Hotel Palava - Episode 10
I decided to pay Adesuwa a visit at her house that evening. Only to find out she had been arrested. With the help of her cousin Ivie, I located the police station and I paid her bail.
Some minutes later I saw her come out with a police man behind her. "You for don sleep here today" the woman shouted and she hissed.
I saw the shock on her face when she saw me. I guess she didn't expect that I'll be the one to bail her out.
"What are you doing here?" She asked and I shrugged, "I..
. Uh ....it's a long story." I paused then I cleared my throat.
"I came over to your house to see you then I heard you've been arrested"
"How did you find this place?"
"Your cousin Ivie brought me here" I answered and I heard her laugh. "It's pronounced Ivie" she corrected and I nodded.
"Ivie" I pronounced again, indefinitely pronounced it wrongly cause she shook her head I disagreement.
"Never mind, you're hopeless. Your accent would not even let you pronounce it well."
"Forget it! What's the time?"
"It's past ten"
"Geez!" Adesuwa yelled. "It's late, this place is not safe
. We need to get out of here before something bad would happen and they'll say it's Adesuwa's fault." She ranted moving to the front.
"We have the police here" I answered and she scoffed.
"If you know what's good for you, you would fear them"
"Our lives are in their hands" I argued,
"I'll be fine and relaxed if my life was in the hands of a five years old child than the police." She answered and I scoffed.
"They're not that bad."
We walked over to where his car was then we entered. There was a brief silence. "Why were you arrested?" I asked, "What did you hear?"
"I want to hear it from you"
"What does it matter?"
"Just answer the damn question, would it kill you to answer a question?"
"Well, welcome to Nigeria where we answer questions with questions"
"In order words you're not going to say anything" I assumed and she smiled. I didn't know why she did. She had lovely dimples, I just never realized them.
I don't even remember ever seeing her smile.
"I was arrested because I disciplined a spoilt brat for touching my ass but they called it assault because these so called police have been paid a whole sum of money to make sure I sleep in jail."
"Oh" i paused.
"Rich folks are always trying to act like they can use their money to buy even the air you breathe. They think they're indispensable, like they're invisible, like they can get away with it"
"Not all rich folks" I argued and she laughed.
"No one has proved me wrong yet." "I came to bail you out"
"I'm yet to find your ulterior motive" "Why would I have an ulterior motive?" I asked then I scoffed. Her must be messed up, I thought then I tried to avoid the topic.
"Did you like kill a child on your street?"
"It was in a school and no I didn't kill the child. Why are people so quick to assume the very worst of me?"
"It was a harmless question" I argued and she scoffed.
"How did it happen?" I asked and she sighed.
"I took a teaching job"
"That's... that's good, how's the job?"
"I don't have it anymore"
" Oh" I paused.
Suddenly I heard her break into laughter and I chuckled. "I got fired" she answered.
"Every child deserves discipline, the mother had the guts to ridicule me because she had the upper hand and once again I got treated like trash." She paused.
"I always get treated like trash" she added with a scoff.
For a moment there I thought she was going to cry.
"I'm used to it any ways" she added and I nodded.
"I'm sorry" I apologized and my phone rang. It was Jummy.
"Why does this song sound familiar?" She asked and I wondered why she asked.
"You know the song?" I asked and she nodded.
"I heard this song...." She paused looking at me. From her look, it made sense where she heard the song. "The day you walked into me" I completed and she shut her eyes.
There was a brief silence.
"Why did you do it?"
"Storm into the room while I was naked"
"Like you said, it's probably a habit of mine to walk into naked guest"
"I said that out of anger, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. Why did you lie about being dumb, why did you come in when I didn't invite you in? Heck! I didn't call for room service"
"That's a whole lot of questions for one night and it's already late"
"I have the time"
"The thieves wandering at this time will have our time if we don't find our way out. I'm serious it's dangerous"
"And I'm dead serious! I need an answer"
"God you're so stubborn!" She shouted and I chuckled.
"Okay fine! Room 29 instead of Room 49. It was a misunderstanding. I was to clean the manager's room.... It was a coincidence and for what it's worth, I knocked like four times before going in"
"It was probably the music" I concluded and she agreed.
