[Story]: THE RICH, THE POOR, THE MISERABLE LOVE (Episode 4) TrendyVoice

13 September 2016

[Story]: THE RICH, THE POOR, THE MISERABLE LOVE (Episode 4)




 

ENJOY the CONTINUATION! Aswear, you won't want this episode to end.
Episode 1

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I hated to travel by public transport on situations like that, but I really couldn’t help myself. Phillips did try to do something, but I guess it was just destined that I would travel by commercial means where especially in a situation like mine, one would be mindful of the person one sits next to or sits next to one. Some people are so dirty that when their dresses touch with yours, you would just be as dirty and reeking as them, if the jam-packing did not add corrugations to your iron-pressed clothing as bonus.

We thought about it well before Phillips agreed to lend a certain amount of money to me to buy a tuxedo; a black expensive one that would survive the commercials. He said it was best I wear such even if I was going by my personal car; tuxedoes make gentlemen out of handsome men. It was also his idea that I wore a white shirt and no tie. He said wearing a tie would make me look nervous and overdressed. And there I was, in the bus, amidst a crowd of people with different goals, different problems, different destinations, different fears and different expectations in life. A gush of incessant wind on my face, on the third bus now, for the first time, going to Victoria Island, Saffron Spice Restaurant and Bar to meet a girl I was hopeful would not show up.

Just the day before, we had gone to a nicely painted Barbing Saloon with these barbers in suits and ties, the first time I would ever see barbers dressed like that. I was given a haircut that changed how I looked entirely. Afro was the name of the style, the man that worked on my hair recommended it and I said if it was fine by Mr. Phillips, it was fine by me. After the cut, I could not help but smile, damn it, I looked good and I knew it. The timber lorry tyre tracks on my head have vanished. My bill was five thousand naira and I was like, are you kidding me, but I didn’t voice the protest. Then we went for the tuxedo, the fake Rolex, the neck chain, the hand beads, the perfume, the mouthwash, the silver ring, a fake of its original though, Phillips promised she wouldn’t know. We capped it with these smart rimless eyeglasses I would eventually forget to take along. We separated around 10:30pm and when the clock ticked 7 in the following morning, Phillips was my first caller.

I could no more hide anything from him. I gave him directions to my house. Few days before, I wouldn’t have ever let anyone from my workplace know my residential place; they would’ve gone back to tell everyone in the school that I lived like a poor rat. My room was not tiled, yet I didn’t care to carpet it, just because I thought the floor was smooth enough. I didn’t have a fan. I watched films on my desktop computer, which I placed on the floor. I had a TV set and a laptop though; the desktop monitor was large and seemed best for films. Those factors wouldn’t have been the major issues nonetheless; the major issues would have been that I lived in a single room, with my bathroom/toilet buckets, gas cooker, pots and plates.

His face was obviously crossed with surprise when he entered but he didn’t comment about it. He only puckered his lips somehow, raised his eyes in frowned brows, later smiled and drew a plastic seat for himself. Then we began our dos and don’ts of dates, so long that at some point, I stopped listening and started hoping we could call it off. It was a Saturday, showering lightly and I never stopped to pray it rained so hard I could not make it to Victoria Island that day. I never stopped to regret ever declaring that I wanted the girl at all. I was sure it was going to be a mockery for me; a social suicide of sort. I mean, how could I have thought I could date that kind of girl? Was I stupid? How could I have dedicated almost a hundred thousand naira to pursuing just one girl when Arike and Mary were freely available to be taken?

“Who are you?” Mr. Phillips had asked me, and I had just looked at him without response. What could he have meant?
“I said, who are you?” he shouted at me this time as if we were in some interrogation room. And I was like, what’s wrong with this guy now?
“I am Moshood Adebayo, people call me Lord eBay and I’m the Second of the Order of—”
“Irrelevant!” he hissed. “I said, who are you?”
Then I thought, who am I? “I’m a gentleman in love with a fine girl.” I was trying to sound poetic.
“What do you want?” he asked.

