Kathleen glanced at her phone with a concerned frown as she wondered why Pete was yet to call her all evening. It was so unlike him. She would just call him once she gets home, she decided as she yawned in boredom.
She was beginning to feel like she was going to doze off soon since Sharon and Chuka were conversing and Sharon had asked her to not get involved. She decided to just view WhatsApp status upd@t£s to p@ss time.
She was grateful for the distraction when her phone vibr@ted with a WhatsApp message notification, “Your friend? He looks like someone I know, what is his name?” the message from Kimberly re-ad.
Really? Kimberly knew Chuka? What a small world, Kathleen thought as she started typing, “Really? His name is Chuka,” She responded before deciding to ask Chuka if he knew her.
“Sorry to interrupt your discussion, but do you know any Kimberly?” Kathleen asked Chuka as he drove into Pete’s estate.
“Kimberly?” Chuka repeated, wondering which Kimberly she was referring to since he knew two ladies bearing the name. One was his younger sister’s friend, and one had been his coursemate in the university… Oh! And there was Eric’s wife.
“Yes. Her father is a s£nator I think. Very pretty and…”
Chuka felt his heart skip when he heard the description. Something told him this wasn’t going to be good, “Yes. Why?” He asked, turning to spare her a glance.
“She just saw your picture on my status and…”
“Kat you’re friends with a s£nator’s daughter? She is on your WhatsApp?” Sharon asked in surprise. Chidi had told them all what had happened at the club the previous night after Kathleen left on her d@t£ with Eric, but she hadn’t known Kathleen had struck up any friendsh!pwith Kimberly after the incident.
“Yeah. She is…”
Chuka could smell trouble brewing. “What did you tell her?” He asked, cutting Kathleen off as he parked the car in front of Pete’s gate.
“I told her you’re my friend, and she asked me your name,” Kathleen said with a shrug.
He could now taste and see the trouble. He could only hope Kathleen hadn’t mentioned his name, cause if she had, then that meant he was in big trouble… And Eric was probably in even bigger trouble, “And?” Chuka asked, silently and desperately praying that Kathleen had not answered the question.
“And I told her your name na. Why?” Kathleen asked.
Chuka now knew without a doubt that it was over for Eric. He had to call Eric at once and ask him to confess everything to Kimberly before she finds out the truth by herself.
“Isn’t that your oga? I thought you said he traveled?” Sharon asked when she noticed Pete standing by the gate with a blank expression on his face.
“Where did you…” The rest of Kathleen’s word was lost in a g@sp when she saw Pete standing by the gate and staring directly at her. She knew that look very well. To a casual observer, it was a blank expression, but she knew he was angry. And as though to prove it Pete turned around and walked away.
“Ah! Is he angry? Hurry up and go inside,” Sharon said as she quic-kly got out of the car.
“You still want to come in?” Kathleen asked Chuka as she got out of the car. A p@rt of her still wanted him to come in and see her mother, but the other p@rt just wanted him to leave so she could go and talk to Pete.
“Maybe some other time. Something c@m£ up so I need to leave now. Let’s talk later,” Chuka said with an apologetic smile. And although Kathleen was glad, Sharon wasn’t.
“Okay, thanks. Goodnight,” Kathleen said with a wave as she hurried inside.
“I will call you so that we can continue our conversation,” Chuka promised Sharon who gave him a small smile as she stood by the side waiting for him to drive off.
“Goodnight,” she called out to him as he drove off.
‘What am I going to do now?’ Chuka wondered as he tapped his hand on the steering wheel and drove out of the estate. He connected his phone to the car’s Bluetooth device before dialing Pete’s number. It rang for some time and disconnected when Eric failed to take his call. Was he still at the hospital with his parents? Chuka wondered as he dialed the number again. When Eric still didn’t take his call he decided to call Wumi instead. Maybe she could reach their mother and p@ss the information to Eric herself. He scrolled throu-gh his phone for Wumi’s number which he had saved as ‘gumdrop’ and dialed her number.
“If you’re calling because something you bought is missing, I didn’t take it,” Wumi said defensively before Chuka could say a word, but he was too worried to find the humor in her words.
“That’s not why I’m calling. I’ve been trying to reach Eric, but he isn’t taking his call,” Chuka said with a note of urgency in his voice which Wumi didn’t miss.
“Why? What is wrong? Did something happen?” She asked as she sat up on her be-d.
“I think Kimberly is going to find out the truth first if he doesn’t confess to her himself. And you know that is going to be disastrous!” Chuka said in a worried tone
“Why? Did you say or do something that might make her guess you’re not Tunde?” Wumi asked curiously.
