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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 piñata. 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.
“Aunty.”
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.
“Yvette.”
“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................

9 comments:

Rene said...

first!!!

Sumptuous said...

@Rene, u ursurped me! @Neo, I've got just one word for you: DONT STOP! (ok, maybe two words)

Rene said...

lol @ sumptuous
@Neo, if u leave me in suspense 4 2 long.........we wunt lyk it o!

Neo said...

hahaha, it will be like a regular soap opera or smthing. wait a week for ur next fix.

I jus hope i can keep at this o, i'm like the laziest writer in the world!

thanks for the follow guys!

Dark Neo said...

I like...

Myne Whitman said...

Got the gist from blogville and now I'm hooked. Nice nice writing. Love Vee already...

Buttercup said...

Ohhhh I loooove! Kmt @ Miss Balenciaga!

muyiwa said...

cool

doll said...

is it fiction? wow! you write so well