Accuracy with time was needed in my trip to Port Harcourt and I had that on my side. There has to be something good about Cynthia as all that has to do with her always falls into place. I had told Sam that Cynthia would meet me at the airport but there was a change. The client I was to meet offered to send me a pick up vehicle owing to the fact that he needed to get things sorted fast and fly top Abuja for another meeting. I had no choice but to go with his arrangement, and with that went all my rehearsed airport reunion with Cynthia.
“Jus lemme know how to hook up wif u when you’re done”
I grinned again. She would not even complain that I informed her late about the change. Of course, maybe I had been too consumed with her having her around because I had no reason to see her until I got the business end of my trip sorted. On the other hand however, there was no need to hide from her because her prayers worked when I needed them most. You should understand the fact that I have not felt the kind of concern that she showed me in a while.
Things moved pretty fast and as expected, I was done by midday. There was always the likelihood that I was going to stay till the next day. I checked into the hotel room and got busy immediately, tidying up some other stuff I was to present in Lagos by the end of the week. I was in a very chummy mood while all of that was going on and with the brain gradually entering my relaxed mood, I abandoned the work and called Cynthia. As she always did, she answered on the first ring.
“Are you through?”
“Okay ping me the address. I should be with you asap”
She sounded a bit formal, not quite as creamy as she normally would sound. I kept trying to place what could have gone wrong. Here was someone whose mood never seemed to be on the downside now sounding all cold.
“Only goes to show she’s human mate. Get on with the P”
I grabbed my phone to call her back but I could not do more than fiddle with it. There was nothing to do again: work was done, boredom was setting in and BG was not sounding quite receptive. Times like that, the social media came in handy. I opened my twitter timeline and scrolled, looking for news, links to articles, an interesting conversation to follow and maybe a twitfight and subs, especially between those whose only work on twitter was to discuss politics.
Those guys are actually annoying. I daily wonder how they manage to discuss and diss one another, taking sides while some useless old men come together to rape the country of our commonwealth. When I take a look at words they write on social media, I shake my head for the future of my country. Are these ones a part of the future generation? These ones reason with their anus for Chrissakes
“That’s the same way I’m shaking mine for you. Call BG, you’re thinking politics and governance. I know you’re bored when your thinking goes in that direction”
I ignored him and continued my musing, then my eyes caught it. This was not like what I saw at The Meeting Point, this was real, and I was going to call Queen out big time.
I was seated at the hotel bar. Cynthia’s pings were not dropping, her phone was not connecting, and nothing was going the way I wanted after the positivity in the early part of the day. I was still angry, though not shocked at my discovery. The bar lady kept stealing glances at me, smiling each time our eyes met. I asked for my brand of drink, one that falls in the category of ‘mildly alcoholic’ as Sam would put it. Although Farouk would still refuse to agree, dude would say “we are all drinkers”.
“Dey dia dey deceive unaself. Whush one be mild drink? We are all bloody drinkers, we are drunks”, the big head would say. How I miss ’Rook, at the Meeting Point. We might sit and fight more than half of the time but Farouk still rocks. He has been away from town on one of his auditing trips. He always came back well wadded. That was maybe why his mouth never stopped running.
The bar lady winked again and I returned with a smile. It would not be totally bad if I play the flirty game. A few minutes after that, she came out of the cubicle and took a stroll down to the reception. She walked in measured steps, swaying her moderately built behind majestically as she walked on. I stole a glance when other guys were gawking, looking as if their eyes would detach from their sockets. As she did the seductress’ look and walk back into the bar, she locked her gaze with mine and flashed that ‘Delilahic’ smile again. I was contemplating playing along, thinking of going to strike a conversation with her and flirt a bit.
“Who knows where it would end”
“You must be high on whatever it is you drank. You wanna go set p with a bar lady when BG can walk in any time?”
“She has not called to say she’s enroute or otherwise man. Stop castigating me, a boy gotta make himself feel good sometimes. Like check if I still got game in me”
“Okay o, continue. Na so you dey eff up all the time. Imagine you cozying up to her when BG comes in”
“That’s not gon’ be a good sight man”
“Then use your head!”
The man in me can be extremely rational and that ruins my mojo many times. On second thought however, I always seem to see the sense in his efforts at setting me straight.
As I made to get up and resist the temptation, my phone beeped. Cynthia was asking for the address.
“I’m around GRA already. What’s the name of the hotel?”
I did not delay for a minute. I typed the name and description furiously. The time has finally come; I am meeting my Best Girl, right in her own backyard.
“This better be good Dot. No needless talks, just banter as you’ll normally do. Remember, no needless talks”
“Yessir. I’m gon’ make you proud”
“You berra do. I’ll be watching from here”
He gave me a high five and went hiding in his innermost part, promising not to disturb me at all. I was going to get back into my room and have Cynthia come to meet me but I wanted to show off to the bar lady. I wanted her to know I had a stunning beauty that was not in her class, I wanted her to see why I could afford to ‘resist’ her seducing glances and smile.
