WRITTEN BY TUNDE LEYE
I stood there, jaw dropped all the way to the ground. Even with all the racing of my imagination, this scenario had not occurred once. I had imagined rushing into the room and throwing a huge tantrum and even throwing the girl out in her underwear. I had imagined pulling her hair. Scratching her face. Slapping her silly. I had imagined doing many other things to her. But this was not a her. It was a he, the he I had been trying to hook my best friend with just a few hours ago. For about five more minutes, they didn’t notice anyone had come in, lost in their perverted bliss. Then he opened his eyes and saw me. I expected to see fear, to see alarm that he had been discovered, but instead I saw a calm that sent a chill down my spine.
He calmly disentangled himself from Adamu and stood before me. I still couldn’t utter a word. Still naked, he sat in his office chair. Adamu could not be bothered by my presence. He just lay there, a content and satisfied look on his face.
“So you have found out my little secret a little earlier than I intended. You were supposed to discover this after we were through with the wedding, but since you have found out now, I might as well lay all the cards on the table”. He spoke like we were in his office for a business meeting, not like I had two naked men in there. I screamed “Yomi! Little secret? How could you do this to me? How?” I broke down crying loudly as I crumpled to the ground. My legs simply gave way beneath me.
“You need to stop the hysterics and listen to me with the rational part of your mind and then carefully consider what I’m about to say before you make a decision.” My crying pattered down to sobs and I looked to him to hear what he was gonna say. My angel of light had just transformed into the darkest demon from the pit of hell. And he was so calm.
“I’m gay, bisexual or homo, worreva you want to call it, as you have discovered. I discovered my sexuality since secondary school but knowing my family, I’ve kept it hidden from most people. But my family has become suspicious of this fact. And considering this society and the kind of fortune I stand to lose if I have any issues in my relationship with my family, I had to come up with a plan. My plan was to find someone who was eager to marry, and bring her home to my family. My chance overhearing of your conversation with your friend at the airport told me I’d found the right candidate. I have not been wrong so far. Once we are married, all suspicions about my sexual orientation would be ruled out, especially if we have a child quickly. Are you with me?”
I kept quiet, and he took that as a sign that he should continue.
“I still want us to get married, in spite of your discovery. The deal is this – I give you the marriage that you’ve always wanted, so you can leave the spinster’s club, and get a new surname and the respect that you crave at being addressed as a married woman. And of course, to get your mum off your back. You give me legitimacy and face saving with my family, and critically, continued access to the family wealth. The marriage will be very open, you can date whoever you want to, and I’ll carry on my own affairs but we’ll both need to be discreet and project the image of a happy couple to the public and our families. You’ll of course have your own share of the wealth, to use as you please. You’d really not have to work again. And you could live on any continent, in any kind of housing you like, away from prying eyes in Naija. You can date anyone you like. You don’t even have to see me except for important family functions. You’ll have what you always wanted, a husband and a new surname, plus very plenty freebies, and I’ll have what I need. That is the deal.”
I sat on the floor dumbfounded by what he was saying. How could this guy just sit there and spew such arrant nonsense. Adamu got up from the table and went over me like I wasn’t there to get a drink.
Yomi continued “I don’t expect you to make a decision immediately. But you do have to come back to me within three days so I can know if the wedding is happening or not.”
He stood up and left the room with Adamu.
For minutes, I just sobbed quietly on the floor, you know, those quiet kinds of sobs that draw from the deepest depths of the heart. My picture perfect relationship had been shattered with exactly one week to my wedding.
The rational thinking part of me screamed that I should call it all off. Call the relationship off. Call the wedding off. Cut every contact with Yomi and his ilk. I really felt like slitting my wrists and just letting it all out. But a more basal part of me spoke into my mind, telling me it was not such a bad deal, that I’d be getting all I could get and that many girls would pounce on such a deal. I tried to drown these thoughts with my sobs, but they kept tearing back to the surface on my mind.
I am confused and ashamed that I’m confused about this choice. If I was ten years younger, I would walk away without looking back. But I’m approaching 36, with a very public relationship and all. Yomi is evil, I could see that now. He knew this would happen, and that I would feel trapped.
