Ogechi & I
After much effort to provoke negative inspirations, only sensible thoughts crossed my mind, and I ended up remembering Ogechi, who seemed to have forgotten me. When I got it up to my neck I left for the sitting room and continued watching TV. Just then, a replay of a TV broadcast featuring TV stars of all sorts was put on air. That was my kind of program. I loved it more than the football fans love football. I sat back and watched. I was still aspiring to get there, so I wouldn’t miss anything that could mold me to fit in.
A lot of stars came on set, most of which I knew. Next thing I heard was Ogechi’s name being called by the presenter to come on set. I couldn’t believe my ears. I watched to see if she was the Ogechi I knew. Lo and behold, she was her. She was interviewed and I could hear her talk about me in parables. As a matter of fact, when she was asked what inspired her to embrace music, she answered saying; a handsome prince charming never stopped pushing me to do the things I lacked the courage to do. And I’m here now as a result of that. The phone line was open to callers and fans. I rushed to get my phone and call the number on the screen but remembered the program was just a replay. However, I saved the number. The date for the next live program featuring Ogechi was announced and I stored it in my head, looking forward to it. The program ended and I left to my room and retired for the day. That night, I dreamed of Ogechi.
The next morning I woke up to meet breakfast in bed. That never happened before since I started living with Cynthia. ‘Who did this?’ I wondered. ‘Maybe on of Cynthia’s cooks has a crush on me’ I concluded. I waved those thoughts away and consumed the breakfast without brushing my teeth. While I was eating, Cynthia came into my room to check on me.
‘Good morning miss’ I greeted.
‘Morning J. How’s the day going?’
‘Pretty cool’ I replied. One of your cooks made me breakfast in bed. Can you imagine that? I wonder how she knew I really needed a woman to do this for me. Maybe there’s a connection between us’ I said.
‘Really? Do you want me to find out who did? She asked.
‘Oh no. I objected. Not now. When I’m ready to go back to Nigeria, I’ll find out who she is and take her to mama’ I said, as a joke.
‘Would you really do that for this girl?’ Cynthia asked seriously.
‘Of course’ I replied, still joking.
‘Okay then’ Cynthia said. Until you’re ready to go back to Nigeria. But that won’t be anytime soon. Everything is now ready for you to begin your Master’s Degree program. I wanted to tell you all about it today in order to make your day a pleasant one. That’s why I made you breakfast in bed to prepare your heart for this news. It appears the breakfast accomplished more than it was intended for’ she said, rolling her eyes and smiling at me romantically as she left the room.
I was dump founded afterwards. It was Cynthia who made me breakfast in bed! Na Cynthia I want carry go show my mama? Omor see gogbe oo! She was five years older than me for crying out loud. Did I just tell her I was taking her home to mum? Oh no, that was just a joke. I hope she knows. But on the other hand, this girl has tried for me oo. She single handedly paid for all my travel documents and sponsored my trip abroad, connected me to music producers and movie directors whom I was working with from the background pending when time and chance will lunch me in. She has provided me with the good life I’ve always desired, and made necessary arrangements for me to further my education abroad. From the look of things, she’s also willing to give me….. GIVE ME WHAT? Wetin I dey think sef! I shook my head and dismissed that last thought. I rejoiced greatly over the news she brought to me. I called my mother and a few people at home and enlightened them on the development of things.
I began my Master’s Degree Program after nearly six months of coming to America. I was going to be through with it in eighteen months’ time. Cynthia kept providing me with all my needs cheerfully. At a point I got really curious about Cynthia’s source of wealth because she was spending money extravagantly. At least it appeared extravagant to me. I wouldn’t know if she considered her way of spending extravagant. I summoned her one day and started enquiring. She told me she was just a fortunate girl. She was into modeling in Nigeria before she relocated abroad. In her early years as a model she was required to go nude on a magazine cover. She was to be paid good money for that appearance. Being from a humble background she could not say no to such offer, adding to the fact that she had to do it if she wanted to progress in her career as a model. So she decided to do it since her name did not ring a bell then. No one would know who she was. Amazingly, the magazine got so famous and found its way to the hands of a CEO of an American modeling company who loved her body so much. Every Nigerian who saw that magazine was so eager to know who the girl on the magazine cover was. Many people criticized her while others gave her thumbs up.
So many castigations came to her and she couldn’t take it anymore. Though she had gotten rich, her image was at stake. Luckily for her, the American CEO of a modeling company who saw the magazine and loved her body reached out to her and asked her to come over to America and continue her career in his company. That was the best and only option for her if she wanted to escape the persecution her action had drawn to her. She immediately consented and left for America. The controversy continued in Nigeria after she left but there were no proofs to back up any accusation labeled against her as no one knew who she was. They only had her name but could not get to her. The Nigerian press followed her diligently to get a picture or video of her modeling for the American modeling company she worked with. But Cynthia was a smart girl. Igbo girls no dey carry last nah.
