Banke had made me wear a red dress that clung to every single curve on my body. It had thin spaghetti straps and a slit in front that went up all the way to the middle of my left thigh. I was a bit shy but I had never felt more beautiful or glamorous in my life. She had even gotten someone to do our hair and make up for the party. A lot of our friends from school turned up that night and I was having a good time on the dance floor when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was one of the waiters from the catering company. I could barely hear what he was saying but he was pointing at Banke’s older brother Ope who was sitting in the garden with a guest. As I walked towards them, I knew they were checking me out but Brother Ope was married with two kids at the time so I knew he would behave himself.
He smiled and I noticed his dimples. I am a sucker for dimples and I immediately thawed a little. I looked at him properly for the first time. He was tall, really tall later I got to discover he was 6’4. He was slim, graceful and smelt like paradise. He had on a plain white linen outfit, brown Gucci shoes and I noticed like me he also wore his watch on his right hand. I instantly established three facts: 1) He was rich 2) He was incredibly sexy 3) I was attracted to him
This was definitely a recipe for trouble.
I never went back to the party. TK and I spent four hours talking and eating everything the waiters brought our way. I didn’t even notice the party was winding down until he got a call at about 1.00am from the conversation and the tone of his voice, I knew he was talking to a woman. TK: Anjola I have to go now. So when am I seeing you again?
I don’t know why, but knowing he was leaving me to go to another woman made me so jealous I wanted to hit him. Me: There you go being presumptuous again!
TK: Ok, my bad. Please Miss, may I see you again?
Me: You are too old for me but it was really great talking to you.
With that I walked away smiling I knew I’d see him again and I did, but not for a while.
For the first time in over a year, Emeka wasn’t the last thought on my mind before I fell asleep. This was a very welcome development. Within months of my return to Lagos I discovered Wale’s theory was right. Despite my good grades I was unable to get a job. Afolabi’s consulting firm enrolled him in a training programme in the UK and he was to stay there for 18 months. We decided it was best for me to also go and get a master’s degree in the UK while he was there. Between him and Aunty Titi, we were able to raise the funds for my first-semester tuition and I went to the UK to get a master’s degree in marketing.
Life in the UK was a different ballgame. I had to work and study at the same time. Banke who had done only three weeks of NYSC orientation camp and bailed on the rest of the programme was now in America getting an MBA. She was very supportive and was constantly sending me clothes and money. She came to visit twice while I was in school and we talked about everything except Emeka. One day, during one of her visits I was feeling so low I brought it up.
Me: Remember Richard? Emeka’s classmate, he told me Emeka is now in Yankee. Banke: And so??? Me: I was just wondering if maybe he has been trying to reach me and doesn’t know I am not in the country. Banke: Honestly Anjola you amaze me. Are you a sucker for punishment? It’s been almost four years and you are still holding on to a guy that got u pregnant and bailed out on you when you needed him most. After him you haven’t had one serious boyfriend, not even one. Me I know I haven’t found the right person but it’s not from a lack of trying. This guy left you for greener pastures without looking back and you have put your entire life on hold for him. Please don’t annoy me abeg!
Me: I understand Banke, but you knew Emeka well. He would never have done that. Something went wrong somewhere and it drives me crazy not knowing.
Banke: Anjola wake up and smell the coffee. Not everyone is as transparent and kind as you. He chose his future over you yet you were willing to compromise yours. Even if you are out of the country has he tried contacting me or your brother or your Aunt? Has he sent you a friend request on Facebook or an email? Come on! Get over it!
Banke was right, the reality check was what I needed and that was the day I really decided to forget that Emeka Odiachi existed.
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