A Short Story.

It had been a slow week.

Work was going where work went as usual. Nowhere. The highlight of the week? Her libido was back where it used to be. Except this time there were no items in the shopping cart. For the past three nights, Mali had awoken to little beads of sweat from dreams of her and a faceless man having mind-blowing, sheet-twisting sex. Her conscience clearly haunted her to Zzzzland. What kind of existence was this, where all she could think about was sex? Marriage couldn’t come any sooner. At least with that union, you have a partner within arm’s reach.

It was Friday night. Think Like A Man was finally opening in South Africa’s cinemas. There was no reason to get all dolled up because it was just the girls going to see the movie. Mali was on some other plot. Rain or Sun, Man or Not, she was going to look good. All day. Every day. Boots on, eyebrows tweaked, and lip balm pasted- she was ready.

Famished and with plenty of time to kill before their movie, the group of giggly girls decided to have dinner at a nearby restaurant. As the designated ticket-buyer, Mali quickly ordered a mushroom pizza before getting up to go purchase the tickets. As she made her way through the narrow spaces between seated patrons, one hand reached out and gripped her arm in urgency.

“Excuse me, but…I want to talk to you,” a gentleman whispered from his seat.

“Well…you’re already talking to me.” And with that rude comeback, she shrugged his arm off and made her way to the door. He was a tad aggressive, she thought. Well, whatever, he wasn’t cute. She raced to the ticket counter.

As she walked back to her seat in the restaurant, she guiltily locked eyes with the bold gentleman. Drinking from his wine glass, she couldn’t help thinking how creepy his eyes looked as he watched her take her seat. A lonely-looking pizza ready to be reconciled with its Mama was waiting. She tore one piece and was about to take the first bite when she felt the searing footprint of glaring eyeballs. Woah. Dude was hitting her with all kinds of crazy eyes. Not cute.

Well, to be honest, the attention was half flattering, half creepy. But this was hardly the time to be picking up dudes at the mall.

Dinner finished, the gang stood up and began heading for the exit. Mr. Creepy shot out of his seat and stood waiting by the door. There was no way Mali could avoid him.

“Please, can I have a moment of your time?” Creepy Eyes asks.

Too stunned to respond, Mali let him guide her out of the restaurant to the mall’s courtyard. Secretly, she felt sorry for the dude.  He was really going all out to get her attention.

She looked him dead in the eye. “What do you want?”

“I adore your beauty! Do you mind having drinks with me?”  You know Mali was rolling eyes at this time.

“But what do you want with me?” She presses.

“I’m in love with your personality. I just want to talk…where are you going now?”

“Nigga, hold up. You don’t know me. How can you possibly know my personality already? And I’m going to watch Think Like A Man with my girlfriends. Sorry.” She attempted to get past him and failed.

“Can I join you? I don’t think my brother and I have watched it yet.” He sidestepped her.

“Nah, I don’t think so. It’s girls night. It would be really awkward with you lurking in the background. You just want to fuck me right?”

“Come on! Shhh!” He nervously looks behind and sees a guard eying them suspiciously. “No, I want to spend time with you.”

“Right.”

“What do you tink about drinks after?”

“Tink? Where are you from? Your accent’s…interesting.”

“I’m from Nigeria.”

“Oh okay.”

“My name is Victor.”

“Nice to meet you Victor.”

“Can I call you after the movie, please?”

“Sure.”

“What’s your number?”

“0734556856.” He hands her a business card.

“I’m sorry, what’s your name again?”

“I didn’t give you my name.”

“Okay, sorry. What’s your name?”

“Mali.”

“Mali…maybe we can go back to my place after. I…uh…live in Sandton.” Hesitation. Not a good sign. Why would he need to name-drop a wealthy neighbourhood?

“Not interested. Drinks will be fine.”

“Alright, give me a tinkle when you come out of the movie, okay?” Tinkle? Who the hell says tinkle?

“Tinkle?”

“Yeah. I’ll be waiting for your call.”

“Cool.”

“See you later, Mali…”

And with that exchange, Mali headed up the stairs to the cinema. The decision to wear leggings and boots for just movies now seemed like a mistake. No one needed to tell her Victor’s eyes were locked on the swing of her hips up that staircase. Ew.

***

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