She changed her looks as soon as she reached America. She never went on TV without disguising herself with excessive makeup and Brazilian hair that even her colleagues in Nigeria couldn’t recognize her when they saw a picture of her. Cynthia so disguised herself that no one who knew her before was able to identify her in her new look. Only the press who traveled abroad to get the picture knew that Cynthia was the one hiding behind her make up.
Soon enough, the reign of that Nigerian magazine that made Cynthia abscond was over and no one talked about Cynthia or the magazine anymore. Even at that, Cynthia refused coming back to Nigeria again except on a visit to her parents, and that she did secretly. She didn’t want anything that would resurrect that dead memory.
After modeling in America for five years she became a millionaire in dollars. She even became part of the management team in the modeling company and wasn’t modeling again. That’s how she got all those connections with the American stars. She made it clear to me that she never wanted to go back to Nigeria again. She was going to live in America till death. As a female child, she belonged to whoever married her so she had no business at home anymore. About her marriage she explained that she didn’t want to marry a white man. She wanted to marry a Nigerian man based in America. And since she couldn’t find a serious American based Nigerian man, she remained unmarried till she turned 32 years, even though she looked 23. As a model, she knew what to do to keep looking younger by the day, and she had the money to make sure of that. She was determined to wait until her desired Nigerian man came. Hmmm, EVERYONE WITH HIS OR HER OWN STORY OO!
I was clarified on Cynthia’s source of wealth but was terrified on some other of her issues. After she told me everything, I felt sorry for her. She was afraid of going back home because of that involuntary action of hers that was instigated by someone who neither shared the shame or the pain. Anyone who doesn’t hear her side of the story would consider her an indecent and ambitious girl. But I knew better than to call her names. In fact, she’s an amazing girl, kind hearted and philanthropic. Beautiful, tender, soft, curvy, brown eyed and with excellent dancing skills. Chai! I remember the night she paid a visit to my room in China with dance moves that nearly suffocated me in a fully air-conditioned room. I started recalling all the wonderful things I noticed about Cynthia and even began to compare between her and Ogechi.
I compared and found it very difficult to say who among them was to die for. But wait oo, what is wrong with me? Ogechi is my girlfriend for goodness’ sake. I’m not supposed to compare her with anybody. Wait a minute, did I say my girlfriend? d##n it! She’s miles and miles away from me and we don’t even communicate. On the other hand, Cynthia is here with me, just that she’s not my girlfriend. She could be if I want her to. Am I sure of that? Does she even like me? Come on, she made me breakfast in bed. I must be stupid. Even if she likes me, I wouldn’t want to date a girl five years older than me. Not like I’m going to marry her anyway. I could just date her until I’m done with my Masters’ Degree Program. No oo, I have no intentions of using and dumping anybody. If I get myself into any relationship, it must be a serious one that could lead to marriage if God wills, and I can’t marry a girl older than me even with one month. But wait oo, why am I thinking all these? Am I falling for Cynthia?
Cynthia and I went to a cinema one evening for a movie premiere of one of Hollywood’s best directors who was Cynthia’s acquaintance. Cynthia looked like a diva in the dress she had on. Nearly everyone who had known Cynthia to be a model was there. They all wanted to take a picture with her. Whenever anyone wanted to snap with her, she demanded that I stand by her. Cynthia made every preferential treatment given to her to pass through me. She made it seem as though she wouldn’t do anything without my approval. If anyone wanted to speak with her privately, they would have to ask me. I would then permit her and give her the number of minutes she was to spend with each person. I didn’t do any of those on my own accord. I just played along with her the moment I realized she wanted it that way. The big moment came when Cynthia and the other models got together. Cynthia wouldn’t let me go for even one second. Six other astonishingly beautiful models from the different continents of the world came and joined me and Cynthia on our table. I was very particular about the one among them who had an Italian accent. The way she talked made me want to kiss her. The way she smiled impressed me a whole lot. And the way she moved her body engaged my imagination and I swore in my heart that I was going meet her privately no matter the cost.
Cynthia was just showing me off like say I be Obama pikin. I was cool with it. I loved the feeling. I cracked a lot of jokes that made the models laugh their hearts out. We began discussing about the movie that was premiered. All the models starred in the movie except Cynthia. I asked why she wasn’t a part of it and she said she wanted to limit her nude appearances on TV because she didn’t want to be seen as an indecent girl. That sounded like trash to the other models because as far as there are concerned, nudity wasn’t anything to be shy of anymore. Cynthia explained that she was an African girl who was hoping to marry an African man. A Nigerian man to be specific. ‘Nigerians don’t see it the same way the Americans do’ she said to the models. ‘An American man may let his wife go nude on TV for the sake of career, but a Nigerian man will definitely not’. The models disagreed with her and there was a little argument on that subject. The stand of American men on public nudity was known, but that of and African man wasn’t. And since I was the only African man present there, I had to stand in for all African men and give my opinion on that matter. I didn’t contribute on my own oo. One of the models asked me if what Cynthia said about African men was true.
