SEAMS S1: Signs

 


“Hallelujah! Mummy please raise a song for us.”

Panlam rolled her eyes from her perch on the plush couch in the living room of their detached duplex as she watched her pyjama clad parents clap and sing in off-key voices. For a house as large as theirs, it was surprisingly devoid of froufrou. The chairs were one of the few luxuries left in the house, those and the massive beds and state of the art kitchen. Her mother fought to keep the kitchen, she loved to cook and wasn’t going to use a kerosene stove just to please her father.

Panlam clapped and mouthed the words to the praise songs her parents enthusiastically sang as she stared longingly at the yawning space where their large flat screen TV used to be, now occupied with the table piled with board games and Sudoku puzzle books. Her father had donated it along with everything he considered a ‘negative influence’.

“Panlam!”

“Sir?”

“Panlam, can you even pretend to be interested in this devotion? I asked you to say a closing prayer.”

———————————————————

CHAT HISTORY

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Saanyol, please reply my messages.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

I know you don’t respect or care for me. Or anything of the sort. But please, this goes beyond our petty issues. Its life and death.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

PING!!!

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

PING!!!

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Saanyol, if you ever loved me, please pick up your phone and answer me. :'(

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Sent VN12400gHms

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

PING!!!

Saanyol ¯..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯

Kikelomo, what part of ‘over’ don’t you understand? Won’t you let me fucking breathe? If you send me one more message, I’ll delete you.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Saanyol please, just listen to me.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Saan?

(Message not delivered, recipient does not exist)

—————————————————

“Father?”

Panlam stuck her head in to the darkened room lit only by the adjustable reading lamp overhead. From when she was little, her father’s study always reminded her of an interrogation room but now she hated it even more because she wasn’t an innocent six year old anymore. He looked up from the documents he was poring over and beckoned her in. She slipped in through the door and left it ajar so light from the corridor softened the darkness and took the seat opposite him. In his half moon glasses pulled down over his slim nose and the stubble that mulched his sunken cheeks and provided definition for his deep set eyes, he looked exactly like her; but they were different now, so different.

“How was school?”

“Fine father.”

He pursed his thin lips. “You know how I feel about you using these artificial things on your head. A woman’s glory is her hair.”

“I know father, it’s just that my hair is breaking and I want to give it time to recover.”

“I give you enough to care for your hair. Remove it as soon as you can.”

“Yes father.”

He sighed. “Panlam, you’ve been back for more than two weeks now and you’ve barely spent a day at home. You and Mr. Adegoke’s daughter are always together again, like when you were children and your brother was still here with us. I don’t mind you spending time with her. She’s such a nice girl, polite and always smiling. Such a delightfully innocent child. I just wish you’d stay home more, remember that your mother is lonely and she misses you.”

Panlam looked down at her nails as she cleaned them with a piece of folded paper. She said nothing, because she knew he took replies literally and would hold her to whatever she said. He pushed off the plush office chair, rounded the huge mahogany table littered with accounting ledgers and came to sit beside her. The sudden proximity made her even more uncomfortable. She shook her braids down to hide her face and thumbed through the documents on his table.

He put a hand on her shoulder.

“Panlam, your mother told me you don’t like how strict we are with you. And I understand, you are almost twenty and this lack of freedom must be frustrating. But the bible says, spare the rod and spoil the child and I would rather pull you out of school entirely and lock you up in this house till we find you a God fearing husband before I let you go out there and end up a disgrace to us like your brother. Jesus Christ has given us all a new chance at life and I will make sure you use yours to the best of my ability.”

His grip tightened on her shoulder and he urged her up, gathering her into a smothering hug. Panlam wrapped her hands around his slim torso and hugged back, reluctantly enjoying the solidness of her father’s intimidating presence.

“Just two more years Panlam. Two years and you will be done with textile science and you’ll join me in running the business. Everything I have is for you.”

He released her from his embrace and pushed a wad of notes into her hand before returning to his chair.

“Go out today; see a movie or whatever it is you children do nowadays. But don’t stay out too late.”

Panlam smiled as she slipped out of the study, a stolen cheque leaf hidden in between the naira notes in her hand.

——————————————————

————————————————–

Her head was blissfully silent as she concentrated solely of milking as much pleasure as possible from the warm body underneath her. Panlam liked being on top, it appealed to her well hidden feminist persuasions and gave her a feeling of control in the most spontaneous of situations. She also liked to keep her bra on, at least one illusion left perfect. Just the thought of flailing breasts made her shudder.

She kept her moaning down to whimpers so she could hear his heavy breathing as she ground into him faster and faster, daring him to take charge and flip her over. Instead he arched to meet her and bit his lip to silence himself. She smiled; he was so passive aggressive, made things infinitely more interesting. She dug her nails into his chest and settled into him, letting him finish her off. He took charge under her, following buck after buck in quick succession till her chest rose and fell in orgasmic gasps. She rolled off him and lit a cigarette. He reached over and held her hand away from her mouth.

“Not so fast, I haven’t kissed you yet.”

Panlam sighed and let him kiss her deeply, snaking her tongue into his mouth and letting him taste of it before pushing him off. He shimmied off the bed and went out into the living room to go find his underwear and she dragged deeply of her cigarette. She was slightly annoyed by how he always wanted the ‘kiss’ after they had sex; it always spoilt the high for her. She finished the cigarette with a few more deep drags and straightened the straps of her brassiere before pulling on her lace panties. He came in with a glass of vodka and cranberry juice for himself and a mug half filled with a coke and Irish cream mixture. She sat up and took the mug. They drank slowly as Saanyol told her of Kike’s attempts to contact him.

“You should take her back.” Panlam suggested once he’d finished his story.

“I know, I know. She’s loyal to me, even with all the boys that surround her. But I can’t face her right now without feeling guilty. I may be an asshole but I’m not a woman beater.”

“People make mistakes. I think if she takes you back, you shouldn’t hesitate.”

Saanyol drew close to her. “But I like this. You and I, best friends who help each other satisfy urges. I don’t need anything more.”

Panlam chortled and picked up her camisole off the sheets. “You forget that I know you better than anyone else, you’ll never be satisfied. Every person who you lure into your bed is an ego trip for you. But fucked up as you are, you somehow really love her. Don’t deceive yourself otherwise.”

Saanyol gave a rueful laugh. He hated that she was right, every single time. She’d raised her hands over her head and started to slide down the camisole when he suddenly pushed her onto the bed and climbed on top of her, kissing down to her navel as she struggled to free her head from within the camisole. She stopped struggling the moment his lips touched her panty line. He looked up at her and grinned.

“One more ego trip before you go?”

————————————————————–

CHAT HISTORY

Arab Money

Hey, just opened my twitter, you’ve flooded my DM’s. What’s up?

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

You promised you were coming? Where are you?

Arab Money

I’m in Prof Arigbede’s class. She asked for you but thankfully I covered and said you were sick. Why didn’t you come?

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

I went to sell the phone. They cheated me but I think I have enough in case I need it. The class is ending four right?

Arab Money

Yeah.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Can we see after it? Please, please, please, this is really important.

Arab Money

Yeah Sure.

——————————————————-

“Hey, I’m almost there.” Panlam said as she crossed the street.

It was almost four pm and she’d been in the restaurant outside the Ecobank building for almost thirty minutes. She paid for her drink and straightened her pencil skirt, making sure to tuck in the sheer blouse she wore atop it. It still smelt faintly of Saanyol. She crossed over to the bank and joined the throng that made up the pre-close crowd, just making it in before the security guards at the revolving doors began to turn people away.

She stepped into the metal detectors and peered through the plexi-glass into the hall on the other side. There were easily over a hundred customers spread around swarming the few available tellers. She slipped past the crowd and headed for the complaint’s desk. A mousy man-boy with shifty eyes and a tie too big for the shirt he wore inside his blazer was seated fidgeting with his pen as he watched her approach. She sat opposite him and slid over the blank cheque leaf which he quickly collected and filled in a barely legible script. He passed it back to her and she signed in all the appropriate areas with a passable forgery of her mother’s signature.

“The usual?” He asked before he stamped the cheque.

“No, 200,000 this time around. There are a lot of weddings she’s been invited to over the next two months, so I doubt he’ll even cross check.”

“Okay, so still the same 40-40-20 sharing format?”

“No. My brother doesn’t know how much I’m siphoning this time. Send him the usual 48,000 and take 40 for yourself and push the rest to my account.”

“The local or Domiciliary.”

“Domiciliary.”

She watched vigilantly as the cheque was stamped and processed and only stood up when she felt her clutch vibrate. She flashed a disarming smile and excused herself, making her way to across the expansive hall to the exit, stopping momentarily to tip the illiterate guards who showered effusive praise on her while they ogled her behind. She increased her pace to a brisk walk and crossed the gate, fighting to hide her nervous jitters till she was able to successfully hail a cab.

“VGC.”

The cab slowly accelerated, taking with it her urge to panic. She fished out her phone and opened her email, where the electronic letter that announced the successful deferment of her admission to the Art Institute of New York City sat. She sighed. Just a few more months of this and she’d be able to pay her way through and leave this all behind her.

————————————————————-

Farhad’s phone vibrated in his satchel before the Verve’s bittersweet symphony rang from its tinny speakers. He pulled out the phone and cringed when he saw the caller I.D. The prof had given an impromptu open test and in the ensuing craziness he’d completely forgotten he was supposed to see Kike. He tapped the answer icon and put the phone to his ear. All he could hear was unintelligible mumbling punctuated with sniffling.

