Olaide Ajanaku: Once Upon a Guy at the Bar

Being single can be quite the b***h. We’ve all been there before, and we know.

Last night, I put on a little red dress, wore more make-up than I usually would, booked a cab,
hopped in, and headed to a lounge in a highbrow area of my city.

I didn’t have a lot of money and, if you are in Nigeria, you know that fine dining can be very expensive. I was going to have freshly squeezed pineapple juice at ₦3000, order a plate of chicken wings with fries to go, and everything would be alright. My battery was fully charged, and my internet subscription was sufficient. Plus, I just couldn’t miss a chance to show off my gorgeous little dress on social media. One doesn’t get to go out every night.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to meet somebody or not, but it definitely would be nice to be seen and acknowledged. To quote  Ayesha Curry: “I don’t want it, but it’d be nice to know that, like, someone’s looking.”

But did I really want somebody to come disturb my low budget lone date? Well, maybe if he looked like Idris Elba. Anything to help me deal with the excessive FOMO I suffered most weekends.

But man proposes…

I was halfway down my cheap glass of juice when I suddenly noticed this hunk of a man walking toward the bar. He was a perfect splice of Kofi Siriboe and Mawuli Gavor; the exact combination that makes up the image of the perfect man I always saw in my daydreams. I was staring, couldn’t take my eyes off him. I mean, this is Lagos, and there are a bunch of good-looking men. But there was something utterly pleasant about the way he smiled at the waitress, who I only just noticed had really good hair and great curves. Her uniform did so well to accentuate those, too, what with the crop top and mini latex skirts they were made to wear. She also had one of those faces that didn’t need Snapchat filters. Her name was probably Becky, but whatever. I digress.

He was trying to find himself a place to sit in the lounge that had quickly become crowded. My handbag was seating on the other chair on the table-for-two, and I was going to remove it to make space for my fellow guest. But as if I were Arya Stark come face to face with the Night King, I had my light bulb moment – an epiphany, one where I would make that space for him, and he would be relieved after Aunty Becky tells him “Oh, sir, I found you a seat!” Yen yen yen! As if! He would see my face and think, “Oh okay, she’s cute or whatever,” and attempt to make small talk. He’d pick a topic of interest to me and I would be unable to help but participate. Before I know it, he’d be asking me why I wasn’t drinking wine or some exotic cocktail, and I’d be like, “Oh, don’t mind me, just that drinking alone is no fun.”

He’d give me a sexy smirk and say, “Well, now you’ve got company.” He’d have Aunty Becky bring us a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, and pour me a glass in the most gentlemanly way possible.

He’d push away my cheap plate of chicken wings, and ask me to try some pasta served with prawns and chicken in some herb sauce. He’d let me know that it’s okay to order dessert as well, as it could be a long night if I allowed it to be. I’d smile sheepishly and tell him, “Oh gosh! I gotta get home.” But, you know, once the wine takes over… Enough said!

He would ask for the bill and Aunty Becky would hurry down with it while casually casting me a mean glance because I snatched her man. But she would be able to geddifok because “this one’s mine!” We would go from there to a club where my dress would really serve its purpose.  He would ask the waiter to bring three shots of tequila for me, and in order to impress him, I’d take all three shots one after the other, and stay looking sharp.

After a night of serious bingeing, I’d start yawning and he’d ask if he could take me home. I’d tell him: “Well, yeah, if you promise to be good.” It would be a positively long night filled with all kinds of possibilities. We’d cuddle up and he’d draw me close and plant a loving kiss on my forehead. I’d tell myself, “Oh, I love this dude. He is so sweet.” I’d imagine myself taking his surname. At this point, I’d realize I didn’t yet know the surname, but it would be okay since he was not running away. I could ask him in the morning.

The next morning, he’d wake up, pick up his phone, go inside the bathroom to take a phone call, and change his tone to baby talk because he would be speaking to a child. I’d hear him whisper on the phone, “Don’t worry, sweetie, your mum is gonna buy you some ice cream. I’ll do a video call when I’m done in the bathroom. Alright babe? OK!” I’d hurriedly sit up, sober AF, naked AF, wondering where all of my dignity went in just eight hours. He’d come to me and without looking in my face, he’d say, “Err… I’m sorry, I should have mentioned this to you last night… I’m kinda married.”

***

I snapped out of my trance and quickly downed my drink. I kept my face straight and made to leave. I booked my cab and waited outside for its arrival.

Just as we drove into the compound, I noticed our fine boy coming toward me. My driver wanted to know if he could slow down for “the gentleman coming toward us,” and I shot him a look that said “slow down and die,” then quietly thanked the gods of my land for saving me from yet another “Nigerian Demon.”

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