5 Things Every Smart Woman Must Possess/Own

It feels like forever since I was last on the blogosphere. I want to try a short remedy this morning as my active academic focus is hitting a mental block. This is to decompress #sohelpmeGod.

 

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So, as a woman/lady/girl, you hear all the time what other people think you should do, shouldn’t do, act or should not act like, speak or not speak like, become or not become. The question keeps floating around your head #TobeOrnotTobe.

I’d say, #BE. Be everything you want to be and more, be yourself, be your depressed self, be your unhappy self, be your impulsive self, then be your best self. #BeYou. #BeWhoeverYouWannaBe. Own it. It’s all you and you don’t owe anyone any apologies for being you.

So, 5 things I feel every woman/lady/female should own/possess/have at every point in her adult life are these….

  1. Her own Man: Yes honey, I know all the feminists be ready to burst my head because I say every female should have her own man. But hey, hear me out first. Own your man. Be it in the capacity of that great friend, a fuckboi, a tease, a flirt, a handy-man, a main-squeeze, a booty-call, a husband, a prince-charming, a rescuer, and for my girls on the hustle, an ATM. Okay. whatever that man represents in your life, make sure you be owning him because you want to, because he fits into your plan. Don’t let anyone walk/talk/push you into something you don’t want.
  2. Her Own Money: Yes Lady, you need to have a lil’money of your own put away for emergencies. Be it ‘hike money’, or ‘vex money’ for when you are on a date and he is being a total a**hole. But importantly, you need some money of your own that can tide you over for a few months, at least three for when you have to quit a bad relationship or for emergencies we all can’t imagine right now.
  3. Her Own Mind: Girl, you need to have a mind of your own. You should be able to take your own decisions. When you are all alone and everything seems meh, take a minute, close your eyes, be still and listen to that lil voice inside of you. we all have that voice. No, not the one that says call Eric for a quick booty-call on your day off from work scheduled for your girls. No, not that voice. The other calm lil voice that sometimes tells you ‘girl, don’t even look at his face. This dude is bad news’ as soon as that cute guy said ‘hey’ and you said ‘hello’. Even though he looked alright. Listen to that voice, take your decision and stick with it regardless.
  4. Her Own Place: If you are not married or in a committed relationship, girl, get your own place. There’s no point living in a tenement or living with 20 other people when you are an adult. Don’t live in borrowed space. You need to practice for the real world. To be honest, living by yourself limits the amount of friction with other people especially if you have OCD or just plain like your things a particular way. Live by yourself, grow your own mind.
  5. Her Go-to bag/purse: Well, what can I tell you ladies. If you do not already own this item, you should get to it immediately. Your go-to bag is that bag/purse that has the magic qualities of transforming you. How? It holds that one make-up accessory that you can’t do without because it lights up your face – mascara, glam gloss, brow filler or glam lipstick. This bag/purse also holds all you need for an overnight trip to wherever you need to be. This bag/purse is also cute enough to act as a day purse for when you empty things out on a short trip and need a purse to use on a date or an job appointment.

There you go. The 5 things every female needs.

MY MICROWAVE AND BILLS

GOD BLESS MY MICROWAVE

Have you noticed how all your bills become due the same week, in the space of 48hours? Like a conspiracy, you feel hounded by sms notifications and reminders. “Dear DSTV/GOTV subscriber, we miss you. Your subscription will expire in two days time”, “Dear subscriber, you BIS subscription is expiring 19th August 2015 at 11.22pm”, “Your data bundle is remaining 264MB. You shall be charged at a bundle rate when your data is exhausted.” Crap! Oh! Let’s not forget PHCN when your prepaid meter starts a new song of ping-ping-ping after blinking red for a few weeks without your attention. Oh sweet lord! As if this were not enough, your cooking gas gets exhausted on a TGIF night and you had just cleaned out your bank account to service your car and change the gear oil! Crap! Crap! And double crap! Welcome to the real world of bills where everything demands immediate fiscal response.

This was my world this past weekend and with a few units left on my prepaid electricity meter, I resorted to wait out the weekend. Funny thing, I had also filled my car tank after servicing it only to get home, strike a match and the burner said “aha! I have been waiting for you.” Summarily, I sat indoors, nursing 118ml of Peptol Bismol (not to get high tho) and trying to figure out what to do for food. Luckily, I had frozen things I had cooked at different intervals and thank God for electricity in these parts of the country. Na microwave go hear am naa.

In short, I discovered that my microwave which I had hitherto been underestimating, could cook, fix and feed me with virtually anything I ask it to fix. Friday night when I came in, I was looking for a quick fix so noodles was on the way before the burner decided to quit on me. No trouble. I thought about it for a while, then got the idea to finish cooking it in the microwave. Na PHCN units go suffer. Voila! My microwave fixed my noodles so well it looked like it had more volume than what comes out of the pot when I go the regular route.

Next day, I had a guest who wouldn’t leave. I thought about it again and made eba. Small stuff. Then came the tough part because I was tired of noodles and didn’t wanna repeat eba (not my style). So, contemplating asking the microwave to fix pancakes or yam, I settled for a middle ground – why not ask it to make poundo yam instead? Ha! You were wondering eh? Yup! It did. My microwave is such a darling, I now have new respect for it. Thank God it is Monday though, the day we make money.

Thank You For Flying With Me

Dear Subbies and everyone else who read, liked, commented, smiled and enjoyed my posts in 2014, I say a big thank you for having you here with me following my stories and my silly rants.
Sheedart, I have not forgotten the assignment you gave me. Phredoh, Cynthia, Tabitha your comments on the just concluded series – LIES WOMEN TELL were truly encouraging and invaluable. It pleases me to see y’all actually entertained by my writing. To the writer of BEST MAN DUTY, I want to say a big thank you for pushing me to do this series and for holding my hand on those really hard days. And to every ghost reader out there, keep reading but start commenting in 2015.

I love you all and hope to read your comments on my new series starting in 2015 – LIFE of A GIDI BROKEASS.

Thank you all for flying with me on WordPress. Thank you WordPress for keeping this space open for me. Have a wonderful 2015.

LIES WOMEN TELL #15 : FINALE

Episode #15 – The Finale

Sitting morosely at lunch with some of her colleagues, Lara’s phone was directly before her on the table. She kept glancing at it after every few minutes willing it to ring. It was over two weeks now. Malik hadn’t bothered to call since he left her apartment that Saturday morning. She had analyzed the whole episode and decided it was on him to call her so, she wasn’t going to call but was willing to pick his calls within the next few days. Otherwise, it is ‘bye-bye baby boo’.
If he didn’t call in the next couple of days, it is over. I won’t bother picking his calls until I am safely married to someone else…..if only to spite him. That ought to show him how mad I am at him for not at least calling so we can talk about it. Men can be such jerks sometimes. If I were to marry someone else right now, who would it even be?
The following week went by without any sign of Malik’s name flashing across her screen. At this point, Lara was beyond mad at the man. She had re-saved his number as ‘never answer’ effectively closing that chapter of her life. She was glad she had not fallen stupidly in love with Malik before their first and only fight ended a relationship before it had a chance to begin. She decided to redirect her energies towards Dele in the meanwhile after all, he made her blood sing every time he touched her.

Picking up her phone, she dialed a number.
“Hey baby!” crooning
“Hey! You remember me today?” came Sandra’s voice
“Not really” came Lara’s hiss “I just wanted to inform you that Malik is officially history. You won’t believe he has not called in the last three weeks. Just because I panicked for a minute.”
“Or it could be because you finally gave him some sugar” came Sandra’s contribution
“Yea……that is also a possibility. Men are so terrible. You won’t believe he stopped calling my name and would only call me ‘ife mi’. He begged several times for me to stay with him only for him to disappear at a slight display of trouble”
“Hmmmmn” drawn out encouragingly
“I’m totally fed up with these men. In fact, I give up. I will just stay with my Dele jejely” Lara complained bitterly to her friend
“Don’t give up so easily. Did you try calling him to find out what happened? He may have lost his phone or maybe his mother had another attack and died sef. You don’t know”
“Lost his phone how naa? Malik can not lose his phone. He is always very careful and he doesn’t take public transport”
“Listen to yourself. So, because someone is careful or does not take public transport, that gives his phone immunity in Nigeria eh? Better wake up and smell the thieving economy” Sandra advised
“Me, I am not going to call him. He should have called by now. If he thinks this will be like the last time in Abuja, he is dreaming. I will not call him” Lara emphasizes
“It is well dear. Maybe it is for the best”
“Yea. Anyway, let me allow you return to whatever you are doing. I will soon close for the day”
“Be safe girl”
“You too” disconnects call
Letting the phone drop into her bag, she climbs the staircase back to her work station. It is well and over she repeated firmly as she climbed.

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At the close of work, she checks her phone for missed calls, unconsciously hoping to see something from ‘never answer’. Nothing. Another sigh deep inside her.

When the heart badly wants something, it sometimes doesn’t happen; but just when you give up on it and let go, it comes back at you with force. Lara contemplated her budding relationship with Malik and how a single moment of panic seem to have nipped it in the bud. She regretted not going with him to Abuja for another full minute. All the could-have-beens.
Remembering a T.D. Jakes message she had listened to over the radio not so long ago where a young woman wanting so bad to marry a man, she cried, prayed and fasted for weeks when the young man broke up with her. So, she said to her pastor “Pastor, you have to pray this into reality. You have to pray for him to come back. I can’t live without him. I love him and can’t marry anyone else” the pastor was heartbroken for her.
Many years later, she returned to the church to visit. She was smiling this time when she said to him,
“Pastor, remember the young man I cried, fasted and prayed over years ago?”
“Yes, I do” answered the pastor “Well, I didn’t get married to him praise Jesus. I’m married to someone else and I love him completely. We have two kids, a house and God has been so good to us.”
“So, what about the other man” asked the pastor
“He has been through two divorces already and the third one is in court. I thank God everyday for not answering my prayers. I can’t help but shudder when I think that could have been me married to him and divorced already.” she informed him
Thinking on this whimsically, Lara decided it was time to let go. Of all the answered prayers….

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Unfortunately for Lara, today was not one of her driving days therefore, she thronged with the multitude of her co-workers going to the junction to catch a bus home. Sprinting with a couple of guys towards the taxi as it coasted towards them, at the last minute, she decides to let it go and wait for the next one. Somehow, she felt her chances were better with the next taxi.

Finally in a taxi, sandwiched between two plump women, she felt like chicken breast in a mini-oven. The woman on her right wore a short-sleeved dress and appeared to have figured out a new way to make only the sweat pores on her arms work. She was sweating seemingly only on her arms and it felt nothing like sweat, very sticky, squishy and annoying liquid that threatened to soak entirely through the sleeves of Lara’s shirt. Slightly annoyed to say the least. Gravitating towards the woman on her left to avoid the bollocks of sweat to her right threatening to drench her shirtsleeve.

Moving closer to the other lady, she almost choked to a stop. This one stank all kinds of stale. What was she carrying on her person? She probably took her bath this morning with last night’s washwater. Dang! Deciding to vacillate between her handkerchief or behind the driver’s seat until either of them got off so she could hug the window to death, she patiently endured. None of the women got off until Lara did. She quickly alighted, took a gulp of air and hurried towards her junction. I need to scrub this Ebola-like sweat off as a someone with OCD would shuddering as she walked down her street.

