passion

Vincent spent most of his time day-dreaming about his night with Zahara. He had spent months wondering what being with her would be like and the reality far surpassed his expectations. At first, he had felt a bit guilty given that they both were not exactly free agents. Then he had been a bit worried that things could get complicated if it got too serious. But then he decided they would cross that bridge if or when they got there. Right now they were just two people with enough sexual chemistry between them to light up a Christmas tree. All he could think about was the next time he would get to be with her again.

He had planned on working late but he was finding it more and more difficult to focus on work as his thoughts kept drifting to Zahara and that beautiful body of hers, and the way she looked laying there underneath him. He shut down his system and left the office. He drove straight home to take a shower and catch up on some of his favorite TV shows.

Zahara was out of town and had been unreachable all day. He was itching to talk to her and tell her about his day. She was always curious to hear about his office gossips, especially about the women that were hitting on him or that he thought were dropping hints, like he was one social experiment she was studying. He found her interest in such stories amusing but indulged her anyway. She was a great listener.

After dinner, he tried calling Zahara’s number one more time but still couldn’t get through. He left a message on her voice mail before going to bed. As he closed his eyes, he found his thoughts drifting to that fateful night and the morning after. He was sure that even if he never got to be with Zahara again, those remarkably unforgettable hours of pure ecstasy in her arms were forever seared into his memory….

Vincent woke up to velvety warm thighs and soft breathing. Sometime during the night Zahara had snuggled closer to him to keep warm under the duvet and now her legs were entwined with his. Her head was on his chest, a half smile on her sleepy lips. As he starred at her, memories of the previous night’s activities came flooding back and he could feel his body responding to the sensations the flashing images in his mind’s eye was evoking.

He was tempted to take her immediately but decided to let her sleep. They had been up for the most part of the night. He couldn’t get enough of her. Her beautiful body was like a cool spring and goodness, was he thirsty. The things she did with that body made him near delirious with pleasure. There had been no awkward pauses or moments of uncertainty. They both knew what they wanted. They both wanted the same thing. It was a simple primal need.

Zahara didn’t need to open her eyes to know that Vincent was awake and watching her. She could almost feel his eyes on her face, as if trying to wake her up just by sheer will. Instead, her eyes remained closed as she thought about their night together. She shivered slightly at the memory of his mouth kissing every inch of her body, exploring and pleasing in turn. The aching need in her had been raw and the first time he took her it was almost as if he knew exactly what she needed him to do. And when they came, one after the other, he called out her name over and over while she almost cried from the sheer intensity of the experience.

She was about to open her eyes and reach for him when she heard a phone ring. The tone didn’t sound like hers so it had to be Vincent’s. She opened her eyes and moved her head off to chest to allow him get out of bed to go get the phone out of his jeans on the floor. She noticed their unceremoniously scattered clothes all over the room for the first time and held back a chuckle. Her room had never been this messy before. She got out of bed to pick up the clothes and arranged them on the sofa in her room, then went to the bathroom to brush her teeth and take a shower while Vincent finished his phone call.

He watched her leave the room, not bothering to cover up. He got the feeling that she was at her most comfortable with nothing on, which was fine except for the fact that he was now completely distracted from his call. He wanted her bad. He quickly ended the call and followed her into the bathroom.

“I have to go. I just got called into the office”. Vincent said as he wrapped his arms around her from behind. They stood like that under the cascading water of the shower head for a minute before Zahara turned round to face him. All she said was “Alright”, before she put her arms around his neck to pull him close and kiss him. It happened so fast she didn’t have time to react. Vincent had her back up against the wall; he hiked one of her legs up and around his waist and slipped into her, making her gasp and then moan in surprise pleasure.

As he started moving inside her, filling her up and taking her to the brink yet again, Zahara couldn’t help but realize that the explosive force of their chemistry was the only thing binding them together. The magnetic attraction they both couldn’t pull away from. They barely knew each other well enough to be best of friends, but for now none of that mattered. For now, they were exactly what the other needed and they were right where they needed to be….

The End.

Gin & Coke II

Posted: September 26, 2014 in Passion
Tags: , , , ,

endorphins

Zahara lay in bed looking up at the rotating hands of the ceiling fan in her room. She kept going over the events of the previous night in her head. The laughing and the dancing, then her unexpectedly passionate response to Vincent’s kiss. Her memory wasn’t as sharp as it should be courtesy of all the drinking, so she was having a hard time recalling specific details but the jolt of electricity she felt flow down her spine whenever she remembered the kiss more than assured her that it did happen and it was not just a figment of her tipsy imagination.

