Read Episode 1 of Clandestine here https://tomiadesina.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/clandestine-episode-1-2/
Lola rose to her feet as Alex stood cold by the door. “Welcome, Alex.”
“Err…Why are you not at work?” he asked with a rueful smile. He hoped that would melt his wife’s heart. It always did. It’s not easy to be a ‘fine’ boy!
Lola smiled back. “Would it be right for me to go to work when my husband didn’t return from watching a football game last night? A Sunday night?”
Alex cleared his throat and motioned towards a chair. “The game was very painful, we lost and I drank so much and ended up at Jude’s.”
“Oh, Jude?!” she cooed with a smile. “You can do better, Alex. Jude isn’t gay.”
Alex blinked. “Gay?”
“Who is she?” Lola asked.
Alex’s heart skipped a beat. His wife had never confronted him about another female. He swallowed as he processed a thought…‘Lola must have seen too many TV dramas and decided to try the normal accusation style to put him in a precarious position and force him to confess’. That must be it! He smiled in his heart. He wouldn’t be buoyed by that.
“Who is she?” Lola asked again.
Alex sighed. “Women! Babe, you know I love you.”
“I know…but I know you are also a cheating whore.”
He swallowed. “Lola?”
“Alex Ojo, who are you sleeping with? Or…let me make it easier for you, who are the other women in your life?”
Alex’s heart raced fast. He knew he had to do something to get away from this situation and the easiest way was to walk away. “Lola, I don’t have the time for this, I just came home to freshen up and return to work.” He said as he started to walk away.
Lola nodded. “I already ironed your blue shirt.”
“Thank you.” He replied and hurried upstairs.
Lola took a deep breath as she stared at the clock.
2 YEARS AGO
Jude dropped Alex’s phone on his bed. “So, you are having a date with the famous Lola David. We should put this ‘shii’ on twitter and when you take a picture with her, drop it on Instagram.”
Alex brushed his hair. “Do I look like a teenager to you?”
“Bro, this is legendary…and from your BBM, she is fine too. Why doesn’t she use her picture on her social media?” Jude asked.
“I think you should ask her.” Jude replied. “I would like to know why she leaves people guessing when she is this fine.”
Alex stared at him. “Do you think that I would ask her that?”
“There’s nothing wrong with that. By the way, how old is she? Has she told you? Maybe she is one of those babes that is hunting for husbands?”
Alex sighed. “Lola David is twenty-two.”
“Na lie! And she dey always tweet like some wise woman.” Jude retorted.
Alex shook his head. “Wisdom has nothing to do with age. I mean just look at you, you are an example.”
“Your Father!” Jude yelled as Alex chuckled.
Alex took a deep breath. “I like her.”
“Everyone likes her.” Jude replied as he picked Alex’s phone. “I should transfer her picture to my phone.”
Alex yanked the phone from him. “What are you trying to do?”
“I just want to have a picture of her.” Jude replied.
“And I refuse.” Alex said as he picked his car key. “Jude, I don’t want anything about this on twitter or anywhere else.”
Jude chuckled. “I won’t do what you won’t do.”
Alex smiled and walked out.
Lola was nervous about her first date with Alex. It was not like she had not been on dates before, but she actually did like this guy. Was that a strange thing? No. It felt like a good thing and that scared her. Alex did not only have the good looks and smooth talks, he did have the good brains too. She took occasional glances at her wristwatch as she looked ahead at the traffic that was slowly building on the mainland. Lagos and people! Her teeming population of people flooded the city irrespective of the day of the week…it would be wrong to guess that you could avoid traffic in the city on a particular day of the week. She didn’t want Alex to arrive at their proposed venue before her, she wanted to beat him to it, that way, she’d have something to ride on throughout their date.
As she went through the date in her mind, her phone buzzed. It was Alex. ‘God, please don’t let him say he is at the place.’ She said as she picked her phone. “Hello.”
“Apparently I possess the virtue of making it early to meetings.” He cooed from the other end of the line.
Lola’s face fell. God hadn’t granted her request. Alex had gotten to the venue before her and now she’d have to swallow humble pie on that part. “Don’t flatter yourself, young man. I am five minutes from you.” She replied.
“Oh, really? That means you are somewhere around my house because I am just stepping into my car.” Alex replied from the other end of the line.
Lola hit her head and a smile lurked round her face. She had just given herself away to an Alex that was still at home. She didn’t know how, but he made her smile effortlessly. It had to be something special. He was everything and more that she hoped for. He had won her over even without trying. Knowing how fickle her heart had fallen to him, she knew she had to wield it. She cut the call without saying another word. “Drive faster.” She said to the Taxi driver as the road started to open up for them.
Alex stared at Lola from across the table with a smile. She was different from most girls that he had been with, but his aim was still the same, he would not mind to score extra points with her. “So, are you going to tell me about him?”
Lola chuckled. “Him? You really are just like the other guys.” She said as she sipped her drink.
