Letter to my Next

10 Feb

Dear (Insert Name Here),
I hope this missive meets you in good health. I’m sure you’re already making some conclusions about me just by reading this but let me assure you; I am not a geek, neither am I a weirdo nor am I jobless. I am just a guy who has been let down so many times that I’ve lost count. I know you don’t quite know me yet, we probably have only mentioned each other a few times on Twitter and liked each other’s pictures on Instagram but I know you and I know we’ll be the best of friends in a little while.
I see us having a pretty amazing relationship, but before that can happen I’d like to give you a few pointers as to the kind of person I am so you don’t misinterpret my gestures.

First, I am unashamedly sapiosexual. The fact that you’re reading this is prove that I’m attracted to you not only because you’re beautiful but because you’re intelligent. I love ladies that challenge me and I’m very sure you’ll be worth the chase. Let me say however that so long as we’re together, my ‘Sapiosexuality’ is turned off. Nevertheless don’t take the fact that I love challenges too serious because as much as I love challenges, I hate trying too hard. I can be very persistent with ladies but when I don’t see changes or ‘Green lights’ as I like to call them, I move on.

Second,

I am a romantic. A young boy with an old school attitude. Yes I exude the ‘cool guy, playboy, all chicks man’ aura but trust me I just want to love and be loved back for who I am. Beneath the tough exterior is a little boy begging to be loved, I hope we last long enough for you to see this side of me. I am the ‘Good Morning, Good Night’ text messages kind of guy, (Yes I’m old fashioned) but I know you can handle that because if you couldn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this. I love surprises even though I act like I loathe them with a passion, I am a spur of the moment, spontaneous, ‘ life is too short’ guy so pardon me if at times I spend lavishly albeit foolishly on you. I won’t try to woo you with money or material things whatsoever so if you’re expecting such, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’ve learnt the hard way that a guy shouldn’t be too forthcoming about his financial status to a lady who isn’t in love with him or has agreed to date him. It is bound to be a problem in the nearest future.

Third, I love my Mum to death. I don’t think this needs further explanation. I just love that woman with a passion that is unparalleled. You cannot and must not compete for her affection with me. I promise to love you with the whole of my being but please do NOT try to compete with my Mum, you will FAIL.

In conclusion, I want you to know that this is not a love letter, you’ll get that when the time comes. It is just my way of ‘putting it all out there’. There are a lot of things I feel you should be prepared for when it comes to being my girlfriend but I don’t want to overwhelm you. Just know that I am definitely, irrevocably, helplessly attracted to you.

P.S: Another important thing is that I love writing. After God, my Mum (Family), Food and Music, writing comes next. You’ll be receiving a lot of messages, emails, dms from me. I just love putting how I feel into words. This is probably the Tenth or Eleventh missive I’ve written since our first interaction ever. I hope I don’t come on to you too strong that you’ll be scared and decide to place me in one of the many zones you ladies have for guys nowadays. I don’t really function well in any zone except the ‘Friends with Benefits’ zone. So let’s leave our options opened for now, and enjoy each other’s company till we get to the next stage. Have a beautiful week ahead.

Without wax
Tolu Oke.

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I Do

11 Oct

Tolu was running late again. I should be used to this by now after being his girlfriend for over four years but it still gets to me, there was no way I would let him off the hook easy this time. We were supposed to see the premiere of this blockbuster movie together and I had made him promise to be on time this once but he was already fifteen minutes late. Thank God for the foresight that made me tell him the movie would start by 4p.m instead of the stipulated 5:30p.m, I wasn’t ready to allow his lateness ruin the movie for me.

After endless ‘Where are you (s)?’ to his phones and getting only the perfunctory ‘I’m on my way’; I gave up and decided to start the movie without him.

