TRACEY ADJUSTED HER SKIRT, going after Vanessa before she’d lock up the door. She knew her very well, she had done it before that she locked the door on herself when she was angry. “Vanessa, please don’t lock the door.” She quickly said when she saw that she had almost gotten to the door.

It was as though she knew what she had in mind.  Vanessa was already planning to lock the door so she wouldn’t be disturbed, or better still just leave for her place. She swooshed out a long breath as she got inside the room and sprawled on the bed. She rested her back on the pillow she met on the bed and faced the door, waiting for Tracey to come in.

“How far, Vanessa?” She asked her as she entered.

Vanessa shrugged. “What’s getting far? Tracey, I don’t like it.” She blurted out.

Tracey chuckled. “I haven’t said anything, Vanessa.” She shrugged sitting by the edge of the bed.

Vanessa snapped her finger. “I know that is what you are here for, is that not?”

Tracey laughed. She stood up slowly and walked to Vanessa’s side. “Vanessa.” She called as she sat on the stool beside the bed. “How are you doing?” She asked her, trying to change the subject of the discussion, at least for that moment.

Her brows puckered. “Fine.”  Her reply was short and rather fast.

“What’s the name of your boss?” She asked.

Worry lines framed her mouth and tugged at her eyes. She looked at Tracey and blinked a couple of times. “William.” Her reply was as short as the first one also. She was making everything as sharp as she could so Tracey could know she was no ready for any talk on that subject matter.

Tracey studied her with her level gaze. “I know you don’t want to talk about this, but I just want to tell you about me and Felix. He’s already thinking of marriage, isn’t that good?”

“It is good, once you are ready to get married.” She said without looking at her.

Tracey laughed. She knew that would be her response. She really wished Vanessa would be ready to hear her out also. Though Vanessa was just two months older than her and she was comfortable in her own way, she wished she could just settle down too.

“You will clock twenty seven in two weeks time, Vanessa.” She reminded her.

Vanessa looked at her and smiled. “You’ll also be twenty seven in two months time dear, any plan?” She knew what Tracey’s comment was based on, she only tried to wave it off by saying something different.

“I didn’t say that because of any birthday plan or something, I’m only reminding you.”

“It’s not like I have forgotten.” Vanessa was provoked. She moved to the other side of the bed and wiped her face. “I’m going home.”

Tracey was also frustrated. “Say me well to Debbie.”

“She has gone..” She stopped abruptly. “Okay, I’ll do that.” She wanted to tell her she had gone for a shot earlier but she thought that might create another avenue for discussion, so she changed her mind. She really wanted to leave.

As she walked to the living room, she prayed she wouldn’t meet her grandma there again so she could just leave peacefully. But she was wrong, she met her as she got to the living room, she was checking out the things Williams brought for her.

“Mama, I’m going now.” She told her as she knelt beside her.

“I thought your boss gave you today for free so you could be with me, is that not it?” She asked her, wondering.

Vanessa scratched her head. “Yes, but I have to do some things.” She lied.

“Like what? Or are you trying to run away because of the issue we have been talking about?” She asked.

What can I say? “I want to go and make my hair.” She said, nodding consecutively.

Her grandma sighed. “Okay. No problem, my dear.” She smiled.

Vanessa was relieved. She rose up and got to the door when she heard from behind her. “If it is only Tracey’s child I can see before I die, it is also alright.”

Her eyes widened. That was deep. It really caught her attention as she turned and looked at her grandma. Is this not the woman who just smiled? She said within herself. “Grandma.” She called.

The old woman stood up and started walking inside. Vanessa scratched her head as she opened the door and left in thought.

It was when she got outside that David’s car was approaching. As she hopped into the car and drove off, David followed her.

** ** **

It was already past six when David got back home. He had already followed Vanessa from her grandma’s place till he got to her own place. When he finally got the place, he drove back to his office. As he entered into the living room, he met Mike seeing a movie already and sat beside him. “Mike, how na?

Mike stroke his beard. “I just dey o. Shey person no go marry like this, wey hunger dey catch person like mad.” Mike said.