“How so?” he asked as he poured himself a drink.
Lola was doing her best to act as though Alex didn’t matter much to her and he was just another friend…so far, she felt she had fared decently and her responses to his questions would also go a long way to prove that she was immune to his charms…but who was she kidding? She was smitten!
“You still haven’t answered my question.” Alex said as he dug his fork into the food. “How am I like the other guys? Because I asked about him?”
“I know you want to go out with me, but asking about ‘Him’ is just a sleazy way of going about it.” She replied.
Alex laughed. “You are so full of yourself, Lola. I don’t want to go out with you.” He replied. “You must really think high of yourself and I think it’s cool.”
“I think you are being evasive of the truth.” She replied.
He nodded. “Maybe I would like to be your boyfriend someday, but the fact that you have mentioned it before I have even given it a thought must suggest that you have it in mind also.”
“I just know men.” She replied as she ate.
“My darling, you don’t know men, you only know some things about men.” He replied.
Lola felt some heat flush across her face. She wasn’t particularly the lady that knew how to be wrong, she was always on the right side, but Alex was right with his deduction. She must have jumped the gun too early…and now, she needed to do what was necessary of every ‘humble’ person. “You are right about that. I guess I just know some things about men.”
Alex smiled at this. “Now that we have gotten that out of the way, tell me about him.”
“What is there to know?” she asked.
“You have always been evasive of it, there has to be something to know.” He replied.
She shrugged. “We are no longer together. I guess that sums it up.”
“Why? If I am going to be with you, I’d like to make it work. I won’t want to make the same mistakes that he did.” Alex said with a smile.
Lola laughed. “We are back to where we started then.”
“Did he meet you at Clandestine Bar?” Alex asked.
Alex smiled. “That’s a good sign for me then.”
“How?” she asked.
“The Clandestine Bar happens to be your best place and meeting a guy you like there can only mean this is real.” He replied.
Lola laughed. “Why do you think I like you?”
“Don’t you?” he asked with a raised eyebrow. Alex knew how to accentuate his looks and his full eyebrows worked for him too. He added a corny smile to it. “This is your last chance to ask me out, Lola.”
That got Lola laughing. Actually, almost anything he said or did could get her to smile or laugh. She loved him.
There are a lot of things that come with being married. One of them for Lola was cutting down her frequency to the Clandestine Bar. Alex wasn’t a fan of music and so, he tried to accompany her to the bar twice a month and after a while, he got pretty bored of it all. Lola tried to sustain her passion for it, but then, there are some things that could always be put aside. From twice a month to once a month, and now, she hadn’t been to the bar in about three months. She missed that bar!
Lola stared hard at the paper in her hand. Somewhere in her mind, she had hoped that Alex was nothing like the man she had found him out to be in the last couple of months. Her phone vibrated. Her boss had been calling her to know why she hadn’t reported for work in almost a week.
Lola had spent the last three months of her marriage trying to understand why Alex was unfaithful to her. She had loved him in the best way that any woman could but all she had been rewarded with was his infidelity. How did she know this? Lagos is quite a big city but when you are popular on the internet, your life becomes pretty constricted…and possibly you automatically become a ‘celebrity’. Lola had not asked for all these, but her voice had echoed more than she expected.
She had received a message from one of her friends via Twitter indicating that her husband was quite the promiscuous type. She immediately dismissed the accusations and tried not to bring it up with Alex to avoid any scuffle with him. He once mentioned to her about how ‘social media would kill your relationship’ when they had some tension during their courtship. She was not one to talk about her personal life but Alex still felt that her popularity might draw some attention to them. She had desisted from frequent visits to her accounts but with the incessant messaging from this particular contact of hers, she decided to do a little investigating of the matter.
It is often said that ‘you shouldn’t go seeking answers if you can’t stand the outcome’. Lola was not finding the outcome of her findings very easy, but there are a number of things that we just learn to deal with.
Alex spent more time in the bathroom than he usually would. He knew time was racing against him as he had to return to work, but he was also concerned about his wife’s first direct accusation of his infidelity. Could Jude have mentioned it to her? He knew his friend would not dare to do such to him. He believed that it must be the usual ‘feminine instinct’ and in that case, he had to thread carefully. Why was he even a cheat? He thought to himself. Honestly, it was just fun for him to still be able to shag around and have a wife. Being a married man didn’t have to change everything. He loved his wife, but ‘call girls’ could be fun and spontaneous. Lola was tender and he respected her for it, but he loved the adventures that came with his promiscuous life.
He got out of the shower and started to prepare for work. He needed to find a way to get Lola’s mind off her accusations so as not to aggravate any issues between them. He knew what he must do not to hurt his marriage to Lola. He had to cut off all ties with those women and try to let go of his dirty ways.
2 YEARS AGO
“Are you serious about settling down with her?” Jude asked as he handed Alex a bottle of beer.
Alex nodded. “I am in love with her.”
