By ENgee Mbah (dept Radiography)
On Wednesday, I was getting ready for work, when Emeli Sande’s ‘daddy’ blared suddenly on my mobile phone, startling me and causing the eyebrow I was carefully drawing to become crooked. I picked up my phone from the dresser.
“Hello. Good morning.” I answered the call, as I picked a face wipe to wipe off the crooked eyebrows with my left hand, while using the right one to hold the phone to my ear. A deep baritone came from the other end. It was Francis, the man Perpetua wanted to fix me up with. We made plans to meet up in the evening.
I finished preparing and was just about to grab my bag, when my mother called. I released a sigh. These days, when ever she called, my blood pressure would spike.
“Hello. Good morning, mother. How are you?” I greeted, as soon as I answered the call.
“I am fine. Just wanted to remind you that you promised to make an effort to find a man, today.” She said.
“I didn’t say today, mother. I just said I will try.”
“You better do more than try. I hope you dressed beautifully well, today. You know, packaging is very important in marketing a merchandise.” She told me. I rolled my eyes.
“I am now a merchandise, abi?”
“Before nko? Nwanyi bu afia akposara. All I am saying is make the merchandise look inviting.” She replied. I wondered whether she still realised she was talking about a human being, not an object to be sold.
“I have a date later today.” I told her, before she could start talking again.
“Well, that was fast. I was thinking I would have to drag you every step of the way. So, with whom?” She sounded genuinely pleased. Maybe, this would get her off my back for a while.
“No one you know.”
“The person doesn’t have a name? Anyway, just play your cards well. Don’t go and manifest your self on the first date and scare him off. Bye.” She ended the call before I could say anything else. What did she mean by manifesting myself? In as much as I wasn’t perfect, I wasn’t that bad.
I hurriedly grabbed my bag and left for work, deciding not to even bother about my mother.
In the evening, Francis picked me up from work, and we went to an eatery I didn’t even like, to eat food that didn’t taste all that nice and he talked incessantly about himself. Thirty minutes into my time with him, I was beginning to worry that my ear would fall off.
The man wasn’t bad looking, though. With his six feet something height (that’s a guess), caramel skin tone, oval face, neatly carved beards, happy eyes, button shaped nose and pink lower lip he might even pass for handsome on a good day. But, it wasn’t always about a guy’s looks. The man didn’t know when to shut up. Twelve minutes into the date and I could probably write a biography on him.
About forty minutes into the meeting, I zoned out. I was probably making all the right sounds since he didn’t notice that I wasn’t listening.
Finally, the date was over and I hadn’t even said anything about myself. We entered his car and halfway to my house, he suggested we stop by his house.
“Why?” I asked.
“We can talk some more. You haven’t told me much about yourself.” He said.
“We can do that at my house.” I responded.
“My house is just on the next junction.” He told me. One would think that at thirty three, I would have more sense than to go to a stranger’s house. But, in my head, I could hear my mother’s voice, saying, “don’t go and manifest yourself and scare him off.” I decided to be more agreeable than was usual for me. After all, Perpetua knew him, so he wasn’t totally a stranger.
“Fine. But, you will drop me at my house before eight.” I acquiesced. A glance at the clock told me it was ten minutes after six.
He drove us to his apartment. As we entered his sitting room, he offered me a seat, which I took.
“Can I get you something to drink?” He inquired. I shook my head, no.
“Thanks for the offer, though.” I gave him my best smile. Surreptitiously, I studied the sitting room which actually looked nice, milk coloured walls, green and pink curtains, and the room smelled like flowers. There was a wine cellar on one end of the room.
He sat beside me, and threw his right hand over my shoulder. I was just about to take it off my shoulder, but decided to leave it. It wasn’t all that invasive, anyway.
“So, what do you do?” He asked.
“I am the regional manager of…” My statement was cut off when I felt something on my lap, then crawling beneath my short skirt. Swinging from agreeable to 50 percent pissed, I looked down to find his hand crawling beneath my skirt.
“Keep your hand to yourself.” I ordered in a frosty voice. His hand crawled back out. But his lips latched onto my neck. Then, his hand grabbed my right boob. Now, I was on my way to being truly mad.
“What the…” I pushed him off and stood from the sofa. I turned away as if to walk away and to my greatest surprise, he grabbed my hand and spun me around.
“Why are you acting like this, now? A fine grown lady such as yourself, it’s not like you are innocent or anything. Come on, relax.” He said. My mind blanked for a moment. Did he just say that to me?
“Are you sick in the head?” I sputtered. He loosened his belt, and popped his trouser button.
“Babe, calm down, jare. Let’s be mature about this.” He told me. I quickly slung my bag over my shoulder and turned to hurry off. No way was I sticking around for this nonsense.
The next thing I knew, my bag was flying out of my hand and my back was against the wall and his hands were on my shoulders, holding me against the wall. By now, I was seeing red. Was this dude for real?
Fear flowed through me, like blood coursing through my veins; so did anger, and maybe adrenaline. He grabbed my shirt and l could hear buttons pop. Cool air from the air conditioner hit my chest and the upper part of my boobs not covered by my bra, as my shirt gaped. I was in big trouble.