‘Why do I keep doing this to myself?” Ise silently asked himself. His mother was at it again pestering him on getting married. It was like this every Saturday when he spent some time with her. He had a million and one other places he could be but his mother had mandated that he spend time with her then because he was always too busy during the week and she never got to see him even though he also stayed on the family estate although he had his own two bedroom apartment on the other side of the property. She loved her only son and would have smothered him with love if he’d allowed it.
Ise, being the good son he was obliged her and always spent the time with her even though she spent it either gossiping about her other friends kids, trying to match make him with one of their kids or the worst was bugging him and pestering him to let her know when he was gong to get married. Talking about how she wanted grand kids running about the place. It drove him crazy but those two hours were non negotiable, he had to oblige the woman or goodness knew what she would do. He loved his mother but the woman could be a mega drama queen.
He wondered why she didn’t just go and stay with her husband, his father who was enjoying his retirement in the United States. Her meddling and bugging was really annoying him big time.
“Iseolu,” she called seeing his mind had drifted off as it usually did whenever she was at it like this. “Olu, did you hear me?”
“Yup mom, I heard.” He drawled
“Okay, so what are we going to do about it?”
He groaned “Do about what mom?” He asked eyes fixed on the television, he was supposed to be watching CNN but wasn’t really seeing anything on the large screened television. Not when his mother was in his ear like this.
“I thought you said you were listening? I’m talking about you getting married, how can I help? Dr Daramola’s daughter just came in from the UK this past week. She’s a really pretty girl and intelligent too-“
“Mom, mom, please nao, I’m not interested. I told you I’m too busy to have a relationship at the moment and even if I do want to, I’ll find my girlfriend myself.” He told her.
“Did I hear girlfriend? Ise has a new girlfriend?” Jeje’s his sister jumped in as she came into the room. Dropping on the available space on the two seat sofa where Ise was sitting and looking at him eagerly “Who’s she?”
Ise rolled his eyes “No, I don’t have a girlfriend, I’m just telling mother to stop her meddling that’s all.”
“Meddling abi?” His mother asked him “You now call concern, meddling?”
“Mom, please just give me space, I’m an adult and I can make decisions for myself. Why do we always have to discuss this every time I’m here? You’re always trying to fix me with one girl or the other, seriously, you need to relax mom. I’ll get married when I’ll get married.” Ise told her seriously, trying to send the message that he hated the subject.
“Mom, Ise’s getting really pissed,” Jeje interjected “you really should lay off him.”
His mother pursed her lips “Ok o, Pele, Ma binu, I’m just concerned. You know I want my kids happily settled and grandkids running about the place. It will bring life to our compound.”
“Then focus on Jeje, she should be having plans to settle. How’s Ice doing these days?” He asked hoping to divert attention from himself to his younger sis. Isaac ‘Ice’ Pedro was her on again off again boyfriend. They were on and off so often, he’d lost track of it. “Are you guys off or on now?”
Jeje narrowed her eyes at him “Not funny, Ise!” She told him and then got up “I have to go get dressed for Olamide’s party.” She said but he knew she was running.
“Already? Isnt it a bit early, things won’t really kick off till about 7pm.”
“I’m picking up a few friends of mine.”
“Oh right, your entourage, I forgot.” Ise joked smiling, Jeje had her clique of girls who followed her everywhere. What was it with girls and groups? One would think they couldn’t survive on their own.
“Ha ha, so not funny, Ise! Your jokes are so lame, you need to grow up.” She said as she left the room but paused at the doorway “Did you know Izy will be there, with her fiancé?”
Ise’s smile faded on hearing this but he managed a brave face “So? She’s also friends with Olamide so naturally she’ll be there.”
“With her fiancé.” Jeje repeated thinking she knew something he didn’t.
“I already met the guy, Joe, I think he’s cool.” He told her, did she expect him to weep because his ex girlfriend had a fiance? Jeje didn’t know the reason behind their break up and still rooted for him getting back together with Izy. She loved Izy, everyone did, even his parents. They’d all supported their relationship since it started in their teens.
Izy’s family had been their neighbours and were still good family friends, her father who owned one of the top law firms in the country had represented WOLCORP, his group of companies, legally for years. Izy was currently a senior partner in the firm and Ise knew she was good at what she did. He’d loved her with his entire heart or had thought he did until he had found out about the cheating scandal.
Jeje’s face fell as Ise hadn’t reacted the way she’d expected him to. It was their mother who seemed surprised instead.
“She has a fiancé now?” She asked her son.
Ise nodded knowing what was coming next, Jeje knew too, she smiled as she spoke up again, directing her next statement to their mother. “She has a fiancé o, mom, I heard they will even soon be fixing their engagement and wedding dates, I also heard the wedding is likely to take place in Dubai, on a yacht! Did you know he’s the son of Chief Agbaje, the billionaire finance guru?”
