DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 60

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

My meeting with Femi is emotionally charged. I am not that girl, who falls all over a man. No. But this boy Femi has a mad hold on me. I don’t even understand it. The moment he steps through the door, I become something else. If he wasn’t with a younger man, I would have rushed into his arms and damn the consequence.

Silly guy came with someone into my house.

Femi locks looks with me. “You talked about moving in new, so I thought I’d come with an electrician, in case you have anything to fix.”

“That’s very thoughtful of you,” I say breathily. “The bedrooms are through this door. Please check then first.”

The electrician nods. “Yes, madam.”

“His name is Taofik,” Femi says as the guy walks off.

“Since he’s with you, I trust him.”

“I’ll check the kitchen first. Where is it?”

I pointed it out, and he walked into it without another word. Did I mention I had my hair fixed the day before? Femi would be seeing me for the first time in the new year…

“You brought that boy so we won’t end up alone again, isn’t it?” I press my body to his back.

Femi stiffens, and moans. “Nosa, stop.”

“Why? Because of Ivy?”

He grits. “Yes. I love her.”

“You love me. Ivy stole you from me.”

He turns sharply, and I lean over his mouth for an unexpected kiss. Poor Femi. He responds but for only a few seconds.

“I’m leaving.” He pushes me aside. “I knew this is why you sent for me.”

I scoff. “Ivy will never make you happy. She is a whore. Will always be.”

“Goodbye, Nosa. Don’t ever call me again.” Two long strides put him at the kitchen door.

I shout after him. “What about Taofik?” He doesn’t respond.

My hands involuntarily move over my stomach. His baby lives here, I think. I hear him call to Taofik who replies, then he’s gone.

The electrician shows up minutes later. “Your points are good. If there’s nothing else—”

“There’s nothing else,” I snap. I rub my forehead because I had a headache suddenly.

“Okay, bye, ma.”

After the men leave, I feel an emptiness inside my chest. I want Femi. I still do. What am I going to do about this? With Ivy in the picture, he’s never coming back to me.

Maybe it’s time for Ivy to disappear.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 59

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

The hotel has a bar across the hall from my room.

After the long day; flight from Benin, news of Daddy’s death, inspection of my new house, and the emotional call to Femi, I feel drained. And a baby is growing in my stomach, even if it is only about three weeks old. I am sensitive, and emotional, and in need of company so badly, I start to cry.

Soft music seeps into my room, so I follow the sound. At least I will be in the company of other people. I’m suddenly tired of being so alone. What happened to all my friends? I left my church after the brute raped me, and Ivy took the love of my life, and my daddy just died. Life feels so cruel, and it’s like I’m choking.

Surprisingly, the bar is filled up. It looks a little like a night club with the red and green lights, and yellow revolving lights. A couple dance on the floor, and smoke from cigarettes, cigars and other stuff fill the air, but the air is not stuffy.

I find a seat at the bar, and one of three bartenders attend to me immediately, with a cool smile. He is young but knows how to do his job. I order something called strawberry delight on the rocks. The charming bartender says it contains less alcohol than a bottle of beer, which I think is safe. I never was into alcohol anyway.

The drink is very sweet, just what I need.

Though I don’t know anyone in the bar, I like the atmosphere. There’s light food, pepper soups and assorted meats being served. The music is blues, and soft, soothing.

“Hello lovely.”

That I am not surprised someone approached me shows how desperately I need company. I turn and come face to face with a woman. Her voice is a little deeper than the super-feminine person beside me.

She smiles. “Room 16B?”

I smirk. “Yeah. How did you know?”

She smiles. “My name is Toyo. I own this place, and when your Bobo desperately needed a room for you, I vacated mine.”

Her words jump at me; “own this place” “your bobo” “vacated mine.”

“That’s a lot of info in one breath.” I giggle. I like her. “My name is Nosa.”

“Of course, I know. You shouldn’t be here. All this smoke in your condition.”

Huh!

“Come, let’s go to the roof of the building. The music is as good, and it’s a no-smoking area.”

