Read Chapter 21 here.
“You won’t believe it, Esme. Can you believe Theo’s sister happens to be none other than that brat who bumped into you the other day and wouldn’t apologize?” Alexa said.
“For real? Wow…small world. How awkward was the scene?” Esme asked.
“Not awkward at all…at least not for me. They are actually twins. I can’t believe Theo shared the same womb space with her. Geez.”
“Do you think she has the power to mess things between you and Theo?”
“I don’t know, maybe. Not that I care much anyway. We are just friends but I’m not going to take any bs from her just because I know her brother. No way. And his mother has invited me over to lunch. I personally wasn’t enthused about it but just because of her, I’m looking forward to it. Maybe that would be the perfect time to put her in her place.”
“You’ve got my full blessing, Lex.”
“And in case you can add a plus one, I’m readily available.”
Alexa laughed. “Yeah right, that would be disastrous.”
Alexa’s phone beeped. She picked it up and began typing. Esme noticed the smile on her face as she typed.
“Who’s it? Uber boy?”
“Nah, it’s Paul. He’s one interesting dude, Esme.”
“Oh, so it’s parents’ choice guy,” Esme said wryly. “So what’s going on exactly? Are you dating both of them or is this part of the audition process?”
Alexa laughed. “You’re funny. Just enjoying the moment, cousin. No strings attached.”
“Are you sure? I believe that car is enough strings to pull you to his side.”
“I’ve made him understand that he could come back for his car whenever he feels short-changed.”
“So you’re in control?”
“Definitely and it feels good.”
“Make sure you don’t lose it then.”
“Good evening, mum and dad,” Alexa greeted when she arrived home one evening.
“Good evening, dear. How was your day?”
“Chaotic as ever but you know me, I’m a survivor.”
“At least thank God for taking you through it. Don’t take all the credit,” Alice scolded.
“Yes, mum. You’re right, God was faithful. Had dinner already?”
“Yes, yours is in the microwave.”
“Oh okay, thanks. Will quickly change and come and eat.”
“Louie is in your room…he mentioned you asking him to fix your computer?”
“Oh yeah? Okay thank you.”
When she opened the door, Louie said, “I’m here.”
“I know. My mum told me. Why did you announce your presence by the way?”
“Just a disclaimer before you start undressing.”
“Oh come on, I wouldn’t do that,” she said, closing the door.
“Uh huh…I remember one incident…”
“I know…I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll never do that again.”
He chuckled. She plopped herself beside him on the bed.
“How’s it going?”
“It’s okay. You just have a lot of junk on your system. That’s why it’s slow.”
“So you’re my computer janitor?” She asked jokingly. He gave her a puzzled look. She laughed and pulled his cheek.
“Have you eaten dinner?”
“Great. Let’s go eat. I’m hungry.”
“Wait, I’m almost done.”
Alexa threw herself back on the bed and sighed.
“I’ve restocked your movie and series library.”
“Thanks, darling.” She closed her eyes.
“Okay, I’m done.” Louie also laid back on the bed. Alexa opened her eyes. He was staring at her.
“How are you doing?” he asked softly.
“Okay, I guess. Yourself?”
“Hanging in there,” he said and pushed hair strands away from her face.
“Thank you for always being there for me.”
“My pleasure. Besides, I’m only returning the favor; although I can never repay in full.”
She chuckled. He leaned forward to kiss her.
“Theo’s mum invited me over for lunch.” Louie paused and pushed his head back to get a good look at her face.
“Okay…why, did he introduce you as his girlfriend?”
“No, just a friend but in his mum’s books, I might as well be since he rarely brings any friends home.”
“Okay. And you’re nervous?”
“A bit. He is a nice dude but I feel I’m not the right girl for him, you know. I’m pretty messed up.”
“Perhaps his peace could help still your storm.”
“You want us to date? I didn’t think you were his biggest fan.”
“I’m not. Trust me, if I had my way, you wouldn’t see him again but at the end of the day, I want you to be happy. It took me a while to finally realize what I need. You’ve just begun the journey of self-discovery and I want to be there for you. Whenever the ride ends, I’ll be there waiting for you to get down.”
“You’re so sweet,” she said, pulling his nose. She sat up.
“Let’s go eat.”
They left the room.
Alexa warmed the food for a minute in the microwave and put the plate on a place mat on the dining table. Louie got them glasses of water. They sat down and began to eat.
“Is it raining?”
“Sounds like it.”
“Louie, language,” Alice scolded.
Alexa and Louie chuckled.
“You can sleep over…the guest room is available.”
“Nah, I’ve got work to do over the night and I didn’t bring my PC. Geez, I can’t wait to have my car working again.”
“It’s still at the mechanic’s?”
