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.

LIES WOMEN TELL #9

Dapo knocks on the double door before him.

“Come in” a voice calls from within.

“Good evening Dele. This is past 5pm. I assume you are less busy now?”

“Yes, yes. Do come in. I was just waiting for you. Lara is returning to Lagos tomorrow or the day after and I want to spend as much time with her as possible” Dele supplies

A grunt meets his announcement. Trying to contain his disapproval, Dele continues.

“I have carefully read everything in your school’s package and feel it is reasonable”

“Really?” Dapo asks surprised

“Yes, really. You will find this check covers your immediate needs – application fee, visa application and interview and registration fees to secure your place in class”

“Oh really!” very surprised

“Yes really. Why do you keep saying ‘really’ as if you expected otherwise?” Dele wondered

“Maybe because the last time I was at your house, you didn’t sound so agreeable.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! What did you expect me to do? Hang my boxers on my head and dance ‘Shoki’! I had to read through everything and be sure it wasn’t that mischievous friend of yours hatchng a hare-brained scheme.

“Ha-ha-ha not ‘shoki’ exactly, probably sekem. Lol” Dapo retorts

“Did you drive? I could drop you off if you want…”

“I drove. I will soon leave my car behind anyway so I might as well drive while am still here” Dapo says

“Yes. That’s right. I would be so glad to cruise your baby all over town, however I want without your pigeon eyes double-checking for scrapes” Dele suggests

“That’s funny because you are a more meticulous driver than I am” he replies as Dele starts to shut down his laptop in a familiar going-home ritual.

“Dele, please don’t tell me you are still using this laptop! I have changed my laptop twice already! You are so old skool” Dapo accuses

“I agree. How else do you think I have maintained a relationship so well? I prefer to describe it as ‘being a staying guy’”

“Err if you say so. You are the boss”

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

“Hello. Are you on your way already or you want me to come pick you at Sandra’s?”

“Oh! I’ll come myself. Don’t worry about it”

“How about your luggage? Won’t that be a hassle?”

“Don’t worry about it. I will call a taxi. Besides, it is just one piece of luggage and my handbag” Lara replies

“Alright. What time will you get here so I can be expecting you?” Dele asks

“12ish?”

“12? I said I wanted to spend the whole of today with you not half the day! You are leaving tomorrow. I want you to myself the whole of today. In fact, am coming over to pick you right now. End of discussion” he hangs up

“Oh shit! I have to leave now. Can you take me back to Sandra’s place like right now please Mofe?” Lara pleads

“Right now? But, I just got you here like 5 minutes ago”
“5 minutes? Nope. More like 30 minutes” Lara replies

“Well, to me, it is like 5 minutes. I barely even started” Mofe sulks

“Not exactly. You started just fine…..remember?” she teases

“hmmn” a deep sigh

“Can we leave now please? I don’t want Dele to get there before me.” she cajoles

“Why are you suddenly in a hurry? You can just tell him you were coming from your Uncle’s place or something. He does know you have an Uncle in Abuja, right?” Mofe pokes at her

“Not now Mofe. Please, let’s just leave” she begins gathering her scattered lipgloss and compact mirror that had spilled when Mofe tackled her immediately she stepped into his sitting room earlier.

She had not been exactly surprised when he did that but she had to pretend that she hadn’t seen it coming. *snort* what real woman is ever taken completely unawares by a man that has the hot pants for her? *snort again* she had only agreed to come here this morning to confirm her suspicions. A naturally curious person, always wanting to be sure her instincts had divined correctly each time. Yup! She had been right again this time but she couldn’t help wondering when this habit would finally put her in trouble. Mofe had called her phone this morning and she was surprised to hear the device ring somewhere in her sleep. Obviously, she had forgot to turn it off last night. Picking his call had just been to humor him because she just had another splendid ‘Malik dream’ which she didn’t want anything to erase just yet.

“Hello?” she breathed into the mouthpiece

“Hey girl! Did I wake you up?” he had asked

“No. The mouse in my pillow did. Whatyathink?” she had bit out

“ha-ha you know you shouldn’t use sarcasm when you are just waking up. It’s actually sexy in my head”

“Mofe, did you call me just to tell me how sexy my sarcasm is?” she retorted

“No. Sorry. I wanted to see if you were not too busy this morning.”

“Why?” wide awake now

“I wanted to come pick you up and show you my new place. You have not been in town since I moved”

“Oh really! Okay. Lemme wear something. Come over in 20” she says

“Great! See you soon”

“Yea. See ya” she chirps rolling out of bed and whistling off-key. She steps into the jacuzzi at the corner of the room, hurriedly washing with the liquid Olay Sandra keeps for guests. She was just toweling dry when she hears Mofe’s trademark long horn.

“Don’t worry, it’s Mofe. I got it” She calls out to Sandra fixing breakfast as she walks out of the room in a terry bathrobe, to open the door for Mofe.

“You seeing Mofe this morning?” Sandra calls from the kitchen

“Funny right?” he smiles crookedly “He just calls me like 15minutes ago inviting me to come and see his new place”

“New place? What new place? Mofe never told me he moved houses!” Sandra returns

“Really?”

“Yes. Really. I’ll ask him when he comes inside”

“Come in. Door is open for you” Lara calls out “Please give me 5 minutes to put something on. Sandra is busy in the kitchen” Lara informs him as soon as he steps through the door. Not waiting for much but a nod from him, she rushes back into the room.

“You got a new place Mofe.” Sandra asks coming into the sitting area

“Oh! Hi Sandra. Good morning” he manages

“You got a new place?” she repeats with a straight face

“Well, you see, it is not exactly a new place per-se, err I think Lara has not been there but you have. So, it is a new place for Lara.” he tries

Scrunching her brows in thought, “So, this your new place is the same place just outside Kubwa?”

“Yes.” pleading with his eyes

“Hmmn. Now, am beginning to get where this is going!” laughing really hard, she makes to return to the kitchen then turns back “You owe me if I keep quiet” waving the wooden spoon in her hand at him

“Yea, yea, sure. Big time. Please just don’t say anything” he begs again

“How much are we talking?” she persists just as the door cracks open and Lara steps outta the door

“What are you two talking about?” she asks looking from one to the other

“I was just asking Mofe to stay for breakfast but it seems he is in a hurry to go and show you his NEW Place. Isn’t it Mofe?” Sandra says

“Yea. We will come back for breakfast” he attempts a flat smile

“Okay. Sandra please leave mine in the microwave. I’ll wolve it when I get back. Shouldn’t take long. Let’s go” turning to catch Mofe staring appreciatively at her short flouncy skirt and sleeves silk shirt.

“What?” she asks

“Nothing. You look good is all” he replies with a smile “can’t I appreciate a fine girl again even if she is my friend?”

“Bring something back o. Preferably, Money” Sandra calls out from the kitchen

“Don’t mind Sandra.” Mofe says pulling Lara towards the door when she tries to ask Sandra what she meant.

