Damiloju had to excuse himself at that point, Brino was close to asking a question on a subject he was not ready to touch, a subject he had not been able to touch for the past 6 years.
“It’s like you don’t go out much, at least not as much as you used to when these people were close to you” she asked as Femi left after greeting them. He and Femi had known each other since secondary school, they’d been in the same class for 2 consecutive years and were pretty close, of course Damiloju had gradually cut off every one from his life after the unfortunate incident, but that didn’t stop Femi and the others from coming over to greet him. Some people were excited as they approached him, some approached him warily, but they were all mostly shocked to see him at a social gathering.
“Not really” he answered her.
“Why? Because it seems like you were very dedicated to all this once upon a time” she continued.
“Life happened” he gave his answer in a tone which he hoped she’d realise he didn’t want to talk about it anymore.
Now he had to excuse himself, knowing Brino she might just bring up another question concerning the subject whether knowingly or unknowingly.
After excusing himself and leaving Brino’s side he went on to look for his mother.
“Oh my god, Damiloju! You have got to be kidding me!” Jessica all but exclaimed and he couldn’t help himself from smiling at his childhood friend as she pulled him into a hug.
“Jessie how are you?” he asked.
“I’m fine o! Dami, that’s how you just abandoned us. You just dumped all your friends and cut yourself off from every thing” she said tilting her head upwards in a sad face.
His face fell also, his smile evaporated and he hardened his eyes. He didn’t reply.
Jessica sighed “At least you came to this event. That’s a sure sign that you’re putting the past behind you”
Damiloju nodded thoughtfully “Maybe”
“So tell me, how have you been? Did you eventually get that Law degree?” Jessica said holding his arm.
“Yes” he nodded “I was called to bar a year ago. What of you? Are you still into that… er…”
“I’m into management and consulting now” Jessica filled in for him “Where are you going?” she had to ask as Damiloju made his way around the restaurant with her
“I’m looking for my mum” he said.
“Aww, you’re still a momma ‘s boy” Jessica said playfully hitting his arm while he shrugged to her statement “Come, I think I saw her a while back sha”
The pair didn’t go far, as his mother came into view a distance away from them, she stood elegant in a simple purple dinner gown as she engaged in conversation with some other women her age.
“Thank you” Damiloju nodded to Jessica, when they got to the women he greeted them all and engaged in the necessary niceties before seeking audience with his mother, Jessica excused herself at that moment also.
“You came” his mother said, beaming as she hugged him; he nodded his head also.
“Helen” Mrs Eweka said from behind them to his mother “oh, you’re busy”
“Never mind, what’s the matter?” Damiloju’s mother replied.
“No Helen, I’ll meet you later, talk to your son” Mrs Eweka nodded her head at Damiloju and was about to leave before asking “where’s your date? That girl”
Damiloju bit back a small smile at the way Mrs Eweka said girl, as if it was a nasty word “oh she’s somewhere here, I left her a while back”
“I don’t know, but it’s like I’ve seen that girl before, somewhere” Damiloju shrugged “her face. Her face just seems so … striking, so familiar. Let me excuse you both now” Mrs Eweka finally said, realising she was about to start rambling.
“So how’s your girlfriend?” Helen asked her son “why isn’t she with you?”
“She’s okay” Dami replied with a shrug.
“Come to think of it, I saw this girl from your secondary school tonight”
“Who?” Damiloju asked, uninterested.
“That Dare’s girlfriend” his mom said trying to remember her name as she put her palm to her head.
“Vwaire?” Dami asked, suddenly very interested in what his mother had to say.
“Yes that’s her name”
“But what’s she doing here?” the nervousness he was feeling seeped into his tone.
“She said that the groom is her family friend or something, you should see her all grown up now. Come to think of it, she looks so much like your girlfriend; the resemblance is very striking, they could easily pass off for one another you know?”
“Hmmn” was all he had to say
“Yes, do you know? Maybe they could be related o!”
“Maybe” Dami said, thoroughly distracted at this point “Mum you know what? I’m quite tired. I think I should be on my way home now” he bent in and gave his mother a quick peck after which she hugged him and he took off.