“Can you imagine someone called to tell me he saw the mechanic and his family in my car on Sunday?”
“Really? He must have been going to church.”
“When I called him, he said he was doing a test drive to see if everything was okay.”
“Yeah right. Does he think you were born yesterday?”
“I’ve given him an ultimatum to get it fixed or else, I won’t pay him a dime.”
“You can go with my car.”
“Why not? It’s pouring outside and we know requesting for Uber at this time is super costly. Besides, I asked you to come over.”
“God forbid that I bump into car owner and things get awkward.”
“The car belongs to me so technically, I’m the car owner.”
“Sorry; I meant car buyer.”
“Seriously? It’s not possible; besides, if it happens, what can he possibly do? Snatch the keys from you?”
“Don’t want to find out.”
“Don’t be silly. It’s either you sleep over or you go with my car so decide.”
“But I thought you said you had a lunch date with Uber boy’s mama.”
“Oh yeah…don’t worry, I’ll manage.”
When they finished eating, Louie cleared the table and washed the plate and cutlery. They entered the living room where Alexa’s parents were laughing as they watched the old series, Mind Your Language.
“Are you leaving in this rain?” Alice asked after she had recovered from a laughing fit.
“Yeah, he says he has work to do so I was thinking he could go with my car.”
Alice looked at his husband who shrugged.
“As long as you take care of it with your life,” her father said.
“I will, sir,” Louie said and looked at Alexa. She smiled at him.
“Will be leaving now.”
“Take care of yourself on the road.”
Alexa and Louie walked to the front door. Alexa took her car key from the drawer at the entrance and handed it to him.
“Don’t mention. You’d have driven me home if I were in your shoes.”
They hugged. He kissed her cheek as they pulled apart. She opened the door. He pressed the key to unlock the doors. The security guard got up when he saw the car lights blink.
“See you, Lex,” Louie said and rushed to the car. He got inside and started the engine. The gate slid open. Louie drove out of the house. Alexa got back inside the house.
Her parents were laughing again. She joined them on the sofa and soon after, she was laughing hard too.
Theo opened the gate and beamed at the sight of Alexa.
“You’re here!” He hugged her.
“Yes, I am.”
He noticed a Bolt branded car making a U turn in front of the house.
“You came with Bolt?”
“Yeah. Louie had an emergency so I had to let him take it.”
“I see. You could have told me to come and pick you up,” he said as Alexa entered the compound.
“Oh that’s alright. Didn’t want to inconvenience you.”
“For you, never.”
“Am I late?” She asked, checking her watch.
“Nope; you’re right on time,” Theo said, opening the front door and giving way for her to enter.
“Mum, Alexa is here,” Theo announced, closing the door behind him.
“Let her have a seat. I’ll join you soon,” she said from the kitchen.
“Make yourself at home. Want anything to drink?”
“I’m fine, thank you,” she replied, sitting down. He sat down as well.
“You have a lovely home.”
“Thanks. Before I forget, I’ve a poetry recital coming up in about ten days. I’m inviting you in case you can make it.”
“Ah, literary night of some sort, huh? Sure. Remind me when it’s getting close and let’s see.”
Mrs. Grant walked into the room. Alexa stood.
“Good afternoon, ma’am.”
“Good afternoon, my dear. You’re welcome.”
Theophylline entered, her ears plugged with earpieces.
“Oh great. Help me set the table,” Mrs. Grant said to her. Theophylline gave Alexa a once-over.
“It’s lunch, mum. We don’t really set the table for lunch. You just serve us from the kitchen.”
“Can’t you see we have a guest? Go set the table.”
“And who might the guest be? This one?”
“Will you watch your tongue before I pull it out? You just know the right moment to embarrass people, don’t you?”
Theophylline rolled her eyes at Alexa and walked to the dining room.
“It’s fine, mum. We had a run-in not too long ago and we kind of had an exchange after she bumped into me and my cousin. It’s nothing.”
“This is the first time my son is bringing a female friend home and I don’t want anything to ruin the moment.”
“I see. I’m honored.”
Louis was having a strong craving for cranberry juice so he parked Alexa’s car at Max Mart and entered. Paul was driving past when he saw Louis opening the car door and sitting inside.
Maybe he was only imagining things, Paul thought to himself.
Louie drove out of the parking space onto the road. He pulled the brakes when the traffic light went from amber to red. He sighed and took the bottle of cranberry juice he had bought. He opened it and drank. He turned his head as he sighed. He startled when he saw the man in the car next to him, staring hard at him. He blinked hard.
Was that…what was his name again? Oh no, he had to give Alexa a heads up.
“So sorry about your attack, dear. Can imagine the anguish your parents must have felt when they heard the news.”
