Dayo sat on one side of the sofa like a cornered animal. His body was tense and he sweated a little. He looked at Tina who was busy eating her chicken and sighed.
‘Is anything the matter darling?’ She asked.
‘Tina, what do you need the money for?’
‘Oh, that?’ She touched a napkin to her lips and looked up, her eyes twinkling with excitement. ‘Darling, my rent is due this week. I have some of the money but it isn’t enough. I’ve got so many bills to settle….it takes a lot to be a fashion designer in London you know.’
She should have told him that when they met. But you never seem to ask the right questions until it is too late. Maybe it wasn’t too late, he thought.
Dayo met Tina at a friend’s birthday party in North London. She caught him checking her out, so she walked over to where he stood with his friend. She smiled.
‘Thanks. I made it myself.’
‘And your shoes?’
‘I bought those. Christian Louboutin.’
They shook hands. Before the party was over, he told her that he worked for an oil firm in Nigeria but was on a study leave in the UK for six months. She was a model and an aspiring fashion designer. They liked each other and decided to go on a date.
The first date should have warned him what he was in for, but she was so beautiful, so he ignored his doubts. At the restaurant, Tina ordered for one of the most expensive items on the menu. It was some fish dish with an unpronounceable name. She also ordered an expensive bottle of wine. When the bill arrived, he hid his shock and brought out his wallet.
As he counted the bills, his ears rang with his mother’s warning several years ago.
‘My son, if she’s your wife, she will care for your wallet. But if she’s a gold digger, she will care only for her stomach and not mind if you empty your wallet to satisfy her appetite.’
That was the first inkling he had that something wasn’t right about Tina, but he couldn’t lay his finger on it. One week later, as they walked past a Jimmy Choo store, she dragged him inside. ‘The shoes are on sale.’ I have always wanted those red shoes.’ He paid for the shoes and forgot about it. Now, barely one month after they met, she needed some money to settle her rent. This was the 5th time she was asking him for money. She called it ‘lose change.’
‘Tina, why don’t you find an apartment you can afford?’
‘What are you suggesting?’ she asked, a fire he had never seen before, erupting from her eyes.
He swallowed hard. ‘I think you should think of ways to cut your costs.’
‘Dayo, if I needed financial advise, I know where to go. Are you suggesting that I should live like a commoner? Where I live is very important if I want to attract the right clientele. Nobody will take me seriously if I lived in the East End.’
‘I am not saying you should move out of this area….’
She cut him short. ‘You know what, I don’t think we should see each other anymore. It seems like you don’t understand me and my life. I think this was a very bad mistake.’ She stood up and flashed some skin in the process. ‘I think you should leave.’
Several months later, when Dayo thought about this moment, this was his signal to run, to let her go. But like sheep meant for slaughter, her beauty held him bound. His emotions betrayed him. In her anger, she looked so beautiful. He thought he was being a man by accommodating her expensive appetite.
‘Baby, please, sit down. You know I care for you. Let’s talk this over.’
Tina sat beside him and touched his cheek with perfectly manicured, red nails. ‘Don’t you like the way I look? It cost a lot of money to maintain this look and this lifestyle. You know I like you a lot. Please don’t spoil the good thing we’ve got between us.’
‘How much is it? I will send the money into your account tomorrow morning.’
She smiled and gave him a wet kiss on his dry lips. ‘Thanks darling. I’ve got a big surprise for you tonight.’ She got up from the chair and didn’t bother to adjust her short skirt which rolled up as she swung her hips seductively into the bedroom.
Dayo’s lust filled eyes followed Tina into the bedroom as he licked his lips slowly. They say when a cobra wants to strike its prey, it puts it under a hypnotic spell. Dayo had no idea who he was dealing with.
To be continued…..