I was sick. Throbbing headache, burning forehead, funny taste in my mouth, prickly joints, plus an overwhelming urge to puke. The hotel suite Amaka, Fiyin and I had lodged in was grand and beautiful and swanked of cool shades of butter yellow, cream and baby blue but it wasn’t enough to cheer me. I was looking forward to turning off the lights and having an early night’s rest.
I perched on the dressing table before Amaka and applied her makeup with shaky hands. Her thoughts were too preoccupied for her to notice I was not myself. She was preparing for her 9pm date but it was already 9:45 and she was the least bit moved by her tardiness.
“I still am shocked that Doyin gave me a Panamera with a fake engine,” she grumped.
“Wait o, Kyen,” Fiyin said with a mouth full of amala. “What did Butter Babe say again? I really didn’t understand all he was explaining.”
“He said,” Amaka clarified, “that the real Porsche engine was replaced with a Chevy and the Chevy was not new and he said something about cylinder and rings being bad or tampered with.”
“That Doyin’s a devil o. So he wanted you to die while driving the car.”
“Don’t worry.” Amaka smiled wickedly. “I’ll get him. Shey it’s Doyin. Relax. When I’m through with him ehn…”
“My friend, stay still,” I pushed her to face me as another feverish tremor shook my body. I did my best to still it, hoping they did not notice.
Touchdown in Abuja had been smooth but the journey hadn’t. Three of us were accompanied by the man they so fondly called Butter Babe whom they had met for the first time that afternoon. I could tell by the stares from my friends’ eyes, especially Fiyin’s, that they were struck by whatever it was that struck girls in certain guys that looked like him. But for me, it was different. I saw him and felt sick to my stomach. My heart doubled its pace and a heat wave that awakened dormant nerve endings took me. My eyes burned when he looked into them and for fear of appearing flushed by his presence, I busied myself with packing our things from the smaller car into his. We drove back to Lagos and he booked the 7 o’clock flight to Abuja for us and just when I thought I was free from his sickening presence, he hopped on the plane, paying business class tickets for us. I stretched out my legs and pretended to be asleep during the entire journey but listened as he chatted Amaka and Fiyin away. He had ignored me completely even up to the moment when we parted ways at the parking lot of the Transcorp.
“I’ll see you girls tomorrow,” he shook their hands, and mine as though I was a stranger. Then he added, for my benefit, “I’ll be staying at León Hotels. Um…are you girls sure I shouldn’t book a suite there for you?”
“No, thanks,” I said hurriedly and walked away and I didn’t hear from him since then.
“Kay, are you fine so?” Amaka looked away from the mirror and at me.
“I’m fine,” I lied.
“Is it because of Butter Babe and the way he was ignoring you?”
Butter Babe had a real name and he told them but they insisted on the Butter Babe. It was a name they had given him the first time I spoke about him. That day while having a breakfast of agege bread and butter, Amaka christened him.
“But Kay, what did you do to him nau?” Amaka pressed on.
I shook my head and kept on applying her makeup. “You’re late.”
“Please jor, the person can wait. You’re more important. Talk to me.”
“It’s nothing.” I smiled and the sides of my mouth flamed painfully.
“Maxy, I’m fine. Now let’s get you ready for your date.”
I applied the last brush strokes to her cheeks and told her I was done. She wasn’t so pleased with my work; she didn’t like the natural glow.
“Am I going for a swim or a date?” she hissed. “Thanks, anyways.”
She picked her makeup kit and redid her whole face. She was in her diva mood but I wasn’t bothered because I knew it was going to disappear soon. The girl believed she was going to meet James at the restaurant but he wasn’t going to be there. In fact, she had no idea what the entire trip held for her. She also wasn’t aware that she was treading the same path that made James walk out of her life over a year ago. He loved her intensely but was very afraid of losing her to his wealth. It wasn’t that he was stingy—because he was willing to give her the world—all he needed from her was a woman who could weather out the storms with him. He wanted her head out of the clouds and her feet on demure ground. As a result, he recruited Ishi and I to help. While he went ahead to attend to pressing issues, we set her on a journey to his past just to discover the places and events that contributed to his success. I knew she was going to find it difficult but I knew my friend was stronger than she would have anyone believe.
