THE PERFECT MAN Episode 5 The welcome home party was in full swing when i walked in. A distinctive aroma filled the sitting room. It emanated from the kitchen. Smartly dressed servers were carrying several plates of both local and foreign dishes to people. People clustered in twos and threes, some eating, while others were drinking. Phyno's ghost mode played in the background. There was a makeshift bar that housed exotic drinks. From where I stood, I could make out Dom perignon, Brut, Baileys and Andre. The bar man was fully occupied. Chief Eloka Okafor had outdone himself. It was so like my father, throwing a big banquet to celebrate the return of his foreign daughter. Mama Emeka, my mother's bosom friend, was the first to notice me. Ever cheerful, she walked up to me. 'Kam Kam baby, nwa mara mma, welcome home,' she said, hugging me. 'Thank you ma,' I replied in my best American accent, disengaging myself from her. Nigerians were yet to comprehend the importance of interpersonal space. 'Emmy still asks after you o,' she continued. 'Greet him for me ma,' I responded 'Greet him yourself, he is around here, somewhere,' she replied, her eyes searching the room for Emeka. I wasn't in the mood to see Emeka. In fact, he was the last person I wanted to lay my eyes on. He was playfully and annoyingly called my husband when we were younger. Our mothers harboured the disgusting thoughts of us falling in love since we were kids and had already arranged our marriage in their heads. They, especially his mum, called me nwunye Emeka that is, Emeka's wife. It wasn't funny then and it wouldn't make much sense now, chiefly because I was nwunye Bryan. My thoughts went out to Bryan. He was alone in that cold hotel room, without me by his side to comfort him. I scanned the room for Nneka. It was time to leave this party. People walked up to me to say welcome. Some asked how the flight was, while others wanted to know what I bought back from US. I told them to collect the items from my mother. I wasn't in the mood to be entertaining. Suddenly, I jumped. Someone had tickled me from behind. I turned around and I was staring at Emeka's face. I almost hissed. He was fond of doing this, tickling me and he knew how much I disliked it. Bryan was the only one who could tickle me and I would enjoy it. He stretched out his arms to hug me. I almost ignored him but I could see our mums looking at us, so I hugged him and quickly disengaged myself. 'Baby oku, welcome home,' he said, shouting a little bit. Phyno's fada fada started playing and a good number of people were singing along. He pushed me to the veranda. 'Kam Kam, I missed you o,' he went on, 'six whole years and not even a flash from you.' 'Baby oku' and 'kam kam', pet names I hated. He hadn't changed. 'Why would I flash you,' I asked 'I didn't have your Nigerian number.' I placed much emphasis on the 'Nigerian'. 'Kamsi, you've grown o. You are even speaking phonee for me. ' 'Sorry, don't be offended, let me tune the accent down,' I replied, rolling my eyes. 'Kam Kam, nwunye Emeka,' he said stroking his goatee. I flashed my engagement ring before his eyes, the change in his facial expression giving me a deep satisfaction. 'Kamsi, Jiri ya nwaayo, mana congratulations.' 'Who is the Mr right and where is he,' he asked, looking around. That reminded me of Bryan immediately. I saw Nneka walking in and I signalled her over. I turned to Emeka and smiled, 'You will find out on my wedding day.' He shook his head and walked away, still caressing his goatee. Emeka was irritating. Always felt like God's gift to the ladies because he managed to be tall and handsome. He had grown a goatee and I was sure he thought pulling it made him sexier. How I wish my parents allowed Bryan to come home. The sight of my beautiful Bryan would have humbled him. I couldn't imagine myself getting married to Emeka. Thank God the nwunye Emeka nonsense was over. TBC

Nneka got to where I stood and handed me a small bag.

'What is this,' I asked bringing out the contents.

'It's the sim cards you asked me to get for you and your whitey. I went home to get them,' she replied.

I hugged her instantly. I had totally forgotten about communication in Nigeria. I mouthed a silent thank you and was about to ask God to bless her when she cut me short.

'I have asked my mum to keep your mum busy. She has taken her upstairs to talk about Amaka's wedding aso-oke and their latest rival. I also bribed Munachi with chicken to get him to talk to your father about the Nigerian civil war and biafra. So you've got about one hour. Nchedo is in a silver camry outside your gate now, he will drive you to Primak, wait for you and bring you back. Let's go through the kitchen door. I would be on the lookout for your parents. Once I call you, nne start coming back before your father would use my head for nkwobi.'

