Happy new month to everyone. I wish you what you wish yourself, according to God's will :). Today's story is inspired by a collection of thoughts, imaginations and experiences that make you wonder how one should feel in certain situations. So I wrote this up, please leave your comments behind; i'd really love to know what you really think when you read it...lol. Enjoy.
YOU WERE ON YOUR OWN, waiting for the power supply to be restored so that you could resume watching the “Note book” movie. You had been on holiday for the past 2 weeks, the most boring holiday you had ever had so far. Most of your friends had travelled out of the city and you could not get a job as no one would hire you for less than a month. You sat outside on the balcony, watching the lizards jump over the fence as the pigeons flew over the roof of your father’s house. Your phone began to ring; you contemplated picking it up as you saw his name and number. It was one of your persistent ‘chykers’ that you had no interest in dating but you picked up anyway because you were bored and not busy.
“Hey, what’s up?” You said
“Nothing much. Wanna hang out with me tomorrow?” he replied without asking how your day was going,
“I’m not sure that I will be free tomorrow but I will check my schedule and let you know by then” you answered, even though you knew that tomorrow would not be any different from today and you would be just as free as you are today.
“F**k your schedule, let’s just meet tomorrow”
“Please stop swearing! You know that I hate foul language” you answered, pissed off.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to but you were saying sh*t about schedule”
“You just did it again” you said.
“Did what? Saying ‘sh*t’ is not swearing” he said, sounding genuinely confused.
That was one of the things you did not like about him besides his smoking and drinking habits; he cursed so much that sometimes he did not even realise when he did it.
“So what do you say?” he continued “Can I come pick you up tomorrow?”
“I said I don’t know yet. Besides I can’t stay out too late” you replied
“That should not be a problem; I get off work early tomorrow so I should be free by 1pm. I could come get you by then and we can go somewhere”
“Ok then, till tomorrow. I have to go now; I’ve got something cooking on the stove” you lied about the cooking because the power supply had just come back on.
“Ok then, see you tomorrow. Bye-Bye” he said
“Bye” you responded inattentively and continued watching the movie.
The next morning, the power had been cut off again; apparently this was not unusual in your country but that did not mean that you liked it either or that you would ever get used to it. You had made up your mind to go out with him that afternoon so you sent a text asking him to meet you at a nearby fast-food restaurant by 2pm. “Good, I would be hungry by then, see you at 2. Ps: my lunch is on your headJ” his text response read. You laughed and replied “Mine is on your head and body”.
You left the house at half past one in the afternoon so that you could be there on time as you hated that phrase “African time”. Impressively, he was already there waiting for you. After exchanging pleasantries, both of you sat and started conversing; half of your time you spent reminding him to stop cursing and half of his, he spent apologising to you. After thirty minutes of what seemed to be a futile dialogue between two of you, you were beginning to feel uncomfortable because none of you had had placed an order for drinks or food. You sensed that the waiters at the counter were watching you, although that might have just been in your head. “Shouldn’t we order something to drink?” you asked him; “I was just about to say that” he said. You did not say anything even though you thought he was lying and you stood up with him to go place the order at the counter.
“What would like to have, Madam?” the waitress asked you, “A bottle of water and a meat-pie please”. He turned to look at you “Is that all you’re going to eat?” he asked surprised. You smiled and nodded, saying that you were not very hungry. He shrugged and placed his order – fried rice, chicken, plaintain, moi-moi and a pack of juice. ‘He must have been starving’, you thought to yourself. The waitress told him that your bill together was 5,000 Naira. He turned to look at you smiling and you smiled back, not sure about what was going on until he asked you to pay. You hid your surprise and took out 1000 Naira from your purse, your mum had given it to you earlier to use to get her call credit (thank God for vex money and that you had not ask for too much food; at least your bill alone was 700 Naira). You gave the waitress your money, avoiding eye contact with him. She asked if both of you were paying separately to which you replied ‘Yes’. “What about me? I thought we agreed that you would pay for my lunch” he said. “Are you serious?” you asked him, wondering what sort of joke this was. “Of course I’m serious. I don’t have any money with me” he said while the warmed up already-prepared-food was brought by another waiter to the counter. After minute of awkward silence, the waitress said to him “Oga please pay. People are waiting on the queue”. “Did you not hear me? I said I don’t have any money” he responded, almost shouting. “I don’t have money for you either” you answered, now beginning to feel like he was pushing this joke too far. “In that case, sorry we can’t have the food” he said to the waitress and left the counter, going back to sit at the table. You went to meet him at the table and told him you were going home. While you were speaking to him, the restaurant manager came to ask him if there had been any problem with the food or the service. “No sir, it’s just personal” he responded with no glimpse of remorse. ‘Just personal’, you could not understand him. However you apologised to the manager and left the place with your head bowed down.
He ran after you, walking along with you while you ignored him. After minutes of silence, he dared to say to you “I hope you didn’t feel embarrassed in there. In my defence, I told you beforehand that my food was on your head” You stopped abruptly, anger boiling inside your head veins before you turned to him and screamed “I told you that mine was on your whole body. Now please stop following me!” As you continued your walk home, what shocked you the most was how calm he had looked the entire time, no portray of shame or guilt, no feeling of embarrassment whatsoever; meanwhile you felt so much shame and embarrassment such that you knew you would not be visiting that restaurant in a long time. It made you wonder if he lacked dignity or self-pride or whether you were just over-reacting. And so you asked yourself- ‘Who really should be embarrassed; you, him, none of you or both of you?’