I’m delighted to report the resumption of broadcast of Indigo Radio FM Channel 2.
The story formerly known as “Do You Remember Me” will now continue as “Forgot to Forget You” on as regular a weekly schedule as possible!
I do hope you enjoy it!
I’m delighted to report the resumption of broadcast of Indigo Radio FM Channel 2.
The story formerly known as “Do You Remember Me” will now continue as “Forgot to Forget You” on as regular a weekly schedule as possible!
I do hope you enjoy it!
WARNING: Some Use Of Strong Language!
To say that what happened between Derin and I in that restaurant parking lot confused me – is an understatement.
So naturally the next day I ended up in Maminat’s Old ikoyi residence seeking clarity.
Naturally we sat in her lovely, airy, morrocan tiled patio – under a recently purchased and vibrantly healthy looking Persimmon tree growing through a circular hole that had apparently been cut right through her floor to allow access to the soil beneath her house.
Naturally she was serving me Oolong tea in the skillful Gong fu style from a Yixing clay teapot over a water tray that she assured me had been hand carved from pure granite by an actual – Chinese – artisan – monk – that she still exchanged emails with every now and then.
For once though, I didn’t have time to be overwhelmed by my friend because the matter on ground was too urgent.
Over the mellow tea I told her everything that happened, step for step, careful not to leave out critical details like my estimates on the amount of pressure, friction and temperature of what I was currently calling the “happening” or the amount of time it took me to recover, get into my car and drive home.
“You’re sure it was lips you felt? Not fingers like this – ” Maminat reached forward and softly brushed the back of her fingers against my lips.
I stared at her.
“Even if that’s what he did, would that be normal?” I asked her.
“Wouldn’t it? Don’t guys always do that? Even when you’re wearing lipstick?”
I frowned, “No?”
“I thought it just meant shhh,” she frowned back.
I shook my head determined not to be distracted, “Maminat, he kissed me!”
Maminat sighed, “Honestly, this is an unexpected escalation,”
“Escalation?” I was starting to wonder if i’d ever had a lucid conversation with a person I considered one of my best friends. “Escalation of what?”
The look the beautiful girl pinned me with then was decidedly sly.
“Girin,” she said cryptically.
“What is that?” I asked but the dread was already creeping up my spine even as Maminat leaned forward, smiling into my face as her warm perfume wafted over me.
“Gigi and Derin… GiRin.”
Anyway, that’s how I ended up finally deciding to root out my other best friend, Dienye who may have been an introvert but was at least sane and loyal enough not to ship me with the husbands of my other friends…
Dienye lived in her parents pleasantly shabby old, SW Ikoyi duplex and as far as I knew she had no plans to ever move out.
Not even to get married.
She lived her days doing cool graphic design stuff for companies and the occasional celeb.
She did it all from her bedroom and when she wasn’t working, she was watching Korean dramas and salivating over her latest Oppa*. (cultural notes below)
Well, ok, maybe loyalty wasn’t her strongest point but I have never known a person more content with her life just as it was.
She answered her door in the slacker uniform of old t-shirt and track downs, yawned then scratched her tummy while peering blearily at me through her glasses.
“Did you bring donuts?” She asked and of course I had since I’d told her this was an emergency and like I’ve mentioned, I never approach problems without sugar.
We settled down in her bedroom where her HD LCD screen was frozen at a scene depicting her current Oppa* flexing picture perfect abs and pecs in an obligatory shower scene.
Sitting on her quilted bed, surrounded by Dienye’s environment that hadn’t changed much since Secondary School days always made me feel like a teenager.
Actually, the whole situation I was currently in was giving me serious war flashbacks of my adolescence.
“I’ll just come out and say it, “ I told her before she’d even sunk her teeth into her first sugary treat, “he kissed me.”
“Sh*t,” Dienye said eyebrows flying, “is that good or bad?”
“It’s very bad, Dienye and you’re supposed to ask who kissed me?”
“Who kissed you?” she asked obediently.
“Derin” I dropped the bomb.
Dienye’s expression didn’t change, “Who?”
