Tuesday, February 4, 2014

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL

Bad days!
They come every now and then and rob us of our plans and fantasies. It’s funny how you make plans for a wonderful tomorrow and get handed a frustrating, awful ‘today’. Today’s just like that. I try to think of all the things that could possibly make today an almost great one but all I can think of is ‘nothing’. The irony lies in the fact that I received a promotion today. Don’t even think of me as ungrateful. Just hear me out.

I woke up with a smile on my face.

Anticipation zinged through me, awakening my nerves and the butterflies in my stomach. Owl City’s awe-inspired voice filled the air; I must have slept without turning off the music. I say my prayers quickly as I cannot afford to run late today. I love my apartment; the colors, the homey atmosphere and the scent. Somehow, it just looked more beautiful this morning. I guess promotions make life more beautiful.

I went to the bathroom to turn on the shower cuz I love my bathroom well humidified before I shower. So while the shower is doing its job, I set out to make a quick breakfast. I decide on noodles and some of the grilled chicken I had in the freezer.

With the noodles on fire and the chicken in the microwave, I return to my room to select the perfect ensemble. The navy blue blazers I got on Jumia should do the trick. I just had to find the right bottoms and shoes. I had just decided on cream pants and my maroon brogues when I smelt it. My food was burnt! I quickly dashed to the kitchen and there, was my pot of noodles all black and burnt.


No! Undaunted in the face of mishap, I turn off the cooker and move the party to the sink to clean up the mess. You think you know stubborn until you try to wash heavily burnt food off a pot. I finally give up and fill the pot with water. ‘The chicken wasn’t bad’ I decided as I ate hurriedly. Time wasn’t on my side anymore.

I was rinsing out the dishes when I heard the sound of running water from the bathroom. That’s normal right? A running shower shouldn’t quite be quiet so I make a quick run to my room to get my shower cap. On getting to the bathroom, all I could see was water. The whole was flooded. Apparently, I hadn’t shut the shower cubicle and the water had sprung directly into the room. This was becoming a bad day. I got on my knees and mopped up the water. After ten minutes of wringing a mop, I got into the shower and scalded myself. I forgot ‘again’ to regulate the temp. I made my decision; ‘This was a bad day”.


After the rushed cold shower, I dressed up as quickly as possible and spent just ten minutes on my makeup. Just so you know, that’s a world record. I grab my car keys and handbag and practically run out the door. “Ashiru, where you dey? I never tell you say I no wan dey find you if I wan comot? I go reduce your salary. Abeg open gate jare” I screamed at the poor gateman who was taking a peaceful nap for lack of work to do. Someone had to partake in the bad morning right? I was almost out of the compound when Ashiru flagged me down. “What is it?” “Madam, I no fit tell you before because you been dey para but e be like say you don dey calm down…” “Ashiru talk fast!” I interrupted impatiently. “Okay ma. Your dress get stain for back. E be like paint. E no good at all”. At this point, all the fluid in my body rush to my eyes. I let the tears fall. What kind of morning was this?

I drove back in and quickly rummaged through my wardrobe to find something new…something worthy of a promotion. I found a dark green dress which I paired with cream court shoes and a briefcase. I quickly turned the contents of my bag into the box and ran wildly to my car after locking up. I had driven for ten minutes when I took a look at my dashboard. The pin of the fuel indicator (I hope that’s what it’s called) was oscillating towards the ‘E’. I was practically out of fuel. I shook my head frantically. I had to believe what had left would take me to work. For Pete’s sake, it had to. I started chanting what I hoped was a prayer. As soon as my office building was in view, I worked up a smile. Things were starting to look up. I hoped aloud that the meeting would not have started. Just then my car jerked once, and again. I quickly pulled up to the curb before it gave up. I grabbed my briefcase and phones and started for the office- on foot! My pace had to be somewhere in between walking and running.

By the time I got to the building, it was ten freaking minutes past ten. Shoot! The meeting had to have started. Imagine my relief when I was told the meeting would kick off in ten. Beads o sweat broke and ran down the sides of my face as I slumped into my chair. I got my emergency make up kit and headed to the ladies for some damage control.

The meeting went well. Thank God. I hope people were not able to see through my plastic smile. After the meeting, I was fed up and angry. This supposedly great day was just plain annoying. I was exhausted and broke down in tears. My colleagues assumed I was crying ‘tears of joy’ and started taking pictures of me; something about preserving the moment. I quickly pulled myself together and excused myself. All those pats on my back had started to feel like slaps. I got downstairs, hailed a cab and asked to be taken to a very good restaurant in Victoria Island.

So yes, that’s how I got here. I am sitting alone by the window on a table for two and have successfully ignored the waitress who came to attend to me, twice. I’m trying to caution myself and remind myself that today is not one for ingratitude when a waiter interrupts my thoughts. The girl must have sent this guy to come try his luck. So I’m now the disgruntled lady who scares waitresses. “Can I take your order ma’am?” “What kind of salads do you have” I asked still staring into space. “We have a number of them. I think you should take a look at the menu” he handed me the one he was holding even though there was one on the table before me. I scanned through it absent-mindedly. “I’ll have the liver salad” I said with a half smile as I passed it back to him. “And some red wine” I added. I sure need a drink. “Coming right up” the waiter said with a smile that implied he wasn’t going to let my stone cold expression deter him. I sent him a cold glance that had him running along.

“Given your mood, I’d say you should change that order. A liver salad will leave you in worse shape” Whose this one? Why can’t people mind their businesses? I turned ready to dash out the poison on the tip of my tongue when I saw him. Calm washed over me. It was a handsome face clad in a navy blue suit and a breath-taking smile. His eyes were light brown in color and twinkled (that has to be the word). His lips mouthed something I believe would be ‘hello’. And then he moved… He moved and sat on the chair opposite mine. He was tall and dashing. He made me forget. I had been trying to feel better for hours but in less than one minute, this stranger had made me forget… Forget that I was angry and was having the worst work day ever. I had forgotten that the earth is constantly in motion because right now, everything was still and blurry except him.

I snapped back into reality as he tapped my hand. “Are you alright? I could take my leave if you’d rather be left alone.” “No…Umm…you should sit right there. I’m just fine” I was admiring his haircut. “Okay then. That’s a good start.” He said with a smile. For the first time after I woke up, I smiled genuinely. I had seen many things and had felt so much today but for a split second, it felt as though the earth stood still…as though everything was just great so yes, that’s a good start.
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I hope you smiled at some point.
xoxo,
Nazzy