Don’t take a permanent decision for your temporary emotion. I guess this applies to both Laye and Tenisha: a friendship borne out of desperation and schemes; a partnership heading for disaster. Enjoy these episodes, friends. Much Love.
The calls kept coming and Laye kept avoiding them. Tenisha was tenacious and it was grating her nerves. She seemed more desperate now that weeks had gone by without any progress in their plans. Nothing seemed to have gone their way. She had lost her zeal to scheme. The chemistry that had developed between Karibo and her had fizzled out. They shared no pleasantries except mere work formalities. What she hated most was the grief she felt at losing his friendship. It felt as though her heart was shattered in pieces. She didn’t understand the feeling and had no one to share it. Everyone had sensed the cold distance between Karibo and her. None had asked what the problem was except Nimi. Of course she could not share the reason with anyone, much less Nimi.
But she still wasn’t ready to give up. She still wanted Ken. She still wanted his love and care. Nimi seemed to have gained more foothold with Ken because she confided in Laye the day before that Ken was taking her to see his uncle and aunt. That had revived her fighting spirit a little. She still had to do something. It was time to throw the cat among the pigeons.
She sighed deeply and picked up her phone. She dialled Tenisha’s number. Tenisha answered on the first ring.
“Laye, so you finally returned my calls. What exactly is happening?” She quizzed.
“Nothing. We’ve just been busy.” Laye replied calmly.
“But we had an agreement. I’ve been expecting info na.”
“I’m sorry for the break in transmission, but what I have is going to really halt things between them.” Laye stated.
“Really? Please tell me.” Tenisha pleaded.
“Ken will be taking Nimi to see his uncle next week Saturday.” She let the cat out of the bag.
“What?” Tenisha screamed across the line. “And you’re just telling me now? I can’t believe this.”
“Now you know. It’s now on you to do something about it.” She said disinterestedly.
“Oh, yes, I will do something.” She snapped at Laye.
Laye dropped the phone when she heard the click. All she had to do now was to wait for them to destroy themselves and she would come and feed on the spoils. A wicked gleam entered her eyes. Things were about to get very interesting.
Ken had expected a tense atmosphere but surprisingly things were calm. Aunt Nene seemed taken with Nimi and kept smiling appreciatively at her. Since they arrived couple of hours ago, she had said nothing negative. That was record-breaking because she couldn’t stay an hour without criticizing him for something. If visiting with Nimi had kept off her angry words, then he had chosen rightly. Nimi was his good luck charm.
He allowed this thought wash over him as he listened to his uncle’s stories of time past; stories about him and his wife. Aunt Nene’s smile bloomed out as her husband told their love story. Ken believed in the power of love then. If uncle Doutimi could see something to love about his… well, crazy aunt then love was strong indeed.
This pointed him to God’s love for His children. Despite the numerous faults in us all, God still loves us unconditionally. Though human love fails times without number counting each other’s flaws, God’s love remains unconditional. And the best part is when we love God, we enjoy the benefits of being His beloved. Just as he was enjoying it, Ken thought happily. Who would have thought his life would turn out like this. He was blessed indeed and was grateful to God for this. How else could he term all that had happened in his life from the time he encountered Christ through his roommate, Peter; his deliverance from Tenisha and the brand new life he now had with Nimi.
Yeah, the roads had been rocky but God had been with him all through and would continue to be with him. This was his assurance in Christ Jesus. The same assurance that Nimi shared. The same faith that dwelt richly in their hearts and continued to shine forth the light of Jesus.
Ken watched Nimi as she responded politely to uncle Doutimi. Her eyes gleamed with laughter as she listened to him. It went on and on until the discussion went to the advertising agency. The next minutes were spent discussing business until aunt Nene interrupted them.
“Enough, these men.” She cut into their dialogue. “We are here for something else not business. When it’s time for business, you locate each other and discuss. Let’s finalize the plans please.”
