Jide pushed the food away, he was satisfied already, carried the dishes to the kitchen-something he’d never done-then went to join Daisy in the parlour.
Daisy was surfing through the stations then. Two guesses and you would get where she would land. He thought amused. And he was right, Daisy stopped at Trace Tv, settled comfortably in her chair and concentrated on the television without as much as a glance his way. Jide wasn’t sure if she’d seen him or was simply pretending.
Whichever, he didn’t care, he was satisfied with his just concluded meal and this luck of seeing Daisy afterall. The quiet company she would share was worth millions at this hour. He would even be willing to allow her usurp his 9:00 news hours just so she could linger more. It would soon be 8pm which meant her time would end in an hours time if they were to go by their previous ‘agreed’ viewing time, that was offcourse, before that fateful night. He could swear that, that had changed a lot.
Well, he mused he was out to make it right and somehow get Daisy to love him once again, her present countenance spoke volumes that she was done with and couldn’t care less about him.
Daisy swam round, lazily in the pool, though today was Saturday, she wasn’t making her weekly trip to the market, that and much more had been covered yesterday. Today was designated to swimming and then off she would go.
Daisy was feeling unusually happy, it wasn’t just because Brenda was arriving today but also because she had finally broken off the senseless fright Jide’s presence created in her. Last night was evidence enough.
The Daisy of months ago, wouldn’t have dared come out while Jide was around, much less braved up to watch TV while he was right there in the parlour! She had quickly switched off the television and scurried to her room when she heard the early sound of his arrival. But after much deliberation and chastisement on her weakness, she’d finally decided to take Brenda’s advice to get a life. And that began with shaking off Jide’s hold on her, emotionally, physically and psychologically.
She’d noticed that Jide’s countenance had been different, his face didn’t hold that scowl it always had, infact she’d felt him staring at her from where he sat across her. He even spoke to her for the first time ever!
Jide: ‘its okay, you can leave it here’ he had said when she had picked the remote to switch over to a news station for him since it was his turn to watch the Television.
That had halted her. She’d been stiffened by the fact that he’d actually spoken to her and not because of what he’d said.
Jide: ‘Nothing new’s happening i guess’ he had added rather calmly and patronizing! Daisy was all smiles now with the way she had reacted then. For She had changed the channel regardless to CNN, stood up and left the parlor without a word or reply to him.
Daisy: ‘thumbs up Daisy, you actually have a star in your ‘getting a life gig’ Daisy hailed herself and plunged deeper into the water. Much as she didn’t understand what had happened or had gotten into Jide, she wasn’t about to turn all jelly and putty on him. Not now anyways when operation ‘get your life back’ was underway’ The sound of a car honk startled Daisy out of her musing, she raised up her head to see a car drive into the compound.
Daisy: ‘now what’s that’ she said. The occupants came out amidst loud music from the car that reverberated the atmosphere, they were three guys and one of them seemed familiar to her. They were now dancing unpreturbed to the music that filtered from the car. They hadn’t noticed her, but then she was out of view, the ‘Y’ shaped shrub shaded her, so that she alone could see them through the shrub.
One of the guys entered back into the car, and soon the ceaseless honk was heard, piercing further into the already noisy atmosphere, making a disorganized sound. The other two didn’t seem bothered by the sound, instead they intensified their dancing.
Daisy: ‘Jeez!’ Daisy said rolling her eyes. ‘bunch of noise makers’ she added and plunged again into the water. Minutes later, when she noticed that the sound had died, she went back to her peeping hole through the shrub, She saw that they were at the other side of the pathway, standing at the basketball court. Jide had joined them now, and guess what he had offered them? her juice! What happened to his stock of wines resting undisturbed in the cabinet at the kitchen? Daisy cursed silently.
But then again, that actually was the least of her problem, problem now was how she was going to pass through into the house, dressed in swim wear! She had left the towel hoping to sun-dry after swimming and the big scarf she had opted for wouldn’t suffice.
It would have been appropriate were the circumstances different, like maybe she was in a beach at the States or at one somewhere in Lagos. But right now, it was a ‘No no’. These were Jide’s friends, friends whom she was meeting for the first time. And what was it they say about first impression?
