My entire week goes slow, each day seemed to crawl by in snail motion, I wish I had a time machine at some point, funny thing is I never in any of these days get a call from Desmond, not even a text to check on me; he is probably busy.
The thing is I’m fresh out of school with no job and only a few friends; Tamuno is out of town for God knows what, so I’m all alone with no excitement to accelerate the speed of my week. I thought of calling Desmond a few times, but thought against it; I have a huge ego.
Sunday morning finally comes, bright and beautiful. I wake up with high spirit, singing and dancing while I made breakfast and lunch. My mum comes in the kitchen and eyes me; she is surprised at how excited I am. You see, I hated Sunday mornings, because I had to wake up as early as 5am to start breakfast and lunch which we make before going to church. My mum and I always made sure we didn’t leave the house without quarrelling, my whole family always anticipated our Sunday morning fights, it was either I spent too much time in the bathroom, on my make up or my outfits were not good enough, too good or my make up was way too much; bottom line she always had a reason to pick a fight with me. Today is different; I have my date with Desmond after service, yaay me!
Getting home after church service, I sit in front of the mirror for over 20minutes, changing lipsticks. I finally settle for the pepper red shade but still sit, admiring myself. Yes, I’m a very pretty young lady; not just saying though, I really am pretty. My oval shaped face held nice features; perfect cheek bones, perfect deep set eyes, irresistible full lips and a pointed nose, that’s how Segun described me the first day we met. I’m not so tall though, some people called me small but really I am five feet and four inches tall, not so bad huh?
It’s 2:45pm now, and I’m all dressed up in ripped jeans and a lace top, ready, waiting for “Almighty Desmond’s” call, I’m starting to get upset. “You are not calling him today Mirabel”, I caution myself. The sound of my phone ringing wakes me up, its Desmond. I sit up and look at the time its 4:30pm, I pick his call prepared to lash at him. But hearing his voice I calmed down immediately, this guy must be , he apologizes and says he’ll pick me up in twenty minutes, I end the call smiling. I get up and touch my make up a little before heading for the sitting room to sit, fortunately everyone is asleep. It was our Sunday routine to come home, eat lunch, go to sleep and wake up late in the evening scavenging for food like hyenas.
Typical Desmond gets to my place 45minutes later; his car pulls up in front of me as I get out of the gate. Damn! He’s so pretty; dressed in a black t-shirt and blue jeans with black shoes to match, I start smiling sheepishly.
“Was sup?” I ask as I get into the car.
He smiles at me, making my heart skip two beats, he has dimples!! How can one person be so cute? He was definitely made on a Sunday.
He mumbles something uninteresting, I turn and look at him sharply, “it took you 45minutes to get ready and come pick me up?”
He smiles without looking at me; I roll my eyes starting to foresee boredom,” this might end up becoming the worst date of my life!!!” I scream in my head.
He takes me to this very pretty suite, we get down from the car together and I follow suit to a lounge. Desmond opens the door and walks in leaving me behind, I’m like wtf! I let it slide but then my footwear gets stuck to the foot mat, I try to no avail to get it loose. I look up to see Desmond walking unaware of my struggle, carrying himself like a peacock, I catch sight of this couple giving me the “eeyah” look. I want to scream at him instead I bend down, using my right hand I set my sandal loose. I catch up with him and sit on the leather sofa he was sitting in. Without looking at me, he gets up, take my hands beckoning me to stand up for a hug.
“Hell no, I’m not hugging you. Better sit down and respect yourself”, I’m actually upset at his actions, this guy has no manners. He sits down back and says how embarrassing that was. I look away from him; I should really learn to not be so expectant.
We start talking, well he asks the basic questions: my state of origin, age, siblings, occupation, and so on…..I didn’t feel like asking any questions, I had lost interest already. Then I remember and ask what he does for a living that makes him so busy, “I’m hustling”. He responds, I want to laugh but look at him and realize he is serious.
“What do you mean hustling?”
“I have a lot of things going for me, a little bit of this and that, here and there. I’m staring at him and I can tell from his expression that my facial expression is not helping, I don’t have a problem with my mouth, but my face definitely needs deliverance. “I’m not a yahoo boy though” he added.
“Yeah right, like a yahoo boy would admit he is one” he looks at me but says nothing.
He orders a bottle of beer and I a bottle of water, I let the TV set in front of me take all my attention, I’m not alone. The both of us sat beside each other, eyes glued to theTV screen. He clears his throat after 10minutes, “we didn’t come here to watch TV now, we should move to the other part of the lounge” he picks up his glass and bottle and heads for the back; I follow at his heel and see my couple kissing, I should stone them with my sandal. I look forward and find him staring at me, a wide grin on his face. “What?” I ask.
