I couldn’t believe that she would have the nerve to work into Golden Magazine.
“Don’t panic, I am not here for trouble. It’s just that I have heard so many things about you, I just came to confirm if they were true.”
She pulled out a phone next from her purse and showed me a photograph of me and Dave-T kissing. My heart skipped.
“What do you want? What do you think you’re doing?” I tried to sound bold, even when my voice had given me away. My relationship with Dave-T could never go public or at least, not yet. I couldn’t handle being in the Media, though I was part of the Media.
She laughed, “If you’re really interested in having a conversation with me, we should have a date and talk about it over good food and wine.” She winked.
Well, I’d come across people like her. They were hungry and ambitious. They were greedy for information and could kill to have it. I wasn’t going to roll in the hay with her. I wasn’t going to do this at all! I don’t know what she wanted from me, and I didn’t care!
“I don’t know who you are or who you are working for. But don’t ever bother me again or I’ll have to get a restraining order from the police against you. Stay away from me.”
I breezed away before she could have another opportunity to say something that would annoy me. By the time I got to the area of the office where my friends stayed, I couldn’t find them.
“They went to the restaurant down the street,” one of my co-workers bellowed across.
“Thanks Sandra.” I sighed and rushed out of the office. There was a popular restaurant down the street where Golden magazine was established. I and my friends usually hung out there at our break hours.
I walked briskly into the streets. I quickly pushed away the thoughts of the annoying reporter from Tatafo. I didn’t have regards for that new outlet. They were like vultures. They could do anything to buy and sell information.
A smile danced on my lips as I felt the black card in my pocket. I couldn’t wait for later tonight. I missed my baby. I realized that I had always loved him and carried him within, even when he hurt me. I wondered what my friends, especially Uneku, would think about this.
I remember crying on her shoulders after the breakup. I hoped not to be judged by my friends.
As I neared the restaurant, I sniffed in the inviting aroma of fish sauce, curry and fried plantain. My tummy rumbled in answer. I hadn’t eaten anything since Dave showed up in my life again.
When I stepped in, my eyes settled on Uneku and Ubong. But they seemed not to notice me. Whatever they were discussing had to be a top secret. I was still observing my friends when my phone buzzed.
“What now?” I rolled my eyes and pulled it out of my pocket.
It was a message from Dave-T.
You are always beautiful my love. Thank you for giving me a second chance. I promise not to ruin it.
A sweet ache filled my belly as I whispered the words aloud. Dave-T knew how to press my mumu button. He was a diehard romantic and so was I. I couldn’t wait to meet him later tonight. I had to wax and have a massage before leaving. I wanted to be prepared should we hit the sheets again.
When I was satisfied with repeated reading, I returned the phone in my pocket and looked up. I found UB and Uneku lip locking. There was nothing innocent about such a passionate kiss. I was stunned. I’d completely forgotten that I was still at the entrance of the restaurant until the security guy tapped me.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one keeping secrets about my love life, but I was a bit disappointed. UB was a married man and I had expected more from him! I hated judging people, because I could never understand the reason behind their action but I respected marriage.
I had to take a decision. I could either walk to the table and confronted them or I walked out and minded my business forever. I just couldn’t walk away. I had to do this. I had to let them realize that I was aware of their little office affair.
When I reached the table, there were extremely surprised to see me.
I quickly dumped my purse on the table and looked at their guilty faces.
“When were you two going to let me in?” I scoffed.
Uneku rose to her feet. I could tell that she was feeling uncomfortable.
“Hey Teni!” She tried to smile but it hurt her face badly.
“I am highly disappointed in you two. You are supposed to be married UB. Why are you cheating on your wife? I expected more from you.”
UB averted my gaze and stared blankly at the table. Why were they both quiet? Why were they not saying anything to me?
“You shouldn’t be in the position to judge anybody.” Uneku shrugged and settled into the chair.
I crossed my hands against my chest.
“What’s that supposed to mean? I am not judging you two, I just feel what you’re doing is wrong.”
“We’re two consenting adults and we have a right to be in and out of relationships. That shouldn’t be your business,” she continued. I didn’t get why Uneku seemed so aggressive. I don’t remember doing or saying anything to upset her.
UB raised a finger into the air.
“Oh come off it you two! My wife divorced me six months back.”
My heart jolted as I heard about this. Guilt washed over me. I usually cared about what went on in the lives of my friends, but since my chaotic relationship with Dave-T while he was struggling with alcohol. I’d forgotten about my friends completely. I had been detached.
“I…I am sorry.” I grabbed my purse and rushed out of the restaurant.
At first, I felt bad that they had spoken to me that way. I’d wanted to see them and apologize as well as explain my reason for keeping my relationship with Dave-T a secret. It hadn’t been a deliberate action to hurt anyone. I was just protecting myself because I knew how malicious the Media industry could be. Also, I’d wanted to tell my friends about the reporter from Tatafo. Everything was wrong with that lady from the way she had spoken to me.
I had a dinner to get back to. Maybe I would be in the right mood to talk to my friends once I returned from my dinner date with my lover.
I couldn’t wait…
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After the interview at Golden Magazine, I had returned home to meet my best friend and co-singer, Ade. Ade had a spare key to my apartment, so I wasn’t surprised to see him. He and I were more like brothers. And I had told him everything that had gone on between I and Teni.
“What’s up bro?” Ade grinned.
He was on the couch sipping something with a delectable strawberry flavor. He was watching a Nigerian Soap Opera. I rolled my eyes and walked past him. I just didn’t understand people who still watched Nigerian movies.
“I am good,” I settled in the chair next to him.
“You want some?” He pointed at a black bottle. I shook my head. I was overjoyed by my reconciliation with Teni. My excitement had taken over my appetite. I just couldn’t believe that she’d forgive me finally. My whole life had been empty without her, but now that she was back, I was now on track. I felt alive. I felt whole again. How could one person have this effect on my life? Truly, love was a very beautiful thing and I didn’t regret sharing that special emotion with someone as amazing as Teni.
Ade paused the television and straightened. He drowned his mouth with the drink and turned to me. His eyes emitted a mischievous and dark glare. The corners of his lips were smiling.
“Why are you looking at me?” I furrowed a brow. I was uncomfortable with Ade’s puckish glare.
He shrugged, “Nothing, you tell me.”
I scoffed, “Tell you what?”
“Oh come off it, pretending doesn’t suit you.” Ade winked.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I replied.
“I haven’t seen you this excited since…”he bit his lip and averted my gaze. I knew he wanted to talk about Teni, but he still wasn’t sure if I was totally healed, that was the reason he didn’t want to mention her name.
I pulled in a deep breath, trying to contain my own joy. It was exhilarating. I was ascending on the clouds of ecstasy. Teni was back! Teni had forgiven me. I couldn’t mess up again.
“You are right. I am very happy today.” I exhaled slowly. I felt like screaming and jumping all over the place like a kid who had too much sugar. But I didn’t want Ade to have any reason to suspect my mental health, so I kept put.
“Let me hear all of it!” He shifted closer to me.
To be continued…