The time was getting to 6:30pm. Stella wanted us to go home but I had other plans. The loud sound of the party music did not allow me to talk to Stella without yelling at the party.
”I want us to look around Festac before going home” I said.
She asked where to go and I told her I didn’t know.
She said there was a nice bush bar/garden off 2nd Avenue.
She directed as I drove to the place. The garden was beautifully decorated and quiet. It was a perfect place for first date but since we were not on a date, I couldn’t give a name to what we were there to do.
”Why are you interested in me” Stella asked as soon as we sat down.
I decided to buy some time before answering the question, as a result I asked her what she wanted to drink. She demanded for smirnoff ice, a small bottle of white contents with about 4.5% alcohol.
Great! She drinks smirnoff.
I walked to one of the bars and bought two bottles of the stuff and opened them with my teeth.
”What did you just do” she said while looking squarely at me.
I lied that the bottle covers were too easy to open. She advised me to stop doing it anyway. I agreed.
I called a passing waiter and asked the kinds of meat they sold. She named chicken and Beef.
Stella wanted chicken, therefore Ozoigbondu wanted chicken as well.
”You haven’t answered my question” she said while we waited for the chicken.
” Stella, I don’t really know. Since the first time I saw you coming down from a taxi in front of the house, something inside me had instantly changed and it had never happened to me before. I felt like some parts of me had just been restored. I have seen girls in Europe and Nigeria here but non of them ever made me feel the way I do now” I said and stopped talking.
She had kept her gaze at me while I talked. When I stopped talking, she lowered her face and held my left hand with her right hand.
”What if I tell you that I have a boyfriend” she said.
The question was unexpected but it would be disastrous if I gave her a silly answer.
” A beautiful girl like you must have been attracting young men. Whatever happened in your past is beyond me but what I know this moment is that I would do anything possible to be with you all the time” I said. I liked giving detailing answers. Some points that would never answer a question directly, yet answered it to some acceptable extent.
She smiled and removed her hand from mine as the chicken arrived.
She ate like most girls, leaving most of the meats attached to the bones. I did the same. If that was the definition of being a well trained girl or big girl or good mannered girl, then let it be the same for men.
The game of Stella had been decided to be a ” however you want it” style.
We left immediately after eating the chicken since we had paid at the time of delivery.
”I don’t know what to say. It is true that many boys have talked to me and wanted me as their girlfriend but I feel different for you. It is just that I don’t know you very well and don’t even know what you do for a living” she said in the car on our way home.
”IF you give me a chance in your life, you will definitely know everything about me including what I do for a living. It is quite obvious that I don’t even know you too. The only thing I could tell about you now is that you are a God-fearing girl which makes you a good girl” I said.
We had already joined Badagry expressway and was heading down to Trade fair under bridge. I figured we would soon separate since I was so sure she would not allow me to drive her home but I was wrong.
”Stella, we will soon separate, I want us to have another date if we can classify what we just did as a date” I said.
”We are going home together” she said to my utmost surprise.
”What about your parents” I asked.
”What about them” she said while looking at me.
I decided to keep quiet and watch things unfold.
We got to the barracks bus stop and diverted left towards our house, she didn’t ask me to stop her.
We drove to the house together. I couldn’t make any direct meaning to why Stella was not scared of her parents. Although the parents didn’t see us come in but Issa the gateman saw us. I had also seen the call girl down the road but I didn’t care. Even if all the girls I had slept with piled up in front of our house and saw Stella and I, I wouldn’t give a damn.
Stella was the closest thing I have felt as love since the days of Efuah and Jennifer.
She came down from the car but not without a peck on my cheek.
I was very happy like someone who had found his first love.
All of a sudden, Ozoigbondu had turned from a Fvckmachine to a love one.
I watched her walked up their flat or whatever they had up there.
Our house had two stairwells. Theirs was on the left and mine was on the right if one faces the house.
I packed my car and walked upstairs like a man who had won a lottery. When I got upstairs, my cousin was already in. He said that my phone which I left at home had been ringing. I walked to my room and brought it back to the parlour. I also brought out a bottle of whiskey. Stella had starved me of my drinks and since she was not around, it was time to celebrate the day’s victory with some drinks.
I sat down and opened my phone. 17 Missed calls were carefully arranged according to the time of the calls.
Missed call number 1: Daisy, 5times.
I called her back.
”Where have you been, I wanted you to come to our house today to meet with my mum” she said.
I told her I forgot the phone at home and went to Festac. Although I didn’t tell her what I went to do in Festac or who I had gone there with but I didn’t lie Atleast.
I promised her I would come the next day. I knew it was going to be a gamble but I was also sure that the Mother herself must have known that most single men were good at dating more than one lady.