I don't think it will work between us. Words that have the power to break, hurt, disappoint or simply infuriate.
Last night, Friday night... My friend and I had the sudden rather intense urge to hit the town. We weren't sure what we wanted to do, we knew we didn't want to go clubbing but we knew we wanted to go out. So I drove over to pick her up and as we drove into Admiralty, Phase 1, we realized we didn't have a plan. The thing about not having a plan is that it can go any way. Spontaneity is a great thing, it leads to possibilities and great adventures. On the other hand, as they say; when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
We decided that Sailor's Lounge might be a good start. Sailors. I love being by the water and I love seeing the lights beyond the water on the other side of Lekki Phase 1, but the lounge and I haven't had the greatest love affair. Last night was no different. I left my bottle of Coroner half full, she left her glass of Chapman unfinished, we grabbed our bags and left.
Before we did though I hit up a couple of people on WhatsApp, and the first response led us to Marrocaine VI. I've been going to Marrocaine for some years now, although I'm not an ingrained member of the family. Still, last night had this great vibe to it. My friend, Charles, is a huge member of the family and once it was noted that I was his guest, the waiters flunked around my friend and I.
A bucket of ice here, a bottle of Henessey there, a tray of nuts here, and platter of spicy chicken wings there, great music and an interesting meld of people. I noted to my friend that there's always an electric feel in places like these on Friday nights. And that's thanks to the 9 to 5ers who sincerely thank God it's Friday. It's the most interesting thing watching them swig from bottles, dance, scream, shout, unwind, unleash! Some still in their work clothes, others who are ready for a full blown night of fun and/or decadence, in their swanky Friday night clothes. We were having such a good time until I got another WhatsApp response.
He said he was at Marcopolo and I should come through. I knew I should have stayed with the happy people at Marrocaine. But they were people and he was "person". And in my books, and current state of emotions, person was more important than (random) people. So I hugged Charles goodnight, thanked him for a beautiful time, pulled my friend along and headed to Marcopolo.
He came to meet me at the car park and once again I found myself admiring his hard body. The body of an athletic man is a beautiful thing to behold, don't you think?
He was actually with a bunch of friends, their table had about fifteen people around it but I wasn't keen on sitting with strangers. He didn't mind either when I suggested we go sit beside the pool. It was more quiet, more intimate.
My friend kept a safe distance, taking the table beside us. After the head-start at Sailors, the drinks, food and all the excitement at Marrocaine, she seemed sated and satisfied to sit in a corner, and catch up on the never-ending excitement on Stella Dimoko's blog.
I was fine with just a bottle of water and he already had a drink in his hand. We sat to talk and it went something like this.
Him: I was so happy when I received your message, it was good to hear from you. You just fashied me Nwando, not fair.
Me: Yeah, it's been a while, I thought it might be good to see you.
Him: So what are we doing tonight, let's go out, see where it goes...
Me: What exactly do you have in mind?
Him: Look, I have nothing planned. Let's be spontaneous. I'm feeling a bit hungry, we can go somewhere, get some food, go somewhere for drinks, talk, dance, whatever and see where it goes?
Me: I don't like the ambiguity; "where it goes". What exactly do you have in mind? (Too many lessons have taught me that if I'm not ready to go just about anywhere with someone, it's best to clear the air of any ambiguity and set the terms straight. No time for stories that touch later at 4am in the morning).
Him: Look, we're not kids. (It's never a good sign when a man says this. LOL). We're not 16, ok? You know I fancy you, like I really fancy you...
Him: Yeah. So I'm with a lady I really fancy, and I'm very attracted to... It's a Friday night... We could do anything, I really fancy you and you know this so let's just stop this. We're not 16.
Me: This is the tenth time you've said we're not sixteen this night... How have you been? What's been up with you?
Him: You know, work work and more work. What about you?
Me: Same I guess. So, work... What are your weekends usually like?
Him: I dunno (vaguely). Two weekends ago I was in Washington DC, last weekend I had a meeting in Brussles, today I'm in Lagos. My partners and I are handling a merger in New York, so I'm likely to be there next weekend. So... no two weekends are really ever the same for me. You?
Me: Well I've been in town f...
Him: I can't believe I'm doing this? (Cutting in)
Me: Doing what?
Him: This! (Throws his hands up in exasperation) I mean, it's a Friday night, and we're here, doing what? Talking about.... Talking about...
Me: What would you rather we talk about?
Him: (Swiftly changing the topic). You look nice by the way. Is that a dress you're wearing?
Me: (Confused. Genuinely confused). Err, yes, it is a dress. Why do you ask?
Him: I mean, I'm just asking. Like it's black, it's a black dress, black dresses are nice, and (making absolutely no sense)
Me: Oh... I was wondering if you were suggesting it's too short, like if you're wondering if its a shirt... (It's a rather short dress, actually a dress-shirt, but I wore it as a dress, so that makes it a dress, yes? Well maybe not...)
Him: Nwando... (Pause) I don't think it will work between us.
Me: What? (I didn't know we were quite there yet, so what was he on about?)
Him: This. Like, we're either arguing about one thing or the other. I really don't think we can work...
Me: You know what, I shouldn't keep you from your friends any longer. It was lovely seeing you, thanks for everything.
I was already on my feet and signaling to my friend (Sasha boné, to be specific). She looked up, confused at the abruptness of the conclusion of our meeting, but was also very ready to leave.
As we walked away, sasha tried to get me to walk slowly as he was trying to catch up, to walk me to the car. To hell with him, I spat. I should clarify that my reaction wasn't to his saying we wouldn't work. Something about the "let's spend the night, we're not 16, I fancy you, I'm attracted to you, so I should be allowed to do with you what I please" really irritated me. Then the sudden "we won't work" when he noticed that throwing around words like fancy you and attracted to you, weren't going to get him anywhere... Chalking up the quitting to our minor arguments, when he makes several millions off arguments also immediately put me off.
"Hia. Nwando o gini?" sasha asked.
In the car I relayed the convo to her. And this is what she said; "well of course it won't work between you two".
"Why?" I asked. At that point I was very certain I didn't want it, whatever "it" was, to work between us, but I was curious to hear her reason.
"Where did you say he was? DC two Saturdays back. Brussels last Saturday. Plus I heard him say he's likely to be in New York this coming week".
"Where were you last two weekends, Last weekend, now and this coming weekend?"
"Exactly! So how will it work nau?!!!" Sasha burst out laughing.
I think Sasha's theory is that we're from two different worlds. He's the over-achieving, extremely successful, extensively travelled man born with a silver spoon. I on the other hand..., well let's just say we are from two different worlds.
But really, assuming this dude and I actually connect better (which we certainly do not), do you really mean to tell me that a relationship wouldn't work between us? And that even if it does it would be fraught with so many issues, awkwardness and challenges as a result of our divergent lives/lifestyles/backgrounds?
Please let me know.