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“I am pleased to meet you here as well, Bola. How was your day at work today…I have heard a lot about you too…mostly bad. Hahaha, just ...

“I am pleased to meet you here as well, Bola. How was your day at work today…I have heard a lot about you too…mostly bad. Hahaha, just teasing.” Bola survived a mini heart attack, but he liked her sense of humor right away. “Work was busy, but I have no complaints. How about yours?” “Mine was great. I love my job actually.” she replied. “Most people would not say that. Lucky you.” “Thanks. I feel blessed.” “You really are. So apart from work, what else do you do?” “I am an avid reader. I love books.” “What sort of books do you like? How about movies? Do you like any sport?” “Yes, I am an avid reader. I am big fan of mysteries and espionage. Of course, like most girls, I like romance and romantic comedies. I am big on National Geographic, Times magazine and the Economist.” Bola thought, ‘This girl is it!’. “I like the same kinds of movies as the books I enjoy, including documentaries. I enjoy watching Sir David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries….I love them a lot.” “Are you serious? Those are like my favorite,” Bola replied ebulliently. “If you like those, then that says something about you.” “And you too,” Bola replied. They both dissected Sir Attenborough’s documentaries over the next hour and half, with both of them forgetting they had to work the next day. This is one of the most intellectually stimulating discussions I have had in a long time, Bola thought to himself. This guy is smart and aware, Amarachi was thinking on the other end.

“Before I forget, you asked if I like any sports,” Amarachi pointed out. “Yes, we got encapsulated in the world of Attenborough and documentaries and that slipped through the cracks,” Bola acknowledged. “I did not forget. I love volleyball, track and field and of course football. I have seen those blue jerseys on your Facebook Timeline, so I know you support Chelsea. I am an Arsenal fan!!!” “What? How can a smart and beautiful girl like you support a terrible club like that?” “I am afraid, they are the best club in the world,” Amarachi shot back at him. “All you Chelsea fans are noise makers,” she continued. “We are happy, that is all, not noisy.” “We play sleek football at Arsenal and you lot play negative football,” she replied. The argument continued for another thirty minutes. When they checked the time, it was nearing 11:00PM. “I guess we both have to get some dinner and sleep,” Bola suggested. “You are right,” she replied. They both felt like they had known each much longer. Bola was grinning broadly as he typed away. She is so easy to talk to and very knowledgeable too, he thought. “I guess we’d talk soon,” he sent to her. “Sure!” She replied. Just before they both logged out, he sent an impulsive message. “Can I get your number? Could I hear the voice behind these beautiful words we have exchanged before I got to bed?” “I was not told you were romantic. Yes, you can Bola. Here is my number…”

 He dialed her right away and she answered. “It was so pleasant chatting with you Bola.” “It was more than pleasant to me Amara. Can I call you Amara?” “Yes you can. That’s what everyone calls me.” “You…you are very beautiful and honestly, I don’t remember talking to a more intelligent girl,” Bola said. “Now you are making me blush,” she said. “Thanks Bola. You are intelligent and fun to talk to too.” “You are more fun to talk to. I enjoyed every second of the chat. I have to let you sleep now. Have a wonderful night and please don’t dream of Arsenal. That will give you nightmares.” She laughed hard for a few seconds. “What would give me nightmares is dreaming of Chelsea.” “Have a good night Amara.” “You too Bola.” They both stared at their phones after they hung up with smiles on their faces.

Bola had a magnificent smile on his face at the office the next morning. “I am wondering where that smile is coming from,” Funke remarked. “It is my usual smile,” Bola replied. “No it is not,” said Chinonso, one of their colleagues. “Since when did you start observing my smile?” Bola asked, referring to Chinonso. “Since that old frown left your face my friend,” Chinonso teased. “So tell me, how was the first date?” Funke asked. “It was hardly a date. We had a chat on Facebook, and then on the phone briefly. That was no date.” “I was teasing. It must have gone extremely well for you two to graduate from Facebook to the phone.” “It went well. She is smart.” “I knew that. I am glad to hear that from you. You will thank me!” “I hope to.” “I love to see you being more positive. I am thrilled for you. She said nice things about you to me over the phone. You made a very good impression,” Funke offered. Bola smiled. “She did make an impression on me too,” he replied.

He had hoped to talk to her by weekend, but two days later, they were both on the phone chatting boisterously. At work, he could not stop thinking of her. All he wanted to do was talk to her. She could not get him off her mind either. Two weeks after their first chat, Bola was on his way to Kaduna. “I am so proud of you Bola. I can’t believe you are going to see her already. Some two weeks ago, you were being difficult. What a transformation,” Funke had said the previous day (Friday) at work. “This chick has swept you off your feet Bola. Unbelievable,” said Chinonso. “I need me a girl who would make me fall in love like this. Do you know another girl like her?” Bello, another of their colleagues inquired. They had agreed to meet at Mr. Biggs in Kaduna. Bola was speeding as though Amarachi would disappear if he reached Kaduna late. He could not wait to see her. When he reached Mr. Biggs in Kaduna, he parked and headed swiftly to the main hall. She was tucked in a corner by the window reading a book – The Matarese Circle by Robert Ludlum. Bola scanned the restaurant floor for her. As if on cue, she looked up just at the moment he sighted her. Their eyes met and she smiled. She rose to her feet and Bola walked briskly toward her. They embraced gently and sat down.

“I am so happy to see you,” he beamed. “Me too. It has been great chatting with you over the last 2 weeks.” “You are even more beautiful than in your pictures,” Bola enthused. “Thanks,” Amarachi replied slightly bashfully. After eating, she took him to Kaduna zoo. They sat opposite the chimpanzee cage and continued chatting. They had a lot to talk about given their common interests. While Bola was about to sit down, his hand brushed against Amarachi’s. Exciting sensations went through him. He wanted to tell her how much he cared about her, but he restrained himself. It is too early for that, he concluded. By evening, they both drove to Giginya hotel, where Bola was staying. “I can drop you off at your apartment if you want,” he offered. “I’d rather take a taxi. You drove all that way, so rest up.” “But I don’t mind,” “I do. I want you to get some good rest. I will be here around 9:00AM.” “I am missing you already,” he said. “I will be thinking of you,” she replied. When she reached home, Bola called to make sure she got home safely and they talked for another two hours.

When she knocked on the door in the morning, he dashed to the door quickly and yanked it open. He had been thinking of her all night. She was wearing an elegant red gown. She stood by the door with a robust smile on her face. He pulled her in and she responded positively. He shut the door and kissed her. They were both locked in a passionate kiss for what seemed like eternity. “I have not been this happy in a long time,” he said. “I have been looking for a man like you. I am really happy. Thanks for coming all that way to see me. It means a lot to me.” “So, would you quit Arsenal to pay me back?” “No way!” She said emphatically. “I’d do it over and over again…I really love being around you,” he added. “Me too,” said Amara. They spent the entire morning together. By late afternoon, he was on the road again back to Abuja. He was sad as he drove back. Amarachi returned to her apartment and wrapped herself up in bed and cried. A few hours later, they were on the phone again. This time, it was more difficult. Having spent some time together, they wanted to be together even more. “Are you going to see here again soon?” Chinonso asked Bola. “Of course I am. I feel like going to see her tomorrow. I never thought I’d feel like this about anyone else in my life after my last relationship,” Bola explained. “Oya, come and give me a big thanks!” Funke demanded. “You were right all along, Funke. Amara is very well-behaved, stunningly beautiful and fun to be around….and did I mention smart?” Bola enthused. “So when are we walking down the aisle?” Chinonso teased.  

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Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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