The Hanging Vine

*The Hanging Vine*

(episode 1)

It seems just like yesterday when I first met the man that entirely changed my whole world and got me falling deeply in love like never before. Just for a split moment, I felt love in a way I only imagined in my dreams. How could love be so pure, genuine, willing and sacrificial?. He was my everything even though our love story was sadly cut short before we could take the official leap to forever. He was an angel in human form; an angel created just for me. It’s no doubt that God had me in mind when he put together every tiny details and traits that summed up this awesome human. He was my knight in shinning armor, his name was ‘Oscar’.

At the school theater is where it all began several years ago. I can vividly remember telling my best friend that I wasn’t going to grace the comedy show that was scheduled to take place in school that evening even after she got two tickets earlier for us to go see the show. Back in school, I was a chronic introvert. You would have to give me good reasons and persuade me in addition before I could step my feet outside the house. This isn’t how I used to be growing up but it unfortunately became my reality as an adult.

On that very day of the comedy show, I had lots of school and work related activities to tend to so it was the perfect excuse to give my bestie as to why I won’t be joining her that evening in the school theater for the show which was buzzing within our school environ and outside.

“You are joking” Dora fumed after I told her I won’t be coming to school that evening. On seeing that Dora’s facial countenance had changed, I began to laugh. “Honestly babe, I can’t come. There would be too many people there and I can’t just deal. You know gatherings aren’t my thing so please forgive me; I can pay you back for the ticket you got for me so your money doesn’t go to waste” I said while still laughing.

At that moment, Dora wasn’t having it and wasn’t intending to take ‘No’ as an answer from me. “How long would you continue like this Sophie? Everytime you are always indoors expect when you go to work, school or church. How do you intend meeting someone if you don’t at least make yourself available to be seen?. I know your mind isn’t focused on dating or anything of that sort but you have to at least live a little for once. You must follow me to that show whether you like it or not because I can’t fold my hands and watch my best friend be a loner and weirdo” she angrily said.

Immediately Dora was done talking, I burst into laughter all over again. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her look that serious so it was indeed hilarious. Without trying to change her mind, I agreed to follow her to the show. “Happy now?” I asked and she sighed playfully and replied “Yes”. With that argument aside, we began to PREP our outfits for the event. I didn’t have too many outfits for such events but I was able to make it work. On the other hand, Dora had a bunch of party outfits because she was always attending events and parties. She was my best friend but we lived entirely opposite lives. Regardless, we compliment and loved each other very well and that’s all that mattered.

Like a flash of light, it was 8pm already and Dora was in my apartment to pick me up for the show that already started an hour ago. “Ah ah! You look so beautiful, so you have these kind of fine party dress wasting in your closet? Anyways, it might just be mine after tonight” Dora jokingly said and I laughed to every word. “Let’s go, we are already late and just so you know, you look beautiful too” I said before we took our leave.

After a 10 minutes drive in an Uber, we arrived at the school premises. There was a red carpet so we stopped by to take few photo shots. After the red carpet, we headed inside the theater and took our seats. When we stepped into the theater, all eyes where on us because we were late but I believe the reason people’s eyes were glued to us was also due to how stunning Dora and I looked. After taking our seats, we laid back to enjoy the wonderful show that was ongoing.

It was highly entertaining to the extent that I thanked Dora for not giving up on me when I initially told her I wasn’t coming. After about 3 hours later, the show came to an end and everyone began to network. My bestie had to meet up with someone shortly after the show so I was left to go home alone. I booked an Uber and was waiting on my seat when a handsome looking guy I had never seen before in school walked towards me.
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For a split second, my mind began to process many thoughts. “Is he walking towards me? Is he checking me out?” I asked myself while still maintaining my composure and class. Just like I feared, he walked to where I sat and waved with a warm smile on his face. “Hi, can I seat?” He asked and I nodded ‘Yes’ without saying a word. I tried to keep a welcoming facial expression so I don’t give out cold vibes that he wasn’t welcomed, when I knew deep down that I was lowkey attracted to him. Few seconds after seating close to me, he spoke again. “You look beautiful I must confess, hope I’m not the first person telling you this tonight because that would be really disappointing” he calmly said.

Despite being flattered, I tried not to laugh too much because for all I knew, he must have told a hundred and one other ladies the same thing that day. However, in order not to be perceived as being too uptight, I smiled in response to his compliment. “Do you attend school here? I’m asking because I have never seen your face before” I chipped in immediately, “Oh no I don’t attend school here. The guy hosting the show is a friend of mine so I came to support him. My name is Oscar, the son of business mogul ‘Zen’ of Nikon Enterprise. I’m in my final year as a Business Student in Yara University and live at Tulip Garden Estate in town, how about you?” He casually said.

Oh My! You needed to see how disgusted I instantly became at that moment. My feelings and emotions towards this man went from 100 to 0 really quick due to the manner at which he effortlessly bragged about whom he was. It was subtle but loud to me that I needed no seer to tell me how much of a proud person he was. Despite all efforts not to judge him just too soon, I couldn’t help but do so because the fastest way a person can turn me off is by exhibiting any atom or form of ‘PRIDE’; either by actions or by words.

At that moment, I was already getting uncomfortable and needed to leave there as soon as possible. Deep down, I kept praying for the Uber driver to arrive and call so I can politely excuse myself and be on my way out.

Without the need of a seer, Oscar could tell that he had struck a wrong cord and succeeded in ruining the atmosphere that could have led to something promising. Just as I tried to keep up with the pretense that I was present in the conversation we were having, my phone rang and it was no other person than the uber driver. “Hello, Goodevening” I said immediately I picked up. To my greatest relief, it was the Uber driver calling to inform me that he was at my pick-up location. I told him I would be with him shortly before ending the call.

“Sorry, that’s my cue, I have to leave now but it was really nice meeting you” I said with a faint smile as I stood up to leave. “Can I drop you off myself? I came with my car” he suggested but I instantly turned down the offer. “Thanks but I’m good, I already have an Uber waiting downstairs” I replied.

As I walked away, Oscar followed behind me. I didn’t know why he was still persistent but that wasn’t going to change anything. While walking behind me, I heard him talk on the phone with someone instructing the person to confirm a certain huge amount of money that was to be paid into his account. He spoke authoritatively that one could tell that he was indeed a spoilt brat. However, that wasn’t my business as my only concern at that moment was to get inside my cab.

Finally, I got to where the Uber driver parked his car and was about opening the door to enter when Oscar stopped him. “Can I at least get your number or name? I would really like to see you again even though I feel you don’t want to see my face again. Can I please take you out to dinner tomorrow if you are free?” He politely asked.

Despite being turned off, I felt Oscar should at least know my name since he told me his. I looked into his complicated eyes and calmly said “Sophie, my name is Sophie”. Immediately I was done saying that, I entered into the car and shut the door before he could ask for my number again. Before he could say anything else, the driver drove off.

As the car drove away from where Oscar stood, I turned back and looked through the back glass only to see him still standing there watching our car drive off. For a split second, my heart raced and I didn’t know why. Deep down, I felt as though I probably judged his person and character too soon before I actually got the chance to know him for real. Just as I wallowed in self doubt, the driver dropped a shocker; “Ma’am, the guy quietly slipped this money into my hands before we drove off. He paid double for your fare so I would have to give you back the change” he revealed. Without hesitating, I told the driver to keep the change and he thanked me afterwards.

After the noise had died down a bit, I laid back on the car seat deep in thoughts. The only significant thought on my mind was the question “Did I judge too soon?”.

Tbc

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