Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Second Chance - Chapter Twelve

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction
that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather,
 loved in spite of ourselves.”
––Victor Hugo

One week after meeting Aisha for the first time, Bisola became fond of the girl and having her around was surprisingly more fun than she would like to admit. They laughed together while watching TV, and cried together whenever Aisha reminded herself that her laughter was artificial after all since she would one day have to accept that she was dead.

While in public, Bisola had to be extra careful with people whenever Aisha was around her. She sometimes caught herself talking to herself... or so they thought. People looked at her strange as if she belonged to a psych ward. It happened again today when she went grocery shopping. She’d told Aisha to sit this one out but the girl had a thing for not staying in one place. Her big butt was always up and about. She’d followed Bisola claiming that shopping was on the list of things she’ll never get to do again now that she was no longer living. The best thing bisola could for her was allow her tag along to do some window shopping and criticizing.

Bisola had bought into her explanation and allowed the girl come with her but she soon realized when they got to the supermarket that a big butt wasn’t the only thing Aisha had––she had a big mouth too.

Bisola had picked her favorite cereal and was about dumping it in her basket when she heard a cough that sounded more like someone had something to say behind her.

“I don’t do frosted’s too sweet. Let’s get this one instead.” Aisha complained, collecting the box of cereal with Bisola, she then replaced it with plain old corn flakes.

“I seeee… but I wasn’t asking for your opinion.” Bisola stated in a voice that sounded all too calm and just in time for the sales clerk to walk pass her. He stopped on his tracks and came to Bisola’s aid. “Madam, do you need help with anything? I thought I heard you talking to me… or someone…” he looked around to see if there was someone familiar to Bisola that she perhaps was talking too.

Aisha stepped in front of the sales clerk and asked, picking up another box of corn flakes, “Please do you guys have the family size of this one? The bigger one?”

“The bigger one for what? Who’s going to eat it?”

“Madam?” the clerk shot a confusing smile her way.

“No, we’re fine…I’m fine.” She quickly added but the sales clerk thought otherwise.

“Madam, this is my job. If you don’t find the things you came here for just alert me and I’ll go check in our supply room. We have other brands of cereal inside…”

“Mmmhmm.” Bisola replied, shaking her head. She couldn't blame the overly enthusiactic worker for wanting to do his job. “This is all I’m getting.”

An hour later, both ladies were sitting in the living room with two boxes of cereal in front of them. One extra surgery...the other almost plain without sugar.

“You’re so old school, nobody eats that anymore.” Bisola said, pouring some of her crunchy flakes into a bowl.

“You’re right… nobody does since the one person who used to is no longer living…” Aisha shot back in a depressing tone that halted Bisola’s movement.

“Oh no, I didn’t mean it like that.” She settled the box back on the table and stared at Aisha pitifully.

“I know you didn’t but I can’t help it. I think I’m making things worse for myself honestly, doing the things I used to do before and pretending as if I’m okay. I should be with Philip right now,” she smiled even though she really wanted to cry. “I should be eating with him right now, but ever since that last time…” she shook her head. “I haven’t been able to go back there. It’s just so painful to see him and he not being able to do the same…it’s the saddest feeling in the world, you wouldn’t understand.” She finished with a sniffle to suppress the soreness in her throat because she’d refused to cry out. It took very little reminder of her current predicament for Aisha to feel depressed again. She missed her boyfriend who she hadn’t seen in a week and who probably didn’t even know that she was dead. “He must be worried sick by now.”

“I’m sure he is.” Bisola added, not really sure how to comfort a ghost who she could only see but not touch.

“You wanna know the worse part about this whole thing?”

Bisola nodded. “He doesn’t even know anything about me except that he loves me. We were dating for six months and he stopped asking for personal information about me like my childhood, parents and all that after the first month because I wasn’t giving him anything…its crazy how I can remember this but I don’t exactly remember why I didn’t want to tell him about myself or what was so bad about my past and present that I didn’t want him knowing. This is all just so messed up.” She sighed helplessly.

“You said we would start to figure things out but all we’ve been doing is eating cereal and doing nothing.” She pushed the box of cereal aside in annoyance and stood up.

“If you can’t remember anything then we don’t know where to start and if we don’t know where to that…where do we start from then?” Bisola asked just in time for her door bell to sound, followed by a loud bang.

She prepared herself. If it was Tunde again, she was going to have to stand her grounds this time and not allow him push her around like he’d done the last time he came. She’d turned off her cellphone since that afternoon because he wouldn’t stop calling her. She’d even thought he would come back sooner than now.

She asked Aisha to go upstairs because she needed to deal with Tunde personally without any interference–– especially not from someone who couldn’t help her in this instance. Aisha didn’t fight her request although she was worried. She was gone before Bisola could even shake the fear out of her shaky hands.

She opened the door, hoping to see her old boyfriend/new enemy but Sandra barged in instead. Bisola let out gushes of air of relief and locked her door.

“I’ve been feeling guilty about something and I came to get it off my mind. I sent Tunde to the restaurant the other day.”

“Wait, wait…slow down.” Bisola joined her friend who hadn’t seen in a week and neither had Sandra said a word of greeting to her before jumping into an apology...she wasn’t sure why one was needed.

“I was the one who told him where you were…”

Her mouth formed an oh when her friend dropped that bit of information…a faint smile followed.

“He met me on my way to join you guys that day. I thought since you weren’t picking up my calls that something bad must have happened to you…God, I’m so sorry Bisola. I thought you knew and that you were mad at me. It’ll never happen again.” She reached for Bisola’s hand but her friend drew back.

“No, it won’t, because I won’t be seeing neither Tunde nor Travis again.”

“You guys broke up over that? Now I feel really bad…It’s all my fault, maybe I can explain things to him and he’ll take you back?”

First of all, Bisola had no idea why her best friend thought that Tunde broke up with her and not the other way around. She really wanted to sit Sandra down and give her the full details from A to Z about her life with Tunde and the recent addition that she still haven’t been able to wrap her head around. It was true that Tunde gave her a nice house to live in and he was the one sponsoring her education, but he didn’t own her–– that was what she needed her friends to see.

“I broke up with him and I would do it again but let’s hope I never have to go through that again.” She added, remembering the full detail of what happeend the last time Tunde was with her his hands on her neck as he blocked air from entering her lungs. She shivered and took a seat on a long couch. Sandra joined her.

“Why…why would you do that…are you crazy or something?” Sandra stuttered. “Why would you do that? Do I need to remind you about where you were before you––before we met Tunde and what that guy have done for you? He practically picked you up from the gutter and gave you this,” she wiggled one of her finders in a circular motion around Bisola’s living room to emphasize the luxury that’s now Bisola’s.

“Gimme his number, I’ll call him for you…biko, what is this naw? I can’t just sit here and watch you throw away the best thing you will ever have. If I had a guy like Tunde,” she explained, “I wouldn’t play game with him like you seem to be doing now.”

Bisola really wanted to tell her friend to go ahead and have Tunde for herself; however she would never wish upon another girl the life that being with Tunde really entailed behind the luxury. 

“So you’re not going to say anything, you’re not going to do anything either? Okay ooo… I’ll carry myself and my big mouth to my father’s house. Call me when you’re back to your senses.”

Before she left, she turned and asked the question she’d really wanted to ask since hearing the news of the unexpected breakup.

“I hope you’re not doing this because of Travis?”

“And what if I am? Wouldn’t be a bad idea abi? Travis doesn't seem that bad now that I think of it... Hmmm...”

Her friend painfully giggled before turning around to leave.

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