“Guy, I don blow!” Chris announced excitedly as he bounced into the living room. Obaino sighed inwardly. Chris was his best friend cum flatmate cum freeloader. Handsome and charming, Chris was one of those perpetually broke guys that had plenty swag that made them look like they’re related to Dangote. Obaino, on the other hand, was more responsible. While Chris was always prancing around town with his swag looking for where to make quick money to ginger his swagger, Obaino worked hard with his money. Presently, they lived in a two bedroom rented flat that Obaino paid for. But looking at them both, you would think Chris paid for the flat while Obaino was the squatter.
Sometimes, Obaino wondered why he continued to be friends with Chris. The two of them were very different. Chris was stingy to a fault. He never contributed anything to the house. Always broke because all his money were spent on chasing women way above his league. Obaino took care of everything in the house including their toothpick. The only thing that Chris did was to take and take without giving back.
“Congratulations, man.” Obaino replied, forcing a smile. “How you take blow?”
“Betting.” Chris relied, glowing with pride. “I bet Man. City against Arsenal 3-1 and I won.”
Obaino hissed, not impressed. “Only? Na 50k you wan take blow? I been think say na better money you win.”
“With hundred naira? Guy, the highest amount I have ever had in my account was 20k. Now that I have 50k, you think it’s not an improvement?”
“Maybe if you found a job and stopped chasing girls, you will have more than that.”
“Oh, you think I’ve been dancing shaku shaku with my CV. Just because you don get work no mean say me I no dey try.” Chris said angrily. “In fact I for no tell you. Your negative vibe is killing my moral.”
Obaino softened with remorse. Chris may be a lot of things, but he had a good heart. Those who knew Obaino usually called him a snob because he hardly mingled with others. But Chris was a people person. Chris helped his social life.
“Guy, I’m sorry. I’m really happy for you.”
Chris smiled, his glowing pride returning. “Thank you.”
“So what are you going to do with the money?”
“Ah, nothing o. It will sit there in my account. I will only take small money to buy correct wears and package myself well.”
“Yes na. Man gats to package wella if you want people to take you serious.”
“If you’re packaging, remember you’re owing me 20k.”
Chris stopped smiling. “Guy, I don tell you say I go pay next week.”
“That was two months ago.”
“I will pay you. Relax. We’re together.”
“Oya na.” Obaino replied, rising. “Dey there dey package yourself. Me, I wan go chop.”
“Make I follow you na?”
“You go pay o.”
“You know say I no get money.”
“Your 50k nko?”
Chris gave him a slow smile. “Obaino, you want me to touch that money, abi? It will not work. My 50k is covered in the blood.”
They went to a nearby eatery. A stunning girl was already seated sipping a bottle of Coke. Chris eyes immediately brightened with interest.
“Guy, no try am. Remember your babe.”
Chris didn’t take his eyes off the girl. “Which babe?”
Chris hissed. “That one na old testament. This one is new testament.”
“That girl looks like high maintenance o. Your 50k o”
“I’m not going to give her money. I just want to talk to her.”
“And tell her what?”
Chris flashed a dazzling smile. “Watch and learn.”
They went and sat down. Chris sighed like he was angry and began to speak in an American accent for the girl to hear. “Man, this country is fucked up. Can you believe I got robbed of my Iphone 12 and three thousand dollars on my way from the airport yesterday?”
That got the girl’s attention. She glanced at them and quickly glanced back to her phone. Chris smiled and winked at Obaino. Obaino played along reluctantly.
“Sorry.” He replied in a bored tone.
“It’s okay. I mean I just won a hundred million naira contract. I’m just gonna finish it in a few months and jet out of this shithole country back to the United States.”
“But I’m lonely, man.” Chris continued in his fake accent, like he was really sad and lonely. “I want a special girl in my life. What’s the point of making all these money if there’s no one to share it with?”
By now, the girl was staring openly at them totally forgetting her coke and phone. Chris gave Obaino a conspiratorial smile. Obaino smiled back. It was working.
“I guess I gotta wait. One day I’m gonna find that girl I wanna spend the rest of my life with. For now, ammo keep making money.”
“kpulukpulukpulu!” The girl quickly finished her coke and walked up to them, clapping and laughing.
Caught in their game, the guys stared at her, shocked.
“Excuse me?” Chris said in his American accent.
“Your American accent is fake. You think I didn’t see your faded Hot 4 with cracked screen? And your Aba made clothes. You don’t even look like you can afford a T.fare to the airport not to talk of boarding a plane.”
“Come this girl, don’t insult me o.” Chris immediately dropped his Americana character, pissed.
“Welcome back, Omo Naija.”
“Busted.” Obaino said under his breath.
Chris ignored him and faced her. “Look, the accent may have been fake. But I’m a big boy.”
“Shebi you said you’re a big boy. Prove it.”
Chris stared at her. Obaino tried to stop him, knowing what he was thinking. “Don’t do it.”
But pride wouldn’t let Chris receive sense. “Okay, order anything you want. I will pay.”
“Anything?” The girl asked.
She gave him a dazzling smile and began to order.
“I want fried rice, salad and chicken in a take away pack and a bottle of Coke.” She said to the waitress.
Chris smiled. “Is that all?”
“Relax. I’ve just started.”
It was then that Chris knew he was in serious trouble. Ten minutes later, the girl was still ordering. “How much is your coconut bread?”
“One thousand naira.” The waitress replied.
“Give me five loaves.”
“This rice I bought will not be enough. Please add three take away packs of fried rice, salad and chicken. Four take away packs of jollof rice, salad and chicken. Four plastic bottles of Coke and four bottles of Fanta.”
“Ha! Only you?” Chris blurted out, sweating.
“I have family and friends.”
“But I didn’t say I was buying anything for them.”
“But you said I should get anything I want. Except you’re saying you’re not a big boy again?”
If he had looked at Obaino signaling him, he could have received sense. But he looked at the waitress and the very fine waitress stared back at him as if daring him to say no. “Okay, continue.” He said in a small voice.
The girl squealed in delight and turned back to the waitress. “How much is fish?”
“Bring ten. I don’t really like meat pie. I’m watching my weight. Oya bring ten let me manage…”
By the time she was finished, rivers of sweat were pouring out of Chris. The waitress calculated everything.
“Forty nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety five naira.” She said.
“Only?” The girl said. “It’s cheap o. I was thinking it would be up to 100k.”
“I’m coming.” Obaino said and disappeared.
The girls looked at Chris. “Bros, pay na.”
Chris gulped and stammered. “Erm, I don’t have enough cash and I forgot my ATM at home.”
“No problem. You can do transfer. But you have to wait for us to confirm the payment.”
“The phone I’m using doesn’t have mobile banking.”
“Wetin that one come mean? “ The girl said, getting pissed. “You knew you didn’t have any money and you asked me to order.”
“It’s not like that.”
“Abeg bros pay or I call the security.” The waitress said.
Chris reluctantly brought out his card. He felt like crying as he watched the waitress withdraw his money.
Done, she handed back the card and smiled at him. “Thanks for patronizing us.”
He simply turned to leave.
“Wait.” The girl said.
He turned back to her.
“Can you call a cab? I can’t carry all these things by myself.”
“Thunder fire you!”