I hate my car. I think I hate my life right now too, but I’ll settle for hating my car at the moment. I drive a Volkswagen Golf 3 and it is beautiful. I love my car really, but when it starts misbehaving, I tend to feel the opposite of love for it.
I should have replaced a lot of things in the engine, but a bulk of my salary goes into my masters school fees and general upkeep. So, here I was, all dressed up, in my skinny Jean and cute top, but my car wants to spoil my shiny because it keeps shooting out balls of black smoke from the exhaust every five minutes.
I finally groaned as I dragged the ‘I will disgrace you’ car into the parking lot of Skyline club. I was supposed to meet Peter and some of our mutual friends inside the club, but my idiotic car was reducing my chances of getting inside without any hitch from the bouncer. I switched off the ignition, sprayed a bit of perfume on myself, and stepped out of the car.
I looked at the queue in front of the club, and looked at my feet. Compared to most of the beautiful women on that line, I looked like a canary. While every normal. Lady was wearing heels, I was rocking a pair of high ankle converse shoe; sue me!
When it was finally my turn, the bouncer eyed me with distaste, but probably recognized me, and he let me in. The heat that welcomed me as I ventured into the club almost sent me running out, but I wasn’t a chicken, so I put on my brave face, and marched with determined steps into the club.
I found Peter sucking off Nene, his girlfriend’s face, while Femi and Dolapo were hooting and hailing their public display of affection. I cleared my throat on reaching the weird quartet, making Dolapo stagger towards me.
“Baby mi, you’re here.” He reeked of alcohol, and it was not an attractive smell.
“Dolapo darling,” I began sweetly with a smile. “Do you love your fingers?”
He lifted one of his palms in the air and started staring at it like it was something new and special. “Of course I do. I love all six… no five… wait, I can see six…. Yes, all my six fingers.”
Still smiling sweetly, I continued. “Good! So, if you don’t want them broken, maimed, or chopped off…” I stopped smiling as I paused “Get them off my waist.”
As he hastily dropped his hands, Peter finally disentangle himself from his girlfriend and made his way over to a scared-looking Dolapo and an annoyed me.
“Hey bestie. You’re late, but you’re here.” He had to shout for me to hear him, seeing as the club was noisy.
“I still don’t understand how you managed to convince me to come clubbing with you on a Monday night. You want me to wake up with a hangover to work tomorrow?”
He laughed out loud like I said something funny. Dolapo looked at the two of us and echoed his laugh. I looked at the two idiots I call friends, and shook my head. I needed a stuff drink if I wanted to be able to cope with their usual stupidity.
“Hey Nene.” I hugged Peter’s girlfriend while I occupied Peter’s recently vacated seat.
“Hey yourself. You’ve been scarce like peace in Nigeria. How you dey now?”
“My dear, I’m fine oh.”
Peter stood in front of me and pouted like a child. He was really pouting—Oh my God, where did I get him from?
“That was my seat.” He whined.
I rolled my eyes at his antics, because I was unmoved by his drama. “I’m sure the other vacant spot will love to be romanced by your big, girlish butt, so go and sit down there.”
He whined and grumbled about me being a bully but he eventually sat down at the other side of his girlfriend, pushing Femi and Dolapo to the other end of the curved seat.
“I need a drink.” I announced to no one in particular.
Femi stood up immediately. “I’ll get you something. Smirnoff ice, right?”
“Yes please. Thank you my favourite Yoruba demon.”
He shook his head, smiled and left the table.
“Without further ado, seeing as you have work tomorrow….” Peter began
“Dumbo, you also have work tomorrow.” I interrupted.
“Whatever. Do you want to know why I called you here or not?” He fixed me a serious glare.
sighed and nodded. The curiosity was killing me. Peter is a lot of things, but irresponsible was not one of them.
“So, remember how you have to produce a Luke the Chef before Thursday evening, or your step mom and step sister would think you’re a lying, sad, and lonely psychopath?”
“Wow, just tell me you wanted to insult me before.”
Femi returned that moment with two bottles of Smirnoff Ice and a bottle of one drink for himself. He offered me mine, and I gratefully accepted the bottles. I opened one and took a swig right off the bottle. There was no way I was going to use a cup inside a club, not when some people made it their life’s mission to drug every unsuspecting girl’s drink.
“I still can’t believe you told your step mum that story though.” Nene giggled beside me.
“Gee, Peter, did you announce my predicament to the whole world?”
“These are our friends, you know your secret is safe within this circle”
I rolled my eyes because I knew he was right. Our circle was close and we all protected one another fiercely.
“We have an idea that’ll help you.” Femi grinned at me.
Honestly, if I wasn’t already used to being friends with Femi, I would totally fall in love with him, and silently beg him to love me back. He’s a fantasy come to life, with his rakish looks, but he was the opposite of every cute guy I knew. Rather than bank on those looks, Femi would rather stay indoors and read a book, or play Fifa, mortal combat, and COD with me.
“If it involves you or Dolapo, you know it won’t work. Tonia knows you two.”
Femi winced. “Please don’t remind me.”
Tonia used to pant after him after she met him and Dolapo at my place one time like that. Poor Tonia couldn’t understand how a guy could resist her charms, and she threw a week long tantrum over that. Boy was I joyful and glad. For once, Tonia didn’t have what I had.
“No, it’s something different and quite smart of me to suggest.” Dolapo threw me a wink and I threw my purse at him in return.
“Sweetheart, don’t mind him.” Peter began. “Look around you Donnie. There are plenty of guys in here that want to make money.”
“And what has that got to do with me?”
“Can’t you see? You need to hire one of them to act as your fiancé for the long weekend, and you’ll pay him in return. He can be anybody you want him to be.” He finished with a smile, looking proud of himself.
I was silent as I looked at my four friends.
They all looked serious and it was comical, so I started laughing. When no one joined me in the laugh, I realized they were actually serious.
“Oh my God, you actually want me to do that?”
“Yes” they choruses.
“What in God’s name is wrong with you all? What if I hire a serial killer? Or a pedophile? Or a ritualist? Or even worse, a pastor’s son?”
“Oh come on, don’t be dramatic.” Peter said.
“Look, we’ll help you interview them.” Nene pacified me.
I groaned out loud. “Oh now, it’s a job interview? Why don’t I carry a placard that says ‘boyfriend for hire’ maybe that’ll send the message across.”
“Fine Donnie. Bring a better idea, and we’ll concede defeat. From what Peter says, you and the real Luke the chef didn’t exactly get off on the right foot.” Femi said to me.
I shook my head rigorously. “Unless winter gets to hell, I am not asking that disrespectful, pompous, and rude little troll to help me out.”
Femi clapped his hands with a smile. “Then, it’s settled. We’ll find you a man here.”
“Let’s even assume I’m agreeing to this sham, how am I supposed to pay him? In case it has escaped your notice lately, I drive a car that farts black smoke.”
Nene leaned on my shoulder. “Well, we agreed to find a way to donate 250k between the five of us.”
“Oh my God, you want to pay a random guy 250k when I am driving that crap on wheels, and struggling to pay for my masters tuition.” my voice was raised now.
“Then, go home and let Tonia win.” Dolapo responded with a sly smile. He knew I would never do that.
“Fine. When do we start?” I mumbled.
“Yay, this is going to be fun.” Nene clapped gleefully.
I closed my eyes and sighed. Something tells me I will regret this.