By Treena Kwenta
Hi Readers! The first thing that the gals did on their return to Lagos was to go
pay a visit to the supposedly sick Belinda – Seb’s fiancee. Why? Well, my view when Becky the evangelist/peace-maker mooted the idea was that we should leave her alone. I suggested to the gals that we should each ring her up to ask how Belinda was feeling, and then leave the matter at that.
“Treena dear,” said Becky, “I don’t agree with you at all. Sympathizing from afar is cold. It doesn’t really show that you care.”
“The physical touch is better. The person would appreciate your leaving your house, your chores, and a million other things to come pay her that visit,” concurred Liz. “Your gesture is bound to be appreciated, and it would enhance a better relationship. Let’s face it, Belinda has been nice for some time now.”
“Has she?” I wanted to know.
“Well, since Tayo warned her in Jos, not to upturn anything at Heather’s wedding, and that her role should be limited to that of a guest, rather than that of one who makes, or influences decisions concerning the events, she’s been pretty cooperative.”
“In what way?” I asked.
“Er, nothing comes to mind at the moment, at least, she didn’t prevent Seb from attending the wedding in Accra.”
“Should Seb have been absent from his own daughter’s wedding when he’s not dead?”
“Oh, bother you, Treena!” said Liz in exasperation. “Don’t try to be difficult about a thing that would please Seb. He’s a great guy any day. See how he was attentive to you in Accra, as if you’re the best thing that happened to him.”
“Seb was playing to the gallery, for his own benefit. He wanted to be seen there as the loving husband and father. I should be the one that you should praise, because I cooperated and went along with his game.”
“Okay, madam. Well done for that. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts for pretending, along with Seb, that you’re still man and wife,” said Tayo.
“Shall we all kneel down to thank you for’ this, Treena dear?” asked Liz jokingly.
“I don’t mind if you.” I told her smugly. It would be nice to see all of you kneel down to thank me.”
“Dream on. We definitely won’t do that,” joked Boma.
“Hm, let’s not waste any more time on this,” said Becky. “Let’s get a move on. We’re doing this mainly for Seb. He deserves a kind gesture from us all.”
Tayo and Boma agreed with this view, so, from my place, we went to leave our vehicles at Tayo’s place round the corner from Seb’s, so that we could all go there in one vehicle.
As usual, Seb was very glad to see us, saying he was very touched that we made time to come see Belinda. He led us into the sitting room, called in Michel to serve us drinks, and told us he was going to tell his dame that we were there to see her.
“The royal wedding is about to start,” he said. “Belinda and I were watching it in the bedroom when Michel came to announce that you’re here. Would you like to watch?”
“Oh yes!.” Becky, Liz, Tayo and Boma told him, settling more comfortably into their seats. I could only give the programme half my attention.
While the others chatted, I kept quiet, feeling a bit uneasy to be there. I just had this feeling that we were not going to have any warm reception from Belinda, and we would feel disgraced.. “Treena darling,” said Liz with some concern, “cheer up. Your face is so tight. It’s as if you’re expecting something to explode. Aren’t you glad you’re here?”
“I’ve noticed her heavy countenance too,” said Tayo. “This is your house, Treena dear. Your sweat made it possible. Don’t behave as if you’re an unwanted guest. It’s your house, for goodness’ sake.”
“Thanks. This visit seems a good gesture, but you’re not reckoning with Belinda’s low nature. She may dish out dirt on us, and that would make me feel bad.”
“Why?” asked Becky. “We’re all in it together, so, why single out yourself to feel bad if she decides to treat us shabbily? I don’t believe that would happen, though.”
“I should feel bad if it does, because you’re my best friends, and you’re here because of me. Okay, maybe because of Seb too, but then, you’re close to Seb because of me, as his ex-wife. Well, it may turn out that I’m wrong and we would be well-received by her.”
“Relax, Treena dear and let’s concentrate on the royal wedding of the decade. It isn’t every day that a prince who’s very close to the throne weds, and you get to see the royalty in their splendour. Isn’t Prince William’s bride gorgeous?” asked Boma.
“Oh yes, she is. So is the Prince himself,” I told her. “But she’s not as elegant as her late mum in-law, Princess Diana.”
