Featured Writer

Faintly Positive 2

The next day, Victor swung by Oyinkan’s on his way to campus, dropping two sachets for her.
“Keep it for me. I would like to see the results myself too” he instructed.
When he got back late in the evening, he asked her for the result.
“Positive” she said.
“Where is it?” he asked.
“I threw it away”
“Why?” Didn’t he ask her to keep it? He fumed inwardly.
“Sonia was helping me clean the house, I could dispose it or she could find it. I chose my privacy, Victor” she said.
“Ok, have you eaten?” he asked, perplexed.
“Guy! she dey lie!” Lekan said over the phone.
It was in the middle of the night in Singapore, evening in Nigeria. Both friends had been on the phone for half an hour.
“Make she do blood test” Lekan added.
“She no gree, Said she knows her body and she cant be stressing and broadcasting the fact that she is pregnant” Victor explained.
“Na rubbish be that!” Lekan spat.
“Man! I taya”
“But you used rubber?”
“Each time! That’s the crazy part. Yeah, I know its not 100% sure, but guy, what are the freaking odds?”
“Make she no go rope you with another man belle o. All these girls, na money them dey find”
“That’s another thing. Baba, the girl is loaded. Wetin I wan offer am when she no fit get herself?”
“Still…. She must definitely see potential” Lekan insisted.
That was the thing about Victor’s close friends -they saw in him much more than he dared to believe. In a conversation months ago, this same guy had predicted he would top his class. That was already coming to pass, much to Victor’s pleasure.
“Baba, I am at my wit’s end”
“Guy, relax. But, really does she want to keep it?”
“She doesn’t know yet. I told her I’ll go with whatever decision she takes”
“And if she decides to keep it?”
“Then I owe my mum a phone call” Victor said resignedly making Lekan chuckle.
“V, insist on the test. No let one small girl open office for your head”
“What of genotype?” Ogechi asked
“We are both AA” Victor answered.
He knew Ogechi had broken up last year with Segun over the genotype issue. She was AC, he was AS. No deal. It was from her that Victor had learned there was such a thing as AC and SC genotypes.
“But this period information, though. The fact that she saw her period after the last time you guys had sex…” she left off.
“Coupled with the fact that we used condoms” he put in
“Condoms fail, cycles change, some still bleed while pregnant, yes. But all of this coming together all at once? Shey I have always told you this your Onyinkan is a liar?” she asked, spite pouring over the line.
“Babe, let me not keep you up late. I will be seeing her in a bit. I have some questions for her” Victor said.
They said goodbyes and hung up.
Sleep had eluded him for a few days now. Tonight was going to be no different. It was already 3am.
“See, if you are saying its not your’s, it‘s fine. You may leave. I will take care of myself” Oyinkan said. She was angry.
Victor had asked as gently and nicely as he could if she had per-chance slept with some other dude. He had stressed that they had used condoms and she had had her period after their last time. It had not worked. She had almost gone ballistic and he had spent the last hour trying to reason with her and calm her down.
“Don’t talk like that” Victor said, knowing his friends would slap him if they were present. But he just couldn’t bring himself to think she was telling anything but the truth.
“How do you want me to talk, Victor?” she shot at him.
“Relax. So, what are we going to do?”
“Shebi you just said its not your’s? Leave me to handle myself” she said wiping a tear.
“Come on, Oyinkan….”
“Please, Victor! Don’t let me walk out on you”
As he got in a cab for home, he felt spent and weighed down. She had calmed down eventually. Finally saying she would think about it and let him know her decision. He had pledged, again, his unalloyed support for whatever course of action she decided upon.
He wished he could tell Darasimi.
Over the phone, she had told him she was opting for a D&C. She had found a place and wanted him to come with her. He had agreed.
He had asked for the price and she had simply said “I don’t know yet. Just hold what you have”.
‘She lied’ he thought after he had hung up, “She knows how much but doesn’t want to tax me” he murmured as he stepped back into the faculty library.
As it turned out, the bill was more than what he had on him. She had put up the rest.
“I’m kinda broke now, if not, I wouldn’t bother you with this at all” she said when the attendant stepped out of the room. Onyinkan had to go through mandatory scan and counselling then come back in 48 hours for the procedure. He had elected to sit through it with her.
“Its okay. I should have done the whole bill myself, but I’m low as well” he said.
He starred at the screen on the scan machine. The experience was unlike nothing he had ever felt. Even though he could not make it out, he felt a sort of bond to what the technician was pointing out to his patient. There was something there.
As they rode back in silence, with the scan result in his jacket, he knew the next 48 hours would be tough ones for them both. But one thing he made up his mind about was not to voice his opinion and sway her on the final decision. The video they had been shown in counselling was somewhat unsettling. He was not sure an abortion was the right course of action. But then, he would hold his tongue.
