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A Story written by Omolola…

“You look great.”  Rose brushed one more of Tomilola’s curls into place and stepped back.
Amaka tweaked the ruffles at Tomilola’s cleavage. “Oh, yeah, he sees you in this, no way he’s going to let you trundle off to the bar alone. If he lets you trundle off at all.”

Tomilola looked in the cheval mirror. With a trip into a boutique and a few things that had come out of her bag, Amaka had worked miracles. Tomilola was wearing a dark green, midcalf skirt, the crinkly, gauzy kind that had tons of material in it. It floated around the curve of her hips and swished softly, coyly, against her calves. With the flat, strappy sandals she wore, it represented the soft, feminine side of the outfit.

The strapless bustier top that nipped in her waist and lifted her breasts like twin gifts to the gods was the leave-no-man-standing side of the outfit. Its white cotton eyelet material played with her tanned skin, while the small ruffled edge that ran along the top drew a man’s eye directly to her provocatively plumped breasts.

She frowned at her reflection. “I’m not sure about this. It feels. . .dishonest.”

Amaka tsked, fluffing her own curls in the mirror. “There’s nothing dishonest about making a recalcitrant man sit up and take notice. Nor is there anything wrong with reminding him he isn’t the only fish in the sea. Or in this instance, the only “guy” in Lagos.”

“He might not be the only guy in the state, but he’s the only one I’m interested in. And . . .”

“And you said you’ve tried everything to pin the man down in the last week. . .to no avail,” Yemi pointed out.

“That’s true. But still. . .”

“But still, nothing,” Amaka admonished. “Relax, will you? You aren’t committing a cardinal sin here. All you’re trying to do is make the man come to you long enough for you to have a real conversation, right? Long enough for you to convince him he’s being overly sensitive about this ex-con thing, right?”

“Yes, But. . .”

“But nothing. Do you want him or not?” Rose asked, impatiently.

She did want him. And he wanted her, dang it. He was just too wrapped up in his skewed sense of honor to take her. Which meant it was up to her to make him see how wrongheaded he was being. She squared her shoulders. “I want him.”

“Then let’s go.” Amaka waved a hand toward the bedroom door.

They headed down the stairs, Tomilola’s stomach tied in a tight, aching knot. “What if this doesn’t work? What if he doesn’t come out of his house?”
“I saw his face when we mentioned dancing,” Yemi said. “He’ll come out. And if he doesn’t, we’ll go dancing.”

God, Tomilola hoped he came out. If he didn’t, the last thing she was going to feel like doing was dancing.

They made their way onto the porch, Yemi and Amaka talking in an animated fashion. Amaka turned to her. “For pity’s sake, girl. Smile, laugh, make him think you can’t wait to get to the bar and start reeling in hunkly men.”

Tomilola forced a smile to her lips and managed a half-hearted giggle. But she was afraid the effort was futile. Demola’s car was parked in front of his house, but the house was dark. “I don’t think he’s home.”

Rose threw a covert glance in that direction. “His car’s there.”

“Yeah, but this is an estate. He could very well be out checking on the cattle.”

But Rose wasn’t fazed. “He could just as easily be hiding in the dark, watching. Come on.”

They chatted in front of the girls’ car for a few minutes. But nothing at Demola’s moved.

Tomilola sighed, disappointment crashing over her. “If he’s in that house, he’s not coming out. You guys go on to the club. I’m going back inside.”

Amaka grabbed her arm. “No, you’re not. You’re going with us. If he is in that house, watching, hoping you won’t go at the last minute, we’re calling his bluff. I bet he shows up at the bar by ten.”

Tomilola didn’t hold out much hope for Amaka’s scenario. Demola had already told her he wasn’t much for games. She was pretty sure he wasn’t going to fall for this one. But the girls were looking forward to a fun night of dancing, so she crawled into the car, the night stretching out long and gloomy before her.

To Be Continued…

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