Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Return.

It was Enrique’s first time in Lagos.
His second time in Nigeria.

The first time was 26 years before. His father ,Jose Alonso, was on his way to Nigeria with his pregnant wife Maria Rosalina Alonso. Having been married for only 5 months, her 9 month old pregnancy told the common tale of precipitous marriages. Unlike most, this marriage was different in that it was yet to begin to show the cracks that an unplanned foundation will often result in. Nine months after forgetting to buy a condom Jose was still in love with his Wife from Turin. He was so much in love that when his company sent him on a survey mission to Nigeria he relented ,upon her request, and brought with him his pregnant wife along for the trip.

They flew in with the Nigerian Airlines.
The Pilot, a 29 year old Architecture graduate of University of Ibadan had barely 19 hours beneath his belt. In any other country he would still have been flying biplanes with an instructor mouthing obscenities at his every slip. Here in Nigeria, deeply ingrained with a military government and its associated despotism, it didn’t matter. It helped if your father’s step-brother’s Uncle’s cousin’s brother in law was the president.
The pilot had such a chain link to the political powerhouse and so he got the job.
The plane didn’t crash. The god’s were lenient. Instead, as some form of punishment, they sent the pilot the worst recorded turbulence experience in the last 5 years.
After 6 hours of praying and being butted across the skies the plane finally arrived at the Muritala Airport. In the cockpit, vomit strewn behind the chair, the pilot vowed to return to his first field of Architecture. Behind, in the first class cabin of the plane, there was a crowd of wondering Nigerian men as they witnessed their first child birth.
The Alonso’s where of strong Italian stock but 6 hours of turbulence alongside a menu that offered Amala and Ewedu, will defeat anyone.
Maria Rosalina Alonso gave birth as the plane rolled to a stop next to Hanger 12 of the Muritala Mohammed Airport.
Thus did Enrique D.G Alonso, born from two, true blooded Italians, gain Nigerian Citizenship.

The Alonso’s changed their plans immediately. They sat in the airport clinic for an hour before hitching a return trip back to Italy.
Mr. Alonso never got to do his survey or see Lagos.

25 years , 11 months and 28 days later Enrique returned.
Enrique had a guidebook. He had done his research.
The Italian consulate had been nice enough to hand him a list of do’s and don’ts.
He knew for instance that it was not healthy to drink water from the tap. Whilst this most accepted of acts was recognized behavior outside the country, within the irregular borders of Nigeria, drinking from the tap was not without its risks. No one had yet decided conclusively where the AIDS virus came from and until that was resolved the WHO was not yet ruling out the Nigerian Water system.
He knew, again, that at this time of the year the country was going through it’s unpredictable weather cycle... The sun was known to shine as brightly and as warm as 40 degrees, five minutes before making way for dark clouds that emptied their water load o the city drenching the sweltering inhabitants of Lagos.
To this end he had packed in his Nike knapsack, Sun screen crème. A small umbrella and a raincoat. Reading the brochure carefully he discovered that there hadn’t been a Volcanic eruption in Nigeria in 40000 years. Which made it more than likely that there would be one soon.
He packed a Volcano survival kit.

The sun was high in the sky when Enrique walked out the airport doors. A strong blast of heat hit him, threatening to boil the air in his lungs and leave him choking in pain. He found himself looking up to the sky for the dark clouds he had been promised. No one had mentioned it would be this hot. The sun screen on his face was beginning to sizzle.

Desperate to escape being cooked alive He made his way to his first Nigerian Cab.
It was a Peugeot 504 painted bright familiar yellow.
On the side was the word “TAXEY” boldly written in black.
Enrique assumed it was the Nigerian Translation of the universal word.
The driver was dressed in a T shirt with the words “Nothing dey happen”.
He looked at Enrique with a happy smile as he walked over.
"Where too?” he asked grabbing Enrique’s bag for him.
He tossed it into the back seat.
Enrique made a move to get into the back seat but the driver stopped him.
“No…Seat in front. The airconditioner…It’s better.”
Desperate to get out of the heat Enrique consented and moved to the front. Whilst making a quick check to ensure his bag was indeed behind him, he noticed that the entire back screen was covered in Stickers. There where a lot of them, starting from “1987 my year of laughter “to “2007. My year of Breakthrough”.
He probably had a bike in 1987 Enrique thought.
He asked the driver why he had so many stickers behind.
How do you see behind you?
The driver looked at him puzzled as he made a motion to start the car.
“Wetin I wan look behind me for. I’m moving forward not backward.”
He pulled out two wires and touched them together. There was a spark, followed by a loud cough from the engine and the insides of the car was instantly flooded with smoke.
“Welcome to Nigeria:” The Cabbie said.
Thus did Enrique D.G Alonso experience his first Taxey in Nigeria.

