Then I turned again towards Ogechi for the last time and said; I LOVE YOU TOO, but I have to go. I hurried back into the plane. The doors were closed and the flight took off. I could see her weeping through the window. The girls she flew in with tried to calm her down but she was still weeping till the flight was far in the sky and she was out of sight. I sat back in the plane thinking of the many other things I could have done. I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice yet. Onye was so surprise at me that he couldn’t say anything. After a while he tapped me and asked;
‘Guy, what was that all about? What kind of drama did you just act with that singer out there? Do you know her or something?
‘Mehn, that girl out there is my girl.
(Amazed) ‘What? Oge, your girl? You’ve got to be kidding me. How can she be your girl when she has been abroad all the while? And you never even mentioned it to me? Mehn, say something else.
I started narrating to Onye how I met Ogechi and everything that went on between us until she traveled for abroad. I hadn’t said a word about Ogechi to Onye before now. It was quite a touching story to him. I asked what he would have done if he were in my position. He told me not to ask him such questions since he wasn’t the one in my position. Hours later we landed at the United States airport. Onye’s cousin was already there waiting to receive us. She identified us and led us to her black land cruiser jeep with alloy wheels. We hopped in and she drove us straight home. Her house was like the WHITE HOUSE I had seen in Hollywood movies. She showed us round the house and introduced us to her cooks and cleaners. I was so happy to have finally travelled to the United States. My room was like heaven. Everything in it was white, and I feared I wasn’t going to maintain it that way while I stayed. And that could cause some sort of problems between I and Onye’s cousin. Then I remembered she had cleaners there. I was relieved. I jumped on the broad bed with my shoes on and lay there thanking God for the turnout of things. Shortly after, Ogechi crossed my mind. I called her, but she didn’t pick up my calls. That continued for days, and at a point I was upset with her. I never did that to her, even when she left for the US. I simply understood it was something she had to do. Why wouldn’t she also understand that I needed to do what I did? I even promised to visit more often because of her, yet she refused to pick up my calls. After a while of contacting her without response, I stopped.
Onye’s cousin, whose name was Cynthia, was overly nice to me. I wanted to begin my Masters’ Degree program at once so that I could be through soon enough and return to Ogechi full time before one smart guy made away with her heart. But instead of helping speed up the process, Cynthia became reluctant about the whole thing. She didn’t see the need to do it in a hurry. Whenever I insisted on getting started with the program, she would ask if I wasn’t comfortable in her house. In order to make me discard the idea of beginning my program immediately, she made everything available for me. Before I knew it, she bought me a car and provided me with the kind of life I had dreamed of living right from my days in school. She started taking me to various wonderful places around the United States as though I had gone there to stay permanently. She did a lot of things that baffled me and I was somehow scared because of the reasons I suspected could be responsible for her kindness. I just hoped I was wrong. I spent nearly two months in the Cynthia’s house without beginning the process of the purpose I went to America for. I almost let go of the idea of furthering my second degree program there due to the kind of life I was living.
Cynthia had introduced me to a couple of big shots who eventually fell in love with my poetry. One connection led to another, and I got to meet with a music producer who agreed to make me a part of his recording label with time. They say ‘delay is dangerous’ but in my cases, delay was nothing to be feared because whatever I wanted done was done whenever I wanted it done. Thanks to Cynthia’s powers and connections. I wondered how she gained that much ground there. Even some citizens of the United States couldn’t call the kind of shots Cynthia was calling. She had a lot white people who were loyal to her. I wondered again, why is she not married till now? She was in her early thirties and didn’t seem desperate for a husband. Well, I didn’t bother myself with all that since I was having a really good time there. I must confess I almost forgot that I promised to visit Ogechi often. But then I used her refusal to pick up my calls to strengthen my unwillingness to go back to Nigeria anytime soon or even contact her. I was simply overwhelmed by the treatment I was getting abroad that I didn’t want to put an end to it yet for any reason.
