Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON THREE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Earlier that evening…
“Hey babe… You packed?” Danny asked as he walked into his bedroom.
Tolu’s bag was on their bed, opened and half-empty. She was seated at her vanity table, applying some make-up. She smiled at him through the mirror.
“What are you doing again, nau? You are already gorgeous!” Danny went to her and pinched her love handle, which only became visible when she sat down.
Tolu giggled. “Do you think this gorgeousness is effortless?”
Danny went and sat on the bed. He’d been packed since morning and was ready to hit the road. They were supposed to get to the resort by 7 pm tonight, so they could enjoy two nights and two full days at the retreat. He’d already sent reminders to Oyinda and Bolu to make sure to get their wives ready by 5:30 pm at the latest, so they could all drive down together.
He admired his woman’s reflection, noting a stirring in his loins. “But you’re temping people, nau…”
Tolu threw her head back and laughed! “You are just a horny dog! Danny!”
Danny adjusted his jeans, which were beginning to strain from his arousal. He looked at his new wristwatch. 5 pm. They didn’t have time, even for a quickie… He rose up from the bed.
“I’ll be in the car… Please, hurry babe, so we can get settled in before the first talk tonight.”
“Alright, babe. I’ll be down in no time,” she smiled at him as he left.
When she was satisfied with her make-up, she threw a few more things into her small travel bag before zipping it. She wore her heeled slippers and grabbed her phone and charger, from where she’d left it charging, and headed downstairs to join her husband.
Bolu had been home all day. He’d told Lola about his decision to take a sabbatical from work, without really going into the why. He just said he needed some time to reassess things, and she’d shown some understanding.
They were eating a late lunch when they heard Danny’s horn outside. Lola asked them to join them, but Danny said they didn’t have time and suggested that she pack it for the journey. While Lola packed the food, Danny and Bolu engaged in small talk.
“How was work today?” Danny asked.
“I didn’t go in. I’m working from home for a while. I actually want to take a sabbatical.”
“Really? Nice. You work too hard, so you deserve it.”
Lola came out and added, “At least I know I’ll have his full attention this weekend.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Bolu rebuffed.
She looked at Danny, before turning to her husband. “Well, I often feel that you, my dear husband, are married to your job!”
“Hmmm…” Bolu muttered, carrying the bags they’d prepared and heading out of the apartment.
“Who’s watching Tinuke?” Danny asked, when Lola came out and began to lock the door.
“My friend, Mary, agreed to watch her over the weekend. She has three small kids, so Tinuke will have good company.”
“Cool!” Danny beamed and led them to his car, where Tolu sat in the front passenger seat, waiting.
Bolu and Lola got into the back seats of Danny’s seven-seater Land Rover and they were on their way to Oyinda’s place in Victoria Garden City, which was along the way to the resort.
Oyinda made it back from work at 4:30 pm to prepare for the retreat. Temi had asked for the day-off. She’d taken the kids and their nanny over to stay with her sister, Yemi, who lived in Victoria Island, in the early afternoon.
When Oyinda came home, she’d only just returned from dropping off the kids. She was already packed too, so she sat watching television and browsing social media. She didn’t rise up nor turn to welcome him.
“Hey…” Oyinda said. He went to her and kissed her cheek. “Anything to eat? Kinda hungry.”
“Check the fridge.”
Hmmm… Oyinda sighed. “Was really hoping you’d help me whip something up.”
Temi let out a deep breath and arose from her seat. She went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. It wasn’t well stocked because she knew no one would be home all weekend. She brought out the remaining stew from the freezer and tossed it in the microwave.
She heard Oyinda as he switched the channel, and she could hear the commentary about a football game. She rolled her eyes. She cut and fried some plantains, and served them with the chicken stew.
Oyinda thanked her as she came with the tray to the living room, where he was seated, his shoes kicked off and untidy on the floor. He took one look at the food and asked, “No beans?”
“No. It finished yesterday.”
“Oh… This is small, nau. What about rice?”
“It’ll take me at least 20 minutes to cook it, and we’re going to be late.”
“Abeg, do quick. Just small.”
Temi sighed. She returned with a cover for the food, before going back to boil one cup of rice.
By 5:10 pm, Oyinda had his meal of rice and stew with dodo. He ate it happily, while Temi tidied up the kitchen. He finished just in time to leave when Danny arrived and called them to come outside.
Temi quickly washed the dishes before using the bathroom. When she got to the car, Lola had moved to the back seat, so that Oyinda could stretch his legs next to Bolu in the middle, more spacious seating area. Temi was happy to sit with Lola for the ride to the resort.
“You guys are not nice, oh,” Tolu said, when they were on their way.
“What did we do?” Lola asked.
“Not a single one of you has wished my hubby a happy birthday!” Tolu turned, sulking. Danny beamed into the rear-view mirror, where he could see his friends.
“Haba, nau,” Oyinda said. “Wasn’t it on Wednesday? I already called and wished him a happy birthday!”
“Me too,” Bolu said.
“Happy Birthday, Danny!” Temi quickly said.
“That’s not the point, guys! It’s his 40th! It’s a big one, and the reason for this trip…”
“Happy Birthday, Danny,” Lola chimed in. “Many happy returns of the year…”
“Long life, and prosperity,” Bolu and Oyinda sang.
“Hip Hip Hip,” Tolu led.
“Hurray!!!” they all said together, and Danny laughed.
“Thanks, babe,” he said to Tolu.
She blew him a kiss. “Thanks guys… And please, we are still expecting presents…”
The whole group laughed.
“But seriously guys… We’ve got to find time between these sessions to get together and do something special…” Danny said, casting a glance back at his friends.
“Of course, nau…” Oyinda said.
