DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 16

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

Ivy calls me this morning before light. She sounds drunk and scary. What am I going to do with this girl? I don’t even know where she says she’s at and I can’t imagine taking my new car to go get her. Puking in my car!

I check the time. 6AM! Not as early as I thought.

“Ivy, see! Are you in your house?”

She gives a slurred response I don’t understand. I only wish I can throw this girl away once and for all. But when I first came to Lagos, and my boyfriend at the time dumped me, she accommodated me and showed me around town. Even this exclusive club where I met Luke is thanks to her.

“You know what, just go to your house, I’ll meet you there.”

“Okay,” she says.

I hang up and get into the bathroom. One habit I formed since I was young; I can’t leave my house without taking a bath. I pick my car keys from inside my wardrobe, and step out just as Femi approaches.

This early? I arch an eyebrow but the look on his face, his swag, the tilt of his sensual lips melts me down.

“Good morning. I wanted to catch you before you leave. Sorry for being so early.”

All in one breath, a combo of his voice and appeal.

“Well, I don’t go out so early normally. Come inside.”

Oh yeah, I invite him in, instead of asking him to come back later. For a moment I forget all about Ivy. How does this guy do it?

We stand awkwardly in my parlour gawking at each for several seconds. Then I straighten, trying to shake this lovestruckedness, if ever there is a word like that, off my shoulders.

“I’m going to see a friend, I think she got into trouble.”

His voice softens. “Trouble? Do you need me to come with you?”

My mouth drops open. “Huh, isn’t that too much stress? I mean, I was going to leave you to finish up the sink—”

“Actually, I finished it yesterday. I cooked up the story to get another opportunity to see you.”

This is the exact minute I should shoo him away. I can’t have anything to do with him. But my lower lip sags and I stare at him as though he is cupid or something.

He steps toward me. “Nosa, there can’t be anything between us. I—” he licks his lips. “I took time to think about this. We’ll only hurt each other.”

So he’s being the adult because I can’t find my senses. At least, someone is thinking.

He runs his forefinger over my cheek and yes, it’s what I thought would happen. I’d like his touch.

“You’re so beautiful, and successful. And I know someone like you will have a boyfriend.” He drops his hand from my face. “Do you have a boyfriend?”

I nod. I need to get my voice back, and my act together. “I do.” I drag in a deep breath. “You’re right.”

Huh!” He runs his hand over his head. “What am I going to do? I want to see you again.”

“I don’t know Femi.”

He pulls me into his arms. “I know it’s going to be tough on you but—I don’t know. A boyfriend! I shouldn’t have come here today.”

I like being in his arms. “We can be friends.”

He shakes his head. “And I’ll have to meet your boyfriend?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“I’ll take friendship with you over nothing.” He lowers his head.

My phone rings jarring me out of this foolishness, and a first kiss with Femi. “Ivy.”

He frowns. “Ivy?”

“My friend in trouble.” I hurry to the door. “You can finish up the sink before I return.”

I’m out of the door before he answers. Before I remember he said he finished the sink yesterday. Before it dawns on me he’ll be there when I get back because he won’t know what to do with my keys even if he locks the house.

Impossible.

 

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 15

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

It is happening. I am uncontrollably attracted to the new plumber. And I don’t know what to do because he seems drawn to me too. This is that time when the voice of reason reminds you, you are not an average girl. You cannot see a young man and decide you want to fall for him. You do not have the privilege or the luxury.

If at all, the moment he finds out what I do, he will back off. Probably try to get one hay in the sack just for malicious reasons.

I feel like such a loser. And I still don’t know his name.

Like a rat holed in by the new arrival of a cat, I curl up in my room, waiting to hear his deep voice tell me he’s done. His voice alone turns my inside out. Soft, deep and silky all at once. To think I met this guy just yesterday. It’s like I’ve known him all my life.

“Nosa.”

I freeze. My head shoots up, and he’s just at the entrance of my room. I left my door open? Thankfully, he’s put his shirt back on. Did I sleep off or he worked fast? How did he know my name? And of all the stupid things to say in the world, I hinge on that.