Daisy sighed and wished Jide would get the inkling to lead them out of the compound to anywhere, but the impression she got with the way they relaxed on the tennis table sipping their juice as if that was their only care in the world! She knew to wish otherwise.
She couldn’t possibly wait it up for She was tired of swimming and the morning sun was turning harsh already.
Daisy: ‘phew!’ Daisy finally said and braved up for the passage.
Dave: ‘What is it you say Jide?’ one of the guy named Dave asked, feigning annoyance. He was fair with and huge in stature but wasn’t any older or taller than his other friends.
Dele: ‘yeah dude, you stood us up yesterday just to rush home and do what?’ another chipped in, he was named Dele, dark complexioned and lesser in body build of the three friends but wasn’t shorter or older nonetheless.
Jide: ‘Guys relax, i just didn’t feel like clubbing, that’s all’ Jide replied.
He wasn’t in the mood to argue. Theirs was a relationship that had flourished and became stronger months after his wedding. He wasn’t one to keep close friends, but these guyz were exceptional, that was offcourse, if you ruled out annoying and pain in the a.rse Ade, he was exceptional at irritating him. But even he had some worth in his life being his first ever friend anyways, Jide concluded.
Dele: ‘…are you even listening to us?’ Dele asked, he’d noticed Jide distant look
Jide: ‘lets just settle this with few rounds of basketball’ Jide offered.
Ade: ‘count me out man’ Ade said without looking up from his phone.
Dele: ‘basketball or whatever! you missed! the club was hotter than fire yesterday!’ Dele continued, he was the more chatty of the friends.
Dave: ‘yeah, and that girl you hit on last week asked of you’ Dave put in.
Jide: ‘F.uck! these f.oolish girls don’t know what a night stand meant’ Jide said irritated.
Dele: ‘Grace sure gave her a run for her money too’ Dele replied.
Jide: ‘Grace was there?’ Jide asked.
Ade: ‘question’ Ade cut in irritated.
Grace and he had kicked off their relationship a month after his wedding, getting more intense after that night he’d sent Daisy out of his study. Although he had let her know that he couldn’t offer more, she’d hanged on with the hope that she would eventually reclaim her position, when he divorced Daisy, she’d been sure it would happen. Even if he had believed it would definitely happen then, he didn’t anymore. Not with the way he was getting these days.
Ade: ‘Now we know why he stood us up!’ Ade exclaimed suddenly.
Daisy was passing through then, draped in a pink scarf that hardly hid the blue bikini she was wearing underneath. Every eyes followed Ade’s as it travelled and rested on Daisy.
Daisy: ‘hi’ Daisy waved shyly and walked faster into the house. She had hoped that they would be engrossed in their discussion to notice her. Obviously not.
Silence followed her departure and no one had replied her greeting.
‘Man! that chick is hot!’ Ade exclaimed breaking the silence.
Dave: ‘and in that chick, you mean Jide’s wife?’ Dave asked
Ade: ‘yes, one and only…uhm..Daisy, yes Daisy! Gosh i had almost forgotten about her!’ Ade answered.
Dele: ‘But then, Jide hardly spoke about her’ Dele quipped in ‘…that we so forgot that he was even a married man!…’ he continued.
Jide didn’t join in the discussion, he wasn’t even listening, he was angry at Daisy for daring to appear clad shabbily while his friends were around, did she think this was America? He’d had no idea that she had been swimming, maybe he’d have tried to distract them somehow. He was also angry at his friends. They had immediately switched topics, no more discussing about his absence at the club, but now discussing Daisy like she was why they came. And Ade who had seemed nonchalant minutes ago, was now an oracle of information, supplying details about the marriage to the other guys.
They had not attended the wedding, they probably didn’t get the information then.
Ade: ‘I will go for her to see…’ Ade was saying.
Jide: ‘go for who?’ Jide cut in.
Everyone fell silent. Mischievous expression on their faces, Ade was even gloating. Jide wished then that he had paid attention to what they’d been saying.
Dele: ‘well, Ade was filling us on how the marriage…’ Dele offered
Jide: ‘I didn’t employ you to discuss my life or…’ Jide cut in angrily.