Approaching her gate, Dele calls.
“Hey babe!”
“Hey Hey! Did you see the message I left you on Facebook?” cautiously
“I did. That’s why I’m calling”
“So why are you so chirpy?” heightened caution
“Because it confirms to me that even my baby cannot be trusted as much as I imagined in my head that she is beyond such temptations” he said in that annoyingly chirpy voice
She hung up. Three seconds later.
“Did you hang up on me?”
“No. It must be the network. Those your girlfriends in MTN do not want you talking to me” she jibed
“This is serious shit. Why are you trying to trivialize it?” he accused
“I’m sorry babe”
“So, you kissed a guy over there?” he said “Are you sure that’s all that happened?”
“Yes. That’s all that happened. He kissed me. I didn’t kiss him first and I didn’t kiss him back….technically”
“Are you trying to panasharp what you did?” sarcastically “Are you trying to tell me you were just walking on the street minding your own business and a random guy stumbled across your lips where you were minding your business and somehow your lips was open and his too and they met in midair?” more sarcasm in a grim voice.
She started laughing.
“Oh! I see. You think this is funny”
“I’m sorry babe. I do not. It was just the way you painted the scene” she apologized
Sigh “So, tell me what happened exactly” he said
“Errr, I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking. I just felt so bad within myself but with this ‘no-holds-barred’ thing we agreed to, I decided to just come clean with you so my conscience can allow me sleep” trying to assuage him
“Just tell me what happened. Tell me how he stumbled on your open lips when you were gently walking down your street because that must have been what happened eh?” fresh sarcasm
“Baby, I just said I was sorry. Are you going to be like this about just a kiss?”
“Oh! ‘Just a kiss eh”? You imagine I believe only a kiss happened between you both? You are kidding right?”
“Baby, I swear I won’t lie to you. After deciding to tell you what happened, why would I lie to you?”
“Well, you are yet to tell me how it happened. I still await your side of the story. Unfortunately, I will be hearing only your narration. The poor bastard that stumbled across your open lips on the street will not have the privilege of telling his”
“Baby, please you have to stop saying it like that”
“How else do you want me to say it when you won’t tell me what really happened?”
“That’s what I have been trying to do.” hotly
“I’m all ears” simply “first, what is his name?” he queried
“Malik”
“Aha!” recollecting this was the name he had seen flashing across her phone screen that night in his house. So they did hook up and had been hooking up behind his back since then! Let’s hear the pretty liar out first.
“He came to visit me on Saturday morning. I assumed it was just an innocent visit since we work together and it was morning. I woke up late, remember you called and I told you I just woke up and was rushing to get ready for work? Remember?”
“Continue” came the response
“So, I felt he came over to give me a lift to work. My car has issues with the alignment and I don’t want to have an incident when I’m driving by myself. I told you that too. Remember?” accusingly
“This is not about fixing your car babe. Don’t start accusing” he returned
“So, I was rushing around the place trying to get set while he sat watching some soccer re-runs. Then, I came out of the room and he complimented my dress which I thought nothing of since we all do it at work all the time. I said ‘thank you. Ready to go?’ Are you with me babe?”
“I wouldn’t miss this for anything” he seemed to have found a new lease on sarcasm this evening
“Then, as I approached the door, about to say something to him, he just kissed me. I swear I don’t know how it happened but it was him that kissed me. I was too shocked to respond or anything” she concluded
“Oh! You were panning to respond to him before abi?”
“No. That’s not what I meant. I mean, I totally did not see any of those things he did coming so I didn’t know how to react immediately.” trying to explaining
“The things he did? You mean there were other things he did? You are trying to tell me right now, babe that he still did other things beyond stumbling upon your lips?” he asked incredulously
Hastily “Baby, allow me to explain myself. I meant, him coming up to my house and kissing me and being nice. I just assumed because we worked together and because I was rushing for work, I didn’t analyze them properly before the kiss happened. I’m sorry”
“You are sorry? You invite a strange guy into your home, this and whatever else you have decided to not tell me happens and you say sorry!” close to raging now
“What else do you want me to say? He isn’t a stranger. We work together. Are you ever around? Do you ever have time for me? Do I see you unless I come visiting? Do you ever just surprise me and fly down here with chocolates and wine and rose flowers? Do you? Do you?” yelling into the phone as she sobbed now. This was turning out to be a real bad day for her. First, Sandra had warned her against confessing anything to Dele.
“Babe, you don’t go confessing anything to your man. They do worse but you will never hear it from them. Even when you catch them, you better be sure to catch them good and say right there to them ‘I see you o. We will talk about this’ else, they will deny it totally even if you have a picture! They will just tell you ‘na photoshop’. Don’t do it babe. He will never forgive you”
“I just want complete closure on this Malik’s thing. Dele won’t hold it against me. He totally loves me.”
“Love eh? Wait till you tell a guy another man kissed you then you can watch him redefine love in your relationship. Don’t do it Lara. Why am I even telling you not to do something you already made up your mind to do? I’ll be here waiting. Lemme know how it goes”
She should have listened to Sandra. Apparently, you do not confess your sins to your man. Mistake no.2 in the women’s handbook for men now experienced firsthand. She was worried. Would Dele be able to let this go? They had both gone silent in the meanwhile but both remained on the line.

“So that was what he did? Wine, chocs and roses? That’s all he had to do to get you?” He accused bitterly in a low voice “So, I’m up here working every day of the week and most weekends so I can take care of you, treat you like a woman should be treated, provide everything you can desire, trying to build a life for us that we both can be proud of yet you can complain about wine and chocs Lara. Have you ever said to me ‘baby, I miss you and I want you to come over this weekend’ that I refused? Have you ever invited me to your place Lara? After I paid for the place, furnished it and came to see if it was comfortable for you, did you ever asked me over since then? Let me also ask you this since we are on the topics of chocs and wines, when did you ever say to me, ‘baby, I’m coming over today or this weekend and you got here and wanted chocs, roses, wines or whatever that I said ‘NO’ to you?”

She was crying again. “No Lara. Don’t cry. This isn’t the time for you to cry” she cried harder. He had called her Lara instead of the usual endearment. No matter how mad he had been at her in the past, he never used her name. This must signal the end of them she surmised. Dear Lord! What have I confessed to!
“Don’t cry yet. Allow me to finish. You must think because I work so much and do not seem to have a social life that I am a recluse impervious to other women eh? You think I cannot recognize a beautiful woman besides you right? I disciplined myself for your sake Lara not because I can’t be like other men but now………..” he let his statement hang threateningly

She was still crying. “So, just chocs, roses and wine Lara? Things you can get for yourself with your own money is what this Malik guy got you with! I’m thoroughly disappointed”
“I’m sorry baby. I’m sorry. I was distracted” pleading
“Oh! Now, it is distraction? Not because I did not bring you wine and chocolates?” twisting the knife in

Pulling herself together, recognizing this as the relationship one-up ‘having one over your partner’. Rarely, would a partner let stuff like this go if then can use it to make you do something in their favor. This was the part where she had to offer him a blank cheque to write whatever figure he desired. He had the upper hand now. Taking another deep breath to clear her head.

“I’ll do anything you say Dele” deliberately using his name to let him know she was serious
“Hmmm. Fine then, come to Abuja tomorrow” calmly
“Tomorrow? I have to go to work!” exclaiming
“You said you would do anything” he reminded her
“But tomorrow, tomorrow? Please can it be Friday instead?” pleading
“No. You can come Thursday however” relenting
Sigh. “Okay. Thursday. You will pick me up?” hesitantly
“You can take a taxi…..” hearing her resigned sigh “Of course I will pick you up. We don’t want fresh strangers giving you a lift” he couldn’t resist
Another sigh was her only response.
“Thank you babes. You forgive me?” she wanted to know she was in the clear
“When you come over, we’ll talk about that” he said and hung up
She was left with an empty dial tone and wondering what did I just do to myself?

Dialing, Sandra was not picking up. She dialed again. She should be home by now. She picked up on the third ring.
“Tell me” the first thing out of her mouth
“Hmmn I should have listened to you” came Lara’s sad voice
“I know you should have listened to me girl. I should listen to me all the time too but I never do” Sandra soothed
“I just handed him big time leverage and he is already using it.”
“How?”
“He wants me to come to Abuja on Thursday to show how repentant I am and whatever else he has planned, I have no idea at this point” Lara informed
“Well, you already got into it, might as well ride it through. If you do everything he says, it will soon blow over but you gotta go along with all he says tho” cautioning
“What if he says something ridiculous like ‘marry me so something similar does not happen again”?
“Simple: you marry the man!” came Sandra’s rejoinder
“What?” Lara exclaims
“What is what? Ehn Lara? what is what? Why have you been wasting your time dating him all these three years if you had not the slightest desire to marry him? Why couldn’t you do like other women and just shut up about Malik instead of allowing your conscience beat you to death till you confessed?” allowing her muse briefly, she continued “You know what, I think on a subconscious level, you wanted to be found out by Dele. You wanted a way out of the relationship so you can be free to chase that unserious Malik guy that goes on and off like PHCN. Too bad Dele loves you too much to give up that easily. If he says ‘marry me Lara’ that’s exactly what you are going to do”
“But….but” stuttering
“no buts. I admit I encouraged you about Malik. I was wrong. This time, no more mistakes. If that’s what Dele wants, that’s what Dele is going to get. He has tried more than most of the weyreys you keep dating anyways. If that’s what he wants after your stupid confession which any man can tell is a half confession, then you are going to say ‘yes’ to the man or ain’t you tired of counting calendar?” pausing meaningfully. ‘counting calendar’ referred to single girls always counting their cycle on calendars to determine their safe days so as to avoid unwanted pregnancies with their boyfriends.
A deep sigh. “Alright. I hear you and I’m somewhat relieved you have helped me put it all in perspective. Malik is a no-show and if Dele still wants me after what I told him, then, I’ll gladly marry him. His mum barely has a say in what he does these days ever since he got this great position and became the financier of the family. Thank you Sandy” she said fondly
“You are welcome anytime girl. See you Thursday?”
“Ah! I don’t think so. Dele said he will pick me up and I guess that means we would be gong straight to his place or his office depending on the time I get in”
“nawa o. Just now now wey we talk something, you don quick grab am dey act like Ruth abokoku! Diariz Godu o” They both laugh “No P. Just keep me posted. Love you girl”
“Love you too. Thanks for this Sandra”
“Anytime”

Now, for that OCD scrub and a relaxing cup of white wine and fish afterwards. This was shaping up to be a great great week and a promising weekend ahead. Just then, her phone begins ringing ‘Never answer’ was flashing across the screen for the first time in three weeks. What does this devilish maniac want just after she thought she had closed his chapter and settled her head on Dele! Oh well!, that’s why his name was now stored as ‘never answer’. He will tire and go away she told herself as she sailed into the bathroom peeling off her clothes as she went.

LIES WOMEN TELL Episode #14

She opened her eyes and Malik was still here. After last night, she had half expected he would have snuck off her bed and returned to Abuja in the wee hours of the morning. Isn’t that what they all do? Bed the girl and board the train! Mother of surprises, he was still here. What does he really want? Are we friends or is this something more than being ‘just friends?’ she asked herself again for the hundredth time since last night when he had told his mother she was just a friend.

She glanced across at him as he lay peacefully with an arm flung above his head, resting on the flowered pillowcase. He looked so adorable in his sleep. She wondered if he was dreaming of their night together as a brief smile played across his features teasing his lips into a half-smile. Should she wake him up? It was a Saturday and she could choose not to go to work today. It would only get deducted from her paycheck. She was used to taking a cut at the cost of having a social life besides working six days a week.

