I sit over the table facing my miserable looking, unsober friend, drinking his life to waste, what’s left of it anyway. His skin now is darker, his eyes swollen from all the crying. Never have I seen a sorry-looking creature all my life, all because of a woman. And here I am feeling bad because I’d thought she was quite smart and dead gorgeous.
In fact, there is a 70% chance that my rant and exaggerated praise of her beauty and endowments had influenced him into shooting his shy shots at her. Now here we are, him broken like an old convertible picked from a dustbin, and me telling him it’s okay because I know it definitely isn’t.
His nose is running and he keeps sniffing. When the hiccups hit him in between his sniff and poor attempt to construct an impotent statement, I begin to count how many bottles he had taken down already. At this rate he’ll drink both his and my wallet dry.
“Mike, can you imagine, I gave her my heart, my soul, my wallet…”
“…your i-Phone 11 too,” I remind him, not out of spite.
“Even that! Can you imagine?” he hiccups, muttering gibberish, then audibly, “And all she could give me in return is gonorrhoea from my boss, a whole me, my mother’s only son.”
I feel terrible for him. I hate to see him this way because it makes my heart melt in sadness, so I pour him another cup. “Drink up, my friend,” I say, because I have learned myself in all my very predictable life that if a man must die, it’s best in the hands of a cold bottle of bear and not heartbreak.
Not to say I wish an untimely demise for my best friend, and best man to be. His Sandra is nothing like my Jessica. Mine is love and warmth personified, and to make him feel this intoxication and love I feel, I had introduced him to a Rottweiler named Monica, who’s infected him with rabbis of the heart.
“I will take a walk down the mainland bridge,” I hear him sniff, bringing me back from my reverie. He wipes his nose with his shirt. “I want to while away a few moments of my life watching the beautiful lagoon and the gentle tides.”
“You want to jump inside the lagoon because of a girl? You are insane!”
“Jump? Nah. Just want to look around and touch the free waters.”
I exhale, “I look now like a fool to you right?”
“No,” he drawled, shaking his head uncoordinatedly. “I’m finished. That 15k spent on the ‘point and kill’ three days ago was from the monthly contribution I was keeping for my group.”
I drive back home after having taken James back to his home and had him throw up and piss all around the house like a puppy just hitting puberty. Sorrow comes in the night, but migraine comes in the morning. He’ll live, at least until the donation group starts asking for their money. But I can’t criticize him. I had spent much more than that on my Jessica. Difference being that my sprinkling had been on fertile soil.
My phone rings and as I realise it’s Jessica. My chest flutters, drowning away all of James’s bad energy in my head. “Babe,” I smile.
“Sweetheart, where are you?” Her voice is so romantic my body jumps in excitement. My, my, my. Love sha.
“I’m close to my place. Hope you’ve had dinner.”
She giggles, “Waiting for my king.”
I march the accelerator hard and hit the highest gear, burning out my life like my diesel, speeding to meet this banana fruit cake. I walk into the house with a big smile on my face. My favourite music plays calmly on the sound system. The aroma of my favourite dish oozes across the whole room. I shudder!!!
I head into and slowly open my rooms door. Flowers litter everywhere. Romantic. Strangely my wardrobe is more disorganised than I’d left it. A note is on the bed, I pick it up and read ‘What would I have done without you! Kisses. Eat up.’
She’s not around. I sigh. My phone rings; James’s name appears on my screen and I pick it up.
“I’m a minute away from the bridge, bro,” he hiccups. He’s drunk again.
“You what? James!”
“Take care of my cat. Don’t sell my 8k shoes, but you can have that ripped jeans. Just—”
I hang up and zoom back out the door, cursing underneath my breath. This bastard!
I pile in my head the number of abuses to drench that fool with once I catch him. In fact I’m going to run him over. My vexation begins to come off my clenched teeth when my phone buzzes and stops. An SMS. Then again. Then another.
I cluck on the voice-out feature of the sms app, and it reads out;
‘Debit alert. Account number 060xxx01. Amt: NGN 40,000. Desc: ATM WDL. Time, 9:22pm’
‘Debit alert. Acc: 060xxx01. Amt: NGN 40,000. Desc: ATM WDL. Time, 9:23pm’
‘Debit alert. Acc: 060xxx01. Amt: NGN 40,000. Desc: ATM WDL. Time, 9:24pm’
‘Debit alert. Acc: 060xxx01. Amt: NGN 40,000. Desc: ATM WDL. Time, 9:25pm’
‘Debit alert. Acc: 060XXX01. Amt: NGN 40,000. Desc: ATM WDL. Time, 9:26pm’
“Holy Somadina!” I scream atop my voice.
I stagger to the bridge. My heart is drowned in shock. I can hear the beats of end time thumping in my head. My eyes feel swollen from all the cries. My voice degraded to a frog’s backup chorister. The hiccups won’t fade, and I don’t care. Her line doesn’t exist anymore.
My Debit card… My debit card… She cleaned me dry and compensated me with a delicious meal and a romantic call. This is heartbreaking.
“If you’re here to talk me out of my decision, forgerrit. 87% percent of me have already fallen inside that black water.” I hear him sniff. He is a little sober, but he reeks of Gulder Lager. Right now I don’t even care.
My Jessica, gone. All my money, gone.
I begin to sniff harder, the tears fast brewing. “Are you jumping or am I going in first?”
“This swimming in black water thingy,” I say as I move my leg over the rail, thinking that those following me from my home town, finally has succeeded.
I sigh. Their plan finally makes sense.