I officially apologize for not posting for so long. I’ve been under the weather and I appreciate every reader, follower of this blog who have taken time to come check for updates and comment too. Enjoy today’s episode if you are new to Autumns Wind read Episode 1 here & Episode 2 here
I bop my head and move my body to the sound of Kelly Rowland’s when love takes over. I finally got some days off work after weeks of meetings, presentations, negotiations and late nights I need to rejuvenate. Ben and I have been seeing each other steady in the past weeks that followed that certain day. I feel like a teenager with him because beyond a budding romance we have friendship. Working in the same company wasn’t an issue after all. Most weekends I would crash at his place as we went over and over details of valuation reports and presentations for the following week. Our American investors are hard to please. I have the gut feeling with Ben and my guts don’t lie. My gut feeling is the same feeling I have when negotiating on a tough acquisition and merger/ investment project and it looks like the deal isn’t going to come through. Once I have that feeling I know for sure my client will cave in and we’ll seal the deal. It’s this same feeling I have with Ben and I trust my guts this time. I do doubt my guts sometimes and over the weeks I have. I didn’t even give the guy the normal hassles because I dint see the need to, whatever made me cave in quickly had to be a good thing Ben is a good guy and he will make me happy a very important item on my checklist. No need for drama!
There are days when my head is in dark clouds and I imagine all sorts of things that can go wrong between Ben and I. Like what if he turns out to be something I don’t expect like a baby daddy or has a secret wife with 5 children that he caters for secretly in the village, or his ex is not exactly an ex but the fiancée his family recognizes, then I will be side chick, alias witch who wants to scatter love! My very active mind painting the very worse scenarios, when I’m done thinking of the worst and the stormy waves of my mind are calm. A still voice tells me it really all in my head. Then I see him and forget about the baby mamas, secret wives, and fiancée and enjoy the thing called love and companionship.
I’m back to dusting, arranging, and dancing with myself. Whiz kids on top your matter is the track booming from the speakers when I heard my phone ring. Talk of the lover :). I clicked the receiver.
“Esosa are you having a party?”
I laughed “Yes it’s a party with myself, how are you?”
“Well I’m fine and work is boring you are not around for me to spy on”
“Huh? So you spy on me! My stalker is revealed” I said rolling my eyes.
He laughed his deep voice resonating through the phone.
“I’m coming to your place after work, we should go out; ever seen Lagos on a Tuesday night?”
“What’s special about Lagos on a Tuesday night? I doubt if anything spectacular happens on a Tuesday night who hangs out after a long day at work?”
“You will be surprised Esosa the city never sleeps, I will pick you at 8”
The call ended.
My mind tries to wonder where we were going and what his true intentions were. It would be probably dinner at a restaurant. With that I returned to cleaning, organizing and dusting while bopping my head to the rhythm of the music.
Its 7pm, I’m standing hands akimbo in front of my wardrobe trying to figure what to wear. It’s a tough choice because I had no idea where we are going. I shuffled through the clothes in my wardrobe. On days like this I miss my girls Damisi and Tope had they been here I would be all set outfit, hair and makeup. Life as an only child sucked but these girls brought sunshine to my life. From our first year as room-mates till date we were like sister. Tope is a pediatrician who I barely every saw since she began working at LNG Bonny Island but we keep in touch. Damisi on the other hand is free-spirit when we were trying to get through NYSC effortlessly, she was posted to Portharcourt served in Shell and hooked Mark a half Brit and Dutch guy, they got married and zoom she was out of Nigeria within a year. In the history of our trio Damisi was the luckiest of us all, she was the type that wouldn’t study hard but would pass effortlessly. We often made joke whenever we were in a pressing situation “Dami use your jazz” and like magic it the problem will disappear.
I’m back to the matter at hand “what to wear Esosa what to wear” I mumbled. In 30 minutes he would be here. I eventually settle on wearing a black and neon striped tube gown with sandals.
I’m ready just in time when I hear my phone ring it’s his call he must be at the door. I ignore the call, approach the door and peep through the pigeon-hole to confirm he is the one. I invite him in, and we exchange greetings in an embrace. He makes a joke about just spending the evening in my apartment. “No way not after making me struggle to find a dress and try to rack my brain as to where you are taking me too. I must see that place today!
He laughs loud and hard his muscles flexing in his polo and jeans. “You look nice babe”
“Yea thanks” I replied.
I turned to the standing mirror in my living room packing my hair in an up-do, satisfied with my look I grab my purse. We are out of my apartment and on the road since it was a drive against traffic so we would have no trouble. Tuface’s song from his first album is playing from the car stereo.
Say I’m looking for someone to satisfy me
Someone who’ll truly love me for me
Someone whose gonna be my true love…….