I sped dialed Toke. “Please come and pick me at Yomi’s house”. She tried to ask me what the issue was but I had cut the call.
In the wildest of my imaginations, I never imagined I would be at this kind of crossroads. It’s day 2 of Yomi’s ultimatum for a feedback and I am utterly confused. First I do not talk to either Gloria or Ossy any longer. Ossy was very mean to me. From the day he met me at the airport, he had known all about Yomi. Yomi had been his senior in secondary school. So he knew. That’s why he smiled that smile when I told him Yomi hadn’t touched me. That was why he spoke so sarcastically. Jealousy had blinded him so much that he didn’t bother to rescue his friend from this dilemma. A word from him would have alerted me to the danger I was in and saved me all this trouble.
But in my moments of reflection, I knew even if he had spoken out then, I would not have taken him seriously. I would have interpreted it as the angry ranting of a scorned man.
Now I was torn between calling of my well publicized and much anticipated wedding at my age or going into a life that I knew I couldn’t be happy living. If I took the first option, I would be the ridicule of the town, tagged as a woman who cannot just settle down. People would assume that the man had discovered something that all the other men before him had discovered that made them call the wedding off. People would assume he was being a gentleman by not revealing what he had discovered. In our culture, for such things, it’s the woman that would be blamed, be scorned and be ridiculed. I would be cannon fodder for soft sells and bloggers.
If I took the second option, that would not be the life of bliss with my husband I had always dreamt about. I would be comfortable and free, yes, but at a huge cost. And something in my heart told me that as such things go, at some point in future, it would come to light and then I would be publicly disgraced as a money hungry woman who didn’t mind marrying someone who was gay to help him cover it up for financial gain.
The conversation with my mum went something like this
“En, kini oju o ri ri? (What’s new under the sun?). At least he isn’t a wife beater or ritualist or armed robber. You better do now and marry, and don’t bring shame to this family’s name”.
Toke says I should not be stupid and throw away what I had found on a small issue like that. She was of the opinion that the deal I was being served was what many girls would kill to have. “You have a husband; can date anyone you want and truckloads of money, plus a hold on your husband to request anything and he would not be able to refuse. Don’t be foolish my dear”. But when I told her Adamu might be interested in having the same arrangement with her, she began to stammer. That told me what she really thought of the arrangement. It was good for me but not for her.
Hot Pastor expressly told me in firm terms that I shouldn’t go ahead in spite of the pressure. He sermonized and all, but also made plenty sense. What if someone better was just around the corner and Yomi was the devil’s temptation to shortchange me from getting that?
Everywhere I went, everyone was greeting me and congratulating me on the soon to come wedding. My new name in their mouths was Iyawo, the bride and so on. Each time they called me so, I cringed. I decided to go away from everyone to think. There just seemed to be too much interference from all of them.
The next day, I switched off all my phones and left home. My mum had called me at least 20times that morning to keep reminding me that I should not throw away this opportunity to settle down. I checked into a room in Penisula Resort, Ajah, away from everybody to think. I knew I had but a few hours to make the call to Yomi. I needed to be sure I said the right thing when I made it. I’ve seen all your comments and (strong) opinions. But trust me, when you are in the shoes, you’ll find it’s not that easy to do any of these things.
As I lay there, I began to imagine what he would be doing now. Probably curled up somewhere with Adamu, somewhere I should be. Lord! This was going to be all what my life would be if I married Yomi. Well, two can play the game. I decided to practice what my life would look like if I went ahead with the marriage.
I turned my private number on and dialed Kalu’s number from memory. The moment I turned it on, three text messages from mumsy came in. That woman can like to leave me alone now! After the second try, Kalu’s phone rang. The cow was so full of himself, the caller tune was one of those you recorded by yourself. Here’s what it went like “Welcome to Kalu’s Phone. Hang on to speak with the hottest and flyest of them all.” Arrrrrgh! I almost hung up, this guy was so childish at 38. Men, I thought I was through with the likes of him. Anyways, he picked up and spoke with a hint of surprise and amusement.
