“Are you kidding? You can’t possibly go back”
I look at Dammy as he stares at me like I’m mad.
“I need to. They can’t find him” I respond as I gauge his expression. He isn’t happy with me, he seems to think it’s stupid for me to go back to Abeokuta but I feel the strong need to. Dipo has suddenly disappeared a day to his wedding and for some reason I think he’s up to something stupid.
“You aren’t going back to that town, let them sort their shit themselves” Dammy says to me and directs his full glare on the road. And until the evening when we get ready to attend a movie premiere, he doesn’t say anything more to me.
“Dammy, I feel like Dipo is on to something stupid and I feel the need to stop him. In fact, I feel like I’m the only one who can stop him” I say to my best friend as we head to the venue of the movie premiere.
“You know, you are the only woman in this world who would go out of her way to ensure her man marries another woman and then start looking all over the place for him. It’s like the dude is some Christmas present you are gifting away with all your heart and then wanting to have back the next minute. Its almost ridiculous” he responds without facing me – Just like before, it is almost as if I’m not there.
I sigh as I look at him, hoping that he would at least look at me and tell me to stop staring. He’s looking very much like the movie star that he is in a blue coloured blazer, white shirt and jeans. I know the number of groupies who would die for this man, in fact, I’ve gotten insults in the past simply because they thought I was his girlfriend.
I’ve never loved him that way though, I had always wondered why but now I know it is because my heart has always been with Dipo. My stupid flawed Dipo. I hope he’s fine wherever he’s gone to hide.
I had told his mom I had to run back to Lagos to take care of some emergency and she’d understood but I haven’t called to ask if he’s been seen. Maybe I should now?
As if Dammy knows what I’m about to say, he speaks “you won’t be making any calls tonight. You’d take a breath of fresh air, party hard, meet movie stars, business executives, PR executives, photographers, wannabes, Z-list actors and enjoy every bit of the night. Drop that phone in the dashboard …better still, give me.” He snatches my phone, puts it into his pocket and then returns his gaze to the road. He does all these without smiling.
I sigh again. Ladies and gentlemen, the “mother-hen” or in this case “father-hen”(or maybe cock?) Dammy.
I am certainly not made for the life of a movie star or celebrity – All these flashing camera lights and noise around me? I look bored as I wear a fake smile while Dammy moves around the crowd greeting his colleagues and friends.
My five inch heels are beginning to make my feet hurt and I desperately want to kick off the pretty shoes, grab a glass of cold water and sleep.
“Oh she’s so beautiful!” I hear yet another movie director say to Dammy about me. I nod and smile. This is getting boring. Is this what Genevieve, Ramsey Noah, Dammy and the entire Nollywood crowd go through? Whoa, some life.
After we have greeted what seems like a gazillion people, I whisper in Dammy’s ears that I’d like to visit the ladies.
“One picture please” one photographer says to Dammy and again I pose like a zombie with a huge grin and make it towards the toilet before another one comes along.
Immediately I walk into the toilet, I kick off my shoes and hold them as I stand in front of the huge mirror.
I try a real smile this time and it doesn’t reach my eyes. I am still thinking of Dipo and I’m still missing him and hoping he’s safe. Would he attend his wedding tomorrow and marry Angie? Would he be happy with her? Would he remember me? I’m being stupid. Of course he’d marry her and forget me. Life isn’t a movie.
I take a last look at myself and my ponytail is still firmly held by the little ribbon I used to tie it and my make up is still intact. I still look as pretty as when I stepped out of the house about an hour ago.
I head towards the door after putting on my shoes and I almost collapse and someone grabs me suddenly.
“Are you his girlfriend?” The person asks referring to Dammy.
“No!” I say a little too loud, wondering why this young man would be so interested in that news. Wouldn’t they all write whatever on their blogs by tomorrow morning anyway?
“Oh thank God. He’s still single yeah?” He asks me and I wonder why I’m being tortured like this.
“You might want to ask him that…” I say
“He’s such a cute man with chiseled jaw, broad shoulders, firm hands…”
And then the realization suddenly hits me. My companion is very gay! Oh wow. Dammy would love this. I laugh inwardly. At least this would serve him right for seizing my phone.
“I could introduce you guys” I say with a sly smile on my face.
“Gee, thanks!” He says as his face lights up.
Hehehe, hopefully they both don’t end up in jail for fourteen years.
“The next time you do that I’d kill you!” Dammy says to me and I laugh very hard. He’s still angry at me for setting him up with his male admirer. “I owe you one Dolapo. I totally owe you one”
I put my tongue out and keep laughing at him. When we return to the apartment it is very late and I drag my feet to the guest room.
“Your phone” he says and I grab it.
I see four missed calls from Dipo and I’m excited, knowing he must have been safe to call me.
“Dipo called. I should call him” I say
“Why?” He asks, looking at me as if I just uttered some blasphemy of some sort.
“He called, Dammy. Let me call back to be sure he’s safe” I say and try to call Dipo back but his phone is switched off. I try more a couple of times but its the same response.
Dammy crosses the room and stands very close to me “Dolapo, you are going to get hurt” he begins to say, “let me take care of you…” And then he covers my mouth with his and it takes a short while before I know what is going on.
When I can think, I shove him aside. “What in the world are you doing?” I ask, not believing that he just tried that.
“Dammy, we can’t do this. Its not who we are”
“Oh, its not who we are? I’m too far deep in this friend zone to be who you want?”
I’m slightly irritated at that statement. “Dammy, what in the world is wrong with you? We’ve never discussed this. Why are you suddenly thinking you’ve been friend zoned? What’s that?” What’s friend zone by the way? Wasn’t that term composed by a bunch of small boys? Why is it suddenly my best friend’s term to me?
“You’d rather take a man who left you for another woman over me? You’d rather have a complicated situation than see the world with me?” He asks and I try to search his eyes, hoping it would reveal what he’s thinking. Is he nuts?
“I can’t believe you” I mutter.
“I can’t believe you Dolapo. Life isn’t this hard, why leave this for that”
I nod. And after a few minutes I dash into the guest room and lay on the bed. I can’t believe Dammy just tried to kiss me. Is he mad? Or high? Did he maybe have weed at the event? But he isn’t the one to take weed, I wonder as I bolt the door and head to the bathroom.
I sit on the toilet seat and continue to think about what type of demon just possessed my best friend of a year and a half when my phone rings.
Hoping that it might be Dipo, I run to the room and grab the phone. When I realise it isn’t him, I’m slightly disappointed but I pick it anyway to find out who the person is.
“Hi Dolapo, its Angie. Thank you very much for letting him come back to me. We get married tomorrow morning and I’d forever be grateful for this.”
I don’t say anything to her.
“And Dolapo, please don’t ever come back” she adds and hang up.
Bitch. I mutter and roll my eyes as it stings all over again.
My phone rings again and its Dipo this time. Oh what now? Am I being called to be the mother of the day?
“Hello…” He says when I pick. “I wanted to be the one to call first and explain a few things to you…”
I’m heartbroken, shattered, hurt and I don’t let him finish whatever he has to explain.
“Are you getting married to her?” I ask, wondering why this is getting harder than I thought.
“Yes Dolapo but…”
I hang up, switch off my phone and throw it across the room as I lay on the bed and cry a river. Oh, please make that an ocean