My alarm shrills. It is 6:00am and it’s a Saturday. Time for my early morning work- out. I make my naked self out of the bed to the mirror standing graciously beside my wardrobe. ‘Good morning Cara’, I say focusing more on the full mounds that graciously adorn my chest than on anything else. Yes, that has got to be the most beautiful part of my body, the one I love most and I have a name for her too. Not even my face that holds the biggest pair of sleepy light brown eyes, small pointed nose and full grown lips can beat it. In one swift distracting movement, I change into my sweatpant and a spaghetti top, grab my phones and debit cards and tuck my earpiece in both ears to the gentle assault of ‘Indie Arie’s Brown skin’ and a couple of my other favourites.
In another hour or so, I am at the Major Store to pick out a couple of weekend needs. I am oblivious to the people staring down at me like sex starved maniacs. Attendants, male, standing on their toes to be at my service. Ah! I just smile them away. I pick out 3 packets of Pringles, 1 American Chocolate Cookies, a box of Eclairs with honey chocolate centre, wine, tampons, and errrm… Yes, one more packet of chocolate cookies. Bimpe, my younger sister promised she’d be visiting and I won’t have her zap my fridge to nothingness.
Satisfied, although very certain there’s one more thing I’m missing out, I bound off to the cashiers’. There are two people before me on the queue. One woman with a kid, and a man whose fragile frame promises he’s no less than 80. I busy myself with my Blackberry phone as I set my basket of purchase down. It seems they will take a minute or two. There’s Bimpe’s chat yapping on about how delighted she is to finally come check my new house. I smile and reply her with a ‘don’t get any ideas to ransack my very existence’ smiley. The closest I could get to it was the ‘eyelashes’. She loves to shop off my belongings, a very annoying yet lovable thing. She replies with a laugh and we chat on about other things. There’s a couple more chats but I scroll to Zaras’, a colleague and ‘well-um-friend’. She says there’s a small birthday party at hers’ on Sunday. I am surprised. Is it her birthday tomorrow? Oh my! What kind of friend doesn’t remember a friends’ birthday- a ‘well-um-type’ my subconscious replies with a smirk on her face. Whatever mhan! I turn to make out of the queue to get her a birthday gift when I distractedly bump into this long standing being, my most prized asset, Cara, assuaging his belly.
Yes. He’s long alright, I think to myself again. I tilt my head to smile an apology into his face. He is gorgeous and his face is shmuck stuck in my breasts. He probably won’t get over that bump in another two days. My smile widens. I appraise him in a nanosecond. I am sure girls would whimper at his manly sight, talk less of his boring stare that it stirs him when I say ‘I am sorry’ totally unruffled by his charm. Without awaiting his reply, I bound off to the perfume section where I pick out ‘Flower by Kenzo’ for the hopeless romantic and hopes she likes it.
It is Sunday evening and I am dressed in a Baroque beaded mini with bateau neckline by Shail K which I shopped off the online store a month ago. I fish for a black regal teardrop ear-ring from my jewelry box, fit into a pair of black stilettos and grab my futuristic clutch purse by Nina Larsen before heading out to Baby. That’s what I call my Nissan Funky Crossover.
We share a warm girly hug when she comes to the entrance of her Lekki apartment to receive me. Zara had invited about 10 of her friends over, 5 males and 5 females, I quickly acknowledge. Her closest friends, maybe? Truthfully, I am humbled to be one- and more importantly, the only one from the office where we work in. I say a perfunctory hello to the other guests and offer a warm smile as Zara leads me to a seat and clinks her glass afterwards to get everyone’s attention. ‘Good evening sweethearts. It’s a great delight to have you all here at my 25th birthday.’ There is a short whistle call followed by random applauses. She giggles and continues ‘Now that the guest list is complete..’ Oh! She had a guest list? I had no idea. ‘..this is Folorunsho Davies’ she is saying, introducing me to the others. ‘..my friend, colleague and oga at the top’. The sitting room warms with gracious laughter. I laugh too. She just had to make me the centre of attention, didn’t she?
In another five minutes, Zara is in and out of her kitchen serving this and serving that- wine, beer, juice, sweets, salad, cheese, mainly light stuff. Name it. I am enjoying myself and glad I didn’t pass this up for a family dinner which Bimpe had informed me about earlier that morning before leaving my apartment with a bagful of some of my most-prized possessions. Ah, that girl! Bless her greedy soul. I muse warmly. I can imagine Mum, Dad, Bimpe, my two elder sisters, their husbands and sons at the big family dinning table which would no doubt cause my parents to question time and time again when I was bringing ‘him’ home. They are certain I am just hiding him from them, or taking my time with him, whichever the case is- because they are sure I can’t be without a ‘him’ at 26 with a younger sister old enough to bring a man home herself. Ah. Tales of an old soul, my subconscious taunts.
‘Fine evening eh?’ Some man walks up to me from the far end of the room. I was lost in the swirling movement of the wine in my glass cup that I didn’t see him coming. Some man? Definitely not ‘some’, more like ‘the’. He looks surprisingly familiar.
‘Remember me?’ He questions as he makes himself comfortable on the edge of my chair.
‘Err, no. Should I?’ I respond unapologetically. A price for your good looks, I muse wickedly.
He flinches, seemingly hurt, and then his gaze deftly moves over Cara. Only then does it register- the long being from Major Store. Ha ha, I do the wicked laugh in my head as he shifts his gaze to rest squarely on mine with the ‘I can never forget this pair of boobs’ look. ‘My bad, we met yesterday right? Forgive me, I am not too good with faces.’
