He had dedicated so much time to his work, giving his mother enough reason to try her luck in her matchmaking talent.
Deji’s mother, Ireti, had arranged a meeting between him and Theresa. Theresa had liked him instantly, although she tried to hide it. Deji on the other hand, had had problems getting romantically involved with another lady since he broke up with his first love back in Ife. He initially thought with time he would get to reciprocate Nike’s feelings for him.
But it’s been over 9 months since they met and yet the spark he has been hoping for was still absent. The decision about Nike was one he has to make sometimes in the future. He probably should just propose to her and get it over with. She expected it by now, and perhaps even deserved it, but she was too much of a lady to ever pressure him about it.
Now at this party, he planned on reaching out to Nike and his mother, after meeting Kola’s much talked about cousin. They would be expecting him already.
Then Kola poked at him slightly, saying in a low tone, ‘’there she is.’’
Deji glanced ahead. He was blown out of the water by what he saw that he almost spilled his drink.
Standing 5 feet from him, was a lady with a midnight-black hair that flowed over her shoulder. She had an oval face shape, arched eyebrows, small nose, smooth and regular jawline with small distance between her upper lip and nose that made her incredibly gorgeous.
He has seen this face before. In fact, ten years ago. It was none other than Nike Akomolede.
His first love. Matter-of-factly, his only love. The one who has made falling for another lady an impossible task for him.
She was wearing a red cocktail gown that was 2 inches above the ankle. She looked more beautiful than he could remember.
Oh my! The enormity of the situation hit him. Nike is Kola Williams’ cousin!
‘’Do you believe me now, buddy?’’ Kola asked not looking at Deji.
Deji hesitated, ‘’she’s okay.’’
‘Seriously?’’ Kola stared his friend in disbelief, expecting a better adjective than an okay. ‘’Alright. Come over.’’
A friend of Mrs Williams waved at her. ‘’Nikky dear, I’ll see you around.’’ Noticing the duo approaching, she said over her shoulder in a low tone. ‘’I think you have company.’’
Tilting her head slightly to the right side, her eyes caught Kola and… Deji. Deji Adelowo. What the hell is he doing here? She thought. The duo was close now. She maintained her composure.
“Nikky, I’d like to introduce to you, my friend, Deji.’’ Kola beamed as he made the introduction. ‘’Deji, here is my cousin, Nike.’’
Deji hesitated, expecting Nike to say something. When he realized she wasn’t ready to talk, he did. ‘’Nike and I have already met.’’ If her game plan was to ignore him and act like they’ve never met, he wasn’t in on it.
‘’Yes. That’s true.’’ She finally said with equanimity. ‘’That was about a decade ago.’’ Her voice was sweet and smooth like silk.
‘’You’ve got to be kidding me!’’ Kola said with his eye brows raised. ‘’Where did you guys meet?’’
‘’Ife.’’ Deji responded with his gaze locked on the beauty in their midst. ‘’Time has done nothing to change you, Nike.’’
‘’I’ve changed more than you think,’’ she said softly. She tried to appear unruffled. It was working.
Deji smiled. An argument with her right now will make no sense. He thought.
‘’Deji, I’ve been looking all over for you.’’ Theresa said behind them with a warm voice. She came to Deji’s side.
For once Deji was grateful for Theresa’s presence. She couldn’t have timed it better. His heart beat rate was unusually high at this very moment. Nike had become more breathtakingly beautiful than he remembered. Now with Theresa, an escape was the only way out. The reasonable way out of the uneasy feeling he was having was to leave her presence.
Kola Williams made his second introduction for the night. ‘’Tessy, meet my cousin, Nike. Nike, here’s Theresa Bruce.’’
Unconsciously sizing Nike up and down with a cool glance, Theresa uttered politely, ‘’it’s nice to meet you.’’
‘’My pleasure,’’ she simply responded with a smile.
Theresa whispered something into his ear, then Deji said, ‘’if you’ll excuse us, we need to see someone.’’
Like Theresa knew Deji could not endure standing there any longer. Gosh! If he had known he would be trapped all weekend with Nike, he certainly wold have made up an excuse, any excuse, not to be here.
But one thing is, if Theresa was going to continue making his night like this, he might as well propose to her this very night. No, he wasn’t.
With a glass of wine in his left hand, he took Theresa’s hand with his other hand as they both made their through the crowd. Some were dancing, while some were just roaming around as a soft music played at the background.
‘’I hope Senator is not crossed at me, I had promised him I would be early for the evening game. He was so keen on having me play the Dart game with him.’ Deji uttered sadly as they walk hand in hand.
‘’Well, I’m sure he will understand the nature of your job.’’ She said and then stopped abruptly. Deji was forced to stop too. He gave her an inquisitive loo.