It was dark now, and they were back in Ngozi’s car, on their phones going through the series of social media and gossip sites that Sesan was trending on. Apparently, the girl he had saved from getting hit by the police van was a popular online traffic celebrity called Gidi Girl. She reports live traffic news around different locations in Lagos. She was Live on Instagram when Sesan had saved her. Her camera quickly cut up the video, and posted that part on her Twitter page, and went viral immediately. People started calling him a hero and wanted to know his identity; girls were making remarks about his good looks and they all wanted to know if he was single or not. Even the Gidi Girl herself wanted to know if he was single. He had become sort of like a modern day Cinderella; only that in this case he was a guy and not a girl.
It was like his whole world was spinning out of control. He had never experienced anything like this in his life, and it was making him really nervous. The video was everywhere in minutes; Linda Ikeji’s blog, Instablog 9ja, Nairaland, and a host of other online places. Ngozi was busy reading Tweets about him on her phone and laughing every once in a while. He was used to her talking all the time, and seeing her this way made him even more nervous. His phone rang and caller ID showed it was his mom. He picked up and she asked if he was the one that opened the gate earlier, he said yes. He told her he was outside the house with Ngozi, and would soon come in.
After ending the call with his mom, he turned to face Ngozi and said, “Wait, so what do I do now?”
“I don’t know, Sesanrella.” She said and laughed. “Go and find your princess; or your princesses.”
He shook his head before saying, “I’m serious. This whole thing is driving me crazy.”
She laughed a little more before saying, “Don’t worry; it will die down in a few hours when there is another trend.”
“Unless someone discloses your Twitter handle and girls start bombarding you with messages.”
“Why are you freaking out?” She said and laughed a bit before adding, “You could use this to your advantage.”
“I don’t know. Just think about something. You have free publicity right now.”
“Or, you could just have fun with it. Meet up with girls.” She said and put her phone up to his face. “See, this girl says she wants a date with you. She even left an email address you can reach her own.” Sesan stared at the phone screen for a long time. The girl was more beautiful than any girl he had ever known. “You do know you are a good looking guy, right?”
He sighed, put his phone in sleep mode, and opened the car door. “I need to just shut this whole thing out of my mind for now.” He said as he got out of the car. “Umm. I heard the street Landlord meeting is at your place tomorrow?”
“Yes. I still don’t know why they don’t do that thing on the last Saturday like every other street.”
“See you tomorrow.” He said and hit the roof of her car.
“See ya.” She said and started up her car. He watched her reverse all the way to her house before he turned around and walked into his compound.
He entered the house through the front door, walked through the dark living room and was already climbing up the stairs when he noticed his mom was sitting alone in the dark. He knew something was wrong right away. He turned around, dropped his back pack on the base of the stairs and walked back into the living room. “It’s stuffy in here, mom.” He said as he walked from one corner of the room to the next, raising the heavy curtains and opening the windows. When he was done, he sat next to her on the three seater couch facing the TV and smiled; she smiled back at him but didn’t say anything. It was a full moon night, and a little streak of moonlight illuminated the room enough for them to see each other’s faces. His mom was a pretty, petite looking woman in her early forties. She could pass for someone in her twenties and people usually mistook her for his sister. She was in a white floral print gown. Her rich black hair was packed to the back in a bun, revealing all the beautiful features of her pretty face.
“What’s wrong mom?” He said in a low voice.
With a quizzical look on her face she responded with, “Nothing.”
From how weak her voice sounded, he could tell something was really wrong, but he didn’t want to probe any further, so he just sat there in the dark with her, lots of thoughts running through his mind. So much had happened in the last couple of hours, and the more he tried to shot them out, the more thy flooded his mind.
“The house rent is due in two months, Sesan.” She said and cleared her throat before adding, “I have only been able to come up with half of the money. I don’t know if I will be able to get the other half in time.”
Sesan’s brain started working immediately. The house rent for their three bedroom duplex was eight hundred thousand Naira, which meant his mom already had four hundred thousand Naira, and they needed another four hundred to complete the rent. He had never held that kind of money before, but he just had a strong belief he would be able to come up with the money. Mr. Ojo, the magician had told him his salary for the job of the magician’s assistance was going to be sixty thousand Naira a month. If he saved his next two months salary, that would be one hundred and twenty thousand bucks; he would still need to come up with two hundred and eighty thousand Naira. Ngozi had told him earlier that the total she had spent on her Black Friday shopping spree was ninety-six thousand Naira. Her parents were rich, but it would be really awkward asking them for help. His mom wouldn’t even like it.
“There is a man…” She started saying and stopped to cough before continuing with, “There is a man that can help, but I really don’t want to ask him.”
“Don’t mom. Don’t ask him; whoever he is.”
