It’s Another Saturday…#6

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If you missed episode #5, read it HERE

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner


My mom flashes a loving smile when Honey and I walk into the kitchen. Under bright, white lights, Honey’s skin glows. I look for flaws on her face and find black dots like minuscule moles beneath her eyes and a scar on her lower lip. Weirdly, they add to her beauty.

“How are you, darling?”

“I’m good, mommy. How are you?”

“Good. Thank God.” The old woman pulls back a bit when she sees the flowers in Honey’s hands.

“She wanted them,” I explain. “So I let her have some.”

My mom approves. “Daffodils. They have meaning, you know.”

Here we go with the creepy part.

“They symbolize chivalry.” She looks at me. “And also rebirth and new beginnings. Some say they also symbolize unreciprocated love.” Her face changes but brightens again as she continues. “Honey, I’d have been worried if Jide gave you just a flower. That would have meant misfortune was coming your way. But a bunch represents happiness. And I pray you find it.”

“Thank you, mommy,” Honey says.

“Let me have the flowers. I’ll put them in one of my miniature vases, so you can take them with you.”

Honey thanks her again and she shoos us out of her kitchen. I take Honey to the sitting room. My father is just coming down the stairs with Kalu. Both men look Honey’s way and I see they want some form of introduction. She greets them. My father is standoffish in his usual manner; Kalu is more welcoming.

“Honey, meet my dad and my elder brother, Kalu.”

“Honey kwa,” the old man murmurs and adds in Igbo, “why don’t you just caress her in front of me so that I’ll know you have a woman now. My friend, will you introduce her properly?”

“Her name is Honey,” I reply in English.

“Hian,” he mumbles and walks away.

“You’re welcome, my dear.” Kalu smiles to make her feel at ease.

“Thank you.”

He also walks away.

She turns to me. “Did I do or say something wrong?”

“No. Ignore the old man. He means well.”

I offer her a seat. I want to disappear to my room until dinner is served but I don’t want any more harassment from the old man, so I sit with her and entertain her with old family photo albums. She’s wowed by my mom’s unfading beauty through the years and laughs at my afro and Michael Jackson obsession as a kid.

Against my wish, I find I’m charmed by her lighthearted way of laughing. But only slightly. I count the minutes to dinner time, not because I’m hungry but because I’m yet to feel comfortable with her. I don’t know why.

“So your elder brother lives here in Nigeria and his family stays in the UK?” she asks.

“He shuffles between here and there. His wife was raised there; he’s trying to convince her to move to Nigeria.”

We switch to silence until the maid comes to announce that dinner is served. We move to the dining area. Tola is there with Emeka; we act like total strangers. Following my mom’s sitting arrangement, Honey is put between Kalu and I, Tola between Emeka and Oba and my parents at both ends of the table.

“Jide, you’re the only one who hasn’t met Omotola,”my mom mentions. “I already told you about her. Say hi.”

“Nice to meet you, Omotola.”

“Pleasure’s all mine, Jideofor.” Her reply is cold as her eyes. My radar points to something being amiss. I also notice how she shifts her chair closer to Oba’s, leaving a noticeable gap in-between Emeka and herself.

My father says the grace and we begin our meal. There’s carefree banter, a little laughter and some stories from the past shared by the old folks. I catch myself stealing glances at Honey just out of curiosity. I notice she has a healthy appetite, kudos to Nne’s good cooking. I particularly observe the way she licks her fingers after each swallow. She’s being intentionally sensual and I can’t see why nobody notices it except me. After the third ogle, I turn away and catch Nne staring at me. She smiles. I look elsewhere.

Soup dishes are beginning to empty, dinner is drawing to an end and I’m about to silently whisper some thanks to God for a hitch-free ride when the old man commands everyone’s attention.

We all face him.

“I am happy to have all of my sons under the same roof with me,” he begins in his Igbo accent which he is so proud of. “We thank God for bringing Jideofor home after five years of prodigalization with prostitutes and lost souls.”

My brothers laugh; my mom frowns. The man doesn’t care. He continues. “I want to believe that it is his Honey that has brought him home.”

I make no move to correct his assumptions.

“God bless you, my daughter.”

Honey simply smiles.

“And then we have Chukwuemeka,” he continues, “who is also here with his own honey. She is carrying his child. Of course, without our permission. Children of these days, una no dey fear God again?” He concentrates on Tola. “Omotola?”

“Yes, daddy.”

“You should have closed your legs.”

“Lawrence,” my mom cautions in a low tone.

“No, let me talk to them and tell them the truth. I don’t know where they are heading these days. Let me tell you children about your mother and I.”

“Here we go,” Oba murmurs.

“We had no physical contact before we married. We didn’t even hold hands, not to talk of kissing sef. Before I saw her brassiere, it was on our wedding day, and I didn’t even know how to remove the thing. Na so I dey there dey fumble and the woman no wan even help me.”

“Dad,” I mumble.

“All I’m saying is that you boys should practice some decency. Respect your women, for Christ’s sakes. If it’s sex, you’ll get tired of it.”

“Speak for yourself,” Oba murmurs again.

“But let’s not dwell on what has already gotten k-leg. Chukwuemeka and Omotola, wedding arrangements have to commence immediately. It will be a shame to this family if Omotola carries a bulging belly to church on her wedding day.”

Mother nods in agreement.

“That is the decision from your mother and I. Kalu, what do you have to say?”

“Erm…does it matter what say I have in this? Emeka committed the deed, not me. I think you should ask him what he wants.”

“What he wants ?” My father frowns. “He wants a child and that is why he put a bun in the oven.”

“Gbam!” Oba contributes. Emeka glares at him.

“Emeka, what do you want?” Kalu asks.

Emeka draws in a quiet breath and lets it out the same way.

“Talk nau,” Tola urges him. “Tell them what you told me. Ashiere.”

“What did you tell her?” I glower at him and he gives me an apologetic look. I shake my head in disappointment.

“We are waiting, son,” my mom implores gently.

“Tell them,” Tola stresses. I feel some pity for her. I don’t know if it’s the pregnancy but she has lost her oomph. Dark rings around her eyes covered by makeup reveal she is either losing sleep or is crying a lot.


Emeka sits up. “I…don’t want to get married – yet.”

Tola’s eyes fill with tears. “No, what he said was that he wants me to have an abortion.”

“Chukwuemeka!” my mom gasps.

“You did not tell her that,” Kalu points a finger at him.

“He did,” Tola maintains.

“Emmy, why?” My mom goes weak.

“I…I was just joking.”

“You were not!” Tola cries, a little too dramatically.

I reach over the table and snatch Oba’s phone off his hand when I realize he has been recording the scene.

“If I break that your phone ehn!” Kalu threatens. Everyone at the table is irate; well, except for Honey who has extracted herself from the drama and has her head bent over her pepper soup bowl, sipping the soup with so much concentration. Under different circumstances, I would have cracked up in laughter.

“Okay, I’m sorry, Tola.” Emeka takes Tola’s hand but she slaps it away. “I wasn’t thinking when I said those words.”

“You were! Mex, you were!” She faces my dad. “Daddy, that’s not all!”

“Oh good. There’s more.” My father pours himself some wine.

“He thinks I don’t know why he won’t marry me but I know.”

“You know what?” Emeka asks, fear in his eyes.

“I found out, Mex.”

“You found out what?”

“I found out about Yazmin.”

Emeka buries his head. So do I.

“Daddy, mommy, there’s a girl back in the States. Her name is Yazmin. She’s Mexican. Emeka got her pregnant too.”

“Oh God,” Nne pants, her hand to her chest.

“She’s lying,” Emeka puts out. I shake my head at him. I can’t believe he’s thirty-one years old and yet acts like he’s twenty.

“I’m lying?”


“Oh, I’m lying?” Tola gets out her phone and flashes it in his face. “Yazmin texted me. The bitch got my number from my cousin, whom you also slept with!”

“Wait, what?” Kalu cuts in. “What did you just say?”

“Emeka also slept with her cousin,” my dad repeats.

“I did not,” Emeka states.

“Why are you still lying?!” Tola screams, slapping him everywhere her hand can reach. “You slept with my cousin! You slept with our neighbor! You slept with that girl that works at the phone shop! You even slept with your boss!”

A silent chill settles over all of us. Loud thunder blasts from the skies, adding effect to the dark atmosphere. My dad has a familiar look in his eyes that usually comes before he does something crazy. In his hand is his glass of wine which makes a non-stop journey to his lips.

“Chukwuemeka,” my mom calls. Her voice is weak. Emeka looks in her direction but not in her face. “Tell me all I just heard is not true. Tell me Tola is lying.”

Emeka, for the first time, has no words.

“Chukwuemeka.” Nne’s voice now shakes.

“She’s not lying. It’s all true.”

I look at my dear, old mother. She is on the edge of heartbreak. I want to strangle both Emeka and Tola for spoiling a beautiful dinner. The least they can do is wait until they are alone to hash out their issues.

“If you’ll all excuse me, I need to recover from this rude shock,” Nne says as she stands.

Emeka also gets on his feet. “Mom, I’m sorry…”

She raises her hand, stopping him from walking towards her. “Just stay there. I don’t want to see your face right now. Stay there.” She looks at Honey. “My dear, I am so sorry for what you just witnessed. It usually isn’t like this. Please, forgive us.”

“It’s okay, ma.”

My mom leaves the room and we fall back to silence.

“If anything happens to your mother, Chukwuemeka,” my dad says in Igbo, “I will kill you. I brought you into this world and I will gladly take you out if what you want to become is the son of the devil.” He picks his glass of wine and makes his exit as well.

“Give me a minute,” I tell Honey and hurry upstairs to my parents’ bedroom. My dad has just walked in. I breeze past him to my mom who is sitting in one corner of the bed, dazed. She looks at me as I sit beside her.

“It’s just a phase, mom. You know Emeka is not this person. Maybe he has some issues he’s dealing with. Just don’t let it stress you.”

“Just a phase, Jideofor?  He has two girls pregnant for him and you say it’s just a phase?”

“Something is wrong and I’ll have a talk with him.”

“Jide, I’m beginning to feel like I did something bad as a mother that I now deserve all this punishment. When you left here and we started hearing stories about you and all the girls, I felt my enemies were at work. I blamed it on them but now, I don’t know what to think. Maybe I was a bad mother to you people.”

“No.” I take her hands in mine, broken at her words. “You were and still are the best mother in the world, Nne. Please, don’t ever say those words again.”

She moves her head from left to right in helplessness and begins to cry.

“Why are you crying?” my dad asks in annoyance. “If that useless boy wants to give belle to the whole Nigeria, let him go ahead. Why shed tears for a Billy goat?” He hisses and takes his side of the bed.

I wipe my mom’s tears and beg her to stop. It takes a while before she listens to me.

“I’ll pray for him,” she finally states. “God will sort things out for him. I will not give up.”

“That’s the spirit, ma.”

She holds my face. “I prayed for you every day, Jidenna. Every single day. And God heard me and brought you home. I thank him for what he’s doing in your life and I’ll keep praying that what he has started in you, he’ll be faithful to complete it. But I do hope you don’t have some nasty surprise waiting somewhere.”

I laugh. “Surprise? Like what?”

“Like some people being pregnant for you,” my dad replies.

“No. Nothing like that.”

“Please, help me beg Emeka to start using condoms,” my mom requests. “I can’t stop him from having sex but he should protect himself. Talk to him.”

“I will.”

“And apologize to Honey once more. Make sure you take her back to her hotel. Don’t put her in a cab, biko.”

“Yes, ma.” I turn to my dad. “I’m not comfortable over your silence in this matter. It’s not a good sign.”

“Just go home, Jideofor.”

“I know you’re planning something that would affect Emeka adversely. I pray it doesn’t tear you guys apart. No matter what, remember that he’s still your son.”

“Good night.” His tone carries a bit of his hidden anger. I hug my mom and call it a night. Downstairs I find only Kalu and Honey. Oba, Tola and Emeka are gone.

“Are you ready to go?” I ask Honey as I hand the vase of daffodils to her.

“Yes. Is mommy okay?”

“She’ll survive.”

I hear footsteps.

“Hey, Jide.”

I turn. Tola is standing at the foot of the stairs. “A minute?”

I stroll towards her and she leads me to the door that connects the kitchen to the dining area. She hands me my confiscated belongings.

“This was all a big mistake. I’m sorry.”

I give her no reply as I search through my wallet to make sure all is intact. I still feel pity for her, though. Her eyes have gone blood-red and her face puffy after all that crying.

“You still want to get married to Emeka despite everything?”

“Yes.” She sniffles. “Why not? He may be an idiot and may not be as good as you in bed but I love him.”

I don’t get women. A man blatantly, without remorse cheats on you and you still want to stick with him.

“I wish he was you, though. After that night with you at Kate’s wedding…”

“Stop, Tola. Please.”

“Just letting you know how I feel. Good night.”

She strides back upstairs. I turn around and I see Oba in the corner watching me.

“Plot twist,” he mutters and gives me this look like he has one over me. Like I care.

I join Honey at the front door and we leave the house. Following my mother’s instruction not to dump her alone in a cab, we walk out to the street and stop the first cab that comes our way. It’s raining now, heavy raindrops that hit the car furiously once we get in.

“Can I apologize once more for what happened back there?”

Honey shrugs my apology away. “It’s normal, Jide. Every family has their own share of drama.”

“Not like mine.”

“Trust me. Worse than yours. Let me tell you about mine. My uncle is a randy, old man who loves tapping all his nieces’ asses.”

I laugh.

“My grandmother walks around with a koboko. If you don’t hear her when she speaks, she whips you with it. And if she doesn’t hear you, she whips you. Mind you, she’s hard of hearing.”

I laugh some more.

“Then my sister…” Honey sighs. “Kleptomaniac.”


“As in, it’s bad. So bad her husband hides stuff from her. I don’t even know if I should call her a klepto because she steals only what she uses. She will steal it and then hide it for a while and then decide to use it one day, in front of the person she stole it from.”

“No kidding.”

“For real. And she’ll keep a straight face. If you confront her, she’ll get bitchy and remind you of all the many ways she was there for you. But she’s generous sha; she can give you the clothes on her back just to make sure you’re comfortable.”

“Well, that should compensate.”

“Abi. Everyone’s given up. We love her the way she is. In fact, her husband knew about it before they married and he still married her.”


“True love.”

“Is it?”

“It has to be.”

I don’t say anything more in effect to that. As if planned, we both look out our windows. I’m staring at the rain absentmindedly and marveling at how little by little, something is chipping off at the awkwardness between us.

“So you didn’t tell me yours,” I say as I tilt my head in her direction.


“Your own thing. You just told me about your sister and grandma and uncle.”

“My own thing,” Honey repeats, caressing a daffodil petal. “Erm…this is embarrassing.”