"I lied because I was dumbfounded" she answered and I laughed at her choice of words.
"Nice choice of word" I interrupted and she chuckled.
How come I never noticed the dimples?
"I was nervous... When I saw you. I feared losing my job so......I pretended to be dumb" she paused.
"It seemed like a brilliant idea at the moment. There were times I wanted to tell you"
"Why didn't you?" I asked and she shrugged.
"Because...." I paused, "I was scared of losing my job. Why didn't you fire me when you had the chance to?"
"Because I ....." I stalled.
I didn't have an answer to that question. Then I remembered what I told Deji.
"I thought you had issues and I wanted to get to know you better and help you out" I answered and she nodded.
"Yeah I have issues all right! It's like everything I do goes wrong. Like I never do anything right for once in my life"
"Story of my life" she continued then I saw her clean her tears.
"Your friends really do miss you at work" I cleared my throat. "Really?" She asked with a smile curved around her cheeks. "It hasn't been the same without you. That's one of their quotes"
"Definitely Lilian" she laughed covering her mouth. Suddenly she became sad.
"So there's a job waiting for you at the hotel, that's if you want it" I chipped in and she turned to me in shock. "You're not firing me?"
"I don't recall firing you, you only made that assumption. You have till on Monday to resume that's if you want the job or else" I didn't even complete my sentence when she hugged me tightly.
"Thank you" she said then she pulled back apologizing for it.
"I'm sorry" she apologized again.
This time I inserted my key in the ignition and there no sound. I wondered why so I decided to check my bonnet. My car battery was missing.
I turned over to Adesuwa who was already out of the car. She shut her eyes in probably in guilt. "I told you it isn't safe here"
"How are we going to get out of here without the car?" She asked. "You shouldn't have come for me, you should have stayed where you were. Now I'll definitely cause you troubles. Urgh!" She groaned kicking the car tyre.
"Calm down" I begged holding her hands.
"It's going to be fine, we'll find a way out of this mess. It's not your fault" I sighed. Then I noticed a policeman start his car.
Then I suggested we follow them out and I'll get the car tomorrow. "What if the car disappears before tomorrow?"
I'll go report to the policemen. There's no point feeling guilty about this. It's nothing" I assured walking towards the policemen.
I got to the hotel some minutes before twelve, Jummy was already asleep. There was no means to reach Adesuwa to find out if she had gotten home safely.
Her phone wasn't with her.
I arrived home five minutes before twelve. Lucky for me, there was light. I heard Ivie yelling. She wasn't the kind to shout.
She has always been quiet. I walked in to see my aunt with a black face. Someone had beaten her.
"Mom you might not have shame, but I'm ashame of you. Because of you every calls me a slut. I've had it up to here with this behavior"
"Ivie no dey shout for my head" My aunt warned, "What happened?" I asked, trying to get a good understanding of the scenario.
"Mom was caught with a cheating husband and she was beaten"
"Na true?" I asked Aunt Margaret who hissed and walked into the room.
Ivie sat on the chair in tears. She was sobbing. "We don't choose our parents Ivie, it's not enough reason to cry this way"
"I'm not just crying over mom okay? I'm worried about Chidi." She confessed and I rolled my eyes.
"He hasn't been feeling too well since you turned down his proposal. I think you should visit him, maybe he'll feel better." She pleaded and I gave the matter a quick thought.
Then it occurred to me- Ivie likes Chidi! It finally made sense.
I stopped by at the school since the secondary school students were having their Saturday lessons. I was told that my bag was in the proprietress' office.
In the office, i noticed my money was missing, i didn't care about that. All I wanted that moment was my damn phone which was shockingly missing too.
I glanced at the proprietress and then my handbag. "Mam, where is my phone?" "Are you crazy? Do I look like a thief in your eyes?"
"Who brought my bag here?"
"A student did" she answered and i sat weakly on the chair.
I've always lived a free life away from Mom's control. It was her control that drove me out of my way. I really don't like to pin my pregnancy on anyone but part of it was because I wanted whatsoever mom didn't want.
My parents are not the happiest couple. I know a lot of secrets that I shouldn't about them. I've always been left on my own.
