This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. 

The Valentine Set up

Eii! Sese looking like this? 72 hours to Val’s?!- not good. What boyfriend dumps his girl, three days prior?
My flat mate was such a sweet, fun-loving soul that to see her miserable as if her mother had died was heart-wrenching.
But I was even more distressed for myself. Before, I knew exactly how  I wanted to spend the valentine evening: eating Jollof and drinking Ovaltine while watching some pixar animation. Very unromantic-I know but that’s the way I ‘d decided to spend the day. Full stop.
I didn’t care for men, chocolates, stuffed teddybears or wine. Not my cup of tea.
Now, I ‘d to find a way of cheering my flat mate – a tall order.   For the past two years that she ‘d been dating, this her boyfriend, Ben, had set a high standard that none was going to surpass. Every week there was an occasion to be celebrated even if it was World Water day. He celebrated the international UNESCO days, the traditional holidays and the ones he made up.    Val’s night was something exotic. Dinner, roses and stuffed bears were always a constant with gifts ranging from perfumes, watches, clutch bags to wax prints.
What job he did ? He was Communications Manager for Gogo Oil  fieldsf and a blogger. He was dusted with pleeeeenty money.
She was going to miss her knight in shining armor, and I, a movie night.
“so, now what are you going to do?” I asked,
Sese placed her glass of water on the table a little too hard causing a miniature wave  to spill over the brim.
“ I don’t know”
“Are you sure, this is not a misunderstanding? Maybe, he’ll  apologize for being rash”
Her pained look was answer enough.  Without a blink of her eye, She showed the  whatsApp message.
I knew men without scruples  jilted their girls by messages.   I never associated Ben with such a cowardly gang. After meeting him about thrice, I concluded he was sensible. Well, people changed.  The message proved it. “Does anyone else know?” was the next question.
“Just you” She sniffed.
We sat in silence for a couple more minutes. What do you say to a girl whose heart has been smashed to bits? That she will find love soon? Not likely.
She saved me from the uncomfortable silence by disappearing into her room.
The rest of the evening was spent mourning the demise of my February 14 plans.
February 13, 6 pm. Sese was her bubbly self again. What a relief. With my legs propped up on a pillow, I watched “Tangled” for the umpteenth time until Sese came up with the suggestion.  “Jane, lets hangout at  Paula’s  bar & grill for Val’s Night”
A  sigh escaped my lips. “ would rather sit here watching cartoons”
“too old for cartoons, don’t you think?”[[[
“Who said?”
“Let’s have a cartoon night instead”, was my lame proposition.
“ come on, you don’t always get to enjoy jazz and good barbecue”
“Not coming”
“I ‘ll sponsor the trip. All you got to do is, keep me company and drive. Drinks, dinner, fuel on me. deal?”
I wanted to refuse but perhaps a girls’ night out wouldn’t be bad, “ok”
“Dress for the occasion. No Jeans”
“What does it matter?”
“Just for me please?, We have to fit in”
“Fit in?”
“Yeah, we don’t want to look under dressed, you know.”
“You know how I feel about dresses”
“Just one Night, pleaaassse,” She cajoled and bugged till I agreed.
14th February , 6.30 pm. I drove into the parking lot of Paula’s  bar & grill.
I was feeling uneasy. I replayed events of the past three days. Was something amiss?
Sese noticed my pensive mood, “hey, gal what’s up?
“I don’t know. I have a funny feeling about this”
“Like what?”
“you’re up to something”
“how could you think like that? Isn’t that silly?”, She stared out the window avoiding my gaze
I was alarmed now. That is the way Sese  sounded when she refused to admit that she had, “accidentally” locked our nosy land lady in the garage. Sese was a poor liar.
“Spill the beans.”
“meeting Ben”,  she  smirked .
Great. She was going to dish it out to her Ex .
“I won’t create a big scene. “ She added.
“I didn’t bargain to be part of any scene” I informed her.
“Now Jane, my reliable sources, tell me that he jilted me for some small girl bi. Not a pretty one too. They will be here and I want to asses  and address her myself.
“not a good idea”
“ just to satisfy my curiosity and to give the coward the opportunity to tell me to my face that it’s over.”
“…then what? You’re setting yourself up for a bad evening”
“ Watch and learn”, She chuckled, “I am going to get good returns from this venture”
My flat mate   allowed me to choose a table. I chose the one closest to the exit. It was going to be an embarrassing evening.
If it hadn’t been the anticipation of a confrontation, I would’ve enjoyed the Jazz and the soulful voice that accompanied the band.
Trying to talk her out of it  was  like talking to a door post.
Soon enough, they came in after a half-hour wait. Her arm resting in the crook of Ben’s elbow.  The perfect picture of a couple madly in love.
Sese watched like a hawk as they sat at  table 12. The girl’s eyes told of nothing but unadulterated love and adoration. Surely, in her world at the moment, they were the only ones.
Sese flipped opened her little compact mirror and did a quick touch up to her make-up. “How do I look?”
“don’t do it” I hissed.
She smiled. Sese was an elegant woman, when it came to her frame, no two ways about it.  And as they say nowadays, she always slays it. I had a sinking feeling that she was going to slay the confrontation as well. Pulling herself to her full 6 feet 5 inches plus 3 inch, pencil heels, she walked like a model to table 12.
For a moment, other patrons stared at the gorgeous woman. Some  ladies  made mental notes to ask the mysterious woman’s tips to get their men to ogle them.
I closed my eyes and sent a quick prayer to heaven.- let it be over before I know it.
“Is the seat taken?”, Kwaku Dankyi, stood before me all suited up. Handing me a rose, he grinned and I cringed.
Sese had made me a guinea pig for her match making experiments. Argh!
“of course not” I said through clenched teeth. The three diners,  at table 12, raised their glasses to me, flashing tooth paste smiles. Sese mouthed the words “happy valentine” and Instantly  I knew, “accidentally” locking her out of the flat would  be a fantastic idea.

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