As time passed on, Ade was busy attending to customers, his mom had arrived at shop. It was afternoon already, the street had became noisy with the sound of generator here and there. His phone was getting low, he thought he would charge in the opposite shop close to Tope’s shop where a barber works. He took out his charger and was moving out of his shop. Just few steps before he stepped out of his shop he saw Tope entering the barber’s shop, she had gone to charge too.
He thought to himself if it was an opportunity to talk to her, “No, no, no, it can’t be, the barber will hear us”, he thought to himself. “A better chance will come”, he thought. He couldn’t go at the same time. He felt shy. He waited for her to leave so he could go in there and plug his phone, but she wouldn’t leave anytime soon. Standing at his doorstep taking a close watch at the barber’s shop he thought to himself, what could have kept her waiting, “could she be in a relationship with the barber., No! No! No! It can’t be, he is old enough to be her uncle”, he thought to himself. Tope came out of the shop and returned to her shop. “What kept her that long”, he was curious. He moved out to plug his phone and returned to shop. He pulled a stool out and was seated outside his gate. He saw Tope seated in her shop leaning on the transparent door.
“Ji! Masun!”, it was juwon.
Juwon: What are you thinking bro?
Ade: what’s up with you?
Juwon: Nothing much, Just the usual. I heard schools have started giving admissions. Have you checked yours?
Ade: Nope. But, I will later in the evening. What about you, have you checked?
Juwon: Not yet, I will check after you have checked yours. How is sales bro?
Ade: Not bad
“I was just passing by, we’ll talk some other time”, said Juwon as he walked away.
“Okay”, Ade replied. Juwon left.
Ade watched Tope from a far as she moved in and out of the barber’s shop. He thought of how he would initiate a conversation with her. He wasn’t sure of what to do, the way he walked up to other girls he couldn’t do the same with her. He wouldn’t take the risk of losing her before he could get a chance to know her better.
He was waiting for the right time to talk to her, probably a place where it’s just the two of them alone. “How would that happen”, he thought to himself. It was like a forlorn hope, he was a bit nervous. He wasn’t sure of what to do.
He left shop to check on his phone. On getting to the barber’s shop, he saw his phone had been unplugged. While he was trying to plug in his phone Tope walked in. “Eka san”, Tope greeted him.
“Eka san”, he mumbled. He was startled. He stood up and sat on one of the stools. Tope was seated on another close to Ade. The barber was focused on the TV. Tope was focused on her phone as she moved both thumbs over it. Ade glanced at her, he saw how focused she was on her phone, he bent and picked his too. He pretended to be busy with his phone while he peeped at her. Tope caught him staring, and then he smiled at her but she didn’t smile back. She returned to her phone, but this time she was also pretending to be busy with her phone too.
“I want to catch up with someone at the bus-stop, i will be back soon. You guys are still here right?”, the barber asked them both, “Yeah”, they both replied. The barber left. Ade was kind of happy, the perfect time he seeked had came. It was just he and Tope in the shop. “Uh-uhm”, he cleared throat. He glanced at her and smiled again but still she didn’t smile back at him. He wasn’t sure of how he would start a conversation.
Ade: Hi! What’s up?
Tope: Am Fine
“Hmm…”, he giggled. he was tensed, he didn’t know what next to say. And then he asked again;
Ade: how is work, how is family?
Tope: Fine ,fine, fine
Ade was startled, he felt he sounded boring. Then he said, “am coming to your house to pick a wife” and smiled with his heart in his mouth. Tope smiled.
Tope: Are you coming to get married to my younger sister, or who is it you want to get married to?
Ade felt relaxed, he thought to himself “at least it’s getting interactive”
Ade: How would I go for your sister when I’ve never met her. Am coming for you, to make you my bride ( he smiled).
“Am sorry, am engaged”, Tope said as she gestured with her fingers in the air. “I can’t see a ring on your finger”, said Ade. “It doesn’t matter”, replied Tope, “I have a boyfriend”, she added. Ade was quiet, he was short of words. He had became sullen, he felt rejected. Not quite long, the barber had returned. He turned off the generator and Ade left for shop.