bella naija


Author’s Note: Hi people, I know this blog really is more about the stories than me. I’m sorry I’ve taken so long to post something. Writing is my escape. After looking at numbers all day and pretending to be normal (lol). This right here is a reprieve. Enjoy this quick story….❤️  

She met Dimeji at The Grill at Sunset. TGAS as it was fondly called. It was a weekly event turned ritual that attracted the Lagos socialites like bees to honey. She had attended that fine Sunday evening because she’d heard that all the fresh girls went there. And Trust wanted to be considered fresh. She wanted to feature on Bella Naija and be referred to as ‘Nneoma Azubuike and Trust Fatai-Bello’ and not just ‘Nneoma and friend’. She had threaded her eyebrows and straightened her natural hair. Her desired look was one of understated elegance. Like Genevieve Nnaji, her role model. She’d begged and begged her model cum actress of a roommate Nneoma (whom everyone called Nini) to do her makeup.

“Nothing crazy like those you people’s photoshoot o” she had repeated as Nini bent over her, eye pencil in hand.

The final result had been a demure yet lovely look.

“Are you sure you want to go like this?” Nini had asked again uncertainty creeping into her voice as she adjusted her tiny bum shorts. “You look like a 16 year old. Let me add some more make up so you’ll at least look older uhn”

“Na me know wetin I dey find abi. Leave my makeup alone,”Trust had insisted.

She had dressed up in distressed denim pants and a white form-fitting tank top. A single chain hung from her neck and silver sandals adorned her feet. She’d taken a few pictures in the taxi for her Instagram profile and hoped that Nini’s photographer friends could at least cover her drinks. Her faded Louis Vuitton wallet bought at a bargain price of 700 Naira at Tejuosho held only 4000 Naira but at least she had her debit card for backup.  Nini hung out with a lot of photographers especially one that liked to take pictures of her nude albeit in stunning lighting.

“Nothing has ever happened” Nini always insisted even though no one was listening.

Trust had hung out with the ‘lover of nude photography’ before, Nnanna Obi and she knew for a fact that something did happen. She remembered waiting in the back room while Nini was prepping for a shoot and Obi had come in to meet her. It was his birthday and he had tried to eat his birthday cake off her boobs. She shook off the memory, tossing it into the abyss called forgetfulness.  As the rickety yellow and black cab pulled up in front of Mega Plaza, Trust took a deep breath. She had attended CU for four years so she knew how to meet and greet like the best socialites. She could fake it like she belonged in any elite crowd even though her top cost 1200 Naira on the Mr Price website and her jeans were straight from Mandilas in Balogun market. Nini had taught her the secret of wearing rags with confidence. Nini herself exuded a confidence that could sometimes threaten Trust’s own budding self-esteem. She was slender with a gorgeous face and cheekbones to die for. Her legs were so long they seemed endless and at five foot six inches Trust always felt short beside her five foot eleven friend. As they strolled into the lounge, Nini bounced on her toes excitedly like an eager child. Trust knew it was only a matter of minutes before she joined her model crowd leaving Trust alone to navigate the murky waters of Lagos social life.

“Hey Trustie. Look! It’s Vodkababy and LolaJo” Nini shrieked.

Nini had a habit of referring to people by their Instagram ids. Sometimes Trust wondered if she even knew their names. Nini was soon running off to join the video vixens she had just sighted. One of them had a piercing in her throat. Trust cringed just imagining a piercing in her throat. She had warned Nini to never go into video modeling. Her looks were too phenomenonal to be wasted on music videos. ‘Kids’ with Nikon cameras hanging from black shiny straps were scattered around TGAS. The cameras seemed to be a new trend. These days it was hard to tell who was over eighteen. A friend of hers had once hit on a fourteen year old girl at a wedding. She had looked like she was twenty-one. The lounge was teeming with people dressed to the nines and out to have a great time. Nini and her friends had already found a nice spot and were smoking some ‘brown sugar’. Trust made a mental note to give Nini some gum later to get rid of the smell. Her parents would have a fit if they knew she was smoking grass again.

“Hi” someone said to her.

She looked behind her and frowned at the good looking aje-butter talking to her. She could hear a lilt of brogue in his voice. His hair (she loved hair) looked soft to touch. His face reminded her of a darker Olivier Rousteing but that was where the similarities ended. He was tall, about Nini’s height and well built. He was dressed casually in jeans and a blue Polo shirt with sandals on his feet instead of shoes.

“Hi”, she responded warily.

What did he want? She wasn’t going to have sex with him. He was clearly wasting his time?

“Stop overthinking it. I can clearly hear your mind asking ‘what does he want’?” He said.

His voice was gruff like he hadn’t used it in a while.

She tried to hide her surprise with a small laugh. “Then save my mouth the pain of actually asking and answer the question already”

He shook his head at her like she was something he didn’t quite understand.

“You’re lovely when you laugh”

“Thank you” she responded.

“Oh wow. That was not what I expected. In my head you were going to give me some feminist response like “if I had a penny for every time I heard that’ or ‘is that your best pick up line?” He said with a chuckle.

