BANANA ISLAND: EXPENSIVE LOVE - Episode 1

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Ember Creek Night Club on Awolowo Road Ikoyi, Club Quilox, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, Gucci bag, Versace, Michael Kors, ExxonMobil, Globacom, NNPC, MTN Schlumberger, Dantata, Chanchagi, Theophilus Danjuma, Mike Adenuga, Nightclub.

                                    
 “She is outside your league, Lanre!” my friend, Dominic told me. “There is no way you are going to be successful with this one!” Dominic added, daring me. Music was blasting through the roof as we danced, or rather, pretended to dance while scoping out girls on the floor of Ember Creek Nightclub on Awolowo Road Ikoyi. Earlier that night, we had been at Club Quilox, another night club on Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue. We were supposed to meet with a group of friends at Club Quilox to celebrate Danladi’s contract. Danladi was a friend with whom I studied business administration at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife. He had just netted a 5 million dollar contract with ExxonMobil to supply office furniture for the refurbishment of their head office in Lagos.

When we arrived at Club Quilox Danladi and the rest of the gang were not there. They had changed their mind at the last minute, deciding to party at Ember Creek. “Danladi, you should hear what Lanre has to say,” Dominic dragged Danladi into the discussion. “What is it?” Danladi asked. “I am sure it has to do with a girl,” added Danladi. Yes, I have a reputation with the ladies. “Look at that smashing beauty over there…the one in red mini skirt carrying a Gucci bag,” Dominic explained pointing at her. “How do you know that is a Gucci bag?” asked Danladi. “I know because I work in fashion. That is certainly, a Gucci bag, Danladi. I can tell you that her pair of high-heeled shoes is Versace for sure and her dazzling top is Michael Kors!”

“So, you can tell from here that she is carrying a Gucci bag, wearing a Versace shoes and Michael Kors top, abi?” “Yes,” Dominic answered emphatically. “Interesting. What is it about her?” “Lanre wants to chat her up. He has boasted that he will even get her phone number before the end of the night.” Danladi looked at me for a moment. Then, he began to laugh, to Dominic’s satisfaction of course. “What is it?” asked Ogehenkaro, another friend. Dominic explained the scenario to him. He too began to laugh. “This is Ember Creek Nightclub, Lanre! Wake up my friend. Because you were hot at Obafemi Awolowo University does not mean you can pick up any girl at Ember Creek Nightclub!!!” he shot at me, still laughing mockingly.

“Stop laughing! The fact that the girl is carrying a Gucci bag, wearing a pair of Versace shoes and Michael Kors top does not mean she has two heads. I will not only get her number, but I will sleep with her by the end of the week. She is at Ember Creek Nightclub, and so are we!!!” I bragged. “Why don’t you say you’d marry her by the end of the week, Lanre?” Oghenekaro asked me sardonically. “This is not Obafemi Awolowo University, Lanre. This is Ikoyi and down the street is Banana Island. We are on a different planet now. Don’t think you can just walk to any girl here and she will fall at your feet like they used to at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife!” Dominic said emphatically.

“You guys are saying this because you can’t walk up to the girl and talk to her, so you believe it is the same with everyone. Come on guys, you all know me. Nothing…nothing can stop me if I set my mind on anything! After all, some weeks ago, who would have believed that Danladi would snag a 5 million dollar contract with ExxonMobil? Who would have believed that some of us would be working for Globacom, NNPC, MTN and Schlumberger by now? Guys, all things are possible!” “Okay preacher, after that motivational speech, why don’t you go and talk to her while we watch?” Danladi urged me. Segun, Ifeanyi and Umoru had joined the discussion by now. They were staunchly adamant that I could not get the girl’s number.