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Getting to his place, taking in the environment, commenting on the fact that the house seems to have just two other occupants in the compound making a total of three which in her estimate was pretty cool – less people to fraternize with, the better.

“This place looks pretty cool. Just you and two neighbors. Nice!”

“Thank you”

“Does your landlord stay here?” she inquires

“No. He has another house in Asokoro. This is just one of his money-generating investments”

“I like the color and the fact that the flats are not connected to each other and there is still plenty of space for sit outs and small parties”

He laughs “Do you ever see past parties?” he asks amazed “Every space you see, you already see a party going on there and you are not even an Ijebu lady”
“Oh well! You can’t blame me” shrugs “C’mon. Come and show me the inside of your apartment. Am curious” she opens the door to step out of the dry Abuja sun.

That was when he opened the front door, allowed her go in first and while she was ooh-ing and aah-ing over his super-fine drapes, coffee table and chairs, he turned, locked the door, turned her towards him with her mouth open for the next ‘ooh’, he kissed her hard and long as if he was going to suck the ‘aah’ out of her before she gathered enough composure to respond.

“Waaaait! What was that?” she asked

“I was just….”

“I know what you just was. It was a rhetorical question.” she snapped “what I’d like to know however, is why it happened. Why did you kiss me Mofe” he had her full attention now and although she had a good guess already of what his response was going to be, the question begged to be asked. She was not going to be an easy! Waiting for his response, she folded her arms and affected a borderline angry stance.

“I…..I…errr..I like you” he stutters

“*snort obviously or you won’t be kissing me” derisively

“Well, I have just been thinking about you a lot lately and was wondering if you think about me too” he stops waiting to see if she would take the bait

“Continue. Am listening. Don’t come any closer until you finish” she warns when he takes a step forward with his arms making to pull her towards him.

“Lara what do you want me to say! I like you, ok? I’m attracted to you. I was jealous when you said you were going on a date last night and I told myself I had to see you and tell you before you returned to Lagos tomorrow” he finishes

“I see. But why would you be jealous naa?” she teased gently “I have met many of your girls and I don’t complain besides, we have been friends since high school. Why are you suddenly attracted to me?” looking at his face, she realizes he was too far gone in his emotions he won’t be able to give a coherent answer, she decides to let it go for now. She would find those time slices where his guard was down and she could tease him mercilessly with this she told herself

“it’s alright though. We are still cool” she told him rubbing his arms in a soothing gesture while telling herself that was a first and last time not because they were old friends, but because he kissed like an Ibadan boy – like he was going to suck all the sexiness out of her.

He looked at her as she came closer, steeled himself against her dainty touch. He was not sure why he was suddenly reacting to Lara like this. He had been through high school with her when she was a tomboy and had almost no friends because she was self-conscious about her closely cropped hair. He had also been there in University when she had gone wild dating a new guy every fortnight – her criteria had been ‘the guy had to be hot’. He remembered being disgusted at her wildness back then and wondering why she wouldn’t pretend to be a virgin like the other girls instead of flaunting her conquests around campus. It was their second year before they held a conversation after years of waving and only saying ‘hello’ whenever they met on campus. That day, she had come to watch a movie by herself and he had been surprised to see her alone. Usually, she would have a guy there to buy the ticket, the popcorn and drinks while she sat on the side waiting. He would go get her and shoulder the way for her to get into the theatre. That night she had been alone and he was also alone because his date had cancelled on him. Unfortunately, he had gotten the tickets earlier in the day and decided he would watch the movie even if he had to go alone. Jet Li was one of his favorites. She was there for the same movie, he had an extra ticket, why not! He had enjoyed the movie with her company and he was surprised she made such a good movie companion, squirming, gripping his hands and burying her face in his shirt at the right time. He was glad his date had cancelled. Subsequently, he had seen Lara in a different light and would stop for occasional chats when their paths crossed on campus. He never forgot that night.

They were in the kitchen and she was saying how much she liked the way he had managed the space by putting in high shelves since the kitchen was just a few meters across. He moved to open the guest toilet which was off the kitchen before crossing the room to open another door and invited her to look.

“Ohh! This is soooo pretty and cool. Is this your bedroom or a girl’s room?” she teases

“It is mine. Does it look like a girl’s room?” he asked surprised

“Well, the cream and lavender drapes with the lavender rug and bedspread…..” she trails off when he begins to laugh uproariously “What?”

“You think Lavender is feminine only”
“Well…..isn’t it supposed to be?”

“I hate to disillusion you my dear, but when I went to make these purchases, there was no ‘girl’s only’ tucked above the shelf where the fabrics and rug sat. Besides, women do not have absolute monopoly on colors” He announced. Proud she had liked his room

“Do you remember that night we watched that movie together in school?” trying to distract her from an argument on feminism

“Do you remember that was the first time we truly had a conversation on campus?” he was trying to re-introduce the mood

“Errrr I don’t remember” she says screwing up her face in an attempt to recall the memory

“You don’t!” amazed “How can you not? It was the most beautiful movie”

“meh! It was Jet Li” she states flatly

“You don’t like Jet li?”

“Errr Let’s just say I prefer Chow Yun-Fat but that’s not important. Why should I remember that day? Anything special happened?”

“Nothing” disappointed

“Nothing?” looking at him with raised brows “so, why do you look disappointed if it was nothing?”

“Forget it. It’s nothing”

“You keep saying it is nothing but your face and tone contradicts your words. Talk to me. What is it?” she insists coming closer to stand beside him but still surveying the intricate pattern of the drapes “What is it? Tell me” she turns to search his face as if the answer would be there somewhere

Allowing her come an inch closer, he folds her into an embrace as his mouth descends on hers for the second time that morning while he slowly walks her back towards the King-sized bed. He didn’t stop until the back of her calves bumped the bed frame and she stopped trying feebly to push his chest away. Allowing her come up briefly for air and also to decide if she prefers her back sinking into the bed.

“You are choking me” she gasps as soon as he lets her up for air. Looking at him with a sly smile, she told herself ‘and this is why we won’t be repeating this. He does kiss like a butcher’ I need to leave this place she thinks as her phone begins to ring from the sitting room. ‘Thank God’ she thought ‘saved by the phone’.

Mofe continues standing in front of her undecided. This had not gone exactly as he envisaged. He had played it many times in his head and in every scenario, her back had chosen the bed when he allowed her come up for air and now his head keeps ringing repeatedly. ‘What changed?’

“That’s my phone Mofe. I need to see who is calling” she says as she makes to slide past him to the sitting room. He turns and goes with her.

LIES WOMEN TELL #8

“PING!” her phone had been vibrating silently in her lap while she dreamt. She looked down at it willing it to ‘shut-up’ so she could replay her dream experience– Did I just dream about Malik? Lara thought. Was that supposed to be Malik or Dele in the dream? Oh well! Who is this idiot pinging me incessantly! Could they have picked a less appropriate time! Oh! Tis Sandra, what now?

