Sheila waited and waited and waited… She licked her cracked lips self-consciously.
She’d painstakingly done her makeup 4 hours ago but the cold Harmattan wind had kissed away the gloss leaving her lips a parched red.
She sighed as she scrolled through the pics on her bb. All taken in the last 4 hours and she observed as her expression went from ‘fab diva’ to ‘impatient chick’ to ‘pls God don’t let him stand me up’ to ‘damn’…
She decided to call him again. Maybe he had car trouble or LASTMA got a hold of him.
“The number you’ve dialled is currently switched off. Please try again later…”
Sheila cut the phone in disbelief. How could Chinedu be so callous? She was jerked back to reality by a knock on the toilet door.
“Yes? there’s someone here oh!”
“Please you’ve been in the toilet for more than an hour madam. Please let other people have the opportunity to use am too!”
She didn’t know whether to laugh or get mad at the hardly polite words thrown at her in a thick Calabar accent. She looked at the time and gasped. She’d finished a small bottle of wine nursing each glass so it lasted 3 hours, all the while taking pics of herself since her table was positioned behind a big potted plant and well hidden from the rest of the restaurant. She’d gotten up when her bladder called for attention and an hour later she was still sitting on that toilet seat thinking about her life and intermittently worrying about Chinedu.
Why were men so mean?
Why was she so unlucky?
She came out of the toilet cubicle with a straight face refusing to acknowledge the girl in uniform glaring at her. She heard a long hiss as she exited the rest room. She decided she’d had enough and walked straight towards the door.
“Excuse me madam. Please madam you haven’t paid for the wine…”
Sheila’s face turned red. She’d anticipated that Chinedu would show before she finished her drink and that he’d pay for it. She rummaged through her purse looking for the money she’d hastily thrown in. She found it after 5 embarrassingly long minutes and paid the waiter and left.
She felt the tears sting her eyes as she clutched her bag tightly. Why were men so unreliable? This was why love was just a wasted emotion! She brought out her phone with a
determined look in her eyes.
“Hello Richard, yes oh, it’s been a while. Hanging out would be lovely. See you in 5. Tata”
“Oga we are going to Ikoyi instead.”
Her cab guy was used to her last minute change of plans and he nodded simply.
She felt better already. Men were only good for one thing and one thing only. To be used as toys. Toke had taught her that in year one, after Paul had broken her heart and cost her a semester. She had been reluctant to morph into UNILAG’s idea of a bad girl but her bitterness coupled with the fact that a bad girl had stolen her Paul made her bury her naivete for good and totally transform. She glanced at her expensive wristwatch. Being sharp had its perks. She didn’t consider herself bad, after all ‘bad’ had several definitions and who really could claim to be good?
It was a symbiotic relationship. They enjoyed her company and she enjoyed the finer things in life- courtesy them! No harm, no foul! She’d acquired a lot from different men over the years. Her friends called her Sheila the player! She hadn’t bought a car cos she didn’t want her old fashioned mum to get a heart-attack. Her cab man served her well anyway. She thought of her mum. It was because of her that she even allowed herself fall for this Chinedu guy. Her mum would wake up at 4 am everyday to pray for her first daughter. All her other siblings were married and her mother considered it a prayer point that she be married too.
She remembered the first time she met Chinedu…
“Good evening sister, are you free? I’d like to share the word of God with you. My name is Brother Chinedu…”
“Sorry I’m a christian”
She had replied hastily and attempted to shut the door but he’d stopped her. She glared at him, hoping to scare him off so she could continue watching her african magic Yoruba in peace. He was cute no doubt but she had no time for Jehovah’s witnesses and she knew how relentless they could be.
Relentless Chinedu had been and soon they were sitting down discussing the bible. She was amazed at how much he knew and pleasantly surprised that her first impressions of him were false. The more he talked, the more he seemed like ‘correct husband material’. She had asked him loads of questions and the discussion had gone on for almost an hour. When she escorted him to the gate and saw his range rover levels changed…
“You drove to my house?”
“Yes I usually do door to door evangelism within the estate and driving makes it less cumbersome”
“What do you do?”
“I’m a consultant with KPMG, what do you do?”
“I’m an events planner”
“Can I invite you to church on sunday? I could come pick you up…”
And that was the beginning of a very romantic, very spiritual journey with the man of her dreams. Too bad he had turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was just as bad as the rest of them!
She went through her phone till she got to the pics she’d taken with Chinedu the week before.
“We look so cute together…”
She felt the tears sting her eyes. Did she really wanna do this? Did she really wanna be in Richard’s arms pretending he was her world and encouraging him to spend lavishly on her while her heart pined for the one man that had brought sanity into her life? When did Chinedu stop caring? The changes in him were so subtle and if he hadn’t stood her up this evening she’d have believed they were all in her head.
She stopped at one picture. It was a pic she had taken with Chinedu’s cousins at the party the week before. She’d never really studied their faces but seeing as the traffic on 3rd mainland bridge was beyond crazy, she took her time. Her eyes saw him and her mouth opened wide in disbelief.
“Soji? It can’t be…..”
To be continued.
Have a lovely evening peeps and remember to drop a comment. Love reading ’em. Xoxoxo 😉