“Kike, Why are you crying? Talk to me?”

“You said you were going to come!”

“I know, I know. Arigbede gave a test and I forgot afterwards. Just tell me what happened.”

“I, I think I’m pregnant.”

SEAMS S1: Eyes Wide Open

————————————————–

Farhad locked the screen of his iPhone 4S and hissed. It was just so lame that almost a week after the diss account had tried to use him and his ‘friends’ to gain cheap publicity, they were still getting tabled as discussion topics on Twitter. Some idiot had put up a picture of him, linked it to the tweet about him and all around Unilag and now people kept stop and staring. That was probably why Kike was keeping a low profile, and honestly he didn’t blame her. These people were vultures.

He pulled his grey hoodie up and kept his head down as he walked out the Faculty of Arts complex, passing in front of the senate building and down the concrete steps that led down to the back paths. He detoured through the faculty of Engineering when he noticed a posse of girls from his department heading along the path to the lagoon front and stopped just shy of Upper Crust. Kike had told him the artsy alternative ones hung out there, snubbing the Mr. Biggs franchise at the car park.

He could see the appeal of the place, grand transparent windows added to the proximity of Upper Crust to the lagoon front and eccentric seating but food was food and he couldn’t be bothered with where he ate it. He waved as he noticed Tariebi seated at the back table away from the large windows, her long hair pulled into a ponytail that poured onto the back of her jade cashmere sweater that perfectly complemented her dark blue skinny jeans. She looked up and beckoned for him to come in.

She pushed a plate of chicken and chips in front of him as he sat down on the wrought iron chair beside hers and smiled.

“I hope you’re not one of those chauvinist types who won’t let a girl pay for his food?”

Farhad took a drumstick and tore off a chunk of flesh in response.

“So what’s up?”

“Do you know what the Charlatans is?”

Farhad shook his head.

“Well, it’s this cool t-shirt brand by this Nigerian designer. They have a new collection of clothes out and they need 3 female models and one male model for an editorial campaign. I showed them a picture of you and they want you to model for them.”

Farhad’s eyes widened. “Wallahi, I didn’t see that coming. Why would they want me?”

Tariebi sighed and uncrossed her legs so they slightly touched his.

“Well, you have exotic features, you’re six foot two plus I don’t see anyone who can resist your cute curly hair. How long is it now?”

“It’s about seven inches. Forget that, don’t these gigs usually happen only when you know someone who knows someone?”

“You know me.” Tariebi replied curtly.

Farhad’s hand absently found its way into his scalp. He noticed immediately and tried to pretend he wanted to pull out a strand to show her.

She saw through the ruse and smirked. “You can’t hide that you’re crushing on me, can you?”

Farhad grimaced. “Nah, it’s nothing of the sort. In fact, Louise and I are pretty close, been wanting to ask her out. Perhaps a photo shoot would make an interesting date.”

Tariebi rolled her eyes and pushed off her seat.

“Whatever you say, Hausa boy. DM me your phone number so I can call you with details.”

“Okay.” Farhad called after Tariebi, muttering Hausa curse words as soon as she was out of earshot.

He couldn’t have handled that any more stupidly if he tried. He picked his phone and opened his twitter client, if he was going to drown, might as well enjoy it.

—————————————————————


——————————————————-

“Musa, you can go home, I might stay a bit.”

“Are you sure sister Louise? Madam doesn’t need me for rest of the day.”

“Yeah, I’m sure.”

Louise watched the SUV pull out and slowly drive off, leaving her alone in front of the Adeniran  Ogunsanya mall. She’d never been here before and it looked a whole lot smaller than the Palms Mall back in Lekki. Its blue and white tiled entrance that made it feel a little like the entrance to an European bath house.

She fished out her iPhone from her bag and checked her notifications. There were a slew of direct messages from Farhad, telling her exactly where he was and what he was doing. It was a location shoot in the Laundromat within the mall. It slightly bothered her that Farhad hadn’t bothered to call since she sent him her number a few days before, but she chalked it up to his Northerner eccentricities. There were also a number of Whatsapp messages from Xhiz asking where she was, those she promptly ignored as she made her way into the mall.

She shrieked the minute she saw the clean shaven head behind the camera in the middle of the Laundromat. He swivelled and smiled when he noticed her and had to employ quick reflexes to catch her as she flung herself into his hands.

“L.J Adegoke, its been what, a year now?”

Louise blushed. “Almost two. Mommy still loves the family portrait you shot but dad’s all sold on Amadi Obi now.”

The photographer laughed heartily. “No hard feelings. So why are you crashing my shoot?”

Louise extricated herself from Obi Somto and looked around.

“I was invited by a friend, the only male model on the shoot?.”

“Ah, the Fulani looking one. He should be here soon. He just finished his solo and he should be in the back room getting a wardrobe change.”

He turned back to the model who was standing by one of the massive dryers repeatedly tapping her foot and chuckled. “We’ve pissed the top model off. You should sit and wait for him.”

Louise’s eyes widened when she recognised Tariebi under the mountain of hair they’d saddled her with. She waved enthusiastically and mouthed an apology which Tariebi pretended not see, her focus directed solely at the camera. She didn’t mind the obvious snub, that the photographer had completely abandoned Tariebi mid-pose to exchange pleasantries with her was more than enough compensation. She walked to the couch beside the door and sat, burying her smug smile in the copy of Storm Born by Rachelle Mead she was reading.

“Your hair was shorter the last time I saw you.”

Louise looked up and broke into an awed grin. Farhad looked so beautiful. His curly hair had been straightened out and swept into loose side bangs and his skin was all smooth from the light make up. He put out a hand and helped her up, and scooped her into a hug. The moment seemed so perfect she couldn’t help herself, she kissed him. His lips were soft from the balm they used and they grew even softer as they parted for her. She swooned a little in her head, this moment was…

“Ahem!”

They broke apart awkwardly, turning towards the front entrance where Xhiz stood, observing them with what was a mixture of revulsion and amusement. Louise suddenly felt the need to tug up the top of her strapless sundress. Xhiz completely ignored Louise’s fidgeting and thrust his arm out at Farhad. He took it and shook firmly.

“Can I borrow you away from your date for a minute?”

“She isn’t my date, but sure.” Farhad replied defensively.

Xhiz chuckled at Louise and gestured towards the door. Farhad took the cue and Xhiz followed, leaving a clueless Louise standing awkwardly in the foyer.

“What’s all this for?” Farhad asked coldly.

Xhiz raised his hands in mock surrender. “Hey, we’re friends aren’t we, this hostility’s a tad unnecessary.”

“Okay, this is me being friendly. Why do you want to see me?”

“Tariebi said if I didn’t tell you, she would. So here I am. I was the one who helped get you this gig. I felt it would be a perfect way to find your feet and carve your niche and…”

“…keep my mouth shut about what I saw at the party.”

“I didn’t say that.”

Farhad spat and tucked his bangs behind his ear. “I’m not stupid, I watch TV too. I can tell a bribe when I see one, which is what you’ve turned your ‘gesture’ into by owning up to it. I’d given Tariebi my word that I wouldn’t say anything and I wont. In future, keep your fucking help to yourself.”

Xhiz swallowed a hiss. “Okay, thanks. But I really think you’d make a great model. I wouldn’t have suggested you otherwise.”

Farhad gave a tight lipped smile.”Thanks for your optimism. You coming in to watch the shoot?”

Xhiz shrugged. “Nah, I’ll see the pictures after.”

“Of course.”

Xhiz patted Farhad on the shoulder and stalked off into the complex. Farhad shook his head and went back into the Laundromat, any thought of romance or even politeness he’d previously entertained was completely doused. Louise was seated, biting her manicure and looking in the direction of the shoot but not really watching. Farhad tapped her and she jerked in mild alarm.

“Sorry, Lou. This was a bad idea. Can we do this some other time?”

Louise tried with little success to hide the disappointment in her voice. “Okay, I understand. Where’s Chibuzor?”

Farhad’s voice went flat. “I think he’s in the mall somewhere.”

“Oh.”

“You can stay and watch the shoot if you want.”

Louise tried for a disaffected decline. “Nah, I have a couple of errands and a test result to collect, I postponed. Might as well get to it.” 

“Ok bye. I’ll DM you when I’m done.”

Louise slung her tote on her shoulder and shelved her disappointment.

“Tell Tariebi I said hi.”

“Will do.” Farhad replied over his shoulder as he walked back to the drier where the other models were now gathered, getting touched up by the shoot’s makeup artist.

“Bye.” Louise whispered to herself and turned to leave as she fished out her phone to call Musa to come take her home.

————————————————————

————————————————————-

“Hello, I can’t hear you sir.”

“Juniper Adegoke, its doctor Phyllis from aTIVE Medicare. You came for an ObGyn check up on Thursday?”

“Yes, that’s me. Are my tests ready?”

“Yes miss. I’m calling to inform you that the results have been forwarded to your email just as you asked as well as a list of prescriptions and dosage times.”

“Huh?”

“I said your results have been…”

“Nah, I heard what you said, why are you sending prescriptions?”

“Well your test results should…”

“That isn’t what I asked.”

“Okay, miss Adegoke. From your tests, I’m afraid it’s conclusive that you have contracted Gonorrhoea.”

“….”

SEAMS S1: Open Secrets

“You have got to be shitting me!”

Louise took her phone off speaker, afraid that someone would hear their conversation. She’d struggled with even “Panlam, I was beyond embarrassed. How this could happen to me? Like I’ve been so careful.”