I didn't get pinned to any relationship and my twins were well taken care of and loved by their grandparents; attending the best school in Lagos.
Well I didn't get pinned to any relationship, not until mom came back from India.
It was as though she left her sanity and sanctity in India.
It was in the evening, I had just managed to put the twins to bed. Mom and Dad were in the sitting room.
Mom was watching E! News. I just saw Dad give her a look. She must have definitely gotten the remote control from him by force.
"Hello darling" she said to me and I laughed.
"Should I be scared?" I asked and Dad laughed.
"You're not in any reasonable relationship are you?" She asked and I wondered where the topic was heading to.
"Come sit close to me" she requested and I shook my head.
"I'm okay where I am"
"Okay, whatever you say. So I kinda set you up on a date with a business partner"
"Wait mom, are you serious right now?"
"Do you see me laughing?"
"Without my permission?" I snapped and she chuckled. "When have I ever done anything with anyone's permission?" She asked so casually with so much pride as though she was all-powerful and impenetrable.
"Mom are you listening to yourself?"
"I have ears and they're working well Tosin and watch your tone with me." "Mom I'm not Henry. You can't make decisions for me. What if I don't want to go for the date?"
"I'm not giving you a choice here"
"Daddy!" I yelled.
"Sweetie" he called out and mom glared at him. "What does your father know?" She asked now rising up. "Tosin darling, I'm your mother. I know what's best for you" she said softly now placing her hands on my cheek.
"Clement is the right man for you. Just go for the date and see for yourself if you won't fall in love with him" she added giving me a kiss on the cheek.
"Good night love" she added leaving dad and I alone.
"Dad you can't let her do this" I knelt down before my father in tears. "You know how your mom can be"
"Urgh!" I groaned, "You're the man of the house, you better start acting like it!"
"You know what she has against me, you know how emotional she can get"
"Oh screw it! Mom is only playing on your mistakes."
"I don't want Henry to know" He whispered and I rolled my eyes. "So what of he knows? He'll simply get over it! He's not a baby but you.... Mom is using this to manipulate you. You need to get out of this and be the man of the house"
"I can't... I just can't" Dad answered to my disappointment.
On a date with a very mature man about the age of fourty, i crossed my leg as I uninterestingly stared at the man as he spoke about himself and his adventures in cities across America.
"Have you seen the empire State of art?"
"No" i answered.
"Don't you travel? You mom does"
"I've chosen to stay in Nigeria, I have traveled out of the country, sure but I've come to realize that there's no place like home" I confessed to him.
I've never been a travel freak unlike Henry who was born and brought up in London until he got moved because he was becoming a brat.
"I don't like it here at all"
"Why if I may ask," "There's no fun here, the real fun is over there. If we get married, I'll take you there, you'll see what I mean"
I faked a smile, I hated the way he spoke. I just couldn't imagine being married to someone like him.
"Clement, how old are you?" "Take a guess" he requested, "Fifty two?" I asked annoyingly and he laughed.
"That's overboard, I'm not that old. I'll be fourty in a month" "Don't you have a wife or kids?"
"I'm a divorcee, I sent my wife packing" "You sent your..." I paused, "Why?"
"She didn't like the fact that my mom stopped by every weekend. She argued with my mom and that was it. I broke off everything I had with her. Ever since, I've been searching for the right woman who can stand me and my mother. Tosin I think you're the one"
God forbid! I yelled within.
There's no way I'll wound up with a man like this. His voice is a turn off on it's own.
I walked into my car slamming my palm on the steering wheel.
"God I hate you mom!" I yelled. I felt so irritated that the very thought of Clement being my husband made me itch.
I picked up her phone dialing a number of a friend.
"Hello Jane, the house you spoke about the other day, call the landlord up. I'll love to take it." I said quietly.
"Are you being serious?" She sounded shocked.
"I'm dead serious"
I knew mom would be waiting for me to come back. I was more than ready to face her. Well i was welcomed by her mom who personally opened the door for her.
"Welcome back sweetie"
"Thanks" I said kicking off my shoes from my feet.
