It was you and I and crackles and vodka
And a sky full of stars
It was two truths confessed I had cheated
I did it for balance
Brymo – “Without You”
Folakemi sat at the bar with Zain and Olivia, two of her friends. They always dragged her out to outings such as parties, clubs, and the likes. Folakemi was the only dark-complexioned lady among the trio and the prettiest. Her face looked like what God had taken enough time to sculpt, and he gave her small cute lips that curved into a bow to give her a charming smile. She had a more reserved personality and dressed more appropriately than Zain and Olivia, who were almost always scantily dressed. The purpose of that outing was for Zain and Olivia to hunt for a man, and if that plan failed, they would get drunk, and Folakemi, a non-drinker, would chauffeur them home.
Alone at his table and sipping vodka, Mayowa noticed the ladies throwing glances in his direction and giggling mischievously. He took a quick survey of himself to check whether something was out of place that made him look funny, but there was none. Satisfied that he still exuded the charm he left home with, he took a deep breath before getting off his seat and heading toward them. Folakemi, not surprised at her friends’ brazen ogling at the tall, dark, and very handsome guy who sat tables away from them, frantically tried to get her friends to behave, but it was a lost cause. Zain and Olivia would not comport themselves even when they were sober, not to talk of when they had downed a few drinks.
“Hi beautiful! My name is Mayowa.” Those words serenaded Folakemi like a lullaby when she realized the hunk was talking to her. But why would he leave her sexily dressed and ravishingly beautiful friends to talk to her? Zain and Olivia had been picking his masculine attributes piece-by-piece and were having explicit discussions about it. Before she could gather her thoughts to respond to his greeting, Olivia, even more daring than Zain, gently pulled Mayowa down to a chair on their table. They shamelessly flirted with the young guy while answering all the questions he directed at a tongue-tied Folakemi. She felt so embarrassed about the way her friends, especially Olivia, threw themselves at the stranger.
On the drive home, Folakemi could not rid herself of the thoughts of the “Greek god” she had encountered earlier. Her friends would also not stop talking about him. She tried to keep her eyes on the road while Olivia and Zain cooed and scrolled through Mayowa’s Instagram page and ogled over his photos. Of the three ladies, only Zain appeared to be uninterested in Mayowa. Folakemi liked him and felt special that she got his attention, but she could not boldly respond to his advances. Olivia, the most outgoing of them and a notorious man-monger, had openly declared that she would do anything to become Mayowa’s girlfriend.
In the course of the following weeks, Mayowa called Folakemi more than any other guy had ever done. She loved the attention she was getting but still refused to accept his invitation to a date or just for them to hang out or watch a movie together. Folakemi did not know how she would tell her friends, especially Olivia, that she was falling in love with Mayowa. Sometimes when he called, she deliberately shifted their conversations to her friends, wanting to know if he was interested in Olivia. But he didn’t give her any reason to doubt that she was the only one he had eyes for. When Mayowa would not stop pestering her for a date, she eventually gave in, and two more dates after, they shared their first kiss.
Day after day, Folakemi got more glued to her phone and spent less time with the clique, even refusing to go out with them. The other girls did not need a soothsayer to tell them their friend was already hooked on somebody’s son. They suspected it was Mayowa, especially as he stopped answering Olivia’s phone calls. When they mentioned it before Folakemi, she only shrugged and said he was probably busy.
One evening, Zain and Olivia decided to trail Folakemi to know where she went almost every night. Not so much to their surprise, they saw her getting into a car they recognized as Mayowa’s. Back home that night, they confronted Folakemi, and she opened up that she had been seeing Mayowa for a couple of months and that they were in love. Zain was ecstatic and jumped for joy, hugging Folakemi repeatedly. Olivia, however, only walked away, still annoyed that Folakemi kept them in the dark about her relationship with Mayowa and jealous that he chose Folakemi over her.
Now that her friends knew about her and Mayowa, Folakemi could freely invite him to the house and inform her friends when she was going out with him. She even started passing the night in his place occasionally. However, the friendship between Olivia and Folakemi became strained, and Zain’s efforts to reconcile them yielded no positive results.
Confident in her relationship with Mayowa and his feelings for her, Folakemi was having the best time of her life. They flaunted each other on social media, with many “God when?” and “God, am I a spoon?” comments on their loved-up photos. Folakemi was happy that she had found a man who was serious with her, and their relationship thrived. It started showing features of what would lead to marriage, which was exactly her dream.
“This is not right,” Mayowa said to Olivia after their now-regular rendezvous at the hotel. “This is unfair to Fola; she doesn’t deserve it.”
“What is not fair is you dating my friend when you knew I liked you from the very first day we met, and I even showed it in many ways, but you chose Folakemi instead. I love you, Mayowa. Let’s get married and run away,” Olivia said.
“You must be out of your mind! I am getting married to Fola. Like you don’t even know. See, this has to stop. If not, I have to tell Fola the whole truth.”
“You wish! I even dare you to. It will make it faster for me because Folakemi will drop you like hot coal. Then it will be her loss, my gain.”
