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Friday, November 11, 2016

After The Wedding (2)



He assessed the situation . “Do you have a spare?” he asked, squatting and checking out the deflated tyre. 

“Yes” she answered quickly, too glad that help had come her way. She opened the car booth and brought out the spare tyre and some tools.


 He worked fast and soon, the bad tyre had been replaced and after checking everything was in place, he straightened up. “I think it’s ok now,” he said, picking up the tools and replacing them in the booth.
 “Thanks so much. I was just about abandoning the car to pick a cab when you came along. You’re a God-sent. I’ve no clue about changing tyres.”
He wiped his hands with a hanky.
“I understand. I’ve sisters who drive but it will be easier for them to fly than change a tyre,” he said, a wry smile curving his lips.
Tare brought out her phone and said: “Can I have your number?”
 He gazed at her with his clear, calm eyes before answering.
“The name’s Eddy.”

"I’m Tare. Thanks Eddy for your help. I’ll call you,” she said, smiling.
She stood watching him as he walked to his car and drove away.
 “Nice guy. And he’s cute,” she muttered to herself. Then remembering her sister, who must have arrived at the airport, she quickly got into her car.
                                       ***
Their order arrived in several dishes on a large tray. It was the bar/restaurant’s speciality and a favourite of their customers: grilled, spicy catfish with chips and vegetables.
 Bon apetit,” said Tare, picking a chip.
“Do you come here often?” asked Eddy.
“Yeah. My girls and I often hang out here on Friday evenings before we head to the club,” she said.
“So, how come you’re here alone tonight?”
“You’re with me so how am I alone? Anyway, I wanted to give you a treat for helping me out the other day. My girls can be quite noisy especially after a few drinks and will only distract us.”
 He looked at her keenly. “Distract us? Are we on a date or something?” he asked.
 “What I meant to say is…I mean.”
  “I understand.” He smiled. “Do you like me?”
  She gave him a quizzical look.
  “What do you mean? I’m only showing appreciation for your help to me. Don’t read any meaning into it,” she said a bit sharply.
 He smiled again.

 “What about your boyfriend? Will he be okay your being here with me?”


 “Boyfriend?” she said, with a short laugh. “I don’t have any. We broke up.”
 “Sorry about that,” he said.
 “It’s ok. What about you? Do you have a girlfriend? A wife?”
  They chatted for long and at the end of the evening, she knew a bit about him. An engineer, he worked with a construction firm in the city with dreams of starting his own company someday.
 The second of five children, he had an older brother and three sisters.
 Being with him was relaxing and Tare wanted them to go to the club after the meal. But Eddy excused himself, stating he had a prior engagement.


 “With the girlfriend?” she asked as they walked towards the car park. He had told her about the lady, who was doing her NYSC programme in Jos.
 “She came home for a visit and we planned seeing tonight before she leaves in a few days,” he explained.
 He got into his car and she stood by his window, looking down at him. “I enjoyed today. Can we do this some other time?”

 He shrugged.


 “Why not? I’ll call you and maybe we can arrange something,” he said.
 “That will be nice. Good night then,” she said. After he had left, she got out her phone.
 “Mina, where are you? I’m heading to the club. You girls should join me there. Toyin’s with you?  When did she come in from the U.K? "
                       
                                     ***
Though she knew he had someone special in his life, Tare could not stay away from him. They had been meeting regularly after their first outing together and she enjoyed spending time with me. There was just something about him that kept pulling her to him, making her device ways of seeing him.
Two months after they met, she got an IV for a colleague’s wedding and immediately decided Eddy would be her date for the day. A few days before the day, she gave him a call.
 “What’s your programme like this weekend?” she asked.
 “Nothing special. What’s up?” he said…

  To be continued

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