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

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Part 2: Lost Diamond

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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.

Photo credit: http://hd.wallpaperswide.com

If you missed the first part, click on the link below.

Part 1: Lost Diamond

Part 1: Lost Diamond

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You only know your lover when you let her go…

These lyrics from Passenger’s song sting my heart like a bee’s bite. I feel the cold pain, it sends shiver down my spine. A pain no anesthetic can diffuse.

Nkem.

Why did I let her go? I ask myself for the umpteenth time. Why did I let her go? Losing her is the tragedy of my life. I brought it upon myself. Yes, I brought it upon myself. I am my own nemesis. I shot myself in my own Achilles’ heel. Now, I’m bleeding even as it all replays in my mind. How I arrived here, in this dungeon of pain illuminated by the grim luminescence of hopelessness. Worse than the curse of death.

I never would have guessed in a zillion years that we would ever fall apart, irreconcilably. Never. Not even Nostradamus could have seen it coming were he still alive. The unbelievable unmasked itself few days after our first anniversary, which turned out to be our last.

***

December 31st last year was the day Nkem said ‘yes’ to me after several months of persistent pestering. Often time I got the cold shoulder from her. Early in the morning I would perch somewhere around her street not too far from her compound so I can have a good view of her when she steps out. I would walk her to work despite her refusal. All through the short walk to her working place I would do all the talking. Mostly things I have said over and over again, eulogizing my affectations and love to her. She wouldn’t even as much utter a sentence till we get to her place of work only for her to dismiss me when we get to her shop, much to her relieve. Some pest I was. I would call her later and talk for long, the usual monologue that ends with the monosyllabic response “ok” from her own end. Or is it the long love essays I send as texts that were never replied. I was bent on going the extra mile to win her heart, no matter the cost. Not even her disinterest could dissuade me.

For the joy that laid ahead of me, I kept on pressing.

Even when my friends advised me to let go, that it was a lost cause, she wass obviously not interested in me and never would be. They told me girls like her don’t date guys like myself, they go after ‘big boys’ with enough cash to spare.

Poor me, I had no money. I was the real definition of being broke. What more could you expect from an unemployed graduate? On the other hand she was the belle of the neighborhood.

The sort of girl who passes by the streets and gets the attention of passersby. Guys mostly. She had such a flawless fair skin that sparkled brilliantly like the morning star. Before I mustered the courage to woo her, I would stand staring at her whenever she passes by, wishing she were my girl. Her beauty captured my attention, but when I got close enough I realized I wanted more than her beautiful skin. I craved  her heart. And was more than willing to give her mine in return.

I didn’t give up.

On the night of New Year’s Eve, I was alone with her in front of their compound. We sat on a bench left outside in front of Mama Oge’s tailoring shop.

“Nkem, please just tell me yes”, I pleaded. “Make me the happiest man in the world tonight, just say the three letter word. YES.”

“What if I say no?”

I was discomfited by her question. What would I do then, should she say no? I couldn’t bring myself to contemplate defeat not after coming this far, not after all the effort I had invested. I would be heartbroken. Since last month I observed she was no longer cold towards me. She no longer replied me in monosyllables. She laughs when I say something funny, which I did quite often. Once she had told me that she liked my sense of humor that I made her laugh. I felt like I had won a jackpot, hearing such from her. The thought of her saying ‘no’ snaked into my mind again and I shake it off. I brace myself. She won’t.

“Well, then I’ll keep on disturbing you like Ekpan fly until you say yes.”

She burst into laughter at the mention of Ekpan fly, she found it funny. But I hadn’t intended it as a joke, I actually meant every word of it.

“So what do you say?”

Her face lightened. I saw a hint of smile on the corner of her pink lips, those lips I couldn’t wait to baptize with mine.

“Okay, I will date you.”

“’Really? Is that a yes?” uncontained excitement was wreathed over my voice.

“Yes,” she cooed shyly.

Overtaken by joy, I scooped her off the ground and swung her carefreely in the air until she pleaded for me to let her down. My excitement knew no bounds. Yes! Yes! Yes! I screamed, like the wrestler Daniel Bryan. She was stunned by my histrionics. But she hadn’t seen the last of it. I knelt down on one knee, took her hand in mine and kissed it tenderly. “Thank you, Nkem,” I whispered. “I will never forget tonight.”

I never did.

 

Part 2 comes up next week. Keep a date. Thanks.

 

Photo credit: Colour Box