It was a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the Badmus’ home on the elite Island in Lagos. James was gliding underwater in their home pool when he thought he heard his name. He floated up and looked towards where his sister sat reading a novel under the palm tree. Joyce, who had previously been reading a new chick lit, now had the book closed beside her. She glared at him with a pout and crossed her arms. He ignored her and smiled broadly when he saw his parents. Rose and Segun sat on the cane chairs next to their daughter. His father beckoned him with an index finger.
He swam the length of the pool and got out. His body gleamed in the glaring sun as the chlorine water rolled off his body. He couldn’t guess what was going on, but knew that whatever it was, spelt bad news for Joyce and good news for him.
“It’s not fair. I didn’t get all this when it was my turn. Why is his always more special?” His sister blurted before he even had the chance to greet his parents.
James looked at her with an amused smile and shrugged. His expression must have infuriated her more because she sighed so loudly that their mother had to give her a quieting look. Joyce unfolded her arms and returned to her novel. She pretended to read its content, but no one was fooled.
“I and your mother have agreed on a befitting graduation present. And since you’ll be going away soon, we decided that we might as well kill two birds with one stone” His father began.
James grinned and let his father continue. He hoped it was what he had indirectly suggested to his mother the previous week.
“You can have a party here in the house and invite all your friends. You’ll have all the caterers at your disposal. We also decided to give you some privacy, so we’ll all be away. But be careful, I don’t want any riff raff in this house okay” His mother divulged.
“Yes!” He shrieked and rubbed his palms together.
It was just what he had wanted- a big bash in his parents’ home with no adult supervision. He had hatched the plan weeks ago when he decided that he had to have a party that would be talked about for years before he left to go and study abroad. His mother had definitely taken his hints well. He couldn’t blame Joyce for pouting. She had wanted the same bash for her eighteenth birthday but their parents had refused. Instead, she had been allowed to take her friends to the beach for a private party. Their house on the Island was just the right place to throw his graduation/ leaving rave. He couldn’t wait to show all his boarding school friends his home. He was sure that they would gasp with pleasure when they saw the pool. It was definitely going to be a party to remember. All he had to do now was call his best friends to start preparations and make a guest list.
“Ehn? So where will I go while he’s having this party?” Joyce asked sullenly.
“Don’t worry dear, I’ve requested your name be added to the guest list at the What’s on In Lagos launch soiree; I and your dad would be on a trip away too” Rose said and patted her daughter’s knee reassuringly.
“So he’ll be having a big bash, you and dad would be on a trip while I’ll just be there ehn? It’s not fair o. This is what you do every time.” She replied and strode off into the house.
Joyce was unhappy that her parents were allowing her younger brother throw a party in the house when they hadn’t allowed her to in the past. But as she got inside, she did a little shimmy and smiled. She was happy to be going to the launch soiree. She knew that every ‘it’ girl in Lagos would be at the event, and so would her latest crush.
On the other hand, James was ecstatic. He hugged and thanked his parents profusely, then grabbed his towel and walked towards his wing of the house.
When he got to his room, he sat on the bed and reached out for his phone. It revealed several notifications and missed calls from his most recent ex. He was getting irritated by her calls and wondered why she just couldn’t understand that it was over and let him be. She could cry him a river for all he cared; he wasn’t going to get back with her. There was no use for it. After his party, his status would be even more elevated amongst the known circles and he would have any girl of his choosing. James smiled at the thought of that and briefly imagined holding a beautiful girl in his pool on the day of the party. ‘Well it’s time to get to work’ he thought and dialled his friend, Simi’s number.
Simi was sprawled out on the couch in her living room reading a period drama novel when her mobile phone rang. She had been so engrossed in the novel that she hadn’t heard it ring until her best friend shouted at her to silence the tune from interfering with the movie he was watching on the flat screen. She sat up when she saw who the caller was. ‘What could he want now?’ She sighed and answered just before it rang off.