I breathed deep.
I love Dienye a lot but she’s ALWAYS like this.
If a person doesn’t play a central enough role in her life (like “Mother” “Father” “Immediate Best Friend for the Last 10 years or so”) or feature in a Korean drama then they’re just names to her.
And she really doesn’t care so it can be infuriating…
“Akudo’s husband, Dienye,” I explained slowly, “ Akudo’s husband smooched me in a restaurant parking lot last night – and I’m losing my mind”
“F**k!” Dienye said the donut falling from her hand. I finally had the response I wanted. “Why?”
“If I knew, would I be here feeding you donuts?”
“You’re right,” Dienye agreed, she was finally awake, “Ok, please start from the beginning. Help me to understand.”
More than a little gratified that I was finally being taken seriously I broke it all down for her just the way I had for Maminat, pausing only to breath or answer the occasional sharp question interjected by my friend.
When I was done, Dienye who was sitting crosslegged beside me put her hands down decisively on her thighs.
“Here’s what I’m getting from this Gigi,” she said, “and I’m drawing from my wealth of experience as someone who has watched every kind of romantic drama there is in at least 4 different languages and cultures….”
I prepared myself for her sage advise.
“This Cat wants you.” Dienye told me soberly.
I realized my error immediately.
Of course it would look like Derin was interested in me if you weren’t aware of his and Akudo’s messed up dynamic.
I had always kept the things I’d witnessed about their relationship mostly to myself. It wasn’t my drama to share. Except now – all of a sudden it sort of was – and so I proceeded to quickly fill Dienye in on the background mess that preceded the ‘happening”.
Dienye frowned and nodded. “that’s well and good,” she said, “but he wants you, sha,”
“First of all,” I told her, “I wish you would stop saying that because it bothers me.”
“Sorry” my friend said meekly.
“Secondly, didn’t you hear me? He’s literally co-dependant on Akudo. He loves her.”
“I understand,” Dienye said, “that’s why it’s so weird that he’s crushing on you. At least he’s admitted it to himself. I really hate in dramas when you’re like 15 episodes in and the guy is basically stalking the chick but he still doesn’t know he likes her… like, how does that even work?”
“Dienye this isn’t a drama – it’s my life.”
“Ah – yes. Noted.” Dienye pushed up her glasses and shifted me a speculative glance, “But if it was – and I was writing it? I would make you confront him – wait, O! First of all how do you even feel about this? Do you like him?”
“Are you mad?”
“Just checking,” my friend smirked, “Anyway, like I said, I would make you straight up ask him like – my guy what the actual f**k?”
“I can’t believe you’re giving me the same advice as Maminat…”
I really couldn’t because as people they couldn’t be more different! How could they be on the same P on this?
“What did Maminat say?” Dienye asked with interest. She was probably the only friend I had that didn’t just see Maminat as a runs girl that I should totally stay away from.
Dienye thought Maminat was “mad cool” and always said she would’ve made friends with her if she hadn’t stopped making new friends after Primary School.
“Maminat said why don’t I just ask him why he did that?” I admitted.
Dienye nodded her head in agreement, “Why don’t you?”
“Because!!!” I wheezed in fear and exasperation, “Then it would become REAL!”
Dienye gave me an exceptionally deadpan expression as she bit into her donut then spoke around the bite, “s’already real fam, what’re you talking about…?”
“No, it’s only real if Derin and I talk about it,” I insisted because everyone intuitively knows that, right?
“Or if Akudo finds out.” Dienye added and I caught a mild panic attack.
God knows I would NEVER in a MILLION years want to tell Akudo about this but – what if Derin did? I mean – who knew what was going on his head anyway?
“Was it good?” Dienye asked. Her gaze had turned speculative again.
“What?” I asked distracted by the new threat of Derin snitching.
“The kiss. Was it good? Does Derin got the moves? Did he he hydrate your panties? What would you score him?” her eyes were sparkling behind her spectacles now.
“Ok, ew,” I shifted away from her, “Can you not perv on this? I keep reminding you that Derin is real and very married to my friend AND boss!”