She would stay if he wakes up and act right. She would leave by 9am if he wakes up and acts like a pig. That decided, she crawls over to him, placing a kiss on his upturned nose, his eyes flutter open. Those clear dreamy eyes that always seek to drown her. Presently, they appeared to be deep pools of darkness trying to drown her soul.

“Good morning Ife mi. Slept well?”
“I should be the one asking if you slept well. Hope the bed bugs didn’t bite?” she teased
“Ah! My back!” on an octave
“Oh dear! Are you alright? Did something prick you?” she asked before catching the gleam in his eyes and realizing he was only pulling her legs considering he wasn’t even lying on his back anymore
“Stop teasing!” she said batting one of the pillows at him
“I couldn’t help it. You were the one worried I didn’t sleep well. I wanted to give you something to fuss about. Too bad you found me out” he laughed pulling her into his embrace and rolling her underneath himself on the big bed before kissing her properly.
“Good morning my love. I did sleep well. Did you too?” he repeated
“Yes Malik. I did sleep just fine.” eyeing his face suspiciously, she continued “I noticed you were snoring loud enough to wake the neighbors so I decided to wake you up first before they come to break my doors down” it was her turn to tease him
“I do not snore!” he announced indignantly “However, I heard you snore a bit”
“That is so untrue! Ladies do not snore”
“Oh really! But do they breathe? Do they have noses? Do they use their noses or does the air just pass through their pores and go out someplace else?” sarcastically
“You are incorrigible” she said laughing hard “Yes, we use our nose but we do not snore” she maintained
“Well, you at least, do not. I can’t say about the many others that do” he conceded
“I have to leave today and I want you to come with me. I want my mother to meet you properly”
“I met her already. Was that improper?” snidely
“You know what I’m talking about Lara. I want to go and introduce you to her as my fiancee. I am sure this is what I want to do” he said to forestall her asking that question just as her lips parted
“I know what you are thinking but contrary to your belief, I am not taking you to her just because of what happened last night…” at her raised brow “Alright. What happened several times last night and which I thoroughly enjoyed” he stopped to poke her so she giggled

Seeing her giggle, he pushed the question again “Do we have an agreement?”
“What?” she said on a drawn out breath “You just informed me now. Allow me think about it for a bit” she added when he made a sad face
“Please…………..” he was making puppy faces now “Please……”
“You are not even going to allow me think!” she accused
“Alright. Think. I will be in the bathroom. By the time I am out of the bath……” he allowed it to hang threateningly
She poked out her tongue in response.

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Retreating into her thoughts,she was playing a few unpleasant scenarios in her head containing Malik’s mother.
Arriving Nnamdi Azikwe Int’l Airport, Malik’s driver is already waiting.
“Is this a new guy?” she inquires
“Not really. He was on leave the last time you were in town. So, yes he is new to you”
“What is his name?”
“Isa” came the response
“Nice. So long as he drives you safely” with a side hug as he smiled at her
On approaching the house, Malik begins a strange ritual – checked his face in the mirror, wiped it down with a gray handkerchief, folded it neatly, placing it into his jacket pocket before bringing out a little vial of oil, dabbed some on his fingers, rubbing in between his fingers. Next, he takes out a narrow toothed comb made of bone and ran it through his full hair. It was like watching someone preen for an audition and she was curious what the performance was about. Still watching him curiously, she was finally about to say something.

“I do this little ritual when I visit my mother. It is something of a habit left over from when we used to live together in my high school days and my mother was always particular about my grooming.” seeing the questioning look on her face, he decided to elaborate “She wanted me to appear well taken care of. You see, after my father’s death, his relatives wanted to take me away from my mother but she held on to me and refused to let me go. Their condition to leave me with her was that she would not re-marry. An utterly harsh condition but she readily agreed to it instead of giving me up.”

Lara looked utterly surprised at this new piece of information.
“That is a really huge sacrifice she made”
“I realized that in the last year of my senior high school. Initially, when she made such requests about my grooming, I would rebel and she would cry for hours. After a while, I sat, thought about her life, how she always did her best to give me every single thing I wanted and how I never saw her with any man.”
“wow!” was all she could say
“Yes. She is a pretty amazing woman and she is all I have. She fought for me and she was there through all the hard times. That is why I am always scared to lose her or offend her. I am used to pleasing her and find it difficult to disagree with her sometimes” he seemed to be forewarning her
“I can understand how that can be like” she soothed him patting his hand as it lay in between them on the seat. “I totally understand how that can be”

She could imagine the hard times, social pressure and financial struggle his mother must have been through to train a young boy all by herself. She also imagined how terrible in-laws would be to impose such a life sentence on a young woman because they wanted to take the last thing her husband left her away from her.
Such heartlessness in this country! North, South, West, East, she was sure she could not bequeath the award to just any of the demographics in the four zones in Nigeria. They all had their excesses but all could be hard on a woman who just lost her husband and had no kid for him, or just one child. Even those that had three or four kids were not treated any better. A deep sigh a minute later, she absently rubbed the back of his hand again as it lay limply in the same spot.

He was glad she could empathize with his story unlike that brash Igbira girl he had tried telling and who had immediately let him know that was ‘past tense and should not be relevant to their present or future plans’. That one had not even made it to his mother’s house for any introductions. He quickly discarded her like she was hot potatoes. What she had failed to realize was that his mother was his present and he intended for her to be part of his future. He was not ready to compromise that. This one seemed to get that unspoken truth already and he believed everything would sail smoothly from here on.

They finally pull into a huge driveway, the house is up in front with an open space to house just one car. Isa pulled in there and the huge double doors flew open in welcome. His mother was standing in the doorway with her maid hovering a few feet behind to help collect their luggage.

Malik Immediately stepped out of the car to fold his mother in a warm embrace. Lara took her sweet time getting out of the vehicle unsure of what reception she would get. Mothers seemed to pick an instant dislike for her. It was like instant coffee – commensurate with the degree of affection their son show her. She sighed again in trepidation as Malik called out to her and his mother looked curiously towards where she appeared to be struggling to put her shoes on.

“Lara come over let mother see you properly” Malik urged
Not so much as a peep from Lara until she walked up to the huge double doors with his mother counting her every step appraisingly. She seemed to be weighing in the girl her son brought home, jewelry, cut of her dress, shoe and hair. She finally brought her appraising eyes back to Lara’s face and affected a smile. Immediately Lara saw that smile, followed by a superficial “Aah! How are you my daughter? Welcome. How was your trip?” a question she had not even bothered to ask her son, she knew there was trouble.
This meet-the-mother was not going to be any different from the rest of the other meets. She sighed again

“Thank you ma. How are you doing now? I hope you health has improved greatly since the last time I saw you?” trying for civility and also to remind the bitch ‘Yes, we have met. Yes, I brought you flowers when you laid in that hospital bed looking on the verge of becoming a ghost and yes, you didn’t look so judgy then either. You were glad for the company and for the flowers. Bitch!’

Smiling again as the woman seemed to recognize something about her before turning aside to allow the maid finally step out.

“Come! Come! Come in please. Lara watch your step. There is a slippery tile just somewhere inside the door as I can see you are wearing heels. I have been meaning to ask Isa to bring in the tiler to change that” she kept up a monologue as she walked towards the sitting room, past it, into a huge kitchen that almost made Lara gape. She quickly caught herself as his mother turned again as if on cue to see what her reaction to the kitchen would be. Malik seemed oblivious to the undercurrents. In his opinion, everything was sailing smoothly.

“Your kitchen is very lovely ma. I like what you have done with the space and instead of clumsy cupboards all over the place, I like how you fitted everything into the wall including the stove. Your stove is big and shiny. I envy this space” she allowed herself say thinking ‘Now, if that doesn’t do it, I might as well just leave right now’.
“Hmm Thank you. I designed this place over the years after my husband passed away. This project and my baby….” pausing to smile fondly at Malik “kept me going. The house distracted me while Malik always brought me back to reality with his willful nature. Looking at him now, you wouldn’t believe if I told you some stories”

“Really?” she turned a considering look at Malik “Please you have to tell me some of those stories because as an adult, he appears to have always been so well-behaved, it is hard to imagine anything else. You did a wonderful job on him” buttering her up won’t hurt one tiny bit Lara told herself

“Thank you Lara. You are so sensitive and kind”

Alarm bells were going off in different directions “baby! did she really call a grown- ass man ‘her baby’? Dang! There will definitely be some trouble here” What was it with women that couldn’t let go of their grown kids? It wasn’t like they could marry each other no matter the amount of I-can-die-for-you love between the both. These mothers are ridiculous sometimes! Baby! Snort*

“Did you say something?” his mother asked
“oh! Not at all. I was simply taking in the colors you combined here appreciating all the work and attention you put into creating this lovely space” she embellished neatly
“Thank you my dear. I am glad my son finally found a woman with similar taste as me” came the reply

All the while, Malik merely stood watching both faces trying to figure out if something was wrong or if he could leave them together and go do something else. He was sure Lara would be civil but knowing his mother with being overbearingly protective of her relationship with him, he wasn’t entirely sure yet if he could leave them together so he decided to stay for a bit to watch some more.

He had not even told his mother to Lara’s hearing that she was his affianced but that was taken for granted already. He had never seen his mother interact for any interval longer than two minutes with any of the women he brought home which usually signaled her disapproval. She would merely say ‘hello’, appraise the lady as she had done Lara earlier, hear the first two sentences out of the girl’s mouth and decide she did not approve. He was always so in tune with her that no words needed to be exchanged between them. The said lady would simply find that they had to leave almost immediately as something usually came up at the office.

“Is there something I can help with?” politely
“Oh no! Nothing at all. Seyi already fixed dinner. She set the place too. I will just go freshen up and meet you both back downstairs in thirty minutes. Malik show Lara to the guest room. Seyi prepared the one to the right of my room” with that, she walked out of the kitchen.
‘his mother doesn’t approve of me’ Lara thought to herself ‘even with all the banter and thank-you-Lara, I can feel her disapproval’. Deciding not to say anything to Malik about her doubts, she smiled at his questioning look.
“Your mother is an amazing woman. Strong and a lady too.” watching as her words took effect on him. He was distracted enough to forget what he wanted to ask her. “Come show me to the guest room” she said tugging on his arms.

**********************************************************************************

They stayed up late that night but she was up by 6.30am to help with some house chores. Going into the siting room, everywhere was dark, drapes were drawn shut, electric bulbs still switched off. With no idea where anything was and not knowing where the maid’s room is, Lara returned to wait in her room until she heard some movement. She fell back into a light sleep. Suddenly, something startled her into wakefulness. Opening the door, she found Malik’s mother sitting in a cross-legged position.
“Good morning ma.” Lara greeted kneeling down
“Hmm Is this how you wake up late in your father’s house?” came the reply “Is this the time you wake up at home young woman? Don’t you do anything in your house in the morning?”
“I’m sorry ma. I woke up earlier but nobody was up and I didn’t know where Seyi’s room is so I can ask her what to do” shakily
A hiss.
Quickly getting off the floor, Lara stepped into the kitchen where Seyi was making breakfast. Asking after Malik, she was told he was still asleep and there was nothing or her to do in the kitchen so she should go take a rest.
“Ha! You want mommy to have my head for breakfast!” Lara exclaimed
Seyi simply smiled. A door opens, footsteps are heard approaching.
“Good morning my son. Hope you slept well? Breakfast is almost ready. Lara is in the kitchen too”

Soon, arms snake around her waist to pull her into a sleep warmed body. She didn’t realize she was so tense until he held her that way. She was grateful someone was on her team. Letting him hold her for a bit, she tried to disentangle herself before his mother walked in and saw them. He refused to let go.
“Come to my room. I want to show you something” he said loudly enough for his mother to hear from the sitting room then he dragged Lara right past his mother where she still sat. Lara carefully averted her eyes to avoid the disapproving glare she was sure was directed at her.