We sing along to the song, his voice is refreshing and on key, mine? croaky and fluctuating on different keys, he is making jest of me when I respond “Dude one day I will sing at the Grammies and will be collecting an award; I will refer to this moment when I used to sing in the car my pitch all over the place but now I am a living proof that talent can evolve”.
“Hey don’t go Luptia N’yong on me” he replied.
I hit his arm playfully as I chuckled “you can’t eat beauty my friend” I responded as we laugh heartily.
I noticed we are on Awolowo road, I have built memories here. I remember my adventures with Damisi my wing lady at Ember creek. Living young, wild and free I smile to myself. We make a turn into a street off Awolowo road. The street is flooded with lights, cars and people in motion. We find a safe spot to park within the premises and I let myself out of the car. I stand firm soaking in the environment I have never been here before. The signage of the building read Bogobiri House. The house is artistic so is it’s aura. I am certainly going to come here again. With a light touch from Ben I made to move, still soaking in the environment. The walls of the exterior have traditional cravings. The roofs have scraps of doors from yellow and black buses artistically arranged. I wondered why they used it but then again in art everything has a symbol perhaps this was to identify with Lagosians being a city of people with free and hustling spirit.
We walked into a more artistic bar this place is an art haven, why didn’t Damisi and I find this place? I spoke softly to myself; I remembered she wasn’t amused by art. The art exhibition we went for before her marriage to Mark was one of the from Eko with love series and she had bugged me with several questions “Esosa what’s interesting in staring at a formless painting trying to figure out the big secret behind it, this is just boring”.
We turned left into the adjacent bar with dimming red lights making the atmosphere calm and soothing. People are seated on tables, waiters serving drinks. It was the classy version of a local pub. The band is opposite the audience; a lady wearing a flowing floral print gown with little afro singing her voice slurry as she renders her song suggestively.
“Is this a jazz club?” I asked.
“No tonight is spoken word and poetry night; we are just in time for the opening act”
“Oh this is a nice place and I like poetry”
“I know you do” he responded with a smile that made my belly knot in a good way. I turned to listen to the guy who just took the stage delivering his poem effortlessly. There is high life music mixed in between.
I make small talk with the couple whose table we joined; they are newlyweds having a date night. The lady whose name is Adesuwa is the events manager in charge of Bogobiri whilst her hubby Kunle is an Architect who specializes in interior design and apparently was involved in building the aesthetics of the house with his precise descriptions as I quizzed them on the activities, and the aesthetics of the building. All this time I’m totally unaware of Ben’s absence from the table till I hear a familiar voice coming from the direction of the stage.
Viola it’s Ben on the stage and he is about to do what???? Sing?!
You’ve got to be kidding me I said on my inside and smile to Adesuwa who winks at me.
How y’all doing tonight
There is cheer from the audience
I see a lot of beautiful faces here tonight but there is none as pretty as the one who is probably stunned seeing me here upstage for the first time.
(This is a big surprise)
Y’all should put your hands together for her.
Someone from the audience shouts
Where is she?
I keep my cool whatever this is I don’t like public attention and I’m not about to start today.
Nah she won’t want that
There is laughter from the crowd.
Before I start my speech tonight let’s talk about Lagos and the crazy thing that happens every day. Especially the recent fuel scarcity, were fuel attendants are Demigods and office workers adopt a new profession of thugs rushing for fuel.
(Laughter in the background)
I’m trying to figure when he became a motivational speaker/ speech maker as I watch his audience give him their attention (you never know such things :))
I didn’t know how bad it was until I was late for a meeting this morning because of the serious traffic caused by fueling stations on Awolowo road. It was then I appreciated the effort of my company driver who hustled to ensure I have a full tank.
I pay attention to Ben as he renders his motivational speech to the crowd, there is more laughter and a few silent moments when he hits a punch line and the crowd is in a state of Selah. I let my eye wander round the crowd taking note of the profile of the audience seated, a mixture of the people who earn a good sum of money, possibly persons occupying managerial positions, and a few foreigners all eyes are on Ben he has their complete attention except mine. Feeling guilty I’m taking my eyes back to the stage when I see Tope. I think my eyes are playing tricks on me but I look again and it’s her. I can never mistake that piercing laugh it’s only Tope that laughs that way. The more I stared the more convinced I was that it was Tope, the lighting of the room couldn’t hide her auburn hair that shone accentuated by her caramel colored skin that was made tanned by the lighting in the room. I haven’t seen her in a year except our conversations on the phone she is in Lagos and she didn’t even call me? This is unusual. I dial her number to be sure it’s her and watch her from my table she is picks her phone and she ignores my call. I notice the guy she is seating close he looks familiar but I can’t place it, could that be her new lover, she had not mentioned anyone to me and for all I know he could just be a random guy. But he is too close to her for a random guy. I make a mental note to approach her once Ben comes over. I’m out of my reverie as I hear applauds from the crowd. I see my man walking to me; I prepare myself to embrace him forgetting about Tolu and her mystery man.
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