Arm in arm, they walked into the restaurant together. One word: Posh. Yetunde’s eyes widened with surprise. The room was dimly lit but still bright enough for her to notice it was beautifully – and expensively – decorated.
“Charles you didn’t have to” she objected
“But I did. I certainly did,” he responded “You are special and you deserve to be treated well… specially.”
“Hmmm…” she started, “… but Charlie you do know you’re not getting any tonight though,” Charles didn’t miss a beat:
“Of course now… what do you take me for? You think I’m the kind of guy who has to screw everything he takes to a fancy dinner?”
“Well, you used to be…”
“Well, I’ve changed”
“Good for you!” she smiled almost sarcastically.
They were shown to a table in the corner of the room. Once they were seated, Charles spoke up.
“You look exquisite, Yetunde”
“Thank you, Charles,” she replied. Charles let out air from his mouth before continuing…
“Like I said earlier, I’ve changed,” Yetunde’s expression became more serious as she constricted her face and stretched her lips thin.
“Ok…?” she offered tentatively.
“And I was thinking… I’ve gotten too old for that crap I used to pull before. I want to get serious with someone. I want to settle down…”
Yetunde smiled and looked away. In a very low tone, she muttered:
Charles’ house, Friday…
“No wonder, you’re a veritable chic magnet,” Jade said while looking around his living room, “…I see you’ve renovated – yet again. This place is erm… neat!”
“What can I say? I try my best.”
“I’d certainly drop my knickers in this cove anytime!” clearly, Kemi concurred. Jade reduced her eyes to slits and looked sideways to her left where Kemi stood.
“Kemi, the way you are strung these days, you’d drop your knickers in a mai-guard’s shack if asked nicely!”
“I know… it’s not easy o… I could jump a cattle-rearer if he promised at least ten inches of good…”
“Ladies,” Charles interrupted, “before we get carried away, what can I offer you: wine? Juice? Beer? A threesome?”
“Gerrout joo!!!” the ladies yelled in unison.
“Perv,” added Jade for good measure.
A few minutes later and they were all settled on the sofas. The double seater held the ladies while Charles sat solo across them.
“So?” Kemi started.
“So…?” Charles dragged…
Kemi and Jade exchanged rather incredulous looks before staring Charles down.
“You want to make us tickle the gist out of you abi?” Jade teased.
“No, he’s waiting for us to beg: ‘Please Cha Cha tell us about how you knackered Yetunde into submission.'” Kemi’s impression of a secondary school girl was pretty convincing and Charles broke into subdued laughter.
“No, we shaggeth not.” Charles blurted.
“Really?” Kemi was unconvinced.
“Really.” Charles answered.
Jade picked up her phone and made like she was answering a call. She started nodding and muttering: “Yes? No way! Ok, I’ll tell them. Bye!”
“What was that,” Kemi asked
“Oh nothing. Just a bunch of demons reporting that hell froze over. Makes perfect sense anyway.” Kemi giggled audibly. Charles joined in but shook his head as he did so.
“So tell us… what DID happen?” Kemi looked Charles in the eye. Charles avoided her stare, looking away and smiling wearily.
“Uh oh,” Jade started, “he has the look again”
“Yeah,” Kemi agreed.
“What look?” Charles perked up instantly he hated when his best friends acted like they’d figured him out.
“The look you get when you’re whipped or about to be,” Jade supplied.
“Also when he’s been dumped,” Kemi added. This bit seemed to resonate with the girls and they now peered intensely at Charles. “Were you dumped?” Jade finally intoned. At once Charles looked repulsed.
“No!” No response. Quiet. More intense staring. Finally, “Yes. Maybe…. sort of…”
“I knew it!” They chorused before giggling some more.
“She said I came on too strong…” Charles explained.
“Awww… my poor baby. You need a hug.”
“I do not!” Jade went across, sat on the sofa’s arm and cuddled Charles anyway. Charles somehow found enough room in that embrace to shake his head at Kemi.
“As if you don’t like it,” Kemi spat, “gerraway joo.”
“How come she backed out? Where did you guys go to anyways?” Jade asked.
“Derrick’s. On Adetola Crescent.”
“That new place where even the foot mat can pay an oil worker? No wonder she bailed.” Kemi said.
“How come?” Charles was clearly confused. It made no sense.
“Honey, that fancy a place? She thought you wanted to propose or butcher her afterwards. You haven’t seen her in almost two years and you take her to eat what… thirty grand worth of food?” Kemi admonished.
“Thirty-two k, five fifty, actually. I shook a little when I saw the bill…” Charles replied.
“You see am,” Kemi continued, “buy me iPad 2 you no go gree. You went to Derrick’s and you didn’t even see half bobbie” Jade laughed as she broke her embrace and walked back to her seat beside Kemi: “So who’s next on the list?”
“What list? I’m tired. Yetunde has killed my morale.” Charles grumbled.
“Which stupid morale? You think it’s easy to be a man? My friend, who is next on the list jo?” Kemi chastised.
Jade rummaged in her bag and brought out the papers that were now a sore sight for Charles.
“And the next chic on the hit list is…” she looked irked by something “Kemi, drum roll na!”
