“Madam, get dressed. We are going for this party today. Tony and I will be there in 30 minutes. And you never know, you may just meet a Man” And just like that Kemi hung up on me.
I sighed and dropped the phone on the bed. At this point, I had to get ready for this blasted party where I knew no one except Kemi and Tny, her husband and try to make small talk with people I was not interested in knowing. Kemi had been bugging me about this party for weeks; she said the creme de la creme of Abuja would be there. It was Business Tycoon Umaru Damisa’s birthday and she managed to get an extra invitation card (yes, I am rolling my eyes, it was strictly a by invitation party) so even though I whined and gave all the excuses I could give, Kemi wasn’t taking no for an answer.
I sighed again. Hmmm, I seemed to do a lot of sighing lately. As I contemplated what to wear for the event, my phone rang again with Ebenezer Obey’s Cockcrow at dawn. I rolled my eyes again. That was Maami. I looked at the time; it was almost 5.00pm;if I didn’t pick her call, she would just hound me for the next 5 hours. I grabbed my phone and pressed the green button.
“Maami, good evening”
“Deme baby, how are you?” Maami crooned in my ear. I smiled in spite of myself. As much as I hated Maami’s incessant calls, her heart was gold.
“I’m fine.How is IB city?” I asked sitting down on the couch in my room. I should just tell Kemi I could not make it.
“Ibadan is fine. We are there. Today is Friday…” She paused, for effect. ” Anything happening today?”
I rolled my eyes. At least, she would be happy knowing I had a party coming up so I told her.
Maami screamed in excitement. “Ah, that Damisa, that’s good. There are bound to be some good men that you will like there” She said, emphasizing on good men. I shook my head. Maami will never let up.
“Maami, I am not going there to find a man; Kemi just wants to make sure I have a good time.”
“Eh, I know but in having a good time, shine your eye. You are not getting any younger o eh. Your Mummy won’t be happy with me o, eh Deme. At least, talk to a man today. Promise me eh?” Maami was pleading. I can’t take it when Maami pleads.
“Ok, Ok, I will. I will drink and flirt with all the men tonight, Maami.”
“Ah no, I just said talk to them. I brought you up decently,” She interjected.
I reminded her I needed to be off the phone to dress up and she quickly obliged. I looked at the time again; it was almost 5.45pm. Kemi would kill me if I wasn’t ready. I selected a black jumpsuit with a low neckline and frill detailing on the sleeves, put up my hair in a bun, wore my strappy fuchsia pink sandals and selected a fuchsia pink purse to go with it. I hurried up with my make up which was minimal- I just blended foundation on, lined my eyes, put on some mascara and a nude lipstick and I was good to go.
By the time, Kemi and her husband drove into my compound, I was already out and waiting for them.
Bored. Boring. Bored.
The party was boring. First, Kemi felt I should have worn something sexier but I just wanted to fulfil my “social obligations” and go home. Then I had to seat with some lecherous men who were ogling the neckline of my jumpsuit hoping to see some action. Don’t get me wrong: The party itself was beautiful. It was held in the prestigious Fraser suites and the ambience of the place could only have been worked up by money- lots of money. The hall spread open to a wide patio with steps going down to a garden full of flowers and a pool that gleamed with some kind of green and blue ethereal lights. There were dancers in the pool as well as in suspended cages at the garden. I had never seen such a sight before in my life. Soft lights dotted the hall where the main event took place but several people had spread themselves around the hall and up to the pool area. There was a bar set up at the end of the pool and live music spilled from the hall and softly enclosed the outdoors. It was a beautiful party but I just wanted to be home, sipping tea and reading a book.
I was seated next to Kemi and a Man, who I found out was one of the top 3 manufacturers in Nigeria. He didn’t seem to be interested in starting a conversation or perhaps I was the one who was not interested. Kemi had already tried to introduce me to a few people but I just nodded, smiled and held on to my glass of chardonnay. Kemi and Tony were on the dance floor, having the time of their lives. One would barely believe Kemi had two kids with the kind of energy that emanated from her. She was wearing a tight fitting pink bodice that cascaded into a trumpet design of black, gold and pink lace, satin and organza. Later, she told me she got the dress for N150,000.00 just for this party. I mean, only Kemi could do that. That money would have lasted me for a month.
While I am bored at this table, I might as well tell you a bit about me. The Lady I call Maami, I am sure you are aware by now that she is not my Mother. My Mother died when I was twelve years old and her Sister, Aunt Regina took care of me from that time until now. It was not easy for Aunt Regina because her husband had died a year before my Mum’s death and she had one child to take care of besides me. It seemed convenient and right to call her Maami when she took me in. I was what you would call an Ọmọ Ọmọde- a bastard child. I never knew my Father as he denied my Mother and I right from the time she conceived me. You know what some adopted kids say that they have to find their birth parents or the father that abandoned them? It never happened to me. I have never googled his name or done any of that and I have made my peace with that. He never existed for me.
Where was I? Yes, so Maami had always been there for me when no one would take me in or when I acted up. She treated me like her daughter and I am her daughter in many, many ways.
Maami wants me to get married and settle down. I never exactly had the urge to get married or be in a relationship. Don’t go psychoanalyzing me now but I just never had the urge. The first and only time I had sex, I was calculated about it. It was not a relationship in my opinion but the poor lad figured it was. I was 27 and he had been my friend for 5 years. I had been talking with some girls from church who seemed shocked to find out I had never done it. So I invited myself over to the lad’s house one evening and we had sex. I don’t think I had an orgasm. It hurt a bit but that was that. When we were done, I got up, thanked him for doing that, got dressed and left. I began to avoid him when he could not shut up about the matter. So you see, relationships have never been my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a few passing interests in a few men over the years but perhaps I was just too lazy to make or put in any effort and now, Maami as well as Kemi were running mad over my nonchalance.
Back to reality- the Manufacturer guy was talking to some beautiful chick with extensions as wide as Maleficent’s wings. I found I was staring at her face until she hissed at me. I smiled apologetically and made my way towards the bar. Perhaps I should get something else to drink- maybe some lime and water. The music streaming from inside the hall was not so loud outdoors. A few men and ladies smiled or nodded at me and I nodded back in acknowledgement.
The bar was lit in rose gold and had several bartenders taking orders. There was a row of high bar stools round the bar and a few lounge chairs and recliners scattered around it. I inched my way closer to the freest part of the bar- there were just two men seated there and having a conversation- smiled at the bartender and asked for a ginger ale with lime. I tried to raise myself to sit on the stool but it proved to be difficult. I checked for an adjustment knob but it didn’t have any. Who made such a high stool with an unadjustable height? So I made to place my shawl, purse and phone on the bar so I could use both hands to raise myself up again.
The guy who was talking to the other gentleman at the bar turned to me and said,
“Let me help you with that”
And before I could say, “No, I’m fine”, strong hands clasped my waist, lifted me high and easily like I weighed nothing and deposited me firmly unto the stool. I had to grasp his biceps to stay steady.
And when I raised my head to look at this stranger at my eye level, I stared at the most mesmerizing and perfectly sculpted mouth I had ever seen and almost tempting-to-touch beard.
He gave a tight smile as he slowly let go off my waist. “Funny you should want to kiss me the first time you meet me.”
And for the first time, I had no quick clapback or retort. I raised my eyes to meet his – brown and mesmerizing- and focused on my lips. When I unconsciously bit my lower lip, and his eyes responded, becoming molten heat, I knew I was going to be lost.
TO BE CONTINUED
Feature Image culled from Braincharm