Simi had begun to feel wary of James’ calls. Recently, it seemed like every time he called was to caution her and reiterate rules he had said hundred times already. She didn’t quite understand his train of thought. Did he not realise that they were all in it together? Bound by the event from their past that they all wished had never happened?
“James, what’s up?” She greeted.
“I’ve got news!” He said in that husky voice that caused many girls to melt.
She rolled her eyes and waited for him to proceed.
“Ehen? Talk abeg, what’s going on now?” She asked sounding uninterested.
“The party is on! I told you, my mum cannot refuse. I used sense sha” he said with excitement.
Simi was relieved to hear that it wasn’t something else that would complicate things.
“Wow that’s cool. Men, this party has to be the bomb o. We have to start organising everything” She said excitedly.
“Don’t worry about that. My mum said she would organise people to deal with it. We just need to sort out the guest list and so on” James replied.
“Wait o, but what of your sister? How did she take it?” Simi asked curiously.
His friends all knew that Joyce had always wanted to throw a big bash at their mansion but their parents had refused in the past. Now, Simi felt that it would have been a blow to Joyce when she learned that her younger brother would have his way instead.
“That one is her own problem. She’s going to a soiree thing, so I’m sure she won’t stay mad forever” James shared.
“Okay, no p. hold on let me join the others to our call” Simi said and placed individual calls to the other members of their clique.
When they were all connected, she told them that James was on the line and had something to share.
“Umm…” James began and then paused for effect.
Simi had to cover her mouth to keep from laughing. She knew how the others were feeling. Since that day not too long ago, they had all started to feel anxious whenever there was a group call or meeting like this.
Maryam held her phone tightly to her ear and wondered why she couldn’t hear anything. Then she looked at her phone to make sure that it was still connected. Stephanie on the other hand got impatient and told him to speak.
“I have better things to do you know” She sighed.
“Well, it is on! The party is on! We’ll have the whole house to ourselves for the night. My parents would be out of town and my sister is going to some soiree thing” He shouted into the phone.
Maryam let a sigh of relief. She was beginning to wonder if all James did best was to deliver bad news, but this was reassuring that all would be back to normal in no time. She listened to their excited voices as they talked about who and who not to invite.
“Guys wait a minute. Are we going to invite Ovo?” She shouted to be heard over all their chatter.
“What sort of bush name is that? Who’s Ovo?” Stephanie asked.
Stephanie who was a year older than them, had graduated the year before and gone to study in Italy so she was out of the loop with some of the latest events.
No one answered.
Then Maryam piped up: “Some guy we recently started hanging out with”
Finally, they planned to meet later in the week to make proper arrangements for the party in James’ house and hung up.
As soon as they hung up, Simi walked away from her best friend who had been listening in on her conversation and called everyone again except for Stephanie.
“So guys what are we going to do about this Ovo thing? Do we really have to invite him?” She asked.
“That’s my thought exactly! I don’t want this riff raff boy to start tagging along with us all the time, before he thinks that he’s our friend” James concurred.
“Hmm, I get what you both mean, but don’t forget that we need to keep him in the loop so that we can check up on him and make sure his lips are sealed. Haba, we can’t risk it” Maryam exclaimed.
They knew that she was right and agreed that they would have to invite him.
“Okay then. Simi you can invite him” James said.
“Why am I always the one doing the calling? Abeg, you too call him, are you not a guy?” She replied.
“You know he likes you” James joked.
“You’re mad!” She laughed and agreed to do it.
“Cool, see you guys soon” Maryam said and hung up.
What she had failed to tell them was that she wasn’t certain that she would make it to the party. Her father was very strict and telling him that she was going to a party, at the Badmus’ for that matter was looking for trouble. She might as well tell him that she was pregnant.
She got up and was about to leave her living room when she saw her father leaning against the wall.
She was shocked to see him and wondered how long he had been there and how much of the conversation he had heard.
“Maryam, so what is this party I heard you talking about?” He questioned haughtily.
Coming Soon: How much did her father overhear and why are they worried about Ovo?