Hello guys! So HEADS UP, this is a very long story. But I love you guys so, that I hate to keep you in suspense over this Tuesday confession, so i’ll let you have it all at once. Be sure to thank me later, and leave some feedback. Me loves you. And many thanks to the ladies that made this piece rock! You bad! <3!
Friday’s are my favourite. There’s the let your hair down mood, and there’s the stretch of weekend ahead. Well, more than that, if i’ll totally be honest with you is the fact that i’ll yet again be spending an otherwise boring mini- holiday with Mark. The guy.
I have just finished a meeting and ‘m marching back to my office to prep for next week and chat with the love of my life when a call comes through. It’s Dolapo, one of my closest friends!
“Heyyyyy Dolls honey! How are ya?! How are the autumn days coming for ya!”
“Hello honey. Well, well. As cold as you care to think.”
“Hahah! Right. ‘m sure you’ll be fine. So tell me what brought this on? You were sipping a cup of coffee that tasted as good as I sound, or you saw some Bitch sashaying around in my Signature Armani bag?”
“Hahha! Almost a genius darling. So ‘m at the airport and yes, I did see some lady wearing your exact kind of Armani bag and oh she’s a beauty.”
I laugh. “Crazy girl! So whatchu doing up at the airport? Some official trip to Hawaii? Girl, when I grow up, lemme be like you o! Not stuck between meetings and desk-files, wearing myself off.”
“Ah! I wish. Coming to Naija! And you had better be there to pick me for say 6:00.”
“Wh– Na– oh no girl! You’re kidding right? It’s been eight fucking years, and one day, out the blues, you wake and say it’s time to come back home?”
“Hahah! Wish I was. And oh, what? Come back home? No honey, it’s called a Vacation. Just a while. It’s why I had to call you this early. Shudda called you earlier this week but I had to get through work with my eyes literally shut and my fists clenched. Was a total war! Glad I could get away. Taking about two weeks off.”
“Get out of here! That’s great news darling. I’ll be there. Don’t worry.”
“Thanks pal! And we’ll get to spend the weekend together aye?.”
“Gr– oh no! Weekend? Err…”
“Oh! Had plans? I could.. I could..”
What Harley?! So what if you can’t be at Marks’ one weekend? Where’s your self- esteem? Let him miss you this one time and come get you, if he’s manned up enough to show his face to your girls! Besides, bitches over dick!
“No darling. Weekend is fabulous! We’ll stay at mine. Have you called Babs?”
“Nah! She won’t pick. Just tell her for me darling. See you guys soon. Cheers to the freaking weekend!”
“Betsy, i’ve got ta run now, aye? Sorry I can’t wait to give you a ride, told ya ‘ve got to pick my friend up from the airport by 6:00. Mwaahs!”
“Okay darling! No worries. You take care and have yourself a wonderful weekend! Cha Cha hunnay!”
“Cha Cha!… Felix, Raymond, Nat… see y’all on Monday guys.”
“Bye Harley.” they all coo.
I leave the office by 4:00pm so I can beat the Island traffic. I make a quick call to Babs and she says she’ll meet me at the airport. I am on phone with Mark, the rest of the time. He’s keeping me company through the inevitable Third Mainland Bridge traffic. Bless his heart.
“But i’m so going to miss you, you know that? I had made plans for dinner. I was going to cook you dinner this one time. Honest.”
I laugh. “Yeah right Mark! The last time you tried to, you almost razed the house down!”
“Common girl! It’s cos you were all up in my face, distracting me… that smell of yours! Damn, I swear it drives me crazy everytime! I had you in the house, and your sexy butt was roaming everywhere… those eggs could rot on fire for all I cared! I am a man baby.”
I laugh again. I love Mark. “But don’t worry…” he continues “…next time will be different. I mean, what’ll happen when we… we get married and ‘ve got you around like every second of everyday? I’ll have to do you dinner sometime and quiet my libido … if just that one time. I care about you. Deeply.”
“I know Mark. And me, you.” I am almost close to tears. I am so wishing I could be with him tonight!
“So you’ll get to send me photos though. Of what you’d have been in tonight if you’d been here. Make my night still baby. Make my night.”
“Bad boo!” I laugh. “I’ll try. But… but you know you could always come over to mine. The girls won’t mind.”
“What? No, baby. Remember we said we’ll take this thing slowly? I don’t want your girls fussing all over about us which could really mess things up. Just you and me now baby. You. Me. No others yet… for now. Let’s work things out first, and surprise them with the rest. I promise you it’s best.”