I tried to dodge the question but as soon as the model with the Italian accent urged me to say something, I didn’t delay for even one second before I started talking like machine. I wasn’t giving my sincere opinion at all. Whatever the Italian girl said was what I concurred to. Cynthia was surprised at me. She couldn’t believe her ears and I didn’t mind. Whatever would jeopardize my chances with the Italian girl was discarded without a second thought. What made me see the Italian girl in a different light was what I couldn’t figure out. She simply found her way to my heart and I went along with the drive.
We discussed about many things. These models didn’t see me as who I really was but as one of the big shots they hadn’t gotten to know yet. Midway into our discussion the Australian model among them enquired to know me. Cynthia gave me a profile I had not given to myself even in my imagination. She told them all I was and added all I was yet to be. She was right to tell them I’m a singer, actor, writer and poet. Instead of ending there she told them I was working hand in hand with all those people she introduced me to. What she said of me made those girls believe that I could play a role or two to get them to greater heights in their career. And that made it easy for me to access the Italian girl without stress. There was no end to the preferential treatments I got from those girls.
Time came for the director of the movie that was premiered to be honored for directing such a nice movie. One of the models who starred in the movie was called on to say a thing or two about the movie before the director was called on to be honored. Incidentally, it was the Italian model that was called on. She went out there and started talking about the movie and praising the director of the movie. To my greatest surprise, she said director was too great a man to be called to stage by a lone lady. So she said she was going to call on someone she deemed worthy to come join her usher in the director. ‘Ladies and gentlemen’, she said, help me welcome Jesusboy’. The audience clapped as though they knew who was called. I was shaken by that development. I never imagined standing before such dignitaries anytime soon. I thought I had overcome stage fright when I started acting drama in church but then it occurred to me that I still had fright left in me. Honestly I didn’t want to go. If I had the opportunity, I would have ran out so that it would be that I wasn’t around when I was called on. Even Cynthia was flabbergasted. But then she urged me to go join her. Cynthia would never discourage me to do anything that would add to my prestige. By the time she said a word or two to me, I gathered courage and joined the Italian girl on stage. She handed the microphone to me and I said a few things I normally said whenever I spoke before an audience. But I noticed that those people appreciated almost everything you had to offer.
The few times I made presentations in Nigeria, I had to prepare and prepare as if I was going to win an award for it. Even at that, I hardly touched the heart of my listeners. So I had to put extra effort to make sure that my presentation was not a dry one. But in this case, it was different. The moment I stepped on stage and got the microphone I was so nervous. So I released a deep breath with the microphone close to my mouth and the sound echoed in the auditorium. Just when I was about starting to feel I had embarrassed myself, the audience applauded. I was shocked. Was it me or someone else? I looked at their faces and saw them smiling at me as though I had made their day. In order to clear my doubt I released a deep breath again and they applauded again. It was really me. At that very moment, my self-esteem tripled up. The fright diminished and I began to speak like who they all believed me to be. I called the director to stage. He gave his speech which he began by thanking me and the Italian girl whom he referred to as my woman. He thought we were dating, and so he made others think.
His speech was over and we left to our table to join Cynthia and the others. What just happened became the topic of our discussion. The Italian girl was seen as my woman so we had to stick together to put up a good show. People who saw me on stage drew close to me afterwards to get to know me better. The Italian girl assumed Cynthia’s responsibilities immediately. She wouldn’t let me speak for myself. She just kept quoting Cynthia to all who came to me. All those people saw me as a star in the movie and music industry, and were looking forward to my movies and songs which I promised to make public soon.
I eventually got to spend time alone with the Italian girl. We got talking. Her accent never stopped impressing me. Cynthia was watching us from a distance with an unusual countenance on her face. She was all alone, sipping her strawberry juice little by little. We discussed for a very long while. Then a white man approached us and called on her. She asked him to give her a minute but the man insisted on seeing her right away. He didn’t look happy, but I could tell I wasn’t the one he was angry with. The girl went to meet him and they walked a little distance away from me and started speaking Italian. Suddenly the started raising their voices at each other. I got angry with the man for raising her voice on the girl and wanted to intervene before I heard the man say out loud in English; I’m not giving you the divorce! Ewoo! Person wife? I couldn’t to spend a single minute waiting for her on realizing she was married. All my feelings for her went dead immediately and I started feeling guilty for having left Cynthia who placed so much value on me to be with someone else’s wife who was asking for a divorce.
