I was by the well, both hands wrapped around the rope tied to the container inside the pool of water below when the sound of Korede Bello’s Godwin started filtering into my ears. Then it grew louder and louder. I recognized the car at once, I have returned home to find it parked in front of our apartment more than a couple of times but I never saw the owner, I just know he comes for Keji.
People said Keji’s big gal status is thanks to her car owner boyfriend, so I had a picture of him in my mind, one that screams money. I sized him up as he stepped out, he had very dark lips that seem too heavy for him to hold apart long enough for a greeting to escape them, I hissed. If you put together the effect of those bloodshot eyes, multicolored skin and the overly muscular upper body, it’s easier to see him as a hardworking laborer.
The heavens finally hearkened to our cries that day, by wiping the sky free of clouds. So it was with a smile, the fulfilled smile of someone who finally got the laundry out of the way that I approached the clothesline. My smile froze on my face as I neared the line, Keji’s boyfriend was right there packing her clothes from the line and folding them up neatly.
“C’mon!” I screamed in my head. “You can’t possibly be that loved up, or is the garri finally getting to my eyes. I’m always right, please, don’t make me a liar!”
I met him by the line and while opening his mouth was a chore still, he did make a greeting gesture with his face. I returned the gesture in kind. I walked back to my room trying to replay that moment he stepped out of his car, could I have missed something? For consolation my mind brought up Dike. Very tall Dike with biceps that are bigger than my thighs and a chest that fills out every shirt he owns. Dike who hates rap music and whose favorite musician in spite of all his machismo is Adele.
Keji’s palaver had slipped to the very back of my mind as I settled down, right hand fingers buried in a plate of eba and okra soup. But then I began to hear her scream from the corridor.
“Give me my phone; you’re not the one that bought it for me. At least you have packed everything; you even went to the line to pack the clothes I washed….”