Kalu: The Lagos big girl calls lowly us. To remind us to attend her wedding abi?
Me: it’s because of this your goatiness that I could never be serious with you. Where are you sha?
Kalu: Where you left me noni. You? (He hadn’t lost his touch. He was already coding what I wanted)
Me: Somewhere in Ajah, personal getaway before the wedding. All alone (this felt real silly)
Kalu: Really? Call the boo to come around now (Kalu can like to make everything hard. If I could call the boo, shay I will be calling him abi?)
Me: You know it’s bad luck for the groom to see his bride before the wedding. So boo stays put. You won’t come and say hi to your friend before she finally becomes a Mrs. abi?
Kalu: Ping me the details, I’m coming.
I ended the call. It’s funny how you can say a lot, without actually saying the specifics. I had just booty-called (yes men get booty-called) Kalu without any mention of it. But unlike the old days when I would phone select with no qualms, there was a knot in my tummy. This just didn’t feel right. And this was what I was meant to do for the rest of my life. I do something silly that I should confess here. If you tell me now two people are dating, I unconsciously imagine them together in bed. If the picture in my head gels, then I immediately support the relationship. If e no gel, well, I believe the relationship will likewise not gel. Hence I can never do an aristo. The picture won’t just gel.
I closed my eyes to imagine being with Kalu… bad picture. I turned my phone off again. Kalu wasn’t getting any pings from me.
I began to wander sort of aimlessly around the grounds. If someone was watching me, I probably looked like I was looking for some suicide spot. Eventually, I got to a stone bench beside a beautiful stone arch running over a small spring of water and I sat on it, eyes closed, lost in thought as I watched the water run over those smooth white pebbles at the bottom of the pool.
Reminiscent of when we met for the first time on the plane, it was the voice that drew me out of my reverie. I opened my eyes and sure enough, Yomi was seated on the stone bench right beside me. How he had found me, I couldn’t phantom. God, I loved him. Even knowing what I knew, with him seating just a few inches from me, I wanted to do nothing more than reach out and hold him in my arms.
This heart en, I will never understand how it works. My head was saying all the right things to make me loathe him, that he deceived me, that he could never love me cos I was a woman, that I could never be happy with him and that I should hate him with all my being. My mind even brought up the repulsive picture of him and Adamu replayed like some picture by MopeBob, vivid and clear. But in spite of all my head was saying, my heart was steadfastly, stupidly refusing to listen. The moment I saw him, I melted like butter, sigh! (I see you rolling your eyes now, just don’t let it fall out).
“Yomi, how did you find me?”
“You always come here to run away. It didn’t take long to figure out where you were when you were unreachable and not at home.”
I had totally forgotten that Yomi and I used this place for getaways. All he needed to do was make a phone call and he woulda found me. But I didn’t think he would be looking for me.
“So why did you find me? I thought I was going to call you later”.
He placed a hand on mine and looked me in the eye. My heart did a flip (this my gymnast of a heart en).
“Oyin, we both know that whatever decision you are going to make is already made. So rather than wait for a call, I came to get it first hand from you now”.
My palms became sweaty “Yomi, I, I, I,” I stammered.
He moved closer, “You haven’t made one yet? Then make one now”, he cut in.
What kind of tactic is this? I looked into his eyes squarely. I knew what I was going to do. I decided to marry Yomi.
Yes, I decided to marry Yomi. After all, people knowingly marry people who decided to be drug pushers, thieving politicians and all the kinds of thieves and bad men within that wide range of bad-man-ism, and even help them keep the secret. My reasoning (which I came to conclusion of without mumsy in my head) was that I’d just be marrying a man who had made a choice to be something and help him cover up. Omerta. Really no different ba?
Once the decision had been made, everything went into full swing hyper crazy extra super drive and you can guess who the driver of all that was. We had four grades of Aso Ebi, and the cheapest was twenty five thousand. This was the bigz people’s wedding, and you can go and dye your hair green if you couldn’t afford our aso ebi. The most expensive one was one mint green and burnt orange Swiss Voile lace like that. It cost five hundred thousand.
