Gbenga was set for his meeting with Bola. He had no idea why she wanted to see him, but head or tail; he knew he was going to take his chances all the same.
Earlier in the day, Gbenga had bought a pair of jeans and a new t-shirt. He wanted to achieve at least 70% of what he read in the booklet but couldn’t exactly because the invitation was sudden. Before he left the house, he took a quick glance at the booklet once more. All the points jumped at him, all competing for his attention. He looked at himself “given my little resources, I have done well jor” he told himself.
Downstairs, Gbenga stopped over at the shop in his compound and requested for some bubble gums. He opened two pieces and threw them into his mouth, he flanked down an okada and jumped onto it. “Bola, I here I come” he said. “You say” asked the Okada man. “Not you jare” Gbenga replied.
He asked the okada man to stop a pole before Bolatito’s kitchen. He was paying the Okada man when he saw EY walked by.
Gbenga: Where are you going?
EY: I want to buy something from that shop over there
Gbenga: Who is in the shop?
EY: Everybody is in the shop
Gbenga: Ah ah what happened, you guys haven’t closed?
EY: You don’t like it, if we have closed, who would have attended to you?
Gbenga: I would have served myself
EY: Abeg, my madam is waiting for me
Gbenga: Wait…you haven’t told me when you are coming again
EY: I will call you.
Gbenga: Okay. Later nau
Gbenga looked at himself again. “How come this girl didn’t say anything about my attire, does it mean she didn’t notice it?” Gbenga said to himself.
At the shop, they were still a couple of men eating. He reached out for a seat opposite the door leading to the really kitchen where Bola and her girls ‘perform their wonders’ He didn’t call anybody’s attention as he used to do. He kept fondling with his phone. None of the girls saw when he entered. Bola was equally busy.
“Call their attention, I think all they are all busy inside” suggested one of the men. “Oh, don’t worry, they will soon come. I’m actually not in a hurry sef” Gbenga replied.
Bola came into the shop when one of the men called their attention. The customer wanted to pay for his meal.
Bola did not talk to Gbenga until she had finished with the man. She came to where Gbenga sat, extended her hand, Gbenga reached for it. They shook.
Bola: What do you want to eat?
Gbenga: Do you have egusi soup?
Bola: Yes. With Semo, right?
Bola(speaking almost inaudibly): You will have to wait for these girls to leave.
Gbenga: Yeah, I know
Bola: Please they will bring your food. I’m still busy inside.
Gbenga: No wahala
Bola disappeared into the kitchen.
EY had returnedto the shop almost before Gbenga settled down. She did not however come in through the main door. Gbenga was surprised when EY emerged from inside with his food.
Gbenga: When did you come back?
EY: Since nau. I came back almost immediately.
Gbenga: So why didn’t you tell them I was around?
EY: I thought they had taken your order before I came, so I didn’t bother to ask them.
EY placed the food on the table and walked away. The next time she came out, she was set to go home. The rest of the girls were also set to go home. EY looked at Gbenga hoping to announce her departure with her eyes. Gbenga was not looking at her. He was paying attention to what he was doing on his phone. When he eventually looked up, EY had stepped out of the shop. Gbenga watched EY as she chatted with one of the girls until they were out sight.
“Why is that man always coming by this time of the evening ?” queried the girl in EY’s company.
EY: I don’t know and I don’t want to think about it
Girl: It is strange
EY: Of a truth, I really don’t want to think about it
As the bus stop, the word of her colleague kept ringing a bell in EY’s head.
EY waited for her colleague to board a bus before she returned to a Suya spot on the road where she knew Gbenga would take. She waited , thinking Gbenga would come out at any moment.
Back at the shop Gbenga and Bola were discussing.
Bola: Why do you think I asked you to see me?
Gbenga: I really don’t know. I thought about it but I couldn’t come up with any reason
Bola: Are you sure you don’t know?
Gbenga: Is it something I should know?
Bola: I don’t know
Gbenga: So why do you want to see me?
