Its 10am and Tamuno is still snoring in bed, I’m five minutes awake and tempted to wake her but think against it, knowing how grumpy she get when she’s woken abruptly, nah! I don’t think I can put up with her grumpiness today. My phone starts to ring and I rush at it, it’s definitely Jon with his funny accent telling Tamuno and I we are behind schedule, well he should know it is not easy working with ladies.
“Hey, good morning”, I hear a familiar male voice, not Jon’s but familiar, but I didn’t give anyone this number, I’m racking my head when I hear a soft laugh from my callers end, “It’s Desmond, we met at the beach”, my heart skips a beat.
“Oh, Hi Desmond”, I’m short of words, no totally out of words; so I keep quiet and wait for a cue to start a conversation.
“Slept well?” he asks after few seconds of silence.
“Yeah I did, did you? I respond.
“So, I kind of enjoyed our little chit-chat yesterday and I really hope to see you before you leave for Nigeria” he says totally ignoring my question.
“We didn’t talk long enough for you to call it a chit-chat” I roll my eyes
“I know I’m sorry” he laughs. “That’s just the first word that popped into my head Hun”
“Uhh it’s Mirabel, not Hun”
“Pardon me then” he said without a hint of irritation in his voice, maybe over there he has a deep frown with an arched eyebrow in a way that says, “what is wrong with this child?”
“Ok” I simply say.
“I really would love to see you again though, what do you say? Let me take you out to Lunch or dinner tomorrow, we can make it today if you don’t have plans already”
“Actually, I’m working with a tight schedule”, I say this with my head high, feeling all important.
“I thought you were here on vacation”, he asks.
“Well yeah, still on a tight schedule. But….i can spare an hour of my time tomorrow” I wouldn’t blame him if I get a sarcastic answer, even I can’t stand myself sometimes.
“Ok, you should bring your friend along. I wouldn’t want her all lonely in your absence”
Oh my! I almost forget T, “she definitely would never let me off on my own with some strange man in some strange land, bring a friend too, that’s if you don’t mind”
“That’s the plan Hun, I’m sorry, Mirabel” I can hear him smile, ask me how? I don’t know but I hear it.
“Alright, have a productive day miss”
“Thank you” I hear the click and put down my phone.
My sleeping beauty, more like sleeping grizzly bear has stopped snoring but still has drool plastered on her soft cheeks, I look at the time and its almost 10:20am, where is Jon to start with?
“Tight schedule huh? Tamuno says with a yawn escaping her mouth.
“Yeah, little miss eaves dropper” I snap.
“I couldn’t help listening; your gestures were so loud, louder than your voice”
“Ok you are annoying, I wonder how people put up with you, oh no, there’s no people, it’s just me and I might probably head to the gallows soon” miss grumpy grizzly bear up to no good again.
“That makes two of us” she fires back
“Go take a shower T and call Jon, would you? She rolls her small eyes at me, she’s cute in the morning, her weaves standing from its edges like she got struck by lightning and her makeup from yesterday all smudgy due to her many turns in her sleep, I wonder why a sane person would sleep with make up on.
“Call him yourself, you can use my phone, I’m hungry” she has a cute pout on her face and I’m not angry anymore.
“Take a shower, I’ll call for breakfast” her face brightens and she rushes in the bathroom with her hands in th air, I chuckle then head to phone to make two phone calls; one for breakfast and the other to Jon.
Lion cubs are so cute, I want one!!!! Maybe I should get my own mini or petting zoo, but hey! God is awesome, I’m a Nat Geo Wild fan, in fact it’s my favorite channel but watching it on a 3D television has got nothing on seeing everything for real. Tamuno is a little frightened though, we get to the monkeys cage and they are chattering loudly, I turn sharply at her.
“Oh my, why didn’t you tell me that this is a reunion?”
She looks puzzled, obviously not getting the point, “reunion?” she asks.
“With your family” I say with a laugh while clasping my hands. “They are so happy to see you baby, welcome home”
Jon chuckles beside her and she rushes at me, this gets the monkeys a little more excited, it feels like they are encouraging us to fight. I hold her by both arms and push her forward, monkeys aren’t so ugly though.
