Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Chapter 8

Bright looked up and down at himself. He was every inch a cream boy on the outside as his colleagues who were former Unilag students would describe it but inside he still felt inadequate and unsuited for the job he was doing.

He was dressed to the nines with a snazzy new suit, not the expensive designers, but designer enough for it not to be described as a 'coat' by all the no longer struggling comedians. He had on the right shoes, socks and tie, he was even wearing a watch which was a gift from his pastor that was purchased with a small fortune.

He remembered the days when comedians were still struggling in Nigeria, then their jokes were funny, it had to be because that was the only opportunity they had, that was their platform so that they would not starve, now all he ever heard were recycled jokes.

On the job, he was every bit efficient, so efficient that he still had enough time to hang out and mingle in the office, he mingled so well he was already 'crushing' on someone. There she goes now, he thought.

She had the right kind of boobs, bum and a great face to go with it. She was his perfect wet dream. He was yet to tell his pastor about this crush. He wanted to hold on to it for a long as he could, hopefully not too long but just a little more time to savour it.

You like ladies for funny reason. He loved her body but he fancied her because she was constantly talking. Her mouth never closed, it was always in a constant pout as she took those ridiculous selfies she was constantly posting on instagram. She was a pretty somewhat tall lady in the office. He smiled as he walked to her table.

"What can I help with this morning, madam?"

She leaned over to him and explained something his brain could not understand because she was standing too close.

"Look at the papers" she lifted eyes up to his and he hurriedly grasped the papers from her and turned his attention to the papers

"I think I can handle it, Caro"

"I knew you could" she smiled and then suggested "Why don't you come and hang out with us this Friday night?" she smiled as she invited him out for a drink.

He choked on his words knowing that they wouldn't come out right "I don't have the time, I would really love to hang out with you but..."

"You don't drink, I understand..." She pursed her lips and smiled, tapping him on the shoulder. "Okay, see you later"

She was everything his pastor found wrong in a woman but she was the one he wanted.

She had a son that she loved very much and took care of, he didn't know the story behind her getting a son but he knew that she was responsible, she paid her rent, had her son in a good school, worked hard and brought in the profits and she cooked for her son every morning before work.

She was not the typical christian sister in church who were posturing and fighting one another for who would date him now that he has a job on the island as wannabes were wont to say. He knew what they would say about him in church, that he was dating an older woman because of her money and her car but that wasn't it, he just felt drawn to this woman and didn't know what to do about the attraction. She worked in a different department from him which was a good thing because otherwise he would not be able to concentrate at work. You can't kill the goose that bears the golden eggs, you won't, not if you are smart.

"Bright, are you done?"

He looked up and smiled a bright warm smile. The masks of smiles he saw on some of his colleagues faces were disheartening. Their souls were so lean that it was impossible for them to conjure up a smile that meant anything.

He had the money now that they also had but there was a freshness about him that they didn't have and he knew it must be their pursuits that were showing up on their countenance. He knew this because those expensive creams and perfumes that they used, he didn't much care for them. He used deodorant, perfume and a non-extreme, non-bleaching cream but because he had been in lack, having much showed in his face like it hadn't ever before but that was 6 months ago and he still looked better than them (maybe they wouldn't agree) but the looks on the faces of the middle level managers told him that he did. Good looks were a gift from God as was everything that he had.

"Yes sir, I am done" He answered his 'Oga'.

"Good, excellent work"

The robust man in a wide suit glanced at Bright's work and said, "This is good, I will be visiting one of the banks by 12 noon, I would like you to come with me"

"Okay sir"

Bright smiled and went back to his desk. He noticed a couple of heads look up as his Oga said that. One of the things he hated the most about the offices the competition. If your Oga liked you, people gravitated away from you because they were afraid that you would be the one telling tales, if the boss was angry with you they gravitated away, they only came around you when they wanted to give you more work including the work that was theirs to do.

***

Ada was in America visiting her children. All three children were in boarding house in America and her sister was their guardian when she was away which was most of the time because she had a very demanding job in Nigeria, she was one of the big decision makers in Nigeria and didn't have as much time as she would have loved to spend with them.

She couldn't blame them/herself, this was her dream and they all wouldn't be happy if they were not fulfilling their dreams/purposes (herself included). There had to be a way around it without being a stay at home mom, many women nowadays didn't want to be just stay at home moms, they wanted to be more and that was okay.