“Hmmmm, careful abi?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Which day was it here that you were telling us you were a virgin and now you’re…”

“But I’m still a virgin Panlam, you’ve got to believe me.”

“Okay, I’ve heard oh. Just forget it Louise, She can’t be right. Get a second opinion, okay?”

“Okay.”

——————————————————–

Louise finally dragged herself out of bed. It’d been three days since her ‘sham’ of a date and the Tariebi’s party after. She ran her hands through her hair to smooth down the ugly poof it had become. Even with the silk pillow she slept with, sometimes it just chose to misbehave. There were a few messages from Xhiz on her phone.

He’d even gone as far as calling. He wanted to know why she was ignoring him. Ugh. She had no intention of replying him any time soon, not until she found out what he and Farhad had discussed and why he got so detached after. She could still remember Tariebi gloating as Farhad ever so politely ended their date before it even started, and then the issue of the call. She didn’t even want to think of the scandal if it ever got out.

She shimmied off her bed and crossed her bedroom to the bathroom en-suite. She’d have loved a morning soak but a shower was more practical. She had to fix this quietly and there was only one person she could really trust.

 

——————————————————–

“This fucking idiot!” Tariebi swore under her breath. Saanyol had the gall. Tweeting that rubbish at her. If she wasn’t at this go-see, she’d have made driven down to his house and punched him square in the jaw. She fumed as she waited for the light to change at the intersection and pulled her hair into a bun. She couldn’t see why this casting was being held on the island when the bulk of the models who were invited lived on the mainland.

She drove down Sinari Daranijo and parked on the pavement opposite the maroon gate. A number of models were already there, clacking away at their blackberries. The casting was starting late, as usual. Tariebi went into the compound and ordered a bottle of coke at the bar, for the caffeine more than anything else.  The designer and his team came in soon after, all dressed in black and sporting dark sunglasses. Tariebi sputtered into her drink, no wonder they’d chosen Life House. Old money. The designer had olive skin and a slight wave in his hair, she recognised him instantly, Jeremiah Lawson.

He was always in This Day style’s event pages. Heir to a shipping magnate. She retreated into the restroom, pulled the band off her hair and shook it out, cleaned off her clear lip gloss and replaced it with ruby red lipstick. Only the female designers appreciated a professional look, the men were always looking for a pretty face.

As she exited, the younger of the designer’s two assistants came out from the event space to call out names. They were casting by agencies and since she was the only model from independent model that she knew of casting that day, she would be going after a gaggle of obviously green models. The four kept giggling as they swarmed inside in their colourful minis and mermaid weaves. She shook her head, she gave them ten minutes maximum, and none of them would get booked looking like that. Soon enough they were out, all quiet and sombre. Tariebi looked at her watch; as a group they’d lasted only 8 minutes.

“Belae?!!” The assistant called.

Tari pocketed the keys to her Carina and crossed the patio into the makeshift casting room. The older assistant read out the details in her portfolio while younger one took quick measurements to confirm them. She felt fingers part her hair from behind and steeled herself not to flinch.

“Wow! It is really all your hair.” He had a British lilt.

“Yes, Mr. Lawson, it’s all mine.”

“Interesting, can I have her portfolio?”

Tariebi turned to face him as he thumbed through her pictures.

“You’ve done extensive work. Impressive. How many years have you been modelling?”

“Almost five now.”

“Excellent, an old hand.”

He handed the portfolio to Tariebi and beamed at her.

“My assistants have your number, it will be a delight to work with you.”

Tariebi smiled and extended her hand to shake him. He took her hand and gently stroked it with his thumb.

“The last picture on your portfolio is my favourite. You should study it.”

Tariebi nodded, wary to say anything more. She detached her hand from his and nodded to the assistants before leaving the room. The next batch of models were fidgety, they’d probably heard from the first batch and gotten nervous, no point allaying their fears. Tari scrunched her face as though she was about to burst into tears and half ran to the gate, stopping only when she reached her car. She burst out laughing as she fished out her keys and got in to the driver’s seat and began flipping through her portfolio to the last page. Her laugh sputtered and died the minute she noticed the complementary card tucked in the corner of the picture on the page. She flipped it over and read the cursive scribbling on the back.

“Eko hotel, room 1204, 6pm. Pack an overnight bag. – Jerry”


—————————————————-

Saanyol felt a niggling of guilt as he typed out the last DM but after a moment’s hesitation, he sent it anyway. He had a persona to project and honestly, it was too good a joke to pass up. He knew the reason she really didn’t want to come up was because she thought he’d want to get to physical with her. That, honestly couldn’t be any further from the truth, he gotten himself treated ages ago; another brush with an STD was way, way down on his to-do list.

He pulled on a sweater vest and dress shoes, to complement his Frankie Morello flat front pants and olive green dress shirt before locking the flat behind him.

Surprise was etched on his face when he saw Louise by the cab outside. Good save not pressuring her to come upstairs, she looked a mess. Her full hair was held back with nothing but an Alice band and she was wearing ratty jeans and a t-shirt. She didn’t even bother flat-ironing her hair.

“An STD’s not the end of the world, you know?” He said casually, savoring Louise’s reaction as her eyes bulged with rage.

“I said I’m not sure that doctor was right.” Louise stammered.

“Considering how busy you’ve been, she probably is.”

“That’s why we’re going to see your friend. So that if on the slight chance she is. I’ll get it treated on my own.”

“Okay. Get in.”

He held out the door and shut after her, then got in the front seat.

“Driver, Lasuth.”

——————————————————–

Louise was surprised at how old most of the structures were in the teaching hospital. She hardly ever got sick and the few times she did, their family doctor did house calls. They passed the out-patient department and through the radiology wing to get to the Paediatric ward where Saanyol’s friend was waiting. The minute she saw the face she instantly recognised it and the handle it belonged to. She couldn’t believe the guy was serious let alone a medical student with how much he goofed on Twitter.

Saanyol beckoned to him to come out and he excused himself, gently placing the emaciated child he was examining in the hands of the nurse who accompanied him on ward rounds.

“Dude, what’s up?” He said enthusiastically and gave Saanyol an awkward hug because his hands were still gloved.

Saanyol gestured to Louise. “Kenny, This is my friend I was telling you about.”

“Ah, okay. Have you guys done the tests like I asked.”

“Yeah, I have them here.”

Louise fished in her purse and brought out the three envelopes. 

“Nah, not here, let’s go to the medical student’s common room.”

Kenny led them through the maze that was the hospital complex, past the physiotherapy and psychiatry consultation departments, a number of theatres down to the heart of the complex where the doctors, nurses and med students had their common rooms and conveniences. The student’s common room had a number of worn couches and an old television perched in metal cage high up in the corner of the room. Saanyol and Louise picked a couch and Kenny dragged a chair up to them. He opened the envelopes in quick succession and browsed through them, lips pursed.

“Okay, thankfully all you have is Gonorrhoea, which is a purely bacterial problem and antibiotics will flush them out easily,” He tapped the bottom of the page repeatedly. “This test makes me worried. You say you’re a virgin. How did you get Gonorrhoea then?”

Louise felt like turning invisible. How did they expect her to just blurt something as sensitive as…

“She’s been getting head on the regular from one of our widely travelled friends.”

Saanyol was smirking at the look of horror on her face. She felt even smaller. He’d known all the while she and Xhiz were intimate. She obviously knew Xhiz was sleeping with other people but telling people about their private business was something she thought Xhiz was above. She cringed to think about how many other people knew.

“Have you been giving him oral sex?” Kehinde asked.

“Ewwwww!!! No! I’d never do that.” Louise replied defensively, drawing sarcastic laughter from both men. Kenny tore out a leaf of paper from the jotter in his pocket and scribbled onto it.

“Your… partner is probably infected and transmitted it to you. Here are prescriptions for treatment. I’ve written another one for him too. Make him adhere to it.”

Louise took the paper from him and folded it before putting it in her purse. She knew she wasn’t going to give the prescription to Xhiz, probably because she was never going to talk to him again.

—————————————————–

Knock! Knock!

Tariebi listened to the shuffling from the other side of the door and questioned herself again, why she’d bothered to come in the first place. The mechanical locks clicked as the door was unlocked from the inside. The door opened about 10 inches and a head full of damp curly head appeared through the opening.

“You came.” said, a sopping wet Jeremiah Lawson

“You asked me to come.” Tariebi said.

“Sorry we won’t be able to go out.” Mr. Lawson said as he threw the door open to let Tariebi in. She gave him a once over, taking in the razor nicks on his chin from his fresh shave and the his exposed chest. Perhaps she’d been apprehensive for nothing.

She smiled. “I didn’t come here to eat.”

—————————————————

 

SEAMS S1: Call outs

7:42pm @DrewBaba: Wait, what am I seeing? Another Diss account? LMAOOOOOOO!!! *opens new tab on tweetdeck*

Sent Via Tweetdeck, Retweeted 10 times.

7:45pm @JanyeInColor RT @EntertainMe RT @ThDharkOne RT @Hinduistic RT @Zeebaebsay RT @IzienTheFreak_ WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON AT @TwilebsGoinDown??????

Sent Via Socialscope

7:10pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: I know you all think you’re safe behind your accounts but don’t fool yourself. I know everything. And I will expose you.

Sent Via web. Retweeted 32 times.

7:15pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown Remember the old scandals and that twitter pictures that leaked a while ago? Well I remember someone got called ‘burnt amala’. Wonder what he looks like now?