Ah, these JAMB questions were becoming too much for me o.

“I want a girl I’m in love with.”
“Mr. Adebayo,” he called somberly. “This girl is a big fish, she’s probably never gone on a date with lesser classes but most assuredly gone on several dates, or perhaps seen several films where people went on dates. You’re going to be very bold to go up to her and interesting to keep her interested. And you’re going to need an anchor, something that will make you gallant no matter what.”

He looked around, and I followed his gaze around, feeling ashamed that I had to be found in such a room.

“What do you have that money cannot buy?” he asked.
“Ah!” I looked around. “In this small room? I don’t think—“
“That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about you now, Mr. Adebayo, not your…” he looked around once again, “…superb room. What do you have as probably a possession, a talent or a family heirloom that money cannot buy?”
“Huh, about that, I can write articles. I have passion for writing, money cannot buy that,” or so someone had told me once.
“No,” Phillips simply waved it aside. “Money can buy writers and their writing skills. Every good writer, in fact, is practically for sale, one is only expensive than the other. Besides that, if writing is your passion, singing could probably be hers, so you see, you’re not special because of that. Think of another thing.”
“Ah, I don’t know o. I was once clairvoyant, I could see what other people could not see but I no more have that ability.”
“So, it’s even irrelevant to have mentioned it at all, isn’t it? Any other thing? Something you are proud of even though you might not be aware of it.”

I thought about how I could make people laugh if I wanted to, I knew he would dispel that too, so I didn’t say it at all. I went into deep thoughts. What could I possibly have that money cannot buy? If I had said I understood how elections could be won, he would surely have said money can buy that too. Then I thought about something.

“I am brave,” I finally voiced out. “I’m afraid of nobody and money cannot buy that.”

He laughed this time around.

“Please stop,” he managed to mutter, out of his laughter. “You’re brave? Mr. Adebayo, you’re brave? You’re not brave, com’on. It’s just a girl you want to go and meet now and see how miserable you look. A girl!”
“Huh…” I was speechless. This guy was really a nutcase.
“I never knew you’re so…” he kept quiet.

I completed the sentence with a hundred alternatives; useless, worthless, unimportant, minor, insignificant, unsophisticated, etcetera. And I got angry.

“I might not be important here but I’m a prince in my hometown,” I railed, losing interest in the whole business.
He rose slowly. “A prince of where?” he asked.
“Not that we’re that recognized though,” I didn’t want him to condemn that too, “but we could fight for it if we want to. My great grandfather was a king and even the current king of my hometown had acknowledged his magnificence on several occasions. I was brought up in a palace of sort sha. I’m a royal guy.”

“You’ve got your anchor, Mr. Adebayo. Toro is a rich man’s daughter but no Princess. In the past, kings could place embargoes on rich men’s businesses. Even now, as minimized as kings’ authorities are, they’re more respectable than rich folks. She’s not as important as you obviously, you see now? She should be nervous of seeing you, not the other way round. In fact, she should be dancing right now. For God’s sake, she’s going out on a date with a prince! Mr. Adebayo, is it every day girls get to date a prince?”

I shook my head in a frown, digesting what he was telling me, trying to see the light in the midst of the darkness. And whatever he did, it worked. I suddenly felt something rise in me, I became confident.
“I’m a prince and she’s just a rich girl, she should be happy about seeing me.”

Then he told me about how to conduct myself at the brasserie. The kind of food I should order and how I should eat. He said I should not at any time lose focus and starts to look at her breast, imagining how they would be, while naked. He said I should even never glance at her breast at all. He said I should not look at her lips and forget to listen to her. He told me she’s very fluent and would want to even polish it more to sound exactly like a CNN telecaster, that I should listen carefully without letting her know I found her speech too fast, so that when she asks a question, I would have something better to say than “pardon?” or “excuse me?”. Well, that one was not a menace to me. I have seen too many American/European films and I no more needed captions to follow their conversations.