She tapped her glass with her spoon and then lifted the glass of juice to her mouth. She sighed as she thought of her friends. There were friends for all the seasons of life and she had them all. Knowing who to call when you wanted to discuss your heart was what she found tasking. Discreet women were hard to find and when found were necessary to keep by making those emotional investments.

She picked up the phone and called her office in Nigeria giving instructions and generally running her business from miles away.

***

Tinu Tade sat on her bed playing games. She had a couple of movies "Son of God" and "Bible Series" on top.

A friend gave them to her during Sunday School weeks ago. She had not gotten around to watching it. Partly because she was busy, the other reason was that she was worried about her parents marriage. She was so worried she was reading relationship articles on the internet. Most of the stuff on the internet seemed recycled. Finding something on relationships and how to build them was difficult. She had been praying so hard daily now like she had never prayed before.

Marriage? That had not existed for a while, she thought.

She did not know much about marriage been 14 and all but she knew enough to know for a fact that her mom would not continue to live life unloved. She wished her mom would reach out but her pride prevented her from reaching out. She loved her dad and mom and refused to take sides but it was tiring.

Her father was present but "not there", she could not quite describe it but she knew he was absent even when he was spending time with them. His heart was not quite in his words.

" Why won't Mommy make it better? " she yelled into the empty air. She didn't' want to blame her mom but she believed that her mom had a clearer picture of where she and her dad were.

There was no one to hear her and no one to care. The help was downstairs, the gateman in the gatehouse and yet she felt so alone that she wondered if anything would ever fill that hollow space inside her.

She lay down on the bed and wanted to die. What was the use of anything else if mom and dad were not together? Maybe she'd watch the movie, maybe not. All she wanted was for the Ebola thing to die out so she could go to the Galleria to hang out. She had too much time to think. That must be the reason for all the morbid thoughts.

She shook herself then flung herself on the bed. She opened a new site and began reading something that would add value to her life.

***

Tanya watched the campaigns on TV with this pissed look on her face.

"What is the point of all this mud slinging?" She muttered

"We can't know who would rule better, based on the amount of mud one sends flying"

"Na you know" her best friend muttered as she fried chicken in a deep frying pan. Tanya's best food was fried chicken and fried yam, she could eat them together or apart.

Tanya took one of the chicken amidst the attempt of her friend to slap her hands off.

"Chill babes, if you were not my favourite cousin's wife, I would not love your chicken so much"

"Like we were not best friends before I met your adorable cousin..."

"Adorable? You call that my jaguda cousin adorable..." She grimaces, then mouths out "I agree with you, love does wonders"

Her friend slaps her arm then smiles in a sheepish way, "Since you won't get married or show me your boyfriend, I have arranged a blind date for you..."

Tanya gasped threw all the chicken, then sputtered, nearly breaking down into tears.

"Why do you think I need a blind date?

She denied half heartedly. She knew she would go on the blind date but when she didn't open her heart, what was the point? It would just be a lot of exotic food eaten that would end up in the toilet. She was finding out some things about the heart. You could make your body go on a date but you couldn't open your heart just by giving it a command. The heart had a mind of its own. The same way, you can't make it enjoy Sushi by telling it by Sushi is expensive when the heart knows that sushi is raw.

She threw her hands up in the air.

"You know your problem? You think say you be oyibo" Her best friend shook her hands in her eyes warning her. "You no be oyibo and na naija guy wey you go marry as I see you so, as you no wan comot from the country even go holiday"

"I for just marry oyibo make I no dey worry my head dey wonder who beta pass but all these oyibo boy wey be gay, abeg I no fit"

"You know say you no fit vex for me, I am your best friend and I have no reason to want to hurt you. Please go, just promise me you will at least stay an hour before you leave"

"Okay, I will" she breathed out a sigh before adding "but you have to promise me, that if I go, you will give me a 3-month break before you set me up on another blind date. Promise?"

Her friend harrumphed and blurted out "I will not be making any stupid promise I know I won't keep"

"Whatever, you can't make me go on another one until I am ready"

"Sometime I think you are just asexual, stupid girl"

"At least, I am certain that I am not gay, I am just not in a hurry to shackle myself to anyone"

"Okay. God will help you make the right decision"

"Amen, love" she breathed a sigh and hugged her friend. "Thank you for no pressure and the vote of confidence".

"Okay"

"I promise you, you will be the first to know, when I make up my mind"