"So...uh." I began. His good looks were over powering. "Mr...um..."
"Black." He replied. "Richard Black."
I wiped the side of my mouth, just in case I was drooling and didn't know.
I got his phone number and email.
But he never once stared at my bustline.
I mean it was right there for Christ sakes. What was wrong with him?
I let the pen drop and slowly bent to get it.
All he did in response was stare at his watch.
Nawa o! Dis kine guy!
He never even smiled at me. His expression was very businesslike---like I were an annoying client he was trying to get rid of.
"What did you say your name was?" He asked.
It wasn't much, but I got a hint of a smile.
"Well," I began. "My name is----"
"Priye!" Came Ekky's voice from the doorway.
I had half a mind to tell his body guards to keep her outside.
He gestured for them to let her through."Fellow worker in church?"
"Yes!" Ekky strotted in.
*if this guys an ass man, I'm done for.*
Ekky was very curvy. But not very fine facially. There's no way he would be---.
"Hello." He said extended his hand. "I'm Richard."
*Not only did he rise from his seat, he shook her hand and SMILED?*
Ekky giggled and took his hand. "I'm EKAETTE. But my friends call me Ekky."
"So is it true what they say about Akwa ibom girls?" He asked.
At this point, I had as much relevance as an unplugged standing fan.
"Please tell me, what do they say."
They were still holding hands.
"That the women know how to take care of their men." He replied.
She giggled again.
Bitch is so fake!
"Yes, its true. Like me for instance, I know how to take care of my man." She said. "Unfortunately, right now I'm single."
*After shagging half of port Harcourt, why you no go single?*
"As fine as you are," he said. "That's hard to believe."
*okay, that's it! Sarah marrying a hunk is one thing. But Ekky cockblocking me is just bad Juju. Na ma own bad pass?*
"So, *Sister Ekky." I said. "The service is about to start. We should really get going---"
"Oh, I apologise for keeping you from God's work." He said. "I admire devoted female workers in church."
"Oh, I'm very devoted." Ekky cut me off. "I've been an usher, choir member and pastor in this church for five years."
My eyes popped open.
"Wow." He said. "I'm really impressed. Beautiful and God fearing. You're the perfect Khaleesi for a king."
Na dere Nepa take light o!
Ekky squinted. "...Kalee...what?"
"Khaleesi, from Game of thrones." He said. "Its my favorite show. Please, don't tell me you haven't watched it."
Ekky scratched her head."Uh...I have..."
*Lie-lie. Na only Zee world she dey watch*
I saw my opening. "You know, you actually remind me of Khal drogo." I said to him.
His face lit up like he'd just won the lottery. "What? You're a fan?"
"Die hard fan."
Dude was ecstatic. "Did you watch the last season?"
"Oh, yes." I said throwing side eyes. "I hated the fact that---"
"Sister Priye. The service has started oh!" Ekky said.
"Oh, silly me. I shouldn't keep you from God's work." He said. "Ekky, here's my card. Call me any time."
"Yes ofcourse." She giggled again.
*This isn't happening.*
"And I look forward to hearing from you, Priye. " he smiled at me. "Maybe we could chat some more about game of thrones."
"Sure, why not?"
We stood there and watched him go. His Cologne still lingered in the air.
"Ekky, I saw him first."
"Na u get ya mouth."
"He likes game of thrones and God fearing girls. Its a no brainer."
"Who big breast epp? Na me him give number first oh! Your own na just consolation price. Warri no dey carry last."
I giggled. "You're not from delta. And warri no dey carry last no mean say Warri go carry first."
"Mbok, bring it on!
"I need to get some things off my chest." I said after we had ordered our drinks.
It was Wednesday, and I didn't like the way things were between me and Ekky.
We hadn't spoken since that day. So I decided we should meet during our lunch break to settle this once and for all.
Ekky had her famous. I'm-keeping-malice-with-you expression on her face. I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but I had to try..
"Ekky, we've been friends for ten years."
"Nine." She said. "The year we kept malice over that my ugly picture you accidentally posted doesn't count."
"Okay," I said. "Nine years. You're my best friend. I don't think its right for us to be fighting over a guy."
"I no dey fight with you." She said. "I just don't like the fact that you think I'm not good enough for a guy like Richard."
I arched an eye brow. "Are you?"
"See what I mean? I never talk finish you Don start to judge person. Abbegy..." She got up to leave.
"OK, wait. That came out wrong." I said blocking her path. "It was wrong for me to say that. I'm sorry. "
She didn't meet my gaze.
"Look, I just wanted you to know that our friendship means a lot to me. " I said. "You can have him if you want."
Her eyes popped open.
"If that's the price I have to pay to keep our friendship , then so be it."
