WRITTEN BY TUNDE LEYE
When I turned, Femi had stood up to tower above me, and I found myself searching desperately for something to say. He relished the effect he was having on me and something warned me that this was not the sweet Femi of yesteryears; that he had grown harder and wiser in the ways of the world. Then he smiled and said, “I have missed you Oyin. Ten years, and I’m still single, still without a woman because I carried you into every relationship I had.” What! Alleluia. Somebody say glory! Let the angels proclaim! His words were music to my ears. I was expecting harsh words, but he had opened up to me like this. Oh, I’m gonna make it up to you Femi, I’m going to meet your every need, be your every comfort and we will never be apart again.
I covered the distance between us in a single stride and held him in my arms (I’m proactive ;)). “Oh God,” I cooed to him, “I’ve missed you so much. I’m still single too (had to let him know quickly that I was available too o), no one else could do, no one else could take your place, absolutely no one. I’m so sorry for…” He placed a finger on my lips and said “shhhh. Don’t even bring that up, it’s the past and it’s forgotten. I’m just glad you can still be mine.” I was about to die and go into the ninth heaven. This was too good to be true, I was reeling with happiness, I felt like singing a hymn, oh joy eternal. I was already seeing aso ebi, white wedding dress and a cross continental crisscrossing trip for the honeymoon. I even mentally called myself Oyin Tosh, to see how it would sound. It sounded as tush as my current name. Perfect! By the time Hot Pastor came back in, we had already exchanged the following
Phone numbers BB Pins My House Address and the Hotel he was staying A kiss.
He walked me to my car and I left floating on air. On my way back home, a keke napep brushed my car, and the guy had already come down and was prostrating and begging. But no keke napep was stealing my joy. I just went back into my car and drove off, shebi the scratch was kuku very small.
Toke came by and thankfully brought Shoprite bread so I didn’t have to warm anything. We just did the bread with butter and juice. I downloaded the day’s event for her. “The same Femi that mumutised for u?” Toke asked. “You are just a foolish child, en you this Toke for bringing that up. You wan cry pass the person wey e dey pain?”
Just in case you are wondering what I’m talking about, let me explain. Mumutising is the art of you being a mumu for your partner. I have a theory that everyone mumutises at least once in life (some people do it severally, some learn sharply and never mumutise again ever, the key phrase is ‘at least once’). So I was the partner Femi mumutised with. Anyways, back to my current convo with Toke.
“Did you take any pictures with him, I wonder how he looks these days,” she said. I checked his DP on BBM. Not his picture. Toke entered espionage mode. “Shebi he’s a bestselling author. Let’s Google him. We should see some recent pictures”. I sharply powered up my laptop and did just that. Yes there were pictures o, plenty. He was really big outside Naija. There were pictures of him with celebs from all around the world. Nia Long, Tyra Banks, Serena Williams, Djimon Honsou, and many more. And he had access to all these hot hot celebs and he had come back to me. Right then, I felt like I was the fairest of them all, omo toh quality gaan. “Hmm, Oyin, this all seems too good to be true o. Hope there is nothing wrong with this guy. Abi he is gay ni”. Sparks flew in my eyes, “What kind of talk is that now? So something must be wrong with him for him to come to me? If you want to abuse me, say it plainly now, don’t use style.” Toke was taken aback by my outburst “Haba, cool down now. I’m just talking as your girl. I have to have your back and in my experience, once it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” “Okay o,” I said rolling my eyes, “I have heard you.”
We relaxed to our meal while watching American Idol. We were so engrossed in the gist and TV that I didn’t notice my BB blinking until American Idol was over. A big smile came to my face when I saw who it was. Femi. He had sent a voice note some forty minutes earlier. It went something like this “Hey babe, hope you still like wearing those lovely gowns. I’ll come by to pick you up at seven for dinner. Make me drop dead when I see you, ciao.”
Toke took the phone and played it over and over again, singing Banky W’s Omoge you too much as she did. That girl was just so silly. I checked the time. It was five thirty. Ninety long minutes before my future husband came to take me out. Mr. X, Kalu and the rest of their likes seemed like a distant past now.
