Another Trial (2)


      Two weeks later, the Philips were having a Friday cocktail party in their front garden to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Quintessence, Aanu’s event catering and décor outfit. It was a modest affair with only family, some friends and a few loyal customers in attendance. There was loud music and tons of eatables and drinks. Yemisi and the kids were going to get themselves some more drinks when someone hailed her from behind. She turned to face Genesis.
‘Hey,’ she replied coldly and approached the drinks table.
‘Hello,’ he smiled at the kids and they curtsied in return.
‘So we see again?’ He smiled on. No reply.
‘Well it’s good to see you,’ he raised his voice above the music.
She smiled at the two servers standing by and grabbed a drink.
‘Here,’ she handed Eniola a drink.
‘Thank you.’ She took two more and handed New one.
‘Thank you,’ the kids hopped off.
‘Do you need a drink?’ she asked Genesis.
‘No, I-‘
‘Good,’ she started off.
‘Hey, wait up,’ he hurried after her and double crossed her.
‘Is there something I can do for you?’ She folded her arms
‘Don’t be so hostile?’
‘Really? Good advice, coming from the master of hostility himself.’
‘Wait, wait,’ he blocked her from moving on again, ‘is this about the other day?’
‘Why don’t you tell me? ‘
‘Really? Wow, this is funny,’ he chuckled. ‘I mean I hardly knew you, and you just barged into my-‘
‘I barged in?’ she touched her chest in disbelief. ‘You’re disgusting! Just get out of my way.’ She started off again
‘Fine, I am sorry.’ He tried to keep up with her. ‘I’m trying to make peace here’
‘I’m not interested. I know who you are and whatever you’re up to isn’t going to work. First impression…’
‘Come on, come to think of it, we both owe each other an apology. You weren’t the nicest person in the room that day?’
‘Because you put up an unnecessarily inhospitable attitude. My son and I practically live with the Philips, in a sense. And then we come in this particular day to be harassed and badgered by a near stranger?’
‘You guys were strangers too- I mean, almost. I knew I’d seen you before but I was trying hard to place the face and-‘
‘Why are we even having this discussion again?’
‘I’m trying to make peace.’
‘Unnecessary.’ She faced him. ‘We have one thing in common- the Philips, our mutual friends. Let’s just keep it at that. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some partying to do.’ She walked off.
‘Wow,’ he smiled to himself, nodding his head severally in defeat.
The party went on until about nine thirty when Mayowa called the gathering to attention and gave a vote of thanks. The guests started leaving one after the other and in an hour, the garden was empty but for Quintessence employees cleaning up.
Genesis came into the kitchen with Mayowa to say goodbye and Aanu asked him to drop Yemisi off. Her son was staying back for the weekend but she had to leave as she had an ushering engagement the next day.
‘No problem,’ he accepted and informed her that he’d asked Agnes, his family help to stay back too since Bolu was already asleep and there’d be no one else at home as his parents were out of the country.
‘Fine,’ she said. ‘I have a full house. Mama and all the kids and Agnes too, how warm?’
He smiled. ‘I’ll leave then.’
‘Oh dear, thanks so much for today. You were really helpful.’ Aanu hugged him gratefully. He’d organised all the drinks used at the party single handedly.
‘Don’t worry we’ll wake you up first thing tomorrow morning, I’ll personally drive the clan down to pick you up,’ she said as they went out of the kitchen. Genesis was leaving the country the next morning for Ontario, his work base from where he was to travel to Spain the following day in time for a Monday meeting on behalf of his company with prospective investors. 
‘His flight is for eight o’clock,’ Mayowa reminded.
‘We’ll pick you up by six, so we can get through the traffic. Go to bed immediately okay.’
‘Yes ma’am,’ he laughed. ‘I’ll beep you guys when I get home.’
‘Have you said bye to Bolu? ‘
‘ She’s asleep,’ Mayowa replied. ‘They’ll see tomorrow’
‘Alright then, drive safely.’ They were at the door now.
‘Yemisi!’ Aanu called out and she came running down the stairs.
‘I was getting my bag.’
‘Genesis will drop you off,’ Mayowa informed.
‘No, it’s just ten, I’ll get a cab? ‘
‘ Bye mummy,’ Eniola and New called from the landing.
‘ Bye guys, go to bed.’
‘I thought those two were asleep,’ Aanu made for the stairs. ‘If I get you…’ They ran back into their room and she turned back.
‘Is he going my way,’ she asked Mayowa as if Genesis was not there.
‘No, but he’ll drop you off. Just give him the directions. You guys should get going,’ he opened the door. Genesis stepped out.
‘The party was great.’
‘Thank you girl,’ the two women hugged each other.
‘Come back here straight tomorrow.’
‘You bet I will. Why is he dropping me off?’ She feigned a scowl
‘Because he’s doing you a favour,’ Aanu spat. ‘Better hurry on.’
‘Okay, bye,’ she blew her a kiss.
‘Bye girl,’ she reciprocated.
He’d started the car by the time she got outside. He opened the door for her and she got in beside him.
‘Thanks,’ she said and immediately busied herself with her phone. He drove out of the compound and they journeyed on in silence, the only sound being that of the music player playing an oldie over and again. Until his phone rang.
‘Hello,’ he said into the phone and slowed down the car to a stop.
‘No, no she’s with me… yes… no, at Mayowa’s place… we went for a party… Agnes wanted to come since no one else was at home…no no, it was at Mayowa’s place, not a club? Why would I take my daughter to a club?… Seun’s at home? When did she arrive, she wasn’t due back until… no! I’m not raising my voice, it’s, it’s the phone,’ he glanced at Yemisi to see if she was paying attention. She was busy on her phone. ‘…I know… okay I’ll stop by the house then… I have an early flight, I can’t stay there, I’ll be late. No. I don’t know… she had her phone with her all evening… or maybe she left it in her bag or- I don’t know… that’s not irresponsibility you’re just- no, I’m not talking back at you sir… okay. Fine, I’ll get by the house… okay sir, can I talk to mum?… can I – oh!’ The line went dead.
Genesis sat back for a while, angry and frustrated. His father had called to say that his younger sister Seun had arrived home from a weeklong official journey to an empty house and had been alarmed as she’d called the lines of both Agnes the help and himself to no avail.  His parents knew about the party. They’d been invited and the only reason they did not attend was that they were out of the country at his eldest sister’s who’d just had a third child. He wondered why his father would insinuate he’d taken Bolu out clubbing or why he was to blame for his sister’s inability to stay at home alone. He hissed in annoyance and banged the steering wheel.
‘Is there a problem?’ Yemisi looked at him. ‘Can we move now?’
He was even more irked his companion’s insensitivity. He started the car without a word.
Yemisi on the other hand began to feel remorse for her coldness. She was aware of the strained relationship Genesis had with his parents on account of his promiscuous living and resultant child out of wedlock. But Aanu had told her he was trying to become a better person and a responsible father. She tried to put the pieces of his phone conversation together and concluded he had been misunderstood and wrongly judged by the  person on the other end whom she presumed to be his father for Bolu and Agnes’s abscence from the house.
‘Was that your father? She finally asked, ‘is something wrong?’
‘What? Were you listening into my conversation?’ He fumed. She was taken aback.
‘I was just-‘
‘Shouldn’t you be minding your business? After all I’m only doing this for our mutual friends,’ he snapped.
‘I am-‘
‘Is this your street?’ He cut in again, uninterested in any explanation she had to give.
He turned into the street.


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