“Yes, it was horrible. It’s because of the fear they have for my safety that is why I’ve decided to stop driving Uber…at least for the time being,” Alexa said.
“I know I’m being selfish about this but I wish you’d still drive,” Theo said.
“Of course you would; you love to be taken for a ride, don’t you, brother?” Theophylline said cynically.
Her mother, brother and Alexa all stared at her. Alexa’s phone rang. She looked at the screen.
“Sorry but I have to take this,” Alexa said and got up, holding the phone. She walked out of the dining room and swiped the screen.
“You won’t believe who just saw me.”
“Why don’t you take a wild guess?”
“You must be kidding me.”
“I wish I was.”
“You know this is your fault, right? You jinxed it.”
“Wow…I know, right?” He laughed.
“I’m sure he’ll give you a call so this is a heads up. I’m sorry.”
“For causing a quarrel between you and the dude. What’s his name again?”
“Geez Louie, you make it sound like I’ve dozens of guys following me around.”
“You kind of do, didn’t you know?”
Alexa heard a ringing sound.
“He’s calling, isn’t he?” Louie asked.
“Yep. Got to go.”
“Returning the car today.”
“Okay sure, bye.”
She sighed as she ended the call. The phone started ringing. Another swipe on the screen.
“Hey Alexa. How are you?”
“I’m great; yourself?”
“Not bad. Are you home?”
“No; having lunch at a friend’s. What’s up?”
“I thought I saw your car in traffic not too long ago…being driven by some guy.”
“Ah…that would be Louie. Yeah, I let him have it because of some contingency he had. He wasn’t driving recklessly, was he?”
“No, he wasn’t. Anyway, I was planning on treating myself to a getaway in Aburi next weekend. Would love you to join me.”
“Sounds good. Will check my itinerary and get back to you. And don’t worry, your car gift hasn’t been stolen. It’s in safe hands.”
“Would feel that way if I see you behind the wheel and not some dude.”
“Noted. Thanks for checking in but I’ve got to go. I’m being missed at the table. Talk soon, yeah? Bye.”
“You do realize that a girl like her is way above your league, right?” Theophylline asked.
“What is wrong with you today? Why can’t you be happy for your brother that he has invited a female friend home?” her mother scolded.
“I’m looking out for him, mum. A girl like her reeks of high maintenance and I’m not referring to just material stuff. Are you up for it?”
Alexa rejoined the Grants at the table.
“Everything okay?” Theo asked. She nodded and smiled.
After lunch, Theo offered to drive Alexa home.
“Thank you for honoring my invitation, dear. It was nice spending time with you.”
“The pleasure is all mine, ma’am. Thank you very much for lunch. It was delicious.”
Theo had driven his mother’s car out of the compound. He honked.
“Hope to see you again soon.”
“Sure, mum. I’ll come and visit.”
“Please do. Bye.”
Alexa sighed when she closed the car door. Theo drove off.
“Hope you had a good time…in spite of my sister’s jabs.”
“Yes, I did. I can imagine her being a terrible in-law to your wife. I feel sorry for her already.”
“She’s a great person to hang out with; I’m surprised with her attitude towards you. The first encounter must have really been something.”
“Not really. I’m over it; I’m surprised she’s still holding a grudge. I don’t mind moving past it and being cool with her but if she prefers to act up like that, then I’m cool with it as well. We don’t have to be friends.”
“Hmm…I wish you would be though. You’d be an interesting pair.”
“I see. Oh great, I need to check in on my apartment real quick. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Not at all. Where do I turn?”
Alexa unlocked the door and entered. Theo followed suit.
“Nice place. You must have had a lot of fun here.”
“I sure did. Please have a seat. Will be back soon,” Alexa said and entered the bedroom. Theo saw some framed photos and approached them. One was of her family, another was of her, Louie and Esme. There was also a collage of photos of her and Louie. He couldn’t help but feel a pang of jealousy. Whoever this guy was, he was very dear to Alexa.
Alexa entered and walked towards him.
“All’s good. What were you looking at?”
“Just the photos.”
He turned to face her. “Hopefully, I’ll earn a place in your hall of fame.”
“You already have.”
He touched her face.
“Thank you for coming for lunch today. I know you had some reservations and I was equally nervous but I think you pulled it off pretty well.”
“I did? Your mum’s really nice. She made me feel at home. I think I know where you get that trait from.”
Theo chuckled. “When we are apart, all I think about is when I’d get to see you again. And when I do, there’s one thing I’m always thinking of doing.”
“I’ll show you instead.”
He kissed her. He pulled back and they smiled at each other.
“You’re one incredibly sweet guy, Theophilus Grant.”
“I’m glad you find me as such.”
He kissed her again and this time, he didn’t pull back.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2019
Read chapter 23 here.