“When you sip the wine,” he told me. “Just sip it, don’t gulp.”
I was like, “can you expatiate on that please? I don’t see any difference.”
“A gulp would make your Adam’s apple move clumsily up and down and your eyes probably watery, your cheeks swollen. A sip is just a slight licking.”
“If that’s how I must drink, how will we finish the bottle then?”
“Finish the bottle? Oh my… you’re not going there to finish the bottle Mr. Adebayo! What’s wrong with you? You’re going there to make a good first impression, not to get drunk and start telling her about how you fart in the toilet, savvy?”
“Savvy.” I nodded.

We said many other things that I easily got tired of listening to. Then time passed by and I was ten minutes away from Saffron Spice, repeating to myself,
“I’m a Prince, she’s just a rich girl. I’m a Prince, she should be happy about meeting me. I’m a fucking Prince!”

A side of my mind was mocking that very part of anchoring my boldness to a royalty that is probably lifeless, another part was reassuring me I was on the right cause.

Finally, by a Maruwa tricycle, I arrived at Silverbird Galleria and legged it to the entrance of the restaurant as the tricycle driver pointed; the twilight getting swallowed up by the night behind my head and lights in the neighborhood twinkling like it was Christmas. It was a wide building packed in-between some other fanciful structures which I was too nervous to look at. It was a blur through the “Welcome to Saffron Spice” by some neatly dressed whatever they were called. I pressed on my left thigh vigilantly to feel whether my MasterCard was still there, it was. The final entrance into their foyer was a squared large door with transparent glass through which one could see people lined at the buffet, drinking at the right, and some others by the left, seated, eating. Atop the entrance was a blue label of Saffron with a star sign marked below the double “f”, on a background of crisp white. I walked as majestic as I could to a vacant table of double leather seats to the right, afraid of overdoing it. I sat and dialed Phillips’ number.

“She said 7.30pm. It’s 7.20 already and she’s not here.”
“Relax, you can’t expect her to arrive ahead of you. After all, it’s not 7.30 yet, is it? Now go to their reception and tell them you require a special table for two. You’re probably in the room for the riffraff and small boys.”

There was truly a reception with a very nice girl and a boy, both of them of about early 20s, conversing with a Chinese guy, or so he seemed by his looks, probably Japanese or Korean though, I hardly knew the difference in them. This was really an expensive place; music playing in the background, atmosphere perfectly conditioned, aroma of niceties lacing the air, people seated and eating, smiling and merry, tired and busy and sorts. I noticed there were other sections in the place, separated by transparent glasses. It was not later than a moment when I got to these receptionists that the girl drifted towards me in her fancy transparent eyeglasses.

“Welcome to Saffron Spice sir. Food is not just to be eaten here but to be enjoyed too. We sell pleasure.” She winked at me.

Wow! I firstly considered whether she was flirting with me, then I thought maybe it was just customers management drill. So, I let it go.

“I need a special table for two.” I was direct.

She didn’t say more than, “have a pleasurable experience” after she pointed me to a direction I was not sure I could distinguish as a door from the other rest of the glass hall. I walked through into another hall to be welcomed by another two girls who asked if I’d like them to help me lighten up a bit, whatever that meant, I only said;
“Thank you, I’m okay.”

I found myself in a very nice corner; sitting at a table whose legs I didn’t see, a brown leather seat opposite me, wide enough for three persons, vacant. I was thinking; was there any rule binding on where to sit too? Hmmm… Probably not. If there was, Phillips would’ve told me. I felt confident, especially anytime I touched my thigh and felt my MasterCard whole. It would be a great embarrassment to not find it when it’s time to pay. Phillips told me he needed to charge his phone, and that his battery was totally down before he ended the call. So, it remained only me and my balls.

