written by @dj_fleau
What did you just say? Bola asked with a smirk on her face
I ignored her before turning to Andrew and said
“Well! like Bola must have told you before I am Temi and it’s a pleasure to meet you”
Our hands were still woven together in the handshake. I removed my hand from his and made to take a seat. He sat next to me. The home room seemed silent except for the sound of the tv. Bola moved over to sit beside her boyfriend. It looked like everyone was waiting for Andrew or Myself to speak
“Hmm what can I offer you?” I asked shyly
“Oh, hmm I am fine” he said
“You are sure you don’t want even a glass of water?” I asked again
I looked at Bola in confusion at what next to say. The stupid girl threw her face away and was laughing. The room went silent again for a few minutes until Bola said
“Okay, this house is pretty boring. I think we should go out for lunch or something”.
“I would have loved to but I don’t think I can” I said
“Babe you need to go out, it’s not like you are doing anything at home” Bola said as she gave me one of her many looks that simply said “are you okay at all?”
Her boyfriend nodded in agreement to what she said.
Andrew looked at me with a smile that pleaded for me to say yes. I wasn’t so sure if I was ready to take this step. It has been 5 months since Lanre’s death and the only social thing I had done was my dinner with the girls last night which obviously didn’t go well. As fine as this man looked right now I wasn’t sure I was ready for some outing.
Bola nudged me to answer seeing that everyone was waiting for my response.
“I understand if you feel it’s a bit too early to be going out with another man, we can always go out some other time when you are ready” Andrew said
I thought to myself it’s not like I was going to dinner with him alone, Bola and her boyfriend are also coming and on a second thought I didn’t want to create a bad first impression.
“I guess I can try this one time, but if you don’t mind I would like to pick the restaurant” I said
“That’s fine, where ever you want. So are we in for dinner or lunch?” he said
“Lunch would just be fine” I replied
Bola whispered something to her boyfriend that made him laugh. I wanted to ask what she said but that was none of my business even though I knew it had everything to do with me.
Before we left the house for lunch that day Bola came over to my room to inspect what I was wearing. The girl said I was meant to be a reflection of our friendship hence she didn’t want me to disgrace her outside with my poor sense of fashion. The girl was just being impossible and as she left my room, she said
“Babe, abeg just try and put yourself together, don’t allow what happened last night repeat itself today”
I ignored her.
I chose a restaurant on the other side of town. Bola complained all the way as we drove there. She wondered why I had to choose somewhere so far. She acted like her life depended on the lunch we were about to have, she kept ranting like it was her money we were about to spend or if it was her that was been stressed with the driving.
Do you want me to reduce the A.C? Andrew asked
“Oh no, why would you want to do that?” I replied
“Well, you look like you are cold, your hands have been crossed for a while” he replied
“No, I am not, you don’t have to” I lied. Once again I thought to myself where Bola had picked up this young man from. A man sensitive to the need of others.
As we drove into the car park of the restaurant, Bola screamed “ope oooo”. We all laughed as she rushed towards the restaurant door.
At Lunch, I found out about Andrew, apparently he just moved back to Nigeria from the United States. Bola’s boyfriend was his cousin and he ran his own business, a “SMALL CEO” in his own domain. When I asked what he was into he simply said logistics and sales. He wasn’t much of a talker which I found pretty weird for someone trying to know a lady for the first time. Maybe, he was just shy or maybe he didn’t just want to be too forward. I mean I was still in a mourning state and pretty much not ready to jump into anything soon.
Lunch went well Bola did most of the talking, once a while Andrew would chip in something or turn to me and ask a question like he just remembered to ask the question. It was during those moments he said
“You must have really loved your late boyfriend?” I looked at him but said nothing. I smiled while trying to hold back the tears his question triggered. He noticed the change in my mood.
He placed his hand over mine on the table before leaning over to say
“I would really like to take you somewhere I think you would love, if that’s okay with you”
“Where?” I asked
“Somewhere you would love” he replied
“I will think about it” I said
The rest of the afternoon went well. Atleast for one I didn’t cry like Bola had anticipated. Although I had moments when I almost cried but at the end I didn’t.
Andrew drove us back home, he asked if I had a lovely time. I wasn’t so sure of the response to that so I smiled and nodded my head. As he hugged me good bye he reminded me of his request at the restaurant. Bola jumped in to ask if the man had my phone number. The young man just smiled and said nothing. She asked him for his phone which he gave to her. She saved my number before saying “make sure you call her o”.
I was a bit embarrassed by her action. Was she trying to get rid of me or force the man on me. Seyi called me later that evening to find out how it all went. I asked her how she knew about this. She told me Bola had planned it with her boyfriend and had told her about it.
My phone rang again. It was Isaac for the umpteenth time.
