And then he said what?!” Florence laughed as her roommate and friend, Felicia, sat up straight from where she had been lying down. They were both having a lazy Sunday morning and had refused to get up and face the day, choosing instead to lie down and gossip about the past week. Florence lounged on the lone bed, enjoying the breeze from the fan rotating above her, while Felicia was sitting on the carpeted floor. The thick curtains were drawn shut and the room was dim as the lights were off, but Felicia’s eyes gleamed in the near darkness. “These your eyes sef. Anya torch on fleek. Only your teeth and eyes dey shine for your body.” Florence teased. Her roommate was very dark-skinned and pretty, and her complexion had earned her the name of Black Barbie.Felicia waved away the playful insult. “Biko, no be me colour myself. Please, return to the sweet gist na. What did Jide Babalola say about not sleeping with….?” Florence shook her head, already regretting bringing up the topic. “Forget what I said.” Felicia made an indignant sound and bounded up to flick on the lights, causing Florence to groan and pull a wrapper over her head. “See, stop that rough play o. You can’t giveme half-gist and just leave it like that.” Felicia threatened, jumping on the bed. She pulled the wrapper open and held a hand threateningly over Florence’s face.
“Ifyou try me eh, I will just stain you with my body.” Florence laughed helplessly, holding up a hand in surrender as she sat up. She smiled at her roommate, feeling happy. Although sharing a room had not been part of her plans after university, she had been fortunate to be paired with someone as friendly and fun as Felicia, and once again she thanked God under her breath for giving her a good friend.Felicia listened avidly as her roommate told her all that had transpired between Jide Babalola and herself. When she was done, Florence was surprised by the first thing her friend said. “It’s amazing how quickly you started liking this guy o.”“What?”
Florence stared at Felicia in confusion. “Which kind yarn be that na? Where is that one coming from?” Felicia smiled knowingly. “My dear, I know you. I have lived through your last two relationships and trust me, when you talked about those guys, your eyes didn’t light up like this.”“Light up? Am I NEPA?” Florence asked crossly.
“So you think I would start dating a married man who, by the way, is presently cheating on his wife? Do I look like I want to be part of some list of mistresses?”“Don’t be angry.” Felicia placated. “I didn’t say you would date him, but I do think you like him. And I don’t blame you. Apart frombeing successful and wealthy, he seems intelligent and charming too, from what you’ve told me about him. But I know you, my dear. You have principles.
You would never date a married man.”“Of course not!” was the indignant response, but after Felicia went into the bathroom a few minutes later to prepare for church, Florence went over the incident and her response in her mind.Maybe her friend was right and she was attracted to Jide Babalola, but she couldn’thonestly predict how she would react if he made a pass at her. Would she stick to herscruples? Or would she be unable to resist his charm and wit?Florence prayed she would never be faced with making that kind of decision.
It wouldbe a huge disappointment to herself if she could not stick to her own moral principles.Besides, despite Jide Babalola’s protestations of innocence, Florence was convinced he was cheating on his wife. It was obvious. He may not have slept with his colleague as he claimed, but the red lipstick on his sleeve she had seen on her first day of work on his office floor and theheated embrace she had seen at Anita’s party was more than enough to draw a solid conclusion from. He had already gone too far with his colleague. And as faras she knew, it could very well be a normallifestyle for him. Anita Bankole might not be his first and was probably not going to be his last.It would be wise to keep things strictly professional with a man like Jide Babalola, Florence cautioned herself.Someone like that had no conscience to speak of.** **But Florence was wrong. Jide Babalola didhave an active conscience and it pricked at him every minute he spent around his unsuspecting wife.His mind churned up scenarios where Patricia discovered he had kissed Anita or done worse. The fallout would be terrible. His wife would not handle that kind of betrayal kindly; he even suspected she would leave him without a second’s pause. Early on, when they had begun dating, it had been one of the first things she had warned him about. Her previous serious relationship had ended because ofinfidelity and the experience had scarred her; cheating was something she had told him she would never forgive.And yet, here he was, on the verge of it. If Patricia ever got an inkling of how far he had already gone with Anita, there was no doubt what would happen.His marriage would be over.
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