Dressing me up for the date required two hands o, no be small matter. We spent thirty minutes on the internet before we picked out a look (as the bobo is used to celebs, make me sef try now) and then systematically went about transforming me into that look. By the time we were done, Toke was sweating and I was dazzling. She wasn’t going home anyways, she had clothes in her car and would just go to work from mine tomorrow. I was thankful it was a Sunday, because the housecleaner came this afternoon, the house was looking spick and sparkle. By the time we were done with preparations, it was five minutes to seven. Ten minutes later, his call came through. “I’m turning into your estate, so I’ll be at your house shortly.” “Alright boo, I’m dressed up and ready”, I replied and hung up.
Moments later, the doorbell rang. Toke went to get the door for me, while I went into the room to take one last look at myself before letting him see me. When Toke’s bbm that he was seated came in, I took a breath and stepped out. I checked for his reaction. I could tell he liked what he saw. I went to the door and opened it and struck a sexy pose “shall we? Or would you rather spend the evening looking at me?” He laughed as he stood up “that wouldn’t be such a bad idea you know?” He covered the distance between us in two strides and had his arms around me in the same movement “as tempting as that prospect is, I have something special planned for this evening, so we should get going.” Special something, something special. The words rolled in my mind and I could see him on one knee in a restaurant proposing to me tonight. I couldn’t wait.
We got to the place somewhere in Phase 1 and he led me through the restaurant, up some stairs and then to an open roof with a table for two already set, complete candles lit. The picture of him proposing to me in my head was now in high definition and 3D. We had a lovely three course meal, and talked about beautiful things, his life, my life (the good, wifely parts o, no Mr. X). We even talked about things like number of kids, type of bedroom furnishings and co. Every time his hand went below the table, I expected it to come up with a ring.
After the meal, he held my hands and looked into my eyes. I was sure this was the moment, the climax. First he asked me if I enjoyed the meal. I nodded, cat got my tongue. I could hear the drum rolls now, he would do it any moment from now.
Then he hit me with the bombshell. “You know the saying ‘Revenge is best served cold’”, he said with a twisted, sardonic smile. “So you dey find readymade husband. Your father!” he said, opening his palms at me. Then he stood up and left me there, sitting transfixed to my chair. The shock kept me pinned to the chair, motionless and speechless for some minutes. Then I called Toke “Please come and pick me up”.
I could not even drink myself to sleep that night. No alcohol could numb my pain and I spent a large part of the night re-enacting the night in my head and adding all sorts of evil things I should have done to Femi as he left. I couldn’t pull myself together to go to work the next day and quickly sent an sms to my boss to allow me take the day off. I stumbled around my house in just my underwear, picking things up, arranging things. I had Adele’s 21 album on repeat. Talk about setting the mood. Men, Femi hit me way way way below the belt. I had mumutized big time.
It was 8:30am when my phone rang. I didn’t bother to pick the phone, I didn’t want to talk to anyone that day. The phone rang a few more times, and I let it ring out. Then my other phone rang, and I knew it had to be someone real close, since few people had that number. I stumble-walked into the room from where I stood in the parlor and checked the caller id. It was Ossy. I picked the call and put the phone on speaker as I flopped onto the bed.
Ossy: Hey babes
Ossy: Dropped into your office and was told you called in sick. What’s the ish dear
Ossy: An an! Which one is this monosyllabic mode you are giving me now?
Ossy: Anyways, open your door, I’m here
As an answer, my doorbell rang. I heard it both from outside and through my phone.
Me: What! (Shriek) You’re at the door. Ossyyyyyyyyy
Okay, lemme tell you about Ossy before you begin to wonder if all my travails have finally left me delusional and I’ve started taking phone calls from an imaginary person. Ossy works in my office. He’s an oga, so Oil and Gas money plenty, dashing dark dude, witty, intelligent and goes out of his way to make me happy. And men, when I say goes out of his way, I mean he wows me steady. Ossy doesn’t hide that he’s crazy about me, and wants me to be his woman.
