Lady in red
I knew I looked stunning but I couldn’t stop fidgeting. First of all, my friends had insisted on going with their dates and so I was riding solo. Onyeka was attending with her husband and Tosin with her newest love interest. My parents were going together and if there was anything worse than going dateless to that sort of event, it was going as a third wheel.
Tosin had instructed me to arrive late, which would help with the grand entrance we were planning and also in ensuring that my reinforcement being my friends and family were already there. I obeyed and arrived much later than expected.
As I walked into the elegantly decorated event hall, I was momentarily blinded by the flash from the numerous cameras around me. Trust Tunji’s mother to invite every major media house to her party. I maneuvered my way out of the throng of photographers and scanned the room for my friends. That was when our eyes met…Tunji’s girlfriend was standing by the cake stand and if looks could kill I would not have lived to tell this story. I couldn’t blame her though. It was unfair that I was looking that good.
My dress was red, it had sequins all over it; the style was decent but the way it clung to my body was anything but decent. My long weave had been swept up in a messy bun, my makeup was light and professionally done and oh did I mention I had intentionally wore the last set of jewelry Tunji had bought me for our eight anniversary. I knew it would trigger something when he eventually saw me. I was still scanning the room for my friends when a breathless Tosin walked up to me.
“Sewa this is so unfair! Pepper them gang! Have you seen the way she has been staring at you?” Tosin asked doing a little victory dance and obviously referring To Tunji’s girlfriend.
“Tosin respect yourself, don’t draw attention to us please”. I warned her in between giggles. “Puh…leez! Like that wasn’t our plan when you waltzed in here like Cinderella”. She said rolling her eyes. “Where are you guys sitting”? I asked Tosin.
“Hold up! You are not planning to sit with us are you? Please go and sit with your family, right next to Tunji and his parents. I saw your place card there when I went to greet your folks. This girl has to know you are still in the inner circle”. Tosin said with a stern look on her face.
“So she can be shooting daggers at me all night. Please I want to sit with you guys”. I pleaded.
Tosin placed her hands on her hips. “You are a joke. Can’t you see where she is standing? There is no place card for her at Tunji’s parent’s table. She is seated at the table next to ours with the rest of his friends. So you will saunter across this room say hello to all his aunties and uncles…who know you and who obviously don’t know her yet and you would walk to our table say hello to Tunji’s friends and then walk right past her to your table at the front of the hall…beside Tunji and his parents! Is that clear or do you need me to drag you across the room?” Tosin asked in her best no nonsense voice.
I couldn’t resist laughing out loud. With that, Tosin left me standing there while she headed back to her table. I was ready to begin my saunter across the room, and I stole a quick glance at Tunji’s girlfriend Alicia. I wanted to make sure she was watching me as I mingled freely with Tunji’s extended family. Unfortunately she was paying me no such attention as her eyes were fixed on something at the opposite end of the room. I tried to identify the object of her current obsession and I discovered she was staring at Tunji who in turn was staring at me. How long he had been doing so I had absolutely no idea. He was staring at me so intently I started to blush.
I had completely forgotten Tosin’s instructions. What was the plan? I was supposed to walk across the room but to where exactly? Someone bumped into me from behind and shook me out of my brief trance, I almost lost my balance from the impact and seeing me almost lose my balance made Tunji lurch forward in what I could only describe as a kneejerk reaction. The whole scenario was so confusing, I didn’t know what to do next and so I turned on my heels and headed for the exit.
Tosin had called me Cinderalla but at least Cinderella had up till midnight with the prince!