WRITTEN BY TUNDE LEYE
My name is Oyinkasola Olaitan Clegg. I am a lady. I am 35. I am single. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. But I have had to say this either verbally or otherwise to so many people in the course of the last few years that sometimes I begin to wonder if there’s really nothing wrong with me. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t come and tell me “you are not married Oyin, something must be wrong with you” no, they would never do that. But say it, they did, loud and clear.
Let me not bore you with those parts of my life. As a background, I am a good looking Yoruba girl, well shaped the way African men like their women, with flesh in the right places. I have a first degree from the University of Lagos and a Masters Degree from the University College, London. I am tush, fresh and a high flyer. I even have the dream job, a CSR person in an oil firm. And I like to live life to its fullest. These are the stories of my encounters, escapades and experiences as I search for the man who will leave his family and cleave to me. Who will love me forever. Who will make my life eternal bliss. Okay, okay, okay, I am doing it again. I tend to project the stories I read into life. Never mind, I am old enough to know that stories are just that, stories.
Its Friday night. And when you say that in Lagos social circles, it could only mean one thing; ditch the suits and let the short dresses, body hugging jeans and bust enhancing tops come forth. And so I called up my friends Toke and Gloria and we agreed to meet up at Mega Plaza to start the night with some chips and seafood. I shutdown at five O Clock and drove straight home to my apartment in Carlton Gate Estate in Lekki. Inside the house, I flopped into my couch and turned on my companion at home, my TV. Now pardon me, but I wonder how life must have been before the TV. If I was lost on an island and I could take only one item along, it had to be either my BB or my TV (see how we have a knack for reducing things to two letter words). As I settled in to rest in reserve for the long night ahead, my phone rang. I glanced at the screen to confirm who it was. It was just Kalu. I was hoping it would be somebody else. I had been ignoring bb messages from him all day and I guess he calculated I’d be off work now and decided to call.
Okay, a little background on him. I am 35 and single (I know I’ve said it before but I need to re-emphasize) so when I really need to get some and there’s no serious person around, I do the phone select. Here’s how it’s done. You pick your phone and scroll through your contacts list and eliminate men based on certain criteria. What you want is a no strings attached person who will not interpret a night together as an invitation to a long term relationship. So you cancel out the fervent toasters, the guys who have been having settling down conversations with you (considering you didn’t consider them settling down material and latch on all the while you’ve been having such conversations) and other such over-serious people. By now, you’ve narrowed the list down. Then you eliminate those who are in places so far it requires too much effort to see. I stay in Lekki, so if you stay in places like Ipaja, Ikorodu and the likes, I ex you from the list. Now I have a probable list. Then I go into the fineries of history together, attraction and settle on a few options. I then put a call through to the best option of the lot and drop a few hints. If he catches on, game on. If he doesn’t, I round the conversation off and move on to the next until I hit jackpot. This was the rigorous screening process I had put Kalu through, but we get wrong sometimes. I was very wrong with Kalu. After the night together (that’s a story for another day), he became all he wasn’t meant to be. Clingy, intrusive and needy.
Anyways, back to the present. I picked the call and the conversation went something like this
Kalu: Hey Princess
Me: Kalu, whatsup (I called him his name, he should get the message)
Kalu: You haven’t responded to my messages all day
Me: I’ve had a full day.
Kalu: But you read all the messages, it said R here. You could have sent a small message. Anyways, you said had, so your workday is over. Are you going out?
Me: (Warning bells, anything I say now will have Kalu trying to be a part of whatever plans) Yes. I’m home now. No I’m not going out, I have a wedding tomorrow and want to rest
Kalu: Okay, I’ll buy dinner and come over.
Me: (Alarm bells) Thanks for the offer Kalu, but the girls are using my pad for a Hen night for the bride to be.
Kalu: (sighs). Okay, I’ll see you after the wedding tomorrow.
Me: Call me before heading o.
Kalu: Goodnight love
Whew. That was close. Quick thinking, quick lying saved the day. Now to rest and get ready for the night out.