“I hear you moan and I know that was not a pain-moan” It persisted

“Answer me jooor. I know you are awake now”

“*sigh* sigh* sigh* Sandra, why dost thou persecute me?” Lara replied

“what did you dream about?”

“That you bought a new car and took me for a ride *tongue out*”

“Hmmmmn this is far from over”

“LOL. Amebo tins”

Their driver was pulling into a paved driveway with music coming from the other end. Alex was out in front, waiting. He waved at them just incase they hadn’t spotted his bulky frame and protruding stomach. Lara always asked him when he was going to have the baby and he would laugh right back and say when she has hers. He was easy-going.

“Hey Alex!” Lara calls out while Sandra begins a pout in the back seat throwing in a deep scowl at Alex. He feigns a cardiac at her scowl, staggering backwards playfully clutching his heart as Lara climbs out of the front seat to hug him tightly.

“What’s the matter with Sandra?” he asks her “What have I done this time? Y’all just barely got here. Wouldn’t that break the world record if I have done something to make her face look like that in less than 2 minutes?

Lara bursts into a throaty laugh.

“Don’t mind her jare. She is just angry about last time”
“I heard that” Sandra joins getting out of the car while Mofe parks the car properly

“What last time?” turning towards Sandra “What did I do last time? I thought we all had fun” he affected a hurt tone

“Hmn! One of us thinks so!” Sandra retorts, walking ahead towards the door then realizing she was probably giving him a great view of her behind. She quickly turns around and finds him ogling her just like she predicted.

“Arrrgh! You are incorrigible Alex.” swatting his chest with her purse “This is the same thing you did last time we met! Well, you included my front view too. Could you drool less, perhaps?”

“Perhaps” he says unrepentantly

Chuckling behind them, Mofe walks up to the door ahead of them since Sandra was stuck like a statue to a spot so Alex wouldn’t get a view.

“You both have started again” was his only comment as he goes inside the dimly lit place

“Lara are you coming or you want to be the referee?” he calls from inside

“Am coming” extracting her self from Alex’s arms, she walks inside too

“You see, why cant you just be less stingy like Lara and allow me unrestricted view?”
“Do I look like ONTV?” came her hiss “Alex mind yourself o before I lose my temper today”
“Ha-ha Alright, I’ll let you be this time. No tease. I promise. Shall we?” giving a mock bow

“After you” she says

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Walking to the bar, they found Lara and Mofe safely ensconced directly opposite the spigot of beer.

“Nice. We can order now. You guys finally finished” piped Lara

“Your friend stingy sha. She say she no be ONTV”

“What?” Lara looked amused wondering what ‘being ONTV’ referred to in the context

“Alex!” a stern look

“Okay o. I don shut-up my mouth” he says

“What are we having? I want a virgin cocktail drink am meeting someone later this evening”

“By meeting someone, you actually mean a guy?” Mofe asks

“No. A hermaphrodite! Whatchuthink?” came her sharp retort

“Don’t bite please. Just idle question” Mofe raises his palms in mock surrender

“Don’t mind Lara. It is a guy. One cute tall guy that behaves himself and controls his eyes unlike some people I know” Sandra supplies

“Na you dey find trouble now o. Trouble siddon jeje yanga waka go wake am” Alex rejoins

“Did I mention any names? Guilty conscience”

“Ok naa. I will continue with what I was having before Mofe brought me trouble” grinning widely

“Heineken?” Lara asks

“Nope”

“Star?” Mofe suggests

“Naaaaah”

“Stout” Sandra offers

“Ahhhhh! A woman that knows my heart. You are almost right though. Ha-ha”

“Barman, please give me two big Odeku, one virgin Pina colada for the lady in green, a legend extra stout for my guy here and for this most exquisite goddess……darling, what are you gonna have? He seemed pleased with himself to make Sandra smile at the ‘goddess’ title. He actually was attracted to her and all the clowning and horsing around was to mask his doubts. He felt he didn’t stand a chance if he asked her out on a date. She would simply turn him down and he couldn’t live with that.

“Thank you Alex. I will have same thing as Lara. Who knew you could be such a gentleman” she teased back

“Alex, why Odeku naa?” Lara asks

“Have you seen their new advert?”

“yes” doubtful where this was going

“Did you hear the dude’s voice?”

“Yes” hesitantly

“Well, if that don’t make you wanna drink it, I wonder what else will” Alex states simply and they all laugh

“That’s true though” Mofe agrees

“Yesso. I always wondered where they got the guy with such a voice and I ask myself is this how a real man should sound ni or is it that when you drink it, you start sounding like that?” Lara says

“This is Gulder the ultimate” Sandra imitates a baritone and they laugh some more

A phone rings, Lara picks up trying to hush the group but the music from the speakers would still have interfered so she moved towards the ladies to pick her call. It was Dele.

“Where are you?” he repeated again. She had not answered the first time. She probably had not heard with the loud music playing in her background.

“Hello. What. I cant really hear you?” she feigns

“How will you hear me when you are in somewhere noisy! Where are you?” he repeats a third time almost losing his temper now. If he knew the little liar, her brain would be working furiously to cop-out the most inane lie.

“Oh! I went with Sandra to one of her friend’s house. Her son has a birthday party.”

“I see. How old is the son that you all are dancing at a child’s birthday?”

“He is 4 today”
“Ahh! So they now play Olamide’s Story for the gods at a four year old’s party! What kind of mother does he have?”

“Ohhhhhh Dele please don’t start. You should know everybody likes Olamide. Even kids. Besides, the song part is sort of for us adults. The kids had their cartoon characters come play games and dance with them earlier already. Please don’t start o”
“Alright. I hear you. I was just checking to see how you were doing”
“Am fine” curtly. She was beginning to lose her temper in this fine game she was playing with Dele. She couldn’t let that happen. She should have called him before they got into the bar so he wouldn’t have had to check up on her. Dang! Falling asleep, dreaming about Malik had made her forget. Careful girl, you don’t wanna mess up the grand plan now, do you?

“Am sorry. You know how I hate going for parties but I had to come with Sandra since you were busy. She insisted and I couldn’t think of a way to get out of it. I miss you baby” she soothed

He wasn’t sure what she was trying to sneak past his head his time. He decided to let it slide.

“I was tidying up in the office and realized I had not heard from you since you got back to Sandra’s this morning so I decided to call.”

