Several times, I have been on love’s other side

Now I’m here with a fresh slate

Making moves to start in a better place

My plans are steeped in researchable slides

Making sure your night is filled with smiles

Unearthing frontiers I present

To ensure, you don’t resent.

Several times, I have been on love’s other side

Now I’m here with a fresh slate

Making moves to start in a better place

My plans are sure for others will know

Wine and dine; slow and slow

Laugh at jokes made for show

Unwind and relax, focus on you

Several times, I have been on love’s other side

Now I’m here with a fresh slate

Making moves to start in a better place

Compliments are thrown, unabashedly so.

Never relent in moves that work

Cos now I’m sure that this will work

Striding in steps and hoping to hop.



Pink halter neck top on dark blue denim jeans. Nope! Too desperate. Okay, red off-shoulder gown with the stones in front… argghh, makes my ankles look fat. Yes, finally, my little black dress – every fashionistas go-to dress… too… arrrgghhhh!!

I scream, throwing my hands up in the air.

Come on, Sarah you’re an artist, you fuse colours. You can do this, just think colours. Okay, blue cropped top on grey peplum skirt. Not working.

Giving up, I plop down on my bed wishing the ocean would just overflow and cover all of Lagos. That way everyone will stay in their houses and this date would never happen.

I catch myself smiling remembering how gawky Jeremiah sounded when he asked me out. “Um so, I was thinking… maybe we should… kinda you know, just, you know… meet for like a bite, kind of a date-like kind of thing… Or not a date. I’d cook so it’s kinda like work,” he had mumbled. Repressing a chuckle, I’d put him out of his misery and said yes. Although not as eagerly as it was ringing in my head, thank God!

Now I’m standing here in my Victoria Secrets underwear wishing I’d just said no. I want to go out with him, but I really hate dressing up.

My phone beeps. Oh, jeez it’s Jeremiah. He’s asking if I’m ready yet. Come on, Sarah tell him something. Tell him you have wardrobe crisis. Yeah right, like women ever did that. Men are judgmental. He’ll think I’m indecisive. Lie to him then, tell him you have herpes. Wait what?  Tell him your dog died. Okay, now you’re just being crazy Sarah. Fine, menstrual cramps it is – that excuse though, helping women since 1984.

I give my wardrobe one last perusal before closing it. The four compartments are full to overflowing with clothes of diverse colours, yet I don’t have anything to wear. I shake my head.  Men are so lucky, with only three shirts and one pair of jeans, they are set for the week.



Standing now in my Tommy Hilfiger boxers gazing from my empty wardrobe to my bed piled high with clothes, I cannot help but realize how hopeless the situation is. I have nothing to wear. I know I sound like a woman right now but the truth is I have tried on everything, literally everything in my wardrobe including an agbada and nothing seems perfect enough for the date.

I’m usually very put together. Laura says I dress the way I arrange my kitchen. Meticulously. Anyways, my point is I’m never lacking in the outfit department, even if I spend most of my days in chef’s white and a toque Blanche I’m still dapper underneath.

So why is it so difficult to come up with something to wear?

My phone buzzes. Geez, she’s not one of the tardy ones. I drop onto my bed, my clothes flying around as I do. I find my phone and it’s my mom. “So I heard you have a date, how is it going?”

Arrgh! I’m going to kill Laura… Okay, forget about Laura. It’s Sarah. She texted.

Hi, still coming, but I might be like five minutes late.

I chuckle, “Women’s #2 Favourite Lie.” No woman can ever be just five minutes late. I have a mother and sister… I know.



Beautiful, enthralling, amazing… those words do not begin to describe the interior of the Marigold restaurant. The moment I step through the revolving doors I am rooted to the spot, awestruck.

The place is empty now, closed for the night yet open for my benefit. My eyes are everywhere, on the arcs and the domes with their intrinsic patterns. Don’t even get me started on the colour fusion –this painter must have invented a technique that even fusing colour pundits would argue doesn’t exist …there is topaz, mikado, coquelicot, fuchsia, and some I can’t name. Hmmm there’s also Marigold… touché. The art is breath-taking. I recognize a few by my favourite painters, even a hyper-realistic one by OresegunOlumide.

I’m lost in staring when Jeremiah says, “Hi.”

How long has he been watching me gawk? I turn to look at him and he is so very handsome, it’s like he has grown fairer and his beard is super chiselled, reminding me of Trey Songz. He’s looking all official in a chef’s uniform. Officially sexy.

“Hi.” My voice comes out low. My hands are busy fumbling with the hem of my red A-line gown.

He smiles, a million dollar one and as if he hears my thought, he starts taking off his uniform. Again, I say SEXY!!! Underneath he is wearing a long sleeved grey and black striped shirt by Zara. I know this because… Okay, Sarah please don’t laugh. Look at his trousers; a custardy yellow colour- bold choice- and the denim loafers just complete the look.

