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I arrived at Tekena’s place at about 6:45pm. It was his birthday and having missed his wedding earlier in the year due to work, I became obliged to attend his birthday despite having a huge workload from office for the weekend. It was a Friday, there was no excuse strong enough to convince Tekena to let me stay away, except death!
The compound was not exactly crowded but you could almost tell that it wont be long before more people arrive. I planned not to spend more than an hour before zooming off to get ready for a work-laden weekend. My plan was to locate Tekena, wish him a happy birthday, present my gift to him and share a few drinks with other guests before taking my leave.
“Haha! Here comes the workaholic!” Tekena’s voice rang out behind me as I got out of my car. “You cant quantify the joy in my heart because you came” he announced. He was indeed happy.
“I wouldn’t be a proper friend if I missed this after failing to make your wedding.”
“Yes I quite agree but I also understand your busy schedule and wouldn’t complain too much if you had missed my birthday” Tekena had been my good friend since I got to Delta. He was the first friend I had and was instrumental to my employment at the company where I work. He was one of the very few who believed in me and made me believe in my self.
“Let’s go in and celebrate” he said, “I have all sorts of wine you may ever need…even palmwine!” of course, he was aware of my unflinching love for palmwine.
I went in with him and greeted his wife who was nothing short of an angel. I remembered how Tekena met Sheila at a poolside party three years ago, and how their love blossomed. I silently desired to get married, but my weakness persisted – making the first move. Tekena had tried all he could to help me gain confidence in wooing a lady but it remained elusive. Virtually everyone present at the party had a partner and I felt really lonely.
I wished I could get a lady without having to woo her. Of course there was no harm in making friends with ladies, but crossing the line of friendship was my challenge. Most of them wanted me to make the move, but I didn’t and they also wouldn’t. I have let lots of great women pass me by and this night I sat on a couch alone, regretting my cowardice.
It was necessary for me to get out of my shell, it had become important for me to make a first move; time to find a wife.
“I must find a beautiful damsel to be my wife, so I can show Greg and father that I made something of my life and I have a queen as a wife” I thought aloud, letting my mind drift temporarily away from the party around me.
EARLIER THAT DAY……
It was a beautiful Friday morning, I wasn’t going to hurry to work like other days of the week. Traffic wouldn’t be an issue, and I would be wearing my favorite casual wear.
I had a big day to look forward to; Valerie would visit and I would have the chance to make a move that will make her mine…for as long as we could be.
I never intend not to date girls for long but they just never stay. They never seem to be patient with me, or rather try to understand me. Valerie, I hoped would stay with me till marriage.
It would seem that my elder brother’s curse was coming to pass afterall. He had said I would never find true love and that I would be paid back in my own coin. I surely had a reason to fear, because since we fell apart, I hadn’t successfully dated any lady for more than three months. Although I had known Valerie for more than 6 months, we weren’t dating yet. That was more reason I needed to make my move quickly, especially after sensing that she liked me.
I had to make her believe she had forgotten something, just so she could visit again. I knew It would be tough dating her, because she is based in Asaba, but I didn’t care. Valerie was worth every trouble it would take to travel to Asaba every other month.
The first hurdle was to get her to say YES! and it had to be that morning. I wanted to call her number to know the time she would be visiting so I could make my self ready, but I thought against it and decided to have my bathe first.
While bathing, I carefully thought of what I would tell Valerie when she asked for what she had forgotten. All the ideas that rushed to my head were either unpalatable or too much to play around with. At long last, I decided it was of no use joking around with her, it would be dangerous for my chances with her. I planned to go straight to the point and let her know I only wanted to see her again.
I was all dressed up after a few minutes of leaving the bathroom and was trying to put the room in order when I heard a rather strange knock on my door.
“That must be the landlord” I muttered under my breath and went to get the door. What greeted my face was unexpectedly expected; Valerie was in a stunning short gown and was looking resplendent.
“May I come in” she said, half smiling.
“Sure” I answered, helping her with one of the bags she was carrying. She was obviously travelling but having earlier told me her trip would be on Sunday, the naughty side of me couldn’t resist the thought of her deciding to stay at my place till Sunday. It was a glorious idea and I was ready to ‘stab’ work that day. To be certain I wasn’t getting ahead of my self, I decided to ask why she had come with her belongings to my place, but she spoke before me.
“forgive me for coming with my stuffs. I am travelling back home today. My father wants me home. I stopped by to collect what I forgot and to say goodbye.” she explained.
I was disappointed, first because she wasn’t staying as I had hoped, and secondly because she came to say goodbye when I had planned for a happily ever after. My disappointment however wasn’t enough to silence my fear – what she forgot – she came all the way for it, and I must produce something tangible.
Now it was more dangerous to tell the truth, but I didn’t adequately prepare for a lie. I knew at that moment that it wasn’t my day to get Valerie, but I could run away and fight another day.
“but…why are you traveling so soon, and why goodbye?” I asked, attempting to buy some time to think of a smart way out.
“I ran into some little trouble for sleeping at your place. It turns out my Uncle called my Dad and the old man wants me home immediately.”
“hey! Did you tell your Uncle you slept at my place?” I was alarmed.
“I didn’t. But my lie wasn’t strong enough to convince my uncle. That man is some kind of wizard” Valerie seemed to be in a hurry and that was not good omen for me. “now tell me, what did I forget?” she asked. My brain went blank, fear gripped me. All my plans were coming to a foolish end.
To be continued…