I promised a series of interesting stories about LIES THAT WOMEN TELL. A very tall order I set for myself considering my long vacation from writing.
Lara has been through many things in life so that she now considers herself a cynic. Owing to her varying experiences, in her opinion humans are a very dynamic lot capable of almost anything. Starting out as an innocent, she had changed considerably becoming what the society made her….
She looked at her phone ringing for the umpteenth time. She knew it was Malik again without looking at the screen. She had a special ringtone just for him – nothing terrible, just a voice note that says ‘never answer’. He had been a pig in the past even though she had been the freak he wanted in his black bed countless times. These men these days……….shaking her head, she dismissed the thought.
She had met Malik on during a flight into Abuja. She had noticed his phone and couldn’t help but ask him what model it was because it looked similar to a recent one she had been stalking on google. It was a HTC One Max that costs 125 thousand naira. Her magnet automatically recognizes an expensive phone. She gave him a second look. Even Slots in Lagos didn’t have it at the time of her search. Moving close to him…..
“Hello. My name is Lara. I love your phone. Is it an HTC?”
He smiled a deep confident smile and the voice when it came was a pleasing timbre
“yes it is.”
She was beaming at him now. She couldn’t help it “What model is it?”
“It is a HTC One Max” he replies keeping his voice at a teasing low as if it was a real private conversation.
She had to bring her head closer and her voice a decibel lower too
“wow! that’s so cool. Slot in Lagos does not even have it when I checked their website”
“Really?” he asked surprised
“yea. I wanted to leave the Blackberry group and try out an android so I was browsing the Net for good android phones. That’s when I saw the HTC. It’s so sleek….really pretty phone”
“it is but uses a lot of data and as a result, the battery does not last so long because of the updates that come up every few hours. That will exhaust your data and battery too”
“It’s true. I got a small Droid too and the updates and data drove me right back into the arms of Blackberry. Haha”
he smiled again. She was really beginning to feel a twinge of something for his smile and was starting to anticipate it.
“Can I hold your phone for a minute?” she asked
“Haha I just wanna feel it for a bit to see what I missed by not buying it”
He laughs with her for a spell then takes a second good look at her.
The air hostess passes by “Please stow away your chair tray and turn off your phones. Thank you”
Lara and Malik look at each other, share a secret smile before doing as the hostess asked.
He sounded like an intelligent man plus his good looks, she barely refrained from asking him what his job in Abuja was. Does he even live in Abuja or Lagos? She wondered how to broach the 21 questions running round her head. Wait! she told herself firmly.
He kept looking at her sideways from the convenience of his glasses so it appeared he was focused on the airline magazine opened to the Free miles with Aero page. What was actually going through his mind was surprise that a female in Nigeria would step out of her brazilian wigs and Instagram long enough to absorb some technology. He was impressed and was tempted to ask what she did for a living…..perhaps that would explain it.
He turned towards her with his mouth open to ask her and caught her looking speculatively at him. They both laughed and then he asked.
“Do you live in Lagos or Abuja?” he paused “If you don’t mind me asking”
“I thought you’d never ask.” She laughs a pretty one
“I live everywhere and nowhere for long. For now, I work in Lagos so I live there but when am bored, I visit wherever catches my fancy – Abuja, Port-harcourt, Kano….”
“What do you do? Do you live in Abuja or Lagos yourself?” She asked with interest
“I live in Abuja. I came to Lagos on some business.” He answered
“So……..What do you do?” She persisted
“Haha usually, I can but in this instance, nothing comes to my mind….”
“Well, I am a negotiator. I facilitate deals, mergers and buy-outs between companies. I work independently” He surmised
“Really! that must be fantastic. How does that work? Sounds like something involving and worthwhile”
“I agree” he chuckles
“Do you love what you do or you just do it for the money or something?”
A brief pause. “Very good question.”
Another pause as if to consider the question
“I believe I love what I do at the moment because both parties are usually satisfied after my team’s negotiations. If either party is dissatisfied, it makes the project unduly long and somebody’s gonna lose some money, usually, the party that is buying because the seller has nothing to lose anymore. He’s already selling. Haha” He explains
“I love what I do” he finishes looking at her quiet face
“And what do you do?” he returns
“Hmmmn actually, right now am out of work. Am a survivor. haha” she tries to suffuse her discomfort with a dry laugh
He senses this and tries to lighten it “Do you sell phone technology? I may buy from you considering your knowledge of phones…”
“Haha” shaking her head “That was just because I was looking for a phone to buy myself”
“Actually, I am an analyst. I work with data for firms. I also work independently or on projects where expert hands are needed. I go in briefly and leave at the completion of my part.”
“How does that work for you? Leaving at the end of every project? How do you leave a baby you nurtured to someone else?” He was curious
“Oh well! The move is always what keeps me going and I never get attached. It’s easy. I could never survive staying on a project forever. I have the ‘Jumper syndrome’
They both laugh. The hour and half flight was almost gone. The hostess came to take away their empty snack packs and ask them to stow away their chair trays. It was the same hostess from takeoff. They merely smiled at her.
Then came the pilot’s announcement.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching Nnamdi Azikwe airport. Please put away your phones, laptops and tablets as we prepare for landing. The temperature outside is 35c. Remember to take all your belongings with you as you disembark. We at Aero thank you for flying with us today. Have a pleasant stay in the Capital city.”
He reaches into the overhead bin and helps removes her pink carryon. He hands it over.
He nods and heads off with his navy blue backpack. As they approach Baggage claim, she taps him on the shoulder.
“Malik, may I have your number?”
Looking at his raised brows, she hastens to explain “just in case am bored or need an expert to negotiate me out of a tight corner. haha. Just in case am bored……” she let it trail off
He reels out a 9 digit number, she pauses with her raised brow waiting for him
“it is incomplete”
He smiles mischievously
“Add an 080 in front of those” and he waves and strolls towards a young man walking briskly and reaching out for his bag while simultaneously bowing towards Malik.
She looked on puzzled. He didn’t look back even once. He just walked into the sun and the waiting gray car by the door.
“Am gonna see this guy again” she promises herself silently.