I’m sure by now you are wondering if I am crazy. Here I am, going through hell and high waters to find a husband, and I have Ossy dying to make me his wife. But I guess that’s the irony of life. Ossy being so available makes him just not desired like that and his sweetness sometimes comes off as desperately dramatic. So he provides the shoulder that I cry on whenever my heart is broken (which is better than having Toke tell me “I told you so” in every gesture), the ears that listen to my tales of woe, and the balm that soothes and heals me. Every time, he hopes; and every time so far, I have run out on him once healed. I know I’m gonna get possessive if he ever wants to marry another girl sha. By the way, Ossy is short for Ositalogbon Onisokame. Each time I consider him, somehow, the thought of going from Oyin Clegg to Oyin Onisokame sort of does a Hulk Smash! And beats all such thoughts to death.
Anyway, back to today. So I put on a boubou and headed for the door. When I opened the door, Ossy’s wide smile greeted me and I couldn’t help but give him a tired smile. “Seems you’ve gone down one cup size”, he said, grinning mischievously. I laughed for the first time since yesterday night. Ossy’s way of telling me I’ve lost weight is to point out that my boobs have become smaller. Nonsense shudren.
“I would say you look like a hot mess, but then you know that already.” He stepped in and gave inglorious me a big hug and I felt safe in his arms.
“First to make sure you add flesh.” He went into my kitchen and began to rummage through my fridge. In minutes, a beautiful aroma began coming out of my kitchen. Ossy came out and changed the music. “No sad women singing about broken hearts for company, only dashing young men”. He slotted in Tu Baba’s Unstoppable album and did some silly dance moves. A few minutes past 9, a sumptuous breakfast of bread and eggs and sausages was ready with steaming coffee. He served me on the couch and I began to break the bread at the edges. As I ate and the heat of the coffee warmed my hands, I began to pour out my woes to Ossy. He listened to me patiently and kept me eating as I spoke.
“Ossy, you want to get me fat and unattractive so no man else will like me abi?” I asked laughing. “Anything to achieve my aims,” he retorted, a sheepish smile on his face too. Somewhere, something tugged at my mind and kept asking me why dependability was within reach and I kept looking for the super duper flyest hubby around. Toke had once asked me if I wasn’t being followed from wherever I am from. Sometimes I wonder so too myself.
The shrill sound of Ossy’s alarm broke into our world and he quickly checked the phone. “Gotta go, appointment at DPR”. My mood took an instant nosedive.
He kissed my forehead and adjusted his tuck-in. Reluctantly, I stood up to go and let him out and waited at the door to hear the sound of his car leave and then dragged my feet to the couch. My house felt empty without now that I was alone. BBs are saviors at times like these. Going through updated status messages (and everyone does that jor) is an easy way to while away such time. I picked my BB up and noticed it was blinking. I had ignored it all morning, so I guessed I had tons of pending messages.
All the usual suspects had sent me messages. My mum. My girls. Kalu (RME) and hawt (as one of the commentators on the blog corrected me) Pastor. Most recent of my chats was one from Ossy. I quickly opened the chat to see what he was saying. I had two pending voice notes from him. I played the first and his voice came through.
“Hey dear. Go to your kitchen and look under your microwave. Do not open the second VN until you do”. He chuckled at the end of the message and I was so totally tempted to open the second one but decided to play along. I ran into the kitchen and lifted the microwave up. My eyes widened when I saw what was there. A return ticket to Dubai and a 5 day holiday package. I quickly listened to the second VN. Ossy’s voice sounded like sweetness now “I think you need that break you’ve been talking about dear. I’m handling your leave already so you don’t need to bother to come to the office. Enjoy your trip. And call me when you get there o. Ciao”.
I stood dumbfounded. How could someone be so sweet? If it was 99% of the men I knew, for such a gesture, they would expect plenty payment in kind. I dialed Ossy’s number but he cut the call and I guessed he was in his meeting already. I checked the flight details. I had only 3hrs to get to the airport. I hummed a tune as I packed up, wondering where in the heavens men like Ossy were made. Maybe I’d give him a chance when I got back from this trip.