My eyes are back on his face again and he is giving me one of those lingering looks that can make a girl feel sexy, or wait, is he is judging my gown? Well, Sandra’s gown- when in doubt check your sister’s wardrobe. The gown is a little tight.



Okay Jer, you have to stop staring and say something or she’s going to think you’re a boring perv. She’s pretty no doubt… A cross between Aishwarya Rai and AgbaniDarego. Too much? Yeah, whatever. It’s true. And those curves…

Okay time to talk.

“Welcome to Marigold,” I say at the same time she says, “This place is lovely.” We both pause waiting for the other to continue and then just like that we start laughing in sync. The ice is officially broken.

She offers me her hand, elegantly if I must add, and I take her around the restaurant, pointing out the African art, the pier, and then, my favourite place- the kitchen. We finally arrive at the focal rendezvous for the night, my office – furnished to host a candlelit dinner. Everything looks perfect, like a scene from a high budget movie, although I can’t help but feel I went overboard by dimming the lights. She might think I’m trying to make a move on her. Aren’t you Jer? Oh, please shut up head.

I pull out a chair and she gives me a weird look before sitting. Got it! She’s not a fan of the gentleman act.

Excusing myself, I dash to the kitchen to dish up the first course.

“Fettuccine,” I say as I open the stainless lid. But she gives me a funny look. “It’s Italian.” Yay, she’s smiling now.

The aroma of the food fills the room with its thick, cheesy smell. And the taste is sublime, one look at Sarah’s pretty face and I can tell. We eat in silence mostly, only throwing in banal praises to Italy for their culinary foresight. She is so brilliant. The next course is Chicken Chimichangas with sour cream sauce and she makes a joke in a Mexican accent. We laugh as I crack open another bottle of Dom Perignon. For the third course I bring her home with two wraps of Jer’s special moi-moi. I can give any Mama Put a run for her money with this one, Sarah confirms that.

After we are done, I rise to clear the dishes and this time she stands up to assist me. I try to protest but she is adamant so I leave her. She carries the plates to the sink and starts washing them. Oshey! Wife material toh sure! Although from the way she’s washing I can tell she grew up surrounded by helps, both in human and machine form. But she is determined to wash, so I leave her.

Now we’re back in the office drinking our wine and staring into the night. It’s not awkward. It’s perfect. She walks up to my small stereo and presses the play button. Lionel Richie’s ‘Say you say me’ fills the air. Oh geez, now she is definitely going to think I’m a perv setting the mood. I could have as well just put a bed in the middle.

She’s laughing now, heartily, and then she starts singing along, announcing that Lionel Richie is her favourite. ME TOO! She invites me to sway with her.




Everything is perfect …really perfect…we talk about everything, from politics, to traffic, to our personal lives… He tells the story of how he had gone to the University of Abaraka to read computer science for his father’s benefit, but had dropped out to go to catering school. He’s a Scorpio, and although I’m a Taurus and they say our signs are incompatible when it comes to love, I don’t care… Hmm, see me talking about love already.

I notice one thing though, he is a perfectionist, although he tries to counter when I say so by saying, “I like things done a certain way.”

I strike up a scenario, “Okay, imagine someone puts thyme in your egusi soup, will you make it work or will you throw the entire pot away?” He can’t even answer the question. It seems to have scared him… The latter it is then… But egusi with thyme, though, eww.

He has a comeback, “if you’re painting a red rose and someone smears black paint on it…”

I answer immediately, “I’d work around it, or make it a black rose, or a purple rose, although an oxblood coloured rose wouldn’t be bad, I could even….” Now I’m entering that zone, come out Sarah! He is looking at me like I’m a newly found treasure. Aww.

We are sitting and facing each other on the ground now, laughing our faces off at some knock knock jokes. ‘Akan who?’ ‘Akanbi your hero baby!’ Hehehe! My hair is a mess now and I’m sure my red lipstick is gone, I don’t even care. Our shoes are everywhere, the left leg of my nude heel is outside the door. How did that even happen?

I wish I don’t have to go. One question though, do we kiss goodbye or do we not? He leans in and I think he’s going to. Do it. Do it. Do it. I’m puckering my mouth already. He leans over and picks up his phone behind me. My eyes drift shut in embarrassment. Why are you like this, Sarah?



Entering my apartment, I can’t help but smile at how lucky I got. Sarah is perfect. She’s it.

I think about how great tonight was as I lean back on the door like a lovesick teenager. I can’t wait to see her again.

For now though, time to go to bed. Tomorrow is Monday. Standing in front of the mirror I admire my appearance. Stopping at Twice as Nice to get the shirt was a good call.

Wait a second…OH. MY. GOD. Please tell me that label has not been dangling on the shirt all evening!



4 thoughts on “Steps Of Falling In Love: Step 3

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