“He’ll Be Proposing In a Week!”
They spent the whole of the next day tripping from shop to exclusive shop in most of the high-brow malls in town, before stopping at a particularly well-stocked boutique that seemed to have it all. It was here, at last, that Mimi found just what she was looking for, a fantastically cut mono-strap black dress with a fitted bodice that enhanced her commendable top half. The hem was the most daring she had ever tried, ending several inches above her shapely knees. To go with the dress, she bought a fantastic denim crop jacket that had studs on the padded shoulders. She looked like a million bucks when she put it on.
Meanwhile, out of nothing to do, Taffy had tried on a white-on-white ensemble, just for the fun of it. She was viewing her reflection in the mirrors, far from seriously, when she heard Mimi let out a loud gasp from behind her. Alarmed, she turned to face her cousin.
“Goodness gracious, Taffy, you look. . .gorgeous! Simply wonderful. You just have to get that outfit!” she gushed.
Taffy laughed. “You’re joking, right? I was just fooling around – ”
“Trust me, Taffy, those clothes were MADE for you. I mean, you look so elegant and sexy. White really suits your dark skin. And you’re so slim and shapely, you pull it off so perfectly. Aah, if I were just a stone lighter. . . Any time I wear white, I look like a balloon.”
Taffy couldn’t help but chuckle – even as she regarded herself in the mirror more critically. True, the white boot-cut pants and sleeveless, waistcoat-top did great things for her slim yet curvaceous frame, playing off her long, straight legs and small waist nicely, revealing her slender, pretty arms and shoulders. But she found herself shaking her head regretfully.
“I really can’t, Mimi.”
“Why ever not? It’s not too revealing, so it’s got to appeal to your high sense of modesty,” Mimi teased.
Taffy rolled her eyes. “It’s not that, OK? Just look at how much it costs. I’d never dream of blowing that much on just one outfit – ”
“Is that all?” was her cousin’s dismissive reply. She turned to the hovering sales woman. “She’ll take it – and mine too. Put it on my bill.”
“Of course, miss,” the lady said, hurrying off.
Taffy frowned, arms akimbo. “Hey, hold up, Mimi. I can’t let you do that. I don’t need your charity – ”
Mimi sighed with impatience. “No, you chill out, Taffy. Who said anything about charity? I know you can always pay me back. Now hurry, let’s change so we can move on to stage two. Finding the perfect shoes.”
“I WILL pay you back,” Taffy said firmly, a hand on Mimi’s arm.
“Good grief, I hear ya! Now let’s look around for some funky footwear. This shop is like a freaking gold mine!”
Great, just great, was Taffy’s resigned thought as hours later, they trudged out of the shop with their arms filled with packages. It would probably take several months, but Taffy was hell-bent on paying her cousin back for the clothes – AND shoes, that had been purchased for her. Deep deep down, however, she couldn’t deny she felt SOME pleasure about her latest acquisitions. She rarely got anything for herself – she wasn’t a shopaholic, spending fiend like Mimi – and certainly nothing as fantastic as her new white outfit. It was, without a doubt, the best thing she’d ever owned. One thing she knew for sure: no one would be mistaking her for a maid in THAT. No way.
It was closer to eight pm than to seven when Mimi finally drove their tired yet happy butts home in her flashy red Mercedes coupe, only to find her mom sitting waiting in the living room. At the sight of their arms laden with shopping bags and their faces shining with pleasure, she placed down her magazine, one perfectly-curved eyebrow lifting. The girls came to a dead stop when they noticed her, their chattering voices trickling off.
“Well well well. You both look quite a merry pair. Just what have you two been up to, Mimi? It’s way after dark.”
Mimi was the first to recover, and with a bright laugh, she dumped her bags and when to sit beside her mother, planting a placating kiss on her cheek.
“You know how I am when I’m shopping, mom. I’m virtually unstoppable! I really lost all track of time. But it was for a good cause, trust me. Zed called yesterday,” she announced happily.
Mrs. Attah’s expression brightened visibly. “Oh really? What did he want?”
Mimi’s grin was wide. “He’s offered to take me out on Friday, mom. He even asked Taffy along, as well.”
“Oh really?” her mother murmured, her smile cooling, to match the look she sent Taffy, whose head was lowered.
“Yes, isn’t that nice! I told him we’d love to go. I hope you approve, mom,” she added with a doubtful look at her mother’s strange expression.
“Of course! Of course,” Mrs Attah waved her hands airily. “I’m glad you both want to enjoy yourselves. But Taffy, I thought you have your exams coming up soon. I hope this won’t affect your books.”
Taffy looked up and met her aunt’s eyes uneasily – but was saved from replying by Mimi’s piping reply, “Oh mom, relax! One evening of fun is not going to cost her the whole semester. I’m just SO happy, mom!” she cried joyously, and gave her mother a girlish hug.
Mrs Attah found herself softening. “I’m happy for you too, sunshine. And I’m glad you and Zed are going to be friends. You and him look perfect together – even his mother said that.”
“Oh wow, she did?” Mimi’s bright eyes were wide as saucers.
“Oh yes. We met for lunch a few days ago. She commented on what a lovely, well-mannered and intelligent young lady you were, and what a beautiful bride you’ll be for her son.”
“Oh gosh, she said all that?” Mimi breathed, her hands covering her cheeks that were flushed with glee.
Her mother nodded firmly, her eyes hawk-like as they slid to the still, silent Taffy who stood close by.
“Yes, she did, and more. But it’s really all up to you, Mimi dearest – and Zed, of course. Although I’m positive, my pretty little thing, that once he gets to know you better, he’ll adore you. In fact, I bet you he’ll be proposing by the end of the week,” she smiled.
“Aaw, mom, now you’re pulling my leg,” Mimi chuckled, hugging her mom’s waist.
Mrs Attah was laughing too, and looked up to find that Taffy had disappeared. Her eyes flashed momentarily with satisfaction. Her speech had been very deliberate, and she knew it must have hurt the girl in some way. Good; let her know that beside my daughter Mimi, she could never stand a chance with Zed Adedeji.
Oh, her sharp, perceptive eyes had caught the way Taffy had been gaping at him the other evening. It was a good thing the young man had taste, Genevieve Attah told herself. He’d know that Taffy was no good next to her beautiful Mimi.
She turned to her only daughter with a warm smile. “Well, come on dear, let’s go up to your room so you can show me all the lovely things you got.”