I left there unnoticed by the Italian girl and went to join Cynthia. I knew she wasn’t happy, I just didn’t know to what extent she had gotten angry. Secondly, I didn’t know how to access her heart. If it were Ogechi, I would just kneel down and her anger will vanish immediately. Since I didn’t know what to do to calm Cynthia, I just started making jokes she didn’t laugh to. All the while, most people who passed my way often stopped by to introduce themselves to me and make me an acquaintance since they all thought I was one of the stars. An elderly man then came to me and shook hands with me, telling me how honored he was to get to know me. Your woman is a beauty; he said referring to the Italian girl. I quickly objected and said; she isn’t my woman. I pointed to Cynthia and said; this right here is my woman. Cynthia turned her face slowly towards me in amazement. The man said; but she ain’t the girl who called you out before us. The girl who called me out was representing her because she was feeling a little bit heavy and couldn’t afford to stand for that long’ I said. The man shook his head in agreement and said; she also is a beauty indeed. Cynthia smiled. Yes! I have broken the yoke. But wait a minute, did I break a yoke or did I just put a yoke on me?
The movie premiere finally came to an end. I and Cynthia made sure to say goodbye to a good number of people before leaving. Cynthia drove the car. Midway home she made a turn that didn’t lead to her house. Where’s she going? I asked in my heart. I said nothing to her because I didn’t want anything that would ruin the mood I had succeeded to get her into by pronouncing her my woman. I knew she took it seriously. But I didn’t bother to find a way to make her understand I wasn’t really serious. I was exhausted already and wanted to rest badly. In addition, I have been proclaimed a celebrity in the presence of dignitaries who have identified with me and expect to watch my films and listen to my music. That became a problem to me. So whatever I had said of Cynthia didn’t bother me. All I was thinking about was how to live up to the expectation of those people who saw me as a celebrity.
Cynthia drove us to a lone street with noise and the sound of music coming from just one out of the many buildings on that street. She drove to that building and stopped.
‘Where is this?’ I asked.
‘It’s a club’ Cynthia replied softly.
I could tell she was in high spirit and wanted to let it out in that club. I don’t do clubs, even in Nigeria but since we had already gotten there I had no choice. We stepped out of the car and entered inside. There were lots of people and this was about 10pm. There were no chairs there. Only some stools at the bar for a number of people who wanted to have a drink. Even at that, the stools were not sufficient enough as some ended up standing to have their drinks. It didn’t bother them.
The club house was a large on, yet we could barely make it through from the entrance to the bar. ‘Two glasses of vodka’ Cynthia ordered. ‘Alright ma’am’ the bartender responded and left to serve her order.
‘Why two glasses? I asked. You know I don’t do alcohol’
‘Don’t give me that! She said. Tonight is special.
‘Do you mind telling me what’s special about the night? Because I don’t seem to have a clue.
‘Really? What are we celebrating if I may ask?
‘Friendship I guess.
Oh yeah, friendship. We could have done that back at home, just you and me.
‘Perfect! Cynthia screamed. We’ll definitely continue at home. In fact, I’ll serve the best part of the celebration for last’ she said grinning lustfully at me’
‘Here’s your order ma’am, the bartender said as he pushed two glasses of vodka towards us’
‘Thank you handsome’, Cynthia said.
Cynthia grabbed one glass of vodka and emptied it into her mouth and squeezed her face like one who tasted something bitter. She handed the other glass to me and I was about objecting when she flung her left arms around my neck and put the drink in my mouth. I refused to open my mouth and take the drink or say anything because if I tried to say something she would just throw the drink into my mouth. But what she was doing to me became like a drama to most people in the club and little by little their attention was on us. When I saw many of them turning to watch us, I opened my mouth and took the drink so that all that more undue attention would be averted.
After I took the drink the people in the club gave us a round of applause. Na wa for Americans oo. Imagine such a thing happening in Nigeria, no one would even notice it, let alone paying attention to it. But there it attracted some degree of celebration.
Cynthia refused to let go off me. Instead she ordered for two more glasses of vodka and gave one to me in the same manner. She continued like that until we both had five glasses while being watched by over 50% of people in that club. What we did became like a show that interested everyone and made them want to stick around to see how it ends.
She then dragged me to the dance floor for a dance. I’m not a good dancer. In fact, I’m not a dancer at all. But even if I said that a million times to Cynthia, she wouldn’t hit the dance floor without me. At this point, she wasn’t the Cynthia I had always known, neither was I the Jesusboy Ogechi had always known. I bet Ogechi would get on her knees and start praying for me if she knew the condition I was at that point in time. I followed Cynthia reluctantly to the dance floor telling her I didn’t know how to dance. Cynthia didn’t give a rat a#s about that. She was like a lioness that had laid hold of best prey ever. She was way beyond logical reasoning and the only language she understood was FUN.
