A while back…
I’d just finished mid- week service and was walking the distance back home when my belly grumbled. There was a restaurant nearby so I planned to stop and get a snack. Then this dude hailed me. I kept walking because I do not respond to snake sounds. Then he opened his mouth and said something to the effect of “Please, wait”. So I turned around. He introduced himself then asked if he could talk to me. Like we weren’t already doing that. I said alright then walked into the restaurant and he followed. It just so happened that I wasn’t able to get the snack so he followed me outside where I waited to speak with him because I did not want him to follow me home.
First he reintroduced himself. And following his lead, I did so too. Then he asked me what I bought. I ignored the question because I really wasn’t sure he’d meant to ask it. Then he asked me again in a sterner tone of voice, while maintaining his smile and extending his hands like he wanted to look through my bag. I immediately exploded. He immediately apologised. My stomach rumbled again so I started walking. My belly wanted food NOW and having had an excruciating ulcer before, I wasn’t going to risk it again. I asked if he could walk and talk with me. He agreed and we set off.
There were 3 things I noticed right off the bat;
1. This guy had issues recognising personal space.
2. His grammar made me wince. (I’m not a huge grammar fanatic, there are errors in pretty much every article I’ve ever posted, but I like good grammar. Especially good speaking grammar. But, given that there were 2 recent years during which I battled back a stammering problem, I’m a lot kinder than I might otherwise have been).
3. This was going to be a dangerously long conversation. Unless I stopped it.
He talked. And talked. And talked some more. My belly growled harder. Then I noticed my brother walking towards me and I had some hope that his presence would stem the torrent of words flowing from this dude. I beckoned, slyly waved while he very casually ignored me (Chike is an expert at unlooking) until I grabbed his hand and made introductions. He greeted the dude then snatched his hand back and walked off.
But it did the trick. We were at my street now and I was standing in the middle of it. At all costs, I did not want this guy to know my house. So he stopped talking for a bit. Then he started again. The point he had been trying to make all along was this- He’d seen me, been drawn to me, wanted to get to know me better.
I really don’t like giving my number out to people I just met especially if we don’t have any mutual friends (we didn’t). So he stopped his torrent of words and proceeded to tell me how much he hates disappointment and if he doesn’t see me tomorrow he will be very disappointed. So I nodded and took his number instead.
The next day, I had a good enough day that I let down my guard and actually called him. We agreed to meet at the same restaurant from the day before.
He called to reschedule twice. The restaurant was close enough so I agreed. Plus, I was making spaghetti and a salad and I really wanted to be done before I met with him.
After I’d assembled the salad and turned the spaghetti off, I sprayed some perfume, applied some lip gloss, rearranged my hair and went off. He was 15 minutes late. Then 20. Then I called him. He was just outside the restaurant and he sat opposite me in a beat. Greetings were exchanged but no apology was forthcoming. Meanwhile, I’d been 5 minutes early. I mentioned that if he was going to be late, he should have called. He stared. I repeated it, then he apologised.
The elephant on the table having been dealt with, he stared at me while I pointedly stared at the snacks. Then he asked, should he get them or give me money to, I asked him to. What did I want? I told him. He had good manners, I thought. Snacks procured, he sat down and to break the silence, I asked the usual questions.
An hour later, it was very clear that he and I had
basically nothing in common. He was the outdoorsy kind looking for a steady bootycall new “friend”, I was introverted and wishing I’d stayed home. I liked PG snacks, he liked alcohol. And lots more. A total bust really.
I contented myself with the fact that at least, he was nice enough. Then I wrapped up and mentioned that it was getting late (8:05pm). He asked if he could walk me home. I agreed and we set off.
Probably buoyed by the fact that he had bought me something and I had accepted it, he seemed to get more possessive and clingy by the second.
“Do you know. ..? (A bar)”
“Yes, I do”
“Will you join me at …”
“I’m not interested really. If you want to meet me again, we can meet at the same restaurant. It’s closer to me.”
“Because I really don’t want to”
“Why don’t you want to?”
“I don’t like bars”
“Why don’t you like them?”
I stopped and stared at him till he dropped it.
“You know Berger now?”
“Yes, I do. I go there to sew.”
“Okay. If I asked you to meet me at one hotel there, would you come?”
And so on and so forth. By the time we reached my street, I was exhausted.
Then he got to the place I’d stopped the day before and was trying to get me to commit to coming to the bar with him when I finally told him, “I really don’t want to come there and I won’t. If you want to meet me again for whatever reason, we’ll go to the restaurant again. Anywhere else, I’m not going. Ok?”
Then he asked if I had a boyfriend. I replied in the negative. Since when. I told him. Then he asked how I could cope with being alone (I.e how could I possibly cope with not having sex). I pretended not to understand. He dropped the subject making some remark about how he always liked to wait before broaching this topic, bade me goodnight and walked away.
I walked inside and dished a healthy helping of spaghetti and salad. Then the WhatsApp messages started. (Have I mentioned how much I hate WhatsApp? No? Well, I really hate it. No privacy whatsoever)
First, he instructed me to put up my picture. I refused.
“Because I don’t want to.”
“Why not? ”
“Because everyone who chats with me already knows who they are speaking to. And I don’t like it”
“Why?”, he texted again.
I sighed and settled into my food.
Then the messages came rolling in. His grammar was even worse in text. Then he called. And we had a short conversation. Then he called again, at midnight. I ignored it. He called the next day. I picked. He called again. And again. I was washing plates at a point so I didn’t bother.
Now, I did not want a date. I did not want a new
boyfriend friend. I did not want to go to a bar and get drunk or even allow this guy who in one breath invited me to his church and in another to a hotel room, even begin to educate me on the advantages of sending nudes. I just wanted to be left alone.
Then he called again and I picked. And he told me very politely that when he called and I couldn’t come to the phone, I should call back. I agreed, apologised and commented on the weather.
When he ended the call, I searched for my Truecaller App, located both his numbers and blocked both.
The torment continued. Message after message. I blocked those too (Handcent SMS), WhatsApp message after WhatsApp message. No he hadn’t done anything wrong. No, I was not angry with him. No I would not unblock his number. I even sent a conciliatory message apologising for blocking his calls and explaining that I really did not want to waste both our times. No I did not want to go out with him again. No I wouldn’t meet him at the restaurant.
I never pick calls from hidden numbers, so I was safe. I even blocked them as a precautionary measure.
Three months later, I’m still seeing notifications of blocked calls, still receiving messages, still fielding calls from unknown numbers who just turn out to be this guy and I’m debating; should I meet him to return the money for the yoghurt? Or not?
I read this article and I really liked it: http://www.houseofloko.blogspot.ie/2015/05/finding-laughter.html?m=1 and this one really made me laugh. But I truly don’t think I have enough of a bad experience to get me on this.
Do you think so?