Hey guys, I know you’d be wondering if I have amnesia because I have refused to conclude SDC. Hehehe, I don’t. I am fully aware that it has not finished and I intend to finish it. In fact it is already finished on my laptop. However, I’m making it into an E Book and it would be exclusively available for free and for download on Okada Books. And you’d get it by next week by God’s grace. Thanks for your support and love and the massive feedback. You have no idea how much it means to me. Your comments are everything and if not for the nagging headache I have as I type this I would have mentioned every single person’s name I remember from the comment section. But I go still do am.
Meanwhile, Please enjoy Friendzone HQ. It’s a love story most of us can relate to. And it is dedicated to everyone stuck in the friendzone, everyone waiting to get out and everyone who met the love of their life in the friendzone they threw them in LOL.
It is also dedicated to my close friend Olakanmi who won’t stop trying to find me love, to my mom who is a hopeless romantic (mommy, I go soon bring husband home. And yeah, she sometimes googles and reads my work behind my back. The day she sees SDC ehn…) to my best friend Amanda (if I tell her I want to hawk my stories, I bet she’d say Oya what area are we going? Lol) to Lara Ayanbanjo (Lara, I know you’re waiting for me to find man :-)), to Funke Jolaoso, Peju U (I don’t know your surname if you see this drop in the comment section -_-) and Jumoke Rufus who have been huge fans of my work from the very beginning. If that is not love, what is?
Patients were never the problem for Oyin Balogun – it was something she had signed up for anyway – but the families and friends of the Patients were always the nightmare.
They moaned more than the person in pain, became crankier more than the person who just underwent surgery and tended to be more uncomfortable than someone who just got diagnosed with a disease.
And even though she could handle her Patients, she could not fathom how to handle their Relations.
Three years after her medical residency, she was still clueless about how to deal with that part of the job.
As she made her way out of the Theater where she had just finished a surgical operation on a twenty seven year old mother of one, she tried to dodge the Patient’s wailing mother and her more composed husband.
Hours before when she had gone into surgery, she recalled telling the woman everything would be okay; she was a professional, she knew what she was doing and this was not her first Fibroid operation.
But just like most families she’d come across since she became a medical Doctor, the woman had been quite reluctant to believe her. In fact, she had asked her “Are you sure you know what you’re saying?”
In the beginning, that question had irritated Oyin and once, she’d snapped at an older man who asked her.
The man who was in his early fifties had brought his wife in for treatment and while Oyin attended to the woman, her husband had asked her if she was sure she knew what she was doing.
Livid and unable to believe questions like that were still directed to female doctors in the profession, she’d asked him, “If I was not sure what I was doing, do you think I’d be here?”
The man had been shocked to say the least and even an apology during his wife’s next hospital visit had been dismissed.
Needless to say it was the last time they came to her for treatment.
Now, as she hurriedly burst into a colleague’s office to avoid seeing her most recent patient’s restless mother, she wished family members would just be a bit more reasonable.
“Who is chasing this one?”
Oyin glanced at her colleague and work bestie as she liked to call him, he was sitting on his chair, his legs on the table creating an aisle between so much paper work while his hands effortlessly joined Boli and groundnut, making them ready for his consumption.
“One woman like that”
He eyed her in her scrubs as his hand lifted his food into his mouth, “You just finished surgery?”
She nodded, “And as usual my Patient’s mother is running to me for update”
Kolapo chuckled, “I doubt they know how annoying that thing is sometimes”
“I know right? This woman is particularly too restless for my liking abeg and…”
The subject of their discussion burst in through the door and looked quizzically at Oyin, “Madam, how far with my daughter?”
Kolapo knew Oyinkansola Balogun well and he knew that her patience was shorter than Amber Rose’s hair and he was also aware that after surgery, she was usually cranky.
And he knew for a fact that her response to this woman who had no respect for boundaries was not going to be pretty so he swung into action, “Madam, your daughter’s condition is stable. Doctor Balogun here already has everything under control. Now please go and pray that she fully recovers”
The mother sighed, clearly relieved. “God bless you. Please when can we see her?” She asked, looking from Oyin to Kolapo.
The woman smiled, mouthed her gratitude and made out of the office.
“Some days ehn, I hate this job”
“Other days, you love me and the job” Kolapo responded with a wink.
