There are so many things in life that beat understanding. An artiste starts a song by saying, “This gbedu is a problem,” and Nigerians who spend a lot of time trying to avoid trouble and who such an introduction should naturally scare away will still shout “DJ play am again” at the end.
A lot in life cannot be explained. Like why people die young or why someone, who says they are Team Anti Light Skinned and has licked sand so many times swearing that black is what will crack them, will later say, “Meet my fiancée, the love of my life”, and you cannot tell who exactly is the fiancée – the afternoon Warri sun under which you’re all standing, shining at its brightest, or the chairlady of Team Light Skinned that he is holding, with a smile so wide, it’s almost touching his ear. There and then, you realize something: Forget what they say, love has no rules. If it gets you, it haff get you.
As I closed my shift yesterday, I watched a colleague speaking to his wife over the phone and his joy was so tangible that it felt like you could run your hand over his face, rub it on yours, and achieve the same level of happiness. Instinctively, I remembered how he met his wife four years ago, when I just started out on this job.
“Stevo, so you enter PH? Just ready this night. I dey come carry you. Make I show you as pitakwa flexing dey be,” he hollered over the phone four years ago, when I had just left the rig and headed to PH. (Or any other town the spirit would lead me to, on a mission to enjoy life while I’m still young.) I was tired and wanted to sleep, but refusing would seriously dent my Yes-man credentials, so I acceded to hanging out with him.
Once I got into the car and we hit Port Harcourt G.R.A, took some liquor as we club-hopped and danced to several songs, including one purporting to be “a gbedu with the ability to burst brain”, I had effortlessly succeeded in casting and binding the spirit of tiredness, replacing it with one screaming “Where the ladies at?”. My good friend, who was no doubt in tune with the spirit, decided to answer the question in the most unexpected way.
“Stevo, make we enter Ocabique,” he said.
I wasn’t prepared. For a place named Ocabique Planet Hotels, flooded with blue light on the outside, giving the marble floor and environment in general an ocean-like hue, I was surprised there was no aquarium or swimming pool, and the closest to aquatic life I saw was the point-and-kill catfish wriggling – and in my mind screaming “fish lives matter” – in the miserable “baff” they were in.
All that changed when I entered inside. It felt like I had been teleported to another world. I’d asked where the ladies at, abi? They were surely here. Surplus sef! But what I wasn’t prepared for was for them to be in varying stages of nakedness, climbing up and down poles like over-excited NEPA officials about to cut light. Alas, Ocabique was a strip club!
I don come be say I don come. Instead of food to waste, make belle tear.
We boozed, had the strippers give us lap dances, danced to some Nigerians songs – which when listened to on a sober day would make no sense – and boozed some more. In our cycle of getting drunk, we noticed some babes, five of them, sitting on their own at a table across from us, presumably on a girls’ night out. They were having fun and just generally thanking the creator it was Saturday. Two of the babes had strippers on them, one completely naked, and the other just getting started.
“O-boy, I like that one wey wear red gown oh,” my friend said.
“That one?” I said, pointing with my eyes for confirmation.
“Yes oh! Na my spec. She make sense die!”
“Make I go talk to am? Make I reason am?” I asked.
“Ah! Stevo! No wahala. You too much!”
The above conversation was proudly sponsored by my village people. On a normal day, without my good friend Jack Daniel et al in my system, I would have been too mortified to go and talk to a gang of Nigerian girls. But not today, Charlie! I was gingered, even more with Terry G’s akpako master playing over the speaker, asking me to knack them akpako (whatever that means). I stepped up to the babes, who were actually cool, asked to speak to the red-gowned babe, stated my aims and objectives, to which she replied, “That your friend, the fine one? Let him come by himself na. He doesn’t have mouth? Fine boy that is afraid, is that one fine boy?”
I went back and informed my friend that the bull said you should come and hold its horn biko.
Long and short of the story, my friend did not return to our seat. In fact, I joined him and the chicks at their table, and they, despite our insistence, paid for their drinks. All was going well. I was forming funny guy, keeping the babes laughing. My friend and little Red Riding Hood were getting comfy and gisting separate from the rest of the group. Later, they stood up and went outside. I was left with four babes. There was no way to keep everyone happy without seeming garrulous. Our ancestors say if you try to chase two rabbits, you’ll end up catching none. So I focused my effort on the babe that seemed to be feeling me the most. Mbok the rest can listen to music; after all, the gbedu currently being played wasn’t a problem.
After what seemed like ages, my friend and Red returned, we paid for the drinks, said our goodbyes and handed over the wheels to the Lord to lead us home, seeing as we were seriously inebriated. While “we” were driving, I asked where they disappeared to, and the answer shocked me. Apparently, they came to the car, which I was now driving, and had – as he put it – mind-blowing sex. I couldn’t believe it. So I was inside doing night-of-a-thousand-laughs while he was out here chopping aka enwe.
That news did not shock me like the one that shocked me four months later when he proposed to her. They both came to Lagos for marriage shopping and I observed them carefully. I had never seen my friend – as my friend ONOS will say – “monkeying” for a babe like that before. He was happy, elated, couldn’t stay an hour without talking to her, which to this day, two kids and almost four and half years later, has not changed one bit. Every time I have gone to their home in Port Harcourt, aside the special treatment they give me, seeing as the Lord used me and Jack Daniel to bring them together, there is the distinct scent and warmth of a truly happy home there.
They broke so many rules thrown around by world people. Sex on the first date, met in a strip club, short courtship etc. My friend who always insisted it must be Yellow Sisi or nothing married a made-of-black babe.
After watching him make his call and I went on to pen this entry, I realized anew that what works for one person may not work for another, but most importantly, we need to keep an open mind and realize that happiness sometimes comes in a form that we seldom expect, and that this love something has no rules.
Because if it gets you, it haff get you.
My name is Uncle Stephen, and this is my Diary.