Vanessa was by the roadside for a moment, trying to flashback the dream that had been coming. She was sure beyond all reasonable doubts that it was him. She didn’t know what to do, but it seemed the dream had significance that’s why it had been coming over and again, she concluded.
She pulled back to the road, still recollecting what just happened in the restaurant. It was funny to her, at the same time she wondered why it happened after already had a dream about him. She just shrugged, as she drove on.
** ** **
Daniel dipped his phone in his pocket and his key to his other pocket as he approached the living room. The incident that happened kept flashing back to his head, it seemed as if he had met her somewhere but couldn’t remember.
He had been trying to take it off his head, but the more he tried, the harder it was. He didn’t really know, but he just knew he must have met her somewhere. He opened the door and saw Mike on his laptop. “Mike.” He called as he entered.
“Oshe o, Mr. Gun them down.” He grinned.
Daniel chuckled and approached him, stretching his hand to shake him. He sat beside him after they shook hands and smiled. “How are you?” He asked him.
Mike shrugged. “As you can see, I’m very fine. How far now? How was the project you went for?”
Daniel nodded. “It was on point, Mike. Will still be going back on Monday.” He told him.
Mike shook his head. “I thought you guys were done, Daniel.”
Daniel raised his brows. “For that kind of movie, two weeks is too small to be used.” He replied him.
Mike nodded. “No problem. What’s up, what did you bring for me and David?”
Daniel scratched his head as he stood up. “I did not bring anything, I have even forgotten.” He paused for a moment. “Maybe because of the lady that poured drink on me.” He added to sweeten his case.
Mike’s eyes widened. “How? Why will she do that?” He questioned.
Daniel shrugged. “It was not deliberate, Mike. But it seems I have met her before, but I can’t remember.”
“I think I have to rest for a moment, I’m tired.” Daniel stood up.
“What of your things?” Mike asked, he just noticed Daniel did not come in with his bag and other things that he might have taken along.
“Still in the car, I don’t know how I even forgot to bring them down.” He replied, going inside.
** ** **
When she broke into a smile, her beguiling, oyster-white teeth lit up the room. She had missed her troublesome friend and was glad to see her again. “Debbie.” She grinned as she approached her. “How are you?” She hugged her slightly.
Debbie smiled. She liked Vanessa’s smile as she entered. “I’m good, dear. Where are you coming from that you are smiling this way? Birthday girl.”
Vanessa raised her shoulders. “Is it where I’m coming from that determine my smile?”
Debbie chuckled. “I missed you, dear. And happy birthday once again.”
“Same here, Debbie. Though, it was like a break from your trouble.” She replied.
Debbie clapped her hands together. “Me, troublesome? How are we celebrating this birthday dear?”
Vanessa shrugged. “This is the most boring birthday I’ve ever had, Debbie. I don’t know, everything just seems somehow.”
Debbie frowned. “Really? Can’t we mark it tomorrow?” She asked.
Vanessa gazed at her before she replied. “Who is the friend we have that we’ll call?”
Debbie’s eyes locked like magnets. “Can I invite a friend of mine and the three of us just have dinner tomorrow?” She asked, trying to introduce the issue of Daniel.
She nodded. “But who’s the friend”
Debbie took her gaze off her, focusing on the space between the two of them. “When it is tomorrow, you will surely know.” She replied.
“Okay.” Her voice was low. “Why can’t you tell me now?” She added.
Debbie shook her head. “I’ll give you your birthday gift tomorrow, that is also a surprise, Vanessa.” She added.
Vanessa shrugged. “I’m dying to know then.”
** ** **
It was already ten minutes to seven that evening when Daniel woke up. He felt better sleeping on his bed than sleeping in one hotel or lodge gotten for the casts and crew at the location.
He picked his phone and met two missed calls. He heard when his phone rang but he knew if he stood up, that would be the end of his sleep. He scratched his head as he got to the end of the bed and checked out who called. It was his sister and Debbie.
He stood up slowly and walked to the living room. He was already hungry. As he got to the living room, he met Mike and David. He sank into the sofa and rubbed his face before giving David a look.
“How are you, David?” He asked, scratching his neck.
“I’m good, man. I already checked you up in the room but you were lost in the dream land.”
Daniel smiled. “I was tired. How was work today?”
David nodded consecutively. “It was on point. We care, God cures.” He replied.
“How far guys, what are we eating tonight?” Mike cut into their discussion.
“I was about asking too,” Daniel added, yawning. “I am very hungry.”
