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 If you haven’t already, please read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

Saturday morning, I woke up early. I suspected an allergy had flared up during the night, and glancing into a mirror confirmed this. My right eye, eyelids and all had swollen to the size of a golf ball. Or so it felt.Thankfully though, the ache in my leg appeared to have abated somewhat, but I knew I had to keep drinking water to prevent a flare up into a full blown crisis. In fairness, my MIA or should that be MIT aso-ebi had nothing to do with either of this, but the stress hadn’t helped either.

I sent a Whatsapp message to Remi at 8.03am to ask how far. She replied by saying….

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I asked her if she had Rinu’s number, as I wanted to call her in Lagos myself to ask who she had sent the clothes through. She didn’t. Amina had also asked me on Friday night if Rinu would be at the airport so she could go find out on my behalf. I had replied that as far as I knew, she worked nights, and wouldn’t be there in the morning. At this point, we were all stumped.

Remi spoke to Shokan. Apparently, he had managed to reach Rinu, who then informed him that he owed his wife an apology for ‘disrespecting’ her. He had no intentions of apologising. Stalemate.

Remi spoke to Gbolaga, it turned out that Rinu was his cousin. His first cousin. And for the first time since this drama started, we had her proper name. He then sent a text to Remi which she forwarded to me. It read,

‘Remi, really sorry about all of this. I only offered to help, never knew it would turn out this way. I have just spoken to Shokan and he is also amazed about what is happening. He said he will speak to Rinu’s husband, but I’m really sorry for personal reasons I can’t get involved, pls let Shokan sort it out. Really, really sorry, apologies to Joxy.’

I asked Remi again if I should phone Ramide myself, she checked with Shokan, who said it was not a good idea. Remi then sent a text to Ramide. The gist of the text was that she had no relationship with Shokan except as a work colleague, and she had only asked him for help to help a friend out.

A short while later, she got a phone call from Ramide. ‘Hello madam, why did you send me this text?’ Remi explained the whole situation to her.  During the course of the conversation she said to Remi, ‘I am not a bad person, I am always helping others.’ She said she would contact Rinu to get the details of who the clothes had been sent through, and then rang off.

In the meantime, since I now had Rinu’s full name, I Googled her. Discovered she was a relationship counsellor, with a ministry aimed towards Christian wives. I went on her website and called the two numbers on there, no joy, they both rang out. I went back to Google and found her husband’s name, and two other numbers for him. Tried both, they rang out out. ‘Husband ke?’ I hear you ask.  Yes o, at this point, I’d have spoken to anyone who knew her, just to reach her and explain.

After about an hour or so, Remi called me. She had had a conference call with Ramide, and Rinu, who had called in from Lagos.

Rinu’s first words to Remi were ‘Ta ti e lo ni akisa oun gan?’ (Who exactly owns the rags?) She then went on to disparage the clothes. Remi struggled to hold down her temper. As she later explained, all she wanted to do was get the clothes, so she bit her tongue. She replied that the fabric or the quality of it was not the issue. We had taken the aso-ebi in solidarity with our friend, and that was not the issue at hand. Rinu was quite vociferous. When Remi explained that it was Gbolaga that had linked her with Shokan, Rinu broke in with ‘We are first cousins, my father is his mother’s younger sibling, but we are not friends. Did you hear the last part of my statement? I said, we are not friends.’ And then in an aside to Ramide, she said ‘Gbolaga yen rude gan!’.

Ramide claimed that her husband Shokan had not slept at home the previous night as he was upset with her over the clothes. She said she had been about to go and get the clothes for Remi after their earlier conversation, when her husband had returned home, and an altercation had ensued. Rinu broke in yelling ‘I don’t care if your friend is ill, it is none of our business’ and carried on in  a similar vein till the conversation ended.

As Remi recounted all this to me, I had a mental picture of Rinu walking away with a tray of red-hot peppers carefully balanced on her expensive weave-on, an educated omo alata to the core.

At this point, I was fed up. and started looking through my wardrobe for Plan B. At 12.12, Remi forwarded me a text Ramide had sent to her. It had Rolake’s name and an 0803 naija number. I called the number, it rang out. I sent two texts to the number, none of which I got a response to.

I spoke to my friend J. She knew of Rolake, said she was a Lagos big girl who was here frequently, and that it was unconceivable that she didn’t have a UK number. At about 2.30, she sent me an alternative number, this one started with 0802, and asked me to try it. I had totally given up by now, and didn’t want to bother, but she insisted.

I called, and this time, she answered the phone.  She said the line wasn’t clear, which was possible as I was using a Vyke call-back service. She agreed that yes, she had been given a package by Rinu, and that she woud text me her contact details. She said if i did not hear from her in 10 minutes, to call her back. I thanked her, and hung up. As I was not sure whether or not my number had been displayed properly, I sent her a text thanking her, and stating that I’d be waiting to hear from her.

I heard nothing back. And by this time , I was done. Agba n’tara.

I went to the party with T, the E-crew, and my friends, and we all had a blast.

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The clothes? Only God knows where they are.

Rinu works at Empire Airways. Ramide works with the British Wellbeing Providers. Rolake works at Premier Bank. Those of you that know them, will know who I am talking about. Please share this post so one of them will will get to read it. I am still looking for Rinu’s number, and will call her myself once I get it.

I don’t have any beef with Rolake, she was merely the messenger. At the end of the day, she did as she was instructed by her friends. During the conversation with Remi, Rinu threatened to have the clothes sent back to Lagos. They might have been rags in her eyes, but they were my rags, and I’d like them back. If they are in Lagos, someone will pick up for me.

So there you have it. Thanks for stopping by Open-mouthed smile.

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