“Morenike! How are you?”
“I’m fine Rosie, I’m very fine. And you?”
“I’m fine too. Long time ore mi. So if I don’t call that’s how you’ll just abandon me here while you enjoy the largesse of Lagos alone abi?”
“I’m sorry Rose. You see, life in Lagos is one long race. One is constantly running from the office to meetings and back, always through horrendous traffic. I can’t even remember the last time I slept for four straight hours in one night. It’s as bad as that and the alarm is always hounding you. Remember those days back in school when we got so frustrated by those useless lecturers and their never-ending assignments that we couldn’t wait to graduate and start chopping life? How silly we were. Now I’d gladly pay good money to return to that life where deadlines, term papers, tests, exams and GPA were the only problem in a girl’s life.”
Rose laughed at her friend.
“I remember jare, how you were so impatient to go into the world and start earning the mega bucks. How’s work by the way?”
“Work is fine, and how’s my god-daughter, her dad?”
“She’s here, disturbing me to carry her as usual. Her father is there too. These days he keeps going on and one about her needing a brother, and I’m never slow to tell him he needs to gerrarahia. Dude legit wants to turn me to a baby making factory.”
“But that’s what you always wanted joor. Look at you, just four years out of school and you’re fully settled down while some of us are still chasing dreams.”
Rose laughed again.
“Fully settled indeed, in the doldrums of Enugu, saddled with a clingy daughter, a husband who thinks I was born to be a full time nanny and with no time of my own? You don’t know how much I envy your kind of life. Who wouldn’t want to be an independent Lagos babe, living her passion and meeting all those hot guys every second of every day?”
This time they both laughed, but Morenike was the first to stop.
“Speaking of which, you won’t believe who I ran into last weekend.”
“You know I’m not good at guessing Mo’, who was it?”
“K for Kome.”
“One of my writer friends invited me to a book launch at Muson Center and I was surprised when I saw him there dressed as a waiter and serving drinks.”
“Wai gini? Na wa o. Thank God we parted ways when we did. Imagine being married to a waiter who boxes women in his spare time. My face would have been permanently rearranged by now. Tufiakwa!”
“You dodged a bullet my sister. Anyways, I would have called you sooner than later sef. Daddy is turning 50 in October and there’s going to be a party. You’re very much invited of course.”
“Oh my God. I totally forgot about your dad, the gist distracted me. Congratulations to him in advance. Where and when is the gig going to be?”
“We’re still making plans but I’ll send you the full details by email when everything is set.”
“No problem hon. Just holla and I’ll be there. Meanwhile, how’s the search for bae? Any hope?”
“Ahem. Bye Rose. Extend my love to Jennifer and her dad. I’ll find time to call you guys soon.”
Before her friend could continue querying her further on that taboo subject, Morenike disconnected the line.
A knock on the door brought him out of his reverie. He wondered whom it could be, as he had left specific instructions not to be disturbed for at least an hour. The door pushed inwards, and it was his mother. He jumped up from his seat and prostrated fully in front of her.
“E kaa le ma.”
“Kaa le oko mi. Please get up; I’ve warned you about this your prostration thing. You’ll be making someone feel like one Methuselah. Emi ayounge funra mi.”
Femi regained his feet and ushered his mom to the settee before returning to seat behind the wooden desk.
“This is a surprise ma. You didn’t inform me you were coming to visit. By the way, who told you where to find me?”
His mother smiled at that particular question.
“Femiii. You forget this place was like home to me for so many years when your father was still alive. This was exactly the same place that your father used to run to whenever he needed some distance from all the chaos. In fact, I can remember some other one or two things that happened inside this room…”
Femi didn’t allow her finish.
“Err maami, please don’t corrupt my innocence. E joo ma, I’m just a small growing boy.”
Iya Femi’s rich laughter filled the small room.
“See this one deceiving himself. Omode ni e? You want me to tell you your age abi, old papa youngy.”
“Eyin le mo maami. I know I’m a young man.”
“Is that what you console yourself with? Is that why you remain single when all your mates have finished having children?”
The laughter on Femi’s face petered out. His mother had a penchant from going from 0 to 100 km/hour in seconds, no chill at all. The reason for her unannounced visit was already clear.
“Maami! I’ve told you countless times that I will soon get married. All I’m waiting for is the right woman, and once I find her, I’ll do the needful.”
“The right woman? Femi, the right woman? You know how long you’ve been giving me this story about the right woman abi? Okay o. I’m just praying that I would still be alive when you eventually find her. I want to carry my grandchild before I go and meet your dad, and you’re the only child I have. Saanu mi oko mi, joo ntori Oloun.”
“Mo ti gbo maami. Just give me a little time, and I’m sure everything will be sorted out to satisfaction.”
“If you say so Femi, sa ma je ko pe ju.”None found.