“How did you know my name?”

He chuckles. “Your neighbor told me. When he asked if I could check your sink out.”

Being there at my door makes my head swoon. This is not possible. Can’t work. I can’t do two at a time, and no way am I leaving Luke. In fact, after last night, I’m looking forward to decades with Luke.

I raise myself up. I can’t be lying on the bed and talking to him. As it is, he’s overstepped his boundary, unless he thinks he can pursue whatever chemistry is between us. I need to cut that in the bud quickly.

“Please, wait in the parlour.”

He steps back. “Oh, I’m sorry.”

I follow him out and close my bedroom door behind me. Only that I underestimated his movement, and bumped into him. He catches my upper arm, too close to my bosom, and we both stare at each other, breathing hard.

Under his breath, he whispers. “Sorry.”

It lasts for a moment but it’s more than I can bear. I have never been this attracted to anyone in my life. I call me foolish right now, but I have never felt so good with another person either.

I want to pursue this, as ludicrous as it sounds. I deserve love, don’t I?

I lick my lips nervously. “What’s your name?”

“Femi.”

Hmm. Those men bearing Femi are very romantic, and can mess with a girl’s mind without difficulty, especially if they look like this one. My voice of reason warns me again. His name is a sure sign you should run. But I can’t run now.

I look into his eyes, and the spark there electrifies me again. This is so not normal. Not something a voice of reason can get rid of so easily.

“I’m done with the first round.”

I gasp. Why can’t he talk in a simple way? Why must his words mean something different to me?

I nod because his hand is still on my upper arm, and his breath fans my forehead, and I really want to kiss him. Stupefied as I am, I wouldn’t have let him touch me, which goes a long way to question me, my convictions. I pride myself as composed, professional. I date for a living.

He steps back and I can breathe again.

“I’ll be back tomorrow.”

He walks out without me saying anything. I can’t catch my breath or find my voice. I slump against the wall unable to understand what is happening to me. Femi the plumber has my head spinning. This is impossible, I keep telling myself. Impossible.

When my feet are finally strong enough to move, I enter my kitchen to check on his job, and find my five thousand naira still on the counter.

Femi.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 14

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

“Five thousand is okay. As long as this problem will be fixed forever.” I look at the towel rag I keep permanently on my tiled floor. “It’s been on too long.”

Plumber follows my gaze. “I’m doing a total overhaul. You’ll be very happy with the outcome.”

Hmm.” I sigh. “So how much is your workmanship? And how long will the job take?”

“Two days.” He hooks his hands in his jeans. “I’ll fix it one day, allow it to set, and finish up the next.”

I hate that my eyes follow his hands, and the way the jeans fits him smugly. What’s wrong with me. I am not into men, much as this sounds ridiculous.

I jolt my head up and meet his dark gaze. For a moment I forget my next question. My throat goes dry and I swallow. He seems too close and I walk to my fridge to get a bottle of water, and put soe space between us. The heat radiating suddenly feels stiffling.

I drink straight from the bottle. Yes, I remember my question. “What needs to set?”

He takes a second to answer and I have to look at him. Something is happening between us. He seems to have lost his tongue too.

He draws in a ragged breath. “I’m going to fill in parts inside with cement.” His voice is hoarse now. “It has to set.”

Every word he speaks seems to come out through puffy lips, as though he can hardly breathe, and they have dual meaning in my brain.

I walk out of the kitchen. It takes several minutes before he joins me in the parlour, a little more composed.

“Do you want to do it?”

Huh, sure. I’ll get the money.”

I enter my bedroom. Can’t seem to stay long with him in the same room. The appeal he exudes is outrageous. There must be something wrong with me now. Luke just gave me a car last night, and here I am sweating over a handyman.

I roll my eyes several times, and take in calming breaths. I don’t need any complications right now. Not with someone I have no future with.

