Assurance

Bankole stared at his girlfriend with uncertainty. She arrived a while ago after calling and demanding that they needed to talk. Her tone had been very serious and Bankole was so sure he was going get broken up with. He tried to think of a reason why she’d be so mad. Maybe she found out about Esther. He hoped she’d believe him when he’d say nothing happened.

She sat on the only chair in his room. It was the blue plastic chair he used to entertain visitors who were too posh to sit on the floor. She was wearing a blue gown that was outlined with white on the edges. It was the gown she said her sister got her, the gown he said he loved her in. She sat legs crossed and twirled a few strands of her curly weave on with her fingers. The weave on she had coaxed him into buying. The black heels she had on was also courtesy of him.

“We need to talk,” She said and looked straight at him where he sat on his bed. He had managed to get a frame for the bed and for two days, she had been dropping by to nap on his bed. When there was no frame, she left even if it was midnight.

He swallowed nervously. If she broke up with him, he really didn’t know to explain it to his sister who absolutely adored her.

He managed to nod, and give out an “I’m listening.”

“Bankole,” she began, resting her hands on her hips and leaning forward. “I’ve been thinking about us, and I realised you don’t love me as much as you did.”

If he was in doubt before, that statement confirmed it. He was really going to get broken up with.

“What are you saying?” He asked, his heart hammering louder than the loudest volume of his sound system that sat in a corner.

Forget his sister, he wasn’t prepared to lose her. Her smiles, her laugh, her wisdom, her warmth, her Banga soup. Ah! Her Banga Soup! He would raise hell and fight for her, if her Banga Soup would be his only reward.

“Bankole, I love you with everything I am and have,” she shifted the chair closer to the bed and leant in to look in his eyes. Her eyes were burning with determination and it scared him. She held his hands in hers. “I need you to prove you love me. Bankole, assure me of your love!”

Bankole nodded feeling a little relieved. He already knew where it was going. Temi had a very unusual way of asking for money or affection. She would scream and accuse him of cheating, blaming his nonexistent girlfriend for eating all his money. She blamed him for giving someone else the money meant for her. As quickly as he could, he calculated the money in his account. Twenty thousand Naira. Five thousand was from his dad, seven thousand came from his elder sister, three thousand from three of his cousins that were doing fairly well. Each of them sent a thousand naira. Five thousand came from his mom.

“You know I love you,” he said.

Temi rolled her eyes and leaned back into her chair. “That’s what you’ll say na.”

“How can I prove my love to you?”

He had already calculated. He’d take her to KFC with seven thousand Naira, not a penny more. He watched her ears perk and she looked at him with a big smile.

“Well,” she giggled. “I wouldn’t mind a Porsche.”

She turned away from him and twirled her hair with her fingers. She stared at his blue walls like there was something interesting written on it.

Convinced he had misheard, he urge her to speak.

“Oya, let me manage iPhone X.” Again, she looked away from him.

“You need a Porsche?” he asked, convinced he didn’t mishear the first time. “Or an iPhone X?”

Temi nodded and looked at him. She dropping her hand from her hair.

“Do you need anything else?”

Her reply was instant. “No.”

“Are you sure? You don’t want a house in the Hampton, shopping spree in Dubai, private concert with Davido? You don’t want any other thing?”

Temi frowned. “Bankole, I’m being serious.”

“The only thing you’re serious about is your plan to kill me,” he snapped. “Let me ask you, were you happy in your heart when you thought of asking me for iPhone and Porsche?”

“Ah! Bankole, your own is too much o! Ordinary iPhone you’re acting as if I asked you for heaven and earth.”

“Ordinary iPhone?” Bankole echoed. Without another word, he walked to the corner of the room where his cooking utensils were packed. He searched and found his knife. He took it and walked back to her. He stretched the knife out to her.

“Take! Take!”

Reluctantly, she collected the knife. “What should I use it for?”

“Temi, kill me! Just kuku kill me and use me for blood money. With all the money I’ll generate, you can buy iPhone X and Porsche. Use the remaining to deposit for the next models.”

Temi looked at him with pure irritation before hissing. “Come on take this knife! Temi just kuku kill me. Use me for blood money,” she mimicked. “In you plastic mind, how much do you think you can generate? Highest highest, your true worth is five hundred thousand naira. And you’re here puffing and bending nyash like you can produce thirty billion. Collect this nonsense from my hand.” She threw the knife on the floor. “As if it’s not your mate that assured his girlfriend with a Porsche.”

Bankole shook his head and bent to touch his toes. “Sorry o! Chef Chi!” he stood up. “Aside from Banga soup, tell me one other thing you can cook. And it’s not like you can cook the soup well sef.”

“You’re mad! Ode! Idiot! Look at this fool that I’m managing o! You even saw Banga soup. You know what? We’re done! Through! Over! I’m breaking up with your stupid self!”

She grabbed her black clutch, also courtesy of him, and stormed out leaving Bankole behind. Bankole fell on his bed, disbelief dancing in his vein. He couldn’t believe she broke up with him. He contemplated running after her but before he could reach a decision, the door flew open and Temi walked in. She looked him up and down, and rolled her eyes.

“Oga wear your clothes, let’s go to KFC.”

Bankole stared at her with curiosity before shaking his head. “I don’t have cash on me.”

Temi scoffed. “When have you ever had cash on you? And besides, who said you were paying. Wear your clothes, let me pity your condition and buy you one plate of rice and Smirnoff Ice.”

Bankole fought back his smile. That was his Temi. She’d never ask for forgiveness, she’d rather do little things to earn it. He stood up and walked up to her. He pulled her in for a hug and automatically, her arms went round his waist.

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled out.

“Your Banga soup is the best.”

He shut his eyes and rested his jaw on her head. Even if he didn’t say it, he decided he’d buy her the latest iPhone and Porsche someday.

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