This was my favorite street in town; with the trees flanking both sides. This part of town was still well-kept; a home to the elite.
I tugged Lazy’s leash; my terrier dragged along. Its name was a huge understatement; the indolent narrow-headed thing didn’t believe in any form of exertion.
I was absorbed in Lazy’s non-antics for a minute that I didn’t notice her for a while. But when I did, my first emotion was indignation.
My neat, clean street had been ruined for me. She sat there; her basket of yellow oranges perched on her laps. A hawker; whose only mission was to disrupt the tranquility of my street.
“Sweet orange! Buy ya sweet orange!” She said in that sing-song voice characteristic to all hawkers.
My second thought was that she had the fairest, most beautiful legs I’d ever seen. Cute and shapely, tapering down to the graceful ankles. Legs blemished with not a spot; marred with not a scar.
My eyes snapped up to her face, taking in her round face, devoid of make-up; her dark eyes looked bored, her full brows were drawn downward; her long, dark hair tied up with a fraying red cloth.
Her name would be Chioma or Ifeoma or Chidinma; I was sure. She would know how to cook; I could tell. Those their thick soups with plenty chunks of fish.
A mental image of Cassandra popped up in my head; my girlfriend of two years. Cassandra with all her poise, classy restaurants and manicured nails. Cassandra was tall and willowy where my orange girl was petite and curvy.
My orange girl. Maybe it was the mellowness of the afternoon; or that Lazy was actually raising his head to stare at her; or maybe I was just plain crazy.
I had subconsciously walked closer. She looked up at my approach.
And it was just the two of us.
I let my mind wander, taking her home, buying her clothes, showing her the world. Running my hands through that hair; splaying my hands over those legs; smoothening, then kissing those brows. Reveling in her eyes lighting up; pooling in tears of gratitude as they gazed back at mine…
“Oga. Abi you wan buy orange?”
I slammed back to earth. I thought of the look of horror that would creep on my mother’s face when she saw her first son’s choice. The sniggers of my sisters. The sarcastic lift of my father’s brows.
And finally, I thought of how she couldn’t survive in my world. They’ll break her; destroy her spirit.
So, I walked up to the orange girl and bought all 36 of her damn oranges. Then walked away; home to Cassandra.