Something signaled her arrival. Not a word said but her aura. It did not matter that she was late. That seemed trivial at the moment.
I watched her walk down the aisle. For a brief moment, the document I was working on, seemed less important compared to soaking in her presence.
Her perfume assailed our noses. Paco Rabanne? YSL? Elizabeth Arden? Gucci? CK? What was it?
My male colleagues whistled and cooed like pigeons. Only heaven knew, if some of them had a hard-on.
I could not take my eyes off her. She looked like someone just pulled out of a cosmopolitan magazine ad.
Her shoes glistened. Her shoes, Lord! Her shoes! My heart skipped a zillion times.
Her bag? I could swear it was made of snake skin.
The dress, short enough to reveal her well-toned brown skin. Her makeup was light. I could tell from where I sat.
The bra was definitely working wonders. The cleavage was a testimony. Her curly brown hair bounced as she walked. It seemed I could hear her Cartier watch tick as she took every step. Oh boy! Was I having a hard-on too?
Jeez. I stared. Like a moron, I looked curiously till she finally got to our table.
‘How far? Sorry, I kept you guys waiting. I am sick of Lagos and traffic wahala’. She said
I smiled. It was the only thing I was capable of doing at the moment.
‘I love your shoes’. I finally said with the look of a covetous woman.
‘Thanks’. She replied.
Then the expected happened, she drew her chair closely to mine and spilled the secret, some smart women have known for years.
‘I borrowed it from my sister’. The shoes and the bag. It is fine abi? I like it too but I can’t afford it right now. So,I will borrow for now biko’. She said amidst our laughter.
‘Please, ask for the price’. I requested.
‘Ok, I will’.
Case settled. I moved on to finishing my document.
Whilst growing up, I shared some stuff with my siblings. On rare occasions, I had to borrow one or two things from them. Then, I moved to the university and I could not fathom the magnitude of sharing and borrowing, I witnessed in the different hostels I lived.
From silicon bras to condoms, synthetic eyelashes, the list was rich and endless. The girls, I lived with at different times will borrow or share anything. In actual fact,everything. Sometimes, I sat on my top floor aka for the top bunk and bore witness to girls fitting themselves into undersized blouses or pants, all in the name of fashion and style sake.
Occasionally, I heard stories of how, shoes borrowed were so tight, the borrower could barely walk but had to put on a fake smile and treat swollen feet later. How about the story of how one lady borrowed a designer bag, only to have it stolen and the owner almost ripped her apart for misplacing a bag whose price could pay a student’s total fees for a four year course! So the owner of the bag claimed.
Or about the lady whose blouse got ripped at a party as she could no longer suck belle in a bid to hold her fashion apparel together?
In as much as I am one to borrow a few things from my sister and mother. I was schooled right from childhood on the limitations of my ‘share voucher’.
Items like underwear and personal hygiene materials are off limits. I am a bit of a germaphobe, so life was easy. No time to catch shank.
Growing up, my mother taught my siblings and I, to possess the spirit of contentment. Maybe, that is the reason for my ability to manage whatever I have.
You had one shoe, you managed it. I only shared stuff with my siblings or borrowed, based on my parents’ terms. Except of course, text books. That one was a constant on the ‘share voucher’.
I must confess that as I grow older, my shakara gene forces me to pick a few things from my mother, sisters, aunts and my close friend on few occasions.
My ‘share voucher’ records show the items I borrow in desperate situations. Bags, accessories and head-ties (my mom has every color, a wardrobe full of different and colorful head-ties!).
My hostel experience made me realize that some of the ‘big girls’ I had seen prior to my matriculation day and whom I had admired endlessly were ‘professional borrowers and sharers’.
‘Why are you packing the shoes?’ I asked, as we packed our bags at closing time.
‘I can’t wear the shoe to waka Lagos roads o. Susan! Shoes wey no be my own! I am taking the bus this afternoon’.
‘Now this is a smart borrower’. I thought.
She was making sure that the items loaned her were returned in good condition. Earlier in the day, she had captured our hearts and now the show was over. I couldn’t help but relay the story to my kid sister and she asked me a simple question; ‘Do you own what you are wearing?
At that moment, I could answer in the affirmative. Then again, I remembered other situations where it was a case of something borrowed, something fapped.
So I pose the same question (unedited) to you: ’Do you own what you are wearing?’ and oh, lest I forget: ’What items are on your ‘share voucher’?
I’d love to hear tales of your shakara gene.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Elkeflorida