Jide drained the last of his wine, dropped the cup on a side table and stared blankly at the clock opposite him. It was few minutes to 2pm and there was no sign or word about Daisy since Friday she left.
And today was Sunday.
Jide sighed and relaxed unto the settee, he had tried his best to search for her. Called Mama and got Brenda’s phone number. Called Brenda, received another series of her rudeness before getting a negative answer on the whereabout of his wife.
She said she hadn’t seen her since Last Sunday, didn’t even want to speak to her, then banged the phone on him. Only for her to call back later to clarify the seriousness of his statement, was her friend really missing?
When she had confirmed his seriousness, she had offered to call Peter for his take on the issue and at the end, even Peter wasn’t aware of her whereabout.
Mama had also tried from Boston, using her contacts to get through to Daisy’s father. But that too had been a dead end.
Where was the juice-crazy wife of his? Jide wondered as he ran his hand across his head, but that earned him a painful twitch of his face.
Another misfortune from the search for Daisy. But this time around it had been from a fight with Ade.
Now, as he brought down his hand, he wondered why he had bothered searching at the home of the irritating rascal? He should have guessed Daisy wouldn’t have run to him for succour. But with the state of unrest that he had been in yesterday, there was no time to weigh his options or over rule possibility. Moreover, they (Daisy and Ade) were on talking terms, so she could have easily decided to go hide at his place. Not that he would have taken it likely with both of them if he’d seen her there.
Fortunately he hadn’t, but had however gotten a wound on his head.
He had rushed into the compound where Ade lived to find him outside, doing his laundry.
On his enquiry, Ade had started his sarcastic taunt about his inability to keep his wife and small family together, then urged him to go into his house and find his wife cooking for him.
In anger and disbelief, he had rushed there immediately only to find a lady he hadn’t seen in his life watching Tele, furiously he had gone back to strike at the already grinning Ade, no longer able to stand his attitude, Jide had engaged him in a battle of fists.
Ade had not backed out this time but had resolve to indulge him fully. It had taken the help of the neighbours to pull out the two matured men fighting over obscure reasons. (at least that was what they thought)
subsequently, the fight took a verbal dimension amidst the:
‘Stop acting like ladies’
‘I don’t know you as a fighter Ade!’
‘What could even be the problem?’
‘Na woman cause this kain thing?’
Rhetorics of the peacemakers.
It was also at the ‘post-fight’ that Jide had discovered some of the reasons why Ade hated his guts.
As he thought about it now, he couldn’t help but shake his head at the stup.id.ty Of a grown man who still cuddled the past!
And that didn’t mean he was going to give another thought about the Betty issue of almost a decade ago! That man really needed to grow up! How could he be angry with his longtime buddy over some female issues? Especially when the chick ain’t worth the sh.it! She had been after his money and he had been after her body! It had only been undergraduate bullsh.it and the dude was keeping it fresh in his mind like some dumb ass chick!
Good thing he uttered the dung in front of people so they could see the fool behind the cool play boy personality he so boasted about! The guy could have all the chick he wanted, yet he was bent on being a sob story over some dumb chick who could be in the sun now for all he cared!
‘What a crap of bullsht’ Jide cursed bitterly. Then rose up, carried the cup and remaining wine and headed for the kitchen. On his way there, he heard a knock.
He hurriedly set the items on the dining table instead and rushed in high hopes to the door.
A very familiar female, dressed in a short, exposing, clinging s£xy gown and standing in a modelling pose winked and smiled at him ever so seductively when he opened the door
‘Hello lover boy!’ she said and blew him a kiss ‘did you miss me?’ Jide held on to the door, shock and disbelief etched on his face. ‘Grace!’ he simply said.
‘Live and direct, baby!’ came the seductive reply.
‘So, you will go over all we discussed?’ a woman carrying a child by her side asked.
‘Sure! And will practice it too, you can’t imagine all I learnt!’ Daisy replied They were walking on a road, trying to manoeuvre their way through the never ending pedestrians. This was the real Lagos, she thought as she crossed the duffel bag she was carrying to her other hand. At that moment, she felt so happy to be alive and amongst her people. Life wasn’t so bad afterall. She concluded with a broad smile.
