Philip arrived with his mother and lodged in the same hotel that I was in.
While his Mum was staying in Amara’ s big family house.
They came two days to the wedding.
Philip called me to come out that he was hanging out with Nnana, Amarachi’s elder brother.
After his call I got a message from Bayo also asking me to come out and meet him.
He was chilling out with his friends.
I told Philip that I was busy reading the book his Dad gave me and I don’t feel like leaving my room, probably the next day we will get to see.
After texting him I got ready to go and see Bayo who was really occupying my head.
I decided to honor Bayo’s invite instead of Philips.
Bayo told me where he was and I decided to go and meet him there.
I saw him with few guys sitting on a round table.
As I got closer, I saw Bayo looking at me and smiling from ear to ear.
I also noticed another person staring at me.
Philip! He was among the guys.
I swallowed hard and my step changed immediately
Bayo and Philip was looking at me at same time.
Bayo was smiling while Philip has this straight face.
I never knew they were all together I wouldn’t have come.
I told Philip that I wasn’t coming out to see him because I’m reading in my hotel room but I agreed to see Bayo not knowing that they were actually here… together.
Seeing them staring at me made sweat broke out from my body.
I suddenly started missing my steps. I was walking like a duck, as if my legs were in chains.
I had to comport myself, breath in and then out before I continued.
I like Bayo because he is very lively and fun to be around with.
He Pampers me like a child and makes me feel special.
Philip on the other hand has proven very difficult from onset.
I don’t even understand him one bit.
Very uptight and too disciplined for my liking.
This minute he likes me and the next he will be acting like I was a stranger.
I have always given him the green light, shooting my shot at him none stop, wanting him to atleast notice me.
I have done almost everything and never hide my feeling from him but he just paid a deaf ear.
He kissed me in his room surprisingly for the very first time and then discard me like a sinner that lured him into sin.
I’m just tired of his sheningani, tired of his pride or uptightness.
He probably thought I changed my mind and decided to come and meet him because as I was few feet away he curved a smile.
When Bayo stretched out his hand towards me, Phil’s smile disappeared.
He looked on with disappointment plastered on his face.
I greeted Nnana and one other guy with them.
I said hello to Philip who responded coldly.
I went to sit beside Bayo who took my hands into his and kissed them.
“my hot chocolate…bawo ni iyawo mi? (How are you my wife) let’s do fast and marry joor…. I always want you around me always Keji….
Bayo said it more like a whisper but the person sitting next to him can hear.
Philip was next to him and he wasn’t paying attention to what Nnana was saying.
His eyes was on us.
After Bayo said that I smiled and flashed Phil a look and he was actually looking back at me in silent.
“I think I should leave. We can see later tonight or talk on phone. I don’t want to interrupt your fun time with your friends.
I said to Bayo before standing.
“No…no you aren’t interrupting anything Keji. Okay…I will come with you. Let’s leave to hangout somewhere else.. alright?
He stood excused himself from the other guys and followed me.
I turned and looked back at Phil and he was sipping his bottle water and staring at me with sad look on his face
Why is he looking at me like I stole his money?
He never really liked me despite how much I wanted him and now that I’m letting go of my feelings for him and embracing a new change he is acting like he cares.
What does he even care? It doesn’t matter what I do with my life, I deserve some happiness and fresh air from all the suffocating people back in Abuja.
With the way I was feeling, I told Bayo to return back to his friends, that I need to meet the girls.
We stood at a distance from the boys but I can still feel Philip’s eyes on me.
Bayo kissed my lips before turning to go back.
I watched Philip became discomfort. He stood from his seat, said something to the guys, I guess he excused himself and walked away.
Bayo returned to his seat and joined the gist. I quickly left and returned to my room.
Why was I even having this guilt feeling?
Philip shouldn’t even come in between me and my happiness because he was never there when I needed him.
I like Bayo alot. He has succeeded in making me lose my attachment over Philip.
It may not be fully but to some extent
I have allot of questions ringing in my head. One of them which is
Who is Amarachi to him?
I tried not to bother myself with any problem at all.
Later that evening we had a get together with the bride and her ladies.
They were all very beautiful and speaks of class.
Classic babes, I felt my standard is below theirs but who cares.
They all felt I’m one of the big chicks and very well to do.
I acted exactly that and didn’t give them any room to question me or my status.
Amara is a sweet being. She treated everyone equally without any favoritism. No special treatment or attention to anyone in particular.
A day to the wedding, four of us sat by the pool side of the hotel, sipping our cocktail and gisting like old friends.
The bride was away, three other ladies were out or inside their hotel rooms.
