I knew it was my boss calling even before I turned to look.
He calls me Mr. Oshoks when 1) he is happy with my work; 2) he wants to give me some special assignment.
“Boss, what’s up?”
“My office, let’s go.”
Once inside he offered me a drink and I knew it was something serious.
“That’s single malt, man,” he said.
“I’m a cognac man, oga. Martell anytime,” I said like I always did whenever he came with his single malt gospel.
“As you get older, your taste will mature,” he told me and we both laughed.
“Erika arrived this morning. She is from our affiliate office in Jo’burg. There is a prospect they are scoping and she is here to finalise things. I need you to squire her around, show her the sights and do what you do best,” he said, drained his glass and slammed it hard on the table.
That was my signal to leave.
“Speak to admin. They have her itinerary.”
Erika Pietersen was tall, blond, svelte and sexy. She was the kind of woman that causes war between friends. She was that sexy and I knew there was no way I wasn’t going to try and get some. “Oshoko,” I said extending my hand for a shake but instead she pulled me in for a hug and two pecks on the cheek.
“Erika,” she said looking me straight in the eyes.
I had gone to meet her, after work, at the Protea Ikoyi.
“You want a drink. We can sit outside by the water. Cool?” I said cool and followed her outside.
She had on a crocheted blue top over short chinos skirt and when she sat down the skirt rode up to show lovely skin. I felt my whatchamacallit nod like an agama.
It was Thursday. Valentines was two days away and Cynthia had been gone for one night.
I had sent her a text in which I told her I was hurt that she left without ceremony and she had replied with an apology.
“Dat na opportunity for you to fashi her,” my friend Dapo said when I told him. “Form vex and then fashi. Dat girl na witch.”
When I called Ikem and told him Cynthia moved out, he said “Great, now you can act very hurt and let her go. That girl had you in her palms but your mothers prayers are working.”
What kind of friends do I have?
“So have you been working with Deji for long? He says you are his right hand man,” Erika said bringing me out of my reverie.
“Yes, about six years now. He is a good man. A slave driver, but a good one.”
The waiter arrived with a bowl of nuts and took our orders.
“Your first time?” I asked and when she cocked an eyebrow, I said “in Lagos.”
“Second time. The first time was with my boyfriend. A family visit.”
“Sad memories. I caught him in bed with a woman he said was a cousin, so I left after just two days. Never got the opportunity to see the city and now I am here for just two nights”
“We can fix that and don’t worry, you won’t catch me in bed with a cousin except her name is Erika.”
When I looked up, she was laughing in a really happy way so I knew I had pushed the door open.
“Did he come begging?” I asked as our drinks arrived.
“Of course he did. But I told him to get lost.”
“When was this?”
“Two years ago,” she said and took a sip
“So, any one new?”
“Just broke up with another Nigerian man. He wanted me to move with him to the UK.”
“Wow, you must love Nigerian men,” I said.
“Yes. I just love black men,” Erica said her eyes lingering on me.
“You know what they say, once you go black, you can’t go back,” I told her and she laughed then tracing a finger around her wine glass she said “So, do you have a girlfriend?”
“Yes. She just moved out though.”
“So, you are single?”
“You could say that,” I answered looking up and now her eyes were boring into mine.
“And do you fancy white women?”
“I fancy all women,” I said and traced a finger over the back of her hand.
Her smile was an open invitation.