AN EMOTIONAL AFFAIR - VOLUME ONE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).
Bimbo Adetayo stayed up to wait for her son to return from his work. Lola had prepared the spare room for her mother-in-law before going to bed at 10pm. She'd packed up the food and kept Bolu's in the microwave.
Bolu came home to find his mother snoring on the sofa. He had seen Lola's message about his mother's arrival, which indicated the actual time that Lola would have gotten home. The previous night, he had called his mother back to tell her to come as soon as she was able, and when she arrived this evening at 6pm to an empty house, Bimbo had alerted her son.
Bimbo started to talk in her sleep. "Save her, save her!" and Bolu shook her awake.
"Are you alright, Mommy?" he asked, concerned.
Bimbo stirred from her sleep, rubbed her eyes and looked up at her son. Then she looked at the clock in the room, which confirmed that it was 11pm. "Are you just getting back from work?"
"Yes, Mom. Why are you sleeping on the sofa? Didn't Lola make up the bed for you?"
"She did. I was waiting for you to come home. But it is late now. We can talk tomorrow." Bimbo got up and began to walk to the spare room.
"Were you having a bad dream..?" Bolu asked. "You were saying "save her, save her!""
"Oh, I was...?" Bimbo sat down again, trying to recall her dream. It had been very troubling.
Bolu watched her as she tried to retrieve the memory of the dream.
"Yes, my son. It was about you and your wife. You were on a boat, and she fell into the water, but you didn't notice. Then I saw this shark that was coming to kill her in the water. I wanted you to save her. That was when you woke me up."
Bolu puzzled over the dream. How could he not have noticed that his wife fell in the water? "So what do you think it is about?"
"I'm not sure. But I saw something today that I wanted to tell you about."
"What is it, Mom?"
Bimbo told him how she saw a rich man in a silver Mercedes Benz drop Lola this evening. There was a look on her face that she didn't know how to describe. It looked like that there was something between them. But she couldn't be sure. She decided that the lesson from the dream was for Bolu to be more attentive to his wife, because she could be in trouble.
Bolu remembered a silver Mercedes Benz from the night before too. Lola had told him that she had just gotten home herself, and had omitted the part about being dropped off. That would explain why she didn't want to call him until she got home, because he would have known that she didn't take the bus. Oh, she's sneaking around, he thought.
"Don't jump to conclusions my son. Just watch and pray," Bimbo said, patting him on the shoulder. "I have to sleep. It is well with you two."
"Thank you, Mommy. Have a good night's rest."
Bolu went to his bedroom and found his wife fast asleep. She wouldn't have heard their conversation. He watched her for a while, wondering if she would be so wicked as to cheat on him. Maybe there was a reasonable explanation for everything. But still his mother's dream kept him up with worry way into the early hours of the morning.
Lola woke up from bed with a good stretch of her muscles. She'd slept surprisingly soundly. She looked at her phone to confirm the time. It was 7am on a Saturday morning. She could hear some clitter clatter coming from the kitchen, and remembered, to her dismay, that her mother-in-law was around. She sighed deeply. It was going to be a long weekend.
Bolu was asleep next to her. She hadn't noticed when he had come in. She quietly crept out of bed, so she wouldn't wake him and made her way to the bathroom. She had a shower and brushed her teeth, before putting on a house gown and going to the kitchen.
"Ekaro, Mommy," she greeted Mama when she got in the kitchen.
"Karo," Bimbo replied. "You don't have anything to cook in this house!"
"We usually have a simple breakfast. I was going to do the shopping today."
"My son likes to have peppersoup on a Saturday morning," Bimbo criticized Lola. "It's a family tradition."
We have our own tradition, Lola thought, but held tongue. She looked in the freezer and found a small pack of frozen chicken. There was still some yam remaining, which would be enough to do yam and chicken peppersoup. She searched for the peppersoup spice.
"What are you doing with that?" Bimbo asked, looking at the container of spice in Lola's hand.
"I'm making peppersoup."
"Did your mother not teach you how to grind peppersoup spices? Do you even know how to cook at all?"
Lola bit her tongue. She didn't mind anyone thinking that she couldn't cook, but what she didn't like was the disrespectful reference to her late mother's training. "This is the way I prefer to cook peppersoup, Mama. It is simpler, faster and tastes just as good. Bolu likes it whenever I cook it for him. I hope you will like it too".
Lola proceeded to prepare the food, dealing with occasional critiques and instructions from her mother-in-law. She began to sing songs of worship to defeat the bad thoughts that were running through her mind. If she was going to survive her mother-in-law's visit, she would have to be as diplomatic as possible.
Bolu woke up in time for breakfast. He came out to find his mother and wife in the kitchen and smiled. They were getting along fine, he thought.
"Something smells delicious!" Bolu greeted cheerfully. He went to kiss his mother on her forehead, and then kiss his wife on the lips. "Anything I can do?"
"You can set the table..." Lola said.
