Read Chapter 23 here.
“Ayesha, mum and Bibi are on,” Nadia called out as their faces appeared on her iPad. Ayesha joined her on the bed.
“Hi Auntie, hi Bibi. Having fun at Lagos?”
“With the crazy traffic here, how can we? Anyway, we plan to wind down later tonight so…”
“Of course you would. I would expect nothing less, Auntie,” Ayesha said.
“Just keep an eye on your drinks,” Nadia advised.
“Will do that.”
“So how did it go at Atafo’s? Did you find my dream wedding dress?” Ayesha asked excitedly.
Ida and Bibi shared a look. “I think we did,” Bibi said.
“It would have been much better if you had come with us.”
“I know. I have to see to other important things as well. Division of labor is always best, right?”
“Yeah right. These are the top three…”
“Oh wow…these are gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful.”
“I’m in love with number two,” Nadia said.
“This is going to be a tough choice. I love all of them. Which one is your favorite?”
“Hmm…we are equally conflicted here. I love number one, Bibi loves number three,” Ida said.
“Should we ask dad his opinion?”
“Maybe we should. Riq has an eye for classy women’s stuff,” Ida agreed.
“Kindly send us photos of the dresses so we can study them more.”
“Sure. Mai Atafo by the way, doesn’t mind coming down to fit you for your big day. We just have to foot the travel expenses,” Bibi said.
“Mai would come to Ghana to do my fitting? Aww…that would be great. Sure, if he can. Remind me to book a hotel for him, Nadia.”
“Thank you for doing this for me. I really appreciate it.”
“Anything for you, sweetie. I know Tamar, God rest her soul, would have done same in my stead,” Ida said.
Tears filled Ayesha’s eyes as she smiled. Nadia rubbed her back.
“We will be in touch. Talk soon.”
“Take care of yourselves. Bye.”
Nadia put the iPad down and looked at Ayesha. They hugged.
“I still miss her,” Ayesha confessed.
“I miss her too.” They rocked each other.
Ayesha was stir-frying vegetables when Omar hugged her from behind and kissed her cheek.
“How’s my favorite girl in the world doing?”
“Hungry and also having cold feet. I don’t know if I’m ready to get married.”
Omar turned off the burner. He turned Ayesha to face him.
“Why, you’re anxious?”
“Maybe. What if marriage isn’t all that I think it to be?”
“Marriage will surprise you; that much I can tell you. But Jamal loves you and you love him too. That’s a good start. And don’t worry, you still have me.”
“That’s good to hear.”
They kissed and hugged.
“Whose idea was it again to send your wives out of the country?” Ayesha asked.
“Yeah, pretty brilliant. It has been a while since we’ve had the house to ourselves especially since Bibi joined,” Ayesha said, turning the burner back on.
“Same reasons I had. Feels so good to be able to breathe freely and be myself.”
“We might as well enjoy the moment while it lasts, right?”
“Yeah, this might as well be our very last time as unmarried…ah, I almost forgot you are already married!”
“Silly girl,” Omar said as they both laughed.
“So any nuggets of wisdom for me as I walk down the aisle?” Ayesha asked Omar as they ate.
“Do your best to love and respect your man every day. And be present. Let him find his home with you.”
“Hmm…okay. Did Auntie Ida fail in any of these things?”
“Not exactly. She’s a good woman; a great wife actually.”
“So why do you keep cheating on her?”
“You mean, with you?”
“You and my dad have always been taking trips out of town since we were young. It didn’t take me and Nadia long to figure it out.”
“Because we are not perfect, that’s all I can say. I guess we never outgrew our teenage adventurous ways. We are who we are. I’m not saying this to excuse our behavior but I’m just being honest.”
“So should I expect same from Jamal?”
“Nah, I don’t think Jamal is cut from the same cloth as me and your father. He’s a good chap.”
“And I’m not. So should I also own up to who I am and live freely like you and dad do?”
“It sounds like fun but it is really not. I wouldn’t want that kind of life for you, sweetheart.”
