Morenike patiently waited for the phone to stop ringing. When it refused to do so, she got up from her reading table and entered the sitting room where it lay on the settee. It was her father calling, so she picked it up.
“Hey dad. What’s good?”
“Hey precious. How are you?”
“I’m fine daddy.”
“Ki lo de, the phone rang and rang. I was beginning to suspect you were with a boy doing one or two things.”
His raucous laughter came down the line. She however wasn’t amused.
“C’mon daddy, just stop. Since when did I start rolling with boys like that? I was working on my project in the bedroom and thought it was one of my girls trying to disturb me with a bit of gossip. I had to come check when it wouldn’t stop ringing. Boy sha? Pfft.”
The amusement was still in her father’s voice when he continued speaking.
“Relax princess. Can’t an old man just tease his daughter a bit? Relax. But you know you’ll have to start rolling with them soon though. You’re what now, twenty two, and in final year too. Don’t tell me them boys haven’t been making plays for your heart?”
She rolled her eyes.
“So because I’m twenty two and in final year now, I shouldn’t have any other thing to think about but boys abi? E se gaan sir, no can do, and my heart is fine without their plays. Now, leaving boys and their wahala alone, what’s happening? Any news?”
“There’s nothing spectacular dear. We’ll have to postpone that visit I promised you for next week though. Something came up, and I have to be in Kenya for a fortnight or so….”
Morenike didn’t even let him finish.
“Yay? You this girl. You’re happy I won’t be visiting my lovely daughter in school? What did I ever to deserve this ehn?”
His voice feigned hurt, and it was now her turn to laugh.
“You know I love you to death dad, but these visits lately are beginning to make me uncomfortable. Besides, you’re ruining my figure with all the chocolate and goodies you bring down every time you come. I can’t wait to tell Rose the ‘good’ news, she’ll be so sad. He he he.”
“You’re so evil. Please bring back my lovely daughter from wherever you sent her to.”
Father and daughter laughed together.
‘So I’ll see you immediately I return from Nairobi. You’ll take care of yourself yeah?”
“Of course I will dad. You have a great time, we’ll be right here when you come back.”
“Love you more than ewa agonyin and agege bread princess.”
“Love you more than all the toblerone in the world daddy.”
He was still laughing as he rang off.
Morenike too was still smiling at her father’s words when she heard a knock on her front door.
Who could that be now?
She threw on a house robe over her spaghetti top and went to open it.
Many guys had asked Morenike out during her four-year sojourn in Ife, but none had ever been as persistent as Femi. Tall, handsome and very friendly, she would have gladly recommended him as any girl’s ideal boyfriend but hers. They’d met at a stage play in her third year and he’d started chasing her since then. She had said no a million times, but he just never listened. He always came back.
“Yes sir, what can we do for you?
Femi smiled at her opening shot. He hadn’t expected anything less from his feisty love interest.
“Good evening Morenike. How are you today?”
“I’m fine sir. Now can you please state your business? I have a lot to do inside if you don’t mind.”
Again he took her hostility on the chin.
“I was in the neighborhood and I just thought to check on you. Mind if I come in?”
Morenike’s voice went up a notch.
“Come in where? My apartment? You must be a comedian. Is that how it’s done? You just turn up on someone’s doorstep uninvited and expect them to roll out the red carpet. Really?”
By the end of the sentence she was literally shouting, although Femi remained as cool as ever. The commotion brought Rose out of her apartment.
“Goodness guys, what’s happening here? Why are you at each other’s throat?”
Femi turned on hearing her voice.
“Hey Rosie, he said with a beautiful smile. I’m sorry for causing the chaos. I sorta dropped in unannounced and ‘Nike didn’t like it. I should have known better…”
“Yes you should, interjected Morenike with her eyes blazing. Did I invite you here? Do you pay my rent? Is my house like a public place where you can just stroll into when it catches your fancy?”
Rose in her usual manner immediately tried to get the situation under control.
“Calm down Morenike, calm down. You know Femi won’t deliberately set out to upset you. He has even apologized, calm down.”
“Please spare me the preaching Rose. I don’t remember calling you into this matter or preventing anybody from entering your door. If you feel so strongly about his comfort then invite him to your place and let me be.
With that she stormed back inside her apartment and slammed the door.