Fiction

Get Hooked At 28

Lagos dates (get hooked at 28)

My name is Stacy Micheal, I’m 28 years old; yeah ’28’. That number has changed everything about my life. It’s the number that demands a certain responsibility from women and mounts a certain pressure on men. 27 was fair and smooth, it was like the whole world was waiting for the day to break and the next morning would welcome me with its blissful surprise.
My dad is a business man. He loves me so much; probably because I’m his only girl. But 28 is making his love irritate me.

“Good bye daddy”
“see you beautiful, take care of yourself, you know you’ll be turning 28 in a few days”

I know I know, I wish he can see the look on my face as he drives out of the compound, I mean so what if I’m 28? Does it even change anything, or does 28 demand a certain level of protection from my self?

My brothers, Jude(31) David(25) Josh(21) and Uche(18) are so lovely. They are the best brothers in the world. Jude is taking entering into daddy’s business. He is very protective and almost acts like daddy. He’s engaged, and we’ll be meeting his wife this weekend,

David just graduated from a medical school, David is calm and fine. He’s my right-hand man, always advising me to stay away from guys in club 10, yeah club 10 the most popular club house in Laos, grooving with people of various personalities all looking for something,

Josh is in America, we only talk on video calls
“You’re looking more beautiful sis” he will always say when we talk. Then he will ask about my relationships.
“are you still dating the lawyer? ”
“Oh please no” I’ll reply.
“The engineer? ”
“No”
“The revolutionary”
“No”
“I thought you were with Steve from rowlings”
“Yes, but he farts when sleeping”
“What about bankola”
“Bankola is mummy’s boy, he kept me waiting at a date because his mother needed him to give her a ride to the market”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Josh the market is two miles away from their home”
“Uh oh” Josh replied
“Yes it is”

“What about deacon fatoyibos son? ”
“Clerk sends me pink flowers Every morning at the office”
“Aww he’s really cute”
“Yeah my favourite colour is red”
“Oh. Did you tell him? ”
“Every time”
“Well sister everything will be fine, you are 28 better get hooked, or mom!!!!!!”

That’s it, Mom…..
Amongst all the trouble I’ve been encountering, hers is inevitable. She has set me up with different guys since I was 26 and now I’m 28 she’s loosing her mind.

It all started at my birthday, that Wednesday evening I was welcomed home with the most surprising party. I stepped into The living room and everywhere was dark, I stumbled in the dark searching for the light switch. I hit my legs against some tools until I found the switch and turned the lights on.

“Surprise!!!!!!!!” My heart popped out of my mouth, I almost fainted and struggled to catch my breath. The house was filled with people, my dad my Mom, my brothers, and all our neighbours

Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday to you.

Hip hip hip

Hurray” they all chorused,

“Happy birthday darling,” my dad said and held me in a warm embrace. Dad’s arms have always been the place to be since I was little; soft and accommodating, he has always been there for me and loved and protected me in so many ways. He always told me that boyfriend’s will come and go, but fathers will stay forever, I kept that in mind so I’ll teach my son one day.

“Thank you, Daddy, I love you so much” I replied and fell into my mom’s arm which was spread already beside my father.

“Happy birthday simisowole,” my mother loved calling me by my native name, her smiles were promising, full of care and support, full of live.

“Thanks, mum I love you” I pecked her cheeks and moved on to thank the rest of the guests in the house

“Ehe simi I want you to meet someone,”

“Someone? ” I asked looking at my mother in surprise.

“Yes someone” she pulled my hand and we walked towards the dining table, a family sat down there eating some cakes and drinks. Beside the woman who looked a little older than my mom, a guy sat there. He was in a blue suit and black tie and was calm and silent doing most of his talking with a smile.

“Mama simi Cooks the best stew in Lagos. Right son?” the woman asked looking at him, he smiled again and nodded, this time saying something:

“Yes mom, she cooks very well’
They all laughed. At that moment my father joined us in the dining room.

“Chief you didn’t tell me your daughter was as pretty as an orchard of golden flowers,” the man sitting opposite the woman said. My father sat down beside my mother and smiled, took some cake and opened another bottle of champagne.

