STORY SERIES: IBADAN CHANGED MY LIFE EPP7

                                    Image result for a matured black man

As I stood up, I didn't know whether to leave immediately or say something else.



          'It's okay', he said before I could say anything else. 'Are you alright?'

          'Yes. I'm okay. I was just...I was just in a haste, maybe'

He smiled. 'I understand'

There was a brief silence between us.

          'I think I should go now', I said when I couldn't take it any more.

          'I think so too', he said

          'Yes. We both think so. I should leave now', my nervousness was beginning to overshadow me.

          'Right', he said whilst waiting for me to leave.

          'Right', I said as I left.

I found my breath immediately I got to my room. I felt so stupid. I felt like a primary school kid. The last time I had a crush was back in the university but after my last relationship, my thinking changed. Here I am now falling head over heels over a waiter. A WAITER?!

          'Wake up, Harriet. Wake up!', I slapped my self.

That night, I slept less. I spent the whole time reliving the moment and thinking deeply about Akinola. I wasn't even sure about his feelings for me. I wasn't even sure he ever thought about me. I felt really bad as I consoled myself to sleep.

My alarm rang and rang and rang but I was too deep asleep to hear anything. When I woke up, it was after 10am.

The rush down to the office was no joke. Toba drove like he was going to hit other vehicles. I didn't even caution him because I realized I was super late and needed to be in office soon. All eyes were on me as I entered the office. Their greetings were however shallow. I was about entering my office when I got sight of one of the staff arguing with a man. I walked up to them immediately.

          'What's going on here?', I asked

          'Are you the manager?', the man asked.

          'Yes, I am. How may I help you?'

          'Good. I came to complain about your service. It's relatively poor. I ordered for..', he went on and on ranting about our poor service.

          'I'm so sorry about that sir. We will work on it as soon as possible. Please bear with us', was all I could say after his whole rant.

          'I'm Timi. You?', he said

I felt a little embarrassed because my staffs were around.

         'Can we please talk outside?', I said and we walked outside the office.

          'How may I help you Mr Timi?'

          'I would like us to hangout one of these days. I would like us to be friends beyond business relationship'

I smiled. 'I will keep that in mind'

He reached out for something in his pocket.

          'Here is my card. Call me'

I collected his card and wrote my number on it.

          'You call me', I said and excused myself.

          'I love my lady confident!', he shouted as I entered the office.

I sighed out of embarrassment. I had a whole lot of work to do and when I got to the hotel, I was absolutely stressed out. I took a shower and was about sleeping when my phone started buzzing.

          'Hello. Harriet on the line. Who am I on to please?'

          'Timi. Good Evening'

          'Oh!', I exclaimed. 'Hi, Mr Timi. How are you?'

          'I'm fine, Miss Harriet. Sounds awkward right? So please, remove the 'Mr' from my name', he said.

I simply laughed. 'Alright'

          'How did your day go? Work?'

          'Well, my day was very busy as usual. Very hectic. I'm glad I don't have to face so much traffic unlike Lagos'

          'Yea. That's one reason why I love Ibadan. Can we converse over drinks tomorrow?'

          'Hmmm. Tomorrow would be very busy for me too and...'

          'I promise not to take too much of your time, Harriet. I just want to get familiar with you. That's all'

I maintained silence for a while.

          'Hello. Are you there?', he asked

          'Yes, I am', I replied. 'If you say so then'

I could feel him smile.

          'See you tomorrow then. Would call you', he said

          'Alright. Bye'

          'Have a good night rest', he said and hung up.

I didn't know whether to be excited but one thing was sure, he would go a long way in helping me forget Akinola.

The next day, while at office, I kept checking my phone for missed call. The only call that came in was that of my mom. We spoke for a while. The next call was from Airtel. I silently cursed them under my breath. It was almost 5pm and I was almost giving up when the secretary entered my office. She was holding some flowers. I became suspicious.

          'Ma', she said. 'A man outside said I should give these flowers to you'

I eyed it for a while.

          'Put them on the table. Thank you', I said, pretending not to be interested.

As soon as she left, I reached out to the flowers. They had a familiar and very awesome smell. There was a little card stuck between them. It read,

'Flowers are beautiful and are mean't for the prettiest of them all.
I'm outside'

It was very short and concise. I couldn't help but smile. It seemed old fashioned but really awesome still. This is the first time I'm ever getting flowers from a guy. I've gotten a teddy bear, chocolate and other gifts but never flowers. I quickly gave my face a little touch before going to meet him. He looked really good in a stripped light blue shirt and jeans trouser.

