King drove off wondering what to make of what Alewa just told him that night. She had been at a club because he told her to get out more and she almost got into trouble. When he told her that, he had not envisioned her going off on her own. He wanted her to see herself hanging out with him more; he had said it out of his own selfish interests.
Alewa is a very beautiful woman and numerous men will see her beauty and would want to take advantage of her naiveté. He wondered not for the first time how a beautiful woman in her early twenties could be so sheltered and inexperienced. He wondered what could have happened to her in her young life to make her so introverted. She had not been forthcoming all those times they’ve spent together but whatever it is, King had a feeling it was very damaging.
Maybe she’ll open up to me when I tell her my story. I could only hope, he thought.
“I can’t believe you left me to fend for myself the other night.” Alewa admonished Sandra on Monday morning.
Sandra laughed. “Why? You’re a big girl now. Did you expect me to babysit you? After all, we all went there to enjoy ourselves.”
“Yes, but I went along because I knew you’ll be there. I didn’t imagine you’ll go off like that with a total stranger.”
Sandra looked at her askance. “Are you for real? It’s a club and that’s what you do in a club. You go dance, perchance you meet a guy and then you go on to have a different kind of fun.” She giggled.
Alewa didn’t find it funny but she had no one to blame but herself. She could at least have invited King along, but knowing him, he would have refused and convinced her not to go too. She had wanted the experience and she had it; but it was not something she would likely repeat anytime soon.
Thinking about King made her remember what happened during the weekend. She had disappointed him when she refused to go to church with him on Sunday. She tried to explain to him how she felt but she didn’t think he really understood her. How can she believe in a God that allows bad things happen to innocent people? She couldn’t.
He had called her that morning and they planned to meet in the evening. She was seriously considering telling him everything about her. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll help him understand her better.
All through the day, Alewa was both excited and terrified of her meeting with King that evening.
She was caught between the decision to tell him of her past or not saying anything at all. She didn’t want to lose him but at the same time she wanted to be completely honest with him. Honesty will come at a cost though, and since he’s like the only friend she has in this world, Alewa didn’t want to jeopardize that friendship by telling him of her dark and shameful past or revealing how bleak her present and future is.
She took a quick shower when she got back from work and chose an aqua dress with white flowers strewn all over it. She wanted to look good for King. She was still trying to sort out her feelings for him; all she was sure of was she didn’t want to lose him. It’s not like she had a yardstick for measuring what she was feeling, she had never had any relationship before so she can’t use any previous one as a comparison.
Alewa applied her make-up artfully, slipped into a pair of three inch heeled white sandals and paired it with a white purse. She looked at herself critically in the mirror and was passably satisfied with what she saw. In truth, she looked gorgeous.
They had planned to meet at a restaurant that is some distance from her home so Alewa left much earlier so as to make it there on time regardless of the traffic. Traffic was not as bad as she thought it would be so she made good time. She parked at a corner that would make it easy for her to leave if she had to escape quickly and got out of her car.
Alewa checked the time and saw she arrived ten minutes earlier than their scheduled time. She decided to go into the restaurant anyway and order a drink while she waited for King. The waiter directed her to a window seat that still afforded her a view of the door and she ordered a bottle of wine and settled down to wait for King.
Alewa was going through her social media when she heard a discreet cough beside her. She looked up into the face of a total stranger. The guy standing beside her was very tall and very dark and so not King.
“Can I help you?” she asked
“I couldn’t help admiring your beauty as you walked in and I thanked my stars when I saw you were alone. May I join you please?”
“Actually, I’m not alone. I’m waiting for a friend.”
The guy ignored her and sat down anyway. “That’s what they all say. Why can’t women just be truthful? Sweetheart, there’s no shame in dining alone.”
“So why are you enforcing your company on me?”
“Like I said you’re very beautiful and I can’t bear to see you dine alone.” He leered
“Mr, you’re contradicting yourself. One moment, you said it’s not a crime to dine alone and with your next breath you said you can’t bear to see me dine alone. Make up your mind please.”
“What’s your name?”
Alewa just smiled. She was not about to allow this guy spoil her mood tonight. “Like I said, I’m waiting for a friend.”
The waiter brought her wine and opened it for her. Just then, King strolled into the restaurant. Alewa was so relieved to see him, she jumped up suddenly and that startled the guy sitting opposite her.
“Wha….?” He started, turning back to see what caught her attention. By then, King was beside her. He looked from the confused guy to Alewa’s smiling face, wondering what was going on.
“My date is here.” Alewa told the dumbfounded guy
He quickly scrambled to his feet and hurried away. Alewa laughed.
“What was that all about?” King asked
“Oh don’t mind the guy. He was just being a nuisance.”
Alewa sat down and King joined her. It was then she looked at him properly and his beauty took her breath away. He smiled and her hear skipped ten beats. What is going on here? She wondered.
“I bet he couldn’t resist the beauty he saw.”
Alewa just rolled her eyes.
“I’m serious. You look really beautiful tonight. That color suits you well.”
“Thank you.” She smiled shyly. “You look handsome too.”