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Saving Dapo XI

 

Read previous episodes here.

 

SAVING DAPO - Masthead 11

 

 

She couldn’t help the smile that appeared on her face as she saw him.

 

 

 

He stood at the gate; the back-and-forth movement of his head as he scanned the cooking women the only indication he was looking for something. Or someone.

 

 

She remained unmoving for some minutes, taking in his appearance. He knew how to wear clothes and even though he was casual – blue t-shirt and brown shorts with his small feet tucked into leather slippers, he looked nice.

 

 

She; feeling somewhat self-conscious in her scandalously short jean shorts and working blouse tied leaving her midriff bare slowly stood up and washed her hands of the onion she was peeling. And then, patting her net-covered head, made her way towards Dapo wishing she could wipe the smell of smoke away from her body.

 

 

He saw her while she was still some distance off and his smile made her eyes hurt. He looked so good she wanted to run over and jump all over him and smother him with her body – the same body that smelled of smoke and palm oil and fried fish and pepper and…

 

 

She slowed down, one hand covering her mouth as her boyfriend started moving in her direction walking slowly, and yet she blinked and he was right in front of her.

 

 

“I smell of all sorts of –“ her voice was cut off as he pulled her into a hug. He smelt of aftershave; of roll-on…there was an earthy smell about him.

 

 

He smelt of ‘man’.

 

 

“Okay,” she mumbled underneath her breath and hugged him back.

 

 

*************************************************************************************

 

 

“This is…this…I’m not even sure I have the words to qualify this. It’s fantastic!”

 

 

Yemisi lowered her eyes shyly – but her heart was beating loudly; almost violently. She liked that he liked what she cooked, and she watched his mouth slowly work the iyan. He looked up, caught her eye and winked.

 

 

“The efo is just correct – the pepper and ponmo…everything works.” He shook his head. “What took you so long?” he asked.

 

 

Yemisi smiled and took his unoccupied hand. “What took you?”

 

 

Dapo snatched his hand away, trying to frown but not making it. “When it’s time, it’s time.” Reaching across his body – left hand in right pocket, he continued, “Speaking of which…”

 

 

The digging hand finally found what it was looking for – two small white boxes. He pulled them carefully from the pocket and handed them to her. “A little something I came up with,” he said, dropping them in her open palm before carrying his plate and walking a small distance away.

 

 

With trembling hands, Yemisi opened the first of the two. She tore a corner of the white envelope and saw the edge of something – it was white and blue all at once.

 

 

“Dapo, what is this?” She looked at her boyfriend who was grinning.

 

 

“You’re holding it in your hands – and you’re asking me what it is? That’s all the types of JAMB questions rolled into one.” He winked at her cheerily, swallowing another morsel of iyan.

 

 

Carefully, Yemisi inserted a pink fingernail underneath the torn edge and pulled. The paper gave way – tearing sound drowned in the hustle and bustle of the women in the yard. But she wasn’t paying any attention.

 

 

She was staring at the cards that spilled into her palms – beautifully designed white and blue business cards. Running the fingers of her left hand along the edge of the one uppermost in her right hand, she enjoyed the feel of the raised lettering on it.

 

 

Only then did it occur to her she did not know what the words were.

 

 

She took one and held it up, squinting in the glare of the freshly risen sun as she read:

 

 

Blue Flame Catering

Events. Food. Service.

 

And slightly below that;

 

 

Yemisi Adeoba

C.E.O

 

 

She must have stood there for a full minute, looking at the card, tears stinging her eyes.

 

 

“Are you okay?” She heard Dapo’s voice from miles away. “You don’t like them?”

 

 

Yemisi’s scream cut through the activity in the yard and brought her mother running from where she was berating one of the cooks. What she saw, however, put a stop to her hurrying feet and put a smile on her face.

 

 

Her daughter was hugged up against a man Mama Adeoba recognized…Dapo; his name was.

 

 

Yemisi held onto Dapo as though he was a straw and she was drowning. It took all her resolve not to burst into tears – as it was she took several shuddering breaths while Dapo laughed and nuzzled her neck.