‘Hmm, what are you smiling about?’ the older woman asked, smiling too. She too was Glad to be related with the charming younger woman by her side. ‘Everything! The road, the people, my life…how I was almost on the verge of losing everything, then you come along with your words and now…’ ‘You give me much credit Chinwe!’
‘Cos am grateful!’
‘We thank God’
‘Yeah the big man up…’
The child cried now, interrupting Daisy’s speech, their attention turned to him. The mother moved him to her bosom while Daisy looked on, wishing to have her own baby soon, a boy that looked just like his pig-headed but adorable father Jide. The urge became stronger then, as she watched the mother try to placate her crying son. ‘I think its the weather’ she offered, feeling his temple. It was nice that her nursing instincts were coming back to her. She thought.
‘Yeah, I think so, we’ve walked quite a distance’
‘Its not, we…’
‘You both can head back, I think I can find my way from here’ Daisy said looking around quite unsure, as the unfamiliarity of the area dawned on her.
‘Oh don’t worry, we can make it to the bus park, never mind Nedu here’
‘Are they no cabs or something!’ she asked alarmed. She had heard stories about the horrors of commercial buses in lagos and she didn’t want a part of it, she would just stick to cabs pending on when and if she got a car of her own.
‘Oh, you could have said so, they’ve been passing since’ ‘Guess I was enjoying the walk’
Ada smiled. ‘one is coming our way now’ she said and they both stopped. The baby too had ceased his cry.
‘So this is it?’ Daisy said and flagged the Taxi.
A sigh. ‘you have my number, I have yours, I promise to come visiting and you’re always welcome here’ she replied. Already feeling the pain of Daisy’s absence. They had bonded well after their talk yesterday and now she was sad to see her go. ‘Thanks. I’m…’
‘Abeg Madams, na where una dey go’ the taxi man interrupted impatiently, oblivious to their joy or pain. His business was his money nothing more. ‘Lets not waste his time’ Ada said, eyeing the man.
‘I will miss you all’ Daisy said and hugged the woman, then kissed the child, before hopping unto the back seat of the taxi.
‘Nedu tell aunty bye’ Ada said waving her son’s little hand.
‘Bye bye’ Daisy waved back.
‘Abeg madam na where you say dey go?’ the taxi man said impatiently.
Daisy sighed. Nigerians! Always in a hurry! ‘Take me to Brown road, Aguda’ she replied.
‘Aguda! That place far from here small na’ ‘Just go, I can pay the bill’
The driver shrugged and kicked start the engine. His passenger looked and spoke like one who could pay her fare easily. No harm.
‘I will call you!’ Daisy called out as the Taxi pulled unto the road. Ada waved little Nedu’s hand, smiling until the taxi went out of sight.
Time to get her kids ready and head back to her home. She thought as mother and child mixed with the teeming crowd.
Daisy relaxed unto the chair still smiling. There were people who were angels in human forms, counsellors without the title, who warmed their way into a heart easily and whose words provided the strength and guidance needed to become
better persons. These traits were fully personified in her cousin, a mother of three kids yet beautiful and agile, with enough love to go round. She wanted to be like her, wanted Jide to call her every hour like her husband had done, wanted a son just like Nedu, but with Jide’s extraordinary eyes. She wanted her man back, wanted to communicate, a flavour Ada had said spiced up strong relationships and lasting marriages. She also wanted to forgive and forget all, Grace was in their past, the best thing was to move on because everybody was a saint and a sinner, None excluded. But the ability to forgive is what makes people better persons. And she was ready for that, even to forgive her dad and forge ahead. She had come to Nigeria seeking for a root and a home and she had found one, but could lose it if held on to the past like a breath. God forbids she go back to Boston with nothing achieved. It was a sign of defeat and she wasn’t a loser. She was Daisy Chinwe Olukoya, one who had weathered the storms of her life, and she wouldn’t let a sticky drizzle, whoever or whatever they were, scare her back. No! She would win! ‘Am coming for you Jide’ Daisy whispered, before she fell into a short nap.
Her mind drifted to the discussion she had had with Ada, playing it over in her dreams like her memory wanted to memorize it so she wouldn’t miss her way.
Ever since Daisy was shown to a guest room by the maid she met in Uncle Tobechi’s house, she refused to come out or socialize, preferring the solitude of the room to the cheerful chatter of Ada’s children as they played around the house.
To be continued……..
By Oden Green