Since I knew what was up, I decided to spend Yomi’s money wella, with two hands, on this wedding. I changed my gown to a Mai Atafo gown, all chosen specially and hand fitted by the bobo himself. My coral bead choker alone for the engagement cost a million Naira. And he didn’t hesitate to spend. He pulled all the stops, signed the cheques and went to town. His mum commented that she had never seen him that happy, ever. Of course no one else knew why he was that happy, everyone thought I was the source of his joy. Toke was of course my chief bridesmaid and Adamu was playing that role for Yomi. I tend to imagine him in my head as a bridesmaid and not the bestman. And I noticed Toke kept him at an arm’s length after what she knew. I chose not to be bothered.
The engagement was a blast. I remember the cows. They turned into a mini tourist attraction, so big that people were taking pictures with the cows and using them as DPs all over. They spawned all sorts of funny broadcasts; you know the kind that goes on for months until they’re no longer funny. Every major blog had photographers at the event. My official photographer was the hottest new one in town, the rave of the moment, Ogheneworo Akara.
The alaga was Madam Kofo herself. She keyed into the mood the families were, the spending mode, and made herself tons of money, milking Yomi and friends wella. Imagine, at some point, she even said that I was coming in a plane and that they had to drop fuel money and they know plane fuel is costlier than car fuel. So they dropped plenty money. Then when I was halfway out, she said the fuel finished and the plane was crashing. They had to drop even more money to save it from crashing and refueling the “plane” midair.
I can give you all the juicy details but let me move forward, en. So the engagement was done and we went to our hotels. Everything was going smoothly with the event, and in a perfect world, I had just had the perfect engagement. But that night, I had to numb the fears I was having with generous doses of alcohol in order to sleep and go through with the next day.
Wedding day came and Toke woke me up as early as 5am. The entourage came into the room right after her and so began my roller coaster preparation to transform me from the mortal called Oyin to a goddess simply known as Bride. The whole operation took three hours of intensive work from the combined team of makeup lady, tailor and hair stylist. The small ringlets under my eyes from last night’s alcohol bout were gone.
As my uncle walked me down the aisle, I decided to immerse myself in the wedding, enjoy the moment and not think of the marriage after (I believe a good number of women do this). Wedding was going smoothly and my heart was at its gymnastic best, I was really going through with it. I was going to be Mrs. Oyin Kester-Jacobs.
The preacher asked the customary “Is there anyone here who has any reason why this couple may not be joined together? Speak now or forever hold your peace”, in a jocular manner. He was about to move to the next bit when a strong voice came from the back of the church auditorium “I do. These two should not be joined”. A hush ran over the congregation and all eyes turned in the direction from which the voice had come. Yomi spun around, a crazed look on his face as he saw who it was. I didn’t need to turn. I knew that voice as well as if I had looked at his face. It was a voice I knew too well. It was Ossy.
Haltingly, the pastor asked him what his reasons were.
“I will not allow my friend to go into this sham.” As he spoke, Yomi’s security details began to move towards him. But he was prepared. As they got to him, and were shutting him up, Gloria stood up as if they had rehearsed the scene and picked up where her husband stopped “Yomi is gay, and the marriage is just arrangy, a sham. I will not stand by and let Oyin make this mistake”. Everyone turned and stared at us, as if waiting for Yomi to say how silly all this was so the wedding could continue. It was like live Jerry Springer show.
I got the shock of my life. Yomi spoke up angrily, facing his mum as if all his anger was directed at her “and what if I’m gay? I’m tired of living trapped in the closet. I am gay and from today on, I will be proud of it and live in the open. I’m tired of all this.” People just sat where they were, as if transfixed. Then he said scornfully, “you can all go home now, there’ll be no Mrs. Kester-Jacobs today”. It was then I turned around and screamed.
