Mary. That was her name. Very pretty girl, he thought. He watched her as he parked his car beside her. Moving the side window down, he smiled widely at her.
“Hello Mary. I told you we would meet again but on a neutral ground.”
Mary just smiled. Her fair skin plus her smile was making him think of fairies. Eye-burning fairies. He reminded himself to wear sunshades whenever he was with her.
“Hop in, let me give you a ride” He said.
She opened the passenger door and got in.
“Thank you.” She said in appreciation.
“I’m not going far, just two more stops from here.” She told him.
He gave his ‘No problem’ smile before turning to face the road. His mind was racing with thoughts. This was his chance to get closer to her. He’d watched her from afar and had seen that she was a good girl. Not the type that pretended to be good so they could spend a guy’s money. This one was a real wife material.
She was hardworking at the restaurant, her rapport with the customers was top notch and she always seemed to know what one needed. Whether it was a cold beer at the end of a long day or a bottle of chilled coke on a good sunny afternoon.
She wasn’t too informal and she wasn’t cold with customers. She just knew what one needed. She was that good.
He remembered the day he’d asked for her name and the sweet, shy smile she’d given him when she told him.
Mary. He’d said the name many times to himself while he pictured her face. They were no longer in the restaurant, two more stops to go. What a chance!
“So tell me, Mary. What is it about you that I don’t know?” He knew her well enough to know that she would be smiling.
“What do you want to know? You know my name is Mary, I’m from Edo state, I….”
I’m from Edo state.
I’m from Edo state.
He wasn’t listening again. His mind kept repeating those words as if trying to find their meaning. He could feel cold fingers moving along his spine.
He’d put on the A/C but why was it extra cold in here and…
He wiped his brow and his hand revealed sweat- Why was he sweating?
I’m from Edo state.
Edo is the centre of witchcraft.
The voice said in his mind, sounding like his mother’s. Of course, it was his mother’s. She’d advised him many times about life, marriage and work. Mostly about marriage, especially when Edo girls were involved.
Never have anything to do with them, they will finish a man.
Edo girls are prostitutes.
Edo girls use jazz to trap a man and you wouldn’t even know when you’d begin to buy a house and cars for her and her parents.
Run from them!
The voice screamed in his ears.
“Oga look where you are going!”
Mary’s voice brought him back to the car. She was no longer smiling but frowning at him.
Was there a glint in her eyes?
He looked away before the magic she had in them would trap him. Why was he sweating and she wasn’t? Just sitting cool and calm, no more expression on her face.
He should have paid extra attention. Beauty wouldn’t lead him to his fall o!
He should have known that a normal girl won’t be so beautiful, skin so fresh and she was a restaurant girl. Thank God he’d found out sooner before introducing her to his mother. That would be calling for death before which, there would be spiritual cleansing.
Thinking of cleansing, he thought of his car. He would have to cleanse his car from whatever spirit she would leave behind and also cleanse himself, even though he hadn’t touched her.
He checked his side mirror, when he saw there was no car behind him, he quickly parked at the side of the road, then he turned to her. She was looking at him, puzzled.
“Do you want to do anything here?” She asked innocently before looking at her wristwatch.
“Yes, I’m going to drop you here. I just remembered that I have an appointment at the other end, not this end. Sorry, don’t be annoyed.” He added. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings so she wouldn’t do something evil to him.
He was glad that he sounded in control and not shaky. He pasted a smile and jumped up happily inside when she gave him a small smile and got out of the car, thanking him for the ride.
He nodded as if in understanding in order to move her along so she wouldn’t sense his haste.
He put his car in drive, waved at her and said goodbye to bad rubbish in his mind.
Mama, here I come!
She didn’t know that she wouldn’t see him again, not even at the restaurant. Every good quality she had, set aside at the mention of her state, her tribe, her country, her background, her religion.
Let’s stop all the stereotyping, fanaticism, racism and all the other sms, gyns and the rest that does not encourage love.
Let us live and love so we can grow in unity and our progeny will have a better tomorrow.
It begins with us.
It begins with you.