Enrique didn’t say anything for the first 3 minutes of his first Cab ride.
It took him that long to say The Lords Prayer, the Nicene Creed and Psalm 23.
He looked up just in time to witness the driver blaze by two trailers with only inches to spare. The speedometer wasn’t working but Enrique was convinced they had passed MACH 1.
He turned to meet the driver’s amused gaze.
“Where are you going?
Enrique corrected him. The question wasn’t where but what.
What did he want to do?
He had made a promise to himself regarding his first action in Nigeria. He had looked forward to it.
The driver shrugged
What. Where.
“So what do you want to do? “ The driver asked.
Enrique told him what and watched the driver smile.

She was clad in a tight blouse that highlighted her massive bosom. Her hips, spread beneath a wrapper, looked impressive despite the shroud. In spite of the heat she had make–up on. Red bold lipstick covered lips beneath eyes adorned with pink eyeliners.
She looked at the duo in front of her. First at the driver and then at the sweating white man behind him.
“You say what?” She asked for the third time.
“This man talk say e wan chop Amala and Ewedu..
“Amala…” The woman repeated staring at the white man behind.
His eyes where darting around nervously. She didn’t blame him. When a white man walks into a National Union of Road Transport workers canteen that many eyes are bound to stare at you.
‘You say this white man wan chop Amala?”
“Yes… With Ewedu. And Bush meat…” The driver looked behind him and then added quickly. “Two plates. Put Gbegiri for my own.”
Iya Buki had seen a lot in her 29 years of work at the Ikeja NURTW canteen. But this, she shook her head, this took the cake.
She was finally getting old.
“Sikirat!” She called wearily. “Bring me two plates of Amala!”
She had had longer experience being a Nigerian.
“6000 Naira for two plates “She announced handing over the meal.
Thus was Enrique D.G Alonso given, albeit expensive, his first taste of Nigerian cuisine.

Enrique loved it.
Iya Buki was so thrilled that she offered him an extra plate free—without the bush meat of course. He and the driver.
Enrique returned to the Taxey completely sated with a complementary stain of stew on his shirt.
“That Na your dining badge.” The driver announced grandly.
“Dining badge.” Enrique repeated happily, touching the stain with pride.
Midst cheers from the crowd of Okada riders and Cab drivers who had come to watch this Oyibo eat Nigeria’s finest the taxi reversed forward and then left.
After a quick question the driver changed heading and headed to a well known bar. Beside him. Thoroughly stuffed Enrique smiled with a glazed look in his eyes.
They gisted about idle stuff.
The driver asked him if he was from New York.
“No Italy.” Enrique said.
“Okay….” The driver nodded “How close to is that to New York?”
Enrique laughed (it was a joke wasn’t it?) and closed his eyes whilst trying to figure out what exactly “Nothing dey happen” meant.
Noting the happenings?

The car slowed down as it hit slight traffic.
There was a tap at his window.
He looked out to see a man holding the watch of his dream.
A Tag Heur. The diver’s edition. There where only 980 of them made. And one of them , to all appearance and events, was being sold in a hold up here in Lagos.
“How much?” The driver asked after winding down.
“4000 naira.” The watch sales man said very quickly.
The driver shook his head. What did the watch man think he was made off.
To Enrique’s horror he began to move forward in the traffic.
To Enrique’s shock the watch man kept speed with the accelerating car, barely breaking a sweat as he grudgingly announced.
“Okay. Take am for 2000 Naira.”
“I’ll take it.” Enrique said quickly.
Hell a plate of Amala had been 6000 naira. He was getting a bargain here.
He nodded his acceptance to the driver, before he changed his mind.
5 minutes later there where still 980 of such watches in the world.
One of them ostensibly was being worn by Enrique
And thus did Enrique D.G Alonso discover the hidden secrets and potential of a Lagos Traffic Holdup.