Uncle Doutimi gave a hearty laugh, clapping his wife. “Thank you, dear wife for bringing us back. Nimi is already a part of us and that’s why I delved into that. I hope you didn’t mind, my daughter.” He said to Nimi.
She shook her head, giving a bright smile. “Not at all, sir.” She replied. “I found the discussion interesting.” She added.
Uncle Doutimi looked at her with admiration. “Welcome to the family, my dear. Ken is a lucky man.” He told her, sparing his nephew a glance.
Ken grunted. “She is the lucky one, Uncle.” He protested.
Uncle Doutimi wriggled his nose at him. “Just thank God that you got the right one.” He stated.
Ken turned the statement in his heart for a few seconds, then gave a nod in total agreement. “You’re right, Uncle. I’m indeed grateful to God. Nimi is a blessing.” He placed a hand over hers beside him on the couch.
Nimi sneaked a peak at him then quickly looked away. He had already seen the love that was beyond words in her eyes when he met her gaze too. This set the tone for the next line of discussion as uncle Doutimi wanted to know how soon they wanted to have the wedding, the plans they have and visiting her parents too.
Ken informed him of their plans to tie the knot early next year, and the plans to visit her family sometime in the following months. Nimi squeezed his fingers in appreciation and he understood why. Her sister had finally made up her mind to visit them at the end of the next month. They decided to take their time in visiting her parents until all issues with her sister had been resolved.
Uncle Doutimi looked thoughtful as he listened to their plans. At the end, he agreed with them. The next hour was spent in light-hearted conversation before Ken and Nimi got up to take their leave. They both thanked Ken’s uncle and aunt for a good time and made for the door. Just before they stepped out, the door opened, and in came the security man and Ken’s worst nightmare –Tenisha.
His eyes widened in sheer terror when he saw her. His heart pounded loudly in his chest. It was almost audible in the midst of the silence that had filled the room. He sneaked a peak at Nimi and noticed her smiled had slipped and her lips had flattened. Her face mirrored his own.
“Who is this?” Uncle Doutimi asked, breaking the silence.
The security man stepped forward. “Oga, I’m sorry o. I tell dis lady make she wait for gate but she no gree. She just follow me enter straight say she must see you.” He explained, eyeballing Tenisha who now stood beside him.
Uncle Doutimi fixed questioning eyes on Tenisha. “Yes, young lady, what do you want?”
Tenisha went on her knees. “Sir, I have been cheated.” She replied.
Uncle Doutimi shared a confused glance with his wife, who turned to look at Tenisha with keen interest.
“What do you mean cheated?” He asked.
“Ken is my fiancé.” She told him.
The room was immediately plunged into utter confusion at her bombshell. Soft gasps escaped the lips of Ken’s uncle and aunt, even the security man gasped. Aunt Nene sent accusatory looks at Ken.
It took Ken few seconds before he came to himself. “This lady is lying, Uncle.” He fired back. “She’s just trying to blackmail me.”
His uncle sighed with relief then, but aunt Nene countered his explanation. “Let us hear from her. Her presence here is not a coincidence and it’s obvious you know her.”
Ken’s hand pressed against his forehead. He heard the soft cry coming from Nimi. He couldn’t turn to look at her. His heart broke at what was happening to her on the day he brought her to his family. Anger welled up in him and he approached Tenisha but his uncle held him back.
“She’s lying, Uncle.” Ken repeated again, his tone taking a desperate edge. “I have nothing to do with her. Everything is in the past.”
Right on her knees, Tenisha burst out in tears. “Oh, Ken, she has poisoned you.” She cried. “That evil lady has poisoned you against me.” She pointed a shaky hand at Nimi, who took a step back, shaking her head. Tenisha continued, “Sir, Ken and I dated for a while before he came here. He invited me here when he settled down, but when I came, he had been charmed by her and would have nothing to do with me. I kept on pleading with him but this lady won’t let him be. I can’t allow her have him. I love Ken and we are going to have a baby.”