 

 

“Easy o, babe. You never see,” he joked, gently rubbing her back with one hand, holding her against him with the other.

Yemisi took another deep breath – and laughed. “Dapo, you’re crazy.” She eased back and looked into his eyes. “Thank you…I feel like…”

 

 

“Em…please. It haff do. Okay? Check the other design. I would have brought them for your approval – but there wasn’t enough time and I figured it would be nice if you could hand some of them out today.”

 

 

He backed away – but not before Yemisi saw the wistful look that appeared on his face. “What is it?” she asked, sensitive to the slightest shift in his mood.

 

 

He looked at her then looked away – towards the roof of the house over which the morning sun was just peeking. “You don’t think I’m a control freak do you?”

 

 

She walked up to him and took his hand. “No I don’t. And if this makes you a control freak – well I like it, but no I don’t think you are.” She swung her hand playfully – and in effect his. “Why do you ask?”

 

 

 

“It was – ah,” he threw his other hand up in frustration. “It was one of the things that constantly came up between Mope and me. She said I never asked for her opinion – she said I didn’t need her and therefore took her for granted.”

 

 

Yemisi pressed the hand she was holding. “You want to know what I think?”

 

 

At his nod she continued. “Both of you didn’t spend time to really get to know each other – I don’t think your feelings for each other grew organically. I think she never really got to know you for you – and therefore she felt threatened by some things you did she did not understand.”

 

 

“But the thing is – she still did not mind. She put up with them even when she did not like it. Even when she did not have to. And what did I do?”

 

 

He rubbed his head vigorously. “That’s not why I’m here anyway. How are the preparations going?”

 

 

Yemisi stood on tiptoes and slowly rubbed her lips across his before she kissed him firmly, not caring that her mother was watching.

 

 

When they came apart she averted her face shyly. “I have something for you too,” she said softly.

 

 

His silence compelled her to sneak a look at him from underneath her lashes – and she thought her heart was going to burst. He looked like a child who had been let lose in a supermarket and told to pick all the sweets he could have.

 

 

“Something? For me?” he asked in puzzled innocence, as though the idea of a woman buying something for him was absurd.

She smiled and took his hand. “Come on.”

 

 

 

*************************************************************************************

 

 

Yemisi was beside herself with excitement as she carried the black bag from her room to where Dapo was sitting. “This is it,” she said and smiled. “I really hope you like it.”

 

 

She stepped back nervously as he opened the bag – and beamed as he smiled, slowly bringing out a buba and sokoto wrapped in see-through nylon. It was made of dry lace, blue and beautifully embroidered.

 

 

He ran his fingers along the part of the nylon that covered the embroidery – and somehow the sight of that brought dryness to her throat. She cleared it before speaking. “That’s not all.”

 

 

Dapo couldn’t hide his surprise. “What?” He ejaculated.

 

 

She pointed eagerly towards the bag and he set the parcel he was carrying down before opening the bag. There was a pair of loafers, a wristwatch and two perfume boxes.

 

 

They looked quite expensive to Dapo seasoned eyes.

 

 

Yemisi lowered her eyes shyly as he stood to his full height and walked up to her. He placed a gentle forefinger underneath her chin and raised her head up.

 

 

“How did you know my sizes?”

 

 

She chuckled in relief and caressed her hand with his. “Should you be asking me that?”

 

 

He scratched his head with his other hand. “Well – I’m just…” he stopped. “I’d like to know,” he finished.

 

 

“That’s a simple thing – being your girlfriend and all,” she laughed and let go of his hand as her phone started ringing. She looked at the screen; Toke.

 

 

“Excuse me,” she said to Dapo as she took the call. “How is it going?” was the first thing she said.

 

 

Her friend and recent partner; Toke laughed. “Calm down, oga madam. Everything is under control. The drink boys are setting up now – the drinks are already chilled. We’re done with decorating too!” Toke exhaled. “The only thing left is the food – and I’m sure you’re almost done with that.”

 

 

Yemisi’s beamed happily. “You’re a darling! Whatever will I do without you?”

