Wale whistled along with the song playing on the radio as he drove through the streets of Ibadan. The song playing was Olamide’s Bobo and Wale loved the song. He loved whistling too so he decided to combine his two favorite things. He was on top of the world, he was having fun and was contented with his life.
He got to the Chinese restaurant in downtown Bodija just in time for their meet-up. He carefully parked his Mercedes E-class 2015 series, got out and locked it. He checked again just to be sure the car was properly locked before he walked away. That car was the pride of his life and he would just die if anything happened to it. Although, nothing was likely to happen to it in Bodija here as this was the better part of town.
He walked into the restaurant and secured a table not far from the entrance so Nedu could locate him easily when she came in. He placed an order for a bottle of red wine, he had read some time ago that red wine goes well with Chinese cuisine and he was eager to test that theory. He decided to catch up on reading his mails on his smart phone while he waited for Nedu. Just when he was about to pick up his phone, she walked in.
Wale liked what he saw. Nedu was decked out in a navy blue long flowing gown with a high slit in the middle that allowed just the right amount of flesh peek through. The navy blue color complemented her fair skin perfectly. Her make-up was minimal and she completed the look with silver accessories and high-heeled sandals. Wale liked what he saw very much.
Nedu put on a very cool smile as she approached him. Although she was quaking nervously inside, she came off as very cool and collected. Wale stood up respectfully when she got to their table and took her hand.
“You look absolutely smashing tonight Nedu. Really beautiful.”
“Thank you.” She smiled shyly
Wale came around and pulled out her chair for her. He then sat down too. “I took the liberty of ordering red wine for us. Hope you like red wine?”
“Red wine is okay.”
“Good.” He smiled
She returned his smile. She looked so young when she smiled. Wale could swear she was not older than twenty three years. “Thank you for coming.”
“What???” I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’m excited to be here.”
“Well….” She faltered. “Look at you, who wouldn’t love to be on a date with a handsome man like you?”
“Thank you. You are beautiful too.”
“Thanks.” She smiled
“And you have a beautiful smile. I reaaallly like your smile.”
“Thank you.” She looked down.
The waiter brought their wine and filled one third of their glasses. He then gave them the menu and withdrew.
Wale looked through the menu but he already knew what he would order. He had been hankering for some dan dan noodles and dumplings for some time now. He indicated to the waiter he was ready to order and the guy came back. Nedu was still perusing the menu.
“Are you ready to order, dear?” he asked her
She looked confused and frowned slightly. She probably doesn’t know what to order for. “Hmm hmm.” She answered, still studying the menu.
“You can just order for some noodles. I’m having some too.”
She looked up, smiled and handed the menu back to the waiter. “I’ll have whatever he’s having.” She sounded relieved.
Wale refrained from smiling. Poor girl, this is probably the first time she’s coming to a Chinese restaurant. He placed their order and settled back in his seat, ready to do some digging.
“So, Nedu tell me about you”
“There’s not much to tell. As you know, I work at the bank and I live with a friend of mine in Bodija here. My parents are in Port-Harcourt and I am the second of four children.”
“Where did you graduate from?”
“University of Nigeria.”
She nodded. “Yeah, it was cool.”
“I will like to ask you a question but I don’t want you to be offended. You ladies tend to be very sensitive about things like that.”
She looked curious. “You can ask me anything, Wale.”
Hmm, that’s a first. “Okay, how old are you? Forgive me for the intrusion into your privacy; it’s just that you look so young.”
Nedu laughed. “I get that a lot but I assure you I am much older than I look. I’m twenty-eight.”
“Really? You do not look a day older than twenty three.”
She laughed again, obviously pleased with his comment. “Believe me, I get that a lot.”
Their food arrived and prevented Wale from asking more questions as they eagerly dug in. He kept looking at her as she ate scarcely believing his luck. Her skin was so smooth and looked very soft. And she had a beautiful face, big brown eyes, full lashes and a pouty mouth. I am one hell of a lucky guy, he thought.
On the other end of the table, Nedu covertly observed him too. He’s so handsome and I can’t believe he’s so into me, he keeps staring at me. I hope my lipstick is not smeared due to the stress of eating this god-forsaken food. Who invented these chopsticks though? Thank God I had the foresight of requesting for a fork, my dress would have been a mess by now.
Wale finished eating and relaxed back on his seat with his glass of wine. He was still staring and Nedu started to fidget.
“What?” she finally asked
“I just can’t help but admire your beauty. Such skin, such glow…it’s really beautiful.”
“Thank you.” She said demurely. “Tell me about yourself too.”
“Well…., I’m into real estate, buying and selling of properties, land, and the likes.
“So, you are an agent?”
“No. I deal strictly on lease and sale. No rentals.”
“Wow…you must be rolling in dough.”
Wale raised his brow. That’s a subtle way of asking how much I earn. “No, but I make do.”
“I live in Ibadan here but occasionally business takes me out of state.” He continued. “My parents are both dead and I am their only child. With exception to some distant cousins and an uncle, I am all alone in the world.”
“What? You are not married?”
“No. So you thought I was married and you still agreed to go on a date with me?” he was surprised she thought he was married.
She shrugged. “I like you. Besides, I didn’t see a wedding ring.”
Wale looked at her shrewdly. “We are in Africa. It’s not strange to find a married man not wearing a ring.”
She shrugged again but refrained from speaking. Is he angry with me for going out with him? After all he asked me, not the other way.
Wale decided to let it go. After all, he was not a saint. He had purposely refrained from mentioning his ex-wife and son. “More wine?” he asked, wanting to move off the subject.
He poured her wine for her and he was surprised by her next question. “How old are you Wale?” She blurted.
Wale laughed. “So, you thought to return the favor heh?”
She smiled, and waited for his answer.
Her eyes bulged. It was clear she was surprised. “I would swear you are not older than thirty three, thirty four at most.” She finally admitted.
“Really? Thank you.” Wale was pleased.
They continued chatting about inconsequential things for a while after. By the time it was 10 pm, they decided to leave.
Nedu whistled when she saw the car Wale led her to. Wale smiled softly. What is it with Nigerian women and cars? He thought.
“Is this yours?” she asked awed
“Yes.” Wale answered proudly.
“Wow. So much for ‘making do’.”
He laughed and opened the passenger side for her to seat. Nedu settled into the plush seats and sighed. I’m in heaven, she thought.
Wale entered and started the car. He put on the stereo after asking for directions to her house and some cool music filled the car. They drove along sedately, both wrapped in their own thoughts. The silence was only broken when she gave him directions as they went along. Few minutes later, they got to her apartment and Wale parked. Nedu nestled further in her seat as though reluctant to leave and this made Wale smile.
“Thank you for a lovely evening.” He said.
Nedu took this as her cue. “I had a great time too. Thanks for inviting me.”
“It was a pleasure.”
She took her purse and looked back at him one more time. Wale took the opportunity and kissed her softly on the mouth. “I’ll call you tomorrow?”
“Okay.” She replied, stepped out of the car and waved as he drove off.
Wale drove off and started whistling to the song playing. He got to a traffic light and stopped as it was on red. He was tapping his steering wheel and singing along until the light turned back to green. He had just put his leg on the accelerator when he heard a loud noise behind him and his car jerked forward. The impact of the hit propelled his head forward and the last thing he remembered was hitting his head on the steering wheel before he lost consciousness.