the cake for chutzpah. She has a mellifluous voice and lovely, beaming
eyes. She has a tantalizing taste of success: I can tell from her
outlook. She is in an ecru, thick, chiffon, prom mini- dress, matching
stilettos and matching icon trench coat. She has immaculately long, dark
hair. It is comme il faut to compliment such a beauty.
But the man I am becoming won’t let me.She keeps gazing at me as she awaits the patron to make her order ready.She could be in her mid twenties,and in her first job.She looks like an investment banker or a supply chains analyst.She is holding what looks like an Apple gadget in her left hand.According to a study I bumped into a while back,left handers are more likely to be geniuses.It is probable that she could be up for promotion in the next few weeks.She could be the most reliable employee in her department.May be she works with precision,hates procrastination and falls under the category of perfectionists.
She is seated two tables in front of me,this Thursday evening.
Luck Lounge has been my most favorite hang out spot for the past 23 months since I became a teetotaler.I usually come here to steam out after a gaga day in the office. The Lounge Management usually brings in live dance orchestras every Thursday evenings.It is this assuasive musical performance that keep me glued here for some hours,before I drive myself home to turn in.
ordered red Spanish table wine.I am half way through my clam juice.It
usually takes me more than half an hour to clear my beverage.I am easily
distracted either peeking at fellow revelers around the lounge or
checking through the cyberspace on my device for any interesting long
read.I am a long reads buff. Over lunch breaks, when I am not absorbed
in any office work, I usually partake some of these.And proceed in the
evenings after work.
The past 23 months have been over- the — top. I quit drinking. I haven’t dated anyone — let alone a fling. I just take out lady friends for lunch and dinner dates over weekend and maintain steady platonic relationships. I rarely make advances at ladies I might feel attracted to. I am afraid of the man I am becoming.
few months back, I was the typical plate spinner. I was a notorious
philanderer and a regular boozer and reveler. After all, I have what any
good looking young man at my age would ever dream of — a cozy, imposing
mansion, a Tatra 613 and a Mercedes- AMG GLC 63 S in my garage and a
thriving PR firm. I would say luxuriance is one of my attributes.
The dance band is performing French Montana’s Shisha. I barely notice as the lady approaches my table.
‘Mind a dance?’
She inquires as she stretches out her manicured right hand. She is smiling sheepishly, a wry dimple forming on her cheek.
I join her on the dance floor.
“You are a rattling dancer! I am awed,” I aver.
chubby cheeks are crimsoning. She looks prettier while blushing. Her
skin looks lighter in the glare of the neon lighting on the dance floor.
“Really? My friends tell me I am terrible dancer.”
“Your friends are terrible liars.”
By now, they are playing Ciara’s ‘Dance like we’re making love.’ The rhythmical dance steps that my dancing partner takes me through makes me conclude she is a seasoned dancer.
“Where did you learn this?”
“Salsa class. A few years ago.”
“Wow! You are really good at it.”
“Many thanks. You are an equally great dancer.Learnt it somewhere?”
“Nay! My dancing has always been limited to this space — the dance floor. I observe and learn. Then try it by myself.”
“What else have you observed and learned today?”
“That you are pretty.”
She chuckles and tightens her grip of her left arm on my shoulder and moves closer. The distance between us is almost occupied. I am enthused. Here I am — with a beautiful in my arms. I haven’t introduced myself by name and neither has she, but we are already acquainted on the dance floor like a couple.
Minutes later, we are walking out. She is slightly tipsy. But still in her right frame of mind. For the man I am becoming,
I drive her home. Help her to her king-size bed. Prepare her a glass of
lukewarm water which she requests. She has a great taste in an
epicurean lifestyle — the furniture, crockery and all the accessories in
her beautiful apartment tell it all. Before I excuse myself, she offers
her business card.I promise to call her the following morning.
drive off home. One thing I am trying to do currently is to balance my
social life. I am cautious not to get neck — deep in any new
the next couple of weeks, I will occasionally meet Octavia for lunch
and dinner dates. We will make weekend plans. What takes her aback for
all this time is that I am not inclined to try any romantic overtures. I
have kept our communication and platonic friendship very candid.
Sunday afternoon, as we are enjoying a nature walk in some woodland a
few miles from my home, she inquires why I haven’t asked her out or even
made a move yet we have been friends for seven months now.
She has fallen in love with the man I am becoming.
how did I get here? It is more of inadvertent than plotted. It is a
journey that I commenced arbitrarily. No design. But at some point, I
think it was a novel idea.
It’s now a year since OCTAVIA walked up to me for a dance. Looking back, I think I have made great progress with the man I am becoming.
“Your girlfriend is on Line 1, Sir. “My secretary enounces as she storms into my office.
