Something big happened in this episode. Find out what. Happy reading!
Something was off with Ebika. This thought laid like a heavy burden on his chest as he watched her across the table. He knew it wasn’t her new hairdo that made him feel this way. Her provocative hairdo was a surprise, but it didn’t give him so much concern. It was more of the I-don’t-care posture she assumed since they got to the restaurant to discuss their forthcoming introduction.
Her interest had been more on her phone than on the budget she placed before him for them to peruse together. His eyes scanned her face, but she took no notice of his intense look. Her lips curved into a wide smile as her fingers flew across her phone’s keyboard. Warning bells jingled loudly in his head.
Could she still be angry because of her birthday gift? Worried thoughts made his heart their dwelling place while Ebika spent the next couple of minutes typing on her phone.
He cleared his throat to draw her attention. She didn’t look up. She kept on typing. It was almost like she had forgotten she was with him in the restaurant. He could as well have been invisible. Whatsoever was off with her must be put back in order.
He cleared his throat more loudly. She looked up at him with a slight frown. Her eyes were impatient as they glared at him. He tried not to let her look bother him. He delved into the reason why he had invited her to a restaurant on his first off day of the week.
“Ebika, you seem to have forgotten why we are here.” He told her, trying not to grit his teeth in disapproval.
She huffed. “What do you mean, Bina?” She challenged, eyes spitting fire. “You asked me to come with the budget I drew, and I’m here with it. Do you want me to go over each item with you?” She stopped short of snapping at him.
Bina’s mouth opened and closed at her harsh tone. The sound of the warning bells that started earlier grew louder. Ebika’s eyes left his and went back to her phone. He clenched his teeth in anger.
“Ebika,” he said, reigning his anger. “Don’t you think you should focus on the reason why we are? You seem more interested in your phone than in plans for our forthcoming introduction.”
She placed her phone carefully on the table and faced him. “What do you want us to talk about?” She quizzed in a tone heavy with sarcasm.
Bina sighed. If he wanted to get things in order then he would not take the bait she was throwing at him. He would keep his anger in place no matter what. Although that had been difficult for a while now. Ebika had gotten him so angry in such a short time as opposed the-once-in-a-while disagreement they had in the past. It was the roughest time of their relationship so far. He still had no answer for the tension that was building between them. He rubbed his jaw. His hand brushed a roughened jaw. He sighed. Ebika seemed to take more and more of his mind lately, and it wasn’t because of positive things.
Time to settle it all. His face softened with a smile. “Ebika, it’s okay. Let’s not argue.” He said in a reconciliatory tone.
Her face lost some of its antagonism. “I’m not arguing with you, Bina.”
“Fine. Let’s just talk about our introduction.” He fingered the piece of paper on the table. “Thank you for taking your time to prepare the budget. I just have an observation.” He stated.
She cast him a suspicious glance. “What is that?”
“The budget is way more than we can afford. I think you should reduce it. I mean this is just our introduction. We should make it small.” He said.
Her expression hardened. “How small are we talking about, Bina?”
Bina shifted in the cushion chair he was seating on. “Just a small gathering, Ebika. I don’t want us to spend so much on the introduction.” He reasoned.
“I don’t know why you keep using ‘we’, ‘us’. This is your responsibility, Bina, and you should shoulder it like a man.” She stuck her nose in the air.
Surprise crossed Bina’s face. His mouth snapped shut. How was it possible that Ebika had made so much change in just two weeks? What happened to her we-are-in-it-together song?
“Don’t look so surprised, Bina. It’s the right thing for you to do. You are the man. Besides, I have spent what I planned for this introduction on my family issues. If you were supporting me enough as my fiancé, then I would have enough to put down now.” She told him in a nonchalant tone. She picked up her phone and started scrolling.
Bina rested his back against the chair, gawking at Ebika. She refused to meet his eyes. His mind was boiling –with confusion and anger. Anger was winning the battle. It rose to the top within him.
“If this is the way you feel, maybe we should not bother then.” He said in an icy-chilled tone.
Ebika’s eyes flickered. Bina noticed it. Fresh emotions flooded his heart. This time he recognized doubt and fear. For a moment he had seen the flicker of joy in Ebika’s eyes, even though it went away immediately. Could it be that she wanted out? He pondered within. No, he shook himself. He waited for her to respond. No need to draw his own conclusions.
