Church service was going well and I was in the spirit, while surveying the pews for any particularly husbandable man (a good hunter is always alert). Then the senior pastor of our church (who I wouldn’t have minded marrying, he’s much too much) came up to welcome first timers. Time for the handshakes and plastic church smiles to come out. “I want to specially recognize a dear friend of my family,” Hot Pastor was saying. “He is a multiple award winning and bestselling author, and his last book, The Epic, is currently being adapted into a movie in Hollywood. Please join me in welcoming my brother from another mother, Femi Tosh.” I scrambled to look in the direction where Hot Pastor’s friend was standing up from. And then I saw him. Tosh was just the short form for Omotosho. Femi Omotosho. Oh my God. My heart did multiple flips upon seeing him, but I was not seated close enough to him to give him a handshake or smile.

Before you start thinking I’m some desperado who wants to donate smiles and handshake and flipping hearts to every man that is a visitor in my church, let me give you a short history on Femi Omotosho. Fresh from my Masters in my mid twenties, I met him. Femi was every lady’s dream, suave dresser, smooth talker and held down a bank job. But that was before you started dating him o. You discovered then that he was from a poor background, all his money went into supporting his family and pursuing his dreams. Nothing for you to even be a babe. It was a hard pill for me to swallow but I tried to stick with Femi. Back then, I didn’t have the high paying job I have now, so I depended on Femi, but as he was so focused on family and dreams, he couldn’t give me the trips around the world, and all the nice things a fine girl like me required. So I left him. Okay, let me be truthful, I threw tantrums, said all sorts of cruel things to him and about him and then left him. Barely a year after I left him, his first book won the NLNG award and he got two hundred thousand dollars. The rest is history, he left the country, won more awards, and became a part of my past I regretted and forgot. Now, having him in my church, looking so smashing, successful and every woman’s dream brought all the regrets I had been trying to bury to the surface. I did a quick scan of his left hand, no ring. So he wasn’t married. I had to find a way to meet him at the end of the service.

For the rest of the service, I heard nothing. My mind was in a far away place, imagining what could have been with him. I’d be travelling the world now, going for Hollywood events and probably nursing a little Femi now. The service seemed to last an eternity, it took so long to end. When it was announcement time and the deacon who liked the sound of his own voice over the sound system climbed the stage, I let out a few words I hoped no resident angels in our church heard. He droned for longer than he should until a not so hot pastor came to stand beside him. He got the cue and rounded off his droning. If eyes could kill en, the deacon would have fallen dead with the way I looked at him. All the while, my eyes never left where Femi was (yes, I can look at two places at the same time :D).

Service finally ended and I saw ushers leading Femi towards Hot Pastor’s office. By the time I got there, he had already gone into the office. I contemplated waiting for him to come out, but that would be too easy to see through. Femi has a way with words, and knowing him, he would make me look very silly right there (not like he didn’t have a right to sha). Thankfully, I was Hot Pastor’s personal convert so I had access to his office. I went through the mill of waiting faithful. The ushers who looked more like the bouncers I saw at Marquee on Friday night knew me and let me go in. I knocked on Hot Pastor’s door and his rich voice came from inside the room “Please come in”. I took a deep breath and muttered under my breath “here goes nothing” and then opened the big door.

He was seated facing the pastor, with his back towards the door so he didn’t see me come in. I was glad about that because I had the time to gather myself together. Hot Pastor got up and came round his desk to hug me “Miss Clegg,” he was saying “it’s been a while.” Femi’s eyes followed Hot Pastor around and then fell on me. He looked shocked “Oyin!” he exclaimed.

Hot Pastor looked from him to me and then back “you know each other?” “Very well,” Femi responded with meaning. You know what knowing a woman means in bible terms. My mind went back to when Femi knew me. I said with more calmness than I felt “Long time no see Femi, how have you been?” “Very well, thank you. And I don’t need to ask how you’ve been, my eyes tell me,” he responded. Hot Pastor clapped me on the back playfully, “small world”, he said “Femi is like a brother.” Either Hot Pastor was blind or he chose to ignore the tension that was in the room. He continued “I need to quickly address the deacons; I’ll leave you two to catch up on old times. I’m sure there’ll be loads to talk about while I’m gone”. He was leaving me alone with Femi. This was what I wanted, but a fear crept into my heart. What would Femi say to me when we were alone? I felt like running after Hot Pastor, as he shut the door behind him.