A nasty thought crosses my mind and I swat it off as soon. Would you have taken him if Luke hadn’t come along? And my big answer is no. No way. He’ll be more trouble than is good for me.

I step out to the parlour and he’s not there.

The scene I witness in my kitchen makes me want to shout. The five thousand in my hand drops and he turns, half-naked right there in my kitchen.

“Sorry to scare you. I thought I’d just start, since I’d bought the materials.”

My mouth drops open. “Huh, yeah. Of course.” I drop the money on the counter. “Thank you.”

My rubbery feet take me out of my kitchen, and into my room. He looks so good. This can’t be happening to me.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 13

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

For several minutes after Luke left, I remain on my doorstep, staring at my new car. I can’t believe he’s just bought me a car. After I got a car from a boyfriend, and his new girlfriend came and took it from me, I stopped asking men for a car. Story for another day.

I slowly walk around the Audi. A4, it looks like a recent model. Can’t still believe it. Luke! What manner of man is this? Does his things his way. Talks little and full of action.

A scream escapes from my lips and I clasp my hand over my mouth!

“Wow, Luke! Oh father thank you.”

I open the car and get inside. I now notice it smells like a new car. Even if it is not. I open the glove compartment, and see the car documents. And yes! It is a new car registered in my name.

I think I’m in love.

It happened only once that I fell in love with a married man, and the trauma forever made me never to try it again but with Luke—Luke is too much. Too good to be true. He knows how to treat a woman—me.

I sit inside my car and stare into space. The thoughts running through my mind are too huge. Can Luke marry me? If I would ever get married, it has to be with a man like him. So kind and considerate.

Hmm, I have had affairs with men who will give you two grand and demand from your body two hundred grand. Not this handsome gentleman who is married but treats me like his queen.

After what seems like ages, I lock my car and get into the house. With a silly smile on my face, I wash my face, and take a quick shower.

It’s close to 2AM before I tuck myself into bed. As part of my habit before I sleep, I look through my second phone. I don’t take it with me when I go out especially with a man. Since I’m a private person, most times I don’t have any messages or calls.

This time though, I see Toyin’s call. She just never let up. And a strange number. The person had called and sent a message. I open the message and it’s a quote for my leaking sink.

“Hmm.”

The plumber’s penetrating dark eyes pop before me. His quote is reasonable, just about five thousand. There’s nothing for his workmanship but I presume it shouldn’t be more than another five.

I reply his message and ask him to come the following afternoon. Since Luke is going to call, I will most likely be free for another week or more. I can sleep late and do whatever I like…go for a ride in my new car!

Nosakhare Williams has a car registered in her name. Her first car. Some bimbo can never come and take it from me like the other time. This one is my own.

I fall asleep with the smile on my face.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 12

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

If I had never seen Mrs. Luke Chase before, I won’t believe she is in the company dinner. Seated on my table, right across me beside Luke. I still shudder, just writing it down.

Luke comes to our “date” with his wife? Okay, they didn’t arrive together, and didn’t leave together either. But still…

His driver picked me later in the evening, after I disappeared on Toyin. Huh, she returned in the afternoon, but I was not at home, purposely left. When she called she was in my house, I didn’t pick up. She brings too many bad memories. I can’t face her yet. Not on a date night for that matter.

So I arrive at the venue of the dinner in an off-white evening gown I picked specifically for the occasion, and Luke is at the entrance to welcome me. He gives me a little peck, and leads me to our table. I am placed on a seat across him.

I arch my eyebrow. “Why am I not sitting with you?”

He leans into me and gives me his most weakening smile. “I won’t be far, angel.”

Did he know she’s coming? I guess, because less than half an hour later, he leads her in much the same way he did to me. I am so shattered. I don’t even know what to do. Do his friends and business partners know me?

My question is answered in the cause of the night, as different people interact with Mrs. Chase and her husband, while I sit stiff in my chair, heat on my face half of the night as my “boyfriend” parties with his wife.

What will I not see. Does she know me? Several times our gazes clash, because I could hardly take my eyes off her. Beautiful woman through and through. I believe I’m finer than her though.

