She: Episode 7

Simi stood up, shell shocked. The bombshell dropped by her mother didn’t register properly in her mind. She immediately sought clarification.
“What did you just ask me, mom?” She inquired, totally bewildered.
“I know how it sounds Simi,” The older lady replied “I probably look like a fool to you, like all those women in abusive relationships that keep going back to the man. But you have to understand my point of view.”
“I’m not sure I understand your point of view, or even want to understand it! Does this make any sense to you? What will people think?!”
“People have said a lot about us, this is a testimony compared to what has been said.” Her mother sounded desperate.
“So you’re just going to open your arms and welcome him back like that? With a boy that isn’t yours? Why are you doing this mom?”
“I can’t even imagine what you must be thinking or feeling now, Simi, but you have to trust me and know that I want what is best for this house.”
“And by this house you mean you and him or me and you?”
“I mean us. This house needs a man’s touch. I never stopped praying for him to come back and he has finally come.”
“We were doing just fine mom, we were alright!” Simi felt weak, but she pushed on “This is not how it’s meant to be.”
   “It is Simi, it really is. He was blinded by that woman. She placed a spell on him.” Tears formed in her eyes.
Simi was incredulous.
“Is that what he told you? For the love of God mom, wake up! That good for nothing man left us for fifteen years and now wants to get back with you because YOUR company will soon be fortune five hundred worthy, while his is crumbling.”
“How did you know his company is failing?” Her mother asked, genuinely surprised.
“I don’t need a prophet to tell me that one mom, it was expected.”
“The woman put a spell on him Simi, she jazzed him. O jazz e. You have to trust me Simi I beg you.”
“It’s your house mom, you don’t need my permission for anything. Go ahead and welcome him back, open the door wide.” Simi replied with heavy sarcasm. “How many birthdays did he miss? Fifteen, no, sixteen is more like it. I don’t even know, do you?”
The older lady was silent.
“How many, Mom?!” Simi persisted.
“He sent you gifts every year.”
“He never missed a year. Sometimes it was DHL, other times it was his drivers, but he always sent gifts. I rejected them all on your behalf.”
Simi was unoffended.
“And you know why you did that? Because you hated him, you resented him. But you’re going mushy mom, you’re turning soft.”
And then an idea crossed Simi’s mind. It was a strange one and potentially dangerous, but she didn’t care.
“He can come back mom.”
“What?” the woman was stunned.
“He can come back home.”
“Oh, thank you Simi.” She broke down in tears. “I know you’ll forgive him too in time.”
“I’d like to go back to bed now.” Simi replied icily
“Of course, you need your beauty sleep.”
Simi was unamused. She got into bed and draped the duvet over her body.
Her mom left the room and silence ensued as the thoughts ran wild in her head. She retrieved her phone and scrolled through the notifications. Izzy’s text was on top.
“Hey. How are you? Things got intense at your house so I decided to go to my Uncle’s. I may come back when things have normalized sha. Take care of yourself Simi.”
She looked at the time; it was 10:30pm already. Simi decided to implement her plan without any delay. Scrolling to Jonathan’s contact, she sent a text.
“Judge me later, but if we’ve ever been friends I need your help now. I need a place to crash for a while before I can get a place on my own. My house isn’t safe, I’ll explain later.”
Simi cringed at the lie she just told. Her heart skipped a beat as she tapped the send icon on the screen.
In no time, she had picked up a small bag and shoved a few clothes into it. She threw in some personal effects, her phone charger and her purse. Next, she changed her clothes, switching the hoodie and sweat pants for denim trousers and a lumbar jack shirt. Her phone started ringing and she knew immediately who it was.
“Hello, Simi? Are you okay?”
“No, I really am not.”
“What’s happening? Are you hurt?”
“No, but I will be if I don’t leave here” She replied.
And that was true, in a sense. She would be hurt emotionally.
“Okay, calm down. When are you coming?”
“Early tomorrow morning.”
“Does your mom know about this?”
“She doesn’t need to know.” Simi croaked. 
“Simi, are you running away from home.”
She froze. The boy was too darn perceptive. She couldn’t lie anymore.
“I thought as much,” he sighed “The thing is this, I stay with a colleague, my business partner and it’s a three bedroom apartment, we split the rent. My sister is here already so that’s all the spaces covered.”
Simi felt her plan slipping away.
“Okay, thanks” She managed to respond, almost in tears.
“Hold on, I’m not done yet. My friend however travelled home today so his room is free. You can stay in mine till he comes back.”
Simi wanted to hug him through the phone but she managed to remain composed.
“Thanks Jonathan, I really appreciate this.”
“Yeah, I only hope you resolve whatever the problem is. Police men must not come to arrest me o Simi.”
She smiled.
“Don’t worry, they won’t.”
“And know that none of us in that house can cook properly so expect to eat nonsense. I’ll text you directions.”
“Thank you very much.”
“No worries. We’ll talk when you get here. Good night.”
Simi couldn’t believe her luck. None of her friends would agree to such.
“This is a stupid plan” she thought to herself but quickly dismissed it.
The directions he sent indicated an address in Ikeja. She set her alarm for 4:30am and climbed back into bed, knowing she would barely get any sleep.
She woke up at 4:05am and waited until 4:25am before turning off the alarm. She wore a pair of fancy sandals and threw her more rugged slides into the already packed bag, as she made her way downstairs. Every sound was magnified in her head and all the doors seemingly creaked more loudly than they normally did.
She finally got outside into the compound and into her car. Dropping the hand brake, she switched the gear into the first slot and stepped on the clutch, letting the car inch slowly towards the gate, after which she pulled up the hand brake and stopped the moving car. She got out and knocked on the gateman’s door, instructing the sleepy Hausa man to open the gate. With the gate wide open, she started the engine, revved it and sped out of the house. She checked her time; it was 4:48am.
There were few cars on the road as she navigated the streets in her Elantra. Doors locked and the windows up, she was almost afraid at how empty the streets seemed. She finally got to her destination at 5:25am and then called Jonathan.
“Hello” He answered sleepily
“I’m here.”
“On my way.” He replied.
She only had to wait for a few minutes before he appeared beside the car, all six feet plus of him. He pointed her towards a gate that was opened by a short man as he approached it. She parked in a vacant spot and got down.
“The adventurer,” He declared “Your mom is going to kill you, you know that right?”
“Yeah, thanks again for this. I’m so sure you think I’m a case.”
“You have no idea what I’m thinking right now Simi. Let me get your bag.”
Her phone began to ring in her pocket. She pulled it out, looked at her mom’s name and number flash on the screen and then cut the call.
“It’ll either be me or him, mom.” She whispered to herself, as he led her towards the house.

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