[Story] Love in Naija (Complete Episodes)
Introducing a new series on 9jarocks.com. Naija love written by ESTHER AMAKA UWAOMA of Cool FM Abuja.
Love in Naija Episode 1
As I stepped out of the plane at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport in Abuja, I turned to see that a hunky Mulatto guy behind me had his eyes glued to my bum in a chiffon mini skirt, I knowingly twerked it and he gasped. I glared at him and pulled my sun shades on. As my feet touched the tarmac, I felt a strange mixture of trepidation, anxiety and excitement. Tomorrow I would be meeting my birth mother again after 25 years. I walked towards the arrival lounge, I let the mild heat brush my face, yes this was my home.
My name is Cassandra Bisong and I am 32 years, this is my second time of coming to Nigeria. First time was when I was five years old and my parents were still happily married. My parents are both from Obubra in Cross River state. I am fair, petite but well proportioned in the way Calabar women are known to be. I chuckled to myself as I remembered how my Jamaican professor had described me when he was hitting on me back then in school. “Tiny waist fanning out in reckless abandon to juicy hips”.
I was born, and grew up in the quaint town of South Orange in New Jersey, 14 miles from Manhattan. After my high school, I went on to Seton Hall University where I studied International relations and majored in diplomacy. After graduation I worked in the Embassy of the federal republic of Nigeria in Washington DC for 6 years.
Well! my dream had been to become an Ambassador but I ended up there as a Public relations officer, after shuffling papers and dealing with wide eyed, desperate, somewhat cunning Nigerians or Naija, as they called themselves. I can say I’m very fascinated by their confidence and notorious reputation. Enough to want to come to this very controversial but intriguing country to experience it firsthand. There is more to it anyway though, my father told me that my mother abandoned me and fled to Nigeria 25 years ago, this is puzzling because the Mum I remember is gentle, beautiful and loved me with her life.
At the arrival lounge I located my luggage and headed towards the exit. I made to take a trolley for my luggage, a dark lanky youth with a sort of tribal mark lining his face appeared from nowhere and grabbed my hand. I felt like spiders were crawling down my back, don’t get me wrong, I am not a snub or anything like that but a stranger had never grabbed me like that before, was he a sex offender?
“Fine Aunty, well done ooh, you want trolley? I go help you carry your bag, na only 100 naira”
I snatched my hand back in confusion, why was he renting the trolley to me? Was he trying to con me? I had been warned of opportunists in Nigeria and really I have never been to an airport where trolleys were rented out. I took a deep breath to fight panic and looked at him fiercely.
“Get your hands away from my luggage Mister! Before I get security.”
He left my bag but still held the trolley, what? I turned around and saw a man in security uniform and beckoned on him, he took his time to stroll over looking angry that I called him.
“Na wetin dey happen here? Wat happen?”
“This man sexually harassed me and wants to rent the trolley to me, isn’t it for free?”
The security snorted
“Which kind free? Ol’ boy wetin dey happen here”
The boy turned to him.
“See this ashewo ooh, common 100 naira, wey I tell am say na for the trolley, she begin dey speak grammar.”
I knew that Ashewo meant prostitute and couldn’t believe the insult and drama that was unfolding in front of me. I simply snatched my bags and without another word started dragging them along as I walked out. The security raised his voice so that I could hear and abused me further.
“See her legs like free trolley, upon all the money wey she carry come from America, common 100 naira she no fit give for trolley. She dey find oshofri.”
He hissed loud and long.
I was stunned, Jezz!!! This was my country? Everyone was rushing, oblivious of the next person. As I walked towards the cabs lining the sidewalk, more hands grabbed my luggage.
“Sweet sister, Aunty you dey find taxi?”
Someone else pulled me from behind.
“No mind am, my car get AC, come this side.”
Tears stung my eyes, I looked around, I was not the only one mobbed. Cab drivers grabbed at passengers, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned. The same half caste guy that was checking me out while I was leaving the plane smiled at me. He told them that I was with him and they dispersed. He grabbed my bags and led me to a Toyota Camry 2009 model, parked some feet away. He put my bags in the boot and walked around to open the passenger’s door for me, I found my voice.
