The sons of bottle just started their yeye after party when I walked into the hotel hall. There is no way I would not recognize the voice of a tipsy Femi, dude always believed he could replace the blood in his veins with alcohol but a few drops always got him on the wrong side. It was that shriek of his that welcomed me.
“All hail today’s best man. The idiot who Dorothy gave the gift of a very pretty girl yet could not convince her to attend this august night out with the clan”
The rest burst into fits of laughter. Farouk was the worst, with his wickedly irritating laughter. His was a different laugh for a different situation. The moment he laughed, I knew it was his most yab-laced one. I just did not look at any of them.
I had already played my role in making the couple miss their flight to Lagos from where they would connect a flight to their Zanzibar honeymoon. Sam looked at me with rage and fury combined when we got to the airport thirteen minutes late. He was going to rant, I knew that look. I waited for him to start as he always did whenever his short fuse got lost. My friend who is never guilty when things are not in his favour; my sure pal who always looks for who or what to blame when things do not go his way.
He looked me straight in the eye, looked to his wife and the frown on his face grew in proportion. How I measured that remains a mystery to me. He was livid with rage, and to make it more annoying, Dorothy was crying like a woman whose baby was snatched for rituals.
“I should just break your head for getting my marriage started on the craziest footing possible walahi. Which kind best man you be sef? Do you realize there are no flights to Zanzibar till Monday afternoon?”
I hated how I felt, derided the look on my face. Was it because of the Best Girl? Samo and Dor-Dor should have been on the way to their honeymoon but here I was, the best man and maybe the chief cause of their missed flight to Lagos to connect their Tanzania bound flight. I had to get a way out of the accusation, allegation and condemnation.
“See, see, stop that thing o. Nor be only me cause am. When I was signaling that you should get in the vehicle and let us move, no be say the dance dey sweet you for bodi ni?”. I faced his wife “Dor-Dor, when you dey wind your waist, you don forget say you go follow plane go Gidi? See you people should not blame a poor bachelor o”. I tried to be funny but they were clearly pissed.
“I’m sorry guys” – there was no response. “It’s a joint fault and you both know. You’re just putting it all on me because you know there is nothing I can do. I was trying to put things in place, the gifts were there and I needed to arrange how they would be well kept”.
I left them standing and entered the car, waiting for them to join me. While he was comforting her, I picked my phone and rang Femi.
“Idiot, please book the biggest suite for this fool and his wife. They missed their flight”
“Are you serious? Are you crazy? You got them to miss their flight?”
“Femi, you are a classic fool. How is it my fault? Na me say make dem dey dance when they shoulda moved? No be you suppose open your mouth like that o”
“Dot admit it, you cannot be exonerated. You were gawking after that girl when you should have taken them to the airport”
“You are a mad man. You should be given a duplex at Yaba Left walahi! Was it not you that shoulda driven them to the airport while I sorted out other things? Now its all my fault abi…”
I was losing my temper. Everyone was blaming me for what went wrong and it was not going down well with me.
“Its not all your fault Dot. Now drive”. Sam spoke from the back of the vehicle with a smile on his face, and his hand on my right shoulder. I did not even know when they entered the vehicle. I looked at him, kept my face straight and moved the vehicle. The couple tried to start a conversation with me while we were enroute the hotel but I did not just reply.
Back to the now, Sam and wife were in their suite and the drunkards had started a sort of after party to make the evening lively. I walked into the midst of my tipsy friends, neither smiling nor frowning. As I am not really a drink person, I went to the bar and took a five percent alcoholic can drink while the rest danced and partied away. I was pissed, actually much more pissed that I would be on a very normal day. They knew the best thing to do in that kind of situation was to leave me by myself and all of the clan did just that.
The pain in my neck, Femi that is, later walked up to me.
“Dude, you’re still mad at the whole clan, right?” he said, trying to raise his voice over the music. I looked at him, looked away and sucked on the straw in my drink without saying a word. “I admit that we were wrong as well, all of us were as wrong as you were. Farouk knows you’re in that zone where no one can come to you, no one but me, me your nemesis”.
The idiot was starting to melt my heart, he knew how to humour me out of foul moods.
“For this reason therefore, I have provided one for you, the one who was staring at you all day long. She said the couple called her and the other babes on the train to join in their after party. See that useless Sam? Did he arrange any party? Newayz, your crush awaits.”
I turned in the direction of his motioned body and caught the babe still looking intensely at me.
“Na you go suffer for wetin all these people do me walahi.”
“You people are crazy, and na you craze pass, shebi you know? You rile me finish come go arrange babe for me. I don dey talk am before, na you go keee me. Yaaa always using my weakness against me, you this yeye boy. How would I resist a babe like this ehn?”
I warmed up to him. He took my drink and my hand and I followed like a sheep being led to its death.
“Femi, where’s the Best Lady?” That was an innocent question from my heart of hearts. He handed me my can of drink, left my hand and looked me in the eye.
“She has gone, but the other babe you are gon’ spend the evening with is equally pretty. I noticed how she stared at you all through the wedding, and I know it won’t be a bad idea if you guys hang for the evening”.
He took my hand and we got going again.