I did not sit for more than ten seconds before another neatly dressed girl appeared and showed me the menu. I was totally unfamiliar with what I saw but I still remember seeing headings like Mexican rice, Chicken-Macaroni Casserole, Lemon baked cod, Parsley salad, Chicken Tikka Masala, Salisbury steak, Bourbon chicken, Oven-Roasted Greek Potatoes, Jo Mama’s spaghetti, and so on. I remembered I was a Prince and sat back now, spoke to the girl in the proudest way I knew.

“You don’t have my favorites here,” I said.
“You could name any dish and we’d bring it immediately sir. We do not sell just the food, we sell pleasure here.”

Nonsense, I thought to myself, all of them repeating the same thing every time.

“About the food, I’m still waiting for my…” I wasn’t sure it was proper to say it.
"Date?”
“Yes.” Thank God she guessed right.
“What’s her name? Okay, Toro. Alright. And your name is… Okay, Adebayo.” She noted the names.

Should that be a relief? I wasn’t sure it was proper to say it before… I nodded appreciatively.

“You have a good wine in mind sir? Date wines? Menage a Trois, Carmen Gran Reserva, Aglianico, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Nicolas Feuillatte, or…”

She was expecting my response then, and of course none of the wine Phillips said I should order was in the mentioned ones. I even wrote one down. I couldn’t bring it out in front of the girl pitiably, so I only tried to retrieve the fragment from my memory.

“Tignanallu?” I didn’t say it loudly though but damn it, that girl knew plenty about wines.
“Tenuta Tignanello?” she said without blinking.

I nodded, pouting proudly. The prodigal son! The girl smiled and nodded simultaneously, probably thinking, this guy knows what he wants. Then I remained there alone. I looked up at the lights briefly, the ceiling was blood red. Whether it was the bulbs or the paint that made the ceiling that red, I wouldn’t be sure. There was a song I knew being quietly played, All Of Me, by John Legend, so I mouthed the lyrics along subconsciously, slapping my knees together in anxiety. I picked my phone, dialed Phillips’ number before I knew I did. I heard, “Sorry, the number you called is currently unavailable at the moment, please try again later.” Ah, trouble in the air!

The wine came with some ridiculously tiny glasses that probably had lessons about how to hold them. I was left alone once again and I resorted to scrolling through the pictures on my phone gallery without my mind doing the same. Some of Phillips’ words were coming back to me at that moment.

“Don’t complain about your salary or your past girlfriends. Don’t get trapped in talking about what you like without remembering to ask what she likes. Don’t talk too much. Don’t look at your wristwatch as if you’re in haste. Don’t retire into silence because you don’t know what to say next. Don’t be too funny, don’t be boring either. Don’t be too flirtatious, don’t laugh loudly that other folks around would look at your direction. Don’t put your phone on the table. Don’t fiddle with your room key. Don’t receive any call; put your phone into vibration but it doesn’t matter if she saw it rang. Don’t sit back with your hands behind your head. Always remember that you’re important, you’re a prince, but that shouldn’t give you the audacity to put your feet up on the table in front of you. Don’t cup your head in your hands as if you have headache. Make sure you don’t hiss on any circumstance. Don’t ever mistakenly foam while you speak. Don’t look at her breasts as if you’re eager to see them. Don’t look here and there at people around. Don’t hijack her sentences from her. Keep quiet when she’s speaking and always give sensible responses and nice remarks. Don’t laugh like a poor man, laugh like a prince that you are. Don’t tell her how your room looks like, ever. Don’t talk about the amount of money you have in the bank. Blah blah blah…”

I was waiting to let it be over with, the rules were too much for me to keep in the head for long. They were chocking me.

