Shola’s fantasy of being invisible was unfortunately not manifesting into reality. At least, if she could become invisible, she would have just slipped away undetected from Joe and Ade’s stares.
Instead, she had to stand and wait for Ade and Joe to exchange hearty man-hugs and loud greetings.
‘So…I didn’t know you and my sister had a special bond’ Ade said, looking first at Joe, and then Shola, his eyes full of laughter.
Before Shola could get a word in, Joe said, ‘Ah, but you know I told you of one mystery lady who broke my heart-she’s the person’.
‘Oh I see! Haba, Shola, why did you do this to my friend? He’s a very cool guy’ Ade said in a mock-serious voice.
Okay, this had gone on long enough.
‘I really have to go now-bye!’ and Shola walked briskly away from her brother and Joe, their wise cracks becoming less coherent as she walked further away to her car.
She opened the door, put her bags on the back seat, sat down and closed the door.
She sat for a moment in the car, staring at nothing in particular.
Shola had just slid her key into the ignition when she heard a light tapping sound on her window.
She looked up and saw Joe smiling and waving at her.
Couldn’t she just make her escape in peace?
She sighed as she pressed the button to lower the window of the driver’s side, and looked at him expectantly.
‘Can I see you later today?’ She stared at him for a while before responding. ‘Sure’.
‘Alright, I’ll call you around 6. It’s great to see you again. Oh-Ade said he’s coming to see you at your parents’ place’ Joe added.
Shola smiled but said nothing. She wound up the glass, reversed out of her parking space, and drove home.
Seeing Joe had taken her unawares, and she wasn’t sure she knew what to do about it.
About an hour after getting home, Shola was lying down on her bed when she heard a lot of noise and laughter from her parents.
It could only mean one thing-Ade was visiting.
It always amused her greatly that her normally genial parents were transformed into laughing machines anytime her brother stopped by. There would be ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ about how married life was ‘treating him well’ and extended periods of time looking at new pictures of their grand daughter, Mirabelle, on Ade’s phone.
She was just wondering if she could sneak out of the house undetected when there was a knock on her door.
She got up and opened the door for Ade.
‘Sis-sis! You left the supermarket so quickly!’ he started to say, but Shola cut him off.
‘Okay, I know you want to make your little jokes. Just get it over with okay?’
Ade looked slightly taken aback, but he smiled and shut the door behind him.
Shola sat on her bed, while Ade sat on the chair facing her.
‘I wasn’t planning to make jokes, Shola’. She became slightly wary-he hardly ever called her by her actual name. It was usually ‘Sis’ or ‘sis-sis’ or ‘sisi’ or ‘sholly’.
‘I know we joke around a lot, but I actually care about you, sis. Joe is a good guy. If you decide to date him, at least I’ll be comfortable knowing that he will treat you right’.
Shola stared at Ade, and was suddenly grateful to have him as a big brother.
They sat in companionable silence for a while, until she said ‘where you stalking me today?’ Ade laughed. ‘Nah, that was just a freakish coincidence. Mimi asked me to buy some things for the house while she took Mirabelle to the salon. I actually hadn’t been to that supermarket in a long time-at least I caught you two love birds together’.
Shola rolled her eyes and was about to make a joke at Ade’s expense when their mother burst into her room.
‘Oh, what are the two of you talking about? I hope you’re not talking about me’ her eyes twinkled.
Ade smiled. He got up, hugged his mother and said, ‘Shola has a boyfriend!’, before running out of the room.
‘I’m going to get him for this’ Shola grumbled under her breath, as she got up from the bed and tried to walk around her mother out of the room.
‘Shola, why didn’t you tell me? This is great news!’ Her mother’s smile lit up her eyes, and Shola didn’t have it in her to correct her.
‘I just want you to be happy’ her mother said, pulling her into a warm embrace.
‘Me too, mum’ Shola said into her mum’s neck.
Shola was in the living room watching ‘N.C.I.S.’ on TV when her phone rang.
It was Joe.
She checked her watch. It was just about 6pm.
The thought of him waiting to call her at the exact time he said he would made her smile.
‘Hey Shola. I hope I didn’t upset you today. I was just so happy to see you’ he enthused.
‘It was great to see you too’ she replied.
‘Can I come and take you out for a drink, so we can talk some more?’
‘Sure, that sounds nice’.
‘Alright, I’m on my way’ Joe said, and they said their goodbyes.
Shola got up, switched off the TV, and went to her room to get ready for her date with Joe.
©Ivie M. Eke 2016.