In Love with my brother’s friend

“In Love with My Brother’s Friend”

Episode 1

Kemi just got off the phone with her notorious brother, Remilekun, who finally is settling down at the age of 35. Their parents have given up hope that he will ever get married. Their mother has matched him with friends’ daughters and suitable women in society but all was to no avail. Now that he has finally decided to hang his womanizing booth, Kemi is happy and relieved. The good news is he will stop breaking women’s hearts.

As happy as she felt she wasn’t looking forward to returning to Nigeria. She wasn’t looking forward to facing Babatunde her teenage crush with whom she embarrassed herself attempting to capture his attention. The thought of facing him again cast a shadow on the good news.

Her thoughts drifted back to her time in Nigeria. Typical bad boys, Remi, her brother, and his two buddies, Babalola and Emeka. Lagos girls suffered for their hands. Despite knowing this about them, Kemi was infatuated with Babalola, also known as Babs. During their time in high school and university, the trio would spend their vacations at each other’s homes.

Bab’s parents are pastors and they own one of the fastest growing churches in Lagos. Emeka’s parents are entrepreneurs. Remi and Kemi’s parents own a thriving real estate business, both parents are realtors.

Babs was the handsome one of the trios. Charming, loved by the ladies, and rebellious. He had a soft spot for Kemi, though. Her heart skipped a beat at the memory of his attention and the special smile he reserved only for her. He was the one who gave her the nickname Tiny and he would tease her to no end. Kemi smiles at the memory.

At the age of 16, she realized she was in love with Babs, and for more than a year, she nursed that feeling in her heart. During this time her brother and his friends completed their education and entered the workforce. Despite her growing feelings, she was too shy to express them to him. However, when at 17 she got a scholarship to study abroad, she started looking for ways to communicate her feelings. Witnessing Babs with other girls stirred jealousy within her, leading to her giving him the cold shoulder. Nevertheless, he consistently found ways to make up for it with playful teasing and thoughtful gifts, particularly chocolates and ice cream, which he often bought for her when out with his friends.

Whenever Remi would voice his concerns about Babs spoiling her, Babs would casually respond by stating that Kemi is like the sister he never had. Babs has two other brothers living abroad, yet whenever he visits, he consistently makes time to talk with her. As the moment approached for her to travel abroad, she made a daring decision.

On the weekend she was scheduled to travel, Babs stayed overnight so they could all accompany her to the airport. However, Kemi saw that night as the opportune moment to express her feelings to Babs. Waiting for everyone to retire for the night, she discreetly slipped into the guest room. To her surprise, Babs was still awake, engrossed in his laptop.

“Hey Tiny, what are you doing up so late?” he inquired.

“I need to talk to you about something,” Kemi replied.

“Is that why you didn’t knock? I could have been in a state of undress,” Babs teased, sensing Kemi’s embarrassment.

“Sorry, I didn’t want to wake anyone up,” she explained.

“Fine. What’s going on?” Babs suggested moving the conversation downstairs. “You know you shouldn’t be in my room.”

“Please, let’s talk here. Don’t worry, everyone has gone to bed. And what I have to say is private,” Kemi insisted.

“Okay, I will leave the door open,” Babs compromised.

Growing impatient, Kemi said, “Please, Babs, don’t. This won’t take a minute.”

Babs looked at her and conceded, “Okay, out with it, Tiny.”

“I hate when you call me that,” she retorted.

“You will always be Tiny to me,” he smiled indulgently.

Kemi felt flustered by his sexy smile, and suddenly, uncertainty crept in. Despite feeling unsure, she reassured herself that she had already come this far. Leaving the bed, she seated herself beside him on the couch and, without warning, kissed him.

“Tiny, what are you doing?” he questioned.

Undeterred, she moved onto his lap and kissed him again. After the initial surprise, he reciprocated, but soon he came to his senses and pushed her away. Standing up, he implored, “Kemi, please stop. God! We can’t do this,” he whispered.

“Why not? I love you,” she declared.

“You are 17, for Christ’s sake. What do you know about love?”

“So what? I’ll be 18 in a couple of weeks, and I know what I feel.”

He paced the floor. “You have to leave now. If your brother or parents find you here, what will be your excuse for being in my room at this time of the night.”

“Come on, Babs. I’m going away, and I want you to be my first.”

“Even if I want to, Remi is my friend, and the guy code forbids me to have anything to do with you. You are off-limits.”

“He will never know.”

“It makes no difference. I can’t betray him.”

“I don’t care. I just want to spend this night with you before I leave tomorrow. Don’t you feel anything for me?”

“No, I don’t. Please leave.”

“Why are you being so mean? I thought you cared for me—the gifts, the attention, and you can’t deny that you kissed me back.”

“God, I don’t have time for this. Leave, or I’ll get your brother.”

“You won’t do that to me, Babs.”

Just then, they heard footsteps outside the room, prompting Babs to signal her to hide in the bathroom. Kemi barely made it there when the door opened.

“Hey, Guy, I heard voices. Who are you talking to?” Remi asked.

“I was on the phone.”

“Oh, okay. I couldn’t sleep; I guess Kemi leaving tomorrow is weighing on my mind. We have never been separated like this. But I’m glad Mum will be going with her.”

“Yeah, but don’t worry; she would be fine.”

“I guess so. Are you okay? You looked a little uneasy.”

“I’m good, just this assignment I was working on.”

“Oh, okay. I’m going to ransack the kitchen for some food. You coming?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Okay, eh, hold on, let me use your toilet.” For a moment, Babs froze, but he recovered and pulled his friend back.

“Wetin dey do you? You left your room to come and use mine. Let’s go; I’m famished,” he said, pushing his friend out the door. They went downstairs.

Kemi waited a few minutes, and when she thought the coast was clear, she escaped to her room. “That was close,” she thought.
Upon reaching her room, she flung herself onto the bed and wept. Her tears were a mix of embarrassment and the ache of unrequited love, leaving her feeling heartbroken. Nevertheless, she found comfort in the fact that she was leaving the next day, sparing her the need to confront Babs.

The following day, she opted not to join the family for breakfast, determined to stay clear of Babs. At the same time, Babs made an excuse, citing urgent matters with his parents, and hastily left. Remi trailed after him, questioning why he hadn’t bid Kemi farewell. Babs asked him to convey his goodbyes, leaving Remi perplexed. Upstairs, Kemi observed their interaction.

For eight years Kemi didn’t return home because her family was constantly in the UK. Even when she moved to New York for work they were always visiting. Babs tried to reach out to her a couple of times but she blocked him. When she visited Nigeria Two years before, for her friend, Moyo’s wedding, Babs was away on honeymoon. Now her brother is getting married and she knows Babs will be there.

Kemi sighed; it was something she had to face. She needed to let go. She wasn’t 17 anymore, and Babs had been married and a widower; he lost his wife in an auto crash. He is currently engaged to another woman and Kemi has a boyfriend.

Thanks for reading,

© Jumie Naths

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