The three ladies that I was sitting out with asked me what I do for a living as we gathered round a table gisting and laughing.
I told them I’m a private cook, more into African dish and little of foreign and also a kitchen assistance.
Since they don’t cloth me or pay my bills I see no reason to lie.
lying won’t make me less of a human or more of human.
“Do you mean like a chef… a hired private chef?
Dimma, one of the classic ladies asked me.
“,More like it” I replied. I decided not to say any more words to avoid more
“So you mean that you are a greet cook but don’t know much on the food menu? Which of the caterer schools did you attend? I mean, is it a well known school here in Nigeria or outside the country?
This is exactly what I was avoiding. Questions that I don’t have answers to which is why I tried not to speak much about myself.
As I opened my mouth to reply another question flew in.
Dimma asked again
“How do you get to know Amy? Did you also study abroad at some point in your life or you met her here in Nigeria?
“Or I guess you are a girlfriend to one of Nnana’s friend. That black chubby Yoruba guy that we usually see you with, he is your boyfriend right? Asked Yvonne
Questions were flying Left, right and center.
” Obviously, they are dating. Keji is Yoruba and he is Yoruba also. She is dating her tribal man… How long have you guys been in a relationship? How do you meet him… I guess he’s also from your state..? Don’t you like igbo men?…Asked Dimma
“No, I don’t think so. But I really don’t care. All I’m concerned about is her skin… Keji isn’t your skin a bit too dark? A little toning will do lots of good, I mean with the right organic products. I have a friend who’s is into organic cream… She will give you exactly the one for your skin type. Will you give it a try? Said Patricia.
“How can you even suggest such Pat? Her skin is beautiful and doesn’t need toning. Look at my skin… Look at Yvonne’s skin… beautiful isn’t it?. I sometimes forget to cream myself because I don’t attach myself to any sort of cream. I even use baby pears sometimes. Amarachi’s skin is also sweet… Asking Keji to go for an organic cream raise a dust about your own skin. You are very fair actually but I know naturally you aren’t fair as this. You probably tone…no hard feelings though. We are all speaking our minds. But I will suggest you leave Keji alone with her color. Beside, she’s an adult and can decide what exactly she wants. Keji, hope I’m speaking your mind?
“I take no offense in what you said Dimma. Is actually your opinion and is okay to have an opinion but is wrong to enforce your beliefs on someone. Is not everyone you see is comfortable in their skin, ladies especially needs to wear their skin with pride. They need to feel comfortable and be admired. I only threw in a suggestion, I wasn’t asking Keji to buy my whole idea but if she is interested then I will be very willingly to help in…
I quickly interrupted.
“I’m very comfortable in my color. Enough already…I won’t trade my natural skin color for anything. I’m sorry if is too dark or too brown for your liking but it still wouldn’t change how much I cherish myself. You will be surprised that it was actually my color that attracted Amara the first time we spoke. She admired my skin and we became friends from then…
Yvonne and Dimma began laughing.
Dimma later said
“Amara has a thing for dark skin. Maybe that’s why she ditched her former light skin boyfriend for a dark Nonso. Her ex is her childhood friend and they had this great connection and planned to get married. Even their both families were in support of the relationship not until Amara travel out for her degree and met Nonso, fell in love and they are getting married tomorrow. I guess their was no strong bond with her ex because they ended things amicably and she even stayed in their family house over at Abuja for days before returning home. I saw her ex yesterday, that guy is too fine. He’s even finner than Nonso but is not by fine…. is by choice. Amara made her choice already and we are all cool with that. Even her ex is super cool and very supportive. he’s not my kind of ex that we are not even in talking terms. Abeg joor… let’s continue our former discussion. Keji since you are a cook or better still a chef… where did you do your catering?
I breathed in and out as the whole attentions retuned back to me.
I was in a hot seat with Dimma, Patricia and Yvonne asking me different thing even when I haven’t even answered one.
They started throwing in their questions all over again.
The whole thing was choking my breath.
“Let me take the questions one after the other. I learnt cooking while working for this anonymous family. I did online courses on…
I noticed the ladies attention shifted to a different direction.
I followed their gaze and behold it was Phil approaching.
My heart skipped.
Ever since yesterday we haven’t spoke.
He didn’t call or message me after seeing me with Bayo.
I’m surprised to see him walking down alone towards where we were seated or is he into one of the ladies here?
“This guy is too fine. He should just come and marry me already but the problem is that he is too gentle for my liking. He will dull my spirit if we’re together…I need an activity guy.
