And so it continued, the hide and seek game between friends using me as a plaything. It lasted four months and I knew I had had enough, I wanted out of both relationships, even if it meant losing Sonia‘s account.
None of my friends knew of my latest misadventure – I refused to tell. Tolu and I were talking again, but due to the fact that I finally learned to control my alcohol urge, I no longer frequented the bar and hanging out otherwise would have been a bore for the guys.
Dare told me that Tolu was happy I had regenerated and was headed in the right direction. If only they knew I had become an inhabitant of hell on earth, then maybe, maybe they wouldn’t hold me in such esteem.
I knew I had to get out of their claws (Sonia and Trisha’s), still neither was eager or willing to let me go so the other could have me. In those months, I was given more than I made in the last two years as gifts as both tried to outdo the other. I knew my life was at stake and if it continued, I would be a dead way before my time.
That was when I hatched my plan and conscripted an unsuspecting mr Eugene – my boss.
Our company was handling a project in Ondo state and needed someone from the Lagos office to supervise the proect. It was the only chance I had short of quitting my job or disappearing from the face of the earth.
‘Sir,’ I said as I entered his office.
‘Yes?’ He did not look up from the files he was perusing.
‘I am here to offer myself for the supervisor role in Akure. I hear no one’s ready to go there.’
‘Young man, I’ve gotten three applications this morning alone. You are the fourth person who wants a crack at the out of town project. I’m thinking you people are bored somewhat, no longer challenged here in Lagos.’ He still hadn’t raised his head.
I waited for him to continue, finish his admonition, but it seemed he was done talking. I started to leave.
‘Why do you want the job?’ He closed the file and finally raised his head, his fingers locked over the file.
‘A change of scenery,’ I confessed. ‘I would also welcome the challenge and do my very best…’
He picked up the file and flung it at me. I reacted late and had to juggle the file a few times before catching it.
‘You were the one I had in mind from day one. I just needed you to like the idea.’ He turned to his computer, ‘be in Akure by weekend.’
I left his office ambivalent on what to do next. At home, I found that the project might take up to six months, I didn’t mind, so long as both Sonia and Trisha had lost interest by the time I got back, it would be worth it.
Plans were put in motion, I informed my mum I’d be moving to Akure temporarily. I called the boys out and we had a going away party for all times. Thank God for foresight and proper preparation, we all crashed in the nearest hotel, walking the short distance between the bar and the hotel.
I woke up on Saturday hung-over, my friends fared worse, Tolu worst of all. He was so happy, he drank freely the previous night and made so much merry you would think he was my father.
I set out at two p.m. not having informed either Sonia or Trisha about my temporary absence from town. I was escaping a bad call and luckily, I had all my members intact. It seemed a good deal to me.
As I drove past berger and out of Lagos, I exhaled deeply, uncertain of what lay ahead, but sure that I did not want any part of what I was leaving behind. Like Lot, my face was set forward, never to look back. Who knows, Akure may yet good tidings.
It was only a matter of time, all would be revealed, I thought as I sped away from Lagos.