If what she said earlier had caused soft gasps, her statement now weakened the others in the room. Nimi fell on the floor and started weeping. Uncle Doutimi staggered; aunt Nene stood with her arms akimbo and mouth wide open. Ken stood still marvelling at the extent Tenisha would go just to ruin him. He surged forward and seized her by the neck.
“You will rot in hell, Tenisha. You will rot in hell.” He screamed at her, rage pouring from his body like sweat after an exercise.
“Ken, you’re hurting me. I’m carrying your baby.” She croaked, trying to free herself from Ken’s grasp but he held on tight.
Uncle Doutimi stepped forward and held Ken. “Let her go.” He ordered. Ken looked at him but made no move to release Tenisha. “I said let her go now, Ken.” Uncle Doutimi repeated in a firm voice.
Slowly, Ken released Tenisha, who fell back coughing.
“Violence won’t solve this, Ken. We will surely get to the end of this. Paternity test won’t lie. We would have it done once the baby arrives.” Uncle Doutimi reasoned.
A cloud of fear passed over Tenisha’s face. “Wha… what about now? He has to take care of me. We have to be together for the sake of the baby. He can’t marry her.” She stared daggers at Nimi.
“We will take this a step at a time. You go back home and leave us to decide what to do. I will get back to you.” He told her.
Tenisha looked unconvinced. “What assurance is there that Ken will marry me?” She pressed further.
“That decision is up to Ken. I can’t force him to marry you if he doesn’t just because you’re having a baby that we are not certain is Ken’s.” Uncle Doutimi’s tone sharpened with an edge of anger.
Tenisha looked away. “I swear it’s Ken’s baby. I won’t allow him marry her. He has to marry me.” Her voice hardened then, her face twisting with hatred.
Uncle Doutimi shared a look with Ken. A dawning hope filled his eyes when he saw that his uncle had seen through Tenisha’s show. It was obvious Tenisha was trying to pin what wasn’t his on him. He allowed his uncle to handle her. He went to where Nimi was on the floor and pulled her up. Her tears had dried and she seemed calmer.
“Please go. I’ll get back to you.” Uncle Doutimi told Tenisha. He signalled to the security man who had stayed through the whole thing to take her out.
Tenisha shoved away his hand. “I’ll go on my own.” She drew herself up and smoothed out her short skirt. She balanced herself on her pencilled heels and drew her shoulders up. “I hope to hear from you soon. This is not the end.” She glared at them before walking out. The security man followed.
Audible sighs of relief filled the air when Tenisha walked out. Everyone took their seats again.
“I want the whole story, Ken.” His uncle demanded.
Ken told him. “I am very sure, uncle. I am not responsible for Tenisha’s pregnancy.”
His uncle nodded. “I believe you. That girl has something up her sleeves and we must tread softly or we’ll land in her trap.”
While uncle Doutimi encouraged Ken and Nimi, aunt Nene kept staring daggers at him. When she couldn’t bear it anymore, she cut into his uncle’s words.
“Ken brought this upon himself. Now he wants to drag us down with him. It won’t work.” She spat at him.
“Nene, if you can’t add anything positive to what is on ground, please excuse us.” Uncle Doutimi told her.
She got up and patted her buttocks. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you o. Ken will put you in trouble soon.” She walked away.
Uncle Doutimi turned to Ken and Nimi. “Don’t mind her. You know how she is. I’ll leave you both to talk. Ken, I’ll call you tomorrow to tell you what we have to do.” He got up. To Nimi, he said: “Be strong, my daughter. This is just a phase.”
Nimi gave a slight nod. Uncle Doutimi left them alone. Ken took Nimi’s hands into his own, enfolding and clasping them warmly.
“We’ll get through this, Nimi. I promise you we will. Tenisha has no hold over me or you. God will fight for us and expose her evil plans.”
