“Babe no nah, he is dating someone!” Dalia exclaimed, eyes wide open looking at Kerri.
“I have not said anything Dee”.
“Your body says it all, wait when did all this one start sef?”
“Dee, it’s just a harmless crush and nothing more, please let us go and pick this top already” Kerri said as she heads over to the bedroom.
Dalia trailed behind Kerri as they made their way to her room. Dalia had a deep understanding of her friend's tendencies - Kerri had a habit of developing crushes on just about anyone she crossed paths with, and it had become a problem. Dalia cherished their friendship, but she believed that what Kerri truly needed was therapy, rather than a string of relationships. Ever since the passing of Kerri's parents, it seemed that she had channelled all her energy into seeking attention from the opposite sex. During the initial stages of this new behavior, Dalia and their group of friends had tried addressing the issue with Kerri. Unfortunately, their efforts only resulted in Kerri getting angry and storming off. As a result, they had chosen to give her space. But now, with her brother, Dalia felt compelled to address the situation once again.
“K, I take God beg you, this is my brother you’re crushing on, I know this your crush is not harmless, he is in a relationship and last I checked you just started something with what is his name? George?”
“Babe, no worries, it’s just a harmless crush”, Kerri replied as she searched through the closet.
Dalia’s phone rang out while she contemplated pushing the discussion or dropping it. It was Emeka.
"Hello... Yes... Okay... Oh, okay. Would you like to check the schedule and see what's playing? Alright... Let me know, okay? Alright, bye." She dropped her phone onto the bed and turned to Kerri. "Well, our ride into town just turned into a movie night. I guess wearing shorts won't be appropriate after all."
"Movies? Nice! You should wear that black and white bodycon dress," Kerri suggested, pulling out the dress.
The last time Dalia wore it on a date, her companion had been very taken with her, almost overpowering her. When she had pulled away from their breathless embrace in his car, he accused her of teasing him, saying, "You can't wear a dress that drives a man crazy and plays with his imagination then act like this. You're being a tease."
"This dress”? The one that made Desmond almost lose control in his car?" Dalia snatched the dress from Kerri and put it back in the closet.
“Yeah, you're right. Too soon," Kerri agreed, returning to the closet to continue searching. “By the way, do you really think Ese is doing the right thing? I have heard of this thing on the internet where the husbands beat their wives and all that, does it not seem like Ese is about to enter the same situation?”
“Yh, I don’t like it either but like Ada said we should show our support where she needs it, if we don’t want her shutting down in case she really needs us” Dalia answered lying back on the bed.
“I get you, I still feel somehow about it”, Kerri pulled out a Marciano long sleeve top and placed it against her body “how about this? With jeans and heels”.
“Doesn’t the top seem a bit serious? This is what I wear to the office” Dalia stood up from the bed to collect the top.
“With jeans it won’t look as official, and it will hug your shape”, Kerri smiled with pride “Oya go and change into this”. She shoved the top at Dalia and pushed her towards the bathroom.
“Fine!” Dalia said holding the top against her chest, then paused at the bathroom entrance “babe, I mean it, about my brother, leave him out of your sexcapade”. She warned gently not to hurt her friend but also to get her message across.
“I heard you, your precious brother is safe” Kerri replied sarcastically, lying down on the bed.
As she lay on the bed, she couldn't deny to herself that Dalia's words had hurt her. It also saddened her to think that her friend group viewed her as going through her “ho phase”, even though they still loved her. Her heart had been captured by Nnamdi ever since they met during their Youth Service. His frequent check-ins, especially after her parents' passing, only deepened her feelings for him. Summoning all her courage, she had confessed her love to him during the passing out parade. However, he had turned her down, claiming it was out of pity and because she was his sister's friend. She had gracefully accepted his rejection, but everything changed when she encountered him at the club last year. Blaming alcohol as their excuse, they ended up spending the night together, but since then he had been avoiding her. She knew she could never reveal that night to her friends, whatever the circumstance.
Kerri’s thoughts were interrupted by Dalia’s ringing phone.
“Babe, your phone”, as she took the phone to the bathroom door.
“Probably Emeka” Dalia stepped out in the top with no bottoms as she collected the phone “yh, he’s the one”.
“Hey” She answered into the phone “Okay…. Works for me too…. 7? Ok… you still remember my house address right?....true, I have sent it before, Ok I’ll see you soon”
“K!” She called from the room into the sitting room “come and help me nah”.
After Kerri left, she received a text from Emeka informing her that he had arrived at her place. She quickly reapplied her perfume and checked herself in the mirror before hurrying out the door and locking it behind her. As soon as she stepped outside her gate, she waved at him. He drove towards her and got out of the car to hug her, then went around to the passenger side to open the door for her.
Despite feeling overjoyed inside, she maintained a calm smile as she walked past him and got into the car. "Thank you," she said graciously.
"Nice fragrance and you look really lovely" he commented, his expression straight, before closing the car door behind her and making his way across to the driver's seat.
In her mind, she sent a little prayer: "A man that is not stingy with his compliments? Dear Lord, hold me tight tonight. The night is looking quite exciting."
They drove in silence, occasionally stealing glances and offering smiles. The only sound in the car was the radio. Sensing the tension, Dee urged herself to engage in small talk.
"So, how was your meeting? Everything go well?" she asked, breaking the silence.
“Yes, actually. It went quite smoothly," he replied with a hint of gratitude. Wanting to reciprocate the conversation, he asked, "And how was brunch with your friends?"
After a brief pause, she hesitantly responded, "It went well... and actually, one of my friends announced they're getting married." She caught herself before sharing too much and nervously pressed her lips together.
"Oh, really? That's wonderful! You and your friends must be really excited," he said, trying to ease the tension.
"I suppose you could say that. It's definitely going to be an eventful time," she replied.
They arrived at the cinema twenty minutes before their movie was scheduled to start. Although she knew they were about to watch a romance film, she already had a romantic story playing out in her mind. As he purchased their movie snacks and guided them towards the screening room, she subtly leaned into his embrace in order to catch a whiff of his captivating scent. She couldn't help but be amazed by how intoxicating he smelled.
He smells so good!
Featured image: Cover image - IG @peniel_enchill