? ??????????????Moon and Stars? ????? ?? ???Rating: 4.2 (80 Ratings)??0 Grabs Today. 17583 Total Grabs. ??
????Preview?? | ??Get the Code?? ?? ?????????????????Grassy Blue? ????? ?? ???Rating: 3.6 (22 Ratings)??0 Grabs Today. 1594 Total Grabs. ??????Preview?? | ??Get the Code?? ?? ?????Gr BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS ?

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Balenciaga II

One of Nissah’s little cousins runs over to me with a party cracker, “Aunty Vee, see what they gave me” she says excitedly and pulls it to demonstrate. It goes off with a loud pop. I give a loud clap.
“Halima!” her mother snaps, “Are you trying to get me deaf?”
“Sorry Mum.” Halima says with a giggle. “I’ll get another one Aunty Vee” I watch amused as she runs off.
“Nissah, you and Vee should get something to eat” her aunt suggests. My spirits rise immediately.
“Do we have to go over to the table?” Nissah whines. Nissah has got to be the shyest person I know. She constantly worries she’ll trip and fall flat on her face in public.
Her aunt laughs, “Nissah, you’re never going to meet a man at this rate. If anyone should be hiding back here its Vee.”
My mouth drops open, what exactly is that supposed to mean? I storm off towards the nearest buffet table to keep myself from saying anything that would have me rushing to catch the 5;30 BRT every morning, which was exactly what would happen if I got kicked out of the Alcove Gardens pad. I was faced with absolute confusion as I reached the buffet table, I’d never seen so many different kinds of food in one place, some of which I had absolutely no idea what they were.
‘What would you like?” the immaculately dressed waiter asked me.
“Uhm. I think I need a minute.” Behind me I hear a soft laugh and when I turn I’m faced with the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. That’s the word. He’s beautiful, fair skinned with soft, almost feminine features, clean shaven, the exact opposite of my Seye. The kind of man I’m not attracted to but still I’m staring. Why am I staring? I blink and shake my head once. What’s that word, the one you’re supposed to say when you meet someone. Damn! He’s looking at me strangely.
“Oh, there you are!” a voice behind him says. A striking woman materializes and links her arm through his. It’s Miss Balenciaga. “We’re going inside for drinks”
“I’ll catch up, Phoebe” he says “I want to grab something to eat.”
“Oh just tell her what you want, she’ll bring it inside” she says waving a hand in my direction.
“Excuse me?” I say.
She peers closely at me, “Aren’t you Milli’s girl?”
“Who?” I can’t believe this. Do I look like a maid or a nanny? I’m a qualified doctor! I save lives. Well I will eventually.
She smiles, “oh sorry, you really look like Milli’s girl. Ray, well we’re inside when you’re done.” She hoists her Balenciaga on to her shoulders and stalks off. I’m standing there with the plate in my hand, so angry I can almost feel the smoke coming out of my ears.
“I’m sorry about that.” He says.
I say nothing. I’d had about enough. Suddenly I’m not hungry anymore. I drop the plate and smile at the waiter, “I’ll come back when I’ve made up my mind.”
Nissah and her aunt are nowhere to be found when I get back to the table. There’s a bottle of wine on the table and I help myself to a glass. I’m watching the children play. There are no clowns, just the party planners in matching T-shirts. I’d always wanted to do that, plan parties for kids I mean, I talked about it all through school with my friends. Nobody ever took me seriously. Hell, I didn’t take me seriously. Now, a part of me felt like the pregnant party planner had stolen my dream.
“You guys have to like stand in a line” her young assistant was shouting into the mike with enough attitude to go round ten Beverly Hill teenagers, the children pushed forward hoping to be the one to smash the piƱata. You don’t talk to kids like that and expect results, I thought to myself. Children need motivation, the promise of a reward, a bribe, they don’t want to be told to move back so the stick doesn’t put out their eye. Hell, you could poke their eye out yourself if you promised to give them all the sweets in the pinata. Tell them all the kids in the line get a prize or something.

I’m getting bored and my stomach reminds me I’m still hungry but I don’t feel right. Where the hell is Nissah? Probably off meeting the Oderinde from Singapore while Vee is left to nanny the kids. Well, apparently i have Nanny-like feautures. Hissssss. I bolt to my feet as I spot Mahmud her 2 year old cousin scooping grass into his mouth.
“Hey Mud-man, don’t eat grass. Lets get you some posh grass to eat instead” I say as I pull a stray blade out of his mouth. I pick him up and wander to the buffet table again. I return to my seat with a plate brimming with all I could fit on it and settle Mahmud on my lap. I tear a piece of chicken and hand it to him.

