Bobo, where have you been? I’ve been trying to reach you.
One sure way of getting my guard up was to start a conversation with a question.
Happy New Year to you too. I replied, trying to figure out what Rolayo’s message might mean. We hadn’t spoken since my break up with Keme a month ago.
‘Abi belle don enter?’ I wondered. ‘E nor go funny o.’ I could feel my trepidation.
Sorry, happy new year jare. Forgive my manners. Where have you been?
Any better? I asked, not relaxing. I didn’t want to get blind-sided by whatever news she had.
Depends on where you are and if you’re interested in what I have to say.
Go ahead. My phone keyboard clicked as I typed to keep up with the permutations my brain was doing.
What I want to tell you is very hush-hush. Please I don’t want it getting out o, because it’s still work in the pipeline.
My stomach knotted. Cloak and dagger was not my thing.
You know you can trust me to keep my mouth shut. Why else would you seek me out?
Okay. So, my HoD wants to set up a small unit and wants me to head it. It’s still Customer Service, but a parallel unit to service certain clients. Will you be interested in working with me?
I had a series of smart remarks I could have made about working under her and servicing clients, but I held my tongue.
CS is kuku something I like. Working with you should be fun. Can I take some days to think about it though?
Okay, she replied. Sometime next week?
I was still contemplating what the job might be, and what it might mean for me when someone banged on my door.
‘Who is it?’ I called out.
‘It’s me,’ my sixteen-year-old nephew’s gruff voice answered.
‘I’m coming.’ I groaned as I got off the ground where I had been lying.
Since the holidays, my siblings’ kids have been staying at mine. I like to think it’s because I’m the favourite uncle, though some might argue that it’s because they can do as they please at mine.
Whatever. They sha came and stayed at mine which is more than can be said for siblings.
We were all sprawled, some on the floor, some in the chairs, watching Arrow off my PS3 when I got a message from Wale.
I’m aii. How ya end?
My end dey jare. A friend of mine is having this party somewhere in the GRA, wanna come?
When is this party?
I thought about it for a moment. There was really nothing I was doing at home.
Okay, what time?
She said any time from 5pm.
I checked my watch, it was already 4pm.
Why didn’t you say she was a she? Shey her friends will come? I made my way to the bathroom.
You’re such a man whore. You don hear ‘she’ now, your body wake up.
Ehen nau. Before nko? I asked.
Thirty minutes later, I was dressed and out of the house. The plan was to meet up at Wale’s and then go together since he knew the celebrant and I didn’t. I parked my car at his, then rode with him first to Goodies to pick up a few drinks since it was a Bring your own Bottle type party.
The venue was in a part of the GRA we were not familiar with, but after taking two wrong turns, we decided to try Google maps.
We walked in through the gate and someone directed us to the back of the house. Wale and I walked along a cobbled path and ducked to avoid a low hanging arch, then we turned a corner and my eyes fell on the spread before me: drinks, small chops, an actual swimming pool with water and girls. Plenty girls clad in bum shorts and shirts, loose-fitting gowns, tank tops and tights, bikini tops and ultra mini bum shorts.
Wale and I exchanged a look.
‘Now, this is how you want to start a new year.’