As soon as I stepped out of the car and stood in front of the luxurious house that used to be my home, old feelings and memories washed over me. I stepped into an invisible time machine and paid a momentary visit to the past…
I first met Tade on cyberspace. We both had a mutual friend who constantly put up controversial posts on Facebook and for most parts, Tade and I made comments on these posts. Sometimes we agreed on a particular topic, other times, we disagreed through and through. We had no other interaction apart from those debates on our mutual friend’s wall until the day he decided to slide into my inbox and make complimentary remarks about my comments. We chatted on and off but never really forged a bond. We were at best, mere acquaintances.
I met Tade in real-time while serving my fatherland. I got posted to FCT and after the orientation, found myself in Kubwa for my primary assignment. I served as class teacher to primary four pupils in one of the primary schools in the community.
I met him on a Saturday. I was at Wuse 2 to drop off some items at a friend’s and decided to do some grocery shopping at Park ‘N’ Shop before returning to Kubwa. I exited the mall while he walked in. I didn’t spot him as quickly as he spotted me – in fact, I wasn’t even looking! I was just about to exit the compound when I heard someone frantically trying to get my attention.
“Hello,” he called out few times.
I turned to look at the stranger.
“I am sorry to bother you,” he smiled. “I saw you back there and I thought you looked familiar.”
I rolled my eyes inwardly. “Typical toasting line. Say something else joor, arakunrin.“
He must have read my thoughts because he responded so. “Arinola,” he squinted at me, “you are Arinola, right?”
I opened my mouth…and closed it. I scanned his face for a moment…then realisation dawned. We spoke at the same time…
“You are Tade,” I pointed at him.
He was the first to recover. “Wow! It’s such a small world, isn’t it?”
“Shey?” I responded. “It’s indeed a small world.”
“So, what brings you to Abuja, eyin Lagosians?”
“What makes you think I’m a Lagosian? Hmm, someone spied on me.” I smiled.
He laughed. “I’m guilty as charged. I had to check out your profile nau. You probably checked mine too, abi?”
“Well…yes,” I blushed, “and I should ask you same question cos your profile claims you are a yankee guy abi dem don deport you ni?”
He laughed hard. I laughed with him.
“You ehn! You are so wittingly cheeky, kai!”
I told him I was on my one year national youth service and he told me he helped manage his father’s business and was constantly in and out of Nigeria on business trips.
We gisted some more about the current debate on our mutual friend’s Facebook wall. Time slipped by and I needed to get back to base so I nudged him towards the mall while I made my way back home.
He asked for my number, so he could call me later. I obliged. He called and we chatted like we had known each other forever; he even visited me the next day. We became friends, then love blossomed…
To be cont’d…
© 2017 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!