Both points of view – after the date:
Later in the night, Segun beat himself severally in bed. On reflection, he could not believe how stupid he was during the date. How could he have been so disgusting, even to himself? He had told Sope to let him find a girlfriend as fate would have him do, but NO! “You’re too uninterested in women to let yourself see a fine one to make a wife.” Sope had told him. “Besides, you are shy and women prefer men to approach them. Leaving you to do that will be waiting for eternity!” He had added. So, Sope organized this one, and only meeting her for the first time caused him to lose all inhibitions and he undid himself like never before. It was not him that did that date. It was nothing like him! He scolded himself.
Tolu politely stood away from the table, as if she had had enough of his blurts during the meal, and that was when it dawned on him that she had been disgusted by him all along, and he had been absolutely not himself from the very sight of her. This realization subdued him, and he sighed asking to escort her to her car.
‘You needn’t bother, please.’ Tolu muttered with the rest of the tolerance she could muster.
But he stood too and said calmly, ‘I insist.’ And then he moved ahead of her to slightly usher her to proceed.
Tolu frowned, slightly surprised at his calm transformation, and then took the direction he had ushered her, wondering.
At her car he extended his hand for her key and as if mesmerized she gave it. He opened the car, guided her in and returned the key, saying, ‘I apologize for the embarrassment. It’s my first time at dating and I messed it up. Please, don’t think about it again.’ and he jammed the door gently and walked away, briskly to his own car. He got in and drove off, leaving Tolu, still watching from the side mirrors of her car, flabbergasted.
Tolu could hardly swallow a morsel at her dining table thinking about the stranger she had just had a date with earlier in the day. On reflection now too, she was amused at his naivety when she first sighted him waving at her, and admired his charming transformation during his exit. There was no longer that feeling of disgust she had felt at the restaurant. She now remembered his waving as that of a boyish cuteness, his drooling as that of a sweet first-time lover, and his whole gawkiness as that of one overwhelmed by some love potion. Perhaps, he was not egotistic, but shy and nervous, being a novice at dating, as he claimed. ‘He’s not perfect,’ she said to herself, “but it’s sweet to know that he lost his comportment because of me.” She relished as she sipped a glass of water.
The next day, Segun was at his office desk expecting to have a business meeting with a client when his Personal Assistant announced her. ‘Sir,’ she said over the desk phone on speaker, ‘Maier’s PR and Marketing Manager is here now.’
‘Please send her in.’ He responded and dialed off the speaker.
He stood ready to give an officious courtesy to this representative of the highly esteemed multinational company considering a partnership in a business deal with his equally conglomerate company where he was the Business Manager.
Stepping out of his desk compartment to receive his visitor who had just opened the door and was closing it behind her, he stood face to face with Tolu Adebanwo. They stared at each other briefly, amazed and speechless. Segun was the first to break the silence, ‘Do you by chance know Lara?’
But she answered instead, ‘Do you know Sope?’
‘He’s a friend who won’t get off my back.’
‘You mean your whimpering puppy?’
‘You got that right.’ He pointed out.
‘Lara, I can’t keep off my business either. I’m simply tired of her!’ She said proceeding further into the office.
‘Then I guess this meeting is not a coincidence knowing those two knew about it and set us up prior to it.’ He followed her saying.
‘That sounds right!’ She turned to face him.
‘Good morning Miss Adebanwo.’ He proffered his hand, ‘It is nice to meet you officially for the first time.’
‘Yes, I remember,’ she clapped her hand in his to shake, chuckling, ‘the other one didn’t happen. And I promise I won’t remind you.’
‘I’ll take your word for it.’
The hand shake lingered a long while and neither minded it as both look into each other’s eyes, liking … loving what they saw of each other.
“He’s indeed finer than Denzel, after all.” Tolu was lost in thought.
“Lord, please, let me get it right this time so I can take her to mama. I GOT to take her to mama!” Segun reveled inwardly but desired sincerely.
© by Ifeanyi Oluwafemi Chukwudi – Jan 31, 2011