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Monday, 1 February 2016


(Image source: photobucket.com)

Last weekend, Cynthia couldn't visit Joe because her father didn't travel as usual. Her father's  business required him to travel often on weekends to purchase new stock. On the other end, Joe had made all necessary preparations to receive his new girlfriend for that weekend. It would have been her first visit. He had cleaned every item in his one bedroom apartment, washed the bedsheets and pillow covers, arranged his wardrobe and did his laundary. He even bought an air freshener and placed on his table. The TV set and sound system were in order too. She had mentioned something about being a lover of R&B so he had obtained some CD collections. He wanted her to be comfortable. Everything had been set for the grand visit but all he had received was a phone call that her father was still in town due to an unexpected health issue. 

This weekend, she gave him the call he was anticipating. 
"Hey Joe, everything's set this time. He's travelling, I'm certain. Hope you're ready to host me 'cause I don't want to come and starve." Joe felt like he had just hit jackpot. "Thank God it's Friday!" He exclaimed after the call. Cynthia's visit was something he couldn't toy with. He was one of the security personnel at Crunches eatery and wasn't on duty from Friday to Monday. Though he earned very little, he could squeeze out something to take care of a lady for a weekend. 
"No worries, I got you babe. I'll text you directions. See you soon." He looked round the room, everything was in order. He picked up his C5, typed the directions and sent to her via Whatsapp. 

It was about 3pm when he stepped out of the bathroom with his towel on. Almost immediately, a gentle knock fell on the door. Cynthia had arrived. "Please come in, it's unlocked."
The tall and alluring damsel stepped in. Her appearance sent electrifying pulses through his system. She was dressed in a sky blue sleeveless shirt that revealed a good portion of her 'bossomic' assets. Her blue pair of jeans cleaved to her pretty legs, emphasizing every curve on her lower body. She had a simple handbag with her. The handbag looked like a casual bag for regular outings but surprisingly contained items that would see her through the weekend. It stunned him how discreet ladies' accessories could be. One could never tell the way of a lady, he thought with amusement. "Hello beautiful! You look prettier than all the wives of King Solomon. Welcome my dear." He offered her a plastic chair to sit. "Thanks thanks. Finally, I'm here after almost getting lost with your Google Earth directions. And what is that thing pushing out from your towel?" She said casually for the purpose of humour. Joe tried to hide his embarrassment by placing his palms over the mentioned region. He quickly retired to the bathroom and came back dressed in undershorts. Raking through his wardrobe, he selected a casual T-shirt and balanced it up with a pair of denim trousers. Cynthia went to the corner of the room where the fridge was and helped herself with a chill glass of apple juice. There was a pack of sliced bread on the fridge but she didn't use it, maybe saving for later. Joe was happy she was feeling relaxed. "I have enough music video collection in the rack. Knock yourself out if you wish." She nodded and sipped her drink peacefully. Joe had a little challenge. He had no foodstuffs in the house. He was a fan of restaurant food as he was a horrible cook. But he didn't worry much. When Cynthia got settled, they'd go to the market to get few things to put together. There was no reasonable kobo left in his pocket, only some light change that could barely afford recharge card. He was well aware that hosting Cynthia would cost him some money that's why he didn't tamper with the last N5,000 in his account. She had to feed, check out a popular bar on Saturday evening and also have something to pay her way home with. The analysis only made him more concerned of the extent he'd have to manage to meet these needs. "Sweetee make yourself comfortable. I want to use the ATM at the junction. I'll be back before you notice."  "Hmmm...you better hurry else I'll just pick my bag and leave." He picked up his wallet and dashed out. He would use the change in his pocket to pay his fare. When he returned, they would prepare something together. The last thing he would want to do was keep the beauty hungry and waiting. 

The ATMs at Sandres Road were all out of service. The only active one at Alpha Bank had atleast two dozen customers queued up before it. He took a deep breath and picked a space behind an obessed lady. Each moment passing made him more desperate for his turn. He almost cursed people that took eternity at the machine making multiple withdrawals. He just needed to withdraw N5,000. These rich folks won't ever consider others, he thought bitterly. "Madam, you never still finish?" He couldn't help speaking out to a lady who appeared confused on how to operate the machine. Cynthia won't be happy about the delay. It might ruin everything. His panic caused him to sweat. His wrist watch read 3:45pm.
After about forty more minutes, he was finally before the machine. He slotted his card in and entered instructions to withdraw N5,000. A message appeared that he had insufficient funds. He almost went crazy. "What the hell!" He swore. He hadn't touch the money. What had happened? Confusion, laced with spite setted in. Hastily, Joe checked his account balance only to discover he still had four thousand naira and some fractions. "Fucking bank charges!" He cursed again. The machine could only pay in multiples of 1000. He entered N4,000 and waited for the electronic to spit it out. "Oga you dey sleep for dia?" An impatient customer on the line behind him queried. "Bros no be me do am o. Na this yeye machine de dull."

The machine was still processing his transaction. It was obviously longer than usual and his patience was wearing thin. Finally, he heard beepings and another message appeared on the screen: Service Time Out. He tried again and it displayed "Insufficient Funds." Like before, he checked his balance. This time, it was a nightmare; his account was debited of N4,000 but without dispensing. His new balance was N965.00. He turned around to see an imaptient crowd staring at him. Before he could think of anything, his phone started to vibrate; an incoming call from Cynthia. 


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