Binyelum. It was a rainy Tuesday morning, I think. You were standing on the balcony. A lonely girl with a purple earpiece you were. Comfort came off those beats! That smile! It was really funny how my world was changed that instant, upon seeing you. I had been troubled by the sight of Oby about three minutes ago. I trust you remember her. Oby was the girl in my life then. But we had fallen out and her cold words made me sad. Those words stopped coming because we stopped talking. It was then the stares that hurt me . They were cold and dry. Looking at her beautiful eyes, all I saw was hatred for me. My crime was my inability to understand her. But I loved her. She said I was just confused. One cannot love what they don’t understand. On this Tuesday, I bumped into her at the staircase close to the first floor of the lecture theaters. She had looked coldly at me and I died instantly. My happiness ran off and I was forced into the wild arms of sadness. But life is a very funny thing. There is always light at the end of the tunnel they say. Where you stood was literally like the end of a tunnel. There was light shining on you and as one leaves the dark steps you seemed to be in the light. I was awed by your smile. You were there standing with your sturdy black jeans and folded jacket. You were listening to a song. I guessed it was your favourite because you nodded calmly as each beat dropped. I stood transfixed. Instantly I felt you. All the love I had for Oby was no where close. It was really funny how one could love someone they do not know just by watching them nod to their favourite songs. There was nothing innate in a nod that could pull up those tiny, sweet feelings of love. I stood there watching you. You raised your head from your iPod and let your hair fall on your shoulders. There stood before me, the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. A fair, little, delicate thing. Then came the smile again. We locked eyes and I watched as you shuddered a way, shyly. I stood looking at you without making any moves. You looked on. It got freaky. You moved a little farther. I moved and stopped. You turned a little scared. I threw a smile at you. You caught it and you returned it. It swept through your mouth gently, like a zephyr. Something pushed me further.
‘Yeah. Philosophy. Final year’
Oops. There was the initial fear. You were already in your finals and I was in my penultimate year. I was aware of the norms of the Nigerian society. A girl in her finals is all about marriage. But I tried on.
‘Would you believe anything I tell you?’
Laughs. ‘That depends’
‘Well, you are the single most beautiful person I have ever seen.’
You hid your face. ‘Really? Maybe you don’t go out much. I’m not even the most beautiful girl in this place right now . Just turn and see those girls walking by.’
I heeded your advice and turned around. Some girls were passing. I swear, I didn’t see any faces because they had none. All I saw were hairs and leggings passing by.
‘I cannot see. Trust me!’
You laughed so hard. It was sweet to make you laugh.
You seemed to take to liking me instantly. I was a funny guy after all.
Fast forward a week later. We had had a date. I had been labelled boring when it came to dates. The odd subjects were my fancy. We talked religion, poetry, death, afterlife. And little about love. It was very strange how you took to these dreaded topics.
‘I believe in love, and the afterlife,’ you said.
‘I do not know about love or the afterlife. I just believe in death.’
‘What? Hahaha!Tell me about it’
‘Well, life is really meaningless without death. Death gives life its meaning. It would be a hell of a boring life should we go on without dying. We won’t be in a hurry to make the right choices. That is something I do not want. I like the hurries of finding love. Of losing them and finding more. Of getting rich and getting married. Of…’
‘Hahahaha…don’t strain your bald skull, Bald Black Man, I get you!’
I smiled and took the last bite on my meat pie.
‘So Beautiful One, tell me about love.’
‘What about it?’
‘Anything about it aside sex and the endless whisper of affections. Those are fake and too boring.’
‘Love! Hmmm! Love… you see, is what one makes of it. To me, love is the in unexplained reason for tenderness. It is love only when you cannot explain it. Love thrives on spontaneity. It’s like the maroon eye shadow in your makeup box you never used until you ran out of colours and gave it a try only to realise it would be the sole reason you wore makeup in years to come.’
I listened as you delivered your exceptional sermon on love. One could easily think you had a doctorate in Love Affairs, but I was sure you could have failed at the final exam. No one masters love.
It was the greatest feeling on earth, holding your head in that oddly manner and placing my lips on yours and sucking with mild vitality, wild ecstasy, and hopeful longing. We held hands and strolled round the school garden.
A week more and the calls became frequent. Do you remember the routine of the calls? I’d call in the morning and you’d call in the noon. We scrambled for the evening. The first and the last to call was the winner. I got so used to you that it made me cry. I had thought I loved Oby until I met you. But good things do not last they said.
I had been told you had a fiancée.
It was the worst day of my life. Your friend Ada had told me about him. He was already a graduate and worked with one of the multi-nationals. It was wicked of you to have let me find out myself. I had nearly committed suicide. I decided we’d have a show down.
‘Bibi, how could you do this to me? You have broken my heart. How come you never told me you had a fiancée and you let me love you so hard. ‘
I was crying my eyes out. You looked at me and cried too.
‘Kaycee love, it’s complicated. I thought we were just gonna be friends. I never knew how attached I could get to you. I swear, I love you like I’ve never loved another. But it’s a rough road, this one. It’s a hard and cold path.’
It was a rough road,love!
I watched you say the best words in life to me. We were clearly in love but ours was a strange one. I knew I would die if you ever married someone else. But it was inevitable because I didn’t have time enough. I knew it would end in pain. Love is pain. We have to endure all if we must call it love. I was convinced that letting you go was good but loving you forever would have been better. In the end, you made me see how much love meant.
I remember that phone call.
‘Kaycee beau! I called off the engagement. I will never marry Denis. I might kill myself if I do not marry you.’
I was shocked and happy at the same time. I knew it meant I’d have to work very hard immediately after graduation to be able to quickly get you out of your parents’ house. I relished the task with such anticipation. I remember taking a cab and driving straight to your hostel. Without invitation, I kissed you. We made love for the first time that day. It was the greatest thing I ever did on earth. It was my first. Your first. Our first. When you make love to someone you love, it ceases to be physical. It takes a spiritual form that amazes.
We jerked up; we sweated; we were scared; it was great. First sex is a very funny thing. Its greatest weapon is its oddness. The big bang in your head that tells you not to do all you had learnt during long hours of watching porn with your friends, and the rather stupid voice that tells you to smack her ass, make her lie in improbable forms and force her to call you daddy both fought in you. In the end, none of them wins. What emerges victorious is the timidity and total lack of experience and the fear of what to do next that invades your wealth of porn-acquired knowledge and reminds you that you are stupid.
I was victorious, the sex was good.
I left for my room the next morning. On my way back to the hostel that morning, the inevitable happened. I was hit by a trailer with failed breaks. My head was scattered on the road while people watched. That day was coincidentally a Tuesday. You heard that a boy was killed by a trailer but you didn’t take it seriously. It was later in the evening when my call didn’t come through that you started asking about.
‘He was the one who was ran over by a trailer,’ you were told.
You didn’t even cry. People were surprised. You merely walked into your room and laid on your bed. You didn’t wake up to see the next day. You died that night because you couldn’t live. We were soulmates. We still are.