And so Oyin Clegg broke out of her depression. Not exactly getting her groove back yet o. And she’s happy, a man might have finally killed the dragon to come rescue her from the dungeon of singleness with his sweetness. See me o, as Ossy is making me wax lyrical. Me that called in sick at work that morning was in a cab enroute the airport, looking all fly, omo toh badt gaan. I wore my favorite jeans, one that made men turn around and take a second look at my behind, and a chiffon top with a hat to match and my very tech specs. I surveyed myself before my mirror for a few minutes. If you can have a tummy like mine at 35 without body magic and lipo, then you are one of the chosen few (some of you will say shebi I haven’t had kids yet, but darris your consign #yimu). Satisfied with what I saw, I called my cab man. I’m one of those that yab people for coming to the airport dressed as if they were going to a Paris runway, but hec, I’m feeling gay and intend to dress every inch so. I tried Ossy’s number again but when it didn’t go through, I kuku sent him a VN, expressing (profuse) thanks and calling him many sweet names I shall not mention to you.
Onto big girl things, I didn’t use any of those painted cabs. My cab man drove a black Honda City, with full blasting ac. With Lagos traffic, caused by unruly drivers, things like Lekki toll gate and the sheer number of we Lagosians that equate owning your own car to a status symbol, the ac is very essential.
After battling mad traffic, I made it to the airport just on time. Thankfully, Ossy had checked me in online and I didn’t have excess luggage, so I just went up, got frisked and went into the waiting area to chill for the next 30minutes for my flight (30mins before is just on time for a flight in Naija). I was so engrossed in the Tunde Leye novel I was reading on my iPad, I didn’t notice her when she walked up to me, until her hands covered the screen. I was about to give it to the person when I saw who it was. And she was the last person I wanted to see.
You know those people that seem to have perfect lives, as against your own. Got into university right out of secondary school when you waited for Jamb for a year. Got a 2 1 while being very popular in school, whereas you had to select which semester you wanted to pass and which you wanted to be social. Has a job just as good as yours. Got married in her mid twenties. Has a fine hubby. Two kids, one boy and one girl. And the person has a way of asking “innocent” questions that are really veiled barbs aimed at you where it pains most. And each time you see her, you are reminded of how much your life is missing. That’s the five foot eight yellow pawpaw standing in front of me now.
“Hi Oyin, so nice to run into you…”
“Moroti, moroti (fake smile from me), how now? Been a while o. where are you headed”.
“My own waka no dey pass UK now. Are you traveling alone? (barb question 1, meaning, hope you have finally found a man)
I responded “Holidaying in Dubai.”
“Abdul is around with the kids o, I left him with them there when I saw you and decided to come say hi”. (Barb 2, meaning some of us have a family we travel with).
We chatted for a bit, and she kept throwing the barbs, until the announcer saved me. Normally, they have to announce like three times before I go and board, but today, before the first announcement was finished, I escaped from Moroti sharply. No goodie two shoes was gonna spoil my mood for this trip.
In no time, I boarded and was glad I had a window seat. On my way in, I had passed one of those agbayas that still dress like Wizkid and Davido wannabes when they’re over thirty. Beats me how a full grown man will want to dress like a boy. Some of them are old enough to be Davido’s daddy o. Anyway, I stowed away my luggage overhead and took my seat.
Not wanting to be disturbed, I looked intently into the window and got lost in thought, oblivious to the goings-on around me.
“Interesting convo with your friend there”, came a thick, rich baritone from beside me, drawing me out of my beautiful thoughts. I turned to see who had such a lovely voice, praying in that breath that the man would match his voice.
Oh my God, yes oh my goodness gracious God. The prayer was answered. Emphatically answered. Resoundingly answered. Beside me was my dream. Taye Diggs complexion. Chocolatey (pronounce Cha-ka-lay-ti 😀 ) Even seated you could tell he was tall. Age, I put somewhere in the range of 37 (yes, I have inbuilt age sensors in my eyes). Well put together. Immaculately dressed. Well manicured finger nails. Those dancing, intelligent kinda eyes. Handsoooooooome. Mo gbe, mo ku, mo daran (in Wande Coal voice inside my head).
I straightened up sharply, thankful I had taken care to dress as well as I did. He introduced himself as Yomi Kester-Jacobs. My head did a quick memory search. It couldn’t be the same Kester-Jacobs, Lagos big family (yes I keep well informed of such). And if I wasn’t mistaken, this Yomi was the scion and only son of that family. “Oyin Clegg”, I said calmly, masking the riot of thoughts going through my mind. “So are you really travelling alone?” he pressed. I didn’t have any qualms admitting that to a dashing stranger who seemed alone himself. “Yeah”, I replied. “And you?”
