Two young women in their early twenties walked past his table. They had somehow managed to squeeze themselves into two of the tightest dresses he had ever seen. They both had manes of Brazilian hair almost all the way down to their waists, and were both clutching the latest Blackberry phones in their perfectly manicured hands. He was not a fan of this look, even though it seemed to be the ‘in’ look at the moment. He did, however, appreciate how nicely the two of them were built; from the curve of their backs to the tightness of their stomachs and the African fullness of their backsides.
He had never been able to understand oyibo people and their obsession with boyish figures. Not that he had anything against lepacious women. All he asked, if it wasn’t too much trouble, was that they stuck out in the places where women were supposed to stick out.
The lighter-skinned of the two, whose dress was even shorter than her friend’s, saw him looking at them and maintained eye contact, her eyes full of silent invitation. Na wa o, he said to himself. Children of nowadays. He turned away and continued his search for the original object of his interest.
He found her halfway across the reception hall, sitting and chatting to three other women at a table. She had her legs crossed elegantly and was gesturing with her hands as she talked. She smiled and laughed a lot, flashing her beautiful, perfect white teeth. He was captivated.
Her Ankara dress had ridden up a little when she crossed her legs, and he could see a little bit of her thighs, her calves, her ankles, and her shoes. They were expensive-looking dainty silver sandals with six inch stiletto heels. He shook his head in pure bliss. This woman was simply made for him. The skin on her legs was soft and smooth, and he just knew exactly what it would feel like to touch. A droplet of sweat appeared on his temple, even though the air-conditioners in the reception hall were turned up too high and it was almost uncomfortably cold where he was sitting.
Tolu’s husband Dapo descended on him, extracting him forcibly from his reverie. “Ogbuefi!”
They shook hands and shared a man-hug. Dapo sat down. “Where’s Ojiugo?”
Ebuka shrugged and gestured in the general direction of the other side of the room. “She’s over there, somewhere. Socializing.”
Dapo sighed. “Women. Were you dragged here as well?”
Ebuka smiled. “Gbam.”
“Na wa o. I thought we were supposed to be the heads of the household! Masters of all we survey! When did this happen, Ogbuefi? When did we stop being head of the house? When did we suddenly become the special assistant to the commander-in-chief, in our own houses?”
Ebuka laughed out loud and held up his left hand. “You see this?”
Dapo looked. “Your wedding ring?”
Ebuka nodded. “When you receive this, it’s not only another ring that you exchange for it.”
“What do you mean?”
“What makes you a man?”
Dapo considered for a moment. “I don’t know. My balls?”
“Exactly.” Ebuka held up his left hand again and showed Dapo his wedding ring. “The day you put this on, my friend, you also handed your balls over to Tolu. They now officially belong to her to do with as she pleases. In fact, she has them locked up in a steel box at the back of her walk-in closet right now!”
“Nonsense!” Dapo retorted, “She carries them around with her! They’re inside her Louis Vuitton purse right now!”
Both men collapsed in fits of laughter.
“I want my balls back, jare!” Dapo said wistfully after they had regained their composure, setting them both off again.
Ebuka’s phone buzzed in the pocket of his sokoto. He pulled it out and looked at it. Nekky again. Some people just didn’t know how to take a hint. He put the phone back in his pocket.
“Who was that?” Dapo asked, looking at him curiously.
Across the hall, the captivating woman with the short hair and flawless skin threw back her head and laughed at something one of her friends had said. She was annoyingly beautiful. He felt a really strong urge to go over there and talk to her. He just wanted to be near her. As he watched, her phone rang and she answered it, and within seconds began to laugh with the person on the other end. He wondered who she was talking to.
He shrugged in answer to Dapo’s question. “Nobody.”
Dapo watched him for a moment, and then smiled. “Okay o!” He changed the subject and asked Ebuka about his Property Development firm’s latest project, a massive office complex they were building on Gerrard Road.
Ebuka sighed. “I think we may have bitten off a little more than we can chew, my brother. We’re way over budget and only halfway done. Which reminds me; very soon na for your house we go dey come chop, o!”
“No wahala,” Dapo said, “but you go first sell that your Range Rover, sha. Na that time wey I go confirm say e don serious.”
“I fit even sell our house join, sef. Wahala dey.”
Dapo scoffed. “Yes, but which particular house? Ole. You think I don’t know that Ikoyi itself now officially belongs to you? My friend, commot from here with that story!”
“No be only Ikoyi,” Ebuka said, “The whole South West is mine. And I’m in the process of buying South East and South South as we speak. Ode.”
“Before, nko? You go deny am, now! But all of us sabi wetin you and Fashola don plan finish, dey execute!”
Ebuka shook his head in exasperation. “Guy, I don only see Fashola once for my life! And na for function! The guy just shake my hand, talk say im dey hear correct tings about me. Finish!”
Dapo nodded enthusiastically and began to hum the theme music from ‘Tales By Moonlight’. “Story story…”
Ebuka smiled absently, giving up. His attention wandered back to the woman with the short hair. She had finished her telephone conversation, gotten up from her table, and was making her way across the room in his direction. She was looking right at him, an amused smile on her face. His heart quickened a bit, which slightly irritated him. He could not understand why she still had this effect on him.
Just as she reached the table, their daughter Lotanna appeared from nowhere and grabbed her around the waist. “Mummy!”
“Hello, darling!” she said to Lotanna. “Where’s your sister? Where’s Urenna?”
“She’s with Rose and Nnanna!” She pointed. “Over there!”
Ojiugo looked. “Go and bring them, darling. Let’s all sit together.”
Lotanna ran off and Ojiugo turned her attention back to her husband. “Nekky just called me,” she said. “She said you’re not taking her calls.”
Ebuka smiled sheepishly. “You know I love your sister,” he began, “but I swear, I just didn’t have the energy for her today. You know the woman can talk.”
Ojiugo pretended to glare at him for a few moments, and then she grinned. “She sabi talk, sha. No be say you talk. I had to pretend my battery was dying just to get rid of her!”
She hugged Dapo, told him that Tolu was coming, and then eased herself into the seat next to Ebuka. “My Oga,” she said, stroking the back of his head. “How, now? Did you miss me?”
Ebuka leaned back in his chair. “Me? For where? I was too busy checking out chicks.”
This was first published as Infatuation by Obinwanne on Naijastories. And you can read the full story there. If you love the work of the writers, support us by buying the first Anthology.
Naijastories.com is the leading community for Nigerian writers and book lovers, combining elements of a writing critique website and a social networking site. Of Tears and Kisses, Heroes and Villains is Volume 1 of the 'Best of NaijaStories' series. The 30 stories featured in this anthology were all originally published on this website between March 2010 and March 2011.
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