“It’s been a while Daniel cooked for us, guy cook for us now, hunger dey catch person.” David said.
Daniel rolled his eyes. He knew it might come to that stage. “What? Can’t you guys even welcome me back home by going into that kitchen to cook for me?”
Mike laughed as he clapped his hands together. “Cook for you? You went to your place of work, Daniel. So, what’s our own business by welcoming you? By the way, you are still going on Monday.”
Daniel hissed. “That’s what should even make you feed me well. I’ll soon be leaving again”
David shook his head. “No. That should make you cook for your friends at least before leaving.”
“I don’t think we are eating anything tonight, guys. Let us fast.” Mike added.
“What? Why won’t we eat? How far Mike, find something to make for us.”
“Just boil rice, Daniel. There’s stew in the freezer that we can warm.” Mike told him.
“That’s a small thing.” Daniel stood up and approached the kitchen.
** ** **
It was Saturday already. Daniel had spoken with his sister later the previous night and she had told him she would like to see him. He didn’t want to go to his mother’s side because it would be a discussion for a decade if he tried it.
He had told her to come over to a restaurant so they could talk, and an avenue for him to eat his breakfast before his friends would make him cook again.
He had already planned his day that he would see his sister that morning, then he would get birthday gift that he would present in the evening. Debbie had called him earlier not to forget the dinner and that it was tied to her friend’s birthday.
He stepped out of the room already dressed. He didn’t tell his friends he would be going out, but it seemed they were still sleeping since it was Saturday. He felt he didn’t need to tell them, he would soon come back and would meet them.
He drove off to the restaurant.
** ** **
Tracey opened the door after some heard the knock. “Good morning.” She greeted the tall figure before her. She had just finished cleaning up the house when she heard the knock on the door and quickly got it.
She wasn’t expecting to see him that morning with some packages he was carrying. “Can I help with this?” She asked.
He nodded. “Thanks.” He gave a bag to her and followed behind as the door shut. “Good morning.” He also greeted.
What is Williams doing here this morning? She had wondered as she walked inside to get grandma. She knew he was there to see her.
Not quite long after, Grandma Annie walked outside. “Good morning, Sir.” She greeted him as she located a seat before him.
Williams bowed as he greeted her. “Grandma, how was your night?” He asked.
She smiled. “It was short. I slept like an infant.”
They laughed. “Hope you are using your drugs well and everything is fine?” He enquired.
She nodded. “I’m using them. I guess Vanessa will get me the new ones today or tomorrow.”
Williams drifted forward. “Are they almost finished?” He asked.
She nodded. “Yes.”
“Can’t I get them for you? What of the list of the drugs?” He asked.
“You don’t need to, she will do that.” She smiled.
“I was just going along this area and I thought I should just check on you. Just manage these things I brought.” He stood up and dropped the two bags before her.
She was surprised. “I haven’t finished the one you brought the first time, Sir.”
He shrugged. “That’s the beauty. One must not finish before another is gotten.”
“Thank you very much, Sir. God bless you abundantly.” She prayed.
“It’s nothing, ma. Can I get going now ma?”He approached the door.
“No.” She replied. “Please sit down.” She said.
“Okay.” He sat down back.
“I’m an elder and not one who is not wise. That means, I understand every move of someone if I discern properly. But, I won’t be the one to just sat what I feel, I want you to tell me yourself.” She was kept for a moment before she continued. “Do you have anything you want to say?”
Williams smiled. “Grandma..” he drawled and continued. “See, if I tell you I don’t have anything in mind, I’m just a liar. Anyways, I have been talking to Vanessa for a while but it had been futile. My real motive is to marry her and…” he scratched his head as he saw her laughing.
“I know.” She chuckled. “I know something is also involved with your kindness. What has she been saying whenever you approach her?” She asked him.
“Can’t even say precisely. She’s just turned off, totally not interested and perhaps, out of her context this time.” He replied.
She sighed. “Don’t worry, everything will change.” She told him, smiling.
Williams was fulfilled. “Thank you ma.” He grinned.
Tracey came out from the kitchen with a cup of hot tea and placed it before him. She had also overheard his discussion with Annie before she came out. As she dropped it, she headed inside. “Thank you.” He said to her.
** ** **
Daniel met his sister at the restaurant already and pulled out a chair before her. He held her two hands that she placed on the table and smiled. “Good morning, dear.”
“Good morning, Daniel. How are you?” She asked.
Daniel nodded. “I’m very good.” He replied.