He was alone too. I knew this Yomi to be single, from the tabloids. I asked if he was just stopping over in Dubai enroute elsewhere in Asia and he wasn’t. He was in Dubai for four days on business. I told him I was in Dubai for five days. “Well, it is not good for man to be alone, so says the Holy Book,” he joked, and then offered to be my company in Dubai. I did a backflip in my mind. “Sure”, I said chic-ily.
By the time I landed in Dubai, I had all but forgotten about Ossy. And so began my whirlwind romance with Lagos big boy, Yomi Kester-Jacobs.
I got back from Dubai five days later, with my man. Now that’s the sweetest thing to say. Me, Oyin omo Clegg that left Lagos manless, am returning with a man, and a hec hunk of a man. I wish I would run into that Moroti again now, so I could smugly answer all her snide questions, but fate would not have it so. And you know, the sweetest thing about Yomi is that all through our stay in Dubai, he didn’t ask for sex (even though I was hoping he would #evilgrin#). He wanted to prove to me that it was not just a holiday/business trip fling he wanted. SO he told me that we would save the real deal (yes, there were other things I shall keep only to myself) until much later. Men, o ti ba mi seriously for this guy. It felt like I’d known him for more than the few days we had spent in Dubai. We had connected on so many levels. The trip had been so much fun, and he had spoilt me silly, shopping, spa treatments, exotic meals et al. These days sha, I have toned down on the dreaming (wisely so, after my last set of experiences), so I hadn’t started imagining us walking down any aisle or dancing to Chop My Money at our wedding reception.
For the first time when I was returning from outside, I didn’t notice the Naija heat as we stepped out of the plane. I practically waltzed to the arrival lounge to wait for my luggage. I couldn’t be bothered that the air-conditioning wasn’t working there. Yomi guided me away from the conveyor belt, “We don’t have to wait dear; my people will sort the luggage out and deliver it to your house”. See levels o. #In Jenifa Voice# ayam on the fast track! Lol. This was the life men. I couldn’t wait to fill my girls in on my trip. I had loads of pictures on my iPad and BB to ensure that my gist was substantiated with visual evidence lest they began to think I had gone so delusional I was now having an imaginary boyfriend.
I was so engrossed in this world I didn’t see him. But he had seen me, seen it all. Seen me all over Yomi. Seen Yomi playfully kiss my forehead. Even seen me slap his butt as I laughed at a joke. He stood transfixed to the spot he was, and I’m sure if he was white, he would have been bright red from the look on his face. I looked up and I saw Ossy standing, a bouquet of roses in hand, eyes blazing at me. In my enraptured world, I had totally forgotten about the reason I had been on my way to Dubai in the first place. This was bad, really bad. How would I manage Ossy to make sure he didn’t create any scene? How would I explain to Yomi that there was nothing between me and this man who knew my travel plans so well that he knew when to wait at the airport, rose in hand for me? Ossy stood where he was, as if daring me not to come to him.
“Yomi, I’ve gotta say hello to someone, I’ll be back shortly”. Thankfully, he was on the phone and only nodded. I walked gingerly towards Ossy, feeling like a child who had done something bad and was about to face her daddy for that wrongdoing.
“Hi”, I ventured.
“And what the hell are you doing with him all like that?” he asked not so calmly, his hands saying more than his lips were.
I firmed my voice up. After all, I wasn’t dating Ossy, and had the right to see anyone I wanted. “I met him on the trip and we connected. And take that look out of your eyes, he hasn’t touched me”.
“Of course he hasn’t”, Ossy said sarcastically.
I was angered. “What exactly do you mean by that? And why do I have to explain myself to you?”
He threw the roses on the floor and smiled “of course you don’t have to. And as to what I meant, you’ll find out in due time”.
The smile sent a chill down my spine more than anything Ossy said. I placed a hand on his shoulder and tried to plead with him “Ossy, you are my friend. I always thought you would be happy for me when I finally met someone. Now is the time to be happy for me dear. Please.” He put a hand on my hand and looked into my eyes and it was only then I could see the sadness there. Then he took my hands of his shoulder and let it go. Right there, I felt a deep sense of loss. I had lost a friend.
