Driving towards The Island, speakers blaring 9ice’s Gongo Aso that seemed to be all the rave of the moment, windows rolled down, letting the cool evening breeze serenade him as he tried to push the thoughts of the events of earlier that day away from his mind.
Slowing down as he reached a bit of traffic ahead of him, he picked up his phone, and dialed Lola’s number. It rang for a while then she cut the call. He rang her again, she cut the call again. He kept dialing and she kept cutting until he got to an exit of the highway and he took it. He found a bar on the road he had taken and then he parked, got down and went in.
Expecting to see the usual throngs of people usually in places like these, he was surprised at the sparse population of the place. It seemed like the universe was smiling down on him for the first time that day considering how everything had gone awry. Sitting down at a very quiet corner, he ordered for a double shot of whisky just to take the edge off. Reaching for his phone, he called Lola again. She kept cutting the call. He kept calling until she picked up the phone and screamed “Go to hell you asshole” and then hung up.
He asked the barkeep to keep it coming. By the time he looked at his watch, it was just a little past nine. Looking down at the table, he could see he was 3 double whiskies in. He decided he had had enough. Standing up, he went to settle his bill and then went to the bathroom to splash water on his face. Reaching for paper towels, he grabbed some and used them to wipe his face.
After he was done wiping his face, he started for his car outside in the parking lot. Reaching outside, his lungs grabbed the opportunity to grab fresher oxygen not laced with tobacco smoke. Dragging lungful after lungful he felt a lot better. He knew he was still buzzed but he was also a lot less lightheaded than earlier. Opening the driver side car door, he leaned against the door of the car and fished in his pocket for his phone. Finding his phone, he searched his recent calls list and dialed TY’s number.
She answered on the second ring.
“Hello”, she said.
“Hey you”, Chris answered back.
“Where are you?” She asked.
“I’m on The Island”, Chris said.
“Already? We won’t even be ready to leave for another two or three hours.”
“I know. I had nothing else to do and what with the you-know-what.”
“Oh okay. Sorry about that. So where exactly are you?”
“I’m just about to leave one bar like that. If I stay there any longer, the urge to get belligerently drunk will be too much. I’m deciding to flee from temptation”
“Oh. Your Sunday School teaching is still very much in effect, huh?”
Chris laughs and says “Yes. I guess so.”
“Hold on let me call you back. I need to ask the girls something.”
“Okay” Chris said.
He was still leaning on the opened door of the car as he was considering what else to do. Go in for another round? Drive around town see all the places he should just see for the fun of it? Call some of those party animals he didn’t know their plans for the evening but knew they’d eventually make their way to The Island? As he was pondering all of these, one thing was for certain. None of those plans involved him going home or back to the hostel tonight. He really didn’t feel like being alone.
Tired of standing and feeling a lot calmer than he was earlier, he sat down on the driver seat with his legs outside the car and the door opened wider. He was still deep in thought when he heard his phone ring. Picking it up from the dashboard where he had kept it, he answered.
“Hello” Chris said.
“Hey. I went to talk with my girls.”
“O. . . K”
“Yeah, we think it’s okay if you come to our suite.”
“Yeah. We think we should all kill time together instead of you drinking yourself into a stupor.”
“They think that or you think that?”
“Well I did. But I convinced them. Besides, seeing that I asked you here, it’s only fair.”
“So you went to get permission?” Chris said then laughed.
“No not like that. We all paid equally for the suite. So it’s their suite as much it’s mine.”
“Yes. Really. So are you coming or not?”
“Ok. So where’s this place?”
“Federal Palace Hotel. You know it, right?”
“Yeah. I know it.”
“Okay. We’ll be expecting you”
“Wait. How many are you people there?”
“Drive safely.” She said then hung up.
Federal Palace Hotel. No wonder them guys said she was trouble. Chris thought to himself. He swung his legs into the car, shut the door and started the car. Revving the engine, he engaged the gears and off he went in the general direction of Federal Palace Hotel. Finding his way there, he got waved in by the gate attendant and shown where to park by the hungry-for-a-tip valet. He parked the car, handed the bright eyed young man a two hundred Naira note and then started off in the direction of the reception area.
On his drive to the hotel, TY had texted him some details about their suite so he doesn’t appear to be asking too many questions and seem like an out-of-work thrill-seeker. Getting to the reception desk, he gave the attendant all the necessary information and then the attendant called up to the suite to find out if they were expecting him or if he was just a con man looking for his next mark. After the receptionist was done sizing him up and checking him out, she passed on a thickset book with a pen lodged somewhere in the middle to sign in. When he was done signing the hotel register, she directed him which way to go to get to the particular suite he had been asking after. Expressing his ersatz gratitude – he had become an expert at showing – for the banal information the attendant had supplied, he headed off to find the suite.
Getting to the door, he knocked and called out.
“Room service” Chris said in that sing-song voice that had become the cliché for hotel servants.
Getting to the door and opening it, TY was a vision. She just leaned on the door frame in the most demure and slutty outfit combination mix even his mildly buzzed mind could not have imagined. It appeared like the stuff wet dreams were made of.
“Aren’t you a vision for tired eyes” Chris said, flirting almost automatically.
Smiling and in a most angelic way TY said “Well. . . I try”
“Stop sounding like a vestal virgin” Chris retorted.
“What’s a Vestal Virgin? And you do know that nobody says “Room Service” in the way you did in this part of the world, right?” TY said.
“Well. . . there’s that. So are you gonna let me in or make me stand out here?”
“I’m just stalling you. One of my girls was completely naked as I came to the door. She’d just come out of the bathroom”
Chris left eyebrow shot up “Oh really?”
“Yes really. Although I reckon she must be decent by now, and if not, good day for you and bad day for her. Although I doubt she’d be offended in the slightest.”
“And why not?”
“She’s an exhibitionist. You’d find out soon enough”
“Yes. Come on in.”
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