I tugged at my skirt and tucked a stray two-strand twist behind my ear.
“So what film would you like to see?” My date asked me. I raised an eyebrow, amazed that he didn’t have it planned despite pushing for a movie date for the past three weeks.
“Errrr…I don’t know. What kind of films do you like to watch?” I was trying to be generous since he was paying.
“Oh I don’t care really,” he said trying to take my arm as we walked into the foyer. I pretended to fumble in my bag until the moment passed, then I followed him to the automatic ticket machine. “I just wanted to take you to a movie.” He turned to face me. “So…”
“Tell me a bit about yourself.”
“You already know a bit about myself.”
“Yes, but I want to know more.” He tugged on his shirt cuff until it showed the desired one-inch underneath his grey suit jacket. Unbuttoning it, he shoved his hands into his pockets and thrust his crotch forward. I looked away. “Like, can you cook?”
“Of course.” Half of me was angry he asked while the other half smiled at the predictability of it all. I checked my watch. “What can you cook?”
“…What soup? Ora? Okro? Egusi?”
“Yes, yes and yes.” I looked him in the eye. “Is this an interview? I thought we were going to see a film.” He paused.
“Can you cook onugbu?” He held his breath. I toyed with the idea of not answering, to see if he would faint dead away and save me the trouble of knocking him out.
“With okporoko?” I grimaced at the thought of the dry, tasteless stockfish like so much wood pulp, sculpted and dried in the sun.
“Yes, but I won’t. I hate onugbu. And I hate okporoko even more.” He looked shocked as if I had suddenly taken of my pants and flung them at his head. Then he shrugged and asked again, “But you can cook it right?”
“Yes, I can. But I will not cook for you; I don’t make it a habit to cook for men I’m dating.”
“Oh, that’s quite alright as long as you can cook onugbu.” He turned to the ticket machine, paused in the process of pressing a button and said over his shoulder. “So how am I supposed to know you can cook onugbu now? Am I supposed to take your word for it?”
I sighed, turned on my heel and walked out. I could hear him calling behind me:
“Wait! Don’t you want to watch the film again?”