“Just say it.”

“I can’t cook.”

My brows shoot up. “Seriously?”

“Seriously. I can’t cook to make heaven.”


“My mom spoiled me as a kid. I was the baby of the house, so cooking was out of bounds for me. I grew up that way and in the university I bought all I ate, except for the occasional noodles or pap I made. Immediately I graduated, I got the air hostess job and never had the time to learn how to cook till date.”

“Aren’t you bothered that it might wean out certain men from your life?”

“It has, actually. With my exes, I was never around and when I finally had their time, I just couldn’t handle the kitchen. I got dumped. A lot.” She chuckles and goes back to caressing her flowers.

“How about you?” She looks up. “You didn’t tell me yours. Your thing.”

We both laugh. “Do I have a thing?  I do, actually. So many…things.” I try to be sly. There’s no way I’m telling her that Emeka has nothing on me when it comes to body count.

“Just tell me one.”

“Um…I’ve never traveled out of Nigeria before.”


“Yes. Everyone in my family has – several times. But I’ve not even visited Cameroun.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Honest truth.”


“Because I’ve not had any reason to travel. But maybe soon.”

“You should. There’s life out there.”

My brain is beginning to register peculiar things about her, like how her voice drops at the end of sentences into a near-whisper.

“But what you just told me doesn’t count for bad behavior,” she goads. “I want something juicier, scandalous.”

“Honey, angels will lose their wings if I share that part of me with you.”

“It’s that bad?”


“Oga,” the driver interrupts, “e be like say we don enter wicked traffic o.”

I realize we are at a standstill. The rain still rages and a gridlock puts us in the middle of nowhere. Information has gotten to the driver via phone call that a tanker and a bus collided farther down the road and major access is blocked.

“No worry, e go soon clear,” I assure the cabbie. But I have predicted wrongly. An hour later, we have roughly moved the distance of seven houses. The traffic is indeed wicked. The cab driver is beginning to whine; he wants more money than originally bargained for. An idea comes to mind. I turn to Honey.

“My house is just at the next corner. I’m thinking we could stop there until the traffic clears, that way we save up on cash and avoid the stress. I’ll take you to your hotel after the rain stops.”

She looks at me uneasily. I think I must have sounded like a rapist or something.

“I’m not planning anything funny. It’s just a suggestion…”

“No, no, no. It’s a good suggestion. It’s just that…” She bites her lower lip and turns down her voice a notch. “I’m on my period and I don’t have change of tampons.”

I smile away her nervousness. “Is that all?”


“I’m a midwife. We always have sanitary towels and disposable underwear on standby. So, have no fears. And stop cringing. Your menstrual cycle cannot gross me out.”


We elapse into an easy hush. At this point I’m thinking she’s not bad company but I continue to feel the same way about her. She still makes me uncomfortable.Traffic-Jam-at-Tin-Factory-Bangalore-Night

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I’ve just returned from church with my family. It was a most uncomfortable experience because everyone was moody. I had learned that in my absence last night, my dad instructed Emeka to return to the US to bring Yazmin home. The old man wants the baby born in Nigeria and a DNA test carried out to make certain the child is Emeka’s. On the other hand, he stands by his decision to have Emeka get married to Tola. Only God knows what the girl told him to make him take her side so easily.

I push away the morning’s events and think of lunch as I rummage through my virtually empty fridge. As I do this, my phone rings. I answer the call; it’s Shady.

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,” I say.

“How far, guy?”

“I dey.”

“Na wa o. Na so you no take show yesterday.”

He’s referring to some wedding of an acquaintance I missed.

“Omo, family dinner and other things.”

“Guy, you miss o. The wedding was out of this world.”

“I know. People just dey make noise about am for Twitter.”

He goes on to tell me how the groom gave them VIP treatment and about the souvenirs they received. I’m not interested in the gist until he diverts abruptly into a different topic.

I break out of my distraction. “Wetin you just say?”

“Why you kiss Mary? Wetin dey do you sef?”

Shit. I can’t believe Mary told on me.

“Who tell you say I kiss Mary?”

Why you kiss the babe, Jide?”

“It was just an innocent kiss, na play we dey play with each other. But how you take hear dis gist sef?”

He relates that at the wedding, after a sizable amount of alcohol had been consumed, the topic of me being single was brought up and a plan to hook me up with someone new emerged. But Mary foiled the plan by making a huge confession about how she had been in love with me for years and how our kiss had made it clear that I am the one for her.

I laugh at the ridiculousness of the story. “Mary in love with me?”

“Yes o. Na wetin she tell us.”

“Abegi! She just dey play jor.”

“Play keh. The babe been dey yarn with tears for eyes o. No be small matter. Na so the women come agree say dem go do everything to make sure dem hook two of una together.”


I cackle in a strange voice; I can’t believe what I’m hearing.

“I just say make I give you heads up because dis evening na the plan be dat. Celia dey open her bag of tricks for you, so beware.”

Ah. Celia and her bag of tricks. The woman, first of all, loves to throw house parties for no reason. And then, she enjoys making grown men and women play all sorts of games that will make them look silly. She’s a sweetheart, however, and her parties have brought couples closer.

“Thanks, man,” I say to Shady as an idea forms in my mind. He rings off. Holding my fridge open, I laugh to myself. Mary, in love with me for years? Yeah, right. I refuse to believe it. Some things are best not pondered on. All the same, I won’t fall into their plans. I straighten up and go through my call log. I find Honey’s number and dial her after a brief moment of contemplation.

She answers with a sleepy tone. I apologize for waking her up. She tells me it’s fine.

“Honey, I was wondering if you’d like to go with me to a party this evening?”

“This evening?”

I hold my breath. She’s the best option to foil Celia’s conspiracy.

“Yeah, sure.”

I breathe out. “Cool. Thanks. I’ll come pick you up by seven?”

“No problem. What sort of party is it?”

“Just a house party with a few close friends.”


“Okay, bye.”


I end the call, smiling.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I’m still smiling when I get to Honey’s hotel suite and she comes out looking flawless. I’m standing there staring at her and thinking this girl must have guys falling at her feet at every turn. She’s wearing this floral print skirt and a lacy crop top that fits her form. I’d like to describe how she looks but words will fail me. I can’t wait to see the faces of my friends when I show up with her.

“Hi.” She grins.

“Hi.” I maintain a low key; no need sounding like an awestruck teenager. “You look beautiful.”

“Thank you.”

We leave the hotel with her arm in mine. I don’t know how that came to be; it just sort of happened. When we get into the cab I came with, I straightaway tell her why I’m inviting her over to Celia’s party. I leave out the bit about Mary.

“You want me to pretend to be your girlfriend?”

“Just for this evening.”


She goes quiet, making me uncomfortable. I fear that my request has not been met with an open mind.

“But if you don’t want to…”

“I do. It’s fine. I just thought you asked me out because you wanted to spend some time with me, you know…after last night.”

I recall last night and how we stayed up till late drinking wine and talking about almost everything. She didn’t make it back to her hotel until this morning. We had a great time but it meant nothing serious to me. Nevertheless, I find the perfect words to fix up my mess.

“Honey,” I lift a leg up to rest on the car seat as I turn to her, “if I want to spend time with you alone, it would be with you alone. No friends, no family. Just you and me.”

I guess my reply seems to be sufficient because a smile lights up her face. We talk the rest of the way to Shady and Celia’s. When we step out of the car, I give her a last minute warning about my friends.

“They are loud, meddlesome and vulgar, especially after a few drinks. Watch out for Celia, in particular. She’s very sneaky.”

“It’s fine. I can handle them.”

I doubt that she can.

“Let’s go in,” I say and put my arm around her waist. It’s weird how she fits right into my frame without me needing to lower my arm. We walk up to the front door. Loud, boisterous voices tell us how far the party has gone without us. I knock and seconds later, Shady is at the door. He raises his hand for a handshake and leaves it hanging in the air when he sees Honey.

“Oh. Hello,” he says with a voice he uses for gorgeous women.

“Good evening,” she replies coolly.

“Welcome, welcome. Come in.”

He lets us in. We follow a small passage that leads us into the living room where the others are. I walk in first and they all cheer at my appearance. I pick out all the familiar faces. Ibro, Reno and Bright; and the wives, Peace, Ojonoka and Bimpe. The hostess, Celia, is absent.

And of course, there’s Mary, beautifully made-up, wearing this short, blue dress that does wonders to her hour-glass figure and leaves me with cocked eyebrows.

Surely all that dressing is not for me.

The cheering and hailing dies abruptly and I notice their eyes are all in one direction. Honey’s. She moves closer to me and links her fingers with mine. Mary’s eyes drop to our held hands.

“Honey,” I claim her waist again, “I want you to meet my friends.”

I mention their names one after the other.

“And guys, this is my girlfriend, Honey.”

If there was prickly silence before, then what follows is worse. It feels as if someone has pressed the pause button over everyone in the room. Not even a breath is inhaled.

My lips are closed but I’m grinning widely behind them. I feel Honey snuggling closer into me due to unease.

I hear a sound and turn my eyes. Celia is standing there with a look on her face that shows she knows what I’m up to.

Nice one, Jide, I hear her voice say in my head.

nice one jide

This time, behind my lips, I laugh. I can’t wait for the drama that will unfold. Bring it on, Celia.


It’s Another Saturday…#5

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The One Gone With The Waves

I have never really thought of having kids, which is quite weird, considering the fact that I have helped bring so many babies into this world. I have shared the joy of parents seeing their babies for the first time and gone through the pain of those who suffer loss. Births have left me in tears on some occasions and transported me into the spiritual when I simply just look upward to God and thank him for the gift of life. However, the feeling of wanting to have my own kid is always fleeting. The reason is simply because I know I’ll make a terrible father without a wife beside me. I’m old school like that. I believe in marriage first, kids later. Much later.

And that is why I’m deeply concerned for Emeka. How will he handle two children and their mothers?

After a hectic day at work, I invite him and our elder brother, Kalu, for drinks and to have a talk. Emeka isn’t so pleased. Both of them aren’t best of friends. Kalu is the serious, churchgoing, business-minded type. He has his head in the right place always. Emeka gives him attitude at first but later takes in his wisdom. He advises him to come clean with all parties involved. The earlier, the better. He also tells him not to feel pressured to marry any of the girls or he would regret so later. He adds that Emeka should marry the woman he loves, or at least is friends with. Emeka replies that he is not interested in marriage in the first place.

“Then be ready to take care of the kids and all the drama their mothers will bring.”

This ends the discussion. I leave them and head home. It’s Wednesday and I’m already drained out. I’m not complaining, though. I have set my schedule this way so I can be free for the weekend. Saturday is the family dinner and on Sunday, Shady’s wife, Celia, has this house party I’m invited to.

I walk into my bedroom and there’s a girl waiting for me. An old flame that I bumped into the night before at a supermarket. She gives me a long, hankering kiss that makes me re-schedule my sleep. In lightning speed, our clothes are off. We make love beneath the sheets like they do in Nollywood movies. It’s my idea. I want our movements controlled, yet intense. She is the wild type and likes to take the lead. This is me putting her on a leash. We do our thing until we both tire out. She wears her clothes afterwards and tells me she has to leave because of work tomorrow. I walk her to the door and go back to my room where I fall asleep instantly.

I rise the next morning and walk into the bathroom to take a leak. When I return, I am startled to find I’m not alone. I release a breath the moment I realize it is only Ele.

“Hi.” She waves at me. She is sprawled naked on my bed.

“How did you get in?” I ask.

“You left your door unlocked.”

“I was dead tired yesterday.”

“Aww, poor baby. Come, let me make you feel better.”

I have no reason whatsoever to reject her offer. Sexual healing never hurt anyone. She pulls me to the bed and stirs me with a kiss, sending my hand down to her pleasure spot. I have only a few minutes to spare before I get ready for work, so I make it worth her while. When I’m done, she begs for more. I drag her to the front door and send her out, promising to fulfil her request after work hours. Once she’s gone, I shower and dress for work. The hospital welcomes me with a client in the late stages of labor. I attend to her and another lady who has been having contractions for a week. The day ends for me by 7pm. I change from my scrubs and head home. Just as I’m about getting into my house, my phone rings. Someone I have been wanting to meet with is on the line. He finally has time to see me.

I listen to him ramble off some address and then he hangs up. I turn back downstairs and out of the compound where I hail a cab. My destination is a quiet restaurant in a business district. My contact is waiting when I get there. He has ordered a full meal for himself. I sit and decline his offer to have a waiter bring me something. I’m anxious to hear what he has to tell me.

“How far?” I ask.

He takes a drink of water.

“Jideofor…” There’s a pause. “I think it’s time you let go.”

My face turns sour.

“Ezinne is nowhere to be found. I’ve done everything I can professionally, combed everywhere, turned every stone and yet…”

“She is not dead.”

“I have never had a case like this before, Jideofor. By now, after all these years, if she was alive somewhere, something would have turned up, at least. But there’s nothing. Not even a hair strand or a careless phone call. In fact, the deeper I look, the less I see. She’s really gone.”

I gently run my hand over my mouth to calm my restless innards.

“You just have to accept it and move on. Console yourself with the fact that she spoke to her parents and left you a text before she disappeared.”

“Spoke to her parents. Left me a text,” I repeated, feeling my irritation rise. “That what? That I was responsible for whatever she was going to do to herself? Well let me let you know that that was not my Ezinne. That was not the girl I knew. Ezinne was willing to defy her parents to be with me. We made plans to elope if they didn’t give us their blessing. How on earth does she move from that person to the person who kills herself?”

“Jideofor…the accident must have changed her. You were in a coma for almost a month. Enough time for her parents to coax her into a change of heart. And I’m thinking that might have been her reason for committing suicide.”

“I’m sorry but your explanation makes no sense to me.”

“Oh well…”

“If I hadn’t seen her parents mourn her, I would have sworn they had her taken to some part of the world just to hide her away from me.”

“She was their only child.”

I lean back and drum my fingers on the table.

“You also have to consider the other strong proofs of her suicide, like the old man at the beach who saw a girl walking into the ocean naked that night. Or her clothes and phone that were found at the shore.”

“But there was no corpse found.”

“Jideofor, it happens. Many people have drowned and their bodies were never found.”

“Not Ezinne.”

My contact holds that sympathetic look on his face my mom had when we spoke about Ezinne the other day. I don’t want them to pity me. I want them to tell me she is not dead, that I will soon find her, because as it is, I’m beginning to give up. It’s been five years too long.

“Here.” He pushes a file to me. “All the details you’ll need to hire someone else to continue searching for her.”

“To hire someone else? What about you?”

“I’m leaving to Ghana. I got a job there to run a security outfit.”

“Nice one.”

“Thanks. If you want I can refer you to a colleague but you can be sure that he’ll have to start all over again and will end up wasting your money as I did.”

