The noise from the coming heavy-duty lorry startled her, she had been in traffic for about an hour, she didn’t even realise she had fallen asleep. She hurriedly inserts the car key into the ignition, placing her feet on the turtle and brake pedals of her old-v boot car, she was set to move as the traffic jam was gradually reducing, she drives down to Sophia’s house. As she negotiates the bend that leads to a block of neatly arranged apartments, official quarters, of the private company Sophia works for, Lade’s mind flashes back to how happy Sophia had been when she was offered the job at the company, they had celebrated the new job at a very popular clubhouse not far from Berling estate where Sophia’s parent’s stay, they had partied all night. Lade looks carefully at the numbers written in front of each of the houses, to avoid entering the wrong apartment as she had done on three good occasions, the apartments look so much alike that even the residents could mistakenly enter the wrong apartment. She hoots continuously at the gate of the apartment with the number 111, the gatekeeper peeps through the view finder to find out who was at the gate. She smiles at the gate keeper as she drives into the house, the gate keeper smiles back revealing a set of incomplete teeth, dark and horrid looking. She laughs quietly, remembering how irritated she had been when she first met him, he had told her his name was Loco, it had taken her time to know the name. Loco opens the car door and with a mock salute greets Lade. She knocks at the door and a slender, beautiful Sophia appears at the door, Sophia gave Lade a long hug, telling her how much she had missed her, Lade looks intently at Sophia and discovers something different about her, she discovers a glow she had never noticed, Sophia looked brighter than usual, she looked more beautiful than she remembered. Sophia offers her friend drinks and snacks. As usual, they talked at length about life, men, work, men, men and men. Lade narrates how she had met her current fiancé, Nick, she tells Sophia a quick romantic story of how Nick had sighted her at a grocery store near her place of work, she tells this story flawlessly adding spices as usual as she had done on several occasions. She wasn’t looking her best at all on this particular day, she was so tired and pissed off, her boss had given every one of them at work that day a tough time, Lade especially, her perfectionist boss always complains about everything she does. Sophia pays rapt attention eager to know how her dear friend met prince charming, Lade goes on and on describing how tired she was on that particular day, then Nick walked up to her offering to help carry her giant bags filled with groceries she had been so busy to get for a long time, not bothering to think about if it was safe or not, she gave the bag to him, she was so exhausted to even think or notice how cute Nick was, Nick saw her off to the car pack and asked if she wouldn’t mind giving him her number, she reluctantly gave him the number. He called on several occasions before she finally accepted to go on a date with him, it was on their first date that she realised how blind she had been on the day she met Nick, she was shocked to see how handsome, cute, down to earth, gentle, innocent, Nick really is, at that point she told herself how glad she would be if Nick could propose right away. Lade smiles at herself as she comes to the end of her story, Sophia wanted her to say more, but she wouldn’t say any further. Lade looks through the window to check out who was driving into her house, though she had neighbours, she considers it a measure of security to always check out who drives in to the house, then she realised it was her neighbour Matthew who is married with two kids, his wife works at the same place with Sophia, but they hardly communicate, other than the usual greetings, they had absolutely nothing to say to each other. Sophia hisses loudly as she sees Matthew pull off at the garage. Her mood swings immediately, Lade notices this sudden change, and she asked what was wrong, Sophia narrates annoyingly how Matthew had been making advances at her and how she didn’t want to tell his wife, because she wasn’t sure his wife would believe her. Lade was so shocked that she didn’t know what to say. Why could men be so disgusting she thought to herself, as this thought about men flows through her mind, she heard a knock at the door, Lade goes to check who was at the door, she realised it was Matthew, she reluctantly let him into the house, as he was about to sit down, Lade gets the hardest blow of her life, it was Nick, her fiancée sitting in her friend’s living room, the same Mr. Matthew with two kids, the one who has been disturbing Sophia, she was shocked, she didn’t know what to say, Nick finds his way out of the house almost immediately, Lade stood crying profusely, Sophia didn’t understand the whole scenario, when Lade calmed down a bit, she tells her friend that her knight in shining armor is the same Mr. Matthew that lives in the same house with Sophia. Sophia was mad, angry and bitter, she tries her best to console her friend, she begged her to stay the night, Lade refuses to stay over claiming she would be fine on her own, she left Sophia’s house at night, and as she drives her v-boot out of Sophia’s house, she looks back at the house number she had seen when entering the house, House 111, and she drives off not minding her horrible experience.
Written by Cynthia Bolarinwa.