“ON kwa? Don’t give me that Harriet. If you are ON, kindly switch OFF kia kia.”
I didn’t know when I swapped to my native Ekiti dialect like I do when I am very angry:
”Oya si, je mi ho”, meaning, ”open it, let me see.”
She changed her disposition from that of emotional conviviality through brutal frankness to a downright frown all in a futile bid to ‘guilt-trip’ me.
She said: “Common, Tosin, what is the meaning of that? You don’t believe me? Is it because of ordinary N35,000 naira that you are desecrating and humiliating me, no be so o? Your baby Nwanne Harriet ni o. Trust me, I am ‘tying the red flag’, If not, I will ……”
I replied vehemently, “Don’t give me that. I am not buying into that ‘bull-crap’ story at all. How can I trust you when I don’t even trust me? You brought another man to your birthday? Look here, ‘no lay, no spray’, ‘no strip, no trip’, ‘no stash, no cash.” I looked away.
I was expecting her to come pleading with me but she didn’t. I gulped my remaining beer to have the requisite ‘dutch courage’ to resist a little sexy ‘witch’ like Harriet. I heard her footsteps departing into the adjoining toilet and I was a bit excited that finally she would return to do my bidding.
To my utter dismay, she returned fully clad only to ask me one more time authoritatively, as if she went to lick the ancestral honey of non-resistance (Oyin Awimayehun) in the loo in order to manipulate me.
”Tosin, are you giving me the money or not? Your ‘ako’ (poise) is too much sef. Oya, give me the 35,000naira now and let me go.”
Being a gentleman, I allowed her be as I could never force my way on any woman. I noticed her ‘NO’ was vehement and not trivial or it seemed.
I presumed she had sensed my request as retaliation for her willful deceit as i held on to the remaining money and the holding of her much anticipated birthday gig.
Just as I sat down acting sad on the bed with brewing anger, she called me from the bathroom to join her. My eyes lit up as though it was an invitation for us to crack the earth open. I went to meet her in the bathroom only to find her fully dressed. She asked me for the money again and I declined with a hiss for lack of any ‘show’. I thereafter went back to sit on the bed while she followed me into the room and sat at the other edge of the bed.
Harriet: ‘Baby, I know you want me and I want you too, I am just scared you will leave me after getting what you want’.
Me: ‘No now, I won’t leave you. You know I really do like you despite your flaws. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you.
Harriet: ‘Don’t worry, I am all yours. Let Emmanuel go back first. Hope the money is complete here? You will also give me something to give my friends in school because they will be expecting. I told them I was coming to meet you.
Me: (Thinking I was about to be ‘magaed’ again), I said: ‘How will he know? Does the place read meter? Are you under a surveillance or he has an evil monitoring calabash he uses to know whatever you do? Anyway, I don’t have the money here with me, its with my friend, Bamitale’.
Harriet: ‘Oh baby, why are you treating me like this? You know time is of the essence and you know that your friend doesn’t like my face. He will tell you not to give me the money now or teach you bad things’.
She suddenly wore a sad face and began to shed bitter tears. I guess I had told her during our ‘lovey dovey’ days that my weak point is seeing the woman I care about shed tears. I could do anything for her to make her stop crying. The more I pleaded with her, the more she wailed.
”Please Tosin, olowo ori mi, I beg of you, don’t put me to shame. Its getting late and there is still a lot to be done before the party starts at 10pm.”
I knew she was deceiving me, scamming me and formatting me but I couldn’t just say No. I was admiring her tact at scoping a man rather than nurturing bitterness for her. I felt like I was doing ‘big boy’ who was bigger than what she asked for, after all, she didn’t ask me out. I was the one who went to her ‘barbing salon’ for a shave.
I said: ”Okay, okay, okay, I’ll give you!”
As If she was expecting her magic solution to work, her mood changed almost immediately and her well of crocodile tears suddenly dried up.
She said: ”Thank you dear. I love you so much darling.”
I handed her the crispy N20,000 immediately and promised to give her the N15,000 balance at the party venue in the hotel after collecting my money from my friend. Her countenance fell a little but she gave me a kiss and left my room. I was a bit angry with myself for not ‘getting down’ with her and I began to form a deep resentment for her person in my heart after she left.
I saw my friend afterwards but refused to relay what transpired between me and Harriet. I am not the ‘Kill and tell’ type. I’ve always contended that the details of whatever happen between two consenting adults behind closed doors shouldn’t be made a topic of discussion My friend isn’t naive and he didn’t bother to ask. He assumed all was well when I told him and my other friends that Harriet’s birthday party would still go on as scheduled.
My friends gathered in the hotel and we set out at 9pm in a convoy of about 25 vehicles and 2 x 18passenger buses to her hostel to convey her and her friends to the venue. We had altercations with some Police officers who insisted on taking something from us as big boys howling about at night. I declined at first because I was feeling like a mini-lawyer. All my friends sent the officers to me as their ‘Chairman’. I had to part with N1,500 ‘ransom’ for all the vehicles and a bottle of Magic moment Vodka out of the drinks in my trunk meant for the event.
We arrived there and packed the girls into the vehicles and buses like a colony of bees. Too many girls followed us to Harriet’s party. We loaded the goodies and food prepared in many coolers and placed them in one bus. I began to hear gist amongst the girls pointing at me as the ‘big boy’ who is sponsoring such a big party. Some of the indecently dressed girls began to look at me seductively but all my brain could decode was: ‘So these chics feel they can ‘harriet’ me too? Ko jo ma!’
The problem arose when all my friends refused to convey Emmanuel to the party venue in their cars. My friends knew he was the strange guy and saw him as the meddlesome interloper and decided to teach him some lessons. It was 5minutes past 10pm and campus shuttle buses had stopped plying the route which left his getting to the venue to my mercy.
Harriet came to me and pleaded thus: ”Tosin dear, please don’t let us ruin this night, my special day, let Emmanuel ride with us in your car!”
Na so my head sparked again! I flared up and said: ‘what?’
Watch out for the concluding part….