          'The flowers were really beautiful', I said

          'Just like you. You really deserve more', he said. I felt on top of the world. 'Come', he beckoned on me and gave me a light hug as he led me into his Jeep.

He pulled over at an Amala Joint. I thought he wanted to get something not until I realized this was our bus-stop. I didn't want to act too surprised or awkward. I simply got down and followed him inside. He greeted the attendants in Yoruba. From the way they responded, I sensed he was a regular customer.

          'Shey Iyawo leleyi(Is this our wife)?', one of them asked

          'Beeni o(Yes o)', he responded.

I was lost because I didn't understand what they were saying. We sat on some local chairs and waited for our order. All the while, I crossed my legs, folded my arms while looking around.

          'I'm sure you aren't used to this kind of environment', he said

I smiled. 'Right'

          'Don't be nervous. This place is home. Trust me, Ibadan is home to the best Amala and Abula in Nigeria. You would love it'

I smiled still as the attendant brought our food.

          'Fork please', I said as the attendant was about leaving.

          'It would be better if you use your hand', Timi whispered to me.

          'Never mind', I waved the attendant off. I could hear her giggle as she left. I felt a bit embarrassed.

I washed my hand in a bowl under the table, rolled up my sleeve and started eating.

          'Asides from managing your company, what else do you do?', he asked as he swallowed a morsel of Amala.

          'Nothing much', I replied while carefully mixing the amala and the abula. 'I rely heavily on my Job to survive. I don't believe in having a side hustle. This job is enough stress. I barely have time for myself not to talk of if I now had a side business'

          'Wow', he said. 'It's a great thing but I won't want to marry a wife who won't have time for me'

Wait. Did he just say that? Please, who talked about marriage here? I felt it was dump. I smiled however.

          'Or don't you want to have time for your husband when you marry?', he stressed further.

I was getting really pissed already.

          'When I get to that bridge, I will cross it', I managed to say.

We spent the remaining time eating in silence. After the meal, he sighed out of satisfaction. He took out a toothpick and placed it in his mouth as he removed money from his wallet. After paying the attendant, he signaled for us to leave. When we were inside the jeep, he started another round of conversation.

          'Hope you enjoyed it', he said

          'It was great', I said. I really mean't it.

          'I can see it', he said, laughing. 'You are sweating. Product of the Amala. The A.C will cool off the sweat'

Now, I couldn't wait to get back to the office. Everything was getting boring to me. He started the jeep and drove me back to the office.

          'I had a great time', I lied. The only great time was the Amala.

          'I'm glad you did', he said and reached out for my hair. He massaged it and slowly touched my face. All the time, I was gasping for breath. He reached out for my chin and scrolled through my lower lip. Slowly, he moved his head to my face. He was about kissing me when I turned my face.

          'It was nice hanging out with you, Timi', I quickly said

He backed off and swallowed hard.

          'It's okay. Can we see this night?'

I hesitated for a while. I didn't want him to think I didn't like him so I nodded affirmatively.

He came later that night immediately I finished speaking on phone with Bola. I didn't tell her anyone was coming to see me. He said he preferred us to sit in his jeep at the back sit. From talking about his childhood to throwing really dry jokes, I couldn't wait to leave his car.

          'I really like you Harriet', he finally said as he held my left hand.

          'You barely know me', I muttered

          'Common. It's love at first sight. How long should it take for us to get familiar? We are friends already. We've passed the first stage. I would love for us to proceed to the next. I'm too matured to want to enter a relationship for fun. I mean serious business'

My mom's marriage bells started ringing in my head. I didn't know want to say. He shifted close to me. I wanted to move back but I was stuck to my seat.

          'Hmm? Give us a chance. Give love a chance', he said and positioned his face for a kiss. I should have pulled back but I didn't. I simply let him steal a kiss

(TO BE CONTINUED)

(Read Episode 6 HERE)

(Image Source - Google)

EMETE

4 comments:

  1. Finally! You sha wanted to give us HBP by not posting on time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Akeredolu Ife, Oghene! I reject that for you o and all my readers. Good health is for all of you. So sorry dearie

      Delete
  2. interested reader1 May 2017 at 00:50

    yaay..thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @interested reader, I like this your name sef. You are welcome dearie.

      Delete

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