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“Sign of the Times” — A Short Story by Psychic

“What is that?” Lola screamed as she quickly came down from her car in the Lagos traffic that was about to begin because someone hit her car. She walked down to her bumper and saw the scratch she screamed again, “You scratched my car! You’re going to pay, come down from there you stupid driver!”

A fat, dark man, wearing ragged clothing came down and started to plead in Yoruba, “Emabinu ma, Emabinu.”

The traffic increased as passers-by began to stop and stare at the drama, while Lola kept shouting. “I will not listen to your pleading, you must pay for this.”

Lagosians started to yell, while some were asking her to forgive him, others were telling her to collect his number, that he must pay for the damage.

Just then a man in white suit stepped out of the ragged man’s car, he had been sitting in the backseat while the fight was going on, he walked straight to Lola and said, “I apologise for my driver, sometimes he loses attention on the steering.”

Lola stared at him shocked and speechless; she wasn’t sure if it was because of the handsome figure that stood in front of her or it was because she just realized that inside that tinted Range Rover 2020 that hit her there was a man that watched her as she raised her voice crazily at a poor driver on the street of Lagos.

“I’m Kenny, please let me pay for your car’s damage,” he said as he brought out a pen to write in his chequebook. “Who do I address it to?”

“Lola … Lolade Adeyemi.”

“OK, Lolade, here’s a cheque of ₦500,000. Again, I apologise for his recklessness.”

As he handed the cheque to her, everyone was in awe and asking each other, isn’t that the price of her car?
Lola quickly rejected the cheque, saying that the amount was just too large for just a scratch and one back light on a 2017 Toyota Corolla.

“I’d have to speak to my mechanic and get back to you.”

“OK, maybe we should exchange numbers then?” he asked grinning. Lola called out her number as he keyed them into his phone.

2 hours later

“Hello, this is Kenny. Have you spoken to your mechanic?”

“Oh, yes! So you broke the backlight as well, that cost about ₦25,000. Everything now totals ₦70,000. Can you make a transfer of the money?”

“Don’t you want to give us a chance?” Kenny asked as Lola stopped picking up the files that dropped from her hands as her phone rang. She was clumsy sometimes especially when something unexpected happened. Everyone who knew her would attest to the fact that she hated calls during work hours, and everyone who knew Lola knew her work schedule.

“What do you mean?” she responded, her mind in a state of confusion.

“I think that you’re pretty and I want to go on a date with you, and maybe end up putting a ring on your finger.”

Lola laughed. “What makes you think I’m not already married?”

“I didn’t see any ring on your finger today.”

“Well, yes! That doesn’t mean I don’t have a boyfriend.”

“So do you have a boyfriend?” Kenny asked still playing with his pen.

“Uhmm … no, I don’t.”

“OK. How does dinner by 7pm sound?”

“Works well for me, so yes, but it’s just dinner.”

“Yes, just dinner. I’ll pick you up, text me your address.”

10 hours later

“I can’t believe you were sitting in your car while I was yelling angrily at your driver,” Lola said with a smile on her face and she calmly took in the last piece of beef on her plate.

“I can’t believe you finished that food,” Kenny responded, pointing at her already empty plate of food as she giggled.

“Well, I hate wasting meals and this food was tasty.”

“I’m glad you liked it because I have a confession to make.”

“Nothing you say will surprise me, because after today, I’m certain you’re full of surprises.”

“I love you, Lola,” Kenny blurted almost loudly and anxiously. Lola laughed loudly by reflex. She was surprised to hear those words.

“You can’t love me, we just met, it’s probably infatuation,” Lola said calmly but still felt weird because a part of her felt it was true.

“No, Lola. I’ve known you for about six months now. This is definitely love not infatuation,” Kenny responded feeling relieved to get that off his chest.

“What do you mean?” Lola was seriously confused.

24 weeks ago

Kenny bumped into a girl at the library and her books fell, it was Lola, but she was too occupied by work to see who she crashed into. She quickly apologized, picked up her books and took her seat. Kenny watched her as she hurriedly walked by without noticing him. He was used to people staring at him because he was handsome and dressed elegantly. He had the semi-built body and was a little above 6ft tall. He strode and sat opposite her, watching her as she flipped through pages in search of whatever she was looking for. Kenny would just not fail to grin whenever she adjusted her glasses.

Kenny had from that day told himself to calmly observe who he finally felt would be his wife.

Present day

“And that’s why I had to plan the accident today to crash your car just to finally get your attention,” Kenny said, ending his story.

“You planned to hit my car just to get to go on a dinner with me?” Lola asked angrily as she stood up to leave.

“No! I did that so I could ask you to marry me,” Kenny said as he dipped his hand into his pocket and brought out a ring.

“Will you marry me, Lola?”

Lola looked at him, shocked. She was probably looking at the most insensitive man ever. He saw a lady already angry at him and was about to leave his sight and all he could do was get on his knees and propose. She looked up at the crowd in the restaurant who had just noticed a man proposing to his girlfriend. They were in awe and some of them whispered “say yes” like typical Nigerians did when someone proposed in public. But then again Lola knew he observed her for six months, he knew her, he knew she was 32 years old and wasn’t getting any younger, he knew she was at that time when she was desperate for marriage, he also knew her last relationship that lasted for 7 years only for her so called fiancé to run away on the day they were supposed to get married.

Even though it wasn’t her fault, her mum blamed her for wasting her time on a guy that never wanted anything more than sex. Kenny was obviously the opposite of Micheal, he was proposing marriage to her before tasting her honey pot. No doubt Kenny was younger, he looked 28, he was 29 though, and successful, and seriously in love with Lola.

Kenny, still on his knees, said, “I know you barely know me, but I do know you and I want nothing but to spend the rest of my life with you and maybe have a family if you want.”

With tears in her eyes she knelt down before him and looked at him for a while before responding. “Yes. I will marry you.”

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