“What if this is a mistake Kayode?” Funmi asked, while also approving a payment invoice. It was Sunday evening and she had gone to the office to quickly finish some assignments she abandoned after Kayode’s kiss on Friday.
That kiss had being a turning point. Funmi realised it was useless denying the strong affections she had for Kayode. Cheating herself of what the promise of a relationship with him held could make her miserable, and distract her from fully attending to her duties. So, like the boss lady that she is, Funmi didn’t waste time agreeing to be with Kayode because the benefits outweighed the risks.
After the kiss, Kayode quickly apologised, trying to convince her that he wasn’t usually that forward. Funmi smiled and touched his chest, feeling the strong beat of his heart.
“You sound so genuine. Are you sure you have thought this through?”
“I have. I want you,” Kayode said, and those two very short sentences began a journey between the two most unassuming people who naturally would have been tagged unfit for each other.
“Well,” Funmi began shyly, “I suppose that’s a program I can get on board with.”
Kayode smiled. It amused him how he had been able to make the almighty Funmi blush consistently. His head did a spin at those words he never believed she could ever direct towards him, and so to control himself, he pulled her into another hug and kissed her again. This time he allowed himself the liberty to explore her soft lips, but he didn’t go too deep, because he didn’t trust that he could handle a more intense physical connection. Not in that moment anyways. For Kayode, being with Funmi was more than the physical; he wanted a spiritual connection, something so deep it would be impossible to destroy.
He was going to take things one step at a time, however, so as not to overwhelm her. “We need to celebrate, so I know this is not a dream,” Kayode said when he finally released her.
Funmi surprised him by closing her laptop, and picking up her bag. This was not what he expected. He had assumed she would rather keep on working and would have to schedule a later date for him, but she seemed as excited as he was. Unfortunately, he couldn’t really take her anywhere truly worthy of her because of the lockdown, so they ordered food for takeout at a good enough restaurant that was still open, and drinks from a supermarket nearby. They then headed to Kayode’s house.
Funmi realised that in the past 17 years, this was the first time she truly felt alive and free. She had her first Netflix and Chill. Actual Netflix and Chill. They watched movies on Netflix and chatted late into the night since neither of them wanted to end the conversation. Funmi woke up at 4:00AM on Saturday morning to find herself sitting on the couch still in the clothes she’d worn to work the day before, and Kayode’s head on her laps. We are moving too fast, she said to herself, but as she watched Kayode twist and turn in sleep, her heart did it’s own little twist. She definitely liked this man.
When Kayode woke up, Funmi politely asked that he drop her at home, but he had insisted that they at least have breakfast. Two hours later, she was freshly bathed and was wearing one of Kayode’s round necks tees and a pair of his shorts. It had been hilarious when he showed up after convincing her to freshen up in his room, instead of going home, with three different sizes of underpants and a new toothbrush. She smiled at his sensitivity to her needs. When she went to present herself to him in his attire, she found that he too had showered. He must have used his guestroom bathroom. Breakfast was served.
She wanted to make a joke about how he couldn’t guess the right size of her panties, but it felt too intimate, so she just smiled and imagined if he had felt awkward buying women’s undergarment at a neighbourhood store where they probably knew him.
“Why are you smiling?” Kayode asked, as he stroked her cheeks softly.
“Trust me, you don’t want to know” Funmi replied, and took her first bite of the pancakes that Kayode decorated like he was submitting it for a competition.
“It will be easy to get used to this” Funmi said, savouring the well made meal, and Kayode smiled. He enjoyed watching her eat so much that he almost couldn’t eat.
They had spent the whole day in lazy mode, constantly pausing the film they were watching. They had so much to talk and laugh about, cuddling, and holding hands and just enjoying each other’s company, until the doorbell rang.
Kayode had totally forgotten that his mother was to be arriving that day for a weeklong visit. It was he, in fact, who even arranged with the taxi man that brought her. However, since his life had taken a pleasantly different turn yesterday, he had totally forgotten there was a real world out there.
The relationship was still too fresh; he wasn’t even sure how to introduce Funmi to his mother, but she had taken it into her hands, and had managed to make everything awkward.
“How are you my dear?” Iya Kayode asked Funmi, after the initial greeting when Kayode had gone to fetch the cup of cold water she requested for.
“I am fine ma,” Funmi responded, and tried to make small talk, but the older woman wanted more juicy information.
“Are you Kayode’s girlfriend?” She asked directly.
“He won’t tell me anything, so you tell me, because Kayode doesn’t bring women to this house, and you are wearing his clothes. I bought that one for him when I travelled to Ghana in 2017, so I am sure,” she said, pointing at the shirt Funmi had on.
“Mummy, please don’t make my guest uncomfortable,” Kayode said sternly, re-entering the room with a glass of water for his mother.
“You this boy, you can make someone look bad!” she said and dropped the glass of water on the table beside her without even drinking it. It was obvious she wasn’t thirsty; she just wanted time to speak with Kayode’s guest alone to confirm her suspicions.
With Kayode present, she proceeded to ask other questions, and led to a very lovely chat, much to Funmi’s surprise. Going home was now the last thing on Funmi’s mind. She found Kayode’s mum to be a really funny woman, as she shared her experience about how people were doing all sorts of stupid things in the name of mask wearing. She even showed them a video, where a keke rider was renting used masks to his passengers to avoid being stopped by police officers.
They were all having a good laugh until Iya Kayode asked, “you are so mature, Funmi, how old are you?” The room became silent.
“I will be 39 this month,” Funmi replied, and Iya Kayode smiled. She did not notice her son staring intensely at her, willing her to cease this line of conversation.
