One day Ifemelu is at a mall when she runs into Kayode, Obinze’s friend from high school. He says he still talks to Obinze, and Obinze had asked him to try and find Ifemelu to make sure she was okay. Obinze moved to England a year ago. Ifemelu feels somehow betrayed by the fact that she did not know this. Kayode tries to talk, asking her what happened with Obinze, and how her life is, but Ifemelu cuts the conversation short and leaves, feeling overwhelmed.
With Kayode’s appearance, Obinze suddenly seems to intrude himself into Ifemelu’s comfortable and glamorous life. Ifemelu was the one who began the long silence between them, but she still can’t bear the thought of Obinze living his life entirely apart from her and unknown to her.
Ifemelu gets in the car with Curt and tells him that she ran into an old friend. She is clearly upset and distracted, and Curt asks if it was an old boyfriend. She says Curt is a “sweetheart,” but Curt responds that he wants to be “the fucking love of your life.” Later that day Ifemelu sends an email to Obinze, apologizing for her silence and saying that she misses him. He does not respond.
This is the first tentative attempt at reconnection between Ifemelu and Obinze. As we have seen, it eventually leads to more emails and Ifemelu finally moving back to Nigeria. Curt’s feelings for Ifemelu are very real and very strong.