Kiki sat on the park bench, staring ruefully at the passers by. Last night's row with Tolu was the cause of her blues. Painful though it had been, she did not regret the break up. His overbearing and jealous nature had been the cause of many a fight between the two. Kiki just wanted out. This toxic relationship wasn't worth the trouble. It was simply time to move on.
What really bothered Kiki was the prospect of being alone at Easter time, without a date or a steady boyfriend. It was the tradition among her family and friends to throw a series of parties and get-togethers in the week of Easter. This was to celebrate the many birthdays and anniversaries that coincided with this time of the year.
For the last three years Kiki had attended these functions solo, much to her embarrassment. It seemed that every one else was either married or with a "special some one" in tow! Some how, her relationships just seemed to self-destruct around Easter. Kiki was by now quite fed up with the well-meaning matchmaking attempts of her family and friends. She was determined not to give them another chance.
But how could she find love, on such short notice? Would she rent a date?! Or suffer the matchmakers one more time?
Beep! Beep! Her mobile phone went off, bringing her out of her reverie. It was Arin, her trusty flatmate. "Hi Arin! Sorry, I'll be there in a minute. Can you order my usual please?" Kiki was meeting Arin and Bolu for lunch. Arin, Kiki and her younger sister, Bolu shared a flat off high brow Opebi road in Ikeja, Lagos. The three had much in common, all young, single and upwardly mobile entrepreneurs.
A quick glance at her watch revealed that Kiki was already five minutes late. Arin was a stickler for punctuality. She would have to apologise. Again.
At Barcelos restaurant the threesome lunched and made small talk, having finished the day's business. They had this weekly rendezvous where they met and reviewed their personal and business goals. Since attending a goal-setting seminar six months earlier, this had become a tradition. And it was certainly paying off. Kiki, a writer, Arin, a partner in a recruiting firm, and Bolu, photographer and owner of a photo-studio, they had their careers and businesses decidedly on the up-and-up. But Kiki couldn't help wondering what was going wrong with her love life.
Unknown to Kiki, Bolu and Arin had signed her up with an online, Christian dating service. They felt she needed an extra push and were determined to give it themselves! Of course, Kiki would have killed them if she knew! But Bolu and Arin considered it worth the risk! They had selected a service that catered to young, professional Christians. Any minute from now, Kiki would be contacted. And they wanted to be on hand, to ensure that she followed through!
"What do you say we all visit the newly-opened cyber caf? down the road?" Bolu quipped. "Good idea," replied Arin, giving Bolu a knowing glance. "But why should we do that when we are online at home?" Kathy quizzed. To this they chorused, "Because our server is down, and will be till the weekend, remember?"
Cyberia was a lovely place. Fully air-conditioned, quiet, with a very fast internet connection, it was just the place for serious work. The three settled down and logged in. It wasn't long before a muffled scream was heard from Kiki's cubicle.
Arin and Bolu started off towards her, feigning surprise.
"What's the matter?" Arin queried. "Have you won the lottery?"
"Look at this!" Kiki seethed. "These spammers must be crazy! A dating service? Me?! This is definitely spam, and I'm going to report it. To Yahoo! To Bill Gates, to Phil Emeagwali, and to Interpol?."
"Wait a minute! What does it say? At least take a look at it," pleaded Bolu.
"I am definitely not interested in any more matchmaking. I can find a guy for myself," replied Kiki. "Besides, what would be the use of a virtual boyfriend? I need some one to go with me to the Easter parties"
By this time, Bolu had clicked on the "I accept" button, confirming Kiki's sign-up. The next thing they knew, a profile appeared on the screen.
Here was Kiki's new virtual boyfriend!
"What do you two think you are doing?!" Kiki cried, exasperated.
"Some day you'll be grateful," was all the reply she got.
The attendant had been motioning to them to keep the noise down. Now he was heading in their direction.
Will Kiki be grateful to Arin and Bolu? Will she find love in time for Easter? Find out in Part Two!
Copyright 2005 Oma Edoja
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Oma Edoja is a published writer, motivational speaker and infopreneur. She writes and speaks on self-help, and occasionally writes fiction. Please visit her fiction blog http://OmasChronicles.blogspot.com for Part Two, and more fiction. Oma would like to work with interested editors and publishers. Please contact her via her blog.