Chinedu stood there staring as Iphey’s taxi sped off. It wasn’t hard to figure out what went wrong with the date. Why had he blurted out that he was an armed robber? That was certainly what made Iphey’s attitude change.
The next day he called his friend Habib, Aisha’s brother, as he walked to his car after work. Habib picked up after the 6th ring.
“Hey Habib, what’s cracking with you and where you at?”
“Hey ‘Nedu, am good. What’s the deal?” Habib answered grudgingly.
“What you up to over there ‘cos you sound like you kina busy or something.” Chinedu asked.
“Nothing much dude, just doing some overdue laundry over here at the moment, but I can talk” chimed Habib.
“Anyway I had an incident with your sister’s friend yesterday, the one that she setup with me for the blind date? I think I might have spooked her.”
“What happened” Habib asked.
“Well, we were just rambling, you know trying to know each other. She insisted I talk about myself, so I thought why not? You remember I told you about the crazy things I did when younger, the stuff with the street gangs that almost destroyed my life. Well I told her that I used to be an armed robber, which isn’t far from the truth really. Shey you get my drift?“
“What did she do?” Habib chuckled.
“I think she got the wrong impression. She ended the date before I could go into details or say any other thing.”
“You sef, how you go talk that kain thing? Of course she ran away!”
“Well…” Chinedu stuttered. “She asked didn’t she?”
“U don kolo sha! You like the girl abi na to move on be this?” Habib queried.
“Well it seems like there might be some potential there…”
“Then you need to apologize dude, and in a big way too. Chicks like that sort of thing, like flowers saying you are sorry…”
“But dude, did I do anything wrong?”
“Then call her and say you were just trying to make conversation.” Habib suggested.
“Ok. Fine. I will think of something but I’ll wait till Aisha gets back to me. She was the one that arranged this so I’m sure Iphey will tell her how it happened and she’ll come blasting me.”
“If you say so…” Habib concurred. “In the mean time, we go still see tomorrow night?
“I’ll meet you at the SWE bar by 10pm if that’s OK.”
Habib was already on his second bottle of Gulder when Chinedu walked in the next day.
“My guy why you dey always late?” Habib queried him.
“I like to move by night, thought you already knew that?” Chinedu joked and both of them laughed it off.
“Yea back to my wahala, Aisha still hasn't called.” Chinedu started after his drink was served. “And I kind of felt a connection between me and Iphey. Just talked to her for an hour and I felt something I have not felt in a while. It was like we had known each other for a long time and were just catching up. Well…until I decided to yield to her and opened my big mouth.”
“I have told you that honesty will get you nowhere but you no dey listen.” Habib spat out.
“Well you know most people I meet get to hear my life story one way or the other, so this time I decided to bring it up before Iphey hears it somewhere else. Especially because I feel I might have a relationship with her, a very personal one...”
“I don’t like this kain lovey dovey gist,” Habib joked. “Abeg make we change topic… ”
“My guy this one serious oo.” Chinedu laughed before he obliged.
They hung out again the next day and went to Cubes lounge inside the Silverbird Galleria to meet up with a couple of their friends. Kunle and Jide were already there with three ladies and Kunle introduced them. Immediately, one of the ladies started paying a lot of attention to Habib who whispered that she would make a nice laundry. Chinedu shrugged but was not really interested. His mind was caught in a loop of Iphey and why Aisha had not called. He knew Habib would not appreciate him raising the topic here with the new girls so he decided to snap out of it.
“So Bisi what do you do?” Chinedu asked one of the other ladies after some heavy flirting.
“Oh I work for Diamond bank as an account reconciliation protocol officer” Bisi replied.
“Hmm...with all those titles you must be the biggest shot in that bank.” Chinedu teased even as he thought; another diamond banker again.
“Don’t let those titles fool you o! I’m one of the smallest fishes.” Bisi replied.
Chinedu couldn’t stop himself. “Hey I have a friend that works for Diamond bank, her name is Iphey, what branch are you in?”
Bisi straightened up when she heard the uncommon name. It must be the same her new colleague who had acted strange at the meeting today. Where had Iphey met this guy? She was the nice but quiet type and judging by his friends, Chinedu was the opposite. Bisi sat forward with a smile.