“Really? I know you are eager to know what I want to say, but relax, it isn’t something difficult.” She smiled.
Daniel smiled too and relaxed. He didn’t know what she wanted to say, but he knew it was about his mother and her mentality for marriage.
“I know you know this is about Mummy.” She started, looking sideways.
“Wait, have you eaten?” He asked her.
“No. Let’s leave food for now, we’ll get that later, let’s talk first.” She replied.
“Okay then.” He tweaked his nose.
“She’s planning a girl for you, Daniel.”
His eyes popped open. At this age? He said within himself. He didn’t know if he should just rise up or remain glued to his seat. “This is hilarious!” He frowned.
Lola chuckled. “See Temitope, it seems she’s serious. She helped a lady and that one has been with us for a week now, and she had told me she liked her and she would talk to you about her, that you can’t have a choice but to give in.” She replied.
“Helped her? What happened to that one?” He asked.
“She met her on on the streets. She was homeless and according to the story she had told her, she’s an orphan and was thrown out of the house when her parents died. Since then, she couldn’t conclude her tertiary education.”
He looked away for a moment. “Doesn’t she have any friend? At least she was in the university or polythecnic or wherever when her parents died. By the way, is there no family member at all that…” he sighed. “I even hope she’s real.”
Lola nodded. “She’s real, Daniel. Mum already said you’ll be the one to send her to school so she can finish her first degree.”
Daniel chuckled. “And she hasn’t told this, Lola.”
“Expect her call anytime soon. She already assured the girl that you will sponsor her in school. She told her she’s the mother of the great actor – Temitope Daniel, you should know your mother, Daniel.
Daniel laughed. “I really do, dear. I know what she has done. Anyways, what do I do?”
Lola drifted forward. “It’s not that she has told the girl you will marry her, but I’m just telling you her motive. Daniel be prepared to marry her.” Lola said.
Daniel rolled his eyes. “Not only marry her, what are you even saying, Lola? I can’t marry a stranger.”
“You too, Daniel. Any progress? Any lady?” Lola asked.
“Let’s see what tonight will bring.” He smiled and continued, “I’m meeting someone tonight.”
** ** **
David was swiveling his chair in the office when the door was knocked. “Come in.” He said, with the hope of seeing a nurse enter the office. “Oyinda?” He was shocked.
“How are you, David?” She asked as she sat down.
“I’m good dear. You never told me you were coming.” He said.
“How would I? The last time I did, I think you ran away.” She said.
David shook his head. “No, Oyin. It’s not that I have been avoiding you, I have just been busy. Sometimes I’m even on night duty and these things have actually made it difficult to be free.”
Oyinda chuckled as she clapped her hands together. “Are you just being on night duty? I know there’s more to this than night duty. When I asked you yesterday if you’d be in the office today, you said no.”
“I thought I wouldn’t be, Oyinda. I should be somewhere now, I can’t be lying.”
“Where?” She asked.
“Em.. you know, it’s a place..” he started stuttering.
“Spare me that! It’s a place, no, I thought it was a dungeon.” She hissed.
“You are already getting annoyed, Oyin.”
“I know something smells fishy. Anyways, I just came to confirm if you’d be in the office or not, I’m off.” She said and sprung to her feet.
“You can’t just leave, Oyin. Won’t we have lunch? You just keep saying something smells fishy when it is not Titus.”
She stared at him with a strangled expression as she walked out.
David breathed a breath of relief as she left. “I plan visiting Ann today, I don’t know why I haven’t gone sef.”
** ** **
Debbie and Vanessa had just returned from the market. The two planned to make fried rice and Turkey. Debbie was busy with the making of Chapman while Vanessa was doing the washing of the Turkey in the kitchen.
Vanessa had been thinking on who could be coming, she didn’t know. She had asked Debbie over and again but she kept on telling her it was a surprise. She wished she knew the gender, she could even guess. But as much as she had thought, she hadn’t even found the right person to guess. She knew it wasn’t that Debbie was specially close to any actress or actor, so it was usually very rare to see one who would come visiting. Though, they all roll together, but not as per dinner.
She gazed at Debbie again and cleared her voice as if something was blocking it earlier. “Debbie, who’s the person tell me.”
Debbie laughed. She dropped the knife she was using to slice the water melon and rested on the cabinet. “Vanessa, you can’t know until he is here.” She replied.
Vanessa grinned. “So he is a he.” She winked.