Nimi’s lips tipped in a smile. “I believe you.” She said.
He threw his hands around her. “You’re a blessing to me, Nimi. Thank you for believing me. Just stand by me.”
“I will.” She replied, her words going over his shoulder.
That fired him a love so intense that he knew for a certainty that Nimi was his. Come rain, come shine, they would be together under God. Tenisha was just a joker.
Laye clasped and unclasped her fingers as she paced the floor of her room. Something kept gnawing at her. It was like a heavy burden had settled on her since her disclosure to Tenisha about Ken and Nimi’s visit to his uncle.
Was this really what she wanted? She thought, chewing on her lip. Nimi would be totally devastated, but she had no other option. She had come too far indeed. It was time to end it all.
All morning she had been jittery as she awaited news from Tenisha. Nothing could keep her mind off what would happen in Ken’s uncle’s house. Not the heap of clothes she had to wash or the pots of soup and stew she had to prepare for the week. The house chores that begged her attention couldn’t keep her mind off the deciding moment of her victory or failure. Her mother had taken one look at her face and went to the market by herself. It was better because Laye had no intention of getting into any banter with market women.
And so she had spent most part of the day chewing on her lip, grinding her teeth and fidgeting over her phone. No words had come from Tenisha yet. Well, she hadn’t expected any word so early in the day, but now she longed to hear of the final verdict.
Her eyes went to her bedside clock. It read four fifty. Almost five in the evening and she still hadn’t heard from Tenisha. She had to call her. She could easily call Nimi and gloat if everything had gone the way she wanted it to go, but Tenisha was the key. She needed to be sure of her next line of action. She hoped to be moving in for the kill and not re-strategizing. It would kill her to start all over again. Her entire hope was on Ken. She had lost Karibo even before she had the time to have him. Better to focus on the one that she knew would be productive; the one she had been working on for months.
She went to her bed and picked up her cell, then she dialled Tenisha’s number. The phone rang for a while and the call ended unanswered. The same thing happened the second, third and fourth time. Laye was fuming by the time she was dialling the number the fifth time.
‘I hope the bitch is not playing games with me,’ she said, anger clouding her features. ‘She had better not be playing with me.’
She dialled the number again. Laye concluded it would go unanswered again when it kept ringing with no answer. Just before she was told that the number she had dialled was not answering, Tenisha’s voice came online.
“Hello,” she croaked, sniffing a little.
“Tenisha, what is happening?” Laye asked, going straight to the point. She had no time to notice that Tenisha sounded weak and was sniffing. All she wanted to hear was her victory.
Another sniff. “Nothing.” She answered simply.
Laye didn’t like the sound of that. She didn’t like it at all. Tenisha’s answer was not what she expected. “Tenisha, what is happening?” Laye gritted her teeth and repeated herself.
A pause, then another sniff, followed by a loud sigh. “Listen, er… things didn’t go as I expected but the good news is they won’t be planning a wedding for a while.” Tenisha told her.
A slight smile curved Laye’s lips. Now they were back on track. She dropped on her bed and rested her free hand on the bed while the other cradled the phone on her left ear.
“How did you do it?” She questioned. Laye thought she heard a soft gasp at her question but Tenisha was silent. The hair prickled on her neck. “Tenisha?” She called cautiously as if stepping around a hen with chicks.
“Laye,” Tenisha’s voice took a sharp edge. “I got desperate and I had to use my trump card.”
Laye sat up straight, eyes widened. “What do you mean ‘trump card’?” She bit out the question in anger.
“I told him… I told him…” Tenisha stuttered.
“Told him what?” Laye screamed down the line. Her stomach clenched uncomfortably. Goose bumps appeared on her naked skin where her short-sleeved blouse did not covered. This is not good, oh it is not, she cried within even as she awaited Tenisha’s response. Tenisha seemed to be doing more sighing than actually answering.
“You have to tell me, Tenisha.” Laye pressed.