“What if she was kidnapped?”

“For five years?” He shakes his head. “It’s unlikely. Kidnappers always demand for money or something else. Well, unless they are sick in the head and want to keep their victims just to torture them and…”

He stops when he notices the dread that must have filled my face.

“All I’m saying is that it is unlikely after all these years.”

I want to hear nothing further. I pick up the file, rise to my feet and tell him to send me an invoice for his services. I step out of the restaurant and go straight home. In the solitude of my bedroom, I open the file and take out pictures of Ezinne. Emotions I have long forgotten fill me at the sight of her. I still miss her but I know I can’t continue this way. My mom’s words on Monday have left me thinking how much I have hurt the ones close to me by giving up everything because of one person.

I pore through the details of the investigation and just as the detective told me, there are no new leads. I exhale and lie on my back. It is time to let Ezinne go. I bleed at the thought but I know I have to make the sacrifice for those who have been there for me. But I won’t give up hope. I know she is still alive somewhere, even if she’s just in my heart alone.

I shut my eyes to sleep and I’m gone really fast. Sometime around midnight, I hear Ele knocking. I ignore her and go back to sleep. I dream of a beach. I am the old man at the shore. I watch as a girl disappears into the waves. I am helpless to stop her. I call out to her but she doesn’t hear me, and yet I can feel her eyes on me.

I wake up sad. It’s a resident sadness I haven’t been able to expel for a long time now. I’m looking forward to the day it finally goes away, along with the emptiness that conquers my nights.

I close my eyes and force myself to sleep again. I don’t dream.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

It’s that time of the month and I don’t feel too well. I’m throwing my guts out in the plane’s lavatory. A fever keeps my body in shivers and I’m wondering why I wasn’t born male.

“Honey?” My colleague knocks at the door.

I wipe my mouth. “I’m coming.”

I freshen up my face and walk out.

“Are you okay?” she asks.


She immediately understands what ails me. “Sorry, luv.” She rubs the sides of my arms to comfort me. She’s a sweet Irish girl with grey eyes and red locks which have to be subjected to being held in an up-do always.

“I think you should talk take some days off,” she tells me. She’s my in-flight supervisor for this particular flight and although it is not her duty to put me off work for some days, a report from her to our regional supervisor is enough to get me that rest I need.

“Thank you.”

She sends me off to find someplace to relax. I pick a backseat at economy and wrap myself up in a blanket to still the shivers. The journey is unkind to me but I make it in one piece. Once we hit land, I seek out my supervisor and ask for a sick leave. She grants me one and I’m off to my hotel room where I take a pill and wander off in my mind to my latest obsession—Jideofor. I can’t believe how much I am crushing on him. I tried, I really did, to exorcise him from my mind but I haven’t been successful. Instead, I fall deeper.

You know that feeling you have as a teenager when you fall in love for the first time? When all you do is think about the person and build fantasies in your head about them? That’s how I feel. I’m beginning to see colors again. For the first time in a long while I watched a romance movie aboard a flight alongside the passengers and I didn’t want to throw up over the cheesy lines and cliché scenes. Just yesterday I downloaded a whole bunch of love songs and listened to them without having to skip any. And then there’s this silly smile that won’t leave my face throughout the day.

Am I going crazy? I mean, this guy has not even as much as smiled at me. We barely communicated and here I am, all bunkers over him. What do I even know about him apart from what his adoring mother has shared with me? For all I know, he could be an ass or one of those guys that change girls like underwear. But what if he’s not? What if he’s super chill and ends up falling for me and we have this amazing relationship? Sigh. What if horses could fly?

I psyche myself out for my own wellbeing. No, literally for my wellbeing because if I don’t do away with thoughts of that Igbo boy, I won’t sleep well and get better.

I pull my blanket over my shivering body and will myself to sleep. It takes a long time for it to happen but I finally doze off. I wake up a whole lot better and decide to pamper myself with new clothes. I go shopping in town and realize I’m lost on the latest fashion trends. I rely on Google and the shop attendants. In the end, I walk out of the shop a little less rich but with more for my wardrobe. I decide to stop in a salon to have braids done. It takes me hours. However, I am more than satisfied with the results. I stare in the mirror all evening and wonder if Jideofor will like what he sees now.

Room service brings me dinner. As I eat, I watch Married Again on the Indian channel. I don’t understand what is going on but I’m held by some male character called Akash and another, Yash. Too much drama around them. I switch to something else more boring, just so that my mind can naturally wander off to its heart’s desire. It is then I decide to call Mommy.

She answers upon first ring and is excited to hear my voice. After pleasantries, I ask after everybody, one by one, leaving Jideofor for last.

“He’s fine. Been so busy with work.”

“Okay. My regards to him and everyone else.”

“Honey, when will you be in town?”

“I’m in town as we speak, ma.”

“Oh, that’s good. I’m inviting you to ours for dinner tomorrow. Would you like to come?”

“Sure, mommy. What time?”


“Okay. Thanks. I’m staying at the Sheraton. Could you text me your address so I can come over?”

“Don’t worry about that. Jideofor will come get you.”

I grin. “Okay, cool.”

“So you take good care of yourself, okay?”

“Yes, ma.”

“And pray before you sleep.”

“I will, ma.”

“Goodnight, darling.”

She rings off. It feels good to be pampered by a mother again. I am yet to be weaned off my lastborn ways.

I finish my meal, and straightaway start choosing my outfit for the dinner. I try every piece of clothing I have just bought but none seems appropriate. I call Dele’s wife for help.

“Oooooh, dinner date. Who is he?”

“I didn’t say dinner date. I said dinner.”

“All join. Who is he?”

I tell her about Mommy and how I got introduced to Jideofor.

“Na wa for you and this your love for Igbo boys. Have they not shown you enough pepper already?”

I say nothing. She is right. Igbo boys have dealt with me and yet I can’t seem to stay away from them.

“Anyways, you know me I’ll always support you. I pray this one treats you well sha.”

“There’s a comma in this whole thing, babe.”


“We’ve met just once and I’m the only one crushing on him. I’m sure he’s forgotten me by now.”


“I swear I can’t concentrate on anything. He’s constantly on my mind. Am I normal to be dying for a guy like this at this age?”

She laughs. “Very. In fact, the crush I had for Dele, no be for dis world. If he was already married I wouldn’t have minded being his side chick. See, just make sure when you’re with him you compose yourself like nothing’s happening. Allow him make the first move but seduce him in a way he won’t even know.”


“Honey, na wa for you o. You be pikin for dis game? Abeg, no fall my hand. Make I no hear say you just go there go dey shine teeth, come open leg for am. I go vex for you. Time has come to stop giving it away so freely.”

This is why I stay away from my married friends. Once they get married, they suddenly become holiness gurus in love and sex matters. If you confront them with their past and how they fornicated around, they’ll tell you just because they did it, it don’t make it right. Like Dele’s wife, she is one to talk. I remember when she first met Dele aboard a flight to Johannesburg and how they ended up in his hotel room that same night.

“I’ve heard you,” I say to her. “Just tell me what to wear.”

“I hope half of the things you bought are not yellow.”

I go silent. More than half the things I bought are yellow. I can’t help it. It’s my favorite color.

She sighs. “Ping me with pictures and I’ll see what we can come up with.”

“Thanks, darling.”

“I wish you well, my dear. I hope he falls for you too. He must be mad if he doesn’t but worry not, Igbo boys always love afin.”

I laugh and hang up. Afterwards, I send pictures of all I bought to her. It doesn’t take long for her to pick the right outfit for me.


It’s casual, low key and makes u blend in with his family but also keeps his eyes on u

-Thanks babe

We end the conversation. I slip beneath the covers and go back to fantasizing about Jideofor until the night takes me.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“You invited her to dinner?”

“Yes, Jide.”


My mother frowns at me. “Do I need to explain to you why I chose to invite someone to my own house for dinner?”

“Nne, this is a family dinner. She is not family.”

“Just shut up and pass me that bowl.”

I turn from her and find that I’m facing the kitchen counter with an array of bowls.

“Which one?”

“The blue one.”

I pick a blue bowl and pass it to her but not without picking a piece of meat from it and throwing it into my mouth.

“Oya go and pick her from Sheraton. She’s waiting. Here’s her number.”

My mom passes her phone to me and I transfer Honey’s details to my phone.

“Call her and tell her you’re on your way o.”

I leave the kitchen. I’m not happy about this new development. My mom is trying to force this girl on me. Secondly, I’m not even in the right frame of mind, mostly. I feel the dinner’s going to turn out bad and I’m freaking out right now. I just want us to enjoy each other as a family without any drama.

“If you’re still afraid to drive, go with your father’s driver!” my mom says. I step outside and find the driver waiting. We pick one of the cars. I sit in front and we head to Sheraton. When we get there, I call Honey and tell her I’m waiting. She takes forever to come down and while I wait, I work myself up to annoyance. Clearly, she has been deceived by my mom that there could be something between us and that is why she takes on the role of the woman who is being wooed; if not, tell me why she would keep me waiting as if I’m taking her out on a date? I’m sure she’s all dressed, sitting in her suite and counting the minutes until she makes her grand appearance. Typical Barbie behavior.

I check the time once more and begin to dial her number but something tells me to stop. I look up and there she is. Against my will, I miss a pulse. What follows can best be described as that thing that happens when a man sees a woman for the first time and he’s knocked off his feet by her looks. I act stupidly by staring at her like a love-struck teenager when in reality there isn’t much to see other than a pretty face and an endowed body. And to be honest, I’ve had enough of those to last me a lifetime. I snap out of my temporary absurdity and compose myself.

“Hi Jideofor. I’m so sorry to keep you waiting. It wasn’t intentional.”

All my vexing comes to nothing as she pulls out this practiced smile that leaves me feeling like a jerk for being annoyed at her.

“It’s okay.”

We head out of the lobby of the hotel to the parking lot and I do the gentlemanly thing by opening the car door for her. I want to sit in front with the driver just as I did when we were coming but I fear I would come off as rude, so I sit behind with her.

We ignore each other for a good half hour, and we still have some distance left on the mileage but I don’t intend to speak to her at all. However, she breaks the ice by commenting about the weather.

“It will rain this night.”


“It’s so cold these days.”


“Do you like the weather?”

I know she’s looking at me, so I shrug rather than speak. She remains silent after that. Good, I tell myself, as I face my phone.

Minutes pass and she comes on again.

“What’s the meaning of Jideofor?”

I don’t look at her. “It means hold on to truth. Or you are justified. Or one who has a clear conscience.”

“Nice name.”


That ends our exchange. I stick to my phone, she sticks to the road. After a while I give her a discrete glance. I want to tell her she looks beautiful but I hold back my tongue. It stays that way until we get to the house.

I step out of the car first and walk over to her side to find that she is not waiting for me to open her door. Good thing she did that. I hate being excessively chivalrous.

“Wow. Your house is so beautiful! Look at the flowers!”

She’s staring wide-eyed at the garden of flowers my mom has painstakingly cultured over the years.

“It’s all momsi’s work. She’s a horticulturist.”

“Yes, she told me. So beautiful.”

I can begin to perceive the faint scent of Queen of the Night as darkness hits the skies. We walk towards the front door.

“Do you think she’ll let me have one of these yellow flowers if I ask her?” Honey stops.

“Sure. Why not?” I look at her. “You like yellow.”

“Is it that obvious?”


She smiles. I don’t tell her about my thing for women in yellow.

“So what is this bunch of flowers called?”

I bend over the flowers she’s referring to and study them briefly.

“Daffodils, I think. I’m not so sure.”

Not thinking it over, I pluck a bunch of the yellow beauties and hand them to her. I almost slap myself when I see the dreamy look that grazes her eyes. Dumb, Jideofor.

Now, my mom will have my hide for touching her precious daffodils. If I recall something she told me during my childhood, is that daffodils are perennial.

“Thanks,” Honey says.

“You’re welcome.”

Suddenly, the serene air is shattered by the terrifying woofing of the family dog.

“What’s that?” Honey’s eyes pop out.

“Just a dog.”

“Dog?!” She looks around in fright but it’s too late for her as a huge greyhound rounds the corner at top speed. She dashes behind me and grabs me tightly while whimpering words I can’t make out. The dog approaches us; she grips me tighter, crushing into me and burying her face in my neck.

“Chill. It’s okay. He’s harmless.”

“Drive it away, please. Drive it away.”

“Down, boy!” I command the hound when I see him gunning for her. He immediately sits but not without a complaint in that distinctive manner greyhounds are known to communicate.

“Drive it away,” Honey begs still. She continues to grapple me. Unlike her, I am calm and so I’m able to get a full whiff of her perfume and feel the wetness of her lips at the nape of my neck. The girl is bent on tempting me; her plans will not work. I try to pull away but she gets even snugger.

“Please drive it away,” she whispers.

“Seriously, the dog is harmless. He’s actually mine and has been with us for six years.”

My explanation doesn’t suffice. She insists on the dog leaving. I grant her wish and send the dog away. Once it leaves, she extracts herself from me and to my surprise I see that she is actually off-color. There is moisture in her eyes and her hands shake uncontrollably.

“Wow. You’re really scared of dogs.”

She nods. “When I was little I got attacked by our neighborhood dogs. They were local dogs that moved in a pack and harassed people only at night but that day they attacked me in broad daylight. My mom sent me to buy some meat. On my way back, they popped out from nowhere and chased me, grabbed the meat from me and one of them bit me. I had to endure series of rabies vaccine shots on my tummy. It was hell. I’m still scared to death of dogs.”

“I’m sorry about what just happened.”

I want to say more but I can’t. Being with her still leaves me feeling awkward. I have neither sexual nor warm attraction towards her. It is quite unsettling. Usually at first encounter, I already know whether I want a woman or not, and if I do, I can promptly tell what I want from her. But this chick just leaves me hanging. I don’t know if there’s something there or not.

“Oh God, I’ve almost crushed them.” She spread out her hands to show me the flowers.

“Not quite. They’re still intact. Let’s go in.”

I put her in front of me and follow behind, watching the sway of her perfectly-formed butt in her tight jeans and wondering why it doesn’t stir me.

I’m beginning to think that maybe something has gone wrong with me.


Read about the family dinner and how it went by 6pm today



Afin (Yoruba): Fair complexioned, albino




It’s Another Saturday…#4

The Lady With Wings

It’s Another Saturday… And I never marry.

I remember when I first read those words. A colleague updated her BBM display picture with a photo of a bridesmaid, staring sadly at a married couple kissing. It had the above caption. When I saw, it I burst out laughing. Ehya, the struggle was real. I pinged my colleague immediately.

-Babe how far wit your DP nau?

-Abeg forget o. The hustle for man don enter voicemail now.




