“…Men don’t know what they want till they are forty. That is why they need their parents, their friends, teachers, a bevy of girlfriends,a wife or wives and in serious cases like yours, a little persuasion to set them on a path, right or wrong. In this situation however, I’m positive that you are making the right choice for him. Haba! Look at you. If I was a man, I
would have put a ring on your finger years ago.”
Typical Bimbo. Her ability to analyse every situation only to arrive at her initial premise would have made the ancient Sophists turn green with envy. Bimbo my best friend, confidante, everything I was and yet all I could never be. We could have passed for twin sisters but then there was the madness. Bimbo had been crazy since our days in the secondary school. I, on the other hand was the quiet, shy Elizabeth; super girl Bimbo’s side kick. Sometimes I wondered how Bruno put up with her madness.
“…Look at your legs, those hips… Liz, you must follow me to see that pastor before one of this small girls screw an ‘I do’ from your man.”
I shrugged. “Is that how you got Bruno to propose?”
“Are you insane? Bruno has been crazy about me since we were in secondary school and you know how many times he proposed before you took his bribe to convince me. I thought he just wanted to see the colour of my kini so I made sure he bought the matter wholesale. You know me na,no retail.”
I listened to Bimbo laugh while I managed a smile. Beautiful, intelligent, virtuous, crazy, ambitious Bimbo. Who could blame
handsome, intelligent, sympathetic and faithful Bruno. Nobody stood a chance when Bimbo was involved.
Time was a joke. Sixteen years ago, Bimbo and I were silly girls who wondered when they would leave secondary school for good. Now I was a single lawyer and Bimbo was a married doctor. Funny enough,every time I thought about our secondary school days, it felt like I was recalling events of a previous day. Then there was Bruno, my best friend long before Bimbo came into the picture. Our parents were neighbours from our primary school years and there seemed to be an odd pact between us and Fate whereby I would be made class prefect and he would be my deputy or he would be made class prefect and I would be his deputy, from primary one up to when he became St.Barth’s secondary school’s senior perfect and I was made his deputy. Bruno who would run and hide whenever our late parents sat in his parents’ sitting room and teased us with details of the future marriage between us. Bruno my first crush, first love…
“Hmm! This one you are closing your legs, wetin you dey think?”
Bimbo crashed into my thoughts and I just looked blankly at her.
“Haven’t you been listening to me? I said the day he put this one I’m carrying now, he was possessed but that was child’s play compared to what he did to me last weekend. At a point, I had to remind him of the baby and instead of that to kill his urge as usual, he got wilder. I haven’t felt that hot since I was born.”
More Bimbo laughter.
Another smile. Last weekend…Oh Bruno…
“I thank God we didn’t go ahead with that Babalawo plan two weeks ago. Once those witch doctors have you in the palm of their hands,they squeeze till you are whiter than Maclean toothpaste.”
Bimbo laughter. No smile. If only she knew…
“How do you know? Have you ever been to see one?”
“God forbid!Don’t you watch Nollywood movies? I can imagine you getting some from a Mr. Ibu
A genuine smile. Mr. Ibu…just couldn’t help it.
“Talking about getting some, when was the last time you had your kini taken care of?”
“When you put it that way, it doesn’t sound very fun.”
“No be only. Blessed Virgin Liz. Don’t tell me that Igbo Emeka boy isn’t taking care of matters before his elusive proposal.”
Blank stare. If only she knew….
“See me talking about me and Bruno when I should be asking you your current stand with Emeka. I’m very selfish. Apart from regaling you with my boring gist, we’ve not seen each other in a week and the first thing I’m bothering you with is taking care of my two Brunos while I sleep my swollen feet away. Don’t know how to make it up to you.”
I know the perfect reward.”It’s nothing. I know you’ll do the same thing for me.”
“Yes I would. However I’ll take you to that Pastor 10 million husbands. That’s the least I can do. I hear he shares husbands like cabin biscuits. It will be a piece of cake for him to persuade a man to spill his proposal, abi?”
“I guess so.”
“That’s my girl. I owe you that much after all you gave me Bruno and though I suspect that all you said about his potential to be unfaithful is true, the remnants from his affairs are more than enough for me abeg. Last weekend?Ah!”
I couldn’t help noticing the way she stressed the word ‘affairs’. It showed that she wasn’t sure Bruno was unfaithful and didn’t care. That was supposed to be good news but it wasn’t. It meant that Bruno had it all – a good wife that didn’t nag and didn’t bother him with her unconfirmed suspicion, a child, another on the way, a great job, his own home…nothing could push him to me. It meant he had truly never cheated on his wife like he swore to me last weekend before I threw myself at him. That explained why he had broken the kiss and left my house in a hurry. That was why he had been as wild as Bimbo said he was after being aroused by our brief though mind blowing (at least to me) kiss. If only Emeka was more than an occasional bed mate. If only I had refused to help Bruno when he told me how desperately he wanted to talk to Bimbo twelve years ago. If only I had told him she was a demon and insisted that he was an
unrepentant philanderer. If only I had been as crazy as Bimbo. If only…perhaps Bruno would be mine now . Well, I would turn back the hands of time tonight. A little persuasion? Bruno wouldn’t know what hit him. His kind heart and years of friendship had made the awkwardness that should have existed between us after last weekend almost non-existent. He loved to make excuses for others. Good for me.
Later that night,I would serve Bruno his food after Bimbo and Bruno Jnr. had gone to bed. I would stand by the window and watch him eat from the corner of my eyes while glancing furtively at the wall clock knowing that in three minutes Baba’s potion would work. I would feel a pang of regret but I would look back and see him advancing with that devastating Bimbo ‘special’ and I would know that all I wanted was for him to share that particular smile between me and Bimbo. I would turn around and the first tear would drop on the tile as my Bruno encircles his arms around my waist. Bimbo’s tears would wait till the next day.