I chose my usual spot right in the middle row, and saved him a seat though I was extremely pissed at him. I checked my time again, it was 5:25pm and he wasn’t here. The lights in the cinema went dim as some movie trailers began, I brought out my phone and sent him a message ‘If you eventually decide to come, I’m in Cinema room two, our usual spot.’ To which I got an almost immediate reply ‘Okay baby.’ He even had the nerve to still call me ‘Baby’, ‘Baby my foot’, this was no way to treat the woman you claim to love more than life itself. I took a long draw from the cold bottle of soft drink I bought before entering the cinema and brought out my glasses as I settled back to hopefully enjoy the movie.

A slight commotion at the edge of our row announced his entrance, thirty minutes into the movie, the movie had taken my mind off him for a while but I quickly assumed the ‘annoyed posture’, arms folded, chin slightly raised with a straight face.
My breath got caught in my throat as I caught a whiff of his cologne, I had no explanation for that feeling but anytime I was away from him for a while, as soon as I perceived that odor, my knees always betray me. He wasn’t getting off easy this time, I reminded myself as he planted a kiss on my cheek, sending shivers down my spine.

‘Hauwa baby, I’m so sorry, something extremely important came up that I had to attend to’ He whispered into my ear as he playfully tugged at my earring with his teeth. My steel countenance melted as I burst into a giggling fit. I smacked his cheek and silenced him with a kiss, ‘Let’s try to enjoy the movie okay, and this doesn’t mean I’m still not pissed at you.’ I warned and he took a playful snap at my stretched finger with his teeth which I quickly withdrew. I settled into the warm confines of his chest as he wrapped his arms around me.

Few minutes to the end of the movie, it was paused and all the lights in the cinema came on,
‘We’re sorry for the interruption; the movie will continue shortly please bear with us.’ A voice announced over the speakers. We were all too surprised to say anything; we just kept our eyes glued to the screen.
The movie on the screen was removed and we were all staring at a blank screen, soft music started filtering through the speakers, it took me a few seconds to recognize the instrumentals of my favorite Nigerian Artiste, 2face’s Rainbow. I looked at Tolu beside me and he smiled, I was still pissed at him but I smiled back at him, rested my head on his shoulders and closed my eyes to be serenaded by the music. I was hearing murmurs from the crowd which was quite unusual, on opening my eyes, I saw a picture of myself on the screen, and then a smaller picture of Tolu faded into the screen. I sat upright and looked at Tolu but his face gave nothing away, he was as surprised as I was.

The volume of 2face’s Rainbow was increased and suddenly his voice came through the speakers loud and clear, singing over the instrumental being played. I looked at Tolu again, this time he couldn’t hide the smile that was on his face, he pointed at the screen and stood up just as 2face walked into the cinema with a microphone in his hand still singing.
Everyone in the cinema was too surprised to say a word; I looked at the screen and saw the words:
‘Hauwa my heartbeat, will you do me the honor of being the mother of my yet unborn children?’ Tolu was on one knee, hands outstretched holding a beautiful ring.

The Other Woman “Genesis”

9 Oct

…..
‘You whore’ one of the women screamed as she lunged at me in rage. I tried to get out of my chair but I was paralyzed. I took the impact of her body full in the face as we both tumbled backwards. She climbed me, knees blocking my lungs, eyes filled with anger and hatred. I was disoriented, gasping for air. I couldn’t feel the pain as she brought put a razor blade and slit my throat, but I felt her own pain. She was Andrew’s wife.

…..

‘Beep Beep’
Kumbi woke up, her hands instinctively going to her throat. She let out her breath and swallowed. That dream was so graphic and real, she shuddered at the thought of it coming to pass. She switched off her alarm and reached for her phone, there were no new messages. ‘Why did Akin not reply her messages or return her calls?’ He had made her promise not to call him when he would be at home with his family but she had broken that promise the previous night, she really needed to hear his voice. Akin was the only stable thing in her life right now and she wasn’t ready to lose him for any reason. They had been together for over a year now and things were getting serious.
Lately he had been complaining about his wife’s inability to satisfy his needs and how she cared more about her work and making her boss happy than making him, her husband happy. If not for the two kids they had together, he would have asked her for a divorce. He always extolled Kumbi’s ability to make him feel relaxed whenever they were together and he had made up his mind to take a break from his family to be with her the coming weekend. Kumbi hoped that she would be able to convince him to leave his wife for her. She knew she would make him happy, the same way He could make her feel whole again after what that idiot Sadiq had made her go through. Akin was her rock, her backbone.
She was surprised that he hadn’t called her, they had planned to meet the previous night and he failed to show up or pick up his phone or reply any of her messages. Although she was angry with him, she hoped he was alright. She made a mental note to call him again before she left for work.