She reached for her beeping phone on her bedside table. She couldn’t help the smile that crept to her lips when she saw who the text was from. Vincent was checking in to find out if she got home safe and to let her know he was home. The party wasn’t as much fun after she left so he had also taken off not long after. Zahara knew what she was feeling was nothing more than an endorphin rush that is coming with meeting someone new, someone who finds you just as attractive and is as curious as you are to know more, to share more.

As she walked away from Vincent on unsteady legs after the kiss, she felt a little disoriented emotionally. She was dazed from the explosive chemistry the kiss had unleashed and she couldn’t wait to get away and be alone to fully process what had happened. She could hear his footsteps behind her. He didn’t say a word till she was sitting inside the cab. He appeared to want to say something but sighed instead. He bent down till his face was parallel to hers and gave her a peck on the cheek through the window before the cab drove away.

Four weeks flew by in a sea of phone calls and text messages. Vincent and Zahara’s friendship was in full honeymoon mode. Zahara had managed to pass the kiss off as a moment of drunken weakness that could not and would not happen again. She loved Femi very much and that meant she couldn’t make room for any distractions. He had been away for two years now and the long distance had started to put a strain on things but she had faith in them. Just two more years to go and his program overseas would be over.

Vincent could not get Zahara and the kiss off his mind. It felt like a dam had been burst and he couldn’t control the emotions that were pouring out. He noticed how she had laughed off the kiss when he brought it up during one of their chats. He sensed she didn’t want him to probe her too much about it. But he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she had felt it too. He knew she was drawn to him just as badly as he was to her. He had looked forward to seeing her on the tracks again the following weekend but she had been a no show. Later during the day when he called to ask her why she didn’t come, she told him the swimming lessons were on hold because Sola, her instructor, was out of town. When he offered to teach her, she said she was busy studying for her final exams. At first he wasn’t sure if she was trying to shake him off or if her excuses were actually genuine. They had managed to talk about everything but the elephant in the room. He decided not to push and just let things flow naturally. He didn’t want to do or say anything to make her pull away. She was the most interesting thing to have happened to him in a long while.

Zahara finished writing her last paper with a huge sigh of relief. After two months of steady studying and exams she felt like she could finally breathe. She went straight home to take a shower and plumped down on the couch to watch TV. Her parents were out of town and she was home alone. She wondered what Vincent was up to and decided to give him a call.

“I just left the office. I’m on my way to grab dinner before heading home. Care to join me?” was the first thing Vincent said as soon as he answered her call. Zahara had to smile. He had been trying to get her to have lunch or dinner with him for the past 2 and half months. Now that her exams were over, she had no more excuses to give and he knew that. There was nothing good showing on TV anyway and she was bored. She had not seen him since the night of the party and she couldn’t deny the fact that she really really wanted to see him again. They had grown quite close over the past couple of weeks.

“Sure, why not. Come get me.” She ended the call and went to her room to get dressed. She had described where she lived to him during one of their endless chats. She put on her favorite Ankara dress and slipped into a pair of flat sandals. She brushed out her hair but didn’t bother with makeup. It was a little after 6 pm and she just couldn’t be bothered. It wasn’t an occasion, just dinner and drinks with a friend.

“I’m outside,” Vincent’s text on her phone read. She picked up her purse and left the house. He was standing next to his car in front the house; he was on the phone and didn’t notice her come out at first. When he did, a big smile spread across his face and he ended the call. She walked up to him, determined not to let the immediate rapid beating of her heart slow down her pace. She smiled and gave him a hug.

“It’s good to see you again. You look good.” Zahara said. Vincent squeezed her a bit before letting go. He was as overjoyed as school boy on Christmas morning. He had been a little surprised when she had agreed to join him for dinner. She usually turned him down for one reason or the other. He planned on entertaining her to the fullest. He opened the passenger door for her to get in.

Three hours later they were seated in a jazz bar, listening to the band play and laughing at how stuffed they were. Their initial awkwardness in the car had melted away as the conversation had picked up during dinner. Afterwards, Vincent had told her about a little place he knew where the live band played really good music. Zahara was feeling quite relaxed in Vincent’s company and wasn’t quite ready for the night to end. After a while he asked if she wanted to dance and she said yes. He led her to the dance floor and pulled her close. Being so close to him made her a little uncomfortable because she was afraid her body would betray her and he would feel her trembling. It was almost like each time their bodies touched there was an invisible spark. It was almost magnetic.

Vincent held one of Zahara’s hands in his as he drove her home later that night. Ever since they got off the dance floor, he had been unwilling and unable to let her go. She didn’t seem to mind although she had an amused look on her face. As soon as he put her in the car he practically hopped to the driver’s side to get in. Immediately after putting the car in drive, he took her hand in one of his and drove with his other hand, only letting go when he needed to. They said little to each other on the ride back to her place. The atmosphere in the car was too charged for words. Vincent kept stealing glances at her face to try to get a read of what was going on in her head but Zahara just stared blankly ahead.

