I should have stayed at home that Saturday o. I really should have stayed at home. But no, I just had to eat Shoprite bread. It was a silly craving but I indulged it all the same. You won’t blame me. I had a car and fuel in it. Maybe if I had to take a cab under the hot Abuja sun, I would have changed my mind. But I had a car so I quickly changed into shorts and a tanktop, threw on my brother’s long sleeved shirt and put on flip-flops. Shebi it was just to go and buy bread? I did not need too much serenre. I tried to comb my stubborn hair into place and when it refused to cooperate, I wrapped it in a scarf. I looked into the mirror and decided I did not look “too” ridiculous. I did not bother with makeup. I simply picked my keys and drove off.
It took me about 20 minutes to get to Shoprite from my place at Lokogoma. While I drove, I contemplated buying cereal and Nutella to go with the bread then decided I’d do a little shopping instead of buying just bread. I got to Shoprite, parked my car and went to the ATM machine to withdraw extra cash. That did not take long and within a few minutes, my wallet was N20,000 heavier and I was in the mall looking for my Bread, Frosties, Nutella and a few other chop-chops.
I had gotten everything I wanted. It was the mumu Danish cookies that put me in trouble. I was about making my way to the counter to pay when I saw them. And by them, I mean the Danish cookies and the 6ft of sizzling hotness that was standing beside them. I’m not sure anymore what I saw first, the cookies or the hunk of a man but regardless, I saw both. Never in my entire life had I beheld anything that gorgeous. He could have been Adonis for all I knew- tall, dark, well built. His muscles strained against the tightly fitted T-shirt he wore, his lips were perfectly shaped cute little things and when they parted in a smile, I noticed the dimples. I was so stunned, I actually stopped and stared. That has never happened to me before. Usually I see a fine boy and I think “oh he’s cute” and I pass by and probably flirt a little but I have NEVER stopped in my tracks for a guy. NEVER EVER.
My palms grew sweaty, my knees were wobbly and my mouth was dry. I pulled myself together and decided that I wanted the Danish cookies; and well, the man standing next to them too. I walked towards him, sorry them, steadying my breath and willing my brain to unfreeze. What happened next had to be fate. It just had to be. Because the very cookies I reached out to pick were the same ones he reached out for and I felt his fingers rest on my hand. I forced myself to breathe then turned to him and gave my best smile (I didn’t trust myself to speak, silence was safety.)
Then came the voice, which I’m certain was responsible for what happened next.
If you have watched Bruce Almighty, then you would understand. His voice sounded like the voice of God in the movie.
“If you are a fashion designer, I’d love to have something from your collection. You look interesting”
The voice, plus the confusion from his comment and next thing I knew, my handbag and every other thing I was holding in my left hand slipped to the ground. My senses came back to life and I quickly bent down to pick them up, very embarrassed. My bag had emptied itself of its contents and I heard some girl snicker behind me. She had probably been watching me fool myself.
Oh well, Mr. Hottie bent down too and helped me pick the items up. He held my eyes for a few minutes apologizing as though it was his fault. When he had replaced the items in my bag and gathered the other nylon bags together, he picked the Danish cookies and dropped it in my nylon bag. I smiled and said “thank you.”
“Are you done shopping or is there anything else you’d like to pick up?”
“Nothing, I’m done.”
He smiled and dug out his phone from the pocket of his shorts.
“Would you mind giving me your number? I’d like to buy you dinner. Make up for this little accident?”
I wanted to faint. Here was this gorgeous young man, holding my bags like a perfect gentleman and asking to take me out to dinner. It appeared too good to be true but I did not bother rationalizing anything out. I typed in my number and gave his phone back to him.
“My name is Bimpe.”
He smiled and said “I’m Tobi.”
He pocketed the phone and we walked to the counter; me in front, him behind. We got there and he placed the bags on the table top, still holding on to my handbag. The cashier totaled the prices together and said everything was eight thousand naira. I started saying we weren’t together so she could separate the prices but Tobi just smiled, brought out his wallet and paid. I felt dizzy. I was already making mental notes of how I would call my sister and tell her I had fallen in love with the perfect guy.
Tobi held on to the bags and walked me to my car. He dropped everything in the back seat and smiled at me. I thought my heart would burst. Then he said “see you at 7” and with a smile and quick hug, he was gone.
I started my car and drove off without bothering to see where he went; if he took a cab or if he went in a car. I quickly dialed my sister’s number and put the phone on speaker. She picked up after two rings.
“Lara, you won’t believe what just happened to me!”
Lara laughed and before she could ask what, I spilled my hot gist.
Rather than be excited for me, Lara was quiet, too quiet.
“Did you hear what I just said?”
“Yeah, I did but it doesn’t sit well with me. There’s just something that doesn’t add up.”
“Add up how? Wo, I’m driving. Let me talk to you when I get home.”
I hung up immediately and slipped into a sour mood. Lara sef. She liked to over-think things. I would go to dinner with him but I would make sure it wasn’t in some obscure place and I would be very careful. He could neither be a ritualist nor a kidnapper. He looked too fresh for that.
It turned out that Lara’s fears were not unfounded. I got home, emptied my car, and was about settling in to watch some episodes of Vampire diaries when I remembered I was to call her back. I checked my bag for my wallet so I could buy airtime but I could not find it. At first it was a careless, distracted search and in minutes, it became a frantic, worried search. Tobi could not have stolen my wallet na. No way! Fine boys do not steal. I emptied the bag, ransacked my car, walked the length and breadth of my compound muttering like a madwoman, but still no wallet.
The fine boy at Shoprite stole my heart and my wallet too….
And in case you’re wondering, no, he did not call me for dinner 😦