Come the d-day, we set off at the crack of dawn. By the time we arrived Mark’s town house, some wizened old people were already gathered for the ceremony.
Abigail looked as if she was on auto-pilot and I stood determinedly by her side.
Our other two friends looked fierce and I smiled secretly to myself. A ceremony that was supposed to be joyous could swing the other way any minute. We were dressed to the nines and were made so much fuss of. Decked in a “heavy’ lace outfit Mark moved towards Mariam, the new mother, also adorning an identical lace as she walked in with the new baby wrapped in a shawl. As she knelt to greet us, Abigail sprang up, took a peek at the baby and shrieked, “Mark! How could you look at this child and call him yours? He doesn’t look anything like any of your other children when they were infants. Are you so desperate to prove your virility that you’ll take on any child as yours?” On and on she raved, letting the frustration of the past months take their toll on her.
Calmly, I shushed her and the embarrassed guests got ready to start the ceremony.
With a long-drawn hiss, she walked out on us all and went to sit in the car. She refused to budge until some of the elders rounded on her, calling her wicked and selfish. She was shocked at their hostility. Reluctantly, she sat stone-faced through the brief ceremony and we all left when we decently could. Abigail was like a woman possessed through most of the ride back to Lagos. I had to bring her to the flat with me.
She calmed down after a few drinks and she later agreed to come on a visit to Franka, “ a good friend who just came back from a short trip abroad. She’d called to ask me to collect the things I asked her to pick up for me. Out of all our friends, she is the most daring. She had a ‘non-interference’ agreement with her husband – he does what he likes and she dances to her own brand of music. Both successful in their own rights, they’re unrepentant adulterers. Mother of two adorable kids, she’s long sworn off having more children. All she wants now is fun, fun and more fun.
“ Aren’t you worried about what people are saying about you?” I asked her once as she effortlessly wangled a date off a man at a party with his wife sitting a few chairs away. “Why should I be?” she asked, her well made-up face looking mischievous.
“Let them talk all they want to. Life is short and if my’ escapades bring a little excitement into their lives, why should I begrudge them that?”
As she gloated over her escapades during this last trip, she waited dramatically for a few seconds before declaring: “I went into an Ann Summers Shop!” My eyes widened. The last time we were all together abroad, we’d sneaked into a branch of the shop at an arcade. Years back, Ann Summers, an outlet famous for the sales of sex-enhancing gadgets, had taken sexy lingerie and sex toys out of the Smutty Shops in Soho and brought them into the bright lights. Why be ashamed of whatever gives you pleasure? Eyes bulging, we’d tittered at the interesting display of various shapes and sizes of vibrators and sexy undies. Franka picked a few items and urged us to buy some, but we wouldn’t dare. I guess none of us wanted to be a witness to what we might get up to in the privacy of the bedroom! “I brought the Vibrating love eggs,” she said cooly. If I recalled, these were two tiny pink rubber balls joined together with a cord. We’d discreetly read the back of the packet: “Ready to insert for a discreet thrill.” it said. Not knowing quite what to do with it, we’d moved on to view other interesting items…
“They’re meant to be inserted,”Franka said. “As soon as they’re in, they tickle with a wonderful thrill all the time. Believe me, it’s a worthwhile investment! Would have gotten you girls some, but I was skint, and they don’t come cheap. You know my husband, it’s now down to once a fortnight and it lasts for a few minutes if I’m lucky. With these miracle eggs, I feel rejuvenated and when you’re in the car on a bumpy road, woah! I’d almost forgotten about the real thing until hubby wondered why I wasn’t panting for it after a long time away. I had to lie that I had some business problems that made me unhappy then let him have his way. As soon as he was through, the eggs were back! In fact, I’m wearing them as we speak! I’m like a junkie needing a fix every day. The zing and tingle they give is out of this world! I have to make sure I remember hubby once in a while or he might think I’m having affair…”
Is this girl normal or is she some sort of a nympho ? I wanted to voice out my thought as I drove Abigail home when she turned to me. “Do you think we should get some eggs too?” she asked. “Did you notice how Franka skin glowed? How she looked so happy? I could ask my sister to buy us some you know? Why wait until the next time we travel abroad? The way I feel about my husband right now, I need all the love eggs I can get!”
When we got back to my flat, I decided to tell’ Abigail some home truths. She is only 50, but she’s had her kids and they’re settled, she tends to let herself go. Wearing bubus and kaftans most of the time sucks, I told her. So does wearing the native wrapper and buba with her generous boobs almost resting on her stomach. First, she must invest in a few bustier-bras that would ‘jack’ up her boobs as if they’d been pumped by a vulcaniser! She should also lose some weight and maybe improve on her make-up, get a few eye-popping shoes instead of the comfy mules she favours, and match them with interesting handbags. She looked a bit hurt as I went on, but I reminded her that her husband has given her cause to fight her rivals. ‘Who knows, in the process of doing just that, she might just find herself a juicy bit-on-the- side! This perked her up immediately.
As she reached for another helping of her favourite tipple, gin and tonic, I told her to cut down on the booze. From now on, if she must drink, anything with plain soda water as mixer should replace the fizzy ones she usually favoured – that should get rid of her craving for sugar! Apart from the usual natter on the phone, I didn’t see Abigail until a few weeks after our ‘talk’. I nearly burst a vein when I saw her. She had on a trendy skirt suit, with her boobs almost clawing her throat! I told her to slow down on the ‘jack up,’ helped her re-adjust her bra and wow!
“The girdle is killing me though,” she mourned. I told her she would get used to it and feel more comfortable when she loses weight. “I was at my brother’s yesterday,” she told me excitedly. She met her husband through this particular brother. “Jake was also there!” She’d had the hots for Jake for years. Her brother’s junior by far at secondary school, Franka is just a year older than he is. The boy’s rule, however, was that none of them should graze close to each other’s homes and Jake had tried to respect the rule.”
” As soon as my brother went out of the living room, leaving us alone for a while, Jake slipped me his business card and I gave him mine”, Abigail confessed. “Moments later, bros came in and I left, barely giving Jake a glance. He pretended to be engrossed in the gyrating of some silly girls on MTV Base! So now, I have his number and he has mine. If he calls, we’ll see what develops. If he doesn’t, too bad. I’m not so desperate that I’d be lusting after a reluctant lover!”