DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 67

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

 

 

I’m blank.

The whole day, the next day, I sit alone in my room, not even willing to eat. I just want to be cuddled.

I want compassion from someone, anyone.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 66

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

By five in the morning, club-goers are returning, and the ones at the inn, going home. The hooting and lousiness startle me awake and I get into my driver’s seat. I don’t want Andy to return and find me. The chapter is closed, and I have no regrets at all. His mother has proven to be a vixen, and not one I want to cross paths with, especially since I’d have nothing to gain from being with her son.

My street is free and the security man at the gate opens to me when I get there about an hour later. Huh, Lagos! At five o’clock the streets are buzzing, people going to work.

After parking in front of my apartment, I walk back to the gate.

“I came back last night, and I couldn’t get in,” I address the security man.

“The vigilantes take over from midnight to five in the morning. You can’t come in or go out unless they know you.”

I gasp. “What kind of nonsense is that? What if one has a visitor from far?”

“You have to tell them in advance, Madam. It’s for everybody’s safety.”

“So, how do you introduce me to the vigilante?”

“The agent will do it, ma. Call the agent and he will come and do the introduction.”

Which nonsense agent? But I can’t say to this man my boyfriend just gave me keys. I don’t know any agent. Well, it means I have to be indoor before midnight until Luke can arrange for the agent to introduce me. Not a problem.

I spend the day getting my room ready. I even succeed in doing some shopping for food. It’s the week of Valentine’s but I don’t plan to do anything unless my fiancé chooses to take me for a treat.

It dawns on me, if I get married, or rather with this pregnancy, I will be alone most of the time. My friends are all gone, and I can’t make new ones. I can’t go clubbing again unless I want to cheat on Luke. I stopped going to church to avoid Tope and the young men who “use” ladies like me.

I am alone.

I don’t like it. After I set my room up, and cook a meal of rice and stew, I sit on my bed and watch TV till I’m tired, and ready to sleep at about seven. I must find something to do with my life. Not used to working for anybody, never have. Running a business seems like such a hard work.

My other phone rings. I startle from my thinking. I don’t recognize the number. Normally, I don’t pick unknown numbers, but boredom pricks me to take the call.

“Thief! Ole! Ino! Onye ohi! It will never be well with you, husband-snatcher—”

I hang up. Mrs. Chase is back on my case.

I sit up on my bed. Angry, and thinking what to do. My phone rings again, the real phone, and it’s Luke.

“Honey.”

I gather my thoughts, and breath in. “Hello, darling.”

“Toyo said you checked out.”

Toyo. One day I will get back.

“I had to. There is a club in that place, and I just wanted to be in my own space as fast as possible.”

“That’s okay, dear.”

“Hmm. What’s for Valentine’s day?”

“Nothing, love. I’m going out of the country for business.” He pauses. “Grab a handful of your friends and have a lot of fun. I’ll make sure your account can bear it.” He chuckles. I smile.

“Thanks a lot. That will be great but I’ll really miss you.”

“I’ll see you end of the month. And we can get this wedding thing going. Or you want to wear a maternity wedding dress?”

He thinks that is funny because he laughs.

Before I can respond, he blows a kiss and hangs up. Yes, the life of a second wife/side-chick. The loneliness creeps right back. This is really what it will be like unless I do something about it.

The evening is not over though. The other phone rings again, and it’s my former landlord. He has heard I’ve not stayed in my old house for almost two months and wants to know if I’m still interested. I tell him I am not and will return his keys in the morning.

“Don’t worry about the keys. I will change the locks for a new tenant.”

“I still have five months’ rent so when can I see you to get—”

“That’s the money I will use to change the locks. Bye bye.” He hangs up before I can speak.

The evening is not even over. How I wish it is.

Someone else calls on my real phone.

“You don’t know me,” the muffled voice says. “Luke Chase can never marry you. His wife is his life. She is deaf and dumb, and Luke’s success is tied to her forever. Stop wasting your precious time and energy.”

“Please, who is—”

“And that baby in your stomach is not Luke’s! everybody knows Luke can never father a child.”

“Excuse me—”

The hanging up tone startles me. I thought my evening will end at about seven, but my eyes are wide open now!

I suspect Toyo is the caller, but she doesn’t have any of my phone numbers, much less this exclusive one.

Mrs. Chase is deaf and dumb so who did I meet in that party last year posing as Luke’s wife? And who has been calling and threatening me?

Luke can not father a child? So, who is the father of the teenage boy I met?

My other phone rings! I pick it quickly without eve looking out for the caller.

“Daddy’s burial is on February 13 and 14. The Aso-ebi is 25k, and your levy for the burial is 100k. Please pay all into my account as soon as possible. Bye.”

My sister Mary is the caller. She hangs up before I respond.

What on earth is happening today?

February 13 and 14 is in less than one week’s time!

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 65

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

Shame on you, Toyo.

Going to my old house is terrifying but I put up a bold front. I promise myself I will finish up my new house tomorrow and get at least my bedroom ready. At this stage in life, I should do better. Some of the girls I met have built their own houses. It is something I should start thinking about seriously. I even know a girl who built a twin bungalow and leased out one part.

