” So is the bastard cheating on me?” she implores looking at me directly in the eye.
I hesitate briefly and draw a breath.Shucks women can ask the most mundane of questions and then they can ask questions that pierce right through the threads of the very lies you sell them.
I like Vicky*, I have known her for what? thirty years? I am kidding though, but i have known her a great deal many years, and when you know somebody that much there comes that bit known as the element of trust. Trust comes with a great deal of responsibility, like telling the truth,..even if it might sting.
A couple of years back, I had played a major role in hooking her up with one of my buddies, it was nothing intended, just how random people meet, decide they like each other and decide to hit it up a notch higher.
Nick* had immediately taken a liking for her after the first meet and had somehow convinced me into arranging a second meet albeit indirectly where he bugged her enough and managed to get her number. The rest of the details are fuzzy but it all went well and they had been dating over a year now.
” I am dead sure he aint doing nothing of that sort Vicky”
” Are you also sure you are not lying to me? ”
I laugh a little,then take a sip of the apple juice in front of me. It has this bitter taste to it that has me contorting my face like i took a shot of Vodka.
“Whats in this drink?” I ask Vicky, desperately trying to get a diversion of topics.
“Its a cocktail,has beetroot…..”
Shit! She has lost me at beetroots. I hate beetroots. They have a gory sight to them,the crimson red in them reminds me of blood,and where there is blood bad things follow.
“Nick* hasn’t been responding to my texts either,..or picking up my calls…” she is now saying when i glance up form staring at the contents of the supposed cocktail.
I nod as I listen. I wonder if my round face has a relationship counselor look to it, or I just look that smart. Maybe I should have been a shrink after high school.
” Vick, maybe Nick is just busy, I am sure he will get back to you when he gets free.It happens bana…” I find myself rumbling back to keep an agitated Vicky on her cool.
” Yeah right! Busy for a whole month!” She scoffs back.
“What makes you think he is cheating? ” I ask her.
“I have this gut feeling..”
“You need a gut transplant then,” I jokingly say.
“Billy! That is not so funny!!”
“Ok, but say we do this,maybe i try get to him and find whats popping on his end? ” I soothingly say.
“I promise” I reassuringly add.
She pulls a hankie from her purse and darts at her eyelids, was she crying? I wasn’t certain but it sure felt like she was. I feign a fake break to the gents. Once i am out of eye shot, I pull my phone and call Mike. He doesn’t pick up at the first ring. On the second ring he picks up in his usual baritone voice.
“Yeah Billy,whats up?”
“you are putting me in a precarious spot my guy”
“kwani whats up?” he asks sounding alarmed.
“Your chic is with me at this restaurant, she says she thinks you are cheating on her since you aint picking her calls”
“yeah,so you better have a good explanation bro”
I hear him sigh over the phone.
“Ok,but i need to tell you in person”
“call you when i am done here”
I hang up and stare into the mirror.Then wear a phony smile and walk out.
“So whats going on with you?” Vicky asks crossing her legs on the adjacent chair.
“I`m good Vick,nothing much”
“Are you seeing anyone?”
“yeah,like i am seeing you over here right now”
She laughs a little. A laughter that is shorty of mirthless.
“I meant like are you dating?”
Its my turn to laugh. Boy that question was vague at this very stage in my life.
“I am not dating”
She holds her head on the table and stares at me.
“Seriously I am not! You would know about it if i was”
“What happened to the last one?”
“I think I might need my lawyer now,because i think this is an interrogation”
She laughs some more.
“With this daftness,you wont get hitched soon” she adds still laughing under her breath.
I flash her a smile and gulp down the last bit of the contents of my “Beetroot blended juice.”
“Anyways,i do hope you get to the bottom of this Mike* story,i am going crazy imagining scenarios in my head”
“Paranoia killed the weed junkie,you need to hold it up.I will try talk to Nick and find out what his end of the deal is sawa?”
She nods and at that very moment I see her vulnerability.Its hang on her sleeve like a bad bra strap that wont just go away.
As the waiter hands us the bill, I reach for my wallet but she quickly jumps in and tells me that since she called for the meet, it was her bill to sort. We walk out and I give her a brief push. Once we part, I whip out my phone, and text Nick* “COMING OVER TO YOUR PLACE NOW, YOU BETTER HAVE A GOOD EXPLANATION MAN, YOU HAVE PUT ME IN A SPOT ”
*END OF PART 1*