“Ha sorry, I actually thought you were Kayode’s girlfriend oh. You are a nice woman.” Iya Kayode was going to continue talking, but Kayode quickly interrupted by carrying her bags and telling her to follow him to the guest room.
By the time Kayode came out five minutes later, after temporarily keeping his mother’s questions quiet, Funmi had packed her bags, ready to leave.
“You shouldn’t leave in a hurry,” Kayode said, wishing his mum had waited till tomorrow before coming. He was just building the foundation of this relationship, and it was still so fragile, anything could shake it.
“I have overstayed my welcome, Kayode,” Funmi replied as she picked her bag and walked to the door. Kayode quickly picked his car keys and followed her outside.
“I will drop you at home.” Kayode said, holding her waist to him, her back resting on his chest.
“No, it’s fine, I have called my driver. He will be here soon. Thanks, though.” Funmi tried to get out of his arms.
Kayode twisted her around and brought her to hug him. He stroked her hair and her back and said, “You will never overstay your welcome in my house or in my heart.”
“This is so awkward, Kayode. We don’t even know how to explain us to your mother. How are we going to face other relatives and the rest of the world?” Funmi said, although appearing more relaxed, with her arms now around his waist.
“Babe, leave that to me. I will face the world for us; you just don’t give up on us.” Kayode said and pulled her head back to give her a full peck on the lips. Since yesterday afternoon at her office, this was the first time he kissed her again. He had avoided amorous contact when she was in his apartment, because it could quickly become deeply intimate, and he didn’t want their relationship to be only physical. However, now, standing at his front porch at the full glare of anyone passing, he fully indulged in the essence of her. Funmi found that she respected his control. This was a man worth giving her heart to, and she didn’t trust herself to be able to do without his sweet loving after exposing herself to it. She just had to trust him that everything would be alright.
Kayode had insisted on driving her home yesterday. Her driver had to drive behind them, because to be honest, even she wasn’t ready to leave Kayode. So, at almost 7:00PM, Kayode had driven his woman from Lekki to Ikoyi at the slowest speed rate possible, and none of them seemed to notice.
Today, after her online worship service, Funmi came to her office to finish up her deliverables from Friday to avoid piling anything up. At her core, Funmi was still a workaholic; she was just now a workaholic with a man who always wanted to be with her. She made a joke about how Kayode was soon going to put her driver out of work if he kept insisting on coming to pick her up from work.
He arrived at 4:00PM as agreed, but at 6:00PM, Madam Funmi was still crunching numbers that didn’t seem to add up. Kayode finally decided to leave to go buy dinner, after which he’d drag her away from her seat.
Unfortunately, Funmi had completely forgotten that Kayode was waiting for her. In fact she had summoned two of her staff members, George from HR and her assistant, Grace, for a quick meeting. So when Kayode barged into her office at 7:00PM to drag Funmi to dinner, he was shocked to find two extra people who were just as shocked by his presence.
Perplexed by the audacity of this man to barge into his boss’ office unannounced, and uninvited, and on a Sunday evening no less, and in the middle of a lockdown! George charged, “Do you have an explanation for this?” His mind already recalled the name of the security official at the reception who was sure to get a query on Monday morning.
“I am sorry to interrupt. I didn’t know a meeting was going on here,” Kayode said, embarrassed.
“It’s fine.” Funmi said to George and motioned to Kayode, who was carrying their dinner, to seat down on the couch close to the door.”
George and Grace looked at each other, surprised, but none uttered a word as Funmi rounded the meeting off very quickly and dismissed them to continue the deliberations tomorrow. They both left the room, avoiding a glance at Kayode, wondering what his presence was all about.
As soon as they left, Funmi rushed to Kayode’s side by the couch. “I am so sorry. I got carried away with work.”
Kayode was quiet. He simply just brought out the food pack, and gave it to her.
“Are you angry?” Funmi asked.
“No, I am just embarrassed” Kayode replied and helped her open the food pack.
“But I need to work Kayode. I didn’t get this far in my career to become sloppy. Businesses are failing due to the stress this pandemic has placed on them. I don’t want to be a statistic when the crisis is over.” Funmi said and walked back to her seat.
Kayode wasn’t angry before, but now he was getting there, “What do you mean? Are you saying that a relationship with me can be a distraction to your growth?”
“I am not saying that. But you will agree with me that if I hadn’t left work to go frolicking with you on Friday, I wouldn’t have needed to call George and Grace for a meeting today.” Funmi said matter-of-factly as she shut her laptop and packed her bags.
“That is ridiculous. Don’t you think you deserve a chance to start your life and be happy? Does it always have to be about work?” Kayode retorted.
“Yes! For me, work comes first. That’s how I have been for years. I don’t know how to be any other way.” Funmi replied, trying to stay calm. How is this even an issue right now? What did I say? She really didn’t want to lose Kayode, but she also wanted him to accept her for all she was.
“Wow, our philosophies about work, love and life are totally different. To be honest, this age difference thing is the least of the problems this relationship will have to surmount,” Kayode said resignedly as he relaxed back on the chair.
Funmi sat down too; this was definitely not going to be an easy ride. She re-opened her laptop to quickly approve an invoice that she was already postponing till tomorrow. Their relationship was not even three days old, but they were already having serious challenges. Funmi wanted this to work, but unlike her approach to work, she was already considering giving up. Kayode was so special, and she didn’t want to ruin him for a more deserving woman.
As Kayode watched Funmi work, his heart began to melt. He hadn’t fallen for a weak and unambitious woman; it had always been Funmi for him since he laid his eyes on her. Making this relationship work was going to take work. She confirmed his sentiment when she looked up at him and asked,
“What if this is a mistake, Kayode?”