In my second year at the university, I proposed to Vida. It wasn’t easy at first but a man had to do what a man had to do so one morning after lectures, I cornered her and poured my heart out to her. She asked, “Nti ne koraa koraa ne sɛn?” I answered, “Nti ne koraa koraa ne sɛ I want you to be my girlfriend. I’ve watched you from afar for a very long time and I believe this is the right time for me to say what is on my heart.”
She said, “I’m happy to know you have me at heart. Let’s give ourselves some time to know each other and see how far we can go.” When she said “some time,” I thought about it in terms of days. I trusted the coming few days would be the time her “some time” would be due. But “some time” can vary depending on what you want from a woman. Some time can be a day or two but if it’s about a love proposal, then some time can take forever. It can even be never.
I had patience. I followed up every now and then to see if she had learned everything she had to learn about me. Nine months later, she came with a response. It was a text message; “I trust you and I’m going to give us the opportunity to try this love thing if it would work.”
After a whole nine-month, what I got was a trial. She had studied me but she was going to try me and see if I was worth the love. It was February when my trial started. A week into my trial was Val’s day. I needed to put up a show to prove what I’m capable of but students don’t have money. We only spend what our parents give us. My parents didn’t budget my love issues when giving me money so I had to find my own way. I had two phones; an iPhone and an Infinix. I sold the iPhone so I could have some money for the valentine.
We planned a date. She chose where she wanted to be taken to and I said yes. On Val’s night, I went to her hostel with my gift for her. I waited for her until she was ready for us to go out. When we got to the restaurant, I paid the taxi driver and both of us went in. A waitress walked to us with a menu in hand. We made our orders and she walked away. Twenty to thirty minutes later, we got served.
But something wasn’t right.
It’s very uncomfortable to sit when you have your wallet at the back of your pocket. Every man knows that. It’s more uncomfortable when the wallet we are talking about contains money from the sale of an iPhone. It’s bulgy and disturbs your sitting balance but I was sitting just fine. I didn’t feel the bulge anyway so I tapped to check if my wallet was in my pocket…It was gone.
My heart skipped a beat. I started squirming in my seat needlessly. I was in the restaurant but my spirit had taken flight. “Where did my wallet go?” I started thinking. “I couldn’t have left it in the taxi because I paid the driver from the wallet.” I excused myself and went outside to check if it was on the floor where we alighted. Nothing was there. We were both sitting there, eating food we had no money to pay for.
I was depressed. If she looked at me very well she would have known something was wrong but she was focused on the food and enjoying every bit of it. I had to think fast to avoid any embarrassment so I walked up to the waitress at the counter and told her; “This is my first date with my girlfriend but unfortunately I’ve lost my wallet on the way coming here. What it means is that we can’t pay for what we’ve ordered. Is it possible to allow us to go so I bring the money later? I don’t want this to cause a scene. That will greatly embarrass her.”
She looked at me from my head to the tip of my shoe. She was either confused or was assessing my sanity.
I told her, “I’m not a bad person. I’m only in a difficult situation here.” I thought of giving her my phone as a ransom but then I realized it was an Infinix. Who wants an Infinix phone?
She said, “Unless you talk to our manager. He might be able to do something for you.” I answered, “I don’t mind. Where is his office?” Then she said, “Go and enjoy your food. I’ll talk to him on your behalf.”
I went back to my table. Vida asked, “I thought you were ordering something.” I answered, “Yeah, they didn’t have it so the waitress is fixing something else.” I sat there thinking of what this manager was going to tell us. Some few minutes later, The waitress signaled me to come. “You see, if I tell my manager, the issue will drag and spoil your night. I’ll pay for you so you pay back later. You’ve been honest about your situation that’s why I’m trying to help”
I took a deep sigh of relief and said: “Thank you.”
Some few minutes later she approached our table; “Are you enjoying your meals?” I nodded my head. My girlfriend said, “Yeah, I’m enjoying it but please do you have freshly squeezed juice with blah blah blah?” The waitress answered, “Of course we do.” My heart!
We had a great time together and I believe that night shortened my trial period. We picked a taxi back to campus. When we got to the campus, I told her to settle the taxi driver, which she gladly did. The next morning, she called to say thank you and pleaded with me never to change. I said, “This is who I am, and I’ll always be.”
I narrated my ordeal to my roommates and they found it amusing. They started asking the what-if questions; “What if the waitress didn’t agree to pay? What if Vida got to know what was happening? What if..?”
The most important thing was that I had a great time with my girlfriend and everything was fine. I borrowed money from the same friends who were teasing me to settle the bill I left behind. I was so grateful when I met the waitress I wanted to even kneel down and say thank you but she said, “I didn’t do it for you. I did it for a sister. I couldn’t stand and watch her night ruined. I’m a woman and I know how things like this hurt to the core.”
A year or so later, I told my girlfriend what happened that night. She was shocked and amused at the same time. She said, “I suspected something was off but I couldn’t figure it out.” Most importantly, she was grateful to the waitress who saved the night for us both.