“Sorry. My bad. It’s just been never since you’ve gotten any – I feel… excited!” She shrugged unrepentantly.
“What, like you’ve gotten any.” I challenged her, peeved.
She stared back at me poe faced.
“Wait – ” I said.
Her gaze stayed enigmatic. She bit into her donut again.
“Dienye Briggs have you… are you…?” I suddenly understood her excitement for my drama because now that the shoe was potentially on the other foot my inner gist monster had suddenly awoken.
Dienye was even worse than me when it came to guys (though she has managed to have at least one relationship) because she never even goes out and she has her Oppas.
“Am I what?” she asked disingenuously finishing up her donut and licking sugar off her fingers.
“Do you have gist?” I asked, my spidey senses tingling.
“Nope!” she said smacking her lips with satisfaction and reaching for another donut. , “Now back to you…”
I knew she was lying. My inner gist monster could smell the gist on her… but my problem was pressing so I let it go for now.
“What’s the thing that worries you the most about this whole kissing thing?” Dienye asked adjusting her glasses and suddenly looking scholarly. Well – except for the now sugar encrusted, I-work-at-home couture she had going on.
“Well… everything, “ I said, “but mostly I’m freaked out that it might mean something and that Akudo’s going to find out and murder me.”
“So if you leave it alone and he doesn’t say anything – and nothing else happens – then you’re good.” she suggested.
“Exactly,” I said loving that scenario.
“Must there be a ‘but’?” I moaned.
“Well, do you maybe have mind control powers you could use to salvage this situation?” she asked and I don’t so I shushed, “as I was saying, if Derin is not the tall, dark and silent type – if he’s in actuality more the, tall, sensitive and chatty type – then he’s a wild card, Gigi.”
My heart thudded in my ears.
She was right.
Derin was definitely sensitive and chatty.
“Since you say he’s that crazy over Akudo, did it occur to you he might have done it to make her jealous? In which case he would need her to find out about it?”
My heart rate sped up so much I wondered if I was actually having a heart attack.
“H-he wouldn’t – do me like that though – right?” I asked.
Dienye shrugged callously, “girl, I dunno..”
Sh*t. Sh*t. It really hadn’t occurred to me though it should have!
This was a nightmare. I had no choice but to confront him about it and stop him!
I stood up abruptly. “Dienye I have to go!” I said hurriedly stepping into my flats and grabbing my handbag.
Dienye grinned at me understandingly as she got up too. “Go for it Gigi! Don’t become a hashtag.”
She walked me out, hugged me then showed me her fist and said “Fighting!”*
Then I was alone in my car wondering just how the heck I thought I was going to handle this.
I’d like you to talk to me frankly about your concerns…
My boss who is also my former senior from secondary school and my good friend keeps getting me involved in her marital problems.
Something is up with her for real, it’s like she’s not satisfied or something? And I find that crazy because her husband is like the best guy in the world, like he adores her….
I’m sure he does?
Ok – to be honest it’s not as straight forward as it could be because there’s this guy also from my secondary school past who used to be my best friend in JSS but then he got really smoking hot over one summer and ended up as my boss’s boyfriend.
And while I was in denial about it in JSS, as a grown woman I can now admit that I may still have the tiniest bit of a crush on him but more importantly – so does my boss, I suspect!
And that is very not good because marriages in peril do not need the added stress of hot exes messing things up – and obviously, since I keep getting dragged into everything, I’m terrified that it’s all gonna go hard south now that Etomi is back….
Did I mention that Etomi is back?
And that he treats me like an invisible, gaseous substance?
And that’s not even the worst thing!
The worst thing is – my boss’s husband is my friend too so imagine how hard it is for me when they squabble and I’m supposed to picks sides? Like seriously?
And then – he’s got it into his mind to turn me into a project most likely to take his mind off his breaking heart? I dunno? But the project is to find me a boy friend.
At first he was like you’re a cool girl, I know a lot of guys that would love to date you.
Stupid me, my head swelled.