Although I was trying to get her to understand that I didn’t want to hit the dance floor with her, I was enjoying every bit of what she was doing. Five glasses of vodka turned things around. I was in another world indeed. I eventually got to love the attention the people in the club were giving us and I began to dance. I wouldn’t know if that thing I did was called dancing but I sure moved to the rhythm of the music. I could hear them hailing and clapping from time to time and that spurred me up all the more.
As time went on I couldn’t seem to get a clear picture of anything again, nevertheless, I didn’t give anyone a dull moment because the crowd didn’t stop applauding, hailing, and laughing. Maybe I did a few Mr. Bin stuff in there. I wouldn’t know. But I know I was drooling at Cynthia while doing what seemed to me like dancing. She wiggled and wiggled that I began to entertain wild thoughts I hadn’t entertained in years. Mehn, this Cynthia is one hell of a girl. You need to meet her.
The light that gave life to my sight shrunk until it was no more. Even the sound of noise and music gradually reduced until everywhere became silent like a grave yard. Then I heard Cynthia saying; don’t sleep on me little boy. She was smiling, she was drooling, and she was grinning. I opened my eyes to realize that she was trying to lead me to her car and head back home. My eyes were fixed on her lips. The allurement of her lips made me return the smile, grin and drool. I could tell she was screaming the words she was saying to me but it sounded to me like she was miming to nothing. I tried to keep myself awake but as soon as Cynthia moved the car and the cool from the factory fitted air conditioner of the car made contact with my sweaty skin, my eyelids hugged each other again and I lost contact with the real world.
Many things happened after I lost contact with the real world. Things like Cynthia driving me home, two of her maids assisting me to my room since my feet couldn’t carry me, taking off my cloths and leading me to the shower to have my bath and rid myself of the smell of alcohol. You’ve got to be kidding me. I thought those things only happen in China. After they put me in the shower and turned it on, I felt like an eagle that just hatched when the water touched my sweaty skin. The two maids stood there staring at me as I played under the shower like a kid who wasn’t aware of what it meant to be naked before people. It was a good thing they didn’t take off all the cloths I had on. They left me with the tommy Hilfiger boxer I had own. I bet they thought I was going to dismiss them and continue the rest by myself but they probably had the biggest shock of their lives when they saw me bath with my boxer on. That’s why they stayed back to observe me closely. They must have believed I had lost my mind. Not that I was really aware of what I was doing anyway. I had five glasses of vodka working wonders in my system.
Next thing I heard was Cynthia’s voice scolding her maids for staying back to watch me have my bath. She took it really personal. She was high, so she wasn’t acting like she normally would. Five glasses of vodka was also working wonders in her system. The maids tried to explain to her that they stayed back in case I happened to need anything since I was not in my right frame of mind. ‘How dare you say he’s not in the right frame of mind? Cynthia asked with extreme annoyance. ‘Now let me show you what it means to not be in the right frame of mind’. She drew near to them and gave them two slaps, one for each of them. I just sat back in the shower and enjoyed the drama. When I saw that Cynthia was blowing things out of proportion, I stepped in. I wonder how I managed to know she was blowing things out of proportion.
‘I told them to stay back’ I said. I really needed someone around so I stopped them from leaving’. ‘Really?’ Cynthia asked. Come on J, you should have called on me instead. She turned to her maids and said; ‘Now get out of here you two. The maids left in a hurry, then Cynthia stood there watching me do whatever I was doing. I wish I knew what I was doing. But whatever it was, it was really funny because I saw Cynthia laughing over and again at me. Maybe I was playing the clown.
After a while she stopped laughing and started advancing towards the shower slowly. After three steps she stopped and took off the fancy roller she used to pack her hair and then flipped her hair. Chai! It was such a lovely sight to behold. Again she took another three steps and stopped, unzipped the gown she wore from behind, pulled it off her both arms and let go of it. The gown dropped at once to the floor covering only her feet while the rest of her remained exposed. After another three steps, she stopped again and did something else more fascinating than the former. At that point, I lost my mind completely and would have cursed anyone who dared come between me and that temporary insanity. I sat on the floor of the bathroom watching her as she kept blowing my mind after every three steps until there was nothing left of my mind to be blown. You won’t believe this. She got into the shower and stood right in front of me unclad. I don CRAZE! She wanted to take a shower with me.
‘This had to be it’ I thought. ‘I have come to the end of the road. There’s no escape this time’.
I closed my eyes like a soldier who was giving up in a war he was determined to conquer, and then suddenly!
I opened my eyes. It was afternoon the next day and I was on my bed, still with my clothes on. I tried to remember how I ended up in my bed with clothes on after such a hot bath with Cynthia but couldn’t. Was I that drunk? Then I tried to remember the events that took place the previous night and could only remember to the point where I lost contact with the real world. Apparently, I had been sleeping and dreaming all along. Arrrrrrrgggggggg!!!!
