Valerie and Kike were in her bedroom, amid a quagmire of clothes, shoes, handbags, clutch purses and underwear strewn everywhere.
They had both bolted as soon as the birthday party had come to an end.
Kike driving like a maniac, blaring the horn and swearing at any driver who either drove too slow or just too fast.
Valerie couldn’t help laughing like a loon all through the mad drive home, trying unsuccessfully to calm Kike down.
As soon as they’d gotten inside the house, she’d rushed Valerie off into the bathroom ordering her to get a thorough bath. While she’d bolted into the bedroom to begin the hunt for the perfect first date attire.
Almost an hour later, Valerie was still in her underwear, ones that had taken them the better part of fifteen minutes to choose.
And of course her protests that Nathan wasn’t going to see them, had been brushed aside with a straight-eyed ‘of course he’s not seeing them, it’s the feel of knowing you have them on that matters’.
She wasn’t feeling any different having them on, she scowled. She was just exasperated.
“Kike for heaven’s sake we’ve been at this for at least an hour now.” She pushed aside a colourful stack of tops, skirts and trousers, to sit on the bed. “Look at this mess.” She gestured widely with her hands. “Who’s going to fix them?”
“If that is all that’s bothering you, not to worry I will … after we get you all dressed up and ready.”
“Well, let’s pick one, for Christ’s sakes, and get this over with.” She huffed testily.
“This is not just a pick one kind of situation.” Kike snapped snatching the bright yellow side ruched dress Valerie was holding up. “And we are not going to get this over with with this dress.”
Valerie winced as she tossed the dress carelessly to join a pile of trouser suits. “And why not? If I remember correctly you badgered me into buying that dress.”
“Because yellow is not a dinner date colour.” Kike replied using her legs to gently push aside a pile of shoes and handbags on the floor. “And if a certain someone had listened to me when I suggested we stop at the boutique yesterday maybe we wouldn’t be here.”
Valerie threw up her hands, at her wit’s end. “Listen to you? Listening to you is how I got all these clothes here that are suddenly not suitable in the first place. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend money I don’t have to buy a new dress for a simple dinner date.”
Kike merely shook her head, and this for no reason infuriated Valerie.
“And you know, I don’t know what the fuss is all about. Just because he is Nate Phillips doesn’t mean I’m going to change myself just to impress him.”
Kike chuckled. “Ah, you don’t need to change yourself, sweetie, the man likes you just fine the way you are. And as for what the fuss is about?” She tossed a trouser suit from the wardrobe which landed on Valerie’s head causing her to swear violently. “Nate Phillips is not just a top gospel artiste, but also a style icon who is part owner of Elegance, a major clothing store in Nigeria.”
“Well, I didn’t ask to go out a style icon.” She mumbled crossly.
“Valerie, do speak up, I can’t hear you when you start those mumblings.” Kike chastised.
The quiet serious tone tickled her, and Valerie found herself toppling in laughter. She couldn’t help it, Kike really cracked her up. Even when she was driving her slowly out of her mind, as she was doing now, she knew how to make her laugh.
Kike turned a triumphant face to her, holding up a dress she’d just discovered hidden deep in the wardrobe. “And here is our perfect dress.” She announced triumphantly, pleased that her patient search has paid off.
Valerie stared at the dress. “That is your perfect dress?”
“No Val my love, this is your perfect first dinner date dress.” She gestured to the seat in front of the mirror. “Now seat your pretty ass down over there and let me get to work.” She carefully laid the dress on the bed.
“I can do my own make up.”
“I know darling.” Kike assured her with a soothing smile. “But tonight you need… a little something extra… some more colour maybe.” Her eyes were speculative as she picked up the beige foundation pack.
“Well, hurry up.” Valerie raised her face as Kike applied the make-up. “It’s already six forty-five and Nathan Abayomi-Phillips looks like the kind of man who loves to be punctual.”