Zahara took off her seat belt as soon as Vincent stopped the car in front of her house. She reached across and pulled Vincent’s face down to hers as she finally gave in to the blazing need he had awoken deep inside her. She kissed him like her life depended on it. She could feel his hands on her face, on her neck, in her hair.

She had been taken him completely by surprise with the kiss. The first time he kissed her at the party he had sensed that she was not the type to hold back, but this was something else. He lit up like a switch. Now he was kissing her back just as passionately. He grabbed a handful of her hair and tugged to pull her head back so he could nuzzle her neck and gently nibble on her collarbone. Her sharp intake of breath turned him on even more. His own need was almost making it impossible for him to see clearly. He wanted her like he had wanted nothing in a very long time. He kissed her till they both had to come up for air.

Zahara stood in front of Vincent in her bedroom. They had finally managed to make it into the house and it was a miracle they hadn’t torn each other’s clothes off. One by one she started taking off her clothes as he did the same. When she had stripped down to her bra and panties, she walked to the bed and sat down facing him. The yearning in her eyes burning brightly.
Vincent did not take his eyes off of her as he took off his own clothes. His eyes followed her as she walked towards the bed, lingering on her full breasts as she sat down. He heard himself exhale and say “Gosh you’re beautiful!” He found the light switch on the wall and turned it off before walking purposefully to the bed and into her open arms to claim her lips once more.

To be continued…

Gin & Coke

Posted: September 4, 2014 in Passion
Tags: , , , , , , ,

gin&coke

She eyed Vincent as he walked up to her, two bright red plastic cups in his hands. She had only ever said hello to him once or twice before on the tracks whenever she was passing by on her way to the swimming pool. She had finally decided to do something about her irrational fear of water and had been taking swimming lessons at the university campus on the weekends. Her parents’ place wasn’t too far from the campus. She couldn’t fit in any time for leisurely activities during the week, what with back to back classes and her final exams in a couple of weeks. She wanted very much to tick “Learn how to swim” off her bucket list before her graduation.

The task was proving to be a lot harder than she had anticipated. She just could not control the panic attack that always creeps in as soon as the instructor let go of her hands in the pool. She wasn’t giving up yet though. She was determined to conquer her aqua phobia.

Zariah’s first impression of Vincent was that he looked unassuming and he definitely had a thing for her. He wasn’t bad to look at either. She could always feel his eyes on her whenever he thought she wasn’t looking. Sometimes, she could see that he wanted to say something to her but would change his mind and continue jogging. She could have made things easier for him and stopped to chat but she wasn’t ready for any unnecessary distractions in her life at the moment. Those final exams needed to be aced and that required undivided attention to her books. Besides, she already had a boyfriend and Femi was just her kind of perfect.

Vincent handed one of the plastic cups to Zariah. There was loud music blaring from one of the speakers nearby so he had to lean in close to tell her gin and coke was all he could find. As he did, he couldn’t help but notice how sweet and soft she smelled, and it wasn’t just the perfume.

Vincent couldn’t believe his luck when Zariah walked into the room. He was getting bored and was just about bailing when he saw her. He had first noticed Zariah a couple of weeks ago on her way to the pool. He had discovered how peaceful the campus tracks were early in the morning on the weekends and had started taking advantage of those periods, between 6 and 8am, to go for his morning jogs. She always came alone, her stride always steady. Her face a blank canvass that made him itch to know what was going on behind those eyes.

Sometimes, when they were within ear shots of one other, she would give him a slight smile and mumble a greeting. But she never stopped walking. Vincent was used to girls being openly flirtatious with him and trying to chat him up. He knew he was in great shape and definitely a knockout in the looks department. But despite the fact that he was running shirtless looking like something out of a GQ magazine, she looked right at him then past him like he was just another lamp post on the side of the road.

Because her expression was always so unreadable he couldn’t tell how she would react if he tried to strike up a conversation. He couldn’t take being rejected, especially by her. She wasn’t the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen but there was just something about her. She always appeared so cool and calm, like nothing could ruffle her feathers. She had intelligent eyes that beckoned to be challenged, and he could tell just by looking at her that she was definitely a lot more than she appeared. He had this urge to peel away her cool exterior, layer by beautiful layer and discover what lay underneath.

“I wasn’t expecting to see you here, I was just about to head out when you came in”, Vincent said as Zariah took a sip of her drink.