“Hey Mister! You don’t even know me.”
He laughed, his laughter was seductive and he looked me in the eye.
“Is this your first time in Nigeria?”
“Yeah except you count when I was five years.”
“From your accent, you are American.”
“No I am Nigerian – American, why are you helping me?”
“I am just being nice Ma’am”
He laughed again and gestured towards the open car.
“At least, take a load off your feet, sit down; I promise I’m not driving off to kill ya. Here! Have the car key but for Christ sakes just sit down. I promise I’m harmless.”
“I smiled and sat down, grateful to rest my tired legs.”
“So what’s your name fair lady.”
“My name is Cassandra and you?”
“I’m Muna, short for Munachi” He said
“Muna thanks for rescuing me back there but do you want something from me?”
“You know people always want something”
“In this case, trust me I want nothing, you looked ready to burst into tears back there. Could never resist a damsel in distress.”
He walked over to the driver’s seat and sat.
“Okay I forgive you for staring so hard in the plane.”
We both laughed and relaxed and he touched my arm slightly
“Where are you headed? To a hotel? Was someone coming to pick you?”
“I have reservations at Chelsea hotel.”
“So Chelsea Hotel It is.”
He tugged at some sheets of paper that I was sitting on.
“Babe let me just get these document, they are my client’s receipts”
I apologized profusely and lifted my hips for him to ease the document from under me.
He tilted towards me and in a bid to grab all the receipts, his palm got trapped under my bum. His touch was electric and I gasped as a delicious feeling washed over me.
“Mu… Muna, what…?”
Naija Love: Episode 2 (If You Kiss Me, I Go Kiss You)
Desire and confusion flashed in his eyes and I knew that he wasn’t intentionally taking advantage of me. He withdrew his hand reluctantly and apologized bashfully.
“Cassandra I’m really sorry for that.”
He didn’t seem so sorry because his eyes still lingered on my smooth thighs as my short skirt rode way up and clung to my hips. The look in his eyes was carnal and lustful, this caused my heart to start hammering again, what was wrong with me? Maybe it was because I had not had sex for so long but this sexy stranger looked ravishing. I crossed my legs and leaned back in the seat, silently exhaling through my mouth. His eyes followed my every move as he mercilessly heightened the sexual tension with his soulful eyes that shamelessly taking off my skimpy skirt stitch by stitch. I swear I’m not the overtly sexed female, infact I haven’t had some for ages. Not for lack of a partner but I have been so engrossed in my quest of gathering information about my mother that every other thing simply took a back seat. I had been celibate for almost a year.
I moved uneasily on the seat trying to stop the twitching I felt deep in my belly. His husky voice was subdued as he said.
“We had better start going, it’s almost 8pm”
I nodded helplessly not trusting myself to say a word. How could this guy affect me this way? He had an animal magnetism I haven’t felt before. What my friend Haley told me back in Washington when I had just started working came to my mind. “Cassie, be careful. These Naija guys are so smooth, suave and sharp, else in no time they will have you eating outta their palms. Many of them do that just to get US citizenship.”
Now I could feel the smoothness from him first hand. I shook my head lightly to clear my head, dude oozed sensuality. He drove in silence, nodding to an Eminem song drifting through the speakers. I broke the tensed silence between us in the car.
“So Muna tell me about yourself?”
He flashed his Morris Chestnut smile again. And said
“I’m your typical street kid, I’m a movie maker. I cover mostly music videos and advertisements for public relations companies.”
I liked him already so I prodded for more.
“So you are this influential music movie maker in the city?”
He laughed sexily. Okay by now I had come to realize that he wasn’t intentionally being seductive, his voice was just sexy. He said.
“I don’t know if I can be called influential, I’m what you will call a hustler. I do have my circle of influence though; it’s not beneath me to cover birthdays, weddings or events. Whatever gives me cheese.”
I was impressed.
“But you know back in the US, if you say you are a hustler? You probably sell meth or crack around or on the street.”
“I know, down here in Naija hustling means surviving. You see, I left home even before my bachelor’s degree so you can call me a self made man.”
I lowered the volume of the car stereo, our gist was getting really interesting.
“Self made man? I like that.”
