So pleased to present a brand new piece by Nigeria’s flash fiction queen, Tolulope Popoola. She packs so much drama and delicious literary goodness into 800 words. Enjoy!
Twelve years was a long time.
I was dreading the evening, as I left my house and drove to Eniola’s place to pick her up for our secondary school reunion. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing some old faces again, two especially; my ex-boyfriend and a girl who had been my tormentor. But Eniola, one of the few classmates I’d kept in touch with, had persuaded me that it would be fun. I suspected that for her, it was a chance to temporarily escape her current status as mother to nine-month old twin daughters. She was looking forward to an occasion to dress up and leave the house without the babies in tow.
She was giving instructions to her husband when I arrived.
“Please make sure the bottles are sterilised, before you use them… and make sure you try and get them to sleep in an hour…”
“It’s alright Eniola.” Tunde said. “I have looked after them before you know. Spotting me at the door, he smiled and waved.
“Hi Bisi. Take this woman out, and make sure you girls have a good time.”
“Thanks Tunde,” I said and waved back. I pulled Eniola towards the car. “Come on, let’s get this over with.”
“How do I look?” she asked.
I appraised her hair, make up and outfit. “You look just fabulous, not at all like a new mummy.”
“Thanks,” she said as she settled herself into the car. “You look delicious as usual.”
I had made an extra effort, I thought to myself as I pulled out. I was hoping to run into someone; an old crush; and I wanted him to take special notice of me this evening.
As if she read my thoughts, Eniola asked, “Did you know Muyiwa said he’s coming? He asked of you the last time I spoke to him.”
“He did? When did you see him?”
“Oh I’ve bumped into him a few times in the past year,” Eniola said. “He did some consulting work for my firm, and sometimes we went out for a few drinks.”
My ears seemed to grow hot when I heard this. So Eniola… “You were seeing him often?”
“I thought I’d told you before. Don’t worry, it was nothing.” She continued. “I know how you feel about him.”
I took a deep breath and nodded.
“What exactly did he say about me?”
“He asked how you were doing, and if you’re seeing anyone.”
My heart skipped a beat.
“Wow, and you didn’t tell me this since.”
“Hey my dear, with pregnancy and having babies, you tend to forget a lot of things.” Eniola said, chuckling. “Come on, if you see him tonight, it will be a good opportunity for you guys to actually talk to each other.”
She was right, I admitted. It probably just slipped her mind, and she didn’t mean to hide anything.
We soon arrived at the hotel for our reunion. I drove through the impressive grounds, well-manicured hedges and towards the car park to find a parking space. Several people were already here. I could see some familiar faces walking towards the grand entrance. And there he was. Muyiwa was alighting from his car. He saw me and smiled. I bit my lip. Eniola must have spotted him too, and seen my reaction.
“Take it easy darling. I see you’re getting jittery already.”
“No I’m not!”
“Listen, there’s something you should know, just in case you decide to get serious with Muyiwa.”
Something in her tone made me pause and pay attention.
“He’s the biological father of my babies.”
Image credit goes to boxingkitten.com where you can find amazing designs with Ankara fabric.