***

‘Wake up sleeping beauty’ Akin crooned into the ears of his wife and planted a kiss on her lips. ‘Last night was amazing darling’ he added as he set down the tray filled with freshly made toast, warm milk, eggs and sausages with a jug of coffee and some honey.
‘Break-fast in bed? Good morning to you too handsome’ she replied and kissed him back as she sat up.
He carefully balanced the tray on her lap and held her hand.
‘You should go and shower hun, you smell like sex’ she teased and nudged him playfully with her foot. ‘I laid it on you pretty good right?’
‘Yeah, I admit it was something.’ ‘We should send the kids to their God-parents more often’ He added, ‘it’s been too long…’
‘I know baby, and talking of the kids, Kemi should be dropping them off any moment from now.’
‘Let me just take a quick…’
The sound of the car-horn signaling their arrival cut him short, he quickly donned his bathrobe and made his way downstairs. No sooner had he opened the door than screams of Dad and Mum filled the house.
Dami and Doja, his boys, tried to outrun each other in a bid to get to him first. He bent down to carry them both in his arms.
‘I missed you Dad’ Doja spoke first.
‘No Dad, I missed you more’ Dami added almost immediately.
‘Guess nobody missed me’ Hauwa spoke from behind them putting up a sulky look.
‘Mum!!!’ they screamed and wiggled till their Dad dropped them to run to their Mum, attaching themselves to her limbs until she carried them both in her arms.
‘I’m sorry Kemi’ Akin apologized to their God-mother as he took their overnight bags from her, ‘Thank you’
‘No problem, I have to go now though, I have a lot of running around to do and giving this Lagos traffic, the earlier I set out the better.’ She replied and blew the boys a kiss. ‘I’ll call you later Hauwa’ she added.
Akin walked her to her car, a sleek Toyota Camry 2012 model. ‘Tell Kunle to meet me at the club later this evening’ he said as he helped her with the door. ‘Drive safe.’

***

Kumbi looked at her phone for the umpteenth time, she couldn’t believe her ears, why would Akin do this to her? He had finally picked up her phone a few minutes back after two days and just when she was about to ask why he didn’t show up as they planned, he told her never to call him again that he couldn’t continue the friendship with her. A small tear rolled out of her eyes, then another and another smearing her make-up. She didn’t care, she just wanted to die. She had endured the whole day with the thought that hearing Akin’s voice later in the evening would soothe her pain but the pain increased exponentially after hearing those words from him. She went to her medicine cabinet and brought out a pack of Refnol, ‘it’s been a while old friend’ she said amidst tears. She opened a fresh bottle of Henny and poured herself a glass which she downed immediately. It was time to end it all, she was tired of getting used and dumped over and over again.

