“Lovely hair”, a voice says behind her as she makes her way with the rest of the crowd outside the church. It is her first time here so she was startled that anyone would know her. She turns on reflex. It is a total stranger; but on a second thought again, Ariyike thought he sort of looks familiar.
“Thank you”, she says and walks on.
Coincidentally, her car is parked beside the stranger’s and they meet again at the car park. Then, she recognizes him. The guy with the sleek Nissan who splashed rain water on her the other day. She looks at him again and catches him looking at her. He smiles. She doesn’t. Ariyike gets into her car and drives away.
“This is really nice”, Ariyike says as she looks into the mirror, admiring the new chandelier earrings.
It is”, it suits your complexion too”, the Sales’ girl says.
“I’ll take it”, she says and the Sale’s girl adds the earrings to other items in Ariyike’s shopping bag. She pays for the bag and leaves.
With her bouncy hair, fitted jeans three-quarters, over-sized top with one shoulder falling off, and over-sized sun-glasses, Ariyike looks effortlessly dashing. She is also particularly excited to get lovely fashion pieces from the shop.
“If I see you again, it’ll only be too soon”.
“Are you stalking me?” she asks. This time, she isn’t wearing her tough and defensive look at the same stranger from few weeks ago.
“The last time I saw you, I said to myself that if I see you again, it’ll only be too soon. I mean, what are the chances of bumping into you three times in a month already? It’s such a big city. Well, except we’re neighbours and we don’t even realize it”, he chats on.
She gives him that naughty eyes again.
He raises his hands as though backing off from those eyes. “I’m not even playing. I just want to get to know you”, he blurts out before she would get into her car and run away, again. “I know what you do on Saturdays, where you fellowship on Sundays. I’d love to know what the rest of your week is like”.
“Wow! Should I be scared? You seem to know a lot already?”
“Not enough”, he continues, taking advantage of the extra minute. “But enough to know I want to be with you”, he blurts out again.
Ariyike laughs. It’s obviously a sarcastic one but he thought it makes her prettier. To see her laugh in an afternoon conversation with him was more than he bargained for.
“You must be out of your mind”, she finally says as she opened her car, ignites the engine. “Birds marry birds!” is all she says.
Ariyike was one of the prettiest among her friends in University. Her skin glows without much maintenance. Her hair is long and dark. Her nails, long and hard. Almost like God’s beauty is perfected in her. Most of the guys say her shape is like the hour glass but Ariyike didn’t think much of guys. She never really has. She wanted to be a medical doctor so she focused and graduated with honours. Her friends and other course mates, graduated too and some bagged finances and boyfriends along with their degrees. Because Ariyike didn’t want to be distracted, she gave no time to idle talks from guys and she sort of grew into the attitude of snubbing men. But when she thought she would meet a deserving suitor, to her surprise, no man ever spoke such words to her. Even her family and friends have become fearful for her.
As she drives further away from the stranger, nothing else comes to mind but the face of the one whom she left behind. The only one who has touched a part of her that she’s struggled to ignore. It will be the first time, since Uni, that someone would utter such blatant words of desire to her. And although she doesn’t even know anything about him, she had been quick to jump to the conclusion that he is not her type. Then she scuffs.
“What’s my type anyway if I’ve never had options?” she asks herself.
Then suddenly she turns, though she couldn’t say why. Back to the spot where she left him.
To be continued …
If you missed the previous part, find it here