It has been two months since Tehilah relocated to Lagos, to write a new book according to her contract with Bamanga publishing. In that time, she had rented an apartment in the heart of the Lekki, with the help of her first advance payment. She had chosen the apartment because of its ceiling to floor length windows, which gave her a view of the beautiful city of Lagos. It was at this window she stood, with a cup of coffee in her hand.
Tehilah had stayed the night working on the novel she promised Bamanga publishing, yet this morning, she still felt energized, and it was not due to the delicious cappuccino she was drinking. Everything felt right in her world. Today was the re-launch of her first novel, and the novel was already getting an offer from a top movie production house abroad, to be adopted. Even her relationship with Wale was going smoothly, despite the distance between them. It was just two months old, but Wale was already asking to see her parents. They had fixed a date for next month to travel to Port-Harcourt together.
“I feel so good, the universe is in love with me” she screamed on top of her voice, not minding if she was disturbing her neighbors. “Today, I am going to parte”
That evening, after the company’s book launch, Tehilah organized an after party for all her well-wishers. Everyone ate and drank to their fill. However, Tehilah was not happy because, Wale had promised to come, but failed. He missed the launch and even the after party. Tehilah looked down sadly at the dress Bimpe had helped her pick. She had worn it to look like a goddess for him, but all her efforts had been for naught. She leaned by a pillar and watched her friend Bimpe have fun with her plus one. Then, she felt a tap on her shoulder, and turned to find Haliru looking at her with concern in his eyes.
In two months, they had developed a friendship that went beyond an employer and an employee. They had lunch outings and even went shopping for groceries on some weekends.
“Hi, you do not look happy” he said.
“Oh Haliru” she managed a small smile, to conceal her despair.
“You look alone, where is your plus one?” he looked around, pretending to look for the man that came with Tehilah.
Actually, he didn’t need to look, because he had watched Tehilah all through the night and seen her calling someone on the phone over and over again. He knew, that her man did not show.
“He bailed” Tehilah couldn’t keep the bitterness out of her voice.
“Allow me to take his place” he said and stretched out his hand for Tehilah to take.
“Oh I’m fine. I will soon head home anyways” Tehilah looked away, because she was angry and just wanted to be left alone.
“Not until we have a dance, come on, just one dance” he insisted and took her hand, pulling her to the center of the room.
“DJ, please give us a special song so I can dance with this special woman” he said and all the single ladies in the hall went green with envy.
Haliru was the most eligible bachelor in Lagos, and even the whole country, for he was handsome, wealthy and famous. He was every girl’s dream, but yet Haliru had taken himself out of the dating game, so much that people began to wonder if he was gay.
“I think you are a gold mine with a lot of promise. I can help you discover your capabilities, if you let me” Haliru whispered into her ear as they danced to the music blaring.
Wale gave her an excuse for not coming to the launch, and though Tehilah’s instincts told her that things were not right, she pushed her doubts aside.
“He said he was busy, he really would have come, but for his schedule” she made excuses for him in her mind.
Nevertheless, whenever she thought back to the call, something told her that perhaps it was time to take a break from him.
“Stop bickering, I do not like it when you do that. You should understand my kind of job, it does not allow me much free time” he had said when she complained of how sour he had made her feel.
Tehilah stood up from her desk, where she had been writing scenes that looked so much like her life, even though they did not follow the plot of her book, and stretched her limbs. She knew she needed a break, else her thoughts would make her go mad, so she walked to her bedroom, to take a shower.
I will go visit Bimpe at the boutique, she surely knows how to cheer me up
As soon Tehilah alighted from the green painted taxi cab, in front of Bimpe’s boutique, her phone began to chirp. Seeing Wale’s name flashing on her screen, she did not know how to feel, whether to be sad or happy.
I hate it, when you pull me back and forth.
She stepped into the posh boutique and waved at Bimpe, who was instructing a salesgirl on dressing the mannequin, and went straight to the dressing room. She needed to have a serious talk with Wale, and she didn’t want Bimpe eavesdropping. However, instead of a conversation, she argued with Wale, until they were both exasperated and she hung up the call on him. This was their usual activity since the book launch; they couldn’t hold a conversation without getting angry at each other, and it was because, Tehilah still felt bad about the book launch episode, and Wale had not thought it wise to apologize.
After hanging up, she turned to leave the dressing room, and bumped into Bimpe, who stood with her hands folded under her breasts.
“Were you eavesdropping on me?” Tehilah asked in a biting tone. She was already on the edge over Wale’s behaviour and having Bimpe eavesdropping on her was the last straw.
“I was going to take a smoke, but could not help listening in on your conversation” she walked into the dressing room, and pulled her friend to sit down on the couch in the dressing room.
“Girl, you are dating yourself, or to put it more appropriately, you are a side chick” Bimpe rolled her eyes in an exaggerated manner.
“How can you say that to me, you do not have all the facts” Tehilah interjected, and walked out of the dressing room, stomping her feet all the way to the door.
“Use your head, Tehilah” Bimpe said to her friend’s retreating figure.
All through the ride home, Tehilah pondered on what Bimpe had said. She felt troubled, and confused. She didn’t know what step to take.
We are just having problems like every normal couple. Bimpe didn’t have to make a mole hill out of it.
She picked up her phone to call Wale. I am going to apologize, she thought as she dialed the number on her phone. She only saw the erratic car approaching at the last minute. Due to fear of a collision, she swerved the car, and it ran into a street light. Head collided with the steering wheel with a force that knocked her out. Suddenly, everywhere became dark.