***

‘I’m at the airport darling’ Hauwa said as she threaded her way through the hundreds of people in the airport. ‘It’s strange that you chose a restaurant in the airport darling’ she added.
‘Just find your way over to the international airport sweets, I love you’ Akin replied and disconnected the call before she could say any other thing.
She soon spotted him at one of the waiting rooms and as she approached, he stood up and signaled to one of the bag-handlers to follow him. He hugged her and held her by the hand, directing her to one of the counters. ‘You’re right on time.’
‘Right on time for what?’ she replied, ‘Baby where are we going, the children, my office?
‘Ssshhh all taken care of baby, don’t you worry your head about anything. We are taking a well-deserved vacation.’ he interrupted her with a kiss.
‘But I didn’t pack any clothes…’ she continued
‘All taken care of dear, I had some help from Kemi and your Mum.’ He cut in, she’ll be picking up the boys and taking them to your Mum’s later too.
They were soon checked in and as they boarded the plane she asked ‘What about my office?’
‘I called your boss and asked for a leave on your behalf, told him I wanted to take you on a vacation to celebrate our tenth year anniversary.’ He answered, ‘You didn’t think I would forget did you?’
Hauwa was dumb-founded, Akin had worked really hard to keep the surprise from her and he had succeeded beyond her imaginations. Tears welled in her eyes as she looked up at his six foot plus frame, ‘I love you my darling.’ She whispered and kissed him deeply.

***

Tosin had been calling Kumbi’s number for the past two days but he got no response. The last update he saw on his sister’s phone’s IM got her very worried. Why does she always have to be the victim of a relationship gone sour? He tried her number yet again but got the ‘not reachable’ reply from the network service provider. He picked up his car keys and decided to go check on her.
He knew something was wrong the minute he drove into her compound and saw the door partially open, it was quite unlike her to leave the door open. She hated it when flies and insects get into the house. ‘Kumbi, it’s Tosin..’ he called out as he made his way to her room.
The sight that beheld his eye was one that would stick with him for the rest of his life…

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The Other Woman

2 Oct

At first, I was reluctant to attend the meetings but Tinu had insisted that I accompany her as a favor thus making it almost impossible for me to turn her down.

‘Hi I’m Kumbi.’
‘Hello Kumbi,’ the other women chorused in a cacophony of lovely voices.
I stole a glance at Tinu who gave me an encouraging nod to go ahead with my story, I had planned not to say a word at the meetings but I had no choice as it was expected of every newcomer to share their experience, an important piece of information that Tinu conveniently skipped while she was singing the praises of her ‘Little Girl Group’ as I liked to call it.

‘I’ve been sleeping with married men for close to five years now and I’m bored out of my mind. Maybe it’s because age is no longer on my side as I will be clocking Thirty-five in a few days or because of the last man I was with. His name was Andrew.
He was one of the new intakes at our company. He was the complete package, Tall, Dark and Handsome. He had good taste in clothes, shoes, in short he had his shit together. I took it all in immediately I spotted him, the clean shaved face, strong jawline, clothes well fitted, evidence of a man with a strict workout routine, and a wedding band. Not that a wedding band had ever stopped me in the past and it sure as hell won’t be stopping me now. I walked up to him, introduced myself and made small talk. He was a no-nonsense man, here to do his job and leave. I could see right through him. I would give him time to get settled before I made my move. A few days later I tried engaging him in small talk but he wouldn’t budge, ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’ were the high points of our conversations. I felt insulted at first, wondering why he was acting aloof, ‘Was I not attractive enough? Was I too forward?, ‘Why didn’t he flirt back?’ Then it began to excite me. I was determined to win this game. Maybe he and his wife were still newly weds and there was no way he would succumb to temptation this early on in the marriage. I would wait. Few months later, my wait was rewarded as ‘Mr Right’ came into the office looking less impeccable than normal and late. He had on the look of an husband whose wife was extremely pissed at him, trust me I’m an expert. I know when a man has woman issues. His head was on the desk, probably taking a quick nap after a long row with the wife. I tip-toed to his side and whispered into his ear ‘Andrew wake up, it’s time for work.’
He must have mistook me for his wife because he instantly blurted out ‘I’m sorry baby,’ with pain and sincerity in his eyes.
This man sure loves his wife, remember thinking and chuckled at his embarrassment on finding out it was only me, Kumbi a lady who works in the same company.

‘I don’t mean to bother you, but I thought you could use this’ I said handing him a cup of coffee.

‘Thanks’ he took the cup from my hand as I took a seat opposite him.

‘so tell me, what are you sorry for?’

‘It’s nothing’ he looked embarrassed.

