Ashezi, Lota and I were invited for a game night by an acquaintance of ours; her name is Linda and she lives in London but she comes to Nigeria once a year to see her folks. And every time she is around, you can bet that something crazy will happen.
This past week, I just wanted to leave the house for change and not be left at home by everyone go out to do something with their lives. I wanted them (my mother) to stop coming to my room every morning on her way to work to “check” on me and ask me fifty billion times if everything was okay with me.
Church on this particular Sunday was funny because… not the service itself but after the service; the part where you greet people and socialize before going home was very funny because now that I think about it, it felt like an intervention on its own. A mini intervention.
The next day, I decided that instead of inviting Lota to come out with me, I was going to invite myself to her house and see what she says; I did and she told me to come over. That dispelled my suspicion until thirty minutes to the time I told her I was coming over “please accept my apology… I just realized that I promised to help my boss with something” she explained over the phone.
After thirty minutes of my morning routine, I decided to go out of my room in search of my friend just to make sure that she didn’t wake up early in the morning and bolt. As I entered the living room, I noticed that the living room was spotless and smelled of house fragrance but again… I didn’t pay much attention until I entered the kitchen and there she was; my friend, Lota.
After the rooftop incident, I don’t think I left the hotel room to anywhere apart from the hotel gym… yes, I started working out and I discovered a new love for the steam room. There is something about the steam room that makes you feel very relaxed afterwards
“But this is still bad, we were supposed to be the ones babysitting Lota and making sure that this didn’t happen to her” Ashezi was very sad about us waking up on the rooftop of the hotel; “why so sad?” was all I wanted to ask her but no time for all that touchy feely stuff “shit happens, so let’s hold our heads high and leave this place. Please” I was becoming desperate… the sun was rising real quick.
“At this point, I may end up marrying your brother” Lota yelled into my ears. We were at an exclusive club inside the Four Point hotel thanks to KC. I looked at Lota, smiled and continued my conversation with KC “did you hear what I said?” Lota screamed into my ear again; she was drunk and a drunken Lota was something else.
As I rushed into my clothes to the house I wondered what could have gone wrong; did she find him with another woman? But that wouldn’t warrant a 5:00 am call from Lota. My mind ran through a list of the most abominable things he could have done to her to call with tears by this time but I couldn’t settle on anything.
I didn’t want to tell her that I wanted to pursue a career as a television personality; I mean she already knows that I have some flare for entertainment but she doesn’t know how serious it is. “Mummy, don’t worry everything will work out in the end” I said as if she was the one who quit her job. “Better get your act together and fast. You are twenty seven years old. You are not a baby anymore” she declared and left my room.
Of course, I didn’t go back to where I was coming from; I went to my desk and waited for the meeting to finish before going to see her privately in her office. The meeting was over before I finished planning what to tell her and the anxiety that had been bothering me all morning went to another level; this time my palms were sweating and my hands were shaky.
“They call you Mr. Balami here?” I asked when the call was over. He looked at me and shrugged “It’s my name, isn’t it?” “It is” I replied trying to control my racing heart to slow down.
When I entered my room, the whole conversation felt surreal; like it didn’t happen but it did. So Abdul didn’t marry Kate after all, I didn’t know how to feel; I was neither happy nor sad. I just couldn’t believe how that day went and eventually turned out.
Anyway, here I was in my room resisting myself from calling Abdul to find out if he actually went through with the wedding. I checked on all social media platforms to see if anyone posted about Abdul and Kate getting married but I didn’t see anything. I was tempted to think that it was because the wedding didn’t happen but I restrained myself from such thoughts.
There was a moment of silence “why do you like playing with my emotions, why are you so fucking mean?” I was still very upset and all my effort to speak to him calmly was unsuccessful. “I swear to God, I am not here to play with your emotions” he begged “leave God out of this, he is not the one who told me that he loves me and went off to marry someone else” “Asari please”
I wondered what he came to tell her that he couldn’t discuss with her on the phone but I ignored it allowing my imagination to convince me that he was there to see me but had to come up with a reason to come to my office but I was totally wrong. Because he came there to invite my boss for his wedding curtesy of his father who is one of our most important customers in that bank.
The moment I heard the words “the accused has been found guilty as charged” my heart went into a rampage, my mother and the Minister of Women Affairs with some other people in the court who I don’t know started rejoicing but I just sat there shaking like a leaf in the wind. I looked over at Mr. Adesiji expecting him to curse me with his eyes and to my very shock; he mouthed the words “I’m Sorry”.
Things like “Am I ever going to achieve my goals and ambitions in life?” “I hate my job” or “I’ll never be good enough to get a very good hosting job” or things about your marital status and don’t even get me started on that. The pressure to get married at my age is insane and I am not even up to thirty years old yet; so I can’t imagine what unmarried women in their thirties are going through.
As I put the phone back to face my wine, my phone started ringing again and it was him. I couldn’t answer, I was scared to. What did he want, for me to congratulate him? What if he tells me the reasons he couldn’t be with me? What would I say? I just knew that I was not going to be able to get through a call with him
One of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do in my life was sit in the same car with the minister of women affairs and pretend to be a sane person; when in fact I had gone partially insane. I looked at the twitter profile of the person who posted about Abdul’s engagement and it was someone I didn’t know. I began to ponder and wonder how that person ended up on my timeline; because it was neither a retweet
I used to think that life is or was supposed to be straight forward; all I had to do was follow the rules, rules set by the society. I thought that if I followed the rules of going to school and facing my studies, I was going to get my dream job.