“Please forgive me Lola. I slept with Chris.” She said looking up at Lola’s face.
Lola laughs. A hearty, loud, body-shaking chortle, and trying to speak at the same time.
“You sl…” Lola started and then collapsed into another fit of very loud laughter.
“You slept with Chris” Lola managed to say and started to laugh again.
As she was laughing, she kept looking at Camille’s face to validate the joke. To burst out laughing. To do something that showed that she was joking. She continued to laugh and the humor in the laughter seemed to diminish and soon, it evaporated completely.
“Oya Camille. It’s no longer funny. You’ve done so much with the surprise already. If this is your way of giving me something unexpected because I knew about my own surprise party, it’s no longer funny.” Lola said attempting to calm her fraying nerves.
Looking at Camille’s face and the expression that was on said face, put paid to every doubt she might have been having. Camille was serious!
“You sle. . . you slept with Chris?” Lola asked attempting once again to confirm the story, subconsciously willing it to be false.
“I’m sorry Lola. I’m so sorry Lola.” Camille said.
The confirmation hit Lola like a ton of bricks. With that, the rage in her head sent movement signals to her arm and before she knew what was happening and before Camille saw the arm movement, Lola’s hand struck Camille’s face with all the force her hand could cede.
“You slut!” Lola screamed. “My boyfriend! My own boyfriend! How dare you! My bestfriend! How could you? How could you Camille?!”
As she was shouting, she started to feel the pain of the betrayal. The more she screamed, the more it hurt. The more it hurt the more her eyes filled with tears. The more her eyes filled with tears the more she felt a blinding rage towards Chris and Camille.
“When did this happen?” she screamed at Camille.
“The day Faridah and I went over to Chris’ house to plan for this party” Camille answered quietly amidst sobs.
“What?! So where was Faridah when you were fucking my boyfriend?”
“Chris fucked us both”
“What?! He fucked Faridah too?!”
With that, Lola went to the door of the backroom, dragged it open and went in the general direction of the party. Camille knowing where she might be headed jumped up and ran after her. Wiping the tears at the back of her hands, she continued to run after Lola, calling out Lola’s name as she ran.
Chris had been doing the rounds being the genial host since Lola had run off. He made sure the alcohol kept flowing and that the DJ wasn’t disappointing. He’d been standing with a couple of guys sharing some real ribald jokes when he saw her.
“What is she doing here?” He thought.
He hadn’t seen her since that day they had that test. She came in with a couple of her friends all looking the same – obviously from rich homes or they had very rich caretakers, very nice hairdos, very well dressed and although he wasn’t close enough to have perceived their fragrances, he knew they must smell heavenly. They all looked like what one would expect to see when one looked up the word ‘elegance’ in the dictionary.
The joke that one of the guys was telling seemed to have lost its shine. His undivided attention was set squarely on her. Although from the stories he had heard and the little experience he had had, girls like that only meant one thing, Trouble.
He shifted his gaze back to the guys and he could hear the guy finishing up his story:
“. . . na so the babe popsie just show. Omo mehn I jump from the balcony o”
Laughter all around and he laughed with them as if he knew what they’d been talking about. He was still laughing when he felt someone tap him from behind. Turning, he was face to face with her.
“Hello”, she said coolly.
“Hey”, he replied.
“So I guess ‘happy birthday’ is in order”, she said.
“Yes. But I wouldn’t be the one you’d say it to.”
“Oh really? And who would I say it to?”
“My girlfriend”, Chris said. “She’s the celebrant”
“Oh. I thought it was your party.” She said.
“Really? How so?”
“Well… the invite said you were the one throwing a party”
“There was an invite?” Chris asked, seemingly shocked.
“Oh? You didn’t know? That’s funny.” She said, laughing.
“It doesn’t matter anyways. Thanks for coming”
“That reminds me. You didn’t call me. You haven’t let me thank you for that test”
“There’s no reason to thank me. You would’ve done the same”
“Oh nonsense. Regardless, why didn’t you call me?”
“I couldn’t find the name you saved it with and you never told me your name.” Chris said knowing the excuse was lame and still not caring.
“Ok. The name’s Toyin. I saved it with ‘TY’. Call me this time.” She said.
With that she left, sashaying over to her friends knowing his eyes will follow her ample behind.
“Who be that chick?” One of the guys he was talking with earlier asked.
“I no really know am.” Chris replied.
“Omo mehn that babe set die.” Another guy said.
“Yes!” They all said at the same time. Laughing at their unanimous decision as they all came to the same conclusion about the girl at the same time.
Chris had left those guys and was talking to one of the barbecue servants to go and serve some people that had not had any of the barbecue when he saw her out of the corner of his eyes. There was something off about her. Her make up seemed to be too shiny and her eyes were misty. He had almost chucked it up to the overwhelming surprise party they had planned for her until her saw Camille running after her. That’s when he knew all hell had broken loose.
As she got closer to him, she grabbed a drink from a passing waiter and tossed it at him. Drink, glass, straw, and the slice of lemon at the rim of the glass were all hurtling through the air in his direction. He managed to duck the glass that shattered behind him but the contents of it landed on his body.
“You bastard!” She shrieked. “How could you?! How could you?!”
“Baby I’m sor-” He began to explain but was stopped by the slap that landed on his face.
As if on cue, the DJ stopped the music and every eye at the venue was trained on them, as if watching their friendly neighborhood perform solely for their own enjoyment.
“How could you?!” She shouted again. “My best friend and that other slut!”
“Baby I’m sorry. I can explain” Chris said trying to reach out to her and hold her and comfort her.
“Don’t touch me! Save your explanation. I don’t want to hear it! And you” Lola said turning to Camille “I don’t want to see your face again. You two faced bitch! And tell your whore friend that I don’t want to see her too!” Turning back to Chris, she said “We’re through! Goodbye!”
After that, she stormed off. Shoulder straight, back straight and head held high.
Chris told the DJ to pack up that the party was over before running after Lola. Catching up with her, she told him off again and judging by the look in her eye, she wasn’t joking.
He retreated and was going back to the venue where people had started to clear out and then he saw again. No feeling in the mood for idle chit chat, he just kept walking towards the entrance.
“What a show you two put on for us in there.” She said as she caught up with him.
“I’m not in the mood for talk right now.” He replied.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I mean it’s not every day one gets slapped in public with an audience this size”
Chris just gave her a blank stare and kept walking.
“Anyways, when you feel like talking call me.”
She turned and left to join her friends and Chris walked back into the venue.
Chris was still there when everybody had left and then he went to settle his bills with the manager of the venue and then came back to settle his bills with the other on-hand people. When he was done, he proceeded to leave the venue. It wasn’t that late yet since the party ended earlier than planned. He scrolled through his phonebook ruminating over the events of the past few hours and felt sick to his stomach.
Finding TY, he pressed “call”.
“Hello. Who’s this?”
“Oh hey. Sorry about earlier.”
“Thanks. Figured out a way to thank me yet?”
“Haha. No. Not yet.”
“Okay. This is my number. Call me when you do.”
He cut the call and pulled out of where he had parked. He had barely pulled out of the parking space when he heard his phone ring. It was TY.
“Hello” He said.
“Hello. Me and my friends will be hitting 11:45 later. And knowing that you got dumped earlier, why don’t you come with us? It’s not as if you’re going home to anybody”
After mauling it over for a couple of seconds, he said “Okay. I’ll meet you there.”
“Good” She said then hung up.
He turned the car around and started driving towards the Island.
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