‘Oh come off it, Kehinde, you think I don’t know? Or you must think I’m blind.’ it was the first time in our discussion that irritation showed in his voice.
The cursed phone began ringing again and in anger I slammed against the red button.
What did Austin know?
‘What are you talking about?’ with the little courage that hadn’t fled me, I asked this question.
‘My sister was at your party, you know.’ he casually traced the edges of his plate with the fork.
Darn it. What had that tattle tale seen?
‘I know. So what?’
‘So was your white boyfriend. You should put two and two together to know how I know, ‘
‘That doesn’t say anything. I have many male friends who were at my party that night.’ I wondered why I felt obliged to clear this up, to explain things to him.
‘Not many had their tongues down your throat, ‘
There he had said it. What I’d been suspecting. But in a way I was relieved that it was just that, he knew. Not about before. Or the expensive gifts.
‘Well, last I checked what I do with my tongue or throat is none of your business. Not anymore at least.’ I said.
‘Even the fact that you were seeing him while we were dating?’
I stopped, with the fork halfway to my mouth.
‘What?!’ I dropped the sharp cutlery. ‘What are you insinuating?’
‘Did you or did you not know this white man before we were married?’
‘Point of correction, before we were about to be married.’ I said, taciturn.
‘Yeah, whatever. ‘
Perhaps it was the nonchalant way he said it or the fact that I did not just like the ‘whatever ‘word that brought me to my senses.
What was I doing, breaking bread with a man I was supposed to hate? Having a conversation we should have had before he left me at the altar?
Ronke would be mad at me.
‘Kehinde, I’m waiting. ‘
He only called me that when he was angry or serious. I wasn’t sure which he was now.
And I didn’t care.
‘You have no right to question me,Miater. We’re done. I don’t answer to you anymore.’ I pushed back my chair, standing. ‘This…whatever this is, is over.’
I had never walked out on him before, not even when I was angry. But this time I walked out without looking back, silently praying I didn’t burst into tears there.
I didn’t know how I made it home from there, but I did and I was grateful Ronke wasn’t home yet because I wasn’t ready to share my encounter with her yet.
I crawled into bed and while wishing for a different life, I fell asleep.