I could go and find a hotel too but I’m ashamed to do that, for some reason.

It is pitch black at my house. I shine my full light on the front door for illumination, but my oppressor had definitely been back because there’s another dead animal, though looking rotten now…

So, she expected me to return from wherever I ran to?

Thank goodness for seeing this mess while still in the car. I reverse and drive to my new house. I can sleep on the carpeted floor. It’s so late and I practically speed from Mainland to the Island. It’s true the city of Lagos does not sleep but when I get to my new neighborhood, it’s dark and quiet. I pull up at the gate, and it’s locked. There’s no one in view. All the lights are out in the other apartments.

What will I do? Go back and beg Toyo? She has proven she’s stronger. What do I care. I feel tired and stressed. It’s just about two o’clock but it’s obviously too late now. Can I get a hotel now? I don’t even know the hotels in this area. Will I be driving through the streets, searching, at this time?

I remain seated in my car, unsure of what to do.

Until I notice a shadow in my rear-view mirror. Surely the complex has security men and they will show up.

My heart thuds in my chest as more shadows appear. I am in trouble. Involuntarily, I press the horn. The shadows turn to men, six of them, and they surround my car. No security man from the apartments shows up.

One of the men, dressed like a ninja, and carrying a powerful rifle bends over my window and knocks on it. When I refuse to wind down or look at him, he bangs on the glass, and I thought he’d smash it.

To save myself from further aggression, I roll down the glass. “Please, please I’m pregnant. Don’t hurt me, please I beg you.”

“Shut up!” He snarls. “Did you not see the sign at the beginning of the road that no vehicles allowed after midnight?”

I didn’t see it. Never noticed it. I shake my head vigorously. “No, sir.”

At least they are not robbers but vigilantes, which should make me feel better but I didn’t. He hits his gun on the side of my car, and I jump in my seat.

“Get out of my territory!”

I don’t have to explain anything. I put the car in reverse, and drive. As fast as I can, I reach the end of the road, and continue on, back to Toyo’s. I’m not familiar with the Island, and I’m afraid I will enter another street and there would be more vicious men.

When I pull into the parking lot at the inn, I feel a sense of peace. The nightclub is alive and bubbling, and so is the bar.

The receptionist tells me Toyo has retired for the night, much as I guessed. I don’t have a room here, but at least, no one would ask me to “get out” of there.

I return to my car and roll down the two front windows a little. I cuddle in the back seat and will myself to sleep.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 64

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

Andy Noah, Toyo’s smart, and handsome son is a handful. If I was ten years younger, I’d marry him same day I met him. Whatever he sees in me in return is amazing to watch. We spend the whole morning together, first at breakfast, then with a couple of his friends. He insists I should stay around him. We make good conversation. In my heart though, I have nothing to do with the “little” boy. Giving him attention is just in a bid to mess with his mother’s mind.

By evening, Toyo is beside herself.

Andy wants us to go clubbing. His friends, four of them all in the same age bracket, drive over to the inn. I’d be the only female and the oldest. Neither means anything to me. Toyo corners me on my way to the ladies while the boys wait for me.

“Nosa, don’t go with them! What is the meaning of this?”

I smirk. “Meaning of what? Am I no longer an adult capable of taking a decision?”

“Please. That boy…is just a boy.”

I want to laugh. I want to remind her I’m not her “runabout” and she has no right over my life. Instead, I walk away from her. When I’m done relieving myself, I expect her to be outside waiting for me, and she is.

“Nosa, I will not forgive you if you have an affair with Andy,” she says between clenched teeth.

“Someone has to have an affair with him, sometime.”

Back outside, I tap Andy’s nose with my index finger. “Aunty needs to get some sleep. My baby is complaining about all the fun.”

I feel Toyo’s heavy sigh before I hear it.

“I wish you aren’t so pregnant today.” Andy chuckles. He leans forward and gives me a peck. “See you in the morning!”

I am shocked. At the peck. I didn’t think our relationship has progressed so fast. This time yesterday I didn’t even know he existed. The boys get into two cars.

“Stay safe,” Toyo calls out to them.

Knowing what Toyo is probably thinking, I turn and head to my room before she gets a chance to say anything. Surprisingly, she doesn’t follow me. The evening is not too far gone, just about ten o’clock. See you in the morning is a promise I thought she’d contest with me. I’ve seen the way she treats her son. She fears him and doesn’t object to anything he says.

Toyo can be so lovely, but tonight, I just really want to sleep, and I doubt she wants me around her at the moment. Andy is a handful, and the boy had my attention all day. I’m happy he doesn’t make a force about me not going with him and his friends to a nightclub. They’ll drink, dance, and most likely misbehave.

I swipe my card key and it flips a red light, which means it’s not opening the door. After two more attempts, I walk back to the reception to complain. Toyo interestingly is behind the counter.

“My key isn’t opening the door. Do you know where the receptionist is?”

She squints. “I sent her for a short break so I’ll be here when you make this report.”