“Of course not!” said Liz. “Diana married at 19, this bride is 29, and Diana’s innocent look is not there. Still, Kate looks fab.”
For a while we concentrated on the wedding, but when Seb had still not returned after half an hour, my apprehension grew.
I kept darting glances at the door leading away from the sitting room. Tayo noticed and looked at me quizzically. I whispered in her ears.
“Yes, I noticed that it was taking him long to come out with Belinda.” she whispered back. “Shouldn’t we leave?”
“Oh no! There must be a good reason for Seb taking close to an hour to return from a distance of about twenty yards. Be patient.”
“I thought I should go nose around in the Boys’ quarters and find out from Michel what he thinks could be happening. Domestics have a way of knowing what goes on in the bedroom.”
“True, but won’t you be putting yourself in Michel’s power if you have to rely on him to give you information of what goes on between Seb and his lady? If he tells you of his own volition, that’s fine.
“Oh, I don’t know. Decent and respectful as Michel is, er, don’t let him feel you’re anxious about the couple. Maybe they decided to finish watching the royal wedding first before Belinda comes to say ‘hello’ to us.”
“That’s possible, but wouldn’t Seb have come out to keep us company here?”
“True, maybe he’s too embarrassed to do that. Let’s be patient. Ah, the wedding is all over. This is the point I enjoy most; when the VIPs depart. I like seeing who and who were present. Isn’t that Elton John and his partner David Furnish?”
“They are, without the baby.”
“Silly you! You don’t expect them to bring their baby son to this wedding, do you? He’s not quite nine months old, is he?
“Elton John sang ‘Like A Candle In The Wind’ at Diana’s funeral service. It was beautiful. He cried,”
I knew that Tayo deliberately created that distraction to take my mind off Seb/Belinda’s non-appearance, so, I got in on the act and we began to discuss celebrities.
Soon, we all lapsed into silence. Michel came round to ask if we would like more drinks and something to eat.
“No, thank you, Michel,” I told him. “Please tell Papa Milwan that we’re ready to leave.”
“Alright madam. Er, Alright, ma, I’ll go tell him, although the door to the bedroom is locked.”
“Locked how? Can’t you knock on the door?”
“Er, we’re not allowed to knock on the door, madam. That was how it was even while you were living here, ma.”
Caught in my own trap! I actually made that rule that people shouldn’t come banging on our bedroom door as they like, but to use the intercom or the telephone.
I could see Michel’s mouth twitching. That meant that he had private news for me. “Excuse me all,” I told the gals. “I’ll just step outside for some fresh air.”
Michel came out with me. “Madam, please be patient for oga to return from Isolo.”
“From Isolo? What are you talking about, Michel? He said Belinda was in the bedroom and he was going to get her out to come see us. We came to pay her a visit.”
“That’s true, ma, but when she learnt you all were here, particularly you, she decided she didn’t want to see you because she was told that oga’s er, er, ex-girlfriends Mesdames Ruth and Naomi were at the wedding and you hugged them gladly.
“She said it means you all had no regards for her feelings, and she didn’t see why she should come greet you.”
I had to think hard before I remembered that the two ladies were at the wedding and reception. I wasn’t surprised to see them because Seb’s mistresses always cling to him, and he helplessly allows them. Or maybe he enjoys doing so. I did wonder why he invited them. I asked Michel what was Seb’s reaction to what Belinda told him.
“He began to plead with her, saying it wasn’t your fault or his either, and that he didn’t know how they got to know about the wedding.
“She refused to listen. She got up and drove off. I think oga went to her house in Isolo where he expected she’s gone to. It was Robert who overheard them arguing about it and later saw madam Belinda drive off. I think it’s best to wait for oga’s return.”
He had hardly finished saying that when Seb’s car swung into the premises, with Belinda in the front seat. I hurried back to brief the others.
You should see how Belinda greeted us warmly and thanked us for taking the trouble to come see her.
She congratulated us on the success of the wedding and apologized for not being there. Seb then explained that they suddenly remembered it was time for her daily injection at her doctor’s and had to go immediately.
“I’m sorry about that,”said Belinda. “What we thought would take a few minutes took an hour.” Seb added that he told Michel to explain to us, and he asked us if he did.
Bewildered, we nodded. We declined, however, the offer to stay for lunch and left. I did warn the gals, didn’t I?