Sent Via web. Retweeted 50 times.

7:22pm @Sary_Hai: LOOOL, isn’t it Drew that @TwilebsGoinDown just described? Hahahaha!!!

Sent Via Ubersocial for Blackberry

7:31pm @TwilebsGoinDown: @Sary_Hai since you decided to name names. We’ll gladly do the same, starting with you.

Sent Via web, In reply to Sary_Hai

8:15pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: #NeverForget when @Sary_Hai’s nudes first trended. I still have those pictures. Her ‘attempts’ at a comeback are pitiful. Here’s one more for old times sake. http://t.Co/1rdh6bG

Sent Via web, Retweeted 327 times.

8:19pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: @2Hawt2handle, You do know your boyfriend @BuffBravado is sleeping with @canydyMaem? Oh you didn’t? Oops!

Sent Via web. Retweeted 77 times.

8:34pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: So @Frunkaleez, are you still on four or have you beaten your own record for most abortions committed during one relationship?

Sent Via web, Retweeted 84 times.

8:42pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown Money really isn’t everything. Otherwise how can we explain @JunieThePoet’s desperate moves on @FarhadRox a couple of weeks ago at that house party?

Sent Via web, Retweeted 100+ times.

8:43pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: The sad thing was after all the crotch grinding, he still didn’t even so much as kiss her. @JunieThePoet #Hoe #ForeverAlone

Sent Via web, Retweeted 44 times.

9:18pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: We wonder what slut extraordinaire @FuckMeImStupid, thinks of this, after all we keep seeing him with @JunieThePoet.

Sent Via web, Retweeted 100+ times.

8:43pm @FarhadRox RT TwilebsGoinDown: Another funny coincidence is that @FarhadRox is @InsuredLegs ‘cousin’. Wait, are they knacking? Is that why he didn’t kiss @JunieThePoet? :S

Sent Via web, Retweeted 67 times.

8:45pm @Mz_Waamnee: @FarhadRox What the fuck is happening on this platform, why is your name on that TL?

Sent Via Plume, in reply to FarhadRox

8:47pm @FarhadRox: @Mz_Waamnee. CYDM.

Sent Via Echofon, in reply to Mz_Waamnee

DirectMessage to Mz_Waamnee

Zee, ts a diss account. Somebody anonymously opened it to insult and ‘expose’ people’s supposed secrets. Walahi I’m just laughing here.

DirectMessage From Mz_Waamnee

Wait, Farhad you mean what whoever behind this account is tweeting the truth? :O

DirectMessage to Mz_Waamnee

Yes, mostly. Even though some are complete lies and others are just them exaggerating things..

DirectMessage to Mz_Waamnee

For example, the person they said I got freaky with, that was actually true but I didn’t get to kiss her cos I saw something else.

DirectMessage From Mz_Waamnee

You were pressing boobs at the party abi? God has caught you, oya give me the real gist NOW!!!

8:55pm FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: We’ve been seeing pictures of @InsuredLegs being rotated by different boys on Instagram. Which one of them is her le Lover? Or does she deal strictly on side preeks?

Sent Via web, Retweeted 33 times.

8:58pm FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown Plus, @MizzJaenae and @InsuredLegs have ‘broken up’ again. We’re betting one tried to steal the other one’s man.

Sent Via web, Retweeted 78 times.

@9:02pm FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: it made me smile to hear just last week, @InsuredLegs got slapped by the that failed Harvard student @EntertainMe at the last Open Mic. From this picture, its sure even DKB would be proud. http://t.Co/dGbfe5H

Sent Via web, Retweeted 300+ times

DirectMessage from Mz_Waamnee

Wow! A slap really happened? And what’s up with them accusing you and your cousin? She really is your cousin right?

DirectMessage to Mz_Waamnee

Yeah, Kikelomo really is my cousin. Her mother and my father are siblings. As for the slap, sigh. Her boyfriend slapped her over an argument about a phone.

DirectMessage from Mz_Waamnee

:O the asshole, WTF?!!! I hope you punched his lights out? Oh never mind, you’re a pacifist. Smh.

DirectMessage to Mz_Waamnee

-_______- I couldn’t just act without getting all the details.

DirectMessage from Mz_Waamnee

Whatever.

9:05pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: We’ve also heard that @FuckMeImStupid is making quite the name for himself in certain circles. But rumors are rumors and we’ll wait till something leaks, something always does. 🙂

Sent Via web, Retweeted 100+ times.

9:22pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: these ‘models’ @Tariebi_S, @PvnkyC3ndy, @Mrs_Legs and @ChevyBee aren’t bulimic. Wanna know why? When they eat out (which is always), they never hesitate to swallow.

Sent Via web, Retweeted 300+ times

9:27pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: I would pay good money to see @Weird_oo’s DMs. From what I gather, your boyfriend, his bestfriend + the side chick they are sharing are building mansions in her DMs promising heaven and earth for knacks. Too bad she’s in the abroad. ( -̩̩̩͡˛ -̩̩̩͡)

Sent Via web, Retweeted 84 times

Direct Message from Mz_Waamnee

Isn’t your friend, the one you ‘like’ among the models they just demolished?

DirectMessage to Mz_Waamnee

Yeah, I just saw it too, this guy is a bastard, Tari is nothing like that. The other girls, I can’t speak for. But Tari’s different. She doesn’t deserve this.

DirectMessage from Mz_Waamnee

‘Tari’? You’re already referring to her with a nickname. Kar ka mance da mu fa. :'(

DirectMessage to Mz_Waamnee

Never! How will I forget my zainobe, Waamnee baby. :* By the way I think I know one of the people behind the account.

DirectMessage from Mz_Waamnee

Wait, you do? How did you figure it out?

DirectMessage to Mz_Waamnee

I’m not a 100 percent sure, but there’s only one person they should have dissed but they didn’t. Can only mean one thing.

10:05pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: twitter personas are never the same as the real thing. @Countoblivion is a good example of that. Walks like he survived a multiple fracture.

Sent Via web. Retweeted 35 times

@9:32pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: Tsk! Tsk! What will it profit a girl to have opened a twitter account and hide it from her friends. Say hello to @LePinkSwastika, Panlam Nok.

Sent Via web, Retweeted 150 times

10:01pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: call us jobless but we checked through the 300 she follows but none of her ‘friends’ are there. @LePinkSwastika,  what are you trying to hide?

Sent via web, Retweeted 50+ times.

10:21pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: I hope you’ve learnt something tonight, but you people are like pigs, you all have short term memories and you never learn.

Sent Via web, Retweeted 58 times.

10:24pm @FarhadRox RT @TwilebsGoinDown: so I say, f**k y’all and good night. *cue applause*

Sent via web, Retweeted 100+ times.

DirectMessage to Mz_Waamnee

I think EntertainMe is behind the diss account.

SEAMS S1: Haunts

——————————————————————

“Would you like another cup of coffee to go with your cake?” Kike looked up from the Blackberry on the table and smiled. “No thank you. This is perfect.” The waiter flashed a smile and walked away, his crisp shirt creasing as he walked back to the rotisserie. Saanyol leaned over from his seat beside Kike and gently stroked her cheek with his left hand and kissed her. She sighed, he still had residue of the forest cake on his tongue. She’d stayed with him for the last nineteen months because of moments like this, perfect little pockets of spontaneity that reminded her why they were so perfect together. He’d called her at 7am sharp to tell her to come downstairs, he was outside her hostel. She’d thrown on a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt and hurried out to meet him bathroom slippers, worried that something had happened. He was outside the gate, all dressed up, sitting on the bonnet of a brand new RAV4 SUV. “What’s going on?” She asked. He smiled. “My birthday’s not for another week, but my mother gave me this, says its a long delayed gift, an early birthday present from my grandmother’s trust fund.” She squealed and threw herself into his arms. He got off the bonnet, opened the passenger door for her. They left the school grounds and he drove her down to Paris Deli. It was her first time there, so she was understandably self conscious, and kept trying to pat down her bed hair and straighten out her patchy jeans. She looked so out of place in their cream coloured booth, compared to the small party of Arab men in glossy blazers and mulch on their chins and the little American couple, all tanned and freckled from the Nigerian sun. But Saanyol didn’t mind and if he didn’t, neither did she. “I can’t give you breakfast in bed but I can take you to your breakfast.” He joked. The car was complicated, a part of the complex trust fund stipulations from his grandparents and he’d wanted to celebrate with her privately. He’d tried to explain the whole thing to her once but she stopped him cos it made her feel acutely how poor she was in comparison. “I wanted you to be the first person that rides in it. That way it’ll always be special to me.” He said, dangling the keys in front of her. Kike kissed him again and they intertwined hands as they waited for the little Gateau Chocolat Saanyol had ordered to go.

