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“Hello Mr. Brady! How are you today?” “I am fine Monica, and you?” “I am good Mr. Brady. Can you...

“Hello Mr. Brady! How are you today?” “I am fine Monica, and you?” “I am good Mr. Brady. Can you spare me a few minutes of your time?” “Oh! Sure you are welcome to spend a few minutes of my time with me”. Monica took a seat next to Brady and said, “Eh m, Mr. Brady what I am about to do is way off what is considered socially acceptable, but I am going to do it anyway”. “I hope it won’t put my neck on the chop”. “Certainly not, if it goes well”. “Alright, I can’t wait to hear it then Monica”. “Mr. Brady I love you. I have been wondering the reason you look at me the way you do; do you love me too?” Mr. Brady was speechless. In all his wild imaginations, he had never for one day thought that a drop head, epitome of beauty like Monica would tell him she loved him.

Monica continued, “You see Brady, when you look at me the way you do, it takes my breath away and I stutter in my thoughts for some minutes. I have been waiting endlessly for you to put in words whatever it is you feel for me, but you just won’t do it, and it is beginning to feel like eternity. So I am wondering; when are you going to tell me that you love me; that are you over the heels about me? If you are hiding it or are shy about it, it is okay. But you should know that I am dying to hear those words from you”. Having said her piece, Monica held her breath, expecting Brady to hurl invectives at her.

Mr. Brady was pleasantly stunned, he couldn’t believe that the woman he had dreamt about every night for over two years was sitting in front of him, dropping lines like a man and wooing his love. “Did you hear all I said Brady?” asked Monica. Mr. Brady nodded; he was too overwhelmed to talk. Monica continued, “Do you remember the day I was going to tumble over the staircase and you held me?” Slightly finding his voice Mr. Brady answered, “Yes I do”. “Well since that day I have been wishing you allowed me to fall and break one or two bones. When you held me, I felt the strength of your arms, and to be frank with you, every night I cry myself to sleep wondering when those strong arms would hold me again without letting go. Mr. Brady, I am not crazy. You come across to me as a reserved person, so I am helping you fill in the blank spaces by doing what I feel you couldn’t find the courage to do. Mr. Brady, I am done rambling what do you have to say?”

Mr. Brady could tell Monica was terrified, he could see tears circling in the corners of her eyes and she was breathing heavily. It was as though she was having a panic attack. She clearly had used up all her courage to talk to Brady about what she felt for him and what she thought Brady felt for her. “It is okay Monica. You have blown me away. I never thought that a day would come when I would hear you say the things you just did. The truth is every night I dream about you. I dream about loving you…” “You do?” Monica asked sounding very excited. “Yes I do always. Even last night I dreamt about you. I dreamt about you and I at a beach in Mexico. I have two pillows; I call them your name. Every night since I came to know you, I would put my hands across them and whisper into their imaginary ears the words I lacked the courage to say to you. I wove for them my best rhymes and poems, and showed them my best dance moves. There were days I woke up and promised myself that I would come to work and tell you how I felt about you, but the problem was that when I get here and see you, I would lose my courage”.

“But why would you?” “Monica your eyes are angelic, your figure seems like the artwork of Akkadian sculptors and your lips, they are finer than strawberries. The look of your face is beautifully intimidating; it makes my heart beat faster. Maybe because of this one reason, I never found the courage to tell you what I felt for you. And there are more, the way you dress. The cost of what you wear, the places you go to spend your holidays. Places like Seychelles, Bahamas, Hawaii and the others, they made me think I was not in your league and so I stayed some distance away. I didn’t think it was possible for someone like me to love someone like you”. “What are you saying Mr. Brady? Why won’t someone like me love someone like you? I would be crazy to pass the chance to spend a day with someone like you. I like your bald hair, your smile, your gentle spirit, your muscular build and most of all, the sound of your voice; they break over me like cold water on a sunny day. I love you Mr. Brady. When are you going to tell me you love me?”

“Monica, I love you die! I will give up everything I own just to love you”. Like a tap turned on, tears began to gush from Monica’s eyes. Brady leaned forward and hugged her. Monica took a deep breath to savour the hug and whispered into Brady’s ears, “Don’t let go of me please”. “I wish I could do that, but in eight minutes time we will be back to work. But one thing I assure you is that you will be getting a lot of my hugs these days”. “Thank you Brady”. “You are welcome my sweety porero. I hope you don’t mind my calling you that?” “I don’t mind. If you like you can even call me your yoriyori, butter cup or even your moi moi. I don’t care what you call me so long as you call me that for love; and those rhymes and poems of yours, I can’t wait to hear them”. “Okay my love. Do you have plans for this evening?” “I certainly don’t have any, and even if I did, it has been canceled”. “I would like to take you to an upscale restaurant, so make your pick”. “No baby that is not what I want. I have seen a few of the best cities in the world; I don’t care where you take me to, so long as you are there I will be fine with it. You can take me to an Iya Basira eatery, Oshodi bus stop or Unilag garden; all I want is to be by your side”. “Okay, to test what you are made of, I will take you to an Iya Basira eatery in my neighbourhood. Let’s see how you survive it”. “Don’t be so sure I won’t survive it; I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, I found one along the way in life.”

By evening much later that day, Monica and Brady were at Iya Bosco restaurant at Alaka Iponri Surulere. The restaurant was not more than a shed fixed to a wall on the street. There were plastic chairs arranged around some plastic tables with Star lager and Coca Cola brand names and logos imprinted on them. On the street a few expensive cars were parked. A good number of men whose large tummies were threatening to push down the tables on which their plates of food sat, were busy devouring different kinds of meat served with either rice, stew and plantain or Gbegiri and Amala dudu. There were others who chose to fire the famous moi moi, elimimaje with white rice and stew. Some others chose to devour an assortment of meats like shaki, edo, fuku, roundabout, abodii and pomo. Some elderly customers chose to give their attention to ewedu and semo, along with their choice of meat. Iya Bosco restaurant wasn’t classy in any sense, but it attracted men and women whose worth seemed far beyond the appearance of the eatery.    STORY CONTINUES…
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