‘I’m sure it’s something, nothing you want to tell me perhaps’ I smiled and tried to put him at ease.

He hesitated, then replied ‘ Hell I need a woman’s perspective anyways.’

‘I finally got through to the man’ I told the group of women hanging on my every word.

He started narrating his experience to me.

‘I ran into my ex-fiancée yesterday on my way home from work, it was raining and all she had for protection was a shower cap. I offered to drop her off at home but stopped first at my dry cleaners to pick up some clothes and drop a fresh batch. Apparently while I was in the dry cleaner’s place, my wife’s best friend drove by and saw my ex in the car and cussed her out, after which she immediately called my wife. By the time I got home, she didn’t give me a chance to explain, going on and on about what she was doing with me at the dry cleaners if I really wanted to drop her off at home since she lived on the other side of town…’

‘Why didn’t you go drop her off immediately?’ I interrupted

‘I wanted to catch the dry cleaners before they closed for the day’ he replied.

‘Oh that makes sense, but did you explain to her?’ I asked

‘Yeah but convincing her is the hard part, she just wouldn’t listen’ he whined back.

I decided to go in for the kill.

‘Why does your wife not trust you?’

Like a fool in love, he retorted almost instantly ‘she does trust me’

‘Not just you Andrew, a good woman should trust your judgments as well’

This hit home as he sat quietly and pondered over this for a few invites while sipping his now lukewarm coffee. He leaned back in his chair then plopped the question

‘How come you’re not married since you seem to know to much about being a good woman?’

‘Because I know a lot more about being a bad man’ I replied and grinned mischievously.’

We kicked it off from here and before long, Andrew and I started seeing each other after working hours in the parking lot every day. I was used to sleeping with married men and I felt no way about it but when Andrew told me we couldn’t see each other anymore because his wife miscarried after finding out about me – the other woman, I felt a measure of Guilt, ….’

‘You whore’ one of the women screamed as she lunged at me in rage. I tried to get out of my chair but I was paralyzed. I took the impact of her body full in the face as we both tumbled backwards. She climbed me, knees blocking my lungs, eyes filled with anger and hatred. I was disoriented, gasping for air. I couldn’t feel the pain as she brought put a razor blade and slit my throat, but I felt her own pain. She was Andrew’s wife.

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Pick ‘n’ Drop

24 Jul

His most striking feature are his eyes, they’re brown, a deep hazel, the kind that you can’t but give a second look. I believe that a person’s eyes say a lot about the kind of person he is, and looking inside his, feels like you’re being drawn into a miasma of pain, hurt, and possibly death, this was the first thing that attracted me to him. People have always chided me about my ability to empathise with other people irrespective of their persona and it is a part of me that has been exploited countless times by several people, both male and female.

We were at the bus stop together, and though there were other people there, what made me acknowledge his presence was how it seemed like he was staring at me but on moving closer, I observed he was lost in his thoughts. I had smiled when I first noticed his gaze on me and waved furtively but when he didn’t respond, I took a closer look and found out he was actually lost in thought about something or maybe someone.

‘A penny for your thoughts’ I tapped his shoulder with a huge smile on my face and quickly added ‘Not that I have a penny in this age though and by the way it is quite rude to stare’

‘E-e-r-r sorry do I know you?’ His voice was a rich baritone, he probably sang in a choir.

‘No I’m sorry, I saw you staring at me but when I came close, I met you lost in thought and I couldn’t help but talk to you. Did you lose your job?, were you jilted?, what happened?’

‘For someone you’ve never met, you seem to care an awful lot, are you this caring to everyone?’ He scooted to the side so I could sit beside him

‘Well, only if they look as handsome as you are’ I replied with a knowing wink

My effort at flirting was amply rewarded as he also gave me a huge smile that lit up his face, his stubbled cheek was now plumped up and I felt a little flutter in my heart. His dentition would have been perfect but for a broken incisor which gave him a mischievous yet sexy look, and his eyes looked much warmer and full of life as he told me his name.

