Table set, flower vase beautifully aligned in center. A tray full of chicken wings and a bottle half empty with contents that seem like juice-orange juice , if I remember rightly. His face, all smiles. And mine?? Well, I was pretty shy. Head bowed, looking at nothing in particular. Just keeping my face away from sight. I remember not wanting to look too naive.
I didn’t want to show it was my first time on a real date, with a real guy.
“Jasmine ” he calls out.
Immediately, my heart halts – and suddenly I’m gasping for air to utter my words.
” Kwa–Kwame ” I stammer in response. Ashamed, I bow my head even lower.
” Are you that shy? You won’t even look me in the face?? ” he says in between laughs.
” Is it that obvious? “I ask, now a little less tense.
He nods in approval.
Raising my head slightly, this is definitely not how I had things planned for a first real date, I remember saying to myself.
I take hold of my cutlery in an attempt to eat my chicken. The funniest thing happens next. So I’m slicing, I’m slicing and for close to a minute, I’m still slicing that same piece- amazed, I wonder inwardly why it’s taking me a great deal to slice a piece of chicken.
my cutlery knife must be blunt or something, I think. So I look down on the plate and it turns out I was using the blunt side of the knife all that while.
“Aba!! Am I this dumb?” I laugh out- but only heavens know how embarrassed I am in my mind’s eye.
He laughs too. Well , that’s good, I think, at least he finds me hilarious.
We talk for a while and we’re starting to click fine. Our conversation gets interesting and most importantly, I’m not fumbling with my words. I like how this is going I’m thinking to myself.
“Do you care for more ketchup? ” my date asks.
” Yes, sure. ” I say while nodding. He hands me the bottle of assorted tomato paste.
I squeeze the bottle a little too hard and its red contents spill out unto my beautiful yellow dress.
I dare not complain or overreact, I say to myself, ” keep calm, Jasmine, you’re doing fine, keep calm. ”
Lies. But they are comforting.
He offers me tissue to wipe the stains – like that would work.
I excuse myself to the ladies – I’m thinking a moist towel could reduce the stains.
And now I’m looking in the mirror stuck on the wall of the ladies room asking myself, “Was this even worth it?”
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