Back in his room, she was struck at the simplicity of the huge room. The only concession to beauty and luxury was his huge bed which he subsequently told her was his mother’s choice. Beyond that, everything in the room was functional. The room she had slept in boasted of more luxury that his. A slight shift of perspective for her about Malik as a spoilt, pampered child.
“What do you want to show me?” she asked a little out of breath
“Nothing. I just missed you and wanted you to myself so I can hold and kiss you without mother looking at us” he confessed
“What? Do you want to put me in trouble? I have to get back to the kitchen right away to help with the plates and breakfast”
“That is Seyi’s job not yours”
“But, I’m here now. Do you want your mother to say I lack home training?” protesting
“She would say no such thing. Before you came to visit, it was Seyi’s duty. After you leave, it will still be her duty so let her do her job” he argued as he pulled her into his embrace to kiss her throughly
“I missed you all through the night” he announced after kissing her to his satisfaction “You will sleep here with me tonight. I cant bear to be separated from you for another night”
“ha! I can’t. This is your mother’s house. She already prepared the guest room for me. She will be furious and would think I’m a slut” more protests
“I do not care what she thinks. I want you here in the same bed as me and I will tell her if that will make you feel better”
“Malik I don’t want trouble o. Already this morning she complained I didn’t wake up early enough to help clean the house. I don’t want to give her more to complain about.”
“She complained? Did she say anything to you specifically?
“well, she only asked if this was how I wake up late in my father’s house” she informed him
“The more reason for you to sleep in the same room with me. I will see if anyone will come wake you in the morning if you are here with me. Stop arguing with me. I want you here in my bed so I can hold you at night then I can sleep well”
Sigh“Alright” sagging against him in relief, she let him hold her quietly while she drew some much needed strength.
“Are we cool now? Hope your first night wasn’t so bad? Don’t say anything to her. Just leave it to me” he told her
“Okay” nodding in affirmation

Opening the door, Seyi was just raising her hand to knock.
“Mama says to tell you breakfast is ready”
“Thank you Seyi” Malik replied

**********************************************************************************
It was the second night. Malik bade his mother goodnight holding his hand out to Lara.
“let’s go to sleep”

Lara looked askance, hesitating before placing her hands in his and saying ‘good night’ to his mother. A grudging ‘sleep well’ was the response she received.
True to his words, Malik held her close all night, kissing her half the night and nuzzling her warm breasts. He kept saying ‘I missed you….so bad”. She was only too glad she was in his arms getting some comfort. This whole meet-the-family thing wasn’t really her forte. She just hoped it all goes well and she could return to her awesome regular life devoid of preying mother-hawks watching her every move.

They soon drifted to sleep spooning and the first she knew of daybreak was Malik nudging her folds apart from behind her. She smiled parting her thighs slightly to allow him in. Short, sweet and silent, It was soon over. She got up to leave the room quickly donning a t-shirt over the skirt she was wearing.
“Where are you going?”
“To the kitchen to see what needs to be done”
“Come back here to bed. No kitchen for you today. You are a guest not a maid”
She reluctantly grumbled back to bed but was secretly glad he had stopped her. She wasn’t really the early morning house chore person. She preferred to cook and clean at her own hours. Crawling back into bed with him, she planted a kiss on his lips before he folded her back into his embrace with a husky ‘go back to sleep. It is still very early’.

Finally leaving the bed at a quarter to 8am. Lara was sure Malik’s mother would be furious already. Cracking open the door, the coast seem clear so she tiptoed past the living room relieved his mother was not in her usual spot. Unknown to her, she was seated on the other side of the room and as Lara made to sneak by, she cleared her throat. Lara stopped in her tracks.
Turning towards the sound, she went on her knees to appease her.
“You woke up late again today. Is this how you behave in your father’s house? I ask you again.”
“I’m sorry ma. Malik said there was no need for me to come to the kitchen so early that there was nothing for me to do”
“So, because he said that, you too stayed in the room eh?Tell me, is it Malik you will listen to or me?”
“I’m sorry ma” appealing
“Look, if you want to my approval, you will do as I say. Malik is my son, but you and I know men do not always think straight in the morning and you can’t always listen to what they say in such situations. It will be better for you if you listen to me and do as I say. Hmm” She ended abruptly

Properly confused by now, Lara fled back into Malik’s bedroom. The fact that his mother had not even mentioned her sleeping in the same room with Malik was enough to terrify Lara. She knew it was only a matter of time before his mother finally told them both to their faces that she did not approve but before that happened, she was going to leave their big house for them.
“what happened? Where did you go?” Malik asked
“Never mind. I think I will go back to Lagos tomorrow”
“No. you are not”
“What do you mean ‘No’ you can’t keep me here against my will” beginning to tremble and raise her voice “What is this? A hostage situation? I’m returning to Lagos and that is the end of it” she informed him
“I said No because we didn’t discuss this earlier and I am not ready to let you leave like this.” trying to be reasonable
“But I have to go back. I did not plan to stay beyond two nights.” she pleaded
“If it is clothes you are worried about, we will get some for you”
“No. I have to go to work” trying another tact
“Call your team lead, I will speak to him myself and get you three more days off”
“No. I have to leave” she insisted
“What is it ife mi? Don’t you want to stay with me anymore?”
Sigh. “I want to but this is not your house and your mother doesn’t approve of me” there! it was out
He laughed. “Of course she approves of you else she won’t have let you stay or let you sleep in my room. She approves but she just doesn’t show it”
“She doesn’t Malik. I’m a woman and I can tell when another woman doesn’t like me” she replied
“I won’t argue with you. Just stay two more days so we can work this out. Let us call your team lead first” he said passing her phone to her

*********************************************************************************
Stepping back into the sitting room where Lara reclined deep in thought, Malik stood there for a full five minutes watching her think and wondering what was preying so heavily on her mind that she failed to hear him approach. After waiting a few more seconds for her to notice him, he tapped her on the shoulder. His luggage sat by the door.

“I am ready to leave when you are”
“Malik, I can’t go to Abuja with you” close to tears, she fled the sitting room
“Ife mi what is wrong? I thought we agreed to this before I went to take a bath. What is the problem?”
“I have to get to work. My team leader just called me that most of my team are absent today and he needs me to come in to make up the numbers. I’m sorry Malik. You go ahead before me. I’ll come next weekend” She called from the bathroom.
“Lara please don’t change the plan. Just come with me. Everything will be fine. I promise”
“I’m sorry Malik. I can’t go with you.”
“Could you at least drop me at the airport then?” he tried another tact to bring her out of the room
“No. I’m sorry. I’m running late. Just take a taxi. This is still Ikeja” she replied

After another ten minutes, the front door opens then closes shut. She sagged with relief then gingerly steps out of the bedroom to find that Malik had really left without her. At first, she thought he simply opened the door and closed it so she would think he had left and come out but she realized his little luggage was really gone and he with it. Then she collapsed on the sofa and bawled her eyes out.
This could really have turned out into something more than ‘staying-with-Malik’ but her phobia for his mother, made her drive him away before it actually had a chance to start. How could she have explained to him that the only reason she would not go to Abuja with him was because she painted some deep scenarios in her head about his mother while he was in the bathroom.

LIES WOMEN TELL #12

Driving through the Ikeja traffic and strategising the rest of the week in her head, a car cuts in front of her with the driver weaving badly. Pumping her brakes lightly, she cursed loudly into the confines of her car like any seasoned Lagos driver “Were! Oloriburuku sombori!”.

The young man in the car next to hers was smiling at her. She smiled back glad he hadn’t heard her vituperative. He waves, she waved back wondering what the wave was about as she continued down Mobolaji Bank Anthony. Getting to Abule Onigbagbo Busstop, she noticed the same brown Camry ahead of her, catching a glimpse of the driver in a white Tee that had waved at her minutes earlier. Idly wondering how he had gotten ahead of her, she swerved to avoid a pedestrain who chose that exact time to cross the road in moving traffic. Lagosians were always in a hurry – walking or driving, everyone is in a hurry to go nowehere – why else would someone cross the road while traffic was moving!

Just after she drove past Sheraton hotel on her left, she noticed the brown Camry had managed to fall behind. She smiled. Then, the Camry seemed to be chasing her through traffic for a bit until another crazy driver cuts into its path forcing the young man in the white Tee to step on his brakes and ease forward slowly. They were soon halted by the traffic light at the junction allowing hawkers walk between the immobilised cars to peddle steering-wheel covers, music cds, plantain chips, cashew nuts, footmats and every sort of product they imagine you would never find in the market or why else would they hawk these? Lara wondered to herself

Looking at the traffic light and lightly humming to the radio, she noticed a honk behind her and looked up to see if the light changed without her noticing. It was the brown Camry. Soon, one of the hawkers comes barrelling down her side of the car with a paper. The honk comes again from behind. It registers in her head, so rolling down as fast as she could, she collects the piece of paper from the man and says ‘nagode’ as he appeared to be an ‘aboki’. Almost outta breath, he merely gives her a second look, nods and steps back as traffic resumes moving at that moment.

Lara looks at the paper in her hands before dropping it into her open bag. The paper felt like it was hurriedly torn from a carton holding a phone or something. Bayo was scrawled on it with eleven numbers beneath the name. This better be fun, Lara told herself.

Turning the corner into her friend’s office, she slowed down for the oncoming vehicle to rush past as she pulled into the complex. Whistling, she turns off the ignition, grabs her bag and laptop. There was free wifi inside the building.

Throwing a casual greeting at one of the many security guards policing the building, she hits the 2nd floor button and waits for the elevator to stop. The secretary was seated in her usual spot behind the counter. Their eyes meet, she smiles back.

“He is in the conference room” the secretary informs Lara

“Thank you. How have you been? How was your weekend and the family?” Lara enquires politely

“They are all fine. Thank you” came the reply

“Hello. Long time” She calls out as she enters the conference room

“Haa! It is you. How have you been? Have you been in Lagos or you are just coming in?”

“Yesso. It is I. No, I travelled. I was in Abuja. I just came in this morning” Lara says “Where is Tope?” she enquires

“He went to court this morning with one of our colleagues. I also just returned from a deposition in Abuja last night”

“Oh really! How did your trip go?”

“Well, stressful but needful. Here I am again this morning after a long trip” He rejoins

“Pele. Where is everybody else?”

“Tope went to court with Titi. Fela is in the other office, Kike is having an early lunch and Bode went to court on the island”

“Great! And you are writing another brief with Lekan”

“Exactly” he chimes

“Anyway, I just stopped by to say ‘hi’. I won’t be staying so long. I’ll be resuming work tomorrow and wont have time to come in like I used to so am spending my last day of vacation with you guys.”

“How sweet!” sarcastically

She chuckled swatting his broad shoulders lightly. Remembering the piece of paper stuck into her bag, she brings it out to dial and confirm the number on it. If he was confident enough to ask the hawker to bring me his number, this has gotta be good stuff. She said to herself for the third time that morning.

“Hello. Is this Bayo?” she breathes throatily into the mouthpiece reading the name from the paper she held.

“My name is Lara. You asked the guy selling on the road to give me your number in traffic at Sheraton…..”

“Yes. Nice to meet you too Bayo” she paused to listen again

“No. I am still at Sheraton side. Yes, I am in an office”

“No. I dont work here. It is a friend’s office”

“I don’t know when I will leave here yet. I may be here till evening.”

