It felt like prom night all over again. Only this time I wasn’t going alone and it wasn’t prom; it was an opera, and I was going with perhaps the most gorgeous man I had ever met. Ayo was not your regular kind of guy; he enjoyed musicals and operas. His favorite movie was Les miserables and he had already watched it seven times, can you believe that? I barely made it to the third scene!
As you may have correctly figured, I wouldn’t exactly get out of bed for those kinds of entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy me some great music, you know, Davido andWizkid things. But as for operas and doh-re-mi-fa-la stuffs…nah!
Tonight though, I was the phantom of the opera. Ayo had informed me beforehand of the dress code and I was surely not about to disappoint. I had been very deliberate with my choice of dress. The off shoulder dinner dress clung to me, as though it had been sewn on, accentuating every single curve God gave me, bless His soul. My hair was held in a bun but I had purposely let fall to my nape, a few strands, so that the overall effect was a professionally, delicate look. If Ayo’s wide-eyed, lingering perusal was any indication, I had outdone myself. Mission accomplished, baby!
He was a perfect gentleman, opening every door for me, his hand poised ever so lightly at the small of my back to lead me. Oh! And how edible he looked in his suit. We settled in and waited for the concert to begin. Half an hour into it, I began to understand why he made such a fuss about these things; it was beautiful. Breathtaking. The colors, the music, the lights, in short, everything. With time, and surrounded by the magical music, we settled warmly into each other’s company.
And then I felt it.
It was almost imperceptible at first but the second time, it was so fierce that I panicked. I knew this kind of ‘pain’. But what had I eaten that would evoke such protest from my own body? Eggs and noodles for breakfast, a little efo riro for lunch, salad downstairs in the foyer while we waited…oh forget it! I gasped softly as the next wave hit me hard. Quickly, my eyes scanned for the nearest exit. One more minute in there and Ayo would definitely know something was up.
“I have to use the restroom ok? I’ll be right back.” I hoped I sounded as calm as I wanted. He mouthed an ‘ok’ and squeezed my hand before letting go. I walked out as gracefully as I could manage, all the while dying inside.
There were restrooms upstairs where we were seated, downstairs as well. Once outside the door, I hurried into a half jog and in no time I was at the first stall. Joyous relief washed over me as I reached for the door handle, but it was locked. I tried the next door, the next one, and the next. All locked. This can’t be happening! I tried a few more times just to make sure, but they were all definitely locked. I lifted the ends of my dress and ran downstairs. I was in full panic mode now. Beads of sweat popped on my forehead.
Downstairs, I found the restroom and as soon as I opened the door, I was greeted with a large crowd. It took the final dregs of my dignity to not cry out then. There was no way I could wait for everyone to be done. Besides I couldn’t do ‘it’ in such a crowded place; I already knew exactly what sounds I was going to make and how badly it would smell, and neither rhymed with the image of the lady I had worked so hard to assemble for the evening.
There was only one thing left to do. I turned around and sped out of the congress hall towards the main hotel building, nearly running down a child and her mother. I didn’t stop to apologize. I was halfway there when I realized that my shoes were in my hands. At what point that happened, I couldn’t tell, and didn’t particularly care. I kept on running.
By the time I got to the main building, I was out of breath. As I entered, I asked the doorman where I could find a restroom. Before he was done pointing out the direction, I was off.
I had never been so happy to see a vacant toilet seat in my life. And the best part? There was not a single person in any of the stalls. Not one! By now, the little beads of sweat had become trickles running down the sides of my face. I settled on one of the toilet seats and aaaahhh…
I came out and dared a look at the wall of mirrors. I looked like I had just survived a stampede. Then I noticed my purse on the floor next to my shoes; somehow, I had clung to it through all the drama. See, a girl’s purse is her best friend oh. Depending on what she puts in it. Me, I never joke with the contents of my purse. Never.
Less than 5 minutes later, I was done cleaning up and touching up all the necessary details. I hadn’t expected that it would be, but walking back to the congress hall was difficult. I kept thinking that everyone who looked at me had seen me running like a lunatic, shoes in hand a few minutes ago. Still, I kept my head high and walked back as majestically as I could, consoling myself that they must have had at least one embarrassing moment in their lifetime.
Back in the opera hall, I resumed my position next to Ayo.
“You were gone for so long. Is everything okay?”
“Yes. Of course. Sorry, I had an emergency call and just wanted to sort everything out before coming back in.”
He nodded with a smile and took my hand again. For a second, I thought of where that hand had just been, but I quickly perished the thought, beamed at Ayo and returned my attention to the stage. For all have sinned and…
Later that night, Ayo dropped me off at home with a kiss I would not forget in a hurry. Would he kiss me like this if he knew what had happened back there? My mind wandered again. I didn’t think too much about it though, because in the end, I had my dream prom-ish night.
All’s well that ends well, right?