The One That Got Away

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The One That Got Away

It was supposed to be a time out in Apapa Lagos, a time for Joana to write a story. However, a few months before she got the offer, she’d dabbled into writing short stories and making hair wigs. But this time, things were different, it isn’t just a story, it is a movie script. Joana anticipated writing the best movie script ever, hence the saying; nothing good comes easy.

Writers’ Block

As multi-talented as Joana was, it didn’t purge her off having bumping roads while trying to reach the end point before even getting started. She was stuck in chapter one for a whole week, with no clue of where and when she’d get back her mojo. Joana was devastated with thoughts of being at the crossroads of her writing career, just about the same time her career commenced.

Joana has always had a knack for watching movies of different genres, it was her escape from reality and also a reminder of the kind of life she wanted to enjoy. With so much belief for creative art and narratives, Joana watched each movie she’d engage in with so much earnestness. From the likes of Jet Li to Jackie Chan, Tom Welling to Chris Hemsworth, Ramsey Nouah to Frederick Leonard, Rita Dominic to Empress Njamah, Mariana Seoane to Maite Peronni and many more. Joana found these persons to be highly talented as they take up roles and interprets various characters flawlessly.

She imagined herself often times in the image of some of the most amazing acts as she tries to see through the characters portrayed by them. Imperatively, she needed to tell her own stories by writing them. And just as much as she longed-to finishing her first movie script, the further away time drifted. However, Joana was as hopeful as always.

Finding the Right Distraction

A few days passed with Joana’s writing mojo in the wind, she was beating herself up for something she had no control over…. She’d stay up at nights hoping for her mind to be clouded with rushing ideas by morning. The more she tried, the more frizzled her mind’s eye became.

One Friday afternoon, While Joana’s thoughts drifted into a million pixels curated from the beautiful image on her desktop, she was suddenly awoken by the loud “grriinngg” of the doorbell. She literally dragged her feet all the way as she peeked carefully through the peephole before opening the door. It was Jackson, a colleague to Joana’s sister Mary, who’d come to drive them to the mall. On hearing this, Joana’s lazy pants almost ripped itself off when Mary stepped out gorgeously in a pretty red drippy dress. With a weird countenance, Joana pleaded for Jackson to wait a few more minutes cos she could make do with a distraction.

The Shopping and Search for a Nightclub.

As they drove through the streets of Apapa, Joana was engulfed with the silence and indistinct honks from the Lorries and Tankers. The street was almost barren as the big vehicles buried the images of bikers and passers-by within their mighty shadows. Soon, the shopping was rounded off and Jackson decided to drive through GRA in search of a night club.

Joana’s spirit was awoken by the thought of going to a night club…. She wanted to go someplace chilly for a drink, it was a reflective impulse, like the quest for palm wine, and Joana needed to see new faces in order to feel invisible. After a not-so-long search, Jackson pulled over by the entrance of an open bar/ restaurant and uttered smilingly. This bar is mostly crowded by expatriates, and I think you’d enjoy your alone time here, cos they’re not very loud in here. Should we go in now, or would you rather come back later in the evening, Implored Jackson? Without a second thought, Joana agreed it’d be better to return later that evening.

Read also: The Broken Vase chapter 1

The Bar

Jackson followed Joana into the bar, found a cool spot by the right side of the room. She told Jackson to leave and would reach out to him when she is ready to head home.
There, by the corner, she sat on a table for two. Alone and beautiful, above all, she was overly confident and certain that things would go well for her. So, Joana ordered for a drink, brought out her journal and started to make a draft for her movie script. Like a cool breeze from the sea, Joana was feeling so alive, with inspiring ideas gushing through her brain, she was enjoying the slow blues from the radio as she wrote.

Briefly, she soughed, moved her eyeballs from below her glasses, an image flashed right through her eyes. Across from the other corner was this son of a miracle, tall and stunning like an angel on a magazine cover. There he was, as gorgeous as a prince charming, with such beautiful eyes. He was so pleasant to behold, he appeared unbiased from his innocent gaze, and Joana thought perhaps, he wasn’t looking her way. But she could tell from his dilated pupil, the difference, and there was no way in hell that “this drooling” was out of lust. The electric sparks from his fairly grey eyes revealed so much, and obviously, this feeling was mutual. But unfortunately, his tongue was rather muted as it was curled up inside by his beautiful baby lips.

Lebanese Charmer cc: @ryaneggold

The Lebanese Charmer

With deep thoughts ravaging her mind, she examined him carefully. A shrink would probably flip a card or two to tell how intensely their heart both raced. He couldn’t approach her table because he was unsure if she was waiting for a lover or a friend, but part of him wished she was single. Joana wanted to make a move but her indecisive voice kept murmuring from within….she disregarded the voice swiftly, brought out a sticky note, and inscribed her phone digits unto it. She made an excuse to use the bathroom so as to slide the piece of paper through his shoulder into his breast pocket. And as she walked across towards him, she could feel the pounding of his heart from the embodiment of his elevated chest. Just a step or two closer, she reached for her sticky note, ripped out the page, and then, everything went black…

After a deep exhalation, it was pretty obvious that “the people from her father’s village followed her to that restaurant” but then again, it was PHCN at their best…Interrupting power supply like it’s no man’s business….. Few minutes after Joana got over herself, her “prince charming” reached out to the girl in a red dress who came in with one of the expats. With a bent neck facing the ground he whispered to her ears, and Joana wondered from afar with eyes raging in curiosity.

Cold Feet

She forcefully stood up, this time with a daring courage, she was tired of waiting and she needed to grab this laid out opportunity by the balls. And so, she walked towards him, it was like a coincidence because he was making his way towards Joana. His face was covered with smiles of both courage and chicken feathers when the lady in the red suddenly appeared. She calmly spoke up….He is shy of you, and he’s been admiring you all night…. Joana smiled in disbelief as she shook his hands.
It was a brief exchange of pleasantries, Joana excused herself to the loop. She returned after a swift moment to meet his absence, she felt defeated as her inner voice tormented her heart with a million questions….

Out of Sight

Joana stood there scanning through the entire room looking for her Asian guy. Just before losing a hang of it, the lady in the red dress approached. She told Joana that Kevin had to leave in a hurry, and had implored her to get Joana’s number across to him….
Joana’s heart leaped for joy as she gave her the sticky note which already contained her number…..the lady promised to deliver the message and gave Joana her mobile number just in case. Soon afterwards, Joana headed home. All smiley Joana got home with hope in her heart that she’d see her prince charming again. After a few moments of flashbacks, she took off her all black skater dress, showered for a while and went straight to bed.

Minutes turned into hours and hours appeared to linger for eternity, and she finally traveled into a deep sleep. The next morning was dawned already and Joana quickly reached for her phone to check for unread messages, and find out if Kevin had called….there was neither a call nor a message, it was not what she’d expected. At midday, Joana reached out to Emma “the lady in the red dress” but she was yet to get a hold of Kevin because he wasn’t home.
Hours later turned into days, and days into weeks, but Joana never quite got that call……………..and so, she named him……….

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY…
Don’t be a chicken, you have nothing to lose…. It might end in a yes, but if it ends otherwise, be proud that you at least tried…. Every chance at love is worth approaching, the first move doesn’t necessarily have to be from the male gender, there’s no shame in trying.
Try for love, fight for love. That spark between two hearts is hard to find…….

Love is worth everything….

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