“Buy me something when you’re coming back o.” Fiyin said, concentrating on her ewedu and amala as Amaka hurried out.
“Kyen, you have to taste this meat.” Fiyin stood from the bed and walked to me with her plate of soup. “Taste.” She put a piece of meat to my mouth and I shook my head. “Taste nau. When did you start refusing meat?”
“Leave me jor.”
Just then she mistakenly rubbed against my neck and had a feel of my temperature. “Kyen, you’re hot o!” She dropped her plate and used her unsoiled hand to feel my forehead. “You’re burning up. What’s wrong? Malaria, typhoid, your period? What?”
“I’m fine,” I mumbled.
“No, ya not.” She rushed off into the bathroom and returned with washed hands. Straight into her bag she dove and began fishing for a thermometer. I have seen so many things come out of that bag; it seemed to have everything one was looking for. Once she even forgot a half-eaten loaf of agege bread which grew moldy and turned into an object nobody could recognize. I also saw a hanger, a games console, decoder and her father’s unloaded revolver.
“Here it is!” she pulled out a digital thermometer, unwrapping a yellow thread off it. “Open your mouth!” she sang and I lifted my arm. “You’ve not had your shower this evening. I’ll not have my therm smelling like armpit.”
“I won’t put that thing in my mouth.”
She thrust the thermometer into my armpit and put down my hand and started humming as she waited.
“Can you stop doing that?”
“Kyen, Butter Babe iz fine o. Oh my God! See hiz eyes! And the way he talks! Oh my God! Wait, Kyen…” she frowned. “You’re not playing this guy, are you? ‘cause if you are, you better stop! This one’s a keeper. You guys fit each other sef with all the foneh two of you speak. So you better keep him or someone else will steal him o. And it’s time you settled down. You’re old.”
I was twenty-eight.
“Yes, Mommy.” I answered, removed the thermometer and handed to her.
“Awww…” She shook her head and sloped down her lips. “Kyenpia, ya 38.7 degrees hot. Ya sick! Tch-tch-tch-tch-tch. Lemme give you something to take then I’ll call Butter Babe to come and nurse you while I hit one of the bars in this hotel.”
I wanted to ask her how she got his number but it escaped my mind. I walked into the bathroom, undressed and turned on the shower. Drops of water hit me like sharp needles but I braced the tremors until they slowly passed away. Yet I didn’t feel any better standing there because I knew my ailment wasn’t caused by a bug.
“Hayam hia!” Fiyin burst into the bathroom. “I have aspirin!” she moseyed towards me, shaking her big Yoruba behind. “You’ll feel better. I just ordered goat meat peppersoup for you, ko? You’ll take it, sleep well and when you wake, you’ll be fine.” She shoved the pill into my mouth. “Me, I’m hitting the pool bar.”
I noticed she was dressed in a tight-fitting dress that provocatively brought out her voluptuous figure. I hoped she met someone new out there.
“Have fun,” I murmured.
“Bye!” she hurried out. I chewed the aspirin, savoring its acerbic taste immensely and when I was done, I stepped out of the shower and wrapped a robe around me.
The door to the suite slammed and Amaka walked in. She was upset and carrying a gift box in hand.
“Hi babes,” I said with an uplifting smile.
“Kyen, I’ve done it! I’m finished!” Amaka blurted, taking off her heels.
“What happened? How did your date go?”
“Horrible. I thought I was going to meet James or at least a hot, young guy but guess who was there.”
“James’ maternal uncle! Apparently he works in this hotel. And he was waiting for me for fifty-two minutes!”
