With the rainy season winding up, more social events are popping up left right and centre and my friends are more adventurous than they had been in recent time.
I was in the office having a ‘post-mortem’ of some of our relationships with Lilian when she told me that Jake, her on-and-off boyfriend of a few years was having a big engagement party for his only daughter. So what was the big deal?
I asked her. “He wants us to attend the party to show I’d really forgiven him, for neglecting me all these months”. It had to be ‘us’. No woman could be so brazen as to attend her lover’s bash alone, not with his wife throwing her ‘search-lights all over the place.
A few days later, I attended a ‘what the heck am I doing here’ party where guests looked so bored the atmosphere felt as if it was a wake. Making an excuse to be back again in a few minutes – which nobody believed, I happily took myself off to another get-together a friend, Juwon was having for her birthday. The bash was well on its way when I got in, but was surprised not find her beau of about six years, playing the host.
The man virtually pulled the strings of Juwon’s life like a puppet. She called him her addiction and her heartbreaker. A sprawling macho, they had split up and got back together so many times I’d lost count. “Where is Kaka?” I asked Juwon, as soon as I could get her alone. “We’re finished for good this time”, she hissed. Thank God for that, I breathed silently, I’d never liked him and thought it was about time Juwon, a divorced mother of two, found herself a nice gentleman instead of the controlling freak she just got rid of.
Later, gyrating to a snazzy number on the dance floor, Yinka, a friend who’s had the hots for Juwon for years danced up to me and pleaded with me to influence her to go out with him. Yinka might be a bit of a nerd, but he is a gentleman and he would definitely treat Juwon right. She was appalled when I phoned her the next day to fix a date for both of them.
“Are you insane? What would I have in common with him?”, she wanted to know. “You wouldn’t know until you go out with him”, I reasoned. “The guy wants to take you out for goodness sake, not rape you! “Is he capable of raping anyone?’, she sneered. In the end, she decided to have dinner with him.
She was slightly impressed after they both went out some days later. “A long time I went out with a gentleman” she told me, “he splashed out on a meal at one of those posh nightclubs on Victoria Island and even held doors open for me.
When we got home, he pecked me on the cheek and asked when he would see me again. My goodness, do men like that still exist? Maybe I could get used to him and his oyinbo ways!” I was pleased with myself for, who knows, Juwon’s love life might just change for the better with Yinka. And he was really excited and grateful that I pulled things off for him.
When next I saw Juwon, she didn’t quite share my enthusiasm. “Kaka is back”, she announced flatly. “Back from where?” I asked foolishly, “Well, we’re back together”, she snapped. “Let’s face it, that Yinka friend of yours is a wimp.
In spite of my resolve to get rid of Kaka, the minute he forced himself into the flat and we kissed, my resolve simply melted. When we eventually made love, I felt:alive. His kisses were so passionate compared to Yinka’s. Whenever I go out with Yinka, all he does is discuss business and politics. Whenever I’m with him, my brain just disengages. I imagine myself having fun with Kaka and there are no guesses as to who I’d rather be with.
“To make Kaka jealous, I told him I was now in a relationship with Yinka and he nearly fell off the chair laughing. “You can do better than that surely,” he sneered. “If you must replace me, find someone more challenging and I promise you, I’d leave you alone!’ After he left, I thought of phoning Yinka to forget all about me, but I had a date with him that evening and I intended to let him know then.
He was so nice, and glad to see me that I ended up telling him that I didn’t want to rush into another relationship having just gotten out of a bad one. He accepted this and said we should take things real slow!” I was a bit confused. “So what have you really decided to do?”, I asked her. “To live a bit of a double life”, she answered cheekily. “And why not?
I keep Kaka for sex and Yinka to make him happy and as a reserve for when Kaka misbehaves. Kaka is a very sexy lover but a bad boy – keeping Yinka will be proof that I can attract men who are not louts!” I didn’t know what to make of the scheming barracuda Juwon has suddenly turned into.
To think I was feeling sorry for her enough to encourage her relationship with Yinka! She obviously knows what she wants and let’s face it, who wouldn’t prefer a good romp in the hay to a bore who kisses the back of your hand and opens doors for you?
Yinka was full of how wonderful, Juwon was when next I saw him, I wish I had the nerve to tell him to cast his net somewhere else. I did warn him though that after Juwon’s experience with Kaka, she might not be ready to commit to another man.
He told me not to worry, that they now got on like a house on fire. And what about sex? “Oh, we’ve had that – only once. And it was ok”, he assured me. “It will get better with time.”
Juwon wasn’t so enthusiastic when I mentioned it. “I felt like a cheat sleeping with him”, she admitted. “I had to pretend it was Kaka to get any semblance of satisfaction. I now know how prostitutes feel! I tell you I wouldn’t do it again no matter how high you sell him to me, it’s just not worth it. Lillian couldn’t quite believe my involvement with Yinka and Juwon. After burning my fingers with a few match-makings she thought I would have learnt my lesson.
But I protested this had nothing to do with matchmaking, I merely introduced the two and it was up to them whether or not they liked each other. Lillian just shrugged and tossed a carrier bag to me. Inside was a long piece of lace fabric.
“You know that Jake’s younger sister is getting married”, she said excitedly. “That’s the `aso-ebi’ and he’s paid for both of us to attend. “She doesn’t hang about! Jake is the boyfriend she’s always trying to spite her philandering husband with. “Having illicit bonks is one thing, but why go to a family do with him?”
“I’m not going any where with him, I’m coming with you!”, she pointed out. Once again, I would be usd as a cover up for their clandestine romance. I didn’t really mind – not when I was getting an expensive piece of lace fabrics for free, prelude to an Owambe party with a popular juju musician on the banks stand!
We arrived the party rather late. Thank goodness, all the boring engagement ceremonies were out of the way. By the time we got onto the dance floor, Jake’s wife had joined the entourage that would take the bride to her new husband’s house.
The band leader, mistaking Lillian for the wife (she certainly dressed the part) sang praises of her and Jake to high heavens. Nobody seemed to want to correct the mistake and we just danced the night away, getting ‘sprayed’ good money by Jake’s friends. As we left, the band leader personally came to thank us for our generosity. It was one of the few parties that make you feel good about your social standing.