The minutes felt like hours and then there was the message.
“I just drove in. wia u @”
“Pass the reception and ask for the bar. Do I hav to describe me”
“Maybe u shld. Whoever told u I wont recognize my Best boi”
“Loooooooolz. Let’s see if u will. I’m diff from d last me u saw Cynth”
“What’s da diff?”
“I’ll let u find out. I can assure u the diff is clear sha”
“Okay then, I’m right at d entrance sha, and I see the difference in u. not too much for me to not recognize d man dat christened me Best Girl”
I turned my chair, and faced the entrance. There she stood, rested on the wall behind her. Her smile was more colourful than the rainbow. I was not sure whether to stand and walk to her or sit and drink in the sight of her splendid beauty.
He promised to not say anything but I guess he was also struck by her celestial look.
“Dot, Queen is pretty. I mean very pretty but BG is the complete package. See as she set, every man in this bar is looking at her Dot. You can kill me now that I have broken my promise to hide”
“Please let me concentrate. I should not let this time slip”
After I regained my senses, I got up and opened my arms smiling. She then got walking again, and right into my arms. I felt the fullness of her body as she surrendered and crashed into my open arms. The cynosure of the whole bar at that instant, I felt more important than Barack Obama. I felt more like a Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi rolled into one. My eyes caught ‘Delilah’ at that instant and she smiled. It was my turn to wink, a very sensual one which she returned.
We finally disentangled and left the bar for the restaurant. As we went step by step, we started talking, trying to catch up on the days and times.
“See my phone screen. Remember the day I told you I got careless and the phone dropped”
“Yea babes. There’s a lil’ crack on it”
“Yup, and you were yabbing me that I can afford to let my phone drop cos I’m rich”
“Will you women ever forget trivial things?”
“How will they forget? They’re women, I am Cynthia”
“Yes, you’re Cynthia my Best Girl”
“And you’re Dotun. Everybody’s Dot, my own Best Boy”
“I like the sound of that. You wan kolobi me for yourself abi?
We walked on hand in hand, talking and laughing like love birds till we got to the hotel’s restaurant. I ordered just jollof rice and chicken and she started sermonizing about meat and all that nutrition nonsense.
Who cares about nutrition when there’s Best Girl around?
One look at the suit we were wearing and I knew I would love the look of it on me. Tokunbo’s dress sense and colour combination has never been an issue. He had cancelled the order placed for the initial Best Man and here I was, the professional Best Man.
Prior to meeting Cynthia at Sam’s wedding, I had been a Best Man at a boring Registry wedding and another wedding of a neighbour. Boring would be an understatement in attempts to describe the Registry wedding. Most of the people at that wedding were not just my kind of people so I just did my Best Man duty and left without even bothering to settle the bride and groom in their hotel room.
The second Best Man duty was interesting. Elite gathering, beautiful setting, pretty set of ladies on the bridal train, bla bla bla. It was the exact kind of wedding anyone would be willing to feature in. The rubbish guy that was getting married knew what I could do and was repeatedly warning me off the Chief Bridesmaid, as if the girl was a kid. To ask the girl question pertaining to the program was war. The groom almost recited “Dot don’t talk to her” as part of his vows. He pushed me so bad I had to give him a bit my tongue’s causticity.
“Bros easy nah. You for kukuma marry your wife’s sis nah. Abi by ordinary talk person dey set P with babe”.
He had to apologize for embarrassing me, and I grudgingly accepted, knowing he had his reasons for doing that. Don’t we all have reasons for our actions?
At Tokunbo’s wedding however, it was looking like the kind of wedding I would be proud to Best Man. The planning was perfect in all its ramifications. That came as no surprise knowing the perfectionism of my aunt, Tokunbo’s mom and her son who was getting married. Nothing was left to chance at all and that made the wedding rock.
I had informed Cynthia that I had another Best Man duty and she promptly told me to not look at the Best Girl “because you already have one”. I smiled but the meaning of those words was not lost on me. A bond that had developed between myself and Cynthia due to Queen’s irascibility, Cynthia’s lack of commitment to her boyfriend and a few other things making everything align in our favour.
The Chief Bridesmaid at Tokunbo’s wedding was a tall, slim, chocolate skinned one. Not very pretty but not on the wor-wor side either. She had a good rear view, something close to the hour glass shape that many daily pray to God for. A finer face would have complemented that to-die-for shape better. As I normally do on a Best Man assignment, I greeted her with an outstretched right hand, shaking her firmly with a “good morning, Dot’s the name”. She accepted the handshake and gave a very welcome smile.
