by Abolore Babatunde
Most ladies say they can never play the second banana. I thought so myself – in fact I was always quick to criticize anyone who played ‘assistant’, especially if she played the part intentionally. Then I met Laolu.
Laolu is not every girls dream – not even mine – but there was just something about him. I’m still trying to figure what had me falling for him like a lamb heading to the slaughter.
It was all rosy – calls, gifts, affection, name it – so I thought I had struck gold. Love at last! After about two months of ‘fronting’ I ended up at his place and bam! End of story. And yes, the sex was great – what more could a girl ask for?
Then one day, ‘like play, like play’, he told me he had a girlfriend. Just like that he dropped the bomb. Don’t be quick to judge me – he had never mentioned another girl, there were no pictures, and he did what any ‘normal’ boyfriend would – calls, dates, and so on. When I heard about her I was in shock but I didn’t show it, though I was dying inside. Surprisingly I should have been mad, but I wasn’t.
I’m sure most of you know next line of action: Stop seeing him! Well I couldn’t, and unconsciously I began to make excuses for him. Excuses (really dumb ones) like ‘he likes me more’; ‘she doesn’t want to let go’; and a bunch of rubbish, even though we never spoke about her. In my world she just didn’t exist – well so I hoped – till judgment day came.
On that ‘evil’ day I was talking to Sola, a new colleague at the office, when I got a text message from Laolu. “Thinking of you. Miss you loads,” it said.
Before I knew it, I’d blurted, “Uh! He’s so sweet”.
“Who is?” my colleague asked innocently.
I (fortunately for him, I guess) replied, blushing, “It’s my friend, jare. He says he’s thinking of me and missing me”.
“Na wa o, do I know him?” she asked, laughing.
“I don’t think so. He hasn’t been here since you started work here. His name is Laolu,” I answered. As if that wasn’t enough detail, I continued, “Olaoluwa Akran”.
“Really? My friend’s boyfriend is also an Akran – Shenayon Akran. Maybe they’re related,” Sola answered.
I concurred. “It’s possible. Let me ask him.”
Not knowing I was signing my own death warrant, I sent him a message asking him if he knew a Shenayon Akran who had a girlfriend named Kemi Lawal (the girlfriend’s name, according to Sola).
After a couple of minutes (we had both gone back to our various work stations), Laolu called and asked who I had been talking to – he skipped the usual lovey-dovey talks – and I told him it was a colleague at work.
“Hope you didn’t say anything about us because I’m Shenayon and Kemi is my girlfriend.”
Like lightning, it hit me for the first time – Laolu actually had a girlfriend. I went numb, but heard myself say “of course not”.
The goat (yes, goat) replied, “Okay! Hope you’re good. Will you come say hi after work?”
“I’ll try,” I replied.
Imagine the idiot expecting me to be calm and rational after the ‘heartbreak’ he’d just brought on. At that moment reality set in and it occurred to me that I had been lying to myself, hoping that if he was made to choose between either of us, he would pick me.
Some of you might say I got what I deserved. Well, that’s the bitter truth, but I guess I would do it all again because every minute with him was worth it. Other people in similar situations might be lucky to be the ‘girlfriend’, but sadly most girls end up like me – kicked to the curb; heartbroken; scathed – end of story. I guess you can never really know if you are the ‘one’, right?