Forty-five minutes after breakfast with her family on Saturday morning, Patricia cleared the dishes, watched television and finally dragged her lazy self to do the dishes. Her dad had
Angela was the prettiest girl you would find in any clique, every year she had had different dates both seniors and class mates, every year her dress was always the most beautiful and this had always infuriated Patricia when girls talk about it the next school day. Patricia had not been allowed to attend any of the yearly dinners until she was 16 and she was too sure her dress would certainly beat Angela’s. She dried the dishes and cutleries and wiped the sink cleaned, she wondered why she had agreed with her dad on helping her purchase her special dress in the first place. The thought about the dress she would secretly wear for the clueless Jimi, every girl knew shopping with your mum was the normal thing, shopping with dads could either be too easy or very hard but dads could and would certainly spend so much money for his little princess and she had caught the drift of that. The annual dinner party was the Saturday of the coming week and panic was gnawing at her. She dried her hands and sat at the dining table overlooking her brother Wale using his mobile phone, she rolled her eyes wondering why he gave his whole attention to an ordinary device. Wale giggled and soon looked up like he had heard her mind speak out, “What smalls?” he asked her “Talk to me, what’s the problem?” he added. “Dad promised to get my dinner dress and he’s not even here yet, the dinner’s on Saturday and once he misses today I won’t get the pretty dress I want” she said making an unhappy face. Wale sighed and asked why their mum wasn’t doing the shopping for her instead of waiting up for their dad. Patricia then explained that he had offered and promised to get her the best dinner dress they could find and at whatever price it had been, her brother had noticed that look in her eyes and he was sure there was nothing he could do to ease her, he had no money of his own just yet to take her on a backbreaking shopping so he decided to console her with his words “Don’t worry daddy never goes back on his promises, he should be home soon, just chillax, or we could go get ice-cream or something if you want” he said to her, she shook her head and smiled “I’d be fine” she added. He seemed satisfied with her answer as he didn’t bother to press her further, he resumed his attention to his phone and was soon smiling at it again. “Where’s my little sweetypie” a familiar masculine voice called out from the door, Patricia smiled brightly immediately and then decided to fake a frown. Mr. Andrews walked in empty handed beaming into the living room, he makes to hug his daughter as soon as he saw her while ignoring his son who was trying to greet him. Patricia busted out laughing as soon as her father lifted her off her seat, “You are late dad” she accused him “Are we still getting my dress?” she added with a little bit of sweetness to remind him of his promise should incase he had forgotten. “Of course darling, we’re getting your dress, had to rush out to work” he replied her and kisses her forehead simultaneously then briskly headed for the stairs, “Hello Wale, you can get your car off the entrance now okay?” he said loud enough as he headed up.
At the Brigg’s shopping mall, Patricia walked beside her father quietly, he had been on the phone most part of the time since they arrived at the mall, she felt she was more or less shopping on her own, they had walked into four stores and she found nothing she liked. Once, her dad had contributed on some selection that he liked none of what he saw. They had headed out of the fourth store and he was still talking to someone, “maybe this was all some bad idea” she thought to herself, her mum would had known where to go to, who to talk to to get their very best dresses out, now she had to condone the fact of her shopping with a man who was busy on the mobile phone almost all the time. She wished she could undo things and go with her mum instead. She had looked at him many times trying to pass the needy message that she needed all his attention, she needed to talk to him, she was even getting bored and wasn’t so impressed about the getup she had on anymore. Mr. Andrews soon stopped walking and paid more attention to the call he was having, Patricia had not been able to make out what or whom he had been talking to all the while as he always kept his voice low whenever he was on a phone call. They both stood on a mirror glass wall of a store and she decided to look at her miserable face, she saw that she had been frowning, and her lip-gloss was still intact, on other days she would had had to reapply it because she in one way or the other would had licked her lips due to talking or some kind of excitement, she saw the pimples on her left cheek and she moved closer to count them, she twisted her face in the usual way she had been doing for the last 4years and concentrated, “Was someone staring at her?” she thought. She could see a teenage boy of her age or maybe younger staring back at her behind her, there was no emotion to show if her was really staring at her or something else, she decided to turn around. She saw him right across the street looking straight at her, “strange” she thought as she stared back at him, he had seem closer to her a second ago, and she surveyed the little oddness about him but ignored. Patricia resumed to staring at her face in the mirror, she twisted her nose and folded her lips to see clearly. Right there in the mirror she noticed the teenager staring again and he seemed to be moving closer, not walking but just floating across the street towards her, he didn’t seem concerned about the traffic around him. She blinked her eyes and stared into the mirror again but he was still there moving closer, she swiftly turned around to catch the trick but there he was again across the street looking back at her and he hadn’t even moved at all. An awe feeling crept up within her, Patricia shook her head and knotted her brows, she looked up at her dad and their eyes met, he gestured to her to give him one more minute and turned away. She turned back to the mirror trying not to look at the boy anymore, instead she looked back at him through the mirror waiting for his phantom movement again but this time nothing happened. The boy only kept staring, she blinked again but nothing happened, she grunted and almost turned around but stopped again and faced the mirror. She closed her eyes and counted the shortest five seconds in the world, she slowly opened them and at the same time she saw the mirror reflecting the boy’s face just by hers she felt his breath on her neck too, the horror that would had made her jump and scream turned out to be her fathers hand on her shoulders, “Patricia!” her father almost exclaimed, she had swooped around in full force right into her father. He had firmly held his daughter and asked what was wrong, he had hung-up his call on time to catch his daughter’s drama with the mirror. The way she had looked into it like she could see through the mirror or someone on the other side had appeared to her from the mirror and scared her, he took the briefest seconds to remember that they had mirrors at home and his daughter had never been frightened of them before, in fact she loved them quite much. Patricia had been friends with mirrors since the age of four, she consulted them for almost everything, her father couldn’t explain why she jumped at herself looking at it right now. He pulled her towards him and gave her a hug hoping to relax her shivering body. “Patricia, what was that?” he asked her again. Patricia looked through a space in his embrace and saw the boy across the street smiling at her then he waved, she jerked softly out of her fathers embrace and peered strongly, she blinked again in surprise, her father followed her gaze and shortly waved back. “Someone you know?” her father said. Soon enough the strange looking boy was coming closer and finally he fashioned into her Jimi as he got closer. For that moment the sweet smile she had seen almost everyday in school didn’t look so appealing to her at all. “Could it be?” she thought to herself. Jimi finally got over and greeted Mr. Andrews with a bow, “Good day sir, its Jimi, Patricia is in my class” he said. “How are you son, Jimi right? Where are your parents?” she heard her father ask Jimi. “I’m fine sir, my mum’s in a salon not so far from here, just thought I take a little walk, we’re here to do some shopping as well” Jimi answered her dad and finally looked at her “You acted like you just saw a ghost, Hi though” he said to his classmate who only muttered a “Hi Jimi” in return. Jimi would had only guessed that she mightn’t had wanted to talk to him due to her father’s presence but the ”Hi” she uttered sounded too cold. He smiled and pointed her father where his mother was in a salon just some meters behind them and had began to walk away as soon as he replied Mr. Andrews that everyone was fine at home. Jimi thought to himself that there was something odd about Patricia, he had seen her first and was hoping to catch her attention when he waved but she had only looked through or past him. “Now I’d never know if she might like me” he thought to himself. He thought about the promise he made to himself to tell her he was crushing on her whenever he saw her off school but her attitude a while ago was only discouraging. He shrugged and kept walking, he could talk to her some other time if it was the right time.