It was a Friday evening and I decided to go to a bar and have a drink as usual, I had been doing this to clear my head and forget about all the rubbish I was going through. I was 29 years old and I couldn’t brag about having a real relationship, all my friends were married and I was just sad from all the men I had met. They were gold diggers, cheats, liars, jealous, over possessive or just very angry men. I wasn’t going to settle for any kind of man just so I can raise my head and say I’m married. The pressure from my family, friends and society was seriously weighing me down, I needed to have a child before I turn 30 and I wasn’t going to have a child for just anybody.
Sitting there and sipping my wine, I noticed a figure in front of me, I looked up and saw a man looking down at me with a funny smile formed on his lips, his face looked familiar but I couldn’t place where I had seen him.
Hi, my name is Robert Adeyemi… He said stretching his hands for a handshake.
Hi, my name is Dodeye, I replied and stretched my hands too.
Can I sit here? He asked pointing at the seat beside me.
Sure you can. I replied and brought out my phone.
I wasn’t about to have a conversation with a stranger. A pretty Yoruba one at that. Please demons are not welcome anymore. I rebuked silently.
Am I disturbing you? He asked touching my hands.
No, you can sit there while I sit here. I replied him, moving my hands, making his hand drop on the table.
Well, I came to have a conversation with you, but if you don’t want one, It’s fine. He said.
I thought you’ll need someone to talk to, I’ve noticed you come here every Friday, sit alone, finish a bottle of wine and leave. But see you some other time he added and left
I felt bad when he left, maybe he just wanted to talk, but I couldn’t blame myself. They keep coming and going.
The whole week I kept thinking about the guy from the bar , the way he acted with maturity, the care in his voice, what did he want to talk about? I kept looking forward to Friday, maybe I’ll see him there.
The week seemed like it was crawling but finally Friday came. This time, I cared about what I was wearing to work; I picked out my special blue dress, wore it and headed to my favourite “clear your head” spot. This time, I wasn’t just going to clear my head from troubles; I was going to fill my head with information about a certain gentle man.
As I got in, my eyes were roaming the whole place looking for him, when I didn’t see him; I got to my favourite seat and ordered the usual. “A bottle of Merlot and a plate of chips with snails and Cole slaw” I sat there waiting more for the man than the food which made me smile a bit. It’s been too long since I felt like this. The mystery surrounding him was the most interesting.
My wine arrived before my food and still no man, I had never eaten or drank that slowly in my life. Sadly he didn’t show up, I took my things and walked out, got to my car and just when I was about to drive out, I heard a knock on my window. Robert !!! I screamed unconsciously, I could see the shock on his face.
“Work took all my time today; I was hurrying so I can meet up with you”. He said.
“Glad I came when I did, can we go back inside please”? He asked
Can we go somewhere else, maybe for ice cream? I asked
I’m a bit hungry and I already called to order, can I eat then we leave he pleaded.
Ok, I agreed and we both went inside.
He opened my car door, closed it, opened the door to the lounge, closed it, brought out my seat, pushed it in, and asked me if I was ok a thousand times. Oh! A perfect gentleman I thought.
I had the opportunity to look at him properly, he was a little above sit feet tall, he had brown shiny almond shaped eyes, concrete jaw, hawkish nose, I doubt he was a male model but he could have been, his shoulder spoke of strength. He walked with purpose and authority and had an earthly smell that swirled around him.
I was impressed, I couldn’t guess his age but he seemed 33, it was hard to guess, he wore cool clothes that made him appear younger than he was.
How old are you? I asked him immediately we both sat down comfortably.
You don’t talk to old men? He replied laughing.
Well, that shouldn’t bother you cos you are not old I replied him. So tell me, how old are you? I asked again
Well, I am 40 years old he replied.
I looked up stunned and started laughing, I am not kidding… I told him struggling to stop laughing, how old are you Robert?
I just told you, I am 40 years old; do I look older than that? He said looking really serious.
Well, I’m surprised, you can pass for a 30year old, and please what is your secret? I need it so I can look 10 years younger and people will let me be. I told him
I think you look perfect for your age. He said arranging the food they brought to his table and requesting for something. Will you like anything? He asked in between
Water please I responded
Ok, get her water he told the waiter and turned to me, so I was saying… he continued ‘you look perfect for your age, you shouldn’t be more than 30 but you can pass for a 25 year old’. He said
If I could pass for a 25 year old, you’ll guess 25 but ok. I replied
So, I notice you eat snails and chips every time, why don’t you try something else next week? Isn’t it boring for you? Doing the same thing every Friday? I legit thought you needed help, that’s why I walked up to you but you don’t seem really disturbed at least talking to me. So why do you come here every Friday by yourself drink a whole bottle of wine, eat, press your phone, laugh in between and leave?
Well, it’s Friday night, I come to clear my head from the weeks work, I love snails and no one in this city beats this one plus the wine makes me sleep good till Saturday evening. I answered him
Why do you come alone? Don’t you have friends to hang out with? You are still young he said diving into his chicken wings.
All my friends are married or planning to get married so we are not on the same level again. Right now I don’t have any friends I told him remembering my predicament.
Can I be your friend? Someone you can hang out with on Fridays? We will go to a new spot every Friday, explore their food and drinks menu. It’s obvious that all my friends are married too and can’t be out with me as much as I will love them to. I’m glad I met you.
I smiled inside of me, it’s been long I met a man that asked to just be friends; they always jump to marriage like I’m someone that needs to be saved from spinsterhood.
It’s a deal I replied smiling.
Hello , My name is Dodeye I am a story-teller , visual artist , textilist, food/travel enthusiast and most importantly “Our Modern day Monalisa” I am from Cross River state in Nigeria ( The Nations Paradise) where I studied visual art and specialized in Textile .Learn more
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