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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

FINDING HUBBY- EPISODE 5

And so Oyin Clegg broke out of her depression. Not exactly getting her groove back yet o. And she’s happy, a man might have finally killed the dragon to come rescue her from the dungeon of singleness with his sweetness. See me o, as Ossy is making me wax lyrical. Me that called in sick at work that morning was in a cab enroute the airport, looking all fly, omo toh badt gaan. I wore my favorite jeans, one that made men turn around and take a second look at my behind, and a chiffon top with a hat to match and my very tech specs. I surveyed myself before my mirror for a few minutes. If you can have a tummy like mine at 35 without body magic and lipo, then you are one of the chosen few (some of you will say shebi I haven’t had kids yet, but darris your consign #yimu). Satisfied with what I saw, I called my cab man. I’m one of those that yab people for coming to the airport dressed as if they were going to a Paris runway, but hec, I’m feeling gay and intend to dress every inch so. I tried Ossy’s number again but when it didn’t go through, I kuku sent him a VN, expressing (profuse) thanks and calling him many sweet names I shall not mention to you.


Onto big girl things, I didn’t use any of those painted cabs. My cab man drove a black Honda City, with full blasting ac. With Lagos traffic, caused by unruly drivers, things like Lekki toll gate and the sheer number of we Lagosians that equate owning your own car to a status symbol, the ac is very essential.


After battling mad traffic, I made it to the airport just on time. Thankfully, Ossy had checked me in online and I didn’t have excess luggage, so I just went up, got frisked and went into the waiting area to chill for the next 30minutes for my flight (30mins before is just on time for a flight in Naija). I was so engrossed in the Tunde Leye novel I was reading on my iPad, I didn’t notice her when she walked up to me, until her hands covered the screen. I was about to give it to the person when I saw who it was. And she was the last person I wanted to see.


You know those people that seem to have perfect lives, as against your own. Got into university right out of secondary school when you waited for Jamb for a year. Got a 2 1 while being very popular in school, whereas you had to select which semester you wanted to pass and which you wanted to be social. Has a job just as good as yours. Got married in her mid twenties. Has a fine hubby. Two kids, one boy and one girl. And the person has a way of asking “innocent” questions that are really veiled barbs aimed at you where it pains most. And each time you see her, you are reminded of how much your life is missing. That’s the five foot eight yellow pawpaw standing in front of me now.


“Hi Oyin, so nice to run into you…”


“Moroti, moroti (fake smile from me), how now? Been a while o. where are you headed”.


“My own waka no dey pass UK now. Are you traveling alone? (barb question 1, meaning, hope you have finally found a man)


I responded “Holidaying in Dubai.”


“Abdul is around with the kids o, I left him with them there when I saw you and decided to come say hi”. (Barb 2, meaning some of us have a family we travel with).


We chatted for a bit, and she kept throwing the barbs, until the announcer saved me. Normally, they have to announce like three times before I go and board, but today, before the first announcement was finished, I escaped from Moroti sharply. No goodie two shoes was gonna spoil my mood for this trip.


In no time, I boarded and was glad I had a window seat. On my way in, I had passed one of those agbayas that still dress like Wizkid and Davido wannabes when they’re over thirty. Beats me how a full grown man will want to dress like a boy. Some of them are old enough to be Davido’s daddy o. Anyway, I stowed away my luggage overhead and took my seat.


Not wanting to be disturbed, I looked intently into the window and got lost in thought, oblivious to the goings-on around me.


“Interesting convo with your friend there”, came a thick, rich baritone from beside me, drawing me out of my beautiful thoughts. I turned to see who had such a lovely voice, praying in that breath that the man would match his voice.


Oh my God, yes oh my goodness gracious God. The prayer was answered. Emphatically answered. Resoundingly answered. Beside me was my dream. Taye Diggs complexion. Chocolatey (pronounce Cha-ka-lay-ti


) Even seated you could tell he was tall. Age, I put somewhere in the range of 37 (yes, I have inbuilt age sensors in my eyes). Well put together. Immaculately dressed. Well manicured finger nails. Those dancing, intelligent kinda eyes. Handsoooooooome. Mo gbe, mo ku, mo daran (in Wande Coal voice inside my head).


I straightened up sharply, thankful I had taken care to dress as well as I did. He introduced himself as Yomi Kester-Jacobs. My head did a quick memory search. It couldn’t be the same Kester-Jacobs, Lagos big family (yes I keep well informed of such). And if I wasn’t mistaken, this Yomi was the scion and only son of that family. “Oyin Clegg”, I said calmly, masking the riot of thoughts going through my mind. “So are you really travelling alone?” he pressed. I didn’t have any qualms admitting that to a dashing stranger who seemed alone himself. “Yeah”, I replied. “And you?”


He was alone too. I knew this Yomi to be single, from the tabloids. I asked if he was just stopping over in Dubai enroute elsewhere in Asia and he wasn’t. He was in Dubai for four days on business. I told him I was in Dubai for five days. “Well, it is not good for man to be alone, so says the Holy Book,” he joked, and then offered to be my company in Dubai. I did a backflip in my mind. “Sure”, I said chic-ily.