“Fine.” An angry tone. “It’s none of your business anyway, but I’ll just tell you because of your help.”
Laye bristled at her dismissive tone but said nothing. She waited with a thumping heart that was threatening to burst through her chest.
“I told Ken about the pregnancy.” Tenisha said.
“The pregnancy? What pregnancy?” Laye challenged her.
“Listen, Laye, I’m pregnant and someone has to be responsible for it right. Ken is going to take responsibility so there’s no way he will abandon his child for that… that filthy trash.”
Laye saw red. Her eyes flashed with rage. Tenisha had played her. Tenisha had proven herself more worldly-wise than her. How had she not seen that Tenisha’s desperation had an undertone? Her call had come suddenly. All the while she was also plotting when Laye thought she had her where she wanted her. Oh, no.
“Is Ken really responsible, Tenisha?” She asked in an icy tone. Dry laughter filled her ears. “Don’t be naïve, girl. I told you I would do anything to get Ken. Just forget about who is and isn’t responsible. Just know that I’ll have my man.” She replied, laughter in her voice. “Listen, Laye, I have to go now. I want to have all my facts down before Ken’s uncle calls me. He promised to call and negotiate.” She told Laye proudly, and then without any warning, she ended the call.
Laye stared at the silent phone. Tenisha had ousted her. Tenisha had kicked her out of the game. She slammed her cell against the wall. Different parts flew in all directions. She made no move to pick them up. What was on her mind was getting back on the game. Tenisha would do more than lying to actually get her out of the way.
Her lips turned up in a humourless smile. Tenisha will never win. Stopping her would be war and she was ready for it.
The cocks around the house announced the dawn of a new day. The day Laye would kick Tenisha out of the game. If it would mean threatening her, then she would do it. Anything to stop Tenisha.
Laye jumped up from her bed and peered at the bedside clock in the semi darkness. It was early enough to launch an attack and not attract unwanted passers-by. She picked up her phone that she had managed to put back together later that evening. The screen guard had done a lot to keep her screen from much damage. Repairs wouldn’t cost much. She really had no intention of spending a lot now. With the way events were unfolding she could lose her job in DAA. She would need her savings while she searched for a new one. Or if she had Ken, she would have all she wanted. When, not if, she corrected herself before undressing.
While in the bathroom she heard her mother’s shuffling feet. She must be preparing for church. Laye wouldn’t be there. She would miss church just to make sure she was back in control of everything she had worked for. It wasn’t going to be the first time though. She had lost count of the times she hadn’t gone to church since she started her ‘mission get Ken’. She couldn’t imagine listening to any sermon that would change her mind towards Nimi and Ken. She didn’t want any minister who didn’t even understand the depth of her pain, her hurt, longing, and desire to stand in judgement over her. All they talked about was salvation, righteousness, holiness, giving… what about her needs? What about her yearning for a better life? What about her love life? No, that didn’t matter to them. But they would be quick to judge her if she showed up pregnant without a husband.
Better to stay away from a place like that and people who didn’t care about anything but themselves. She wouldn’t miss church. It wouldn’t even miss her. With that last thought on her church, she took her bath quickly and did the same with her dressing when she got back into her room. She had chosen a combat short and a polo for the confrontation. Tenisha couldn’t beat her if it resulted in fist fight. She would have the upper hand all round. After all she was going to catch Tenisha unawares.
She dropped her phone in one of her short’s pockets and a few change. She picked up a small torch and moved out quietly. She didn’t stop at her mother’s room to greet her as she usually did. Better to keep her uninformed of her movement that morning. She walked quietly to the door and let herself out.
The early morning breeze hit her on the face and she breathed deeply. Adrenaline pumped through her and she felt every muscle in her body come alive. Yes, she was in control. She liked being in control and would like to leave it like that. The more reason why Tenisha must be put in her place.
