part 3: Lost Diamond

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I dashed to her place later that evening. When I got there I asked her younger brother to call her for me. He told me she wasn’t at home that she went out since afternoon and hadn’t returned yet. I was livid. So she actually went elsewhere despite our plans to see at my place. The thought pierced my heart like a sharpened dagger.

I waited for her till it was dark. Not too long I spotted a pretty slim figure from afar. I didn’t need to be told it was her. I just know. In the greyness of the night, her fair skin still had that peculiar sunshine sparkle.

“Nkem,” I called out fiercely with a hoarse voice from the corner I had been sitting waiting for her. “’Where are you coming from?” I demanded harshly.

“I’m sorry –“

“Keep your sorry, I asked where are you coming from?”

Nkem’s mien was apologetic. I could see it written all over her. If it were any other day my anger would have quenched almost immediately. But not today. Not after she deliberately decided to go out instead of dropping by at my place like we agreed. I shot her a firm gaze prompting her to speak up.

“Erm… I was actually on my way to your place when I received a call,” she swallowed hard. “It was very urgent I had to go.” She stared at me with pleading eyes. “I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to your place as planned. I’m reeeeealllly sorry.”

“So who is the person that called you, eh?”

Nkem coughed. She averted her gaze from mine. I could sense her nervousness. It made me to believe she’s actually not being entirely truthful.

“Let’s just forget about this, please. I promise to make it up to you. Cross my heart.”

“NO!” I bellowed emphatically. “I need to know who called you and come to think of it I called your line countless times without you picking up. How do you explain that?”

“I’m sorry my phone entered silent mode, you know how these android phones behave sometimes.”

“So didn’t you see my missed calls later to call back.”

“I didn’t have airtime.”

“Give me your phone,” I stretched my hand to collect it.

She hesitated before giving the phone to me. I checked through her phone like a CID detective looking for evidence in a crime scene. It was there on her phone’s call list. Jeremiah. He’s the one that called. He’s the one Nkem went to see. I couldn’t believe my goodness. I raised my head slowly, like they do in the movies for dramatic effect, our eyes intersected. There was a knowing in the way we stared each other in the eyes silently. I know and she knows that I know. Jeremiah was the reason she forfeited seeing me.

“So it’s actually Jeremiah you went to see abi?”I felt my stomach become taut. My head was pounding severely. I caught an instant headache. I was no longer myself, it was as if I had drifted away leaving only my body behind. I heard a distant faint voice, it sounded familiar.

“I can explain…”

Craig David’s song begun to play in my aching head.

I’m walking away …

I walked away from the faint voice. In the distance I could still hear the faint voice calling my name.

I’m walking away…           

I kept walking until the faint voice diminished into thin air.

I was heartbroken. Nkem had betrayed my trust. Why? That night while I laid teary on my bed I picked up my phone and sent her a vicious breakup text. I was ruthless and careless with my words, I wanted to hurt her the same way she had hurt me. I wanted a pound of flesh. Her flesh. She didn’t reply or called. I waited all night if she’d reply or call. She didn’t still. The next day, she didn’t call or text either. After about a week of waiting for her to text or call in vain I couldn’t bear it anymore. I took the plunge, I went looking for her.

It was night. From where I was a few meters away I could make out the two familiar figures sitted at the back seat of Papa Onome’s keke, packed in front of Nkem’s compound. Papa Onome’s blue and white commercial tricycle used to be our special rendezvous spot every night. As I sauntered closer, my doubts were confirmed true.  My worst fear had befallen me. It was Nkem and Jeremiah together, gisting carefreely. They didn’t even notice my presence until I called Nkem by name.

“Nkem, so it’s true…” my voice was broken. I felt my cheeks moisten. It was tears from my very eyes. “So all these while you had been deceiving me all along, what a fool I had been.”

“I never deceived you, I really  loved you but you kept pushing me away at the slightest provocation. Any little misunderstanding we have, the next thing from you is breakup. I got fed up…” I willed my tongue to say something in defense but they were too weary to do my bidding.