“Sorry joo.” Kemi dragged the side stool out till it was in front her and simulated a marching band’s roll with her palms on the wood. At its end, Jade promptly boomed: “Chioma!”
Charles let them know exactly what he thought of that announcement:
“And where do you think you’re going?” She said as I tried to get out of bed. I smiled. That knowing smile, and then replied:
“Babe, we’ve been in bed all day. I need to check my emails.”
“It’s a Saturday EVENING. You’re not working, the only person who needs your attention right now is my kitty and she’s so going to get it.”
Shayo was now sitting on me in bed. Butt naked. Hot as ever. Blood flowed instantly from my centre down to my lingam and as she felt it, she smiled. Her usual wicked sideways grin that meant one thing only.
“Hold that thought.” She jumped off the bed and ran across the room to the dresser where she had flung her bag. She returned moments later with a lighter and a stick of what looked like cigarette but I knew what it was – weed. She lit the wrap, took one puff and stretched it towards me. I hesitated for a few seconds….
“How do you manage to bring out the evil in me…” a few drags later and we were both gone… lost in lust…
Jade: Hey… are you guys there? Hellooo….
Charles: I’m here. Is Kemi here?
Jade: Why on earth couldn’t you meet up with us? You know how I feel about Skype and all this techy stuff.
Kemi: Hold your horses Jade, technology won’t kill you. But really Cha-cha, what’s going on and why do you have those ridiculous shades on?
Jade: What shades?
Jade now manages to switch on her webcam…
Jade: Oooh. I see the shades. Take them off joo. And yes, what happened with Shayo?
Charles: Erm.. well..
Jade: Just take off those shades first; you look like some criminal
Charles: Thanks for pointing out the obvious Jade.
There was an uncomfortable pause while the ladies waited impatiently for Charles to continue. Now knowing that they were all seeing each other made him even more uneasy.
He finally blurted: “We had sex. Twice. In the toilet. At an eatery.”
“Oh no. Not again,” Jade responded looking visibly irritated. “And this is why I wanted sex out of this. How can you make clear judgments if you becloud your thinking with such irrelevant frivolities?”
“Calm down Jade. Let the man tell his story.” Said Kemi.
“Abi o. Sometimes I wonder if you remember just how much older than you I am.” Charles added as if to further irritate Jade.
“And here we go with the age debate again, Cha-cha. Seriously?”
“Will you two just quit it? If we’re going by age then both of you need to shut it and let us focus on why we’re here. It’s late, I’m horny as hell and the Captain is somewhere in the skies flying round the world meaning there’s no hope for me so if you guys don’t want me chipping in my frustrations, you can both hush it and allow us move on!!!” Quite clearly, Kemi was ready to shoot someone.
“Oh wow. I think it’s safe to say everyone’s on edge tonight.” Charles said as he took off his shades.
“Oh shit. Is that a black eye?” Jade moved closer to her web cam as she tried to examine Charles’ eye.
“This chic has never done anything but land you in trouble. How did you get that and how on earth did she even make this list?” Kemi questioned.
“We’re not questioning the list. It’s mine. Like you said, let’s focus on getting me through it. We just got into a small squabble with some idiot, that’s all,” Charles responded.
“And just like back then, there you go defending her!” Jade sighed heavily. “Can we just get to her score then?” She was vividly irritated. Technology had never really been her forte; that coupled with the discovery of Charles’ recent misdemeanour had gotten her angry.
“Fun is good; very important even. With Shayo, I connect with a side of me no other person seems to be able to bring out. She’s hot, she’s spontaneous, the sex is good but she’s not the one,” Charles paused as if waiting for an onslaught.
“I really don’t get this. You just listed a lot of positives and she’s still not the one?” Jade questioned.
“I’m not 21. I did my fair share of weeding and spontaneous sex back then for a reason. I might still want it occasionally but not all the time.”
“You men are just un-fucking-believable.” Kemi muttered. “So you’re saying you put her on the list even though you knew she wouldn’t make it? Charles if this is a bloody waste of our time you better speak up now or God so help me if I don’t smack you from here to heaven if it turns out to be”
“Seconded!” Jade yelled, finally finding her voice again.
“I can understand why you guys might think this is a joke but I promise you it isn’t and Jade you of all people should know this. I need my friends with me on this, not my mother, and definitely not two whiny sex deprived girls.” Charles shrugged and looked away avoiding eye contact with both women.
“Hey, just keep quiet there! Not all of us can play the role of Randy Dandy. Besides, who says I didn’t get some in India?” Jade tried to defend herself but Charles knew her too well.
“Hahaha… you? Sex in India?” Charles continued laughing and then Kemi joined in.
“Come on Jade, we all know you can never be that casual about sex… but enough of that. So Shayo is out. On to the next then.”
“And who’ll that be.” Charles questioned even as he fiddled restlessly with his shades.
“Hmm… I think…” Kemi looked through some sheets of paper she was now holding.
“Yetunde.” Jade interrupted.
“Yetunde?” Kemi and Charles seemed to say at the same time.
“Yes. Yetunde.” Jade affirmed. Kemi’s questioning brows found answers in Jades eyes as she confirmed their choice even as Charles remained silent.