“I don’t think we can see tomorrow. I will be travelling to Ibadan. I won’t be back until weekend” lying smoothly

“Yea. Too bad. No, I don’t work in Ibadan. I’m just going to visit”

“Visit friends naa.” beginning to get slightly irritated at the judge and jury pattern of questioning.

“Yea sure. I’ll call you when I get back this weekend. Bye” hanging up, she saves the number as ‘Bayo traffik’

Two hours later, engrossed with her laptop, her phone rings again and she absently reaches for it clicking the green button automatically before glancing at the screen. It was Bayo again. What’s the matter with this guy! Didn’t we just speak and agree to ‘see’ on the weekend?” she asked herself before mumbling a greeting into the mouthpiece.

“Yes. I am still there” she grumbled “I’m working”

“Just working on personal stuff. I work in a call center” she replied deciding he did not specifically need the correct info

“I’ll be here for a bit. Oh! You work with Dangote. Nice.” rolling her eyes in a Do-I-look- stupid-you work-in-Dangote motion

“So, what do you do at Dangote?”

“No. I know the company deals in Sugar, rice, cement, flour, spagghetti and all that. I meant, you as an employee, what is your job description with Dangote?” English can be harding some young men she thought to herself

“Oh! Nice. So, you are the one counting all the money for them eh? I should come and visit you in the office o” she laughs sofetening a little

“Ha! So now, you don’t have money eh? After telling me you work with Dangote cement, you now don’t have money abi?”

“Ok o. I hear you” she replies apparently more receptive to him now he seems to be more than casually employed. An accountant with Dangote. The only thing left would be to see if he can put his money where his mouth just went.

After three more hours of laboring over the laptop and browsing the internet for all the things she missed during her two weeks stay in Abuja, she was ready to shut the laptop and go grab lunch. Her phone rings again. Dele

“I thought you were meant to call me back after you alighted from the taxi and settled down at home” came the accusation

“Was I?” she flung back as carelessly “You hung up on me. So, why was I the one supposed to call you back? You HUNG UP on me” really getting pissed with every passing minute he kept breathing into the phone oozing possessiveness. ‘You dont own me mister’ she almost yelled into the open line. He was so presumptous, so much, it was beginning to border on arrogance. Why on earth would she have called him back when she had told him to hold on so she could get into a taxi! He hung up so it was on him to dial back not her.

“Ok. I’m sorry” he finally says “Someone walked into my office and I had to hang up but I said for you to call me after you got home. I didn’t realise you didn’t hear me say it” he explained

“Of course I didn’t hear you say it because my ear was away from the earpiece since I was negotiating with the cabbie” she responded.

It was ridiculous how their misunderstandings always started from really minor things such as this but managed to ballon into huge issues involving their friends by which time they had forgotten what started the conflict in the first place.They both sigh

“You know we should commuicate better eh?”

“And you know I always tell you to be patient and calm when you feel like attacking me” she retorted

“I’m sorry” he apologises again

“I’m sorry too. I could actually have called you but I was mad that you hung up. I’m sorry” she apologises too

“I was just missing you and wanted to see how your day was going plus preparations for work tomorrow”

“You know how it is…..work is always work. I am on morning shift tomorrow and they said we can’t bring our phones into the call area”

“Really? How many hours is your shift? What if I am trying to reach you?”

“Shift is 9 hours with an hour break in between. I guess i’ll check the phone at intervals or during lunch or bathroom break”she assured him “I’ll call you back if I miss your call”

“Ok. I’ll talk to you later” he rings off with his trademark abruptness leaving her holding an empty dialtone to her ears. Sighing, she replaced the phone in her bag retreating into her thoughts before remembering she was headed to the kitchen for lunch.

Returning to her seat after a 30 minutes break, she hurried forward as she heard her phone ringing again. What is Dele calling back for?

It wasn’t Dele.

“Oh! Hi Malik” she crooned

“You were not expecting my call……”

“Not that. I simply thought I would beat you to it” she cajoled Why on earth would I be expecting your call when we just spoke this morning and we are not officially dating yet! Oops! I forgot! He asked me to give him a chance after our weekend date and I agreed. I guess this is what it means eh. She quickly re-calibrated deciding to switch gears.

“Of course, I expected you to even call me since abi you did not miss me already?” she teased again

“Hmmmmn scope!” laughing gaily so that Lekan at the end of the conference table glanced briefly at her. She batted her eyes at him and continued flirting shamelessly with Malik

“Really? That would be great! Oh! I wished you were here already”

“Fantastic! What time will your flight get here? Seems you been coming to Gidi a lot before we met sef”

“Oh! You didn’t? You are coming because of me eh? You could have sent someone else right?”

“Ha-ha indeed! see scope o!” she laughed heartily and wondered why she didn’t laugh this way with Dele, why it always seemed to be angry words and raised voices with him. She returned to the conversation to hear him ask what he should bring for her. She gave her standard response “anything” which she knew guaranteed something good because that way, men couldn’t go cheap. Only an Indian guy ever broke her “anything” as a gift rule and brought her a very miniature stature of Shiva that could fit even into her wallet. That was one cheap ‘anything’ she didn’t want repeated anytime soon.

“Alright. See you soon sweets. Hugs” she dropped her phone for the umpteenth time that morning wondering if she was going to get any work done in between all the calls.

“Yes. I’ll be waiting to pick you from the airport. Text me your airline and flight time”

**********************************************************************************

Driving to the airport to pick Malik and wondering if his mother will like her when she finally gets. Lara is in a good mood humming along to the song on radio. She realises she will be arriving just about the same time as the aircraft. She had not been able to leave the office as fast as she envisioned.

Someone wearing jeans was waving to her. Recognizing Malik, she waved back quickly opening her door to step out and help him with his single luggage. He must have taken it into the aircraft as Carry-on. That would explain his quick check-out to bypass baggage claim. Exchanging a quick hug, he unceremoniously drops his portable carry-on in the back seat so they could pull out immediately. Cars were beginning to honk impatiently behind them.

LIES WOMEN TELL Episode #11

I apologize for an error in number from last week. The last episode was #10 and this is the new #11. Apologies to everyone who noticed………….

This week on Lies Women Tell

****************************************************************************************************************************

After waiting a few more minutes, she walks to the almost empty queue, presents her driver’s license, gets a nod and walks down the stairs to the waiting bus. It was a short distance to the aircraft. Other passengers were identifying their luggage beside the plane before it was loaded onto the conveyor and sent into the belly of the bird.

She identified her pink carryon with the cute bow she had allowed Dele tie on it last night when he had said ‘You will be shocked when you get to baggage claim and see five similar boxes like yours and you cant be sure which one of to pick’. Climbing the short stairwell into the plane, again she presented her boarding pass to the air hostess at the door and was told ‘Welcome to Arik air. Do have a pleasant flight. 13A on your right. Window seat”

“Thank you” came her automatic response. She just wanted to sit and reminisce on the past week especially, about Malik.

Luckily, nobody was in her window seat. Tapping the Lebanese young man with full hair to let her through, she finally settles down, belts herself in and proceeds to look casually around at other passengers. Her gaze returns to the Lebanese. He was reading the dailies – The Punch. She was not really interested unless it had a Lifestyle section. Trailing her gaze to his head, she wondered how he had managed to hold onto all his hair as most of the Lebanese she came across lose half of their hair by the time they had stayed in the country over a four year period. Perhaps, this was his first year in Nigeria she concludes.

Continuing her survey exercise, her eyes came to rest with envy on a young couple standing in the aisle – although they both looked Nigerian, the man was carrying the baby strapped to his front in a baby carrier. He also held his partner’s handbag while she just held an almost empty water-bottle. Lara smiled again explaining it to herself as a long sojourn in America or London which caused them to hold onto such quaint practices.

A couple more minutes, the last passengers straggled onto the plane and sat themselves in the Business-class section. The door hummed shut. Speakers cackled from somewhere in the cockpit as the pilot welcomed everyone aboard. Soon, safety emergency procedures were dramatized by the hostesses which never failed to amuse her. Smiling, she focused attentively on the short drama scene.

When it was over, “Please turn off all electronic devices and phones” a hostess was walking up and down the aisle making sure mobile phones were turned off. It reminded her slightly of her trip coming to Abuja and how she had met Malik. Settling back into her seat, Lara sighs, allowing herself to finally dwell on her date with Malik.

They had headed to a nameless hang-out which Malik swore was worth more than it’s weight in thatch. The place was almost totally designed with thatch making her wonder how it looked in the rainy seasons.

Simple. They re-thatch” he replied like it was that simple

The place was dubbed ‘Hide-out’ by people for want of a name. Those who couldn’t find it on their own only need tell a taxi or Okada to take them to ‘Hide-out’ and ‘Viola!’. Anyway, they were there already so she decided to enjoy whatever magic Malik promised the place held. Soon enough, a waitress in Hawaiian styled extra short skirt comes up to their table to take their orders.She fancied if the waitress dropped something and bent to pick it, she could see her spanks…..if she was able to wear any under such a short skirt! She chuckled to herself with her shoulders shaking and Malik glanced at her questioningly. ‘Nothing’ she mouthed back over the slow jazz playing in the background. Once the waitress left though, he turned to her smiling “out with it. I know something really funny must have crossed your mind and am curious”

It is nothing really. I just imagined if I bent pretending to pick something, I would be able to see under her short, short skirt and I couldn’t help but wonder if she was wearing spanks or something less comfortable” she told him making him throw his head back and laugh with abandon.

You know, the first time I came here with my friends, I could not help but think the same thing and my silly friend actually dropped his phone on the floor expecting the girl would attempt to pick it up” his face lit up remembering

Did she?”

Guess” he teased

Oh! Tell me already. Did she bend to pick it for him?”

Nope” at her look of surprise, he laughed again “she just walked away. Don’t tell me you actually expect one of them to fall for such a trick! Look at these girls properly…..”pausing to allow her take a second look at the girls walking between tables

You think they have not been in plenty ugly situations already, that they would actually fall for such a juvenile trick!” he shrugs following her gaze “Unless she fancies the guy and just wants to play flirt. Perhaps”

Within her, Lara had to agree with him. She now noticed the hard looks, pursed lips and blank stares of some of the waitresses then she began to wonder why there were only waitresses and no waiters. Same way she had wondered when they stopped at Jeveniks in Maitama the first day, there had only been waiters, no waitresses.Was ‘single-sex-workplace’ system the hot new trend in Abuja! Life hasn’t been fair to most of these ladies.

Remembering something her dad always told her when she travelled in his company ‘Anybody could be on the streets. Don’t look down on them because you are only lucky, not privileged to not be in their shoes. If you had been born into their situation, would you have hitched a ride to heaven to sue God’ he added when she was going to launch into an argument on the topic. She had gone silent afterwards thinking hard on his words. This subsequently formed part of her worldview because each time she saw someone in a less privileged position, her dad’s words would ring in her head again like it was just yesterday.

As always, her time with Malik had not been boring even for a minute. He was attentive, funny and chatty. He made her laugh a lot trying to make her sample the cow-leg because she had said it looked silly eating an animal’s leg when other parts of the body hadn’t disappeared.

I notice most men love cow leg like it is a delicacy. Cow tail, I can understand a bit but the leg, that is like fighting a war and it isn’t even meaty! What’s the point?” she attacked him which only made him try harder to feed her the cow-leg he was eating until she begged him to stop.

They suddenly stopped laughing, staring across the tiny table at each other as if they were meeting for the first time and didn’t know what to say. She was lost in his eyes. They looked unnaturally white.