At 9:45, I was ready to go out. I was hot, hot, hot. In fact, I was so hot, I was burnt and roasted, lol. I said the spinster’s prayer and stepped out of the house. I hooked up with my girls at Mega Plaza. If you haven’t tried the chips and sea food there, then you are a weist! We shared two plates and by then, it was eleven O clock. We touched up and smiled past the bouncers, very glad with the effect we saw our collective hotness was having (you notice babes look finer as a group than alone)
We took the elevator and then the small flight of stairs up into The Marquee. Lagos sha. People that were at work complaining of tiredness a few hours ago at work were here grooving away. As I was stepping in, someone bumped into me on his way out. I was about to give the person “bad eye” when our eyes met. I felt like entering the ground. It was Kalu.
I quickly gathered myself together and smiled very charmingly, hoping to disarm him. “Hi Kalu”, I said. I was expecting him to go into a series of questions accusing me of lying to him and all, when she came up to him. Inside my inner mind, green envy began to sprout.
Her skin was clear like she had someone following her around photoshoping her with each step she took. Abeg, when I see person wey pass me, I admit it. The girl was the kind that entered a room and all the men in the room stopped seeing every other girl in the room and became puppies all around her. She was addressing Kalu now, “Boo, I told you to hold up, I just had to say hi to my friend now”. The confirmation that Koikoi (yes, I gave her a name) was with Kalu and they were obviously intimate made the green monster in my heart leap. I felt a strong urge to punch him in the face, but I respected myself. Why anyway? What claim did I really have to Kalu?
The saying that something becomes more desirable when it’s not yours hit me square in the face. It was even more painful when I realized I was just “one of the options” Kalu had for the night. Then it dawned on me; Kalu had done the phone select, and I was one of the options that didn’t work for that Friday night. The saying, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” is true o, cos now that I was on the receiving end, e pain me die.
Kalu quickly did the introductions, and I could see a look in his eyes I suspected was gloating. “Oyin Clegg, my friend,” he said pointing at me while facing her and then turning to face me, he said with meaning “My special friend, Tara Cole”. Ha! Even her name was finer than my own. My night was firmly on the path of depression. They breezed past us towards the spiral steps leading to the elevator, as Kalu said coolly “Enjoy your night girls, and if you’re having any trouble enjoying yours, we’d be glad to help.”
Once they were out of earshot, Toke began laughing stupidly. “Is that the ‘clingy’ Kalu?” she asked sarcastically. “If you don’t leave me en, I will deal with you. Man or no man, we’re grooving tonight and that’s it. I can get a man in this club as easily as Kalu could get another woman jor”. Trust my friends to latch in on something like that. Gloria raised her eyebrow “You get the iPad 3 Alvin is sending next week if you can get someone as hot as the girl Kalu had with him”. I decided to play stupid “Are you suggesting I swing the other way and get a girl instead of a man?” Gloria slapped my butt playfully “You are just an ode. I meant a man with the same degree of hotness as that girl.” I gave it a brief thought. “Okay, it’s a deal. I’ll have to ditch you girls at some point sha o.” We went through the hall to the open balcony and then chose our seats carefully. If you were a girl and hunting, the best place to seat was right in front of the bar. From there, you could see the door and all that came through. The big boys didn’t stay inside the packed hall, they came to the balcony to lounge. So any man worth the while of a Lekki big girl like me would be coming through this door. You could also see if he was in company of some Koikoi kinda girl or alone. Plus seating at the bar meant you could see the ones that had come in before you if they came to order their drinks. You could also gauge them by the size of the bills they came to pay for their drinks from where you sat. So we took the seat.
We were seated, chatting and waiting for our drinks, when it dawned on me. “Gloria, mad babe. You didn’t say what you would be having if I didn’t win the wager, (Like that could happen with Her Royal Hotness like me).” Gloria smiled like a wolf. “Those your Jimmy Choo shoes”. “Ole,” I shouted. “You have been coveting those shoes since the first day you saw them. Lai lai.” My BB vibrated and I picked it from the table to check the message that had come in at that time of the night. It was Kalu gloating, the eran nme. “I hope the hen night is going very well at your house? Hope y’all are going gingi. #bbmrollingonthefloorlaughing smiley.” Then he sent a picture of himself and koikoi kissing passionately in his car with the caption “see what you’re missing”. I was so angry I dumped the BB with a thud. My friends were already curious and dove for my BB without asking. They quickly scrolled through the message and began hissing “this guy is a monkey, this guy is a cow, this guy is (insert any animal name of your choice here)”. While they were engrossed in the BB, we all indulged in calling Kalu all sorts of names. The drinks began to flow and the gist became loser and loser.