“I have a presentation tomorrow. But will be here day after tomorrow so we can go to the clinic together” Victor said at her apartment.
“Okay” was all she said.
“I’ll be on my way. I have the result” he said patting his jacket pocket.
She walked him in silence to the road and they hugged goodnight. He kissed her forehead
“I’m here for you” he said.
“Thank you” she replied.
She was in pain and he knew it.
This was really happening. He had consented and paid for a D&C. The only unanswered question was if the pregnancy had really been his’.
He pushed his doubts out of his mind and focused on the situation on hand. He had gone through with it, what exactly was there to gain by debating its origin? He could as well look on the bright side and be a good BF. The girl was a catch in many ways. Didn’t every relationship have its own challenges?
“Sorry” he said as they took the flight of stairs up to her apartment.
She sighed.
“I think we should make arrangement with one of the cab companies or better still a driver to come get you for the next few days” he said as they got into her place.
She had been asked to come back daily for a couple more days, after which her treatment would be reviewed.
She nodded.
Through one of his flatmates, a few months earlier, Victor had heard about a band that needed a part-time drummer when they had to play live at clubs. Being a drummer in church back home, he’d taken the opportunity. It was the closest thing to a job offer he had gotten that would fit into his schedule without giving it much thought and effort. And the pay was not bad per gig. He had quickly realised he needed to make some extra change on the side. His stash was quickly vanishing.
Tonight, he felt irresponsible as he hopped off the cab at Oyinkan’s place. He had gone to a practice session after leaving campus and it had taken much longer than he had anticipated. So she had been to the clinic alone and had been home for hours. He knew he should have been with her. But a man had to do what a man had to do, yeah?
She had told him, on the ride over that she was in pain.
He rapped on the door, a little out of breath from running up the stairs. Sonia opened for him, granting him some air of relief in the fact that she had not been alone.
“Hello” he greeted as he walked in and shut the door behind him.
“Hi. How are you?” Sonia asked.
“I’m fine. How is she?”
“She is in the room”
“Thanks” he replied and went to the room.
Oyinkan’s hair was a mess, she was in the process of changing clothes, but was wriggling through it on the bed.
“You could have asked her to help you” Victor said slowly tugging at the legs of her jeans. “Sorry, I’m late” he added.
She made no reply.
“What is wrong?”
She touched her abdomen.
“Sorry, dear” he said, helped her slip into her nightwear, then sat beside her on the bed.
“My drugs” she said after about 10 mins.
“Where are they?” he asked getting to his feet.
“Can you take them? Have you eaten anything?”
“Had some Pizza” she said.
“Is it still left? let me bring you some” he said.
She nodded.
Victor walked to the living area and realised Sonia had left quietly. He locked the door, then went into the kitchen.
He found the half-eaten pizza in the fridge and decided to re-heat it. While he waited he found the paper bag that carried her pills and beside it her other phone.
There was no thought to it, he simply picked it up and scrolled through the messages while he waited on the pizza.
He didn’t know exactly what he thought he’d find, but he kept scrolling anyway.
Maybe he wanted to see if he’d find communication with her ex that could clear up this mystery. He still had a thought that somehow, that dude was involved in all of this. Each time he had called her in his presence, she had always told him some lie or the other about her location or situation. It didn’t sit right with Victor but each time he asked why she had to lie to him, she had simply said she was under no compulsion to tell him her doings.
Inbox first. Nothing out of the ordinary. He was not a snoop. He didn’t check people’s phones, but he didn’t know why he could not stop. Next he checked the sent items.
“Hello, Sir. I will be coming with the guy tomorrow. Please, help me prepare a pregnancy result.”
The microwave chimed. He read the message one more time, calmly got the pizza out, picked up the meds and headed for the room with the phone.
He was mad and relieved at the same time. But totally in cool control.
“Here” he said, placing the pizza and sachet of medications.
“Thank you” she managed.
“This is the last time, you’ll see me, Oyinkan” he said, tossed the phone on her pillow, spun around and left the room.
She caught him as he was about to exit her flat.
In saner times, it would have been hilarious to see how quickly she had shaken off the pains (that were partly his fault) and sprinted so quickly to the door. He simply looked at her and shook his head.
There were no words. Just two pair of eyes locked in an explosive gaze. He’s full of questions, her’s shame, fear and a plea for mercy.
