The rest of their romance was a blur, Ken never really fell in love with her but he always felt refreshed to have her around. He couldn’t understand why Claire couldn’t see why she was good for them. Claire simply disappeared into her shell; a shell he never knew existed. The look of stark betrayal she felt was completely displayed on her face. He had only introduced her as a friend so it took a long time and a lot of pressure from Susan to get Ken to explain to his daughter, that he and Susan were an item. He spent hours on the internet, looking up pages on parenting with particular reference to getting re-married. He could tell that nothing would prepare him for the moment so eventually he just did it.
Susan did not even know he was going to, she was in the house with him, Claire was away at her evening classes. When she walked in, she mumbled her greetings and headed for her room.
“Claire” Ken called out softly
She stopped in her tracks and slightly turned her head towards him.
“I need to talk to you, please have a seat” She sat tentatively on the edge of the closest chair, hands clenched really hard, still not uttering a word, still not looking at her dad.
“Susan is not trying to take your mum’s place but…”
That was as far as he got, Claire shot out of the chair and bolted for her room, the door slammed behind her and they could hear the keys turn in the key hole. Ken made to get up and go after her but Susan gently laid a hand on his arm; he looked at her and fell back weakly into his seat. He was exhausted. It was the first night she slept in the Adewale’s house. It was not the first time they would make love but that night they made love with an intensity that both drained and invigorated them. There was a neediness to his urgent love making, a neediness into which she fed into as she laid under him and then climbed on top of him. Even with the air-conditioner on, they were drenched in sweat.
Later as they lay spent; an entanglement of limbs, his thoughts went first to Ola and Claire, and he didn’t know how to feel or how to identify the feelings criss-crossing his mind. He abruptly got up and got dressed. Susan let him go feeling a great deal a triumph and satisfaction. Her feelings had no malice in them but she had never been lucky in love and she just had a good feeling about this one. She was willing to give it everything she had, she would tame that girl she was sure but that was in the beginning, she would soon find out this was not easy and just pass her off as spoilt without redemption. He never married her, never bought her a ring but after the first time he introduced her as his wife, she bought herself a wedding ring, slipped it on her own finger and started introducing herself as Mrs Adewale.
Ken drove for miles, he went at break neck speed at first and then reduced his speed. He had no particular destination in mind so he kept driving. He eventually found himself in front of the home Ola was institutionalized and came to an abrupt halt. He sat behind the wheel for a while losing track of them and then he started weeping, he didn’t know how he felt but he wept until he was drained and now feeling better he drove off. It was nearing dawn when he got back home. He sat behind the wheel, not weeping this time but just staring through the windshield and then he reclined his car seat and slept.
“But that girl is weird o” Kenny said
Tai kept walking, and grunted noncommittally. A puzzle creased his forehead.
“She’s weird shey?” Kenny reiterated.
Tai grunted again.“She is…”
“Yes she is!” Tai snapped at his twin. This was one of those times that Kenny’s repetitiveness got on his nerves. There was something about the girl that bothered him. Something he could not place. He realized as he thought more about it that she had been on his mind since that first day; albeit subconsciously.
Kenny glanced at him curiously, shrugged and went back to his phone.
Later that night, Tai lay in bed unable to sleep, after tossing and turning around for a bit, he sat up and turned on his bedside lamp.
“Kenny” he called softly. There was no response, so he got out of bed and padded quietly to his brothers bed. He shook him gently and called his name again. Kenny grunted and squinted as his brother switched on his bedside lamp too.
“What is it?” He asked, still groggy from sleep.
“Were you sleeping?” Tai asked
“Nope, I was wide awake.” He didn’t bother to hide his sarcasm.
“Is the house on fire?” Kenny continued.
“No it isn’t.”
“We have burglars?”
“No we don’t” Tai responded patiently, he knew where this was going already.
“Then good night Tai, I’m sure whatever else it is can wait till morning” He turned to back his brother and go back to sleep.
“Kenny, that girl, what do you think is wrong with her?”
“She’s weird that’s it” Kenny responded grumpily
“Crying doesn’t make you weird na”
“She was crying because she failed JAMB”
“Are you sure?”
“How can you be so sure?”
Kenny took a very deep breath and threw his brother a look that said he thought he was an idiot. Then he said slowly and deliberately.
“She was holding a JAMB result slip, she was sobbing, what do you think happened. When you got your beautiful result, did you weep? Good night Tai” He was really irritated now and just wanted to go back to sleep.
Tai stood up to leave.
“Put out that lamp please” Kenny snapped.
Tai finally got into bed and dozed off.
Stay tuned for Episode 8 next week Friday.
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