He had to find Brino and keep her away from Vwaire, the both of them could not meet. He got back to the place where he’d left her, Brino was no where in sight, he placed his hand on his forehead and gently began to massage his temple, where could she be? He turned around, hoping to find her among the throng of people within the building. Could she have gone outside? Was she trying to escape again? He’d already threatened to show her pepper if she dare escape, she didn’t have many places to go and he could easily find her in all of them.
He decided to venture out of the restaurant nevertheless.
“No! Don’t go!” he heard her voice before he could process anything else.
He was already outside the restaurant. She stood facing the road with her back to him as she gestured towards a silver Toyota Venza that was nearly out of their line of sight as it sped off into the night.
She stamped her foot in frustration as she groaned before turning around, she was dressed in a off-shoulder silver floor-lenght gown which did wonders for her figure, her hair was looking a little dishevelled as a lone tear of frustration rolled down her cheek, bringing her mascara along with it in a colour black down her face. She promptly froze when she saw him.
Vwaire stepped out of the restroom and began looking for her friend. Where was Tinuade for goodness sake? It was high time they went home and her aunt was very strict and hated her coming home late. She walked about the restaurant looking for her friend
“Have you seen Tinuade?” she asked the first familiar face she saw.
“Yes, see her there at the entrance” the person replied and pointed.
“Thank you” she quickly replied and started going after the lady in the green gown who was currently holding someone by the arm and they were going to be out of her line of sight in a matter of seconds.
By the time she made it outside, Tinuade and whoever was with her had made off in her car, she was too late to stop them and could only watch in frustration as the taillights blazed into the night.
“No! Don’t go!” she cried out with her hands outstretched. She was tired and frustrated and Tinuade had gotten into her car with only God knows who and had left her stranded. She stamped her foot against the ground as violently as she could in those accursed heels as she tried to let go of her emotions, she had to get inside and think of another way to get home she turned back to the restaurant and froze on the spot. Damiloju Rotimi-Savage was standing right before her; talk about blast from the past.
“What are you doing here? I thought I told you I never wanted to see you again in my life?” she questioned.
“Vwaire, it’s been 6 years now” he began.
“Shut up!” she screamed “I can’t handle this right now” she said to herself “I need to get home”
An hour later, Vwaire was seated at the back of a taxi cab, as it navigated it’s way around Yaba to where her house was located.
“Number 19 abi?” the taxi driver said breaking her out of her thoughts, she looked around they were already on her street.
“Yes” she answered the driver. They were at her house in a matter of seconds, Vwaire paid the cabbie, stepped out and began pounding the gate.
Gbam. Gbam. Gbam.
“Who dey for there?” the gateman called out from within
“Come on, open this gate before I change my mind” Vwaire yelled.
“Madam Vwaire, na you be that?” the gateman inquired.
“Who else will it be. Open the gate jo!”
The gate was opened just then and Vwaire stormed into the compound.
“Tinuade what the hell?” Vwaire said as she threw the door open, Tinuade had apparently stepped into the house a few moments ago as she was still dressed in her party clothes and was being grilled by Aunty Juliana.
“Vwaire?” Tinuade beheld her eyes wide with shock.
“Who else would it be? Why did you leave me stranded at the party?”
“I swear, I didn’t know it wasn’t you and she has been saying it since, I didn’t understand”
“What rubbish are you saying?”
“Vwaire calm down” Aunty Juliana said causing Vwaire to take her eyes off Tinuade
“Mama, how do you expect me to calm down? Tinuade took my car away and left me stranded at a party, at night. How am I supposed to be calm?”
Aunty Juliana stepped up to where her niece stood and put her hands on her shoulder.
“Sweetheart calm down, Tinuade did not know that she left you stranded”
“Mama, what are you saying? Stop justifying her wrongdoings” Vwaire began.
“Vwaire!” Aunty Juliana said shaking her.
“Look” Aunty Juliana said and spun her niece around to see the third person in the room.
Vwaire’s mouth hung open in shock.
Phew, this is the longest post I’ve ever had to type. I can’t believe it’s Thursday already, I’ve been working on this post all day!
So I decided to change the Point Of View (POV) just this once and make you guys see how the evening went for some other key characters. If you’re confused wait till the next post. So sorry for leaving you guys hanging.
EXP #1 will be posted next Thursday.
My next post will be tomorrow.