“Ah ah, bolade this your poetry is becoming too much. The complement is too much on a young girl” the wife interrupted him sharply looking him in the eye as though she added something else in silence which he alone understood.

“She also has a BA in biochemistry”

“Yes chief, Stacy is a very hard-working girl” my father replied. My eyes were glued to my cake and a smile was pasted on my face. I was trying hard not to make contact with the guy in blue Tuxedo suit.

“My son Perry just came in from London, he’s a medical doctor ” the man added with pride written all over his face.

“Good day sir” the son greeted looking at my father respectfully. I liked the way he spoke. Good day sounded different from his mouth, fast and simple.

“Perry!!! My father said. This I was sure this was a prelude to a few questions he wanted to ask him.
“I’ve heard much about you, your father holds you at a very high esteem you know,” my father said.

“I’m happy to hear that sir. Thank you” Perry replied.

“Excuse us please, Simi will help me get some things” my mother dragged me by the hand out of the dining room into the kitchen.

“Ahahaha” she giggled “Isn’t bolade’s son handsome?” she asked smiling in a way I found very familiar, one of her tricks again to hook me up with a man.

“Mom, are you doing this again?”
“Simisowole, simisowole I am just playing my part as a concerned mother my child, you’re 28, my baby, you need a man”

“Yeah it’s all about 28 mom I knew it, I should have known when I saw this party, it’s about hooking me up with that man’s son right? It was never about me”

“It’s about you simisowole. Ah, it’s about you my child, I’m no longer getting younger and you’re not either it’s not like you don’t know it. I will do anything to make sure you settle down my child, you have a job, you have a life, all that is remaining is a man baby”

“I can’t believe you mother, I can’t and the dude doesn’t even speak, he let’s his dad do his talking”

“You noticed him baby didn’t you?” my mother laughed out silently and tapped my shoulder, something I saw women who gossiped a lot did. I found it amusing and smiled, stood in amazement and watched her,

“Maybe he’s shy, maybe he doesn’t want to fall his hand in front of my beautiful daughter” she added touching my chin. There is something about my mother that makes me love her so much, apart from her troubles she knows how to take care of me the best way, even when I cannot take care of my self. There was a day she brought Amala to me in my office telling my friends it’s my favorite, and I already told them I don’t eat that thing.

“We will go back inside ehh, keep up yourself very well baby, you’re doing good” she whispered to me as though we were planning on bombing the house or doing something dangerous and we whispered so no one could hear us.

“Oya quickly grab a tray of cakes and let’s go back so they won’t think we came here to gossip” she added. This made me smile as we headed back to the dining room.

“Stacy I was just asking your father if you could come along this weekend for lunch in my home” chief asked in a soft polite tone.

“I would love to but I will be so busy with work sir” I replied, hoping that even made any sense.

“Your father said you don’t work on Saturday’s” the wife replied looking at her husband, then at my father who was looking at me.

“Yes, but I will be working on some documents from the office,” I replied, wondering what else my father had told them, probably that I snore while sleeping.

“Ok Sunday then” this time the guy himself spoke. I didn’t know what to say, so I mumbled some nonsense to myself.

“I will pick you up myself” he added, looking at me, then  I looked away and fumbled my hair.

“Ok then, Sunday it is” I gave in without any reason particularly. I saw the excitement written all over my mother’s face and sighed. My father looked the same as always. You can hardly tell his mood. Soon they all got up. My father walked out with chief Bolade, my mother with the wife. People were still eating and drinking, and music was on a youruba juju music. I packed the plates on the table and arranged the remaining cakes in a flask. Perry stood by the side and watched for a while before he joined me.

“Let me help you with that,” he said pointing at the unfinished wine I was struggling to close. I handed it to him and continued my cleaning.
I put the cakes in the fridge and the wine back in the bar, scrubbed the table and arranged the chairs accordingly.

“How often do you get a surprise birthday party like this, ” he asked coming close to the chair where I sat down.

“Every time, every year” I replied hoping my lie was convincing enough.

“Nice hair,” he said.

To be continued

Jane Ford

Written by EMERIE EBUBE

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