There I was, seated on my seat, jacket tightly held to my chest, quivering with fear, my knees knocked hard against each other, I could feel the bones swelling. There three of them stood, as though they owned the place.
The one with whom my eyes locked licked his lips when he saw me. It seemed he was eager to kill me, he just couldn’t wait to get it done with. The other two stood by the door to the VIP section. Why were they standing there? Were they trying to defend themselves from the security? I wanted to run, but there was nowhere to run to, I mean I couldn’t possibly over power these three giants. They were really huge, just like wrestlers from WWE, “the rock” and the likes.
By now Wunmi had emerged from the pool, she hugged herself tightly as she shivered uncontrollably. Was it as a result of fear or cold or probably both? I couldn’t tell. Wunmi was always hard to read. She just stood there, by the pool looking like a dummy, white.
There, on the floor, just beside my seat, laid Yvonne. She didn’t look so great any more.
‘chisos oo!!! na like this I take go?’, she whispered aloud, her voice shaky.
Eeehen?, Yvonne “the great”, pidgin. cha!
I began to sing, “my lifetime, I will give God my life time”, since Yvonne could speak pidgin now, it only meant all hope was lost, and right now, only that song could console me. Moved to tears and already in the spirit, I began to feel repentant for all my sins, committed and yet to be committed. My repentant mood was abruptly cut short by a very loud croaky laughter, then I looked up, and all I could see was a very huge pot belly. There were surprisingly no signs of chaos in the hotel. Didn’t these hotel staff mind that series of gunshots were just fired in their compound? abi they cared less about the safety of their customers nii
‘thank you, thank you velly velly much’ the “pot belly” greeted the “giants” who opened the door for him, he was already where we were by now.
On hearing his voice, Yvonne sprang up from the ground, like a bolt from the blue, her usually bright yellow face was red from immense embarrassment, she cleared her throat, looking bewildered at the same time trying to regain composure she beamed at the “pot belly”, ‘uncle c-neke wow!’, her arms extended, she invited him for a hug which he accepted eagerly, his head rubbing her breasts.
I could clearly see relief all over Yvonne, ‘I knew it was you, duhh! I just had to play along you know? just to scare the shit out of them you know?’, her sentences sounded like questions.
It was a very obvious lie. She looked at our direction when she said “them”. Wunmi was already by my side, I didn’t even know when she got there.
‘You definitely did give my girls a heart attack’, she continued as she laughed hysterically. How was this funny? This uncle c-neke of a man was not a normal individual obviously. He tried to calm us down, he put his arm around Yvonne’s waist and blurting out tons upon tons of thick igbo accented words, he mumbled several excuses together with apologies
‘Yvo-nne, you are leally stlong o. You mean you welen’t feared?’, he looked amazed
‘I did not want to give your pletty rittle gals a hatattak..’, he pronounced heart attack together as one word, and the last three letters of Yvonne as an igbo word, “nne”, meaning mother.
He continued looking directly at me as though I was the only person the apology was meant for. He didn’t seem to notice Wunmi’s presence.
‘You knor erection is alound the corner, this is a strataygy for camPAIGN, you knor what I mean, calm down nne’, he smiled sheepishly while exposing a set of big crooked teeth. The teeth looked clean though.
We sat down, I, near Wunmi as usual.
‘Order whatever you rike, Hehehe, ogbuefi Chukwuneke jikwa Ego’, uncle c-neke said amidst giggles as though he had said something very funny. Yvonne had asked for chicken and chips
‘ummmmm..’, she swung her fore finger in several to and fro movements, while rolling her eyes slowly and directionless and pouting her lips
‘give me something light‘, she had said, ‘probably chicken and chips’.
Wunmi and I ordered for cat fish pepper soup, while uncle c-neke asked for two pots of isi-ewu. Different vegetables were garnished on the isi-ewu, it looked tantalizing. I began to regret my decision of taking pepper soup. I couldn’t take my eyes off the isi-ewu. Clearly, Wunmi thought I was staring at uncle c-neke
‘Hmmm, Precious, Precious Emordi! Precious, Hmmm. How many times did I call you?’,
‘three’, I answered curtly
‘well it’s good you are still self conscious, at least I know that you have the ability to take my advice’, she was whispering
‘what advice?’ I asked looking obviously confused
‘keep your eyes away from uncle c-neke, Yvonne doesn’t use her uncles to play at all o. You can’t have anything to do with any of them.. She has seven uncles that come to see her often, don’t even go near one, at all at all’
I was lost now
‘Olawunmi I wasn’t looking at him ooo.. I can’t even have anything to do with him, I mean look at his belly naa, I was merely looking at his food’, we were still whispering
‘e be like say u no dey hear word, plus him o, plus his food, no look’, it was clear wunmi thought I was lying.
She continued, ‘the last person that had something to do with one of Yvonne’s uncles still dey hospital, since last two years o, dem beat the girl ehn, come pour acid for her fine face.. and the girl fineeee die, Bastard fine o’ she snapped her fingers and let out a loud hiss, ‘I still dey pity the girl reach today’.
It was clear to see that Yvonne and Chief did not give two fucks about us for now, what kind of Uncle was this, being so deeply engrossed in his niece like this. O chim! there’s nothing we won’t see. I did not let what Wunmi had told me to dwell in me, I got up, I needed to use the restroom.
Just out of the restroom, I bumped into a huge pot belly, was today a day of pot bellies or what?
I looked up to see the wide grin of uncle c-neke which exposed his crooked teeth marked with several green vegetables from his isi-ewu obviously, eewww.
He began to titter, ‘I rike you, you knor’, he gaped at my breasts, I was wearing a very low necked vintage top, and he eyed me from head to feet, while licking his lips.
‘Turn alound baby’, he said. I turned around.
‘I had to forrow you, you knor, I couldn’t ret u go, so here’s my card’, he smiled as he brought out a white paper from his trouser pocket, he looked at my breasts again and licked his lips. I was beginning to like the situation of things, if no one tells Yvonne about this how would she know, and from the look of things, chief was not going to spill the beans either, after all this was the reason I became friends with her in the first place; to meet rich men. I stretched out my hand to collect the card, chief did not hand me the card, instead he placed it in my breasts, and grinned widely.
‘Ret’s go’, he said.
We both turned to return to the VIP section, and there, looking enraged, furious, and all shades of horrific, stood Yvonne “the great”.
Legs wide apart and arms akimbo.
How long had she been there?
I swallowed hard. This was not going to be funny at all.
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