Read Also: Debut Love #1
In the four months we dated, Michael never told me he was married. But in that moment, even as I tried to gather the remains of my dignity one underwear after the other, I realized I had been foolish. Of course he was married; why else would someone so perfect want me? Short, somewhat beautiful, naive me. I was 19 years old, 5’6 tall and very light-skinned but I never got crazy male attention… Maybe because I wore no makeup and I hated dresses as they showed my legs… A part of my body I wasn’t a fan of. Guys my age never looked at me twice but for some reason, older guys couldn’t seem to take their eyes off me. I had concluded that my dream of marrying a young handsome man was far-fetched and I’d settle for his not so old father. But Michael had changed that.
We met in a supermarket close to my school and he said he couldn’t take his eyes off me the moment I walked in. I remember that day vividly. I wore a sweatshirt with “University of Lagos” inscribed boldly across it…and my faded denim jeans. My hair was wrapped in a bun and I had smeared my sister’s lip gloss on my lips before leaving just to make her shut up about me not putting an effort to be pretty. I walked in, got a shopping cart and started making my way across the aisles, taking just my personal effects while calculating the price before I got to the counter…something I always did. I passed by the provision aisle and I stood; my eyes fixed on a jar of Nutella. Did I really need it? I asked myself. Deciding against it I walked to the counter, emptied my cart and waited for the cashier to attend to me.
“I saw you look at this”, the cool, deep voice said beside me. I remember hearing the voice and I thought of Yul Edochie, the Nigerian actor whose voice I loved. I turned and there he was… The most handsome man I had seen that month. He was tall, dark-skinned and bearded. I didn’t pay attention to his eyes, I was stuck on his beard. I stared at it as though it was dripping of glorious sweet-smelling male essence. I later realized that was just his cologne. I Iet my eyes wander to his fingers and when I didn’t see a ring, I sighed. “What?” I said as I snapped myself back into reality. “I saw you look at this and I thought I’d get it for you… I hope you don’t mind “, he replied as he held up a jar of Nutella. I wanted to refuse but then I thought of my sister, and the names she’d call me once I tell her the story and I said “oh…thank you”. “No…don’t mention. It’s my pleasure”, he said. I forced a smile and returned my attention to the cashier who gave me a weird smile as if she was trying to communicate with me as a female, I ignored her expression and brought out my money to pay… “please, let me”, he said… That voice again. I was ashamed of how wobbly my knees got when he spoke but I kept it under control. “He probably knows my sister and wants to ask of her”, I thought to myself. Why else would he be so nice? “you really don’t have to”, I started to say. Then I thought of my sister again… “This girl would kill me”, I thought to myself… “but thanks”, I completed. He nodded saying nothing as he handed the cashier wads of 1000 naira note. I looked around to see what he bought that’d cost that much but all I saw was a bottle of wine and perfume. Oh, I thought to myself, “my sister, Francine would like this guy”.
I carried my bag and started walking out of the supermarket. I felt him follow me and silently prayed he’d leave me alone. “Can I give you a ride? Where are you headed?” I turned to him and said I’d walk since my hostel wasn’t that far. “oh”, he said…looking like a lost puppy. “Can I have your number then? Please? I’d really like to see you again”. I wanted to tell him no and return his money to him but there was something about the way he talked…His aura…And I also thought of how happy my sister would be. “Sure”, I said as I stretched out my hand gesturing for his phone. He dialed my number immediately and it rang in my pocket. “Had to confirm”, he said smiling. I nodded and said I was leaving. He offered to give me a ride again and when I refused he said he’d call me later and drove off.
I boarded a taxi and went back to my hostel excited about telling my sister what had happened, I went straight to her room but met her absence. Disappointed, I went back to my room and laid on my bed thinking of him till I fell asleep.
I’m Etinyene Jimmy, a budding writer trying to find her niche. I do well with fiction, exploring the lengths of my ever busy imaginations. ff on Twitter @Etinyene_