“I… I.. I want to come down. I need air..” I said sneezing and trying to reach my hands to open the door.
“Okay, let me turn on the A.C.,” he said before flipping the switch.
“Can we please talk outside? I don’t feel comfortable here,” I requested uncomfortably, as I opened the door. In doing so, I nearly lost my balance, but luckily he grabbed my skirt, causing it to twist due to his forceful pull.
He came out of the car and sat me on a small bench that was nearby. I was still fighting for air while tapping my chest but he sat close to me till I regained consciousness.
“Julius please don’t be offended but frankly speaking, I’m not in the mood to talk right now. Maybe another day I’m sorry. I need some time alone please.” I said and walked away clutching onto my torn skirt.
“Bisola… Bisola..” Julius tried calling me but I didn’t respond.
I branched at Susan’s house and proceeded to share my recent encounter with Julius. To my surprise, she encouraged me to pursue whatever plan I had in mind, emphasizing that I was no longer a child. According to her, it was perfectly acceptable for a man to approach and engage with someone like me, as it was considered normal.
“But I’ve already told you I’m not ready for anything relationship yet.”
“Hahahahaha keep deceiving yourself. You’re not even happy that a man like that approached you? That man could be a millionaire. When street guys wey no get shi shi dey mount galz like you for one corner. Bisola when you go get sènse sef eh!”
“Not just that suzan. When I entered the car my body reacted strangely. I hadn’t felt like that before.”
“Like I said, you know what’s best for you. If you like, take my advice. If you like, do otherwise.” She said and proceeded to her room to nap. I borrowed one of her wrapper and tied it on my waist till I got home.
My mum returned from her trip two days after alongside with one of her sister which happened to be my aunt. Her name was Vivian and she was years older than me. I later told mum that someone was asking me out.
“And who could that be?”
“I don’t really know much about him. I think we’ve met twice but we usually talk on phone.”
“Vivian abeg help me to talk sense in this my daughter’s head biko.”
“Bisola…” Vivian called as she was cleaning the dining table.
“Yes ma.” I answered.
“You need to be very careful with whoever you going out with. You don’t know him neither do you know his family background. What if it happens the he’s planning evil intentions towards you?”
I remained silent cracking my fingers.
“If it were to be someone you know very well then you can go ahead. This one you’re telling me that you don’t really know much about him. My daughter, It’s not anyone you see online that you should trust easily. You know what; how about inviting him here so I can see him and have a discussion with him.”
“Yes sist. I think that will be much better.” Vivian muttered, nodding in agreement to what mum said.
“Ok mum. I will inform him” I said.
“Good. Tell him your mother wants to see him.”
Throughout that time, Julius had been consistently messaging and calling me, eager to hear from me. From the few things he had told me, he said he was 38yrs old and works in an oil company that he studied petroleum engineering in school. That’s he’s interested in me. He had extended invitations to his house, assuring me that I would enjoy my stay. However, I would often claim to be busy, searching for any excuse to avoid accepting his offer. Julius had sent me 20k thrice and I used part of it to buy two packs of my menstrual pad and filled the remaining one for my business. After informing Julius about what my mother told me he told me no problem that he’d visit my parents.
Along the line seeing how caring Julius was, I started to feel loved. I felt compelled to give love a second chance. He humbly apologized for everything that happened during my previous meeting with him in his car.
I later went to share with Susan that I had made the decision to open my heart to love once again. To my delight, she expressed her belief that this was one of the best choices I could have made in my life. Encouraging me further, she emphasized the potential of the person I was considering, mentioning that he could be the man of my dreams, highlighting his financial stability.
One Sunday when I came back from church with my parents, they questioned me about Julius.
“Bisola about the man afa it’s two months already and you haven’t said anything.”
“Mum he said I should give him sometime.”
“Are you sure he’s not one of those 419. Don’t trust anyone you see online. If he claims to be who he is, what’s difficult there for him to approach us. We are your parents for crying out loud and it’s our duty to protect you?” My dad protested.
“Mum, dad that’s what I’m saying. Just give him sometime.”
“Has he been sending you money?”
“And you didn’t tell us?”
“Bisola my prayer for you is that you should not enter the hands of the wrong person. You couldn’t even open up to tell me.. Your mother that he had started sending you money.. I believe the next thing you’re planning now is going to his house.” Mum exclaimed, starring at me with both hands folded
“Mummy no naa.” I muttered, hugging her from behind.
“You children of nowadays don’t use to hear word at all.” Mum exclaimed removing my hands.
“In short bring your phone and call him in my presence let me speak with him. Now!” My dad charged at me, extending his left hand.