“His uncle?” I asked but I already knew.
“Yes! And see how I dressed!”
I looked at what she wore and felt her pain. Apart from the fact that it was really short, her breasts threatened to steal the show, as usual.
“And see my makeup. Why didn’t I stick to the one you did for me?” She rubbed her eyes. “I wanted to find a hole to bury myself, Kay. Then he started asking me all these questions about James and I didn’t have an answer and that was when I realized there are many things I didn’t know about James and he knows everything about me. Seriously, what type of wife will I make?” Tears filled her little eyes. I took the gift box from her and placed it on the bed.
“Kay, James will leave me again.”
“Calm down. He won’t.” Like a lover I held her from behind and rocked her gently.
“Now, the uncle will go and tell Mama Haliru and the whole family and James will dump me and go back to Watzhername and I won’t be able to see Eric again…”
“You’re stronger than this, Maxy. Stop it. Who gave you the box?”
To distract her I opened the box and pulled out a beautiful Hausa traditional attire and a veil. There was also a red envelope in the box. I picked it and took out a note which I read aloud.
Hope you enjoyed your date.
Take a ride as early as eight in the morning to Zaria. Take a bus to Shika. Ask for Baba Sani Restaurant and for Zakari. Please, dress appropriately.
“Seriously?” Amaka mumbled. “To boko haram zone? That’s where they want me to go? As if this night wasn’t bad enough?”
I put the note back in its envelope and took her hand.
“Me, I’m tired, I can’t play this game again, Kay. I can’t.”
“You can do it, Maxy,” I hugged her again and felt the first surge of tears shake her body.
“Is there anything bad I’ve done to James that he’ll be treating me like this?” she sobbed.
“No, there’s nothing you’ve done.”
“I love him so much but he always wants me to prove it. How much will he take out of me before he knows he has me where he wants me?”
I had no answer, so I held her tight until she stopped crying.
“Maxy you can do this. I’m here for you, okay?”
It felt good to hold her because it was therapy for my soul as well. Something in me melted as I tried to comfort the only woman I called my sister, and without helping it, I dissolved into tears too. Amaka slowly disengaged from me and searched my face, parting away my hair to see me properly.
“Kay, you’re crying. This is a first.” She led me to the bed and sat me down. “Talk to me.”
I nodded but it took a while for me to say the words. “I think I’m in love.”
She pulled back and burst into laughter. “Go jor,” she said. “Butter Babe?”
I nodded again. “In the past, with us, sex was nothing intimate. Once our clothes were off and the deed was done, we were gone our separate ways but he gradually changed the rules with lingering after-kisses and phone calls at odd hours of the night to tell me about his day. Then there was this strange look in his eyes and the way he buried his head in my neck each time he hugged me… Maxy, the scariest part was that I liked it. I never stopped him; in short, I wanted more… Please, tell me I’ve lost my mind.”
“You’ve lost your mind,” she grinned. “But you found your heart. Finally, a real man broke the spell.”
“I’m not sure I can handle it. I’ve been sick throughout the day. In short, I can’t explain the way I’m feeling.”
“It’s because you’ve not told him nau. Or have you?”
I shook my head. “Last night, I couldn’t take it anymore and blurted to him that all I wanted from him was sex and a man who could be the father of my child.”
Amaka drew back with an ugly scowl and stared at me for an extended time. “The father of your child.” She repeated slowly. “So, this your life’s plan not to get married but to have a child is for real, Kyen? You’re not joking?”
“You know I don’t believe in love or marriage and yes, it’s my plan to have a child before I turn thirty.”
“Hian! So, he’s a sperm donor.”
“Maxy, I can’t do cuddling and PDA and all that rubbish! Relationships are a ton of baggage and I don’t want to carry one on my head, abeg.”
“And you told him that?”
“Yes! And I don’t want to tell you how it went.”
Amaka sighed and the look in her eyes said she was about to get serious. She hardly tried at wisdom but when she did, it came from somewhere deep.
