With The Gang

With The Gang by Muyiwa Fadare – #17

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The day had gone almost too quickly and it was getting late. After doing her magic in the kitchen and making everyone happy with a delicious meal she decided to clear the dishes.
She stood by the sink washing the dishes. It was unusually one of her favorite things to do in the kitchen. It gave her time to think, to process. They say men think a lot with a newspaper in the toilet, for her it was washing dishes. She smiled as her thoughts went to him. She wanted him and she always got what she wanted. Besides she was single again.
She didn’t hear him, didn’t see him, it wasn’t until he stood beside her that she smelt him. Kevwe smiled as she turned her head to face Justin’s. The look on his face, the mixture of love and lust in his eyes. She was confused yet excited. She dropped the plate in her hands and turned properly to face him. She had to say something, do something. He beat her to it.

 

“I loved the meal” Justin said with his boyish grin she loved so much.

“Why it was my pleasure” Kevwe smiled.

“See I know this sounds messed up being that you just broke up with your boyfriend and I have a girlfriend but I have deep feelings for you Kevwe” Justin said looking into her eyes. Her heart started beating fast.

“It wasn’t a problem when you were with Kenny, I found away to let it be even after our incident. I thought by dating Michelle it will all be good but now I know you are free I just feel this may be the only opportunity I will have” he said his voice hushed, it was almost a whisper.

“Justin” Kevwe said faintly. She could hardly hear her voice with her heart beating so loud in her ears. He placed a finger on her lips to hush her. She closed her eyes to his touch. He came closer. She looked at him and he looked back, the world was oblivious to her, all she thought and saw was him. He bent towards her and kissed. . . . . . . . . . . .

“KEVWE!!!” Maryam yelled as she walked into Kevwe’s room, Kevwe jumped in shock looking around trying to find Justin. “Which kain yeye sleep you dey sleep since morning?”

“Huh” Kevwe looked lost. And like a hot breeze, reality came flooding back. She had been dreaming. It felt so real, she looked at Maryam with disgust. Why spoil a perfect dream?

“But what is your problem now? Its just 2.00pm” Kevwe said irritated as she looked at her watch.

“And you have been sleeping since 10.00am. Abi Kenny left you preggy?” Maryam said winking jokingly.

“Waka!!! You hear?” Kevwe said extending her hands at Maryam, palm and fingers outstretched. “What do you want?”

“Grouchy are we?” Maryam asked jumping on the bed beside Kevwe. “So I can’t wake you up again?”

There was no point getting angry Kevwe thought. It was a dream. In truth she was more upset about it being a dream than about Maryam waking her up.

“Our friend needs us girl” Maryam said. A look of concern filled her face.

“Friend? Who?” Kevwe asked.

“Exactly what she said” Maryam replied disapointed, “it means she was right”. Kevwe was completely awake now but still didn’t understand her friend.

“O girl stop all these parables” she said to Maryam.

“I’m talking about Pris you mumu. She is troubled and from what she said she feels on her own” Maryam said.

“Why will she feel so? What are we here for?” Kevwe asked geting up and walking into her bathroom.

“When you don’t even see her as a friend how do you expect her to be free with you?” Maryam said.

“See it not so. You know me and ‘friends’ now” Kevwe said as she turned on the sink’s tap.

“Asides you I’m not the ‘have-a-lot-of-friends’ type. Even you sef, I know how many times we fought but you won’t just hear word and leave me alone. But I gat Pris’s back now, she should know that.” She bent her head and started washing her face.

“Well she is in a fix and I was thinking we have a girls time out before the busy week starts again” Maryam said from the bedroom

“Fine” Kevwe said distracted as she looked for her towel to dry her face.

“Good, get dressed, we leave in ten minutes. Justin is going out with Matthew’s car so he will drop us and we can carjole him to come pick us”.

“Justin?” Kevwe looked at Maryam from the toilet door to see if she was messing with her.

“Yes Justin and you better behave” Maryam said.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever” Kevwe said walking back in.

