She hastily put on her jeans and picked up her bag. With a quick look at the mirror, she adjusted her dishevelled hair pushing back stray strands into the pony tail in which they belonged. Next, she fished for her shoes from across the room, all under Andy’s gaze. He lay sprawled on the bed, all 6 feet and 5 inches of him completely nude. Hands under his head, white teeth that reminded her of toothpaste ads, and the accompanying dazzling smile, he was a stunner.
“Going so soon?” He asked with his deep voice that had captivated her from day one.
“Yeah, my mom just sent me a text. She’s at the airport already.” She replied applying lip gloss to her chapped lips.
“There’ll be traffic, lets chill for a while please.” He pleaded lightly, getting up to hug her from behind.
She leaned into him and toyed with the thought of staying back. She could always get an alibi for arriving late. She dismissed the thought and shifted out of his hold, gently nudging him away.
“As much as I’d love to, I can’t. Besides, Gbagada is pretty close to MM2.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know.” He replied and bent to pick up his own clothes too.
He saw her off to the gate of his parents’ Lekki mansion and she stared at him through the rear view mirror as she drove off in her white Hyundai Elantra, a gift from her mother for her eighteenth birthday, a year ago.
She let her mind wander as she fired the car down the 3rd Mainland Bridge, Emeli Sande singing softly from the solid Stereo speakers in the car. Pictures of Andy kept coming to her mind and she wondered why it made her feel awkward. They had been together for about a year and a half. His parents knew her and knew they were together. He was neither aggressive nor abusive; on the contrary, he was quite the gentleman. They’d had arguments but nothing out of the ordinary and they had settled it and moved on. She then wondered why she still felt strange thinking about their relationship.
“Maybe because you’re shagging the dude on a reg.“ Her inner voice said.
She shut it up and focused on the declarations of love flowing out from the speakers.
“But for real though; isn’t that kind of wrong?”
“Shut up!” She said out loud, feeling silly immediately.
Sex with Andy was good, more than that, it was amazing. She couldn’t deny that it was awkward at first, seeing him on Campus after sleeping with him the previous day, but she got over that. He graduated with the last graduating class of her school, with honours. He was polite and responsible, well sometimes; in fact, he would be considered “Husband Material” by many quarters. She’d been told she was lucky many times by so many different girls. She’d seen them flirt with him and she’d seen him remain irrevocably loyal. He was cool with his parents and siblings and was generous, although slightly proud and conceited at times.
“So what on earth is the problem then?” She thought to herself as she made a right turn, honking impatiently at a street trader.
“Why don’t you feel like a princess? Why don’t you feel all peachy?”
She angrily ejected the CD and switched to the Radio where heavy rap music blared. She liked the beat and made a mental note to google the song when she was free as she eased the car into the compound, parking beside her mother’s black Range Rover. She greeted the gate man and walked inside quickly where she met her mother sitting on a sofa in the living room, sipping juice from a tall glass.
“Mommy! I missed you!” She squealed and ran to hug her mother.
They embraced as her mother implored her not to break her back in Yoruba.
The two could be described as the same person at different ages. They were both fair skinned and lean with honey brown eyes that were the focus of numerous compliments, the only difference being the wisdom that the older pair reflected.
She inhaled her mother’s perfume and refused to let go.
“I missed you.”
“And I missed you too, but I have to breathe you know.”
She laughed at her mother’s joke and let go.
“How was Abuja?” She inquired.
“Abuja was fine. The workload wasn’t heavy, that’s why I could make it back today.”
“Nice. Sorry that there’s no food at home. If I knew you’d be coming today, I’d have made rice or something.”
“Don’t worry yourself, I’ve already ordered Chinese for two.”
“Mommy! You didn’t even waste time at all.” She joked.
“Look at you, you cannot kill me before my time.” Her mother replied with a full smile on her face.
“Nobody wants to kill you,” She answered as she walked towards the marble stairs “Let me change and I’ll join you after.”
“Okay,” the older woman replied while studying her daughter curiously “What cream are you using by the way?”
“Um, I don’t even know the name but it’s that one you gave me last week.”
“Na wa o, this one that it’s making you glow like this. I will buy more then.”
That single word replayed several times in her mind. Being a Psychology major in the university, she knew one or two things about hormones and knew it wasn’t the cream at work. She silently composed herself and continued up the stairs. If her mother found out she was sleeping with someone, all hell would be let loose.
“And don’t forget we have a vigil here tomorrow!” her mother added from downstairs.
She sighed heavily as she closed the door to her room. She plopped down on the bed and tossed her bag aside.
“Vigil every time,” She thought to herself “Shouldn’t all the demons they’ve been firing be dead already?”
Removing her clothes, she stepped into her bathroom and stared at the mirror. She looked different to herself. She knew she could pass of as 24 instead of her nineteen years.
“What if you get pregnant?” Her inner voice challenged. She shook her head to clear the thought. The Lord knew she had had more than a fair share of the “get pregnant-abort-die” teaching but that hadn’t been of much use lately.
“Andy uses protection” She retorted
“Oh! Shut up!”
With that she stepped into the shower and let the warm water distract her. She towelled herself dry and wore her pink pyjamas top and the grey bottom. Her iPhone buzzed as a text came in. Andy.
Hey, today was really great. Miss you already. See you on Saturday? Palms? Love you.
She closed the text and proceeded downstairs to re-join her mother. They watched Suits for a couple of minutes before their order arrived, ate and then fell asleep cuddled together on the sofa.
She had no idea, how much her life was going to change starting from the next day.