“So, did you guys do anything to celebrate already?” Lola asked.
Tolu looked back as she told them. “We went out for dinner at Pearl Gardens. Then he came home to unwrap his presents…”
“Is that code for something?” Oyinda grinned and winked.
Tolu burst into laughter and Danny giggled. He raised his wrist to show off his new watch. “She got me this.”
“Wow! Nice, Tolu,” Bolu said.
Tolu beamed. “Yeah, it was a good night…”
“I brought food… Anyone hungry?”
There was a chorus of “No, thanks,” from everyone except Temi, who said, “Yes, please.”
She had actually intended to wait to eat at the resort, but making the rice and plantain for Oyinda had made her hungry. “What is it?”
“Jollof rice and chicken with dodo,” Lola said, bringing out the cooler. “You can finish it.”
Temi smiled and took the cooler and cutlery from Lola. “Thanks!”
Danny put on the stereo and played a compilation of love songs softly. He reached out his hand to hold Tolu’s as they continued down the Lekki-Epe expressway. The pleasant sound of soulful music was only occasionally interrupted with small talk.
Danny and his group arrived just after 7 pm at the Epe Resort and Spa. After they parked, they went to the reception area, where they confirmed themselves as members of the couples retreat, organised by the Baptist Church. They were allocated cabins and given their keys. A hotel attendant escorted each of them to their cabins.
They stopped first at Oyinda and Temi’s cabin. It was there that they noticed something strange with the cabins.
“Where’s the TV?” Oyinda asked. A cardboard imitation of a television stood in its place, which seemed like a cruel joke.
“They have been removed from all your rooms for the duration of your stay. It’s part of the retreat rules,” the attendant said. Danny chuckled, but it seemed he was the only one who found it funny.
Temi dropped her bag next to the side of the bed she wanted to sleep on and left the cabin. The rest of the party joined her out in the balcony, before they all went to Lola and Bolu’s cabin. Lola frowned upon sighting the same thing. She noticed that there was also a fake cardboard remote control by her bedside. It caused a little smile to tug at her lips. Two days and nights without TV… What would they talk about?
But at least the cabins looked spacious and comfortable. They were all airy with balconies that led to small garden spaces. She went and checked her bathroom, before joining the group outside. It was well equipped too, and the shower looked tempting.
Danny and Tolu’s cabin was slightly bigger than the other two, and was on the other side, opposite Lola’s cabin and next to the swimming area and tennis courts. It had all the same deco; a double bed, a small office area, refrigerator and other amenities.
“This place is awesome,” Tolu marvelled.
Danny came up behind her and hugged her. “I’m glad you think so.”
“How good is your signal here?” Temi asked. She was keen to get a connection and send Michael a message.
“It’s pretty good. But unfortunately, you’ll have to submit your phones and handheld devices, until you leave on Sunday,” the attendant said.
“What?!” they all chorused. Even Danny was surprised.
“You guys must be joking! I have a business to run…” Oyinda protested.
“It’s the rules of the retreat, sir. You will be able to come to the reception to answer and make calls. Your phones will be kept on and monitored against emergencies, but you can’t keep them with you.”
“This is rubbish!” Temi groaned. “I’m sorry, I can’t do that. My phone is very personal to me.”
“Come on, guys! We have to take this seriously. They know what they are doing, and one weekend won’t kill us,” Danny appeased his friends.
“But what if Mary needs to reach me about Tinuke?” Lola asked.
“Yeah, and I’ve got the twins to think about.”
“You can contact them now and give them the number for the resort, and we will connect you or get your phone to you if there’s an emergency.”
“I still don’t like this…” Oyinda said.
“Please, guys… There’s so much to do here that we probably won’t miss our phones. We came to have fun, didn’t we?” Tolu pleaded.
“Okay…” Bolu started the chorus of ‘okay’s.
“Cool… The first session is in five minutes at the meeting room. I think we should head there now,” Danny said.
“Alright…” Bolu said, holding on to Lola’s hand.
Temi walked ahead of the group, just behind the attendant. Oyinda tried to keep up, but was busy trying to send messages on his phone, ahead of when he’d hand it over. Danny and Tolu walked closely together, holding hands.
Kemi was just returning home from work, when she got a message from Oyinda on WhatsApp. She could hardly believe that he’d finally decided to get in touch with her. She ignored it and proceeded to get herself some dinner.
There were more pings. Were they from him or someone else? Maybe Josh was trying to chat with her too. Kemi returned to the living room to see who the messages were from. She sighed as she confirmed that they were all from Oyinda.
Did she really want to know what he had to say? What could he possibly say for himself? And did that even matter now? Weren’t they over? Hadn’t she decided she couldn’t do this anymore?
Still, curiosity got the better of her, and she opened their chat.
“How are you?”
“I know you’re mad at me but, please, don’t be.”
“I haven’t been able to get away all week… I really wanted to see you this weekend.”
“What are you up to?”
“Look, I won’t be available for a few days. We’ve travelled to see a specialist and should be back next week.”
“Please understand… I miss you x”
Kemi stared at her phone, and her eyes watered. She really wanted to believe him. She really wanted to believe that he loved her and intended to leave his wife for her. But she couldn’t forget the pain she’d felt all week when he had ignored her calls and hadn’t bothered to send her a message. She couldn’t keep hanging on…
Especially now that she wanted to free herself for someone better. Someone like Josh. As she was not quite ready to block him, she put their chat on mute. She would have to give it time and pray for clarity and wisdom. She returned to the kitchen and warmed some yam porridge for dinner.
When her phone beeped again, she was happy to see that, this time, it was a message from Josh.
To be continued...
Photo credit: www.unsplash.com
Did you enjoy this episode? Please drop your comments! Thanks for reading 🙂