About half an hour into the party and I could feel my high evaporating. I was beginning to feel like I usually feel at these things; like a wallflower. I mean here I was, standing there next to bombshell Titi, who was giving even the models a run for their money in her red dress and Miss Perfection, Mina, who gave new definition to the word coiffed, not a hair out of place and her designer gown fitting just so. All of a sudden, I started to feel less voluptuous and more fat. The curves that I had felt hot with were starting to feel more like extra rolls. If only I could listen to my mother and stick to my diet. I was chastising myself for eating that extra bagel this morning when this guy walked up to me. He looked like someone out of a magazine. Just beautiful! All I could think as he walked up was “so out of my league.”
He had that whole soulful thing happening with his eyes. He was truly handsome. When I looked up and saw him coming towards us, I assumed he was going for Titi. I mean she is a stunning woman. Just the right shade of brown, in great shape, which I guess comes from working out an hour a day every day. Her abs are completely flat and she is all tits and ass. Naturally she is a hot commodity with the guys. Unfortunately I don’t think they see her as quite marriage material— that is the kind of guys she wants anyway. The problem with Titi is you can see her desire for a rich man from a mile away and what man wants to feel like all he is a dollar bill to his woman, even if it is a hundred dollar bill. I keep telling Titi to focus on getting a good man, but she always counters by telling me to focus on getting a man period. I always laugh, although sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to find anyone.
Then Jeffrey walks into my life. It was a made for a movie moment. The people around us started to blur and the room started to get dark and all I could see was him. By the time I realized that he had asked me to dance, I was in his arms and they felt good.
They felt strong, not like a body builder’s arms, but like a real man’s should feel. They were playing Mary J. Blige’s song “Be Without You” and we were slow dancing to it. I found myself feeling all sorts of crazy things for this man and all I knew was his first name. I could feel his hands around the small of my back and he was holding tight enough for me to feel him and yet it wasn’t intrusive. When the song was over, we walked out into the lobby.
We started to talk and he told me that he had just moved here from Nigeria and he was doing a sabbatical at Emory Law school. He said he had a practice in Lagos but things weren’t going as well as he would have liked so he was rethinking his strategy.
He told me he was in his late thirties and still felt like he had never really been in love. I told him that I worked as a pharmacist but secretly desired to be a world class chef. I told him that I was sick of men seeming one way and turning out to be another. He told me how at thirty-eight, he had decided to become true to himself. I told him I didn’t know if I still believed in love. He told me that he lived for it.
We talked till the music died down and people started to get their coats to leave so we moved to the hotel bar. Titi and Mina came by to say goodnight. Titi gave me the thumbs up gesture behind his back and Mina simply pointed to her watch. We talked till the night started to become the morning. By then I think I was already in love.
I only knew what he told me, but I felt like I knew him well. He was from one of these fairly well known families in Lagos. He was Igbo like me but spoke Yoruba fluently and was what you would consider a Lagos boy. He had the typical pedigree: King’s College secondary school, university in England and then back to Lagos for law school. He was sexy, smart, and polished to perfection.
He held my hands and played with my fingers. He told me that I was amazing, that he found me attractive, very sexy; he confessed that he really wanted to book a room for the night and invite me to share it with him. I said nothing because my throat had become so dry and besides, I couldn’t trust myself. I knew that if he pulled me into his arms right then and there, I wouldn’t have the strength to resist. I was looking at his lips as he talked, this man was beautiful. He turned me on with his words as well; I mean he made me feel like I was the only woman worth knowing. He told me that he had never had a conversation like this with anyone, and that I really got him and he felt for the first time in his life like he had made a real connection. He said he thought that he finally had a small understanding of the word soul mate.
While we were talking he saw a friend who he knew in the hotel bar and excused himself to go and talk to him. I peered at him over my wine glass as I sipped my Riesling. He was really something. I was getting myself into trouble; I started to feel a wave of panic welling up inside of me. What was I doing? My thoughts were conflicting. “This isn’t you, what are you going to do, sleep with him tonight?” I shivered as I thought about what the night might bring. I kept thinking about being a good girl. I had always been the “goody goody” my whole life. You know the girl with home training. I looked over at him walking back to me, his long legs striding confidently over the sage and gold carpeting with his tuxedo jacket showcasing his strong broad chest. “Just once, I’d like to be bad” I thought. This whole home training thing is just rubbish, I know girls who were looser than loose and they are happily married now, meanwhile those of us home trained ones are still sitting at home. He caught me gaze and smiled. I blushed, I wondered if he could figure out the thoughts that I was indulging in. Just him, me and a bed sheet…