Read Part 1 here:
On the way back to the house, we met Mummy Niyi. She had a polythene bag in her hand and it was transparent. I could see the contents without trying. She had bread and other provisions. She genuflected to the Imam and casually mumbled Hi D Law towards my direction. Then she walked past us. I almost died. Who does that? Her reaction reminded me of my dear Ella back at the University in Ife. Whenever I offend her as I was naturally wont to do, she wouldn’t stop talking to me all together, she’d just be so casual to the point that I almost grovel my apologies. She had a way of stooping to conquer. I still cringe whenever I remember the cold shoulder. But I had not done anything to this woman now. Maybe she was protecting us from the Imam. If only she knows what the Imam knows.
When we got back to the house, we said salamah and Father responded from within. He was in the parlour watching the Evening News on Channels TV and gently picking his teeth for debris of meat that may have stuck somewhere. Father has a particularly small dentition for his fiery appearance and even more fiery way of speaking. During one of our relaxed chats about the nation’s situation, I had told him that Ronaldinho would gladly swap his two front teeth for six of his own. He busted into peals of laughter and told me that I was silly. Then three days later when I had almost forgotten the episode, he told my brother that he had always known that I’d be the silly one. He said so with a big smile. I grinned. My Father is a good man.
Father asked me if there was any news about the strike ending anytime soon. I told him none. I told him that negotiations had even broken down and it seems we were in the abyss for now. He told me he knew. He just wanted to be sure that I was following the news and not spending all my days on social media making friends with no one in particular. I grinned. He said it wasn’t funny. Then I straightened up and gave him a very stern serious look. He jokingly asked me to vamoose. I complied and marched away like a zombie. He and the Imam smiled, and then they began to confer quietly. I headed to the kitchen to find my night meal.
Since I could not sleep, I turned to my Laptop for companionship and browsed through for anything worth seeing again. Chris Ubani’s TED Talk stood out. I remember the joke he made about a t-shirt his girlfriend had. He said there was an inscription on the shirt. The inscription read; Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity. I kept turning the words over in my mind.
My incredulous dalliances with Mummy Niyi the night before had left me more restless than ASUU strike. My encounter with the Imam hadn’t ended the way I expected and I was more befuddled than ever. Then Ubani’s words came ringing in my head again. What if I did it with the woman and couldn’t stop? Will meeting her needs and invariably mine, cure me of my attraction to her? What if that opens a new floodgate of emotions that I don’t even know how to control or deal with? Can bombing ever bring peace? I mean real and long lasting peace? Will sleeping with the woman cure me of my attraction to her?
I made up my mind to speak to her about it when I went to see her in the morning. Maybe that is what she even wanted to tell me. That I should stop thinking it could ever be possible between the two of us. I slept in thoughts and was startled out of my sleep by the call to the Morning Prayer. I slipped into something and headed for the mosque.
After everyone had gone to school, I called her to ask if it was alright for me to come over. She said yes. When I got there, I knocked and she answered from within that the door wasn’t locked. I stepped in and there she was. All my thoughts disappeared at once. I was temporarily taken aback but I quickly gathered myself together. She was watching a movie. Good morning I said. She nodded her reply.
I couldn’t help but stare. Though she wore a gown made of Ankara material, she wasn’t any less beautiful. It had a tag that read H&W. The local designer definitely found a fine blend to create an African yet cosmopolitan outlook. I made a mental note to ask her later if they made gowns for boys. Gowns for boys? I almost belched at the silliness of such thought. I must have been really taken in by her. Whoever designed that gown will go places.
She didn’t cover her hair. I noticed she had just plaited it. My sister had told me all I needed to know about the style she had on. It is called Patewo. I swallowed when I noticed how neatly the rows sat on her head; the ridges caught my attention and I liked the way the rows had one long dissecting ridge in the middle. That long ridge seemed to divide the rows into two, the same way the equator divided the earth. The division was not only equal but artistic. In my mind’s eye, I was already gently running my fingers through the slanted ridges of the rows and the Long One of the equator.
She looked like the moon. You know how the moon shines so brightly when it is full and seems to be a sole lamp for the whole earth? That was exactly how she looked. I felt like the earth and she was my full moon. She was beaming her extra-terrestrial light on me. I was before something that was beyond me yet within my reach. Only The Grand Designer of the Universe could have designed something this physically thrilling and soulfully exhilarating. Here was God using His works to reaffirm my faith. I gently said a quick prayer. And in sheer delirium, I said Amen aloud.
She looked startled for a minute, and then suddenly began to chuckle aloud. The chuckle graduated into laughter and laughter they ay is like wildfire during the harmattan. I instantly caught the bug. It seemed almost impossible not to smile at the way she smiles or laugh at the way she laughs. She is like the President making a joke, whether it was funny or not, one feels obligated to laugh.
Then I noticed that I had been staring. And staring they say is rude. So I gently mumbled something like sorry. She waved it aside and told me to sit. I quietly sat down beside her. She asked me to move closer and when I did, she rested her head slightly on my shoulder.
Instantly I felt really powerful. I felt like I could do anything. I felt like I was the ruler of a beautiful kingdom. Only that this kingdom had only one citizen. But this citizen was enough for the whole kingdom. She was a thousand people rolled into one.
In this wonderful posture, I silently said another prayer for Olobe to appear so that he would witness how blessed I had become. I wished I could take a picture and share just for showoff. Such was the depth of shallowness that this delirium had transported me into. By the way, Olobe is my best friend and no, he doesn’t hawk soup as his name suggests. Olobe is his nick. It’s not his real name. Or Wale. If Olobe couldn’t make it, I wished Wale could. He would have laughed his charming hearty laugh and gawk at my luck. But then the thought hit me. Those two men are natural charmers you moron. They may take her away from you. I chuckled and rebuked such thought. Then I grinned.
I felt like I was dead and now in heaven. Only that God wasn’t ready to judge me yet so He asked His Most Beautiful Angel to keep me company. This must be a clear sign that I will make heaven. I rarely use drab clichés to describe women but suddenly the cliché about a woman being an angel seemed new and had a startlingly clear meaning to me.
She asked me why I had laughed aloud. I told her I didn’t know how to start. She said I should say it anyhow, so I obliged. I told her how I felt about her looks and all I knew about Patewo. She told me I had a sweet mouth. Then I gently nudged her head towards me and spoke directly toward her lips. How would you know that I am sweet if you haven’t tasted my lips? She seemed lost and her chest started pounding heavily against mine. Her bosom was now fully rested on my chest. We stared deeply into each other’s eyes for what seemed like eternity. Then I began to move my lips towards hers.
She didn’t flinch or move. Her face was as bland as a sea at peace. No activity. If not for the thumping of her pulse against mine, I would have believed that I was the only one feeling the connection. Now we were both breathing too heavily. Then I saw a flicker in her eyes. It simply said Go On. I did. But my lips went to her neck first. I pecked it ever so gently. She suddenly wrapped her hands around my head. My lips were making the return from her neck back to her lips when we suddenly heard a knock on the door. I felt like a hammer had just landed directly on my cranium. It must be the Devil. She seemed to agree because she didn’t move to open it. Then her phone rang. It was her dead husband’s younger brother, Musa.
Her face suddenly dropped. Musa has become the source of her headache and worries for so long and she knew better than not to answer his call. She answered the call and put the phone on the Speaker mode. Hello, she said ever so softly. Oh so you are in?! He seemed to have picked her voice from the door. I am in front of your house. I almost slumped.
To Be Continued…