Then she arrived. When I saw her being directed to my seat by the previous girl; I forgot everything Mr. Phillips had told me, instantly. In fact, after she smiled to my direction in her gown, her breasts were the next things I looked at, and I was sure she knew I looked lustily at them. I’m not good at describing people, but… wait, let me try. She wore a white gown which looked smart and carved out her shape in most gloriously glaring manner, white and laced with stones. At the neck of that gown was a U-shape from which showed the top side of her cleavage; fresh, yellow and spotless. In-between the booby was a silver chain that matched with her triangular earrings with dazzling sparkles. There were her usual finger rings; some golden, some silver. She held her hair up and wore eyeglasses. I thought this was her idea of dressing lightly so as probably not to appear nervous too, but trust me, even without any ornament, this girl would have still endlessly enchanted me. The lips were crossed lightly with white, making her look like an ice queen. The smile that joined that theatre made it more suspenseful than I was experienced to handle. Oh if you saw the lips, the eyebrows and the way she walked; gallantly like a paradise horse! I didn’t get to see her from the back until when we were leaving, but I wasn’t interested in that at that moment. She was a lullaby and I was a baby in a cradle, I would forever be thankful to my legs for not getting asleep along with me that day.

“I wouldn’t know what to order,” I said spontaneously as I ushered her to her seat, in front of me, referring to the wine.
“I’m okay, you don’t have to order anything.”
“Well, I already ordered us this.”

The girl who led her to me asked if she could help with the lid. I waved her a go on and she did fill our glasses after popping the lid off. I picked the glasses and extended one to Toro, an act I’ve seen in movies; such traditions aren’t necessarily common in my side of the world. Phillips didn’t teach me that, I was just doing and saying without thinking. Confidence filled me up and I was unbelievably myself, no much Phillips in my system, I was my advanced version majorly commandeered by the adrenaline.

She sipped instantly and after that, turned the bottle to see the label. I noticed she did glance at me.

“What should I get for you now?” the waitress asked.
“Hors d’oeuvres could do for now unless Toro...”

I signaled to her to name a dish.

She shook her head with no smile on her face. “I’m okay, really, Mr. Adebayo.”
“Oh no, call me Tunde. It’s shameful I have to be introducing myself here for the first time, I should’ve—” I got to that point before I actually knew I did not know what I was going to say. Easy! Easy! You’re a prince, I told myself.
“Do you like wines, Toro?” I squirmed into a new poise. “I do not claim to be a wine cognoscente myself. I’m an amateur oenophile, but this Tignanello, not that expensive though, kind of spike this moment with colours of romantic uncertainty and expectations doesn’t it?”

She looked at me straight in the eye and smiled.

“It’s kinda boys’ thing to like wines maybe, I drink any wine I have without minding the name or its vintage. Teju have them lying about in the house.”
“Hum… Teju must be your sister then.”
“No, he’s a guy.”
“Oh, I have a brother of that sort too, Biola is his name. All I know about wines, I learnt it from him. Mine is to read and teach.” I sipped. Biola didn’t teach me about any wine, who cares if I lied?

She didn’t say anything again. Ah, I have been warned to avoid being boring. They brought our Hors d’oeuvres and she picked without hesitance.

“Benedicta,” I said as I sipped again. “She’s a cute and smart girl. One would almost think she’s the most beautiful of the Oyeleyes unless you suddenly show up in a Cadillac Eldorado.” Oyeleye was their family name, Phillips had told me a day before. And I thought, mentioning the name of her car would add stars to my uniform.

I sat back at that point. I thought I mustn’t be talkative but I was looking at her in a smiling face. That girl was beautiful, I swear to God.

“You haven’t seen my older sister. Angel is what they call that one,” she mumbled through the barrier of a glass cup going up in her lips.
“I guess it would truly be most appropriate to call her that since you’re a goddess, and angels are goddesses’ messengers.”

She was gulping the wine, oh my… but Phillips said I mustn’t gulp!

“Sorry for the stress we put you through the other time at the school, keeping you that long at the meeting and the way you were sweating.” I didn’t know what else to say.
“No, it was nothing, really.”
“So,” I cleared my throat, “what do you do?” I sat up to the table again.

She looked at me lastingly.

