By Ikumawoyi toluwalase
Like the finest apple tree in the orchard is my lover among other young men. I sit in his delightful shade and taste his delicious fruit. He escorts me to the banquet hall; its obvious how much he loves me…
-Song of Solomon 2:3-4
“Lord help me…” She made a cross sign, though she never attended a catholic church, that was her usual mode of relieving her nervousness. She walked into the big hall, very uncomfortable in the blue cord lace material mini gown she wore. “Why on earth did I allow Bolanle convince me to wear this annoying gown, I cant even walk properly in it”, she said while trying to pull the gown to her knees for the umpteenth time. She walked slowly into the hall meant for the graduation party organised for Tola her school daughter. The pretty girl had insisted she come for the party. It has been years since she last attended a party.
“At first I thought it was the statue of Mona Lisa, but as I came closer I said to myself, an angel is missing in heaven” Jadesola turned around to see a young dashing man probably in his late twenties wearing a black tux trying to catch her attention with a piece of poetry.
“If you use that line for every lady you meet, you will be the oldest bachelor on earth” she replied while rolling her eyes, did she just blush no!!, she couldn’t resist the smell of his cologne, or maybe it was the wine he was holding that was smelling that nice
“Does that mean you can’t resist my charm?” he said almost reading her mind. “…Are you here for the party?”, he added, asking an obvious question.
“Try harder…” she said, and walked towards a seat.
He followed and sat beside her making her wonder why he was so desperate for her attention, or was it the dress she wore?
“I am Toriola Busayo…” he finally said trying to break the few minutes silence between them.
“Wait!!! did you just say Toriola, don’t tell me you Tola’s elder brother” she said almost knocking off the wine on the table, while she covered her mouth to hide her shock.
Now that was the effect he was scared of having on ladies, but this one was a little bit different, she seemed to know him a bit more closely.
“Erhmm… Have we met before? He managed to say almost stuttering.
“Naa!! I am Tola’s school mum” she said smiling and feeling light, “oh!”, he said, “I thought you were one of her numerous old secondary school classmates who are fond of drooling on me”, he added in the best cocky way, and seeing the way he disgusted her with her last words, he quickly said “Oh!! That was just a joke… I meant to say am not a… You know…? erhm…”, trying to fix the situation..
“Its okay, no offence taken”, she said and then motioned for a glass of wine from the party waiters, and turned to continue her conversation, just immediately Busayo’s phone rang. “Excuse me please I must pick this” he said and practically ran out the hall.
“What have you done to my brother?” She jolted back in shock only to face her lovely school daughter clad in purple Ankara materia long gown with long strip or maybe a divide from the toe to the knee to give her free movement…
“Oh honeypie, you look so beautiful…” She said standing up to give her a motherly hug. Then duo took their sit, with Tola sitting on the same chair her brother had sat on earlier.
“So tell me what were you two talking about, or how did you two meet, hmmh, no! Erhmm what did he say too?” She said in a gossiping manner. The scene looked like two friends gossiping about a neighbour whose husband had just arrived drunk.
“Calm down love, he just walked up to me and started a conversation”, she said feigning ignorance to what Tola was insinuating.
“That is too impossible… Broda mi has never spoken to a lady in public for over five years…”, she said demonstrating her every word with her hands like a deaf and dumb student instructor. Just then, her name was called by the master of ceremony to come up stage. The party was about to start, the mother and daughter had to suspend their “gossip” and walk down to the front while Jadesola sat closer to the front seats that had been reserved for special guests.
“Hello! Yes… Its Jadesola speaking… Busayo?… Erhmm, oh!!…” she turned to look at Tola who was holding her two hands in a pleading manner and whispering “please say yes”. “Alright, I should be free around 3pm tomorrow… OK, no problem…” She finally hung the phone and feigned a frowning face as she faced her school daughter..
“Why did you give him my number without telling me?” She said sitting on her bed.
“Well he kept pestering me to give him your number and I had no choice but to give him. More so, that is the first time he would ever show interest in any lady since mummy died”, she said avoiding Jadesola’s gaze and then quickly added “so what did he say?”
“Well… He asked me out on a date,” she said to satisfy her curiosity, took a deep sigh and then spoke her thoughts out loud, “Tola, even if this works out the way you are thinking about it in your head, I might not be able to love your brother.”
She was right, she never loved him, though they dated for close to three years, she had to break up with him just last week, and he took the break up well…. Why on earth would he have an accident? It was all her fault, she shouldn’t have led him on when she knew she couldn’t love him.
“Ma, we have arrived at LUTH”, the cab driver said waking her from her deep thoughts. She paid him her transport fare and walked into the renowned hospital…
“Intensive care unit, room 4” the nurse at the reception said to her while she murmured a thank you and walked briskly following the direction the nurse gave her.
“How did it happen?” She asked Tola whom she met at the door of the room, Tola had gone out earlier to get some beverages for him.
“Hmmmh!!! He was driving home after work last night around 10:30pm when he dozed off and went off the road to hit a parked 18 seater Honda accord bus…”, she tried to explain to her.
“Oh no!” She exclaimed, she knew she was the reason for the accident, each time Busayo had an issue he could not solve or that was beyond his power, he buried himself into work, taking excessive coffee to keep him awake all night. And the only issue she was sure he had over the couple of days was their breakup, even Tola had not gotten over it yet…
“So how is he now?” she managed to ask. She opened the room for her to see him for herself, the sight was not too good, he had bandages over his head, and his left hand was full of bandages too.
She walked up to the sleeping Busayo.
“His friend said he will be alright, the injuries are not life threatening” she said seeing the state of depression and sadness Jadesola was in.
“His friend?” she asked not taking her gaze away from him.
“Yes his childhood friend. He has just been transferred to this hospital some weeks ago and he…” She was trying to say more when the door opened and Jadesola turned to see who came in but she was more shocked than she had been when she saw Busayo’s condition..
“You…!!!”, she screamed.
To be continued…
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