“Hey dear, who’s this?” Yomi asked from behind me. I tried to formulate all the answers I could that would make sense in my head, but I drew on blanks.
“I’m Ossy, her colleague from work. Meeting my madam here today jare, she’s been away for barely a week and it seems like an eternity already”, Ossy answered, chuckling.
Yomi laughed too. “That’s this love thing o,” he said, putting his arms around me to mark me as “territory”. I have never felt that awkward, but Ossy was such a sport. Then Yomi turned to me “time to go dear, driver’s waiting and luggage is all sorted”.
We said our goodbyes and I walked away with Yomi. I couldn’t look back to see Ossy. I knew I wasn’t doing anything technically wrong, cos I hadn’t asked for any of the things Ossy had done for me, neither was I dating him. But I still felt real bad.
Two cars had come to pick us, an Armada for the luggage and a G-Wagon for us. Expectedly, the moment the car moved, he asked “So who really is that guy”? I weighed my options in my head.
Option 1 – Lie so well and get away with it (I doubted I’d be able to pull that off) Option 2 – Lie so badly it would look like I was hiding something and lose Yomi Option 3 – Tell the truth and Yomi would believe and all would be well Option 4 – Tell the truth and Yomi would believe there’s more between Ossy and I than I told him and lose him.
Life is so unfair. The odds are totally stacked against me. Why is it that of the four options, three have to end badly for me? Would I have to delete those pictures and have no stories to tell Toke and Gloria when I get home today?
I looked into his eyes and made my choice.
Option taken – three. Yes, against all my Lagos sharp sense, I decided to take a risk on Yomi and tell him the truth, and scenario three played out. Lesson learnt – if you want it long term with someone, come out clean, no hidden anything. He looked me in the eye after I had told him and said “Oyin, if you had lied, I would have known and I would have ended it here and now.” And I knew he meant it.
Sunday was my day with my girls (proudly so). I could regale you with all the tales of our day at the beach, but the only part you are gonna read is the fact that the oooohs and aaaahs that I got as I told them about Yomi and I could fill a book. Toke knew of Yomi (who Toke no sabi), and she told me I had hit it big if I hooked him. Glo was also very happy for me and I felt refreshed and ready for the week. Okay, lemme give you guys a bit of juicy gist from Gloria. Remember Alvin who was supposed to send the iPad that I was supposed to win in the episode about Mr. X (RME) with the H factor? Well, Gloria thought they were headed somewhere. He’s based in Jand and used to call her a lot initially. Recently, he has reduced his calling and he’s been complaining about all sorts and giving excuses for not calling. She called him while I was away in Dubai, and the conversation went something like this
Gloria: Hello darling
Female Voice: May I know who is speaking? (English accent)
Gloria: That’s my line. Why are you answering my boyfriend’s phone
Female Voice: Because I’m his wife and the mother of his two kids?
Female Voice: Alvin… come and get the phone
Alvin: Who is this?
Gloria: Who was that?
Alvin: My wife.
Gloria: Alvin, you are married…
Alvin: I can explain. It’s for my papers. It’s one oyinbo woman.
Gloria slammed the phone
All these foolish men that will come here and be deceiving us. That’s why me I don’t do distance. Too much room for lies and deceit abeg. The talk is in the eyes, oju loro wa.
Monday and I got to work and raced to my desk. I avoided going anywhere I thought I would meet Ossy. That’s the issue with office anything. I had not even dated and broken up with him and it was this awkward. I couldn’t imagine how it would be if we had actually dated. Gladly, I knew it was a bad idea and didn’t date him.
Apart from that, the day was a blast. Everyone commented on how well I looked and how good the rest must have been. I chose not to call Yomi to see if our first work day apart would be a no talk during the day kinda work day. My booboo sugarbunny snucklesnuggle (did u roll your eyes?) called me thrice during the day and we talked (I used my handsfree o, all you LASTMA people reading this) all through my drive home.
And so my week went something like this – great days at work, two dinners with boo, and #my lips are sealed about these parts#. Suffice to say that I had ice cream eaten off me and so on and so forth.
On Saturday morning, I decided to check on Gloria and squeeze breakfast out of her lazy ass. I thought I was through with shockers in this my life, but I got a huge one as I rounded the bend into her street. There was my yellow pawpaw friend, leaning over a car I was very familiar with and kissing the occupant squarely on the lips. The car drove past mine as I tried to park properly, and it was gone before I got out of my car.
