“Where have you been? Do you know how worried I have been?”
Amaka literally screamed at her friend as soon as she opened the door to her
house to usher her in.
“E ma binu…abeg don’t be annoyed my dear, it’s mommy ooo…that woman can be so paranoid.” Soluzo started.
“I was so worried, c’mon Soluzo, the least you could do was
call me to say you’re okay.”
“I honestly tried calling but the network was kinda problematic. I am so sorry, let me drop my bag and have a quick bath then we
can watch the film. Did you get the chin chin?”
“Mtcheww…after leaving me here waiting for you for this long…”
“I said I am sorry na…haba! I am sorry.” Soluzo apologized again and said. “I am even sure that Odili is pissed with me, I wanted to stop by his office briefly to drop off two of his white t-shirts but mummy showed up
demanding to have me escort her on a prayer mission.”  Soluzo continued and dropping her bag, she made her way to Amaka’s room.
Amaka’s eyes widened immediately she heard Soluzo’s mention of Odili’s clothing. This was easier than she had thought it’d be, she smiled to herself. As regarding the items that the woman at the shrine needed for the ritual, Amaka had decided earlier that she would go to Odili’s house the next morning under pretext of dropping a surprise pre-wedding gift for the couple. She would call Odili’s phone since he would have left for work and tell him
about her surprise gift which she intended to drop at his house without Soluzo’s knowledge. She’ll make up a cock and bull tale that since she wasn’t going to be at the trad, she wanted to make it up to the both of them and she didn’t want to drop the gift in Soluzo’s place or it’ll spoil the surprise as the gift was more for her than for him. Then, Odili in turn will call his gateman and tell him to give her his house keys which will give her access to
the house inorder to get his clothing for the ritual. Now that Soluzo came to her house with Odili’s clothes in her bag, it was a good opportunity to get the clothing without going through the hassle of buying an unnecessary gift item for her friend.  As soon as Soluzo left
the small siting room, Amaka pounced on her friend’s overnight bag in search of the shirts. She took one shirt and hurriedly zipped the bag up and quickly hid the shirt under one of her sofas in the sitting room. As though on cue, Soluzo walked out of the room and plopped on the sofa where Odili’s shirt had been tossed.
“Didn’t you have your bath again?” Amaka asked still feigning annoyance.
“I just washed my face… lets watch the movie abeg, it’s almost ten pm and I need to be up early to sign off at work tomorrow.” Soluzo said.
“Okay, I’ll play the movie, it’s already in the DVD player.”
“Cool…” Soluzo said then after a while she asked. “How come you don’t want to accompany me for the trad? You are my bestie…and everyone will be wondering why you are not there.” She said with a cute pout.
“I told you I’m working and can’t take the weekend off because I have to work through the weekend.”
“It’s not fair ooo…don’t they know you have a bestie? Don’t they know my wedding is coming up?”
“The world doesn’t revolve around you Soluzo, c’mon, I’m your maid of honour for the church wedding, haven’t I sacrificed enough? I am supposed to be working that weekend.” Amaka snapped.
“Hey…watch it! Haba! Why are you talking to me in that tone of voice? Is it because I didn’t show up on time for the movie?” Soluzo asked with eyes flashing.
“Oya sorry for snapping…I was really worried about you…and I am super sad that I’ll miss the trad…” Amaka said quietly.
Soluzo smiled and reached out to hug her.
“Remember that song we used to sing then in secondary school
whenever we were punished together for doing something mischievous?” Soluzo
asked in smiles.
“Yea…how would I forget that?”
Soluzo cleared her throat and sang;
‘When your hero comes along.
With a strength to carry on, and you cast your fears aside,
And you know you can survive…’
Amaka joined in and at the end of the song, they were both standing on the top of the sofas, singing at the top of their voices with their palms rolled into fists like the microphone and laughing.
“Whatever made us have that as a friendship song?” Amaka laughed.
“Well…I guess it’s because we are our heroes. You are my hero Amaka, you are brave, you are strong, if I had to exchange anything even if it is the most precious thing I have for your friendship, I’ll let the precious thing go and hold you as my friend. I love you so much Amy, you are my best friend for life.” Soluzo said teary eyed and went to hug her friend.
Amaka held her close and shut her eyes, she suddenly felt so sweaty and uncomfortable.
“Are we going to get emotional? C’mon dear, toughen up, life is rough…” Amaka said hugging her back.
“Yea…” Soluzo sniffed and wiped her eyes of the stray tears.
“Let’s watch the meeting and eat chin chin…whoop whoop!” She said and hurried