“Not exactly. A friend of mine posted my picture wishing me happy birthday and she saw.. ”
“Oh! Today is your birthday? Why didn’t you say so? Happy birthday!” Wumi said ma-king Chuka want to tell.
“Can you concentrate on what I’m saying? Kimberly saw the post and asked her about me, and she told Kimberly my real name!”
“So just call your mother or reach Eric anyhow you can and ask him to tell Kimberly the truth. Timing is very important…”
“Eric is back in Lagos. He got back today, and he is with her,” Wumi said with a thoughtful frown.
“He is? So why isn’t he taking his call? Look just keep calling him, I’m driving now but I will keep calling him too,” Chuka said.
“Alright, I will. But you should relax. I’m sure Kim might just think the person she posted just looks like you,” Wumi said, in an attempt to calm him.
Chuka still didn’t have a good feeling about it, but he said nothing as he hung up.
What was she supposed to do? Tell Kim or not? Prisca wondered. Kimberly had said she wanted Eric to be the one to tell her the truth about who he was, but she wasn’t sure if Kimberly would appreciate her keeping something like this to herself.
“Why are you so quiet all of a sudden?” Kimberly asked when Prisca kept looking at her without saying a word.
“Kim, are you certain you can wait for Eric until whenever he is re-ady to tell you the truth about himself?” Prisca asked curiously.
“Oh! I didn’t tell you? He told me earlier today that he’s going to tell me the truth tomorrow. So what is an extra day? Sure I can wait,” Kimberly said with a confident smile that tore at Prisca’s heart.
How was Kimberly going to feel when she finds out that Chuka had probably made advances at her on Eric’s order? She didn’t know about Kimberly, but she knew she would be very mad had she been in Kimberly’s shoes. They had all made fun of her… Oh! Prisca almost exclaimed out loud when she thought of Wumi. So Wumi was Eric’s sister? That was the reason she had befriended Kim and not because of Amaka… “Oh no!” Prisca exclaimed with wi-de eyes this time when she finally put the last pieces together. Kimberly’s stepmother was Eric’s ex.
“What is wrong?” Kimberly asked in confusion.
Prisca suddenly began to feel sad for Kimberly. None of this was good. Yes, it was a great thing that Kimberly had finally fallen in love with someone, and that someone happened to be the wealthy Tunde Obasan, but it was sad to know that the whole foundation of the relationsh!pwas wrong. Was it all coincidence? Or had Eric accepted to marry her because he realized she was the stepdaughter of his ex? ‘No’ Prisca thought with a shake of her head. Wumi had said Amaka was trying to get back with him hence she had gone to warn off. Hold on, if that was the case, did that mean Amaka had deliberately tried to set Kim up today? But that didn’t make any s-en-se. Why would she do something like that to her stepdaughter?
“Are you going to tell me what is wrong or not?” Kimberly asked Prisca irritably, and before Prisca could respond the door opened.
“Babe, dinner is served,” Eric called to Kimberly.
“Let’s go and eat since you don’t want to talk,” Kimberly said to Prisca as she headed for the door to join Eric, and Prisca followed behind.
“So have you been able to confirm your appointments for tomorrow?” Eric asked Kimberly as they all ate.
“No. But I’m sure Prisca wouldn’t mind helping me take care of it so I can go out with you, right?” She asked, referring to Prisca.
“Sure,” Prisca said with a nod even though her mind wasn’t in anything they were saying.
“Have you checked on your father this evening?” Kimberly reminded Eric.
“Oh! I haven’t been with my phone. Give me a minute,” Eric said as he stood up from his seat and headed for Kimberly’s be-droom.
He noticed the notification light on his screen blinking as he picked it up from the t©p of the be-dside drawer. He was alarmed to see eleven missed calls, seven from Chuka, three from Wumi, and one from his mother. Did something happen? He wondered as he quic-kly dialed Chuka’s line first. He knew if it was a family emergency Chuka wouldn’t be the one to give him that much number of missed calls, and Wumi would probably have reached out throu-gh Kimberly.
“Guy where did you drop your phone nau? You want me to die before my time?” Chuka asked irritably immediately after he received the call.
“Is there a problem?” Eric asked with a concerned frown.
“Yes. I think you need to tell her the truth this night. She has seen my picture on a mutual friend’s WhatsApp status,” Chuka explained.
Eric’s heart skipped a beat. Was that possibly the reason she had gone outside with Prisca? Was she just pretending like everything was fine?
Eric felt slightly nervous as he returned to the dining table, “Have you called him?” Kimberly asked as he took his seat.
“Not yet. I will do so after dinner,” Eric said and glanced at Prisca who was staring at him, but quic-kly looked away when their eyes met. Prisca definitely knew something.
