Having skimmed through the newspaper, I concluded nothing out of the ordinary was happening in the world: the semi-nude photo of a random attractive lady who believed MPs should fight youth unemployment; doom and gloom in Syria; club transfer of some soccer star; and more uninteresting stories. I dropped the newspaper and picked my Tennis racket case unzipped it and scanned its content for any fault.  
After a few mock swings, I returned it to its case. It was in good condition. I anticipated another set of losing streaks to Franklin my tennis partner but it should be better than last week’s. He was a tall Indian dude with polished dark hair and
a slender build. We worked in the same department of the retail store. The level I had attained in tennis was due to his tutelage. The line of our relationship did not stretch beyond the sport and that was exactly how I wanted it.  I glanced at the time on my mobile phone.
Two more hours to go, I thought. There was nothing to do at home except involuntarily dwell on unwanted thoughts. Then I realized that there was a funfair in town and it wasn’t far from our rendezvous. A wander around the funfair would kill some time. 
From what I could tell, there really wasn’t any distinction from the ones in Cambridge. Tourists and residents alike had their happy and intrigue faces on, and kids were squealing like happy piglets as they went up and down, or round and round, the different rides. I stopped in my saunter and gazed longingly at the happy piglets on the lifeless revolving horses of a ride. Watching their winsome little faces reminded me of the good old days when I had no care in the world and the only thing that worried me was getting my bottom whipped by mother for recalcitrant acts.
The sandy days of sandcastles on the beach, replaying wrestling bouts with siblings where I had lost my first tooth, waking up at the break of dawn to watch Cad’s Breakfast Television against my parents’ instructions. The good old days. I sighed, diverting from memory lane back to reality.  Life had changed. I had changed. Life had
changed me.
I continued my casual unhurried walk around the park and halted a few paces away from an ice cream truck, an amiable looking owner, and customers that were mostly kids. But that wasn’t what made me stop. It was the sight of pregnant Ashley Kazembe, the same lady I had given a piece of my mind many months ago for being rude. That could
have been my baby if she hadn’t been a bitch, I thought. She neither looked fancy nor happy, only pregnant. Life had changed her, it appeared. 
Unfortunately seeing her also carried the memory of Beatrice. As I made to leave, a black German shepherd suddenly scooted past me and stopped at the feet of a nondescript child, wagging its tail enthusiastically. The child held out his ice cream cone to the dog; the canine readily lapped up all its content in one fell swoop. The kid burst into tears and the dog kept wagging excitedly. Suddenly, a lady of some African descent rushed to the scene, panting. Casually dressed with a slender yet curvy physique, she was definitely attractive.  I figured the dog belonged to her. She went down on one knee and was saying something to the boy.  I moved on.
The gaze of the sun on my skin felt pleasantly warm when I tossed the plastic bottle of cold drinks into a nearby wooden bin and fell into a nearby wooden bench. I checked my watch: 15 minutes to a game of lawn tennis. I looked around this extension of the park for which there were no fun-fair activities. A few people were still going to and fro and a few more were just lying on the grass, chatting, reading, and throwing Frisbees.  
Something nuzzled my ankle, startling me. It was the same mischievous German shepherd I had seen at the funfair. ‘Hello there’. I ruffled the fur on its head and it barked in delight. Watching it begged the question: where was the lady? I looked up from the dog as the question crossed my mind. And there she was, hurrying in our direction. As she drew closer, it wasn’t hard to tell that she was exhausted, most likely from the excessive exercise the dog had put her through. Now, the animal was lying by my feet and sniffing at something on the grass. 
She reached our position, her face a picture of displeasure and apology. ‘Currie,’ she frowned at the dog, sighed and turned her attention to me. She didn’t say anything for a moment and I caught a look that was almost recognition but not quite. Then, she regained her composure but I could tell her mind was working. ‘Accept my apologies on Currie’s behalf. I’m sorry for the intrusion.’
No foul, no harm. I love dogs actually.’ I glanced at the dog again.
‘Is she always this friendly?’
‘You have no idea,’ she said. 
