I was pleasantly surprised when I recently had a phone call from Akin, a happy-go-lucky ‘senior boy’ friend, quite early on Monday morning. “Wots up?”, I shouted excitedly down the phone. I was on my way to a book launch and was already running late.
This had better be good, I muttered. Akin has always loved a good gossip and I expected him to top up on current gossips when he asked an unexpected question.
“Is anything wrong with your friend? You don’t think she’s flipped, do you?” I knew who he was referring to. He’d once had a torrid affair with Joke, a long term friend. Fresh from a bitter divorce from her irresponsible husband, she’d seen the trappings of wealth around Akin and decided the gods wanted to compensate her for the rough experience she just came out of. Humph! I warned her that if all she wanted was a regular shag until she found a more grounded suitor, then Akin was it. A committed lover he certainly wasn’t. The man was already married and wasn’t actually on the prowl for a second wife. But Joke, ever the one to want to tame the most recalcitrant of men, went into the affair with the greatest determination – a typical female conceit believing the wildest of men could be tamed if you played your cards right.
Akin, a typical man quick to spot a woman’s ‘reformatory’ schemes, played along with her for a while – up to the point of going public with the relationship until Akin’s wife got a whiff of it and brought out her fangs. Akin beat a quick retreat and it took Joke months and a lot of counselling on my part to be civil to the man. “I saw her at an engagement party on Saturday, greeted her warmly but she just blanked me”, Akin who was visibly miffed continued with his moaning.
“When I called out to her, thinking she hadn’t seen me, she was rude and obnoxious. It was embarrassing to say the least. What’s with her? Is she alright? Could she be on drugs?” I assured him she was ok the last time I saw her but promise to find out from |Joke what the matter was. What with work and everything else on my plate, I didn’t have the opportunity until the following day. Joke hooted with laughter when I recounted what Akin said. `He felt slighted, did he?”, she asked elated. “Now he knows how painful it is to be snubbed.
“I ran into him at a funeral reception about a month before and greeted him warmly only for him to grunt an answer, with guests around him looking at me as if I were some nuisance embarrassing the poor man. It was then I saw this over-made-up woman scowling at me and sitting next to him – his wife. I quickly left the scene but vowed on revenge. My chance came when I saw him at the engagement party on his own. He had a huge welcoming grin n his face but I simply walked past him. The shock on his face was a pleasant sight. He thought, I didn’t see him, and called after me. I turned and gave him one of my if-looks-could-kill glare, and he skulked off. Let him have a taste of the medicine he earlier dished out to me!” Reminds me of another wedding party I attended with Bopo a close friend. One of her boyfriends, whose daughter was getting married had insisted she came in spite of the fact his wife knew of their relationship.
He assured her nothing untoward would happen to her, afterall, the mother-of-the-bride was one of three wives. As carefree as Bopo is, she makes it a policy not to cause controversy and she would be the last one to dare a lion in his den. But her lover wanted her around and she begged me to come with her for moral support. The man was a generous and considerate gentleman and, knowing me to like little intrigues no matter how complicated, I went with her.
The wife spotted us as soon as we came in dressed to kill, but her husband beat her to where we stood, greeted us warmly and sat us on a table where members of his social club were. The wife later came along and greeted everybody, thanking us as she introduced the newly wedded couple. As she happily collected some stuffed envelopes from guests, I hurried rummaged in my bag and gave her some money. She was sweetness itself as she collected Bopo’s too, thanking us and praying we would one day have the same ceremony for our own children. She was really nice considering Bopo’s relationship with her husband.
About an hour later, she showed up to tell us some new caterers just brought in amala and fresh fish stew, did anybody want any? Most of us did and she came back with two waiters, their trays laden with plateful of the stuff. She personally handed each guest a plate but ‘accidentally’ tripped when she got to Bopo’s side, expectedly dropping a whole plate of hot amala and stew on her lap! She shrieked as the hot stuff soaked into her expensive clothes and she quickly jumped up in pain. We all gaped at her lovely clothes with rivulets of ewedu running down the front, she looked as if she would burst into tears. Her rival was very apologetic as she tried to wipe away the mess but succeeded in making a greater mess of everything.
Bopo’s boyfriend couldn’t believe the spectacle that greeted him when he rushed to where the commotion was. We all knew it was a well-planned ‘coup” by his wife but it would be foolish to create a scene – so we beat a hasty retreat. Bopo raved and ranted on the way home and had to stop over at mine to have a good bath and a change of clothing before the soup had the chance to seep into her bits and wreak another havoc.