3 times 3 (Part 3)

Bellema’s ways were like a plot in a suspense/ who dunnit novel. As the night wore on and the tempo of the music seemed to be getting softer, she suggested that all the guys dance with their ladies. Lolade and Pepper were the first to get up. John drew Bellema up with ease. Hafsat had been chatting on her phone, while Chidera looked sleepy. They got up too, nonetheless.

The dancing seemed to make the couples who had been laughing even closer, and the likes of Hafsat and Chidera, even more distant. Hafsat wasn’t comfortable with the speed with which Chidera had his hands on her body. She slow danced with him but made sure her bum jutted out so that their crotches wouldn’t touch.

The DJ had figured out the arrangement and approached Bellema to ask whether she had any particular song she wanted to listen to. Bellema requested 4 songs and gave the DJ a tip for being sharp. They danced till about 11.00pm.Hafsat and Pepper begged to leave. Lolade begged Pepper to let him drive behind her car to ensure that she got home ok. She accepted. As if on cue, Hafsat asked Chidera not to bother offering to see her home, because as she put it “she was used to getting home late on her own”. Chidera had laughed and said he could see she was a very independent woman and that he actually had no plans to see her home. John and Bellema left together, to do what Adults do at night. It was all too apparent.

Some weeks later, Bellema called the 2 ladies and informed them that she had just gotten 3 complimentary rooms in a resort in Epe. She wanted them to do a triple date. Hafsat was not happy she would be with Chidera again and was actually more excited at the prospect of seeing John again. She wasn’t sure, but she felt she had seen him give her a good look over. Bellema didn’t deserve John. Hafsat was ready to make an exception for John, if he wanted her. Bellema had dozens of men, surely she could let go of John!

Pepper and Lolade chatted every day from their first meeting. Pepper had become “Lolade said”. Bellema was happy for her. Bellema pretended that she couldn’t see that the Hafsat – Chidera combination was not working. She had seen Hafsat’s eyes on John more than twice and she needed Hafsat to be distracted.

The 3 men beat the ladies to the venue this time. The timing couldn’t be better! It was one of those public holidays that you had 2 days before the weekend. What could be better than that? The ladies came in Bellema’s car. Again, Bellema had it all planned out, on Saturday evening when they’d all be leaving the resort, the 2 ladies would be in Chidera and Lolade’s cars.

The resort was not a disappointment. There was a mini zoo, golf course, pool, tennis court, casino, bush bar, gymnasium and lots of stuff to keep you busy. There was a small lake very close to the African themed rooms. You could virtually fish outside your room. It was agreed that they should all meet up for dinner. The dining room was spacious and there was a live band playing high life.

During dinner, the lead singer of the band, came to Chidera singing a song in pidgin with the chorus “Why you dey slack? Go tanda with your Love” pointing at Pepper. Everyone burst out laughing because Chidera was seated beside Hafsat on one side and on the other, was Lolade. There was really no reason why the singer would think Chidera and Pepper were together. Lolade knew lots of jokes and cracked up the crew. The ladies’ make-up had started to run, because of so much laughing. John suggested they go to the bar, have some drinks and then maybe do some dancing in his room, so they could all be together. It was a good plan. Everyone said “ok”. Well, everyone except Hafsat. She had planned how she would make Chidera sleep on the sofa. Nothing was going to happen tonight. The benefits of alcohol began to show. Bellema had started her dancing again. John was on his phone chatting and smiling as if he’d rather be with the person he was chatting with. Hafsat was on a very long call. She was in and out of the room a lot. She didn’t want to talk much to Chidera. Lolade, Chidera and Pepper were in an argument over which tribe in Nigeria drinks the most. John was now definitely drunk. He suddenly tossed his phone aside and took his shirt off, exposing his chiseled torso and held tightly to Bellema from behind as she danced. He glued his body to hers and they glided together slowly in the dance and so beautifully too! He began to kiss Bellema behind her ear, around the back of her neck, holding her pony tail up. The others watched on in silence. Hafsat held her breath. She wished it were her John held and not Bellema. She tapped Chidera on the shoulder and said ”Abeg lets go joor, things are getting too hot here”. They left the room. Lolade and Pepper did too.

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I envision Hilda’s Shoulder to be a relationship park-a place you go to learn, vent and share. I have another understanding of the word relationship -I don’t think it is for people dating only. A marriage is a relationship too, and one which needs great rela- tions in the SHIP called home!
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