 

 

“Nothing? Sha carry that your flat behind and get here!”

Their laughter was loud. “I dey come jo,” Yemisi answered and hung up.

 

 

She took Dapo’s hand and quickly talked him through the updates, heart filling with some emotion she was not sure she wanted to name as she watched his face. He waited till she had finished, and then hugged her gently.

 

 

“I’m so proud of you,” he whispered softly.

 

 

She giggled shyly. “Thank you – so so much.”

 

 

He stood up. “Let me go get ready – my cousin’s also coming so…” he let the words trail.

 

 

Yemisi smiled. “Finally – I get to meet this mythical cousin of yours.”

 

 

He kissed her cheek. “Later, babe. Thank you.”

 

 

She watched as he carried the bag and stepped out.

 

 

*************************************************************************************

 

 

 

One hour into the reception and Yemisi did not know if she was coming or going.

 

 

Fortunately, Toke had started most of the girls serving and coordinating the guests before she got there – but even then there were quite a lot of people. At some point she started to wonder if the three hundred guests she had been told to prepare for where all that came – in fact, she almost started to think the whole of Lagos was at the reception.

 

 

By the time the couple was coming in, she was almost out of her mind.

 

 

But after a bit things started to even out – and by the time the long and winding talk by the chairman was over, all the guests were eating. Only then did she begin looking for her boyfriend.

 

 

She was pleasantly shocked to see him wearing a suit; and in a repetition of her actions that morning, she stood for a while, absorbing the sight of him. He had a wine glass in his left hand and was laughing hard with some similar-dressed guys – her eyes went back to a gleam she’d passed over on his wrist, and it made her heart swell to find it was the wristwatch she’d bought him.

 

 

Self-conscious, she walked towards the laughing group, small butterflies flapping in her tummy. A random thought about her phone flashed into her mind – before the same mind reminded her it was with Toke. She smiled at herself and continued walking.

 

 

She was almost in their midst before Dapo noticed her, and he stood up immediately and reached for her hand. She smiled proudly, looking up at him. He kissed the corner of her mouth softly before turning to his friends.

 

 

“Guys I’d like you to meet my girlfriend, Yemisi. Yemisi, these are my colleagues – the very crazy guys I work with.”

 

 

There was genuine warmth in the way they greeted her – even the females.

 

 

All of them except one.

 

 

A buxom woman who looked familiar turned up her nose and faced Dapo. “Isn’t she the one you said was your cousin sometime ago?”

 

 

Yemisi flinched – and then almost laughed as she recognized Grace; the orobo from Dapo’s office. A retort came to her mouth – and then Dapo spoke.

 

 

“It’s not illegal to date your cousin yet is it, mama Grace? Besides, ‘cousin’ is relative.”

 

 

“As in – relative!” Kazeem spoke from the back, igniting laughter. Grace turned away, her face a study in shame.

 

 

As Dapo, with a gentle hand on the small of her back, showed her towards a seat, Yemisi heard him say, “and here’s my little cousin, Remilekun. I’m not dating him sha!”

 

 

Yemisi turned amidst laughter, looking for the cousin she had almost begun thinking did not exist – and her brain actually froze when she found her target.

 

 

He looked like an interesting cross between Idris Elba and Denzel Washington with a bit of Nas thrown in.

 

 

His looks were arresting, but this time it was because she had seen them before.

 

 

Dapo’s cousin, Remi couldn’t mask the surprise that appeared on his face. “Yemisi?”

 

 

She couldn’t have closed her mouth if she tried. “Re…Remi?” she was finally able to ejaculate after the third attempt.

 

 

Dapo looked from one to the other. “You guys know each other?”

 

 

*************************************************************************************

 

Do have a great week!

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32 responses

  1. bshaba

    Noooooooooooooooooo! How now? Why? Why should Remi be Dapo’s cousin? There’s nothing as dangerous as a girl coming in between two relatives which i definitely see happening here.
    I can’t believe i have to wait till next Monday to see what happens. Guess i’ll just write the next episode by myself.hahahaha

    April 14, 2014 at 8:14 am

    • That would be schweet!

