Boyfriend For Hire: Chapter Eighteen

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“Ha!” The water balloon hit me, drenching me in sea-cold water. I glared at the assaulter. “Femi, I am going to kill you.”

The criminal looked unapologetic, only grinning like a cat that got fed with fried fish. “I would really love to see you try.”

It was an hour after noon, after a late and rowdy breakfast. We were all gathered on the resort’s beach. Being on an Island meant that most resorts or hang out spots in Ocean View were close to the Atlantic Ocean; hence the sandy beaches. The initial plan was to lay on collapsible beach chairs, soak in the warm sun, and trade juicy gossip about one another.

This was going on perfectly, until Dotun, Luke, and Dolapo felt it would be a good idea to launch water balloons at themselves. At first, it was annoying, because their noise was disturbing the peace and quiet the rest of us were enjoying. Then it became a tad bit infuriating when splashes of water, from their bursting water balloons, kept landing on the bodies of their tanning companions.

Before we knew it, we were rooting for each participant, and I was unashamedly Team Luke, because he had excellent aim, and he kept pelting his two fellow morons with water balloons, without missing a launch. At the end of their own game, the rest of us, except Dad, Aunty Teju, and a still-sick Amira. Not surprisingly, Tonia had to feign being above the activity, and put on a huge show before standing up from her spot.

“Come on Anthonia, join the others. You need the fun.” Dad cajoled her, while Ben looked lost beside her. Poor guy.

She scrunched up her face, and it was not a pretty sight. “But it’s so childish uncle. Besides, my clothes are Versace, I can’t risk getting them wet.”

I moved closer to them. “Really? Water ruins Versace?”

“Yes.” She rolled her eyes. “I wouldn’t expect someone like you to know that.”

I knew she wanted me to get offended and cause a scene, but I could not be bothered to throw tantrums that afternoon. “That’s okay. My own Versace enters water. I’m just surprised you’ve been wearing that cloth for a while without ever washing it. Must be so difficult.”

She sat up on the chair, and fixed me with a visible frown. “And who said I don’t wash my clothes? Do I look like a pig to you?”

“You did. I mean, you just said it does not enter water because it’ll get spoiled. Or your own washing is done with something’s that is not water?”

She looked thrown off for a moment, and I was savouring my victory. She started flouncing for words, and it was fun to see. “I… um…that wasn’t what… you know…”

“Oh come on Donnie, I’m sure Tonia’s washing water is of the supernatural realm. It is not as caustic as the salty sea water in the water balloons.” Femi’s cool voice said from behind me.

I turned to see him giving me a wink, and I could not help the laughter that tumbled out of my lips. Oh no! I wanted to keep my cool, but Femi’s last statement shattered my last string of resistance.

Ben stood up and moved towards Femi and I. I unconsciously leaned into Femi, and he held me close to himself. “Come on guys, lay off my girlfriend.”

Tonia wiped a fake tear from her eyes. “Thank you babe. I don’t know why Tella always enjoy ganging up on me and making me feel bad.” She sniffed. She actually had the audacity to sniff.

Dad sat up also and glared at me, before reaching over to pat her back. “You should be ashamed of yourself Adeola. Apologize to your sister this instant.”

“Oh, don’t be so hasty Daniel.” Aunty Teju responded. “They are not children anymore. Why should you keep rushing to the defense of one, at the detriment of the other’s happiness anytime they have a little spat?”

Dad turned to look at his wife, surprise written on his face. “I just don’t want them fighting.”

“They are girls. They are always going to fight, and make up again. Leave them to their own devices and stop interfering in their little squabbles.” She concluded, before laying back on her collapsible chair.

Dad sighed and looked Tonia in the eyes. “Tonia dear, go join your sister and her friends in the game.”

She patted my Dad’s cheek. “Anything for you uncle.” 

While she left her chair and moved to her boyfriend’s embrace, Luke came to draw me away from Femi’s hold, with a warning glint directed at Femi.

“Hey baby, come and be on my team.”

“And the formidable team goes down.” Dolapo announced from his position beside the stash of water balloons.