“Better go and sit down. You don’t know you’re old abi?”
Kolapo laughed. He liked her, more than he had liked anyone in a while and more than he was willing to share.
He was a shy person and Oyin was the only person he related with the way he did with her. Four years before when he started his medical practice in the Hospital, senior medical staff members had teased him a lot.
He had been like a fish out of water and had been totally out of place.
Kolapo’s mother had died shortly after birthing him and he’d only known his father for three years before the man died of cancer.
He had been raised by his grandmother who even though had little, had tried her best to raise him well.
He had grown up in Ile – Ife, a town that would have been inconsequential to many if not for the University that stood in it and that produced some of the greatest names in the country.
Ife a town that was rich in Yoruba history was not your average big town; one major road ran through the whole town, almost everyone knew everyone and the Ooni’s decision was usually the final.
Yet, it was beautiful in its own right, lighting up through its people and flourishing through its successful sons and daughters.
The half completed buildings and ancient houses that were in some parts of the town might add to culture shock for some people but it was honestly some of the things that made it beautiful, some of the things that made Kolapo long for it.
The rawness of its culture which unlike some big cities like Ibadan had managed to be undiluted during the years made it endearing. And, the closeness it still maintained with its ancient history heightened its mysticism.
And that town was where he had gone to his primary and secondary schools and when time came, his University.
So when his Uncle asked for him to come to Lagos to begin his medical practice, he had been overwhelmed by Lagos’ chaos and bustle.
He had actually fallen sick for a whole week after he first came to Lagos.
And because many were quick to tease him about his accent and mannerisms, he had been drawn to Oyin when she came and had been the only one who seemed to genuinely understand him.
“My bestie should be in the country any minute” She said to him, pushing a huge chunk of boli through her mouth. “I’m going to pick him from the Airport”
“The Segun guy?”
She nodded, “The Segun guy”
Opening his fridge, she retrieved a bottle of cold water and helped herself to it.
“You’d run into traffic o”
She shrugged, “I know. But it is only Segun I would do this for I swear. I was telling him that on the phone yesterday sef but we go way back. Plus his girlfriend here just dumped him months ago so she’s definitely not going to be waiting at the Airport with balloons in the air and a bunch of excited friends”
She was returning the remaining water into his fridge now. “When is your shift over?”
“In an hour” Kolapo responded and watched as she made for the door.
“I’m off tomorrow. I’d see you on Sunday morning” she said, blew him a kiss and shut the door behind her.
As Kolapo resumed his earlier position, he knew the quickening in his pulse and the extra pace his heartbeat was going at was not a diagnosis for any health related issue, he was actually beginning to fall for her.
But he was not going to tell her. Not yet.
Oyin hated Lagos traffic the way nobody else did. Whenever she told her friends and colleagues that, they always told her it was what everyone else would say but the truth was, she did.
The biggest loss in her life had been courtesy of Lagos traffic.
It had been a rainy night in June, she had been stuck in traffic on Lekki/Ajah expressway when the call came in that her father needed urgent medical attention.
Her mother had been panicking on the other end of the line, saying too many things at once and voicing out her fear.
Oyin had told her to relax and asked for them to rush him to the Hospital. She was going to make a U turn and meet them halfway.
They had listened to her but the traffic had another plan, the road had been blocked in what seemed to be the worst traffic in history.
Her father had passed away in the middle of all that.
She remembered her mother’s words when they finally reached the hospital, “And you know, when we reached the front, nothing was causing the traffic”.
Traffic had become more unbearable to her since then but when you lived in a city like Lagos, traffic was a constant.
Her phone rang and she knew before picking it who it was, “KP”
Kolapo’s voice spoke through the phone, “How is it going?”
“Closer to the Airport now, omo that traffic tie gele o”
He chuckled, that sound that she was now accustomed to, the sound that whenever she heard it over the phone she could picture the look that accompanied it.
“But at least you won’t enter it when you’re coming”
Her phone beeped, there was a waiting call and it was Segun.
“Let me call you back, KP. Segun is trying to reach me”
The call ended and she picked Segun’s “Mr Man”
“Hey. I’m here”
She smiled, in some minutes she would see him again in flesh and blood, the first time in two years.
She had to admit, she had missed him like crazy.