Thankfully, I could talk and hunt at the same time. Else I would have missed him. Lord have mercy on your daughter, but if I was Eve and he was the apple, I’d eat him up over and over again and damn every consequence. He was fiiiiiiiiiine. If he passed me too closely I’d begin to breathe heavily. Clean shaven face under a clean shaven head just like I liked them. He was taller than everyone else around him and had chosen to wear a t-shirt that flaunted his muscles. I didn’t mind o, if he got em, he should flaunt em. He reeked of hotness and sensuality and I was hoping I wasn’t drooling now. My friends followed my eyes as did every other set of female eyes there and I could see the thoughts running through their heads were more impure than mine. “If I could hear your thoughts now, I’m sure I’d send you straight to have your insides washed with bleach.” We all laughed and then I continued “I’m sure we all agree that he fits the bill for Gloria and I’s wager.” They both nodded. “Na wa o, he got your tongues? Anyways,” I said, standing up and checking everything to make sure the packaging was done right “iPad 3, here I come!” I did a test shake of the booty “How am I doing back there,” I asked. Toke slapped my butt and said “silly girl. Get out of here and don’t come back empty handed.
I had not taken three steps away from my friends when I felt him (I didn’t need to see him o, as a hunter that I am, I don’t rely on only my sense of sight). I turned to him and smiled my most sexy smile and cooed “Hello, can we dance?” He didn’t say a word. Hmmm. The cool, few words type. Me likey! He just walked up to me and put his arms around me as if he had possessed me for a long time. I snuggled and shot a glance back at Toke and Gloria. They looked on, wide-eyed. He led me to a corner where there were no tables and as if on cue, the d-jay began to play Waje’s “Can I be your girl for a minute”. The whining and grinding was something else. And could the dude move. I asked if I could take a picture. He nodded yes. I put my booty outrageously close to his crotch and took a picture with my BB.
I sent the picture first to Gloria with the caption “One iPad 3 coming up.”
Then I sent the same picture to Kalu with the caption, “Missing what?”
Gloria sent me a bbm that they were leaving The Marquee for Aura. It read “Off to Aura. Enjoy en, and be ready to spill all the details. You’ve gotten the iPad, but I’ll still get dem shoes. #bbdevilsmiley#”. Ha! I was so keeping my shoes in some bank vault. But I knew it was an effort in futility, cos if Gloria wanted them, she would organize a bank heist to get them. So I was going to tow the line of making available to her anytime she needed them, so that I didn’t lose the shoes altogether.
Anyways, back to the present. I was enjoying all the shaking what my mama gave me and movement with Mr. X. Men, the guy could really move and he had a way of working me into the most desirable positions for body melding dancing.
The d-jay had done a good job of whipping the whole club into a frenzy and now we were getting doses of Terry G and all the Naija ginger movement boys. Visions of the expertise with which he could handle my body raced through my mind and I worked fervently hard to make sure I gave him enough reason to want to. Kalu and Koikoi could go and hug a transformer for all I cared. After what seemed like hours of rollercoaster dancing, he finally put his arms firmly around me and led me towards the hall, and then the exit. Hmmm, a man that was sure of himself and took what he wanted. I was liking Mr. X more and more. In the elevator ride down, I could feel his eyes racing all over my body with intensity and his hands went into his pocket. I could guess what he was trying to hide and I was glad I was having that effect on him.
You know the saying that goes “We guess some people are foolish when they keep quiet, but they remove all doubt the moment they open their mouths”? I’m sure he had heard the saying before and made that his watchword. When we got downstairs, he spoke “Aunty, before I go on and enter the car park with you, we need to discuss price.” That’s how I would have said it. This is actually how he said it “Haunty, before Hi go Hon Hand Henter the car park with you, we need to dilscuss price”. Oh my God! He sounded like he was acting out a scene from Jennifer. That must be the worst H factor I’ve ever heard. And to cap it all, he thought I was a call girl. Oyin omalicha, you have suffered in this your life. See en, I can live with most things, but a man with an H factor is just a no no, a total turn off. Calmly, I answered “I’m not up for sale. There’s no need to discuss a price for anything.” He smiled, and looking at his face now, I wondered what I was attracted to in the first place (bad belle on my part o, he is damn fine). “Madam, I was not talking about price for taking you home. I’m talking about the price you have to pay for me going home with you and servicing you for the night. I thought you knew the way things are now.”
