Hi! Sam. What’s up?
I am good and you?
Where are you? I was about to call you. Glory and I planned a get-together dinner for we guys. We hope to see you.
This evening? I am not sure oh. I….
Guy! You dare not. We will be expecting you. Glory’s place. Bye!
The phone rang pra!
He stood up and moved towards the end of the room. William Shakespeare’s giant portrait stood there. At its end was inscribed: Shall I compare thee to a summer day?
He loved it, dreamt of it and wished it could be him. He bought the painting after he met Ada at the All Presenters Conference at Minna.
She sat on the third row towards the left while he sat on the fifth towards the right. The invited guest had made a defenceless statement: as a reporter, you are expected to set a balance between your thoughts and that of others, the listeners. Ada raised up her hand at that point. ‘Sir, would you then say that while setting a balance between one’s thoughts and that of others would be wrong or may I say a lie, we are still expected to move along that tide? I guess you should have said that we should not judge base on emotion but on the truth; nothing but the truth. As journalists.
She was not just brilliant, she was also beauty, smart and straight. After the seminar, he found himself running along the lobby. She stood there with a lady. Then he saw her clearly–tall, dark skinned, little cat-shaped eyes, long legs….She wore a patterned blouse and a high-waist trousers.
‘Hello,’ she sang beautifully
‘I am Sam and I work for Bliss FM. Emm, he pointed towards the hall, I came for…’
‘You came for the seminar?’, She interrupted
‘Yea,’ he smiled. ‘I came for the seminar and you are?’
‘Ada,’ she smiled, ‘Ayodele Ada’
‘Yea and do not ask me why’. Her smile turned into a full spiced laughter.
‘I was going to. So, why Ayodele Ada?’
‘Dad’s Yoruba and mum’s Igbo’, she dramatically gesticulated. ‘So you know why….’
‘Yes, I do’
He moved his fingers towards the edge of the painting and stopped mid way. He went back to the room and sat quietly. The movie, Forgetting June sounded boring; looked unrealistic. He could not tell. He only felt—something was missing. Sam sat there thinking of what to do next. He wanted to call her desperately. He picked up his phone and skimmed through it again—Ada, Cynthia, Florian then Paul and then backwards..
Hi dude! How are you?
I am good. Where are you?
Yea. I am on a date with Ada.
Yea. You wanna say hi?
The phone sounded Ta
He stood up and switched off the television.
‘Hi guys meet my newest friend Ada.’
‘Hi Ada, their voices rang in unity.’
‘Hey Ada! Sit here,’ James offered her his seat.
‘Thanks’, she sounded timid for the first time since they met.
‘So Ada,’ Florence said, ‘we have heard a lot about you.’
‘And nothing else apart from you’, Stephen interrupted
‘Since our friend met you of course!,’ Fred concluded, ‘And these are Cynthia, Abby, Ada, Glory,
Florence, Fred, Stephen, Sandra and Zeus. And I am James.’
‘The one and only James’, Sandra hailed
‘That makes all heart to melt,’ Florence concluded
‘Oh did I?’
‘Did you do what?’
‘Make your heart melt?’
‘Guy, I am hooked!’
‘With what? Ring? Keep on deceiving yourself but let me save you baby!’
They all laughed
‘So Ada,’ James faced Ada, ‘where where we?’
He could not believe that he had let her off the hook just like that. He missed her. He wanted talk to her.
‘Hi! It has been a long time. How are you?’
‘I am good. I have been busy with work. We are presently working on a program.’
‘Oh! I hope you are not really stressed out?’
‘Not at all. Can I see you tonight?’
‘Ehmmm! No, I have….ehmmm…..need to see James tonight.’
‘Like a kind of date?’
‘Yea. Sort of’
‘Okay’, he breathed slowly. What about tomorrow?’
‘Yea. James and I are going somewhere.’
‘Ohkay! So I will see you then.’
It was Sunday, a new day and he would not allow his emotion to overshadow his plans. He had it all planned.
It was a small house with about ten rooms. He had been there with Ada. She had spoken about Nigeria and the need for social change. The children were awesome; about thirty of them and they spoke fluently in the English Language. He had always wondered on how the woman had successfully taken care of them. He brought them toiletries, provisions and stationeries. Ada had said: ‘nothing is too little. A few words can change their future.’ They all looked beautiful. One of the little girls told him; ‘mum prepared jollof rice for us!’ ‘Really,’ he had replied, ‘so where is uncle’s own?’ She then smiled timidly.
Later in the day, he followed them to the garden. They planted new flowers and watered the nursery. When they moved towards the vegetables, they heard a strange footstep.
Hi aunty Ada! the children all chorus and ran towards her. Sam stood still. He did not expect her…
- I thought you would call me. You said…
As of late, you have been busy and I did not want to disturb you.
I am sorry.
The children all scattered into various directions.
Sorry? For what?
James has been helping me with the Gateway talk show project and I am sorry I have not been able to see you.
You could have told me.
He faced her now.
Yes, I should.
Hey! Come here. Where are these children?
He held her hands as they walked along the lane together….
Olayiwola Faith Adedolapo is a Nigerian. She lives in a castle where love does not exist but peace and understanding does.