Rumbling thunder and violet streaks lightning woke Imabasi from a deep sleep, but her lashes fluttered and closed as she drifted off again, burying her head deeper into the pillow. Even as a child, she had loved the sound of thunderstorms.
For some reason, they always lulled her spirit, perhaps because her father was a farmer.
When she checked the time and it was almost 6: AM in the morning, she jumped off from the bed and knelt by it to say her morning prayers. She was a perfectionist. A lady who kept to time, had her house arranged and clean, her dresses were usually well ironed and she despised scattered stuff. Her younger brother Joel, who is a medical doctor had told her that she might be suffering from Obsessive compulsive Disorder (OCD) but she found his words offensive and not appealing.
As a young teacher who taught only primary pupils in London, Imabasi made sure all her pupils became perfect in all their subjects, as far as they passed through her.
“Good morning Imabasi, today is going to be a blissful day.” She said to herself as she whirled to her bathroom. It was going to be her first date with Adenuga, her new date from Nigeria. Imabasi had been Adenuga’s crush since the first day he met her in God’s kingdom ministries; her new church In Kingston.
Adenuga was going to be her second Nigerian boyfriend. Her first Nigerian boyfriend, pastor Gombe from her former church had a mouth odour. On their first date, when Imabasi attempted kissing him, she passed out. And after that day, she never saw him again.
Whenever she saw Gombe at bus stops and parks, she hid herself until she could get away.
“I have a date today!” She said excitedly as her best friend Miriam stared at her, looking amazed.
“I hope he is not gonna have a brown tooth this time.” Miriam said as she picked her toothbrush from the holder.
“Hell no! This one is so clean, he doesn’t talk too much, he is so clean, I am not sure he loves football, his shirts are so neat, he smells nice and he doesn’t even yawn In public.” She reeled off.
“How many times have you seen him?” Miriam asked.
“Once. At the cafe. He speaks British English and his nails are so clean.”
“Okay! I just hope you don’t complain about this one, this time.”
“I won’t! he won’t give me something to complain about. I will be thirty soon, at my age, I don’t need a man who is gonna be another baby. I need a real man. Clean, brilliant, reserve, doesn’t flirt, cute, hairy, nice set of teeth, Loves God and respects me.”
“You didn’t add rich.”
“That’s been cute. A cute guy is rich.” She retorted.
“Your dream man must be from heaven, I mean not born through some woman’s ass.”
“My mom said she needs a son-inlaw, and I said he must perfect. He must have the glory of God reflected in him.”
“Here she goes again…”
“Let’s not talk about my kind of man anymore, we just found him. And his name is Adenuga.” She said girlishly.
“Oh Adenuga, good luck to you!” Miriam said shrilly.
Moments later, Imabasi was dressed in a pair of jeans, a boot and a purple sweater. She had her Vanilla body mist sprinkled all over her body. Her big braids were beginning to get worn out, but she gelled them up and ruffled her hair to the back.
few seconds afterwards, the door bell rang, and as soon as Imabasi gently opened the door, her heart skipped at the sight of her date Adenuga.
He smelt of Masculino perfume, and had a well built physique.
He was just the kind of man Imabasi wanted. He thrilled her on their first date at the cafe, when he said his prayers quietly before he took a sip of his coffee.
He kissed her forehead, and held her hands majestically towards his BMW car as he opened the door respectively.
“My lady” he bowed.
Imabasi felt elegant in her self, he made her feel queenly.
“Where are we off to?” She asked breathlessly.
“My house. You will prepare dinner for me today.” Adenuga said huskily.
Imabasi knew that she wasn’t going to fail his first test. She was the daughter of a caterer, and she was perfect in this one.
She had to keep so many emotions locked inside.
He had told Imabasi of how he was scuttled into London by an American captain who was a member of his church in Lagos, Nigeria.
Imabasi was tired of the conversations about how he tells his mother everything, and how his mother is the breadwinner and head of the family, and his mother does everything for him. She was tired of looking at his face.As soon as he got to his house, Imabasi whispered, “thank God.” totally stunned by the beautiful structure.”Welcome to my humble home baby. I live here alone, today is going to be my first time of bringing home a girl since I relocated to London.” He said as he led the way to his apartment.When Imabasi stepped into the sitting room, a horrible smell of rotten rice, a mixture of egg and soured beans flew into her nose, she choked and covered her nose with her hands immediately.There were dirty piled up clothes on the couch, dirty boxers and singlets on the TV and the tile looked old and dirty. Imabasi held her breathe for a moment, then began to cough again.”I hope you’re okay?” Adenuga asked softly. Imabasi nodded childishly.”Don’t mind me please. I can be a very messy person a times. You won’t believe I haven’t clean this house for the past three months. I can’t wait to be married to you so that you can just take care of the house.”For a minute, Adenuga kept explaining why his house was messy and why he needed a wife, but all what Imabasi thought of was to just go back home and never see him ever again.”Shall we begin cooking soon? It’s been long I ate Amala and ewedu soup.” He said and gave a loud laugh. Imabasi gave a light smile.
