A beautiful evening it was. Maryam smiled comfortably on the drive home as she thought back on how the evening had played out. Ayomide had picked her up at 4.30pm from work and drove her around town and they were just talking, getting to know each other, he called it. They then stopped close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Central Area of town where some paintings were being sold and he had bought her a beautiful oil paint of women walking home after a day’s work. They had argued if it was the farm or market the women were coming from as he drove them to dinner and it was then she was surprised to find out that he supported and encouraged strong, ambitious women. They dined in one of the finest restaurants in Abuja and he listened as she talked about work and her friends.
They had ended the evening with a trip to the cinema to watch Fast 7.
“Last, last ba” Ayomide said breaking into her thoughts “they lied in that movie”. He laughed and she joined in.
“True sha” she agreed.
“How can cars be flying and it is only parachute that helps them land safely? Oyinbo sabi lie” he said in pidgin.
“That is the first time I have heard you speak pidgin” Maryam said smiling “you sound so botty.”
“Me? Botty fire. I’m an aje kpako please” Ayomide said. They both laughed. He took a bend and they were driving down the road that led to the house. Suddenly Maryam didn’t feel so happy anymore. It must have shown on her face because Ayomide noticed.
“Sweetheart what is wrong?” He asked as he slowed down.
“Nothing” she said quietly. She wanted to slap herself for being so childish. She tried to put up a brighter face. They had just reached home and Ayomide parked the car just before the gate. He put the gear in ‘Park’ but didn’t turn off the ignition. She smiled remembering how they met and his line about keeping the car cool for when she was ready to come in.
“Are we going to play that game where you say nothing and I probe until u really say what is worrying you?” He had turned to face her.
“No. Please it really is nothing. I just didn’t know it would be this short” Maryam said avoiding his eyes.
“Short?” Ayomide exclaimed “Girl it is almost 9.00pm” he said smiling. Maryam quickly looked at her watch. She was surprised. Ayomide chuckled.
“I guess this is what they mean when they say time flies when you are having fun” he said.
Maryam smiled and nodded.
“I’m just being a gentleman bringing a lady home at a godly hour oh” he said trying to look noble. Maryam laughed.
“No, serious. Say the word and I call a couple of friends and we can go hang out” Ayomide said.
“That is sweet Ayo but not today. It isn’t even mid-week yet” Maryam said. She was a lady after all and shouldn’t make it easy for him even if she really liked him. Besides there was work tomorrow.
“Ooooh what happened to the sweet way you called me Mide? When did we start with Ayo?” Ayomide asked. Maryam opened the door smiling.
“All your friends call you Mide, I don’t think you want me as JUST your friend” she winked at him and closed the door. He grinned.
She walked round to the driver’s side and stood holding her bag.
“I had a fabulous time” she smiled.
“I aim to please” he replied.
“Goodnight Ayo” Maryam said quietly.
“Does a brother get a goodnight kiss?” He asked hopefully. Maryam smiled but shook her head.
“This brother will have to prove himself” Maryam smiled. Ayomide gave a disappointed look.
She quickly leaned in and pecked him then like a little school girl after her first date, she ran to the gate and into the compound. Ayomide smiled and puting his car on ‘drive’, he drove off.
………… …………….. ……………
“What a day” Kevwe exclaimed as she sat down exhausted.
“Babe, how far? Welcome” Priscilla walked into the living room from the kitchen.
“Omalichan wa (beautiful lady) how now?” Kevwe greeted back. Priscilla smiled at the pronunciation of the Igbo word.
“You try. I dey oh. How was work?” she asked Kevwe.
“I don’t know oh. Yet to decide if it was good or not” Kevwe replied “what smells so good?”
“Fried rice. Thought I cook since I came home in time” Priscilla said “what makes it good or bad? Work I mean” she probed.
“You know I told you my boss wants me to go to Lagos to get them back on their feet abi?” Kevwe began to explain.
“No, not really” Priscilla looked thoughtful.
“Then na Maryam I tell” Kevwe waved it off.
“Anyways the boss brought it up again today” She continued.