She held unto his shirt sleeve.
“Let me go” he said. If he weren’t making so much effort to stay calm, he would have hit her.
He was burned. All the sleepless nights, the money he’d spent – money that was in short supply, the worries and loss of peace. He had even gone through the torture of rehearsing a phone call to his mum about the ‘pregnancy’ when he had thought she might keep it. He had thought of his friends, those from church especially. And Pastor Sumbo, the lady in charge of the choir he used to play drums in.
There was a vile taste in his mouth as he firmly yanked her hand off and pounded down the stairs.
They ended up at his house.
She was on her knees in his room, he sat on the bed, head in hands.
She had rushed after him at her place, ending up in the taxi with him.
“Kini mo ever se fun e, Oyinkan?” he had asked her in the cab
They had stuck to the yoruba language. Even in his anger, he had decided to save her dignity by not having the conversation in English which the cabbie understood.
“O ni reason ti mo fi se be. Jo ma binu” she had pled.
Now, he looked at her on her knees, no she was not crying, but she looked terrible in a rumpled T-shirt, shorts and bath slippers. No wonder his housemate they’d met in the living room had looked at her curiously.
“Are you pregnant?” he asked in a controlled voice. Best he started from there. Nothing about the whole thing made sense anymore.
She shook her head
“So, why did you lie? What have we been doing at the clinic?” he asked
“It’s my health” she replied
“What about it?”
“I didn’t want to tell you”
“Tell me what?” he was genuinely worried.
“Found out I have a fibroid a few months ago”
“So why didn’t you want to tell me?”
“I didn’t want to lose you” she said after a long pause
“Lose me? Like I would leave you cause you have a medical condition? Who does that?”
“I don’t know, Victor. I didn’t know what to do”
“So you decided to lie and deceive me all these weeks?”
“I’m sorry”
“Is there anything about me you don’t know?”
She made no reply.
“I tell you everything! Why would you not only keep this away from me but make my life hell in the process?” he said bitterly
She looked up at him.
“What sort of jerk do you think I am?” he asked.
“I’m sorry, Victor. I really am” she said.
In the morning, he walked her to the road.
But before they left the house, she had asked if things were back to normal between them again.
She had begged and he had said he’d forgiven her, but it was just a little too much for him to get past. The way he had been manipulated and had his trust betrayed was beyond what he could simply come to terms with.
“Give me some time, please” he had said.
Now he wondered how many other lies he had been fed.
The sad look on her face touched him, but he just had to heal first.
Things never quite returned to normal.
They had a few stiff dates and heartless arguments.
Victor finished top of his class and returned to Nigeria. She couldn’t be at the airport to see him off. She was busy in school. Darasimi had come though. She’d asked after his ‘babe’ but Victor had been too embarrassed to talk about it.
Communication between them was sparse already and only got worse on his arrival.
One day at his new job, she’d chat him up
“You don’t call or chat. Nothing” she sent
“Been busy. But you don’t check on me either” he replied.
“Hmmmm” she sent
“What are we doing, Victor?”
“How do you mean?”
“You’ve changed”
“I’m sorry but I am having a hard time getting past what happened”
“I knew you’d say that. That’s all you keep saying”
“It hurt, Oyinkan. All the stress and costs and stuff”
“If its about the money, I will refund you”
Victor almost lost his cool. He unplugged his phone from his laptop and leaned back in his seat. It was not worth his peace. Not anymore.
“It’s not the money. You needed it for your health, you didn’t have, I’m glad I could help.“
“I hear” she replied
“How is your health now?”
“If I didn’t chat you up, you would not ask”
He had no reply for that. He was guilty. But who could blame him? Every time he talked to or thought of her, he felt pained and saddened. So he avoided it.
“I want us to end the relationship, Victor” she typed.
He blinked. He was not sure if it was what he had been hoping for, but he knew it was not a bad proposition given their current situation. And he knew if he ever got past the hurt, he could win her back. All he needed was one vacation in Singapore, they could work things out. He could well afford such luxuries now.
He pulled open his lower drawer and took out the test and scan result from an envelope. His eyes fell on the red ink that read “faintly positive” in front of “UPT”. Of course, it had been falsified. He looked at the scan printout again. It made no sense to him still, but there was a time he had thought he was looking at a life he was responsible for.
He needed a diplomatic exit. One that didn’t leave any bitterness.
“Why?” he sent.
She never replied.
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: END :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
A true story reproduced with express permission.
Names and places have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.
Thank you for reading.

