The stranger stood respectfully before them, awaiting their response.
Merely looking at him, one would know that he was a cultured being. His crisp, snow white cotton shirt under a checkered grey tweed jacket, a heavy looking gold Rolex wristwatch peeking out from under a clean cuff as he raised his hands slightly, all gave him a sartorial looks. “May I,” he drawled again, looking directly at Adele.
“Oh yeah,” Blossom said in a voice she could barely recognise as hers, searching Adele’s face.
Adele merely nodded. She didn’t even look up. The two friends were sitting opposite each other, the stranger took a seat between them. “I’m Bolan,” he said by way of introduction, pulling out a very slim gold card holder from his breast pocket. He looked into their eyes, one after the other, as he offered them his call card.
“Can I meet you?” he asked. “I’m Blossom,” she said with a smile, taking his outstretched palm. “Adele,” Adele said with a smile. That smile did something to Bolan. “Can I also have your call cards?” He asked politely.
They both put his call card in their bags and gave him theirs. “I’ve seen you ladies here a couple of times. I do come here often. I love the ambience here. I usually have meetings with my business partners here. I saw you ladies walk in here and I told myself I must meet you today,” he said, glancing briefly at Blossom and resting his eyes on Adele. He spoke so well with an accent that suggested he didn’t grow up in this clime. It wasn’t that kinda forced ‘borrow pose’ accent of today’s wannabes. He had their attention!
Blossom and Adele looked at each other and laughed. It was their evening out and they were bent on enjoying it.
They never craved for company anytime they did their ‘two is a company’ outing, but today, they seemed, without talking out, to want this company. They relaxed. ‘After struggling with your inner beings, you seem to have accepted my company,” he said with a smile that took off years from his looks. “Why…how…why did you say that?” Blossom stuttered.
“I did a little of psychology. So, I understand ‘yooman’ (human) beings. I can read you like mih-ra (mirror).
This is the first time I’m coming close to you but from my observation, you do come here to pour your hearts out,” he said, looking at them like a doctor would look at a frightened patient whose test result showed minor ailment.
The two ladies breathed deeply. If their minds could so easily be deciphered by a stranger, then, they had been wearing their hearts on their sleeves. “So why are you here?” Adele asked, businesslike.
“Let’s just say, I want to meet these beautiful mystery ladies who come here to eat, share a bottle of wine and talk discreetly… although, you aren’t so discreet today. I observed that you laughed so much and that gave me the boldness to talk to you as you seem to be in a better mood today,” he said. Adele sighed deeply and asked, “So what do you want?”
“Are you not having a bite? Let’s order food and another bottle of wine. I’ve ordered my food though…unless you don’t want me to share the table with you,” Bolan said, businesslike also.
“Oh, you can stay. We’ve ordered our food…” Blossom began with a smile, and as if on cue, the waiter appeared, bearing their food. Bolan ordered another bottle of wine and the waiter whispered something into his ears. “Oh…sure…sure, bring my food here,” he told the waiter. Few minutes later, the waiter returned with a bottle of wine and Bolan’s meal. They’d all ordered same food -seafoods. Now, that cracked them up and they laughed.
That laughter loosened them up. “I’m a sucker for seafoods. I love them a lot,” Bolan said.
“We can actually be lured into a kidnapper’s den with seafoods,” Blossom said amid laughter. They ate silently and after their meals, they talked about the state of the economy, President Mohammed Buhari’s ill health and medical trip to the UK, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s ‘coordinating’ powers in the absence of his principal and other social issues.
They had a little argument over the 82 Sambisa Forest returnees and by that time, Adele was becoming restless.
She had to be home before 10.30pm and it was past 9pm. She’d been communicating with Blossom with her eyes. The two friends were so close that they could hold lengthy conversation with their eyes, without uttering a word. Suddenly, she picked her wallet from inside her bag, stood up and excused herself: she wanted to use the convenience. When she returned, she took her seat and joined in the small talks for a few more minutes before announcing her desire to leave
. “Oh dear. It’s been a lovely evening with you ladies.
The selfish me wouldn’t want it to end because you’re both great company. But you’re right, it’s getting pretty late for responsible ladies like you. I hope I didn’t bore you and will be glad if we can do this again very soon. I really want to see you again,” Bolan said.