“Its romantic, isn’t it?”
“Hell no, it’s disgusting, they should get a room”, I say out loud, hoping they’d hear but they didn’t.
He looks at me closely and says, “You don’t look like you want a relationship, you just want to be rich”
I ignore his comment, what did he know?
I sit down with him and he looks at me and says, “You’ve got pretty eyes”.
I roll them and say, “Yeah, I get that a lot”. This makes him chuckle and I can’t help but smile.
“I really can’t believe you are sitting in front of me though, I thought this day would never come”
“Really? You are the one who always claims to be busy, hustling is a time consuming business I see”
I’m not sure he gets my sarcasm, because he merely smiles and takes a sip of his drink, “my imperfect gentleman”. I start to drum on the table then I spot the pepper and salt cans or whatever they call them, you know, those containers containing pepper and salt that restaurants put on tables. I go for them both and Desmond drags them from me almost immediately.
“No, I didn’t plan on losing my sight today” he says pulling on a serious face. I start laughing and he joins in. I’m a little relieved; it may not be so bad after all.
He looks deep into my eyes, leans forward and takes my right hand, “do you like me?” he asked.
“Yes I do, I think you are cool”, I reply with a hint of a smile.
He chuckles and I raise one eyebrow, “you answered like a hotel receptionist would when asked if there are available rooms.” He said.
“Oh, really? I’m supposed to go on on one knee and say yes with tears and mucus running down my face?”
He laughs hard, “its ok Hun”
Awwww, he called me Hun. He is still holding my hand; there is a ring on it. He takes it off and asks me to marry him! Don’t get your hopes up people, jokingly of course. I look him straight in the eye and say, “if you ever propose to me sitting down, I’ll give you back your ring and walk out the door.”
“Yeah, you are definitely that kind of girl”, he says seriously.
We start to talk about diverse topics, and guess what I find out? Desmond isn’t a dummy; in fact he turned out to be quite smart. In the next hour I learn a lot from and about him, he is not so bad after all. I would make a list but nah….It’s just a first date, I can’t be so sure. Three things he said that got my attention though were, “I always stand out, I like to keep it real and yeah, the punch line, “I’m hustling”.
Its 7:10pm now, my curfew is 6:30 and my phone starts to beep. His phone starts ringing too, he takes his call and I listen to his conversation. Apparently, he has a meeting at 7:30; meeting of the hustlers I think and hold down laughter. I don’t want him to go though, I don’t want to go home either, but I should go now if I still want a roof over my head and a surname.
He holds me back as I’m about to head for the door, he is so tall; he looks down at me and says, “You haven’t given me my hug yet”. I smile and he pulls me into a hug, gosh!I could die in his arms. He tries to kiss me too, but I duck it.
We get to the door, and like before he walks out leaving me behind, “get used to it Mirabel” I say to myself.
In the car now, he is taking me home and takes a wrong turn. I start to tell him but he puts a hand to my lips, “I know what I’m doing”, he says with a smile and then he stops the car.
A million thoughts race through my mind, “what is he doing?”
He stops finally, looks at me and says, “You are not going home without kissing me, a peck at least.”
I start laughing, this guy is crazy. I turn my face, thereby giving him my left cheek to peck. He chuckles again and declines it, saying he wants a peck on the lips.
Anyway, we did kiss. And guess what? It is the most awkward kiss I’ve ever had!! It is near terrible, I expected the world to stand still, see stars, you know the Hollywood kind of kiss, kisses you read about in novels but nope, it was a very awkward kiss. I break it off first and watch him clean my lipstick off his lips with his middle finger, he tries to hold my hand but I push it away, still disappointed in our kiss. We get to my house and we hug and say our goodnights, the hug is awkward too. The date went from bad to good, then good to awkward. I walk into the ompound, let myself in and sigh as I take the staircase to my room. I didn’t know what to make of my date with Desmond, I mean it was good but why didn’t I feel a connection when we kissed? I was supposed to yeah? I’m pretty sure I did with Segun. I try to put it out of my mind. I get to my room and sit on my bed, just then Desmond calls me, to check if I was safe at home, such a considerate fellow. We chat for a minute and few seconds before we say goodnigt.
I smile at my phone and lay on my bed, could this be the fire or just another flame?
WRITTEN BY: MIRIAM EHIS SULAIMAN