Two days later, the two ladies – Nkiru and Lola – met at one of the relaxation joints in the city of Zaria, Kaduna State. It was a moment each of them longed for, to assert the least. The time was three O’ clock in the afternoon on a Saturday. Since they left their secondary school in Lagos and consequently secured admission in different universities, they had individually been looking eagerly forward to seeing each other once again, not until forty-eight hours back when fate decided to reunite them at Ever-Ready, the ever-bubbling supermarket in Zaria.
“The least I expected was to meet you in Kaduna.” disclosed Lola as the two sat at one of the roundtables in the joint. “Same here.” responded Nkiru. They were seated opposite each other in separate single back-chairs. Both of them were cutely dressed that anyone who walked in could easily spot that they were classy ladies.
Nkiru was in a grey mini-skirt, ash top, ash pair of sandals, and wore gorgeously plaited hairs. On her part, Lola put on black weavon, black trousers, pink top and pink high-heeled shoes. In a few seconds time, one of the waiters walked to them toward ascertaining their wants. “What can we offer you, ma.. ams” the stewards inquired.
“What’s your menu?” Nkiru replied. “We have both foods and drinks,” he answered. “And also, Africana.” He added. “Okay,” quoth Nkiru. “What do you care for?” she added, facing Lola. “Hmm,” said Lola. “Smirnoff would be okay.” “And food?” Nkiru supplemented. “Well, he should get Nkwobi.”
She demanded, referring to a native dish which was a mixture of goat meat and other cultural recipes. “Alright,” said Nkiru, facing the waiter. “Get us two bottles of Smirnoff and two plates of Nkwobi.” “Okay ma.” He tendered, calmly turned his back on them and walked towards the kitchen side.
Five minutes on, the waiter who was clad in uniform returned with a stainless tray containing the requested items coupled with a bunch of straws and two bottled water. He quickly emptied the tray by dropping each of the items where they deserved to be on the white plastic table and thereof left the ladies for elsewhere.
As they were enjoying themselves, a certain young man who had been seated alone at one corner of the outlet, gently walked up to them. “Hello, beautiful ladies!” the stranger hailed while standing, waving his both hands. “Hi!” Nkiru reciprocated as Lola became suddenly mute.
“Helloo..!!” the man reiterated, facing Lola. Lola was apparently not interested in his presence or knowing about his identity but it seemed she was the one the dude was attracted to. He was dressed in brownish shorts, red polo and a pair of black leather slippers. Looking at his wears, he was not that attractive, thus his presence could repel any lady let alone a classy one like Lola. Although he didn’t possess a bad physique, every exposed lady of the time looked forward to meeting a man who had good taste for fashion. He was average, plump and chocolate in complexion. “Hi.” Lola managed to reply.
“I am Nnamdi.” He cheerily introduced, stood still. “You are welcome.” Nkiru said. “Thank you.” he appreciated. “Please, can I have a word with you?’ He added, looking at Lola. “Me..?” said Lola, squeezing her pretty face. “Yes.” He responded, nodding. “As you can see, I am busy.” She bluntly replied.
“So, I can’t.” Nkiru stylishly tapped her on the lap, enjoining her to loosen up and stop being unnecessarily rigid. But she refused to adhere to the candid instruction, hence wore an unfriendly look. Therein, Mr. Nnamdi who appeared to be in his late thirties changed his interest, thus thought it wise to excuse the jovially-looking one for a private chat. “Please, can we see?’ He asked, shifting his attention to Nkiru. “Sure,” Nkiru cheerfully answered. “But where are you up to?” she verified. “Just somewhere around here.” He clarified, gesticulat-ing. “Alright.” Nkiru responded, stood up and joined him.
They left the point for elsewhere which was about five metres away, leaving Lola alone. Lola who could sight them as they got seated, got irritated over what she described as ‘cheap attitude’ of her friend. Nevertheless, on the contrary, Nkiru was only trying to play nicely. Of course, a final year student of a university needn’t be told when a man was for real or not. In other words, she knew she could take care of herself without anyone’s assistance as regards such circumstance. After all, considering her age, that wasn’t the first time she would encounter such a scenario.
In the process, she learnt Mr. Nnamdi was the owner of the Ever-Ready supermarket whom her friend Lola had longed to meet. It would be recalled that Lola had earlier confided in Nkiru and told her that she was ever ready to be accepted by the yet unknown entrepreneur as his second or third wife, as the case may be, until she was told the man in question was still a bachelor. Little did she know that he was the very person that pleaded to spend a few seconds with her in the local joint.
When Lola was informed of such fact after their departure from the joint, she felt like strangulating herself or better still, take acidic solution and leave the seeming unfair planet. Obviously, nothing could be reversed as Nnamdi and Nkiru eventually found love. Months later, fate joined them as a couple.
It would interest you to note that prior to the epochal wedding ceremony that took place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), Miss Lola was asked to be the chief bridesmaid of the occasion but she declined perhaps owing to shame. Years on, Nkiru was happily married with the tycoon Nnamdi and the marriage was blessed with bouncing kids, whilst Lola was still searching for her missing rib. If you were in Lola’s shoes, what would have been your reactions after all these? Think about it!
- Nwaozor – novelist, playwright and poet, is Chief Executive Director, Centre for Counselling, Research & Career Development – Owerri
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