-And you seriously shdn’t be laffing. Ur in the same boat wit me

-It is well

-Imagine Dele tellin me dat if it’s paining me dat I’m not married, I shd kuku quit my job and he’ll propose to me. Imagine

-He luvs u nau

-Shebi I shd starve becos I want a ring on my finger

-Take it easy

-I don blame him sha. Na me dey open leg for am

-So where u dey now?

-New York o. Cold wan kee person for dis hotel room


-U nko?

-I dey house

-Lucky u

-Lucky wetin. I dey on standby. I jus dey wait for supervisor to call

-Sorry darling. Abeg make I sleep small

-Aiit then




A month later, she quits the job. Three months after that, she moves from the status of leg-opener to Dele’s wife. I am privileged to grace the occasion – as bridesmaid. Three years on, I’m still unmarried, stuck in the same job as flight attendant while she has an adorable kid.

Ladies, don’t let anyone deceive you. The life of an air hostess is shitty. Take it from someone who has been on the job for ten years. The pay is good, I must admit. Especially for us who do international flights; but asides that, it is not a job for those who want to keep relationships or live happily ever after with a man. Forget our smiles or our perfectly-tailored outfits. We’re not having a ball up 30,000 feet in the air.

The general picture of a flight attendant is this happy girl who gets to see the world, meet and date rich men and is living a life that most girls envy. But the reality is we have no lives and do not enjoy touring the world. We are up on our feet all week and when we get the chance to rest, we don’t want to see the Eiffel Tower or Times Square or the Taj freaking Mahal. We just want to fall on that hotel bed and sleep until we’re called up in the air again. We are always grouchy beneath plastic smiles, having learned to put a lid over our frustration and anger issues. Before getting the job ten years ago, I was a positive soul, always looking forward to the best in life, but now all I see are grey clouds and a lonely stretch of years waiting for me.

How about the training? My Lord! I can pull my hairs off when you bring that up. We’re always training for one thing or the other. My colleague calls it Barbie Boot Camp but it hardly is. It’s hell! You want to get promoted, you go for training. They want to move you, say from a Boeing 777-300 to a Boeing 737-800, you train for it. They want to move you from that to an airbus, you also train for it. They want to promote you to business and first class, you have to train for it. Heck, they want to teach you how to look at passengers, you bleeding train for it.

We fall sick all the time. Being on your feet for twenty-two hours in a day, doing all you can to keep your eyes open, you play the role of cleaner, bartender, safety officer, babysitter, toilet cleaner etc. It will make anyone ill. Before passengers board on a plane, we are there several minutes earlier to arrange menu cards, set up newspaper trolleys, do a security sweep, heat up towels, stock up moisturizers and toilet papers in the lavatory, check with the caterer to make sure the meals are all there, organize the galley and so forth. Then let’s not even bring up those passengers that delight in spreading nameless viruses while in the air. They literally take the ‘airborne’ disease part seriously. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been puked on or sneezed and coughed on. And no, it doesn’t disgust me anymore.


Another nightmare is what being up in the air does to a woman’s body. It messes up your reproductive system. At one point I went seven months without a period. I didn’t even have the time to see a doctor and because every girl I work it had experienced it at one time or the other, I let it be. When it finally came, I almost threw a party. Lol! My girls popped champagne and we all drank and one of them rubbed my back to ease the menstrual cramps. But that’s even mild. Ladies who quit, like Dele’s wife, have to wait a while before they can get pregnant. Crazy shiii! I tell you.

Then don’t get me started on the passengers. They can literally make you lose your mind, especially those in economy. Geez! What have I not seen? Just the other day this man flung a menu card in my face just because I wouldn’t give him what he ordered; which, by the way was either on land or somewhere in the sea but not in the air. Some people think flight attendants are genies that are there to carry out their every desire. They will shout on you, insult you, swear for you and even hit you if you’re not careful. Yep! That totally happened to my colleague who refused to allow a woman enter the restroom alongside her husband. Yet in everything, our training forbids us from reacting cheekily. We are to keep smiling and be courteous even though most times we really want to cuss badly and bitchslap people’s parents. And that is why when we meet one or two passengers who are humane and well-mannered, we use their kindness as a shock absorber for the entire flight and treat them as VIPs. We meet such people every once in a while.

In fact, it was how I met this kind, old lady who has touched my life.

She is aboard my plane, headed for London. She is in economy. Upon getting in, she gives me a warm smile and tells me straightaway that she is a little afraid of flying and is suffering from arthritis. I assure her she is in safe hands and make sure she is comfortable as I bump her up to business class. When we hit the skies, I check up on her every now and then to be certain she is okay. Little by little, her fear eases and when we get into that stretch of time that allows me occasion to do nothing, I take the seat next to hers to keep her company.

“If you’re afraid of flying, ma, why didn’t you do it with a family member?” I ask as I fluff up her travel pillow. “Maybe with one of your children?”

“Hmmm…my dear, my boys are all grown and busy. My last born just got internship at a telecoms company, so there’s no one to travel with.”

“Your husband?”

“He hates traveling, although he has seen the world. He’s at that age when he just wants to stay at home and watch WWE all day.”

“And you?”

“I’m at that age where I just want to be with my children and grandchildren.”

I smile.

“In fact, I am flying to see my daughter-in-law and nieces in the UK and then I’m off to the US to see my third son. I’ve missed them all so much.”


“And I guess you miss your family as well?” She is looking into my eyes. Such a gentle soul.

“Yes, I do but I haven’t seen my dad in almost a year.”

“Poor you. And your mom?”

“She’s late.”

The woman lays a hand on mine and squeezes it. I almost come to tears. It was one thing my mom used to love doing to me whenever I was hurting. She would say nothing but just squeeze my hand.

“And your siblings?”

“All married. I’m the last.”

“You’re not married?”

I shake my head.

“Any boyfriend?”

“No ma.” I give a short chuckle. “This job doesn’t allow us have relationships. All my relationships in the past turned sour because I was never there. Now, I just don’t bother anymore.”

“Why? Don’t you want to get married and have children?”

“I do.”

“So then quit the job.”

I blow out my breath. “It’s hard to explain… I love it up here. It’s all I have. I’ve been doing it for ten years and I’m afraid to leave it and discover that there’s nothing out there for me. Everyone I know is either married or engaged or no more around. It’s like life moved on without me. How do I catch up?”

She touches my cheek. “You will catch up, my dear. Although time waits for no one, it often rewinds for those who have not yet lived. I’ll tell you something about my dear husband.” She places her hands on her laps and a twinkle lights up her eyes. It is amazing that at her age she would have that sort of twinkle in her eyes when talking about her husband. I envy her. I want that type of love.

“My husband never got to attend secondary school or the university. When we first met, he was an apprentice, learning the spare parts business with his uncle. Total illiterate. But he had flows.”

I laugh.

“I loved him the way he was. We courted for some years and while I got myself educated, he advanced in business until he was an entrepreneur of his own. We got married, had our sons and put them through school before he got any form of education. Right now, he is well-read and more enlightened than the rest of us. So my dear, it’s never too late to start all over again.”

We talk some more. I tell her about my family. She tells me about her sons; Jideofor, especially. It seems he is her favorite, although I see some melancholy in her eyes when she speaks about him.

“I hope he finds happiness soon. He’s such a good boy but he’s going through a rough patch.”

She shows me his photo. I am not impressed; I have seen finer guys. He is just there. The only thing that intrigues me about him is his profession. What would make a man choose to be a midwife?

His mother laughs. “Don’t mind him. He’s always been different. His father almost had a heart attack when he stopped his law course halfway and veered off into nursing and midwifery. He could have disowned him had I not intervened. But he’s doing so well now as Director of Midwifery in a reputable hospital.”

“You must be proud of him.”

“I am.”

“And his wife, what does she think about the whole midwifery thing?”

This is my way of finding out if he is hooked because as much as I am not moved by his looks, I am curious to know if he is available or not.

“Oh, he’s not married. His girlfriend, or should I say fiancée died five years ago.”

“Oh. Sorry about that.”

“But he’s gotten over it now. He’s building his life again.” She looks at me. “And so should you. Do you go to church?”

I have been waiting for this question.

“Yes, ma but it’s been years since I did.” I wince.

“So how do you build up your faith?”

I scratch a brow.

“Oh dear. This job is taking a lot out of you.”

“I know.”

“But it is well. God will sort things out for you. Just pray always. In fact, your prayers will reach heaven faster since you’re all the way up here.”

I crack and so does she. It’s so easy to be with her. I feel like I’ve known her all my life.

“Mommy, my time is up,” I announce. “But I’ll be back to check on you. It was nice talking to you, ma’am.”

“Same here, Honey. Erm…can I have your number? If you’re ever in town and have free time, you can come visit.”

“Okay, ma’am. Thanks.”

I get my phone and we exchange digits.

“So, you’re real name, please?” she requests.

“It’s Honey.” I laugh. She pulls back. I am quite used to the reaction.

“Your parents named you Honey?”

“Yes, my dad. For the funniest reason, you won’t believe.”

“Tell me.”

“When my mom was pregnant with me, honey was all she wanted to take. My dad said he spent a fortune and stressed himself looking for unadulterated honey everywhere. When I was born, they said I had this natural glow on my skin…”

“Which you still have.”

“Thank you, ma.”

“And that my hair was sort of golden-brown. So my dad named me Honey.”

The dear old lady has this thoughtful smile on her face for a while and then she tells me I have rare beauty. I blush. I have heard this so many times but to hear a gorgeous woman tell it to me makes my head swell in proportions. I don’t know when I bend forward and hug her. The act takes her by surprise. She rubs my back.

“God bless you, girl.”

I turn away feeling floaty. Mommy will make not just my day but my entire week. I enter the galley, away from the attention of my colleagues, and fight with the tears that burn my eyes. I haven’t felt such warmth since my mother was alive.

Mommy and I communicate over the phone a few times. Work overwhelms me as usual and for a while I don’t hear from her, until I come across her and her son on one of our flights back to Nigeria. I shriek in excitement, forgetting my manners, as I hug her.

“Mommy! It’s so good to see you!”

“Shhh!” She hushes me.

“I’m sorry. I’m just so happy to see you.”

“Me too. How are you?”

“Fine. We thank God.”

“Good to hear.”

My eyes shift to her son. He certainly isn’t Jideofor. He has a curious look on his face.

“Meet my son, Emeka. Emmy, meet Honey. I told you about her and how she helped me.”

“Hi.” He gives a short wave but spares no smiles. He turns his face away.

“He’s in a mood,” Mommy whispers. I nod in understanding.

“So, you’re coming back home. I thought you were staying for a month. This is just three weeks.”

“My dear, my arthritis got worse. I can hardly walk as it is.”

“Then you shouldn’t be sitting in economy. Give me a minute.”

I leave the cabin and speak to one of the stewards about upgrading Mommy and Emeka to first class. I am the in-flight supervisor and can do as I well wish. The steward helps them move to first class and I take it from there. Mommy and I can’t chat much this time because I am very busy on this flight and she is in pains from her arthritis. When the flight arrives in Nigeria, a wheelchair is waiting as per my request. Mommy has refused my offer to have a doctor check her at the airport. Jideofor is going to be there, she tells me. Never mind that he is only a midwife. Emeka isn’t bothered about her decision, so I don’t pressure.

While Emeka handles their luggage, I wait with her. I also wheel her out to Arrivals. As expected, there are so many people waiting for their loved ones. I can’t pick out who Jideofor is from the crowd. I slow in my steps and wait for either Mommy or Emeka to identify him. I have no idea he is the guy walking towards us with the checked shirt and pair of safari shorts until his mother calls out his name.

He breaks into a smile that steals my heart on instant and has my tummy in knots. I can’t believe I’m having collywobbles. Seriously, no jokes, I am struck! Which is new for me, because it is always the other way round. Guys are usually smitten by me without a second glance. But this… this is different. I have never felt this way before.

I immediately put myself in check and shake it off. As much as I’m willing to meet someone new, I can’t let myself get carried away on impulse. I keep a straight face and watch mother and son reunite after a long time away from each other. Following a warm hug that has Mommy in tears, Jideofor goes on his knees and they converse in Igbo. I see that he’s asking her forgiveness over something; I decide to give them some privacy. People are staring but neither of them is unmindful. She has a hand on his cheek and the other on his shoulder. It’s an emotional scene. However, Emeka stands close by, simply watching them with no expression on his face.

Jideofor rises up and looks his way. They say nothing to each other for some seconds. The air gets tight around us until Jideofor steps forward and Emeka closes the gap to hug him. It is not the quick type of hug guys normally share. This is between brothers that mean a lot to each other.

They break contact. Jide says something in Igbo and gives Emeka a harmless smack on his neck and pulls him in for another hug that lasts barely two seconds. They break contact again.

“Mom,” Jide calls, “right now we have to get you to a doctor.”

“And I will not go home and rest first? It’s almost 11pm.”

“Mommy, you’re in a wheelchair. I can’t tell you how much I’m freaking out here.”

“Relax. I’ll be fine, Jide.” She turns in my direction. “Honey?”

Jide gives me a casual glance.


“Yes, ma.”

“Come, come.”

I reclaim my position behind her, aware of Jideofor’s eyes on me. I don’t look at him.

“Jideofor, I want you to meet this wonderful lady who took care of me on the flight and is responsible for making me comfortable in this chair. She is such an angel. Honey, meet my second son, Jideofor.”

Jideofor eyes sweep my entire frame from top to bottom. I try to read him but see nothing in his stare.

“Thanks for taking care of her.”

“Oh, it’s nothing. Mommy’s the angel here.”

“Thanks, all the same.”

The fuzzy, warm feeling returns and I wonder why. There is nothing striking in this guy that would affect me this way. I think I should blame it on my long stretch of not having a man in my life. What I’m experiencing is probably some form of low grade crush. It will fizzle off once I hit the skies again.

“Honey, my invitation is still open. Visit whenever you can. In fact, if you’re free this Saturday, we’ll be having a family dinner. You are invited. Just call and Jideofor will come get you wherever you are.”

I see that Jide disapproves when his brows squeeze together. Emeka has a roguish smile on his face.

“Okay, ma,” I respond. “Thank you. Um… I’ll escort you to your car so I can get the chair.”

“That’s fine. I even want you to meet my lastborn, Obasi. He’s a carbon copy of Jide.”

Jideofor takes over from me behind the wheelchair and I follow them, trying to decipher what it is they are speaking about in Igbo that has them both laughing like old friends. Emeka, pushing the luggage trolley with their cases, falls in step with me.

“Welcome to the family,” he tells me. “The old lady just gave you license to screw her favorite son.”

I look at him and he smiles and walks ahead of me. I shift my stare to Jideofor, who for some reason has turned slightly to look at me. He turns back instantly and I try to still another wave of mushiness his stare has injected in me.

