The street lights illuminated the darkness, causing that part of the city, from a bird’s eye view, to look like one big, shapeless, Christmas tree. Up in the dark sky, the stars twinkled around the crescent moon.
The night air was cool but noisy as cars and people moved closer to their different destinations. They were done with the day’s activity and wanted nothing more than to rest or just be with their families.
Although it was night already, people from different works of life went in and out of GT Plaza. A few only went in to buy food in take away packs, some went in to relax while others went in for a date.
At about 7:30 pm, a yellow cab pulled up in front of the GT restaurant. After paying the driver his fare, Oluchi stepped out from it, shut the door and started toward the entrance of GT Plaza, while the cab driver went on his way.
Inside the restaurant, she spotted Ajiri sitting at the far end with a man. She couldn’t see his face because he had his back to her. Oluchi slowly walked up to them. She was already very close before Ajiri noticed her presence.
“Finally! She’s here.” Ajiri announced.
“You took your precious time. What happened?”
Oluchi shrugged. “There was a little delay at the office. Will explain later.” She promised.
The man who was with Ajiri got up and turned around to welcome her. “Hello,” he said with a smile that went from bright to uncertain and finally, dull.
“Hi.” Oluchi replied with squeezed brows.
Apart from the annoying expression on his face, what made her frown was because the man standing in front of her could as well be David or his twin brother. “We have met, right?” She asked.
“I don’t think so.” He replied, rather too quickly. “For a moment I thought we have.” His smile brightened again and uncertainty disappeared.
“You look very much like someone I met on-line. His online profile pictures are of a man who looks very much like you.
Unfortunately, his real self is something else.”
“Well, online dating is not really the best.” The man said. “There are a lot of crazy people there. I tried it too but I met a very rude lady. Anyway, let us not employ the past to destroy our present.”
“I agree,” Oluchi said and extended her hand for a shake. “My name is Oluchi Ubase.”
“I’m Eze.” He said, taking her hand.
“Doesn’t Eze have a surname?” She teased.
“Oh yes, he does. It’s Eze George.”
“An Igbo first name with a foreign surname?” Oluchi smiled. “You must be an interesting person to be with.”
“You are right. There’s never a dull moment with me.” He smiled back.
After exchanging more pleasantries, they both sat down. Ajiri called a waiter to take their orders. After that, they spent the next hour discussing and laughing over different topics. Anyone who didn’t understand them would think they were three long lost friends who just found each other.
At exactly 8:45 pm, they got up to leave.
Eze stopped briefly at the counter to pay for their meal before going out with the ladies.
The soothing feel of the cool, night breeze hit their faces. There was less activity outside, as most people had retired for the night. The twinkling stars, as well as the moon, were hidden behind thick grey clouds. lightening flashed through the sky and thunder rolled loudly.
“It’s going to rain,” Eze said. “How do you ladies plan to get home?”
“We’ll get a cab,” Oluchi said.
“And how soon will that cab be available?”
“Well… err… I don’t really know.” She confessed. “I guess we wi…”
“What stops you from taking us home?”
Ajiri asked with a frown. “Be a gentleman Eze and do the needful.” She said impatiently.
“Well, I thought you won’t want me near your house yet,” Eze said, there was a tease in his eyes but the darkness prevented the ladies from seeing it.
“Why wouldn’t we want you near our house?” Ajiri asked with raised brows.
“You both look like a perfect couple already. So relax and let the relationship flow well. Knowing our home is part of it.”
Eze smiled sincerely at Ajiri’s reasoning.
“What about you, Oluchi.” He asked.
“I agree with Ajiri. There is no need for playing hide and seek.” She replied. “I already like you so, let’s just let things flow and see where it takes us.”
“Ok. I agree with that too. Get in, I will drive you home. All you have to do is direct me.”
The next 25 minutes met them at the main gate of the bungalow. The street, as usual, was dark. There was no electricity. Eze parked his car outside, by the fence. Ajiri was the first to get down and say her goodnight to Eze. She had been in front of them all evening so she felt it was time to give them some space.
“So! How is your tomorrow going to be?”
Eze asked, as soon as Ajiri had gone into the compound.
“Very busy.” Oluchi replied.
“Ok. I’m going to be very busy on Wednesday and Friday. What about Thursday? Is it ok with you if we go for dinner?”
“I really can’t say yet. But I will let you know on Wednesday, if it will be possible.” She said truthfully. “The truth is, I’m supposed to meet someone.”
“For a date? Or is it business?” Eze asked with raised brows.
“Both. But more of a date.”
“I thought you said you are already into me? So why another date?”
“I have to do this out of respect for someone.”
“Your boss wants to date you? Believe me, nothing good is going to come out from a boss dating his employee.”
“Eze, let’s just keep our fingers crossed.
My boss will not date me. Its only dinner.
By the way, I’m only telling you this because I want to be truthful to you. I don’t want to tell you lies.”
“I appreciate that. Really I do.” Eze said.
“And I must confess that I also have a date later in the week.”
“Yes, really,” Eze confirmed. “I guess we are still having one more look at another person before we decide who we really want.”
“I guess so too.” Oluchi agreed. “So, may we find what we are both looking for.”
“If not, may we be together,” Eze concluded.
Oluchi smiled, although the darkness made it impossible for Eze to see it. “So, I guess its goodnight, right?”
“Yes.” Eze agreed.
They exchanged phone contacts and promised to talk to each other. Oluchi got down and walked into the compound while Eze drove off.
“This girl is more of a fool than I imagined.” Eze thought as he drove away.
“Anyway, she will soon realize it.”