It was a cheque of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira. I was shocked. I did not even know what to feel because I did not understand why he was giving me a cheque for this amount.
“What is this for?”
“To cushion the effect of the money you lost. I know it’s not the full amount but then, it will cut the cost for you. Don’t you think so?”
I stared at him for a few seconds….
“Why are you doing this?”
“Don’t get me wrong. I know your biggest pain is not the money you lost but then I understand that it is still money that could have gone to something more useful that you practically threw away like this. I may not be able to cover the full cost but then, I can share the burden, as a friend. What are friends for except for inconveniences like this?” He chuckled and patted my arm, not in a seductive way, but in a confident manner. I had this tingling feeling run from the point of contact of his palm all the way to my spine. Oh no, I should not be having that sensation.
I hugged him for about 30 seconds. At that point, I was grateful to him and for him. Ever had that feeling where you wish someone could just read your mind and see how grateful you are. I would not say it was the money he gave me that made me feel that way; maybe the money was part of it. The thoughtfulness was what wowed me. The fact that he even thought of cushioning the effect of the loss. I knew that he was a friend for keeps.
We bade each other goodbyes and I got into my car. He waited till I was driving off before he went to his own car. I turned off the radio of my car. I needed some silence. I needed to reminisce on all that has been happening with Yemi. Of a truth, everything with him is happening like a dream or rather, an unexpected reality. How come I was warming up to him? I could vividly remember my first experience with him; he had no features of someone I could warm up to. He didn’t look as amazing as Daniel looked and obviously not with same swag but there was something humane about him. I saw it in the way he treated the waiters, the security guards and almost everyone we met. It was charming. I had to catch myself and remind myself that I was not permitted to be tripping for anyone right now. I had just been burnt and should be nursing my burn wound and not having inner smile for someone.
Tried all I could, thoughts of Yemi was not leaving my mind so, I had to put on my radio back and Aunt Landa of “Life issues with Aunt Landa” was airing. A lady called in and talked about how her husband of eight years left her and her two daughters for another woman who was pregnant for him and told him she was pregnant with a baby boy. I was appalled at how a man could foolishly leave his wife just because she was not able to give him a male child. Is that not the height of ignorance? The sad part of the story is that he was not even sure the new woman would have a son, he just believed her word of mouth. Well, that as what the caller wife said. Immediately, my mind drifted and I started asking myself if Yemi would do such a thing.
They said that a woman starts sizing up a man from the moment he says “Hello”, now I know it is true. I even doubt even Yemi would be considering a gullible lady like me who was swindled of 650,000 naira for a date and here was I wondering if he was that kind of man. I chuckled and hailed myself like I always do when I find myself going ahead of myself, “Dami the baybay, I hail thee”. I saw a call come in to my phone and I glanced and it was Yemi. I picked.
“Hi Dami, ae you home? I just got home”
“Thanks for reminding me that I stay on the mainland while you stay on the Island”
“Hahahaha. That means you are still on the road. Let me call you later before you will sleep in LASTMA office this night. No LASTMA official will agree to release you this night, you know that?”
“You’re not just serious. Talk to you later jare”.
I was still smiling when the call ended. He looked too serious to be as jovial as he is. “Oh please, Damilola Adegbite, you are going to analyse every single thing Yemi does. At this rate, you will still ask yourself how good he is in bed”.
I called Yemi as I was walking up the stairs to my apartment,
“Just to let you know that I’m home. Hope you have arranged yourself for sleep.”
And that was the conversation that took us to 10pm when I told him I had to shower and prepare for a new week. It was one of the most mature phone conversations I have had in a long while. His questions were genuine and legit and he changed my perspective about a lot of things. We talked about a lot of things related to my field of work which was PR and communication and he was very versed in it. I went to bed that night ecstatic. I looked forward to speaking with him in the morning.
Monday morning, I woke up and checked my phone for a sweet sms or chat from him but got nothing. Shuo, the guy must be very unromantic abi he does not know that now the fire is still hot in my heart is the best time for him to establish himself by sending sweet messages and making me understand that I was the one he thought about all night? I was disappointed and I decided I would blank him too so it doesn’t look like I wanted him more than he wanted me. It was funny how I was seething because someone did not call me or make me feel he was thinking about me.
We usually have meetings on Monday mornings to bring everyone on same page from the previous week and plan out what we had to do for the week. While in the meeting, Yemi’s call came in. Normally, I would have stepped out to take the call without any questioning from anybody but I needed him to sweat it for not calling or texting me earlier.
At the end of the meeting, I called him back,
“Hello. Good morning”
“Ah! I was wondering if someone kidnapped you last night. What happened?”
“I was in a meeting”.
“Oh, I am sorry. I was not aware. How did your night go?”
“So, it’s this afternoon you want to know how my night went?”
Immediately I understood that I had “matched line”
“Oh. Hahahahaha. I get it. I did not call earlier. Pardon me please. Truth is that my mornings are solemn times for me. My phones are usually off because that is when I shape my day into what I want it to be like. Errrr….. let me shoot you one hard one. How come you did not ask my morning went when you did not get any message from me?”
Now, I felt foolish. This guy was way ahead of me mentally and here I was behaving like a teenager who just fell in love. I felt ashamed and dumbstruck at the same time.
“Hello. Are you there?”
“I am. I just felt like a child.”
“Oh no! don’t. That was not my intention. I was just asking….. I was…… okay, I’m sorry for making you feel that way. What’s my punishment?”
“You will frog jump from your office to your house. But seriously, you just made me think in a way I have not before and I appreciate it…….. Sorry please, I have a call coming into my phone and I think it’s from a customer. Let me call you back.”
“Oh sorry. I should allow you work. Talk later”.
I picked up the call.
“Hello Dami. This is Daniel Adebayo.”