“Thanks love. Am fine. Have you seen Dapo yet? Has he called you?” neatly shifting gears

“He hasn’t called. I assume my brusque manner with him yesterday may have caused it. I went through the school package he left for me and I think it is something do-able”

“How do you mean?” she probed when he stopped there

“Well, for one, they would help him secure a part-time job on his student visa where he will work just 25 hours max a week. I feel this will help him develop a sense of responsibility including gaining work experience”

“Oh! I see. Yes, it does sound like a good idea. You should call him though. You know how he is. He may be sulking and misunderstanding your silence already. Call him”

“Okay. I will. Before I leave the office” he assures her

“I miss you baby”

“I miss you more”

“Are you coming over tonight?” he asks

“No dear. I’ll come tomorrow. My uncle at Bwari asked me to see him. I called him this afternoon to let him know I was in town before we will stumble into each other and he would yell like last time. So, when I called, he said he had been wanting to ask when I was coming into town so we could discuss something urgent”

“Okay” in a small voice

“Am sorry dear. I didn’t realize you would want to see me again today”

“You know I always want to see you. What kind of talk is that?” a bit sharply “It’s fine though. I’ll see you tomorrow then? Tomorrow is Sunday, no Uncles or aunts to see eh and if there is, cancel it. I want to see you. Tell them your husband said so”
“Yinmu. You will have to marry me first to claim the title” she retorts

“Don’t worry. Very soon.” he smiles into the phone

Two short raps on the door.

“Lara! Are you in there?”

“Am coming Sandra”

“Sandra is calling me. I have to get off the phone”

“Wait! Where are you in the house?”

“In the bathroom”
“Why in the bathroom? Couldn’t you stay in the bedroom or something?”

“You said you couldn’t hear me and the bathroom looked empty with no music coming in. Are you complaining on my behalf? It is me in the bathroom not you” She returned a bit sharply

“Sorry. Got to go”
“Alright. Call me when you girls get home”
“Will do.”

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

Sandra was eyeing her suspiciously.

“Who was on the phone that took you so long? All the ice in your drink has melted down. You drink looks like a cheap man’s swimming pool already” continues to eye her looking for something to pounce on

“Twas Dele. I should have called him before we came inside”

“Mscheew! Maybe you should have. Anyway, the guys are waiting for you wondering what ate you up in the ladies”

“I’ll be right out. I need to just call Malik before he calls me too. I told him we were going for a housewarming” At Sandra’s raised brow “Wetin? Isn’t this a housewarming? Oh dear! You didn’t warn me” she feigns and they both chuckle as her phone hits Malik’s dial tone

“Sshhhhh” at Sandra as the connection is made on the other end “Malik, hi. How is your day going?”

“I just wanted to check up on you and ask how your mum is faring”

“Yea, sure. We still on for tonight. I may even have a surprise for you” she laughs

“Alright. See you later baby. Mwuah!” she ends the call

“Flirting with the dream now eh?” Sandra teases

“You know how it is”
“Yea, I know he was the one you dreamt about in the car”

Lara merely laughed and refused to say anything. Standing side by side, touching their faces in the mirror, Sandra shakes her head in bewilderment.

“I just don’t get it.”

“What don’t you get?”

“How it is that you seem to attract all these men who fall deeply for you, yet you can’t seem to commit to one! It’s baffling”

“Hey! Don’t say that. Am committed to Dele ain’t I?”
“hmmn You call that commitment? I won’t even touch that with a comment” snorting

“What can I say! I try but none seems like the right one” in a more subdued tone

“Ha! The illusory right one eh?” Dropping her lipgloss, she turns Lara bodily towards her “Tell me, does that illusion really exist? Is there a right one for every person or is it just a wish like a unicorn?

“I wish I knew the answer Sandra. I wish I knew”

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

They were barely indoors before a horn blares in front of their gate. If Mofe had not pulled away immediately he dropped them off, she could have sworn it was him again. Looking through the drapes, she saw the black range rover jeep – Lara’s cup of tea!

“Lara…..”

“ugh” she groans “Already? He is so on time. Couldn’t he be like other men and be late” she groans again as she rushes into the room to change into a dress suited for an evening with her dream.

She chose a pale tortoise-shell knee length dress that had playful pleats which swirled when she moved. She clutched her tiny purse that carried nothing more than face towels and vex money.

Babe, you gats carry vex money. If you follow guy go somewhere and he start dey do anyhow; maybe he wan keep you hostage overnight or he asking for ‘the goodies’ because he carry you go shopping-shopping, just carry your vex money comot and call a cab. If no cab, FLY OKADA. Better to reach home than be sorry afterwards.” she couldn’t remember which of her many street-savvy friends had said so, but she never forgot it and it had saved her many times.

“Laraaaa!” Sandra yells from the sitting room

“Am coming” she replies

“You better don’t be coming” came the rejoinder

“I’ll soon be there”

“Ah! Worse” as she goes into peals of laughter

Lara’s phone rings. It was Mofe. What now?

“Hello.”

“Oh great! You got home already. Nice”

“Yea sure. Will tell her. Thanks again. We both had a great time hanging out with you guys”

“Alright. Goodnight” She ended the call with a weird feeling that Mofe was camped outside her window, watching her through high powered binoculars. She shrugs, smiling as she realizes what was happening in Mofe’s head.

“Good! You are all dressed up. Malik says he wants to cook for us tonight.” Sandra informs her as soon as she steps out

“What!?” her face drops “I mean, fantastic!” she attempts a fake muster

“If you don’t like the idea, we can go somewhere else. I just assumed you would want to stay indoors with your friend after being out all day” he says

They stare at each other with warring emotions flitting across their face before Sandra saves them by chuckling and shooing them out the door.

“Malik, please take my girl someplace nice. I doubt indoors is what she had in mind when she put on this pretty dress. You are welcome to fix us breakfast some other time or the other way round but tonight, I’d rather be a couch potato in my Pjs while I Telemundo myself to sleep.”

“Are you sure?” they both inquire simultaneously

“Shoo shoo. Off with the two of you so I can get my Telemundo on” came her reply

“Thank you Sandra. Goodnight”

“Goodnight Malik.”

As they walked towards the gates, she pulls the drapes aside “hey! Bring her back tonight Young man!”

“Yes ma’am. I will” he chuckles linking his fingers through hers as they shut the gate behind them.

“I like your friend” he says

“Me too” she replies and smiles

LIES WOMEN TELL Episode #4

Episode #4

Arriving Dele’s office, he resumes auto-pilot, ordering everyone around as if he never left before disappearing into his office slamming the door shut.

Lara lingers at the reception desk to chat with the nice girl who sits there.

“Hey girl!”

“Hello ma”

“How have you been? It’s been a while”

“Four months three days” came the automated response

“Right. Even your boss can’t be as accurate as you.  How is the work going? Hope you are having fun while you can?”she inquires while the receptionists looks at her askance as if to say “How is that possible with the kind of boss we have!” but she says nothing only smiles.

“Does your boss still work late as usual or he has repented?”

“He still works late. He asks me to go ahead sometimes and he locks up afterwards”

“No strange visitors anymore?” Lara presses and at the careful look on the girl’s face, she pushes more “Is it that same lady I met in his office the last time?”

“No. No. That one has stopped coming here” the girl hisses “It’s just one woman from a different department that comes to see Oga before closing time. Then Oga will ask me to close before him and he locks up”

“I see.” Contemplating “Tell me Anna. Is three months too much to be away from a partner? because I don’t understand these our men these days”

Anna opens her mouth to reply the rhetorical question when the phone on her desk rings.