The drive ended up in Lekki.
Specifically, A bar on the water side where for 200 naira or 1000 naira (depending on whose version you believed the barman or the interpreting driver) you could have a bottle of the freshest palm wine.
Comfortable in his role of driver cum interpreting guide, Noting the happenings ordered for four bottles of frothing fresh palm wine.
“Wait until you taste this.” Announced the driver “There is no better wine in the entire world.”
Secretly Enrique considered the wine from his Uncles Vineyard the best but he kept his observation to himself until he sipped the palm wine.
He was glad he did.
Thus did Enrique taste his first Nigerian Drink.

The Sun was almost gone from the sky. All that was left was an orange orb in the sky. To look at the pale sphere now you wouldn’t believe it was responsible for half the heat that was now softly wafting from the ground. From the ocean barely a mile away the air carried the soft calming breeze of coastlines. He had called his hotel, Sheraton Lagos, to confirm they still had his room ready and waiting. After confirmation he had driven there, dropped his bad and returned to the bar. He refused to take of his dining badge shirt.
Seated in a chair, his hair being played with from side to side by the wind , a mug of poured palm wine in his hands Enrique could not think of a better evening.
He was wrong.

“Is this seat taken. “ She asked.
Enrique stared entranced.

Blonde braids framed a face which contained eyes that where opals of black lit with the strangest of lights. Her gaze ripped through him. Seeing into his darkest shadows and highlighting his secrets. Her soft lips shone with the hint of gloss. He found himself swallowing even though he hadn’t had a sip of palm wine.
She smiled at his silence and sat beside him
They sat in silence for a while.
“You’re American?” She asked softly.
“Italian” he replied finally finding his voice. She nodded her head softly.
Italy. I’ve been there once. With my parents.”
He looked at her with more interest.
“Really? That’s interesting. Where in Italy?”
She made a face.
Rome. My mum is love with the Pope.”
He laughed.
“Yes we all are.”
“Italian…” She murmured looking at him.
Again she gave him that look. He found himself correcting.
“Actually I’m also Nigerian. My parents gave birth to me here.” He raised his hand “Citizen by birth.”
She looked at him with surprise.
“I’m serious. “ He said with a laugh. He let down his tone a notch. “I even have a Nigerian name. My mum called me after the man on the plane that helped my child birth. He was a real gentleman.”
“You where born on a plane?” She asked laughing.
“Yes I was. My Nigerian name is Dele Giwa. That was the man’s name. I’m not sure but my mum thinks he was a journalist. Would you like to hear the tale?”
“Please.” She said softly.
He talked.

The sun finally finished its good bye song and sunk behind the horizons. This close to the Ocean there where a million stars in the sky. In a corner the driver sat content sipping his 7th bottle of palm wine.
Noting the happenings.
Today had been a good day.

Enrique didn’t notice. He just sat there chatting animatedly with Millicent Njoku. That was her name. She was a 4h year Marketing student of University of Lagos.
He didn’t notice the stars.
He didn’t notice the ghostly moon's rise.
He didn’t notice the amused stare the bartender gave him.
He didn’t notice that his limited edition Tag Heur had suddenly stopped working.
All He noticed was her lips.
And she noticed.
So they did something about it.

Thus did Dele-Giwa E. Alonso ,a terminal ill patient suffering from Cancer, see, taste, hear and feel the first of his last 60 days in his first country.

The tale ends

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A knights Tale concluded

The butterfly glowed in the dark.
Measuring roughly 2 inches, it hung teasingly above my head.
I was sitting in the toilet pondering my next course of action. Hanging in front of me was one of the many lingerie pieces that adorned Stolich’s restroom. I had no idea what part of the body the strip of cloth was suppose to cover but I failed to see how it could successfully manage this most simple of designs, even if it was intended for use around, say , her anklet.
The glow was from some fluorescent designs ingrained in the silk material. A motif of a butterfly etched out on the tiny lingerie. I suppose when she wore it at night it was supposed to glow. Like some street light leading you to the promise landing.
This way to the spot. Follow the butterfly.
Therein lies the path to nectar.

