“Make sure everything is ready, I’ll be back by Wednesday night”, those were my last words as I dropped the call. I was seriously preparing for the Val’s day, I’ve been making preparations to match the surprise I was planning for my lady. It was now time for me to drop the bombshell, it was time for me to call Lade and scare her. I picked up the phone, move across the corridor as I dialed her number, while the phone rang I paced up and down the corridor till I eventually found myself in the kitchen, she didn’t pick, so I tried again. This time around, I was leaning on the wall as I grabbed a cold bottle of beer I’d kept on the slab earlier. I’d just taken the first gulp when she picked, at the sound of her sweet and babyish voice; I almost choked on my drink. “He-he-hello” I said, she asked me why it took me so long to respond, “baby, it’s simply because I’m scared, I don’t know how to say this”, I lied, it was the beer, but I thought it would be nice to use it to make my surprise plan sound so real, “what’s the problem dear?, is everything all right?” I took another pause, and said “Baby, I can’t make it to Nigeria before the 14th, my flight was cancelled and rescheduled for Friday, 15th”. There was a long silence over the phone, I could hear her chuckle, and I couldn’t wait to hear what her response would be. Finally, she broke the silence by saying “its fine”, whenever Lade says its fine, it’s actually not fine, as a matter of fact, you’ll have to go a long way to appease her. We chatted for a while, laughed at some of her jokes, and then I hung up. The strange thing about our conversation was that she didn’t drag the matter, she sounded like she understood me perfectly, and she didn’t ask certain questions I was expecting her to ask, like why my flight was cancelled. I didn’t make a big deal out of it, rather I went straight to the message icon on my phone and sent her a text, it read…
“My perfect rib, even if I wouldn’t
make it there on Thursday, I’ll make it
to your heart by Friday, cause that’s
home for me. I love you.”
I waited a while for the snow to stop dropping, and when it eventually stopped, I grabbed my car keys, wore my jacket and stepped out of the house. London was extra-ordinarily cold today, “jeez”. I ran to the car, opened the door and stepped inside; I didn’t need to be told before I switched on the heater. I was good to go, I punched in my location into the GPS, I’d never been to the part of London I was visiting today, it was a street called Oxlade, and I was going to meet a certain lady called Chioma. Chioma was the Jewelry retailer my friend Tunde had told me about, I wanted to get Lade a gold chain to suit the other gifts I was getting her. She had always wanted a golden chain that has a locket as its pendant; she said she would love to keep a picture of us in it. Well, I thought this was the best time to get her the locket. As I drove down to Oxlade street, I couldn’t help but think about how I would surprise Lade by arriving at her doorstep on Thursday morning, it would be fun I thought to myself as I smiled. All the while I was driving, I always checked the GPS to make sure I was on the right path. Finally, I was there, I could see the store. I parked in the garage, locked my car, and headed for the store. I was now inside the store, to my right was the receptionist, so I moved towards her. Even before I could say a word as I arrived at her desk, I heard her say “good afternoon sir, welcome to Jupiter stores, what can we do for you?”, I smiled, “I’m here to see a certain Miss Chioma, I have an appointment with her” she took a deep breathe and said “you just missed her, but she will be back in fifteen minutes, would you like to wait for her?” I nodded in agreement, I had no choice, my flight was scheduled for 12noon the next day, and it’s now or never. She led me to sit down as I waited.
Twenty minute was gone already and Chioma wasn’t back, I was beginning to lose my patience, and I whispered to myself “where on earth is this lady?” Whenever a lady entered the store, I hoped it was her, but she wasn’t any of them. It wasn’t quite long before another entered, I noticed this one than the ones before her, she had a coke-like figure, well guarded up front and not lacking behind, if you know what I mean. As you all know, most guys after seeing such a figure will want to take a look at the face, which was the dilemma which I encounter at that moment, she eventually turned around, and when I looked at her face, we both shouted “Oh My God!” I stood up as she ran into me, gave me a big hug as I lifted her up and spun her around, and when I eventually dropped her, I called her name, “Mary”, she responded by calling mine, “Femi, what are you doing here?” I explained myself, and behold she was the Chioma I was waiting for. We made the transaction, talked about old times, and it was more than strange that she was going to be on the same 12noon flight I will be on the next day.