“My mother sent amala to me last weekend, fresh from Oyo.” Imabasi nodded.
“I visited Old Spitalfields markets last week and bought some ingredients that my mother text me, I have never really been a good cook. So today we are going to make Ewedu elegusi, Gbegiri, Efo riro and correct, hot amala!” Adenuga said with another loud laugh.Imabasi giggled and said, “I am not Yoruba. I have never made Yoruba food or tasted it. So I don’t think I will be able to do the cooking.” She said politely.Disappointment was written all over Adenuga’s face, as he looked at Imabasi with his mouth wide open.
“You mean you are Nigerian, and you don’t know how to make Gbegiri or Efo riro?””No I don’t. since you’re a Nigerian too, and the food is from your tribe, I will watch you do it today, so that next time we won’t have this discussion.””I am a man, it’s not a thing of shame if I know how to do it or not, but it is for a woman.”Imabasi gave a disgusting shrug.
“Wow, amazing.” She whispered.”As a good wife Ima, the first thing you should have done when you walked in here was to see that my house is untidy, and help me tidy it.”
Imabasi giggled again. “I am not a good wife material Adenuga. If you were a good husband, your house should have been kept clean. ” She said boldly.
“Where is your kitchen? I need coffee.” She added.
Adenuga pointed at the kitchen, and she walked sluggishly to the kitchen.
“ọlọrun lẹkun,” Adenuga said and shrugged in a disgusting matter.
As soon as Imabasi stepped her foot into the kitchen, her eyes widened at the dirty dishes and soured, smelly Noddles in the sink. There were flies perching on everything. She got choked and vomited
“What’s that, are you alright?” Adenuga asked as he walked quickly toward her.
She didn’t let him touch her, she clutched her sweater together where it had gapped open in front. Backing up the steps without taking her gaze off him, she left for the door handle and shook it until it got open.
She stumbled inside, slammed the door, and closed it behind her, breathing as fast as she could.
Imabasi was having troubles falling asleep. Her thoughts were jumbled with awful imaginations of Adenuga’s kitchen and smelly sitting room. Taking an exasperated breath. She opened her eyes and sat up, clasping her arms around her folded legs. She had regretted going on a date with Adenuga, and she promised herself never to see him again.
She walked into the kitchen and pressed the coffee dispenser. As she watched the Coffee, running into the tea cup, she imagined bacterial in the coffee. The cup fell off from her hands, and she watched the dark coffee splashed on the floor.
“What is wrong with you?” Miriam asked shrilly.
Imabasi stared at the splashed and broken coffee cup on the floor for a moment and gave an audible sigh of relief.
“Since you came back from Adenuga’s place, you’ve been acting strangely. Did he hypnotize you?”
“That guy is dirty. I have never seen such a dirty human being in my life. Even the gutters are better than his house.” She said in whispers, totally stunned by what she saw.
Miriam giggled. “Why do you always meet this kind of people? Why didn’t you clean up the house for him?”
“God forbid! That guy needs a cook and a cleaner, and not a wife. I can’t just cope, even for another minute with him. If I end up marrying Adenuga, I will automatically turn to a maid.” Imabasi said with a disgustful glance.
“What does a wife do, that a maid doesn’t? I clean, I wash, I cook for Richard. He doesn’t even know how to do anything. that is why he loves me.”
“Mimi, I can’t. I can’t marry a man like that. I can’t. That’s you being able to cope with such, I can’t just pretend about it. It’s disgusting, it’s weird, I can’t do it! Oh my God….I need to brush and shower.” She said with a disgustful grin.
“Again? This is the fifth time, you’re gonna have your bath and brush your mouth.”
“I forgot to disinfect my water those times I had my bath. Mimi, I feel sick and terrible. I shouldn’t have visited him, I am just feeling like I just came out from the pit of dirt that had creepy things in them. I feel like there are thousands of bacterial around me; In my hands, my feet, my body, my hair.” She paused, then whispered, “I can’t just stop bathing!” She walked as fast as could to the bathroom, while Miriam watched her looking amazed.
To be Continued…………..
Fashion Illustration: Illustration315
Written by Vicky Bon Uzuazor