It was Friday night and as usual I was at home alone with my grandmother. A lot of my friends tell me I don’t have a life outside work but I don’t agree. I’ve never loved the outdoors and it has affected other parts of my life. I am a programmer – a very good one, at least that’s what my pay cheques indicate, I work from home sometimes; no, I work from home all the time. This has rubbed off on my playtime too. A good adventure game, a jug of lemon juice and uninterrupted power supply and playtime is set for me.
As you can imagine, I don’t exactly have a million friends with this kind of lifestyle. I have one though; Femi or Phemie as he signs his name is the exact opposite of me. He is rarely indoors and if I wasn’t very stubborn he would probably have dragged me to every single show or party in Lagos.
He was at his troublesome best tonight. There was an Asa show that night and he had invited me. Naturally I gave him a thousand reasons why I couldn’t make it but he wasn’t letting go. So I pulled out my ace, it never fails.
“I need to be with my grandmother, she isn’t feeling too good.” I said.
And of course it worked and he let me be. I was looking forward to a night of watching the second season of ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ with my grandmother.
“Is this how we will spend Friday night?” Grandma asked as I settled into my comfy sofa.
“How would you rather spend it?” I asked, throwing freshly made popcorn in my mouth.
“Alone at home, watching Telemundo” She said.
I laughed. “Are you trying to say we should change the channel?”
“I’m saying I’m never going to have great-grandchildren if you spend every night with me.”
“Are you serious? I thought only parents are allowed to use that line.”
“Well, your mother isn’t here to use it, is she?”
A felt the lump that always formed in my throat every time anyone mentioned my late parents, my grandmother was the only person I had in the whole world and despite her objections; she was the centre of my world. I would do anything for her, including switching the channel to Telemundo.
“Any particular show you want to see on Telemundo or are you just bugging me?”
“Oh no, let’s spend our night watching crooked lawyers defend murderers instead.”
I laughed. “That’s why I picked you as my grandmother.”
“How on earth did…”
She was cut off by a knock on the door. Who could be at my door at this time? If it was my landlord’s dad trying to hit on my grandmother again, I would be the one in need of a crooked lawyer.
I stood and went to the door.
“Who is there?” I called out.
“Guy, open the door.” Phemie’s voice came from behind the door.
The dude didn’t believe me? I couldn’t blame him now, could I?
“My grandma is trying to sleep, should I just meet you outside?” I said.
“No, I’m not sleeping.” Grandma shouted.
“Open this door my friend.” Phemie said.
I sighed and opened the door. Phemie entered and walked past me without a word, I closed the door and followed him. I met him kneeing beside Grandma whispering something into her ears. This was not going to be good.
“Samuel, is this true?” Grandma said when the whispering was done.
“What?” I asked.
“You’re standing a girl up to watch ‘How to Get Away with Murder’?”
“And you lied that I was ill?”
I looked at Phemie’s smug face and shot daggers at him with my eyes. If only the daggers were physical.
“I just wanted to spend time with the best grandma in the world.” I said with my brightest smile.
“If you don’t want to see me transform into the worst grandma in the world, go in and meet the girl who will bear me my great-grandchildren.”
“Yes Sam, she is waiting for you.” Phemie said; he was enjoying this. “Don’t you want Mama to have grandkids?”
“I am her grandchild, am I not enough?”
“Go now!” Grandma shouted, throwing the TV remote at me.
I ducked and it crashed into a wall. Well, that was the third in a month. It was the least of my worries though, Phemie was upsetting my evening. And he had seconded my grandmother into his horrible team. I looked at him and clapped; well played Phemie, well played.
The concert had started when we arrived. I said a silent prayer of thanks when we entered the hall; this was not like other shows Phemie had forced me to go for. The music suited me, it was the type I would listen to in my car or when I wrote my programs. Asa was one of my favourite artists, while this was not the same as being at home with my grandmother; it wasn’t going to be a terrible night.
I pulled Phemie. “Can we just sit at the back?”
“What? No, I have seats in front.”
Of course there was no point arguing with Phemie, so I followed him to our front seats. People looked at us as we took our seats; this was why I didn’t want front seats. Looking at Asa so closely made up for the embarrassment of walking all the way to the front though.
“Where is the girl that would give my grandma great-grandkids?” I asked.
“Look around you, you have a million choices, just pick one.”
He was right. If I was one of those guys who picked up girls for the fun of it, this would be paradise. I looked around at the girls seating around us, none of them interested me. It wasn’t like I was here for girls anyway.
“See anyone you like?” Phemie asked.
“They’re not my type.”
“Yeah, that’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you; what is your type?”
“What?” The question caught me off-guard.
“What is your type? A girl from Mars? A girl with wings? Seriously, what’s your type?”