“It’s time to see how one of your exes will fare.” Jade said with mischief written all over her face.
“Do send her our regards,” Kemi’s yawn interrupted Charles’ response. “I guess it’s safe to say good night then. Try to erm.. have fun Cha-cha and please see a doctor about your eye and I don’t mean Yetunde. Work appointments don’t count as dates.”
“Yes ma. Can I go now?” inquired Charles,
“By all means. Good night guys…” Kemi chimed wearily
“Good night,” the others chorused.
She smiled from across the table. Goofily, he smiled back.
The ambience was decent; the food not so much. But he could bear. He WOULD bear. The babe was beautiful. Utterly pretty. He imagined merging his fingertips in a bunch and kissing them. And she was smart too. Really smart.
“So what do you think about the proposed amendments to the ICPC Act?” she asked softly, her voice caressing his sensibilities with every syllable.
“I’m not rrrr really one ffff for politics,” he stammered. This was the third time she’d made him stammer. First she brought up International news, then gist about GDPs around the world. All topics best served in lieu of Valium: tranquilizers.
Ordinarily, he’d be out the door by now but for two things staring him down from across the wooden divide.
And they were not her eyes.
“Boobies for President.” He thought to himself. Suddenly he heard someone speak: “Clearly, you’ll be voting, jerk.” Then he realized that he’d just thought…
“But Eno is fun sha.” Kemi chirped, “And she’s always calling you out on your B.S.” she continued,
“When she isn’t talking politics!” Charles roared. Both women laughed; Charles winced.
“So where are we taking Eno this time? I hope it’s someplace that helps you give more attention to her face though!” Jade never missed a chance to remind him of that awful day.
“Shebi it’s because I told you about it abi?” Charles looked hurt.
“Don’t be like that now. You know I’m only teasing,” Jade pleaded.
“No o! Don’t tell me that. Because I,” Charles stressed, “will not be telling you anything anymore, my dear.”
“Ahn ahn Charles…” before Jade could go further Kemi interrupted.
“Enough, you two! Charles, your date: be nice, be courteous, behave.”
“But I always behave,” he defended.
“Only when they are “B” cups!” Jade shot.
“Grrrr. I’ll so get you Jade. You know I will.”
“For where,” Jade dared him, “You always talk up a storm but you know you can’t do anything to us…”
Kemi grabbed Jade’s wrist. “Oya, playtime’s over. Same time Tuesday, we want deets. Ok Cha-cha?”
2 averagely priced meals, 2 bottles of wine and approximately 48 hours later…
“So… how did it go?” Kemi sounded very bubbly and excited,
“I’m not saying while she’s here.” Charles pointed at Jade while mimicking a child’s facial expression of disgust.
“Oh grow up already,” chastised Kemi. Jade put her arms around his neck and coaxed away:
“Besides, you know you want to.”
“Oh hell! It was great.” Charles broke. Staying mad at either was impossible. Man-being-able-to-predict-the-end-of-the-world impossible.
“Really?” the girls chorused, “Yaaaay!” They were now clapping softly.
“So tell us,” Kemi inquired, “what’s her score?”
“A perfect zero.” Charles quipped.
“Why? I thought you said it went great?!” Jade always knew Charles was fickle with women but still… “What happened Cha-cha?” she asked feigning surprise by rolling her considerable eyeballs. He shook his head in exasperation and replied sternly:
“One. I still hate that name,” cue both ladies giggling, “Two. Sex happened.” He shut his eyes for the inevitable uproar. Ultimately, said uproar came out as a mish-mash of “What?!”, “How!!”, “You dog!!!” and “Silly perv!!!”
Once the first wave was over, he carried on:
“That’s precisely why I couldn’t possibly marry Eno: too sexy! All I wanna do is nail her. And then ply the nail out and nail her again to make sure.”
“You pig! If you weren’t my friend eh…” Kemi was displeased.
“But wait… I thought men always wanted sexy women who desired sex once per weekday, twice on Saturdays and infinitely on Sundays!” Jade yelled just a tad. Sometimes Charles made no sense at all.
“As mistresses, house-girls and superiors at the office? Yes. As wives? No ma’am.” Charles replied expressionlessly.
“All right,” Kemi sighed, clearly defeated, “So who’s next on the list?”
“Ahn ahn. As planned now. Shayo.” Charles supplied, slightly bemused Kemi would forget so quickly.
“Better behave o!” Jade warned, “Cuz if your handling of Eno is any indication, God help Shayo,” she finished.
“Errrm… no!” Charles countered, “If Shayo’s handling of ME – the last time we hooked up at least – is any indication, God help Charles.”
The ladies looked at each other and passed an unspoken resolution before both looking at him and chorusing: “Pig!”
“I love you too, ladies,” he chimed mirthfully. “So…see y’all on Friday?”
*UPDATE: Only just realized I haven’t introduced my guest writer on this series. He’s the one, the only: @cikk0 and I’d just like to give him a huge s/o for pushing my writing skills to a higher height. Hope you guys enjoy it. And for those who missed it, you can read Episode 1 here.