He gave my arm a friendly pat.
“Cassandra can you speak pidgin”
I blushed, the way he called my name made it feel so special and mysterious. In US, my friend’s called me Cassie or Cass. I only knew few words in pidgin but I didn’t want to seem ignorant.
“Hey of course, I’m Nigerian you know.”
“Great because na pidgin me and you go dey yarn ooh. Do you need to pick anything from the mall? We are already in Garki Central area.”
I laughed heartily.
“No I’m good, just wanna go hit the showers. It had been so fun knowing you, thank you so much Muna.”
He patted my hand again.
“You are welcome, you made my evening.”
He drove into Chelsea hotel and helped me move into my room, he took charge and made sure that the facilities were all working. I looked at him suspiciously as I sank down on the sofa in the room; I blushed again and kicked off my shoes. He glanced at me.
“Babe what is it? Are you okay?”
I tried to hide my apprehension.
“Nothing, just that you are being too nice to me”
He looked at me as if I was from Mars.
“This is Nigeria; here we take care of our women. What I’m doing is what any man worth his onions here will do for any woman he likes. I know over there, ladies split bills with guys when they go on a date and are fiercely independent. Here our women let us take care of them, Naija love is different from any other. If I’m going to take you out 100 times, I will cover the bills a hundred times and it’s natural for us.”
I was blown away, this was different and old fashioned but already I was beginning to feel my feminine side peek out from behind the curtains. This guy made me feel like a woman, pampered and able to exhale.
“There must be a catch somewhere”
“No catch, don’t get me wrong. I would love to do all sorts of indecent things to you and make you moan to no end but Lady it will be at your time and no pressure so relax.”
He chuckled at the look on my face. His mention of having me moan endlessly had hit me by surprise. Again I felt the twitch and pull in my belly. I gulped.
“So you like me?”
“What do you think?”
“I can’t really think now Muna, I just want to tumble into bed. I stood up on tiptoe to give him a goodbye hug and he caught me in his arms like a starved man.
I looked up into his eyes, and again that look was there. Fierce desire and confusion, I felt a full blown hard on press on my belly and tried to push away from his embrace but he shook his head, his eyes drawing me in. his voice was like aphrodisiac.
“Cassandra, I’m really sorry that I’m this attracted to you. The last thing I want to do is frighten you away or hurt your feelings, but this Oga down here no dey hear word, it has a mind of its own.”
I searched his face for any hint of ulterior motive and saw nothing, probably like me he was a victim of our hot emotional and sexual connection. I wanted desperately for him to kiss me, to devour my lips but he hesitated and started pulling away.
OMG! Nah!! There won’t be any play of honor mister! Quickly I pulled his mouth down on mine; I saw the shock in his eyes. He was probably okay being in charge and playing by his own rules. As I kissed him, I could feel his control slipping away.
He groaned deeply and held me by the back of my head and took charge, backing me against the wall he kissed me until my eyes crossed. Then just as suddenly he broke the kiss and moved away inhaling deeply in frustration. It took seconds for me to find my bearings. What did he do that for? He said
“I’m sorry Cassandra, I… I should have more control.”
I was suddenly very weak and flopped on the bed; he came over and kissed me on my forehead. I pulled his mouth down to mine and kissed him again passionately. He held me gently by the neck and devoured my mouth hungrily and then he whispered.
“Sweet dreams dear.”
I whispered back. He retrieved his car keys from the sofa and left. I could hear his footsteps down the stair and shivered from cold and desire. I couldn’t believe how eventful my whole day had been. Here I was in Nigeria at last and couldn’t wait to meet my mother the next day. At first my friends in the US thought I had lost my mind, coming to look for my mother after all these years.
Both my parents had gone to the United States in 1980; they both schooled in New York, my Mum dropped out to have me and according to my Dad took off before my 8th birthday. Her name was a taboo in the house and Daddy’s wife, Amanda “my evil step mother” a real estate white bitch from Cleveland claimed the mention of my Mum traumatized her.
