When Adeola walked briskly into the hostel barely twenty minutes after she left for Bello’s, Fola knew something was wrong, again. Seeing that she didn’t even acknowledge her as she walked stone-faced past her by the corridor only served to confirm her suspicions. Surely, something major had gone wrong. Sensing the obvious, Fola didn’t bother to call her as her eyes trailed her heavy footstep until it disappeared behind a forcefully slammed door.
Bello got up rapidly and picked up his shirt, spread on the white reading chair, without breaking his stride. He put it on as he dashed out of the room and ran after Adeola. Ada didn’t even bat him an eyelid as she focused on finding a more comfortable posture on the bed. She smiled ruefully as the door slowly slammed and pressed the play button on her music player. She closed her eyes as the sound surrounded her.
Adeola had hailed a bike before Bello could catch up with her. The motorcyclist zoomed off as though he was in character, leaving him gasping for breath and eating the rising harmattan dust.
He returned to his room crest fallen, pondering how he would possibly explain the little drama to Ada. Not that she was expecting or wanted an explanation though, as she rose up enigmatically from the bed the very moment he opened the door and stepped into the room. She disconnected her phone from the home theatre system and walked quite slowly out of the room, swaying seductively, without meeting his piercing gaze. The indifference in her eyes and the strength in her strides told him not to even try to stop her. He couldn’t gauge her reaction and he intelligently let her leave unperturbed.
Bello sank into his reading chair, head-in-hands. If only his phone had not gone dead; if only Ada had stayed put in her blue room, and yes, if only he had locked his door… Yes, if only!
He felt he owed Ada an explanation but he instantly decided against going to her room on evidence of her theatrical exit.
“At least not yet…” he thought.
He finally picked up his phone from whence it laid dead and gone on the reading table and ran some electrical life into it.
Adeola knocked solemly on Fola’s door and she immediately knew it was her. She had decided to wait it out and let her seek her out when she was ready.
“At last,” she thought, as she moved gingerly to open the door.
Adeola walked in with slumped shoulders. She headed directly towards the small bed by the corner and sank heavily in. Hot tears laid bare in her eyes.
“What happened? I thought you were going to see Bello.”
Adeola looked up and found the required words heavy to mouth. She couldn’t hold back the tears that finally rolled down her cheeks.
“He was with a half-naked girl!”
Fola looked on, disappointed, but not entirely surprised. She moved to the side of the bed and held out a sober embrace. Adeola crashed into her arms and claimed the comfort abound.
“I knew he would have moved on. You left it a little too late.”
The realisation hit Adeola and she sank deeper into a noiseless wail.
“Please, I need to explain things, I need to see you tonight.”
Adeola managed to keep a straight and indifferent tone as she said ‘no‘ for the umpteenth time.
“I’m just gonna hang up now, good night!” she said, finally.
Bello paced the length of his room as she ended the call, trying to figure things out. Ada had left the hostel earlier, possibly to visit her weird friends in the next hostel. He knew she was the lesser problem though.
Then again, if she had picked up his call on the very first ring, then surely, just maybe, she wouldn’t mind seeing him. The thought gave Bello the needed impetus and encouragement.
“What’s the worst that could happen?!” he thought.
He grabbed his hoodie, just in case he has to face the raging cold and set out in renewed hope and optimism.