When I turned, Femi had stood up to tower above me, and I found myself searching desperately for something to say. He relished the effect he was having on me and something warned me that this was not the sweet Femi of yesteryears; that he had grown harder and wiser in the ways of the world. Then he smiled and said, “I have missed you Oyin. Ten years, and I’m still single, still without a woman because I carried you into every relationship I had.” What! Alleluia. Somebody say glory! Let the angels proclaim! His words were music to my ears. I was expecting harsh words, but he had opened up to me like this. Oh, I’m gonna make it up to you Femi, I’m going to meet your every need, be your every comfort and we will never be apart again.

I covered the distance between us in a single stride and held him in my arms (I’m proactive ;)). “Oh God,” I cooed to him, “I’ve missed you so much. I’m still single too (had to let him know quickly that I was available too o), no one else could do, no one else could take your place, absolutely no one. I’m so sorry for…” He placed a finger on my lips and said “shhhh. Don’t even bring that up, it’s the past and it’s forgotten. I’m just glad you can still be mine.” I was about to die and go into the ninth heaven. This was too good to be true, I was reeling with happiness, I felt like singing a hymn, oh joy eternal. I was already seeing aso ebi, white wedding dress and a cross continental crisscrossing trip for the honeymoon. I even mentally called myself Oyin Tosh, to see how it would sound. It sounded as tush as my current name. Perfect! By the time Hot Pastor came back in, we had already exchanged the following
Phone numbers
BB Pins
My House Address and the Hotel he was staying
A kiss.

He walked me to my car and I left floating on air. On my way back home, a keke napep brushed my car, and the guy had already come down and was prostrating and begging. But no keke napep was stealing my joy. I just went back into my car and drove off, shebi the scratch was kuku very small.

Toke came by and thankfully brought Shoprite bread so I didn’t have to warm anything. We just did the bread with butter and juice. I downloaded the day’s event for her. “The same Femi that mumutised for u?” Toke asked. “You are just a foolish child, en you this Toke for bringing that up. You wan cry pass the person wey e dey pain?”

Just in case you are wondering what I’m talking about, let me explain. Mumutising is the art of you being a mumu for your partner. I have a theory that everyone mumutises at least once in life (some people do it severally, some learn sharply and never mumutise again ever, the key phrase is ‘at least once’). So I was the partner Femi mumutised with. Anyways, back to my current convo with Toke.

“Did you take any pictures with him, I wonder how he looks these days,” she said. I checked his DP on BBM. Not his picture. Toke entered espionage mode. “Shebi he’s a bestselling author. Let’s Google him. We should see some recent pictures”. I sharply powered up my laptop and did just that. Yes there were pictures o, plenty. He was really big outside Naija. There were pictures of him with celebs from all around the world. Nia Long, Tyra Banks, Serena Williams, Djimon Honsou, and many more. And he had access to all these hot hot celebs and he had come back to me. Right then, I felt like I was the fairest of them all, omo toh quality gaan. “Hmm, Oyin, this all seems too good to be true o. Hope there is nothing wrong with this guy. Abi he is gay ni”. Sparks flew in my eyes, “What kind of talk is that now? So something must be wrong with him for him to come to me? If you want to abuse me, say it plainly now, don’t use style.” Toke was taken aback by my outburst “Haba, cool down now. I’m just talking as your girl. I have to have your back and in my experience, once it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” “Okay o,” I said rolling my eyes, “I have heard you.”

We relaxed to our meal while watching American Idol. We were so engrossed in the gist and TV that I didn’t notice my BB blinking until American Idol was over. A big smile came to my face when I saw who it was. Femi. He had sent a voice note some forty minutes earlier. It went something like this “Hey babe, hope you still like wearing those lovely gowns. I’ll come by to pick you up at seven for dinner. Make me drop dead when I see you, ciao.”