“I’m a freelance writer and editor, online jobs.” She shrugged. “I studied International Journalism in UK though, I just… well, maybe I’ll work for a news agency sometime. I’m currently attending some Music classes at Covenant University, part time.”
“Wow! I love journalism. I once dreamt to study that too, but, you know, sometimes, we’re rather driven by destinies than by wishes. So, you attend Music classes now?”
“Yes, part time. I should get over with it in few months.”
“Congratulations in advance then. Music… I wonder how you got to know you look like music yourself and then went on attending music classes, magic of gods. What’s your favorite musical instrument anyway?”
“Hmmm… huh, I guess… violin.”
“You play violin? Hmmm… I like that.”
“I can play any musical instrument, save the ones I have to blow wind into.”
“I love violinists, really. I don’t know many of them though but I do love Steven Sharp Nelson of the Piano guys, Hilary Hahn, Mark O'Connor and Lindsey Stirling.”
“You know enough. At least, you know Hahn and O'Connor.”
“Not physically, just the video clips. I’ve seen my brother, Ibrahim, watched the orchestras many times.”
“You’re a Muslim?”
“Yes.”
“Ehgh…”
“What?”
“You don’t look like one.”
“Ah—ah, I don’t think Muslims have particularly different looks.”
“You could say that, but I identify Muslims easily.”

While I was thinking of what to say next, she spoke again.

“It seems you’ve been teaching for a while.”
“No, not that long. I’ve been busy at some personal things until I just thought recently, let me teach a bit. Teaching is practically like playing football to me. It exercises my mind.”
“Really? Not most people say that about teaching.”
“It’s about choosing where we want to find ourselves. Dad probably wanted you to be a nurse but you chose journalism and music and you’re happy about it.”
“No, mum.”
“Mum wanted you to be a nurse.”
“Yes.”
“Mums and their daughters!” I chuckled. Not that it was funny to me though, I just thought it was right to put some quiet laughter into the conversation. “Would you teach me how to play piano sometime?”
“Hum,” she looked at me nicely now. “Why piano? Why not guitar or flutes?”
“But you said you don’t do wind blowing. Besides, I particularly love to play serenades to my wife every night, even though it would be the wife that is to train me now.”

She did laugh freely now.

All our subsequent conversations were freer and less tensional. We talked about parents and how they force their kids into fields they wouldn’t have independently chosen. We talked about genres of music and dance and artistes generally. We talked about many things which I was luckily current at. Soon, she herself later called the waiter and asked for sour cream chicken enchiladas after asking if I wanted that too. At some point, I asked her, “What’s your dream in life?”

She giggled briefly and looked at me. At that point, I was imagining what kissing her lips would be like, my eyes occasionally sweeping over her chest and imagining those cream fingers of hers touching my body.

“I want to write a book about a girl who loved music but instead studied International Journalism as an escape from studying Medicine.”

I wanted to say International Journalism couldn’t have been a course a Science student would have been qualified to study as Medicine isn’t most assuredly a course for Arts and Humanities students, but I thought I might end up looking stupid. So, I kept my mouth shut.

“Perhaps that book could feature a prince who later accompanied the girl to music and helped every part of her dream saw the brightness of fulfillment day.” I placed my right hand on her left on the table and she looked at me with her mouth squeezed in some “really?” manner that only made her look more unpardonably attractive. What dropped from my mouth after then was not from my casual self; it was from my innate emotional chemistry, my inner self.

“I love you,” I said in most innocent of all honest manners.

The silence that followed lasted like two minutes with each of us staring into each other’s eyes and it did not seem like we just knew each other. Those moments were magical, beyond what I can reproduce in words. All the other folks in that room vanished and I felt we were the only ones there, save for the music which was like a background opera sung by the choir of the sixth paradise.

