The International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes Stories
Just Another Love Story
So it was 14th February once again, and I woke up with this odd feeling that something strange was going to happen. I was really hesitant getting up from my bed. I did not want to wallow in the shame that Valentine’s Day always showered on we single girls in the HR department of that oil company where I work.
I wondered if it would be a fine idea calling in sick, but every one would think I was on the verge of maximising my day and embezzling office time into my personal runs. I picked up my Blackberry and as expected, all my BBM updates were display pictures of my contacts and their boos or husbands. How pathetic! The funniest of them all was a trending picture of mannequins and ladies dressed in red and white.
That’s when I remembered the handbag I carried all week was red. There was no way I was carrying the same handbag, so they don’t go thinking at work that Tope is desperate for valentine boyfriend.
My name is Tope. I am twenty eight. (I am actually twenty nine but that is not until three weeks.) I used to have a boo too. He was also a staff at my place of work, but he was a H.O.D. He broke up with me on February 3. He said his spirit suddenly disagrees with mine. On February 5, I found out his spirit had hurriedly begun to agree with the spirit of another girl who happened to also be a staff in the IT department of my place of work.
I was really not expecting any gifts or cakes from anyone. The only plan I had was to hangout with my best friend after office hours at The Palms. We were both boo-less and we decided we would not just sit back and brood over our lack of val. It was 7.37am. There was really not enough time to eat the slightest breakfast. I rushed to out of the house without saying bye to my mother. My dad was probably already at work. The only time everyone got to see him was at nights, and at weekends. His office is just right beside our Study, in our house. How I wish my life was that simple too. Anyway, he had earned it. He is a former Vice chancellor of a University in Nigeria. Now, he is more of a motivational speaker, an online academic writer, a Pastor inter-alia.
I was so glad that I had passed Chevron roundabout. It would take just about five minutes to get to my office, although I was actually going to be ten minutes late. I was listening to Cool FM on the radio and was still immersing my heart in the beautiful music of Banky W’s “Don’t break what’s left of my heart” when I heard the big GBAM on the rear of my Honda. Now, I was going to be more than ten minutes late, inclusive of the time I would spend screaming at the unfortunate person that caused this ridiculous havoc. I climbed out of my car, without my shoes, and without even looking at who had hit me, I was already way mad! I was saving money to travel to the UK this summer! I had just paid for my new flat that I was planning on moving into sometime this month. My parents were already throwing me out with the continuous conversation and retorts about marriage and finding a man. I did not need this right now.
I was so frustrated I started shedding tears. But he came and wiped my tears away (big smile.) *LOL* He was tall. For starters, that is a 100% turn-on for me. The way he stepped out of his Camry, played in slow motion mode, before my eyes, like a Nigerian movie. If this was a white movie, the breeze would have blown his nice brown hair as he shook his head, but this Naija boy was a bald one. All the insults I had reserved for the fellow, now turned to a series of “It’s okay, I know it was a mistake.” I was even shocked at myself because I know I am not the nicest person in the world. He insisted on getting my car fixed and asked if he could drive behind me to work, and then call his mechanic to come over and take a look at the car. After a long battle of asking him not to bother, and him insisting stubbornly, he asked for my name and number, and a few other things about me. His was an Engineer with Chevron, and his name was a nice one too—Tobi Thompson.
I got to work, and thank God, my rather uptight 45 year old boss, Miss Okafor, was not on seat. I was still gisting my colleague about what happened that morning when I noticed that cakes and flowers had started coming in. We were eight staff in my department, minus our boss lady. Four tables had cakes and/or flowers. Even the NYSC girl, Fisayo, had a huge cake on her desk. It took the grace of God not to send that girl on multiple errands, out of the abundance of my beef for her.
By midday, I called my best friend to know if she was still up for our girls night out when she told me in euphemistic terms, that she had ditched me for a date with one of her toasters who had valled her. Now I know why the Bible says 'put not your trust in man, for man shall fail ye!' Another lonely night I would have on the 14th of February.
On my way back from Lunch, I thought I saw someone that looked like my ex boo, walking out of our office building. I looked further and tried to see the person he was with. I was correct. He had come to take out Valerie, the girl in the IT Department, for Valentine’s Day lunch. That could have been me, if he had not broken my heart. This is the disadvantage of dating a guy that works in your office. I felt depressed, to be honest. I was twenty eight, man-less, had expenses here and there, and the gym seemed not to be burning my body fat. My New Year resolution was to be a size 8, but my clothes were still a 12. What else could be more frustrating to a girl?
I was stepping back into my department, trying not to cry again, when my colleague yelled my name. Yeah right. There was a cake on her desk, and a parcel. She wanted to rub it in my face, that even if I was prettier and tusher than her on all grounds, she had been valled and not me. I was subconsciously preparing my indifferent response to her gist, when she started saying “Tope, they delivered this for you, but you were not here.”
“Me?” I was confused.
I don’t have any present stalker that was benevolent or serious enough to send me a gift or a cake. I opened the cover of the cake carton. It was beautiful actually and it read “Please smile always, pretty Tope.” The card also read the same words but it was handwritten. I did not know who could have sent me these. I wished the delivery man had waited for me so I could find out.
By close of work, someone called me. It was Tobi. He was calling to tell me that the mechanic had fixed my car and was bringing it back to my office premises. When I got downstairs, after work, carrying my now half cake, and the parcel, I saw Tobi waiting by the car.
“So do I get some of your cake at least, to know I’m forgiven for bashing your car?” He said, smiling.
I laughed and nodded. “Of course you can! I still don’t even know who sent me this.”
He took the bit I cut for him, gave me a hug, and drove off. I drove back home, and told my best friend over the phone everything that had happened that day. We laughed over it, and decided to watch out who this new mysterious lover of mine was. Maybe it was my ex, trying to apologize. No way. I saw him at work and he said nothing. And then, a text message delivered on my phone.
“Happy Valentine’s day, Tope. You have an awesome smile, and I wanted to make sure you smiled today. I’m sorry for hitting your car once again. Thanks for the cake too - and you are welcome.”
It was from Tobi!
…and that’s how our love story began…
© Fisayo Talabi February 2013
fisayotalabi at yahoo.com
An African Bride
• Fisayo Talabi