Sleep was a privilege I couldn’t afford.
Morning came too soon and the weight of my date slumped on my shoulders, like a bag of stones. Shopping with Lydia did nothing to ease my nerves. Her comments and judgmental attitude almost made me have an anxiety attack.
“Rich people pay a lot to look ugly” she would sigh and comment. This would come when she would see the price tag of the clothes.
“My parents are rich but not me”
I hated that word ‘Rich people’. Since Lydia discovered who my father was. My every single decision or opinion was met with a comment that contained those two words. I was privileged, it wasn’t my choice. It never got to my head, I appreciated others.
“All the same. What is theirs is yours” she shrugged.
If only she knew.
“Do you know how many sexy second hand clothes, the zeros in this tag can buy in an open air market?” she asked on the account of my silence. “One Day my children will have such a life” she whispered, I didn’t want to reply. I felt like I intruded her privacy having heard that.
“Sexy is just the cherry on the icing, Classy and brand names is the real deal from my social circle”
My mother taught me about the virtue of humility. However, am sure she wouldn’t appreciate me showing up in a second hand dress, sexy or not. There was a difference between being humble and looking humble.
I got Lydia a black painted shirt that suited her Avril Lavigne sense of style. She might have pretended otherwise but I knew she loved it. Just like I knew my father was about to call me and release all hell on me for spending more than my credit card limit. And I wasn’t wrong as I answered the phone.
We exchanged pleasantries. Asked about school and gave her the same autonomous reply I gave her daily. The excitement of my date with Leo nagging me to tell her. So I waited for her to ask about any boys, like all mothers.
“Your father got a call from the bank. He flew out of the country furious with you. He thinks you are in some illegal dealing”
Wow I drove, no, flew my father away with my spending.
That explained why I didn’t see him knocking on my dorm’s door. To confirm his suspicion.
“I just bought clothes and shoes and a new phone, After all you guys refused to buy for me”
“Since when have you been this extravagant. You blew a whole month limit in a single day-
That was the point. To blow Leo’s mind away with a single spin of my Chanel dress”
- it’s alarming, could you be undergoing any kind of emotional distress and shopping is a psychological therapy?” she carried on.
“Mum am not depressed” I was silent thinking if I should tell her about Leo. I am sure she would be understanding. “I met this boy and he asked me out”
“A boy?” She was silent. “Where is he from?” she asked.
“Mum we just met”
“Does he look like a decent boy”
“Mum relax, he is decent and a perfect gentleman”
“That is up to us to decide when we see him”
I didn’t like any bit to where the conversation was steering to.
“Mum please don’t tell dad about this”
My dad was crazy enough to drive to hunt down Leo, have him investigated, even ask him to provide a certificate of good conduct, clearance from the credit bureau reference and many other things.
The door flew open and Lydia walked in.
“He’s here” she mouthed.
“Mum, I have to go and please don’t tell Dad about Leo”
I hung up before she could reply.
“He’s here and man does boy has a sense of fashion”
“How do I look?” I asked my initial anxiety kicking in. What if my choice of clothing was too extravagant and I looked too pompous.
I had worn a mid thigh red Chanel floral dress, matched it with blue two piece flat shoes to make my appearance look simple and a white purse.
Demi Lovato heart attack song came to mind. Leo made me wanna act like a girl. And I hated the feeling just as much as I liked him.
"Who’s that sexy thing I see over there?
That’s me, standin′ in the mirror” I sang.
“I barely recognize myself. Is it a good thing or not” I said to Lydia looking at myself, from the mirror.
The saloon had done Magic to it. My mom and I had this fine thin hair. My highschool friends used to tease me by calling it cat’s fur due to it’s smoothness and fuzz. But now looking at it on the mirror it did look thick, voluminous and making my face to look small and sharp.
Curls were now my favorites.
“You look amazing”
“Yeah” I sighed. “If I were you I wanna be me too” I joked.
Lydia averted my eyes, and unreadable emotion flashed through her eyes. Clearly she didn’t find humor in it. To avoid the awkward moment. I announced my departure.
“Here goes nothing” I said before stepping out.
I found Leo standing by the footsteps that led to the hostels. He had pocketed his hands, his face glistening under the evening smoldering red ball that was saying goodbye. He was casually dressed. In a black shirt, black jeans and white sneakers. Could anything not look good on him? He would make Kanye’s crazy brand look like Armani.
He lifted his head. Whatever he wanted to say was, got stuck at his throat. His eyes boring into my appearance and his mouth wide open. He shook his head, recovering from his daze state.
The look Leo gave me was worth the scolding that awaited me from my father.
“You look...” he trailed looking for a fitting word. “different?” he said, unsure if it fitted the description.
“You also look-
I was interrupted when someone called my name. I whipped my head. I was surprised to see ‘histoplasmosis’. If we’re going to keep on running into each other I better know his name.
“You-What are you doing here?”
“I came to...” he stopped. His eyes following Leo’s hand as it circled my waist. I felt my body heat up.
“I was walking by then I saw you” thought I could say hi” he went on.
A pregnant silence fell upon us, i didn’t respond. I didn’t know what to say. So i just stared at him.
“I’ll see you around” he said announcing his departure. Talk about awkwardness.
He gave Leo a nod, which he also reciprocated.
“Some random guy”
I am sure he heard what I said. I didn’t care.
“Are you ready for the best night of your life?”
“Don’t oversell yourself ”
“Oh, am not. It’s tested and proven. By the end of the night, you will be begging for it not to stop ” he winked, only Leo could make a simple wink look sexy.
“Don’t be so sure. I am hard to please”
“Even the hardest nuts crack” He said before we left.