The day began with an unusual tempo, Makinde, my office and ride mate had arrived rather early with an unusual grin on his face. “What is it? I inquired, I haven’t seen him this way for as long as I can remember. “Bidemi and I are back together, we made up last night.” “nice” I replied, “what did you do,” I asked him hastily, “I realised my folly and called her to apologise. She accepted my apologies and forgave me.”
You see, Makinde is egocentric. The phrase “I’m sorry” is the last thing you will hear him say and he gets defensive when you try to point his mistakes, so you could imagine my surprise when he said he called and apologised.
Makinde and Bidemi have been together for a little over six months now, they both met at a mutual friend’s party and they hit it off almost immediately. Bidemi had just returned from the US where she went to study for her undergraduate studies and Masters degree. She came back in June of this year and sadly, she’s lost contact with a few friends and was looking for a way to get her social life back and get back in the groove. When Titi, their mutual friend (Bidemi and Makinde) asked her to come for the party as it will afford them time for some girl chat and possibly meet a few Lagos brothers, she immediately took the offer citing that it served as a perfect excuse not just to go out, but to de-stress and forget about the week’s issues and every work-related trouble she’s had to deal with this past week.
Titi and Bidemi decided to meet during lunch break to check a few shops for what they will wear to the party, after all, a gurl gotta look fly. Titi settled on a nice flowery, v-neck and high-waist flared dress. She paired it with a matching Jimmy Choo nude suede pointy toe pumps. She already has a neon hard case clutch bag Toke, her younger sister, gifted to her at her last birthday. Her wardrobe for that evening was on lock down. All that is left now is to meet her hair stylist for that perfect long straight hair, get her makeup game on fleek and she is set to rock. Bidemi, on the other hand, didn’t want anything too serious. A Simple knee-length A-line dress will suffice. She neither bothered with a shoe or any other accessory. She will decide that when she gets home. For her hair, she was going to go with her natural hair. A new hair-do was too much trouble, one she will rather not deal with.
Bidemi is from a relatively wealthy family, her father, Otunba Gbenga Adetunji, inherited a small trading company from his dad and over the last 25 years, he has done a great job of growing it into a N500M per annum company. With this much wealth and social class, Bidemi had everything at her beck and call. The type of child that attended the St. Saviours of this world for pre-school through primary school and went on to attend British Nigerian International School for her high school. Holidays at exotic location and resorts was a regular. Rumor has it that her parents once rented half of Disney land for her 10th birthday celebration. She doesn’t know what hunger is like neither has she had to sleep in a dark house even for a night. Her reality is in stark contrast with what the average Nigerian child experiences. From nannies to maids, drivers and gardeners, she had them all. Being an only child, her parent gave her everything life could offer. For her sweet sixteen birthday, her father got her a front row ticket for a concert at the Sydney Opera House. This was followed by a Disney Princess themed party at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. So you will be forgiven if you called Bidemi a “butty pikin.” She had a perfect life and a well-curated life. Nothing, absolutely nothing was left to chance.
Makinde, on the other hand, came from relatively modest family devoid of the ostentatious lifestyle that is known to the rich and famous of Ikoyi. He grew up in Festac and attended the University of Lagos. If there is one thing Makinde has going for him is his unrepentant resolve to succeed. Being the first child in a family of four, Makinde never had much growing up. He made his own toys from toothpaste boxes and empty tins milk and hunted lizards with the other boys in the neighbourhood.
Because of how life was for his family, he made a decision to succeed at an early age. His parent’s one room apartment was a constant reminder of the need to do well. Mealtime at their home was a celebration, they operated the one-zero-one ration - breakfast, no lunch then dinner. Worst of it, you ate what was available, the privilege of deciding what to eat wasn’t there.
Growing up with these realities, he buried himself in his books and this earned him not only a first class degree in Economics but also a scholarship from his state government to study abroad for his masters degree. On returning, he got a job in a fortune 500 consulting firm and quickly rose through the ranks. With this new found success, his quality of life had to change. He got himself a nice 2-bedroom apartment on the island and a decent car whose payment he had to spread over a 36 months period. He was finally living the “baby boy” life and nothing will stop him.
While Bidemi had a calm and humble disposition, Makinde, on the other hand, will not stop at seizing any and every opportunity to strut his stuff. He climbed the Lagos social circle very quickly and rubbed shoulders with the who-is-who in the society. Thier union(Bidemi and Makinde) was one that was bound to fascinate anyone.
“We have a date this evening,” he told me. I’ve booked a private dinner for two at the rooftop of Orchestra Hotel. Orchestra is one of the few 5-star hotels in the city. “I choose the menu myself” he quipped, just as I was doing the mental sum of how much he must have invested in all of these, worst of it, Bidemi was rather a quiet girl who wasn’t a fan of all these things. The Bidemi I know will rather order take out and have a quiet meal indoors but Makinde, being Makinde will always want to make a statement.
I’ve carefully instructed the French chef to make the hors d’oeuvres as appetizing as possible. We are having a 3-course meal and top it off with a perfect bottle of wine, a 1940 Château Cheval Blanc Red Bordeaux Blend St. Émilion Grand Cru, at this point, my eyes popped. I never realized when I screamed “what?” That bottle of wine will easily set him back by over $1,000. Not that I was surprised, this is Makinde we are talking about here. The new money, nouveau-riche Lagos big boy.
1940 Château Cheval Blanc Red Bordeaux Blend St. Émilion Grand Cru
At this point, we had gotten to the car park of the office complex. I bid Makinde farewell and wished him well on his date later that evening. I got into the elevator, punch the 4th-floor button, my mind still trying to come to terms with the fact that Makinde was going to spend the equivalent of my 2 months salary in one evening. “O ga o” at this point the Ijebu instincts in me kicked in. I shrugged off the thought and stepped off the elevator. “Hello Deola, how are you today? I trust you had a great weekend”, I said to Deola, the lady at the front desk of my company’s reception.
Makinde, got to his floor, but just before he settles in, he whips a quick SMS to Bidemi, “Hello babe, I just got in. Did you sleep well? We have a dinner reservation this evening. Put on something smashing and don’t forget to slay. I’ll pick you up at 7. Love you loads. M.” “M” was his other moniker. Makinde always has his ways with words and things.
“Babe, this is rather sudden, you should have checked in with me before making the reservation.” Bidemi’s reply to his SMS 5 minutes later. He was taken aback for a moment. He dialled her number immediately but there was no response. With a clenched fist, he slams the table and gave out a big “damn”. Makinde has anger problems.
To be continued
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