The SIXTEENTH (When the Table Turns)
“Baby, have you gone shopping? You know I am expecting you tomorrow, yeah?” Mandy asked.
I told Mandy that I had not gone shopping yet. She asked why? I lied that I had been so carried away with “work”, that by the time I got done, there was no way I would have gotten anything nice in the market. I told her that I’ll be coming over tomorrow quite alright, but it’ll have to be much later in the day.
Mandy told me that she couldn’t wait to finally put a face to my smooth words, and I told her that the feeling was more than mutual.
The next day came and the excitement; anticipation for what was to come, was on another level for me.
I got to the boutique earlier than I suppose. I had to even wait for Chukwuma to come and open his shop, for me to select something that’d “pronounce” me well. The search for the perfect “suit” took a while, but we eventually found something. I looked at myself in the giant mirror hanging from Chukwuma’s wall and me sef confirm say God finish work for my matter.
The trip over to Mandy’s place was not a smooth one. Not for me, anyway. Especially as the drama that comes with me plying “the roads” never gets old.
I arrived at my destination at exactly quarter past six, that evening. Prior to me coming over, I’d asked Mandy for directions (address) to her house, but she’d insisted that I should call her, the moment I alighted from my bus. She said that her house was just around the corner; a stone throw from the park.
Since I have more than enough money with me to get a room for a night in a situation whereby Mandy decides to stand me up, I chose to go ahead on this adventure, against my better judgment.
I pulled out my phone to call Mandy. I dialed her number. It rang and rang, and then it ended. She didn’t pick up. I dialed the number again; it was exactly as the first. Mandy still did not pick up my call.
Having been exhausted from my trip, I found a very nice spot close to the park, and sat down to relax. I bought a bottle of soft drink to keep my throat moist. I was very hungry, but I didn’t want to fill my stomach with junk. I needed the space empty for when Mandy served dinner.
I waited patiently for Mandy’s call. I knew that she was equally excited and anxious to see me, so the only reasonable excuse for not picking up my call could only have been that she was either not close to her phone or was in the middle of something equally important.
Eighteen minutes past seven, Mandy still had not yet returned my call.
Eleven minutes past eight, and I began to wonder what was going on. I reached for my phone to dial Mandy’s number. If she doesn’t pick up this time around, I’ll simply ask around for a nice but very cheap hotel to spend the night. I’ll leave first thing in the morning and never talk to Mandy again.
I’d just reached for my phone when I heard a beep. It was a text message. Mandy had sent it. It was obviously addressed to me. I opened the message and it read…
“Hey baby. I’m sorry for keeping you waiting for so long. You already know that I’ll never deliberately leave you hanging, yeah? Indeed, you look everything like I imagined, in that fine suit…”
At this point, I immediately took my eyes off the screen of my phone and began to scan everywhere. The content of Mandy’s text message says it all. She is somewhere near. She had to be somewhere near; she just had to have been.
“How else would she have known what I look like?” I thought to myself, as my eyes kept sweeping; going from pillar to post.
I didn’t have to look too hard. From a short distance, I saw two head lamp flashes. I somehow didn’t need to be told. I stood up and began to walk towards the car; a move I honestly had no idea what had birthed it. It was not as though I knew Mandy owned a car. An Uber would have been the next best assumption, “but why is this car packed so far away?” I thought to myself.
Nothing in our discussions had ever given me a clue that Mandy might have owned a car.
But there I was, as though in a trance, walking towards a car I’d assumed its two headlamp flashes were signaling me over.
I got to the car and walked over to the driver’s side of it. The window on the driver’s side slid down, revealing a beautiful young face. She was in braids, a crop top and a smile that broadened by the second. “Fred, right?” She asked, with a broad smile.
I nodded my head, reciprocating her smiles. “Baby, is that you?” I asked, halfway into leaning in for a kiss.
My approaching lips met a resisting finger. My heart skipped seventeen beats.
“I must be getting way ahead of myself, already” I thought to myself.
Then this lady said something that was to leave me apologizing for the next five plus minutes.
To be continued…