Who Am I Without You – Episode 5
I have not heard from Bolu for weeks now. I am sure it’s that his wife that’s keeping him away but why do I keep making excuses for him? If he wanted to call he would have done so regardless of what his wife has to say! Every night I went to bed wishing that by the time I am awake he would be standing right outside my door begging to come back. This morning it was one of my neighbors son that came banging at my door.
“What is it?” I asked as I opened my front door.
“One man wan buy akara for outside.” He replied
I knew who this supposed man was. He was my best customer since I started selling akara. You see since my mother said I am of no use to her, I asked one of our neighbors to teach me how to make akara.
“Is it that same man?” I asked the young boy who was already anxious to leave.
“Yes aunty, the one with the big motor.” He said using his hands to emphasize the size of the man’s car. As soon as I heard that, I ran inside to get my slippers; I was ready to make my money for the day.
“Ah oga, how are you today? I said to the man in the fancy car.
He opened his car and stepped out. The shoes alone that touched the floor gave him away as a wealthy man. Since I started my akara business, he is always my first and last customer for the day.
“This akara ehn, when I take it to work my employee’s rush it oh. What do you put inside to make it this good?” He said while chewing on some akara he took from the tray laid on the table. I could not help but blush. This man is handsome, I thought Bolu was the most beautiful man on earth but it seems I am wrong.
“It’s just pepper sir.” I said. Trying my hardest to not let him notice the little smile that from forming.
“How much do you want today sir.” I asked him.
“The usual na.” He said “And please we are adults here so stop calling me sir. I am not even 30 or married so why the sir?”
Oh how did he expect me to know all that from looking at him, and exchanging few words daily with him? But wait oh, was this man trying to give me some hints here?
“Sir you mean the whole akara?” I asked, trying to draw attention from the statement he made.
“It’s Bolu, Bolu obafemi.” He answered. Immediately after he said that my facial expression changed. I felt disgusted by his presence alone, and also with the fact that he was getting to me in a different kind of way. But chai!! Why did his name have to be Bolu?
“Oh!” I said, trying to rush the akara into a bag for him to go. He sensed something was wrong because he asked, “Hey, did I offend you or something. You don’t have to tell me your name. No worries on my side here; I go chill.”
“It’s Lola, Damilola.” I replied in order to ease the tension that was now growing between us.
“Lola.” He said smiling. “Does Lola live in this house?” he asked. I was really getting annoyed now because his smile melted my heart, I have to push him off jare.
“I suppose this is where she leaves since it’s this same building she comes out of to sell you akara every morning.” I said.
“Ahah Lola, are we fighting?” he asked me. The way my name rolled out of his mouth was nothing less than beautiful.
“Am sorry sir, your akara is ready now.” I was so ready for him to go. To my surprise he did not push further. He paid me my money and said his goodbyes. When I looked at my hands after he had left, I could not help but smile. My akara were barely worth a thousand naira but this man gave me ten thousand naira. My conscience started becoming bothered. Why did I speak to him so rude like that? I was so scared he might not come back to buy more akara. I was distracted from my thoughts when another car pulled up in front of our house. Within some minutes a young lady came running towards me, hands spread out ready for an embrace.
“Aunty Lola! Aunty Lola!” Said the voice which I knew well to be my sister’s.
“What a surprise.” I said while walking to the out stretched arms. She came running towards me. I knew Kate very well so why as she putting on a show for the people walking by to watch?
“Oh wow big sis, I have missed you. Let’s go inside and gist. Oh my God! I have so much missed this house.” She just kept talking, and talking. She led the way into the house and I followed along.
When my mom saw her she immediately yelled “My daughter! My Daughter is home!” My mom was acting like she has not seen Kate for almost decade now. I did not have the energy to stomach all her act of undying love towards Kate so I left the scene.
“Mom, What’s wrong with Lola? She just left like that”
“Aunty Lola!” I could hear her calling me. My back was turned against them and I was not turning back now.
My mother said, “Don’t mind her jare. Since her husband left her she has turned into nothing but a church rat. But now my daughter is home!” Once I got to my room, I started to imagine how miserable my life is about to become since Kate is back. I wondered how long she was going to stay or maybe she was back for good just like me!
My days in this house were numbered.