Those Awkward Moments (Episode 11)

Those Awkward Moments (Episode 11)

Previously On THOSE AWKWARD MOMENTS: After a long day at the hospital, Kevin gets to unwind with superstar, Demoniker at the very exclusive club, The Ravens. And just as he’s getting fresh with a cute bartender, the club’s manager intrudes to urgently tell him there’s something wrong with Demoniker. Tsk, tsk, did anyone not tell this manager that you’re not supposed to interrupt the chyking process between two men – not even with SOS calls concerning superstars? Oh well, now Kevin has to go put out the fire.

*

As I rushed with Andrew Musa backstage, I began to think up so many scenarios of what might have happened to Demoniker. Did the ceiling fall on her? Was her performing outfit too big… or too small!? Oh wait – had her voice developed a mild infection? The horror of that last thought made me decide to stop torturing myself and ask what the problem was.

I turned to Andrew. “What exactly is the problem?”

“Something about us ruining her,” he replied as he kept walk-running nearly ahead of me. “I thought maybe you could talk to her.”

Now I was confused.

Soon we reached a big, ornately carved wooden door that had the words B.S. stenciled on it. Amusement nudged at me as I thought of the possibility of the acronym meaning ‘Bullshit’ instead of ‘Backstage’.

Andrew swung the door open, and I caught a look of a grand space that screamed more elegance than most back stages I’d seen in the movies and TV shows, even though the atmosphere of tense haste was the same.

And then, I heard her – a woman shrieking with such appropriate indignation. It was Demoniker, clad now in a beautiful thigh-length black gown and wine-red stilettos. She was in a pissy mood. I quickly garnered that the keyboardist for her performance had not shown up, and wasn’t going to be present anytime soon.

“Tomiwa – the guy that plays our keyboard…his father was in an accident – so he’s at the hospital…” Andrew explained as we approached the immediate vicinity of the star’s tirade.

“Oh,” I said softly in understanding.

“Boohoo!” Demoniker said rather inconsiderately, apparently overhearing Andrew’s words. “Like he can make any difference by being in the hospital for some old man who is probably going to die anyway!”

There was a collective sharp intake of breaths by the backstage crew at her causticness. I sighed.

“This is just unacceptable!” she wailed. “What kind of band doesn’t even have a backup piano guy? How the hell do you guys expect me to debut a love song without someone to play the – you know what? There’s just no way I’m going up there!”

“Do something,” Andrew hissed at me. “I have over a thousand people who came to the club just to see her. I can’t just call it all off. It’ll destroy The Ravens’ reputation.”

I wondered fleetingly why the manager had come to me. For heavens’ sake, I wasn’t even Demoniker’s manager. Then again, I was her only escort to the club; it followed that Andrew would think I wielded some sort of influence over the singer, for her to bring me to the club with her. I had no choice but to intervene. I sighed again.

I walked over to the sulking star, just as she paused in her tirade to take a deep, affronted breath.

“You said you intend to debut a new song?” I queried in a low tone.

“Yeah, Love Sick – I was recording it before Misery.”

“Oh,” I said, feeling myself deflate a little. I’d actually thought she’d been talking about my song. “Well, do you have the sheet music?”

“It’s in my purse, why?”

“Just let me have it.”

Demoniker signaled to the bodyguard standing closest to her. He came forward; the small fashionable affair that was her purse was in his possession. He handed it over to her, and she brought out a neatly folded piece of paper out, and gave it to me. I unfolded the sheet and read it, top to bottom. It was a pretty simple song written mostly in G flat major.

I sighed before finally saying, “Well, I think I can do it…”

Suddenly the whole room became busy again. Sighs of relief were abundant.

“Wait, you can play the piano?” Demoniker asked.

“Yes. I used to play the organ for my church as a teenager. This shouldn’t be that much different.”

Without warning, and accompanied by a small squeal, she grabbed me by the shoulders, pulled close to me and gave me a very long peck on the cheek which sent tickles down my spine. Then she pulled back and beamed. “What can’t you do?”

“Keep a stable relationship with a guy apparently,” I muttered.

“Huh?”

“Oh nothing,” I quickly said.

***

About thirty minutes later, the host of the musical event in the club took to the stage to welcome its patronage, crack a few jokes and advertise a couple of the event’s sponsors. Then he began introducing the first performer. “She’s here all the way from Los Angeles, California, representing Highland Records, our very own mega diva – Demoniker Dawson!”

