“Is everything alright?” I asked glancing at Lolu. He has been quiet since we left the party and had not even said a word in response to my excited chatter about the party.
“I’m fine,” He responded, staring straight ahead.
I knew he wasn’t. Something was wrong, I just didn’t know what. If his silence had not spoken volume, his tight grip of the steering wheel spoke loud and clear.
“No, you are not,” I rolled my eyes, and turned to face him. “You’ve barely spoken a word to me since we left the party and your face is all scrunched up like you ate a sour grape,”
“Now she notices,” He snorted chuckling darkly, and shocking me into momentary silence. I had never seen Omololu in such a mood and it worries me.
“That’s not fair at all,” I said a moment later. “When have I not notice you?” I asked, barely concealing my exasperation.
“Only when I am sharing the same room with your Ayomide, I suppose,” He shrugged, chuckling again.
“What are you talking about? What has Mide got to do with this?”
“Everything!!!” He snapped, shocking me. I stared at him mouth agape watching him as he continued to drive. His grip on the steering wheel had tightened and I could feel the anger emanating from him.
Neither of us spoke. The silence that enveloped the car was thick with discomfort, making my skin crawl. I have never felt uncomfortable around Lolu, so I had no idea how to deal with the tense mood in the car. I could have sworn that our drive back from Dave’s birthday party would be full of laughter or at the least, light conversation. But this livid man driving the car with full concentration is strange to me. Who would have thought tonight would end like this, I thought sighing in resignation as I laid my head on my seat’s headrest.
“We are here,” He said, breaking into my quiet reverie. I looked outside the window, only to realize he had packed in front of my building. He must have driven above his limit, or had I been lost in thought for that long? I thought.
I glanced at Lolu wondering how I could get him to speak to me. He sat up straight with his hands still on the steering, as if waiting for me to come down so he could zoom off again. He was still angry, the pulsating veins on his neck were a dead giveaway.
“Omololu,” I called attempting to start the conversation again. “We agreed to talk about everything, remember?” He remained silent, staring ahead with no indication that he heard me. Omololu had never been one to remain silent, he always discussed everything, so his continuous silence was unsettling.
“Babe, let’s talk about this, please. I know you are upset and I’ll like to know why,” I said softly. “What did I do? Tell me so I can fix it.” I said again, lightly touching his leg.
“You made me look like a fool Teniola,” He started, finally looking at me. “And I’m no fool,”
I was shocked. I ran through everything that happened at the party in my mind and still had no idea what he meant or how I had made him look like a fool.
The shock must have shown on my face because he shook his head sadly and continued.
“You don’t even know, do you?” He spoke again, correctly reading the shock and confusion on my face.
“You didn’t notice how I sat all night, waiting for you to look my way once, just once…” He said holding up his index finger. “…to acknowledge that I was also there... that you see me”
“Wh…what…what are you talking about? Of course, I knew you were there,” I interrupted, reaching for his hand.
“You could have fooled me,” he said, rolling his eyes, as he removed his hand from mine.
“So you noticed me looking like the third wheel beside my girlfriend and her ex?” He continued. “You noticed when the guys were teasing me about having my girlfriend stolen at a party I brought her to? Did you also notice when their teasing turned into pity?” He said, shutting his eyes, as he leaned back to rest his head on the headrest.
“Teniola, you didn’t notice any of these, did you? The moment Ayomide came into the picture, I suddenly disappeared, and not once did I reappear until it was time to leave,” He concluded, his eyes still shut.
He sounded resigned, and I didn’t like it, especially because he was making me out to be a bad person, and talking as if I ignored him throughout the party. He knew I had not seen Ayomide in a while, and it was only expected that we would need to catch up.
“So this is about Ayomide?” I asked after an uncomfortably long pause. “But I thought you understood our relationship. We had a history, Lolu. Besides, we were just catching up,” I added.
“This is not about Ayomide,” He spat, his frustration obvious. “It’s about us; you and I and whether we will become history as well,”
“Because of Mide?” I gasped in shock. “I thought you understood,”
Omololu turned in my direction, staring at me like he could not recognize who I was. “Sure, I understood. But you told me you both were history, that you were ready for a new relationship,” He shook his head in resignation and continued “But what I saw today, your disregard for me today did not depict history,”
“So what are you saying? That I can’t be friends with him anymore because we are dating?”
“No Teni!!! No! Your friendship is not the problem! Ayomide is not the problem! You are! And you need to decide if you want this relationship or not because I don’t share. I won’t share you or your affection.” He said heatedly.
“So, if you still want him, then by all means let me know. I won’t be in a relationship where we are three people, instead of two, and I will not be made to look like a fool again,” He said heatedly.
I sat staring at Lolu, trying to understand the basis of his anger. I have never seen this side of him, and in fact, never once pegged as a jealous type.
“Omololu, don’t you think you are over-reacting though? It wasn’t like you didn’t know who Ayomide was and how close we are. We were just catching up, I promise. He was telling me about his business with your friends, and how…”
“Good night Teni,” He interrupted and immediately opened his side of the car.
“What?” I asked confused. “That’s it?” I muttered to myself as I watched him walk around to my side of the car and opened the door.
“Have a good night,” He said simply, his expression leaving no room for debate.
I came down quietly and stood by the sidewalk to say my good night as usual. Ignoring me, he shut the door, walked back to his side of the car, got in, and zoomed off, without a second glance.
“What the hell just happened?” I said to myself, frustrated as I continued to stare at his car’s headlight until it disappeared.