Super excited to have written this article/story for one of my fave news letters in the world 'BG Parrot'. I'm privileged to write in the 'diary of corporate Naija Column of the Newsletter and I wrote this article way back. Hopefully you like it too!!!
LOVE IN THE AIR- By yours truly
Hey everyone, so if you follow Diaries of Corporate Naija you will remember from the last post that I was questioning the safety of our transport system in Nigeria and how it affects us. Well, my 'talk talk' has sha put me inside plenty wahala...Oga sent me to Abuja... (Who am I to say no?)
I will never forget that Saturday morning, scariest day of my life. I started fasting from Thursday and made sure I obeyed all the 10 commandments during the week, was extra nice even to my most difficult colleague (who knew if that would be the last time he pissed me off?!).
I heard the boarding call to board flight 7096. With shaky legs, I climbed the boarding stairs of the airplane, my heart pounding like D'banj's Oliver Twist beat and I nodded absently at the rehearsed welcome from the pretty flight attendant as she ushered me into the narrow body plane. I hesitated trying to locate my seat number, A9. I walked over and saw to my joy it was a window seat and it was also close to one of the emergency doors (Yay!) as I placed my hold all in the compartment I was rudely shoved aside and lo and behold, this fat sweaty man lowered himself into my seat! I closed the compartment and swallowed my irritation, “sir that's my seat” I said politely, I still had heaven on my mind; he looked at me up and down with disdain then hissed and turned away. I felt anger rise within me, for a moment I forgot about the fear of dying, “Sir, I said—” he rudely cut me off, “listen young lady just pick any seat, we are not in primary school” as I made to answer him the flight attendant at the entrance approached us and asked if there was any problem, people were beginning to stare, I swallowed hard and explained that the man was on my seat, she checked my boarding pass to confirm, nodded and then shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly, “actually you can sit anywhere, ma, but since he took your seat, you could take his” she said giving me a fake toothy smile, I smiled back not wanting to be a trouble maker and agreed to take his seat which turned out to be at the rear of the plane, C23. I sighed heavily as I removed my hold all from the compartment and trudged to
the back, I repeated putting the hold all up again and sat down angry and hating the dreaded trip more, “Excuse me” I heard a well modulated voice say, I turned to look up and I was staring at the bluest eyes I've ever seen, “seems I'm seated next to you!” he said again, I opened my mouth and with a smile that was showing my thirty-two and said, “sure!” I didn't trust myself to say more. Mentally I thanked Jehovah for the turn of events, as he eased into the chair next to me, he smelt like fresh rain, menthol and new money, I inhaled deeply, already picking out baby names, I always liked the name Barnaby, I thought as we smiled at each other. Chai, my spirit come dey dance Azonto, at least, if I go die, na with this sexy guy…
Oga thank you for this trip o, I thought as I remembered the bible passage that says 'In every situation thank the Lord'. I thank God for everything especially for the fat sweaty man, abi nah?
Originally, I had planned to listen to music or finish the Robert Ludlum book I started reading but with the guy beside me, plane crash and bucket list were fast fading from my mind…
I started to think of how to start a conversation with him, after all, I'm a bold, independent, Corporate Naija girl. “Hi, I'm Jay”, I said. “My name is Reality”
Reality? Which kain name be that one? Abi na me no hear him phonetics?
“Nice to meet you”, I replied, “Can I see the book you are reading please?” He showed me the book which coincidentally was the same book I had in my bag...A match made in heaven, I thought to myself. Ok, maybe I will forgive the name after all, perfection is just an illusion, abi…'Wow, I love this book' I said, 'It's really intriguing and I love it's adaptation on—”And then, the plane jerked...
Independent Naija girls shouldn't be scared abi, even Beyonce said 'we run the world'. Person wey run the world supposed fear? (But fear na person wey no get face ooo). My
heart was racing as I tried to process the scattered thoughts in my head while trying to avoid spilling orange juice on my skirt. What if the plane crash? What will my family and my colleagues, the 'O angels' do? Anyways, Reality started talking about his childhood, how he failed math in Secondary school and how he plans to tour the world and blah blah. But, at that point, sponge wey dey for water better pass my brain. All I
wanted was some peace and listen to some Christian music as I fly through the valley of the shadow of death. But that guy sabi talk sha. He dey talk him 'reality' too much.
Seriously! Anyways, I managed to look on in interest as he kept on talking, smiling and nodding while trying to remember what my immediate boss taught us on 'the art of
listening in the QMS training'. And then he said, in his ever oh-so-cool voice “I like you. You seem smart. Can we be friends with benefit?”
Ehn, my head starts to ring, “Are you serious?” I said. He replied, “We are both matured people” Ah!!! I looked at my original seat, the 'orobo man' was already snoring, his head on the shoulder of a woman who had given up hope of pushing him away. I rather sit here than with that man (I can imagine saliva on my purple shirt. Yuck!!!). Reality kept staring at my face and I could hear my oga say “Guys are
useless!!! You girls start praying now to get a good guy”. You are on point oga. This particular guy is useless, if not, how someone can be so upfront about his intention (What effrontery! That's the only word I could remember)...Anyways, omo boy kept on proclaiming his love and all I could do was smile while wishing I was more fortunate in love. Love in the air indeed!!!
I heaved a sigh of relief as the plane landed and couldn't wait to jump down from it and sue the airline (maybe.)...Anyways, Mr. Seat partner wanted my bb pin/ number and kept bugging me for it till we got to the airport arrival terminal. All my rebuff techniques didn't work. I didn't want to be rude either. While waiting to pick my bag, I heard excited shouts of “daddy, daddy!” behind me. I turned to see Mr. Reality holding two kids that appeared to be 5 and 7 years old. A dark, heavyset woman wearing a colorful bubu joined in the embrace while pecking him. He ushered them to my side
and said, “Jay, meet my lovely wife Tito and my boys, Kufre and Chicco”.
Chai, love in the air indeed.
Have an amazing weekend. Don't fall in love stupidly too ooo....
Thanks a lot for reading. Talk soon :)