Jude sighed. “Man, I don’t know about this o…you know how it is over here, single…no boundaries, free as a bird…basically-”
“-irresponsible!” Alex cut in.
Jude smiled. “Are we actually irresponsible? We take care of our parents and family.”
“That’s a duty.” Alex replied as he sipped his drink.
Jude cleared his throat. “When was the last time I took a bottle of beer at your place?”
“Exactly!” Jude said cutting in. “Lola doesn’t like all that, therefore, you have stopped having them. I haven’t seen beer in your house in a while now…and you hardly even take it anymore. You are losing your freedom to her.” He replied.
Alex shrugged. “Maybe she is worth it.”
“No woman is worth it, brother. Remember Brenda, I thought she was my life and look at how she dumped me.”
Alex sighed. “I think I am in love.”
“You are just twenty-seven, you still have a few more years ahead of you before you settle down.” Jude said. “Lola is quite young too, I know she has attained quite a lot for her age and to be honest it baffles me that she is so good in this generation, but man, don’t be tied down to that.” He concluded.
Alex dropped the bottle of beer. “Jude, I don’t want to lose her.”
“I don’t think you will. You guys have been together for some months now, she is into you. So, you can take advantage of that to stall things for quite some time. Live your life to the fullest, you can’t be stuck with one lady…you are not a sissy. Get all the girls you can!” Jude added.
Alex chuckled. “I don’t know how you managed to graduate with a First Class with that dead brain of yours. All you think of is women.”
“Bro, you also made a first class and you aren’t any better.” Jude sneered. “Besides, I would be better than you in this game if I had the looks you have.”
Alex relaxed in his chair and scrolled through his phone’s gallery and then fixed his gaze on Lola’s picture. He didn’t know if Jude was right about him stalling things with Lola. He knew he wanted to settle down someday, not because of his mother who had not stopped singing to him about a young successful man needing a woman by his side, but because he wanted to have a woman to call his own someday. Maybe he felt possessive or selfish or had all the wrong reasons, but he knew that Lola did fit the description of the woman he’d want to call his wife. Beautiful, Intelligent, Smart and Successful…and most importantly, she was the only lady that had his heart. Why would he not want to be with her before doubts set in for her?
“Are you staring at her picture?” Jude asked, jolting Alex out of his thoughts.
Alex nodded. “Yeah.”
“It’s over for you, bro.” Jude replied with a grin. “
Lola wasn’t sure if she had done the right thing, but when something didn’t feel right anymore, maybe it actually wasn’t right. She didn’t understand why Alex would choose to hurt her with infidelity. He made her feel like a fool by claiming to be in love with her, but by not giving her his all. That couldn’t be love.
Alex walked into the living room. “Do you want me to drop you on my way?” he asked.
Lola stared at him. “Are you not running late for work?”
“I am…but I just want to help you.” He replied.
“Why?” she asked.
He sighed. “Lola, I am not in the mood for all these. If you don’t want my help, no problem. I have a very important meeting soon, so, I’ll see you in the evening.”
“Won’t you be visiting her this evening?” Lola asked.
Alex scoffed. “There is no one but you, Lola. Stop being dramatic. My team lost yesterday and I was really sad about it, so, I stayed back with Jude, that’s all. If you don’t believe me, ask him. If you don’t believe him, then too bad.”
Lola swallowed. “Am I really that shallow to you?”
She stood up. “You must think you married a fool, right?”
“Lola, get a grip. I am not sure I have the time for all these now, and I don’t like you building assumptions and hurting yourself with things that are not.” He said and approached the door.
“Where were you last night, Alex?” she asked.
Alex sighed and opened the door. “At Jude’s place.”
Alex stopped and turned as he stared at Lola. “Excuse me?”
“You were with Tricia last night.” Lola said as she took a seat and picked up a paper from the table. “And last week when you claimed to be on a business conference, it was Jennifer…and there is also a Bola in your life…and even “Dirty”. Dirty. You slept with a lady who calls herself Dirty. That’s…that’s just disgusting.”
Alex’s breath stopped for a minute. He turned to Lola. How did she get those names? Or did she just conjure them? He blinked and walked into the room slowly. “I…I-”
“It’s okay. I have spent months visiting brothels, motels, and clubs tailing you, finding out information from people and humiliating myself by mingling with call girls just to get names. That can be pretty low, you know? It is really low.”
“Lola…” he said as he stood before her. Her eyes told no emotion. She had no tears in them, she just stared at him. That’s not the type of woman you want to see as a man when you have just been accused of infidelity. You’d rather see a woman with tears in her eyes, which might give you some hope of a fight from her. Lola just stared at him. She was done.
She took a deep breath. “Alex, I am exhausted.”
“I am sorry, Lola”
She shrugged. “It’s okay, Alex.”
“Is it?” he asked.
She nodded and picked an envelope. She pulled out a file from it and handed it to him. “Those are our divorce papers, please sign them, Alexander.” She said and walked into the house.