“I wanna be in love, but with nobody else”
– (S.O.S Band)
I met Ayo under very unusual circumstances – I had gotten an email from her in respect of a vacant position early 2002. She had seen one of our boxed corporate adverts in a professional newsletter; Bottomline.
She needed a place to serve out her 1 year NYSC primary assignment. An English, second class upper graduate from one of the universities in Nigeria.
Interesting, I had thought to myself while also replying her mail with a date and time for an assessment.
On the due date, I was so unsettled.
She came as a package you couldn’t turn down.
Beautiful. Intelligent. Irresistible.
She was a right fit for our small outfit.
“When do you want to start – How about Monday ?”
We agreed terms plus every other necessity and she left.
My heart was pounding all through the day. How was I going to cope with such a beauty under my watch.
“Emi nikan tan. Me alone – Yeeeeepa.”
“Make she start first”, I told myself. “I shall behave jooooooo”.
Monday came and passed yet Ayo didn’t show up. Anyway, she’s got the right to change her mind I thought to myself.
“What nonsense ?”
She eventually called the following day to say her Dad was of the opinion the distance from her home to work was too much as well as the dangerous part that requires crossing the expressway daily.
I moved on and hired someone else.
Weeks later, I ran into Ayo on my way back from a client’s, she had gotten another place further down from us, 3 bus stops away. Same side of the expressway she told me.
Face covered and unable to even look me in the eye.
Anyway, we exchanged phone numbers and went our different ways.
A couple of days after the chanced meeting, I ran into her yet again and insisted on lunch at a Mr. Bigg’s outlet close to her office. This meeting was a huge blessing in disguise as we both became inseparable thereafter.
Visits to each every now and then. Her office today and mine tomorrow.
She never hesitated to tell me about her boyfriend. He was a consultant in one of the top foreign consultancies in Lagos. They had dated for a couple of years.
On the other hand, I was free.
She wondered why ?
‘I’ve a friend oooooo that you would like’ she once said and indeed took me to her friend’s in Ikeja.
I didn’t like her friend.
She finished her service and was employed by one of the now defunct banks with head office in VI. I called on her on my many visits to the island and she once again brought up the issue of me not dating.
‘Go downstairs to teller No. XyZ and see if you like her’ she once again encouraged. ‘I can arrange her for you if you like her’.
I didn’t, despite once again dragging me to her colleague’s place weeks later.
I liked her instead.
A lot. Truly. So much.
I knew she was very into her guy too, “What if I asked her out and she said no ?” I hated the thought of a NO for an answer. I cherished the friendship enough not to lose it so I just kept mute.
“If there’s any justice in the world, I would be your man, you would be my girl;
If I found you first in the world, he would be alone, you would be wif ME.
You gonna be my baby, you gonna be my baby”
Hurting. Jonesing. Wishing.
She moved on to another banking job in the Apapa area and then got married to her guy. I also settled down about 2 years later.
We lost touch and didn’t communicate for a couple of years and then, she one day showed up at my office with 3 other colleagues.
Those bank marketing things.
‘You must open an account, please help me’ she said while also getting hold of a newly purchased book I’d left unread on my table. She whisked it away, ‘At least this book will make me come back for another visit in no distant future’ she had said promising to return it.
I was never to see that book again.
‘Nine Lives’ – Written by my friend El Nukoya
By the time I heard from her again, it was through a strange phone call I almost didn’t pick.
A call from the USA.
She had been gone for months she said. “What about my book ?” was my first response.
‘Forgerrit’ she said ‘Cos I don’t even know where it is again’.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. A book I was yet to read. Hahnnnnn hahnnnnn.
“What nonsense ?”
She had to relocate she informed. She resigned to go meet her husband, the father of her 2 kids. He had issues at work and had to leave the job and Nigeria.
Initially, it was good riddance to bad rubbish for her. Their marriage was just not working. When he left for the USA, she too had packed out of the house and rented her own place. Hubby kept on begging her to come join him and she was adamant.
‘Are you dating someone else ?’ he had asked her.
‘Yes’ she replied.
‘Who, anyone I know ?’ he also wanted to know.
‘Gbenga’ she said.
The guy was on the next plane to Nigeria. I don’t know what and how, the relationship was mended and they went back to America together where she put to bed their third child.
The shocker to this whole thing was MY NAME.
“Why on earth did you mention me in your saga ?”
That was when the whole pieces were then put together. Her husband and then boyfriend was the one who insisted she couldn’t do her NYSC primary assignment with me.
According to her, he couldn’t imagine what the 2 of us would be up to in the office.
‘He dreads you’ she said.
‘He knows your phone number and email address off head’ she further told me.
‘Kay knew I was crazy about you’ she went on.
‘Mo fi oju so. Mo fi orun so you didn’t even catch the drift’ she concluded.
‘I would have married you but you never even made a move on me’.
Moku. Mogbe. Motidaraan.
“Sometimes the most beautiful people are BEAUTIFULLY broken”
Same babe that wanted me to date 2 of her friends.
“What da f.ck ?”
‘As a matter of fact my husband is one of your proxy friends on Facebook’.
Ohhhhhh, now I understood why she would rather make comments about my posts inbox then.
We would go back and forth with me wondering why she didn’t drop her comment at the appropriate place.
I gorrit eventually.
”Never sacrifice your Queen for a pawn”
The next revelations were even crazier. She would call all night long, just cries and crying herself out. Her marriage was a trap, a dead end.
She had discovered upon relocation to America that the guy had impregnated an African American woman. She felt betrayed.
Disappointed & Distraught.
This was a man her father warned her against getting married to. She couldn’t even confide all the discovery to her folks. She had been forewarned.
I was totally lost.
More night calls. So much more tears too.
She was going to leave him. She was going to come back to me.
(My own marriage had this while packed up)
Then the unbelievable happened.
I woke up one morning to an unusual email, a mail from Ayo to me but in very stern and uncommon words.
‘Stop calling my wife. Stop all emails to her. Stop communicating with Ayo.
You have been warned.
This is your first and final warning’
(. . . Aidontbilivdis.)
Kay had broken into her account obviously. Now this was a guy I knew practically nothing about, except of course his name. I quickly googled his background.
What I saw alongside his picture further alarmed me.
He had a record already in the US.
Not a word again from Ayo. It was all quiet ever since.
Was that a treat from Kay ? I wasn’t going to find out.
Thus, I went underground. Any strange face on my street or opposite my house was treated with a lot of caution. This guy was capable of absof.ckinglutely anything.
Ayo resurfaced yet again, about 3 years down the line.
‘You did it yet again – You didn’t look for me’
I’ve blocked her numbers oooooo.
“Life is a STORY – Make yours a BESTSELLER”
@ O’Shine ORIGINAL