“Kay, I know you had a rough childhood, coming from nothing and having no one but yourself and fighting against all odds to make it without anyone’s help. Again, I know you never had to rely on any man like the rest of us, and you have fulfilled all your dreams all on your own. But Kay, I think it’s time to reward yourself with a little love.”
I shook my head.
“Please, allow someone else help you carry the load…”
I shook my head again.
“It’s going to be alright, Kay.”
“I just want to be left alone, Amaka.”
“But your heart doesn’t. It’s tired of the loneliness. See, you know what?” She clapped her hands together. “Get dressed and go and tell Butter Babe exactly how it’s doing you.”
“You will.” She stood and pulled me up. “Yay! My friend’s in love! Finally! Do you know how long Fi and I have waited for you? Where’s Fi sef?”
“That girl and booze sha. Dress up!” She urged me and fished into her box for something to wear.
Some thirty minutes later, we were dressed and downstairs, getting into a cab. The drive to León Hotels was short and uncomfortable. On the way, I felt my fever rise, so I popped another aspirin and downed a full bottle of water while Amaka came up with a plan on how to break Fiyin away from DJ for good. The cab left us outside the hotel gate and we took a long walk in. The hotel boasted of a five-storey structure of dark glass surrounded by green life that was pulsating even at night. The weather was a little cold and showed early signs of Harmattan. I wondered why it still rained in Lagos and prayed I had closed my windows back home.
Amaka hurried ahead of me the moment we got into the reception. I saw her speaking to an overly bleached, overly made up girl behind the desk; I caught only half of their conversation.
“He’s at the lounge bar,” the girl pointed. “See that door on your left?”
We turned and saw a group of guys seated on comfortable couches in a corner, discussing. Beside them was a large, glass door.
“Go through it,” the girl said. We thanked her and went in the direction we were led. A corridor behind the glass door took us straight to the lounge bar. It was a large, dark room with dim lights that glowed warmly only in certain areas. The bar table was long and glassy and two barmen were behind it. My mouth watered for a stiff drink to calm my nerves but Amaka held my hand tightly. Our eyes searched for Butter Babe, scanning the entire room, going through the groups of people we saw hurdled in corners. Finally, we saw him seated on a couch in one end but he was not alone.
Fiyin was with him.
Amaka’s grip around my hand tightened. “Is that Fi?” she asked. “I thought she was at the Transcorp.”
I felt something stir in me that didn’t really feel pleasant. I guess they call it jealousy.
“Did she tell you she was coming here, Kay?” Amaka asked.
“No, this is bad, Kyenpia. Fiyin’s doing this again?” Amaka boiled with instant anger as she let go of my hand. I held her back. “Let’s go and meet her.”
“I’m not interested in that drama, Maxy.” I shook my head and turned away but Amaka came after me and stopped me.
“Kyenpia, that girl is a bad friend. She did this to you before and you let her go but it won’t happen this time again o!”
“Maxy, you know I don’t do drama, especially, not for a guy.”
“This is not a matter of doing drama, my friend! That is the first man you’ve ever loved and you want to let him go like that?”
“He’s not worth it–”
“Don’t lemme slap you now! Go there and displace that backstabbing bitch and when you’re through, I’ll face her myself.”
“Kyenpia Elizabeth Joseph, if you don’t go, I’ll go there and cause a scene. Oya!”
She pushed me forward and followed behind closely. I took slow steps towards Fiyin and Butter Babe. It was Fiyin who first saw me and she moved away from him and blessed me with a Judas smile as she stood.
“Yay! You guys finally came!” she hugged me. “What took you so long? I’ve been waiting.”
Amaka and I looked at each other in shock and before I could prevent her, she stopped Fiyin who was trying to hug her, with a dirty slap.
Oh, good Lord!
