Six Hours earlier
“Shalewa Shalewa”, Shalewa wondered who called her name that loud, she turned but it was too late, Bayo had already seen her. “What sort of thing is this? Now Bayo will say he will drop me at home, what excuse should I give him oh?” She thought.
“Hey, babe, what’s up”, Bayo said breaking into her thoughts, “what are you doing here?” He asked. “Oh, I just got back from town, I’m on my way home, but I’m branching somewhere first,” she answered.
“Hahahaha” Bayo laughed, “Shalewa did you have to include that? I know you’re looking for an opportunity to get rid of me, but it won’t be that easy. Wherever you are going, it would be my pleasure to take you there. You know I love spending time with you”.
“Oh my God, why did you let this guy pass this way, Shalewa thought. Well, a lift wouldn’t hurt”, she said to herself.
With that, Shalewa entered into the car. Despite the fact that she didn’t really like Bayo, she couldn’t help but like his taste. Bayo was a man of great taste; he liked the finest things of life. He used only the latest gadgets and his car was not an exception. His car; a 2017 Genesis G90 was a work of art, a statement piece. As he always said to her, the car was meant for the exclusively rich and he, of course, was one.
As Shalewa settled in the seat of the car, Bayo asked her, “Ewa would you mind if we go grab a bite or two at the Reals?” Now Bayo knew the Reals were her favorite place, he knew she paid a visit to the Reals every month, and he also knew that she wouldn’t turn down a visit to the Reals.
You see the Reals were the best restaurant in town, it boasted of a movie hall, a game room, a suya spot and of course a night club. It was a fancy sophisticated place for the upwardly mobile. They served local and intercontinental cuisines. Though Shalewa was not too much of a party girl, but whenever she dropped by the Reals for a meal, she always made it a point of duty to visit the club. As she often said, “I don’t want to be left out of the social scene”.
“Hey beautiful, what say you?” Bayo said interrupting her thoughts. My name is Shalewaaaa, please. Shalewa was angry Bayo called her Ewa, she felt he was trying to form a certain level of familiarity. Yes they were friends, yes she enjoyed his company but she still didn’t want him to feel comfortable, to feel like they were “an item”.
“I’m sorry Shalewa, should we go to the Reals?” “Yes”! Shalewa answered, “Let’s go. I haven’t been there in a while”, Bayo smiled a knowing smile, everything was going according to plan.
Once at the Reals, they were greeted by several familiar faces. The owner of the Reals, Segz also came to say Hello; he made sure they were comfortable. “Segz Segz”, Bayo hailed the short muscular man who everyone wondered how he came about his wealth. Segz was a likable man; he smiled often, friendly with everyone, but he had a thing for women.
“The most beautiful”, Segz called out to Shalewa, he greatly admired her and secretly hated Bayo, he thought Bayo was the man in her life. “The most beautiful, how are you?” He said to Shalewa. “I am fine Mr. Segz”, “oh come on don’t call me Mr, Segz is fine”. “Ok, Segz I am doing fine”. “I hope this young man is taking care of you”, “who?” Shalewa replied. “Your boyfriend Bayo of course”, He said as he took one lustfully longing look at Shalewa. Shalewa was wearing a backless black short dress, heels, a bright red lipstick and her long Peruvian weave elegantly swept up. She had earlier worn the dress to work, but with a blazer.
When Bayo had suggested coming to the Reals, she had taken off the blazer, and retouched her makeup, even though she wasn’t much of a makeup girl, she always made sure she had on lipstick. She caught Segz roving over her, and smiled thoughtfully, happy that she was looking beautiful. “Oh, I see, well he’s trying his best” Shalewa replied, returning his gaze.
“The Reals looks different today, feels like I haven’t been here in ages”, Shalewa said turning to face Bayo, (as they made their way to seat) who had been watching the silent drama going on between her and Segz. “I think Segz likes you, I’ve noticed the way he always looks at you, he tries to hide it, but today he failed. It was just obvious. By the way, you look breathtaking”.
“You mean you noticed my appearance and you didn’t say a word?” “But Shalewa I just did”. “Anyway, I thought you weren’t going to say anything”, Shalewa quipped. “Oh come on, you know me na, I always pay you compliments; but tonight you look ravishing”. Shalewa blushed; she didn’t like the effect Bayo had on her. “Thank you”, she replied.
“I always thought you didn’t like me, so I’m surprised you made an effort to look this good”, Bayo said taking Shalewa’s hands in his. Shalewa quickly removed her hand from his grip, “What! You think I made all these efforts for you? You should know better, I didn’t dress this way to please you. You think I own a box full of lipsticks for a man? Nah Bayo, please come off your high horse”.
“Ok oh, if you say so. Anyway, you’re right, Reals looks really beautiful today”. The golden lights, its modern contemporary design, its high ceilings, the dark wood paneling, the beautiful paintings of women on its transparent walls gave it an appealing look. The ambiance, the soft music playing in the background, and the fresh scent of lemon made the reals the perfect choice for a romantic evening, except of course they weren’t dating.
They choose the secluded VIP area, which was overlooking the clear beautiful sky. Its cream coloured chairs, sparkling white table covers, the exquisitely delicate tableware, and the thick black rug all made for a perfect finish to the “Perfect Romantic dinner”. If only she would agree to date me, Bayo thought to himself, a painful smile spreading across his face.
All his life, he had stayed off women, drugs, alcohol and any other thing he felt could take his focus off his studies. Though he wasn’t much of a Christian; he went to church whenever he felt like, still, he believed in having and maintaining high moral principles. He had graduated cum-laude in Psychology at Harvard University; Honors in the JD programme at Stanford Law School and won a highly coveted Rhodes scholarship for his Magister Juris (MJur) at Oxford University. He had secured a revered job at a prestigious law firm; the Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York, but he turned it down at the insistence of his parents.
His parents Mr & Mrs. Olaotan Williams were from one of the popular Lagos Old money families. His mum, in particular, was eager to see him married as he was an only child, so she in connivance with her husband, forced Bayo in returning home to find a wife, or they would get one for him. And they did…
Photo Credit: Dreamstime.com