‘I see.’ He responds dryly. ‘I am Sola Williams’ he offers, his long awkwardly straight hands stretched forth for a shake. I take it with a smile ‘Folorunsho Davies’.
‘You stay on MainStreet or the supermarket thing was just mere coincidence?’ I ask.
‘I happen to stay there on some days when ‘m not staying somewhere else. So yes.’ He responds.
Hmm. I rummage on that for half of a second. Why not just a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?
‘So how do you know Zara?’ I ask because I am surprised Zara knows some hunk of a man as this ‘or is she your girlfriend?’ I add quickly, more out of curiosity than anything else. Zara is the innocent, good girl kind that you would swear can never have bad-looking-cute-boys for friends.
He laughs. ‘Wouldn’t you know? Seeing as she says you are her friend. Well, we have been friends for what? Forever? She’s a family friend.’
‘Oh.’ I nod my head in silent thought. Family friend. Cool. ‘So what do you do?’
‘Errm.. I talk’.
Hahah. Is that some joke? I laugh quietly. ‘Seriously dude.. Really, what do you do?’ He is charmingly sweet to talk to, and if that’s what he really does for a living, ‘talk’, then he’s awesome at it!
‘Really..’ He shrugs. ‘I talk people to sleep. Mostly girls. Sometimes guys too’. My already big eyes increase even ten times more as I sit beside him, horrified. He laughs again. A confident-in-my-skin kind of laugh. ‘I am an OAP. I do the Souls TMB program on Galaxy Fm.’
Omg! Did he just say Souls, my best radio program? Did he really just say he hosts that show, and he is the Sola Williams? My body tickles enticingly. Little wonder he’s so in- his- skin. He’s used to this kind of thing. The reaction the gorgeous+sexy+OAP combination commands. I shame him, and maybe break his heart a little bit as I gather my wits around me in two seconds.
‘Whoa. You don’t say. That’s interesting’ I flash him my ‘charming-est’ kind of smile. He is surely amazed. If I were in another persons skin, I would have jumped all over him with a squeal that would likely raise the roofs to the doors of heaven because Gosh, I have loved him since forever. Who doesn’t love him anyway?
He gets over this quickly as he springs back with his usual sassy vigour. ‘So what do you do?’
‘I work as a Legal consultant with Doroville.’ I must have sounded a little too self- accomplished there. But who wouldn’t? Working with the biggest legal firm in town is no beans mhan. I laugh in my head.
‘Oh? The DoroVille? That’s impressive. You must be an A-class Harvard grad or something then.’ I blush but thankfully I am black, he can’t see it.
I shrug. ‘You don’t have to be to work there, really. Just work your way through the ladder tenaciously, have something unique to offer, and you’re good.’
At that moment, Zara calls us together to cut her birthday cake. It’s a yummy sight. Damn, how I love chocolate cakes, just the perfect for dessert! After an almost-too-perfect rendition of the popular happy birthday song from the lot of us, she dips the knife through the cake and Hurray! The birthday is properly marked! Afterwards, there is music. Ah! I love to dance, you know? Both my personalities love to dance- Melody, gentle, calm, good girl, she does the slow bad- girl- I- want- to- seduce- you dance; and Martha, the one I am tonight and on days when I meet the likes of Sola Williams and Martins.. Oh Martins! He birthed Martha, the vengeful wicked teaser, with the crazy-who-cares dance steps. Now I remember the Anastasia-line– never trust a man who can dance- from 50 shades of Grey. And I smile to myself as I move towards Sola in the centre of the sitting room with a silent warning- never trust a woman who dances crazy like this. I am all over the dance floor to Baby Hello by Wande Coal and Dance for Me by Wizkid and Aye by Davido and through Yemi Alades Johnny and many others… My butt wriggles to perfection as I do the etigi dance. Then I komole and kosoke and it’s so much more fun because the steps just flow through without premeditation and the way Solas body responds to my every movement is just pure magic. Ah! Chocolate and caramel, you may say. I, the chocolate. He, the caramel. A perfect mix on the floor.
We hardly notice we are the centre of attention until the light goes off. Ah! Nepa!! Then comes the applause and whistle calls. ‘Gosh, you guys should hook up’ someone was saying. I hear the chit- chat in the background and his breathy laughter a few steps away from me as he holds my hand while Zara makes to put on her generator. We just stand there, unable to make out the facial expression of the other in the stark darkness. He pulls me upclose. My head rest on his chest, Cara on his belly again and oh, I can feel him beneath too.
Immediately power is restored, I pull away from him and inform Zara of my intention to get going. She let out a fake cry. She says she wished I could stay longer. I smile politely, thanking her for the wonderful evening! It is the best decision I have made in a long time, I note. I hand her my present, we hug and after a quick smile at Sola, I head out. He tags along. His eyes a smoky delightful sight under the evening bulb.
‘I had a wonderful time Folorunsho Davies.’ Ah, of course you did. Thank Martha.
‘Me also. I need to get going. Tomorrow is work day.’ I state the obvious as I make to my car.
‘Nice ride.’ I smile my thanks and hop into my ride before he says whatever it is he obviously has on his mind. He waves and watches me leave. Far out onto the street, I breathe easy. Damn, he is so Martins and that is so not a good thing…
© The Short Black Girl, 2014.