Why you no cook? Shey them tell you say wife na only for cooking ni? I think say I go meet the food wey you go don cook if I reach house.

Mike chuckled. “I be chef abi? Wey you dey expect food as if say you sure say you go meet me for house. Wetin we go chop jare.

David sneezed. He looked at Mike for a while before he spoke. “Person sneeze, you no even talk bless you.” He stared at him with grimace.

Mike chuckled. “How that one go affect you? Who tell you say na bless you good make person dey talk after sneezing? Who tell una?

David hissed and stood up. “Dey there, na hunger go finish you today.”

Shey you don chop outside ni?” Mike asked.

You dey whine? Why I no go chop? I don discern am say you go just make person hungry today.” He replied as he walked to his room.

Mike was already very hungry. He didn’t even know what to eat, he just stood up and went to the kitchen. He thought David was going to buy something while coming back but he was wrong. He met bread inside the microwave luckily. Maybe it was Daniel that put this one here, he thought as he grabbed it and got butter from inside the fridge. He took them to the dining and rushed back to the kitchen to get the table knife and get the tins of beverage.

As he dropped everything on the dining, he headed to David’s room to make jest of him that he had gotten what he’d eat. As he was about to open the door, he paused. It seemed he was on call.

** ** **

Vanessa had been rolling from one side of the bed to another since she got back home in the afternoon. She had slept off, woken up but still on the bed since she came back. She had just been thinking of what Grandma said when she was about leaving.

As she was about to stand to get what she would eat, her phone buzzed. “Hello.”  She said.

“Please don’t end this call, this is David. Please, don’t end the call.” He repeated.

Vanessa hissed. “Please what can I do for you?” It seemed she didn’t screen the number well before she picked the call.

“I was at your place today, but I didn’t have the courage to come in. I just want to know how you are fairing.”

“How did you know my place?” She was shocked.

“I’m sorry, but I checked your Grandma’s file again and I saw an address in her record and followed the address. When I got there, I saw you enter your car and you drove off, so I followed you.” He replied.

“Do you know I can get you arrested for this? How could you be intruding in someone’s life? To the extent of checking the file, Mr. or is it Dr. David you are calling yourself. I am not like all the usual ones, please never come to my place or else, I’ll get you arrested.” She blasted and ended the call.

She flung the phone on the bed and walked out. She was frustrated.

** ** **

Mike entered into David’s room. “I heard.” He nodded.

David thought he was trying to know who he called and smiled. “What did you hear?”

“Your conversation with her. David, what’s up?” He sat beside him on the mattress.

“Up as how?” He shrugged.

“Why are you after another lady for Christ sake?”

David tweaked his nose. “Who told you I’m after another lady?” He asked.

Mike chuckled. “Daniel told me everything before he left. But, why?” He asked again.

David sighed. “At least, it’s not that I’m married to Oyin already, is that not?”

Mike felt irritated. “Meaning? What is this one saying?” He was disgusted.

David chuckled. “Yes now, Mike. We aren’t married.”

Mike clasped his hands together. “That’s pure rubbish, man. Do you know what you do before marriage becomes a part of you when you get married too? You’ll still be after ladies after you marry, Dave!” He exclaimed.

“Screw that, Mike. All this flexing is before marriage. Once one is married, no other person will appeal to you than your spouse.”

Mike smiled. “A big lie! A very big one. Who told you this? My friend, ladies will still continue to exist even after you get married! Whatever thing you can’t curb or stop before marriage becomes a part of you when you also get married, man.”

David hissed. “You can’t understand.”

Mike shook his head with pity. “I just pity Oyin.” He said as he walked out of his room.

** ** **

Daniel had just finished his third shot in the script. It was already very late and the location was bubbling with discussions here and there. He walked to a side and saw some missed calls on his phone, it was his sister.

He was wondering why she had called and he dialed back. He thought she must have even slept, but he was wrong until she picked up her call and told him about how his mother was complaning about him earlier. He ended the call and called his mother’s line.

As she picked up the call, Debbie got to his back but she didn’t want him  to know that she was behind him.