By the time I landed in Dubai, I had all but forgotten about Ossy. And so began my whirlwind romance with Lagos big boy, Yomi Kester-Jacobs.


I got back from Dubai five days later, with my man. Now that’s the sweetest thing to say. Me, Oyin omo Clegg that left Lagos manless, am returning with a man, and a hec hunk of a man. I wish I would run into that Moroti again now, so I could smugly answer all her snide questions, but fate would not have it so. And you know, the sweetest thing about Yomi is that all through our stay in Dubai, he didn’t ask for sex (even though I was hoping he would #evilgrin#). He wanted to prove to me that it was not just a holiday/business trip fling he wanted. SO he told me that we would save the real deal (yes, there were other things I shall keep only to myself) until much later. Men, o ti ba mi seriously for this guy. It felt like I’d known him for more than the few days we had spent in Dubai. We had connected on so many levels. The trip had been so much fun, and he had spoilt me silly, shopping, spa treatments, exotic meals et al. These days sha, I have toned down on the dreaming (wisely so, after my last set of experiences), so I hadn’t started imagining us walking down any aisle or dancing to Chop My Money at our wedding reception.

For the first time when I was returning from outside, I didn’t notice the Naija heat as we stepped out of the plane. I practically waltzed to the arrival lounge to wait for my luggage. I couldn’t be bothered that the air-conditioning wasn’t working there. Yomi guided me away from the conveyor belt, “We don’t have to wait dear; my people will sort the luggage out and deliver it to your house”. See levels o. #In Jenifa Voice# ayam on the fast track! Lol. This was the life men. I couldn’t wait to fill my girls in on my trip. I had loads of pictures on my iPad and BB to ensure that my gist was substantiated with visual evidence lest they began to think I had gone so delusional I was now having an imaginary boyfriend.

I was so engrossed in this world I didn’t see him. But he had seen me, seen it all. Seen me all over Yomi. Seen Yomi playfully kiss my forehead. Even seen me slap his butt as I laughed at a joke. He stood transfixed to the spot he was, and I’m sure if he was white, he would have been bright red from the look on his face. I looked up and I saw Ossy standing, a bouquet of roses in hand, eyes blazing at me. In my enraptured world, I had totally forgotten about the reason I had been on my way to Dubai in the first place. This was bad, really bad. How would I manage Ossy to make sure he didn’t create any scene? How would I explain to Yomi that there was nothing between me and this man who knew my travel plans so well that he knew when to wait at the airport, rose in hand for me? Ossy stood where he was, as if daring me not to come to him.

“Yomi, I’ve gotta say hello to someone, I’ll be back shortly”. Thankfully, he was on the phone and only nodded. I walked gingerly towards Ossy, feeling like a child who had done something bad and was about to face her daddy for that wrongdoing.

“Hi”, I ventured.

“And what the hell are you doing with him all like that?” he asked not so calmly, his hands saying more than his lips were.

I firmed my voice up. After all, I wasn’t dating Ossy, and had the right to see anyone I wanted. “I met him on the trip and we connected. And take that look out of your eyes, he hasn’t touched me”.

“Of course he hasn’t”, Ossy said sarcastically.

I was angered. “What exactly do you mean by that? And why do I have to explain myself to you?”

He threw the roses on the floor and smiled “of course you don’t have to. And as to what I meant, you’ll find out in due time”.

The smile sent a chill down my spine more than anything Ossy said. I placed a hand on his shoulder and tried to plead with him “Ossy, you are my friend. I always thought you would be happy for me when I finally met someone. Now is the time to be happy for me dear. Please.” He put a hand on my hand and looked into my eyes and it was only then I could see the sadness there. Then he took my hands of his shoulder and let it go. Right there, I felt a deep sense of loss. I had lost a friend.

“Hey dear, who’s this?” Yomi asked from behind me. I tried to formulate all the answers I could that would make sense in my head, but I drew on blanks.

“I’m Ossy, her colleague from work. Meeting my madam here today jare, she’s been away for barely a week and it seems like an eternity already”, Ossy answered, chuckling.

Yomi laughed too. “That’s this love thing o,” he said, putting his arms around me to mark me as “territory”. I have never felt that awkward, but Ossy was such a sport. Then Yomi turned to me “time to go dear, driver’s waiting and luggage is all sorted”.

We said our goodbyes and I walked away with Yomi. I couldn’t look back to see Ossy. I knew I wasn’t doing anything technically wrong, cos I hadn’t asked for any of the things Ossy had done for me, neither was I dating him. But I still felt real bad.

Two cars had come to pick us, an Armada for the luggage and a G-Wagon for us. Expectedly, the moment the car moved, he asked “So who really is that guy”? I weighed my options in my head.
Option 1 – Lie so well and get away with it (I doubted I’d be able to pull that off)
Option 2 – Lie so badly it would look like I was hiding something and lose Yomi
Option 3 – Tell the truth and Yomi would believe and all would be well
Option 4 – Tell the truth and Yomi would believe there’s more between Ossy and I than I told him and lose him.

Life is so unfair. The odds are totally stacked against me. Why is it that of the four options, three have to end badly for me? Would I have to delete those pictures and have no stories to tell Toke and Gloria when I get home today?

I looked into his eyes and made my choice.
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