We spent the next hour and a half stuck in traffic that should normally have taken
us twenty minutes. We took the time to get to know each other more though. I found
out a lot more things about Chris that I hadn’t thought to ask during the interview.
“So you were like all these crazy-stalker-paparazzi types?” I chuckled as he
explained to me how he really got started in photography. During the interview he
just casually said he stumbled upon a couple of wonderful pictures and knew
immediately that that was what he wanted to do. But that wasn’t what really happened!
What happened was: some wanna-be opera star just moved into the apartment building
he was staying during his med. school days. One day he gave her a lift to the opera
house and had to punch some guy who was forcefully trying to take pictures of her.
Later that night when he and his roommate where gisting, he learned that pictures of
the wanna-be would be extremely valuable at a later date when she was some big
Hollywood star. Then came his light bulb moment! Why take pictures of wanna-bes when
you can pictures of actual stars?!
“At first I tried stuff like-” he was saying just before his cell phone rang.
Holding up a finger he said, “One second”. I nodded while he hit the answer key.
“Yeah?”. After a couple of ‘Uh huh’s and ‘yeah’s, he finally ended with “Tonight’s
no good, I’ve got a date”. My eyes almost popped out of their sockets. Could he be
referring to dinner with me as a date? Or did he have some other girl in mind? So he
has female contacts in Lagos already? A gazillion thoughts sped through my mind.
After he hung up, he turned then smiled at me, “So where were we?. “Huh?!” I jerked
back to reality. It was at that exact moment that I remembered what Layefa had said
about dinner. Something about him, me and Daniel. Dang! I thought. How could I have
forgotten that I made plans with Chris already. I made a mental note to call Layefa
once I got back to the office.
“You ok, Delores?” Chris touched my arm. Jumping, I said, “Huh? Oh. Sure. No
problem. Yeah, you were telling me about your stalker days.” He looked at me for
about a minute as if to make sure I was really alright then continued with his story.
“Ay bay bay!” Kiki said coming into my office. I was so glad to see her. I had been
going over the articles I received from the style department. There were about
twenty different articles and none of them were appealing to me.
“Kiki! U tey oh! Ah ahn! Since morning!” I cried as she slumped into one of my
visitor chairs. She had left since 8 in the morning to meet with a representative of
Tiffany Amber. They were to clothe our models for our October issue.
“So how was it?” we asked at the same time. Chuckling, she said” You go first joh”.
So I told her all about Chris Laire. Ok not all. I kinda skipped the parts where he
was flirting with me. “The funniest part was when he stood every time I stood” I
concluded. “Awww. He’s such a sweerie!” Kiki cooed. “ I know! So how far with the
Tiffany Amber rep now?”. She hissed. “Those ones are just on their own. Na so so
terms and conditions den dey give me.” She explained how they kept her waiting for
over two hours before she was finally ushered into the rep’s office. Then how the
rep made her wait for about another hour while they had an office meeting.
“The bitch finally showed oh. She now started blowing phoneh for me. Me sef I showed
her that I did my masters at Sheffield. The fool!” Kiki was really pissed. She
narrated how the lady gave her a not so brief intro on Tiffany Amber general style
and all. “Ah ahn. Why didn’t you tell her we’ve worked with them before?” I
interjected. “I told her oh. She was like a lot of things have changed in their
designs blah blah blah”. Hmmmn, I thought, I hope those people didn’t mix up our
appointment with some other random magazine. “She gave me these sha” Kiki shoved a
portfolio filled with pictures of T.A’s most recent line across the table to me. I
placed it on top of the pile of style articles then picked up my phone. “They’re
probably correct stuff but I’m still gonna call Folake.
See how her people are treating us like amateurs. Rubbish. Why didn’t they set up
the meeting with one of those people we’ve dealt with before?”. Kiki just shrugged
and slumped further into her chair.
Folake’s number wasn’t going. (yes oh, I’m on first name basis with Folake of
Tiffany Amber). I dropped my phone and slumped in my chair. “I’m so effin tired
mehn”. “It’s not only you oh. How’s uncle?” kiki said. “He’s good oh. I’m supposed
to call him sef!” I sat up and picked up my phone again. “Oh shit” I muttered
glancing at my watch. It was already 5:30! How time flies when you’re working hard,
I was thinking just as Layefa picked up. “Hey Dee” he answered. “Baby…” I started.
Gosh, I hadn’t even thought of what I was going to say.