Ekanem does a perfect job of hiding her surprise. She goes back to take a seat.
“What am I waiting here for?” , she asks herself.
As she stands up to tell the receptionist that she will come and pick the parcel later or send someone to pick it,Mr Isreal quickly comes to the reception with a small suitcase. He hands her the box after a brief exchange of pleasantries.
Ekanem enters her car and drives home. She sees Toks calls but deliberately ignores them.
When she gets home, she removes her clothes and stands under the shower. The cold water running down her body failed to calm her temper even after 10 minutes.
She comes out the bathroom and slips into her pyjamas.
“Here I was ,thinking that he was different from other guys”, she says to herself with teary eyes.
She picks up her phone to call Chioma.
“Hi dear , I have picked up the clothes “she says to Chioma.
” I hope you like it? “, Chioma replies.
“It’s alright”, Ekanem replies.
“Why are you sounding so cold?. Are you sure that all is well? “, Chioma asks.
“I will be fine, don’t worry about me”, Ekanem replies.
“Don’t tell me that Philip is still harassing you “, Chioma says to Ekanem.
“It’s not Philip, he is history”Ekanem replies .
“Who is it then? .It cannot be the okada rider that is making my friend depressed”, Chioma says to her .
Ekanem is silent for some seconds.
“Ekanem why did you allow yourself to get emotionally attached to a guy who isn’t on the same level with you, by the way what did he do to you ? “, Chioma asks angrily.
“I would rather not discuss this matter, don’t be offended dear”,Ekanem replies.
“Okay, if you say so. Meanwhile I have finally collected the contact number of that hot dude I promised to hook you up with from my fiance:,Chioma says to Ekanem excitedly.
” I am not interested Chioma”, Ekanem replies.
“Ekanem are you sure that you are alright? .You want to pass up the chance of a life time for who….an okada rider”, Chioma replies with sarcasm.
“It’s my life Chioma. I am not ready for any relationship. Thanks”, Ekanem replies.
“Okay oh! When you are done sulking over your puppy love and you are ready to get married, call me” Chioma says to Ekanem and ends the call .
Ekanem lies down on her bed and scrolls through her phone. She sees numerous texts and calls from Toks which annoy her further.
Just as she keeps her phone by her bedside, it rings again.
“What is it Toks?”,She asks angrily.
“Hi dear, I have been waiting for you at the café. I hope you are okay?” ,he replies.
“Who are you Tochukwu?” , she asks.
“What type of question is that ?” he replies.
“Hmmm, you’re trying to play smart with me Tochukwu”, she says to him with a loud voice.
“Can you just calm down and talk to me. I don’t understand why you are acting funny” ,he replies.
“Oh!so I am acting funny? .Well it’s better to be a funny person than to be a liar and a fake person”, Ekanem says angrily.
” I am coming over”, he says with a cold voice .
In less than 30 minutes, Ekanem hears her door bell ring.She wishes that Chichi her flat mate is available to drive Toks away for her.
After some minutes, Ekanem reluctantly walks to her front door and sees Toks standing before her.
“What are you doing here? “,she says to him.
“What have I done to deserve all these insults?, he asks with a soft voice .
“Are you the managing director of any company? , are you really a coffee sales man? , who are you?” , she asks with curiosity.
Toks looks at her with surprise in his eyes.
“Who told you that I am the MD of a company? “, he asks .
“Is it a secret?. You know what! I feel like I do not even know you. Please answer this last question”, she says with sadness in her voice. “Who owns the coffee shop? “.
“I will explain everything to you Eky! .Can we go inside please? “,he replies.
“I am sorry but I don’t allow strangers into my house, she says to him.
“So, I am now a stranger to you Eky? Okay suit yourself. Goodnight,he replies and walks away.
“Good night mr fake” ,she yells back as she watches him walk towards the official car.
She enters the house and types a text message to Chioma angrily; I am ready. “You can hook me up with the guy .I hope he is as genuine as you say he is”.
She gets a reply in less than 2 minutes.
“Correct girl! I have always known that your brain isn’t just for academics. Will set up the time and place. You will hear from me soon. Cheer up dear”.
