She Stood Me Up
It was two days to Valentine. I met a girl at the airport on my way to Enugu. We didn’t just share the same flight; we sat side by side as I kept stealing glances at her. She was so beautiful that my glimpse at her turned into a gaze. I just couldn’t resist the urge to look at her beautiful face. She reminded me of my ex-girl who’s beautiful but deadly boring. Honestly, without mincing words, Nkechi was as dull as ditchwater. All she knows was everytime wire me money. Since I ended that relationship a year ago, I’ve been reluctant to start a new one.
As Cupid, Fate or whatever you believe in, would have it, there I was two days ago staring at a face that reminded me of my boring girl friend. I thought for a while, as something within me kept saying ‘Talk to her; talk to her.’ Without having need for urination, I stood up from my seat, just before the flight took off, went into the convenience. Right there in the toilet, I stood in front of a mirror as I honed my ‘wooing’ skills.
When I came back, she was clutching a novel in her hand. I was startled because at first I had thought that she would be as dull as my ex. Heaven would have to fall before Nkechi would touch a novel with a six feet pole.
‘It’s bad manners to be reading a novel in a plane,’ I said as I sat down.
‘What did you say?’ she asked.
‘Why would a girl who should be having a conversation with the coolest guy in the world be reading a novel?’
‘Don’t give yourself the delusions of grandeur,’ she said.
Are you serious? This girl na better grammarian o, I thought as I rearranged my approach. ‘My name’s Leo, and it’s a pleasure to be sitting beside you.’
‘I’m Favour; the pleasure is mine.’
‘Is this your first time flying?’
‘Not particularly, but I started flying this year.’
‘This year? Why wait for that long? I mean, there’s nothing as exciting as leaving Lagos in the afternoon and knowing that in the next thirty or forty minutes you would be in Enugu.’
‘Well, if not for the financial implication and the fear of plane crash, I would’ve been flying all my life.’
‘Please, dear, don’t fly all your life because that would amount to being branded a witch,’ I joked as I laughed the laugh of someone desperately in need of making an impression.
To my bewildered surprise, the girl hissed and turned her face to the novel in her hand. I swallowed severally before I stuttered. ‘I-I-I meant that as a joke.’
She smiled and said, ‘I know.’ And then she continued reading.
‘What’s the title of the novel you’re reading?’
‘Can I see it?’ She extended the book and while taking it from her I made sure our hands touched. Her hand was warm, and her skin glittered like that of a Princess. Then it dawned on me that she was my type____ beauty and brain.
I took the book from her, and while I pretended like I was reading the blurb, all I was thinking was how I could strike up a relationship with her. How do I get her phone number? I thought. I had to act fast because one thing about local flights in Nigeria is ‘before you say Jack Robinson you’re already at your destination.
‘I would love to read this book; can I borrow it?’
‘How do I get it back?’ she asked. ‘I mean, I don’t know you from Adam.’
Honestly, I’ve never finished a novel in my life. I studied Engineering and the last time they tried to make me finish a novel was in my first year at the university. I hated GS courses because they put through the horror of having to sit down and read the thought of people who call themselves fiction writers. Fiction gbakwa oku!
‘My dear, it’s a global village, everyone knows everyone these days. I can follow you on Instagram, twitter or even Facebook,’ I said as I pulled out my tablet.
“Well, I’m neither on Twitter or Instagram. Although I’ve a Facebook account, some dude wouldn’t just let me rest.’
‘Are you seriously saying you’re not on Twitter or Instagram!’ I sounded surprised. ‘But, come to think of it, why would any guy let a face as pretty yours rest?’
‘You guys are all the same,’ she said with a smile. ‘Well, my not being on those platforms is because I’m a bit of an old fashion lady, plus my job won’t even give me a breathing space. On a second thought, I think you should go ahead and keep the novel. I’ll ask my bookseller to get me another copy.’
‘Wow! That’s very kind of you! But, truth be told, it’s not the novel I’m interested in,’ I decided to come clean. ‘I’m not much of a novel person; I’ve been sitting here thinking of how best to orchestrate another meeting between us. I figured that that can only be possible if we have a meeting point like the social media.’
Favour laughed heartily. ‘You sound like someone who knows how to con his way through life. If you wanted my number, you should’ve just asked.’
‘The last time I asked a girl for her number did end well for me. So, I kind of figured a better approach____ we get to know each other first on social media, and then we can that it up from there.’
‘Social media generation!’ Favoured laughed. ‘What’s your view on the influence of social media in our coming election?’
I and Favour dabbled into politics. That girl is not just intelligent, she’s also political aware. While her kinds were getting frisky about Valentine celebration, she took a break from her job in Lagos to be in Enugu, where she registered, and vote.
Before we touched down, after I had gotten her phone number, I asked her if she had the intention of hanging out tonight, since it was St. Valentine’s Day. She smiled sheepishly and told me that Valentine is not really her thing but for my sake, she would oblige me if I’m willing to take her out. She, however, told me that I shouldn’t consider it a date.
Honestly, I had the best flight of my life this afternoon. When I got to my parents’ house in Independence Layout, I kept counting the time until it was 7:30pm. I called Favour twice to remind her of our not-a-real date outing but when she didn’t pick, I texted her telling her of how I’m looking forward to meeting her at out our rendezvous.
I was at Nike Lake Resort for close to two hours; no text or call from this delectable lady I met on the plane today. I’m beginning to think that she gave me a wrong number.
I got home tired and exhausted. And, instead of writing in my diary of how a girl stood me up, I decided to do this story which my friend agreed to share in his blog. If anything happens, after now, that’s what telling, I’ll continue this story. #LeoDozesOff