      Thank you!

      April 14, 2014 at 10:04 am

  2. droplet4

    Oro di hmmm . Oro pesi je ooo oro di hmmm.🎤 *in fela’s voice*

    April 14, 2014 at 8:19 am

  3. Yemi

    Wao, this is getting interesting and complicated. I hope it is not Dapo that will end up saving Yemisi. And Seun why does Remi have to be Dapo’s cousin. Abeg this is not fair o and I will have to wait a whole 8 days to no the outcome Haba. Good work thou. I doff my hat

    April 14, 2014 at 10:19 am

    • Because that’s how life is?

      Thank you so much!

      April 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm

  4. Ghen ghen! Where’s that my bazooka sef?

    April 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    • Em…wetin happin na?!

      Hehe. Thanks!

      April 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm

  5. GHEN GHEN!!1!

    April 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm

  6. oh boy e! this is some really serious complication….

    April 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm

  7. Hahahaha Seun,u re wicked o just like dat Remileku n Dapo re Kousins. mtchee,let just send parcel bomb b4 u bomb me away wit ur suspence n next episode o jawie, make i kuku end d series here n nau. great write-up n u re really appreciated n loved but don’t mind d parcel bomb naa pull pull ur legs make u fall gidigba ni,Lol

    April 15, 2014 at 8:41 am

    • Hehe.

      Well, thank you so much!

      And please – don’t leave just yet. More to come!

      April 15, 2014 at 9:29 am

  8. Ohhhhhhhhhh, this Remi can like to park well o, he should not come and pour sand in somebory’s sweet garri jor.

    April 16, 2014 at 11:59 am

  9. Hell No! Why did you do that?!

    April 16, 2014 at 7:57 pm

  10. Shoulda extended my “wait for a pile of posts” a little longer oooo
    There goes my attempt at beating Seun’s suspense.
    Wonderful twist. Ride on.

    April 16, 2014 at 8:17 pm

  11. favour

    Nice twist

    Me likey

    Seriously wishing monday was here already.

    April 17, 2014 at 11:45 am

  12. Seun!!! Too sweet for single gehs like me. it is well o. 😦 Btw, yemisi is safe na, or has she????

    April 17, 2014 at 11:50 pm

  13. oladunjoye Ife

    I saw dis coming…wonderful piece as usual…mr seun give us easter bonus episode na 🙂

    April 18, 2014 at 6:34 am

    • Ah! You for don tell me before ke!

      Thank you!!!

      April 18, 2014 at 6:57 am

  14. Foster

    Wooow. This is quite interesting. Well done bro.

    April 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm

  15. Yemie

    So, I had to pause here too and throw in my thoughts! *singing* Its a small world afterall, its a small world afterall! Whoa! Who woulda thought Remi was family?! *gobsmacked* A very interesting and unexpected turn that was, totally did me in! LOL

    Good thing Yemisi is not into ‘dillydallying dalliances’, she’d have been toast by now! I mean, Remi’s cute and suave! Had she decided to go on a rollercoaster ride of a lifetime, on the wild side with him and given in to her attraction for him, this august meeting woulda been several shades of A-W-K-W-A-R-D! Besides, this ‘thing’ with Dapo’s only tentative, an experiment that’s certainly making true the assertion ‘Love comes softly’! The transition from friendship to ‘loveship’ was gradual and is proving really solid with each passing day. Kudos Sir, this a well concocted and carefully executed piece!

    June 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    • Ah. I grin.

      Thank you, Yemie.

      Hope you won’t kill me later.

      June 18, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      • Yemie

        Now I’m getting really riled up and scared! Kill you? ‘Whyever’ would I wanna do that??? OH NO YOU DIDN’T! Yemisi couldn’t have gotten with Remi now could she??? Taaa! Getting back into the story, I refuse to be distracted. That’s the oldest trick in the book jo, its NOT working or is it?! *confused* LOL

        June 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      • Hehehe.

        June 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm

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