Meeting Abiola

It was Sunday evening and he was in a West African bar in where they also serve great food in Seoul. He was meeting a couple of friends there for dinner. It was a place he liked to go to because of the atmosphere, food and location. It was about a twenty minute drive from where he lived.

He found that he preferred going to African restaurants more than he did going to Korean ones. He felt more relaxed and comfortable much more than his African friends felt when they went to Korean restaurants and bars. His father had a problem with him spending so much of his time with Africans. “You should be socializing more with people from your own culture,” he told him. “How do you expect to meet beautiful, smart and eligible Korean women if you spend so much time with the Africans?”

He was twenty-five so his father was already trying to get him to consider settling down with a South Korean woman. “Father, I’m not ready to get married.”

“I was your age when I married your mother. All you need is to meet the right people which I will make sure you do. Once you meet the right woman, you will stop frequenting those African restaurants and bars. You should be spending your money with our people and supporting Korean businesses.”

He had Korean friends who felt the same way he did. They liked hanging out with Africans and some of them were dating African women. He didn’t have to wonder what his father’s reaction would be if he should date an African woman. He would probably threaten to disown and disinherit him. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing, would it, he mused. As he raised the glass to take another sip, she walked in.

She was alone. Dressed in a black off the shoulder dress which hugged her slender figure, she walked over to the bar and sat down on the stool beside him. She glanced at him as he set his glass down on the counter. “Hi.” Her eyes traveled over him.

“Hi. How old are you?” he asked.

“How old do you think I am?”

“Hopefully old enough for me to buy you a drink.”

“I’m old enough to drink.”

“Good. What would you like?”

“A Piña Colada Mocktail.”

“So, you don’t actually drink.”

“I don’t drink alcohol.”

“Neither do I.”

“What’s that you’re drinking?”

“Non-alcoholic gin and tonic.”

“Who are you waiting for?” she inquired. “A girlfriend, a fiancée or a wife?”

“Maybe I was waiting for you.” He knew that sounded corny but it was the only thing that came to mind for him to say at that moment.

Really?” she sounded skeptical. How do you know that I’m not waiting for a man?”

“Are you?” He sincerely hoped not.

“You haven’t told me who you’re waiting for.”

“I’m waiting for a couple of friends.”

“Oh. So, you’re single?”

“Yes. What about you? Are you meeting someone–a man?”

“No. Like you, I’m meeting a couple of friends.”

“So, does this mean that you’re single?”

“Yes, I’m single.”

“How old are you?”

“Does it matter?”

“It does if want to take you out for dinner one of these days.”

“And do you want to take me out for dinner?”

“Yes, if you would let me but I want to make sure that you’re not underaged.”

“If I were underaged, I wouldn’t be here at the bar.”

“They wouldn’t serve you alcohol unless you were 19.”

The bartender came over. “May I see some id?” he asked her.

“Sure.” She went into her handbag and took out her ID which she showed him.

Satisfied, the bartender asked her, “What are you having to drink?”

“This gentleman has offered to buy me a Piña Colada Mocktail.”

The bartender nodded and went to mix the drink.

“Are you going to tell me how old you are?”

“I’m 19. And how old are you?”

“I’m 25. What’s your name?”

“Abiola. What’s your name?”

“Jae.”

“Do you live around here?”

“Yes.”

“What kind of work do you do?”

“I’m the CEO at ORCO.”

“I’m impressed.”

“I’m happy that you’re impressed. You’re in your second year of university, right?”

“Yes.”

“Which university?”

“Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology.”

“What are you studying?”

“Computer Science.”

“Now, it’s my turn to be impressed.”

Her phone beeped. She looked away from him to check the message on her screen. “One of my friends just texted me. They decided that they want to have a bite to eat at another restaurant. I’m to meet them there.” She slid off the stool. “Well, it was nice chatting with you, Jae.”

“It was nice chatting with you too, Abiola.”

“Thanks for the drink.”

“You’re welcome. I’d like to see you again.”

“I’d like to see you again too. What do you suggest?”

“We can meet here again later in the week.”

“Sure.”

“How about Saturday?”

“This Saturday?”

“Yes.”

“What time?”

“7:30.”

“Here at the bar?”

“Yes.”

“All right. This Saturday at 7:30 at this bar. I’ll see you then.”

He smiled. “I’ll see you then.”

“I hope your friends show up soon.”

“They’ll be here.”

“Goodbye, Jae.”

“Goodbye, Abiola.”

For the first time since they met, she smiled at him before she walked away. He watched her until she disappeared from his view. His friends showed up about five minutes later, laughing and eager to chow down on some good food but his mind was on Abiola. He couldn’t wait for Saturday to come so that he would see her again.

Sources: Travel Info; Scholarships for Africans