Written by Greg Emuze, writer and blogger. He can be reached on twitter @deTONEnate and blogs at www.isleofcupid.wordpress.com.

Featured Writer, Short story

Faintly Positive 1

Faintly Positive 1

Victor got off the plane with a grin on his face. “Yaass!” he murmured. Here he was, finally – a dream come through.
The plan was simple: he was to be here for a year, get his graduate degree – MSc Financial Engineering, get back to Nigeria and re-apply to the company he had quit just 6 days ago. They didn’t grant study leaves at his level to the tune he needed, so he had quit. But his boss had assured him she would take him back, but of course he would re-enter at least as a manager. It would be a lot better at that rung of the ladder, he was sure. He was going to return with the requisite skill to head the trading unit of the investment banking arm of the organisation.
He had heard about the school from his much younger cousin who was doing her degree program in Communication Studies. He had found it interesting, looked up the school online, found his course and had begun to dream and save towards it. She had been very helpful, keeping him informed and helping with his application. When he had gotten the admission, she had then helped him with a suitable accommodation.
He looked around as he waited in baggage claim. It was his first trip outside the country. He wondered what his friends and family were doing back home in Nigeria. Even after all the sacrifices he made by not renewing his rent, moving back into his parents’ house, saved every penny and cut down on every sort of expense, he was still about N650,000 short when the admission finally came through. He had sold his ’97 Honda Accord and then loaned N250,000 to make it up.
Once he stepped into the arrival lounge, he spotted his cousin smiling at him. He walked towards her with his quite small luggage and gave her a tight hug.
“Welcome to Singapore, brother!” she said laughing.
“Thank you. How are you, Darasimi?” he asked. Before the whole admission business, they had never been particularly close. She was his mum’s youngest sister’s only child. It was the magic of Facebook. He had seen pictures of her at a family function he’d missed (likely a Saturday he was at work, which was most Saturdays anyway) and had tracked her down by checking every account tagged in the picture. Now, they were pretty close. They were more like siblings.
“How was your flight?” she asked trying to take his bag from him.
“23 hours of bliss!” he said, pulling his bag out of her reach, “So, how do we go?” he asked.
“Cab into town. Your place is ready” she said with a wink. “And how did you find Doha?”
“Doha was amazing! Damn! My two hours there was worth it. I mean!” he gushed making her laugh.
“I told you! Its more expensive going through Doha, yes. But the airport alone is worth it” she said as they both climbed into a cab.
Victor was sitting in the shared kitchen in his apartment waiting for the microwave’s chime. In one hand he held a notepad, which he had been reading from. It was around midday and he was alone in the flat.
His phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket and stared for a few seconds at the unfamiliar local number. He’d only been here for 9 weeks and didn’t exactly know many people who would have his number. He believed everyone who had his number in this country, a few course mates, flat mates and Darasimi also had their numbers saved on his. “Maybe one of them has another line?” he thought as he picked up.
“Hello” came a girl’s voice.
“Hello” he said, noting the accent.
“Is this INSEAD Business School?” she asked
“Wrong number” he said with a scrowl as the microwave beeped.
“Oh! Ok. Sorry.” she said. The accent was unmistakable.
“Are you Nigerian?” he asked, letting his curiosity get the better of him.
“Why do you ask?” she replied. He chuckled. Now he was sure.
“I guessed. From your accent” he said, “and because you just answered a question with a question” he was tempted to add.
“Yes. And you?” she asked.
“Yes. What’s your name?” he asked.
“I’m Victor”
“Ok, bye” he said, hung up and got his food out of the microwave. He had to focus. He had less than 10 more months to go. No time to get distracted by a random call from a Nigerian girl with a very sweet voice.