Chioma was my girl friend throughout the university years, we were in the same faculty. I met during my first year registration, it was actually in the bank, she was ahead of me on the queue and I’d borrowed her pen to fill the depositors slip. Furthermore, I met her again at the security department and that was how we got talking, one thing led to another and we started dating. Our love was like the finger and the fingernail, we won the award for the best couple thrice, and we complimented each other. As if it weren’t enough, we were ahead of our class, but she was ahead of me, no wonder she made a first class. I must say this, she gave me my first kiss ever, and it felt like paradise. When we loved, we were made a point of reference for other lovers, after the Shakespearian love of Romeo and Juliet, Titanic love of Jack and Rose, ours was next in line. Everyone thought we were headed for the altar, until one hot afternoon, I got a call from her telling me to give her a break, as she would love to make a career for herself. She had it all planned, a week after that, I was told she had relocated abroad and her family wouldn’t give me her contact as she had warned them not to. After 3 years, we finally meet again and it feels like the sky is about to get cloudy again, but then I’m in love with another.
Tunde and I are like 5 and 6; we grew up together always having each other’s back, protecting each other, and causing trouble when necessary. We were the reason why our parents got close, my mum always told me about how I used to cry whenever he wasn’t around. Ours was a friendship bonded by love, that’s not to say we don’t have our differences, but we see most things the same way. He was Sango, I was Dada, whenever I caused trouble, or was bullied, Tunde will storm the scene and beat up anyone involved, as that yoruba saying regarded; “dada ole ja, sugbon oni aburo to gboju”. He was tenacious, fierce, and brave. He was my bodyguard while I was his special adviser on girl matters. Whenever there was a new girl in his life, I’m always the first to know, not just that, that’s actually the time for me to give him tips on how to go about the whole thing. The first time I ever stepped out of the country, he didn’t see me off to the airport because he couldn’t bear the sight of his right hand man wave him goodbye. At last, it was homecoming time for me, and I had hidden something from him, I didn’t tell him about the surprise trip I wanted to make. He was also a part of my plan; I wanted to surprise him too. I would surprise Lade first and then him. I also got him the new Blackberry 10, he loves phones. I can’t wait to see his reaction when he eventually sees me on Thursday.
12.15 WEDNESDAY – 13th FEB, 2013
If I had my way, I’d always avoid the bureaucracy of going through the airport before any trip. Everything has to be confirmed, the visa, your luggage, and in most cases, Nigerians are given special attention when it comes to checking for drugs, which is always annoying. I was finally aboard, the plane had taken off, I was going through a magazine I had gotten earlier at the airport as I relished my surprise plan, and then I heard an angelic voice from behind “sir, can you please come with me”, it was the air-hostess, and I was stunned by the statement she made, I had seen many movies where such happened and it ended up with a quickie in the rest room, I was curious so I asked her, “to where?” She smiled back at me and pointed in the direction she wanted me to go, while I stood up, she picked up my side bag and my magazine as she led the way. We went past the rest room and burst out in the first class section of the plane. At this point I could only see a lady sitting in the right corner, the lady in question was Chioma. I had forgotten she was also boarding the same flight, she stood up, walked up to me, gave me a light peck on the lip, and said “I was getting very bored and lonely, and then it struck my mind that you were aboard, so I asked the hostess to look for you, I hope you wouldn’t mind keeping my company.” I couldn’t respond, I just nodded and sat down beside her, it didn’t take time before it crossed my mind, she made a first class, now she’s flying first class, she’s the classy type.
We had gist about old times, laughed together, until she finally slept off on my shoulder. First, it was a peck on the lip, now she’s sleeping like an infant on my shoulders, then I started thinking about the possibility of being with her again. I was running deep in thoughts when I remembered Lade, the poor girl is somewhere expecting is man on Friday, this helped me snap out of the thoughts of Chioma and I getting back together. I had always told myself that any girl, who wasn’t around during my struggle, doesn’t have a place in my heart when I eventually get to bubble.
LAGOS, MURTALA MUHAMED AIRPORT 7P.M 13th FEB.