Bola: Why were you angry that evening you saw me discussing with that man?
Gbenga: Was I angry?
Bola: You were
Gbenga: Are you so sure?
Bola: Okay, leave that one. Back to why I called you
Gbenga: I’m listening
Bola: Can I tell you the truth? I don’t even know why I asked you to come
Gbenga: You can’t be serious
Bola: I’m very serious. I really don’t have a reason
Gbenga: So why am I here?
Bola: I’m very sorry
Gbenga: I know you are just trying to pull my legs
Bola: I’m for real. What do you mean sef, do I need to have reason?
Gbenga: You don’t need to have a reason but the way you sounded; I thought there was something you have been thinking about.
Bola: Maybe, I felt I needed to thank you for the other day. I really appreciate it.
Gbenga: Your are welcome
“This man, na you know what you wan hear. I just wan make you happy so you can easily do all the chores that require men to do for me” Bola said in her mind as she stared into Gbenga’s eyes.
“I know you are in love with me, if you like, say it, if you like don’t. You can’t hide it. See the way she is starring at me” Gbenga said in his mind, also starring back at Bola.
Gbenga: So you really mean you don’t have anything to say?
Bola: I don’t
Gbenga: I have something to say
Bola: Good, shoot!
Gbenga: I love you Bola
Bola: I knew you were going to say that, how come that is the only thing you could say?
Gbenga: Because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks
Bola: Say another thing
Gbenga: That is the only thing on my mind
Immediately Gbenga said that word, he remembered rules 1 and 6 in his Guide book.
1. “In your approach, talk confidently and never you stutter, you know what I mean. A confident guy will always get any girls attention.”
6. “You need to be fun around her, tease her, and be flirting, have a good time with her and remember you’re the man, so you have to be in charge.”
He sat up immediately. “Gbenga, take charge, this is the moment” he said in his mind.
Gbenga changed his seat. He moved closer to where Bola sat and threw his arm around her shoulder…
Gbenga: Bola, see, we are no longer kids. I know why you wanted to see me and you have done your best by inviting me. So the ball is now in my court
Bola speaking in her mind “what is this one talking about, which ball is in your court?”
Bola: I’m listening
Gbenga: Let’s get down to this. Let’s obey our hearts
Bola: It depends on what the heart is saying anywhere
Gbenga: I can hear your heart and it is not lying to you
Bola: Do you know what my heart is saying to me
Gbenga: Just listen to it. It can never deceive you.
Bola: I’m trying hard to hear my heart. I can’t even hear anything. Is yours talking very audibly?
Gbenga: Yes, it is. Very loud and clear
Bola: So what is it saying to you?
Gbenga: Two things. It says I love Bola. It also says Bola loves me.
Bola: Hmmm…this your heart. Is it how it used to talk to you or is it just because of Bola?
Gbenga: My heart doesn’t lie to me
Bola (falling short of laughing at Gbenga): Okay, if you say so. Can we go now?
Gbenga: Really? So soon?
Bola: We can be talking on our way
Gbenga: When are you coming to my house again?
Bola: Your house?
Gbenga: Yes, my house.
Bola: I don’t have such a plan. But now you have mentioned it, I will wait for a proper invite and please don’t make the offer today.
Bola: Go home and think about it
Bola rose from her seat, grabbed her bag, she begged Gbenga to help drag her generator inside. She wanted to give Gbenga a helping hand. Gbenga refused, “please stop carrying heavy things to avoid breaking your waist for us” he teased.
Bola pretended she didn’t hear what Gbenga said. Gbenga didn’t bother to repeat what he said.
They both left the shop still discussing when Bola would visit. As they walked past where EY sat, she reached for her phone and called Gbenga .
Gbenga looked at the phone, upon sighting EY’s name, he put the phone on silence and returned it to his pocket.
EY tried again and again. Gbenga refused to pick her call.
EY came out from the shop and started walking briskly towards them.
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