“I have been trying to reach you all day? He said
“I am sorry, I was a bit occupied” I responded
“Oh! You work on Saturdays now” he asked
“No, I was just out on a lunch date” He went quiet for a few seconds before saying “oh really, with who”
“Well, with well wishers” I said
“Oh, its good you are going out now, maybe I can come over for a weekend and I can take you out properly” he said
The man was just looking for the smallest opportunity to capitalize on. It was obvious he wasn’t going to give up.
“Well, we shall see about that” I said
“I can come in next weekend if you want” he replied
“Oh, like I said we shall see about that, I really need to go now I need to rest I am a bit fatigued” I said trying to escape from the conversation
“Oh, okay sorry to disturb you, just think about it and let me know so I can clear out my schedule” He said.
“Okay, no wahala” I said
Bola walked into my room as I dropped the phone
“So what do you think about Andrew? she asked
“Well, he seems nice” I replied
“Nice.. just nice… are you kidding me? Bola almost freaked out.
“Well, what else do you expect me to say? I only just met him today” I replied
“Anyways, I think he likes you. My boyfriend just told me over the phone that he has been talking about you” she said.
I thought to myself what could he possibly be saying about me? The guy hardly spoke all through lunch except for the occasional questions he asked.
“Oh really I see” I said uninterestedly
Bola went on to talk about his family. Their family business and how privileged he was unlike her boyfriend. I wasn’t sure if she was trying to market him or trying to make me feel like she just did me a favour by getting me a man like this. She even joked about the fact that her boyfriend was lucky she was the committed type else she would have gone for his cousin. I was not sure if her brain was in the right place.
My phone rang as she spoke. It was a new number I wasn’t familiar with. I figured it had to be Andrew. I picked it and heard his voice on the other side. I gave Bola a sign letting her know he was on the phone. She motioned for me to put him on speaker phone. I gave her a look that said “have you heard of privacy before”
He said he had only called in to make sure Bola gave him the right number. I thought that was a cheesy line to use in starting a conversation. I laughed and asked if that was the best first line he could think of.
He laughed and said he was just a bit nervous about calling for lack of not knowing what to say. Beside he hadn’t done this in a while. I wondered what he meant by that. We spoke for a little while before he said
“You know it’s really late you should get some rest and please don’t forget my request”
I told him I would think about the request as I dropped the call. Bola asked about the request. I told her about it. She turned and asked if I wanted to die in mourning and why I had to think of it first before answering, then she went on to remind me that men like Andrew were no longer in circulation. I wanted to respond her but I had no words for her. She picked up my phone. I asked her what she was doing. She simply said “Doing what your brain won’t let you do”
I was unsure of what she meant. I tried to undress and get ready for bed
“Done. You have a date on Sunday next week” she said as she handed me my phone
Apparently she had sent a text to him acting like me and saying she would love to go.
And with a smiley face he wrote “yay, would pick you up next week Sunday by 3pm”
What is wrong with you? I asked her with so much anger
“Fixing what you can’t fix” she replied
I was angry and irritated not to speak of how embarrassed I felt at what she had done
“Look babe if we don’t do this for you, this is how you will die miserable all because you are mourning one guy” she said
Waiting for Sunday felt like forever. It was like the longest week ever. Andrew called twice during the week to check up on me. I tried to get the information of where he was taking me to. But he remained adamant on keeping it a secret. The man was bent on surprising me. I even asked Bola to ask her boyfriend to find out for me. The girl simply turned and said
“shoo shebi you didn’t want to go before, now you are curious about where he is taking you to”
I replied and said “for security reason don’t you think it’s smart I know”
She laughed and said “you dey fear, no worry no one fit take you do anything, babe just chill and go have fun”
Isaac called on Friday to find out if I wanted him to come to Nigeria for the weekend. What on earth was wrong with the man? I gave him a long sermon on why I didn’t want him around me and why he needed to stop disturbing him. After which he replied me with “you have met someone new right?”
“What! Are you insane?” This is not about anyone else it is about you and I” I said before banging the phone. The man was just a nuisance.
On Saturday, Bola asked what I was going to be wearing. I told her I had no idea since I didn’t know where we were going to. At least if they were going to kill me I did like to know so I can dress for the occasion.
She laughed before saying “sha dress well no come fall my hand, inshort make I pick the cloth for you”
He arrived at my apartment right on time. I guess the man was truly a gentle man. He looked dapper in his blue shirt, denim jeans and a black blazer. I guess wherever it is we were going to it was going to be casual. He asked if I was ready to leave.
As he walked over to side of his car for some reason I felt like I knew him from somewhere. His body frame looked familiar like someone I had seen before. Although I had thought so after lunch the other day but I had wiped out that thought from my head. But seeing him now I just felt like I must have seen him somewhere, but on a second thought maybe my mind was playing with me. I mean I had never being to America before and he only just moved to Nigeria 6months ago and I hadn’t really met anyone in the last 6 months not worth remembering
We arrived at the venue of our date. To say I was shocked at where he brought me to was an understatement. How did he know about this? How did he know I was going to love this? How did he even know this part of me? As we walked in I turned to him and said
“How did you know about this?”
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