“I wasn’t expecting to see you here either. Sola told me it was just a small drinks and barbeque thingy. Didn’t think there would be so many people here, and the music is almost deafening”. Zariah replied. She had to really raise her voice to make herself heard.

Sola was Zariah’s swimming instructor, and apparently a good friend of Vincent’s. He had invited them both to the party and had introduced her to Vincent when she told him he looked familiar.

Two cups of gin and coke later, Zariah began to loosen up a bit and the conversation between her and Vincent started to flow more effortlessly. He was charming and funny and had her giggling for the most part of the night. He was a bit older than he looked and was in a long-distance relationship with his high school sweetheart. He hoped to have twins when he eventually settled down. He spoke intelligently without being off putting, which she found very sexy. Zariah had a thing for intelligent minds. It was a big turn on for her.

Vincent didn’t expect to find Zariah’s company so refreshing. She wasn’t as immature or naïve as one would expect most university girls her age would be. She was intelligent and smart and could hold her own. They talked and laughed and danced all night till she decided it was time for her to leave. He didn’t want her to leave but she had stayed a lot longer than she had intended and thanked him for a very entertaining evening.

Her cab was waiting outside. She had drunk enough to make her quite unsteady on her feet, so Zariah held on to Vincent as he walked her out of the compound. She was still laughing at something he said when she felt him turn her into his arms for what she was expecting to be good nights hug. Instead she found her arms going round his neck as if being pulled by gravity as Vincent lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her like it was the most natural thing.

Vincent had acted on pure impulse when he pulled Zariah into his arms. He just could not imagine ending the night without holding her close, feeling her soft, supple body against his and kissing her breath away. He had half expected her to push him away, not respond like they had done it before. He was elated. The unexpected spark of chemistry the touch of their lips together ignited was shockingly intense. He pulled her closer and kissed her harder still.

The night wasn’t going quite as planned for Zariah. The last thing she had wanted to do was kiss Vincent, but the alcohol and their cheerful drunken banter at the party had dulled her inhibitions, and that zing she felt when his lips touched hers was her undoing. She found herself returning his kiss just as hard, digging her fingers into his neck and pulling him closer till they broke apart gasping for air. As the cold night breeze washed over her Zariah blinked and turned away abruptly, her knees shaking as she walked towards the cab. What the hell just happened!!

 

To be continued…..

Happy New Year!!! Yes, I’ve been AWOL for way too long and as such, disappointed a lot of you who have been patiently waiting for my next post. I have no valid excuse to give. Consistency is a trait I’m sadly lacking in, but I promise to work at it. I know on the long run it would definitely be an added advantage for me. We’re 39 days into the New Year and although things aren’t moving quite as fast as I’d like, it’s not been all bad. At least, I finally found the will power to put down another post.

I got some requests to write a follow up story for Clueless Bride. You wanted to know what happened with her and the wedding. Well, why don’t you find out…

bride

So, she got married. Tori stood at the balcony of their new apartment enjoying the evening breeze. She remembered waking up the morning after the wedding with a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. She was about to begin a new and exciting chapter in her life but she could not help but mourn a little the life she was leaving behind. She was going to miss her independence above all. For the past 7-8 years she had been living life on her own terms and she had become quite settled and used to that.

Nevertheless, she was eagerly looking forward to her new life. She had married Dapo, her rare gem. There were no buts, ifs, or maybes tied to the love he had for her and she wasn’t blind to how lucky she was to have him in her life. For someone like her, with such a restless spirit, Dapo was her rock and anchor. He kept her thoroughly grounded and took great care of her in such a way that made her say a silent prayer to God to bless him every day they were together.

During the weeks leading up to the wedding, when she had been expecting the proverbial pre-wedding jitters to make themselves known, Tori had been calm. No cold feet. No anxious butterflies. The only obvious manifestation of how her subconscious was handling the impending life-changing event was the sudden unhealthy craving she had developed for Cadbury’s Crunchie Bar. The craving got so bad she was chucking down a chocolate bar a day, every day, for close to four weeks. She still had a bar the day before her wedding. At first, she was worried about not fitting into her dress, what with all the chocolate she had been consuming on a daily basis. That was until she realized she was hardly gaining any weight. It was almost like her body was breaking it down & burning it faster than she was stuffing it in. Tori was soon to learn that the stress of planning a wedding can do crazy things to a girl’s hormones. Her body was determined to shed weight no matter how junk filled her diet was. If only it could always be that way. Of course, all that inexplicable weight shedding stopped as abruptly as it started, almost as soon as she said “I do”.

