If Alhaji was not a retired clearing and forwarding agent, he would probably have been a military man. He survived the incident like a soldier on the battlefield. My landlord is a cat with nine lives.
Alhaji returned home and became relatively quiet. I was one of the few people who understood what had happened in terms of the huge loss to the Ponzi scheme. The dream of buying a new Prado jeep dashed too, amidst several big plans.
Amina visited to thank me for supporting the family throughout her father’s ill health. As she was leaving my flat, she turned to ask about my response to her last request. I told her there was no issue. She smiled and thanked me for understanding.
I drove out to meet my dry cleaner for my office shirts. It was a busy weekend and shuttling between the office and hospital was not a joke and I was drained. My birthday was approaching in three week’s time, and I wasn’t planning a celebration.
Two days later, Amina sent an SMS saying her man would check in the coming weekend.
‘There is no problem’, I replied.
I bought a set of chess and a scrabble board to make the house lively for them. Two bottles of different wines were kept in the fridge. I had remembered what people said about ‘first impression counts’.
The chessboard by convention had pieces which were divided into white and black sets. Each set consisted of sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights, and eight pawns. The scrabble board came with wooden tiles. It was funny how I became a Big brother suddenly in a setting similar to BBN, as I tried making my house comfortable for my guests.
Amina’s boyfriend appeared on a sunny Saturday. He was a matured man with an enviable thick beard, a fierce face, and a baritone voice as we exchanged pleasantries. Amina must have described in details as he came to my apartment without questions. I did not miss him too, since I was expecting a guest. I had received his picture on Whatsapp. I ushered him to the three-seater in the living room. On a day like this, PHCN chose to oppress me. I excused myself and flicked on the generator to shame them. God no go shame us!
I asked for his preferred TV station- sports, news, movies, discovery, music, or something else. I had subscribed DSTV full bouquet that month in preparation for my August visitor, so I asked in arrogance like I had all he desired. Amina joined us. I brought two bottles of wine with glasses and the indoor games for them before excusing them and leaving for my room. I was done with my role as a waiter. My reward was their satisfaction.
Hours later, I fell asleep. I did not want to imagine what was going on-a hug, a kiss, or any other romantic action. Amina tapped on my door after some time. Her boyfriend was leaving and I had to accompany him.
In full support, I changed my outfit and accompanied the brother out of the compound. He had parked his car a few poles away from our house. As we strolled, I realised he was a Naval officer named Kareem.
Kareem was one of the few military men I had seen with a beard. I used to think ‘beards’ were a taboo for a military personnel el. He would have easily won my vote for the President of the SBA (Sweet Boys Association). We spoke a little and thanked me before zooming away in his car. I considered Amina lucky. One could hardly find a sweet guy vs a sweet girl combination unless among the rich class. How did they meet? I returned home with a ‘God when?’ style of walk.
Amina had cleaned up the house. She waited to thank me before heading to her house. I saw a happy smile on her lips. She looked like she had won a billion-dollar lottery. Whatever was responsible, I could not decipher. I guessed it was the feeling of being with someone who had stolen her heart. I understood kola nut lasted longer in the mouths of those who valued it as rendered by Uncle Ola Rotimi.
I checked my phone to reply to some of my chats. It was during this time that James and other friends in a closed WhatsApp group were insisting my birthday ought to be a banger. My friends were ballers. They had balls and loved to groove like there was no tomorrow. I tried letting them know my birthday was the least of my worries at the moment, but I found myself helpless when they concluded the bill was on them. There was no going back on the mega merriness.
Episode 8 comes up on Friday.
Do you think Kareem is right for visiting Amina in Femi’s house? Will it affect his relationship with Amina?
Thank you for reading.