I would like to apologize again for the silence on the blog. I am new here so I am still undergoing rigorous training and Janus has tried his best to be a good teacher (see what I did!) with all the perfection lessons and tutoring/mentoring and I understand because everything is for you guys. And my betterment, of course. Enjoy.
I burst out of the room, opening the screen door swiftly and widely and then releasing it abruptly. It made a loud noise, temporarily deafening me but I did not pause in my stride. My blue long-sleeved shirt was wrinkled, the top three buttons were undone, and my blue jean trouser was hanging loosely on my hips because my belt had been unbuckled. I held my shoes in my left hand while my right hand covered my mouth, my head buzzed, my heart pounded and with each racing pulse, one name resonated in my head.
The gate was not far. I would wear my shoes when I get outside. I felt my pocket for my mobile phone and wallet. Intact. Thank God those were the only things I brought here. I heard the netted door slam furiously again. She was coming after me.
“Olamide!” she screamed.
I increased my pace. I pushed the gate open, faced the street and started putting on my shoes. The laces were troublesome. Darn these Converse laces. I just tucked them in haphazardly, buckled my belt, buttoned my shirt, wiped my mouth vigorously with the back of my two hands and began to resume my walk. She was at the gate as I took the first step.
“Olamide, please, wait.”
She was panting. I stopped but did not look at her. She couldn’t come out and I knew it was because she was ill-dressed. I caught sight of the yellow wrapper which I had noticed was folded on the bed less than three minutes ago.
“I am sorry. No. I am not sorry. I really like you. I can’t sleep. I can’t think. I can’t eat. I really tried to like someone else because I know you have Simi, but I couldn’t.”
I started to walk away but stopped again as I heard a faint sob.
“I really tried. I am sorry.”
I resumed my walk again and this time, she did not speak and I did not stop.
* * *
Mr. Olanipekun was rounding off his usual comic talk which was usually my weekly doze of silly humor but it meant nothing today. General CD was all fun and games. I couldn’t recall anything that had been said and while people had laughed all around me, I had stared at them, wondering if they could tell that something was bothering me. Since I spoke to Simi on Monday, I hadn’t heard from her. She said she would call me when she thought of what to say. I had understood. She always needs time.
Everyone was standing now. Youths obey the clarion call my arse! No matter how much we all tried to lift this nation, generation after generation, all the swallowed oil money would not be vomited and old grey-haired men dressed in expensive danshikis, suits, agbadas and velvet would still keep pummeling each other over selfish issues for the whole world to see. The anthem was finished and the rush to sign CDs cards began. I was very hungry. Allowance wasn’t due till next week and the remaining one thousand five hundred and fifty five naira with me would just have to do and I would have to cook. I would have to dust cobwebs off the pots too. I sat still waiting for the crowd to thin while all around there was chattering and screaming. I watched them and understood why people called me snob. I didn’t talk much to people who had nothing important to say. I was still sitting and thinking when she appeared before me.
“Hi, Olamide.” she said softly.
Her khaki trousers clung to her like second flesh just like her white T-shirt. She was nervous. Her widened eyes and her high-pitched voice betrayed her. Now I understood why I had been transfixed. She looked so much like my Simisola. The wide brown eyes were the same. The 32B which I had rightfully guessed during a game of ‘Guess It’ were the same. The forwardness, the same.
“If you are not going to speak to me, now or ever, you should let me know” she said slightly above a whisper, bringing me out of my thoughts.
It took me a few seconds to playback what she had said. I patted the space on the bench by my right, indicating that she should sit. Her face relaxed a little and a weak smile curved her mouth as she did. It wasn’t entirely her fault. I had agreed to go to her house to grade assignment and test scripts because she didn’t understand Yoruba and the HOD had asked that we be merciful.
“Corperx, plix, tranxlate and mark the correct wonx for them. You Lagox people and your Engliksh. There ix even no xpeks for all of them to repeat.”
I could have asked that she brought it to school. I don’t know why I didn’t. Ten minutes passed.
Three days ago
She had sat too closely beside me on the bed. I had stylishly moved and laid on my stomach, supporting myself with my elbows on the mattress as I continued marking the scripts. She had done the same directly opposite me so that if we both looked up, we were facing each other with mere inches between our faces. I had unbuttoned my shirt halfway earlier due to the searing heat. Now I understood why Ibadan people were aggressive. She passed me a Yoruba-written script, looking up and sighing deeply as she did so. At the same moment, I had also looked up to ask her why she would grow up in Lagos and not understand one word in Yoruba. My mouth had been open to speak but no words came out. It seemed as though I was staring into her soul and before I could say anything to change the atmosphere, she had placed her lips on mine. Soft. That was the first word I could think of. Very soft. Then no. My small eyes had become wider than a flat plate, looking into her closed eyes but seeing nothing. Two seconds felt like forever and I scrambled off the bed, standing with my tongue folded in my mouth. My heart was racing wildly in my chest. Shit. Shit. Shit. She stood and walked to where I was, pulling the white gown she wore over her head when she was in front of me. I couldn’t move. Her hands went to my belt and as she undid the buckle, she had looked at me with wide eyes, asking the unspoken question. She had stood on her toes and held my face in her hands and pressed her lips on mine again. Her tongue was warm, skimming my upper teeth, wanting an equal response. But I felt nothing and that was when I peeled her hands from my face and marched out of her presence.
