Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Date Atala Wala Wala

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She had just returned from seeing one of her clients about an overdraft facility he wanted on his account, and was walking back to her office when her manager beckoned her into her office.

Funmi gestured to a seat. "Good morning, Iphey. Please shut the door - this won't take long."

Iphey sat down, wondering what was up; she got on reasonably well with her, so she couldn't figure out why she sounded unusually curt. Her apprehension mounted as Funmi went on to talk about the unprofessionalism she said she had observed in Iphey's work, and how she preferred to let her know about it first rather than writing a query. Iphey was quite shocked; she tried to ask her to be more specific, but Funmi cut her off, saying that she had said everything she wanted to say.

Iphey responded by emphatically stating that Funmi was being unfair in not giving her a fair hearing, and things went rapidly downhill from there. The encounter left her really rattled, she was certain that there was more it that met the eye. "Best not to think too much about it", she muttered to herself. After all, there was this date to look forward to.

Her friend, Aisha had been pestering her forever to go out with this friend of her brother's. She wasn't exactly filled with confidence; the last person that Aisha had recommended had not turned out so well. She’d almost refused, but Aisha pleaded that this guy was really good. The truth was she doubted that Aisha even knew the kind of person she wanted.

Iphey sighed as she put finishing touches to her makeup and prepared to step out of her flat. Aisha had managed to persuade her this time, but only after she swore never, ever to trouble her with her randomly picked blind dates if this didn't work out.

She had also agreed because of the impression she had got when her date called to set up the time and venue. He had appeared charming, intelligent and well-spoken - definitely no red flags. He seemed a bit reticent to give more information about himself, though. All she knew was that his name was Chinedu, and he "ran an engineering business”. Well, at the very worst, it sounded like she might have a more interesting time going out than staying in, even if nothing happened.


The skies were already darkening when she stepped out of the cab in front of the restaurant that they'd agreed to meet at. She looked around, wondering if he might be waiting outside, but she didn't see anyone who looked like they might be him. Maybe I'll have more luck inside, she thought as she walked in. Again, she scanned the dark interior.

"Is he late?" she wondered aloud. She hoped not; one of her pet peeves was people who disrespected others by not keeping to time.

"No, he's not. In fact, he's been watching you since you entered, and he's quite impressed by what he's seen," she heard a voice say in the same deep baritone she had heard on the phone.

She turned round, startled, and saw someone who looked to be in his early thirties, of average height, a bit slim and medium complexioned.

He smiled at her and continued, "Sorry for the unusual introduction... I shouldn’t have chosen a table out of sight, but I usually find the view outside the window provides interesting things to talk about. I don't think that will apply this evening, my eyes will be taken up with a much more beautiful spectacle."

She smiled back. "Thank you, Chinedu - that's a very nice compliment."

He led her to her table, and they ordered their entrees straightaway. The evening passed pleasantly; she told him all about herself, her schooling, how she got a job at Diamond Bank, what she would really like to do if she had the money, places she would like to travel to, her views on the different places she had been to, and so on. Chinedu seemed genuinely interested and impressed by her ideas and her views; the more she talked, the more he wanted to know. She was definitely enjoying herself.

Iphey leaned back and smiled at him. "You sound like a very interesting person. I'd like to hear more of your views on the world; you've not talked a lot about yourself."

Chinedu smiled. "What business does the moon have in the sky when the sun is out shining? My life these days is not that interesting; you'll agree that we've both enjoyed ourselves listening to you talk."

"But what if we could enjoy ourselves even more by listening to YOU talk? Oya... spill the beans!"

He made an expansive gesture. "OK, what do you want to know?"

She grinned back mischievously. "Tell me your deepest, darkest secret."

Chinedu appeared to think for a while. Then he leaned closer to her and whispered, "I used to be an armed robber."

Iphey stared at him. Then she laughed. "Be serious now."

"I am being serious."

Iphey shook her head. He must be joking - who would come out openly and say such a thing? Even armed robbers wouldn't do so. "So assuming you're telling the truth - why did you go into armed robbery?”

"For the same reason that most other people do - lack of opportunity elsewhere, and a friend drew me into it with the promise of making a lot of money from it. The honest truth is that back then, I felt that I had to do what I had to do. I saw people as objects rather than as human beings with feelings, so I didn't feel bad about doing what I did. But that was then."

