How we met was almost romantic, almost. Was it amazing, sensational? Nah, cosmic maybe. That was two weeks ago. Our connection was instant. We had literary talked every day since then. Until yesterday night. I had dropped off the phone at the Slot office alongside my warranty for repairs this morning. I had been working online when he had called my line. So engrossed in noting the trading of Bitcoins, Rippler, and other cryptocurrency for the day, I hadn’t noticed my phone vibrating. My white earphones were blaring Burna Boy’s new rhythmic album, Outside. The phone vibrated till it fell off the sofa unto the tiled floor. Through the unresponsive spiderweb-like cracked screen I saw his caller I.D. I was furious and sad.
We hadn’t spoken since and I missed listening to his voice. I wonder what he was up to this Thursday afternoon. I left my cubicle and walked closer to Abigail, our social media expert. We decided to walk to KFC before the Alimosho roundabout to eat lunch. We began talking about out how the Chinese new year had devalued the coins. How I had to explain that to account owners at their month’s end account analysis. She listened and laughed. She complained Twitter was a landmine where any and everyone could get dragged and turned into a meme. If they were simply stupid, dishonest or politically incorrect. I complimented her for the new series of short articles, ‘Cryptocurrency: What You Need to Know’, she publishes on the firm’s Medium blog. The sun shone down on her long black braids and my ankara sneakers. Our melanin of chocolate and mocha tones were popping! I put my hands in the pockets of my peach cotton dress. The flared details framing my wrists fell out of the side pockets. My sunglasses and sunscreen thankfully blocked the sun rays. We had walked for 5 mins with a few people walking past. The occasional hawker with a large bowl on her head filled with ice-cold plastic bottles of water, Bigi, Pepsi, Fanta, Coca-cola, Big Cola would slowly walk by. The sound of conductors calling passengers to halting yellow Danfos , honking speeding cars and slowly building traffic up ahead at the wide roundabout. The bustling sounds of Lagos added a beat to our chat.
My right hand collected my debit card from our server and returned it to my tiny hot pink sequins wallet. The hand shot up above my left ear and tucked away some of my long, kinky hair into the large low puff. I turned around to find a table while Abigail carried our tray filled with packs of crispy chickens, ketchup, cutlery, rice, chips and ice cream cups. I looked around the red decor of the restaurant and saw him walk in. His gaze was on me and I knew by the way my heart beat faltered I was falling in love. My breath was caught as Abigail walked around my still curvy figure. The red tray was a sharp contrast the beauty of her wine ARFICAN QUEEN t-shirt tucked into dark blue mom jeans. I noted as she walked towards an empty small table. His tall slender frame looked so handsome in a plain grey t-shirt and denim. A tiny gold chain glistened and disappeared into the round neck of his t-shirt. The glistening accented his glowing yummy coffee brown skin as he strode closer. I knew I was blushing, which means my dark chocolate plum cheeks shone with excitement. Isn’t it magical when the stars aline in front of you? ‘Hurry up’, I wanted to shout. Wait! So I can catch my breath I murmur to myself.
‘Hey’. He said stopping in front of me. His blank expression metamorphosed into a worried small frown. ‘You! You called me till my phone fell and broke!’ I blurted accusingly. He froze and frowned. ‘I haven’t been able to reach you so I went to check you at the office. I was so worried! I was told you came to eat here’. He responded, continuing ‘I’m sorry about your phone. Where is it?’
‘I’m fixing it over at Slot’, I said calmly smiling. The phone is less than a month old. I had saved from two months salary after removing investments, emergency savings, bills, responsibilities, tithe each month. It had been a gift to myself for a wonderful financial year in 2017. We walked towards seated Abigail. I felt his gaze on my wide hips and round butt that pulled my dress higher at the back. I introduced him to my colleague then we sat down. He was polite, listened to our techie conversation and asked questions. Then confessed he was a bitcoin multimillionaire himself. He bought us more chicken and ice cream. Watching him fare excellently well in a conversation with semi-militant feminist, Abigail about women and tech in Nigeria made me happy. Once in a while he held my left hand and gave me brief loving looks. It reminded me of our first conversation where I realised I could fall in love with this man. Sitting back I spelt the firm’s blog address while he typed it into his browser. We had met at a mutual friend’s fashion store launch party. He’s an start-up investor, software analyst, YouTuber and retired investment banker. He is also a darling for driving all the way to Ojo to look for me. Odd, I was wearing the dress I purchased that day. We silently stared at each other when Abigail asked how we’d communicate till I got my phone back. I wanted to kiss his soft brown lips. The silence was broken when I started arguing I won’t take one of his offered iPhone. I mean we are still dating after all. My colleague stood up smiling. We all walked back to his polished wine Benz.