She scanned the expanse of the room searching for her 1 ‘O clock appointment, Mr. Segun, but he wasn’t in the restaurant. She sighed, glanced at her watch and made to leave, when one of the smartly dressed waiters approached her and guided her to a table previously reserved for the meeting. She decided to wait for about 10 minutes then she would leave for her next appointment.
As time slowly ticked by, she was getting more miffed. “Why can’t people respect other people’s time and if he couldn’t make it, why not call and cancel, I mean courtesy demands that, maybe she should have handled the appointment herself, could be that her secretary got her appointments mixed up.” She thought. She sipped the wine the waiter was kind enough to bring her and absently people watched.
She noticed the obviously happy family by the far right. Obviously happy because they were teasing and laughing at each other’s jokes but must they be that noisy? She turned her head a little to the left and saw the two middle aged women chatting away, housewives trading some inside joke only sit at home mums would relate to, she surmised. As she sat forward to pick her wine glass, her eyes rested on the couple sitting pretty close to her table, she felt they were attractive until bits of their conversation drifted towards her and they weren’t so attractive any more.
She overheard the man say “why the hell did you bring me all the way here, told you I was busy, we’d better hurry up the order I’ve got a ton of work back at the office.”
“But sweetheart, it’s been a while we went out to lunch, I thought it would be relaxing for both of us.” The lady said softly.
“Well, you thought wrong and if you had a job, you wouldn’t have had the time to bother with such nonsense as an idle lunch”
“Common why would you even say that”
“Why wouldn’t I? and speaking of, you could have dressed up a little, I can’t have my lady looking so under dressed and seen with me in public, if you needed money for new clothes, all you could have done was ask. I have to go, call me later.” He downed his drink, stood up and left, leaving the lady just sitting there.
She couldn’t believe what she’d just witnessed. She contemplated on what to do. Should she join the subdued lady or should she leave well enough alone? If she were in the lady’s shoes, she knew she wouldn’t welcome the intrusion but then again her compassion knew no bounds. She grabbed her drink and walked over to the lady, “Hi, I’m Mimi” she said. The lady looked up and just nodded.
Mimi not feeling deterred sat down and continued, “I know this is none of my business but you shouldn’t let anyone speak to you that way.” The lady just kept staring at her. Mimi let the silence stretch for some time and was to say something else when the lady spoke, “did you get a good look at him, why would a guy like that want to be with a girl like me?”
“And what is wrong with a girl like you” Mimi countered.
“Hello, are you really seeing me or is the lighting affecting your vision, I’m not beautiful, not smart, not self sufficient, the list is endless.”
“Why do you think you are not self sufficient”
“Because I’ve never worked a day in my life, I wouldn’t even know how to start providing for myself, all my life I’ve always been provided for”
“Well, when I look at you, I see a beautiful and I’m presuming intelligent young lady who can be anything she wants to be, but that would never be possible until she starts believing it herself. I’m sure when you look at me, you see this self assured woman who you think has everything going for her and on a level you envy her and wish you can be like her but the truth is I wasn’t always like this. I struggled to find myself for a long time but once I realized that I didn’t need anyone’s opinion to feel validated, I began to see changes which emanated from inside and became physically evident. Today, when I look in the mirror, the lady that stares back is very proud of what she has become.”
It was evident the lady was listening but wasn’t really hearing what Mimi was saying, but something propelled Mimi to continue. “I don’t know why the person I was to meet with didn’t show up today, but I’m happy I met you and if you let me, I would love to help you. Here’s my card, call me when you feel the need to.” The lady took the card and placed it on the table. As Mimi walked away, she hoped she would get the call sooner rather than later.
To be continued….