This is the 100th post on this blog, and is to celebrate my personal person, Ayobola Raji on her birthday today. Happy birthday sweetlies, keep growing and glowing, and thanks for being an inspiration to write, always *wink*wink*
The sun was scorching terribly, too hot for an August afternoon. Those who were lucky enough to have air conditioners had it blasting at full throttle while those without that comfort rolled down to allow the heat mixed air into their vehicles. His sensitivity to heat was well documented so it was more like the day’s weather punishing him for whatever it was.
His body had recently started playing tricks on him recently. He hated sweaty armpits and laughed at those who had sweaty rings on their clothes’ armpits. The same had started happening to him, and that was not funny.
On this particular day however, he was past caring. The discomfort he was going through made every other thing meaningless, except it was what would bail him. He was feeling hot from his insides and was sweating profusely to the extent that he would have taken a cold bath at any available public bathroom. It was that bad.
Ayo kept encouraging himself that it was a matter of minutes before he would have some relief.
“The Promised Land is right in front“, he said to himself.
He indeed got into his “promised land” within minutes and thanked his stars when he got to the local money transfer desk in the bank. There were less than five people in front of him.
“Hello Sir, I’m behind you”, he told the greying man in front of him with a full smile. Ayo had never been able to hide his liking for trim people, especially those who stayed that way even when growing old.
“Its no problem young man”, the man replied him. He dashed to fill the money transfer form in a jiffy.
The atmosphere was a lot better than the scorching heat outside and he would gladly stay a few more minutes after his transaction but he hated staying in or around banks when he had nothing to do.
“Who wants to be a victim of armed robbery in these bad times?”
He got on the queue and sighted her. Dark skinned, pretty face with a dash of oil and little make-up, moderate build; surely how he liked them looking. He smiled to himself.
The lady looked a few years younger and he would have not spared her a second look due to his very selective nature with the opposite gender. Ayo believed he had looks that could make any female go weak at the knees so he hardly gave them attention. He always told himself there was no need to fawn over any female when countless others would gladly have him around.
Somehow, his eyes strayed back to her and he took in her features again, ticking what he think got him attracted in his mind.
“Pretty face, ticked; good height, ticked; standout gait, ticked; good looking supple skin, ticked; good spoken English, can’t say; fine hair’ can’t say as hair was covered with veil (she must be a Muslim)”
His eyes kept roving in her direction and he kept seeing one new thing or the other. She looked very pretty to him but he could not place what made it that way because she was not what they call ‘drop dead gorgeous’ but she had this aura of grace about her.
She wanted to make enquiries while he wanted to do his local money transfer. The queue moved and it was his turn. His concentration shifted to the lady who was to attend to him and he was so immersed that he did not know when his “bank beauty” stood beside him, said a few words to the Internet Banking staff beside him and went to sit.
Done with his transaction and aiming to leave the bank, he saw the Internet Banking desk free and decided to pick a form to activate the service so he would be spared having to run to the bank on “days like this when one has to move cash into another account”.
Picking up the form, he sat without looking, only to see that he was beside his “bank crush”. She was filling the same form he was about to start filling.
“Good one, I’ll strike NOW“.
“Excuse me”, he said to her. She looked at him, her face void of anything.
“Can you put me through”
“Well…”, he tailed off when she had to answer her phone and started speaking fluent Hausa language, ending it with a Yoruba sentence.
“I’m sorry please. What were you asking about?”
“Ohhhh, never mind. I’ve sorted it. Are you from the north?”
“I like the Hausa language and you just spoke it with quite finesse and grace”
“Ohhhhh, I grew up in the north and it was more like the first language for us after English”
“But you just chipped in Yoruba now”
“Yeah, I speak Yoruba too. I’m Yoruba, the Yoruba speaking part of Kogi state”
“Now I understand. You’re at advantage”
“Which advantage’s that?”
“You speak English quite flawlessly, at least I’ve not noticed any blunder. You speak more than one Nigerian language”
“Ohhhh, ’tis a blessing and a curse at the same time”
The duo kept talking on diverse issues but Ayo noticed the eyes of a fair skinned bank teller on him and bank crush. The guy was making eye contact with her and smiling.
“What in God’s name is keeping these people? There are other places I have to touch and the day’s going pretty fast”
“This bank seems to now take their customers for granted. Nowhere to sit per se, yet they won’t answer one on time”
Moments after, the person to collect the filled forms arrived and attended to them.
“Please stay for a few minutes so you can get your passwords”, the stocky, busty lady said.
Ayo looked at “bank crush” and both smiled understandingly before going back where they initially were. There were two seats available so they sat side by side.
“So I’m Ayo, a journalist. I work with The Ink News and I do a bit of personal writing. I graduated in 2007”
“That’s cool Ayo, Bola is the name. Sociology grad, class of 2005. We sorta share the same interest, I write too”
Ayo got weak, how would this young looking babe be two years his academic senior?
“Wow, you don’t look it. You look like an undergrad”
“Well, I’m running my Postgrad at Premier University already. Should be done with my Masters in a few months”
He was feeling defeated already but had to keep up not minding the gap between them.
“If she’s running her Masters, I’m also working nau”
“Mr. Ayo Adewale”, the bank staff called out.
“Excuse me”, he said and got up. He picked his Internet Banking pin letter and was ready to go. Expecting Bola to be called, he was disappointed when another name was called.
He used that opportunity to take her contact.
“Well Bola, you mind making a new friend?” – he said, placing his phone in her hand – “please add yourself to my BBM. We should be friends”.
“Yeah, I like your guts. We can be friends Ayo”.
BBM add done, he bade her bye and he remembered the scorching sun outside the bank.
“I’ll get home soon man. At least I made a new friend”.
Ayo and Bola remain very close friends till this day.
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