Doppel-not-gänger 

Bessie of “Besseats” was very delighted to see me. I could tell from the tight embrace in which she held me in when I walked by to say “hey”. She even offered me a seat close to her stand.

Showing up after 4pm at a party is as close to providence as you can align your plans. All the plenty talks and boring speeches have already passed and it’s most likely time to entertain the guests, popularly referred to as Item 7.

Some 5-star events (this is a thing, trust me) have about 3 different caterers working different stages of the day.

I don’t know why I feel the strong need to reiterate that 5-star events are actually a thing. A 5-star event can be characterised by :

  • Heavy social media publicity/ presence.
  • Dessert stand.
  • Champagne fountain.
  • Celebrity presence, as a performer or guest.
  • Steaming hot food, whenever.

(I’m sure you are now nodding in agreement.)

Personally, as long as you have food and drink, I can’t be bothered about the others, you are still 5-star to me.

I was on my second bite into the loveliest apple tart Bessie had served me when he appeared in front of me.

I look up to see if it was someone I know or had met before, stopping to say hello.

He had a smirk on his face. Obviously he knew who I was, but he didn’t look familiar at all to me.

“I thought you weren’t going to make it” he said. Cool, I cursed inside, he knows me from somewhere. I half smile and attempt to riddle him for clues as to where/when we met. “Why would you think that?” I ask.

He throws back his head in question, then pulls up the seat where Bessie had been sitting without asking. The manners on this young man. “That seat is taken,  I hope you won’t be sitting for too long” I say as sweetly as I can muster. Bessie is making sure I get served, it’s only right that I save her seat.

He looks at me as in disbelief.

I realise now how rude  that may have sounded, but in my defence, he is the one sitting without asking if he could.

“You ignored my message inviting you here” he accused. I couldn’t make if he was asking a question or telling me.

My mind did a quick run through of my recent conversations, and I was sure at breakfast I’d painstakingly responded to whatever communication I’d received in the past week.

What am I even doing! I don’t know this fellow! I heard about this wedding at work. I chew up the last of my tart, ready to fix this apparent mix up.

“What message are you talking about?” My sweetest smile displayed, damage control for all my previous offs.

“The one you read and ignored obviously.”

I rolled my eyes, I couldn’t help it. He probably has a thing for 21 questions and I am not keen right now. I didn’t dress up for this.

While contemplating how best to ask if we have met before, he compliments me “you look really great with make-up, I almost didn’t recognise you.”

Here’s the thing – I’m usually bare-faced unless there is an occasion to play dress up (like every other saturday).  So there is a chance I have met this person but just don’t recognise him.  Also fat chance I gave him a phony number, explains all the unresponded messages.

I actually look at him, this time shuffling through my face recognition files to match his face with another time and place past.

It didn’t work.

However, I noticed other details, the uncle was fine like new mint. And family at this event because he was wearing the family asoebi.

Bessie distracts me a little with a platter of snails and moimoi. Lovely Bessie, she brings another one for my ‘guest’, whose family has paid for her service.

He ignores the plate like it’s invisible. IS HE SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!

It makes me refrain from eating. The earlier I get him far away from me, the quicker I can continue to enjoy this party.

I throw tact and convention out the window and ask “have we met before? You seem to think we have.”

He looks a little surprised, and then chuckles. I think I heard him swear under his breath as he gets up. He is smiling and shaking his head as he walks off.

I want to call Bessie and ask her what just happened,  because I don’t understand, but Bessie’s stand was popping. People were flocking around her for desserts.

I take a bite of my moimoi and decide that everything that just happened was worth it.

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