A woman in a lovely green top with beautiful hair that can only be a Brazillian weave smiles at me, “hello. Are these seats taken?” she asks with a tinge of the upper-class British accent.
I shake my head, she turns and motions for someone to come over. Suddenly three nannies appear each carrying a child. Two of them are little girls in matching outfits. Twins.
“Oya, e joko.” She says in easy Yoruba and continues in a fluent string I cant understand. Yeah, yeah, 12 years in the west and I still don’t understand Yoruba but I figure she’s telling the nannies to feed the kids and that she’d be back to check on them. The nannies start to bark at the children immediately her back is turned, smacking their tiny hands with two fingers. Even Mahmud stares transfixed. The girls are twins dressed in matching outfits down to the red bows which seem to be hanging precariously from all of three strands of hair. One of the nannies takes out a huge bib with pink hearts and balloons and attempts to put it on the boy. He protests wildly, pushing it away. As I watch the other nanny take out an identical one and a twin obediently shimmies into it I understand his protests. Unfortunately “Nanny Mcphee” does not and deftly smacks the boy on the arm. He lets out a loud wail. I’m tempted to say something but I don’t. it’s not my business. Okay I don’t mean that in an I can’t be bothered way, it’s just none of my business.
Mahmud and I go through my meal in record time, okay me mostly but he had most of the chicken. I’m not one of those girls that agonize over their weight and eat tiny portions even Mahmud would turn up his nose at.
I look up and it’s Nanny Mcphee, “Yes” I say with what I hope is an easy smile.
“I fit to take the juice…for the children later”
I shrug, “Oh take it.”
She dips slightly as she takes it, “Thank you.” It disappears quickly into her bag.
The food gone, Mahmud gets disinterested and slides down my lap. I find myself alone, deciding that I’d get back at Nissah somehow. Maybe I’d wear her new Next top to work on Monday. It’d definitely stretch. Or I’d take the hygiene cap of her toothbrush, she has this fetish. I’m lost in my thoughts I don’t notice him till he sits down beside me.
“Hi” he says with a smile.
“Hi” I reply dryly. Suddenly I’m not impressed. He’s just a brat plus he’s not my type.
“I just came by to apologise for my friend. Phoebe is a bit absent minded.”
“Really?” I say “absent minded is locking your car keys in the car or forgetting to turn of the iron before you leave home, not assuming that everyone else who doesn’t carry a bag that costs the yearly budget of some families is a hired help.” I didn’t mean to rant, at least not to him, it just sort of came out.
“Well true. Like I said I’m sorry.”
“So what are you apologizing for exactly?” I say boldly, “your friend’s bad behaviour or how it reflects on you?”
He smiles revealing toothpaste ad perfect teeth. “Both.”
For a moment we’re silent, then he says “I’m Raymond.”
“I’m Vee.”
“as in…” he prompts.
“that’s a nice name.” he says.
“that’s a line.” I say
He laughs. “So what do you do?”
“I’m a doctor” I say with a glow. I’ve since overcome my need to say ‘I save lives’
“Oh that’s nice…it’s just that you seem rather young.”
“I get that a lot” I say dismissively like its no big deal as I ponder the possibility that he tweezes his eyebrows. He’s just too put together I think, no stray hair, groomed to perfection.
“So how do you know Milli?” he asks.
I shrug, “I don’t. I’m here with my friend and her family” I glance around, “well at least I was.”
He smiles and settles into his chair and suddenly I’m uncomfortable. I notice a few heads turning in our direction. Well his, all the women, married and unattached are staring at him shamelessly, probably wondering what he’s doing talking to Plain Jane. Don’t get me wrong I do not have a complex, I prefer to think of myself as a realist.
“so what do you do?” I ask him more out of want of something to say.
“I’m an investment banker”

“Oh, that’s nice” I say and then mentally kick myself, of all the unoriginal things that could pop into my mind, that was the best I could do?

He opens his mouth to say something else when my phone rings. I pounce on it quickly, “I’m sorry I have to take this outside.” Actually it’s not that noisy but I just need an excuse to leave, before I manage to shove the rest of my leg further up my mouth. I move hastily away from the noise.

To be continued................

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Balenciaga

Okay. I admit it I’m out of my element. Not in the fish out of water way but more like goldfish swimming with the tilapias. I mean take that woman for instance I’m sure her patent Balenciaga bag costs more than my annual salary and to me my pay’s not that shabby, to her it’s a bag, probably one of a closet full. So you could ask what I was doing at the same party with Miss Balenciaga. I was asking myself the exact same thing.

I was born and grew up mostly in P-Town (that’s what the trendy kids call Port Harcourt now) but I migrated to the west after I was done with primary school and I’ve been in love with Lagos ever since. I mean my entire life is here, my confusing boyfriend whom I love despite the fact that I seem to want to break up with him every two days, my best friends (frankly I have about 10 of them) and all my fave places, like Takwa Bay, The Palms, Silverbird Galleria and oh Nando’s. I mean I love P-Town or rather I love my family which is rooted in P-Town but Lagos has grown on me.

