The first time I passed by the new barbing saloon in my street, I couldn’t help but notice him. I saw him immediately and started crushing on him; like he literally was everything I admire in a man.
With a tall and muscular body structure, he was fair, well-dressed and always had this beautiful smile adorning his face all the time. You would think he had no problem in this world because of how his face was always dazzling with smiles.
He was the new barber. The first one though because the shop was just opened. I was able to find out from some guys in my street that his name was Daniel. Oh my Daniel! I must do everything to have him. Yes, he has to be mine. I saw the way he looked at me that first time I passed there, and I knew instantly that he admired me too. Who wouldn’t? I’m a very fine girl and I have everything in its right shape and place. Are you jealous? Jealousy go kill you o!
Over the next few days I would constantly pass by the shop just so I could see his face, and each time I passed, he was always smiling at me. On the third day, I said hi, and when he responded, I melted. His voice! Oh, his voice!
Now I can’t sleep, his image filled my head that I even see him in my dreams. I’ve been hoping that he would like stop me and talk to me someday but he never did. Why? Am I not good enough?
I was getting uncomfortable. I couldn’t help but notice girls from our street flocking to the shop to charge their phones or just gist around. I knew what was going on. Everyone wanted the young man! Who wouldn’t? He was so cute!
At this point I knew I had to fight if I must get this man to be mine. I had to fight for my right. Yes, it was my right. I knew he was God’s sent to me and no one, not even my pastor could convince me otherwise.
So how do I approach him? Of course I can’t just go and start talking to him, that would make me seem so desperate and I don’t want to be desperate. I needed something very real and that was when the idea came to me.
I would cut my hair! Jeez.
Since I was born, I have never cut or shaved my hair for any reason. I’ve always plaited my hair. Even after being admitted into the department of Theater and Film Studies, I still would not cut my hair. That was what made me more beautiful nah, how can I cut it?
But, yes I was ready to make this sacrifice for the one I was falling in love with. I wanted to be close to him, I wanted to feel his hands on me and know what it would feel like. I needed his breath close to me and to hear him speak about random things to me; all these can happen if he’d barb my hair. So I made up my mind… I’ll do it!
That morning, I made up my mind that I wouldn’t go to school. I needed to go for the cut when everyone must have gone to school or to their businesses. I didn’t need any competition for this mission, so I waited until around 11am and started taking my bath. Who takes their bath to go barb their hair kwanụ? Well, me!
“Promise, Mr. Okeke will give us quiz today by 11:30. Aren’t you coming to school?” That was my roomie.
“Quiz? Ah…I can’t come today. Told you about my mission. I don’t mind risking everything for it.” I was applying some powder on my face this time.
She stopped on her way to the door and stared at me, then bursted out laughing.
“So you’re going to cut your hair and you’re wearing all these makeups? Mad o.” Then she left.
What does she know? Is it not because of that boy in 300level deceiving her, and now she thinks she has a boyfriend?
I also had someone before now though, but since this new guy packed into our street, I started avoiding my supposed boyfriend, and two days ago, told him that I was quitting the relationship. He’d cried. But that was not my business though.
When roomie was loosening my plaited hair yesterday evening, he had called again and pleaded I give him a second chance but I wouldn’t give in to his plea. I had made up my mind and that was final. Sincerely the young man had been helpful to me. He was a business man in Lagos and had paid my school fees and house rent a couple of times; of course I used the one my parents send to me for other needs. Don’t look at me like that! I’m beautiful so I deserve everything that comes to me.
When I got to the shop that morning, he was outside talking to his neighbour, a woman who sells provisions.
“Good morning, good morning ma,” I greeted both of them.
“Good morning dear.” I knew mama responded but I only heard the one from him. It was like my mind had been completely shut out from everyone else but him. Am I okay like this?
I stepped into the shop and was greeted by this fragrance that got me smiling. He was neat! Oh, another wonderful quality. What else can I ask in a man? I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled mischievously.
The light came on, he had gone to switch on the generator.
“How are doing today?” He was smiling again.
“Fine. You?” I was smiling too, but I avoided eye-contact with him.
“So, you want to cut your hair?”
Of course dummy! Why else would I be here? I didn’t say that to him though.
“Yes, dear. I’m tired of carrying big hair up and down. I need some fresh air.” I looked at him this time. His eyes were sparkling and lips were so red. Oh, am I seeing things?
“But you really look good on the hairs you plait though.”
OMG! He complemented me! I knew it! I knew he had been admiring me all these while. I was right afterall!
He brought out the clipper and plugged it to the socket. Then burnt the blades for disinfecting. Dropping it on the table, he took out the cloth from the hanger and wore it around me; that was the closest he was to me and I was able to smell him properly. He was nice. He must be using a very expensive perfume. Wow!
Throughout the barbing, we talked about random things. About the street and some incidents the past few days. About me and my school, our constant rehearsals too. The chit-chat made the barbing so quick and before I knew it, we were done. Oh God!
As he was clearing the table, I noticed the hurrying and got concerned.
“This one you’re rushing like this, are you going somewhere?” I was pressing my phone, hoping he’d ask for my number.
“Yes, I’m going to pick my daughter from school. They dismiss by 12 on Fridays.”
I froze. What?!
“You… you’re married?” I was stuttering.
“Yes. Two years. I have a daughter,” he said it like it was nothing. Like he couldn’t see the young woman before him seeking for his love. Like he couldn’t see the sacrifices I’ve made. Like everything I did meant nothing to him.
At this point I realised there was a ring on his finger all this while. I’m sure I saw it, but perhaps my quest blinded me from thinking about it.
I was loosing it. What have I done?
I was staring at the mirror and all I can see was some foolish girl with a very ugly haircut.
I got up, dropped the money on the table for him and started heading home.
I don’t know what I’d do yet, but I was hoping that even if I lose everything, my dream guy, Mr Okeke’s quiz and all, I shouldn’t lose my boyfriend too.
I’ll call him and apologize. He will forgive me. He loves me so much.
A message dropped on my phone. Oh it’s roomie.
“Babe, I’m coming back home. The quiz didn’t hold again. ASUU just embarked on a two weeks strike.”
I didn’t smile but I was a bit relieved. I opened my door and fell on the bed.