The closer we got to campus, the more incensed I got.
Pere had a LOT of explaining to do. I was particularly enraged because of the fact that she had been brazenly pursuing him for years, a fact he had always been sure to deny. A set below him, she was also in his Estate Management department, and found one excuse or the other to hang around him. If it wasn’t under the guise of school work (as if Pere was the model student!), it was under the guise of the supposed mutual friends they had. Anytime I went to their department, I was always sure to find her hovering around him, giggling over something or the other. But my dear boyfriend seemed oblivious to it all.
“Daisy?? Don’t be silly, Isio. The girl is a little kid. We’re just friends!”
After arguing a few times, I chose not to allow it bother me when I realised Pere truly thought there was nothing to her actions. But she knew I was on to her. She knew I wasn’t fooled by her diminutive stature and cute baby face. Underneath that childish exterior lay a scheming and calculating woman, and it was obvious anytime we made eye contact. She knew, and because I knew she knew I knew, I made it a point of duty to always exert my presence anytime I was there. Nope, there would be no mistaking who the Queen Bee in Pere’s life was.
Or so I thought.
As the taxi screeched to a halt in front of the row of bungalow boys’ quarters in Ozolua, where Pere and his friend, Kayode, shared a room, I barely managed to pay the guy before leaping out of the taxi. Charging to Pere’s room, I knocked persistently, my blood boiling and my temperature rising in anticipation of whatever lay ahead of me inside the room. Literally.
Pere opened the door, and was both surprised and happy to see me.
“Baby! What are you doing here?” he exclaimed happily.
I brushed past him into the room, ready for a fight. “Where is Daisy?”
Pere looked at me, puzzled. “Who told you Daisy would be here?”
I ignored him, scanning the room for any giveaway, any sign that she had been in his room. And unfortunately for him, I found them. Stacked under the table were several washed serving bowls. On the face of it, there should have been no big deal about a few serving bowls…except I knew those bowls. They were the most exquisite handcrafted red ceramic bowls, the very same type Daisy had brought a meal in, when their department had a beach picnic the previous Easter, one which I’d attended with Pere. I remember having complimented her on them, and she said her mother had bought them as a set from her native Romania. So they weren’t exactly the type you would find in Yaba market!
Opening the fridge, I saw two more of these same bowls, one filled with fried chicken, the other with half eaten fried rice. Also in the fridge was a pound cake, which was clearly home made.
“Why has Daisy been bringing you food?!” I asked Pere, looking him in the eye.
He sighed, and I knew it was true. “Isio, don’t go getting any ideas. She’s just been showing up here with food. I wanted to turn it down, but Kayode almost went nuts when I did. And the food is really good, I won’t lie to you.”
I looked at him like he’d grown a horn. “Daisy has been bringing you food, and after you’ll tell me she doesn’t have her eyes on you?!”
“I know how it looks, and I swear, it’s nothing like that.” Pere pleaded. “You were right all along. She does like me. But I told her nothing can happen between us…”
“But yet, she brings you food and you happily accept it!” I exclaimed. “What if she charms you with it? Have you even thought of that?!”
Pere stifled a smiled. “Isio, don’t be ridiculous. As if she even knows what a Native Doctor is!”
At that, even I couldn’t help but smile. “You think because she’s oyibo, she doesn’t know juju? Don’t you know na their own dey work pass?!”
He laughed, and so did I, and soon we were in each other’s arms, happy to be reunited after not having seen each other in over a week. Later that afternoon, we were both hungry, so we took a walk down campus, in search of something to eat. It was nice seeing everyone again, and it was obvious that Pere was enjoying showing me off. After a couple of months in Shell, I knew I had cleaned up really nice. In a silk blouse paired with high waisted pants that accentuated my curves, I knew I looked hella good!
We were all laughs when we returned, armed with takeaway bags of chicken and chips. As we approached his room, I heard music playing and thought Kayode had returned. Which is why walking in and seeing Daisy lying on Pere’s bed, made me literally stop in my tracks.
“Daisy! What are you doing here?!” Pere exclaimed, sounding just as shocked as I was.
She sat up lazily and smiled. “Hi Isio. Pere, you didn’t tell me she was coming.”
I looked at Pere in shock, before I shook my head and started laughing. “He didn’t tell you I was coming?!” I clapped my hands in wonder. “He didn’t tell you I was coming! Pere, why didn’t you tell her I was coming na?!”
