3 times 3 (Part 1)
Lady 1: Bellema
She was what Naija, call “yellow pawpaw”. Her complexion had been assisted by bleaching creams. She was daring. She could wear anything irrespective of the small pot of a belly she had. Full bodied, tall and slightly busty. She had a quality about her that made her look like she was chewing gum, even when she wasn’t.
Lady 2: Hafsat
Not so tall and not short either, she was in between in almost everything about her. She wasn’t slim or skinny, neither was she thick or fat. She wasn’t fair but not completely dark either. She wasn’t ugly or drop dead gorgeous. She looked a little too maternal for someone in her early 30’s.She was all too conscious of her look. She had wrinkles on her neck and did her best to hide them. She had 3 piercings on her ear and one on her nose. She dreamed of getting married to a rich Alhaji, so that she could have chains of stores in and out of the country. Until then, she would make do with all the spineless chewing gum boys, that she kept running into.
Lady 3: Perpetua
She hated her name. She always corrected her friends when they called her “Pepper tuwa” .It’s not “Tuwa” she would say, it’s pronounced “Perrperchuwar”. She would then add, “instead of murdering my name just call me Pepper!” She was petite. She had no figure 8.She didn’t care. She quietly envied Bellema. Bellema seemed to command Men. Men bought Bellema gifts all the time and they always seemed to have something important to discuss with her. Men seemed not to see Perpetua. It infuriated her. She wondered why. She was intuitive, expressive and the most brilliant of the 3 ladies. Why wouldn’t any man want someone like her? Funny though, Bellema was the one who knew the best spots on the Island to hang out and meet nice men. She seemed to know everybody who was somebody.
One Thursday night Bellema sent Hafsat and Perpetua text messages saying: “Don’t Dull after work tomorrow, we are hanging out at the Rainmaker with friends of mine. Dress cute. See you at 8.30pm tomorrow”
The next day passed a little too slowly for the 3 ladies. Hafsat sat in her shop and virtually watched the clock crawl minute by minute. She had eaten twice her usual portion of Ewa Aganyin and Agege bread so that she wouldn’t eat a thing till evening.
Bellema was first to arrive at the Rainmaker. She glided her Ford Explorer into the parking lot. She had given her driver the day off! She didn’t expect that she would be leaving the rainmaker alone. Perpetua and Hafsat had sent several what’s app messages, asking for gist about the guys they were going to meet. Bellema didn’t want to give them much information. She was a great “fixer-upper”
Perpetua and Hafsat got to the Rainmaker shortly after Bellema. They wanted to be seated when the guys walked in, so that they could access them -shoes, belts, wrist-watches, outfits, whether they had knock-knees or straight legs, everything! Perpetua and Hafsat giggled in the ladies as they touched up their make –up.
It was the 3rd or 4th time Bellema had hooked them up and all the hook ups had been flops so far. The guys were either boring, arrogant, clueless or razz. They hoped that Bellema would get it right this time. Hafsat did a small pout with her lips and pronounced her name slowly “Haa – af – saa – t” She wanted to see how she looked when she talked sexy.
”Hafsat” said Pepper giggling “Please don’t do that face again, otherwise all the men in the room will think you have some mental issues! “
“Pepper which one is your own there? Abeg leave Omo Alhaja jare! Today may be the day I will meet the man of my dreams, Hafsat said. She was still pouting and mouthing her name slowly.
Pepper and Hafsat had taken so long touching-up that the Guys were already seated when they came out. The 2 ladies were not expecting the men to have arrived yet, so they were quite flustered. Hafsat did a quick scan. As they had not picked seats before they went to do their make-up, she decided to go towards the more Yoruba – looking of the 2 guys left. Over sharp Bellema had gone for the nicest-looking of the 3 guys. Pepper was too slow with her swagger. She saw what had happened yet again, that Bellema had taken the best looking of the lot. She saw Hafsat quickly take position and from what she saw of the Guy, he looked nice. She walked towards the guy that was left and sat down