It was early morning. Everything inside the swish apartment block was hushed; the eerie, impermanent lifelessness of a residence where everyone is sleeping. A lady lay sprawled across the big mahogany bed in one bedroom; her lustrous long black hair spread untidily all over her face and pillow.
Suddenly, the giant wall clock in the living room chimed six o’clock. A figure in the other bedroom stirred and turned over on its back; stirring the other two occupants. But no one else moved. The figure yawned and rubbed its eyes opened. The room was covered in pitch darkness. The figure gave a grunt and went back to sleep.
All was silent again.
Slowly as time went by morning began to dawn. The overhead sky was getting clearer by each passing hour; the hushed expectancy that foretells a burning day. Soon the sky was blue and the sun appeared from under the clouds. As the sun rose, the birds took flight. The city of Abuja gradually awoke from its Friday night hangover. It was a blisteringly hot Saturday morning. At the city Center the hot sun beat down on the few city dwellers and visitors going about their various businesses.
However, about a forty-minute scramble away a beam of sunlight streamed through the windows of a two-bedroom apartment, its blazing heat penetrating the Venetian blinds. Oby lay on her back in her mahogany bed beads of perspiration covered her forehead. Her right hand gently stroked the hair from her face before reaching for the bedside table. She picked up a remote control and hit the ‘on’ button. Suddenly, a blast of cold air swept through the bedroom from the split unit air conditioner hanging on the far wall.
Cool and comfortable Oby let her mind drift to last night’s event but everything was hazy. However, she recalled hosting a small party to celebration her 36th birthday and being blind drunk; every other thing was a blur.
“Thirty-six and still single”, Oby thought to herself as she wiped her misty eyes with the back of her hand.
Suddenly her brows furrowed, her eyes widened and her head pounded. She scrambled to her feet holding her left hand before her eyes. She gazed at the beautiful diamond ring on her finger. She forced herself to wakefulness and joggled her memory.
Her heart raced as the blurred image of a man appeared in her mind, tall and light-brown-skinned with large hands outstretched towards her. And he was on one knee. He seemed familiar but Oby just couldn’t recall his name or where they’d met. The alcohol seemed to have scrambled her brains.
Oby sat at the edge of her bed almost sobbing. “Who gets engaged and doesn’t remember it?” she sighed as a tear drop rolled down her left cheek.
She shut her eyes in the silence of the morning and forced herself to recall. Her mind went blank. Nothing! She was in a drunken haze.
Her brooding was disturbed by a sharp rap on the door followed immediately by a soft somber voice calling from behind the door. “Oby!”
Oby lurched to her feet. “Yes! Oge!” Wiping her tear-stained face with the hem of her night dress she made for the door and eased it open.
A tall slim curvaceous lady wearing a plain sheath stood in the corridor her thick black hair fell over her slim shoulder in cascade of curls and shone with luster, her big brown eyes held a refreshing smile that covered her entire face. She held a breakfast tray in her hands. “Good morning Oby! I think you’ll need this. You had quite a binge last night.”
Managing a wobbly smile Oby reached for the tray. “You don’t say, Oge!”
Still holding onto the tray Oge raised her brows. “You mean you don’t remember!” A puzzled smile flickered across her face.
Oby shook her head slowly. Then recalling how motherly Oge can be she let go of the tray and stepped aside.
Oge walked into the room with queenly grace glaring around as she took in a lungful of the cool crisp air. She placed the silver tray on the bedside table. “Don’t sweat it dear. Everything will come to your memory sooner than you expect. It’s the alcohol. The wine you had was very strong.”
“I hope you’re right,” Oby said as she sat down to the tantalizing smell of fresh coffee and fried eggs with some slices of toast bread. “Thanks Oge!”
Oge simply flashed a broad smile and went on to pour her a cup of hot simmering coffee. “I know you like your coffee white but right now you need it black.” She stirred the cup and gave it to Oby, “Bon Appetite!”
“Thanks a lot Oge!”
Sipping her coffee Oby sat on her bed and watched Oge walk slowly towards the door. Oge opened the door and turned around, “I’ll come see you later. Let me check up on the others and get breakfast ready for them”. She stepped out shutting the door behind her.
Oby was dawdling over a third cup of coffee when Oge returned holding another tray. She’d taken her bath and changed into a tight-fitting short black dress with thigh-high splitting slit. She padded across the room and sitting beside Oby she poured herself a cup of home-made orange juice before biting into a slice of chocolate cake. Oby’s birthday cake.
“Hmm…the cake is quite nice. I love it.” Oge beamed as she picked up her glass of juice and took a sip.
“Thanks!” Oby smiled delightfully.
“The girls are still sleeping,” Oge said arching her back. She sat straight and crossed her legs exposing smooth soft thigh flesh and flashing Oby a glimpse of the white lacy fabric of her undies.
Oby hissed quietly and shook her head smiling faintly. Oge loved to flaunt her beautiful sexy feminine assets. In fact, Oge was the one of those few married women alive with eye-popping tantalizing wardrobes. She wore clothes even Oby could hardly think of putting on.
“Oge! Is this dress not too short?” Oby asked with a lop-sided grin.
“You see why you’re not yet married.” Oge began to preach. “I’ve always told you to flash some flesh. Your beautiful body is meant to keep men ogling at you in admiration.”
“You mean lust?” Oby opined tilting her head back. Her hair fell loose around her shoulders. Her breast bounced underneath her gown. She felt Oge’s eyes on her and averted her gaze.
Oge lurched to her feet. She gathered Oby’s hair into her hands and scattered it around her face. “You have to learn how to keep a man wanting more and more of you, girlfriend.” Then she cupped Oby’s breasts. “You are gifted but don’t know how to use your assets!”
Swiftly Oby pushed her hands away. “What are you doing?”
Oge stepped back. “Teaching you how to keep your fiancé focused on you.”
Oby blushed. “Thank you but I’m fine just as I am.”
Oge let out a loud laugh. “Just look at your night gown my dear it won’t even tickle a monk.”
Oby moved towards the window. She didn’t utter a word. A dim recollection of the previous night’s happenings flashed through her memory. She closed her eyes. She needed to know what happened, every minute detail. Suddenly she felt an arm tenderly rest on her shoulder.
“I’m sorry Oby. I didn’t mean to pry or impose.”
“Oh! Oge! It’s not you.” Oby buried her face in her hands. The tears burnt through her eyelids as she shivered.
Oge pulled her to herself and wrapped her in a warm embrace. “It’s okay dear!” she muttered.
Oby sobbed for a while. Then she raised her head and gazed at her friend. “Oge, I need you to tell me exactly what went down at the party last night.” She paused to clear her throat. Backing away from Oge she stretched out her fingers. “Can you please tell me how this got here?”
Oge froze wearing a puzzled look on her face. “You mean you do not recall anything?”
Oby shook her head her teary eyes staring at the diamond ring on her finger. “Everything is hazy. I keep seeing the blurry figure of a familiar guy kneeling before me. But I cannot recall his face or his name.”
Oge stepped back a pace and held her at arm’s length. “Patrick!”
“Patrick?” Oby reiterated. “Who is Patrick?”
Oby’s eyes widened. She gazed awestruck at Oge. Just then the door flew open and Naomi strode into the room donning a pink petit bathrobe. A towel was loosely wrapped around her hair. “Patrick is here!” She announced staring groggily at her friends.
Oby and Oge exchanged glances.