First time encounters— Thorns and Roses
This week, I’m posting a snippet of the first time Chuma met Ifeoma from Thorns and Roses.
He’d been patronising her restaurant for months before actually meeting her. She’d been ogling him from behind the serving counter before they met.
This was one of my favourite first encounters between my main characters to write.
Feeling slightly irritated that a waiter hadn’t shown up yet, Chuma rose from his seat intending to find out why. However, before he could take a step forward, a slender light-skinned lady he’d never seen there before, rushed out from behind the partitioned serving counter.
“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting, sir,” she muttered. “We are short staffed today.” She appeared nervous and fidgety.
Chuma sat back down.
“What can I get you?” she asked, rubbing her hands on her apron. He couldn’t see her face clearly because of the way she had positioned her body while she talked to him. She appeared to be avoiding eye contact with him.
“Oha soup, please,” Chuma replied and then added, “some garri as well.”
She turned her face towards him abruptly as if his order had surprised her. A series of rapid emotions registered in her expressive eyes. First, surprise, then panic, and finally fear. She was afraid of him. He caught his breath, caught off guard by her reaction. He was sure that he had never met her before, so why was she frightened of him? Did she think he was upset about the delay in attending to him?
His need to assure her of his state of mind was immediate and unexplainable. He reached for her hand.
“I’m not upset—” he began, but she snatched her hand away swiftly.
The dim lighting in the room made it difficult for him to see her facial features distinctively, but she looked young. A colourful scarf covered her hair, and baggy clothes and a faded blue apron enveloped her slim frame.
“I’m sorry for the delay again, I’ll get your food now, sir,” she replied, scurrying away.
Chuma shook his head swiftly to clear his mind of that strange encounter, although he did wonder about that expression of fear that he had seen in her eyes. He searched the inner recesses of his memory trying to recollect if there was any possibility that he had met her before today, but he kept coming up empty. No, he had certainly not met her before.
Maybe she thought I was someone else, he concluded within himself.
But soon, wondering led to intrigue, and he waited with anticipation for her to return with his meal
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please drop a comment.
Thorns and Roses
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/ThornsandRoses-AmazonUK
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/ThornsandRoses-AmazonUS
RovingHeights (Paperback): http://rhbooks.com.ng/product/thorns-and-roses/S