My flight landed very late that night, and I was just grateful we arrived Abuja safely.
As soon as I turned on my phone before leaving the aircraft, messages flooded my phone, most of them from Cynthia. I was in the middle of reading the messages when her first call came through.
“Hey you,” her now familiar breathlessness in my ear. “I was a little worried about you. Just wanted to make sure you got in okay. I see you did.”
“I’m good o, just landed and still taxiing. What are you doing up? It’s already past 10pm.”
“I could claim to have stayed up waiting for your flight to arrive, but I won’t.” She chuckled. “I have a tomorrow morning deadline and I’m working hard at it.”
“You poor thing,” I cooed, “I bet you’re bent over your laptop.”
“How did you know? my neck hurts bad,” she groaned and I imagined her stretching.
“I could give you a massage, knead away all the knots, but I’m here on this plane waiting to get off…” I let that hang between us. I didn’t know how she’d take that type of talk between us, but this was harmless enough for me to do the moonwalk if I heard e en the faintest hint of disapproval.
“You give massages? Don’t play with me Bobo, I could do with one and my heart won’t be able to take it if you’re just teasing.”
“Why would I wanna do that? You got any massage oils?”
Cynthia stayed on the phone with me until I was in a cab, and she stayed on the phone until she ran out of air time then we resumed chatting.
– At the hotel now.
– Good. I’m about done here too. See you tomorrow 😀
– Yup! I get to see you again. I’m excited!
– Me too. Goodnight Bobo.
The next day I walked the three minutes from my hotel to the training centre, and after taking directions from one of the security men, I located the room we would be using.
I pushed the door open and walked into the cool embrace of the room.
Although it was 8:10am, the weather outside was warm enough to start me sweating in the time it took me to walk from the hotel, and I was grateful for the air-conditioner.
Ten chairs were set in a semi-circle in the middle of the room, facing a projector slide already pulled down – the projector itself was suspended overhead at the back of the room. A flip-chart stand with an open flip-chart stood to the left of the slide. At the back of the class a table was set up with teacups, saucers, teaspoon and dry stores for beverages with a water dispenser next to the table.
The chairs were a combination seat and desk top, and on the tops were neatly arranged hard cover notebooks, two colour pens – blue and black – and a selection of sweets.
I took a chair close to the wall and pulled it against the wall. I had just sat down when the door opened and in walked the last person I expected to see there.
“I bet myself you would be the first to arrive,” Rolayo said, she seemed very happy to see me.
After the talks of working under her and the silliness that led up to my break up with Keme, I hadn’t seen Rolayo. The move to the airport kiosk made sure of that.
“Hey you,” I grinned, my chair scrapping the floor. She walked into my open arms. “It’s so good to see a familiar face,” I sniffed her hair, “and feel a familiar body.” I whispered in her ear.
“Yeye boy,” she pushed me back then. “What have you been doing with yourself?” she asked.
“Nothing o, just facing my work…”
“And breaking girls’ hearts abi?”
“Hearts are always there to break,” I said. “Me, I’m just the unwitting vessel.” I shrugged.
Rolayo took the seat next to mine. The rest of the class stared arriving and soon, the training was underway.
We had participants from four regions, and I was one of two guys to attend.
It was a customer appreciation training and since we all had experience in that field, the class was mostly interactive.
During lunch I took a table at a corner of the restaurant and Rolayo came to join me. We played catch up while we ate, and just before we left the restaurant she asked what my plans were for the rest of the day.
“I plan to go see a movie with a friend,” I said.
“I bet she’s female.”
“That goes without saying, no?” I smiled.
“What do you plan to see?”
“Depends on what’s showing when we get there.”
– Hey you, how’s your training going?
– Just finished actually. How’s your day been?
– Hectic, but it could have been worse.
– Pele. How so?
– Let’s just say it’s a good thing I got the work in last night.
– Goodie. We still seeing today?
– You betcha. Will get off in a bit, then home for a quick shower and change, then out to meet you.
– Sounds like a plan. How about we meet up at 6?
– 6 is fine. See you then 😀
At fourteen minutes before 6pm I walked through the glass doors of the Silverbird building. I passed my phones around the side and walked through the metal detector without setting it off. I wondered if it even worked.
– I’m here. Where are you?
– I’m sorry, five minutes out. See you in a bit.
– should I go ahead and buy the movie tickets? Or should I wait till you get here?
– Why don’t I get there first? Let’s decide on what to see – or do *wink* – after I get there.
– Fair enough.
Three minutes later I felt my phone vibrate.
– I’m here too, where are you?
– I’m up on the 3rd floor, you?
– Just walking in the door.
– Okay, I’ll be waiting by the stairs.
I was standing by the head of the stairs when she came round the bend.
My God, she’s beautiful.
Her locs were pulled back off her face and done up in a bun, the black locks interspersed with blond. Gone were her owlish glasses, and she wore make-up. The gown she wore followed the contours of her body, the plunging neckline revealing a flash of cleavage.
She smiled when she saw me, full lips parting to show pearly teeth.
I smiled back and offered my right hand which she took. I helped her up the last step. Still holding her hand I twirled her, admiring her curves for myself, and letting my eyes pay her the compliments when she looked in them.
“You have to stop,” she said mock severely, the smile on her face giving her away.
“If you say so,” I said. “Decided on what you wanna see?” I asked.
“I have already seen who I came to see,” she looked at me without any attempts at being coy, “how about we grab a bottle of something downstairs from Shoprite, and we’ll go to my place where I can make dinner, you’ll give me that massage you offered, and then we can watch whatever you feel like off my computer?”