“I don’t know what that means to you,” I later added. “Or what you hope to not mean. I probably broke the strings of a good friendship with you by saying it but my nature… my nature… I can’t keep secrets from myself even when I’m lucky to be capable of keeping it from others. I can’t lie to myself that I don’t feel the way I feel towards you. When I saw you back in that meeting, I didn’t know you, I didn’t know where you came from, but I felt like, if this lady was a queen, I’d love to be her slave; if she was a painting, I’d love to hang her in my heart and let no blood run in my vein that did not pass through her smile. When I looked at you, Toro, all other things mattered not. I still look at you right now, in your complex simplicity and nothing else matters. And I’ve been lectured a lot on how to talk to you, frankly, whatever that means, I don’t seem to need lectures just to tell the truth as it is. What I’m saying probably has no meaning, but… well, whatever happens, I’ve said it, you’re very beautiful and I can’t take it back, I won’t say you’re not no matter what I get as response. I love books. I love music, I love nature and arts. Until I met you, I never knew I could adore anything more. I’m sorry for everything.”

Silence…

“Sorry for what?” she asked, her eyes slightly rose.
“For telling you these, I knew it’s rude.”
“No, it’s not rude. I just…” she paused a while. “I just thought you’re too dramatic about this.”

Whatever that means!

“Tunde, dating me is like playing with a sword, people bleed anytime they date me.”

Look at that statement! How often do you meet girls who talk in such figurative tones?

“I am peering into that future right now. I see no bleeding, no blood. Huh, maybe I’m a hefty samurai.”

She wiped her mouth after withdrawing her hand gently from my hold. She’s got a very soft skin. God knew how soft it would be inside the… forget it.

“I have to return home now,” she said as she rose from the table, “the security guys at the Peninsula could be stubborn if they want to. Hope you came by your car.”

I didn’t respond clearly. I rose too. I guess I didn’t know that the wine had 13.5% alcohol, it swayed me a bit. I followed her as she made her way towards the exit. Our bill was delivered into my hand by a guy who crossed my path and I didn’t even look at it. I withdrew my Card and gave it to him. I watched him inserted it in a handheld machine and pressed some figures into it. When I saw that it was taking forever, I strode across to him to ask why, and he told me that I do not have sufficient fund to balance the bill. Are you kidding me? I had 56, 000 Naira in that account and we only took a bottle of wine and two plates of some Mexican garbage. I looked at the leaflet in my hand and saw 61, 050 Naira. Are you kidding me?

“What’s happening?” Toro enquired hastily, coming up.
“The Bank might have inactivated my MasterCard. It was going to expire this month b—but I don’t think it could’ve expired already. This machine of theirs must have developed some…” I was sweating now.

She took out a card at once and extended it to the guy. He collected it and within a minute, returned it with mine too. “Thanks for your patronage,” he said.

“Banks and their troubles!” Toro simply remarked and all my confidence vanished at once. I was embarrassed.

When she withdrew her car key, a car beeped at the distance.

“It’s really a great dinner I’ve had with you, Mr. Adebayo. Do return home safely and take care of yourself.”

Haba! Wasn’t I supposed to be the one saying all those?

“Thank you, Toro. I’ll mark tonight a great night on my calendar.”

She entered the car without further response, save the blank nodding. Not the Cadillac this time around, it was a different car I couldn’t name. I was not Mr. Phillips, excuse me.

I watched the car leave and I kept waving until the car was out of the property. I dialed Phillips number at once, still unreachable. I was too ashamed to hold my phone without my hand shaking. That Card was a great letdown. It was 8:45pm. I rushed to the road in search of any commercial transport to get me to the major commercial routes. I was in the final bus home when the phone beeped and I became so restless. It was a text message from an unregistered number. It read:
“As much as I wish to lie to myself that you’re not a great guy and you’re just like every other guy, I know you’re something more, you’re extraordinary and I’m sure you’re just the right guy for me. I desperately look forward to seeing you again, Adebayo, my love. It’s your girl, Mary. Good night!”

Are you kidding me?

....to be Continued!

Written by: Lord eBay (and his romantic adventures, 2016)
Twitter: @eBayism
Facebook: http://facebook.com/lescothafrica
Email: dearlordebay@gmail.com

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