“Gloria, what was that you were doing with Ossy?”
Gloria gave me a look that said en en and then fired “Question! What did it seem like I was doing?”
“But Glo, it’s Ossy now. You cannot be seriously seeing him now. It’s just wrong on different levels.”
“Why? Tell me one reason why? It’s not like you are dating him or like you ever did. Now that you’ve found you a good man, na only you wan marry? Me I didn’t see anything bad in Ossy, and so I called him up. We hooked up, and he shared his own heartbreak and I shared mine. And one thing led to another. What exactly is wrong about dating a very single man who seems ready to settle down and is seriously talking marriage at my 36years old?”
“Glo, seriously talking marriage after how long now? He was seriously thinking marriage with me just a few weeks ago. It smells fishy o”
“So it smells fishy because it’s not you abi? Please spare me abeg”.
I just stood speechless because I knew she was in the right with everything she was saying, but a certain but kept playing at the back of my mind. It just didn’t sit right. In that split second, I had to caution myself. Was I expecting Ossy to keep waiting for me ni? And shouldn’t I have been happy for him when I expected him to be happy for me when he met Yomi? And it wasn’t really worth quarreling with Gloria over. Really not.
“Oya sorry dear, na just shock catch me”, I said, smiling at Gloria. I could see she was visibly relieved that I wasn’t going to make issues out of this situation.
“Since man sleep for your house, I hope you sha cooked for him because me na food I come chop for your house.”
“Yes now, I had to show him I’m wife material now”
“En, and I know it’s not just in the cooking you showed him, oya gist me every every abeg.”
She threw her head back and laughed. It was good to see my friend laugh. “You know that thing Toke said about Bini men…”
I winked and laughed too “Dem no dey carry last at all at all”
She winked too and led me into the house for the “fullness of the gist therein”, lol.
A month later, Gloria and Ossy were married and I was the chief bride’s maid.
In my heart, as I stood behind her and my friends said I do to each other, I looked back at my own man in the aisle. It was going so well with Yomi, I couldn’t help but be happy for Glo and Ossy. Somewhere in my heart, a small voice told me this would be my last bride’s maid assignment. I said a silent amen.
And as if in answer to my prayer, at the wedding reception, rather than throw her bouquet, Glo walked up to me and handed it over to me. I was still trying to understand what all that was about when Yomi walked up to me, dropped on one knee and proposed. I nearly fainted in delight. No words came to my mouth. I could only nod my answer, so vigorously my head almost dropped off.
I thought my search was over at long last.
I couldn’t be more wrong.
It’s now three months that I’ve been dating Yomi, two months since he proposed so dramatically and all my dreams about marriage were about to come true. I’m now on one tabloid or the other, from City People to Encomium to Saturday Punch. I’m on Linda Ikeji’s blog and Bellanaija. And when they put pictures of me up, I’m not referred to as Tiwa Savage and “guest” in the pictures I appear. Now they know my name. A picture containing Toke and I was tagged as Oyin Clegg and Friend. Toke was mad en, but my profile was hyped plenty (just kidding o). And for all those who were wondering about Yomi’s prowess in bed, let me just tell you that in spite of my (vast) experience, I was surprised that I always seemed to have one thing or the other to learn each time we were in bed.
When Yomi’s people came for the formal introduction, my mother did it like it was the actual engagement. Aso Ebi, souvenirs, photobook and co. She pulled all the stops, and she had every reason to. When they said she should pray, mumsy nearly embarrassed me with all the song and prayer drama. That my mama, she can be a drama queen. Not one to delay, and as money was not a constraint and we both are not kids, we set wedding date for a month later, about a week after his birthday. We intended to start the wedding celebrations with his birthday party and end it with a one of a kind reception bash. As my mama put it, aiye a gbo, orun a mo (translated – the world will hear and the heavens will know).
My greatest fear had been whether Yomi’s family would accept me. Would they like me? I was doing very well on my own, but all these pedigree families always want their sons to marry from their world, especially when he was an only son. And sisters can be so totally mean to whichever girl comes into the life of their only brother.