Luke turned to look at him, with confusion. “What formidable team?”

Dotun came forward, carrying a filled balloon. “Oh, you didn’t know?”

“Know what?” Luke asked. 

“Aunty Deola and bro Femi are always on the same team, because they have the best aims in the history of water balloon fights.” Dotun explained to him.

More than five emotions ran across Luke’s face in the span of a second, but he finally stuck with indifference. “Really? That’s nice. But this time, I want my baby on my team.”

Femi pretended to gag with disgust, but I gave him a look that instantly quelled his faux outrage. He proceeded to give me a wink in return, while Luke’s hand tightened around my arm. Seemed like he noticed the wink then.

“I won’t be holding back, just because you were my former partner. I warn you ahead now.” He grinned. The happy Femi I knew, was back.

I pulled Luke with me, towards the stash of water balloons. “I don’t expect you to hold back. Seeing as I plan on crushing you like an errant bug.”

“Bring it on Adegboye.”

“You too Fashanu.”

We split into three teams. Femi, Dolapo, and Nene on one. Ben, Luke, and I on the other. Tonia, Peter, and Dotun on the last one. Jerry was the umpire. Although, he was a terrible umpire, seeing as he kept barking and running from one sailing water balloon to the other.

Ben was a surprisingly good and fun teammate. He was funny and good to talk to; reminding me of his former self in secondary school. I had fun that afternoon, unfortunately, my team came second, while Fem’s team won us narrowly. Tonia’s team on the other hand, they lost confidently, because the three teammates were the most terrible water balloon players I ever met. Peter was just a liability in that game.

At the end of the game, we were all soaking wet with sticky sea water, and we had to return to our respective rooms to change, and prepare for lunch.

***

“So, are you and Femi a thing? Or am I missing something?” Luke’s voice came from the entrance to the bathroom, as he dried his hair with a small hand towel.

I raised my head from my laptop, pausing the design I was working on. It’s funny because I was working on the African Oasis design job we got, and here I was, in a room, with the semi-naked boss of African Oasis. It made me giggle out loud.

“What’s funny?” He asked me with skepticism.

“Nothing” I shook my head. “A thought just popped into my head.”

He dropped the wet towel into the hamper, before proceeding to the wardrobe for a change of clothes. “Am I permitted to enquire about this train of thoughts?”

“It’s just funny that of all the people in the world to be here with me, it’s my boss.”

He looked confused momentarily. “I am not your boss.”

I raised myself on the bed to a kneeling position. “Technically, you are. You can ask my real bosses to remove me from your company’s project, and they’ll concede. You pull the string on this project, especially since it’s the biggest job we’ve gotten in three years.”

He looked pleased. “So, I can fire you?”

I rolled my eyes. “Not from my company, but from your project.”

“Hmm interesting.” He pulled on a shirt to cover his glorious chest. “So, as your boss, I command you to answer my initial question.”

“What question?”

The playfulness was gone from his face in a jiffy. “Are you and Femi an item?”

“An item? What item?” I was confused. 

“Item 7.” He rolled his eyes. “I meant are you together?”

“Why would you think that?”

“The guy has obvious feelings for you, it is not a totally far-fetched idea. Besides, he kept trying to hold you, he was winking at you, and each time you fell when tipped by a water balloon, he was immediately at your side.”

I almost smiled. Luke was jealous. “And you are angry about this because?”

“Because I am your fiancé.” He raised his hands in exasperation.

“Fake fiancé.” I corrected.

He rolled his eyes at me. “Do you think that bit of information, matters to your family? In their eyes, I am your fiancé, and it wouldn’t do to see you and Femi, acting all lovey dovey.”

“But Femi and I have always been like that, and they know it.”

“Well, this time your fiancé is around, and that’s going to change.”

Oh, he’s so jealous. “Yes sir.” I mock saluted him.

He advanced towards me slowly. “Are you making fun of me?”

“Of course not. How dare me do that?”

He pounced on me, tickling me, and we were both lost in laughter, as the afternoon wore on.


Interested in knowing what a water balloon looks like? Read this article on Wikipedia

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