By Tomi Adesina
“Hey Darlene” Dora called as I walked in. I turned with a fake smile but it was enough to convince Dora and her guest. He did not look familiar after all; I do not know him. “Meet Kolapo, my boyfriend” she introduced. ‘Boyfriend,’ I thought.
“Hello, I am Darlene” I said, stretching out my hand.
“Nice to meet you, I am Kolapo, but I’d rather you call me KP” he replied, coolly taking the handshake.
“Alright KP” I replied with a smile. “Are you guys heading out?” I asked, staring at the car, which had its front door open.
“Yeah, we are going over to Shoprite to pick a few things for the house, wanna come?” she asked.
‘Now Dora is taking over the grocery duties’, I thought. I guess I am being negligent of my traditional duties and it was due to Jake’s absence, if he were available, we would have picked the groceries together. I was not in the mood to tag along. “No, I have to work, see you when you return” I replied and left them.
I was going to have the house to myself for the rest of the afternoon. Dad has joined up with his friends for a day golf-tourney, and with Dora and KP out to the grocery; it meant the house was available for me. It is not as though the availability of the house would add anything to my ‘boring lifestyle’, but I would take the opportunity to drown myself. I am not an alcoholic, so drowning will not imply ‘boozing’. I was in dire need of a swim. As the water touched my skin, it took away my thoughts. Such therapy! I said aloud as I swam across the pool.
“Ms Darlene, you have a visitor,” the house cleaner said as she approached.
“Visitor?” I asked. I was not expecting anyone. I racked my brain thinking of who could be visiting.
“His name is Daniel,” she said. “He says he is your teacher from the driving school”
“Yea…right” I scoffed. “Now what does he want?” “Keep him in the living room, will be with him soon”. I could almost let out a scream. I decided to swim to refresh my thought, but Daniel’s reappearance might just add some fuel to it. I hurried to my room to get dressed before returning to the living room to meet him.
“Sorry about what happened earlier ma’am” he said.
Seemed to me as if Daniel now knew his place, the ‘ma’am’ in his greeting signified it. “Its fine” I replied taking my seat. “How may I help you?”
“I want you to please return for your lessons,” he said
“I am no longer in the mood today, maybe next week” I replied.
“Please ma’am, I will be fired if you do not return and I will be ruined,” he begged, getting on his knees.
I have never liked a compromising position. “I will just grab my bag” I said and left for my room. We strolled down the street, the driving school was just five minutes from the house so we could just take a walk, and I guessed my teacher could start to shove the ‘status’ thought aside. He pushed the gate open and led me to a Range Rover SUV. “I’ll be right back” he said and dashed into the building. I stared at the car and shook my head in disdain. “You are such an extremist,” I said as he approached me.
“I don’t understand you” he replied, opening the door.
“Who uses a Range Rover Sport for driving lessons?” I asked. “I can see that you are still on about the status thing”
“No ma’am, I just felt that the Volkswagen Beetle might be faulty” he replied.
Daniel did not have to explain any further. It was obvious that he was trying to make up what happened earlier, but what did a Range Rover SUV have to do with this. I understand that we humans are are of insatiable wants, but was an SUV not too glamorous for learning.
“I will need you to move to the driver’s seat,” he said.
I obeyed. Learning had to start with obedience. I trained for about two hours and when it was over, I had a good knowledge of the basics. “Thanks a lot,” I said as I handed him the key.
“Can I take you out to dinner to make up for what happened?” he asked, biting his lips.
JESUS! I could not believe what I just heard. Daniel was asking me out to dinner. I stared at him with the ‘are you serious’ look. “Dinner?” I asked.
“Yes Dinner, but I must warn you, it won’t be at Golden gate or any one of those fancy places, but it will be cool” he replied smiling.
“I don’t think I am up for an adventure” I replied.
“It will be spontaneous, something different from what you are used to” he replied. “Just think about it”
I could say Daniel had so much nerve. Going out to dinner with Daniel might not be such a bad idea even though I really did not know him, he cannot be worse than the guys I already know. I took a quick glance at my wristwatch.
“7pm” he said smiling.
Now I was sceptical, if I go out by 7pm, I might be too tired to go to Church tomorrow and I already got a text from the Church that I have skipped Service in the last few weeks. “I am not sure, maybe some other time” I replied, with squinted eyeballs.
“I will fetch you by 7pm” he replied. “We won’t be long” he assured.
I gave him no reply and walked out of the driving school. My phone beeped. I had a message from Jake. “What does he want?” I said aloud as I scrolled through. ‘Hope I am not missed? Love you! Jake x’, his message read. I smiled as I returned the Phone to my bag. Jake had no idea of what I had been through in his absence and I could not wait to fill him in on his return from the Bahamas.
I had dinner with the family. I left instructions that Daniel shouldn’t be allowed in; I was not ready for any silly adventures. He might have been disappointed but I am not ready to miss Church for the fifth consecutive week. I might not be God’s perfect daughter, but I still have to be in his good books.
“I am happy to see that you came to Church today, Praise God,” Pastor Ben said.
“Hallelujah Pastor” I replied, nodding my head casually. I wished Pastor Ben could spare me the after service sermon, I was on my way out of Church when he stopped me.
“Do you remember when you were still a little girl and you used to lead the Choir?” he asked.
Now I officially stuck with Pastor Ben. It has been years since I was responsible in the Church; this has been my Church since I was a little girl. If Pastor Ben did not remind me, I had actually forgotten that I used to sing, even though it has been a while. “Did I have a good voice?”
“Oh my child, it was the best I heard in the Church those days” he replied. “I think you should do it again,” he added quickly.
It felt good to hear that I used to have a good voice, but all that is in the past. “I am not sure Pastor”
“You need to use your talent for God child, and now that you are still young. The day is still young and you can work for God, night cometh when no one will be able to work. I know you may have the world at your feet now, you are beautiful, young, and with so much power and cash at your disposal, but you still need God in your game plan” he concluded, patting me lightly on the shoulder and returned into the Church.
Pastor Ben’s last words struck me and it felt as though those were the words meant for me from the Church today. I hailed a cab and rode home ruminating over Pastor Ben’s word. I am not sure if I am up to the task that Pastor Ben posed.
…to be continued