“I should retire for the night. Thanks for the nice dinner… Eric.” She reluctantly said as she headed for the kitchen with her plate. She had wanted to say ‘Sir’ but she didn’t want to overdo it.
The slight hesitation before mentioning his name didn’t go unnoticed by Eric, but he turned his attention to Kimberly instead since he wanted to know if she knew anything yet.
“So where are we going tomorrow?” Kimberly asked excitedly.
“Is there somewhere you want me to take you to?” Eric asked in return, and Kimberly pursed herl-ips thoughtfully.
“Maybe somewhere no one knows me. I don’t want to run into anyone again,” Kimberly said with a small frown.
“Somewhere no one knows you…” Eric repeated thoughtfully. He could think of a number of places but he also knew that wouldn’t be feasible because of his appointment at the award ceremony.
“I’ll love to take you to a couple of places like that, but because it is on short notice and I have some other things I need to do tomorrow, can we just go somewhere random? And on our next d@t£, I will take you to somewhere really special?” Eric asked ma-king Kimberly raise a brow.
“What other things do you have to do tomorrow?”
“Things like taking care of the people who caused you trouble today,” Eric said, ma-king her sigh. She had almost forgotten to think about that.
Prisca who had been busy washing her plate and cleaning up the kitchen c@m£ out, “I’m leaving now. Goodnight,” Prisca said as she headed for the door.
“Babe give me a moment,” Eric said as he stood up, “Prisca hold on, I want to have a word with you,” Eric said as he followed her out.
Prisca turned to look at Eric with a frown immediately they got outside, “Is there something you need?”
“Yes. Is there something you want to say to me?” Eric asked, hoping that would give her the opening to tell him what was going on.
“I don’t think so. Why?” Prisca asked with a blank expression.
“I noticed you have been acting out of character,” Eric said without taking his eyes off her.
“I’m okay. It is Kimberly that needs the extra attention. Goodnight,” Prisca said before walking away. She really wanted to tell him what she knew and confront him for lying to them that way, but she couldn’t. For Kimberly’s sake, she wouldn’t interfere.
As Eric watched her walk away it bec@m£ even more obvious to him that she knew something. And if she knew something, then Kimberly probably knew it too. There was no way he could keep postponing the truth anymore, having that thought Eric returned inside the house to join Kimberly.
Kimberly was no longer on the dining table so he walked into the kitchen to find her washing their plates. She turned around when she heard his footsteps and gave him a wi-de smile, “I’m really happy that you’re back. The house felt so empty without you,” She said as she dried the plates and kept them in the drawer.
Eric’s heartbeat quic-kened, “Babe?”
“About what I planned on telling you, can we talk this night?”
“This night? You keep bringing it forward. I’m beginning to think you are more eager to say it than I am to hear it,” she said with a peal of playful laughter as she walked towards him.
“I think so too. I no longer want to keep anything from you,” Eric said with a f0rç£d smile and prayed she would still be laughing this way by the time he was done telling her the truth.
“Awww, that’s so sweet of you. By the way, I was thinking that instead of returning to work in your friend’s company, how about I get my father to get you a job instead? You know…”
“No? Why? You are intelligent and might get a better…”
“Let’s just sit down and talk, plea-se. I will explain everything to you,” Eric pleaded as he placed a hand on her shoulder to st©p her.
Kimberly sighed, “Okay. Let’s go and talk,” she said as she let him lead her out of the kitchen.
They walked into the living room and sat down on the same couch facing each other, “So what is your big secret?” Kimberly asked curiously.
Eric silently prayed for God to help him handle the situation, and promised to never lie to her ever again if she doesn’t make a big deal out of it, “I’m not who you think I am,” Eric started.
“Tell me you’re an angel and I will believe you,” Kimberly said with a wi-de smile as she took his hands, but the look on his face told her she wasn’t going to be amused by whatever he had to say.
“I’m not going to like this, am I?” Kimberly asked with a faltering smile.
“Probably not,” Eric admitted truthfully.
“Before you say what you want to say, I need you to first tell me something.”
“Okay. Anything,” Eric said with a nod.
“Do you honestly love me?” Kimberly asked, searching his face for any sign that he might lie to her.
“Of course I do. And that is the reason I want to tell you the truth,” Eric said, looking directly into her eyes, “You can get mad at me for whatever I’m going to say to you, and you can doubt every other thing you know. The only thing you shouldn’t doubt is the fact that I genuinely love you,” Eric said ma-king her swallow.
“Okay. So who are you?” she asked, holding her breath as she waited to hear what she knew might change her relationsh!pwith him.
“I am Tunde Eric Obasan.”
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 8