Lost and Found (V)

“Even in the smallest events, there is no such thing as Coincidence.”

-Haruki Murakumi

You are logging into your email after so long. You had told Omolewa about the dream you had in the morning, more because you hardly dream than anything else. She suggested you both check google for an interpretation and it had hinted at something like unexpected good news.

You think hard and long, and decide to log into your email.

About two dozen of emails pour in immediately. Most from Jobberman, for everyday that you have been offline even after you had unsubscribed from it. You sift through the annoying pile of mess with hopes that there will be something entertaining in your mailbox, and you find it.

A mail from Gbenga, your ex.

You smile, bat your eyelids and check to see that you read the recipient correctly, then smile again. Is this the unexpected good news? It’s been two years, and just today when your sister brought him into a discussion out of the blues, you decide to check your emails and find his message waiting. This must be a sign.

You open to read its content.

“Hello Solaye. I stumbled into Jackson some days back and he said you were both posted to Lagos before he redeployed to Abuja. Are you still in Lagos? We should probably hang out. I have a one-month training programme in Lagos running through to the middle of next month, and I thought I would propose a meeting. I have tried your old number several times to no avail, reason why I am sending an email. My number is 09094423755. Call me, okay? I hope to hear from you soon. Cheers darling.”

You smile, then frown. You are obviously crushing on an ex and you do not know if it is indeed a good thing, considering you had been the one to break the relationship off and you haven’t even changed that much. Plus what if he wants to date again? What if he is married with kids and just wants to hang out as friends?

“Any good news afterall?” Lewa’s question halts your overthinking.

“Message from an ex. Good?” You hand her your phone and find her shaking her head in disapproval as she reads the message. “Maybe not. But I am excited.”

“You need sex babe.”

You laugh. “I need love.”

“So what are you going to do? Call him?” She hands your phone over.

“I don’t know.”

“Don’t.” she suggests with pleading eyes.

“Now that you say it like that, I think I will.”

“You are helpless.” She replies in surrender.

“As are you. Keep swiping on your Tinder app. Maybe you will get lucky like Sandra.” You are dialing his number immediately.

“What?! Who are you calling? Him? So quickly?” You put a finger across your lips asking her to keep silent. You count the rings to confirm the assertion you made about people liking to wait until the third ring before responding to a call. He doesn’t pick his call even after the fifth ring.

You feel a little disappointed. And contemplate on calling again but Omolewa stops you.

“Grace Solaye Ayodele, you don’t want to come across as being desperate. Give him a chance to call you back. I would have even proposed that you reply his email with your number rather than calling him so soon. Where is your pride?”

“I left it at home” you state as a matter-of-fact as you dial his number a second time. He picks on the fourth ring, and the voice that caresses your ear drums arrest your common sense. You instantly remember why you fell in love with him. It must have been his voice.

“Gbenga, it’s Solaye Ayodele. I got your email.”

“My goodness! Solaye? I have certainly missed hearing from you. Thank you for calling. Let me call you back, please?”

“Sure.”

He does not give you a chance to wait for his call, as your phone comes alive almost immediately. You pick the call. “So!”

“So. How has Service year been, to start with?”

“Not as much fun as I was promised.”

“Never believe what people say darling.” You laugh. “And how have you been?”

“Myself.” You reply.

You hear him smile. “Fair enough. So when are you free? Will the first week of next month work for you?”

“Err… I am not sure I will still be in Lagos by then. POP comes up by the end of this month and I intend to leave for Abuja soon after that.”

“Whoa. So soon? You have something to catch over there? Work or Marriage or something fancy like that?”

You laugh. “I wish. Let’s say there is nothing reasonable keeping me here. No job or family or anything, so I would rather be in a familiar place.”

“Hm… and if a job comes up or someone proposes before then, there is hope for me to see you then?”

You laugh again. “Plenty hope. Just let whatever it is be more mouth-watering than the security and comfort my father’s house promises.”

“We can work on that, I think. Send me your CV. I happen to know some places where you can get an internship opportunity, at least for a start.”

“Are you for real?!” you almost jump up in excitement.

“Hey, no promises. It’s one thing to hand in CV’s and another to get called in for an interview. But it won’t hurt to try, would it?”

Your excitement drops but you appreciate that he would even attempt to try. “Thank you so much Gbenga and yes, I understand. I will send my CV to you as soon as the call is over.”

“Good! So about seeing you, err… what are you doing tomorrow? It’s Sunday. I intended to rest in tomorrow but just in case my plan to keep you in Lagos beyond this month doesn’t work, I would like to see you tomorrow. Are you free?”

You blush. His persistence, genuineness, matter-of-factness… those are the things about him that made you feel guilty for having left him. You don’t meet his type every day. “What time?”

“Let’s see. Where do you stay?”

“Ogba.”

“Oh yeah! Not too far from Ikeja. I am currently lodged in a hotel in Ikeja. Would you mind coming to Ikeja Mall or is there anywhere around you where you think we can meet? An eatery, a mall?”

“Of course, tons of eateries around here. But let me cook for you. I will send you my address.” Omolewa is in your face now, staring wide-eyed and questioning your sanity. You ignore her.

“Are you sure?”

“Are you afraid I will poison you?”

He laughs. “Why, I just wanted to be sure you were cool with it. Okay love, send me your address and let me know what time will be convenient for you.”

“Sure will.”

“Talk to you later then?”

“Yes. Thank you.”

“For nothing. I will be expecting your CV and the address. Take care darling.”

“You are thirstier than I thought babe. Did you just invite your ex to your house?” Omolewa spits in your face barely a second after you disconnect the call.

“Is it your house?” you respond, clearly getting irritated with her impolite intrusion on your private life and right to make decisions.

She stares at you incredulously. You hate the judgement in her eyes. This is why you hate to keep friends. You give them too much access and they think they have the right to decide what you do with your life. You stand up and fetch your bag.

“Where are you going?”

“To my house.”

“Are we fighting? I just don’t want you to make a mistake, that’s all.”

You don’t respond. You are out the door before she finishes her sentence. “Thank you for lunch.”

You can feel her eyes boring holes into your back and her mouth hanging open. You have never had a quarrel before and she probably does not know how to handle it. You do not know how to handle it either. You decide it is best to leave her presence before you say something you will regret. In two seconds, you hail a bike and head home. You don’t look back.

*

© The Short Black Girl, 2017.

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