As Tunde finished off the lemon juice glaze that would pair perfectly with the salmon he had baking in the oven, his thoughts were rummaged by Toyosi. Though their most recent date was only two days ago – one day after they decided to forgo becoming engaged, he was eager to continue to get to know her in every way possible. The little that he uncovered about her in the short time motivated him to want to be by her side every waking minute.
Revisiting her apartment and witnessing her free spirit encapsulated in a womanly shape that was dressed in a form-fitting onesie kindled new levels of feelings he didn’t think he could have for her. He was now craving her presence so that he could learn her favorite wines, her favorite music, her real sense of humor – it was as if he she was sunlight and he wanted to soak up all her rays.
However, underneath his newfound giddiness, he remembered that they both had been lying to each other for a year and had to spend time undoing the lies they maintained for so long. While the fact remained that he had a new longing to want to be around her constantly, he had an agenda to quickly identify hidden characteristics. It was as if he wanted both of them to rapidly reveal their true selves so that they would know if they truly want to be together.
Ever since the revelation of their fraud, Tunde experienced a feeling that was unfamiliar to him – insecurity. What if Toyosi would not like the true Tunde? What if he ended up loving the real Toyosi and she did not reciprocate that feeling?
As he finessed the side salad with his custom vinegarette dressing, he wondered if eventually they might discover they are incompatible? He decided to halt this cycle of overthinking before he talked himself out of the entire night.
Ever since her declaration of not liking to cook and the undying love for her white wines, Toyosi was embracing her personal rebellion. In just three days, she was beginning to rediscover herself and peek into the woman she wanted to be. As the words informing Tunde that she pretended to know how to cook escaped her mouth, she felt like she was watching the scene from the outside. She was enjoying the scene – a scene where she unapologetically revealed that there she did not follow the strict “how to be a Nigerian wife” guide.
While she took pleasure in watching Tunde squirm as she pointed out his minor act of sexism, she was shocked at the risk she was taking. While the lie of pretending to be a great cook seemed so small, she knew that he felt betrayed at being deceived.
It wasn’t her intent to tell the lie. Eight months ago, Tunde consumed the ofada sauce she served him with so much enthusiasm and appreciation – unsolicited appreciation for Toyosi’s fictional culinary skills. Before she could refute his theory, the lie had already found a place in their budding relationship. In her attempt to fulfill the criteria for the perfect wife, she allowed his tastebuds remain grateful. And so each Friday, she fatefully placed her order with Iya Bola in the hopes of maintaining her relationship. She made sure she was working remotely so that she had ample time to pick up the food and transfer them to her unused pots at home. She decided to be meticulous about her lie. After singlehandedly supporting Iya Bola’s expansion into a restaurant, it was liberating to confess the truth and simultaneously eliminate that financial burden.
As she watched her boyfriend lay out the freshly prepared meal, Toyosi smirked at the irony – he did not have to commission any old aunty to impress her with culinary skills she didn’t even require in a mate.
In the past year, visits to Tunde were very limited. In their quest to prevent any physical acts, they restricted visits to each other’s homes to sunny weekend dates that ended at “decent” hours. This was the first time he hosted her on a weekday and in such an exquisite manner. This mere visit was an event on its own.
To commemorate the event, she rushed home after work to find the complementary outfit. She wore her regular Anne Taylor blouse and Gap chinos to work and planned on appearing to his house in the same garb. After one mid-day visit to the bathroom and examination of herself in a full length mirror, she decided that she had to change. She needed to shed this “teacher-like” image Tunde had of her. He needed to quickly become acquainted with her real sense of style. She needed him to quickly know the real her. So she wore a long fitted sleeveless midi dress that hugged the slight curves she possessed, but still gave a hint of conservatism.
The look on Tunde’s face when he opened his door proved to her that wearing the dress was the right decision. His gaze was reminiscent of the first time a child visits an amusement park – wildly excited and slightly overwhelmed as the possible adventures to come.