I sighed to myself.
It was turning out to be an annoying evening.

Stolich was outside laughing at everything Captain Ridiculous was saying.
Seeing as he hadn’t really stopped talking since he walked in, that summed up to a lot of laughing. Captain Ridiculous was in turn oozing so much charm I worried that once he was done, there wouldn’t be enough for people who really owned it. Like Pierce Brosnan?
They hadn’t even noticed me when I excused myself 10 minutes before. For all they cared I was just some silly Muppet who was hanging around in the corner,
Now here I was, seating on the toilet, staring at butterfly adorned lingerie whilst pondering the silliness of my situation.

“What are you doing in there? How long do you plan on taking?” Stolich yelled out at me.
Her question was followed by silent laughter. Captain Annoying had probably said some silly joke about the possibilities surrounding my continued stay in the toilet. Again, I had a vision of him hanging from her ceiling. Lingerie tight around his neck. The fluorescent butterfly glowing in the dark. A sign hanging around his neck. He dared to steal the forbidden nectar.

“I’ll be out soon” I muttered. And then more loudly. “I’m coming.”
My announcement was followed by more laughter as they churned the perceived innuendo in my statement for all it was worth.
This guy was pissing me off.

I walked out of the toilet and headed straight to the kitchen to wash my hands.

Stolich came to meet me with a worried frown on her face.
She stood strategically in front of the fridge and asked.
“So. When are you going?”
” Going?” I asked her still washing. I looked down at my hands.
I had used too much soap and now had to wait an extra minute to wash it off.
“Leaving. When are you heading back home?”
I shook my head slowly. “I can’t go back home. It’s late already.”
She smiled a happy smile. “Good. I was hoping you wouldn’t go. I think he plans to spend the night too. I’m hoping with you here he won’t make a move.”
I looked back through the window at Lord Casanova.
He was seating on her bed. A knee slightly crooked. He looked like some model posing for a Rubens painting. Only he was male and for the most part clad.

“He is sexy isn’t he?”
It was an old recurring trick of Stolich. She always asked my opinion of guys. If I said yes he was sexy then I was gay. If I contradicted her, disagreeing on her perception of sexiness she would call me jealous.
Either way I was damned. So I did the smart thing and answered with a question of my own.
"Does he know you have a boyfriend?”
“Yes he does. But he says it doesn’t matter. He says we’re not married so I’m still available.”
Stolich announced this slowly like maybe there was merit behind his theory. Her eye had a hopeful glint. I had the vague suspicion that if I gave her the slightest go ahead on the theory she would have a cab waiting for me in the next 5 minutes. She probably would have 6 orgasms before I got home.
I hated to admit it but Captain Wanabee looked capable.
“That’s bullshit!” I said quietly. “How would you feel if right now some girl screwed your boyfriend just because he wasn’t married to you?”
She nodded her head in sad agreement.
“So you’ll stay?” She asked again.
Silly question. I asked a better one
“What are plans for supper?”

After supper I sat as close to the TV as I could, behind me Stolich was chatting away with the Frog Prince.
We had settled on noodles for supper.
No surprise there.
The entire time we ate our conversation where stilted. Most of mine where aimed at Stolich and the bulk of his where likewise directed. She was the only one who spoke freely to both of us. The only time we spoke to each other, he and I were in the initiation of some Jibe.
“So what did you study?” I asked him.
“Medicine.” he announced confidently and then just incase I didn’t understand what this meant. “I’m a doctor.”
“Right.” I nodded. “Have you killed anyone yet? I hear every doctor accidentally commits murder once.”
He shook his head and gave a soft smile. “That’s not true.”
“Yes it is. I got it from some concrete source” I countered.
“No it isn’t. That’s ridiculous. Where the hell did you hear that?” Stolich asked me with a laugh.
“Grey’s anatomy. Season 2. Phoebe killed what’s his face.”
“That’s your concrete source?” he asked with another of those annoying Janus smiles.
In the background I heard a bell go off. Round 1 done. 1 –0.

