The taxi driver glared at her through the rear view mirror, tapping on the clock on the dashboard. She rolled her eyes at him and got out of the cab. She walked to the white gate across the street and stopped just short of ringing the door bell, her phone pressed to her ear. Farhad’s parents knew he was going to a party, they just didn’t know she was the one taking him. And on second thoughts, it was better she kept it that way.
“Tomiwa!!! What the hell is taking you so long?” Kike hissed into the receiver, “the cab man is getting restless and I don’t have money to pay oh!”
“I said I’m coming. Two more minutes!” Farhad yelled from the wardrobe.
He’d put Kike on speaker phone for the last twenty minutes as he had a mini panic attack on what to wear. He picked out the navy blue blazer from the hanger and replaced it with the white one on his back. A white blazer to a house party where there’d be drinking was a colossally bad idea. A stream of insults came from his phone’s speakers and concluded with Kike threatening to leave. He mumbled another apology and changed the navy blazer for a black cashmere jumper. She’d have to wait, this was his first time meeting her crew. First impressions were everything.
“Don’t your parents suspect anything?” Louise asked from her bed. “After all, the last time we went out, you ended up getting piss drunk.”
Panlam shrugged. “We’ve been doing this since our first periods and you still don’t trust that I’ve learnt a trick or two. I’ll find a way to sober up before morning.”
Louise joined Panlam by the wall length mirror and compared looks. Her low cut floral jumpsuit was the perfect complement to her 34D breasts and her 40inch hips. Next to her, Panlam’s steady diet of sky high mini dresses looked positively trashy. Not that Panlam cared, with a 30-26-36 figure, she could make absolutely anything look good. Sometimes, she secretly gloated about Panlam’s home situation, it was her little consolation that there was a God after all. She stole a glance out her window at the storeyed buildings paved with cobbled streets and wondered how many other girls were doing the exact same thing right now, leaving their V.G.C cocoon to go party in the real world. She sighed, picked her android and called the driver.
“Babe, they’ve started coming!” Xhiz called from the kitchen.
Tariebi shuffled over in her heel-less wedges and peered over Chibuzor out the kitchen window. Headlights shone into her street, growing brighter as the car they announced advanced down her straight. The lights stalled in front her apartment complex and the car’s occupants exited. She sighed and went out to open the front door. Her demeanor soured even more when she recognised the familiar slap-slap of feet on her stairs. She opened the door and Saanyol strolled in, hands burdened with two Shoprite bags, both distorted bulging with liquor bottles. He leaned in and kissed Tariebi on the cheek before handing the bags over.
“Am I the only one here already? You said 8 and I tried so hard to be fashionably late.”
Tariebi nodded at the kitchen. “Xhiz came early to help set up.”
“Hmmmm!” Saanyol looked up and noticed the helium balloons that crowded the ceiling. “Nice touch, very Mo’Cheddah.”
Tariebi opened the first bag and retrieved three bottles of alcohol. She hissed, only one of the three bottles was vodka, the other two were a nasty coffee liqueur brand only Saanyol drank. It reminded her why she hadn’t bothered to invite him in the first place.
Tariebi felt the pocket of her skinny jeans vibrate. She fished out the phone, thankful she’d thought to keep it on herself. It was a text from Panlam, they’d been knocking at the door for almost five minutes. Tari did a quick survey for Chibuzor and hissed when she couldn’t find him. He was supposed to be on door duty. She pushed and begged her way through the mob of almost fifty sweating it out in her living room to strobe lights and trance music and got the door herself. Panlam and Louise stumbled in, flushed and empty handed. Tariebi hissed.
“This is a BYOL y’know?”
Louise raised her voice to be heard over the music. “So sorry, we left really late and all the stores were closed. Where’s Chibuzor?”
“That idiot! He must be somewhere dancing instead of manning the door like he promised. Follow me, let me get you guys drinks.”
“Maybe later.” Panlam said and excused herself,.
She made a beeline for the ‘dance floor’ where Saanyol was nursing a glass of coffee liqueur and shuffling on his feet, pretending not to have noticed them walk in.
“Baby!” He said with mock surprise as Panlam punched him on the shoulder.
She liked how his blazer with pushed up sleeves perfectly complemented his fitted slacks and Henley shirt but she said nothing, Saan didn’t respond well to compliments.
“Just because you think Louise’s so sweet she makes your teeth hurt doesn’t mean you get to skip on saying hi to her.”
Saan frowned. “I love you, but one of these days, I’m going to kill you. Besides Le Lover is here, with the Muslim cousin. I’m just trying to survive the night.”
“Strength in numbers.” Panlam replied, dragged him over to the door and made him shake Louise.
Farhad walked out of the kitchen closely trailed by Kike. He was holding a bottle of coke and she, a glass of coffee liqueur. She held him back as he made to join the partiers in the living room and pointed surreptitously to a group of four by the door.
She sighed. “Those are my friends, the ones I was telling you about. The tall skinny one with hair down to her butt is Tariebi, she’s a model that has bounced around a few agencies but she’s always hustling side jobs. The fat one with the pretty eyes is Louise Juniper Adegoke, Junie the poet on Twitter. Her parents are beyond stupidly rich but she’s very loner-y. The other one in the whorish black dress is Panlam, her parents are rich too but they’re MFM so she doesn’t get any real freedom. And the asshole in the blazer is Saanyol, my boyfriend. We’re on a low right now so I’m really not in the mood.”