“You would like this one eh”
I started bantering almost immediately
“It would be our turn one day”
“Now I don’t mean the two of us as a couple”
“Ohhh, now I get you”
“Even at that, who says we can’t be standing before a congregation as bride and groom one day”
She just smiled, and said some words I could not fathom. Of course I was not interested in hearing what she was saying. I was flirting again, and that was not meant to be in the script but I was writing it in. I was looking around, thinking of how to carry on my ‘activity’ with the Chief Bridesmaid when I saw someone that looked familiar.
She looked every inch like Lara, my old squeeze from the days of yore. This wedding was definitely going to bring memories that would not go in a while. There was no way I would get up behind Tokunbo so I stayed still, making sure I noted where she was seated. The Pastor guy did not waste time at all, he moved swiftly from one item to the other.
By the time we were dancing back into the auditorium after signing the Marriage Certificate, we passed the spot where the Lara was seated. It was an exact replica of who I thought it was but this one was a bit slimmer and bustier, my fetish. I saw the bride and Chief Bridesmaid exchange full smiles with her and I knew I was not going to let that pass.
“You guys were smiling at one lady while we were dancing back in the other time, who is she?”, I queried the Chief Bridesmaid
“Of all the ones we smiled and greeted, how would I know the one you are saying?”
I gave a description of who I was referring to, inch perfect description, complete with where she was seated and the people around her. That was made easier because of the gele skentele of two women behind. She knew at once who it was.
“Who is she? She’s one of our friends from way back”
“She looks like someone I know from way back too. Can you please tell me what her name is?”
“She’s Lara. Why do you wanna know?”
“Now this is plain crazy. The one I know that looks like her also answers that name”
“We attended the same Secondary school here in Ibadan”
“That’s where the diff comes in. My own Lara went to one of the Federal Government Colleges. I’d like to get up close with this your Lara. I want to go as far as taking a shot with her so I can show the other Lara”
“A shot? Who’ll shoot you both, Boko Haram, Bakassi or OPC?”
“Haba Best Lady, I mean take a picture together. Don’t be a meanie”
“Better. Let’s see if we can make that happen”
“I’ll appreciate that. I want to show the picture to my own Lara in Lagos”, I lied.
“You said that already mister”
As we got outside of the auditorium, the Best Lady or Chief Bridesmaid or Best Girl or whatever you choose to call her made sure I met Lara and had a picture taken with the two of them. As a sharp boy, I made sure I took some time to chit chat with Lara and took her contact.
“You need am man, nice one. This one wey you nor sabi as Queen dey do, just keep all options open”
“Yeah man, my matter don taya me sef. No where wey I go reach wey I no go see person wey I sabi”
The reception was to hold in the hall of the Church where the wedding took place. So it was a short drive to the hall which stood at the back of the church auditorium.
I alighted and sighted Cleo instantly. It was a pleasant surprise by all standards. I could sleep and wake up and still recognize Cleo with one eye half opened. I left Tokunbo’s side for the first time and went straight where I saw Cleo.
You must be wondering where she came from. Cleo used to be one babe I should have dated. I held back too long, trying to figure out if we could get into a serious relationship. Before I knew what was happening, she told me she had to leave the country to further her studies. At that time, it was opportunity lost for me because I absolutely felt good about her.
We communicated well for a while till distance crept in. I would ping and she would not respond on time. She would do the same and I would be unavailable. Little by little, the feelings faded; especially when Queen emerged on the scene. We still were cordial but the closeness was virtually non-existent.
I walked up to her and tapped her by the shoulder. Shocked and surprised, Cleo flew into my arms, hugging me tightly.
“Dotunnnnnn, its been ages”
“Yeah babes. When did you get back?”
“Back ke? I’m visiting for the yuletide ni o lover boy”
“See big girl”
“Go jor. Where’s that your babe that let you forget me?”
“Cleopatra! Nobody made me forget you jor. How come you’re at the wedding and I did not know?”
“I ran into Toks at the mall last week and he told me about his wedding. This one that I’m on hols, I said lemme go to owambe. I miss proper Naija owambe, its always different from the abridged US version”
“Tokunbo didn’t mention that to me o. Quite nice of you Cleo. See you looking so good”
“And you look as good as you want me to believe I do. My finest Dot, that your fine babe nko? Remind me that her name”
“The recurring decimal creeps into this convo again ehn!”
“Queen ehn”, I replied smiling. “She’s fine. Unable to attend because she also has a family function”
It was time for the couple to enter the hall and I had to go with them.
“Cleo, where are you seated? Don’t go o, we should catch up nah”
“Sure sure, I’m going nowhere without spending some time with you”
“In fact, gimme your digits so I can locate you”
I handed my phone to her and she quickly punched her number in. By then, Tokunbo was beckoning for me to come and let us enter the hall, dancing to one of these new Naija wedding songs.
“Now this is what I mean Dot. See as every dey set for your way”
“Halleluyah brother, my path drips fatness”
“You’re a joker man”
“You dunno here’s my old stomping ground, and the land is nice to me again today”