“Hehe.Doreen, I have told you time and again I am not dating Ms. Octavia…”
“But she is a frequent caller. And a regular guest here too.”
“Haha.Put her through, please. We will finish this discussion later.”
everyone in my social circle now thinks Octavia and I are an item. It
would be hard to convince them that I can keep a lady as a best friend
without necessarily going steady with her. In a way, others are
convinced with my explanation.
have driven Octavia to her place after work every day for the past
year. It has become a routine. I drop her off at her door step and drive
off home when I have unfinished work that I am taking home. When I have
none, we have kept a schedule where I prepare dinner at her place and
then leave shortly after. Alternatively, she comes cooks at my place,
then I drive her home. At no particular time have I ever spent a night
at her place. She has moved to bigger apartments in the same period. Her
current residence has 4 spacious bedrooms. I have 5 spacious bedrooms
that I do not use.
fortunes have quadrupled. She has risen through the ranks in this past
year to control operations in three countries. My firm also expanded
operations to accommodate all cadres of clientele.
once offered one of my cars to Octavia so she could use it before she
acquired hers. She declined. She argued that she was okay with me ‘being her chauffeur for the next 100 years.’
She even turned down the official car and driver assigned to her. She
diverted the allowances allocated to her for that purpose to a program
we started together. We co — sponsor some kids’ education with those
monies — from her allowances and from my business profits.
metamorphosis from having amorous affairs to asexuality is something
that still baffles me. Sometimes I ogle at OCTAVIA as she makes her way
through the staircases in her house or as she walks out of my car. How I
am able to control my sexual itch flummoxes me. We have been in very
compromising instances and I still didn’t succumb to any of it.
is this one time I asked her to accompany me on a vacation. I had
booked separate rooms. That’s how we always do it. After dinner, I saw
her off to her room. She was a little inebriated. So we walked arm in
arm to her room. I opened her door and helped her out of her flats.
requested that I stay a while longer as I wait for her to freshen up.
She undressed right in front of me. And donned her bath robe before
proceeding to the bath room. She didn’t even close the bathroom door. I
have never been so much aroused instantly like on that night. Watching
her strip down in my very presence made me uncomfortable. At some point,
she stood with her arms akimbo and stared at me without uttering a
single word. At that instance, I froze. My skin twitching in excitement.
I began fidgeting in my seat. I had to keep off eye contact after a few
seconds. That’s when she took her bathrobe and disappeared into the
After that night, we have joked about it severally. And she keeps confessing that she had done it on purpose to test my patience.
Some choices are never meant to be easy. The discipline to follow through such choices requires some extraordinary elan.
all came in a flush. That Saturday evening, 34 months ago, after
boozing with a few friends, one of the ladies I had been flirting with
at the counter, drove me home. As we staggered into the bedroom, I
stopped and excused myself to rush into the wash room. I washed my face
and looked at myself in the mirror. I don’t know what came over me, but I
remember walking back to my bedroom where I found that the lady had
already undressed, leaving only her undergarments. I demanded that she
dress up immediately.
Of course she reluctantly obliged. She kept asking if I didn’t like her what I had seen (her body) or what she had done to piss me off. Frankly, it wasn’t her. It was media had seen a version of me at the mirror that I couldn’t recognize. That wasn’t the man I wanted to be. With blood shot eyes and a hangover. As I dropped her off at her place, I knew I needed to start doing things differently. It was on that particular night that I made the decision to be the man I am becoming.
The man I am becoming is a gentleman. A respecter of persons. A man with integrity. A man with a set of great values. A dreamer. A worker. A man hungry for success. A stickler for promptness, quality and perfection. A man who has set his eyes on the prize. A man with a destiny. A man who is conscious of everything.
legacy will be my turn around. My memories will be those of a man who
defied the odds to create a version of himself he wasn’t aware existed.
I want to look back and be proud of the things I have done. Thus far, OCTAVIA has been a great ally in this journey. She has been pivotal in every major decision I have made. I don’t know how things will be between us few years from now, but I know I can always count on her. She is loyal and trustworthy. On weekends when we are together, she practically takes over my phone. She answers my calls. Replies my messages on my behalf. She does pretty everything for me.Our is an open association. That level of trust is not easy to establish. She knows almost everything there is to know. I have opened up to her in a way no one else has. She has done the same. We have become a formidable team.
I type this, Octavia is dancing to Sarkodie’s “Pain Killer” as she
tenders to her kitchen garden. Am at her gazebo. The freshness of the
air here is therapeutic. When she is done, she has promised to fly with
me to see my folks in the countryside. It’s been a fortnight since we
last went there. It has become more of a habit. We alternate visits. We
go to see her folks on one, then mine on the next one.
tend to think I have created a purpose for myself and for those I
cherish. I am happy with the progress. I am constantly working towards
making lives of those around me comfortable. It is a privilege and an