• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Café romance

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 Sometime in 2007, one of those my numerous ‘wakas’ took me to a cyber café around the Naval Cantonment very close to the Murtala Mohammed Airport 2. As usual, I was with a friend. I didn’t really take any particular interest in what was going on around me until I saw this guy who looked very busy and serious with what he was doing on the system. The level of his seriousness attracted me and I moved my seat closer to his, stylishly though.

The flow of words between this young guy and whosoever he was chatting with on the internet amazed me. He typed many words almost at once. At first the flow of words was one-way which made me think he was leaving an offline message for someone. But when I read some of his texts, I knew he was up to something.

“You will always be my one and only,” the first line read. “You made me a proud black man. I’m a black man. I’m proud to be an African,” he typed furiously and with full concentration.

“Ok” was the response from the other end.

“I love your smile.” This time this was typed in special fonts which made me marvel at the guy’s expertise – live hot romance on the internet! I’ve heard about internet romance but this was my first encounter with someone who engaged in it.

The girl replied “Ok”, which had been her response all along. I later discovered that the lady’s name was Michelle.

“I can’t access your webcam,” said Dammy John. I later got to know his name. Dammy John sounds fraudulent, if you ask me. Dammy is an abbreviation of Damilola and John is common as a first name.

She smiled as the webcam came on. She’s a middle-aged white woman.

“You are expensive, exclusive, fabulous,” he continued.

“I don’t have to be expensive,” Michelle replied, smiling, and I could read the doubt on her face via the webcam.

“Blue, you are. You are my priceless queen.”

The rationale behind this was not clear to me. Why would a man tell a woman she is expensive? She’s become a commodity of sort, you’d agree? Maybe Dammy was another potential Yahoo Yahoo boy, as they are called.

The ‘psyching’ from Dammy seemed to intensify and he searched for all the available words in the universe to drive home his message of love, at least for me, he’s an apostle of love.

“The more I live, the more I know that I love you.

Blue, are you there?” wrote Dammy. All this while there was no response from Blue who probably could not come to terms with someone referring to her as being expensive. I later discovered that Blue was her nickname because Michelle was her first.

“I love seeing your face,” he continued. While still on this, he opened a new page and logged in with a different name – damasusjoe-007. He continued chatting with Blue while waiting for the other page to open. The speed with which he switched to the first dialogue box showed he didn’t want to keep his love waiting. And then he said:

“Oh, that is your puppy? Like it.”

“What do you like about it?” This time Blue’s reply was prompt

“The colour, white and blue,” Dammy replied. Well, I have never seen a blue puppy. Even the one I saw on Dammy’s screen was not blue but white, or could it be that the webcam played a trick on Dammy’s eyes? Or was the loverboy trying to play on Blue’s nickname as the following comment by him shows?

“When I see anything blue, I always remember you, girl. Are you still with Pepsi? I love Pepsi. Because of you girl I still drink Pepsi but not much.”

“Don’t you ever stop thinking of me? Do you think of me when you pee?” Blue asked.

“Yes, because I remember when you called me, my ‘coack’ rocked. I really miss everything about you. I always remember the sex cam we did. Blue, you are very sweet girl.” Blue did not reply a word until she said: “I got to go.” It was also timely for my friend to say it was time to leave. I’d to leave Dammy to continue with his search for another internet lover and probably a trip abroad. Perhaps luck may smile on him some day.

Looking back, I wondered how many women had been victims of internet fraud of this nature. I don’t know if the number has increased or gone down now that every mobile phone is connected to the internet. Cyber cafes are no longer common. This kind of online dating is now done on mobile phones.

 

FUNKE OSAE-BROWN