Niyi looks at his watch the moment he takes his seat. This was one reason he hardly agrees to meet anyone. He keeps giving people the benefit of the doubt and they keep failing. Perhaps he should join them. His phone flashes red and he looks at the notification, debating in his mind whether he should read it or not. He has been receiving some hate mail since he wrote an objective analysis of the current administration. He had known some people would be angry but he had not expected the type of anger and hate that he got from people who should know better. He had even considered closing his account after Victor set his followers against him. He had expected much more from Victor. He had expected better.
He looks at his watch again. He wonders if coming here was a good idea. But his curiosity had got the better of him. One thing he knows for sure that Osi is a troll and not the humane type. You could tell from reading his tweets firing salvo after salvo at anyone and everyone. It was as if each day he wakes up and asks: which group should I annoy today and then he digs right under their skin. Niyi would have been out of his mind not to accept to have lunch with him.
Niyi looks at his watch again and then succumbs to temptation and checks his mentions. Osi had sent an open message. “20 minutes”. Niyi automatically looks at his time. He has another 10 minutes to wait. He goes to Osi’s TL to see what he has been up to. Apparently, someone had been accused of rape and after playing Devil’s Advocate, Osi had turned around to troll the living day lights out of the ‘devil’. “Didn’t your mother tell you that every married man should keep his jack-in-the-box?” Niyi couldn’t help laughing out loud. Then he looks round to be sure no one is looking. But who in their right minds would have tweeted such a pun. It has to be Osi. Only Osi.
He keeps scrolling down his TL wondering what really should be the correct order. Shouldn’t older tweets be at the top? He suddenly realises that he has absolutely no idea what Osi looks like and so he could well be seated across from him and he wouldn’t even know. That was Twitter for you. The anonymity helped a lot.
The whole of his TL was talking about the adulterous guy which means they had moved on from him. He heaves a sigh of relief at that. One of these days, he really should leave Twitter for good and face his day job. Very few people knew he was a trained doctor who decided not to practice medicine. He had become a doctor just to make his father happy. He switched to real estate because he loved the thrill of a sale and then coding because someone dared him. These days he is delving into fiction writing. His father is still trying to get him to join the family business even if at an administrative level but he wasn’t sure he wanted to get used to the smell of a hospital. His phone rings and he picks it.
“Hello!” Niyi injects all the excitement he can into his voice. The man at the other end of the line had become a good friend and had even become instrumental to his selling a few luxury properties.
“What’s happening on Twitter today?”
“No ‘hi’ back? Just what’s happening on Twitter?”
“This is important… any political issues making the news?”
“Not that I know of. The entire TL is talking about a tweep who left his wife and shagged another.”
“That’s Timeline…the space where we read tweets off.”
He sounded worried and Niyi wanted to know what the problem is. He remembers how when he just started real estate business and wasn’t making much of a headway, he had randomly generated some numbers for the sake of direct marketing and his was one of them. They hadn’t met physically but were always in touch. Sometimes such as now he spoke with so much authority, Niyi could feel the power he wields.
“Is anything the matter?” Niyi finally asks.
“I’m afraid there is but I can’t talk about it now. Give me a ring if anything appears on your TL.”
“You’ll know when you see it”.
He ends the call and Niyi is left with an uneasy feeling. He knows his friend simply as John who lives in Abuja. Last time he travelled to Abuja he had thought they’d finally meet. They hadn’t. Something had come up that took John out of town. He had a weird feeling then and he is having the same feeling now.
“Are you alone?”
Niyi looks up to see a dark skinned woman standing before him. She looked early thirties, wore little make-up and had this lovely smile. She had this aura around her and her eyes looked like she always got anything she wanted.
“I’m..er…waiting for someone.”
“You must be Niyi then,” she says as she takes her seat before him. “My name is Maria, but you must know me as Osi.”
(Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)