An hour and a half later, Victor needed a break. The class was not holding, the professor was down with a stomach infection. He powered on his tablet and decided to check out her story. He launched his browser, found the school she had mentioned, found the contacts of the Singapore campus, then took a good look at the phone numbers.
They were not even close to his.
“She lied. But why?” Now he was curious.
Of course someone he knew gave her his number. He only knew 3 Nigerians here – Darasimi, Chibuzor (his course mate) and Ladi (a guy he had met at the mall). One of them had given out his number to this Oyinkan character.
He called her back.
“Hello” she said
“Hey! Its Victor” he said sounding relaxed
“Okay” she simply said
“Was wondering what you are doing in Singapore. Are you a student here?” he asked
“Yes” she said
“Where?” he asked
Almost 15 minutes later, Victor hung up. He had learned quite a bit about her. Her school, where she stayed, how long she had been here, where in Nigeria she stayed and stuff. But he was none the wiser as to how she had found him. She said she wrote down the number while listening to a radio show about the Business School she was trying to reach. He didn’t believe her, but he didn’t say so.
At the weekend, they met at the mall. After a little back and forth, she had finally agreed to meet him. It was like the usual boy asking a girl out on a date and she acts unavailable. He didn’t care because, for him, he was solving a mystery.
He had called Darasimi the day before and she had said categorically that she had not given out his number. He had no cause to doubt her. But when she had asked what the problem was, he had back-pedalled and said “nothing really”.
So, here they were sitting across from each other. She looked pretty in her a jeans, sneakers, a top and a scarf wrapped around her neck and shoulders.
“You look much prettier than I expected” he said smiling.
“What did you expect?” she asked, sipping her drink.
“I dunno. Just not this amount of gorgeous” he said making her laugh.
It was a short first date. The first of many.
That day, he had insisted on riding with her. So he had the cab drop her off first at her place, where he had stepped out, hugged her and given her a kiss on the forehead, before he had proceeded to have the cab drop him off at his.
That night, over the phone, she had told him no one had ever done that to her.
“What exactly?” he asked, folding his pillow in two to prop his head up.
“Not just getting a cab to drop me off, but actually going with me” she said
“If I was driving, won’t I drop you off?”
“That’s different, Victor.“
“Not to me, Oyinkan.“
It was a Sunday morning. They had gone clubbing together, a first for Victor in this land, and had returned to her place. He had come to learn she was very comfortable. Seeing the inside of her house for the first time reiterated that fact.
He had caught about an hour and a half worth of sleep before getting up to leave for his place.
“I’m leaving” he said, lacing up his sneakers. He’d just woken up in her very cozy bed to find her all freshened up, nursing a mug of tea.
“You don’t want to wait for breakfast?” she asked.
“Is it ready?” he asked with a wink
“No. I’ll just have to make you something.“
“Neh. Have an assignment to put in by 8am tomorrow and I have not even scratched the surface”
“Ok. Let me walk you to the road” she said, getting to her feet.
“Where is the sheet of paper where you wrote my number? You promised to show me” he said as he caught sight of her reading table, crowded with books and notes.
Oyinka went to the table and rummaged for a bit, then said “I can’t find it”
Victor shrugged and headed for the door.
As they went down the stairs, Victor was not at ease. He had grown to really like her, her laughter was divine. He had learned a lot about her and had no issues with her past. She confided in him and often sought his advice on the minutest of things. He knew about her last relationship. It had been with a guy here. A Nigerian. She had accused him of cheating, they had gotten into a heated argument, she had slapped him and things had simply exploded. She ended up in a hospital. Friends had intervened and begged her to drop the case against him. Its been almost a year now and he was trying to win her back.
Somehow, Victor saw it as his sworn duty not only to occupy, but also to guard the gates of her heart against the return of the creep he had only heard of.
