Diary of a Nigerian Single Mum: All Fairy Tales End at Midnight
Itoki seemed so strange when I got home. I had spent a number of hours surrounded by opulence and suddenly I felt I belonged there. When my children saw me and ran to me it drew me reluctantly back to my reality. I had missed them of course. Luxury trip or not. They were everything to me. Speaking of luxury trips, Dehinde made good on his promise. I had absolutely one of the best evenings of my life. I had been wined, dined and serenaded so much that I literally felt every muscle in my body relax as I let go of all my inhibitions.
We had arrived at the private island and I mentally felt my jaw drop – thank goodness it was only in my head. There in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by lush greenery, was a mansion. As the boat approached, I saw that there was a welcome party waiting on the shore holding a huge banner that read Ekaabo. Two men came forward as the boat pulled in. I was helped down from the boat by one of them. He greeted me quite politely and offered me a drink which I turned down with a big smile. Dehinde was right behind me. Sally and Mr A spent some more ‘alone time’ on the boat before getting off as well. The welcome party had clearly been expecting us. Two men adorned in native Yoruba attires began beating on a pair of talking drums as if on cue. There was a veranda with plush black sofas and tables that were positioned to face the ocean. The mansion itself was entirely white. There was a fire with a grill and an assortment of barbecued meat. Beside the barbecue was an outdoor bar with a host of wines and spirits I had never heard of.
“Kaabo” Dehinde whispered in my ear. “It’s my pleasure to have you here. I hope it meets your expectations.”
“Dehinde, this is a beautiful place,” I replied “What is there not to like? There is more than enough beauty here to please the haughtiest of kings.”
Who the hell says haughtiest of kings biko? Me, apparently, when being wooed by a dreamily handsome man. I almost laughed at my ‘Shakespeareanism’, I sounded ridiculous.
He smiled and took my hand, leading me to one of the sofas. I sat down and he pulled out a chair for himself and got comfortable. Dehinde stared at me in total silence. My throat felt suddenly parched and when a waiter passed again carrying drinks, I gladly accepted a long island ice tea.
“You’re staring at me,” I said to him with a small nervous chuckle.
“I know,” he said without averting his eyes, “Do I make you nervous Mags?” He asked me.
“Yes, a little,” I responded, sipping my drink and crossing my legs.
“That’s good to know.”
“Why,” I asked wondering if I had just made it even more obvious the effect he was having on me.
“Because you make me terribly nervous. Not many women have ever had this effect on me. I must admit I was sceptical about meeting you, but here we are. And suddenly I feel this is the best decision I’ve made this year.”
He took a drink from the waiter just as Sally and Mr A finally reappeared and took their seats next to us.
“Let’s make a toast” Dehinde said, getting up. My eyes followed, drinking in his entire 6 foot 3inch – muscular frame.
“Lets toast to serendipity,” he said raising his glass in the air.
“To Serendipity,” We chorused, clinking our glasses and laughing.
Back home I took a shower and went to bed hugging my kids. I couldn’t sleep for obvious reasons. It had been an unbelievably amazing day, but like Cinderella, my midnight had come and the spell was broken. My coachmen had turned into frogs and I was back in my castle of cinders. Well I had a great memory to hold on to. I would remember the magical trip I had taken just by chance, and the handsome prince I had met also by chance, for a very long time. I made myself a promise not to hold my breath expecting him to contact me ever again. Time would tell as it always does what is true and what is a mirage. Till then, I’ll be here, in my small apartment, in my tiny corner of the world called Itoki, loving myself.