Like he did on most mornings, Dipo stood by the gate and waited for the friendly bread seller. Spying her in the distance he opened his mouth, “Omo oni bread!”
The young woman waited for a lull in traffic before she ran across the two-lane road. “My better customer, good morning,” she said as he helped set down the wooden tray balanced on her head.
“Good morning.” Dipo’s mouth watered as he surveyed the freshly baked loaves.
“Which size you want today?” she asked.
After he’d pointed at a medium-sized loaf, Dipo brought out crumpled Naira notes from his trouser pocket. “Butter dey?” he asked.
She brought out a container of Blue Band butter and a knife from the bag slung across her chest. “Na just yesterday I buy am,” she assured him in her sing-song voice.
Dipo tore his loaf in half and watched as she applied a partially melted coat of butter on both halves. “Haba. That one small. Add more now.”
She smiled as she added another coat. “E don do.”
Dipo put the buttered pieces together to make a large sandwich. He would wash it down with a cup of cold water. “Thank you.”
While she bent over to rearrange her loaves of bread, Dipo’s eyes roamed the bread seller’s body. Her Ankara print shift dress was molded to a curvy figure.
“Sisi Orobo, your dress fine o,” Dipo said in a low voice as he leaned towards her. “After all these days, you no gree tell me your name.”
Her big eyes sparkled as she gave him a coy look. “Na only bread and butter I dey sell,” she said.
Dipo raised his free hand. “Abeg, no put me for yawa. I no talk say you dey sell another thing o.”
They shared a laugh before he lifted the wooden tray and placed it on her head cushion. “Thank you, my brother.”
Dipo stood by the gate and watched her backside roll. His gut tightened. Bread couldn’t satisfy this kind of hunger. “Sisi Orobo, e get as e dey do me o,” he said in a raised voice.
She stopped and glanced over her shoulder. He took in a deep breath and puffed out his chest. “You wan make I die on top your matter?”
“My name na Fali,” she said with a giggle.
Before he could say another word Fali hurried across the road.
The name rolled off his tongue. Fali. Falilatu. Fali Baby. It was a name he could get used to whispering in the middle of the night.
Dipo scratched his head. A man living from one loaf of bread to the other really had no business dreaming about beautiful eyes and flexible waists. Even if he was fortunate enough to win Fali’s heart, how would he take good care of her?
They could always eat the loaves of bread Fali was unable to sell. He chuckled at the thought. “Dipo, you don dey craze,” he said aloud.
After a final look at Fali’s receding figure, Dipo walked back into his oga’s compound and locked the pedestrian gate.
© 2015 Yejide Kilanko