©Sally@moskedapages Cover Design by @Iamayomidotun
To act the fool is the best way. Mumuyourself in front of others in order to catch them in their own mumuness, someone wise once told me, and that has been my motto. Though, sometimes I’m just naturally clueless.
For instance, Doyin came to my house all on his own, to see me but I had concluded that he was the date Pastor Ishi arranged for me. So, I played along, believing in my mind that it was some sort of game. When I escorted him outside and saw the car he came with, alarm bells didn’t go off because I thought James arranged the whole setting to get him to awe me, just so that I would fall for him and that he (James) would prove that I was a material girl. It never really occurred to me that the car was actually Doyin’s, that he had somehow hit it big and was back to claim his prize, which was me. All these clear signals escaped my eyes because I was busy playing the mumu. But everything cleared when out of nowhere, he grabbed my waist, pulled me close and tried to kiss me.
“Eh…Doyin, what do you think you’re doing?” I pushed him back but his hands still clutched my waist for dear life and at that point, Popsie popped out of the gate and did the cliché clearing of throat. Doyin immediately stepped away from me and arranged himself like a good boy. I looked at Popsie briefly and he gave me the ‘I’m-about-to-go-get-my-Dane-gun-and-use-it-on-you’ look.
“Chiamaka,” he called and I held my breath. I felt hot air coming to my cheeks.
“You’re standing in my way.”
I shifted quickly just in case the gun was anywhere in sight and he wanted to use it on Doyin. No need getting in the way of a good shot.
Without any more words to us, he started his evening walk. I released my breath and eyed Doyin but he was smiling at me with no care in the word.
“You have just killed me, Doyin.”
“Not yet.” He took my hand and held it firm. “Amaka, when you left me, you were a shy twenty-one year old girl but now I see a beautiful, sweet, sexy and intelligent woman and I’m glad you’re not married yet…”
And I’m glad you’re still short.
“I’m also happy it took you breaking my heart for me to see that you’re worth the struggle. I owe you everything. You pushed me to my feet and made me work hard until I got where I am today. This Porsche is one of the things I do now. That’s what happens when one has money and they don’t know what to do with it. But I have a feeling that if I have you, you’ll help me spend it wisely…”
And what did you think I was helping James do at the moment?
I stopped him with a raised hand. “Wait, let me get this straight. Soooo you don’t work at the airport?”
He laughed. “I was just helping an old woman with her luggage and you concluded I was some baggage boy or something. You should have seen how you vanished after you got my Twitter handle. One would have thought you didn’t want to be seen with me. Amaka…I’m here to get you back and nobody on this earth can stop me. By the way,” he said smugly, “the Porsche is yours. I hope I’m the one to say this first. Happy birthday in advance.”
He took my hand, placed the ignition device for the car in it and held me tight because I almost stopped breathing. I was blinking non-stop and I could feel myself on the verge of fainting.
“Are you okay? You’re red.”
Idiot! That’s because you went and fondled my weak spot.
“I should be going,” he smiled, the arrogant air still there. “I wanted you to drop me off so you’d know my place but it looks like your dad wants to kill me, so I’ll just take a bike and check on you tomorrow or on Monday, if that’s okay?”
I didn’t answer. I just stood there – blank like Tonto Dike’s brain. But when he stepped forward to kiss me again, I slapped him. And that slap wasn’t intentional; it’s just what happens to my hand when I’m standing before useless boys. Besides, I could have slapped anything then just to clear my head. He was the nearest object.
Quickly I stepped out of mumu mode and activated my normal senses to realize that James hadn’t sent him, that the fool was there all on his own and he had bought me the car of my dreams just because a week before I tweeted that I was going to marry the man who would buy me a Panamera. How was I supposed to know he was now stinking rich and could afford to take the tweet seriously?
“Ehn, Doyin, carry your car key abeg. I didn’t tell you I needed a car. My fiancé has enough to get me two of these if I wanted.”
In my dreams.
