Gboyega videocalls me every Thursday evening. It’s Friday for him and he wants to make sure I haven’t wrecked his car, and it’s fit for use by me the next day, which is not really saturday for me.
He insists that it is better that way, so that if he notices something wrong, I can fix it during the day (on my friday) and have it ready for use by Saturday.
It’s a funny sight, if you walked in on me during these calls; I’m opening bonnet and checking oil while holding the phone for him to be able to see.I’m revving engine and saying nothing so that Gboyega is convinced.
It was after one of such calls that I decides to tick something off my bucketlist- eat ice cream on the bridge at midnight. The bridge is really close to my house and I love the subtle warmth the bouncing lights give off. It’s not really a significant thing to put on a bucketlist but it earned its place cause it felt like something I would enjoy doing. And I would not normally go driving in the night.
I didn’t have any ice cream at home so I drove to the closest 24h fastfood diner. At this point, I cannot be exercising exquisite taste.
Unfortunately the closest 24h place was also housing a 24h cinema. This caused an undesirable wait in line to get attended to.
I was patiently waiting my turn when he walked past me, the “rude” young man from some Saturdays ago. He walked right past me and didn’t recognise me. I thought, make up must really change me. Or could he still be smarting from our last encounter?
I chuckled at the thought, fickle humans. As a habit, I whip out my phone to entertain me while I waited for my tally to be called.
“Hello” I recognised the voice before I looked up. Which was a good thing because it gave me the upper hand to decide which way our encounter would go, and that is get answers to the why’s of our last meeting.
I pretend to not recognise him and respond to his hello with a poker face.
“We met a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know if you remember it was my grandparents 50th anniversary ”
“We did?” I squint my eyes, feigning a failed recollection.
“It’s ok if you can’t remember me. I looked a lot different. Heck! You did too. I swear I recognised your anklet before your face.”
Now that was funny. So I laughed.
“I’m sorry I don’t quite remember” I continue with my script after I had laughed. I want to embarass him and ask details of our meeting, so he can deduce how badly he behaved.
He must have heard my thoughts because he quickly answered “it wasn’t the most conventional of meetings”. I feign an encouraging ‘Ah!’ Gesturing for more details, when they announced his tally. He offered it to me.
“That’s very kind of you”, I wasn’t about to turn down his attempt at penance, but firstly I’m a nice person, so I offer to combine our orders. His delight shows. “That will be great. I want a chicken wrap”
“Please can I have a tub of pistachio and one jumbo chicken wrap” I place our order and turn to meet his widened eyes.
“What’s wrong with your eyes?”
“I didn’t want a jumbo wrap”
I roll my eyes in reflex. What is he on about now? What normal guy eats normal sized wraps???
“You didn’t? “I ask for clarification. He shook his head in negative. “And you just stood there, wathing me place a wrong order and didn’t care to say anything?”
This guy is just trouble, I decide. Is trying to shirk away from paying for his food under the guise of I didn’t order what he wanted..
“I’m sorry, I thought maybe you wanted to share your meal with me. I mean you also asked for a tub of ice cream”
“What are you talking about? “I’m honestly confused at this point.
Assumption is really the mother of all fokops. It’s too late change the order by the time I can get the attention of our attendant.
“The wrap is already baked, ma” she tells me in an irritatingly tiny voice.
“Are you going to see a movie? We can still share the wrap if you don’t mind. I would love to have some ice cream too.”
He is trying to salvage the awkward silence between us.
Unfortunately, I death-stared him instead. He had his eyes on my ice cream and I am very protective of stuff like that. Stuff I love.
He shrinks a little. It was a beautiful sight. I tried to compare his current shrunken self to the 6 ft 4″ man that was walking in and out of conversations like a boss. It was a stretch relating them.
Then I remembered that I hadn’t solved the mystery of our first meeting, so I waved the white flag. “Oh well, You can share my ice cream, since you asked so nicely.”