"Lemme get this straight." She sat down again. "You mean, you're going to let him go because of our friendship?"
She fell silent.
Our drinks came first. Trust me, coke has never so bitter.
"Okay." She said with a shrug.
I blinked. "Okay what?"
"Okay, I respect your decision."
"So you're still going for him?"
She shrugged again. "Before nko?"
*This geh na thief*
"So you're not going to leave him for the sake of our friendship?"
"Which kine reverse psychology be dis one? You say you no want am again. Me say, okay, thank you."
"So our friendship means nothing to you?"
"Nawa o! Jamb question. I'm looking for a serious boyfriend. Richard is hot and single. Goat no go see food leave am."
"Don't flatter yourself.Na dog you be."
It had come out before I could stop it.
She put down her drink, the way Chinese men in Kun fu movies took off their glasses before a fight.
"See?" She said. "Its finally out."
"I'm sorry...I didn't mean----"
"Oh, shutup and stop pretending. You've always seen me as nothing more than a slut. You don't think I deserve a guy like Richard."
"You're taking this out of context---"
"If you're so perfect why you never settle down? Shay na Simon Don dey beg you since. But because him no get money, na bad market."
I was on my feet. "That's not true! I'm...I'm just not into Simon like---"
"Abeggy." She was on her feet again. This time, I didn't stop her.
"You know what? TO HELL WITH YOU, TO HELL WITH RICHARD...AND TO HELL WITH YOUR FRIENDSHIP."
She stormed out of the restaurant, nearly knocking down a waiter in the process.
*So much for the talk*
That evening, Ekky sent me text, saying she was sorry. I apologized too.
I felt bad for the things I'd said.
We promised to leave Richard alone. Ekky actually actually cried when we talked.
*okay, me I cried too*
Anyway, that was that. It was hard, but I tried my best to put Richard out of my mind for a full day.
Until something happened on Facebook.
I had sent him a request.
Now, was this before or after my talk with Ekky? I'm ...really not sure...this was awhile ago, my memory's a bit sketchy.
Well, out of the blue, he accepted .
My heart was racing, especially when he ...LIKED one of my pictures. Certain parts of my body warmed up.
*This must prove that he was into me too.*
To make matters crazier, he TAGGED me in a photo.
Game of thrones memorabilia shop opening in Port Harcourt.
I tried to steady myself.
What was I going to do?
The question was irrelevant. Of course I knew what I was going to do.
*No brainer alert!*
But...but my promise to Ekky...
Well, all I would be doing would be attending an event.
Bumping into him was just a bonus.
He sent me that because he wanted us to hook up. Attending the event didn't mean I would be breaking my vow to my best friend....did it?
Of course not!
I'll just attend and keep things on a very platonic level.
*Yes. That's what I'll do.*
Just then, my phone rang.
There's an old saying that goes: "behind every fine girl are at least five chykaz she knows she'll NEVER date."
So why do we keep them around?
Simple, we love the attention.
Next question, please!
But don't get me wrong, these chykaz aren't entirely for our self-esteem.
Sometimes ( if they have money) they help with boredom.
If chykaz had ranks, Simon was my most senior officer.
The five star general, oga of chykadom
He was a young lawyer, which in Nigeria usually means broke guy.
He drove an AC-less old Camry that was constantly prone to overheating, battery problems and unexpected brake and quench dilemmas.
This one time, it stopped on the express way.
I "fondly" recall holding up the bonnet in the scorching sun whilst he poured water into the radiator.
Needless to say, that was the last date we ever went on.
He was cute and had a great sense of humor .
But all the cuteness and laughter in the world couldnt hide one simple and profound fact:
*De guy no get shi-shi*
I muted the screen, hoping he would give up after one try.
The phone was ringing again.
Some chykaz sha!
I answered the call.
"Hey, what's up?" Trying to sound cheerful.
"Just calling to check up on you. " he said.
*na nice guy sha*
"Awww, thanks." I said. "So how are you?"
"Not bad o. So did you finally fix your car?"
"For where?" He said. "Still at the mechanic."
"Chei! Simon you should really sell that car, you're spending so much on it. "
"No be lie sha." He said. "I suppose sell the motor, add money buy new sandal."
I laughed so hard, I nearly dropped the phone.
That was Simon, always with a sense of humor.
*if only he had money*
Look, I'm not some gold digger. I just wanted to settle down with a guy that could take care of me.
"Anyway," he said. "My credit will soon run out. Take care, okay?"
Then he hung up.
In some small part of my mind, I felt guilty for having feelings for Richard.
*Simon, park well jor!*
I started getting ready to see Richard.
......to be continued.
LIFE IS A CHOICE,
SO CHOOSE WISELY.