I follow her. She’s pleasant. Just what I need. She looks my age, but from the veins on her hands and neck, she’s at least ten years older. Good make-up, though.

She orders a sumptuous plate of roasted fish, and we dig in.

“Well, I have to personally thank you for giving me your room.”

“A pleasure any day. And Luke is a friend.”

“So where are you staying now I’ve taken your space?”

She chuckles. “This is my property. I have small makeshift spaces.”

“I am impressed. Thank you.” We go up to the roof of the one-story building. “Wow. The view here is lovely.”

And yes, almost a party is going on here too.

“How many rooms do you have here?”

“Fifteen for guests. I use number 16B.”

“And 16A?”

She giggles. “Doesn’t exist. Just me being cute. Lol.”

We find a table with two seats. We both have our drinks and sip as we chat.

Toyo and I have quite a lot in common. She’s a single mother, like I am about to be, and yes, she’s in her early forties. I connect with her at once. Her teenage son schools abroad in a private boarding school, and she supports him solely from the hotel, which she runs all by herself.

“You are a super woman.”

“I have to be with the kind of backstory I have.”

I sigh. “You can say that again.”

Finally, someone who does not judge me at first sight. I relax, and enjoy the evening.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 58

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

The new house is so nice, and also a three-bed, three-and-a-half-bath.

What will I use all this space for? Well, why not? Luke is so thoughtful. I’ll have my room, the nursery, and the nanny’s room. This is perfect. Located in a close, tucked away like it’s a hideout, there are four apartments in the compound, and from the luxury cars parked in the vast grounds, it looks like all the other flats are taken.

And that brings me to my car. I have to get it back. Luke will be mad if I tell him—tell him—there’s nothing I can tell him. I call the mechanic and tell him I’m picking my car.

The “Ibadan” man chuckled. “Ah, Madam Nosa, I thought you had to dash me moto, ni.”

“Dash ko, donate ni!” I laugh. “I’m picking up my car tomorrow morning.”

“Let me bring it to your house.”

“No, thanks. I’ll pick it up.”

“Okay, ma. Hmm, your money climbed o!”

“I know you will make me pay demurrage. God forgive you!”

He laughs the stupid type of laughter that tells me he’s really gone overboard. Whatever, I know how to negotiate too.

I take notes on what I want to do to my new space, and oh, so much to do. My apartment is on the ground floor, and at the back, which is so convenient for the “cheating husband.”

Now I’m back in Lagos, I have to think about my rival and her threats. Though I can handle anyone. It’s not the first time and may not be the last.

The driver takes me to the market, and afterward, to my hotel. Since his boss is not in town, he’s mine till I get my car back, or his boss gets back anyway.

I am pleased with my purchase for the house, and all the things I will do. I rub my stomach. This baby will enjoy life. Nothing I went through will he or she go through. It’s my solemn promise.

Tempted beyond reason, I call the guy I think is its father. I know I shouldn’t. I can’t even let him know there is a likelihood he is the one.

“Hello, Nosa.” His voice is hoarse, and my heart thuds. “How are you?”

What am I going to say? I shouldn’t call him!

“Hello, Femi.”

He lowers his voice. It becomes breathy, the way I remember. The way I love. “I guess happy new year is in place, right?”

He is seducing me, and I can’t help it. I want to invite him over but I remember Ivy said she’s getting married to him. Of course, until they are married, he’s available. And who cares anyway? I prefer married men.

“Happy new year.” I pause. “I miss you.”

“It’s over, Nosa. Don’t start.”

“I know. Anyway, I uh moved. And I was wondering if you could help me check out the plumbing system at my new place.”

He goes quiet for a second then sighs. “Send the address. When do you want me to come?”

Now.

“Tomorrow or next.”

“Next tomorrow. I’ll be there at about ten in the morning.”

Prepare to spend the night.

“Okay, dear. Thank you.”

“Bye.”

He hangs up before I can say more. I rub my stomach. “Your baby grows in me, Femi,” I whisper. “I’m sure it’s yours.”