I didn’t have an answer to that question because I had never sat down to think about what my type was; I just knew I had not seen it yet. I ignored Phemie and concentrated on Asa and her band. Her instrumentalists were as lively as instrumentalists came in spite of the slow tempo of the song that was playing. I looked at her backup singers, there were three of them. I couldn’t see the one in the middle; the light wasn’t hitting her at the right angle.
The song finished and we applauded.
“We will take a five minute break now and be back with more music, thank you.” Asa said.
“So, what is your type Mister Lone-Wolf?”
Asa motioned to her back-up singers and for the first time I saw the girl in the middle clearly. And like that I found my type. Or did I? I wasn’t one to be spontaneous, impulsive or jump to conclusions but I think I was right to jump this time. I had found my type.
“You like her?” Phemie broke my thoughts.
“What are you talking about?”
“You are looking at that girl on the stage; Sam doesn’t stare at girls.”
I knew Phemie, if I admitted to him that I was even mildly interested in the girl, he would be on the stage already asking her to come talk to me.
“You are right, I don’t stare at girls.” I said.
“You were just staring at one.”
“I was looking at Asa; she’s shorter than I always imagined she was.”
He paused and looked at me; he was not sure about what he saw anymore. That was great.
“If you want to talk to any of them, I could go ask her.” He said.
“That’s exactly what I feared you would do.”
“Gotcha!” Damn! I slipped. “So you like one of them, which is it?”
His phone rang before he could pester me for an answer.
“My guest just arrived.” He said.
“You didn’t think I would come here with just you, did you? Of course I got my lady coming.”
“So I was supposed to be a third wheel?”
“I’ll be right back.” He said and was gone.
I looked at the girl; she was beside the stage, pouring water into a cup. Was it her eyes? No, I couldn’t even see them properly. Her smile? She did smile a lot but I don’t think that was it? Her body? Her movement? What was it that even made the thought of her being my type cross my mind? It couldn’t be her voice because I couldn’t identify her voice from what I was hearing.
I hated not having answers to questions. Maybe I should find out instead of sitting here wondering.
I rose and walked up to her. I waited as she downed the cup of water and she set the cup on a table.
“Hi.” She said.
Okay, I liked her voice. “Hello.”
“You know I’m not Asa, right? She’s on the other side of the stage.”
I smiled. She’s got a good sense of humour too, good. “I noticed but I wasn’t planning on asking Asa for her phone number.” I said.
She laughed. “That was smooth; you must do this a lot.”
“My grandmother would say ‘not enough’.”
“So does it work? Do you get a lot of phone numbers this way?”
“It doesn’t matter as long as I get yours.”
Asa got back on the stage and took a seat in front of a microphone.
“Looks like it’s time to go back to work.”
“The phone number?”
She smiled and got back on the stage.
“At least give me a name.” I said as she walked away.
She continued smiling and walked back to her place on the stage. I didn’t have an answer; I still couldn’t place my hand on why I thought she was my type. But I was surer than ever that she is my type.
I returned to my seat and Phemie was waiting for me.
“You sly dude, that wasn’t Asa you were talking to.” Phemie said.
“Really? They must really look alike then.”
He punched me. “So did you get her number?” He asked.
“Shhh. Asa is about to begin.” I extended my knuckle to Favour, his girl and she bumped it with hers.
Asa moved closer to the microphone. “Before we continue I want to introduce my band. Right behind me is Pam, on my left and right are…”
I didn’t hear anything else she said. Pam It was probably short for Pamela or… I couldn’t think of anything else that Pam could be short for. I didn’t like the name ‘Pamela’ very much but I could live with it.
My eyes were on her for the rest of the show. Asa did a good job but I couldn’t wait for her to be done and off the stage. And finally she was done and we all rose to applaud a great musical night. But it was all prelude to what was on my mind, I needed to talk to ‘’Pamela’’ before I left. She left the stage and returned to her bottle of water and I was already there waiting for her.
“So I got the name Pam, give me the number and I will be gone before you can say ‘he’s handsome’.”
“Why would I say that?”
“I don’t know, maybe because I am.”
“What do you want my number for anyway? You can see me manager if you want to book me for a show.”
“Book you? Nah, that’s not what this, is about. This is for my grandmother. Surely you won’t refuse an old beautiful woman.”
“Now that you’ve brought your grandmother into it I can’t say no.”
She collected my phone, typed her number and saved it as Pamilerin. Oh yeah, that could be shortened to Pam too.
“My grandmother says thank you.” I said.
“And you? You have nothing to say?” She asked.
“I’ll say it all on the first date.” I said and ambled away.
Well, I had a date to look forward to, if she agreed to one. My research would continue. For now, I had good news for my Telemundo-watching grandmother. Her dreams of having great-grandchildren may not be totally hopeless.