Three is a Crowd_Chapter 1

There comes a time in every girl’s life when she has to determine how far she is willing to go to win the man of her dreams. And Demi knew that this was her time.

“Ace…psst…ace….”

Dotun had heard her; Demi could tell by the slight tension in her colleague’s shoulders, plus she was being fairly loud now. Dotun was clearly trying to avoid the promised conversation but Demi was not one to give up so easily and this was a matter of life or death.

She settled back into her seat and pulled a sheet of paper out of the printer, crumpling it into a ball. When she was satisfied with her handiwork, she lifted her head above her cubicle and seeing that the coast was clear, threw the ball at Dotun’s head.

“Abidemi, what the hell!”

Demi took the cry as an invitation to walk across the office space to Dotun’s cubicle. She beamed at her friend.

“So?”

“So…what?”

“You’ve been saying you’re going to talk to Tosin for weeks.”

“You need to relax Bidemi. No man likes a desperate woman.”

Demi squeezed her face muscles so that they didn’t betray the dismay and shame she felt. She forced herself to smile.

“I’m not desperate. It’s just, you’ve been working him over for a while now…”

Dotun sighed and flicked her weave away from her face.

“I don’t think he is into you, Bidemi.”

“Why? What…what did he say?”

The door to their open plan office opened and Tosin walked in. Demi almost didn’t notice the balloons he was holding. He looked spectacular as usual. His soft boyish features and fair skin was further complemented by his large doe eyes and slim firm frame. He looked her way and gave her a playful smile and she felt her heart drum against her chest. She held unto to Dotun’s cubicle to steady herself.

As Dotun stood up beside her, Demi decided that it wasn’t in her best interests to wait any longer. Tosin could be snatched up at any time! Everyone in the office was looking up, curious about the balloons that Tosin held. They were a mixture of pink and purple. But as far as she knew, no one was celebrating their birthday. It certainly wasn’t her birthday but he was walking towards her, his eyes focused on her. She could no longer see or sense anyone else. It was just the two of them and the balloons. Dotun had misunderstood! He did care for her!

Dotun stepped out of the cubicle, walking around behind Demi and stopping to the left of her. Her hands were clasped together and she held them close to her chest. She was beaming. Tosin angled his body towards her and Demi realised something was very wrong.

“Dotun, I know this is sudden. I mean it’s only been a couple weeks. But we know we are right for each other...”

Tosin got on one knee and Demi felt her heart plummet, rise and plummet again. Their colleagues were gasping and taking out their phones, but Demi was frozen to the spot. Her brain told her to move but her feet did not respond and so she was forced to take a front seat view of the proposal.

“…you’ve changed my life in such a short time and you cook like a boss. I want you forever. Will you marry me?”

Dotun screamed and jumped up and down, tears were falling from her face, but when it was time for Tosin to slip the ring on her finger, she stayed very still. Demi pinched herself, and then pinched herself again, harder. But if it was a nightmare, it was by far the most stubborn nightmare she had ever come across.

“Awww, it’s so romantic.”

“Wow, I didn’t even know they were dating.”

“He is so sweet.”

The well-wishers approached the crowd and Demi’s still frame was shepherded to the back as Dotun and Tosin were given hugs and asked enthusiastic questions about their secret relationship.

“#ToDo!” Dotun cried out, as though it were an epiphany, but Demi strongly suspected that it was nothing of the sort. She used the chaos to escape into the ladies room and rest her head on the mirror. She hadn’t planned to cry but the tears came out anyway.

“Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.” She bumped her head to the rhythm of her words but it didn’t make her feel better. Dotun had stolen her proposal, her wedding, her dream man and what was worse was, she had let it be stolen. She should have just told Tosin she was crazy about him.

Demi looked up at the mirror and took in her bushy kinky hair and her round face and saucer like eyes – shielded by thick moon-like glasses. Maybe she had never stood a chance against Dotun who had high cheekbones and long Brazillian hair. No man picked the cute nerdy girl next door when they could have the cheerleader.

She rinsed her face with water, sent a quick prayer to the heavens and dried her hands. She would go out there and wish the happy couple congratulations. Dotun would know she didn’t mean it but the whole office didn’t have to know. All she could ask for now was to end the day with a little bit of dignity.

“Coconut, coconut, coconut, coconut. I can do this.”

She felt a little calmer, so she strode towards the door and slapped it open, walking out just in time to slam into Tosin.  They fell unto the floor and the cake he was holding dropped into her lap. She looked down and made out the words – She said yes!

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