Fiction - In Which Joy and Ade Go Shopping Together : Episode 1

Joy stood looking at Ade in irritation, as he sat slumped in front of the television flicking through channels.

“How can you just sit down there staring into space? For heaven’s sake, it’s the weekend – this is when you should be out and about, enjoying life in town!”

Ade turned a lazy eye towards here. “Eh, this is my way of enjoying life in town. After being ‘out and about’ for the last five days, the last thing I want to do is to inhale more traffic fumes. Abeg, please leave me to watch my television.”

Joy made another irritated gesture. “See? You’re not even watching anything. As soon as you’ve settled down on a channel, you switch immediately to another one. What’s the point of that?”

Ade carried on flicking through the channels. “There’s nothing good, so I have to keep searching.”

“But you’ve cycled through the channels twice already, and the same programmes are still on! Admit it, you know that there’s nothing worth watching on television. Come on, now – let’s leave your stuffy flat and go outside.

Just as Ade was about to respond with another retort, the television screen went blank. Ade jumped up and screamed in outrage.

“What did you just do? Did you pull the plug? That’s a totally disrespectful way of making your point…” He stared as he saw Joy dissolving into giggles. “What’s so funny?”

In between fits of giggles, Joy said “You’re always going on about how you are Mr. Logic, and yet you can’t make the most obvious deduction – that PHCN have taken light! And for once, I support them!”

Ade hurled the remote control set to the floor in disgust. “Stupid PHCN! Now my weekend is messed up. What am I going to do?” He got up and stomped around his flat in disgust while Joy watched with an amused expression.

After a while, Joy said “Perhaps you might want to consider my original idea of going out?”

“Going out to where? Please don’t say that we should visit any of your friends… I don’t have the energy for small talk today”, Ade grumbled as he settled down again into his chair.

“No… I have a better idea.” Joy brightened up. “How about we check out the local market and see what’s on sale?”

Ade jumped up again as though he had been branded with a red hot iron. “Go shopping? No way! Over my dead body! Haven't you heard of OLX Nigeria and how you can conveniently shop online? I still remember the last time you dragged me to go out shopping with you – we ended up perambulating all over the place for hours, and in the end all you bought were two tiny earrings! No way!” he repeated, shaking his head vigorously.

“Ah-ah, come on now”, Joy pleaded. “The last time, I was looking for that particular ear-ring… that’s why I spent so long. I promise that this time, we won’t waste so much time.”

But Ade was unyielding. ” Every time, you work the magic of your sweet tongue on me so that I forget what happened the last time – and before I know it, I’m in shopping hell again. But today it will be different – I am going to block my ears to your pleading and stand firm”, he said, fixing her with a stern frown.

Joy sat down and sighed with disappointment. “Ade – haven’t you stopped to think about why I want you to be with me when I go shopping? You know that I could have asked Nike or Ekaete, but it’s you I want to be with. And you know why? Because of all the people I could choose to share my joy when I find something I like, I can’t think of anyone else I would rather share it with than you.”

“That’s great to hear – but surely, you can go out and do the shopping yourself, and then when you find what you want, you can return and share the joy with me here in my flat – right?”

Joy noticed Ade’s wavering resolution, and pressed her advantage. “But Ade, it’s not the same. I want to share my joy with you in the heat of the moment, not after it has dissipated. You remember when you got the job with your construction company – did you wait for three days to tell me? No – you got on the phone and told me there and then! That’s how I feel about this. And besides, I enjoy being with you – I mean, I’ll go by myself if you really, really want – but I can tell you that it definitely wouldn’t be the same without you.”

Ade relented. “OK, OK, in spite of my better judgment, I’ll go with you this time.”

Joy sprang up and flung her arms round Ade. “Oh Ade, thank you, thank you! You’re such a darling!”

“A foolish stupid darling”, Ade thought to himself. “I can’t help feeling that I’m going to regret this.”