The wedding itself had been everything Tori didn’t want. Her plan for a theme wedding hadn’t panned out. Convincing her mother to let them have the wedding on a small scale proved too difficult a task. Being her mother’s only girl did nothing to help the situation. She was bent on throwing a lavish wedding for her daughter come what way. In the end, Tori and Dapo inevitably had to give in.

The wedding reception had been teeming with so many guests, half of them complete strangers to Tori. It was a miracle 90 percent of them found seats. Dapo had had the good sense to book a large hall just in case. Tori had gone for a relative’s wedding once where the number of guests had surpassed the hall’s capacity and quite a number of them had nowhere to sit. She just could not have that happen at her wedding. All the same, there were so many people at the reception that she sincerely hoped the refreshments were enough to go round. In other words, it was a giant merry circus! And the moms couldn’t have been happier. Tori recalled seeing the look of sheer delight on her mother’s face during the ceremony and smiled. All the pomp and pageantry had been worth it just to see both her mother and mother-in-law so happy.

Nevertheless, Tori was still disappointed about not being able to have her small and intimate dream theme wedding. Not just that, the cost of all that circus had cut deep into their pockets, the very thing Tori had been trying to avoid from the get go. Five months later they were still recovering from the financial blow.

Apart from the fact that they had not been able to really enjoy the celebration of their union, so many little details they had tried to infuse into the ceremony to make it truly theirs had been left out. The wedding cake had been a total disaster, no thanks to the seemingly competent but apparent psycho the cake maker turned out to be. The unstable lady almost caused a scene for no rational reason. Tori only got to hear of it after the wedding. Then there were the groomsmen who completely forgot to pick up their outfits. Tori had to laugh out loud at the memory of how absolutely mis-matched the wedding train looked when she and Dapo were dancing down the isle at the reception. Her bridesmaids had looked fabulous in their glittering pink sequin gowns, while the groomsmen, with no matching suits to complement the ladies, had to make do with their traditional attires. It really did look like scene from a circus show. The ceremony had been delayed due to unexpected rain, the wedding programs had been left behind, the photographers had also been late getting to the hotel to take shots of Tori getting prepared. Dapo’s pant leg had been too long. Nora, God bless her heart, had gotten on her knees to pin up the hem of the trousers. And to top it off, they weren’t fed. They had been left at their place on the stage sitting pretty. It wasn’t until they got to their hotel around 10pm that they had their first proper meal that day. Before the ceremony, Tori and Dapo had made up their minds not to let anything about the day bring their spirits down, so they had smiled through it all.

Nora, Tori’s best friend and maid of honor, had done a superb job with the bridesmaids ensembles, right down to their pretty shoes. She had been with Tori every step of the way. Making sure she didn’t overlook or forget any single detail. Nora had done her makeup and dressed her up and made sure she never lost her composure. She had been nothing short of an angel and Tori really could not begin to imagine how she would have coped without all her help. Of course, they had butted heads different times but it couldn’t be helped. Tori was a little stubborn and Nora couldn’t stand for any nonsense. Nevertheless, Nora had had her back when it mattered the most and she would always be grateful to her.

Tori’s new life took some getting used to. Settling into the new apartment hadn’t been the piece of cake she had assumed it would be. Five months after moving in and she still wasn’t done unpacking. The new routine of things had also been a tad frustrating, but she was learning to adjust. Commuting to and from work had now become her biggest challenge. Her usual 5-10 minutes commute had now become an hour’s journey in bad traffic that often left her almost as cranky as a babe in wet diapers.

To top it off, the miraculous pre-wedding weight loss had done an equally miraculous 1800 turnaround which Tori was finding a hard time adjusting to. Her bum had become rounder and her hips a bit wider. It meant quite a number of her clothes didn’t fit right anymore. But on the upside, she was definitely curvier, looking more like a woman and less like the teenage girl she was often mistook for. For that reason alone, she decided to embrace her new figure. That and because she was finding it increasingly difficult to lose the weight anyway. Tori envied Dapo’s ability to practically wish himself back into shape whenever he felt he had piled on a few pounds. She decided to concentrate more on exercising to keep fit.

All in all, Tori had no regrets about finally jumping the broom. Ever since her parents split, she had been a closet commitment-phobe for a long time. But Dapo had been patient. He had bid his time and waited for her to come to him, and in the end, she was glad she did. Now, she couldn’t wait to plan their one-year anniversary. There would be period costumes and singing and dancing, the whole 9 yards. And this time, not even wild horses could make it go any other way.

Tori grinned to herself as she prepared a cocktail and settled in front of the TV to watch her current favourite TV show, BONES. She was clueless no more. She knew exactly what she wanted and she really couldn’t wait to get started. Planning her wedding had been more than enough practice… :)

 

muse

We’ve always had a great relationship. It’s never been about rules of religion, and You don’t care for formalities and whatnot. All You want to know is what’s in my heart. I can almost hear You say “Come child, talk to Me”.

