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“Your dream will finally come true over the weekend handsome. I’m due in your city this weekend for the wedding I told you about”
I had mixed feelings as I read that early morning message on my phone. As excited as I was with the possibility of spending time with Cynthia as normal human beings, not that Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid nonsense, Queen had the weekend booked for her already. I liked how the previous day had ended; it was every man’s dream: Cynthia prayed for me, I got a deal wrapped and I made peace with le boo. It had been a while before then that things had fallen into place for me like that.
Sam also had good news for me as per our partnership. At that point in time, I knew the world was made for me alone.
“You actually don’t deserve it, shey you know”, the man in me quipped. I just shrugged in a ‘na-you-sabi’ manner. The next song that came to mind was one I heard many years ago when I was totally stuck on Fighting Temptations, ‘He Still Loves Me’. I knew I did not deserve the universe working in my favour but it was doing so and I was very grateful. I hummed the song as I got up and made my way to take a leak, knowing the day was going to start with me setting the parole for Cynthia’s visit, without Queen raising dust again.
“Morning BG”, I typed and sunk into the bed on my return to the room.
“What’s BG? Are you sure you are awake mister?”
“I won’t ever chat rubbish miss. BG is Best Gehl”
“Looooolz. See you, so Best Girl gets code named again. Renaming her isn’t enough for you”
“Newayz, good morning. Your night?”
“Nicey. Did you see my first message?”
“I’m not yet blind BartimaeusMami. That’s the first message that dropped on my phone today. When are you due?”
“I’ll touch down on Friday mrng”
“I cld come pick u @ the airport”
“That won’t be a bad idea o…”
“Anytin to c n spend tym with u rocks. I esp wan’ c u outside that bridal train uniform”
“Hmmmmm. Wetin u wan see o”
“Oh c’mon Cynth, don’t be ridiculous. What else do I wan’ c outside what shld be seen? Abeg no rope me o”
The chat was getting interesting, office could wait, breakfast could wait, everything could wait, the time could even stop; even Queen, yes Queen the troublesome could wait.If anyone told me at the start of the year that I would be crushing on someone, I would have sworn for that person. Here I was however, Queen had stopped making me look forward to chats, she had stopped making my day. We spent more time arguing while all the lovey dovey periods looked like something from the very distant past in my life. Here was my Best Girl doing everything to show herself better than Queen.
I grinned as had now become customary, while we carried on discussing the terms of her arrival and how she planned to spend the weekend.
“I won’t mind u cuming to pick me up at the airport but I already told my friend whose side I’ll bunk at. We’ve not seen in almost nine months”
With that went the secret desire that I would be the one to welcome her to the Centre of Excellence but I had to make it seem like it did not get to me.
“Okies. Its no problem. So how’s we gon’ c?”
“The traditional wedding would be on Friday afternoon. You know how you Yoruba people do your tin nah”
“There you go again miss ethnocentric. Meanwhile ‘cum’ is ‘cum’ and ‘come’ is ‘come’. Stop spelling ‘come’ as ‘cum’. Thanks”
“Ashawo!!! What is cum. Your mind is just a trash bin I swear. Just leave all that your ethno whatever Dot. When I’m with Samatha, I’ll get you the address to her place”
“I like that trashy, perverted me, okay? So what’s u gon’ bring for the Best Boy”
“Just negodu, Matthew 7:7 darl and you gon’ have it”
“Which one is negodu again o Best Gehl of life? Pretty heads always have diff words coming from their good looking mouths”
“Negodu =look at you”
“Issorait o. I’ll consult my oracle and letchukno. It might be a tall order for you o”
“My maker is a God of possibilities”
I was carried away through and through by Cynthia. That was how mind drugging her effect was on me. I forgot my worries and challenges when we chatted. I noticed she still did not attempt to call me. Our chats would occasionally end abruptly but she would not call to know what happened. All she did was to simply continue from where we stopped.
“No Good mornings again abi? Your Zee and the rest don make you forget your manners ehn?”
