Engaged But Available

 Posted by       312 views  Editor's Picks, Fiction
Apr 172011


Picking up my carry-on bag, I marched towards the baggage claim to get my suitcases, sweating profusely; I toyed with the idea of sitting down for a quick minute to regain my strength before proceeding to the baggage claim section but quickly dropped the idea. Knowing fully well that my boyfriend Chris and brother would be waiting for me and were very afraid of my getting lost, I braced it and kept walking. Instead, I stopped at the mini mart inside the airport and bought a bottle of water at an exorbitant price and was just starting to open the bottle when I noticed a handsome, clean-shaven and well-dressed brother come into the shop. I tried to focus on my half-open bottle of water but he looked at me admiringly for a good ten seconds before he spoke. “How are you doing beautiful one” he asked

“I am good and how are you?”

“I’m doing better now. You seem to be rushing. Are you trying to get to a connecting flight? He asked again and I noticed he had some almost impeccable dentition.

“Actually nah. I just got here and it’s my last stop” I told him and I worried if my face and teeth were spotless. I had just had a chocolate bar before the aircraft landed and didn’t bother to check my teeth before getting off the plane. But really, why I am worried about my appearance when it comes to this stranger I just met?

“From where? USA I guess” he asked again. We both walked out of the mini mart.

“You would not be far from the truth but how did you guess so accurately?”

He smiled before he responded. He also slowed his steps and that slowed mine.

“Your accent is very American and you have a very confident walk and attitude.” He replied and that brought a smile to my face.

“So am I supposed to take that as a compliment?” I asked him

“It was meant as one”

I closed up my water bottle after taking a long gulp of the bottle and started to walk off again but before I did; “Ok thanks for the compliment but I am gonna be on my way now”

“Can I walk you down to baggage claim?” he asked rather quickly.

“It’s a free world, isn’t it?”

Strutting down like a New York runway model, I walked towards baggage claim with the handsome stranger and for a flash of a second, I imagined us as a couple. There was something about his eyes but I reserved my comments.

“So what is the name?  I am Onyeka by the way”

“Jasmine here” I said

“Sounds fragrant and I am glad to meet you. So what state are you in? Let me guess; Washington DC?  asked Onyeka

I started to smile but it ended up being a chuckle.

“What’s funny about that or did I hit the right button” he asked

“Not really. I am a New York girl” I told him

“So Jasmine, what brings you to my country Nigeria?

I gave him an almost cold look before I replied “You mean our country”

Onyeka looked genuinely shocked and surprised. “You are Nigerian?” he asked

I replied him kind of sharply. “Yes, I am a full blooded Nigerian”

“I am sorry dear. You look very American and speak that way. I did not mean to offend you ok”

I then smiled and said; “It’s ok Onyeka. I am not offended anymore ok. Maybe because I didn’t ask you kekwanu?  Onyeka, ibu onye ebe?

His eyes got very big. “Are you kidding me girl?!

I rolled my eyes and said “Nah, I am not kidding you.”

“Oh my goodness! You speak Igbo? Wow! This is too good to be true.”

“What makes it too good to be true? So you think that we throw out our culture and language in the Atlantic the moment that plane takes off? I asked him and started trying to locate my suitcases as we had gotten to the baggage claim area.

“Not really but I am just very surprised in a good way to see such a beautiful girl like you that looks totally American speak Igbo like that. It’s quite attractive you know. I am very impressed”

I gave him that ‘you are not serious’ look and said; “I guess that is another one of your compliments huh?

He smiled and answered. “Yes Jasmine, it’s a great compliment”

“Whatever” I was trying to keep up with the fast rotating conveyer belt for my bags.

“Just show me your bags when you see them and I will get them out ok” he said

“Thanks, I appreciate that. The two red suitcases and that other black one with a red tag on it are the bags” he pulled them all out. “That should be it. All my three bags” I said. After pulling them out, he walked across the room and paid and got a trolley. He then proceeded to fit them all onto the trolley including the carry-on bag I had. “Anything else your highness?” and he gave a fake bow.

“Thanks Onyeka! You have been very helpful. I don’t know how I would have managed with out you. Thanks again ok!”

“You are very welcome. Who can deny such a beautiful damsel anything?”

“Ok! Ok! Enough of your flattery Onyeka. Can I be on my way now?” I asked

“So Jasmine, would it be ok to call you sometime? Or is there a boyfriend in the picture? I can show you around the city” he said.

“You are very right about that. Men can be very jealous so he may not appreciate it that another dude is showing his girl around the town but I do really appreciate all your help though ok”

He remained persistent. “But if I can’t call you, can you call me” he asked

“Aint that the same thing? Whether you call or I call, we would be talking and he might not like that a lot”

Ok, Jasmine, how about this? One of my boys is having a party next weekend. You guys can stop by.” Digging into his breast pockets, he produces two tickets and hands them to me but I made no attempt to take them from him.

“No thanks Onyeka, I have to get home first before I start making promises that I might not keep so we may not be at your friend’s party. I am sorry” and I was really sorry. I mean he is a nice guy and not bad looking at all.

“Oh come on Jasmine, it will be a nice party and I promise you that you and your man will have a nice time. You don’t have to promise to come but I will be very happy if you can make it ok”

“What kind of party is it anyway?” I asked as I took the tickets from him

“Just one of my boys having a surprise birthday party for his girlfriend”

“Onyeka, wouldn’t that be a private party? I mean just the couple and some very close friends”

“Not at all. He is having a surprise birthday for his girlfriend of about 2 years and we are suspecting that he may be proposing to her on that day so it’s going to be a nice party. He is inviting a lot of people so trust me, you and your man will have a good time.” He concludes.