"I don't understand how you can be so open about your past."

Chinedu smiled, and made the same expansive gesture as before. "Well, you wanted to know my deepest, darkest secret... there's a saying, 'beware of what you ask for, because you may get it'."

They continued chatting, but the earlier pleasant mood of evening for her had definitely soured. After a few more minutes, she stood up and announced that she had to go.

"What a pity. I feel that we were really enjoying ourselves. I came with my car; I can drive you home if you like."

“No, but thanks anyway.”

He insisted, but she was firm. She did assent for him to wait with her while she hailed a taxi, but responded to his chat in monosyllables. Eventually, a cab turned up, and as she got in, he gave her his number and said that he would like them to meet again sometime.

"Let’s see how it goes," she murmured.

As the taxi sped off towards her flat, she reminded herself to call her sister and update her mother. Aisha would have to answer about Chinedu later.

Vote on the left side bar for the story to continue in any of the following directions;
- The event at work with Bisi;
- Iphey's sister/nephew or;
- Conversation with her mother.


Before I depart, I should introduce myself. You probably know that I'm Myne's Signficant Other. Here are a few other random facts about me:

- This is my the third continent I'll be living on, after Europe and Africa. But I don't think I'm cut out for the 'Ajala' life, so I have no plans to move to Asia or Australia (but then again, two years ago I didn't know I'd be moving to Seattle, so who knows?).

- I love listening to the sound of a well played piano. Whether the notes are being played in spartan isolation, or whether I'm listening to a concordance of chords, I get caught up in the performance, especially if there's feeling and melody to go with it.

- I don't get Facebook. I've tried, but honestly, poking and messaging on walls is just not my thing - I'd rather correspond via mail or phone. I guess I'm old fashioned that way.


  1. omG!!i had read the whole thing and had a whole comment mapped out and i read about your husband and i went crazy.i dont know there is something about an old-fashioned person that makes my heart drops.i guess i have to go and scan the write up and remember what i wanted to say.

  2. kk...i def loved the part on arm robber and i liked how she stood up and left, that was realistic cos no normal human being would stay.nice.
    is it wrong of me to want to hear more about this chinedu than any other scenes in the book?

  3. im commenting again cos i want to displace muyiwa. just ignore me.onc ei regain my place im outta your blog.

  4. lol.. the bit about being an armed robbe in the past life is soooo random.. nice one.....

    by the way i was an old fan of the 'junction' debates....

  5. you know come to think about it, im already picturing what your husband looks like. dont have to push me!!im going!!!*just hope i displaced muyiwa then i wont come back*lol.
    nice to vote.

    p.s:did you put:'you must know how to write' as a requirement for your significant other?
    cos its too much of a coincidence for man and wife to write like this.
    okay im out!!!

  6. that makes my heart drop***
    correction oh!!lol

  7. wait I'm confused
    you are Myne's husband.

    I think in the beginning
    you are summarizing
    show.. don't tell
    you know what I mean?
    I wanna know more about the conversation between Funmi and Iphey

    but very well written non the less!

  8. Lol...I def def enjoyed this one. Very intriguing...armed robber ke. If na me the conversatn wld hve gone dwn south too

    Pls continue wiv emmm drama @ work or convo wiv her Mom, her mother's reaction wld be priceless!!!

  9. Thanks all, please remember to leave your votes on the left side bar. Thanks.

    @Bubbles, yes he is...

  10. LOL @ Leggy, SO is blushing. And yeah you're topping the list now...

  11. @Leggy,you cannot displace me oo,i will comment now 10 times,lol,@Myne ,i ve voted,event at work with bisi is ok,where did u leave in Europe,Just visit Japan or korea or malaysia when u going to Asia,and yeah come see kangaroo in melbourne,dont mind me ,i love travelling a lot

  12. Nice. Wish we could have a follow-up on chinedu the armed shouldn'9t have left, every girl likes a bad boy ;)

  13. Interesting,like how she left when she heard he was an armed robber.

    Would like to know what happened at work,would vote tho.

  14. Gosh!..I know i have certainly missed alot..been hella busy but will do some catchin up...certainly...hope your weekend has been good?

