For some seconds the abrupt rush of adrenaline did not allow me think straight. I can’t really recall what caused the shock more- either the embarrassment of being caught or the fear of knowing that someone else was with us in the room at the time. I just stayed still.
Uncle Emmanuel reacted first.
“Hey! Who are you? What do u want?” Uncle Emmanuel blazed at my neighbor’s son who just stood at the entrance of the room chuckling recurrently armed in the right hand with the pressing iron earlier availed to him.. He must have seen something particularly amusing in what we were doing apparently (Bad Pikin!).
“I wan com return the iron” the boy answered churlishly.
“j..just drop it on the table and leave,” I beckoned to him pointing to my table as I finally found my voice.
He turned, dropped the iron and left with his body language reeking of a child unwilling to leave the scene of some great view. (These ‘shildren’ of nowadays!)
After he left the room, I silently went to the door and closed it, then stared at Uncle Emmanuel who simply chuckled and attempted to continue where we started.
My feminine dignity had been jolted albeit by a child who I am sure would gleefully disseminate the story around the neighborhood. I smiled and gently pushed him away, adjusted my gown and reminded him about our date.
Obviously disappointed at the change in plans, he dashed to the table where he had kept the food bought from the eatery and started guzzling like a starved man. In no time, I joined him. Still looking downcast, he looked at me and blurted out;
“That boy should be shot! See him using his blues to spill my reggae! Mshewww!”
Though I had been upset at the boy’s intrusion, seeing Emmanuel, er…Uncle Emmanuel whine about the incident amused me and I couldn’t help but chuckle. Men! They all share one unique longing- sex!
“Han Han! Is it that bad? Anyways, I wouldn’t like my baby (did I just really call him that?) looking sad, I‘ll make it up to you. Don’t worry.
Like a magic wand, a smile immediately lit up his face and I couldn’t help noticing the ‘baby’ trait in him.
“So what was it you told Aunt Mabel that made her text and call me apologizing for her actions? Unnnnclllleeee!” I asked sarcastically emphasizing the ‘uncle’ for effect.
Looking mischievous like a genius that has just discovered the cure to Aids, he smiled and simply said “Don’t worry. I thought I told you I got it under control”
“You are feeling like ‘The Man’ now ba? I teased.
“I am not actually. I am ‘The Man’! Anyways, hope you are set? Let’s start moving. Shall we?” He stated as he stood up holding my hands and moving towards the door. I followed closely behind.
The trip to Vixen Bar was interposed with Uncle Emmanuel’s exaggerated standoff with Aunt Mabel and how he expressly warned her not to ever pick his calls anymore. Within 20 minutes we had arrived at the bar and I was immediately taken by the exquisite atmosphere. If there is one thing I had noted about Uncle Emmanuel- it was his taste.
Our entry into the Bar was interjected with salutes of “Oga” from the Bar’s security men and attendants alike. Uncle Emmanuel must apparently have been a frequent user of the Bar. Within minutes we had been shepherded to a dimly lit and cozy area of the Bar.
Within minutes, Uncle Emmanuel had ordered bottles of Chardonnays, Cab Sauv, Merlots and Sauvingon Blanc. Wait. Who orders these drinks if not a big boy? If you don’t know about wines, you probably won’t know the fortune those drinks I mentioned go for. (This bros gat taste Meen!)
After the initial gist’s, he started restating his undying love for me from the day he saw me come to his office and how he experiences an unusual kind of happiness anytime he sees me (blah, blah, blah!). He admitted that although he was married, he would not stop loving me. I noticed he carefully avoided acknowledging our uncle-niece relationship.
In response, I silently looked at him and firmly told him there were some things he needed to know about me. He sat back with a look of someone ready to take anything I was going to throw at him.
Aided by the tipsiness generated from sipping the wines before us, I started telling him about things I had gone through recently. Interposed by heartfelt tears, I started my story from the rape and ending with the events of the previous few days including Alex’s revelations and magazine issue. He seemed rather unfazed having a disposition of someone used to hearing and experiencing the dramatic. His facial expressions didn’t give much away till I leaned towards him and whispered to him my decision which would eventually change the entire course of my life.
“Emmanuel, I‘ve decided to relocate to Lagos”.