I can’t wait to bid them goodnight so I can go somewhere and banish this intrusive sentiment coursing through me.

Yes, I want love. Yes, I’m tired of being lonely. But can this man turn my life around or will he be just like the rest?

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“What were you trying to do back there?”

Loud laughter rings from Emeka who is sitting in front of the car with Oba. He is not responding to my question but to something Oba has just told him.

The one whom I threw the question to has kept a blank face in an attempt to act like she didn’t hear me.



“Why were you trying to pimp me to that Honey chick back there?”

“Pimp? Me?” My mom places her small hand on her chest. I shake a reprimanding head at her.

“Don’t even think about it. I don’t like her.”

“You don’t like her?”


“Why? She’s your type.”

“I just don’t like her.”

And that’s the plain truth. Honey or whatever her weird name is, is beautiful. In fact, blindingly. But she strikes nothing in me. Usually, I can’t help myself when I meet girls like her. I hit on them on default. However, this one blows past me like a transient wind. I didn’t even lust for one second. I’m sure to forget her face by morning.

“Honey is a good girl,” my mom presses on.

“And you know that, how?”

“Has my intuition ever been amiss?”

“Nne, I don’t like her.”

“Okay.” She smiles. “Let’s forget her. How are you?”


“And your first day at work?”

“Great. Although there was that buzz about me being a midwife. They are used to male nurses and they even have a couple of them there but I’m the first male midwife they’ve seen.”

“They’ll get used to you. Erm…do you know that the hospital partly belongs to Emeka’s fiancée’s family? The Adeniyis.”

I put up a surprised face.

“Tola’s her name. Lovely girl. Beautiful, well-mannered and God-fearing.”


“Yes. She’s quite the talkative, though. But you’ll love her once you get to know her.”

I try not the think of the different positions in which I’ve known Tola.

“She’ll be around on Saturday. Won’t she, sweetheart?” my mom asks Emeka.


“Tola. She’ll be coming on Saturday, won’t she?”

“You already invited her. Why are you asking me?”

“Well… just confirming.”

Emeka turns away. I notice he’s not exactly pleased with the decision to have Tola over. I’m curious as to why.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I wake up on my old bed in my old bedroom in the family house. Apart from the sheets and curtains, nothing has changed in the room. The air-conditioner still snores like an old fart and the windows retain their eerie habit of rattling for no reason.

The time is 7am. I press my feet to the floor and mentally organize my day. I have a client who wants a homebirth in the hospital. I have not met the woman but I’m told she is the wife of a man I greatly admire. I am to see her later in the evening but first I’ll sign in at work and complete my psych evaluation which was cut short yesterday due to an emergency I had to attend to.

I hear a shy knock on my door and I invite the person in. It’s the housemaid. She curtsies and hands me toiletries and leaves. I clean up and find my way downstairs. My mom is in the kitchen with Oba. I can see she’s up on her feet and unaffected by her arthritis or jetlag. I come up behind her and hug her small frame. She pats my cheek and asks me if I want pancakes.

“No.” I frown. “That’s poor man’s food abeg. I didn’t spend the night here to be told I can’t have swallow.”

She sighs. “Nnam, I’ve not made any soup yet. You’ll eat to your heart’s content on Saturday. But now, manage the pancakes, biko.”

“Can you, at least send Oba with soup tomorrow? Saturday is light years away.”

“Do I look like a driver to you?” Oba sneers at me. I ignore him.

“Don’t talk to your elder brother like that, Obasi,” my mom scolds. “Jide, I’ll send your father’s driver with something tomorrow.” She hands me a tray of pancakes and jam. “Make yourself some tea. I’ll come join you.”

I walk out to the dining area and sit. I haven’t seen my dad yet. I’m not excited to. The old man can like to stay in his room right now. No one needs his scathing tongue around.

My mom joins me and upon sitting, asks if I said my prayers before eating.

I drop my fork and with a mouthful, mumble the “some have food but cannot eat” prayer. I open my eyes and see her watching me.

“You can’t say a normal prayer, Jidenna?”

I hate the name she just called me. She has a habit of adding suffixes to Jide just for fun. The worst is when she calls me Jidechi.

“That was a normal prayer, Nne. I don’t hear God complaining.”

“Na wa for you.”

I change the course of discussion. “When are you going to have the doctor check you?”


“We’ll see him together today.”

“Don’t you have an office to go to?”

“We will see your doctor,” I insist.

“So, tell me what you think of Honey.”

I stop chewing what’s in my mouth. Why do mothers have this innate amnesia? I thought I told her I didn’t like Honey.

“I don’t know her, mom.”

She takes out her phone and shows me a picture of her. I roll my eyes.

“Look at her. This is her without makeup. Isn’t she beautiful?”

I’m forced to take another look. Still, nothing strikes me. I’ve seen many girls like her.


“Jide, I’m not even going to hide what’s on my mind, so let me go straight to the point. I think Honey will make a good wife.”

I throw open my mouth.

“For who?”

“You. Who else?”

This woman is cute and a sweetheart but she is so annoying. She hasn’t changed after all these years.

“Mom, I don’t know her. I don’t like her. I am not interested.”

“When will you ever be interested, Jide? It’s been five years since Ezinne died.”

My fork hits my plate with a loud clang. I lose my appetite.

“I know you’re still hurting but you have to move on. Ezinne would want you to.”

“That’s the thing. She doesn’t want me to move on like everyone else has because she is not dead.”


“No, mom. Ezinne is alive. I can still feel her. She is alive. And I won’t stop looking for her, so find someone else to become milk for your Honey.”

“Very funny, son.”

“I’m serious, ma.”

My mom has stopped eating too. She looks at me through weak eyes.

“Jide, I am sorry if it seems like I’m pushing you…”

“You are…pushing me.”

“I apologize but son, I only want to see you happy. You’re not happy.”

“And a woman is what I need?”

“I didn’t say that. I just want…”

“The best for me. I know.”

I calm down when I see sincerity in her eyes. I never want to do anything to hurt this woman again.

“I have no issues with Honey or any other girl, Nne. I just…” I sigh. “Please just give me time. A little more time.”

“As if you’re not turning into an old jester already,” my father’s voice cuts in. I cock my head in his direction.

“Ndewo,” I greet. He will never respond to greetings from us if we utter them in English.

“Why are you here?” he asks.

“What sort of question is that?” My mom jumps in to rescue me. I find my appetite again. “Welcome your son, Lawrence. You haven’t seen him in five years.”

“Oh, he’s expecting a hug. Maybe I should give him breast to suck too.”

I want to laugh but I bite my tongue in and pretend not to hear him.

“If you like take another ten years sabbatical, na you sabi. I will not grow scales overnight because you choose to prodigalize yourself.”

This time I snort. What is prodigalize?

He faces my mom. “I want my breakfast in bed. And why are you even here with this overgrown baby? I haven’t seen you in three weeks and the first thing you do is come down here to pet him? Bia, mind yourself.”

I roll my eyes, understanding perfectly well that this is some sort of mating call. I pick my tray and stand.

“Don’t worry, guys. You don’t have to go all the way upstairs. I’m going.”

I leave them and head to Emeka’s room. He’s awake when I walk in. He’s in a bad mood.

“I swear I’ll strangle popsi.”

“What happened?”

“He just walked in here, woke me up and started telling me that I’ve disgraced him by knocking up a Yoruba girl, that if it wasn’t for momsi he’ll disown me bla-bla-bla! That the best thing I can do for myself and to save the family name is to marry Tola.”

“And you don’t want to?”


“Tell me about this Tola chick.”

“What’s there to tell, Jide? I just don’t want to get married yet. Tola got pregnant from nowhere, didn’t tell me but came home to tell momsi. Now momsi is talking marriage and shit.”

“She’s trapped you.”

“Na her papa generations she wan trap.”

“So what do you want to do about it?”

Emeka sits and exhales loudly.

“Do you love her?”

It’s a question he leaves unanswered as he goes into the details of how he met Tola. It’s a touching love story from the start but halfway it gets muddy and in the end I see that it’s Emeka who is to blame.

“You could have told her you stopped having feelings, Mex. You don’t do that to a woman.”

“I tried telling her but she wouldn’t listen. She kept insisting that we could work out our differences and then suggested an open relationship. I was like, cool, that totally works for me.”

“Until you slept with her cousin. You screwed up.”

“I know.” He sits on his bed. “I don’t want that baby and I don’t want Tola but nobody will listen.”

“The baby is non-negotiable, Mex. You have to take responsibility.”

“But I can’t marry Tola. There’s… someone else.”

“Someone else? I hope it’s not the cousin sha?”

“No. She’s not even Nigerian. She’s Mexican.”

I almost choke on my coffee. “You’re joking.”

“No. And it gets worse.”

I look into his eyes. He’s my closest brother. He doesn’t need to tell me what ‘worse’ means. I read his thoughts.

“She’s pregnant too,” I say.

He nods. “Seven months.”

I don’t speak further; I just sip my coffee. Emeka has changed. He used to be responsible and focused. What happened? I’m profoundly disappointed but I can’t utter a word because I haven’t exactly been a role model to him. It’s sad. Our mother will be heartbroken.

“Jide, I really need your help, man. How do I handle her matter?”



“Yaz gini?”

“The Mexican chick.”

“Don’t involve me abeg.”

“It’s the least you can do for me.” Emeka’s eyes accuse. “Yaz is coming to Nigeria next month. She’s the girl I have to marry. I can’t even joke with her. Her popsi is a Mexian warlord. He’ll shoot me dead if I don’t marry her.”

I’m annoyed. “You know what condoms are? Have you ever used one before?”

“Let’s not cry over spilled…”

“Don’t even say it.”

He cackles. I stare at him; beneath the surface, he doesn’t seem fazed. What has yankee done to my brother?

“So what do you want me to do now?” I question.

“JD, you always stood by me and supported me right from when we were small. I need you now. Popsi will kill me on Saturday. He’ll get that his double-barrel and shoot me. But you can stop him. You’re the only one he fears.”

“Wait, you want me to support your decision to marry the white chick…”

“She’s not white.”

“Whatever. I should just support you.”

“Yes, cos no one else will.”

I push my tray away and think of Tola’s demands and put it side by side with Emeka’s, and realize how trapped in the middle I am. The picture is not good. But I try not to think about it yet or I’ll spoil my day.

“Whatever you do, don’t bring Yazmin up on Saturday.”

“Am I mad?”

He picks my last slice of pancake, a habit he carried over from childhood.

“Do you have my back?” he asks.

I nod. “Sure.”

“Thanks, man.”

He wants a handshake. I stare at him in distraction, wondering why on earth my mom didn’t neuter me when I was a baby and dedicate me to God’s service because despite Emeka being the one impregnating chicks up and down, it is my penis that will take the blame on Saturday for poking his chick.

Somebody shoot me in the head already.


Image Credits:,




It’s Another Saturday…#3

The Girl Next Door

They say the best cure for a hangover is more alcohol.

This is my way of the ninja. I catch a cold, I take ice water. I stub my big toe, I punch a door. I sleep with my brother’s psychotic fiancée, I get over the shock by smashing another chick. Not intentionally, though. This encounter just sort of happened. I didn’t go looking for the girl; she came for me and the rest is for the books.

I start the day, as you well know, roughly. Having just discovered that I’ve committed an abomination I become sober and start to reflect on my useless life. I try to pray but I feel God won’t listen, that he has allowed this adversity to fall on me as punishment. I have decided to take it in stride, although I haven’t concluded on what I’ll do with Tola. All I know is that I can’t let Emeka get married to her.

Since Church is out of my schedule for the day, I call my youngest brother, Obasi to come pick me and take me to my place. Oba arrives and waits in the hotel’s parking lot while I make it downstairs. He spares a greeting without looking at my face. I try to make short conversation with him but he tells me not to bother, that I mean nothing to him. He is just twenty-three years old. The last time I saw him, he was eighteen. I tell him I’m sorry for disappearing from his life. He tells me to shove it.

“Oba, I know you’re mad and I want to repeat that I’m sorry.”

“Jide…seriously, stop.” He has one hand on the steering and the other is holding his phone which has his attention.  I’m uncomfortable with it, so I reach for the phone but he snatches it back and eyes me.

“It’s dangerous to text and drive,” I maintain. He ignores me. I reach for the phone again and this time, I pry it off his hand. He wants to retort something nasty but I point ahead of us; an SUV is heading our way. Oba swerves to avoid.

“Just face the road, biko.” I let out a breath. I have a moment of panic; the SUV has sparked images of the event that almost claimed my life five years ago.

“Why did you even come back?” Oba asks. “You should have just remained there. The most annoying part was that we were hearing gist of how you were balling. The chicks, the parties, we heard everything. But you won’t even pick my calls, Jide.”

I look out the window. He wouldn’t understand even if I explained to him. I apologize again. He says nothing further. We drive on without speaking to each other. At some point, I turn to look at him. He has changed from the pimple-faced, hormone-raging teenager I knew. He has cleaned up nicely, with a short crop of punk dreadlocks and a script tattoo on the side of his neck. My parents must have flipped when he came home with that tattoo, my mom especially.

I study his features even more and see what everyone says about us. He is a younger version of me. He has my neatly arched brows, dark solemn eyes, thin lips and even my prominent Adam’s apple. In noses we differ. Mine is slightly flatter than his which is a perfect copy of our mother’s thin and straight nose.

I understand his resentment towards me. I was the cool brother, the one he looked up to for life’s lessons. Then out of nowhere I disappear from his existence with no explanations. Anyone would be mad.

“Turn right.” I give him the directions to my house and he drives me right to my doorstep.

“You live here?”

He takes in my neighborhood with a little frown on his face. The environment is a lot different from the ones we were brought up in.

“Yeah. You want to come in?” I ask as I unfasten my seatbelt.

“No.” He plants himself on his seat and looks away from me. Outside the car kids are playing some game of hurling rubber bands at a line drawn on the ground. Oba concentrates on them instead.

“You want to play FIFA…?” I suggest but my request is met with an emphatic no.

“When is Mex coming back?” I question.

“Tomorrow. With momsi.”

I nod. “Okay. Later.” I get down from the vehicle and watch as he drives off.

“Uncle, good morning!” one of the kids greet. I smile at him. The others chorus his greeting, temporarily stopping their game to watch me. I wave to them and push in the pedestrian gate of the compound I live in.

It’s a big compound, with two buildings. One belongs to my landlord and the other one which is for the tenants, is a three-storey structure with six apartments. I live on the second floor. My house is the one with the cartons and Ghana-must-go bags cluttering the balcony. I’m yet to fix the place up. I hate packing or unpacking. The stress is too much abeg. And that is how, rather than arrange my apartment, I get in, set up my game console and play football while I brood on what to do with Tola.