  15. SO :) nice nice nice, lol armed robber...i'd have picked my bag, removed my heels and run for dear life...but she asked...

    anywayyyyyy i wish we could have more on chinedu...but i guess what ticked funmi off would be ok too

    p.s: dont u have a widget for bloggers who write epistle comments??? i'd prolly top that one LOL :)

  16. Armed robber? where'd that spring from??? lol. Nice one tho. A little twist here and there keeps it interesting.

  17. okay the armed robber part was soo random, but then again that is what makes the story.
    Nicely done, i'd say.
    want more juicy bits on Chinedu and what ticked Funms off.

  18. ok..first of all, i wsall ready to comment on the story then i read it was the SO doing the posting...
    hmmm, the recipient of all the deep lovely poems that we are all itching to steal..we are happy to have you.

    awwww,am late..poll's closed already

  19. Husband and wife who write so well, hmm that's nice. Will vote and will be back

  20. @Histreasure, the polls are still open ooo

    Thanks Neefemi and Believer..

  21. Atala Wala Wala. so you were not married then? Congrats, you and your wife writes well.

  22. Your husband is a writer as well? How cool!

  23. Hi Myne's Hubby *waves* nice of you to grace us with your e-presence :)

    ...the armed robber part threw me completely off. I know i woulda don't the same thing iphey did but I'd like to see how that plays out.

  24. Hi Myne's husband!! lol you write very well.. it is soo soo cool that you write too1 Myne i dey jelous you oh! one day me too i will marry...hehehe! i have voted sha

  25. Atala Wala Wala - used to follow your old blog. Nice to see you here, what a talented couple you are!

    Mmm, like everyone else, I didn't see the armed robber part coming. Nice story, I've voted and I'm looking forward to the next installment.

  26. @All,

    Thanks for the comments and compliments.

    I agree that the 'armed robber' bit is interesting, but I'm surprised that everyone said that they would behave just like Iphey if it were them. After all, Chinedu said that this was the past, and he is now running a successful engineering business. :) Anyway, we'll have to see how the story goes.

    @Leggy, I don't know about 'old-fashioned' being good - if I tell you that I miss cassette players and rotary dial phones, what will you say?

    @akaBagucci and @Marin, I keep on telling myself that I'll resurrect PJ, but it's just waaaaayyyy too much work.

    @Bubbles, I agree - better to show than tell. But in this case, the first bit of the story was recounting something that had happened in Iphey's past.

    @Muyiwa, I lived in the UK.

    I wouldn't mind visiting Australia or Asia, but it will have to be as a tourist, and not as an immigrant. :)

  27. Hi Myne's s.o.!!! Hehehe so nice to finally "meet" you. I liked the spin on being an armed robber. It's funny how she asked for his deepest, darkest secret and yet began to judge him about that when he told her. What was she expecting?? Also, this Chinedu has lyrics o, ahahn! If someone told me that his "eyes will be taken up with a much more beautiful spectacle".. ha! Instant yawa-alert lol!

  28. Wow myne this is awesome..
    Broda atala this is definitely on point.. I loved the armed robber bit..
    Why did she ask for deepest darkest secret, i hate when babes ask u to tell them something and when they can't handle it they start acting funny..
    Babes are just allergic to honesty mehn.. But myne check out gentian's post and give her advice o.

  29. am i the only one that was actuallhy really sad she got up and left?

    i guess i am just a hopeless romantic :(

    hi Myne's SO *waves*

  30. Ok, the story is wow, didn't see the armed robber thing coming. I've voted o so please I'm expecting more..

    Nice to meet the inspiration of the wonderful poems I've been reading

  31. I had a feeling that it was someone else writing, and then I see that it's SO??!! Brilliant. I def want to read more from him. You two... I'm jealous.

    Anyways, I'm loving that spin on the armed robber part, reminds me of Johnny Depp in Public Enemies, for some reason. I'd like to see them work it out somehow. I think they'd bounce off each other nicely, cos she seem too goody two shoes, and he's a bad boy with a soft heart that he doesn't like to show.

    I'm already thinking about some spins on the story. Ah! I want in.

    Myne, I want to be a contributor. I'll email you.

  32. So, have I missed a lot? I just voted a few days ago for where the setting of the story was going to be in. And now it seems like the story has gone far!

    Really interesting spin with the armed robber story. Wonder how it's going to taper out.

    Loving SO too. you do write well!

  33. @MissFab, I said it too. Chinedu just got a sweet tongue.