And it must have been my swelled head that made me go along with it because I should’ve seen the signs.
I sha found myself alone with him in a restaurant parking lot after what for all intents and purposes was a date with him.
How do I know it was a date?
Apart from the usual signifiers like location and ambience there’s the fact that he kissed me.
He kissed me O.
My friend/boss’s husband kissed me.
I’m just dead.
Come, was I supposed to talk about work?
Should I continue?
#ForgotToForgetYou Coming Soon
Now is a great time to refresh your memory on the story so far with Forgot to Forget You formerly known as Do You Remember Me (see what I kinda did there with the memory thing? Oknevermind) and to make it even easier for you I’ve put it on Wattpad!
That way you don’t have to navigate from chapter to chapter! Just turn the page and read on😁
We’re on a kind of secret countdown now guys and I’ll have good things for you soon!
Thanks for always reading.
As the work day drew to a close, my nerves predictably started to jangle.
I had a blind date.
And despite what I’d thought earlier about this being a good idea, I was no longer sure that I should have let it happen.
This was my second blind date in not such a long time and after the trauma the first one dealt on my self esteem, I didn’t know what to expect from this one and I wasn’t feeling too optimistic.
As I shut down my desktop I tried to tell myself that Derin wouldn’t play me. He was my friend and he wouldn’t set me up with a guy that wasn’t a legit prospect.
And he basically said no pressure so I needed to just set my self to enjoy a nice night out with someone that was most likely intelligent, worked an interesting job and was maybe even good looking.
At the thought of someone good looking my mind flashed back to Etomi and I sighed because, let me not lie, this had been happening a lot since Rib day.
I didn’t hope for someone of his unfair level of fineness… but, that said, let it be known that he had really ruined my standards. In my mind now there was fine – and Etomi fine.
And everyone fell short of Etomi fine.
Maybe this was what Akudo had meant when she said you just didn’t get over him.
Why did God even make specimen like him and dangle them in front of defenseless women who have zero chance of not falling for him from a distance and breaking their own hearts?
I realized that for the umpteenth time I was dwelling on my friend’s ex and I raised my hand and smacked my own cheek. “Stop it Gigi!” I muttered to myself, “let’s behave like a sensible, mature woman for once!”
So like a sensible, mature woman I switched off my work phone, snuck away from the office while my boss was caught up in a meeting with his boss and I drove my way to the assigned meeting place.
It was a tiny new restaurant in VI called Kitchen. Going there was the one thing that I was looking forward to since I’d been dying to try out their whole thing which was Mother’s cooking cuisine.
My hands were still sweating on my steering wheel by the time I parked, sha. I was early so I sat in the car for about 15 minutes redoing my make up and reciting mantras like, “you’re a sparkling, multifaceted diamond,” and “this isn’t going to suck!”
After one last just-in-case reapplication of deodorant I forced myself out of the car and marched into the dimly lit and still nearly empty restaurant.
Thirty minutes after sitting down with a stiff smile and well into my third tall glass of water with a slice of lemon – I began to wonder if I was about to be stood up.
I had checked my phone a million times just to make sure I hadn’t somehow tripped on a time stream and showed up too early. Or maybe even on the wrong day.
My hands started to sweat again because the waiters had started to give me pointed glances.
Really, my inner paranoid said, is this that big of a surprise? When have you ever had any luck with guys?
Maybe this was my punishment for not calling Akudo and telling her about the whole thing.
I’d thought seriously about checking in with her before leaving from the office. At least letting her know that Derin had called and what it had been about. Full disclosure and all that.
My inner paranoid wanted to just keep things open and non-shady so that they wouldn’t come back to haunt me in the future. I even picked up my phone to call but then an even more paranoid voice in my head asked me; if Derin calling me wasn’t anything – wouldn’t it become something the minute I called Akudo specifically to tell her about it?
What good could possibly come out of that?
At best, Akudo would talk me out of the whole date thing because if she didn’t organize it herself she would automatically dismiss it as bound to fail (and now it looked like she would have been right).
