I admit this could have been a beautiful love story, one that I would have reveled in telling for a long time if it had not happened the way it did!
So here is how it happened.
I met her online a week ago, she told me her name, Valentina and I kind of joked how it reminded me of Valentine. We chatted each day and started growing fond of each other. We made plans to see and chose the 14th of February, what day could be better.
She told me she lives in faraway Port Harcourt, ‘that is no problem my dear’, I said, ‘as long as you are willing to make the journey, I am willing to make the arrangement’. Thank God for instant bank transfer, so I asked for her account details. Once I get the account details, I could do a transfer to her and she can purchase her ticket to Lagos. She told me not to worry, that she can handle that by herself.
Really? There must still be some good girls on this earth, especially with all the stories one hears of girl-scammers. So we made plans as we continued to chat each day and I felt like I have known her all my life in just six days of ‘boot camp‘ like chatting. She wouldn’t let up, ‘Honey, have you eaten?’, I would answer, ‘Yes dear, thanks for caring’. ‘Boo, what are you doing?’, and I will respond, ‘Just chatting with you?’. We exchanged almost all the lovey-dovey emoticons and chatting abbreviations like they were going out of fashion. In short, she was in my head, and my head was in it!
I asked her to come in a day earlier, so that we can meet up and get more acquainted physically. She told me that Valentine eve being a Monday; she has to show up at work since she will be taking Tuesday and possibly Wednesday off. It sounded plausible to me, and I bought it. So she will take the first flight on Tuesday morning and by noon at most, we should be in each other’s arm, can’t wait!
I had made plans to pick her up at the airport and drop her off at the hotel I had reserved for our “unforgettable” meeting. So an hour before her planned departure for Lagos, she tells me her flight has been postponed. Postponed? ‘Darling, just for 4 hours, you know how it is on a day like this. The airline had a backlog from yesterday, but we should be off hopefully by 11am dear’. As I process her response, I couldn’t help but tell myself, ‘its ok, she will be in your arms soon, and at least the night is still there’.
‘Darl, guess what, we just landed and I quickly dashed to see my cousin, I know once I set my eyes on you, I won’t be able to do anything else or go anywhere. So here is what am proposing, let me spend some time with her, and I just come meet up with you for diner and from there am yours all the way!’. What was I supposed to say to this? First I did not pay for her ticket down to Lagos, secondly I didn’t want her to think I don’t want her to see her cousin and certainly I don’t want her feeling my only motive is …. you know what!
I had to agree with her, it seemed the logical thing to do. After all she is right, I won’t let her out of my sight once I see her. I have planned the day down to the last second. So I told her we should meet at ‘La Mango’. ‘Do you know the place?’ she responded, ‘Don’t worry honey, I’ll find it, my cousin knows Lagos very well’. That settled, we agreed to meet at 7pm.
I made my way to ‘La Mango’, was seated by 6:45pm, my heart was pumping with excitement. This is it, finally I am going to meet her. I sat strategically where I could see everyone as they come in. At 6:53pm, there she was, strolling in, she didn’t look dressed for diner, but then, I shrugged it off, probably she is one of those girls that don’t give a damn about formal dressing. We hugged and I took some seconds to take in her perfume, exotic, charming, uhmmm that should compensate for the dress down.
As I sat her down she said to me, ‘Nice watch you have there, can I see it?’. I quickly pulled it off and gave it to her. She puts it on her wrist as if to test for fitness. I quickly chipped in, ‘It fits you, though it’s not a female watch’. “Really?’, she said. ‘Anyway, let me enjoy it while we are here’. I didn’t see any harm in that, so I let her keep it on as we made our order starting with a bottle of red wine.
‘Honey, can I use your phone to make a call, just to tell my cousin am with you now’, ‘Sure!’. I gave her my iPhone 7 bought 2 weeks ago. She dialed a number and say hello twice, then she gestured at me, raised the phone, pointed at her ear and pointed at the exit. I understood this to mean, she was having difficulty hearing and wanted to go out where the noise level is lower, though I didn’t see anything wrong with the noise level, I just received a call a couple of minutes before she arrived.
Nevertheless, I waived it, what could go wrong, her bag is there on the table and she just arrived. As she made for the exit, and she kept on going towards the road, next thing I noticed was my babe climbing onto a waiting bike, I got up to run after her, but was rather late. I dashed back to pick her bag, as I rummaged through it, I discovered that it was not just a bag, but a cheap one, packed full with folded newspapers.
Suddenly, it dawned on me that the girl from south-south has just pulled a fast one on me. What am I going to tell Akin about the watch I borrowed from him or the seller of the iPhone 7 that I only made a down payment for? Fortunately I still have my wallet with me as the waiter ran after me to pay for the wine. Valentina, what kind of name is that? I asked myself, not common.