Mayowa could no longer count the number of times he and Olivia had betrayed Folakemi’s trust in them. In fact, he could not clearly remember how they got to that point. But after every time they engaged in their illicit affair, he was full of regrets and wanted desperately to end it. But the more he ran, the more it seemed Olivia had a strong hold on him. He kept falling for her advances until he actually began to enjoy it. He loved Folakemi and was going to marry her, and her friends knew this. So, if Olivia wanted a taste of the “goody” before Folakemi claimed full and total ownership, he would indulge her. But now it seemed he had made the biggest life mistake by getting involved with Olivia. She was desperate, and if he was not careful, she would ruin his relationship with his fiancée. He contemplated telling Folakemi the truth and asking for her forgiveness. She loved him almost to a fault and would likely forgive him.
Some days later, Mayowa and Folakemi were having dinner together in his house, and he was looking for the opportunity to gently confess his misdeeds to her. He was showing her pictures from a party they held in his office when a WhatsApp message popped up on his phone. Before he could do anything about it, Folakemi had read it and seen the sender. It was from Olivia, and she just informed him that she was pregnant for him. Folakemi dashed into the bathroom and shut the door before Mayowa could stop her. She sat on the toilet seat as she read the chats between her friend and her fiancé and saw the countless lewd pictures from Olivia. She was dumbfounded and felt like the floor was sinking underneath her and she was going under. After she regained herself, she opened the door, and without saying any word to Mayowa amid his pleas and cry for forgiveness, she took her bag and left his house.
Friends and family members tried to intervene when Folakemi announced that she was calling off the wedding, but she was adamant. She had made up her mind and there was no going back. To make matters worse, Olivia refused to abort the pregnancy and demanded that Mayowa marry her, threatening to make his life hell if she refused to do right by her. When Folakemi could no longer bear to live in the same house with Olivia and Zain, whom she also blamed for keeping the knowledge that Olivia was sleeping with Mayowa away from her, she moved back to her parents’ house and cut off every tie between her and her friends.
Mayowa tried several times to reach out to Folakemi to ask for her forgiveness and a chance to make amends, but she wasn’t having any of that. If he could sleep with her friend, then there was no evil she could put past him. She preferred to nurse her wounds as a single girl rather than as a wife or a single mother. Her job and involvement in church activities became her favorite pastimes, and she deactivated her social media accounts to stay off the Internet until she was fully healed from the heartbreak.
Six months later, her colleague was telling her about the beautiful pre-wedding pictures of a couple she had found on Instagram, describing their attire and how lovely they looked together. Not thinking a thing of it, Folakemi asked to see the pictures, and staring at her were her ex-fiancée and her ex-friend, in truly lovely photos they hashtagged #MayOlly. She could see Olivia’s small baby bump, and though she hated to admit it, Olivia looked even more beautiful with the pregnancy. Resigned to her fate and accepting that her relationship with Mayowa was never meant to be, she started reading comments under the post. As she expected, quite a number of people recognized Mayowa from the days they happily shared their relationship with the Internet. A particular comment from “femionthebeat” had over 300 replies from people who knew about Mayowa and Folakemi’s relationship:
femionthebeat: Is this not Mayor who was breaking the Internet with one slim pretty black lady like that? E be like say comrade don serve the girl breakfast.
queennolly2021: Burna boy don talk am say na everybody go chop breakfast. The way I used to type “God when” on their pictures then. God abeg o!
coolbuthot: @femionthebeat, you are right o. I hear say na that black girl serve Mayor breakfast. She followed one guy wey be Canada citizen.
oyindamolaandme: I just got served my own breakfast. Everyone should carry their cross please.
antiadugboyin: @coolbuthot, where did you hear? How can a man like gossip like this? If you give this same energy to your dying business, you for don make am.
charitypeaceandkindness: Dear sisters, give your lives to Christ. Jesus is the only man that will never #serveyoubreakfast.
Streams of tears ran down Folakemi’s eyes as she read through the comments and looked at each of the pre-wedding photos. She wondered if Mayowa truly loved her or if all they had were lies. Considering how fast he seemed to have moved on after she broke up with him and he was going ahead to marry her friend, a part of Folakemi felt relieved that she got served breakfast before getting married. Now she can finally put the past behind her and work more on healing completely from the hurt. Perhaps triggered by the plenty #servemebreakfast she read from the post, Burna Boy’s Last Last came to her mind:
Na small thing remain, it could have been all over
My feelings still dey swing like jangolova
Feelings still dey swing like-
Ti n ba ni kе juru, e juru
Omo why to’o ki nfe ni suru?
Why do you say I did nothing for you
When I for do anything you want mе to do
Ti n ba ni ke juru, e juru (E juru)
Omo why to’o ki nfe ni suru? (Ni suru)
Why do you say I did nothing for you
When I for do anything you want me to do
Maybe another time,
Maybe another life you will be my wife and we’ll get it right
E don cast, last last, na everybody go chop breakfast
Have to say bye bye o, bye bye o to the love of my life
My eye o don cry o.
*This piece is dedicated to Dr. Samson Ijaola of Glorious Vision University who understands that “Na lunch I want chop. Breakfast no dey belleful!”