At worst I would literally be asking her to become suspicious about my relationship with her husband…
Not that there was anything to be suspicious about. If there was one person that could be over confident about her relationship, it was Akudo. But how humiliating would it be if she believed that I believed there was something worth being suspicious about between me and Derin?
I was over thinking it again, I know, but as I have emphasized before, this is my nature.
So, I’d decided to put the whole idea of telling her on hold for a while and get the date out of the way first.
I deeply regretted it now. I wanted to call her, let her help me laugh at the whole situation and maybe come join me so that I didn’t have to be disgraced in front of these waiters.
I was literally reaching for my phone when it rang.
“He’s coming, Gigi!” he said urgently into my ear as soon as I picked up, “Are you there already?”
“Kind of,” I said weakly.
“He got held up in an unexpected meeting and he couldn’t even call out till now. He asked me to tell you he’s so sorry and he’s on his way right now.”
“Ok,” I said.
“Have you been waiting long? “ Derin asked. There was flattering anxiety in his voice, “if you don’t want to do this anymore it’s completely cool, I can still call him and cancel. You don’t even have to worry yourself.”
“No, I’ll stay.” I insisted, “I always wanted to try this place out.”
“Are you sure, Gigi?” he asked.
“Of course!” I chirped.
Another half hour later and I was regretting once again.
I was still alone and (after the harsh discovery that my glasses of water and lemon slice were not free) I had found that my funds would only allow me to enjoy one glass of Chapman and the ambiance. The looks the waiters were giving me now were downright judgmental. I almost cried with relief when someone finally sat down opposite me but that emotion turned to shock when I saw it was Derin, post work with his tie loosened around his collar and his sleeves rolled up.
I eyed him suspiciously. “Uh… what happened to Aesop?”
Derin looked apologetic, “Flat tire.”
I was beginning to feel Aesop had more in common with his Greek name sake than just the name.
So I’d been stood up for a blind date that I didn’t even beg for.
If I ever agreed for one of these things again, ehn…
“Gigi this is all my fault, I’m sorry.”
I was actually inclined to agree with him on that so I said nothing choosing to simmer instead in delayed feelings of humiliation.
“I’m actually surprised… Aesop is one of my most reliable friends. I was going to make him Godfather to my first born… and if we ever get a first born…”
I looked up at him startled at this insinuation that there were also baby issues between him and Akudo.
I found him watching me sadly and it dismantled the resentment I’d been feeling towards him.
It also brought back my wariness. I did not want to hear this. I didn’t want to know a single thing more about their drama.
“Let’s just say you owe me and call it a night,” I suggested, “no need to rescind anybody’s Godfather rights. It’s not that deep.”
“I do owe you,” Derin said enthusiastically, “let me pay you back right now. You said you wanted to try the food here, right?”
I did but that was before the waiters had started judging me.
“Guy, I’m tired. Being stood up takes a lot out of a girl,” I said.
“Then order to go,” Derin countered me firmly. “Order anything. Order everything. I’m willing to go bankrupt here.”
I probably should have said no for pride’s sake but now my inner longa throat was awake. For goodness sake I’d sat in this restaurant for over an hour smelling their tantalizing Coconut Jolly and plantain fritters while showering my grumbling stomach with cold water. All this while my waiter watched me as if I was a food thief. My inner pettiness was awake too.
“Derin, are you sure?” I asked just to be nice, “the prices here are kind of…” I jerked my thumb upwards.
“Please Gigi,” he said looking genuinely offended. He picked up the menu and handed it to me. “Go crazy.”
So I did.
And oh I enjoyed the transformation in my waiter’s expression from “Wetin be dis” to “Ha, Oga Madam welcome O!” so, so gratifying…
Even when I would hesitate, Derin would look through his menu and be like, “but don’t you want to try this?” or “if you don’t want it, I do”
Before he was done we must have run up a bill in excess of eighty something K over his friend standing me up and my pride was over avenged. In fact I was starting to feel guilty despite myself as our takeaway boxes were wheeled towards us in batches.
Derin did not flinch at the bill. He barely looked at it before handing his card over to the waiter who took it from him like it was a holy object.
