She was walking down the aisle. Dressed in an elegant flowing cream gown, she could see the people about her through her veil, cheering, some clapping, others commenting how beautiful she looked. The priest stood afar. The groom was already at the altar, his back towards her, waiting for her to join him. She was happy. Finally she would have the title of Mrs. attached to her name. As she got to her groom, he turned to take her hands, smiling. It was the man at the lounge bar.
She woke up. It was some minutes to midnight. What a dream. She got up and went to the bathroom, then to the kitchen to get a glass of cold water. She sat on the bed, her back resting on the pillows. She picked her phone, just as she suspected, her friend had replied her text message.
“Good, I won’t have to match make you to any of my husband’s friend’s. He’s a great catch, anytime. Besides he’s the best replacement for that nuisance ex-boyfriend of yours. Please make sure you bring him along to my husband’s birthday party. I’m sure to get a score with that. Ciao!”
Chuckling, she looked at the time; it was 12:10 a.m. Six more hours to day break. It was Sunday already. She won’t be going out to church anyway. All the big churches were in Central city and she wasn’t ready to start going around. Whilst living in Central city town, she had attended services at the area headquarters of the Light Pentecostal church. It was one of the biggest church running three services every Sunday. She loved big churches. No one keeps a tab on you. You come in one way and leave the other way.
Although one of her neighbors had invited her to another big church in town, it was headed by a woman. She had promised to find time to attend their service. For now she needed rest.
Sleep evaded her. She picked her phone and scrolled through. She had been credited with free night calls and airtime. It had been a while since she last called her only male friend from home. She had met him in the church she attended with her brother as a teenager when they had both stopped attending the family church. He was her only male friend. He behaved to her as though he were her older brother and would always check on her. He was the one she would call whenever she had any relationship problem. He had called to see her last year when he was attending his friend’s wedding but her ex-boyfriend wouldn’t let her be. He had made sure he followed her to see him, she hadn’t even gotten a chance to talk with him as her ex-boyfriend just whisked her away, explaining that they had to be somewhere and he had been forced to bring her coos she insisted. She had been so embarrassed and even felt her friend felt the same only he handled it maturely.
At the third ring, she heard his voice, husky and a chuckle
“Hey…you remember me today? This is serious! How are you?”
“I’m very fine she replied. So sorry calling this late, I had free airtime and I wanted to talk to you.”
“Oh never mind about the time, that’s okay, I needed the break anyway.”
“What do you mean? Aren’t you supposed to be in bed?”
“No I’m in my office, working. You know us entrepreneurs, it’s not easy. But then I have this pitching and I need to prepare for it.”
“Hmm oh so I’m like the distraction, she asked
“Yes exactly, you are! So what’s up?”
She laughed. She had always loved his acuteness. Not always though, sometimes she just wants to claw his face. He can be brutally blunt but he was real and she liked that about him.
They had talked about old times, the church, the pastors, choirs, friend’s they shared, places they used to hangout. It was 2:00 a.m when they finished talking. She promised to always call him. He hadn’t asked her anything personal and neither did she. She felt happy. She was sleepy and slept soundly.
Yawning, it was 9:15 a.m when she woke. She was hungry. She made herself French toast with hot cocoa and ate in front of the television watching the music channel. The playlists was a combination of old and new songs from “divas”. The song playing was Sade Adu’s “sweetest taboo”, Whitney Houston’s “I look to you” was next. As she ate she hummed to the current song playing. She heard her phone ring and got up to pick it from the room where it was on her bed, there was also a knock on her door. She went to the door and asked who it was; the security man replied he was the one. She opened the door slightly enough to talk to him.
He greeted her and asked if she needed him to run any errands before he goes off to church. She smiled, thanked him and told him she was okay but would call on him later in the day. She further asked where he was worshiping and he told her the church was along the community market. She thanked him again and closed the door. She picked up her tray, dumped it in the kitchen sink. She would wash her plate later. Right now she wants to just relax. She picked up her phone to checked who it was that had called. It wasn’t a registered number on her phone however, she decided to return the call but the call was disconnected on the third ring.
A little disturbed, she picked a pen and a writing pad and started copying the number so she could get it blocked, if she gets anymore funny responses like before. Just then the number called again. She picked the call answering in a business tone.
“Hello!” The caller responded same and asked to speak to her, repeating her name.
She responded “This is she, may I know who is calling?”
Her caller responded “Yes” and introduced himself, telling her his name then asked if she remembers him. It was the man she met at the lounge bar. She let out a giggle and properly exchanged pleasantries with him and also thanked him again for his generosity.
He laughed and asked how many times she would thank him. She laughed and responded she was just being polite.
He asked if she was free in the day so they could go to the cinema. She paused for a moment before giving him a reply during which he was pleading for her to say yes.
“So I will pick you at 12 p.m?” He asked, can you send me your address, he asked.