She trekked the few blocks down to the bus-stop. She met only a few persons at the bus-stop, most of whom looked like they were on their way to their various worship centres. They said nothing to one another as they waited for the cab or tricycle that would convey them to their various destinations.
A tricycle soon arrived and Laye got in. She and three other persons standing. One kept singing, irritating her. She glared at her but the lady wouldn’t stop until she screamed her down.
“Madam, abeg make person hear word this morning.”
The woman’s eyes widened at her sharp rebuke. She did a sign of the cross and shook her head at Laye. “You need Jesus.” She told her in a soft tone.
That irked Laye the more. “What do you need, madam? You need a tape to be placed over your mouth. Noisemaker.” She retorted.
The woman and the others, including the driver gasped. Laye didn’t care. If they wanted trouble, she had it in abundance and would give them willingly. Nonsense, she spat angrily. How dare the woman tell her that she needed Jesus? She that had Jesus what had it given her. Imagine her taking a tricycle to church. Laye released a loud hiss.
The woman crossed herself again, and started singing quietly to herself.
“Better,” Laye muttered under her breath.
She got down from the tricycle before the others. She knew they would talk about her. Again, she didn’t care. Only one thing mattered to her –taking charge.
Tenisha’s house was a little down the road. Laye took long strides, ignoring the curious glances of the few that passed her on the street. The neighbourhood was stirring. It was almost six thirty in the morning. She had to finish with Tenisha quickly. She was sure Tenisha was at home, probably still asleep. Tenisha was definitely not a church-goer. She wasn’t even a nominal Christian. She was just herself. No belief in anything but her looks and her possessions.
What about you? A tiny voice whispered in her heart.
Laye stopped in her tracks. She turned, expecting to see the speaker. The voice was quite audible. She saw no one. She was alone. The other person walking on the street was some feet away from her and he had his back to her, so it wasn’t possible that he had spoken to her.
Who said that? She wondered as she continued on her way.
You need Jesus. The same voice whispered again.
Laye staggered. Was that woman messing with her head? She turned towards the road she had left behind. The tricycle was long gone. So why was she hearing that? It was getting weird.
She quickened her steps, almost running. She stopped in front of Tenisha’s house in a matter of seconds. She released a sigh of relief. Just as she was about to cross the gutter into the open compound, the voice came again.
Go back home, Laye. Go home. You need Jesus.
Whoever you are, leave me alone, she fired back, jumping across the gutter. She stood in front of Tenisha’s flat in no time.
The annoying knock came over and over again. Tenisha tossed about in bed. The persistent knock seemed to be giving her a headache. She hated the disturbance. The lights in her room were put off and the heavily-draped curtains did nothing to illuminate the dim room. She was sure it was morning because she could hear music from the church behind her house. She held on to the last bit of sleep before finally throwing aside her bed cover at the persistent knock that wouldn’t stop.
She drew her phone out from under her pillow and pressed the power button on its side. She winced at the bright light that came on the screen. It was almost seven in the morning. She frowned at the door. Who would come visiting this early in the morning?
Ever since Sinivie left the house, she had had no one to share it with. It had been her alone all the time. When she had refused to talk to Sinivie for two weeks after their discussion about telling Ken the truth and becoming a Christian, Sinivie had wished her the best and left the house. She had promised to keep praying for Tenisha. Tenisha had neither answered her calls nor returned them. She had deleted her messages upon arrival without reading them. She would fight her battle alone and win. She didn’t need any friend who thought too highly of herself or Jesus for that matter.
If she had no real connection with anyone here, then who was at her door this early in the morning, knocking as if her very existence depended on it? She got up from bed and raked her fingers through her bed hair. Her hair net had gotten off her head sometime in the night. She adjusted the oversized polo she wore over her PJ trouser. She moved slowly through the mess she had made in the room the previous evening.