Toke took the phone and played it over and over again, singing Banky W’s Omoge you too much as she did. That girl was just so silly. I checked the time. It was five thirty. Ninety long minutes before my future husband came to take me out. Mr. X, Kalu and the rest of their likes seemed like a distant past now.

Dressing me up for the date required two hands o, no be small matter. We spent thirty minutes on the internet before we picked out a look (as the bobo is used to celebs, make me sef try now) and then systematically went about transforming me into that look. By the time we were done, Toke was sweating and I was dazzling. She wasn’t going home anyways, she had clothes in her car and would just go to work from mine tomorrow. I was thankful it was a Sunday, because the housecleaner came this afternoon, the house was looking spick and sparkle. By the time we were done with preparations, it was five minutes to seven. Ten minutes later, his call came through. “I’m turning into your estate, so I’ll be at your house shortly.” “Alright boo, I’m dressed up and ready”, I replied and hung up.

Moments later, the doorbell rang. Toke went to get the door for me, while I went into the room to take one last look at myself before letting him see me. When Toke’s bbm that he was seated came in, I took a breath and stepped out. I checked for his reaction. I could tell he liked what he saw. I went to the door and opened it and struck a sexy pose “shall we? Or would you rather spend the evening looking at me?” He laughed as he stood up “that wouldn’t be such a bad idea you know?” He covered the distance between us in two strides and had his arms around me in the same movement “as tempting as that prospect is, I have something special planned for this evening, so we should get going.” Special something, something special. The words rolled in my mind and I could see him on one knee in a restaurant proposing to me tonight. I couldn’t wait.

We got to the place somewhere in Phase 1 and he led me through the restaurant, up some stairs and then to an open roof with a table for two already set, complete candles lit. The picture of him proposing to me in my head was now in high definition and 3D. We had a lovely three course meal, and talked about beautiful things, his life, my life (the good, wifely parts o, no Mr. X). We even talked about things like number of kids, type of bedroom furnishings and co. Every time his hand went below the table, I expected it to come up with a ring.

After the meal, he held my hands and looked into my eyes. I was sure this was the moment, the climax. First he asked me if I enjoyed the meal. I nodded, cat got my tongue. I could hear the drum rolls now, he would do it any moment from now.

Then he hit me with the bombshell. “You know the saying ‘Revenge is best served cold’”, he said with a twisted, sardonic smile. “So you dey find readymade husband. Your father!” he said, opening his palms at me. Then he stood up and left me there, sitting transfixed to my chair. The shock kept me pinned to the chair, motionless and speechless for some minutes. Then I called Toke “Please come and pick me up”.

I could not even drink myself to sleep that night. No alcohol could numb my pain and I spent a large part of the night re-enacting the night in my head and adding all sorts of evil things I should have done to Femi as he left. I couldn’t pull myself together to go to work the next day and quickly sent an sms to my boss to allow me take the day off. I stumbled around my house in just my underwear, picking things up, arranging things. I had Adele’s 21 album on repeat. Talk about setting the mood. Men, Femi hit me way way way below the belt. I had mumutized big time.

It was 8:30am when my phone rang. I didn’t bother to pick the phone, I didn’t want to talk to anyone that day. The phone rang a few more times, and I let it ring out. Then my other phone rang, and I knew it had to be someone real close, since few people had that number. I stumble-walked into the room from where I stood in the parlor and checked the caller id. It was Ossy. I picked the call and put the phone on speaker as I flopped onto the bed.

Ossy: Hey babes

Me: Hi

Ossy: Dropped into your office and was told you called in sick. What’s the ish dear

Me: Yeah

Ossy: An an! Which one is this monosyllabic mode you are giving me now?

Me: Sorry

Ossy: Anyways, open your door, I’m here

Me: Where?

As an answer, my doorbell rang. I heard it both from outside and through my phone.

Me: What! (Shriek) You’re at the door. Ossyyyyyyyyy

Okay, lemme tell you about Ossy before you begin to wonder if all my travails have finally left me delusional and I’ve started taking phone calls from an imaginary person. Ossy works in my office. He’s an oga, so Oil and Gas money plenty, dashing dark dude, witty, intelligent and goes out of his way to make me happy. And men, when I say goes out of his way, I mean he wows me steady. Ossy doesn’t hide that he’s crazy about me, and wants me to be his woman.