I nearly died where I was standing. He was a gigolo. This nonsense man finished looking at me and I looked like someone who could not get a man without paying for one. A thousand concentrated Yoruba curses raced into my head, but I refused to say a word. I just turned and began walking away when he grabbed me by the arm. “You can’t just go like that now, I gave you a good part of my night when I could have been pursuing other clients. You have to settle me.” I couldn’t believe what was happening. I don’t know which shocked me more, what he was saying, or the fact that he dared to lay his hands on me (forget that I had been dreaming of having those hands on discreet parts of my anatomy for most of the night). Those curses I had done well to keep sealed away came rushing out and the Yoruba girl in me shot to the surface “Oloshi, oloriburuku, e.t.c.” He held me menacingly and I was sure he was going to hurt me. I was in serious trouble.
Be nice to people, okay, cos you never know when they will come in handy. The guys that parked our cars at the Marquee who knew me well (I am generous, wink wink) came to my rescue. When Mr. X saw that he was outnumbered, he stepped away, waving a finger at me as he backed away and then pruned himself and went back into the club.
“When I see you with am, I been dey wonder o”, one of them was saying to me. “She no sabi their type”, another one said. “Na true, she no be like the type wey dey use those dirty boys,” a third chipped in. They followed me to my car, saying they wanted to make sure I was safe. But I understood them well, so I parted with one thousand naira as I entered the car amid chants of “madam the madam”. I had had enough for the night. All I wanted to do was get home, scrub myself clean of all the events of the night and curl up in bed. I’m tired of this Lagos sef. I think I need a vacation, Miami, beaches and bikinis. I sent Toke a voice note with the gist of Mr. X and headed for home. I knew she would probably not see and listen to it till morning and that was fine by me. I was not in the mood to talk to anyone tonight.
I didn’t go anywhere on Saturday, the activities of the night before had worn me out. On depressing occasions like that, I get the inspiration to write poetry. Yes, Oyin is a poet. One of these days, if you guys ask me enough, I’ll read some of my poems to you. So the day dragged on until evening when my girls came over. Gloria and I reached a compromise. I did get a guy as hot as Kalu’s Koikoi, so I could claim the iPad. But the guy turned out to be a gigolo(ewww) so she could claim my shoes. So I wasn’t going to get the iPad, as long as she didn’t come within a one meter radius of my shoes (like that would happen in this lifetime and beyond). They basically did what they came for – Eat my food, drink my wine, scatter my house, talk about men, abuse men, long for men, and leave with my stuff. And oh yes, Gloria left with my shoes. See en, people that come to your house and do all the things I listed above are your true closest friends. I went to bed with my spirit considerably lifted when my friends had left. The alcohol of course helped a little. Okay, more than a little, wink wink.
I went to bed after watching some episodes of Spartacus Blood and Sand. I don’t know why, but I have a thing for that series. One of my favorite Naija songs right now even references it “Jide Kosoko, shay o le fi shay Spartacus, Jor ooo
I woke up on Sunday morning with a sense of expectation. I always feel really close to God on Sundays and I excitedly went about getting prepared for church. Light breakfast of toast and tea. Then it was time to get dressed for church. Now you might say I’m vain, but if you go to my church, you had better reeeeaaallly get dressed for church. The hottest, the latest, the sharpest, the cream de la cream of my cream axis attended my church. And you never know if you’ll meet the one so as a scout, I had to be prepared. Anyways, where better to meet him than church. So I put on a Tiffany Amber dress and a pair of Prada shoes and Prada bag to match and completed the look with a scarf and sunshades. I decided to do the cloudy eyed eyeshadow I saw on the style network during the week and did the Angelina Jolie lipstick thingy. I took a look at my creation in the mirror and I said like the Lord, it is good, alleluia.