Ade: ‘oh man, please relax, its not no big deal…’Ade said and shrugged.
Jide: ‘it’s not your f.ucking business!’ Jide replied angrily.
Ade: ’tis mine big time’ Ade replied ‘…and Don’t come up acting like some jealous husband, cos we both know that you don’t even care’. Ade replied, He always enjoyed making Jide angry.
Jide: ‘What do you even know about me?’ Jide was fast losing his temper
Ade: ‘i know enough to know that nobody can even guess you’re married, so just chilax okay!’ Ade retorted.
Jide: ‘Am gonna hit…’
Dave: ‘Relax Jide, no need to hit someone here. And Ade you shouldn’t push further, its really none of your business’ Dave intercepted. The word exchange was threatening to blow up.
Ade: ‘whatever man’ Ade replied unrepentant and moved away from the group.
Dave: ‘your offer’s still up?’ Dave asked.
Jide: ‘Basketball you mean’ Jide replied trying to calm his temper
Ade: ‘no way that happening, we ain’t clay, the sun…’ Ade cut in
Jide: ‘just f.ucking shut up else i hit you good this time…’Jide said angrily walking towards Ade now, But Dave restrained him. Ade put the phone he’d been pressing into his pocket, and waited for the showdown.
Dave: ‘can you guyz get a hold of yourself, we ain’t chicks for crying out loud!’ Dave said angrily.
Dele Laughed all of a sudden. All attention turned to him.
Dele: ‘sorry guyz, i quite find everything funny’ Dele said another bout of laughter threatening to escape any moment. They ignored him, it was a thing with him, silly things amused him and he never even tried to control himself.
Jide shrugged off Dave’s retraining hand and walked towards the house. He would one day show Ade that this irritating attitude of his, would get him beaten, and he wouldn’t let go without drawing a blood or two from his annoying lips. Why was the guy always on his skin anyways? He cursed bitterly.
Dave and Dele followed him, Ade trotting behind.
The guys sat in the parlour, their attention focused on a football match showing on Supersports, a glass of wine sat on each side tool. Their faces didn’t hold any trace of the previous brawl, instead, anticipation etched on their faces as their body moved in line with every shot, players in the match took.
The fragrant of a perfume caught Jide’s attention, turning around, he saw Daisy at the Dining, she was picking up something. Her phone probably. He’d seen it there earlier and had….it didn’t matter anyways.
Soon, all their attention were on her as she walked towards them. The clock showed the time to be past eleven. Daisy was casually dressed in a blue body fitted top and black jean. She also hung a matching bag, evidence that she was unmistakenly going out.
Jide thought she looked breathtaking. Daisy stopped midway and smiled shyly. She was nervous and prayed that her stutterring didn’t betray her now.
Daisy: ‘uhm hi…i unavoidably need to be somewhere…so I’d be seeing you guyz another time?’ she asked and smiled very unsure. Without waiting for their response, she headed out, without as much as a glance towards Jide.
As before, they momentarily fell silence. A shout by the commentator, jolted them out of their inertia, Dave and Dele returned their attention to the match but Jide couldn’t. He was boiling with a rage he couldn’t understand.
Ade stood up then, smiled and rushed out of the parlour. Eyes trailed his exit then settled back on the match. Minutes later, Ade returned, he smiled mischievously and settled contentedly on the settee. Curious eyes turned to him again.
Dele: ‘so?’ Dele asked impatiently when Ade didn’t seem forthcoming. Ade grinned.
Ade: ‘what else man, i got her number’ He said and returned his gaze to the match. He didn’t notice the angry look plastered on Jide’s face nor the amusement etched on the face of Dave and Dele.
Jide: ‘and what do you intend to do with it?’ Jide asked angrily.
Ade: ‘oh chilax dude, i plan on taking up your offer, remember?’ Ade replied nonchalantly, his eyes fixed on the tele.
Jide: ‘you are gonna get it one day’ jide retorted angrily, hauling his fist at Ade
Ade: ‘whatever man’ Ade replied, hardly paying Jide a glance.
silence fell on the group once more, as everyone relaxed, each man to his thoughts. They focused their attention to the football match. The Saturday was sadly turning into ruins for the four friends.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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