Doyin smiled again and I started seeing other things that I had missed. The Lyle and Scott T-shirt, Hugo Boss jeans, Ralph Lauren Burwood Canvas and a six figure wristwatch that could have paid my bride price three times over. Then I saw (against all better judgment) that he was really creamy and his brown, puppy eyes and pink lips were now accentuated with a skin tone that was 100% ajebutter. I’m sure girls were killing themselves and others over him but, er, thank you, I preferred my man mean-looking, long-nosed, thin-lipped, dark-skinned and northern-flavored.
“Doyin, I can’t take this.”
“Neither can I. The car’s all yours.”
Then just like that, he hopped on an okada that had stopped beside him and rode off before I could say one more word.
I walked to the car and circled it slowly, still dazed that it was all mine. Being that my neighborhood was in the heart of Surulere and boasted of really tight streets with amebo neighbors, I did my best to act like having a Porsche was a normal thing but omo, it wasn’t easy. I looked down our street and started calculating how long Popsie was going to take on his walk. Normally, he’d stop to greet all the neighbors he saw on his way, then drop by the shop of the neighborhood gossip queen, Mama Osaze; there he’d sip a cold drink while she loaded him with the latest gist. From there, he would proceed to his wife’s supermarket to rest his long legs and whine about how fast he was getting old, how in the old days, he could walk for six hours non-stop; and when the poor old woman was tired of his moaning, she’d send him back home. All that usually took an hour and thirty minutes, so I had time enough to make clean my escape because I smelled a family meeting organized for me in the near future, thanks to Doyin and his straying hands.
As I turned to head back in, an okada, almost knocking me off the road, parked before me and one boy jumped off it.
“Aboki, abi you no dey see person again?” I asked the okada guy but what I really meant to ask him was if he wasn’t seeing the car. The aboki looked at me from top to bottom, resting his doped eyes on my breasts.
“Excuse me, please.” The guy who hopped off the okada called my attention. “Please, is this where Amaka lives?”
“Who wants to know?”
The guy stared at me like I had asked dumb question, being that I knew he was the one that wanted to know.
“My name is —–”
Seriously, I can’t remember what he called himself.
“Pastor Ishi sent me to you. I’m sorry I’m late. The rain held me.”
I looked at the boy very well and concluded Pastor Ishi needed to change his glasses because it seemed he wasn’t seeing well again. So this was supposed to be my date, with his fake Ali Star trainers?
“Amaka is not at home,” I lied. “What do you want from her?”
“I was sent to give her this.” He produced a red envelope from his back pocket and gave it to me.
“Okay, I’ll hand it to her. Is that all?”
“Yes,” he nodded and hopped on his bike. The last thing he did was stare at my boobs. Ha-ahn! I thought I reduced them na. As he disappeared, I opened the envelope and took out three public transport tickets to Abuja and a note that read:
Sorry your first date didn’t turn out well. Tomorrow evening’s not too late. You can come along with the clan.
Hope you love Mediterranean. Your next stop is at Zuma restaurant at the Transcorp, Abuja. 9pm.
Oh really? So, they could take flight to go and enjoy themselves in Abuja and it is Amaka that will travel with Goodluck Presidential Motors abi? No, James needed me to show him the way.
I looked at the note again. To go or not to go?
From nowhere I heard a loud scream behind me and I turned. Fiyin and Kyenpia were just coming out of the house and Fiyin was showing everybody her loud Yoruba side.
“Oh my God! Oh my God!” She was hopping from one leg to another and the look on Kyenpia said she was about to get punched.
“Stop,” I begged.
She stopped, took a deep breath and pointed at the license plate wordlessly and resumed screaming again. I looked at the plate and for the first time, discovered it read MAXY 1. Mehn, Doyin was not playing o.
“Oya, go inside jor!” Kyenpia ordered Fiyin and together we dragged her screaming behind back into the house.
“James bought the car?” Fiyin paused to ask.