***

Like I guessed, Daniel had just found out that his girlfriend of six years had been cheating on him, what made it even worse was that after he confronted her, she showed no sign of remorse. This was a girl that he practically, single-handedly sent to university because her Mum died when she was quite young and her dad was a ‘ne’er-do-well’. They had met during his youth service in her home town and he had taken it upon himself to make sure she had stellar education, sending her to one of the best private universities in the country, against the advice of his friends and even family members. Not only did she cheat on him, but she did it on a reality show, on national TV.

***
With the way he clenched and unclenched his fists unconsciously every time he mentioned her name, I was sure he had the deepest feelings for her. Why would anyone want to break such an amazing guy’s heart? Not only did he have the looks, he was the full package (Tall, Dark and Handsome). I caught myself fantasising about him and couldn’t help but smile.

‘Where are you actually headed cause I’m sure you know we’ve missed quite a number of buses’
His question jolted me out of my reverie
‘Oh, E-e-r-r that Yaba side’ I stuttered
‘I’m headed towards Oshodi, I need to get my car from the mechanic’s. I really enjoyed talking to you but I must go now.’
‘Oh’ was the only word that came out of my mouth. I was irrevocably attached to Daniel, I wished I could spend the rest of the day with him, the rest of my life?, maybe? He was just so loveable.
‘Please let their be traffic, no buses for now’ I quickly whispered to whoever was up there.
The ‘now’ had not left my mouth when I heard the horn of another bus on its way to the bus stop.
‘Alright man, I guess this is where I say ‘Adios’, till we meet again’ Daniel gestured to the ticket seller and bought tickets for both of us.
‘Here’ he handed mine over and I felt something else under the ticket, it was his complimentary card. He looked into my eyes as he said ‘I would love to hear from you very soon.’ and turned to board bus.
‘Me too’ I whispered behind him, and closed my eyes to savour the lingering scent of his perfume.

My name is Segun and I love ‘We-men.’

Adieu Papa

12 Jul

Countless number of times I’ve tried to write about my father, but something somewhere, somehow just doesn’t add up but I found courage and inspiration in @Aunty_Hotstuff ‘s post Dance with my Father‘. So here goes:

I was never scared of my Dad. Unlike most people I was actually very fond of him, in fact I preferred to offend him than to offend my Mum. My mum was the disciplinarian of the house, I remember a time she flogged me six strokes for coming second in a class of twenty-nine, ‘Why didn’t you come first?’ she had asked with each stroke of the cane. Dad on the other hand was not overly bothered, he would only advise that you put in more effort and that as long as you set your mind on something, you can achieve it. He would however deprive you of some perks that had been earlier promised.

My Dad neither knew how to appreciate people, nor know how to apologize, he believed that you shouldn’t do anything that would make you apologize and there was no way you can absolutely satisfy him. My Mum would wake up as early as possible, prepare us for school, go to work, come back home early in time to cook us lunch and dinner, and all my dad would do is complain about something that wasn’t done properly. I always pitied my Mum and my older ones whenever he started complaining about food not properly cooked or plates not washed properly. Being the lastborn, I was saved from his occasional wrath. My Dad was a good cook, he makes the best meals I ever knew the rare times he cooked, and my Mum even says it that it’s hard to top his cooking.
Whenever you did something to really annoy him, he would look at you with utmost disdain and call you abusive names in Yoruba, ‘Oloshi-omo’ he would say. As we grew older, he stopped using those words entirely. He was highly principled and it would probably take a miracle for my Dad to change his mind once it was made up about something. Even when my Dad was proved wrong about something, which was very rare, it took a lot of time before he would swallow his pride and apologize and accept.
The only time I could remember my Dad smacked me was when I was being rude to my immediate elder sister and she reported me to him. He smacked me hard and warned me never to disrespect her again. I can’t think of a time when he picked up one of the numerous canes scattered around the house to flog me.