So I bring it all to You. The good, the bad, the big, and the small. And You patiently listen to it all. My dry jokes, my heartaches; You laugh with me (or I want to believe You do) and console me in turn. I am at my best, my calmest, and my most content, my soul and spirit at peace, after one of our talks, no matter how long or short it is. You accept me with all my flaws and mistakes, without judgement, and love me unconditionally. No matter how far I stray off Your chosen path for me, You’re always there, watching my every step, guiding my feet back to Your ever-open arms.

And when Uncle S, the love of my life for so long, died when I was 13, I couldn’t understand why You would take the only man who would have moved the moon for me away from me so abruptly. I was all torn up in heart and spirit. I would see his face everywhere I turned, haunting me.

I turned to You for answers. I asked that You please help me make sense of it. The wind had been knocked out of my sails and I was flailing, struggling to catch my breath. I cried till there were no tears left to shed. And one night, after crying myself to sleep yet again, You made him appear to me in a dream, to console me and give me a chance to say goodbye. You made me understand that his time had come and he had to go, and he was at peace. I was able to move on because of You.

I can almost see You smile at my impatience, and laugh at my childlike delight when You surprise me yet again with a silver lining. I can almost hear You say “trust your instincts” or “don’t be fooled” whenever I’m in doubt or confused as to how to move forward when I’m at a crossroad. I can almost feel Your presence protecting me when I come into harm’s way. Keeping guard the way a mother hen would do for her chicks. And You watch out for not just me, but everyone I love and care about.

And when the dark times come, when I cannot seem to be able to forge ahead or I feel like I’m drowning in despair, You ALWAYS show me the light at the end of the tunnel, making little my insecurities and wiping away my anxieties, providing me with a miracle just in the nick of time. Never burdening me with more than I can handle. You have shown me love; You have shown me how to love; and You have given me love, the greatest gift.

I am fit to burst with the boundless, unquantifiable love I have for You. You are my Greatest love, my Lifeline, my Confidant, my Savior. What more can I ask for…

Lagos-20120303-00593

I recently rediscovered basketball. I used to play, back in high school. I was on my school team. Volleyball had been my intended target when I’d gone for tryouts, but after picking up and passing a stray ball that had made its way to the Volleyball court, I got hooked. Basketball became my first love where sports was concerned. Despite not quite having the height for it, I learned to hold my own on the court and soon got quite good at it.

That didn’t keep me from playing Volleyball though. And football and badminton. I loved the outdoors and most outdoor sports, still do. Actually, I’d rather participate than watch a game though. Not that I find it boring. I like watching the players, the way they make the game look effortless, their skills and talents on the court or wherever the game is being played, whatever game it is. But the thing is most times, say 7 out of 10 times, when it comes to sitting down to watch maybe a football match or a basketball game, the ADD I was never born with kicks in. It takes will power for me to sit through an entire match without fidgeting. It’s like sitting through maths class, its only interesting when your best friend is sitting right next to you, distracting you when the teacher isn’t looking. I can successfully sit through a game but only if I can play word games or Candy Crush on my tablet at the same time. Those are my distracting best friends in this case.

A hectic college schedule did not afford me time to play as much basketball or Volleyball as I would have loved. I did get to play Volleyball for my platoon during my 3 week NYSC orientation camp in Benue state, the only highpoint of my time in camp.

Enter 9-5 job. Doing any form of exercise on a daily basis feels like a tedious bore and a punishment. Going to the gym was starting to look more and more like the way forward. That was when a friend of mine told me about a basketball court she goes to play most Saturdays. I was thrilled. After all this time I could play ball again. It sounded like a fun way to get a good workout.  So, after months of procrastination, one cool Saturday morning in January, I decide to head down to the court to get my game on.

I can never forget my initial reaction when I stepped on the court that morning. I almost froze and turned back. Not that there was anything shocking about seeing guys play basketball, I had just never been in the midst of so many sweaty, half dressed guys in one place at once. The court was crawling with them, different shapes and sizes. Fat men, tall men, muscular men, skinny men, men whose boobs had boobs, grey haired men, toned and buffed up men, men with tripod pot shaped bellies etc. And in the midst of all that testosterone was my dear friend waving me over. I hadn’t thought to ask her if there were other females who also played. It didn’t take long to find out I would be the only other girl asides her to play on that court.

