– What’s the job?
– It’s a marketing position.
That gave me pause. I guess I could do some marketing, but I wasn’t one to do the song and dance required to convince someone they wanted my product or service, so on principle, I shied away from applying for such jobs.
– I don’t think I’m cut out for marketing, tbh. I’m a customer service person.
– But there’s nothing to it. I work for an oil servicing company and what I do isn’t much different from what you do.
– But I don’t even know the first thing about oil and gas.
– I see you’re set on being a Debbie Downer, don’t let me stop you.
– It’s not like that…
– It’s alright Bobo, I just thought you could use the job, its perks and the change of scenery.
– Wait, what? Change of scenery?
– Yea, it’s an Abuja based opening and you’d be required to move to Abuja.
– Whoa! I hadn’t even considered that. When is the interview?
– It’s tomorrow. If you’re interested I could talk to my boss and squeeze you in.
– It’s short notice 😦
I have to ask for time off work, book my flights and sort out accommodation in Abuja,
– You could stay with me, you know?
I didn’t know. Hell, I don’t even know you.
– And tell your boyfriend what?
– Pffft. He’ll understand.
Wait. So there is a boyfriend?
– Oh well, maybe I’ll just pass up this one. Next time perhaps.
– Okay then.
– Hi Bobo
I was chatting with a couple of people and, as chats sometimes went, there were lapses between chats so that when a new message came in, I either responded off the cuff, or read previous chats for background.
I woke up to messages from Brown Sugar, seemingly out of the blue. We exchanged a few messages while I chatted with Cynthia, my brother and the guys from Camelot.
– Do u hav a frend in Abj dear?
– Two or three, why?
I checked to confirm who the message was. Even though with the shortened words I had a vague idea, the reference to Abuja confused me a little.
– The guys are married. The lady isn’t.
I was immediately wary.
– Ok tnx
No sistah, you’re not getting off that easily.
– Why do you ask?
– Wud hv loved to meet 1. I nid to b laid dear.
Bobo you had to chase that nut down the burrow.
– I’m sori, I wasn’t tinkin.
I won’t judge.
I waited till I got to work before replying her.
– I can imagine. Really, I can. I get those urges too.
– Ur 1 guy I really want 2 hav.
I pulled at my collar, heat creeping up my neck. I looked round The Shop, tilting my phone close to my chest as if to shield the conversation from prying eyes.
Osime sat there at her station punching keys. The clack of her keyboard and the soft hum of the air-conditioner the only sounds in The Shop.
– Let me hav u soon pls, Brown Sugar typed.
How did we get from wanting to meet my friends to wanting to shag me? And so quickly too. I’ve got to end this convo. But which kain half gist will I now be taking to the guys?
– We have to be in the same city first
– Am in Abj now, cum to mii
Just like that? I almost laughed out.
– Gotta sort out the logistics of it.
– Hmm… u dnt want me ryt?
– How could you even say that?
– It’s tru. Look at last tym.
Last time haunts me on some nights.
– I’m offering my body to u, y dnt u take it
That triggered a P-Square song in my head.
Take eet, take eet, alhaji
– Wats wrong wit u?
– Y do u do mi lyk dis?
– How? I finally answered.
– U abandon me in bw chats
– I’m at work!!! I paused before hitting the send button and deleted the exclamation marks.
– I run away frm guys, I’m on to u n ur messing me up?
I scrolled back up to the start of the chat to work out how we got here.
– I’m sorry if I led you on. If? Really? But I think we both want different things. Time was when all of this might have been cool, but I’m over that now. I’m looking for a focused relationship, something you may not be prepared or equipped (yet) to give. How about we try for friendship?
– Wat? Ur not serious. Just lemme stay here. I regret nowin u Bobo. Gudby!!!!
“Gudby”? Bridge burned.
I set my phone down, leaned back in my chair and let the sigh out slowly.
“Bobo is everything okay?” Osime asked me.
“Why would you ask?”
“There’s just something about you since the last customer left.”
“Let’s just say I have rounded a corner and come face to face with something I’ve always known I’d have to do.”
“Care to share?” she asked?
“Don’t you have a report to prepare?”
“Sorry o.” she raised her hands in the air and released a long drawn out hiss.
I rubbed my palms, reached for my phone and scrolled through my contacts list. I stopped when I got to ‘K’.
I composed and deleted a couple of messages before settling on this one.
– Hey, just thought about you and decided to say hi.
– I’m sorry, but who is this?
I blinked. Hard.
Didn’t she just message me two weeks ago? Why would Keme ask “who is this?”