“But that is supposed to be good now. Abi?” Priscilla asked looking confused. “That is like you becoming branch manager or at least acting branch manager. That will boost your resume oh”.
“I know but I also know it is waddling in very deep waters. Lets ignore my …..”
The front door opened and Maryam and Matthew walked in.
“Hey girls” Maryam greeted excitedly.
“People how far?” Matthew said.
“Una welcome oh” Kevwe and Priscilla greeted back. Matthew headed for his room to change while Maryam joined the girls.
“I see you are still radiating the Mide’s touch” Priscilla teased. Maryam smiled.
“Started my day with a lovely text from him and we have been chatting most of the day” Maryam said.
“See as you dey behave like pikin now” Kevwe joined in the teasing “that time you been dey form oh. If no be me wey push you. Oya say thank you.” They all laughed.
“So what is up now?” Maryam asked trying to get in on the gist.
“I was just telling Pris about Lagos” Kevwe said. “Like I was saying forget about my personal concerns, that Lagos branch na like trap. They are annoying and difficult people. You dey talk resume Pris but that is only good if I succeed”.
“I have no doubt you will succeed” Priscilla said encouragingly.
“Help me tell her oh” Maryam added. “Exactly what I said when she brought it up the first time”
“Then I don’t like Lagos life. I am very comfortable in Abuja as it is. I don’t just want joh. He said he will let me know by Friday sha. So I have two days to know my fate” Kevwe said.
“Don’t worry, its not like you will be moving to Lagos” Maryam said.
“Oh girl six months no be beans oh. You people will get a new house mate. My friends, Justin ….. Oooh this thing wan spoil my paroles” Kevwe complained sadly.
“See this shameless girl” Maryam exclaimed and the girls laughed. “Don’t worry it is well. Meanwhile una know say Esta kissed Matthew?”
“ISS A LIE!!!” Kevwe exlaimed. Priscilla opened her mouth in shock.
“That girl don damage elder for us oooh” Kevwe busted out laughing.
“I’m telling you. My poor cousin. Esta sha” Maryam said still laughing, “he was gisting me in the car as we were coming back”.
“Was it just kiss or some’en some’en?” Kevwe inquired with a wink.
“Abeg can someone come and serve me food before you all continue your amebo on my case”. The girls turned surprised to see Matthew standing in the dinning area. An awkward silence filled the room as everyone tried to look away. Priscilla got up to go serve.
Just as she passed him she heard him say with a smile.
“She sabi kiss sha”.
“ELDER!!!” Kevwe and Priscilla hailed him and they all laughed as they followed into the kitchen.
………… …………….. …………….
Tokunbo: Baby mi pls you cant still be mad now
Teju: Is that why you pinged?
Tokunbo: Teju now. Why the hostility? Please let’s talk.
Teju: Now you want to talk? (sarcastic smiley)
Tokunbo: Can I come over?
Teju: Not at home. Got to go, I’ll call you.
Tokunbo: That’s what you said last week.
Tokunbo: Teju lets iron things out now.
(after 20minutes and no reply)
Tokunbo: You know I’m sorry and I did what I did because I didn’t know how else to handle it. I will be waiting for your call.
Tokunbo flung the phone onto his mattress. Why did Teju have to be so stubborn? Why couldn’t she be like Maryam? Maryam always got him, even when she was…..
“Awww man did you just compare your girlfriend with the girl you friend zoned?” He shouted at himself. He needed to get a grip. He got up and opened his work bag. Work, the only remedy at the moment.
BANG!!! The room door hit the wall as it flung open as Justin walked in. Tokunbo looked up from where he sat on the mattress, papers all around him. He had been going in circles for the past hour trying to work but was too distracted to make any head way. It was almost 11.00pm
“What does that girl want from me? What?” Justin shouted to no one in particular. He hadn’t noticed Tokunbo yet. He threw his briefcase on his mattress and rubbed the temple of his head. A headache was already brewing. He was tired, he was frustrated, and what else was he supposed to do?
“You okay dude?” Tokunbo asked quietly. Justin turned in surprise then got himself together.