“Yes, but it may be difficult for you to locate my place, it’s out of town so why don’t we meet up in town instead.” She replied.
“Good idea, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.” he said complimenting her.
She chortled and replied “it’s only the sensible thing to do.”
“Alright, then see you soon.” He responded cheerily.
Looking at the time, it was 10:30 a.m, she has just an hour to get dressed so she immediately called the cab man to come pick her and put her phone to charge. She went back into the kitchen to wash the dishes and tidied everywhere. She went back into the room and selected a pair of boot cut jean trouser, black heeled slippers with a pink t-shirt top to go. She oiled her bohemian hair extension and then had a shower. Standing in front of the mirror half dressed in her jeans, she began to fix her eyes lashes, then a light make up to enhance her looks. She looked like a pop diva. Glancing through the window, she saw the cab man driving in. She sprayed on some perfume, wore her slippers, picked up her phone, wallet with cash and put them in a black purse. All the electrical appliances were switched off; she only left the mini hall way light on. On her way down the stairs, she called her date to inform him she was on her way.
He was already waiting for her by his car. It was a silver colored Chrysler. Wearing a football jersey, he smiled as he walked towards her. She paid the cab man and told him she will give him a call.
“You are breathtakingly beautiful,” he said as he led her to his car.
“Thank you,” she replied with a smile.
They were about to move when his phone rang. He picked the call and talked for about a minute. He thanked the caller and asked to be kept informed and turned to face her.
“That was the ticket sales officer. They are shifting the movie time to 4:00 p.m. I live very close by, so do you mind if showed you my place so we can kill time?”
She smiled and said it was okay. He drove from where they were parked, made a turn into a crescent and stopped in front of a huge gold colored gate. The security after confirming who it was opened and he drove in parking in front of a flat numbered two. The flats were non detached duplexes; like town houses.
An average height young man opened the door and welcomed them. He introduced himself as the house keeper and immediately excused himself.
She took a seat on one of the soft brown leather chair in front of the giant flat television screen while he explained to her about an ongoing football game he’d love to watch. Two top English football clubs were playing. His house keeper brought them wine on a tray with glass cups. He stood from the chair he was sitting and sat beside her. He poured wine for both of them and apologized again for the movie reschedule.
She smiled and explained it wasn’t his fault and she was also interested in English football. The game was about to start, the line up and formation for the two teams were being discussed by one the off screen commentators. She focused her attention so much she didn’t even know he was staring at her until she turned and saw him.
“Are you really interested in football or just trying to be interested?”
She laughed and then asked what he meant by the question.
“I’m not implying anything just that I’m wondering if you really know what football game is because I have some vogue magazine you can read.”
“Why do you wonder? She asked. “Is it because you think I’m a lady? Or perhaps I can never understand why 22 men are on a pitch running after one small round thing.”
Amused, he laughed heartily.
“I do actually watch football, she said, laughing too but I’m not a fanatic.” she said frowning in disgust.
“Neither am I.” He said chuckling. Sighing, he looked at her. “You are a very beautiful woman and I’m sure you hear that a lot, don’t you?”
“Well, thank you.” She responded smiling.
“You are welcome,” he replied.
They continued to watch the football match in silence taking sips from their glasses. Thirty minutes into the match, he received a call from the ticket attendant at the cinema that their movie will be showing in forty minutes.
Turning to her with a smile, “We should leave now; he said. The movie is in forty minutes. I’ll just record the rest of the match to watch later.” He picked up the remote and called his house keeper to tell him he was going out again.
As they drove out, he stopped by a store to pick a packet of chewing gum which he also offered her while driving.
Arriving at the cinema car park, he was greeted by the securities. Taking her hands, he led her to the excavator. It was as if they had known each other for a while. They walked towards the ticket booth where a lady greeted them smiling and apologized for the reschedule. She handed the tickets to him.
Leading her away from the ticket booth towards the ice-cream and popcorn section, he held her by the waist. They ordered ice-cream and ate it at a table silently before he cleared his throat.
“We are seeing “Date night”, I hope you’ll love it.”
She smiled and thanked him for his thoughtfulness for selecting a romantic comedy for them to watch. They ordered cold drinks; popcorn and water, and then strolled into the cinema. The place was scanty; they sat in the middle row. The movie was funny from start to finish. When he noticed her shiver because of the air conditioning, he pulled her closer and began to rub her arms to make her warm. She thanked him, smiling.
After the movie, he offered to take her home instead of her calling for her cab man. On the way home, he asked if she had a nice time because he did.
He told her he liked her and would want to hang out with her again.
When they arrived at her place, she invited him in but he declined because it was getting dark. However, he promised to pay her a visit soon.
That night, she went to bed thinking how nice it was to be appreciated. She felt very peaceful too as she sent him a thank you message. Without waiting for his reply, she drifted off to sleep.