She had been staring at his perfectly manicured hand that was holding his drink. They looked neat, soft and well structured. Mila still couldn’t understand her fascination with people’s hands. His was what had gotten her tongue tied for seconds. She noticed that he was moving away and followed him.
Leo’s friend on the other hand was moving to the bar, leading Mila towards the same direction. They were in the way of more people coming in. Mila quickly snapped out of staring and apologized for going tongue tied on him. She started the conversation thus;
“Hi. Sorry about that. I’m Mila, Simi’s friend”
“Who’s Simi?” he asked
She was worried this man would become impatient with her so she hurriedly continued.
“Simi Coker, Leo’s friend. That’s her over there”
He looked towards the direction Mila had pointed and gave a cool smile of recognition before continuing. “Oh! Simi. I know her. So, what’s up with her?”
Mila, also smiling from relief that at last, they were on the same page answered
“She lost Leo’s number with her old phone so she needs it so she can call him later. Please, could you help with it?”
“No” he answered with suspicion written all over his face then he added as an after thought “Why didn’t she come get it herself?”
“Well…we came with people who actually invited us for drinks so, she thinks it would be lack of curtsy to just leave them like that to go sit with Leo.” Mila explained hoping this would be enough to get the number already.
“So, you decided to be the good friend that comes to her rescue huh?” he said smiling
Mila couldn’t help but smile too. She shrugged in a “What can I say” kinda way. He brought out his phone, clicked on his contacts icon and scrolled to Leo’s name before giving her the phone to copy out the number. She did and thanked him. She was about turning to leave when he said,
“So, how come Leo gets to have two beautiful ladies taking risks to get his contact while nobody’s asking for mine” he sipped his drink, waiting for her response
Mila laughed at this before replying. She was amused that he called her beautiful. For Simi, she totally agreed but for herself, oh well.
“I’m so sorry” she said amidst laughter. “You didn’t tell me your name”
“You can call me Brian tonight but by tomorrow, my name will be Femi.”
Mila was confused but couldn’t control the laughter that still escaped her mouth. “But how can you have different names for different times of the day?”
“Well,” he said laughing as well “I’m slightly tipsy right now. So, I’ll leave you with my number and then you can call me in the morning to find out which is my permanent name. What do you do Mila?”
That cracked her up more. This dude is strange Mila thought but answered his question anyways.
“I’m a Copy Writer” she said
“What does that mean? Sorry, I’m more of a finance guy”
“Well, I write for adverts”
“That’s cool. Okay Mila, here’s my number. I’ll be expecting your call” he said and started calling out his digits which she typed into her phone. They said their byes and went their separate ways.
Mila felt like she was walking on the clouds as she walked back to her spot. Had she really done that? she kept asking herself. That was the first time she would walk up to a man and initiate a conversation in a public bar. She had been scared at first of the impression she would be giving him but it had turned out great. He was funny, smart, cool and too good looking for a man. He looked too clean like he never played with dirt even as a child. He wasn’t dark or fair in complexion; he was caramel. Like the neutral color of chocolate. He had a perfect face and a perfect physique hidden by the perfectly tailored navy blue native outfit he wore. He didn’t wear a suit like the other men at the bar and that made him look really relaxed.
She liked the way he talked. He had an American accent. The real one; not the fake BritAmerican accent used by every tom dick and harry of Lagos that has ventured to travel to Dubai or Ghana. Everything about him was relaxed like he had all the time in the world to blink, smile, laugh, talk and even sip his drink. Even his tongue took it’s time to taste the drink on his lips. Yes, his lips. She couldn’t forget those. If there had ever been a more peach colored pair on a mouth, it would be his. They were a perfect pair without any undertones of darkness that showed signs of a smoker; just perfect. Mila thought, those lips didn’t look like anyone’s lips cos they were created solely for him. She sighed.
Simi was surprised. She still couldn’t believe it. “Really Mila, you’re unbelievable! I mean, how did you do it?! This is amazing!” she screamed and threw her hands up in the air.
“Hey Simi! Please, the steering. I’m not ready to die yet” she said fearfully but was also basking in the euphoria of having done “a first” that evening. She was glad she had helped Simi. Simi had given her the full gist of how she met Leo. She had gone clubbing with some friends on a Friday night and had gotten tipsy. So while the so called friends had abandoned her in her car, Leo who had been at the same spot with his friends as well and had been eyeing her all evening, had driven her to an hotel, lodged her in a room he paid for, and had left instructions with room service to serve her breakfast in bed by morning with some aspirin. She had woken up to a note on the bed side table from him about the incident and had left his number for her to call him if she liked. She would have called him but then, she realized that her phone was missing and ever since, whenever she went out, she would pay more attention to the crowd, looking for him.
“Now, who wouldn’t comb the earth for such a man’s phone number?” Simi asked looking love drunk
“Wow!” was the first thing Mila could say “I would!” she exclaimed after wards and they both laughed out loud into the evening as they drove off.
That night, Mila lay on her bed with her favorite book of the moment, “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett. She was on the part where young Jack had burnt down the cathedral of Kingsbridge so that his mother’s lover, Tom Bulider could have a job in the town. She paused and reflected on the evening’s event and smiled as she realized that she had displayed the same act of chivalry for Simi who wasn’t really a bosom friend but a friend all the same.
She picked up her phone, clicked on her contacts icon and then scrolled to letter B where she had saved a name as Brian Femi. She smiled to herself and switched off the lights of the room.