All my fears were unfounded. They all seemed glad and relieved that Yomi was finally about to settle down, and that he was not going to marry any of his Jamaican, Puerto Rican, French or Italian babes. I felt lucky and blessed. I reminisced on the many disappointments on my journey here. The many reasons I hadn’t gotten married – one I had loved that couldn’t perform in bed. One that thought his wife was meant to be the indentured servant of his lordship. One that wanted me to marry only dreams and talk of great futures. And plenty other orisirisi.
I shall not bore you with the plenty activities that went into the weeks preceding the wedding week. Suffice to say I almost became a bridezilla, armed with my copy of Funke Buknor-Obruthe’s book. By the day of Yomi’s birthday party, I was exhausted, and had been ordered by Yomi to hands off the wedding preparations or there’d be no me left for him to marry.
The birthday party was a blast. We held it at Yomi’s house on Gerard Road in Ikoyi. The house was one of those colonial houses that had a vast compound, a driveway with trees that touched way up in the middle, shielding the sun away and a huge pool. When you live in those kinds of houses in Ikoyi, you had to be old Lagos money, very old money. And this would be my new home soon. I was already trying my hands on marshalling the staff that oversaw the property, no mean feat. By evening when the party began, I was already tired from all the organizing.
See, rich people know how to party. Rich people’s kids are on another level of knowing how to party, maybe because they are not the ones that made the money they spend on the parties. It was at this party that I first met Yomi’s best man. While Yomi was all stability and fun, Adamu was excitement and daredevil adrenaline personified. He wasn’t your typical northerner, his accent was not there at all, and he had those fine Fulani features that money and breeding accentuated further. Where Yomi was dark chocolate, he was yummy butter. And like all of Yomi’s friends I had met, he was into everything that spun money and was mega rich. I quickly steered him towards Toke and all my match making juices began to flow.
Once the party was in full swing, and I had shaken my bumbum to the admiration of Yomi and company and to the contentment of my heart, I decided to retire and sleep. I was too tired after all the work that had gone into putting it together. And I guessed that at some point, he would want to party alone with his boys without having his soon to be wife looking over his shoulder. It was already like 12midnight and the early effects of alcohol had begun to make people more excited. I did a quick check on Toke and she was already doing a good job with Adamu on her own. My good work for the night was done. I wasn’t doing badly as the soon to be chief hostess of the Kester-Jacobs family.
I woke up around 4am and checked my side to see if Yomi had joined me in bed. His side of the bed was empty, but the noise of the party had stopped so I knew the party was over. I checked my bb and saw a couple of messages. The only ones I bothered to read before I got up were Toke’s messages. Adamu had dropped her off at home at about 2am and things were looking promising with him. I tumbled out of bed and began to pick things up all over the house, sort of sleep walking through the house, hoping to see Yomi sleeping on some couch or bed in one of the many rooms. I couldn’t find him after about twenty minutes of wondering around the big house. I’m not one to panic but I have a sixth sense, and this morning, it was telling me to find my man.
The house was a mess. I strayed into the kitchen. The plump cook, Clara was already up, cleaning after the party. “Madam, good morning o”, she greeted. “Clara, how are you. Have you seen your oga?”
“Oga follow Oga Adamu commot”, she answered.
Relieved that he had not run off with some random girl, I went back into the main house. That also meant Toke didn’t do badly, Adamu left her so he could have some boy catching up time with Yomi. I made a mental note to let Toke know this.
I wandered around the house for a bit. And if it hadn’t been so quiet that early in the morning (and I hadn’t been so idle) I wouldn’t have heard it. But faint as it was, I heard sounds coming from the direction of Yomi’s home office. I picked up pace as I moved towards the office.
As I got closer to the office, the sounds got louder, even though they were still somewhat muffled. My heartbeat quickened as I approached the door and the blood began to pound in my ears. My imagination ran a marathon in the short distance I covered to reach it.
I opened the door, slightly at first, and the muffled sounds became clear. Yomi’s voice. And another. I angrily threw the door open, imagining the evil things I would do to the girl I was about to catch my man with.
I got the shocker of my life. Yomi was making love to Adamu on the office table.
To be continued…
Enter your email address below to get notification of the next episodes and don’t forget to hit the Like button and share.