“You’ve been here for 20 minutes” Mrs Faloye announced, breaking into Seun’s reverie.
Startled, he forced a smile and lifted the glass of water that he had dropped briefly on the counter.
“You’ve not…” She began but Seun gulped down all the water in the glass before she could say any other thing.
Dropping the empty glass back on the kitchen counter, he walked into the living room with Lara’s phone.
He heard his mother’s call and continued with his walk out of the living room. Whatever she wanted to say to him could as well be discussed privately, he considered. She could start with her long talk and wake Lara, and he didn’t want that.
Entering his room, he stood beside the door, expecting his mom to barge in. She didn’t disappoint him and he decided to play a little trick on her for that. He stayed put and well hidden behind the door and watched her rummage the semi-lit room for him.
“Seun” she called out when she couldn’t find him, and began to walk towards the bathroom. Once at the bathroom door, she knocked and called out again.
Seun shut the door with a bang and got his mom’s attention.
“Oh! I thought you were here” she stammered, shyly pointing at the bathroom.
Seun smiled and sat on his bed.
“You don’t have to worry about me all the time” he muttered.
“A problem shared is half problem solved” she grinned and walked towards his son on the bed.
“Can you please stop telling me what to do?” He gasped.
“You are angry?” She winced.
“I’m not…” He defended and reached out to her.
“Just stop smiling with your eyes and nodding with your head…” He said with a smile and she warmly returned hers.
“And let me make my own decisions” he completed, squeezing her hands.
“But you’re letting a good thing pass you by” Mrs Faloye warned him softly.
“No, I’m not…” He whispered as he stood up, and continued.
“This… good house, did I let it go?”
“My vacation? I didn’t let it go”
“My God? He’s still at work in me”
“You? Dad? Family? Come on mom! I keep good things…”
“And Lara?” His mom interrupted with eyes fixed on his.
Stifling a laugh, Seun sat down again on the bed.
“She’s my friend mom” he responded calmly.
“And you’re okay with that?” She prodded.
“Mom!” He smirked.
“That’s all from me” Mrs Faloye said, lifting her hands up in defence.
“Thank you!” Seun blurted out in laughter.
Lara woke up and felt strange in her new environment. She sat up sharply and relaxed again when she recognised that she was at Seun’s house.
“7 o’clock?” She shuddered as she checked her wristwatch.
“I’m stuck here” she cried to herself as she realised that her plans to run away before sanitation began had been thwarted.
“Let me just press my phone till 9” she comforted herself and was shocked when she didn’t find it inside her purse. She frantically searched around the sofa she was seated on, and without success, she decided to search in Seun’s mom’s room, the only other place she had been to since she came.
“Ouch!” Mrs Faloye screamed as Lara mistakenly hit the door on her.
“E pele ma” lara jumped on her with force in a bid to salvage the situation, but Mrs Faloye suddenly withdrew from her grip with a grimace.
“What happened” Seun asked as he came out of his room, having heard his mom’s scream, but the ladies ignored him.
Lara started to apologise again but Mrs Faloye waved her apologies away and dragged her down the corridor, into her room.
“Bad breath” she whispered to Lara after she closed the door to the room and Lara covered her mouth in shame.
“It’s nothing unusual” she laughed, and rushed to her box for a new toothbrush.
As she gave it to Lara, she took her purse from her hands and pointed her to the bathroom.
“You’ll find tooth paste on the sink” she added and Lara sheepishly followed her direction.
“Other things are also there, in case you need a body wash and… I could get you a towel if you like” she continued.
“Thank you ma’am” Lara muttered without turning back, leaving Mrs Faloye in a confused fix.
Not knowing whether she needed a towel or not, Mrs Faloye shrugged and returned to close her box.
Lingering at the door and hearing nothing, Seun proceeded to knock.
“We’re fine” his mom screamed from the room.
Listening for footsteps towards the door and still hearing nothing, Seun knocked again.
“Lara?” He called out.
“We’ll see you later” his mom yelled again without moving.
Seun lingered a little while more at the door and proceeded to try the door knob.
Glad that it opened, he barged in.
“Oops!” He exclaimed as Lara came out of the bathroom with wet face and water dripping into and soaking her top.
“Seun?!” His mother reprimanded, but he still stood still in awe.
“I’m sorry” he managed mutter to Lara.
“It’s alright, I’ll leave” Lara said and took her purse from the bed, where Mrs Faloye had kept it.
Drying her wet body with some face tissues she had withdrawn from the purse, she forced a smile at Seun and left, shutting the door behind her.
“I’m sorry” Seun muttered to his mom.
“Of course” his mom responded with a glare.
“Did she need change of clothes?” He asked, ignoring his mom’s fury.
“That was wrong of you” she scolded without a flinch.
“I was only concerned” he exhaled and got up to leave.
“Wait! For who?” She intercepted him at the door.
“Lara…” He replied with a smile, and Mrs Faloye shook her head in pity for her son’s confused feelings as she returned to her bed.
Seun shut the door and was startled to find Lara standing at the post.
“Were you eaves dropping?” He asked, slightly accusing her of the crime.
” I’m not you… I’m only waiting to get my phone from inside” she retorted.
“Phone?” He asked mischievously.
“Yes… So can you shift your body off now?” She pointed at the door.
“Unbelievable…” He spat and walked away.
“What do you mean by that?” She asked, following him.
“I’m with your phone, so find another excuse” he threw over his shoulders.
“What? Wait!” She screamed and Seun stopped as he reached the door to his room.
“How?” She queried.
“When you were sleeping…” He began to explain, but Lara interrupted him and he realised that he started off wrongly.
“Can you listen to me first” he paused her banter.
“Just bring my phone to me please” she ordered and walked away to the living room.
Mrs Faloye stepped out of her room and found Seun standing like a fixture at the door of his room.
“I’m fine” he gestured as he intercepted his mom’s eyes, stopping her from uttering a word.
As she returned to her room, Seun went inside and got Lara’s phone, determining not to talk to her again until 9am, when it was time for her to leave.