CupidsRisk, Episode 15

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21: Number deleted… by Myne

Over the years in his life, Chinedu had learnt one policy. He never pursued something he couldn’t let go of whenever the moment demanded it. So now he scrolled to Iphey’s name and chose the option to delete. He hesitated, and then he pressed on the button. The phone asked him if he was sure he wanted to delete that contact and all their details. He closed his eyes and…
The ring tone to his phone startled him and had his eyes flying open to the phone in his hands. Chinedu glanced quickly at the screen, his heart beginning to race once again. It was Habib’s new number.
“Hello?” His tone was dull.
“Hey Nedu, what’s up my guy?”
“I’m at home, where else do you expect?”
“Dude!” Habib’s voice was surprised.                           “What’s the deal? Wetin I do you?” Chinedu forced himself to laugh.                                                                 “Sorry dude, na just some wahala with Iphey.”
“You and this Iphey babe. It’s nearly three months since you start to chase that girl.” Habib laughed, “always one palava after the other. You go out today, tomorrow you’re not talking. If it’s not your past, it’s her boss. What is it this time?”
Chinedu laughed at himself and the situation. It really was funny. The truth was that he’d had relationships – if he could call them that – that lasted less than three months. This thing he had with Iphey had just been messing with his head.

He determined to delete the number immediately after this and he would tell Aisha it was over if she ever asked.
“Let’s not talk about it, I think I’m done.” Chinedu sank down on the sofa behind him and leaned back against it. “What did you call to tell me?”
Habib paused for some seconds, “Are you sure, dude? I can talk if you want.” “No no…it’s fine. I don make my decision.”
“OK…” His friend drawled and Chinedu visualized him rolling his shoulders in his typical shrug before he continued. “Did I mention I am now embedded in your old area?”
“What are you doing in Ajegunle?!” Chinedu sprang up from the sofa as though burnt. That part of Lagos did not have very good memories for him. His parents had moved away more than ten years ago and he had not been back there since. He missed some of his old friends but the thought of the people he’d pissed off kept him firmly away.
“Relax dude, I’m not asking you to come down here.” Habib chuckled. “It’s part of the job I told you about and nobody knows of the connection between us.”
Chinedu breathed easier. Habib was his closest friend and know more of his past than any other person. He also reminded himself that Habib was a trained operative of the EFCC and could take care of himself. Still he couldn’t shake the dark sensation that crawled over his skin.
“I thought you said it was Mushin?” he murmured. “Anyway, promise me you’ll be careful.”
“Of course I will dude.” Habib laughed. “I’m not so sure about this new guy I’ll be working with sha…”
“You got a partner?”
“No, I just met this guy. He was introduced as my neighbor and it turns out he knows some people I’m working on. Some illegal gambling and loan networks on the Island. This is sure going to be interesting.”
“Habib, I know you live for such thrills but believe me, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of those kind of people.”
Habib laughed. “I know and that’s why I called you. I want you to be more careful now so you can remain in the loop. The information you continue to give us is very useful. And keep an eye on Aisha for me OK? “
“No problem. She actually called tonight to complain to me about you.”
“Well dude, call her more often because I don’t want her number on this new phone in case it falls in the wrong hands.”
Chinedu sighed, “I will sure breathe easier when you guys complete this job successfully.”
“With this new dude, his name is James, it might take less than the expected six weeks.”

“Keep me posted, and be safe.”
“Roger, will do. Over and out.” Habib hung up his end.
Chinedu shook his head as he pressed the exit call button. Habib will play cops and robbers even on his deathbed. He looked at his screen and it had gone back to delete number. He pressed yes.