You have to love Lagos, whether you’re the quiet type or the one the bouncers know by name, it’s a town that takes care of everybody.

So back to the Balenciaga party, I mean ok I’m fresh out of medical school, doing my housemanship with a leading private clinic and still so excited I’m scrawling Dr. Yvette Greene on every scrap of paper. Yeah that’s my name Yvette. Apparently I was conceived in Paris, the most romantic city in the world, by the way being conceived in a place doesn’t make you a citizen and frankly that’s unfair. I would make a nice Parisian, rolling my r’s and saying “bon” all the time. Okay back to the point, I tend to roll off tangent at times. I hate being called Yvette so everyone calls me Vee. I share a flat (when I say flat I mean a small cramped one bedroom in Lekki) with my friend Nissah. The good news is it comes absolutely free, Nissah’s uncle lives in the main building and she works with him so the flat comes as a perk with the low paying job, even though her uncle is as rich as Oprah! Okay maybe i tend to exaggerate a bit, but you get the point. So it’s Saturday and the lady of the house is attending some kid’s first birthday party and she asks if Nissah and I would like to tag along. I say ok, I’ve got nothing better to do. Besides there’s no light and we dare not put on the generator, Uncle D probably measures the diesel level with a tape rule. Nissah and I barely cook and its mid-month so the fridge is empty. The prospect of free food has us moving in fast forward. I throw on a top I wore the previous day, on top of faded jeans. Nissah digs in her wardrobe for something nicer and advices me to do the same.

“Nissah it’s a child’s first birthday not a presidential gala.” I’d said as she threw on a new sundress. Now standing there in the back garden of a sprawling estate in VGC I wish I’d listened to her. Everybody looks so chic, that’s everyone but me. Nissah tosses her new weave and smiles like a movie star, her two year old cousin expertly balanced on her hip. I realize just then that I seem to have fallen quite by accident into the world of the Lagos socialites.
“Hello” a tiny woman trills enthusiastically as she walks over to us. Nissah’s aunt smiles as they hug and kiss the air at their chicks. I have never understood why they do that.
“Milli! You look great. I can’t believe Mercedes is already one.” Nissah’s aunt said. Mercedes? I could never seem to understand why people gave their kids names like that. The poor thing would probably grow up into a Mercedes, big, imposing and high-maintenance. Whatever happened to the good old traditional names? (Yeah, I’m one to talk)
“The little things grow so fast” the petite Milli says with a dismissive wave of the hand, “is this your sister?” she asks looking at Nissah with an appraising smile. I’m used to the reactions people get around my friend. She’s tall, dark-skinned and curvy with a heart-shaped pretty face. Nissah is stunning. That’s the word. Frankly I have no problem with the fact that I pale beside her. I’ve grown into my skin and the realization that I’m some guy’s type at least.
“Oh, this is Nissah, Dede’s niece. She’s a stockbroker.”
“Good afternoon” Nissah says with a wide smile. I wonder if the sides of her face ache.
“She’s a pretty one.” Milli says, “Deji’s brother is just in from Singapore, we should seat them together.”
I shift awkwardly from one foot to the other feeling completely ignored, I mean I seem to have faded into thin air, even Nissah seems to have forgotten I’m there. Well actually I have faded in my grey top and washed jeans. Everyone else is in brightly coloured tops and dresses with huge designer bags. I walk behind them silently as Milli, the hostess, leads us to a table. The children are in the middle of the garden playing a game and Nissah’s cousins run off to join them. I and Nissah settle down while her aunt does the rounds. “Did you see Tunji Coker?” Nissah whispers fiercely.
“Who?” I’m rather distracted, wondering which of the three buffet tables I should attack first.
“Tunji Coker, Dextron Consult. True Love’s bachelor of the month.”
“Really?” I’m not that interested. My stomach is growling loudly. Actually almost everyone looks familiar, in that you-know-me-but-don’t-know-me way. “let’s get something to eat.” I say and Nissah gives me her ‘are u crazy’ look.
“What? It’s a buffet.”
“Vee we just got here. We don’t want to look like we’ve been starved. Give it ten minutes.”
“okay” I mutter crossly “but if my stomach starts to growl loudly you cant pretend you don’t know me.” She laughs.

We get to find out that the party is for the third child of Milli Oderinde who is married to the first son of Justice Oderinde, the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Nissah is so excited to learn that. She studied law but was posted to a capital management company for her youth service. I’m more surprised to learn that Milli has had 3 kids with that body. She’s a size 6. A thirty something year old size 6. I’m 23 and I wear a 12, on my good days a 10. I hate her instantly. More so even when she comes to our table to make sure we’re all fine and completely ignores me. I’m a doctor, I want to scream. I’m important too. I don’t have to heft around a Mui Mui or Lulu Guiness bag to be noticed.

To be continued.........