Queen jumped into my chat again. If it was the way we ended the previous day it would have been a good one. I saw that she woke up on that terrible side of her bed again because even on days when I did not send her a ‘good morning’ message, she would do. If Queen starts chatting that way, I know better. After waiting for some minutes, I managed to respond.
“Morning lovey. Your brodas just restore light ni. You know we chatted far into the night ystday. Battery went with the chat”
“Hmmmm. The other phone is dead too abi? No good morning call again?”
“I’m sorry bae. Kisses”
“That’s how you always do. If nawhen lovdey shack you, na 5 am u dey call me”
“Those were good times Queen, times when u called me every time u went to pee at nite”
“What now happened? Was it not u that stopped making me do all of that?”
“How nah? U were always picking fights and won’t let it go on time. Life is too short for that nah”
“I hear u. nor start preaching to me biko”
“There u go miss pretty and rude”
“Wetin call for insult nah? Abiwhats the meaning of preety and rude”
“My baby don vex again. Una vex reach to misspell pretty?”
“Dotun e don do. Bye”
“Chill nah. Is that enuf to make u storm off again? Na wa for u o”
Her short fuse got lost again, and she flew into her fit of anger. Used to her needless anger, I just switched the chat over to Cynthia.
“Babes, I gotta go now. The city calls, lemme go make some money to host the BG”
“Hehehehe. I can’t wait to see what he has for me o”
“Who’s the ‘he’?”
“The ‘he’ that is asking me questions nah, the same ‘he’ that I’m answering”
“You ehn! I’ve not forgotten Matthew 7:7 o”
“I await the request young man. Now go”
“Its not always easy leaving you ni”
“Where? It’s a virtual world baby boy. Go and live in the real world”
“I’ll count 48 hours and the virtual gon’ turn real. Yessssssss”
“You know right. Ttyl”
I smiled again,this babe would chat without any silly shorthand or grammatical blunders.
“That’s why you like chatting with her nah. Or is there something else?”, my loquacious subconscious started again. I smiled and told him to “shut up”.
To get one over Femi, the one everyone calls my partner in crime, I informed him that Cynthia was coming to town and had already invited me to the wedding she was attending. Remember he was the first to mock me for letting the gift of my Best Girl slip through my hands. I ordinarily would attend alone but I wanted to show off. I also needed company around me in case things did not go the way I envisaged. With him around I was not going to be bored. Dude could not believe what I told him.
“You mean Best Girl is coming to town cos of you”
“Sure man. Na me for go pick am for airport sef but hustle no gree me chance”
“I knew something’s up when all you would talk about was Best girl, when Queen’s attitude did not bother you again”
“How I for do nah? We’ll storm the wedding together o, and Sam must not know. I no dey carry am along for the whole parole”
“I really wish Queen can just couple, make she do normal”
“My Queen, my iyawo olele. Today fight, tomorrow play, I don taya bro”
I knew the kind of secrets Femi would keep. I was very sure no living creature would hear from his mouth. There and then he informed me that Sam was going to be away with Dorothy for the weekend. That guy sure knew how to enjoy life. That was when I understood what DorDor’s “get away with le boo” countdown on her Blackberry was about. That meant Sam was himself too busy to share the weekend with us. Femi did not need to tell me were going to attend the wedding together, I knew how our unsaid agreements were.
I did not stay long at The Meeting Point that evening. Uncomfortable after the disagreement with Queen in the morning, I needed to look for a way to appease the ‘god’ that she had become. I headed to her to make peace. The arguments were draining me emotionally and mentally, and I had the sensible part of me reining me in despite the increasing attachment to Cynthia. Queen was leaving a very yawning gap with her attitude and Cynthia was making inroads through the gap.
We could not sustain chats for long without arguing, we could not talk for long on phone without turning it into a shouting match. She it was that pushed me out again. I did not have the plan to misbehave despite my tendency to do so. After years in the wilderness trying to get someone to throw my love on, she strolled in and re-arranged my turbulent life. I remember asking her if she was in for the long haul; if she was going to be forever near or leave me like the setting sun.
