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Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Dora was sitting with Toni and Gideon when I returned. “Hi sis, having a good evening?” I asked, taking a seat.
“It couldn’t be better. Jake did a great job.” She said. She paused and swallowed. “Where is Jake?”
I sighed. “He’s gone home.”
“Why? He didn’t even say he was leaving.”
I rolled my eyes. “It was an emergency; he had to take KP home.”
“KP came?”
Gideon and Toni gasped. “Isn’t KP your man?” they chorused.
“Ya…but he told me that he couldn’t make it, and it turns out he showed up without even letting me know.” She replied dumbly.

I yanked Dora by the arm away from the table out of the crowd. “KP is your boyfriend and you are having a breach in your relationship, what effort are you doing to salvage it?”
She threw her hand away furiously and pulled her hair back from her mouth. “KP and I are fine. I don’t know where he is getting his silly ideas from but we are fine. I’ll talk to him. I chose him because I love him.”
“I hope so.” I replied and started to walk away.
She hissed. “Why are you concerned with our relationship? Or is it because of Jake?”
I paused momentarily and rubbed my forehead. I had to think intelligently, I didn’t want Dora to think that Jake didn’t matter so much, when he did. “What does Jake have to do with this?”
“Kolapo thinks I am seeing Jake and I feel you are on KP’s side on this matter, or aren’t you?”
I smiled and shrugged. “Jake is an adult, you are also an adult, you know what is best for you. I just think Kolapo is a good guy, and he doesn’t deserve to be pushed aside.”
“Is that all what concerns you? Are you not scared of losing Jake?”
A fake smile lurked around my lips. “Why should I be? Jake is not my possession.” I smiled. “Let’s get party.”
“Darlene, are you jealous?” she asked seriously.
I didn’t turn to face her. “I’ll be with Gideon and Toni.” I said and walked away.
“You guys were taking forever.” Gideon said, pouring himself a drink.
Toni made the hand to the ear gesture. “Gideon says a lot of blabber….blabber”
“Honey, why do you love to humiliate me?” he asked with a smile.
She smiled. “You are so adorable when you speak like that.”
They kissed and I admired the passion in it. They were young and so in love. Dora’s return to the table interrupted the kiss. Gideon cleared his throat.
“Hi Dora, Hope you are having a good evening.” He said, cleaning his collar. Toni’s lip-stick had stained it.
Toni laughed. “Gideon, you are so silly honey. You think I love to humiliate you, but here you are smearing lip stick all over your shirt in a bid to clean it.”
We all laughed.

“Can I share in the joke?”
We turned to see Dare standing behind us. ‘Just what I needed to ruin my evening’
“Hi Dare” Toni said.
He smiled and took his seat. “Toni, good to see you tonight” He said. He turned towards Gideon. “Hey Man, how are you doing?” he said, offering his hand.
“Good. Good food, Good music, Good beer and a Good wife. Of course, I am doing good.” He replied taking the handshake.
Dare smiled at Dora. “Congratulations, you are looking beautiful tonight.”
She smiled courteously. “Thank you Dare, you look smart.”
He nodded in appreciation and took a deep breath. “Darlene, good evening”
“I am no monster.” I replied with a smile. “Good evening, Dare.” I said and left the table for the house.
Dare caught up with me on my way to the house. “Darlene…erm…ah….” He sighed and tried to compose himself. “Darlene, you look beautiful tonight.”
“Is that what you chased me down here for?”
He frowned slightly. “A ‘thank you’ won’t hurt.” He replied.
“Thank you.” I said hastily. In my heart, I was in no hurry.
He sighed. “I am done here.” He said and walked away.
I refrained from almost calling his name. I left for my room and started to read some journals for the case against Chidi Obi. It was late into midnight before I retired to bed. I punched my pillows hard as I struggled to find some sleep, still I couldn’t. I tried to play some Enya music on my deck but it wasn’t working tonight. So I decided to take a walk to the kitchen. Maybe I could resume my eating disorder like when I was still a lonely teenager. I had battled with my emotions as a teenager. I did a lot of thinking on my own and it made me mature so early.
Grandma had said to me one day, “Ya growing too fast. You need to slow down kiddo, and live with your mates.”
I had resulted into eating so much after bedtime, it had helped my loneliness. I opened the fridge and fetched a loaf of bread and a jar of Jam. I had almost gotten to half of the loaf when I stated to doze in the kitchen.
“Do you miss your Mom?”
I raised my head almost immediately. “What did you say?” I asked, staring at Dora’s mother.

