The taxi slowed down and came to a halt in front of a big black gate located at the end of Anthony street inside Ozone estate. A dark skinned man who could not be less than twenty five and more than twenty seven years stepped out of the back seat with a small bag pack hung across his shoulder. He stood for a little over a minute staring at the black gate.
Nothing much has changed. He thought.
The fence is still painted white and on the fence was an inscription; JESUS IS LORD, written, carved and painted in mixed colors. On the gate was a carving of Jesus Christ on the cross and the big message box still stood next to the bell.
It’s been five years since he left the house and Lagos state in general. Though as a young boy in his early twenties and a domestic staff of the house.
“Oga! You are keeping me waiting.” The cabman shouted, bringing him out of his reverie.
“Abeg! No vex.” He quickly apologized as he brought out his wallet to pay.
A white Nissan Murano approached from the direction of the estate’s first gate, only the sound of the horn attracted both the cabman and his passenger who moved the cab forward a little bit to create a passage for the car who wants to enter the through the black gate.
“Joel!” A familiar voice called out from inside the Murano Jeep as the driver’s side window came down.
Joel stood star-strucked as he stared back at the lady behind the wheels.
“Tasha?” Joel exclaimed, more like asking; is this you?
“What are you doing here?” She asked.
By now, the gate has swung open.
“Aunty, welcome ma.” The gateman greeted.
“I’m just entering Lagos for some business….” Joel was saying when she sped into the compound like a crazy driver. The gate was shut immediately.
“Tasha! Natasha!” Joel called to no avail.
The cabman as if he just realized his potential engaged his gear and made a swift U-turn.
“Oga! My change.” But it was too late.
“I thought you said you hated change?” The man mocked him as he sped off.
Joel stood in confusion. First, Natasha sped in on him when he least expected and now the cabman who obviously has something against him did the same thing. All because he repeatedly told him he hated the present government whose slogan is CHANGE. Does that mean he hated everything change? Now he has lost five hundred naira because of politics.
“What do I do now?” He thought.
Inside Doctor Ayeni’s living room, the fourty five year old medical doctor was seated beside his beautiful wife, Angela when his wife’s sister, Natasha walked in angrily. Breathing heavily with a four year old boy running after her.
“Philip darling.” Angela greeted.
“Big mummy!” The little boy ran up to hug his Aunt.
“How was school today?” She asked.
“Fine. One of my friends celebrated his birthday today and there was a lot to eat and drink.”
“Don’t worry, your birthday is coming very soon.” Angela said to the little boy.
“Phil, go in and let Charity freshen you up.” Natasha said to the little boy who reluctantly left his Aunt’s arms to follow the maid, Charity. “And my bag too.” Natasha handed over her bag to the twenty year old young lady.
Once Philip and Charity were out of the living room, Natasha broke the ice. “I saw Joel.”
Doctor Ayeni who has ignored all the activities in his living room so far took his eyes away from the television.
“I ran into him outside the gate.” Natasha replied.
“Which gate?” Doctor Ayeni asked.
“Our gate.” Natasha answered.
Doctor Ayeni fell into a deep trance, even though he was shocked with the news, he knew a day like this would come sooner or later, but why after five years?
“What is going to happen now?” Natasha asked. “Cos I’m scared o.”
Angela stood up and walked up to her younger sister. She enveloped her in a tight hug before leading her inside.
Doctor Ayeni was left all alone inside the living room. All of a sudden, everything made no sense to him. He was confused and tensed at the same time.
He picked up his phone and dialed a number.
“The Doc.” His friend, Jose’s voice came on.
“There is a problem o.” Ayeni said.
“What problem? Nothing is a problem to the Doc.” Jose replied.
“Where are you?”
“I’m about rounding up from work. Meet me at Sunshine bar in an hours time.” Jose replied.
Immediately the line disconnected, Ayeni stood up, walked towards the mini bar inside the living room, grabbed his car keys and sauntered out of the house.
INSIDE TORI’S BRIDAL PALACE
When you want to make a list of eligible bachelors in the whole of Lagos state, you can’t go beyond number five before you include the names; Raheem Badmus and Raymond Jones. Aside from being the sons of former governors, they are also two of the richest young men below thirty. At twenty nine, being a former employee at Chevron oil, the two young men resigned from their jobs to establish a business of their own. And after making millions from being staffs of Chevron for five years, a year into their own oil and gas company, they are a little bit short of being worth billions respectively. But collectively, they are worth billions.
Today, the two men are shopping at Tori’s bridal palace, the number wedding shop in Lagos owned by a certain Victoria who has been responsible for organizing a number of top socialites’ wedding. At Tori’s palace, you could get the best if cakes, wedding dresses, decoration, event planning and of course engagement and wedding rings. Raymond is going to propose to his long time girlfriend and Raheem is helping him shop for the best wedding ring.
“You know I’ve always been a fan of Diamond.” Raymond reminded his friend who has been admiring a set of gold rings.
“As if I don’t know.”Raheem replied with a chuckle.” I’m admiring these cos I may be needing one soon.”
“You don’t wear rings the last I checked and you can’t propose to yourself the last I checked.” Raymond mocked.
“Just watch me.” Raheem replied.
“See the big fishes we have in our small shop today.” A familiar voice said excitedly.
The two young men turned to see Victoria, the CEO of Tori’s palace approaching them.
“I thought you said she is not around?” Raymond asked.
“I thought you don’t care if she is or not?” Raheem replied.
“Good evening.” Victoria greeted the two men with a hug each.
“Good evening pretty.” Raheem replied.
“Wait! Which section are we in?” She asked no one in particular. “Who is getting married?” Her eyes fixed on Raheem.
“Definitely not me.” Raheem quickly replied.
“Raymond, is this true?” She asked. “Who is the lucky girl?”
“I think Raymond is the lucky one here.” Raheem replied. “Cos Tasha is too special and every man will be lucky to have her.”
“Natasha?” Tori asked.
“Yeah, my man is proposing to Tasha live and direct.”
“Good for you. And I’m very happy for you.” Tori replied. “Enjoy your shopping, I have to go.” Without waiting for their response, she tore off immediately.