“Should I trust him?” I wondered.

I never thought that I would ever consider dating, yet here I was. Waiting.

The pain that was left by the father of my child was unbearable, I was promised the world by him, and I gave in to his words. But now I was a single parent, a struggling parent.

Will he break the heart that I’m trying to repair, I wondered.

“Hello, beautiful.” It was the sound of gentle thunder, a heavenly voice. The picture on his tinder account had nothing in common with the man besides me.

“Hello,” I replied.

“You must be Asemahle, I’m Jay,” he introduced himself.

“Yes, that is me.” I wasn’t sure whether to smile.

“I really appreciate you coming today, I was looking forward to this day.” He smiled, put up a hand up to summon a waiter, “Have you had anything yet? Again, sorry for being late.”

“No problem, I too have just arrived,” I lied. This man had kept me waiting. “I had a glass of lemon water, I haven’t eaten anything yet.”

“You look wonderful by the way, are you here alone?” His deep voice echoed through my ears.

“Alone? What does that mean?” I was shocked.

“I normally hear angels don’t travel alone,” he said with a slight mocking laugh.

I laughed at that too. Angels are what we women are at first sight. Typical man.

“Guess I can handle bad spirits alone,” I replied, looking at the man beside me and the man standing in front of our table, who both looked each other.

“Welcome to the Crystal Palace, may I take your orders,” the waiter finally said.

The building was amazing, I had never been in a sophisticated place like this before. Jay here was the one who recommended the palace.

“I would like to have today’s special with a cup of coffee,” Jay replied, looking at the menu.

“And for you, Miss?” he asked.

“Oh! I would have oysters,” I said, not knowing what to eat in this place.

“Sorry Ma’am, Oysters are only served during mid-day. Would you care to explore our breakfast special?” the man in black and white asked.

I had lost my appetite now; I had even lost myself in this place. “Coffee will be fine, thank you.” I found the strength to reply.

“Only coffee?” he asked.

“Yes, only coffee,” I responded, looking at the golden clock on the wall.

The man then disappeared

“Are you okay?” Jay asked, staring at me closely. Studying me.

“Yes, I’m well.” The voice now had changed, I could feel it.

I was lying again; I wasn’t well. He had come an hour late; he watched as I was being grilled by that waiter and his menu.

“You don’t look comfortable.” He had the nerve to say that.

“Actually, you weren’t the guy I was expecting,” I finally told him. “You said you were tall, but you are in a wheelchair.”

“I am tall, should I stand?” he mocked.

“Please do, for the rest of your life,” I replied.

He laughed so hard that the whole room turned to us.

“I like you; you are funny. I hadn’t laughed like this for as long as I remember,” he responded. “Yes, I too would like to stand for the rest of my life, but I can’t.”

I could see the smile fading away on his face, he was thinking.

I looked around the building. The ocean view was breath-taking, the sound of soft musical instruments whispered in each ear on the tables. The white silky table covers melted its fabric on my knees; this was heaven on earth.

The man across the table was staring at me, I looked away.

“I was once married,” he said.

I was surprised by that statement, I kept quiet though.

He continued, “I had a wife, a son and two beautiful daughters.”
“Where are they now?” I asked, “I hope you not those husbands who prey of women outside marriage.”

“No, I’m not,” he said. “I have lost them all.” He fought tears from falling. I felt his pain, I could see it through him.

“I am so sorry to hear that.” I consoled.

“It’s been five years, two months now,” he responded, “The pain of losing people you have loved so much, perhaps that’s the reason I could not find strength to stand up anymore on this world, why should I? I have nothing to stand for.”

The pain of losing someone, am I a stranger to those difficult times? I was not.
“What happened?” I was truly concerned.

“It was a beautiful evening; I was promoted at work that day. I wanted to celebrate that great day with my family. I came home to my wonderful wife; she was also excited about those news…” he started telling the story.

“Your order, Sir.” The penguin had returned with our order. He put the plate on the table, and the two coffee cups. “Enjoy,” he said as he vanished through the kitchen door.

Jay was not wasting the moment. “As I was saying, she was happy for me. We decided to go out with the kids to MacDonald, but we never got there. I woke up in the hospital the next day, asking for them but I was later told that none of them did survive the accident.” He couldn’t fight any more; tears fell down his face

I was teary too. “ I’m sorry Jay, that must have been hard for you to deal with,” I said.

“It was hard, and it still is, but having you now in my life has been amazing. You have brought joy in my life again; I just want to stand for you,” he replied, looking at me.

Maybe I was too hard on him, I thought. I leaned close to him. “I would love to be the person whom you stand for.”