It was one Saturday afternoon in July 2001 when Jim and I went to one of the filling stations around Ikeja that I sighted this very fair, slim and beautiful fuel attendant. I was immediately fascinated by her beauty and, candidly, I fell in love with her.
“Jim, let us buy fuel from pump five where that pretty lady is standing. I want to see her at a close range. I am already attracted by her beauty,” I told Jim. He too drove down to where she was. She greeted us and asked how much fuel we wanted. “We need N3,000 fuel”, I said. She sold the fuel joyfully after which she covered the fuel tank and asked for her money. I held her tightly as she made effort to collect it. “What is your name?” I asked. “Sir, my name is Sophia. I hope there is no problem, she asked. “No, my dear, I just wanted to know the name of this pretty lady standing in front of me,” I said.
I could not take Sophia off my mind. It was as if there was a magnet attracting me to her. The desire to see her was so intense that two weeks later, I went back to see her. It was amazing that she too was excited to see me. “I am not here to fuel my tank. Sophia, what time do you close for the day, I asked. “I close around 6.30 p.m. I don’t even know your name,” she demanded. “My name is Bright,” I told her I would be back around that time so that we could have dinner together. She said it was alright with her.
At exactly 6.30 p.m. I was there. But I had to give her extra 15 minutes to go freshen up. Then we went to one of the eateries for our dinner date. I told her I was a driver in a manufacturing company but that I also have eyes for business. “Sophia, I have fallen in love with you. But if you refuse me, I will understand because right now, I am only a driver. But I have eyes for business so from my salary, I save a little every month. But I am sure in the next one year, I should open my own supermarket,” I told her. She kept quiet for a minute before telling me she too has fallen in love with me. “I have fallen for you too. I liked you from the first day I saw you. Anyway, don’t worry everything will be fine. I learnt tailoring and I hope to open my own tailoring shop in future,” she said, assuringly.
Sophia supported me all through. She was not demanding and she was very domesticated. We became very close and a year and half later we got married. We travelled to her village to perform our traditional marriage rites. That evening, her mother called me aside and told me “your days of poverty are over because you married Sophia”. I just said amen because I felt it was a prayer without understanding the depth of what she meant.