‘Do you think you can just drop this ‘google’ and have fun after work?’ asked Mabel.
Clara grinned and shook her head wondering at Mabel’s silliness. The google Mabel was referring to was her medicated eye glasses that makes Clara look ‘madamish’
She continued with her work in the bank as a Customer Service Supervisor while pondering over Mabel’s continuous bantering. Mabel was her colleague in the same department who though older than her and married with kids was a crazy wild woman has attached herself to Clara. She has been on Clara’s case over her unmarried state. To Mabel, Clara was a recluse who does not know how to utilize her ‘assets’. Every young single man that comes to the bank and ventures towards the customer service desk is a potential husband material for Clara. Her matchmaking style and persistence is classical. You will wonder if Mabel was given a spiritual assignment to get Clara settled in marriage.
‘I don’t see why you will not close work by 6.30pm, go home, dress up nice with make-up, drop your ‘google’ and your car, stroll down to a bar/eatery and order some drinks for yourself’ ‘You will see what will happen when you do this unless this town is no longer the popular and notorious Twanda’ she concluded with a twinkle in her eyes.
Clara looked up from her work to realize that Mabel was actually talking to her even with some male customers sitting in front of her. She flushed with embarrassment as the guys looked at her knowingly. Mabel laughed out and immediately cupped her mouth with her hand when she realized that she was attracting attention. The Head of Operation looked towards them from the teller he was watching.
As their desk seemed void of customers, Clara turned to Mabel with a serious face “When do you think you will stop this your assignment?’
‘Which assignment be dat, my madam?’ She replied smiling.
‘Your assignment to get me hooked up by force, this your ploy no go work oooo, all I need is your prayers and not encouragement’ Clara employed with a resigned face.
‘You see! Mabel replied, glad that Clara has decided to reply her. ‘Loosen up girl, we no dey come dis world twice ooo, enjoy yourself now before you go marry one strict pastor with the way you are going. Let me tell you, as you dress up like the Banker that you are, drive this ‘necessity’ beautiful car and look serious, no guy will approach you. When I mean ‘guy’ e no include those your ‘brothers’ from your fellowship. Abeg stop behaving like an old lady joor. Someone seeing you will think you are older than me while you are just 26 years old. I want you to change your outlook, wear short fitted skirts or even pencil-like skirts with hugging jackets. You have a beautiful figure and skin. I don’t even want to mention your hot legs which you are forever hiding in these drab pants with shapeless suits’ She frowned as she looked at her. ‘You always carry this serious ‘bone-face’ as if all men are devils looking to devour you. Smile girl, make you no get much more wrinkles at this young age.’ ‘Your face changes when you smile and your beautiful dentition transforms you but we rarely see that smile’ she quipped. You are just a triangular lady; house-office-church/fellowship. No social life, no friends and no man, kai! See the kain books wey you dey read sef; if not educational books, na religious books. Nothing like romance, thriller or even detective novels. No be say you be a religious fanatic, sure you are born again but Sis, relax a bit and once in a while you give yourself a treat. All these money wey dis bank dey pay you, wetin you dey use am do sef? Na only once you don go UK and that one was forced on you. I have seen your mother; she even looks chic more than you. Na wetin be your problem? She sounded pissed.
‘Waooo, you have all these in mind and have been waiting for an opportunity to let it loose’ Blessed asked looking surprised for this serious talk from Mabel.
‘You know me nahhh, I don dey tell you small small but you dey form madam for me. See, if we need to go to one of these ‘prophecy joints’ wey full town go find wetin be the problem, I am ready and willing to help you’ She continued with much enthusiasm.
‘Oh my God!’ Clara murmured out of surprise at this show. She did not understand Mable and this quest. She could not really know if this is a worthy concern or something else. Knowing Mabel and her mischievousness, she could as well have set a bet on her. On the other hand, she has seen Mabel’s kind-heartedness when she ‘dashed’ ten thousand naira to an old woman whose money was snatched from her by an ‘okadaman’. It was an unexpected gesture from Mabel, knowing how frugal she is with money.
‘You know I am not used to that kind of life-style and dressing, my background and foundation is this strict one. Ok, I will look into what you are saying’ Clara returned, trying to show acceptance and appreciation. Meanwhile which one be ‘prophecy joint’ again? ‘Mabel! You will never change!’
Clara stood when Mabel started laughing again even as a popular rich customer walked up to her. Mabel cornered the man and Blessed went for her lunch in the cafeteria.
As she was waiting for her meal to be served, her mind wandered to the encounter with Mabel; I wonder what this Mabel of a lady thinks I am? Does she not know that I am not from Twanda where it is a well-known and accepted norm for babes to go after a man of their choice? Where you do not have to wait for a ring on your finger to have a baby, where mothers encourage their daughters to go after a man, where a lady with children out of wedlock are seriously considered as marriageable and fruitful than their counterparts without children, where you are seen as foolish if you are at a certain age without a husband or a child to look after you and also where love portions are encouraged to ensnare a man after your heart.
‘God forbid for me to do all these things she is encouraging though I will look into moderating my dressing. I know that her prophecy joint will be somewhere decadent’ she mused. ‘I am sure the next thing will be Mabel encouraging me to drink alcohol since it is one of the trademarks of ladies from Twanda’.
Hardly will you see a single babe without a noticeable punch, looking like a 5months old pregnant woman which is caused by too much alcohol. A girl of 20years old will finish 4 bottles of Champion beer in a sitting without a problem.
Which one will she even mention again. I wonder why God allowed this transfer to bring me to this town. Well, let God’s will be done. Unknown to Mabel, she has a partially active life though not to Mabel’s level. Her DSTV full bouquet keeps her company till late in the night. Having gotten used to sleeping as late as 1am, it no longer affects her work. She is very up to date with events around the world. Mabel wont know this because their discussion never gets to that stage. Mabel’s idea of knowledge ends with fun, men and party. I am very sure her hubby will be like her too although opposite attracts. That might means the man must be knowledgeable, dull and Mabel will be like a shinning star in his dull existence.
“Oh God, forgive me for this kind of thought against this man” She silently prayed. Just as she finished, the caterer brought her meal and she dug into it with Mabel and her wahala forgotten.