Two wine bottles laid at the foot of the bed. She had downed both while wallowing in her sorrow over Ken. The uncertainty surrounding the whole issue with Ken and his uncle had made her shed tears like a baby hungry for milk. She had seen the suspicious look in the eyes of Ken’s uncle. He had looked unconvinced at her accusation. Everything was at a standstill. And that Laye had the guts to call her up asking how it went. Tenisha grimaced. She had better mind her business.
She kicked off plastic bags that littered the floor. She had eaten as much junk as possible while she wept for love –her complete love for Ken.
She made her way to the door and pressed the light switch beside the door. Light flooded the room, casting out the shadows that the darkness had brought. She shuddered at the sight of the room. Clothes were strewn about. The contents of her bag were emptied somewhere while the bag was seen in another side.
Whoever was at the door would have to stand outside or manage her disorganized room. She opened the door and got out to the veranda. Outside her protector gate stood no other than the one she had no pleasant thought for at the moment –Laye.
Tenisha’s face twisted in anger. She regarded Laye with a cool stare. “What do you want?” She asked, not bothering to keep the unfriendliness from her tone.
Laye regarded her with a stare that matched hers. “I’m here to see you.”
Laye let out a soft smile. “You should know already.”
Tenisha crossed her arms over her chest. “I don’t have time for this. It’s too early in the morning. Go home. We’ll talk later.” She told her, gritting her teeth.
That annoying laugh came again. “If you don’t want me laying all our shit bare here, you had better invite me in. I don’t want us to become the prayer points of those on their way to church this morning.” She retorted.
Despite the laughter outlining Laye’s face, Tenisha could see the rage just beneath. She recognized it because she had been like that one too many times. She looked from left to right. Her neighbour was a pastor. He, his wife and children had the ‘Christian thing’ going for them. They barely tolerated her presence. Many at times Tenisha had caught the wife eyeing her mini dresses. She wanted nothing with them, and sure didn’t want them shaking their heads at her while they went to church.
She unlocked the gate and threw it open. “Come in,” she told Laye in an unwelcomed tone.
Laye gave a shrug and pushed pass her. While Tenisha pulled the gate back for a close, Laye walked into her room. She met her casting disgustful eyes around the room. Tenisha made no move to adjust anything.
“Wow!” she exclaimed. “Pretty Miss Perfect is not perfect after all.” She mocked.
Tenisha clenched her fists at her sides. “I want to believe you didn’t leave your house this early to come and discuss my home management skills.” She bit out the words in anger.
Laye ran a finger over her reading table. She drew it up and blew off imaginary dust from it. “You’re right. I didn’t come here to discuss your poor home management skills.” She replied in a drawl. “I’m here to stop whatsoever game you started yesterday with Ken.”
Tenisha’s eyes glinted at her in amusement. “This must be the joke of the year.” She hissed and walked away to sit on her bed.
Laye turned to face her. “I am not here to joke, Tenisha.” She told her firmly. “You can’t force a baby on Ken when you know he’s not responsible for it. I think it’s time you take your sorry self and crawl back into whatsoever hole you came out from and leave Ken in peace.”
Realization hit. Laye was interested in Ken. Why hadn’t she seen it? No wonder she was willingly to help separate Nimi and Ken. Well, her own trap had caught her.
“Laye, I think you should leave my house now. We have nothing else to discuss. Ken is my man and I’m almost close to having him. I don’t need your services any longer.” Tenisha’s voice darkened as much as her face.
Laye stood her ground. “Oh, you think you’re smart right? You think you have this down right? Oh, no, you don’t, sweetheart. I brought you into this and I will tell you when to leave too.”
Tenisha threw her head back in laughter. “You don’t know me, Laye. If you did, you wouldn’t wrongly assume that you run things where I am.” Her voice was laced with a warning.
“Just wait and watch me squash your party. I’m going to lay all your shit bare to Ken. I’ll make sure you leave this city in disgrace. You will lose all round.” Laye threatened her, eyes flashing with the power she had over Tenisha.
