Lunch Break

My heart was beating frantically and worst of all; I couldn’t quite control the twitch in my left eye. “Hi, can I join you?” He asked, and I looked around to see to my dismay that all other tables were occupied saved for the lone seat at our table. It got awkward for a moment as we stared at him, surprised by the sound of his voice. It was like pure honey. I felt the core of his manliness rain in my head.

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“Who on God’s green earth is that?” I asked Kidima my best friend in a low and broken whisper that surprised even myself. “I don’t know”, she mused, equally lost in awe. We sat transfixed at the sight before us. The guy approaching the counter was so handsome he made me gasp at the mere sight of him! He’s so tall, firmly built and freakishly handsome and by the fit of his blazer, I guess he worked out pretty hard. You could tell by the bulge in his biceps. He walked over to the counter and stood directly in front of us. Kidima started fluffing her hair and batting her eyes outrageously. Kidima is beautiful with her 5”8’ frame, dark skin and very slim body, she’s never been ignored by any man while I on the other hand, look like a kid whenever I am next to her with my 5”2’ frame and a petite body, I was always overlooked and in some painful cases turned into an errand girl for her and the guys that woo her one too many times.

My heart was beating frantically and worst of all; I couldn’t quite control the twitch in my left eye. “Hi, can I join you?” He asked, and I looked around to see to my dismay that all other tables were occupied saved for the lone seat at our table. It got awkward for a moment as we stared at him, surprised by the sound of his voice. It was like pure honey. I felt the core of his manliness rain in my head. It was deep and commanding yet gentle. I swear my heart beat was so loud I was sure he’d heard it. I begged my tongue not to go dry, my throat not to swallow hard, yet I swallowed saliva twice in split seconds in order not to choke. His eyes intently searched mine and I’m pretty sure I swooned, because I saw less of everything around now. His eyes did strange things to my stomach and suddenly I wanted him to be mine. I forgot how to breathe, I felt strange, I was floating. I wanted to go home with him; I wanted to know all about him, to know if his hairs felt as soft as they looked, to know if his chest was a strong and big as it seemed, I just wanted to own and explore him. After what felt like eternity, I faintly heard Kidima in a strange voice say “Yeah, you can.” I’m certain she had the same experience as I did just moments ago, or was it just me?

“Hi, I’m Kidima and this is my friend Cimie,” Kidima introduced us.

“I’m Dum and I’m sorry for the inconvenience. I couldn’t find another place to sit.”

“It’s okay Kidima enthused, you are free to sit. We’d actually love the company.”

I have been yet to utter a word. Being in the same place with this guy was threatening to break me. How could I have such a reaction and to a total stranger for that matter? I desperately picked up my phone and excused myself. I rushed to the restroom. I needed to hear Jide’s voice to bring me down from this high I was on.

“Hey Jide,” I said when he picked up.

“Hi, Cimie, what’s up?” I can’t talk right now, but I promise you, I’ll make it up to you later. What do you say to dinner? I’ll pick you up by seven. Dress nice!” He said within a few seconds of calling him and dropped the call and I was devastated. Jide is always busy and I just needed a few minutes with him on the phone to bring me down from the roller coaster of emotions I was on. The surprise would have been if he talked longer, but I just needed to try.

I looked in the mirror and I was surprised to see this woman with wild eyes and flushed cheeks struggling to breathe properly. I couldn’t go in there looking so flustered, so I tried to calm myself.

He’s just a regular guy. Yes, he’s handsome, but you can’t just lose your head over a handsome face. Remember the last time it happened? And suddenly, I’m jolted from my thoughts. The reminder of that last event was enough to tame my wild look and I stood up straight and walked back to the restaurant.

“I’m sorry, I had to make that call,” I said to no one in particular. I sat down avoiding Dum and focusing on my friend. They were in the middle of a conversation and I was content to listen with my head down and I seemed to take up a special interest in the food before me. I was eating, but I don’t know what the meal tasted like. I took to the bottle of water on the table, it’s easier to drink water in times like this. I felt his eyes on me, but I refused to meet his gaze. From the corner of my eyes, I saw that he was intently looking at me. I moped into my plate. Why wasn’t he paying attention to Kidima? Suddenly, exhaustion came over me. I became so tired of sitting there. The tension around me was giving me a massive headache.

“What’s wrong?” Dum asked and placed his palm on my hand. That was when my nerves ran off kilter. That familiar tingling started from the tips of my fingers and spread throughout my body. I stopped breathing. To my pleasure and horror, I noticed the callousness of his palm and I had vivid images of what those fingers of his could do. I snatched my hand back and mumbled a strangled reply. He kept looking at me and I jumped from my seat and told Kidima that we would meet some other time. I was running late from my lunch break and I had a lot of work piled on my desk and I had patients waiting for me at the clinic. I hurried out of the restaurant with hopes to find a cab or ‘Keke’ immediately that would drop me at my office complex. I stood outside sweating buckets under the intense sun and that was when I felt the hairs on my neck stand up and the same oomph which I escaped moments ago, engrossed me again. Without turning, I knew who it was, and I froze. What does he want this time? I pretended not to notice him until I saw the sleek car drive up, I think I fell in love right at that moment with the car. I wanted to run my fingers through the car. I wanted to get in and have a jolly ride to nowhere. It was an Audi, I love Audis they are not very common around here, I first fell in love with them from the ‘knight rider’ days when I watch Michael Knight in daddy’s black and white TV cruise in it and all the magic’s it could do. Michael Knight’s Audi could talk and save him from troubles, I imagined his own do so too.

“Why don’t I drop you at your office?” He spoke soothingly.

“Oh no, don’t worry. I will just wait for a cab, don’t bother yourself for my sake. Thanks, I really appreciate. I think I see one now. You know, you don’t have to…” I came to a stop realizing that I’d been rambling on. My face felt heated and I shut my eyes in mortification. When I opened my eyes, I saw that his gaze was still, on me. He had this funny look in his eyes and we both stood there lost in each other’s eyes. I found it hard to breathe. I felt like he was looking right through me and into my soul. I looked away first, and I stumbled and almost fell over, but he grabbed my arm and waist to ensure I don’t miss any further steps. I was so embarrassed, and I felt the tears gathering in my eyes. I struggled to keep them at bay. I’d never really experienced this kind of reaction to anyone before. Not even Jide. I realized that he’d not removed his hand from my waist and it felt good to me.

I felt something kick in place. It was like the world sat right at that moment. I was immensely enjoying myself. I liked the feel of his hand on my body. Suddenly, I found myself enveloped right in his arms. The hardness of his chest and arms felt like heaven. I knew right then that I’d gone too far. I suddenly thought of Jide and pushed myself out of his arms. I was disappointed, but I kept thinking of Jide. Jide my boyfriend, the only one I’ve ever loved, and I wanted to run home to him, except he was at work and I know that a second call to him would make him mad for the rest of the day. Dum was surprised, either from our brief embrace or from my sudden movement, I didn’t know, but he looked as disappointed as I felt.

As I entered the cab that came a few seconds later, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I’d still meet him again. I felt that this was not the last of our meeting.

“Isn’t that….. What’s his name? Dum? Kidima asked, tapping my shoulder while she pointed one pole away from where we stood to buy roasted plantain. My heart skipped a beat or two, as I looked up the walkway by the lead of her glad finger, our eyes met and held. How can it be that after six months, I’d still feel my estrogen rush this way for him?

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