“Going to change, sure Priscilla is already set. That girl hardly puts on make up” Maryam said, “don’t waste time, you know Justin won’t wait. Crush or not” she ran out of the room before Kevwe could do anything else.

Alone her mind went back to her dream. It couldn’t have gotten so bad that she was now dreaming about it. Maybe she just needed to move on or stay off men totally she thought as she started to change. She decided a legins and a black T-shirt would do. All black and gloomy suited her mood just now. As she slipped her foot into her flat soles she heard the reving sound of the car.

“That idiot” she said and picking up her purse ran out of her room. By the time she was out of the house Justin had already driven out of the compound. They were all giggling inside the car as she hurried towards them. She smiled and gave them the finger.

“Madam, ni (me) I dey hailings you oh” Musa greeted her happily as he stood by the opened gate waiting for her to pass. Kevwe slowed down and looked at him, his greeting was unusual. She and the security guard never saw eye to eye so she didn’t understand his jovial nature today.

“Musa” Kevwe called.

“Madam” Musa answered.

“Are you OK?” Kevwe asked.

“No madam ni ne (I am) Musa, I no be OkeyKOkey” Musa said innocently. Kevwe shook her head in irritatation.

“You are just incompetent” Kevwe started.

“Madam I complete oh. Na dia Suileman mai guard no complete, him na kuturu” Musa tried to explain. Kevwe couldn’t take it and started walking to meet the others.

“Walahi none of these people wan hear about my marriage ko? Toh ba yawa (no problem)” Musa said as he closed the gate and walked into his room.

…………………….. ……………………… ……………………….

“But why are you acting up now?” Justin said smiling. They had been at it from the moment he got to her house.

“Justing I am acting up? Seriously?” Michelle said her hand on her hips in her house gown. “You stand me up for dinner to do one of those your childish runabouts to God knows where. You flare up because I didn’t accept your apology and I haven’t heard from you in a week and when we finally decide to meet and talk you run late because you where dropping of ‘the girls’? And I am acting up?” She shook her head and walked to her couch and sat down.

“What was with girls and only one sitting furniture in their houses” Justin thought as he recalled Dora’s house also had only one three-seater. “But Dora’s crib was a part time place for when she got in to Abuja and ….. Oh shit see what I’m thinking of” he said in his mind.

“Michelle I am sorry okay. I agree I messed up. But I have told you I don’t know how to be a boyfriend” Justin said defensively.

“You know that line is getting real old” Michelle said. She wasn’t a nag. She always gave people the benefit of the doubt, a long rope and extra chance. She knew his story and knew from what he said that Justin had never really been in a normal relationship. But everytime he screwed things up he fell back to that line.

“How can you stay out of touch for a week Justin? Even if it was a major fight who does that?” Michelle asked. Justin streached out his hands giving a lost expression.

“Stop acting like a child Justin, and be a man” Michelle said her voice rising as she stood up.

“I want to be your man baby” Justin said slyly as he reached to hold her waist. He smiled his boyish grin but it didn’t work.

“I’m not joking Justin” Michelle said pushing his hand off and turning to back him. You want to be my man and yet dropping Kevwe off is more important than us?” Michelle said.

“Wow, wow, wow what is this about Kevwe again? It was the whole crew. Maryam and Pris were there too oh” Justin said feeling attacked.

“Yeah, believe what you want” Michelle said.

“Michelle which one is this now? You said you where cool with everyone” Justin said.

“Na so, I’m suppose to be cool with Kevwe? Knowing you two have or had something?” Michelle said bitterly. Justin stepped back frrom her confused. He suddenly was starting to have a headache. Now he knew being honest never pays.

“Michelle what is going on now? You are normally not like this” Justin said. He was confused, he didn’t know how to handle this sort of drama. She never was this uptight.

“I want you to take charge and be the man I know you can be. And if you are interested in someone else be a man and say it” Michelle said quietly.