The laughter seemed to freeze on Tenisha’s face. She got up and held Laye’s wrist. “You won’t dare. You won’t betray me when you also had a role to play.”
“You betrayed me first, Tenisha. Whatever I do, you deserve it.” Laye released her arm from her grasp and pushed it away from her. “I give you two hours to call Ken and tell him you lied and want nothing to do with him. I’ll call Nimi in the next two hours and I want to hear the good news from her. Failure to do so…” she left the threat hanging and turned to take her leave.
Tenisha watched the proud shoulders of Laye lifted high as she made her move for the door. Rage fuelled in her like an angry inferno. No, Laye can’t win, she screamed within her. I won’t go down without a fight. I must stop her.
Her eyes scanned the room quickly and rested on the wine bottles. She grabbed one and made a move towards Laye who was about turning the door knob.
“Stop!” She ordered in a loud voice.
Laye jumped in fright and turned around. Tenisha brought the bottle down on the left side of her head just above her left eyebrow. The bottle connected with Laye’s head with a loud bang. Laye crumbled like a pack of cards, losing consciousness.
“Now go and tell let me see you.” Tenisha stood over Laye spitting in disgust. “Get up and leave my house. This is just a warning. Don’t mess with me. Get up!” No movement. She bent and peered at Laye where she laid unmoving on the floor. Blood streamed from the side of her face that rested on the floor down to her mouth.
The bottle dropped from Tenisha’s trembling fingers. She jumped back, her hands going to her mouth. “I have killed her. I have killed someone. Oh, God, help me.” She moved backwards from the body, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her whole body shook. “Where do I run to?”
She looked around. Her eyes landed on her wardrobe. She quickly pulled out a box from it and started emptying her clothes into it. She turned around sharply when she heard a soft moan from Laye where she laid.
“She’s not dead.” She said somewhat relieved. She rubbed her tear-stricken face with the back of her palm.
“He… he…lp.” Laye muttered weakly.
Tenisha went to where the contents of her bag laid scattered. She picked out her purse and brought out the money she had kept there for the trip and expenses the previous day. She drew out the naira notes and counted them. Five thousand naira. She gave a nod of satisfaction at the amount and stuffed them back into her purse. She pushed the purse into the pocket of her PJ and went to the door.
A quick survey told her that her neighbours were all out. She made a dash for the road and flagged down the first tricycle she got.
“Abeg, help me oh. My sister hit her head for wall o. I wan carry her go hospital.” She told the driver in a frantic tone.
“Na charter be data bi?” the driver asked.
Tenisha nodded severally, “I’ll pay. Just help my sister.”
“Go bring her.”
Tenisha ran back to her room and lifted Laye off the ground. She had lost consciousness again. Tenisha half-carried and half-dragged her down to where the tricycle waited. When the driver saw her, he jumped down and came to help her. They successfully got Laye into the tricycle and the driver zoomed off to the nearest private hospital.
At the hospital, Tenisha filled out forms while Laye was wheeled into the emergency ward. Tenisha’s hand kept shaking as she wrote out all the details they required. Her mind kept going to Laye. She knew she would be in trouble when Laye woke up. And she couldn’t afford that now. Even Ken was not worth going to jail for. Better to disappear when she still had her freedom. She was certain that chief would gladly accept her back. Or maybe he wouldn’t. But she couldn’t think about that now. All she wanted was to get as far away from the hospital, Laye and Ken. Since she was planning her escape, the best way to do it was to keep her details off the records. If she was going to leave it blank, it would be suspicious. She had just the right person and his info for the records.
She filled out Ken’s details quickly and made necessary payment. She told the nurse at the reception that she wanted to get food. The busy nurse just gave her a nod as she continued filling out records in the large book before her.
Tenisha turned and left quickly. It was goodbye. She didn’t care how unceremonious it was. She was leaving in one piece. Let Ken clean up the mess she had made. She hoped their paths crossed no more.