? Who is it?”
Tobi walked up to her and looked at the woman. A broad smile appeared on his face. “Mama. You didn’t tell me you were coming.”
Abena’s [email protected] st©pped working for that moment. Then slowly, she started to process what Tobi had said.
It was Tobi’s mother. She didn’t plan for that at all. The elderly woman gave her a scrutinizing gaze, and Abena wondered why she didn’t wear something nicer than leggings and an oversized shi-t.
“Isn’t this my son’s house? Since when do I have to let you know before I come?” She heard Mama’s velvety voice. Tobi just rolled his eyes still smiling.
Did he not un-derstand the situation?
“Omo mi. Who is this girl?” She asked, still standing outside the door, looking at Abena, or rather, at Abena’s stomach.
Tobi shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. “Oh. Mama. This is Abena, she’s my… friend ?”
Then suddenly a broad smile lit up on his face, he slung his arm around Abena’s shoulder before she could protest.
“And she’s pregnant with my baby.” Mama’s scrutinizing scowl was suddenly replaced with a warm smile and an excited squeal.
“Why didn’t you say so? Oh, my daughter, welcome to the family.” Mama said pu-lling Abena into a warm but uncomfortable hvg. “Sarah, go and wait for me in the car.” She said to the chubby woman she had brou-ght, who scowled and left.
“Mama. Who was that?” Tobi asked, a mischievous smile pla-ying on hisl-ips.
“Oh. Just one girl I was trying to set you up with. But who knew that my son would finally listen to me, and she’s so beautiful.” Mama laughed sitting down and pu-lling Abena with her.
“My daughter, were you cooking? You shouldn’t stress yourself, let Tobi do that for you.” Abena nodded and looking at Tobi giving him a look that said, ‘I’m going to get you for this.’
“Abena. That’s not Yoru-ba. What kind of name is that?” Mama asked.
“It’s Ghanaian ma. My mother was Ghanaian but my father was from Osun State.” Abena explained.
“Ohh. So where are your parents now?”
“They pas-sed away a long time ago.” Abena said quietly.
“Oh, well that’s sad. But I can be your mother now, okay?”
Abena felt a pang of guilt as she nodded her head. Sure, his mother was overwhelming, but she didnt deserve the lies they were telling.
“Mama, let me check what I’m cooking and get you something to drink.” Abena said, standing up quic-kly.
“Okay. Tobi, follow her. You better be taking care of her oh! I can finally have a daughter-in-law and a grandchild, so you better behave and take care of her.” She pointed her f!nger at Tobi who just rolled his eyes. Grandchild, yes.
Daughter-in-law, not exactly. “Mama. I know how to take care of a woman.” Tobi grumbled, and Abena laughed in spite of her anger.
“I know. You didn’t even go to work today. Very surprising. I didn’t know you were capable of missing work for one day.” Mama tea-sed.
“Shayy, Mama. Him and that his work, ehn.” Abena added and Mama laughed. As Abena walked into the kitchen, she heard Mama tell Tobi, “She’s good for you.”
As she turned off the [email protected], and got a pitcher of orange jui-ce from the fridge, Tobi walked in grinning.
“You’re dead!” Abena hissed.
“I didn’t know she was coming.” Tobi said, defending himself.
“This isn’t [email protected] of the contract.” She pointed out, gr-abbing a glas-s cu-p.
“plea-se. I’ll make it up to you.” He sighed.
“I don’t like lying to people Tobi.” She put the pitcher and the cu-p on a tray.
“What are you two still doing in there?” They heard Mama shout from the sitting room.
“Coming!” Tobi called back. “Can’t you see how happy she is right now? plea-se, just help me keep her happy. For today.” Abena sighed in defeat, she picked up the tray and stomped on his foot as she walked back.
“So Abena, how far along are you?” Mama asked, after taking a sip of her jui-ce.
“Five and a half ma.” Abena replied, averting her gaze.
“Do you know the gender yet?”
“We want to keep that a surprise.” Tobi said, still smiling.
“Oh, I’m so happy. I haven’t seen Tobi like this in like, never!” Mama gushed. “Why didn’t you come and see me earlier?”
“Mama, don’t mind him. I’ve been telling him that we ought to go and see you, but he’s always busy at work.” Abena said, the lies spilling out of her mouth effortlessly.
“I un-derstand. So you guys now did it without getting engaged or married? Children of nowadays ehn!” Mama joked.
Abena choked on air while Tobi just scrunched his nose.
“So.” Mama went on, not noticing their discomfort. “When is the wedding?”
After successfully evading most of Mama’s questions for more than an hour, she finally decided to leave, much to Abena’s relief. “Take care of her oh. If she complains to me about anything, you know I know how to deal with you.” Mama said to Tobi who just smiled in response.
“Mama, I’ve heard. Ask her, I take good care of her.” Tobi replied cheekily, giving his mother a hvg.
“My daughter, take care of yourself okay?” Mama said pu-lling Abena into a hvg. Abena nodded in response and finally, Mama left.
“Thanks.” Tobi grinned at Abena.
“What are you going to tell her when I give birth and suddenly disappear?” Abena blurted out.
“I’m sure she’ll be more interested in a grandchild than you.” Tobi said dismissively. Ouch.
“His mother [email protected]£?” Dera asked Abena. They were sitting in the incomplete nursery, while the interior decorator was ma-king some calls.
“So awkward.” Abena laughed.
“He likes you, have you noticed? He acts different now, like he’s happy.” Dera said quietly.
“I don’t think so. I’m a pain in his side.” Abena replied.
Dera rolled her eyes. “This is one annoying thing about love stories. The guy is always too proud to admit it and the girl is always in denial.”
“You’re leaving for a week?” Abena asked.
They were having pasta for dinner, and Tobi announced that he had a business trip that lasted for a week.
“Yes. I have some matters to attend to. Would you like to come with me? Or stay at home?”
Abena pondered on her choices for a while. Following him would make her feelings grow fas-ter, and if she could stay away from him for a week; maybe, just maybe she could get over her silly crush.
What’s your advice for Abena?
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 21
The contract Episode 19 & 20