Hmm, two years and that’s about how long I have been with my boyfriend Chris.

“Ok! Ok! No promises but we will try to come ok”

I just wanted Onyeka to get off my back on this party issue despite the weird fact that I will be glad to see him again. I mean this brother is drop dead gorgeous, looks great and is lord-have-mercy fine with some cute dimples decking his face. Ok, ok, before you bite off my ears, I know I have an equally handsome boyfriend waiting for me outside but I am just appreciating this beautiful creature of God. Nothing moreJ

“Ok, I will be looking forward to seeing you again.” He hands me a business card. “This is my business card anyway. Call me if you have need to or if you get bored ok but if I don’t see you again, be sure to enjoy your visit ok Jasmine”

“Thanks a lot ok, Nice meeting you” as I just dropped the business card in my handbag without really looking at it.

“You too Jasmine and be sure to tell your boyfriend that he is a very lucky man. He has a very respectable lady in you”

Blushing, I replied. “Oh thanks! I am also lucky to have him. Bye Onyeka”

He walks off and after repositioning my handbag on my shoulders; I push my trolley back towards Customs to get checked out. A quick glance around the room in trying t o take in as much as possible makes me excited and I am happy to be coming home. After my last visit home, I realized that the inside of the airport had changed quite a bit. Things have improved tremendously and I am glad about that. On getting to Customs, I surprisingly got out easier than I had envisaged. The customs officers seemed to be tired and did not bother to as me all those unnecessary and stupid questions they had become notorious for. All they asked me was how long the flight was and if the weather was getting warmer and I replied as cheerfully as possible and they let me go through. God must be working overtime on my case today. First a very handsome gentleman to welcome me back and help me with my luggage and then a hassle-free encounter at customs. A girl could not ask for more and I made a mental note to put more into the offering plate on Sunday. Thank you Jesus!

I pushed my trolley with al all three suitcases and my carry on towards the exit doors and saw a lot of folks and I noticed that a lot of folks were staring at me and one of the guys that looked like he may be working for one of the airlines because of his uniform even muttered something to his colleagues in pidgin English quite loudly about me looking like an English fowl. He will probably pass out if only he knew that I don’t just understand Pidgin English but speak it very fluently. I tried to hide a chuckle as I suddenly remembered that slang of calling someone an English fowl meaning a very soft looking person that has enjoyed quite an easy life. I also remembered more than a decade ago before I relocated to God’s own country when my brothers and I used to tease my cousins and call them English fowls when they visited Nigeria. I cannot honestly believe that I am getting paid in my own coin. Wow! How things can flip around. Anyway, I tried to ignore the almost penetrating stares as I walked towards the exit doors. I could almost breathe the hot air and as I got closer and closer, the heat embraced me and welcomed me home! Though it was quite hot, I still smiled “Home sweet home! I gushed and I was very elated to be home.

Getting outside, I had to stop and catch my breath as I looked at the unbelievable sea of heads facing me. How in the world am I going to locate my family and Chris amidst all these people? My boyfriend Chris and brothers were supposed to be coming to pick me up from the airport. Alright girlfriend, you are home, I told myself.

I zipped up my handbag and took in the first faces I could trying to place a familiar face but when I had no luck, I tried to get out my cell to make some calls and bam! I don’t have a Nigerian SIM card in it yet so I could not place a call yet. I just cannot imagine how I am going to go past this crowd here with folks including some cab drivers tugging and almost grabbing my hand trying to lure me to their cars and some enterprising guys trying to get me to use their phones for a phone call. I could also see a lot of people staring at me and for a quick minute, I thought that I must be looking very different. Did I grow another head or a third ear to attract all these stares?

I am about to walk to the nearest guy to make a phone call and I could have sworn that I heard my name but I ignored it. Men! This jet lag really gets you and now I am imagining things. As I tapped a guy standing nearest to me  to ask if I could borrow his phone to call, I heard my name being called out again but this time, it was loudly two voices and one of them was distinctively my brother Nixon’s deep baritone voice

Quickly turning around, I see him and Chris my boyfriend’s   6’2 inches frame waving and coming closer to me and I breathed a sigh of relief. If only I knew that the upcoming events in the next few days will change my life a whole lot and actually turn it  all upside down.

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Chetachi @chetachi

Avatar of ChetachiI definitely can express myself better writing. I have been reading since I was a toddler and started writing while I was in Secondary School in Nigeria. I am a junkie for novels especially books by Robin cook, Mary Higgins Clark etc. I am glad to find this site and hope to get some constructive, deep and critical review on my write-ups. Please stop by and check it out ok. thanks. Shalom!

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  50 Responses to “Engaged But Available”

Comments (50)
  1. Xikay, I will take the milkshake…vanilla with strawberries on top…and then the handshake…yummy!
    thank you ok. I really do appreciate all you pointed out and I hope to get better.
    the conclusion will be coming up very shortly.

  2. Nice stuff. Love the way it started. Waiting for the other parts. They’ve mentioned all the issues the story had. Don’t know if ‘ok’ was mentioned.

    If you can create a unique storyline and/or plot, then you’ll have a very nice story. And please don’t make the characters too flat, Jasmine, Onyeka and

  3. Chris seem a little flat so far. Kinda having the feeling you’ll surprise me with a good story at the end shah.

    Keep writing.

  4. Thanks Jaywriter for your input…its appreciated. i am actually finishing up the conclusion and hope you guys love it and also hope the characters get rounder for you:) thanks once more!

  5. I guess the ending was supposed to be some kind of cliffhanger but the meandering made it flat. Didn’t feel the suspense.

    You have the makings of a good story. Study Xikay and Tola’s corrections…you’ll be good.


  6. Wow! I cant wait to read the end of the story. Good work!

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