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 57

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

Drama, drama, drama!

I’m just tired of all these unnecessary issues popping up everywhere. Daddy died screaming his heart out at Mummy about me. Julia blamed his death on me. And when I told her I’m not coming for the burial, whenever they choose to fix it, for all the obvious reasons, but I’ll send in my contribution, she flared.

“Why? Why won’t you come for the burial?”

“Didn’t you just say I’m responsible for his death? You want people to mug me?”

She hisses. “Or you don’t want people to see your growing stomach.”

I am tempted to hang up on her but instead, I hold my breath. “It’s another good reason. The whole of Benin knows by now, I’m sure.”

“You’re just so selfish, I can’t even comprehend it.”

“Whatever. Let me know how much my money is, and I’ll send it immediately.” Not true but I jab in. “And my baby-daddy is giving a cow, too.”

“Keep your dirty money. Bye.”

I can see her face twisted with anger and jealousy. Keep my dirty money, really? And my ugly fat cow too. Very funny. I can almost see Julia licking her ego and calling back to give me her account number. Or maybe she will send Beauty, the loudmouth.

For now, I realize I’m not even mourning my father. He came, he saw, he conquered, or rather got defeated. Whichever. He has lived his life and is gone. Mrs. Queen William is now free to remarry. She can marry Mudia, and this death coming so soon after her disgrace, I doubt Daddy has taken her and her boys out of his will, so she probably has the house. Good for her. From the tale though, seems she was back as soon as I left the house. Tough gal!

We strange women always somehow get by. Wrong for me to refer to myself as a strange woman, but at times, I like to get real.

I call “baby-daddy” Luke and burst into tears. “My daddy just died. What am I going to do?”

Oh dear. Sorry to hear that. Are you comfortable at the inn?”

There’s some concern in his voice, and also a little distraction. He may be busy at work.

“I am. But I don’t know what to do. I saw him yesterday. He was fine.” I sob. “He was such a kind man.”

“Sorry, dear. I can understand how you feel.”

“Can you come over, I’m scared to be alone.”

He sighs. “I’m not even in the country at the moment. I’ll be back end of the week.”

I gasp. “That’s another five days!”

“Or more.” There’s a pause. “Listen, Nosa. I’ll call you back later. Stay strong dear.” Hangs up.

“Really?”

My drama didn’t work. If Luke says the end of one week, it usually is the end of the following week. The bane of cheating. Anyway, I’m comfortable at the moment and I don’t need him around so much.

Daddy is gone, Mummy is unhappy, as usual, Queen is free to continue with her baby-daddy, and I am very alright in my own bubble.

What I need to do now is to focus on my new house. I’m not even going to try and hand over the keys of my former place to the landlord. I am done in that horrible place. My mechanic called several times too but I don’t pick his calls. I am starting afresh in this city. Opening a new page.

I make a call to Luke’s driver and fix a time for him to pick me to my new house. I want to start redecorating at once.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 56

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

I startle awake to my phone ringing. It’s my mother. Well, that’s new. She hasn’t initiated contact in fifteen years or more like ten really. I pick up groggily, and she’s crying and talking, cursing half of the time.

What!

“Mummy, please calm down. I can’t hear a word of what you’re saying.”

She dragged in her breath. “Why Nosa? Is it a curse I gave birth to you? Your father came here! He came here!”

“To your house?”

“To look for you? What did you go and do in his house? He came with his wife.”

I sit up. What on earth? I saw him throw her out in “my very before” as they say. Leaving him was supposed to be my revenge of what he did to us all years ago. Definitely, he has his brain fried.

“Please calm down, Mummy, because I don’t understand what you are talking about.”

“Don’t try and be smart with me, you wicked girl. You went to cause commotion in your father’s house. When did you return to Benin?”

I never left. But no way am I telling her if she doesn’t know already. Who is she to question my actions anyway? She was never a good mother to me. She was always preoccupied with pleasing her cheating husband. All she did was hate me for being a girl. And half of my growing up years, she tried to conceive like a barren woman.

