Leisure mall was a beehive of activities which had Lagosians from all works of life besieging the place like it had become a repertoire of unbroken dreams. Every fun section of the mall had a multitude of people in attendance. The crowd there stunned Martins so much that he wondered if he must have missed an announcement on National TV that the world was going to end the next day. He decided to pitch his tent at a more sane section of the mall while he waited for his date for what seemed like forever. It was a Sunday – a day after the unfortunate incident at Deji’s apartment. Martins had managed to get away from the drama and the controversy that ensued. Though Deji was still in Police custody, Martins was sure he would be released the moment Stella recovers well enough to give the police her own account of the incident back at Deji’s apartment which hopefully will let Deji off the hook.
All Martins wanted to think of now was his outing at the mall. Finally he could have his much awaited date with Aisha and probably still have ample time to check on Deji at the police station. Martins took a quick glance at his wrist watch.
“6:45pm! Where the heck is this Aisha girl now?” Martins was growing impatient after loitering around the mall for more than an hour.
As he moved in his chair to view the entrance to the mall, Martins thought he saw the Doctor that rescued Stella from the pangs of death walk into the mall.
“Doctor Titus?” So he has time to visit the Mall too with all the patients that besiege his hospital?”
Martins wondered if the Doctor ever had time to catch some sleep.
“Look at him with his funny spectacles…Snitch!” he said scornfully. He was still angry the Doctor had called tpolice on them. His wandering mind sauntered to his encounter with Doctor Titus at the hospital.
“Doctor! There’s an emergency! It’s Senator Ibitoye,” a nurse bellowed
Deji stopped the Doctor on his track as he attempted to race to the theatre
“Doctor you were going to tell me something”
“Yeah…Mr Deji, the Police will be here any moment”
“You called the Police?” Deji, Martins and Akon asked alarmingly almost simultaneously
“It’s in line with our policy, sirs”
“What freaking policy?” Akon exploded in anger
“Sorry I have to attend to an emergency”
The doctor walks away from the devastated trio just as two police men walked into the waiting room.
“Officers, that’s the young man,” the Doctor motioned the officers to where Deji stood affixed to the spot
“You are under arrest!”
The sudden appearance of a sales girl in the mall brought Martins back to real time. The teenage girl who was wearing a colourful apron attached to a short gown walked up to him to take his orders though Martins didn’t think he needed one yet
“Good day sir” the sales girl greeted Martins smiling wholeheartedly like she was doing an advert for Close-up
“What would you like to have sir?”
“Not yet please, I’m expecting someone.” The smile that had gained a foothold on the girls’ face suddenly waned
“Sorry sir, you can’t sit here with the tables empty. As you can see, you took the last table and now we have a couple of people waiting at the flanks.”
Martins took a quick glance around the relaxation spot and noticed that a couple was actually waiting.
“So you are asking me to leave?” Martins appears embarrassed
“Not exactly sir, I’m only advising you to have a taste of our confectioneries while you enjoy the view here”
“Okay, just get me ice cream and please stop trying to be polite, you are drawing attention to me already” Martins said sternly
“Sorry sir, please don’t take offense. I’m just acting on orders” the girl pleaded
“I’ve heard you now! Just go please” Martins jettisoned her.
However Martins outburst did not deter the young girl; “What flavor would you want?”
“How much is a cup?” Martins asked.
“Jesus! Do you sell it in a golden cup?”
The girl bursts into laughter. “You are funny sir” She said in between giggles.
“But I’m not joking here…its expensive” Martins voiced sternly
“That’s the price sir”
“Okay, fine. Just get me vanilla flavour “
“Any snacks to go with it?”
“Are you kidding me?” Martins is infuriated while the young girl smiles at him patronizingly
“Trust me, that look won’t work. Please just get me the ice cream and remind me next time to loiter around for as long as I can while I wait for my guest”
The girl takes her leave.
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Martins phone beeped. It was a ping from Aisha. She wanted to know where he was at the mall. He instantly responded to her ping, he was still pissed that he would be parting with some of his hard earned cash for a cup of ice cream.
“If only he had been patient for at least 2 more minutes he wouldn’t have had to suffer such fate,” he thought.
His brain began calculating how much more of his money he had to part with. Martins thought the transactions that were carried out in the mall was daylight robbery and that was only because it was the first time he would be spending his money at a mall.Martins was not a fan of ice cream because it only excited his taste bud but did nothing to satisfy the cravings of his stomach. He imagined the sumptuous meal of pounded yam and Afam soup with assorted meat he would have had with N600. A tap on his back brought him to life. It was Aisha.
“Hi dear, sorry I kept you waiting” Aisha said softly as she pulled out the only unoccupied seat.
“The havoc was done already, so what’s the point” Martins said under his breath
Aisha appeared uneasy as she placed her hand bag and her phone on the table before them partly sitting, partly standing.
“A minute please…I want to use the convenience” Aisha said with a bit of discomfort
Martins eyes trailed Aisha as she walked away from the table. He looked around him and noticed that he wasn’t the only guy staring, even guys that had female companions didn’t mind to steal a glance at the attractive Aisha. With her body clinging gown that revealed a slim frame amid an hour glass ‘lookalike’ figure; Aisha was indeed a stunner that evening and Martins almost didn’t mind spending all he had just to enjoy his time out with her. For a moment he wondered why Aisha was still single worse still he was only two years older than her and it didn’t look like she had a serious relationship going for her though they hadn’t really discussed that part of their lives. Then it dawned on him that he wasn’t any better. Martins was not in any relationship either whether serious or not.
Aisha’s phone vibrated on the table halting Martins train of thoughts. He glanced at the screen to view the identity of the caller…“Tunde?”he muttered. The name didn’t ring a bell albeit Martins’ attention was drawn to the number as the vibration ceased.
Then the phone came alive again. The vibration was so intense this time that it almost shook the table it seated off the ground. This time Martins’ thought the number was familiar. Out of curiosity, he dialed the number on his phone.
“Good lord! I knew it!” Martins exclaimed
The contact ‘ID’ of the Tunde whose call Aisha missed was actually Engr. adetukasi on Martins’ phone; Martin’s client.
Martins is befuddled “So Aisha knows the Engineer… What exactly is this about? Who really is this Aisha?” Martins didn’t know what to believe any longer.