LORETTA and Kikelomo met at the National Youth Service Corps camp in the city, where they had their orientation. Shortly before the orientation exercise came to an end, they were already good friends.
Their friendship was unusual in the sense that Loretta, who was the outgoing type, was bossy, saucy and very blunt. She came from a privileged background and so had almost everything life could offer. Her friends were people who were in the same class with her: they loved to party, they had rich boyfriends, went abroad for summer whenever they felt bored.
They had maids and stewards, who waited on them, even while they were in school. They drove the best cars. Kikelomo, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. She was docile, humble, and was caring for others. She was from a humble background where they barely had enough.
She had never been near the airport not to talk of going abroad for summer and didn't have the privilege of being waited upon by maids and servants.
But surprisingly, they both took an instant liking to each other. Even after they got posted to their places of primary assignment, which saw Loretta staying behind in the city in a branch of the bank owned by her family, while Kikelomo got posted to an obscure primary school located on the outskirts of the town, they maintained their friendship.
While Kikelomo had no boyfriend, Loretta was already engaged to her boyfriend of two years, David.
They had plans to get married as soon as she rounded off her NYSC year. But there was a snag in their relationship.
David, a suave looking middle level officer in an oil firm, adored Loretta and would do anything for her, no matter how risky or daring the venture was, but Loretta, being a spoilt rich kid, took David for granted.
She hardly ever made out time for them to spend together, hardly respected him and generally didn't care about his welfare.
She loved David, but she found other mundane things more important. David complained to high heavens about her attitude towards him and even begged her to change for his sake but she simply waved his complaints aside and carried on without a care in the world.
She had David wrapped round her fingers and believed that no matter what she did, David could never leave her for anyone. Whenever she was together with Kikelomo, she regaled her with stories about David, how she treated him and how David would never leave her for someone else because of the love he had for her.
Her reasons for putting up such acts, she told Kikelomo, was to avoid being seen to be too weak and to also create the impression that she was a 'scarce commodity that was in high demand.'
As a friend, Kikelomo advised Loretta to put a stop to the way she was going about her relationship with David because she felt it was unfair.
She told her she was belittling David and trampling on his ego and that if she didn't stop, it would only be a matter of time before David came back to his senses and moved on with his life. She specifically emphasised about Nigerian men's ego bigger than that of their European, Asian or American counterparts, and it should be constantly massaged.
Loretta, of course, dismissed Kikelomo's advice, saying David had no balls to end a relationship that was going to culminate into marriage since he loved her very much.
They both argued back and forth until Loretta asked that Kikelomo seduce David and get her convinced that David wasn't going to fall for any woman besides her.
Kikelomo declined and said she wasn't going to be part of Loretta's silly game in trying to make a point. The more she pleaded with Kikelomo to agree, the more she suddenly felt the need to find out for herself if David was truly capable of dumping her if he found another 'tail.'
After a lot of pleading, Kikelomo agreed to seduce David, but not to go to bed with him if he eventually succumbed, if only to prove her point. It was an uphill task for Kikelomo, who wasn't used to chasing or seducing men, especially because of her background and lifestyle.
As much as she tried to, visiting him at work, hanging around his home, deliberately bumping into him at his favourite fun spots (as supplied by Loretta), David would not just succumb. Yes, he knew her as Loretta's friend, but he assumed she was just another unfortunate and bad friend who was going behind her friend to have him for herself.
Loretta was beside herself with joy on learning that David was not playing ball. Convinced about this, she extended the act and even gave Kikelomo more tips on more daring ways to seduce him and refused to allow Kikelomo to back out.
Kikelomo continued and just as Loretta was almost going to start popping champagne at her victory, the tide changed.
David suddenly took an unusual interest in Kikelomo, started to call her and visit her at her Youth Corps Lodge, where she was putting up. Kikelomo tried to discourage him and seeing that he was adamant, told Loretta she wanted to end the bizarre game since he had started making passes at her.
Loretta was no doubt disappointed but encouraged Kikelomo to continue and see the game to a logical end, that is, to know if David would actually ask to sleep with her.
So Kikelomo started to accept David's invitation for outings. All these she relayed to Loretta who prodded her on. David never asked her to bed but began to cherish her company and found it quite easy relating with her.
They would both talk about their lives, aspirations, with David pouring his heart out to Kikelomo, especially as it concerns his relationship with Loretta. He finally blurted out that he was no longer interested in marrying Loretta, who made him feel less of a man and appreciated Kikelomo for bringing out the man in him.
He made an open declaration of his love for Kikelomo and promised to resolve any issue that would arise with his intending break up with Loretta.
To say that Kikelomo was speechless would have been an understatement because at the point when he made his intentions known to her, she suddenly realised she had fallen in love with him unknowingly.
Now she was in a dilemma for helping a friend. She didn't want to hurt a friend who solicited for her help, she was now in love with her friend's fiancÃ© and David had declared his undying love for her with the intention to move on with his life with her and without Loretta.
What should Kikelomo do? Is David doing the right thing and what now for Loretta who doesn't want to lose David?