The reason behind Frank’s annoying smile remained a mystery to me. I tried to figure it out myself but failed. I was sure he noticed my confusion because I was not good at hiding my emotions. My eyes glared at him widely. He abruptly halted.
“We had a deal.” I reminded him.
“I know.” He concurred. “But there is nothing to tell” he quickly added.
I looked at him and he smiled again; a smile that suddenly turned into a laughter. For some seconds I thought myself a fool.
“You actually thought there was something?” he asked. “That was just a way of getting you to face your fear.”
I looked at Frank and saw him blinking his eyes more than usual; an action he does only when he lies. “You are blinking your eyes way too fast.” I told him.
“Don’t even go there. This isn’t because of a lie, my eyes has been scratching me since morning.” He said while blinking his eyes even faster.
I shrugged and decided to let it go since I there was nothing I could do. I knew he would tell me someday because he was the worst person to keep a secret in that house. I made for the room with the thought of Amanda and how the date was going to be. I imagined us at a table in a diner drinking of my favourite Chivita juice. I wondered if she liked alcohol or maybe wild as Cynthia. With the recollection of her behaviour at the party I shook the crazy thoughts off and replaced it with the thoughts of how memorable our relationship would be. I loved her, like I never loved any before though I found that very hard to say.
As I stepped into the room, Eric was busy arranging the room, sweeping everywhere and folding the clothes properly into the wardrobe. I stood for some seconds puzzling on why he would be doing that.
“What!” he startled as he noticed me. “Do I look like Amanda?” he gestured.
“What are you doing?” I asked walking into the room.
“Are you done with your relationship therapy? Please just leave me alone, I am very busy.”
“Busy doing what you never liked doing. What is happening?” I asked.
Eric never was the type who never dressed his bed in the morning. He would pull his clothes and drop them anywhere in the room. Not like he was dirty but he was carefree. Thanks to Chidimma his girlfriend who had come to accept him that way and often comes to help arrange our room because she knew her boyfriend never gets things in order.
“What!” he exclaimed his two hands up in the air.
“Stop acting like you are in front of choristers and answer my question. What are you up to?” I shut him off.
He stood upright and stared at me for a while. Then he shook his head and continued what he was doing. I looked around the room, it was neatly arranged. He finished arranging the shoe rack and moved the folded clothes which he laid on the mattress into the wardrobe. Then he started dressing the bed. I stood there looking at him in an outmost surprise. He was up to something and I was determined on finding what it was. I was not ready to let go just like I did Frank’s lie. Eric noticed my shock but did not care. He finished dressing the bed and left the room pushing me out of the door. I quietly sat on the reading chair by the corner of the room. After sometime he returned with a brush and a mop. I gaped.
“You want to mop the room?” I shouted. “What really is happening or is this all for a change?” I queried. My shock and surprise was littered all over my face.
“Well that is the only constant thing in life. Maybe I am witnessing it.” He said as he moved to the bathroom with the brush. “Or don’t you like it?” He asked from the bathroom.
I was already out of the room into the hallway but I faintly heard what he said. I rushed into the sitting room and found Frank watching a movie. “What is going on with Eric?” I asked taking his attention off the movie.
He slowly turned at me. The look on his face was that of confusion. He could not understand why I asked such question. Eric had just come in from his early morning exercise and had gone in for a shower. “How do you mean?” he asked me with much expressed confusion.
“He is dressing the room and mopping the toilet.” I replied.
Frank gaped. He quickly stood up and rushed into the room. Eric was scrubbing the toilet. He coughed at his back. Eric turned. “What is wrong with you all?” He said and continued scrubbing.
“Alright, which of them?” Frank asked him.
I looked amazed and lost. He spoke simple English but I did not in any way understand what he meant. I tried to figure that out myself, trying not to sound naive in front of them. But the more I tasked my brain for a better explanation to the phrase, the more confused I get. Eric smiled at frank. He obviously understood what he was asked.
“Chidimma?” Frank asked again.
I gaped. The show and emergency clean up was all for Chidimma. How could I not have known? Men I heard do strange things just to please their women and Eric has just been caught in that web.
“No!” Eric emphatically said shaking his finger. “Chidimma is out of town.”
“And you want to hit another one? What the hell is wrong with you?” Frank asked a little bit mad. “This is going to make the seventh girl you have brought to this house aside Chidimma. You have to stop dude.”
Eric stopped scrubbing. He turned at Frank, saw his seriousness and behind his shoulder saw my shocked expression. He shook his head in despair. “I hope that was not in any way a sermon?” Eric was well detailed in his gesticulation that water from the brush he was holding sprinkled on Frank’s face. He wiped it off with his right hand. “Sorry about that, but you really should not advise me on this matter. I would prefer that Reverend at you back instead.” He said and continued with his scrubbing.
“I know I am not worthy of the advice because I am guilty too but I am not complicated like you. I have just two and I maintain only that. STDs are everywhere you know.”
Eric scoffed. “Please Frank, I am busy.” He pleaded for silence.
I stood watching my friend count the number of girls in their life. I could not believe my ears as I imagined the truth in what was said about Eric. He was the flirtiest of them all. He loves anything girl. We had feared at one spot that he might get involved in rape as his libido seemed to be higher than normal. I sighed. “I pray this girl comes every day. At least our room would always be neat.” I retorted as I left the room. I obviously did not have a place among them so I left. I walked into the other room as I knew that room was out of bound for now till the new girl leaves. I lied on the bed and pulled my phone out of my pocket. I scrolled up my dialled list and saw the number that drove me insane. I stared at it for long and smiled. I might be on the way of having a lasting relationship with a girl; a beautiful and smart girl at that. I smiled again. I had a date in the evening, something I have never done. I puzzled my mind on how best to dress in order to impress Amanda. I jumped up and walked to the wardrobe, ransacked it and no clothes there were befitting for the occasion; or so I thought. I ran out and headed to the other room which Eric was setting up for his visitor. As I entered, Frank had left him but he was still in the bathroom; he must really want to impress this girl as he scrubbed the toilet with the whole of his strength removing the mildew on the wall.
“Sorry for interrupting, I need to take some clothes from the wardrobe.” I announced as I headed straight to the wardrobe. He acted all deaf on me which did not bother me as I was excited about my first date. I searched the wardrobe and luckily I found a shirt which I felt was just perfect. I smiled to myself and left the room since my trousers and jackets were at the other room. I laid the clothes on the bed and headed into the bathroom to take a shower.
…the story continues…