Church service was going well and I was in the spirit, while surveying the pews for any particularly husbandable man (a good hunter is always alert). Then the senior pastor of our church (who I wouldn’t have minded marrying, he’s much too much) came up to welcome first timers. Time for the handshakes and plastic church smiles to come out. “I want to specially recognize a dear friend of my family,” Hot Pastor was saying. “He is a multiple award winning and bestselling author, and his last book, The Epic, is currently being adapted into a movie in Hollywood. Please join me in welcoming my brother from another mother, Femi Tosh.” I scrambled to look in the direction where Hot Pastor’s friend was standing up from. And then I saw him. Tosh was just the short form for Omotosho. Femi Omotosho. Oh my God. My heart did multiple flips upon seeing him, but I was not seated close enough to him to give him a handshake or smile.
Before you start thinking I’m some desperado who wants to donate smiles and handshake and flipping hearts to every man that is a visitor in my church, let me give you a short history on Femi Omotosho. Fresh from my Masters in my mid twenties, I met him. Femi was every lady’s dream, suave dresser, smooth talker and held down a bank job. But that was before you started dating him o. You discovered then that he was from a poor background, all his money went into supporting his family and pursuing his dreams. Nothing for you to even be a babe. It was a hard pill for me to swallow but I tried to stick with Femi. Back then, I didn’t have the high paying job I have now, so I depended on Femi, but as he was so focused on family and dreams, he couldn’t give me the trips around the world, and all the nice things a fine girl like me required. So I left him. Okay, let me be truthful, I threw tantrums, said all sorts of cruel things to him and about him and then left him. Barely a year after I left him, his first book won the NLNG award and he got two hundred thousand dollars. The rest is history, he left the country, won more awards, and became a part of my past I regretted and forgot. Now, having him in my church, looking so smashing, successful and every woman’s dream brought all the regrets I had been trying to bury to the surface. I did a quick scan of his left hand, no ring. So he wasn’t married. I had to find a way to meet him at the end of the service.
For the rest of the service, I heard nothing. My mind was in a far away place, imagining what could have been with him. I’d be travelling the world now, going for Hollywood events and probably nursing a little Femi now. The service seemed to last an eternity, it took so long to end. When it was announcement time and the deacon who liked the sound of his own voice over the sound system climbed the stage, I let out a few words I hoped no resident angels in our church heard. He droned for longer than he should until a not so hot pastor came to stand beside him. He got the cue and rounded off his droning. If eyes could kill en, the deacon would have fallen dead with the way I looked at him. All the while, my eyes never left where Femi was (yes, I can look at two places at the same time :D).
Service finally ended and I saw ushers leading Femi towards Hot Pastor’s office. By the time I got there, he had already gone into the office. I contemplated waiting for him to come out, but that would be too easy to see through. Femi has a way with words, and knowing him, he would make me look very silly right there (not like he didn’t have a right to sha). Thankfully, I was Hot Pastor’s personal convert so I had access to his office. I went through the mill of waiting faithful. The ushers who looked more like the bouncers I saw at Marquee on Friday night knew me and let me go in. I knocked on Hot Pastor’s door and his rich voice came from inside the room “Please come in”. I took a deep breath and muttered under my breath “here goes nothing” and then opened the big door.
He was seated facing the pastor, with his back towards the door so he didn’t see me come in. I was glad about that because I had the time to gather myself together. Hot Pastor got up and came round his desk to hug me “Miss Clegg,” he was saying “it’s been a while.” Femi’s eyes followed Hot Pastor around and then fell on me. He looked shocked “Oyin!” he exclaimed.
Hot Pastor looked from him to me and then back “you know each other?” “Very well,” Femi responded with meaning. You know what knowing a woman means in bible terms. My mind went back to when Femi knew me. I said with more calmness than I felt “Long time no see Femi, how have you been?” “Very well, thank you. And I don’t need to ask how you’ve been, my eyes tell me,” he responded. Hot Pastor clapped me on the back playfully, “small world”, he said “Femi is like a brother.” Either Hot Pastor was blind or he chose to ignore the tension that was in the room. He continued “I need to quickly address the deacons; I’ll leave you two to catch up on old times. I’m sure there’ll be loads to talk about while I’m gone”. He was leaving me alone with Femi. This was what I wanted, but a fear crept into my heart. What would Femi say to me when we were alone? I felt like running after Hot Pastor, as he shut the door behind him.
To be continued…
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