The Blinking Competition

June 20, 2022


I had a friend once when
I was working as a PA.
She came to Nigeria from
the USA in 2015 and came
to my office to see my boss
in the company of her parents.
Soon after that, we got talking
and she asked if she could
come to my office once in
a while to take advantage of
the electricity.
I said fine.
She’d come around with her laptop
and I’d end up buying her lunch
and driving her home every evening
before going home.
One day she said, “Have you
ever eaten Chinese food before?”
I said No.
Such things were a luxury
for me at the time and I always
live within my means.

A few days later, at about
10 am she asked me if I could
try and free up some time to
take her to Ikeja. We got to this
place at Isaac John at about
noon. We got into the restaurant.
The waiters were nice, smiling
and warm. I got this hot towel
for my hands. They brought the
order. She asked me what
I wanted.
I had no idea.

She said she liked prawns and
lobsters and whatever.
They brought the rice and
all the things she ordered
They brought two plates.
I ate what I could.
The leftover was much,
the lady asked for it to be
packed.When we were done,
They brought the bill.
It was 25,000 naira.
I was earning 60,000 naira as salary.
I figured it wasn’t my treat,
the Americana babe would pay.
She sat there, looked me in
the eye and said “I didn’t
bring my wallet, I thought
you’d be good for it.”
I said “what?”
She laughed hard and aloud

She said “I provided the experience,
and you get to pay. That’s how
the world works my friend, pay up”
I laughed.
I said I didn’t bring my wallet
She said I should transfer
funds to them.
I took out my phone I turned
off the WiFi and mobile network
I kept trying to transfer but
the apps won’t open.
We were there for about an hour.
I refused to pay.
She refused to pay.
She felt I’d be compelled
to pay out of shame if she
waited long enough but shame is
nothing compared to the hunger
awaiting me if I paid for that

They sell a bag of rice for 25k
at that time. I was living on
a tight budget and my mother
raised no fool! After an hour,
she called her mother and explained
what had happened.
Her mother spoke with the manager
of the restaurant and
got the account number.
A few minutes later, her mother paid.
We left the restaurant without
speaking a word to each other.

I drove from Ikeja back to Magodo
She tried making small talk
but I’d have none of it.
When I got to my office, her
mother was waiting
Her mother asked me what
happened and I told her.
I was very clear that I didn’t
know we were going to a
restaurant or that this lady
made a reservation to eat at
a Chinese restaurant.
Her mother said “She woke up
this morning with a craving for
Chinese food. She told me
about it and I told her to
cook rice at home and eat it.
I didn’t know she would lure
you to a Chinese restaurant
just to satisfy her cravings”
I said it is okay but it won’t
happen again.

Her mother replied by saying
“Next time you’re going out
with a lady, any lady, make
sure you have enough money
in your pocket. Be a gentleman!”

That statement was a blow
under the belt, I never forgot it!


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