“Oga” she mouths at Lara

“Yessir. She is here sir. okay sir” handing the phone over to Lara “he wants to speak to you”

“Ain’t you gonna come in?” came the low voice

“Coming….” she began to reply but he had hung up

She shook her head, gathered up her purse and waved at Anna as she sashayed towards the closed door at the end of the hall. She knocked once and went inside.

Smiling at the man buried behind a pile of paperwork simultaneously reaching for the phone on his desk. He was always so busy once he stepped inside this building. It is as if a demon possessed him once he crossed the threshold into the building and they start bringing all their demonic demands to keep him occupied until closing time. He barely has the time to chat, laugh or entertain her once he was inside this office which was why she had to occupy herself with other pursuits or fathom ways to keep him longer at home each morning. She smiled again as he finished his call. He was yet to acknowledge her presence. She knew it wasn’t deliberate but she detested to be ignored so.

Reaching into her purse for her Blackberry, she chuckles to her phone as she begins replying her messages. This she was sure would get his attention. He was so selfish, he could ignore her while he buried himself in his work but once she picked up her phone he would go jealous like all the fiends of hell were reaching out of the phone to claim her away.

“aha! there you are. You know i don’t like you ignoring me for so long. Who are you smiling at on your phone again? Hope it isn’t one of those boys who do not know what to do with their time but to be harassing my wifey.” he starts

“You are too busy to have my time so am occupying myself” she her calm reply

“That’s not true. I just had a few emails to reply and a couple of stuff to sign then am all yours but come here first and greet me properly” he gives her his full attention

She sighs, stands up from the comfy sofa she was occupying and crosses the short distance towards Dele. He reaches out, pulls her closer bringing her to his knees. She lifts his glasses off his face as she buries her hands in his lush afro. They remain like this for a second before simultaneously closing the space between their faces.

The chemistry was electric. Only the knowledge of being in the office plus her tight pants that put a check in their fast spiral towards insanity.

He stops abruptly as he reopens the space between them. Fortunately, he had heard the discreet knock on the door. She hadn’t. He buries his head in her flat tummy mumbling “this is what you do to me” as they both try to regain leveled breathing. She finally disentangles her fingers from his hair patting it down.

Running her hands through her hair while he helps her straighten her clothes, he clears his throat as she returns to the sofa across the room.

“Come in” he calls out as the door opens to reveal a tall dark lady. Glancing suspiciously into the room as she walks in.

“Good evening” She says to Lara as she moves closer to Dele’s desk

“Hello Dele” not bothering to hear Lara’s mumbled response

“I am on my way home and wanted to say goodnight. Did you see the general memo the chairman sent during lunch?”

“Esther, I’d like you to meet Lara my fiancee. Lara, Esther is the chairman’s daughter and she has been so helpful. Remember how I told you she likes to take care of me on your behalf? Bringing me lunch and even early dinners sometimes” Dele made brief introductions

Lara quick to the cue “Oh! Good evening Esther. Allow me to say a big thank you for taking care of my man while I was away. I must say you are doing a good job” she chuckles “You should allow me thank you properly by inviting you to dinner at the house one of these days before I return to Lagos”

Flustered and not as fast on her feet as she’d like, Esther could barely put together a coherent response. She hadn’t expected Lara to act so friendly and not feel threatened. What wasn’t Dele telling her. Were they engaged already? Even if they were? Or has Lara tied Dele in her clutches she acts so confident no other woman could lure him away. She smiles.

“Thank you Lara. I should take you up on that offer one of these days.”

“I will see myself out. Enjoy your evening.”

“Thank you. we will” Lara answers for both of them as Dele was once more buried in desk work and hardly paid them any mind.

Lara smiled a secret smile. 1-0. She and Esther knew she had won this round and they were both going to retreat and sharpen their claws for whenever the next round may be which both women were determined to win and Lara was certain not to concede.

So, Esther has designs on my man and Dele as expected is oblivious to the fact. That blab mouth Anna is good for this place. The heads-up she gave me was invaluable. Allowed me not to be taken totally unawares. I must remember to give her money for her t-fare on our way out. She was smiling at him steadily now secured in the knowledge that he was all hers to do with as she desired. She however couldn’t let Anna believe her tips and clues were totally useless. She had facilitated Anna’s employment. Anna was her eye in this office but all she truly needed her for, was to watch Dele. A woman couldn’t ever be too careful even with a seemingly clueless man like him. Even a clueless one is still a man when he wants to be. Thankfully, he did not have crazy friends that he was close to. Most of his friends were always busy like him if not more that was why she could afford to stay away 3 months a stretch. She needed to break that routine. She told herself firmly as he finally looks up smiling his heartwarming smile at her. He was her sunshine man.

“Lets go home” he says getting up in one fluid motion as she gathers up her purse and jacket without arguing.  Getting to the reception, Lara moves closer to the girl and neatly palms her the cash for her transport mouthing “thank you Anty”.

“Anna am closing for the day. please remember to lock my office when you leave”

“Yessir”

He was always so efficient, her Dele. He looked at her and winked. She knew what that meant and she smiled back enthusiastically. She was in for one long night of bliss thankfully, today was a Friday.

As he backed out of the drive, her phone began to ring. She silently prayed it was not Malik because that would be disastrous. It was her girlfriend in Kubwa. With all the fun she was having, she had totally forgot to call ahead and let her know she would not be coming home tonight. Her friend must have cooked dinner and would be furious to have it waste.

“Hello” Lara says carefully

“You are not coming home tonight eh?” Came the sharp attack

“Am sorry. Many things happened and I forgot to call to let you know. Am so sorry. Hope you had not cooked dinner yet?” trying to explain

“You will always have an excuse. I always tell you let me know.” she grumbled

“Am sorry. I’ll tell you all about it when we see” she persuaded

“Alright. say hi to Dele for me”

“I’ll tell him. bye”

“Bye”

“My friend says hi”

“Am saying hi too” they both laugh. She couldn’t understand it but both of them never could stay in the same room without exploding after barely five minutes.

He begins ravishing her from the moment he turns the ignition off. That was the way with them. it was only Dele that had ever succeeded in taking her to heights of ecstasy. He knew exactly where to touch, kiss, stroke and press to make her beg to jump out of her skin. He was her sensuous nerd. The truth was that each moan from her drove him crazier and made him want to crush the whole slim length of her underneath him. He was suddenly impatient with all the frills of her attire and barely restrained himself from ripping them off her.

Both staggering indoors still kissing and touching each other, he had left their jacket in the car along with her purse and his briefcase. Oh well! the car keys were in the front pocket of his pant.

She wasn’t even sure how they got the front door unlocked. They were still kissing and struggling with each other’s clothes as they approached the plush rug they both knew was behind her.

Suddenly, they heard a car pull up to the gate and honk twice. Long honks. It was as if he received an electric shock.