The tabloids were merciless. For weeks after the botched wedding, there was one story or the other about me, Gloria, Ossy and Yomi in every print and online tabloid and blog possible. Comedians used us as skits for their event promos. It was real bad. And trust Nollywood, within two weeks of the event, there was a movie out, complete with a poster of a reenactment of my scream on my knees at the church. They titled it “Love Scream”. Someone needs to do something about Nollywood. Really.
I had to pretend to the world I had known absolutely nothing about Yomi’s sexuality. That was the only way I salvaged my respectability. In fact, some people actually came to console me and tell me sorry. See en, when people are going through stuff, just leave them alone sometimes. Sorry my Yoruba ass.
Yomi left the country and no one could reach him. Not that I tried, but his family kept asking if I had heard from him or could reach him. They were genuinely afraid and were indeed nice people. They didn’t know I knew about him, so they kept trying to be good to me, trying to compensate me for the way their son had deceived me. I played along. Better that way than the other way I guess.
Gloria and Ossy have been asking for forgiveness. Again it’s that heart thing. They keep saying they were trying to make up for their previous mistake, trying to make sure they didn’t keep silent again while I walked into a trap. I could see their intentions were genuine and all, but couldn’t they have chosen a less disastrous way to “save” me? Gloria is a woman like me, and has been one of my closest friends for years. Even if Ossy didn’t understand how disastrous their actions would be to a fellow woman, how could Gloria not understand? So my head keeps telling me to forgive them, but my heart bluntly refuses to do anything of that nature (influenced by the fact that they are happily married and I’m still carrying my father’s surname plus Glo is preggy for Ossy now). Abi if you were in my shoes, would you?
Since I had taken a long leave for the wedding, I didn’t have to go to work immediately and so had time to just be by myself in my house. Thankfully, I didn’t resign at Yomi’s prompting based on his promise of endless money. I would have felt worse if I didn’t have my job to look forward to going back to. Toke was my friend through the time and she made sure amongst other things that I was eating, didn’t strangle or drug myself to death, burn down my house or call assassins to go after Glo and Ossy. The funny thing is, now that this Yomi wedding brouhaha was over, I felt more at peace than I’d been in a long time. In retrospect, I would really have been miserable in that marriage. Truth is, I’m still a romantic at heart, and could never really be happy in those circumstances.
I went through the whole “I’m so done with men” cycle, to the “I’ll just have a kid for some random man” phase and then back to the “when will my own come” phase. By the time I was at this phase, Toke and my mum were satisfied that I wasn’t suicidal and would get over the disappointment and still marry. Prior to that, I had been closely monitored and kept away from sharp objects and medicine bottles.
One of the ways I deal with disappointment is to get something new as if to tell myself I deserve good stuff even if life was trying to say otherwise. I acquired a tear rubber 2012 Honda CRV in this period. Big girl, big toy, I can’t shout. (and if you don’t think a CRV is big enough, snap and send your car pix #yimu)
My leave and the commensurate insulation from the world soon ended and resumption day at work came. I had dreaded this moment for so long and had rehearsed it in my mind severally until I had each detail planned out. Determined to look every inch unfazed, I poured all my energies into looking good. And dayum, I looked good. I did not fail to notice that a few heads turned when I parked my sleek toy and stepped out. I made up my mind to enjoy life everyday and not kill myself about marrying, quoting Sefi Attah’s book title, Everything good will come.
So I was pleasantly surprised when I got back from lunch that day and met a bouquet of flowers with a note on my table. Here’s what it said
“You’re a masterpiece, the epitome of beauty”.
I appreciated the gesture (yes, everyone likes to feel like the epitome of beauty even if you know it’s a wash), but really didn’t take it seriously. Over dramatics of any kind were not in my agenda at the moment. I didn’t even bother to mention it to Toke when she came around. It was that insignificant to me. We watched old episodes of Ally Macbeal and she crashed at mine.