“I meant, when you saw me taking Dora up the podium, did you miss your mother?”
I sighed and put the bread back into the fridge. “I don’t have to discuss this with you.”
She scoffed. “Who else could you talk to?”
“I didn’t have a mother for 24 years, why would I need one now?”
She smiled cautiously. “You are just like Danielle.” She said, and turned away.
“Excuse me? How did you know my mother’s name?” I asked, abruptly.
She smirked. “My bad! I almost forgot you are a lawyer, how dare I put your detective skills to test?”
“Woman, how do you know my mother?” I asked aggressively.
She smiled. “I like this position where you are. Danielle always got aggressive; it won’t help you against Subomi.”
“Are you now stalking my life?”
She took her seat. “The case against Subomi is public, everyone knows. I am not one to stalk lives; you already had ‘Daniel the psycho’ around you for long.”
She shook her head in disagreement. “Take it easy young lady; you would soon start swearing when you take on Bankole. You need to persevere, Profession up against Passion.”
“Get out of here.”
She smiled. “Am I in your head, Darlene?”
I had few drops of perspiration gathering on my forehead. I could feel hot sweat trickle down my back. “I don’t want to see you again. How do you know my mother?”
“I don’t have to lie to you. I have always liked your Dad, Dora was the emergence of a one night stand to him, but to me, it was something I had all planned in my head. I had envisioned my life with him for a very long time.” She replied, fetching an apple from the fruit bowl.

I snarled. “You wanted my mom’s life! I always knew something about Dora was wrong, now it’s all clear, and to think I love that girl. I will make you both pay for coming into our lives.”
“Forget about Dora. The tiny idiot is innocent, she was so excited to know that you were her step-sister, she has so much respect for you, don’t lose it on my account.” She hurried and paused. “Darlene, I always wanted your mom’s life and I won’t lie about that. I got a child, that was fair, but I never got Williams’s love, that was bad.”
I broke down in tears.
“Cry harder, that’s the only way to get it all out. Fight for justice, you really want to hit me, what is restraining you?”
I yelled louder.
“Composure Darlene, Composure. That’s all you need against Subomi.”
I screamed out in fear and crawled up near the sink. I was trembling now. “Leave me alone….” I yelled out in fear.
“Subomi won’t leave you alone, he is gonna fight till he tears you apart, you are a rookie and he’ll prove it before the whole world. A rookie can’t beat a pro, you will be a testimony to that fact.”
I cried harder. “I’ll beat Subomi.” I said weakly.
“I didn’t hear you. Is the fire of determination burning right in you?”
I cried out. “I’ll beat Subomi.”
“I see fear, frail and anger. Give me the passion that beat Jumoke Bankole, show me the Darlene Williams who breezed through almighty Professor Dean’s class at Harvard University. Show me the Darlene who puts aside her emotions and fights like a real winner. Give me the attitude of a winner!!!” she yelled furiously.
She hugged me tightly. “You’ll be fine by God’s grace.”
I woke up in my bed with Dad by my side. As soon as I saw Dora’s mother, I jumped up in fear. “She’s dangerous. She hypnotized me.” I shouted out.
“For all the right reasons.” She said, raising the curtains.
Dad stared at me. “Will she be fine?” he asked.
“She will.” She replied.

I stared at them. “What is going on here?”
“She is a psychologist. I want you to be in the right frame of mind before you take on Subomi.”
I gasped. “So you knew she was hurting me? Dad, she always wanted my mom’s life. She made you sleep with her.”
He nodded in agreement. “She told me all that too. Let’s put it aside and get you together.”
“Why are you interested in the case now?”
He shrugged. “My fiancée made me understand how badly I have treated you. She has been talking to me and now I understand that I have been a bad father to you, so I just felt that this is the least I can do.”
I stared at Dora’s mother and she smiled. Was she expecting a thank-you for giving me my father’s attention? “So do you think I am stable to take on Subomi?” I asked.
“Not yet, but I feel fire in you. You have a burning desire that can’t be quenched. If you attack Subomi without respect, you will do fine.”
I nodded and grabbed my bathing suit. “I have to finalize my driving lessons today. I will see you all later.” I said, and stepped into the bathroom.

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