I looked up to see that I had almost hit a small girl who had left her mother on the left side of the raod and dashed across to the right side upon sighting a friend of hers. The oncoming danfo driver was cursing her and her mother in Ibadan accented Yoruba so I realised it was not down to my lack of concentration. The upset and distressed mother crossed the road quickly after thanking God and waving apologetically to both me and danfo driver. She got to my side of the road where her daughter had rushed to, held the poor foolish girl with one hand and began a roundabout dance with her as the girl tried to get away from the heavy smacks that landed on her back. I was too shaken to laugh at the funny scene as I drove off and muttered a thanksgiving.
It was not until lunchtime at my desk in the office that I remembered your text and cursed inwardly when I remembered I did not reply. I quickly brought out my phone and typed
“Hello Omozele, Tuesday by 2pm is confirmed and I look forward to seeing you and Mr. Yusuf”.
It felt awkward calling your fiancé ‘Mr. Yusuf’ and I debated deleting that part but decided to leave it. I also debated sending you an apology for my late response but I thought better off it – not replying immediately would make you believe I was a busy person and not some lapdog waiting around to be at your beck and call.
Tuesday morning I dressed in my grey suit – the latest addition to my sparse wardrobe which I had paid over 30k for to be a part of my cousin’s groom’s men. The 30k had seemed an inconvenience at the time considering I was the least earner among all the men but that Tuesday morning, it seemed well worth it. I studied myself in the full-length mirror of my bedroom and then again in the same sized mirror just by the door I had deliberately bought and placed there for the women that came home with me. I’d read somewhere many years before that you can tell a lot about a woman by the way she observes herself in the mirror. Only few women could resist staring at themselves when they could and for someone like me, the look a woman gave her image in the mirror was either the look you wanted to always give her or the opposite of it. If she looked at herself with admiration – I would imitate that gaze all evening until she felt I was reflecting her own emotions about herself back to her. If she had a disapproving look and tried to rearrange her b0s0m, I could later casually tell her I admire them at just the size they were – tailoring my words to the part of her anatomy I felt she felt most insecure about. If she adjusted her hair while looking into my sitting room mirror, I would observe and then constantly help her to rearrange it the hair just how she liked it.
Looking at myself standing at over six feet with a face I had been told was handsome but I never allowed to get to me, I felt I was well-dressed in my grey suit (convincing myself 30k still wasn’t too much to pay for a suit when your monthly pay was only slightly above 70k), my starched white shirt and a black tie. It was how I usually appeared at work each morning but always the rebel, my tie would be loosed around my neck before 10am. On occasions when I was called in to see one of the high-level managers, I would quickly adjust my tie. Tuesday turned out to be no exception as I was called in to see the GM Marketing who had been my immediate boss for the last two months. I’d come into pharmacy to help make drugs and prescribe them but the GM Marketing had noticed me anchor the end of year party the previous year and also the opening of our office and factory. He had soon decided he needed my skills in the marketing of drugs and I was not allowed to stay in our previous location where I was able to oversee the dispensing section of our retail pharmacy and relate with those who came to buy drugs.
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