Segun’s point of view –

Segun waited for her to arrive. It was ten minutes past the agreed time. “That’s okay;” he thought, “men are expected to wait for women. They are the weaker sex and always take their time to look good for men.” Not that he had had any date with a woman before, but had heard the saying several times.

Then it became thirty minutes past the time. Perhaps, she had changed her mind; perhaps she had come in without his notice; after all, he had never seen her before but only depended on the aid they had both agreed on phone. He had told her red was his favourite colour and so she said she would put on a red dress and a red lipstick to stand out, as it was not a woman’s everyday look.

He looked around the restaurant; there were not so many people and there were fewer women than men. The men without women, like him, seemed to be expecting their dates too; not that he doubted the adage about women’s non-punctuality to dates anyway.

Another opening of the entrance door instinctively pulled his eyes to it, and he perceived the other expectant men’s synchronous reaction with his’. Only he was relieved by the lady that stepped in. She was all dressed in one colour – red: shoes, bag, and a thin scarf holding back her hair, as well as the plastic earrings on the sides of her face, are all as red as her dress and lip stick. This was certainly not an everyday woman’s attire but she did it for him. That was a good gesture enough for him; even though red was his favourite colour, he did not expect her to go all the way with it. It was an encouragement that boosted his ego as he stood all grinning and waving at her, happy to be the victorious among the anxious men.

He thought he saw a slight shock on her face at discovering him. But that faded as soon as it came. She smiled and walked towards him.

‘Hello!’ he grinned wider as she approached him. Briefly feeling awkward, he did not know whether to embrace her or shake hands at this first meeting. But that settled when she proffered a hand and they shook.

‘Hi,’ Tolu greeted, keeping the smile she had on since discovering him.

‘Please, sit down.’ He eagerly pulled out a chair for her. She sat first before he did. Sope, his friend, had taught him a lot in few hurried minutes about how to be a gentleman to a lady, all for this special meeting. Sitting opposite her he grinned more and then inadvertently sighed resting an elbow on the table and his chin on his palm, ‘Phew!’ he could not believe his luck: “She’s damn pretty and the reds illumines her face.”

‘Why are you doing that?’ She gasped a chuckle and looked down at their empty table. And it pleased him to think his action made her blush. ‘You’re a beautiful lady and I can’t help but admire you.’

‘Well, thank you. But do you mind being less obvious about it?’ Tolu was still smiling and he thought “she’s shy too! How lucky I am.”

‘Finally, we’ve met. I can’t wait to know you better even though I like you already. You’ll make a good partner wherever this takes us, God knows, marriage, maybe.’ He enthused. ‘Don’t let us be presumptuous already though, because, there are things I like and others I hate about my women. I’ll let you know them in good time, but first, let’s order. Good! The waiter is here!’ He had seen her eyes blinking in wonderment as he blabbed and then recovered at acknowledging the waiter. Still smiling she sighed. She must be amazed at her luck that her search for a male partner had ended and so was relieved, he presumed inwardly about her reaction. “What else do women want in a relationship, especially when they eventually resolve to blind dating?”

‘What will you like to eat, darling?’ His eyes and teeth continued to beam in excitement. Seeing her seated before him and knowing she was his date, and would definitely be his woman, pleased him. Who would think a pretty woman like this would ever be his considering his reticence at the sight of ones he found attractive. Nevertheless, he thought to control his excitement so as not to give the impression that he was new at this game – dating.

He had to remember all the rules: “Don’t talk too much; don’t laugh or smile too much; just don’t be too excited and be calm and gentle”. Sope had told him. Come to think of it, he seemed to have broken all the rules. But looking at Tolu seated calmly and smiling, she seemed to not mind but appeared to like him that way. However, he must keep to the rules now that he remembered them.

‘I’ll prefer you order for both of us, please.’ Tolu said.

“She’s even conventional,” he was pleased to discover. Or was she trying to be so just to charm him for keeps? “Women, you can’t trust them. They keep pretending to be what they are not. But I can’t tell her that I know that. I’ll simply play along.” ‘If you insist.’ He concurred and made their order.

Turning again to her after the waiter had left, he asked, ‘When would you like me to take you to meet my parents? They will love you!’ And then he was pleased to see her gasp for joy. Just as he expected: she could not believe her luck.

To be continued …
© by Ifeanyi Oluwafemi Chukwudi – Jan 31, 2011

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