“What can I say? I aim to disappoint” ,she said with a shrug.

This guy was making her more sarcastic than usual and it intrigued her how he could do that.

“So do you come to TGAS often?” He asked.

“Oh, see now you’re just trying to make small talk,” she said.

“And what’s so bad about small talk? Maybe I just wanna keep talking to a beautiful girl”

“I’m thirsty. I can’t talk when I’m parched” she said and turned towards the bar.

The paltry 4000 Naira in her wallet flashed through her mind like an alert for insufficient funds. What could 4000 Naira buy her in a place like this sef? She wondered.

He pulled her by the arm while laughing heartily. “All you had to do was ask me to buy you a drink.”

“Did someone want a drink?” Another good-looking young man with a snapback that carried the logo ’24’ pushed through the crowd and handed her a tall glass of mojito.

She took it graciously mumbling a thanks and flashing a small smile that showed her left dimple perfectly.

“Hi, I’m Dimeji.” he said by way of an introduction.

And that’s how she met Dimeji.

“Trust” she responded.

“Uhn.” Dimeji responded with a confused frown.

“My name is Trust” she repeated slowly and then turned to give his friend (the Olivier Rousteing lookalike) a look that said “is your friend slow?”.

“That’s an unusual name” Dimeji responded in a British accent tinged voice.

“Well it’s my name,” she said with a shrug. “Look it was nice to meet you both but I need to find my friend”

“The one with the shisha pot?” Dimeji asked. “Trust me. She looks like she’s good.” He added distractedly as he said hi to a group of girls with cameras dangling at their sides.

Trust eyed their outfits and wondered if their weaves we’re human hair or not.

“You look nice. I like the simple look” Dimeji said flashing white teeth in a beatific smile.

“Thank you” she mumbled. That was the look I was gunning for. She wanted to add.

“What Uni did you go to?” He asked.

“Carson University” She answered.

“Where’s that?” He asked with a frown, taking a sip of his drink. It looked like Henny. No mixer.

“Ota, Ogun state” she responded, wondering if he even knew the road to Ota.

“And you?”

“Uni of Exeter and then Oxford. Kiitan and I have been back for about nine…[ten – Kiitan quipped] months now”

“Oh good. How do you like being back?” Trust asked going into full socialite mode.

“Well, there are so many clubs” he exclaimed in a singsong voice.

“I know!” She agreed and they shared a laugh.

“And the traffic is worse than people describe it” he said.

“Where do you live?” She asked him and immediately regretted it. She had set herself up with that one.

“Ikoyi” he replied. “And you?”.

He just had to ask. Trust thought to herself. She thought of lying. She lived at Ojo but she doubted he even knew where that was.

“Yaba” she responded watching Kiitan (she now knew his name) down his third glass of vodka on the rocks. She’d been nursing the same mojito for minutes now.

“Where’s that? Is that like Surulere” Dimeji asked.

“Nah mate. Don’t be silly” Kiitan chirped earning himself a punch in the shoulder from his friend.

“It’s close” Trust said with an easy smile. “This is your first time back to Nigeria in how long?”

“Fifteen years” Dimeji responded.

Trust tried to guess his age. He couldn’t be any older than twenty-eight. But then these days you couldn’t tell.

“That’s a long time,” she said with an exaggerated incredulous sigh.

“I know. I keep getting lost.” He paused briefly. “Maybe you can show me around sometime,” he added.

Use Uber or Google Maps, she wanted to add but she swallowed the retort. She smiled instead lowered her lashes and muttered a “maybe”.  She thought she heard Kiitan huff but by the time she looked he was nowhere in sight. Dimeji leaned forward and she caught a whiff of his perfume. Invictus’ Creed. A quick glance at his watch and she nearly gasped. This boy was walking around with a Hublot!!! Did he want to get robbed? She thought to herself.

“I’ll be right back. Lemme say a quick hi to some friends.” He said. “Don’t move”

As soon as he disappeared Nini appeared by her side as if conjured.

“Trustie. I don’t feel so good” she groaned.

“Of course you don’t” Trust said clucking her tongue. “You’ve been taking shots with alcoholics na. What did you expect?”

“Abeg shelve the sarcasm for like five seconds now. Was that Dimeji Bankole I saw you talking with?”

“Bankole what?” I repeated with a befuddled expression on my face.

Nini rolled her eyes. “For someone hellbent on being a Lagos socialite you need to cram a few names,” Nini said. “Like Bankole. Nike Bankole is the second richest woman in Africa. She’s the one they say owns those two big oil wells. And that my friend is her only son. Shit. I really don’t feel well”

Holy jackpot!!!!! Trust thought to herself.

Author’s Note: Hi again, so this was supposed to be a short story but my imagination ran amok. There’ll be more of Trust’s story. I for one wanna know how this shit is going to go down with Dimeji (btw I really like Yoruba names even though I’m not Yoruba. 😊)

One comment

  1. Pingback: Trust [2] | alakoweh

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