My mood is dampened. Same story, different days, and it never makes sense to me! What do you mean by just you and me?
“Baby, no words?”
“It’s fine. Erm, I actually just made the turn into the airport road. I’ll chat with you later honey.”
“You are not happy.” he sighs, as though he’s helpless. I hate the sound of that. Makes me want to gather him in my arms and tell him i’m sorry for not understanding him. But am I?
“Okay darling. Please let me know when you get to the airport. Okay? I love you.”
“Cheers Mark.” the call is off in no time. I am sure we will fight over me not telling him ‘I LOVE YOU TOO’, but I cannot be bothered! How can you take up so much space in my heart and ask me not to share that joy of having you with friends and family? What’s the worst that could happen? A break-up, and we’ll go our separate ways! Hasta la vista! Big deal? Men and their ways though.
I Ctrl Save thoughts of my love life upon sighting Barbara. I just realise I arrived late, because she’s with Dolapo when I join them.
“Yayyyyy!” we all squeal as we exchange hugs for what seems like eternity. Afterwards, we drive through Domino’s for some Pizza, and off to my place for a girl’s night in! My place is home to them. Well, atleast to Babs who stays over very often… but for Dolapo, ‘m sure she’ll make herself comfortable! We’ve been friends for too long to bother about niceties on how to be a lovable guest. I leave the girls for a while to take a warm shower and fight with my head on whether to call Mark or not, to tell him ‘m home. I have tried so hard to stay off my phone since I last spoke to him just because I know I want him around, hook or crook, and I hate that that can’t happen. I get over myself eventually, and place a call to him after stepping out of the shower.
“Hey.” there goes the anger in him, but damn him!
“I’m home. I just called to tell you.”
I smirk in my head. Okay? No, I can’t deal with attitude tonight, I should be the angry one!
“Cheers.” I get off the phone, and make to my girls before I wallow in tears of self righteousness.
“Hey girls!” there’s so much strewn over my sitting room rug. Chocolates, make-up, clothes and some more clothes! “Baby. Just two weeks and you packed like you were coming to get married.” I poke playfully at Dolapo, while joining Babs to rape the pile because we are certain we’ll find something to steal for keeps.
“Na you sabi! Whatever you do, just don’t touch those!” she points to a shimmering dare- devil thigh-high dress. And Babs and I gasp at our friend.
“Get out of here!” I exclaim. “What’s got into our friend here? The ‘Let’s dress modestly’ campaign manager. What ch– changed?”
She smiles, shyly and sweetly. And I nod at Barbara who understands that there must be a guy involved.
“Spill!” Barbara orders.
“Well… it’s nothing really. I guess, people change, you know? I just sort of thought that there was so much in me I wanted… needed to express and set free, and I really was never myself before. Just merely a reflection of what my parents asked that I see in my eldest sister. They made me feel that to be successful, I HAD TO BE HER. Which somehow I realised was not key. I could be successful. I wanted to be successful. I thought success had a specific definition… like you had to be a particular person or thing to be successful, but I found out eventually that happiness is success! And if it makes you tremendously happy, it is your breakthrough! I mean look at me, I… I love my job, I love my body, I love art, I am freaking living, and I am happy. That is success. I miss home, but… but I am happy.”
Uh oh. No one saw that coming. We have tears in our eyes before we think to stop it. We’ve never really broached the topic of how Dolapo’s folks kicked her out of the house because she chose to be a model. They cut her off, totally, from everything… but she’s kept strong so far, and she’s had us. We close in on her for a warm hug now and cool off on the tears a bit before talking again, more in a bid to recognise and share her moment of epiphany, than the loss of words to say!
“Okay, so that was a touching story! But you missed the point. The gown, the guy. Spill babe! No 419!”
We break into a bout of laughter, and watch Dolapo’s eyes light up instantly. Oh, such a joy to see.
“Okay… err, so! You know it’s the 21st Century, and it’s the E-age, so don’t kill me before I die! I met him on Instagram. You know how it’s kind of hard to filter through perverts and fans with the kind of job I do, but this one guy… he cut across to me somehow. He’s a writer, a badass writer. So he came on my writing page first, where I don’t even post pictures of me at all, he liked my works, we did some collaborations together, and we just synced. I have never before seen such chemistry in my whole entire life!”
“Uh oh! She’s sure smitten! How can a writer use ‘whole and entire’ in one sentence if shit is not real?!” I laugh. Barbara is crazy.
