If I ever said this to Feyboo in person I'd blush and then die of shame. She is the salt of the earth, a friend for the end of all things. It would be futile to ask myself what I have done to deserve her, because I know in my hearts what the answer is - not a thing. I count our friendship as a sign of my good fortune, and I am glad that the lot of you are not as lucky. If you were she'd have less time for me and that my friends would be my definition of a travesty.
Over the years we've developed a tradition. Once a month or thereabouts we meet up for a chat that lasts hours. Even when we're in company we find ourselves alone and talk about the things we have both missed. The conversation is easy and the words are sweet.
Last week we went out for dinner at the Pizze-Riah, but even before we had our first bite of what many call the finest pizza in Lagos, a cloud hung above our reunion.
When we arrived we were told there were no tables but that we should wait because they were setting up some more. I wondered aloud if the clientelle had always been so white. Feyboo brushed it off and attributed it to the luck of the draw. We sat at the bar, increasingly aware that the setting up of a table shouldn't take so long. After a little while we went outside to find that the tables that had been put up had long since been filled with people lighter than we. It was then and not a minute before that the racist question appeared in my head.
We started considering other options but kept an eager eye open for the draw of their pizzas was simply too strong. Soon enough we were repaid. A man and his friend were soon to vacate, so we moved to claim the table, but were quickly detained. The table that was barely empty had also been taken by a pair both lighter than we. A waiter had set it out for a man and his mate, who were nowhere to be seen when we first walked in that Thursday evening.
Hungry and angry, what some may call hangry, the question about racism appeared again. Could it be that the best pizzas in Lagos were strictly reserved for people lighter than Feyi and me?
I made for the exit determined to leave. Forty-five minutes had passed and we still had no seat. It was only then that a waiter perked up and sat us quite far on a table out of sight of the grill.
I asked it again, the question about race, but it lingered even longer than before. The pizzas were brilliant and the conversation sweet, however it isn't they I think of when I remember that date. It is the questions asked thrice about an evening not nice, that stay with me to this day.