As she approaches him, Bayonle is seeing beyond the linings of her fake smile. "Something is definitely wrong," he thinks. Her steps are very brisk as if both legs are in a competition. Bayonle hops into the car expecting her to do the same but she heads towards the boot. She is taking so long. "What is taking her time?" He mutters to himself. He keeps glancing at her through the mirror inside the car. She looks very confused. Her facial expression is beclouded by anger and curiosity. Bayonle is a psychology expert. He understands people’s intent through their expression. Omolayo’s expression doesn’t indicate that everything is right. He calls the driver.
"Tell my wife we are set to leave."
Bayonle keeps watching through the mirror. Omolayo’s thoughts must have been disrupted by the driver’s words. She locks the boot reluctantly and hops into the car, dragging her gown along.
"Have you told Mama you’re leaving?" Bayo breaks the silence.
"No, I thought you did before sending for me."
"Yes, I did but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t."
"Since you did, we are fine. Can we move?"
"This is not Omolayo. Something is wrong. Am I sure she packed her luggage completely? Mama told me she packed them herself last night. She must have missed out something; something very important." Bayonle could only imagine.
"Yes, we can", he finally replies.
"What about Oga Femi?" The driver reminds him.
"Oh! I totally forgot. I sent him to call you Omolayo. Why didn’t you two come together?"
Omolayo has been carried away by the waves in the sea of her oblivion. She keeps swimming extensively in her thoughts.
"Are you fine?" Bayo holds her right palm softly, settling it gently into the hollow of his left palm and stroking it with his thumb.
"Yes!" She feels he asked a question and that is the only answer her lips could mutter.
He tries looking into her eyes. He can see her struggling to appear neutral but her eyes are obviously bearing the burden. She keeps blinking tirelessly as if afraid of being betrayed by the shadows of her thoughts. The more he feels her palm, the more he is sure that all is not well.
Femi has just recovered from the shock of Omolayo walking out on him. It keeps flashing through his mind and he wonders if he is asleep but soon realizes that he is fully awake when he hits his right foot against a stone. He can feel the sharp pain as he struggles with his steps back to the car.
The tense mood in the car could also be felt by the gear. The driver keeps struggling with it after starting the ignition. He tries moving it from its neutral position to gear 1 but it just wouldn’t allow him. After several screeches, the driver gives up.
"What is the problem?" Bayonle voices out.
"It’s the gear sir."
"Are you sure you’re hitting the clutch well?"
"Ah! Don’t mind me. I didn’t hit the clutch."
"What? Which driver does that?" Bayonle could only imagine.
The four wheels raise the dust in the compound as the car zooms off heading to their hotel. They can see their well-wishers from the side mirrors waving happily at them. Bayo lowers Omolayo’s head on his left shoulder with his right hand. Bayo’s shoulder feels so comfy for her until he whispers into her left ear. She raises her head immediately and wonders how Bayo must have known.
To be continued…
Missing (2)Short fiction.
By Flora O'seyi Dairo