It would have been a chilled weekend for Joel had his friend not invited him out. The friend was going out with his workmates. They had been working on a stressful project and needed to blow out some steam now that they had completed it. Joel found them at a popular joint. She was the first person that he saw.
“Joel, my man!” His friend shouted as he introduced him to his colleagues.
“Who is that girl at the edge of the couch?” Joel asked his friend as soon as they sat down.
“That’s Aisha,” his friend said with a hearty laugh.
“Is she a new colleague? I haven’t seen her before.”
“No, she just doesn’t come out a lot,” Joel’s friend said.
It was apparent that Joel was going to hit on her. Later on, as people danced, Joel joined Aisha, who was still on the couch sipping her drink.
“Not a dancer?” Joel asked.
“Does moving the head count?” Aisha joked.
“I think we can slot that in the minor minor dancing leagues,” Joel said. They both laughed.
The connection was instant. They decided to go outside. Joel wanted to smoke, and they needed a quieter place to talk.
“So how come I haven’t seen you before? I have met almost all your colleagues,” Joel asked.
“I hardly go clubbing,” said Aisha.
“Motherhood happened and I found myself looking for alternative ways to have fun,” Aisha responded.
“Oh, you’re a mum? Wouldn’t have guessed.”
“I can’t decide whether that’s a positive or negative sentiment so I’m going to ask you to explain before I jump into conclusions,” Aisha said.
“It’s a compliment. I find it interesting how the generation of mums in our generation take care of their aesthetics. It’s harder to spot a mum from their physical appearance only,” Joel explained.
That ushered in the conversation about Aisha and her relationship status. She opened up to him about how her father’s child had left her immediately after he found out she was pregnant. He resurfaced three years later and asked to know their child. They tried dating a year later, but it didn’t work out. They had been co-parenting for two years.
Joel and Aisha started hanging out more. Joel liked that Aisha was chilled out and had no drama. He enjoyed her company. Over the weeks watched her shed her barriers to expose a happy and adventurous spirit. He especially loved her hearty laughter. Aisha loved that Joel saw more in her than her motherhood side. That had been one of her problems with her baby daddy and a few of her other suitors. With Joel, she felt seen. They agreed to work on their relationship before introducing Joel to her child.
Joel knew that Aisha couldn’t show up for random plans because of her responsibilities. He occasionally gave her money to make arrangements when they had plans out of town. Aisha would take advantage of the times when she would take her child to her parents to spend more time with Joel. Everything was working out well. Her relationship with Joel was working out, she was happy, and her child’s father fulfilled his end of the bargain. He took care of the child’s school fees and health care, and she did the rest.
Like many other people, Aisha posted her adventures on social media. She was happy, and she wanted to share that with the world. She posted pictures of beautiful sceneries from the trips with Joel, food, cocktails, and of course, pictures of herself looking fabulous. Not to mention the extra glow a woman has when she is loved right. Everyone could see the difference.
The joy was short-lived because her baby daddy started being weird soon after. Three days before the reopening of schools, he still hadn’t paid the child’s school fees. Aisha got concerned, so she asked him about it.
“Hey, I just wanted to check on the school fees because you’ve never played it this close to the reopening date,” Aisha texted him.
“I’m undergoing financial difficulties,” her baby daddy responded.
“I’m sorry to hear that. So have you thought of a way forward?”
“Aisha, you’re a working woman, you can also pay it or ask the man you have been gallivanting with to pay it,” responded her baby daddy.
That was the beginning of such remarks. Aisha paid part of the fees as she asked for leeway from the child’s school as she figured things out. As the baby daddy claimed to be struggling financially, he bought a new car. The arguments between Aisha and the baby daddy intensified, with the baby daddy insinuating that Aisha’s boyfriend should cater to those needs.
Meanwhile, the stress was getting to Aisha. She started being cold towards Joel. Joel asked her why she was acting differently, and she told him what had transpired, omitting the bit where the baby daddy suggested Joel should take care of those bills. Troubled by the situation, Joel decided to visit Aisha at her place.
“Hey, I’m at your parking lot please come,” Joel said on the phone.
Aisha met him.
“Hey babe, I thought we needed a face-to-face discussion,” said Joel.
“Can we go inside the house?” Aisha asked.
“I thought we agreed that I’d meet your child later?” Joel responded.
“Joel, are you even serious about us?”
“Aisha, what are you angry about?”
“I told you about my struggles with school fees and you didn’t offer to help.”
“Are you serious right now?” Joel asked in confusion.
“Forget it, you’re not a parent, you wouldn’t get it. In any case, baby daddy eventually came through,” Aisha told him.
“You mean as he should have?” Joel retorted.
“At least I don’t have to explain everything to him,” said Aisha.
Joel left minutes later with the house shopping he had brought her. He headed to a bar, unsure of what had just transpired. Later, Joel realized that Aisha had expected him to help with the fees, and he must have been why Aisha’s baby daddy was acting out. While he understood the power play the baby daddy was pulling, he couldn’t understand why Aisha would behave that way since he thought they had a solid relationship with straightforward communication. He especially hated that Aisha had compared him to her baby daddy in such a manner. It was clear that it would be messy, so Joel ended things.
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