Throughout that week her number kept burning a whole in my pocket. Somehow I couldn’t get her off my mind. I went through the motions at work, barely noticing.
What was it about her that intrigued me? I asked myself over and over again. Was it her boldness and overrated confidence? I couldn’t deny the fact that her audacity added to her attractiveness, but somehow that irritated me because in Nigeria, I was used to the ladies being shy and playing hard to get. Sometimes I had to indulge them and even stoop to the level of begging for their numbers. Yet, here was this lady handing me her number on a platter of gold and I couldn’t even decide whether or not to call her.
I was curious as to why she had fallen for me so easily, was it because of my irresistible charm? Come to think of it I hadn’t even unleashed the charm once in our meeting. So what was it? I wondered.
Or was she just attracted to a mysterious stranger? Well enough she looked like someone who liked to play dirty.
These questions and more plagued my mind the whole week. That weekend I decided to talk to my friends about my dilemma, hoping to get some sound advice.
We were all at my apartment that weekend, it was my turn to host the clique. It was a tradition we had started four years after we met and hadn’t stopped since then. Flores slept in one bedroom while the rest of us guys made ourselves comfortable wherever we could. My apartment was small and cozy compared to Femi’s but who cares? It was the closeness and intimacy it brought that made us continue with our tradition.
I know how difficult it is to find friends like these, that was why I cherished my friendship with these guys. For one moment, I didn’t take it for granted.
We were lounging in the living room, watching the comic movie “How I met your Mother”. Barney and Ted were keeping us on our feet with laughter.
I couldn’t wait anymore, so I interrupted the movie despite the protests from them.
“I need to talk to you guys” I said after apologising.
As soon as I got their go-ahead I launched into my story, telling them everything.
“Omo…Chief Odeniran’s daughter, how did you manage to bag that one?” It was Femi who commented first.
Sometimes I thought God had created this guy without a brain, maybe brains had finished by the time he was being created and God had decided to give him fried egg in place of them. For crying out loud I had just told the story of how I met her, so why was he asking me such a stupid question again?
“He just told us, Femi. Which kind question be that one again?” Oscar asked.
“Abeg, introduce me. I am very interested” Femi said unperturbed.
“Because na only you sabi fine thing?” I asked.
“I thought you’re not interested?…Why haven’t you called her since? Pass me her number joor” He said.
I scowled at him, letting my irritation show on my face.
Then I noticed Flores and Oscar staring at me.
“Are you okay?” Flores asked.
“No. He’s still upset that I didn’t hook him up with Barbs” Femi blurted.
I opened my mouth to protest… and then I shut it, Maybe I was still mad at him, I wasn’t sure.
“Why didn’t you hook him up with her?” Flores asked “You know he liked her.”
“She wasn’t interested, besides, he didn’t really like her. He was just attracted by her beauty. “Femi retorted.
“Maybe you should let him be the judge of that” Oscar butted in “I know if it was Jake. He’d have introduced you.”
“Wait…” Flores put up her hand “Why are you even protecting her? All you should have done was put in a good word for Jake, he’d have taken it from there” My dear Mother Hen was speaking.
Somehow, I felt good. Who said friends weren’t the best?… He probably hadn’t met mine.
I listened as they tossed words back and forth, the conversation still sounded mature and friendly. As I listened to Femi defend himself, the realization dawned on me. I wondered why it hadn’t occurred to me before…
“You’re sleeping with her!” I exclaimed.
Everyone turned to look at me.
“He’s sleeping with her, that’s why he didn’t want to introduce me” I said “Isn’t that true?”
Femi didn’t deny it. One thing I knew him for is that he never lied when it came to his escapades with women.
“Your step- sister?” Oscar asked.
“The operative word there being ‘step’ ” Femi replied calmly. “She likes me. Its that simple.”
“I suspected as much” Flores said “She’s Femi’s type.”
“You should have just told me” I said.
“Sorry, guy” he apologised.
I was glad I hadn’t given her much of a second thought. She really wasn’t my type. Fashion indeed!
I waited to get my friends attention again. I had a more important matter to discuss with them.
“I just discovered that I’m not happy” I said immediately they were calm.
They were staring at me again. I’m sure they were wondering if I was going nuts.
“News flash” Femi joked.
“Sssshhh… He’s serious” Flores scolded “Go ahead, Jake.”
“I feel like there’s something missing in my life. I’m not fulfilled or satisfied with what I am today. Infact, in clear terms ,I’m unhappy. I’m sure Oscar would understand what I’m saying. He’s someone that’s truly happy, I see his face glowing and radiating like it never did before. He goes about with a bounce in his step, smiling in a silly way. It’s obvious he’s happy. Don’t you see?” I asked, looking from one face to the other.
This time everyone was silent. Even Femi had no smart rejoinder.
Then Oscar cleared his throat and said: “He’s right. I’m a different person than I used to be. I can say I’ve found completeness and fulfilment. And I’m not going to lie to you, it happened since Abigail came into my life. I now have a future to look forward to, someone to share my dreams with, share my laughter with, and even legally share a bed with. Someone who’s worth it, who loves me for me. Yes, I am happy. Very happy in fact. Only someone who’s secure will be able to admit he’s unhappy, and I admire Jake for that.”
I was speechless by the time he finished his speech. He had no idea, but he had just given me a concrete reason to keep searching for my Miss Right.
“Wow! Shakespeare. Give a round of applause to the Shakespeare of our times.” Femi jibed “Omo…una smart ooh…Even me, I no fit talk all this one” you graduated with only a pass” Flores teased.
We laughed again.
“Seriously, I’m on a search for my Miss Right. Oscar just gave me a reason to go on” I said. “Flores, what about you? Are you happy with Frederick?”
Frederick was the guy she had been dating for close to seven months now.
“Abeg…just leave me on my own. Ask me that question next year” she said smiling.
I shrugged and stood up. I took out my phone and dialled.
“Who are you calling?” Oscar asked.
“Chief Odeniran’s daughter” Femi answered for me.
I nodded. I had made a decision, it was time to see what would come out of it.