“Don’t worry mom.” He said, cutting her off. “Give me two weeks; I’ll come up with something.” Sesan quickly got off the couch, picked his bag off the floor and headed up the stairs before his mom could say anything back. Although his Dad and Mom had never told him the real reason they had separated, he had guessed one of them had cheated. His guess had always been that it was his Dad, now he was thinking maybe it was his Mom. He didn’t want to believe it, and he sure didn’t want to hear about any man.
He got into his room, flung his back pack to one corner, shut the door, and dumped his body on the bed angrily.
The weekend was crazy for him. Someone eventually located his Twitter handle and made it known to the world. He started getting numerous messages; not only from girls who wanted to meet him, but from bloggers and news reporters who wanted to interview him. He had his house rent to think about, so he didn’t even pay the whole thing any attention. He wanted so badly to share his house rent predicament with his online friend, Chun Lee when they communicated, but he felt so ashamed and only shared the story about the traffic reporter girl with her. He couldn’t wait till Monday when he would be seeing Mr. Ojo again. He felt if he told the man his plight, he could help him out somehow; maybe pay him 7 months in advance.
When he had gone to Ngozi’s house for the Landlord and Tenant meeting Saturday morning, they didn’t get much time to talk as she was busy organizing things. Even in his troubled state, he noticed how much Ngozi was changing. She wore make up now, and actual female clothes. He guessed they were clothes she had bought the day before. She had on a simple white sleeveless blouse, and a black short flare skirt. As she moved around the place, he found himself staring at her upper body; her perky [email protected] were pronounced under the white blouse she had on. He didn’t even know she had b00bs up until now. And when she was arranging some pamphlets on the organization’s chairman’s table, his eyes were drawn to her smooth and spotless long legs. He had to shake his head vigorously to get his mind out the gutter. With the problem looming in his horizon, he couldn’t believe what he was thinking of.
When she saw him off to her gate after the meeting, he could tell she knew her new look had strong effects on him. But unlike her, she didn’t say anything about it; she just smiled a knowing smile, patted him on his cheek, and called him Sesanrella before walking back to her house.
He hadn’t been this confused in his life. So much was happening in his world at the same time.
When Monday finally came, he couldn’t wait till the end of classes. His last class of the day ended at noon, and he had till 3pm before he was to resume work at the magician’s home office. His job for now was to come up with marketing ideas for the actual magic shows in December. When that was sorted, they would go straight to the main job; magic.
To kill time, he decided to head out to the school’s sport center. There was always a group of people renting the place for some sort of sport competition or the other, and he always found watching sports entertaining. Also, the place was close to the gate. Sesan was a loner, but you couldn’t call him a shy kid or a nerd. After losing his best friend a couple of years back, he felt there was no use making friends when they could be taken away from you by the cruel hands of death at any time. He never wanted to feel that horrible feeling again, so he just kept to himself.
“Hello.” He heard a female voice say as he as he stepped into the sports center. He turned around with a smile and waved at a group of girls, but continued walking. He had been getting greetings from people who recognized him from the viral video all day, and never wanted to give any of them room to ask him questions, so he usually kept it moving before they could get into any discussion with him. He thought he had seen someone familiar in the group of girls, but wasn’t sure as he had only flashed them a quick glance. Then the hello came again with footsteps behind him. When he turned around, he saw her. It was his crush, Hauwa, with blue sunshades on, smiling at him; her teeth were shiny white. She had on jeans shorts and a white top with blue stripes on it. The small blue hand bag hanging from her shoulder was same color as her jeans shorts, and sunshades. “You’re the guy from the Twitter viral video, right?” She asked as she took off her sunshades.
“Yea…” He responded slowly.
“Yes!” She said excitedly in her sweet sounding Hausa accent. “I knew I recognized you. We take a class together, right?”
“Yea, I remember you well now.” She said with a smile. “So…what are you doing here?”
“I…Umm. I just like to come and watch people play.”
“That’s interesting.” She looked back at her friends for a second before saying, “Can I buy you a drink or something?”
“Cool.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him along like they had been friends forever. “I need to get you away from my friends; all they would want to do is take pictures.” She said as they walked between the back of the stands and a building meant for indoor spots. At the end of the building was a small kiosk with people standing around taking drinks and eating snacks. She stopped in front of the place, and turned around to face him. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t introduce myself. My name is Hauwa.”
“I’m Sesan.” He said.
She smiled before saying, “I know your name. I also know you’ve been trying to talk to me for a while now.” He smiled at her but didn’t say anything. “Let me get you that drink. You want Coke? Pepsi? Bigi Cola?”
“Bigi Cola.” He said with the smile still on his face as he watched her walk to the kiosk.
To be continued
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