She it was that talked about my former girlfriends been Vashti, she said she had come to erase their memories. She acted true to her initial promise, making the pains of the past look like something that never happened. It was that way for the first year till she started showing a different side of her. She would nag and take out her official frustrations on me. She would insult me, saying all sorts of unprintable things if I tried to point out some wrongs.
I tried hard to cope with her attitude and the arguments, seeing them as teething problems associated with relationships and hoping we would overcome the initial challenges but nothing changed. I laid my ego and pride on the line to make things work but Miss Beautiful had an ego bigger than mine.
I kept reminiscing till I got to her gate. Deciding not to drive in, I hailed the guard who fortunately was outside the compound. The information I wanted was that she was inside and that he gave after I parted with the regular two hundred naira ‘gate fee’.
I rang the door and she answered in her happiest tone ever, one that had become strange to me. The sound her slip-ons made on the tiled floor as she walked to the door was music in my ears. For all her wahala, babe is a power dresser. She opened the door to meet me smiling and opening my arms for her to fall into. Queen just looked at my mumu looking smiling face, held the door open and walked back inside. I gradually dropped the hand to my side and followed after her. The place looked as elegant as ever.
“This young lady would make your home look like paradise”
“That’s not why I’m here, so shut the hell up and lemme concentrate”
The aroma of the frying goat meat found its way from her kitchen to the living room. Whenever Queen fries goat meat, spaghetti and that wicked sauce was sure going to follow. I miss her culinary skills wallahi. After waiting for ages and she did not come out of the ‘food factory’, I went to meet her and tried to get her back on side after the disagreement we had in the morning. Characteristically, she shunned me, just making the annoying ‘hmmm’ sound each time I spoke. She would not say a word despite the “I’m sorry” and “we can be better that this” that I said severally. I was getting pissed already and left for her living room. I had barely sat when I had a call on my Blackberry. It was strange because those who had that number were not up to ten in number. I answered trying to sound as casual as possible.
“My flight is due in Lag by ten in the morning. We can see tomorrow”.
I could not believe my ears. Cynthia called me for the very first time.
“Make sure you don’t forget your manners next time Mami. Good to have you ring me for the first time ever. Good evening”
“You sound exactly the way I expected you to. See you tomorrow Dot”
“Thanks a lot”
I ended the call as she was coming out of the kitchen. I knew she was going to ask who called so I steeled myself against any disclosure.
“You won’t ever be able to say who it is. You walk to come and let’s make peace and you’re there answering different calls”
“Queen haba! Can’t I receive calls without having to explain to you again? You wanna be my Secretary without pay abi? I’ll employ you. By the way, how many calls have I received since I got here today?”
“Me I know for you? Did I not hear you flirting with whoever it is?”
“Who was I flirting with? Your impatience is driving me crazy. I can’t even understand where this you came from. You’re a better person than this”
“See Dotun. Yaa just talking story in English Language”
“You remind me of that song about the wife who plays today and fights tomorrow. I wonder what will happen if we don’t have issues in a week”
“Remember or remind anything. Whether na song or poem, its your kettle of rotten fish”
“Stop all these Cynthia. Stop it”. I goofed, and I knew there was going to be full scale war
“There you go dumbo. Why mention Cynthia at a time like this? Why”.
“Ohhhh, na Cynthia now abi. I was wondering now. I’ve been thinking and asking myself how it happened that you could abandon me for so long. Tell Cynthia or whatever it is that the hoe answers, I won’t let her in”
“You are not sane Queen. You just are not normal. You have this way of frustrating my life to get me making mistakes I should not. I’m not dating anyone asides you”
“You’re not dating them boyfriend, you’re shagging them”
“I’m not sleeping with anyone. I’ve been clean since you raised dust the other time”
I yelled at her, picked my keys and walked out. She stood there watching me go, knowing she had pushed me beyond my elastic limit. She would never say sorry, she did not have to. I goofed, gave her an opening when I should have made her feel guilty, and I was ready to not stand down if this was going to get her start thinking I was going to leave her.
“Botched mission Dot. Sorry man”. My subconscious hugged me tight from the inside as I took my leave.