Said Patricia bitting her lips and making Yvonne to laugh out loud.
” This is Philip na, Amarachi’s friend… former boyfriend, childhood friend and very close family friend… hahahaha. I just spoke about him few minutes ago and here he was. I saw when he arrived yesterday. What is he coming over for… maybe he finally noticed me. He’s single and I’m single we can both mingle hahahaha…. I Love this kind of guys… sweet in the middle with good looks. Come on darling and sweep me off my feet…
Said Dimma making Yvonne to laugh out again.
Yvonne is the cheerleader, laughing at everyone’s speech and hardly speak. She is tall, beautiful and has a nice accent.
She is probably a model.
Philip arrived at our table and greeted the ladies cheerfully.
They responded happily. All eyes on him as they wait to know who exactly he came for.
“Hey Keji, can I see you….in private please.
The shock on their faces was very funny. I almost laugh at Patricia as she looked at me like a devil.
She turned to Philip and said with a smile.
“,Oh Philip, you came for Keji… anyway be careful before her Yoruba boyfriend catches you. they share unbreakable bond…
Phi didn’t reply. Dimma frowned and slapped Patricia’s hand.
I stood up and followed Philip who was ahead of me.
I didn’t bother walking fast because I wanted to hear the girls.
I bent down few feets away like I was readjusting my sandals.
I can hear Yvonne saying,
“…Pat that was unnecessary. You shouldn’t have said such…
“Women tearing down women because of jealousy. A man will never do such to his follow guy…
That was Dimma’s voice.
“Bla bla bla… Yen yen yen! You don’t expect me to leave a Yoruba girl to have one of the most eligible igbo rich bachelor in town. No way… Please spare me that…she has her Yoruba boyfriend. She should stick to him and leave our men alone. anyway, I’m hungry… I’m going to go get something to eat.. Yvonne are you coming along…
I quickly walked away to meet Philip who was standing close to the car park and waiting for me.
“Hi…how are you doing?
He asked. I was expecting him to be angry at first after yesterday but he was acting like a gentleman.
I told him that I was alright.
“What’s going on…I mean with you? You told me yesterday that you couldn’t come out to meet me but was surprised when I saw you with Nnana’s friend. How long have you known him…
“Does it really matter? I only met him here and he’s a great guy.
He gasped out.
“Wow… just within a week and few days and he’s already kissing you in public? Is it because he’s Yoruba or because you just want a guy closeby? I really want to understand what is going on…
“Stop asking me question like a kid. I’m an adult and have the right to choose who I want to be with. Yes, he’s Yoruba and I enjoy being with him. Why are you even here… questioning what I do with my life and time? You only have that right when I’m on duty back at your house. I’m neither on duty or at your mercies. Stop bossing over me Phil.
I was getting very angry already with his attitude.
I couldn’t tell what exactly was on his mind but he looked at me strangely.
“I thought you were different Keji. Do you even know this your guy…do you know him or you only knew what he wanted you to know? You met Kunle and acted like you don’t fancy him only to end up going out with him severally even to his house. Now, is eeh… Bayo, I guess you fancy Yorubas more…but funny enough you end up with whoever crosses your path and flashed you a knowing smile. Keji… I’m just disappointed that’s all…
I sparked angrily.
“What do you even care? You never liked me and you are still not happy with other men liking me. I will live my life like I please here… when I return back to work then you can have a say over what I do with my time. Leave me the hell alone oga Philip Kanu…
I turned and started walking away. He called my name twice but I didn’t reply.
I walked away and went straight to my room.
Tomorrow is the wedding, after which I will be returning back to Abuja to resume back my work life.
Philip is getting me all worked up. I don’t even know what exactly he wants from me.
He wants to start controlling my life because I work for him.
I won’t let that happen.
I’m in charge of my life and answerable to whatever I do.
Bayo told me all I need to know about him and that’s enough for me.
Many women like Patricia will die to have Philip and I want to be excluded in that list.
There was a time like that, all I think off morning and night was Philip but gonna those days.
I’m moving like nothing happened.
Bayo got me the way I want and I don’t care how Philip feels about it but he has no right to interfere in my personal life.
As I lay in bed that night with Mr Kanu’s book in hand. My thoughts were far away while my eyes were focused on the book.
I tried to sound convincing but I still think of Philip for unknown reason.
He wants to mess up my head but I won’t let him.
Tomorrow is Amara’s day and I’m glad she chose me to be here.
I have had massive fun and I’m happy that I’m on this journey.
Every of my problems can wait until I return.
Phill is part of them but he won’t kill my joy or the happiness I feel with Bayo.