‘Daddy’ like I always called him was the ‘Ideal Man’, a true father. I remember a time when my Mum was carrying a bowl of hot water to the bathroom for my sister and I. We were in primary school then and we were already late so I wanted to run to the kitchen to hurry her up, unfortunately for me she was already on her way with the hot water to the bathroom. I collided with her and the whole bowl of hot water spilled on my chest, it took the timely intervention of my Dad to stop me from peeling my skin to the bones. (I still have a scar that looks like the ‘Map of Africa’ like my sisters used to tease me with the on my chest). Though I had to miss school for a few weeks, my Dad never made me feel lonely, always cracking me up with jokes about my reaction when the hot water poured on me and practically home schooling me. I confess that was one of my best times in Primary school.

Another time, I went to represent my Mum at one of her numerous AGMs (Annual General Meeting) of teachers, and on my way back I had an accident on the bike. When we got home, the bike-man refused his fare and apologized to my Dad but it took the intervention of my sister to stop him from insulting the man or even beating him up. Despite my protests that I was alright, he insisted that my chest be checked and rubbed first by my sister, then by him and for the next two days he kept rubbing it for me morning and night.

When I ‘failed’ my JSSCE exams and my brother and my sister who prepared me for my exam then punished me severely for making a fool of myself, deceiving them that I was reading my book while I was reading novels thus having a bad result. I had already boasted about this to my other sisters before the result came out. My dad didn’t chastise me for getting such a poor result, he even helped to treat the wounds I sustained from the punishment and encouraged me to buckle up as soon as I get into the Senior secondary school. He even rebuked the actions of my brother and sister then, told them that they went to the extreme and that they shouldn’t have punished me that much.
I was just thirteen when he was taken away from us and though most people thought I was too young to understand what it meant, they were wrong. I was far older than my age, I wouldn’t have anyone to argue ‘men’ issues with, no one to take me shopping, no one to advise me on how to handle women, no one to see me through my entry into manhood, no one… I still remember clearly the last words we spoke to each other as I left the house that morning, I had just come back from boarding school and he wasn’t very happy about my results. He was having a serious case of cough and amidst one of the bouts, he advised that I spend more time at home studying during the holidays and catching up on what I failed. Only for me to come back home in the evening to an empty house and then to find out later in the evening that I’d lost him to the cold hands of death.

***
Of the numerous things I admire about the way my father lived, one of them is the fact that throughout the years he was married to my mother, he never ate outside for once. Even at functions, he would wait till he got back home until he ate anything, and God bless any of my sisters at home if a plate of hot Amala is not on the dining table for him.
I miss that I couldn’t share the details of my first kiss with him, my first heartbreak, my first encounter with alcohol, my first….

If at my age, I’m half the man he was at my age, I would be so honored. I love you so much Dad.

R.I.P David Akinola Oke
1939-2003

The Man who can

13 Jun

‘You’re a fool, you shouldn’t have sold yourself cheap’ she screamed at me, spraying my face with showers of saliva. She threw the money at me and continued ‘A meager #50,000? You must have been at your worst tonight; chief would have tipped even me better than that.’
Why don’t you offer him your asshole then? I itched to reply, but caught myself just in time to prevent a prolonged shout out with Madam. It was unlike her to come and meet me at the hotel as against our prearranged rendezvous points. She must be really desperate for the cash.
I could already smell her breath, a mixture of alcohol and marijuana, I was sure she would apologize in the morning when she sobered up but right now, the last thing on my mind was to even be here. I longed for the solace of my two bedroom apartment. I could feel the anger in my stomach moving upwards. My palm itched to hit Madam’s face but then I remembered why I was in this situation in the first place. I could only pray she doesn’t go through with her threat to expose everything.

