INTERNET DATE

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - old fashioned TV, the guest house offered at quite an exorbitant amount, pictures he uploaded on Facebook, Facebook, Calvin Klein V-Neck tee, called the waiter and started negotiating prices, a five-star restaurant.



As I lay in bed that night, it seemed sleep had declared war on me; every effort was rewarded with futility. I tossed and turned on the narrow bunk bed the guest house offered at quite an exorbitant amount. The room’s only furniture was an oversized table which had an old fashioned TV on it. My mom’s closet was the same size with the cubicle which had a wardrobe reeling of black fungus-like pigments on the wall.  The only means of ventilation was a small compartment with six strips of louver pans that was left open on a permanent basis.

The ocean side view at the front of my room was the only consolation for the mess of a room I was offered. With white long legged birds on the shoreline and fishermen looking like ants on an ice cube, the sea looked magical. The smell of fresh water and the breeze that offered a lover’s embrace often reminded me of home. The third mainland bridge stretched like a snake across the huge water body, offering an observer a gaze only his eye span can limit. I couldn’t get my mind off the events that took place on that day.

Earlier that day, with a polished near British accent, Femi called and asked for directions to the guest house. I felt happy that I was finally going to meet the mysterious doctor who I met on Facebook a couple of months back. Femi looked like every girl’s dream from the pictures he uploaded on Facebook; he looked aristocratic with an air of sophistication I liked in my men. He just returned from a trip to London and was dying to see me; he even said he got me a gift. I double-checked myself in the mirror and made sure I looked perfect for our first date, I wanted to make a good first impression.

 I am about 6 feet tall, a height few ladies are blessed with. I never call myself beautiful but virtually everyone I meet seems to be blown away. My conservative background somehow keeps me in check so I hardly ever think of my beauty as a thing. In my mind, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. With a slightly rounded figure, I could pass for a size eight mannequin. Wide hips and an average bust size, virtually anything would look good on me so long as they accentuated my curves in the right places.

I clicked the receiver and I heard the rich baritone voice of my date again, “I am at the reception,” Femi said. I sprayed a generous portion of my favourite perfume and took breath in large gulps to regulate my heartbeat which was pounding loudly against my chest.  Dressed in a blue dashiki pant trouser and a grey Calvin Klein V-Neck tee, I made my way to the reception. Femi who appeared to be a perfect gentleman stood up the moment he saw me afar off, my tension eased off a bit as I saw him in a body tailored suit jacket and a matching jean. His eyes darted from one part of my body to another behind the round rimmed glasses he wore, I was pleased he found me attractive judging from the smile that curved his lips.

He looked every inch like the image in my head, the only thing was that he was much taller than I thought and appeared to have a thing for consciously looking around him. We examined each other shamelessly as we smiled and giggled like kids obsessed with a toy.  He held out his hand and grabbed mine as soon as I stretched it, “You are much taller than I expected,” he said looking satisfied.

I proudly took him to the ocean view that kept me mesmerized and we sat down on the stone benches at the quadrangle. Everything was happening the way romance novels stated it would except my date became a little too centred on much talk when we settled down. “Why so much pimples?” he said offhandedly as he attempted to touch my face. I shifted my head impulsively and narrowly missed his hand on my precious face, I have always had a hard time allowing people touch me randomly especially on first dates. I decided to answer honestly by telling him it happened once a month, I regretted it the moment he opened his mouth and started giving medical explanations for my ‘condition’. He even joked about being able to tell when I started my period and when I would end it if I allowed him examine me.

To say I was embarrassed was an understatement as other hotel lodgers kept stealing glances at my noisy date who was having a filled day announcing his profession. He gawked at girls lustfully while pretending to watch the sea. It would have been better if the date ended that way but he insisted he was hungry, I took him to the hotel restaurant where I eat my meals. My regular waiter brought the menu. Femi pulled my chair out for me like he was used to 5 star restaurants.

 I was shocked when Femi started shouting. “I can’t buy rice for one thousand, two hundred naira! It’s really expensive!” he yelled as I sat dumbfounded.  At first I thought he was joking but when he called the waiter and started negotiating prices with him, the waiter looked at me with a knowing look. I had the impression he knew it was a first date and he looked genuinely embarrassed for me. After what seemed like an eternity, we left the restaurant without buying even a bottle of water, he strutted out with so much pride stating it would be wasteful to spend such money when we could get it cheaper. It would have been fine if he just stopped there, he continued ranting about how hard it is to make money. The most annoying part was I told him the prices before we went there.  In a nutshell, Femi was the lousiest date I have ever been with.

I didn’t want to seem like the everyday girl, I was tempted to walk out on him and go back to my room. Instead, I accompanied him to a cafeteria at his request. The place was crowded and filled with Unilag boys and girls who looked tired and sweaty from the day’s work. I nearly asked the ground to swallow me up. He ordered for semo and told me to place my order. As a good girl, I ordered for wheat and sat down waiting for him. He looked at me and knew I wasn’t happy. He seemed to enjoy every bit of what he was doing. He gulped the entire meal in a hurry as if he forgot to eat from home. The place was so noisy we had to scream at each other.

He kept rambling about this and that throughout the meal; people kept looking at us wondering what ‘classy’ people like us were doing in a buka (low class restaurant).  At that moment, my mind was made up, I knew doc. Femi had the money to go to a five-star restaurant if he wanted to but instead, he chose to humiliate me by not only asking if the water was free at the buka, but by also looking angrily at my plate of unfinished wheat as though I wasted his money. If we had enjoyed a quiet meal at the buka, I would have been happier, but my date was all over the place, it dawned on me that looks never tell the character of a man.

With residues of soup left at the corner of his mouth, we left the buka. He made silly jokes and said inappropriate things that left me speechless. His words betrayed the gait and gentleman look he exuded.  I made up my mind never to judge a book by its cover from that day. He was nowhere near the sophistication and gentleman his pictures portrayed. He was another guy who lacked basic courtesy and wanted to catch fun if I had obliged to his request to spend the night at his place. Femi knew he messed things up that day judging from the sound of his voice later that evening.

I rolled on my bed and vowed never to go on internet dates again especially social media dates, often times, the pictures they upload are just like a dazzling mirage, very attractive but far from the real thing.

THE END

Written by:
Hope Obamwonyi

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: INTERNET DATE
INTERNET DATE
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - old fashioned TV, the guest house offered at quite an exorbitant amount, pictures he uploaded on Facebook, Facebook, Calvin Klein V-Neck tee, called the waiter and started negotiating prices, a five-star restaurant.
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