Next day, I unconsciously expected to see flowers and co on my table when I got back from lunch. Nothing! Looooooong hiss, see me already anticipating. It was on the second day I inquired about Ossy, as I hadn’t seen him since resumption. I was told he had left the company for banking. Whatever, it was better not to have to deal with him. The moment I entered the car park, I notice a bright red gift bag on top of my car. I was already internally abusing the person that used my new car as a table when I saw it had my name on it. Forgetting that Boko Haram is threatening everyone, I quickly looked into the bag. In it were the loveliest pair of silver Louboutin shoes I’ve ever seen. This person must know I love shoes. Kai! When I brought the shoes out of the bag, a note fell out of them. It had another message on it
“You are my centerpiece, I’ll build my world around you”.
This guy knows Oyin is a poet o, what kind of attack is this now? It’s as if the guy had taken time to study me and was hitting at my weak spots. I didn’t want to open up to anyone so soon after my last saga, the tabloids and blogs would have a field day. Plus I’m not a fan of stealth tactics. If you like me, oju l’oro wa.
These days, I can’t wait to go home after work, so I headed straight home. When I got home, I quickly took pictures and sent to Toke, giving her the meat of the gist. Trust the nonsense girl, she came up with all manner of conspiracy theories. I really think she should begin to write for some TV series, cos the girl’s imagination is on fertility drugs. She can know how to think up scenarios that all you will say is Tokeeeeeeeeeeeee! In the end, we had a good laugh and agreed I shouldn’t take the fellow seriously until he showed his face.
Next day, nothing at lunch, nothing at my car when I was leaving. I thought this guy had run out of ideas. Then I got to my gate and guess what I saw… a mannequin fully dressed, from sunshades to scarf to belt and even shoes beside it. Omo, this person knew my house. That was beginning to sound like a stalker, but do we have those in Naija? Or was it Yomi playing games ni? I quickly took pictures (making sure my gate and house number showed) and sent it to Toke. Seemed she was busy, no response, cos normal her would have called for the gist if she had seen the pix. This person was doing things that would definitely get my attention in a way that would trip me. I wanted to find out which one line poetry he had written this time and I moved the mannequin in and frisked it. Nothing. I couldn’t believe how disappointed I was. Why prince charming fall my hand now? mtchew. I decided to undress the mannequin and keep the clothes in the car for the drycleaner, while the mannequin stayed outside (I’m definitely not wearing them, would give them to charity. Love juju tinz). The note was handwritten across its chest –
“my cornerpiece, you bring it all together”.
Thursday, and I was up bright and early. My BB was blinking and Toke must have pinged me like hundred times for the gist. I filled her in on my drive to work. We both agreed our guy who we shall label Mr. Poet was getting more interesting. I spent a bit of the workday wondering what he would come up with today. He didn’t disappoint. When I got back from lunch, there was a gift card on my table for a pampering session at an exclusive Spa on Ligali Ayorinde. Accompanying it were two notes. One teased me about going straight home everyday and asked me to go to the spa for a change. The one I really wanted to see, the poem read
“My choicepiece, I chose you”.
Men, this guy was good. It wasn’t the gifts that got me, it’s the poetry. Together, they read like this
“You’re a masterpiece, the epitome of beauty
You’re my centerpiece, I’ll build my world around you
My cornerpiece, you bring it all together
My choicepiece, I chose you”
Kilode! I was more than curious to know who this mystery guy was.
Let me tell you, if you haven’t taken time to go get yourself pampered at a spa, and you are making above fifty thousand monthly, you better indulge yourself. You can feel the stress ease out of you as those people handle you. And some of the spa attendants en, they can make you feel like you don’t live in this same Nigeria sha. They are so totally fine and near flawless. Haba! There are some men I saw there, coming to get massages, and in my inner mind, I knew they were there for the girls. Anyways, the owners of the business know this, hence the girls. It reminded me of those fine guys that served ice cream at Ice Cream Factory. You don’t need to wonder why all the island girls have suddenly made it their one stop shop and fashied Chocolate Royale.