He asked her a question about me..
“Carl is an idiot. We where roommates for an entire year in my fourth year. It was crazy. I remember one morning I woke up and forced him to drink an entire bottle of Stolichnaya vodka. I was wasted. Ran around the house, Stripped to my underwear, and singing. I probably threw up a million times. He had to wipe me down and put me to bed. He has never allowed me drink again since then.” Stolich said with a laugh. Explaining how she came by her name. "Stolich comes form Stolichnaya!"
He gave an uncomfortable ha ha.
She laughed with him and patted my arm. “It’s been really great hanging with him. I think Carl is the coolest guy I’ve ever known.”
I looked across to him.
You hear that? Coolest guy in the world. Beat that!
The bell dinged again. 1-1.

The night might have gone on with sustenance of such ridiculous antics from our trio but it didn’t. I was getting comfortable in my role of cock blocker. Seating in front of the TV I had ignored hints from both Stolich and him that maybe I should stop watching TV and turn in for the night. I wasn’t blind to the gambit. With the room plunged in darkness and me ostensibly sleeping on the couch there would be nothing to stop his advances. Given Stolich glazed eye look I didn’t expect much resistance from that quarter. No way. I had decided. I was going to stay awake and play out my chaperone roll even if it meant dying from insomnia.
Prince Triple X stared daggers into my head.
I ignored him.
He might be a doctor but I was the world’s coolest guy.

Then it happened.
A couple of minutes after I confirmed that the time was indeed 12.30pm on my swatch, (midnight call anyone?) Nepa flipped the switch. One minute we were caught in our battle of wits and the next minute we were trapped in complete darkness with nothing to hear save our strained breadths.
I could feel his triumphant smile behind.
Forget his paltry stratagem, I had been completely checkmated.
There was nothing I could do now but pray that Stolich resisted him for the rest of the night.
I wondered what Gandalf would have said. I was pretty sure there was a solution for stuff like this in the Middle earth.
“Oh dear." Stolich said with delighted joy in her voice. “I guess we have to go to bed now.”
“Lets.” Said Mr. Inyourface.
Oh dear?

I had lost.

I lay on the couch prepared for the worst. There was really nothing else I could do again. Stolich handed me a pillow. On her face was a silly grin. Looking at it I knew that the next morning I was going to be given a long rant about how guilty she was and how sorry she felt. She was planning on sinning and she was planning big.
I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. No point stretching out my suffering. I was prepared for what was to come. The soft giggles. Light playful scuffles. Harshly drawn breadths. The inevitable moans. I saw no reason why I had to go through all that, my role was chaperone and not Eunuch and so I tried my best to fall asleep. The sounds where coming. I expected them soon.
What I didn’t expect was a loud shriek followed by the terrified words.
I looked up quickly.

All of a sudden. Stolich remembered she had a rechargeable lamp hidden somewhere. The room was suddenly cast in blinding light. I stared in amusement at them. Stolich had on a tank top and a pair of bum shorts.
Aha! She did have plans.
She was standing on the bedside drawer with terrified shock in her eyes. Beside her the doctor ,clad in boxer shorts, was standing on Tip toes looking hurriedly around like he had just been tossed into a lake reputed to have Piranhas. They both looked so ridiculous.

”Where?” I asked calmly not leaving the comfort of my couch.
“It’s beneath the bed. “ Stolich gasped.
I wasn’t sure if it was my perception but her hair looked like it had turned white.
I stared at the bed. Her frame had collapsed a week ago so the bed was basically a mattress on the floor.
“It’s beneath the mattress?” I asked.
“Yes! I’m sure of it. I saw it run under the mattress as I turned on the light. It had big teeth.”
I ignored her mention of the rodent’s dental prominence.
“Jump on the Mattress then.” I joked. “If it’s under the mattress it’ll definitely die.”
She turned to look at Prince Charming.
And then I watched my Joke turn to hope.

I realized that all was not lost. Maybe I had won after all.
“Come on Jade. Please jump on the mattress…”
He stared at her like it was the worst idea in the world.
Personally I agreed with him.
It was the worst possibly idea.
“Unless of course you’re scared.” Stolich said sagely.
Beware the woman.
With nothing else to do I watched him make his way to the mattress.