Usually, when she sat across from a guy, his eyes looked a funny bloodshot color or brownish and she came to believe it was the normal eye color for young men. Malik’s eyes looked healthy, his teeth were neatly arranged in his mouth. They were even and white making his lips more inviting. He had the kind of lips that always made her cut out those perfume models from GQ. Unconsciously, she leaned forward, a phone rang somewhere between them. The magic was dispelled. Wondering what the jarring sound was, Lara reaches into her bag to retrieve her phone, while Malik raises his phone to his ear, simultaneously pushing his chair back to move to a less noisy place.

He soon returned “I have to leave Lara. My mum just woke up and she is asking after me” he told her looking distraught

“Mommy’s boy! I understand. I’m jealous she sees more of you but you should go now” she teased

“Thank you for being so sweet” he sounded relieved

“Oh! You can count on me being your sweet-tooth. Ha-ha” patting him on the back, he pulls her into a tight embrace squeezing like his life depended on it before whispering something in her ears that made her eyes pop. Then he released her.

“Do you really mean that?” she asked going very still

“I do” he replied simply

“Then, I guess i’ll see more of you the next time I visit Abuja”

“When will that be? Do you know?” he asked eagerly

“Nope. Not yet but hopefully, it will be soon”

“Not to worry though. If I miss you too much, I’ll buy a roundtrip ticket” he laughs

“You will be welcome anytime you wanna visit” she assures him as they walk back to his car

“You really mean what you said though?” she asked again

“Why is it such a surprise Lara? You think I make a habit of spending most of my time with ladies I meet on aircrafts?” he threw back at her

“Pardon my surprise. I just didn’t see that one coming and usually, I like to think I see everything that is coming to me” she informs him

“I like you a lot already and every time I spend with you reinforces it for me. I suppose I could assume the same of you?” he pauses

At her vigorous nod, he continues “So, I would like to see you whenever you are in town or when am in Lagos if your boyfriend don’t mind” waiting for her assurance that she was a single lady

“Boyfriend? What boyfriend? If I had a boyfriend, would I have so much time to spend with you?” she sidesteps neatly “I should be the one worried about all your girlfriends instead”

“Girlfriends? What girlfriends? I only have one right now….”deliberately letting the pause lengthen until her brow kept climbing higher and he couldn’t hold the tease any longer “…..and she is you” he finishes making Lara sigh with relief.

The speaker burst into life somewhere in the cabin announcing their aproach and subsequent descent into Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos. The Lebanese beside her brought his chair to an upright position as the hostess walked through the aisle to ensure everyone was in the right position for the descent.

Walking through the corridor to find baggage claim, she smiled again to herself wishing something would make her see Malik again very soon promising herself something better change the next time they met. Soon, her pink box with the ridiculous pink bow tied conspicously to the handle comes floating down the rotating platform.

“Hey girl! I’m in Lagos and you are the first person am calling”

“Yea. Thank God for a safe flight. Ok, get off my phone now so I can talk to other people too”

“LOL Sandra, do you ever think of anything else? No. Malik did not come with me. Neither did Mofe. Although I won’t have minded if one of them was waiting here right now to pick me up” laughing as she walks out into the humid Lagos weather.

“Yea. I’ll talk to you later. Bye” they both hang up as her phone begins to ring again

“I called you thrice already” the voice accuses “Didn’t you see my call? You put me on call waiting”

Rolling her eyes elaborately, “Yes, I had a safe flight thank you. Hope your day has been going smoothly too.?” she replies instead

A deep sigh. “I’m sorry. I suppose you were on another call. I was merely anxious”

“Well, don’t be anxious father-hen. I’m fine. I just left baggage claim. I was speaking to Sandra to let her know I arrived and you know how she likes to hug calls” Lara finally explains

“What! Sandra beat me to it? She called?” mock incredulity

“Ha-ha! Mind yourself o. What do you mean she called me? My friend actually uses her credit to call other people o contrary to your belief and yes, she was the one that called me that was why the call was even that short” covering her friend

“Hmmn! You both wish! Sandra, uses her credit to actually call! She’ll flash instead” he laughs

“Are you getting a taxi?” he inquires

“Well, I don’t see your driver here to pick me. I suppose I have to stoop to taking a taxi” she drawled

“Yea. All that stooping will end very soon” he promises

“I can’t wait. Hold on baby lemme talk to the taxi man” she says to him “Isaac John. No. 5. How much?”

“3,500” the taxi driver spits out

“Why? 2 k” she bites back

“2,500” he returns

“Okay” opening the back door, she dumps her handbag while he pops the trunk open for her to leave her luggage “let’s go” she tells him after settling in the backseat.

“Hello? Dele? Hello?” she said into the empty line. He had hung up. Sometimes, Dele was so unpredictable she mused angrily. If she had told him to hang-up and call back when she wanted to hail a taxi, he may have misconstrued it and said something they may both regret and now she had told him to hang-on so she could get a taxi, he had hung up. It had taken all of 3 minutes to complete the bargain! She decided she wasn’t going to call him back. Let him call when he wanted to.

Bringing out her phone this time, she smiled when she saw the name flashing across the screen.

“Hey! I know I said I was going to call you but I just got into a taxi to take me home. I was just going to dial your number as a matter of fact” she appeased

“Phew! Yes, I know. It will be too soon to forget you already.”

“I won’t forget. Yes, I miss you too Malik. Alright. Talk to you soon.”

“Bye” she replied

Then her phone rings again. Oh dear! This one is gonna be a sulk party she thought to herself.

“Hi Mofe. Am so sorry I have not called you yet. No. I am just stepping out of the airport doors trying to get a taxi. I was going to dial you as soon as I sat down in the taxi.”

“I’m sorry naa. Ok. I’m sorry. Yea, I’ll call you when I get home”

“Oh! You miss me already? Am flattered”

“ha-ha! What do you want me to say naa? Alright, I miss you too……..small”

“Okay. Later” she hangs up for the fourth time that morning, drops the device, finally able to breathe and look around at familiar sights as the taxi sped towards LASUTH junction under the Ikeja bridge.

She made a mental note to come visit her friend that works at LASUTH next week…perhaps. The last time she visited him, he had lifted up her dress even though he had just announced his wedding was a fortnight away. Perhaps, she wasn’t going to visit him afterall.

LIES WOMEN TELL EPISODE #10

Welcome to the weekend. This episode is dedicated to my lovely Friend Motunrayo who is convocating today from the University of Ibadan. More scholarly hats to you dear friend.

PS: For everyone that has been enjoying this series but do not drop comment, please repent from ghost-reading, do leave a comment to encourage the writer and the story may just develop along lines you suggest. Thank you all for reading. Once again, the comment box is open to all of you. God Bless

***************************************************************************************************************************

She was barely out of her freshly rumpled blouse when another horn blares out in front of their gate.

“I swear, if I hear another horn in front of this gate again today…….” Sandra scowls

“perhaps, it is for you this time” Lara teases

A darker scowl meets her comment. A short snort.

“As if that is possible” Sandra replies “Go check”

“Oh! It is Dele and I have not finished packing yet” Lara wails

“Well, throw everything into the box and go sort it at his place. The guy sef dey try. If na me ehn, all this time you dey get to waka and see Mofe and Malik no go dey for you at all. Na him no sabi tie you keep for one place” Sandra opines

“For una two mind” tongue out, Lara sashays towards the gate to let Dele inside. “Wait o! Wetin Mofe tell you?” she turns back to ask Sandra

“hmummn! Na you know. You better go open gate for am before he start dey think something else”

“You ehn! You must tell me later o” Lara threatens as she steps out wondering what Sandra knew about this morning’s episode at Mofe’s.

“Later when? You are leaving soon and Dele is here. We will chat on phone” Sandra assures her as she opens the door

Lara walks towards the gate wondering how much Sandra really knows compared to what she lets on. It seems something had happened between Sandra and Mofe before she returned from the bedroom that morning.

“Hey Love!” leaning through the open window to plant a quick kiss on his mouth “Come inside. I am almost done throwing things into my carry-on. You can have breakfast while you wait” she cajoles

“You are not done packing? It is almost 10am!” Dele accuses “I don’t want breakfast. I want you”

“And you will have all of me as soon as am done packing. The sooner am done, the sooner we can leave eh?” she reasons

“Ok. What’s for breakfast?” he inquires

“Pancakes and omelette” she throws back as she leads the way back inside “You can syrup with it or just plain with tea or coffee” she adds

“Syrup please” he says to her back as they step inside Sandra’s living room.

Sandra had disappeared into the bedroom to help Lara throw her things inside her box. Lara heads to the kitchen to serve Dele her breakfast pretending it was his and she had anticipated his arrival when preparing breakfast that morning.

“Thank you” he intones before she disappears into the bedroom to finish with her luggage

***********************************************************************************

“You served him breakfast?” Sandra whispers

“Yes”

“Did you put the TV on for him?” she whispers again

“No. Didn’t occur to me” Lara whispers back

“Well, if you had, we won’t be whispering and he won’t feel irritable waiting for you and I can tell you what I know about Mofe and this morning” she concluded

“Right away!” Lara jumps off the bed and out the door. She was that curious to hear what Sandra had to say “Ok. Done. Now, tell me” imperatively

“Well, when you were in the bedroom getting dressed, I asked Mofe if he had got a new place and he said ‘not exactly as I knew the place already but you didn’t so it was ‘new’ for you”

“Oh!”

“Yes. Then I began to wonder what he had planned that he wanted to show you his ‘place’? I figured he was trying to get into your pants. I also figured that part was your business and you would figure that out fast enough to decide if you wanna or not.” she finishes again

“Oh! Thank you for telling me” Lara says sarcastically

“Is that all you are going to say? ‘oh thank you?’” Incredulously

“What do you want me to say when you didn’t think to warn me before I stepped into the Tiger’s den?”
“Sorry. I assumed you knew already and was just playing along” Sandra apologises

“Play along ke? With Mofe? The guy kisses like a butcher for godsakes, why would I play along with that!” she almost screams at her friend

“Sorry again. I wasn’t privy to that info. Like a butcher you say……How do butchers kiss if I may ask” Curious now

“Oh! You know…..just the way they cut their meat. They kiss the same way”

“Really! I had no idea” Sandra says again

“Well, now you know. You should have warned me” Lara gives her a hurt look

“Am sorry naa. If I had known he was clueless about kissing and that he would try to eat up your mouth, I would have feigned a cardiac or something and stop you from going there. Honestly, I assumed you knew his game and you were just playing along. Am sorry” she apologizes again

“Alright. It’s fine really. Nothing happened past the butcher’s kiss so it is fine.”

“For real?” Sandra asks surprised “The way he was shaking in the sitting room looked like he was going to swallow you and leave only your bones”

Lara gave her a ‘yet-you-let-me-walk-into-it-look’ before shaking her head. Sandra gives her a wide harmless smile.

“Again, I hate to disappoint you. Nothing happened past the butcher’s kiss and am glad. Dele’s call saved me from more butchery.” Lara intones

“Thank God” came Sandra’s rejoinder

“Yea” she says as they close the lid together and pull the carry-on off the bed where it had sat during the packing conversation.

“All set” she announces as she walks into the sitting room ahead of Sandra who hangs back in the room hoping Dele would leave and she won’t have to say ‘hello’ to him. She always felt a twinge of guilt at not being able to relate with Lara’s boyfriend. Unfortunately, Dele being a gentleman that he is, asked for her so she had to come out of hiding.

