So starting from March, I am adding this segment on my blog, "Myne Whitman Presents". It will be like a showcase for the upcoming writers who share short stories on their blog, to introduce my awesome feedbackers to new talent. Most of the stories will come from NAIJA STORIES, and I'm also open to my readers who want to be showcased. I promise you that I'll only publish stories which I liked and which I'm sure you will too, from romantic fiction, to chicklit to suspense. Are you excited? Let's go then...
Courageous Fingers. She is a graduate of University of Nigeria Nsuka, and is working on her first novel. Chizitere is also a publicist and launches her online entertainment portal through Prodigy Magazine today.
Enjoy the Short Story below...
AN AWESOME DATE INDEED.
Friday the 16th day of January 2009 had to be the most awesome day of my life. Not sure if awesome is the exact right word to use, but a brief account of my experience that day will give you a opportunity to put a word to it yourself.
So my awesome day started with me waking up early, strong and ready to face the best work day of every week, Friday. The only day half of the people in the world thanked God for. The only day people like me got to work with a broad smile and counted down anxiously to 5pm, closing time.
That Friday, I happened to have two special reasons to countdown to closing time. One, I had a date. Two, I had another date. The two dates weren’t actually for the same day but both were with handsome men with a prospectively good future. Two handsome young who ran very successful businesses, were single, ready to mingle a while and then settle down in the end. One of the dates was for 8pm that Friday while the other was for 2pm the next day. Considering that I was a pretty lady, thirty two years of age, from the Ibo tribe, a workaholic with two jobs and a high class society chic, getting regular dates wasn’t hard for me at all. It was getting these dates with the right kind of men (the kind of men I wanted) that was. My mother bothered the hell out of my life about marriage, talking to me about it like my being unmarried was a curse that I brought upon myself with my own hands.
My mum and I even had a fight on Christmas day, then another on the 30th of December (five days after). My mother never let me breath on the issue, always comparing me with my younger sister. She knew how much I hated it when she did that but she never stopped. She would scream at me to look at how happy my sister was with her husband and 2 year old son.
This little sister of mine my mum wanted me to emulate is a worthless vegetable of a woman as far as I am concerned. A university graduate with a second class upper degree certificate in psychology who decides to ditch here training and prospects of a fantastic future is a really lame vegetable in my world. As much as I thought that about my sister, I never wanted to say it to her. I didn’t want to ruin her self esteem or make her jeopardize the blessings of the peaceful marriage she had just so she could prove me wrong. I swore never to let my mother’s pressure make me bulge to doing that.
So I got dressed for work that Friday. Luckily for me, hair and make-up were great. My outfit for that day looked just perfect and my car didn’t even dare to mess up. I drove to work and all through the drive, I had a mixed tape of some classic old school music keep me company. Although I am a crazy extrovert, I love to listen to laid back simple old school music. I listened to the kind of music only very few people my age bore to listen to. A smooth morning also always gave me the lift I needed to swing through the rest of the day.
I got to work and realized that my boss had his secretary prepare some proposal letters which he needed me to deliver immediately to the companies they were addressed to and meet with their managing directors to negotiate some deals. I gathered the letters and hit the road almost immediately. I was glad that the assignment was going to give me a chance to spend the entire day out of the office because I hated it when I had to sit behind a desk all day. I hated anything that made me sit, except if I sat because I was typing something really important.
I had driven a couple of miles away from my office when I met this really crazy traffic as soon as I hit the express way. There was a bank around the area, just a few blocks away from the turning that lead to the express way. It was the same bank my boss had me or his secretary carry out some cash transactions on his behalf sometimes so I knew the security guards. I begged one of them to let me park my car inside the compound and promised him that I would arrive before closing time to pick it up. He let me in, so I parked the car at a corner of the compound where I was sure no one would be disturbed by its presence. I took my handbag and the folder that contained the letters along with me, locked the doors of my car and walked out of the bank’s premises. I flagged a commercial bike down just at the gate of the bank and bargained with the dude that was riding it. The traffic on the express was very serious so I would have been the biggest fool in the world if I had parked my sleek air conditioned Toyota Camry 2.2 saloon car only to board a dirty rickety Lagos taxi car all because of what? Class? Oh no I don’t deceive myself.
The bike took me to the area I was headed and dropped me off across the road at my exact destination. I got off the bike, paid the dude and prepared to cross over to the other side of the road. Just as I was about to cross the road I realized one of my buttons was undone. I fumbled with it, trying to fix it while walking across the road.
Like a bolt of thunder from nowhere, a Honda CRV jeep stuck me from my right. I flew up in the air like a light nylon bag that had just been blown into the air by a strong wind. Before I got any chance to think or figure out what had just happened, I had hit my back on the bonnet of another car that was parked by the side of the road and rolled down into the gutter beside the car. I became unconscious shortly so I have no idea what else went on from then. The only thing I remember was waking up on a hospital bed a couple of days later. Different wires and strings were strapped to different parts of my body and my mother who was sitting beside me had her head on my bed. She was sleeping.
I didn’t want to disturb her sleep because she looked like she really needed it. Her face was turned to my direction and her eyes were shut restfully closed. It was hard to believe she was the same person whose rage came down on me like brimstone whenever she talked to me about marriage. I knew this accident had just given her an extra point to give me as reason why I should be married. One new reason why she thinks I should consider finding a husband as a more important project than starting my own production company.
My mother talked about this whole marriage thing like it was my fault. She talked about it like I was the one who kept these men from proposing to me. Like it was my fault that more men wanted women they didn’t have to feel inferior around more that they wanted real capable ones. She’d probably say that I would have saved her some energy if I had a husband who could have kept me company in the hospital instead of her. She’d probably say that if I had a husband, I’d not have to work as hard as I did to the money to pay my bills. She probably thinks the only reason I work is to pay my bills.
I’m still not sure what those men I was supposed to have dates with that weekend might have thought about me when I didn’t show up for their dates. I had my own awesome date in the hospital anyway and none of them showed up. Having only my mother and a few friends of mine come visit me at the hospital while I was sick made me realize how important family is. It helped me understand why my mum acted like a crazy old woman whenever she argued with me about marriage. Although I have no regrets about how my life turned out with my job, my failed relationships, my wonderful dates, my great friends, my fabulous yet annoying mother, my simple down to earth sister whom I still thought of as a lame vegetable of a woman, I still hope that I find my own prince charming someday and get the chance to raise a normal family of my own.