To get up was war after the whole massage. Whenever you are getting something osho-free, even when you can afford it, it always feels sweeter. I managed to drive myself home, and had the most peaceful sleep I’d had since the whole wedding saga. Friday morning, I woke up and hit my left leg on the bed as I was getting down. Then I hit it on the bathroom door too. Now, forget tushness, there are some things you grow up with and no matter how educated you are, you still unconsciously remember them. My mama is a typical Yoruba woman, and she drummed it into our heads growing up that if you strike your left leg against something, it was a bad omen. She even had the one where she would ask a guy to meet her first as she was going out of the house on something important. She said meeting the opposite sex first was a good omen, and hence she made sure of that. And with all my UK masters and my Island big girl-ism, that was what came to my mind this morning. You can imagine.
I sha packed myself out of the house, thanking God it was Friday. Work went by and I was wondering what Mr. Poet would come up with today. I didn’t have to wait for long. An sms came into my phone around lunch hour.
“We should meet. Private dinner at the Palm View Manor off Ajose Adeogun. Let’s do 8pm. Ask after Chris”. Notice he said “ask after” not “ask for”. The guy can speak proper English. I smiled. I forwarded the text to Toke sharply and she agreed to be my “backup”, with the addition “Mr. Poet now has a name o”. At my age, I am not foolish. I don’t go and meet strange men in places they chose without having someone around the corner that can make sure I’m safe. I have watched too many C & I things to make such silly mistakes. So Toke was gonna be around and in touch, to avoid stories that touch. We can say serial killers are not in Naija yet, but there was a time when people also said Nigerians could never be suicide bombers.
Anyways, the day raced past after that, and then I waited for Toke to meet me up at work. Since I close at five, I had about two hours to burn before my date. We spent it imagining who this secret admirer could be. Toke said she had some other gist for me, but that would be after my date, since she said it was not so great gist. I made up my mind to just have fun and enjoy the moment, no serious anything. In no time, we headed out, with Toke driving behind me.
I found Palm View Manor easily. It’s one of those exclusive places in VI that the people who are old money meet to talk about how all the brash new money people are invading their moneyed space and how to create newer exclusive circles available only to old money. Toke stayed at one café on the road; there are many of those in that area. Seems like a nice business to do on the island, I should begin to consider opening one.
Seven on the dot, I drove into the compound and walked to the reception. A small Asian lady was behind the counter and I smiled sweetly and asked after Chris. She returned a smile just as sweet as mine and said in the gesture-full way Asians do “Chris is already waiting; you’ll be shown to the table right away”. Another guy came out of the staff only door behind her to lead me to Chris. I liked the treatment and all. I so couldn’t wait to see this mystery man. Second by second updates were flying to Toke via BBM. Thankfully the network wasn’t falling hand and she was getting my messages realtime.
We went through a beautiful corridor, with old pictures of Lagos Island when things were sane and orderly hanging on the walls. We turned a corner and came into a very well furnished restaurant. They seemed to have a thing for red velvet and combined with the lighting, it had a cool comfortable look. I was ushered into a secluded seat in a corner, with candles and all set up on the table. Chris wasn’t there. Very quietly, my guide disappeared and I was alone. I discreetly took a picture of the table and sent to Toke. I was engrossed in my chat with her but all of a sudden, I felt there was someone else with me. I braced up to meet him for the first time. A very pretty, I’ll repeat, extremely pretty lady smiled down at me. I assumed she was looking for someone and smiled at her too, waiting for her to ask me a question. She said with a tilt of her head, “Oyin Clegg?” I was surprised but answered that I was the one. She stretched her hand towards me and said “Chris”.
I was confused. How could my admirer be a woman! Lord have mercy. I sat trance-like while she took a seat opposite me. “You look very puzzled”, she continued. “With your last experience, I can imagine you think I’m a lesbian. Don’t be afraid, I just pulled strings for a friend who couldn’t secure this place himself. I had to be around to ensure that he would gain access, this place is very exclusive. I’ll leave you now.” She stood up, gave me a look over and then nodded slowly “I see what he sees in you”. She then went towards the door. My hand flew to my bbm and I sent an update to Toke. I was engrossed in sending the message I didn’t notice that someone had walked up to me. When I looked up, I almost let out a scream. It was Ossy.
The be continued…
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