Well I never really belonged there anyway, it was just recently that I learnt to be proud of my luscious hips, Amanda made me feel inadequate and fat throughout my teenage years in high school and college, now I’m my own person and I am ready to meet my mother. When I first told Daddy about my plans to come to Nigeria, I swear he had a psychotic breakdown. He ranted and swore darkly.
But all that was water under the bridge, my mind was made up. Here I am on the 22nd of July 2013 standing on Nigerian soil. I have done my research and I have my mother’s address, she stays in Utako in Abuja and is a sort of skin care doctor with her own beauty products.
All my mother’s pictures had disappeared from our house a long time ago and Daddy refused to talk about her, but luck smiled on me when I ran into Aunty Amara, one of our few old friends from back in the day at a child dedication ceremony of another of our Nigerian family friend. I cornered her with the intention of gleaning every little information I could from her.
“Hi Aunty Amara, how have you been? At times like this, I can’t help wishing that my Mother did not abandon me here to run to Nigeria.”
“Cassie you have never talked about your Mother before, what is going on?”
“I miss her, or who she was, I miss a mother in my life.”
“What of Amanda?”
We both convulsed in laughter, it was a private joke. Amanda’s face is long and horse-like and we called her ‘the witch’. Aunty Amara became serious,
“What if Nse never abandoned you? What if she was the victim?”
My heart skipped a bit.
“Aunty what the hell are you talking about?”
Naija Love (Episode 3): Blood Is Thicker Than Water
I was frantic, something in me had always known that there was a cover-up somewhere. Just then Daddy started walking towards us and Aunty Amara quickly gave me her card and asked me to meet her the next day for us to talk. I collected the card my heart beating rapidly.
Well to cut a long story short, Aunty Amara gave me every information I needed to locate my mother but refused to tell me more, she asked me to go find my mother and to hear the truth from her. I prodded and pushed her to tell me more but she was adamant. Without actually calling my mother or getting in touch with my mother, though I got her number, I simply planned my trip. Maybe I was afraid she will refuse to see me. I was in fevered pitch, everything was happening so fast.
I checked the time on my wrist watch; it was 12:00am. Enough of mind wandering, I buried myself under the bed covers and willed myself to sleep.
By 9am, I was dressed in a black jumpsuit, in a rented cab and on my way to Utako to meet my Mother. It was a 20 minutes drive and in no time I was standing in front of her office door in the duplex that served as her home and Clinic. She still had no knowledge that I was in the country, my heart was fluttering like the wings of an injured bird. What if Daddy was right and my Mother was this evil, heartless woman? I summed up courage and knocked on the door.
“Come in, the door is open.”
Her voice drifted to me, it was like a long forgotten dream, an overpowering nostalgic feeling washed over me and I fought the tears. I had to be strong; I couldn’t afford to let her see me in tears.
I pushed the door open and she looked from behind her desk, there was confusion on her face. There was fear; there was panic and then recognition. She was like a more mature version of me, same oval face, and same tiny waist and round hips. She came from behind her desk and walked towards me.
“Mummy I then allowed the tears to flow.”
There was not going to be any introduction, explanation. Blood they say is thicker than water. We rushed into each other’s arms.
Her voice was painfully familiar as she spoke reassuringly to me and rubbed my back at the same time. I felt like all the lost pieces of my life finally were coming together. She led me to one of the sofas in her office and we sat down. She smiled amid her own tears and said matter of factly.
“You are Cassandra.”
“Yes, and you are Nse; my mother.”
She smiled again.
“Yes I am your mother. When… How did you find me?”
Even as I answered her curious questions, I felt like I was in an alternate reality. Was I finally with my birth mother? I felt like no force on earth will ever keep us apart again. We went upstairs to her living quarters, she showed me around and then we sat down a have brunch. My mother was everything I imagined her to be and more, she was classy, beautiful and with a husky voice that suggested poise and satin sheets.
We went back to the hotel to move my luggage to my mother’s house, she wouldn’t hear of me staying at the hotel for another minute. At the hotel reception, a note was waiting for me from Muna and something stirred in my heart. He simply stated that he was checking up on me and attached to the note was his business card. Wow! We had forgotten to exchange contact information the previous day due to the much heightened sexual chemistry that sizzled between us.