“You’re a good company too,” Blossom said.
Adele mumbled something. Her mind was already home. She’d got some official issues to think through this night and she wasn’t sure what mood she would meet her hubby. Going home always scared her. She had woken up at 4.30am, prepared breakfast and dinner for Jay. All he would need to do was bring dinner out from the refrigerator and toss it in the microwave for some minutes.
Since she did all that in the morning, she shouldn’t really be worried, but not when living with a Jay as husband. When she woke him up and told him that his breakfast was in the food warmer and dinner in the fridge, he had heckled her that early in the morning.
She prayed that he would be in a good mood this night.
“Let me settle the bill, then I’d walk you ladies to your car,” Bolan said. “Oh no,” Adele said. “What’s the problem?” Bolan and Blossom chorused, looking at her.
“I mean, I’ve paid, let’s go,” she told them. Bolan stared at her. Blossom nodded her head proudly. So like her friend! They all pay their bills! It was Adele’s turn to foot the bill.
They usually took turns to pay during their hangouts. “When did you pay?” Bolan asked, he was sure it was a joke. “I did when I went to use the convenience.
Come on, it’s not strange. We had ordered our food and drinks before you joined us. So, you are our guest and we have to take care of you,” Adele said with a smile.
That really took the wind off Bolan. He shook his head as he looked from one friend to the other. “How much did you pay? I have to refund it.
It’s most ungentlemanly to allow you pay for our meals,” he said, pulling out an alligator wallet. “I haven’t read it anywhere where it’s written that the man must pick the bills all the time,” Adele said, adding, “Or have you sis?” Blossom smiled and responded with a wink, “I haven’t too.”
Bolan stared at them, amused. The short time he’d spent with them seemed like eternity. He felt he’d known them for years, especially Adele, who seemed to be given to too few words.
He sighed. “We must do this again very soon and let it be on record that I’ll be the host,” he said, seriously.
The two friends laughed. They felt good. Women shouldn’t be receiving all the time, they should also give. “Have we agreed on that?” Bolan asked in a school headmaster’s tone.
“Yes sir,” the two friends chorused and burst into laughter. They were really good company. He felt happy.
He had found the joy that had eluded him for years. He would sleep peacefully this night. “Will you graciously grant me the honour of walking you to your car?”
He asked them. “No problem,” Blossom said while Adele merely nodded. “Thank you my ladies,” he said. Adele was already moving towards the door. In her heart, she prayed that Jay would be in a good mood. Blossom’s SUV was parked close to the entrance.
They bid her bye and as she drove out, they moved to Adele’s SUV, which was parked at one end of the parking lot. She walked briskly, Bolan in tow. He felt the urgency in her stride. “Any problem dear? You seem to be in a hurry,” he said gently.
“Yeah, my hubby is home and waiting,” she said, not breaking her stride. Coincidentally, their cars were parked beside each other. As she was about to close the door of her SUV, he held on to it.
She looked up at him. “I have a confession. I come here to see you,” he said. “How?
What do you mean?” Adele asked impatiently. “I mean that since I saw you here about seven months ago with your friend, I have been coming here and using here as my meeting venue with my clients and praying that I’d see you again.
My prayers have been answered a number of times for I have seen you here. I won’t tell you the crazy things I have done just to know more about you. But I’ll tell you what happened last night. I saw you in my dream. You were not happy.
You were crying and I wanted to help but there was an obstacle. I can’t say what the obstacle was in the dream, but I woke up with the urgency that I must see you today or I lose you.
I know you come here only on Fridays and I know that today is not a Friday, but my spirit told me that you’ll be here today. I’m happy that I obeyed my spirit man and came here today,” he said earnestly.
Adele stared at him. Did this man possess some psychic powers? Of course, she usually hung out with Blossom on Fridays.
Today was the first time they would come here on a Thursday. Anyway, she had to get home.
“I’m sorry, I have to go home now,” she said urgently, looking into his face. “Sure darling. I’m happy that I’ve spoken to you. What time can I call you please?
I really want to talk to you,” he said. “Call me during office hours,” she said, turning on the engine of her car. Bolan offered his hand for a handshake.
As Adele took it, he raised her palm daintily and brushed his lips against it and looked into her eyes…
Did Adele go home?
Let’s find out on Sunday
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