‘I’m Goke’, he stretched his hand for a handshake first with Seyi then with Sope.
Ordinarily, Sope should have felt sidetracked because it was obvious Goke was interested in her friend and not her but he wasn’t her type either. She liked older guys, the type that would spoil and pamper her.
‘You are?’ Goke asked Seyi, wanting to know her name.
‘Oluwaseyifunmi but my friends call me Seyi for short’ she told him a bit more composed.
‘That’s a nice name’ he paid her compliment.
‘Thank you’ Seyi smiled.
‘And I am Mosope, my friends call me Sope she intentionally cut. My friend and I were just about leaving now’ she said as she pulled Seyi by the hand and dragged her away. She didn’t want her friend to appear so cheap and easy to get. It was obvious even to the blind that Seyi was falling head over heels for the strange guy and Sope wasn’t too comfortable with it.
‘Ok at least, tell me your IG handle before you leave’ Goke more or less begged.
‘Seyi underscore love all in small letters, no space’ Seyi said as she was being dragged away by her friend like a cow to the slaughter slab in an abattoir.
‘Alright, I’ll search for you’ Goke assured her.
When they got out, Sope let go of Seyi’s hand and stood in her front ‘babe, don’t you even know how to form? See how you were throwing yourself at the guy’ she pointed out bluntly.
‘What is it? What did I do? Abeg Sope, leave me alone. Stop acting like you are my mother’ Seyi finally regained full ability to speak and used it to the maximum. ‘I’m not a child anymore, for crying out loud, I’m on my way to the university’ she told her as she pushed her away from her front and continued walking.
‘And me I’m on my way to crèche abi?’ Sope asked sarcastically and tried to catch up with Seyi.
‘I don’t know for you’ Seyi said with zero interest.
‘I’m not saying that you cannot flirt or follow guys, I’m just saying you should form and prove hard to get not throw yourself in the guy’s face’ she tried to explain herself.
‘Whatever, just leave me’ Seyi waved the back of her hand at her.
‘Okay I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to act like ‘I-know-all’, will you forgive me?’ she smiled.
Seyi didn’t respond.
‘I’ll tickle you o, I don’t care who is watching’ she told her.
‘Ok beebee, I’ve heard’ Seyi had no choice but to comply, she was very ticklish and knew that Sope never made empty threats especially when it came to tickling her in the public.
When Seyi got home that evening, she picked her phone and checked if she had any new follower on Instagram. Lo and behold, there he was ‘officalgokeup’. She smiled and took a comfortable position on her bed as she fed her eyes with his post. They were mostly pictures of himself and a few of his friends. A particular lady’s picture kept recurring and Seyi started wondering who she was. She tried to check if she was tagged but didn’t get as much as her name. ‘Who is this girl?’ she asked herself but before she could get a response, a direct message came in from none other but her new crush, Goke.
‘Hi’ he wrote.
‘Hello, I see you’ve found me’ she replied.
‘I told you I was going to search for you. I’m a man of my words.’
Seyi smiled. She liked the sound of that. ‘You have nice pictures’ she paid him a compliment.
‘I was just going to say that about you too. You are really beautiful’ he told her.
He was the first person to ever tell her that. The secondary school she attended was an all-girls school. That, together with the fact that she didn’t really have male friends made all this very new to her. Her mom also was always too busy fighting with her father to ever tell her how beautiful she was. Every time she looked at her reflection in the mirror, all she saw was a regular face, nothing out of the ordinary so being told by a guy that she was really beautiful was new and definitely sparked up something in her for the guy.
‘Thank you’ she replied.
‘You are welcome. I didn’t see any guy in your pictures, does that mean you don’t have a boyfriend?’ he asked.
Seyi felt that with that question, he was being too forward but gave him the benefit of doubt ‘he is probably an open person’ she told herself.
‘No, I don’t’ she replied hoping that response didn’t make her appear weird. She knew that it was the norm for ladies her age to have boyfriends and had always wondered if there was something wrong with her for not having one. She sometimes wondered if she was ugly or unattractive. She had gone to the extent of wearing short and exposing clothes to get guys’ attention but this only attracted good-for-nothing fellows who wanted to destroy her life and it earned her insults from her mother.
It was one day when her mum sent her to the market to get some things for the house and without her mum knowing, she wore a short skirt and tight off shoulder blouse. Right from the moment she stepped out of the gate till the time she got back, she received nasty comments from different guys. First, it was the gateman at the estate’s gate that told her he wanted to marry her then the Hausa meat seller at the market that called her ‘fresh meat’ and the worst was a beggar by the roadside that told her to follow him home. Did he even have a place he could call home? She was so disgusted and told herself that was the last time she was going to dress that way. As if all that was not enough, when she got home and her mum saw her, she pounced on her with insults.
‘Seyi, is this what you wore to the market?’ her mother asked with utmost surprise. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She didn’t wait for her response ‘is something wrong with you?’ she asked.
Seyi knew she was at fault so she could not argue or defend herself. She remained quiet all through the time her mother scolded her. She received the insult of her life that day and didn’t need a prophet to tell her never to repeat it again.
However, now meeting Goke, she felt there was something about him that was different from the other guys. He gave her the kind of attention she had been starved of from her father and guys in general. She was eager to know more about him.
She summoned the courage to ask him if he had a girlfriend. ‘How about you, I saw a lady featuring a number of your pictures. Is she your girlfriend?’
‘Hehehehehe no o, she is my younger sister’ he told her.
For some reason, that last message he sent brought her some relief.
They went on to exchange phone numbers and asked a couple of questions. She got to know he was a final year architecture student in a private university but was on holiday. That was the beginning of incessant chats and calls between the two of them she became pretty addicted so much so,after an hour of not hearing from him, she’d either send him a message or call him. She didn’t even notice she was the one initiating 90% of the conversation they had. All she knew was, she liked the feeling all this brought. Her phone became her best friend, she was not away from it for more than a maximum of 5 minutes except when she was asleep and it was the very first thing she searched for the moment she woke up. That was exactly how she got herself into the mess she found herself; a scald on her thigh from hot oil.
Her mom brought her food and asked her to sit up to eat. She did but with her eyes glued to her phone. She had just opened her chat with Goke and realized all he said last was ‘kk’. He had not checked up on her since then, she was greatly displeased.
‘Drop your phone Seyi and eat your food’ her mother instructed her.
‘She reluctantly placed the phone down, still wondering why Goke had not chatted her up for over 5 hours.
She ate her food and took her drug and after some minutes told her mum she was ready to go to her room.
‘Okay dear’ her mom said as she gradually lifted her up from the chair and supported her as she limped to her room.
After sorting out Seyi, Mrs Cole entered Bayo’s room and carried Bimbo to her room. Then she went back to the sitting room and finally got the chance to rest her back which by now was really aching her. She didn’t even realize she had not eaten since morning. The last and only meal she had had that day was bread and egg which was breakfast. She was too tired to eat anything now. She lay down on the three seater and waited for her husband to come. Since that unpleasant incident when he beat her blue back, she decided to make the sitting room her temporary room till he returned after which she’d go in to sleep.
He finally returned at 12;30am. She opened the door for him. He staggered in as usual but thankfully didn’t insult or abuse her as was his usual custom. Mrs Cole was too exhausted to start a conversation about how he didn’t care if Seyi was alright. She just shut the door behind him and went to bed.
To be continued. Read Part 4 Now Here
What things have you learnt, and what do you think happens next?