The day had passed pleasantly with me helping Mum in “sales’ behind the counter of her ‘Beauty Essence shop’, we talked earlier in the day and Mum told me that she had been deported from the US.
I was dazed as she narrated what happened, their student Visas had expired. My father had gone and secretly married Amanda who he was having an affair with and both of them had called the immigration on my mother. My father had heartlessly set my mother up to be deported so that he could marry his whore. No wonder I had always felt like damaged goods, my father was evil. I secretly vowed to disown him, he was no longer my family; he was lost to me forever. All I had now was my mother.
I finished with my manicure and strolled into her room where she was also dressing up; we were going for the birthday party of the wife of the Ghanaian Ambassador.
An hour later we were in the glamorously furnished hall with elegantly dressed men and women smiling and posing on the red carpet. My mother went off to greet her numerous friends and I was left alone to wander on my own. I took a flute of Champagne that a smartly dressed waiter carried on a tray and passed around.
Just then my eyes fell on Muna, he was escorting a middle aged, very beautiful, slim woman. The way she hung on his arm was past friendly, it was territorial. My heart did a back flip. What? Was he married? To an older woman? Muna had not seemed to me like a guy who would marry old money. Just then my Mother took my elbow and guided me towards the couple.
“Cassandra come and meet my most cherished client.”
As we moved towards them, Muna turned and our eyes locked. He looked about to jump out of his skin. He quickly let go of the woman’s hand and frowned in confusion as we came to stand in front of them. Mum hugged and pecked the dainty woman.
“Hello Mirabel, long time no see, meet my daughter Cassandra! Long story I assure you. Cassandra meet my friend Mirabel.”
“Hi Nse. Really? This beauty, is your daughter?”
I forced myself to look and act normal even as my heart seemed about to explode with 50 shades of emotions.
50 shades of emotions that filled me with rage and more. ‘Son of a bitch’ had taken me for a ride. I mumbled a half hearted reply and moved away as my Mum engaged in a lengthy discussion with Mirabel. I walked to the balcony and leaned over the rail to catch my breath.
His syrupy voice washed over me like rain and he came to stand very close behind me. My voice was bitter and cold.
“So you are a gigolo?”
He replied breathlessly.
I swung around and faced him.
“You heard me right, that woman is old enough to be your mother.”
He shook his head and avoided my eyes.
“Don’t judge me, that woman is my friend. In my line of work I need connection; it’s not always easy for us guys out here in this country. Cassandra there are no jobs, open your pretty brown eyes and look around. Iam not hurting anyone and you don’t know what we go through in this country. You cannot just waltz in here from USA where the homeless have at least the benefit of food stamps and homeless shelters to look down your nose on us here in Nigeria. Our leaders don’t play fair here, this system is not working. I grew up on these streets, by my wits and my charm. I put myself through college and started caring for my parents before I turned 24 years. This is our story. If I have to smile at a kind older lady to get the Hilux van I need for my company, I will very well damn do it. I ain’t sitting around to pray for manner from heaven.”
By now he was furious and I suspected underneath it all was an underlying pain. Pain that reflected in his eyes.
But I was in shock, I was outraged. He had no excuse to fuck an older woman for money, he was a male escort, how dare he be so strong, intelligent, my dream Man, brilliant and yet have feet of clay? How dare he disillusion me? Why was he so confident even at this point? My anger fueled my acidic tongue.
“You disgust me Muna, don’t ever come close to me.”
“Too late, I know Nse and her friends. I know where you live, you are mine.”
“You mean you service my mother’s friends? Tell me!! Do they pass you around?
I saw anger flash in his eyes, his muscles bucked and his fist clenched. He lifted me from the rail where I was leaning, and pressed me to the wall, frost punctuating his every word.
“You shouldn’t have said that Cassandra.”
With brutality his mouth crushed mine and his palms travelled mercilessly down my soft hips. I pushed him away with all my strength, at the same time fighting the sweet clench in my abdomen. This Naija guy was fire, he was searing me; burning me up. How could I want him with every fiber of my being when I knew all that about him? I was lost. I kissed him back with all my We kissed like starved animals, and I heard his muffled voice from cloud 9.pent up desire. I could feel his smile but I didn’t care.
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