Things were progressing between them but he could not shake the gnawing feeling that the whole thing was built on a lie. Her story about how she got his phone number was a pile of crap and he knew it.
“Let me just get my card” Oyinkan’s voice broke into his thoughts
“Why?” he asked as she squeezed past him on her way back up. Her scent filled his head and he was tempted to pull her back and kiss her again like he had done so many times this morning.
“Wanna pick up some groceries at the shop” she said sprinting up the stairs.
As Victor stood alone in the yard, he spotted a tall brick building. It was very familiar. “Of course! This is Darasimi’s former hood” he said out loud.
“I’ll just call her and ask if she…” He suddenly stopped and took a look at the building he had just exited. He broke out in laughter.
“Oh! My days!” he exclaimed as he laughed at himself. Oyinka’s house was the same house Darasimi had been staying when he first arrived Singapore. She had then moved out about two months after his arrival. About the same time Oyinka had appeared in his world.
He had been there once to pick Darasimi up for a movie, but didn’t step in because she had been waiting outside. The other times he had been here – his first date with Oyinkan; he had not stepped in either. And this morning, it had been dark when they got here and maybe he had had a little too much to drink at the club.
“Wow!” he said. Amazed at it all. He had solved the puzzle. Definitely this was Darasimi hooking him up with her former flatmate.
“Let’s go” Oyinka said as she arrived beside him
He simply smiled at her and took her hand.
“I swear, I didn’t!” Darasimi said for the umpteenth time that evening.
They had just gotten back from their traditional Friday night movie. It was the only time they got to see these days.
“Ok. I’m flipping out here!” Victor cried, trying hard to wrap his mind around the situation he found himself in.
“Big Bro. Of all the chics I know, Oyin is the last person I would ever hook you up with.“
“Why is that?” Victor asked, shooting a glance at the pot of egusi soup on fire. Somehow, Darasimi had gotten some supply of food from the motherland and had invited him to join in.
“We are no longer close. We kinda had a falling out. That’s one of the reasons why I left.“
“Tell me more” he demanded.
As she picked out the items, Victor, who was wheeling the cart could not help wondering why. Why did she have to turn out a beautiful liar?
Darasimi insisted she had never given Oyinkan his phone number, as far as she was concerned she had a BF anyway. She was referring to Francis, the guy who had landed her in a hospital. So the only possible explanation was that she had stolen his number from his cousin’s phone back when they were flatmates and had waited till his cousin moved out before making her move.
It was creepy.
The vibration of his phone got his attention. He pulled it out as Oyinkan dropped another item in the cart
“Always chatting!” she scolded him. He ignored her and checked his BBM
“She is a liar
It was his closest friend, Ogechi. He had turned to her for advice as he often did with women issues since they had served together in Kogi State four years ago. They had been chatting on and off for a few days. The time difference was a challenge, but she had managed to keep up.
“Yeah” He typed and sent back.
“Do you still have detergent?” Oyinkan asked him.
“Are you saying I stole your number from Darasimi’s phone?” she asked with mock laughter, clapping her hands like many Nigerian females he knew.
She’d been here for almost 3 years, but she was still Nigerian at her core. Victor had never met a girl of her age who had her business as firmly in hand as Oyinkan did. She had her shit together. She was doing well in school, planning to attend business school, running a successful fabrics business back home with her mom and saving up cash in US Dollars. She was simply awesome. Victor often called her “WonderWoman”.
They had met up outside campus for ice cream and had then proceeded to his place. She had asked him why he was so quiet on the taxi ride here. So he had gone ahead and told her what had been eating him up – The coincidences behind their connection.
“I’m not saying that, babe. It’s just somehow. You sef think am. If you were in my shoes, you’d have the same questions” he poured.
“Victor. What do you want me to tell you?”
“The truth?”
“How many times? You keep raising this issue indirectly and I keep answering you. What else do you want?”