The instrumentalists were already in place, and let loose with a flurry of melodic sounds which ushered the singer out onto the stage, amidst an uproarious ovation from the crowd. As I watched from behind the sleek piano I was going to be making music from, I marveled at that very moment. It all felt surreal, being up here, performing for such a crowd, to the tune of an international musician.

SWEET!

Demoniker did a minute greeting before cooing into the microphone, “I have a special one for you guys tonight. I know I promised a new love song that I wrote, and which will be coming up on my new album. However, I’ve decided to give you guys a sneak peak at what I’ve decided will be my first single from the new album coming this December!”

We weren’t performing Love Sick? I stared at the other instrumentalists in bewilderment. None of them was looking at me. None of them looked even faintly ill at ease at the sudden turn of events.

And then, Demoniker said, “This one’s called Misery.

I died in that moment.

“And it was written by my new co-songwriter – Kevin!” The singer gestured toward me, and the spotlight wheeled over and rested momentarily on me. As the light blazed down on me and the crowd gave another resounding applause at Demoniker’s words, I forced a grin of embarrassment at the attention.

The spotlight returned to Demoniker, and she began singing. I strummed the piano. And the room went silent; I sincerely hoped this was because the clubbers had been spellbound by the song, and not because they didn’t like what they were listening to. On cue, the other instrumentalists picked up the beat as the song progressed. Minute after minute ticked past as Demoniker weaved her magic with her crooning and her moves.

And then it happened. Just as we hit the chorus with the very high notes, the audience went wild. Cheers broke out, interspersed with hand-clapping and appreciative whistles. There was also a loud hum of people singing along and swaying to their bodies to the rhythm.

I felt suffused with happiness as I watched the effect of my song on its audience.

My eyes wandered a bit as I continued playing. And I caught a glimpse of my bartender friend, Kuddus, staring right at me – but not like before, not with the disappointment I’d last seen in his eyes. This time, he looked impressed. He saw me looking at him and smiled. I smiled back.

***

After the performance that for some reason made a number of girls and guys in the audience cry, Demoniker gave me yet another peck before letting herself get swarmed by adoring fans and stars alike. The drummer and bass guitar player commended me. And Andrew Musa approached me with several compliments and a very manly hug, before slipping something into my back pocket. I waited for him to move on from me before reaching for my back pocket. But before I could fish out whatever he’d slipped in there, a hand came down on my shoulder.

I turned around to see Kuddus looking back at me with a broad smile.

“Hey,” he said.

“Hey yourself,” I replied.

“So, certainly not a doctor, huh?”

I chuckled. “Certainly not.”

“Good, because what you did up there is way sexier than anything a doctor could have done.”

I felt instantly flushed with delight at his appreciation.

In minutes, he had clocked out of the bar and we were soon settled in Demoniker’s VIP section, chatting away like old friends.

“So that’s why you lied about being a doctor?” he asked, unable to stop himself from laughing at the end of what I’d just said.

“Yeah,” I replied. “Besides, I didn’t want you to think I was one of those irrelevant people that follow celebrities around.”

“You mean like Karrueche Tran?”

“You are such a beesh!” I chortled.

He laughed, before adding, “Anyway, trust me, what you did on that stage is anything but irrelevant. It was amazing. Seriously,” he affirmed when I looked away in pleased embarrassment. “And you wrote it. Just you?”

“Yes,” I said, feeling pride in my work.

“Wow!”

“Enough about me please,” I cut in. “So you’re publishing your novel soon? That must be cool!”

“Yeah,” he replied not-so-cheerfully.

“You don’t seem too happy about that.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t exactly have the funds to carry that out, yet!”

“Oh! Well, I’m sure you’re going to find a way. What’s the book about?”

“Can’t say,” he replied with a small grin. “It’s a secret until it comes out.”

I smiled at his attempt at being mysterious. It was cute.

“Okay, can you at least tell me the title?”

“Yeah, of course. It’s called… Are you seeing someone?”

I almost choked on the wine I was sipping just then. Choking on drinks seemed to be all I was accomplishing around this guy. And what sort of book title was that?

“Seriously?” I gasped in between coughs.

He patted me on the back as he answered with a smile, “No, I was actually asking you, if you’re in any kind relationship.”

“Oh.” I paused. “Well…” An image of Jude flashed through my mind. “Not really…” More images sped past – Jude kissing me, Jude kissing Lily. “It’s complicated,” I finally finished.

“Do tell,” Kuddus said, looking interested.

I paused again, thinking about Jude again, my reluctance to delve into it all evident on my face.