“That night you saw me, I didn’t tell you it was Jeremiah because I knew you’d lose your cool at the mention of his name notwithstanding the circumstances at hand. Well, so you know, Jeremiah was involved in an accident. It was the clinic he was taken to that called my line, it was an emergency. I rushed right away to his family house to inform his parents and we dashed to the clinic together. It was from the clinic I was coming from when you saw me.” It dawned on me that moment that I had been quite hasty in concluding she was actually playing foul. I bowed my head in shame. Jeremiah was silent all through, he didn’t mutter a word.

“I’m sorry I doubted you Nkem.” I began to mumble.

“It’s okay. I hold no grudge against you. I’ve only decided to move on and expect same from you too.”

Nkem’s words came to me as if I had just received a tragic news. I was grieved sore to the soul. Like Jesus, I wept.

“Nkem, you leaving  me?”

“I’m sorry, I pray you find someone better than me…”

***

Gbam! Gbam! Gbam! Rings the vigilante’s bell. It is then it dawns on me that it is already dawn. I had been up all night keeping watch just like them. Mama’s voice would soon ring from the sitting room anytime soon for us to assemble as family for morning devotion. While singing and clapping and praying, my mind drifts far away to the cemetery of the past where I shall forever mourn my loss.

I should never have let her go.

THE END

Photo credit: loversofsadness.com

Soliloquy: Conversation With Myself

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“Dude you have been unhappy lately and I’m really concerned. Talk to me what’s eating you up?”

“I really can’t say specifically what’s the cause of my moodiness. It’s complicated.”

“How about you break it down…”

“I don’t know where to start from really.”

“Start from the beginning.”

“Hmmmmmmmm…”

“Take your time pal, take your time.”

“I feel useless right now, it’s like I’m just wasting oxygen cos I’m not really being productive…”

“How?”

“It’s been over two years now since I graduated, over six months since NYSC was completed, by now I should have been fully engaged in something worthwhile. Something I’m really passionate about, living my dreams and realising my set goals. I’ve it all planned out but right now my plans seem to be collapsing like tiles of dominoes.”

“C’mon don’t be pessimistic, remember the verse in the bible that says all things work together for good… Your present circumstance might not really seem auspicious but on the brighter side it just could be working out for your good. Just like the ole saying goes: light shines the brightest when the night is darkest. So chin up bro!”

“Hian! What a smooth talker you are, prolly you should take up motivational speaking as a career just like them Fela Durutoyes, Sam Adeyemis, Niyi Adesanyas et al.”

“Hahahaha not a bad idea, I’ll take that under advisement.”

“Please do.”

“Alright pal. So we don’t trail off from the crux of our conversation, let’s focus on you. So as you were saying…”

“Uhm what was I even saying sef? Biko remind me I don forget.”

“You were telling me about why you’re unhappy and you mentioned being idle or as you put it, unproductive, as one of the reasons for your somberness.”

“Oh, yeah I remember now. Don’t mind me jare, my memory is like a basket, I forget things easily.”

“I see…”

“Hmmm na wetin you see ni?”

“Hahahahaha just like the nusery rhyme goes: I see the moon…”

“Moon indeed, shebi moon dey inside this room abi?”

“Biko make we leave jokes for Alibaba… Let’s continue with our conversation, can we?”

“Yes we can!”

“You’re feeling like Obama abi?”

“Before nko.”

“Hehehehe I haff hia you. So how do you feel now?”

“Still the same.”

“How about your girlfriend?”

“Pardon?”

“Do you have a girlfriend?”

“No I don’t but why do you ask?”

“I feel maybe if you have one, you’d have someone you can always talk to and confide in. And that would’ve made you feel less miserable, I think.”

“Well, like I said I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“How old are you again?”

“C’mon what does my age have to do with this conversation eh?”

“Your own dey your body sha? Answer my quenshun joo.”

“Wareeeva! I’m two two.”

“Hahahaha two two ke? Is that your age or the CGPA you graduated with?”

“How funny, el-oh-el.”

