Lana drove off in my car. I did not feel comfortable leaving her alone. But with Lana, it could be difficult sometimes getting her to see reason when her mind is made up.
What was I thinking? I dashed into the house to get a key to another car. Where could she have gone? I racked my brain. Like a light bulb flicked on, I recalled the tracker fixed to my car.
Who would have thought that purchasing a product to encourage a sales rep would become a life saver? In fact, I bought two that fateful day with no use for the product but to help someone achieve his sales target.
I swiped open my phone to the application and there the car was still on the mainland.
I made up my mind to follow close by to ensure that she was safe. I could understand the need to be alone and the anger, but I also knew she needed to be careful.
I followed Lana for hours, almost cursing for the needless night drive foiled by her hurt. There was no pattern. It did not look like she was going anywhere. She drove in circles on the mainland and headed off to the Island.
On getting to Victoria Island, she turned in and out of streets sometimes coming back to the same point and driving off again.
At the point when I was beginning to wonder if we were going to spend the rest of our evening driving around Lagos with danger lurking from men of the night, she turned into a lounge.
There was no pattern for Lana tonight. She was tangential from her norm. A lounge? Lana ? If anyone had told me, I would have vehemently argued that It was impossible. I knew how she cringed her nose when her friends mentioned going to a lounge. But hey! Nothing that happened today has been the usual. Today was an unusual day.
In as much as I hated to be anywhere near a lounge with the drinking and heavy smoking going on I considered it my duty to be around her just in case, she needed help. Lana will pull down the roof If she found out I followed her but as long as she did not get into trouble, I did not need to show up.
I sat in my car as she took a moment to get out. Perhaps reconsidering the wisdom in coming here but just when I was about to heave a sigh of relief that she could be changing her mind, she opened her car and stepped out.
Lana is stunning beautiful although she had no clue what her looks did. I did not feel it was wise to be here alone and hoped the night would be uneventful.
She picked her lace piece and wrapped her head transforming her to about ten years older, but you can’t hide your looks by just a head cover. She would need more than that to draw away attention from her.
Hesitantly, she walked in, and with each step, the shouting in my head only grew louder to drag her home while I battled with letting her be.
My phone vibrated on the dashboard; it was a strange number but who could be calling me at 11 pm?
I picked the call, and immediately recognised the voice at the other end.
“Hello, Bode.” The voice was laced thick with worry.
“Hello Sir,” I responded feeling sorry for the man.
“Is Lana with you?” he asked with a hint of hope.
“No, she is not,” I answered which was not a lie.
He sighed with anxiety.
“She left home angry, and she is not picking her calls. We do not know where she is.
I was angry with him for keeping such secret from her, but it was not my place to air my opinion. There were family and will sort their problems out.
“You must be angry with me,” he said reading my mind.
I shrugged although he could not see me.
I did not deny it
“I have my regrets, what I thought was the best for her as I watched her grow, happy with my brothers family. I did not want to shatter her sense of family and security at a young age. I had hoped she would understand when she was older. Every year, there was always a reason to push it away. She graduated with honours, not this year. She went for service, not this year, and then she got a good job, not this year and, your breakup then, not that year either, she needed time to heal, time to be fulfilled to receive the news. But I failed to understand that there would never have been a better time.
Imagine the shock today that she could have married her cousin. You could be siblings considering your mothers are twins.”
I let him speak without interrupting. Apparently, the man needed listening ears not judgemental words.
“I underestimated the pain and hurt Lana would go through. I have never seen her so angry like I did today.
“Do you have any idea where she would be?”
It was a father’s plea, and my heart did not give to torture the man. Although, I would not have minded him paying a little if not all for my present dilemma.
He was not thinking of Lana only. He was also thinking of himself. He was waiting for the convenient time for both of them.
But who was I? He was man enough to admit he handled the situation wrongly. The only help I could give was to reassure him. I would not want his death on my head.
“She is at Le Blanco Louge on the Island. I followed her there, but she does not know.
“ Thank you, Bode. Thank you for giving peace to a father’s heart.
I think we should call her friend at work, the boss. A neutral person might help her see things in a better perspective.
A twinge of jealousy gripped my heart but why? I had never bothered about the closeness I saw between the two of them.
I beat my head why did I not think of that earlier. She apparently needed someone not connected to the drama she was going through.
I had no right to be jealous. Lana is now my cousin and not my fiancee. I must have said that over twenty times to myself like a mantra since Lana blurted it out to me some hours ago.
I need to put it in focus. Lana is my cousin. Tradition forbade us to get married.
It was not up to twenty minutes I spoke to Lana’s Uncle Segun when a car parked beside mine. It was Lana’s Boss. What’s his name again Drew or Andrew?
I got out of my car to say hello, and from the grim look on his face, he probably knew the whole story.
I stretched my hand to shake him
“ I am so sorry,” he offered genuinely drawing me into a brotherly hug, A part of me wanted to hate him but I could not. If he meant any harm, I probably would not have had Lana back. It was wrong of me to think badly of him. He has only being a friend, and a friend is what Lana needed now.
“Thanks, man. Now I can go home to sleep if it comes,” I tried at a small joke.
“She is all yours, but please don’t mention you saw me here tonight,” I begged.
“Lana will wring my neck for following her here,” I feigned a look of terror.
“You are the lucky one,” he retorted.
“How do I explain dropping in on her in the middle of the night at a lounge. The girl is full of surprises.Lana at a bar?
He cringed his nose mimicking her, and I could not but laugh.
As an official Ex, I endorse my blessing on their friendship.
I hope they both see that they could have a future together.
Throwing a mock salute with a bow, I reiterated my thanks.
We will both get this behind us.
I had been strong all day for Lana since I heard the news.But now that she had someone to help her. My façade of “all is well” faded like smoke and the reality of my loss and the fight for my sanity hugged me breathlessly.