“Thanks to you I’m going to have good lunch boxes at work for the next month,” I told him, “I can’t believe you let us order this much… I feel like I’m cheating you somehow…”
“That’s because you haven’t yet realized my insidious, underlying motive…” Derin said signing the receipt that had been handed to him decisively.
“Hah?” I asked bluntly. I mean there was a limit to how guilty I was feeling O.
“Would you consider giving it another try?” Derin was now pinning me with a level gaze.
“What?” I asked because he couldn’t possibly mean –
“The boyfriend search. It doesn’t have to be Aesop. I have other good friends.”
My mouth was still oily from the bribe I had devoured but I started to frown. “But Derin – why are you giving yourself assignment that has no credit?” I asked, “are you seriously telling me that you spent this kind of money just so I could continue going on your blind dates?”
Derin frowned too looking a little hurt, “No-oo… I spent this kind of money because we were having fun…”
I looked skeptical.
“Honestly! I came here because I couldn’t just tell you that Aesop wasn’t coming over the phone when you’d already been waiting for him – I know I said I was making it up to you and partly I am – but I was also just enjoying myself… I thought you were too…”
Of course I was. And it was really tacky of me to question the meal after I’d eaten it but… I just felt like I wasn’t getting the full picture here.
Looking across the table now at Derin who was frowning down at his napkin as he twisted and untwisted it like a scolded kid I wondered if maybe there wasn’t a fuller picture than this. Maybe this was just what it was and I was lucky to have a cool guy friend who thought it was fun to hook me up on dates with his buddies and also occasionally buy me lavish dinners. Maybe I should look at it like having an older, wealthy brother.
Maybe I should find my inner graciousness and stop looking a gift horse in the mouth.
“Don’t mind me Derin,” I finally said, “I’m just feeling guilty because – you know there’s no way I can return the favour…”
The cheer began to cautiously creep back into his expression.
“What favour? And don’t feel guilty,” he said, “I’m the dummy who tried to turn a nice time into a bribe. You can just pretend I never said that…”
“I’m not going to pretend O!” I quickly stopped him, “I appreciate what you’re doing – helping me meet someone – especially since you’re not acting like I’m some object of pity” I added recalling Foluso’s expression at work earlier.
“Why would I?” Derin asked looking lost, “You’re letting me match make you with my friends… you’re doing me a favor.”
I preened a little on this take on things. I had to remember to explain it to Foluso this way.
“Thank you, Derin” I said feeling a little embarrassed to be saying it so late.
“No need to -” Derin’s face froze as his gaze caught on something behind me, “…son of a b*tch!” I saw him say just under his breath as his expression darkened.
“What?” I asked alarmed and twisted round in my seat. Then it was my turn to freeze.
My heart sped up as I watched the familiar tall, striking figure of Etomi walking into the restaurant, led by the establishment’s Maitre d’ and ushering a woman in a slinky camisole and palazzo pants in front of him by the small of her back.
I was damn well close to having a heart attack until they both sat and I was able to catch the woman’s profile.
It wasn’t Akudo.
I literally slumped in my seat.
“That a**hole said he was travelling!” I heard Derin mutter and I looked up to see him glaring at Etomi’s table.
Fear caught me that they would see us so I picked up the drinks menu which our flustered waiter had left behind and used it as an impromptu cover, “Guy,” I whispered urgently at Derin who was still glaring, “let’s fade!”
Derin gave me a distracted look, then one that was more truculent. “Why?” he demanded.
“Because you’ve already paid!” I answered in what I hoped was a reasonable tone.
Derin’s glance just narrowed suspiciously. “Are you hiding?”
I was. I didn’t even know why.
“I’m not hiding – I just don’t want him to see me,” I muttered from behind the drinks menu.
“Why, though?” Derin asked then his frown deepened, “wait – have you guys… met since then? Did he do anyth -”
“No and NO!” I hissed, “He just makes me uncomfortable – and it’s obviously the same for you! Let’s just leave before we end up in a confrontation!”