“Shit! I totally forgot Dapo was coming over tonight” He throws out casually

It was as if someone had thrown cold water on her face. Of all the days to come over. She didn’t get along well with his only brother even though Dele was older than him. She felt the boy looks at her like she had something dirty on her and just couldn’t wait to get proof. He looked like he was perpetually sneering and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Here was one she had to be careful with.

They listen as the gate opens and Dapo drives in. He pulls her in for one last lingering kiss

“Postponed. We will finish this soon without further interruptions”

“Promise?”

He kisses her fully on the lips “there’s your promise” he replies as he watches her walks upstairs to clean up and prepare for later. Now, he had to find a way to finish with his brother fast and with as little suspicion as possible so he won’t get it in his head to sleep over. He opened the door as Dapo raises his hands to knock.

LIES WOMEN TELL EPISODE #3

Episode #3

As they sat enjoying their midday meal, her phone rings.

She picks it up, glances at the screen, drops it again with an apologetic smile at Malik. He was wearing a blank face which in her experience doesn’t begin to translate into ‘i don’t care who is calling you’.

Smiling at him again, she decides she din’t owe him an explanation. They continue with their food. She finishes first.

“Ta-da!” she pronounces sticking her tongue out at him

Scrunching up his face, “I wasn’t aware we were racing. I would have put in my best” he teases back as he swallows the last morsel on his plate.

“Shall we?” She says already standing to her feet

raising an eyebrow in surprise “What’s the rush?” he inquires “won’t you allow our food to digest or you just want to discharge me so you can pick your calls?”

“Aha! there it was finally” she says to herself. Men just didn’t know when to ignore. Deciding to torment him, she selectively responds.

“My food takes forever to digest. Are we going to sit here forever then?”

Malik realizes what was happening but unable to stop himself

“You know very well that part isn’t important. Why are you avoiding the real question?”

“Because it is not soup talk” came her reply

She watched his brows climb further as his face came together in the semblance of a frown. She could not help thinking if  those brows climbed any higher or his face scrunched any tighter, one of them may start crying from the effort. On second thoughts, it was good his face was so flexible she told herself.

“It is nothing serious to discuss. Just a friend that saw my status on BBM and is calling to confirm. You know those sort of people that never call you unless there’s gossip…..?” she explains

“sooka!” he says

“What’s that?”

“Japanese for ‘I see”

“haha are you even sure there’s anything like that…?” she teases, stopping at his hurt look.

“Are you always this sensitive or is this just your ‘puppy look’ for women?”

He makes another puppy face at her and she couldn’t help laughing and shaking her finger at him.

“You are incorrigible. Shall we?” Lara asks him again

He sighs and gets to his feet grabbing the car keys off the table simultaneously. It was as they walked to the door she realized he neatly sidestepped her question and she still didn’t know the answer to it nor could she stop wondering about it. She didn’t even know the basest things about him yet!

‘what did he like to eat or drink?’ he seemed to have no preferences thus far. Some men would have used to opportunity to eat like they were starving. She wondered if they imagined that was an impressive feat a woman would admire.

‘Is he married?’ she began to wonder then stopped and firmly told herself it was none of her business. She was simply passing time in the city and he was being a wonderful escort.

The sound of the doors unlocking alerted her to the fact that they had arrived at the car.

“welcome back” he said seeing her startled face

“oh thank you” sarcastically

The doors click shut again as he pulls out of the parking lot. He turns to her barring all his teeth in a scary grin.

“I got you under lock and key now”

“HElPpppp HelllPPPp he is taking me where I do not know!” she pretends to yell in a hoarse voice

They both laugh.

“What now?” she asks him all fired up for whatever adventures he had planned for her

Looking at her eager face, Malik decides to spend more of his busy time with her so he could keep watching her face light up.

“What do you wanna do next? Any place you want to visit?”

“Me?” incredulously “Where do I know in your city!”

“Alright then. I’ll just take you to one of my favorite places”

“Where? Tell me. pleaseeeee” as he stubbornly shakes his head “please now. please. pretty please” she pleads batting her non-existent lashes at him

He finds himself laughing and gave in.

“It is supposed to be a ta-da surprise but since you insist on unwrapping your present before Xmas…….”

“Oh! just tell me already!” she pounces again

He laughs again “The place is called Art and that’s all am going to say”

“pleaseeeee pweety pleaseeee. Tell me what they do there. What are we going to see there? please”

“What do you think you will see there? It is the Art Place. Art! What else do you imagine would be there? Monkeys? Although that’s a possibility too”

“Monkeys! Noooooooo they jump at girls. I don’t wanna go to the monkey place” came her response

They were still laughing when his phone rings and after three curt monologues, he turns the car back towards the direction they had been coming from. His facial muscles had all tightened up and he had a distant blank look on his face.

She was still processing the sudden change and didn’t know how to inquire.

“What’s the matter?” finally

“Am sorry we will have to go to the Art Place some other time. I’ll call you tomorrow if am free again” neatly sidestepping her question

“What part of town are you headed now?”

“Maitama” shortly

“Nice. Just drop me at the junction. I can take a taxi from there”

“I hope you don’t mind? Am so sorry. Would have taken you back home but something came up” he wouldn’t say more

“of course something came up. An idiot could figure that out already duhhhh!” she thinks in her head

“It’s no problem at all” was what came out instead

He pulls up to the junction, she steps out of the car and he hurries off in a cloud of dust not even waiting to return her wave.

“how rude!” she thinks again “what even came up sef? maybe his wife is in labor and they called him from the hospital…..maybe his wife fell from the staircase and had a miscarriage….maybe…. oh whatever! it is not even my business so I wonder why am in his business!”

Bringing out her phone, she dials the number at the top of her call log.

“Hey sugar!” she croons into the phone

“Hello” came the deep sulk at the other end “I just called you about 20 mins back and you didn’t pick my call. I know you saw it and just didn’t pick it.”

“Nope. If i saw it, why won’t i pick? I was in the bathroom. I came out and saw your missed call”

“I explained when you called in the morning complaining of boredom that I was headed for a meeting and would try and get out of it as soon as I could. Is that why you didn’t want to pick my call?” He persists

“I told you already I was in the bath when you called. Am I not calling you back now?” beginning to get irritated

“ok. ok. Where are you now?”

“Somewhere in Maitama” came her reply

“What are you doing in Maitama?” automatically

Rolling her eyes, she takes a deep breath to calm the auto-response ‘Go fuck yasef’ instead this came out

“I came to the MTN office. I have been having issues loading recharge cards lately. Remember that was why I asked you to do a VTU for me two days ago” she says smoothly

“Yea ok. Should I come pick you there?”

“If you can. Are you still at work?”

“Where else would I be at this time of the day? It’s not even 3pm yet”

“Alright. I will be waiting at that eatery we ate the last time. Please don’t be long. You know how I hate to wait…”

“Especially for men” he completes the sentence and smiles

Smiling, she disconnects the call pleased with herself. Walking to the intersection, she waits for the light to change. After waiting 2 minutes, she looks at the red light again and decides it was probably dysfunctional. She was just arriving at the door of the eatery when a horn blares from behind her.

