Best Man Duty #11
Going back to The Meeting Point was not the best thing to do. Going home would get me into another round of thoughts. I was at that time driving past an area that held loads of memory for me. There was the case of Dele’s residence that used to be the slaughter slab for all of The Clan’s p-setting. Coded babes found themselves gracing the Maracana Stadium in the big head’s bedroom.
Dele is that member of The Clan whose womanizing is legendary. He had different ‘no strings attached’ and recruited more without fear. Undergrads, graduates, single mothers, desperate babes and all. He even had a police officer that I always called ‘Police girl’. There was the nurse, the bank worker, the lawyer and the civil servant. We would shout on him and call him names but he would say “what makes y’all better than me” in his croaky voice. He had a very unsexy voice but his good looks and charm always won the women over. How he did it remains a mystery.
“Dude, you go shag winsh one day aswear”, Sam once told him. He looked at Sam like someone whose speech was slurred from too many drinks then he burst into a loud uncontrollable laughter that drew the attention of people on other tables at The Meeting Point. The Philanderer, as Mike called him then answered by doing a cacophonic presentation of ‘All things bright and beautiful’, one of the hymns we sang in primary school. Do you remember that hymn in your S.O.P?
I impulsively turned into his street, passed his house and drove down to the end of the street, a close actually. I picked up my Blackberry and punched in “I’m at your gate”. A few minutes later, she came out of the building in whose front I parked. All smiles and giggles, and modestly dressed like her normal self, she entered the passenger’s side of the front door.
I expected a peck but she went for the big one. Throwing her hands on my neck, she hugged me close and kissed me very smoothly, not minding that there was the possibility of being seen by the security guard in her house and the adjacent one. After a few minutes of her lips doing wonders on mine, I broke the kiss to take some air.
Taiwo is another perfect kisser with whom I am blessed, okay let us re-phrase the sentence; ‘Taiwo is another perfect kisser with whom I was blessed’. Key word “was”. We never dated but a few things happened, and could still happen anytime either of us wanted.
“You didn’t say you were gon’ come around here today”, she started, seeing as I had withdrawn from the kissing posture. “I was expecting you for Sunday afternoon”.
“I wanted to surprise you ni Ejire”
“Who are you surprising? Is it not that you came to see that shameless Dele that won’t move out of his father’s house or your paroles changes. You have something else for Sunday ni jor. I know you too well Dot”
“Shey na me you wan yab, abi na Dele?”
“Have I not told you not to even call me Ejire again?”
“Oya mabinu arewa”
“Dot has sha become razz. What’s all these Ejire and Aresa or whatever you’re calling me nah?”
“You dunno beta thing. Even the non-Yoruba likes all the affectionate terms that put you off”
“Lemme abeg. We know your non-Yorubas, just spare me that jere. Where are we headed?”
She knew where we were headed but was trying to be her normal, lie-living person, and I neatly played along.
“We’re headed to the head office”, I replied and winked. She knew what the emphasis on the word ‘head’ meant.
She hit my shoulder playfully and I started the vehicle and moved. I had to drive at a slightly higher speed so no one in Dele’s house would see me and tell the dumb head. I knew he was not home but I had bragged not to come see this Taiwo babe again. The prevailing situation however meant I had to.
As I made to link the expressway and make my way to my apartment, Taiwo’s ‘headoffice’, my phone gave a text message notification. I picked it up to read immediately I saw who the sender was.
“I might have pushed you hard or frustrated you. It was not intentional Dotun. Plans changed for tomorrow. Momma wants me home for the wknd so I’ll come ova tonyt instead. 1-4-3-10”
I shrugged, smiled and sent a quick reply to her knowing how much of a show spoiler she could choose to be. The witch in her always found a way in whenever I was setting another parole. How that always happens remains mysterious.
“Not home yet. Went lounging with some other friends. I’ll pick you up at 9. 1-4-3-10”
You might be wondering what the coded numbers 1-4-3-10 stand for. Each means the number of letters that make up the words “I love you sweetheart”. ‘I’ is a one letter word, ‘love’ is a four letter word and that is how the rest goes. That is how creative Queen can be when she gets her act together and is not fighting me.
“Who was that?”. I did not bother to answer her because I knew I had to be quick with her and leave no traces of her visit.
While I was thinking of how wriggle out of the Taiwo issue, the tone of Queen’s message struck me. She would never directly apologize or say anything close to sorry. She just always continued from where things were before we had issues, preferring to sweep matters we should close under the carpet. That had been something gnawing on my mind. Why would someone refuse to apologize despite being at fault? Ego or what?
