Friends That Drink "33" Export Lager Beer Together...


I search their faces wondering if they heard. Aisha as always is on Snapchat, laughing heartily from time to time. She seems to be on a life mission to prove to her followers she is happy. Orezi is checking the girl two tables from ours out. She isn't returning the favor though. Chichi and Deolu are still arguing. We had a talk earlier about Deolu not having time for our friendship since his new job but he didn't agree. 'I have missed our hangout only twice and that's because I wasn't in town. Y'all know how I value our friendship!' he had said in his defence. Apparently, Chichi isn't swallowing that line, even though we all have.

There's no telling if they heard what I had whispered to the waiter or if they even noticed I had pulled him to my side and hastily told him something.

'That's not true joor. How many times did you call any of us these last few weeks?' Chichi was saying to Deolu.

'Stop this now,' Deolu pleads.

'No, tell me. How many times? You think friendship is just about saying you are friends then going to bed afterwards. You have to make an effort bro, a conscious effort. I understand you have a new job which means new responsibilities but we all do too. Finding a way out of all of that to connect and make this work in the midst of it all, is what friendship is about. True friendship.'

'Chichi it's not that deep na. Not long lecture kind of deep. If you want to change career, don't use me and do practical please.'

The waiter reappears with 4 bottles of "33" Export Lager Beer and 1 can of orange juice. Another waiter is at his heels with barbecue. Chichi was the first to notice, nothing passes her by.

'Who has the extra bottle of "33" Export Lager Beer?'

They simultaneously look at the tray and then the waiters. Our friendship has gone on for so long we act alike occasionally, sometimes too alike.

'I think that's for me,' I say as casually as I can at the same time pretend to be busy with my phone.

'Wait o, did Shole go blond?' I flash them my phone feigning surprise. They don't buy it, not that I thought they would.

'Hollup. I don't understand what you mean by that bottle of "33" Export Lager Beer is for you. Like How?' Orezi asks.

Aisha is chuckling now, her louder that a normal chuckle, lower than an average laugh, annoying unsettling chuckle.

'Okay guys. I know. I know. Let me explain. People change. It's not a big deal na'

'People change? That's it? We've had over a thousand drinks together since our friendship and not once have you changed brand, not when that's what everyone is having. Well, except Aisha who doesn't take beer. Not even when it's free!' With that Orezi looks at everyone. Obviously checking to be sure they agree. Sadly, they all do.

'The other day they didn't have your brand, you drank water. Water! Please we'd like to learn more about this change,' Chichi says with a 'we-die-here' tone.

'All of you are not well o. See hot blood. Children of anger. Well, here's how it happened. I went out with the new client I've been telling you guys about. The one my boss brought herself. After beating around the bush, scheduling and rescheduling and all the anticipation, the date finally happened and boy, it was something else. You go fear yellow pawpaw with too much sense na. It was so good that when I discovered they didn't have my brand, I asked for "33" Export Lager Beer without a second thought. That was the first thing that came to my mind. Obviously because that's what you guys take. The... '

'See your mouth like obviously because that's what you guys take. But all these while we've been taking it, you have been forming tough and unshakeable. Mr. 'if not my brand, nothing else,' it was Deolu.

We all laugh. Well not all of us, Jane did the annoying chuckle thing.

'Long story short, I have been missing o. I should take a dozen crates to make up. One sip, one glass, one bottle and then more, I couldn't get enough. That is the best beer experience I've ever had all my life.'

'See this emergency poet.  Why not make it two dozens. You know how great you are when you are drunk.'

We all burst into laughter except Aisha who doesn't take beer. She stares silently at her juice.

'Are you thinking what I think you are thinking?' I ask her.

'Hell yes!' She shouts and reaches for a bottle of  "33" Export Lager Beer. Everyone reaches for one from the tray and Chichi is left with none. She goes for Deolu who's sitting closest to her and he ducks, with his beer under his shirt. She gives us an evil grimace and goes for Orezi. Her hands lands on his ribs and he drops his drink on the table laughing like a little child. He's very ticklish. We all join the laughter hitting, ducking, shouting and drinking, with no care in the world.
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