“No, Doyin did.”
“Doyin bought the car for me.”
“Doyin?” Fiyin questioned. “The broke ass leech that was sucking your life dry bought you a Panamera?” She shook her head in confusion. “It’s not possible, Maxy. He stole it!” she said with such certainty and annoyance that I wondered where the shouter in her went.
“See, I don’t care where he got the car from but it’s mine and James needs to see me in it.”
Kyenpia shook her head at me. “Shey they used money to do you?”
I ignored her. “Who is up for travelling to Abuja first thing tomorrow morning?”
There were no volunteers.
“Okay, who is up for travelling to Abuja first thing tomorrow morning – with the Panamera?”
Two excited hands went up in the air.
I thought as much. Well, James, here I come…in Gangnam style.
* * * * * * * *
Gangnam style ko, alingo style ni! Mtsheew! That was going to be the last I would travel with women. Guys are easier and a lot more fun to be with. They will simply pack an extra shirt and they’re good to go.
It was the morning of our trip that Kyenpia decided to pack her things and she wasn’t so sure if she wanted to take her Louboutins or Choos to go with the five dresses she had shoved in her carry-on. In the end, she picked both shoes plus a Prada, a pair of pantyhose, two tops, a jean and three sets of lingerie plus a bikini! Ha! Then she had me sit on the box for thirty minutes to press it all in.
Next was Fiyin, who had a massive boo-hoo moment because she was afraid of what DJ would do to her if she told him she was travelling. Kyenpia told her to simply tell him she was taking a trip and get the hell out of the door but she broke into more tears. Seriously, how can a girl with mad cat eyes, porn star lips, the waist of a ten year old, a rumpshaking behind and a trust fund in hundreds of millions be crying over a cracked-tooth loser?
Okay, that question is totally rhetorical. But she did go to tell DJ she was travelling and spent an hour in the house with him. When she came out, she was limping and holding her shoulder which she said he had almost dislocated had she not drawn blood from his left nipple.
“He hit you?” Kyenpia asked, annoyed. She was our women’s rights person.
“Yes,” Fiyin replied and started crying. “I’m useless right? I deliberately pissed him off so that he would get mad at me and we would fight and I could walk out the door in anger; if not, he wouldn’t have let me leave without beating the hell out of me.”
Kyenpia shook the daze out of her head and said, “so you pushed him into beating you so that you will escape the beating that he was going to give you naturally if you had not provoked him?”
“Yes,” Fiyin answered.
“Hmmm…Fi, clap for yourself. I said clap! Ya there looking at me. What did you study in school again? Stupidity?”
And Fiyin flew off the handle about how mean Kyenpia was and Kyenpia told her she didn’t give a shit what she called her. Then Fiyin went on to call her all sorts of names which only excited her even more. As for me, I just sat in the car laughing my ass off till I peed myself. I had to beg Kyenpia who was behind the wheels to stop at Loretta’s so I could change my panties but she turned her attention on me and started instructing me on the female genitalia, on how to do kegel exercises by squeezing my you-know-what tight so I wouldn’t leak whenever I laughed too hard. My reply to her, which was X-rated, something about not having had what to squeeze in a while, set her laughing so hard, she stepped on the brakes, stopping in the middle of the road. Fiyin had also forgotten she was in pain and in tears and three of us sat in the car, killing ourselves with laughter, instead of heading to Abuja. And we would have continued had not Kyenpia who started the whole thing stopped and suggested we were late and needed to take a flight instead.
“No!” I said. “I am going to Abuja by road to prove to James that I’m not spoilt.”
“But you’re going in a Porsche,” Kyenpia countered. “Don’t you think it defeats the purpose?”
“You’re the one who told me to play along! Why are you trying to be my conscience now?”
“I’m just saying.” She started the car again. “Besides, the Porsche is not new; the engine sounds funny.
“How do you know?”
“I know because my butter babe has a brand new model. 2012.”