We see an Elephant too, and I get kissed by one, cute huh? Yeah, super cute Dumbo kisses me with his trunk .Everything is perfect, nature is beautiful, and God is amazing.
Getting back to the hotel, I’m exhausted. We both take showers and go for dinner with Jon, who we are becoming friends with,he’s pretty cool. Talking and laughing with Jon, who I must say has a great sense of humor I spot a familiar face, walking towards us, oh my God, it’s Desmond!
“Hi, fancy meeting you here, quite a pleasant surprise” he says as he approaches us, he is wearing a suit, I look down at his feet, very nice shoes, dressing rate: 100%, a year ago I would be certain its destiny bringing Desmond and I together, matter of fact I would conclude in my head that we are meant to be but I’m grown now, I still have destiny ringing in my head, ok maybe I’m not so grown.
“Hello Desmond”, I say with a smile. He pulls out a chair and joins us, “Hello Tamuno” he says, this time pronouncing it like “teemunare”
“It’s Tamuno” she corrects him without the hint of a smile.
“Oh, I’m sorry” he says looking apologetic, I roll my eyes at T, “pardon the man now, would you?” I mouth to her.
“Its fine” she said maintaining her straight face.
He smiles at Jon and they both exchange pleasantries, after which he joins us. Jon looks at his watch almost immediately and says he should call it a day, he smiles at us-he is beautiful when he smiles- and gives Desmond a handshake before leaving. Tamuno starts yawning and says she is tired as well, I give her a “don’t leave me look” but she looks away.
“It was good seeing you again Desmond, but I’m tired and I need to catch some sleep” she comes to my ear and whispers, “don’t go anywhere with him” I chuckle and nod my head. She gives Desmond a straight look before making for the staircase.
“She’s really protective huh?” he says
“I’m sorry?” I raise an eyebrow
“Tamuno, your friend” he pronounces her name right this time.
“Well yeah, trusting people is hard these days, plus my parents put me in her care”
“Your government would come after me if I do you any harm” he says assumingly
“Ever heard of Chibok girls?” I ask
“What now?” he asks with his eyebrow rose, with a liittle grin
“Ok, bring back our girls?”
He is clearly amused now, obviously getting the point. I am proudly Nigerian though but the #BBOG thing gained us a lot of attention, negative attention. He chuckles then takes my phone, I’m confused, and he slides it open, takes a selfie and hands it back to me.
“Here, send this out to anyone you would call in case of an emergency, I’m safe Mirabel”, he’s grinning from ear to ear, I’m amused too but hold a straight face: joker!
I shake my head, “I’ve seen this in a movie”
He shakes his head too and chortles, “how are you?”
“I’m good, great, went to the zoo today, first time ever” I can’t contain my
Excitement; I get goose bumps just thinking of today’s event. Desmond is smiling and listening to me intently, I catch myself and clear my throat.
“I’m sorry, I get really chatty when I’m excited” I take a sip from my already lukewarm diet coke, he’s still looking at me with a smile, ok maybe he is a little weird, I clear my throat again and raise an eyebrow.
“It’s cute, tell me about yourself Mirabel” he says with a smile, he is pretty though.
We talk about ourselves, I tell him about me, he tells me about him, we talk a little about Tamuno too and guess what, he’s Nigerian, with a South African mom though, visited a few times before and after his dad died. From what I see and notice, Desmond is cool, pretty cool, but then my instincts are always questionable, I’m not catching feelings though, this road clearly leads to nowhere; doesn’t mean I can’t thread its part for the fun of it, it’s a vacation.
We do have a nice time though, and our plan is still on for tomorrow. He kisses me on the cheek and I head back to the room. Oops! I forgot to check out his ride, I laugh at myself at this thought, wo! Tomorrow abeg. Tamuno is fast asleep when I get in the room; I undress and lay beside her….sleep on my doormat already.
WRITTEN BY: MIRIAM EHIS-SULAIMAN