Just then Cynthia came in to check on me. As soon as she saw me she started laughing. I didn’t understand what was funny to her. I was just analyzing her and reminiscing on the dream I just had. I then imagined it was real and laughed. Seeing that I was laughing, Cynthia laughed out all the more. I then gave a mischievous smile and said ‘you’re lucky that the entire shower thing was just a dream. If not, you wouldn’t be laughing right now’. ‘What shower thing?’ Cynthia asked. ‘Never mind’ I said. Wait a minute, were you dreaming all along? Don’t tell me you’ve been dreaming’ Come on; tell me, what was it about?’ Cynthia enquired. I’ve never seen someone smiling and licking his lips as though kissing someone while sleeping’. I was shocked to hear that. “Was I doing that?” I asked. Of course you were. I came in to check on you and found you doing that so I left. I came again some moments later and found you doing the same thing. I was flabbergasted”. I thought you were going nuts so I wanted to call for an ambulance when I heard you………
I didn’t wait for her to finish her statement. I interrupted her and told her it must have been the effect of the alcohol I had the previous night. I tried to wave that away as though it meant nothing to me but I was ashamed. Cynthia continued with the statement she was making before I cut her in. “I wanted to call for an ambulance when I heard calling my name. I thought you had seen me come into your room and wanted to say something to me but I was wrong. You laid there on that bed calling my name passionately and I got curious as to what could make you call my name in that manner while sleeping”.
“After a while you stopped but didn’t wake up. I left for a little bit only to come back and see you awake and saying I wouldn’t be laughing if it all wasn’t a dream. What happened?” Were you dreaming about me?”
I didn’t know what to tell her anymore. I had never felt so humiliated my whole life. I was ashamed and shy. In fact, if there was a plane heading for Nigeria at that moment, I would have joined it without a second thought. But this Cynthia sure knew how to cheer me up. She had correctly guessed the kind of dream I had and how humiliated I felt about it. She drew near to me smiling, pated me on the back and said; “I’m sorry to have made you have so much drink. I never knew it would have such strong effect on you”. “My bad” she said. She blamed herself for everything and made it look like such dreams only came to people under the influence of alcohol. There could be some truth in that anyway. Don’t you think?
I freshened up afterwards, had lunch and went for a work. I couldn’t stop thinking about the all that happened in the last six hours. I stopped by a park to take some air. There it seemed like everyone were in pairs. Only a few people were solo, and I was one of them. The sight I beheld pleased me and at the same time made me feel lonely. Right then I remembered Ogechi big time. I missed her a lot. I remembered back at Enugu, I never felt lonely. No moment was boring. There was always fulfillment back then. But in America, things were different. Imagine what happened last night. I had so much to drink, and that made me have a weird dream. I couldn’t imagine that happening if I was with Ogechi. I remembered the days when we had little money and no fame, watching movie with my laptop was more pleasurable than going to the movies. Squeezing ourselves to fit into a sixteen inches foam for a night was more comfortable than sleeping in a family size bed in five star hotels for eternity. Trekking from campus to our residence was more enjoyable than riding in a Lincoln Navigator to the white house. Eating together in a local restaurant was more refreshing than consuming the delicacies of royalty. We all strive to attain higher heights in life but sometimes it could be very lonely and miserable up there. I missed Ogechi but I didn’t know if she missed me too. If she did, why hadn’t she called?
I went back home pretty late and mate Cynthia sitting just outside the house. She didn’t look happy. We got talking and she told me she wasn’t happy about me leaving the house to an unknown destination without her knowledge. Cynthia had grown so fund of me that she wanted the both of us to be like five and six. She was worried sick about me just because I got out of the house without letting her know my where about. It was obvious that Cynthia saw me to be more than a friend to her cousin. She saw me as her man.
I wouldn’t blame her for that anyway. I can remember she told Lin I was her fiancé and I didn’t deny it. At the movie premiere I told some people she was my woman. All that coupled with our time out together was enough to suggest to her that I was reciprocating the feeling. Right now it was time to face reality. Cynthia loves me and I know that. I have feelings for Cynthia but I wasn’t sure it was love. It could be lust because my heart belonged to Ogechi, but that was about to change.
All the while I had closed my heart on Cynthia because I didn’t want to fall in love with her because I was in love with Ogechi. But after a while without any sort of communication with Ogechi I contemplated on giving Cynthia a chance since she was the one present with me and was showering me with all the love in the world. I didn’t know what was going on with Ogechi anymore. So I decided to let go off the feelings I had for Ogechi and start something with Cynthia. But then, I thought I should give Ogechi one more shot before proceeding to do anything I might regret in the future. I called Ogechi’s line twenty times daily for the next three days but couldn’t speak with her because she was so busy. Busier than how I last knew her to be. She had grown to become a superstar. How I wish it was I and Ogechi living like I and Cynthia were.
