‘Beg, wetin I wan use am do? Na doe me need.’
‘You can’t possibly be serious! ‘ Ethel glared at
him, ‘not with the money the Kenyan
government lavished on you.’
‘My guy, leave that matter for Matthias. ‘ He
waved off dismissively.
‘One of these days, I will use soap, alum and
water to wash your mouth. ‘
Osagie swung his warning finger with feign
seriousness. ‘You forget say I no be your mate
ba? Na last warning I de give you so, trim all
those nonsense wings you de grow.’
Ethel laughed. ‘You are so much in the mood
for joke and laughter. You are hearty.’
His amusement vanished. ‘Is it that obvious? ‘
‘Yes it is.’
Osagie began narrrating.
‘Slow down Osaz …’ He gave a short laughter.
‘It is a joke right? ‘
‘Oooho, I am serious Ethel. When I fetched my
handkerchief to wipe her shoe and she
retracted …it was then it I became aware. I was
like -O boy, wetin? ‘
‘It is hard for me to believe …’ He chuckled.
‘Osaz you? No o.’
‘On a very serious note man, aferall, today is not
He regard his friend. ‘This is breaking news, tell
me, who is this babe? ‘
Osagie sat back and smiled. ‘She is a drop-
dead -beauty -queen.’ He said rhythmically
emphasizing every word.
He peered at his friend. ‘I understand now. ‘ He
paused thoughtfully. ‘Osaz, I can’t remember
you giving a powerful one liner description of a
babe… is either she is seductive, s*xy**,
attractive or beautiful. ‘
‘A time comes in a man’s life when he can’t help
but change. ‘ His words were careful and calm.
Ethel clapped his hands humorously. ‘There is
love in the air, I feel it every where …’ He sang.
‘Stop it! Stop it now Ethel! ‘ Osagie interrupted
sharply. ‘If you don’t stop, I will jam my fist into
your cheek. ‘
Ethel raised both hands with open palms. ‘Why
are you angry now? ‘
‘I am human, I have a right to be angry. ‘
‘I am human, I have a right to express myself
and singing is a form of expression.’
‘She is canny.’
‘As in the true epitome of being canny? ‘His
brows were raised.
‘She is comfortable to be with, shrewd, and so
‘She is knowing, skilful, sparing and does not
pose a threat and having good omen .’
‘God bless your brain!’ Osagie exclaimed
excited. ‘You are so on point! ‘
‘Hmmmm …so there is a lady like that on planet
‘It beat me at first. ‘
‘Curiosity has killed Ethelbert Franklin. Who is
‘Her name is talalalaaa …’
‘Dadada! Ge ge ge !’ Ethel supported.
‘She is Hester Douglas.’
‘Hester Douglas ?’ He narrowed his brows
‘Yes.’ He watched the reaction on Ethel’s face.
‘Hester Douglas …Hester Douglas …’ He
repeated trying to remember what struck him
on hearing the name.
Osagie was thinking of inconsistent beatings to
match Ethel’s inconsistent rhyme.
He stood slowly. ‘She is actually Hester Douglas
‘Naw! ‘ He shook his head. ‘Hester Douglas. ‘
Ethel head for the stairs and mount it in threes.
Osagie shrugged when he disappeared up the
stairs. He drained the content of his tumbler
and head to the bar for another.
As soon as Osagie was seated, he was back
holding five magazines.
He handed him one. ‘Is she the one?’
‘Yes.’ He smiled. Her picture was the only one
on the front page and it dominated the entire
page. Below it was written -Nigeria Youth
Ambassador, representing like never before.
‘Men! This girl is Fine! It is like she look more
beautiful here.’ Osagie beamed.
‘She is Hester Tobechukwu Douglas, the CBN
governor’s daughter. ‘
‘Douglas Tobechukwu.’ He muttered as he
looked up at Ethel. ‘Oh my goodness! How
come I never figured this out, she is so humble!
Ethel sat once more. ‘It is not every one that
enjoys carrying their parents’ banner
everywhere they are. I suppose she is not
sophisticated like all those c-class girls. She is
more responsible and independent. ‘ He told
‘Exactly! ‘ It dawned on him like a bolt from the
blue. ‘She is also not like baby president who
mistakes stupidity for responsibility. ‘
They all big boys in the country, because of
Oladimeji acts which they disapproved of, there
was no love lost in between them, so also, no
rapport but they knew one another well.
‘Talking about Oladimeji, do you know she is the
one that kept Natasha Williams smiling, sent
him to the hospital unconscious and retained
him there for two months. ‘
‘Oh! Oh! You don’t say! Are you telling me she
did me the pleasure after a long time of
belittling him before the world.’
‘When I told you to leave those layouts for a
while and get interested in the happenings of
your country, you gestured to a seat and asked
me to sit. Take a look at this.’ Ethel handed him
‘She look so different here, heavily made up,so
‘When Mummy heard about the marriage, she
said Hester will never get married to him, that it
was a forced marriage, even Daddy affirmed. ‘
Osagie smiled. ‘CBN governor’s daughter make
the message clear, threw the honours (ring and
flower) and dared to send the president son for
a painful and lonely mourning mood in the
hospital.’ He read and burst into laughter. ‘She
is my heroine. ‘
Ethel lowered himself beside his friend and
relaxed. I have been wanting to meet her.’ His
voice was calm.
He turned to look at him. ‘Because of this? ‘
‘Even before this Osaz. ‘ He closed his eyes. ‘She
is my sister’s best friend. ‘ His voice was of pain.
‘Victoria’s best friend? ‘ He went wide eyed as
he turned fully.
‘Yes.’ Ethel was the formal president son.