“The C.E.O. of High Rise Bank?” His mother asked.
Ise couldn’t help but raise a brow also, really? High Rise was one of the top Banks in the world. Now that was impressive.
He could sense his mothers gaze on him again, he was going to hear it this afternoon.
“Do you want more information?” Jeje asked him.
“You’ve given enough already thank you, weren’t you on your way to pick up your posse?” He asked irritated at the gossip queen. Jeje burst into laughter as she left the room knowing she’d started a huge fire under his butt.
“Iseolu,” His mother started “Can you see? You gave up such a wonderful gem and someone else has swooped in to take it. I still wonder what happened between you two that you had to call off the relationship. The girl was so perfect for you, I don’t understand you, Ise, it’s like you’re even doing this to spite me on purpose. ”
“mom…” Ise groaned uncomfortably “ I’m not spiting you, things just didn’t work out between us and I’ve not found a girl I’d like enough to date yet I promise you when I do, you’ll meet her immediately.”
“Are you even searching? This one that you are always busy, today you’re in New York, tomorrow Germany, how will you find a girl to settle down with? Besides, I would prefer not to have an oyibo who doesn’t know our customs o, I want a well brought up Yoruba girl, preferably from our town self, Ilesha, Se o ti gbo? Have you heard?”
Ise gave up, there was no point replying his mother, it was useless when she was like this. She continued to talk and rant until his phone rang. A new phone since the girl of the day before had stolen the last one.
He jumped up, grateful for the call, it gave him the excuse to leave her presence. “I have to take this.” He said glancing at the screen and seeing a number he didn’t recognise.
“Ise Williams,” He simply said. The speaker on the other end was silent, “Hello?” He tried again.
“Yeah, hello, Mr Williams, it’s me.”
He frowned, the voice was female “You, who?”
“The girl from yesterday? That took your wallet?”
“You! What do you want now, you got my wallet and phone, what do you want again?” Ise asked her, he was really pissed with the girl.
“I’m sorry about that, that’s exactly why I’m calling, I want to return them. I was in a bad mood yesterday and wanted to prove a point but I’ve thought about it and I realise it wasn’t a good move on my part.”
“Really?” He didn’t trust her. Thieves didn’t just give things back that way, there had to be a catch.
“Yeah, a guy like you has got to have important clients and information on your phone. Please let me return it.”
“Save the bullshit and tell me what you really want.” He didn’t trust this chick one bit, she was up to something.
“What do you mean?”
” We both know you want something else, just spill.”
“Something else?” She asked, you could hear the confusion in her voice.
He had to hand it to her, she was good at playing dumb but she should know he knew she wasn’t dumb. She was a con artist anyway, so she had to be good at acting. Every move she made was a calculated plot for something but he couldn’t place what it was.
“You want to just give me the phone and wallet without anything in return?” He asked back
“Yes, is that so hard to believe?”
“My dear,” he said sarcastic, “coming from you, it’s very hard. ”
“I guess I did a really harsh number on you for you to be this scared of me.”
“Scared?” Ise scoffed “I’m not scared, I just don’t want to be caught unawares when you pull another one of your stunts again, I really don’t want to find myself being sold before knowing what’s happening?”
She laughed, a light bubbly sound he found himself smiling to unknowingly. “I’m sure, our dear faithful Sal would never let that happen. I hope he’s not too pissed that I gave him the slip.”
“Even if he is, he’s not as pissed as I am and although I do need my property back, I don’t trust you. You could be laying an ambush of kidnappers for me for all I know. You can keep everything but there’s no way I’m meeting with you to get them back. Good day-”
“Wait!” She called hastily before he hung up.
“I’m bad but not ‘ambush of kidnappers’ bad, haba! Please I need you to trust me for at least five minutes, I don’t plan on kidnapping you. You are a very important person, I found that out last night at home, please believe me, I’m not lying, I really do need you to collect your stuff, come with the frigging cavalry if you like but please just come take these things off my hands.”
Ise was silent for a while as he processed it all.
“Hello?” She called
“Yeah, yeah, I’m here. I could send someone down-”
“No please, I want to give you in person, I don’t trust any other person especially as the diamond set is also involved.”
He raised a brow, now this piqued his interest. The set, really?
He had to be at Ola’s party in about an hour, he was almost running late as it was. He had to squeeze this in somehow but he was going to be mega careful.
“Alright,” he gave in “what’s your location?”
He could hear the smile in her voice “Grand, central district.”
“I’ll be there in about fifteen minutes but you better not be up to one of your tricks or by Jove, you don’t want to know what I’ll do to you.”