“Ok. Its ok. I won’t ask again. Just needed to be clear. Clear my mind” he said pulling her into himself.
“Don’t kiss me!” she protested, wriggling free of his grip.
“After you and your cousin have judged and found me guilty”
“We did no such thing. I only asked her. I thought she was pranking me and was actually the one who hooked us up”
“How am I even sure she is your cousin sef?” she challenged, making him laugh.
“Come on, Oyinkan, quit that line of questioning. Darasimi is my cousin. My mum’s sister’s daughter”
“I hear”
“She likes you” Oyinkan suddenly said.
They were at their usual ice cream place. A place that she had introduced him to, a few weeks after they met.
“Who?” Victor asked
“Who naa?” he pressed
“The girl”
“That served us?”
“Yes. And you like her too”
“You don start, bah?”
Yes, the girl was cool. She was African, that he knew, but as much as he would have loved to ask her about her heritage and how she came into working at an ice cream place, he had restrained himself. No point getting his girlfriend upset by his curiosity.
“Are you saying you have no one back at home?” Oyinkan asked after a while.
“I have friends” Victor said, trying to sound casual about it. He was very close to two girls back home. One had started talking about visiting Singapore once her leave was approved.
“Just friends?” Oyinkan pressed.
“I’m very close to two people and I guess maybe if I put in some effort, something might come of it. But for now, we are still friends” he said.
He recalled his trip to Kaduna for a colleague’s wedding. He had really attended so he could meet Talatu again. She lived in Kaduna and they had met in a training in Abuja that he had attended with some colleagues. They had only exchanged numbers and he had promptly forgotten about her when he got back to Lagos and into the caring hands of his other “friend” who worked in the same building but for a different company than he did.
After a while, Talatu had hit him up on WhatsApp. And so it had begun. Every morning, he would chat with her on the staff bus on the way to work, then again in the evenings on his way home and late into the night, then begin again at dawn. So when Jibola had announced his wedding was holding in Kaduna, Victor had been super excited and had made the trip. He had met Talatu again. She had visited him at the hotel.
He surely wasn’t going to tell Oyinkan all of that.
“Ok” she said in a tone that told him his response was far from satisfactory, but she was unwilling to push.
“Who knows about us?” he asked
“Just Sonia and my sister”
Sonia was a Singaporean girl, older than Oyinkan that stayed two doors down from her. They sometimes spent time in Oyinkan’s flat watching movies and cooking up a storm.
“What did they say?” Victor was curious.
“I guess Sonia is kinda happy for me, but my sister was shocked”
“She was shocked? Why?”
“You are Ibo”
“I have often told her to find a yoruba guy”
“I see. And now the one who has been against inter-tribal relationships has done it. Again. Isn’t you ex Ibo too?”
She nodded.
“How long do you want this to last?” Victor asked as they both sat nude in his bed passing a bottle of red wine after a fun evening out on the town.
“I should ask you” she threw back
“I’m serious about you, Onyinkan” he said.
“What happens when you finish your program? Please, be honest. I can take it” she asked.
“We’ll make it work. Nigeria is home for you, and I can always come here on visits. I should get a much better job when I get back. I would be able to afford the trip easily” he explained.
The way she looked at him, he knew his work of convincing her was far from done.
“I’m not feeling well” Oyinkan said the moment Victor got to her bedside.
Sonia had opened the door to let Victor in.
“What‘s wrong?” he asked
“Just weak. Threw up. Dizzy.”
“Sorry. Taken meds?”
“I think I’m pregnant”
“I don’t think so” Victor replied after a moment’s silence. He had read somewhere never to freak out when a girl made this particular announcement. And he had thought about the circumstances around their own case. It was very unlikely that Oyinkan was pregnant.
“Ok” she said and turned away.
“Done any test?” he asked. He had not seen her in almost a week. Some group project was swallowing his days whole.
“Let’s buy a PT strip”
“Can’t buy such”
“Nothing. I can’t”
Written by Greg Emuze, writer and blogger. He can be reached on twitter @deTONEnate and blogs at www.isleofcupid.wordpress.com.

