I can feel the eyes of everyone on me the moment I take off my jacket. I made the effort. I am pleased by their reaction. I suck in my gut and bask in the admiration.
He walks towards me soon after, swaying as though he has lots of balls clustered like grapes beneath his trousers; crotch out, shoulders back, hands in his trouser pockets, sweeping his jacket behind him like a cape. Superman. Master of all the Balls.
Nneoma beside me, watches his approach and sniggers. I know what she is thinking. He’s probably a weirdo. I always get the weirdos. Something must be wrong with my pheromones. The last time it was Callistus; hirsute and almost mono of brow. Handsome in that Wolverine sort of way. That is until the picking and flicking; eye crusts, teeth jam, bogeys.
And then there was Eghosa who sucked his thumb when no one was looking, using his herniated belly button as a stress ball. He was a banker. A good banker. He squeezed that sucker all the time. Wouldn’t go in for surgery either. Said it was his ‘good luck charm’. In the end, I decided couldn’t date a guy with a belly button bigger than my boobs. It just wasn’t right.
Don’t even get me started on the guy who had a tail.
In the middle of the room, Master of all the Balls halts for a passing waiter, jumping back deftly to avoid spillage from overfilled glasses. He turns it into a little dance.
“Quite the mover,” says Nneoma, eyeing him up and down. “Not bad.”
“For a man with elephantiasis of the scrotum, you mean?” I roar. Nneoma titters a bit, absent-mindedly. The fact she is is not ROTFL gives me pause. This is our usual Saturday night entertainment. I buy stupidly expensive dresses which I return the next day. We visit upmarket watering hole. Get drunk. Laugh at bankers and wankers and pseudo-poshos and weirdos and intense Afropolitan-types. Go home sans weirdos. At least try to, anyway. It’s pathetic, yes. But that was how we bonded; two lonely girls from the same country who had nothing else in common.
“Nice smile too,” she adds.
He has. There is a dimple in his chin that I just want to stick my tongue in and an almost cartoonish twinkle in his eye. I can even hear the twink! when the light hits it. I decide that I want him after all. Walking around crotch-first like he wants to impregnate the world is no problem, I tell myself. Much better than boob-navel.
I smile back, raise my hand in a finger wave. Beside me, Nneoma starts. I feel her glancing at me. She clears her throat.
“Back off, he’s mine,” I say through clenched teeth.
“You just got a promotion! Don’t be greedy.”
Nneoma grins back maniacally but I can tell she is upset. “Fine. I need the loo anyway.”
She says ‘loo’ now.
Master reaches me just as Nneoma takes off, tattooing the floor in an angry clack-clack of heels. I flick my hair and cross my legs on the bar stool.
“Hi,” he says. His breath smells edible. He looks suddenly shy. It makes me want him all the more.
“Hi,” I tilt my head in what I hope is a coquettish manner. He smiles again. His teeth are white-white. I want to go to sleep in the tight curls on his head. He swallows.
“Hey, so,” he bends lower whispering in my ear. “The price tag on your dress is showing.”