I was outside the airport now, my luggage beside me, I was still pondering on where I’d lodge for the night, I had to inspect the venue of the Valentine dinner I had planned for Lade and I, so I needed an hotel close to the place, a place to lay for the night. I took a deep breathe and looked to hail a cab, I shouted “TAXI” and it was Chioma again, she stepped out from the owners corner, opened the trunk and helped me get my bags into them. “Where are you headed” I smiled and replied her “I’m going to Ojota, I’m going to lodge there tonight.” I asked her driver if he had any idea of a good hotel where I could lodge for the night, he assured me of getting me to the best one. Lagos life will always be different, we were stuck in the traffic, thank God the car’s air conditioner was in very good condition. It was around nine already, I was running late and tired, and we were still in the traffic. I knew I couldn’t make it for the inspection again, so I begged Chioma to let me make a call on her phone. I dialed Ladi’s number, and he picked up at the first ring, I inquired about the whole plan, and he told me everything was in place, he further assured me not to lose my sleep as he was more than capable for the job at hand. I had made a special order for a green pasture beside a river in a garden, to be decorated with roses all over the floor. I wanted to host my lady to dinner, so I thought a serene environment would be best, I told Ladi to ignite the venue with glowing colored bulbs, a table for two, a bottle of champagne and a red wine, soft music, a red carpet that will lead to the table, a very soft foam covered with a red sheet and roses to be placed by the river, and a golden plated box where I intend to keep her gifts. I anticipated the best romantic date ever. It was already 11.00P.M, the traffic wouldn’t pave way, we were already at Ojota, but Chioma wasn’t close to home, she was going to the island.
“Oga, we no go see road pass until tiwee o, shey u go sleep hotel make we dey go house for momo” that was her driver, explaining the present situation and the best solution.
I could sense she didn’t really like the idea, she was so tired, but she had no choice, so she succumbed to him. He drove us down to the nearest hotel; I stepped out of the car and went straight to the reception, paid for three rooms, the driver brought out my luggage and took them to my room, I was so thankful, so I tipped him, and showed him his room for the night. I needed food, so I called room service and made my order. I undressed, went straight to the shower and had a warm bath, it felt good. I came out of the bathroom wrapped in a white towel, sat down on the bed as I awaited room service. All I wanted to do was eat and go to bed, I switched on the television, the replay of the match between Manchester United and Real Madrid was being showed, I admire the skills of Van Persie and Cristano Ronaldo. I heard a knock on the door, took a deep breathe, room service was finally here, I jumped up from the bed, tied my towel firmly, and opened the door. Yea, it was room service with my food, but Chioma was the attendant. I was shocked, “why are you so surprised” she asked, I chuckled and answered “I thought you’d be asleep by now” she stepped into the room, place the food on the bed and sat down. I stood in awe for some seconds, and then I grabbed my jean, went into the bathroom, and changed. We ate together, share a bottle of wine, then we fell asleep.
I woke up only to find her head on my chest and her hands wrapped around my body, it was 5 O’clock in the morning, it was St. Valentine’s day. I tapped her, but instead of waking up, she cling to me, I knew I had to be at Lade’s doorstep before Six, so I woke up her. She finally woke up, I stood up, wore my t-shirt, and I was all set. I would come back after the early morning surprise, and then I can go to my apartment from the hotel. Chioma was already up, she walked up to me, hugged me and kissed me on my forehead, that was the way we said good morning while we were still together, she said to me “happy Val’s day dear”, I responded with a smile and patted her on her back. Why was she doing all these? I had to let the thought pass, I’ve a lady now, and that was all that mattered. I took the locket I had gotten for Lade, locked the door after Chioma as we set out.
At exactly 5:47am I was at Lade’s gate, I had gotten a bike right in front of the hotel while Chioma headed for the island, the bike man had charged me a thousand naira which I chose not to negotiate, and he was able to make it down there in twenty five minutes. Lade’s compound had three different flats, hers was the second one. I knocked on the gate, it was a certain Hausa man that opened it, the one before him was a Yoruba man, who would always ask me for a tip, I tried to guess why he had been changed, but I was clueless. I told him I was looking for Lade; he smiled and said “ko, siita yade, na good peison” I smiled at him as he let me in. I walked past a red range rover sport car, and when I got to her door, I decided not to knock, but use the spare key she had given it to me when she first moved in. I hoped that she will still be asleep, so I can sneak inside, make her coffee and wake her up to the surprise of her life. I quietly opened the door, pulled my shoes, and walked into the kitchen where I made her a coffee in a rush. I walked to her door, and as I opened it, I got my own valentine surprise, the surprise of my life, I saw Lade’s back view, she was vigorously making love to another man, the coffee cup and the saucer dropped from my hand, I became nervous as I sank into the floor, they heard the sound and looked towards me, yet another shocker, Tunde, a man after my own heart, was making love to my woman in gangnam style.
To be continued…. Follow on twitter @fragiletimbz