“Where does it hurt?”

“Everywhere.”

Onome opens the door and leads Adele into the room. She points to a red chaise against the wall and beckons Adele to sit.

The chair is striking, with attractive curves, expensive material, perfect stitching, a large throw and a comfy looking blanket.

The red chaise feels too much, and Adele wants to protest. There’s an understated lounge chair in the centre of room that’s more to her taste, but her body is screaming for help and this one is right there.

Before she sits, Adele throws a questioning glance at Onome who responds with a reassuring smile.

When she sits, the chair is softer than she imagined. The material caresses her skin and it feels like an embrace. Adele sighs in relief.

“Feel free to take your shoes off.”

“Thank god! I was going to wait until you left.”

“Haha. Feel comfortable. This is my studio.”

“So cool… your house is 🤯.”

“I know. My mum is very intentional.

“The studio used to be hers, actually. She used to paint on weekends to relax. Then a few birthdays ago, she passed it down.”

“Aww, that’s nice.”

“Yeah, best gift ever.”

Adele tucks her shoes under the chair.

“Feel better?” Onome asks.

“Much! Just needed to sit.” Adele swirls her feet around, “I really need to let these shoes go.”

Onome chuckles. “You can put your legs on the chair if you want.”

“Whew, thank you!” Adele squeals.

“You’re welcome.”

Onome heads back to the party.

“Hey,” Adele calls out, “where can I get water please?”

“I’ll send someone. Anything else?”

“No, just that.”

Onome stops at the door, “Adele, right?”

“Yup. Nice to meet you Onome, and congrats!”

“Thanks! Nice to meet you too, Adele.”

Onome closes the door gently, and as the light and noise from the party dim, Adele takes a look around the room.

It has screed walls and two large windows on one side. Most of the floor space is filled with paintings, all arranged and stacked neatly. The opposite wall is a shelf full of objects and books, and in front of it, a table and chair. There’s a box under the table with the name “Faith” scribbled on it. Onome’s mum? Her sister? Someone else? Adele gives up on the thought.

Her legs still hurt, but thankfully water’s on the way. She takes a deep breath, stretches her body out and lifts her legs on to the chair. She picks up her phone, texts the group chat where to pick her up.

She folds into a foetal position, covers herself with the blanket, snuggles into the red chaise and unlocks her phone again.

Up next, TikTok.

Real crowd pleaser