But why would Luke bring her here? And invite me too. I’m so angry with him. He has a lot of explaining to do. I don’t roll this way at all.

The party would have been so much more fun if I was comfortable. Lots of good music from a celebrity DJ. Real good comedy from the MC, food in abundance, and drinks.

Several times, with his wife right there beside him, Luke blows me a kiss or winks at me, and I continue to wonder does the wife know me? Or is she just a dullard?

A handful of Luke’s friends who know me interact with me and my head keeps reeling. I can’t be in this kind of triangle. I’m a side-babe. I have no business clashing with the “Mrs.” Never wanted to. I do my thing and go my way. Can’t do any more. I just conclude I need to discuss this with Luke.

At about midnight, Mrs. Chase leaves the party. I breathe easy a little but the best of the night is gone, and shortly after, Luke escorts me to his car.

I’m boiling inside but hold my peace till I know I can get alone time to discuss this.

“Are you taking me home?”

“Yeah.”

“Thanks.”

On the drive, he kneads my knee but I’m not in the least interested. I’m not sure I want him to touch me tonight. This has never happened to me before and I don’t know how to deal. I don’t want to be a part of any man’s married complications.

He stops the car in front of my door. “I need to get home. Kemi expects me.” He leans over and gives me a quick peck on my lips. “I’ll call you.”

Assume Kemi to be the Mrs? Or who? I’m dumbfounded. I’m afraid of this man. Afraid he’ll tell me, “take it or leave it,” yet I can’t deal, really.

I step out of the car. It’s one I’ve never seen before, an Audi. Luke steps out too.

No way will I let him touch me tonight. Until I clear this issue of his wife with him at least. I take a deep breath, my heart thuds with fear. If he says he’s calling it off, I’ll fall sick. He’s the best man I’ve ever had in more ways than one.

He comes around to me, and holds me in his arms. “This is for you.” He presses a card into my hand. A remote hangs off it.

I don’t understand at first. For weeks he’s been talking about getting me a car, asking what I like. But I don’t put my mind too much on men’s talk.

“What?”

“Your car key and a petrol card attached.”

“Wha—how. Baby!”

I kiss him straight. He pulls back. That’s when I noticed his driver had been behind all the while.

“Be good.” He waves at me as he walks away, gets into his other car, and the driver pulls off.

 

 

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SATURDAY ROSE THORNS – THE SQUIRREL TALE

 A writer is born!

I came from the bathroom and started applying lotion to my skin. I looked out the window and there was a squirrel on the roof of a house.

There were no trees that it could use to get down so the squirrel just stayed. After a minute, I went back to watch the squirrel and it made a loud squeak.

Then the tree in front of my window shook. I was scared but I watched. That squirrel jumped from the tree to the roof of a dog house then to the yard where squirrel 1 was. It climbed the drain pipe and went up to squirrel 1. Then the two squirrels went home together.

Moral: We all need somebody in our time of need. Even squirrels do.

 Written by Oore Ogunyinka, a true story which she experienced on 10/7/17.

“This is a story you should put on your blog.” Oore.

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/macarons-raspberries-mint-rose-2548779/

DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 11

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

It’s only eleven in the morning, mystery plumber has come and gone, and Toyin drops from a taxi right in front of my frontage. She screams before she confirms it’s my house. She hasn’t changed. Amazing how people don’t grow up.

I step outside because it’s what she expects me to do. She has a carry-on bag and I begin to calculate what I’ll tell her. She can’t spend the night with me.

Toyin grabs my neck in a monster hug. “I thought I’ll never see you again.”

“Why? Toyin, Toyin! Ever dramatic.” I collect her bag, just to have a reason to go inside. “You haven’t changed.”

“Think about it.” She follows me inside. “It hasn’t been long. Five years only.”

I drop her bag in the center of my parlor and hopes she gets the message it’s not going any further inside. Or I’ll have to tell her.

“Your house is fine! Nosa, my friend. I trust you like kilode!” She looks round. “The décor is on point.”

