“I’m sorry… I’m so sorry Teniola.” Omololu said, as soon as I opened the door.
He looked remorseful, and tired like he didn’t sleep well the night before. I looked at him with a blank expression. I was angry, and anyone in my position would be too.
“I just lost track of time. I had so much to do at the office, but that’s not an excuse, it wasn’t something that couldn’t wait… I’m just… I’m sorry.”
“It is okay,” I said, opening the door wide and motioning for him to come in.
“I just woke up a few minutes ago. I was so tired, it’s a good thing the boss gave me the rest of the week off. Perks of being the newest senior executive right?”
“You don’t need to stand you know? Take a seat please.” I said pointing to the couch opposite mine.
“Teniola, I know you are upset, I called you the moment I remembered about the party, but it was so late and…”
“Yeah, I saw the calls, and the text,” I said non-committedly.
“You look tired, work-related?”
He looked at me intently, like he was attempting to see into my soul, and figure out my innermost thoughts.
“Let’s talk about this please…” he said, sounding tortured.
Lolu and I had been talking about my promotion party for about a month, and he had offered to be my date. I was excited, not only because Lolu is a good company and he always guarantees a good time, but also because it would be nice to attend this office event with a date, at least for a change. I had even let it slip to a few colleagues that I was coming with a date.
Then he stood me up. I thought shuddering at the memory.
“Are you sure he wasn’t supposed to meet you there?” Bola asked, looking through the window for the umpteenth time.
“No, he was going to pick me up” I responded tightly, looking down at my watch again.
“I spoke to him this morning to confirm the plans, and he still promised he would be here by 6 pm. It’s almost 7 pm…”
“Bola, do you think something happened to him? That he’s hurt?” I gasped, suddenly feeling panic erupting from my lower belly.
“I’m sure he’s fine, Teni. Don’t worry.” Bola assured holding my shoulders. “In the meantime, let me just get you a Uber, you can’t be late for your promotion party.”
“But Lolu…” I began, more worried now.
“I will stay here and keep calling him. I’m sure he’s just running late, he will meet you there, okay?” Bola assured me.
“Teni… Teni….” Omololu called interrupting my attempt to relive the events of yesterday.
“Sorry, my mind took off…” I apologised. “Your phone was off last night, Bola and I were worried. Well… I was until I got your text,”
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that. I didn’t realise my phone battery had died” Omololu explained rubbing the back of his head nervously. “I plugged it in as soon as I realised, and reached out immediately. I still wanted to come”
“Common Lolu, it was already 11 pm when you texted. Whatever was going on at the party was ending by then, in fact, I was about leaving when I got the text.” I shrugged.
“I was relieved to hear you were okay, and there was no need to stress you and take you away from your work,”
“Don’t be like that Teni. I’m sorry, please” Omololu said in barely feigned frustration.
“I said it’s okay, Lolu,” I said with a weak smile.
“You missed out on a good party though,” I chuckled. “But at least, you also missed out on witnessing the humiliation of the girl who lied about a non-existent date. Believe me, girls can be vicious, especially to one who got the promotion they also desperately wanted,”
Omololu winced at this, and I immediately felt bad for being so harsh to him. I wanted to forgive him right there, to tell him it was okay and mean it, but I couldn’t. I was still recovering from being the object of amusement of a group of ladies who had recently turned themselves in to the bane of my existence at the office. I didn’t even get to enjoy the party I had looked forward to for over a month, I scoffed. So much for Lolu guaranteeing me a good time.
“Don’t mind me Omololu. I will get over it, but not now. Perhaps we could talk later?” I said standing up.
“Sure” He sighed. “I’m sorry Teniola. I will make it up to you” He added as he walked to the door.
Minutes after he had left, I stood staring at the door, wondering if I could have handled the talk a little better. But the memory of myself arriving at that party, alone, scared and worried for him was fresh. And to find out, I missed out on enjoying a party in my honour, and instead wasted all those emotions on a man who was simply lost in his work, oblivious to the emotional turmoil his temporary amnesia caused got me angrier.
“How do you forget a plan we still talked about that morning and only remembered about five hours later?” I wondered out loud.
“Shows what’s important and what’s not,”
Well, I did say I wanted to see the chink in his armour, guess I found it, I thought as I walked back to my seat.
*Originally published 29 September 2020