When it was time to play, complete klutz was an understated way to describe my performance. I was beyond rusty from years of not playing, coupled with the fact that these guys played real good and were freaking intimidating. I spent more time trying to stay out of their way than I did actually playing ball. By the time that set was over, one side of my face was smarting cos my teammate had accidently smacked or elbowed my cheek. I would be sore for days. I didn’t bother waiting to play another set. I knew if I were ever to set foot on that court again it would get a lot worse for me before it got any easier. I knew more often than not I would be the only girl on the court. That was ok. But I would be the only 5ft3 girl hustling for basketball in the midst of 9 towering guys. Goodness! What did I get myself into!

That was 4 months ago. Several Saturdays and tutorials later, they could safely tolerate having me on the court. The little rat they indulged just because. Believe me; I do not mind that at all. It’s been tons of fun and the guys really aren’t that bad. But even so, I still walk to the court most Saturday mornings with butterflies playing basketball in my belly, hoping with all my heart I would suck less than I did the Saturday before. It’s not that I don’t play well enough, but when you’re the only girl on the court, even if the guys make worse calls than you do, yours is still more pronounced just because your gender is foreign to theirs. Some of the guys cut me some slack, while others subtly get in my face about it. Big deal. I’m here to stay and play and I pay same as you, so deal with it.

The guys are from different works of life and all come to ball for the same reason as me; they love the game and it’s a fun way to workout.

But that’s not the only reason I keep going back. You see, before actually experiencing a basketball game live on the court, I had no idea how testosterone, adrenaline, and polar personalities made such a dramatic explosion when mixed together. When this happens I just sit back and enjoy the live entertainment that takes place. Boys will be boys. Only now their grammar is older and experienced. When they get into it, squabbling loudly and vigorously over an overly ambitious player or a ref’s bad call, their veins standing at attention, completely disrupting the game, it really is a sight to see. We’re here to enjoy the game and have a good time. Obviously, it’s an easily forgotten fact. When grown men become screaming little boys, me and my little self sit back and enjoy the show. That’s one of the highpoints of my morning on the court. The other is when I make a basket, which sadly, doesn’t happen very often. Being the smallest female on the court I’m a very easy target. Consequently, when the ball lands in my hands, the opposing team rush me like wildfire on dry brush. So, now I don’t get the ball as much. Intend to rectify that.

My friend, queenie, has played with the guys long enough to master the art of playing aggressively. What you lack in height and gender on the court, you make up for in aggression. Lol. Works all the time. Even some of the guys tell me to watch her play and learn to be as aggressive. I don’t have a single aggressive bone in my body, I bruise easily AND I trip on my own feet sometimes. I’m sure learning to be aggressive should be a walk in the park.

Despite all these shortcomings and other hindrances, I love the game and I love to play. I have successfully given up sleeping in on Saturdays like most normal 9-5 workers.  I wake up 5am every Saturday morning just so I can make the first set. I bear every fall and bruise happily so long as I can keep playing. (Once caught a ball with my face cos the sun was in my eye, hurt like hell) It’s fun. It’s free. It’s my release. :)

Clueless

“It’s a beautiful night; we’re looking for something dumb to do. Hey baby! I think I wanna marry you…!”

Tori hummed to herself as she admired her engagement ring. Dapo had finally made it official. It had been a long time coming. Given, it wasn’t the ring she’d expected him to get her after the countless number of ring pictures she’d sent him as hints as to the type of ring she had wanted. Tori was a closet romantic and rather old fashioned at heart but the last thing she wanted was a boring old fashioned ring.

However, the ring Dapo had proposed with was THE perfect engagement ring for Tori, and even after five months of constantly admiring it, the novelty still hadn’t worn off.

“Is it the look in your eyes, or is it this dancing juice? Who cares baby, I think I wanna marry you.”

Tori continued to hum along to the Bruno Mars song playing on her phone. It was a hot Friday night and she couldn’t get to sleep. She took a pen from her bedside table, opened the big leather bound 2013 diary she kept under her pillow and wrote ‘Marry You by Bruno Mars’ under an underlined heading that read ‘Song List’. She had been trying to compile a list of songs she wanted the DJ to play at the wedding. So far, she had only written down ‘No One Else Comes Close by Joe’ and ‘Tonight (Best You Ever Had) by John Legend’. She was a huge John Legend fan. She still had a long way to go. Her old soul was clamouring for some old school blues. She just had to find the right selection for the reception party, find a way to merge some contemporary hits into the mix.

Five months had passed since the proposal and the wedding was still some six months away. Tori felt she still had plenty of time on her hands and had not started making any plans whatsoever. Apart from the meager song list and the wedding date she’d marked in the diary’s calendar, the thing was practically empty. Tori had never been one of those little girls who dreamt about their wedding day as kids. She had always been sincerely awed by some of the beautiful and fancy weddings she had attended but when it came to picturing her own wedding, all she could see was her and her groom dancing. She had never been able to picture the wedding itself, not even her own wedding gown.

