You’re reading this in the voice of a flower.
Do not panic. Or think you’re weird. Flowers are also living things. I sit here in a vase, serving as a centre piece on a table in a semi-fancy restaurant. On this beautiful evening, I have chosen not to think of all my worries; like the fact that I shall die this night when all the guests leave and would be tossed into the bin with other filthy stuff or the fact that I’m about to witness a handsome young man get stood up by his date.
He’s sitting here with his hand under his chin drinking his second glass of orange juice. In his mind he’s thinking ‘She doesn’t come in two minutes, I’m gone’. Then two minutes is gone and he’s thinking, ‘She’s not here in five minutes, I’m gone’. Then five minutes is gone and he’s thinking ‘Oh for Pete sake, I just want to see what she looks like’
That was when she walked in. Walking really fast and trying to arrange her hair, apparently looking for table number 10 (I guess it had been communicated to her to look for this particular table). It was obviously a set-up date. She arrived where we were and started to apologize, ‘Oh, I am so so sorry. I thought I could do everything within the space of an hour but you know… time just flutters… like flutters because it goes so softly you don’t even notice it… I really am…’ He stopped her with a wave of the hand and said ‘Nah, it’s nothing’. He paused and smiled.
When he noticed she was still in doubt, he said ‘It really is nothing. I’ll tell you a story. When I was younger, I had this big dream. It was so big I was scared to tell anybody. I would think about it going to sleep and when I woke up, it was still there. It was just ALWAYS in my head. Stuck there. Did I think it’ll ever come true? Nope. But it has! You have fulfilled my dream of being almost stood up by a pretty lady. So hey, don’t beat yourself up. You made a young boy’s dream become a reality’.
Her emotions were scary. She was infuriated. What warranted such sarcasm? Very immature indeed. And he was not helping matters. He had this very annoying smirk on. But because she still felt bad about coming late, she managed a smile and a ‘hmm…’
Then he said ‘I’m just kidding. Don’t feel bad. I personally think you should know when someone is trying to guilt trip you… as a law student that you are. But let’s order!’ He had had time to study the menu, and so he just recited what he wanted to the waiter. She, on the other hand, was very fidgety. Bearing in mind that she had to order something easy to eat, but not too commonplace, classy but not too expensive. She changed her order three times and finally she settled for some rice with some sauce and meatballs. She was so sure she would not even like it.
Then he said ‘Well, you change your mind more than a law student switches from red to blue when writing’. Her nose flared a bit. She was beginning not to care if she showed that she was disgusted by his behaviour. Then she said ‘Hi, peter, very nice to meet you too. My name is Damilola’.
He was slightly embarrassed but he did not show it. Instead he smiled and said ‘Of course, I’m sorry Damilola. Is it fine if I call you Dami?’ She nodded.
Then he spoke ‘So Dami, I guess this is where we ask each other questions’.
She said ‘Okay. You go first’. Then he said ‘Alright. Not the usual datey question but, are you a feminist?’ Her thoughts instantly jumbled up. She was thinking so many things at once like ‘What sort of a question is that? I don’t think about things like feminism or love at first sight or complex things like that. But I’m here already. This is reality. So, am I a feminist? I don’t care!! But then I have to give an intelligent answer to this stunning young man seated in front of me. Why? Because society presumes women as stupid until they rebut that presumption. Well, rebut I shall!’ Then she gently flicked her hair off her shoulder and said, ‘Well, I believe women are strong and intelligent. And I oppose men who think otherwise’. She felt proud of her answer and conscious of his eyes. They looked amused. Then she said ‘My turn’ and asked, feeling rather stupid afterwards, ‘Are you a feminist?’
He laughed and said ‘Well, I think feminism is like marriage. Legally speaking now. Like how they say to married couples ‘marriage is a contract. See it as such. Nothing less’. But then, when you read up about marriage legally, you see a lot of ‘Nah, marriage is different from commercial contracts in this regard because blah blah blah’. If people would just accept that although we’re all humans, the male and female genders are different, that’ll be great.’ Then he smiled and she felt stupid. Those were meant to be her words. She was the legal person. What was even his profession? Maybe a lawyer? Nah… she doubted. Oh, and the way he was smiling, like he was mocking her unintelligence. She smiled and said ‘hmm..’
Then he said, ‘Alright. I go next. What kind of parties interest you? And by parties I mean celebrations not persons involved in a civil suit’. At this point his eyes were laughing and she could no longer take it. She shook and head and said ‘Really? Excuse me. Just pause. What do you think you’re doing? Why do you think I’m here? So you can make fun of me in some twisted legal way while I eat? I have been taking all the legal jokes and sarcasm hoping they’ll lead somewhere reasonable but apparently you’re just a stupid boy who crammed some law jokes and thinks every female law student would swoon once she hears them. Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubbles, but your jokes are not even the slightest bit funny and frankly I find them insulting.’ On her defence, she was very hungry.
He feigned looking hurt but was really amused and said, ‘Dami…Really? Stupid boy? That’s all you could come up with? I knew it was a law thing. I read some judgement where the judge was like ‘with due respect to my learned colleague…’ and then he went ahead to rubbish everything his ‘learned colleague’ has said. Law people are afraid to insult others fiercely. Why? You fear I might have an incredibly thin skull or weak heart?’ At this point he placed his hand of his chest and smiled. And she smiled too. Don’t ask me why? I’m neither human nor female. But I guess maybe that was funny to her.
Then she said ‘What do you do?’ He leaned in, looked around the hall and whispered ‘I get paid… to shoot people’. She immediately straightened her back and thinks ‘oh wow… a confession’ then she leaned in and whispered ‘Like.. like.. an assassin?’ He leaned even further and whispered ‘Something like that. More like a photographer though. But still… you were really close’.
She laughed. And he laughed and they both laughed. I was feeling happy with the way things were going. Then he asked ‘What’s your favourite song?’ She said ‘Don’t judge me, but my all time favourite song is Swear it all over again’. He said ‘That song is a song for douche bags.’ She laughed, ‘What?? Do you even know the lyrics?’ ‘Why? Yes. The guy says ‘I’m never gonna say goodbye, ‘cause I never want to see you cry’. If you ask me, that’s just another way of saying ‘I won’t ditch you because your bawling might blind me’
And she laughed. And he laughed. And they both laughed and laughed until they thought it was safe to keep quiet, stare at each other and lean in for a kiss. I’ll save you the sloppy details of their kiss, but not because I’m jealous or anything. But because I happened to witness the *gasps*beginning of the love story of two idiotic and clumsy people who do not have the common knowledge that when *gasps* you knock down a vase of natural flowers in water because you’re trying to reach yourselves from across a table, you do not just *gasps* pick up the flower, put it in the now empty vase, laugh and tell yourselves sorry. No, *gasps*, you fill the frigging vase with *gasps* water!