It takes about three weeks but like a miracle, everything gets settled and we are allowed to continue the exams. By now, my bump is visible. So, I’m covering up with a large top. Thank God my paper wasn’t on the first day. I would have failed that paper because I didn’t listen to Akintomide. God knows what happened but I strongly think it’s him. Could it really? Sigh. I don’t understand him at all. He says he loves me but I don’t know… I feel like I’m wasting my time investing my emotions in him. I feel he is going to wake up one day and tell me it was just a bad joke. I fear I would wake up one day and realize it was just a dream. I feel like I’m not enough and these insecurities are biting deep. He is talking about trust issues. Why would a guy like him be having trust issues? I don’t even believe he could be having trust issues. He doesn’t. He just doesn’t want to tell me what’s going on and I perfectly understand. It’s like saying Zeus in Adonis’s body is having trust issues. I should have made him talk more. I should have pushed further. When he is with me, he never shows me any side of him that wasn’t so certain about life. He always seemed absolutely sure of himself. The last thing I could have guessed was he was having trust issues. I feel like I’m in a state. I’m not doing as much as I should be doing. Things are moving a little bit too slowly for me. If not for the brief illness on the plane after the bouts of retching, I would think he was infallible. I was so worried about him and even after he waved it off as a small thing, I wasn’t convinced but if he is busy renewing contracts, he is not as ill as I feared. And I’m glad for that. Maybe! Maybe he is using me for something I’m not aware of. I keep waiting for the short guy to jump out of nowhere and scream ‘You’ve been pranked!’ Then the camera lights would come on and I would smile a brave smile and then, I would be free like a bird. A clipped wing here and there but still free to roam. Or maybe I should just abort the pregnancy, write my papers and focus on my life. That’s what I should do. When I have summoned enough courage.
I saw him today again. I had just finished my last paper and was walking towards the buses after declining several offers from Priye. He stopped by my side and said.
“Hi dear! It’s been a while.”
“Hello.” I say, shyly.
“It’s been a while. Thought you would have graduated by now.” He says.
“Ha” I nod.
“Hop in. Let me give you a lift.”
“I want to ask you a question.” I say, after hopping in.
“Uh-oh. I’m listening…”
“What’s your name?”
He pretends to be stabbed in the chest, so, he loses control of his car for the briefest of moments which was enough to put my heart in overdrive. “Haa. It’s Fenwa. Akinfenwa but let’s just stick with Fenwa.”
“Oh.” I say, my heart rate slowing down. We are by the gate now. “I want to get down.”
“Why?” He asks. “You don’t trust my driving skills?” I can’t believe he is looking hurt right now.
“Mr Fenwa, please, I want to alight.”
“Not till you give me your number.” He says and I stare at him in horror. “Just as friends.” He explains even though I don’t ask. I cock my eyebrow. “What? I’m going way past your stop.” He warns but I don’t budge. “I’m kidnapping you?” He asks, hoping it would help.
“Oh, alright.” I give him my number and smile indulgently. “I’m not doing this because you coerced me.” I clarify. I know I shouldn’t give him my number especially since this thing with Tomide and I is pretty new and if I tried to use Fenwa to get him jealous, it wouldn’t even work. He is an alpha male. I’m sure he hasn’t any insecurities or uncertainties about himself. I maintain that all that yarn about trust issues is just hogwash.
“I know. I like you though, Feyi. That’s your name, right?”
He reaches over and I hold my breath but he just passes and opens the door for me. “See you around.”
The next day, I get a whatsapp message from him.
I read but I don’t reply. It feels like I’m cheating on Tomide. Then, Tomide calls me immediately and my guilt rises.
“Tomide..” We talk into the night and he apologizes for not having enough time for me. He sounds tired and I wish I could just wrap my arms around him and comfort him. Every now and then, I get a chance to tell him I’m pregnant but I don’t and it’s not because I don’t think he would not believe me. Of course he would. He is the only person I’ve ever slept with. It’s because I want to be sure he really loves me. It’s just been barely more than weeks since he left. I need more time. I exhale.
I haven’t really been having time for Tife and I feel terrible about it. I try to excuse my behavior by assuring myself that I’m giving her space to read for her exams. I had to do something about it. How can they just go on industrial strike action during exams? I had to pay a million dollars to the University’s bursary to settle the lecturers’ salary. I was glad when she called me to tell me they were allowed to write the exams. I called the governor’s office and I was able to speak with the governor himself which honestly, I didn’t expect. It was a friend of mine who is an activist that told me to try after I relayed my agitation to him. I knew if I wanted help, he would assist. He is really an older friend though. Almost old enough to be my father. We became reluctant friends after he pursued me for months for an interview four years ago. Then, we became fast friends when I find out he wasn’t like the other journalists out there. I wanted the donation to be a secret but he advised against it. He told me they would still mismanage the funds somehow but it’s better the whole world knows they collected money from me, else, I would regret it.
“Shey o wa alright bayi?” I say into the phone when Ronke picks. I haven’t had time to call her since Tife accused me three weeks ago but I’m still as furious as that day. I try hard to pronounce the words well so she can fully understand how incensed I am.
“Why are you trying to sabotage me, huh?”
“I don’t understand?”
“You dunno what I’m saying? If you try to sabotage my relationship with Boluwatife again, just forget your fashion show or whatever.” She wants to play dumb?
“Hahan. I wasn’t even trying to. You know I love her. Tom Tom”
“That’s uncle or brother or whatever it is you’re supposed to be saying.”
“Wow. You’re really angry.”
“Don’t try me, Miss.”