Amongst the very 1st time my hardcore persona moistened was… when I got comfy with Umar who at the time happened to be my neighbor for over 8months but I NEVER got a good look at his face talkless of chit chat (story for another day).
What had happened was (you’re supposed to smile at that)… we got tight in a nick of time- better late than never right? (Even though cliché, I would still say, people misunderstand me. Scratch that- this is not about me)
That was when I ‘noticed’ he had relationship issues. Being me my stalwart self (brother’s keeper if you may), I had his back.
That included cooling his Vesuvian temper.
Massaging his massive, yet lanky, ego.
But most importantly- giving him access to “MY ORACLE”.
It was book at the time I would jot down poems of various themes, deep content, philosophical stuff and Xaru (a neologism for profound and effulgent thoughts), which all could be easily edited into mind-grabbing-reading-me-again-show-off-to-your-friends-and-probably-forward sms.
Don’t judge me! My playlist consisted of Donell Jones, Enrique, Soluna , Joe, etc and HELLO I am a sarcastic romantic aren’t I?
Even my cousin hated me because of that book- I didn’t allow him access. Period! Yeah yeah. I had my reasons. He wasn’t in any serious resulting-yielding relationship that needed salvaging and besides its MINE I should get to patent, copyright, trademark and limit access right?! #defensive
Anyway… I noticed that on many occasions- in fact all the times I could remember. He would start typing “MY DEAR AAYSHA”.
One day I finally ask him…
“Why do you do that? “
“Why do you always have to write her name in every sms? In fact why do you spell her name that way?!?”
He sighs, clicks on the little X in the docker (exiting FreeCell), and hits stop on MusicMatch ® which was ironically lulling Spanish vibes, then he says-
“She wasn’t the first! *pauses*
My first true love was also Aisha.”
I swallowed then muttered
Before I could finish the last sentence he said those dreadful paragraphs in one word- “Leukemia!”
My face sauntered downwards at a Matrix pace dragging my earlier curious and raunchy brows along with it. Then I ‘thought’ I felt something swallow ‘something’ in my chest. I was dreading a perfect love story- melancholic melodrama.
The last thing I needed was to ‘feel’. I was Mr.Spiderman. Mr.Shades. Stone-boy. Ice. Sidro. 911. A bunch of aliases and tags portraying my reputation, if you may, owing to the external persona I had.
But in reality I really was rock solid then and very very introversive and isolated- anti-social. Crazy you may say and wonder how can a person listen to the kinda crappy music I did, write poetry in red lighting, learn Spanish so dogmatically, not play or follow any fanatic sport and still remain unattached, unknown, unnoticed (so I thought), and mostly unyielding to like, lust, and limerence. But guess what? I did pull it off and with such Sprezzatura.
But that day; that word, loosened up a lot more than my chest cavity.
Soon as he said Leukemia- it was my mind that was tormenting me with its rapid visualizations…
I looked towards the computer monitor one more time and he goes-
“We were supposed to be married my now…”
I simply nodded nudging him to- either or.
My gesture and hopes were realized as he quenched my now ravenous curiosity…
“…we first met at the airport in Abuja… my dad and I were going to Canada for his check up and my procedure.” (He had a liver problem that sapped him out and made him loose a whole academic year and introduced him to a terrible bathroom ritual- those terrible vitamin k injections)
“…I saw her in terminal. Or rather just glanced towards her direction and our eyes met and you know me, I just looked away as if she was leper (that was something we shared- smugness, IDC attitude, self-denial etc)
But manhhhh… I must confess- she FINE!!!”
“Oh really, how fine?”
“Bottom line- she was a half-caste!”
“Kaih!!?No way! You’re kidding right?”
“Nah man. I kid you not when it comes to my Aisha…”
(at this point I felt something something again)
“So… what about her dad?”
Trying to deviate from the negative.
“Ah! That’s the catch ai. He’s Chairman’s really good friend. A General in the army- you know chairman and his people. Many at times we at home would be wondering if he’s AI (Army Intelligence) or something.”
Chairman was what they call their dad. A huge set man with very few words.
“Did you know them (her and her family) prior?”
“I don’t get it?”
“I thought you said saw her for the 1st time in the terminal?”
“Yeah! It was just that one ‘glance’ mostly owing to my state of mind with the whole trip. Wasn’t really down with it- bad timing with my health clock if you know what I mean.”
“But where the curtains came down was in the airplane, after we boarded. You know I love window seats…” (in my mind I’m like me too- are u kidding me? Seems like we do have a lot in common with this dude that’s nearly a decade older than me)
“…so that’s why I personally saw to it that even if it was in the cargo bay that I got window seats. Chairman’s guy arranged everything and assured me, as always, I got mid-section window seats just by the wings.”
I now finally lean back because things were getting interesting… almost fictional.
“I was confidently strutting toward 17A when I saw the very same toffee coloured girl in MY SEAT!?!”
“…she was with her younger sister, Yasmeen who was seated in 17B, the middle one. Meaning I had the aisle seat. *HISS* I just cleared my throat and when they turned I put it in her face- BOARDING PASS.
The lil sis just gave her the I-told-you-so look, but my lady didn’t go down without a fight. In fact she didn’t even go down after the fight. She just said- “that’s nice I have one too! Wanna see?”
I was SO pissed and fuming… that I started stuttering my way with the following-
“S-ssso www-whatt the hell!!?!!”
“At least if you cc-could read well enough yy-yyou would have noticed that your seat sss-sssays 17C which is THIS aaaand 17A which-chch is MINE!!”
(remember, he had a temper which in most cases has the host stammering too)
She gleamed her big brown eyes and with half a smile said “so you can read? Big deal!”
“I swear at that point I didn’t know which of the caveman tactics to pull on her, was I to act 'civil' and raise a super alarm till an air marshal, hostesses, the Pilot and co-pilot came and got her not only outta the seat but the freaking airport as well.”
“What happened then?” I muttered.
----TO BE CONTINUED----