“What did you think of KP?” Dora asked as we ironed our clothes. I stared at her as I pressed the iron firmly to my shirt collar, the shirt needed a great deal of aggressiveness, just as Dora’s question might require. I did not have any real encounter with her boyfriend so why was she asking my opinion. I guess it boils down to one of those traditional questions that require an answer whether it was appropriate or not.
“I think he is cute”. I replied, trying to avoid her gaze.
“Cute? Oh…whatever, I don’t need you to make me feel good about KP” she replied, sounding unimpressed with my replied.
‘This girl is such a wonder’, I thought. I decided to switch the topic. “Hope you guys had fun yesterday?” I asked, smiling at her.
“Come on Darlene, is there any real fun in picking groceries?” she asked, looking straight-faced.
Now Dora had stunned me. Here I was trying to make an effort in being friendly, but she was bent on rebuffing my efforts. I was now wearing a frown.
“Oh no!” she yelled as she caught sight of my face. She then burst into a cold laughter as she tried to cover her mouth with her hands. ‘Now what did my evil stepsister consider funny?’ I thought. “You really need to develop a sense of humour,” she said, as she smiled. “You shouldn’t take life too serious, it’s too short, and we ain’t going back alive,” she concluded with her eyebrow raised.
I must admit that I did treat life with a great deal of seriousness. That is my nature and I shouldn’t be crucified for it. Nevertheless, Does Dora’s definition of ‘sense of humour’ imply replying me meanly? I would rather not have a ‘sense of humour’.
“I would say that your jokes are wacked” I replied, sounding offended. Only yesterday, she was an angel and now all I can see are the traces of ‘Cinderella’s evil stepsisters’, but I honestly, I can’t be bothered.
“I will have to improve on them in the nearest future” she replied. “I am taking lessons from Chuck Norris,” she added. “Let’s talk about you Darlene,” she said, clapping her hands excitedly. She looked like a middle school gossip ready to hear anything. I turned off the iron as I hung my cloth. “Tell me about your love life”
“I don’t have a ‘love life’” I replied, taking my seat. “But, I used to have a boyfriend.” I said.
“Are you single?” she asked.
“Wow!” she sighed. “I have never pictured you as the single type even for a day. You have everything a guy wants.” She said. “Well...almost everything.”
“Why are you single?” she asked as she put aside her iron. “This is Lagos and single guys are like flies here, I can get you a real man in a snap,” she said, snapping in my face.
I jerked. Dora smiled at me and trotted out the old cliché that ‘a trouble shared is a trouble halved’. “I don’t have a problem,” I said, standing up.
“You do Sister” she replied, following me. “You are still single and that is uncomfortable”
“I recently broke up with my ex!” I yelled. “Is that comfortable”
A grin danced round her lips. “Now we are getting to somewhere” she started, taking her seat. I leaned against the door and watched Dora ‘psychoanalyse’ me. “The real problem is that you haven’t met a real man,” she said. “Just look at KP, he’s a real man, he has all the packs in the right places.”
“Are we going to talk about me or KP?” I asked.
“I am so sorry” she replied. “What was your ex like?”
“Well...Paul is the one way guy, not really funny, but he tries to bring up some wacked jokes like you” I replied, wiping a sweat off my brow. “I think he loved me”
Dora sighed. “Did you love him?” she asked, with her eyebrow raised. I stared at Dora and shook my head. It felt too heavy to say ‘I never loved him’. I had started to feel guilty about my break up with Paul. “Why did you date him?”
I smiled. “To keep my pride and prove a point to Sir Williams.” I replied, taking my seat. “Dating Paul was my decision and I accept full responsibility for it, but I wish I never did”. Dora stared at me carefully; she opened her mouth and then swallowed. “Don’t swallow it Dora. I’d rather you spit out what you think about me.”
“How could play with a man just to appease your ego?” she asked. I buried my head in my hand. “Did you at anytime fall in love with him?”
I wish I could have had an affirmative response. “No. Dora, we broke off on very weird circumstances. He threatened to commit suicide, and I was lucky to have my boss around to help.” I stressed. ‘Did Dare really help?’ I thought.
“Where is Paul now?” she asked, as she sat beside me.
“Honestly, I have no idea. He disappeared after he threatened to commit suicide,”
“Do you think that he could have carried out his threat?” she asked.
‘Oops!’ I had never thought of the possibilities of Paul actually committing suicide because he packed some clothes. “I don’t think he could have, he packed some of his clothes and left his phone behind as he left town.”
“I think it is important that we carry out a detailed investigation on his whereabouts. I don’t think you will feel comfortable until you are sure that he is alive,” she said. ‘Paul couldn’t have committed suicide’ I thought. Dora inhaled deeply. “Let’s talk about Jake,” she said.
“Yes...Dad calls him your ‘guardian angel’,” she replied. “I am dying to meet him”
If Dad could mention Jake to Dora as my ‘guardian angel’, it meant that he held him in high regards, maybe not as high as I might imagine, but Dad must have him in his heart. “He is in the Bahamas” I replied, with a smile. “Personal retreat” I added quickly.
“Is it a body and soul retreat?” she asked. I nodded in agreement, not knowing how to explain Jake’s ‘personal retreat’. “Is he fun to be around?” she probed.
I laughed. “He makes everything fun, I have missed his presence.” I replied, with a large smile. “I have not been able to communicate with him and that makes me so upset,” I added, with a frown.
“You must like Jake a lot.”
“I love Jake. He has been my friend and brother, I miss him”. I yawned. “We have got work to do tomorrow”
“Yes, we are going to have a busy day tomorrow in the office, Dad always require alertness of me” she replied. I smiled at her. “Do we continue this tomorrow?” she asked.
I looked at Dora as a lady who was throwing in every effort to make friends with me, the least I could do was to come down from my high cloud. “Sure Sis”