ADAM’S APPLE | EPISODE 11
“Who’s this person that has been calling you relentlessly all day?” Mama asked for the umpteenth time and this time, I was out of excuses for not answering the call.
“It is Joachim. The man that brought me home” I finally admitted.
“Why are you not answering the call? I thought you are good friends with him?”
“Yes Mama, I don’t want Papa’s troubles again. You know the way he is with me and guys.”
Mama was silent for a while as she continued to peel the yams while I washed in the kitchen. Eventually, she spoke.
“I understand your father. He is only trying to protect you. It is however necessary for you to thread carefully and with wisdom.”
“The whole problem started with your trip to Lagos. Your father was highly disappointed by the report he got from your uncle. It will take him some time to start trusting you again. Just let some time pass, and ask your friend to bear with you”
Mama’s words were like a soothing balm to my soul. Not seeing Joachim for a few days was already getting to me. I had come to like him so much but it was scary that a man like him would be without a woman prior to that time.
Despite spending four days at his place and no lady came to harass me, I was still unsure of what to expect. It became necessary for me not to get ahead of myself by doing so much and ending up with a heartbreak. And the only way out was to get clarity and stop assuming.
I decided to visit Joachim the following weekend.
An eventful week had just passed and I couldn’t be more grateful that I was beginning to put the whole drama behind me. The events of the passed week taught me so much, and especially about family and the need for reconciliations.
Each time I reminisced about what transpired at Ese’s house with her parents, I felt homesick. I wanted so badly to see my mother. She was the only succour I had in my family before my departure to find personal peace and purpose. My father and my brother are just people I have a point to prove to. I wanted to see them too, but I didn’t have everything in place to return home yet. One thing still eluded me, and without it, I would not go home.
Ese looked the most probable final piece of the puzzle but the encounter with his father may require a second thought. Nonetheless, she remained my favourite girl. Her beauty and intelligence endeared her to me.
I could not stop thinking about her at the office, not even when Kate, a colleague was trying to act all mushy to get my attention on my return to work. All she did only reminded me of Ese. Only work momentarily replaced the thoughts of Ese in my mind, but our communication has been impaired since she returned home.
I tried calling severally but her phone was either ringing off the hook or switched off. The only time we spoke, she was quick to dismiss me saying she would call back, but never did. I was beginning to fear I had lost her.
A text message broke into my thoughts as I settled to catch up with work I couldn’t finish at the office. It was from Itohan whose calls I had missed earlier.
“Hello Joachim, it seems you are away from your phone at the moment. I thought it would be nice to see you today. Kindly call/text back to let me know if it’s okay to come”
Itohan had been nice to me since the accident, calling severally to check up but I have never granted her the opportunity to see me. I had to oblige her.
When my doorbell rang at later that morning, I didn’t expect anyone else apart from Itohan.
“A great place you have here” she said as she took in the air of the atmosphere, to which I replied with a humble “Thank you”
She was dressed in a simple dress but she carried it with grace and poise and had a wonderful hairdo to match. She looked more beautiful than the first time I saw her at Tekena’s party.“I have juice and red wine and some yoghurt in the fridge, which would you prefer?” I tried to be nice.
“A glass of juice please” she replied with a smile that showed a dentition to die for. Sincerely, I liked Itohan, but she had been taken. I had to snap out of the thought and back to the reality that I was just hosting a friend.
We got talking about a lot of things but I purposely avoided asking about her relationship until she asked “I thought your woman would be here taking care of you”
I didn’t immediately know how to respond. I thought she wanted to just tease me for not having a woman in my life – that was me guessing Sheila must have told her some things about me, but I responded with a wry smile and replied, “She was here until Tuesday evening”
There was surprise written on her face, and I could tell that she didn’t expect that answer.
“Oh wonderful. I guess that was why you said I shouldn’t bother coming last Sunday”
“Not at all. I didn’t want to bother you. I preferred you coming when I can really sit, talk and laugh with you. I don’t really do well with pity party…” I deflected the question and wanted so bad to stop talking about me, so I quickly added, “…by the way, you have not told me about your man.”
She smiled for a while and stopped.
“My man, my man…I have not had a man for about a year and half now. I am as single as I can be right now, and happy.”
It was my turn to be surprised, but I did a great work of not showing it. I quickly remembered that Sheila told me that she had a fiancee, and wondered what could have happened within the space of a week. I however knew better than to ask. I wanted to just keep pretending and probably get to know more about Itohan.My doorbell rang again. I couldn’t guess who it was and I didn’t want anything to ruin the moment I was having with Itohan, but the door had to be answered.
I sauntered towards the door and gently lifted the curtain at the window nearest to the door to have a glimpse of the person outside.
It was Ese.