I arrived early. A gentleman always arrives early. I had located our seat and was perusing the menu. The waiter came to me and asked for my order. I replied that I was waiting for my date and will order then. Thank you very much.
Each table at the restaurant had a bottle of wine on it. I guess they want you to drink. Is it by force? Will I still pay for the wine even if I don’t drink it? Will I pay for the whole bottle even if I take just a little? Better not open it yet. Just in case.
Curiosity got the better of me as I picked up the bottle to read the label. Before, I could make out the name, I heard her voice. It was the most wonderful sound I had heard in a long time. Standing by me, I didn’t know when she came in. I stood up and pulled her a chair. She looked beautiful. No, I am not exaggerating but I tell you this, she looked like the most beautiful angel you can imagine. Go ahead, I dare you to imagine.
Hi. Thank you for coming. I wasn’t sure you would be able to make it. I wasn’t sure I would be here too. It has been a while since we met here. How many years now? 7?
That’s a long time. Whoever thought we would meet again, here, like this? Remember this place? This is where we started. That afternoon. February. Yes?
I asked you what you wanted from me. You asked me what I meant and I went on a tirade about how everyone wants something from me.
You remember. I’m impressed.
How are you doing? You’re married now.
No? Why? I thought I saw your introduction pictures on Facebook.
Hunh? Oh, the date has been fixed. When is it?
You can’t say? But you came to my wedding. It is your mum, right? Once again, she has proven to be the factor undermining our happine..
Sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. It is just that, when we were together, your mum didn’t like me. I should have told you. I was immature. I realize that now and I regret it so much. I loved you and truth be told, I still do. You were the best thing that happened to me. You made me happy and I couldn’t bear to be away from you. Your mum would have none of it.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up the past. Let us move on. You’re through with your youth service, ba?
How is work? Why? Still searching, I see.
No, I can’t. I would have loved to, but it is too risky for us to work at the same place. I hope you understand.
My marriage? It has been…… just there. It is fine. Really. I’ve got a lovely son. Rayner. About six months. I love him dearly. Though, I always wondered what our children would have looked like. Would they resemble me or you and manage a delicate balance of both.
See, that’s him. There and there, but you must have seen him on Facebook. I have some of his pictures there. Mostly for my dad.
No, he isn’t in Lagos. He went back to the village to pursue the new phase of his career or caretirement (as I like to call it). He left his family in Lagos.
I don’t care how they cope. That’s for them to worry about.
Sir! Sir! Your date is here. I snapped out of my dream. I had dozed off. I looked up and there she was.
Demola, meet Stephen, my fiancé. Stephen, meet…..