He saw her come in as he threw a ball amala richly accompanied with gbegiri ati ewedu soup into his mouth. It was a miracle he didn’t soil his shirt or get a pepper attack. He swallowed, drank the content of his glass and gawked.
No, she was not miss world, and she probably would look drab to most, but to Olumide, this lady represented everything beauty was. It was love at first sight for him.
He watched her place her order, rice. He rolled his eyes, girls sha; he followed her every move and it was until she sat that he stopped looking.
He finished his meal and was washing his hand when the guy whose table was beside his tapped him gently. ‘You’re not about to run away I hope. After all that grand awareness, you can at least get her number.’ He was gone before Olumide could respond to him.
There was a slight problem that the guy didn’t know; he had a pathological fear of talking to girls. So he sat there thinking, she was about finishing her meal, what was he supposed to do? What were the famous last words? Or was it first words?
He sat there befuddled for a while then she finished her meal, drank her coke to three quarters and stood. It was a mystery to him why girls never finished their coke. Did it lose its taste midway? She was moving; he stood up in a hurry almost toppling over his table. He straightened his jacket and moved out nonchalantly.
Out on the streets he watched her walk ahead of him as he kept thinking, ‘best first words?’ He tried remembering all those rap lines Timehin used to recite; he also could not remember the poetic lines. Damn, he felt like knocking himself.
The gap between them was getting wider; he looked at the girl, then his shoes. ‘Damn,’ he thought, ‘she’ll say no at worst right? He finally developed his courage and ran after, chased down the girl. When he caught up, his forehead had a film of sweat, but he was smiling when he spoke his famous first word to her.
‘Hi,’ it was the standard greeting. She turned to see who it was. She was surprised the eatery gawk could have any courage in him to accost her. She smiled, never underrate guys especially the ones who were clueless.
‘Yes, how may I help you?’ She wanted to see if he could toast a girl, her stare blank, she was standing dead-center facing him on the street.
He stood almost a foot taller than her, still he was rattled by her. ‘I just wanted to get to meet you, maybe in time, know you better?’ It was a crappy line, but it was used in a movie he saw and it popped into his head. Shit. He kicked himself in the butt mentally.
She studied him a while and smiled as she saw the reactions on his face, he looked cute. ‘My name is Jumoke. About getting to know each other better, I don’t think that’s necessary. I have to go, my time’s almost up.’ She checked her wristwatch for effect.
Buoyed, he grabbed her wrist. To which she responded by giving him an icy stare. He dropped her wrist like it was hot. ‘Have lunch with me.’
‘Why, so you can embarrass me by gawking all through the meal? Yeah, I caught your little stunt back then…’
‘Still, have lunch with me. If I was gawking, it was because I thought I was looking at an angel.
‘That line ever work for you?’ She asked a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
‘I don’t have lines. This is me,’ he stood and spread out his hands, ‘asking you to have lunch with me.’
She giggled, he was crazy too, maybe lunch would be interesting with him. ‘2pm tomorrow, same eatery. Don’t be late, I just might change my mind…’
‘I won’t’ he was grinning now. ‘By the way, my name’s Olumide.’
She nodded as she walked away from him.
He watched her go, tomorrow, lunch date. He might not have the best lines, still his bumbling personality had scored a hit. He started whistling as he went back to work, a couple of days hence, and Jumoke would be his. A brother can dream right? So he dreamt :d