There he was. The man who had refused to call. The man who had made her feel ridiculously foolish and yet made her want to try again. Iphey was shocked to see him after so many weeks! She had to blink to be sure that this was not a trick her eyes were playing.
“Chinedu, what on earth are you doing here?”
As the words left Iphey’s lips, realisation hit her hard. MAMA! She had been right all along. The woman HAD been expecting someone else when Otunba appeared on the scene. She glanced back and the look of ultimate satisfaction on Mama’s face said it all. Right in the middle of this storm in Ngozi’s living room, Mama was grinning from ear to ear. The smile of a woman whose mission had been accomplished. Unbelievable. Iphey tried to caution herself from jumping to conclusions but Mama’s voice sealed her suspicions.
“Oh Chinedu. I have been expecting you! How are...”
“Wait, you were expecting him?” Iphey turned to her mother. She knew Mama was a match-maker but did not believe she would go that far. So all that delay asking for details about James was just to buy her some time so that Chinedu would meet her here? As Iphey extricated herself from the confused web of emotions that her mind had become, she realised Chinedu was explaining.
“Yes your mother called me here... she said she wanted me to come help her with something.”
"So you're not here to see me?"
“Yes...Erm...No... Your mother said...” Chinedu stuttered.
The funny thing about shock or stress is the disconnect between thought and speech. His words were as eloquent as those of a teenager asking for a first date. What Chinedu was thinking was, “How dare you? I am the one who should be demanding explanations here. YOU made up your mind without hearing my side!”
These thought flitted through his mind, yet, the exasperation he felt was far outweighed by something else he couldn’t explain. Like why he could not erase her from his thoughts like he did with his phone. She had a hold on him and he didn’t like it. He realized that she had also gripped his arm literally.
“If you would excuse us,” Iphey said to everyone. All eyes were fixed on them by now. “We need to talk,” she whispered to him.
Chinedu was as surprised to see Iphey as she was. He did not know her mother was playing one of her tricks again! The woman had called him earlier to come and help her out with “something”. She said it was an emergency and something she could not talk about on the phone. God he had so NOT planned on seeing Iphey! It was the middle of the afternoon and she was supposed to be at work. Now all the emotions that had seemingly been buried were rising from nowhere. His thoughts were paused by the sound of her voice... he had almost forgotten what listening to her was like.
“I’m talking to you Chinedu! Did you know I'll be here when you agreed to Mama's request to come?”
He pretended nonchalance. “I came to see your mother; I honestly did not plan on seeing you.”
Her next words came out of nowhere. “That’s not even the issue! How dare you ignore me since? After that episode with Bisi, you did not even think of calling me to explain. You completely blanked me and acted like we shared nothing.... like I did not mean anything to you! How could you let me go? Why?”
First, it was his past. Now she wanted an explanation for Bisi. Iphey wasn’t even his woman so why was she angry at all? How could she be so worked up when they were not even together? He wanted to tell her he was sick of her excuses. Instead, Chiendu remained calm...
“They say if you love something you should let it go and if it comes back then its meant for you.”
Iphey hissed, “Oh don’t give me that! You did not even act like you were hoping I’d come back! Aisha said you never brought up the subject after that day.”
“I was giving you space, you needed to sort out your feelings.”
“I don't blame you." Iphey rolled her eyes. "Am I not the one that drove all the way to your house to tell you how I really felt but you happened to be with SOMEONE ELSE?”
At her rankled tone, he began getting worked up too. “Iphey, I’m trying to be as civil as possible but you are not making it easy! For Pete’s sake I’m the one meant to be pissed here. I do not deserve this interrogatory process that’s going on here! In fact, I did not deserve the show you put up that night. YOU came to my house and I had a visitor, SO WHAT? YOU chose to walk out without giving me a chance and YOU chose not to pick the calls I made to you that night!”
Iphey piped down quickly. He was saying the obvious. And after her confrontation with Bisi earlier, she knew what she had to do. “OK OK... I’m sorry,” Iphey said. “I really did not mean to raise my voice.”
“Is that all you're sorry for?" Chinedu snarled. After putting him through all that heartache? Making him wonder if he had done anything wrong? Not trusting him? Ruining his relationship with his workers because he had been terribly grumpy since then? And she was just sorry for raised voices?
“I’m sorry for everything! I should have trusted you! Something else happened that night with my family but still I shouldn't have flown off the handle so easily. I’m truly sorry.”
Chinedu felt peace flood his heart. He wanted to hug her. He smiled and moved closer. Just then her phone beeped.
Iphey quickly read the message from Jane.
“Oh no! I’m so sorry, I have to run to work now. I'm late and my boss will fire me if I’m not there this minute! Can you call me later so we can make plans and sort this thing out?”
Chinedu stepped back. With a heavy sigh he said, “Sure I will. What’s your number again?”
Iphey fumbled in her handbag for her car keys. “What?”
“I don’t have your details any more. I deleted them...”
“YOU DID WHAT?!”
LOL...and they're already fighting again. I was like why did he go and tell her!
Well, in the end, I found a way to present it. The story is in two parts so there'll be no vote today. In this first one we start with "The confrontation" between Chinedu and Iphey from La-pimpette. Since F, the other person who submitted also started from where they met at the door, there are some clips of hers here too. But check back on Monday for her main story, "The Reconciliation". You really don't want to miss that.
So who is La-Pimpette? She is the blogger behing STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART. In her latest post she talks about the Nigerian way of raising children: "Some people had it good, while others had it so bad and this got me worried. Before this time, I'd say the reason why most Nigerian kids turn out right was because their parents flogged them into shape, thought them respect, proper home training, and all the 'goods' that come along with being Nigerian. But now I feel like the respect and fear is replacing what is actually more important- a relationship with the children. Some people respect and fear their parents but do not love or even know what it means to love them. Why will I be calling my father sir? I'm not saying there should be no ass whooping but it doesn't have to be everyday! Sometimes we really do deserve it, other times, no!"