Elsie drove into a space right in front of the bar and between a Benz convertible and a small posh car she was sure was a one-in-town, turned off the engine of her car, grabbed her purse from the passenger’s seat and stepped out. Although it was her best friend’s favourite spot and she had often been invited over, Elsie had never been to The Drift before and as she walked to the entrance, she wondered what it was about The Drift that made her friend and lots of other high-class people drift from other hangout spots to it. As soon as she stepped in, Elsie got her answer. She had once been to LA and with what she was seeing in The Drift, she was beginning to wonder if she would have gone that far if she had experienced The Drift before. Tuxedos, Champagne, Lights, it was blitz all the way; she felt really grateful that she had obeyed the instructions to not come in T-shirt and jeans.
Two girls clad in some of the skimpiest dresses Elsie had seen in a long while and whom she was sure the total sum of their ages couldn’t be more than thirty-eight, walked up to her as she stood by the door with huge smiles on their faces. One had a tray that bore champagne flutes which she offered to Elsie. The woman flashed a smile and shook her head.
“You’re welcome to The Drift” The other one said.
“Thank you”. Elsie couldn’t help the nasty look she was sure her eyes were giving the girl.
“Uh, I’m here to meet a friend. Ezinne”
The girl slid her finger on the screen of the tablet in her hand.
Elsie nodded in response.
The girl looked up from the screen, still possessing that smile, “Miss John-Amadi is at table fourteen”
She turned a hundred and eighty degrees and pointed down the hall. “When you hit the end of this aisle, turn to your left. Table fourteen is the second two-man table to your left”
Elsie flashed another of her trying-to-be-polite smiles, said a quick “thank you” and began her walk. As she turned left at the end of the aisle and hit another one, her eyes caught those of her friend who really was sitting at the second two-man table to the left dressed in a metallic dress with a plunging neckline. She pulled out the empty seat and settled in.
“You know your dress is competing with all of the lights in here, right?”
Ezinne sipped some of her drink, leaving a smudge of her red lipstick on the glass.
“I deliberately wore this one. Obinna never liked it”
“I should have guessed”
“Would you want something to drink?”
“Of course! Who will come to a place like this and not drink something?”
Her friend laughed. “Why didn’t you take the complimentary champagne?”
“Well, for one, the girl offering it looks like a call girl and secondly, I don’t drink anything that isn’t opened and poured in my presence”
“Not since that secondary school grad party prank Lola pulled on you shey?
“Exactly. Thank God we were all girls present”
They both laughed. A guy walked up to their table, also with that smile the girls at the door had, said polite greetings and handed Elsie a list of what they served.
“Scotch on the rocks, please”
She gave the list back, he bowed slightly and left.
“So, you finally come to The Drift eh?”
“I can’t pass down a time-out to celebrate your being free from Obinna”
Ezinne smiled sadly. “You really are happy, yeah?”
“Yes I am, and it is you that I am happy for. This is one of your best decisions ever”
“I don’t feel so”
Elsie reached across the table, took Ezinne’s hands in hers and caught her gaze. “Sweetheart, trust me, it is”
“I’m not sure I’ve had any reasonable man come on to me in a month and that’s how long I’ve been single”
“Well, I guess that’s because all the places you’ve been to in a month are the office and your house and you’ve had this gloomy stay-away-from-me look stuck to your face”
Ezinne shrugged. “Well madam, I’m here tonight and I’m wearing make-up”
Her friend chuckled. “I noticed”
“Let’s see if I’ll get lucky and find me a handsome bloke who thinks I’m amazing”
“If that is your intent, why then did you invite me over?”
“The category of guys that come here are not intimidated by women. Even if it’s a bunch of ‘em together, they know how to play their cards well so as to ensure that who they want, they get”
Elsie shook her head. “How can you afford this place sef? It must be darn expensive!”
Ezinne chuckled. “That’s why I come once in a while”
Again, they laughed, just as the Scotch arrived.
The guy placed two other glasses on the table. “Cocktail. From the men on table twelve”
The ladies looked at each other, giggled like sixteen-year olds on a first date, turned and waved at the fresh-skinned guys on table twelve.
Eyes wide with excitement, Ezinne said to her friend, “I told you, didn’t I?”
“You sure did!”