I didn’t wake up on Thursday until it was well past 12 pm. It felt good to sleep in, seeing as I couldn’t remember the last time I had a break from work. Even my Saturdays were spent at the gym, so there were no weekend sleep-in in my past.
Walking past the vanity mirror in my bedroom, I cringed when I saw my reflection that afternoon. Ugh! I did not look good after sleep. I made my way to the bathroom in just my panties; the Perks of living alone. I scowled at my reflection as I took care of my dental hygiene; flossing and brushing.
I was still scowling at myself in the bathroom mirror when I remembered that I hadn’t packed for the weekend trip. I quickly rinsed my mouth, made my way to the bedroom to check the time, and was slightly relieved to see that it was just half past twelve. Luke and I agreed to leave Lake Estate by 2pm, make a 25 minutes drive to the university, pick up Dotun, and journey the 1 hour drive distance between Lake Estate and Ocean View.
Ilupeju is a state made up of six connected Islands. I lived in Lake Estate, the largest Island, while my Dad and Step mum lived in Ocean View, the third largest Island. Dad and his brother run the Adegboyes family resort together. The business had three branches, and the smallest one is what we would be using for the family weekend, over there in Ocean View.
My beautiful stepsister lived in Ilupeju Island, the second largest Island in Ilupeju, and also the capital of Ilupeju State. She worked there as a hot-shot model and TV presenter. Truth be told, whenever I saw her face on TV, presenting one red carpet program or the other, I felt like smashing her almost perfect nose. I’m petty, I know.
I opened my closet and perused my wardrobe, and I had to hang my head in shame at the blatant lack of classy casual wears. All I had were my work clothes, home clothes, and a few hangout wears. No resort wears, or beach clothes. Tonia is so going to win this silent fight we’ve got going.
Trying to come up with an appropriate wear within my closet was futile, and I was almost crying from the utter frustration. I needed a little break, but I didn’t know what to do to take my mind of my current predicament. As if sensing my inner turmoil, my phone started vibrating. I yelped, and made my way to my bedside table, but I ended up stubbing my toe.
I hopped on one foot, tears smarting in my eyes, and I picked up the phone. Luke was calling. I swiped the screen up and picked the call, putting him on speaker, as I continued hopping on a foot.
“Hey Donnie” his velvety voice came through the speaker.
I decided to sit on the bed before I swoon and fall. “Hey there Luke. Wait a minute, I don’t know your surname. How am I supposed to be a Mrs something, and I don’t know what the something is?”
He laughed a little. “Does it have to be my real name?”
I contemplated his question, and I realized I didn’t want to lie anymore than necessary. “The lesser lies we’ve got, the easier it’ll be to remember.”
“True.” He answered simply.
I glared at the phone and I wondered why he was being so evasive with his surname. He did the same thing the first time we met, when Ehis was trying to introduce us.
“Luke, do you have a surname or not?” I asked him in a clipped tone.
“I do.” His response was short again.
Ugh, that boy was getting on my last nerves. “And?”
“And?” He had the guts to repeat.
“What the heck is your last name, Luke?” I basically screamed at him. I am so tactless!
He sighed loudly before dignifying my curiosity with a response. “It’s Ebhojie.”
“And what’s so difficult about that, I mean, it’s not like….” I suddenly caught sight of the signed form on the open file beside me on the bed. “Wait a minute, you are related to the owners of the African Oasis?”
“Yes” His voice was almost a whisper, but I could hear him clearly.
A lot of things suddenly made sense. Why he didn’t want me to know his surname the first time we met, why he was suddenly made the co-manager of the restaurant close to the office, why he got angry when I insulted the restaurant’s owner, why he could afford my pretty engagement ring, and why he could claim to be the owner of the African Oasis hotel in Lake Estate.
“So, how close are you to them? And why were you calling Imade your friend if he’s your family?”
“Because he and I grew up more like friends than distant cousins. I’m only close to Imade and I really don’t want to talk about the business right now.” He sounded stressed out and I was itching to know why.