“And then he’s met his match, hasn’t he?” Kike expertly smoothed the powder over her angled face. “For you too love to be punctual, hmm? Anyway, for this particular night, I will be the one at the door to usher in Mr Nate Phillips while you will glide down the stairs as I let him in.”
“We don’t have stairs.” She pointed out dryly. Eyes shut as Kike applied the eyes eye-shadow.
“And that’s a real pity now, isn’t it?” Kike replied in her calm quiet voice, smacking Valerie on the shoulders when her eyes crinkled in laughter.
At exactly six fifty-seven p.m., Kike was opening the door to a smiling Nathan.
“Come in said the spider to the fly.” She said in what Nathan already termed her easy and bubbly manner.
She stepped aside to allow him in. Responding with a quiet smile to Nathan’s gracious ‘good evening’.
She cocked her head to the side as the door clicked shut. “Hmmm, you make a really great Giorgio Armani model.” At Nathan’s soft chuckle she added with a wink. “I am a sucker for smartly-casual looks.
Nathan smiled widely at the grinning slim figure in stone blue jeans cut-off and a purple tank top. “Thank you, ma’am.” He gave a little bow.
Kike chuckled. “Come right in and have a seat.” She gestured inside. “Would you like a drink?”
“No thank you. I’m good.” Nathan shook his head as he dropped into the sandy-brown sofa.
“Ha, just Valerie then.” She winked at Nathan’s grin. “I’ll get her, excuse me”
She stepped quickly through a door covered by corn silk chiffon curtains.
Nathan’s gaze swept over the simple yet elegantly furnished living room.
He appreciated the perfect colour blend of light and dark brown with a touch of Corn silk. A clear sign of a woman’s touch, he thought settling into the sofa.
A picture frame of a hilariously laughing Valerie and Kike was on top the TV. It struck him that he’d never seen her like this, all carefree and happy.
He walked to the TV stand and picked up the picture frame. They both had on a red Chop N’ Munch T-shirt and were standing side by side, hands over each other’s shoulders, laughing like loons.
A slight clearing of the throat had Nathan turning and, as Kike would forever tell it, his eyes rounded and his mouth literally dropped open.
Valerie hadn’t glided down the stairs but the effect had just been as powerful.
She was standing just a little over the chiffon covered door looking glamorous and sophisticated in ultramarine Biba chiffon overlay shift dress.
The V-neck tunic knee-length three-quarter sleeved dress was loose fitting and that in itself was what added to the sheer allure of her entire ensemble.
Long shapely legs were nicely lifted by dark-blue strappy heeled leather sandals; and as usual her beaded accessories were faultless – chunky gold beaded layered necklace with matching drop earrings.
She had finished the glamorous look with a contrasting coral clutch which she held lightly as she stood there looking at him.
He finally found his voice. “You look stunning. And somehow even that is an understatement.”
She gave a soft laugh, working hard to master her jumpy heartbeat. “Thank you. You are looking great too.” She stepped forward as she felt herself steady. “Would you like a drink or should we be on our way?”
“Well, I suggest we leave immediately as we have a bit of a long drive ahead of us.” He stepped towards the door to open it.
She turned to the grinning Kike. “You’ll be here when I get back?” She asked in a low voice.
“You bet.” Kike whispered back. “I want to hear all about this before vital info become distorted.”
Valerie chuckled and gave her a peck on the cheek. “Thanks for choosing the perfect first-date attire.”
Nathan opened the door for her and allowed her to step out first before following her out, raising his hand in salute to Kike he shut the door.
As soon as she was certain the door was properly secured, Kike went into the kitchen, opening the refrigerator she drew out a big bowl of vanilla ice cream and a platter of chocolate cake.
She sighed with sheer pleasure as she sat down on the floor in floor of the TV, instantly deciding that a romantic comedy movie was the best way to spend the evening waiting for Cinderella to come back, hopefully before midnight.
To be continued…