“Huh? You know the key has a fault?”

“I disabled it. I thought you were going to the club with Andy. Means you won’t need to spend the night, right?”

I smirk. “What is the meaning of that?”

“Nosa, I begged you to back off, you ignore me. Do you know what that boy means to me? Do you know the last time I saw him, what I went through?”

Abeg, abeg, Toyo, spare me the details. I need to get back to my room.”

She shakes her head. “You’re no longer welcome. In fact, I’ve closed your account and sent the bill to Luke.”

I hiss. “Meaning?”

“Meaning goodbye, and thanks for patronizing us.”

What?! She points to a corner where I see my suitcase and other stuff neatly arranged against the wall. I want to scream, make trouble. I guess she envisaged it because as I stare at my stuff, two hefty men appear behind me.

“Your loss.”

I hiss and walk over to the corner. My escorts follow. And they stand outside till I get into a taxi.

Who needs the silly Toyo? I have two accommodations in this city. My new apartment is finished but the furnishing is not complete.

I take a risk and head to my old house. Shame, Toyo.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 63

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

Toyo notices her son’s distraction with me. At first, she tries to take his attention off, but then she realizes it is futile and turns it all on me. Andy, the boy, has a very nice British accent and such a deep voice. But I’m almost ten years older, and Toyo obviously is not happy about the boy’s infatuation.

“Nosa, I’ll see you in the evening, yes? Andy and I have a lot of catching up to do,” Toyo says when we get back to the inn.

Andy arches perfectly shaped eyebrows that will make girls jealous any day. “I’ll like to hang out with Nosa too, Mum, if you don’t mind.”

It’s time for me to get back at Toyo for the way she treated me with Ambassador. I hope my revengeful nature will change someday. But this is just too tempting to pass up. At this point, and after a quick glance at Toyo’s pleading eyes, I should put the boy in his place, and give some flimsy excuse about how busy my day is today.

In truth, after last night, I decided to move into my house. It’s ready, and with Toyo drawing that strange one on me, I want to be back on my own. I know sparky sanguines like her. They are good only for a moment.

“I’ll love to hang out.” I wink at Andy. “I’m really free throughout today.”

In her next life, if she has one, Toyo is going to murder me. If she doesn’t do it in this life.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 62

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

I feel conflicted. Yes, Toyo is so much fun to be with. She makes me laugh, and I find myself talking a lot around her. You know those people who just know how to get you to let down your guard.

But then, she throws in all these darts I find hard to comprehend or decide what to do about it.

After flirting for several more minutes with the ambassador, she finally stands and urges me to stay back and keep the old man company. Unbelievable.

As soon as she was out of view, I stand too. “Goodnight, Ambassador.”

“Running away, abi? Remember my offer. When Chase finishes.” He grins and thumps his chest.

I just walk off. No use answering such a shameless old man. When I get into bed though, I can’t sleep. It’s tough to live this life. Sometimes, I feel so abused. I brush it off as I choice I made. Every profession has its own hazard but the brutality on my self-esteem is sometimes unbearable, like now.

From the men, I don’t feel too bad. But from someone like Toyo, it’s so hard to bear. She of all people should show me some respect. At least, we are in this “business” together. We know how men see us, and how other women hate us…I’m so unhappy about this development. I thought I had found a friend in Toyo. But again, I’ thrown back, and I have to remember I walk a very lonely path.

Is this the existence I want to bring a child to? I rub my stomach. Still so flat but my body continues to change, and I still get sick in the morning.

The following morning, I am woken up very early by a knock on the door. It’s Toyo. For a moment, I want to pretend I’m not inside. Shey she left me with a sugar-daddy last night. I should still be there na!

I push myself out of bed, though, and open the door to her.

She hugs my neck. “Get ready. Let’s go to the airport to pick my son.”

Son? I thought she said she had a teenage daughter. I can’t remember.

“You didn’t tell me your son was coming.”

She turns me around sharply and nausea rises in my throat. I rush to the bathroom. If that “thing” doesn’t come out every morning, I don’t feel normal.

“Oh, sorry preggy! I almost forgot.” She calls out and I roll my eyes.

I’m not all that comfortable around women, though I have six sisters, well had, and at some point attended a girls’ only boarding school run by reverend sisters. Still having Toyo in my room as I dress up is awkward. She sits, paces, stands around and talks endlessly about her twenty-two-year-old son who is flying in from Germany. According to her, he sent her a message to pick him up the night before, after she left me at the mercy of Ambassador.

People like her forget easily or feign it. She doesn’t even ask me about the previous night. Well, she can let it go.

We arrive at the airport at about eight o’clock. The plane had landed, so we made good timing.

Toyo hugs my side. “I’m so happy!”

Within these few hours of hearing about this boy, I know practically everything about him. He just graduated as a computer scientist and was returning home to stay.

What I didn’t know from his mother, however, became apparent the moment he picked his luggage, crossed customs, and appeared in the arrival lounge.

Toyo’s boy is tall, extremely handsome, mixed race, and he didn’t take his eyes off me from the moment we met.

 

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