Luckily, I knew how it felt when people prodded my private affairs even when I didn’t want to talk about them. So, I decided to drop the topic.
“That’s alright. We’ll choose a new surname because my family can be nosy, and I can assure you that they won’t stop prodding you until they know how close you are to your distant cousin.”
“Thank you Donnie. I appreciate that.”
I laughed drily. “Shouldn’t I be the one saying that? You’re the one helping me out.”
“I’m happy to do it.” His voice was almost getting chipper again.
“So, you called for a reason?”
He cleared his throat. “Ha, yes. I wanted to know if erm…erm…you know…”
I was suddenly curious and I wanted to know why he was suddenly speechless.
“Spit it out Rawlings. P.S, Rawlings is your new surname, so get used to me calling you that.”
He chuckled. “Nice name. I wasn’t thinking before I called. Now I realize how strange my question might sound to you.”
I made myself even more comfortable on the bed, as I brought the phone to myself, and placed it on my chest.
“Just spit it out.”
“Okay. I have a feeling that your wardrobe might be inadequate for the trip. And I swear, I don’t mean that in a condescending manner. I just mean that you don’t seem like you care about trendy vacation wears like that.” He suddenly groaned. “Why do I feel like you might take offence at this?”
I giggled at his attempt to not ruffle my feathers. “Calm down, I understand you. Honestly, I was just getting frustrated with myself on that particular issue before your call came in.”
“Fret no more my princess. Your prince charming is here to the rescue.”.
“Yeah, you and the one in Shrek have the same sunny disposition.”
“Your sarcasm is top notch, but I won’t let you offend me. Come on, I’ve got dresses for you.”
I sat up suddenly and the phone on my chest clattered to the floor. Luckily, the car did not end and the screen was still intact. I sighed in relief before picking it up again.
“Rawlings! Please don’t tell me you have a fetish for wearing women’s clothing. Cuz that’s the only explanation I can come up with for your possession of feminine clothing articles.”
He laughed genuinely, and I could almost picture him shaking his head at me, with those dimples winking at me from his cheeks.
“No, that’s not it. Esme called and while I was telling her about you, I mentioned your quirks. Since she stays with me whenever she comes to Ilupeju, most of her clothes are in my guest room. So, she said I should offer you some of her clothes, because you guys are almost the same size.”
I was struck speechless and that wasn’t a common occurrence. “Your sister is offering me her clothes, even though she doesn’t know me?”
“She’s really excited to meet you. Esme has always been a generous girl, so don’t worry. I got you covered.”
“Wow Luke. I really don’t know what to say.” I was pretty sure I was grinning like a Cheshire cat that got the cream, but I could care less at that moment.
“Just tell me you’ll accept the clothes. Don’t worry, she selected everything including the shoes.”
He laughed out loud. “The way little things amaze you and take your breath away is an amazing trait I love in you.”
He loves me? Wait, did I hear him right? Oh, calm yourself Donnie. He only said he loved a particular trait in me.
“Please, I would really love to thank your sister in person.”
“That can be arranged.” He was silent for a second. “Anyway, I have to go now. I’ll see you in an hour.”
I checked the wall clock and it was already 1pm. I had less than an hour to make myself look presentable.
“I’ll see you then. Please stock up on chocolate.”
He laughed and the rich sound made my inner self melt. “I’ll do just that. Bye Donnie.”
“See you later Rawlings.”
The call ended and I smiled at the ceiling. I grabbed a pillow, pressed it to my face, and gave a scream, muffled by the pillow.
I had to text Femi, Dolapo, and Peter. They needed to know how to act with Luke. As far as my family are concerned, my friends are familiar with Luke, and that’s what we had to portray through the weekend.
Knowing Peter, the idiot will overdo it, and I was already cringing in advance.
So, we are finally going to meet the rest of the Adegboyes very soon. I am sorry for the late update, but my keyboard jammed, and due to the lockdown, there is no open repair shop in town.
I finally had to resort to typing on my phone this midnight. Slightly different, but I guess I’ll have to get used to it until the lockdown is over.
Have yourself a happy Sunday.