Her Butter Babe was this mystery guy nobody knew. None of us had seen him or even heard his voice but she swore he was for real and was serious eyecandy.
“If the engine knocks…” she said and I cut her off.
“Can we just go to Lolo’s so I can change my underwear?”
* * * * * * * *
Here’s one for you: what happens when you put three clueless girls in a not-so-new-Porsche to travel all on their own on a road they don’t know?
Don’t crack your brain too much…
“A knocked engine?!” Fiyin screamed for the fifth time. “How does a Porsche knock engine? I mean, Porsches are forever good! They are like stable guys like James and Pastor Ishi.”
“Shut up,” I told her.
“I told you Adedoyin stole the car!”
“Can you shut up let me think?!” I shouted and she obeyed instantly.
“But I warned you,” Kyenpia took over. “And we all heard the sound it was making and you still said we should go on. Amaka, I hate to say this but it’s all your fault.”
I eyed Kyenpia badly but she didn’t care. She just stood by the car, arms crossed staring into the distance in deep thought. Fiyin was holding her phone up in the air and spinning round, searching for reception. We were in the middle of nowhere, having just left the dual highway into a narrower two-lane road surrounded by thick forests and probably anacondas and lions and we had no mobile network!
“So what are we going to do?” Fiyin asked on the verge of tears. “Me, I’m afraid. Let’s hitch a ride back to Lagos and forget this trip. DJ said it. He said it was going to end bad. He said it.”
Kyenpia got out of whatever deep thought she was in and her eyes lit up. She had always been the brains amongst us, always with a plan. “I saw some guys carrying plantain down the road. They entered that bush. Let’s go to them.”
I looked where she was pointing and saw nothing. Abi she was seeing spirits?
“But what will they help us do?” I asked. “Will they produce a new Panamera engine or somehow manufacture a mast to help us make a call?”
“I hate your cheekiness Maxy,” she smacked my lips and started walking.
“Where is she going?” I asked Fiyin.
“Follow her nau! Gaan see if you can get help. Me I can’t stand this place. Things are biting me. Go! I’ll guard the car.”
Guard the car keh. I looked at the person that was guarding car. She was wearing a short dress and stilettos and for some reason her nipples were visible. But I wasn’t doing any better. I had a mini and a small t-shirt that hugged my 38s. Of all the days! I looked at Kyenpia; she was the only one in full-length jeans and long sleeve top. Later on, she would tell me the reason she dressed like that was just in case we encountered robbers and they wanted to have a go at us, they’d concentrate on Fiyin and I first and by the time it was her turn, they’d be tired just because she hadn’t undressed fast. The girl thought far sha but then I asked her what she was going to do if the robbers were more than two and she said, she had worn a sanitary towel to fake a period. Then I asked her what she’d do if they didn’t mind her all bloodied up; she looked at me, shook her head and said I had a rotten mind. See me see trouble.
“Don’t talk to anybody o!” I warned Fiyin. “And scream if someone tries to approach you. You know this is December period and they’re eating people.”
I crossed the road and ran after Kyenpia and caught up with her. It took a few steps for us to branch into the path she was talking about. It was less bushy and had promise of life but the moment we were about to walk down it, we heard Fiyin screaming. Immediately, we turned back and appeared on the highway again. Fiyin was jumping and waving at us frantically, very afraid. Beside her was a black, tint jeep that spelled all sorts of bad. Kyenpia started running towards her and I followed but halfway, Kyenpia stopped when the driver’s door of the jeep opened and a guy stepped out, dressed all black and wearing sunshades. I also stopped, trying to catch my breath.
“What in the hell is he doing here?” Kyenpia murmured.
“You know him?”
“That’s Butter Babe and he’s stalking me.”
The guy took off his glasses and stared our way and lordy, lordy, lordy! Can ogbanje be a correct word to describe a hawt sight for sore eyes?
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 Mumu – a fool, someone stupid