After a lot of back and forth with the voices in my head, I was finally able to ignore my village people’s whispers.
My business here was too important, I couldn’t allow “them” mess things up for me, for Kate, not in our first act.
I barely touched the food I was served. My reason was that the day was already “far spent”, and swallowing at this time of the night was not in my culture.
I could see everyone turning to their sides to lock gaze with one another.
I could see a lot of impressed faces in the room as well as others, wondering if truly I meant what I’d just said.
But I wish those words were true. I wish I was one of those who truly felt that once it is past a certain time, “swallowing” (whatever) becomes a taboo.
Our love for freedom, freedom to chop whatever we like, whenever we crave am, no go allow people like us adopt something like this.
Well, I made sure Kate brought two mighty wraps of that pounded yam and a full bowl of the vegetable soup upstairs for me to devour, later that night.
I was more than certain that I would have nightmares if I didn’t eat to my fill, all in the name of trying to impress.
We all sat down to have small talks after dinner. Our topic of discussion was nothing too serious, “yet”.
They were just interesting random gist.
All the while, Kate and I were in character.
Kate was now very well tucked into my arms.
I was cracking everyone up, good, with jokes.
Jokes I didn’t even think funny enough for the kind of reactions it was getting.
Kate and I looked so much in love.
At first, I was very hesitant about this public display of affection Kate had proposed.
I was being respectful.
Had I been the “real deal”, I know I wouldn’t have wanted to cut across as a boy with no home training, hence the reason I couldn’t be with Kate in a way I would have been, if we’d been out to sell this same charade to her “friends”.
Kate came up with a good cover. Something that was aimed at supposedly “selling me out”.
Kate announced to everyone that “Moshood is a shy guy”.
They all giggled and some of them even went ahead to say that I was doing a great job at masking that shy part of me.
They said that as far as they were concerned, I was doing just fine.
At around past ten, Kate announced to everyone that we’ll like to retire for the night.
“It’s been a long day”. She said, to the acceptance of everyone.
Though this announcement was more of a disappointment to some because we were just getting into the juicy part of a story I was telling.
We were having so much fun, it was a shame it had to end.
But then, they understood that tomorrow was another day and that we won’t be leaving until the day after.
It was not such a big deal sharing the same bed with Kate.
Besides the fact that we’d slept in the same room the night before, in a cheap hotel we’d found around the corner on our way here, It wouldn’t be our first time.
Kate told me that if we were going to sell this charade, we had to always be in character for as long as we were under her parent’s roof.
“Those people are always watching, even when it doesn’t seem like it.” Kate had said to me.
“Does that include sex? I mean, does that mean we’ll need to have sex too, to sell this charade? Would you, at a point, need your loud moans to be that final nail to their coffin of doubts?” I asked, to be sure I really understood what I was signing up for.
Kate smiled in a way that suggested she thought that wouldn’t be a bad idea.
All the while, my eyes were locked unto Kate’s in a “straight faced” gaze.
“Whatever naughty thoughts you have going on in there, girl, you’d better delete them o”. I said, as I began to pull on the duvet, so I could get under it.
“Sheybi you were the one that brought up the idea. And it’s not even as if it’s a bad one sef.” Kate said, with a chuckle.
We chatted for a bit, before the exhaustion from our trip kicked in.
I told Kate how surprised I was about “everything”.
“Babe, you get correct family members o. Omoh…”
“…Abeegi! Better no forget wetin I carry you here come do o.” Kate warned, rolling her eyes. “Thank you for coming with me, Moshood. You are indeed a good friend.” Kate said, with a smile. “It’s a big day tomorrow, abeg try sleep.” She said, before she threw “Good night” at me, then turned over, so she was now facing her side of the bed.
“Big day ke? Wetin dey happen tomorrow?” I muttered underneath my breath.
I woke up the next morning to bright lights.
I couldn’t believe I’d overslept.
I ran into the bathroom, did ablution, brought out my praying mat, positioned at one corner and began to observe my prayer.
Kate was still much buried inside the duvet and fast asleep.
I’d finished my Salaat but was still in the middle of Azkar when I heard a soft knock on the door.
I sprung up folding my praying mat, rounded up my prayers, and then made my way towards the door to verify who it was at the other end of it.
A second knock had just hit when I got to the door.
I took a peek through the peephole.
The person at the other side of the door had her back turned. I couldn’t make out a face or say for a fact who this was.
I gently threw the door open, to behold the best face any day could possibly have started with.
It was the same girl from last night.
The same one that’d helped with our bags.
Her “very beautiful” smile greeted me.
It was contagious.
I just stood there, smiling sheepishly right back at Patience.
“Good morning Sir. I trust you had a wonderful night’s rest, yeah?” Patience asked, with the most polished English.
I couldn’t remember being introduced to Patience as one of Kate’s sibling or family member, last night.
I could remember vividly that she and the other lady dressed in uniform had been standing by a corner, smiling as everything played out.
I wanted to get this clarified so badly, I didn’t know when I skipped answering her question by countering it with one of my own.
“I didn’t catch your name yesterday” I said, stretching an arm out for a handshake.
“Patience Sir. My name is Patience.” She said, blushing, as she took my hand in hers.
Her palm was the softest I’ve felt in a long, long time.
“That’s such a beautiful name. Are you Kate’s cousin or…”
“…oh! No Sir! I am just a domestic staff”.
“Oh wow! And this is a uniform you wear for the job?” I asked, rather curiously.
A shy Patience simply nodded.
“It’s so beautiful. You look amazing in it.” I said, scanning Patience from head to toe.
All this while, I was still holding on to Patience’s hand from that handshake when my village people whispered to me again, “guy, e don do, leave her hand”.
Words I was soon to be very grateful for.
I’d just let go of Patience’s hand when Kate’s mother showed up from nowhere.
To be continued…
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