————————————————————

————————————————————-

“I can’t decide if its a blessing or curse that the entrance to the Palms is just before the Lekki Toll Gate,” Saanyol said as he drove into the parking lot at the Palms, “This way it is close enough to the natives in Lekki that they’d much rather come here, but it also has all the Mainland ‘tourists’ coming to take pictures in Shoprite.” Something about the way Saanyol said ‘tourists’ turned it from a fairly harmless word, into a slur. Kike felt the urge to say something, but she suppressed it. They were having a great day, no need to fish for an argument. She tucked her feet under her and gave a fake belly laugh, aping the amusement he seemed to get from his rant. She saw no point in mentioning, that according to his own metrics, he lived in Ikeja and was just as much a tourist when compared to the natives as anyone else. They found a parking spot at the far end of the edifice and made their way to the second entrance. As they walked towards the e-Tel store where Saanyol wanted to get car accessories for his Blackberry, he smugly pointed out each boy (and the occasional girl) who stole covert glances at her when they thought he wasn’t looking. All through his transaction in the store he kept her by his side and his hands always in touch with her bare skin. He asked her to help him choose what colour of car charger and speakerphone set to buy and bought her a beautiful hand woven Aztec pouch for her phone. She smiled and refused. He paid for it anyway. They ended up in the middle of the mall where the food court sprawled out under the staircase that led to the Hub, the media megastore. They scaled the stairs together and turned left to the electronic media section where a gaggle of exotically dressed middle aged women were caught up in a heated discussion with the uniformed staff. Saanyol sat at the upright grand piano that occupied the far end of the space and banged out a few chords before he finally allowed Kike lead him to the shelves littered with electronic equipment and racks of original CDs. The two women stacking CD’s on their aisle went silent as they turned the corner, his hand on the small of her back, left bare thanks to the halter dress she wore. He pulled her close and kissed her deeply, reaching down to cup her buttocks through the jersey fabric of her dress. She tried to enjoy the kiss but she couldn’t help wondering if this PDA session was for the benefit of their admiring audience. “Wanna help me choose CDs?” He said, as they detached.

———————————————————-

BROADCAST NEW MESSAGE? 

Add Recipients:

Chibuzor Xhiz Anagor

Tariebi S

Farhad Usman

Louise J Adegoke,

Panlam Nok.

ADD TEXT:

I know I’ll regret sending a broadcast message later but right now I’m too happy to care. It’ll take way too much time to start messaging you guys one by one, and I’m driving so I’m using a broadcast message *tears* Going to Swe bar now for a couple of afternoon cocktails and then Open Mic Theatre later. Booze and whatever else you guys want to have is on me. Just come. Don’t make me beg.

—————————————-

—————————————————

The evening commuters had begun to line up as Tari and Farhad climbed out of the cab in front of TBS and walked south to City Mall. He admired her figure, draped in a tiny sundress, through their reflections in the frosted glass that served as doors to the mall. He liked how all the times he’d seen her, she never seemed afraid to read as ultra-feminine. Swe Bar was surprisingly full for a Saturday afternoon, a lot of middle aged nouveau riche men watching the Manchester/Chelsea derby while they downed glasses of cognac on the rocks. Tariebi navigated her way around the mismatched chairs and stools that littered the lounge to the corner where Kike, Saanyol, and Chibuzor were sitting, the boys arguing loudly while Kike sulked.  “Dudes! Una naija time na wa oh!” Tari laughed. “I had to carry this one down. Proper JJC, didn’t even know where Swe Bar was.” Everyone burst into laughter and new arrivals pulled plush cushioned stools to the low table and joined the party. Tariebi ordered a cosmopolitan and Farhad asked for a glass of coke in ice and small chops. The drinks came quickly and everyone got into their drinks as Saanyol launched into yet another monologue about how he hated that he never got to meet his maternal grandparents but loved how their money kept subsidizing his lifestyle. “We need to hang out more,” he said, dangling the keys in front of the group, “I don’t think anyone of can use the excuse of how it was too hard to chill with me any more.” Xhiz, who was the evening’s dedicated mixologist, cocked an eyebrow when he saw that Farhad’s glass had no liquor. “Dude, you no dey drink?” Farhad gave him a mixed stare before replying slowly. “I’m a Muslim, It’s against my religion to indulge in alcohol.” Saanyol rolled his eyes. “At least you’re not the one spoiling the fun like your sister abi na cousin here. She thinks sulking will stop me from having a good time. Imagine, she’s pissed that I asked you guys to come drink with me and I didn’t tell her. You’d think it was her money I was spending.” “That’s not why I’m angry.” Kike mumbled. “What?” Saanyol taunted. “I said, that’s not why I’m angry.” Kike repeated, louder this time. “But you obviously don’t give a fuck so let it go.” Saanyol’s smile disappeared into a scowl. He took what was left of his vodka and cranberry cocktail and downed it before calling for the waiter. “Dudes, drink up abeg make we fit move to Life House, Before I say something stupid wey I go regret for here.”  ___________________________________

——————————————————

Applause rang out after Vector finished his recital and jogged off the stage. Xhiz excused himself and left the lounge. Saanyol stood up to leave not long after. “Where are you guys going?” Kike mouthed. Saanyol shrugged and pointed to the parking lot. Kike sighed and turned her attention back to the presenter who was introducing the next performer in a high, nasally accent. Farhad felt her sigh next to him as the yawning seats beside his cousin instantly conjured the memories from the night of the party at Tariebi’s house a week ago. He fought his urge to say something and instead put his arm around Kike and hugged her tightly. “Thank God you came.” Kike whispered to him, “Things have just gone from amazing to something else.” He kept his arm around her as they watched the next two performances. Kike’s phone buzzed. She took it out and frowned, her fingers flying around the keyboard as she banged out a response. Just then Farhad noticed that her Blackberry was a small curve 3 as opposed to the clunky Bold torch she normally used. “Panlam and Louise are almost here. Can you help me keep the seats next to you for them?” She said. Farhad nodded and put his almost empty school bag on the fold up seats beside them. The next performer was a clean shaven actor off the TV show Tinsel. He could have been great, but his acquired accent kept getting in the way of his performance. Tariebi kept leaning over every other second to whisper a comment or make an observation and each time Farhad’s left cheek would tingle from the anticipation of her hair touching him. He had a slight weakness for women with nerves of steel. How she had handled him the week before had made his interest in her sky rocket. He was beginning to like her very much but he couldn’t act, not until he was sure. “Scoot jor!” Louise whispered from his right. She was slightly over dressed, with gold hoop earrings and a knee length Clan dress under a boyfriend blazer. They all sidled over to let her in and Farhad ended up getting pressed into Tariebi, not that he minded. “Where’s Panlam?” Kike asked. Her annoyance was beginning to show. “She’s outside with the boys,” Louise replied with some degree of discomfort. “They’re having cocktails at the bar next door.” “The fuck?” Kike swore under her breath. “He promised me he wouldn’t drink anymore, since he’s driving me back to the hostel.” She shot off her chair and noisily made her way out of the room, barrelling into the outstretched feet of other patrons and interrupting the new performer’s moving rendition of a chapter of Mariama Ba’s So Long A Letter. Farhad and Tariebi quickly followed, apologising after Kike, their minds immediately working up the same scenario. When they got outside Kike was stalking out of the bar towards the gate. She stomped to Saan’s RAV4, swiped the bottle of vodka Panlam, Xhiz and he were sharing away from Panlam and threw it into the gutter nearby. “Saanyol! Can you stop with the drinking? Why do you always turn a good day into torture for me?” Saanyol growled. “What the fuck is your problem?” Kike screamed back. “This is my fucking problem! Panlam comes home and you go all happy drunk on me! I have shit to do at school but I left everything and skipped class because you asked, and now you’re escaping me to go drink?You know what? I’m fucking leaving!” Other patrons gathered in small clumps around their car, e attracted by the scene Saanyol and his girlfriend were creating. Xhiz and Panlam quietly backed away, they hadn’t bargained for any of that. Kike fished in her bag, pulled out her phone and began to dial. Saanyol’s eyes widened and he grabbed her arm. “You’re using that Curve again? I thought I told you get rid of it?” Kike tugged her arm free. “Its my fucking phone! I bought it with my money.” “Where’s the fucking Bold I got for you?” “Saanyol, is that what we’re fucking doing now? Throwing your gifts in my face?” The female patrons who’d been watching the argument escalate gasped as the slap rang out in the quiet street. Farhad froze in disbelief, eyes transfixed on Saanyol. He towered over Kikelomo, who was hunched over, arms barred over her face in case he tried again. With an Amazonian shout, Kikelomo sprang from her crouch and lunged at Saanyol. Farhad barrelled into Saanyol and elbowed him out of range as he raised his hand to protect his face and Xhiz sprung to action, each tackling one half of couple and dragging her away from the other half. Kike struggled, howling. “Xhiz, let me go! Oh God! He slapped me. The asshole put his hand on me! Xhiz! Let me go! Oh God! Oh God! God!” Chibuzor saw Saanyol get pushed into his car by Farhad from the corner of his eye as he dragged Kike to one of the assortment of taxis that were parked opposite the street waiting for passengers, Panlam close behind if he needed help. Screaming ensued from their corner, mostly female.   “My phone? Where’s my fucking bag?!!!” “Your bag is with me just calm down, just calm down!” “Calm down?! Xhiz, My cheek is bleeding, my face is swollen and I should calm down?!!!” Xhiz half dragged half carried the now inconsolable Kike to the nearest red cab and bundled her into the back seat, seating himself beside her. Panlam pushed a few thousand Naira notes through the half opened window and motioned that Xhiz call her if anything happened before stalking back into the Life House, probably to find Louise. Xhiz leaned forward to the driver. “Mainland. Yaba, anywhere. Just carry us comot here.” Kike curled into a ball and rested her head on Xhiz’s laps and began to sob.


SEAMS S1: We Like To Party

________________________________________

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.”

“Oh!”

“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.

Tariebi shrugged.

“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.”