“Hello Sandra”

“Hellooooooooo” she dragged out in an attempt to appear friendly

“Thank you for breakfast” he says politely “Thanks also for keeping Lara. I appreciate it realizing it is my job. Thanks”

“Oh! It’s nothing at all” Sandra replies in friendly banter “After all, she is my friend too”

Seeing them out of her apartment, Sandra helps Lara carry her handbag allowing Dele take the heavier luggage. They hang back and engage in random chit-chat delaying the moment when they have to hug and say ‘goodbye’. The moment finally came and it wasn’t so bad. Dele was relieved when Lara finally buckles her seat belt. They wave to Sandra while he promised to call her soon knowing even as he said it that he never would.

**********************************************************************************

“How did it go with your uncle?” he inquired

“Oh yea! That went fine. You know, I actually thought he had gotten a great job for me in Abuja and that was why he wanted to see me. Can you imagine what he called he to talk about?” she says to him

“No. What?”
“Guess!” she replies

“You know am horrible at guessing. Just tell me what”

“Well, would you believe he wanted to talk to me about marriage! Asking me when I was bringing the man and all that talk!” she lies smoothly

“Oh really! Did he now!” says Dele secretly warming up to his current favorite topic as he had been begging Lara to introduce him to her uncle as her a-fianced but she keeps stalling.

“So, what did you say to him? Did you remember to tell him that the man is ready but you are the one stalling to make the introductions?” he asked her brightly

“You know I can’t do that. I simpy told him he will soon meet the lucky man” she had brought up the topic to put Dele in an edgy position where he can realize the topic does come up in her family, she is yet to acknowledge him to them, and he was still in the running as ‘the man’. It always works with Dele. Everytime.

“And why can’t you do that? Do you have other plans besides me, other options? Are you weighing your options? Is that what all this stalling is about?” he was almost angry

“No baby. I just want everything to be perfect. You will meet them once we get our wedding money back and have fixed all our plans. We will just go get a date from our parents and surprise everybody. That’s why I keep stalling. That’s what I want – to surprise them all” She tries to soothe him

“Everytime! Each time we have this discussion, you always have an angle you are coming at it from. I am tired of all these excuses. Are you going to introduce me to your family as ‘the man’ or not?” he says

She stares at him openmouthed. The game had suddenly taken a hard twist and she wasn’t prepared at all. Opening her mouth to reply, she blurts the first thing that forms on her tongue.

“I will”

“Good. When?” he pushes

“One step at a time” quickly recovering and beating herself ‘dear lord! What have I gone and done this time!”

“I’m a patient man. It is just a matter of time before I recoup from Dapo’s expenses” he assures her smiling.

She turns to stare out the window, alone with her thoughts and kept beating herself mentally for using the ‘marriage’ topic today. Of all the inane things to say! Why couldn’t she have picked a harmless lie like he wanted her to speak to her niece that was about applying to University of Abuja or something equally mundane he would have absolutely no interest in hearing. But, No. I had to go pick a very dicey topic and now the dice has tumbled with me on it. What am I going to do now? As a friend would say, ‘Lies don’t finish on earth that we need to go to heaven to find new ones’, something has gotta give. Comforting herself with this, she turns away from the window to say something to Dele just as they pulled into his building.

**********************************************************************************

Leaving for the airport, Lara’s phone rings in her lap. Seeing who the caller was, she didn’t want to pick the call because she was not sure what Mofe was going to say.

“Pick your call” he states flatly

“Hello” hesitantly

“Good morning. I just wanted to wish you a safe trip” Mofe says

“How sweet of you!” seeing Dele’s brow go up at the word ‘sweet’, she changes tact ‘It’s really thoughtful of you. It’s sweet you remembered I am traveling today Mofe. Thank you”

“How could I forget? I still saw you yesterday when you were warm and responsive in my arms and…..”

“Yes. I will let you know when I arrive Lagos. Thanks for calling. Bye” she cuts him off and hangs up before her response could betray the conversation. Obviously, Mofe assumed he was a hit with her with his maniac kissing and thought she struggling for air in his arms was her responding to him. Eew! She should have bit his lips like her friend always do. That should have cleared up all his assumptions nicely. Crazy men!

Dele was trying to read her face, then gave up when she held her face so carefully that it gave nothing away. “Was that Mofe?” when she nodded in the affirmative, he continued “you should have let me say ‘hi to him”

“I didn’t realize you wanted to say ‘hi’. Besides, you are driving” she points out

“Doesn’t matter. He is your old friend, we are getting married soon, I should say ‘hi’ sometimes” he argues

“Yes. On your own time, with your own credit, when you are not driving” she retorts

“Oh! It was him calling not you. Why are you suddenly touchy about me speaking to Dele? I thought you wanted me to be ‘friendly’ and ‘accepting’ of all your male friends as you are of my ‘female acquaintances’ to use your own words” he continues

“I was. I mean, I am” she replies distractedly. She was still thinking about Mofe and how she should have disabused his mind of any thoughts of being a good kisser. Seeing her withdraw into her thoughts, Dele turns on the car radio to allow her think.

Pulling into the Abuja International Airport, Dele drives to the domestic wing where Arik airline is located to allow Lara check-in while he brings up the rear with her luggage.

“Call me when you arrive Lagos” he repeats

“You know I will” came her reply as they hug briefly. Disengaging, she heads upstairs to the waiting area for her plane to be called. He walks out into the early morning sun to go to his office.

***********************************************************************************

“Hello. How are you doing today?”

“Your mum will be discharged today eh?”

“Yes. I just checked-in. Am waiting for my flight to be announced.”

“No. I took a taxi. No, I didn’t want to bother you. The taxi was okay”

“Yes, I’ll call you as soon as we touchdown in Lagos”

“Will miss you too. Bye. Say ‘hello’ to your mum” she terminates the call

***********************************************************************************

“Hello Sandra. How you doing girl?”

“You are just waking up? No? So, why do you sound like Alex ran a marathon all over you?” she teased sure of the response it will bring

“Ha-ha-ha Okay. I have shut my mouth. I am at the airport already.”
“Yes, Dele brought me but he has left. Rushed to the office. You know Dele and work”

“Sure, I just called Malik”

“Yes naa. Why won’t I call him when I have been thinking about him since Saturday night”

“No. We didn’t decide on that. I wonder when next I’ll get to see him”

“Alright girl. Have a fun day. Yea, I know some of you have to work. Ha-ha. Bye” she ends the call feeling pleased

This is the boarding announcement for Arik air 3421JH to Lagos from Abuja. Your flight has arrived from Kaduna and will be boarding at 10:00 hours

Again, this is the boarding call for Arik Air flight 3421JH to Lagos. Boarding is at gate 5 for 10:00 hours.

The speaker above her blared noisily. She had not noticed it before she sat and would have chosen a different place to sit. She glared at it willing it to silence. She knew that was her boarding call but so many people had rushed to gate 5 she was willing to wait till the queue thinned out so she could walk onto the plane without waiting on the long queue. She already had her seating selected. If someone else was in it, all she needed to say was ‘you are in my seat and I prefer to sit there. Thank you’. It had never failed her.

LIES WOMEN TELL #7

S(ex) N(udity) L(anguage)

Loud knocking on the big green gate brings Lara’s friend to peep through the gap. Seeing a tall, slim built, brown skinned young man twiddle his key nervously. She looks at the wall, it was 9am. Lara was catching some sleep but somehow she could just tell that this man was Lara’s cup of tea.

She gave him a good second look, allowing the drapes fall back against the wall as she walks towards the gate. A closer look never hurt anybody.

Now, this looked more like what she would approve for Lara – all this raw sexuality and animal magnetism. Yes, this was a better pick for her.

“Hello! How may I help you?” she feigned cluelessness

“Good morning” he smiled charmingly at her “I live in the neighborhood and came to pick Lara yesterday. I apologize for not coming inside to say ‘hello’”, he said, pausing for her to react. This one was a cool cucumber he thought when she maintained a blank stare

“I’d like to see Lara if she is at home” he said

“Oh yea…..Lara……hmmn….she is still asleep. You can come inside though, I’ll wake her”

“You don’t need to wake her. I can come back later.” he began to protest

“Oh no. she needs to be up anyway. It is late enough already and I insist”

“Alright then. Thank you”, he said allowing himself to be ushered inside

The living room was painted a solid green, with white windows, white drapes and a dark green fluffy rug in the middle of the room. It looked more like a guy’s pad. He turned his head to survey the other part of the room and there she stood watching him.

“You like?”, she queried bluntly, devoid of any emotion.

“I do. I could see myself living here”, he enthused trying to get a pleased smile

“Don’t get attached”, she replied, walking away.

He did not know what it was about this one but he was not his usual calm and all-knowing self right now. He gave himself a mental shake settling his gaze on the painting across the room unsure what it was supposed to represent – the dilemma of abstract painting – was it a female bending over a grindstone or was it just a female on the floor in labor!

The door behind him opens as he feels someone inhale sharply and approach.

“Malik?”, something unsure in the way she called the name.

“Great to see you too” he replies smoothly.

“Are you sure about that? Last time I saw you…My friend didn’t tell me who it was”, she frowned.

Not allowing her complete the sentence, he voiced quickly.

“The last time you saw me, I was trying to save my mum’s life and was under insane pressure to get to her fast”

“Really?”

“Yes. Really. My mum is asthmatic and has infrequent but serious attacks. This one happened in the bathroom and she was hospitalized. I just came from the hospital where I spent the night.”

“Oh dear!”, she was beginning to soften “How is he now?”, she asked, alarmed.

“She Lara, She is stable”, he emphasized the she to make her understand her error. “They took her off the oxygen. She was asleep when I left her”

“Oh dear!”, Lara sounded genuinely alarmed now-“I’m so sorry to hear that but who is with her at the hospital incase she wakes up?”

“Her maid is there?”

“Her maid? None of your siblings is there?”, her features gave her surprise away quickly.

“I am an only child”

“Oh dear! Come here you poor baby and here I was thinking….oh never mind what I was thinking”, she moved closer and enveloped him in a warm hug.

He was relieved she had been easy. He had imagined she would sulk, pout and refuse to be reasonable.

“Thank you for understanding” he murmured

“Yea well. I came straight home after you dropped me off but we had a late night with my girlfriend watching movies and swapping girl talk that’s why I was sleeping in late and besides, it is the weekend eh?”, she explained and took a seat beside him, looking straight into his eyes, an action he found daring and unsettling.

“So when are you going back to the hospital?” she asks

“I was thinking, I would first make peace with you, go to the office to see if anything urgent was left on my desk, get lunch and head to the hospital”.

“Oh nice! I wish I could come with you to see her and wish her a quick recovery but I have to go into town for a friend’s housewarming. All our friends are going and one of them is picking us up here. Too bad I won’t be able to go with you”.

“That’s okay. I would be rushing everywhere anyway and may be too distracted to be a good companion. Let’s see later tonight?” he pleads

“8ish?”

“Yea, eight works for me”

**********************************************************************************

“I like this one”.

Lara jumped out of her reverie. She had been lost in thoughts of last night with Dele and the what-ifs. Pulling herself together, she responded.

“You always like the good looking ones” she teased

“No. this one is different. He actually was sensitive enough to come explain himself to you. Not many men in Abuja care enough to do that. He is different” her friend replied.

“Hmmn”

“Is that all this is worth? A damn hmmn?”

“What would you have me say? He is okay. Yes, he is a looker but he is still a man. An Abuja guy at that and you know what that means”, she finally turned to fix her friend with a look

“Don’t look at me that way. Even if he is an Abuja man, I am telling you this one is different. Will you just trust me about this?”

“Hmmn, like I trusted you the last time shey?” irritated, she walks back to the room. Her friend follows.

