Nobody was forthcoming.
It seemed like all the waiters and waitresses were having an executive
meeting at the expense of their customers. Anyways, what does one expect
from a God-forsaken restaurant?
The dryness that accompanied the year’s harmattan had given my
throat stories to tell. I could feel my throat getting drier by the
second. All thanks to the’fair’ weather we have in Nigeria.
“Waiter!” I squealed again.
A soothing sigh escaped through my mouth. The air-conditioner was
really doing a great job to my slightly-hot skin. But, I really needed
to wet my throat. On a lighter note, could have passed out from such
“Water, water, water” I started muttering.
“Who will come to my rescue now?”
Just then I heard the faint footsteps of a high-heeled shoe. The
person seemed to be walking while observing or maybe admiring the
I quickly made a mental note to ask for help from the person. So, my
ears became conscious of the person’s presence.
“Hello, ma. Good day.” I quickly intercepted her when I perceived
that she was closest.
“You too. Can I help you?” The stranger reciprocated my warm
greetings with an abrupt question.
An impatient person she must be.
“Please, if you don’t mind, can you help me to call any of the
waiters you see?” I tried to be as polite as possible.
” Sorry ma, I don’t get you.” The stranger seemed confused.
Maybe my fake Spanish accent was confusing her.
“I mean, while you are going you should do well to call any waiter
you find on the way for me.” I had to resound it. This time, slowly.
I was greeted with a few seconds of awkward silence.
“Not again!” I exclaimed inwardly.
“Mummy.” My thoughts were interrupted by the angelic voice of about
a ten-year old girl child.
“It seems she is she blind.” I heard the whispers.
It was the stranger’s daughter whispering to her. Such a sensitive
child. I would love to one like her someday.
“Oh! I’m sorry ma. I didn’t notice…”
“It’s no problem, ma’am.” I had to cut her short. I’ve heard those
lines a thousand and one times. I just needed water.
“So, will you?” I asked again.
“Sure.” The stranger departed. Her footsteps were quite faster this
I couldn’t help but smile.
I reached out my handbag for my four-month iPhone 6. And with the
help of Voice Search App, I was able to locate Katty Perry’s
‘Unconditionally’. The song began to set my mood for a romantic
Valentine evening with my fiancè-turned-boyfriend. Don’t ask why I
called him so. I already demoted Henry to a ‘boyfriend level’ a long
time ago. I couldn’t envisage the both of us tying the knot together
in the nearest future. But, I still loved him. Whatever be the case, I
had to enjoy my moments as a young lady.
“Welcome to Sus-cex Restaurant ma’am. What are your orders?” A
male-like female voice jilted me back from cloud nine.
“Thank you for reminding me that I am seated in an incompetent
restaurant whose staffs have no value for their customers.” I snapped.
Too bad I had to unleash my anger on an innocent waitress.
“Water, please.” I requested.
The next fifteen minutes saw me waiting for someone that was never
punctual to meetings like this.
“Hy Mabel-love. Happy Lover’s Day”. My boyfriend finally arrived
with a scented artificial flower in his hands. Romantic, isn’t he?
“Really?” I gave a nonchalant reply.
This man must be joking.
” See, I’m sorry for the lateness. My roommate was organizing a party,
so I had to be there.” Henry was trying to placate me.
“It’s okay Henry. You always have ‘reasonable’ excuses”. I forgave
Henry was a nice lover. Soft at heart. We were both in the same
department in the school. Though, not my set. But by fate, I had to
graduate with his set.
I had to spend five years for a four-year course. For no just cause,
if you ask me. I couldn’t have my project supervisor to approve my
project work before the deadline. You may put the blame on my visual
impairedness. Chasing a lecturer who never stayed one place was very
excruciating for me.
As fate would have it, I had to spend another year in school.
The struggle continued. Henry had a different supervisor and was done
with everything concerning his project. I was still battling with
mine. What befell me the previous year was about to befall me again.
Anyways, Henry kept on dishing out words of encouragement to me.
“Here. I’ve brought your favourite.” I heard Henry placing our meal
on the table. Such a silent walker. I hate it when people take me
“Thank you”. I muttered.
Whooop! The pop sound of the wine made me jerk.
“Sorry Baby.” Henry apologized through a wide grin.
Henry had this sense of humor that made ladies to admire him. Fair
complexioned with cute dimples adorning his full-bearded face. In case
you are wondering how I know, the blind also sees. Every blind person
has a personal perspective of how his/her surrounding and people
looks like, so I gave him those features irrespective of what he may
truly look like.
“I was thinking,” Henry began while pouring out wine into our wine
glasses. “don’t you think four kids will be okay for us?”
Henry nearly made me choke on my coconut rice.
“You are not serious Henry. You want to kill me?” I playfully rebuked him.
“One is just okay for me. At most two”.
Honestly, I hate stress.
“Are you that lazy?” Henry began to tease me “Come on, my mum had seven of us.”
“Henry not me. The world is changing…”
An incoming phone call from Sly, a course-mate interrupted us. He
wanted to see me urgently. And from the urgency of his voice, I
couldn’t help but give him the address of our present location.
Three minutes was enough for Sly to locate us. He seemed so much excited.
” Guess what, Mabel” Sly barged into our conversation.
” What?” I inquired.
” I brought you a valentine gift” He continued.
Henry quickly made a mock cough. I didn’t know the reason though.
Maybe he was just jealous.
“So, I can feel it?” I was already getting excited.
“A book?” I couldn’t believe what I touched.
“Not just a book! It’s your project work! Professor Kennedy finally
approved it.” Sly broke the good news.
“In my absence?”
“Tell me that you are joking Sly.” I was careful not to be pranked.
“For real, Mabel” Sly kept on confirming.
Words couldn’t express the kind of joy I felt at that moment. It was a
miracle come true.
How would I have coped spending another year in school?
I removed my sunshade to clean my teary face. This news was too good
to be true.
“So you mean I can now graduate?” I asked no one in particular.
Nevertheless, Sly’s soft giggle still assured me that it was for real.
“How did you do it?” I needed to know
” Don’t worry Mabel, celebrate first. I will give you the full gist
later”. Sly replied. It seemed he was too excited to start telling me
“Please Sly, lead me out of this place. My ‘roomies’ must hear this
one”. I pleaded as I packed my things to leave.
“You are leaving me here? We are not done with these!” Henry couldn’t
bear the sight of seeing me leave.
“I’m sorry Henry.” I paid deaf ears to him.
“Mabel-love, I know I have not lived up to your expectations but…” A
strong-willed Henry thought he could buy me over with his sweet talks.
“Henry save yourself the stress”
I was already midway through the hall. My left hand clutching Sly’s arm as
though my life depended on it.
“Okay, Mabel. I’ve agreed. Let’s make it only two kids!” Henry
screamed out of near-frustration. Poor him.
“Bye Henry!” Good riddance to bad rubbish. So I thought.
To Sly, wherever you are now;
‘You will continue to be my hero. A true lover. A great friend. My
‘Super-Val’. Wherever you find yourself, may someone reciprocate the
love you showed me in double fold.’
— Chukwudi, a 100l Electronic engineering student of the University of Nigeria Nsukka.