Episode 1

It all started from a DM. A simple direct message.

His manner of approach was entirely different, and unlike any regular thing I have ever seen.

Despite his classy Instagram profile which contains close to a thousand pictures of himself, a lot of motivational write-ups and various pictures of cute little dogs and cats, I was with no doubt impressed with his humility beyond what mere words can express. His sense of humor was so on point. His choice of words were as decent and appealing as a reverend father’s sermon. His style was the real deal. His fashion sense was top notch!

In a nutshell, he surely was a simple, humble, good looking man and a visionary. A dedicated philanthropist of his time.
In his actual words, he had texted me in two simple paragraphs. His message was straightforward and clear:
“You are a lovely and extremely jovial lady. Believe me.” He had stated in his first paragraph. “I say this with all honesty; you are indubitably beautiful. I’m sure you know that already. But guess what?”

And then he continued in his second paragraph:
“I bet you don’t know that I have been stalking your profile for a while now, patiently observing and admiring you. I’ve been and I’ll always be on every photo you’ve ever uploaded and would soon upload; on every recent post you update, and on every single comment on your timeline. Are you aware, beautiful?”

I could’ve sworn that my whole face turned crimson red at the sight of that particular message. My blush was as deep as the Atlantic Ocean. I chuckled like a new born baby in a warm and comfortable cradle, and a vibrant smile plastered on my face while I read the message for the umpteenth time, trying to decide on what response would be the most reasonable one to reply back with.

I tried my best to be calm while I typed the most appropriate response I could think of at the moment:
“Are you serious? You have to be kidding me!”

I proofread my text properly before clicking on the ‘send’ icon. After that, I quickly typed and sent another message:
“How long have you been stalking me now, my fine young knight in shining armor?”
In less than a minute, his response came in. “3 good months now, beautiful.”
“My goodness.” I replied almost immediately, seriously struggling to believe my eyes. “You mean three whole months, and you never bothered to text me for once? At least, a simple hi?”
“I’m a very shy guy.” He answered in his defence. “I actually gave it a thought at some point in time, but unfortunately, my low self-esteem outweighed my confidence. I assumed you are definitely above my league, so I made a decision to admire you from afar — from a safe distance — in order to avoid any form of embarrassment for myself.”

“Why would you even arrive at such a clumsy conclusion?” I had asked him, obviously beyond baffled. “I’m like every regular woman out there. You don’t need to have such negative thoughts of a high standard about me, oh ye fine young man. Thou art welcome to my peaceful abode.”
“Does that mean I’m up to your level? I mean, your class and standards to be specific?”

“Hell yes, you are!” I had affirmed as positively as I could. “I should even be the one worrying about high standards between us.”

“Why is that so, if I may ask?”
“Because you look like a superstar. A posh billionaire!” I explained with a bit of humor. “I mean, take a very good look at you. From your hair down to your toes practically reeks of luxury. Your skin is so bright like the sun, and it’s as smooth as a well mixed song. It glows incredibly well!”
“Do I take that as a compliment?”
“Definitely. Yeah!”

I could tell he was probably laughing wherever he was. And I was so excited to finally have a moderate conversation with someone with a good sense of reasoning, and a polished sense of humor. Someone who vibes almost the same way I do. Someone who understands the true essence of sarcasm during a conversation. These little traits are so rare to find in any average man these days. It’s like everyone’s interest now revolves around what they can get from the other party, and not for the true, genuine reasons like it used to be before the world turned cold.

So far, text messaging with this stranger surely seemed to be heading towards the right direction. I was enjoying his company so much. I could hardly wait for his next message as I kept on looking at the ‘typing…’ icon showing on the top bar.
Finally, it popped in:
“If you don’t mind me asking, what’s your real name, beautiful?”
I giggled as my fingers danced on my phone’s keyboard with so much speed and efficiency. “What makes you think that this one on my username isn’t my real name, handsome?”

“Come on, nobody bears Duchess Lawlar right from birth. This is Nigeria.”
I laughed so hard when I read his reply. I could barely control my intense laughter even until it got to the point where I was hanging in between laughter and tears of joy. And when I had gotten a good fit, I replied back:
“You are so funny.” I inserted a grinning emoji and continued typing. “Well, I won’t even argue with you, because you’re like a hundred and one percent correct. Indeed, this is Nigeria. Our ways are different in Africa.”
I clicked on the ‘send’ icon when I was done typing. Almost immediately, his message came in again:
“Sure, you’re right about that. We are quite unique over here.”

“Hell yes.” I responded right away. “So, without further ado, I’m Lola. The Duchess in my username basically stands for nothing important, but the first letter ‘D’ is a reference to my actual surname, which is Deola. Then the Lawlar is a fancy camouflage for my real name. Do you understand what I mean?”

“Sure, I do. I completely get it.”
“Awesome!” I replied again, still retaining my radiant smile. “So what’s your name too?”

“If I tell you, you’d laugh the hell out of me, and I don’t want that to happen. I’d die of shame.”

“Come on, don’t be silly. Why would I ever laugh at you?”
“Because everyone does it. I don’t mean to be rude or something, but I really don’t think you’d be an exception.”
“Try me and see.” I dared him playfully. “I’m willing to disappoint you hands down!”

“Well, in that case, I guess I’ll take your word for it.” Prince Charming’s message popped in after a while. “Here goes nothing!”

7 minutes passed but he never replied back. 10 minutes flew by fast, and I was still waiting patiently. I was so anxious to know what he was up to. What was he doing? Why the unnecessary delay? Was he ignoring me on purpose? I wondered, still waiting expectantly.
With high hopes and unwavering confidence, I sent another message. “I’m still waiting, dear.”

There was no reply. Not even a ‘typing’ icon to make me feel relieved.
“Hola, amigo. Are you there?”
Unfortunately, after 15 minutes of waiting with so much faith, I soon realized that his profile had turned offline. Perhaps he was having network issues or something. Who knows!

I was about to log out as well when I received a notification concerning somebody’s message. With the speed of light, I literally dashed back into Prince Charming’s DM and I saw his response:
“Idiot. Leave my man alone.”

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