Farhad tried to hide his confusion. “Err… So should we go find somewhere quiet to sit and avoid them all together?”
Kike sighed again. “Nah, they’ve already seen me see them. And I don’t want them to think of me as more of a bitch than I already am.”
She downed her drink and barrelled her way through the dance floor to get to the crew. She snaked her arms around Saanyol’s waist when she reached them, displacing Panlam from beside him in the process. Panlam chuckled in amusement and introduced herself to Farhad. She then introduced Louise, Tariebi and Saanyol to him and laughed when Saanyol couldn’t answer because he was exchanging coffee liqueur flavored saliva with Kike.
She leaned in and whispered to him. “Louise is just as wide eyed as you are, could you be a darling and twirl her around for a few songs?”
Farhad wasn’t really interested, but Louise was fidgeting badly and he didn’t want to humiliate her in front of her friends. So he nodded, and walked over to the blushing Louise.
“May I have this dance.?”
The Deejay had switched from the beat heavy trance songs to the more sultry crooning of Justin Timberlake and Ciara’s Love, Sex and Magic. The lights were off and the throng of bodies that had been scattered randomly around throwing Azonto moves were now clearly separated into writhing pairs. Farhad gave the room another once over before deciding it was okay to put his hands on Louise. He guided her hands onto his neck and followed the curves down to the swell of her hips. Louise smiled in the dark as Farhad ground into her slowly, mimicking her body perfectly. She was extra glad she’d worn her extra high platforms; because of them her buttocks were flush against Farhad’s crotch and the growing bulge therein showed just appreciative he was of her ministrations. His hands snaked their way up from her hips and cupped her breasts and a moan escaped her.
Farhad was a bit of a mystery, he’d seemed so naïve when they met yet here he was, handling her like a professional. She ground into him again, eager to match him. She felt him back away from her and she froze, afraid she’d done something wrong. Then she felt it, moist lips on her neck, trailing kisses down the length of her collar bone. She pushed her fingers into his curly thatch and guided him to her nape and whimpered as he found her spots. Xhiz was good but this one was… different.
“Give me a second, I’ll come back and find you.” Farhad murmured hoarsely in her ear and left her shivering with lust in the middle of the room.
Click! Click!! Click!!!
Farhad groaned in frustration. This was the second bedroom and it was locked. He looked down at the tent in his trousers and groaned again. It had been almost five minutes and it hadn’t even subsided. That Louise girl was one hell of a minx and that her body had given him all sorts of ideas. There was only one place left to try. Farhad shuffled down the corridor and pushed into the door at the end. It opened with some effort and he flicked on the light switch.
“What the entire loving fuck is going on here?”
Farhad noticed the bodies tangled by the edge of Grecian style bath tub swapping saliva. Both short haired. He swore again as he recognised the one who was being straddled. It was one of their friends, he’d seen a whole folder of pictures of him and Kike together. Even bug eyed from shock he was still so pretty he hurt to look at. Farhad turned sharply and bumped into someone. It was Tariebi. He pushed past her, and down the corridor. She followed, struggling to keep pace in her wedges. She finally cornered him in the kitchen where he had banked and was trying to pour himself a glass of vodka with shaky hands. She took the bottle from him, returned it to the table.
“We need to talk.”
“What was fuck was that!”. Farhad swore.
“You’re shouting again, and you promised me you’d be calm.” Tariebi replied.
Farhad apologised promptly. They were downstairs behind one of the cars one of the partiers had brought. At this time of the night Tariebi’s neighbours were most likely asleep and it made no sense to wake them to prove his point.
“Thank you.”She replied.
“So who was that guy? I’ve seen pictures of him with Kike.”
Tariebi sighed. “That’s Chibuzor, or Xhiz. Another of our friends. It was his Friends With Benefits that you were feeling up on the dance floor.”
“Yeah. Xhiz likes to flirt with dangerous, anti-establishment behavior. His parents are practicing atheists and they encourage him to live out of the ‘law’.”
Farhad started to rant. “That doesn’t mean shit. That is Haram. It’s fucking wrong and…”
“Unnatural and against religion.” Tariebi cut in. “I know, I know. I wasn’t aware that Xhiz was going to make a move on someone in my house. But its done now and I’ll deal with that my own way.”
Farhad cocked an eyebrow. “But?”
Tariebi was impassive. “But, I want you to keep this between you and I. No tweets, no rants, no random subliminal message or anything of the sort. They could easily blame drunkenness or even say they did nothing and I’ll second them and you’ll be labelled a liar. So please, keep this between us.”
Farhad stared at her in shock. He wanted to say something but coherence seemed to elude him so he ended up asking why.
“They’re my friends. Anything bad that pops up about them will directly or indirectly affect me. Don’t get wrong, I’m not stupid. I’m a secondary school drop out, yet I roll with them. I have earned my respect by keeping my mouth shut until it was advantageous to open it. That is how we Gidi kids operate.”