“No dude, I am NOT okay” Justin replied, “I honestly do not know what Michelle wants from me”.
“Haba, still in that ish?” Tokunbo said. Esta had been gone for over four days now and things should have piped down.
“Guy I just tire. I left work, ordered Chinese, took it down to her house, told her how I felt and everything far. Guy since 5.00pm far, na 11pm be this I never chop” Justin explained in frustration, “but guy you know me, on a normal day I don ball. See a whole Justin dey beg woman” he hit his chest as he spoke. Tokunbo knew his friend was pissed.
“Wetin pain me no be say yawa dey oh, Na say I don pour myself for this girl and she still dey talk her own. I asked her ‘so should I move out?’ The babe say ‘it won’t be a bad idea’, guy see selfishness” Tokunbo could see the veins popping out on Justin’s forehead.
“Bro abeg sit down” Tokunbo said calmly. Justin obliged.
“You know I’m a sucker for love. To say I’m impressed with your effort is an understatement, but even me now go tell you say e don do” Tokunbo said. “Teju is still giving me cold shoulder. Job, she no lose, case don close but na Tokunbo dey suffer am. I know we are the guys, na us suppose chase, but e don do. The ball is in their court now”.
“Guy this thing dey pain me. But maybe na sign sha” Justin said loosening up.
“Sign how?” Tokunbo asked confused.
“Oboy sign that this loving issh is not for me, I am going clubbing tomorrow, no time. Let Michelle do whatever she wants” Justin said pulling off his tie.
“Extreme much?” Tokunbo inquired.
“Not at all. I need a drink” Justin said.
“I could use one too” Tokunbo said getting up.
“I am in no mood to go out” Justin said exhausted.
“Who said anything about going out?” Tokunbo replied going to his side of the closet. He bent and pulled out two bottles, Johnny Walker Red Label and Smirnoff vodka. He smiled offering Justin the bottles to pick from.
“Lets go with the vodka, I’ll get the ice from the kitchen” Justin said and left the room. He skipped the steps quickly and reached the landing.
“Elder how far?” He hailed Matthew who was idly watching tv.
“Hey J wetin dey?” Matthew said. He hardly ever spoke pidgin so it was always weird hearing it.
“Boys wan loosen up with some vodka for room, interested?” Justin asked.
“Mehn I won’t mind at all” Elder said getting up.
“Okay head up, let me get cups and ice” Justin said and headed to the kitchen. Matthew switched off the tv and went to Tokunbo’s room.
Justin opened the kitchen door. Sitting on the chair, a bottle of Snapps before her and some files scattered on the kitchen table was Kevwe. A pang of Deja vu feeling hit Justin.
“Hey you” Kevwe said quietly.
“Looking good girl” the words flew out before Justin knew it. Kevwe smiled. She wasn’t in her usual shorts and long T-Shirt, this was a proper nightie.
“You like?” She asked without looking up at him. Justin cleared his throat like he wasn’t breathing well. He walked to the fridge.
“Errm it fits you, but again alot of fine things fit you” he said pulling out two bottles of sprite and a tray of ice cubes.
“I’ll take that as a compliment” she said.
“It was” he said “so what you up to?” He looked at all the files but his eyes kept drifting to her bossom.
“Seems I might be going off to Lagos for a while after all” Kevwe said sadly.
“What?” Justin exclaimed then noticing he had just shouted and looked away.
“Hmmm you care. Anyways” she said as she placed her hands on his, “you can tell your girlfriend big bad Kev won’t be around to disturb her man”.
“You don’t have to be like that” he said holding her hand. He looked at her, she looked back. “Michelle is just over reacting”.
“Is she really?” Kevwe asked looking straight at Justin “You don’t feel anything at all” she touched his face. Suddenly he couldn’t hear anything other than his heart beating hard against his chest. Her touch made him see nothing other than this beautiful creation. He leaned forward, so did she……
“Guy were our ice na?” Tokunbo’s voice was heard coming from the living room. They pulled away. Tokunbo opened the door.
“Coming” Justin said with regret.
Muyiwa blogs at htttp://abluntnigerian.wordpress.com
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