No matter how much of an extrovert I want to believe I am, I always cherish the ‘me’ time I spend in a bedroom that looks more of a bombsite than the haven it is supposed to be! So, when Florence, an old school-mate, who had been a good host to me on the few times I ventured on the soil of America, decided to visit the country after years of being away, I was obligated to reciprocate her hospitality.
She turned up with two of her kids and they were quite a handful — their American twang needed getting used to. Thanksfully, I would have just a week with them before they all go to Florence’s in-laws in Osogbo, Osun State.
On their first night at mine, Florence and I were wondering where to go for a bit of fun when I remembered this cute little place in Surulere a friend once took us to a few months back. It was on a whole bungalow in a cul-de-sac) boasting of native delicacies and barbecued fish. It didn’t start coming to life until close to midnight when scantily-clad dancers came on the floor and teased the life out of ogling male customers.
My friend was all for it — the kids would be safe in bed and her younger brother could come with us for male company.
I was full of enthusiasm describing what excitement we would have that I actually missed the ‘night club’. I knew the street all right, but there were no activities to show anything of interest was going on. We stopped. by one of the night guards to ask for direction to the place.
He gave us a strange look and told us it was the house next door. It couldn’t be! There was no smoke oozing out of any barbecue range and no eager customers hanging around the premises. After making sure it was really a Friday, we got out to find out what was going on. We were greeted by a couple of roughnecks who waved to some dirty plastic chairs for us to sit on. The place was downright seedy.
As a matter of fact, we were the only ones sitting in a night-spot that once boasted a live band and guests spilling all over the place.
“Are you really sure this is the place you talked of so glowingly?” Flo’s brother wanted to know. “I think this is a slaughter house!”
What gave him that idea, I bristled? “I saw a couple coming out with a smirk on the man’s face … look, that’s another one!” True enough, the girl walked behind the man as if trying to hide; her eyes fixed on the floor while the man strolled out casually. What other proof did I need? I asked one of the waiters what was going on.
He said that the place wasn’t making enough money to pay for the live band and dancers that came every weekend from a neighbouring country, so the place was turned into a ‘motel’! I couldn’t believe it.
“Let’s get out of here,“ hissed Florence. Not until we sampled the cuisine I once tasted in this now seedy place, I vowed silently. The waiter looked at me as if I were nuts. “No barbeque anything nor any cooked delicacies,” he told me. All they had were fried turkey wings and cold drinks! Disappointed, we had to leave. It is sad that a once bubbly and decent joint had to be turned into what it now was.
In a country where motels and cinema houses happily give way to churches, it shouldn’t really be a surprise what the love of quick money could do!
In the end we just settled for a spot Florence’s brother took us. Not my cup of tea but I couldn’t really protest after the fiasco of the ‘hot spot’ I first took them to. We got home around 1 a.m, earlier than we thought, and I made straight for my room. My land phone came to life almost immediately. Who could that be at this ungodly hour?
I was on the verge of switching off the ringer and ignore the phone when I changed my mind. “Hello?” I snapped. “Hello,” answered a croaky voice. “Ini! Is that you?” I asked, suddenly coming alive. “What happened to your voice?” Ini, our devil-may-care friend was having a one-night tryst with one of her lovers and she had excitedly told me they had booked one of these swanky new exclusive hotels on the Island where you pay with hard currency. She was looking forward to having the experience of a lifetime.
“It is not my voice. I hurt all over and I have to travel in a few hours time,” she croaked.
Ini’s husband had already travelled and was on the long haul flight to the US. There was no way he could track her movement on the land line and she had taken her mobile just in case. She had made the most of her one night of freedom to opt for a night of passion with her new-found lover of four months.
They had had a few quickies which she had raved so much about. A long night of passion would be like an icing on the cake. So, why was she now hurting all over? Was he a pervert? Did he beat her up?”No, no, nothing like that,” Ini quickly assured. “Only, as soon as we checked in, he had been like a prisoner just released after a long spell in jail without a woman. He was at it all night. I haven’t slept a wink… Are you laughing?” Laugh ke? I said, dying to find out; what was going on …an exciting compensation for the lousy night I just had. “So, what happened?”
“The man was insatiable,” she whined. “We’ve made love four times now. At one stage, I had to hide in the bathroom, hoping that by the time I came out, he would have been tired enough to have fallen asleep. He was asleep all right, but as soon as I crawled in between the sheets, he pounced!” I could no longer suppress my laughter. I hooted and hollered. You would have thought that this pair were a couple of teenagers who’d just discovered the joy of sex.
But, no, Ini is in her 40s and her new Romeo is in his early 50s! I’ve always believed that age shouldn’t be an issue when you’re onto a good thing — but four times in a row and still rearing to go! What was the man trying to prove? Unfortunately for Ini, she couldn’t just up and leave in the middle of the night with no car but her lover’s!
So, where was lover boy now? (Fast asleep, thank goodness,” Ini whispered..” I am only dreading when we wake up – he might start all over again. But, I intend to wake up before he does and get fully dressed so I could go home.
My plane leaves later in the evening … “I won’t have the concluding part of this chapter of Ini’s life until’ she comes back from her two-week stint. She must have been rushed off her feet not to have called from the airport before she left. My American visitors have now left with Florence vowing never to come back to Nigeria in a hurry.
She’d been quite ecstatic by the thousands of Naira she got from the dollars she exchanged. She started spending like a lottery winner until she realized that the spiraling rate of inflation has made the value of the Naira very unimpressive. “You hold a few dollars in your hand in the US and spend it for ages – here in Nigeria money just disappears without much to show for it…”
It was nice to have her and her brood, but nicer to have the flat all to myself again. Feeding those kids weren’t exactly cheap but Florence had kindly brought some food-stuffs with her. Some half-opened gunge were still in the freezer which I quickly got rid off. Thank goodness the weekend is going to be busy. I deserve a bit of pampering too and I intend to go for it!