I looked to my side at her and found her staring ahead, waiting patiently. A lock of her weave strayed to her face and I reached out and tucked it behind her ear. That was all she needed.
“Thank you.”, she said with a genuine smile as she looked at me. “See you in school tomorrow.”
And with that, she left.
* * *
The sun was angry today. I was sweating profusely despite the swirling blades of the ceiling fan and my almost naked body. The movie didn’t even seem interesting anymore. Nonso just called to cancel our game duel because it was raining heavily at Ring road. I had screamed into the phone, calling him a liar, listing all the names of the girls who I knew were crushing on him and asking him which of them was on his bed, telling him the sun would burn him to ashes like an unprotected vampire. He had laughed and told me to shut up. He would come tomorrow to finish our battle and he was bringing his friends that I had met when we went for a swim at Kokodome last week. I was on my own today. Again. My phone beeped. A text message. I leaped to my feet.
It can’t be.
I hurriedly wore my black jeans and the white unwashed T-shirt of two days ago hanging in my wardrobe. I snatched my wallet from the bed and tore out of the room like a man on fire in search of a river.
* * *
The aboki was speeding carelessly but I didn’t mind. I didn’t even ask how much he would collect. I just needed to get to the bus park. It couldn’t be.
* * *
I slammed a two hundred naira note into the aboki’s outstretched hand not even waiting to see if I had any change and I started my frantic search. Where could she be? I jogged around the park, pausing at intervals to scan the area. Amidst awkward gazes, I looked in buses, under roadside call center umbrellas, inside a couple of stalls. Where was she? I patted my pocket. Shit. In my haste, I had forgotten my phone. I walked towards an Airtel umbrella I saw in front of me. I had not checked this one. There was a fair young lady seated underneath it with her back to me. My heart skipped a beat.
I walked faster. I smelt her before I saw her face. She was the one. Vanilla flavored Body Fantasy. I touched her shoulder and she turned.
“Olamide”, she said with a smile. “I asked for a message.”
I held out my hand and she took it.
* * *
Nonso hadn’t been lying about the rain after all. Outside, everywhere was wet and the heavy rain had subsided to a drizzle. We had had Suya and Garri for dinner. That was what she had wanted. There was no light. She was sleeping on my chest, wearing only a bra and her trousers, her mouth slightly opened, her nose buried in my armpit. I remembered the first time she told me about her fetish for underarms. Clean underarms, she had stressed and we had both burst into fits of laughter. I had been surprised but as I walked to my hostel that night, I knew my armpit hygiene would climb to another level. And it had.
* * *
The bulb glowed brightly above me. I still couldn’t sleep. Despite the cool breeze, I was hot. We hadn’t talked about it yet and I still didn’t know why she came, to leave or to stay. She turned in her sleep and wrapped her arms around me. Beads of sweat were already forming on my forehead and if I stayed near her this way, she would also begin to sweat soon. I unzipped her trousers, revealing matching colored panties and covered her with my blanket before heading to the bathroom.
“Olamide.” She moaned sleepily. “Are you hot?”
“You want to bath?”
I nodded again.
She stood and followed me to the bathroom. After filling the tub with water, she told me to sit in it. I took off my shorts and stepped into the cold water, goose pimples covering my body immediately. Sitting on the edge of the bathtub, she bathed me, washing me everywhere while singing Coldplay’s Yellow with her sleep-cracked voice. She pulled the plug to drain the soapy water and rinsed my soapy body, pouring bowl after bowl of water on my head till I was squeaky clean. Thank goodness I took out that weave. I stepped out of the tub and she dried me, she held my shorts as I stepped back into it.
As I lay down on the bed, I looked in her eyes. Wide like saucers. She kissed me and I closed my eyes. I would sleep soon, finally. She moved closer to me and slowly planted feathery kisses on my eyes, nose, mouth, neck, arms, chest, stomach, thighs, legs, and feet. I turned my back and she kissed them too. And with that, I drifted off.
* * *
The sun will be angry again today. The bright rays coming from the windows told me so. I could hear water splashing in the bathroom, by my side was the last Sunday’s bulletin of the church I attend and neatly laid out where she had lain were two blue gowns. We were going to church together. I smiled.
- Errr…… I haven’t learnt how to use this ‘disclaimer’.