“He doesn’t make me uncomfortable, he pisses me off!” Derin grumbled but, to my relief, he was already dropping a tip on the table and getting up. I grabbed my bag and as many takeaway bags as I could handle then hustled out of there without a backward glance hoping that he would follow without too much commotion.
Outside I breathed a sigh of relief and started to head to my car only to be stopped by Derin’s hand at my elbow. I turned to look at him in surprise.
“Gigi, can we go somewhere else?” he asked.
“Why?” I asked baldly. I wanted to go home.
“I’m irritated and I don’t want to be alone.” he said. And he looked it. His face was stiff with disapproval and his whole demeanor was tense. I sighed internally and said goodbye to the food coma I’d been secretly looking forward to.
“Where do you want to go?” I asked.
Half an hour later we were at a cigar bar on Awolowo Rd. that I’d followed him in my car to. We sat at the bar and I immediately asked him, “You’re not going to drink, right?” Because I didn’t plan on being a designated driver.
He gave me a smile that did not reflect in his eyes. “Sorry” he said and ordered a neat scotch. I tried not to feel resentful as I ordered a virgin cocktail and after they came we sat sipping our orders in silence.
After two whole jazz tracks had gone by in his sullen silence he finally turned to me. “Why do you think he’s still here?” he asked.
“Derin…” I began.
“Am I being unreasonable?” he cut me off, “I shouldn’t be suspicious?”
“Of course not!” I reassured him a little faintly. Dear God, I thought, get me out of this…!
“They dated before right?” he asked his eyes drilled into me as if he knew I wanted to escape, “When? For how long?”
“Dude,” I said nervously, “why are you being like this? You know I wasn’t really friends with Akudo till she came back to Nigeria. I barely knew her in secondary school…” I said evasively.
“But she said you both know him,”
“Ehn, we went to the same school but that doesn’t mean we were friends!” I defended.
“So why does he make you uncomfortable? What happened between you three?”
This was getting too much for me. In truth, nothing happened between us three. Something happened between them two but that was really not my gist to share and I resented being the one given the third degree over it.
“Derin, I think I’m going to go” I said getting off my bar stool, “you should call an Uber to take you home when you’re done.”
Suddenly my arm was being gripped and Derin hung his head in front of me. “Sorry… don’t go, Gigi… Please.”
I paused reluctantly.
“You’re kind of being a dick,” I told him.
“I know and I’m sorry. I’ll stop. please just stay with me for a bit more?”
I hesitated. “You can’t get drunk!” I gave my condition.
“I won’t have anything after this drink,” he promised me earnestly.
“And – ” this one was harder to say, “I think maybe if you have questions about Etomi… you should talk about them with your wife…”
Derin raised sad eyes to me, “I was being inappropriate, I’m really sorry Gigi. The last thing I wanted to do was make you uncomfortable.”
“Well… yeah… you did…” I huffed.
“I won’t do it again.” he said resolutely, “please sit.”
I heaved a weighty sigh and climbed back on to my stool. Derin watched me with a small grin. “You were really gonna walk out on me!”
“See you,” I sniffed half jokingly, facing my drink, “don’t try me in this place… just because you bought me jolly…”
“Ok, listen but can I just ask you one thing…” he said suddenly shifting closer.
“Derin – ” I started, leaning away warily.
“It has nothing to do with Akudo… it’s about you… and that guy…”
That shut me up and I eyed him with trepidation though I actually had nothing to hide.
“Why does he make you uncomfortable?”
Ok, except that.
But that’s just for the sake of my pride. Who wants anyone to know that they’re still dying for their secondary school crush it was beyond embarrassing.
“Maybe uncomfortable was a strong term…” I hedged while I mentally searched for a good lie that would put an end to this line of questioning and save my pride, “it’s like I said – even though we went to the same school I don’t know him like that so it’s a bit awkward between us,” I finished weakly.
“Dude – you hid behind a menu,”
I really did. Why did I even do that? What was wrong with me?
“I was taken by surprise, ok?” I said fanning myself with a flyer from the bar counter and not meeting his over curious gaze.