Ekanem goes back to her bed and slips under the soft quilt. She tries to sleep but she is unable to. Thoughts of Toks flood her mind. The image of him walking out on her rips her heart in two.
“Maybe I should have listened to what he had to say”, she says to herself.
She picks up her phone, attempts dialling his number but cuts the line even before it begins to ring.
“Hmm!It’s possible that he considers me a gold digger , why would he pretend to me?” ,she asks herself.
She eventually falls asleep after hours of rehearsing what happened between her and Toks for about an hour
Ekanem tries her best to push thoughts of Toks away for the next one week .She focuses on work and the completion of her project.
She gets a call from Chioma who tells her the time and place to meet the mystery guy. She is initially vexed by Chioma’s refusal to give her the name of the guy before meeting her date. Ekanem however has a rethink and decides that it may actually be more exciting going on a blind date.
It’s Sunday evening, Ekanem wears a beautiful off-shoulder navy blue gown which does justice to her elegant figure. She packs her long curly weave hair to her right side and wears her light pink pearl jewelry.
Ekanem parks her car in front of the restaurant and walks inside to meet her date.
She remembers Chioma’s words, “he is going to have a red book in front of him and he will be putting on a black shirt “.
Ekanem is a bit reluctant to look for the guy. She thinks of Toks and the fun times they shared. She wishes secretly that it would be Toks that she meets in the restaurant .However, the thought of being regarded as a gold digger by Toks propels her to search for the mystery guy.
In less than a minute she sees a red book and a man wearing a black shirt. She is initially disappointed that it’s not Toks but his charming smile as she approaches his table makes her feel better.
She sits down in front of him and smiles back at him.
“Hi , I am kola Coker. I hope I wasn’t difficult to spot”, he says with a smile.
“No , it wasn’t. I am Ekanem Akpan”, she replies.
“ I chose this place because I heard they make really delicious meals. It’s actually a very new restaurant and lots of celebrities come here to eat” , he says to her excitedly.
“Oh really! “Ekanem replies as she looks around to see if she would see any celebrity known to her.
As they look through the menu placed in front of them by the waiter, she hears a voice say “you are welcome to our restaurant “.
Ekanem’s heart beats very fast when she hears the familiar voice. She looks up to confirm her suspicion and sees Toks looking at her .
All she sees in his eyes was anger and bitterness. Ekanem moves her gaze away from him .She quickly starts pretending to be reading the menu .
Toks exchanges pleasantries with Kola and leaves them to pick a meal from the menu.
“Who exactly is Toks?”She wonders in her heart .Her heart begins to boil in anger.
“He actually lived a lie and fabricated answers to my questions when we were close. For the past one week, I have not heard from him.A person who claimed to be in love with me” ,she says to herself.
Their meal arrives .Ekanem tries her best to eat her meal without making it obvious that she isn’t herself.
Kola does a great job of keeping her supposedly entertained by his unending stories and list of achievements .
Ekanem and Kola finish their main meal.As she eats her dessert, she sees Toks as he walks across the restaurant to speak with a man who had just finished his meal .
” I need to use the restroom”, she says to Kola.
“Okay, sure.Do need help with the direction to the bathroom?” ,he replies .
“No thanks”,she says to him and stands up.
Ekanem goes to the back of the restaurant and passes through a door pointed out by the waiter as the way to the convenience room.
As she walks on the corridor, she feels a strong arm pulling her.
“Who is this?” she yells and turns around.
She finds herself held tightly in Toks arms .”Let go of me !”, she says to him .
“Why?,so that you will run back to your boyfriend, isn’t it?” ,he replies while looking into her eyes.
“Leave me alone!” , she says to him with a soft voice.
He draws her closer to him and softens his grip on her. He uses his right hand to stroke her right cheek gently and says “I thought that somewhere deep down, you had feelings for me. I guess you’re like other girls, you jumped right into another relationship “.
As Ekanem opens her mouth to reply him, he places his index finger on her lips and says” save your explanation. I don’t need it”.
Toks walks away and leaves her standing on the corridor. She goes into the bathroom .Ekanem sees an oval shaped mirror .She stands in front of it looking at her reflection .She wonders in her heart what her next line of action should be.