“Yes, because I only brought enough food for two.” Daisy went on, a smug smile on her face.
Pere just stood there, staring at her like a fool, while I took my seat on the only chair in the room, crossed my legs with an amused smile on my face. “Dinner for two. How cosy!”
“Daisy, you need to leave!” Pere bellowed.
“Why should she leave? Would she have left if I wasn’t here? Daisy, please lie down. Just forget I’m here. I’ll be leaving soon anyway!” I said, chuckling, bringing my phone out of my bag.
“Daisy, I said leave now!” Pere yelled, furious.
I didn’t even pay them any attention. Instead, I decided to do the one thing I knew would hurt Pere. I called Ejiro.
“Hey you!” I cooed into the phone. “Are you at work? I kinda need a ride from Unilag…Yeah, I came to school to do a few things. Nothing important.” I giggled. “I knew I could count on you. You’re such a darling! I’ll text you the address.” I smiled coyly. “I’ll be waiting.”
“Isio, who was that?!” Pere demanded.
I looked at him, feigning ignorance. “Ah, Pere. Don’t mind me oh. Please pay attention to Daisy. I’ll soon be leaving.”
“Did you just call your toaster? In front of me?!” Pere bellowed. “You called your toaster to come and pick you up from here?!”
Daisy got up from the bed, and sashayed across the room. “Pere, can I dish the food? It’s already getting cold.” she caught sight of the bags of chicken and chips. “Why did you go and buy this? Can’t you remember what it did to your stomach last time?”
By this time, I was laughing hysterically. “Eeeehn? Ah abeg oh. Don’t eat anything that will run your stomach oh! Please eat the food Daisy was so kind to bring you.”
As I texted, I could sense Pere’s rising anger. “Isio, who are you texting? Who did you call?”
I ignored him, and kept on tapping my phone, a sly smile on my face.
“Isio, do you want some rice? I think there’ll be enough for another person after all.” Daisy said sweetly, obviously enjoying the whole thing.
“Daisy, for the last time, get out of here!” Pere yelled so loudly, it startled Daisy and I.
“Daisy, sit down!” I said firmly, all humour gone. “As a matter of fact, why don’t you go back to lie on the bed the way we found you!”
At this, Pere and I made eye contact, and he could tell that I was proper mad as hell.
He could also see that was the wrongest time to argue with me, so he sat on the bed in resignation, the only sound coming from Daisy as she ate her meal.
About 45 minutes later, my phone rang, breaking the silence. I smiled broadly as I answered it. “You’re outside? Great. I’ll be right out!”
Without saying another word, I rose to my feet, carried my handbag and strutted out of the room. Expectedly, Pere was at my heels, closely followed by Daisy.
And Ejiro did not disappoint. He was standing beside his gleaming black Land Rover, looking like someone who just stepped out of GQ magazine, in his Ralph Lauren shirt and navy blue jeans. I walked up to him and planted a kiss on his cheek, before allowing him lead me to his car.
From the corner of my eye, I saw Pere’s mouth part in shock, and by the time I turned to look him full in the face as Ejiro steered the car out of their driveway, I saw that he was furious. His eyes were red, and his fists were clenched in his anger. Daisy had the stunned look on her face as someone watching a Hollywood thriller. But what made it worse was that most of the other guys on Pere’s corridor were out having a smoke, and had witnessed the whole thing, adding to his humiliation.
But I didn’t care. I had gotten my own pound of flesh back. And I felt exhilarated up until we were finally out of Unilag. It was then that the tears came, hard and fast. Ejiro patted my thigh comfortingly.
“Let me guess. You caught your boyfriend with that mixed race girl?” he asked.
I nodded, whimpering, not believing my boyfriend of so many years had broken my heart that way. After I recounted the story to Ejiro, despite it being in his favour to add fire to the flames, he instead chose to be more pragmatic about the whole thing.
“You have to give him the benefit of the doubt, Isio.” he said. “Despite what you saw, he might not be sleeping with that girl.”
I nodded, clinging to the hope that maybe…just maybe…I had overreacted, and that there was nothing to worry about after all.
Well, it turns out that whilst that might have been the truth before that day, after the stunt I pulled, that night Pere decided to finally give Daisy what she’d been asking for for years. According to the stories that reached my ears, she did not leave his room that night.
Fuelled by this confirmation, I decided it was time for me to finally agree to date Ejiro.
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