Last Reviewed on March 31, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1329
One day after Ifemelu creates a new blog, called The Small Redemptions of Lagos, and a week after she resigns from her job at Zoe, Dike comes to visit her in Lagos. A week later, her blog has gained a good following. She writes a piece about young Nigerian women who “define their lives by men they can never truly have,” and it angers Ranyinudo, who accuses Ifemelu of doing the same with the “rich white guy in America” who found her a job that gave her US citizenship.
Dike asks Ifemelu about his father, The General. She takes him to Dolphin Estate and is “astounded by how much it had declined.” When Dike tells her how much he likes Lagos, she feels tempted to tell him that he can live with her and go to school there, but she doesn’t, and he gets on a plane to go back to the United States.
Entering her bank, Ifemelu sees Obinze standing at the customer service desk. When the man turns, it’s not him, and “her head was filled with ghosts.” Finally, she decides to call him. When he answers, he immediately asks when he can see her, and she suggests now. Half an hour later, they reunite in front of a bookshop.
For a moment, “neither of them knew what to do”; she is awkward and flustered, and he is calm. They go inside the bookshop to talk. Obinze asks about Dike and Aunty Uju and what surprises Ifemelu most about being back. She says that she finds relationships to be transactional, and Obinze qualifies “some relationships.” They smile at each other “in the strangeness of their intimacy.”
Ifemelu calls Obinze a “big man” with money, and he talks about the ways that wealthy people are treated differently: “suddenly you’re getting all of this sucking-up from people.” As they speak and flirt, they continue to update one another on their lives since they last spoke.
Obinze compliments Ifemelu’s blog and says he has fallen out of love with America, because he realized he could buy it “and it lost its shine.” When he reveals that he has visited America, Ifemelu feels “a pang.”
Soon, Obinze has to go, but he asks Ifemelu to lunch the following day. When he arrives to pick her up, he tells her that he spent the morning reading her blog. He hints that he would be willing to invest in it, but she rejects his offer of money. To Ifemelu, Obinze “felt familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.” Standing next to the bookshelf, they begin to kiss.
Then Obinze asks why Ifemelu cut off contact with him. She tells him about what she did with the sports coach, saying, “It’s so strange now to actually talk about it. It seems a stupid reason to throw away what we had.” He responds that he wishes she had told him what happened, and “she heard his words like a melody.” They sit together in silence, holding hands.
Obinze takes Ifemelu to a private club he belongs to. She invites him to write a post for her blog on “the perils of being young and good-looking and rich.” Ifemelu wants to interview Tunde Razaq, a music producer, and Obinze becomes jealous when he hears this news.
They continue to see each other every day, having meals together and enjoying being in one another’s company. Every time Obinze drops her off at home, he kisses her on the cheek, until one day she tells him that she bought condoms. She’s angry with herself, because she knows Obinze has a wife and child, and she’s “frightened of becoming used to him.” Obinze says that what they’re doing doesn’t feel like cheating to him. They have sex and are both happy afterwards, falling asleep in the same bed.
When Ifemelu wakes, her phone is ringing: it’s Obinze, asking to come back to see her.
The days continue to pass and Ifemelu feels as if she’s a teenager falling in love all over again. Obinze...
(The entire section contains 1329 words.)
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