to settle down and enjoy the movie. “Lest I forget, do you like my new hairdo
for the trad?”
Amaka looked at the hair and shrugged, Soluzo was ‘team natural hair’ so the hair do was basically all her hair. “It’s all your hair, I guess it’s okay.” Amaka said as she stared at the hair which was wrapped up and tied at the top of her hair, leaving her natural curls at the top. “It’s like you packed your hair up except that this one is neater.”
“The salon lady used a very strong kind of hair gel to hold it in place, you know how stubborn my hair is.”
“But what’s going to happen to the top, will you leave it like that?” Amaka asked.
“Nope…I have an already braided artificial bun that I’ll place at the top.” Soluzo said.
“Nice.” Amaka smiled picking up the remote control, she turned on the television and DVD while mentally checking the list she had received from the shrine. Her mission was about to be accomplished.
*****
Nosa arrived at Uyi’s house that evening and dropped off his bags in the guest room which had been provided for him. First off, he jumped on the bed and felt the soft sheets, next he switched on the large plasma screen television in the room and rapidly changed channels, then he jumped off the bed and hurried to open the fridge which was filled with
delightful drinks, and lastly he headed to the bathroom which boasted of top-notch facilities he had only had the pleasure of viewing while work at the hotel. Nosa fell on his knees and looked heavenward in thanksgiving.
“God I thank you…if not for anything but for the fact that Uyi and I grew up in the same neighbourhood. Thank you because he identified himself as my friend and brother…” He started but was interrupted by a knock.
“Who is it?” He asked, pausing his prayers.
“Oga Uyi wants to see you downstairs.” The voice answered through the door.
Nosa didn’t even bother rounding off his prayers, anyway, he thought, God will understand that he had to first of all, answer to his benefactor on earth. Nosa opened his door hastily and sped past the messenger, hurrying downstairs to the sitting room where he quickly halted at Uyi’s side. Uyi was speaking to his wife, and was surprised to see Nosa
rush up to him.
“Nosa…glad to have you back.” Uyi said.
“Thank you Uyi, it has been my pleasure.”
“Please meet my wife…Cassandra.” Uyi introduced.
“It’s a pleasure Cassandra, my name is Nosa.” He greeted, not taking his eyes away from Uyi’s wife who was from foreign soil.
“Oh hello!” Cassandra said off-handedly.
“Well, my wife is looking for corn, she just suddenly begun
craving it and you know how pregnant women worry men over these things…” Uyi said.
“She’s pregnant? Congrats ooo…Uyi…dis time na boy she go born!” Nosa said excitedly.
“Yes…it definitely will be a male child, I have a daughter already but we can’t say, you know we don’t get to choose whatever we procreate. And besides, she’s still in the early stages.”
“Congratulations madam…Congrats…” Nosa said, bobbing his head up and down.
“Well, I need you to look for corn for her…” Uyi said.
“Yes…sure…definitely…” Nosa said.
“It’s quite late now and I don’t know where you can get it…but I’m sure you know your way around…” Uyi supplied.
“Yes…I can…” Nosa said.
Uyi brought out his purse and took out two crisp hundred naira notes and handed them to Nosa.
“Buy enough ooo…I want chop sef…” Uyi said.
“Hahaha…Uyi, so you still dey chop corn?” Nosa asked playfully.
“Is he supposed to address you by your first name?”
Cassandra asked her husband.
“Wetin she talk? Make I nor call you Uyi?” Nosa asked innocently.
“Well…err…you see…I have lots of business associates, both in high places and even the government. I’d rather you addressed me as, Oga Uyi, so my business associates wouldn’t take me for granted.”
Nosa didn’t understand how he couldn’t address his friend with his first name but kept mute and agreed to what Uyi had told him.
“And err…you’ll have to address my wife as Madam…and not by her full name. My daughter is Isabel but you’ll have to address her as Miss Isabel. That’s how we make this house work in order.” Uyi said.
Nosa stood there nodding like a lizard.
“Okay, you can go now and please be back on time…thanks.” Cassandra said and walked away.
“Uyi…sorry…Oga Uyi, should I tell the driver that I want him to take me to buy corn?” Nosa asked.
Uyi stared at Nosa in disbelief.
“Will you fuel the vehicle and pay the driver’s salary? If you will do all that, you can go ahead and tell the driver to take you.” Uyi said.
“So, is transport in this money? I might not see corn around
here at this time…”
“Nosa…go and buy corn and stop wasting time. If my wife’s craving changes ehn, you’ll go and return that corn ooo…” Uyi warned.
Nosa nodded hastily and stepped out of the house, wondering if his luck had really changed for the better or for worse.

 

To be continued …

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