He walked straight to our table, said hello and politely apologising for interrupting us, asked if he could talk to Grace.
Grace was seated two people to my left. We were seven people; three girls and four men.
For several seconds, no one moved. No one seemed to know how to react.
Since no one seemed to know who this man was, ultimately, the decision was Grace’s; whether she would give him an ear.
So, one by one, her boyfriend included, we turned to look at Grace. Then she said, “Sure” and the man gestured, showing with his hand that he wished to talk to her away from the rest of us. And still, we looked on, waiting. Then she excused herself and walked off a short distance with the man, just out of earshot.
“Who is that man? Does she know him?” asked the boyfriend, as soon as Grace walked off. None of us answered him. None of us knew if she knew him. But from her reaction, Grace had not seemed to recognise him either.
“So what does he want?” boyfriend asked again, another question that did not receive an answer. The possibilities were infinite, but from his perspective – and for most of us - we were certain the man wanted Grace for romantic reasons. The other girls could not take their eyes off him.
Grace did not stay long. Less than three minutes later, she and the man walked back towards our table, and again, he apologised for interrupting, and excusing himself, walked away.
Meanwhile, Grace had taken her seat again, and her boyfriend was not even looking at her. He had this look of betrayal on his face, like she had sold him out.
It took a full minute for someone, a girl, to ask the million dollar question; ‘what did that man want?”. Grace simply said, ‘he wanted my number’.
And the boyfriend quietly asked, ‘did you give it to him?” The seconds ticked... finally she said, “yes”. Looking sideways at her, he asked ‘why?’ Grace took a sip of her drink and answered him rather acidly, ‘why not?’.
And there, I knew it was time for the rest of us to excuse ourselves. Clearly, there was a lot going on between the couple that we were not meant to be privy to.
A girl does not dish out her number to strange men, with her boyfriend in sight unless there is something going on. And to make matters worse, she was not even bothering to cover up the fact that she found the other man intriguing.
Just as I started to get up to take my leave, Grace’s boyfriend asked another question, “Did you have to do it right in front of me?” And she asked him, “would you rather I hide?”
Things seemed to have escalated very fast.
Just then, one of the girls asked, “but what makes you think the man wanted her number for that?” It could have been for work, for a job, for anything. Let’s not rush to conclusions.
But it was too late for that kind of interjection, the horse had already bolted.
Besides, like one of the girls said later after the boyfriend had left, “the man was simply gorgeous”. I guess that is a score of ten for men with confidence.