The Blinking Competition

I had a friend once when 
I was working as a PA.
She came to Nigeria from 
the USA in 2015 and came 
to my office to see my boss 
in the company of her parents.
Soon after that, we got talking 
and she asked if she could 
come to my office once in 
a while to take advantage of 
the electricity.
I said fine.
She'd come around with her laptop 
and I'd end up buying her lunch 
and driving her home every evening 
before going home.
One day she said, "Have you 
ever eaten Chinese food before?"
I said No.
Such things were a luxury 
for me at the time and I always 
live within my means.

A few days later, at about 
10 am she asked me if I could 
try and free up some time to 
take her to Ikeja. We got to this 
place at Isaac John at about 
noon. We got into the restaurant.
The waiters were nice, smiling 
and warm. I got this hot towel 
for my hands. They brought the 
order. She asked me what 
I wanted.
I had no idea.

She said she liked prawns and 
lobsters and whatever.
They brought the rice and 
all the things she ordered
They brought two plates.
I ate what I could.
The leftover was much,
the lady asked for it to be 
packed.When we were done,
They brought the bill.
It was 25,000 naira.
I was earning 60,000 naira as salary.
I figured it wasn't my treat, 
the Americana babe would pay.
She sat there, looked me in 
the eye and said "I didn't 
bring my wallet, I thought 
you'd be good for it."
I said "what?"
She laughed hard and aloud

She said "I provided the experience, 
and you get to pay. That's how 
the world works my friend, pay up"
I laughed.
I said I didn't bring my wallet
She said I should transfer 
funds to them.
I took out my phone I turned 
off the WiFi and mobile network
I kept trying to transfer but 
the apps won't open.
We were there for about an hour.
I refused to pay.
She refused to pay.
She felt I'd be compelled 
to pay out of shame if she 
waited long enough but shame is 
nothing compared to the hunger 
awaiting me if I paid for that 

They sell a bag of rice for 25k 
at that time. I was living on 
a tight budget and my mother 
raised no fool! After an hour, 
she called her mother and explained 
what had happened. 
Her mother spoke with the manager 
of the restaurant and 
got the account number.
A few minutes later, her mother paid. 
We left the restaurant without 
speaking a word to each other.

I drove from Ikeja back to Magodo
She tried making small talk 
but I'd have none of it.
When I got to my office, her 
mother was waiting
Her mother asked me what 
happened and I told her.
I was very clear that I didn't 
know we were going to a
restaurant or that this lady 
made a reservation to eat at 
a Chinese restaurant.
Her mother said "She woke up 
this morning with a craving for 
Chinese food. She told me 
about it and I told her to 
cook rice at home and eat it. 
I didn't know she would lure 
you to a Chinese restaurant
just to satisfy her cravings"
I said it is okay but it won't 
happen again.

Her mother replied by saying 
"Next time you're going out 
with a lady, any lady, make 
sure you have enough money 
in your pocket. Be a gentleman!"

That statement was a blow 
under the belt, I never forgot it!