I come up with no real solution. Time glides by. I don’t realize it is 1pm until someone comes knocking on my door. I open it and there’s this sexy little thing standing there with a stud on her nose.

Did I mention that I like petite girls too?

This one has this ajebutter look and that wildness in her eyes that tells she is willing to try anything.

“Hi.” She’s smiling like we already know each other.

“Good afternoon.” I try to be formal.

“My name is Eleojo. I’m your neighbor. I live upstairs. I just moved in like you.”

“Okay. Your name again?”

“Eleojo. E-L-E-O-J-O. But you can just call me Ele. What’s your name?”

Ha! See me see smally, asking for my name as if we’re mates.


“Okay. I just stopped by to say hi and to ask… When do you think the landlord will fix the borehole cos I fetched water from the well this morning? And you can imagine me carrying the bucket all the way. Three times! And there aren’t even abokis around to sell water. Do you think it will be fixed by today? I mean, a pumping machine goes for twelve to sixteen thousand. We can all just contribute if he’s broke. What do you think?”

Hian! I’m thinking nothing. How can someone so small talk so fast?

“Erm…he said he’ll fix it by tomorrow, so let’s wait and see.”

“Okay, then. See you later.” She turns away and I stay back to watch her leave. Long, blonde braids that swing left and right drop all the way to a portable bum. The cheerleader skirt she has on doesn’t hide much. I can huff from where I stand and it will blow open and reveal her nudity.

But I don’t dwell on it. She’s Oba’s age mate. I graduated from her type ages ago. Too much stress, these small girls.

As I turn back into the house, the power goes out and my phone rings. Tola is calling. I take the call.

“Hi Jide, I’m ready to meet. Can I come over to yours?”

“No. I’ll text you a place.”

I end the conversation and type out an address to her. After that, I wear a fresh set of clothes and leave the house.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Tola doesn’t look all that to me any longer. All I see is this creature from hell that wants to ruin my life and my brother’s. I spare neither smiles nor courtesy when I walk into the restaurant and see her waiting. I pick a chair at her table and order a salad.

“I need answers,” I say. “I need to know why. That Bridemaker explanation you gave me is bullshit. If you’re really pregnant and Mex is misbehaving, you could have just gone to my mom ans she’ll put him straight. Seducing and sleeping with me…”

“Seducing?” she chortles.

“What you did, Tola, is contemptible.”

“Wow. We’re using big words now.” She smiles and crosses her legs, having pushed her chair back a bit. “I should tell you a little about myself since you’re going to be my brother-in-law.”

Not in this life.

“I’m the first daughter of my parents, who are both late. I live with my grandma in the States. I’m a doctor; just graduated from med school. Mex and I have been dating for four years. We’re sort’a in an open relationship. We decided it was best that way until we got married. There were no rules to it and I think that was where the problem was. I never slept with anyone else but I knew Mex was sticking it out with a few girls. I wasn’t bothered. I still loved him. Until he slept with my cousin.”

Senseless move, Mex.

“I got mad, I confronted him, we got in a fight and then he cancelled the engagement and said he wasn’t ready. I was pregnant by then but I didn’t tell him.”

“And so you flew all the way to Nigeria to sleep with me for revenge.”

“No, Jide. I came for my uncle’s wedding and then Kate’s wedding. I was with Kate and Bobby on Tuesday and Bobby was talking about you coming for the wedding. I thought well, best chance to meet you…”

“To have revenge sex.”

“No. I wanted to meet you because I felt you were the only one that could talk to Mex. I saw you at the wedding but couldn’t get to talk to you. You were always with your friends. I went to that after-party just to see you but by the time you walked up to me, the entire plan had changed.”

Tola stopped and sipped from a glass of juice in front of her.

“See, my cousin is a ho. She can’t help herself. And Mex is equally a whore.”

I don’t know this Emeka she speaks of; he sounds different from the brother I know.

“My cousin texted me and told me they had sex again. In our loft. Can you imagine? He was just waiting for me to leave.”

Tola’s features show nothing of her hurt. Not even her eyes. I’m beginning to get scared of her. She reminds me of an ex.

“So when you walked up to me and came up with that dumb opening line, I just sort’a went with the flow. And yeah, the chemistry was there too. On a scale of one to ten, you’re a nine. Mex can’t even come close.”

Is that supposed to be a compliment? This girl is sick.

“I don’t believe a word you just told me, Tola.”

“Like I care. Mex is flying in tomorrow. You can ask him yourself.”

“Oh, I will. Now can I have my things?”

“Jide,” she leans forward, “don’t even think of trying to screw things up for me. Your mom already knows about the baby. She supports our being together. I hear your dad is going to be a problem because he’s tribalistic and all but I’ll handle him…”

“By showing him your tits?”

She looked bored at my question.

“No, really Tola, what do you want from my family? Is it the money? I can give it to you.”

“Money?” she cackles. “My parents didn’t leave us poor. Who do you think owns the hospital you’ll resume work in tomorrow?”

I frown.

“Yeah, put two and two together. My surname is Adeniyi. My father was the late Professor Adeniyi who built the hospital with his friend. I am entitled to half of everything there, so money is not the issue.”

“Then what do you want?”

“A family, Jide. A husband, a home. Is that too much to ask from a guy I gave four years of my life to? You want me to just drop everything we shared like that? Jide, I love Emeka.”

This is the first time I feel her pain. It comes in her voice.

“Plus I’m back to claim what my father left for us but nobody takes a single woman serious around here, so yeah, Mex has to walk me down that aisle fast.”

“Tola, you know I can’t let it happen.”

“Then everyone will know we had sex. Simple!”

I rub the sides of my mouth. I’m not in the mood for the salad anymore as I see it coming on a tray carried by a smiling waitress.

“Here you go, sir.” The waitress places the tray on the table. “Anything else?”

“Nothing, thanks.”

“Ma’am?” she asks Tola. Tola shakes her head. The girl leaves. Tola pushes my debit cards to me.

“You shouldn’t go broke.”

“And the rest of my things?”

She shakes her head.

“There’s a picture in my wallet.”

“This?” Tola pushes a photo of my ex-fiancée towards me. I pick it up and the ATM cards.

“Who is she? The girl in the photo?”

“None of your business.” I pull out some money from my pocket which I leave on the table. I stand up.

“Your salad,” she says.

“Take it. The baby needs it.”

I leave the restaurant. On a cab back home, I dial Mary to text the address to her house. I need someone to talk to.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“No, you didn’t!”

Mary can’t believe her ears. She is glaring at me with wide eyes.

“I did.”

“Why nau, Jide?”

I pull my legs up and make myself comfortable on her bed. Her one-room apartment smells so nice and feels so cozy. She loves the color purple and the décor reflects that, with dashes of green to compliment. She has a collage of photos on the wall above her small bed, memories of the best moments in her life. I find myself in more than a few photos and this triggers flashes of our past from school days when I was deceiving myself that I wanted to be a lawyer. I feel special that she still holds those memories close to heart.

I fluff a pillow and rest my head on it, having confessed my sin to her. I toy with the idea of sleeping over since my place is still a mess.

“How are you now going to do?” she asks.

“I don’t know, boo. That’s why I came to you.”

Mary is seated on an Arabian pouf on the floor. She has a serious look on her face and she seems a tad angry too. Her doll eyes have lost their sparkle.

“You’re disappointed in me,” I mumble.

“It doesn’t matter, Jide. I stopped being your moral compass when you disappeared from my life. You coming here and asking my advice on what to do after you’ve screwed up is what I don’t get.”

“You’re my friend.”

“Friend? You left! Friends don’t do that to each other! But you left! Without even as much as a ping! I called, I texted, I emailed! I was at your family house almost every weekend and no one had anything tangible to tell me! So you can’t come here and be asking for my advice like I owe you something! I don’t owe you anything! You don’t hold that place in my life anymore! And stop calling me boo!”

She flings a throw pillow at me and marches to her bathroom, I’m guessing to cry. Wow. She is really mad at me. This girl and her hot temper sef.

I do the gentlemanly thing and go after her, standing outside her bathroom door.

“So all that unnecessary vexing was you simply saying you’re not going to advise me?”

There is silence from her side for a few seconds and then she bursts out laughing.

“Walai, you’re an ass, Jide.”

“Look…I had a lot to deal with and I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to be forgiven. Is that too much to ask?”

“You’re still soooo selfish.”

She opens the door. There are no tears in her eyes, just the sound of the toilet flushing.

“You’re forgiven.” She walks past me and for some reason, I stare at her bum.

“Mary, who’s the alhaji that has been helping you arrange this your onions?”

“Nobody.” She reclaims her Arabian pouf.

“Nobody? As in…?

“No alhaji, no boyfriend, no friends with benefits. None. I’m keeping my body until marriage.” Her face is serious as she says this.

“For real?”

She crosses her legs, lotus style. “I rededicated my life to God, Jide. You should try that. It will save you from all this trouble you’re getting in.”

“Mary, I’m trying. I seriously am. But these girls, they just don’t want me to progress.”

Mary has her lips pressed together tightly and keeps her brows cocked up. She’s unaffected by my explanation.

“Seriously Jide, for how long? While you were away, we were hearing your gist about how you slept around. It was really bad. And now you’re back, you can’t even keep it in for one week? Haba! This same behavior cost you your relationship with Tarela and she almost killed herself.”

“Why are you bringing that crazy bitch into this matter now?”

“Because that crazy bitch was my best friend.”

“That accused you of sleeping with me.”

“She accused everyone of sleeping with you, Jideofor. Tari was in a bad place and it was all your fault.”

This is why I love Mary. She is blunt like that. She doesn’t sugarcoat things. And she knows how to put me straight. She has always been like that to me and my guys, the one person we can always go to for good counsel, our girl next door.

“And you’re going to get yourself in a worse place if you don’t stop. God gave you a second chance to shape up. What’s so hard in doing that?”

“I wish I had an answer to that question. But you don’t think I’m a sex addict, do you? I mean, sex addicts can’t go a day without doing it. Me, I can go for weeks, even months. Okay, maybe not months. But I’m not that bad, am I?”

“Your problem is something only you know its origins and only you can solve. But me I’m telling you to do something about it quickly before it destroys you. Only God knows what you’re hiding behind all that sex you’re having.”

“Maybe a small boy who just wants to be loved.”

“You’re pathetic.”

“So back to the matter.” I sit on the bed. “The Tola chick. What do you suggest I do?”

“Just tell Mex the truth.”

“Like he doesn’t hate me enough already.”

“So you want to lie? One day she’ll let it slip just to spite Mex. It’s best you just tell him, let it all be over and you’ll have your peace. You didn’t know who she was when you had sex, so you’re innocent.”

“Not according to her.”

“I just have a bad vibe about her. And this one that you’re now working in her father’s hospital…”

“I tire.”

Mary sighs. “It is well. Just be truthful and God will see you through.”

I feel somewhat better speaking to Mary. I don’t know if I can follow her advice, though. How do I look my younger brother in the face and tell him I’ve been with his woman? Then imagine the family hearing about it. My mom will be heartbroken, devastated.

“I made fried rice and turkey,” Mary announces.

“And you’ve been sitting there, looking at me, waiting for me to tell you I’m hungry.”

“Sorry, sir.”

She gets on her feet and enters the kitchen. I pick a cosmo mag from a magazine rack by the bedside. It’s the latest issue. I flip through pages quickly.

“Jide you missed church today o.”

I pretend not to hear. “Boo, can I sleep over?”

“No!” she replies immediately.


“Because my bed is small and you sleep anyhow and you snore!”

“I promise to stay one place and not snore.”

“No, Jide! Just go home. I don’t want to be involved in stories that touch the heart.”

I’m not sure I understand what she means.

“Stories that touch the heart? Abeg, explain.”

“Explain what? You’re a guy, I’m a girl, my bed is small…”

I laugh, cutting her short. “Mary, boo, it’s never going to happen. Am I mad? I’d rather sleep with a prostitute than touch you.”

I bring the magazine closer to my face. A page showing different athletic sex positions gets my attention. I’m particularly intrigued by the Ex Sex. I turn the magazine sideways to understand the position better. I’m not certain it would work for me. I flip the page and suddenly get this feeling I’m being watched. I turn. Mary is staring at me with arms crossed and eyes that show I’ve done something wrong.


“You’d rather sleep with a prostitute than touch me?”

Oh boy.

“That came out wrong, Mary.”

“So, I’m not attractive enough for you?”

“I didn’t say that. I meant…”

“So that’s why all those years you never hit on me? I was not sexy enough?!”



She raises her hand to stop me. “And there I was thinking you respected me as a human being.”

“Exactly! I respect you. And that is why I can never hit on you. Come on, boo. You’re hot.”

She really is. Maybe a little chubby but sexy as hell. Sadly, she doesn’t see that just because she doesn’t have the finest of faces. I wish she would stop dressing conservatively and try out flattering and more revealing clothes.

“I would totally come on to you if I didn’t take you as my sister.”

She nods and turns back to the kitchen. My explanation suffices, thank God.

Minutes later she reappears with lunch. I rub my palms together as she places a tray in my hands.


I start to eat. Delicious meal. I tell her that. She smiles. I flatter her some more because I can see she’s still upset over my previous statement. Me and my tongue sef. She tells me to eat and stop twisting her head. I do as she orders but halfway she stops.

“You take me as your sister? Really?”


“So you’ll be grossed out if I kissed you now?”

I drop my fork. This girl is ruining my meal. Which kain line of questioning be dis?

“Mary, I respect you as a sister. And as I said, I will totally hit on you if things were different between us.”

“I’m not your sister, Olajideofor. I don’t see you as a brother, either. So yes, things can be different between us. Not that I want them to be. I’m just saying I need to know that I’m sexy enough for you to be attracted to me.”

“I am. Baby, you are beautiful and sexy and you have depth and soul. What man wouldn’t want that?”

“You. Not that I want you to want me. I just want to know that you can want me.”

Without thinking it through, I leave the bed to where she is, put my hands on her neck and pull her into a kiss. She gasps in my mouth but doesn’t fight me. My initial assault soon turns into a gentle dance of our lips that surprises us both and I swear I could go on but something smacks me in the brain and I return to my senses. I pull away.



She is dazed but I recover from my madness quickly as I take back my position on her bed.

She covers her mouth with both hands. “Oh God.”

“Yeah, I thought as much. Now, watch the awkwardness that follows that kiss, and tell me if you would want that a hundred times if we shagged.”

Mary is still silent. And she can’t continue her meal either. The awkwardness I just spoke about becomes palpable and I don’t know why. It was a harmless kiss. I put absolutely no emotions to the act. Maybe a little lust but not strong enough to mean anything.

“Are we going to stop talking to each other now?”

She looks at me as if she hasn’t heard me but she replies. “Why? Because of that small kiss?” She picks her plate from the floor and stands. “Abeg, we’re adults.”