Quite frankly, the girl was stunningly beautiful. I could not admit it to them, but I felt some butterflies fluttering in my stomach each time I looked at her, not to talk of the Gucci bag that was dangling on her shoulder, as she darted around the dance floor with her friends in a glitzy Michael Kors top and elegant Versace shoes. “Wetin you dey wait for? Go now!!! (What are you waiting for? Come on, go and talk to her!!!)” Segun urged me contemptuously. “It looks like he has lost his courage!” Ifeanyi added. “No, he now realizes that the years of Obafemi Awolowo University are over. This girl is out of his league and he would not dare embarrass himself any further,” said Umoru.

I was not the type to back down on my words. No, I was going to take the challenge. We were all doing well in our various careers, but I had to admit that there was something about this girl that told you she was from a strikingly affluent background - the types whose parents ensured that they married into similarly affluent families, unlike mine. You know, a Dantata to a Chanchagi kind of marriage, or a (Theophilus) Danjuma to an (Mike) Adenuga marriage. Nonetheless, I was willing to have a short at the girl. I got up from my seat, but my mind sat back down.  I felt funny sensations in my legs and chest. My heart was crashing against my rib cage. My palms were wet with sweat.

The girl in question looked very confident. When she smiled, it was like the dazzling glow of the moon looking down on mother earth. And, she could dance. She waltzed around the dance floor like Michael Jackson doing a moonwalk. I could hear my friends laughing raucously at me, as I soldiered towards her. “He go fail like never before (he will fail like never before)!” Dominic said tauntingly. I thought of backing out as I got closer to her. I could not stop thinking of her laughing at me. She will laugh at me, I thought persistently.

What the heck! I told myself last minute. I have dated all kinds of girls – rich and poor, the very young and the not so young, smashingly beautiful and just beautiful girls. And so what, if she says no? It is not the end of the world! I tried to psyche myself up, but my heart would not stop pounding and drumming. It felt as though my legs were the twin towers of the world trade center creaking and caving under its weight after a deadly blow to them. I looked over my shoulder one more time and my friends laughed even at me. The music was so loud that I could not hear them, but I saw their teeth flashing mockingly at me.

I soldiered on, refusing to drop out of the challenge. “Hello,” I said through a maze of dry throat. Words barely came out of my mouth. She turned and looked at me. I smiled…barely. Her friends who had been talking with her stepped aside respectfully. “My name is Lanre,” I said stretching forth my hand. My hand shook a little, but I don’t think she spotted that. “I am Jenifer,” she said taking my hand. She smiled…just a bit. I heard my heart beating mercilessly. “You are a good dancer,” I said. My brain had gone blank. I was not sure what to say, really. The usually self-assured me was seriously rattled by this girl’s beauty and confidence…and of course, apparent wealth.

 “How do you know that?” she asked sharply. “I have been watching you from over there.” “I see. You like to watch girls at the nightclub?” “No, I notice when a beautiful girl is doing it right.” “Hmm! You notice?” “Yes, I do.” “Shall we then say you have an eye for pretty girls? So, you can’t help but notice them at the club?” She was smart…confident and unapologetically bold. “I didn’t say I always notice beautiful girls dancing. On the contrary, I said, I notice when a beautiful girl is doing it right.” “They are the same thing, whether you have always there or not.” “Not really. Whichever way you look at it, I had to be blind not to notice you. I am sure every guy here tonight has noticed you. Not all of them have the nerve to step up to you though.” “Hmmm! Mr. Confidence, right?” “I am not bragging Jenifer, I am humbly commenting that I am willing to go for what I want…” Meanwhile, my heart was pounding like the talking drum. It seemed as though a bomb had exploded at Ember Creek Night Club. The beating of my heart was deafening.  

STORY CONTINUES...
              CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 2

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: BANANA ISLAND: EXPENSIVE LOVE - Episode 1
BANANA ISLAND: EXPENSIVE LOVE - Episode 1
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Ember Creek Night Club on Awolowo Road Ikoyi, Club Quilox, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, Gucci bag, Versace, Michael Kors, ExxonMobil, Globacom, NNPC, MTN Schlumberger, Dantata, Chanchagi, Theophilus Danjuma, Mike Adenuga, Nightclub.
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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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