“Amira, open up.” I knocked on Amira’s door, not so gently.
Tonia placed a perfectly manicured hand on my arm. “Don’t act like such a savage. I’m sure she’ll still hear you if you decide to knock in a softer fashion.”
Luke chuckled behind us. “Libras are strange.”
I turned around to set him a glare. “What are you talking about dumbo? You’re a libra too.”
“I’m the special breed.” He raised his hands with a mocking smile grazing his really soft and attractive lips. “You know, right?”
“Oh no!” I gasped. “I can’t believe you are using my own words against me right now.”
“All is fair in love and war baby.”
“Rawlings! Take that back.” I was pouting like a child, but I did not care.
Femi raised his own hands and came in between us, looking confused. “Wait. Who is Rawlings?”
Luke and I responded at the same time, while the members of our audience looked amused. All of us, except Dad and Aunty Teju were standing in front of Amira’s room after lunch, just to come have fun with her, since she had been missing from all get together all day.
Femi sighed and moved back from us. “I give up on you both.” He then looked at me sternly. “But can you please resume knocking and save your flirting for your room later?”
“We weren’t flirting.” I rolled my eyes, but I turned to face Amira’s door nonetheless. “Amira, are you in there?”
A muffled voice came from the room, after a heartbeat. “Just a second.”
I faced the others immediately, making shooing motions with my hands. “Hey, shoo, hide away from the door.”
Peter slapped my hand daintily. “Don’t shoo me, I am not a chicken.”
“You will be if you don’t get your fat butt away from this door this instant.” I responded.
The sound of the key being twisted in the lock snapped everyone to attention, and they all rushed to their respective positions.
Amira’s head came popping out of her now open door. She smiled when she saw me. “Hey Donnie. What’s up?’
“Hey Mira. How are you doing now? Aunty says you are feeling better.” I practiced my most innocent smile.
She nodded, her smile in place. “Yes. I guess the flu flying around Lake Estate finally caught up with me.”
“Awww… sorry baby.”
“Thank you Dee.” She brought her head out of the door to look left and right in the hallway. “Where are your counterparts?”
My eye twitched, struggling to not look at the alcoves in which they were hiding. “What counterparts?”
She rolled her eyes, but she was still smiling. “You think I did not hear you guys bickering?” She walked out of her room and came to stand beside me in the hallway. “Come out guys, I know you are here.”
The others poured out of the alcoves with sheepish looks on their faces. Only Tonia looked angry, and that searing gaze was directed at me.
“What have I done this time, oh precious sister?” I asked her.
“You” She pointed a finger at me.
“Yes me. I’m awesome I know.” I gave her a lazy smile that seemed to incense her anger the more.
“You chose to bicker with your fiancé, revealing our presence at the door. You just had to make this little surprise for dear Amira, about you.” She threw a loving glance at Amira for a second, before magically switching back to her angry self with me.
I sputtered before moving closer to her, trying to keep my racing thoughts coherent. “If my memory serves me correctly Tonia, you were the one who felt it was necessary to make some snide but certainly unnecessary, unwanted, and unrequested remark about my knocking style, prompting Luke to respond.”
Ben came closer and placed a hand on my shoulder. “Come on Donnie, let it go. We are here for Amira.”
Tonia did not disappoint, because she whirled and focused all her anger on Ben immediately. “You are on her side?”
“Babe, come on.” Ben moved towards her. “I’m just saying you guys should not fight here. We are here for Amira, remember?” He drew her in his arms and started placing gentle kisses on her temple. Ew!
She sighed with a meek smile on her face. “Okay babe.”
Amira clapped her hands immediately. “Great! Now that we are done fighting, you may all come in. I assume that’s why you are here, because I see no other reason for Dolapo to be holding a bottle of whiskey.”
I whirled towards Dolapo immediately. “I told you no alcohol.”
He wiggled his brows with a typical Dolapo smile. “How is it a party without alcohol?”
I groaned internally. Dolapo was eventually going to kill me. “Who told him it was a party?”
Nene bristled, looking guilty, but she eventually raised her hand. “I thought it would be funny if I told him it was a party.”
I just sighed and made my way inside Amira’s room. It was the same décor and arrangement with Luke and I’s room, so there was nothing to see. The others filed in after me, each of us making ourselves comfortable.
I sat on the floor by the bed, with my back resting against the wooden frame. I grabbed a bowl of popcorn, one of the ones Dotun wheeled in on the trolley. He was in charge of wheeling in refreshments, because he was the youngest. He moaned and whined, but life isn’t fair to last borns.
Someone sat beside me, an opened pack of chips in his hands. I raised my head to see Ben giving me a smile.
“Mind if I join you?” He gave me a friendly smile.
I raised a brow, looking unimpressed. “After you’ve already made yourself comfortable?”
His smile did not waver, despite my thinly veiled hostility. “I just needed an intro for our conversation.”
I sighed, threw a handful of popcorn into my mouth and chewed uninterestedly. I looked around the room. Tonia and Luke were looking at something on her phone, on the other side of the room. Amira was laughing at something Femi was saying, and I felt so jealous. They were even sitting on the bed together. Ugh, get a grip Donnie. Dolapo and Dotun were in front of the game console, setting it up, while Nene and Peter were acting as their cheerleaders.
I waved a hand to encompass the whole room. “There are others who would be delighted in your company right now. Why choose me?”
He chewed on his chips slowly. “Because, you and I used to be friends, but now we can barely hold a civil conversation. I thought we were done, but this afternoon on the beach, being on the same team and having fun made me realize we could still be friends again.”
“Come on Donnie. Our friendship was wonderful.”
I did not turn to look at him. “Yes, it was. Until you chose to salivate after my step sister, and then rubbed it in my face about how she was better.”
He sighed and was quiet for a while. “I was young and stupid. I know that’s not an excuse, but I didn’t know any better then.” He took my hands, making me turn to look at him. “I was used to you being a friend and acting like the normal you. It was just shocking when I discovered you made all those feminine changes for me, and I didn’t handle it well.”
I took my hands back from him. “Whatever Ben.”
I did not give him a solid answer before I stood up, carried my bowl of popcorn with me, and approached the four clowns making noise in front of the console. Peter saw me approaching and waved me over.
“Hi there stranger.” He gave me a fist bump when I reached him. “Since you became a hot cake, I’ve barely had time with you.”
Nene laughed and gave me a high five. “Someone is jealous.” She sang.
Peter looked mortified. “Am not.”
“Stop!” I interrupted the two of them. “For the sake of my sanity, please stop.”
They looked sheepish, but I knew that was false. They could burst into a Disney musical number at any time, those crazy couple. I moved towards Dolapo and Dotun instead, and gave the latter a kick on his back instead.
“Ouch Aunty Deola.” He wiggled, rubbing his spine, and giving me a murderous glare.
Dolapo, the cheat, scored a goal, thanks to Dotun’s distraction. “Yes! Goal.”
I stretched over Dotun and gave Dolapo a generous knock on his empty head. He yelped, his hand rushing to the site of the pain immediately. Dotun, forgetting his own pain momentarily, pointed at Dolapo and started laughing.
The cheerleaders; Peter and Nene, were laughing at Dolapo also. Ha! I disrupted their game. Mission accomplished!
Thank you for staying with us this far. Love, Bea’s Aloe