I follow her to her tight kitchen with my tray and offer to do the dishes but she won’t let me. We brush over the incident and gist until the clock strikes eight. It is then I call it a night. We hug at the door when I’m about to leave. There’s no more awkwardness between us.

“Thanks for the meal and the advice.”

“It’s nothing.”

I turn away and walk out to dark clouds gathering up in the night sky. By the time I arrive home, it is already pouring heavily. I run into the compound and flex my legs with quick hops up the steps. When I get to the staircase leading to my apartment, I see Ele sitting in the dark, the light of her phone illuminating her pretty face.

“Hey.” I stop to catch my breath. I’m out of shape.

“Hi.” She looks up. “Thank God you’re back. I thought you weren’t coming home this night, still I was waiting.”

I straighten up. “You’ve been waiting for me?”

She nods and stands. I take in her appearance. She has a nightwear on, a cotton t-shirt and shorts to match.

“You won’t believe what happened to me. I was sleeping, enjoying the rain when all of a sudden part of the ceiling gives way and drenches me right on my mattress!”

“The ceiling?”

“Yes! Before I moved in, the useless landlord promised me to fix the leaking roof but clearly, dude did nothing! My whole apartment is like a swimming pool right now! While I was there sleeping, the house was filling with water. I’m so mad! All my clothes, everything is soaked!”

“Sorry about that.” I unlock the door leading to my balcony and we walk in.

“I just want to chill here until the rain stops, then I can go to my friend’s house.”

I invite her in. We click instantly. Maybe it’s because for a twenty-two year old she is quite mature. Maybe it’s the fact that her nipples are straining through her nightie and pushing me to impious thoughts. Maybe it’s just because I dread facing another cold night alone. Whatever it is, the chemistry is undeniable. We talk politics, we analyze the economy (she’s studying marketing), we touch up on movies and finally, we browse the topic of sex. Things begin to heat up but I’m not going to make a move on Ele. I can see she wants me bad. It’s the manner in which she looks at me, the way she inches closer, how she’s not as interested in talking about sex as she is in doing it.

I ask if she wants to drink something. She shakes her head. Her eyes are dirty with desire. She pulls up to me and whispers something in my ear. I almost choke on my own saliva.


Well, I don’t have to tell you what happens next. Just call it a wild night. Ele might be only twenty-two but she is boss. I will never look at petite women the same way again.

Our romp ends as the rain slows. Ele wants to cuddle; I don’t but I oblige her. Soon after she’s asleep. I lay awake going through the different stages of an after-sex frame of mind. Same old empty feelings. Nothing new. Sleep comes after a long phone conversation with Ibro. He wants to take a third wife to please his family. His second wife who is the real love of his life is devastated. She’s also pregnant and full term. She has refused to eat all day or visit the hospital. Ibro wants me to come check her tomorrow morning to make sure she and the baby are fine. I promise to do so. He ends the discussion with a yawn. I yawn as well. The line disconnects and I realize I have a text waiting.

Jide, it reads, I heard you’re back in town. Can we hookup, say tomorrow. I’ve missed you. Tari.

I hiss.

Old things have passed away, I reply. Move on, Tarela.

I switch off my phone and sleep off in no time. But I dream of blood, of a beach on a stormy night and ghosts of girlfriends past. I wake up panting and startle Ele.

“Are you okay?” she inquires. My reply is an arm around her. I tug her close and bury her in my grasp. She thinks I want more of her but the only thing I want is to be rid of these recurrent nightmares. She slips from my arms and goes down on me. I don’t complain. Anything to drive away the demons. I close my eyes and sigh.

This is much better than sleep.


Thank you, Seye for the name “Olajideofor”

Image Credits: Pinterest, Tumblr

It’s Another Saturday…#2

The Lady In The Yellow Dress

The reception is a blast and so is the after-party. Bobby and Kate have retired for the night and it’s just us party animals left. Actually, it’s just Shady, I and some other friends. The married men have gone home to their families. Shady is with me because he is having this major fight with his wife over dominance.

“She won’t let me just be the man in the house,” he whines for the fifth time. Like I am interested. My mind and eyes are elsewhere.

There’s a lady in a yellow dress who is seated detachedly from everything else. She has had my attention since the reception. She is light-skinned and slim. I don’t like my women with too much flesh on them. If a lady’s waist size measures more than twenty-seven inches, I’m not touching her with a ten meter pole. I don’t care who the hell she is; I just don’t do fat chicks, sorry. I want a woman I can flip all ways in bed but the thing is she has to be curvaceous as well. And that’s where the problem lies. There are very few of such girls around. They are either chubby or bony. So you see my issues? This is one of the reasons I haven’t settled down. I’m looking for a Halle Berry but all I see are Kim Kardashians and Beyoncés.

On the other hand, this lady in the yellow dress… she has caught my eyes bad. I can see the thigh gap and the curves and the waist so slim. Then she tops it up with a feisty look. I so want to eat her up. But not just because she looks good. You see, I have a thing for ladies in yellow dresses. It started five years ago when I got hit by a truck while parked by the side of a lonely road, making out with my ex-fiancée. The crash put me in the hospital for months and I wasn’t expected to survive. But one evening, stoned out of my senses by pain medication, I watched this beautiful yellow dress float into my room. The legs beneath it were smooth and creamy. I tried to look up to see who it was but my neck was broken, so instead I breathed in the scent of her and left it stamped in my memory. She came closer and held my hand and prayed for me. Her touch was gentle and soothing and I didn’t want to let go. Her voice, although unclear in my head, lulled me to sleep with ‘amen’ being the last thing on my lips. I dreamt about her that night. She was walking down an aisle arched with white blossoms, wearing a wedding dress and holding a bouquet of yellow flowers. She was coming towards me, my bride. And her smile, it was the best part of the dream. It was so familiar that I could have sworn I had seen it before.

I woke up the next morning, miraculously improved. A week later I was taken home. The lady in yellow, still a mystery till today. Nobody had seen her come in or leave. Nobody knew her. Some say she’s an angel but I know she was as real as day, and I have been searching for her since.

Could she be the one seated across the room right now?

“Look, Shady, you knew who Celia was before you married her. You met her campaigning against female genital mutilation, for Christ’s sakes. She’s a feminist.”

Shady’s eyes shoot out. “No, she’s not.”

I’m impatient with this idiot. After three years of marriage and a kid he doesn’t still see the testicles under his wife’s privates?

“See, it’s simple. She doesn’t have to wash your clothes.”

Shady is stunned by my words. His long facial features somehow have come together in a round knot. It’s not a pleasant sight.

“Buy a washing machine and during the weekend, both of you can do the laundry together. You don’t expect a working mother, with all the load she has at work and at home to still do your laundry, in addition to cooking and sex.”

“Whose side are you on?”

“Who was washing your clothes before you got married?”

It is this side of me my friends don’t like. I don’t give a shit.

I rise up and straighten my shirt.

“Where you dey go?”

I don’t reply. I head straight for the woman who has kept me distracted all evening. As I approach her, I realize she is more beautiful when you get closer. She is seated at a table, all alone, sipping on wine and watching the partying throng with no real interest. I pick the only other seat at the table and she gives me a good look. I catch her eyes and hold it in an audacious stare and for some reason she can’t seem to break away.

“The look in your eyes tells me you don’t want to sleep alone tonight.”

This is the worst pickup line in my list of pickup lines but it works all the time, except that one time when I got punched in the face.

“Wow. I can’t believe someone as put-together as you can open your mouth and such trash comes out.”

I smile. Lady in yellow doesn’t. I want her to.

“Forgive my manners. I think in trash and sometimes things get lost in translation when I try to convert to English. What I wanted to actually say was ‘of all the yellow dresses I’ve seen today, yours is by far the most complimenting’.”

I see a smile well-hidden. “Thank you.”

“Friend of the bride or groom?”

“Bride. An old friend.”

I let out my hand for a shake. “I’m Jide.”


“So Tola,” my eyes sweep across the room and back to her, “you want to dance?”

She shakes her head. “Not to this…whatever is playing. I’m too old to shake my booty. Besides, the groom did enough of that already.”

I laugh. “So you like old school. Well, I have all the old school songs you can ever think of in my phone.”

“Then let’s pass it on to the DJ and change the mood.”

I grin and get to my feet, walking all the way to the DJ’s booth. He agrees to change the music for a small fee. I pay smaller and head back to my table. Before I get there, the music dies. The crowd is not so pleased but the moment Whitney Houston blasts through the air with I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the mood is restored and my partner for the night gets to her feet.

Yet she doesn’t smile. I’m desperate to see her thirty-two but she won’t even flash a rabbit grin. We dance, nonetheless, the dancefloor getting smaller by the minute. And oh boy, can she burst some moves. She’s all over me, I’m all over her. I catch Shady’s eyes from across the room and he gives me the “go get a room” look. I reply in our non-verbal language to book one at the hotel’s reception for me. He disappears shortly and returns. He brushes past me on the dancefloor and slips the room key into my back pocket and calls it a night. While he does this, I don’t break my contact with Tola. She’s pressed into me now and I hold her from behind. We’re dancing to Next’s Too Close. Things are heating up really fast. I hear a warning voice telling me to stop but I damn well ignore it.

You’re breaking your vow already, the voice reminds me. I pretend not to hear. I had actually made a vow to be celibate until I find the lady in yellow or my ex-fiancée who has mysteriously disappeared. One of them is my wife and I’m supposed to keep my body for her. But here I am, already out of control with this total stranger.

“Let’s go somewhere else,” Tola tells me. I gladly oblige and take her straight to the room booked for us. The moment we get in, we tear at each other like raging lions. I find out dancing is not her only skill as she takes me and makes me feel like an apprentice in the game of lust. Afterwards, we both lie in bed facing each other, and I kiss her fingers one by one and tell her she has the hands of a surgeon.

She smiles. Finally!

But I am let down. She’s just another stranger in a yellow dress, not my lady in yellow.

I see her drift off and turn on my back and face the ceiling above. I’m weighed with guilt, having been here countless times before. I would then turn to God for forgiveness and live a chaste life for a week or so but before long I’m here again. Isn’t this the reason why I came back home to start afresh? Why did I let the Bridemaker curse come with me?

My mom believes my case is spiritual. She always does well to remind me about my accident and how I was wheeled into the emergency room almost lifeless but with my pants down. If that can’t change me, she can’t see what else can. My dad thinks there’s just something off about me, that I shouldn’t even have been born into this world entirely. Me, I don’t know what to think anymore. I’m sure God is tired of me. What explanation would I give him this time for having carnal knowledge of a woman I barely know?

I shut my eyes and try to sleep. I can’t. As much as I feel this heavy guilt weighing upon me, I can’t help but want more of Tola who has now cuddled up to me.

I cover my face with a pillow and groan my dilemma into it before I face her and take her lips. She responds with a sleepy moan but doesn’t stop me when I settle between her legs.

My prayer to God can wait. I reach for a condom. This urge is strong; it can’t wait.

IASmoskedamaking out

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I wake up late, so says the clock on my Samsung S3 Mini. Not good.

Tola is gone. She has left no trace of her presence. Even her side of the bed is erased of all evidence of her being there. Talk about the 21st century woman. They no longer want to cuddle after sex or have you whisper sweet nothings to them. They sleep off immediately after the act and are out of door faster than you can blink, and if they stay back, it’s to take after-sex selfies to show the world how much they can enjoy hollow sex like the men do.

Shady pings me. He tells me I got him laid last night. I ask how. He relates how he threw in the idea of a washing machine to Celia and them doing the laundry together. Her response was to strip him naked to do things to him she hadn’t done in a while. He goes on to describe it all in detail. I read none of it.

I hurriedly take a shower. I need to go to church and wash off this guilt I’m feeling. I also need to sow a seed of faith, believing God to deliver me from this flesh of sin.

I reach for my wallet in one of the pockets of my suit but find it empty. I tap the other pockets and they’re empty as well. That’s odd.

I check my pants. Nothing. I lift the pillows and sheets; check the dressing table, the nightstand, the floor, wardrobe and bathroom but it’s nowhere to be found. A growing dread begins to fill me as I realize that my iPhone 6 is also missing.

“Please, God, no…”

I go on all fours to peer under the bed. I find nothing there as well. I’m so dead. Even my Hublot white gold wristwatch is gone! “Arghhh!” I am mad at myself. I call reception and inquire about Tola. They say she left around 6am. Did she drop anything for me? No, they reply.

Ah, God!

I end the call and scratch my head in frustration when I recall how stupidly I fell prey to her thieving fingers. I knew there was something peculiar about them. Chai! What have I done? I should have just said that prayer yesterday.

I fall back on the bed and start to think of how I’ll get myself out of this mess but my phone rings, interrupting me. I stare at a stranger number on my screen and hope to God it is Tola. I take the call.

“Hi Jideofor.”

It is her. I sit up.

“Tola!” I can’t control my anger.


“Tola, get back here right now with my phone, wristwatch and wallet. Like, I’m not even joking with you! How do you have sex with a guy and then steal from him?! What are you? One of those cheap prostitutes off the streets?”

“That’s not nice.” She sounds calm. I’m miffed beyond words.

“Return my stuff right now!”

“Calm down, Jideofor. I took those things for a reason.”

“What possible reason could there be except that you’re a thief?!”

“If I was a thief would I be calling you? Relax and listen to me.”

“I’m listening.”

“Aren’t you called the Bridemaker?”

Something awful dings somewhere in my head. How the hell did this madness follow me all the way here?

“What are you talking about?”

“You know what I’m talking about Jideofor. You sleep with a girl and then bam! like magic, she gets married. I’m too smart to believe rubbish like this but my grandmother always warns me about Nigerian voodoo and its power, so I thought I’d give it a try.”

I’m beginning to realize Tola’s strange accent. She doesn’t sound like she’s from these parts. Who the hell is she and what does she want from me?

“Not that I’m totally relying on it. And that’s why I took your phone, wallet and wristwatch, plus the six hundred dollars I found in your pocket. I’ll give them to you when my fiancé of two years finally fixes a date for our wedding.”

I feel like slapping a bitch when I hear those words.

“What is my business with you and your man and when he decides to fix a wedding date?! What has that got to do with me?!”

Tola laughs. “Everything, Jideofor. Everything. Blood runs thicker than water, they say. My fiancé is Emeka, your baby brother.”

I almost drop the phone to the floor. “What?” I ask in a whisper because my voice bails out on me. This is a nightmare. I didn’t just hear the words I just heard.

“Mex is my fiancé. You ought to know this, Jideofor, if you read all those emails we sent to you when you went AWOL.”

I close my eyes and bend my head. I had read none of Emeka’s emails. I had dumped them in a junk folder with all the other emails sent to me by family and friends.