Kuddus saw that, and said, “Give me that.” He was pointing at my paper backstage pass on my side of the table.

I slid it to him, and he brought out a pen and wrote on it, before saying, “You’re a real good guy, Kevin. I think I might actually be liking you. And that’s rare coming from me.” He slid the paper back to me. “So when things get uncomplicated, call me.”

I took the paper in my hand, and he stood and left. I looked at the paper. Written on it was an eleven-digit number with his name placed beside it.

I held the paper in my hand for almost five minutes, just staring at it and thinking about possibilities. Then I stood up to use the men’s room. I went into one of the stalls to pee, and when I was finished, it happened. The backstage pass was still in my hand, the one I reached out to turn the toilet’s flush lever. As the water roared in the bowl, the paper slipped out of my hand and dropped inside. I gave a small shriek, actually reaching my hand instinctively forward to snatch it from the surge of toilet water. Then I stopped and watched it vanish inside the toilet’s bowels.

“Oh shit! Oh shit!” I cussed, staring daggers at the water closet.

And then, I heard a small voice from within say: It’s probably for the best. Your heart still belongs to Jude, remember?

I left the convenience, still disappointed by my loss, but not sad.

After almost an hour of sitting and waiting for Demoniker to finish chilling, drinking and catching up with her star friends and occasional fan, I decided to leave. it was clearly going to be a long night for the singer. And I was too tired to hang around.

However, the club was far from my home and I had no money on me for fare. So I lied to one of her drivers that she’d ordered him to drive me home. And because he’d seen how much she loved me, he didn’t question my words. And in less than an hour later, one of the Range Rovers that had accompanied the limousine to the club dropped me off in front of my house.

I bid the driver farewell before going into my compound. I brought my keys out from my left front pocket and unlocked the door. I walked inside to see Mother fast asleep on my obviously uncomfortable couch. It was not a pretty sight, watching her body arranged awkwardly on the furniture. Guilt swamped me, and I wondered why she was here, why she hadn’t just lodged in some five star hotel.

I walked over to the couch, gently shook her awake. Sleep was still heavy on her eyes, even as she enquired about my outing. I gave simple answers as I led her into the single bedroom, and onto my bed. I tucked her in just right, stared with much love at her for a moment and then turned to leave.

“God bless you, my son,” came her sleepy voice from the bed. “You are nothing like your wicked father.”

I turned and stared at her, my brows creased with bewilderment. She was sleeping soundly already. I pondered her words as I left the room. Nothing like my wicked father? My father had been a strict hothead in my early childhood, granted. He’d even joined forces with Mother to make my life hell after she told him of her suspicions of my sexuality. But Father was the one who first came around to my sexuality. He was the one who first began accepting me. The years mellowed him, and Mother’s viciousness contrasted so sharply with his acceptance of me, that I found myself forgiving him faster than I thought I would.

How then was he wicked? I thought as I took off my shirt. With only a singlet on, I grabbed my blanket from the ironing table, and proceeded to the living room couch with my headphones on. I decided to not ponder on my mother’s sleepy words as Rachel Patten’s Fight Song began blasting away in my ear drums.

As I spread myself out on the couch, I felt something uneven in the back pocket of the jeans I was still wearing. I shoved my hand inside as I remembered Andrew Musa and what he’d slipped in behind me at the club.

And what I fished out was a cheque – of fifty thousand naira! It was signed to me by ‘Andrew Musa of the Ravens Club’.

I couldn’t believe it. Fifty thousand naira for what? All I did was play the piano.

And then, on the heels of my disbelief came elation. With everything that happened to me all day, this was definitely a step-up. For the first time in nearly the entire week, I felt at peace with myself. Such reward for something I did filled me with a serene sense of purpose. Everything should be all sunshine and rainbows from here on, right?

TO BE CONTINUED.

Written by Reverend Hot

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32 Comments

  1. Dennis Macaulay
    August 04, 06:50 Reply

    I am really starting to looove this series! Very different from anything here!

    Meanwhile I can relate to the paper flushing down the toilet ooo! I once met a guy on transit and he wrote his number on a sheet of paper and gave me. Stupid me sent the pants to laundry man without checking the pockets. When it returned the paper was messed up but I managed to restore it, however 2 digits were clearly missing!

    Thank god for uncle Eric who taught me further maths in high school; omo I applied my knowledge of permutation and tried every combination possible till I nailed him…..wait assin got the number not nailed nailed!!!