“Drive Dot. Set this p fast, tidy up and then come back musing”
I obeyed, looked into Taiwo’s eyes seductively and joined the semi busy road as she giggled again, one I was sure was in anticipation of what lay ahead for the evening.
Spotting a white agbada with my short-sleeved buba underneath, my facial hair was well trimmed. My dressing and grooming were top notch, even for me. My fetish for wristwatches made me have five classy ones, each of which had cost me a fortune on purchase. I decided on the one I bought after Sam’s wedding, knowing Cynthia would not have noticed it on my hand. I knew I had to make a statement with my appearance and I spared nothing to make that happen.
“Dressed for the kill”, Femi said with a wink as he entered my apartment. “See fine boy of life. You’re sure some others won’t kidnap you before Best Girl sees you?”
He knew how to appeal to my vanities and wasted no time in getting that done always. He complemented everything from my hair cream to my perfume. I knew the big head was flattering me but I was lapping up the adulation, reveling in the sycophancy of my dear Femi. He would not tell me an absolute lie to make me feel good but he always was going to massage my ego. What I liked however was that he also knew how to call my bluff without taking prisoners.
Femi was dressed in his best tux, one he saved for special occasions. All my pleas that he should go the native way fell on deaf ears. The dumb head would never allow himself to be cowed into submission anytime; he always does his things his own way.
“Nearly everyone at the wedding would be dressed in native so why should I do the same”, he said when I queried his dressing. That singular action of mine even earned me a backlash from the smelly mouthed best friend of mine. He went as far as calling me overdressed telling me he wished rain would fall and mess up my well starched clothes. My friend is a non-conformist so I was not ready to try drag anything with him. I just made sure he dressed well, and was as striking as I was.
It was impossible for me to see Cynthia again on the day she flew into town because she was busy doing an all-girls evening with her friends. I was however going to make the most of the time we were going to have. Beyond all the flirting on chat, we would sit and look into each other’s eyes, and talk. The reality of that happening was very tantalizing.
Picking up my phone when it was time to set out, I dialed and she answered on the first ring. She was sounding very excited. We bantered a bit after exchanging pleasantries. The hymn that was being sung was all I needed to know that service was still in progress.
“I’ll soon be on my way to the reception venue. I have company o”
“You’re typically Nigerian Dotun. You got an invite to an event and you’re bringing an attachment”
“Its not like that jor. You want me to come and start looking around bored ehn?
“So what’s it like? I hope ’tis your babe you’re coming with”
“You’re not just pretty Cynth, you’re funny as well”
“Adonno what you’re talking about. I’m just expecting you and your babe”
The call was ended from her end and we got on the way immediately, factoring the insane Lagos traffic into our movement. That proved decisive as the minor delay we had was of no consequential effect. We still got to the reception venue before the couple and their train.
After securing the car, we started towards the main hall where the reception was to hold. First thing that caught me by surprise however was the thorough frisking of guests by the security guys at the door. I did not envisage that happening at all. Femi just stood by as the security guy carried out his duty on me, and his mate on a good looking young woman beside me. Femi made a comment about me being a terrorist that hid his weapon inside his agbada. Those around responded by either smiling or grinning, a few who I am sure have been starved of funny talk burst into laughter.
Entry secure, I notified her of our arrival and told her where we were seated. Just as desired, we got different glances in our direction by the array of beautiful ladies in the hall. Much as I like being around Femi, he never stopped being an embarrassment whenever he found himself in the midst of pretty women. I could look around with lust written all over me but Femi stared always in a way that made him look as if his eyeballs would pop out. I always found that repulsive. He was already shifting in his seat and tapping me to look at that ‘ukwu’ or “see those bad hips”.
“Dude, this babe is well rounded”, he said, cocking his head at another that passed in front of the table where we sat. I rebuked him at that point, telling him to look beyond his irresponsible staring and see the point that he was attractive himself with many of people giving us admiring glances.
“I wonder how you stay calm in these situations man. No dey bring me come this kind tempting place next time o”
That coincided with a beep on my phone. I looked and read the message. “She’s here. Let’s meet her outside”.
As I stepped out of the beautifully decorated hall, my eyes met hers at the side reserved for pictures. I swallowed and bit my lower lips.
“Boy this babe is cleeeeeeeean. Chai, see fineness”
She looked much more beautiful than the Best Girl in every way. She was a feet and more inches taller, accentuated her cream lace material with a red purse and neck beads that had a mixture of red and gold colours. Her headgear and ipele completed the touch of red on gold that seemed to be what the bride’s friends were all wearing. Coincidentally, I was wearing a red fila, the one from the last wedding I attended.