“We sent pictures of our lives because Emeka thought the world of you and was worried about you. When we moved to Arizona and he had a heatstroke because of the weather, I emailed you pictures of him in the hospital.”

My closest brother was hospitalized? Why didn’t anyone tell me?

“When we moved back to Queens, he emailed you more pictures. Even when he proposed to me but you never replied. After a while, all the emails returned to us. We were told that the address no longer existed. Oh well, that’s all water under bridge. Mex just has to get married to me. Tell him that.”

“What type of woman are you, Tola? How can you sleep with your fiancé’s brother?”

“You didn’t seem to have any issues with that last night.”

“I didn’t know who you were!”

“Well, now you do and there’s only one thing we can do about it. Make your magic happen.”

“I can’t. I will never allow a girl like you get married to my brother…”

“Oh, you will.”


“You will, Jide, because I’m five weeks pregnant for Mex. He’ll either take responsibility or you do. All the same, I’m keeping your stuff as proof that you slept with me if you ever deny it.”

A shiver runs through my spine. The line disconnects and I’m left staring at the phone with my mouth wide open.

Lord, why me? Who have I wronged in this life to deserve this?


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It’s Another Saturday… #1


She lights four candles and places them at different compass points. A green candle in the north, a red in the south, a blue in the west and a yellow in the east. They rest on a red piece of cloth she has placed on her bedroom floor. She lights two more candles and holds them in her hands, both of them pink. Then she faces the red candle in the south, clad in nothing but her Jigida.

“Powerful one, hear my prayer!” she calls out with emotion in her voice. “Lords of fire, burn my desire, three times over!”

She breaks, lifts her head upwards and shuts her eyes. Tears slide to the sides of her face. She continues with unsteady lips.

“Bring Jideofor back to me. Restore his passion for me. May the strange women in his life bring him nothing but pain. The same pain I have known. He will search for love but will never find it until he searches for me and finds me.”

She lowers the pink candles gently and picks a wedding gown spread across the floor. She slips into it. The gown has red blotches but she doesn’t seem to notice as she picks a surgical blade from a table nearby. The blade swiftly slices into her palm with one smooth motion, drawing instant blood. Maneuvering her way through spaces between the candles, she kills the burning flames with her blood as she chants on.

“Come back home, Jideofor. Come back to me. Home is here with me. Come back.”

The last flame goes out and so does the light in the room. She sits down and slips her feet into a pair of yellow heels. She will wait for him. She doesn’t care for how long. She must wait. Jideofor must come to her.

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It’s another Saturday…

And I’m immersed in a lady’s reproductive parts. This is life, I tell you. And it’s the one thing I do the best.

The woman whose legs are spread open before me moans and tells me she can’t take it any longer. I tell her to hold on. We are almost there. If only she’ll just let me do my thing.

She moans again and grips the bed sheet she’s lying on. Her legs shake irrepressibly. She’s swearing, saying things I can’t understand, speaking in tongues. Why do they all speak strange things?

“Oh God!” she screams. I smile. We are almost there. Just one more…

The door flings in and this Goliath-like creature charges into the room with fire in his eyes.

“My husband,” she gasps.

Without realizing, I pull away from her. The man looks like he’s about to pick me from where I stand and pluck my head off the rest of my body. Maybe this is the best time to recite the Hail Mary my mother has been wanting me to recite for years.

“Who you be?!” the man growls, pouncing towards me. “I say who you be?!”

“Ah, Baba Patrick!” his wife replies as I search for my voice. “Na midwife be dis.”

“Middle wife?!”

“Abeg allow am make hin finish hin work before I die for here.”

“Middle wife?” Goliath looks at me from top to bottom and back again. “Man dey do middle wife?”

“Oooh-oh-oh! Baba Patrick!” His wife cries. “Dis pikin wan commot o! Leave the man abeg!”

Goliath still doesn’t trust me or his wife as he glowers at both of us, but because it is unimaginable for us to be doing something immoral when a baby is on its way out of her vagina, he lets me be.

I take my former position between her legs and I’m glad to see that all on its own, the baby is making its way into the world. All it needs is a little help.

“Okay, madam, one last push.”

Mama Patrick gives it all she’s got and a beautiful, little girl slips quietly into this world. Usually I don’t immediately sever the umbilical cord until the blood has balanced between the placenta and the newborn, so I place baby on her mother’s chest for warmth, throwing a clean cloth over them. From the corner of my eyes I see the look of sheer incredulity still impressed on the father’s face. I know that expression too well. The ‘why would any man want to do a woman’s job?’ look.

Well, the answer to that question is because of all the places in a woman’s body, the vagina is my favorite. Lord knows how many lady parts I’ve seen in this life but let’s not dwell on that. The second reason I’m doing a woman’s job is simply because I can, so give it a rest, dude.

I eventually clamp the umbilical cord, sever it and take baby away from her mother. The little thing protests with a “Waah! Waah!” and breaks into a full cry. I place her on a table in a corner, which I previously made sterile as best as I could, and clear mucus from her nose and mouth. I don’t believe in washing off the vernix that comes with a newborn until after twenty-four hours. It’s the best natural moisturizer for babies and it doesn’t stink.

I pat her dry and wrap her in a fresh, warm blanket and hand her back to her mother.

“Madam, I’d love to stay around and take care of you two but unfortunately I can’t. You’ll have to go to a nearby hospital to make sure all is well.”

The grateful woman nods. “How much do I owe you?”

I laugh. “Nothing, madam.”

She is touched. “Thank you very much, sir. God bless you, sir.” She gives her husband a stern look and he mutters off cheerless thanks but continues to stare at me as though he really caught me screwing his wife. Funny how people reason. If I had told him I was a doctor, his attitude towards me would have been different.

I help the woman birth out the placenta and then clean out her uterus. At this time, neighbors are already waiting in the sitting room, most of them women. I wonder where they were when she was shouting the entire neighborhood down in agony. Even the Papa Patrick, where was he? Walking out, I pick my suit hanging off the door and stare at the Armani shirt I have on, stained with blood and whatnot. Bobby will kill me for showing up late for his wedding.

I walk through a group of women on my way out of Papa and Mama Patrick’s home. I get approving stares. One or two of them recognize me.

“Oh, it’s the new neighbor,” I hear a fat one say in a whisper that is clearly not a whisper.

“The one that packed in day before yesterday?”

“Yes. That lives in Baba’s compound.”

“So he’s a doctor.”

I’m almost at the door now. I should leave them to their little gossip and be on my way to my friend’s wedding but I can’t help it. I stop and turn.

“Midwife, not doctor. I’m a midwife.”

I leave them in the wake of my stunning revelation and kiss the fresh air outside. My sharp ears pick out another statement by the fat lady.

“Ha! Midwife keh. He should just kuku call himself mid-husband.”

Story of my life. I laugh as I walk away.

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I arrive at the wedding midway. My friend, Bobby and his wife are making their way out of the church hall when I slip in. I pick a chair in the last row, skirted by two Christian mothers that smell of camphor and talcum powder. With their heavy head gear and shimmery attires, I pray I am well hid from Bobby’s bespectacled eyes. And he is not the only one I’m hiding from; friends that I abandoned for a long time are on the premises. Most of them are mad at me. After some heartbreaking event in my life five years ago, I packed a box in the middle of the night and moved to a smaller town where nobody knew me. I cut off communication for the first three years and when I finally reconnected with everyone, I did so meagerly. Social media was off limits for me and whenever any of my friends popped into town and suggested visiting me, I often gave one silly excuse or the other.

Now I am back, quietly, as I had left. I am not expecting a hero’s welcome. Only Bobby would be glad to see me. After all he is still my best friend and the only one I kept the line open with. He is going to be upset about my showing up late and would think I opted out of wearing the Armani shirt he bought for me. I have chosen a Ralph Lauren in its place and it is shades off the yellow and grey theme of the wedding.

I lower my head as Bobby and his wife approach. Bobby, the ever-jovial fatso delights the crowd with his clownish dance moves. I am missing the show but I dare not raise my head. As I count the seconds, waiting for the procession to be over quickly, I feel a heavy knock at the back of my head that sends a shooting pain down my spine. I jolt up. It is Bobby. He has stopped in his tracks and is staring at me with the heaviest of frowns.

“Hey, Bobby…” He doesn’t let me finish as he picks up where he left off and dances past me with his wife. Following closely behind them are my friends. They have all seen me. Their reaction surprises me as all I get are smiles.

Looks like it’s going to be a good day after all.

I wait for the bridal procession and a good number of people to leave the church before I find my way out. It’s a fine weather outside. No sunshine, no rainfall. Just a cool draft of air blowing in all directions. The crowd that has just exited the church is scattered around the premises in clusters of yellow and grey. The place looks lively and I am affected by the contagious spirit of happiness. I hear laughter behind me and I turn. A group of bridesmaids is smitten by some dude who has just announced his coming with a G-wagon. He is the playboy type and going by his looks I can understand why they would be struck.


I smile at the scene and breathe in the air. This is my town; I have missed this place. It feels good to be home. Wait till my mother finds out her favorite son has returned. Surely she’ll slaughter the fattened calf. I’m glad she’s not in town presently. I can use the short time fixing up my new apartment before she returns and my freedom is taken away.

“Jide!” a familiar female voice calls and I turn, only to be smothered with a hug from one of my closest friends. I hold her and warm memories fill my head. I used to love this girl to death. I still do.


“You came,” she says, looking into my eyes. I know she is about to get emotional.

“Don’t,” I warn her with a finger but I’m too late. Tears have filled her eyes.

“I didn’t just come for the wedding. I’m back for good.”

My statement has a positive effect on her. Round chicks blushed up by makeup glow as a smile fills them.

“For real?”

I nod. She hugs me again. This time, she lingers.

“Mary, I’m sorry.”

It is my first sorry for the day. More are to come.

She frees me and hits me weakly. “Don’t ever leave me again.”

“I won’t.”

Our moment is broken by the appearance of a couple of my friends’ wives and their kids. There are hugs and introduction to children I’m meeting for the first time. They leave after I promise to visit them. More people recognize me and stop by with their “longest time!” “where have you been?” “you dey so?” greetings. So much for slipping back into town quietly.

“Bobby and the guys are looking for you.” Mary takes my hand after everyone is gone. “Come.”

I am dragged to one side of the building where my guys are. Bobby and his wife are seated in a limo. Bobby has his legs out of the car, talking to our mutual friends. I hear a round of laughter that breaks off when they spot me.

“Jydo!” Ibro greets me first. He is the coolest guy in our clique, and the richest too. A northerner with a taste for southern women. He is married to two of them.

“Mutumina!” I greet back with a slap on his palm that passes for a handshake and a pat on the back for a hug. I face the others—Shadrach, Reno and Bright. They are actually glad to see me. All beef squashed.

They throw in some light questions about my welfare and the town I’d just left. I tell them all is well.

“But Jydo, the Bridemaker gist na true abi na just scopes you dey use enter chicks?”

A smile crumples my lips at the edges when Reno’s question hits me. I look at their faces and realize it’s a question they all want an answer to, a question I was hoping no one would bring up.

“Answer nau.” Mary nudges me.

“Come on, guys,” I speak up, “on this blessed of days? Haba mana? At least let Bobby introduce his wife to me first.”

And that is how I escape the Bridemaker gist. But I’ll share it with you.

Fable has it that any girl that sleeps with me ends up getting married shortly afterwards. To be frank, I don’t know how it started or who started it but I can swear on my life that it is real. I didn’t believe it at first but when a colleague at work pointed it out to me and we sat down and took inventory of the girls I had bedded and how all of them were married, I knew it was no longer a joke. I was ecstatic at first. More chicks to screw for absolutely free. No commitments, no hassles. Just go in, hit it and get out. It was fun for a while until the lonely nights became so hollow and scary. I’d be in bed with a woman and yet it would feel like lying on a deserted highway in the middle of the night. In addition, I met crazy women who lost it if they didn’t get married as quickly as they wanted. They’d haunt me and fight me or whoever i was dating at that moment. It was at that point I was dubbed the Bridemaker. Guys envied me, girls just wanted to sleep with me. And there I was in the center of it all, unable to stop myself from engaging in carnal pleasures. It felt as though I had been cursed.

Nobody had to tell me to leave that town and go back to family and friends. I’m turning a new leaf now. I have buried the Bridemaker.

“Kate, meet Jideofor,” Bobby introduces me to his wife. I bend my tall frame into the limo and extend a hand to Kate as Bobby stands and gives me some space.

“Our wife,” I address her as she places her hand in mine and I kiss it with a bit of theatrical flair.

“Ehn-ehn o!” Bobby objects. “Not our wife. My wife.”

“Okay, sorry. My wife,” I correct myself. The bride smiles. Her face lights up shyly. I have just discovered she is a virgin. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do.

“Nice to meet you, ma’am,” I tell her and straighten up. “You have a good man here.” I tap my best friend’s shoulder. “Have no fears. You’re in good hands. But if he misbehaves, just give me a call and I’ll set him right. A left uppercut always sets his brain in order.”

She smiles again. That virgin smile that makes me look at Bobby with a question in my eyes. He reads me well and laughs.

“After all the rivers you went a’dipping.”

“No mind am,” Shady comments.

We tease Bobby for a while, using terms the virgin wife cannot decipher. She simply sits there with her maid of honor, smiling politely at us. A crowd that has just discovered where the bride and groom are hidden is making its way to us. It’s time to leave; I face Bobby’s wife.

“Nice to meet you, Kate.”

“Same here.”

“Kate, mummy is here,” Bobby announces the coming of his mother and launches off into Yoruba with the old woman. When I turn and see her, I fall prostrate to the ground.

“Ah, Olajide!” she calls me. “You are back.”

“Yes ma.” I rise up and hug her. My friends snigger behind us. After all these years, the old woman still doesn’t know I’m Igbo. I don’t blame her. She has never met my parents before and secondly, I come off more Yoruba than her son.

With a concerned expression she asks me why my parents are not at the wedding. I tell her my mother is out of the country and my dad is recuperating from a stroke. The second part is a lie. The old man is just being the grouch that he is. He actually made it clear to me over the phone that he won’t show up for Bobby’s wedding because he will be disgraced, seeing that his own son is yet unmarried and has no plans to do so. I tire for the man. He has an older son that is married. Wetin come concern him with my own life

And it’s not as if I don’t want to get married. I desperately do. But I haven’t found the one yet. Cliché as that may sound, it’s the plain truth as you would come to find out. All of my close friends are married, Bobby being the last to walk down the aisle. My life is going to be shitty from now on. I will be the butt-end of their jokes. They and their wives are going to pair me with all sorts of women, left, right and center. I’ll be left out of family-oriented outings and such. When they’re talking about school fees, sexless wives and family planning, I’ll be brooding in a corner like an idiot. Like I said, pot of beans life.

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