“Take me Deeper-Deeper in love with you-Jesus hold me close in your embrace-Take me deeper-Deeper than I have ever been before- I just want to love you more and more-Lord I want to be deeper in love,” the Worship leader sang beautifully.
She lifted her hands and sang along. Her friend tapped her on the shoulder. She turned her creamy brown head to face her.
“Who wrote that song?”
She blinked and dropped her hands, “I think it is Don Moen.”
She raised an eyebrow, “Are you sure? I thought it was Bob Fits.”
She shrugged, “Why don’t you Google it?”
“I like the song.”
“Me too,” she returned her attention to the Worship leader.
She tapped her again.
Oh Lord God Almighty. I can strangle this girl right now.
She looked at her through the corner of her eyes.
“He has a nice voice.”
She glanced back at the Worship leader.
“Assuming he was taller, muscular, you know…”
She placed a hand on her forehead and shook her head.
“Did you see Shalewa among the Choristers? She didn’t tell us that she was in the Choir. What is she feeling like?”
“Ssssssh….” She placed a finger on her lips.
“You too sssssssh!”
They both eyed themselves. They realized that they had attracted the attention of the people standing around them.
“Next time, I will not sit beside you.”
The Pastor took over the service. An hour later, Mara and Didi found their neighbour at the car park. She was leaning on her car and chatting with someone.
“I have been waiting for you two, come and meet one of our diligent Protocol department members.”
They stood beside her and seized up the six feet; dark skinned, broad shouldered young man clad in a black trouser suit. His white long sleeve T.M Lewis shirt and matching black tie made him look like someone in the ‘Men in Black movie’. What was missing was a dark sun-shade.
He shook hands with Mara, “It is nice meeting you.”
“Yeah…” she blushed, his dark piercing eyes engulfed her, “I am Amarachi, but everyone calls me Mara.”
She liked the way he called her name. Her hazel eyes fastened on his square like shaped face.
“I am Onuwagbe, call me Uwa.”
She chuckled. She felt excited, “You are from Edo State.”
He nodded, “Yes. I am from Esan.”
Her eyes brightened, “My mum is from Esan.”
“Really?” His eyes shone in surprise. It was a good thing that the different tribes in Nigeria were beginning to inter-marry. Her mum who was Esan married an Ibo man.
“Yes…” It suddenly dawned on her that he was the perfect physical description of the man she would like to spend the rest of her life with. He was tall enough. She was five feet nine inches. Anyone shorter barely caught her interest. He was broad shouldered, dark skinned and easy on the eyes. It was her lucky day.
He let go of her hand and turned to face Didi. He stretched out his right hand, “Hi.”
“Hi,” she shook his hand, it felt warm, soothing and firm, “I am Edidiong.”
“Edidiong…” he repeated her name.
It sounded soft and felt like a warm caress. Brown eyes locked on dark ones.
“Can I call you Didi?”
She blinked in surprise, “Everyone close to me calls me Didi.”
He grinned, “Nice. I believe I can join that club.”
She laughed, “Yes you can.”
His dark gaze took in her creamy brown oval face and travelled down her slim curvy frame cradled in a simple pink flowery short sleeve knee length A-shaped dress. She felt uneasy. His perusal made her feel self-conscious. She released her hand from his grip and took a step backwards. His intent gaze captured her oval face again; she looked away and noticed the sheepish grin on Shalewa’s dark oblong face. On the other hand, her friend had a scowl on her fair round face.
“Will you be here tomorrow?”
She took a quick look at him.
Tomorrow? What is he talking about? Oh! Tomorrow is a Sunday.
“Yes!” Shalewa interrupted.
Didi glimpsed at her. Mara eyed her.
“They will both be here,” she added.
He smiled, “Good, will you like to have lunch with me after the service tomorrow?”
Her surprised brown gaze flew to his dark face.
Lunch? Lunch after Sunday service? Is he asking me out?
He sensed he had taken her by surprise, “I apologize if I come across as being forward. I hope you are not offended.”
She shook her head.
I am not offended. I am shocked, flabbergasted, nonplussed…
“I know we have just met. I am a straight forward person. I don’t beat about the bush. When I see something that I like…”
She swallowed hard.
He likes me. Is that possible? Just like that? Is he trying to flatter me or what?
“Something that I want, I go for it. I don’t play or joke with opportunities.”
She stared back at him. He seemed honest and sincere. It had been ages since someone who she met for the first time would like her at first glance, especially in the company of Mara. Her friend was two inches taller, more beautiful, more physically endowed, and on top of it all, she was fair skinned. She was a queen, compared to her humble self. As far back as she could remember, men chose Mara over her. Even if they met her first, once they saw her friend, whatever they felt for her evaporated. Mara had been in more relationships than she had. It was hard to believe that Uwa was asking her out for lunch when Mara was standing right there. It had never happened before.
“Didi, I like you. I want to get to know you better. I hope whatever this is… this bubbling beautiful feeling within me… I hope it will blossom into something special and long lasting.”
She blinked, opened her mouth and closed it.
What did he just say? Feelings? What feelings?
She was used to guys who hung around her and moved like pendulum bobs before they declared their intentions. She had met a few people who were truthful and sincere upfront. Yet, Uwa’s confession, confidence and out-spoken attitude surpassed them all.
Wait a minute. Is he really being honest with me or does he see me as an easy prey?
“I don’t ask every girl I meet out on lunch dates.”
She sighed with relief.
“I know that we are meeting for the first time, but, sweet heart, this is the way I feel right now. I like you and I want to get to know you better. Will you go on a lunch date with me tomorrow?”
Their gazes locked. Her heart raced.
Shalewa was excited with the scene before her. She used to have a crush on Uwa in the past but the fact that she was three years older than him didn’t sit well with her. She killed her feelings for him and remained a loyal friend. It would be nice if he started dating Didi, they looked good together.
Mara couldn’t believe what unfolded before her. She thought something clicked between them. Was she the only one that felt the connection? She thought he liked her. The way he looked at her a moment ago, she could have sworn that he found her desirable. Why wasn’t he asking her out? Why was he asking her friend? Didi was nothing compared to her when it came to physical beauty and endowment. What did he see in her? As far back as she could remember, no man had ever chosen her friend over her, especially when they were together. She watched them with disdain. She hoped her friend would decline his offer. The Didi she knew would never go out with someone she hardly knew.
Didi tore her eyes away and stilled her emotions. She liked him too. There was no harm in going out with him for lunch. She could always back out if things didn’t go well. She had never gone out with someone she barely knew. She hoped she wasn’t lowering her standards.
“Okay,” she glanced back at him, “All right, lunch it is then.”
“Yippee!” his dark square-like shaped face brightened with excitement. It was contagious. Shalewa clapped her hands together and laughed out loud. Mara’s frown deepened. She felt like someone had punched her in the tummy.
“Can I have your number?”
“Absolutely,” she brought out her phone from her hand bag. They exchanged numbers and other details.
“See you tomorrow Uwa,” Shalewa waved and got into the car.
“All right babes, thanks,” he waved back at her.
Mara got into the front seat without uttering a word.
“Tomorrow,” he whispered.
“Tomorrow,” she responded and got into the back seat of the car.
Mara watched him through the side mirror of the car as her neighbour drove off. She would never understand why he chose Didi over her. She thought she had met the man of her dreams, but her friend had stolen him away from her. How was she going to relate with her henceforth? She hoped the lunch date would turn sour. If it did, she might still have a chance with him. A relaxed smile spread over her face; all hope wasn’t lost after all.
Watch Out for Chapter Three…