Tale was exhausted, she had just had enough of going with whatever life threw at her. She was so sick and tired of being sick and tired but what fun did being a junior accountant at a Church bring to her, she worked till 9pm on a bad day and the only thing she did for fun were the times she had to run to the mall to pick up some groceries.
She wanted adventure, dreamed of it. No 24 year old girl should be stuck behind a desk 5 days a week. She had studied accounting and finance for four years and left the university at age 21, after which she served her country through the NYSC(1) for a year and just a month later she had gotten this job. She felt like she hadn't had a break in 6 years.
"If i continue like this, I'm never going to meet a man" she thought to herself.
But meeting a man was the least of her worries, she just wanted to live out her true self. She had not had a single touch of makeup on her face for 22 months, for it wasn't right they said, her skirt dropped way past her knees, her shoes were so flat and had no design on it, her glasses was her best friend as she spends the best part of her days working on figures on a computer screen, her eyes had gotten a bit worse. she had just one handbag as all she carries are documents for work, her phone and her keys to her apartment.
She felt like she was 75.
"Madam, your money" the driver called from the front. She was lost in thoughts as usual and didn't notice the taxi was at the mall.
It was Friday and her usual grocery shopping day as she usually does her laundry on Saturday and any leftover work she wasn't too bothered to finish in the office the day before.
"I'm sorry, here you go, Thank you" she said as she handed the driver a 200 naira note with a frown as he had addressed her as "madam". Doesn't anybody care to look beyond her oversized clothes and glasses anymore!
Don't blame anyone, a voice in her head told her. You haven't taken care of yourself in so long.
She hung her only bag well and walked into the mall with no eyes on her since she looked like a young grandma.
"I'm going to die alone if I go on like this, I need a life!" she thought as she picked up a shopping cart and headed on straight to the section of the mall that held the only thing that interested her. Food.
"Hey that's mine!"
Tale yelled at the man who had just picked up the last frozen chicken off the cabinet. He looked at her with a deeply confused look sprawled on his face.
First he wasn't expecting her voice to be that youthful but he looked a little closer and saw she was indeed a girl.
"I said that's mine" she continued while avoiding looking at his face, he was tall from what she could detect easily and she didn't have it in her to strain her neck to look him in the eye.
"I only dropped it to pick up a bowl of ice cream, I'm sure you saw me" she finally said a little more slowly obviously thinking he may not understand or even speak English.
The mall was frequented by a lot of foreigners, from Indians to Chinese to Korean to Americans, in fact the biggest store in the mall was owned by an Indian!
It's a norm in Nigeria
"I speak English" he replied quite well and perfectly. "and i am Zhang Su Yan" he continued.
"Oh you are suing me?" Tale replied as her hands went straight to her hips as she had thought he said "suing". She had had a long day at the office and quite frankly an even longer night ahead of her. She was hearing a lot of things wrong and didn't care to know what's right.
She finally looked up at his face through her glasses and wow!
He smiled, she lost it...
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