Independent—Episode 11: Crossroads

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iNDEPENDENT

Kim

‘Something is wrong’.

That is the first thought I have when I open my eyes, right before blinding light enters and blinds my eyes. I look at the clock on the nightstand by the headboard; it’s 9:35am. It feels like I’ve been out for three months, instead of ten hours. I take two deep breaths that do nothing to calm me down, and then I sit up. My head feels like three freight trains are running through it, and I almost lay back down. Except; I am not in my bed, and I’m wearing yesterday’s clothes sans jacket and shoes.

It is at this point that I start to panic.

The panic lasts for all of two minutes, before I remember all the events leading to my being here. In Wale’s house. Or Lekan’s house. Now I feel a whole different type of panic, and it’s starting to paralyze me. Just before I slip into full blown paralysis, I hear someone singing from beyond the closed door. The voice sounds familiar enough, my brain is just too numb to figure it out right now. After about 30seconds of debating with myself, I decide to go and investigate.

I open the door and come face to face with Wale; naked except for a small towel tied around his waist. He has a toothbrush in his mouth, and he smiles as soon as he sees me. His body is so beautiful; it’s nearly impossible not to stare so I look anyways. Now I know how guys feel when they are trying not to stare at my chest area. He sees where my eyes are and smiles, but he says nothing.

“Feeling better?” he asks and I nod
“Good. Come brush your teeth, so you can eat something.” He says and leaves me standing by the door, whistling.

It’s as if his voice brings me to life, and I run into the bathroom. There’s a toothbrush and toothpaste on the sink, and since I’m way past the point of caring about my manners around either Wale or Lekan, I use it anyway.

Fifteen minutes later, I am fresh out of the shower, dressed, and ready to face the world again. I clear the bed as well as I can, considering its ridiculous size, and go out into where I suspect the living room is. Just as Wale promised, there is food on the table. I try not to let my glee show as I sit down opposite him, but my joy is cut short when Lekan walks in; sour faced and sits beside me.

 

Wale

I try not to let my irritation show as Lekan sits beside Kim and gives me a ‘so what’ look. It’s especially annoying that Kim is no longer smiling and relaxed like she was two minutes before. Now she looks tense and extremely self conscious; she doesn’t even know where to put her hands. I fill her plate with food and pass it to her, then fill mine and start eating.

“So” I start and the both of them look at me “What are we doing today?” I ask. Kimberly opens her mouth to answer, but Lekan beats her to the punch.
“First, we are taking Kim home.” He says with a note of finality
“No. I thought we’d go to the office first. She has to turn in some proposal to Vivian by 12, and its already almost 11am.” I say and Lekan grips his spoon tighter.

All the angst is unnecessary and annoying, and it makes me lose my appetite. It looks like Kim has lost hers too; I head towards the door but stop when I see that she isn’t following me.
“Kim, let’s go.” I say and she stands

“Sit” Lekan says and she sits, then stands back up immediately.

“You guys should stop ordering me around.” She mutters and leaves the table. She goes into the room she slept in and comes out with her jacket.
“I’m leaving.” She says shortly and walks past me towards the door.

Lekan is behind her in a flash. “Let me take you.” He says grabbing her hand. “No, I’ll take you.” I say and grab her second hand. Somewhere in my mind, I know I’m being childish but I don’t care.
“I asked her first” Lekan says tightly and I try not to slap him
“Well, I don’t care” I say “She is going with me.”
In a matter of seconds, we are both pulling her in opposite directions like little boys fighting for a toy. When she can’t take it anymore, she gives a blood curdling scream that very nearly gives me a heart attack. The scream is sharp enough to make the both of us freeze and release her.

“You’re both idiots.” She says and grabs the door knob.
“Wait!” Lekan starts reaching for her hand again, but thinks better of it and stops “You need to end this. You need to choose.”
“Huh?” she’s confused
“Choose now; between myself and Wale.” He says and she just stands there, staring at the both of us.

“Choose.” he says again and I watch her swallow as she looks between the both of us. My heart starts beating very fast and sweat is running down my back. I try not to show it, but in my mind I am praying to all the higher powers I know to make her pick me.

It’s as if the higher powers hear my prayer, because she points at me and smiles. I try not to smile at Lekan’s defeated stance, but I am very close. She does that come hither finger thing girls do and I almost kiss her right there. I start smiling at her, dreaming of our future together. Of course, I have to tell my father first, and then tell her who I am among other things.

“Seriously, hand it over.” she says shaking me out of my reverie
“Huh?” I ask and Lekan starts to smile
“My phone. Hand it over” she says and I realize that I have been making things up in my head for the past minute. I try not to let how embarrassed I am show and give the phone to her.

And then it strikes me that I prefer it if she makes a choice between myself and Lekan.
I wait for our eyes to meet before I utter my next words

“You need to choose between the both of us. Now.”

 

There is never just one choice in life. You always get two. Or three. Or more.

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