I looked at my dad and saw him discussing animatedly with Munachi, the Nigerian civil war and it's effects was his weakness, I scanned the room for my mum and didn't see her and then i looked at the sim cards in my palm and tears came to my eyes. Nneka was more than a friend. She had planned all these in less than thirty minutes. My mind went back to the last time I called her in florida and she asked me to get her a dinner gown and I refused. What kind of friend was I? I wished I could turn back the hands of time, go back to Bealls and get her ten of those dresses. That would be the first thing on my to do list when I got back.

I hugged her again and then we hurried through the kitchen. As we got outside the gate, Nchedo was truly in the silver camry waiting. I got in immediately. Nneka grabbed my arm.

'Kamsi, pls don't forget o, put the sim in a phone now. I have copied the number. Once I call you, start coming back o. Ike your father adiro m.'

I nodded, still speechless.

As the car moved, I looked at my wristwatch, one of the random gifts Bryan had gotten me. It was 3:02pm. It was still set in florida's time. I looked at the dashboard. It was 8:02 pm. I corrected it and then set my wrist alarm to 9:02pm. I had just one hour and I wasn't about to waste it.

Translations:
Nwa mara mma - a beautiful child
Nwunye Emeka - Emeka's wife
Baby oku - hot baby
Jiri ya nwaayo - take it easy
Mana congratulations - but congratulations
Nkwobi - an igbo delicacy consisting of goat head or cow leg
Ike your father adiro m - I don't have ur father's strength. Tbc
THE PERFECT MAN Episode 5 The welcome home party was in full swing when i walked in. A distinctive aroma filled the sitting room. It emanated from the kitchen. Smartly dressed servers were carrying several plates of both local and foreign dishes to people. People clustered in twos and threes, some eating, while others were drinking. Phyno's ghost mode played in the background. There was a makeshift bar that housed exotic drinks. From where I stood, I could make out Dom perignon, Brut, Baileys and Andre. The bar man was fully occupied. Chief Eloka Okafor had outdone himself. It was so like my father, throwing a big banquet to celebrate the return of his foreign daughter. Mama Emeka, my mother's bosom friend, was the first to notice me. Ever cheerful, she walked up to me. 'Kam Kam baby, nwa mara mma, welcome home,' she said, hugging me. 'Thank you ma,' I replied in my best American accent, disengaging myself from her. Nigerians were yet to comprehend the importance of interpersonal space. 'Emmy still asks after you o,' she continued. 'Greet him for me ma,' I responded 'Greet him yourself, he is around here, somewhere,' she replied, her eyes searching the room for Emeka. I wasn't in the mood to see Emeka. In fact, he was the last person I wanted to lay my eyes on. He was playfully and annoyingly called my husband when we were younger. Our mothers harboured the disgusting thoughts of us falling in love since we were kids and had already arranged our marriage in their heads. They, especially his mum, called me nwunye Emeka that is, Emeka's wife. It wasn't funny then and it wouldn't make much sense now, chiefly because I was nwunye Bryan. My thoughts went out to Bryan. He was alone in that cold hotel room, without me by his side to comfort him. I scanned the room for Nneka. It was time to leave this party. People walked up to me to say welcome. Some asked how the flight was, while others wanted to know what I bought back from US. I told them to collect the items from my mother. I wasn't in the mood to be entertaining. Suddenly, I jumped. Someone had tickled me from behind. I turned around and I was staring at Emeka's face. I almost hissed. He was fond of doing this, tickling me and he knew how much I disliked it. Bryan was the only one who could tickle me and I would enjoy it. He stretched out his arms to hug me. I almost ignored him but I could see our mums looking at us, so I hugged him and quickly disengaged myself. 'Baby oku, welcome home,' he said, shouting a little bit. Phyno's fada fada started playing and a good number of people were singing along. He pushed me to the veranda. 'Kam Kam, I missed you o,' he went on, 'six whole years and not even a flash from you.' 'Baby oku' and 'kam kam', pet names I hated. He hadn't changed. 'Why would I flash you,' I asked 'I didn't have your Nigerian number.' I placed much emphasis on the 'Nigerian'. 'Kamsi, you've grown o. You are even speaking phonee for me. ' 'Sorry, don't be offended, let me tune the accent down,' I replied, rolling my eyes. 'Kam Kam, nwunye Emeka,' he said stroking his goatee. I flashed my engagement ring before his eyes, the change in his facial expression giving me a deep satisfaction. 'Kamsi, Jiri ya nwaayo, mana congratulations.' 'Who is the Mr right and where is he,' he asked, looking around. That reminded me of Bryan immediately. I saw Nneka walking in and I signalled her over. I turned to Emeka and smiled, 'You will find out on my wedding day.' He shook his head and walked away, still caressing his goatee. Emeka was irritating. Always felt like God's gift to the ladies because he managed to be tall and handsome. He had grown a goatee and I was sure he thought pulling it made him sexier. How I wish my parents allowed Bryan to come home. The sight of my beautiful Bryan would have humbled him. I couldn't imagine myself getting married to Emeka. Thank God the nwunye Emeka nonsense was over. TBC THE PERFECT MAN 
Episode 5