I’ve always known her as ‘Madam’, that was the name she gave me the day we met at a bar where I was having drinks with my friends. We just finished a successful deal, the four of us netting #100,000 each. It would have been a larger amount, but I insisted that we stop the scam. I envisaged that even if we were caught, we could all rally round and get the money back.
We had finished our second bottle of red label and were on our way out when she signaled to the bartender to give us a third, we politely declined., but she insisted, hinting that she had a business proposition.
‘We don’t do business with strangers’
‘Oh snap out of it, this one will net you and your friends a lot more than the change you’re making now scamming unsuspecting housewives’ she said and took a sip from her glass.
‘I’m afraid you have the wrong crew’ I replied trying to keep a straight face, ‘How on earth did she know about us?’
‘Well’ she started then reached for her purse and threw a couple of photographs on the table, with well- kept fingers.
I made to pick them up but my guys beat me to it, sharing the pictures around them with several exclamations of ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ escaping their mouths.
‘Sharrap’ I snapped at them and snatched one of the pictures off Kunle the closest to me. My heart thumped loudly against my chest as I saw a pose of my naked self, face included. That was one thing we always guarded against, revealing our facial features in the pictures we sent to prospective clients.
‘Do you still think I’ve got the wrong crew’ She raised her head and blew a cloud of smoke in my face
‘What’s the meaning of this? Where did you get this?’ I snapped at her.
‘Oh cut the crap lover boy, I have a business proposition for you especially, your friends are just icing on the cake’ she replied.
‘Not before you tell me who gave you this’ I replied, fingers clenched in anger
‘Alright alright’ she said waving her arms in a circle round her head ‘Does the name ‘B-Slayo’ mean anything to you?’ she added.
How could I forget ‘B-Slayo’ the slime that cheated us out of our very first deal, threatening to turn us over to the police after we cashed in? He fell in love with the client, telling her everything about how we were poor undergraduates who dropped out of school for lack of funds and decided to run this scam. How we had kept sending pictures of our bodies only to a select number of women, especially those whose husbands we knew had no time for them; senators, politicians, business magnates. After they must have fallen in love with us, we then start blackmailing them, making sure they saw just one person out of the group. That person would also pretend like he was been blackmailed by the same crew to get whatever amount we wanted from the client, telling her that he also had never made direct contact with us.
We had it all planned out but B-slayo broke the first rule of been the contact, he fell in love with the senator’s wife that our net first snagged. The only condition on which he wouldn’t expose our real identities to her was if we would leave him alone and let him continue being the woman’s boyfriend which we had no choice but to agree to.
‘Now his single act of betrayal has come back to hit us in the face?’
‘From the expression on your face, I assume you remember him perfectly’ she said, snapping me out my reverie.
‘He’s a fucking chicken with no back bone, a weakling who is unworthy of being called a man…..’ I fumed.
‘Save me the sentimental bullshit and listen’ she broke in, ‘with a body and a face like yours, you shouldn’t ever want for anything money can get, your brother too.’ she added.
‘Let’s hear what you have to say then’ I said, through forced teeth.
‘It’s like this’ she started, ‘I’ll link you up with ladies who are actually interested in the services of young men like you, you’ll be their escorts for the day or night, depending on when they need you. You’ll attend to all of their needs whatever they are’.
‘And what’s in it for us’ I broke in
‘Money’ she answered, ‘lots of it at your disposal, ranging from #500,000 upwards for each client.’
Kunle interrupted ‘I assume you’re doing this from the benevolence of your heart huh?’
‘Smart-ass’ she replied ‘of course not, but I’ll be your agent, your link, whatever you choose to call it, and by the way you can call me ‘Madam’.’ She added.

***

The business proposition started off on the wrong foot as Madam almost swindled us out of our very first deal, but we were able to catch on quickly and got our share. As we progressed from one client to the other, Madam and I got unbearably close as her clients always had glowing praises for my services. I was satisfying their every need. She couldn’t but taste of the ‘goodies’ she was offering to her clients and I was very eager to satisfy her.
Very soon, my friends were conveniently left out of the picture as I became her one and only star attraction, peddling me here and there to anyone and everyone that could afford me. I soon became an open secret among the elite ladies of the society; I was even given a code name
‘The man who can’…

To be continued…

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