I was so irritated by the mini accident and I just hoped the careless driver wasn’t coming to ask that I fixed his car.
He tapped the window on the driver’s side and Mr. Omoniyi wound down the window. Contrary to what I expected, he promptly apologized, saying that it was the fault of an errant okada rider whom he had swerved to avoid hitting.
“Talk to madam for back”, Mr. Omoniyi said. The young chap turned to the side I was seated, I wound down the window and let out a shriek. “issa lie! Yemiiii! I can’t believe it’s you.”
By now impatient drivers were honking all around us and Yemi hurriedly told me that he was going into campus to drop off someone. He gestured that we should follow behind him, find somewhere to park inside school and catch up properly.
As Mr. Omoniyi drove into school, I started laughing. It is indeed a small world. Yemi’s dad is friends with my dad and we both lived in Ikoyi. He was the older guy who had been forced by his parents to play with me whenever they visited each other. So naturally, he was my first crush, and I am not even sure that crush has gone away.
I had no idea he was in Lagos, because I had last seen him in Aberdeen. Since we were no more kids, we had stopped hanging out of obligation a long time ago. Plus I was on campus these days so it made sense that I hadn’t known he was in Lagos till now.
He looked more mature, more handsome and more appealing than I last remembered. Perhaps he would soon stop seeing me as a little girl, but as a young woman. Who knows what could happen…
We had gotten to Sports Centre and he parked there, Mr. Omoniyi parked too. I got out of the car and told him to go back home as it was getting late, I was fine now. Yemi could drop me at the Staff Quarters later.
He got out of the car and hugged me, thumping my back affectionately. “An Ah. Temisko Temisko. It’s been a while. I see you’re now a big babe. My dad told me Mr. Ade-Doherty made you attend the school of first choice. I’ve been meaning to go over to your house and get your phone number from your mum.”
I didn’t even pay attention to him. Why was he calling me by my childhood nickname like I was still 10 years old.
“Come”, he grabbed my hand, “there’s someone in the car I want you to meet!” He opened the passenger door to reveal a beautiful and demure looking girl whom I immediately decided I didn’t like.
Yemi came back into the car as traffic started to build up behind us and impatient drivers honked loudly as if the force of the noise would throw us off the road. He grinned excitedly and told me the person who ran into us was an old family friend of his and he hadn’t seen her since he got back.
“I thought it was a man that was driving”
“Yeah. That’s her driver” he replied.
My heart sunk lower than it had already done before and I had thought it couldn’t sink any more than it already had. This was the world Yemi existed in, kids as young as me had luxury cars and their own drivers who drove them around. I was just a bush girl from Abeokuta who didn’t even have a daddy, let alone the type that bought me a car to celebrate my 16th birthday.
I was the kind of person these people call a plebian, and I was fine with it before I met Yemi who was trying to thrust me into their world. I had never eaten in such a posh place or rode in a luxury car before I met him.
He parked at Sports Centre and got out to meet his ‘family friend’. I peeped through the side mirror and saw the car that brought her leave. You could sell every person in my village and we still wouldn’t be worth the air in one tyre of that car.
I saw them hug and I took in her sophisticated appearance, she oozed wealth from her pores. And she was drop dead gorgeous, it didn’t help that she was decked in what looked like designer from head to toe. Her handbag probably cost more than our compound back home.
I immediately felt self-conscious with my unrelaxed hair and outfit that was gotten secondhand from the neighbouring Yaba market. I suddenly couldn’t help but feel small and out of place.
Before I could further wallow in self-pity, Yemi yanked the door open and beamed at me. His friend looked me up and down with what looked like a mixture of thinly veiled contempt and anger, but her expression changed so quickly, I thought I might have imagined it.
She smiled politely and held out her hand “My name is Temi Ade-Doherty. Nice to meet you”. I grasped her hand to shake it and introduce myself but Yemi beat me to it. “Temi this is Becca. She’s my girlfriend. Well… if she’ll have me that is”.
Temi immediately let go off my hand as if I had leprosy. I knew then that I had not imagined anything.
After taking a nap I didn’t feel better because I had no solution in sight to the problem of Razor. What was the best way to break up with him and keep him happy at the same time?
He was not someone I wanted on my bad side, nor was he someone I wanted to make an enemy of. I was stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea and neither seemed like a good option.
Or could I throw a spanner in the wheel of his friendship with Croc? I could lie that Croc had been making passes at me. Could that work? I doubted that he’d forsake his best friend for a girl. If I lied that I was pregnant, he would only ask me to get an abortion.
Maybe I could feign a serious STD or some seriously communicable and deadly disease. I had no idea what to do but I was sure I would find a solution. I needed to get my head in the game.
First, I called my boss and told him I’d meet him at the club the next day to discuss what had happened at the party. He seemed to take it well so that was one problem solved.
Then I checked the girls I had given outfits and shoes to wear to the party to make sure they were okay and to collect my property back and keep for the next set of girls.
K Money called me and asked me to meet him, he said he was parked at the Sports Centre and that I should come over there. This was not a meeting I looked forward to. I had no idea how he’d react. And I hadn’t even called him since that incident to find out if he was okay.
I drove there and parked, got out of the vehicle and scanned the car park for his car. I heard someone call out to me and turned to see Rebecca, the Deeper Life girl whom I had invited to the party.
She waved and I went over to where she sat in a car with two of her friends standing near her. I greeted her and said “Hi Rebecca. I just left your room and you weren’t there. I wanted to come and pick up my dress and shoes”.
The other girl sniggered and I realised I had made a terrible mistake by opening my mouth.