“What are you talking about?” Justin said trying not to panic. What had she heard? What did she know? His “player mode” had been activated and all manner of backup stories had started brewing. If she knew about Dora he was done for.
Michelle turned and faced him. “Are you still in love with Kevwe?” She asked.

…………….. ………………… …………………

She was what people called the good Catholic girl. Born and raised by strict devote Catholics, Priscilla Amadi had be shielded from the world and all it ‘evil’ as her mom put it. She had never smoked, she hated alcohol and had never gotten to cossy with the guys. Her first encounter with sex was in a movie, so yes you could say Priscilla was naïve. But what she lacked in experience she tried to make up in knowledge. She had read about men and women, rules of engagement, flirtation, hints dropping, seduction, law of power in relationships. But deep down she knew it wasn’t the same as real life.
It wasn’t until when she entered the university that she had her first boyfriend, Chukwudi. Her knwoledge of the human mind came very handy as she found out too quickly that the guy was all about getting into her pants. She discarded him with pride. Ephraim was a tough nut. It seemed he too had read a lot, that was what attracted her to him but that also made it hard to read him. She almost fell in love with him but was saved by gossip of him being a hit-and-run kind of guy. Two boyfriends in a life time, and all of a sudden Ebuka wants to marry her.

“Slap me hard, you a virgin?” Kevwe asked in whispered tones. Priscilla’s light complexion turned bright pink. “It is a lie. Like seriously?”

They had been at the saloon for over an hour now. Maryam had opted for a manicure and pedicure, Priscilla wanted to fix her nails and Kevwe decided it was time to change the colour extensions in her hair to blue. It was strange that for a Sunday the saloon was this busy, so while they waited they talked, each exchanging their history.

“Wetin now? Don’t make the girl uncomfortable joh” Maryam said hitting Kevwe on the back.

“I’m actually impressed” Kevwe said. Priscilla smilled shyly. “Wish I could say the same of some people” kevwe looked at Maryam accusingly.

“Look who is talking.” Maryam fired back and they all laughed.

“But on a more serious note you are saying person wey don dey date you for what, 6weeks wants to marry you? Is he crazy?” Kevwe asked. Priscilla nodded quietly.

“He even wants to see my parents” Priscilla said.

“See mind. Your papa go pour am hot water” Kevwe said confidently.

“I am not so sure of that” Priscilla said sadly.

“Why?” Maryam exlaimed. She couldn’t see any reason why her father wouldn’t react angryly to someone who comes asking for her hand in marriage after 6 weeks of dating so why would Priscilla’s father not do same?

“My father is so for educating the girl child and empowering women, but once you have a university degree he feels you are good. He doesn’t have a problem with me doing my masters he just doesn’t feel it is necessary. Besides I’m the first girl” she said.

“What has first girl got to do with anything?” Kevwe asked. “Don’t tell me your dad and Maryam’s dad are from the same age? Tribalistic and all?”

“You don’t know how mumsy has been reminding me of how my maternal clock is ticking” Priscilla said and started laughing. The girls joined her.

“Maternal what now?” Maryam asked.

“As in that I am getting old oh” Priscilla said “Worst, he is from our place. So they will now think he is God sent”.
“I can imagine” Maryam replied thinking of her mom being happy if she hears she is dating a Kano guy.

“Okay maybe it is me oh or maybe it is because my parents know that Warri boys, their head used to touch that’s why they are not so crazy about me marrying from our place but seriously what is this about? I don’t get the big deal” Kevwe asked confused.

“My dear you are asking the wrong crowd because we are in your shoes” Maryam said.

“Hmmm, I have never even thought about it before just to save myself stress. He must be igbo, he must be catholic or anglican if not my father will flip” Priscilla said.

“In the voice of Mazi Amadi ‘Don’t you know you are a girl, you follow your husband to his place. You become yorubawa or u become mallama if it is Hausa you want. My grandchildren will speak to me in my language oh and then he ends it with carrying his face up like something is smelling'” the girls busted in to laughter.

