I forgot the documents for my meeting and with the way that Fola had been targeting me, I knew that if I didn’t have those papers, it would be disastrous, considering how he had reacted during my first presentation. I quickly dashed into the office to get them because me I didn’t want wahala with anybody. Before Demola and Salewa think I am ruining things on purpose.
I arrived HSE Gourmet at about 7:30pm and immediately I entered, a few eyes turned to look at me. A small smile crept on my lips unconsciously. I loved getting attention when I entered places like this because it meant that it wasn’t only my eyes that appreciated my beauty, I digress.
I looked around for Fola but he didn’t catch my eye. I was already about to throw a fit of rage when I heard his voice. I looked around to find him sitting at a corner at the far end of the restaurant. He was talking on the phone, as usual. I shook my head and walked to the table, wearing a plastic smile on my face in a bid to look pleasant. I greeted him and waited for him to reciprocate but he didn’t say a word or even acknowledge my presence. I stood there, looking at him as he spoke on the phone.
Mehn, nwoke a mara nma!
I almost covered my mouth thinking I said that out loud before I regained myself. I knew he looked good from the first day I met him but seeing him sitting there, in that mustard jacket, phew! Shivers flew down my spine.
What the heck am I thinking? The guy doesn’t even have sense, waste of…
He jolted me back to reality when he gestured at me to sit opposite him. I heaved a sigh, trying hard not to roll my eyes as I sat down. I took my phone out of my purse and started replying my messages. Of course Salewa was already waiting in my WhatsApp, asking me for updates by the minute. As if I was supposed to be sending her messages during the meeting.
“You’re late.” Fola said as soon as he ended his call.
“Well, aren’t women supposed to be fashionably late?” I rose my head and looked at him. “Good evening.” I greeted him again.
“Even to business meetings?” He ignored my greeting.
Na me fuck up!
“To business meetings done after working hours, outside the office, yes.” I replied.
“If every business woman was like you, I doubt there’d be any successful ones out there.” He said.
“Look, I didn’t come here for calls and responses. Can we go straight to why we’re here?” I was annoyed at this point.
“Are you like this all the time?” He asked me.
“I’m only like this with chauvinists who think the world revolves around them and believe that everyone should bow at their feet because they have a fat bank account.”
There, I said it!
“Well, I’m not any of these, so why are you being hostile to me?”
For some reason, he sounded sincere.
As how? With all the rubbish he has been doing since, he didn’t think he was a chauvinist? Odiegwu!
“You’re not any of these? First of all, you hit my car and didn’t apologise for it, then you humiliated me completely in your office and then at Hard Rock and you’re…”
“The situation at Hard Rock was not my fault. I sent a bottle to you and your friend and the thanks I got from you was an embarrassing situation. That one is on you.” He said.
“Right.”My tone dropped.
I knew he was right, the thing that happened at Hard Rock was just me reacting to all the rubbish he had done earlier that day.
I was speechless and disgusted by the stupid smile of victory that had crept across his face. Then I remembered another point, I was definitely going to win this round.
“How about the situation with my car? That was my fault too?”
“I didn’t say so but maybe I would have been more gentlemanly if you were polite to me.”
“Wow.” I was stunned. “On top of being a chauvinist, you’re also a coward who can’t own up to his actions. You hit my car and I came to talk to you about the situation but instead of you to listen to me, you were shutting me up with one finger in the air and now you’re saying it’s my fault?”
“Alright, I apologise. I was having a rough morning and you banging on my window wasn’t exactly helping, that’s why I reacted like that. As for the situation at my office, I wasn’t trying to humiliate you or anything. I actually do prefer to have all my documents in hard copy because I…”
“Great then, here you go.” I handed him the documents.
He laughed and said,
“You see, you learn quickly.” He took them from me.
This man constantly dropped the bar. Every time he opened his mouth to speak, he said something worse than before.
“Listen to me, I do not like you. I am only here tolerating this nonsense because of my job. So don’t think I’m going to warm up to you because of this cheap dinner.” I was tired of tolerating him.
“It’s funny how you say you don’t like me, yet you put so much effort into looking good for me.” He said.
What is wrong with this man?
I wasn’t sure if he was naturally an idiot or if he was saying all of those things purposely to annoy me.
“You look very beautiful by the way, forgive me for not saying it earlier.” He smiled.
“I put in effort to look good for myself, not you.” I hated his guts.
“You need to relax, you don’t need to put up a defence every time, chill.”
“You also don’t need to be rude every time you speak.” I retorted.
“Okay, I apologise. I’ll do better.” He said.
I shook my head and rolled my eyes at him. In return, he laughed and asked if I was ready to order food.
“Sure.” I said.
He signalled at a waiter who came rushing to him. They seemed quite familiar with each other so I guessed he frequented the place. The waiter handed us one menu card each and when I looked at mine, I was shocked. The prices were something else and from the names of the food, it was probably worth it but I couldn’t relate. I was one of those people who didn’t understand why I had to spend so much on food because there’s rice at home.
I finally decided what I wanted to eat, something I could pay for without blinking because knowing this Fola, I’d probably have to pay for my food.
“Starters?” Fola offered.
“No don’t worry, I’ll wait for the mains.” I declined.
“I think you should try the lamb pops, they’re really good.”
I looked at him indecisively, unsure whether to accept his offer or not. He must have noticed my scepticism so in a bid to convince me, he went ahead and ordered them for me.
“Two portions of lamb pops for starters.” He called out.
The waiter wrote that down then asked,
Fola signalled me to go ahead with my order.
“I’d have the braised short ribs.” I said.
“Okay,” he wrote it down and turned to Fola. “sir?”
“I’ll have the usual Joseph, thank you.” Fola handed him the menu.
I handed him my own menu as he asked what we wanted to drink.
“Do you want wine? Or something else?” Fola asked me.
“Wine is fine.” I said to him. “White please.” I said to the waiter.
“Make it a bottle.” Fola told him.
“Of white wine?” He asked,
Joseph wrote it down and went to place the order. I sat there, staring awkwardly at him, unsure of what to say next. I decided to excuse myself for a minute, a decision I wish I never took.