“Hello, Mum.” He said, scratching his head.

He was just walking to and fro where he was but didn’t look back to see that someone was a distance behind him hearing. “I’m in a location presently, Mum.” He told her.

“Really? Mike told you? I never knew. But, I heard you were annoyed, Mum. What did I do again?” He asked.

He sighed after a while his mother had been speaking to him on phone. “But Mum, do you know a late marriage is better than an early marriage that won’t last? I’m just ensuring I get the best of the best, Mum.” He said, smiling.

Debbie smiled. She drifted to the back a little when she noticed he was talking about the issue of marriage. As she was moving back, she stumbled and fell. Her squeak made Daniel quickly turn to the back to look. “What’s wrong? Is that Debbie?” He quickly asked. The place was dark.

“Yes.” She replied him.

“I understand, Mum. Don’t worry, I’m seriously working on it. You can trust your son, can’t you?” He replied his Mum, still staring at Debbie as she stood up and dusted her dress.

“Okay, Mum. Good night.” He ended the call and moved closer to her. “What’s wrong? Did you follow me?” He asked her.

She stuttered. “No, I came here on my own and was surprised to meet you here. I was even scared.”

Daniel chuckled. “Sorry, let’s go back to the set.” He said, holding her hand as they left.

So his mother is also after his marriage like Grandma Annie is after Vanessa’s. She had thought.

** ** **

He grabbed her by the hand. His eyes were a-flicker with curiosity over a genial smile . He was two inches taller than her and he had a pencil-thin moustache and a spade shaped beard.

She could see his eyes, they were with a-fire with passion and his hand was warm. His had a bristly eyebrow with a crescent shaped eye.

His rakish clothes were a source of amusement to her, she felt loved as he kept her in his arms and made her put her head on his chest. She had looked at him very well that not even time could make her forget the appearance she had noted.

Suddenly, Vanessa woke up from her dream. She had finished eating and was seeing a movie when she slept off and had a dream. “A guy?” She wondered and she smiled and clapped her hands together. She couldn’t remember if that had ever happened to her before, having a dream about a guy? She shook her head.

She began to wonder. It seemed she recognised the guy she saw in her dream but she had forgotten him. Perhaps she had the dream because of her thought since afternoon, she concluded as she switched the television set off and walked to her room.

But as she entered, she was still trying to remember the person, she knew she had either met the person before or maybe seen him somewhere. “I know this person.” She said calmly, wondering where and who he was. She just shrugged and dived to her bed. She hoped she wouldn’t have the dream again. Though she enjoyed it, but she didn’t want it.

** ** **

“Can I say something?” Debbie asked Daniel.
Daniel stared at her with surprise. He knew she liked talking and she wouldn’t even ask before speaking, why was she now asking specially before talking? “Why not? What is it?” He asked.

She flattened her face. “Please I don’t want you to ask me what my business is, or wave me off because of what I want to say, Daniel.” She told him.

Daniel chucked. “You know me, or even if you don’t, I can’t do that.”

“I overheard your call the other time, and I guess that was your mother, right?” She asked.

Daniel nodded. “Yes.”

“Can I say something about it?” She asked again, as though she was scared to talk.

Daniel raised his shoulders. “Sure. I never knew you overheard me though, but it doesn’t matter, what would you like to say?” He asked.

She started very slow. “Before I even start talking, I want you to know my heart is pure. Of course, if I haven’t told you before, I do say it that I can’t get married to an actor because we won’t be able to have time for our children, so don’t think I want to talk based on an ulterior motive.”

Daniel laughed. “Debbie, will you talk?”

She smiled. “Okay then. I want to ask you if you are truly making plans as you’ve told your Mum.”

He hissed slightly. “No plan jare. Though, my heart is not closed to it, but at the same time it’s not my priority.” He replied.

“If i may ask, why?”

He clenched his fist. “Nothing, I just feel that’s not the main thing now, Debbie.” He said, drawling.

She smiled. “Do you have friends?” She asked.

He nodded. “Sure. I stay with two of my friends and it has been interesting.” He replied.

