The thought of her made his heart skip. It literally did—each, and every moment, he thought of her. And he thought of her often, literally every single minute of the day.
She was his star, his moon and his sun. She truly was.
She was beautiful. Completely and utterly so. She was tall as a runway model, slim as willowy flower tree and pretty-faced as a real-life Barbie doll. Her face was heart-shaped, a rich creamy brown like the rest of her skin, and without-an-iota-of-blemish flawless. Her eyes were large, wide and brown like the colour of cocoa. Her nose, the most perfect part of her face, was small and straight. A perfect miniature that was well-sculpted. Then she had those full lips that were round and supple with their usually tempting red colour that made him dream of kissing her… all the time.
She was a beauty. And she was also a millionaire heiress.
Theodore sighed and switched lanes. She was his dream woman and she was totally out of his reach. That didn’t stop him wishing and dreaming though. That didn’t stop him thinking about her. He didn’t need to have her within sight range to think her. He only needed to wake up to have his thoughts flooded with her. He only needed to breathe to feel the hum of desire that whistled through his heart. She was his secret desire. A wishful dream. That one miracle he prayed for and knew, deep down, would never be a reality.
He pulled into the Union Marble House parking lot and Theodore felt his heart leap. It couldn’t have been any lesser a leap than that of John the Baptist when he encountered Jesus from his mother’s womb.
There she was, pulling into one of the car ports. One specifically designated for her, he knew.
Lucky morning to have them arrive at same time. Theodore stopped his Honda Accord and watched as she opened the door of the smooth pale ash Mercedes GLC and got down.
Perfect, as usual.
The high-waist hibiscus-red skirt with the pure silk magnolia blouse, tucked into the skirt without a single ruffle, moulded her subtly curved body like it was created only for her. Her hair, a wavy brown mane with tresses of gold at the tips, framed her face and bounced along her shoulder blades. Her handbag, genuine leather wine-red, was slung over one arm and it was a perfect contrast to the pointy-toes black heels she had on her feet.
Theodore pushed open his own door, grabbed his faux leather messenger bag and shuffled down the car. He needed to hear her voice. Since he was lucky enough to see her this morning, without waiting a chance meeting, he would need her voice in his ears if he was going to concentrate at work today.
He tugged the collar of his pale blue long-sleeved shirt and swallowed his wish that it was three sizes smaller. “Hey, Kome.” He hailed.
She turned and curved those deep rosy red coloured lips into a smile. Theodore swallowed—many things. One of them, his sudden impossible desire to kiss her.
“Morning, Theodore.” Her voice was low-pitched, velvety and lilting. “Just coming in?”
She was the only one who called him ‘Theodore’ and it was sweeter than any endearment when it rolled off her tongue.
“Yes, working to clock in before the late red-flag .” He smiled. Not over bright, he hoped.
“Looks like you made it.” Her eyes were warm, and sweet, and friendly. “Nice shirt. Blue always becomes a man.”
“It does, doesn’t it?” If he had the courage he would say something special. “You, as always, of course, looks amazing.” Gorgeous, would have been a truer word.
“Why, thank you, Theodore.” Her smile turned demure.
Theodore cursed the interruption even as they both turned their gaze to the head of security standing a few feet away with a polite smile on his dark face.
“I guess I’ll leave you then.” He was loath to leave. But lingering would be impolite—and pathetic. “You have a good morning, Kome.”
“You too, Theodore.” She said in that soft tone. With that soft smile still in place.
If wishes were horses. Well, they weren’t, Theodore thought and entered into the elevator with a nodding greetings to its other occupants. She will never be more than a top executive of a firm which shared same building with the company he worked for and with whom he exchanged cordial pleasantries. Not in the real world he lived in, at least.
He walked into his office, adjusted the blinds over the one window, sprayed the his everyday air-freshener and settled into his chair. He tapped open the Facebook icon on his tablet and headed for her page.
She’d uploaded a new picture two days ago. He’d seen it at least a million times now—which was as much times as he’d seen every picture she uploaded into her page. And as much times as he would look at them again and again.
His office door creaked open without a knock and he guiltily snapped the tablet face-down on his table. Of course, it was his colleague, and friend, Declan Orifie. And of course, he’d noted his guilty start.
“You were just looking at her pictures, weren’t you?” Declan asked.
