Things we do for friends

As soon as I asked her what she wanted, a huge smile spread across her face. Then she perched her size 12 bum on my bed just opposite me and began to flutter her eyelashes. “On the scale of big favours this one is huge only ’cause it is out of your comfort zone.”

I became apprehensive and began to wish I had a ready excuse, but I owed Ann more than one favour. After all, I would still be living in Mararaba if it wasn’t for her. My present accommodation was curtsey Ann. When they had started dating, Chief moved her into one of his houses and Ann in need of company decided to sublet the rooms to us at a very subsidised rate.

Although Susie is of the opinion that Ann should have allowed us stay with her free, I am happy to be out of suburbia and away from the hell called traffic!

“Hmmm, Ann what is it?”

“Chief’s friend is coming in from Port Harcourt… Before you roll your eyes, I am not saying you should go to bed with him… just you know… keep him company.”

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Impulsively, I was already shaking my head, “you know that is not my cup of tea and …”

“I know, usually I go with Susie but…” in a conspiratorial whisper she said, “Chief specifically didn’t want Susie. He described her as a man-eater with a cutlass… don’t tell her though,” she said laughing, “and Richard would go ballistic if he sees Aisha with anyone… so that leaves you mon cheri.”

As if reading my thoughts she said, “Well you and Black are not official… so you are fair game. Besides, Chief just wants someone to hang out with his friend… he said this friend is really picky.”

I said, “Okay” before I could stop myself from doing so.

Ann jumped up and started to squeal like a delighted schoolgirl who had been handed out ice cream. “Let me pick out what you’ll wear.”

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“Noooooo Ann, I will go but I will pick my own outfit,” I jumped up and pulled her away from the wardrobe and out of my room.

“Okay,” she said pouting as she left my room. Just as I was about to lie down on my bed she opened the door slightly, just enough for her to thrust a mini nude coloured dress on a hanger into the room. She was hiding behind the dress so I could not see her face.

I shook my head because I realised that Ann had already picked out the dress before she came pleading. I am guessing it was just in case I told her I didn’t have what to wear as an excuse.

I walked over to the door and collected the dress from her, it revealed a wide grin and a coy “You can pick the shoes.” With that she skipped away happy with herself.

If I know Ann well, money was involved. Only God knew how much this had cost Chief… not that I am calling Ann a pimp but…

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I began to regret my decision. What would I discuss with a potbellied man old enough to be my dad? He probably had coloured teeth and belched a lot. I decided to stop thinking about it because the more I did, the more I wanted to back out.

Ann said we were to leave home for Sheraton at 9:00 pm but knowing her, we would be early if we left home at 10:00pm. I was ready by 9:45pm and decided to hurry Ann along. She was only just wiggling into her black dress, which complemented her very fair skin. She gave my orange pumps a passing glance and her stamp of approval “nice shoes”.

As we got into Ann’s red Toyota Matrix, it was 10:30pm. The gate man sensing some form of urgency, hurriedly opened the gate. She sped off with words she must have uttered a million times before, “We are late. Chief will be mad.” I have never known her to be on time, if Chief did, he was delusional.

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