Since I couldn’t speak with Ogechi I was ready to make Cynthia my girl for real. I didn’t consider her age anymore. After all, she looked as young as young as Ogechi, even though she was older in age. I started planning on how and when to ask Cynthia to be my girl. She had expected me to ask her that long before now but I didn’t. I bet she wondered why I hadn’t asked her for that long. Maybe that’s why she told Lin I couldn’t express myself before women. She even thought I was a virgin. I knew Cynthia was gonna go gaga the day I asked her to be my girl, and I was gonna ask her. I guess Ogechi had also found herself some nice guy over there. Well, best of luck to the both of us.
I asked Cynthia out on a date one day. It was the day I planned to ask her to be my girl. We went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered for some Chinese meals. Getting adapted to eating with the chopstick wasn’t easy for me. Cynthia had no problems with that because she had been doing that overtime. The Chinese restaurant was my idea, so it was somewhat embarrassing not being able to properly use the chopstick. Cynthia didn’t care. Even if I peed in my pants, Cynthia wouldn’t feel ashamed of me. All those made me go crazy for her the more.
It took a while before I could properly make use of the chopstick and thus, the main purpose of the date was delayed. Finally, I could properly make use of it and that part was over. It was time for me to drop the bomb. I didn’t just want to ask her to be my girl. I wanted to make that day a very memorable one. More memorable than any good time I ever had with Ogechi in order to completely get rid of any feelings left for Ogechi. I may have summed up courage to leave Ogechi for Cynthia, but that wasn’t likely to happen without some emotional stress. So I decided to make every part of my day with Cynthia a very romantic one before proceeding to the main subject.
I had succeeded in making Cynthia smile and laugh and enjoy her time out with me. I made her feel secure with me. Even if I didn’t ask her to be my girl, nothing would have stopped her from believing that I was in love with her. If I said nothing that night, Cynthia would think that I am the kind of guy that wouldn’t easily profess love, but would rather act it. She believed beyond every iota of doubt that I was in love with her because of the things I said to her and the way I acted at that restaurant. But then, I still had to break the silence. The time came for me to utter the word that would change everything; my life, my purpose, and probably my destiny. Do I really need to do this?
The big moment came and I was about to flood her heart with melodies of love. I held her both hands from across the table and looked at her the way I looked at Ogechi the day I professed love to her. OH MY GAWD! Cynthia lost it. She knew what I was about to say. She probably had been in that position before. The look in her eyes depicted something like; “DREAM COME TRUE”. She was smiling and couldn’t wait for me to empty my heart of its content. I had almost opened my mouth to speak the words when a movie director she had introduced me to at the movie premiere walked in with his fiancée and met us on our table holding hands.
“Look who we have here! The two love birds in a Chinese restaurant. How romantic”
“Carl! Cynthia called out to the movie director as she slowly withdrew her hand to give him a handshake.
“What a coincidence” Carl said. “I’m out on a date with my fiancée.” He drew his mouth closer to Cynthia’s ear and whispered; “I’m gonna propose to her”
Cynthia screamed with excitement. The director turned to me and said; “I hope you’re here to do the same?”
I just smiled and waved that away.
“By the way, how’s the movie thing going?” the director asked me.
“What movie thing?” I asked. I had forgotten that Cynthia introduced me to him as an actor the night at the movie premiere, so he expected me to have featured in some movies already and probably working on one as we spoke. So I asked that silly question and he got confused. Immediately, Cynthia jumped in.
“He’s been reluctant about the whole thing because of the love he has for Nigerian home videos. He has climbed up the larder in the Nigerian movie industry and has gotten used to it to an extent where his desire to feature in foreign movies burns with low flames. I have been trying to talk some sense into him for a while now but he’s been resistant. I know it’s because he doesn’t know how it feels to feature in a Hollywood movie. You can bring him in and let him have a test of it can’t you? I’m sure by then his view of the whole thing will change for good”
Truth be told, Cynthia was simply irresistible. The moment she dropped the last word, Carl consented and gave me his card and booked an appointment with me. He was going to work with me on his next movie. Only Cynthia can do this. After that he left with his one in a million fiancée to another table to propose to her.
Cynthia quickly reminded me that besides Carl there were other people she introduced me to at the movie premiere who all thought of me to be a star, coupled with the Italian girl at the premiere who called on me to join her present the award to the director of the movie that was premiered. So we had to do something real quick for me to have TV appearance and Carl was the best starting point. I ended up not telling Cynthia what I brought her out on a date to tell. Instead, we started strategizing on how to make me a star in the nearest possible time and prevent shame. Was there anything this Cynthia wouldn’t do for me?
Carl and I became allies and I was given the role of the major actor to play in his movie but got disqualified because I hadn’t attained a white belt in martial arts and the major actor had to do some karate stuff with the bad men. Because of that I was given the role of the major actor in the next movie Carl was to produce, and that was a long time away.