22: What the doctor ordered…by Rene

Iphey opened the fridge and stared into it like it was a strange being. Finally she reached for a bottle of water. As she poured it into a glass, she looked at the clock. The time was4:32am….strange! She’d never woken up this early before. Well at least for once she was following her doctor‟s orders.
“You should drink a cup of water when you wake up every morning…”
She smiled as she remembered the way he’d said it and then was brought back to her dreams. They were strange and she couldn‟t understand them. She’d never been one to put much stock by dreams but these ones were beginning to freak her out. The latest one felt all fuzzy as she tried to remember the details.
For the past few nights she‟d been having the same dream but each day it got longer. A guy was in it, he’d stood at a distance and beckoned her to come closer. She had refused outright the first night. The second night he’d come closer, and even more the third night. Yesterday, something had obstructed them and they couldn‟t reach each other no matter how much they tried. Today would make it the fifth night, and this time he’d spoken. He’d whispered her name.
Unlike the other times, she just couldn’t go back to sleep when she woke up after the dream, no matter how hard she tried. She’d kept tossing and turning until she finally gave up and here she was on her sofa trying to decipher these strange dreams. Who could be the man in the dreams, it couldn’t be Chinedu or could it? He had not tried calling her since that night; maybe he tried when she’d switched off her phone and then given up.
That night, she’d driven home trying not to think of what she had seen. He’d sounded so guilty,”Iphey I can explain…” Explain what? She’d thought over and over again. It was too late for a business meeting so she knew Bisi was not at his house with regard to the accounts they‟ve been trying to get his people to open at their bank.

It could not be that Bisi was out to sabotage Nedu and her. She‟d been encouraging right from the first time they discussed him. She tried to understand what had happened that night again, Bisi’s attitude to her, the guilty look on his face. It just didn’t add up. And to think she’d driven over there to declare her willingness to fully commit to the relationship. Iphey shook her head and hissed. She’d expected him to call the next day but it hadn’t happened. More than a week later, no calls, no messages, nothing!
The sound of her ringtone brought her back…5:27am…who could be calling this early on a Saturday morning? She looked at the phone, no caller ID, strange! She decided to pick it up, she was tired of hearing herself think, and anybody‟s voice would help her right now.

“Hello, who‟s this…speaking…? Are you kidding me…I cannot believe this, you called me, so you still remember me….WOW!…when?……are you serious?….” After almost an hour on the phone, she finally said bye, but not without a number. She quickly added the number to her contact and added the PIN on her blackberry messenger. She was still learning how to use the phone; she’d got it at her most recent session of retail therapy two days ago, not that it had helped her.  Feeling really pumped, she called Aisha.

“You‟ll never believe who just called me…Oh! I‟m so sorry, I forgot it was so early. I shouldn’t have called…anyways, guess who called me…no…no…no…I‟ll tell you when you come later today…I‟ll make breakfast…no I won‟t tell you, not until you come…just go back to sleep…my fault! Sorry for disturbing you and TJ…yeah! Yeah! Bye…I said bye….when you come I‟ll tell you.”
8:53 AM
“Girl you‟re fast o…you like gist too much shaaa! I didn’t think you would show till like 9-10…”
“You offered me the perfect combination…gist and food…how could I waste time on that? I discharged TJ with cereals and here I am.” Aisha flopped down on the settee.
“I never shower and food never ready finish…shey you fit help me look after am? Make I go brush.”
9:15 AM
“You remember that time in school when I had this mad crush on Dapo? The one with the fine janded sister that all the guys were trying to get with…I mean Dapo Smith.”
“Don‟t tell me you woke me up, made me rush to your place, all for one stale gist. The guy dumped you after chasing you madly for two months. He left for the States and didn‟t even tell you and that was what? Two, three years ago?”
“I know…I know…”

“So where’s the gist?”
“His sister called and I spoke to him…he’s coming back this month and he wants to meet…can you imagine?”
Iphey launched into full details. Aisha asked her what she was doing awake when she got the call and Iphey told her about the dreams. But with the excitement of hearing from Dapo after all these years, the conversation moved back to him, to their school adventures and flings.

Aisha made a note of not asking or reminding her about Chinedu, knowing that Iphey would talk in her own time. Maybe the distraction of an old flame was just what the doctor ordered for Iphey. The dreams showed she’d been fretting about the situation with Chinedu. The day after the botched trip, Aisha had pressed Iphey for details but her friend’s reaction had cut the discussion short.
Aisha had seen Chinedu earlier this week and he too hadn‟t said anything about it, it was like that night never happened but it had been less than a week! She knew Iphey really liked Chinedu and he felt the same. She considered herself their fairy godmother and would make sure they gave this a real try. Maybe with Dapo coming back, she would find a way of telling Chinedu about his competition. Nothing like jealousy to make the sparks fly.
Hmm…April wasn‟t so far again!

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