DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 18

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

Waking up wrapped in Femi’s arms is the thing to not do. As crass as this sounds even in my own ears, I don’t cheat on the men I’m dating. Never. It’s always one at a time. It’s the reason why I would sometimes go for weeks without an affair.

But I wake up the following morning in Femi’s arms after a night of insatiate coupling. I can’t believe myself at this point. I am bedazzled at my own behavior. I have dated stingy men who used me, took advantage and made no big deal about it, yet I stayed true till it is over.

A nasty headache followed by the voice in my head scream, foul! Get up, you fool, and send this loser away. But I can’t move if it will freeze the sun. The object of my adoration sleeps on, snoring softly. For the first time I am not eager to send a man out of my bed. This feels so different and special from whatever I have had in my life, yet it’s not right for me. I can’t even let him know what I do. As it is, he may ask me to leave Luke, which can never happen. As for Luke, my fangs are in. I will never let go, if I have anything to do with it.

A high-school-failed good-with-his-hands kind plumber is in my bed. I must be insane! I jump up and stand by the bed. He gropes for a bit, missing the warmth of my body, then turns away, and continues to sleep.

The normal Nosa Williams is contemptuous, and I stare at him thinking he must have “jazzed” me or something. Yet, the way he made me feel!

I rub my temple, unsure of what to do. If I tell him the truth of what I am, what I live on, he would, should be disgusted enough to go, leave me. Again, I could let him know how serious I am with Luke, maybe lie we’re getting married; it should send him off too. But my soft heart cries at such blatant conspiracy to throw such a great man out.

I clasp my hand over my mouth, and whimper. “I can’t”

He stirs, and I walk off to my kitchen. I could pretend I was married to Femi, and like a good wife, I have woken early to prepare breakfast for my husband. From our one week together, I know he doesn’t eat much, so I fry two eggs, boil water for tea, and served four slices of wheat bread on a plate.

I hear a loud bang on my door, and startle. It’s close to seven alright, not too early but is that a good reason to want to break my door?

“Nosa?” Femi calls with a husky voice from inside the room. The bang on the door may have startled him awake.

“I’m going to check what the noise is.”

“Wait, let me.”

I hear the rustling of sheets as I assume he gets dressed. He’s with me in the parlour in a second, wearing his jeans lone.

He presses a kiss on my neck. “Good morning, my baby.”

I turn to him, and get a full kiss on my lips. “Femi, we need to talk about this—”

“Someone banged on the door.” He moved to it, and unlocked.

This conversation can’t be avoided for long. Luke will soon call, and I will have to answer.

I follow and stand behind Femi, shocked beyond reason at the crumbled heap of Ivy on my doorstep. I stifle a scream. Whoever dropped her had been kind enough to alert me, howbeit crudely, and keep her face up so I know she’s not dead despite the foaming at her mouth.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 17

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

It’s been a week since Luke gave me a car. He hasn’t called since, which is not strange. He goes two weeks sometimes, even more than. As an international businessman, he travels a lot, and I miss him all the time.

But not this time around.

Femi is here. He’s come to my house every day, at different times. He’d say, “I thought you’d leave the house so I wanted to check on you before you go out.” Or, “I was in your neighbourhood.”

I don’t complain. He’s such a pleasant person to be with, and so hilarious. I’m laughing all the time, and wondering what’s wrong with me.

At night though, I ask myself the same question. The same question I dare not let anyone hear, or allow to show in my behavior. Is Femi not my level? A plumber…I’ve discovered he’s just someone who has worked with many polished people and learnt their ways. Femi is a secondary school failure. F9 parallel in his final exams. I am not so much better educated. I went to a university but my entrance results were earned by my bedroom prowess, and all through the years in university, I sustained myself the same way, cheating, sleeping and paying my way through.

I should be a paid servant somewhere…at least, Femi says he never cheated. He was never book-smart but so good with his hands.

He may not have impressed anyone academically but his integrity is intact. If I wasn’t so attracted to him, I’d have sent him far from me. He pricks my conscience too much.

I can only give these thoughts a chance when I’m cuddled under my blanket in my air-conditioned room, fighting the voice of my throbbing heart that points to Femi as my redemption while my head reasons with me angrily, “Femi can never give you this good life.”

My doorbell goes off. It’s a week since Luke gave me the car. It’s late. Femi left my house about two hours ago. I’m in bed, ready to sleep. I snatch my nightgown off the edge of my bed, and pull it on. I hope it’s not Ivy. I haven’t heard from Toyin in a week too, and that’s good. It’s close to midnight, who can it be?

I don’t turn on the parlour light, and I peep through my curtain to see who before I bother to open the door. It’s Femi.

Why? I shudder at the sight of him. He gives me goose bumps all the time. Then I frown. I hope he’s not stranded and wants to come and stay with me. That will mark the end of my attraction to him, forget goose bumps.

I yank my door open. “Femi, hope nothing.”

He takes a big step in, forcing me to shift back. “I need you, Nosa. I can’t hold back anymore.”

His lips crash down on mine.

 

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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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