She looked like the well sculpted handiwork of the creator that she is. While the other had their make-up in excessively annoying quantities that made them look more barbie than human, the only thing I saw on her face was a light rub of powder. Her full lips had a modest application of red lipstick and an equally little application of lip gloss.
“The exact one you would crossover to kiss shey?”
I just stood there swimming in the stand-out beauty of the out-of-this-world stunning daughter of Eve whose eyes locked with mine. She was smiling, right at me. Truth be told, I did not know whether I was still standing on the ground, floating in air or sinking in her gaze. I forgot there was a Femi with me or a Queen that would have hit me back to reality if she were to be there. The different voices around me seemed to dissolve into pin drop silence.
Even my subconscious got in on the act. He did a Jim Carrey at that point and I was grinning at him. That guy in me had his eye pop out of their sockets for real and removed his lower jaw to roll out his tongue towards the pretty lady in a red carpet reception. While he was doing his somersaults and doffing his hat for the pretty one, I stood in one corner smiling and applauding him for the stunts.
Femi’s nudge and voice brought me back from the trance. “Is this not Best Girl? Damn, that babe is hawt!!!”
The only female to make me lose composure in a long time was standing a few metres away from me, smiling, and draining all common sense and energy from the fragile skeleton holding my body and housing my mind. I was beyond speechless; I was more of a muted man within that short period of time: seconds or minutes or whatever you choose to call it.
“Jesus, this is breathtaking. This is beyond normal. This is not a human being”
I was soliloquizing and the equally dumbstruck Femi was answering me as if I was talking to him.
“Didn’t know she’s this beautiful. Dear Lord Jesus, son of the living God”.
Then as if remote-controlled, she mouthed the word “Dot” and I smiled. She then started towards where I was standing, and I also started walking in her direction.
“What this chic does to you is out of this world man. See as your mouth dry Dotun. You don enter your own”
I did not answer the man in me. I just continued taking the steps towards Cynthia. Before I knew it, we were in front of one another and she had flown into my hands.
“I’m so thrilled to see you Dot. Wow, just wow”
We were the cynosure of all eyes at that point in time. Life would not get better. Time did me a favour and stopped running at that time. Femi was beside himself, smiling, grinning and just had this look of amusement on his face. So were the other aso ebi ladies. All eyes were on the two of us as we lingered in each other’s arms.
“Pretty Cynthia, we meet again”, I managed to say after disentangling from one another’s grip.
“Handsome Dot we do meet again, and you look as good as you did the last time I saw you. I saw you when someone asked me to look at those two cute, well dressed guys”
“Forgerrit Best Girl, you look heavenly. I was almost asking if it was you. You look absolutely different. The exact thing I told you I wanted to see”
Everything had returned to normal. I remembered Femi at that instant.
“Here’s Femi. You remember seeing him at Sam’s wedding?”
“Hi Femi”. She flashed her million watt, full toothed smile and shook Femi’s hand lightly. The mumu boy just stood there smiling like a puppy that was dashed a bone he could not break.
“You guys have a very good dress sense. I’m proud to have you as guests here”
“Thanks Best Girl”, Femi responded and beamed.
“You know if Femi can act this civil and classy always, he’ll always get game. Or wetin you think?”
“Sharap jor. Don’t come talking now. When I’m done here, we’ll have our time”
“Cynthia’s the name Femi, Best Girl is for the Best Boy”. We all laughed mildly.
“Let’s get a seat guys, I should dance in with the couple and join you in a few minutes”
She got a seat in a different place, a better place from where we were initially seated. That place looked like a fertile land in comparison to where we sat initially.
“Thanks for letting me do my Saturday here. I take back the earlier words I said”. I just smiled and twitched my nose.
“Yimu for you Famo. Drink in the sight of having many pretty ones around you man”. I was feeling like the boss.
“Ol’boy forget am. Its not about the women alone. This na wetin dem dey call party. Meanwhile, Queen gat work to do o, see as that Cynthia babe dey look like say she wan carry you go keep permanently. Like say you be trophy”
“Trophy ko, Satzenbrau ni. Whatever it is, don’t let your mouth bring Queen up in our gists here o. Make she dey enjoy her Mama side”. The big head just hit me playfully, with his “ashewo oshi” remark following.
“I can’t be by myself Dot. I gotta stay around so you don’t talk too much. Meanwhile, lemme go look around for my own chicalas. This na beta weekend wallahi”
“You no well. Sha no do any weyrey”
Femi brought me back from that short convo, he started talking about football. I needed that distraction to keep my subconscious quiet while waiting for the Best Girl’s imminent return.