“Has it gotten to that level?” She asked him. Her tone matching his.
He gave a shrug in response. “The budget is high and I can’t afford it.” He copied her earlier nonchalant tone.
They both regarded each other in silence, each with his own thought. At the end it was Ebika who gave in.
“Fine. I’ll see what I can do to the budget. We can’t just take a rash decision because of a trivial issue.” She forced a smile. “We’re fine, Bina.”
He doubted her. “Are you sure?” He asked, casting a worried look at her.
“Yeah, sure.” She said in a dismissive tone.
He handed the budget over to her. She collected it and kept it in her purse.
“Don’t scare me like that again, Ebika.” He touched her hand lightly across the table.
She pulled it away gently. Again, she didn’t look at him. “All is well.”
Having settled that, they both spent the next few minutes going over other plans regarding the introduction. Ebika’s lack of enthusiasm did not pass Bina. He read it all from her responses. By the time they both entered his car, he was certain something big was coming –and it wasn’t a good thing.
Ebika broke down in tears the moment she got into her room. She clang to her pillow and wept into it. Things were going bad. When did I become like this? She wept. Why is my heart torn between Bina and Tolu? Who is the one for me, Oh Lord?
She flung the pillow across the room and pulled off the bed sheet from the bed. She screamed into it. It is not my fault that Bina’s love is dying in my heart. I can’t help it.
‘Are you sure you can’t help it?’ she heard the question in her heart.
She swiped her tears on the bed sheet. I can’t. she screamed with all confidence. Bina is not what I thought he was. He doesn’t dress well. He is not romantic. He doesn’t even have a good car. He can’t give me good gifts. How many times have I heard that what is not done outside marriage won’t be done in marriage? God must have me in mind for bringing Tolu my way.
She sat up straight as that thought settled in her heart. It made sense. Otherwise why would Tolu come back into her life just before she committed her future to Bina?
‘Are you sure God has a hand in this?’
Yet another question. It also got her thinking. She knelt beside her bed, hands clasped together and head bowed.
“Oh Lord, please hear my cry and help my heart. I am caught between two roads and …” A loud sound from her phone cut short her prayer. She eyed it with uncertainty. The call soon ended when she made no move to answer it. She took her prayer stance again. Before she could get any word out, her phone started ringing again. She threw her hands up and picked it. A smile broke through her sad lips when she saw the caller ID. She pressed the answer button.
“Hello.” She said, trying to force down her sudden excitement.
“Hello, the queen of my heart. Are you home now?” Tolu’s deep and attractive voice floated across the line. It was like music to her ears.
“Yes.” She said, taking a sitting position on the floor beside her bed. She curled her toes.
“I miss you so much, my love. I wish I could see you every moment of the day.” He said. His tone growing intense.
“Well, we can’t help being apart. We have our separate lives.” She replied, injecting flattery into her words.
Tolu growled. “ I really want to put an end to our separate lives. It’s time we have one.”
“How?” Ebika quizzed, eyes dancing in pleasure.
“Call off your introduction, darling. Please I beg you. Just give me a couple of weeks and I’ll straighten everything between us.”
She swallowed. This was her opportunity right. This was what her heart had been yearning for ever since her reunion with Tolu. Ever since he awoken her deep love for him. Her heart thumped ever so slightly as her answer came to her.
“Darling, are you still there?”
“Yes.” She quickly answered, then she took a deep breath before giving her final answer. “I’ll call off the introduction, Tolu. Let’s work things out between us.”
“Yes! Yes!” Tolu squeaked in delight. “This is the best news ever. Oh my God! I wish we were together right now, Ebika. I would have given you the biggest kiss ever.”
Warmth flooded her heart. “Oh, there would always be time.” She teased.
“Really? I will take you up on that, Ebika.”
“You’re free to.”
“Thank you, my love. You won’t regret this.” He assured her.
“No, I won’t.” She answered with the same assurance.
When the call ended, her excitement fizzled out as she thought of how to break the news to Bina. What would he do when she would tell him to call off the introduction? She would never know until she faced him. Facing him was her biggest challenge.
Did Ebika make the right decision? Hmmm…