Phone calls and IMs had helped cement their friendship but there was nothing like a warm hug from that one person you could bare your heart and soul to.
“Hey. I would be there in a bit”
“Okay. I’m the hottest guy wearing a purple polo”
She laughed, “Vain idiot”
“I love you too”
She had met him in her third year in school. He had been best friends with her then boyfriend, Eze.
The year she started dating Eze, he went on his Industrial Training and it was during one of their numerous phone conversations that Eze mentioned his best friend Segun who was his “eyes” in school.
“Girls are always shamelessly tripping for him but he still has time to be my eyes and watch you” Eze had mentioned over the phone.
And she’d been slightly irritated that her boyfriend felt the need to watch her while he was on his IT but when she had finally met Segun at a fast food joint in school days later, she had instantly decided that she had no problem being watched by him.
He was tall, finely built with a skin that glowed like he bathed in honey and he was hands down the finest boy she had ever seen in person.
She knew then that if Eze had not been the love of her life, she would have done unimaginable things to his body.
They had not become instant friends, in fact she barely spoke to him after then and after school they occasionally saw and hung out but still, no friendship was built.
Until after she broke up with Eze and he broke up with his girlfriend and they ended up at the same beach party where they got drunk together and she ended up in his bed the next morning.
They did not have sex but that had cemented their friendship.
He was waiting for her when she got to the Airport and he scooped her up in his arms before she could say a word.
“Jeez, when did you become this fine?” He asked, returning her to her feet while grabbing his two boxes.
“I’ve always been fine, you’re the one that has been blind. But I am now glad you can see”
“Keep deceiving yourself”
They made their way to her car.
“I missed you sha” He said and planted a kiss on her forehead.
They got into her car, each firmly putting their seatbelts into place.
“Where to?” She asked him.
“Yours. I’m spending tonight with you”
She gave the engine life and sped out of the Airport.
“Who is your boyfriend these days?”
She laughed, “The hospital. I literally sleep inside it all the time.”
“So have you and Segun stopped deceiving each other about this best friend nonsense?”
Oyin rolled her eyes and busied herself with whisking the eggs she’d broken into the cream ceramic bowl in front of her.
Her friend Ola was around and as usual she was willing to talk about boyfriends, dates, husband and why Oyin needed to be in a relationship soon.
“You people like each other, fuck yourselves to realize it and date already” She said, slightly irritated as she grabbed the bowl of eggs from Oyin and emptied it into the flour they were mixing for pancakes.
“That is how it happens abi? Just fuck and date?” Oyin loved Ola, she was her closest female friend and they had been together since their first year in the University. And that was the reason Ola got away with some of the disastrous dates she had set her on and some of her comments.
“Sometimes that is what you need”
Ola was married and pregnant with her first child and since that happened, Oyin had been in trouble. Ola had set her up with all the men in her husband’s inner circle and Oyin had not been impressed with one of them.
They all either thought she was too opinionated or too arrogant or too career driven. One even told her once that she spoke too much English. She had still not been able to decipher what he meant.
“Thank you, I am not screwing my best friend”
“Do it first and see whether you people won’t be confessing love to each other.” She insisted
“No, thank you”
“Do it first na”
“Madam no. Abi would I be sleeping with someone to prove a point to you?”
Ola shrugged, “Okay. I would book an appointment with my Pastor. You need prayers”
Oyin ignored her. Truth is she wanted to tell Ola something interesting that happened overnight; Segun had a boner while he was cuddling her and what was more, his hands roamed her body too many times for it to have been a mistake.
Segun had always teased her about her body but never had he actually made a move on her.
And as badly as she wanted to tell Ola, she knew it was a bad time.
“Hello everyone. Ola!”
Segun strolled into the Kitchen, his shirtless body heating up the kitchen the way the oil on the cooker never could.
As he gave Ola a wide hug, she swallowed hard, realizing that something had changed with this person. She could not place it yet but she knew the effect it was having on her was a potentially disastrous one, it was some sort of chemical reaction that could literally hurt everyone involved.
As he walked towards her to give her a hug, Ola stood behind him and mouthed “Fuck him”.
Oyin ignored her. She was already getting ideas, no need for Ola to worsen the situation.
PS: Friendzone HQ would not be at night like SDC, it would be during the day, mornings precisely. And yeah on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.