Debbie frowned. She had really made a huge mistake. She had forgotten that she had been rephrasing her words well since she told Vanessa so she wouldn’t know if the person was a male or female. She swallowed as she stared at her. “Who told you?”
“You just used he for him, so why won’t I know.”
Debbie chuckled. “That doesn’t connote that the person is a guy, dear. Most times when someone wants to speak, we use he even if we don’t know the person. By the way, you’ll still see him when he comes.” She said.
“You’ve said it again.” She pulled out her tongue.
“I know. Don’t worry about that, I will sort it out.”
Vanessa licked her lips. “But who’s the lucky guy?” She winked.
Debbie laughed. “Lucky what?”
“I’ll soon know though.” She laughed.
She doesn’t know I’m doing this for her. You’ll soon know you are the lucky, not me. She had thought.
** ** **
His eyes were a-gleam with delight, and the vigor of youth. He had a derring-do outlook with his hair was well combed. His well ironed sky blue shirt and chinos trouser made him look younger than he normally did.
He had been calling Debbie for like thirty minutes for road description till he finally got to the place. He drove inside the compound and glimpsed at himself at the centre mirror of the car before coming down. “Good evening.” He greeted the gate keeper.
“T.Dan.” The young man grinned as he saw him. Daniel did not even know he would recognize him, who wouldn’t recognize him?
He just laughed as he stretched his hand and shook him. “How are you?” He asked.
“I’m good. I’m very happy to see you.” He said to him.
“You must have seen a lot of me here before, so you shouldn’t be.”
“Gun them down.” He hailed.
Daniel laughed and dipped his hand into his pocket, giving him some money. “This is The entrance, right?” He asked.
He collected the money and nodded. “Thank you very much, I appreciate.” He said. “You can go in, its the entrance.” He added.
“Thanks.” Daniel opened his car and brought out a big nylon and a medium sized cake and walked towards the door and knocked.
Debbie already knew he was around, but she knew Vanessa didn’t notice. The two of them were well dressed already, in the living room. “Get the door, Vanessa.” Debbie said to her as she stood up and was walking inside.
“Why me?” Vanessa argued.
“You are eager to see the person, aren’t you? I want you to see him first. At least you now know he is a male.” She laughed as she walked inside.
Vanessa got to the door and unlocked it. As she pressed down the handle and the door opened, she was shocked to see Temitope Daniel. He was also shocked to see her. Is she the one Debbie is saying? He thought within himself as he smiled. “Good evening.”
Vanessa was still in shock. She didn’t know what to do or say, she was just staring. She was wondering why she had been meeting him after her dream. The noise of the door that was closed inside broke the silence as she quickly looked back and saw that Debbie had gotten back to the living room. “Good evening.” She greeted as she turned back to Daniel. “Please come in.” She pulled the door.
The swirl of his loamy cologne had them swooning as he entered. “Hey, Debbie.” He grinned as he moved closer and greeted her.
“Welcome, Daniel. I’m honoured to have you here.” Debbie said.
Daniel shrugged. “It’s nothing.”
“Please sit.” Vanessa said.
“Are you not the celebrant?” Daniel asked.
“Sure, she is. Though, the birthday was yesterday.”Debbie replied.
“Really?”He stretched the cake and the nylon to her. Vanessa stretched her hands slowly, still wondering as she smiled and collected them.
Daniel sat down and rubbed his palms together. “I’m very happy to be here.” He said.
“I hope it didn’t take you too much stress to locate my place?” Debbie asked.
“I’m very surprised. Thank you very much, Daniel. I just don’t know what to say..” Debbie smiled as she glanced at him.
Daniel snickered. “Sit down too.” He said.
“That’s my hommie, Daniel. She’s Vanessa.” Debbie introduced.
Daniel stared at her for a moment. “Vanessa.” He called again. “We met yesterday but I couldn’t ask her for her name.” Daniel said.
“Really? She didn’t tell me.” Debbie faced her.
Vanessa shrugged. “I didn’t think it was necessary.” She said.
“You seem quiet.” Daniel said.
After you saw my anger yesterday, is he trying to pull my legs? Vanessa thought as she laughed.
“This girl is not quiet, Daniel. She’s a troublesome girl.” She said.
“The table is ready, can we go there?” Vanessa stood up, placing the cake and the nylon on the center table.
“You shouldn’t have bothered bringing this again, Daniel.” Debbie said to him.
He raised his shoulders. “Why won’t I? At least there’s a celebrant.”
Debbie smiled. “Let’s go to the dining.” She said.
The marched to the dining.
.. and the story continues..