Welcome, Fam. Happy Fathers day. Happy reading!
Bina’s aunty was a nice woman, Ebika noticed. She welcomed her with open arms and complimented her without any reservation. Ebika liked the woman. It was the first time she was meeting her because she had been living in Ghana and just relocated to Nigeria after the death of her Ghanaian husband a year ago. She was a pretty woman who still stood straight despite her sixty-three years. Her smile added beauty to her aged face. Ebika had met Bina’s parents and it had left her wondering if Bina took after someone else in his family. His mother was just like her aunty – delicate and pretty despite her age. Seeing his aunty made her wonder again whom he took after. The only connection between Bina and his aunty was their fair skin.
“Aunty, who does Bina look like?” she asked, throwing him a sideways glance. His eyes twitched at her question, but she didn’t mind.
Aunty Nene laughed. “Bina is a replica of our father, his grandfather. His mother must have thought of him so much as he died some days before Bina was born.” She explained.
Ebika gave a nod, smiling a little. “No wonder.” She said.
Bina sat up beside her, his brows knitted in puzzlement. “No wonder what?” He and his aunty chorused.
Ebika’s face flushed in Embarrassment. What was she thinking bringing up issues on Bina’s look? He was not ugly. Why was she bent on painting him like that? She coughed a little to cover her embarrassment. “Oh nothing. I was just wondering why Bina… er… well, he’s not as tall as you.” She rushed to explain.
Aunty Nene laughed again, but Bina’s lips tightened in displeasure. He kept looking at her all through the time his aunty spent telling them stories of her stay in Ghana.
“Let me go and get you something to eat, my dear. Bina is not a stranger, but you are. I must take care of you. That drink is nothing.” She pointed to the glass of juice on the side stool she had offered them when they came in earlier.
“Okay, ma’am.” Ebika answered.
Aunty Nene got up and moved to the kitchen, leaving them to watch the drama series on the television. Ebika felt Bina’s eyes on her and so she turned to him.
“What?” She asked with questioning eyes.
“Go and help her in the kitchen.” He said in a whispery tone.
Ebika looked towards the kitchen and back to Bina. “It’s my first time here, Bina. Why should I join her in the kitchen? I didn’t plan on coming here to cook.” She replied. Her tone was sharp with anger.
Bina said no more. They spent the rest of the time in silence, watching television. When Aunty Nene served the food, Ebika offered to help, but Aunty Nene brushed her off and told her to enjoy the treatment. Ebika flashed her tongue at Bina and mouthed ‘I told you so’. He gave a shrug and let it pass.
Their visit came to an end and they appreciated Aunty Nene for the good time. When they got into Bina’s car, he brought up the issue of joining Aunty Nene in the kitchen.
“Ebika, you should have joined her in the kitchen.” He chided her. “You should have shown your good home training.” He turned the key in the ignition and started the car.
Ebika waited for the noise from the engine to reduce a bit before she answered him. “Bina, please don’t spoil this wonderful evening we just had. Must I help in the kitchen just to prove I am a wife material?” She demanded in anger, arms folded across her chest.
Bina kept his eyes on the road. “It shows respect, Ebika. You seem not to understand the point I’m trying to make here. It’s as if you’re deliberately disagreeing with me.” He turned to look to her briefly, then back to the road. “What was that comment about my look, Ebika. I never thought it mattered.” His lips drew together in disapproval.
Ebika huffed. “Are you saying I’m just against you for the pleasure of it?” She gasped. “Honestly, I like the fact that you are showing emotions. I like the fact that you noticed my comment about your look.”
He looked at her. “What do you mean by that, Ebika?”
“Please keep your eyes on the road.” She stated. He turned. “Take a good look at the way you are dressed today. Why would you wear a dress shirt on a jean all tucked in with a sandal, Bina?” She bawled at him.
Bina laughed. “There is nothing wrong with the way I am dressed, Ebika.” He said.
“Yeah, right.” She sneered.
He kept talking about his taste in fashion, but Ebika stopped listening. Her mind wanted to see someone who took his time looking good. She had checked his whatsapp display picture and liked what she saw. Even in a polo, Tolu could stop her in her tracks. When she complimented his look, he had forwarded some of his recent pictures to her. He requested for hers and she had sent the best. He gushed over them. It made her feel like she was back in Creek Haven University again when Tolu couldn’t get enough of her.
Sad lines crossed her face when she thought of the last time Bina had complimented her. Sometimes she wondered if he noticed at all. They just went through the motions of their relationship like actors in a scripted play. There was nothing spontaneous about them, nothing exciting. Everything was just steady, nothing out of line.
She sighed. She was definitely bored out of her mind. Bina was not helping matters at all. She’d just chat up Tolu when she got home. At least that would bring exciting memories to her. Her eyes twinkled like the stars as she thought about that. She closed her eyes to watch the texts of her chat with Tolu dance across her head.
They were not moving. Something was wrong. Her eyes opened slowly. She rubbed her sleepy eyes and looked around. She yawned a little, trying to remember where she was. It came to her in no time. She had dozed off while thinking about Tolu. She looked around for Bina. The driver’s seat was empty. The bonnet of the car was raised. She opened the door and stepped out. Bina was bent over the engine, looking hard at it.
“What is going on, Bina?” She asked.
He straightened. Worried lines were drawn across his forehead. He kneaded his forehead. “I really don’t know what is wrong. The car jerked for a while and stopped. It refused to start.” He explained.
Ebika folded her arms. “Maybe you are out of fuel.” She reasoned.
“No, it’s not fuel. Something is wrong.” He bent over the engine again and started touching some parts.
“You see why I keep telling you to change this car.” Ebika challenged him.
He angled his head to look at her. “Ebika, I can’t afford a new car now. This will just have to do.” He told her.
“Then maybe you should sell it and gather money to buy a better car.”
Bina sighed. He stopped hitting the engine. “You know we’re preparing for our wedding. Car is not our priority now.”
“If it’s not then we shouldn’t be going around in this… this…” She looked away in disgust without completing her statement.
“This what, Ebika?” He inquired.
“How do I get home now?” She said instead, fixing him with angry eyes. Around them people moved in a hurry as darkness was gradually creeping in.
“I’ll stop ‘keke’ for you. I don’t think I’ll be able to take you now.”
Her face swelled with anger. She pursed her lips and looked away from him. He came to stand in front of her.
“I’m sorry, Ebika. This is not intentional. Please don’t be angry.” He said in a pleading tone.
She said nothing. She just stood while he got a tricycle to take her home. All the way she fumed over Bina’s stubbornness. Why won’t he just buy a new car? She mused. How much exactly was a Lexus? Bina just has to change his car if he wants me to go anywhere with him again, she resolved as the keke drew close to her bus-stop.
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