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ADAM’S APPLE | Episode 12
Going to Joachim’s place without informing him in advance was my ultimate weapon to finding out the truth about his relationship status.
I had used the same for different guys before him and I always got the result I wanted. Catching them unawares gave me different hints into what I needed to see about them. There was a particular guy I caught having sex with a girl he introduced to me as his ex. Ever since, that tact was my life saver. And for the umpteenth time, it didn’t fail me.
I was not too surprised when I met a lady in his living room. He introduced her to me as Itohan, his friend. And he introduced me as same to her. Not like I bothered too much about him, I was concerned about her. The way she looked at him! I spotted competition the moment I saw her.
Never been one to fight for a guy, so I resolved to myself that if Joachim tries to play games with me, I will do the honourable thing and walk. In this case however, I had arrived and did not plan to leave immediately.
It was great relief for me when he said “Ese, you are not a stranger to this place. You can still use your room while I have some time with Itohan. I will join you later.”
Oh… I felt elated. Like I was the queen of the entire apartment. The sound of ‘your room’s kept echoing in my head as I strutted out of sight. I got giddy with more excitement when I overheard Joachim from my room telling the Itohan girl “she helped me through that dark period of the accident… ”
That to me was enough message for the other girl. It puts me ahead of her in competition and I was reveling in the feeling.
I walked to the mirror and took several look at myself. I couldn’t believe I had gone through a lot in the last three weeks!
From the excitement of meeting a hunk from social media to having it all bad in Lagos. Blocking his ass and returning to a father that would have killed me. Running into a man that I almost killed and now falling so hard for him. It felt like a typical Hollywood story to me.
For that moment, I cared less about everything in the world. I just wanted to be happy in Joachim’s life.
Thinking about Greg once again made me take pity on him. I wanted to unblock him, but I quickly dismissed the thought as he would come with a distraction I did not need… Especially since I am beginning to settle with Joachim. I planned to unblock him, but only after things have gotten really steady with my new man.
I had another reason to be happy. The oil firm I applied to before my Lagos trip sent a message the day before asking me to report for interview the following Monday. It would be my first ever interview since I finished school and I was hoping Joachim could give me some tips on how to prepare.The mirror was another opportunity for me to rehearse, and that was what I did.
I tried different postures, different accents and other thing I had picked online that I lost track of time. A little shift in my position to the mirror was what made me realize Joachim was standing by the door, just behind me.
For how long, I did not know, but I was consumed by shyness.
He looked at me askance and asked if I was preparing for a Nollywood audition.
“Hian” I screamed, “of all things to imagine…”
“Yea. I have never seen you this way. Been standing here for more than ten minutes, looking at you skip from one drama to the other”
I didn’t know what to say. I just laughed and asked about his guest.
“She left a couple of minutes ago”
“Wow! That was quick. I hope there is no problem?” I tried to feign concern even though I was very happy I finally had Joachim all to myself.
“Nothing much. The visit was originally intended to be short” he responded dryly, but I could tell something was wrong.
“Hmmmm… You sure all is well?” I pressed further.
“Forget her. What’s up with you.” he waved his hand to signal at me to stop pressing but I had seen enough in my short life to know that when I guy desperately doesn’t want you to talk about another girl with him, he I definitely hiding something from you.
“No, I won’t forget her. I hope I am not stepping into another woman’s territory? Please tell me now so I can move out of her space!”
A part of me wanted to trust Joachim, but I had to put him through the litmus test to be perfectly convinced I could go all the way with him. My last question however seemed to have pushed him too hard.
His brows creased and he was looking slighted when he said, “what do you mean by that?”
I didn’t know what else to say. I got the message. My tact would no longer work. I had to change tactics and fast too!
My saving grace, his phone rang!
Ese’s coming was unprecedented. I am usually not the guy who likes to entertain a visitor I am not expecting, matter of fact, I turn my friends back at my door when they visit without prior information, but with Ese, I couldn’t apply that rule; especially when Itohan was sitting not too far away. I feared it would pass me off as too tough.
I had to let Ese in, and that was me in another phase of confusion. It was bad enough that I have to allow an unexpected visitor, standing awkwardly between two ladies I like was worse for me. I had to think of what to do to make sure one is not hurt because of the other.
A quick introduction, and I asked Ese to wait in the room where stayed when she was around to cater to me. I had referred to it as “her room” before I realized it was a costly slip.
“Hmm, your friend has a room here already” Itohan muttered under her breathe amidst a cheeky smile.“She helped me through that dark period of the accident…the room was where she stayed all through. That is why I called it her room” I quickly chipped in to Itohan, as a defense of the slip.
From that moment, the conversation was awkward. We managed to rummage through it for the next thirty minutes before she finally announced her leave. I saw her off quickly and returned to the house. It then fully dawned on me that I should have been angry at Ese for coming without calling.
In that anger, I went straight for the room where she was waiting and met the door ajar. She was in front of the mirror, displaying some theatrics I could not figure, but as obviously happy. Looking at her rear and in that happy mood softened my anger towards her and I couldn’t help smiling.
She soon turned and noticed me standing. I inquired what was behind the mirror display but she seemed more interested in Itohan.
The anger returned but I tried to suppress it. I tried to wave her off and get us talking about other things, but instead of her to move along, she said “I hope I am not stepping into another woman’s territory? Please tell me now so I can move out of her space!”
I was livid. It was difficult for me to understand what she meant by the statement.
‘Is she accusing me of being a player?’ I asked myself. I looked at her like I could open her mind and read what was in it. I wanted to pour down the whole anger of her barging in on me without prior calling and I was on the verge of letting out a word when my phone rang.
It was unknown number, but the trucaller app on my phone gave the caller away.
Greg Idonije… My brother!
How on earth did he get my number???
“Call him now!”
Dad ordered after two hours of talking, just to get my brother’s number from him.
He told me why he had a strained relationship with Jojo. It had to do with him not living up to expectations, and despite all Daddy tried to do to make him get sharper, he only kept regressing.
Daddy however submitted to always loving Jojo, which was why he still kept an eye on Jojo, found out about his work place in Asaba, got his contact details and had been keeping tabs.
I wasted no time ringing up my brother’s phone and after five rings he answered.
“Hello… ” I broke the silence after a few seconds of not knowing what to say.
“Hello, who’s speaking” the voice on the other end was quite familiar. Although it was thicker and more mature now, but the texture of familiarity was still there.
“Greg here. Your Brother. Lagos” I stammered through. “How you doing Bruce?”
“…Fine, I’m fine”
“Been a while. Very long time since we talked. I thought to hear from you again bruv…”
“How did you get my number?” he cut in.
I looked at our father, hoping to get a clue of how to answer, but he looked blankly at me. Nothing.
“Err… I think what’s more important here is how we can get back together again as one family. Going to four years since you left us, and we have… ”
Beep. Beep. Beep.
The call was cut short by Joachim.
“He ended the call?” Dad asked and I nodded in response.
“Your brother is better left alone. I have done my bit.” he submitted as he rose from his seat.
He moved towards the stairs and looked at me and Mum.
“I don’t want to be dragged into this matter again. When he is ready. He will come home!”