Appearance and Reality

I walked into that restaurant with an echelon of courage that could be equated with that of a cat on a mission to strangulate a rat for a meal. Being elected by my fellow students to represent them in the occasion of meeting with a senior public functionary in a neighbouring state was no mean feat and I had to make good use of that opportunity to distinguish myself as a man of excellence. My well tailored suit was best fitted for the occasion and all greeted me in admiration as if I was a candidate standing for an election. Who knows, seeing the senior public functionary might be my opportunity of joining the league of men that mattered most in the society?

The meeting with the state official was nothing near formal, and that I utilized in marketing myself to the admiration of all who graced the occasion. At the end of the programme which lasted for an hour, I was barraged with praises by other dignitaries as they exclaimed that I intrigued throughout the time the event lasted. I felt on top of the world, and my joy knew no limit that unique afternoon.

On my way back to my state, I decided to have my lunch in a restaurant, which to my estimation was moderate for my calibre of person having travelled a long distance and for an important event. I was cautious of my financial capabilities despite the fact that many ignorantly believed that I must be a well to do fellow in the world of business based on the manner which I carried myself. The restaurant attendant who in my estimation should be in her late twenties greeted me in a spectacular manner, which I can only equate with the greetings that lawyers offer their lordships in the course of litigation. I demanded that I be served with my favourite dish being Onugbu soup and the N 700 I had on me I felt will be more than enough to foot the bills of my meal.

Thank heavens for making me ask questions as I was astonished when on inquiry from the attendant, she told me that a plate of Onugbu soup sells for N 700, being the exact amount I had on me. I blamed myself for the self inflicted injury I brought upon myself. I would have had same quality of meal at a moderate price of N 200 had it been I patronized the restaurant in my campus. Out of sheer youthful exuberance, I breached custom by doing what other students detest doing. As I sat down waiting for the meal to be served, many thoughts kept on crawling on my mind. I thought of how I will be able to transport myself back to campus after I must have had my meal. I thought of how my jealously guarded ego would have been deflated had it been I came with a lady to be hosted, only to be confronted by such an unexpected development. I thought of leaving the restaurant, but that will be an embarrassment to not only my person, but to all those who put on the type of suit I wore on that day, as same depicted nobility, responsibility and capability, financial-wise though. I wondered if I have not been made a scapegoat by the restaurant attendant and that the prize of the food must have been inflated based on her belief that I must be financially well to do, as my attire will make one believe.

In a dispassionate tone, I asked for the food. The answer I got made me realize that miracles still happens and that those who have advised earlier that I add Lucky to my name might not be wrong in their advice. Please, exercise patience, the food will be done in ten minutes, replied the attendant. I stood up from the chair, with an instantaneous response that I have no time to waste waiting for the food to be done as I have an important engagement with somebody else. I explained to the attendant and made for the exit door concurrently, and her pleas that I exercise little patience fell on deaf ears. Had it been she knew the embarrassment her unpreparedness saved me, she will appreciate better that appearance does not depict reality. I made a vow to myself that day; never to patronize any restaurant outside the campus while in suit.

O Chukwunonso

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