Jemine was my rival. Eventhough Nkem told me from the outset that he was just a ‘harmless friend’ who works close to her, I was still threatened by his ‘harmlessness’. Maybe it’s because I know he once asked Nkem out before I even came into the picture. Nkem might have turned him down but that doesn’t mean his feelings for her has been turned off. Another reason for my concern was also that they work in the same shopping complex. Inevitably, they must see everyday. I fear in time he might be able to woo her from me given the proximity they share at work. When I voice my worries to Nkem she would tell me to relax.
“You don’t have to worry about anything,” she said to me one Sunday afternoon. “Trust me I know who I want and that’s the one I said yes to.” She took my hand in hers affectionately, “let not your heart be troubled my love.” She caressed my lips with hers. “I love you.” She meant it. I could see it in her eyes. She’s very much in love with me as I am with her. “I love you too,” I confessed. “It’s just that I feel threatened by your friendship with Jemine, I just can’t help it.”
“Why do you feel threatened?” she asked.
“Erm… the thing is that I’m scared he might get to sway you someday and you’d leave me…”
Nkem hushed me.
“Don’t say such things, please don’t. I have already told you you’re the one I want, so you have nothing to fear or worry about, or don’t you trust me?”
“Of course I do but —“
“No buts. Change the topic please.”
I didn’t want to drag the issue any longer since she was already slightly irritated. I do trust Nkem, but it’s myself I don’t trust enough. Given my regular mood swings and obnoxious insecurities, I feared I might drift her into my rival’s waiting arms wide open like a trap awaiting its most prized catch patiently.
I gape into my phone’s screen to check for time. 2.15am. I’ve been awake all night, keeping wake like the vigilante guys who watch the streets at night. Not that I don’t want to sleep. I just can’t, try as I may. My emotions haunt me with memories of the past. The past which I so crave to forget for my sanity’s sake. But how can I forget when anytime I close my eyes I have nightmares. Nkem would appear smiling, bidding me to come get her but whenever I try to reach her she dissolves into empty space. More frightening is the thunderous guffaw that echoes in the background. It’s Jemine’s. I look around but see no one but a monstrous shadow pacing towards me. I take to my heels. Running. Until I jerk off from sleep, panting and sweating like an athlete who just sprinted a marathon. Tonight I wish I can sleep, I really wish I can. It’s as if I’m being ambushed; sleep is the Judas preying to betray me into the hands of my captors. Nightmares. I shouldn’t have called it quits. I shouldn’t have sent that text. If only I knew it wouldn’t be like other times. If only I knew that would be the last straw.
Two days after our one year anniversary, I asked Nkem to come over to my place. It was in the evening and the coast was kind of clear of any possible distraction. The house was empty save my little sister who was sleeping in the room. After waiting for over a year, Nkem finally made up her mind to let me have her most priced asset. Her virginity. In the past she would only allow me touch and she me. She would stiffen up whenever I attempted to take our foreplay to the next level. “I’m not ready yet,” she would say when I ask what’s putting her off. We could smooch, cuddle and everything in between but that between. I could explore elsewhere except down there. It was sacred ground no one had ever trod. As a man with active libido I had to find some other way to let out steam especially on cold nights when the hormones get in control. My Blue Seal Vaseline always comes to the rescue. I would lie down on my bed, my lubricated palm firm on my erection, and imagine Nkem were on top of me piloting us to the moon and back.
So I waited, patiently, till she would be ready. Alas the day has come when we shall traverse the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. The day I cease to be Moses who only could see The Promised Land without stepping foot on it.
I was more than prepared for the action that was about to go down. I bought a pack of Love Sensation which has about three condoms in the pack. Those would surely do. I checked the clock hanging on the wall in the sitting room. It was already past 4pm. Anytime soon my mom would be back from her outing. We had agreed on 2pm and I was very specific about timing. I was already furious. I dialed her number. She didn’t pick. I dial again. No response. Again and again. Still no response. I was livid. She knows how much I hated being stood up and yet it’s today of all days she has decided to get under my skin. At least she could of texted if there was any delay, no she wouldn’t. She’s just fond of getting on my nerves. And she sure has succeeded this time round. The last time I complained about things like this, she wouldn’t have it.
“You like picking on little things a lot and it’s getting annoying.”
“Little things you say?” I was flummoxed. “’To you they might be little things but to me these little things matters a lot.”
“Just accept it, you nag a lot.”
“How dare you say I nag a lot, how dare you?”
“The truth they say is bitter.”
“What truth are you talking about here, maybe you should take another look at the mirror.”
“What do you mean?”
“If I nag, then you’re the cause of it!”
“You like putting the blames on others, you never own up to your faults. Right now I don’t even feel like arguing with you. Goodnight.”
That said she walked out on me. I was taken aback. That she would walk out on me in the middle of an unfinished conversation. Or quarrel.
“Nkem come back here!” I barked.
She was headstrong. She didn’t come back.
When I got home that night I sent a caustic breakup text. In the text I remembered calling her ‘beautiful for nothing’. I was very sure that would get to her even if the breakup didn’t. Even after sending her the text she neither called nor texted back. That fuelled my anger the more. It means she wasn’t affected at all or probably she was only pretending not to be. Well maybe she’s good at pretending but not me. I was affected the most from the breakup I had instigated. Few days down I couldn’t hang on anymore. I went back to her, cap in hand. And she was there just as I had left her. Waiting for me to come to my senses and back to her.
Maybe it’s because she knows I couldn’t literally do without her that’s why she takes me for granted every now and then. Well I’m going to prove her wrong this time round. I’ll show her no one is indispensable, including her.
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