    Lol

    • Pink Panther
      August 04, 06:54 Reply

      Hahahahaa. See determination sha. Ever tackled that end-of-month report at work with such zeal? 🙂

        • Pink Panther
          August 04, 07:00 Reply

          *turning my attention to that ever-un-drying manicure of mine*

      • JArch
        August 04, 08:28 Reply

        Pinky abeg help me and ask him ooo it’s only when it comes to nailing it in that he remembers his uncle and further maths

        Asewo kobo kobo

    • Richard Moore
      August 04, 09:55 Reply

      “ What can’t you do?”
      “ Keep a stable relationship with a guy apparently”
      “ Huh ?”
      “ Oh nothing”

      Well played, Kevin lol

      But how many more decades before the next episode. The long time is killing me.

      • Pink Panther
        August 04, 10:04 Reply

        It’s fortnightly, darling. Look to next two weeks Tuesday. 🙂

  2. Façade
    August 04, 07:14 Reply

    Yet another beautiful piece, keep working your magic Rev. Can’t wait to find out what his father did

  3. Mandy
    August 04, 07:18 Reply

    Just when you think this episode couldn’t possibly end with a cliffhanger, Rev Hot goes and drops us off on another edge. Ya trying o. Now there’s potential wickedness in the family, abi? Ok.

  4. ambivalentone
    August 04, 08:02 Reply

    I hope this is not how celebs really are like. This one’s beginning to sour my mood everytime. Oh well! I have lost several numbers of hopefuls but having one flushed right b4 my eyes is a sure sign I’m gonna be having a life time of regrets everytime I see a WC

    • #Chestnut
      August 04, 08:31 Reply

      Hey,all I’m sayin’ is, I’m glad it wasn’t d cheque that was flushed down d toilet by accident; I would haff jus kee mysef and jump into d lagoon!lol

      • Pink Panther
        August 04, 08:52 Reply

        LOL. Or returned to Andrew Musa and demand for another cheque. 🙂

  5. kacee
    August 04, 08:26 Reply

    Yay!!! wow i’m loving this, sometimes i get so jealous of gay love *crying* it is well. Thanks Rev hot u just made my morning (had a rough night)

    • JArch
      August 04, 08:31 Reply

      But Kacee there are dating sites for lesbians no. It’s worth checking out.

      • kacee
        August 04, 10:24 Reply

        Jarch abeg send me the links sharp sharp sharp

    • pete
      August 04, 10:03 Reply

      The grass is not always greener elsewhere

    • Max
      August 04, 12:36 Reply

      Jealous of gay love? Honey, a handful of people here can attest to the fact that its not all rosy.

  6. Peak
    August 04, 09:54 Reply

    Rev Hot, why do I suddenly feel that daddy didn’t father the unborn baby? Or he is a DL? This ur cliffhangers can like to leave room for weird and twisted speculations.

    • Pink Panther
      August 04, 10:03 Reply

      Lol. Aswear. I’ve been speculating along those same line of thought myself.

  7. Khaleesi
    August 04, 10:28 Reply

    Flawless delivery, well written and thoroughly entertaining read as always!

  8. JOJOARMANI
    August 04, 11:52 Reply

    Kacee, lasebians don’t love?…Maybe UV not found one…

    • kacee
      August 04, 12:05 Reply

      I have one but we don’t have a connection, she doesn’t know i’m bi and she doesn’t know i know she is a lesbian. she is a NICE friend and she had different “close” female friends when we were in the univeristy and she loved them so much (they even fight for her love sef) lol

  9. JOJOARMANI
    August 04, 11:55 Reply

    Rev a great work uh did here… “what can’t you do”.. “keeping a stable relationship with a guy”. . sure Deminicker would talk about that some day! ..

  10. Max
    August 04, 12:38 Reply

    Nicely written. I’d chase down that dude to get his number back. Better to grab what’s in front of you than to hope for someone who’ll probably never get his memory back.

    • Pink Panther
      August 04, 12:54 Reply

      Aswear! Better the bird in the hand than the one you’d intended to have fluttering about in the bush.

      • ambivalentone
        August 04, 13:20 Reply

        There is no bird in the bush ooo. That fluttering u hear is just ‘ategun’ rustling the bushes

        • Pink Panther
          August 04, 13:31 Reply

          Hahahahahahahahaa! Trys, you’re such a Yoruba pikin.

  11. Oluwadamilare Okoro
    August 04, 16:48 Reply

    Ah. My dearest series … Wonderful read … But Biko let Kevin find Kuddus quick!

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