I’m sure by now you are wondering if I am crazy. Here I am, going through hell and high waters to find a husband, and I have Ossy dying to make me his wife. But I guess that’s the irony of life. Ossy being so available makes him just not desired like that and his sweetness sometimes comes off as desperately dramatic. So he provides the shoulder that I cry on whenever my heart is broken (which is better than having Toke tell me “I told you so” in every gesture), the ears that listen to my tales of woe, and the balm that soothes and heals me. Every time, he hopes; and every time so far, I have run out on him once healed. I know I’m gonna get possessive if he ever wants to marry another girl sha. By the way, Ossy is short for Ositalogbon Onisokame. Each time I consider him, somehow, the thought of going from Oyin Clegg to Oyin Onisokame sort of does a Hulk Smash! And beats all such thoughts to death.

Anyway, back to today. So I put on a boubou and headed for the door. When I opened the door, Ossy’s wide smile greeted me and I couldn’t help but give him a tired smile. “Seems you’ve gone down one cup size”, he said, grinning mischievously. I laughed for the first time since yesterday night. Ossy’s way of telling me I’ve lost weight is to point out that my boobs have become smaller. Nonsense shudren.

“I would say you look like a hot mess, but then you know that already.” He stepped in and gave inglorious me a big hug and I felt safe in his arms.

“First to make sure you add flesh.” He went into my kitchen and began to rummage through my fridge. In minutes, a beautiful aroma began coming out of my kitchen. Ossy came out and changed the music. “No sad women singing about broken hearts for company, only dashing young men”. He slotted in Tu Baba’s Unstoppable album and did some silly dance moves. A few minutes past 9, a sumptuous breakfast of bread and eggs and sausages was ready with steaming coffee. He served me on the couch and I began to break the bread at the edges. As I ate and the heat of the coffee warmed my hands, I began to pour out my woes to Ossy. He listened to me patiently and kept me eating as I spoke.

“Ossy, you want to get me fat and unattractive so no man else will like me abi?” I asked laughing. “Anything to achieve my aims,” he retorted, a sheepish smile on his face too. Somewhere, something tugged at my mind and kept asking me why dependability was within reach and I kept looking for the super duper flyest hubby around. Toke had once asked me if I wasn’t being followed from wherever I am from. Sometimes I wonder so too myself.

The shrill sound of Ossy’s alarm broke into our world and he quickly checked the phone. “Gotta go, appointment at DPR”. My mood took an instant nosedive.

He kissed my forehead and adjusted his tuck-in. Reluctantly, I stood up to go and let him out and waited at the door to hear the sound of his car leave and then dragged my feet to the couch. My house felt empty without now that I was alone. BBs are saviors at times like these. Going through updated status messages (and everyone does that jor) is an easy way to while away such time. I picked my BB up and noticed it was blinking. I had ignored it all morning, so I guessed I had tons of pending messages.

All the usual suspects had sent me messages. My mum. My girls. Kalu (RME) and hawt (as one of the commentators on the blog corrected me) Pastor. Most recent of my chats was one from Ossy. I quickly opened the chat to see what he was saying. I had two pending voice notes from him. I played the first and his voice came through.

“Hey dear. Go to your kitchen and look under your microwave. Do not open the second VN until you do”. He chuckled at the end of the message and I was so totally tempted to open the second one but decided to play along. I ran into the kitchen and lifted the microwave up. My eyes widened when I saw what was there. A return ticket to Dubai and a 5 day holiday package. I quickly listened to the second VN. Ossy’s voice sounded like sweetness now “I think you need that break you’ve been talking about dear. I’m handling your leave already so you don’t need to bother to come to the office. Enjoy your trip. And call me when you get there o. Ciao”.

I stood dumbfounded. How could someone be so sweet? If it was 99% of the men I knew, for such a gesture, they would expect plenty payment in kind. I dialed Ossy’s number but he cut the call and I guessed he was in his meeting already. I checked the flight details. I had only 3hrs to get to the airport. I hummed a tune as I packed up, wondering where in the heavens men like Ossy were made. Maybe I’d give him a chance when I got back from this trip.


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