“That means they are not married also, is that it?” She smiled.

He nodded again. “But they already have their Baes.” He said, laughing.

“So, what’s keeping you then?” She wondered.

He shrugged.

“Okay, can I introduce you to a friend of mine?” She asked.

Daniel’s eyes widened. “Matchmaking?” He finally let out after a while.

Debbie laughed. “No, don’t misunderstand me, Daniel. She is a friend, a fan of yours who you may like. Just an introduction, that’s all.” She said, smiling.

Daniel laughed. “Okay then, let’s see.”

Debbie looked away, still laughing. “Yeah.”

** ** **

Two weeks had passed, Vanessa was still trying to balance her work with her Boss and also her Grandma. It seemed Williams had gone to see her Grandma again and bought her something, but she wasn’t sure.

She had asked her Grandma but she told her it was not so, but it reflected once in Williams’ discussion with her. She didn’t know how to confirm until she remembered she could ask Tracey.

She was on break, the hot afternoon when she dialed Tracey’s mobile number on her way out of the company to a restaurant to take her lunch. Soon, she got to where she was going to, but Tracey’s mobile number was switched off. That was the only person she knew she could ask again.

She entered into the restaurant and made an order of what she wanted to eat. As she was approaching an empty table to eat, a guy just came to sit before her on the table. She stared at him for a while. Doesn’t he know he would like to sit here before I got here? She wondered and started eating. Just as she was eating, the guy stood up and went to get two scoop of ice cream and placed one before her and another before himself.

“Hello.” He greeted.

She stared at him with grimace. “Hi. But I don’t like ice cream.” She told him.

“Really?” The guy stared at her surprisingly. “You’ll be the first person I’ll be hearing that from.” He told her.

She shrugged. “Not everything that many people like is liked by everyone.” She told him, though she knew she was lying, she it didn’t want to receive from a stranger.

“That’s deep.” He winked at her and smiled.

Vanessa was disgusted. “I hope there’s no problem?” She asked.

“No, dear. I just want to know you, that’s all.”

Why is it that majority of guys around lack manner these days? She wondered. As she picked up her tray, leaving for another table angrily, she bumped into someone and the tray fell. It was Temitope Daniel.

She raised her head slowly to see who she bumped into and saw him. She was shocked and afraid. “I’m very sorry.” She could see that the white shirt he was putting on was already stained with the drink that poured on his body.

Daniel stared at her for a moment and smiled. “It’s nothing, ma. No one is above mistake, that’s it.”

“I’m very sorry.” She repeated.

Daniel laughed. “It’s alright.” He replied.

She quickly rushed out of the restaurant to her car and Daniel followed. “Hello.” He called as he saw that she was about entering her car. “I’m sorry, but can I say something?” He asked.

Vanessa was embarrassed. She just nodded.

“I’m not annoyed by what happened, do you know me at all?” He asked her.

She nodded again. “Who won’t know you, Temitope Daniel.” She said.

He smiled. “Anyways, that’s not where I’m going. I just want to tell you to watch your anger. I’m sincerely speaking as politely as i can, you know people tend to misunderstand people like me when doing something like for pride. I am not proud, but when I entered the restaurant and I saw you before the brother, I was wondering if he was your..” he stoppedand shrugged. “Perharps your boyfriend that you are annoyed with, but immediately I entered I could see anger on your face. And it was the anger that made you stand like that without knowing someone was coming.” He told her.

“I’m very sorry.” She said again.

“Okay then, bye ma.” He bowed.

“Thanks Daniel.” She said and quickly hopped into her car.

As she was driving, she was angry with herself. How did that happen? To a superstar for that matter! She didn’t like herself at all. If not for the guy that was disturbing me! What’s the meaning of that? She kept complaining. That means Debbie should be at home already, now that Temitope Daniel is also back.

Suddenly, she remembered his face again and the dream she had been having flashed back to her head. She marched on the brake as she quickly pulled out of the road. “It’s Temitope Daniel!” She exclaimed.

** ** **

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12 thoughts on “THE OTHER ME – 3

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