I had just taken this picture when she asked me that question.
Had to distort her image… Sorry. Privacy policies…
Yes, that question.
We were in a popular frozen yogurt franchise. We were sitting around a table meant for four people.
She was seated by my left hand side. ‘Mrs’ (not mine, but another’s) was seated by my right hand side. Her husband was still at the toilets.
My angel had ‘to go’ and I had taken her to the female side. Handed her over to a vivacious looking female employee who benevolently escorted her in and out. I had waited outside (of course) trying to look busy and non-creepy loitering around the female half of the toilets.
Mrs’ husband had also felt the burden to unburden. And so we three had left her, (Mrs) guarding our frozen delights, and table.
‘Vivacious’ returned my angel safe and sound, but she was suddenly flirty and inquisitive… Sigh… At the risk of being immodest, I am compelled to inform you that women find me attractive.
That is all I have to say about that… No, no, that is a story for another day.
I diplomatically defused Vivacious and turned just in time to see my angel walking back toward me. She had a look in her eyes that reminded me of me. She and I share DNA… A lot of DNA I think. Like me, she is territorial. Not jealous, territorial. I immediately assumed that she did not like Vivacious.
By the time we got back, my frozen yogurt was now a complex mixture of atrocious flavors and color. Undeterred I raised my cup to sip…
Out of my peripheral, I saw Mrs visibly inhale in near ecstasy as I opened my (rather small) mouth.
Where do I begin with her?
She refers to me as ‘the one that got away’.
She has liked me for years!
She was (in my opinion) one of those misguided people… Those rebels without a cause. She seemed determined to live life on her own terms and made sure that we all knew this.
Interestingly, no one cared what she did with her life or vagina.
I was part of a small ad hoc committee she once assembled. She had slept with all seven of the eight men there. And with two of the women too. Her agenda was ‘career advice’. I was glad that I could not make that meeting.
I do not suffer fools lightly.
Without regard for my personal code of ethics, she did not just overtly convey her feelings for me, she proceeded to hint that I marry her.
Me!? Marry… Her?
Haaaa!!?? (in a Yoruba accent)
A few years ago, this young man bravely walked up to me and requested that I introduce him to her… He said that he wanted to marry her.
All is well that ended well…
My contract with the United Nations had me in Nigeria for a year at this time and I had another year to go.
In light of recent kidnappings, rape of children and other such abuse, I had established a ‘safe word’ with my seven year old angel.
An innocuous phrase. To be used when, and if she was ever molested in any way. Especially if the perpetuator was within proximity. Or it was urgent but I had company.
The phrase was the question, “DO YOU LOVE ME?”
I slowly lowered the cup and dropped it on the table without sipping.
My mind went nuclear… Then I channeled the rage in seconds to a single laser beam.
“I love you baby” I replied softly looking deep into her eyes. Searching for the hurt… The pain… A sign… Anything!
It was like looking into my own eyes… No dice.
The abuser(s) was / were definitely on our table. Mr and / or Mrs.
Were they mad? Did they not know what I would do to them? The lengths I would go to kill them painfully?
Then ‘Mr’ re-joined us.
The atmosphere had suddenly changed. The tension though intangible, was palpable.
“What did I miss?” He quipped eyes roving from his wife, to me and then my angel.
“Nothing bruh… Just some love between my baby and me…” I rhymed sing-song like lightly punching my daughter’s shoulder.
My angel’s eyes were like laser beams boring through the back of my head.
Something was wrong… Dear Lord, what was she trying to show me!?
Her eyes wandered toward the entrance and all our eyes followed hers…
“Is that your car driving away Papa?”
We all craned our necks and established that it was not my SLS AMG.
“Let’s finish up…, bottoms up!” I suggested.
We all quaffed the contents of our cups and dropped the cups simultaneously.
My angel looked downright distressed at this point. Her curiously beautiful features further enhanced by tears in both big innocent eyes.
I winked at her…
She sat up blinking and cleaning her eyes hopeful…
“I wish we had a child together Dan…”
Mrs Johnson gravely intoned. Eyes dreamy.
Sweeeeeeetttt Jeeeeeeessuuuss!!!!! The shock almost killed three of us.
Her husband viciously spat out her name in lieu of a dire warning.
“I imagine your girth in my tightness Danny – love …”
“inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un…”
(PLEASE ask Wikipedia for the meaning)
I jumped up like a bullet and bodily picked up my kid and ran for the front door.
“I’m sorry, but I love you…”
I heard her shout at me as I fled into my automobile and fled the vicinity like a banshee exorcized.
I pulled over a few minutes later and parked. Engine idling.
“I saw her pour something in your yogurt Papa… I didn’t know what else to do”
“Thank you baby. You did good. I am proud of you. Using my car as a distraction… Epic” I remember saying, nodding in approval.
Her face scrunched up… “Distraction… I was not…” Her voice trailed off.
“Papa… No! How…?”
“I switched cups with hers” I replied laughing.
“Why was she trying to kill you Papa?”
The blissful wonder of innocence and its attendant peace.
In rare moments like this, the true essence of kids beam forth. Bathing their listeners in righteousness.
Where would I begin? The devil? Demons? Witchcraft? Hexes? Love potions? Love charms to enslave? Kayan Mata?
“She is a very, very naughty aunty… She is no longer our friend.” I (parent-ally) informed my ward.
Mrs Johnson suffered a mental breakdown from that instant. She deteriorated in mental health until she passed.
I hear that it was not pleasant way to go. She died in pain and agony.