“I did it myself.”

“Really? So you followed your passion.” She touched the curtains. “I like this. You’re so good.”

Time to lie or tell the truth. She would want to know what I do for a living, and tell me all of hers, even if she has backslidden. She is that type of girl.

When Toyin found God, she stopped messing around. She started preaching to me, who had once begged her to follow me to church. Irony of life. It was a good thing we were about to start final exams, so I had a moral reason to avoid her till we parted ways.

Maybe I should have pretended I didn’t recognize her voice, and hung up on her. Reflex made me do what I did and now she’s here in my parlor, admiring the little yet wonderful things I put to impress my abode. Luke had recognized my talent too and recommended me to a couple people.

“For your house to be this cute, you must make a lot from your businesses.” She walks into my kitchen. “Whoa! Nice.” She returns. “Or you got married?”

I laugh. “Toyin Toyin. Always inquisitive. Wants to know everything about everyone.”

“What will I do? I’m concerned about everybody!”

I snicker. “Sit down, jare. Where have you been? What are you doing?”

“Believe it or not, I left the country. I didn’t even do NYSC. An uncle sponsored me to Europe.” Her eyes twinkle. “I only came home for youth corps. Just realized I’ll be thirty next year, and too old to do it.”

I wink. “When you say “uncle” Toyin! Did you backslide?”

“Backslide! Ah, that word doesn’t exist in my dictionary, and never will! I got married before I left.”

She waves a wedding band I had not noticed earlier.

“You know Bode nah! He’s my husband. He lives here in Lagos.”

One heavy sigh of relief she won’t sleep in my house. “Of course, I remember Bode very well. You married him?!” I gasp. “You people didn’t date for up to a month.”

Toyin throws her hands over her head. “Nosa haf kill me o. We dated for three months. But as believers, courtship is just a time to plan the wedding. When my late dad’s brother showed up with a scholarship for me, Bode and I did a registry marriage and the following week, I was out.”

I am surprised. Really. This Toyin that once vowed single men did nothing for her, can marry a boy they graduated the same year, a boy who had only two trousers. Toyin, bigz girl!

“I’m happy for you. I didn’t know Bode is in this Lagos sef.”

“He just moved here last year, when we decided I was coming back. He was in Benin all along.”

My mouth drops open. “He stayed back in Benin? Doing what?”

Toyin chuckles. “Working. He got a job with a company as an accountant. Also writing his professional exams.”

“Okay. It’s like all has worked well.” I jump to my feet. “Will you eat? I can make quick breakfast.”

“No, thanks. I said I just had to see you today. I’m around now, we’ll have plenty gisting time.” She stands. “I have to get to the NYSC office. Let me see what they’re saying. I just came in yesterday.”

Huh, thanks dear.” I hug her neck. “We’ll sure see again soon.”

“So, any handsome lucky dude?” She lifts my left hand. “What are you waiting for?”

I chortle. “Mr. Right.”

“What do you mean? All the brothers in your church are blind? Which church do you attend?”

“Mrs. Super Inquisitive.” I pick her carry-on. “There’s someone but we haven’t solidified anything.” Plumber’s face comes to the front of my eyes.

“The bag is yours. Just a couple of clothes for you and your sister. How’s she? Is she here with you?”

My hand flies to my chest. “Toyin!”

Yes, she was always so generous. First prostitute who will sleep with a man to help her friend.

She waves her hand in the air. “Come on. So how’s Mary?”

“She’s still in Benin. Working too.”

I don’t want to talk about my family. I walk Toyin to the door. “Should we call uber?”

Oh, I wish I wasn’t in such a hurry. I should have come after I leave NYSC office. The place is close to your street and I couldn’t wait to see you.” She grips my hand. “I can come back when I finish there.”

No way. “Okay dear.”

We call uber. She leaves. I return and open the hand luggage to see two dresses and two shoes. My size and Mary’s. I fight tears. I don’t need a good person in my life right now.

Toyin should just keep walking—away from me.

 

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