I found myself staring at this lady. And her gaze matched mine. Her smooth oval visage was charming. I couldn’t quite say how I knew but there was something of determination and ambition in her eyes. She was elegant and pretty but not
breathtaking. I had seen and been with ladies with far more physically aesthetic qualities. Yet there was something magnetic about her. And then I broke my gaze, shifting slightly on the bench. My veins were running with nervous anxiety. I wanted to leave. Don’t be a pussy. She smiled and relaxation seemed to flood her face. Her eyes caught my tennis racket. ‘I see you play tennis?
Yes.’ I couldn’t help but return the smile. I liked her smile and I didn’t want to. This wasn’t good. I looked at my watch and then scanned the premises. Thank goodness. I could catch the distant figure of my tennis partner approaching. My attention returned to the lady and I stood up, grabbing my tennis racket too. As if she belonged to me, Currie got on all paws. ‘I have a match due any moment from now.
Here comes my partner – tennis partner,
’ I said, glancing at Franklin. Why the need for clarity? I asked myself.  She chuckled and extended a hand. ‘My name is Sumbo.’ I was about to give her my name when Beatrice’s face flashed
across my mind, fueling me with the need to get out of here as soon as possible. I accepted the handshake, ‘It is been a pleasure but I have to be on my way.’ I caught a hint of surprise mingled with disapproval in her eyes as I withdrew my hand.  I hurried off to meet my tennis partner.
Cool breeze sailed through my hair, my chest was thumping so loudly I could hear them clearly as I would the morning bells of a catholic church. I slumped into the bench once occupied by the stranger. I felt Currie whining and nudging my legs with her nose but my attention was elsewhere. Could he be the man in my dream -of my dreams? There were a few inconsistencies though: He wasn’t the same guy and I wasn’t the same woman in my dream, but every other scene was similar. Anyways, this guy had got me in less than it took to say, Jack Robinson.  He had been beautiful to look at. He had the prettiest eyelashes on his sad brown eyes, I had ever seen, even on a woman. And when he spoke, the tenderness of his slightly effeminate, tenor voice warmed my core so much so that I could listen to him for a whole day, nonstop.
My ideal man would have been muscular, huge and at least three inches taller than me but I found myself attracted to his slender, polished, somewhat athletic physique. The fact that he was scarcely an inch taller was inconsequential. Perhaps this was what they called chemistry.
But he didn’t tell me his name. I found that annoying. Who does that? My heartbeats slowed back to normal but I was still excited, and there was one person I wanted to share this with immediately. I patted Currie’s head and said: ‘Time to go home.
 When Currie and I entered the living room, Edna was settling a half-empty teacup on a saucer, her face mirroring one that was lost in thought. Her furry companions lay by her feet, giving me a steady, wary gaze; they did not even acknowledge Currie. Currie let out a joyous bark and bounded towards her mistress.  Her cheerful smile welcomed me as she ruffled Currie’s fur. A box of tissues sat on the long couch she sat on. Beside it was a silver bin. She still looked as
tired as I had left her. I took the small sofa opposite hers, wary of any sudden movements from the dogs.
Patience, my dear. They’ll warm up to you in due time. It took a while before they acknowledged Adrien as part of the household.’ I doubted the possibility of that happening but inclined my head all the same. ‘So how do you feel?
Nasty little thing, hay fever. But I’ll be honky-dory in no time.’ She stopped playing with Currie’s fur and relaxed into the sofa. 
Honky what?’ I asked.  Edna chuckled. ‘It means fine. Now someone looks like she’s got some juicy news for old Edna,’ she teased.  I relayed the events of how we met and how the encounter ended.
He didn’t even give me a name,’ I finished.
Edna was beaming. ‘This is delightful news,’ she replied. 
But the chances of running into him again –’ I trailed off disconcertedly.  Edna shook her head, smiling, and gave me the look a mother would give a daughter who knew nothing about the ways of the world. ‘You’d be surprised how small earth is.’ With that, she heaved herself out of the chair. ‘I can do with a bit of sunlight. Join me, will you?’ 
Kreate is a budding Nigerian writer with a flair for fiction. Writing for him began sometime in secondary school where he dabbled in poetry and plays. He has authored two self-published short novels. He is a banker and lives in Surulere. Read more interesting pieces at KREATEATALE