Ayesha shook her head. “Oh men, can we ever understand you.”
“You can’t. You just have to love us for what we are.”
“Right. So since you’re so helpless to your nature, can the woman also find pleasure outside?”
“Hey, I’m not advocate for morality or anything. Do you, if that’s what makes you happy.”
“Is that how you’d react if you were to find out Auntie Ida is seeing someone behind your back?” Ayesha asked.
“Why, have you heard or seen something?” Omar asked curiously.
“Oh no, just a hypothetical question. Since we are talking…”
“Honestly, I don’t think I’d like that very much.”
“Isn’t that a bit hypocritical to expect fidelity from her and not commit to her at same measure?”
“I know. And I’ve tried, Ayesha. I actually did stop until I got seduced by my pretty goddaughter.”
“Yeah right,” Ayesha chuckled.
“What was it that you were looking for, when you came onto me like that?”
“I don’t know; I’ve always had a crush on you. I admired how you carried yourself about; I found it attractive. Fantasized about being with you and when the opportunity presented itself by Auntie Ida’s departure, I grabbed it,” Ayesha said.
“And how has it been for you so far? Fantasy versus reality?” Omar asked, sipping his wine.
“Reality is way better. I’ve loved every moment with you. If you weren’t like family, perhaps I’d have pushed for more.”
Omar reached out for her hand. Their hands met and intertwined.
“Regardless, we will always have each other; no matter what label the world gives us.”
Omar kissed Ayesha’s hand.
Bibi and Ida entered a club which was in full swing.
“My friends are at the VIP table. Let me introduce you,” Bibi said. Ida nodded. After maneuvering through the dancing bodies, they got to the Bibi’s friends. After introductions were made, the ladies sat with them and drinks were ordered. As they drank, chatted and laughed, Ida’s phone rang but she didn’t hear it.
Bibi’s eyes roamed the room as she moved her body to the music’s rhythm. For a moment, she paused and squinted. One of the male friends she had come to meet asked her if everything was alright. Bibi said it was probably nothing; thought she saw a familiar face.
Ida’s phone rang again. This time, Ida noticed and picked.
She listened for a moment.
“Oh great. Will see you outside in a minute. Bye.”
“Sorry, Bibi, I forgot to mention that I had called a friend to meet up when we arrived. At first, she wasn’t sure she could meet up but she’s here. So let’s meet at the hotel, okay?”
“Sure. Please take care of yourself. I promised Omar I wouldn’t let anything happen to you.”
“Haha. Thanks. I’m capable of looking after myself just fine. Take care of yourself too. Nice meeting you guys. Hope we can do this another time. Bye.”
“Will call to check in,” Bibi said.
Ida sighed when she came out of the club. She turned at the sound of her name.
“Hey.” They hugged and kissed.
“What time did you get in?”
“About three hours ago. How has your day been?”
“Busy. Let’s get out of here.”
Ida moaned as Yaw’s strong hands massaged her back.
“Aww…I miss this.”
“How is the shopping for your niece’s wedding going?”
“Great. Went to the dress designer’s shop today.”
“Bride found her choice dress?”
“We are yet to decide on one. Got our top three.”
“Oh okay. This is exciting, traveling out of the country to meet up,” Yaw said, kissing Ida’s back.
“Will we be going to Europe next?”
“If you continue being a good boy, we’d be traveling the world, honey.”
“I’ve always been your good boy.”
“Not when you make me miss you for too long.”
“That’s why I’m here, right? To make it up to you.”
Ida turned with a smile on her face and pulled Yaw to her for a kiss.
“You have a long way to go, hon.”
“Ever ready, my love.”
Nadia was sitting in between Tariq’s legs on the bed with his arms around her, as they watched a movie. He kissed her neck and turned her face to him. They rubbed noses and kissed. As they settled on the bed making out, Tariq’s phone rang. As he reached out for it on the drawer top, Nadia stopped him.
“Let it ring. You can call back later.”
