Omotola Part 6
Tola could hardly concentrate on work for the rest of the week. Friday loomed large and was drawing closer with each passing day. During the day, pictures of Yemi Cole standing in the boardroom assailed her brain. Their brief encounter was on constant replay in her mind alternating between different endings. Sometimes she told him what he could do with his invitation in no uncertain terms and stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her. Other times, she pictured Yemi gently pulling her into his arms and kissing her passionately.
The nights brought no respite as she dreamed of him every night. Some of the dreams were pleasant with both of them driving off into the sunset in a car with a number plate painted over with the words ‘just married’. In others, he laughed scornfully in her face, berating her for thinking that he could deign to feel anything but contempt and disdain for her.
By Friday afternoon, she was exhausted from talking herself out of calling his office to cancel on him. She convinced herself that it would be unprofessional and detrimental to her company to call him in the office about a personal matter. She didn’t even know whether or not she would reach him directly or if the phone would be answered by an assistant who would ask to take a message.
She was a nervous wreck by the time 7pm rolled round. She’d had no idea how to dress and what sort of look to aim for. It was dinner, not a date but how did one dress for dinner with a multimillionaire? After prevaricating for a while, she settled on a pair of loose-fitting black trousers, a burgundy chiffon top dotted with sequins and matching peep-toe sandals and clutch bag. With one last look in the full length mirror, she judged herself ready to dine with the devil.
As she waited, she fretted over her decision to wear her hair down and not in her usual ponytail. Just when last-minute doubts about her appearance prompted her to go and change it, the door bell rang. Her heart skipped. Taking a few seconds to compose herself, she took in a few breaths before she switched off the lights and walked to the door.
With a final deep breath, she opened the door. Oh boy! Tola thought to herself. The mere sight of Yemi in his dark corduroy trousers and a black fitted shirt was enough to blow her recently shored-up composure out of the water. The top buttons of his shirt were undone revealing short dark curly chest hair over which she wanted to run her palms. The short sleeves showed off his well-toned muscles and a wrist-watch which screamed ‘expensive’. How on earth was she was going to get through dinner without doing something to embarrass herself further?
“Hi,” Tola couldn’t believe her voice had come out sounding like a cat being strangled instead of the sultry, relaxed tone she’d been aiming for.
“Hello,” Yemi replied. “Here. The parcel your mum sent,” he said handing her a large brown envelope, his facial expression giving nothing of his feelings away.
“Thanks. I’ll just put this away and meet you by your car,” this time her voice was a definite improvement on the last time she’d tried to use it even though she’d still missed her target of sultry and relaxing. Tola was grateful for the few minutes of respite that putting the parcel away afforded her. She could recompose herself and fortify herself for the rest of the evening before meeting him again.
She dumped the envelope on her bed and hurried out to the hallway.
“Oh!” she exclaimed when she saw Yemi hadn’t gone to the car like she’d assumed but was in her living room looking at the huge wall-mounted photograph collage. He turned to face her.
“You looked quite mischievous when you were younger,” he said pointing to a photo of her 6-year-old self sticking out her tongue. “I bet you were quite a handful.”
“I guess you could say that. I’m sure my mother would be happy to regale you with tales of my childhood escapades,” she replied ruefully. Although she mentally beat herself up about bringing her mother into the conversation. She had no idea what her mum had told his aunt or whether his aunt had told him anything her mum may have said. You go, girl! At this rate the evening will be over before it’s even started!
“Shall we?” Yemi asked and when she nodded, he let her precede him out the door. He held out his hands for her keys, locked her door and then handed them back.
He opened the car door for her and shut it after she was seated. Whilst she appreciated his chivalry, she couldn’t help but chafe at the fact that he hadn’t complimented the way she looked. Wasn’t it customary for a guy to say something about his date’s appearance? Ok, so it wasn’t a date and she was probably getting ahead of herself. The thought that maybe she wasn’t his type and he wasn’t in the least bit attracted to her left a sour taste in her mouth. She realised he was only taking her out as a way of exacting revenge for the way she’d treated him.
Why was life playing such a cruel trick on her? What are the chances of her blowing off the one decent man her mother had tried to match make her with? Things like this only happened to her. Sighing, she resigned herself to the next few miserable hours and hoped they would fly by quickly.