“Shut up bitch, and let’s hear word!” I poke my tongue at her and blow her a kiss before turning back to Dolapo “Please continue Dolls.”
“So… we got right on. Started talking. And I added him to my modelling page. That was when SHIT got really real. He would call me everyday! Mbok, he would call my Local number everyday and skype me often for video chats! I used to think all your Naija guys be brokeass people’s until I met him.”
“No way darling. So he’s Nigerian?! How long you been on?” that’s me fetching for information. I love guys that know what they want and hustle for it however they have to!
“Yes way. Nigerian. From Oyo. Bad ass IT Tech that found his way through the doors of NNPC. We been on for about 3 months now.”
“What?! Three months and we been chatting all that time you didn’t tell us? That’s bad babe!” Barbara yells. I can’t get mad because they don’t know about Mark either. So I just keep mute.
“He said he wants us to take things slow kinda. He’s got a thing for not letting out stuff until they fully materialise. Typical Nigerian mentality. This is the 21st Century kwa! But i’m not too bothered cos of my career. You know how them bitches hustle for gossip on your love- life and what-nots.”
Something about those words about Dolapo’s friend got to me, I had to speak out. “What’s it with these guys anyway?” Barbara and Dolapo turn to me.
“What guys?” they question in unison.
“All these boyfriends and husband materials kwanu! You know Mark says the same thing to me. Every goddamn time!”
“Mark?” Barbara questions.
“What same thing?” Dolapo adds.
Only then do I realise I have spilled the bean before I meant to, and Barbara might just have my head for it too. So I tell them about Mark and how i’ve been on with him for a little over Four months as well.
“Shut the front door!” Barbara exclaims in her typical slang which she stole off “Ibukun Donald’s Style Vitae post” but won’t admit to. “Four months babe? And na this same Naija we dey so o!” I laugh, she scowls. Then I laugh some more, I can’t help myself. But Dolapo looks at me with such sympathy and understanding in her eyes. We’re wearing the same gaddamn shoes now, and it’s very ill-fitting, but we don’t know whether to pinch or scratch or just fucking pull the shoes off.
“Well,…” Barbara continues. “Guess we’re rocking the same boat hunnays. I have been seeing Mex for Two months now and I stay at his place during weekdays… I only go to my parents’ on some weekends. Never told you guys cos he said about the same thing to me the one time I asked him about telling my friends about him and stuff. Bury me now or never!”
“What?!” That’s all we can manage. Me and Dolapo. And before we know it, we are throwing pillows at Barbara for being such a bitch about our confessions even when she was just as guilty as us.
“But really, what’s wrong with these men?” Dolapo revisits my question now. I keep mum. I am clueless. I help myself to a glass of wine and reach out for my phone this one time to indulge myself a little. As expected, there’s tons of texts from Mark. From angry cussing words, to apologies, to pleas, to loving cooing words. I am amazed at how he swaps temperaments so fast. I feel like ‘m dealing with a psycho most times. I just ignore his messages all together, once I catch what the girls are discussing about.
“… so I kind of planned my vacay this early because of him. I want to meet him. We’ve got a date tomorrow night.”
“Yayy!” we squeal together like high school girls who’ve just been asked out to Prom!
“It’s been crazy doing the long- distance thing. On some days, I just want to be with him. Kissing, cuddling and stuff… but the most we get to do is phone sex. Video…”
“No way! Shut the front door!” we roll over in laughter at how almost- gross yet surprisingly sexy that sounds. “Who stole our Dolapo Anifowose?! Girl, this ain’t you!” She laughs with us, bowing her head shyly, like she’s a budding flower afraid of the morning sun.
“Way to go girl! I spend my weekends with Mark. I miss him… somehow.”
“Awwn. ‘m so lovestruck right now!” Barbara cooes. She’s a devil! We sip some more wine, and indulge in our private lives a bit, scrolling and tapping on phones and tablets, until Dolapo dares the devil. She decides to show us a picture of Mr Hot and Spicy!
“Here guys. Damn ‘taking things slow’. My bitches gotta know what’s up with me! Bitches over dick.”
“Yeah girl!” we squeal, as we gather around her to see who Mystery guy is.
This is not happening. But it appears Dolapo’s Oyo State hottie, is my Mark, and Barbara’s Mex. Someone tell me what happens next, because I think I am about to faint.
© The Short Black Girl, 2015.