As they stepped out of the movie cinema, she had a happy and satisfied smile on her face, she was definitely not trying to be forward but with the way he was acting during the movie, there was something going on!
“Did you enjoy the movie?”
“Of course I had so much fun! Lakeith is such a hunk! And pairing him with Issa? That was a good casting”.
“Hmmmm, I don’t know these people, but the person that recommended it said it was the kind of movie you would like”.
That took her aback, did he do some research? Ask around? The question must have been showing on her face because he answered it almost immediately.
“I had to ask around after I was told that a ride around the city is no longer the in thing for dates.”
Dates? Did this man just say date? Well Dee of course it's a date duh! She corrected herself almost immediately.
“Hmmmm, who have you been talking to?” she asked this with a smile, as she grabbed the hand he offered while they walked down the stairs.
“I asked a …”
“Look who it is! Emeka in a cinema, this will be the day.” A high pitched voice interrupted him, she turned and it was a light skinned lady, smiling and walking towards them with a gentleman by her side.
Dalia could feel Emeka tense up a bit from his arm, but he relaxed himself and smiled in return, looking in the direction of the lady.
“Dee, what are you doing here?” He replied as soon as they got to them, she leaned in for a hug and he left her hand to accept it.
Dee? Dalia thought.
“Came to see the same movie of course!” She laughed as they removed themselves from the hug. “Did you enjoy it?” she asked him before looking at Dalia. “This must be Dalia! Hi! Emi was going on and on about you this afternoon.” She leaned in to hug Dalia too, taken by surprise, Dalia accepted the hug without a thought. Throwing a smile at her companion.
“Hi!” Dalia replied, loss for words as she looked at Emeka for help.
“Dalia, this is my friend Desiree and I believe her friend? Desiree, this is my friend Dalia”.
Dalia stretched out her hands for a shake to the friend who stood there quietly smiling.
“Dalia darling this is my good friend Timothy, Tim this is my oldest friend Emeka who I fondly call Emi and his friend like he just said” Desiree replied, sounding too excited. Was it the sugar from the movie refreshment?
“I told him that movies are a big thing for us ladies, am I right?” Desiree laughed rather too loudly, “car ride? Round the city? For a date? Like come on do better!’ She continued.
Does she ever stop? Just as Dalia was thinking this her phone vibrated, and she excused herself to pick it, it was her mum.
“Mum good evening” She picked up once she was out of earshot.
“Hmm good evening, how are you? Did you go to church today? Your brother said he has dropped the material.” Typical of her mum to ask gazillion questions without necessarily needing the answers.
“Yes mum, he has given me the material” Dalia’s tactic was always to answer the most important question, Desiree's laughter echoed into her ears again, she turned to look at them.
“Where are you? Did you go out? Her mum’s voice interrupted her thoughts.
“Yes mum, I came see a movie with a friend,” she said with her sigh, anticipating the follow up question.
“Which friend? Where? Do I know this friend?” If Dalia was not stuck watching the scene playing out in front of her she would have laughed, it would be a rare occurrence for her mum to break out of character.
“No you don’t know this person mum,” still looking at Emeka and Desiree “Mummy please can I call you when I get home? I’m about to go home so I’ll call you”.
“Ok oh, make sure you call me” Her mum responded.
“Yes mum, I will”, then she hung up, but she did not return to her company just yet. She watched the scene properly again, trying to gauge the friendship between Emeka and Desiree.
Desiree looked pretty hot in her sweater and jeans with booties, she had a slim figure, she could pass for a model if not for the chest region even though covered looked massive, and she had a nice smile. It was obvious that she had no romantic connections with the guy she came with but Dalia could not tell the relationship between Desiree and Emeka. She turned her attention to Emeka and she could tell he was not so comfortable, maybe he is tired from the movie? He did mention that he was not the cinema type of person.
She walked back to them, offering apologies.
“It’s fine, your date and I were talking about work, bad manners I know,” Desiree replied “It’s always work with us” she laughed.
“Alright Dee, catch you later, Dalia and I have to get going” Emeka interrupted, holding Dalia’s hand to prove a point.
“Sure sure, let's head out together” She replied.
As they walked to the parking lot, what Dalia expected to be a quiet movement to the car was filled with Desiree’s high pitched voice while she mentioned her favorite scenes from the movie.
Immediately she entered the car she relaxed her face, she did not know she had been forcing a smile on her face and her cheeks were hurting.
The ride back to her house was quiet with no need for words, both of them were in their own thoughts, and she was fighting the urge to not ask the question that has been plaguing her since Desiree's high pitched voice interrupted their night. They got to her house in no time as there was no traffic on the road.
“Thank you so much, I had a good time,” she said “I really did”, adding sincerity to her voice because taking the later part of the evening, the ‘date’ had gone well.
“I’m happy you had fun, I usually don’t come to the cinema, I think it’s what the young people do”.
“The young people?” she laughed asked she asked.
“Excuse me sir, but how old are you to be using that line”.
“I’m 40, turning 41 in 3 months time” he replied.
“No way! You do not look older that 34!” I have been talking to you without respect” she faked a gasped.
“Oh stop it” He said laughing.
The little talk worked, because they became at ease with each other.
“Desiree is my childhood friend, and family friend, I don’t keep a lot of female company so I asked her for what she thought about a second date idea because we had dinner yesterday, nothing more”.
“You really did not have to explain to me”.
“Liar!” Her inner self chided her, she knew well enough that the question had been bugging her.
“But the ride in the city? I thought it was romantic really”.
“Yh, I mean while movies as a date is still a thing, it has been over flogged and riding round town just chatting, especially with food is a novel and retro idea”.
“Ah I see, Ok next time we are going for a ride” He proclaimed.
“You should head home, it’s quite late already” she looked at the car time and it was reading 11:21pm.”
“Thanks Dalia, I had a great time with you and we should do this again” He stepped out of the car to move over to her side and opened the door for her, he looked tired but did not seem to have lost his chivalrous behaviour.
“Thank you”. She said as she stepped down from the car, brushing past him while he closed the door behind her. She froze for a second, taking in his fragrance.
He leaned in and pecked her on the cheek and smiled into her face “you’re welcome, and thank you!”
Good thing the car was supporting her from the back because she could have sworn that she was melting!
Lord, take control! She prayed.
As she entered her compound, slightly dazed, still reminiscing the nearness she just encountered.
She covered her mouth to seal the sudden laughter that bubbled out of her. Not that anyone could hear her in the elevator, she just felt childish getting tickled by the nearness of a man.
With her heartbeat still trying to regularize itself, she unlocked her apartment door, dialing her dad in one hand.