Nevertheless, I started appearing on set to talk about the movie Carl was directing. I was part of the team and fame started coming my way little by little. I started feeling funky, but then I remembered how fame separated me from Ogechi and I promised not to let it happen with Cynthia. Whether it was real or not, I was determined to love Cynthia. Wherever I traveled to in the course of Carl’s movie, Cynthia went with me. Of course she loved such things so it wasn’t a problem for her.
Six months passed and the movie was not even half way done. It had been one year from the time I began my Masters’ Degree Program and I only had six months left to be through with it. I wasn’t in a hurry anyway, because unlike before, I had no special one to go home to except my mother, so I wasn’t bothered since no one was gonna steal her from me like I feared for Ogechi.
It was I and Cynthia now rocking the United States of America. Through Cynthia I had gotten highly connected to the people that would help me live my dreams. In addition to the connection, I started making some cool dollars, but nothing to be compared to what Cynthia and Ogechi had made already. They were rich girls, but Cynthia was richer. From all indications, I wasn’t going to settle for any other girl than Cynthia and she knew it, so she made everything she had mine. I had access to all she had, even her bank account that contained the millions of dollars she had made over the years. I wasn’t comfortable with it. I wanted to make my own money, but it wasn’t easy. Like they say; you don’t make money overnight, you make money overtime.
I was very careful not to take advantage of Cynthia in anyway. I handled all she gave me with extreme caution to prevent anything that would lead to any kind of misunderstanding in the future. Cynthia didn’t care how I handled whatever she made available for me. All she wanted was my love. She would gladly pay all the bills as long as I showed her love and care. But as a Nigerian man, I didn’t want people at home to say that a woman was the one catering for me, upon all the gifts and talents that I have. So I worked really hard with that movie director and also with the music producers I had gotten to know through Cynthia.
The music thing wasn’t coming forth as the movie thing was. Everything was flowing well with Carl’s movie and I couldn’t wait for him to be done with the present one and get started with the one I was to star in.
I thought of traveling to Nigeria to visit my mum and some other people. Of course I wouldn’t go to Nigeria for any other reason than to visit because everything I needed was in the United States, especially now that I had decided to make Cynthia a part of my life. I wanted to make United States my home because of her, so I only wanted to come back home and spend some time with my family and friends before heading back abroad.
One evening we sat just outside Cynthia’s house to catch some air. There I broke the news of my plans to travel to Nigeria. Cynthia wept like a baby at my breaking the news of my journey to her. She didn’t want me to leave. She was afraid I wasn’t going to come back. But she couldn’t find any strong reason to keep me from going home to see my mother. We spent a lot of time talking about my trip and the time of my return to America. If not that Cynthia was afraid of coming to Nigeria because of that magazine saga, she would have come along. But since she couldn’t come, she suggested we solidify our bond with a bl0*d covenant before I left. She was really afraid of losing me, even though I hadn’t opened my mouth to ask her to be my girl yet. Nawa o.
I wouldn’t enter into a bl0d covenant with anyone, not even Ogechi. So I dismissed the idea immediately she suggested it. She thought and thought of what to do to glue us together inseparably. “We have to solidify our bond before you leave” she kept saying. “And how are we supposed to do that?” I asked. “Follow me” she replied, taking me by the hand and leading me inside the house. I just followed her like a sheep being led to the slaughter, wondering how she intended to solidify our bond. Whatever it was, I was ready for it, so long as it is not a bl0d covenant.
Cynthia lead me to her room gently, pushed me to bed and made some kind of eye catching and mind troubling display before me. I knew what she was up to. That was her idea of solidifying our bond. Honestly, I wasn’t going to object this time, not for the sake of solidifying our bond but for the sake of the bl0*d that was running through my veins. I had resisted this beautiful Cynthia long enough because of my fears and conscience but at this point, her charms made me overcome those fears. The pressure I suddenly found myself in made me ready for any consequence.
Cynthia excused herself and went into the bathroom to get cleaned up while I lay on her bed watching TV and anticipating the return of the mummy. Three minutes passed and Cynthia was still in the bathroom. My phone beeped. I checked to see what notification had come in. guess what? It was a reminder about the live TV broadcast featuring Ogechi and it was set to begin in ten minutes. I had set a reminder for the date and time for Ogechi’s next live TV appearance the last time I watched a replay of a TV broadcast featuring TV stars, of which she was one. Today was that day and the time had come. But I and Cynthia had unfinished business. What do I do now? If I miss this program, I may have missed the best opportunity to talk to Ogechi because the phone line was going to be open to callers and fans and I had planned to call in when the day came. I even saved the number. And what about Cynthia? She and I had come a long way and I had made obvious to her that she had a place in my heart. How do I bypass this moment and watch Ogechi’s live broadcast? Or do I just let that go since I had settled in my mind to court Cynthia?
Watch out for episode 21 to 40
Ogechi & I
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