———————————————————

SEAMS S1: Frenemies & New Beginnings

Louise reached out from under her plush duvet to silenced the alarm clock on her beside vanity table. The sunlight from the far window dappled the bed, highlight its lilac frame. With closed eyes she groped along the vanity table by her bed till she felt the sleek lines of her new iPhone 4, which she gingerly picked up and brought to her face, squinting as the light hurt her eyes. She instantly felt guilty, she hadn’t even prayed yet and she was already swiping at the touch screen. The guilt was quickly forgotten as she noticed the text message icon blinking on the top left corner and her heart began to race. Only one person still sent her text messages.

———————————————————-

“I don’t know why you won’t get a twitter, Panlam. No one uses text messages anymore. Even Saan’s asked you and you still say no.”

Panlam paused mid-stroke and smirked at Louise through the mirror that took one third of the wall.

“First, Saanyol won’t appreciate you shortening his name, You aren’t ‘chummy’ like that.”

She finished applying her lip gloss and turned to the bed. “Second, I don’t need a twitter, my life is already far too exciting as it is. Don’t need to broadcast it.”

Louise gave a tight lipped smile in response and started pulling on her wedges. Panlam ignored the silence and gave Louise’s room another once over. She had changed the curtains and room color, again. The mirror was new too. She let out an involuntary sigh, she really missed her tiny flat back at school, furnished to her exact whims. Too bad none of her friends here were going to see it. She picked her clutch off Louise’s bed and pulled down the hem of her mini dress for good luck.

“Gimme a sec, lemme hide your other clothes, madam Clark Kent.”  

———————————————————

———————————————————-

A couple of hard knocks on the door to his flat startled Saanyol awake. He jumped off the couch he’d passed out on did a sweep of the room, his heart racing as he took the mess he’d made. He began to clean, frantically ridding the room of the spent blister packs strewn around the centre table, bundling them up with the tray of untouched ones. He pushed the whole thing into a nearby cabinet, locked it shut and put the key in his back pocket.

“Saan, stop cleaning up and open up jor.” Panlam shrieked from outside the door. “You can’t scam me with the rush cleaning you’re doing, I already know you’re a filthy pig.”

Saanyol grinned. He flung the front door open and scooped Panlam into a bear hug.

“You ehn! So you entered Lagos and you didn’t even tell me.”

Panlam smacked him on his tattooed shoulder. “It was last minute, besides I don’t tell anyone about my whereabouts, not even my parents.”

“Hello.” Louise squeaked from behind Panlam.

“Panlam, You dragged this one along?” Saan muttered, slightly amused.

She frowned. “You know she’s my alibi. If I didn’t come with her, my father wouldn’t have let me go anywhere.”

Saanyol scrunched his nose at Panlam in mock disgust and extended a hand to Louise. She took it and he pointed her to the only love seat in the room. He collapsed into one end of the settee directly opposite. Panlam ignored the other end of the settee and made a beeline for the fridge in the kitchen.

“Welcome to mi casa. One of these days, you should ditch this old thing here and come hang out, like a big girl.”

Louise lowered her eyes. “Err… I’m confused.”

Panlam cackled from the kitchen. “You think this whole virgin thing would work with Saanyol?”

“Please leave her oh.” Saanyol cut in. “She’s trying to stay loyal to her side preek.”

Panlam peeked out from the kitchen, her face contorted into a mock gasp. “Side Preek?!!! Lou, You?”

“Ah! She hasn’t told you, yet you people are putting up pictures with bestie hashtags on Instagram. She and Xhiz go on ‘dates’ and shit. Which day sef she was tweeting poetry about him. Who knows if she’s given him to kpansh yet?”

Louise felt herself flush with embarrassment and she instantly found something to do on the phone in her lap. Panlam walked out of the kitchen, hands burdened with a half full bottle of Grey Goose Vodka and a tumbler. She went over to the love seat and pressed Louise to herself in an uncomfortable side hug.

“Don’t mind Saanyol jor. I’m not angry that you didn’t tell me about Xhiz. Besides who you open your coochie for is your business. Because…”

“I haven’t slept with him!” Louise blurted out.

She shrugged Panlam’s hand off her shoulder. “I swear, our… thing… it isn’t like that between me and Chibuzor. We’re just friends that’s all. Can you guys just talk about something else?”

Saanyol scoffed. “Okay oh!  We’ve heard. Just be informed that Xhiz’s ‘friendship’ comes with complementary souvenirs.”

Panlam smirked and joined Saanyol on the sofa. They quickly fell into raucous conversation about the happenings in Panlam’s school and all the mayhem he had orchestrated in her absence. Panlam poured from the bottle of vodka and they passed the tumbler around taking swigs. Louise joined dutifully and laughed where necessary, chugging twice as much alcohol as the others to calm her frayed nerves. Just then she noticed the edge of a blister pack wedged into the cushion of her chair. She covertly fished it out and read the print on the foil encasing the 10 tiny ovoid tablets.

—————————————————-

CHAT HISTORY

Louise.J Adegoke

Hey.

Xhiz

Wow! You turned on the Android. What’s happened to your precious iPhone?

Louise.J Adegoke

Yeah. That. The phones are on. It’s just that I’m in a public place and I don’t want to leave and make a call.

Xhiz

Where are you? Aren’t you supposed to be with Panlam?

Louise.J Adegoke

Yeah, we’re with Saanyol.

Did you tell him anything about us?

Because he knows about us hanging out and then he said something about you and surprises.

Xhiz

Lol! @ ‘Hanging out’. Sha, no idea what he was talking about.

Louise.J Adegoke

Chi, can I ask you something private?

Xhiz

Sure.

Louise.J Adegoke

Do you have a girlfriend you’re cheating on?

Xhiz

LMAO!!! Noap.

*Nope.

I don’t have any girlfriend right now.

Stupid autocorrect.

Louise.J Adegoke

Do you have a baby with someone somewhere?

Xhiz

Hian! Where is this coming from?

Louise.J Adegoke

*sigh*  Nvm

Xhiz

You know what, whatever!

Need to take a drive. Call me later?

——————————————————-

__________________________________________

“Hey, isn’t that your cousin? The Hot Hausa one?”

Janet, one of Kikelomo’s lackeys whispered from behind her. The class was small and the lecturer, a short stocky professor with a temper, could see everyone quite clearly so Kike couldn’t turn her head and reply. She tore off a tiny piece of paper instead and scribbled before covertly passing it behind. She wanted to message but that Janet’s Blackberry was never on silent.   

“Ah! But why aren’t you guys talking?”

A slightly larger sheet with more scribbling changed hands.

“Ah! Kike, you sef. How will you not follow your cousin? Is it not just a follow back? Your own na wa oh! Please do and apologise so you can introduce that hunk of Hausa chocolate to somebody.”

Kike hissed and stomped on Janet’s outstretched foot stretched beside her. Janet yowled, attracting the attention of the lecturer, Professor Arigbede. The bespectacled woman turned sharply in their direction and pointed to Janet.

“You, yellow shirt. Get your stupid self out of my lecture hall!”

Janet looked as though she were about to cry. “But ma…”

“You want me to ban you from my class for the rest of the semester?” Professor Arigbede threatened.

Janet needed no more persuading. She tearfully packed her books and shuffled out of the class. Kike’s heart fell once she noticed Farhad observing the spectacle from his seat, his face completely impassive. He had seen everything, further validation for what he thought about her. He’d tell his mother, just like he told his mother about their argument that first day and her ignoring him the day after. Eventually the gist always got back to her father who then talked her ear off for it.

After the last report he’d gotten of her behaviour, he’d given her a week to mend things with Farhad. Sigh. She glued her eyes to her book and tried to ignore what just happened and just get through the class.

_________________________________________

________________________________________

Kikelomo was waiting in the corridor by the time Farhad finished registering with Prof Arigbede. He saw her and paused for her to pass before side stepping her and continuing on his way when he realised she wanted to speak to him.

She swivelled. “Tomiwa! Why are you ignoring me like this? Where is all this hatred coming from?”

He stopped but didn’t turn. “You’re a selfish, thoughtless person. But I realise you do it unconsciously now. Still, doesn’t make it any easier to like you.”

“I’m sorry about that day.” She said, truly remorseful.

He sighed. “If I cared about that day, I wouldn’t have to stopped to listen to what you had to say. But that doesn’t mean we have to be friends. That you’ll have to earn.”

She watched him as he started down the steps, leaving her standing alone in the Department of Philosphy corridor.  

——————————————————-

Received Using: FarhadUsman@Rocketmail.com

Folder: Inbox

Status Message: Received at 3 March 20– 5:42pm

From: Twitter

Subject: Toyin Tomato Jos (@InsuredLegs) is now following you on Twitter!

SEAMS S1: Intro

——————————————————–

Chibuzor looked up from his HTC Fire and pushed up the sleeves of his tartan dress shirt, exposing the tiny tattoo of a Buddha on the inside of his wrist. He rubbed it over a few times and smiled. It was quite the conversation starter. He looked over to the Pizza Inn stand at the slightly round fair-skinned girl in the mini sundress and a chignon atop her head conversing with the counter attendant, his eyes settling on her behind. He loved her behind, wanted his hands around it again.

As if on cue, she turned with a grin and made her way towards him, carrying a tray filled with a cold pizza, a shawarma roll and a medium tub of ice-cream. Chibuzor frowned; the stupid girl was never going to lose any of that extra weight if she kept eating like she was pregnant. She sat beside him on the green plastic chair and set the tray flush between them.

“Xhiz, I know you said you didn’t want anything but I didn’t want to eat alone.” 

Chibuzor gave a defeated smile. “Okay Louise, I’ll have half the pizza, even though its cold and I don’t know why any rational human being would willingly subject themselves to cold pizza.”

