Simi sat on a black sofa in the averagely sized living room as the air conditioner hummed quietly behind her. White painted walls and dark curtains gave it a sophisticated look. A 45-inch TV hung on the wall while tiny spot lights in the roof added to the ambient light in the room. She spotted a tall fridge in a corner of the room with space she was sure was meant for a dining table. The living room was virtually empty except for Jonathan who sat on the opposite sofa, staring at her.
“What?” She asked, thoroughly embarrassed.
“My mother would roll over in her grave if she found out I was living with a girl who isn’t my sister or wife.”
“I’m sorry about your mum.”
“Nah, it’s been about 7 years now. Doesn’t matter,” He got up and walked to the fridge “You on the other hand are quite the exciting one.”
“I know I’m a case.”
“Well, in your defence, you’ve always been like this. I can remember that time you fought with, what’s her name again?”
“Dolapo, Dolapo Akinyemi. And it wasn’t a real fight.”
“Yeah, it was just a really loud argument over me.” He chuckled “You really are an emotion over logic person. That’s a good thing, sometimes, considering the fact that that girl was like three times your size.”
“The argument was in JS3. I remember it well because she still doesn’t talk to me.”
“But about this. This is different. You just ran away from home. I don’t mean to pry but the least you can do is let me know what’s up.”
Simi looked up at him. His eyes were piercing and she knew he wasn’t going to drop it. She spent the next five minutes explaining everything to him. From the point her father left to the events of few hours ago. She expressed her pain and frustration, struggling not to cry.
“I see. But I must ask, what’s the plan? Stay here forever? Stay with a relative? Will you travel?”
“I haven’t thought that far yet.”
“Alright, you’re welcome to stay. When my colleague gets back, I’ll send my sister back to our dad. She just doesn’t like staying alone because he’s supposedly strict. You can stay in the third room then.”
“Thank you. Your sister is the last child in your house right? Her name is, err, Rebecca?”
“Yeah, it’s Becky. Really good memory you’ve got there. My dad’s very protective. We’re all protective of her, we being my two brothers, my dad and I.”
“She’s so lucky. I’m the only child, well, was the only child.”
“Hey, having a brother is cool, you know?”
“Well it is. And while you were sleeping, she volunteered to go get spaghetti. She probably got distracted on the way. That girl sef.”
Simi looked at her wrist watch. It was 10:43am. She had slept for four hours since she got to his house.
“And don’t say I didn’t warn you, we eat anyhow here.”
Simi managed a smile.
“Don’t worry, I’ll contribute what I can.”
Simi felt the silent awkwardness creeping in and she made more small talk.
“So why aren’t you at work? Don’t you have a company to run?”
“That’s the beauty of entrepreneurship; I can work at my own pace.”
“Today’s a Monday.”
“I know. Look, don’t let the tag deceive you. When you say company, it’s not Intel or HP. We’re just two guys sharp enough to configure big things for real companies. Besides, we don’t have any pending projects. That’s what he went to pursue.”
“I see. It’s still impressive either way. Some of us are still dependent on our parents, living in their houses.”
“You’re a girl so it doesn’t really count against you.”
“Oh really?” Simi arched a brow.
“Oh no, please don’t tell me you’re one of those feminist feminism supporting women.”
“I’m not,” Simi laughed “Don’t mind me.”
“Okay, plus you should know that this is my dad’s property. We pay the rent to him so sometimes we can afford to not pay on time.”
Jonathan suddenly got and walked towards her. Simi’s heart raced as he sat beside her and suddenly looked very serious.
“One more thing, turn on your phone and talk to your mom. I’ll give you the space you need, but you must talk to her.”
Simi was defiant.
“I don’t want to. Not right now.”
“Well imagine how you’d feel if you were in her shoes.”
“If I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t be accepting the man back.”
“C’mon Simi, your mom loves you and you’re hurting her intentionally. Ask yourself ‘what would Jesus do?’”
Simi smiled. His words made her see the whole situation in a different light.
“Okay. I will.”
“Look I’m going. I’ll get started on the food. I just have to find that girl first.”
Jonathan left Simi in the quiet living room. She retrieved her phone and turned it on. The notifications flooded in rapidly. As expected, numerous texts from Izzy and her mom topped the charts. Simi ignored them all and dialled her mom’s number. The phone didn’t ring twice.
“Simisola my love where are you?” She blurted out “Tell me please, I’ll come and pick you. Please just come home.”
Simi could hear her mom’s tears through the phone. Jonathan was right, the woman was hurt.
