Deke dailed the number as she alighted from the cab; he picked on the third ring.
“Evening sir, I am ‘Deke Makinde. Chief ‘Loleseungbogbo sent me.”
“Good. Where are you now?”
“Right outside Chevron Country Club sir.”
“Will meet you at the security post in a minute.”
Soon they were seated at the reception, he had called Sam, one of the kitchen staff to get her something to eat or drink. He watched her as she declined Sam’s offer.
“Pardon my bluntness, err Miss/Mrs Makinde?
“‘Deke. Do pardon my bluntness, but when the Chief mentioned he would be sending one of his staff to discuss the proposal, I assumed the person would be older. You only look all of 25.”
“Sir, I am certain that Chief is confident of my ability to handle this meeting. I believe he wouldn’t ask me to do this if he is in doubt of my capabilities.”
“I see you did not deny the age bit.”
“If I may sir, how old are you?”
He was shocked and mumbled through his answer. He looked at her and seeing that she continued to look unblinking at him said, “32″
“Well sir, you are not that much older than I am. I believe we can proceed now.”
“Yes of course” he responded.
An hour and a half later, they rose, bade each other good night and follow-up correspondences the next day. They walked out together and only then realised it had been raining.
“Are you mobile?” He asked
“Please ‘Deke, Mofe will do. Where are you headed? I might be of some assistance.”
“I am headed to Berger.” ‘Deke replies
“Good. Hop in then. I am headed to Ojodu.” He says as he moves to get the door for her.
“Oh thank you Mofe.”
They fell into a light conversation on the way: home, family, work, religious inclinations, schooling…so much so by the time he dropped her off at her doorstep, they both knew quite a bit about each other.
“Thank you Mofe”, ‘Deke said as she made to alight.
“Hold it”, said Mofe and came around to get the door for her. “I was brought up this way”, he said in response to the question in her smile.
“Well, thank you and…” she began but was cut off by her phone ringing. “Excuse me”, she said. Mofe nodded.
It was her younger brother calling to tell her he borrowed her car and had to make a quick stop at their parents’ home at Ibadan. He would return it on Sunday.
“Tomorrow is Friday!” She lamented, “How on earth am I to get to the office?” She queried and he apologised. Soon afterwards, she dropped the call.
“I could pick you up tomorrow, if you don’t mind.” Mofe offered
“Oh no please, I can sort myself out. You have done much already. Thank you for offering.”
“Okay then but I must add; I wish my sister let me off taking her car out for a spin this easily. Your brother is a lucky dude.” He smiled at her. “Good night.”
“Good night to you too.”
She watched him drive away before going in.
Mofe had a couple more dealings with Chief ‘Loleseungbogbo. Sometimes, he saw ‘Deke but he was able to call her as they had exchanged business cards the first day. He liked her and wouldn’t have minded taking things a notch higher if she hadn’t emphatically told him she didn’t mix business with pleasure. He was soon to call her sparingly.
She’d hardly walked into the eatery to await her Sister; they had plans for Balogun Market, when she heard a loud voice scream: “AUNTY ‘DEKE!” and saw her little niece running up to her. Her sister was here already! She scooped up the little girl and spun her around until she screamed some more. She then sat at the table with them and after chatting awhile, they got up to leave. She came back in some minutes later to snatch up her phone she’d left on the table and ended up bumping into a couple: an elderly couple.
“OMG, I am sooo sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going. Are you hurt?” She asked
“Oh, isn’t she cute?” the lady giggled to her husband. “Relax dear, we are great. Unless of course, this old man here is….”
“Hey, who are you calling old?” Her husband interrupted and they began to tease each other. ‘Deke smiled and told them she was glad they were alright but had to go when…
“Mom, Dad, c’mon let’s go.” A voice called. She looked up and into Mofe’s eyes; he smiled. She smiled too, taking in the scenario. “My parents”, he mouthed and she nodded.
“Mofe, look who we found. She’s a really nice girl. Has got manners too. What’s your name dear?”
“‘Deke, nice name. We were on our way out; we would have asked that you have a meal with us.” Mofe’s Mom continued
“I was leaving too. I have someone waiting outside, hence my hurry. I am sorry again please. Mofe….”
“Oh, you two know each other? Mofe’s Dad interrupted. They both nodded.
“Okay then, since we are all leaving,” Mofe’s mom said turning to ‘Deke, “I hope you don’t mind paying us a visit? Oh please do not refuse; I’ll love to chat with you. See, I’m always surrounded by these two and they speak another language. Say you’ll come, please dear? She said winking at ‘Deke who couldn’t stop herself from laughing and accepting. “Great, give me your number then.”
“I have that Mom.” Mofe chipped in, looking at ‘Deke with a question in his eyes. She nodded in the affirmative.
“That well huh? Okay, speak with you later then.” She said giving ‘Deke a hug and a peck on the cheek. “Run along now dear, don’t let’s keep you. Bye!”
‘Deke said her goodbye and left.
Over the course of the following months, I have become certain of a couple of things: that Mofe’s family is a lovely one indeed; that his Mom is a total clown; that they all love me as family as I do them and that I love Mofe with all my heart.
I have a couple of special memories too:
I remember when his Mom had asked how old I am, Mofe had volunteered “25 “, I had gently corrected that I was going on 29. Mofe’s jaw had almost dropped.
I also remember when he told me point blank that he was interested in me and wanted a relationship with me, and as he was no longer my organisation’s client (I had since moved on to another job), he would like to know my take on his proposal. That was so bold of him and yes, bold is the way I like my men.
Then the date night I gave him my answer (YES!) after dropping me off, he requested for a good night kiss. “A good night peck, you mean.” I corrected, tilting my cheek to him.
“No, a kiss” he corrected as he held my chin and slowly turned my face to his’. When his lips touched mine, I knew my heart had come home.