“If it’s Bibi, I have to pick up. I told her I’ll make sure to pick up her calls,” Tariq said and picked up the call. He showed her the screen.
“It’s her. It’s better I pick up now or else she’ll keep calling.” He swiped the screen.
“Hey babe, how’s Lagos treating you?”
“Not bad. How’s Accra without me?”
“Quiet. Missing you,” Tariq said and glanced at Nadia who rolled her eyes.
“Missing you too. Just checking in. Okay let’s talk soon.”
“Okay, what’s up?”
“I know it’s crazy but I think I saw him today.”
“You saw who?”
“The gym guy…at the club Ida and I went to.”
“Huh,” Tariq said and got off the bed. Nadia watched him suspiciously. Tariq left the bedroom.
“Are you sure it was him?”
“Yeah. What makes me even sure is that, Ida’s phone rang not long after and she said she had to go and meet up with a friend so we should meet up at our hotel later.”
“Couldn’t it be just a coincidence?”
“The fact that he happens to be in Lagos just as we are here and soon after, they both disappear from the club? Yeah, maybe; it’s just my crazy mind making things up,” Bibi said.
“Let’s hope so. Hope you had fun at the club tonight.”
“I did. Met up with some cool friends and they were good company.”
“I see. Get some sleep then; sleep the booze off.”
“Haha. I will. What are you up to?”
“Watching a movie, hoping it would put me to sleep.”
“Do you want me to help you out? Been a while since we’ve done the video thingy.”
“I know…maybe another time. Had quite a long day at the party’s constituency office.”
“Alright, babe. Have a goodnight. Love you.”
“Love you, babe. Goodnight.”
Tariq sighed when he ended the call.
“Damn it, Ida.”
He typed a message to Ida: Call me ASAP.
He went back into the bedroom. The shower was running with the bathroom door opened. He put the phone down.
He took off his shorts and entered the bathroom. Tariq’s phone lit up. Ida calling.
Bibi and Ida got up from their seats at the airport when their flight was announced. Ida was typing on her phone as they joined a queue. Bibi looked around and saw Yaw. She kept her gaze on him until he turned and their eyes met. She smiled and waved at him. A puzzled Yaw, waved back.
“Ida, look who’s here?” Bibi said, nudging Ida.
“Who?” Ida asked, looking up.
“Your trainer friend. What’s his name again, Kwesi?” Bibi said, waving him again.
“Yaw,” Ida said and also waved. Bibi gestured him over. He approached them.
“Hello ladies. Nice to see you here.”
“Same here. What brought you to Lagos?” Bibi asked.
“Got invited by a fitness colleague for a workshop. Nice experience.”
“I see. That’s great. On our flight?”
“No…just checked in. Mine will be in the next two hours, I think.”
“Oh okay. Have a safe flight then. Will make time and come over to your gym.”
“Sure. Will be looking forward to it. Take care, Ida.”
“You too, Yaw.”
Yaw walked away. Bibi watched Ida as she went back to typing on her phone. She smiled to herself. She couldn’t wait to tell Tariq.
“You wouldn’t believe it. Bibi just saw Yaw at the airport too. Gosh, she’s probably thinking the worst right now,” Ida texted Tariq.
“Not probably; definitely. But seriously, Ida, did you have to fly the dude to Lagos with you? You couldn’t wait out a couple of days without him?”
“We haven’t had time to meet for a while thanks to your daughter’s wedding planning.”
“Oh sorry to disturb your extra-marital activity roster.”
“Geez…you picked the right moment to be sarcastic.”
“Sorry. But you need to be smart about this, Ida. I’ve told you Bibi is very observant.”
“Yeah, you did but I thought Lagos is way bigger than Accra. What are the odds of us meeting?”
“Well, the odds were pretty close when you decided to both leave Lagos the same day.”
“Maybe next time, I should come for tips from the pro.”
“Now who’s being sarcastic?”
“Sorry. About to board. Will talk when we touch down.”
“Alright. Safe flight, dear.”
(c) Josephine Amoako 2021
Read Chapter 25 here.