Summary: Chapter 52

Obinze teases Ifemelu for checking her blog on her phone over lunch. After a disappointing meal at an Italian restaurant, Ifemelu buys fried plantains from a market seller, who encourages her to get akara as well. Ifemelu admires that the woman is selling exactly what she makes, not a name brand or location.

When Obinze drops Ifemelu off, she tells him she’s tired of ignoring their attraction and upset that Obinze kisses her and then goes home to his wife. Obinze asks if she’s still with Blaine, and she points out that he’s married. Ifemelu brings up Zemaye’s article on how to tell if a man is cheating. Obinze insists this doesn’t feel like cheating. Ifemelu points out that no man thinks cheating feels like cheating. Obinze storms out of her flat, but returns a few minutes later, apologizing. He doesn’t like to talk about their relationship as if it’s just sex. Ifemelu agrees. They sleep together and, for the first time, Ifemelu understands the phrase “making love.”

Summary: Chapter 53

Ifemelu is so in love she feels like a cliché. However, the reality that Obinze is married looms. Obinze offers to cook for Ifemelu, commenting that Kosi doesn’t like the idea of him cooking. He makes excuses for his marriage, explaining how vulnerable he had felt at that point in his life. Furious, Ifemelu says she plans to interview the wealthy man he dislikes. Obinze protests that she said she wasn’t going to do that. They eat dinner, and Obinze reminds her that they love each other. He invites her to come with him on his trip to Abuja. Later, Obinze texts that he should go to Abuja alone because he needs to think things through. Ifemelu texts back that he’s a coward.

When she returns from the salon, Obinze is parked in front of Ifemelu’s flat. He tells her he needs time to think. Ifemelu is furious that he resorts to using empty words and tells him to go to hell.

Summary: Chapter 54

In Abuja, Obinze thinks of Ifemelu. He realizes he’s afraid of disrupting his life with Kosi, even though he doesn’t even like his life with her very much. He calls Ifemelu multiple times, but she does not answer.

Back in Lagos, Obinze prepares to go out to dinner with Kosi for Nigel’s birthday. When he sees Buchi, he remembers how Kosi apologized for having a daughter. He had been disoriented from being newly rich when he started dating Kosi and liked her predictability. That night, Kosi tries to initiate sex, but Obinze refuses. The next day, he tells Kosi he wants a divorce. Kosi argues his family is his responsibility. She reveals that she knows he’s seeing Ifemelu, and he’s humiliated that she knew all along.