Read chapter 13 here.
“So did you enjoy the feel of the car?” Alice asked Alexa and sipped her green tea.
“You know I did, mum,” she replied as she poured herself a glass of Hollandia yoghurt.
“So what have you decided?”
“I made my decision long time ago,” she said and drank. She sighed in satisfaction and placed the glass down on the table. After a moment’s silence, she asked, “Accepting the car doesn’t per chance mean engaged to marry, right?”
A mischievous smile crept up her mother’s face as she put her mug down.
“Now I know I gave birth to a smart daughter. For a minute,
I feared you missed out on my good genes. This gift is just a gesture on Paul’s
part to show you he’s in a good position to take care of you. You taking it
doesn’t mean any contract has been signed. All I’m saying is keep yourself open
to favors from suitors. Who knows, something might spark and you can get
married. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll see what to do next.”
“I see…but accepting a car gift and saying no sounds heartless to me,” Alexa said.
“Please, people have given more and have been treated worse.
I think you should call Paul and tell him you’ve decided to keep it.”
“What if he asks for a date?”
“Accept it. Isn’t it dinner and conversation? You can manage an hour or two with him. Just keep an open mind, that’s all.”
“I can’t believe I’m letting you talk me into this.”
“I’m your mother, Baaba and I only want what is best for you. I’m not going to deliberately send you into harm’s way; you’ve got to believe that.”
Later, when Alexa retreated to her room, she sat on her bed, prepping herself for the dreaded call with Paul. When she finally got to calling him, it rang for some time. He answered just when she was about to cancel the call.
“Hey,” his breathy voice said.
“Hey. Okay, so first of all, thank you for letting me use
the car after I had communicated that I was going to return it.”
“That’s fine. You needed it so it’s cool.”
“I really enjoyed driving it today. Cool ride.”
“Uh huh. I know you’ll love it.”
There was a pause.
“So what’s it going to be? Still thinking of returning it or
decided to keep it? It’s yours if you want it, Alexa.”
“What’s the catch?”
“If I do accept this car, what does it mean for us?”
“Is that a yes to the car?”
“Just asking, Paul.”
“That you’re my girl.”
“Meaning what…girlfriend for real or potential?”
“For real, I hope. What were you hoping for?”
“That we could hang out and see where it goes. No strings attached.”
“And the car is…what? A conversation starter?”
“I don’t want to be ushered into a relationship because you got me a car. If that’s all there is, we are headed for nowhere, that I can assure you.”
“Okay, so let me put your fears to rest: regardless of how things end with us, the car is yours. Is that enough to sweeten the pot for you?”
“Yes, it does but depending on how things end, I might decide to return it…”
“It won’t get to that.”
“So how do we celebrate this? Dinner tomorrow?” Paul asked.
Wow, this guy wastes no time, does he? Alexa thought.
“Okay sure. Nothing too fancy though.”
“Fine, you choose time and place. I’ll go at your pace.”
“Okay, will text you tomorrow.”
“Sure. Thanks, Alexa. You won’t regret giving me a chance.”
“I hope so. Goodnight, Paul.”
She ended the call and sighed. That went pretty well. She put the phone on the bed. Seconds later, it started beeping. She picked it up again. Messages from Theo.
“Sorry…can’t make it tomorrow. Perhaps day after,” Alexa said as she typed the words. She sent the text.
Cool. Miss you.
Same here. Nighty night.
She threw herself on the bed. What was she doing? Playing
love like a game of cards? Was this the life of a player? Was she up for this?
The earlier she made up her mind, the better for her. Now that Paul had made
his play with the car, the game was in session. What could Theo offer to beat him?
Was this how her love life was turning into? Survival of the fittest? Let
things run its course, Lexa. Enjoy the ride. Que sera sera.
Alexa was singing along to a tune playing on her phone as she brushed her wig. She saw her mother’s reflection in the mirror as she put it on. Alice smiled approvingly.
“Good morning, mum. What brings you here?”
“Nothing. Just woke up early and I thought to check in on you before you left.”
“Wow mum, you’re as transparent as water. You came to see what I would be wearing because of my date with Paul today, isn’t it?”
When Alice only shrugged, Alexa shook her head.
“I wanted to make sure you didn’t sabotage yourself by wearing something ridiculous just to put him off.”
“You have no faith in me at all, do you, mum?” Alexa asked, laughing.
“I know what you’re capable of. Anyway, I love your wig.
Makes you look mature.”
“And my haircut doesn’t?”
“Takes you back some years. Turn around and let me see. Okay, not bad.”
“Cleared to go?”
Alexa shook her head and applied her lip balm. Her mother opened the door.
“All the best today, Baaba.”
She knew it was less about her day and more of her meetup with Paul. Why was she concerned about her appearance? Did she feel like she had to make an impression for any particular reason? It wasn’t as if she wanted to seriously date him. Nah, she was dressing up for herself, she thought.
She smacked her lips together and smiled at her image. She couldn’t wait to get this over and done with.
When Alexa arrived at work, her colleagues complimented her on her look and she couldn’t help but revel in the praises. When she settled down at her desk, she took her phone and took some photos. Then she opened Snapchat and made some snaps. When she realized she had spent almost 20 minutes indulging in vanity, she put the phone away and got to work.