Stolich remained perched on the dresser watching his movements. He stood in the center of the mattress and gave a half hearted hop.
“Oh come on...” She groaned.
He gave another jump. This time there was more bite to it,
He jumped.
“Right There.”
Up and down he went.

He jumped like he was some yoyo at the end of a sting. Up and down left and right. All the time Stolich kept on yelling her encouragements.
Harder. Faster. Left. To the right. That’s it.
I couldn’t help it. I started laughing.
It was slow chuckles at first. Tiny tremors that signaled the start of an eruption. Midway through a jump as he went up in the air, his face all determined in his bid to kill a Rat, PHCNrestored power. For a mica second his image was flash frozen in my head. Clad in boxers, sweat running down his face. Beside him Stolich was yelling encouragements.
Joke. Gambit. Checkmate.

I started laughing.
After the first 5 seconds Stolich joined me.
We laughed at the image of him jumping.
We laughed at the absurdness of the situation.
We laughed like we had lost it.
And in truth, we had.
Needless to say he didn’t find it amusing.
He stopped jumping, gave Stolich a hard glare and went to bed.
Mickey mouse be damned.

The next morning I woke up to find Stolich jumping on her bed. Sir Lancelot had left really early in the morning. Something about hospital runs.
I almost felt sorry for him.
Stolich had her ipod on and was jumping to some unheard rock song.
“I’m practicing.” She explained. Just incase I was wondering.
I hadnt really but it helped to be assured of my friend"s continued insanity.

I nodded my head and walked to the bathroom.
It looked diffrent from the previous night. Bathed in the morning light.
I sat on the seat and closed my eyes content.
I still had a soft smile from the morning’s happenings.
The day promised to be a good day. A New day.
And then I looked up.
The butterfly lingerie was still there.
It wasnt glowing
It wasn’t a bra.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Knights tale of a Night

I sensed its start two posts ago.
Faint undercurrents of resentment and irritation.
Most of the comments left on my blog made mention of the owner’s perception of my sanity level. How else did one go about explaining a blog post whose main objective was a lesson in philosophy? A flawed lesson at that too.
Reading through the comments I realized that I was facing a rebellion. It seemed people had a serious problem with the turn my blog posts where taking. Who blogged about football? It just didn’t make sense. What sort of madness was this? Where they being punked? Was Carl just a pseudonym for Ashton Kutcher?

The Bottom line I figured, as I sat reading the comments, was that I would have to soon make a return to what was perceived as normal. Enough ridiculous blogs about the logic of Afro babe being Jlo (I am yet unchanged on that stand) and the ridiculous and hopeless state of our nation’s football outing (I am changed on that.).
What everyone wanted to hear was normal stuff.
About normal me.
However abnormal that might be.

And so I submit for your perusal another weird day in the life of me.

A while ago Stolich invited me over.
She had less than 30 seconds of airtime so she rushed her plea.
She was having an exflame come visit her and she was worried that without a chaperone there was a very good chance that she would yield to the inevitable advances of the charming gentleman. Apparently her last roll with him in the hay had been that memorable.
Would I please please come over?
It was really important.
And then she hung up.

Ever the gullible bloke for a damsel in distress call, I tossed my books aside, grabbed my PSP and hobbled over to Stolich’s room.
Stolich lived in some self contained room which contained the essentials for a struggling student. She had a bathroom which never seemed devoid of lingerie hanging boldly in the corner.
Every time I went in to take a leak I felt like I was in some Victoria Secret store boldly defacing the Mecca of erotica. Also attached to her room was a kitchen. I secretly considered this my favorite place in her apartment. Stolich had a mad love for cooking. True her choice of meals where limited. Noodles. Porridge and soup and noodles but seeing as I was always hungry most of the times, gourmet selection was the least of my problems.
Plus there was the fact that if there was anyone who stood a chance in beating me for the heavily contended Best fan of coca cola. It was Stolich. She always had a bottle of coke in her fridge.

I headed straight for the kitchen as I walked in.
“The coke bandit returns. Someone call the Sherriff.” Stolich muttered to herself. She was seating down watching some ridiculous movie called Perfume: The story of a murderer.
I shrugged of the insult. You do what you have to do.
Is he here yet?
I yelled from the kitchen, staring at her through the connecting window..
She shook her head and continued on the movie.
No hugs. No wild thank yous for coming over after a 20 second plea. Just faint interest in the fact that I was drinking her coke. Who cares about Carl?
The elements of great friendship.

