Hell. Frozen. Over.
What could I do when Dunni showed up at my apartment at fifteen minutes to five? I should have anticipated that she would have been this gangster about getting me to go.
“Are you ready??” She cried as I opened my door.
Ah, hell no.
“Hi,” I said weakly, “I have been throwing up…”
Hell. Burning Place. Reserved.
“It starts at five!!” She screeched again.
Did she have to go on like a banshee? I was standing right in front of her, gosh! Now I needed a smoke.
Long story cut short, almost twenty-five minutes later, I was standing outside the building where the event was being held, having dashed out for the smoke I had been craving. People walked back and forth past me, scrunching their noses and shooting me dirty looks like I was having a shit on the sachets of air they had bought.
I mean, really, last I checked, air was free, no??
“Oh, there you are!” I heard Dunni somewhere behind me.
“Forever smoking!” She cried as she reached me.
I smiled weakly. You bet it did not reach my eyes. At this point, I was very ready to call her out for bringing me to this orgy of boredom when I saw the two guys with her.
The omo ale.
“Oh, so Lara, meet Tunde and Paddy. You know Tunde, the VP of ASA, and Paddy is part of the group presenting today. He works at E&Y in Virginia,” Dunni said.
Ah right. E&Y. Mmhmm.
I laughed lightly. “Don’t tell me you guys are running away from your own show.”
Well! I beg your pardon too!
Then Dunni piped in. “Tunde and I are just going to pick up the food from the caterers. We will be right back. Paddy will keep you company. We won’t be long!”
Burning Place. In Hell. Reserved For Dunni.
I won’t waste my time describing the if-looks-killed-you’d-be-motherfucking-kebab look I shot her.
“Don’t let me waste your time. I’m leaving once I am done out here so you can head back in,” I told Omo Ale…ah, Paddy, as Tunde and Dunni went off.
He stared at me and then cleared his throat. “You smoke?”
I stared back.
No, I mean, I just happen to like standing outside with a burning cigarette in my hand because of the intriguing picture I think it cuts.
“You want me to answer that, really?” I muttered.
Well, not laughed, but ha-ha-ed.
“My grandfather died of lung cancer,” he said.
I choked down all the thoughtless retorts crowded in my head that all began with “So what?!!” and just looked at him.
“I only just quit close to a year ago,” he said again.
“You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race and you have kept the faith.” I scoffed. “You really need another round of applause?”
“Girls who smoke have bad breath, besides.” He smirked.
No, this idiot didn’t go there. Damn him, I have a life subscription to Listerine and its large family of brothers and sisters, okay?!
“Oh, you realized that when the last girl you kissed pointed out to you that you had bad breath, huh?” I asked.
“Well, the thing is, I don’t smoke.” He smiled.
“Too bad your breath still stinks. What shall we do with you?”
I was not laughing with him! How dare he accuse me of having bad breath? Honestly, if I could have punched this fathead, I would have!
“You want to kiss me and find out?” He smirked again.
God forbid! But God help me, this idiot was attractive! Ack!
“Please, I haven’t reserved my place in heaven yet so I’d like to stick around for a while,” I told him.
He laughed again.
Clearly, some people have extra-thick skin. I ignored him and took another long drag. Stick was almost gone but strangely, I did not feel like another.
“Why aren’t you in ASA, by the way?” He asked.
“I am getting you.” He smirked yet again – ugh, keep eyes away from those lips! – “Better things to do, huh?”
Was he ribbing me?
“Damn right,” I told him.
“You are a very angry individual.”
Okay, that was it! I snuffed out the cigarette I was holding and dropped it on his shoe. Once I was satisfied that the tiny red sparks had dusted the offending shoe, I then turned to leave.
“You dropped that on my shoe.” His voice said from behind me.
Without turning back, I repeated his retort from two days ago to him. “So?”
Dunni called me later around eight but I refused to pick up the phone. I had done her enough favors by showing up in the first place. She could do me one and stay clear of me for the next few days.
Phone rang again much later.
“Hello?” I was breathing heavily, having sprinted out of the shower. I had been expecting ‘Layode’s call.
“What’s going on?” He asked softly.
“Why the hell did you drop the phone on me the last time we spoke?”
Seriously?! Wasn’t that on Sunday?
I had to laugh. “Are you joking?”
“What’s the joke? I am being serious here.”
Well, clearly I am not!
“Oh,” I rolled my eyes even though he could not see it.
“I’m not feeling this attitude of yours, really.” He had the nerve to say.
“Okay, correct me if I’m wrong but I really do remember asking you to save the bullshit the last time,” I said.
“What?” He sounded so appalled. Ha.
“I’ll be good enough to remind you one more time. Save this bullshit. Good night!”
I dropped the phone. Well, at least I courteously wished him a pleasant night this time around.
Tiny, my other best friend, agreed with Paddy that I was acting like a very angry individual when I spoke to her much later and filled her in.
“Well, I am angry!’ I laughed. “And people keep giving me reason! Nasir, Yomi, Dunni, this new rude boy, the list goes on!”
She laughed. “Better be careful. We don’t want you ending up on anybody’s hit list.”
“Oh, so now you think I am being too nasty to Nasir?”
She scoffed. “Bitch please. You haven’t even started with him yet.”
If there’s one person who absolutely cannot stand Nasir (any more than I’m learning to do), Tiny takes the cake!
“Ha, you know it!” I agreed.
“So this Paddy fellow?” Tiny started. Oh, okay, time up!
“Oh, one second, I think Michael’s here.” I lied.
“I’m sure he is.” She said disbelievingly. “I’ll get you later.”
I laughed. “Love you.”
“Madly in love with you too. Kiss, kiss.”
Just another day.
I’m not ready to make nice,
I’m not ready to back down,
I’m still mad as hell
And I don’t have time
To go round and round and round