Tomi had tagged her in a picture of the both of them on instagram. He had liked it and commented saying, “Your friend is beautiful.” Instantly, she looked up his page. He was really cute. There were a few pictures of him with different girls here and there but no girl was in more than 2 pictures. She knew that an instagram account was not a conclusive source on a person’s relationship status but it could be used to safely assume and safely assume she did.

As luck would have it, a week later she ran into him at her family friend’s convocation ceremony. His cousin attended the same school and was also graduating. He had come over to their table with his cousin who seemed to be really interested in her family friend. Of course she recognized him but she pretended like she didn’t. He was even cuter in person and after explaining how he had seen her before, he asked for her phone number and with feigned reluctance she gladly gave it to him.

Fast-forward 3 months and 3 weeks. He had introduced himself as Adewale but she called him Ade in a sing-song tone that he had confessed he liked. They spoke everyday and for long periods at a stretch. He was incredibly easy to talk to and he had an amazing way with words. They talked about everything from their childhood experiences to their interests and future aspirations. They could have serious conversations about politics, the economy and Kim Jong-un and switch gears to random topics like fashion trends that needed to die or their favorite scenes from the Fast And Furious franchise. He was hilarious too. The amazing thing about it was that he never told jokes but he just had a way of narrating events that made her laugh hysterically.

They hung out a lot. Her favorite things to do were to eat and watch movies and they happened to be his favorite things too. Sundays quickly became “Palms Sundays” because he would come to pick her up at her house after church and they would go to The Palms in Lekki to see 2 movies and have lunch. It never felt like a formal date. She had become so comfortable with him that it felt like hanging with her best guy-friend who was incredibly cute and for whom she undoubtedly had feelings. She knew he liked her, a lot. He had told her countless times that she meant a lot to him and he occasionally sent her messages describing how special she was to him. They were yet to define their relationship and it was just fine with her. Tomi had nearly gnawed off her ears as she kept on saying “Lola you guys should date already!” with every opportunity that presented itself but she wasn’t fazed. Ade was a slow and steady kinda guy and after her last hot and heavy but short-lived relationship, she appreciated slow and steady.

Today was Palms Sunday and an extra special one at that. After tasting some cupcakes she had baked a few times about 2 months ago, he had encouraged her to start selling her cakes and 1 month later, she was a mini pastry mogul. Okay, not literally a mini mogul but earning rougly 40,000 naira aside from her steady income from Etisalat was awesome and Ade had been her first customer so today was her treat. They talked and laughed on the way. Someone had farted during the service in the row where he sat and Ade could swear that it was the very pretty girl in a red dress that had sat 2 seats away from him. Lola tried but she couldn’t stop laughing. His mannerisms and facial expressions were too funny.

On getting to The Palms, they had lunch and then headed to the cinema and watched Maleficent and Blended. The second movie was a romantic one that got her thinking and the mood in the car on the way back was quieter. It seemed to have gotten to him too because he didn’t say much. The great thing about spending time with him was that even silence was comfortable.

As he drove on, she realized that she might actually love him. Actually, she did love him. There was no other way to describe how she felt about him. He was all parts incredible and he made her feel amazing. As the excitement from this realization started to wash over her, heavy sadness consumed her. The painful kind. She had to tell him. She couldn’t do it to him much less to herself. He needed to know.

He pulled up in front of her house. “Yo! Why the long face?” he said teasingly as he poked her.

She barely moved. “Nothing.” she replied and managed a smile.

Are you okay?” He asked frowning.

Yes I am.” She said and this time with a better attempt at a fake smile.

Today was all kinds of fun. Thank you for the treat and you are awesome company, as always. Again, you look amazing. Amazing.” He said with that sheepish smile that made her want to melt.

Thank you.

So when next am I seeing you?

I don’t know.” She said, avoiding his eyes.

Why?” He said, looking confused.

I have Parkinson’s disease.

She could hear his breath stiffen as her heart sank.

Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system which has no known cause and no known cure.

To be continued…