“Of course I was not.” He felt that rush of colour at his lying denial as he pushed aside his tablet.
“Yeah right.” Declan sat on the Eames chair and shook his head. “You know it’s still stalking prowling another person’s social media pages, right?”
“I’m not stalking her.” Theodore turned on his laptop. “We’re actually friends on Facebook. And we follow each other on twitter and Instagram.”
“Is that right?” Declan’s eyes gleamed with mocking light. “You actually know she’s friends with at least a hundred thousand other Nigerians, right? And she has twice that amount of followers on Twitter and probably follows back a good number of them?”
“She only follows fifty people on Twitter and I happen to be one of them.”
“Wow! Lucky fifty. Do they all open her pictures and slobber all over them like you do too?”
Theodore sat back and stared unblinkingly at Declan’s sneering smile. “I don’t slobber over her pictures. But if I did, that’d be my problem not yours, Dec.”
“Come on, Theo.” The sneer wiped off his face. “She inherited and heads her own company and you work as a mere Financial Comptroller in a company. Your yearly income is probably her monthly pocket change. She’s a gorgeous beauty and you’re a…”
“A two hundred and sixty pound beefy man.” Theodore quietly interrupted.
“I was going to say ‘a regular looking fellow’, but that works too.” Declan said after a moment’s silence. “She’s just way out of the leagues of guys like you and me, Theo. She’s a millionaire who will only do millionaires. That’s how these things work.”
“Right. Reality check clocked in, now I’m down from cloud nine.” Theodore’s smile was self-deprecatory. “I believe we can get on with doing the job the company we don’t own pays us miserly yearly income to do now.”
There was another moment’s silence, then Declan stood up. “There are girls who’d dance butt naked under the moonlight to have Theodore Malik spare them a glance.”
“Then I must meet these girls.” Theodore returned. “Don’t think I’ve ever seen a butt naked dancing in moonlight girl before.”
“Check your inbox. Forwarded a mail from Intel just before I came in.” Declan said and walked out the door.
Theodore shut his eyes and breathed. Reality check was indeed that she was out of his league. Millionaires heiresses didn’t do average income dudes and perfect figured beauties didn’t do overweight burly guys.
Two major strikes. That should put a definite lid on it. Theodore opened his eyes and tapped open his email account. Time to live in the reality called life.
He stayed in that reality until lunch time when he strolled into the executive section of the building’s cafeteria and there she was on one of the cushioned leather tables.
Most CEOs didn’t bother with the cafeteria and she didn’t either, not until just last week. She usually ate alone but today she was sitting with a man in a well-tailored suit who looked like a chief executive himself.
Theodore instantly lost his appetite.
“Hello, Kome.” He stopped at her table.
“Oh, Theodore.” She turned on that sweet smile. “Hello, Declan. You two here for lunch?”
“That we are, Miss Douglas.” Declan’s smile was genial and so was his slight dip of the head. “Wonder what’s good on the menu today?”
“This grilled fish certainly is.” She smiled. “And oh, this is Alex Osaki-Daniel. Alex, Theodore Malik and Declan Orifie.”
“Pleasure.” Theodore shook Alex’s offered hand with the right smile. “We’ll leave you two to your lunch and get on with ours.”
“Now that is the type-A kind of dude you’d expect her to end up with.” Declan said as soon as they took their own table. “He’s the Mercury oil boss, you know that, right?”
“I do.” Theodore forked the mayonnaise-less salad into his mouth and tried to ignore the fact he hated the tastelessness. And the fact that the type-A dude was way trimmer than he’d ever be.
“Wonder if they’re dating.” Declan mused as he chowed down tempting looking jollof rice with a side order of dodo and coleslaw. “They could have gone somewhere better. Somewhere more private, at least.”
“They’re probably not dating. She doesn’t have to be dating every man she sits at lunch with.” Theodore braved another forkful of salad and ignored a wishful punch. “And can we stop whispering like two market wives gossips?”
Declan didn’t immediately respond. He concentrated on his jollof rice and dodo until he raised his head and lifted his bottle of water.
“Let her out of your mind, Theo.” He quietly said. “She’s not your type. So not your type.”
Theodore said nothing, just continued eating his tasteless salad.
But as he drove home, at the close of work, and his mind broiled with thoughts of her again, he wondered how he could let her out of his mind when he was already halfway in-love with her.