We both sat and watched the movie to its depressing end. After a couple of minutes I realized that the darkness and gloom was not just a reflection of our state of mind. It was late.
“I guess he didn’t come again after all.” I said.
Stolich had a sad look on her face. Like successfully escaping being tempted to cheat on her boyfriend wasn’t the best thing to have happened to her today.

We chatted idly about a couple of things.
I confessed that I had a fear of picking up the soap in the bathroom because I sensed that homosexual ghosts, hanging out in the bathroom, were probably waiting for such an opportunity. She told me that she felt Jessica Alba was sexy. I argued that given the gravity and sincerity of my confession she would have to tell me something just as damning.
Like say, she was secretly a sixty year old man who had undergone an age reversal operation followed by a sex transplant. And thus went out mild persiflage for another 30 minutes. I visited her fridge one more time , ignoring her pleas for mercy.
After two bottles of coke though I was beginning to feel like maybe I would have to visit her Lingerie room.
I was about to announce gently that I would have to soon leave when suddenly there was a loud hump at the door followed by a soft knock.
The time was 8pm.

Stolich looked wildly at me. Her eyes all lit with delight. There was a ridiculous smile on her face. I found myself half hoping that it was the gateman at the door. It would be nice to see if she would remain as thrilled as she was.
“It’s him.”
She whispered fiercely. Arms flaying in the air like she was some 5 year old who had tumbled downstairs on Christmas eve only to find Santa seating in her favorite chair and watching that most annoying of shows. Teletubbies.
I gave a shrug. I had never been much of a fan of Santa ever since he failed to deliver on my request for Angelina Jolie.
“Get the door.” she whispered and to stress her point she pushed me towards it.
I sighed softly. For the umpteenth time I swore to review my friendship. Some people just didn’t appreciate me anymore. I wondered if it was okay to advertise in a magazine for a friend.
Maybe Playboy?
Prince charming was at the door.
2 inches over my 6ft, His entire frame was all clad in vaguely visible muscle beneath the Tshirt he wore.
He had the same ridiculous grin that Stolich had sported only minutes earlier. I had the satisfaction of watching it disappear.
Who are you? He blurted out.
Her father.
Her boyfriend’s best friend.
Her boyfriend’s father’s best friend.

A long list of possible answers swept through my mind.
But I did the annoying polite charming thing and said.
“Carl. Please to meet you.”

There was a flurry of movement behind me and Stolich appeared. I was stunned. She had done that girl thing again. Somehow in 30 seconds, she had changed, applied makeup, brushed her hair, used up, what seemed her entire bottle of perfume and was here gushing over Mr. Annoying Nameless bloke. Her pose all natural and degage. Like it was normal to still have perfect lipstick at 8.17 pm.
Quickly breezing by me she gave me an introduction.
“This is Carl. My good friend. He is almost like a brother to me”
Brother? I stared in shock. That was it. Come tommorow i was advertising for a new best friend.
I watched Captain Annoying give me a satisfied smirk as he processed the information.
Good friend. Brother. Nothing to worry about. Just another loser.
“Please to meet you." He said softly.
He'd probably sat in front of a tape recorder until he got just the right note. Soft enough to hint at the effeminte and yet still retain the strength and vibes of Barry White.
Beside me I could feel Stolich’s pulse quicken at the sound of his voice. I couldn’t see her face but I sensed Guy Smiliey was back on.
“Oh come on in.” She chirped happily.
He gave me a condescendingly triumphant smile--See how much your sister loves me-- and stepped into her apartment.
And then, to seal my dislike for him, he gave her a hug that lasted almost 3 minutes
Stolich had obviously forgotten the game plan. She had forgotten that she had a boyfriend 3000 miles away.
“God I’ve missed you. “ She said.
He looked at me with a twinkle.
I felt like running into her Victoria's secret toilet and strangling him with one of her lingerie.
The Pink one.
Instead i smiled back at him.

I made up my mind on the spot.
No one was getting laid tonight.

To be Contd.