I opened the white envelope and after reading its content, I left the office particularly unashamed. In truth, I had found my job as an agricultural researcher boring. It was not what I had expected while I was in the university but I was not in the least sad. When I went to my boss’ office to plead for clemency, he looked disdainfully at me and instead of battling to get his mercy, I left quietly. As I was saying good-bye to my assistant who handed me the letter earlier on, I touched the scar beneath my right eye and it ignited thoughts about Annabelle. I had gotten the scar just before I stabbed her. I had worn the scar like a badge of manhood, never hinting that I had gotten it when I was beating a woman. As I was walking to my car, I looked like a fallen warrior on the road to the palace of the king but when I opened the car door and sighted the ghost of Annabelle smiling at me, I fell down like a battered and shattered heart falling for his lost hearth. When she disappeared into thin air, I quickly entered the car and drove out of the office complex.
As I swerved the car to get around a pothole while on the road, a Jeep revved up and bashed my car. The tires of my car skidded and it stopped abruptly. Interestingly, there was no car behind me. I came down from the car and started raining curses on the Jeep owner.
“Who do you think you are? You think you will just drive the way you like on the highway?” As I was hollering, the man inside the Jeep said no word as he threw some naira notes at me and drove off.
Across the road, I sighted a familiar face shouting my name again and again. I turned and saw Mabel, Annabelle’s best friend.
“Andrew, Andrew, Andrew.” She was shouting my name as she was crossing the highway.
“Ooh, Mabel, where have you been?” I asked, looking at her beautiful face.
“I’ve been around but your eyes have not taken notice of me.” She responded, lightly shaking her body.
“When I look at you, I see a fine specimen of womanhood.” I said, licking my lips.
“Really? You make me feel totally senseless.” She responded, now looking at me eye-ball-to-eye-ball.
“As I am seeing you now, I can’t help feeling so helpless.”
“C’mon, stop flattering me; you’re making my head to spin.” I said. Mabel really looked so stunning and was already making me wonder in thoughts.
“I’m only saying the truth, missing you is like missing my very being.” I lied and she smiled to the rhythm of my words.
“Can we have supper this evening then?” She asked so calmly. I was already feeling like some guy just sacked from his office and now meeting a friend of my late fiancée. I was feeling like a demented loser and as useless as a dustbin, but speaking with Mabel meant a beautiful thing all to me.
“Having a dinner with you is an excellent idea.” I said with a chuckle.
“It’s a date then.” She said. “Come and pick me at my apartment.” She added firmly.
“It’s a date.” I grinned gently as I received her business card. After that, she crossed the road back to her car and before I realized it, she drove out of sight.
At sunset, I went to Mabel’s apartment to take her out on the date. In the innermost corners of my heart, I didn’t want my meeting her to incite any feelings but she was just too irresistible to be overlooked. She was elegantly dressed in a flawless gown and when she heard the sound of a car, I saw her peeping through her windowsill like a princess looking at the sun. When she came down, I opened the door for her and when she got inside the car, I sensed the beautiful fragrance of her perfume; I felt that my world was not being shattered and battered beyond repair by the ghost of Annabelle. Seeing her indeed gave me hope for a better tomorrow. I simply listened as she spoke while on our way to “Peppermint Restaurant.” It was fabulous and I just listened as she spoke sweet words to my ears. It was so romantic that I wished it never ended.
“So where have you been hiding since Annabelle’s disappearance?” Mabel asked me in her sweet voice when we were having dinner.
“I have been looking for Miss Right.”
“Wow, have you found her now?”
“I’m not further and farther from her.” Immediately these words tumbled from the tip of my tongue, she smiled, exposing the open teeth in the middle of her white set of teeth. She let me kiss her and her lips tasted like mint explosion. She thought I loved her and she could take the place of Annabelle but Angela had taken the sweetest part of my heart that was Annabelle’s and thinking of Mabel was just because of her attractive looks but I had learnt from my previous relationships that beauty was skin deep. Anyways, it was a lovely evening with her.
Later on when I took her home, she invited me to stay over for the night but I had Angela on my mind. I had promised her that we’ll be going to the movies tonight and I didn’t want to break her heart; she was more precious to my heart than Mabel. This notwithstanding, Mabel drew my hand and closed the door.
“C’mon, say you don’t want me.” She said as she kissed my lips and I didn’t know when we got to her bedroom. Having fun with her was more than I could describe; it will be like naming the nameless if I tried depicting it in words. It was pleasurable and like a treasure beyond measure, I respired to aspire for more.
“You can always have this if you remain my buddy.” She said with a smile.
We were exchanging words of love when my phone beeped.
“Are you expecting any call?”
“Yes, from my research assistant.” I lied.