‘That can’t be him already eh? I have not even had time to check my face in the bathroom and cool down with the AC indoors. Oh shit! Oh well! Here we go’ composing herself, she turns around feigning pleasure and surprise as she recognizes the Nissan Altima pulling up to the entrance.

Getting into the car, “Hey sweets!” she says as he appraises openly

“Good enough for your office?” she asks scooting closer to hug him briefly

“Yep” he replies admiring her waist high navy blue tailored cutoffs, pale pink short sleeve blouse, light jacket and proper shoes – his idea of proper shoes was something comfortably covering the feet, combining moderate heels with a buckle.

He smiles in approval “That’s my girl. You know what I like”

“Yea. I wore them for you” leading him on, she smiles tightly through her teeth

His office was not too far and she knew where they would go afterwards.

LIES THAT WOMEN TELL Episode #2

Episode #2

Her romance with Malik began on a perfectly harmless note. She was bored as she had foresaw and most of her friends in Abuja had day jobs. She wasn’t one to go office-hopping so she pulls out her phone, scrolls down in search of persons of interest.

“Aha!” she allows a smile flit across her face briefly

“Hello. My name is Lara. Am I speaking with Malik?” she says in a single breath like a news reporter

“Good morning Lara. I believe you are. How have you been finding your stay in our city?” She could feel his smile from across the space

“Borrrring! am bored outta my mind that’s why am calling you. I told you I may call if am bored”

He chuckles into her ear. A rich, pleasing sound

“I remember. Lucky for you, I had just one meeting today for 7am and it ended on a very positive note so am in good spirits. I’ll come pick you up for lunch. Where are you staying?”

“Errr I stay a bit far from town. It will be easier if I just met you halfway” she tells him

“Never mind that. I have the whole morning to drive to wherever you are” he insists

“Oh well then, I am staying in Kubwa with my friend. When you get to GT Bank, there’s a street just opposite it. and a gated house across the road. I stay in one of the flats. Just call me when you get into Kubwa or approaching GTB.” she explains

“That’s real easy. I stay around there too. It would make returning you home at night real easy.”

This makes her laugh excitedly.

“See you soon”

“Yea. See you soon”

True to his word, a 2012 Range Rover Jeep pulls up to the house after two hours honking while her phone began to ring simultaneously with the name Malik flashing on the screen in Bold letters. She picker her purse, sashays out of the bedroom, winks at her girlfriend who just smiles at her shaking her head and walks out of the door. This time Malik was unchaperoned. She sighed in relief. She wasn’t sure she wanted a chaperone with him or his undivided attention yet. She just knew she was bored and everyone knew that could be dangerous.

“Hey! Someone looks good”

“Hola! someone smells nice” she returns getting into the car and allowing her eyes adjust to the dim interior. He had shaded windows and her mind began analyzing

“shaded windows + dim interiors + lone guy = womanizer, cultist, bad boy?”

He looked at her face and laughed a full laugh

“I know what you are thinking but sorry to disappoint you, am neither a womanizer, a rapist nor a cult member. Was i right?” He glances at her as he puts the car into auto drive and pulls back onto the road

She smiles tensely “I apologize. didn’t realize my face was an open book. Not rapist tho, cultist” She smiles again

“I got into the car and immediately realized I knew nothing about you and I was putting myself in your hands for the next few hours plus you drive a dark nondescript car” she ended

He laughed again, clicked the doors to lock and began to race the car like a maniac as if he was really a cultist as she had presumed.

“Am I scaring you yet?” He glanced at her wickedly with a naughty grin

“Nearly” she replies

“Maybe I should do better” he teases

“No thank you” came her sharp retort

Easing his speed a little, he looks at her momentarily as if to determine how bad he was scaring her. He decided it was bad enough for him to pull into a public space and get a drink to calm her. This obviously was no brazen Abuja chic.

Sighing in relief, she silently thanked God Malik was sensitive.

“Just a coke please” she replied to the waiter’s unspoken query

“a bottle of water for me” he intones

“Why do waiters ask the woman what she wants first and not the man that is supposedly ‘paying?” he throws at her

“Hmmmmn don’t get me started on that subject Malik. Trust me, you don’t want me to get started”

“Why not?”

“Because once I start, I could never stop. It’s my most favorite topic. I could never tire of it” She pauses with a smile at the waiter returning with her coke on ice.

“Thank you” she says to him as he places it on the mat in front of her

“You are so proper and polite, it’s hard to believe you grew up in Nigeria where girls are so rude and won’t even thank the waiter because they feel ‘it’s their job’. I think I like you” He told her

“Nice” she responds

“just Nice?” he queries and bursts into laughter. she looks at him a while puzzled then starts laughing too involuntarily.

“I like your kind of girl” he says again seeing that she was relaxing with him a bit

“I apologize for scaring you earlier. It wasn’t intentional”

“hmmmn now, I think I like your kind of guy. Sensitive to what a girl is feeling. Nice”

“Nice again? Is that the only expression you know?” Haha

Shaking her head, she was laughing so much she could not mouth the proper response

“Alright, let’s leave. I think you relaxed a bit. Ready?”

“Ready” standing up, she leaves her unfinished coke on the table as she follows him out into the midday sun.

They drive towards the city center as he engages her in idle conversation to “kill time”.

“What spots do you know in Abuja?” he asks her “This is the test your knowledge of the city time”

“Hmmmn I only know GTB Kubwa branch and Jeveniks because a friend took me for lunch there twice. Haha”

She pulls to the side, gives him a serious look “You can take me wherever you want tho. I believe I am in capable hands”

“or arms” he suggests

“No. just hands for now” she gives him the tongue out sign. He laughs again enjoying her company

Arriving at Jeveniks a while later, the place was packed for the lunch hour. Shaking her head as she steps out of the car and shading her eyes against the sudden onslaught of sunlight.

“What?” he enquires of her head shake

“All these lazy people that eat outside their homes everyday in Abuja” she proclaims

“Are we also lazy too. We are about to eat out too.” he teases

“No. Our is a different situation”

“Oh really? how is that?” he continues to tease her unknown to her

“well, because we are meeting on a sort of a….you know what I mean, we can’t go to your house since you can’t cook….oh! I don’t mean you can’t cook anything….I mean, given the situation, you can’t possibly cook for me as it is….oh well! I give up. You are right. They must also have good reasons to eat here” She hurriedly concludes. She wondered why her tongue felt like fudge cake and why she was so flustered around him. Usually, she was quite fluent in expressing her thoughts coherently. What was this strangeness she was feeling? Was she reacting to this man she just met just because he appeared to be sensitive to her and read her like a book! She resolved not to let her guards down anymore.

He was watching her every move and her face was just like a Windows 8 app with speech! She was so easy to read. He knew the precise moment she decided to be careful with him and he unconsciously decided to walk over all her defenses just to prove to himself he still could. He applauded himself on being able to read her. That was why he was a successful negotiator because he could read each party he was dealing with like an open book.