"Clem called me, he seemed really happy, so are you ready for a second date?"
"I'd rather kill myself" I answered sharply and mom raised her brow, "What do you mean?"
"Mom I won't be going on any stupid date with that old man!"
"He's only fourty"
"If you want him badly, why don't you date him yourself" i snapped and mom slapped me on the cheek.
"Urgh!" I grunted.
"I've had it up to my neck with your control. I'm a grown woman! I can make my own decisions" i cried out.
"I'll call Clement and I'll let him know you want another date"
I walked away angrily into the room where I dragged my luggage down the stairs.
"What are you doing?" Mom asked, "What I should have done years ago" I answered going back to get two more bags after which I came down with my kids who were in their pyjamas.
"Mummy where are we going to?" They both asked, "You're not going with them" mom countered and I scoffed.
"I would like to see you take care of them, you can't even take care of yourself"
"I'm pretty sure any life would be better than living under the same roof with you with your crazy controlling habit. Sweetheart let's go" i said to the girls then i dragged the luggage and a bag.
I drove over to Jane's house where I spent the night with the twins who complained of virtually every single thing.
Dad woke me up with the news about Tosin's decision to leave the house. "That's crazy" I muttered.
"Your mom isn't ready to do anything about it. She even placed a bet that Tosin would not last two weeks."
"What do you want from me"
"Try to convince her, you know she's as stubborn as your mother and they both listen to you. Talk to the both of them"
"She doesn't listen to me, mom doesn't listen to anyone" I answered.
"I'm worried about my grandchildren, how will Tosin take care of them with work, she'll have to resign. I even suggested the maid goes to meet her but your mother sha... She's so adamant."
"What do you want from me?" She asked, "I want you to convince Tosin to come back"
"I'll try" i answered yawning then i hung up dialing Tosin's number.
"Good morning" She greeted, "I guess you've heard the good news"
"Dad just called me" I paused, "Tosin"
"Don't even try to convince me Henry, since mom got back, you've been sleeping at the hotel"
"You've endured her crap for too long. Why now?"
"Cause she has never pulled that arranged marriage crap on me, now she wants me to date a fourty years old divorcee and stupid fourty years old Mama's boy."
"Forty.... That's like..." I stalled, I can't picture my little sister getting married to a man older than I am. This was too much even for mom!
"Henry I'm not returning back to that house. I'll go check out a house today and if it's good, I'll take it" "Where did you spend the night?" He asked, "At a friend's place"
"How are the twins?"
"They're sleeping, they couldn't sleep last night. They complained about the bed and there was no A.C and there's mosquito here."
"This is going to be really tough for them, I hope you know"
"I'm willing to go through this, the twins would just have to bear with me"
"Hey dear" Jummy woke up laying her head on Henry's chest. "Jummy's awake" I announced.
"Tell her I said hi" she answered then hung up.
I dropped the phone while Jummy's eyes lingered on it.
"Who was that?"
. She left the house"
"She wanted her independence, you know how mum can be" "I don't see anything wrong with the way mummy is. She's only looking out for you all"
I rolled my eyes. Jummy would support anything her future mother in law do or say.
"Good morning sweetheart" she greeted kissing me on the lip and I rose up.
"I have to get ready for work" i stood up naked and I noticed her eyes were still lingering on me.
"One more for the day?" She bit her lip and i shook my head.
"Sorry, I can't"
I learnt Miss Emmy was at the lobby waiting to be called in for the staff meeting. She was about to be announced as the assistant manager. Courtesy of Jummy and Mom.
Beautiful Nubia's ife oloyin filled the office, it was my new ring tone. I picked up the call. It was my cousin Niyi. He probably called to find out if I finally made you my mind about who should be my assistant.
"Hey Niyi" I began and I heard him laugh.
"Someone sounds stressed out"
"Dude, stressed out is an understatement. I finally succumbed to mom's manipulation to make Jummy's friend the assistant."
"Sorry about that" he apologized and I hissed tapping a pen on the desk. "Have you finally made your decision?" He asked and i shook my head.
He was definitely asking me if I had made a decision to stay in Nigeria. "I don't know man, I just don't know what I want anymore"
To be continued...