“I can’t come home mom, not with him around. I love you but I can’t share you with him. It has to be either me or him. I can never forgive him, I just can’t!”
She found herself crying too. The tears flowed freely and her chest felt heavy.
“Simi don’t do this, we’re a family. I’m begging you, Simi. Please come home, we can work this out.”
“We can’t mom, as long he’s around. I’m sorry. Just know that I’m okay and I’ll call you later.”
She cut the call and quickly turned the phone off. Tossing it aside, she wiped the tears from her eyes and walked into the bedroom. A knock was heard as soon as she sat down.
It was Jonathan.
“Hey, have you called her?”
“Are you okay? Stupid question, you’re not okay. I can see it in your eyes.”
He sat beside her on the bed.
She instinctively hugged him and sobbed. She wanted to be loved.
“Hey, it’ll all work out fine.” He consoled her.
The feeling was all too familiar. She touched his face.
He looked at her intently. Her breathing came in short breaths, desire etched on her mind.
She drew closer to him, their bodies in full contact. She raised her head to kiss him.
“Simi, we can’t do this.” He responded calmly while gently pushing her away.
The rejection stung.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t- I don’t-”
“It’s okay. I can only imagine how you feel.”
She turned away.
“Simi, have you prayed about this. I’ve found God to be the greatest comfort in hard times.”
Simi was ready to be sincere.
“I’m not the praying type.”
“There’s no such thing as that.”
“No such thing as what?”
“A praying type. God expects us to pray. Prayer is after all, communication with God.”
“I’m not sure God wants to hear my prayers.”
“I’m pretty sure he wants you to talk to him. Don’t let circumstances make you think God is far away or he hates you. Jesus died a REAL death to bring us back to God, to re-establish the connection Adam’s sin broke.”
Jonathan was once again sounding like a pastor.
“What are you, a pastor?”
“Err, no. I’m not a pastor. I’m a Christian.”
“I’m a Christian too and I don’t talk like this.” Simi retorted.
“Well, I guess some quarters would find me rather fanatical. I’m sold out to God fully. I guess that makes me different.”
He was right. She wasn’t sold out to God. She wasn’t sold out at all.
“Pray Simi,” He continued “God’s waiting. He can actually solve all of this.”
Simi was getting uncomfortable.
“Can you please stop? I’m not ready for this.”
He looked stung.
“Okay, but just know that you’re not the only one who has felt hurt and pain and anger. My dad had been on the verge of an affair when my mom passed on. I knew about it and I was so angry and so bitter, it almost consumed me. I almost started doing coke that year, but I thank God for some people that got me out, prayed for me. I finally forgave my father and it felt so good, having the burden lifted from my shoulders.”
He started towards the door. Simi ran towards him and hugged him for the second time.
“I just don’t know what to do,” She cried “I wanted a dad for so long, and now that he’s here I’m acting up.”
They stood on the same spot in their embrace for several moments until Simi regained her composure.
And there it was again, the same feeling from before. Simi could almost swear she felt his heart beat rise in tempo.
She ran her hands up his chest, feeling his muscular features underneath the t-shirt. Standing on tip toes, she locked her hands behind his neck and brought his head down for the kiss.
He pushed her away gently, for the second time.
“You’re incredibly beautiful, but I can’t do this. Not now.” He replied curtly.
It was the last straw.
Simi ran past him and retrieved her belongings. She charged past him, ignoring his questions.
She made her way to where her car was parked and ordered the gate man to open the gate. Jonathan appeared in the rear view mirror, looking very concerned. She locked all the doors and drove out quickly, leaving him standing in the compound, looking confused.
Andy stood like that once. It was ironic. The circumstances were different but the response was the same. She thought she had to be the one with the problem.
She drove too fast, drawing curses and insults from her fellow road users.
My father is telling me that you’ve been doing some things that He is not pleased with.
She remembered the words of the pastor.
He says the next time you do it, you will be sorry.
She wondered why she was thinking about that at such an odd time.
And then she saw it, from the corner of her eye, six tonnes of metal and momentum charging towards her from the right. She had beaten the stop sign and made her way into the path of the surging juggernaut of a vehicle. Her eyes widened at the sight of the impending doom.
Jesus. Save me.
The impact flung the smaller car into several rolls, crushing plastic and shattering glass. The world spun wildly round Simi as her life flashed before her. The last thing on her mind as blood flowed and the truck slowed to a halt was the image of her mother.
Oblivion followed quickly.