If I had anyone to blame for my choices, besides me, it is my mother. Not even my father, because his wife allowed him to do as he pleased. And to what end? He still threw her out.

I lower my voice. “If you call me names again, I’m going to hang up on you.”

“Is it new? When have you not been disrespectful? You have spoiled everything already. You think you own the world and everyone in it—”

“The woman daddy married has two sons for another man.” I cut in. “I was doing your ex-husband a favor by exposing them—”

“Shut up, idiot! Exposing what? Is it because you went to get pregnant for—”

I hang up. She calls right back but I cut the call. Who cares if my parents choose foolishness over sense? If my daddy decides to stay with a little prostitute and her bastard sons? What difference does it make to me if my mother chooses to fight me just to defend him?

My phone starts to ring again. At first, I ignore it, and walk into the bathroom. I return to Lagos today. Luke’s driver will pick me at the airport and take me to a hotel where I will stay till the apartment he wants me to use is ready. Well, that little detail was added after I said I wanted to do the interior décor myself. I don’t care about my stinky family. They may never even see me again, nonsense.

I’m hissing and cursing as I prepare for the wonderful day ahead of me. A renewed excitement about having a baby for “Luke” bubbles inside me, and I hum a happy hymn tune. My phone continues to ring but I put it on silent, and totally ignore it.

After luxuriating in the jacuzzi in my bathroom, I treat myself to a heavy breakfast, call a taxi and head to the airport.

The airline calls boarding, and after I’m well-settled in my seat. I open my phone, and there, twenty-five missed calls from Julia, my oldest sister!

What!

I quickly send a message to Luke that I’ve boarded, then I check my phone again. Twenty-five missed calls but not a single text message. This is what I hate – the suspense. At least, she could send a text to hint me,

I call her, but she doesn’t pick up and I send her a message. Whatever their problem, I’ve left it behind.

The flight was smooth and easy, and the driver picks me to a small hotel tucked in the corner of Lekki Peninsula. It strikes me like a hideout. Only cheating men will know a place like this.

My room is self-catering, which is good. I open the fridge and it is stocked. Great. Luke is wonderful.

Since I’ve not heard back from Julia, I call her again.

“I tried to reach you, earlier,” was her opening remark.

“Sorry, my phone was on sile—”

“Daddy is dead. Heart attack. It happened in Mummy’s house this morning.”

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 55

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

I spend the night in the nice hotel Sazu took me to the other time, sipping chapman and laughing over my successful mission. And yes, I saw Queen leave with her two bastards before I tell my father I’m leaving too. He’s too angry and shocked to stop me. With the neighbor in the guest room (never got her name) clapping and cursing at Queen, my revenge couldn’t have been more complete.

My flight to Lagos is for the following morning, and though I had not planned to return so soon, I’m cool with it. What pleased me most about the revenge is the look of betrayal Queen gave me several times. I warned her never in her life to cross a b**** like me again.

After spending a month in Benin, I don’t think I am still a Christian. I don’t feel like one anymore, and with a baby coming…

Luke sounded excited on the phone when I told him I’m coming back and pregnant too. One of those men have to own the baby, and who else but the richest of them, and the one I am official with. Femi or that brute Tope will turn into a scandal I’m not ready to deal with.

Somewhere in the corner of my heart, I’m glad it all turns out like this, at a time they all came to me, so I don’t have to give any long explanation to Luke.

Because I still want to marry him.

Now it has nothing to do with wanting a better life for myself alone. I have a child on the way, and no way will I let my child suffer any lack. His or her destiny has been written to include a rich jeweler. Even if he is a plumber’s child, he will not grow up so. Luke must take responsibility.

Not that he’s disputed it though, which makes me very happy. I’ve told him I don’t want to go back to my house, and he plans to pick me up at the airport to a place I can use temporarily. I am so excited.

My life is good!

If not for the baby, I should be downing champagnes now. But I’m cool with the Chapman.

Tomorrow will be better. Yayy.

 

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