Featured Writer, Short story

My Male Bestie

Hey guys, it’s another saturday, how was your week? Hope you had an incredible week. Read, share on social medias and leave a comment. Much love…..

My Male Bestie by Inspy’s World

It was a very tension filled day as I walked unsteadily on the somewhat narrow staircase. I wondered how I was supposed to hold a microphone and sing to a crowd if I was already feeling sick to the bones. Hoping that my face was not as pale as I felt it should be, I walked along with my group into the rowdy church. The noise of the crowd made my head ache and my skin creep. Jeez, this is not my first time, ministering in a church, so why did I have this fear that I would disgrace myself. And it was certain that I would once I started feeling it in my veins. For the umpteenth time, I praised God that I was not the choir leader who would be in front, being the first person that would catch people’s attention. Even though I was the assistant, the title was definitely not glued to my chest for all to see, no one would know. Being horribly shy as I was, I hid under the leader’s shadow.
Immediately my legs landed on the last marble step, I shivered involuntarily. Forging a bold stare, I raised my eyes to scan the crowd and I saw him…..

Barely five steps away from my group; he was seated, wearing a white long-sleeved shirt. Contrary to what might be going on in our minds, he was not huge, and definitely was not tall but all the same, I noticed him. He was just as slender as I am which is really really slender; he had his hair low, not too low and was definitely good looking. Seated beside him was someone I presumed to be his friend, looking much taller but was dressed similarly. None of them noticed me and since just one glance was enough an assessment for me, my eyes did not linger beyond five seconds… I won’t want to be caught gaping at a guy…
Walking with the group to my seat, the probability of flaws became more obvious. The evening dragged on and I was praying that our choir would be skipped and my prayer got answered miraculously but something happened… Our leader, obviously known for her vocal prowess was asked for a solo ministration. I was definitely glad to be left alone but guess what; she asked me to back her up. Trust me to be a lawyer at times like this; I argued until I had no more strength for argument. It was not a myth that we both had a great vocal blend but this night was definitely not what I would term my lucky day.
She finally dragged me to the front, and as expected, I was a total disaster. Everything about me went wrong. I could have closed my mouth but Jeez… in front of that crowd? I had to open my mouth, which was worse because I could not even recognize my voice. I left the altar almost covering my face. I was tight lipped throughout the remaining service, waiting for the time I would go home. As expected, the guy I had noticed was called to sing and he went up, having my choir leader as a backup. It was an explosive performance.

Finally, the much awaited ‘Grace’ was shared and I dragged my disappointed self down the stairs, keeping a straight face. Then just as we were about to leave, he walked up to us. Up close, he still looked the same, if not better. He shook me and introduced himself, telling me he had seen me sing. I wished he hadn’t but I said nothing. He requested for a phone number and I obliged, wondering why I did. I walked home wondering what made him ask for my phone number when I was a total disgrace at the front of the whole crowd, but little did I know that I had just won for myself a male bestie.
If there were two people who could be termed as inseparable, it should be us. He called, spent minutes and when his airtime got finished, I would call and use up my own airtime also. We talked about useful things and useless things. He knew my secrets better than my own parents and it did not seem strange telling him. Happy days were those days when I could talk endlessly with a guy without any attachments. We fought and settled, fought and settled and fought again. Problems surfaced and friends betrayed me, hurt and shaken, I decided to shut everyone out of life, in order to piece up the pieces. Close friends became strangers and I lost touch of the world where friends and confidants existed but till today, if there is one experience I wish I could relive, it is the times I had with my closest pal.

Inspy’s World