14 Days: The 13th Day
Day 13 ended like this:
She stands at the balcony of the mall – the one overlooking the parking lot. The blaze of lights and illumination throw a crazy pattern on the scenery – making the whole thing look like a huge Ankara tapestry. It’s 9:06pm.
She is not alone.
But she is not aware of that – any more than she’s aware of the silent beauty in front of her eyes. In fact, the movie she just saw has all but become a distant memory. Her thoughts are back at yesterday; and the meeting she had in the morning. It had gone rather well – almost too well in fact. Somewhere in her mind was a concern that maybe it was all too good to be true; but the cheque she handed over to her boss later in the day was a reality – or at least it would be after five working days. She hated having to wait that long.
The entire conversation played over and again in her mind. Nkechi had been distantly polite and that had surprised her. She was used to sexual overtures from prospective clients…in fact in her line of work it was smarter to expect it and be prepared for it. Nkechi’s cool affability was surprising to her – a fact that did not escape him.
“You’re surprised?” he had asked her suddenly.
“Well…em sir…” she had stuttered trying to answer. The question had thrown her completely off balance.
Nkechi laughed; a shrill sound that was at complete variance with his appearance.
“ I know what you’re used too from men like me in this your line of work, and really I cannot blame the men,” he said, running his gaze over her slowly. “But I’m too old for that now. I have a happy life, and at this point I’d rather not jeopardize that.”
He had turned away abruptly and signed the cheque. She wonders now, quite waspishly, if it wasn’t a poor reflection on her that –
“I hope you’re not expecting a BlackBerry 10 in two weeks o,” he suddenly speaks from beside her, interrupting her thoughts. Her boyfriend. The occasional-nuisance.
“What was that?” she asks, politely smiling in his face. he smiles back.
“I said I hope you’re not expecting a BB 10 in two weeks o.”
She hisses and starts to walk away from him and towards the stairs. “A BB 10? I would think you know that a BB10 or whatever is the least of my problems right now. And if I want one of those,” she continues over her shoulder; “I can just buy it. Are you that cheap?”
He runs after her, smiling sheepishly. “Hey baby, I was just playing na.”
He tries to hold her hand but she pulls it away. “I’m sorry,” he says. She turns her face away but she’s smiling.
They get to the car and he opens the door for her. Suddenly she turns and kisses him, a fiery kiss that makes his eyes cloud over and gives him ideas – some not so worthy ideas. But she turns and gets into the car.
“None of that, lover boy,” she says as she straps her seatbelt. “I’m going to church tomorrow.”
She laughs at her handsome escort as he tries unsuccessfully to insert his keys into the ignition. He finally gets it at the fourth try.
“You can’t blame me,” he says, feeling embarrassed. He starts the car and they drive out of the shopping mall.
Church tomorrow. And then…the date.
There is a wicked little smile on her face. One her boyfriend does not recognize.