Consequently, when it came to drawing up a plan for the wedding, Tori had no idea where to start. Her first thought had been to look for a bridal shop online and just order a dress, matching shoes and the other knick knacks. Left to her, she didn’t mind eloping with Dapo just to avoid the whole ceremony. All she wanted to do was say “I Do” and dance the night away in Dapo’s arms. But they had both decided not to be selfish about their union and include their family and close friends.

The original plan had been to do the traditional bit with just the immediate family in attendance. Tori had never been one for big weddings. She visibly recoiled at the thought of having the huge circus that now passes for weddings in Nigeria these days, where the couple are nothing but pretty party figureheads to be admired on the high table, like decorations on a cake. Their own reception party would be small and intimate, and strictly by invitation. The wedding day was meant to be a celebration OF the couple, not a celebration FOR the couple; and Tori intended it to be just that. Sadly, Tori’s biggest headache about all of this was that where planning a wedding was concerned she was as clueless as they come.

Tori looked down at the diary in her lap and tried to recall a few details she had noticed from past weddings she had attended, including the ones she had been involved in as one of the bridesmaids…

Bridesmaids!! Of course, there were bridesmaids in weddings! But on a second thought, she didn’t really feel the need for “extras” as she liked to call them. She had already given the role of Maid of Honor to her capable best friend Nora, and she was good with just one.

What to wear? Hmm….she put a pin in that for now. Each time she thought about it she still had no clue.

Colours? That seemed easy enough. Just pick some two colours and that’s that.

Catering? She’d have to come back to that.

Decorations? What’s the venue gonna look like? She had no idea!

What else…..Blank…..Blank…..Blank!!!

Tori took a deep calming breathe and shut the diary. The wedding details would just have to sort themselves out eventually. She had been drawing blanks from the minute the news of the engagement was announced to both families. She had also been fielding question after question about the wedding and she still had not been able to manage more than an absentminded head-shake or a blank stare. The internet wasn’t much help either. The first step would be to know just what she wanted and didn’t want for the wedding, and that was exactly what she was yet to figure out. She just could not decide.

Now that she was the one in the centre of it all, everything took on a whole new meaning for her. It was her wedding so she was meant to have all the answers. Tori was overwhelmed beyond words but she was also quick to realize that she needed to have these answers and she needed them fast, or she would be at risk of becoming just another decoration at her wedding if decisions had to be made for her.

As Tori sat on her bed thinking of what to do, the music playing on her phone was cut off as the phone started to ring. It was Nora. Relief washed over her as she answered the phone. But even before she could say a word, Nora’s voice came over the line…

“You silly, silly child! Just because the wedding is still a while away does not mean you should sit and fold your arms. You can’t afford to start making rushed preparations 4 weeks to the wedding. And you being a clueless klutz is no excuse. As cute as I may find it sometimes, now is definitely not one of those times. Now listen very carefully. I want you at my house first thing tomorrow morning. As a matter of fact, I want you to be the first thing I see when I open my eyes. Lord knows you’re in dire need of Clueless Bride 101 lessons, so you better come prepared. One more thing Tori, I don’t want any excuses about not being able to make it and you had better not stand me up!” And with that Nora ended the call.

Tori stared at the phone in her hand, a bemused look on her face. Dear Nora! She was definitely a force of nature. They had become best buds shortly after they met in college. It was love at first sight. Now she was like the sister Tori never had. That and her impeccable organizational skills was why Tori had mandated her to be her Maid of Honor  She needed someone to keep her on her toes and smack her upside the head if need be whenever she started to go lax or panicky while planning the wedding.

Now that Nora was about to jump start the process, Tori was finally able to focus on what she wanted for the reception party. She thought about her song list and then it hit her. A Theme Wedding! Now Theme Weddings were not a popular trend in Nigeria, given the different complexities involved in the ceremony depending on the couples’ religious and/or ethnic backgrounds. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t have a theme reception. There was nothing wrong with spicing it up a bit, something fun and different. Not the usual come chop wedding reception with guests wondering when the polite time to make an exit is. She could have a 60s theme, with everyone in dated costumes. Maybe even include a bit of Karaoke. Guests would be invited to serenade the bride and groom with silly old love songs….yup, that did sound different and fun!

It was all starting to come together quite nicely in her head.

As Tori lay down to sleep that night, after returning the diary to its place under her pillow, she couldn’t help but smile. Clueless or not, she might still be able to plan a bad-ass wedding after all…