Jake stared at us for a while. There was this awkward silence among us, and for a while, it seemed as though no one was interested in saying a word. Jake then broke the silence.
“I could just go.” He said, pointing at the door.
I rolled my eyes. This is a situation where I would not want to be, but at this moment, I could not help it. “I am sorry I didn’t reply your message last night, Jake.” I said dumbly.
He smiled. “You mind introducing us.” He said staring at Dare.
I immediately rose to my feet. “Jake, meet my boss, Dare Ade-Cole, and Dare, meet Jake, my friend.”
Jake nodded with a smile. “Boss?” he extended his hand to Dare and they shook firmly. “Why are you here so early Sir, did you forget some documents with Darlene?” he asked.
“I don’t think I have to answer that question.” Dare replied, withdrawing from the handshake.
“Break it off guys, will you?” I immediately cut in.
Jake clutched his I-Pod to his sweatpants. “I can’t recall us starting a fight. You just lack a complete sense of humour D.,” he said, grinning.
“Jacob, why are you here?” I asked.
He smiled. “You never used to ask me that.”
“Well, she is now.” Dare interrupted.
Jake’s eyes shot blood red in anger. “Hey Tough guy, I wasn’t talking to you.”
“Someone’s getting touchy, Darlene, you seem to have a lot of Pauls in your life.” Dare replied, casting a quick glance at me. I froze as all I could think of was Jake’s fist landing in Dare’s face, but to my surprise, Jake smiled and walked out.
“Jake, Jacob...Jake” I yelled, as I headed after him. “Security, Please stop him.” I alerted. He was in no mood to listen as he shoved the security man out of his way. He got into his car and immediately drove off.
I stared at the dusts that Jake’s car pushed at me as he left. “Jake...Jake...Jake...” I murmured softly, as I held on to my Pyjamas.
“Don’t make yourself a dummy for dusts.” Dare said as he touched my shoulder.
I turned to him angrily. “It seems as though you have a talent for disgusting people, you successfully pissed Paul off, and you have just done that with Jake.”
“It turned out well with Paul; at least he is out of your life.”
I rolled my eyes. “Really? At what expense? He is married to a woman he hooked up with at the Bahamas.” I replied.
“That makes it safe,” he said, smiling.
I hissed. “You think this is funny. It isn’t!”
“He started it, turns out he wasn’t man enough to take the heat.”
I laughed so hard that Dare had to stand back.
“What’s funny?” he asked.
I stopped laughing and smiled. “Jake would have smashed you to bits if he had waited one extra second.”
He bit his lips. “So, are we still going out?”
“I never agreed to go out with you. Moreover, even if I did, you have done an awful lot this morning. So, please leave.”
Dad rubbed his chin. “That’s a bit too hard to swallow. Are you kicking me out?” he asked.
“You are already outside my house; I’ll just shut the gate after you.” I replied.
Dare adjusted his shirt. “You are on weird girl. Ok...Bye.” he said and left.
“You have a lot of mess to clean up.” Dora said, as soon as I returned into the house.
I rubbed my forehead. “You bet.” I leaned on the sink for support. I have always said that I am not a huge fan of Saturdays and today just show why. Jake and Dare showing up at my house unannounced, I would have made an exception for Jake on a normal situation.
“I’ll say your boss is rude and offensive.” Dora said, dishing breakfast into the Chinas. I smiled. I knew better. “How do you cope with him? Well, it’s obvious he likes you, so he may be a bit nicer with you.”
I had a hurried breakfast and left for Jakes. ‘Ding-Dong’ the doorbell to Jake’s apartment chimed softly. He co-shared a flat in his father’s estate with his sister, but now, she is out of town, so Jake practically owns the flat. A real Porsche flat, if you ask me.
“Hey D.” Jake said, opening the door.
I frowned at his niceness. ‘Jake could be up to no good.’ I thought. Jake shut the door quietly after me. “Do I get you some Ice Cream? I am treating myself to some.”
He winked. “Never mind, you will like it.” He said and dashed into the kitchen.
‘This is the Jake that I hate to see.’ He could just act as though everything was normal, or maybe, everything is normal. He returned with two cups of Ice Cream and handed me one with a spoon. I sniffed the edges of the cup. Jake chuckled.
“You are safe with me, you have always been.” He said.
I dropped the cup on the side table. “Jake...” I stressed. “I am sorry, love.”
“Why are you sorry?” he asked, scooping his Ice cream coolly.
I frowned. “Come on Jacob, I am sorry about what Dare did?”
“Dare? I was not offended by his actions. He did the same to Paul; he should bag a degree in dehumanizing people.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Are you going to deny it?”
“He didn’t dehumanize Paul. Paul was trying to kill us.” I protested.
Jake scoffed. “Who are you trying to convince? We both know that Paul couldn’t hurt you.”
“Can you hear yourself Jake? Paul was with a rifle, a loaded one. I was lucky to have Dare around me.” I replied.
Jake hissed dryly. “I hate that guy.”
“So why did you act all nice like nothing had happened when I walked in here?” I asked, grabbing my bag.
Jake rubbed his forehead. “D, you fired up this discussion. It ended the minute I left your house.”
“I apologize for that Jacob.” I replied.
Jake finished his Ice cream and rose to his feet. “Darlene, I am sorry. I should have told you that I would be visiting, but I went for an early morning spin and decided to check on you.”
“Jacob, you can always check on me.”
He smiled. “No D, we are adults, not 6 anymore. I have to respect that.” He replied and left for the kitchen. Jake’s words sent cold chills down my spine. I left his house before he returned from the kitchen. I headed for my driving lessons.
I spent two extra hours at the driving school; I wanted to be on the wheels by the end of the month. I stopped at the grocery to get some apples; I intend to make some apple juice.
“How did your day go?” Dora asked as soon I walked into the kitchen.
I sighed and dropped the apples. “Not too well. Jake has so much on his mind, and I guess I will not be able to take them when he starts pouring them. I don’t want to lose Jacob.” I said, and hugged Dora.
“I’ll call this the Plight of women. Do you know what you want, honey? You want Jake to stick around forever; I’ll say you should marry him.”
I released myself from the hug and stared at her. “Could we have a serious conversation for five minutes without your insensitive jokes interfering?”
“The point with keeping best friends especially of the opposite sex is that you don’t realise that you live a life together. You should just make out and get married.”
I stared at her. “Is that your idea of having a best friend?”
“Naturally, opposite sex don’t do fantastically well as best friends, the attraction still come. Maybe you are blind, but it’s obvious that Jake can see what is coming ahead.”
Dora held my hand like a mother. “Stop living a lie. Define your friendship with Jacob.”
“That’s it Dora. I need to rest.” I replied and left for my room.
I inhaled deeply as I closed my door. I clasped my hand on my head and sat by the door. I could not stop the tears that flowed down my cheeks afterwards. ‘Welcome to my moment of strength.’
“We can always talk about this Darlene.” Dora said from the other side.
“Just go away.” I replied, amidst my tears.
She tapped on the door lightly. “You don’t have to face this alone.”
“Let me be Dora. I’ll be fine. I always have.”