“El oh el indeed. Just teasing you joo.”

“Tell me something I don’t know.”

“You’re gay.”

“Excuse me?”

“Hahahahaha shebi na you say make I tell you wetin you no know? Yeah, I just told you one.”

“Still don’t get you, how am I gay?”

“You’re twenty two and you don’t have a girlfriend, that makes you gay.”

“Hahahaha you no well o. So all those Catholic priests wey dey unmarried, dem be homo abi?”

“Hmmmm na you get your mouth o, I no talk so abeg o…”

“So you sabi beg abi? Silly boy.”

“So why don’t you have a girlfriend?”

“Ajuju!”

“Stop being sarcastic, answer the question joo.”

“Well, if you must know. All the babes wey I toast no one gree for me. Happy now?”

“Na wa for you o, na quarrel?”

“Sorry, no vex.”

“It’s alright, I really understand how you feel. Being rejected by the ones you loved must have really been hard for you I guess…”

“It used to weigh me down but not anymore.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, really.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Can you deal?”

“Try me.”

“Hmmmm I know this might sound crazy and weird but I’ve decided not to get married or get into any amorous relationship with the opposite sex.”

“The heck! Are you kidding me?”

“I’m fucking serious.”

“Whoa! Whoa! Do you want to become a priest or what?”

“Far from it, I’d end up like 2Face Idibia entering the place in-between the thighs of all the nuns in my parish if I ever became one.”

“So what’s the reason then?”

“I became born again.”

“Born again? As in you gave your life to Christ or what do you mean?”

“Hmmmmmmmm Justin Bieber on fleek…”

“Please don’t digress, this is serious.”

“I know.”

“What about you becoming born again?”

“I had a reorientation, I discovered myself.”

“I’m listening.”

“I realized the only way I could be happy is by living a selfless life.”

“So?”

“There’s the popular saying, love your neighbor as yourself. You familiar with it right?”

“Yes?”

“Good. I once thought so too at a time, until recently. I want to love my neighbor more than myself, as conceited or impractical as it sounds, I do mean it. That’s the only way I can live happily and be fulfilled.”

“Hmmmm you’re being too idealistic if you ask me but again how does that apply to you not getting married?”

“Let me explain. There’s so much selfishness in the world, people don’t really care much about others; they’ll be like well I’ve to care about myself (and family) first before I can consider others. There are millions of homeless people around, orphans, the old ones without anyone to look after them, the sick dying without access to medical care, hungry children starving to death, children who are supposed to be in school hawking along traffic which put their lives in danger, and so on…”

“You still haven’t made your point.”

“So I asked myself, what really do I seek in a relationship or marriage?”

“Tell me.”

“It all boils down to sex, implicitly or explicitly. Another selfish aim if you ask me.”

“Are you for real?”

“Hold your peace, I’m not done yet.”

“Sorry, please go ahead.”

“I get married, and in time I’ll have kids of my own. I’m bound to be committed to my kids and my wife cos they are mine (nkem).”

“Is anything wrong with that?”

“Not at all but then I it struck me, instead of marrying a wife and giving birth to a couple kids (which is the norm), I realized I could instead devout my life being a husband to the widows, and to those (disadvantaged) ladies without a man to care for them, I also want to be a father to the orphans and to those innocent homeless kids. That’s the family I really want to have. I want to live for others, not for myself.”

“Na wa o, you for just say you wan become Jesus na.”

“Nah, I’m not perfect, I just want to be different…I want to be me.”

“Don’t you think with this kind of life you’ve painted you’re going to end up lonely?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Hmmmm probably in time you’ll realize how unpragmatic this ideology of yours is and you’ll change your mind. You once told me you’re very emotional, and are easily drawn to the ladies. What happens to your feelings?”

“I think once you take away sex from an amorous relationship what’s left is friendship. And that’s what I really need, genuine friendship. The sort Jesus had with Mary and Martha. No sex attached.”

“So when your hormones turns you on, and you’re all horny and aroused, how will you deal?”

“I’ll jack off!”

“I said it, you’re gay.”