Once in a while, she would run her fingers through her ‘hired layer’ of hair. She would admit that she had missed wearing long hair. It made her feel…what? All this for a guy? A voice asked cynically in her mind. Oh no, she dressed up for herself. It was a ‘pamper yourself’ day for her. It just so happened that she had a rendezvous scheduled later in the day.
Uh huh, whatever makes you sleep at night, the voice scoffed. Alexa ignored it as her fingers drummed on the keyboard. Her phone beeped.
Looking forward to seeing you tonight. Haven’t been able to stop thinking of you.
Geez. Calm down, it’s just dinner with fake smiles and laughter. Nothing deep, Alexa thought as she replied, I’m flattered. Looking forward to it too.
He sent a smiley and she put the phone down. What was the time again?
In the afternoon, she received a message from Theo.
I miss my Uber driver. 😦
Lol…I miss my favorite customer. 🙂
Are you ever going to resume or are you done with it?
Well, I doubt I will… or any time soon with the car serving as props at the mechanic’s. But I’m not the type to say ‘never’. Who knows?
Oh…so can I be your Uber driver then?
Alexa laughed. Haha…you’re funny, Theo.
I’m serious, Lexa.
And whose car are you going to use? Your mum’s?
Will figure it out. Just want to recreate our moments together.
We can always meet up without having one of us being a driver.
Well, you already turned down one offer of us meeting up. Who’s to say it won’t be the new trend?
Ouch…I promise it won’t.
So when can we meet?
She paused. Um…will have to get back to you on that.
She’d have to see how her date with Paul went before making any commitments.
Ayt. Nice chatting with you. Break time over.
Thanks for checking in. TTYL
Wow…was this the love life of the average player? It amazed her how effortless it was for her managing her situation-ship. But considering her history of heartbreak, did she want to inflict such wounds on a soul if she were given the chance to play boy? She would have to rethink her actions.
Not today, though. She was going to enjoy her date today and then think of handling her budding relationship with Theo later.
By 5:40pm, she was out of the office. She smiled when she pressed the unlock button on her car key and the brake lights blinked. That’s my car, she thought proudly as she walked towards it. She opened the door and sat in. She inhaled the fresh smell characteristic of a new car and started the engine. She paired her phone’s Bluetooth to the car’s and Ariana Grande’s ‘7 Rings’ filled the car.
“Let’s go, baby,” she said and she took off.
She parked next to a black Range Rover Discovery and got down. She noticed that it was Paul at the driver’s seat. He turned and he smiled when their eyes met. He got out of the car and locked it.
Hmm…he definitely knew how to make an impression.
“Enjoying the ride?” he asked as he approached her. He hugged her. Were they there yet? Alexa thought. Well, if he bought her a brand new ‘tear rubber’ car just as to get on the ‘consideration list’, then she guessed he was entitled to a hug, at least.
She wore a smile as he took her arm in his and walked her into the restaurant.
As expected, he pulled the chair for her to sit. A waiter approached their table as he sat. They seemed to know each other as he smiled at Paul.
“Thank you, Mike. How is it going?”
“Not bad. Can’t complain.”
He gave them the menu and excused himself.
“A regular here, it seems,” Alexa said.
“Yeah, I’ve been here a couple of times.”
With a couple of ladies? She almost blurted out. She bit down on her lower lip instead.
“Oh yeah,” she said, opening the menu. Dishes with fancy names.
“Ready to order?”
“I should think so…”
He signaled Mike and he hurriedly came to their table.
“Would you like some soup to get us started?” Paul asked.
“Wouldn’t mind.” This guy had a long dinner time planned.
As they walked out of the restaurant, Paul said, “You are a lovely lady, Alexa and I’m sure you have a number of dudes trying to win you over. But with me, you don’t have to worry about building a future together. I’m already settled and I’ll help you build whatever future you’ve planned for yourself.”
They had reached Alexa’s car. She unlocked the doors. Paul opened the driver’s door for her.
“All this and more,” Paul said, making a grand gesture with his hand, “will be your everyday reality.”
Alexa chuckled. “You know what this reminds me of? The devil
tempting Jesus with the kingdoms he claims to be in control of. All this I will
give you if you bow to me.”
“Your point being…I’m the devil?”
“I don’t know…are you? I’d have said that at least the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know but in my case, I already know one so the question is, are you the unknown angel?”
Paul gave her a confused look which made her chuckle again.
“Don’t mind me; I talk crazy sometimes. Thanks for dinner. You really raised the bar,” she said and kissed his cheek. The gesture made Paul lose the scowl and smile.
“I hope the next time, I’ll get more than that.”
“I’m sorry but it takes more than dinner to get anything more,” Alexa said and sat in the car.
“Give a poor guy some hope, will you? Anyway, I love the
“You’re not a poor guy in any way, Paul. You’re definitely not lacking in the lady’s guy department. You could find yourself a companion for the night with just a glance.”
“Yet it gets to that point when you need that special one to
hold you down.”
“Uh huh. Got to get home. Talk to you soon, Paul,” Alexa said and closed the door. He gave her a salute as she drove away.
She shook her head as she glanced at him in the rearview window. “Interesting guy.”
(c) Josephine Amoako 2019
Read Chapter 15 here.