A car pulls up to the front of the big green gate sometime after noon with loud music blaring out of its speakers. The driver with a hat almost covering his eyes, places his hand over the horn and leaves it there for 2 minutes, full blast. Perhaps it was a pre-arranged signal because soon enough, the gate opens and Lara gets inside with her friend behind her. A quick hug and a couple of ‘hellos’ later, they were on their way.

“So, where do you girls wanna go?” their male companion asks

“Where do you wanna take us?” Lara says

“Well, I had assumed it would be just you and I but now your friend is here, I suggest we pick up Alex so we can turn it up a little”

Lara giggles in response, stifling it immediately at her friend’s stern look. Recalling the last time all four of them had gone out to the pool and Alex had openly commented on Sandra’s huge breasts, she had been slightly annoyed with him.

Alex was a fun person who would simply say the first thing that came to his head. Half of the time, he didn’t even remember he said them because he meant nothing by them. He would be surprised when they picked him up and Sandra gave him the cold treatment because he must have forgotten about their last encounter.

Sandra was not a recluse. She was just too selective – friends, food, men – in everything. She would turn up her nose at anything that does not neatly fit into her schedule or her already established principles and guidelines. She would turn up her nose at a cute guy she was admiring 5 minutes ago if he looked at her sideways. She was sensitive about her big boobs which on her slim frame, looked all the more prominent.

That annoying Alex is going to come along soon and stare at my boobs all evening. Consciously or unconsciously, I have no idea. I could swear I saw him stare and lick his lips last time. God he is so annoying! Sandra groused

“Hey Alex, we are on our way to the Sand bar to pick you up. You are still there eh?” he paused to listen

“Fine then. We will be there in 5” tossing the phone to Lara, he nods at her to hang up. Alex already did

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Kissing her for the first time. All the reluctance she had imagined in her head melted away and she soon found herself responding to his skillful delving tongue. Seems he was searching for something he lost inside he mouth. Oh there it was. He found and latched onto her tongue mimicking a gentle sucking, like a baby on his first try of his mother’s milk. His alternate sucking on her tongue and biting gently on her lips began to awaken something she thought she had lost deep down inside her. She held onto his shoulders weakly and swore to herself never to lose the elusive feeling. He pulled away abruptly and she cried out sharply opening her eyes. She hadn’t even realized they had drifted close.

Purring like a kitten holding out for more warm milk, she reaches for his collar as she makes to pull him back into her space. He comes willingly and they continue a deep exploration of tongue, lips and teeth. Pop! Pop! Pop! Zip! Divesting each other of unnecessary fabrics, they cling to each other feverishly running his hands over her pert breasts and curvaceous buttocks simultaneously. Pausing to admire him in the dim light of the kitchen, she could not believe he was naked beneath her palms. All 5”11 of gorgeous hulk.

Lifting her onto the marble counter, it felt cold on her back. He bends over, places a fleeting kiss on her flat stomach, splatters some more on his trip down to his place of worship, nips playfully on her inner thigh enjoying her response before moving centerfold to pay tribute to her womanliness. Her hand digs into his thick hair, she arches her back, her lips part slightly to allow a strangled moan escape. It seemed all this while, her talents had been hibernating. He flicks his tongue again, lightly grazing his teeth on her tiny nub and she moans deeply mumbling his name epileptically. She was this close to the gates of heaven. Then he stopped. She almost fainted. Guiding her to the edge of the counter with her weave spilling all over her chest and shoulders, randomly shielding her breast, he groans, dipping his head to capture one of her nipples in his warm mouth teasing her mercilessly until she clung to him weakly. He could barely hear her begging. Her sex voice was so husky and low it was fuel to his drive.

She was purring in earnest now as she lay on the front seat. The driver looked ahead, targeted one of the few potholes he could find and rushed into it. The impact jolted her awake to find the driver looking at her askance. ‘Dang! Twas just a stupid wasteful dream’

“You okay?” he asked

“Yea sure. Ain’t we at the Sand bar yet?”, she asked casually.

If you enjoyed this episode of LWT, please drop a comment to let the writer know and to encourage this series…….. Thankee

LIES WOMEN TELL EPISODE #5

“Good evening broda”

“Evening Dapo. Come inside”

“Did you cook anything? am hungry” he announces

“Do I look like a woman? You can stop at the eatery when you leave” Dele replies suggesting one good reason for Dapo not to sleep over

“So, let’s do this quick. You wanted to see me about something……….”

“Yes. something quite important too”

Settling into the couch opposite each other, Dele suddenly notices his brother is carrying a folder. “What is that you are holding? Have you brought money for me? I could really use some y’knw”

“Hmmn same here. That’s what I actually came to see you about. I would like to go to Malaysia for an MSc in Business Accounting. John Brown University has offered me an unconditional admission. I just need to pay a deposit of $650 to secure my seat in class” he gushes. He was not really skilled with approaching money issues or so he kept telling himself but for this, he was ready to stick his foot everywhere including his mouth.

He was watching Dele carefully digest, weigh and select his response. It won’t be long in coming now – the verdict – Dele would pronounce .

“Why Malaysia?”

Dapo was startled out of his reverie and was looking puzzled at the question.

“Why Malaysia?” he echoes dazedly “I was thinking you would ask why John Brown and not “why Malaysia” grumbling

“Why John Brown is not a question for me to ask. Your admission officer is responsible for that question and it is safe to assume you were able to convince him that’s why we are having this discussion.”

“‘Am asking you ‘Why Malaysia’ because that is what the officer at the embassy will ask during your Visa interview. However, seeing you don’t even know the answer yourself, there is no point to this discussion………excuse me while I go do something with my time” he stands to his feet with his brother’s mouth slack-jawed and almost hitting the ground

Dapo immediately joins Dele on his feet simultaneously grabbing his arm and trying to pull him back into the couch as he opens his mouth  to form a response.

“I am not exactly sure what you want me to say to that question”

“I am sorry sir but your visa has been denied. Please feel free to reapply or appeal if you disagree with the interview result” Dele intones in a high-sounding ‘visa-officer-wanna-be-voice’

“No. No. No. I mean I don’t know what exactly to say” Dapo tries to correct himself

“That’s also fine sir. You may return when you are sure of yourself. Denied” Dele goes off again

Dapo finally catching unto his big brother’s game, realizes his forward thinking brother has already approved and is fast-tracking to his visa interview to the one question in his opinion which swings the interview to a ‘Approved’ or a ‘Denied’. His big brother has so much faith in him. He wasn’t even questioning his motive. He was now confident knowing his brother believed he could do this.

“It could have been the United States, Europe or somewhere else, but I choose Malaysia because of the large student body from Nigeria already there so I won’t feel out of place. I also chose Malaysia because the quality of education is above standard and an MSc in Business Accounting will be recognized along sides an MSc from any school in Europe or even America.” feeling confident with himself now at the look on his brother’s face, he smiles and decides to remind Dapo about the money. He seems to have forgot that part  “Besides, I will be spending so much on this education, I appreciate that I will be getting my money’s worth so I can do something valuable with the degree besides securing a good position when I return to Nigeria.”

Dapo’s smile falters a bit. Yes, he had gotten excited and forgotten about the financial part. How cute of Dele to remind him like that.

“Please return in 2 weeks for your visa. Approved. Come on Thursday”

“Thank you sir” barely able to contain his excitement. Does this translate into Dele giving him a cheque by next week thursday? what exactly did that mean or was that just the end of the mock-drama? He would soon find out he told himself.

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Lara finishes bathing, throws on the tiny sheath Dele hangs in his wardrobe for her visits and started downstairs thinking Dapo must have left considering the length of time she spent in the bathroom. She is stuck somewhere in between the staircase and the foyer where both men would be able to see her clearly. The conversation had proved interesting thus far so she stayed out of sight, listening. Riotous thoughts ran through her head.

“So Dele was going to finance this thing to Malaysia where it is said that students do not focus on their studies but get into drugs, into trouble with drug barons, club all week and donate their kidneys to pay up their drug debts”

Shaking her head to clear it of the traitorous thought, she says to herself instead “Is this where Dele wants to send this boy? He didn’t even question his motive!”

They were speaking again “If he is fine with his brother losing a kidney, then am not going to lose sleep over it” she shrugs and continues eavesdropping as the men resume their discussion.

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“I will think about your proposal even though it seems it is a win-win for you” Dele resumes

“Uhh?” Dapo swallows

“Oh! you expect I have the money in the top drawer of my bedroom and will just walk in and waltz out and hand it over to you?” He laughs a rare deep bellied laugh

“My friend, things do not happen that way in the real world okay? I will think about it, look through my finances, discuss with Lara since you know we plan to get married soon too and see how much we can squeeze ourselves” He is looking distractedly into space now as he continues to list things to be considered in this venture. Dapo’s face had closed off at the mention of Lara. He just couldn’t understand why his brother had to bring her into this “They were not even married yet” hiss

Dele is oblivious to to Dapo’s annoyance.

“I would call mum and ask her what she wants me to do in this matter. We would have to find a good time for you to tell me what your plans are with this degree, etc. Just leave the folder on the table here so I an go through it and we can talk afterwards” He tries to soften his voice

“Fine” Dapo was obviously still annoyed. It will be good if he travelled after the wedding to give both Lara and himself time away from all these. Perhaps, by the time he returned, he would have matured enough to accept her.

******************************************************************************************

“Married!”

“We are getting married!” incredulously

“We discussed this already and I agreed? When did he even ask me!”

“Married eh?”Lara snorts as she flees back upstairs. This discussion was over anyway. She would re-enter and pretend she was just stepping out of the bathroom.

******************************************************************************************

The front door closes and the vibration runs through the door frame as Dele folds into a straight back beside the door allowing everything he was holding fall to the ground as he rubs his eyes tiredly.

‘Bills! Bills! Bills! always a new bill. Just when he thought he was done paying for everything in his family and can now concentrate on planning a wedding party with his beloved…….his brother wants to go to Malaysia and sample drugs plus donate a kidney!”

“This must be another harebrained scheme with the help of that scatterbrained friend of Dapo’s whose name does not even worth remembering. I need to talk to mama. I have told her to keep her son away from that boy. Dapo must really think am stupid. Malaysia indeed! And now, he has succeeded in ruining my libido for tonight. I just hope Lara didn’t hear any of this and has simply fallen asleep after waiting for me.” looking at the face of his illuminated watch ‘just 10pm’ he groans realizing there was no way Lara was asleep already. He didn’t wanna have this discussion or touch a woman this night.

Ascending the stairs, he whistles softly. Lara hears him coming, quickly picks up her hairbrush and pretends to be combing out her weave with a smile plastered across her face. ‘Getting married eh? I will show him getting married’ she promises

He walks in. She is wearing ‘the sheath’. She must not have heard anything that went on downstairs. He is a bit relieved.

“Hey love” he calls out

“Hey sweets. I just stepped out of the bathroom” she says as he wraps his arms around her

“Really?” he intones dryly noticing her body was as warm as his and dry too. ‘My little liar’ he thinks. How does someone step out of a bath warm and dry! His little love and her tiny lies. He smiles into her hair burying his nose into her coconut scent. He wa beginning to feel something stir in his trousers. ‘was it just the coconut or was it the little lies that turned his on every time?’ he would worry about that later because he was not sure he could fathom why she was always dropping meaningless lies every time she opened her mouth.

Turning to meet his questing mouth, they walk slowly towards the huge kingsized bed, she sinks her back slowly into it, opening her arms to welcome him as he hurriedly separates himself from his clothing. They both momentarily forget the lie between them.