Louise rolled her eyes. “Urgh! Shut up!”

She fished out the plastic knife rolled up in a wad of tissue and cut up the pizza crust into two equal halves. Chibuzor let her feed him his half, laughing as some of the juices spilled on to his chin, She offered to lick it off, the need in her eyes amused him. He brought his face towards her and surprised her with a kiss as she leaned in to lick his chin. For someone inexperienced she kisses really well, Chibuzor thought to himself as he deepened the kiss and gently pushed his tongue between her teeth. He noticed the woman at the adjacent table begin to raise an eyebrow and in response he reached down and put his hand around Louise’s waist. She opened her eyes and slapped his hand away.

“Chibuzor, what are you doing?”

“I don’t know, just wanted feel you pressing against me.”

“Pffft! My mom’s friends come here a lot. You want to put me in trouble?”

“Oh?”

Louise playfully smacked his arm. “Forget what I said. Let’s to go to the Hub, I want to get the new Sefi Atta book.”

They pushed off their chairs and Louise swiped her ice-cream tub off the tray, leaving her half of the pizza and the shawarma untouched as they made their way out. He held himself from saying something snarky but sometimes Louise was terrible at reading the room.

 Xhiz took in the crowd at the lobby of the Genesis Cinemas as he led Louise up on to the landing that served the upper floor.. It skewed young, with petite girls in bum shorts and wavy weaves and boys all decked out in neon YMCMB tee-shirts and those annoying carrot pants they all seemed to wear. Tuesdays were half off, there could be no other explanation. Everyone and their houseboy came to Genesis on Tuesdays. Xhiz spotted a black thatch of hair with a green streak and ducked into the relative safety of the magazine rack as the head turned in their direction. His eyes darted to Louise who was staring at the new releases shelf, oblivious to what just happened. Slowly so he didn’t spook her, he suggested they check out the gadgets on the back shelves, using the shelving to shield them from the guy with the green streak. He leaned over every now and then to watch for the guy as she browsed through the products. He didn’t relax until he noticed green streak stroll out and walk down the stairs, a gaggle of brightly dressed fashion boys cackling behind him.

Chibuzor dropped the book whose blurb he’d been pretending to read and tapped Louise.

“L.J, They don’t have the Atta book in stock yet and it’s almost three, your driver must be bone tired of waiting.”

Louise gasped. “Poor Musa! I don’t think he’s had anything to eat all day. Let’s go.”

They stopped off at the Biggs stand at the food court and got Louise’s driver a burger and coke. They also made a quick detour for a brick of credit vouchers for Louise’s mom at the newly launched Etisalat store before heading out of the Palms through the second exit. They strolled to her car hands intertwined and hugged tightly before he helped her five foot five frame into the SUV.

She wound down her window, poked her head out and stared deeply into his eyes.

“A kiss before I go, Frendie?”

——————————————————–

—————————————————–

CHAT HISTORY

Saanyol ¯..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯  

PING!!!

 PING!!!

 PING!!!

Xhiz

Isn’t one ping enough? 

Saanyol ¯..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯  

Well who knows, you might still be high from swallowing that one’s spit, again.

Xhiz

Fuck off abeg.

Saanyol ¯\..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯  

Hoin! Abeg I’m not the one who told her not to finish her food.

Saanyol ¯..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯  

Which brings me to my next rational thought, you hate that she’s fat and you hate that she doesn’t finish her food. Which one you dey?

Xhiz

Urgh!  My batt’s almost dead and I’m trapped in traffic.

Saanyol ¯..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯  

They didn’t drop you off today? :O Perhaps your novelty’s wearing off.

Xhiz

 Saan. Fuck you.

Saanyol ¯..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯  

 VN 1200281 sent

——————————————————-

The photographer’s voice echoed in the massive hall.

“Lean forward, tilt your head to the left, a little more, excellent!”

The dress rode up to just an inch of her crotch as she held the pose and Tariebi fought the urge to pull the hem down. This was why she hated young designers, their clothes were always so impractical and… Gaga-esque. Too bad, because none of the people who could afford the price tags they slapped on their ‘couture’ would ever even look at them. This one was one of the more unimaginative ones, Haus Of Chreez, WTF was that? So because his name was Chris he had to have a Haus of Chreez? Fucking idio…

“OMG!”

A shriek came from the back of the hall followed by the hurried clicking of heels. Tariebi broke her pose immediately she realised it was Kikelomo. She groaned; she could always trust that one to make an entrance. She weaved through the smattering of wires and studio lights and climbed onto the stage to give Tari a hug. She hugged and held on tight, her butt in full view of the entire photography crew. She finally detached and openly ogled the half dressed male model that Tari had been posing with.

“Tariebi, you’re like the worst friend ever!” Kike wailed. “So you had a photo shoot in Unilag, right here in Multipurpose Hall and you didn’t even tell me? Especially when you knew this hottie would be here with you?”

Tariebi hissed. “Well you’re here now and you’re interrupting. You can watch if you want, we’ll gist when I’m done.”

Tariebi could swear she heard someone mutter “Ouch! See ela!”

Kikelomo laughed nervously and began to make her way out. “No need, I have a class in like twenty minutes. Ping me when you’re done?”

————————————-

CHAT HISTORY

Tariebi Sayani Red Models 

PING!!!

Tariebi Sayani Red Models

Babes, just finished with the shoot, where you dey?

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Couldn’t wait, Saanyol came to pick me up.

Maybe some other time, when you don’t have a massive photo shoot. So you don’t have to ignore and humiliate me? <3

Tariebi Sayani Red Models

*Sigh* Kike, I’m sorry.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Tariebi, don’t apologise. TTYL. :*

—————————————————————-

Tariebi sighed as she put her phone on silent and pushed into the small carry on she’d brought for the shoot. She wasn’t in any mood for small talk. Kike knew how to push everyone’s buttons and even though it was hard to admit, she’d dismissed Kike far too rudely. It was worse because of the crew were Unilag students and before long, the gist would get onto Twitter. Good thing she kept her account private and ruthlessly curated her followership.

She pulled the strap of the carry on onto her shoulder and walked over to the clothes rack where the other model was straightening out his dress shirt.

“Josh. I don step be dat oh. Abi make I wait you, make we waka together?”

Josh smiled. “No worry oh Tari, I suppose stay back help Dolapo pack up.”

“Oh okay.” Tari extended her hands out for a quick hug. “Hopefully we go see soon for another shoot. Bye.”

Kike watched from inside the cab she usually used whenever Saanyol called. He was waiting but she wasn’t worried, he was probably already angry anyway. She slunk low immediately she noticed Tariebi exit the Multi-purpose hall in pink sweat pants and a hoodie. The girl knew her body looked good in anything she wore and she took every opportunity to flaunt said body. Her phone buzzed. Another DM from Saanyol asking how far away she was. He only resorted to DM’s when he was horny. She wasn’t, so he’d have to wait.

Kike lit up in a smile when she noticed the side exit doors open again and two guys walk out. One was the model she’d noticed at the shoot. She watched him help the other guy, probably the photographer pile equipment into the backseat and wave as the first put his car into gear and drove off. Then the model guy started walking towards the main gate. Kike tapped the driver and pointed.

“That’s who we we’re waiting for.”

The driver nodded and started the engine and slowly eased out of his parking space and into the road. They slowed beside the model.

“Hey, you’re the guy from Kike’s photo shoot right?” Kike called from the backseat, feigning surprise.

The model stopped and rubbed his skinned head. “Oh! Hey! You’re the friend?”

Kike smiled and opened the door facing him. “Need a lift?”

“Sure.” He replied after a moment’s hesitation and climbed in.

“Where exactly are you headed?”

“Maryland.”

“OMG!!! I’m going to Ikeja, we could totally drop you off.”

“Thanks.”

“Errr… What’s your name? Don’t want to be rude and keep calling you ‘Hey’.”

“Hahahaha! It’s Josh.”

“Okay, I’m Kike.”

“Nice to meet you Kike.”

“Same here.”

“So Josh, please do you mind if we take a quick picture. No one will believe me if I tell them I shared a cab with a top male model.”

“Haha! I’m not a top model yet oh, but no problem.”

“Okay, can you please take it with your Bold 5, it has flash and takes better pictures.”

“No problem.”

“Okay can you please send all three pics to me?”

“Is your Bluetooth on?”

She hid the bluetooth icon from her screen, turning away her phone so he couldn’t see.

“Nope, my Bluetooth’s bad, my pin’s 2254A854. Add me up and send it via BBM?”

“Okay, I’ll drop off here. Thanks for everything Kike, right?”

She smirked, “Yup. Bye.”

——————————————————–

———————————————————-

Saanyol was waiting outside his gate wearing only a tee-shirt and basketball shorts as the cab ground to a halt and Kike alighted. He all but threw the fare at the driver, and stalked back into his house without uttering a word to his girlfriend. She rolled her eyes and followed. She mounted the stairs to the guest house, he’d left the door ajar for her.  She closed the door behind her and picked up the shirt he taken off and thrown on the floor and pushed the bedroom door open. He was perched on the edge of the bed, scrolling on his Bold 5. He turned the phone to her, and gave a bitter laugh. She snatched the phone out of his hands and tried unsuccessfully to delete the picture of her and Josh that was now his wallpaper.

“You both look so good together, taking pictures in the cab I’m paying for. Aren’t you just the cutest couple?”

Kike grimaced. “I thought you unfollowed? Why won’t you just grow up and take down that Tweetdeck tab you have on me?”