He wore the same gaze as he watched her enjoy his cooking. She felt his strong gaze with each bite of salmon she had. She pretended not to notice his fascination as she rambled on about an unpleasant client interaction. He clung on to her every word as if he never wanted her to stop talking.
Yes, he was watching her narrate her day without restraint or hesitation. Yes, he made sure to ask inquisitive questions to keep up the appearance of attentiveness. But, a part of his mind had wandered into a different world. Fascinated by his new discovery of Toyosi’s physical attributes, he let himself wonder about her sex life. Ex-lovers. Most recent lover. Why they were celibate. What she would be like. How she might be receptive of him……
His mind was undoubtedly in “lust” mode. They had both half-way finished their respective bottles of wine and so it appeared that the opportunity to fulfill his desires was before him.
After their luxurious dinner, Tunde felt confident that he had impressed his girlfriend and led her to his couch to advance his mission. He was determined to eradicate the word “celibacy”, from their relationship. Her eagerness to lay comfortably on his chest proved that she was on the same page.
The warmness of her body as she lay her head on his chest felt foreign. He was naturally inclined to readjust the position so that there was enough “christianly” space to prevent closeness. They maintained that position for the next 30 minutes, as they indulged in an episode of “Being MaryJane”.
At the conclusion of the show, they somehow found their tongues entangled in one another’s. They kissed like they were 15 year-olds sneaking behind their parents’ backs. First, Toyosi maintained her position on top of Tunde. As the moment intensified, he found himself on top of her and tugging at her underwear. Part of his mind wandered if she also shared the desire to go far. The other part of him had been delightfully excited at a peek of her lace bra. Just when he ventured to expose her southern parts, their “nightly prayer” alarm went off at 11:30PM – they had a daily appointment to pray with each other before going to bed.
Hearing the alarm, Tunde hoped that kissing her neck would erase the awkwardness that came with that reminder.
It did not work. Though his lips continued to ravage hers, it was clear that her body had been “reset” by the alarm. He stopped kissing her and ventured across the room to turn off the alarm. As he walked back to the couch, she slowly adjusted her dress, lipstick, and hair. The look of wild excitement was wiped off her face by the guilty reminder that they were exploring new physical territories that they pretended to not have interest in.
They sat next to each other in silence. It was as if they were mentally trying to convince their bodies to turn down the electricity that was emitted by their earlier activity.
After 5 minutes, she finally spoke up. “Well, that almost escalated into something else,” she said lightheartedly in an attempt to diffuse the tension.
“Would it have been bad if it did?” he asked with a hint of disappointment. The frustration of being turned on and interrupted by his alarm encouraged him to express his true feelings.
“I am not even sure we are ready for that. Didn’t we just agree that we would get to know ourselves?”
He was further disappointed. After a year of dating and recently admitting that they were not who they portrayed themselves to be, why did it feel that she was delaying this? While these were his true feelings, he decided he did not want to appear desperate. “No worries. Let me walk you out.”
Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Why didn’t we just ignore the alarm? Why didn’t I ignore the alarm? Toyosi was beating herself up as she tried to “re-arrange” herself in Tunde’s bathroom before leaving. Their intense physical moment caused her body to react strongly in places she had neglected for a while. As she cleaned up her parts, she tried to think of how to leave Tunde’s house without leaving tension between them. She truly wanted to spend the night, but she felt like the moment had passed them.
Not realizing that she had spent a while in the bathroom, Tunde’s knock startled her. “Is everything okay?” he asked with a genuinely concerned voice.
“No…I – I- am fine,” she stuttered in response. Why was he so sweet to her?
“Listen, I am sorry if it felt like I was being pushy,” he replied.
He was being sweet, which was a turn on for her. She wondered why she was trying to end the night, when the opportunity was clearly perfect. She knew what she wanted to do, so she summoned some gusto to go after it.
She opened the bathroom door and stuck her tongue down his throat, catching Tunde by surprise. He kissed her back, showing that he understood what she wanted.
With their phones tucked away in the living room, he lifted her up and led her to his bedroom.