    @Azazel, we women can be curious most times. But if na me I'll run too ooo.

    @Reverence, you're sad? We'll see what we can do.

    @Hadassah, Thanks a lot.

    @Isha, I've seen your mail, will reply ASAP

    @Enkay, You've not missed at all. THis is just the second chapter. Thanks and check back soon.

  34. I really loved it, perfect suspense and I thought it was you writing Myne. hmm two talented writers under the same roof :)

    Hmm I wouldnt have left but I'd have felt uncomfortable, let him not go and kill me too lol. I wanna hear more about the romance but any other thing then i'd have to chose the event at work with bisi

  35. Well! This is shaping up to be much like Writefreak and Favoured Girl's blog series idea that they are doing here

    I've been following that one so I know what to expect from blogville's fiction stories. I hope this one can measure up.

  36. Awwww so S.O writes too??? Thats really lovely....I had to catch up on all the stories before i could vote.i really hate reading from the computer screen but for you i'll make the sacrifice..see how much i love you I've voted sha.I hope we get some kind of mention when your book is finally

  37. @bukky...I actually love this one blog series better, it's engaging and makes you want more.


    I love this intro and thanks for telling us about yourself, I really appreciate it. Facebook sucks, me am always activating and deactivating my account, just hate facebook for real.

    Chinedu a former arm robber, OMG! I just recalled one Naija movie I watched at where sexy chidi mokeme falls in love with this Ghana actress, and he was an arm robber. I can't recall the name but the movie was one of the best Naija movies of all time.

    Iphey has to watch her back, she's going to fall in love, I know, am waiting, this is juicy.

  38. It's really skillful, the way you controlled the dialogue and made it tell its own story. I loved reading this.

  39. so i lost my blog, the new url anyway is
    if you know how i can retrieve the old contents pleaseeeeee let me know.

  40. I enjoyed this one but now that it seems this was written by Mr. whitman, I really need to read it again to see if I can tell the difference in writing styles - just my own personal quirk.

    Okay off to reread....

  41. Love what you're doing here Myne!

    Stopped by in a hurry, but can you email me the titles of your books, and where I can buy them?

    Thanks, and I appreciate your devotion to me while I finished up my novel!

  42. Wow your hubby is a writer too..

  43. I want to hear more about Iphey and Chinedu... He was arm robber... this should be interesting...
    I voted..cheers

  44. Hiii :) Nice to finally meet you!
    Old fashioned like that
    Old fashioned is the New Cool
    Ask Myne Whitman :D
    I want to know more about this date
    Lets see how this goes
    Is Fabulola next...

  45. myne myne guess what guess what??? i read ALL your posts, yess ALL!!!. i loved eddy n was just my bad luck i wasnt following u when u started posting them excerpts...

    oh welllll just thought i should let u bye now

  46. Good piece of writing Myne's SO. I think I read the armed robbery story in a different light - that is, Chinedu was only trying to pull her leg b/c she asked for his deepest and darkest secrets. I feel this way b/c that's how a typical Naija guy would respond to that kind of question. In my thinking, he was only checking her out - her temperament. It was a good test.

  47. I like it!!! Welcome Mayne's hubby
    !....good job

  48. You know what? I think it would be more intriguing if she didn't tell her mum. Then, there's the possibility that she's considering that the armed robbery is actually in his past, and that she could give him a chance.

    She doesn't want to kill all hope by telling her mum. (You can make that blow up in her face somehow when her mum later finds out from a well-meaning tatafo, that her daughter is dating a man who had armed robbery flowing in his veins. Lol.

    Just an idea.

  49. Reaaly interesting... I hope there will be a second date...atleast the guy is being honest..better now than later

  50. @Leggy:i still cant find your blog even with the new url too.

  51. wow wow wow...myne i finally had time to visit ur blog (nice by the way)and i get this nice

    dont worry u will soon know what i am talking about.

    off to send out an important email.

  52. Myne's Significant Other, this was written beautifully, especially how you captured the females emotions and behaviour. Fantastic. I nenjoyed every alphabeth of it.

  53. Dear Author !
    It is a pity, that now I can not express - there is no free time. I will be released - I will necessarily express the opinion.

  54. I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

  55. Dear Anonymous, please feel free to quote, only link back to here and show where it's coming from. On Twitter I am Myne_Whitman, cheers.


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