“My roommates prepared it,” he said and sighed, “ and for now, I am single.”
“Really?” My heart fluttered with joy, “Hmn. You must be joking. A guy like you. I doubt it.”
“I must confess to you,” he said almost in a mournful tone, “ My girlfriend broke up with me long time ago and since then I’ve decided to be alone.”
On hearing that, I lay my hand on my chest with excitement.
“I am also single.” I told him. And I heard him burst into laughter.
“You are very funny,” he said, “ I don’t believe any girl could be single, especially an angel like you.”
I was so pleased to hear that compliment from him. I blushed and smiled to myself like a baby.
“I am flattered … But I am really single. Funny enough, when Dad dropped me off this afternoon he asked me to introduce him to my boyfriend. When I told him I had none, he couldn’t believe his ears either. And he later asked me to be careful if I wanted to have one?”
“Your Dad said so?”
“You have got a wonderful and considerate father.”
“Thank you, dear.” I said.
I decided to abort the phone-call when I realized the network had beeped two minutes. I called the number back and lied to him it was a network failure. I had over 10,000 worth of airtime on my line to lavish on no one, but the king of my heart. I thought it was time for me to express how I felt for him. If I refused to seize the opportunity I might just lose him to another girl.
“Festus, I hope you could dine with me, as a friend.” I said and slid out my tongue in anticipation of YES or NO
“Have a dinner with you?” I heard him laugh, “ Oh, I can’t afford to … How much do I have to dine with a big girl like you.”
“A big girl? cut the crap,” I said, smiling, “I’m the one asking you. I would be very glad if you wouldn’t say NO.”
I didn’t hear anything from Festus for almost a minute. I knew some guys always found it difficult when a girl asked them out and having the girl doing the spending. If Festus was actually thinking the same way, that meant he was more of my type of guy.
“Festus, please say YES.” I broke the silence with my usual babyish tone.
“Okay. Okay. I will try.”
I almost burst out screaming when I heard that. I thanked him for honouring my request. I gave him a familiar address of an eatery outside the campus. We agreed on 7:30 pm of the following day.
When I dropped the phone I stood up from the couch I had been lying on. I went straight to my freezer for a red wine that could make me get tipsy. I took a goblet from the bar and filled it at once. I picked up the remote control and turned on my flat screen TV. I flipped open a hot romance novel I just bought in the afternoon. Reading through it, I began to relate what the characters were doing to what I would love to do with Festus. I felt like kissing him. I wanted him to squeeze me, hold me tight, place his hands on my butt and tell me ‘I love you’.
I had been seated for almost thirty minutes awaiting Festus to join me at the table. I already ordered for a lemon soft drink which I was now sipping with a straw. I had called his number, he told me he was on his way. I kept fretting and fidgeting. I couldn’t wait to dine with my heart desire. I began to browse through my phone to while away the time.
In a little while, I heard a knock on my table and I revealed my face only to see Festus – my heart almost flew away. He was looking more handsome! He was dressed in a fitted blue shirt and black trousers. His hair was different from what I saw on the previous day. It used to be a rough Afro, but now it was neatly trimmed.
“You are welcome, dear.” I smiled at him and he wore a smile too.
His eyes swept over my body, and I felt shy for a moment. I must be looking so ravishing to him. I was arrayed in a purple top and a black jean trousers. When I looked into the mirror a while ago, I’d made sure my make-ups were moderate. And my long, dark hair was well bonded with a material that matches my top.
“It’s a pleasure meeting you again.” He extended his hand to me for a shake, and I quickly collected it warmly. He sat on the well-upholstered chair right in front of me.
Afterwards, I signaled to the servers with my index finger up. I already asked the bartender to bring cold a juice, fried chicken and spiced fried rice if my guest arrived. Festus might reject the offer if I asked what he would like to take. He should be the one doing that, of course.
I could hear Festus breathe heavily as he began to stare around the eatery. I supposed he was trying to avoid my gaze. Now I didn’t hide the fact that I wanted him. Even without me saying it, he should know from the way I was staring hotly at him.
A female server came to the table with the dishes and drinks, and I caught her staring at Festus.
“I’m done with you, thanks.” I glared at her and I quickly put on a smile when Festus was about to catch my eyes.
Festus smiled. It seemed he saw what I did. I asked why he reacted like that.
“Nothing,” he smiled again, “I was just wondering if you had a grudge against that lady.”
“Don’t mind her,” I said, “ Didn’t you see how she placed the food wrongly on the tray? She is not competent at all.”
Soon, we set our cutleries to start eating. My mouth seemed to reject the food probably because I had not expressed my feelings. I was just nibbling at the chicken with the knife.
“Festus,” I called in a low tone. He revealed his face slowly, then I paused for a moment.“ I would be happy if you can do something for me.”
“What is that?” He looked puzzled.
I began to caress my nape with my right palm in anxiety. Then I asked, “Don’t you mind if we become a very close friend?”
I saw what seemed like a mischievous smile on his face. He bowed his head and showed back his face with a daring look. It was the look I had been anticipating – strong and passionate. I didn’t know where he suddenly gathered the courage. Our eyes became tangled. As if it was a spell, I couldn’t disengage myself. I became a captive to those dreamy eyes. And I could see bliss and harmony beckoning at me.
“But, I was actually thinking we could be more than friends,” he said at last.
“Really?” My voice fainted out, while my eyes were still trapped. I guessed he already had the evidence that I wanted more from him. My head nodded slowly without taking any permission from my brain.
“The fact is that, I don’t just like you,” he said and paused. My heart began to sink like a Titanic ship, “But, I love you – irrespective of your personality.”
“I … love you too,” I said passionately, almost under my breath.
Our eyes didn’t depart yet. I had felt as though I was going to die if I refused to burst out my feelings. What with the sexual eye-contact she had been stabbing at me. It was visible that I meant a lot more to her than her request. The jealousy that showed in her eyes towards that female server was too evident. With that, I could tell that she loved me.
In the midst of our emotional gaze, I began to wonder if everything that just happened between us was a dream or fantasy. A girl I met yesterday , and we could express a mutual love. This reminded me of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ who fell in love on the first day and had their first kiss on that same day. Our story was quite different – friendship on the first day, dating and love-declaration on the second day.
Elizabeth’s case was totally different. We were friends for over two months before I could express my love to her. Even then she had told me she would be thinking over it. It was after three days she said YES to my proposal.
“Guess what!” Sharon broke the long silence; not the gaze.
“What is it?” I asked softly.