“Hello, good morning”, I suddenly heard someone say from behind. Damn! His voice was exceptionally smooth and spellbinding with just the right volume of deepness.
I tried quickly to put my face in order without touching it by making some weird expressions. When I felt I was good to go, I turned around and smiled. “Hello, good morning B…” Jeez! I had almost said ‘Bros Benz’, thanks to Tito who had started this Benz thingy, well I wasn’t entirely innocent because I had refused to find out his name. I heard Tito chortling, she knew what I had almost said. Silly girl.
“So how much of these Bean cakes do you want Sir?” I tried my best to sound silvery. This was officially the first time I was having a direct conversation with him. My mother had always been the one doing ‘question and answer’ with our customers. Meanwhile, it was almost 9am and she hadn’t arrived yet. Quite unusual of her.
“Five hundred dear, and please call me Tobenna”. He grinned. “Oh! Finally, thank goodness. I won’t have to bother again”, I said in my head. “Wow! Tobenna as in Jidenna. Awesome!” I thought again. Although my eyes were fixed on the bean cakes that I was packaging, I could somehow feel his gaze on me.
When I looked up and noticed he was still grinning, I asked if everything was alright. He giggled and said, “I didn’t get your name”.
“Well, I didn’t give it to you”. I chuckled. I couldn’t believe I had just said that.
“Oh, may I have it then?” He smiled. Damn! He looked so good, not your regular kind of good—a totally different kind of good. It was literally a crime for a person to look that good. His eyes were brown—champagne brown. They reminded me of the time I emerged the best student in Jamb and my father shocked us by popping champagne to celebrate my success. His skin was glorious as usual, the tone a delicious light brown.
“I’m Ife, Ifede,” I finally said. I was still wondering what was actually happening to me. Normal Ifede would not even look a guy in the face, let alone have this sort of conversation with him.
“No way!” I screamed in my head. He really wanted to know my name, more like have it. Oh boy! I don’t know if Rihanna ever got to accomplish her mission but I was, no doubts, already feeling like the ‘only girl in the world’.
“Here we go Tobenna”. I handed him a bag of bean cakes. “Thanks for the patronage, have a nice meal. Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas too dear, see you later”. He turned around and started heading towards his Benz, and then I discovered he had given me 1000 naira and didn’t wait for his change. I told my cousin Tito to carry on, and then I ran after him. I couldn’t help but stare at his physique, he had such athletic grace.
I was so engrossed in his body that I forgot I was actually crossing a road. “Hello, you forgot to…” No sooner had I finished my statement than I got knocked over by a motorcycle.
Damn! I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t get up, I just lay still on the ground with my eyes shut, I wasn’t hurt—well, probably. I heard screams, then footsteps followed. I also heard someone saying, “Ah, this Christmas, this Christmas, this Christmas. The devil is a liar o”. And then I almost smiled when I heard Tobenna shouting, “Ife! Ife! Ife!”
“Yes darling, come get your baby girl,” I said in my head, I was loving this now. And then someone lifted me. “Oh, that touch,” I said in my head again. “Wait! Something didn’t seem right”. I paused. I was really trying hard to stay unconscious, more like act as though I was but I just had to steal a peek at the person lifting me because something did not definitely seem right.
“Musa!” I screamed in my head. “No freaking way.” Musa the cobbler across the road was the one carrying me. Ok, I wanted to faint for real this time. I had almost decided to quit the drama and scream at Musa to let go of me when I heard Tobenna say, “Bring her, I need to get her to a hospital right away.” And then Tito whispered in my ear, “Not to worry drama Queen, you can go with Prince Charming to Disneyland, I’ll cover for you when your mother arrives.”
“Hahaha”. I cackled in my mind. “This crazy girl had better not blow my cover because everyone was already buying into it, especially Tobenna.”