One morning I woke up to meet Cynthia and Onye in the parlor discussing. Onye was telling her that he’ll be heading back to Nigeria to start the car selling business he had planned to start beforehand. Onye’s reason for wanting to leave was that unlike me, he wasn’t fitting into the opportunities Cynthia had made available for us, as he wasn’t much of an arts person. He was business oriented, just like the last Igbo business man friend I had. IGBO KWENU! So he resorted to going back home to sell cars sent to him by Cynthia. They understood their terms and agreement. That didn’t bother me. What bothered me was how I was going to live with Cynthia without the person who linked us together. I tried to convince Onye to stay but he wouldn’t yield. Cynthia, on the other hand was doing everything possible to send Onye home before he had a change of mind. She promised to send him five cars to start with, demanding for just 30% of the money discovered from the sales. It was obvious she wasn’t doing it for the profit therein. I had my fears if I chose to stay back with Cynthia, but I wasn’t going to let such fears drive me away from heaven on earth, so I stayed back.
We continued our normal outings till it began to seem as though I was the man in Cynthia’s life, and that called to the attention of quite a number of American girls. This Cynthia of a girl may have been in her early thirties, but she glowed as though she was ten years younger. So I was proud to go out with her, just that there was nothing going between us. ‘So I thought’.
Sometime after Onye left, one of Cynthia’s Asian girlfriends by name Lin, celebrated her birthday at far away China. Cynthia was invited and I went with her. Of course Cynthia wouldn’t go anywhere without me. There were a couple of things about me which Cynthia normally boasted of to her pals whenever we were out together. I on the other hand was using her to form James Bond for Oyibo based on say I from Naija come dey control babe wey dem dey loyal for. No be small thing oo. I thought we were going to lodge in a hotel when we arrived at China, but we didn’t. Instead we stayed and Lin’s place which was more like a hotel. The house belonged to her father Chang. But she was Chang’s only daughter and next of kin. Chang was advanced in age and likely to die anytime soon. I thought those things only happened in Nigeria but na lie oo. Can you imagine that some Chinese guy-men like that started forming hot mad love for Lin? There was no end to their verbal expressions of love towards Lin. Lin became very confused and indecisive. Her girlfriends were her solace, as they were the only ones she could trust not to want to take advantage of her.
Well, the celebration went very well. Cynthia never failed to introduce me to any big shot whenever there was one around, and Lin’s father was one of them. As I was sitting in the middle of two amazing Chinese girls who were telling me about China and the happenings there, Cynthia showed up with two other Chinese girls who didn’t look like the others I had seen.
‘I believe you’re having a good time’ she said.
‘You can’t imagine how much’ I replied.
‘There’ll be time enough for that. For now you have to meet Mr. Chang’
‘ooOOhh ladies, I’m sorry I have to go. We’ll meet again’ I said to the girls I was with.
‘Alright then, let’s roll’ I said to Cynthia.
‘Not just yet’ she replied quickly. ‘You have to go with these two ladies and get cleaned up’
‘What do you mean by GET CLEANED UP?’
‘You need to take a shower, and these ladies will make sure that is done’
‘Cynthia, what kind of embarrassment is this? Are you implying that I can’t give myself a good bath?’
‘Not at all. You see, it’s like a tradition here. Before any stranger meets Mr. Chang, he or she must get cleaned up, and by two Chinese maidens who have been specifically trained to do so. Let’s not waste any more time. Go with them’
Before I could utter another word, the two Chinese girls grabbed me at once and off they took me. I got really pissed and tried to shake them off me to stop them from taking me to the bathroom but to no avail. I tried to overpower them and what happened marveled me. These girls were just doing those things Jackie Chan does in Chinese movies. They would bend and rise before I even got to know that they bent. They did a lot of those martial arts stuff but didn’t hurt me in anyway. All they did was to defend themselves and make sure they took me to that bathroom to give me a bath. And I wondered; ‘if they use this kind of martial arts to get me to a bathroom, what kind will they use to take my clothes off me when the time for that comes because I wasn’t going to let that happen. Over my dead body!’ The time for that quickly came. Omor! No be small Kung Fu oo!
TO BE CONTINUED…