He sprung off the bed and grabbed her arm, putting his mouth close to her ear.

“Because you make it incredibly hard for me to trust you.”

“I’m here aren’t I?” Kike replied, and slipped her hand into Saanyol’s pants.

He gasped. “Yes, yes you are.”

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Lagos Fashion Week Fashion Focus 2014 truly delivers

Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2014 was fraught with many problems, the biggest of which in my opinion was a lack of communication. Little was more shrouded in mystery than the fate of the LFDW Fashion Focus programme. First of all, we were surprised when this year the LFDW team announced the Fashion Focus competition no longer came with a cash prize and was now simply a platform for young designers to show at LFDW. The scholarships/internship position offered to the finalists was still intact but now the stakes were different. I personally had hoped that the Fashion Focus competition with the New York based fashion brand Edun. Though it was part of the official call for Fashion Focus applications on the LFDW website, details about it have been scant this year.

Then the announcement came here from the LFDW that didn’t quite state but suggested that the Istituto Marangoni was partnering with the British Council to offer the scholarships for the Fashion Focus initiative finalists. The institute also put up its announcement here which was quite different from the LFDW announcement. Generally, I could glean that the internship had been replaced with a three week scholarship that carried none of the perks of the previous prizes of the competition.

Fashion Week came and went with no talk of the Fashion Focus initiative and the scholarship(s). We didn’t even find out there were two scholarships up this year instead of one, as the announcement on the LFDW website suggested that one of the scholarships available was for an amateur stylist not a designer. Fast forward to today, LFDW finally announces via an Instagram post that the winners of the Istituto Marangoni scholarships have arrived, Titi Bello of Titi Belo and Frank Aghuno of Fruché. Really happy for them.

Titi Belo was clearly one of the favorites to get noticed at LFDW this year. Her collection was strong and thematic, adding a brand based spin on the Lace and Leather theme, substituting stiff leather for more malleable pleather and ditching morbid black for forest greens, greys and purples cut into tailed blouses, smocks, capes and textured lace-up dresses. Titi Belo kept the pleather on the bottom half of the ensembles molding them into leggings and sculpted skirts. It was an adventurous collection considering how unforgiving pleather can be when it’s cut wrongly but she managed to pull a level of cohesiveness worth a second look.

I particularly loved these looks.

The Goth Girl's baby doll dress.
The Goth Girl’s baby doll dress.

The detail of punched lace holes on the bodice of the blouse is an interesting detail that appears, put to better use elsewhere in the collection. Why this dress is so interesting is that the pleather panels on the bodice is it’s most conservative detail. That spinning of what is edgy and what is safe is refreshing.

Best use of a pleather highwaisted skirt.
Best use of a pleather highwaisted skirt.

The pleather high waisted skirt fits so well it gives the illusion of being poured on the model, along with the tail on the blouse and it’s scalloped edge softening the whole look, this piece is very interesting.

This skirt is cut to perfection really
This skirt is cut to perfection really

The only all lace look in the entire collection, Titi exaggerates features,cutting the shorts so they flare out in sharp angles that contrast the cut outs on the blouse. This is a design quirk that will fail nine out of ten times but Titi manages to stick it.

IMG_3746

Frank Aghuno of Fruché was the youngest of the finalists this year, and one of only three to show both menswear and women’s wear, I guess that already set him apart. But he did bring a fresh perspective to the Focus Initiative with his willingness to try out unconventional silhouettes. These were my favorite pieces from his collection.

Mixed striping.
Mixed striping.

This mixed stripe dress is an interesting cut. There is a lot going on both on the bodice and the skirt, a visual experiment that asks you to take in the pieces individually and then as a whole. It works, but even better it moves. On a curvier woman this dress would be  irresistible

Demure.
Demure.

Frank tackles striping from a menswear angle with this easy wear suit combo. The choice of fabric colour works for him as its pastel hues are soft enough that the whole look is pleasing instead of jarring.

IMG_3455

I generally abhor asymmetry but the one sided peplum is a strong focal point for the dress, balancing out everything else, and the tailoring on the sheer tuxedo blouse is superb.

Frank Aghuna, ever so bashful.
Frank Aghuna, ever so bashful.

Congratulations to the both of them. I hope London offers great things. For now, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for new information about the internship with Edun.

To see Titi Belo’s winnning collection go here

To see Frank Aghuno’s winning collection go here

LFDW2014: Bubu Ogisi’s IAMISIGO finally finds its level with ‘Woodabe’.

My favourite collections from Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2014.

IamISIGO

I didn’t exactly love the IamISIGO 2015 Resort collection ‘White Noise’, something about the plain lines and the dearth of colour didn’t sit well with me. Resort collections are supposed to be the bridge between couture and ready to wear, beautiful enough that the final customer is willing to shell out the big bucks but pret-a-porter enough that it can be thrown on without much consideration for styling and accessories and still look stylish. The IamISIGO 2015 Resort collection was no doubt beautiful, but it was one that I could easily see many people trying and failing to incorporate into their wardrobes and lifestyles. There already have been some well documented misses.

That said, I was looking forward to Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2014 cos Bubu Ogisi, creative director for the brand was billed to show her Spring Summer 2015 for the very first time there. I follow the brand’s Instagram and there had been a lot of teasers, leading up to fashion week.

The word that came up most often in conjunction with the new collection was the word ‘Taboo’. There were also quite a few images of Northern Fulani Men and women in elaborate costumes and painted faces. The images rang a bell so I downloaded one and did a Google reverse search, which led me back to something called the ‘Wodaabe’. The Wodaabe are a nomadic Fulani culture based mostly in Chad and Niger separated from the wider Fulani populatioin by their adherence to older Fulani traditions, progressive marriage and sexuality practices. The word ‘Wodaabe’ itself literally translates to people of the Taboo.

The Woodabe, in full costume for the Gerewol Festival.
The Woodabe, in full costume for the Gerewol Festival.

The Wodaabe also have something called the Gerewol festival, a marriage festival that celebrates and sexualizes male beauty. The images on the IamISIGO Instagram were particularly of Gerewol festivals so I was excited and a little apprehensive to see how she would translate these influences into a collection.

I have to say, Bubu Ogisi surprised the shit out of me. I saw the collection straight off the runway.

The Taboo collection was brilliance, pure and simple. She incorporated the Wodaabe’s influences into a beautiful and fluid collection that had no thoughtless appropriation, just respect and admiration for the culture that inspired the collection.

Enough admiration, let’s talk clothes and influences.

The collection did a twist on the Gerewol festival, still maintaining the pageant nature of the festival but keeping the emphasis on women’s wear.

The first face was unexpectedly, a male model, Toyin Oyeneye. It was a great choice; he exuded the kind of masculinity needed to contrast the entire retinue of models to follow. I loved the loose Hi-lo over-shirt, especially the detailed collar and the panel on the back of the shirt. It draped beautifully. As far as first looks go, it doesn’t get better than this.

The collection had a lot going on; colour wise. Forest Green, Olive, Tan and Black. But the predominant hue of the collection was a range that started in the Navy Blues, through Indigo and ending up in Royal purple. There was also a lot of texture expressed through layering in the collection; juxtaposing loose glossy squares of fabric over a matte skirt or sleeveless blouse, university jackets made entirely out of netting worn on loose cashmere pants and an arresting lattice appliqued over satin. There was even a little fringe thrown in there. It shouldn’t work but it does.

I also have to talk about the accessories; I LOVED that Bubu Ogisi showed the collection in flat soled sandals. We rarely get to see female models wearing flat shoes. Then the makeup was direct homage to Wodaabe culture, with a minimal make up and single gold line from crown to chin, asymmetrically dividing the face. The Wodaabe are quite particular about facial symmetry. There were also ‘nomad’ backpacks in matching colours to complement the look.

These are my favourite looks from the collection:

– This ensemble is the very definition of understated ease. The pants are loose, so is the over-shirt. The detailing on both is also subtle but intricate. These are pieces that will last many seasons in one’s wardrobe.

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– Bish whet? I saw this dress/cape combination and basically lost my marbles. The cape is literally sewn into the tube dress and the contrast between the lacy black cape and jersey tube dress arrests the eye. The quality of the tailoring is evident in the finish of the sleeves.

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This extra-long, layered bandeau dress is a tricky sell, but that’s why I love it. The audacity of layering tube dresses on top of each other to create an anti-fairytale ball gown is something that appeals to me. Uju Marshall wears this with such ease.

The texture on the long bandeau is just beautiful
The texture on the long bandeau is just beautiful

This purple shawl dashiki is culmination of the Wodaabe influences in this collection. It drapes beautifully, the shawl works just as well up and down, layered around the neck, and the best part, this shawl dashiki is a standalone piece. I want one of those.

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My one real hitch with the collection.

– I really didn’t understand this ensemble. The netted shawl blouse reminded me of early 90’s music videos when white female musicians were trying desperately to affect blackness. Maybe it’s the cut or the model’s body but the dress under the shawl blouse looks a little too much like ill-fitting lingerie and that olive layer on the skirt doesn’t add aesthetically to the dress. It looks like something tacked on after the dress was finished.

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During the encore, the models re-enacted a Gerewol dance, which was a delight to watch. It was a final celebration of a designer’s influences which we rarely see in Nigerian fashion. In all, I’d peg IamISIGO as one of the most thought out, if not best collections shown at LFDW 2014.

Bubu takes her bow.
Bubu takes her bow.

To see the entire collection, go here.