"We will set it. You go and sit down. You've had a busy week," Bimbo interjected.
Lola couldn't stop from rolling her eyes. Mama was going to turn Bolu back to being a baby. She prayed that she wouldn't stay long, and for more strength and wisdom while she would be around.
Since Mama didn't know where anything was, Lola set the table herself. She was pleased with how the peppersoup had turned out, and hoped Mama would enjoy it. Mama didn't finish her food, and made no comment as to whether or not it was nice. Bolu asked for a second helping, and Lola was glad to assist him.
Bolu asked after Lola's plans for the day. She said she had some paperwork to do on the big job, and would need to go to the office this morning. She would normally have worked from home, but knew it would be a futile exercise with her mother-in-law around. She would also be getting some shopping on her way back from the office.
Mama said she wanted to go to the market, that the kitchen lacked the ingredients she needed to cook her special meals. Lola offered to buy them for her, if she would write them down, but Mama said she knew the exact amount she needed, and would prefer to get those things herself. Bolu said he would drop her off at the market, on his way to the office. He had a few things to do at the office in the afternoon.
After breakfast, Lola tidied up and cleaned up the kitchen. She went to her room to freshen up and change, before she left the house at about 11:30am for the office. She'd noticed some exchanges between Mama and Bolu, and wondered if they had planned to surprise her with Mama's visit. Mama had been right that something wasn't right, but Lola wondered, as she shut the front door, could Mama be a part of the problem she foresaw?
It was now 3pm, and Lola had made significant progress on her work. She was ready to wrap things up at the office and head over to the supermarket to get some groceries. As she was locking up her office, a call came in on her mobile.
"Hello," she answered, using her shoulder to secure the phone, while she finished locking the door with both hands.
"Hi Lily," said Danny, in his smoothest tone.
"Hey, how are you?" Lola smiled.
"I'm good. And you?"
"I'm good too. Just leaving my office," Lola said.
"Oh, really? I'm at the Lekki apartments. I'm almost done here," Danny said, with longing. "I was actually wondering if you were free?"
"No, I'm sorry. I have to do some shopping for the house... And I have plans with Bolu later," Lola replied.
Bolu had sent her a message suggesting that they could go out and do something together tonight. He hoped to be done by 6pm, and would meet her at home. It would be the first time they were going out together in almost nine months ago. She wondered what had motivated him to make the time. They hadn't even celebrated their anniversary with a night out three months ago, because he was still recovering from his accident, and was also down emotionally.
"You're going shopping without a car? Do you want me to help?" Danny suggested.
"You're too kind. But it wouldn't be right for me to use you as a cab service. I've done it before. I can manage, thanks."
"Well, if you need me, for anything...all you have to do is call."
"Thanks, I appreciate that. Enjoy your weekend," Lola said.
"I will. And you do the same. See you next week."
Lola smiled to herself as she put away her phone. She wondered what Danny had had in mind for them today. A part of her wished she could have said yes to his offer to meet up, or even to help her with the shopping. But she knew she had done the right thing, and was glad to have an acceptable excuse to turn him down.
It was 8 O'Clock, and Lola was at home watching Africa Magic with her mother-in-law. Bolu hadn't called nor picked her calls. He had apparently forgotten about his plans to spend the evening with her.
It wasn't unexpected. In fact, she would have been surprised if he'd remembered and actually made it home in time. She was just sad because she'd actually gotten her hopes up, and thought maybe he was turning a new leaf. She sighed deeply.
Lola's phone pinged. It was Temi, her good old friend. Her twins would be celebrating their first birthday in two weeks time and she was inviting Lola. Lola replied that she wouldn't miss it for the world.
Mama turned to look at her with suspicion.
Lola's phone pinged again. It was Bolu. He was so so sorry for letting Lola down. Some new evidence had surfaced and he had to attend to it urgently. He assured her that they would go out for dinner the next day. She replied that it was okay, and she understood.
Mama shifted in her seat. She was curious to know who Lola was chatting with.
Lola, sensing her agitation, eased her worries. "That was Bolu. He's working late again."
Mama shrugged as if she wasn't concerned or interested, and continued watching her program.
Lola's phone pinged again. She smiled. Three pings in less than two minutes. She was popular tonight. It was Danny. "How's your evening going?" it read.
"It's going ok. How is yours?"
"Lonely. Missed your company today. What are you doing?"
"You're back from your night out already?"
"No. He cancelled. Something urgent with work."
"That's a shame. So I missed you today for nothing 🙁 "
"LOL" Lola giggled. Mama turned to look at her again. "Look, I gotta go."
"Why now? Is the TV that interesting?"
"No, it's not that. Just something else I have to do. Thanks for checking in."
"OK. Sweet dreams, Lily"
Lola put away her phone and smiled to herself. She had enjoyed her brief exchanges with Danny today. In fact, they were the highlights of her day.
To be continued...
Photo credit: www.eharmony.com