“Ok,” he said, “I’ll let it go for now. But if you ever want to give me the real gist, i’m here for you.”
“There is no real gist,” I groaned sensing that this might become a reoccurring examination.
He let it go after that and his good mood seemed to return. We spent the rest of his scotch on light banter and gossip about his friends but it was still a work night and I was tired. After a while I could actually feel myself begin to droop.
My relief was profound when he finally called for the bill. I offered to pay for our drinks out of courtesy. He gave me a worried look and whispered the price in my ear and I surreptitiously returned my ATM card from whence it had come.
Outside he walked me to my car and lingered, watching me with what I can only describe as a fond smile.
“I’ll definitely get you a boyfriend,” He said suddenly, “But after that I’m going to miss this.”
“What? Sketchy parking lots?” I yawned deliberately misunderstanding him to keep the tone light.
“Hanging out with you like this,” he said, “just gisting.”
“Why would that change just because I have a boyfriend?” I asked.
He shrugged with one shoulder. “You’ll have him by then.”
“And? I’ll have friends too.”
“I dunno,” he said lips curling again in that warm way, “if he’s anything like me… he’d be jealous about you hanging out with other guys,”
I squinted at him thinking that was probably a correct assessment of his relationship with my friend. “Ok, then don’t get me that kind,” I told him.
His smile widened.
“Give me a list of what you like” he suggested, “I’ll find the perfect one.”
“You’re taking this so seriously,” I observed still confused at it all.
“Yup,” he agreed then glanced at me, “want to know why?”
I nodded enthusiastically. I knew there was something and I was dying to know what I was missing.
“Hold out you hand,” he said.
I stared at him as if I suddenly didn’t hear English.
“Hold out your hand,” he insisted, “and close your eyes.”
“Why?” I asked with open suspicion.
“Do you want to know or not?” he asked folding his arms in front of him.
I wanted to know.
I held out my hand and let my eyes fall closed.
For a moment there was nothing.
Then I felt his big hand engulf mine. I was starting to frown at the fact that there was nothing in it when warmth touched my lips and hesitated.
I turned into a jpeg. I could not move to save my own life.
The warmth – full lips touching mine – pushed gently against my mouth, trailed side ways, brushing erogenous nerve ends on its way, then disappeared.
I didn’t even dare open my eyes. I stood there with my hand jutting out even after he let go.
I heard him say something just under his breath that sounded like ‘sorry’ and then heard him walk slowly away.
My eyes opened of their own accord only after the sound of his BMW jeep filled the parking lot. My mouth fell open too as I watched his car pull out of his space and then drive out of the parking lot and away.
I keep dragging this Radio/Broadcast metaphor, don’t I? Will I ever get tired of it? Who even knows?! Ah ha ha -ahem. Anyways.
Apologies for the sudden silence. Summer Holidays struck and (me being the blue chip Mom that I am) took me completely by surprise so I’m still reeling from having all the energy my daughter usually expends at school suddenly redirected towards me!
The first edition of the newsletter, The Indigo Radio Broadcast Club is currently in the works! It’s gonna contain the Finale of my channel 1 broadcast: I Am Abiku! I’m taking my time because I want it to be good and I mean to start off well.
In other news, there is now a Whatsapp version of the Broadcast Club on which I am airing channel 2’s series #DYRM. We are currently on episode 3 but will soon be caught up with – ah – the semi regular broadcast schedule of every Thursday.
This is a special broadcast for me because you can only get on the list if I have your number and you get the episodes as messages from me and can respond directly to me about each one!! So personal!!!!
If this is an arrangement you like you can always pop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll go ahead and add you. I can assure you I will not be using your number for anything else as I am an introverted hermit.
I will also be opening up a new category on the blog called “Sessions” that will be about sharing the work of fellow online writers I admire.
But first – Summer School!!!
Hope you’re all having a great one. Enjoy this gorgeous summer bop from the continuously amazing Wonder Girls 🌞🌴🌴😁👯👯😁🌴🌴🌞
Indigo Radio xx