Let me tell you, if you haven’t taken time to go get yourself pampered at a spa, and you are making above fifty thousand monthly, you better indulge yourself. You can feel the stress ease out of you as those people handle you. And some of the spa attendants en, they can make you feel like you don’t live in this same Nigeria sha. They are so totally fine and near flawless. Haba! There are some men I saw there, coming to get massages, and in my inner mind, I knew they were there for the girls. Anyways, the owners of the business know this, hence the girls. It reminded me of those fine guys that served ice cream at Ice Cream Factory. You don’t need to wonder why all the island girls have suddenly made it their one stop shop and fashied Chocolate Royale.
To get up was war after the whole massage. Whenever you are getting something osho-free, even when you can afford it, it always feels sweeter. I managed to drive myself home, and had the most peaceful sleep I’d had since the whole wedding saga. Friday morning, I woke up and hit my left leg on the bed as I was getting down. Then I hit it on the bathroom door too. Now, forget tushness, there are some things you grow up with and no matter how educated you are, you still unconsciously remember them. My mama is a typical Yoruba woman, and she drummed it into our heads growing up that if you strike your left leg against something, it was a bad omen. She even had the one where she would ask a guy to meet her first as she was going out of the house on something important. She said meeting the opposite sex first was a good omen, and hence she made sure of that. And with all my UK masters and my Island big girl-ism, that was what came to my mind this morning. You can imagine.
I sha packed myself out of the house, thanking God it was Friday. Work went by and I was wondering what Mr. Poet would come up with today. I didn’t have to wait for long. An sms came into my phone around lunch hour.
“We should meet. Private dinner at the Palm View Manor off Ajose Adeogun. Let’s do 8pm. Ask after Chris”. Notice he said “ask after” not “ask for”. The guy can speak proper English. I smiled. I forwarded the text to Toke sharply and she agreed to be my “backup”, with the addition “Mr. Poet now has a name o”. At my age, I am not foolish. I don’t go and meet strange men in places they chose without having someone around the corner that can make sure I’m safe. I have watched too many C & I things to make such silly mistakes. So Toke was gonna be around and in touch, to avoid stories that touch. We can say serial killers are not in Naija yet, but there was a time when people also said Nigerians could never be suicide bombers.
Anyways, the day raced past after that, and then I waited for Toke to meet me up at work. Since I close at five, I had about two hours to burn before my date. We spent it imagining who this secret admirer could be. Toke said she had some other gist for me, but that would be after my date, since she said it was not so great gist. I made up my mind to just have fun and enjoy the moment, no serious anything. In no time, we headed out, with Toke driving behind me.
I found Palm View Manor easily. It’s one of those exclusive places in VI that the people who are old money meet to talk about how all the brash new money people are invading their moneyed space and how to create newer exclusive circles available only to old money. Toke stayed at one café on the road; there are many of those in that area. Seems like a nice business to do on the island, I should begin to consider opening one.
Seven on the dot, I drove into the compound and walked to the reception. A small Asian lady was behind the counter and I smiled sweetly and asked after Chris. She returned a smile just as sweet as mine and said in the gesture-full way Asians do “Chris is already waiting; you’ll be shown to the table right away”. Another guy came out of the staff only door behind her to lead me to Chris. I liked the treatment and all. I so couldn’t wait to see this mystery man. Second by second updates were flying to Toke via BBM. Thankfully the network wasn’t falling hand and she was getting my messages realtime.
We went through a beautiful corridor, with old pictures of Lagos Island when things were sane and orderly hanging on the walls. We turned a corner and came into a very well furnished restaurant. They seemed to have a thing for red velvet and combined with the lighting, it had a cool comfortable look. I was ushered into a secluded seat in a corner, with candles and all set up on the table. Chris wasn’t there. Very quietly, my guide disappeared and I was alone. I discreetly took a picture of the table and sent to Toke. I was engrossed in my chat with her but all of a sudden, I felt there was someone else with me. I braced up to meet him for the first time. A very pretty, I’ll repeat, extremely pretty lady smiled down at me. I assumed she was looking for someone and smiled at her too, waiting for her to ask me a question. She said with a tilt of her head, “Oyin Clegg?” I was surprised but answered that I was the one. She stretched her hand towards me and said “Chris”.
I was confused. How could my admirer be a woman! Lord have mercy. I sat trance-like while she took a seat opposite me. “You look very puzzled”, she continued. “With your last experience, I can imagine you think I’m a lesbian. Don’t be afraid, I just pulled strings for a friend who couldn’t secure this place himself. I had to be around to ensure that he would gain access, this place is very exclusive. I’ll leave you now.” She stood up, gave me a look over and then nodded slowly “I see what he sees in you”. She then went towards the door. My hand flew to my bbm and I sent an update to Toke. I was engrossed in sending the message I didn’t notice that someone had walked up to me. When I looked up, I almost let out a scream. It was Ossy.