The waiter comes to take their order and turns to her first with his pen ready. Lara’s eyes meets Malik’s and they share a private smile.

“Pounded yam with Afam and fish with a bottled water. Do you have Eva water?” she says

“Yes ma” waiter replies

“I will have what she is having with a bottle of Eva water too” Malik says

“How come you keep ordering same thing I order” she asks as the waiter walks away “Don’t you want anything for yourself or is it just a wonderful coincidence you keep craving same thing as me?”

This earned her a deep bellied laugh and with twinkling eyes “perhaps I need a woman to pick the good foods for me and I happen to feel I can trust your judgement with food”

“hmmmmmn scope!” was her immediate retort

“ouch! that hurts!” was his rejoinder

LIES THAT WOMEN TELL EPISODE #1

I promised a series of interesting stories about LIES THAT WOMEN TELL. A very tall order I set for myself considering my long vacation from writing.

Lara has been through many things in life so that she now considers herself a cynic. Owing to her varying experiences, in her opinion humans are a very dynamic lot capable of almost anything. Starting out as an innocent, she had changed considerably becoming what the society made her….

EPISODE #1

She looked at her phone ringing for the umpteenth time. She knew it was Malik again without looking at the screen. She had a special ringtone just for him – nothing terrible, just a voice note that says ‘never answer’. He had been a pig in the past even though she had been the freak he wanted in his black bed countless times. These men these days……….shaking her head, she dismissed the thought.

She had met Malik on during a flight into Abuja. She had noticed his phone and couldn’t help but ask him what model it was because it looked similar to a recent one she had been stalking on google. It was a HTC One Max that costs 125 thousand naira. Her magnet automatically recognizes an expensive phone. She gave him a second look. Even Slots in Lagos didn’t have it at the time of her search. Moving close to him…..

“Hello. My name is Lara. I love your phone. Is it an HTC?”

He smiled a deep confident smile and the voice when it came was a pleasing timbre

“yes it is.”

She was beaming at him now. She couldn’t help it “What model is it?”

“It is a HTC One Max” he replies keeping his voice at a teasing low as if it was a real private conversation.

She had to bring her head closer and her voice a decibel lower too

“wow! that’s so cool. Slot in Lagos does not even have it when I checked their website”

“Really?” he asked surprised

“yea. I wanted to leave the Blackberry group and try out an android so I was browsing the Net for good android phones. That’s when I saw the HTC. It’s so sleek….really pretty phone”

“it is but uses a lot of data and as a result, the battery does not last so long because of the updates that come up every few hours. That will exhaust your data and battery too”

“It’s true. I got a small Droid too and the updates and data drove me right back into the arms of Blackberry. Haha”

he smiled again. She was really beginning to feel a twinge of something for his smile and was starting to anticipate it.

“Can I hold your phone for a minute?” she asked

“Sure.”

“Haha I just wanna feel it for a bit to see what I missed by not buying it”

He laughs with her for a spell then takes a second good look at her.

The air hostess passes by “Please stow away your chair tray and turn off your phones. Thank you”

Lara and Malik look at each other, share a secret smile before doing as the hostess asked.

He sounded like an intelligent man plus his good looks, she barely refrained from asking him what his job in Abuja was. Does he even live in Abuja or Lagos? She wondered how to broach the 21 questions running round her head. Wait! she told herself firmly.

He kept looking at her sideways from the convenience of his glasses so it appeared he was focused on the airline magazine opened to the Free miles with Aero page. What was actually going through his mind was surprise that a female in Nigeria would step out of her brazilian wigs and Instagram long enough to absorb some technology. He was impressed and was tempted to ask what she did for a living…..perhaps that would explain it.

He turned towards her with his mouth open to ask her and caught her looking speculatively at him. They both laughed and then he asked.

“Do you live in Lagos or Abuja?” he paused “If you don’t mind me asking”

“I thought you’d never ask.” She laughs a pretty one

“I live everywhere and nowhere for long. For now, I work in Lagos so I live there but when am bored, I visit wherever catches my fancy – Abuja, Port-harcourt, Kano….”

“What do you do? Do you live in Abuja or Lagos yourself?” She asked with interest

“I live in Abuja. I came to Lagos on some business.” He answered

“So……..What do you do?” She persisted

Smiling.

“Guess!”

“Haha usually, I can but in this instance, nothing comes to my mind….”

“Well, I am a negotiator. I facilitate deals, mergers and buy-outs between companies. I work independently” He surmised

“Really! that must be fantastic. How does that work? Sounds like something involving and worthwhile”

“I agree” he chuckles

“Do you love what you do or you just do it for the money or something?”

A brief pause. “Very good question.”

Another pause as if to consider the question

“I believe I love what I do at the moment because both parties are usually satisfied after my team’s negotiations. If either party is dissatisfied, it makes the project unduly long and somebody’s gonna lose some money, usually, the party that is buying because the seller has nothing to lose anymore. He’s already selling. Haha” He explains

“I love what I do” he finishes looking at her quiet face

“And what do you do?” he returns

“Hmmmn actually, right now am out of work. Am a survivor. haha” she tries to suffuse her discomfort with a dry laugh

He senses this and tries to lighten it “Do you sell phone technology? I may buy from you considering your knowledge of phones…”

“Haha” shaking her head  “That was just because I was looking for a phone to buy myself”

“Actually, I am an analyst. I work with data for firms. I also work independently or on projects where expert hands are needed. I go in briefly and leave at the completion of my part.”

“How does that work for you? Leaving at the end of every project? How do you leave a baby you nurtured to someone else?” He was curious

“Oh well! The move is always what keeps me going and I never get attached. It’s easy. I could never survive staying on a project forever. I have the ‘Jumper syndrome’

They both laugh. The hour and half flight was almost gone. The hostess came to take away their empty snack packs and ask them to stow away their chair trays. It was the same hostess from takeoff. They merely smiled at her.

Then came the pilot’s announcement.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching Nnamdi Azikwe airport. Please put away your phones, laptops and tablets as we prepare for landing. The temperature outside is 35c. Remember to take all your belongings with you as you disembark. We at Aero thank you for flying with us today. Have a pleasant stay in the Capital city.”

He reaches into the overhead bin and helps removes her pink carryon. He hands it over.

“Thank you”

He nods and heads off with his navy blue backpack. As they approach Baggage claim, she taps him on the shoulder.

“Malik, may I have your number?”

Looking at his raised brows, she hastens to explain “just in case am bored or need an expert to negotiate me out of a tight corner. haha. Just in case am bored……” she let it trail off

He reels out a 9 digit number, she pauses with her raised brow waiting for him

“it is incomplete”

He smiles mischievously

“Add an 080 in front of those” and he waves and strolls towards a young man walking briskly and reaching out for his bag while simultaneously bowing towards Malik.

She looked on puzzled. He didn’t look back even once. He just walked into the sun and the waiting gray car by the door.

“Am gonna see this guy again” she promises herself silently.