Ade and Mimi spent a lot of time together during the next few months. He was already certain after their first date that he really liked her.
Ade’s parents, sister and friends had started to ask him questions about Mimi, but he was not ready to answer them. He was happy simply spending time with her, and it never occurred to him to ‘define’ the relationship. It seemed that Mimi was also okay with their friendship and the time that they spent together.
It was when he accidentally-on-purpose stopped returning the calls of some ladies he had met through work and friends that he realized that he was in love with Mimi.
The realization surprised Ade; he had assumed that he was too jaded and world-weary to feel such an emotion.
He wondered if she sensed the change in the way he felt about her.
Ade had started to sense when Mimi started to like him-really like him.
It was in her thoughtfulness-buying him Arsenal jerseys when she traveled to England to visit her Uncle.
It was in her interest in him, reminding him to buy gifts for his parents on their birthdays and their wedding anniversary.
It was in the way that she started to look at him, like she believed almost everything he said to her, instead of looking as though she was trying not to laugh.
It was in the way she showed up at his place with the world’s strongest balm and an assortment of teas and medication when he had been ill with the flu. Ade had grumbled about how she bossed him around with orders like ‘take your medicine!’ and ‘drink this tea!’, stating that she would have made a terrible Nurse. Mimi had rolled her eyes and told him in the patronizing tone reserved for small children that he should have been grateful that she had taken time after her busy day working as an Accounting Officer to tend to him and his sulking ways. Ade said he would feel better if she gave him a bath. Mimi promptly threw a pillow at his head. Ade sighed, and wondered if she knew he hadn’t been joking.
Ade suddenly felt that he had to make his move-and fast. It occurred to him that he had never really asked Mimi if she spent time with men other than himself.
He now thought of the different times when she had told him she was busy when he had suggested going somewhere with her.
Was she spending time with another man?
What if she felt the same way about him, but decided to move on because he hadn’t told her how he felt?
What if some sharp guy took one look at her, saw her beauty and made a move on her?
What if she started to date someone else?
What if she invited him to her wedding to some random guy?
Ade shook the thoughts out of his head.
He would tell her how he felt.
If only for his peace of mind.
When Ade first told Mimi that he loved her and wanted her to be his girlfriend, about 6 months after their first date, she had said nothing at first. Mimi had just stared at him, searching his eyes for something hidden. Ade was not sure what she had seen in his eyes, but she had responded quietly with a simple ‘okay’.
It wasn’t really the response he had been hoping for, but ‘at least she did not laugh’, he had thought with relief.
Later that evening, after Ade had dropped Mimi at her house, and he was watching football at his friend Joe’s place, she called him.
‘Did you mean what you said?’ Mimi asked him.
‘Yes-I meant every word’, Ade responded.
‘Alright. I love you too. See you tomorrow’, said Mimi, and she hung up.
Ade’s smile lit up his face, making Joe laugh at him and throw some good-natured insults in his direction.
Ade didn’t care.
She loved him.
Mimi loved him.
Mimi stared at her phone after her conversation with Ade.
She had known that she had been falling in love with Ade for some time, but experience had taught her that emotions were best kept hidden until there was a sign that the feelings would be reciprocated.
Sometimes Mimi felt overwhelmed by her feelings for Ade, so once or twice, she had told him that she was busy when he had asked her to hang out with him. She hadn’t really been busy; she had just needed time to herself to sort out her thoughts.
Mimi was aware that Ade had probably had a ‘colourful’ past, but she wasn’t worried. She didn’t ask Shola about Ade’s dating history; she felt Shola wouldn’t have been very objective. Ade was her brother, after all.
Mimi felt that if the relationship was meant to work out, it would, and vice versa.
Since their first date, she and Ade had spent time together not just on conventional dates, but in regular, everyday situations.
A few weeks earlier, Mimi had been in the salon braiding her hair, when Ade called her, asking if she was free to hang out. ‘I’m getting my hair braided, and I still have a long way to go’, she had told him.
‘Oh that’s a shame. Where’s your salon?’ Ade had asked. ‘Fab Looks, the one in Area 11’ she replied. ‘Alright’, said Ade, ‘I’ll talk to you later’ and he said goodbye.
About 30 minutes later, Mimi noticed a movement from the corner of her eye, and there was Ade, standing at the entrance of the salon, looking unfazed at the appraising female stares as he walked into the salon.
Ade spotted her, smiled, and walked up to her and greeted her braider, who was staring at him with open curiosity. Ade dragged a chair close to hers, sat down, and brought out drinks and snacks from the carrier bag he had bought in with him. He handed them to Mimi, which she accepted with thanks.
Ade kept her company until she had completed the hair braiding process. He paid for her hair, much to her amusement, and tipped her braider generously, much to the lady’s undisguised delight.
The next morning, Mimi opened her eyes and the first thought in her head was that she was in love with Ade. It was a simple realization, devoid of any spectacle, bells or whistles.
She was in love with Ade.