As we sit in the Chinese restaurant with a soft love song playing in the background, I notice he looked nervous. I was sure that something was on his mind. I would wait patiently till he speaks.
I use the time to stare around, I sight several lovers laughing and being happy. I notice a couple share a brief kiss. It sends signals to my system. I can’t help but smile at this. If everything went well, Gbenga would kiss me today. The thought made the butterflies in my stomach awaken. Gbenga had better unleash the love in him tonight. He had called me and said he had something he was desperate to ask me. I knew what it was. It had to be about dating me. I had thrown a lot of suggestive gestures his way. And finally he would accept me. I had wanted a romantic way and that was why I brought him here. Yes, brought him. He was not a rich guy so I always willingly did the payment for everything.
“Anything please.” A Chinese waiter asked with a funny English accent.
“Not yet. Except you have some liver for my friend.” I joked. I had been tempted to say ‘Boyfriend’ but I knew I had to be patient till Gbenga manned up. Gbenga laughed.
“Just liver. Or you want beef also?” The waiter asked. It seemed like the Chinese had not gotten the joke.
“Nothing for now. Don’t you worry. We would call you back.” Gbenga said. We waited for the waiter to leave then laughed. We finally stopped laughing and Gbenga had the nervous look again.
“You look great.” I said, compliment him to help him feel better. He was dressed in t-shirt, jeans and a timberland. Just how I liked it.
“Thanks. You also look hot. I saw the way thousands of guys were staring at you. I hope they don’t kill me for merely spending time with you.” Gbenga said with a smile. I smiled back. I knew how hot I looked, I had used hours to get ready for the moment. I didn’t like the fact that Gbenga was allowing his nervousness to dull my spirit. Maybe I should help him.
“Gbenga, you said you wanted to tell me something urgently. Speak, your babe is listening?” I said. He nodded. I waited patiently for him to spill the beans or should I say red cream. Red for love. Hmmm….
“Winifred.” He said.
“Yes Gbengs darling.” I replied with a teasing tone.
“I know you like me a lot and you have sacrificed a lot for me. You have been more than a friend. Thank you. I appreciate everything.” He said.
“It is nothing. My pleasure.” I said. He smiled and sipped the wine we had ordered for. He began staring around. Was that all? Couldn’t be.
“Is that all you truly want to say?” I asked, impatiently. I was tired of waiting. He had a strange look on his face. A scared one. Why was he scared to ask me out? When he knew I would easily accept.
“No.” He said. He got up and walked from his end of his table to mine. Then he knelt down. Two knees not one. I smiled. No wonder he had been scared and staring all around. But wasn’t it to early to propose. Why not ask me out first? Well Gbenga was weird as usual.
“Please I need to do this? It may seem unnecessary but I need to do this. I don’t know how to start my request.” He said.
“Start anywhere. I already know the question.” I said. He looked relieved.
“Thank goodness. That means I don’t need to say it.” He said and was about to get up. Which I would not allow.
“No say it. Every girl wants to hear it. Drop your ego.” I said with a smile. I saw a quick frown.
“Ok. I am the one begging anyway. Winifred please can you……… Um……..” He stammered.
“It is not can you but would you.” I corrected.
“Ok o. Would you borrow me 5million naira. I kinda need it for a business deal. And please forgive me for the other money that I have not paid back on time.” He laid down his request. I stared at him in absolute shock. He had to be joking.
“A joke uhn? Better be serious.” I said. Still having hopes that Gbenga would laugh and say the truth. But the look on his face scared my hopes away.
“I am dead serious. I thought you said you knew. I thought Whitney mistakenly told you.” He said.
“No she did not.” I said with a low voice. I could feel my heart in pieces. I fought the tears.
“Then how did you know?” He asked. I just stared at him plainly. Looking for signs of a joke but saw none. I remained speechless.
“I need the money to strike a business deal and to surprise Whitney with a diamond ring.” He said. I couldn’t take it anymore. Tears poured from my eyes.
“Stop the joke please.” I said. He smiled.
“Are you surprised? I have loved her since. That is why I usually visit you to stylishly get to her. She finally agreed and said I should be the one to break the news.” He said. He seemed to think it was tears of joy in my eyes. I looked away from the traitor. The cheat. That had broken my heart and was speaking of dating my best friend. How come I had not suspected their moves. How cruel.
I stood up in anger, picked my purse and walked away. I notice people staring at us with confused look.
“Accept. Don’t cry.” A lady muttered.
“He must have taken too long, let her toy with him first.” Someone else said softly. Their words vexed me more. They must have confused the look on my face with a joyful one. Maybe it was because I always smiled even when I was angry or sad.
“Winifred, wait. What’s wrong?” Gbenga called from behind. I ignored and moved on. As I got to the door, I heard him quicken his steps. He came to my front. I stared at him in anger. I did not want to speak lest I cursed him.
“Whitney can wait to get your pleasantries.” He said. His words angered me more. He seemed to be a big dunce. Not able to differentiate anger from excitement. I faked a smile. I needed to get a grip of myself. Perhaps it was better he did not know what was happening in my heart.
“Sir, bill.” The cashier called. As he turned to face the cashier, I darted away and headed for my car. I started the engine and drove off in anger. Tears filled my eyes. My phone began to ring. I knew it was Gbenga calling to ask for money for bill and taxi. I hissed and switched it off. The fool. I increased speed and stopped at the front of a big church. I wailed like a baby. My heart was in pieces. My money had still not bought me love. I look up and realize where I was. Maybe I would find true Love here.
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