The welcome home party was in full swing when i walked in. A distinctive aroma filled the sitting room. It emanated from the kitchen. Smartly dressed servers were carrying several plates of both local and foreign dishes to people. People clustered in twos and threes, some eating, while others were drinking. Phyno's ghost mode played in the background. There was a makeshift bar that housed exotic drinks. From where I stood, I could make out Dom perignon, Brut, Baileys and Andre. The bar man was fully occupied. Chief Eloka Okafor had outdone himself. It was so like my father, throwing a big banquet to celebrate the return of his foreign daughter.

Mama Emeka, my mother's bosom friend, was the first to notice me. Ever cheerful, she walked up to me.

'Kam Kam baby, nwa mara mma, welcome home,' she said, hugging me.

'Thank you ma,' I replied in my best American accent, disengaging myself from her.
Nigerians were yet to comprehend the importance of interpersonal space.

'Emmy still asks after you o,' she continued.

'Greet him for me ma,' I responded

'Greet him yourself, he is around here, somewhere,' she replied, her eyes searching the room for Emeka.

I wasn't in the mood to see Emeka. In fact, he was the last person I wanted to lay my eyes on. He was playfully and annoyingly called my husband when we were younger. Our mothers harboured the disgusting thoughts of us falling in love since we were kids and had already arranged our marriage in their heads. They, especially his mum, called me nwunye Emeka that is, Emeka's wife. It wasn't funny then and it wouldn't make much sense now, chiefly because I was nwunye Bryan. My thoughts went out to Bryan. He was alone in that cold hotel room, without me by his side to comfort him. I scanned the room for Nneka. It was time to leave this party.

People walked up to me to say welcome. Some asked how the flight was, while others wanted to know what I bought back from US. I told them to collect the items from my mother. I wasn't in the mood to be entertaining. Suddenly, I jumped. Someone had tickled me from behind. I turned around and I was staring at Emeka's face. I almost hissed. He was fond of doing this, tickling me and he knew how much I disliked it. Bryan was the only one who could tickle me and I would enjoy it. He stretched out his arms to hug me. I almost ignored him but I could see our mums looking at us, so I hugged him and quickly disengaged myself.

'Baby oku, welcome home,' he said, shouting a little bit. Phyno's fada fada started playing and a good number of people were singing along. He pushed me to the veranda. 

'Kam Kam, I missed you o,' he went on, 'six whole years and not even a flash from you.'

'Baby oku' and 'kam kam', pet names I hated. He hadn't changed.

'Why would I flash you,' I asked 'I didn't have your Nigerian number.' I placed much emphasis on the 'Nigerian'.

'Kamsi, you've grown o. You are even speaking phonee for me.
'
'Sorry, don't be offended, let me tune the accent down,' I replied, rolling my eyes.

'Kam Kam, nwunye Emeka,'  he said stroking his goatee.

I flashed my engagement ring before his eyes, the change in his facial expression giving me a deep satisfaction.

'Kamsi, Jiri ya nwaayo, mana congratulations.' 

'Who is the Mr right and where is he,' he asked, looking around.

That reminded me of Bryan immediately. I saw Nneka walking in and I signalled her over. I turned to Emeka and smiled,

'You will find out on my wedding day.'

He shook his head and walked away, still caressing his goatee. Emeka was irritating. Always felt like God's gift to the ladies because he managed to be tall and handsome. He had grown a goatee and I was sure he thought pulling it made him sexier. How I wish my parents allowed Bryan to come home. The sight of my beautiful Bryan would have humbled him. I couldn't imagine myself getting married to Emeka. Thank God the nwunye Emeka nonsense was over. TBC Reviewed by De SOUL ENERGIZER on July 10, 2017 Rating: 5

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