Lola walked in on us that Sunday evening watching The Voice Nigeria Live show. It was her favorite show and on a normal day she would drop her bag and take the most comfortable position in the living room. But it wasn’t a normal day as she walked right past us murmuring what sounded like “ Hi guys” , and then straight to her room.
We love The Voice Nigeria, but we love Lola even more, so we went after her.
“I’m fine. I’m just tired” was all Lola could say to us after several prodding.
“Is mumsy ok?” Kenny asked.
“ She’s fine”
Something was definitely up. The only time we had seen Lola like this was in 100L when she was being harassed by a randy staff. One nonacademic staff from hades was threatened by Lola’s charm and decided she would show Lola shege in her first few months in school. The helplessness Lola felt on those days was replaying many years later.
“ Is it Bidemi?” Eso prodded
Lola quietly, straightened the sheets on her bed, got on it and covered her feet with the duvet.
“ I need to sleep please”
She shut her eyes
That was English for ‘I want to be left alone’ .
We left her room rather reluctantly but we knew better than to stay with Lola when she says “Leave me”.
“ I think it’s Bidemi” Kenny started as we got on the hallway. “ Did you notice her eyes as soon as Eso asked?” We had barely responded to her when she started to dial on her phone.
“ Kenny what are you doing?” I snatched her phone. Kenny the fixer. Always takes it upon herself confront any challenge and fix any posing problem. She had already dialed Bidemi.
“ What are you calling him for?” I scolded
“ To ask him what is really going on na”
“Did Lola say something is going on? “
A back and forth was about to ensue when the doorbell rang. And it was Bidemi.
“ Hey ladies” Bidemi walked in with a gift bag and a beaming smile. Can’t say his enthusiasm was reciprocated because we were still wondering if he was responsible for Lola’s gloominess.
“ Hi Bidemi, what’s up. Please sit”
I gestured to the couch.
Now Bidemi is a very observant and smart man. He could tell something was wrong with the ‘out of character’ way we responded to him.
“ Is everything okay? Is Lola ok?”
“ We should be asking you”. “Is Lola ok?” Kenny almost attacked.
Poor Bidemi. He was so confused. He shot a glance at me, then to Eso and then to Kenny.
“Lola is back. I can smell her. Where is she please?”
Oga already stood up as if to say he would beat all of us if he didn’t find his girlfriend.
“ In her room” I answered softly.
He stormed in.
He knocked on Lola’s door twice and then tried to open. Babe had locked her door. This was getting serious. She even locked door. Ha!
“ Babe it’s me” Like that was the spell that would get sesame to open.
“ Babe are you okay? Please talk to me”
He looked at us. From me to Eso to Kenny and back to me.
“ What happened?”
“ I don’t know. She just came back from Lagos and has barely said anything to us”.
“ Did you guys have a fight?”
“ Nooo we didn’t. The last time I spoke to her was yesterday afternoon when I told her I had a surprise for her. She didn’t respond to messages or take my call again from then. But I knew she had an evening flight today so I decided to come through”.
So it wasn’t Bidemi. Who then?
“Babe, Leicester University called” Bidemi threw in a bait.
“ You got in babe. 40% scholarship” He plunged even deeper.
Me and my girls jumped ecstatically at the sound of this. What?!! This was the next big step for Lola. She and Bidemi had worked on her application to three universities abroad, Leicester being her first choice. This was Lola’s dream. Her mama prayer dey work abeg.
We were still celebrating when we realized there was still silence. Lola heard this news and didn’t move.
Heavy worry set it.
I looked and saw Bidemi rolling his sleeves.
“ Do you have a big hammer or any heavy metal?” He asked not directing the question to anyone in particular.
“ What are you trying to do?” Eno questioned his motives as he seemed to be peeping through the key hole and fiddling with the door knob.
He ignored the question.
“ Please I need a hammer or any heavy metallic tool. I’m breaking this door down. I’ll get a carpenter to fix it first thing tomorrow morning.”
“ Bidemi you can’t break Lola’s…..” Omo the eye Bidemi gave me, I swallowed the rest of my words.
“ Our neighbour has something” Kenny said as she hurried to go get the ‘something.’
In less than a minute, she walked back with a weird tool and handed it to BIdemi.
“Babe, I’m coming in now”
Strike 1, Strike 2, Strike 3…..
I won’t lie, I was scared of Bidemi that day. I had never seen the Lion I saw in his eyes when I was trying to stop him from breaking in.
Strike 4 , and the door burst open.
We all rushed in following Bidemi and what we saw scared the wits out of our very spine.
…………………………………………………………………………………………to be continued next week.