“But you speak Igbo now, you can always teach your kids. And when you think about it, it is a fusion of two cultures. I have always admired people that speak more than one Nigerian language” Maryam said.

“I tire for my dad oh” Priscilla said.” No one has argued on this topic with him as much as my elder brother when he was dating one Ebonyi chic like that.”

“But I thought Ebonyi speak Igbo” Kevwe asked.

“My father said it is not the same oh. You won’t believe my brother didn’t marry the babe oh” Priscilla said.

“Your joking?” Maryam and Kevwe where suprised.
Maryam looked worried. Her older siblings had somehow found love in the north. Her brother had maried a girl from Kastina while her immediate senior sister had married a Kano man, a naval officer working in lagos.

“Come you don reach 23 sef?” Kevwe said looking at her.

“Haba Kevwe am older than that now” Priscilla said defensively.

“Well tell that guy to calm down. I don’t see the rush. Get to know him. No offence but I no dey trust igbo boys right from start talk more those who dey in a hurry” Kevwe said.

“I have that feeling too about him” Priscilla said.

“Don’t worry it will be well” Maryam smiled at her friend. “This was fun, getting to know each other better”.

“Yeah, I feel better. Thank you so much” Priscilla smiled from Maryam to kevwe.

“If you want to thank me go and talk to these people because it seems like I just saw them attend to someone that came after us. They nor know say when craze stand, no body fit sidon” Kevwe said looking at one of the attendants with venom.
Maryam got up quickly. She didn’t need Kevwe’s embarrassment today.

……………….. …………………….. ………………………

“Hey you” Tokunbo said into his phone’s mouth piece. He had just got to his desk and was getting ready to start the day. This week was going to be fun filled and drama free and Teju’s call should be the gateway.

“Tokunbo what’s going on? My boss just called me into his office” Teju said. She sounded really upset. Tokunbo sat up.

“Baby calm down. What is wrong?” Tokunbo asked. This was not the plan oh he thought.

“It was an emergency meeting. We are being sued and by your firm” Teju said.
Tokunbo was shocked. He didn’t even know his firm had anything to do with the company Teju worked at. What was the connection with Coker & Smith and Braxton Engr Co.?

“Baby please calm down, let me see what is going on, i haven’t heard of such” Tokunbo said getting really worried now.

“Okay. Please get back to me” Teju said almost in tears.
Tokunbo hung up and got up. Quickly went straight to his friend’s desk. A couple of guys where there heads together in deep conversation.

“Franky how far? What’s this i hear about a law suit?” Tokunbo jumped in.

“Toks the badt guy. Na you we don dey wait for” his colleague hailed him. “As you don turn Medusa bitch we know you go know the load down“. Tokunbo was too busy seeking information to be pissed at the insult.

I never hear anything, na why i dey ask” Tokunbo said. The other guys where obviously surprised.

“I take that back. Seems you are not Medusa’s bitch. They have been in the boardroom since I arrived. Someone asked the security and he said they got in around 7.00am. Everyone to their desk, they are coming out” Frank whispered as the conference room door opened.

The executives and senior partners walked to their offices. Ms. Joelyn walked to the area set aside for the associates.

“Tokunbo, Frank, my office” she said and walked briskly away. Tokunbo looked at Frank who looked confused. They both got up from their desks and walked into her office.

“I’m going to be quick” Joelyn said as they walked in. “The boss just held a meeting. The firm is taking on 3 cases. A big one in Lagos and and two here in Abuja. You two are going to be on the cases here in Abuja as second chair. Here are the files”. They stood looking as she handed them two folders with fles. Frank had a big grin while Tokunbo was still worried.

“Chop, chop, gentlemen, get to work, I needed the report like yesterday” Joelyn said and waved them out of her office. They both headed for their desks. As Tokunbo sat down he opened his folder, the front page read “Wellington Mall vs Baxton Engr Co.”

Muyiwa blogs at htttp://abluntnigerian.wordpress.com

You can follow him on instagram/twitter – @mfadarated.


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