If I hadn’t seen her profile I wouldn’t believe this was the girl I dropped off few hours ago. Agreed, I knew she was beautiful. I figured that one out at first sight. But now she looks different. Good different, of course. She looks sophisticated. What is she doing here? I look at my wrist watch. 6pm. I stand, staring at her. She is seated on a chair on the porch of Hans and Rene and is staring absentmindedly at something in front of her. It had rained earlier so the ground was still wet though the sun was shining brightly. Drops of rain were falling from the edge of the roof, some splashing on her. I want to approach her to talk but then I think what if she is with her boyfriend? I feel my heart squeeze painfully. What is wrong with me?
“Yanju!” Imole, my vp stroke best friend calls to me as he walks towards me. “You have been standing there for ages. Have you seen a ghost?” He says as he reaches me then follows my gaze. “Oh! Only a beautiful lady.” He turns to me. “Yanju.” He clucks, shaking his head then turns back to her. “Hey, lady!” He calls to Dara.
What? “Imole!” I snap out. “Don’t you dare.”
“Watch me.” He says and starts walking towards her.
“Why do you always do this to me?” I ask in furious undertone.
He ignores me and continues on. “Hey, beautiful lady!” He calls.
I turn away as I see him get her attention even though I know she can’t see me where I stand. My heart starts beating frantically. “Remind me to drop you off at the butcher’s” I mutter under my breath.
He has reached her now and is calmly resting on the railing barring the porch. I don’t hear their conversation but I see her smile a bit. He extends his hand to her and she takes it and gestures to the door of the creamery as if saying she is waiting for someone. I guess I was right. She is with her boyfriend. It doesn’t seem to faze Imole though cause he nods and resumes talking. I feel like a sitting duck watching them talk. I am about to turn and walk to my car when I see a small cute lady with dreads walk out with bags of what must be ice cream and walk towards them. She smiles at Imole; dumps the bag on the table and sits on the other chair. Soon, they are all engrossed in a conversation. This is it. I can’t take it anymore. I walk towards them with my heavy feet. “Hi.” I say as I reach them.
Imole turns towards me and grins. “Yanju, meet my new friends, Simi and Tola.” He points at them respectively. Simi?
“Hi again.” I say.
“You!” Simi’s eyes have widen.
“Eerrrm.” I say, confused.
“Do you know him?” The lady Imole introduced to me as Tola asks. “Wait. Is he friends with Jefferson?” She continues. Her eyes widen too and she looks me up and down.
Jefferson? Who is Jefferson? All of a sudden, I feel like I’m suffering for someone else’s sins. Is Jefferson the reason she hates me so much. Earlier, I had a niggling doubt that maybe she hated men in general but now, with the way she reacted to Imole, I guess it is just me. I don’t even know what to say in my defense.
Imole comes to my aid. “I don’t think so, sweetheart. At least, I would know if he was friends with any Jefferson.” He raises his eyebrow at me and I shrug in reply. Boy code.
“Simi?” Tola asks totally ignoring Imole. Girl code.
I think the atmosphere has changed from love all to sisters against brothers.
“No… I don’t know. I don’t think so.” Simi stammers out in reply. “Can we go now, Tola? I’m not feeling good.” She stands up and walks towards the stairs adjoining the porch.
“Oh alright.” Tola grabs her bags from the table and follows.
“Let me help you get that.” Imole says to Tola, trying to help but get snubbed by her then she turns towards me and points two fingers- index and middle- to her eyes and then to me, telling me she was watching me like a deer in the headlights.
Imole and I watch them get into their car and drive off then he turns towards me, raising his eyebrow in question- as if to ask what in the hell I did to them.
“I mud splashed her, man. That’s all. I mud splashed her.”
I sigh in defeat.